Tetris, Super Mario Bros and Pac-Man are all classics that got the online battle royale-esque multiplayer treatment on Nintendo Switch.
With so many franchises either under Nintendo’s belt or just a few carefully placed jabs away, it got us pondering which game should be the next big thing on its online service. What would your pick be? Let us know in the comments.
Adventure Mode's giant enemies would also keep things interesting.
James | F-Zero
Since the Nintendo 64 days, there hasn’t been enough love for the F-Zero franchise. Despite the attempt to bring back the series in the GameCube era (back in, if you can believe it, 2003), there hasn’t been a release since.
Imagine a bit of a Burnout twist on the game, focusing on the destructive elements of the futuristic, gravity-defying racer and up the player count and track scale to match. You could keep races to a single lap to keep the competition snappy, and even give players an opportunity to interfere with the remaining racers after they are knocked out.
With Nintendo’s form in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., you could even throw in some franchise crossovers in there, to give more variety to the choice of racers.
One reason these online multiplayer games take off is because they appeal to the streaming audience. In this case you’ve got a base concept which is fairly straightforward - racing - and the opportunity for fancy visuals you don’t usually get to show off on Nintendo hardware.
The racing genre on Switch doesn’t have to just be limited to one franchise, why not give the sci-fi take on track-based competition another go and bring back one of the most under-appreciated series in Nintendo’s floating-wheelhouse?
Come on, Nintendo, show the Captain some love!
Sam | Snake
Snake might be more synonymous with old Nokia mobiles than Nintendo platforms, but Snake 99 would be a perfect fit for the established formula. Just like Tetris and Pac-Man before it, it’s a simple and renowned title that could neatly transition into the competitive multiplayer space while staying accessible.
For those that don’t know, Snake sees players take control of the titular serpent and eat food to grow in size. It requires some imagination - the graphics consist of just dots and lines - but the gameplay loop is nonetheless endlessly engaging.
The battle royale-flavoured 99 series adapts classic games to feature offensive capabilities. In Tetris completed lines are sent to opponents’ screens, while gobbled ghosts are sent to haunt other players in Pac-Man. As for Snake 99, eating food could send pixelated poop to obstruct other users.
It wouldn’t even have to overtly be poo, as Nintendo probably wouldn’t like that. It could just be a different coloured dot to differentiate between edible and inedible pixels. A lot of people have fond memories of playing Snake on the go, which is a scenario that the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite easily accommodate.
Which game would you like to see get a battle royale mode on Switch Online?
Capcom’s recent Resident Evil 25th anniversary celebrations got us thinking about the long-running survival horror series’ best moments, which, naturally, immediately set our skin crawling. There are tons of games, but just one iconic moment to choose.
What stands out to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Things don't end well for Steve.
Resident Evil is one of my all-time favourite franchises and picking just one highlight from a lifetime of fandom is incredibly hard. As such, I’ve settled on a bit of a cop out.
I have fond memories of playing my older brother’s copies of the original trilogy, then commandeering RE4 to complete countless playthroughs. I was far too young, but it was almost unavoidable while sharing a bedroom with my years-older sibling and his teenage tastes.
Although the series has gone somewhat off the rails at times, recently, Resident Evil is back at its best. RE7 and the upcoming Village (based on its playable demo) both offer a great new take on the franchise, though it’s reliving those old memories in the excellent remakes that’s most special to me.
Resident Evil 2 (2019) is an exceptional remake of a classic entry. Yes, I’m choosing an entire game rather than a specific moment - there are too many highlights to pick between in that game alone! The introductory zombie in the petrol station, battling lickers inside the police department, evading the Tyrant’s constant pursuits. There’s never a dull moment during the perfectly-paced campaign.
Leon's first day at work is pretty rough, he even misses his own welcome party.
I have a complicated relationship with the Resident Evil series, so I have mixed feelings when it comes to celebrating its anniversary. The original game, which I first encountered around 7, absolutely terrified me and probably led to my irrational fear of zombie games.
Having grown up in a Nintendo household, I thought I was safe from the series until RE2 somehow ended up on N64. Still not brave enough to play myself, but a little bit older and tad more curious, I would watch (from a safe distance, of course) as my older brother tackled Raccoon City’s zombie problem and almost, almost, found myself enjoying it.
There were other missteps; a brief dabble with RE3 on a borrowed PlayStation, and years later I bought and quickly returned a copy Resident Evil 0 on GameCube after incorrectly thinking I had matured enough to brave its content.
