Blog archive

Sunday, 2 August 2020

FIFA 20 predicts the Arsenal v Chelsea FA Cup Final 2020

Welcome everybody! Today sees two London rivals go head to head in the The FA Cup Final as Arsenal and Chelsea face off to see who is the best team of this tournament. There is some extra incentive for Arsenal as if they win they will get a spot in the Europa League. Chelsea has already confirmed European football for next season, and they will play in the Champions League.

We thought it would be fun to have the match play out in FIFA 20 ahead of kick off at 5:30pm BST. The line ups will likely not be accurate as we won’t find those out until later, so take this as a bit of fun. The line ups for this FIFA 20 FA Cup Final are as follows.

Chelsea are playing in a 4-3-3 Holding formation:

  • (GK) Kepa
  • (LB) Alonso
  • (RB) Azpilucueta
  • (CB) Zouma
  • (CB) Rudiger
  • (CDM) Jorginho
  • (CM) Kovacic (Subbed off 105th minute)
  • (CM) Kante (Subbed off 90th minute extra time)
  • (LW) Pulisic (Subbed off 88th minute)
  • (RW) Willian
  • (ST) Giroud (Subbed on 107th minute)


  • Pedro
  • Abraham (Subbed on 107th minute)
  • Hudson-Odoi (Subbed on 88th minute)
  • Barkley (Subbed on 90th minute extra time)
  • Christensen
  • Mount (Subbed on 105th minute)
  • Caballero

Arsenal are lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with the following players:

  • (GK) Leno
  • (LB) Saka
  • (RB) Bellerin
  • (CB) Sokratis
  • (CB) David Luiz
  • (CDM) Xhaka
  • (CDM) Ceballos
  • (LM) Willock (Subbed off 90th minute extra time)
  • (RM) Pepe
  • (CAM) Aubameyang
  • (ST) Lacazette


  • Martinelli (Subbed on 90th minute extra time)
  • Nketiah
  • Guendouzi
  • Holding
  • Kolasinac
  • Torreria
  • Martinez

So where does that leave the final result? Well at the final result these were the final stats that came as a result of the simulated match.

Final Score (After Extra Time)

Arsenal 0 – 0 Chelsea

Chelsea win 3-1 on penalties

Aubamayeng (Missed Pen 45″)

Shots on Target

Arsenal 4-0 Chelsea

Shots off Target

Arsenal 0-3 Chelsea

Yellow Cards

Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea

Red Cards

Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea


Arsenal 48% – 52% Chelsea

Corners Taken

Arsenal 3-3 Chelsea


Arsenal 0-1 Chelsea

Pass Accuracy

Arsenal 89% – 89% Chelsea

According to FIFA 20 then do not expect any goals in regular time. In fact, the game goes to penalties with Chelsea winning the shootout 3-1. Aubameyang missing the penalty at the end of the first half pretty much cost Arsenal the FA Cup.  Will that be how the game unfolds? Hopefully not as we’d like some more action in the 90 minutes. Are you on board with Chelsea winning the FA Cup in a penalty shootout?

UFC 4 next batch of fighter ratings released, check them out here

EA has released the next batch of UFC 4 fighter rankings with fighters ranked 40 to 31 being highlighted. The list of fighters here includes Colby Colvington, Holly Holm, Ronaldo Souza, Joseph Benavidez, Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem, Curtis Blaydes, Aljamain Sterling, Jessica Andrade, and Yoel Romero. Much like the previous rankings each fighter is rated out of five stars for their striking and grapple ability and their health, which feeds into their overall star rating.

RankFighterWeight ClassOverallStriking OVRGrapple OVRHealth OVR
40Colby ColvingtonMale Welterweight4.5 STAR3.5 STAR4.5 STAR5 STAR
39Holly HolmFemale Bantamweight4.5 STAR4.5 STAR3.5 STAR5 STAR
38Ronaldo SouzaMale Middleweight4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
37Joseph BenavidezMale Flyweight4.5 STAR4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR
36Cain VelasquezMale Heavyweight4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
35Alistair OvereemMale Heavyweight4.5 STAR5 STAR4.5 STAR4 STAR
34Curtis BlaydesMale Heavyweight4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
33Ajamain SterlingMale Bantamweight4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
32Jessica AndradeFemale Strawweight4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
31Yoel RomeroMale Middleweight4.5 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR


The previous rankings can be found here. Yesterday, a new trailer for UFC 4‘s career mode was released giving a look at Coach Davis, fighter performance upgrades, and the relationship system.

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.

Source: EA

Something for the Weekend – 01/08/20

We’re right in the middle of summer now, and it absolutely feels like it with the weather being what one can only describe as “scorchio”. OK, I’m sure there are more, less made up adjectives for the temperature, but you know what I mean.

That heat hasn’t stopped it from being a busy old week in video games, so let’s dive in and catch up on the news, reviews, previews and more from the end of July.

In the News This Week

And with the end of July, there were the usual set of free game announcements:

Games in Review

We had a pretty full slate of review this week, covering all manner of different genres and topics.

And we had an intriguing hardware review, where the question was as much whether you should consider the product, as it was whether or not it was any good.

Featured Articles

As busy as it was in the review pool, the previews and features were no less packed. Dom and I shared our thoughts on how Pokémon Go Fest 2020 was a virtual success.

Last weekend also saw a technical beta test for Fall Guys, which Jim and I absolutely adore, while Dom went hands on with One Hand Clapping, and Tom had his hands full raising monsters in the ‘Pokémon for grown ups’ of Monster Crown.

I then had a look at how Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered is resurrecting the classic GameCube co-op action RPG, and Futurlab’s ingenious time-twisting puzzler Peaky Blinders: Mastermind.

And I went hands on with not one, but two upcoming racing games, with accompanying videos. First up was the very different Project Cars 3.

And then we had a look at WRC 9, with what some might call the best headline ever to feature on the site: WRC 9 Preview – Keep right into caution, big console jump, 100.

Dom spoke to EPOS on making a new generation of gaming headsetsand finally What We Played featured Ghost of Tsushima, Fall Guys and Pokémon Go.

Trailer Park

Cuphead is out now for PlayStation 4

UFC 4 Career mode trailer details new additions including Coach Davis

Hawkeye confirmed for Marvel’s Avengers, beta details outlined

Carrion: Behind the Screams released by Devolver, kind of goes behind the scenes

Microsoft Flight Simulator PC VR and TrackIR support announced

Your Achievements

Here’s what you in our community has been up to this week:

  • hornet1990 finished two of the war stories from Battlefield V, finding them a buggy slog.
  • ron_mcphatty finished the “emotionally gruelling and bleak” The Last of Us Part II, but he still loved it!
  • It was Skater XL for tactical20.
  • Popping on his dreaming hat, TSBonyman dove into the wonderful world of Dreams VR, spending just a little bit too long in the virtual space for his head to handle.
  • And MrYd’s brain melted while playing “Advanced Horse Testicle Simulator”, “I’m a Satsuma”, “Hideo Kojima’s Falling Over Simulator”, and “Call of Duty: Whatever it is”. Sounds like a fun week?

I hope you have a good (and relatively cool) weekend and I’ll see you on the other side!

Free Rocket Arena codes being given away to celebrate the first season

Rocket Arena was only released a couple of weeks ago by EA and Final Strike Games, but it seems that it hasn’t been as popular as the team would have liked. Now, free codes for Rocket Arena are being given away on PC, PS4, and Xbox One “in celebration of season one.”

The instructions are as follows:

1. Click”Codes and Promotions” then select Promotion questions”to enter LETSROCKET

2. Sign-in to your EA account.

3.Fill in the required information, enter LETSROCKET into the Subject and Issue fields, and hit ‘Email us”. Once complete, you’ll receive an email with your code.

We look forward to seeing you blastoff in Crater with your friends!

Click here to request a code. Codes are limited and according to the promotion only those with North America PSN logins are eligible on PS4. That limit is not applied to PC and Xbox One. However, there are also reports that PS4 codes have run out.

In our review for Rocket Arena, Stefan wrote:

Rocket Arena is an energetic new take on the arena shooter that revels in and rewards skillful play with its projectile weaponry. There’s breadth to the cartoony character line up, and while their varied weapons and abilities muddy the purity of the classic rocket arena concept, you’ll quickly find a favourite and get to enjoy the frantic scrapping of the game’s various modes.

You can read the full Rocket Arena review here.

Source: Reddit./Resetera

This week’s trio of free Epic Games now live

There’s just no stopping Epic and their never-ending free game train. Once again, the creators of Fortnite have laid on a spread of free games to download via the Epic Games Store.

