Rip & Tear! To the Depths of Bell!
March 17, 2020 7:12 AM Subscribe
Doom and Animal Crossing are here to save the day. [Kotaku] Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizons are dropping this week to help everyone take a break. It makes sense though, Isabelle and Doomguy are the best of friends. We can look forward to an evil demon who wields immense power and delights in the suffering of his denizens, as well as playing Doom Eternal.
• New Horizons is a much-needed escape from everything [Polygon]
• New Horizons is a much-needed escape from everything [Polygon]
“Animal Crossing: New Horizons begins the same way as the four previous games in the core series: A childlike human finds themself in the middle of the wilderness. Suddenly, a large raccoon appears from the shadows with a proposition. “Come live here!” he says. The child agrees. It seems nice, after all. But suddenly, the child is saddled with the debt of their first house, and must sell bugs and fish to settle up. New Horizons doesn’t deviate from the core gameplay of Animal Crossing much at all. It’s a low-pressure life sim where you’re free to fill the days however you like. If you’d prefer to plant trees and make a forested wonderland, you can do that. If you’d rather focus on gathering critters to donate to the local museum, developing an extensive arrangement of living exhibits, that’s also an option. Or maybe you just want to make your house as pretty as possible, filling it with matching furniture and wallpaper? There’s satisfaction in finding a new, rare fish you’ve never caught before, or saying hi to a neighbor, only to receive the perfect birdbath as a housewarming present. It’s about living in a world where the biggest concern is whether your apples are going to be ready for picking today or tomorrow. It’s about finding a new home. The shift in New Horizons is that this all takes place on a tropical island instead of in a nondescript wilderness. The setting doesn’t have a major impact on the story or gameplay, but tonally, it does add an air of chill to the whole thing.”• A Chill, Charming Life Sim That Puts You in Cointrol [The Verge]
“Even by these standards, the latest entry in the series — New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch — starts out slowly. It has an entirely new premise: instead of being the sole human moving into a town full of animals, you start out on a deserted island and create a community from scratch. Initially, it can feel a little too empty, especially for series veterans who are more accustomed to bustling little villages. But the change is ultimately for the best. New Horizons still maintains the charm and style that have made Animal Crossing so beloved, but with a newfound sense of purpose: the satisfaction that comes from building something from nothing. It’s also the first Animal Crossing where I’ve felt truly in control. [...] . If you found past entries boring or directionless, it’s unlikely the latest will change your mind. But if you already enjoy this kind of experience, if the idea of playing 20 minutes daily seems like an escape rather than a chore, this is the most refined iteration of that concept to date. And it’s one that promises to continue to change and group with regular events and updates. It’s the video game equivalent of a relaxing getaway — and we could all use that kind of respite right now.”• The Shores of Bell: An Accessible And Addictive Masterpiece [Nintendo Life]
“Much like every other Animal Crossing game, you arrive fresh-faced in a town that’s seen better days. Unlike every other Animal Crossing game, the town isn’t really there yet, and it’s basically all down to you to fund a tycoon racoon’s mad obsession with Bells, and maybe make your island into a town in the process. This time you’re also able to actually choose how your character looks, rather than being asked a series of seemingly arbitrary questions by a cat of no fixed abode in order to determine your genetic makeup. You’re also under no obligation to keep the face you’ve chosen, and every single choice you make when crafting your character – from your hair colour right down to rosy cheeks – is immediately rectifiable with any sort of mirror or vanity you can get your globular hands on. It seems basic by modern standards, but credit where credit’s due and all that. But just how un-towny is this island you’ve been dropped on? Well, in short, you and everyone else will be spending at least the first night in a tent, with no buildings, structures, pathways, or anything else to keep you company – besides hundred and hundreds of weeds, that is. This is nature’s home for sure, and unless you stop playing pretty much immediately, you’re going to want to make sure it knows you’re in charge. Plucking weeds, gathering fruit, selling them at Resident Services to Tom Nook’s unpaid nephews who seem to have an endless supply of funds at their disposal... it all needs doing, and none of the other islanders are going to do it. This mega-early stage of the game feels surprisingly different to Animal Crossing as a whole; you’re supremely limited on what changes you can make, and your only real goal is to lay the groundwork for what's to come. The only thing that’s established is the layout of the land itself, although that too will eventually be yours to mould. Despite it being so different from previous games, we found the whole thing incredibly engrossing and appealing.”• Tom Nook’s Animal Crossing legacy: greedy businessman or benevolent provider? [Polygon]
“Tom Nook never takes part in the overtly mean stuff, though. He never outright insults the player or threatens them. Instead, he’s much more business-like. A new player is given an apron to wear, a list of jobs to complete, and a big loan to pay off. Once you pay off your first loan, he gives you another. The loans are interest free, and Nook does upgrade your house before you take out the loan, but it still made some fans salty. Nook is amiable about the entire process, but that almost makes it worse. As a kid, it came across like Tom Nook was forcing me into labor, and he didn’t need to be cruel about it, because he had all the power. Mr. Resetti was the real monster, sure, but maybe Nook was holding the leash. I wasn’t alone in this interpretation. The Animal Crossing wiki notes that “in the 2003 Annual Nintendo Power Awards, Tom Nook was nominated as one of the top villains in a Nintendo game, despite his not actually being a villain.” In 2008, a SomethingAwful user named Chewbot made a famous Let’s Play called The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing, where Tom Nook’s in-game presence was interpreted as a controlling authority figure whose menace was cloaked by a thin veil of social niceties.”• Slay your own way [IGN]
