Path of Exile: The Awakening Hands-On Preview

Two months ago Grinding Gear Games announced the upcoming major expansion to their online action RPG, Path of Exile. While the game has had two expansions since release in October 2013 (Sacrifice of the Vaal and Forsaken Masters), The Awakening is a significantly larger endeavor. New story act with new assets to match, new skills and items, the addition of gems and sockets to their passive skill tree, as well as changes to UI and game balance. Because of the scale of these changes compared to previous expansions, GGG has been running a Closed Beta for Awakening since late April.

ZAM was provided with a beta key for coverage, so over the last month I’ve been playing through the new content. After a few wipes and your typical beta crash bugs, I’ve finally cleared what’s available in Act IV and can give my impressions.

E3 2015: Strike Vector EX Coming to Console

If you know my play style, you're probably aware that I'm a huge proponent of the keyboard and mouse setup for some genres of games. Playing an FPS with two joysticks will probably lead me to throwing the joysticks across the room and searching for a better control setup. Well, believe it or not, the control style for Strike Vector EX is one I actually favor. Rather than feel like I was controlling a wild horse with lasers and rocket launchers as the PC version felt at times, running with sticks and triggers felt much more natural.

You might be familiar with the hover mode in the PC version—with the advent of the controller, hover mode is the state every ship is in when they're not firing boosters. However, ships can't simply stop on a dime entering hover mode: they "skid" mid-air to stop. As far as customization goes with the controller, controls can be customized but not entirely. In addition to the "controller mapping," dual-wielding weapons has been pulled from the game, so we'll no longer see plasma cannons with homing rockets.

E3 Hands-on: Torchlight Mobile

Torchlight Mobile, currently in development by Perfect World Entertainment, is expected to hit iOS and Android devices later this year. An ARPG featuring online play and its own vivid, unique art style, the game looks promising enough to snare in lovers of the genre.

We had the chance to go hands-on with an early build of the game at E3 and speak to Perfect World about it.

Armored Warfare - Early Access Preview


I'll be honest: Vehicular warfare games have never really been my cup of tea. So it follows that I wasn't expecting to have that great of a time with it. Boy, was I wrong.

Armored Warfare feels like the combat systems from War Thunder and World of Tanks had a baby. I say that in the best possible way. World of Tanks is home to a slower playstyle due to how the reticle aim works, while on the other hand War Thunder has much faster pacing and target acquisition is much quicker. Armored Warfare hits the sweet-spot right in the middle. Tank movement feels nimble, yet there still is that "weight" you expect from operating a box of steel death. Swinging your turret around toward the enemy feels great. The pacing of the rotation feels balanced between arcade and simulation; not too fast, not too slow. On the most-basic level, Obsidian has found a great balance between fun-to-play and believable simulation.

Hands-on with TERA's New Gunner Class

TERA will be getting both a new class and a Steam launch next week. On May 5th, the Gunner—a fast-paced, ranged DPS—will be added to the game. The class will introduce a variety of skills and flavor, including special abilities that use Willpower.

We went hands-on with the Gunner class last week, accompanied by TERA Producer Patrick "Treeshark" Sun.

Dungeons 2: Evil Gets a Review

Realmforge Studios' Dungeons 2 will be releasing on Steam tomorrow, April 24th. We took an early look at the game last month and returned to give its campaign a new look, as well as dipping into the skirmish and multiplayer features.

The campaign mode has been optimized since our earlier playthrough, taking care of the extra polish we were concerned that the game needed. Once you pass the tutorial mission, the in-dungeon gameplay is quite similar to the Dungeon Keeper series. You play as the Ultimate Evil's hand, build your dungeon, gather creatures, mine gold and thwart attacks on your dungeon.

PlanetSide 2: PlayStation 4 Beta Impressions

Ladies and gentlemen, I come before you an honest individual prefacing this examination for the closed beta of PlanetSide 2 on the PlayStation 4: I'm biased. Years of playing different games on a range of consoles have led me to prefer a particular setup when I run first-person shooters. I'm not going to touch PC/console wars by any stretch, but I'll admit when I play on console, genre of preference is definitely not first-person shooter.

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon Review

Dragon Age: Inquisition's first single-player DLC, Jaws of Hakkon, was released a few weeks ago, introducing a new region and storyline to the game. The new area, Frostback Basin, both beautiful and challenging, is recommended for level 20+ characters and can be reached before or after the completion of the main story. Avvar—friendly and not—are the primary inhabitants of the region and are whom most of the quests end up involving.

In the DLC you'll embark on a new main story adventure to discover what exactly happened to the last Inquisitior, Ameridan, who had disappeared 800 years before you took the post. Numerous side-quests will involve gaining the trust of the friendly Avvar at Stone-Bear Hold, pushing back the threat from the unfriendly Avvar calling themselves the Jaws of Hakkon, and furthering the inquisition's discovery and foothold in the region.

Skyforge: First Impressions

Earlier this year My.com, the Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment announced that Skyforge, their upcoming sci-fi MMORPG, was getting ready to start closed beta testing on March 11th. At the time I hadn’t been following the game, so I was going into it blind. All I knew was that it was sci-fi and there was a guy with a giant gatling gun that transforms into a flamethrower. Since I’m a sucker for anything with a flamethrower (see also Bounty Hunters in Star Wars: The Old Republic), I was interested enough to pay for one of the Founders Packs and get into the closed beta. That was almost a month ago and we’re currently wrapping up the last week of CBT2 testing after a week of downtime following CBT1. So what are my thoughts on the game?

Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries Impressions

Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries is a platformer that came out March 17th on Steam. Woolfe is a reimagining of the fairy tale story with a dark twist. In the game, Red wields an axe that she uses to fight against the forces of B.B. Woolfe to take vengeance against him for his role in her father’s death.