Activision and Sky have partnered up for a promotion that will allow all Sky Broadband and Sky TV customers get a beta code for Call of Duy Black Ops Cold War, without having to pre-order the game. All Sky customers have to do is register with the free Sky VIP loyalty scheme, and on October 8th those who sign up will get codes. Players will be able to choose a beta code of PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
David Rey, Managing Director at Sky Broadband, said: "As the official broadband partner, it's fantastic to join forces with Activision and offer our loyal customers access to the online beta. Our Superfast Broadband gives customers the reliable service they need for a smooth gaming experience – a perfect partner for one of the most iconic games around. "
Jim McMullin, VP of Product Management at Activision said: "Having Sky Broadband as the official Broadband partner of Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War is great for our gamers. We know that smooth, uninterrupted gaming is crucial to our community, and Sky Broadband provides the speed and reliability that gamers need."
Activision & Treyarch have also confirmed that the world premiere for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Zombies will be taking place on September 30th at 10am PT/6pm BST.
Zombies. Are. Back. #BlackOpsColdWar
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) September 28, 2020
Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War will be available November 13th for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS5. The upgrade path for the game is a bit muddled, and you can get all of the details here. Those pre-ordering the game will be getting some bonuses for other games in the Call of Duty franchise. Sergeant Frank Woods will be joining the Demon Dogs in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer and the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale, which will continue independently from the main games.
Source: Press Release
Zynga has announced that after 11 years of being active the original FarmVille game will be shut down on Facebook, due to the discontinuation of Flash support on the social media site. The date of closure will be December 31st, and players will be able to make in app purchases up until November 17th, though doing so seems a bit pointless given how little time is left before FarmVille's closer. Zynga has stated players should use any in game credits as soon as possible, so they do not disappear forever. In a statement, Zynga wrote:
Dear valued player,
Following an incredible 11 years since its initial launch back in 2009, we are officially announcing the closure of the original FarmVille game on Facebook. As previously stated, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player for all web browsers, and Facebook will stop supporting Flash games on the platform completely after December 31st, 2020. FarmVille will therefore be directly affected as a result of this.
We're aware that many of you have been with us since the very beginning, helping to build an incredible global community of players over the years who've enjoyed this game just as much as we have. For that we say thank you.
In advance of sunsetting the game, we would like to point out that in-app purchases will be available up until November 17, at which point the game's payment system will be completely turned off. Thereafter the game will not be accepting any in-app payments and any refunds will not be processed during this time. FarmVille will, however, continue to be playable until December 31st, 2020, at which point it will be shut down completely.
Any remaining credits that you have during this period should be used before December 31st, 2020. We are also working on fun in-game activities to be announced soon that are designed to make your remaining time with FarmVille even more enjoyable. We hope that the in-game experiences we've developed over the years have provided you with the highest level of entertainment that we strive to fulfill here at Zynga.
Farmville 2: Tropic Escape, and Farmville 2: Country Escape are still available to play, with FarmVille 3 set to launch on mobile.
Sega have confirmed that Yakuza: Like A Dragon will arrive on PlayStation 5 on 2nd March 2020, coming some four months after the 10th November release on all other platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. That's slightly earlier than the previously announced date.
Of course, the game will still be playable on PlayStation 5 up until that point with the PlayStation 4 version played via backward compatibility, but the enhanced release that will better take advantage of the SSD and sheer power of the console will have to wait until March. Come March, anyone that has bought the game digitally on PS4 will be able download the PS5 version with a free upgrade to the next generation. This contrasts with Xbox's Smart Delivery, which will be available across both digital and retail copies of the game.
It's all just a bit bizarre, and has us wondering what's going on behind the scenes. Clearly it's some kind of business arrangement, extending from the Xbox One ports of recent Yakuza games, but a timed exclusive that's this short and that only nets an advantage for the next-gen console is just very odd. That's nothing to say of the major shift in game genre.
Set in 2019 following the events of Yakuza 6, Yakuza: Like a Dragon follows the story of Kasuga Ichiban, a member of the formidable Tojo Clan who, much like Kiryu Kazuma, takes the fall for a crime he did not commit in order to protect the honor of his clan. When Ichiban emerges from prison almost two decades later in 2019, though, he's found that the world has changed immensely and moved on without him. Stuck as an outsider in an unfamiliar town, he gathers a crew of unlikely allies in order to find out the truth behind what happened while he was behind bars.
The game is a pretty major departure beyond just having a new lead, with new turn-based RPG encounters. Part of the reason for this switch to an RPG battle system is that Ichiban is obsessed with Dragon Quest, and the regular thugs you run into on the street will often transform into otherwordly warriors (in Ichiban's head, at least) once battle begins.
Source: press release
Capcom has released a brand new trailer for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne title update 5, and this trailer gives a glimpse of Fatalis, Arch Tempered Velkhana, and the new armour sets. The trailer also looks at the collaboration between Monster Hunter World: Iceborne and Universal Studios Japan. Seliana Fest, this year's fright fest, is also shown with additional armour sets such as buff body, Demonlord, and Frankie.
The fifth title update is expected to go live on October 1st. Since the inception of the Monster Hunter series worldwide sales have reached 61 million units. Monster Hunter: World is where Capcom finally struck gold with the game shipping over 15 million units since January 2018, and according to Capcom it is the first game in the company's history to hit that number. The expansion Monster Hunter World: Iceborne also pulled in impressive numbers with 4.1 million units shipped up until January and has no doubt sold many more since then.
Dom reviewed Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, and he wrote:
You can read the full Monster Hunter World: Iceborne review here.
Tennis is a simple sport at heart. Rackets, a net and a ball are all you need to play, but beneath its simple exterior, tennis is a sport that is hard to master and takes skill, pure athleticism and nerves of steel. Tennis World Tour 2 manages to capture that easy to play hard to master essence of the sport, with some of its own additions to mix things up.
Tennis World Tour 2 has all the modes you'd expect, with Exhibition, Tournament, Career, Tennis School, and Online. Exhibition will let you play as any of the professional tennis players in the game, whereas in career you create a character and guide them through the rankings. At the start of a career, your character will have poor stats and only be invited to play at small exhibitions or tournaments, but as you progress you can earn spots at more lucrative events, earning experience to feed into your character and build them around different archetypes. You might prefer a defensive player, offensive player, or one that favours precision. That can be enhanced by choosing agents and trainers to boost your progress.
You also earn cash rewards to unlock new gear, but an issue arose here where even after equipping gear not all of it would actually show as equipped. It seemed to affect clothing in particular, where I was stuck wearing the starting shirt despite wanting to change.
The controls will feel familiar to tennis game fans, with face buttons corresponding to top spin, lobs, slices, and so on, but timing is key. You have the choice of quickly tapping a button to make the return or holding each button to try and be more precise. By default labels will pop up saying if the hit is perfect, too soon, too late. It didn't always seem to make too much a difference as you can score points off any hit if you're lucky, and In the end I switched those labels off and that makes Tennis World Tour 2 a much better experience.
You also have access to wildcards, which is a new take on the card system from the first game. These are unlocked through packs and can give advantages to players or incur penalties on opponents. You can take five cards into a match and use them at any time to give you a slight advantage. You can, for example, improve the precision of a specific shot or decide to reduce an opponent's stamina for a short time. You can have up to five cards equipped, but if you don't want to use them there is nothing stopping you from having no cards equipped.
If you need to brush up on your skills, or learn from scratch, you can visit the Tennis School. This tutorial mode starts from the basics and moves up to more advance features to improve your game. It is a solid tutorial mode and you really cannot progress until you have got basics down, but some of the challenges can be a bit frustrating as the aiming system feels like it could be a bit more precise when you choose where to hit the ball towards.
The aforementioned equipment change bug is a minor annoyance, but others can affect how the game plays. At certain times, maybe once every few rallies, your player can feel like they're lagging and not reacting properly to a shot, even when you press the button on time. It sometimes felt like I was fighting against my own player when I was moving them around the court. It's the exception rather than the rule, but sports games have to aim for perfection in translating your intent to the game, and Tennis World Tour 2 sometimes drops it into the net.
Tennis World Tour 2's online multiplayer is also solidly put together. You can have quick matches or take part in the online rankings, similar to FIFA's divisions, though there are fewer ranks to get through. Depending on the rank you are in you will have different match types to compete in, from the shorter founders matches to the longer champion matches. Soon after launch, it can take a little while to find matches, but the inclusion of a timer is a nice touch to show how long you have been waiting for. Thankfully, once in a match I had no issues with lag or delays against other players.
If you went to EGX Rezzed or another game show in the before times when there were game shows you may have got your hands on Cake Bash from publishers Coatsink and developers High Tea Frog. It's been doing the rounds for a while and will finally be released on October 15th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Steam, Stadia and will be compatible with Playstation 5 & Xbox Series X|S, and will cost $19.99 or local equivalent.
"The Nintendo Switch version needs a little more time in the oven to ensure the sweetest experience possible and will be launching on Nintendo Switch before the end of the year," say Coatsink.
