Gaming

Days Gone is the open-world survival game that feels just right

A hands-on look into post-apocalyptic America

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There have been a ton of open-world games for the PlayStation 4. The appeal of exploring an entire game world, all while progressing through a storyline, has not gone away since the days of Grand Theft Auto. For 2019, Bend Studio has its own open-world game to offer, and has been in the works for almost four years.

Days Gone is an open-world game mixed with the elements of a zombie apocalypse due to a great pandemic. When you read that first sentence, you stop and think, “Doesn’t the PlayStation already have a game like this in The Last of Us?” This was my first thought when I got the chance to try Bend Studio’s four-year project. I came in with the expectation that this game, at the very least, should feel and be different.


This is America, after the pandemic

As soon as gameplay starts after the opening scene, my immediate question was, “Is this supposed to be post-apocalyptic America?” The scenery looked beautiful and breathtaking, for a portion of the country ravaged by flesh-eating creatures. Of course, that’s looking past all the decaying bodies, broken vehicles, and abandoned establishments.

There’s actually so much to explore, I’m glad they require you to use the main character’s motorcycle for the whole game. It actually serves as the only usable vehicle for the duration — at least based on my gameplay, and it’s fully customizable. Of course, vehicles are subject to natural wear and tear and loss of fuel, all of which can be fixed by pressing Circle on the engine or fuel tank. On another note, two years into the pandemic and they still have gasoline in gasoline stations?

You either fight or take flight

You play Deacon St. John, a bounty hunter who, at the start of the pandemic, left his wife Sarah in the hands of NERO. NERO is a scientific research lab dedicated to solve the Freaker pandemic. Two years later, Deacon becomes an outlaw with Boozer by his side, confronting a world ravaged by Freakers left and right.

The main premise of Days Gone is survival; you are placed in a world ravaged by creatures known as Freakers that come in many forms. As the main character, you will encounter these creatures (whether as former humans or animals) at any point of the day, along with human enemies from rival gangs/groups. For the most part, I had to scavenge abandoned houses and gas stations for spare parts and guns. That’s how scarce things were.

If there’s one aspect Bend Studio did nail down properly, it’s the horde of Freakers. Usually, when games introduce a horde of infected creatures, they do so in the 10s or 20s. In Days Gone, I experienced a full wave of fifty Freakers coming at me. And, given how scarce resources and ammunition were, it was basically fight or flight. I, unfortunately, chose to fight with just a knife (attack with R2) and fought through ten Freakers before losing all health.

Improving on your survival skills

As Deacon moves around and accomplishes certain tasks, he earns experience points from it. These points turn into skill points to be used on his Skill Tree (swiping down on the Touch Pad). Such skills include the ability to face Freaker hordes better, the ability to craft certain weapons and ammunition, and heightened Survival Vision (R3).

I really felt the need to upgrade some of his skills throughout the two hours of gameplay, such as better aim (L2) when targeting opponents. For the most part, aiming with scoped weapons was pretty hard to control even with the focus assist setting on — especially if you like going for headshots (which I was).

Did it meet expectations?

My challenge for Days Gone was to feel and be different; however, what I got was a game that only felt different. It’s pretty much the same kind of survival, open-world game as more popular titles like The Last of Us. But, you really feel the gravity of the situation you’re in, the realness of a world ravaged by a pandemic, and the need to survive in it.

Bend Studio did promise that Days Gone was going to be different, and I’d like to believe that. Will it be different enough to sell? For now, it’s a game worth trying. Days Gone will be available on the PlayStation 4 on April 26, 2019, at PhP 2,999 in the Philippines, SG$ 79.90 in Singapore, MYR 239 in Malaysia, and IDR 829,000 in Indonesia.

Apps

Apple Arcade provides access to over 100 exclusive games

Play wherever, whenever

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Apple is taking gaming way more seriously with the introduction of Apple Arcade, the company’s latest subscription service for video games available across its platforms.

In a nutshell, Apple Arcade lets you download and play any game on the service — whenever and wherever. It’s found in a new area with its own tab in the App Store and will offer over 100 exclusive games at launch.


Apple promises new titles launching all the time. Even cooler: They can be played seamlessly between an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and even a Mac computer.

Unlike most online subscriptions, every game is playable offline in case you have no mobile data or Wi-Fi to work with. And because you’re paying for the service, Apple guarantees that you’ll see no ads — something that’s plagued lots of other platforms.

Apple hasn’t revealed pricing details yet, but did confirm that Apple Arcade will come to more than 150 countries and regions in fall 2019.

We also don’t have a list of games yet, but we did see Sonic the Hedgehog prominently featured in the trailer. Check it out:

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Gaming

Nintendo plans to release two Switch models this 2019 — report

A pro and a lite version

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Nintendo Switch | Image credit: Pexels

If you plan to buy a Nintendo Switch, you might want to hold back for now. Talks about a cheaper and smaller Switch console have been around for more than a year, and it could finally happen. To make things more exciting, we might even have another Switch that’s better than the first one.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nintendo is planning on releasing two new models of the Switch, and both may be unveiled later this year.


The first model is the long-rumored cheaper option. It’s angled to be a successor to the aging 3DS. This makes sense since fans of the popular Nintendo hand-held device need an upgrade. Some also find the Switch to be bigger than they had hoped for, so this is something that might pique the interest of 3DS users.

In order for Nintendo to offer a cheaper Switch, they’ll have to cut features and WSJ cites that this includes the vibration motor in the Joy-Con controllers.

Those who have been asking for a more powerful Switch (like me) will be happy to know that the other new model is reported to “have enhanced features targeted at avid video gamers.” Although, it still won’t be as good as the PS4 or Xbox One X, graphics-wise.

Both new versions are expected to be announced sometime in June at E3 2019 with a possible sale a few months later. It’ll be available in the market in time for the holidays and the release of new games like Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Via: Kotaku

SEE ALSO: Nintendo reveals new Pokémon games for the Switch

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Gaming

You may not be able to play PUBG for more than 6 hours in a day

Still better than banning the game completely

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Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds mobile edition needs no introduction. It has been the most trending multiplayer game for the last year and the trend shows no sign of cooling down. The game has been a hit in countries like India and players are hooked on it for hours.

Though, the game has received intense scrutiny from authorities because of its addictive stance. There have been multiple reports of addiction death and authorities have been scrambling to ban the game. Parents are worried about their children not being able to concentrate on studies and educational institutes have reported lower attendance as well as poor academic performance.


To counter bans and indirectly help players avoid addiction, PUBG is testing a six-hour per day gameplay limit. According to SportsKeeda, the app is sending a health reminder to players after six hours of gameplay and asking them to take a break. The game also has an age verification request now, which asks players if they are over the age of 18.

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The new limit isn’t active for all users right now and is currently in a testing phase. While some users are reporting seeing the message after two to four hours of gaming, some are being locked out after six hours of usage. It seems only players in India are seeing this at the moment and other regions haven’t been affected.

This restriction comes after the game was banned in Gujarat and multiple arrests were made by the police. The Chinese government recently banned PUBG Mobile for players under the age of 13.

There is no official word from PUBG Mobile on this health reminder-based daily gameplay limit yet. The addition may irk some users, but it’s the first step towards ensuring the game isn’t outright banned.

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