Friday, 11 September 2020

Marvel's Avengers weekly War Table update has landed, marketplace and modifiers updated

Like other online service games Marvels Avengers has a weekly reset which changes modifers on missions and what you can spend your hard cash on. Here's the latest update for Thursday 9th October.

PRIORITY MISSIONS

Priority Missions have modifiers that will challenge even the toughest Super Hero. Your first weekly completion of these missions earns you unique gear you won't find anywhere else.

Global Presence (Low Power Level)

Modifiers:

  • Blizzard: Ice hazards are added to the environment. Cryo damage from enemies and the environment are increased.
  • Capacitor: Shock damage from players is increased.
  • Famine: Enemies do not drop Regen Packs when defeated.

Guaranteed Reward: Polychoron, Hero-Specific Gear

Rocket's Red Glare (High Power Level) 

Modifiers:

  • Famine: Enemies do not drop Regen Packs when defeated.
  • Pressure: No automatic recovery of Willpower when critically injured.
  • Clash: Melee damage from any source is greatly increased.
  • Capacitor: Shock damage from players is increased.

Guaranteed Reward: Epic Gear

PRIORITY HARM CHALLENGES

Priority HARM Challenges have additional modifiers and reward comics that increase your collection and boost your stats.

Weekly First Completion Reward: 1962's Incredible Hulk #105 (0.5% Status Resistance rate)

Low Power Level Challenge

Modifiers: 

  • Helix: Gamma damage from players is increased.
  • Maelstrom: All heroics charge at a significantly increased rate. Entering critical health drains all Heroic energy.

 

High Power Level Challenge

Modifiers: 

  • Famine: Enemies do not drop Regen Packs when defeated.
  • Clash: Melee damage from any source is greatly increased.
  • Helix: Gamma damage from players is increased.

MODIFIER PRO-TIPS

Modifiers are game changers! Check out some pro-tips from our team that will help you prepare for this week's challenges!

  • Blizzard: Equip any gear that provides Cryo resistance and pay careful attention to Cryo hazards in the environment whenever Blizzard is the modifier in play. Cryo enemies are also especially lethal so make sure to prioritize taking them out first to ensure you won't be frozen mid fight.
  • Famine: Focusing on Takedowns and careful usage of the regenerative nanite containers are key to survivability when Famine is active.
  • Pressure: Recovering Willpower by any means necessary is key when Pressure is active. Utilize Takedowns, regenerative nanite containers, and skills that boost the chance of enemies dropping Regen Packs to ensure that sustaining critical injuries isn't always a recipe for a quick defeat.
  • Clash: When Clash is active make sure to player a Hero who has strong melee abilities and equip gear high in the Might attribute. Don't forget, enemies also inflict greater melee damage so watch out for combatants who try to get in close!
  • Capacitor: Thor's already impressive pedigree is exacerbated when Capacitor turns up the lethality of his lightning-infused attacks. Make use of his intrinsic Odinforce ability to lay waste to foes in a manner worthy of his heritage. If Thor isn't your Hero of choice, make sure to equip gear with Shock perks or use other Heroes—like Black Widow—who also have Shock-inducing attacks in their arsenal.
  • Helix: When Helix is active Hulk becomes a force to be reckoned with. Leverage his intrinsic Rage ability and any of his gamma-infused attacks to dominate the battlefield. Don't like playing Hulk? Make sure to equip gear that inflicts Gamma damage and has high Intensity to help trigger the Gamma status effect.
  • Maelstrom: Keeping Willpower high and utilizing Heroics soon after they're ready is key to maximizing the benefits of the Maelstrom modifier. Focusing on gear that boosts the Resolve or Valor stats are also effective strategies.

MARKETPLACE UPDATE

The Marketplace has been updated with some great new content, including Hulk's Legendary "Tea Time" Emote, Captain America's Epic "Falling with Style" Takedown, and Iron Man's very photogenic Epic "Chroma Lux" suit.

The Marketplace is a place for us to feature purchasable cosmetics in the form of Outfits, Emotes, Takedowns, and Nameplates. The Marketplace's Uncommon, Rare, Epic, and Legendary items rotate weekly, and can be purchased with Credits.

They also say the next patch, 1.30 "will be our largest yet and will resolve bad states for bugs fixed in 1.2.5, as well as address hundreds of smaller quality of life issues."

Source: Square Enix


Riders Republic is the next game from the makers of Steep, coming out February 2021

Steep developer Ubisoft Annecy have taken the wraps off a new extreme sports extravaganza: Rides Republic. The game will be out for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PC and Stadia on 25th February 2021.

The game is all about creating a huge free roam world for you to play around in, mashing together iconic American national parks including Bryce Canyon, Yosemite Valley, Sequoia Park, Zion, Canyonlands, Mammoth Mountain and Grand Teton.

You'll be able to take on a number of different modes of transport, from wingsuit-gliding, to snowboarding on the peaks, dirt biking through the canyons, and more. That will all be wrapped up in downhill races, team competitions online, or simply massive 50-player PvP races.

The game will be built around a number of online modes, though co-op and solo play are there in addition to the large-scale head to head mode. These include:

  • Competitive races and trick challenges: playable in PvP / Co-op / Solo
  • Mass Starts: frantic 50+ player races where nothing is off limits(1)
  • Community Jams: Wild 50+ player events which randomly pop up on the map(1)
  • Multiplayer arenas: 6×6 team PvP matchups
  • Online Cups: for the very best only, make your way up the leaderboard

On next-gen platforms, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, the game will run at 60FPS while simultaneously displaying 50 players on screen. It's not clear if that benefit will also be shared with the Google Stadia version of the game, but you'd have to hope so!

Looking back at Ubisoft Annecy's 2016 game Steep, Jim gave the game a respectable 7/10 before Ubisoft Annecy threw more and more content into the game over the following years. Our Steep review said:

"The game works best in how it empowers you to toggle between idle exploration and obsessive score chasing whenever it suits you. However, as time drags on, if that drive to make headway begins to wane, there's little else to keep players hooked. Then, of course, there's the ridiculous online-only policy that is bound to frustrate, adding a completely expendable layer to the year's best winter sports game."

Winter sports, no more, but Riders Republic looks like it will build on a lot of lot they learnt from that game.


Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Complete Edition brings the classic brawler back this Christmas

Scott Pilgrim is back from the voids of being "delisted". Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Complete Edition revives the classic brawler for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Stadia and PC later this year.

The game originally came out for PS3 and Xbox 360, building up a bit of a cult following for its pixellated charms, but was delisted several years ago and seemingly lost to the sands of time and licensing agreements. Thankfully, all of those problems have seemingly been resolved.

The Complete Edition simply delivers the original game and the Knives Chau and Wallace Wells DLC characters.


Rainbow Six Siege will get free 4K and 120fps upgrades to PS5 and Xbox Series X

Ubisoft have announced that the eternally popular Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a major boost with the launch of the next-generation. Sometime before the end of 2020, the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game will get free upgrades to PS5 and Xbox Series X | S, bringing resolutions up to 4K and 120fps gameplay for ultra-responsive first person shooting.

There's no specific date, but it will be coming before the end of 2020.

In the meantime, there's the launch of Year 5 Season 3 Operation: Shadow Legacy….. right now. This update adds a very familiar face from the Clancy-verse into the game. Yup, Sam Fischer is sneaking his way into the fray.

Codenamed "Zero", this is an even gruffer Sam Fisher than we've seen before. He will make his debut with the launch of Rainbow Six Siege Y5S3 along with plenty of new and updated features.

For all the details on that, head over to our post from that announcement.


Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake officially revealed

It leaked earlier today but now Ubisoft have confirmed that Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is getting the full remake treatment with new graphics, motion capture, but they are keeping the original voice cast. The game will launch in January 2021 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The game comes with the original 1989 game as well "Unlock Prince of Persia, the original game from 1989 ('92 Mac version), along your adventure then access it from main menu whenever you want."

Here those ever so important key features:

A CLASSIC REBORN Experience the original epic tale of the Prince on his journey for redemption. Travel back in time with the return of the Prince's original voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal, and discover a brave new Farah.

REIMAGINED FOR TODAY Fight new enemy character models and enjoy entirely new cinematic sequences along with enhanced voices, sounds, parkour animations, and soundtrack.

WIELD THE POWER OF TIME Master the Sands of Time and use your dagger to reverse, accelerate, freeze, and slow time itself while solving puzzles along the way.

BREATHTAKING GRAPHICAL UPDATES Immerse yourself in ancient Persia with more realistic graphics, pre-baked rendering, and VFX as you fight cursed enemies along your journey.

MODERNIZED CONTROLS Camera, controls, and combat have been completely rebuilt and updated for today's standards. Choose between original or modernized mapping.

EXPAND YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH BONUSES Unlock the original Prince of Persia® game ('92 Mac version) along your adventure and access it from the Main Menu whenever you want. Even more surprises await!

The last official console game was The Forgotten Sands which was based on Disney's film adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Prince has popped up recently but not in his own game, he guest starred in a For Honor event.

Once upon a time, there was a Prince from a distant land who wanted to escape death at all costs. One day, he arrived in a secluded harbor and clashed with mighty warriors. The Prince had to use his mystical dagger to change his destiny and survive. Yet meddling with time would have dark consequences for his stranded soul…

Other than that the Prince was also seen on mobile way back in 2013. The Shadow And The Flame was set after the events of the original game (which Ubisoft are now dubbing 'Classic') and boasted an "epic journey" with "visually-stunning 3D" and "intuitive controls" designed for touchscreens, which means gesture-based touch controls, or a virtual joystick.

Source: YouTube


Immortals: Fenyx Rising is the new name for Gods & Monters, and it's coming out in December

The Ubisoft Forward stream kicked off with a look at Immortals: Fenyx Rising, the new name for what wsa initially revealed as Immortals: Fenyx Rising. The game is out on 3rd December for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and Stadia… oh and PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X | S, of course.

This 3rd person open world action adventure is set in greek mythology and the realms of Olympus. You play as Fenyx, a full customisable character, whose adventure will be narrated by Prometheus and Zeus as you fight to defeat Typhon and save the pantheon of Greek gods.

It's all very…. Zelda: Breath of the Wild, isn't it, with different regions that echo the god that lives there and need your help, the freedom to go wherever you want, and the ability to literally just climb up walls. Mix Zelda with Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, and maybe some more Fortnite-y graphics, and you've got this game. We hope it can really stand apart from these inevitable comparisons.

