Earlier this week, Pokémon UNITE released on the App Store, bringing the formerly Switch-exclusive MOBA to mobile devices. We dove in to check it out, and have some key takeaways you might want to know before deciding to pick it up yourself. Read on below, or feel free to just scrub through our comprehensive overview video above.
Category: First Looks »
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War - What to expect from this massive strategy game set in Middle-earth
Games publisher NetEase wants to transport you back to Middle-earth with The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War, the brand new strategy game for fans of Tolkien’s Iconic world. It's been a while since gamers have had a chance to play a proper The Lord of the Rings game, with the last title being Middle-earth: Shadow of War, released way back in 2017 by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. However, whilst Shadow of War was an RPG available across multiple platforms, including console and PC, The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War has been designed from the ground up exclusively for mobile devices, built around strategic play with a unique social interaction aspect in which you work together each season with other players to battle and conquer.
An Epic Story
The story is an original tale from Middle-earth. Set in the same universe as the trilogy, The One Ring, which was thought to be lost, has reemerged, waiting in the bowels of Dol Guldur - the Dark Fortress of Mirkwood. Soon war breaks out over the news of its return, tempting the world of men, Dwarves and Elves alike to seek out its dark properties in an attempt to wield its immense power. As the player you will have to strategize and battle your way through many foes who want to take possession of the One Ring for themselves. You will need intelligent planning; using clever tactics to keep one step ahead of your enemies and those that want to reclaim the One Ring to rule them all!
A few months ago, one of our favorite stealth action mobile titles, Space Marshals 3, got a story update that nearly doubled the original game's length. Support for the game isn't showing any signs of slowing down, because just this week another content pack came out that adds a fresh batch of challenges for you to test out Burton's gadgets and your own sneaking skills on.
Called Bounty Mission Pack #1, this addition to Space Marshals 3 adds 12 new levels that are disconnected from the game's main story. Instead, these isolated maps offer one-off challenges in both "action" and "stealth" modes, which reward you for taking a certain number of enemy targets in a specific way.
Steam Link Spotlight is a feature where we look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry looked at Roguebook. Read about how it plays using Steam Link over here.
For this entry, we looked at what would probably make a good case for reinterpreting Doom as a turn-based affair tuned for mobile. Jupiter Hell may not be on the App Store, but it sure as heck feels like it should, and it brings sci-fi horror, heavy metal, gore, and gunplay together in ways that remind me of old-school 90s shooter aesthetics.
We were obviously big fans of Genshin Impact when it launched last year, so much so that it grabbed our Game of the Year award. Since that time, though, the game (and our enthusiasm fo it) had gone somewhat quiet.
You see, Genshin Impact is a service game, but since last winter there had been precious little added to the experience. Post-Dragonspine, a couple of story quests showed up and a trickle of new characters came and went, but there was nothing really new and exciting for players to latch onto--regardless of whether they played daily or dropped off months ago. This summer showed a glimpse of excitement with a temporary archipelago being added to the game, but the whole experience felt like stopgap effort designed to prevent more of the player base moving on to something else.
iOS has always been a great place to play card and board games digitally, provided the game selection available was to your taste. I've made bunch of great discoveries over the years by trying out titles like Root and Lords of Waterdeep, but what I always secretly wanted all this time was a way to play Dominion on the go.
Thankfully, it seems like I'll be getting exactly what I've been waiting for soon, as Temple Gates Games is currently finishing up a digital version of Dominion for mobile and PC. In a certain way, I already have it, as this version of the game is already in open beta and you can play it right now. If you have any interest at all in Dominion or deck-building games, you should sign up right away.
Baba Is You released on iOS this week, and you should probably play it. If you're unfamiliar with the 2019 puzzle game, it's ostensibly about pushing things around as a little sheep. The only catch is that some of the objects you can push around in levels just so happen to also be the words that dictate the game rules, allowing you to change their meaning at will.