It wasn’t until Resident Evil 4 that I played and enjoyed a Resident Evil game. The focus on action over horror definitely helped, but it was the Chicago Typewriter unlock that made things really fun.
Watching my brother blitz his way through enemies and bosses with the ridiculously overpowered submachine gun was both hugely entertaining and cathartic and is definitely my best memory of the series.
"Stranger, Stranger! Now that's a weapon."
What's your favourite Resident Evil memory? Let us know below.
With Microsoft beefing up framerates on some of the Bethesda games it’s adding to Game Pass, we’ve been thinking about the difference a good FPS can make.
As the console experience continues to diverge, a reliable framerate is harder to come by than you might expect – sometimes even if you have been lucky enough to get your hands on a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S.
We’ve got a few ideas, but what game would you like to revisit with a lightning-fast framerate? Let us know in the comments.
A BF3 mini revival ahead of the next Battlefield would be very cool.
Sam | Deadly Premonition 2
Last year’s sequel to Deadly Premonition wasn’t particularly well received due to some social and technical mishaps. While updates have altered the offending scenes and (ever so slightly) improved the low frame-rate, FPS Boost would make for a great final push.
The original Deadly Premonition is a glorious mess, and the sequel is no different. DP2: A Blessing in Disguise understandably wasn’t afforded as many free passes as its predecessor, however. Now an established cult classic franchise with the backing of Nintendo, a lot of players seemed to skip the Switch-based sequel on principle.
Skateboarding around the fictional town of Le Carré, Louisiana is like watching a slideshow. Francis York Morgan is no Tony Hawk to begin with, but he moves at a crawl set to a music track that sounds as if the developers typed “radical” into a stock library.
Now don’t get me wrong, I find that juxtaposition hysterical, but it immediately puts a lot of people off. Although FPS Boost is an Xbox feature, applying it to Deadly Premonition 2 would open the underrated title up to a whole new audience. Arguably, there’s far more value in that than refining games that already run at a steady 30 frames per second.
Even Francis got a headache from the dodgy framerate.
James | Borderlands 3
While it only suffered a few performance issues, as I noted when I tackled Borderlands 3 for our review, they turned out to be consistent enough for me to put the game down and not jump back in.
It’s difficult to get a consistent framerate in an open world of course, but there’s so much that draws me back to the colourful world of Pandora, and I think a framerate jump would do the trick.
Mayhem might be Borderlands’ middle name – if it had one – but when you’ve got a bandit in your sights, or you’ve unlocked a mountain of loot, raining down around you from a felled boss, it brings the whole experience down if you encounter stuttering.
There’s plenty of visual effects which would benefit from a more consistent FPS as well, since the technicolour wares of the various gun makes, as well as ammunition itself in some cases, tend to make a point of filling the screen with as many particles and visual noise as possible.
Even better, some of the hard work has already been done to get the game spruced up for next (soon to be current) gen consoles, so there must be a way to crunch the data, or perhaps sacrifice some resolution, to give those on Xbox One and PS4 just as shiny an experience.
Rob | GoldenEye
I'm sure you've all taken a sneak-peak at the recently leaked (def, eh?) Xbox remaster footage, yeah? If not, you really should: it'll have your nostalgia juices flowing in no time.
As I've mentioned many times before, the N64 era was/still is my most memorable time in gaming. There were several reasons for that, but none drove my love for the platform more than GoldenEye. I have endless memories of all-night multiplayer sessions with friends; of the hours I ploughed into the incredibly challenging single-player campaign; and the cast of characters with those wondrous cardboard Brosnan/Bean/Coltrane faces.
GoldenEye will forever be in my personal top-10 list, unquestionably. What was always questionable, mind, was the tendency for the action to dip into the 9-frames-per-year mould - Jungle, we're looking at you... The opportunity to play the game with remastered graphics and a stable 60 FPS - the original was around the 15/20 mark - would be a dream-y come true-y.
Picture it now, chums: slip-sliding down from that infamous vent to bash the guard on the can in Facility; running from shotgun-wielding Cossacks in Statue; dying endlessly attempting to best 00 difficulty on Control; or the cat-and-mouse runaround of Cradle. That's just the single-player, too: imagine just how wonderful a consistent 60FPS online experience could be.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it'll ever be officially released. Boo Microsoft. Boo Nintendo. Boo MGM and the Broccoli's.
