Monthly Archives: May 2018

Sky Noon Press Preview

by Jason Parker (Ragachak)

Reach for the sky, boy!

I’m not the best at Shooters or Brawlers, but somewhere, not so deep down, I enjoy them for those moments of adrenaline, and the brief but outstanding displays of skill (or luck, call it how you see it). One of the real downsides to many shooters is being one-shot, despite swearing you had a full health bar: There’s no way that bullshit AK-47 was able to drop you in one or two bullets, but it happened and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Maybe, maybe I’m just projecting here. Anyway, Sky Noon gets all of that stuff right in a spectacular, high-speed fashion with a secret weapon: Grappling Hooks.

Yesterday I had the pleasure to pretend I have some skills at Sky Noon (despite never playing it before) with a few members of their team: Shannon McPherson (PR Coordinator), Ted Lange (Executive Producer, who I’m so sick of being killed by), Ben Willemssen (Producer), Dan DeMattei (Marketing Director) and Brandon Wallace (Marketing Manager). After this play session, I have to say with all honesty that I love this game.

The premise behind Sky Noon is that the Law and the Outlaws are battling for dominance and supremacy over several match types. The catch is that there are no health bars. Instead you use your lasso and weapons to blow people off the map with air ammunition. Depending on your aim with the grappling hook and how strong of a weapon hit you, simply being knocked away may mean nothing. I’ve landed some incredible split-second grapples to hook me right back, swinging from the bottom of the map to the top, only to secure a kill (by that, I obviously mean “steal” a kill).

Sky Noon features several types of game modes in the Early Access, and I really think there’s something for everyone. There’s even a nice, complicated Payload Mode for fans of that. Gameplay is very simple though: You spawn in with a weapon, from a Machine Pistol, Revolver, Shotgun or something akin to a Rocket Launcher, and a special item. These range from Booster (Dash forward/down quickly), Rocket Boots (which fly you around), landmines, teleporters (teleports you to where it lands), dynamite, and more.

It’s important to note that Cart Mode will only use Bridge, Mesa, and Whirlwind maps. Team Elimination, however, uses Saloon, Towers, Homestead and High Town. Team Elimination (Team Deathmatch) is straightforward: the most kills at the end of the period wins. In Payload, you shoot the payload to move it and can change the railroad tracks to move it back towards your side. I just shoot the other team and let my teammates worry about that. Then you have Free-For-All, which speaks for itself. It’s whoever has the most kills at the end. If it ends in a tie, the match goes on till there’s a winner. I was surprised at King of the Hill because these maps are actually very small. They don’t feel small with all the highs and lows, but they definitely are compact. Each team needs to hold the “point”, and once it’s claimed it’ll randomly move, and it’s up to you to figure out where. First to five captures wins.

I felt like the Machine Pistol/Revolver were pretty weak, but when you pair them with stuff like Landmines/Dynamite, there’s still a lot of potential. Personally, my favorite weapon was the Shotgun, because it launches nice and far. You can also jump down at people and blast them in the air further away, so situational awareness is so very important. The maps all had lots of places to swing to, underneath, and around to make insane plays and guarantee that there is never a dull moment. If you run out of ammo, you can go find an ammo box (or come up with a new gun), or swap your special item out if what you had isn’t doing you any favors (in the blue crate, weapons are red crates).

I have not had this much fun in a shooter. . . ever, honestly. Most shooters are super-serious, grimdark affairs where you need to blast people into bits, with tons of guns, most of which aren’t useful at all. Everything in Sky Noon is useful in the right situation, and even when I was absolutely getting blasted (which was admittedly, most of the time), I still had fun! That’s what matters, and Sky Noon gets back to what matters in an online game: Fun. It could be competitive and have a real interesting ladder to it, but the standard online casual matches have been adrenaline rushes from start to end. It’s very easy to see what you can grapple onto/what you can shoot (the reticle turns green), which is an absolute blessing. There will be a leveling/customization system implemented, but not for the Early Access phase of the game. That will come in later. During the Early Access, you just have access to the cool cosmetic designs, which all neatly match the Wild West theme of the game.

Sky Noon is charming, it’s brightly colored, it doesn’t bother with character classes or complicated systems; it’s just fun, technical, high-octane FPS Brawling at its absolute finest. I cannot wait for more of this game. The only negative I ever had was how confusing Payload was. The rest of it is charming, exciting and if you’ll pardon the expression, a blast. With jetpacks, grappling hooks, bombs and guns, it has all I need to have a good time.


Pax West 2018 Tickets Now on Sale

PAX West 2016 Day One Recap

Get ’em while they’re hot! Pax West 2018 tickets are now on sale for the August 31st – September 3rd 2018 convention at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA. Single-day passes are $50 dollars each and pre-sale merchandise, including 1,200 special PAX-branded blankets ($35), artisan Sock Club socks ($25), and 1,000 aluminum dice stand with twin anodized die from Level Up Dice ($75) are also available. BYOC passes will go on sale in the near future but must be used in conjunction with a day pass.

Pax West is in its fourteenth year, and will once again span eight buildings across Downtown Seattle, including The Paramount Theatre and Benaroya Hall. It is the west coast’s most-attended gaming event and Pax West continues to deliver the experience that its attendees have come to know and love. From tabletop gaming, livestreamers, cosplayers, upcoming games and tournaments, Pax West has it all. Highly-anticipated titles from PC, console, and tabletop will all be waiting for you to come see them.

