Saturday, 1 August 2020

PS5 And Xbox Series X Raytracing Can Have Impact on Gameplay, Says The Initiative Dev

ps5 xbox series x

We've seen a bit of what next-generation console technology is capable of, mostly with regards to the solid-state drive. Ratchet and Clank allows for seamlessly passing from one world to the next on PS5 while the Xbox Series X helps facilitate the simultaneous dual-reality gameplay seen in The Medium. But are there other innovations that are only possible on next-gen hardware?

GamingBolt posed this question to Francisco Aisa García, who is a senior gameplay engineer at The Initiative. Are there graphical innovations that next-gen consoles could pull off compared to current gen? He said that raytracing could be a major factor and that it will be "ubiquitous everywhere."

"I think for sure we're going to see innovations all around. What gets me excited is the things that are built into the hardware to process things faster. All these things you can think of, like raytracing and the benefits we will see… We've seen raytracing already, but never seen the full potential, because we've never had people dedicated exclusively to building worlds around this technology.

"And in the new generation, it's going to be ubiquitous everywhere. The teams are going to work on technology to support raytracing, and how to use it, and I'm quite sure we're going to come out with some things we aren't expecting.

"Raytracing can also have impact on how you play games, you can see reflections everywhere for example, which can affect how AI reacts because they can respond to those reflections. That's something you can now incorporate into your design that you wouldn't have even thought of before." How long it'll take to see this in an actual game remains to be seen but it could change up stealth games significantly.

The Xbox Series X and PS5 are currently slated to launch this holiday season. While Microsoft's console will receive some new details this month, Sony is rumored to be hosting a new State of Play for PS5 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.


Cyberpunk 2077 – V Can Look Around During Dialogue Scenes For Potential Trouble

Cyberpunk 2077_11

The question on many people's minds right now is whether or not Cyberpunk 2077 will actually make it in 2020 or not. As it stands, the game has had two high profile delays, and it's somewhat up in the air I'd say. But in the meantime, we have been getting bits and pieces of the game's fascinating futuristic world, and today we got a little taste of a neat little feature that's sure to be interesting for whenever the game does ship.

Via the Official PlayStation Magazine (September 2020), the developer revealed an interesting feature in relation to dialogue. Much like CD Projekt RED's previous titles, there will be a ton of talking, and a ton of dialouge options, but apparently Cyberpunk 2077 will actually allow your player character, V, to took around during these talks. Part of this is for immersion, since it's more realistic for you to be able to look around as you talk, but also you can look around to see if potential trouble is brewing, in case you're locked in a conversation and other NPCs are in the process of jumping you, meaning you can still get the drop on foes even they plan to ambush you.

I imagine that feature could get old if used a lot, but it definitely seems like a potential way to spice things up a bit for the many interactions with shady characters you'll undoubtedly have. It could also be a way to just entertain yourself in a fun way during lengthy dialogue segments.

As of now Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 19th, with a Stadia version to come later. The developer also recently revealed there are seemingly no plans for a beta or demo before that.


Haven Developer Looks To Utilize Haptic Feedback And 120 FPS For PS5 Version

haven

The makers of Furi announced their next game last year, Haven. While it shares a similar look to that game, it seems to be a vastly different type of experience as it follows two people who are "special" to one another as they must traverse together through a dangerous new world. The game was one of many indie titles that Sony chose to highlight for their PS5 showcase, and it seems the developers want to take as much advantage as possible.

Speaking with Wccftech, Creative Director Emeric Thoa talked about the game's next gen version. It seems the studio is in the early stages of this version of the game, so they couldn't commit to any features for sure, but did say they want to utilize the haptic feedback of the DualSense controller and get the game up to 120 FPS for that port and make the most smoothing gliding possible. While Thoa did say they wanted to bring the game to as many systems as possible, as it stands only a PlayStation 5 version has been confirmed for next generation consoles, so the context is only in relation to Sony's next system.