There were no images of the original GoldenEye on Gamespress, only the Daniel Craig remake. Boo Gamespress.
What game would you like to see receive an FPS boost? Let us know below.
With last week’s announcement of Aliens: Fireteam re-igniting our love for the co-operative shooter and more media being streamed into our eyes than you can shake a TV Licence at, we wondered what other shows or films might make for a half-decent game tie-in.
It’s a delicate balance of course, as you need characters you can latch onto, but none that are clearly overpowered, since that would upset the team dynamic. Do you have any ideas? Leave them in the comments.
There's a Starship Troopers RTS currently in development, but no co-op shooter.
James | The Boys
While the recent track record with superhero games isn’t great (Marvel’s Avengers left me a little lukewarm) there’s another way to go about it, enter The Boys.
There’s still a hint of superhero magic, but not so much that you get overwhelmed by it, as in The Boys the superpowers are on the opposing team. Not to mention, they are actually a team, albeit a dysfunctional one (like most online co-op games I’ve played, honestly).
The best co-op shooters manage to give the individual characters just enough character, without everyone wanting to be one. Take Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, he might be a crack shot with a shotgun, but perhaps he lets his temper get the better of him now and again, making him unreliable, so using him is a bit of a gamble.
There’s certainly some balance issues to bear in mind. A flat out fight between a ragged band of ne'er-do-wells with the odd baseball bat isn’t going to do much when there’s superpowers to contend with, so perhaps a bit of Hitman-inspired infiltration will be the name of the game. Imagine sneaking into Vought Tower and pulling off a synchronised attack...
Every fight's a boss fight when you're going up against superheroes.
Sam | Creepshow
There’s a definite trend for bringing back old horror franchises as multiplayer and/or co-op games right now. An ideal candidate to join the growing roster would be Creepshow, the 1980s anthology series recently revived by AMC streaming service Shudder.
Every episode features two standalone, tongue-in-cheek tales of terror. Its constantly rotating cast, locations and antagonists would make for a completely bonkers and incredibly varied gaming experience spread across separate levels.
One minute players would be battling suburban ghosts at Halloween, next werewolves and Nazis in occupied France, then shrinking down to battle murderous miniatures in a doll’s house. The madness wouldn’t end there, either, with regenerating aliens, trickster genies, a world-eating blob and more left to eliminate.
It’d be an excellent candidate for DLC expansions, too. The developers could be endlessly creative and run with almost any idea they had. As levels would be standalone, there’d be no need to worry about how to sustain the seed of something special. Lots of promising plans end up on the cutting room floor because they don’t fit a conventional story arc, which wouldn’t be an issue here.
A miniature co-op shooter actually sounds quite fun.
What franchise do you think would make a good co-op shooter? Let us know below.
This week saw the return of State of Play, Sony’s digital showcase of trailers to tempt us to finally pick up a PS5 (if they were in stock at least).
A few notable absences from games we’ve seen were Horizon Forbidden West and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, with no sign of God of War: Ragnarok either, but we did get more from a few interesting titles. Here are a few of our favourites. Leave yours in the comments.
Just remember: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge.
Like the recent Nintendo Direct, Sony’s latest State of Play had very few surprises. That isn’t inherently bad, but, if the YouTube live chat is anything to go by, it wasn’t received well on either occasion. There were updates on several promising games here, however.
It was great to finally get a proper look at Returnal from Housemarque (Nex Machina), what with it set to launch next month and all. It looks to maintain the studio’s trademark addictive, arcade-style gameplay while upping the production value and injecting an intriguing story.
Oddworld: Soulstorm is coming to PlayStation Plus on PS5 at launch, which is a nice surprise that should provide some potent nostalgia come April. Deathloop will follow in May, though, as great as the gameplay looks, I don’t really jive with the psychedelic aesthetic. Methinks I’ll probably wait on the inevitable Xbox Game Pass release. Probably…
As someone that isn’t generally a JRPG fan, surprisingly, I enjoyed Final Fantasy VII Remake a lot. DLC and a free PS5 upgrade in June will do nicely, though its arrival on the eve of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (sadly absent from the showcase) is somewhat questionable.
Returnal's gameplay was one of the highlights of the show.
While Returnal also piqued my interest, the game I could see myself playing, and, crucially, finishing, from the showcase was Solar Ash.
