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Returnal Review: Resogun in Dark Souls

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Finnish studio Housemarque has been going for too long to their big project, for years dealing with simple arcades and top-down action games. The long-awaited Returnal for PlayStation 5 , sponsored by Sony Interactive Entertainment , not only plays on the fashionable roguelite field, but also swings into a large sci-fi canvas with intricate plot and action-packed.

In the center of the story is a member of the “ASTRA” unit, the cosmonaut Selena, in distress on the unfamiliar planet Atropos. Here, in the depths of the constantly changing configuration of the labyrinth, there is a mysterious source of the signal, better known as the “White Shadow”. But besides the wrecked ship and the inability to send a request for help, Selena is faced with another oddity – in the vastness of a hostile world, dead copies of herself are lying everywhere. It turns out that she can not only leave Atropos but also die. Following the mechanics of death and rebirth familiar to fans of the genre, the developers propose to find out the fate of a lost civilization, go through five biomes and finally get out of this endless cycle. The plot is served through cutscenes and audio diaries – it is very interesting to follow the story,

On the one hand, Returnal follows the beaten path of the Dark Souls series , while on the other, it offers its own findings and solutions. Similar to games from FromSoftwareyou collect valuable resources from killed enemies, in this case, they are duped, which can be exchanged for important items in the fabricators scattered around the map. Also, at the levels in special places or after the death of strong opponents, you will find improvements and new weapons. True, the game immediately limits the looting excitement, offering in the first hours for use only one active type of weapon, one special single-action item and a laser sword. Moreover, things available for use can range from a first aid kit to quick teleportation and a protective barrier. At locations, you come across special rooms where you need to pick up a healing sylph or other valuable elements, dodging traps and lasers. Weapons in the game range from pistols to melee shotguns and are classified according to your skill level. If your skill level has become one, then the next chest will have a +1 weapon. If you used an artifact and reached the 5th skill class, then all new weapons will already be of the 5th class, although this effect does not apply to the already collected one.

As the story progresses and the exploration of new areas, you will unlock additional improvements and abilities, but if the heroine dies and a new cycle begins, they, along with all the collected fools, will disappear – with the exception of plot items such as a sword or house key, as well as ether units. In Returnal, Housemarque uses mechanics and ideas from its arcade projects. Of course, the found sword, teleportation tool, or pistol does not need to be collected after each new revival, but all amplifiers and bonus effects, such as damage multipliers, parasites that strengthen armor, or a weapon class, are reset to zero. In this case, the game can be saved only after resetting the cycle, and if you just pause it and a power surge occurs, then all your progress will be lost. Moreover,

Since the configuration of the map changes when you start the cycle again, you will have to start over each next exploration. Of course, you can use the teleporters open along the way and return to the recovery chamber if you are lucky enough to get it in this level configuration, but in most cases, you can only restore health with rare first aid kits with sylph, a randomly found regeneration parasite, or by buying a large first aid kit in the fabricator. Returning to the ship and sleeping in bed will change nothing but the passage of time.

Although the levels in Returnal are randomly formed from pre-rendered rooms along with random items and artifacts, some of the rooms do not change. This is an archive with alien information, a zone of transfer to another part of the map, some locations-bridges, as well as numerous rooms with fabricators and caches. While researching, you can open bonus doors with secrets and powerful weapons by collecting the required keys. But not all of the things you find are useful. For example, an alien regenerator, instead of restoring health, can eat half a strip of life, and an alien parasite will not only strengthen the spacesuit, but also make it more fragile. And this is not to mention the cursed objects that need to be cleaned – otherwise they are capable of imposing restrictions on you with varying probability.

Notable disadvantages include the fact that all this knowledge and understanding of the world around you comes during the game only thanks to personal experience and tests. Also, a model of random generation of levels should be written down as disadvantages, in which in one case you can get a lot of bonuses, and on another call – first-aid kits crowded in one room or sometimes teleporters located a couple of meters from each other, while the next one can be found only after a dozen rooms. The same applies to enemies – in the early stages and in narrow spaces, there are sometimes too many of them.

