'12 Minutes' is a murderous 'Groundhog Day'

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Annapurna Interactive

Everyone has regrets; words and actions that we wish we could take back or try again. But only a precious few are gifted the opportunity for mulligans of such magnitude. In Annapurna Interactive’s latest psychological thriller, 12 Minutes, you’re granted (perhaps cursed) with exactly that.

In 12 Minutes you play as a man stuck in a time loop a la Russian Doll or Looper. Returning home from work to a special meal prepared by your wife, you quickly settle in for a comfortable evening. That respite is quickly dashed by a knock at the door. Your unannounced visitor is a police detective who suspects your wife of murdering her father 12 years ago. A fracas breaks out as he moves to arrest her, leading to you being knocked out and revived just as you entered the apartment less than a quarter hour before. This is where the fun starts.

The entire game takes place inside the one-bedroom apartment and only involves the three main characters: you, your wife, and the cop. That might not seem like enough to power the main 6-8 hour story but once you start playing, you quickly realize how dense and layered the game actually is. I was afforded a 30 minute demo here at E3 along with four other gaming journalists. Within two revivals, the five of us were tearing the apartment apart, exploring every corner and cabinet, collecting and combining items to see what happens.

For example, I figured out that if you pick up a mug from the counter and click on the sink, you’ll fill the cup with water and take a healthy swig. The next time through, the next reporter up found a stash of sleeping pills in the bathroom. The third time through we’d discovered that if you take the mug, fill it with water, slip in some sleeping pills and offer it to either your wife or the cop, you can temporarily knock them out.

And that’s the beauty of this game. While each round is at most 12 minutes long, you’re constantly learning from your various experimentations. Luckily, your character learns these lessons as well so that the next time you play through, you’ll have access to new dialog and action options. Items can be used and combined with nearly limitless options. It’s quite not the same pace as, say, Minit, the roguelike speedrunning game we saw last year, but you definitely feel a novel combination of short term anxiety as you race around the house before the police arrive and the zen of long-term “I wonder what happens if I push this button” strategy planning.

What’s more, the game leaves you entirely to your own devices. The interface is minimal, really just an item drawer accessed from the top of the screen. There are no AI guides, narrative hints, task lists, checkpoints or goals. According to Annapurna Interactive reps, the game pulls its inspiration from films like Memento and Groundhog Day. It even gives a nod to the iconic carpet pattern from The Shining’s Overlook Hotel.

12 minutes is scheduled for release on the XBox One and PC in early 2020.

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The Marvel's Avengers game arrives May 15th, 2020

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Square Enix

Back in 2017, Square Enix signed a multi-year development deal with Marvel. The first item on their list was a secretive title dubbed, Project Avengers. Tonight, at Square Enix’s keynote ahead of E3, the company unveiled the results of its two years of hard work. Behold the newly annointed Marvel’s Avengers.

This new Avengers title takes place in San Francisco as the team opens its West Coast HQ when the situation (as they’re wont to do in the Marvel Universe) goes sideways. You’ll be able to complete the campaign either solo or with the help of up to three co-op partners. The game features top-flight voice talent including Troy Baker (Joe from The Last of Us), who voices Tony Stark, while Nolan North (aka Nathan Drake) lends his verbal skills to Thor and Laura Bailey plays Black Widow.

Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics and Deus Ex studio Eidos-Montreal have both signed onto the project. Best of all, the game will not include any sorts of loot boxes or pay-to-win scenarios. Plus, as Eidos-Montreal executives announced during the event, the studios plan to continue expanding the roster of playable heroes and have no intention of charging players for the additions.

Square Enix also announced that Avengers will be coming to Google’s new Stadia game streaming service — in addition to PS4, PC and Xbox One — upon its launch on May 15th, 2020.

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The new 'Wolfenstein: Youngblood' trailer is a killer good time

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Bethesda

WIth the July 26th release date of Wolfenstein: Youngblood nearly upon us, Bethesda took the stage at its E3 keynote on Sunday to reveal additional details and gameplay of its latest installment of the Nazi-hunting franchise.

Youngblood is a co-op adventure following the exploits of BJ Blazkowicz’s daughters, Jess and Soph, as they fight, shoot and stab their way through Wolfenstein’s trademark Nazi hordes. The women must track down their father who has gone missing in 1980s Paris some two decades after the end of New Colossus.

Players will be able to either run through the game solo (with the help of an AI companion) or team up with a friend to double their stopping power. Youngblood will be available on both XBox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC when it drops next month.

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'Tales of Arise' launches on Xbox One and PS4 in 2020

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Bandai Namco

First launched on the Super Famicom way back in 1995, Bandai Namco’s Tales series is one of the longest-running RPG series in the history of gaming. At Microsoft’s E3 keynote on Sunday, the company announced that the “dynamic action RPG” will receive yet another iteration of the storied franchise come next year. Dubbed, Tales of Arise, the follow-up to 2017’s Tales of Berseria will reportedly offer an updated combat system that still remains true to the existing gameplay that Tales fans have come to expect over the past 24 years.

Details of the release leaked online ahead of the official announcement. Per those leaks, the story takes place on the planet Dahna. “Stories handed down for generations became truth and masked reality for the people of Dahna,” the release states. “For 300 years, Rena has ruled over Dahna, pillaging the planet of its resources and stripping people of their dignity and freedom. Our tale begins with two people, born on different worlds, each looking to change their fate and create a new future.”

Catch up on all the latest news from E3 2019 here!

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All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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'Halo Infinite' arrives holiday 2020 alongside the new Xbox

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343 Industries

It’s been a year since 343 Industries gave us our first glimpse of the next installment of XBox’s flagship series, Halo Infinite. But during the Microsoft keynote event on Sunday, 343 revealed that Master Chief will be once again returning to the battlefield just in time for the holidays in 2020. What’s more, the game will be a launch title for the upcoming XBox system, codenamed Scarlett.

Halo Infinite is the sixth iteration of the venerated first person shooter and is being billed as a “spiritual reboot” by 343 Industries head, Bonnie Ross.

“There has been a lot of introspective time to really reflect on what [we have] done as 343,” Ross told IGN in 2018 upon the release of the game’s initial teaser trailer. “Where have we made mistakes? Where have we hit it right? What does Halo mean to all of us? That [Halo Infinite reveal] trailer we did is what Halo means to the studio.”

“Maybe it took us two games to get there, and I think we’ve done good things and bad things, but what does Halo mean to us? It is about hope, and wonder, and heroism, and humanity, and community, and bringing a community together. That’s what that trailer is, and that’s what we want to do.”

Catch up on all the latest news from E3 2019 here!

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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