Tag Archive: hands-on


We were like sardines in a tin can. Every influencer, member of the press corps, and Activision staffer had been crammed into a stuffy aircraft hangar down in Hawthorne, California, fittingly right next to SpaceX’s headquarters. While Elon Musk’s company was nearby trying to help pioneer space travel, we had all huddled together to see the first gameplay of Destiny 2—the highly anticipated sequel to Bungie’s 2014 MMOFPS sci-fi space opera.

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before Luke Smith—likely one of the more visible and successful examples of game journalist turned game developer, and now director for Destiny 2—had taken the stage to highlight and guide us through the series of video vignettes we were about to watch. To kick things off, Luke surprisingly talked rather candidly about the fact that the original Destiny had lost a significant chunk of its audience after release. Although 50% of Destiny owners had invested in the expansions, crafted their own adventures with friends, and saw firsthand the universe Bungie so desperately wanted to create finally come together and take shape late in Destiny’s life, there was another 50% of the audience that hit that initial level cap, and never returned. The fun had simply been buried too far beneath the surface, and not everyone was willing to go digging for it.

Admittedly, I fell into that latter group. Although a perfectly competent and polished shooter, the first Destiny never grabbed me. I couldn’t sink my teeth into its lore, and what it had done in that initial effort just wasn’t enough to warrant me sticking around—and definitely would not get me to open up my wallet again for its expansions. However, at least Bungie was aware—or claimed to be aware—of folks like me. It’s often too easy for developers to continue to cater to the people they already have locked in, chalking up those lost over time as simple passersby, paying them no heed.

Bungie wants to get to the fun parts faster with Destiny 2 in the hopes of luring people like me back to the franchise. After both the presentation and then the ensuing hands-on with the game, though, I was left shaking my head, because it appears that very little has actually changed. In only the franchise’s second game, Destiny 2 feels like a glorified add-on—or, worse yet, a soft-reboot.

Some of the additions that were highlighted during Bungie’s presentation would of course be impossible to show in a venue like this. Building clans and the improved matchmaking is something that we will need to wait for final code for before we properly see it, but it is definitely something the game has long needed. While chatting with others at the event, it was common for the more diehard Destiny fans—the ones who easily fell into the 50% opposite me—to be extremely happy about this change. Still, many also lamented that it’s something that should have been in the game from the get-go, or at least earlier than this. This was one of two common reactions I found throughout the day: that the changes Destiny 2 were bringing should’ve been in the original.

There was also grief expressed over the fact that those loyal to the franchise would not see any boons or the like carry over from one game to the next. Destiny has been propped up by its fanbase believing the game would continue to improve, investing time and money into it constantly, and they are being “rewarded” by having to grind all over again. It almost feels like, in trying to win back folks like myself with a fresh start, that Bungie may have taken their entrenched audience for granted to some degree.

The other reaction that was far more common throughout the day was simple—this is it?—and many in both halves of Destiny’s potential audience shared it. Only one new raid, no new classes, and three new worlds (four if you count the new areas opened up on Earth) were teased. Sure, you have the new subclasses and powers for heroes, but if you’re going to make everyone start over, why not go hog wild and expand the gameplay, customization, and class options?

The worst of it is that Bungie showed us so little that whatever new content might’ve been there felt buried in the demos. Here we were, digging to try to find the fun of it all again. All heroes we played with—whether it was on the one Strike mission, one new 4v4 PvP mode, or the Homecoming campaign mission (which had been shown to us during the presentation already)—were prebuilt. Most of this was available on both PC and PS4, and I can attest that the PC version of the game looked and handled great. But, the demos that Bungie gave to us failed to make me care whatsoever, just like with the original game.

For example, allowing us to play a mission you literally just showed us during your presentation did nothing to expand on the idea of the fresh story you’re trying to set up. Dominus Ghaul is stealing the Traveler for himself; if I didn’t care about the giant gumball in the sky from the first game, how is this going to suddenly compel me? Thanks for dropping me into a firefight, with a prebuilt character, that I don’t want to be a part of after walking me through it literally 30 minutes prior. Let me explore a little; show me something new. If you’re trying to convince people to come back to Destiny, this wasn’t the mission to do it with.

