Sunday, 2 August 2020

Feed me, Tenno!

The Heart of Deimos is going to make for one hell of an introduction for players new to the Warframe experience, but for those who have been playing since the beginning, a new feature coming soon to your Orbiter may allow you to customize your playing experience even more. When Heart of Deimos launches at the end of August, your infirmary will have a new occupant. Say hello to Audrey II Helminth.

Feed me, Tenno! screenshot


Gender-neutral Xaku is the 44th Warframe

Earlier this year, Digital Extremes asked Tenno around the world to submit their ideas for a new Warframe in the fantastically popular free-to-play looter shooter. Plenty of ideas were submitted, but the most popular entry by far was from a user named 'eaterofstorms" who pushed the idea of a Broken Warframe, one that is, "obviously not put together correctly and it's pretty much the epitome of making a bug a feature."

An absolutely dope idea that finally has a dope design. Say hello to Xaku, a gender-neutral Warframe coming to the game with the launch of the Heart of Deimos.

Gender-neutral Xaku is the 44th Warframe screenshot


Warframe's Heart of Deimos is an infested open-world you can explore in a mech

Last year at TennoCon, Digital Extremes teased a new open-world area known as the Duviri Paradox. That update for Warframe is currently on hold. Instead, more than 50 million players around the world will get access to a new open-world later this month called the Heart of Deimos. 

Deimos is the second moon of Mars that holds the origin to the Infested. As players complete quests across the satellite, they'll uncover the mysteries of the nauseating creatures and how they came to be. During a pre-TennoCon presentation, we were given a look at this fleshy world overrun with some of the most gruesome creatures Warframe has ever seen.

Warframe's Heart of Deimos is an infested open-world you can explore in a mech screenshot


How well do you know the sexual side of Nintendo?

The Super Mario series turns 35 this September, so chances are that if you read this game blog, the franchise has been in your life for as long as you remember. I'm old enough to recall the first time I played the original game. I was 10 years old, and it was at a demo kiosk in Toys R Us. I'll forever associate the series with that point in my childhood. 

Of course, I've grown up a lot since then, and so has Nintendo. When they first started releasing their own home consoles, their sole focus was catering to children, but now that many of those '80s kids have kids (or even grandkids) of their own, they've branched out to create games that appeal to all ages. That sometimes means throwing in a cheeky reference now and again, intended for adults to understand but kids to avoid or ignore. 

There is just such a reference in a recently released Nintendo game, and the only thing I found surprising about it was fans' reactions. Specifically, a lot of fans denied that there was anything sexual about it, seemingly unwilling to admit to themselves that yes, sometimes Nintendo does dick jokes. I'm not going to spoil it here, because it's actually related to one of the quiz questions below, but please, if you were one of the folks who doesn't believe that Nintendo ever gets "inappropriate," you have a lot to learn. With any luck, this fun quiz will teach you a thing or two about the birdos and the bees. 

How well do you know the sexual side of Nintendo? screenshot


Review: Destroy All Humans!

Destroy All Humans is the kind of game that's a perfect subject for getting the remake treatment. Originally released in 2005 by the now-defunct Pandemic Studios (I'll never forget the controversy around The Saboteur's launch DLC that enabled nudity), Destroy All Humans is spirited but doesn't hold up to modern gameplay conventions. Go watch some YouTube videos. It hasn't aged gracefully.

Developer Black Forest Games has tackled a beat-by-beat remake 15 years later. It's extremely competent, and every bit as lively and spunky as the original. This just feels like a franchise that means a lot to some people. Still, we're left wishing more creative liberty had been taken.

Review: Destroy All Humans! screenshot


Podtoid has all the right answers, but do you have the right questions?

I don't know where you all stand on this whole "Should we even have E3 anymore?" debate, but after getting through the last two months, I'm more than ready to welcome back a week of hell in Downtown LA. It has been an exhausting couple of months, and now that it's August, the Podtoid team is looking to kick back and relax a bit.

Help us start the month off right by asking us a question in the comments below. The more creative and original the question, the more likely it is to be asked on air. 

Podtoid has all the right answers, but do you have the right questions? screenshot

Square Enix tells us why the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles remaster doesn't have local co-op, and a lot more

As someone who played the hell out of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles back in the day, it came as a shock that the upcoming remaster would not support local play. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this remaster could work perfectly well for a new generation; not to mention the fact that it deserves to be preserved.

I sat down with the game's director, Ryoma Araki, to find out how he got involved with the project and why local multiplayer was cut.

Square Enix tells us why the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles remaster doesn't have local co-op, and a lot more screenshot


Will the massive Nintendo asset leak have negative repercussions for the industry?

The big story of the weekend has been the massive dump of assets and source codes for a decade's worth of Nintendo games. Where some companies are a bit too carefree with how they store their history, Nintendo doesn't appear to throw anything out. We've seen strange early versions of Yoshi, never-before-seen Zelda enemies, and the source codes to some of the greatest games on the SNES just dumped on the internet. It's fascinating, but could leaks like this and the gargantuan The Last of Us: Part II leak from a few months ago have a negative ripple effect for the people who work in and around the gaming industry?

That's just one of the topics discussed on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Charlotte, and Occams are on hand to talk asset leaks, Ghost of Tsushima, Void Terrarium, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and our favorite titles from last week's Xbox Games Showcase. All that, plus the idea that games starring women don't sell is bullshit, on Podtoid Episode 452.