All Google Stadia users (free or otherwise) will have a unique demo with a special bespoke island to play in and explore. It should be available sometime before the game comes out in December.

 


FIFA 21 trophies confirmed, here's the full PS4 trophy list

We're still a month away from FIFA 21's release date, EA's sporting sequel due to launch on October 9th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia.

However, several weeks ahead of its arrival, we have the full FIFA 21 trophy list. It's fair to assume that these reflect the achievement lists you'll find on Xbox One and Steam.

With both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S due in November, some fans may be considering holding off until these next-gen versions come out. However, those who buy FIFA 21 on PS4 and Xbox One can upgrade for free – until the release of FIFA 22.

Anyway, here's the trophy list in full. How obtainable do you think this year's FIFA platinum trophy is?


The Great Achiever
Unlock all other trophies (excluding additional content trophies)
Platinum
Star-studded
Collect 4 Star Players in VOLTA FOOTBALL
Silver
Into the 90's
Reach 90 OVR with your Avatar in VOLTA FOOTBALL
Silver
End of Story
Complete "The Debut"
Bronze
Da Skiller
Complete All VOLTA Skill Games
Silver
VOLTA's Finest
Reach Division 3 in VOLTA Squads
Gold
Teamwork
Win a VOLTA Squads game with 3 other players
Bronze
Sharpshooter
Score a goal from a Free Kick
Bronze
Natural Talent
Win a penalty shoot-out without missing
Bronze
Perfection
Complete all Main Menu Skill Games
Bronze
Master Focus
Score a goal from a cross when using Player Lock
Bronze
Squad Building Champion
Complete 10 Squad Building Challenges in FIFA Ultimate Team
Bronze
Tactical Prowess
Create your own custom tactic in FIFA Ultimate Team
Bronze
House Always Wins
Play a game using any House Rule in FUT Friendlies
Bronze
Guardian of the Net
Keep 10 clean sheets in FUT Squad Battles
Bronze
Dynamic Duo
Win a Co-Op game with an online friend in FUT Squad Battles or FUT Division Rivals
Bronze
Accomplished Associate
Play 10 Co-Op games with online friends in FUT Squad Battles or FUT Division Rivals
Silver
FIFA Ultimate Theme
Customise your FUT Stadium by having at least 20 cosmetic items active simultaneously
Bronze
Work of Art
Unlock the Tier 3 Stadium in FIFA Ultimate Team
Silver
Fan Favourite
Reach 200 club appearances with a player in FIFA Ultimate Team

 

Silver
Top Flight Football
Earn 2000 FUT Champions points to achieve your first qualification for FUT Champions Weekend League
Silver
Vision for Division
Play a game in Division 4 or higher in FUT Division Rivals
Gold
Seasoned to Perfection
Complete 2 Milestone Groups in FIFA Ultimate Team
Silver
Path to Victory
Unlock all the traits within a skill-tree in Pro Clubs
Silver
The First of Many
Complete and win your first Pro Club Seasons league match
Bronze
Pro Clubs Rules
Play and Complete a Cup House Rules Match in Pro Clubs
Silver
Specialist
Unlock a Specialty in Pro Clubs
Silver
Getting the Job Done
Jump into a Sim match in Career Mode and win it
Silver
Time For a Change
Successfully convert a player to a new position in Career Mode
Silver
Explorer
Attend both a Pre-Match and a Post-Match Press Conference
Bronze
Extra Sharpness
Score one or more goals in a match with a player that has a maximum sharpness level in Career Mode
Silver
One of us! One of us!
Buy a player that had been loaned for the team in Career Mode
Silver
Keeping Up the Pace
Achieve an A grade rating in 5 different training drills in Career Mode
Silver
European Glory
Win the UEFA Europa League Final
Silver
Legendary
Win the UEFA Champions League Final
Gold
Frenemies
Play 5 H2H matches with a friend in Kick Off
Bronze
In the Game
Play a women's International football match
Bronze

Meanwhile, EA recently showed off their update Career Mode for FIFA 21. With more flexibility with match simming, improved training, new transfer options and more, it's looking like a decent update on one of the series' main game modes.

We'll have more on FIFA 21 closer to release day, including our review.

Source: PSNProfiles


Brawl Stars Season 3 update welcomes players to Starr Park

Supercell have gone live with their newest update for their scrappy mobile mega-hit, Brawl Stars. The update is available to download right now, prepping the game for Season 3 which kicks off next Monday on September 14th.

Fans who caught the recent Brawl Talk video from Supercell will know that Season 3 has a funky theme park flair with a new environment, new skins, and of course a new Brawler.

Colette is a cashier working at the Starr Park gift shop, making her a stalker-ish Brawler megafan. She sports a unique mechanic where her main attack damage is based on a target's remaining health. Meanwhile, her super sees her charging through enemy ranks before being yanked back to safety like a yo-yo.

Season 3 will have its own Brawl Pass with 70 tiers. Other upcoming changes include the return of classic maps and quality of life improvements. You can check everything out below:

New Brawler – Colette (Coming in Season 3)

  • Main Attack

    • Deals 35% of damage based on the remaining health of the target

    • Any damage boosts are applied after calculating the 35% remaining health damage

    • Always deals a fixed amount of damage against neutral targets such as PvE Bosses and Showdown Boxes, the damage can be increased with Power Cubes or other buffs

    • Has minimum damage of 200 (280 at max level)

  • Super Ability

    • Colette runs in a line and turns back after reaching max distance or hitting a wall dealing damage both ways

    • Deals 20% of enemy Brawler's maximum health as damage

    • Always deals a fixed amount of damage (capped between 1000-1400 per hit depending on Colette's Power Level) against neutral targets such as PvE Bosses and Showdown Boxes, the damage can be increased with Power Cubes or other buffs

  • Gadget

    • Colette's next basic attack deals 40% of Colette's remaining health as damage

  • Star Power

    • Enemy Brawlers hit by Colette's Super attack are carried to the maximum charge distance

New Skins!

  • Super Fan Emz – 150 Gems

  • Sugar Rush Sandy – 80 Gems

  • Mask Spike – 30 Gems

  • Lunar Sprout – 150 Gems

  • El Atomico (Star Skin) – 10 000 Star Points

Brawl Pass – Welcome to the Gift Shop!

  • New Gift Shop environment

  • New Starr Park environment (Tutorial and Training Cave)

  • New Music

  • Poco Starr Skin

  • Trixie Colette Skin

  • Pin Packs have been included in both Brawl Pass and normal progression.

Game Modes / Event Rotation Changes

  • Map rotation schedule has been shortened from 14 days to a 7 day rotation for Gem Grab, Showdown (Solo, Duo) and Brawl Ball, which means that there will be 7 maps per Game Mode in rotation and each map will be playable more often

  • Returned a long list of classic maps based on community feedback

  • Showdown

    • Elixir boost has been reduced from 200% increased damage to 100% increased damage.

    • Angry Robo modifier health and damage now scale according to the average Brawler Power Level in the match.

    • Power Cube box health now scales according to the average Brawler Power Level in the match.

  • Heist

    • Safe health now scales according to the average Brawler Power Level in the match.

  • Siege

    • IKE health, Siege Robot health and Siege Robot damage now scale according to the average Brawler Power Level in the match.

Brawler Balance –

  • A big round of Quality of Life Super charge rate tuning which fixes issues where a combination of Main Attacks and/or Super Attacks often left the Super Attack just slightly off from being fully charged

  • The more major changes to Super charge rates that were intended as either buffs or nerfs to the characters are listed after this section, the goal with these small QoL changes was not to change the overall balance but to rather fix these small issues

  • As a result of the tuning there are minor changes to Super charge rates for the following characters

    • Barley

      • Super charge rate increased slightly from Super Attack

    • Carl

      • Super charge rate increased slightly from Super Attack

    • Colt

      • Super charge rate decreased slightly from Main Attack

      • Super charge rate increased slightly from Super Attack

    • Jessie

      • Super charge rate decreased slightly from Main Attack

      • Super charge rate increased slightly from Super Attack

Bo

  • Super charge rate increased slightly to fully charge from 3 full hits with Main Attack

  • Super charge rate decreased slightly from Super Attack (still charges with 3 hits)

Bull

  • Increased Health from 4900 to 5000

  • Super charge rate increased slightly from Main Attack

  • Super charge rate increased from Super Attack

Darryl

  • Increased Health from 4800 to 5000

Dynamike

  • Super charge rate increased to fully charge from 2 full hits with Main Attack

El Primo

  • Super charge rate increased from 10 hits to 9 hits with Main Attack

  • Super charge rate increased from 5 hits to 4 hits with Super Attack

  • Asteroid Belt explosion radius increased by 11%

EMZ

  • Super charge rate increased to fully charge from 3 full hits with Main Attack

Gene

  • Super charge rate increased slightly to fully charge from 3 full hits with Main Attack

Jacky

  • Counter Crush effective radius increased by 50%

Max

  • Super charge rate increased to fully charge from 3 full hits with Main Attack

Mortis

  • Super charge rate decreased slightly from Main Attack (this does NOT change any interactions or combos!)

  • Super charge rate increased from Super Attack which enables a new Super charging combo for Mortis with 2 Super Attack hits + 2 Main Attack hits (down from 3 Main Attacks required for this combo)

Nita

  • Super charge rate increased from 7 hits to 6 hits with Main Attack

  • Super charge rate increased from 12 to 10 Bear Attack hits

  • Added a one second delay to Bear Paws before the stun is applied

  • Bear Paws charges increased from 2 to 3

Rosa

  • Super charge rate increased to fully charge from 3 full hits with Main Attack

Shelly

  • Increased Health from 3600 to 3800

  • Super charge rate increased slightly to fully charge from 2 full hits with Main Attack

  • Super charge rate decreased slightly from Super Attack

Spike

  • Increased Main Attack damage from 520 to 560 per Spike

  • Super charge rate increased slightly from Super Attack

Tara

  • Super charge rate increased slightly to fully charge from 4 full hits with Main Attack

Tick

  • Super charge rate increased slightly to fully charge from 2 full hits with Main Attack

Mr. P

  • Super charge rate decreased from Main Attack (still charges with 6 hits)

  • Super charge rate decreased from 16 to 18 Porter Attack hits

Poco

  • Tuning Fork healing decreased from 500 to 400 health per second

Surge

  • To the Max! projectile split no longer happens when reaching the max distance (only when hitting enemies or walls)

Gale

  • Gale's Spring Ejector gadget now doesn't have quite as much … "ejection" power!