The Strike Mission was similar. Although there were some new and interesting environmental hazards like giant mining drills, the Strike seemed to play just like the ones in the previous game: work your way deeper into an exotic location with your team—in this case a mining asteroid—kill the boss, get out with some loot.

Also, if you’re promoting connectivity and community, maybe give us some headsets with microphones in PvP or the Strikes. It’s hard to coordinate if you can’t communicate, and handcuffing everyone demoing the game like this made no sense even if you weren’t stressing how the game brings people together—but since you are, this came off as extra moronic.

The most interesting section of the day for me was easily the PvP, which at least showed us the new Countdown game mode. Even that didn’t feel exactly new, however, as it is best described as being exactly like Search and Destroy in Call of Duty, just with a Destiny-colored coat of paint. Every player has one life to live; one team has a bomb and a pair of targets. If that team kills everyone on the opposing team or successfully detonates the bomb, they win. Conversely, the other team is also trying to kill everyone, or can defuse the bomb before it goes off to achieve victory. The small map we played on was conducive to the mode and offered up some fast and frantic action. I would have loved to see other modes as well, though, especially to see how shrinking the standard 6v6 of most Destiny modes to 4v4 in Destiny 2 would affect them.

Activision and Bungie have just less than four months before Destiny 2 launches, and if they’re trying to find fuel for whatever hype train they want to get started, this was not the way to do it. I was left unimpressed by what was shown to us; like the first game, Destiny 2 came off as a perfectly competent and polished shooter in my hour or so hands-on with it, but it is an uninteresting one. My hope is that this was merely Bungie keeping their best cards close to the vest, and that more intriguing and nuanced gameplay will emerge over the summer. Otherwise, no matter how much the game has improved, it’s going to be hard to push onto players a fancy expansion that serves as a reset button for a franchise—no matter what 50% of the audience you fall into.

I had a chance to go hands-on recently with Yager, Six Feet, and Grey Box’s Dreadnought on PlayStation 4. It was my first time playing the game since PSX 2016 and I was able to pull down a decent K/D in this match of Team Deathmatch. Dreadnought is currently in beta on both PC and PS4 and the full game is coming sometime later this year to PC and PS4 and will be free-to-play.

When Knack launched alongside the PlayStation 4 back in 2013, it didn’t exactly take the world by storm. Although it was a pretty game that showed off some of the power of the system—with Knack being able to shrink and grow as he absorbed or lost relics over the course of a level—many found the gameplay severely lacking. So, when I had a chance recently to go hands-on with Knack 2—and have the game’s director, PlayStation 4 architect and legendary game developer Mark Cerny serve as my co-op buddy—I was curious to see firsthand what changes the series had undergone from its initial entry (and hear about them from the man himself).

Knack was a very different concept. I was focused on making a game that was accessible to people who had never played a video game before, and thought that would be an interesting part of the PlayStation 4 as a launch title,” explained Cerny as we loaded up the first level. “That ended up being a pretty heavy focus, which meant no platforming and a fairly small moveset. Knack 2 is very different title from that; the focus here is more squarely on gameplay.”

And Cerny wasn’t kidding about that. He ended up showing me seven sections of the game in our demo that highlighted not only a wide variety of different gameplay challenges, but also an expanded moveset for Knack punctuated by four skill trees. It should be noted that some moves are story based, and only by advancing so far in certain levels will Knack unlock them—like a super-strong punch that can shatter enemy shields. Collecting energy in each level can unlock many others, however, and then you can invest that energy into new moves or improve upon those you’ll obtain via progress.

