Capcom have been brewing up a new title update for their survival horror remake, Resident Evil 3.
While we didn't see too many post-launch updates for last year's incredible Resident Evil 2, the sequel features an original online multiplayer mode – Resistance – which has once again been expanded with new content.
Resident Evil 3 update 1.09 introduces two new maps with loads of bonus equipment and cosmetics to unlock. You can catch the full list of additions below as well as the various gameplay changes and bug fixes made in this latest patch.
Resident Evil 3 update 1.09 patch notes
The following additions and adjustments have been implemented for all platforms.
- ・Added the new Uptown map.
- ・Added the new Bemusement Park map.
- ・Added 12 new equipment items for Survivors.
- ・Added 13 new equipment items for the Mastermind.
- ・Added 21 new Survivor skins (including 7 available for purchase).
- ・Added 5 new Survivor gestures.
- ・Added 15 new sprays.
- ・Added 5 new creature skins.
- ・Added 2 new zombie gestures.
- ・Added the Converter Mod – Creatures skill card.While in hand, using Creature Cards will lower the cost of this mod. Using this mod will add an Ivy card to your hand.
- ・Added the Converter Mod – Traps skill card.While in hand, using Trap Cards will lower the cost of this mod. Using this mod will add a Teleportation Trap card to your hand.
- ・Added the Converter Mod – Firearms skill card.While in hand, using Firearm Cards will lower the cost of this mod. Using this mod will add a Grenade Launcher card to your hand.
Adjustments and Fixes
- ・Reduced the amount of time added to the timer when Survivors defeat zombie dogs.
- ・Adjusted the rules that determine Supply Zombie spawn location, making it less likely to spawn close to the Survivors' locations.
- ・Adjusted the items dropped by the Supply Zombie such that it can no longer drop multiple special weapons.
- ・Changed some items granted to Survivors from the slot machine in the Casino map.
- ・Added a guide message when Survivors are defeated near the exit to clarify the conditions needed for their revival.
- ・Reduced the difficulty of daily missions overall.
- ・Resolved an issue where the upper-left Bio Core in area 3 of the Abandoned Park could be attacked from the entrance using a Rocket Launcher or ATM-4.
- ・Addressed an issue were the Signal Jammer's effective range was not displayed on area 3 lifts.
- ・Added the ability to check daily mission progress while waiting for matchmaking to complete.
- ・Adjusted the formula for RP reward calculations when the Mastermind wins in area 1.
- ・Resolved an issue where moving to the next area while a Survivor was incapacitated by Yateveo's Devour ability could leave that Survivor unable to move in the following area.
- ・Resolved an issue where Samuel could not complete the requirements for "Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru" with certain passive skill variants equipped.
- ・Resolved an issue where sound would occasionally stop playing during extended gameplay sessions.
- ・Adjusted maximum ranks for all Survivor characters, and changed skill unlock requirements such that all skill variants are obtained by rank 16.
- ・Increased the amount of Ammo held at the start of the match for Valerie, Jan, Martin, Becca, and Jill.
- ・Enabled the purchase of Ammo x 50 from the Armory in area 1.
- ・Either MQ 11 or W-870 (determined at random) will be available in area 1.
- ・Increased the base damage of the MUP.
- ・Increased the base damage of the Matilda.
- ・Increased the base damage of the Quickdraw Army.
- ・Adjusted the hit detection for the W-870, making it less likely to deal extremely small amounts of damage when attacking creatures.
- ・Adjusted the effects of the Batting Glove and High-Grade Ammo series equipment.
- ・Adjusted the lines spoken by the Mastermind on the Survivors' result screen in the event of a match ending due to the Mastermind disconnecting.
- ・Adjusted maximum ranks for all Mastermind characters, and changed skill unlock requirements such that all skill variants are obtained by rank 15.
- ・Adjusted ranks at which additional skill cards are unlocked such that all skill cards are obtained by rank 14.
- ・When releasing control of a creature, there will now be a 5-second cooldown before that same creature can be controlled again. (Other creatures may be controlled immediately.)
- ・Reduced the health of the Supply Zombie.
- ・Reduced the amount of time it takes for zombie dogs to become mobile after being spawned.
- ・Improved pathing for zombie dogs such that they should not repeatedly run into walls as often.
- ・Turret – Rifle and Turret – High Caliber Rifle will now take time to reacquire targets after firing.
- ・Reduced the base damage of Turret – Rifle, Turret – High Caliber Rifle, and Turret – Machine Gun.
- ・Added a cooldown to the E.I.S. when turning off the lights.
- ・The Imposter Zombie's claw attack will now perform a three-hit combo.
- ・Hits to Ivy will no longer increase its stagger value unless they strike its head or its buds.
- ・Adjusted the amount by which Sturdy Materials, High-Tech Materials, and Steel Pressure Plate series equipment affects Martin's trap disarm speed.
- ・Reduced the maximum range of camera-mounted firearms.
- ・Updated the description of Makeshift Mine's "Signal Jammer" skill variant to include its 15-second duration.
- ・Reduced the effects of Life Hacks' "Bulletproof" skill variant.
- ・To address the issue where flash effects did not always work correctly at certain low angles, Flash Baton will now emanate from the center of the character model for the purposes of hit detection.
- ・Disarming traps with Martin's fever skill and interacting with traps will now always award RP.
- ・Reduced the base amount of time required to disarm traps. (Time require with the Nimble skill variant equipped remains unchanged.)
- ・EMP effects are no longer disabled by Electromagnetic Shield.
- ・Unlocking doors with Master Key will now always award RP.
- ・The effect of Delta Force's "Marksman" skill variant will now also apply to Bio Cores.
- ・Increased the duration of the invincibility effect granted by Puppeteer's "Invincible" skill variant.
- ・The effects of Puppeteer's "Invincible" skill variant are now removed immediately upon releasing control of a creature.
- ・Reduced the time it takes for the Tyrant to become active when spawned.
- ・Made it more difficult to accidentally end the Tyrant's Bull Rush ability immediately after activation.
- ・Increased the Tyrant's movement speed.
- ・Increased the base damage of the Machine Gun – Infection area 3 exclusive card.
- ・Reduced the amount of time for which Yateveo cannot take new commands after performing Slime Shot.
- ・Adjusted the effects of Residence of Evil's "Mechanic" skill variant on Martin's trap-disarming abilities.
- ・Reduced the speed at which Disintegration Field is deployed when using the "Refract" skill variant.
It's been a busy several days for fans of Team Ninja's samurai slashing sequel, Nioh 2 having already been bolstered by two back-to-back title updates.
Now the developer and Koei Tecmo have dropped a new patch players will need to download and install. Nioh 2 update 1.13 is now available for the PlayStation exclusive action RPG, making a few minor changes on top of various bug fixes.
This follows last week's launch of Nioh 2's first of three DLC expansions titled "The Tengu's Disciple". For more on Nioh 2, make sure you read Jason's review where he scores the popular PS4 sequel a demonic 9/10.
Nioh 2 update 1.13 patch notes
- Increased the drop rate of sacred weapons in the "Emaki Mission" of "Sura no Yumeji" and "Hyakki Yayuki Emaki/Shura"
- Adjusted the enemy's physical strength and increased the enemy's attack power when playing Tokuyo accompanied by 3 players *When played by 2 people, there is no change from Ver 1.12.
- Adjusted the physical strength of the following bosses in "Shura no Yumeji"
- Sickle weasel
- Princess Nagabe
- Adjusted the damage when hitting a weak point in "Shura no Yumeji"
- Decreased the number of enemies appearing at the same time, enemy species, and timing in some "Emaki missions"
- Changed to be able to get "Hyakuya no Kaori" with a certain probability if you can not get a picture scroll when you participate as a guest in the "Emaki Mission"
- Adjusted the damage increase amount in the 1-2 stage of special effect "multi-talented and versatile", and adjusted the damage increase amount in the 4-9 stage upward
- The following adjustments have been made for the "prepared stick"
- Adjusted the homing of the martial arts "Olymaki"
- Adjusted the knockback so that it is easier to hit consecutively when using the martial arts "Sweeping Judge"
- Adjusted the damage of the martial arts "Sweeping Judge"
- When using the martial arts "Touhou Soumei", extend the timing for deriving derivative works
- Adjusted knockback so that the martial arts "Ssanryu Ranbu" can easily hit the enemy
- Adjusted knockback so that the martial arts "Bounce Fishing Bottle" can easily hit the enemy
- Adjusted the homing and attack occurrence of the martial arts "Bounce Fishing Bottle"
- Adjusted so that the martial arts "Kozukiki" can easily hit the enemy
- Adjusted the damage and attack occurrence of the martial arts "Side Attack"
- Adjusted the power of the martial arts "Shibagiri" upward, adjusted the energy damage downward
- Adjusted the forward distance of the martial arts "Shibaragi 2" and the damage when just input was successful
- Adjusted the martial arts "Ryukai" to make it easier to hit the enemy, and adjusted the damage upward
- Adjusted to quickly generate an attack when you receive an enemy attack with the martial arts "Kotei"
- Adjusted the forward distance so that it is easier to catch the enemy's attack with the martial arts "small hand stop"
- Adjusted the martial arts "Kokukuki" damage and energy damage upward. Reduces rigidity after attack
- Adjusted the damage of martial arts "Kasashita"
- Adjusted the energy damage of normal attacks upward
- Increased the damage of strong attacks in the middle row
- Adjusted the damage and advance amount of the fast attack in the lower row upward
- Fixed a bug that the player may reposition unnaturally at the end of the action of the training crawling martial arts "Ryubanki"
- Fixed a bug that the martial arts did not appear when performing a specific action when using the training crawling martial arts "Ssanryu Ranbu"
- Fixed a bug that the way to reduce energy was different from the expected when using the training skill "Ssanryu Ranbu"
- Fixed a bug that you can cancel before the attack power increase effect is added when using the training skill "Ssanryu Ranbu 2"
- Fixed a bug that the shock wave of the Yokai weapon's demon activation state may not occur when using a strong attack after avoiding with a charging shank
- Fixed a bug that the number of hits did not increase when using the training cue martial arts "Tourou Feng Shuange" "Kotei" with the mystery "Circle continuous method" set
- Fixed a bug that some attacks may not hit when using the training crawling martial arts "Ryoranki" with the mystery "dragon snake crawling method" set when equipped with a training crawler
- Fixed a bug that the hit timing of some attacks of the training martial arts "Ryoranki" was different from the appearance
- Fixed a bug that the secret mystery is wrong with the fast attack of the middle and upper tiers
- Fixed a bug where Zanshin could not be activated when the martial arts "Houmei Sword" was activated by pressing and holding the button.
- Fixed a bug that the martial arts customization skill of "Zanshin When" was lost when loading save data.
- Fixed a bug that parrying martial arts would be established against the martial arts of the "Career" used by the enemy
- Fixed a bug that "Blue Dragon" does not move up and down even if the player moves in a place where there is a difference in height while the guardian spirit "Blue Dragon" is active
- Fixed a bug in which "Blue Dragon" may follow different players when calling the guardian spirit of "Blue Dragon" in multiplayer.
- Fixed a bug that damage caused to the enemy is reduced if you perform another action such as moving after activating the following Yokai technique
- Night sword god
- Tree spirit
- Corrected the position of the Ushiwaka Senki's main mission "Arashi Calm Whistle" so that you can get items placed in places that you can not get
- Fixed a bug in the Ushiwaka Senki main mission "Arashi Calm Whistle" that caused the boss to be unable to progress when he died in the sea
- Fixed a bug where Sukebit did not attack the boss in the Ushiwaka Senki main mission "Arashi calm whistle"
- Fixed a bug in the Ushiwaka Senki main mission "Arashi calm whistle" that the boss might remain down in certain steps
- Fixed a bug that an application error might occur when defeating the boss in the main mission "Hitoyokatsu no Hate" of Ushiwaka Senki
- Fixed a bug in the Ushiwaka Senki Submission "Beyond the White Blade" that could cause the boss to be unable to proceed while riding on the lantern
- Fixed an issue where the attack on "Date Asamune" would not be hit if you started accompanying "Date Asamune" in the Ushiwaka Senki's submission "Reishiishi no Hoshizoku"
- Fixed a bug that the item of Sacred Rarity might be dropped due to the destruction of some enemies with "Shards of Difficulty"
- Fixed a bug that when the initial weapon after "NEW GAME" is selected, the "heart" is actually raised even though "Spell+1" is displayed when "Career" is selected. *The parameters do not change even if Ver1.13 is applied. If you use the Rokudou Rinsho, the original parameter increase will be reflected.
- Fixed a bug that "Built-in" can be obtained in Garakuta City when the additional content "Ushiwaka Senki" is not applied. * If you save data without applying the additional content "Ushiwaka Senki", all the prepared sticks acquired in Garakuta City will be lost.
