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Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2: The First Preview – IGN

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Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2: The First Preview – IGN


Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is a sniper simulation that makes all the very complicated factors of hitting a target 1000m away with a long gun feel as easy as using the right gear for the job, and making good decisions when it counts. In my time playing the demo, I found that the mix of tried and true military shooter mechanics and open-ended assassination goals that test your creativity and timing, a la Hitman, made a solid first impression.Contracts 2 picks up where the first left off, putting you in the shoes of stoic operator Raven and dropping you into exotic locations with a list of names to cross off, one shot at a time. The sequel spices up the formula a bit, emphasizing the “long” in long range by creating huge maps specifically designed for making tough shots from great lengths. In my hands-on, I got to get down and dirty in the desert region of Zindah Province, where three bad guys needed to be terminated with extreme prejudice.

My journey through Zindah had a reliable rhythm. First, I had to navigate through mountain paths and past guard patrols to get to the sniping position. This largely meant I was crouch-walking from bush to bush, looking for high cliffs and perches to get a proper lay of the land between me and my destination. Using the binoculars, you can scan points of interest like enemy soldiers, exploding barrels, or fuse boxes. Marking them not only puts their position in your HUD, but it also gives you their relative distance and enemy type, if applicable.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Screenshots

From there, you have two options: attempt to stealthily circumvent the road blockades or bases that spot the mountain range, or tear through them. The long way is often the safer way, but there are plenty of benefits to poking around these outposts. Potential intel about the target ahead can be just a laptop hack away. The locals might have some valuable information about their comrades in arms that you can interrogate out of them. Eliminating enemies in these checkpoints can be a good way to ensure they don’t become reinforcements that get called should something go wrong later.

Stealth is an option in these more intimate scenarios, but without being able to see things like view cones on your mini map, it can be tough to know at what range an enemy can spot you at. When they do spot you and the time to go loud arises, the standard military shooter arsenal of shotguns, automatic rifles, and grenades neither disappoints or overly impresses. Sniping is where it’s at in Contracts 2, as the name implies. The running and gunning feels competent and familiar, but bullets do feel a bit more lethal here than other shooters. Being outnumbered by enemies, who fight fiercely and intelligently to bring you down, is a harrowing experience; the AI puts up a fierce challenge.

Some of your accessories and support tech really do stand out, though. My favorite so far is the automated sniper turret that you can set up to snipe marked targets on your command, allowing you to be your own cover fire. A flying drone also helps scout areas from a bird’s eye view, making sure you never miss enemies hiding out in those hard to reach places.The shooting perch for the first target, enemy weapons dealer Antwan Zarza, required a version of the same sort of recon, with a few more wrinkles. On top of the guards, I found plenty of other objects to shoot, like cranes suspending heavy loads and lighting placements. These can all play into the various ways you can execute the target. You can catch Zarza while he’s out in the open for a clean shot, or you can clip a nearby explosive as he passes by.

You can make your own opportunities as well if you’re particularly observant. At this same site, men are working on a building’s cooling system on the roof. Shooting the guards and the panel they were tinkering with caused the fire sprinklers to malfunction in the building below, drenching all of the materials in Zarza’s office. When he runs up to salvage whatever he can, he conveniently does so right in front of a big open window. This sort of clever scenario design extends to each of the region’s three targets.

Of Contracts 2’s five total maps, three of them will be centered around these dynamic sniping scenarios. The other two are so-called “large sandbox style” maps more reminiscent of the original Contracts, which put you on the ground far closer to these targets, allowing you to infiltrate their hideouts and eliminate them more personally.Once you do the deed, you are encouraged to replay maps to find hidden collectibles or complete new challenges. Challenges will reward you with in game currency to upgrade your gear by killing targets in specific ways. They can be super tricky (I was stumped more than once by a few of them), but they add a great amount of replayability for completionists and score chasers alike.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 looks to be in a great position to push the kill-puzzle subgenre made popular recently by games like Hitman into a new direction. It launches on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation platforms on June 6th.

Jarrett Green is an expert video game marksman. Talk games with him on Twitter at @jarrettjawn.





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Gabe Newell Teases Possible Valve Games Coming To Console

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Gabe Newell Teases Possible Valve Games Coming To Console


The Orange Box gave console players Half-Life and Portal, but could more Steam games be coming to console? According to a recent Q&A with Valve’s Gabe Newell, it looks like it’s likely! One fan shot their shot to the king of PC and his answer has the community pretty excited for what this could mean. 

One Redditor shared a clip of when they asked if any more Steam games would be coming to consoles. Newell responded, saying, “We will have a better idea about that later this year.” If you were at all curious about if this is something players want, all you have to do is listen to the clip and hear the chorus of “oooohs” that immediately happened after. 

