Skull & Bones Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag took Ubisoft’s flagship franchise to the open sea, combining the series’ signature stealth action gameplay with a robust ship exploration and combat system. In fact, Black Flag’s maritime mechanics turned out to be so good, that it became the standout feature of the game. It even inspired an entirely new IP — the upcoming swashbuckler sim Skull & Bones. From rolling ocean hues of blue and green to the massive splashes of tossing ships plowing through waves, everything about this game looks gorgeous. Combat is swift and brutal, and watching the destructive force of your arsenal bore holes into the side of your enemies’ vessels feels truly victorious. Let’s face it: Explosions are always better if chunks of your enemies’ ships are flying out of ’em. Quake Champions More than any other single studio, id Software put PC shooters on the map.
Doom transformed our notions of what could be rendered on a PC screen. And the developer practically invented the modern multiplayer shooter with their megahit Quake. Quake Champions is id’s upcoming return to their FPS juggernaut, and it’s bringing with it all the technical know-how of one of the industry’s most proficient studios. The developer is so focused on making Champions the best experience it can be,they’re not even bothering bringing it to consoles. Guess that’s what id director Tim Willits meant when he told German YouTube channel Rocket Beans TV, “Uh, Quake Champions will be for the PC. You know, we are not planning on making a console version. Uh, we want no excuses, no limitations.” In other words: This is a triple-A PC-exclusive experience.That means the controls have been built with a keyboard and mouse in mind, not a controller.
It also means the graphics can be as insane as they want them to be, because they aren’t restricted by any consoles’ graphical capabilities. As any long-term Quake fans would expect, the game looks and plays fast and bloody — like it should. So far, so good. Quake Champions is shaping up to be proof that, sometimes, all a classic game needs is a flashy new paint job. Star Citizen Unlike some Kickstarters that raise a ton of cash and then disappear into the void, Chris Roberts’ space combat sim Star Citizen is currently in a playable state. Sure — it’s an early build, but several of its game modes are available to try right now. While the final release date does keep getting pushed back, it’s also played host to a steady flow of new content. Procedural environments means that the game will feature an enormous number of locations to visit, in sharp detail and with seriously impressive draw distances. This game is meant to make you feel like you’re living in a science fiction novel. So far, it’s managed to accomplish that — and then some. From up close and personal motion capture to the vastness of the cosmos, Star Citizen wants to look stellar at every scale.