8-BIT

  • Extra Life is replaced with a new Star Power: PLUGGED IN – 8-BIT receives a movement speed boost while near to the damage booster

Gale

  • Second Wind is replaced with a new Star Power: Freezing Snow – Main Attack now applies a 0.3 second slowing effect upon hit

Pam

  • Pam's healing turret visual healing area has been adjusted to match the effective healing area (visual area is now slightly smaller)

  • Pulse Modulator healing area has also been reduced to match the effective healing area of the healing turret resulting in a slight nerf to the Gadget

Other

  • New Battle End Screen

  • New app icon

  • Option to disable player slots in Friendly Game Rooms allowing player to customize their own Friendly Matches and added the new Bounty Map "Open" (Friendly exclusive) to utilize as you please

  • "Browsing Quests" status added to Game Rooms

  • SCID login button added to tutorial screen

  • SCID now receives friend suggestions from Facebook, LINE and Kakao if the player's friends have also connected their account to SCID

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where El Primo's Asteroid Belt explosion effect was not matching the effective area of the explosion, as a result the visual explosion area has been increased by 26%.

  • Fixed an issue where Dynamike's Satchel Charge stun effect was only applied to one dynamite stick

  • Fixed a rare issue which caused pushback effects to send Brawlers flying mid-air

  • Non-exclusive Brawl Pass Brawler pins can now be collected from the reward track if the Season Brawler has been unlocked but the Brawler alternate reward has not been collected yet

Source: Reddit


DayZ update 1.09 hotfix live on Experimental servers

Bohemia Interactive have pulled the lever on a new DayZ update hotfix following the game's recent version 1.09 patch.

The developers of the popular sandbox survival game deployed the new update today, but it's only accessible to those playing on PC via the Experimental servers.

This hotfix comes just a couple of days after Bohemia rolled out 1.09 across all platforms. Interestingly, those die-hard DayZ players who run community servers were asked by the developers to manually fix their user-owned servers.

Here are the patch notes for version 1.09.153402. Although Bohemia has been aiming for parity between PC and console editions of DayZ, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players will likely have to wait until update 1.10 before these changes arrive. Anyway, here are the hotfix notes in full:

FIXED

  • Fixed a crash while loading into the main menu/server (caused by corrupted local cached character data)
  • Fixed a bug, allowing the player to drag full stacks of stones by using the combine area in the inventory
  • Fixed an issue resulting in unmounted but attached barbed wire giving a damage
  • Fixed an issue causing weapons to become stuck when dropped from an unconscious player during reload
  • Fixed a bug preventing pulling dead players from the Olga in certain cases

CHANGED

  • Placement of base building objects was made less restrictive (reducing gaps in between)
  • The Revolver reload should be more responsive now
  • Increased the durability of the IJ-70 pistol

We've been following DayZ's journey since its infant days as an Arma II mod way, way back. Thanks to advent of video game streaming, it quickly soared in popularity and plans were made to grow DayZ into its own standalone title.

Many years later it would arrive on current-gen systems including PS4 and Xbox One. However, when we finally got our hands on the final product we weren't too pleased, scoring DayZ a miserable 2/10:

DayZ has a rich history, a long lineage of war stories and strange survivor tales that have drawn thousands down its rabbit hole, but its reality is very different. There's nothing here but a dull, vacuous wasteland, devoid of character and relying solely on players to make their own fun.

The game has since launched its first premium expansion "Livonia" which adds an entirely new map/region to DayZ.

Source: DayZ Forums


Ubisoft CEO issues statement regarding recent scandals ahead of Ubisoft Forward stream

In stark contrast to the Ubisoft Forward stream held in July, CEO Yves Guillemot has directly addressed the flood of shocking allegations made this summer against a number of Ubisoft employees and executives, and the actions the company has taken since then.

"This summer, we learned that certain Ubisoft employees did not uphold our company's values," Guillemot said, "and that our systems failed to protect the victims of their behaviour. I am truly sorry to everyone who was hurt.

"We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction those who violated our values and code of conduct, and we are working heard to improve our systems and processes. We are also focussed on improving diversity and inclusivity at all levels of the company."

He continued, "We are at the start of a long journey. Real change will take time, but I'm determined to do everything in my power to ensure everyone at Ubisoft feels welcome, respected and safe."

It's true that the company has taken steps in the last few months, removing Tommy FrançoisMaxime Béland, Serge Hascoët, Ashraf Ismail and other Ubisoft executives for after allegations of varying severity were levied against them. However, further allegations were made in August which have not yet been publicly addressed, as Ubisoft deal with these matters internally with the help of third parties.

Also in the last month Ubisoft released Tom Clancy's Elite Squad on mobile and then removed imagery of a raised black fist, at a time where such imagery in combination with the actions within the game played too closely to the Black Lives Matter movement that rose to protest the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. The studio behind it? The one run by Yves Guillemot's son Charlie Guillemot who was awarded a high ranking role right out of uni. Cool.

Guillemot addressed this as well. "One of our recent mobile games included content that was inappropriate. This kind of oversight cannot happen. We are putting in place safeguards to prevent it in the future. We condemn anyone using our games as a proxy for hate or toxicity. We fully support the Black Lives Matter movement."

Ubisoft are putting more funds into their graduate programme, looking to increase diversity within their studios, and also donating to the NAACP legal defence fund.

Ubisoft are publicly making steps forward, and Guillemot making these statements and taking various actions is positive, but there is still a concern that systemic issues will remain for a long time to come. It's difficult to believe that Guillemot was not personally aware of at least some of the transgressions that occurred, and allegations went years without being addressed internally until they were made public. We'll have to wait and see if and how the company can truly make changes over the coming weeks, months and years.


Here's the thicc Xbox Series X and S pictured next to a PS4 Pro for comparison

It seems Microsoft have shipped out a load of Xbox Series X and S consoles to various people so they can go hands on, but don not get excited, they've sent empty cases. Eyebrows are being raised the consoles are rather more chonky than we thought. Here is the Xbox Series S pictured beside a PlayStation 4 Pro.

As you can see it's about the same thickness, but is not as deep as the Sony console, that looks fine doesn't it? Now let's take a look at the Xbox Series X beside a PS4 Pro.

To quote a member of the TSA staff, "that is not a console that's a weapon of mass destruction." What a thicc boy the Xbox Series X is! Here's another shot with the Series XX on top of the current Xbox One X.

Fans Xbox boxes will be pleased to know the Xbox Series X box has also been revealed!

The Xbox Series X and the Series S set to launch on the 10th November 2020. The Series X will retail for £449 or $499, while the Series S weighs in at £249 or $299. There will also be a 24-month subscription offer bundling a console, <a href="https://www.thesixthaxis.com/2020/09/09/xbox-game-pass-ea-play-free-membership-series-x-all-access-subscription/">Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play together</a> starting from an exceedingly tempting $24.99 / £20.99 per month for Series S, and $34.99 / £28.99 per month for Series X.

In case you missed it, here are the specs for the two new consoles.

Xbox Series X Xbox Series S
CPU 8-Core Zen 2 @ 3.8Ghz / 3.6Ghz w/ SMT 8–Core Zen 2 @ 3.6Ghz / 3.4Ghz w/ SMT
GPU RDNA 2 GPU – 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz RDNA 2 – 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
GPU Power 12.15 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS
Memory 16 GB GDDR6 10 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s 8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s
Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS 1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Internal Storage 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD 512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed) 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage 1 TB NVME Expansion Card 1 TB NVME Expansion Card
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive Digital Only
Video Output HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR
Backward Compatibility Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox
Availability 10th November 2020 10th November 2020
Price $499 / £449 / €499 $299 / £249 / €299

Source: Gamespot 


A third Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire stream is coming next week

A third episode of Night City Wire will be held next week at 5PM UK time on Friday 18th September, giving us another dive into the world of Cyberpunk 2077. Each stream focusses on different areas of CD Projekt Red's game and some additional side projects, with CDPR Head of Comms Hollie Bennett seeming to tease a range of tie in merchandise…

Cyberpunk 2077 is out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on 19th November. It will be playable on Xbox Series X | S at that point – the consoles coming out on 10th November – and on PlayStation 5 whenever that console releases later this year, but next-gen enhancements will not be there on day one. The game could take some advantages next-gen beyond simple backward compatibility, but for ray tracing and other more integral enhancements, we'll have to wait.

The last two Night City Wire streams have done things like reveal the Braindance gameplay, and the development of a Cyberpunk 2077 – Edgerunners anime series coming in 2022. The second stream then dove into the various Lifepaths you can choose for V, some of the weaponry that you'll be able to wield, and spoke to Swedish hardcore punk band Refused about how they're channeling their inner cyberpunk personas to embody the in-game band Samurai.

Cyberpunk 2077 has gone through a string of late delays in its development process. It was first pinned down for March 2020 at last year's E3, before CD Projekt Red announced that they were delaying the multiplayer side of the game a few months later. At the turn of 2020, the hype for the game was picking up, but in mid-January, they dropped the bombshell that they would delay the game until September so that they could polish and refine it further. That was then pushed back further to 19th November, putting the game right in the increasingly messy month of next-gen console launches.

Source: HollieB


No More Heroes 3 delayed until 2021

The highly-anticipated Switch excxlusive No More Heroes 3 has been delayed until 2021, with game director Suda51 popping up on Twitter to break the bad news.

In the announcement, Suda51 starts by offering his apologies for the absence of any news, and acknowledges that "2020 has been a very tough period for many of you." It's the difficulty of dealing with this year that's led to the delay. "Grasshopper have been working as hard as possible on developing the game in hopes of releasing in 2020, but the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have unfortunately proven to be a real body blow to our schedule, causing unforseen delays in development."

Grasshopper will now be targeting a 2021 release, but in a glimmer of good news for fans, Darick Robertson, of The Boys fame, will be providing illustrations for the game.

No More Heroes 3 sees Travis to his home town of Santa Destroy, where he finds a huge artificial metropolis floating in the sea and unidentified flying objects above. Robin Atkin Downes and Paula Tiso are both to their roles as Travis Touchdown and Sylvia Christel, while the soundtrack will be provided by musician and actor Nobuaki Kaneko of the band RIZE.