- Fixed a bug that the special effect of equipment sold in "Kiraku no Garakuta City" of "Shura no Yumeji" changes when going in and out of "Kiraku no Garakuta City"
- Fixed a bug that illegal characters were added to the end of "Picture scroll discoverer" in "Hyakki Yayuki picture scroll"
- Fixed a bug that the "Grace" special effect is not added to the following spear weapons
- Bi 々 Luo Mu no Eight Searching Spears
- Swan spear
- Fixed a bug that illegal effects are displayed in "Effect icon list"
- Fixed a bug that the special effect of "Grace" cannot be filtered
- Other minor bugs fixed
Next week EA will be inviting UFC fans back to the Octagon for the next instalment in their licensed MMA fighting game series. A trophy list for UFC 4 has now been found online.
UFC 4 will be launching on August 14th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, bringing with it a raft of new content and features. The team at EA Sports have been refining every asset of the core gameplay form more dynamic clinch control to an improved submission system and, of course, enhanced visuals.
On top of that, fans can expect new fighters and venues to appear in UFC 4. Those who pre-order the game can unlock big-time boxing champions, Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, at launch.
In the meantime, let's take a look at the game's trophy list. At a glance, there seems to be a abundance of silvers up for grabs here mainly tied to the singleplayer Career mode. There are some gameplay specific bronze trophies in there as well as a couple of achievements tied to online play. Here's the list in full.
|The Collector||Unlock all other trophies in EA SPORTS UFC® 4.||Platinum|
|Hidden Trophy||Continue playing to unlock this trophy.||Bronze|
|Risky Offer||Accept an Amateur fight against a high level Wrestler.||Silver|
|Hidden Trophy||Continue playing to unlock this trophy.||Silver|
|Unleashed on Cam||Knockout your training partner during a streamed session in your Career.||Silver|
|Employee of the Month||Complete an optional Contract Bonus in your Career.||Silver|
|No Pain No Gain||Receive a major injury and win the match in your Career.||Silver|
|I'm Back!||Use Evolution Points to recover a lost attribute point in your Career.||Silver|
|Rubbing Shoulders with the Best||Invite a top 5 fighter and learn a new move in your Career.||Silver|
|Did My Homework||Unlock all gameplans for a Fighter in your Career.||Silver|
|Overachiever||Complete all optional challenges from a sparring session in your Career.||Silver|
|Undefeated||Defend the belt 12 consecutive times in your Career.||Gold|
|The Specialist||Unlock 5 perks in a single category through Evolution Points in your Career.||Silver|
|The Apprentice||Upgrade a move during a fight or training in your Career.||Bronze|
|The Master||Prestige a move in your Career by knocking out or knocking down opponents with a 5-Star Move.||Silver|
|Hidden Trophy||Continue playing to unlock this trophy.||Gold|
|Facebreaker||Finish a fight by ground & pound.||Bronze|
|Sleepy Time||Finish a fight by choke submission.||Bronze|
|Bend to my Will||Finish a fight by Joint Submission.||Bronze|
|Stay Down!||Perform 5 successful takedowns in a fight.||Bronze|
|High Impact||KO your opponent from clinch.||Bronze|
|This is Me||Edit all categories from your Player Card.||Silver|
|Wear'em with Pride||Equip 5 accolades in your Player Card.||Gold|
|Show the Flag||Equip a Legendary Background on your Player Card.||Silver|
|Words of Wisdom||Add flair text to your Player Card.||Bronze|
|Back to the Arcades||Play a match of KO Mode.||Silver|
|Undisputed||Become champion and defend the title once in Online World Championships.||Gold|
|There Can Be Only One||Achieve Ultimate Victory in Blitz Battles.||Gold|
This latest entry comes more than two and a half years after the launch of UFC 3 which kicked, punched, and grappled its way to a knock-out 8/10 in our review.
Source: True Trophies
Bethesda have announced that Doom Eternal and Elder Scrolls Online will both be receiving an enhanced release for the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, and will offer free upgrades from current gen consoles. So if you own either game on PlayStation 4, you'll upgrade for free to PlayStation 5, and from Xbox One to Xbox Series X.
The timing of these upgrades is not set in stone, but will come after the new consoles launch. Bethesda are working to ensure they work correctly via backward compatibility, and will announce the expected release windows and list of enhancements in the coming weeks and months.
Beyond these two games, Bethesda don't currently have anything to say, but if they decide to enhance a game for next-gen, they are "committed to offer free upgrades for current generation console owners of existing Bethesda titles we bring forward into the next generation of consoles."
This quite heavily implies that
if when Todd Howard decides to crank out Skyrim onto yet another set of platforms, it'll be a free upgrade.
Doom Eternal is one of the early frontrunners for Game of the Year in 2020, with Miguel saying in our review:
Doom Eternal doesn't just set the bar, it breaks it. Many of the best games of the FPS genre do what has already been done, and can do it really, really well, but Doom Eternal does what no other game has done before, crafting a fast-paced power fantasy that sets your brain cells on fire. It's an addictive exploration of the mythic Doomslayer character that delivers hours of blood-drenched fun, dozens of memorable collectibles, and a fan-pleasing story book-ended with gorgeous worlds and unforgettable music. Doom Eternal is a ripping, tearing masterpiece.
Meanwhile, The Elder Scrolls Online has been going from strength to strength over the years. The latest expansion was Greymoor, where Dom said, it "deserves its position as one of the premier MMORPG experiences, and Greymoor upholds that, even if it doesn't quite do justice to Skyrim's vast legacy."
Can you guess who's a fan of Fall Guys? Well, if you guessed The Witcher and Mr. Cyberpunk (not his actual name), then you guessed right. The social media gangs for the three games have spent a good part of today joking around and teasing some kind of future collaboration on some kind of Fall Guys shenanigans in future.
Hi @CyberpunkGame how many retweets would we need to get for you to collab with us?
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) August 6, 2020
Hi, please can we get one retweet on this tweet and then @CyberpunkGame will collab with us
Pls, I need this
Just one retweet
And then it's confirmed
Fall Guys and Cyberpunk 2077 to do a collab
1 RT pleeeeaase https://t.co/CyMmBG49t1
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) August 6, 2020
Just one retweet? Oh, that'll be eas…. Oh…
Okay, I've just been on the phone with CD PROJEKT RED Legal Department
They said we literally need to do a tweet that gets EXACTLY ONE retweet… and then they will do the collab
Nobody else https://t.co/PRluYk3xqp
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) August 6, 2020
So the Cyberpunk collab is off the table, but who's this handsome white-haired fellow? Obviously Geralt wanted in the fun.
OMG I'M CRYING
FALL GUYS AND WITCHER COLLAB?!?!?!?
SHALL WE DM?!?!? https://t.co/wLVW6V305C
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) August 6, 2020
We do not know if they DM'd.
Obviously, there's tons of potential for silly skins and costumes to be dropped into Fall Guys. The default jellybean-like character is made for covering in funky colourful patterns and dressing up, and there's plenty in the game already. On day one, that's been accompanied by a fast food themed costume pack, but I'm sure we can all imaging the Cyberpunk jackets and Roach heads.
I'm just wondering why Mediatonic don't plumb the depths of publisher Devolver Digital's catalogue first? A bit of Serious Sam, an Enter the Gungeon bullet costume or My Friend Pedro banana, maybe even a Genital Jousting get up? Hmm?
The game came out earlier this week, with over 1.5 million people rushing to download it and play in the first 24 hours – it's free on PS+, after all. That, obviously, led to the servers falling over, which got so bad that the social media team got all in a flutter and set up an owl-based Twitter account for the game's servers!
We were playing the game last weekend in the last technical beta test before release and had an absolute ball. Read our Fall Guys preview here, where Jim said:
Tied up in such a cheeky, vibrant package, Fall Guys has the makings of a true multiplayer marvel and one that touts slapstick silliness over a constant barrage of blood and bullets. We'll be throwing ourselves into this mad little game on launch day and we'll surely be grinning from ear to ear as we do.
We'll have our review some time soon, I'm sure.
UKIE and Fuser are hosting a video game music gig on their Twitch channel, playing host to exclusive live performances from a number of well known video game composers.
You can tune into the Game Changers stream from 7:30PM to 11PM, with the show being held to raise money for Mermaids and GamesAid. It will be streamed live from Loading Bar, sponsored by Harmonix and NCSOFT.
To watch and listen, head to www.twitch.tv/ukietv.
As you might be able to guess from the lineup, this Game Changers stream is really dedicated to highlighting female composers in video games. UKIE's 2020 UK Games Industry Census revealed that game music overwhelmingly comes from male and white composers, and so Game Changers is the first in a series of events designed to highlight the work of a more diverse range people, hoping to have more people from more backgrounds enter the games industry.
There's something especially calming about golf whenever I see it on TV. The calming, hushed tones of the Beeb's commentators, the lackadaisical pace as the golfers take their shots and then saunter up the green after their ball, the ambient hubbub of the watching crowds and their appreciation of a good stroke. It's only once you reach the pointy end of a competition (or any day of the fiercely competed Ryder Cup) that the noise levels and heart rates seem to rise.
For golf fans, it's been far too long since the sport has felt like it's had a proper licensed video game series to be its flag bearer. That's all set to change later this month with PGA Tour 2K21, the first game to feature 2K's distinctive branding after they took over the license from EA.
Don't let the naming fool you; this isn't really a brand new franchise starting from scratch. Instead PGA Tour 2K21 sees HB Studios put their The Golf Club branding to one side and smoothly transition their homegrown game series to sporting the official PGA license front and centre. Even with the new name, this is building on the foundations that they set out in The Golf Club, expanding on how they feature the PGA Tour from their last game.
Having been able to feature a bunch of official PGA Tour courses to the game for The Golf Club 2019, that's been more than doubled, from seven to fifteen licensed courses. PGA Tour 2K21 adds licensed player likenesses into the mix as well. From the cover, there's the newly crowned world #1 golfer Justin Thomas, and he's part of a line up that also includes Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Jim Furyk and more for a total of 12 PGA Tour pros that you'll probably recognise.
But you can't play as any of these pros. Instead, it's still all about the custom players in the 2K staple MyPlayer system. There's fully customisable faces, you can wear a mixture of generic and licensed clothing to make your player look exactly how you want, and for the first time, you can really dig in and customise what's in your golf bag.
This lets you go club-by-club, swapping out a particular 9 wood, wedge, putter and whatever else you want for a different club that has different characteristics. Distance, Shot Shaping, Forgiveness, Swing Plane and Distance Control all shift up and down varying degrees. There's a natural inclination to want the clubs that let you smash the ball absolutely miles, but for that, there's then less forgiveness within the swing mechanics, and so more risk with sliding off to either side of the fairway.
All of this relies on VC, ah, the ever-present in-game currency of 2K's sports games. Its inclusion here is quite light, though. Yes, you can drop some cash on the game and buy more in-game currency, but it's also earned just through playing and levelling up your character. With the cosmetics, it obviously won't affect the game, and even with the clubs, there's the tradeoffs that each one has to maintain balance when playing online. None of the super club shenanigans you might have feared.
PGA Tour 2K21 is still a game based off skill and judgement. The shot mechanics have been tweaked for this entry, so while you're still drawing the thumbstick back and then flicking forward to swing, HB Studios have removed the backswing tempo from their 2018 game. It's just that little bit more intuitive to find your rhythm, but no less challenging to maintain a perfect back and forth motion and nail the timing.
There's new and improved elements around this, with Pro Vision, shot suggestions, training systems, the shot feedback and a new haptic feedback for timing using the rumble of the controller. They're elements to try and lower the bar for entry a little for newcomers to the series, but can also enable more experienced players to go for higher levels of difficulty. There's new mechanics for partial swings, dynamics shot-shaping and a yardage book that can be a tool for learning how to improve your course management skills. I'm someone who will rely on the game's suggestions most of the time, but you can always override that, pick a different stance, club, distance, and forge your own path.
As before, the game is built on the Unity Engine, and that does mean the game can lack some of the visual pizazz that you might expect from a big licensed sports game. At least with Rich Beem and Luke Elvy commentating on every one of my wayward balls, it certainly sounds authentic.
Another element of authenticity comes through the career. As you go from event to event, aiming to earn your spot and compete for the FedEx Cup, you'll have the ability to sign for a sponsor, getting new goals and objectives to beat over the following seasons. Manage to do so and it's not just currency and experience that you'll earn, but also a range of sponsor exclusive clubs and gear that you can only get through this side of the game. As your reputation rises, you'll also be sparking rivalries against those pros, challenging them to head to head battles where your performance is compared them on your way up the rankings.