This week you can grab not one, but a trio of free games on the house. These include roguelike action platformer, 20XX, as well as first person dungeon crawler Barony, and the spectacular Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.

Meanwhile, it’s been confirmed that next week’s giveaway will be quirky puzzler, Wilmot’s Warehouse.

As always, you have one week in which to claim these games. You’ll need to log into the Epic Games Store (or boot up the EGS client) to find these freebies then add them to your digital library. Don’t worry, even if you don’t download them straight away they’ll still be yours forever!

You can check out the full list of Epic free games below which started with Subnautica in December 2018. Click on the game titles to read our reviews:

Wilmot’s WarehouseAugust 6-13, 2020
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EPJuly 30 – August 6, 2020
BaronyJuly 30 – August 6, 2020
20XXJuly 30 – August 6, 2020
Next Up HeroJuly 23-30, 2020
TacomaJuly 23-30, 2020
Torchlight IIJuly 16-23, 2020
Lifeless Planet: Premier EditionJuly 9-16, 2020
The Escapists 2July 9-16, 2020
Killing Floor 2June 9-16, 2020
HueJuly 2-9, 2020
Stranger Things 3June 25-July 2, 2020
AER Memories of OldJune 18-25, 2020
Ark: Survival EvolvedJune 11-18, 2020
Samurai Shodown NeoGeo CollectionJune 11-18, 2020
OvercookedJune 4-11, 2020
Borderlands: The Handsome CollectionMay 28-June 4, 2020
Civilization VIMay 21-28, 2020
Grand Theft Auto VMay 14-21, 2020
Death ComingMay 7-14, 2020
CrashlandsApril 30-May 7, 2020
Amnesia: The Dark DescentApril 30-May 7, 2020
For the KingApril 23-30, 2020
Just Cause 4April 16-23, 2020
Wheels of AureliaApril 16-23, 2020
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and PunishmentsApril 9-16, 2020
Close to the SunApril 9-16, 2020
Gone HomeApril 2-9, 2020
Drawful 2April 2-9, 2020
HobApril 2-9, 2020
Totally Reliable Delivery ServiceApril 1-8, 2020
World War ZMarch 26-April 2, 2020
Torment x PunisherMarch 26-April 2, 2020
FigmentMarch 26-April 2, 2020
Watch DogsMarch 19-26, 2020
The Stanley ParableMarch 19-26, 2020
A Short HikeMarch 12-19, 2020
MutazioneMarch 12-19, 2020
Anodyne 2March 12-19, 2020
GonnerMarch 5-12, 2020
Offworld Trading CompanyMarch 5-12, 2020
Inner SpaceFebruary 27-March 5, 2020
FaeriaFebruary 20-27, 2020
Assassin’s Creed SyndicateFebruary 20-27, 2020
AztezFebruary 13-20, 2020
Kingdom Come: DeliveranceFebruary 13-20, 2020
Ticket to RideFebruary 6-13, 2020
CarcassonneFebruary 6-13, 2020
Farming Simulator 19January 30-February 6, 2020
The BridgeJanuary 23-30, 2020
HoraceJanuary 16-23, 2020
Sundered: Eldritch EditionJanuary 9-16, 2020
Darksiders Warmastered EditionJanuary 1-9, 2020
Darksiders 2 Dethinitive EditionJanuary 1-9, 2020
SteepJanuary 1-9, 2020
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible LairDecember 31, 2019
Hello NeighborDecember 30, 2019
The Talos PrincipleDecember 29, 2019
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the ShogunDecember 28, 2019
Hyper Light DrifterDecember 27, 2019
FTL: Faster Than LightDecember 26, 2019
Totally Accurate Battle SimulatorDecember 25, 2019
CelesteDecember 24, 2019
Ape OutDecember 23, 2019
Little InfernoDecember 22, 2019
SuperhotDecember 21, 2019
Towerfall AscensionDecember 20, 2019
Into the BreachDecember 19, 2019
The Wolf Among UsDecember 12-19, 2019
The EscapistsDecember 12-19, 2019
Jotun: Valhalla EditionDecember 6-12, 2019
Rayman LegendsNovember 29-December 6, 2019
Bad NorthNovember 21-29, 2019
The MessengerNovember 14-21, 2019
RuinerNovember 7-14, 2019
Nuclear ThroneNovember 7-14, 2019
Costume QuestOctober 31-November 7, 2019
SomaOctober 31-November 7, 2019
Layers of FearOctober 24-October 31, 2019
Q.U.B.E.2October 24-October 31, 2019
Alan Wake: American NightmareOctober 17-24, 2019
ObserverOctober 17-24, 2019
Surviving MarsOctober 10-17, 2019
MinitOctober 3-10, 2019
Metro 2033 ReduxSeptember 26-October 3, 2019
EverythingSeptember 26-October 3, 2019
Lego Batman TrilogySeptember 19-26, 2019
Batman: Arkham CollectionSeptember 19-26, 2019
ConariumSeptember 12-19, 2019
ABZUSeptember 5-12, 2019
The End is NighSeptember 5-12, 2019
CelesteAugust 29-September 5, 2019
InsideAugust 29-September 5, 2019
FezAugust 22-29, 2019
Hyper Light DrifterAugust 15-22, 2019
Mutant Year Zero: Road to EdenAugust 15-22, 2019
GNOGAugust 8-15, 2019
For HonorAugust 2-9, 2019
Alan WakeAugust 2-9, 2019
This War of MineJuly 25-August 2, 2019
MoonlighterJuly 25-August 2, 2019
LimboJuly 18-July 25, 2019
TorchlightJuly 11-18, 2019
OvercookedJuly 4-11, 2019
Last Day of JuneJune 27-July 4, 2019
Rebel GalaxyJune 20-27, 2019
Enter the GungeonJune 13-20, 2019
Kingdom: New LandsJune 6-13, 2019
City of BrassMay 30-6, 2019
RimeMay 23-30, 2019
Stories UntoldMay 16-23, 2019
World of GooMay 2-16, 2019
TransistorApril 18-May 2, 2019
The WitnessApril 4-18, 2019
OxenfreeMarch 21-April 4, 2019
Slime RancherMarch 7-21, 2019
Thimbleweed ParkFebruary 21-March 7, 2019
Axiom VergeFebruary 7-21, 2019
The Jackbox Party PackJanuary 24-February 7, 2019
What Remains of Edith FinchJanuary 11-24, 2019
Super Meat BoyDecember 28, 2018-January 10, 2019
SubnauticaDecember 12-27, 2018

The Epic Games Launcher also hosts to a variety of free-to-play games including Dauntless, SMITE, Magic The Gathering Arena, and of course, Fortnite.

Source: Epic Games

Tekken 7 Season 4 announced, all characters will get new moves

Bandai Namco has confirmed that Tekken 7 Season 4 is coming, though an exact launch date is yet to be confirmed. What we do know is that all fighters will be getting new moves, the online experience will be improved, and a new Tekken Prowess system is being added though details on what that is are scarce.

At the end of the trailer there is a brief tease of a new character, and the early consensus seems to be that it is Kunimitsu. She has been in the original Tekken, Tekken 2, and both Tekken Tag Tournament games but has not been playable since. No doubt other characters will also be added through Season 4. Season 3 saw the addition of Ganryu, Leroy Smith, Fahkumram and Zafina.

If you’re yet to play Tekken 7 here’s what Dave wrote in his review:

Tekken 7 is a phenomenal fighting game experience and one I’d highly recommend. It’s by no means perfect, as the game is not without a few technical issues online, some long loading times, and minor continuity errors, yet as far as most people will be concerned, it delivers a stunning, up-to-date fighting game experience from one of the masters of arcade fighting games. A solid return to form.

You can read the full Tekken 7 review here.

Source: YouTube

Setsuka announced for SoulCalibur VI, out next week

Bandai Namco had announced the return of Setsuka to the SoulCalibur franchise, with the returning fighter being available from August 4th through the next DLC drop. The trailer showing Setsuka in action was revealed and you can check it below.

Setsuka first appeared in the SoulCalibur franchise in SoulCalibur III. She was also part of SoulCalibur IV, SoulCalibur V, and SoulCalibur Broken Destiny. Alongside Setsuka there will be free content for all SoulCalibur VI players. This free content will include two new stages, a classic Setsuka costume, and a brand new Groh episode. Back in November SoulCalibur VI was overhauled as part of the move to Season 2.

Sword-y fighting game SoulCalibur VI launched inoin 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, reviving the dormant sword-y fighting game series with a few tweaks and changes to its popular formula. Version 2.00 was a big overhaul of the game’s balance, introducing new moves for all characters, adding new combos and ways to overcome sticky situations.

