This week Epic Games Store is giving out two fantastic games for free that almost everyone should be playing. Both of these are critically acclaimed and have received multiple awards.
Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight platformer from the creators of TowerFall. Brave hundreds of hand-crafted challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain.
Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project.
Celeste and INSIDE will be available from August 29th – September 5th, 2019 so make sure to grab them before the deadline.
The games for next week are ABZU and The End is Nigh.
In September on Xbox One, take out your targets on a global stage in Hitman: The Complete First Season and then collaboration is the key to escaping in We Were Here. On Xbox 360, and Xbox One via Backward Compatibility, save humanity once more in Earth Defense 2025, then unleash brutal combinations in Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
All games will be available exclusively for Xbox Live Gold members for a limited time as part of Games with Gold. With Xbox Live Gold, you get the most advanced multiplayer service, free games, and exclusive member discounts on games in the Microsoft Store — get Xbox Live Gold today to get in on the action!
Take down high-profile targets in the intense spy-thriller world of Hitman: The Complete First Season. Broken down episodically, this complete collection features all of the challenges and contracts assigned to Agent 47 in multiple worldwide locations including Paris, Sapienza, Marrakesh, Bangkok, Colorado and Hokkaido. Learn the tools of the trade and earn your way to Silent Assassin status in this award-winning stealth action game.
We Were Here
Team up with a friend or a stranger online to escape an abandoned castle in We Were Here. This challenging puzzler finds you and one other player trapped alone in different parts of a mysterious castle with only your walkie-talkie and voice to help you. Communication and collaboration with your partner are key, as every room will challenge your wits and only your voice and teamwork will allow you to escape.
Earth Defense Force 2025
Defend humanity once more in Earth Defense Force 2025. It’s been eight years of peace and prosperity since the last alien invasion, but now the Ravagers are back and stronger than ever. Utilize hundreds of weapons at your disposal across four different character classes to repel the terrifying invasion of giant aliens and save the world.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
The world’s greatest fighters return to battle it out and unleash the most vicious combos in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Featuring solid gameplay and a massive cast of your favorite characters, select and partner up the best mix of players to claim ultimate victory.
The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan is a game by Supermassive Games who are also the team behind Until Dawn. Now the game heavily relies on its cinematic element just like Until Dawn which most people enjoyed. But does Man of Medan live up to the expectation or is not a game that is just good enough to watch on stream, this will help you answer that question.
What is The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan
Man of Medan is the first game in The Dark Pictures Anthology of games. It’s a cinematic story-based horror-thriller game where you get to control various character throughout the story with their lives and fate all in your hands. As with Until Dawn, it introduces the characters who all have inter-personal relationships with their issues and emotions that may factor into your decision making but your decisions will shape their character.
You play as a group of adolescents who go on a diving trip but things quickly go south as they encounter a storm, pirates and a sunken ship and must now do everything in the power to survive. And the whole tale is being narrated by a man who has a lot of stories to tell. The game has pirates as well as a lot of supernatural stuff and relies heavily on jumpscares and out of the blue action to keep you on your toes and invested into the game. This is helped by the great sound design and music which fit the tone of the game and work with the claustrophobic and dark level design of the game which is another highlight.
Now in terms of story, you will probably have to play it more than just once to get a better understanding of it because if you mess up the first time, your second playthrough will help you avoid those mistakes and get to learn more of the story. This isn’t too hard to do since a single playthrough is just 4 hours long.
There’s also a multiplayer co-op mode which I highly recommend to try out because it is surprisingly a great way to experience the game. There’s also a “Movie Night” mode which is amazing for players who want to play this with a group of friends. Movie Night allows you to assign individual characters to players so that you can pass the controller to your friend when their character shows up. And their decisions can also affect other characters so it creates a lot of tension and fun moments. You can really screw over your friends if you’d like with this and it has the potential to be as friendship breaking as Mario Kart or Mario Party if you’re invested in your character and story.
