Time is the most valuable resource in Age of Darkness: Final Stand. RTS magic means the quarries will never run short of iron and stone, and the trees will always have more wood to harvest. But replacing every soldier killed during a careless expansion push means wasting precious seconds that could've been spent reinforcing my defenses for the next Death Night.
Like They Are Billions and other defensive strategy games, Age of Darkness only gives you so much time to prepare before thousands of undead Nightmares come crashing against your walls. Here you're tasked with defending what remains of civilization by building up a stronghold to withstand the Death Nights—floods of undead sent against you every few day/night cycles. Also, there's a deadly fog, which the Steam page references so many times I feel like someone will be insulted if I don't mention it. Fog: deadly. That'll be on the final exam.
A freshly started game in survival mode will look familiar to anyone with RTS experience. You have your central keep, a champion unit and a handful of basic troops, and some nearby resources to begin harvesting. But pretty quickly, Age of Darkness begins diverging from the classic formulas.
The world surrounding your base is more threatening than in other RTS games. Packs of Nightmares are a constant presence across the map, and they can gnaw through your units if you're not paying close attention. Resources aren't abundant, and they're constrained by tight supply and population caps. As a result, your expansion must be cautious and considered, which really fits the mood of desperate survival in humanity's last bastion. Overextension or miscalculation usually means death by way of wasted time and resources.
The scope of strategy is focused. Expansion is checked by tight resources, time constraints, limited safe space—and you won't even know which direction the next Death Night will spill from until the morning before it descends. You're desperate survivors; you don't have the means to build a sprawling mazework. Instead, in the four minutes an in-game day lasts, you're identifying the single chokepoint with the best odds of weathering the storm, and cramming it with as many walls, ballista towers, and freshly trained troops as time will allow. If you're lucky, your defenses will hold until you've put all the oncoming Nightmares through the meat grinder, whether it takes hundreds or thousands.
You won't always be lucky.
Thanks to the roguelike flavoring, though, death doesn't really feel like failure. It's just the inevitable end of another run. When I fail to survive a Death Night, I'm excited to jump back in and put what I'd learned from my last attempt to use, whether it was strategic knowledge like when to prioritize certain resources, or mechanical knowledge like realizing I could build within a scouting unit's line of sight to establish a defensive foothold.
Randomized elements keep the tactics from becoming too flow-charted. Malices provide the Nightmares with a different bonus during every Death Night, and you're rewarded with a choice from a random set of Blessings each assault you beat. You might survive a night in which the undead have a chance to convert your slain soldiers, and earn a chance to recruit an extra troop whenever you train a unit at your barracks.
While they're a satisfying challenge to crack, the Death Nights are visually a little lackluster, even with the “SwarmTech” that claims to allow tens of thousands of AI units on-screen at once. Maybe that's true, but that deadly fog™ (which is one of the best-looking parts of the game, actually) obscures most of those units, except ones that shuffle to the front to smack at your walls. The rest just kind of wait their turn, patiently milling around while your archers pepper them with arrows.
Despite being built around defense, Age of Darkness inspires a proactive style of play I found really refreshing. I'm the type of RTS player who naturally turtles up behind a barricade of photon cannons, slowly accumulating resources until I can release a glob of teched-up, high-end units to steamroll an enemy settlement without much micromanagement. But it was clear before my first Death Night that those instincts were a death sentence. I enjoyed the challenge of striking out on excursions without screwing up my whole run.
While there's currently only the singleplayer survival mode, the Age of Darkness Early Access roadmap lists an eventual multiplayer mode and story campaign, as well as new heroes, units, and buildings. As it stands, Age of Darkness shows a lot of promise.
The latest trailer for Gotham Knights premiered at this weekend's DC FanDome event. It's purely a story trailer, focused on the mysterious Court of Owls who seem set to be its main villains. The Penguin drops some hints about this spooky conspiracy and then in a montage the four members of the Bat-family we'll be playing in Gotham Knights—Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and the Red Hood—fall into their clutches one by one.
Introduced in a popular 2011 comic book storyline, the Court of Owls are the secret rulers of Gotham City, wealthy elites in Venetian masks styled to resemble owls. As the trailer shows, they're not just an Eyes Wide Shut club for gazillionaires, but also have well-armed assassins (called Talons in the comics) at their disposal.