Two new battle mechanics were also added:

  • The Soul Attack, a strengthened strike that can turn the tide of a battle.
  • The Resist Impact, the ultimate defense move capable of repelling any attack including the currently unblockable ones.

In our review for SoulCalibur VI, Dom wrote:

SoulCalibur VI is a fantastic looking entry in the series, but beyond that feels like something of a missed opportunity. The core combat remains as vibrant, weighty and enjoyable as ever, but the Reversal Edge adds in an element of chance that feels at odds with what most fighting games set out to achieve. The two interminably dull story modes don’t help either, with players left to rely on the the straightforward arcade and online modes for their kicks.

You can read the full SoulCalibur VI review here.

Source: YouTube

Guilty Gear Strive confirmed for PS5 and Steam, more characters revealed

Arc System Works has confirmed that Guilty Gear Strive will be released on PS5 and PC via Steam alongside the PS4 version. The developer had previously confirmed that Guilty Gear Strive would be releasing in early 2021,this being down to the impact of COVID 19.

Two characters were also confirmed for Guilty Gear Strive’s roster including returning character Leo Whitefang and series newcomer Nagoriyuki. Nagoriyuki is described as a “vampire with  number of unique and powerful abilities, he wields a huge sword with impressive skill in battle and slashes at his enemies with punishing blows.”

Arc System Works’ games are widely celebrated within the 2D fighter scene, from their own Guilty Gear series through to the phenomenal Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Guilty Gear -Strive- has been in development since 2018, with the full announcement coming in the middle of last year. The start of 2020 then saw Arc System Software hold a closed beta well in advance of the game’s planned release, originally planned for 2020, to give the team enough time to digest the feedback and data and adjust the game.

We went hands on with the beta, with Dom sharing his thoughts on how it sought to shake up the series:

While the franchise may have fallen from some player’s memories, visually Strive looks to be making an emphatic play for their hearts, and I’ve every confidence that this Closed Beta, and future open ones, will help the team hone the action to within an inch of its life. Change isn’t always a bad thing, but it’d be a shame to lose part of Guilty Gear’s own DNA by chasing the pack.”

You can read the full preview of Guilty Gear Strive here.

Source: Press Release

Beyond Good & Evil movie in production at Netflix

Netflix and Ubisoft have announced that there is a Beyond Good & Evil movie in production. Details are scarce at the moment regarding who will star in it, who will direct, or what plot it will follow. The movie could be a retelling of Jade’s story from original Beyond Good & Evil, or it could adapt a story from the Beyond Good & Evil 2. The image suggests the latter though that could be a placeholder until more details are confirmed.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 won’t be releasing until next year at the earliest. Beyond Good & Evil 2 was originally announced at E3 2017 and after that Ubisoft was quite forthcoming with news about the game for a while before going silent. One of the things the studio confirmed was that players would need to be connected online to be able to play Beyond Good & Evil 2.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is an online, multiplayer game with a rich co-op and seamless experience. As such, the game will only be playable with an internet connection in order to have seamless navigation, receive dynamic updates, and play with friends (which is certainly better when you’re playing as a Space Pirate!). The choice to play co-op, however, remains yours to make, so playing BGE2 solo is absolutely possible if you’re into that lone Space Pirate kinda thing…

This news follows on from a report earlier today suggesting that a Splinter Cell anime is also being produced at Netflix. There seem to be some details already with Variety reporting that two seasons comprised of 16 episodes in total have been greenlit. Derek Kolstad, who is one of the key writers behind the John Wick films. has been linked as an executive producer and writer for the series.

We will keep a close eye on how Ubisoft and Netflix will be adapting Beyond Good & Evil.

Source: Twitter

Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free-to-play and 120fps confirms 343 Industries [Updated]

Update: 343 Industries has confirmed that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free to play and will support 120fps on Xbox Series X.

Original Story below:

Leaks from a listing on Smyths Toys have suggested that the multiplayer side of Halo Infinite will be going free-to-play when it’s released alongside the Xbox Series X later this year.

The details have now been pulled, but were captured by Google’s caching and The Verge.

The listing also reveals some other Xbox Series X enhancements, with “greatly reduced load times” and “up to 120 FPS” gameplay.

Following on from this, regular Xbox leaker Klobrille, jumped onto Twitter to claim that the game would also feature some form of Battle Pass system for cosmetics and customisations.

It all makes a good deal of sense, with Microsoft pushing for long term engagement with Halo Infinite. 343 Industries have described the game as a “platform for the future”, planning for future Halo stories to be told within Halo Infinite as opposed to receiving new standalone releases.

The game will also be a cornerstone of Xbox Game Pass as it comes to Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC (both via the Microsoft Store and Steam), but making the multiplayer free to play would help it reach an even wider audience. We’ve seen similar moves from Activision, making Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s battle royale Warzone mode a standalone free to play release.

Halo Infinite’s single player gameplay reveal was the big thing that many people were tuning in to see at last night’s Xbox Games Showcase, and it delivered a compelling look into a new Halo game. However, many were somewhat disappointed by the visual fidelity on show. Notably, Microsoft decided to focus purely on the single player campaign during the showcase.

343 eventually revealed that the game was running on an Xbox Series X equivalent PC and was an older build, which clearly didn’t put the game’s best foot forward.

Even so, the game looks and sounds ambitious with an open or semi-open world design and 343 Industries talking about how the game will be a platform for the future, with new stories from the Halo universe told within Halo Infinite instead of new games.

Source: The Verge, Klobrille

The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting is out now, and introduces some cozy knits

The Sims 4 has received many stuff packs, which is a controversial topic among the game’s community. The most successful packs went through a rigorous community voting process. The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting, the latest pack for the game, is no exception. After an estimated nine months of community voting, the pack has finally released to the public. The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting released on July 28th for Mac/PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation®4. As the pack’s name aptly implies, it introduces knitting into the game.

However, knitting isn’t the only inclusion within this stuff pack. In fact, there are several features that are introduced. For example, Plopsy, the newly added online crafting marketplace; think of this as a virtual Etsy for your sims. Don’t mistake Plopsy as The Sims’ own black market though, as the developers made it very clear in their live stream that the purpose is to sell craftables only.

If selling cozy knits to random strangers on the internet isn’t your thing, you can also listen to the new rock ‘n’ roll radio station; as you take refuge on one of the new rocking chairs – deliberately ignoring all sims, stranger or not. The brand new rocking chair object is also perfect for elders who wish to use the new interaction that allows them to reminisce on their youth. To help younger sims ensure they are making the most of their youth, there’s also a focus radio station. The focus radio station will give sims that listen to it a focused buff – which will help them raise their skill levels faster.

Although The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting has already came out, you can read about its evolution from start to finish. The developers have made several posts on the official Electronic Arts blog discussing the various aspects of the pack’s development.

Source: Electronic Arts

What We Played #461 – Ghost of Tsushima, Fall Guys & Pokémon Go

It’s hot! Today may not be the day for blasting more heat into your living room via your PC or console fans, as you might melt into a puddle of goop, but I’m sure you’ve had some opportunity elsewhere for playing some games.

We certainly have, and after last weekend’s Pokémon Go Fest, me and the kids have carried on catching pocket monsters this week. I also really enjoyed the tactical Rogue-like Othercide, and found a few moments to play Trials Rising, Halo Wars 2 and Halo Reach along the way.

I was joined in many of these escapades by Tef, who’s also been hooked by Pokémon Go once again and joined me for some Halo Wars 2, but he’s spent a lot of this week sampling preview builds of Project Cars 3, WRC 9 and Peaky Blinders: Mastermind.

Speaking of racing games, Thomas Harrison-Lord (to give him his full name) popped in to say he’s been playing more F1 2020 online, where he’s going to go for the Platinum trophy, and then went back to Project CARS 2 again, saying “I’ve decided that it’s still a game with potential, but ultimately flawed. And who the heck asked for frozen lake circuits?”

Steve finished Ori and the Will of the Wisps which was “beautiful and emotional – a shame another one looks unlikely with Moon moving away from Microsoft”. He also had an enjoyable time with the dated but solid Terminator Resistance, saying “it felt and played like a forgotten 360 game, but the typical bonkers time travel story was fine and the climax where you storm Skynet with a soaring orchestral mix of that classic theme tune left me smiling (not to mention the awful sex scenes)”. He’s now onto the Last Guardian alongside a barrage of PC stuff for reviews and previews, chief among these being the “wonderful” Röki.

