Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment are currently working on one of their biggest updates to The Division 2 since the game's launch last March.
In case you missed it, the Swedish developer recently unveiled The Division 2 TU11 (Title Update 11) which includes a payload of features such as appearance mods for your Agents and new live season content, as well as The Summit. This will be available for free to those who own and have completed The Division 2: Warlords of New York.
This PvE mode will be coming to The Division 2 on September 22nd, tasking players with a lengthy gauntlet of gunfights as they shoot their way to the top, across 100 floors. Massive have just rolled out their latest patch for the PTS where some Division 2 die-hards have already been sampling the aforementioned content.
The Phase 2 patch for TU11's spell in the PTS is now live with the following improvements and fixes:
- Added greater variety and diversity in objective types as you progress through The Summit.
- Changed the Hostage revive timer to be longer, giving more leeway to reach them before the objective fails.
- Increased the radius of the hack zone for EMP objectives.
- Increased the amount of loot caches scattered around the building, which contents scale with difficulty.
- Reduced number of directives on Legendary Floors 91-100. Now has 3 random directives (previously had 4).
- Reverted the increase to status effect resistance mod values from 20% back down to 10%
Developer comment: After reviewing feedback and considering how the new generic gear mod slot system will impact the meta, we've decided to revert the changes to status effect resistance mods. The increase in flexibility towards achieving specific status effect immunity through generic gear mod slots will remain a net increase in player defense.
- All "Improvised" crafted high-end gear now have generic mod slots, including gloves and knee-pads.
- Deathgrips: Increased the armor on kill from +5% to +10%.
- The Mop: Increased the armor on kill from +5% to +10%.
- Memento: Lowered the bonus armor gained on trophy pick up from +20% to +10% per armor core but the bonus armor gained now stacks
- Eclipse Protocol
- Lowered Indirect Transmission on kill status effect spread from 15m to 10m.
- Proliferation now increases the range of Indirect Transmission from 10m to 15m.
- Increased Symptom Aggravator damage amplification from 15% to 30%.
- Obliterate: Increased the number of maximum stacks of total weapon damage from 15 to 25
- Reduced the global PvP damage modifier from 0.35 to 0.3
- Reverted previous changes to the pistol, rifle, and MMR PvP damage modifiers to pre-10.1 values (buff)
- Small increase to shotgun PvP damage modifier to match global damage reduction and retain pre-TU11 TTK
- Slight reduction to overall SMG PvP damage.
Developer comment: The above changes should result in a small increase to TTK at medium/close range, while keeping rifles and MMRs deadly at long ranges.
- Crusader, Reflector, and Striker shields now take 33% more damage in PvP
- Riot Foam Chem Launcher base ensnare duration lowered from 3s to 2s in PvP
- Firewall specialization talent Fiery Response no longer applies a 5m burn on armor break in PvP
- Eclipse Protocol's Indirect Transmission on kill status effect spread lowered from 15m to 5m in PvP (7m with Proliferation chest talent)
- Lady Death's Breathe Free weapon damage amplification effect lowered from 75% to 50% in PvP
- Headhunter buff duration lowered from 30s to 5s in PvP
- Headhunter damage bonus lowered from 40% to 20% in PvP (25% with Perfect Headhunter)
- Fixed an issue which allowed players to finish the 100th floor in The Summit without actually killing the enemies.
- Fixed an issue causing only one type of enemy to spawn in The Summit on Legendary difficulty.
- Fixed an issue causing enemies to shoot through walls on the 100th floor in The Summit.
- Fixed an issue that caused you to be matched with a The Summit group when matchmaking for main missions.
- Fixed an issue causing the SHD crate disappear briefly after completing the "Hold SHD Crate" objective in The Summit.
- Fixed missing Specialization Tutorial when boosting a new character to level 30.
- Fixed an issue which caused all trap variants to become stuck in the ceiling.
In other Division 2 news, Ubisoft confirmed that the game will support cross-generation play. This means that those on PS4 can fight alongside their PS5 companions, the same applying to Xbox One/Series X and S.
It has already been confirmed that Volition is working on Saints Row V, but what is unknown is the setting, story, and other details that will be part of the game. Overnight rumours and apparent leaks have popped up on 4Chan and Resetera, allegedly giving details about what to expect in Saints Row V. These rumours have not yet been corroborated by any sources so absolutely take them with a whole packet of salt, because these leaks could be false information. So, what are these apparent leaks saying?
