INDIKA Review – Playing Devil’s Advocate

I have played video games since I was old enough to hold a controller. I cut my teeth on the Sega Genesis and my parents’ Apple Macintosh computer. I’ve been a console and PC gamer ever since, and I’ve played thousands of titles over the years. I say all of that because I’ve never played anything quite like INDIKA in all that time. While you can pick apart the elements of INDIKA and categorize its gameplay, once you put everything together, it becomes more than the sum of its parts. It’s wild, weird, funny, and even profound. It’s not for everyone, but is it for you? Let’s find out. A Fever Dream of a Game INDIKA is a third-person adventure set in an alternate version of 19th-century Russia. You play as a nun named Indika, who is a bit of a black swan among the others at her convent. From the beginning of the game, it’s very clear that the other look down on her. As if this wasn’t enough, Indika also hears a voice she’s convinced is the devil himself speaking to her. I told you this was going to get weird. There are a few odd moments from the beginning, but the opening is purposefully simple from a gameplay standpoint. You run simple errands and perform chores for a few other nuns as the devil’s voice waxes poetic and chastises you. You collect points, contributing to a simple skill tree that offers abilities that ultimately earn you more points. From the beginning, the game informs you that these points don’t matter, and they don’t. You won’t get any special endings or secret unlocks from collecting them (or the collectibles you can find), but the presence of the whole system reminds you that you’re still playing a video game at the end of the day. There’s also something surreal about doing something simple like filling up a bucket of water from a well, only to be rewarded but retro-style pixelated coins that wouldn’t be out of place in a Mario title. As the game progresses, INDIKA leans into the surreal and strange nature of its character and the world around her. This alternate version of Russia is bleak and filled with strange side characters. It’s also violent, as she soon crosses paths with a wounded soldier companion who is seeking help. The two become an unlikely duo as the game goes on, venturing through various environments, from a dilapidated village to a canning factory. At certain points in the story, you’ll also see flashbacks that flesh out Indika’s backstory. These are presented in a retro pixelated style and often require precise platforming or simple arcade-style gameplay. They offer a nice variety to the main game, mainly exploration and puzzle-solving. When you combine both pieces, even though the entire experience only lasts about 5-6 hours, you get a lot of variety across INDIKA. I particularly enjoyed the moments when the devil’s voice in Indika’s head becomes overwhelming, leading to strange … Read More

Watch Dogs: Legion Preview – No Such Thing as an NPC

Watch Dogs, otherwise known as the hacker version of Assassin’s Creed in my household, has been a series that promised big things, but didn’t always deliver as well as it could. It started, of course, with the first game looking less impressive at launch than promised, but the second title was a solid one overall. Now we have the most ambitious game yet in the form of Watch Dogs: Legion. Recruit anyone, play as anyone, and build your very own DedSec from the ashes of the old one. Too good to be true? These are my impressions of the PS4 version thus far while I wait for my PS5 to arrive. A Promise Fulfilled? The promise that Watch Dogs: Legion issued to players seemed too good to be true. How could they possibly make every single person a playable character? How would they differentiate them? Would they just end up falling into a few categories with no real differentiation? Having played several hours of Watch Dogs: Legion on PS4 while I wait for the PS5 version, I can say that they’ve managed to (mostly) come through on this promise. The ability to recruit anyone you’d like is there, with some challenges for characters who aren’t huge fans or who need a little convincing, but the sheer amount of choice between people leads to some dips in quality as compared to prior games. For example, my starting character was chosen based on his skillset, but the guy looked like a face painted version of Jared Leto and sounded a lot different than you would imagine. He didn’t really “feel” like a main character to me, and between the unconvincing lip sync and the odd look, I had a hard time connecting with him like I did with the character in the opening mission. The story of course is that DedSec has been framed for a terrorist attack by a group called Zero Day, which has led to the London chapter of the group to fade into obscurity. One person is trying to bring them back together, starting with you. Meanwhile, a military group called Albion have taken over the city and implemented a regime that feels a little too close to reality. It wasn’t until a short time into my playthrough that things started to click for me. The second person I recruited was better, but still not interesting enough to really grab my attention. Ironically, the person I didn’t like much at all ended up winning me over to this formula. They were the final opponent in an underground fight club that I did as part of a side mission, and a result I was able to choose them as a potential recruit. They required a little more than just a favor. I needed a deep profiler upgrade to dig up some info on them, at which point I discovered that they were trying to fight back against the powers that be by destroying a weapon shipment. Naturally I infiltrated … Read More

Days Gone Developer, Sony Bend, Hiring for a AAA PS5 Project!

