This week in gaming: Fairy tales, superpowers, and thoughtful stories

week gaming saints row iv the wolf among us mousecraft fables
The summer video game release calendar is in full effect this week … which is to say, there’s not a whole lot coming. It’s not completely dead, but if you haven’t been keeping up with The Wolf Among Us (why the heck not?!) and you’ve either played or aren’t interested in Saints Row IV, you’re not going to find much. Let’s take a look.

The Wolf Among Us – Episode 5: Cry Wolf

Mac/PC/PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Xbox 360/Xbox One (week of July 8)

If you’ve been keeping up with The Wolf Among Us so far, then the premiere of Telltale Games’ season one finale is the game you’re looking forward to this week. The five-episode journey through Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book universe has been outstanding so far, and all signs point to Cry Wolf leaving things in a strong place before the months-long break between seasons (assuming, of course, that a second season is coming).

If you haven’t touched the series yet, this is most definitely not the place to start. Not only is it the final fifth of a larger story, but Telltale’s games also live and die on the idea of carrying player choices from episode to episode. Let go of that and you’re missing everything that makes the studio’s efforts so worthwhile. For those who want a refreshed, here are links to our reviews of Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, and Episode 4.

Saints Row IV: National Treasure Edition

PC/PS3/Xbox 360 (July 8)

Our other marquee release for the week, Saints Row IV: National Treasure Edition is a re-release of the 2013 game that includes all 29 of its downloadable content packs. That’s only a couple of extra missions when all is said and done — the “Enter the Dominatrix” and “How the Saints Saved Christmas” add-ons, namely — but there’s also a wide assortment of extra guns, vehicles, and threads. It’s probably not worth a second purchase if you already played through Saints Row IV, but it’s the definitive version of the game. And for just $30.

Saints-Row-IV-screenshot-49

Saints Row IV taps into the same sort of superpowered open world antics that made Crackdown such a hit. The Saints leader, now president of the United States, is trapped in a Matrix-like computer simulation after aliens invade Earth and enslave its people. The superpowers you unlock are a product of the system being hacked on the outside, with the story following the Saints as they rescue captured friends and take the fight to the invaders. It’s dumb fun in the best way possible. Just check out our review.

MouseCraft

PS3/PS4/PS Vita (July 8)

Crunching Koalas’ colorful PC puzzler arrives on PlayStation platforms this week, compliments of Curve Studios. Described as a cross between Tetris and LemmingsMouseCraft tasks players with helping mice get their little paws on some cheese. It’s a task that involves placing Tetromino-like blocks that the mice can use as platforms. Much like the disposable puzzle characters in Lemmings, the mice move of their own accord. It’s up to you to figure out how to place blocks in a way that pushes each rodent to its goal.

MouseCraft 1

MouseCraft cam to Mac/Linux/PC in late 2013 as a Steam Early Access release. That Early Access period officially ends on July 8, so while the game isn’t new on PC this week, it’s finally considered finished (as much as any modern game can be, at any rate). It’s a three-way cross-buy on the PlayStation side, meaning you’ll only need to buy the game once if you want to play it on any of your Sony machines.

Claire

PC (July 7)

Claire is the first release from Hailstorm Games. It’s a successful Steam Greenlight offering that was added to Valve’s release queue back in late 2013. The indie action/adventure follows the titular young girl and her dog, Anubis, as they explore a a shadowy world in search of Claire’s comatose mother. If you’ve played the horror game Home, you’ll see some similarities in Claire‘s lo-fi 2D presentation and side-scrolling play.

Claire 1

Steam tags the game as action, but it looks more like survival horror. Claire and Anubus don’t keep the darkness at bay with a high-caliber arsenal; there’s only a flashlight/lighter and a panic system to manage, plus a plot that’s driven by player choices. Claire’s quest to find her mother is the heart of the story, but other lost souls lurk in the darkness as well. Who you save and how you interact influences how the finale plays out. There’s also a New Game+ option that features a raised difficulty but carries your items over from the first playthrough.

4PM

PC (July 9)

Here’s an excerpt from the official Steam listing for 4PM that gives a good sense of what the story’s all about:

“You wake up, your flat is a mess, you have a terrible hangover, sounds of the city and police sirens outside. Another day in in a life of Caroline Wells and her dull, corporate job. You get up, thinking that this is going to be just another day on your downward spiral, but what lies ahead is a day of life changing, cathartic experiences.”

Screenshot 9

Described as a “short experiential game” created by just one person, 4PM is an interactive thriller that emphasizes storytelling over play. You guide Caroline through a series of events over the course of a single day, but there’s no singular gameplay mechanic tying everything together. Each event simply informs the larger story. We don’t know a lot about 4PM, but it seems like a nifty pickup for fans of story-focused games.

Product Review

‘Resident Evil 2' is a terrifying new virus you'll want to catch

Resident Evil 2 brings the Raccoon City incident to a new generation of players, acting both as a nostalgic throwback and a thoroughly modern horror game with some of the best visuals of the generation.
Gaming

‘Resident Evil 2’ will get free mode called ‘The Ghost Survivors’

Resident Evil 2 will be getting a free post-launch DLC mode which will feature characters not playable in the game's main campaign. No release date has been given for the new mode.
Gaming

Can't stand keyboard gaming on PC? Here's how to use a PS3 controller instead

Properly connecting a PlayStation 3 Controller to a PC is no easy task, especially when you opt for third-party peripherals. Thankfully, our guide will help you through the process.
Gaming

Bethesda explains why ‘Fallout 76’ players using secret room are banned

Following a series of bans in Fallout 76 brought on by players entering a secret room in the game, Bethesda has explain exactly why these players' accounts have been temporarily deactivated.
Gaming

Overkill’s ‘The Walking Dead’ delayed indefinitely for PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Overkill's The Walking Dead for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been postponed without a new release date. The co-op zombie shooter suffered massive delays, then received lukewarm reviews once it launched for the PC through Steam.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Product Review

The Digital Storm Aventum X is an unstoppable gaming PC. Trust us, we tried

Packed with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Aventum X is an infinitely upgradeable gaming PC that’s capable of far more performance than you’ll ever need.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ update makes you the most dangerous snowman ever

The latest content update for Epic Games' Fortnite adds the Sneaky Snowman item, turning players into stealthy masters of disguise. The update also changes the Sniper Shootout game mode.
Gaming

Having issues with your PS4? Check out our solutions to its most common problems

Just because the PlayStation 4 is a remarkable system doesn't mean that it's immune to the occasional hiccup. Thankfully, we've vetted some of the bigger PS4 problems and found solutions for whatever might ail you.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

Have a problem with your Xbox One X? We have the solution

The Xbox One X is a brilliant console, but it's not without its issues, ranging from simple annoyances to severe hardware problems. Here are common Xbox One X problems and how to fix them.
Product Review

Raw and brutal, ‘Dead Cells’ will pummel you, and you'll like it

Dead Cells is an indie game that blends elements from roguelite and Metroidvania genres to bring fast-paced combat pace, a complex progression system, and gameplay with plenty of secrets to uncover.
Gaming

A ‘Farming Simulator 19’ esports league will crown Europe’s best virtual farmer

Giants Software is turning Farming Simulator 19 into a full-fledged esports league, with 10 separate European tournaments being held before crowning the ultimate team of virtual farmers.