"We are at the veeeeery early steps of working on PS5. It's a bit early for me to say. We will of course try to make the best use of the PS5 new hardware and features. One thing that's the most exciting to me is to use the new gamepad haptic features and a 120FPS framerate to make gliding as smooth as possible."

Haven has also been announced to come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. As of now, no version of the game has a release date.


Grounded Surpassed 1 Million Players Within Just 48 Hours

Grounded

No one was quite sure what to make of Grounded when it was first shown. From Obsidian Entertainment, a company known for their huge, ambitious RPGs, this was a smaller scale survival-based adventure game. Well, the game is in early access, and it seems by and large (no pun intended) that people have liked what they've seen.

Via Obsidian's official Twitter, it was announced that the game surpassed 1 million players in just the first two days of the game's early access launch and includes a thank you message from the game's Director. It's not too surprising, since the game topped the Steam charts at release despite being available on Xbox Game Pass for both Xbox One and Windows Store at the same time. It certainly bodes very well for the game's future.

Grounded is available now in early access via both Xbox Game Preview and Steam Early Access. The full version of the game is set to launch for Xbox One and PC sometime in 2021.


Grand Theft Auto Online Quietly Patches Out Money Exploits

Grand Theft Auto Online_Diamond Casino and Resort

It's going to be a long time until we get Grand Theft Auto 6, and boy, do I mean a long time going by what we know. But that's probably not a huge problem for a lot of players since Grand Theft Auto Online is still going strong. The game has shipped over 130 million copies after all. And for that you got to have a lot of (in-game) cash, but unfortunately, it seems nice little exploits to get extra cash have been patched out.

As reported via Game Watcher, the exploits in question were related to exploiting the Cashing Out mission with a free Elegy car, and the other involved two players purchasing apartments and one targeting expensive targets while the other did cheaper ones and transferring apartments between the two. While nothing has been explicitly said in patch notes, players noticed they were no longer doable, which dataminers confirmed to be the case. It's not the first time Rockstar has quietly killed off a money exploit, so no easy cash on these hard roads, at least until another exploit is found.

Grand Theft Auto Online is available alongside Grand Theft Auto 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and is confirmed to be coming to next generation consoles in 2021.


Microsoft Flight Simulator Showcases Airports And Aircraft In Another Stunning Trailer

microsoft flight simulator

Next month will see the much anticipated return of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The game will once again bring us to the skies above with a variety of different aircraft. And at this point we don't have to tell you the game looks good, and I mean really, really good, too, but it can never hurt to see more of a good thing with a new trailer that highlights your destinations and what you'll be using to get there.

A new trailer released by the publisher shows off the airports you'll be going to in both the standard and deluxe version of the game. Of course, it doesn't come close to showing all that will be in the title, which includes over 37,000 airports, but you can see that the same level of detail and fidelity is applied to all parts of the game. We also get a close up of several aircraft, some of which you haven't seen before.

Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on PC on August 18th. A Xbox One version was also initially announced, but no word on when to expect it. It's also been confirmed to get some degree of VR support after launch.


Halo Infinite's Multiplayer Will be Free to Play, Microsoft Confirms

halo infinite

343 Industries recently put rumours about Halo Infinite launching without multiplayer to bed, but those aren't the only rumours that have popped up of late. Recent reports had indicated that the shooter's multiplayer would be free to play and would run at 120 FPS. Taking to Twitter via the official Halo account, the developers have now officially confirmed that, saying, "Halo is for everyone."

With the multiplayer being free and the campaign being available via Xbox Game Pass, Halo Infinite is opening up the gates for a flood of players to jump in right from the get go, which is exciting news, especially for a new Halo game. Of course, the hope is that the multiplayer being free won't be offset by microtransactions, but that's not something 343 Industries or Microsoft have talked about so far. In their tweet, they say that more details will be shared later.

Some other brief details on the Halo Infinite multiplayer have also been shared in recent days. 343 Industries are apparently building on Halo 5's multiplayer while also keeping the esports scene in mind. Meanwhile, it's been confirmed that the new items that were shown off during the game's gameplay reveal – the grappleshot and Drop Wall – will be included in the multiplayer as pick ups in the maps.

