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EA Play Wrap-Up for E3 2018: ‘Anthem’ Details, ‘Battlefield 5’ Royale, and Lootbox Apologies

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Ea Play 2018

EA Play’s 2018 conference was somewhat underwhelming, but unlike last years onslaught of endless sports titles this year did turn up some indie gems and exciting announcements for Anthem and Battlefield 5. And yes, of course, there was a Battle Royale mode.

We’ve condensed the biggest announcements and new titles into one newsfeed, so you can find the most important release dates and platform updates for 2019.

 

  • Battlefield 5 gets a Battle Royale Multiplayer Mode

EA began with new information on Battlefield 5: the newest game in the Battlefield series which is to that will be set in World War 2 and include both male and female soldiers in its main story. EA announced that the game will have a battle royale-style multiplayer game mode that they’re calling ‘Royale’. And, as part of a running theme at the conference, EA confirmed that Battlefield 5 will have “no loot boxes, no season pass”, although that doesn’t rule out some microtransactions in the game, it’s a positive step forward in terms of EA monetization policy. Battlefield 5 will be released on October 19th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

  • The UEFA Champions League is coming to FIFA 19

Not one to disappoint soccer fans, EA announced that the UEFA Champions League will be coming to FIFA 19, coming this September 28th. You’ll be able to play through the UEFA Championship with your own team, including having the choice of countries that didn’t qualify and dream player picks to let you draft even the most unlikely teams, all to fight your way to the UEFA trophy. And if you can’t wait to kick off, FIFA 18 is now running a free trial for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, where you can play through the World Cup Finals and live your football fantasy.

 

  • Battlefront 2 make amends with Clone Wars DLC, and Jedi: Fallen Order is Announced

Without giving away too much, Respawn announced that they have been working with George Lucas on their next Star Wars title, Jedi: Fallen Order, coming sometime in the holiday of 2019. They then passed it over to Dennis Brannvall who had the unenviable job of making amends for Star Wars Battlefront 2. The team acknowledged that they “didn’t get it quite right” at launch, and announced that a new Clone Wars DLC will be coming to the game along with General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Count Dooku as playable characters. It seems a little unfair to ask the team’s design director to take the hits for Battlefront 2’s disastrous monetization scheme when it was more likely pushed by EA as the game’s publishers, but despite this Battlefront 2 seems to be treading water, powered on by the Star Wars brand. Across the board EA attempted to signal that they have learned their lesson when it comes to lootboxes and pay-to-win content, hopefully, they mean it.

 

  • Unravel 2 gets a Surprise Release

In a surprise announcement, Unravel 2 was released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One live from the E3 stage. This sequel to the EA Origins indie title ‘Unravel’ features a new friend for Yarny, turning the side-scrolling platform puzzler into a two player game: playable as either a multiplayer co-op, or a singleplayer switcharoo. Coldwood Interactive wants its second game to feel “inspired by the spirit of optimism”, something “friendlier, and more challenging” than before.

Unravel 2

 

  • EA launches Origin Access Premier

EA announced their plans for Origin Access Premier: a paid subscription via your Origin account that will grant access to all EA titles as soon as they’re released. The Premier membership costs $14.99 a month or $90 a year, and is a step above basic Origin Access membership (where you can play demos for upcoming games, and have access to the Origin Vault of past titles). Origin Access Premier will include Madden NFL 19, FIFA 19, Battlefield 5, and Anthem, so if you’re already planning on pre-ordering titles Origin Premier may be a good option for you. In addition to all this, EA announced that they are currently testing a service that will allow players to access their games from any device, anywhere. It’s good to know player-friendly movements are somewhere in the works, and hopefully EA will continue platform expansion – there’s certainly room for some EA Original titles to head onto the Nintendo Switch…

 

  • Sea of Solitude, an Indie Game of Monstrous Loneliness

Sometimes the best moments of E3 come from the smaller games, with developers who are genuinely overwhelmed, but excited and passionate about sharing their game. That was the case for Sea of Solitude, an indie title from Jo-Mei games coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One in early 2019. The single-player adventure game seeks to explore the feeling of loneliness, in all its forms, as you follow Kay’s journey across a flooded city, alive with shadowy monsters and imminent danger. In S.O.S., loneliness turns people into monsters, and the game promises to follow an introspective battle of the soul, to overcome isolation, and to reach out to the world again. Jo-Mei are hoping to truly connect with gamers, and to explore how games can help us deal with the complexities of emotion.

