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Xbox One at gamescom: creativity, the cloud and something about Titans

Friday, 23 August 2013 18:10 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s policies are set and now it’s time to focus on the games. VG247′s Dave Cook plays Titanfall, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and learns more about Project Spark to get a feel for Microsoft’s future.

I was going to start this article by re-capping Xbox One’s policy woes to show how the company has come from a sticky situation to having a strong suite of IP in a matter of months. Truth be told I’m bored of it now, and I want to just focus on the games in this piece, because that’s why most of you buy consoles in the end isn’t it?

So let’s just get stuck in shall we?

Titanfall

I’ve never personally witnessed one game impact a trade show so profusely as Titanfall. Every journalist and game I’ve spoken to has said that Respawn Entertainment’s shooter is ‘game of the show’.

Even as I type this there are eight-hour lines in the gamescom public area to get a two-round hands on session. I just walked past a queue of tired, agitated journalists waiting in line to play the game down in EA’s press centre. The Titanfall booth is plastered with more accolade stickers and rosettes than any other game. This game is going to be big.

It’s the best game I’ve played this week, and while you can read my full hands-on impressions and interview with Respawn Entertainment on VG247 next week I couldn’t leave you hanging. I played the game on PC, but it’s also coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360, but I think regardless of platform the core experience is going to impress whoever comes into contact with it.

Perhaps you’ve seen this Titanfall gamescom trailer? None of that footage is bullshit. Everything looks and plays like it does in the video, and that goes for how easy and slick the parkour is, to how fierce the Titan mechs are, right down to how visually accomplished the game looks on the surface.

I played a few rounds on the Angel City map seen in the trailer, and it’s one of the game’s smaller play-spaces. You can navigate the area’s many windows, ledges and rooftops at speed, and perform a wall-run simply by jumping into any surface at an angle, all without a single button press. Hoisting is also automatic, and double-jumping over gaps, while hip-firing down to the streets below, only to score a head shot is simply joyful.

It has the twitch gunplay of Call of Duty, combined with new teamwork aspects such as dropping plumes of magnetic smoke to conceal your allies, or working together to bring down mechs with your anti-Titan weapons. Speaking of which, every so often you can call in an order that sees your Titan hurtling into the map from orbit.

Hearing the words ‘Standby for Titanfall’ then seeing your ride slam into the concrete is genuinely thrilling, but it should be noted that jumping inside the mechs doesn’t make you invincible, as they’re easily defeated by ground troops. You can’t jump, move much slower and are a big target for the other team to hit. It makes sure the balancing doesn’t suffer, and that’s very important indeed.

Ejecting from your mech is also badass, but I’ll go into that in more detail next week. I’m going to stop now as there’s so much more to say and if I keep going I won’t have much of an article left, but I’m seriously excited about this game for the way it shakes up the twitch shooter template and makes it genuinely refreshing one more.

Besides I still have to talk about Dead Rising 3, which is actually really badass. So yes, I hope this was enough of a taster for now. Moving on…

Dead Rising 3

I can’t stand the old Dead Rising games. It was the pressures of the time system that put me off, and while you can activate the clock in Dead Rising 3, I think I’ll be giving them a miss. But this is also why this new game appeals to me so much. It’s the open world setting of Los Perdidos that does it for me, combined with Capcom Vancouver’s wish to see you fuck about in that setting as much as possible.

No really, I’ve just seen a member of the team – as car mechanic protagonist Nick Ramos – combine a Blanka mask from Street Fighter 4 then wear it, giving him the ability to perform the green freak’s crouching punch shock attack, frazzling all the undead around him. He then combined a motorcycle engine and boxing gloves to make a pair of Dragon Punch gauntlets. Ramos then starting punching his way through the horde while screaming “Shoryuken.”

If you were ever concerned that this game has killed off the silly-gene within Dead Rising’s DNA, then don’t be. Seriously, it’s fine and very, very silly. Not convinced, then how about “Jazz Hands”, which are basically big metal gloves with guns for each individual finger? What about combining a chunk of ham and a bottle of whiskey to make a “Spitfire” cocktail? Ramos can then drink it to let him breathe fire.