Where it Falls Short
The game requires you to move around and interact a lot with the environment and this is where you start to notice the cracks. For a game that’s all about the cinematic experience, it’s pretty clumsy when it comes to the movement and interaction. Trying to pick up an object or interact with it can be immersion breaking since you’re just walking around in circles or sticking yourself to the wall to hopefully get the prompt.
The story, which is a very integral part of the starts to get boring and loses your interest in the second. Caring about these characters was also hard because their development didn’t really feel organic or natural, it just doesn’t do a good job getting you to emotionally invest yourself in their lives. Facial Animation and textures are also a letdown, especially after Until Dawn which is disappointing. If all this was done well, it would have really worked well with Movie Night to create some fantastic drama.
On consoles, there’s also a lot of technical issues like texture pop-in, odd lighting and frame rate, and frame pacing issues in various scenes. So for now, PC seems like the best place to play this game.
The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan feels like a step-back from Until Dawn. The disappointing second half plot and character development, bad facial animation, textures, clumsy movement and poor performance really drown out the positives of the game. Maybe with updates, some of this could be fixed but even then, the short playtime of the game doesn’t really do it any favors. Hopefully, the next game in the series can wipeout Until Dawn.
Experience the Game of the Year Edition of Marvel’s Spider-Man, which includes the full game, plus Marvel’s Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps complete DLC story arc content.
Sony Interactive Entertainment, Insomniac Games, and Marvel have teamed up to create an authentic Spider-Man adventure. This isn’t the Spider-Man you’ve met or ever seen before. This is an experienced Peter Parker who’s more masterful at fighting big crime in Marvel’s New York. At the same time, he’s struggling to balance his chaotic personal life and career while the fate of millions of New Yorkers rests upon his shoulders.
The worlds of Peter Parker and Spider-Man collide in an original action-packed story. In this new Spider-Man universe, iconic characters from Peter and Spider-Man’s lives have been reimagined, placing familiar characters in unique roles.
Don Batman’s cowl and stalk the rooftops of Gotham City, or unleash your inner fury in the savage third chapter of the Darksiders series, in your next batch of PlayStation Plus monthly games, available to download starting Tuesday, September 3rd.
Let’s take a closer look:
Batman: Arkham Knight
Descend into the besieged streets of Gotham City as DC’s most-iconic crime-fighting crusader in Rocksteady’s neo-noir action adventure and explosive finale to the Arkham series.
Pull on the legendary black cowl and explore the vast neon metropolis, grappling up walls and vaulting across rooftops, gliding between buildings, or tearing through the streets in the super-powered Batmobile.
Go up against some of the caped crusader’s most iconic enemies, including Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc and more, using brutal hand-to-hand combat and an array of gadgets to liberate the over-run city once and for all.
Are you ready to become the Batman?
A visceral hack-and-slash action adventure, Darksiders III places you in a dark fantasy world filled with diverse environments, dangerous foes, hidden secrets, and weapons and abilities to unlock.
Take on the role of Fury, the most unpredictable and enigmatic of the Four Horseman, as she returns to the scorched Earth to hunt down and destroy the Seven Deadly Sins. Track down each of the Seven Deadly Sins, slay their minions, and restore the balance between good and evil on Earth.
Let the apocalypse begin…
Both Batman: Arkham Knight and Darksiders III will be available to download from PlayStation Store between September 3 and September 30.
The next mainline game in the Yakuza series has finally been properly announced and showcased. It’s called Yakuza 7: Whereabouts of Light and Darkness which features a new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga who is apparently a big fan of Dragon Quest. Here’s all we know about the game so far.
The game will not take place in Kamurocho like most of the Yakuza games until now where Kamurocho itself was basically a staple of the series and many called it an integral character of the story. This time, the story takes place in Yokohoma which is the second-largest city in Japan. Yokohoma is said to be three times bigger than Kamurocho so it will interesting to see how they pack it with content because Kamurocho was dense and filled with activities.