Here's more about the game
In Cake Bash, you fight to be the tastiest cake, it's a frantic four-player party game where adorable drawn-to-life cakes beat the crumbs out of each other! Pick your favourite cake and battle in a variety of lifelike places with unique goals – cover yourself in sweeties or hurl fruit into a pie, there's plenty for everyone!
To cool down, try an assortment of minigame treats – roast perfect marshmallows, pipe the finest frosting, or be the last flan standing in Fork Knife.
Guide your cakes through the bakery as they dress to impress the customer in Get Tasty! Buy delicious toppings in a series of games to be the chosen one…
Compete on the same screen, find challengers online or battle well-baked bots. It's time to get out of the oven and into the fray!
I played Cake Bash at EGX and it's a fun party game with cutesy graphics that are not a million miles away from the colourful courses of Fall Guys. It also has some nice idea for the mini games including one where you sit round a fire and toast marshmallows. As you are a cake that seems a little… cannibalistic.
Source: Press release
All through 2020, Genshin Impact has felt like a game that was almost too good to be true, and yet here it is launching for all to play today. Here's a game that takes inspiration from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but then transforms it into its own style of open-world RPG, losing none of the vibrancy and feel in the process. Oh, and it's all free-to-play as well.
The game is now available to download for PS4, PC, iOS and Android, and with over 10 million players having pre-registered to play, it can already be seen as a rousing success for miHoYo, the Chinese developer that's little known in the West.
We'll be working to deliver some impressions of the full release soon – you can catch our closed beta preview here – but in the meantime, we were able to put some questions to miHoYo, asking about the game's origins and how the company plan to lead it to a bright future.
What was their reaction to the infamous Zelda fan responses that did the rounds a while back?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most popular and respected titles in the industry, and one which our staff hold in high regard. In a post that our team circulated to players last year, we mentioned that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was one of our inspirations for creating Genshin Impact as an open-world action RPG.
That said, it is important to note that once you actually pick up the game, you will find the experience of Genshin Impact to be very different from that of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Genshin Impact features a fully original story and characters, and the core gameplay revolves around assembling a party of multiple characters and engaging in a combat system based on interactions between different elements. In the first few closed betas we invited select players to experience the game and provide us with feedback. With the game launching on September 28, we are hoping that players can experience the uniqueness of the game first-hand, and of course that they will enjoy the experience.
What challenges were faced when developing Genshin Impact?
Genshin Impact is our first title developed simultaneously for multiple platforms. It is far more complex than any of our previous projects, with more than 400 staff involved in its development and publishing. Collaboration and effective use of resources has therefore been a major challenge throughout the process.
Genshin Impact is also our first title on PlayStation. We have a relatively young team with limited experience developing for console, and while the intricate design of the PlayStation platform offers a lot of developmental freedom, it also places great demands on developers.
The launch on September 28 is only the first step in an ongoing process as we continue to update the game based on player feedback, delivering new main quest and side quest content, challenges and characters. One could say that the real work has only just begun.
It is not easy to develop a game and be confident that players will continue to enjoy it, and we expect that many more challenges lie ahead. However, we are very passionate about Genshin Impact, and we believe that this will give us the motivation to overcome any such challenges.
During the betas what were the main issues that were discovered? How have they been addressed for launch?
Beta testing helps us collect feedback and comments from players, which in turn allows us to make continued improvements to the game. Genshin Impact has gone through three rounds of beta testing in the past year, each test helping us identify areas where we could make improvements. In the second round we released a new area of the map (Liyue), while the third round was the first test to focus on the PlayStation platform, with tweaks being made based on player feedback.
Each test has resulted in meaningful improvements, such as optimizing the game UI for different platforms, addressing bugs on new areas of the map, cross-platform co-op mode optimizations, and hardware optimizations for different platforms to ensure smooth performance. Players will be able to see these improvements first-hand when the game is officially launched, and the game will continue to be updated to deliver a better overall experience for players.
As the game expands post-launch, will you be able ot earn new characters through new story content or will they primarily be made available through the gacha system?
As Genshin Impact is updated, additional characters will be added to the game. By progressing through the storyline, players will be able to unlock four characters with whom they may explore the world. Players can obtain materials, equipment, weapons and other characters by completing challenges and quests. Of course, the Wish system is also available for players who want to have access to more characters and equipment.
Will there be advantages playing on PS4 or PC compared to playing on mobile devices?
Each platform has distinct characteristics and advantages, and we have strived to optimize the game based on the advantages of each platform, in order to deliver a satisfying gaming experience regardless of which platform the game is being played on. Genshin Impact delivers a consistent experience across PS4, PC, and mobile, with players on PS4 also receiving the exclusive Sword of Descension weapon and Wings of Descension wind glider.
Will there be content parity between devices or will updates be rolled out at different times?
We will do our best to release updates for all three platforms simultaneously.
What kind of post launch content do you have planned for Genshin Impact?
We will be making continuous improvements based on player feedback and suggestions. More characters and stories are in the pipeline, as well as richer social interactions, more variety in the gameplay experience, and more optimized domain farming. As new features are implemented, any materials required will be added to the game world, with the goal of having the open-world experience permeate every part of the game. Domains will become increasingly dynamic, increasing player engagement and the importance of team planning. Ways to customize your appearance are also being discussed.
Thanks to miHoYo for answering our questions. Genshin Impact is available now for PS4, PC, iOS and Android.
Bloober Team have dropped a new trailer for Observer: System Redux as part of the Tokyo Gameshow, with the video showing some gentle gameplay. I say gentle as this is from the start of the game rather than near the end when things get rather more frantic and scary. The gameplay is taken from two of the new quests that have been added to the game, "Errant Signal" and "Her Fearful Symmetry"
The game seems to have captured the cybperpunk aesthetic really well, with neon contrasting with decaying stonework and lots of little visual glitches. "Cyberpunk is a philosophy of change. The pursuit of modification to perfect the frail human form. But is there a limit to technological progress?" said Piotr Babieno, Bloober Team CEO
"Making Observer: System Redux available for next-gen console players has been a huge focus for the team," continues Piotr. "Now that both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 release dates are out there, we can finally share our release date news. We know next-gen pricing is a major concern for our fans and we feel that releasing all the new content and upgrades in Observer: System Redux at the same cost as the original Observer is a great way to stay close with our community."
In our review for Observer, I wrote:
If you don't like 'walking sims' then Observer isn't going to change your mind, even if it does include some rudimentary detective work. However, if you like to be swept away by a story and pulled in to a world where every door has a new experience behind it, then close the curtains, turn off the lights, crank up the surround sound and immerse yourself in this great cyberpunk horror tale.
You can read the full Observer review here.
The game is set to be a day one title for the new consoles launching on November 10th on PC and Xbox Series X, and November 12th for PlayStation 5 at the very attractive price of $29.99 USD or €29.99.
Party Hard 2 is a game about someone who's just trying to get a good night's sleep, but can't because of all the partying his neighbours are doing. Sure, it's now the second time this has happened, but rather than closing a window, putting on some noise cancelling headphones, or burying his head under the pillow, he decides to murder them all. This is a little bit of an overreaction, but it's one that I have no doubt many people will sympathise with. Hopefully most you stop short of the actual killing part though.
Whilst the premise is a tad murdery, the game is better described as Hitman crossed with Hotline Miami. Graphically, it has what looks like a 3D, more detailed version of the top down pixelly aesthetic and omnipresent thumping dance music from the latter, but the game plays more methodically, carefully picking the right tool and moment for the job, hiding bodies, and avoiding guards or police. What results is a difficult, but rewarding stealth game with a weird premise.
Being an unhinged insomniac, the main character in Party Hard 2 doesn't have all the fancy tools you might expect from the genre. Instead you have to rely on mundane basics: your knife; throwing people into barbecues; and the special ability to kill everyone within about a six feet radius of yourself psychically, but even that has a cooldown. "Just don't ask how he does it," says the game on the character selection screen, so we won't.
There are usually two ways to complete a level, either literally killing everyone in it or going after a more limited selection of specific targets. These targets tend to be drug dealers, management, and anyone who is facilitating the party basically. They're marked once you get near, but doesn't mean it's easy. There's at least 50 people milling around most levels, ranging from partygoers through dealers, DJs, scientists working in the drug operation out back, gangs of bikers, and worst of all, guards. Most guards don't pose too much of an issue, but some are marked with an eye icon, meaning they can recognise you if they see you. If one of these guards sees you at all, he will chase and beat you to death unless you can manage to take him out. Likewise, if anyone else sees you taking the guard out or doing anything illegal, they will either attack if they're a guard, or run away to call the cops.
The police in this game have an incredible response time, are tough, and are mysteriously capable of following you all around the map when they haven't even seen you. Once they catch you or someone knocks you out, it's game over and you return to the beginning of the level, dumping you back to square one. You'll always have to try and engineer or wait for a situation where you're out of sight before you can take out a target.