The focus on movement is particularly interesting. Moving continuously while navigating the usual ebbs and flows of a boss battle is a particularly interesting challenge. The gameplay we’ve seen so far has a few similarities to games like Sunset Overdrive and even Devil May Cry, as well as rhythm-based classics like Jet Set Radio.
While only their second game, studio Heart Machine has an impressive track record thanks to the well-received Hyperlight Drifter, and the backing of publisher Annapurna Interactive should let the scope of Solar Ash extend beyond their indie debut.
The death mechanic in Sifu, seems interesting - whenever your character dies they return older and slightly more skilled - though given my action game skills, there’s every chance the character might die of old age before I complete it.
Elsewhere in recurring death mechanics, Deathloop continues to intrigue with a James Bond-inspired presentation. Whether it will move past the tried-and-tested gameplay formula Arkane is known for remains to be seen, since a lot of what’s been shown could definitely have been from a riff on their previous work.
Here's a screenshot of James' character after completing Sifu's tutorial.
What was your highlight from the State of Play? Let us know below.
It’s taken 530 days, but Nintendo finally got around to giving us another full-fat Direct presentation. Rumours of Zelda re-releases were abound in the past few weeks, and though we did get some news, it’s not what most expected.
While there were notable absences as well, nary a mention of Metroid or a new Mario Kart, there was still plenty to natter about. So, without further ado, over to our crack team. Don’t forget to leave your own musings in the comments.
Motion-controlled archery was a Wii era highlight.
After enduring such a long wait for a proper Nintendo Direct, the latest showcase was pretty underwhelming. It was longer than the Nintendo Direct Mini presentations we’ve been seeing, sure, but it wasn’t any more exciting.
The highlight for me was No More Heroes 3. We already knew it was coming, so its appearance didn’t really bring the surprise factor that viewers crave, but it looks to be a lot of fun. Added extraterrestrials might just make it the wackiest entry yet, which is really saying something. Here’s hoping that Suda 51 goes all out with his captivating brand of craziness!
Hades getting a physical release is good to see, but I’m holding out hope for PS5 and/or Xbox Series X|S ports instead. Still, if they never materialise this will be my version of choice.
Skyward Sword HD was the only other game of note. Nintendo is charging full price for a remaster again, which we’re all accustomed to by now, but it’ll be nice to revisit the classic Zelda formula. After all, it’s much better than the new one that Nintendo borrowed from Ubisoft...
In the real world, perfectly normal. In a hack and slash game featuring aliens, definitely weird.
Ever the Nintend-optimist, I tuned into the long-awaited Direct full of hope, promise and an expectation of ports galore. The former and the middler were sadly lacking, but the latter was out in full force once more.
I steered clear of Skyward Sword's original Wii release because of a deep, burning hatred of motion controls, so am relieved to hear that a stick/button control scheme has been implemented for the HD remaster. This will almost certainly lead to me picking the game up, although I am a tad disappointed that, at this stage at least, it appears to share more in common with the Twilight Princess HD remaster over the superlative, dreamy Wind Waker Wii U update.
The announcement of Splatoon 3 throws up questions for me, too. Namely, will there actually be anything new in this iteration? I adored the first game, yet have largely been left nonplussed by the second. The trailer began by hinting at some sort of desolate world - could this be part of the single-player campaign? Will we get numerous new multiplayer modes? For me, this is what the series needs to move forward.
Finally, my personal highlight: Mario Golf: Super Rush. Multiplayer options? Check. Colourful, charming course? Check. A full story mode? Check. You had me at golf, Mario. Book your tee-off time for June 25. FORE!
Avert your eyes, Rob!
Other than being beside myself at the lack of a Metroid Prime 4 update, this Direct was fairly as expected, if underwhelming after the comparatively long wait.
A new step onto the golf course with Mario Golf: Super Rush would have been a huge cause for thrills back in the day, but these days there’s a smattering of fairway fare already available to scratch that itch now and again.
The first thing that really moved the excitement needle was the news that Fall Guys is coming to Switch, though that quickly dissipated when I remembered Nintedo’s online approach, and I was vindicated with an Xbox announcement the following day.
Perhaps a few ports? Apex Legends, Plants Vs Zombies: Battle For Neighborville and even Outer Wilds seem like an interesting distraction, but all things I would have already fallen into elsewhere.
What about Splatoon? The sequel (Splatoon 2) was my first foray into being a squid now (well, then) but, like Rob, the potential of a dash of singleplayer adventure in Splatoon 3 is intriguing, especially after the previous game toyed with solo play a bit in DLC which I never got around to. I’ll take it.