Will the massive Nintendo asset leak have negative repercussions for the industry? screenshot


Star Trek Online's forecast signals a summer event on the horizon

This year hasn't been especially conducive to tourism, to say the least, but no amount of international travel restrictions can stop you from logging into Star Trek Online's 25th-century timeline this August. The Cryptic Studios-developed free-to-play MMO is kicking off its yearly summer celebration event on August 4, 2020, and any players who start a character and complete the initial tutorial will be welcome on the shores of Risa, the classic "pleasure planet" of Star Trek Lore.

As with other summer events, players can partake of a variety of summer activities, including jetpack tours, hoverboard races, sand castle builds, and dance contests. They can even go on a scavenger hunt for Risian horga'hn statues, though sadly no jamaharon is on offer (unless you know the right chat channels to join, I suppose). Participating a little bit each day will earn progress towards the event's grand prize: A premium playable starship.

Star Trek Online's forecast signals a summer event on the horizon screenshot


There's a new Pokemon trading card set that's aimed at beginners and lapsed fans

I play a lot of card games. Competitive, cooperative: I'll try them all. That's partially why I've dipped in and out of the Pokemon Trading Card Game since 1998. While I'm generally not down with blind box collectible packs, starter sets like the newly announced Battle Academy box do a decent job of pulling me back in to relearn games and acquire that sweet, sweet new keyword knowledge.

In short, trading card games periodically release pre-built decks of cards so that you know exactly what you're getting. Fantasy Flight Games bases their entire "LCG" model around it to avoid gambling, which is why I gravitate toward their games so often. With other companies, the idea is to suck you in with the pre-set starter boxes: then get you to whale-up and buy tons of packs to get cooler cards. Jokes on you: I stop there!

In this particular "Battle Academy" kit for Pokemon, you'll get three decks (Pikachu, Charizard, Mewtwo), along with three rulebooks and a game board (no mat? Way to cheap out). The idea is that you start with the former two, then work your way up to Mewtwo. It's not a new concept, but it's a new box, so lapsed Pokemon card game fans could give it a shot with a family member during quarantine.

It's out as of yesterday worldwide, and will run you 20 bucks.

Battle Academy [Pokemon]

There's a new Pokemon trading card set that's aimed at beginners and lapsed fans screenshot


Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid?

Though I've played fighting games for more than half my entire lifespan, I can't deny that lately I'm struggling to hold the devotion. As my eyes, fingers, and senses dull with age, I can't help but feel with each new generation of fighters I get less and less capable at holding my Mad Skillz together. The Struggle, my friends.

Don't get me wrong, I still love the genre - many of its better entries remain among my favourite and most played games of all time. But with a year without tournaments I had intended to attend, the (rightful) cancellation of EVO, and several disappointing moves from some solid franchises, I can't help but feel I might be losing the love. Maybe it's just been a particularly bad year for the genre, maybe I'm just in a funk, or maybe the death threat I received this week was the last straw. I guess time will tell - but either way, 29 years is one helluva fucking run. To paraphrase easily pleased pro-wrestling fans, I still intend to Fight For-ev-er.

But while I meander through that frankly unimportant part of my brain, why don't you drop us a note below and fill us in on what's been keeping you entertained this week. Just like the early-'90s UFC boasted: THERE ARE NO RULES!* So whatever you're playing, old or new, good fun or bad times, join in the discourse below and share with us your current gaming obsessions.

Have a safe and pleasant weekend, from all of us at Destructoid.

*Even though there were, in fact, some rules.

Whatcha been playing this week, Destructoid? screenshot

Guilty Gear Strive coming to PS5 and PC, Leo Whitefang and Nagoriyuki revealed

The biggest news from this morning's Japan Fighting Game Publisher Roundtable was definitely reserved for Arc System Works and its lovely-looking anime fighter Guilty Gear Strive. Not only did the developer reveal classic and brand new roster additions, but it also announced that GG Strive will be launching spring 2021 on PS4, PS5, PC, and in arcades.

Returning to the fight is the domineering form of political heavyweight Leo Whitefang. Debuting in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, Whitefang is one of the three Allied Kings of Illyan, and holds governance over Europe, Oceania, and The Middle East. As dangerous on the battlefield as he is in parliament, Whitefang lays waste to his opponents with two heavy-duty gauntlet swords, raining down blows via meaty left-right hook combinations. Incidentally, Whitefang also possesses the greatest coat known to man.

Guilty Gear Strive coming to PS5 and PC, Leo Whitefang and Nagoriyuki revealed screenshot


The deadly Setsuka to return in Soulcalibur VI next week

Another blood-spiller is sharpening their blade and preparing to make their vengeful return in Bandai Namco's Soulcalibur VI. As revealed during this morning's Japan Fighting Game Publisher Roundtable event, Setsuka is making her long-awaited return to the steel-clashing franchise, as the third character of Season Pass 2.

Originally debuting in 2005's Soulcalibur III, Setsuka is an unassuming but deadly swordswoman, originally offering the appearance of a courtesan in order to track the legendary samurai Mitsurugi, whom she holds personally responsible for the death of her mentor, Kokonoe. Able to pass through towns and countryside as a demure, beautiful woman, the ever-alert Setsuka is able to take her foes with sudden surprise, unsheathing her blade from her parasol and making short, violent work of any would-be opponents.