Gareth has been playing Superliminal for review and Ghost of Tsushima, telling us the latter “is pretty great, although at the moment I’m mopping up side missions before finishing and some of them are a little samey. I suppose that’s to be expected though.”

Finishing the Doom Eternal campaign was a bit of a struggle for Aran, who said it took a while for it to click for him, “but when it did it was good fun”. He’s now gone back to Yakuza 3 to finish that off next as he clears his backlog (impossible, but worth a try!)

Miguel started the Titanfall 2 campaign, played some more Ghost of Tsushima, a bunch of the Fairy Tail game for review, a little Animal Crossing, and a few hours of the open beta for Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost ON.

Also joining the Ghost of Tsushima bandwagon were Nick, Jake and Jim. Jim found the opening hour a bit of a slog, but he’s been having good fun since bumping the difficulty up to Lethal and sorted out his HDR settings.

Aside from that he “started the week off right by dipping into the Fall Guys beta. It’s a platforming-focused, gameshow-y take on the battle royale formula and one I can’t wait to see people try when the game hits PlayStation Plus next week. I also played a few more hours of Rogue Company.”

Jason has been playing more Heroes of Hammerwatch, saying it “continues to be one of the most intelligent roguelikes I’ve ever played”. He’s also been playing Fae Tactics, “which is perfect if you’ve been missing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance”.

And finally, Tuffcub has played “nothing.”

Now, what have you played? If you’ve played anything, that is…

Carrion: Behind the Screams released by Devolver, kind of goes behind the scenes

Look. A video from Devolver Digital is never going to be super serious, and the latest video does not break from tradition. Carrion: Behind the Screams is a kind of behind the scenes look at the making of Carrion while interviewing the star of the game, the Carrion monster. The description reads: “Carrion: Behind the Screams, a shocking three-minute exposé about the making of the hit horror game. Creep behind the pixels with a raw, unfiltered interview with Carrion’s star beast and understand the physical and emotional toll it took to create its art.”

Carrion has currently sold over 200,000 copies since its launch with thousands more playing Carrion on Xbox Game Pass. In our review for Carrion, Stefan wrote:

“The Thing is easily one of my favourite films of all time. The isolation, the creeping paranoia, the weirdness of the alien monster when it’s eventually revealed, Kurt Russel’s fabulous hair and John Carpenter’s iconic soundtrack. It all adds up to an iconic horror film. Carrion takes that film as inspiration and flips it on its head. Now you’re the monster, a mass of flesh, teeth and tentacles, and you’re hungry. 

Turning the horror game genre on its head, Carrion is a gory delight for you rip and tear your way through.”
You can read the full Carrion review here.
Source: Press Release

Anthem’s loot drops are being overhauled

Anthem. Remember that? Hello? Anyone? Is this thing on *taps mic*? Well if there is anyone out there still playing the game you will be overjoyed to know Bioware are going to revamp the loot system by “taking a long look and understanding the best in class of the many great games that inspire us.”

Totally random loot will be banished with specific quests and vendors offering unique loot, loot can be re-rolled and levelled up, and “rare enemies (aka “walking treasure chests”) create exciting moments to get a burst of loot all at once.” The work will not be an “easy fix” and will take some time, so do no expect changes straight away.

Here’s the full post from Bioware.

Hello Again!

I hope this finds you well and I appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through the right timing for new information. We’re excited to share with you our next blog, but we also want to be respectful of the larger conversations happening in the world.

Recently I started answering questions on Twitter and asked all of you to name some of the changes you would be most interested in hearing about – the response was pretty awesome. Lots of good topics and themes and an excitement to know more about where we are going. So, to kick this off we thought a good starting place would be to go over our high level goals and changes we are exploring with loot and equipment.

Before we get started though, we love that we are able to share the progress and give a peek behind the curtain. That said, the ideas, images and video clip below are works in progress and all subject to change. Remember how the sausage is made…

Satisfying Loot Experience

A good player experience depends on the loot system being extensible and robust, and a lot can go wrong. A lot did go wrong. We fell short here and we realized that building something new from the ground up was going to be required – starting with taking a long look and understanding the best in class of the many great games that inspire us. Based on this research, along with your thoughts and feedback, we planned some high-level goals and changes we wanted to try:

  • Respect Your Time
    • Increase the frequency of Loot Drops
    • Loot is viable more often; All items are better and more competitive, but there’s still a chance of getting something exceptional
    • All loot rarities have strategic value throughout progression
  • Embrace Choice
    • You can pursue specific loot without relying on randomness alone; Quests; Specialized Vendors; Unique Loot Tables
    • Modify your loot, including rerolling inscriptions and leveling up items
  • Create a Rewarding Loot Experience
    • Loot feels exciting and more noticeable when it drops, and is celebrated when collected
    • Rare enemies (aka “walking treasure chests”) create exciting moments to get a burst of loot all at once
  • Keep it Accessible and Immediate
    • Reveal and equip loot right away
    • Complete revamp of the equipment sheet – including a detailed stat sheet (not shown)
    • The equipment sheet can be accessed from anywhere, allows you to easily see what you have equipped in each slot
  • Reliability of Equipment and Rewards
    • Each item has an inscription “budget”, based on its Power and Rarity
    • No more useless items because they were missing must-have inscriptions (see “Increased weapon dmg by +225%”)
    • Exceptional items are about getting the exact types of bonuses you want, instead of maxing values on every bonus
  • Scale for the Future
    • Your power cap can be easily increased, and the loot system scales accordingly
    • Advanced telemetry data allows us to identify trends and make meaningful balance changes

Aligning around these goals has really helped us focus on the right priorities as we continue iterating and seeing the progress in our internal playtesting. It is early days though and we will continue to test and experiment over the coming months, hopefully with your feedback.

Other Areas of Exploration 

In addition to loot and equipment, there are some really good improvements to the feel and types of items we are supporting. Gunplay is overall more responsive with enemies reacting to hits near instantly with improved client-side prediction, we are looking into the role of melee items and builds, and of course, being able to spend skill points to unlock new types of equipment and synergies. One of the things I am most excited about is seeing all the awesome new weaponry concepts based on our factions.

Until Next Time

I hope this helped give some context to the changes we are testing around loot and equipment and what future blogs may dig into. Changes like these are exciting to us and hopefully to you as well, but I want to set expectations that there is a lot of work behind each of these and in some cases a rather large tech undertaking – this is not an “easy fix” and will take time.

Thank you again for your interest, curiosity and passion for Anthem. Please keep engaging online, asking questions and continuing to be part of making the game better.

Stay safe. Be kind to one another.  Stronger together.

Crusader Kings 3’s latest dev diary discusses character portraits and vassal contracts

Paradox Interactive has released a brand new developer diary for Crusader Kings 3, with this one diving into the topics of character portraits and the vassal contracts system. The vassal contracts system has changed slightly since it was originally spoken about. When it comes to character portraits they will change based upon the character’s lineage, age, lifestyle, and illnesses. So, if you have a party loving yet ill leader they will look very different from a leader that takes care of themselves.

Stefan had some hands-on time with Crusader Kings 3, and this is what he wrote:

Sometimes it feels like it’s better to tear everything down and start again, and it’s tempting to think that’s how big video game sequels work as well, but it’s never truly the case. Developers will always learn from what they did before, whether it’s a narrative adventure or a large open-ended strategy like Civilization or Crusader Kings. Sequels can sometimes be less about rebuilding from scratch and more about refurbishing previous ideas.

After our hands on time with Crusader Kings III, we’ve really only scratched the surface of what it offers, but it’s set to offer a compelling fresh start to one of Paradox’s biggest grand strategy games. Sure, we’ll be leaving behind seven years of expansions and more, but in exchange, they’re refining a lot of what makes Crusader Kings unique while making it prettier and more accessible than ever.

Crusader Kings 3 will be out for PC on 1st September 2020. The game is now available for pre-order at the Paradox store and all the other online store fronts with an SRP of $49.99/ £41.99/ €49.99.

Source: Press Release

Ghost of Tsushima first 10 day stats confirm over 156 million standoffs have taken place

Ghost of Tsushima has been a hit for Sony. The PS4 exclusive has set a record by becoming the fastest-selling PS4 original IP and millions are enjoying its take on Samurai era. Now, Sony has released some brand new stats for Ghost of Tsushima to show just what players have been doing on their journeys in Tsushima. From petting foxes to getting in stand-offs the number of stats from the first 10 days since launch is high.

