Science-Fiction Weekly – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Anthem, Genesis Alpha One, Switchblade, Stellaris

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If your name is Count Dooku, you probably tell everyone “Please call me Darth Tyranus.” Despite having a name that made most theatergoers rub their ears and question if they heard it correctly, Count Dooku was pretty damn cool. He was played by the great Christopher Lee, was Yoda’s padawan, and played a significant role in Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side. In addition to being a prominent figure in the prequel movies, he shined in The Clone Wars animated series. As of tomorrow, Dooku will be available as a playable hero in Star Wars Battlefront II. This update also introduces Geonosis as a location for Heroes vs. Villains, Blast, and custom avenues of play. Dooku wears his iconic brown cape, but can also be customized to wear his “Dark Ritual” attire that appeared in a Clone Wars: Lost Missions episode. That outfit arrives on January 30.

In other Star Wars news, if you’re looking forward to becoming a part of your own Star Wars story at the forthcoming Galaxy’s Edge theme park, you may want to bone up on your lore first. Lucasfilm and Marvel are teaming up for a new five-issue comic book series called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Yes, these stories tie into the park and provide backstory for some of the characters you’ll meet. One of these faces is named Dok-Ondar, an Ithorian antiques collector. Hmmm. That doesn’t sound like a character I want to get a photo with. The first issue of Galaxy’s Edge will also reveal what happens when the First Order reaches the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu (the location of the park). Han Solo and Chewbacca are somehow involved. This series is penned by Ethan Sacks (Star Wars: Age of Republic) with art by Will Sliney, who helped bring Solo: A Star Wars Story to comics. You can find out more about what Sacks hopes to bring to the series in his interview on the official Star Wars website.

As quiet as it’s been on the science-fiction gaming front, a handful of titles are on the way soon. BioWare’s Anthem leads the charge, and is exactly a month away, launching on February 22. A new video from BioWare gives us another look at the Monitor, the big bad in this story who could also double as a cosplayer of Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The video also dives deep into javelin abilities and load outs. We also see a cool battle that shows two-player cooperative play and how the different classes can pick apart a large pocket of enemies. I think I speak for all of us when i say I can’t wait to see what this game has to offer. It looks so damn cool, but I want to see how it’s all stitched together. No, we won’t get that from the demo that hits on January 25. I suspect it will just confirm everything we already know. The game plays well and is a graphical juggernaut. What we need are those thoughts that come after playing it for days on end.

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As I wait to get my Anthem review started, I intend to spend some time with Genesis Alpha One, a new roguelike first-person shooter from developer Radiation Blue releasing on January 29 for Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4. I know the mention of “roguelike” puts a lot of you on edge, but it sounds like a cool hook in this game. As you travel into deep space to find a new planet for humanity to settle on, your Genesis starship will fall under attack. Should you perish in combat, a new captain will be selected from your crew, and will continue the fight with the abilities and “flaws” in tow. As you make progress, you can expand the size of your starship and can manually design how it is pieced together. The fight doesn’t just unfold on your ship. You can also venture onto alien worlds to investigate and gather supplies. The trailer puts details the failure and success states perfectly with the audio line “As long as crew members are alive, so are you.”

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If you can’t wait that long to play something new, Paradox Interactive’s Stellaris is finally coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on February 26. Stellaris is a 4x strategy game that tasks the player to chart the cosmos and build an armada along the way. When Stellaris released on PC in 2016, Game Informer’s Ben Reeves gave it a respectable rating of 8.25 out of 10, and said the “early game is full of exploration and promise,” but it “eventually settles into a grind as you either try to convince neighboring aliens to become your vassals or slowly build up an army to forcefully take over their worlds.” The console version will be available in two versions: a standard edition retailing for $39.99, and a deluxe edition that includes the Utopia expansion, along with the Plantoids Species Pack and Leviathans Story Pack, which will be made available in the months following launch. You can take a look at the console version in the trailer below:

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If you clicked into this story with the intent of finding a new science-fiction experience to play right at this moment, Lucid Games’ vehicular combat game Switchblade just went free to play on PlayStation 4 and PC. Described by Lucid as a “MOBA-inspired vehicle action game,” Switchblade tasks a team of five players in weaponized vehicles to take down turrets and towers and ultimately the enemy’s base. You select two vehicles at the outset of play, and can switch between them on the fly during the match (with a small delay when the vehicle is deployed via dropship). I played a few matches this morning and had a good deal of fun teaming up with random players to roll in and strategically pick apart our opponents’ defenses. The vehicles control well, but are a bit slow, which makes the opening moments of play (and subsequent respawns) a little boring given you are roughly 30 seconds away from the action unless the enemy is storming your base. Like I said, it’s free to play now, so it’s worth a look, especially if you are hunting for something different. Switchblade fits that bill perfectly.

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That’s it for this week, gang. I’ll be back in seven days with more Science-Fiction news for gaming and beyond.


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