A lot in the world of Returnal depends on the most ordinary luck. If you managed to meet a parasite that partially regenerates health, strengthens your spacesuit, gets various bonuses and get hold of a spare first-aid kit, bonus life, and at the same time greatly improves your skills and weapon power, then you can easily overcome even several strong bosses in a row. But the game is also capable of throwing strong opponents at you and leaving them with a starting pistol or imposing negative effects on Selena, and then you will die for many hours in the first locations – simply because this is how the random die fell.

And yet, Returnal is a highly addictive game. More precisely, as such, it may seem to hardcore players. Even after a few losses, you want to quickly return to the atmospheric alien fields of Atropos and try to break through to the desired point again and again – this is a huge plus. However, it should be understood that not everyone will experience such feelings since the brainchild of Housemarque also deserves the title of a very difficult and exhausting adventure. We would not be surprised if it turns out that more than 2/3 of buyers will not be able to complete even the first biome. Each is distinguished by enemies, architecture, surroundings, bosses, and difficulty levels. The developers have rolled out a kind of Resogun in the Dark Souls format.

The combat system involves the use of the main fire mode and a special one, which requires reloading. When using the main weapon, it can overheat, and the adrenaline level increases damage. But once you take damage, the adrenaline will drop to zero. You can also jump, and a few hours after the start of the game, you can melee with a sword.

Opponents attack with bunches of energy, from which you can often dodge or hide behind cover. But with each new biome, the level of their aggression and sophistication of attacks grows. Mini-bosses know how to teleport and do serious melee damage. All this again reminds of the arcade action games Housemarque and the first NieR.

Naturally, the path to victory involves the active use of dodges and side artifacts, such as shields and armor. Almost all levels have cliffs and bottomless chasms, but, fortunately, in the event of a fall, you are revived on a solid surface with a slight loss of health. Full-fledged bosses have three health bars, and fights with them resemble bullet-hell-shooters. A hurricane flies to Selena from spheres and laser beams, from which you need to dodge in time and successfully or just run away.

Bright and rich graphics have always been one of the main features of Housemarque products. And Returnal is no exception here. Flashes of teleporters, explosions from falling grenades, and neon rays of alien attacks, together with the effects of DualSense, create an indescribable atmosphere. Part of the environment, like statues and pillars, collapses, disintegrating into small grains of fragments. The controller uniquely reacts to drops of falling rain, the roar of monsters, and even the usual fall of Selena from a great height. Returnal is also one of the few games that are best played with the Pulse 3D headphones. In any case, the difference in sound quality from the soundbar, ordinary headphones, and Sony’s solution is more than noticeable here.

Returnal is a daring sci-fi adventure where the plot and the dynamically created world complement each other well, and the dangerous alien universe is perfectly recreated using Sony technologies, including the DualSense controller and Pulse 3D headphones. Of course, the inability to restore your health at safe points, which are not there as such, numerous crashes on the menu, missing experience and equipment after death and sometimes dishonest situations can make you mad, but the plot is about an ancient civilization and an atmosphere filled with adrenaline and unusual opponents the alien environment is clearly worth it.

Rating: 8/10

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Analysis

5 Games like Arena of Valor

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5 Games like Arena of Valor

Arena of Valor is a perfect game for those who love playing arena games. The multiplayer mode in the game is action-packed and you simply cannot get yourself out from the gaming mood once you start playing it. You can easily download the game from tarskitheme.com if you ever wished to play it on your PC or laptop. That said, here are some of the most fascinating games like Arena of Valor you must give it a try!

League of Legends

This is the game that made history as one of the first MOBA games to be launched, and its 10+ million active monthly players have proven to be a cultural phenomenon. It’s also a great game for beginners looking to enter into the world of multiplayer online battles.

The game is called LoL and it was developed by Riot Games™. It has been completed for over three years now and has a very active community and players from all around the world. It’s free to play, but obviously, there are many options available to players with items and elixirs in-game that can be bought with payment.

