August 29, 2021 — It is time for another week of dark and atmospheric games for players to enjoy, and there is plenty to choose from, no matter what platforms they prefer. Whereas one title invites players to explore Egyptian history, another blends the entertainment of gaming with a heavy metal experience rendered in gorgeous pixel style.
Valfaris: Mecha Therion
Back in 2019, the developers at Big Sugar released Valfaris, a metal-infused side-scrolling action game with an unexpected head-banging hero wiping out alien invaders. The game was a big hit on the indie front, so the announcement of a sequel should not be a big surprise. What is, however, is the direction the developer is taking with it.
Mecha Therion is set to release on consoles and PC in late 2022, and unlike the original game, this one takes a side-scrolling shooter approach. The mission generally remains the same — stop Lord Vroll and his hellish forces — but this time, Therion dons a heavy metal-infused mech suit, shooting enemies from the sky.
As before, the hero will have his fair share of weaponry, including the aptly named Bringer of Mayhem, the devastating Skysplitter, and the dependable Hellwraith. The player can decide which way to eviscerate enemies and enjoy the hard-rocking rewards that come with it.
This one should be worth the wait, and those who are metal fans or seeking more information can find it on the game’s official Steam page.
Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut
The developers at Sucker Punch got a lot of attention last year with Ghost of Tsushima, a stunning samurai epic that paid tribute to its classic style while being a thrilling action game in its own right. This week, the Director’s Cut arrived, adding extra content to the original release.
The Director’s Cut adds a whole new area to explore, Iki Island. Here, players will find a whole new story arc waiting for them, along with additional mini-games and dangerous new foes.
In addition to PlayStation 4, Ghost of Tsushima is now fully compatible with PlayStation 5, with stronger visual details and a faster frame rate. No matter which platform fans prefer, they’re in for a truly remarkable samurai epic.
They say the weapon makes the warrior in epic action games. But what happens when the weapon itself takes center stage? That is what happens in Blood Spear, as players take control of a demonic spear instead of a tiresome soldier. Apparently, it has a bone to pick with the living and possesses as many bodies as it can as it carves its way through enemies.
There’s no shortage of blood in this game, but it actually serves as an advantage — the unlikely hero can absorb a good amount of it to heal itself so that its host will not collapse. It also possesses a number of powerful attacks, including the ability to hurl itself at foes. It can also supercharge, becoming more powerful during up-close attacks.
It is available for free on Steam now, and a bloody good time for all that check it out.
ArtFormer: Ancient Stories
Released in 2019 and having received plenty of updates since, ArtFormer is worthy of mention even in 2021. Remember classic 90s games like Prince of Persia and Another World? Buffa Software certainly does, and its latest effort, ArtFormer: Ancient Stories, should be a hit for those that like sort of thing.
The game takes place across four different chapters, each one based on a part of human history. Players will fill the roles of unique characters in each one, learning more about them as they hunt down wild animals and human adversaries with the help of various weapons. No matter what their preference – spears, swords, axes, or bows – there’s something for every taste here. And there’s a lot of ground to cover here, with over 100 quests and various people to speak with in each era.
It is seldom an action game of this type teaches players things about the Egyptian Papyrus, Greek pottery, and even cave drawings. But ArtFormer is truly special, a series of tales that should not be missed. Interested history buffs can download it on Steam now.
King’s Bounty II
Though the original game has been out for over 30 years (!) now, King’s Bounty has created a fantastic legacy with its turn-based action and class variety. But now, the sequel, King’s Bounty II, has finally arrived and gives die-hard fans more than enough reason to return.
The land of Nostria has fallen into dark times, between the corruption of the living and conspiracies with unfavorable parties. But a few heroes have begun to step up, vowing to turn the tide and stop evil in its tracks.
As with the first game, players can choose from one of the various classes, commanding a personal army as they attempt to push back enemy forces. The classic turn-based combat makes a return, but with refinements that enhance the formula in many ways. That said, decisions need to be made carefully – the wrong one can diminish an army within a matter of turns.
The game is available for download on Steam, with various editions available.
Book of Travels
Is there anything more exciting than exploring a dark world filled with danger and mystery? Not really. So when Sweden-based Might and Delight announced its atmospheric Book of Travels, it was not a big surprise when curious players took notice.
Breaking free from the traditional storylines that are usually present in role-playing games, Book allows those that enter its world to travel freely, discovering the Braided Shore peninsula and everything within it. With hand-drawn visuals and a landscape that literally goes for miles on end, it’s a treat finding new areas, whether going solo or hitting the open road with a group. Just don’t expect the game to do any hand-holding, as progress is based directly on the player.
There’s no release date for Book yet, but intrigued gamers can find out more on the official Steam page.
Living in Europe during the Middle Ages wasn’t easy, but those interested in that little part of history can now experience it for themselves in this exciting new adventure from Render Cube.
Players take control of a young man, tired of war and looking to create a new life for himself. From here, skills will be established as he grows up, becoming more of a community leader and building upon his small town. But living isn’t as easy as it looks, between locating resources to improve things and having to fend off against wild beasts like bears and wolves. Survive the rough parts, though, and expect rewards with a life well lived…and perhaps even a family. Those looking to try Medieval life can do so on Steam Early Access now.
Crusader Kings PlayStation 4/5 & Xbox Series S|X
Initially released on PC last year, Crusader Kings III has seen a pretty sizable audience thus far, thanks to its compelling strategic tactics and strong array of characters. Next year, however, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X owners will get their chance to be Kings in their own right, with Paradox Interactive preparing a release.
Players choose between a royal or noble house and then choose their own destiny through the ages, either accepting or damning religion depending on ambition. Choices will have to be made in an effort to keep the dynasty alive, including getting the right characters for battles (mercenaries can do a world of good) and developing new tools for the better.
Though changes will have to be made to make the gameplay work through a controller, Crusader Kings III should be a tremendous hit for the genre when it arrives. There is no word on a release date yet.
Let us be honest, a Death Cathedral does not sound like the greatest place. But those that seek its challenge will be greatly rewarded, as they prepare an army of the undead for a devil that lurks at the very end of it. Jam-packed with action that would make Mortal Kombat blush, Death Cathedral is built around role-playing dynamics, where players will need to think quickly to avoid succumbing to visceral, devastating attacks.
There are over 40 soldiers to choose from, each with their own special abilities; and mastering both their physical strikes and blocking/parrying will pay off, enabling them to move on to the next room. Though decay may wipe out certain soldiers rather quickly, the blood and bones of enemies can help create new ones, keeping the fight going through the Cathedral. Just be prepared – this is literally the fight of the warriors’ lives. Seeking this worthy challenge? Download Death Cathedral on Steam now!