You can watch the clip right here

Obviously, we don’t know what this means quite yet, but it could go a few different ways. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has talked about bringing the Xbox ecosystem to more platforms, so this could be an indication that Xbox Game Pass could be making its way to Steam. It could also mean more Valve-specific titles could be making the jump as well, maybe titles like Dota 2, Half-Life: Alyx, and standalone for the Orange Box? We don’t know but as a PC gamer (as my primary, I play on all platforms), I’m interested to see what this means for the community. With Overwatch 2 a long way off, Team Fortress 2 making its way onto PS5 and Xbox Series X systems is enticing to say the very least. 


What do you hope to see from this tease? Do you think the gaming community is getting excited over nothing, or do you think we could be seeing titles like Half-Life: Alyx and Dota 2 make the jump from PC-specific experiences? Sound off with your theories in the comment section below! 



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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Raiden IV x MIKADO remix’ Review, ‘Zombies Ate My Neighbors’ Coming to Switch, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Raiden IV x MIKADO remix’ Review, ‘Zombies Ate My Neighbors’ Coming to Switch, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales


Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 11th, 2021. In today’s article, we’ve got a full-sized review of the action-packed shoot-em-up Raiden IV x MIKADO remix, some news about some cult classics coming to Switch, a pretty dull new release to look at, and a whole lot of sales to check out. It’s a bit quiet, but things will heat up considerably as the week goes on. Let’s dig in!

News

‘Zombies Ate My Neighbors’ & ‘Ghoul Patrol’ Coming to Switch

With Virtual Console a thing of the past, many publishers have been releasing some of their classics through other avenues. Disney Interactive got in on the fun a little while ago with Disney Classic Games: Aladdin & The Lion King, and now they’re coming back with a second round. Lucasfilm Classic Games: Zombies Ate My Neighbors & Ghoul Patrol is set to arrive on the Nintendo Switch on June 29th, and has apparently been developed in conjunction with DotEmu. In terms of new additions, you can look forward to save states, some museum features like video interviews and art galleries, the ability to listen to the soundtracks of both games, and more. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a cult favorite from the 16-bit era, and Ghoul Patrol is its lesser-known sequel. No word yet on which versions specifically will be included, but we should know soon.

Reviews & Mini-Views

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix ($29.99)

Phew, now this is it. I’ll get one thing out of the way immediately: this Switch version of Raiden IV doesn’t have any new content beyond an extra optional soundtrack over the previous release on PlayStation 3 and Windows. The new tunes are good, but if you own Raiden IV OverKill and are content with it, you’re not missing out much by skipping on this release. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the game itself. Raiden IV had a bit of a bumpy road to reaching its final form, but it eventually became one of the better shooters in the modern era. This Switch version is a fantastic way to enjoy it.

Raiden IV originally launched in arcades in 2007 before making its way to the Xbox 360 in 2008. It was MOSS’s second crack at the series after reviving it with 2005’s Raiden III. It had a more confident design, but that first version was missing a certain something. The initial home release caused a minor (and in hindsight, incredibly quaint) stir by having two of its three playable ships be paid DLC. An updated version was released in arcades in 2012, which led to the release of Raiden IV OverKill on PlayStation 3 and Windows in 2014 and 2015 respectively. These versions added a new mode called OverKill that proved to be the final piece of the puzzle, pushing you to pump shots into defeated enemies to generate score items.

This Switch version basically takes the Windows Raiden IV OverKill, adds in a new optional remixed soundtrack, and calls it a day. You get a wide variety of modes, allowing to play the original arcade version, the second arcade version, or OverKill. All of the ships are included here, and so are the various galleries and unlockable assists. You can play solo as either player, team up with a friend in local multiplayer, or control both player one and two by yourself in an amusing, mind-bending dual-stick set-up. There are online leaderboards so you can compare your scores with the rest of the world, too. Among the various options is one that allows you to rotate the display as you like, making this Flip Grip compatible.

Raiden IV is a fast, challenging game. Enemies will fire bullets from every angle, and if you stay still for even a second you will die. It’s not quite bullet hell, but it’s not far from it at times. Boss battles can be particularly intense affairs, with multiple stages to defeat. You’re not defenseless by any means. You have a wide array of weapons, including a couple of variants of the series trademark “toothpaste” laser, to fend off the enemies with. You also have a selection of the now-standard screen-clearing bombs, and you are going to need them. While you have a limited stock of lives and continues, you’ll earn extra continues as you play, along with the ability to start on the farthest stage you reach. With these elements, even more relaxed players should eventually be able to fight their way through the game.