You can get up to 12 different champions with different abilities that will make you a unique player. Some casters assist your team, tankers, mages, and assassins which are more offensive types to name a few. The aim of the game is simply to destroy the opposing team’s Nexus or “base”. To take down towers and gates which protect it from attacks and at the same time gather as much gold to buy items for yourself to defeat enemies faster.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang

In the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang universe, two teams of three players chase each other around a map and fight against their opponents. One team is labeled as heroes while the other team is labeled as ninjas. Players can choose from 18 different heroes and 4 different ninjas at the start of each game.
The ninjas want to destroy the energy core to win, while the heroes simply have to stop them from reaching it. There are 4 types of power-ups available in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang which can boost your character’s attributes and skills temporarily.

Honor of kings

The Honor of Kings is a mobile game that is now the highest-grossing app in both China and South Korea. It is also available on the App Store and Google Play. With a $2 billion clash royale style strategy game, Honor of Kings is now the most popular mobile game in the world, but it’s more than just an app. There are two versions of this game, one for China and one for South Korea which have different gameplay mechanics.

The story starts with a family living in peace until they decide to move into town, causing chaos and violence culminating with someone being poisoned by gas from their car. You, as a player, must save the town and its people from being caught in the crossfire between the two opposing forces.

PUBG

The world’s most popular game is finally here. Player Unknown Battlegrounds has been released- and marketed as a game for everyone. The creators have taken years to produce this game and it has finally come to fruition. From the beginning of the game, as with most games, you are given free roam. You can walk around and do as you please. One thing to note is that whenever you are in a vehicle, you move faster. This is a great way to travel faster without getting killed- but be wary of your surroundings; other players will be looking for their next victim!

While in free roam, you do not have to be concerned with equipment. You can start immediately with a gun, a helmet, and a wrap; however, this will not help you for much as the game progresses. To progress in the game, you must explore the map and search for materials and supplies which will allow you to craft gear.

Among Us

Among Us is an intense, interactive experience that invites you into a future where humans are living in bunkers and the only humans left are celebrities. There is no detail left unlived. You will take shelter with one other person and then be dropped inside a bunker together with 3 other strangers just waiting on top for you to crack the case.

You will have daily challenges that require physical and mental strength along with tactics and strategy to navigate your way through the bunker as you solve who killed who among the celebrities below. The lights have been shut off, no one knows what is happening outside, there may be cameras but they don’t know which ones, there are always people roaming around along with some terrifying creatures.

That pretty much sums up the list of 5 of the finest games like Arena of Valor. Get into the action-packed gaming modes now!

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Analysis

Psychonauts 2 Review – A Game That Revels in Everything That It Is

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Psychonauts 2 Review - A Game That Revels in Everything That It Is

Double Fine Productions released the first Psychonauts game in 2005. Although it was deemed a commercial failure after failing to sell 100,000 retail units at the time of its release, it has since gained a cult following. A decade after it was launched and a few years following Double Fine’s acquisition of the rights to the game, the developers announced a sequel was in the works at The Game Awards 2015.

Six years later, Psychonauts 2 is finally here, and in a rare case of a game living up to the hype, the sequel blew past all expectations – and then some.

If you’re looking for the game, it’s currently available on several platforms like the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. If you’re in need of some Xbox Live Gift Cards, OffGamers has got you covered right here.

What Makes Psychonauts 2 Such A Good Game?

Even if Psychonauts 2 came 16 years after the 2005 cult classic, only a couple of days have passed for Raz and his friends. The sequel picks up exactly where the first title left off – technically, a 2017 VR follow-up was released, but the story of that game is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

What makes Psychonauts 2 such a perfect sequel is that it feels just like a more polished version of its predecessor. The quirky and dorky characters are still all there, complete with their psychedelic mental worlds. It even manages to bring back some of the clunky platforming of the original, albeit with a certain amount of improvements that should make fans of the original feel quite at home.

Speaking of the original, Psychonauts 2 treats older fans to touching reunions, cheeky easter eggs, and a ton of backstory. However, the game remembers that not everyone managed to play the first game or the 2017 VR title. It does an excellent job at letting first-time players enjoy the well-written, funny, and bright story as if it was a standalone title.

Do The Gameplay and Combat Feel Outdated?

One of the biggest concerns about Psychonauts 2 was how the mid-2000s platforming mechanics would translate with modern gamers. After all, there hasn’t exactly been a lot of good platformers lately. However, unlike Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, both of which completely changed how its predecessors worked (for the better), Psychonauts 2 didn’t.