Sea of Solitude

 

  • Command & Conquer: Rivals comes to Mobile

Frankly, on a more depressing note, EA remind us that it’s not always a good idea to leave good franchises in their hands. But perhaps that’s just me. Command & Conquer is getting a new release, this time as a mobile game: Command & Conquer: Rivals. Build bases, command units, and overwhelm your enemy. C&C: Rivals plays out as a Clash Royale style game, and if you’re interested in playing a new mobile game you can check out the beta now on all Android devices. Command & Conquer: Rivals will release in the summer of 2018.

  • NBA Live 19 gets a Basketball All-Stars Trailer

EA’s Basketball series, NBA Live, will be releasing NBA Live 19 on September 7th for PS4 and Xbox One. We got a glimpse of the first trailer showing off the match highlights of the game’s career mode, as well as real basketball legends to pick for your times, and an ambitious promise for ‘Real Player Animation Technology’ bringing smoother gameplay and thousands of new animations.

  • Madden NFL 19 launches on PC for the first time in a Decade

Perpetuating the British confusion between Football, Soccer, and Rugby, EA also announced that their American football title Madden NFL 19 will be releasing on August 10th. Madden now runs on EA’s Frostbite engine and hopes to create even more lifelike motion technology. What’s more, Madden 19 is not only coming to PS4 and Xbox One, but will also launch on PC via EA Origin for the first time in a decade, which follows EA’s promise to push more titles to more platforms – a view that’s hard not to agree with.

 

  • Anthem gets a Release Date and Gameplay Details

Finally, EA closed with their strongest title, Bioware’s newest franchise: Anthem. We heard a lot of good news about the game’s decisions regarding microtransactions: there will be no loot boxes, and no way to pay-to-win, or pay for advantage. The only microtransactions in the game will be cosmetic, which is arguably the best position Bioware could take, albeit for what will likely be a $60+ game. On the downside, EA also confirmed that the game won’t have PvP at launch, and you will need to be online to play. It’s a mixed bag. Worse yet, the game won’t have romancing.

It’s hard to say whether Anthem can achieve its ambitious vision of an open world action-roleplaying game. The game seems stuffed full of content from stronghold building to skill trees, but it may also be turning into something too huge and with too broad an appeal to really nail tight core gameplay and a succinct story. Anthem looks to follow the legacies of Dragon Age: Inquisition and Mass Effect: Andromeda, so let’s hope Bioware have learned from both games issues with overwhelming content and gameplay optimization.

Bioware tried to define the story of Anthem a little more clearly, but it still sounds like a nebulous catch-all where players must defend the world from invading alien forces: The Dominion are coming to destroy the world, and as a Freelancer you must rise up to stop them before build the Anthem of Creation, a super-weapon that will mean the end of life itself. Bioware also showed off four exosuits: battle armor known as Javelins that let you soar through the air, fight with superhuman strength, and fire missiles at your enemies. The four suits represent four different styles of play: the all-purpose Ranger, the tank Colossus, the ninja-like Interceptor, and a mage-style Storm.

Anthem touches down on February 12th 2019, and we’ll be excited to see whether Bioware can pull off their ambitious world and storytelling, and start a new chapter for Bioware gaming.

