Tom Senior: Ninja theory
I thought Sekiro might be a shorter game to pad out Activision’s release schedule with some swordfighting action. Nope. I’ve put 70 plus hours into it now and I’m considering pulling the trigger on new game plus. Sekiro features From Software’s best combat system yet, and for PC players that missed out on the sublime Bloodborne, this is a must-play. I can see ideas from Dark Souls and Bloodborne’s toughest encounters refitted and upgraded in Sekiro’s outstanding boss fights. It’s a challenging game, but not insurmountable, and relatively straightforward storytelling (for the main plot at least) will hopefully give new players a clearer way into the fiction. The stealth is fun too, especially when you get access to the shinobi skills that let you trigger special abilities off stealth backstabs.
The world is full of secrets and off-the-beaten-path challenges that I’m still doubling back and ticking off. The first ten hours felt a little samey to me, particularly because you’re exploring two similar-ish environments, one during the day and the other during the night, but keep on going and the world starts to open up magnificently. Be sure to read all the item and ability descriptions. They don’t just tell the story, they offer clues to NPC sidequests and hidden secrets. I can’t wait until this time next week when everyone’s played more of it and we can start talking more about [REDACTED] and that monstrous sunuvabitch [REDACTED] boss. Meanwhile here’s our Sekiro review.
James Davenport: Crushin’ on kite guy
FromSoftware are some of the biggest goofs in gaming. It might put out some dark, austere games, but the Souls series, and now Sekiro, treat player expectations like the setup for a punchline. Kite guy is the purest example so far, a prank so surprising that it almost feels like it was made to generate streamer reaction videos. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but we’ve got the whole breakdown here. Whether you plan on playing Sekiro or not, it’s worth a watch.
Tyler Wilde: Borderlands 3, eventually
I’m not a huge Borderlands fan, though Borderlands 3 does look fun and I’m excited that Tales from the Borderlands characters are showing up. So that’s a high. On top of the reveal, though, we also got the Randy Pitchford Show. There were many better things I could’ve been doing on Thursday morning besides watching Pitchford attempt a magic trick while waiting for him to finally say the number three, thus making the headline ‘Borderlands 3 confirmed’ true and publishable, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the weird, technically-troubled preamble. My favorite part was when he started describing each card that comes with the Borderlands tabletop game. It was like going to a friend’s house as a kid and getting a tour of their toys, where they explain each one in detail but you can’t touch any of them.
Really, though, Borderlands 3 should’ve been announced at the top, followed by one hour of discussion about Borderlands 3, as that’s all anyone came for.
Fraser Brown: Outta luck
Outward hates me. Every direction I go in, I’m shamed by all manner of bandits and beasties. Animals keep knocking me out and dragging my unconscious body into their caves. Bandits keep kidnapping me. I met a friendly guy who offered me the first hint of kindness I’d ever experienced in the game and he locked me up in a mine and made me work for him. I’m having the time of my life.
It’s obtuse, mean and incredibly slow, but I’ve not had this much fun with an RPG in ages. With the recent co-op fix, I was finally able to stop living vicariously through Chris and Wes’ multiplayer adventures and tackle the world in my own duo. The misadventures have continued. A stag knocked us both out. But things are looking up! I just splashed out on an expensive backpack and can finally run again! No more getting eaten by coyotes or being overtaken by glaciers. Outward’s bags, by the way, are pretty awesome.
Chris Livingston: Mount & Yay
Hey, Mount & Blade Bannerlord is getting a closed beta! We don’t know when that will be, but at least it means some of us will get a chance to play it a bit earlier than its full release (we also don’t know when that will be). I’m trying not to get too excited, but what can I say? I really loved the earlier Mount & Blade games and I’m dying to get my hands on Bannerlord as soon as possible. I’ll play the beta if I can. I’d play the alpha. If Taleworlds printed out some code and mailed it to me I’d probably read it. I’m ready for it, even if it’s not ready for me.