Speaking of ports, could we please have Metroid: Prime Trilogy for Switch, Nintendo?
What was your Nintendo Direct highlight? Let us know below.
Mario’s latest leap onto the Nintendo Switch is a re-release of Super Mario 3D World from the Wii U. It also includes the all-new Bowser’s Fury add-on, which got us wondering which other old games might benefit from a new slice of gameplay.
Which game from days gone by has you keen to take another bite of the cherry? Let us know in the comments.
Getting this on Switch might take some work, it doesn't even fit the page properly.
James | Dragon Age: Origins
Being a huge fan of “classic” BioWare you might think I’d be content with the upcoming Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, but in fact I have a yearning for the more fantasy setting of Dragon Age.
With the next installment (possibly a soft reboot?) already on the way, it’s very unlikely, but having not been on Xbox 360 at quite the right time, I missed the much-lauded inception of the series.
Given the gameplay improvements noted even in the mired sequel, to get an exciting new area would make the already substantial DA:O (especially accounting for Awakening, its existing expansion) rival the likes of Skyrim in terms of fantasy RPG scope.
More isn’t always better, so it would need to be driven by a compelling story - a must-have for all BioWare adventures worth their salt - but with the breadth to explore within the genre there’s surely plenty of ideas left on the table.
BioWare’s more recent output has hardly been knocking it out of the park, so a return to familiarity could be just what fans need, and a perfect alternative to the sci-fi adventures of Mass Effect.
Many of us Mass Effect aficionados missed out on BioWare's fantasy epic.
Sam | Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
MGS3 is an all-time classic that already has an HD re-release under its bandana. The chronological sequel, however, does not.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops is a mainline entry in the iconic series that most players missed. Hell, I owned it and never finished it because playing with a single analogue stick was plain gruelling. If the PSP game was released as DLC for the MGS HD Collection, or bundled with a remastered version of Snake Eater, that problem would be solved.
It’s a long shot with Konami at the helm, but handheld stablemate Peace Walker held up incredibly well on consoles. Accounting for that and the fact that MGS3 has already received a lauded visual remaster, which unfortunately belongs to a tie-in pachinko machine, there’s real potential here.
In terms of all-new content, Portable Ops sees players rejoin Big Boss six years after the events of Snake Eater. What better reason could there possibly be to bridge the gap between entries via a new expansion?
With Sony rumoured to be pursuing a purchase of dormant Konami IP, maybe the PlayStation manufacturer will see this dream become a reality on PS5.
Would it need a name change if it came to home consoles?
What old favourite game would you like to see revived with some new DLC? Let us know below.
We first had the pleasure of meeting Ole Toubro back at Rezzed 2018, when he was part of the team at Danish developer Mighty Moth, working on the aviation exploration title Above. He’s since moved on to form an even smaller team, with his new studio Not-Disclosed Games. We caught up with him to discuss games, the industry, lockdowns, Pilsners, the connotations of the word "tolerate" and last, but by no means least, hot tubs.
So, tell us about your new company, Not-Disclosed Games.
We are currently two people working with coding and design. We have been working together for quite a while and we do some contract work together as well. We also have half a guy doing sound and we are actually looking for an artist with the right finesse and skillset.
Your first game is twin-stick horror/sci-fi shooter Universe Apart. Can you tell us about the game, and what led you to combining these genres?
We both really like twin-stick shooters and my buddy had made a tiny playable one so we just built from that - adding everything around it. Trying out different art, ways to make it tile-based and random, have long-term gameplay etc. etc. After we got the shadows working we knew we had to make some horror elements - that gameplay and implementation is ahead of us: So if people have suggestions they should hit us up on Discord :)
What impact has COVID-19 had on the development stage?
Well I guess indie game developers have a pretty clear advantage in this - most of us were already used to working from home. I actually think this might have been a benefit for indie games, I mean just look at this February Steam Festival - the line-up is pretty fucking awesome.
What is it like to be such a small team in such a humongous ocean of development companies? How big a risk is it to release a game in the current climate?
Yeah the talent out there is quite amazing isn't it. I actually don't mind being a tiny fish swimming among all these different companies. Be they huge or small, multicoloured or grey, quirky or mainstream, hypers or truthers. I think the medium has far from matured - perhaps it never will - and it is just quite wonderful to be a part of. Our game is still in an early stage, but we like what we are creating - so we are pretty sure others will too.