Of course, there's nothing quite like competing against other people. There's a range of game modes to choose from locally and online, including Stroke, Stableford, Match Play, Skins, Alt Shot, Fourball and Scramble – this last one is a new mode where you and your partner both hit and then decide which ball to follow for your next spot. Private matches will have tons of options for tweaking the green speed, crowd size, what assists are allowed, and more.
And then there's the series' popular course creation mode. This leans on the same tools that the dev team uses to create their courses, but has now been expanded so that objects are no longer restricted to a particular theme. You could set your course in a Swiss theme and then sprinkle it with alligators, if you really wanted. You'll be able to bring across creations from previous games as well, meaning there will be thousands of courses ready to go on day one.
PGA Tour 2K21 sees HB Studios' hard work rewarded with the trust to represent the tour as a whole. It's building on the foundations of The Golf Club and its realistic take on golf, that's for sure, but it also points to a bright future with the potential to grow and include more and more of the PGA Tour.
The Year 4 Season 2 title update is currently rolling out across all available platforms including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You will need to download and install that latest For Honor patch in order to access the game's online multiplayer and other features.
Headlining this mid-season update is an overhaul to For Honor's combat system that has been teased and tested throughout the year. At a glance it may appear as though very little has changed though behind the curtain there have been a number of key alterations that combine to make For Honor a more offence focused fighting game where previously it encouraged a defence-heavy, reactionary playstyle.
This new title update also introduces the latest For Honor fighter, The Warmonger. This is the first new hero to be added to the For Honor roster in 2020 with another due to be released later this year. The Warmonger is an adaptable, vanguard class fighter that For Honor fans may recognise as the campaign's antagonist, Apollyon. She wields a flamberge sword, also making use of her claw-like gauntlet and a deadly new "corruption" game mechanic. This inflicts damage over time to foes, but only when they are within proximity of their allies, forcing them to separate.
This new For Honor title update also kickstarts the "Rise of the Warmongers" event which comes with its own free battle pass track loaded with 35 rewards for players to unlock. As with similar battle pass style progression systems, all you need to do to unlock rewards is play matches and earn experience.
For Honor update 2.20 patch notes
- PS4: 1.12Gb
- Xbox One: 1.37Gb
- PC: 1.1 Gb
NEW FIGHTER: WARMONGER
- DIFFICULTY: EASY
- ADAPTABLE FIGHTING STYLE
- CORRUPTION SPECIALIST
- ENHANCED LIGHT ATTACKS
- CHARGEABLE UNBLOCKABLE CLAW
- CORRUPTION FEATS TO ISOLATE OPPONENTS
Known Issue: Campaign completion rewards are missing for the Warmonger
CORE COMBAT UPDATE
- New system makes fight moves look consistently faster over the network:
- Removed the visual variability of opponent's fight moves speeds caused by timing of the inputs
- As a result, for all fight moves, the first 100ms of animation and user interface are consistently skipped over the network (whether delayed or buffered)
- As a result, feints are also more believable
- Damage adjustments
- Generally, Light Attack damage is reduced
- Generally, counter-attack tools damage is reduced
- Generally, Heavy Finishers damage stays high to incentivise following through with your Chains
- Recoveries normalized
- Light Attacks generally are now frame disadvantaged (to weaken "Light Spam")
- Heavy Finishers generally are now frame advantaged (to incentivise following through with your Heavy Chain Finisher)
- Stamina penalties removed
- Now there is no extra stamina cost on Miss, Block and Parry
- Light Stamina Costs are now generally 12 (from 6)
- Light Light Chains can now be Dodged out of (due to branching timing changes)
- Dodge Attacks that were 500ms are now increased to 533ms
- This affects Peacekeeper, Shaman, Valkyrie, Tiandi, Conqueror, Gladiator, Raider, Nuxia
- Opening Light attacks that were faster than 500ms are now 500ms
- This affect Peacekeeper's Light and Zone, Lawbringer, Orochi, Shaolin
- Zone Attacks are now more comfortable to perform
Developer Comments: There are a lot of additional damage, stamina, and minor timing changes made to make the above happen. Please see the For Honor Competitive Information Hub created and maintained by top players on the r/CompetitiveForHonor subreddit.
- Stab recovery is slightly longer (so that attempting a second Stab immediately after a Stab will lose cleanly to an opponent's Light Attack)
- Increased Chained Heavy to 700ms (from 600ms)
- Guard Break has been standardized with other heroes to allow 800ms attacks to land
- Increased Neutral top heavy to 800ms (from 600ms)
- Increased Neutral side heavies to 900ms (from 700ms)
- Superior Block Dodge Lights no longer guarantee Palm on hit
- Shoves no longer have Uninterruptible Stance (on either Dodge or Chain versions)
- Increased 2nd Light in Chains to 500ms (from 400ms)
- Increased Top Light finisher to 500ms (from 400ms)
- Increased Top Heavy finisher to 900ms (from 800ms) and is now Unblockable
- Increased damage to 20 (from 15)
- Now causes a Medium Reaction (from Light)
- No longer stuns, blinds or causes stamina damage
- No longer stuns, blinds or causes stamina damage
- No longer stuns, blinds or causes stamina damage
- No longer stuns or blinds
- No longer reduce the stamina regen cooldown
- Increased cooldown to 90s (from 60s)
- Decreased duration to 5s (from 10s)
- Removed Armor while reviving
- Reduced spawning to 75 Health (from 100)
- Decreased Shield duration to 15 seconds (from infinite)
- Increased minimum Health to use to 26 (from 21)
- Increased costs to use to 25 Health (from 20)
- Decreased Shield to 30 (from 45)
- Decreased damage resistance to 15% (from 20%)
Hard to Kill
- Condition is now "<50 Health" (from a large variety of Health thresholds)
- Now gives 30% damage reduction (from 4 different values depending on Health thresholds)
- Decreased heals to 4 Health (from 10)
- Decreased heals to 30 Health (from 50)
Heal on Block
- Decreased heals to 4 Health (from 5)
- Decreased heals to 1 Health when killing a Soldier (from 2)
- Decreased Stamina regeneration to 1 when killing a Soldier (from 2)
- Decreased heals to 3 Health per tick, for a total of 84 HP (from 5 per tick for a total of 135)
Tough as Nails
- Decreased Max Health to 10% (from 15%)
- Decreased heals to 8 Health (from 12)
- Decreased heals to 3 Health per second (from 5)
- Decrease heals to 10 Health per execution (from 15)
- Increased Shield to 25 (from 15)
- Decrease duration to 15 seconds on Revive (from infinite on Spawn and Revive)
- Increased Shield to 25 (from 15)
- Decrease duration to 10 seconds when exiting Revenge (from infinite)
- Peacekeeper's 2nd Light isn't dodgeable when getting hit by the initial Light attack
- Orochi's Top Heavy Finisher Feint to Guard Break does not work if you are trying to roll away
- Highlander's Offensive form enhanced Light attacks have 25 stamina cost instead of 12
- Highlander's Light Light combo isn't dodgeable on Block and on Hit when in Revenge or the opponent is Out Of Stamina
Developer Comments: We expect to address the Core Combat Update issues shortly after the release of 2.20.0
- [Adjustment] While launching the game, a different text will be displayed for each step of the connection process
- [Adjustment] Increase the time allocated for the game connection process to help some rare cases when downloading game data took too long, reducing the occurrences of error 2-00002911
- [Bug Fix] Fixed some situations where players were not able to receive rewards or buy scavenger crates for some heroes showing as unlocked
- [Adjustment] Increased Ram Health to 9750 (from 9000)
Developer Comments: Following the release of the Breach Improvements in Season 1 of Year 4, we saw that the Win/Loss ratios were now more even across the different maps. However, we see that the Defending teams still hold a significant advantage over the Attacking teams overall. Raising the Ram's Health bar by an additional cauldron strike will help the Attackers clear through the final Gate or allow them to have a little more breathing room in number of respawns in the Commanders Phase.
- [Adjustment] Added player statistics on the Matchmaking Screen
- [Adjustment] Adjusted the player expression of the Male and Female Gladiator to make outfits look better
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Stab to be uninterruptible
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Side Heavy Finishers to grant 100ms of Uninterruptible Stance immediately after the Hit
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue in Citadel Gate where Players could pass through the collision near the Giant Statue
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Limited Time items and the items on Sale to not properly appear at the top in the Store
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the sound effect to continue playing if the executioner disconnects or leave the match while performing the execution
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the "Master of Peace" visual effect to sometimes stretch
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Warlord's "Nailed Down" execution to have an offset animation
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Samurai's "Ware Shinaba" execution to have clipping Issues
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Shaman's "Ecstatic" signature to have an offset animation
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Lawbringer's "Hands-On approach" execution to have an offset animation
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Peacekeeper's "Arrow in the Head" execution Crossbow to be offset
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Valkyrie's "Warrior meets Horn" execution to have an offset animation
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Gladiator's "Fortuna Adiuvat" helm to have a hole in the neck when performing "Circus Skills"
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Female Black Prior's "Demonic Primordial" chest paint pattern to not apply the paint patter correctly
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Jiang Jun's "Fuchai" blade to clip with certain guards
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Hitokiri's "Yukito's Tsukuyomi" and "Kagekiyo" pommels to use the same model
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Knight's "Renfaire" and " Spiked Banner" paint patterns to be the same
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Warden's "Gabrielle's Zenith" embossing size to not occupy the whole arm armor
- [Bug Fix] Fixed an issue that caused the Stun's "White Flash" visual effect to have different intensity when changing Anti Aliasing and Render Scaling Graphic options
Post Void is a frenetic first-person shooter that takes old-school gameplay and fuses it together with roguelite systems. The result is a fantastic mix of genres, creating what is probably one of my favourite indie releases of 2020.
The premise is simple: you're dropped into what feels like an everwinding floor of corridors filled with monsters and you must make it to the end. You hold a gun in one hand and a small idol in the other, filled with an ever-draining liquid that represents your health and the amount of time you have left. Once the idol is empty, your playthrough is over, but you can keep it topped up by killing enemies. It's a simple premise that feels reminiscent of Minute, as it encourages players to learn enemy attacks and placement in order to progress further with each playthrough.
Each of the 11 levels introduces more difficult enemies and a greater numbers of them, forcing players to really get to grips with the game's shooting mechanics. This is where Post Void really shines. Gunplay is crisp and responsive, empowering players to make quick, reactive shots at the numerous enemies that fill the screen. There are a number of guns to find, including the starting pistol, an Uzi and satisfying shotgun. Each one plays very differently, so it's on players to find out what works for them.
It's hard to describe just how fun Post Void is to play, but it truly is an exceptionally polished shooter. I quickly found myself ducking and weaving to avoid gunfire and really locking into the fast pace of the game. This, mixed with the urgency of your dwindling health, genuinely makes for one of the best experiences on PC this year.
Post Void is a roguelite, so each run is different to the last. Players can pick up a number of modifiers between each round giving you active abilities that change reload time or increase the number of bullets in your gun, adding further variety to the types of runs players can experience. It's a really well thought out system that never overly interferes with the gameplay, but at the same time changes it enough to make each run feel unique.
Much like the choice of guns, players will find what abilities work for them and their style of play. I often went for attack buffs such as explosive enemies or shorter reload speeds as I was confident enough that I could pull off headshots. Other players might choose to increase the amount of liquid in their idol or reduce the slowdown you experience when touched by enemies. It's all about finding the right abilities that work for you and the build that gets you through its manic levels.
You'll need all the help you can get because Post Void is very, very difficult. There are eleven levels in total, but I've only managed to reach level six so far, with more demands on your dexterity and reactions the further you get. There currently isn't pad support, but I feel Post Void is a game specifically geared towards playing on a keyboard and mouse. The speed at which you travel through some of the later levels would be far too hard to handle on an analogue stick. It's for this reason that Post Void is such a delight to play. The developers specifically designed the game's action around old-school first-person shooters like Doom and Quake, creating what feels like an incredibly pure FPS experience.
Post Void also looks a lot like those aforementioned classic first-person shooters with an early 3D shooter style that's then been dipped in grungy psychadelia. You move through a static 3D environment while the enemies in the game are 2D sprites. It's a style that suits Post Void, and this simplified visual aesthetic means that Post Void will run incredibly smoothly across a wide range of machines. I would have liked to have seen a few more options in the settings for visuals, namely the ability to turn V-sync off for a higher refresh rate, but that's a pretty small complaint in the grand scheme of things.
There's only one song in the game at release, and while it compliments the gameplay, it quickly becomes a little repetitive. It would appear the developers were aware of this, incorporating an achievement that pings when you turn the volume down to zero, nudging you to a kind of unlicensed soundtrack with its name 'Spotify: Post Void Playlist'. Truthfully, I'd love to hear more original music by whoever created the one in-game song, as it kept me entertained for far longer than it should have done.