The deadly Setsuka to return in Soulcalibur VI next week screenshot


Tekken 7 announces Season 4, new moves, and online features

At this morning's Japan Fighting Game Publisher Roundtable event, Bandai Namco announced that a fourth season of DLC content will be coming to its popular fighter Tekken 7 this fall.

No specific characters were revealed during the stream, but a trailer advertising the new season ends with an image of a sunset over Mt. Fuji, with the silhouette of a ninja-type figure resting on a pagoda rooftop. While Tekken is fairly slight on shinobi - save for Kunimitsu - the accompanying message "WHAT?!" seems to suggest that this could also be another surprising crossover character.

Tekken 7 announces Season 4, new moves, and online features screenshot


Samurai Shodown will get a third season of DLC content

During this morning's Japanese Fighting Game Publisher's Roundtable stream, developer SNK announced that a third season of content is headed to its meticulous fighting title Samurai Shodown.

No further information was released outside of this simple statement, but from experience we can expect several new characters will be headed to the SamSho roster. Whether these characters will be newcomers such as Darli Dagger, returning stars such as Iroha, or more strange cross over selections like The Warden and the recently revealed Gongsun Li remains to be seen.

Samurai Shodown, now readily available on PC and consoles, has certainly succeeded in making a name for itself among modern audiences. Even if the footsie-heavy fighter isn't quite as popular as the Street Fighters and Tekkens of the world, it holds its own with a large and colourful cast of characters, an attractive period aesthetic, and a unique, almost balletic fighting style.

Samurai Shodown is available now on PS4, PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Stadia.

Samurai Shodown will get a third season of DLC content screenshot

Contest: Win an EPOS GSX 300 External Sound Card

In today's contest, spoil your ears and win an EPOS GSX 300 External Sound Card!

My ears are weirdly sensitive, but I'm also oddly deaf. It's a really, really stupid combo that doesn't make any sense. I can feel bass in my eardrums from miles away and detect the smallest change in audio atmosphere like a big, white bat, but have to ask my wife to repeat herself several times because I can't hear her. I don't understand it at all.

So when EPOS gave me a few units of their GSX 300 External Sound Card, I didn't really know what to do with them. I thought about trading them on the black market for adult diapers, but figured I'd just give them away, instead.

Contest: Win an EPOS GSX 300 External Sound Card screenshot


Review: Nioh 2: The Tengu's Disciple

After spending an absurd amount of time with Nioh 2 this year in pursuit of the platinum trophy, New Game+, and incrementally better character builds, I wasn't sure if I was ready to return so soon. It's a testament to this game – and Team Ninja's general update and DLC strategy – that I'm not burned out.

The Tengu's Disciple is the first of three story expansions, but it feels pretty self-contained. If you aren't holding out for the (hopefully inevitable) PC version of Nioh 2, it's time to travel back in time to 1185.

Review: Nioh 2: The Tengu's Disciple screenshot


Carrion is an instant hit

There's a monster climbing up the sales charts. The more we feed it, the bigger he gets.

Devolver Digital has revealed that reverse horror game Carrion has nearly crossed the 200,000 sales barrier. That's certainly a notable number for an indie game with an experimental bent. In his review, Jordan described Carrion as a trim, novel, and enjoyable experience that gets in and out before the sheen wears off.

Right about now, you're likely thinking "200,000 in the first week, mostly from Xbox Game Pass...that's pretty decent." Nope, the 200,000 sales are actual sales. Devolver says there are "hundreds of thousands [more] players on Xbox Game Pass." We're probably looking at close to a half mil creepy blob monsters.

Ah, "creepy blob monster" is an unfair characterization (and only one letter away from the staff here who are creepy blog monsters). In this new behind-the-scenes Carrion video, you'll learn a little more about what makes the antagonist-turned-antihero (-turned-regular-hero depending on your views on humanity) tick. He really likes his no-calorie half-caffeine caramel lattes hotter than the flames that sometimes burn him up.

Carrion is an instant hit screenshot

This week's Humble Bundle has a lot of Double Fine's best games for only $9

Sometimes you don't have to choose between quality and quantity. Sometimes you get both. And, when the stars align just right and fortune's on your side, all that quality and quantity comes very cheap.

That's the case with this week's newest Humble Bundle. In celebration of Double Fine's 20th anniversary (time flies), there are 19 of the studio's games packaged together for $9 total. Plus, you'll get four documentaries thrown in too.

It sounds like a lot, but it isn't everything Double Fine has done. There's a bunch that's missing, probably because of publisher-specific deals or that it just wasn't included. Costume Quest 2, The Cave, Stacking, and Trenched are a few notable omissions that stick out. Also, the higher tier is mostly a lot of Double Fine-published games rather than ones the studio actually developed. Going back to that first sentence in the paragraph: It isn't everything Double Fine has done, but Everything is included.

Here's what's in the Humble Double Fine 20th Anniversary Bundle:

This week's Humble Bundle has a lot of Double Fine's best games for only $9 screenshot


We aren't petting enough foxes in Ghost of Tsushima

How are you spending your time in Ghost of Tsushima? What are you prioritizing?