Combining things is a big part of Dead Rising 3′s fun factor, and you no longer have to be at a crafting bench to tack components together. There are safe zones however, and from there you can re-equip anything you’ve made or found, as well as enlisting rescued survivors to fight alongside you. If you can’t be arsed going back to these areas to get backup, simply use the SmartGlass app to call them to your side.

Speaking of which, the SmartGlass app also doubles as a phone, so you will actually receive calls from quest givers and listen to their chatter through your mobile as if it were a real call. You also have a real-time map, the ability to drop flares from above the city to distract the horde and of course, lay down artillery strikes.

We were told that today’s build was just “weeks old” but it’s already looking fun with an insane number of zombies on-screen at any one time. The frame-rate stuttered often, but we were assured that newer builds have addressed the problem. Either way, it’s a superb technical achievement. The freedom to mess shit up and have a blast without that damn clock has me very keen indeed.

Project Spark

This is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen all week. No really, it’s a very powerful game-making tool for people without the ability to code, and that kind of empowerment should always be applauded. During our session we saw one developer make a level using the game’s simple terrain editor, then dress it up with detailed biome brushes that dropped grass, trees, flowers and much more into the world. Suddenly, that grey, empty space was now a tangible forest world.

The dev then dropped in streams, hills and even an quest-giving NPC. Here’s the point where my mind just blew up inside my skull. Everything in Project Spark can be given a “Brain”, and this determines its logic and reactivity to you, the player. So you can change the demeanour of say, an enemy troll so that it attack you on sight, or shuffles towards you slowly like a zombie. It can be fierce, passive, easily defeated, small, tall, powerful, weak, sad, angry or whatever you want

But when that troll is an NPC you can literally act out how it moves and what it says when you interact with it. We saw the coder moving his arms, dancing a jig and talking gibberish in the room using Kinect’s motion and microphone features. On the screen, his NPC copied him in real-time. Once saved, he dived into the game, approached the troll and it played the recorded motion and dialogue back to him verbatim.

It was insane just how quickly the team were able to make levels that looked better than the output of some studios. The scope is simply unreal. We saw an attempt to re-create Playdead’s Limbo that looked very close to the actual thing. There were turn-based RPGs, top down god sims, air combat battles, puzzle games, a fully-functioning piano and more.

If Project Spark proves popular enough, it could really shake up the games industry, inspire a lot of young minds to become game developers and help forge the next generation of new game creators. It’s genuinely impressive and places so much freedom and creative into the hands of gamers like you or I. This is one to watch for sure.

Forza Motorsport 5

Finally, Turn 10′s Dan Greenawalt talked us through the studio’s aims with Forza 5, and he stated that it was the studio’s most ambitious title to date. I’m inclined to believe him. After all, he commissioned a testing lab that works on ballistic missiles to help the studio test many tire types in order to get the game’s wheel physics feeling as realistic as possible. Greenawalt’s very passionate about cars, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But he’s also a humble chap, and always very aware of what car fans want out of their racing games. For example, he said he felt embarrassed by the fact that very few gamers who pick up racing games actually finish them. He said that while most racers start with slow cars on smaller tracks, and build up to longer, brutal races on long tracks, he doesn’t want Forza 5 to place those restrictions on players any longer.

In career, there are now many event types to choose from that each give you sweet cars from the word go, but if you want to go slower or smaller, you can do so from there. You don’t have to put up with plodding races around easier circuits before you get to the good stuff. It’s all there for you to enjoy in any order you like.

Each of these championships are introduced by the Top Gear team and focus on disciplines like “Rally Sport”, or “Modern Sports” cars. There are 42 of these championships, and because they demand certain car types to enter, Greenawalt confirmed you’ll need about 36 different cars to finish them all, as you can do about two championships with any one car.

The cars themselves aren’t perfect any more. There are paint imperfections visible in Auto Vista mode – which now applies to every single vehicle in the game – and this desire to remove away from pristine, sterile and unrealistic levels of perfection in racing extends to tracks. The team laser-tracked the entirety of Belgium track Spa, so that every crack in the asphalt, every weed growing over the apex and every chipped wall around the track is as accurate as can be.

I wrote some hands-on impressions of Forza 5 here if you want to know more about how it controls, but from a visual perspective the game simply looks stunning at 60 FPS, with dynamic lighting and incredible cockpit view fidelity that should give rise to new levels of immersion. Add to this the game’s Drivatar AI system – which does appear to shake up the way opponents race from what we’ve seen – and you’re looking at a big, absorbing racing experience for fans of the genre.