I'm sure some people will take umbrage at the amount of content on offer, but the cost of admission is a meagre £2.33 for one of the best shooters of the year. For those seeking additional challenge past the game's eleven levels, there are global leaderboards so you can continue to battle it out with other players across the world for the highest score.
If there's one thing we'd like to see from The Last of Us Part II – aside from a meaty DLC chapter, of course – is the return of the Factions multiplayer.
Originally, developer Naughty Dog had planned to launch the sequel with this online mode included though it was eventually cut so the team could focus primarily on delivering a more polished singleplayer experience.
Well, some weeks after the launch of The Last of Us Part II, we now have footage of the cancelled (or at least delayed) Factions multiplayer. The video above isn't the best quality and only clocks in at 12 seconds though it does give us a glimpse at what could have been.
Although not the clearest footage, we can still glean some details from this in-development demo of Factions 2.0. It shows a four versus four skirmish set on a snowy map (Jackson, presumably) with many of the same systems in place that we saw in the original The Last of Us multiplayer.
Focusing on one player, we see them attempt to craft an item before knocked down (but not killed) by an enemy using a melee weapon. The attacker then turns their attention to another survivor but is struck with an arrow before hit with a finisher. And that's about it.
It's not hard to imagine how Factions would benefit from the gameplay refinements made between The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II. Close combat could be more dynamic and may even have a dodge mechanic while environments may be opened up more thanks to the add jump and crawl movements.
According to Naughty Dog they still have something planned for Part II multiplayer, having made the following statement to fans:
We wanted to address multiplayer in The Last of Us Part 2. As we've stated, the single player campaign is far and away the most ambitious project Naughty Dog has ever undertaken. Likewise, as development began on the evolution of our Factions mode from The Last of Us Part 1, the vision of the team grew beyond an additional mode that could be included with our enormous single player campaign. Wanting to support both visions, we made the difficult choice that The Last of Us Part 2 would not include an online mode.
However, you will eventually experience the fruits of our team's online ambition, but not as a part of The Last of Us Part 2. When and where it will be realized is still to be determined. But rest assured, we are as big a fan of Factions as the rest of our community and are excited to share more when it's ready.
Source: YouTube (The Irishlizard)
- 10 tips & tricks you should know before playing
- How long to finish The Last of Us Part II?
- Starting New Game + and what carries over
- Find the Strange Relic Artefact location
- Why you should play The Last of Us Part II on Survivor difficulty
- Photo mode tips & tricks
- Do I need to play the first game before Part II?
- Where is the Factions online multiplayer?
Would you believe it? Xbox and PC players are miffed that Spider-Man will be an exclusive character for PlayStation versions of Square Enix's Marvel Avengers. It's got up some people's nose enough that they're calling for a boycott of the game (something that always works out exactly as planned).
Here is the post from KonLiber on Reddit.
First of all I want to clear up that this isn't a cry of fanboyism. This is about consumers standing up for themselves. With the official confirmation that Spiderman will be available in the new Avengers game but only for PS4 owners, I can't help but feel as if I am being scammed. This isn't a PlayStation exclusive but a multiplatform game sold to us at the same full price BUT with less content. We are paying the same price for LESS. We are consumers and we have the ability to be heard with the power of our wallets. Have some self respect and refuse to be treated as a second class customer. Don't buy this game.
All valid points. If you are paying the same price as someone else you should get the same content, but who is responsible for Spider-Man being exclusive?
Sony have published the most recent Spider-Man game and the forthcoming Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Spider-Man came out in September 2018, but almost a year later Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was released on Switch and Spider-Man was a playable character. From that we know Sony do not own exclusive rights to Spider-Man appearing in video-games, so it's not Sony stopping the character from appearing on Xbox… or is it?
There seems to be no logical reason for Square Enix to keep the character locked to one console, they would try and make every version the same else there would be a backlash, which leaves us with what I shall call 'business shenanigans'.
We asked Crystal Dynamics Creative Director Shaun Escayg for comment about the backlash:
The Spider-Man [backlash] is very delicate. It's above us in terms of the relationships – it's a Marvel and Sony relationship and we really don't have much say in that.
We are excited about putting out our version of Spider-Man and having that Spider-Man live in our world. That's crucial for us, that this Spider-Man belongs to the Marvel's Avengers world and the world dominated by AIM.
Other than that, I can say that Spider-Man will have his own story, his own story arc, villains that accompany it and live in this world. For the time that's probably all I can say on it.
That quite clearly pins the blame on Sony and Marvel, and not Square Enix. Although Sony do not own the rights to Spider-Man in video games they do own the movie rights and have a working relationship with the comic book giant for Insomniac's blockbusting Spider-Man game. It's entirely plausible that, given the ties between Sony and Marvel on multiple levels, they agreed to make Spider-Man an exclusive character, in addition to other PlayStation timed exclusive content.
Exclusive content on cross platform games is nothing new, and it absolutely goes both ways. Call of Duty maps were timed exclusives for Xbox 360, before Sony took over that partnership for PlayStation 4, but then The Division had Xbox timed exclusive DLC.
Timed exclusives are going to play a big part in the next generation as well. Who could forget the scandal when Microsoft secured Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox One timed exclusive, but these days the company has become more open about which games will be "console launch exclusives" going into the next generation. STALKER 2, The Gunk, The Medium, even the heavily marketed and Microsoft published CrossfireX will be timed exclusives. Two can play at this game, and Sony have been playing hard for years now. Bugsnax, Godfall, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Oddworld: Soulstorm, Stray, Project Athia and more are all timed exclusives from the PlayStation 5 reveal event, and that's alongside the special in-game bonuses that they're snapping up.
For Marvel's Avengers, PlayStation players will have 30-day exclusive access to a Legendary Outfit, Legendary Emote, Epic Takedown, and nameplate for each Super Hero as they are released. However, Spider-Man there's no indication that Spider-Man is a timed exclusive, and other heroes like Hawkeye will be arriving on all platforms at the same time. We've asked Square Enix for clarification.
It's unlikely that this 'fan' backlash will hurt sales of the game, but what it has done is made it easy for those who want to play Marvels Avenger's but don't currently own a console to decide which platform to buy. Can you guess which version is higher up on the pre-order charts?
Nintendo have posted a huge quarterly report, with the company selling consoles and games almost like it's Christmas. The Nintendo Switch has now passed another milestone and sits at 61.44 million units (just behind the lifetimes sales of the NES).
That's in part thanks to Animal Crossing: New Horizons being the game to have through the early part of the Covid-19 lockdowns that have gripped the world. Animal Crossing has raced to a staggering 22.40 Million copies sold, with sales of 10.63 million in the quarter ending 30th June. That was joined by 1.32 million copies sold of Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition and 1.03 million copies of 51 Worldwide Games.
But back to Animal Crossing. It's now the second best selling Switch game, chasing after Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on 26. I 74 million, and having passed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on 19.99 million. It's on pace to be the outright leader by the end of this quarter, with Nintendo noting that it shows no signs of losing momentum.
All of that has led to net sales that have more than doubled and operating profits that have been quintupled, year on year. Ridiculous.
There's no change to Nintendo's forecast for the 2020/21 year, as published back in May, with the company still expecting to sell 19 million consoles. Still, we'd be surprised if Nintendo could keep up quite the same pace through 2021, assuming that the world is able to recover somewhat from the coronavirus. Animal Crossing's appeal will eventually start to fade, and Nintendo will have to try and find another game or franchise that can reach as wide an audience.
Sucker Punch Productions have unsheathed their newest title update for PlayStation exclusive samurai sim, Ghost of Tsushima.
Patch 1.06 is now available to download and install on your PS4 system. Looking at the notes given on the home menu, it says that this latest update makes "general bug fixes and improvements" though there's a little more going on beneath the hood.
You can read the full patch notes below but here's a particular highlight we found interesting. In Ghost of Tsushima the first armour set you unlock is the Traveler's Attire. While it doesn't offer any stealth, health, or melee bonuses, it comes tagged with a unique ability which has made it the go-to armour for those wanting to uncover Tsushima's map and unlock its many trophies. That's because it triggers a faint rumble via your gamepad when close to collectibles such as Sashimono banners, Records, and Mongol Artefacts.
After 1.06 you will recent a visual prompt instead of having the controller vibrate, making these collectibles easier to locate. As someone who has had difficulty finding them with the rumble feature, this should definitely help on my way to earning that sweet, sweet platinum trophy. For more on Ghost of Tsushima, see our review.
Ghost of Tsushima update 1.06 patch notes
- – The Traveler's Attire has been enhanced to add new visual and audio cues hinting at nearby collectibles. These cues can replace or augment controller vibration in order to offer a better, more accessible experience
- – Expanded Large Text accessibility option to also include additional prompts and objective text
- – Addressed a bug where users could encounter a black screen preventing progress in certain tales
- – Addressed a bug where users could become stuck in some Yarikawa tales
- – Additional bug and crash fixes
Source: Sucker Punch
- Ghost of Tsushima combat stance guide
- The real world history behind Ghost of Tsushima
- Is Ghost of Tsushima historically accurate? We ask a samurai expert
- Ghost of Tsushima trophy list
- Where to find the grappling hook in Ghost of Tsushima
- Ghost of Tsushima Samurai techniques upgrade guide
- Ghost of Tsushima Ghost techniques upgrade guide
- Ghost of Tsushima full Charms list
Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the shining beacons of what Sony's first-party studios created this past generation. A new IP from Guerrilla Games that saw them stepping away from the first-person shooter series Killzone to create something that felt utterly new and distinctive. Robotic animals roam the Earth as humanity has reverted to tribalistic forms of living; it's a fantastical setting, and one with a deeply engaging hard sci-fi lore that's just begging to be uncovered.
The twinned stories of Horizon Zero Dawn see Aloy stepping out into this world and the tale of how this version of the Earth came to be, driving you forward just as much as the robot-hunting action RPG gameplay. Scouting out a herd of robots, quietly taking out their Watchers and then taking down the beasts for the resources you need is one thing, but battling the larger and much more fearsome beasts, using all manner of tech-infused rustic weaponry is another. It remains a fantastic combination and is sure to be a game that PC players will enjoy discovering for the first time.
However, revisiting the game in 2020 highlights the step forward that Guerrilla Games can take with Horizon Forbidden West. The opening tutorial areas plod along to a certain extent, not helped by the game's insistence that you "Follow!" Rost and stick to his shifting waypoint – can we make the way Ghost of Tsushima's NPCs match your speed an industry standard now, please? – and if I found the dialogue animations wooden in 2017, then the same is true here. I genuinely find it a bit creepy how Aloy just locks eyes and never lets go throughout her intensely earnest questioning of other people. As compelling as the main story is, the sidequests and interactions with other quest givers is much more formulaic.
It plays well on mouse and keyboard – I'd definitely recommend pulling the FOV all the way out to 100º, compared to the default 70º – the precision of a mouse helping with those precise bow and arrow shots to the weak points of the robots. Of course, you can always plug in a gamepad, and even pretend like you're playing on Xbox One.
The disappointment really comes from Horizon Zero Dawn's level of optimisation on PC, in particular, because it follows in the wake of Death Stranding coming to PC, which saw Kojima Productions adopt Guerrilla Games' Decima Engine for their creation.
Guerrilla Games have kitted the game out with plenty of display and graphics options to customise the game to suit your set up. There's full ultra-widescreen support, you can adjust the FOV to pull the camera further away from Aloy, and a mixture of V-Sync, frame rate limits, frame rate targeting, and render scaling.
Coming from the semi-fixed quality targets of the game on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, there's not quite as much leeway to improve the graphics than can be found in games designed with PC in mind from the off. You have an "Original" preset, which sets all of the settings to Medium, but can preview what each of the settings means as you flick through from Low to Ultra. In some cases these affect the level of detail settings and how close to the camera detail is culled to preserve performance, though Guerrilla has added a number of improved lighting, reflection and other effects over the PS4.
It's interesting to note that, while Death Stranding embraced Nvidia's DLSS 2.0 to use machine learning image reconstruction for increased detail at lower resolutions, and also had AMD's FidelityFX CAS for less nuanced image sharpening, neither of those technologies is present in Horizon Zero Dawn on PC. The irony, of course, being that the game used checkerboarding on PS4 Pro in order to upscale from 1800p to 2160p. You can try and enable these techniques via your GPU drivers, but it's not a part of the game.
The original game was locked to a 30fps target, even if you turned on the PS4 Pro's "favour performance" mode which knocked the game resolution down to 1080p but only shored up the frame rate at that 30fps level. PCs can quite easily smash that performance target… but not quite as well as I had expected.