Halo Infinite launches this Holiday for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.


Ghost of Tsushima – 5 Big Things It Does Better Than Most Open World Games

Open world games dominate the industry the way first person shooters used to about a decade ago (if not more), to the extent that it feels like every other AAA release is set in an open world, while even most smaller releases feel obliged to allow players to explore large, semi-open environments. That's a good thing, of course- we're big fans of open world games here at GamingBolt. But with that kind of saturation, the feeling of "been there, done that" continues to grow with every new game, especially when games that want to break out of the mould and try new and interesting things continue to grow increasingly rare.

Every once in a while though, along comes a new release that does try interesting new things, and when they succeed, they inherently stand out among the crowd. Sucker Punch's latest samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima isn't always the most inventive games, and in many ways it can feel quite formulaic, but when it comes to open world design, it strikes a unique balance between building on industry tropes, and introducing new ideas of its own.

In doing so, it ends up creating an experience that, as I mentioned earlier, does stand out. Because Ghost of Tsushima does quite a lot of things better than the vast majority of open world games out there, specifically in terms of open world design. These might not be huge innovations, but in these following five ways, I hope it becomes a guiding wind for others in the industry.

SIZE AND VARIETY

The number one rule for developers in the industry when it comes to open world maps seems to be- bigger is always better. In many ways, that's true. After all, the point of an open world is to give players vast open spaces to explore and mess about in, so obviously, even bigger spaces should mean a better map, right? And sure, technically that's true. But as we've seen more and more these past few years, that philosophy can easily lead to a problem that's become increasingly more common in games these days- bloat.

Ghost of Tsushima avoids that problem, and it avoids that by being exactly as large as it needs to be. Make no mistake, this is not a small map. It is absolutely massive, full of things to do and places to see. It is also beautifully diverse, encapsulating lush fields, dense forests, bustling settlements, swampy marshlands, and frozen mountains. In those ways, it does the things any open world map should do on a surface level.

But Ghost of Tsushima goes beyond the surface level, because while it is a large and varied map, it also never feels so large that it becomes intimidating. For instance, in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the oh-so-classic example of a bloated open world, exploration loses all meaning because the world feels so overwhelmingly large. On the other hand, with a map that is massive and yet still relatively condensed, Ghost of Tsushima makes you feel like you can see everything there is to be seen. Even if that's something you don't want to do, you know that it's something you can conceivably do without having to spend hundreds of hours. And best of all, thanks to the lack of bloat, all the locations in the map don't start blending into one another after a point- you remember each place you visit… which takes me to my next point.

ATMOSPHERE

ghost of tsushima

Atmosphere is one of Ghost of Tsushima's biggest strengths. The game has an uncanny knack for transporting you to its setting and completely immersing you in your surroundings. A lot of that comes from the fact that every inch of the map feels carefully and cautiously handcrafted. As you move through the island of Tsushima, you find yourself in a variety of biomes and locations, as I discussed above, and each has its own distinct personality.

What contributes to that more than anything else is the game's strong art design. Ghost of Tsushima is a technically impressive game, sure, but it wouldn't be half as visually pleasing as it is if it weren't for the art style. It uses colours in abundance, painting a rich and vivid tapestry of astounding sights every chance it gets, from fields of flower bursting with colour to forest floors covered in bright red leaves.

And, of course, the wind is a crucial factor as well. You wouldn't think that something as simple as the wind would be so important in shaping a game's identity, but here, it absolutely is. There's nothing quite like walking across a hill covered in tall and beautiful stalks of tall grass that are gently swaying against gusts of wind.

NAVIGATION

ghost of tsushima

This is an area where most modern AAA open world games falter, where most games in this space resort to the easiest and most bland way of getting their players to traverse their environments. Following the marker, following the compass, following the minimap, or some variation of that is what most open world games have usually relied on to get players from point A to point B.