The last entry in the series was the even more off-beat game Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, a weird and wonderful dip into Suda51's mind when it released at the start of 2019.

As Miguel wrote in our 8/10 review, "If you love No More Heroes, or any work of Suda51's, then Travis Strikes Again is a must-play game. It's a creative explosion of fanservice, callbacks and classic Travis Touchdown charm that will make any fan grin from ear to ear. […] Travis Strikes Again is a love letter to gaming, and the perfect way to whet fans appetites before No More Heroes 3 gets made proper."

Source: Suda51


Ubisoft say Skull & Bones is still in development "with a new vision", won't be in Ubisoft Forward stream

What has happened to Skull & Bones, Ubisoft Singapore's piratical multiplayer game? Well, unfortunately for those who thought it looked a bit of alright, the bad news is that it's still deep in development as the studio pivot the game to follow "a new vision." For this reason, it definitely will not be a part of tonight's Ubisoft Forward stream, and will instead have to await some kind of re-reveal in 2021.

The game was revealed at E3 2017 and was described as "naval combat is taken to the next level", but has been delayed multiple times, most recently in May. That original vision pitched a shared systemic world, where you can sail with other players or execute betrayals. There was a 5v5 mode called The Loot Hunt, and you can disguise your ship to evade detection. Each ship has a special abilities such as siege mode which has no limits on cannon fire when the vessel is anchored. If you're facing a powerful foe you can invite other players in to the battle to even the odds.

The game could obviously be very different now, with a recent report suggesting that it's been pivoted to a live service game. Ubisoft's statement explains that it was "necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team", which happened two years ago, and that it's expanded to be a global effort including the Ubisoft studios in Berlin, Chengdu, Kiev, Paris and the Philippines

As Skull & Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team. I was one of those people when I joined as Skull & Bones' creative director a little over two years ago. I have been part of the game's core team that leads many of the talented developers at Ubisoft Singapore. Since then, many new talents have joined our global crew.

Skull & Bones was set to launch on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but given the rather long delay, we can expect that it will also now be targeting PS5 and Xbox Series X. The numerous delays and adjusted development hasn't stopped Ubisoft from forging ahead with its multimedia plans for the setting, a Skull & Bones TV show is in the works with Atlas Entertainment for a female-led adventure in the 1700s.

Here's the full statement from Creative Director Elisabeth Pellen:

First and foremost, thank you to our fans for showing tremendous patience. We know you've been waiting for news, so I'm thrilled to confirm this: production on Skull & Bones has been in full swing with a new vision. Our teams at Ubisoft Singapore are fully committed to launching the game, as well as supporting it for many years to come. While our game won't be present at Ubisoft Forward on September 10, we're currently working on plans to present Skull & Bones sometime in the future. It will be worth the wait.

Many of you have been wondering why we've had to postpone our launch. The answer is that we simply needed more time. We dreamt something bigger for Skull & Bones, and these ambitions naturally came with bigger challenges.

These difficulties resulted in necessary delays for our game. Critical questions needed to be addressed over the past several months such as: how do we modernize the classic pirate fantasy? How do we ensure a more immersive and visceral experience? How do we create cool and memorable moments in-game? For most of these questions to be answered, it was clear that we needed more development time.

As Skull & Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team. I was one of those people when I joined as Skull & Bones' creative director a little over two years ago. I have been part of the game's core team that leads many of the talented developers at Ubisoft Singapore. Since then, many new talents have joined our global crew.

From our teams in Ubisoft Berlin, Chengdu, Kiev, Paris and the Philippines, it is truly a team effort. The dedication and passion of our developers continue to fuel our drive to make Skull & Bones something all of us can be proud of. Our confidence in each other's talents is what motivates us to push Skull & Bones towards the finish line and beyond.

We're proud of the work we've done and we hope you will be too when you see more of Skull & Bones at our comeback next year. Until then, on behalf of everyone in the Skull & Bones team around the world, keep safe and we will see you again soon!

Source: Ubisoft


The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake has leaked

The Russian Uplay Store seems to have spoiled one of Ubisoft's surprises for tonight's Ubisoft Forward streaming event, namely a remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. It looks, er, different.

The game has already had a remaster on PlayStation 3 so this will be the third time round for the title. There's also a short animation from the leak.

We recently discovered that a tech demo / pre-viz of a new PoP game, Prince of Persia Redemption, had been sat on YouTube since 2012 and no one noticed.

Ubisoft have recently registered a domain name for Prince of Persia 6, princeofpersia6.com, leading to speculation that the franchise might return on next gen consoles. However, the domain is held by GoDaddy rather than Ubisoft's usual provider, and when we last checked had the status code is ClientHold, which means it had not been paid for at the time.

The last official console game was The Forgotten Sands which was based on Disney's film adaptation starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

The Prince has popped up recently but not in his own game, he guest starred in a For Honor event.

Once upon a time, there was a Prince from a distant land who wanted to escape death at all costs. One day, he arrived in a secluded harbor and clashed with mighty warriors. The Prince had to use his mystical dagger to change his destiny and survive. Yet meddling with time would have dark consequences for his stranded soul…

Other than that the Prince was also seen on mobile way back in 2013. The Shadow And The Flame was set after the events of the original game (which Ubisoft are now dubbing 'Classic') and boasted an "epic journey" with "visually-stunning 3D" and "intuitive controls" designed for touchscreens, which means gesture-based touch controls, or a virtual joystick.

Source: ResetEra


Minoria Review

When a game is all about warrior nuns waging war with heretical witches how can it possibly be bad? The answer, when it comes to 2.5D nun 'em up Minoria, is that it can't.

Okay, you got me, Minoria isn't really a run and nun 'em up – though that really should be a thing – instead this is a classic Metroidvania. It is also wonderfully, blissfully, free from any unnecessary roguelite mechanics. This is the kind of Metroidvania that Samus would be proud of and a game that deservedly sits alongside Hollow Knight as a highlight of the genre.

The tale of Minoria is set within the Witch Wars. Which Witch War does Minoria take place during? That would be the fourth Witch War. Which is, as I'm sure you'll agree, arguably the best of all the Witch Wars. Enjoyably, rather than being pointless guff, the backstory in Minoria is surprisingly deep and informs a plot full of twists and turns. This is not as simple a narrative as you would otherwise think, with a layered story that keeps on giving deep into the end game.

The player is cast as Sister Semilla (which, embarrassingly, I thought was Sister Semolina for far too long) who, alongside the talking head of Sister Fran, must venture deep into the castle of the heretics for a spot of princess rescuing and baddie bashing. Sister Semilla works for the Sacred Order, though perhaps all is not what it seems as they delve further into the dark maze that makes up the castle and its grounds.

With all the confidence of someone who completed every Metroid in their youth, I was lured into a false sense of security by Minoria. Than I meet the first ball-headed demon who promptly killed Semilla with one lazy strike. The only thing that surprised me more is that Semilla explodes into what appears to be a pack of cards thrown in the air with wild abandon upon her death. What's that all about?

Minoria is hard from the very beginning. But it is, to its great credit, absolutely fair. The attacks of the enemy are clear to read and respond to, you just have to up your reactions to do so. After a painful slog in the game's opening, I found that my reflexes soon started to improve. An elegant combination of attack, dodge and parry makes up the combat of the game and it is a mechanic that is satisfying in its simplicity. There's fantastic audio and visual feedback to every every attack you land, whilst dodging is so immaculate in its delivery you'll wonder how other games manage to get it so very wrong.

Parrying really is the name of the game – thankfully it's not really called 'Parrying', as that would be a rubbish name for a video game – nail the timing and Semilla will wipe out her enemy with an over-powered counterattack, but fumble it and see most of your health bar wiped out. It's an intoxicating risk and reward mechanic, and one that is immeasurably improved as your skill at the game increases. Soon I was parrying attacks I wouldn't have even dared earlier on, a yelp of joy coming out of me every time I did.

There's another risk and reward system that's the beating heart of Minoria and the reason why the game haunts my dreams. As you explore the labyrinthian map, chock full of secret passages and short cuts you'll be pleased to know, you'll acquire new weapons, relics (basically the game's magic attacks and passives) and level up. However, if you die before making it to the safety of a floating inkpot in order to save the game then you'll lose everything you've gathered between saves and it's back to the last inkpot you go. It's a design that constantly puts you on the edge of your seat.

Dare you plunge deeper into the maze and explore another sector and maybe find the safety of a new inkpot or do you cut your losses and head back to more familiar environments? This surely would have led to frustration had the placing of these save spots not been so well implemented, fortunately the positioning of the inkpots is pretty much perfect. Minoria will punish you, but not unfairly so. It will also make your armpits sweaty as you desperately push on through an ultra-tough dungeon, hoping against hope that there's a quick save in the next room. There's also, thank Zeus' curly soup strainer, a quick save before every boss.

Boss fights are, of course, a key part of any Metroidvania and can make or break a game. Minoria somehow manages the careful balancing act of the boss fights being initially impossibly hard, but feel entirely achievable. On a first try Semilla will be dead in seconds. Yet as you return to the boss its attacks patterns will begin to reveal themselves and then suddenly, as if by magic, you'll take down the boss that had, until this point, seemed unbeatable. It's a remarkable achievement and one that is continued until the end of the game. The player will certainly need to power-up to take on these tough enemies, but the game never resorts to tedious grinding. Instead you'll naturally level-up as you explore the environment, discover secrets and track down powerful relics.

Unfortunately the disappointing map screen can make this process far more difficult than it need be. The map cannot be scrolled, limiting your view to only  the immediate rooms around them. There's also no visual representation of doors nor the type of key required to open them, which results in unnecessary traipsing as you try to remember where the doors were that can now be opened by your brand new shiny key. A clearer map would have certainly aided the process of discovery and prevented irritation from inevitably getting a bit lost.

Visually Minoria is charming, bringing to mind in many places the delicate, almost ethereal aesthetic of Team Ico's work. Despite the dream-like quality I never lost track of where Semilla or her enemy were. Character design is robust enough to stand out against the airy and varied backdrops. There is one oddity though, the game's obsession with overly bouncing breasts. The princess and several demons clearly have boobs that defy gravity as they bounce around like a blancmange on a plane in turbulence. It's an unappealing choice and one that stands at odds with the excellent design work elsewhere. It's as if Team Ninja gave Ico the Dead or Alive treatment and I'm not sure anyone wants to see that.