For starters, one of the big plot points is that Saints Row V is supposedly taking place after the events of Saints Row 3. According to the leak, Saints Row IV and Gat Out of Hell will be retconned to be a TV show set within the universe. This leads to superpowers being removed to make the game a bit more grounded. Going on from this players will not be playing as The Boss or be part of the Saints. Instead, according to the rumours, the Saints have become an evil organisation due to Gat not being there to keep it in check. Players will be part of a new gang aiming to take the Saints down. That would mean characters like Shaundi, Pierce, and The Boss will be your enemies that you have to take down. The apparent setting is Stilwater, the original location from Saints Row 1 & 2, with a much larger map to explore.
Graphically, Saints Row V is said to be similar to Saints Row 3 Remastered, which was shockingly impressive, and the overall tone will be a bit more serious though some of the comic elements will remain. Character customisation is to said to be more in depth as each individual body part will have sliders. Four player co-op is also apparently in with difficulty scaling depending on how many players there are. There is also, allegedly, online multiplayer consisting of 32 players in a gang warfare scenario to take over territory.
As already stated, none of this information has been corroborated by additional sources, so do not take anything said here as fact. Volition will release details eventually, be it this year or next year.
Counterplay Games and Gearbox have released a brand new trailer for co-op looter slasher Godfall, and this footage focuses on combat. The video itself showcases a mix of cutscenes and gameplay captured from the PS5 version of the game. The gameplay looks rather fast paced and the combat moves smoothly as regular enemies attack the players. As the footage comes to a close it shows the three player characters running to face a large boss, and brief teases are given of the fight.
Counterplay and Gearbox have also confirmed that Godfall is now available to pre-order, albeit only the PC version via the Epic Games Store. The three different versions that are available to pre-order are:
- Godfall Standard Edition ($59.99/£49.99) – Godfall Base Game
- Godfall Deluxe Edition ($79.99/£65.99) – Godfall Base Game + Expansion 1
- Godfall Ascended Edition ($89.99/£75.99) – Godfall Base Game + Expansion 1, Godfall Ascended Digital Cosmetic Contents.
All pre-orders will also get a Godfall Starter Pack and that includes the Chrome Silvermane, Phoenix and Greyhawk skin cosmetic variants; a yellow Typhon variant; and, Borderlands' Zer0's sword. The footage shown above is not the first time we have seen Godfall running on PS5. Last month, an extended look at Godfall's PS5 gameplay was shown. Prior to that, Counterplay confirmed that Godfall would not have microtransactions and nor it would it be a games as a service title.
Set in an high fantasy world, there are five realms of Apeiron to venture through in Godfall and, which have been split between Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Spirit. Through the game, there's definitely been some influence and crossover from looter shooters and action RPGs, with a main goal being to find loot and continually upgrade your character build. However, that will not be the only factor in how well you do in battle. There's also plenty of Dark Souls to see in the combat, with tense battles that require positioning and timing to succeed, though it emphasises offence over defence. If you dominate the combat space, you'll be much more likely to succeed.
While PS5 pre-orders are yet to open for Godfall, it is likely we will get news on or soon after Wednesday. That is when Sony will be holding a PlayStation 5 showcase where the price and release date is expected to be confirmed.
Source: Press Release
- Gearbox has confirmed that Borderlands 3 will be releasing on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. The game will run at 60fps in 4K on the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Additionally, owners of the current gen versions will get a free upgrade to the next gen version, as long as the upgrade is in the same console family. No content will be lost in the upgrade process with all saves and purchased content being transferred over.
Gearbox also confirmed new split screen options for Borderlands 3. The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of the game will feature four player local split screen. If there are just two players an option for a horizontal or vertical split will be added. The vertical split screen option will be added in a patch for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands 3.
New paid add on content has also been confirmed for Borderlands 3, and it will be different to the story DLCs that were previously released. The only real details we have so far is that a new game mode will be added. New skill trees for the Vault Hunters will also be introduced alongside new action skills. FL4K's skill tree was highlighted and it is called Trapper. This skill tree favours shields and increasing survival odds. The new action skill is Gravity Snare. When deployed it throws all enemies near it into the air, which then causes them to slam into the ground. FL4K's new pet will be a Hyperion Loaderbot.