With an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and Vega56 combo, my gaming PC is still fairly high-end and easily outstrips what is found in the PS4 Pro. In the vast majority of games, I can simply set the graphics to the highest preset and enjoy a locked 60FPS at 1080p. In fact, with Death Stranding, I can savour the game's gorgeous landscapes with a frame rate around 90FPS with the graphics at maximum. The same cannot be said of Horizon Zero Dawn.
The benchmarking tool gives a rosy picture, with 1080p60 looking a cakewalk and even a solid 4K30 possible with its swooping fly-through of Meridian city, but it's misleading. When actually playing the game the story is quite different. Repeating a run through a stretch near Mother's Heart, I could only muster a frame rate in the high 40s at original graphics and 1080p. Step that up to Ultimate at 1080p, and it was the low 30s, while 4K is consistently in the high teens. It improves when heading into later biomes, like the desert and frozen north, but it's never meeting that 60fps target for me.
We can rule out driver and pre-release builds for this – this was with the day one patch installed and the Radeon 20.8.1 drivers, both intended to shore up performance and released this morning. We also briefly tested the game on the same system we reviewed Death Stranding on – an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and Nvidia GTX 1060 – to similarly mediocre results. Running through the same stretches of the world and performance is not close to what we expect from a PC meeting the Recommended specifications, which can take Death Stranding in its stride.
So what's the reason for this? It's easy to point fingers and cry about poor optimisation, but there are also significant stylistic differences. The rough Icelandic style terrain of Death Stranding is gorgeous, but Horizon Zero Dawn has much, much denser foliage and more trees that cast more complex shadows, both of which are frame-rate sapping challenges. I am quite certain that Guerrilla Games could continue to work and optimise their game further, and hope they do, because it feels below par on our hardware.
While performance is a disappointment, the game is more than playable and can still be much more fluid than the console version. You will just have to accept that you won't be seeing 60FPS on anything but an ultra-high-end PC.
Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition brings Guerrilla Games' fantastic sci-fi adventure to a whole new audience, but PC players used to ultra-high frame rates will have to accept a step down in performance as they enjoy Aloy's journey.
PlayStack and Cold Symmetry have announced the release date for Mortal Shell, and players will not have to wait long. Mortal Shell will be released on August 18th for PS4, Xbox One, and Epic Games Store on PC as a digital release. A Steam release will occur in 2021 after the exclusivity period is finished. A price point of $29.99/€29.99/£24.99 has been set for Mortal Shell. PlayStack confirmed that the beta had 350,000 players in one week.
Cold Symmetry's four co-founders Andrew McLennan-Murray, Anton Gonzalez, Dmitry Parkin, and Vitaly Bulgarov said in a joint statement:
"Launching Mortal Shell worldwide is a dream come true. Our commitment to our fans is to create a soulslike game that is authentic, uncompromising and unrelenting. We were humbled by the popularity of the beta and we closely studied the feedback we received to create something that we are incredibly proud of."
In our preview piece for Mortal Shell, Jason wrote:
Mortal Shell is set in a predictably grim fantasy world. Everything is horrific, monsters roam all around, and you can't even pick up a lute and play it without being assaulted for merely existing. I did actually spend some time playing a lute, but we'll get back to that. You play as this creepy husk of a humanoid, but despite this perceived frailty, you've actually got some interesting powers. The most interesting of these by far is the unique ability to jump into defeated warriors. This grants you better stats, as well as access to their varying skillset as you do battle.
You start off terrible, but then the more you play, the better you get, until you're skilled and powerful enough to shred your enemies like they're nothing. Mortal Shell already seems to have that feeling perfected, and I'm really excited to jump into the full game when it arrives.
You can read the Mortal Shell preview here.
Source: Press Release
Capcom has held its Street Fighter V Summer update today with the likes of Director Nakayama-san and Producer Matsumoto-san revealing details about Season 5. There is a lot of content incoming from this winter with five new fighters confirmed as part of the new season. Those fighters include Dan Hibiki, Rose, Oro, and Akira Kazama. The fifth character is yet to be announced by Capcom and will be revealed in due course. You can watch some early footage of Dan below.
Capcom released the roadmap for Street Fighter V Season V. In the roadmap, it confirmed that Dan would be released in Winter 2020 along with a new stage, battle mechanic, battle balance update, and new costumes. Then in Spring 2021 Rose makes a grand entrance along with another new stage, and new costumes. In Summer 2021, Oro and Akira Kazama will be added to the roster mix, once again with new costumes and a new stage. Then in Fall/Autumn 2021 the mystery character will be released for players to fight with a further new stage, new costumes, and another battle balance update. However, Capcom has stated that things could change with timings.
Back in May, Capcom confirmed the existence of the fifth season for Street Fighter V, and in a statement the company wrote:
We know our players are wondering what's next for Street Fighter V, so we have some exciting news to share. Due to the positive reception to Season 4 and Champion Edition, we are planning to do a final Season "V", which will add "V" more fighters to the roster. Three new stages are also being planned.
Street Fighter V is currently available on PS4 and PC.
EA has released the next set of fighter ratings for UFC 4, and we are now in the top 20 ranked fighters in the game. Among the list which goes from 20 to 11 are Conor McGregor, Petr Yan, Justin Gaethje, Rose Namajunas, Daniel Cormier, TJ Dillashaw, Jorge Masvidal, Max Holloway, Alex Volkanowski, and Demetrius Johnson. Just like the previous ratings the fighter stats here show the fighters' health, striking, and grapple ability out of five stars which gives them an overall star rating.
|Rank||Fighter||Weight Class||Overall||Striking OVR||Grapple OVR||Health OVR|
|20||Conor McGregor||Male Lightweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||3.5 STAR||4 STAR|
|19||Petr Yan||Male Bantamweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||3.5 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|18||Justin Gaethje||Male Lightweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||3.5 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|17||Rose Namajunas||Female Strawweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|16||Daniel Cormier||Male Heavyweight||4.5 STAR||4 STAR||5 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|15||TJ Dillashaw||Male Bantamweight||4.5 STAR||5 STAR||4 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|14||Jorge Masvidal||Male Welterweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|13||Max Holloway||Male Featherweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|12||Alex Volkanowski||Male Featherweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4 STAR||4.5 STAR|
|11||Demetrious Johnson||Male Flyweight||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR||4.5 STAR|
You can find the previously confirmed fighter ratings here, here, and here. UFC 4 was announced during the UFC 251 event, with EA giving us a look at their upcoming fighting game. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury were also confirmed as pre-order DLC characters.
We spoke to them about how they're trying to make the game more responsive than ever, and how there's a real focus on letting you take your custom fighters into any game mode – find the full interview here. We also checked in on why they were ditching Ultimate Team for the game, and if and how they will be adding support for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
For now, UFC 4 will only be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 14th August.
Bugbear Entertainment have let loose the Hellvester, kicking off their Wreckfest Summer Smasher August tournament.
This comes as part of a live update that will be available for free to everyone who already owns a copy of the game on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Wreckfest players are invited to take on a series of seasonal challenges and can even get behind the wheel of monstrous aforementioned Hellvester, a modified combine harvester ready to churn up anything that gets in its path.
Since launch, Wreckfest has received a number of free update as well as paid DLC expansions including a Season Pass loaded with vehicles and many, many customisation options.
From racing lawnmowers to monster trucks, Wreckfest has a range of game modes and events that are generally aimed at having fun watching the advanced vehicle damage systems at play.
Thomas reviewed the game almost a year ago after Wreckfest made its long-awaited debut on consoles having spent a prolonged period in early access. Scoring the game a 9/10, here's what he had to say:
What's curious about Wreckfest is that it aims to mix the crash and burn gratification of the demolition derby type games with more serious racing games, creating an interesting hybrid of simulation and arcade racing in one petrol-infused experience.
When Wreckfest isn't proving itself a capable racer, it's also throwing you in a demolition derby filled with combine harvesters, or forcing you to wreck Reliant Robins while driving a school bus. The career mode throws some genuinely whacky scenarios in your direction and just lets you have unmitigated fun.
Wreckfest is a surprising triumph in blending the best that sim and arcade racers have to offer in an explosive and visually gratifying package. A few visual issues and overly aggressive AI do little to spoil one of the best driving games of 2019.
For those unfamiliar with Bugbear, this is the same Finnish studio that brought us Ride Racer: Unbounded, as well as FlatOut 2 and FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage. That explains a lot.
Source: Press Release
Rogue Factor and Focus Home Interactive have given Warhammer fans their first proper look at Necromunda: Underhive Wars, a third person strategy game based on the popular Games Workshop license.
They also confirmed a release date for Necromunda: Underhive Wars, which will launch simultaneously on PC an consoles – including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – next month on September 8th.
Necromunda is a name that should be instantly familiar to those who love their tabletop gaming. Created by Games Workshop in 1995, it's a skirmishing spin-off from their ever-popular Warhammer 40,000 franchise.
However, there are key differences between Necromunda and 40K. Instead of massive pitched battles between two sci-fi armies and their machines of war, Necromunda is set within a sprawling dystopian city that has definite Mad Max and Judge Dredd undertones. After falling off the grid in the early 2000s, Games Workshop recently brought Necromunda back to life with a new iteration of the popular skirmishing tabletop game. Here's the official blurb:
Necromunda: Underhive Wars brings you closer to the action than any tactical game before, giving you an over-the-shoulder view of every lethal takedown, brutal melee engagement and explosive firefight. Dive deep in the twisted, vertiginous, dark tunnels of the Underhive in this tactical RPG's compelling story campaign and Salvage Operations, where rival gangs will fight to the bitter end for personal power, wealth, survival and the honour of their Houses. Lead, grow and customize your gangs in action-packed, persistent game modes, where you'll bring your forces to fight against the AI, or with up to three other players online. The choices, and consequences, are yours – only the strongest will survive.
From what we've seen of Necromunda it already looks like a huge step up for developer Rogue Factor. Their previous game, Mordheim: City of the Damned, was another Games Workshop adaptation focused on their now-defunct Warhammer Fantasy setting.
What's particularly impressive is how the game will allow you to customise, develop (and thereby become attached to) your warband. We'll hopefully see more of Necromunda and its playable factions ahead of its release next month.
Source: Press Release
Nintendo have announced Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be coming to Nintendo Switch on 30th October. It's the latest in a long, long line of Switch ports of the company's Wii U games, augmenting it with DLC and additional features.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe amps up the game's co-op in particular, with the ability to play the whole Story mode in co-op, the addition of new side-story missions (which can also be played in co-op), and the Deluxe release bundling all the Mission mode DLC from the Wii U version. Oh, and there's head-to-head multiplayer in Bingo Battle.
There's also new difficulty options, lock-on targeting, optional hints and a more relaxed difficulty mode for those who'd rather things weren't quite so frantic.
Pikmin is a cult classic series, with the intrepid interstellar adventures of lead character Olimar always leading to him crash-landing and needing to enlist the help the colourful little Pikmin to help him get his ship back together.
We reviewed Pikmin 3 all the way back in 2013, with Al saying:
Pikmin 3 is unlikely to change the fate of the Wii U and the current direction the platform holder is taking, despite being a hugely enjoyable game. It's deep enough to keep you hooked, although there's not quite enough meat on the bones to warrant a second look. For fans of the earlier two games this can be considered an essential continuation of the series and one that definitely deserves a place on your shelf; for anyone new to the series, they might – wrongly – leave wondering what the fuss was all about.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be out with a full game price tag of $60, but in a somewhat cheeky move, Nintendo have delisted the original Wii U version of the game from the eShop store. That was priced at $20, obviously undercutting the price of the Switch release, and Nintendo have seen fit (just as they did with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) to remove the option. To be fair though… if you wanted Pikmin 3 on Wii U, you'd probably already have it by now, or would be able to grab a physical copy second hand.
Source: press release, Nintendo Everything
It's a good thing the Fall Guys have got so much soft squidgyness to them, because they fell over a lot yesterday. I am, of course, talking about the game's servers being overwhelmed by the game's surge in popularity on day one, and now Mediatonic have revealed just how popular their Takeshi's Castle 'em up was in the first 24 hours.
When we say Fall Guys is experiencing a lot of traffic…
We had over 1.5 million new players in the first 24 hours!
We're working on our first patch for the game, listening to ALL of your feedback and ideas, and are super grateful to everyone who's supported so far! pic.twitter.com/OpD714xu26
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) August 5, 2020
That's right, over 1.5 million players ran headlong into walls of doors, spinny hammer and swinging balls, and it's this sheer demand that overwhelmed the company's servers. That was obviously helped by the game being dropped in the laps of PlayStation Plus subscribers as one of August's free games, but it was always going to be a streaming darling, and shot to the top of Twitch as well.