FUSER Preview – a Harmonix music festival with some real big deck energy

If there's a studio in gaming synonymous with music, it's Harmonix. Progenitor of rhythm-action genre as we know it, they've spent fifteen years finding ways to marry sound and action into games, and with their latest offering, Fuser, they've returned to show why they're the masters of this particular art.

Fuser is the digital evolution of Harmonix' musical card game Dropmix. That had you laying down different musical loop cards on a physical board that tied into your tablet or phone, creating on-the fly mixes that were a huge amount of fun to play around with. Fuser takes that idea and runs back to your home console or PC with it, letting you craft a DJ set with little more than a gamepad or mouse, while you get to work on your craft while playing for a digital – or even a real world – audience.

You start off every set by checking out your Crate. This is where you keep all your music – these crates are stuffed with loads of digital CDs and vinyl – as well as all of your Instruments, Effects and Snapshots. There's so much you can have in here it's less a crate and more a flight case that needs three roadies to push it around, but it's the hub you need to line yourself up for success.

Depending on what you're doing, you might not have total control over what goes into your Crate. Different stages have different scenarios or requirements, and some of that might mean you simply can't step out onto the stage without Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up. While you can't turn around and desert him, if you're looking for more of a free-flowing experience there's Freestyle and Multiplayer modes where you can truly flex those creative, disc-spinning muscles.

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There's music from every genre out there, so whether you're a pop fan, rocker or country music aficionado there's something for you to bang out. This initial hands on featured a modest number of tracks, but even within them the range of options is dizzying. Does Rage's Killing in the Name Of work with Bobby Brown's My Perogative? Can I put the vocals from Aha's Take On Me to the bass line from Karol G's Tusa?

The answer might not always be yes, but it's a hell of a lot of fun finding out. When you hit the mix just right, and everything comes together, it truly feels like you are DJing at a huge festival or one of those nightclub things we used to remember.

On stage you have four decks to drop tracks or instruments onto. At a basic level you'll drop in one each from drums, bass, guitar and vocals, but you can layer the same type together if you want to hear what four different drum beats sound like, or want to assault your ears with four sets of vocals.

The first stage lets you get to grips with everything, and your primary goals tick up on the right-hand side of the screen. On top of that you've then got requests coming in from the crowd who want to hear a particular song or genre, and all in all you've got to keep everyone happy. Daniel Sussman, Fuser's Project Director, described it as "a plate spinning game", and it's a perfect analogy. You're constantly trying to balance everything, aiming for the best score, or simply not to upset the crowd to the point where you're booed off stage. That definitely hurts.

In classic Harmonix style there's a five star rating system to work within, but how you get there is very often up to you. Hitting goals and answering requests is a big part of it, but there's skill involved once you learn you can earn extra points for dropping in discs on the downbeat, and you have to consistently evolve your mix to keep the crowd happy. It's head-bopping, disc-spinning fun, and while it's a very different creature to your Rock Band or Guitar Hero, it has that same elemental link between music and action.

Alongside the campaign, there's competitive and collaborative multiplayer to get into with your friends and family. Competitive sees two players going head to head, battling for control of the mix, while collaborative has up to four players each taking turns to put the mix together. You can even have spectators here as well, dropping you comments and emojis while you DJ for them. There's a 'Hottest Mix' accolade to be won here for some of the bragging rights.

Whatever you're doing you can earn XP. Style tokens and music tokens unlock as you play, expanding your creative options visually and aurally, and giving the game a welcome sense of progression within the free-flowing grooves. It's clear that there's going to be ongoing community events, and a steady flow of new tracks available, to keep players coming back to the decks.

Community and sharing is a big part of that. To start with you can save and capture a mix. Sticking Fuser into capture mode gives you up to 32 bars to play around in, and if you're not happy you can rewind and drop elements in again. You can then name and share it with the Fuser community where you can gain new followers beyond your friends.

You can also download it as a video that you can drop into your socials – maybe to pull in more fans for Fuser, or maybe just for you. The game itself features a Social Hub, which provides a feed showing you the activity of your friends and other players you follow. From there you can like mixes that you find, providing those vital social likes, begin to build a following all your own, or discover new players who are doing incredible things. I can see it becoming a major part of Fuser's ongoing success.

Fuser isn't a magical catch-all DJ set mixer; you can get things wrong, you can even make it sound bad, but then that's half the fun. You're going to learn what works together, and what really doesn't. There's so much room for experimentation between the tracks, the instruments and the effects that I think we're going to see and hear some amazing things from players when the game releases on the 10th November. I can't wait to get my headphones on and start spinning those discs.


Street Power Football Review

FIFA Street was a defining game for many multiplayer sessions during the PS2 era, offering pick up and play gaming and the potential for some crazy goalscoring feats, but it wasn't the only option. Personally I always preferred the over the top cartoony characters of the under-appreciated Sega Soccer Slam, while my friends swore by Mario Strikers. Whatever your chosen flavour, it's safe to say that the street soccer genre's golden age was a long while back now. Whilst EA attempted to bring things back with the Volta mode in FIFA 20, there's clearly a gap in the market for a standalone game. That brings us to Street Power Football, which looks perfectly set to occupy that gap… until you try to play it, that is.

Of all the things I'm going to criticise about Street Power Football, I'm not going to include the music. It isn't to my taste and there are some awful remixes of classic dance tunes from the 90s, but I'll happily put this down to the target audience wanting something different than I do. That one caveat down, let's get down to business.

Street Power Football is one of the worst games I've had the misfortune of playing for quite some time, despite the glitzy appearance of the trailer. It manages to take a seemingly foolproof genre and ruin it across a series of dull game modes featuring some of the worst controls and smug presentation choices you could ever have to endure. I normally try to look for the positive in my reviews and have found enjoyment in many flawed titles, but trust me when I say that there is nothing here worth your time, let alone the full retail cost. To be this bad is one thing, but to price it the same as FIFA or PES is just a bit insulting.

The game is stuffed with tons of flashy trick animations as you might expect, but they lack the fluid blending to make them feel enjoyable and the general running motion looks awkward Combined with unattractive character models, it's the most unpleasant thing to appear on a football field since the Tottenham team all came down with food poisoning. Camera angles are surprisingly poor, with the standard game being played out from a viewpoint that makes judging distance unnecessarily hard and the trick shot mini-game using an over the shoulder view that doesn't even allow you to see the path of the ball properly.

There are times here when it genuinely looks like the worst possible design choice was taken at every turn, and remember this is supposed to be a full price title in 2020 (although given the state of this year, maybe this is exactly what we deserve). Even the presentation around the game is bad, with ugly menu screens and one of the worst uses of green screen you could expect in a video game.

The aforementioned green screen comes in due to the career mode. You are greeted by Sean Garnier, the winner of the inaugural street style world championship in 2008. He begins by relating (at length) the story of his own path to glory in a move that had me thinking that this might be a cool take on FIFA's journey mode, but no. You don't follow Sean's path at all, but will be constantly interrupted by his takes on your progress. Instead you just go through an interminable sequence of mini challenges that require you to show off your skills in the various modes. These become quite tough early on, which is a positive in one way but doesn't help when the game itself plays so badly. The whole Garnier side of the game gives the same impression as a self-published autobiography and I found myself wondering if this was some kind of Alan Partridge-like parody at times. The alternative is that it is all quite smug and self-serving, so I'm not really sure if that's worse.

Aside from career mode (but also in career mode) you have the option to play 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 standard street football, the aforementioned trickshots, freestyle, and the 1v1 nutmeg-tastic Panna mode. These all succeed in competing to be the worst so let's see what they have to offer.

Standard street mode is the closest to enjoyable that the game gets, but mostly just makes you want to dig out literally any other football game for a better experience. Power ups are glitchy, tackling is almost non-existent and the camera makes everything frustrating. Trickshots should be fun, but again, the bizarre camera angle manages to ruin this mode. Freestyle is perhaps the worst of the lot, boiling down to being a rhythm game that really shows off how turgid and unresponsive the controls are, whilst Panna is almost entirely unmemorable. It's almost impressive how bad the combined effect of this is, not so much more than the sum of its parts as just a barrage of awfulness.


Here is the Xbox Series X box box shot

The Xbox Series X and the Series S set to launch on the 10th November 2020. The Series X will retail for £449 or $499, while the Series S weighs in at £249 or $299. There will also be a 24-month subscription offer bundling a console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play together starting from an exceedingly tempting $24.99 / £20.99 per month for Series S, and $34.99 / £28.99 per month for Series X.

But here's the important bit – the Xbox Series X box! Woo!

It looks rather monolithic doesn't it? Not exactly a friendly beast, I'm sure I've seen something similar in an alien invasion movie.

In case you missed it, here are the specs for the two new consoles.

Xbox Series X Xbox Series S
CPU 8-Core Zen 2 @ 3.8Ghz / 3.6Ghz w/ SMT 8–Core Zen 2 @ 3.6Ghz / 3.4Ghz w/ SMT
GPU RDNA 2 GPU – 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz RDNA 2 – 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
GPU Power 12.15 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS
Memory 16 GB GDDR6 10 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s 8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s
Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS 1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Internal Storage 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD 512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed) 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage 1 TB NVME Expansion Card 1 TB NVME Expansion Card
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive Digital Only
Video Output HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR
Backward Compatibility Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox
Availability 10th November 2020 10th November 2020
Price $499 / £449 / €499 $299 / £249 / €299

 

Writing on Xbox.com, Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X said, "Backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and the SSD. No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the Xbox Series X for each and every backward compatible game."

Source: Twitter


Xbox Game Pass for PC leaves beta (and gets more expensive) on 17th September

After more than a year spent labelled as a beta, Microsoft are fully launching Xbox Game Pass for PC and the new Xbox App for Windows on 17th September. This will, of course, mean an end to the promotional price point that Game Pass for PC has enjoyed since the middle of last year.

Xbox Game Pass for PC will cost £7.99 per month from 17th September onwards, with the £3.99 price point fading into the sunset at that point. However, new subscribers can still try their first month for £1, and Game Pass for PC is still bundled into with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, alongside the console game library and Xbox Live Gold.