Sony shared some in-game activity stats for the open-world samurai adventure, and I regret to inform you that we simply aren't petting enough foxes. In the first ten days since Ghost of Tsushima launched, we've taken 15.5 million photos, written 14.2 million haikus, and have only petted 8.8 million foxes.

Players have honored 37.5 million Inari Shrines (the places foxes guide us to) in that same time frame.

I'm part of the problem, for sure.

In my never-ending obsession to uncover every bit of world-map fog and play as much of this great game as I can with the little time I have right now, I've cut some corners. The first few shrines? You better believe I gave those foxes a friendly pat on the head. But the habit quickly broke. I feel cold hard guilt every time I race from a fox den to a shrine and selfishly insta-fast-travel right out of there.

It's not too late. From this point on – every shrine in the second region and beyond – I'll pet them all.

[Image credit: @elliotsda3m0ns]

We aren't petting enough foxes in Ghost of Tsushima screenshot

This Zelda: Breath of the Wild style video is a double whammy for this Guardian

You thought I'd ever get tired of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stunt videos? Nah.

This new one is coming at you from Reddit user ceadmilefailte, who gives us a two-fold taste of style in this short clip. Basically, they not only nail a very long and meticulous shot from the top of a mountain, sniping a nearby Guardian: but they also follow it up seamlessly with a laser shot shield deflection.

The title is just so great: "Never thought I would be one of the people posting something like this." Reddit user ceadmilefailte probably saw all of the cool videos that folks have shared for the past several years and assumed that they couldn't rise to the occasion. Well, welcome to the club. You did it! This is one I had to watch a few times just to really take it in.

For those of you who are wondering how they did it: it was with a royal bow with ancient arrows. Now, go forth into the world and make your own version of it.

This Zelda: Breath of the Wild style video is a double whammy for this Guardian screenshot


(Update) There's a rumor going around that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free-to-play

Update: Microsoft and 343 Industries have confirmed that Halo Infinite's multiplayer component will be free to play.

(Update) There's a rumor going around that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free-to-play screenshot


DIRT 5's Stampede track is a butte-bumping experience

Codemasters has released another work-in-progress trailer for its upcoming off-road racer Dirt 5. Following on from its previous Path Finder premiere, this new video offers an early look at the rock-solid, jarring surfaces that make up new circuit "Stampede."

Located between the iconic Arizona buttes, Stampede is a hard-wearing track - ploughed into the rock and offering very little give or suspension. Mastery of acceleration and inertia will be required when taking on this twisty, unforgiving course. And if the raceway looks a little roomy in the video below, just imagine the fender-bending chaos when up to 12 rugged vehicles are all jockeying for position simultaneously.

DIRT 5's Stampede track is a butte-bumping experience screenshot


Leon and Claire are back in Resident Evil cosmetic outfit form

Resident Evil 3 has been one of the more fun releases in 2020 thus far, and it's also been a blast to go back and play.

Resident Evil Resistance, the multiplayer component that came bundled with it? Not so much. That's due in part to the lack of iconic cast representation, but that's changing...kinda. Sadly, you will still have to deal with the base cast's broke ass haircuts, because Leon isn't actually arriving in the game: just his costume. It's two costumes actually, as both Leon and Claire will represent their RE2 looks by way of paid DLC, because of course it's paid.

More importantly (in theory, at least), Capcom also announced something for Resident Evil 3, but it's not great. Remember that "cheat code DLC" that EA popularized a long time ago with series like Skate? Well it's back, as Capcom is bringing "all-in-game rewards unlock DLC" to core RE3 at some point.

For reference, Resident Evil 2 remake got this in April of 2019 and it was priced at $4.99. Paying for cheat codes that used to be simple button combinations or free in-game passwords! It's still a wild thing, folks.

Resident Evil [Twitter]

Leon and Claire are back in Resident Evil cosmetic outfit form screenshot

Peaky Blinders: Mastermind launches August 20 on PC and consoles

Curve Digital has announced that its Commandos-style stealth puzzler Peaky Blinders: Mastermind will launch on PS4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on August 20.

"It's an honour to be trusted with the Peaky Blinders license," said game director James Marsden in a press release. "Our team has created a game that reflects the heart of what makes the show compelling: Tommy Shelby's ability to manipulate friends, family and foes in pursuit of his master plan."

Peaky Blinders: Mastermind launches August 20 on PC and consoles screenshot


Bungie is rolling out a patch next week to clean up some recent Destiny 2 bugs

If you've been playing Destiny 2 you may have noticed some lingering issues in specific activities, but Bungie is squashing those issues next Tuesday. No, it's not as catastrophic as the bug from February, but some recent Nightfall runs and a few quests might have been more annoying than they should have.

As announced on their official blog, Bungie is cleaning up the Lake of Shadows and Festering Core Nightfalls: by fixing an accessibility issue in the former and making the latter much tougher (the Director level-select system said it required 1080 Power, but it's actually set at a breezier 750 - oops!). The Means to an End quest progression bug is also getting fixed, as well as a problem with Ruinous Eggify and Umbral engrams.

Sadly, a reward nerf is coming too, as XP, Glimmer and "chances toward Exotic or Bright engrams" are now back to a weekly lockout setting: directly after they opened them up. It's kind of baffling as XP and glimmer gains are kind of a non-issue so long as players are actually having fun, and with sunsetting content coming soon, Bungie is giving players less of a reason to run existing content before it goes away. It's classic Bungie.