Expert players will find numerous ways to push themselves. In addition to collecting score items from defeating regular enemies, OverKill gives you a way to earn even more points. The Flash Shot system that rewards you for defeating enemies as soon as they appear is another way to earn extra points, albeit one that is often at odds with taking full advantage of the OverKill system. Whichever angle you approach Raiden IV from, it’s an exciting, rewarding shoot-em-up with a lot to offer. Granted, being that the game originally launched in 2007 it’s hardly the prettiest thing around, but it looks good enough and importantly runs fast and buttery-smooth.

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is going to be largely familiar for fans of the genre by this point, but having it on the Nintendo Switch in such fine form is indeed quite welcome. While it may not offer as much bang for your buck as some other shooters on the system, it’s a rather substantial game for those willing to put in the time with it. In a lot of ways, I think I may prefer it to Raiden V. It’s fast, furious, and full of neat tricks to learn to consistently bring your play to a higher level. It sure doesn’t hurt that it’s an incredibly competent port with just about every option you would want. Those who love shoot-em-ups shouldn’t miss it.

SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5

New Releases

Fantasy Checkers ($7.99)

Another checkers game, eh? Is there really a big market for these? Well, I’ll give this one credit for at least putting some effort in. You get four different sets of rules to play with: American/English, Russian, Brazilian, and Spanish. You can play alone or with a friend in local multiplayer, use one of six different fantasy themes, and view the board from a few different angles. Like, if you’re going to do this kind of thing you should at least try to best the experience of using a real board that you picked up at the dollar store, and this does crawl past that particular line.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Ratalaika Games put a whole bunch of their games on sale today, and there are always some nice treasures to be found in the indie publisher’s catalog. I’ll toss recommendations at Clash Force and Thunderflash, but do take a good look through the list on your own. In the outbox, sales from Capcom, Abylight, and Idea Factory are coming to an end. Abylight in particular doesn’t do sales very often, so indulge while you can.

Select New Games on Sale

Among Us ($4.00 from $5.00 until 5/17)
Gangsta Paradise ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/17)
Among Pipes ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/17)
Wrestling Empire ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/17)
Fall Gummies ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/17)
Perfect Traffic Simulator ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/17)
The Legend of Ninja ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Royal Tower Defense ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/17)
Fantasy Tower Defense ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Chess Ace ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/17)
Urban Flow ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/17)
Trancelation ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/17)
Street Basketball ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/17)
Real Drift Racing ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
WRC 8 FIA ($19.99 from $49.99 until 5/17)


Food Truck Tycoon ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
RoboPhobik ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/22)
Super Street: Racer ($12.49 from $39.99 until 5/23)
Speed 3: Grand Prix ($14.99 from $39.99 until 5/23)
Quest Hunter ($10.49 from $29.99 until 5/24)
Wingspan ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/24)
Last Encounter ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/24)
Ellipsis ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/26)
Fin & the Ancient Mystery ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/26)
Ultra Foodmess ($2.39 from $3.99 until 5/26)
Team Troopers ($9.30 from $15.50 until 5/27)
Fantasy Checkers ($4.99 from $7.99 until 5/28)
Music Racer ($4.89 from $6.99 until 5/30)
Pantsu Hunter: Back to the 90s ($9.09 from $12.99 until 5/30)
SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/31)
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/31)


Jet Kave Adventure ($13.39 from $19.99 until 5/31)
Deadly Fighter 2 ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/31)
Thunder Paw ($2.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Duck Souls+ ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Random Heroes: Gold ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Thy Sword ($5.49 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Concept Destruction ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Strawberry Vinegar ($5.49 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Castle Pals ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
A Summer with the Shiba Inu ($5.49 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Clash Force ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Jisei: The First Case HD ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Rush Rover ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Spacejacked ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Destrobots ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/31)


Endless Fables: Dark Moor ($2.09 from $14.99 until 5/31)
Micetopia ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Paw Paw Paw ($6.49 from $9.99 until 5/31)
More Dark ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Autumn’s Journey ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
My Magic Florist ($1.99 from $6.99 until 5/31)
Loot Hero DX ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Balancelot ($5.19 from $7.99 until 5/31)
Freddy Spaghetti ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Traffix ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Radio Squid ($2.74 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Blind Men ($2.74 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Reflection of Mine ($4.79 from $7.99 until 5/31)
Two Parsecs from Earth ($4.79 from $7.99 until 5/31)
CrossKrush ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)