Ghost of Tsushima doesn't do that. Its world is designed to ensure that players always find something new and something exciting. Following birds and foxes to side activities might become repetitive after a while, but there's just something about hearing the chirps of a golden bird that invariably pulls you away from whatever you were doing so you can see where it wants to lead you.

Even if you don't care about the mechanical and material gains that exploring the world might lead to, sightseeing in and of itself is enough of a motivator. Ghost of Tsushima's world is beautiful, and it keeps delivering moments of striking beauty that occur naturally through the course of exploration. Climbing on top of an innocuous hill might reward you with a glorious vista of the horizon and all the things on the island that lie between it and you. Riding through a forest towards the sound of rushing water could suddenly treat you with a view of a beautiful lone tree standing on an isolated island in the middle of a lake. Even simply walking on a beach at night and watching the moonlight being reflected in the calm and still waters of the ocean while the Mongol fleet waits imposingly in the distance can be a breathtaking sight.

SENSE OF DISCOVERY

ghost of tsushima

For some reason, it's very hard for many open world games to make the very act of exploration and discovery feel rewarding- or at least it's started feeling that way as games have started relying more and more on "follow the marker", because in doing so, you can so often be so focused on your destination that you stop caring about the journey. Some games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Breath of the Wild succeed in avoiding those pitfalls, and Ghost of Tsushima comes very close to being just as successful at doing so.

Where most open world games mark side activities in the on-screen UI, Ghost of Tsushima asks you to follow birds and foxes. When a quest tells you that you have to, say, follow a trail of purple flowers to get to your destination, you physically have to find those flowers yourself, and then follow that trailer – not a marker in the UI – to get to your mission objective. Talking to NPCs yields hints about various side activities, while civilians that you rescue from Mongols or bandits might tell you about enemy encampments.

Something else that Ghost of Tsushima makes use of that makes a massive difference is fog of war, which is by no means a new mechanic, but one that more open world games need to make use of. That's because side activities and points of interest in the world are only revealed to you as you explore it- it happens organically. It incentivizes exploration. Instead of just dumping every location of interest in the world in one go on the game's map, Ghost of Tsushima tasks you with discovering those locations yourself. It's such a simple way to ensure that players actually feel rewarded for going off the beaten path and exploring the world, but it's so incredibly effective.

RIDICULOUSLY QUICK LOADING

ghost of tsushima

This is impressive purely on a technical level, and in a very, very obvious way. All this talk of SSDs and the elimination of loading times with next-gen consoles has only gained so much traction because that can make such a huge difference in any game (especially an open world one)- but here's Ghost of Tsushima, running on positively archaic hardware, already giving us a taste of what that feels like.

How often have we waited impatiently for a game to load after you fast travel from one place to another? How often have we restlessly checked our phones as we wait for a game to throw us back into the action after we die? How often have we waited for a game to load its entire world after we boot it up? Too often, right? Just think of the ridiculously long time Red Dead Redemption 2 makes you wait every time you load a save.

Ghost of Tsushima ensures that all that downtime is kept to a minimum. What's even more impressive than its lightning-fast loading is the fact that it is artificially extended. During development, Sucker Punch found that the game was loading so quickly that there was barely any time to read the tips the game throws at you in the interim, and they had to actually extend those loading times. What sort of witch magic is allowing them to do that on a PS4?

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


Dark Souls 3 Cinders – Why It's So Awesome

FromSoftware's Dark Souls 3 launched more than four years ago. It's crazy to think that even with the studio releasing a brand new title in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that the tale of the Lords of Cinder could still see such devotion. Granted, mods have helped in that respect and titles like Dark Souls Remastered have their own awesome overhauls, whether it's Daughters of Ash or the recent rogue-lite mod. However, Souls fans now have something else to keep them busy before the arrival of Elden Ring. Now they have Cinders.