We discussed the process of creating, and releasing, games/music/art last night; how strongly we both feel about actually getting stuff out there and provoking a reaction - good or bad. Could you elaborate on that?
Yeah that was quite a good chat wasn't it :) I mean to really piss people off you can't be charging them as well, can you? Or is that exactly what the giants excel at with various broken products, stupid release schedules, in-game purchases or advertisements. I don't know. I just think many people outside games see every little hiccup as a catastrophe, they take it personally and some even want the drama. And the marketing teams behind the large games fuel this: There is no such thing as bad press! Fact is very few people know how stupidly hard it is to make a good game - and to make art, as we were discussing last night, you have to infuse that tremendously hard process with message and meaning, dare I even say soul. Some teams are at the right place and time to do that, and some even get hyped and reach a broad audience - to the benefit of everybody involved. Let me sail on my own tiny little hype train or boat or whatever: Universe Apart will have existential dilemmas and abusive elements - they are just not in the demo yet - or are they? :)
"Don't be too hard on yourself, trust your feelings and reach your deadlines."
Where do you see the future of gaming? Is it VR? Streaming services? Traditional consoles/PCs?
All of those… and implants and AR and huge simulations and tiny interfaces and stuff that game us. I actually think game theory integrated with everyday stuff is the next big thing - you already see it to some degree in software like TikTok, Instagram etc. Whole processes we interact with are currently being designed for our conscious and unconscious selves to interact with - and that is pretty much games.
Coronavirus has put the pause button on life, allowing many people to assess where they are, and what they actually want to do with their time/for work. With that in mind, what advice would you give to someone looking to get started in the gaming industry?
Ha yeah - I don't know if I am the right person to ask that - but here goes: Don't be too hard on yourself, trust your feelings and reach your deadlines. Listen to old songs you liked, games you played and loved, movies you adored - none of them are perfect. If caught in the right sardonic mood you could tear each one of them apart and paint them in the worst light possible... So: Do your best, believe in yourself and release!
What game(s) have had the biggest impact on your life?
I am quite fond of simple ones from my childhood that set a mood and let you live there for a while: Lotus, Wolfenstein, Lemmings or Commander Keen - and I could go on :)
In terms of real impact there was this aesthetic little game where you can only move right and you get older as you move, find a dog and another person to love and take with you, then the hair greys and the dog and other person are left behind as tombstones and you also end as a tombstone - that game made me cry. I can't remember it's name, or find it online, it might have been a flash game - that we the human race moved right and left behind…
I also thought quite a lot about the profound idea in Iain M. Banks’ Surface Detail where this guy hosts simmed VR hells for several other races. Consider that: Hell or gods does not exist, but if you violate certain religious laws your sentence is to be uploaded to a virtual hell! WTF? I love how that sets one's mind going about mortality, souls and life itself.
Final question... You're stranded on an island that happens to be blessed with power. Which console/gaming machine do you take and why?
Being stranded on an island sounds like a lot of hard work. I think I would bring a switch so I could play a twin-stick shooter, while being busy on the latrine :)
Thanks to Ole for taking the time to chat to us. Click here for more information on Universe Apart.
With the revelation that Lady Dimitrescu from Resident Evil Village’s demo is not 8ft, as some had estimated, but a suitably 9ft 6inches tall, according to Art Director Tomonori Tanako on Twitter, we’ve been thinking about the other (literally) big bads in the world of games.
Size isn’t everything of course, and some of the most fearful creatures are small and unassuming, but here we’re focusing on those nightmares which are larger-than-life. What springs to your mind? Let us know in the comments. In the meantime, here’s what haunts our every dark winter’s night…
Compared to Toon Link and Young Link, Gohma is huge.
Sam | Dragon God from Demon’s Souls
Having recently been acquainted with Lady Dimitrescu via the Resident Evil 8 demo on PlayStation 5, she’s certainly an imposing and oddly seductive figure. The “tall vampire lady” didn’t leave quite the same impact as another recent boss encounter on PS5, though.
While the likes of Bowser and Shao Kahn are all-time classic big baddies, they’re also way too obvious. In a similar vein, a lot of boss fights against large enemies essentially take the same obvious form. That can’t be said of the Dragon God in Demon’s Souls.