Easily one of my favorite things I experienced in the demo was how expanded Knack’s moveset had become as a whole. Knack can now create a shield that, if timed properly, will deflect bolts and blasts back at enemies. He also has a bola-like projectile weapon that can ensnare foes, making them easy targets for a combo or removing them temporarily from a fight as you focus on other targets. Kicks, body slams, and yes, even more punches round out Knack’s repertoire. One of my favorites was a Fist of the North Star-style flurry of fists that sees Knack move super quick, rapidly punching an enemy several times.

Co-op also sees some combat improvements. Cerny mentioned in our conversation that something he and his team noticed amongst younger players is they’d often take a whack at each other as often as they would Goblins. So, a new move incorporated into co-op is if you hit your buddy, a single relic will fly off like a bullet at an enemy. This way, even if you’re simply messing around, movement isn’t wasted, and can still serve a purpose in gameplay and combat.

As great as it is to see the depth of combat now present in Knack 2, the biggest additions probably come with the breadth of gameplay now available to you. Entire sections of levels are dedicated just to true platforming, exploring, and puzzle solving. In fact, by changing sizes at will, I would have to shrink to Knack’s smallest from to fit into onto smaller ledges and platforms to reach certain areas, and then quickly switch back to a larger from for combat. Knack’s smallest from is all necessary to navigate tiny crevices in cliff sides or Goblin fortresses and discover energy for leveling up, or pieces of technology that can bestow Knack with even more in-game abilities.

There’s a bit of a lottery to the item pieces you’ll discover, however, so there’s even a social aspect added to discovering treasure. If friends of yours have received items you’d rather have from the same treasure chest in their playthrough of Knack 2, you can trade what you received to get the same item they snagged. And, if you don’t have a lot of friends playing Knack 2, don’t worry: there will be some computer explorers that can offer up some options, too.

Other levels, meanwhile, add a stealth element. For example, you’ll have to push crates around with Knack to avoid searchlights while hiding in the shadows to prevent alarms from being set off as you infiltrate a certain someone’s home. You’ll also have to use the size-changing ability—which now features the added bonus of always letting you know just how tall Knack is at a given moment thanks to a height counter in the game’s HUD (if visuals weren’t enough for you)—to shrink and hide under awnings or canopies to avoid robots on patrol.

Knack 2 even brings driving segments to the series. One section of our demo saw Knack get in a tank and drive around destroying enemies and encampments; when playing co-op, one player drives the tank while the other operates the turret. Some other levels also have turret emplacements scattered about, and Knack can climb into one to really whittle down Goblin forces with some green energy blasts.

As the demo was winding down, I admit I was sad to see my time with Knack 2 coming to an end. I hadn’t had this much fun with an action-platformer in a while; the variety of gameplay was stellar, everything handled very tightly, the game looked great, and the writing had me chuckling in my chair. Cerny was quick to point out that bringing on Marianne Krawczyk, writer of the God of War series, to write Knack 2 was a critical move. Although the game is still very much gameplay-driven, having her veteran hand come in for key narrative moments—like where an ally of Knack makes fun of him (and the first game) for only having three punches—was a big boost, and allowed Cerny to focus on directing the gameplay that has made such hugely evident strides.

Although it’s scheduled to release during what’s looking like a very busy second half of 2017, if you’re searching for a fun, high-quality action-adventure that the whole family can enjoy, don’t sleep on Knack 2. With its new depth of gameplay and tight controls, it’s like Knack has finally found all the pieces to turn itself from a pipsqueak PlayStation 4 exclusive into a game to be reckoned with—one that can hold its own with the big boys of the system.

I had a chance to go hands-on with Halo Wars 2 at a recent Microsoft preview event, and there I played the new Blitz Mode. Blitz Mode offers elements of Survival, Domination, and Trading Card games in an interesting twist of players spending a different currency from the main game to call down units. You can only pick from one of four available at a time, before that unit is replaced in your “hand” with one of 12 cards in your “deck”. It’s a fast and frantic mode that offers unique gameplay for the RTS genre. Halo Wars 2 will be available on Xbox One and PC on February 21.