There are all kinds of things that can be found just lying around the abandoned amusement parks, factories, and petrol stations that host these parties. There's grenades hidden behind toilets, molotov cocktails just tucked away in corners, and drums full of acid just waiting to be misappropriated. Then there's the barbecues to push people into, electronics like speakers and vending machines that are remarkably easy to make explode, and dangerous chemicals just waiting to be mixed up into something a little more explosive. It's like all those guards from shooters that stand next to red explosive barrels all got together for a rave.
Curiously, nobody gets at all suspicious if you grab a petrol canister and cover the floor with it, then rig a nearby hookah to burst into flames. Similarly, they aren't suspicious when you douse the floor with water and cause a nearby vending machine to short circuit, or that every speaker you walk past suddenly explodes, or even when you just dump a load of acid on someone's feet. There is a lot of trial and error when you first start as you figure out just exactly what is considered suspicious and what isn't, and given what I just described, you can tell it's pretty lenient at times.
It also takes a little time to get used to judging who can and can't see you, especially around obstacles like rough piles of boxes that might have gaps between them that are difficult to see in the pixelly graphics. Little things like that are frustrating enough when they cause a game over, but especially if you've completed a number of bonus objectives.
Each level has a few bonus objectives to complete, and some secrets to go alongside. They're all worth exploring because they tend to be a bit more interesting than tactical knifing and grenade throwing. It could be finding a way to access a blocked off room, planting evidence on a partying cop, or… burying three partygoers in one grave to create a zombie partygoer. This offbeat sense of humour exists throughout, with what appears to be a Terminator appearing in an alley on one level that I had to avoid with no apparent explanation.
As you progress you'll see the news reporting on your…vigilantism. The game does have a story here, but it's not exactly captivating and it doesn't help that it's delivered through mostly still images with middling voice acting. You'll probably end up skipping the cutscenes after a few levels. You'll also unlock some new characters to play as, each of which has their own pros and cons. For example, one of them appears to be a robot, can briefly turn invisible, and has a plasma gun, but if anyone sees you they'll immediately panic and call the police.
You do also earn points for how creatively you kill people, but the system doesn't really feel like it belongs in the game. Where the points system encourages quick kills to rack up a multiplier, it clashes with the slower, more considered nature of the gameplay. You also get points for following certain methods of play, whether you're being stealthy or just blowing everything up, but again it doesn't really feel like it fits in the rest of the game.
If you're into vibrant action RPGs that have a slight Breath of the Wild tint then it's likely you'll already be sat at home waiting for Genshin Impact to install on your PlayStation.
Also available on PC as well as a mobile devices (Android and iOS) Genshin Impact is one of 2020's most anticipated video game launches and as of today it's completely free to download and play.
Just ahead of its PlayStation 4 release we had a chance to look through the Genshin Impact trophy list. At a glance it doesn't appear to be a challenging set with most trophies tied to progression i.e. levelling up different playable characters and unlocking chests.
Something players will notice is the lack of a platinum trophy. Of the 17 trophies up for grabs, Genshin Impact as 14 bronze and 3 silver which is a paltry collection. However, when you factor in that this is a digital-only free-to-play title it's hard to complain – there's always the potential for this list to expand with future updates and expansions.
You can review the full PS4 trophy list below. In the meantime here are those download link:
Genshin Impact PS4 Trophy List
|Of Mountains High||Obtain the power of Geo.||Bronze|
|Onward and Upward||Ascend a character to Phase 2 for the first time.||Bronze|
|Onward and Upward||Ascend a character to Phase 4 for the first time.||Bronze|
|Onward and Upward||Ascend a character to Phase 6 for the first time.||Silver|
|Re-armed, Re-forged||Ascend a weapon to Phase 2.||Bronze|
|Re-armed, Re-forged||Ascend a weapon to Phase 4.||Bronze|
|Re-armed, Re-forged||Ascend a weapon to Phase 6.||Silver|
|Wind-chasing Treasure Hunter||Open 100 chests in Mondstadt.||Bronze|
|Wind-chasing Treasure Hunter||Open 200 chests in Mondstadt.||Bronze|
|Wind-chasing Treasure Hunter||Open 400 chests in Mondstadt.||Bronze|
|Rock-steady Treasure Hunter||Open 200 chests in Liyue.||Bronze|
|Rock-steady Treasure Hunter||Open 400 chests in Liyue.||Bronze|
|Rock-steady Treasure Hunter||Open 800 chests in Liyue.||Bronze|
|Hidden Trophy||Continue playing to unlock this trophy.||Bronze|
|Hidden Trophy||Continue playing to unlock this trophy.||Bronze|
|Nothing Special, Just Practice||Hit an eagle mid-flight with your bow.||Bronze|
|Hidden Trophy||Continue playing to unlock this trophy.||Silver|
Miguel had some time with the Genshin Impact beta, and he wrote:
Genshin Impact is the kind of game I've been craving for a long time. I obsess over collecting the characters and upgrades in all sorts of free-to-play mobile games, but their insistence on repetitive short-form missions and minimal downtime always burns me out. Genshin Impact steps in a completely opposite direction, providing an immersive and zen world full of natural beauty to explore at your own pace, while also delivering a heaping helping of characters, skill points, missions, equipment and more that is sure to keep me glued to the full game for ages.
You more of his thoughts on Genshin Impact here.
Genshin Impact is going to be available tomorrow, September 28th, for PS4, PC, Android, and iOS, so ahead of the release miHoYo has released the launch trailer for the first version of the game. It has also been confirmed that Genshin Impact is available to preload for the platform of your choice. You can grab the download links below the trailer.
Genshin Impact download links:
Forrest Liu, General President of miHoYo, said
"For the past three and a half years, our team has been working towards creating a sprawling, beautiful open-world game in which players have the freedom to explore alone or bring friends along for the journey. We're very grateful to have over 10 million players pre-registered for Genshin Impact across PS4, PC, and mobile around the world. We can't wait to see you all in the world of Teyvat."
In Genshin Impact players take on the role of The Traveler who washes up on the shores of Teyvat. The main story will be about searching for the character's sibling but there will be plenty of other quests to experience. There will be over 30 companions to ally with to make up your party of four. Genshin Impact has been confirmed for Switch too but the beta will not be available on that platform.
Miguel had some time with the Genshin Impact beta, and he wrote:
Genshin Impact is the kind of game I've been craving for a long time. I obsess over collecting the characters and upgrades in all sorts of free-to-play mobile games, but their insistence on repetitive short-form missions and minimal downtime always burns me out. Genshin Impact steps in a completely opposite direction, providing an immersive and zen world full of natural beauty to explore at your own pace, while also delivering a heaping helping of characters, skill points, missions, equipment and more that is sure to keep me glued to the full game for ages.
You can read the full preview here.
Source: Press Release
Bandai Namco has released a new trailer for its upcoming JRPG Scarlet Nexus, with the trailer being a mix of cutscenes and combat gameplay. The trailer looks to highlight the powers of the main characters who fight the enemy known as The Others, with powers appearing to include telekinesis and absorbing damage. The trailer also confirms there are two playable characters in Scarlet Nexus and they are Kasane and Yuito. You can watch the trailer below.
Scarlet Nexus was originally revealed in May for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and was later confirmed to be heading to PlayStation 5 as well. A PS4 release is also on the cards. Stefan got some interview time with Game Producer Keita Izuki and Game Director Kenji Anabuki to talk about Scarlet Nexus, and he wrote:
Regardless of the generation of console you play on, Scarlet Nexus looks like a rather individualistic new twist on the Japanese action RPG. It will be fascinating to see how it can explore some of its more dystopian themes and the breadth of intriguing weirdness that the Others can bring as you battle them.
You can read the full Scarlet Nexus interview here. Coming from a team of developers that previously worked on the Tales series, Scarlet Nexus is set in a cyberpunk-y "Brain Punk" future world where humans have discovered a psionic hormone, and just in time as well. Here's more from Bandai Namco.
In Scarlet Nexus, a strange life-form called "Others" appeared from the sky and began to prey on the brains of living creatures on the earth – including humans. In order to fight this new kind of enemy, the "Other Suppression Force" (OSF) was created in the city where brain power has been developed, called New Himuka. The OSF is composed of the only people able to exterminate the Others, blessed with exceedingly powerful "brain power" and considered as true heroes by the population.Among them, Yuito Sumeragi, a bright and positive-minded recruit with a kind heart. Second son of the prestigious Sumeragi family, his ancestor was the founding father of New Himuka.He endured an intensive training to be able, one day, to help the citizens of his city and rescue them, as he was once saved himself from an Other by a member of the OSF. Since then, he cherishes the ear cuff he received on that memorable day.
Capcom and Netflix have announced Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, and it is a CG anime series expected to launch in 2021. This appears to be different to the live action Resident Evil Netflix series that is also in development which was confirmed last month. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness instead will be similar in execution to the the latest Dragon's Dogma series, though with more CG than hand drawn animations. You can watch the teaser trailer for Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness below.
While we do not know much about Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness we do know more about the live action Resident Evil Netflix series. The story for that follows fourteen year old sisters Jade and Billie Wesker who move to New Raccoon City with their (so far unnamed) father. "The more time they spend there, the more they come to realise the town is more than it seems and their father may be concealing a dark secret" add Netflix.