Xbox One may have had a bumpy ride on the way to Cologne this week, but now that the console’s policies are now set, Microsoft can focus on the games, and so far what I’ve seen is strong. The question is, can the software at hand convince naysayers to look past Microsoft’s gaffes and consider buying the console at launch?

Tell us what you think below.

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11 Comments

  1. Stephany Nunneley

    For some reason the “allow comments” box on this article wasn’t ticked. We usually never check for this because it’s selected by default in the CMS.

    Anyway, I’ve fixed the matter. Go nuts; post something.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. redwood

    TITANFLOP!!!!:D just kidding :P i just had this in my mind every time i read it’s name, just like shadowflop!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. PS4FANB0Y

    Lot’s of good games…

    Forza 5 > Any Racing game

    #3 2 years ago
  4. SlayerGT

    @3 Why?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. PS4FANB0Y

    @4 – Graphics (best I’ve seen), physics (best I’ve seen) and AutoVista is a car fan’s Toy Store.

    Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on Gran Turismo. But unfortunately GT6 is a PS3 game and not PS4 game… so comparing a PS3 game to a Xbox One game is a little tough.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. redwood

    @5 there IS grid 2 running on a high-end PC!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. PS4FANB0Y

    @6 – “Best I’ve seen”… never saw Grid 2 running on a high-end PC.

    But I know PC > Console in graphics.

    Forza 5 > Any CONSOLE Racing Game ;)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. redwood

    @7 http://cdn.styleforum.net/1/1e/1e94947a_Robert-De-Niro.jpeg

    #8 2 years ago
  9. bpd

    Some really good games here. On launch I’m most excited to try Dead Rising 3. Not much of an FPS person, so ill probably hold off on Titanfall. I love the Forza series, great graphics and gameplay, and awesome car customization, but I’ll probably hold off on that till I play some more of Forza Horizon. BUT the game I am MOST excited for from either console is definitely Project Spark. With the videos I’ve seen, I believe people will create amazing games and stories with that software. I know it’s also on win8, but I’m especially looking forward to the kinect and smart glass integration of X1.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. thesnowman

    Not a big multi shooter fan, but Titanfall does look good. Personally looking forward to Dead Rising 3 and Project Spark.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. European

    MS announcing multiplatform games hahaha

    losers xbot and PC beggars

    #11 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    During yesterday’s Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct showcase, many details pertaining to the Monolith Soft title were announced, and quite a bit of gameplay was shown. The Wii U-exclusive contains real-time menu-based combat and four-player online questing along with diverse environments and the ability to use Skells, which are transforming mechs. These mechs are called […]

  • Here’s a look at The Elder Scrolls Online running on Xbox One

    The Elder Scrolls Online has a limited public beta test running this weekend on PS4 and Xbox One, and Eurogamer has been playing around in it. Have a look at the Khajiit sorcerer below in the Xbox One version. There isn’t an NDA in place for the beta, so expect to see more videos as […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 leaks reveal Zombie progression system, four-player co-op, more

    More Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 details surfaced overnight thanks to a leaked pamphlet with information pertaining to Zombies XP progression, four-player co-op and more. Posted on NeoGAF, the pamphlet the shooter will contain a new movement system, a Specialist character system for multiplayer, tailored maps, “cinematic arena-style play,” and complete character customization. The […]

  • Gears of War Remaster in the works for Xbox One, according to testers – report

    Overnight, a rumor surfaced claiming a remastered version of the original Gears of War was coming to Xbox One. According to playtesters, it isn’t a rumor at all. Polygon first broke the story, citing a source who showed the site sreencaps of the Locust invasion with updated visuals. Screenshots of the multiplayer showing improved lighting […]

  • GameStop promo outs Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for November, pre-order for access to beta

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will be released in November, according to what appears to be a leaked GameStop store promo posted on Kotaku. The exact date is November 6, which isn’t a surprise to anyone. On the promo, it notes that those who pre-order will be granted beta access for PC, PlayStation 4 […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Double XP and Elite Bonus weekend has kicked off

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players can earn Double XP along with Elite Bonus on all platforms. There is even Double XP and Double Weapon XP on offer for Black Ops 2. The dry run is over. Prep for the Sunday reveal of #BlackOps3 begins now. 2XP/2XweapXP is live. pic.twitter.com/rn6SVtVJbY — Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) April […]

