Ubisoft have announced that For Honor Season Two, Shadow and Might, will launch on May 16th.
Shadow and Might will bring new content to For Honor, including two additional heroes, two extra maps, new customisation items and gameplay updates. Maps and gameplay updates will be free for all players at the start of Season Two. New heroes, the lethal Shinobi and the fierce Centurion, will be available for free immediately for Season Pass holders on May 16th, while all other players will be able to unlock them with their in-game Steel on May 23rd.
In the war between the three deadly factions, Knights, Vikings and Samurai, two new Heroes enter the battlefield:
•Shinobi (Samurai Assassin) – The Shinobi are silent warriors able to move with a dancer’s grace and kill with precision thanks to a lifetime of disciplined training. They wield the traditional Japanese Kusarigama.
•Centurion (Knight Hybrid) – The Centurion sees the battlefield like a chessboard. Equipped with the reliable standard issue gladius, Centurions can bypass enemy defences through strategic close-quarters combat.
The two new maps, Forge and Temple Garden, will expand upon the selection of multiplayer battlefields. Additionally, Season Two will introduce a new level of gear rarity – Epic gear – that will increase the maximum gear score along with a balancing overhaul for the entire gear stats system.
Coinciding with the end of Season One, a new title update (Update 1.06) was released on Windows PC to improve network stability while introducing new gameplay changes and hero balancing. The update is planned to release on consoles very shortly. For Honor will continue to be supported post-launch with additional content and consistent gameplay balancing updates.
Punching, kicking, striking and stabbing zombies on an island paradise is an attractive concept, and even with Techland refining this experience for Dying Light, their original outing with Dead Island still holds some appeal. However, it’s still a victim of bugs and other issues, making it less enticing than it could be.
The island itself is the most appealing part of Dead Island, and it looks great with its Definitive Collection polish. The increased anti-aliasing has smoothed out the majority of the jagged edges, meanwhile the new lighting engine and vibrant colour pallet makes everything looks stunningly bright, wet, decayed and shiny. It’s a great looking title on the face of it. Unfortunately, character models are less convincing. Whilst the zombies look menacing and gruesome, the NPCs look more detailed but still wooden and emotionless. Their lack of lip sync certainly doesn’t help, with characters flapping their mouths when they speak to no rhythm or accuracy. Furthermore, a new motion blur effect completely pulls you out of the experience.
Fortunately the majority of Dead Island is spent exploring the island and engaging zombies in melee combat, and this still proves thoroughly entertaining. Finding health pickups to keep you going and gathering materials to craft make-shift weapons, or using whatever you happen to find lying around as an immediate weapon, offers a satisfying feeling of desperation, exploration and varied combat. Weapons will break with relative ease, forcing you to use whatever you can find in order to survive, and this encourages you to experiment with what you pick up, preventing the combat from ever feeling stale.
Additionally, the quests on offer are also varied and interesting. The main missions steer you towards ensuring the survival of you and the uninfected denizens of the island, pointing you towards more survivors that need rescuing, provisions that need securing, and locations that need to be made safe. The side missions vary wildly, from emotional journeys where an NPC will ask you to put their infected family out of their misery, to requests for you to find personal items. Moreover, you can approach these missions at your own pace, concentrating on side missions over the main ones, or ignoring all of it to explore the island yourself. It’s terrifically open once the prologue is over and it’s easy to get caught up in your own emergent story.
Unfortunately, as enjoyable as the core experience can be, and as lovely as the new visuals are, old issues are still present under the surface. Bugs that cause zombies to float in the air or fall through the ground are fairly frequent, as are moments where you get stuck in doorways and geometry. The vehicles are still unresponsive and the first-person platforming is clumsy. It simply hasn’t received the gameplay tweaks it really needed.
Riptide, Dead Island’s standalone expansion, is also included with the Definitive Collection, adding a few new perks and weapons, but ultimately offering more of the same in a different but far too similar environment. Bringing your Dead Island character over to Riptide is now easier than ever, but the expansion’s re-tread of the original’s experience makes it feel rather tedious. The Definitive Collection also includes Dead Island Retro Revenge, however, it’s currently locked until August.
Being able to play cooperatively with up to 3 additional players is still a great feature, and one that helps elevate any of the issues present. Here is certainly where Dead Island shines, and it’s supremely enjoyable slaying zombies and completing missions as a crew as opposed to alone.
Dead Island Definitive Collection provides a great looking zombie slaying title, but one with many of the same flaws of the original. Engaging zombies in melee combat is still entertaining and the bursts of adrenaline you get when zombies attack from all angles and you barely have a chance to ready your weapon is frighteningly fun. However, Dying Light does it all better, making this a difficult recommendation overall.
Techland’s Dead Island and Dead Island Riptide, published by Deep Silver, are now out for Xbox One. Furthermore, buy the Definitive Collection and you’ll get both aforementioned titles and the new Dead Island Retro Revenge for free.
These remastered versions include all previously released DLC, and are running on Techland’s next generation engine, affording them higher quality textures, a new and improved lighting system, physically based shading, image enhancement through anti-aliasing, improved game models and geometry, motion blur and ambient occlusion effects, and an updated user interface.
Furthermore, the classic four player online coop experience returns, alongside the fan favourite PC mod One Punch Mode.
You can check out the launch trailer below:
Dead Island Retro Revenge isn’t released until August but will feature classic side-scrolling/endless runner action, melee-based combat, leaderboards, power-ups, super attacks and a combo system.