The original Watch Dogs tried some interesting new ideas for incorporating multiplayer, and at the top of the list might’ve been the ability to invade a friend’s game in order to try and hack them (leading to a cat-and-mouse chase between players). Building on that idea, Ubisoft has unveiled the new Bounty Hunter mode for Watch Dogs 2, which I recently had the chance to try for myself thanks to a pre-Gamescom event at their San Francisco office.

Watch Dogs 2’s Bounty Hunter mode allows players to put a bounty on their own head. Doing so automatically sends the cops after you, but it also allows up to three friends to join your game and team up with the police to hunt you down. However, one of your friends can join your side if they so choose, turning the mode into a 2-vs-2 (with AI police) in addition to the possibilities for a 1-vs-1 or even asymmetrical 2-vs-1 or 3-vs-1 confrontation. If you don’t feel like being hunted, you can also do an online search to see if anyone else is on the lamb in order to join the police hunting them if you want.

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I had a chance to play as both the hunter and the hunted, and on both sides of the coin, it was nice that all my tools from the game’s single-player portion transitioned with me. I could hack cars and steam vents, use my automatic rifles, or even fly drones and place remote mines, just like in the single player, all helping to provide for a variety of options every time I played—making it so each time I tried the mode it never felt the same. Sometimes as the hunter, I would get a lock on the target, steal a car, and simply run them over when they were trying to escape on foot; other times, I would sneak up on them and snipe them from a distance.

Meanwhile, during the times when I was being hunted, my strategies shifted drastically. With my position immediately given to my enemies as soon as they signed in, I just tried to flee as fast as I could at first, hoping to lose my pursuers through back streets or by going off-road with a car. One time I had a friend drive the getaway car as I used my rifle to shoot out the tires of those hot on our tail. Sometimes, crippling would-be captors was more effective than trying to kill them outright.

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At a certain point, though, I got tired of running. On my final shot at the mode, I found high ground and planted mines near locations I thought people would try to come at me from. Unfortunately, most of the mines went to waste, as my enemies took unforeseen angles. Luckily I could remote detonate them though, and I was able to pick off another player who wasn’t close enough to trip the mine, but who was definitely within the blast radius when I set it off.

All told, I spent probably about a half hour with Watch Dogs 2’s Bounty Hunter mode, and got in maybe six matches (victorious in all of them)—which means the mode is also pretty quick. You don’t have to worry about a long time sink, and with the hunters always knowing where the hunted player is, it usually promotes quick and decisive confrontations, perfect if you want to get in and get out with the multiplayer, or really mess with some folks and go on a bounty-collecting spree.

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It’s nice to see Ubisoft continuing to support the multiplayer aspect of Watch Dogs, and this new mode feels like the natural evolution of invading someone else’s game while staying true to the tenants of the original’s gameplay. I can’t wait go collect some more bounties for real now when Watch Dogs 2 drops on November 15.

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Usually when people think of Insomniac Games, over-the-top action and insane weapons are the first thoughts that come to mind. In a creative field like video games, though, patterns are meant to be broken and comfort zones are meant to be stepped outside of—and that’s what’s being done by a fifteen-person team within Insomniac. This small group of staffers is hard at work on Song of the Deep, a side-scrolling metroidvania-style passion project that definitely moves away from what some may consider the studio’s bread and butter. I was recently able to play about 30 minutes of the game, and you’d think Insomniac had always been working within that genre.

Song of the Deep follows 12-year-old Merryn, a young girl whose fisherman father has been lost at sea. When Merryn has a vision seeing her father trapped on the sea floor, she decides the only way to save her dad is to find him herself. So, she puts together a makeshift submarine and sets off to explore the murky depths. What she soon realizes, however, is that all the old bedtime stories her father used to tell her about the sea might actually be true, and only by navigating various hazards will she ever be able to bring him home.