The studio intends on beefing up the hotfix a bit with final patch notes next week, but before then you can check out the preview below.

This Week at Bungie []

Bungie is rolling out a patch next week to clean up some recent Destiny 2 bugs screenshot


UFC 4 Career Mode puts you in control of body, brand, and beatdowns

Electronic Arts has released a new trailer for its MMA sim UFC 4. The new preview is entirely focused on the upcoming fighter's Career Mode, which will see players take their own custom fighter into the hard-training, hard-hitting, and surprisingly social-media-savvy world of The Octagon.

The UFC 4 career mode has been revamped to offer "the most in-depth, authentic experience yet". Create your own MMA superstar from scratch, before embarking on a storied fighting career under the guidance of in-game trainer Coach Davis. Hybrid your fighting style from a number of selected disciplines, and use Evolution Points earned in fights and training mini-games to fine-tune nuances such as striking power, to leg strength, takedown momentum, head movement and much more.

UFC 4 Career Mode puts you in control of body, brand, and beatdowns screenshot


Diablo Immortal has a new trailer for ChinaJoy 2020

It hadn't struck me until just now that Diablo Immortal – that not-quite-right, built-for-mobile take on Diablo that we first heard about in 2018 – is still unreleased. I figured it had already slipped by.

The latest footage comes from ChinaJoy 2020, and if nothing else, you've gotta see the Necromancer's fleshy warriors. (For what it's worth, they looked like skeletons in the BlizzCon 2019 trailer.) The other returning classes – the Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Wizard, Crusader, and Monk – aren't as jarring. Otherwise? Immortal is the same multiplayer-focused demon-mashing experience you remember.

Someone will play this and enjoy it for what it is, but I am not that person. Watching the Demon Hunter do her thing makes me want to reinstall Heroes of the Storm, though. Chris planted the seed.

Please be good, Diablo IV. We're counting on you.

[Via MMO Culture]

Diablo Immortal has a new trailer for ChinaJoy 2020 screenshot

Fallout 76's next big patch hits Tuesday, alongside of a huge community-wide event

Fallout 76 is still trucking, and Bethesda isn't shying away from delivering rather big patches from time to time for it. Next Tuesday, Patch 21 is set to shake things up a bit, and hopefully fix some of the bugs from Patch 20 (and maybe introduce some new ones!).

As revealed by the publisher, Patch 21 will arrive next week and will bring with it a community-wide event called Fortifying ATLAS. Basically, you're beefing up the ATLAS (Atmospheric Terraforming Laser Accelerator System,) Observatory location with supplies, which is an extremely MMO-like event.

On August 4 you can join in with the community to build ATLAS up in the "Project Alpha" stage, which will grant you in-game rewards like Brotherhood of Steel outfits and extra experience. You can find the full reward table below, which will grant you roughly two weeks to finish it all. At that point "Project Bravo" will kick off on August 27, which will run through September 10.

Bethesda is also doing some QuakeCon at home events for the game, including streams from August 7 through August 9. You can check out the full schedule here.

Inside the Vault []

Fallout 76's next big patch hits Tuesday, alongside of a huge community-wide event screenshot


QuakeCon at Home 2020 reveals live streaming schedule

Bethesda Softworks has released the live streaming schedule for its annual QuakeCon event which, as previously reported, will be going all-digital this year for the first time ever - another industry staple forced to switch things up due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Running from August 7-9, QuakeCon at Home 2020 looks to bring fans all the news, interviews, and live gaming action they expect from the yearly event, but this time in a safe, socially-distanced capacity. There will be panels and chats with a host of producers, community leaders, and voice actors from popular titles such as The Elder Scrolls, DOOM, Fallout, The Evil Within, and Prey, along with competitive tournaments and a slew of contests and competitions.

Exclusive merchandise will be available throughout the weekend, and viewers will be able to donate during streaming events, with proceeds going to numerous organisations including Direct Relief, UNICEF, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and The Trevor Project. The entire weekend will be readily available to watch on Bethesda's Twitch channel.

While undoubtedly there are many fans left disappointed that QuakeCon has had to change plans for its long-running annual gathering, it remains important that we all try to stem the tide of COVID-19. With a packed schedule and hopefully a few surprises, QuakeCon at Home 2020 will still provide fans with a weekend of fun events and interesting behind-the-scenes chatter. You can check out the full schedule for the weekend right here.

QuakeCon at Home 2020 takes place August 7-9.

QuakeCon at Home 2020 reveals live streaming schedule screenshot

Bright Memory: Infinite trailer showcases Shelia's full-auto firepower

Fledgling studio FYQD has released a new trailer for its action-hybrid title Bright Memory: Infinite. The fast-paced shooter is one of a number of games showcased in this weekend's ChinaJOY 2020 digital entertainment expo.

Bright Memory: Infinite is the final-form follow-up to paid PC demo Bright Memory, currently available to purchase on Steam. It tells the story of an expertly trained special agent named Shelia, who is dispatched by her clandestine organisation, SRO, to scenes of hazardous physical phenomena. After a violent storm rages across the planet, causing the manifestation of time and dimension-hopping apparitions. Shelia is assigned to investigate the cataclysmic event.