“PAX West is where it all started, so whenever we have a chance to invite people into our home it’s just a good feeling,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder, Penny Arcade. “Purely as a word advice, I would briefly minimize this window and try to get tickets as soon as you can. They tend to go fast.”

Tickets can be found at this link.

Elite Dangerous: Beyond – Chapter 2 Arrives in June

The next addition to Elite Dangerous: Beyond is coming to PC and Console on June 28th, 2018 and bringing with it free content for all players. Beyond community-requested enhancements to the player experience, core foundational changes, new in-game content will also progress the ever-expanding player-driven storyline to give pilots across the galaxy new tools to shape the narrative. Frontier Developments is pleased to announce Chapter Two of the Beyond series of updates is right around the corner. In just under a month, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Alliance’s newest Chieftain variant: the Alliance Challenger.

New wing missions, installation interactions, settlements and more will be added to the game to combat the encroaching Thargoid threat and a wealth of new Guardian weapons and technology to acquire from the Tech Brokers. This is the first of the two smaller installments coming as part of the Elite Dangerous Beyond series of updates, with a larger one coming in Q4 of this year, bringing Squadrons and improvements to Mining and Exploration. That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Total War: Warhammer 2: The Queen & The Crone DLC Arrives Today

The latest DLC drops for Total War: Warhammer 2 today: The Queen & the Crone! Which side do you stand on – Hag-Queen, Crone Hellebron who leads the Dark Elves to murder and mayhem, or Everqueen Alarielle of the High Elves? Do you stand in her radiance and choose to fight the Dark Elf scourge, or do you want to drown the land in blood and violence? Also released today and available free to all Total War: Warhammer II players is Alith Anar, The Shadow King. This stealthy Legendary Lord brings a host of new abilities to the High Elf roster and the voice of Hollywood actor Dylan Sprouse, a longstanding fan of the series.

Overload is Now Available for PC

Overload, the spiritual successor to the classic six-degree-of-freedom tunnel shooter Descent is officially live on PC from Revival Productions. It’s available for 29.99 on Steam and GoG, and the Playstation 4/Xbox One versions will release third quarter of 2018. Overload brings that 6DOF gameplay back to life but adds massive environments to explore and deeper gameplay than its successor, from weapons with individual characteristics, enhanced graphics, and the ability to explore beyond main objectives. Overload will also come with VR support.

For interested parties, there is a playable demo on Steam and on their website.

Gameplay Features:

  • 15 level single-player campaign plus secret levels
  • Numerous level challenges including lava, forcefields, lockdowns, ambushes, and secret rooms
  • 20 terrifying robot enemies, plus Super-Robots and Variants and three bosses armed with customized AI giving them unique personality and combat behavior
  • Multiplayer with public and private matches
  • Challenge Mode with 12 levels and Infinite and Countdown variants that alter the focus of play
  • Story by the writer of FreeSpace 2 with fully-voiced audio (English Only)
  • Adrenaline-pumping soundtrack
  • Virtual reality support for Oculus and Vive
  • Achievements and Leaderboards
  • Upgrades and XP system and advanced player stats
  • Automap and Holo-guide for navigation assistance
  • Save anywhere
  • Six difficulty levels ranging from a casual challenge to very punishing
  • Support for mouse, keyboard, gamepad, and joystick controls
  • Surround sound audio options
  • Optional training level for refining your piloting skills
  • Interface and subtitles available in: English, French, German, Spanish and Russian
  • Post-launch: Release of Level Editor and support for user-created levels and campaigns

Warhammer Vermintide 2 – Free Content Update

Fatshark Games announced that their first content update to Warhammer: Vermintide 2 is now free for all players. The focus is on the players and the Content Update will bring daily challenges and quests, as well as over 100 new cosmetics (skins, hats, portrait frames) will also come to the game. Everyone who owns the game will receive it the next time they log onto Steam.

“Vermintide 2 already challenges the players, but now we amp it up with daily challenges and quests.” says Mats Andersson, Game Designer at Fatshark. “The Content Update will bring exclusive skins, portrait frames and cosmetics for heroes who rise to the challenge.”

Puzzle & Dragons

Puzzle & Dragons is a F2P strategy match-3 role-playing game and dungeon crawler. Customize your squad of heroes and set out to conquer even the toughest of challenges! Available for iOS, Android, and Kindle tablets.


Squad Goals: Collect and choose from over 2000+ unique characters boasting awesome abilities, branching evolve paths, and elemental attributes.

Thinking with Tiles: Punish enemy weaknesses and chain together combos for devastating levels of damage.

Getting Help: Team up with a friend and take on powerful bosses or choose to instead borrow one of their heroes for your team.

Raiders of the Broken Planet Schneider Character Reveal

Raider of the Broken Planet‘s third campaign, Hades Betrayal, reveals its newest character: Schneider, available to all players.

Know-it-all, rude, bratty and far too smart for his own good… Schneider doesn’t give a damn what they call him, because he considers himself the future! Everyone else are just trained monkeys on the verge of going extinct. Schneider built his SCHN31D3r drone when he was just 14 years old, so hacking the Broken Planet’s ridiculous technology for the Hades Division was a piece of cake.