If that sounds a little twee, fear not because the story will run across two timelines, and the second is set a decade in the future when the population of the Earth has been decimated with just 15 million people left alive. The rest – and all the animals – have been infected by the T-Virus and are the nasty, tentacled monsters we all know and love from the series. Jade is still alive, but it seems her sister is missing, as is her father.
The series will consist of eight episodes each lasting an hour with Supernatural's Andrew Dabb writing and Bronwen Hughes(The Walking Dead) directing the first two episodes. The series is to be developed Constantin Films, the same team who made the movies which may indication some sort of continuation of the films. However, the mythology of the films has been rather, how shall I put it, flexible, over the six movies.
Happy release weekend! Friday marked the official release of Zendikar Rising — the latest expansion in the Magic the Gathering universe, bringing with it new cards, new lore and a new meta to discover. OK, so it has been playable online in MTG: Arena for the past week, but it's only now can you pick it up in shops, and pick it up you should. Being able to play it on MTG Arena has been an absolute boon, especially given that paper tournaments aren't happening this weekend thanks to you know what.
Return to return to Zendikar
So, what is Zendikar and why are we here again?
The plane of Zendikar is alive. It is a world where mountains float in the air, with waterfalls cascading over the side. Ancient and mysterious hedrons float by as the Roil sweeps the plane, birthing violent elementals that rip and tear their way through whatever's in front of them. It's beautiful, but it's not an easy place to live.
Originally designed as 'Adventure World', our first visit to Zendikar was a resounding success. It was known for making lands more than just a resource for casting spells. On Zendikar, your lands matter more than anywhere else, thanks to the Landfall mechanic (simply put, playing a land causes things to happen, such as making your creatures bigger and better). This means that Zendikar sets tend to be associated with deep and complex lines of play.
Unfortunately, the last time we went to Zendikar, we had Battle for Zendikar and Oath of the Gatewatch — sets widely held as two of the worst in recent Magic and regarded by Mark Rosewater, head designer for the game, as one of the low-points of his design career.
So, with the terror of recent past still fresh, should players be afraid to return to return to Zendikar, or has Wizards of the Coast learned from its mistakes?
Out with the old
First things first, for those of you who play Standard game mode, September's update means that the Ravinca cards are rotating out (will no longer be playable). This means that everything from Throne of Eldraine onwards (banlist notwithstanding) is legal.
For those of you who love playing with your Ravnicards, for want of a better term, you can still play them in Historic — MTG Arena's eternal format.
In the lore, the Eldrazi — interplanar monsters who came to Zendikar to literally suck the life out of the plane itself — have been driven away and Zendikar is healing. In a more real sense, getting rid of the Eldrazi and focusing on why players love this plane also feels like a healing process; it's a second chance to get Zendikar right.
And they've managed admirably. The return of Landfall, and premium cards such as Lotus Cobra, is extremely welcome. But with it comes Kicker, another fan favourite, and Party — a new mechanic inspired by Dungeons and Dragons. If you can amass a Rogue, a Cleric, a Wizard and a Warrior, or at least as large a party as you can, there is often a bonus in there for you. Between its land-matter and tribal mechanics, there is a lot to explore here. Unlike Oath, there is a lot of adventure to be had here and it feels good to be back.
Interestingly, Zendikar Rising adds a new type of double-faced card: the spell-lands and modal double-faced lands. One side of these has a land on it, the other is either a different land or a spell, giving you a huge amount of utility and making for some interesting in-game decisions. Spell lands are going to be important over the next two years, so make sure you don't overlook them.
Standard, Sealed or Draft?
Diving into the games main game modes, the game's main money-maker is Standard. Don't play it. Uro has not yet been banned and it has a new deck in 4C Omnath. Sadly, until this card is banned, Standard is just a waste of everyone's time and Sealed and Draft offer much better experiences
For those of you who started playing as a kid, Sealed is probably how you learned to play. In this mode you open six packs of 15 cards and make a 40-card deck with what you have in front of you.
I play a lot of sealed — especially in paper — and Zendikar rising feels like a pretty good set for this at the moment. It's slow enough that you can make the most of the party mechanic unless you come across a hyper-aggressive Landfall deck, which is entirely possible. Sealed is also a good way to dip your toe into a set as you don't have to worry about pick orders in draft.
Speaking of which, Draft is often referred to as the purest form of Magic and where we could sit and debate how best to draft this set for hours and have no consensus.
A quick primer on Draft: you sit in a circle of eight people who each have three packs of 15 cards. You each open a pack, take one and pass it to the person next to you. Eventually you each wind up with a pile of cards focused on whatever theme you honed in on as the cards came your way. Because of the number of choices made by everyone in a single draft, each pool of eight players has a mind-boggling number of different potential decks in it.
This makes draft a little more challenging for new players, especially on Arena where there is a time limit on your picks (after which the game selects a card for you). Ironically, it is the Quick Draft that doesn't have the time limit, and there is no Quick Draft option for Zendikar Rising just yet. It will likely come in the next few weeks, but for now (as it is half the price of a normal draft), Wizards is focusing on the more expensive play modes.
Drafting Zendikar Rising is certainly interesting. Generally speaking, in any given draft you will have a set of archetypes you can lean on: 'Blue White Fliers, 'Green Blue Ramp' or something similar. There is less of a clear-cut colour boundary here, as the mechanics in this set tend to go across the colour pie (the five colours of Magic: White, Blue, Black, Red and Green).
This time, rather than focussing on on colours or colour pairs, you can lean into the mechanics. Do you focus on Landfall, Party or the new Spell-lands? Either way, it's good to note early on that there's no dedicated Party deck — with four of the five colours (not Green) supporting it.
That said, there are some more powerful themes emerging in the game's meta. Blue Black Rogues has some emphasis on milling the opponent to death (getting rid of their library so they can't cast spells), while Green White Landfall feels quite powerful right now, with cheap creatures and good anthem effects.
It's also worth noting that this more of a 'prince' than a 'pauper' set. There are some powerful rares here, and colour fixing isn't great, so stick to two colours where you can — three colours is doable, but tricky and not optimal.
ON the whole, Zendikar Rising feels like a resounding success. Even a quick glance shows that it has a lot to offer, with the depth and complexity that our last sojourn to the plane drastically lacked. Though we're just a week in, it feels good to be back. For those of you who play paper, there are some money cards emerging, but they're all at the mythic slot, making the freemium equivalent — MTG Arena — a great place to play on the cheap.
If you haven't done so, remember to go to the store and redeem the code PLAYZENDIKAR for some free cards celebrating the new release.
Bandai Namco has released a new gameplay for its upcoming tactical title Transformers Battlegrounds, and it shows the Autobots fighting against the Decepticons here on Earth. It has been confirmed that Earth will not be the only battleground as player will also be going into battle on Cybertron. You can watch the new trailer below.
Many major characters including Grimlock, Arcee, Soundwave, Windblade, Shockwave, and of course, Optimus and Megatron, will be in Transformers Battlegrounds. The designs seem to closer to those seen in the recent cartoon series rather than the movies or G1. Transformers Battlegrounds launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC on October 23rd. Tuffcub recently went hands on with Transformers Battlegrounds, and he wrote:
All in all, the game is coming together quite nicely, taking the franchise to a genre that it's never really visited before. The cartoon art style will appeal to the younger generation, while the gameplay should reach older fans who've rinsed everything they can out of XCOM. Through there's a Transformers story and characters that all fans of robots in disguise should enjoy.
You can read the Transformers Battlegrounds preview here. There is another Transformers game on the way, Transformers Online, which is being developed by Certain Affinity. the game was officially announced by Leyou at the Chinajoy 2019 convention and has been confirmed to a be a third person shooter. They specifically stated that Certain Affinity was working on the the game which is for consoles and PC and it will be free to play.
At the beginning of August, Bandai Namco announced that there would be a Season 4 for Tekken 7 and at the time teased a new character. Long time fans of the series were quick to point out that the mystery character looked like Kunimitsu, an original character who had been absent from the series for quite some time. Now, Bandai Namco has released the Tekken 7 Season 4 launch trailer and confirmed the new character as Kunimitsu, and you can see some gameplay of her in action below.
Along with Kunimitsu a new stage will arrive at the same time, and that stage is Vermilion Gates. You can see it in play in the trailer. Bandai Namco has confirmed that there will be an additional character and stage in Season 4, but those will not be revealed or released until early Spring 2021. If you do not have the season pass there will still be some free updates available. Those updates will bring new moves for all characters, a new rank called Tekken God Omega, online play enhancements, Tekken Prowess which allows players to assess skills through point scoring, and an updated user interface.
If you're yet to play Tekken 7 here's what Dave wrote in his review:
Tekken 7 is a phenomenal fighting game experience and one I'd highly recommend. It's by no means perfect, as the game is not without a few technical issues online, some long loading times, and minor continuity errors, yet as far as most people will be concerned, it delivers a stunning, up-to-date fighting game experience from one of the masters of arcade fighting games. A solid return to form.