By now, you've probably heard of Cinders but what exactly is it? What does it change? Why is it being received so well and why should you go out of your way to play it (at least, on PC)? Cinders is essentially an overhaul mod, one that makes sweeping changes to the mechanics, progression, abilities, weapon balance – everything you could think of, right down to New Game Plus. It also adds heaps of new content, from hundreds of new weapons, rings and armor pieces to new Sorceries, Pyromancies and Miracles. That's the short version.

Dark Souls 3

"In essence, it makes Dark Souls 3 even more addictive, if that's what you wanted (or didn't know you needed, which rest assured, you do)."

The long version is that Cinders makes Dark Souls 3 a much more refined, enjoyable experience. It offers a lot more freedom to play how you want, for as long as you want. It offers more build diversity and easier ways to achieve certain builds from the outset. In essence, it makes Dark Souls 3 even more addictive, if that's what you wanted (or didn't know you needed, which rest assured, you do).

Before installing Cinders, be aware of two things: First, you must play offline since the game's anti-cheat bans players for even the slightest of mods. Second, Cinders modifies key parameters of the base game, to the extent that older save files become incompatible. While the mod can be safely removed and older saves accessed again, make a backup just in case.

So let's start with the character select screen. Everything is pretty much as you remembered it but look at the Classes tab. The range of options has been heavily expanded. Want to start out as a Wayfarer, like Alva, and spin to win against foes? Go for it. How about a Sentinel with the Fallen Knight set and massive Zweihander to pummel foes? You've got it. Maybe you want to start with a Samurai build and get those parries in from the beginning. Or a Paladin with a Greatsword, Heal Aid and corresponding armor. Heck, become a peasant who previously lived in the Undead Settlement and is now a Great Scythe-wielding Champion of Ash. You can even play as the Skeptic aka the annoying, masked clerics in the Undead Settlement that inflict bleed and laugh creepily (creepy laugh sadly not included).

Once your Class and Burial Gift – which has also been expanded to include various Gems for Weapons Infusion, an Estus Shard, Coiled Sword Fragment, various Rings, a Master Key and more – has been selected, it's off to the Cemetery of Ash. Except, not really. You instead begin your journey on the left-most bell tower of Firelink Shrine. Yes, the Sword Master with the Uchigatana is no longer there (but that's fine since it's not difficult to find the katana). You don't have to fight Gundyr this time, though if you venture down to the Cemetery challenge him, he'll already be in Corrupted Gundyr form. Also, he may or may not completely beat you down with a new, annoying Curse mechanic. It's a toss-up but should definitely serve to shock some veteran players.

Dark Souls 3 - Iudex Gundyr

"There also new shortcuts between different locations, allowing you to go from the High Wall of Lothric straight to Archdragon Peak to challenge The Nameless King right off the bat."

Venture into Firelink Shrine and speak to the Firekeeper as normal. The bonfire now lets you travel to the Undead Settlement along with the High Wall of Lothric. Cinders also changes up the location of some bonfires. The "Tower on the Wall" bonfire has been replaced with a Boreal Outrider Knight, which can provide a rather unpleasant surprise if you're busy running from foes (but drops a Pontiff's Left Eye ring, perfect for recovering HP by battering foes with multiple hits). The bonfire near Vordt of the Boreal Valley has been removed and instead, there's one near Emma's location, making it easier to challenge the Dancer of Boreal Valley multiple times (especially if you decide to do so in the early going).

There also new shortcuts between different locations, allowing you to go from the High Wall of Lothric straight to Archdragon Peak to challenge The Nameless King right off the bat. Fancy a trip to the Yorshka bonfire? Use the shortcut in the Cathedral of the Deep. With these shortcuts, it's also easy to dive into the Ashes of Ariandel and Ringed City expansions at a much quicker pace. Granted, the layouts of some levels aren't entirely perfect with their enemy placements. Catacombs of Carthus might be a slog due to seemingly more Wheel Skeletons, for example.