In our review for Borderlands 3, Jason wrote:
Sony has announced that a PlayStation 5 Showcase will be taking place on Wednesday September 16th, with the timings being 1pm PDT/9pm BST/10pm CEST. The PlayStation 5 Showcase will last for approximately 40 minutes and will include updates on the games and input from some of the development partners. We are also expecting the showcase to finalise the release date and price of the PlayStation 5, following the confirmation of release and prices from Microsoft for the Xbox Series X/S.
— PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) September 12, 2020
Earlier this week, GAME had teased that PS5 announcements were to take place and pre-orders were to open but that information was incorrect. Residents in the United States can begin a new quest to secure a PlayStation 5 by registering for a pre-order direct from Sony. You will need to give them your PSN ID to sign up, but this does not mean you're guaranteed a console.
There will be a limited quantity of PS5 consoles available for pre-order, so we will be inviting some of our existing consumers to be one of the first to pre-order one from PlayStation. Pre-order reservations will be taken on a first-come-first-serve basis, so once you get an invite via email, we encourage you to follow instructions and act fast.
If you do pre-register Sony will decide if you do get a pre-order invitation "based on previous interests and PlayStation activities."
The first TV spot for the PlayStation 5 has also arrived with Sony try to describe to people what it will feel like to play games on their next-gen console, wrapping together things like 3D audio, haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.
It's quite a high concept video, showing a woman adventuring in a weird and mysterious world. The opening line says, "Welcome to a world where you can feel more," and this is a key part of Sony's pitch for the next generation. The DualSense controller features adaptive triggers to relay different pressures to your fingers, while more advanced haptic feedback is to be incorporated to add more nuance compared to the rumble motors found in the DualShock 4. 3D audio with advanced HRTF processing to simulate different ear shapes will also aim to make audio more immersive and spatial, regardless of whether you're hearing sound from a TV, set of headphones or an existing surround sound set up.
Source: PS Blog
It wasn't meant to be until next week, but Microsoft's hand was forced to splash all the details and reveal the Xbox Series S this week, alongside pricing and release dates for both it and the Xbox Series X. 10th November is the date that the next generation starts… unless Sony decide they'd like to go first?
So, with a lot to catch up on…
In the News This Week
First up, that barrage of Xbox news:
- Xbox Series S design, pricing and November release date confirmed by Microsoft
- Xbox Series X price is official, pre-orders start this month
- Xbox Series X | S final tech specs revealed – Series S RAM speed could affect backward compatibility
- Xbox Game Pass is expanding to include an EA Play membership for no added cost
And then onto the rest, with a bunch of new announcements from Ubisoft:
- Ubisoft CEO issues statement regarding recent scandals ahead of Ubisoft Forward stream
- Immortals: Fenyx Rising is the new name for Gods & Monters, and it's coming out in December
- Riders Republic is the next game from the makers of Steep, coming out February 2021
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Complete Edition brings the classic brawler back this Christmas
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake officially revealed
- GameStop confirms it will be closing over 400 stores this year, more will follow next year
- Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War multiplayer revealed – open beta announced for October
- Fall Guys to start using the same anti-cheat measures as Fortnite
Games in Review
We had another metric ton of reviews this week, some great, some… well…
- Inertial Drift – PS4, XBO, NSW, PC – 9/10
- OkunoKa Madness – PS4, XBO, NSW, PC – 9/10
- Super Bomberman R Online – Stadia – 8/10
- Moon: Remix RPG Adventure – NSW – 8/10
- Shing! – PS4, NSW, PC – 7/10
- Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning – PS4, XBO, PC – 7/10
- Othercide – NSW – 7/10
- Necromunda: Underhive Wars – PS4, XBO, PC – 6/10
- Darkestville Castle – PS4, XBO, NSW, PC, iOS, And – 5/10
- Street Power Football – PS4, XBO, PC – 2/10
We also had one documentary review:
And a pair of hardware reviews – one for your fingers and one for your bum:
Here's what you in our community has been up to this week:
- tactical20 has been making videos in Skater XL, but he's tiring of the maps so relived the genre's glory days with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2.
- gazzagb has been doing some short haul trips in an A320 (in Microsoft Flight Simulator)
- It was just a bit of Fall Guys for ron_mcphatty, who's eyeing up Death Stranding to kill some time before Star Wars: Squadrons comes out… we'll see.