Anthem Javelins

 

Overall the EA Play managed to save some face for EA’s future. They’ve made it clear that they want to move away from lootboxes, and promise players a fairer, less aggressively monetized future for gaming. The line-up was mixed, with exciting titles like Anthem and Battlefield 5 still in the works, EA’s usual troupe of sports games on their way, and indie gems Unravel 2 and Sea of Solitude, hand in hand with beloved franchises-turned mobile games, and apologetic reparations for Star Wars Battlefront 2.

EA was lacking on new and exciting announcements, they looked back on some of the year’s successes, and forward to new platform-pushing movements, but failed to expand their portfolio of titles as much as we might have wanted. Let’s hope this means the titles released this year, and in 2019, will have solid launches, thought-through pricing policies, and polished gameplay to boot.

We’re still looking forward to the rest of E3 2018’s gaming news, so keep an eye out for our coming coverage of Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. Was the EA Play conference everything you expected? Tell us your predictions, and follow along for all of our E3 wrap-ups.

 

Helen Jones is a Ravenclaw graduate who likes to apparate between her homes in England and Denmark. She spends her time reading fantasy novels, climbing mountains, and loves to play story-focused and experimental indie games like The Stanley Parable or Night in the Woods. She also covers tabletop and board games over at Zatu Games, and you can follow her twitter @BarnacleDrive for updates, blogs, and pictures of mushrooms.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Zachary

    June 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Good job writing this wrap-up of EA’s press conference so quickly Helen:) But, much like you, I agree that I am worried about Anthem. Hopefully they don’t screw it up.

    • Helen Jones

      June 12, 2018 at 8:30 am

      We just need so much more info on it! I hope they get some real work done on a focused story in time. More Witcher and less Andromeda.

  2. Johnny Bot

    June 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

    You should probably have asked someone who knew something about football to help you write up about FIFA 19.

    • Patrick Murphy

      June 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      Ha, good call. That’s on us as editors, but I’ve fixed it. Thanks for cluing us in that something was amiss.

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Game Reviews

‘Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ Defines Three Incredible Generations

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the best bang for your buck compilation that the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the Nintendo Switch currently has to offer.

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review

Developer: Nintendo | Publisher: Nintendo | Genre: Platformer, Action | Platforms: Nintendo Switch | Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch


After nearly half a year of rumors, it was no surprise that Nintendo was going to jump up super high with another compilation title on their red plumber’s next special numbered anniversary. It’s absolutely undeniable to say that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the best bang for your buck compilation that the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the Nintendo Switch currently have to offer. However, there are still a few pesky problems that persist through its leaking warp pipes. Nonetheless, what you are getting here is three updated masterclass retro classics that I probably don’t have to sell you on.

Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy are not only some of the most critically acclaimed titles on their respective systems, but they’re also among the most influential games ever made. Having all these platformers on one modern console handheld hybrid system sounds certainly promising, but how do they hold up in comparison to other games out on the market today? Is this really the best way to play these three classics? Have they been obliterated by time? Of course they all still hold up exceptionally well, but there are some upsetting answers to be found. Veterans and newcomers of Mario’s three-dimensional adventures will be rather pleased though by what is being offered in Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

3D All-Stars is a great best-hits package that can sometimes skimp out on features and upgrades, but it’s simply exceptional nonetheless.

Taking it all the way back to the past, 1996’s Super Mario 64 still holds a candle to many of today’s modern platformers as it flaunts its rebellious spirit through open environments and selective mission paths. The Nintendo 64’s shining star is just as good as you’ve heard or remember it to be. Despite some of its troublesome camera rotation and weird analog movement, the first three-dimensional Super Mario title still lives up to that high standard you would expect from a Nintendo release. Even after all these years, Super Mario 64 still comes out on top as the king of its generation.

There are plenty of cleaned-up trimmings, including new textures and user interface icons sprinkled here and there that benefit the original game’s noticeably aging areas throughout it’s latest rerelease. In comparison to its bundled successors, however, Super Mario 64 received the short end of the enhanced stick. While I certainly won’t say that Super Mario 64 was utterly cheated out on receiving the gleaming treatment it deserves, in comparison to something like Rare’s remasters of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Bethesda’s recent DOOM 64 port, or even just the other games within 3D All-Stars for that matter, Nintendo’s fifth-generation golden goose has disappointingly been adapted to Switch, to say the least.