Dropped into the middle of Merryn’s adventure, I began by trying out the variety of tools and weapons that her sub has to help it navigate its surroundings. A grappling hook can be used to tether the sub to craggy surfaces in strong currents, pull and carry objects around a level when solving puzzles, or even to try to punch enemies. The sub also featured sonar with pulses that can stun certain enemies, a turbo booster which can really crank up the engines on the sub, and lasers and torpedoes to either defend yourself with or destroy crumbling walls for entry into submerged ruins.

Speaking of ruins, as I explored the world around me, I began to realize that some of the story was being told via the vibrant environments I was navigating. Large tendrils of seaweed acted as window dressing on larger set pieces, but also at times visually obscured hidden pathways. Intricately-carved stone, long lost to time, had eerily been preserved in the deepest recesses of the ocean. Unknown clockwork technology still operated when Merryn interacted with it, opening up new wonders to explore. Song of the Deep is nothing short of beautiful when it came to providing a visually captivating experience.

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As I began to make headway during my hands-on time, I soon came across my first upgrade. It was a special suit that Merryn can wear in order to freely exit the sub. Being much smaller than the sub, the suit allows her to explore tiny crevasses and pathways that lead to special items or solutions to different puzzles. It basically serves the purpose of Samus’ morph ball from Metroid, but Merryn is far more vulnerable in this mode than Samus ever was, leaving Song of the Deep’s heroine open to far more danger.

And danger is something Song of the Deep is fraught with. Being underwater, Merryn and her sub provide a unique twist to other games in the same genre in that there is no platforming. Being submerged, you can always move in every direction as long as there isn’t a wall or other obstacle in your path barring progress. This means bottomless pits or spike traps aren’t on Merryn’s list of concerns, but in their place, Insomniac needed other ways to provide challenge along the adventure.

One way of doing this is to fill each level with hostile wildlife, with jellyfish, urchins, and other sea creatures trying to turn you into dinner if you’re not careful. Another way of upping the difficulty is with puzzles. Navigating labyrinthine corridors with jet stream currents trying to toss you to and fro, using your grappling hook to throw items through narrow openings in order to open up ancient, rusted gates, or working steampunk-like machinery to reflect light at different sensors were just some of the head-scratchers I came across in my time with the game. Although not impossible to overcome, they definitely added a welcome challenge to the adventure.

Although my time with Song of the Deep was short, its appeal is evident. Whether a longtime fan of metroidvanias, or just looking for another endearing digital story to experience, the team at Insomniac is showing their pedigree reaches far past extraordinary weaponry and mind-blowing action. Song of the Deep should be a game to keep an eye out for when it releases sometime before the end of the first half of 2016 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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If you’ve seen Epic Games’ Couch Knights or Showdown demos, or were one of the lucky few that attended GDC last year and saw the Unreal 4 powered Thief in the Shadows demo they did with WETA Digital, it is easy to tell that Epic is excited about the potential of Virtual Reality. The studio’s years of bringing us some of the most over-the-top gaming experiences could easily transition into VR, and each subsequent demo they’ve released has pushed the potential the tech holds a little farther. So, it was no surprise that I was blown away by their latest VR experience, Bullet Train, when I recently got to try it out for the first time.

Bullet Train starts off on a futuristic subway train, teaching you the basic mechanics of how to survive in the demo. Picking up, firing, and reloading your guns comes intuitively with the Oculus’ dual-hand controllers, with appropriate buttons for pulling triggers and actually holding onto the weapons. Besides using guns, your character can also slow time down Matrix-style, catching bullets out of mid-air and throwing them back at enemies with super speed. As well, your character is equipped with a teleport power, which is how you also move through the world.

Once I had familiarized myself with the controls and completed the tutorial, the subway train came to a stop at a station with large glass windows and pristine floors, giving off the vibe of a possible near-future setting. I quickly scanned around the area and noticed guns, grenades, and teleport points littered around the station. With nary a moment to collect myself in this new virtual world, though, red armored hooligans carrying their own weapons started pouring in from escalators and elevators—and I was their target.