You can read the full Tekken 7 review here. Tekken 7 Season 4 will be available soon.
Koei Tecmo has revealed the next entry to the Dynasty Warriors series with the announcement of Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires. The developer has announced that Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires will be released for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires sets players on a path to unite China under one rule, and to do that you will need to take out thousands of soldiers with your weapons, as well as strategise how to take over the territory.
Koei Tecmo has confirmed that Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires will be coming out in early 2021. At the moment there is very little detail. Dynasty Warriors 9 was released in 2018 and in that review Jim wrote:
Sadly, this isn't the breakthrough fans were expecting. Omega Force took a pretty big risk with Dynasty Warriors 9, and while its open world integration can be seen as a small triumph, this newest entry is marred by its heavily outdated approach to combat design.
You can read the full review here. Earlier this year, Jim wondered if Koei Tecmo would bring the Dynasty Warriors franchise to PS5, though the thinking was that next game would be Dynasty Warriors 10 and not a continuation of Dynasty Warriors 9.
Koei Tecmo has announced that Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy will be releasing on the PS5 alongside PS4, Switch, and PC via Steam during this Winter. The news came from Tokyo Game Show where a new trailer for Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy was shown. The game is set three years after Atelier Ryza with characters returning from the first game as well as new characters being added to the game as well.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout was released last year, and in our review Miguel wrote:
Nintendo has released a brand new trailer for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and this trailer focuses on the Champions as they get ready to prepare for battle against Ganon's armies. The trailer shows some gameplay and the abilities of the Champions as they fight against the hordes as they claim the Divine Beasts to fight against Ganon. Have a watch of trailer as Link, Zelda, and the Champions prepare for the war against Ganon.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a follow up to Hyrule Warriors, but set 100 years before the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's coming out for Nintendo Switch on 20th November. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity builds on the hack and slash action of the first Hyrule Warriors game, but adopts some of the visual stylings of Breath of the Wild. You'll be able to play as many characters from that game, You battle swarms of enemies to defend Hyrule, while also solving environmental puzzles, unlocking weapons, crafting, and even using the Sheikah Slate.
The first Hyrule Warriors came out for Wii U all the way back in 2014, then as a swansong release for the 3DS that also introduced Linkle, the first female Link. It was an unlikely marriage of genre and game series, but one that worked, with Koei Tecmo able to explore the breadth of the Zelda game series and incorporate numerous characters. By contrast, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity shifts from the broader franchise to tying in with one of the series' most successful games to date.
In our original Hyrule Warriors review for Wii U, we said:
"This might not be The Legend of Zelda we know, but it's a faithful marriage between the Zelda series and the incredibly fun gameplay of the Warriors series. It's not the next step in the Zelda timeline, but rather an off-kilter non-canon entry which effectively acts as a party with all of your favourite people present. It's a hell of a lot more niche – only really appealing to Zelda fans who don't mind a big change in the gameplay style – but Hyrule Warriors is to Zelda what Mario Kart is to the Super Mario series, and that's brilliant news for dedicated fans."
Hyrule Warriors was then one of the first Wii U games to be given a fresh release on Nintendo Switch, the newer console able to handle the big battles much better, combining the merits of the Wii U game with some of the additions made for the 3DS version. It's still a solid shout for fans of the Warriors style hack and slash, and fans of Zelda in general. Might help while away some of the time as we wait for Age of Calamity.
If you're looking for some lively, light-hearted PC gaming action without having to spend a penny then Epic is on hand once again.
This week you'll be able to snap up a free copy of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition, a repackaging of the 2004 favourite theme park sim. Nick recently reviewed the Nintendo Switch version, scoring the handheld port a decent 7/10.
As for next week, you can expect one our top-rated games from last year: Pikuniku. This quirky adventure game bagged a 9 from Miguel at launch and will be yours to keep forever when it hits the Epic Games Store next Thursday.
We have the full list of every game Epic has given away so keep reading:
|Pikuniku||October 1-8, 2020|
|Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition||September 24-October 1, 2020|
|Football Manager 2020||September 17-24, 2020|
|Watch Dogs 2||September 17-24, 2020|
|Stick It To The Man!||September 17-24, 2020|
|Railway Empire||September 10-17, 2020|
|Where The Water Tastes Like Wine||September 10-17, 2020|
|Into The Breach||September 3-10, 2020|
|Hitman||August 27-September 3, 2020|
|Shadowrun Collection||August 27-September 3, 2020|
|God's Trigger||August 20-27, 2020|
|Enter the Gungeon||August 20-27, 2020|
|The Alto Collection||August 13-20, 2020|
|Remnant: From the Ashes||August 13-20, 2020|
|A Total War Saga: Troy||August 13-14, 2020|
|Wilmot's Warehouse||August 6-13, 2020|
|Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP||July 30 – August 6, 2020|
|Barony||July 30 – August 6, 2020|
|20XX||July 30 – August 6, 2020|
|Next Up Hero||July 23-30, 2020|
|Tacoma||July 23-30, 2020|
|Torchlight II||July 16-23, 2020|
|Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition||July 9-16, 2020|
|The Escapists 2||July 9-16, 2020|
|Killing Floor 2||June 9-16, 2020|
|Hue||July 2-9, 2020|
|Stranger Things 3||June 25-July 2, 2020|
|AER Memories of Old||June 18-25, 2020|
|Ark: Survival Evolved||June 11-18, 2020|
|Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection||June 11-18, 2020|
|Overcooked||June 4-11, 2020|
|Borderlands: The Handsome Collection||May 28-June 4, 2020|
|Civilization VI||May 21-28, 2020|
|Grand Theft Auto V||May 14-21, 2020|
|Death Coming||May 7-14, 2020|
|Crashlands||April 30-May 7, 2020|
|Amnesia: The Dark Descent||April 30-May 7, 2020|
|For the King||April 23-30, 2020|
|Just Cause 4||April 16-23, 2020|
|Wheels of Aurelia||April 16-23, 2020|
|Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments||April 9-16, 2020|
|Close to the Sun||April 9-16, 2020|
|Gone Home||April 2-9, 2020|
|Drawful 2||April 2-9, 2020|
|Hob||April 2-9, 2020|
|Totally Reliable Delivery Service||April 1-8, 2020|
|World War Z||March 26-April 2, 2020|
|Torment x Punisher||March 26-April 2, 2020|
|Figment||March 26-April 2, 2020|
|Watch Dogs||March 19-26, 2020|
|The Stanley Parable||March 19-26, 2020|
|A Short Hike||March 12-19, 2020|
|Mutazione||March 12-19, 2020|
|Anodyne 2||March 12-19, 2020|
|Gonner||March 5-12, 2020|
|Offworld Trading Company||March 5-12, 2020|
|Inner Space||February 27-March 5, 2020|
|Faeria||February 20-27, 2020|
|Assassin's Creed Syndicate||February 20-27, 2020|
|Aztez||February 13-20, 2020|
|Kingdom Come: Deliverance||February 13-20, 2020|
|Ticket to Ride||February 6-13, 2020|
|Carcassonne||February 6-13, 2020|
|Farming Simulator 19||January 30-February 6, 2020|
|The Bridge||January 23-30, 2020|
|Horace||January 16-23, 2020|
|Sundered: Eldritch Edition||January 9-16, 2020|
|Darksiders Warmastered Edition||January 1-9, 2020|
|Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition||January 1-9, 2020|
|Steep||January 1-9, 2020|
|Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair||December 31, 2019|
|Hello Neighbor||December 30, 2019|
|The Talos Principle||December 29, 2019|
|Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun||December 28, 2019|
|Hyper Light Drifter||December 27, 2019|
|FTL: Faster Than Light||December 26, 2019|
|Totally Accurate Battle Simulator||December 25, 2019|
|Celeste||December 24, 2019|
|Ape Out||December 23, 2019|
|Little Inferno||December 22, 2019|
|Superhot||December 21, 2019|
|Towerfall Ascension||December 20, 2019|
|Into the Breach||December 19, 2019|
|The Wolf Among Us||December 12-19, 2019|
|The Escapists||December 12-19, 2019|
|Jotun: Valhalla Edition||December 6-12, 2019|
|Rayman Legends||November 29-December 6, 2019|
|Bad North||November 21-29, 2019|
|The Messenger||November 14-21, 2019|
|Ruiner||November 7-14, 2019|
|Nuclear Throne||November 7-14, 2019|
|Costume Quest||October 31-November 7, 2019|
|Soma||October 31-November 7, 2019|
|Layers of Fear||October 24-October 31, 2019|
|Q.U.B.E.2||October 24-October 31, 2019|
|Alan Wake: American Nightmare||October 17-24, 2019|
|Observer||October 17-24, 2019|
|Surviving Mars||October 10-17, 2019|
|Minit||October 3-10, 2019|
|Metro 2033 Redux||September 26-October 3, 2019|
|Everything||September 26-October 3, 2019|
|Lego Batman Trilogy||September 19-26, 2019|
|Batman: Arkham Collection||September 19-26, 2019|
|Conarium||September 12-19, 2019|
|ABZU||September 5-12, 2019|
|The End is Nigh||September 5-12, 2019|
|Celeste||August 29-September 5, 2019|
|Inside||August 29-September 5, 2019|
|Fez||August 22-29, 2019|
|Hyper Light Drifter||August 15-22, 2019|
|Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden||August 15-22, 2019|
|GNOG||August 8-15, 2019|
|For Honor||August 2-9, 2019|
|Alan Wake||August 2-9, 2019|
|This War of Mine||July 25-August 2, 2019|
|Moonlighter||July 25-August 2, 2019|
|Limbo||July 18-July 25, 2019|
|Torchlight||July 11-18, 2019|
|Overcooked||July 4-11, 2019|
|Last Day of June||June 27-July 4, 2019|
|Rebel Galaxy||June 20-27, 2019|
|Enter the Gungeon||June 13-20, 2019|
|Kingdom: New Lands||June 6-13, 2019|
|City of Brass||May 30-6, 2019|
|Rime||May 23-30, 2019|
|Stories Untold||May 16-23, 2019|
|World of Goo||May 2-16, 2019|
|Transistor||April 18-May 2, 2019|
|The Witness||April 4-18, 2019|
|Oxenfree||March 21-April 4, 2019|
|Slime Rancher||March 7-21, 2019|
|Thimbleweed Park||February 21-March 7, 2019|
|Axiom Verge||February 7-21, 2019|
|The Jackbox Party Pack||January 24-February 7, 2019|
|What Remains of Edith Finch||January 11-24, 2019|
|Super Meat Boy||December 28, 2018-January 10, 2019|
|Subnautica||December 12-27, 2018|
Source: Epic Games
Looking back at the week in video games, it's been almost surprisingly busy. Sure, there's been more of the chaos of next-gen console pre-orders – did anyone grab an Xbox Series X|S pre-order, or sneak into the second batch of PS5s? – but then there was the ZeniMax Purchase, the announcement of Luna, a kerfuffle about Spider-Man…
And the week isn't even finished yet, with more tidbits and announcement set to come out of Tokyo Game Show this weekend!