Not only is the game not in widescreen like the other titles, but the framerate is still capped at 30 frames per second. Nintendo has created an authentic experience for those looking for the same adventure players witnessed when this groundbreaking masterpiece initially hit the public, but that does not mean these features could not have been optional. Considering Super Mario Galaxy is running at 1080p, sixty frames per second, surely Nintendo could have gotten the more primitive Nintendo 64 title up to that pristine quality.

Revisiting 2002’s summer vacation to Isle Delfino was a tear-worthy experience for me that one could say was fludding with nostalgia. I am not going to lie, Super Mario Sunshine was one of the very first console games I ever owned and it is still one of, if not my all-time favorite titles out there. However, ignoring my deep-rooted connection with the GameCube, objectively speaking Sunshine may perhaps be the Mario game that benefits the most from this compilation. Not only does the game look fantastic in widescreen format and high definition like the other games, but that extra field of view increases Delfino’s sense of scale and vision. It is truly incredible how well some of Nintendo’s earliest library of sixth-generation titles hold up visually despite being almost twenty years old.

The biggest concern longtime fans of Super Mario Sunshine will have going into this collection is how the control scheme would function. As someone who has played through the GameCube release dozens of times, I can happily confirm that Nintendo has done a fine job porting the game over to Switch. For those who are unaware, Sunshine originally allowed you to dictate the amount of water pressure F.L.U.D.D. would power out depending on how far you held the right trigger in. Due to the Switch’s lack of back analog triggers, replicating the original game’s experience was going to be difficult from the get-go. Nintendo’s solution was to make the character operate entirely on full power mode. This may sound like a major change, but in reality, the old control scheme was merely a feature that was fun to mess around with rather than a game-changing aspect. Outside of the late game’s irritating casino pachislot before the King Boo boss fight, there is no other area affected by the alteration.

While Nintendo’s newest GameCube emulation is surely impressive, it may not be entirely flawless for every perfectionist’s liking. Sunshine does indeed contain some minor faults that can likely be fixed in a future patch if Nintendo ever so chooses to release one. There are two notable quirks that will bother longtime fans although it should be mentioned that these are incredibly nitpicky changes in the grand scheme of things. For one, I noticed that a specific sound effect heard multiple times before timed missions had been changed to an oddly annoying censored beep- way to make El Piantissimo and Blooper racing bother more newcomers. Secondly, during some of the Fluddless missions focused on platforming, textured blocks that players are not supposed to see can appear that indicate an object’s trajectory.

Speaking of trajectories, its time to talk about the outer space adventure veterans probably have the most questions about. To bring this library to a close, we have 2007’s astronomical hit Super Mario Galaxy– the most critically praised game in this entire package, with the highest Metacritic and OpenCritic scores out of these three monoliths. Super Mario Galaxy is definitely the closest game to hit the modern standard of Mario’s latest globe-trotting adventures. When it comes to gorgeously designed landscapes and compact areas to explore, there are times where Galaxy could quite honestly stand toe to toe with Super Mario Odyssey from a distance. On top of this, we have what is arguably the most heartfelt Mario story to date as its beautifully constructed narrative never pulls any punches with its wholesome story entirely told through chapters of short text and subcontext.

Galaxy heavily utilized the Wii remote and nunchuck, but Nintendo is offering players with quite a few ways to now enjoy the title. Both Pro-Controller and Joy-Con proclaimers can breath easy because Galaxy supports both formats. While they may not be as pinpoint accurate as they previously were, the latest control schemes are exceptional. When playing with either of these controller options, you will have to utilize either motion or gyro to move the Luma cursor used to collect star bits, stop enemies, or solve various puzzles. Since the Switch lacks the intricately designed motion controls of the Wii, the developers have smartly mapped the right trigger to reset the cursor to the center of the screen.