The servers got so bad that the social media team got all in a flutter and set up an owl-based Twitter account for the game's servers!
HOOT! Fall Guys Server Owl will post about the statuses of the server but WILL NEVER respond to any @'s or direct messages…
I'm just an OWL…
I see what's happening with the servers…
And then I HOOT!
If you need support, open a ticket at https://t.co/ySGzDbiSyL
— Fall Guys Server Owl (@FallGuysOwl) August 3, 2020
We were playing the game last weekend in the last technical beta test before release and had an absolute ball. Read our Fall Guys preview here, where Jim said:
Tied up in such a cheeky, vibrant package, Fall Guys has the makings of a true multiplayer marvel and one that touts slapstick silliness over a constant barrage of blood and bullets. We'll be throwing ourselves into this mad little game on launch day and we'll surely be grinning from ear to ear as we do.
Last night saw the game's trophy list revealed, with no small amount of puns and trolling of those trying to earn the sacred platinum. Those aiming to unlock the Fall Guys platinum trophy will undoubtedly struggle when it comes to completing the conditions for "Infallible" – a gold trophy which requires you to come first five times in a row. A trophy the dev team can't see anyone unlocking unless you truly are a Fall Guys deity.
Devolver Digital and Mediatonic have revealed their content roadmap for the game (when it comes back online).
You're probably all wondering…
What's next for Fall Guys?
Well, we're going to be releasing new levels, new costumes, and new features
I would like to quote a greater being than myself:
"You fool, this isn't even my final form"
– Frieza, Dragonball Z pic.twitter.com/ymiVuzudlC
— Fall Guys (@FallGuysGame) August 4, 2020
So, it looks like we're due to see new rounds added to Fall Guys, as well as unlockable costumes (well a cactus costume, at least) and "new features" the developers aren't ready to announce just yet.
Ubisoft have announced the details surrounding its latest For Honor update which will be dropping tomorrow, on August 6th.
This new For Honor title update can be split into three parts, including a new playable hero: The Warmonger. She's styled on the singleplayer campaign's antagonist, Apollyon, and although we have plenty of sword-wielding heroes among For Honor's ranks, The Warmonger is proof that, yet again, the developers are able to breathe new life into their unique fighting game:
The Warmongers are determined to become the new leaders of Heathmoor. With renegades from all factions among their ranks, they wear grim masks as an homage to the fallen wolves who knew the true nature of war. The Warmongers prey upon enemies with their elegant flamberge and use a dark power named Corruption to weed out the weak.
In short, The Warmonger is an adaptable vanguard class fighter who is easy to learn with attacks such as a undodgeable charging top heavy, a parry impale that inflicts bleed, and a unique clawing attack that can be weaved into a variety of combos.
Rise of the Warmongers is a new For Honor in-game event and one that has a free battle pass loaded with unlockable cosmetic goodies. The third, and most significant part of this update is the long-awaited combat design refresh as explained in-depth below.
For a long time the For Honor team have been teasing changes to the game's core combat system. These have gone through rigorous testing between the developers and player community, geared towards making the gameplay more fun and active.
At a glance it may appear as though not much has changed but beneath the hood Ubisoft Montreal have sculpted the combat system to favour a more offensive style of play. Attack speeds, damage, and stamina costs have all been adjusted, rewarding dynamic play and mix-ups while discouraging players from "turtling", making defence more read-focused as opposed to being reactionary.
Other changes include quicker attack recovery with most attacks also having a lower damage output. On top of that, the first 100ms of each attack animation is hidden, which helps gear For Honor towards encouraging offensive strategies.
Attack consistency has also been improved, making inputs more accessible while adjusting animations and the timing of indicators.
There's a lot of nitty gritty details that have been reworked, many of which go completely over our heads despite putting dozens of hours into the game. Ubisoft Montreal have published an in-depth guide on how attacks, inputs, and delays are changing as part of the core combat update.
Above is a slowed down GIF of the changes. We've summed up the major combat update changes here:
• Fight Moves speeds more consistent and faster over the network
• Stamina Penalties removed
• Stamina Cost of Lights Adjusted
• Damage values adjusted
• Recoveries normalized (Frame Advantage / Frame Disadvantage)
• Adjusted sub- 500ms opening attack speed
• Adjusted Dodge Attack Speed
• Hero-Specific Changes (ex: Orochi)
• Feats Changes
• Zone Attack Input comfortability improved
Source: Press Release
I am sure you have seen the videos that are doing the rounds on the internet showing seemingly real objects that are actually amazing cakes. Good news, soon you can have your ultra realistic Xbox controller cake to fool your friends!
Laugh hilariously as the pick it up to play Halo and find it's made of sponge and icing! Chuckle as they press a button and find their thumb sinking in to the cakey goodness! What japes you can have! Let's take a look a the cake…
Big e-mail Monday. Taking a quick Twitter break with a random question…
Anyone able to identify what this is a picture of? pic.twitter.com/AIlqWREi5f
— John Friend (@Juans_Amigo) August 3, 2020
Oh. Well it's, er, close I guess? Maybe.If you squint.
The controller is a sponge cake with a later of scrummy raspberry jam and edible decorations, is nut free, and will be coming to Asda and Tesco next month.
In other Xbox news, Microsoft have announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be gaining free game streaming via Project xCloud on 15th September. From that date, any subscriber in 22 countries will be able to play over 100 games from the service on Android phones and tablets. This will include Xbox Games Studios titles as they launch into Xbox Game Pass later this year and beyond.
Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Leaning on Android's support for bluetooth controllers, you'll be able to play using the official Xbox One controller or DualShock 4 – if you were looking for something to use it for in future – with additional controllers and accessories coming from Razer, PowerA, 8BitDo, and Nacon to either attach a phone to a controller, or some Joy-Con style controllers to the side of a phone or tablet.
The following games have been confirmed, but the full line up of titles will effectively just be the games that are available on Game Pass in mid-September, with Microsoft adding and taking from the library each month.
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Bleeding Edge
- Costume Quest 2
- Crackdown 3 (campaign)
- Destiny 2
- F1 2019
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
- Gears of War 4
- Gears 5 Ultimate Edition
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
- Halo Wars 2
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- Halo: Spartan Assault
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
- Killer Instinct Definitive Edition
- Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
- Minecraft Dungeons
- The Outer Worlds
- Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Quantum Break
- ReCore: Definitive Edition
- Ryse: Son of Rome
- Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
- State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
- Sunset Overdrive
- Super Lucky's Tale
- Tell Me Why
- The Bard's Tale Trilogy
- Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
- Wasteland 3
- Wasteland Remastered
- Yakuza Kiwami 2
P.S. I am legally required to use the Portal quote when cakes are mentioned, I know it's tiresome, sorry.
The survival game genre is one that's been well ploughed over the last few years, with hugely popular titles like The Forest, Subnautica, Don't Starve, Grounded and plenty more lighting up the best sellers charts. There's something that players find so compelling about being stranded in a hostile environment, forced to fend for themselves and regularly hunker down to survive the elements and enemies that will attack you.
Windbound takes some of the fundamental elements of the genre and blends it with an ever-changing environment. You see, instead of setting down roots, founding a new base and then regularly venturing out from a fixed point, you take your base with you from island to island. Your base, if you couldn't already guess, is a boat.
The game starts with Kara finding herself shipwrecked in a heavy storm, seemingly at the hands of a gigantic Nautilus sea monster. Thankfully, that's not the end of her – this would be a very, very short game if it were – and she wakes up on a frankly idyllic little island with nothing to hand but her trusty little knife. Exploring this new land, it's not long before you find the Oar of the Ancestors atop an unusual rock formation, the oar responding to kara's touch and the necklace that she wears, and giving you the key tool with which you can set sail once more and start to reveal more of the game's story.
The boat makes for an intriguing change of pace, starting off with a simple canoe made of grass and then expanding it to have multiple pontoons, decking, a sail, and everything that you need to be able to gather from each island you visit and craft new gear to prepare you for the next. In truth, we only got to scratch the surface of what's possible here, our play time giving us a relatively short window to see the game's opening moments, and then jump ahead a few chapters to see how the boat can evolve. By the fourth chapter, you should easily have two or three hulls strapped together with a basic platform on it, as well as a fire that you can stoke to cook food and a cooker for concocting potions.
Regardless of the size of your boat, it's a wonderful feeling as you sail between islands. The camera starts to feel more dynamic, the sounds become more evocative of crossing the open waters, and there's a real The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker vibe, thanks in part to the stylised visuals. It's nowhere near as toon-like as Wind Waker, perhaps coming by way of Breath of the Wild, but there's certainly some common ground to be found.
The music that accompany this is lovely, injecting playfulness, tension, drama and majesty as they're required. The light and joyous plucked strings as you chase after little wild pigs on the first island make way for groaning didgeridoo-like sounds as you encounter the strange and unnatural rock formations. The up tempo drums that thump as you fight territorial animals switch to sweeping piano and strings when you take to the seas and head over to a new landmass. The only thing I feel is missing at times is the sound of the ocean, which I'd love to have a far greater presence than it does. It is there, but it's often so low in the audio mix that it feels completely absent.
Though the game is procedurally generated, the opening chain of small islands are more tightly constrained to ease players into the adventure. The grass is vibrantly green, there's adorable little wild pigs running around and little danger as you get your fingers and thumbs around the basic controls and menus.
There is a touch of awkwardness to be found in these early interactions, in my opinion. Inventory management is always a tricky game element to design, and while it's simple enough to bring up the inventory and crafting screen, I always felt that I was looking at the wrong part of the screen, expecting something to be in the foreground when it was in the background, and then flipping back and forth as I try to find my place – it's like trying to plug a USB cable in at the first try. It's not helped by the crafting menu being sub-divided into pages to flip through, instead of a large scrollable list. I'm sure there's a reason for that later into the game, do help sort a ballooning crafting system, but it feels a bit too obtuse early on.
You start off with an inventory size that's just the wrong side of being too small, but this can be expanded in a couple of ways. First, you'll likely find the materials needed to create a simple storage unit to strap onto the front of your canoe, but this gives you a hilariously small new storage pool. Later upgrades can switch from grass and leaves to using bamboo and wood, giving you sturdier materials for your boat – which you might need if and when pesky little crabs hop on and start chomping away! – and offering better and more advanced upgrades. Of course, you'll also be able to craft a bag to expand your carry on luggage as well.
As you venture into each chapter's new map, you'll be charting the unknown, trying to pick out what might be an island from the thick clouds that seem to line the horizon. There's some great potential for varied biomes here, and we got to see a big shift from those serene patches of vibrantly colourful lands at the start of the game as we sailed to an imposing, murky island surrounded almost entirely by rocks. If the swampy atmosphere didn't already scream "Danger!", then the giant frog and explosively toxic plants should do.
In truth, danger seems to only really be there if you go looking for it. You'll need to hunt animals in order to take their bones, hides and meats and craft them into new tools or cook to give you health and energy, but they're not defenceless. Whether it's a wild boar, a pair of rhino-like beasts, or gigantic frogs, you'll need a deft touch to dodge their attacks and strike back. It's not the most challenging experience from what we saw, and the combat controls feel intuitive across knives, spears, slingshot and bow and arrow, but get your timing wrong and you'll take some hooves to the face a few times too many. If you're not looking for a fight at that time, it's pretty easy to just run away during these early parts of the game.
The survival genre brings with it a bit of a reputation, with many of the most popular examples making a name for themselves through Early Access. Rough edges are often the name of the day as often small indie devs have to manage the tricky balancing act of fixing bugs, adding new content and managing their newfound audience. Windbound neatly skirts around that problem by releasing in a finished form – what a novel concept! – and from the small amount of time we spent with the game, it certainly seemed well put together.
With a gorgeous art style, wonderful atmosphere and an intriguing take on the survival game genre, Windbound is absolutely one to keep an eye on when it comes to Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC and Stadia later this month.
Going into the Marvel's Avengers beta there was a fair bit of scepticism on my part. Being a fan of superheroes and Marvel in particular there is a mixture of excitement in having a AAA game where the iconic heroes team up and some trepidation on how that would all actually work. The Marvel's Avengers beta gives a taste of what players can expect from the main game, and it looks promising, though not without a few issues.
In the beta you can play through 3 main story modes, some War Zones, Drop Zones, and a secondary mission focused on Hulk. Starting out with the A-Day level (the same one that was playable at last year's E3) players will get to grips with each of the core Avengers team including Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Black Widow. It's a good mission that gives you a chance to try out the different combat styles of each, from the close quarters fisticuffs of Black Widow and Captain America, to more of the ranged and weapon based combat of Thor and Iron Man. Meanwhile Hulk is a tank that can take out groups quickly while tearing through scenery as he's apt to do. Each Avenger can slot three super abilities to the shoulder buttons that charge up after use and can help level the playing field when needed.