The games industry never sleeps anymore, does it?
In the News This Week
- Microsoft is buying Bethesda – Bethesda to still publish games, but they could be Xbox Series X|S & PC exclusives
- Amazon announce Luna, a new cloud gaming service to take on Stadia and Xbox Game Pass – here's all the games
- Football Manager 21 is coming to Xbox but not PlayStation 5, because Sony didn't give Sports Interactive dev kits
- Marvel's Spider-Man PS5 remaster will have its own trophy list, but no cross-gen saves
- Among Us 2 cancelled as devs choose to focus on improving Among Us
- Xbox Series X|S 1TB SSD expansion card priced at £220 / $220 – now available for pre-order [Updated]
- NieR Replicant remaster release date set for April 2021
- Quantum Error no longer a PlayStation exclusive, now coming to Xbox consoles
- Bungie detail Beyond Light's tech improvements but you will have to download the entire game again
- The Cyberpunk 2077 campaign will be shorter than The Witcher 3's as many "never made it to the end"
We've got a pretty sweet giveaway for you this weekend. We've got four copies of From Bedrooms to Billions: The PlayStation Revolution to giveaway, but for all the PlayStation fans out there, what makes this even more special is that one of those four copies was signed by Mr. Mark Cerny himself!
You've got until Tuesday to enter, so make sure you do that!
Games in Review
A relatively quiet week in the review column by our standards, but some good new options for you to explore.
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps for Switch – NSW – 10/10
- FitXR – Quest – 8/10
- Serious Sam 4 – PC, Stadia – 8/10
- Worm Jazz – NSW, PC, iOS, Android – 8/10
- The Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird's Tale Review – PC – 7/10
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition – NSW, PC – 7/10
- Pathfinder: Kingmaker – Definitive Edition – PS4, XBO – 7/10
- Evergate – NSW, PC – 4/10
And we had a review of one gaming headset:
In and around the review, we went to just a handful of other interesting places this week. Untitled Goose Game's co-op update had Nic returning to the indie hit of 2019, but on the other side of things, Jim Skyrim'd it up with the tabletop game The Elder Scrolls: Call To Arms. He also took a quick look at the freshly announced Monster Hunter Rise, with 7 things you need to know about the game.
Finally, What We Played featured Goose Game, Serious Sam 4 and Marvel's Avengers.
Here's what you in our community has been up to this week:
- TSBonyman thought he could just waltz back into Bloodborne, but was sorely mistaken, getting far too greedy in its testing action RPG combat. So he went back to his gaming happy place of No Man's Sky Origins and explored the fresh pastures of Minecraft VR.
- MrYd had a similar week, exploring No Man's Sky "Oranges" and finding some lovely new planets (but no worms), and Minecraft in VR. There was also some The Division 2 and RDR2.
- It was "just a little" of Horizon Zero Dawn for hornet1990.
- tactical20 has racked up 92 of the 120 stars in Mario 64, which is pretty good going!
- Crazy_Del is building up to his 500th platinum, which he hopes to grab on the PS5. He's gunning for Marvel's Avengers, THPS 1+2, Sound Shapes, PGA Tour 2K21, Skater XL and plenty more. A busy weekend ahead!
- It was more Spyro 2 and Pic a Pix Classic for willbuchanan.
- ron_mcphatty thoroughly enjoyed the "brilliantly done" Erica, and has been grinding through Fall Guys' trophies and levels.
- And Andrewww has continued to battle through The Last of Us Part 2. He's knocked the difficulty down to Normal to make it more enjoyable. Aside from that, it's been a return to Heavy Rain and more Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime with the kids, and Fall Guys.
I hope you have a good weekend and we'll see you on the other side!
Amazon Luna, the new cloud gaming service is coming soon to PC, Mac, Fire TV and iPhone and iPad (via web apps), with an Android release planned for later on. To start with it will only be available in the US and you have to apply for an invitation, but expect it to branch out to the rest of the world as soon as Amazon can. Games will be streamed at 1080p as standard, with 4K60fps coming soon for select titles.
It's based of a subscription model where you pay for gaming "channels". The main one will be Amazon's own, Luna+, which offers over 100 games for an introductory monthly price of $5.99. They also mention a Ubisoft channel coming in the future, allowing for other companies to come in and set up shop as well. Here's what you get with Luna+ during early access.
- Hard Reset Redux
- Atomik: RunGunJumpGun
- The Surge
- The Surge 2
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
- Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
- SteamWorld Dig
- SteamWorld Dig 2
- SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition
- SteamWorld Quest
- Shantae: Risky's Revenge – Director's Cut
- Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
- Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Ultimate Edition
- Mighty Switch Force! Collection
- The Mummy Demastered
- River City Girls
- Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
- Yoku's Island Express
- Redout: Solar Challenge Edition
- Rez Infinite
- Lumines Remastered
- Metro Exodus
- The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III
- Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
- Wonder Boy: The Dragon Trap
- Sonic Mania Plus
- AO Tennis 2
- The Sexy Brutale
- Star Wars Pinball
- Infinite Minigolf
- Shadow Tactics
- Edna & Harvey: The Breakout – Anniversary Edition
- Deponia Doomsday
- Ghost of a Tale
- Victor Vran: Overkill Edition
- R-Type Dimensions EX
- Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes
- Super Mega Baseball 3
- A Plague Tale: Innocence
- Castlevania Anniversary Collection
- Panzer Dragoon Remake
- Overcooked! 2
- BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
- Paper Beast
- Blazing Chrome
- Tennis World Tour 2
- DiRT Rally 2.0
- Cook, Serve, Delicious! 3?!
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[cl-r]
- Contra Anniversary Collection
- Resident Evil 7
- Sythentik: Legion Rising
- Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth
- Thimbleweed Park
- Goodbye Deponia
Source: Digital Trends
Smut fans rejoice, the incredibly silly Gal*Gun franchise is heading back to Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC next year in the shape of Gal*Gun Returns, a remaster of the first ever Gal*Gun title that was never released in the West.
If you are unaware of the saucy franchise, I'll let the promo blurb explain.
Gal*Gun is the entertaining story of a young man who becomes "super popular" with the opposite sex and is now living the "unfortunate" life of having every lady that looks his way confessing their undying love for him.
But he must steel himself and fend these would-be lovers off with his 'special weapon' (known as the Pheromone Shot), as he tries to win the affections of one of the main protagonists. Gal*Gun is the crazy combination of arcade-style shooting action and dating sim that truly has no equal.
The game is not subtle and proudly states you can celebrate "ten years of panty gazing", if that's your thing.
Key features, and I am using the word in a very, very broad sense, of the remaster include:
- A Variety of Game Modes! Fall in love with the girl of your dreams in Story Mode, show off your sharpshooting skills in Score Attack Mode, live out your fantasy of a multi-person Doki Doki Mode with the all new Doki Doki Carnival, and a whole lot more!
- Pre-loaded DLC! From bikinis to aprons and more, the popular DLC outfits from back then are ready to be enjoyed from the get-go!