The only aspect of Super Mario Galaxy that can often become problematic is when the game is being played in handheld mode, but this really only applies to specific sections of the game. In regards to on the go action, the game’s motion controls have been optimized for the touch screen, however, anyone who has played the Wii release can probably tell why this would not always work efficiently. When it comes to specifically collecting star bits, Galaxy can be a nightmare to try and multitask as you have to either pull your hand away from moving the left stick or inputting basic action commands like jumping. Menus and motion puzzles work great in handheld mode and can even be easier to play at times, but it is odd that the docked and tabletop control schemes can not be used with attached Joy-Cons.

Outside of the core three titles, Nintendo has opted out of including any special modes or features, unlike some of their various other notable anniversary titles such as Kirby’s Dream Collection or even the original Super Mario All-Stars rerelease on Wii. Without the additional extra content that properly commemorates the history of the Super Mario Bros. series, this anniversary can feel dishearteningly shallow as it looks more like a hangout than a massive birthday on the surface. Aside from including each game’s incredible soundtracks that double down as a way to always mix up your main menu experience, there are no art pages, interviews, design documents, or anything significant to glance at in this collection when it comes to additional trincites to awe at.

At the bare minimum, Nintendo could have at least included each title’s original manual for players to browse through, but even that is absent here. Even Super Mario Maker’s physical release came with a special booklet for fans to peruse five years ago. The games are obviously what matters most, but for something made to celebrate such a noteworthy milestone, audiences will definitely be expecting more from a character as iconic as Mario. The Super Mario Bros. franchise has such a fascinating history with a literal ocean of trivia and art worth exploring that you can find across several official artbooks, social media platform pages, and wikis. It is truly a shame that Nintendo did not go the extra mile to include any of this when commemorating 35 years of their mascot, but once again, the games at the spotlight are what truly matters most.

Despite its minor emulation issues and missing opportunities, 3D All-Stars manages to defy three incredible generations in one worthwhile package.

With its outstanding lineup of three masterclass generation-defining titles, Super Mario 3D All-Stars exceeds in a value rightfully way above its retail price tag as it bundles together three incredible journies into one package. Whether it is your first time getting to know Mario’s fantastical world or you are coming back to relive your childhood memories, this is a special title that offers some of the finest platforming adventures the red plumber has embarked on. Outside of the fact that it is literally a limited-time release, Nintendo’s latest anniversary best-hits extravaganza is well worth running out to purchase. If you have not played Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy, you owe it to yourself to experience every one of these games.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is indeed lacking in bonus content to make this truly feel like a shebang worth celebrating, but its three games keep the entire party from ever being less than exceptional. All three games included still remain tremendously entertaining as they prove to excel upon the passage of time. Perhaps it is not the grand superstar it could have potentially been, but it will put a huge smile on any veteran or newcomer’s face as they explore Peach’s castle grounds, take on a thwarted island vacation, or skyrocket into the cosmos that have brought decades of enjoyment to audiences of all ages. Collect your coins and get it while you can or begin plotting a Bowser-like scheme to score a copy in the distant future.

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PAX Online: ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Infernax’

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game the calm and relaxing Unpacking and the not-so calm and relaxing Infernax.

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Unpacking and Infernax

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game that takes a hated activity and somehow makes it relaxing and another game that will leave you clenching your buttocks.

Unpacking

Unpacking game

Platforms: PC
Release: 2021

As someone who is coming fresh off of moving just a little over a month ago, you couldn’t have blamed me for being a little skeptical going into what was dubbed a “zen puzzle” game based on the final stretch of the process. Unpacking is just that, though. It’s a calming, almost therapeutic exercise that happened to serve as a wonderful way for me to unwind at the end of a day.