Gotham Knights is being developed by WB Games Montreal—responsible for Arkham Origins and bits of Arkham Knight—and though the plot kind of resembles where you'd expect the Arkham series to go after Arkham Knight, it's not actually set in the same version of the DC universe. This is a completely different continuity. Gotham Knights is due out in 2022, and recently got a Steam page.
DC FanDome has finally arrived and gave us a look at some of the most anticipated films, TV shows, video games, and comic books from the DC universe. Some of the big highlights were new trailers for The Batman, The Flash, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Gotham Knights, Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Peacemaker, and Aquaman and Lost Kingdom.
If you think that's a lot, you are in for a treat as there is so much more to see and learn about. To help ensure you don't miss a thing, we've gathered all the biggest and best news stories and trailers from DC FanDome 2021 below. Enjoy!
DC League of Super-Pets got a new preview trailer and gave a glimpse at the upcoming animated film starring some super-powered pets. This film stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, and more.
Sweet Tooth: Official Fan Q&A with Christian Convery
Sweet Tooth’s Christian Convery stopped by DC FanDome to answer fan questions about his deer-boy hybrid character Gus, shooting in New Zealand, his favorite DC heroes, and more.
Naomi: Official Season 1 Trailer
Ava DuVernay and Jill Blankenship’s Naomi received a teaser trailer for its first season at DC FanDome 2021 and gave fans a glimpse of the story that will see Kaci Walfall’s Naomi journeying to the heights of the Multiverse in search for answers.
DMZ: New Images and Details Revealed for HBO Max's DC Comics Adaptation
Long ago, when we still huddled around the campfire in fear of screeching dot-matrix printers as they stalked the plains, walkthroughs used to be .txt files with ASCII art. Sometimes they had FAQs at the end suggesting a long and arcane history of beefs between competing writers. It was a different time. Now, you're more likely to find a professionally written guide or an expansive wiki. Either that or have to scrub back and forth through a YouTube video with the sound turned down so you don't have to listen to someone talk.
Natalie Clayton: I s'pose I occasionally look up guides for loose quests or items, but the last time I went full “15 walkthrough tabs open” mode was in replaying Halo 3: ODST last year. I made it about halfway through collecting that game's audio logs before realising I had no clue where to begin to find the rest—and with those logs telling a pretty solid little noir narrative, I wanted to see it through to completion. Cue me copying walkthrough maps into MS paint, checking off locations that I knew (or was fairly sure) I'd visited as my poor soldier stalked through rain-soaked Mombasa streets. I'm glad I did it, mind. That short story ties very nicely back into the main plot, and ODST's jazz-infused midnight streets are a joy to inhabit.
Katie Wickens: Most of the time I don't tend to bother with guides, especially as I've never been one for hundred-percenting. I tend to wander blindly, taking things as they're thrown at me and enjoying whatever surprises are in store… until I inevitably reach an impasse.
I think earlier this year I checked a walkthrough for The Forest, simply because fumbling around in that disturbing, labyrinthine underground tunnel network chased by cannibals is not an option—get me outta there as fast as possible, please.
Evan Lahti: Spelunky 2 is dense with oblique secrets. For me, it's the sort of game that you don't want to wiki your way to victory because the experience of discovering a hidden door on your own or through word of mouth is so much richer when it happens organically. But at some point, you've run your hands across every wall, thrown a bomb at every block, and you need to just crack that book of secrets. Last week I finally looked up how to get the Alien Compass so I could finally reach The Mothership after 150 hours. Looking this up allowed me to finally unlock Pilot, one of two characters I hadn't rescued.
Christopher Livingston: I use guides and walkthroughs pretty regularly—I've certainly checked them a lot for New World to learn where various resources are found and where fishing hotspots are located. When returning to a game after an absence I look things up to remember how they work, as I did when I started playing No Man's Sky again after the last update. And I used our own Far Cry 6 guide to find a rocket launcher because Castillo's helicopters were raining on my parade.
The last time I used a proper detailed walkthrough was playing the new version of Myst last month—which is still the same old Myst, really, so those ancient walkthroughs written almost 30 years ago still work for those puzzles I could neither remember nor figure out myself. I even used a walkthrough when playing Sam & Max Hit the Road a few months ago. I've played that so many times I remember the location of just about every single item and the solution to every puzzle, but this time I couldn't remember where to find a cork. It was in a wine bottle at the Sasquatch party. Of course.