- Full Voice Acting! Every single one of the 70+ girls in the game is fully voiced! Revel in every minute of this amazing cast's performance!
- Complete Gallery Mode! Over 250 illustrations, both old and new, are ready for you to take in!
- Most impantitly! True aesthetics in those hidden areas is what Gal*Gun is all about! A grand total of 423 types of panties are waiting to be discovered! There may even be more to come?!
Source: Press release
Bungie have explained some of the new technical improvements that will be coming in the forthcoming expansion, Beyond Light. When that launches on November 10th a fair chunk of content will be vaulted including Strikes, Raids, and entire planets including Mars and Mercury, and to facility the huge change you are going to have to redownload the entire game again.
"We know this will be painful for those with slower or metered internet connections, and we're sorry about that. To help mitigate this, we're planning to enable Beyond Light preloads sometime in the evening of November 9, Pacific Time, which should give everyone at least 10 hours to download before the gates open," say Bungie.
The good news is the new version of the game should be 30-40% smaller, clocking in at around 59GB to 71GB depending on the platform you play on. The rebuild of the game also means that Bungie should be bale to patch bugs quicker and also gives them more development time per season.
The game will also be changing to a "Physics Host" rather than a "Mission Host" which means new raids, strikes and other missions can be more complex than they are now. "The Physics Host knows exactly where enemy combatants are and what actions they recently performed – while the Mission Host only knew how many combatants were alive in a squad and what that squad was generally trying to accomplish," say Bungie. This also means you will be able to meet your Fireteam in the Tower much faster, but they do warn there may be one or two bugs in the old missions that are left in the game after Beyond Light launches.
Bungie will also be serving face by completely reworking how your Guardian's face is displayed in the game.
We rebuilt our character face system. We know that how your Guardians look is important to you, and we've long wanted to add more player customization to Destiny. Our original system for player faces had some combinatoric content authoring problems – for example, every decal had to be authored completely custom for each player face permutation. This prevented us from extending this area of the game with more content and features. We've upgraded to a significantly more capable system (with e.g. runtime decal projection), which we hope to leverage for more player customization options in the future. As part of this process we reviewed the existing player models with our Diversity Committee and Employee Resource Groups in the studio to make small tweaks to existing player heads. We're also building a list of Guardian face shapes we should bring to the game in the future in order to increase Guardian diversity in Destiny, with the long-term goal of enabling everyone to imagine themselves as their Guardian.
Finally, for today at least, Bungie have revealed that as part of Beyond Light they have relit Nessus and the EDZ, both globally and locally, so they will look a little different come November 10th.
Bungie have confirmed that it will be releasing Destiny 2 on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The news came via a Tweet the company posted in reply to the official Xbox account which had listed the developers that would be creating games for the Xbox Series X. They confirmed the game will run in 4K and 60fps on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and that all content you already own will be available for you on the new platforms, you won't need to buy it again. There will also be cross-generation play, so PS4 players can play against those on PS5.
Bungie have also revealed the next two expansions for the game, The Witch Queen for 2021, and Lightfall for 2022.
To mark this year's The Last of Us Day (formerly known as Outbreak Day) Naughty Dog has released a free The Last of Us Part II theme to download on PS4. The theme shows a beach with the waves breaking onto the sand with a rowboat in the foreground. There are some hills and the sun is shining behind them. You can check out how the free The Last of Us Part II theme looks in the tweet that Naughty Dog put out earlier today.
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) September 25, 2020
You can grab the free dynamic theme by clicking on this link. Outbreak Day has been held for the last seven years on 26th September because of the canonical day on with the Cordyceps infection reached the tipping point and led to the downfall of modern civilisation. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic continuing the spread throughout the world, and seemingly making a comeback in Europe as we head into autumn, Naughty Dog have decided that continuing to call it Outbreak Day doesn't really sit right.
You can read what Jim thought in our The Last of Us Part II review below:
EA has released update 3.0 for UFC 4 which brings with it the fighters Calvin Kattar and Pedro Munhoz. In addition, there have been some additions to some weight classes with Jon Jones now available in Heavyweight and Omari Akhmedov to Middleweight. The others are noted in the patch notes. Players will now be able to stop spear takedowns, and added moves that can be executed from different positions. You can read all of the patch notes for update 3.0 below.
UFC 4 3.0 update patch notes
- Added 2 new fighters Calvin Kattar and Pedro Munhoz
- Added following fighters to new weight classes:
- Jon Jones to Heavyweight
- Omari Akhmedov to Middleweight
- Frankie Edgar to Bantamweight
- Alexander Gustafsson to Heavyweight
- Added new items to Create A Fighter which include new hair styles, clothing items, and emotes to choose from
- Added Venue select to Invite A Friend
- Updated Main Menu and created a new category, Learn, which includes Practice, Tutorials and Training Manual
- Accessibility still remains under Settings
- Added Simplified Controls option to Custom Fight Now Settings. This control scheme simplifies the striking controls to basic inputs and the game chooses what strike to throw next based on the situation.
- Simplified Controls is a new option inside Custom Fight Now that lets you put up a fight without having to know all striking inputs.
- You can turn it on individually for each corner. When turned on, use the face buttons to attack and the right trigger to defend. The AI will then choose what moves or actions to perform based on the timing of the button presses and the situation.
- Each face button corresponds to a type of attack:
- X (Xbox) – Square (PS) correspond to punches
- A (Xbox) – X (PS) correspond to kicks
- Y (Xbox) – Triangle (PS) correspond to clinch
- B (Xbox) – Circle (PS) correspond to takedown
- RT (Xbox) – R2 (PS) is used for both blocking high and low and sways, depending on timing
- Added the ability to deny Spear Takedowns
- Persistent Drive added to a few positions
- The Back Clinch Drives from Back Clinch and Cage Back Clinch.
- Persistent drives are when the attacker has a chance to make a quick turn, even after a fast denial, before the drive ends in a break.
- Added D'arce Choke to Back Side Postured up position
- Added transition to Side Control from Back Side Postured up
- Added Get Up transition to Back Side Postured Up
- Added dynamic denial windows to flying submissions
- Added additional information to Practice Mode HUD
- Damage Blocked – Amount of blocked damage
- Damage Range – % mod due to range landed at
- Damage Vulnerability – % mod caused by vulnerability
- Current Stamina Damage – %mod caused by current stamina
- Max Stamina Damage – % mod caused by max stamina
- Opponent Stamina Damage – % mod caused by opponent's stamina
- Fixed issue where consecutive knees from Muay Thai clinch would prevent transition to cage clinch.
- Bug when backing up in thai, the Dom could spam knees to prevent entering the cage position.
- Fixed issue where some GnP Hooks appeared to land through successful posts.
- Fixed issue where Stacked Guard Heel Hook and Kneebar were on the same input only allowing one to execute.
- Fixed an issue with players escaping Takedowns immediately in certain BackClinch scenarios
- Fixed an issue with potential accidental sway inputs after posting
- Fixed an issue where ground strikes were not causing visual damage to fighters
- Fixed an issue where players could instantly get up from Tower takedowns
- Fixed issue with roles being swapped after cage get up from Sprawl
- Fixed issue with bicep control "spam" cancelling opponent's knees
- Fixed instances of improper defenses being successful against clinch takedowns
- Fixed instances of improper defenses being successful against takedown turns
- Fixed issue with undue priority given to some ground transitions
- Fixed issues with sways during Ground and Pound
- Back Side Dom punches interrupted Sub transitions. These are now disabled during the transition
- Body Side Kick and Spinning Side kick now target opponent's head if they're slipping forward
- Head damage now causes a small stamina drain
- Slightly increased damage from Knee on Belly
- Slightly increased permanent damage caused by ground and pound
- Increased the effect of damage attributes
- Removed option to block while leaning back
- Tuned striking during clinch escapes
- Reduced duration of the Half guard posture state
- Removed evasion stamina penalty from attacks evaded by blocking sways
- Slip Counters have been tuned
- Tuned clinch entry and escape stamina
- Tuned the takedown finish and denial stamina costs
- Tuned submissions
- Tuned Stamina cost of Ground and Pound Strikes
- Tuned Pro and Legendary AI choke submission movement speeds to ensure the Legendary AI does not get punished for moving too quickly.
- Miscellaneous updates to some UFC fighter appearances/likenesses
- Cody Garbrandt – Tattoo Update
- Kevin Lee – Tattoo Update
- Tim Elliot – Tattoo Update
- Makwan Amirkhani – Tattoo Update
- Fabricio Werdum – Tattoo Update
- Eddie Wineland – Tattoo and Mustache update
- Jimmie Rivera tattoo update
- Anthony Smith – Tattoo update
- Fixed various UI issues
- Fixed issues with progression for some of the challenges
- Updated OWC Fighter Select to hide opponent's name and division
- Disabled Ground Defence arrows on Legendary difficulty
- Stamina HUD has been updated visually
- Fixed general stability issues
In our review for UFC 4, I wrote:
The popular Football Manager series is coming to home console for the first time in over a decade, with Football manager 2021 announced for Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. The game will be "specifically tailored" to the console, customising the Touch version of the series to work with the Xbox controller.