Unpacking is exactly what it says on the tin. There are no scores, no timers, no leaderboards, just you, and a few boxes with various items in them that need to be placed somewhere. The demo starts with a single bedroom in 1997. There’s nothing in the game that tells you where something should go, only your own taste and intuition; a locked diary would probably go in a desk-drawer while a soccer trophy would probably be displayed on a shelf.

As I slowly unearthed items one-by-one, I gradually got a feel for what the room’s new inhabitant was most likely like. The endless supply of stuffed animals implied someone of younger age while the numerous art supplies indicated someone inclined to right brain thinking. It’s rather engaging to learn about this person’s life purely by their belongings.

Every item taken out was like a delightful surprise and would sometimes even make me feel a little sentimental such as when I took out a small device that was clearly a Tamagotchi. More importantly, Unpacking nails that sinking feeling of when you feel like you’ve used all your available space but still have boxes left. Reaching the point of just throwing stuff wherever it fits is such an immediately relatable feeling that I was almost offended. And that was only for a single bedroom!

Unpacking game

The demo’s second stage was a little more involved with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the year of 2004. The hilarious moments of finding a boot in your kitchenware box or a bra with your toiletries also felt like a call-out to my own hodge-podge packing methods. It’s something I can’t help but let out an exasperated chuckle at.

It was also neat to see how this person has grown since their earlier abode. Much fewer stuffed animals but more art supplies and a brand new computer imply this character is maybe entering the working adult world. I’ve never actually seen this character, but I can’t help but feel a connection to them already, and that was only after two moves. The full game will have eight total moves to follow them through and I am genuinely curious to see how our nameless and faceless protagonist grows throughout them.

Now if only unpacking in real life could be this soothing.

Infernax

Infernax

Platforms: PC
Release: TBA

Some players may recognize Berzerk Studio for their excellent 2018 bullet-hell, rhythm game Just Shapes & Beats. Coming hot of the heels of that hit they immediately pivoted in the new direction with Infernax, a delightfully edgy 8-bit adventure platformer that takes cues from old-school Castlevania titles.

Our hero returns to his land after a successful crusade only to find it overrun by horrible monstrosities in every which direction. With nothing but mace in hand, he sets out on a quest anew to rid the land of the undead filth. Immediately apparent upon starting is just how tightly the game controls; anyone fond of earlier NES titles will feel right at home with Infernax. I quickly got a handle on my exact attack reach down to the pixel and began mowing down the zombies in front of me. It emphasized how much joy a game is possible of eliciting from simply a jump and attack button.

Getting to that proficiency is important too because the game doesn’t waste any time in taking off the training wheels! Even the base enemies shaved off half my HP if I got careless and that difficulty ramped up at a rapid rate as new enemy types were introduced at a decent clip such as flying evil eyes and jumping rodents. Not only do these foes burst into tasty experience points and gold to be spent on upgrades, but also into extremely satisfying fountains of blood.

Infernax isn’t particularly shy about turning up the gore factor, but it’s still impressive by just how creative they get with it using simple pixel art. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you are killed. Every single enemy type has a unique kill animation when they deal the final blow to our hero. From the chump ass pillbugs to the big bad bosses, all of them mutilate you in a different way and it’s honestly morbidly mesmerizing to witness. It made me want to suicide against every enemy I came across just so I could see what creative way they took my life.

Infernax

Depending on your playstyle you might not want to do this, though, as Infernax features two different ways to respawn when you die. Hardcore respawn sends you all the way back to your last save point, just like in those classic NES titles. Casual respawn lets you restart right where you left off with no loss in progress, but choosing to do so locks you out from Hardcore the rest of the game. It’s a sort of mark of shame that I was glad to wear during the demo after I came up against the final boss and promptly got my ass handed to me. It sounds a little cheeky on paper but is actually very consistent with the game’s overtly edgy tone.

Infernax feels like a game that was lost to time during the NES era and is just now being rediscovered. Those looking for for a game that harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days need not look any further.

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Games

Indie Games Spotlight – Going Full Circle

We’re featuring five exciting indie games in our latest spotlight, including the internship roguelike Going Under and the cozy puzzles of Lonesome Village.