We’ve just recently hit the first year anniversary of open-world action game Days Gone, and people have once again started talking about this little exclusive that could. Despite some mixed reactions from critics, the fans are extremely passionate (myself included). As we look back on this divisive PS4 exclusive, the developer just so happens to be hiring for a position that involves work on a AAA budget PS5 project. Sequel anyone? Let’s see what details we can dig up! Not One, but Two Positions Open up at Sony Bend Two job positions opened up on Sony Bend’s website. The first is for a Rigging Technical Artist position, and the second is for a Senior Audio Programmer. Digging into the job postings, the first position has some interesting responsibilities: Create high quality character rigs with cinematic-quality facial articulation Develop and implement skinning methods to achieve realistic deformation for faces, bodies, clothes.. The requirements also mention human, creature, and animal rigs as part of the applicants portfolio. The first two points here point towards improvements we can expect to see on the PS5. Looks like facial animation will get a boost, along with skin and clothing. The last point is important because humans, creatures, and animals were all a big part of the Days Gone world in terms of what you encountered. Turning our attention to the other position: The requirements mention that the candidate should have experience implementing interactive 3D audio in dynamic game-world environments. The desirable skills section also mentions experience working on environmental audio, sound propagation, and 3D audio. The big takeaway here is that 3D audio is confirmed to be a significant part of the feature set on PS5. So much so, that the PS5 specs includes a chip solely for audio. I’m willing to bet this is all going into work on a Days Gone sequel, so let’s talk about what that could look like. Imagining a Days Gone Sequel Days Gone was your quintessential open world experience, for better or worse. It had a massive world full of things to do, multiple storylines split into quest types, a sprawling story that lasts far longer than similar titles, and plenty of things to see and do just about anywhere you went. For some, the pacing was a little off. Others felt the mission types repeated too much. Still others had complaints about performance at launch (it was improved via updates). For me, the pros far outweighed the cons. I thought the character development was superb, the world well-realized, and the gameplay a rich mixture of action and horror. Specifically, the game’s use of hordes and their inherent behaviors was a big plus for me. Spread across the world were groups of “Freakers” that would travel in packs and hide during the day. At night, they would come out to feed or gather at watering holes like some sort of nightmarish nature documentary. Taking on these hordes was a big part of the story and the endgame. The … Read More