- Aside from RDR2, MrYd played some more Death Stranding, hopped into Dead Cells and WRC8 from PS Now, and had some fun with the magical new battle royale Spellbreak.
- Willbuchanan has been playing the Spyro trilogy, snagging the platinum from the first game and immediately swooping on over to the second. He had to get over the fact that the purple and orange dragon could now swim, though.
- And Andrewww has continued on with The Last of Us Part II and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime.
I hope you have a good weekend and we'll see you on the other side!
The whole Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S reveal stream has now leaked online, coming from the same source that dropped the Xbox Series S trailer and key parts of the original Series S leak ahead of time. "WalkingCat" has now released the whole Virtual Press Briefing in four parts on Twitter.
Xbox News Briefing 2020, Part 2 (skipped Jason Ronald clip)https://t.co/PnkSMm5tv7
— WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_) September 12, 2020
Xbox News Briefing 2020, Part 4 https://t.co/SnzvRsQb9M
— WalkingCat (@_h0x0d_) September 12, 2020
The stream was originally planned to happen sometime next week, Phil Spencer has claimed, but the company decided that, in the wake of the comprehensive leak, they could at least announce some parts of what they had planned on their own terms.
This Virtual Press Briefing sees Phil Spencer joined by head of platform engineering and hardware Liz Hamren and head of Xbox partnerships and ecosystems Sarah Bond, who are being interviewed by Cindy Walker, senior director of Xbox platform marketing.
There's nothing new in the briefing that hasn't already been revealed by Microsoft of leaks of the last few days, so it will be interesting to see if the company still decide to release the full stream themselves anyway. What's almost certain is that, behind the scenes, Phil Spencer will be flipping tables and launching internal investigations to discover just how such a leak could have occurred.
The next-generation will get started 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.
The Xbox Series S is the smallest Xbox console yet, 60% smaller than the Xbox Series X, but coming with reduced power as well. It sports 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.
It's now been confirmed by Microsoft, the Series S will not run the Xbox One X enhanced versions of games, and will instead revert to the base Xbox One S versions of the game. Even so, it will still make a step forward over the base Xbox One, able to steady or improve frame rates, dynamic resolutions and implement system level tweaks on texture filtering and Auto HDR.
It's that time of week again. Epic have gone live with their latest care package of gaming goodness with Railway Empire and Where The Water Tastes Like Wine both available to download and keep forever for those who have a Epic Games Store account.
If you're wondering how to get these free games, it's super easy. Simply visit the EGS website or boot up the Epic client where you'll be able to find both titles and add them to your library. You have until September 17th to claim them with Stick It To The Man! taking their place the following seven days.
Going back to this week's offering, it's a strange mix or simulation and storytelling. Here's what Steve had to say about Where The Water Tastes Like Wine in his review:
Summing up my experience with Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is more complex than a numerical score can truly represent. The aesthetics, soundtrack, and writing here are wonderful and more than reward the patience required to fully unravel the game's mysteries. Playing it resulted in an immersion that went beyond my niggles with the gameplay. It is clear from my comments here that the game won't have the universal appeal to match the political and social importance of its themes and message. It is a game that should be played by many, but that will probably frustrate as many as it ensnares. It more than lived up to my expectations and if you are interested in exploring the ways in which games can go beyond other media in their use of narrative then it is unmissable.
You can check out the full list of Epic free games below along with some of our reviews:
|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
It's crazy to think that in just under a month's time we'll be playing the sequel to 1998 PlayStation classic, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped. Needless to say, we're pretty excited to get our hands on Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time ahead of its October 2nd release date via the game's upcoming demo.
Activision and developer Toys For Bob have confirmed that a demo will be available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next week – from September 16th to be exact. This small preview of the platforming sequel will give fans a look at two levels from Crash Bandicoot 4. Not only will you get to play as the maniacal marsupial himself, Dr. Neo Cortex will also feature in this demo as one of the several playable characters in the full game.
According to Toys For Bob, this demo will also give players a deeper look at some of the game's new Quantum Mask mechanics. By using the Kupuna-Wa and Lani-Loli masks, you will be able to bend time and even phase objects in and out of existence.
So, how do you get your hands on this demo? Similar to how Activision handled the demo for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 you will need to digitally pre-order Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time for exclusive access. This applies to both new and existing pre-orders leading up to the game's October 2nd launch.