However, the biggest change to the series is that combat is now supposedly going to turn-based and not real-time. While we initially thought that it was just for a few side-missions, it seems like the whole game will be turn-based. Mr. Nagoshi, the creative head behind the Yakuza games said the following about the combat system.
Nagoshi: classic Yakuza game format reached one complete style so wanted to try totally different to jump. Our experts of action game creation made this RPG with their flavor; hope fans welcome this change. If not, happy to change back to action game for future releases.
Now it could be a translation issue but it seem like they really are taking this direction with the game. When seen in action it does look interesting but after the Yakuza 0 and Kiwami 1 fighting changes as well as the combat of Judgment, it’s a shame we won’t get to go all out with Ichiban.
Remnant: From the Ashes is game from Gunfire Games who also developed Darksiders 3. Remnants: From the Ashes is an interesting game that’s commonly been called “Dark Souls with Guns” but is it just that and nothing more? Or does the game have its own identity that makes it stand tall and makes it worth playing? Well, this will help you answer that question.
What is Remnant: From the Ashes
Remnant: From the Ashes is a third-person survival action shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by monstrous creatures where your only friends are your weapons and the two other people with you since you can also play this game in a 3 player co-op session.
The game is essentially a boss rush but with more variety where you simply don’t just take on boss after boss. While levels remain the same, the layout is procedurally generated which keeps the game fresh. And the bosses that you encounter in these levels are also randomized so you will constantly be adapting to the game and learning as you progress.
And the gunplay is so tight and fluid that it’s an absolute joy to explore the levels and shoot weird monsters in the face and managing your stamina as there is no blocking in the game so you’ll be dodging and rolling most of the time as you make your way to battle a boss. Speaking of bosses, they’re one of the highlights of the game. The design, their variety, and just the overall experience when going up against them is so fresh and fun that it sometimes even if you keep dying, you don’t mind it.
And dying is not a big issue in this because you don’t lose items and such. You just get respawned at the last checkpoint after someone resurrects you from there.
The world itself is intriguing and perfectly sets the stage for a messed up post-apocalyptic world with tones of brown and grey and environments that are beautifully crafted to showoff this raw, broken and wild world.
Where it Falls Short
While the bosses and enemies are greatly designed and fun to discover and kill, the game has an issue with random difficulty spikes where out of the blue you just feel like you got slammed by a steam roller. There’s no real precursor to this or any warning because it’s just random and all based on your luck.
The loot system is also not exciting since you mainly only get good stuff from a few chests and after defeating bosses. Besides that, good loot is scarce and there’s no such incentive placed on loot.
Also, if you’re looking for a story then look away because there is barely any present here. Sure there’s a barebones plot that helps you settle into the world and give you some purpose but that’s about it. The story is something that the game doesn’t focus on anyway because of the gameplay is randomized so don’t expect deep lore or a lot of backstories here.
There are also bugs present in the game like when you try to spawn in from a checkpoint in a new area which can take a couple of tries and many more bugs being reported by players which will hopefully be solved soon.
Remnant: From the Ashes shines as a co-op shooter that has phenomenal gunplay and great enemies. However, the difficulty spikes and bugs can turn people off along with the lack of loot which hopefully can be fixed with updates. There’s a great game here and it’s a lot of fun to play so I hope Gunfire Games continues to support the game post-launch.
Humanity’s last chance against an interdimensional invasion is a special living weapon called the Legion. As a rookie officer in the elite police task force Neuron, you and your Legion will work together to solve cases and save humankind.
The Astral Chain game gives you full control over two characters at once for thrilling Synergetic Action, courtesy of PlatinumGames. Alternate between several Legion types and skills to save the world your way.