Lauren Aitken: Today. I had to look up my own guide because my lizard brain forgot what I was doing in Destiny 2. I'm a professional.
Phil Savage: It's impossible to seriously play Destiny 2 without at some point referring to a guide. Sometimes that's fundamental, basic information, like where the hell is Xur—a roving vendor that for whatever reason isn't marked on the map. Sometimes it's more intriguing, like the obscure rituals that need to be performed in order to launch the most obscure exotic quests. Sometimes it's more in-depth, like the recommended gear for the game's most difficult PvP and PvE activities. And sometimes it's just depressing, like the list of activities you need to finish before they get 'sunset'—aka, deleted out of the game—with the launch of the next expansion.
Robin Valentine: I check guides all the time. I'm a very indecisive person in games, and I'm often worried about making the wrong choices, so I'm often looking more for advice than pure info. I think most recently I was reading up on where I should be spending my Infusion points in Deathloop—whether it was better to infuse rare guns, trinkets, weapon upgrades, or something else.
I am also just deeply impatient. I rarely like bashing my head against a puzzle or a hidden secret for too long. The treasures in Assassin's Creed Valhalla, for example, that give you little hints or drawings to interpret. After about five minutes of pondering, if I haven't gotten the answer straight away, I'm off to Google to figure it out for me.
Dave James: The last guide I checked was actually for FIFA 22. Not because I've forgotten how the offside rule works, or need a reminder just how much of my own real money I should be spending on FUT (the answer, of course, is none; screw that mode), but because after all the noise about how realistic the latest version is, or how good the new goalkeepers are, it played… dull. Thankfully there are discrete sliders you can tweak to your heart's content in order to make for a more realistic experience. So I just went looking for a guide that helped provide me a real challenge, without being utterly impossible.
Alan Dexter: It probably says something about the kinds of games I play, or maybe just me, but I generally have a guide open alongside whatever is on my main screen. At the moment that'll be something related to New World—where to find a particular resource, what's the best way of levelling Armorsmithing, which dungeons I should be hitting next, what are the best builds for the Life Staff, etc. As someone that has sunk a lot of hours into WoW and Magic: The Gathering, I've just got used to this way of playing. There's no point reinventing the wheel every time. Draw on the experience of others and save time while I'm at it.
Harry Shepherd: I'm PCG's Guides Editor, so I already know everything there is to know.
ZedClampet: It's been too long for me to remember exactly. I sort of decided that if I had to use a walkthrough then I wasn't interested in the game.
Walkthrough: Put cat on the turntable to play the secret message.
Me: I'm not playing this anymore.
I should mention that a lot of the games I've been playing now lean toward an extensive wiki rather than a walkthrough, and I use wikis all the time for figuring things out like “How often does the meteor strike?” As for YouTube videos, they are an absolute last resort. Content creators just don't value my time enough. I end up skimming through a 30-minute video just hoping I accidentally land on the right spot. If you are doing a video on a specific topic, just get to it. I don't need elaborate intros or meandering soliloquys.
Pifanjr: I think the last time was for Dark Souls to get a better idea of what route to take and where to grab some nice items. I also had to look up how to level up in Dark Souls 2. I either missed a hint or the game just straight up doesn't tell you.
Brian Boru: That would be about 2 hours ago! Doing the Clean Water Act mission if Far Cry 5—where you have to blow up a pair of pumping stations at a water plant—I couldn't figure out how to reach the second station, and finally looked it up. It was definitely a tricky one!
Apart from getting stuck, generally I'll look up things after a first playthru—or occasionally halfway thru first play—to see what others have to say about the best weapons in each class. I often miss stuff like this gun has an under-barrel grenade launcher attachment, or there's armor-piercing bullets for that rifle.
Previous time was my first play of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 when for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to get a steady—ie non-sway—sniper scope for long distance. Never found the info, and ended up discovering it by accident later
I also sometimes enjoy watching YT videos after the fact, to see how others approached the more interesting or challenging missions.
McStabStab: I use the Wiki for Divinity: Original Sin 2 a lot. There's so much in that game and much of it I may have missed if I would have done it blindly. In the end I don't feel like I'm cheating, but really unlocking more of what the story has on offer.
pathospades: Probably a few days ago. I watch some Dead by Daylight videos and they always talk about “this perk” or “that perk”. As you know, with competitive multiplayer games, there's always a ton of info, so it's just expected for everyone to know there's a wiki. Other than that though, I think I looked up TD Bloons wiki once or twice.