The full list of stats includes:

  • 156.4 million standoffs
  • 57.5 million duels
  • 139.4 million enemies collapsing in fear
  • 810.3 years spent on horseback
  • 16.2 million onsen visited
  • 14.2 million haikus written
  • 28.1 million flute songs played
  • 8.8 million foxes petted
  • 17.1 million bamboo strikes completed
  • 37.5 million inari shrines honoured
  • 15.5 million photos taken

That is a lot of stats. Yesterday, Toshihiro Nagoshi, executive director of Sega’s popular Yakuza game series, heaped praise on Ghost of Tsushima.

“There are numerous things I bow my head to, like aiming at setting a game in that time period…I could go on and on,” said Nagoshi during a Sega livestream (translated by Kotaku). He mentions numerous facets of the game, praising Ghost of Tsushima’s technical prowess and the way it encourages open world exploration without a heavy guiding hand.

He also comments on protagonist, Jin Sakai, remarking that he “isn’t a particularly handsome lead, don’t you think?”. Nagoshi goes on to explain how the slightly aged and rugged Jin might not get a pass by Japanese marketing departments who prefer more youthful poster boys.

The Yakuza director also praises the extensive research carried out by developer Sucker Punch and was amazed at the authenticity of Tsushima’s setting:

“Foreigners who tickle the fancy of Japanese people more than Japanese people are…rather amazing, no?[…] There’s like a notion that Westerners don’t understand things (about Japan), but that hypothesis itself is mistaken.”

In our review for Ghost of Tsushima, I wrote:

“Ghost of Tsushima is an artistic triumph, capturing a real cinematic feel through its visuals, immersive world and soundtrack. However, Jin is a serviceable main character and he and his journey to save Tsushima is often overshadowed by secondary characters and smaller, more personal stories found in the side quests. Throw in some formulaic missions and an awkward user interface, and Ghost of Tsushima is at times more style than substance.”
You can read the full review here.
Source: Twitter

Jump King Review

Plenty of games are known for being tough as nails, from the endurance-testing action of Dark Souls to the twitch-reflexes needed to master Ghosts n’ Goblins or Doom Eternal. It takes skill and patience to overcome challenging titles like these, but they often include numerous game design elements that ensure you’re at least able to maintain your progress or grow your character. At the end of 2017, though, a video game was released that threw all of those conventions out the window: Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.

In this taxing, torturous platformer, just one wrong swing of your momentum-fueled climbing hammer could send you plummeting back to the very beginning of the game. Progress only matters in the moment, with no checkpoints through the massive climbable environment. It’s a punishing game that both tests and rewards your patience unlike anything else in the medium. Last year, a spiritual successor to the hyper-punishing platformer throne quietly released on Steam by the name of Jump King. Now that game has hopped over to PS4, Xbox One and Switch.

Much like Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, Jump King provides a seemingly simple challenge: you are at the bottom of a massive vertical level, and you must make your way to the top. There isn’t any story to speak of beyond a few talkative NPCs and the promise of “a smoking hot babe” waiting for you at the top of the tower. Instead, all that needs to be focused on is your jumping.

There’s only one button in Jump King, and it’s the jump button. Your jump strength changes based on how long you hold the button down, and you can only choose to jump to your left, right, or directly above. You can’t walk around, you can’t cling to ledges, you can’t climb walls. All you have is your jump.

The point of Jump King is to be an extreme test of your patience and endurance. It certainly succeeds in that. One wrong jump can send you falling back one or two screens. One incredibly wrong and supremely unlucky jump can send you careening through dozens of screens straight back to the beginning of the game. Failed jumps often land in that second category.

The major challenge in achieving successful progression is that you’ll need to learn what kind of jump every section of the tower requires, as there’s very little room for error. Even once I’d memorised which jumps are needed at which moments, on numerous occasions I found myself failing a jump because what I tried to do and what the the kind actually did were entirely different.

With no on-screen indicator of how much your jump has charged or any way to back out of a jump you might have accidentally started charging or overcharged, there’s always a frustrating unknown element to your adventures in Jump King. It can be easy to lose focus and let go of a jump slightly too early or hold it down for too long, but even when you manage to achieve perfect zen and pour your spirit solely into that jump button, you’ll end up with some accidental jumps.

To its credit, Jump King never purposefully tries to distract or disorient you. While the level design can certainly be vexing, the simple and saturated style of the pixelated world you’re jumping through is always clear and concise. There’s never a narrator nagging at you or filling your head with useless facts as you try to nail a jump. There isn’t even music, as the only audio you’ll ever hear is the ambiant sound of the world and the repetitive clunking of your boots against the ground and your head against the floor.

This is a game that wants to hurt you, and it wants to hurt you often and instantly. The feeling of making a poorly timed jump and losing an hour of progress in seconds is heartbreaking. The feeling of memorising a section that previously tested you for ages or successfully reaching a new region of the tower, though, is all too satisfying. Jump King constantly gives you an inch and takes a mile, but it’s that slow and steady progression in the face of crushingly difficult game design that makes this as much a nail-biting test of patience as Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.

UFC 4 Career mode trailer details new additions including Coach Davis

A new trailer has arrived for UFC 4 and this trailer gives a quick walkthrough of how the Career Mode has changed compared to the previous games in the EA UFC series. First off is the introduction of a dedicated coach called Coach Davis who will help manage your fighter’s development. When it comes to development fighter stats can be improved through levelling up as well as in real time depending on the kind of techniques that are used in the Octagon. This will feed into the fighting style that you have chosen for your fighter.

The action and stats inside the Octagon are not all that matter. There is a new relationship angle where relationships between your fighter and other fighters can develop to create friendly rivalries or full-on aggressive rivalries that could come to a head at any moment. You see an example in the trailer of two fighters almost coming to blows at a press conference.

Each fighter also has a star rating for their stand up, ground game, health, and moves. In theory, this should allow you to find better matchups, or let you focus on a specific area that suits your playstyle.

There are some new attributes that are being counted toward these – Punch / Kick Speed, Punch / Kick Power, Clinch Striking, Ground Striking, Cardio and Recovery. The attribute system will now be live to track how fighters improve or decline in the real world. Fighter updates will come alongside major UFC events with new attribute and move updates for fighters.

EA has revealed the first 10 fighters, starting at rank 50 and working their way up to the best fighters in the world.

RankFighterWeight ClassOverallStriking OVRGrapple OVRHealth OVR
50Darren TillMale Middleweight4 STAR4.5 STAR3. STAR4 STAR
49Paulo CostaMale Middleweight4 STAR4.5 STAR3 STAR4.5 STAR
48Anthony JohnsonMale Light Heavyweight4 STAR5 STAR3.5 STAR4 STAR
47Dominick ReyesMale Light Heavyweight4 STAR4.5 STAR3.5 STAR4.5 STAR
46Cody GarbrandtMale Bantamweight4 STAR4.5 STAR4 STAR4 STAR
45Tatiana SuarezFemale Strawweight4 STAR3.5 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
44Dustin PoirierMale Lightweight4 STAR4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR
43Ronda RouseyFemale Bantamweight4 STAR3.5 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
42Rafael Dos AnjosMale Welterweight4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR4.5 STAR
41Leon EdwardsMale Welterweight4.5 STAR4.5 STAR4 STAR4.5 STAR

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.

Source: YouTube

Battletoads release date has been confirmed for August

Rare has confirmed the release date for the new Battletoads game, and you will not have to wait too long. Battletoads will be available on August 20th on Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass, Windows 10, and Steam. The new Battletoads has been in development at Dlala Studios with Rare giving support to the studio. If you plan on playing Battletoads through Game Pass you can preload the game now so it will be ready to play on launch day.

In a post on Xbox News Wire, Rare’s Adam Park wrote:

“The tenacity and split-second reflexes required to beat the original Battletoads has given it a fearsome reputation among fans. Dlala’s new approach focuses on maintaining this mayhem while ensuring you have enough options to play at your own pace. That includes bringing in some buddies for couch co-op, which allows up to three players to drop in and out at will, along with difficulty settings designed to suit everyone from Tadpole to Battletoad. Just like before, you’ll be faced with hugely varied challenges as you play, including new vehicle sections and even some puzzle-solving this time around!”

Battletoads was originally announced in 2018 with a view to it being released in 2019.  There was a lot of silence after the announcement until a new trailer arrived in 2019. It was around then the game was delayed into 2020, but at least we now have a release date. Rare has confirmed that between now and the release of Battletoads on August 20th there will be some new information released through gameplay deep dives, and through a look at the development process that Dlala Studio went through to create a Battletoads game 26 years after the original game release. There will also be some giveaways and a reveal of some new Battletoads merchandise nearer to release.

Source: Xbox News Wire

Microsoft remove 12 and 24 month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, is the service winding down?