Instead, what the developers did for Psychonauts 2 was to put a lot more thought and care into designing how the game played. The result is a game that’s overflowing with personality as it expands on the predecessor’s platforming and combat. Although moving, jumping, and attacking occasionally feels clunky, especially when classic 3D platformer bugs and issues pop up, these little irritations give the game a unique charm that’s oddly missing in the aforementioned action platformers.

It’s not worse because of its problems. It’s not better either. It is, well, exactly what it is, and it is this “something” that will make you love the game more.

Is Psychonauts 2 Worth Buying?

Not a lot of games get a second lease in life after failing to sell. Psychonauts is already a unicorn in that sense. However, for Psychonauts 2 to be more than what anyone could have ever imagined a Psychonauts sequel could be is just proof that some games deserve a second chance.

If you grew up playing the original Psychonauts game, the sequel will take you back to simpler times. Meanwhile, if this is your first Psychonauts game, you’ll be wishing Double Fine decides to remake the original next.

Regardless of whether you’re a first-time player or a returning fan, one thing that we’re sure of is that Psychonauts 2 will leave you wanting the third installment to the game.

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Analysis

The Most Important Mid Laners in League of Legends

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The Most Important Mid Laners in League of Legends

Do you play League of Legends competitively? If so, you likely know that the role of a mid laner is associated with shot-calling, roaming, map control, and playmaking. As a mid laner, you are essentially the quarterback of your team. Your main goal is to scale up and help your teammates ahead by engaging in perfectly executed wave management and maintaining lane priority.

In most cases, the mid laner players are the most well-known and popular names on this team, just because of how important the role is on the game map. You can access things like the LoL champion tier list to see who the most important and influential mid laners are in the game. You can also read the information here.

Sylas

Sylas, or “the Unshackled,” is designed to steal your ultimate ability. He fights with chains positioned on his hands and, this is what he’s into. He also dances slightly like a stripper. For abilities, his are pretty simple and straightforward. After using any of the abilities he has, the next auto attacks that are mad are empowered. That is this character’s passive.

With the Q, he slams the chains on the ground, which causes damage and slows the opponent down. His W is a smaller dash that will deal damage and heal him from zero to 100% based on his lack of health. The E is a bigger dash than the W, and the first time you cast the ability, Sylas dashes in that direction. 

On the second casting, Sylas will shoot the chains at his opponent, and if they make contact, Sylas will be launched toward the enemy, knocking and stunning them for approximately 0.5 seconds. The ultimate ability of Sylas is to steal the other person’s ultimate ability and then use it.

Akali

Akali, or “the Rogue Assassin,” is the ungankable champion. For those who play the jungler role, don’t try to gank her. She’s guaranteed to escape every time. Also, this girl has countless dashes, which makes it impossible to catch her.

If Akali happens to damage her opponent with her abilities, a ring will show up around them. Akali then gains additional movement speed, and after the opponent steps out of the ring, she will begin spinning her blade, and the next auto attack will deal additional damage. However, that is just the passive ability she has.

She can also throw the kunai in front of her with Q. With the W; she will throw a smoke bomb on the ground, which slowly starts expanding. The smoke will restore her to 80 energy and provides additional movement speed. While the shroud from the smoke is active, this is when her energy is going to grow.

The E will cause her to throw out a shuriken while moving backward. If someone is hit with the shuriken, it is possible to recast the E and then dash to the enemy. The ultimate special ability of Akali is dealing magic damage.

Source-Pixabay

Lux

Lux is the Lady of Luminosity. This champion bullies others into a themed-lane so much that some just wind up quitting the game. If you choose to play Lux, you must use your hands and your brain.

The passive ability of Lux is that if she damages anyone using E or Q, they will be marked. Lux can also auto attack and consume the mark to deal even more damage. The Q for this character is a skill shot that roots two of the first enemies that are hit.

Lux can fire a large laser that deals a lot of damage. Once she has enough of the ability power, then it is possible to use the ultimate weapon. While Riot Games admits this is the best character that has been created, it also costs 25 euros to purchase. 

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