Later this year, Game Pass for PC and Game Pass Ultimate will also expand to include an EA Play membership, folding in 60 EA games into into the library. So alongside the evolving Halo: The Master Chief Collection and recent PC games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Wasteland 3 and Crusader Kings 3, you'll then find FIFA 20, Titanfall 2 and classics like Dead Space, Mass Effect and Crysis. It's more than just games, giving members 10-hour free trials of new titles a little in advance of their release, discounts on games to keep, and other member-only content and benefits.

Just to be sure, we reached out to Microsoft to confirm the beta pricing would be coming to an end. A Microsoft spokesperson said:

Both Xbox Game Pass for PC and the Xbox App become generally available September 17. New Xbox Game Pass for PC members can try their first month for $1, and existing members will keep their current pricing for the next billing cycle. After that, Xbox Game Pass for PC will be available for £7.99 a month. We worked with the PC gaming community to evolve both of these throughout their beta availability, and look forward to continuing that partnership as we iterate on what the future of PC gaming looks like from Xbox.

Xbox Game Pass for PC originally opened its doors in June of last year, at the time running out of the Microsoft Store app in Windows 10. However, it seems that a major part of the effort before Microsoft could shed the beta label has been the need to build a new Xbox App for PC. This has been in public testing for the last few months, providing a much more cohesive view into the Game Pass library, as well as letting you more easily browse games to buy and folding in the social friends lists, chat and messaging elements from Xbox Live – important if cross-platform multiplayer is to continue to expand.

The new Xbox App also showcases the new Fluent Design language that Microsoft are adopting for the revised Xbox user experience coming to Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One and mobile apps later this year.

Source: Microsoft


Necromunda: Underhive Wars Review

See the name Games Workshop and your mind will likely conjure up images of stoic space marines clad in power armour or frenzied orcs charging into battle with their guttural war chants.

However, between their work on Warhammer Fantasy and its 40K sci-fi counterpart, the beloved British company have spawned a series of interesting spin-offs over the years, from the D&D-like Warhammer Quest to Blood Bowl and obscurities such as Digganob. Yes, Digganob.

Two tabletop classics which have garnered a cult following over the past couple of decades are Mordheim and Necromunda, both of which have been adapted into video games thanks to developer Rogue Factor. What's immediately clear is that Necromunda: Underhive Wars is very much an evolution of Rogue Factor's third person, turn-based strategy template which debuted with the intriguing yet rough-edged Mordheim: City of the Damned.

Necromunda fans should know that Underhive Wars is based on GW's recent reboot of the skirmishing tabletop game and not the original 90s edition. The character models and overall visual stylings aren't quite as deliberately garish, though there's still a gritty, desperate vibe that feels different enough from your vanilla Warhammer 40,000 setting.

The Underhive is a filth-ridden metropolis overrun with crime and corruption as houses wage endless wars upon one another. Gangs run amok and when they're not spilling blood, they're delving far beneath the dying city in search of salvage and rumoured ancient treasures.

Developer Rogue Factor have done a great job in translating the core rules of the tabletop experience into something more video game-y. Instead of moving painted miniatures around a board, rolling dice, and flicking through source books, Necromunda: Underhive Wars goes for more of an XCOM approach instead. Well, it's really more of a Valkyria Chronicles approach for those familiar with Sega's under-appreciated PlayStation classic.

Two or more gangs will face off as they navigate dense battlefields packed with all kinds of hazards. Each map is multi-layered, allowing you to grapple, zipline, jump, climb, and vault terrain, perhaps to secure a vantage point or break the line of sight from a pursuing enemy. Your objectives will vary from battle to battle though often involve reaching a specified area of the map, taking down marked targets, and hauling precious salvage to an extraction zone.

Movement, as well as your available actions, are limited by two separate gauges. Typically, you can travel a fair distance while also being able to attack and perform a secondary action – reloading, using items, or looting chests, just to new a few. Players will take it in turns, activating one character at a time until all characters have been used and the end of a round restores all movement and action points.

Necromunda uses a third person camera, helping players to feel more immersed in the action instead of watching from above via a birdseye view. Going for the more traditional XCOM top-down camera wouldn't work here anyway due to the verticality of Necromunda's maps. Each is its own maze-like obstacle course which can be daunting at first, but encourages strategic positioning.

Unlike Mordheim before it, Underhive Wars features a story-driven campaign which fleshes out Necromunda lore with narrative missions, cinematic cutscenes, and a recurring cast of characters. This mode helps ease you into the Necromunda experience but is far from being a highlight. While there's some nice variety in terms of level design, characters poorly voiced and not at all likeable. This is made worse by technical hitches with the game's cutscenes in which the audio is a good few seconds behind the on-screen visuals.

The main appeal of Necromunda is being able to create your own gang from the ground up. Selecting one of the three available houses (there's an easy opportunity for Rogue Factor to add more post-launch) you spend credits and experience to craft a ragtag warband. The Goliath, Escher, and Orlock factions all come tagged with unique abilities with a decent spread of character classes, from snipers and brawlers to saboteurs, engineers, and leaders.

Assigning skills and attribute points, outfitting each member of your gang, the scope for customisation is pretty overwhelming at first. However, this is also where Necromunda comes into its own. You can lead your gang through various operations and skirmishes, as well as online showdowns, watching them grow over dozens of hours of gameplay. Or not – there's also a chance they'll incur injuries or be killed outright, adding a layer of lethality to each encounter.

In terms of visuals, Necromunda: Underhive Wars is a marked improvement over Rogue Factor's previous work. Character models are superbly detailed and offer a surprising level of customisation to swap out body parts and colour schemes as if you were assembling a collection of Games Workshop miniatures.

The biggest downer here is pacing. Much like Mordheim, matches in Necromunda are often reduced to a crawl as you wait for the enemy AI to take their turn. They put up a fair fight, capitalising on your mistakes and tactically positioning themselves, but this eats up precious time. Having some kind of fast forward or skip function would be ideal here and it's a baffling omission considering how present pacing issues were in Mordheim.


Xbox Series X | S final tech specs revealed – Series S RAM speed could affect backward compatibility

As part of today's Xbox Series X | S release date and pricing announcement, Microsoft have released a little slide detailing the final tech specs of the two consoles, showing the relative teraFLOP-iness of the two consoles, and confirming a few details about CPU speed and RAM size. What's surprising is that, since the start of this year, the Xbox Series X has apparently become just that little bit more powerful.

But first the Xbox Series S. The console has a lot in common with the Xbox Series X, with an 8-Core Zen 2 CPU, but this is clocked at 3.6Ghz or 3.4Ghz with SMT, putting it 200Mhz shy of the bigger console. That's paired with a 20 CU RDNA 2 GPU at 1.565Ghz, which produces 4 TFLOPS of power. There's also 10GB of GDDR6 RAM, with 8GB at 224GB/s (roughly half the speed of the Series X) and 2GB at a much, much lower 56GB/s on the Series S to cater for system processes. The 512GB SSD is an exact match for the speed of the Series X, and the console will take the same 1TB expansion card SSDs.

All of that is roughly what was expected, though it's clear they're scrimping a little on CPU speed. The main surprise is the speed of the RAM, which is dramatically slower, though a typical compromise made in GPU design for lower specced parts.

Update: As noted on Twitter by GigaBoots, the Series S has less of its speedier RAM (8GB) than the Xbox One X makes available to developers (9GB), and it also runs at 224GB/s compared to the One X's 326GB/s. The implication is that for backward compatibility to Xbox One titles, the Series S would not be able to run games in the One X mode, and would instead step back to original Xbox One resolutions up to 1080p. The Series S target of 1440p could also be the target it adopts for Xbox 360 and Xbox One backward compatibility.

But on to the Xbox Series X, where all of the specs match up exactly to the March hardware reveal… except one. The stated GPU Power is now at 12.15TFLOPS instead of 12TFLOPS. That's despite featuring the same 52CU design and having the same 1.825Ghz clock speed as announced way back when. All we can assume is that some kind of refinement of the GPU design on AMD's part has allowed them to eke out just a smidgeon, and almost unnoticeable amount of extra power.

Here's the full table:

Xbox Series X Xbox Series S
CPU 8-Core Zen 2 @ 3.8Ghz / 3.6Ghz w/ SMT 8–Core Zen 2 @ 3.6Ghz / 3.4Ghz w/ SMT
GPU RDNA 2 GPU – 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz RDNA 2 – 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
GPU Power 12.15 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS
Memory 16 GB GDDR6 10 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s 8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s
Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS 1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Internal Storage 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD 512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed) 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage 1 TB NVME Expansion Card 1 TB NVME Expansion Card
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive Digital Only
Video Output HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR
Backward Compatibility Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox
Availability 10th November 2020 10th November 2020
Price $499 / £449 / €499 $299 / £249 / €299

Source: Xbox


Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War multiplayer revealed – open beta announced for October

Treyarch have unveiled the multiplayer side of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, showing off some ambitious new settings and elements look to shake up the status quo of Call of Duty multiplayer in the game's 1980s Cold War setting. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is out on 13th November for Xbox Series X, PS4, Xbox One and PC, and maybe PlayStation 5 soon after.

A PS4 exclusive beta beta window kicks off on 8th October for those who pre-order the game digitally, before all PS4 players can take part on 10th October. The beta then opens on all platforms from 15th-19th October.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will feature cross-generational, cross-progression and cross-platform multiplayer, uniting all platforms in a fundamental way.

Deniable Operations are what Treyarch say unify their globe-trotting game and its multiplayer. Each location has a story to it, with those seen in the trailer include Miami, the North Atlantic, Angola, Moscow and the Ural Mountains, each of which leans on vehicles in some way, whether it's tanks, boats, jetskis, helicopters or more.

Classic game modes like Team Deathmatch, Domination and Search and Destroy will be there, as will the return of Domination, but there's also new game modes:

  • VIP Escort – a 6v6 objective-based mode where you try to escort one of the players, the designated VIP player – who's equipped with a fancy pistol, spy plane for intel and smoke grenade – needs to reach one of two exfiltration sites, or you wipe out the other team.
  • Combined Arms – a 12v12 battle that brings vehicular warfare into the mix.
  • Fireteam – a new 40-player category of Black Ops Multiplayer with up to 10 teams of four. The first available Fireteam game type is called Dirty Bomb, with more details planned for a later time.

Treyarch are mixing up some of the fundamentals of multiplayer, with Create-a-Class and Scorestreaks.