Microsoft have removed the 12 and 24 month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, leaving just the one and three months options. Microsoft have made the following comment to TrueAchievements:

At this time, Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online Store. Customers can still sign up for a one month or three month Xbox Live Gold subscription online through the Microsoft Store.

Why are they removing the subs? The obvious rumour is that Xbox Live Gold is going to shut down, but Microsoft likely have more profit-based plans. Removing the 12 month sub means that the price for a full year of Xbox Live Gold is now £71.96, and since you’re paying that much… wouldn’t you rather subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to get access to the game subscription service as well?

There is other speculation from VentureBeat’s Jeff Grubb that Microsoft might be thinking to at least relax the requirement of Xbox Live Gold for free to play games, especially if leaks and rumours of Halo Infinite multiplayer being free–to–play end up being true.

Leaks from a listing on Smyths Toys have suggested that the multiplayer side of Halo Infinite will be going free-to-play when it’s released alongside the Xbox Series X later this year. The details have now been pulled, but were captured by Google’s caching and The Verge.

Would you be sad to see Xbox Live Gold go away? Games With Gold’s offerings have been rather lacklustre lately, while PlayStation Plus has been handing out triple-A games, Gold has been been handing out lower tier games.

For Games with Gold in August, as always there’s two Xbox One games and a pair of backward compatible games, with this month’s pair both coming from the original Xbox. Heading the line up from Xbox One are Portal Knights and Override Mech City Brawl, but you might prefer to boot up a pair of games from the early 2000s with MX Unleashed and Red Faction 2.

The games and their availability are as follows:

Don’t forget that you can still pick up some of July’s games:

Source: Microsoft / TrueAchievements

Splinter Cell anime may be coming to Netflix, John Wick writer linked

There could be another gaming-related anime on the way for Netflix, which has already invested in Dragon’s Dogma and Castlevania, with the latest title being a bit different. According to Variety, a deal has been struck between Ubisoft and Netflix to create an anime based on the iconic Splinter Cell franchise. There seem to be some details already with Variety reporting that two seasons comprised of 16 episodes in total have been greenlit. Derek Kolstad, who is one of the key writers behind the John Wick films. has been linked as an executive producer and writer for the series.

There are no further details on what story the anime would follow. It could be one that has appeared in the games or a unique one specifically for the anime. Splinter Cell has been a long dormant franchise for Ubisoft, even though main character Sam Fisher has appeared in other Ubisoft games such as Ghost Recon Wildlands and Ghost Recon Breakpoint, so we know Ubisoft are still keen to keep the character in the minds of players.

There have long been rumours of a Splinter Cell revival. Most recently, Italian actor Luca Ward has now confirmed a new Splinter Cell game for 2021.

“There is this return of Splinter Cell that is supposed to be a conclusive episode, but I’m not sure about this part,” he said. “They have not yet figured out whether to do it in 2021. It was going to release in 2020, and then COVID-19 happened, and several big projects in 2020 got delayed. Others went on, like Cyberpunk 2077 on which I have almost finished working.”

“But I am sure that Splinter Cell will return, this is a fact,” he added.

Whether that is an actual fact remains to be seen as Ubisoft has not officially confirmed the existence of a new mainline Splinter Cell title, but with the anime on the way perhaps the series is about to experience a revival.

Source: Variety

FIFA Ultimate Team Pre-Season has begun, get rewards for FIFA 20 and FIFA 21

EA has kicked off the Pre-Season event for FIFA’s Ultimate Team in which players can get awards for both FIFA 20 and FIFA 21. To get these rewards players will need to complete Objectives and Squad Building Challenges in Ultimate Team, and by doing so they will get the following content in FIFA 21.

  • x2 Coin boosts (5 games x 500 coins)
  • FUT 20 Icon Home Kit
  • FUT 20 Future Stars Kit
  • Anchor Chemistry Style
  • Engine Chemistry Style

That is just the first batch of rewards with more to be added later in Pre-Season. In addition to those rewards there will be other content made available in the game too. The rewards will be available in FIFA 21 by October 16th and have to be redeemed by November 23rd. Team of the Year items will be available in packs so you have a chance to grab them if you missed out on the initial team of the year content. Packs can be earned through challenges and objectives as well as got through the store. Road to the Final Items will get a +3 OVR ratings boost for teams still in the Champions League and the Europa League. New Road to the Final player items will also be added as both competitions progress.

Champions League Showdowns will be a new squad building challenge set around the final legs of the competition. Along with that there will be smaller challenges coming up during half time in both Champions League and Europa League matches. The Ultimate Team Weekend League will be getting a final refresh in FIFA 20 and this is what the new tiers look like.

Top 100The ‘Best of’ 11 Players Pack will be replaced with the TOTSSF 11 Players Pack containing 11 TOTSSF player items from the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.
Elite 3 – Elite 1The ‘Best Of’ 3 Players Pack will be replaced with the TOTTSF 3 Player Pack containing 3 TOTSSF player items from the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.
Gold 2+A minimum of 1 TOTSSF item from the Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 will be in any Player Pick earned.
Silver 1+Any player items earned from Player Pick packs will be TOTSSF items.
Silver 2 and 3Any player items earned from Player Pick packs will be TOTSSF items and will be capped at 88 OVR.


Source: EA

GTA Online has Double Rewards & Triple Arena Points in Survival and Arena War

The latest bunch of bonuses for GTA Online players are now live with those playing the Survival Series getting double rewards for the entire week. Meanwhile, the Arena War demolition derby will be handing out double GTA$ and RP plus triple Arena Points.

The Lucky Wheel in the the Diamond Casino & Resort has the Dinka Sugoi as the top prize, and there’s a bunch of items on sale:

    • 50% off all Apocalypse Vehicle Upgrade Variants (Bruiser, Brutus, Cerberus, Deathbike, Dominator, Impaler, Imperator, Issi, Sasquatch, Scarab, Slamvan, ZR380)
    • 40% off the Invade and Persuade RC Tank
    • 35% off the Principe Deveste Eight sports car
    • 40% off the RC Bandito vehicle
    • 40% off the Pegassi Toros vehicle
    • 40% off the Schyster Deviant vehicle
    • 35% off the Up-n-Atomizer weapon
    • 35% off the Unholy Hellbringer weapon
    • 35% off the Widowmaker weapon
    • 40% off Arena Workshop Customizations and Add-Ons

Don’t forget that you don’t have to graft for cash in the game, there are other ways to get your hands on millions of GTA$ for free. PlayStation Plus members get GTA$1,000,000 a month just by signing in, and that offer runs until the launch of GTA Online on PlayStation 5.

Twitch Prime members get GTA$200K for playing this week, and if you play all four weeks in a month you GTA$200K for each week plus a bonus GTA$200K taking you up to another cool GTA$1,000,000. Have both these offers running at the same time and you can be a GTA Online multi millionaire without lifting a finger (or robbing a bank).

Twitch Prime members also get some extra loot:

  • Free Vespucci Canals Nightclub property
  • 70% Off the Pegassi Oppressor flying motorcycle
  • 80% Off the Bravado Verlierer sports car

Rockstar have said to expect a big update to GTA Online over the summer, here is a statement from them.

With both games playing home to more players than ever before in recent months, we know the community has been awaiting news of any updates for GTA Online and Red Dead Online and we are happy to share that both games will receive exciting new updates in the weeks ahead.

For Red Dead Online, players can expect a massive new update to arrive Tuesday, July 28th featuring a new Frontier Pursuit that will introduce players to the secrets of naturalism as part of an all-new Role, plus a new Outlaw Pass, tons of community-requested features and fixes, and much more to play and discover in the months to come.

A summer update to GTA Online is also on the way, offering up a fun mix of diverse new content from the game’s massive array of experiences to enjoy.

Source: Rockstar

People Can Fly announce a AAA game for the next generation

Bulletstorm developers People Can Fly have announced a major expansion to their studio so they can work on a new AAA game which is planned for release on next-generation consoles, streaming platforms, and PCs.Their New York studio will be expanding considerably and they also plan to open a new studio in Montreal.

“Last year we announced the opening of our New York studio and revealed Outriders for the first time,” said Sebastian Wojciechowski, CEO at People Can Fly. “Today we have surpassed 250 staff and are excited to announce the next chapter in the development of our company. Our intention from the beginning has been to expand People Can Fly into a multi-project studio and continue to build a global presence for our brand. With the launch of the next-generation consoles later this year, we are incredibly excited about the future of People Can Fly and the games industry as a whole.”

The new project is said to be totally original, and given that the studios are hiring for at least 18 months I don’t think we will be seeing it for a good few years.