  • Atlus makes “minor edits” to Dungeon Travelers 2 in order to avoid AO rating

    Atlus has announced it has made “minor edits” to four in-game images contained in Dungeon Travelers 2 to avoid an AO rating by the ESRB. According to a press release from the company, localization sometimes require changes to content in order for it to be “understood en masse,” which is why it worked closely with […]

  • Battlefield Hardline is 40% off through Origin this weekend

    The standard edition of Battlefield Hardline on PC is 40% off this weekend through EA’s Origin service. The Digital Deluxe Edition is also 40% off and includes various Battlepacks unavailable in the standard version. You can also pick up the Battlefield Hardline Ultimate edition for 23% off, which comes with all four planned expansions through […]

  • Submerged is an exploration-adventure game coming to multiple platforms

    Submerged is the latest title in development from Uppercut Games, and the exploration-adventure game is coming to PlayStation 4 and other platforms this year. The game takes place in a flooded city which Miku and her wounded brother Taku have reached by boat. Miku needs to find a safe place for her brother to rest […]

  • These screenshots for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt show superb attention to detail

    Some gorgeous new screenshots for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced, and a couple are wallpaper worthy. Especially the one with the horse, but as you’re well aware, I’m horse crazed. The images below in the gallery have been scaled to fit properly, but if you head over to NeoGAF you can bask in […]

  • Namco kicks off Humble Store partnership with Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin

    Namco Bandai has started offering its PC titles on Humble Store, and this includes the recently released Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. Other titles include Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and Project Cars. “In Japan, the Bandai Namco Group companies are known for supporting different charity programs and we are very happy to be […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 Bonus codes to give away

    Already have a World of Tanks account? We’ve got 2,000 codes for players to top up their Gold and Premium days. This weekend sees the World of Tanks Grand Finals take place in Poland, and we’ve got a bunch of game codes to give away to celebrate. Each Bonus PC code offers 150 Gold and […]

  • Mad Max contains Top Dog camps with boss fights

    Mad Max will have bases which vary in difficulty, some of which are considered a “finale” for a particular region and feature a boss fight. Speaking in the latest issue of GamesMaster via GamesRadar, the game’s producer John Fuller said this allows players to tailor their experience by deciding how much of a challenge they […]

  • Just Cause 3 gameplay trailer reveal coming next week

    Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 28, because you won’t want to miss the gameplay reveal of Just Cause 3. Avalanche tweeted the date along with a teaser, as seen below. The box art has also made an appearance. Keep an eye on the game’s YouTube page, and we’ll be sure to post the video […]

  • First paid Skyrim Steam Workshop mod has been pulled

    Valve’s new incentive which allows modders to charge for their creations hasn’t been live for 24 hours yet, and already, one mod has been pulled. The mod in question was Chesko’s Fishing Mod for Skyrim, which the creator pulled after a community member questioned whether Chesko had permission from the creator of the character-idle animations […]

  • Resident Evil HD Remaster has sold over one million copies worldwide

    The HD remaster of Resident Evil has sold over one million copies worldwide since its January 20 release, Capcom has announced. The company attributed the sales milestone to producing a “great product” along with excellent word of mouth and praise from fans. In February, Capcom said Resident Evil HD Remaster was its fastest-selling digital title […]

  • The Crew: the Raid Car Pack and Raid Live Update now available for download

    The Crew players can now download the Raid Car Pack which is the last of four themes car packs. The Raid Live Update is also available, and it contains six new tuning specs. The car pack contains three new cars: the 2012 Cadillac Escalade, the off-road 2011 Volkswagen Touareg NF and the McLaren F1 supercar. […]

  • Geralt is very professional in the latest Witcher 3: Wild Hunt TV spot

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new TV spot that’s short and to the point. The latest Witcher 3 trailer comes in the form of TV spot. It’s all CGI, and it looks good. If you’re more into gameplay trailers, the latest one will serve you well. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out […]

  • Steam roguelike sale is live, offers deep discounts on a stellar collection of titles