Create-a-Class will just be a straight up slot system, so you have all classes of weapon and equipment. Field Upgrades are new in-game items that can be used to help your team or hinder enemies, and they persist after your death with a cooldown. Wildcards also return to give you more customisation options.

The Gunsmith has been expanded so there's eight attachment points with at least six options per point. There's up to 54 attachments per gun, and the benefits and drawbacks will be shown to you immediately.

Scorestreaks now persist between deaths to help level the playing field between players. That might still require a lot of points, but it will be combined with cooldowns so that they cannot simply be spammed. Some Scorestreaks also act as anti-Scorestreak measures.

Treyarch explained four changes made to player movement:

  • Sprint Take Off – Operators automatically receive a burst of speed when starting a sprint, then settle down to a normal sprint speed.
  • Sliding – Slides start and end in a crouched position for a more believable movement pattern.
  • Footstep Control – Faster movement makes more noise, while slower movement doesn't make as much sound. Players can further reduce the sound of their footsteps with the return of the classic Ninja Perk.
  • Jumping – Expect more natural height in jumps, which briefly slows an operator down as they land.

For Call of Duty: Warzone, Black Ops Cold War will kick off a new era for the battle royale game. It will see weapons and vehicles from Black Ops being introduced to that game, start a new narrative arc, and feature new rewards. You won't be starting over, with everything you've already unlocked continuing through Warzone, but also with cross-progression between Warzone and Black Ops Cold War.

You can watch the full stream here:


Gears Tactics will be an Xbox Series X | S launch title

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will have at least one launch day exclusive, coming in the form of Gears Tactics, the turn-based strategy spin-off from the Gears of War franchise. The game will be out on 10th November alongside the next-gen consoles, but will also be coming to the Xbox One family of consoles at the same time.

Of course… it's already out for PC – insert snippy comment about exclusivity and not being new here.

The game serves as a prequel to the original games, introducing Gabe Diaz, the future father to Gears 4 and 5 protagonist Kait Diaz, who finds himself wrapped up in one of the dastardly plots of Chairman Prescott, right after the tumultuous events of Emergence Day. You're tasked with seeking out Ukkon and dealing a serious blow to the Locust army.

Developed by Splash Damage, the game arrived on Windows 10 back in April to a good amount of praise for its pacey XCOM-like turn-based combat. Would you have guessed that the cover-shooter mechanics of Gears could translate to this genre?

In our Gears Tactics PC review, Dom said:

There's a sense that this is Splash Damage and The Coalition playing to the crowd with Gears Tactics. It undoubtedly captures the look and feel of the Gears universe, squeezing it into a slick turn-based tactical game, but while I can see a few genre fans attracted to its more cerebral form of warfare, it's the series fans who are going to get the most out of it.

It was always known that the game would eventually come to console, but Gears Tactics will prop up the first party side of the Xbox Series X | S launch line up in lieu of having the delayed Halo Infinite. It makes sense, with Gears Tactics and Microsoft Flight Simulator both pitched as PC-first titles as befits their genres, coming out earlier this year before following onto the trickier console platform with different controller requirements. We're still waiting to hear on when Flight Sim might make the short haul over.

In the meantime, the Xbox Series X | S launch already looks absolutely packed with new and near releases. Dirt 5, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Gears Tactics, Tetris Effect: Connected, and Watch Dogs: Legion all ready on the 10th, not to mention Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Yakuza: Like a Dragon on the 13th, and Cyberpunk 2077 on 19th November!

It's going to be mad.


Pathfinder: Kingmaker console patch will fix save corruption, progression bugs and more

The release of Pathfinder: Kingmaker Definitive Edition for PS4 and Xbox One on 18th August should have been a crowning moment for the game, bringing the vast CRPG by Owlcat Games to a new audience on console. Instead, it's been a bit of a debacle, with many complaints about interface and gameplay bugs, as well as more serious issues that block progression in one of the DLC expansions, and corrupted and broken save files.

Owlcat have been working hard to remedy the issues, but have found themselves needing to wait extended periods to get their game updates through certification on both consoles – the day one patch for Xbox One was actually only released two weeks later!

There is good news in that an update that fixes many of the most serious issues is currently going through certification. The bad news is that there's no definite ETA on when it will be released. It's because of this that our review has not yet been posted. Gareth has been playing the game since release – it's dozens of hours long, which is why it's taken this long – and with the potentially imminent patch, we've decided to hold off to check the issues that we have butted up against. Our advice is to wait for the update before considering the game.

Signs are somewhat promising though, reading through the patch notes. Beware that there may be plot spoilers in the patch notes below.

Pathfinder Kingmaker Patch Notes

Highlights

  • Fixed the issue due to which sometimes it was impossible to save the game.
  • Respec should work fine now.
  • Black screen after the cutscene in Varnhold's Lot DLC was fixed.
  • Issues that led to broken saves were fixed.
  • When saving a game on PS4, you could see an error message about insufficient disk space even if there was enough space. Resolution: fixed.
  • If there wasn't enough space on the console, the saved games could become corrupted. Resolution: fixed. Now a message about insufficient disk space is displayed on Xbox.

Areas

  • It was possible to enter the locations that required certain companions even if you had no such companions in your party. Resolution: fixed. If you are stuck in such a location, try loading an autosaved game before entering the area.
  • There were some incorrect ways of exiting the location with the Everblooming Flower in the Other World. Resolution: fixed.
  • Zombies in Vordakai's Tomb failed to use weapons. Resolution: fixed.
  • It was possible to start a fight with Marquise Immolatia when entering Lostlarn Keep — Upper Reaches. Resolution: fixed.
  • Dallirun Myrnas failed to summon the undead on the Flintrock Grassland. Resolution: fixed.
  • Kassil Aldori was missing on the Flintrock Grassland. Resolution: fixed.
  • You could no longer interact with Astradaemon at Vordakai's Tomb after talking to him. Resolution: fixed.
  • Now you cannot leave Vordakai's Tomb until you talked to Maegar Varn.
  • In the Other World area, the teleporting system was greatly improved to prevent characters from being stuck when they use teleportation spells (e.g. Dimension Door).
  • If your main character fell unconscious before your companions when you first met the Technic League, that could lead to gameplay-related issues in the area. Resolution: fixed.
  • Fixed the issues with the characters' movement in the Stag Lord's Fort.
  • Fixed the error due to which you could lose control over your party after Tristian's attack at the Abandoned Keep.
  • It was impossible to enter the Valley of the Dead if Jaethal wasn't in the party. Resolution: fixed.
  • The characters could sometimes be stuck in the throne room. Resolution: fixed.
  • Fixed the issue with the freezing of Octavia and Regongar's scene in the tavern.
  • In Jamandi's mansion and some other areas, weapons sometimes were hanging in the air. Resolution: fixed.
  • The main character was hanging in the air during the dialogue with Kaessi in her house. Resolution: fixed.

Quests

  • When you chose a chaotic evil option in the dialogue with Rook at the Ruined Watchtower, it was impossible to get the item necessary to solve the puzzle. Resolution: fixed.
  • Even if one of the tiefling sisters was dead, you could still ask to talk to her in the corresponding dialogue in the capital. That resulted in numerous further issues. Resolution: fixed.
  • The romance dialogue with Tristian started each time the player's character entered the main square in the Capital. Resolution: fixed.
  • When companions joined the main character, sometimes they were not linked. Resolution: fixed.

Classes & Mechanics

  • Fixed the issues with Nereids' aura in the game saves.
  • The alchemists could use Fast Bombs as a standard action. Resolution: fixed.
  • The kineticist's Shroud of Water ability worked incorrectly. Resolution: fixed.
  • Frightened characters couldn't take actions in their turn in turn-based mode. Resolution: fixed.
  • Characters with the Kinetic Blade ability were unable to attack enemies in turn-based combat if they needed to come closer to their target. Resolution: fixed.
  • Spells that have a line of effect and cone-shaped spells sometimes failed to hit the targets that were standing behind opened doors. Resolution: fixed.
  • Fixed the duration of Gather Power and other effects in turn-based mode.
  • The abilities that used a swift action each round, spent it even if they were disabled. If a swift action was spent, the prediction panel showed that a free-action ability would be used as a standard action. Resolution: fixed.
  • The kinetic knights started the game with 0 gold. Resolution: fixed.
  • The kineticist's action panel was sometimes displayed incorrectly. Resolution: fixed.

Items

  • Fixed the Necklace of Double Crosses.

User Interfaces

  • Now the effect duration is displayed in rounds in turn-based combat.
  • The page for the Illusion school of magic was empty. Resolution: fixed.
  • Unessential messages are no longer displayed in the combat log during cutscenes at the House at the Edge of Time.
  • Some converted spells were incorrectly displayed on the spell panel. Resolution: fixed.
  • In some cases, hints in the Equipment and Inventory windows were displayed incorrectly. Resolution: fixed.
  • Fixed the issue when Amiri's fourth weapon slot was locked after Armag broke her sword.
  • Now you can change the order of characters in your group

Miscellaneous

  • The number of available quicksaves and autosaves was set to 1.
  • Some combat log notifications about spell immunity have been localized.
  • Fixed the issues when the AI missed the turns, especially at low FPS.

Distributor lists the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for PlayStation 4 and Switch

Game Source Entertainment, a distributor in Hong Kong, recently listed the Ninja Gaiden Trilogy for PlayStation 4 and Switch but just as quickly deleted the listing. It revealed the collection includes Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, and Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, and would be launching in March 2021 for $39.99. Koei Tecmo have not announced any such collection, and we don't know if these are simple ports or remasters but the lower price point does suggest port without enhancements.

It's been the best part of a decade since we last saw a mainline entry in the popular Ninja Gaiden series, Japanese developer Team Ninja has been working on Nioh 2 but the game's director hinted at a potential new game in the franchise.

Speaking with IGN, Fumihiko Yasuda did not reveal any solid details though the following quote pulled from an interview strongly suggests we could be seeing Ryu Hayabusa and friends in the near future:

The core members of the team that worked on Ninja Gaiden want to make a new game," said Yasuda. "We are aware that some fans wanted Ninja Gaiden more than Nioh 2. Now we see a lot of ninja games like [Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice] as well, and we see a lot of good inspirations in those games, so we hope to deliver some good news one day.

