This past weekend was weirdly overwhelming with video game news, reveals, and releases. We still feel like we’re recovering from the whirlwinds of The Game Awards, PlayStation Experience, and all of the surprise game launches around the week.  Here’s some of our favorites.

An Ever-More-Impressive Indie Presence at PlayStation Experience

PlayStation Experience took place close enough to my own north bay CA backyard this year that I was able to spend the weekend seeing Sony’s sights. The Cool Gray City of Love (emphasis on the ‘cool’ and ‘gray’, weather-wise) hosted a multi-tiered convention that featured both the big heavies like Battleborn and Uncharted 4 and a huge indie presence. Every year it seems that Sony has gone bigger and harder in their support of indie gaming and it shows in their equal-opportunity showfloor space, the anchoring presence of companies like Devolver and Double Fine, and the sheer number of booths stocked with engaged, excited indie devs.

This year I was most excited to finally get my hands on a playable version of Eitr, the dimly-lit, haunting, pixelated Norse Diablo/Dark Souls action-dungeoner. I was not disappointed; Eitr was grimly beautiful and as sharp as a finely-honed axeblade. Along with Eitr, I was also impressed by Pavilion, a gorgeous “fourth-person puzzling adventure”, Severed, the new Aztec-flavored first-person dungeon crawler from Drinkbox, Salt and Sanctuary, the hand-drawn action RPG from Ska Studios, and the entire arcade of VR games. I’ve got a whole write-up coming this week for my take-aways from PS EX, so keep an eye out if you’ve got a PS4/Vita and are ready for the indie buffet about to be served to you by Sony.

-Erin “Cool Gray Editor of Love” Hyles

New Free Game from Stanley Parable Creator

When it was announced that William Pugh, developer of The Stanley Parable was launching a new independent studio, you’d have been forgiven for assuming he’d be producing more content in the same vein. Surprise surprise, his new title isn’t another first person walking simulator. It’s actually a heist game, free of charge on both Steam and Itch.io. And trust me, in spite of its short playtime and low price, Dr. Langeskof, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald is no walk in the park. This game is a high octane thrill ride from start to finish. You’ll be using the extremely realistic weather effects to aid you in the intense stealth gameplay, as you avoid a loose tiger and shoot down guards with the obviously overpowered tranquilizer gun. Unfortunately, the game does suffer from a handful of bugs, particularly in the audio department. Throughout my time playing the game, it could have sworn I was hearing footsteps behind the walls, and hushed voices whispering. Although, I guess I could have been imagining it… Right?…

-Philip “Free Game” Aldous

Psychonauts 2 Revealed

Two words: Psychonauts 2. One decade after the release of the first Psychonauts, Tim Schaffer and Double Fine Productions are reaching out for crowdfunding and investments on Fig. The original Psychonauts is considered a cult classic, so hype is high surrounding this campaign.

-Niko “Cult Hype” Berry

Viva Seifert was the best thing about The Game Awards

It’s considered kind of cool to hate on The Game Awards. For long I have definitely not been cool because I’ve always enjoyed the gaudy spectacle of award ceremonies. Then I watched The Game Awards 2015 and now you can call me Simon “Ice Cold” McCoolpants.

The ceremony flagrantly promoted certain releases and it became apparent that the awards were mere window dressing for the promotional showcase of next year’s big budget games. Many of the award winners were muttered under Geoff Keighley’s breath between world exclusives. I expected all of that to a degree, but this year it felt particularly egregious.

The best moment of the evening was also cringey, but for another reason. The presenter announcing the winner for Best Performance confidently declared that Her Story’s Viva Seifert had won the award for her non-existent role in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Cut to a confounded audience and much awkwardness. Then the luminous Seifert accepted her award with grace and humility, and she seemed genuinely honoured by the recognition. Her enthusiasm for being part of a “small avant-garde video game” wiped the sardonic smirk off my face, if only for a moment.

For more indie games that repped it at The Game Awards, see here.

-Simon “Ice Cold” McCoolpants

Nuclear Throne Is OUT NOW!

Vlambeer surprised us by releasing Nuclear Throne over the weekend on on PS4, Vita, and Steam. It came as a surprise because some of us started to think it lived on Steam Early Access, especially since it netted over a million dollars in an unfinished state. I mean, we covered it back when it first became available in April of 2014! Now it’s here and roguelike junkies like me couldn’t be happier. It still feels weird to see all the super rough edges removed. Everything feels weirdly clean for a race to a seat of sludgy glory, but that’s fine because I can’t wait to go in for another festering run.

-M. Joshua “Mutated” Cauller

 

 

About The Author

M. Joshua makes game trailers when not writing about games. He loves any game experience that engenders empathy to others, be it biographical, co-op, or games about valuing the well-being of your enemies. He loves getting humans together in his house for survival deathmatches.

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