Astral Chain features character designs by the acclaimed manga artist Masakazu Katsura (ZETMAN, Video Girl Ai), and marks the directorial debut of PlatinumGames’ Takahisa Taura (Designer of NieR: Automata). Hideki Kamiya, director of the Bayonetta game and writer/supervisor of the Bayonetta 2 game, provides supervision.
• Players can control the protagonist and a special weapon called a Legion simultaneously, building stylish combos by using both characters in tandem
• There are multiple Legions in the game, each with different combat styles and abilities. Players can even strategically change between Legions at will during real-time battles
• This apocalyptic setting is full of intricate details and interesting characters, including citizens and suspects you can interact with in the city, others in the special police task force, and your twin sibling
• Use the abilities of the Legion not only in battle but also for investigating cases and solving environmental puzzles
• Uncover the secrets of the alternate dimension called the Astral Plane, where the mysterious invaders originate
• Astral Chain is directed by Takahisa Taura, known for his work as the game designer on NieR: Automata, and supervised by Hideki Kamiya, creator of the Bayonetta series
The Ashen’s rebirth has restored light to the ash covered plains and the dark world you’ve always known. You must protect the Ashen at all costs, if there is any hope for the new light to survive.
There are those who prefer the darkness and will try to stop you on your quest. You’ll need to be fast on your feet, quick to learn and willing to work with others if you hope to survive against the many threats you’ll encounter on your journey.
At its core, Ashen is about relationships. You will meet people out in the world, perhaps a tinker or huntress, a fortune-hunter or weaver of shadows. Each character has unique knowledge and crafting abilities that will bolster your chances of survival and victory.
You must build a new life in these twilight plains and fight together instead of stumbling alone in the dark.
• Passive Multiplayer – People you meet out in the world are players with their own agendas. It will be up to you to decide how to deal with them.
• Open World Exploration – Your settlement is nestled in the mountains, surrounded by hand crafted environments as far as the eye can see.
• Stamina Based Combat – Each encounter, no matter how trivial seeming, has the potential to end in disaster. Knowing the land and being patient are some of the most valuable weapons available to a lone wanderer in Ashen. Sometimes it is best to turn and run.
• Creatures – The creatures of Ashen include rare, lonely giants and hungry, twisted inhabitants of the night. Despite the perils of the darkness, life always finds a way. This is a land teaming with a diverse array of flora and fauna.
• The Town – The town will be cobbled together from survivors you choose to bring to your settlement. They might provide you with help ranging from blacksmithing to foraging expertise.
Mario and friends go global in this new Mario Kart as they race around courses inspired by real-world cities in addition to classic Mario Kart courses! These destinations will be featured in tours that rotate every two weeks! In addition to courses based on iconic locales, some of your favorite Mario Kart characters will get variations that incorporate the local flavor of cities featured in the game!
Endless Mario Kart fun at your fingertips!
The Mario Kart series known and loved by many is ready to take the world by storm—one smart device at a time! With just one finger, you can steer and drift with ease, sling devastating items as you go for the gold in cups filled with new and classic Mario Kart courses.
Nab first place with items and Frenzy mode!
In Mario Kart Tour you have access to an arsenal of powerful items that can mix things up on the racetrack! Turn up the heat by activating the new Frenzy mode, which gives an unlimited supply of a certain item and makes you invincible! Make the most of the ensuing chaos, as Frenzy mode only lasts a short time!
Collect drivers, karts, badges, and more!
Earn Grand Stars by racing or fire off the featured pipe to receive more drivers, karts, and gliders! You can also proudly display badges, earned by completing certain challenges, next to your in-game name!
Bonus challenge courses put a twist on traditional races!
In certain races, 1st place isn’t always the goal. With names like “Vs. Mega Bowser” and “Goomba Takedown,” these bonus challenge courses demand a different approach to gameplay and strategy!
Race to increase your online rank!
Boost with the best of ’em! Your high scores will determine how you compare to other players all over the world. Keep practicing and trying out different combinations of drivers, karts, and gliders to increase your score and rise to the top!