Now that I have my quest legs, Divinity - Original Sin 2 is feeling more and more like an epic quest than a curiously rich playground. It also seems like a good sign that I'm ready to break free of the chains keeping me in this starting area to crack open this game and really see what's lying underneath.
It only took me four entries in this journal to finally advance some quests instead of just pick them up! Fort Joy has been an entertainingly complex starting area, but it always just seemed I was spinning my tires trying to find the key to moving things forward. I was getting into fights and learning things about the world, sure, but my quest log just seemed to keep adding tasks and I wasn't sure exactly how to check them off the list.
The excellent Space Marshals 3 just released a new chapter of 12 missions, just about doubling the original release's size. In them, Burton continues his wild adventures through space taking down bounty hunters, illegal intergalactic still operators, and a bizarre space cult, as well as other cartoony, sci-fi/western baddies.
This extended set of missions costs $4.99 (or you can opt to buy the bundled full game for $7.99), so we took a look at it to see if it was worth the asking price. Given Pixelbite's history, particularly with the Space Marshals series, we were confident we'd be getting a lot of bang for our buck, and we were mostly right. Check out the video above for an extended look at most of chapter two as well as some additional impressions below.
All last week I was away on a trip, which seemed like a good test for Divinity - Original Sin 2. Would it be a good game to actually fire up outside of the confines of my own home? It turned out to be a less than ideal test environment though as I did not take transit to my destination and my time away was full of programmed activities. During any downtime that I had, I preferred dipping into more familiar standbys like Genshin Impact or League of Legends: Wild Rift.
But now I'm back and the Gameplay Journal continues. This entry really highlights how deep a game Divinity - Original Sin 2 compared to basically any other mobile game (and arguably most other games in general), as I spent almost 45 minutes in a small prison area, and spending most of that time in a single skirmish. It was pretty awesome, but Divinity - Original Sin 2 still seems to go out of its way to remind you that all of its depth and potential comes with some jank.
Last week, Larian Studios dropped Divinity - Original Sin 2 onto the App Store after touting in at various stage shows as an uncompromised port of the open-world role-playing game running on smaller screens. We have been eager to dig into the game to see if it's all it was promised to be, and are compiling our findings here in our Divinity - Original Sin 2 gameplay journal!
The way it works is simple: a single playthrough of the iOS port of Divinity - Original Sin 2 documented in painstaking detail via gameplay recordings and text impressions, all compiled nicely in this here post. See our opinions on the game evolve over time and decide for yourself whether this mega-ambitious mobile gambit is worth it or not.
Posts below will be updated on a regular basis until the game has been completed. Make sure to check back regularly!
We've been continuing to plug away at Divinity - Originial Sin 2 over here, and it's been an enjoyable experience. Since it is a hefty ask for any mobile gamer to try and start playing though, we're continuing to document our time with it and post impressions as we make our way through it.
In this segment of our coverage, we've got two videos detailing the first steps you take after the prologue chapter (which you can view here). This section of the game is its first open-ended portion, though all the different quests and paths are somewhat constrained in a kind of prison camp called Fort Joy.
We all knew Larian Studios was working to bring an "uncomprimised" port of Divinity - Original Sin 2 to iOS, but I'm not sure anyone was prepared for it to surprise release yesterday. After hearing the news, I sat down as soon as I was able to play through the game's prologue, record the entire session, and take down some first impressions. Ultimately, Divinity - Original Sin 2 is everything Larian says it is on iOS, though there are some things that stuck out to me that are worth noting if you're curious about purchasing the game.
This week, we finally got our hands on Diablo: Immortal. While it's still in a closed alpha state, the game feels quite a bit like a fully-fledged Diablo experience, though obviously with some free-to-play hooks thrown in. Check out some footage of the game just as those hooks kick in to get a sense of what Blizzard and NetEase seem to be planning for Diablo's eventual emergence onto the App Store.