The Callisto Protocol - Before You Buy

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The Callisto Protocol - Before You BuyThe Callisto Protocol (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X/S) is a survival horror sci-fi adventure from the creators of Dead Space. How is it? Let's talk. Subscribe for more: ▼▼ Buy Callisto Protocol: Watch more 'Before You Buy': #callistoprotocol #thecallistoprotocol

Warhammer 40K Darktide Review - Left To Shred

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When I spoke to several teams making games in the Left 4 Dead lineage, they each had some unique thoughts on why the game, and its resulting genre, works. But they also each echoed one similar thought: Pacing reigns supreme. Horde shooters, like Warhammer 40K Darktide, can live or die on the flow of its co-op missions. Aided by an AI director, missions must be tuned to reliably challenge, but not necessarily overwhelm the player. Impressively, Darktide gets this aspect of its grimdark missions exactly right, though the ways in which the game adds new layers don't work quite as well.

Darktide is not just a Left 4 Dead-like, it's also the spiritual successor to Fatshark's previous series in the genre, Vermintide. Moving the experience out of the base Warhammer world and into the far-flung and grimdark future of Warhammer 40K comes with a major makeover both cosmetically and mechanically. The biggest new addition comes in the form of an arsenal of firearms that have no place in the hard fantasy of traditional Warhammer. But in the 40K era, things like hand cannons, assault rifles, and electricity-infused projectiles not only fit right in, but also dramatically alter the flow of combat by adding more range-based considerations.

This massive shift is well-implemented, as enemies will match you blow for blow. Fighting from a distance will see them trading shots and taking cover, and if you--or they--are able to close the gap, they'll quickly swap to melee combat. When this happens, Darktide leans into the still-great crowd-control elements first seen in Vermintide, where both nuanced swordfighting and mindless hacking and slashing are usually viable techniques--though on higher difficulties, the former naturally becomes more crucial.

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The Callisto Protocol Review - I Don't Belong Here

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Despite releasing a full 15 years later, you could argue that The Callisto Protocol is the spiritual predecessor to Dead Space, given the original pitch from director Glen Schofield was for Visceral Games' survival-horror title to be set within a prison, not a mining vessel. And in a lot of ways, The Callisto Protocol similarly dazzles with its incredible art direction and sound design, even emulating Dead Space's over-the-shoulder third-person perspective and integrated HUD. However, The Callisto Protocol goes its own way by focusing on melee strikes and dodges, utilizing a combat system that feels great at first but isn't suitable for the game's more action-focused latter half. Plus, lengthy death animations compound the frustrations of surprise difficulty spikes, creating an experience that feels like an uneven mix of horror and action that fails to adequately commit to or excel at either.

In The Callisto Protocol, you play as Jacob Lee, a freight transporter contracted to ferry cargo for the United Jupiter Company, moving supplies from the UJC-operated Black Iron Prison on Callisto to the colony on Europa. On a routine trip back to Black Iron, Jacob's ship is boarded by Outer Way, a group blamed for a recent terrorist attack on Europa. In the ensuing struggle, Jacob and Outer Way leader Dani Nakamura are the only survivors, stranded on Callisto. They're both picked up by Black Iron security head Captain Leon Ferris and incarcerated in the prison on orders from warden Duncan Cole. Jacob awakes in Black Iron hours later, discovering a mysterious infection has been released into the prison, transforming the prisoners and guards into biophage monsters. Escaping from his cell, he teams up with fellow prisoner Elias Porter to find a way out.

The Callisto Protocol doesn't devote too much time to storytelling and worldbuilding. None of the characters (save for Elias) are especially likable, and though the main villain has an intriguing motivation--you can clearly see how The Callisto Protocol was originally intended to fit into the PUBG: Battlegrounds' universe once you find out what the bad guy is up to--it's only revealed right as the game is concluding. I wish it had been revealed far sooner because, though the ramifications of it are interesting, there's not enough space in the plot for those ramifications to be explored. The game fleshes out the world up to that point with optional audio logs to discover, but most don't actually reveal all that much, and those that do aren't very interesting to listen to. It's ultimately not worth going off the path in pursuit of these collectibles.

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Marvel's Midnight Suns - Before You Buy

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Marvel's Midnight Suns - Before You BuyMarvel's Midnight Suns (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X and Series S) is a Firaxis strategy battle game with a relationship simulation built in. What? Let's talk about it. Subscribe for more: ▼▼ Buy Midnight Suns: Watch more 'Before You Buy':

Marvel's Midnight Suns Review - XCOM Superhero Squad

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Marvel's Midnight Suns' story draws clear inspirations from the original Rise of the Midnight Sons comic book series from the 1990s in which Blade, Morbius, and Ghost Rider--among others--unite to fight against a recently resurrected Lilith and her army of demons. Developer Firaxis Games' title, however, incorporates more faces from the current Midnight Suns series, such as Wolverine, Magik, and Nico Minoru. In making these changes, it distances itself from the source material's idea that to defeat a monster, you need a team of monsters. Instead, it is a story about the power of friendship between a bunch of misfits, which is forged and strengthed through battle as much as traditional social scenarios. Midnight Suns aims to combine relationship-building with memorable role-playing moments, and the result is a stellar turn-based tactical combat title driven by interesting characters.

Marvel's Midnight Suns begins with the Avengers in a tough spot--the prophesied return of an eldritch god is on the horizon, having been brought about by Lilith, who now leads an army of HYDRA soldiers and demonic children in a war against humanity. The Avengers aren't adequately prepared to tackle such a supernatural threat, so they turn to Doctor Strange and his newest apprentice, Scarlet Witch, for aid. After their first attempt at fighting Lilith goes sideways, Strange introduces the world's mightiest heroes to the contingency plan: the Midnight Suns, a group of young heroes who each wield magical, supernatural, or demonic powers.

That's where your character, The Hunter, comes in. As the child of Lilith, you possess incredible magical abilities, which is what helped you defeat her 300 years ago. That final duel left both you and Lilith dead, but just as HYDRA managed to bring your mother back to life, the Midnight Suns are able to do the same for you. Not content to leave the fate of the world up to others, the Avengers also decide to set up shop in the Midnight Suns' headquarters, The Abbey, to join the fight against Lilith.

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