Crash 4 will be the first mainline entry in the popular franchise for more than a decade. After the original PlayStation trilogy back in the 90s – followed by Crash Team Racing – the series changed hands. Passing from Universal to Vivendi, before ending up with Activision, they spawned a chain of experimental Crash games, none of which met the high bar set by its creators, Naughty Dog.
Having fallen off the grid, Crash Bandicoot made an epic comeback with the launch of Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy, a triple dose of Crash remakes developer by Vicarious Visions. With Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fuelled being another smash hit, Crash 4 was inevitable and hopefully after many long years it will be able to carry the torch.
Source: Press Release
PlayStation console exclusive Kena: Bridge of Spirits has been delayed from a release around the launch of the PlayStation 5 to Q1 2021. The game will be coming to PS5, PS4 and PC.
***An update to our Kena community*** pic.twitter.com/rKoy33YWKZ
— Kena: Bridge of Spirits (@emberlab) September 11, 2020
The team at Ember Lab cite the difficulties of working at home slowing down development and forcing them to take a little bit longer before they bring their adorable game out.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits was one of the games that wowed the audience of the PlayStation 5 reveal event in June. The game's gorgeous graphics on PlayStation 5 combined with a magical world had people salivating for what next-gen could offer almost as much as Sony's first party exclusives.
Kena is, however, a cross-gen release with a PlayStation 4 version and free upgrades to PlayStation 5 to be offered. The game will also be coming to PC with some rather modest system requirements, and is a timed exclusive on console, so Xbox owners will simply be coming to the party a year or so later.
The game is a story-driven action adventure in which Kena, a young Spirit Guide, heads off on a quest to discover what led to the demise of her village. Along the way she finds and builds a team of spirit companions called the Rot. You'll be buddying up with them and enhancing their abilities to let you manipulate the environment. They're also totes adorbs.
When the full specs of the Xbox Series S were revealed we noted that "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."
That has now been confirmed by Microsoft, the Series S will not run the Xbox One X enhanced versions of games, and will instead revert to the base Xbox One S versions of the game.
Here's Microsoft's statement:
Xbox Series S was designed to be the most affordable next generation console and play next generation games at 1440P at 60fps. To deliver the highest quality backwards compatible experience consistent with the developer's original intent, the Xbox Series S runs the Xbox One S version of backward compatible games while applying improved texture filtering, higher and more consistent frame rates, faster load times and Auto HDR.
Microsoft do, however, explain that the Xbox Series S will run those games better than the original Xbox One hardware, pulling the same kinds of tricks that the Xbox Series X will. On the simplest level, this will allow games to run with more consistent frame rates and at the top end of the dynamic resolutions set by the developer. Games will also load quicker, especially when installed to the Series S' internal SSD storage.
However, Xbox Series X | S backward compatibility can also overrule the original game coding and implement improved texture filtering, potentially double the game's frame rate from 30Hz to 60Hz or from 60Hz to 120Hz, and implement an Auto HDR feature to add HDR to games not designed with it in mind.
Even so, it's a strange sideways step from the Xbox One X to the Xbox Series S for anyone thinking of playing Xbox One games on the console.
In case you missed them, here are the full specs for the Series S and Series X.
|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|
You may be mistaken for thinking we'll only have four minutes to the an actual apocalypse given this year, but fear not we're not there. At least not yet. Instead the title of this story is about Atomic Wolf Games' new game 4 Minutes To The Apocalypse, an action RPG that is set to be released in 2021 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. It is a game set in the wake of a nuclear apocalypse but instead of roaming a wasteland you are stuck on a submarine.
The story of 4 Minutes To The Apocalypse is set on the submarine called Arizona 12. This is not a regular submarine but one of "The Last Day Weapons", one of the main deterrents to stop nuclear exchanges. It was never activated and no one on the submarine knows what is going on above the water. The Arizona 12 does have the power to end the lives of any remaining survivors on Earth, and that is where the player comes in. Your crewmates are not handling the apocalypse well, and some of them may be considering using the Arizona 12 to end absolutely everything.
The main features of 4 Minutes To The Apocalypse include:
- Explore the sinister space of the Arizona-12.
- Discover the secret behind events that happened on the submarine during the nuclear blast.
