What’s in Your Box: Week of 7-11
Kalvin Martinez / Jul 11th, 2015 No Comments
Each week, we here at Gaming Illustrated are always playing a number of different video games. However, we may not be talking about them in reviews or editorials. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth talking about, but for any number of reasons an avenue to speak on them doesn’t come up. To remedy the issue, we’re going to ask our staff (and you, honestly) what’s in your box?
What’s in Kalvin’s Box
The E3 daze has finally dissipated like a torrent of hype and canned enthusiasm. Returning to a regular schedule is hard but bit by bit, you manage to get back to a semi-normal life. That means playing more video games. Sadly, those games are mainly all review titles. However, I have played a bit more of Batman: Arkham Knight and while it is 2000 and late, Fallout Shelter is a huge addiction. First though, there are some more games I played at E3 worth talking about: Street Fighter V and Dues Ex: Mankind Divided.
Rise Up for Hype!
This week has been pretty exciting for Street Fighter V news. First, PS4 users who pre-ordered the game can test out the online functionality of Street Fighter V on July 23 in the game’s first beta. The beta will be open for five days with access to all the characters during the E3 build (Ryu, Charlie, Chun-Li, and Bison all available from the start) with Birdie and Cammy being available later. It’ll also include three stages such as the new Forgotten Waterfall stage. But the big news came during Comic-Con. Ken will be returning in Street Fighter V with a brand new look and some killer moves. It is time to get hype friends.
At E3, Capcom had a build of Street Fighter V playable at its booth and Sony’s booth. I managed to get a few fights in with the new Mad Catz fight stick for the game. It plays extremely well with a smooth framerate and a fluidity to combat. The new V Trigger system has a ton of potential for added depth to matches. It’ll be exciting to see how top level players incorporate all the intricacies into their play when the final version comes out. The fight stick felt good, but my level of play is not nearly good enough to get much out of using one. Street Fighter V is on some final round hype right now and the final version with a full roster should be ridiculous.
Square-Enix showed off a 30 minute hands-off demo of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided during E3 last month. It looks pretty crazy. There is a bigger emphasis on choice with how you play this time around. You can go down a number of multiple paths during a mission. These multiple paths allow you to choose between going through it like an action game or stealth (it has a no kill run). The maps are bigger because of the various branching paths. You can take a large number of routes to get to your objective, so you can charge in guns and augments blazing, or sneak around the back (or go through vents, your NPC pilot makes an in-joke about spending time in vents when Adam went into one).
The new Augmentations are crazy. Adam has a new Aug that gives him the ability to shoot blades from his arm and charge them into a shrapnel blast that can take out enemies in cover. The multiple new Augs give Adam a wide range of options when tackling a mission. The boss showdown at the end of the demo took place entirely through dialogue with outcomes that changed based on your dialogue choices. If you’re good you can convince the boss to help you out (and get time to search his pad) or, if like in our demo, you fail, things go bad real quick. A bigger emphasis with Mankind Divided is player choice, not only in gameplay but in the narrative. The boss fight gave a good indication on how meaningful choice will be in the game.
The game ran smooth without any framerate hitches or texture pops-in during the run. It is a pretty game with some weird nose modeling choices (they tend to be very square at the edge). I’m not the biggest Deus Ex fan, so I may not have the most insight based off my look, but the general game-y stuff of it looks sound. The ability to mix stealth and action more effectively makes my interest in it much higher (since I found the stealth a bit clunky in Human Revolution).
Gimme Shelter for the Knight
Slowly I’m plugging away at Batman: Arkham Knight. Without reservation, the game is good and worth your time. There is just something about it that isn’t scratching the itch I need it to scratch. The combat is fun, fast, and mesmerizing. It looks stunning, especially when Batman is gliding through the Gotham night or rolling through the streets destroying property with the Batmobile. Yet something isn’t quite there. I don’t know what exactly it is because the game has an amazing narrative turn, which results in some visually virtuous imagery. Maybe I’ll make another turn if I keep playing but right now, it’s not making me feel some type of way.
Fallout Shelter has been my go to phone game since I got a chance to fiddle with it after E3. It is everything a free-to-play game should be, while being an awesome game on its own. The typical free-to-play hooks don’t exist, you’re not worrying about how many moves you can do in an hour period or constantly being asked to buy in-app widgets. You can buy lunchboxes, but they are reasonably priced and only a boost, not a necessity. It has the charming Pip Boy art style with smooth animations and a clean look.
Much of what Fallout Shelter amounts to is smart resource management. Your vault and its dwellers need three things to function optimally: energy, water, and food. The main goal is building facilities in your vault to produce each of these resources. Once you’ve built them, staffed them with suitable dwellers, and aren’t in constant danger of collapse then you can start expanding. Expansion should be taken cautiously. The more dwellers you have, the more resources you need to survive, and resources get used up quickly.
Having done two vaults, the best advice is to focus on being able to produce your three resources comfortably before having your dwellers procreate or inviting new dwellers from the dessert. Another good tip is to save up lunchboxes for when you’re in a pinch. The obvious route with lunchboxes since they have rare gear, dwellers, and other good stuff is to open them immediately. However, since they also often contain valuable resources that can be helpful in a bind, you should only open them if you’re in danger of running out of any of your big three resources. It’ll keep you going longer.
tags: batman arkham knight , Dues Ex: Mankind Divided , Fallout Shelter , opinion , Street Fighter 5 , Street Fighter V , What's in Your Box