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What to play: ‘Helldivers 2’ and demo for ‘Final Fantasy VII’ are worth your time

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Published in Science & Technology News

Games are expensive nowadays and that makes choosing the right one for gamers more important than ever. As part of the sales pitch, publishers are using demos to offer players a hint of what they’re getting. Screenshots and videos only do so much.

That’s more evident now with two upcoming big-budget titles coming from Square Enix and Ubisoft. What’s notable about these weekend playthroughs is that players benefit from checking them out. They get in-game bonuses and other perks for trying the games out. It makes the time spent more worthwhile.

“Helldivers 2” — Arrowhead Game Studios found success with the original title, which was top-down shooter with heavy co-op elements. For the sequel, the team changed it up a bit and shifted the perspective to make it third-person shooter while trying to maintain the feel of the original.

In “Helldivers 2,” players take on the role of the titular trooper as they battle insect-like Terminid aliens. The vibe of the game echoes the cult film “Starship Troopers” as players become soldiers for Democracy and bring that form of government across the galaxy. The campaign has plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor.

As for combat, it’s all about fending off the bugs while also preserving ammo. Players have to be mindful of reloading and take care with how many bullets they fire because it’s a scarce resource. If players run out, they’ll have to scavenge for ammo or call in pods that plunge from the sky. Players will have to use a Stratagem, tap in a few commands and wait for help to arrive. It can lead to hairy situations and that necessitates teamwork.

This is really a game that demands teamwork.

Play time: This isn’t a project that you can finish in a weekend. With a Battlepass and other games as service elements, this is a title that aims to be part of your life. With the right group, it can be a compelling experience that requires a mastery of strategies and coordination.

“Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth” demo — Players can get an early start on their “Final Fantasy XVI: Rebirth” adventure by playing this demo that allows them to play through the Nibelheim Incident that will be part of the upcoming game. Those worried about spoilers shouldn’t be concerned because the demo is a self-contained slice of narrative that’s told as a flashback.

 

It takes fans to an earlier chapter in Cloud’s history when he returns to his hometown with Sephiroth. The demo offers players a sample of the combat and tweaks from “Remake” while also delving deeper into this fresh bit of narrative. “Rebirth” continues to subvert expectations as the developers of Square Enix tell a compelling tale by adding unexpected twists.

Best of all, players will be rewarded for playing the demo. If they buy the full game, they’ll get a Kupo charm, a helpful accessory, and a package of consumables hat will help players on their adventure. Those who finish the demo will be able to skip it when they play full game, saving them a bit of time.

Play time: The demo is short and takes about two hours to complete. Think of it as an amuse bouche with the full course coming at the end of the month.

“Sydney Hunter and the Curse of the Mayan” — If you’re hankering for a retro-style game, then this project from CollectorVision Games is right up your alley. It feels like a title that came straight from the 8-bit days as players take control of the treasure hunter and explores ancient ruins.

Interestingly enough, this is the fourth entry in a series that aims to make games that feel like from generations ago. This one has a notable sense of exploration as Sydney battles 13 powerful Mayan gods and minibosses as he tries to piece together the seven pieces of the Haab calendar.

The game recently released on PlayStation and Xbox platforms.

Play time: Reports say the game is about 10 to 12 hours. That’s enough to binge over a weekend. It’s a game that will remind '80s kids of lazy summer days.


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