Bright Memory: Infinite trailer showcases Shelia's full-auto firepower screenshot


Nintendo shows us how to create some real Paper Mario: Origami King art

In Paper Mario: Origami King, the evil Olly transforms nearly all of the Toads in the Kingdom into various objects or creatures: it's your job to save them. Or, forgo that optional collect-a-thon entirely and just save your loved ones. That might be more preferable.

Either way, the Toads exist and are very much in peril, but Nintendo, at the very least, is giving them a second thought with this new origami folding tutorial. What's amazing about this particular video is how meticulous it is. The demonstrator is actually taking a paper Toad, similar to the ones in the game, and folding it into an object that exists in the game.

While people are quick to dismiss the new Paper Mario formula, I think this goes to show that there's still quite a bit of thought that goes into building these worlds. Color Splash was the same way. It'll be very interesting to see if Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have any gas in the tank left for a new gimmick, having already done stickers, color and origami: the latter of which is the best theme yet.

Nintendo shows us how to create some real Paper Mario: Origami King art screenshot


Maybe this release date trailer will sell you on Battletoads

This is bound to be divisive no matter which way you slice it.

Battletoads finally has a release date. Microsoft teased a revival for years before formally unveiling a new Battletoads at E3 2018. Jordan went hands-on with a demo at E3 2019 and reported back with the broad (but understandable) takeaway of "it's too early to call [it]."

We'll find out one way or another on August 20. That's when Battletoads launches on PC (via Windows Store and Steam) and Xbox One.

It'll be love-it-or-hate-it and no one can really be blamed for whichever side of the fence they land on. The art direction is a major sticking point for most people. It just looks so, I don't know, sanitized compared to Battletoads of old.

Regardless of your opinion now, I'd implore you to watch this new release date trailer. It does a much better job selling the game than the E3 2019 trailer did. I'm not in love with the tone of the Cartoon Network-seeming cutscene stuff but the gameplay looks on-point for a brawler. Dating back to the original, I can't get enough of their fists and feet getting big when there's a finishing blow. That's such a good effect. Also, if this trailer is properly representative, there seems to be a ton of variation in level types.

Anyway, most people don't really need to be "sold" on Battletoads per se because it's coming to Xbox Game Pass. Anyone with a subscription and even the slightest curiosity can just download it and see what's up. If it's your jam, that's another Game Pass success story. If you're not vibing with it, uninstall and move on. Nostalgia is king except for when it's not.

Maybe this release date trailer will sell you on Battletoads screenshot

Oh yeah, there's a Magic: The Gathering dungeon crawler

I totally forgot Magic: Legends exists!

While a lot of folks were clamoring for a Magic: The Gathering MMO, we got this instead at The Game Awards last year. It's Magic by way of Diablo, which could be all sorts of great if developer Cryptic Studios can clean up the gameplay a bit.

Today we're getting a look at the new Sanctifier class: one of the five starters in Legends. They'll focus on celestial light, and surprise: white (plains)-based mana abilities. They can sling spells and heals, but also utilize latent powers to regenerate their own health, as well as the health of their summons. They can also periodically bring out an angel, who will grant them lifelink.

While the game hasn't wowed me yet, the deep lore of the world of Magic: The Gathering could win out.

Revealing the Sanctifier [Arc]

Oh yeah, there's a Magic: The Gathering dungeon crawler screenshot


Yet another battle royale enters the arena soon with the launch of Hyper Scape

A battle royale meets Ready Player One: what could go wrong? Make sure you drive backward during your first race! It's a pro-tip only a true unflawed Ernest Cline stand-in could understand.

Yes, Ubisoft's Hyper Scape is out and about thanks to a very messy and quick reveal campaign, but it's actually going to be out, out on August 11. The news comes by way of this season one announcement trailer below, which showcases some gameplay and reminds us of the inevitable 100-tier battle pass.

Cringey setting aside, I'll give Hyper Scape a try because battle royales aren't inherently bad; so long as the studio isn't slapping it together to make a quick buck.

Yet another battle royale enters the arena soon with the launch of Hyper Scape screenshot


Contest: Win Old School Musical on Switch from Super Rare Games

In today's contest you can win a physical Switch copy of Old School Musical from Super Rare Games!

Super Rare Games is back at it! This week, their mission to put digital Switch games on physical carts brings them to Old School Musical. And you know what that means -- you can win a copy for yourself!

Contest: Win Old School Musical on Switch from Super Rare Games screenshot


Splinter Cell is back as a Netflix anime

That headline is a rollercoaster of emotions. Fans have been waiting for more Splinter Cell for years, and Ubisoft just simply refuses to announce that a new one is in the works. Instead, the diehards will have to settle for a Netflix-exclusive show.

Splinter Cell is getting an anime adaption on Netflix, as it becomes the latest video game series to get an animated show. John Wick writer Derek Kolstad is attached as writer and executive producer. It's reported that Netflix has already greenlit 16 episodes over two seasons.

Maybe this will remind Ubisoft that Splinter Cell exists outside of Ghost Recon crossover events.

'Splinter Cell' Anime Series From 'John Wick' Writer Derek Kolstad Set at Netflix (Exclusive) [Variety]

Splinter Cell is back as a Netflix anime screenshot

The Epic Games Store has three free games to claim this week

It's one thing to pile up a PC gaming backlog with a new game or two every week, but three at once? And with no end in sight? I'm curious to see what the Epic Games Store will look like in five years.

