Microsoft's biggest hurdle with Crackdown 3 isn't its rumored troubled development cycle, it's that Agents of Mayhem exists and is coming out first. Both share a similar premise: You're a superpowered human given free reign over a cartoony open world. There are plenty of physics-based shenanigans that result from shooting harpoon rifles at snipers and black hole guns at gang members in both, and each has a familiar structure of taking out a crime syndicate from the bottom up. The difference lies in the execution: There are a lot of cooks working on Crackdown 3 -- some brand new to the franchise -- while Mayhem's team is a group of seasoned open-world veterans. Crackdown 3 is being developed by two studios.
On Thursday, games publisher Square Enix announced it had signed a multi-game partnership with Marvel to produce a series of Avengers titles. Two studios, Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider) and Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex) will be working on the project, so we can perhaps expect big, open world action adventures with a smattering of role-playing depth. So what legacy will this tie-in have to contend with? Is there a glorious history of super hero games? Here are our top twelve, please add your own in the comments section.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is a difficult, treacherous game. Even if you think you're an expert at From Software's action titles, this one is designed to challenge, confound, and fool you. In other words, it's the kind of game that requires players to trade pro tips, to outsmart all the obstacles built into the game. Below are some tips that haven't surfaced very much elsewhere online. Follow these invaluable guidelines and you'll be a master shinobi in no time.
Nioh may not be the Samurai game we deserve, but it's the Samurai game we needed. We just didn't know how badly until now. Team Ninja is back in fighting shape with its latest release, which blends the combat and gameplay of the Ninja Gaiden series with the modern sensibilities of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. As derivative as this all sounds, somehow Nioh still shines, tinkering masterfully with its inspirations. It may owe credit to games like Dark Souls, but Nioh is its own beast entirely.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice doesn't represent a seachange from the formula that Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki has been refining over the past decade, but it does take that blueprint in a welcome new direction. At Gamescom, I spent an hour or so wayfinding, tackling ever-more-threatening foes and dying, repeatedly. But the switch from a European Gothic aesthetic to Sengoku-era Japan is more than a palette swap. In many ways Sekiro feels like the game Miyazaki wanted to make with Bloodborne. While Bloodborne definitely deviated from its predecessors -- most notably with fast-paced combat centered on dodging foes and canceling attacks with gun parries -- it mostly shared the Souls DNA: Distinct classes, upgrading your character with currency obtained by killing enemies and slowly exploring and unlocking a labyrinthine map.