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I grabbed the nearest two pistols and immediately began firing, hoping to get a jump on my foes before their superior numbers overwhelmed me, as new threats replaced the ones I took out as quickly as I was killing them. When my clips ran out, I used the slow time feature and tried my hand at grabbing bullets out of the air one at a time. As I hurled them back at my enemies, some would go flying off in a direction I did not intend, which left me wondering if it was pure human error or calibration issues. It didn’t matter, though—enough of my throws hit their mark, providing me an opening to teleport across the area to an assault rifle.

With a higher-powered firearm, I began whittling the enemy forces down more consistently, painting the station in a hail of bullets until again my clip ran dry. This time, I grabbed a nearby grenade and lobbed it at soldiers who had taken cover in the train track trenches below the platform. Again I teleported, this time snagging a pump-action shotgun. Instead of firing madly, however, I warped closer to my targets, where I’d be in position to perform headshots from close range. This continued for nearly ten minutes, jumping from teleport point to teleport point, slowing time as necessary, and changing weapons when I ran out of ammo. Finally, the unending horde of enemy soldiers came to a halt—and this was when an airborne drone joined the fray.

I had no weapons that could penetrate the steel hide of the drone, and so instead, I had to rely solely on my ability to catch enemy fire. The drone used missiles instead of bullets, but by turning its own firepower against itself, I downed the flying menace.

Bullet Train provided the most exhilarating demo I had played yet in VR from any company. It’s fast, frantic action and mostly responsive controls left me feeling as if I had truly just left the middle of a domestic warzone when I sorrowfully had to pry the Oculus off my head. It was the first time I had seen a demo in VR come close to not just replicating the experiences I have with modern action games, but surpassing them. If Epic could provide a full gaming experience centered on this gameplay, with a story and actual characters, Bullet Train could be the basis for the first major hit in VR gaming and it has me crazily anticipating what Epic does next with this new technology.

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When Kerbal Space Program first rocketed onto the scene, I missed the shuttle. I openly admit to my preference of console games over those on PC, and thusly I’m usually late getting on board with every Indie darling that finds its way onto Steam. It’s not that I’m living under a rock and don’t hear of these games, to be clear. It’s just that, when not reviewing the occasional PC title for EGM, I instead often wait for them to inevitably go on sale—or, in this case, get ported to a different platform. So, it was with great zeal that I got a chance recently to finally try the fun, yet educational, game that has the likes of Elon Musk and scientists at NASA buzzing alongside the gaming community on the PlayStation 4.

For those completely unaware, Kerbal Space Program puts you in charge of a new space program on the planet Kerbin, modeled after that on our own Earth. You must construct rockets and other spacecraft in a state of the art space center, using those creations to then explore the solar system and its various planets and moons. Along the way, you’ll have to complete challenges that further the Kerbal people’s quest to better understand their universe, while also furthering your own space-faring knowledge.

As soon as the demo kicked off, I was tasked with building my own rocket ship. With far more parts unlocked for me than what you would start with at the beginning of the game, my creation could be described as nothing short of Frankenstein’s monster-like as I mixed and matched through the various ship component categories. Small thrusters connected to giant fuel tanks, with a mid-sized cockpit and a radar dish on the cone just for kicks. With his mouth agape in horror at my concoction, KSP producer Jose Luis Vives shakily told me to take it for a test drive.

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Surprisingly, my rocket actually made it off the ground. With absolutely no balance, however, and my inexperience with the controls, the ship quickly came back down to the ground and began pinwheeling almost instantly. I found my abomination bouncing along the terrain before shattering into several pieces, and the thrusters flying off into the horizon before exploding.

For better or worse, though, I was hooked. I wanted to know how to make the proper spaceship. I wanted to learn and create in this universe laid out before me, and bring my newfound knowledge to the green humanoid masses of Kerbin. And if a few explosions happened along the ways of my trials and errors, well, so be it.