“I knew Doom Eternal had proven its point when I started taking down Marauders without breaking a sweat, really. These terrifying, devil-horned axe-wielders had been life-threatening challenges when they were first introduced midway through the game, but a while later I delighted in turning the tables on them thanks to some powerful and hard-earned upgrades. Doom Eternal not only retains the wild, high-speed, to-the-brink-of-death-and-back-again ebb and flow of combat that its 2016 predecessor excelled at, it tweaks the formula to introduce more strategy, replayability, and ultimately, satisfaction to this 15+ hour first-person shooter campaign. Some great games are clever exercises in thoughtful design while others are dumb fun, but Doom Eternal is the best of both. Yes, blasting and ripping demons literally in half with your bare hands is a gleefully, gloriously stupid power fantasy, and Doom Eternal teaches you how to do it better, faster, and in multiple ways as you go. It makes you a smart Slayer. Before long, you’ll be thrown into the meat grinder with dozens of Hell’s denizens at once, including resurrected Doom 2 favorites not seen in the 2016 reboot. Old folks like me remember the Pain Elemental, a semi-dangerous, Lost Soul-spewing cousin of the Cacodemon, and the demon-buffing, pyromaniacal Archvile, which, as in 1994, is one of the biggest threats you have to beat down. Scenes teeming with enemies that would make most other first-person shooters buckle under the pressure, either framerate-wise or gameplay-wise or both, are commonplace in Doom Eternal, and it takes them in stride.”• Doom Eternal Lets You Dress Up Doom Guy As a Unicorn [Dual Shockers ][Personalize Your Slayer Trailer]
“What could possibly be more terrifying for the denizens of Hell than seeing Doom Guy dressed up as colorful unicorn? I mean, sure seeing him rip and tear his way through your demon friends and family is sure to cause some stress, but watching him murder everyone with a pink unicorn crowning his helmet? That’s next-level horror. Unfortunately for your enemies, Bethesda announced today that players can do exactly that in Doom Eternal as part of an upcoming Twitch promotion. The latest Doom Eternal trailer actually shows off several customization options for good ole Doom Guy. You can see skins ranging from classic Doom Guy to an on-fire variation and many, many more. However, the most notable one is obviously the winged unicorn skin. It’s just so outlandish and totally garish that I cannot wait to unlock it. Obviously it’s completely ridiculous, but that’s what makes it great. If the “DOOMicorn” isn’t quite your style though, fret not. As mentioned above, it looks like Bethesda is going full-out with customization options for Battlemode. The 2v1 multiplayer mode is trying to recreate the feel of single-player Doom with friends. Hopefully, with customization coming to Doom Guy, we’ll also get some options for the many demons you’ll play as in the mode. The possibilities certainly seem endless, especially if Bethesda and id Software are willing to have this much fun with it.”• Dance with the Devil [Polygon]
“When you play Doom Eternal (and you should play Doom Eternal), you will see a space marine running and jumping across blood-soaked torture chambers, while shooting, burning, freezing, chainsawing, and generally mangling demons. You move from point A to point B, killing everything in between. Sometimes you need a keycard to open a locked door. Most of the time, you simply need to kill something a little more challenging than the thing you killed in the previous room. The story picks up where Doom (2016) left off: Demons have overtaken Earth. You are a literal one-man army, on the path to becoming either a god or a killer of gods. Your quest to kill three space witches will take you from the aforementioned demon-infested Earth to a demon-infested Mars and back, with some pit stops at your space base, the Fortress of Doom, a hybrid space station and medieval castle floating somewhere (best I can tell) near the moon. Doom Eternal is like Doom (2016) but with greater scope and clearer intent. Doom (2016) infamously fell into development hell, with its developer, id, spending years reimagining the project like a person in a desert chasing after hallucinations before finally locating actual water. Doom (2016) felt like a game that happened despite itself. Doom Eternal, on the other hand, feels purposeful, like every team member had strived for one goal: to turn the magic of death-metal album covers into a video game. Friends, they did it.”• Doom Eternal shows off its heavy metal choir [PC Gamer][Doom Eternal Metal Choice]
“Last year, Doom Eternal composer Mick Gordon put out an open call for vocalists to join a heavy metal choir for an unspecified project. That unspecified project was, not surprisingly, Doom Eternal, and more than 20 vocalists teamed up to create a creepy chant that crops up throughout the soundtrack. A new video goes behind the scenes of the soundtrack's creation, showing us some heavy metal choir practice and interviews. It's a pretty big genre, and it looks like Gordon's put together an eclectic mix of musicians that reflects that. Wildspeaker vocalist Natalie Kahan points out that the choir has an equal gender split, and there's variety when it comes to their singing style, too. The choir even features some Mongolian throat singing, courtesy of Tengger Cavalry's Nature Ganganbaigal, who unfortunately passed away last year. The chant itself is "pieced together from a mysterious and ancient language that harkens back to the Slayer’s origins" and it's woven into the rest of the soundtrack.”