The last we saw of Ninja Gaiden was 2014's awful zombie slashing spin-off, Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z. Co-developed alongside the now defunct Spark Unlimited, Yaiba saw the series hit a devastating low point – we scored it worrying 4/10 in our review.

As Yasuda notes, we're currently in a golden age of games focused on samurai, shoguns, and shinobi. Although Nioh has been a major success for Team Ninja, we're fascinated to see what the developer could do with Ninja Gaiden, especially on the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Source: Gematsu


Xbox Game Pass is expanding to include an EA Play membership for no added cost

Xbox Game Pass is going to play a big role for Microsoft on Xbox Series S and Series X, and the company has now struck a deal with EA to bundle in their EA Play (formerly EA Access) subscription in with the line up of games. EA Play memberships will be added to Game Pass this holiday season, likely around the time of the next-gen launch in November.

This isn't entirely universal to the Game Pass subscription, though. You need to be subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for £10.99 per month, or to Xbox Game Pass for PC, which is currently £3.99 per month but will jump up to £7.99 per month at some point in future. Left out is the basic Xbox Game Pass subscription, though Microsoft would obviously like you to sign up for their all-encompassing Ultimate, which also bundles in Xbox Live Gold… and now EA Play.

Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam or Origin, EA Play on its own is £3.99 per month or massively discounted to £19.99 if you buy a full year. It features a large library of EA's games, going back to the late 2000s, and through to the last year or two to include FIFA 20, Titanfall 2, Need for Speed Heat and more. However, on Xbox, with backward compatibility, the EA library is larger than on PlayStation 4, so you might miss out on some PS3/360 gems there.

It's more than just games, giving members 10-hour free trials of new titles a little in advance of their release, discounts on games to keep, and other member-only content and benefits.

That obviously joins the library of Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games on console, and PC games on PC. Microsoft have long committed to releasing all their first party titles into Xbox Game Pass on day one, whether it's a smaller effort like Grounded or the biggest games in their line up, like Halo Infinite or Forza Motorsport.

All of this has come alongside Microsoft's reveal of the release date and pricing of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Both will arrive on 10th November, coming in at £449 / $449 for the Series X and £249 / $299 for the lower powered, digital only Series S. However, both will be available as part of Xbox All Access, which bundles the console together with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for surprisingly reasonable monthly fees – £28.99 for Series X and £20.99 for Series S – the payments running for 24 months, after which you officially own the console and can do whatever the hell you want.

Source: Xbox


Assassin's Creed Valhalla launches 10th November as an Xbox Series X launch title

It's another dramatic day down at TSA Towers as the next-gen details keep rolling in. This is a big one though – Assassin's Creed Valhalla is launching on the 10th of November, a week earlier than previously announced, to line up with the launch of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

The game will be be releasing for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia. For the home consoles, if you're not hitting the next-gen on day one there's free cross-gen upgrades, using Smart Delivery on Xbox.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla was announced at the end of April. It will follow new protagonist Eivor (who can be either male or female, and is heavily customisable), who spends some of his time back at home in Norway, where the game begins, before heading off to Britain.
During the Ubisoft Forward stream, they revealed some more of the game's setting and what they learnt from researching the peoples and the time period. In particular, that the Vikings were really searching for new lands in which to settle, not simply to raid and pillage. That's not to say that they weren't brutal warriors.

A part of the new gameplay trailer showed off some snippets of raiding, in which you sail forth, blow your horn and raid for resources to grow your settlement. There's a number of enemy archetypes that you'll face, forcing you to take different approaches in battles, using new combat abilities such as using harpoons, throwing axes and the new stun mechanic. You can dual wield any two weapons and really customise your fighting style to suit you – even if that's dual wielding two shields! You'll also be leading the charge in assaults against Anglo Saxon strongholds.
Other times, it'll be the classic Assassin's Creed stealth of popping up your hood and then sneaking through. There will also be plenty of exploration, with pagan temples and roman ruins to head into.

"We are excited to announce that players will be able to discover Assassin's Creed Valhalla sooner than expected! We cannot wait to see the world we've been creating over the past three years coming to life on all platforms, including on the next generation of consoles with the Xbox Series X | S on 10th November." said Julien Laferrière, Producer on Assassin's Creed Valhalla.


Xbox Series X price is official, pre-orders start this month

It's time! The next-generation is happening and Microsoft have jumped first, with the Xbox Series X and the Series S set to launch on the 10th November 2020. The Series X will retail for £449 or $499, while the Series S weighs in at £249 or $299. There will also be a 24-month subscription offer bundling a console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play together starting from an exceedingly tempting $24.99 / £20.99 per month for Series S, and $34.99 / £28.99 per month for Series X.

After yesterday's leak it was probably inevitable that this was all going to come rushing in, but the rumours of a PlayStation 5 announcement may have also had them biting the bullet in an effort to steal a little bit of that next-gen thunder.

The full specs of the Series X and Series S can be seen in the table below – the Series X is now apparently just a tiny bit more powerful. Both will allow the developers to take advantage of DirectX raytracing so lighting and sound react much more naturally in the game environments.

Xbox Series X Xbox Series S
CPU 8-Core Zen 2 @ 3.8Ghz / 3.6Ghz w/ SMT 8–Core Zen 2 @ 3.6Ghz / 3.4Ghz w/ SMT
GPU RDNA 2 GPU – 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz RDNA 2 – 20 CUs @ 1.565 GHz
GPU Power 12.15 TFLOPS 4 TFLOPS
Memory 16 GB GDDR6 10 GB GDDR6
Memory Bandwidth 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s 8GB @ 224 GB/s, 2GB @ 56 GB/s
Performance Target 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS 1440p @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS
Internal Storage 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD 512 GB PCIe Gen 4 NVME SSD
I/O Throughput 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed) 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed)
Expandable Storage 1 TB NVME Expansion Card 1 TB NVME Expansion Card
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive Digital Only
Video Output HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR HDMI 2.1 – Up to 4K at 120Hz, 8K, VRR
Backward Compatibility Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox
Availability 10th November 2020 10th November 2020
Price $499 / £449 / €499 $299 / £249 / €299

 

Writing on Xbox.com, Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X said, "Backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and the SSD. No boost mode, no downclocking, the full power of the Xbox Series X for each and every backward compatible game."

The Xbox Series S will be priced at $299 / €299 / £249, coming out on 10th November alongside the Xbox Series X. The console will be 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, and all-digital with no disc drive, which we could already tell from the initial imagery.

While this all started off as yet another major PR blunder and leak from Microsoft, it's to their credit that they simply turned it around into an announcement. Of course, to then have even more details slip between their fingers is a further embarrassment, when the company has been in a tense (and frustratingly boring) standoff with Sony over announcing the release date and price of their respective consoles.

While long speculated, the two-pronged attack on the next generation is now confirmed, with Microsoft targeting both the high end and the lower end of the spectrum. It's a fascinating approach, with the Series S able to cater to people on a tighter budget, those without 4K TVs, or those thinking about picking up a secondary console to pair with a PS5, PC or something else. Let's see how it pays off.

Meanwhile, in the land of Sony, a regional GAME store claimed that there was a big PlayStation 5 announcement coming today… It looks like Microsoft decided to beat them to the punch?


Marvel's Avengers update 1.06 now available

Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have quietly dropped a new patch for Marvel's Avengers. Update 1.06 is live now on PC and consoles – you'll be required to install this in order to access the game's online features. The download size clocked in at just under 100MB on PS4.

Update: since going live earlier today, Crystal Dynamics have now posted the official patch notes for version 1.06. Here's what to expect:

Patch fixes for V1.2.4 have been combined with V1.2.5 – the below patch notes account for both updates.

Patch V1.2.5 resolves a number of playthroughs stoppers. Our next patch – V1.3.0 – will be our largest yet and will resolve bad states for bugs fixed in 1.2.5, as well as address hundreds of smaller quality of life issues. We are rigorously testing V1.3.0. to ensure it is ready for deployment, and will update you when we have a timeline to share!

Patch V1.2.5: 

  • Resolved an infrequent bug where players are unable to progress with the campaign due to an infinite loading screen.
    • This patch does not resolve the fix for those who have already encountered it – bad save states will be resolved in V1.3.0.
  • Addressed majority of instances of a partially loaded Helicarrier which resulted in characters infinitely falling out of world when trying to access the Avengers Initiative.
    • There are rare instances where this could happen still, but the patch ensures that loading back into the main menu and then returning to the Avengers Initiative will resolve it. We are still working to eliminate this bug entirely.
  • Campaign Mission reward outfits will no longer disappear from Cosmetics Inventory UI. This presented as costumes that were previously unlocked through campaign progress – such as the Stark Tech outfits – reverting to a locked state.
    • We prevented this from happening in V1.2.5, but the patch does not return outfits for those who have already encountered it – bad save states will be resolved In V1.3.0.
  • Marketplace and Challenge Card outfits will be restored and no longer become re-locked in the Cosmetics Inventory UI. This presented as costumes that were previously unlocked through online play – such as Hero Challenge Card rewards, pattern drops, and faction vendors – reverting to a locked state
  • Updated Community Challenge UI that now reflects current community progress.
  • Backup Save UI improvements
  • Load time optimizations
  • Xbox Only: Achievements should now unlock and increment properly. We are still investigating if all Achievements will be granted retroactively – our current theory is that story-based will, but challenge-based will not.

Before Marvel's Avengers, there was Marvel Ultimate Alliance

Either the changes and fixes are very minute or Crystal Dynamics plans to go into more detail via the game's official forums, Reddit, or via Twitter.

We've been playing Marvel's Avengers for more than a week now. Here are some closing thoughts from our Marvel's Avengers day one review in which we scored the superhero action game a respectable 7/10:

Marvel's Avengers offers a new approach for a superhero video game, yet one that still feels all too familiar for anyone who's played Destiny, The Division, or Anthem. It's eye-popping in its technical prowess as well as how much it leans on live service hooks, anticipating players will come back day after day. And a lot of players definitely will, especially if they can squad up with friends. Past its flaws and behind the grind, Marvel's Avengers is still a fun superhero brawler that has plenty of room to grow in the coming months.

More than a week after we started playing, some of that novelty has started to wane. As a sucker for live service games, I find myself drifting back to complete my Thor daily challenges in an attempt to unlock some flashy cosmetics and creep closer to that endgame content.

Just before the launch of Marvel's Avengers, the developers announced that Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) is coming to the game as a playable hero.


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