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Journey of the Broken Circle

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Summer may have come to a close, but that hasn’t stopped big announcements from rolling in. With events like PAX Online and the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase flooding the web with announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage, there’s been a constant deluge of news to keep up with. With so much coming on the horizon, we’re spotlighting five exciting indies that you’ll be able to play sooner rather than later. Whether you’re in the mood for a brutally addictive action game or a cozy adventure and social sim, there’s bound to be a game that speaks to you in this spotlight.

Moving Up Professionally in Going Under

Work is its own payment in Going Under. In this action game from developer Aggro Crab, you’re put in the shoes of an unpaid intern who must explore the endless ruins of failed tech startups while fighting off the monsters that spawn within them. It’s hard work to do without a single paycheck—but hey, at least you’re gaining valuable experience!

As a former unpaid intern myself, the writing in Going Under certainly resonates with me and it’s sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt underappreciated or overworked. Its vibrant and colorful 3D graphics, as well as its satirical story, only make it all the more enticing. It really should offer a great working experience when it hits all consoles and PC via Steam on September 24.

Animated GIF

Fill in the Gaps in Journey of the Broken Circle

Something’s missing in Journey of the Broken Circle. Like its name would suggest, this puzzle platformer follows a Pacman-like circle with a hole to fill. It wanders through a world that is whimsical and existential at once, searching for a companion to fill its gaps. As the circle rolls through ethereal environments, it encounters different shapes to use that allow for new gameplay mechanics.

Journey of the Broken Circle might be about an abstract shape, but in its quest to become whole, it strives to capture the human experience. It promises to be an intimate experience that clocks in at about five hours to complete. If you’re interested in getting this ball rolling, it’s already available now on Switch and Steam.

Prepare to Get GORSD

There’s a delicate balance between unsettling the player without being outright scary. GORSD treads the line here as a one-hit-kill shooter that stars humans encased in the skins of octopuses, dragons with human faces, and nightmarish environments. Something feels off about GORSD, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Brought to life with detailed pixel art, GORSD supports up to four players who can face off in chaotic matches in varied arenas. It also features a full-fledged single-player campaign with a vast overworld with dozens of unique stages. Its concept is inspired by its developers’ native Southeast Asian cultures, making for a unique gameplay and aesthetic experience. If you’re ready to dive in and see it for yourself, it’s available now on all consoles and PC via Steam.

Get Ready For a Foregone Conclusion

Saying Foregone is a 2D Dark Souls would be cliché, but accurate nonetheless. It’s a hardcore action game where you’ll fight against insurmountable odds to prevent monsters from overrunning the world. It has a brutally addictive gameplay loop—its difficulty may be excruciating, but because it offers a wide assortment of abilities to leverage, it’s immensely euphoric once you overcome the challenges before you.

This beautiful 3D/pixelated hybrid action game has been available on PC in early access since February, but at long last, it’s seeing its full console release in October. It’s been a promising title ever since its pre-release days, and now that it’s finally seeing its complete iteration, there’s never been a better time to dive in and give it a shot. It’s hitting all platforms on October 5, so there’s not long to wait!

Finding Good Company in a Lonesome Village

Mix Zelda with Animal Crossing and you might get something like Lonesome Village. This newly-revealed puzzle adventure game features Zelda-like adventure in a hand-drawn world populated by animal characters. Players control a wandering coyote who stumbles upon a strange village and decides to investigate its mysterious happenings by interacting with villagers, solving puzzles, and exploring its dungeons.

It’s more than a simple adventure game. In addition to puzzle-solving, you’ll interact with Lonesome Village’s eclectic cast of characters to forge relationships and unravel brooding mysteries. It’s showing plenty of potential with its cozy gameplay loop, and if you want to give it a shot, check out its official demo from its Kickstarter page! It’s already been fully funded in less than 24 hours, but if you want to help the developers out even further, consider contributing to their campaign.

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