After A-Day the other campaign missions centre around Kamala Khan (AKA Ms. Marvel) and Hulk, with Kamala firmly in the spotlight. Although she's existed in the pages of Marvel comics for almost a decade now, she's not as established as the other Avengers, yet she's arguably the most fun to play of the lot. When she Embiggens, bosses become much less of a challenge too. As a character she's quirky and relatable, due to the fact she's an Avengers fangirl herself who often finds it hard to contain her excitement in their presence. Even when Black Widow and Iron Man become unlockable, bringing the roster up to four characters in the beta, Ms Marvel is the character I kept going back to.
Drop Zone missions in the beta do begin to feel quite repetitive. You either must take out an elite AIM squad, destroy turbines, hold an area, or engage in a domination-like match to get hold of control points. I hope the missions are more varied in the final release of Marvel's Avengers. The environments are samey too, but that would be down to the limited locations in the beta. The full game should have plenty more on offer, depending on where the Avengers find themselves exploring during the main story.
As you play missions you will find gear that improves character power levels in an of RPG-lite way, similar to the looter shooter progression of Destiny and Borderlands. You will only get gear for the character you are controlling, so if you want power parity you will have to replay missions with the other characters to get that gear. That forces you to get used to playing with the different Avengers, but it can get repetitive, in the same way running multiple characters in looter shooters tend to involve a fair bit of grinding. Gear does not change the appearance of characters, with that solely happening when new costumes are unlocked.
The Chimera is the main hub for the Avengers, and it is huge. Unfortunately, your walking speed feels very slow, so it can take a bit of time to get from one part of the ship to another. Just a slight increase in walking speed could help alleviate that, and I have another very slight nit-pick here as well: I do not like the sound the doors make when they shut! They sound sci-fi, but also make it seem like the doors are saying "thoka" (hard th not soft), and in Punjabi that means spit. Every time a door shuts, I hear it saying "spit" at me. I'm sure it's nothing more than a coincidence, but it is there!
The Marvel's Avengers beta gives more than a quick glimpse of what to expect from Crystal Dynamics newest game. This is a large helping of content from the game and after spending a few hours picking away at it, we've come away finally understanding exactly what this game is and what the Tomb Raider studio is trying to achieve. So far it's coming together nicely, and while not exactly revolutionary we're impressed with how it enables a group of radically different Avengers to fight side-by-side. Let's just hope the story can inherit some of that MCU magic and that we see more mission variety when the game finally touches down on September 4th.
Crytek have released a new patch for their experimental bounty hunting, battle royale game, Hunt: Showdown.
The upate for PC version 1.4.2 is now available, as are the official patch notes which we've listed below. These same changes will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One via console update 1.11.
So, what changes can Hunt: Showdown players expect from 1.4.2? Crytek have added a clutch of new Legendary gear including three pieces of equipment and two weapons.
Meanwhile, the team have been working on a new wave of balances alongside general gameplay improvements and a raft of bug fixes.
Hunt: Showdown update 1.4.2. (console 1.11) patch notes
New Legendary Content
- First Aid Kit
- Description: "Dr. LeMonnier was fatefully suspicious of Huff's actions in the asylum, and though this First Aid Kit can stem heavy bleeding, it could not stop the pinprick injection that transformed him into another experiment."
- Description: "The determined pursuit of one's goals requires a clarity of ambition. Those with a headstrong mentality – said to be steely-eyed – see their targets clearly with this looking glass."
- Flare Pistol
- Description: "This inlaid Flare Pistol glints brilliantly in the magnesium rays of its discharge. A small detail, appreciated by connoisseurs of the night."
- Hand Crossbow
- Description: "More than just a showpiece of its smith's skill, this complex Hand Crossbow is wrought from fine materials with expert machining, proving deadly and powerful."
- Exclusive Legendary Rewards:
- Lebel 1886 Talon
- Description: "Scrawled in blood on this Lebel 1886 Talon are the ritual markings that make it possible to divine the future. Amongst the Hunters, some with this ability are called Augers."
- When a Hunter stops burning, an "extinguish" sound effect is now played.
- Reduced the amount of reverb and ambience played inside of underground and prison areas.
- Reduced impact of Lightfoot on water land sfx.
- Updated the Damage of Duster Heavy Attacks from 67 to 72, allowing it to kill Hellhounds with 1 attack to the head, bringing its performance very close to that of the Knife.
- Updated the Damage of Knuckle Knife Light Attacks from 45 to 58, now killing Grunts, Hives and Hellhounds with 2 Light attacks.
- Changed Damage resistance of Hellhound heads to allow Machete and Heavy Knife Light Attacks to perform 1 hit kills.
- Reduced minimum damage at the edge of the explosion radius.
- Reduced effectiveness of the explosion reaching targets behind cover.
- Now unlocks at Rank 1.
- Now activates when health is below (not equal) 50 hp.
- Previous threshold was 25 hp.
"Walk and sprint faster in deep water. Also make less noise while crouched in water."
Decreases movement speed penalty in deep water.
Stamina consumption is still lower as a result now.
Water effect sounds caused by moving while crouched have reduced volume now.
"Get a health and stamina boost when picking up a Clue, Rift, or Bounty token"
Heals 50 hp, same as before.
Instantly refills melee and sprint stamina.
Takes effect when any bounty token is transferred to the player (even via Serpent).
- Decreased cost from 4 to 2 upgrade points.
- Decreased cost from 4 to 2 upgrade points.
- Increased interaction range by 50%.
- Decreased cost from 5 to 3 upgrade points.
- "Restock all types of Decoys from ammo crates."
- Restocks one Decoy Fuse per crate now.
- Restocks more Decoys and Blankfire Decoys now.
Trials Mode (PvE)
Catfish Grove – "Fall Where They May":
- Hives now spawn in a predefined Order.
Stillwater Bend – "A Futile Undertaking":
- Immolators now spawn in a predefined order
- Flammable Barrels instead of Explosive Barrels
- "Kill and Banish 11 Immolators" -> "Kill and Banish 10 Immolators"
- "+ Avoid bleeding damage" -> "Kill 10 Hellhounds with fire"
- Hard: "Avoid any Damage" -> "Avoid Fire Damage"
_Developer Note:_ The unpredictable spawns of the Immolators and Hellhounds in combination with having to avoid any kind of damage was too punishing, so we decided to adjust the challenge-requirements for the difficulty to be more in line with the other wave challenges.
Scupper Lake – "Fisherman's Tale"
- Hellhounds have been replaced with Grunts
- Medium: "Kill 10 Hellhounds with fire" -> "Kill 15 Grunts with fire"
The Chapel of Madonna Noire – "Fire in the Bones"
- Immolators now spawn in a predefined order
- "Kill and Banish 8 Immolators" -> "Kill and Banish 10 Immolators"
- "Kill 15 Hellhounds with fire" -> "Kill 10 Hellhounds with fire"
- "Not All For Show" – Alain & Son's Fish – Mind your steps as you try to figure out the best route to complete the Parkour in time. Oh, and the Hives, but your dual Bornheims should be plenty to take care of them.
- "Be Jubilant, My Feet" – Wolfshead Arsenal – A truly explosive Race through the Arsenal that will require you to make good use of all your tools and the Mosin Obrez Mace.
- "Resist Much, Obey Little" – Fort Carmick – Armoreds have invaded the Fort and you will have to find the best way to get through them in time with your trusty Caldwell Rival and a lot of explosions.
- "From Dust To Dust" – Sweetbell Flour – Nothing like a good crusty rustic bread, but be careful not to burn it. Use the Vetterli Deadeye to its full extend to prevent the Immolators from burning anything other than themselves.
- "Gratitude and Treachery" – Blanc Brinery – Choose your path wisely while dual wielding your Chainpistols to fight off the Armoreds and Grunts that riddle this location.
- "The Mother of Taking Chances" – Golden Acres – Make sure to retrieve your bolts as you take out the Grunts, but don't let the Hellhounds bite you!
- "Virtue Meets Brute Force" – Maw Battery – Make sure to use your four Dolches to their maximum extent as ammunition is limited and the targets are plenty.
- "Exult Over Downfall" – Iron Works – While blasting Armoreds with your Explosive Crossbow is fine, be sure to use precision when taking out the grunts.
- "Reap the Whirlwind" – Brickworks – Nothing quite like blowing up Meatheads with your Bomb Lance! But beware the Hives or things can get out of hands really quick!
- Unlock Legendary Lebel 1886 Talon "The Auger" when reaching 70 Trial Stars
- Windows can now be opened or closed (like doors) while cooking a throwable item.
- Reduced the cost of the Knuckle Knife to 15 Hunt Dollars.
- Reduce the cost of the Heavy Knife to 25 Hunt Dollars.
- Changed unlock Rank for Trait Adrenaline to Rank 1.
- Changed Upgrade point costs:
- Reduce the cost of the Resilience from 4 to 2
- Reduce the cost of the Ghoul trait from 4 to 2 Upgrade Points.
- Reduce the cost of the Beastface trait from 5 to 3 Upgrade Points.
- Reduce the cost of the Gator Leg trait to 2 Upgrade Points.
New Legendary Weapons
- Added First Aid Kit "LeMonnier's Kit" for 200 Blood Bonds
- Added Spyglass "Steel Eye" for 200 Blood Bonds
- Added Flare Pistol "Rising Sun" for 200 Blood Bonds
- Added Hand Crossbow "Steel Sprung" for 400 Blood Bonds
Exclusive Legendary Rewards:
- Added Lebel 1886 Talon "The Auger" at 70 stars
- Fixed an issue where Hunters equipped with dual wield weapons had the wrong pose in the menu and weapons were not attached to the model's hands.
- Fixed an issue where some Hunters could not be burned.
- Fixed an issue where the Dauntless trait would works through walls.
- Fixed a bug where the statistics for 'Wellspring bounty' did not display the correct number (includes Rifts).
- Fixed a bug where if the user searched for a partner and canceled it instantly lead to an error message after some time.
- Fixed a bug where the "Allow teams of three" checkbox did not get automatically checked when creating a steam invite group of 3 players.
- Fixed an issue where no lightning strike was triggered when the wellspring was activated for the first time.
- Fixed an issue where players could use the First Aid Kit while being poisoned and on fire.
- Fixed an issue where the 'being poisoned' screen effect would persist after being revived in Bounty Hunt or respawning in tutorials and trials.
- Fixed an issue that prevented dead players from being burned again after burning was stopped once.
- Fixed some issues where dead players might not receive fire damage when they died in uneven terrain.
- Fixed multiple animation issues.
- Fixed an issue where the Matchmaking System could not find players for a team even though they were the same prestige level.
- Fixed a bug that caused the Lebel Marksman and Springfield Marksman variants to have no movement slowdown when aiming down sight.
- Fixed a bug where players could shoot 2 bullets at the same time.
- Fixed a bug where not everything of an extracted player got removed after completing the extraction.
- Fixed some localisation issues.
- Fixed various crashes.
- Fixed an issue where the outdoor ambience was audible inside a building in Lawson Delta, Lawson Station.
- Fixed an issue where the beacon audio stops playing in the exploration mode after returning from a trial.
- Fixed an issue where trial audio stingers overlapped each others.
- Fixed an issue where trial audio stingers were triggered at the wrong time.
- Dolch dual wielding reload audio is now in sync with its visuals.
- Fixed an issue where player could start empty handed when loading into a Trial challenge that does not have weapons.
- Fixed most instances where concertina Armoureds could damage players through walls.
- Fixed an issue where the Butcher could take no damage from Sticky Bombs.
- Fixed an issue where the Assassin could take no damage from Sticky Bomb explosions.
- Fixed an issue where a meatheads attack could deal irresponsibly high damage.
- Fixed an issue where AI attacks would instantly detonate ignited red barrels which caused problems in some trials.
- Fixed an issue where the player who ignited an Immolator was not awarded the kill after the Immolator burnt out and died.
- Fixed an issue where AI could spawn in the same spot multiple times during a session.
- Fixed an issue where AI wouldn't spawn during Trials.
- Fixed an issue where AI density could vary during trials.
- Fixed an issue where some traits would not be applied when playing a Trial.
- Fixed an issue where the generator audio would persist on Trial restart.
Updated the Values for the Light Melee attack with the Ammo box from 13 to 31. The damage hasn't changed, the numbers in the store has been wrong.
Updated the Values for the Heavy Melee attack with the Ammo box from 27 to 67. The damage hasn't changed, the numbers in the store has been wrong.
Fixed issues where the Leaderboards were missing entries or displaying wrong statistics.
Fixed an issue where sorting in the Leaderboard did not work as intended.
Fixed multiple issues with overlapping texts and buttons.