For the time being, if you're in the habit of claiming these free games, let's keep on rolling.

The Mega Man X-inspired roguelike platformer 20XX, the first-person co-op roguelike RPG Barony, and the unmistakable audiovisual adventure Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP are free until August 6, 2020. Barony eludes me, but 20XX feels spot-on as an action game and Sword & Sworcery is essential.

Next week's freebie is one of my favorites of 2019 – and one of my favorite co-op games ever. Wilmot's Warehouse, a game about organization, will be free from August 6-13. It's way too under the radar.

The Epic Games Store has three free games to claim this week screenshot

Metal Gear Solid V's Cold War finally ended (and then some players immediately built more nukes)

Hideo Kojima built a nearly impossible global win condition of sorts into Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Achieve nuclear armistice by every single player getting rid of their nukes. It's a cute thought, but there's no way everyone would band together for the greater good.

PlayStation 3 managed this monumental feat. Every nuke on PS3 was disarmed. There was likely a dedicated group of anti-nuke activists launching incursions on other players' Mother Bases, slowly chipping away at the WMD count. And, because PS3 surely has a tiny user base at this point, those raids were probably mostly against inactive players. Regardless, Kojima's dream came true.

Here's the cutscene that triggered when the Cold War finally ended:

Metal Gear Solid V's Cold War finally ended (and then some players immediately built more nukes) screenshot


The King of Fighters: Awaken is a new CG movie based on the Orochi saga

SNK has announced a new CG movie based on its iconic fighting franchise, The King of Fighters. The King of Fighters: Awaken is currently is a full-length feature currently in production at Joy Pictures. It is expected to premiere in China in 2022.

A short trailer, available courtesy of YouTuber Banden, sees hero Kyo Kusanagi facing off against King of Fighters '96 intolerable boss character Goenitz. The megalomaniacal priest is seen at an isolated temple, awaiting the release of the demon Orochi from its "Yata Mirror" prison. Young Kyo makes a brave effort to stop this cataclysmic event, but is last seen engulfed in flames.

Meanwhile, in some unnamed city, Iori Yagami is feeding a stray cat, (a nice nod to a classic piece of Shinkiro art from yesteryear), when a young boy informs him of Kyo's fate. With the purple flames of Yasakani burning inside his heart, and Orochi blood pumping through his veins, Iori prepares to face his destiny.

The King of Fighters: Awaken is a new CG movie based on the Orochi saga screenshot


Review: Hotel Sowls

I am, admittedly, a sucker for unique art styles. Sure, I enjoy lush graphics, beautiful pixel art, or stylish cel-shading, but they don't grab my attention in the same way as something that forges a path in a different direction. I get excited around the styles that Bernband, Burrito Galaxy, or even the simple papercraft worlds of Brendan Chung's Citizen Abel games pull off. Heck, I'll admit to being fascinated by Paper Mario.

That's what drew me into Hotel Sowls. I was instantly charmed by its blobby, lo-fi art style. It's something I haven't really seen before in a video game. It seems to wear its personality on its sleeve. That's only the start, though. Now it's time to get it up on the autopsy table, peel back its skin, and see if there's any of that personality seeped into the meat itself.

Review: Hotel Sowls screenshot


Nioh 2: The Tengu's Disciple is out today along with a free update

From one samurai game to the next. Nioh 2's first DLC, The Tengu's Disciple, is out today on PS4.

If you're downloading the standalone version of The Tengu's Disciple – I wouldn't bother! – it's $9.99. If you go for the Nioh 2 Season Pass, which bundles all three DLC packs, you're looking at $19.99. This first story is set in the coastal region of Yashima during "the final years of the Heian period."

You'll need to have cleared the main campaign to get started.

The trailer shows some of the new yokai, including a boss, and the Ninja Gaiden-as-hell Splitstaff weapon. The Tengu's Disciple has "over 10 challenging missions across three distinct new stages."

Team Ninja also shared the patch notes for update 1.11. Apart from new Ninja and Onmyo Magic skills and character-creator options, the big addition is the Demon Parade Picture Scroll. These items drop on Dream of the Strong difficulty and above, and they'll give you special mini-missions to play from the left side of the map screen. If you clear a Picture Scroll mission, you can equip the scroll for stat bonuses.

The update also raised the inventory capacity from 500 to 600 items and re-tuned the difficulty in multiplayer. "The health and power of enemies will increase when there is a summoned Visitor present."

Dream of the Demon difficulty is calling my name, as is the new level cap of 400.

Nioh 2: The Tengu's Disciple is out today along with a free update screenshot

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice GOTY edition announced for Japan

FromSoftware continues to push out news regarding Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Following on from yesterday's announcement that the shinobi adventure had shifted an impressive five million units since launch, the developer has now revealed a special "Game of the Year" edition, set for release in Japan October 29.

A subtle affair, the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice GOTY simply consists of a PS4 copy of the game itself - housed in exclusive new packaging - along with a guidebook detailing top-tier combat techniques, boss strategies, and other secrets. This edition will, of course, include the upcoming "Additional Features" patch, which adds new modes, features and skins.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice GOTY edition announced for Japan screenshot


Cyberpunk 2077 beta? Nah, that's just a phishing scam

Just give it a once-over with your cybernetic eye implant and you'll quickly see through this scheme. Oh, you don't have any DNA-infused hardware? You might need a blog post to help you sniff this one out.