It was then decided I should instead see what a fully functional ship could do, so one of the team’s saved designs was loaded up—and this only made me fall more in love with what KSP was doing. This was a rocket ship, the kind you see in history books and old footage from the Apollo landings. After being walked through the controls, I took off, heading for the great unknown. My own personal mission, though, was just to make it to the moon.

As I jettisoned used fuel canisters and unnecessary sections of the ship, it wasn’t long before I had broken atmosphere. It was here, though, where my mission went awry. I found myself fighting with the controller often during my demo, the actually piloting portion of the gameplay for KSP requiring a more delicate touch than either the PS4 controller or I could provide. I wasted a lot of fuel course-correcting on my way up into orbit, and because of that, just as I kissed the blackness of deep space, I found myself being pulled down towards the ground faster than I left it due to Kerbin’s gravitational pull.

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Human error was clearly a factor in my failure, but after having had a chance to familiarize myself more with the controls, I felt this was one area that the port was lacking. I’m fine with a port between systems simply repackaging the same game and just including previous add-ons and what not considering it’s the first time a new audience may be seeing it. But optimizing your controls for that new system is critical, and the more I learned about KSP, the more I saw that this was still an experience where a mouse and keyboard holds far greater appeal than a standard controller.

The button layout was not intuitive to what I needed to perform well, and while a deeper look showed some controller options, the defaults felt unnatural. Again, playing the game from the start might alleviate some of the difficulty I continued to have over my hour with the title, but clicking down on the controller’s sticks even brought up a mouse reticle to select different options on screen—showing that as far as the Kerbin people might travel into space, KSP had not traveled very far in its port over to consoles.

Poor controls aside, I refused to be deterred. I hopped into a new version of the previously saved ship, conveniently reconstructed for me by the Kerbal people, and again took off for the stars, this time breaking free of Kerbin’s pull. With enough fuel—and a straight enough trajectory—to steer towards a celestial body, my original goal of the moon was within sight. Once in the emptiness of space, I could finally truly plan my course. Pulling out to map view, I set a maneuver node—a device that would automatically correct my ship towards a particular path (great for deep space exploration)—to plot a course for my ship and my ragtag three-Kerbal crew. What I failed to take into consideration, though, was that the moon would continue to orbit as I made a beeline for it. And I had, again, run out of fuel. I drifted harmlessly by the moon, set off on an endless course into the abyss, having never reached my goal by the time my session finished up.

So, besides me being an awful astronaut, what did I learn during my experience with Kerbal Space Program for consoles? That it’s true in capturing the spirit of the original game, and is coming over with all the bells and whistles that had slowly been added over time on PC. Unfortunately, the controls are also a little too true to form, and had me longing for a mouse and keyboard. Still, it has me chomping at the bit to grab my space helmet and suit up alongside the Kerbin again when Kerbal Space Program drops sometime in the first half of 2016 on Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4.

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I had a chance to go hands-on with the brand new Just Cause 3 Sky Fortress DLC recently and was able to put Rico’s new Bavarium powered wingsuit through its paces. As you can see in the hands-on video above, the wingsuit is equipped with a jetpack, rocket launcher, and machine guns, basically turning Rico into a mini-fighter jet. You can also take everything you acquire in the DLC into the main game of Just Cause 3, meaning that new wingsuit can be used to take out bases on land as well as the new Eden Airship over the western skies of Medici.

The Sky Fortress DLC is the first of three DLC packs for Just Cause 3, and will be available on consoles and PC sometime in March. It will be followed by the Land and Sea DLC featuring mech-suits and a heist on the high seas—completing the Air, Land, and Sea expansion pack for the game—by the end of the summer.

I had a chance to play the first couple hours of Far Cry Primal‘s campaign at a recent Ubisoft event. Here are two missions where I got to tame my first animal, and also took on one of Takkar’s rival tribes, the sun-worshipping Izila. Far Cry Primal will be available for Xbox One and PS4 on February 23, 2016, and PC on March 1, 2016.