People Can Fly’s current project, Outriders, is being published by Square Enix and is due out on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in Holiday 2020.

We previewed the game back in May and Stephan said:

It would be easy to dismiss Outriders out of hand, but to do so would be to overlook the ways it stands out from its fellow looter shooters. The greater emphasis on the RPG side of the game, with character builds that are more than just what you happen to be wearing and holding in your hands, and just having a self-contained story all sounds rather appealing to me. Throw in People Can Fly’s game-making history, and Outriders is definitely a game to keep an eye on for later this year.

Source: PeopleCanFly

SEGA games will be available on EA Origin Access Premier, Sonic Mania is the first title

EA and SEGA have announced a new partnership that will bring SEGA games to EA’s Origin Access platform, and the first game is Sonic Mania which is available now. If that is not for you then maybe some hospital management will be as Two Point Hospital will arrive on EA Origins Access Premier later this summer, along with the 4X turn-based strategy game Endless Legend. The price of admittance of for an Origin Access Premier account is £14.99 a month or £89.99 a year.

In our review for Sonic Mania, Dave wrote:

“Sonic Mania surpasses the Mega Drive/Genesis originals. It not only incorporates what made Sonic great, but has the inventiveness to shatter what was possible in a 2D platformer. As a nostalgia trip, it sets the bar for what comes next for the modding community. For those unexposed to what made 2D Sonic great, this is still a solid game in its own right and may create new fans in the process. If being this good took ages, it’s about damn time.”

Meanwhile, in our Two Point Hospital review, Dom wrote:

“There are few games that can boast the level of personality and humour that Two Point Hospital does while still giving you something serious to sink your time into. For anyone with fond memories of Theme Hospital, this is the silly hospital management sim you’ve been waiting for.”

We do not have a review for Endless Legend but looking around it seemed to be well received by players, so may be worth checking out if you are into your turn-based strategy titles.

Source: EA

WRC 9 Preview – Keep right into caution, big console jump, 100

It feels strange to think of WRC 9 as the beginning of the end. KT Racing have built up an ever improving franchise over the last half decade, but there’s now a looming end date for their time with the license.

It somehow feels relevant to this year’s game, and yet it actually doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference. This is KT Racing trying to push their series that step closer to capturing all aspects of the World Rally Championship, and in truth, the most pressing concern will be trying to bridge the generational divide to support PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Of course, we didn’t get to sample those next-gen versions, but got to go hands on with the PC version instead. Still, I installed the game to my PC’s SSD, so I guess that counts for something?

The headline new features for WRC 9 include some new locations, a new Clubs system to allow fans to run their own online championships, and also the promise of overhauled preexisting rallies and a co-op co-driver mode coming in the months after release.

There’s three brand new rallies in the game, as the 2020 WRC planned to return to Kenya, New Zealand and Japan, after some extended periods away from each. They’re a great trio of contrasting additions with the wide and open terrain of Kenya up against the tight twisty mountain paths of New Zealand and the similarly tight and twisty roads of Japan. They have their own character and their own type of challenge to present you.

Later this year, the Portuguese and Finnish rallies will both be receiving a boost with new stages alongside the old. It’s this point that feels somewhat indicative of the game. This is a continuation of what has come before, with the game boasting over 100 stages in total, many of which were found in previous games.

Correction: Our understanding is that new stages are being added to Rally Portugal and Rally Finland, not that the existing stages are being replaced. 

Diving in with a gamepad, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting each of these new locales. Once I’d taken my usual time to adjust to the mixture of derring do and caution that rallying requires, I found the game relatively easy on the fingers and thumbs.

However, I also recognise some of the complaints that we had of WRC 8’s gamepad handling model. I’m nowhere near as analytical as Tom is, but I definitely get the sense that there’s still a tendency for tank slappers that are far too easy to overcorrect and slap in the other direction, and some wacky collision physics in WRC 9. It was a handling characteristic accentuated on the grippier asphalt roads of Japan, certainly, and the tightness of that rally’s roads led to a number of collisions that made the car just look far too light as it spun and took off from the ground. WRC 9 feels much happier in the gravel and dirt, where it’s easier to slide out the back end with intent through twists and turns, and this scenario feels much better suited to playing with a gamepad.

Honestly, with the added workload of the next generation consoles (however easy Sony, Microsoft and developers make this generational leap sound), the general process of running a yearly sports series, not to mention the other challenges of 2020, it’s perhaps no surprise that WRC 9 feels like a more iterative step forward with a focus on content.

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.

August’s Twitch Prime Games offerings includes more SNK titles and Shaq Fu 2

Amazon and Twitch have confirmed the next batch of content that Twitch Prime subscribers can claim and download, with that including more SNK titles as well as other games. The non-SNK games are Shaq Fu 2, Warsaw, Treachery in Beatdown City, Chroma Squad, and Blazing Chrome. Meanwhile, the SNK list is pretty extensive and includes the original batch released last month as well as this month’s SNK offerings. Those games are:

  • Art of Fighting 2
  • Blazing Star
  • Fatal Fury Special
  • The King of Fighters 2000
  • The King of Fighters 2002
  • Pulstar
  • Samurai Shodown II
  • Metal Slug 2
  • SNK 40th Anniversary Collection
  • Shock Troopers: 2nd Squad
  • Baseball Stars 2
  • Sengoku 3
  • Ironclad
  • King of Monsters

In addition, Twitch Prime subscribers can claim the Hotrod Slayer Skin, the Hotrod Ballista weapon skin, a new player icon, and title card for Doom Eternal, a Pathfinder skin and mixtape charm for Apex Legends, 12 content drops for Epic Seven, items and resources for King of Avalon, 3 mystery skin drops in League of Legends, various wildcards for Legends of Runeterra, $200,000 per week in GTA Online as well as free access to the Vespucci Canals Nightclub, various rewards for Red Dead Online including a Kataka coat and 6000 Naturalist XP, and four Umbral chests in Runescape. If you are playing Destiny 2 you can get the Tractor Cannon exotic shotgun, Machinist’s Trove Exotic Weapon Ornament, Shadow Trespass Exotic Ship, and the Cavalcade Legendary Sparrow. 

The content does not stop there. In Warframe players can claim Apis Syandana (Tennocon themed), 7-Day Drop Chance Booster, and 7-Day Resource Booster. In Black Desert Mobile the Twitch Prime loot is a Growth Support Chest and that includes a Lightstone Fragment , Alchemy Stone Fragment, Relic Fragment, Ancient Gold Coin, and a Tier 1 Pet Chest. Teamfight Tactics players get a Little Legend Egg, Yahtzee with Friends players can claim 500 coins + 3 mega scratchers. Finally, Big Farm players will be able to get  x25 fuel.

Source: Press Release

CD Projekt RED warn about invites to a fake Cyberpunk 2077 beta

CD Projeckt RED have warned about a scam that is doing the rounds that invites gamers to a beta of Cyberpunk 2077. There is no beta and at present no plans for one before the game launches.

“If you recently received an email claiming to be granting you beta access to Cyberpunk 2077, it’s not from us,” they tweeted. “Unfortunately, there have been more of these being sent out over the past few weeks. When we contact you via email, it’ll always come from @ cdprojektred com address.”

“Same goes for content creators. We always reach out directly from @ cdprojektred com domain. If you are being contacted by a third party claiming to be working with us (an ad agency for example), you can assume it’s not genuine,” they add.

Develver Digital, the japesters of the game industry, commented on the post and got an equally playful reply.

During the Night City Wire stream CD Projekt Red announced Cyberpunk 2077 – Edgerunners, a collaboration with Studio Trigger in Japan and Netflix to create an original anime series set in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe. Cyberpunk 2077 – Edgerunners will be coming out in 2022.

The anime will be an original and standalone 10 episode story set within the Cyberpunk 2077 universe. The blurb on the trailer explains:

We’re excited to announce that together with an acclaimed Japan-based animation company, Studio Trigger, and the world’s leading streaming entertainment service, Netflix, we’re working on a new original anime series set in the same universe as Cyberpunk 2077!

CYBERPUNK: EDGERUNNERS tells a standalone, 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future. Having everything to lose, he chooses to stay alive by becoming an edgerunner—a mercenary outlaw also known as a cyberpunk.

The announcement came as part of the first Night City Wire stream, a series of streams that will be held in the run up to Cyberpunk 2077’s release on 19th November for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC – PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X support will also be available as soon as they are launched.