PS5 Action and Adventure Games

For those times when you just need a sprawling adventure full of excitement and intrigue. And action, can’t forget that. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Aragami 2 Astro’s Playroom Balan Wonderworld Beyond Good & Evil 2 Black Myth: Wu Kong (Platforms TBD) Bugsnax Chivalry 2 Chorus: Rise As One Commandos Control: Ultimate Edition Days Gone 2 (Rumored) Deathloop Destruction AllStars Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition Dustborn Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires God of War Ragnarok Goodbye Volcano High Gotham Knights Grand Theft Auto V Haven Heavenly Bodies Hitman 3 Hogwarts Legacy Horizon Forbidden West Immortals: Fenyx Rising Jett: The Far Shore Kena: Bridge of Spirits LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Little Devil Inside Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered Marvels’ Avengers Microman Moonray Oddworld: Soulstorm Outriders Paradise Lost Pragmata Recompile Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Roots of Pacha Sackboy: A Big Adventure Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One Solar Ash Spirit of the North Enhanced Edition Stray Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League The Lord of the Rings: Gollum The Pathless Tribes of Midgard Unknown 9: Awakening War Mongrels Warframe Watch Dogs: Legion Warms Rumble Yakuza: Like a Dragon Our Top Picks For Action/Adventure Games on The PS5 1. Grand Theft Auto VI – GTA VI Probably one of the most anticipated games for the PS5. No other console could handle the specs needed. Find out why in the links below: GTA VI will be on the PS5! (New Leaks) GTA VI: 5 Time Period We’d Love to Visit 10 Ideas GTA VI Should “Borrow” From Other Games GTA VI on The PS5: 10 Potential Locations 2. Naughty Dog (Uncharted, Last of Us) Anything Naughty dog touches turns to gold. While they keep saying they’re done with Uncharted, I don’t think that’s the case. Expect a spinoff series on PS5. With Last of Us 2 coming out, you can add that series to your list as well. I will be very surprised if they don’t reveal something new as well. It may start on PS4 or it could launch on PS5, but they have more ideas that will come to light sooner than later. 4. Arkane Studios (Dishonored, Prey) Arkane announced a PS5 game called Deathloop that seems to have Dishonored’s DNA with a time loop structure that involves two rival assassin’s hunting each other constantly through every loop. Big fan of time loops in fiction, so count me in! 5. God of War Kratos is back! God of War on PS4 took the world by storm, and left us hanging in the end. Since these things work best in trilogies, I expect we’ll see the next 2 games on PS5. 6. Ubisoft (Watch Dogs, Assassin’s Creed) Ubisoft is known for making games that involve open worlds and lots of collectibles. Both Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs have been doing pretty well. We know both series will continue on PS5 with Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. 7. Lego Games The Lego games have slowed down somewhat in recent years, but … Read More

GTA 6 on the PS5 – Release Date, Map, News

Today we’re going to look at some new rumors that suggest the next Grand Theft Auto game is coming to the PlayStation 5. We’ll also look at other rumors that are helping us build an idea of how Rockstar plans to top themselves with the next release in their ongoing series. Massive Leak Exposes New GTA VI Details! In September of 2022, a hacker managed to infiltrate Rockstar’s servers and release a treasure trove of footage onto the internet. In the days since, Take-Two and Rockstar have been desperately issuing takedowns and trying to scrub the leaks from the internet. Several rumors have been confirmed due to the leak, find out more in our full article! Release Date on the PS5 Sony really had people going for a minute during the PS5 reveal event. They opened with footage of GTA V, which made everyone think an announcement was coming! Instead, we got confirmation that GTA online would be coming to PS5 as a free standalone game for PS5 users. Geoff Keighly also tweeted, confirming the single player portion is also getting ported to the PS5 in the second half of 2021. I mean, that’s fine, but how about the sequel we all know exists? The latest rumor claims that we won’t see GTA VI until March of 2024! See below for more information on what we know. GTA Playstation Release Dates PS1 GTA 1 December 1997 PS1 GTA 2 October 1999 PS2 GTA 3 October 22, 2001 PS2 Grand Theft Auto: Vice City October 29, 2002 PS2 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas October 26, 2004 PS3 Grand Theft Auto IV April 29, 2008 PS3 / PS4 GTA 5 September 17, 2013 PS5 GTA 6 2022 New Bloomberg Report Reveals Key GTA VI Details A new report from Bloomberg, released in July of 2022, presents details on both the protagonist and world of GTA VI, according to those close to the development of the title. We break down the claims in our full article, but the highlights include a playable female protagonist, a more self-aware story informed by current events, and more! Rockstar (Finally) Confirms That GTA VI is in Development! This is the kind of news that you know is coming, but it’s always nice to hear it from the source. After a lot of rumors, speculation, and repeated releases of older GTA titles, Rockstar finally confirmed in a post on their website that Grand Theft Auto VI is in active development. The post is fairly long and discusses the next-gen verions of GTA V, as well as improvements to GTA Online, but the real nugget comes at the end: “With the unprecedented longevity of GTAV, we know many of you have been asking us about a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto series. With every new project we embark on, our goal is always to significantly move beyond what we have previously delivered — and we are pleased to confirm that active development for the next entry in … Read More