Do you remember Rise of the Robots, that car crash of a game that was advertised as the next generation of fighting and turned out to be a steaming pile of crap? Well, rest assured, the genre and the robots are the only two things in common between that game and Rising Thunder. Seth Killian, who worked in Street Fighter 4, is in charge of this brawler and the similarities are obvious. Radiant Entertainment is aiming to make this a hardcore fighting game that is fully free-to-play, with real money used solely for cosmetic purchases. The studio wants to take Rising Thunder to the eSports arena and for what we’ve seen, the gameplay requires quite a bit of skill, so things seem to be on the right path.
The PC severely lacks awesome Super Smash Bros clones, so it was great to see this little indie game called Brawlhalla getting a lot of deserved attention. It’s a crazy fun 2D platform fighter with a release planned for the second half of 2016 and the devs say that it is truly, completely free-to-play, with no pay-to-win crap. You can also play online as usual but if you have actual, real friends that go to your house and stuff you can play with them locally. You know, like the ancient ones did before online gaming was invented, and it was great fun. You should try it, maybe you’ll like it best, but no matter what Brawlhalla is an awesome little game.
Duelyst is a surprising game that managed to make you look at its amazing pixel art meets hand-drawn backgrounds and then grabbed you with its addictive gameplay. It’s turn-based strategy done right, taking some inspiration from HearthStone and Final Fantasy Tactics and making sure that the matches are fast enough for even casual players to enjoy. We’re willing to bet that Duelyst will be one of the strongest tactical games of 2016 and beyond, as long as the studio keeps up the good work and releases regular content updates.
Total War: Arena isn’t the first free-to-play Total War game, but it’s certainly the one that is the most faithful to the original premium series. While the acronym MOBA was thrown around a bit when the game was announced, it’s pretty clear that it isn’t intended to be used in the same way as Dota 2 or League of Legends. Total War: Arena is indeed a multiplayer online battle arena, but of the purest kind, if we may say so – it’s 10v10 battles in realtime with each player controlling three units, but there isn’t a lane, creep or tower in sight. Definitely addictive and dare we say original – we’re really glad Creative Assembly didn’t go the easy way, creating a bunch of commanders and throwing them around in lanes with an isometric perspective. Well done!
Atlas Reactor is another game from Trion Worlds, the studio that everyone loves to hate but no one can say that they don’t have good games out there – from ArcheAge to Trove, Defiance, Rift or Devilian, there’s something for everyone, if you’re willing to put up with the occasional issues. Anyway, Atlas Reactor is a turn-based game with simultaneous turns so you won’t have to sit and wait for the other players to decide, as everyone has to choose their actions in 30 seconds. The art style is eye-catching, with the characters, called Freelancers, looking great in a Borderlands kind of cel-shaded way.
With such a popular name in its hands, Jagex decided that instead of working on games to be canceled such as Transformers Universe, 8 Realms or Stellar Dawn, they should focus on RuneScape spin-offs. That’s why we recently got DarkScape and Chronicle: RuneScape Legends. The latter seemed inspired by the success of Blizzard’s HearthStone, but it’s nice to see that it takes a different approach, mixing the mechanics of a tabletop game with the collectible card game elements. The result is a mixed bag, we have to say, as this is the kind of game that needs a lot of content, lots of players and many months to see how it holds up. We think it’s worth following, so keep an eye out for it.
From the makers of Project CARS and running on the same Madness engine, World of Speed is a team-based racing game with a free-to-compete mindset, which hopefully means that no one will be able to buy performance boosters or such. You will, however, need to create or join clubs in order to enjoy the most out of this game, as there’s more to this racing besides finishing first – things such as drifting a given distance or leading the pack for a certain time, for example. All these actions will reward players and somewhat make them more specialized in different areas, something that is uncommon for the racing genre. As for the handling itself, World of Speed pends more to the arcade style of racing, with the damage being visual only. You can, however, choose the cockpit view for more realistic sensations. Besides racing in licensed circuits and custom built tracks based off real-world city streets such as London, Monaco and Moscow, you can free roam in an area called the Airfield Playground. With the severe lack of good racing games, World of Speed could be the one for racing fans.