The stream debuted an action-packed new trailer, setting the stage for the game’s sci-fi story with elements found in the game’s prologue. Following that, CD Projekt Red also revealed a new gameplay element, the investigative Braindance, letting you inhabit someone’s recorded memories and then step outside their body to view the surrounding scenery and the periphery of those events. Conceptually, think of the detective elements from the Batman: Arkham series, where you can scan elements, rewind time, play it forward and piece together the scene.

For more on that, head over to our write up of the Night City Wire stream and reveals.

Source: Twitter

Fairy Tail Review

Far too many anime video games feel like tone deaf cash grabs forcing ill suited genres onto unsuspecting anime and manga franchises. So when Koei Tecmo announced a video game version of Fairy Tail, I was ready to roll my eyes at another arena brawler or Warriors clone and move on, but when they then revealed that Fairy Tail would be a console RPG experience from the developers of the Atelier series, I was all in.

Now, truth be told, I’m not much of a Fairy Tail fan. I’ve adored the art style and character designs that I’ve seen in passing over the years, peeking at random trailers or scrolling through screenshots from the anime and pages from the manga being shared on social media. I’ve barely read or watched anything from the series though, and went into this video game version of the hit franchise pretty blind. Most of the time, anime games like these will give you a brief rundown of the world and the protagonist or jog you through the opening moments of the story to get you up to speed.

Koei Tecmo’s Fairy Tail ain’t got time for that.

As soon as you start the game, you’re tossed straight into a boss fight against a glowing evil mage named Hades, attacked by a giant blue dragon, and trapped in a time-bubble stasis for seven years as the rest of the world moves on. As fans of the series might know, and as I learned by rushing to the Fairy Tail Wiki to figure out what the hell was going on, this was a hyper-abridged version of the final moments from the Tenrou Island arc, a story arc that takes place nearly a hundred episodes or two hundred chapters into the original series.

The Fairy Tail game is not interested in getting newcomers caught up in the slightest, so unless you’re experienced with the original story or you’re just an open-minded person who knows how to smile and nod at absurd anime jargon like Dragon Slayer Magic and Celestial Spirit Keys, you’re going to be really lost really quick when you play this game.

Don’t expect the Fairy Tail game to be a thorough retelling of the original tale. Rather than laboriously adapting the major story beats of the anime like you’d see out of a series such as Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, Fairy Tail is more focused on giving you an opportunity to live in the world of the series and experience the quieter moments with the members of the Fairy Tail guild.

The game begins with you returning to your guild after seven years to find it in a decrepit state and with zero funds or fame, forcing the magic users that call it home to do their best to bring the guild back to its former glory. At the outset, this seems like nothing but repetitive busy work as you accept a mission from the request board to kill a thing, go kill that thing, and then return to the guild to do it again.

I was hooked during these repetitive opening moments, though, thanks to the wonderful RPG gameplay. The world of Fairy Tail is heavily focused on magic users, and the combat emulates that by encouraging you to use Magic attacks as often as possible, since standard attacks do little damage and defeated enemies restore your mana. With enemies taking up spots on a 3×3 grid in front of you and your Magic abilities each having different grid-pattern attack areas, it pays to play smart and choose Magic attacks with matching areas of effect to dish out maximum damage. Gust’s previous games never really prioritised combat, but by layering on new gameplay mechanics as you progress, like Awakening buff systems, Magic Chain combo attacks,  andmixed elemental abilities, they’ve made a truly rewarding RPG experience.

Deeper elements of the story, and activies open up as you progress. Doing Request Board missions can earn Guild points and money that you can use to rank up characters or upgrade base facilities. As characters fight together, they can increase their bonds and unlock special dialogue scenes or Character Missions. There’s also a huge variety of characters to use in your four-person party, and they all have delightful little interactions whenever you go on a Request mission or do Character Missions and bonding events.

I picked up on the dynamics between the crew of Fairy Tail pretty quickly thanks to these scenes, and came to love just how charming and silly everyone was in their down-time and post-quest conversations. This is a game that wants to relish in the smaller and quieter moments of the series, and it’s that low-key charm that Gust had spend decades mastering with the Atelier series that makes this game so endearing.

Those small moments do come at the expense of the bigger beats of the story. The Fairy Tail game adapts two major arcs from the middle of the original story – the Grand Magic Games and the Tartatus arc – but to say the game “adapts” these stories is a bit of a stretch. Truth be told, the game speeds through a lot of moments from both of these stories to the point that I sometimes lost track of what was happening.

At one point during the Grand Magic Games, a tournament between eight different teams of mages, a person from each team has to participate in a mysterious competition called “Hidden.” Rather than explain the rules and actually show us the competition as I’m sure happened in the original story, we’re instead treated to a two-sentence summary of the events by Lucy and never actually given an explanation for what the rules were or how it happened.

If you know the original story you won’t be lost at all, but I often felt like the game put the minimum effort into bringing these main story beats to life, sometimes even having characters appear as disembodied text-boxes in the middle of story scenes, but with no 3D character model to represent them.

If one element of these big story arcs came across perfectly, it was the boss fights. Shonen anime love to have a big, bad enemy grow stronger and stronger during confrontations, busting out multiple forms and secret weapons and ultimate techniques to extend the battle. The Fairy Tail game emulates this perfectly, having you empty the gigantic health bar of a boss only for them to chuckle, talk about pushing their limits like never before, and getting an even bigger health bar. Touches like that, alongside the sharp anime-exact character models and addictive high-fantasy adventure music that accompanies every scene help bring the aesthetic of the franchise to life in a really powerful way.

NASCAR Heat 5 July Pack revs up season pass DLC

Racing fans wanting to wring more out of NASCAR Heat 5 can now pimp out their collection of cars with a gallery 40+ new paint schemes.

704Games and publisher Motorsports Games have launched their NASCAR Heat 5 July DLC pack which comes loaded with a list of racing skins and three new challenges. The new content is now live across all version of the game including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

Priced at £9.99, this is the first chunk of post-launch DLC 704Games have in the pipeline. The developer has confirmed that three more packs are on the way, launching in September, October, and November. They will be available to purchase separately or as part of the £24.99 NASCAR Heat 5 season pass.

Here’s what comes with the July DLC pack:

NASCAR Cup Series: Alex Bowman (Axalta), Alex Bowman (Cincinnati), Aric Almirola (Pure Farmland), Austin Dillon (Keep America Beautiful), Brad Keselowski (Alliance Parts), Chad Finchum (Smithbuilt), Chase Elliott (Hooters), Chase Elliott (Mountain Dew Zero), Chase Elliott (Unifirst), Chris Buescher (Sunny D), Christopher Bell (Procore), Clint Bowyer (Blue Def), Cole Custer (Haas Tooling), Corey LaJoie (Drydene), Corey LaJoie (Pala Casino), Daniel Suarez (Commscope), Denny Hamlin (FedEx Freight), Denny Hamlin (FedEx Ground), Erik Jones (Craftsman), Erik Jones (Sports Clips), Erik Jones (Stanley), J.H. Nemecheck (Berrys Bulletts), J.H. Nemecheck (FAS), Joey Gase (Donate Life), Joey Logano (AAA SoCal), Kevin Harvick (Jimmy Johns), Kurt Busch (Gear Wrench), Kyle Busch (Fudge Brownie), Kyle Busch (Snickers White), Martin Truex Jr. (SiriusXM), Michael McDowell (FR8 Auctions), Ryan Blaney (Advance Auto), Ryan Blaney (Pennzoil/Menards), Ryan Newman (Koch), Ryan Preece (Velveeta), Timmy Hill (Roof Claim), Tyler Reddick (Alsco), Tyler Reddick (I Am Second), Tyler Reddick (Tame the Beast), William Byron (Color of the Year) and William Byron (Hertz).

NASCAR Xfinity Series: Anthony Alfredo (Anderson’s Maple Syrup), Austin Cindric (Odyssey Battery), Brandon Jones (Toyota Service Centers), Brandon Jones (Turtle Wax/Menards), Chase Briscoe (Highpoint), Daniel Hemric (Southpoint), Joe Graf Jr. (Bucked Up Energy), Noah Gragson (Nationwide Children’s), Tommy Joe Martins (Skyview) and Vinnie Miller (Koolbox).

Resident racing game aficionado Tom reviewed the latest NASCAR Heat which scored an average 5/10:

Including all of the NASCAR license must be a mammoth task, and while Heat 5 is an improvement over its forbearers, the overall feeling of the game is that of a vacuous slog. With no obvious USP other than the volume of cars and tracks, or magic new features that other racing games should take inspiration from, NASCAR Heat 5 is a perfunctory depiction that’s enjoyable in small doses but runs out of tyres once you get past the initial stages.

Source: Press Release

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