The Language of Love ($7.79 from $11.99 until 5/31)
Ord. ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
S.N.I.P.E.R. – Hunter Scope ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/31)
Distraint 2 ($4.49 from $8.99 until 5/31)
Ultra Hat Dimension ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Roommates ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/31)
Sumatra: Fate of Yandi ($4.89 from $6.99 until 5/31)
Golf Zero ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Tamiku ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Jet Set Knights ($5.99 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Birthday of Midnight ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Guard Duty ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Nicole ($11.39 from $18.99 until 5/31)
Rogue Cube ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Devious Dungeon Collection ($7.14 from $12.99 until 5/31)


Prehistoric Dude ($2.74 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Even the Ocean ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/31)
Paratopic ($2.19 from $5.49 until 5/31)
A Hero and a Garden ($3.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Jet Ski Rush ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/31)
Gun Crazy ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Zero Zero Zero Zero ($2.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Reed Remastered ($2.24 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Reed 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Vera Blanc: GitC ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
How to Take Off Your Mask ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/31)
UltraGoodness 2 ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Anodyne 2: Return to Dust ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/31)
Thunderflash ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Dreaming Sarah ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)


Pinkman+ ($3.49 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Knightin’+ ($2.99 from $5.99 until 5/31)
Ganbare! Super Strikers ($5.49 from $9.99 until 5/31)
Syrup & the Ultimate Sweet ($2.74 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Super Destronaut: Land Wars ($2.74 from $4.99 until 5/31)
Castle of Heart ($1.99 from $14.99 until 5/31)
Enigmatis 2: Mists of Ravenwood ($2.09 from $14.99 until 5/31)
SpellKeeper ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/31)
The Innsmouth Case ($3.74 from $14.99 until 5/31)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 12th

A Day Without Me ($3.99 from $5.99 until 5/12)
Aragami: Shadow Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/12)
Arc of Alchemist ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/12)
Battle Group 2 ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)
Bridge Constructor: Walking Dead ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)
Candle: Power of the Flame ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Cloudpunk ($14.99 from $24.99 until 5/12)
Cursed Castilla ($8.39 from $13.99 until 5/12)
Drift Legends ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)
Fairy Fencer F: ADF ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/12)
Fate/Extella Link ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/12)
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/12)
Final Light, The Prison ($1.99 from $6.99 until 5/12)
Forest Home ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/12)
HoPiKo ($2.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)


Hyper Light Drifter: Special ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Kuukiyomi 2: Consider It More! ($3.74 from $4.99 until 5/12)
Let’s Sing 2018 ($23.99 from $59.99 until 5/12)
Let’s Sing 2019 ($23.99 from $59.99 until 5/12)
Mary Skelter 2 ($13.99 from $39.99 until 5/12)
Mega Man 11 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/12)
Mega Man Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $14.99 until 5/12)
Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection ($19.79 from $29.99 until 5/12)


Megadimension Neptunia VII ($13.49 from $29.99 until 5/12)
Mini Motor Racing X ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Moero Chronicle Hyper ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
OctaFight ($2.99 from $5.99 until 5/12)
Park Inc ($2.39 from $2.99 until 5/12)
Qbics Paint ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/12)
Slime-san ($3.59 from $11.99 until 5/12)
Smashing the Battle ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)
Solo: Islands of the Heart ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Sparklite ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/12)
Strikey Sisters ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)
Super Hydorah ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/12)
Super Neptunia RPG ($17.99 from $39.99 until 5/12)
The Darkside Detective: AFitD ($11.69 from $12.99 until 5/12)
Xtreme Club Racing ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/12)

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow has several releases on the schedule already, so we’ll have plenty to talk about in the Round-Up even if the news and new sales are quiet. But I suspect they won’t be. Wednesdays have been picking up more and more in recent weeks, and tomorrow should follow suit. I hope you all have a great Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!



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Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Could Also Get a Re-Release – IGN

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Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 Could Also Get a Re-Release – IGN



After the surprise re-release of the original Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance on consoles (PC and mobile to come later), it seems fan reaction has been strong enough that a re-release of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance 2 is “on the table,” according to developer Black Isle Studios.

Black Isle took the time to thank fans on Twitter and respond to additional comments and concerns.

“The sequel is on the table. Stay tuned!” Black Isle said.

Dark Alliance 2 came out in 2004 on PS2 and Xbox, three years after the release of the original. The cult classic hack-and-slash RPG released to generally positive reviews, receiving an 8.4 out of 10 from IGN for its continuation of the original’s formula, moderately mixed up with the new necromancer class and workshop feature.

Just don’t expect a full remake. The first Dark Alliance re-release has 4K support, backwards compatibility, and two-player co-op, but new features aren’t really a draw here.

If you’re a fan of the D&D realm, the upcoming Dark Alliance from Tuque Studios combines modern design with that old school combat feel, but we’ll find out for sure when that launches on June 22.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/Drizzt fanboy for IGN.





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