Then again, before you go anywhere, you might be awestruck by the expanded number of options at a bonfire. In the base game, resting at a bonfire gives you the "Travel", "Attune Spell", "Organize Storage Box", "Burn Undead Bone Shard" and, after beating the game, the option to start a New Game Plus playthrough. In Cinders, you can do all of these along with leveling up, allotting Estus, Reinforcing and Infusing weapons, repairing equipment, sacrificing items for Souls, and even forging items like Embers. It's super convenient not having to return to the Firelink Shrine for several of these functions, though you'll still need to provide different Umbral Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid to unlock new items. Other functions like Transposing Souls to acquire boss weapons also need to be done at Firelink Shrine so it's worth returning every now and again.

"While there aren't brand new bosses per say, you will see some classic foes from other Souls games making a return (which we won't spoil here)."

Let's talk new content. There are 50 new rings, over 135 armor sets (with more than 48 being new) and 415 weapons (195 being new). Along with re-balancing numerous weapons and making a lot of them more viable, armor now has different stats and effects, making each piece viable for some build or the other and increasing build diversity all the more. Poise has also been changed with active and boosted Poise available and FP now recovers passively, encouraging you to unleash weapon Battle Arts and spells more frequently. Weapons can also be augmented even further with the addition of Primordial Materials for those who seek an end-game pursuit to keep pushing towards.

Covenants also provide different bonuses when equipping their respective items. The Aldrich Faithful boosts Dark damage by 5 percent while the Mound Makers boost physical damage by 5 percent. Rosaria's Fingers will increase the amount of Souls gained from enemies by 10 percent while the Watchdogs of Farron will reduce weapon Stamina consumption by 10 percent. While there aren't brand new bosses per say, you will see some classic foes from other Souls games making a return (which we won't spoil here). Some of them may appear as Phantoms while others are mini-bosses waiting to break you down. Their presence – with perhaps one boss fight being the exception (but still being extremely cool) – don't feel tacked on at all.

Maybe you're keen on starting a relationship with a certain NPC – and no, we don't mean wedding Anri of Astora. Use the Ring of Bethrotal on an NPC will give you the ability to flirt, which provides three different outcomes. If successful, you'll receive a gift and each NPC has their own unique gifts to bestow (from an Undead Bone Shard to an Estus Shard). It's just another neat little extra on top of everything else.

All of these new benefits and bonuses may lead you to think the base game is now easier. Granted, some items are meant to make certain playthroughs less stressful, especially one that allows for summoning an immortal Solaire of Astore, who will draw aggro, unleash lightning spells and deal a respectable amount of damage.

"After defeating a boss for the first time, you get their Memory which can be used to challenge them again at any time."

Thankfully, Cinders anticipates your desire for more challenges and pain. There's the Altar of Affliction which lets you enable a variety of different Curses in return for an increase in Souls and the chance for Primordial Materials to drop. Want enemies that can't be staggered with 30 percent increased defense and damage that also have passive health regeneration (which will apply to bosses as well because why not)? Or maybe you fancy nerfing yourself, removing passive FP regeneration, doubling Stamina consumption and cutting max HP, FP and Stamina in half? You can even shroud yourself in darkness, putting your memory of the new enemy locations to the test, or have weapon durability just randomly reduce by 1 every 10 to 30 seconds or so.

Then there's the new Trial of Perseverance, which offers a wave-based survival mode against hordes of enemies. Though the waves have set enemies – some will only contain skeleton foes while others have Undead Settlement enemies – their appearance is randomized with each new wave. Kill enough enemies until the wave's overall health bar is reduced to zero and you'll earn Souls and other Reinforcement Materials afterwards. Primordial Materials have a chance to drop as well with more Curses increasing the drop rate. Sounds easy enough but enemies show no mercy in this mode and Curses can make this borderline terrifying (especially when you get the Bone Gang 10 times in a row).