The Dragon God is really something to behold. It’s a magnificent, ancient creature that I didn’t have any immediate inclination to kill. The boss battle itself plays on that fact, having players utilise stealth in order to fire two ballistae and pin the deity down. Cutscenes accompanying both shots are tragic, but don’t compare to what comes next.
With its shoulders pinned and its weary head on the ground, players must hack at the Dragon God’s face to finish it off. The old beast barely fights back, despite its power being such that its hot breath alone is enough to kill.
Dragon God is just one of several unconventional boss battles in Demon’s Souls, which helped to cement it as my favourite console launch title.
A boss that refuses to fight back certainly sounds like a change of pace from the regular Souls baddies.
James | GLaDOS from Portal
While the more inspired turn for GLaDOS came in Portal 2 when she(?) spent time as a potato, there’s no denying the physically-imposing impact of meeting her(?!) for the first time in your first go-round at Aperture Laboratories.
Not content with being a huge robotic arm with a HAL9000-esque central eye, the lasting impression of GLaDOS really comes from the ever-increasing sense of dread as the plot unfolds; a fun and innocent puzzle game slowly becomes a horrific ordeal in which you couldn’t even trust baked goods. Nothing is sacred.
Being in complete control of your environment, GLaDOS also torments with deceptively murderous turrets and, occasionally, fire to motivate you to your goal. It’s difficult to be angry though, since peeling back the layers of lore reveals an AI built using the uploaded consciousness of Caroline, lab assistant to the mechanical maniac’s creator.
How immediately the player warms to this mostly unseen and yet omnipresent foe is a testament to GLaDOS’ staying power as a killer villain, and the reveal of her full physical form more than lives up to the anticipation of finding out who’s been pulling the strings. Sadly it’s unlikely we’ll see much more of GLaDOS, since Valve famously can’t count to three, but here’s hoping there’s more puzzles with the same sort of depth on the horizon.
Our favourite power-hungry robot. And look, there's GLaDOS, too!
What's your favourite big baddie? Let us know below.
It was 2013 when EA triumphantly announced its 10-year exclusive deal with the Star Wars licence and now it seems all that may be coming to an end.
Last week's news brought us the Lucasfilm Games brand, a new Ubisoft Star Wars game from the creator of The Division series and, perhaps most excitingly, a teaser trailer for an Indiana Jones game from Bethesda.
As we ponder what it all means, leave your own musings in the comments.
Throw Indy's hat on him and we're pretty much there.
I’m slightly more optimistic than Sam when it comes to Ubisoft’s and Lucasfilm Games’ untitled Star Wars project. I’m happy to acknowledge that the former does tend to recycle a familiar set of features in their games, but I don’t find it so much of an issue if I’m enjoying the overall story and gameplay.
The fact that it’s being developed by The Division makers Massive also gives me hope. While I wasn’t a huge fan of bullet-sponge bosses and loot grinding, I did thoroughly enjoy exploring the in-game world and hunting down snippets of surprisingly decent story.
Even if it turns out good rather than great, I still think it’ll be fun to play just because I enjoy Star Wars. EA’s Battlefront reboot took, quite rightly, a bit of flak for lacking content, but that didn’t stop me from having fun using iconic blasters and running around as a Stormtrooper.
As for the Indiana Jones game, we’ll just have to wait and see. I expect we’ll be getting something similar to the Tomb Raider reboot and the Uncharted games, which is no bad thing. Its iconic hero and (hopefully) 1930s setting would certainly give it a unique selling point.
The Division also had a lot of snow. Hoth setting confirmed!
However much you like or loathe The Division, the Snowdrop engine that powers it is a marvel to behold, especially when it comes to snow. A third-person, more Splinter Cell-inspired espionage outing or perhaps one where you explore one of Star Wars' many sprawling locales seems very much in Ubisoft's wheelhouse.
The track record may not be...ahem...stellar...but a bit of lightsaber magic here and a "maclunkey" there could push the experience from a good game to a great game.
Indiana Jones is a different kettle of fish. Comparisons to both Uncharted and Tomb Raider will be difficult to avoid, but we know Machine Games can deliver an action-based narrative, so that's what's got me most excited.
The future of other notable franchises is even more exciting. Surely ideas for a game based on The Mandalorian must already be in development as we speak, and who could resist the chance to be the Galaxy's hottest gunslinger?
Don't know what 'maclunkey' means? This guy gets it.
What are your thoughts on the newly announced Lucasfilm games? Let us know below.