    If you’re into challenging, procedurally-generated, and infinitely-replayable games, Steam’s current sale will hook you up. Steam is hosting a sale on roguelike games. Plenty of titles in the genre are on sale for upwards of 75% off. Highlights include Risk of Rain at 75% off, Don’t Starve at 66% off, Spelunky at 75% off, FTL: […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 finally gets online co-op in Raid Mode on Xbox One

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been patched to support online play in Raid Mode on Xbox One. The Xbox One version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 lacked online support in Raid Mode for a long time. Until today. A new patch has been released to bring that version in line with the rest of them. […]

  • A section in Killing Floor 2′s EULA about cyberbullying is riling up some fans

    Killing Floor 2 has recently got into a bit of trouble with some fans due to a clause in its EULA that gives the developer the right to revoke a user’s license without prior notice. The Killing Floor 2 EULA – just like many others found in modern games, has a section dedicated to cheating […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 free tanks and in-game cash to giveaway

    To celebrate the World of Tanks grand finals this weekend we’ve got some great freebies to give away to new players. We have 2,000 PC invite codes to giveaway, with each one offering new accounts a T2 Light Tank, 100 Gold and 1 Days Premium worth around €8.00. All you need to do is enter […]

  • Marvel announces partnership with Telltale, first game due in 2017

    Marvel and Telltale have entered into a partnership that will allow the developer to work on a new game series, due in 2017. Telltale has announced that it has partnered with Marvel Games, Marvel Entertainment’s video games division, for the development of a new game series. No indication was given as to what the new […]

  • Destiny: Bungie is not saying no to a player trading system

    Bungie has not completely ruled out the idea of bringing a trading system to Destiny. Destiny does not offer any way for players to trade items amongst themselves. But ever since the game’s release, players have never stopped asking Bungie to add one in. While the developer does not have a satisfying answer, it’s still […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 24, 25 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    The weekend Exotics market run by Xur: Agent of the Nine is now open for business. Destiny’s bizarre vendor, Xur, has arrived at the Tower. Xur is your man if you’re looking for Exotic armour or weapons. Not only that, but he will also let you exchange your old Exotic gear for new, upgraded versions. […]

  • Warcraft movie delayed yet again

    The Warcraft movie will no longer hit theatres in March 2016. The release date of the Warcraft movie has been pushed back by three months. The movie was expected in March 2016, but Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that it is now due on June 10, 2016. No reason was given for the delay. This is […]

  • Destiny: Iron Banner returns on April 28

    Destiny’s Iron Banner PvP event will return this Tuesday. Bungie has announced that the Iron Banner, it’s once-every-few-weeks PvP event, will make a return with next week’s weekly reset. It was initially due this week, but because of the recent Crucible changes that were implemented with patch 1.1.2, Bungie wanted to wait and see. That […]

  • Deus Ex devs take the piss out of Black Ops 3

    Deus Ex developers have been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of Call of Duty’s official Twitter account. You would be forgiven to think that yesterday’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 ‘Ember’ teaser was part of an ad campaign for a Deus Ex game, with all the biohacking, wearable tech, augmentation, […]

  • Bungie weekly update: Commendations begone

    Destiny’s weekly update is here to determine the fate of all those Commendations you’ve been earning in the past few months. Bungie started off this week’s update with a recap of the details revealed during the recent livestream. There wasn’t really anything on this front that they haven’t talked about already. With the exception of […]

  • This GTA 5 trainer lets you play as almost anything and it’s the best thing ever

    Want to play GTA 5 as a monkey, a cat, a fish, a deer or some other non-human thing that we eat or keep as a pet? ScriptHook has you covered. Not only can you play as critters, it change other game values, according to an explanation from PC Gamer. These values include making changes […]

  • EA Sports moves Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR release date to July

    EA Sports has announced Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR will be released in July. Originally announced for June, the golf game will now release the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews, on July 14. EA also provided some more color on gameplay features such as the ability to customize the game by borrowing […]

  • Jason Voorhees joins Mortal Kombat X in May, Kombat Pack owners get first dibs

    Jason Voorhees will arrive for Mortal Kombat X players in May, NetherRealm Studios announced today during the latest Kombat Kast. Jason will be shown for the first time on Monday, May 4 during a special Kombat Kast. According to EventHub which watched the livestream, the developer will also show off the character’s move and Variations. […]

  • The Witcher 3: Nvidia heads to Poland for a behind-the-scenes look – video

    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]