There are Cyberpunk 2077 emails going around where recipients can sign up for beta access. There's one big glaring problem: Cyberpunk 2077 isn't getting a beta. These emails are a phishing scam and you shouldn't click any of the links.

Cyberpunk 2077 beta? Nah, that's just a phishing scam screenshot


Early Access Review: Grounded

All of my favorite survival games tend to have an unspeakable horror to keep me on my toes, and Grounded – a shrunken-down solo/co-op adventure from RPG powerhouse Obsidian – is no exception.

Even if you're the kind of person who refuses to squish spiders and goes out of their way to carefully capture and release them outdoors, you aren't ready for these towering eight-legged freaks.

Some of them hide in creepy tunnels. Others prowl in the open, bending tree-sized blades of grass off in the distance. They scurry. They can take you out in just a strike or two. And they must be stopped.

Obsidian included an Arachnophobia Safe Mode for a reason.

Early Access Review: Grounded screenshot


Paint the town red in Vampire: The Masquerade: Shadows of New York

Draw Distance has released a debut trailer for its upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade visual novel Shadows of New York. Headed to PC and consoles later this year, the gothic horror adventure is a standalone sequel to last year's tale, Coteries of New York.

Set in an alternate universe Big Apple, Shadows of New York is the story of a young woman, outcast from her Lasombra clan, who ekes out a glum existence of chain-smoking woe. But when murder comes to the upper echelon of the Anarch - lighting a fuse that could instigate another inter-clan war - it is our gal who is called upon to get to bottom of this mystery, unveil the culprits, and hopefully not fall prey to the perpetrators themselves.

Paint the town red in Vampire: The Masquerade: Shadows of New York screenshot


Nintendo Download: Lost Wing

Nintendo warned us that things would be getting more low key later this year due to distribution and development issues due to the current global situation: and today is one of those days.

There isn't much that's new on the eShop this week, outside of Lost Wing and Skully, as well as the games listed below. Your wallets can rest easy! The other big addition this week is the Animal Crossing: New Horizons update, which you can read the patch notes for here.

It's good to have chill weeks like this!

Nintendo Download: Lost Wing screenshot


Stardew Valley is taking pre-orders for a Nintendo Switch and PC physical edition

You might love Stardew Valley enough to own multiple copies of the game, but what about a physical copy? It's a frequent request, and the time has come. Creator Eric Barone partnered with Fangamer for a Collector's Edition release of Stardew Valley on Nintendo Switch and PC. It is, in a word, adorable.

Stardew's Standard Edition is $29 on PC and $34 on Nintendo Switch – it comes with an 18-page manual and double-sided cover – while the Collector's Edition is $64 on PC and $69 on Switch.

In the latter case, the extra money goes toward a collector's box, a wooden animal standee, a wooden lapel pin, a 14-page Junimo comic, a cleaning cloth (my favorite piece), and a literal deed to your farm.

As for which version of the game is included, "physical copies of Stardew Valley for Switch and PC (as a DRM-free disc with Steam key) contain Version 1.4, with free updates available for download as they're released." We're waiting on update 1.5, which doesn't have a time frame, but it's "coming along steadily."

Fangamer is currently taking pre-orders ahead of an expected ship date of November 6, 2020.

Stardew Valley Collector's Edition [Fangamer]

Stardew Valley is taking pre-orders for a Nintendo Switch and PC physical edition screenshot


Onion Games' anti-RPG Moon will release outside Japan for the first time ever next month

Last year, fans of quirky RPGs and quirkier Japanese developers were given a great surprise when it was announced Moon: Remix RPG Adventure would be ported to the Switch. The game, described as an anti-RPG where you realize the hero of the quest ain't exactly heroic, originally released for the PlayStation in Japan as one of three titles developed by short-lived studio Love-de-Lic.

English fan translations have started and stalled in the past two decades, which is why it was such great news that Onion Games, a studio run by one of the writers and designers of Moon: Remix RPG Adventure, said it was not only bringing the game to Switch, but also releasing it for the first time overseas. There have been some delays as the translation took longer than expected, but Onion Games announced today the game, now known as Moon, will hit the Nintendo eShop worldwide next month.

Onion Games' anti-RPG Moon will release outside Japan for the first time ever next month screenshot


Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 just got a new mode and some bug fixes

I'm enjoying Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 way more than I thought I would: mostly because of the extra modes and chapters that change the approach of each playthrough. That list of ways to play just got a little longer today thanks to patch 1.3.0.

By way of a new trailer on the official Inti Creates YouTube account, we now know exactly what "legend" mode entails. In short, enemies will spawn off the screen and "one character dying counts as all characters dying." It's sort of an ultra-hard mode that is more akin to the old school platforming style of difficulty: where you can't rely on your party system to survive.

According to the developer "various minor bugs" have also been rectified, as well as a display bug issue. They also confirm that legend mode is available at the start once you download the update: you don't need to have finished the game first. Hopefully we get more little patches like these! I'd love to see this platformer get even more replayable over time.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 just got a new mode and some bug fixes screenshot


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