But, if it's on PC, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch and now Xbox, why not PlayStation? Well, according to Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson, it's quite simply that Microsoft persistently asked for the game to be on their consoles, and "Sony didn't."
Being asked this a lot & will get into trouble for answering..
Our friends at @Xbox have spent years asking for us to come back to their consoles. It's how both FM19 & FM20 ended up on gamepass towards the end of the cycle, and now FM21 on Xbox One & Series X/S.
Sony didn't. https://t.co/G4PJPWctdO
— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) September 24, 2020
It goes further than that though, thanks to each console platform being a closed garden.
because to make games for a platform, you need a dev kit. To get a dev kit, the platform holder have to want the game on the platform. We spoke with Sony, we have no dev kits. We spoke with Microsoft, they sent them to us.
— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) September 24, 2020
This extends across the board and for whatever reason, while Sports Interactive have spoken to Sony, the PlayStation manufacturer did not choose to provide them with either PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 dev kits. Obviously PS5 dev kits would be rather limited in supply, which could be a reason, but there was a working relationship from bringing Football Manager to PSP and PS Vita in the past. Meanwhile, Nintendo and Microsoft were keen to see Football Manager on their platforms and going back several years, provided them with the dev kits and support they needed to get the job done.
It's great to see a game developer able to discuss about a situation so candidly, when so much of the games industry is kept behind closed doors. We see it time and time again with timed exclusives, where there's a reluctance to even really acknowledge that they're timed, let alone how long for. Of course, with FM21, it's a different situation where there will be a game in a year's time from now, and Sony might now have a change of heart in time for FM22.
Jacobson issued a follow up statement to Eurogamer, saying:
"I pride myself on being very open with our community via social media and try to answer as many questions as I can, however controversial they may be. I also try to explain to people why decisions that they don't like are made, because whilst I've been working in the industry for more than 25 years, the people I talk to online don't always know exactly how the system works. I am the same person on social media that I am in real life – upfront, honest and passionate.[…]
"What I learnt last night is that many of the most ardent console fans don't actually know that there are processes in place with all of the hardware manufacturers that mean they have a great deal of control over which games come to their consoles – and that there is bespoke hardware required to being able to make games for those platforms."
Hopefully more people now understand a little bit more about what's needed to get a game made.
It's giveaway time again here at TheSixthAxis, and we've got a bit of a treat for PlayStation fans and just gaming fans in general. We're giving away five copies of the documentary From Bedrooms to Billions: The PlayStation Revolution, but one of these copies has been signed by acclaimed video-game champion Mark Cerny!
Originally a kickstarter project, this is the third of the Bedrooms to Billions films, with the first focusing on the UK games industry, while the second one was entitled The Amiga Years which looked at Commodore's era-defining home computer. The filmmakers decided to focus on the PlayStation for their third film as so many of their previous interviewees had cited it as a game changer for the games industry. The PlayStation was of course Sony's first attempt at entering the home console gaming market, and despite being the newcomers managed to dominate the 32-bit era with a combination of canny marketing and iconic games like Wipeout, Crash Bandicoot and Final Fantasy 7, 8 and 9.
As always, entering our competitions is simple – just complete the form below to enter in a variety of different ways, including via Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
We'll be running the competition for one week with entries closing at 11.59PM UK time on Tuesday 29th September. The giveaway is open to residents of the UK and Europe. Winners must respond within three working days of being contacted, and if they do not another winner will be drawn. Our usual terms and conditions apply, and decisions are final.
We recently got to review From Bedrooms to Billions, with our very own Thomas Hughes greatly enjoying the look at the history of the PlayStation brand:
"The PlayStation Revolution is an enjoyable recap of the PlayStation journey, from its humble beginnings as the underdog through the overwhelming success of the PlayStation 4. If you're a gaming fan who wants to learn a little more about the behind-the-scenes of console development and launches, The PlayStation Revolution is absolutely for you."
You can check out the From Bedrooms to Billions: The PlayStation Revolution review here.
It's been another week of next-gen consoles pre-orders, with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on Tuesday, and then a fresh wave of (barely sign-posted) pre-orders this morning for the PlayStation 5, but we already asked the question last week as to what you were all going to buy, so it's back to business as usual for this week's What We Played.
For me, it's been a week of dabbling. A little bit of Ring Fit Adventure as the weather has turned and kept me from wanting to go out walking, some Serious Sam 4, and more Surgeon Simulator 2 for a long overdue review. Perhaps it'll be a weekend special!
But what about the rest of the team?
"I'm still grabbing Mjölnir every now and then" Jim said, and before you read too much into that, it was "to play some Avengers." He's been levelling up Thor so that he's ready for the endgame content, but has also found time to go back to Dead By Daylight, gearing up for a 2020 review to catch up on the game's years of updates.
It's been Tennis World Tour 2 for Aran, who's been slapping away balls left, right and centre to get you our review, while Tuffcub's got out something big floppy and purple to batter his way through Saints Row The Third Remastered. He's also got in his usual Destiny 2 and been playing with Cubase for a new rave anthem, 'Hands Face Space Bass'. Look out for that one to top the charts!
Jason's been playing Rocket League and Dark Souls 3, while it was a Switch-heavy week for Reuben, playing the excellent Hades and Super Mario 3D All Stars, which saw him "reminding myself that Mario 64 is not without its problems."
Steve got going with the "utterly brutal and bleak" The Last of Us Part 2, but hasn't made much progress as the kids are already off school with persistent coughs – hurrah for 2020! Needing something a bit more… immediate, he reviewed Serious Sam 4, which is the game's polar opposite, as well as playing Darksiders: Genesis, reviewing The Girl of Glass, and testing his new GPU to see how shiny things can now be made.
It's been Monster Hunter World for Nic, but he complimented that with Spinch, Magic The Gathering: Arena's new expansion and Untitled Goose Game, now with added co-op.
Meanwhile, the other Nick (the one with a 'k') turned up with a big list of games. "Firstly, I've playing Worm Jazz and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for review. You'll have to read those to find out what I thought. I've also been playing a ton of Avengers which I'm quite enjoying despite being a little buggy, Disco Elysium, Captain Tsubasa, WWE Battleground, Tony Hawks, CoD and I started TLOU2. Too many games, not enough time!"
Ade kept it simple, by comparison. He grabbed Shadow of the Tomb Raider and said, "It's brutal. Lara murders so many people. She's an absolute stone cold killer!" Dom meanwhile has had a great week of Oculus Quest-ing, putting FitXR through its paces while getting distracted by Beat Saber and the Linkin Park update. He also loved playing some more Ori and the Will of the Wisps on Switch and snuck in a spot of Hyrule Warriors too.
And finally, Gamoc has been playing Port Royale 4 for review, checkout Minecraft VR, and played some Pistol Whip, "which is an dubstep filled combination of Beat Saber, Superhot, and John Wick."
Now then, what have you been playing?
Behaviour Interactive have fired up the generators for yet another Dead By Daylight update. Whether you fancy stalking Survivors or working together to thwart a terrifying Killer, you'll need to download this latest version of the hit horror game.
Dead By Daylight 4.2.2 – which will show up as 2.03 for console players – is a quick bugfix patch that doesn't add any new content to the game but makes some minor improvements.
Aside from fixing a small list of issues, this new patch has improved the viability of Dead By Daylight's newest Killer, The Blight. They can now break pallets and other barricades during their Lethal Dash.
All Killers in Dead By Daylight have the same primary actions but are made unique through their combination of powers and other traits, such as passive bonuses. The Blight can store up to 5 tokens allowing them to rush small distances to close the gap with escaping Survivors. However, if you finish this rush by slamming into a wall, you can immediately combo it into another rush, allowing you to cover more ground without pausing. This supercharged rush can also lead into an attack animation (the Lethal Dash).
The Blight and Survivor Felix Richter were both added to the game recently for its newest chapter "Descend Below". Anyway, here are those patch notes:
Dead By Daylight Update 2.03 Patch Notes
Features & Content
- The Blight can now break pallets and breakable walls by attacking during a Lethal Dash
- The Blight add-on "Compound 21" has been adjusted, changing the reveal range from 16 meters to 8 meters and the duration of the effect is reduced from 6 seconds to 3 seconds
- Add an Auric Cell expiration message for Japanese promo code users
- Fix a crash on PS4 that sometimes occurred after loading into a trial
- Fixed an issue that may cause hooking survivors, breaking pallets and damaging generators to stop shortly after pressing the input
- Fixed an issue that may cause movement stutters due to network latency
- Fixed an issue that caused stun durations to be inconsistent across killers
- Fixed an issue where some instances of the Blight's injection sequence would allow players to control the pitch of the camera
- Fixed an issue that caused grabbing survivors out of lockers to be accelerated when using the perk Iron Maiden
- Fixed an issue that may cause a survivor to be stuck on the hook without being able to do anything
Source: Dead By Daylight