Alm: I have no shame in looking at walkthroughs (and playing games on easy difficulty). Last time I used a walkthrough was a couple of weeks ago on Zelda on the Switch. I'm very much there for the story in games and if I get stumped by puzzles that don't seem intuitive I'll generally look it up. I don't see the point in stressing over solving things myself just to serve some sort of principle.
DXCHASE: Why just a few minutes ago! Looked up some stuff for Far Cry 6 on where to go to unlock a whole special outfit that I want.
mainer: I won't use a walkthrough, wiki, or any other source for an entire game, but I have consulted those sources at certain points in a game when I'm completely frustrated by some kind of puzzle that I just can't get my head around. One of the more recent times would be in Dragon Age Inquisition (3rd playthrough) when trying to solve some of the Astarium Constellation puzzles. I love the game, but some of those puzzles just left me completely frustrated, and it wasn't worth spending literally hours on trying to solve one. Some were relatively easy, but others weren't, like this one.
I spent way too much time on that one. Another source of frustration resulting in me consulting a walkthrough, was towards the end of Divinity Original Sin EE and the constant barrage of Teleporting Pyramid Puzzles just to advance the game. I wasn't going to quit the game (because I loved it for the most part) and I was so close to the end, but I just hit a wall and my brain locked up; so I looked up the last few puzzle solutions in a walkthrough.
Kaamos_Llama: Death's Door today. I just killed Betty the Yeti and I have no idea where I'm supposed to go next. I don't get that frustrated if I can't beat a game section, but if I have no idea where I'm supposed to go or what I'm supposed to be looking at I'll be straight to a walkthrough. Wandering around kicking the scenery is boring to me.
Krud: Hmm. I don't remember. Last Tuesday, maybe? I'm so unabashedly casual about it now that I don't pay attention. Waaaay back when I felt guilty about it, I could tell you every time I gave up on a puzzle and looked it up, but now I'm just lazy and entitled, er, I mean, too busy and efficient…
Sarafan: It was quite recently. I was playing one of the Star Trek classics, Bridge Commander, and couldn't get through a mission that requires a stealth approach. Basically Bridge Commander is a game where you have a limited direct control of the spaceship. You can do it, but it's better and more fun just to give orders. This is what this game is all about after all! The problem starts when you have to avoid enemy patrols just by giving orders to your crew mates. And what's very important, you can't save the game during the mission. So if they detect you, the only option is to start again. After a few tries I had enough and decided to check a walkthrough on YouTube. I didn't regret this, because the mission was too much…
What appears to be new Elden Ring gameplay footage is currently making the rounds on social media, seemingly offering a glimpse of how the game will run outside of official trailers.
The thirty-second clip is set on a rocky hilltop near a broken castle, with a spectral tree rising in the distance. After rotating the camera to offer a clearer look at the environment, we're treated to the character jumping up to the hill crest, causing a pair of eagles to light into the air in a flurry of feathers.
The footage was allegedly captured on an Xbox One, though its origin remains unconfirmed. Assuming it's legitimate, the new footage gives us a better feel for Elden Ring's movement, particularly in terms of how the main character handles jumping.
Regardless, Elden Ring remains highly anticipated, not the least because Dark Souls and Bloodborne are some of the finest action games ever made. With Elden Ring Ring due early next year, hopefully we'll get to see more of this open world Soulsborne game very soon.
Lots of people have wondered when characters from Dota 2's animated spinoff Dota: Dragon's Blood would make their way into the game, and the answer is: Soon. Marci was announced at The International 2021 as the next hero to come to Valve's MOBA. A trailer with both 2D animation in the style of the show and a transition to Marci's 3D model was released today.
Marci's a companion to archer Mirana, something between servant and friend, and rarely says anything—never says anything aloud, at least. She's quite content to communicate with signs. While Marci at first seems like a simply kind, if insistent, friend, she later reveals some serious strength and a hidden prowess at unarmed combat. Her incredible strength is played both as a joke, and deadly seriously, in the anime.