Curses also apply to the base game, upping the difficulty of the entire campaign in exchange for more Souls and Primordial Materials. Don't want to suffer Curses but still want those Primordials? Take the No Hit Challenge for each boss. Defeating a boss without taking any damage will confer a different Primordial Material, with tougher foes like Sister Friede, Darkeater Midir and Slave Knight Gael providing the highest quality material, Primordial Slabs. And if you fail, don't worry – after defeating a boss for the first time, you get their Memory which can be used to challenge them again at any time. This makes practicing for zero hit or SL1 runs all the more easy while offering another challenge and accompanying reward for those who seek it.

"Go for a Soul Level 1, full-Curse, NG+7 playthrough with the Mark of Sanguis active for the greatest challenge."

You can also equip different Marks to further increase the difficulty in exchange for more Souls. Mark of Canis is restricted to High Wall of Lothric while Mark of Piscis is for the Road of Sacrifices and Farron Keep but both Marks essentially remove all other enemies in favor of dogs and crabs respectively. The Mark of Sanguis is much more brutal – it adds more enemies, gives them some new attacks and even brings in some minor bosses. It also applies to the entire game and stacks with the different Curses.

And if all of that isn't enough, then New Game Plus is the way to go. Not only does it increase the defense, health and damage dealt by all enemies, like in the base game, but it also adds Echoes of the Past. These are enemy NPCs that appear like ghosts and are tougher than your average Phantom. You'll have plenty of incentive to kill them though since they drop more powerful versions of certain Rings and Primordial Titanite when killed the first time (though you can respawn them at bonfires to farm for Souls). It's also possible to skip to higher New Game Plus levels from the beginning. Go for a Soul Level 1, full-Curse, NG+7 playthrough with the Mark of Sanguis active for the greatest challenge.

Cinders may not be for everyone and is definitely not recommended for those playing Dark Souls 3 for the first time. But for those who have cleared all the content and want to change things up on their next playthrough, Cinders is simply incredible. It addresses so many little concerns that add up to a much smoother experience without compromising on the difficulty. One of my main concerns was starting a new character and having to slog through the game before the build started coming together.

Dark Souls 3 Cinders

"The lure of trying out a new build in all of this content has always been hard to resist, and the mod simply expands on your available options while giving you tons of other things to do."

Cinders not only addresses this but tries to accommodate every possible play-style out there (yes, even Miracle builds). If something isn't to your liking, then use the shortcuts provided and farm for the weapons you'd like – especially since some can drop guaranteed from foes. Finding a new weapon and simply going back to a previous bonfire to reinforce and infuse it is just great. And thanks to the addition of passive FP generation, I've been picking up more weapons to simply experiment with their different Combat Arts.

The sheer amount of customization and changes to progression don't diminish the base game's challenge. If anything, it says a lot about the foundation of Dark Souls 3 that so many additions and changes can fit in so seamlessly. So if you've been looking for an excuse to revisit Dark Souls 3 on PC and don't mind having to play offline, then I highly encourage you to check out Cinders. The lure of trying out a new build in all of this content has always been hard to resist, and the mod simply expands on your available options while giving you tons of other things to do. Nothing befits Ash more than fire and Cinders offers more than enough to keep you burning away.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


Ghost of Tsushima Players Have Dueled 57.5 Million Enemies in First 10 Days

Ghost of Tsushima_05

Sucker Punch Productions' Ghost of Tsushima has been an incredible success for Sony, selling over 2.4 million units in its first three days. Within the first 10 days of release, its players have racked up some impressive stats. As the PlayStation Twitter notes, players have engaged in 57.5 million duels and taken 15.5 million photos.

They've also pet 8.8 million foxes and spent 810 years on horseback. Total flute songs played equaled 28.1 million while the number of haikus written – good or bad – hit 14.2 million. Standoffs are significantly higher in number than duels, totaling 156.4 million. And finally, the number of enemies who cowered in fear of the Ghost was a staggering 139.4 million. There's no stat on the number of enemies who's suffering was ended but give it time.

Ghost of Tsushima is currently available for PS4 – you can check out our review here. It recently received a major update that added Lethal difficulty and Lower Intensity Combat while allowing for larger text size. Stay tuned for more updates on its success in the coming days.


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