Fixed an issue in Trial Mode where only the first reward got displayed in pop up when claiming more then one.
Fixed an issue where equipment bar did not always update after trial start/end/restart.
Fixed a HUD issue where Crosshair size doesn't adjust when changing the fire mode on the Lemat mark II.
Fixed an issue where the Unequip button doesn't unequip dual wield weapons at once.
Fixed an issue in Wave Trials Mode where the banner for banishing won't show up if target AI doesn't die through player.
Fixed an issue in Quickplay Mode where there was no lightning present for the player that activates the wellspring.
Fixed a HUD issue where the upper line of ammo counter from dual-wield weapons was also visible for single weapons.
Fixed an issue where the dual wield icon could be displayed on large weapon slots.
Fixed an HUD issue where, when one bullet was missing in one weapon of a pair, not both ammo counters were displayed.
Fixed an issue preventing the swap of certain weapons with a legendary or dirty versions of itself.
Fixed an issue where the controller could freeze in certain condition.
Fixed an issue where a wrong calculation of weapons in roster would happen when having dual-wield equipped.
Fixed an issue where the dual-wield icon would still be active when user has only one and a "locked" weapon.
Fixed a missing shortcut on the Summary screen when playing with a controller.
Fixed the Dual Wield weapon icons in the weapon wheel.
Fixed an issue where used consumables are shown in the hunters inventory after the mission.
Fixed a bug where trying to exchange a dual wielded weapon for a large weapon only displayed a pick up message.
Fixed an issue where an incorrect image was used when picking up ammo for the Crossbow Shotbolt and Explosive variants, as well as the Poison Hand Crossbow.
Fixed an issue where the new host in a team of three would not have an invite button after specific steps.
Modern Warfare update 1.24 is now rolling out, having only been available to a select group of PS4 users before Activision made the latest patch more widely available. Infinity Ward have now released the patch notes which you can read below.
Season Five: File Size and Download Instructions
Owners of the full version of Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone will have a decrease in overall footprint on console.
Please note that the Season Five update will have a download size of approximately 34-54 GB for owners of the full version of Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone who are up-to-date with the latest update.
PlayStation 4: 33.9 GB
Xbox One: 49.8 GB
PC: 54.2 GB (Modern Warfare owners) and 47.4 GB (Warzone only owners)
Once the new Season of content has been integrated into your game, and provided you had the update prior to Season Five installed, Modern Warfare will have a decrease in overall footprint on console.
A reminder, console players can choose also to uninstall/remove other data packs if no longer needed for a smaller overall file size.For detailed information on uninstalling/removing other data packs, read this article.
- Modern Warfare
- Ground War (Adding Verdansk International Airport)
- Blueprint Gunfight
- Search and Destroy Double Down (12v12)
- Face-Off (Livestock)
- Oil Rig and Harbor 24/7
- BR Duos
- BR Trios
- BR Quads
- BR Solos Buy Back (previously called BR Solos Stimulus)
- Blood Money Quads
- Mini Royale Trios (Fast-paced Battle Royale in condensed areas of Verdansk)
- Added Weapon Inspect!
- Fix for an issue where store bundle images could get stuck on the previous bundle image when scrolling on PC
- Fixes to prevent screen tearing
- Fix for an issue where Price and Gaz occasionally lose their eye models while navigating various menus
- Fixed a bug where, when the 'Headshots Only' option is set in a custom game, the male Operator hitboxes aren't functioning properly
- Fix for an issue where the default scope on the Rytec AMR cannot be customized
- Fix for a bug where Care Packages, Juggernauts, and Emergency Airdrops were not getting properly refunded to the player if getting the 'Too many vehicles, refunding killstreak' message in a Custom Game
- Stopping Power rounds are now preserved on dropped weapons
- Added a brief decay period when transitioning from heavy footsteps (sprint, tactical sprint) to lighter footsteps (walk). This addresses players immediately becoming quiet upon slowing down from fast movements
- Fixed a bug where the player's choice of weapon fire and scope states were not being saved and restored after interacting with the Sentry Gun, Shield Turret, and Care Package
- (We'll have weapon tuning and other weapon adjustments in a future patch. Stay tuned for updates.)
- Fix for invisible collision appearing in Barakett Promenade
- Fix for a bug where the 23.0″ RPK Barrel was appearing broken in-game and in the Gunsmith menu
- Fix for an exploit where players were able to give themselves unlimited ammo
- Fix for an exploit using the Recon Drone and Care Package
- The PKM – Bludgeoner will now gather ammo from any other PKM weapon
- Fixed an issues where players were hearing the missed hit VO for the Precision Airstrike when right after calling it in
- Added a VO line when a player's High Alert warning is triggered
- Fixed an issue where players could receive 'wallbang' kills when shooting through players
- New Warzone loot items!
- Gulag weapons will now rotate every week between four sets total
- Increased effective damage range for all semi-auto DMR and semi-auto Sniper Rifles
- Increased effective damage range for the FR 5.56
- Fix for a bug where the player's physics could be controlled by the helicopter while they parachute out
- Fix for an issue where players were unable to call in any Air Strikes
- Fix for seeing invalid pings on the Heartbeat Sensor
- Added new VO lines to warn players of enemy Recon Drones being called in near them (BR only)
- Previously, the Most Wanted contract could respawn dead players. Now, it can respawn players in the Gulag in any state
- Fix for the 'Alive in Gas' challenge timer
CALL OF DUTY LEAGUE:
- Fix for an exploit while inside the blue kiosks on Piccadilly
- New restricted attachments:
- Muzzle – Suppressors (all)
- Optic – Thermal Sights (all)
- Underbarrel – Merc Foregrip
CO-OP MODES (Tac Ops, Classic Special Operations, Survival):
- Team Ping is now enabled in these modes
- New Challenges: Playing it Bogart – Defeat enemies in style while supporting your teammates in these Co-Op Focused Challenges
SPECIAL OPERATIONS: SURVIVAL
- Added new map, Crash
- Fix for exploit involving the Equipment Store
- Improved stability
- VRAM usage is now displayed in 2 separate bars: one for Warzone and the other for multiplayer
- Added a keybind for Air Vehicles' Horn in the Killstreak and Vehicles tab in the Options menu
NACON and KT Racing studio have announced that Rally Japan will return to the series, the first time it has been seen since 2011. You can check out some of the Japanese courses in the new gameplay trailer below.
Making its return for the first time since 2011 is Rally Japan, in which players can enjoy the thrilling mountains and forests of the Aichi and Gifu districts, that will host the WRC season's finale in November. Just like the real WRC drivers, in WRC 9 players can master the demanding course with its narrow asphalt roads and aggressive corners, while also navigating the lush environment which affects the driver's visibility.
WRC 9 will be available on September 3rd on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from the Epic Games Store. The Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X versions will follow at a later date. Pre-orders for the game are now live and include a standard and deluxe digital editions.
We previewed the game recently and said:
There's an impressive amount of that content to be found under the hood, with those 100+ stages spread across 14 countries, and KT Games stating that over 35 of these stages are brand new. That will then come to include Rally Portugal and Rally Finland both being expanded to feature eight stages each in the months after launch. You'd be forgiven for not being able to spot what's new and what's old, especially when what I've seen of the menus and UI is nigh on identical to WRC 8, right down to the pre-rally intros. I guess you don't want to fix what isn't broken.
So there's a lot of great new rallying coming to WRC 9, and some intriguing new features that we look forward to seeing in action, but WRC 9 is maybe shaping up to be more of a transitional year for the series, taking a bit of caution as they approach a big console jump.
Source: Press release
If there's one thing everyone knows about Scandinavia, it's that it's the home of Ikea and Lego, but a close second would be the astonishingly rich wealth of folklore and legends – stories that have been the inspiration for titles from The Lost Vikings to the PS4 God of War. Most famous of these are the familiar exploits of Odin, Thor, and Loki, but there is more to Scandinavian folklore than those pesky gods. Röki focuses instead on a much smaller scale, almost domestic level of myth, and in doing so makes for an emotional and beautiful meditation on family and loyalty.
The backstory of Röki is a melancholic one. You play as Tove, a young girl who must look after her younger brother, Lars, as their dad has lapsed into depression after her mother died giving birth to Lars. This is a stark and emotive beginning, but one that is introduced with sensitivity and charm. Rather than focusing on this loss, the game introduces Tove's responsibility through simple daily tasks, such as keeping the fire lit and cooking the family meal. We quickly empathise with Tove's position as a girl forced into being mature before her time, an initial impression that carries through the entire game. This is in stark contrast to the classic Jim Henson movie, Labyrinth, a comparison text that often came to mind throughout Tove's adventure. In that movie, the focus is on Sarah coming of age, whereas here Tove has already had to grow up due to family tragedy.
This is heavy material, so it is a testament to Röki's success that it remains a gentle and charming experience. Tove is a brilliantly written character and demonstrates a great blend of sensible carer and naive child. Hell, even Lars isn't annoying – a rare thing indeed in gaming where younger siblings are almost always insufferable. Their father is given space to grow through the narrative as well, with the result being that all three feel like real people who have suffered from terrible loss, but come out the other side stronger for their experience. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was genuinely moved by the game, whether through small asides or larger narrative developments.
Aesthetically, Röki has a simple beauty that is totally in keeping with its setting and tone. Developers Polygon Treehouse have acknowledged the influence of Moomin creator Tove Jansson (as evidenced by the main character's name) and there are many similarities with the magical blend of darkness and innocence in Röki's world. While not as detailed as some other games, the artstyle perfectly complements the narrative and conveys the child-like imaginations of the young protagonists. I was reminded of the brilliant cartoon Hilda, which similarly represents a young girl and her interactions with the myths and creatures of Scandinavia. The music is also beautifully judged and helps to set the mood of exploration and excitement whilst also feeling appropriate.
Röki is at heart a point and click adventure, a genre that is often synonymous with frustrating pixel hunting for objects and trial and error attempts to combine everything you might find along the way. Fortunately, Röki is a wonderfully streamlined example of the genre that makes great use of quality of life mechanics such as a button press to highlight interactive objects. There are also few examples of the more egregious moments of obscure logic. This does mean that Röki is relatively easy, and this is my main criticism of the game, but instead succeeds in combining narrative and gameplay into an interactive and emotional adventure. The central themes and narrative are handled so well that the absence of roadblocks to progress instead becomes a positive as you will want to follow Tove's journey to the end.
The title of the game refers to a monstrous creature that demolishes Tove's house and kidnaps Lars at the beginning of the game. Whilst the graphical style ensures that this doesn't become too terrifying for younger players (the game in general would make a great family experience and help to facilitate some important discussions) the sense of loss and despair in Tove's reaction is palpable. In setting out to find and rescue Lars despite her fear, she becomes a truly inspirational hero and one well in keeping with the mythological influences.
The themes of loss and family extend further to the overall narrative, as it is revealed that Tove and Lars have become caught up in an ancient battle between the four Guardians of the Forest. Represented as giant animals – wolf, bear, stag, and raven – these godlike figures are the ones Tove must persuade to help her in her quest. Having banished their raven sister for her relationship with a human, the Guardians must confront their own guilt and pride in order to bring about a reconciliation that will save Lars. All of this is conveyed without relying on lengthy exposition and the changing reaction of the Guardians in the face of Tove's bravery and determination is excellently done. I look forward to replaying the game with my children, both of whom are self-confessed mythology nerds.
The latest update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now available for Nintendo Switch players to download with tweaks to matchmaking and the ability to select stage-specific music. They have also reworked the formula that decides who is an Elite Smash player.
Here are the notes:
The latest software version is needed to enjoy the following features:
・ The Small Battlefield stage has been added. You can also set Small Battlefield as a Preferred Rule in Online battles.
・ You can now select any stage-specific music for the Battlefield, Small Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and Final Destination stages.
・ The online user experience has been adjusted.
・ The way matching is determined when using Preferred Rules has been adjusted.
・ Following a look at the current number of players eligible for Elite Smash, the threshold for entry has been recalculated to allow more players. Additionally, the way initial values for Global Smash Power are calculated has also been adjusted.
Further investigations and adjustments to Online mode are expected.
・ Several issues have been fixed to improve gameplay experience.
・The latest software version is required to enter Online mode.
・Local wireless play is not compatible with Ver. 8.0.0 and earlier. All players who want to fight in local wireless battles need to make sure they have the same software version.
・There may be some compatibility issues with replays from Ver. 6.1.0 – Ver. 8.0.0. Replays from Ver. 6.0.0 and earlier are not compatible. If you want to keep your replays, convert them into videos before installing the update. You can do this via Vault → Replays → Replay Data → Convert to Video.
1. Highlight the software on the HOME Menu and press the + Button to open the options menu.
2. Select Software Update, then either Via the Internet or Match Version with Local Users.