Marci's probably not the first choice people would have guessed to get added, as teleporting elf Fymryn is both a more prominent character and more obviously suited as a moba hero. Nonetheless, Marci is a fan favorite and her inclusion is unlikely to make anyone sad.
There's no word yet on what Marci's abilities will be, but according to the trailer Marci “joins the fight this fall.”
Some players are speculating that given Marci's power, and the trailer showing her fighting a Jungle monster, she'll take the role of a hard carry in the game. If so, she'd be the first real hard carry added in quite a few years. My memory may fail me, but the last I can remember was Arc Warden in 2015.
The results of this year's fan votes are in, and the Allay has won. A blue, floating winged spirit, the Allay is an overworld mob friendly to players. It likes to dance to the sound of music blocks and, when given a gift, will run off to collect more of that thing to give the player in return. If there's a music block nearby, the Allay will deposit its treasure right there.
And your winning mob is… the Allay! Woohoo, cookies – or any other items – for all! pic.twitter.com/BfvofGcskGOctober 16, 2021
The Allay was the winner of this year's fan new mob vote during Minecraft Live, where it went up against the Bronze Golem and the shadow-hugging Glare. Last year's winner was the Glow Squid.
The brand-new Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League trailer features an Easter Egg that honors the comic book origins of main characters Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and King Shark.
As reported by GamesRadar.com, the Suicide Squad trailer, which debuted at DC FanDome 2021, gives us another glimpse at these four characters and one scene at the beginning shows them in prison garb. While that alone may not be too surprising considering these characters have dark pasts, the numbers on their clothes reference their first appearance in the comics.
Captain Boomerang sports the number 117-12-60 and it is a reference to his first appearance in The Flash #117 in December 1960. Deadshot's inmate number is 59-06-50 and honors his debut in Batman #59 in June 1950.
King Shark, who is wearing a prison uniform that hints he was transferred from Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary, has the number 001094 – a reference to his first showing in Superboy #0 in October 1994. For those unaware, Belle Reve is one of the main prisons where Amanda Waller finds her recruits in the comics and films.
Harley Quinn does not appear to have a number, and this actually makes a bit of sense as she did not make her first appearance in the comics. Harley Quinn was first shown in Batman: The Animated Series long before she made the jump to the pages of comic books.
While we didn't get any release date news besides a reconfirmation that the game will be released in 2022, we did learn much more about the game's story. What starts as a mission against a seemingly alien threat quickly becomes a race to kill the corrupted versions of some members of the Justice League. While we did see some of the Justice League members in their corrupted form, Batman has yet to show his face. We did get a glimpse of the Batmobile, but that's about it.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League can be played either solo or with up to three friends and will feature customizable weapons, unique abilities for each character, and much more.
Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].
Gotham Knights has gotten a new story trailer and behind-the-scenes featurette. Unfortunately, after a recent delay into 2022, we didn't get a new release date.
Shown at DC FanDome 2021, the story trailer shows Nightwing talking to supervillain The Penguin, who explains that the Batfamily – Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood – don't stand a chance in a Gotham being run by the deadly secret society, The Court of Owls.
The trailer goes onto show action scenes featuring the entire Batfamily, multiple Talons (the Court of Owls' assassins), and some intriguing locations featuring dungeon-like traps, scattered bones, and even a mysteriously placed Bat Signal.
A separate behind-the-scenes featurette included game developers, Court of Owls co-creators Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, and DC CCO Jim Lee discussing the game and its inspirations.
Snyder explains that what he's seen of the game, saying "I was blown away. It took what we had done with Court of Owls but it just elevated it beyond a lot of the borders that we had had." The upshot is that this is an extended version of the Court as fans will already know it.
Gotham Knights creative director Patrick Redding explains that Talons have been designed in wildly different ways, designed to get players to choose different gear to beat them more effectively. "So, like any good RPG," he explains, "we're presenting you with a problem, and then we're presenting you with a range of potential solutions, and then players will have an opportunity to maximise that according to their own style."
During Minecon Live today, Mojang introduced the next big update to Minecraft: The Wild Update.
The free update will introduce new gameplay mechanics, depth, and new blocks and mobs, including mud, mangrove trees and swamps, updated swamps, frogs, and frog eggs. Players will also be able to place chests on boats.
Launching alongside the Wild Update will be the Deep Dark biome and the hostile Warden mob. The content will include a reimagined look at the cities of this complex new biome.