Grand Kingdom

Grand Kingdom Box Art

Grand Kingdom is a tactical turn-based JRPG developed by studio MonoChro and published by NIS America in the US. The game is set in a medieval fantasy world where four major nations are battling for dominance. It offers an expansive single-player campaign as well as online war mode where players fight for one of the Four Great Nations. Cross-play, but not cross-save, is supported between PS4 and the Vita.

Grand Kingdom has been out in Japan since November 2015, and a number of paid DLC was released so far. The good news is that the Western release will include all this content free of charge. This brings the total number of character classes up to 17, and story chapters from 12 to 48, resulting in more than 40 hours of offline gameplay.

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Box Art

Infinite Warfare is the thirteenth main installment in the first-person shooter series Call of Duty. It is developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows.

The upcoming game is a lot more futuristic than its predecessors: it takes place in a distant future where humans have colonized the solar system, and centers around a conflict between Earth-based United Nations Space Alliance and the Settlement Defense Front, insurgents who seek to control the off-world outposts. Players will step into the shoes of Captain Reyes and take command of Retribution, a massive warship which serves as base-of-operations while journeying through the solar system.

New gameplay mechanics in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare include aerial warfare with a space-capable jet-fighter Jackal, and zero-gravity environments which require the use of grappling hooks and thrusters to navigate. In addition to the campaign, which promises “unforgettable characters and rich emotional arcs”, Infinite Warfare will offer several competitive multiplayer modes and a co-op Zombie mode with its own story. Despite the obvious sci-fi themes, the developers claim they’re going for a “realistic, plausible near-future story” (source).

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Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness Box Art

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is the fifth main installment in the Star Ocean action RPG franchise by tri-Ace. The sci-fi themed game features character designs by akiman (Akira Yasuda), notable for his work on Street Fighter and other successful series. It is published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 consoles in the West (only Japan gets a PS3 release).

Chronologically, the upcoming title takes place between the second and the third installments (Star Ocean: The Second Story and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time.) New features include seamless transitions into battles and events, and an increase to party size which can now have up to 7 characters. Familiar mechanics such as Private Actions or Item Creation will also be making a return, with some changes.

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Battlefield 1

Battlefield 1 Box Art

Battlefield 1 is a first-person shooter set in World War I. It is developed by EA DICE and runs on their proprietary Frostbite engine, which supports DX12. The game’s campaign is said to feature larger and more open environments, and offer more choice and variety to the players compared to the previous Battlefield installments. It includes a diverse set of locations, from Western front with its typical trench warfare, to Italian Alps and Arabian deserts.

The multiplayer aspect of Battlefield 1 is something fans of the franchise are especially looking forward to. Much like its predecessors, the upcoming game allows for up to 64 players on a server, and features a class system. There is a server browser, and an option for joining the matchmaking together as a five-player squad. Players can fight on foot and control vehicles used during WW1, such as tanks, bikes, biplanes, and battleships.

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Mafia III

Mafia III Box Art

Mafia III is an open-world action-adventure game developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K Games. It follows a new protagonist, Lincoln Clay, and takes place in 1968 New Bordeaux (a fictional version of New Orleans). After returning from the Vietnam War, Lincoln rejoins the black mob, only to have his comrades slaughtered by the Italian mafia. A sole survivor, he sets out to get revenge and build his own criminal empire.

Mafia III allows for different approaches to completing missions, such as going in with guns blazing, or using stealth. The game features a cover system, executions, and melee combat. Players can also roam the game’s world freely, and take over locations operated by the Italian mob.

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Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 Box Art

Gears of War 4 is a third-person shooter developed by Microsoft-owned The Coalition studio. The game takes place on the planet of Sera, 25 years after the Imulsion Countermeasure Weapon was used to great effect. The remainder of the population now lives in walled-of cities, excluding the Outsiders which raid the COG territories for resources. Gears of War 4 follows a new protagonist, JD Fenix (the son of Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud) who, alongside his comrades Delmont “Del” Walker and Kait Diaz, has to deal with a new threat to humanity.

The fourth main Gears of War installment features overhauled cover mechanics and several new weapons. There is a two-player co-op where the second player can select either Kait or Del and play online or via split-screen. The game also offers competitive multiplayer at 60 FPS (the campaign runs at 30) with dedicated severs and new modes.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens Box Art

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a LEGO-themed action-adventure game developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros for all major gaming platforms. While mostly based on the eponymous movie, it also includes content which covers the events between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

The gameplay is said to be similar to that of its predecessors, but LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens does include some new mechanics, such as space dogfights, Blaster Battles which use a cover system, and Multi-Builds where players can choose from multiple building options to solve puzzles and open up new paths.

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