- Fight with enemies using weapons you're able to find, or even the everyday object surrounding you.
- When all else fails, and you have no chance against your opponent in a direct encounter, look for hiding places so as not to get killed.
- Try to take control of the submarine and stop the inevitable.
4 Minutes To The Apocalypse has not been announced for the PS5 or the Xbox Series X/S.
Source: Press Release
Another working week in the bag, and for us at TSA that's meant covering the bonanza of the Xbox Series S leak, confirmation, trailer, pricing, release date, spec comparison, and a little bit of silliness with photoshop.
— TheSixthAxis (@TheSixthAxis) September 11, 2020
And yet, amidst all of that nonsense, we've also managed to find just a smidgeon of time for gaming. I've been playing a little bit of Surgeon Simulator 2 with Miguel and Tom – we're slowly working our way up to a review – dabbled with the single player of Marvel's Avengers, which is pretty decent, and enjoyed my first look at the overhauled endurance racing of Ride 4.
Dom has had a busy week waiting for Madden 21 updates so he can review it in a not-quite-as-broken form, playing Super Bomberman R Online on Stadia, and previewing the exciting Fuser from Harmonix and co-op dino shooter Second Extinction.
It's been a return to Monster Hunter World: Iceborne for Nic, as he hopes to hunt all the monsters someday, while Jim has been keeping up with Avengers since launch – "It's still fun if very repetitive" – and got back into Final Fantasy VI with a fresh play on iOS.
Aran has been plugging away at Final Fantasy VII Remake, getting up to Chapter 9 so far and thoroughly enjoying it, while Steve is clearing the Wolfenstein II DLC so he can reclaim the space on his hard drive.
Steve has also been playing more BPM for review. It's "the most ridiculously difficult game I have ever played. In about 70 runs I have beaten the first level four times, and the second once (and that was only when playing with the rhythm mechanic switched off, defeating the point of the game really)."
Jason has been playing more Rocket League, more Heroes of Hammerwatch, and swearing up a storm while playing Golf With Your
And a trio of reviews have been on Ade's plate, who thoroughly enjoyed the inventiveness of beat 'em up Shing!, the bewitching Metroidvania Minoria, and Tamarin, "a game about a cute fluffy little uzi totting monkey."
Tuffcub has played Destiny 2.
Now then, what haveyou been playing the last week?
Honestly, you wait decades for a little innovation in the side-scrolling beat 'em up genre, desperately playing countless duff 'em ups in the pursuit of something, anything, that's new, and then one game comes along with more innovation in its short run-time than the rest combined. Shing! may have its issues, but a lack of fresh ideas certainly isn't one of them.
A horde of Yokai have stolen the ultimate McGuffin, 'The Starseed', and its up to a trio of Ninjas and one Highland warrior to get it back. That's pretty much all the plot you need, and it's also the only excuse Shing! requires to send up to four players, over local co-op or online, on a violent mission from A to B. As you inventively hack apart every demon you find on your way, Shing! plays exactly as you'd expect a side-scrolling brawler to then, apart from the small matter of its control scheme.
This is the marmite moment. Pass this test and find the proverbial marmite slathered toast a tasty treat and you'll have a lot of fun with Shing! Spit the gloopy yeast extract all over the floor in disgust, and you'll probably bounce right off Shing!, never to return. What's with all the marmite analogies and what the heck am I talking about you ask?
Well, where the attack combos in most brawlers are triggered through an increasingly complex string of button presses, usually revolving around linking together normal and strong strikes. In Shing! every single attack is activated with a flick, nudge or rotation of the analogue stick.
Assess your reaction right now. Does the thought of controlling your attacks with an analogue stick intrigue or revile you? Going into Shing!, I was also doubtful that the approach would work, but to my surprise, the control scheme worked – it worked really well. I've always struggled to grasp long combinations of button prompts – Marvel VS Capcom was a direct cause of many stress dreams for me – but Shing! neatly sidesteps all of these issues with a much more intuitive approach.
Flick the stick in an upward diagonal and your fighter responds in kind, slicing at the head of her demonic foe. It makes complete logical sense and avoids the confusion caused by more abstract controls. Soon I was combining lengthy combos with barely any playtime at all. My fighter launching a quintet of enemies into the air, slicing and dicing for added air-time, before dashing behind the next bunch of baddies and following up with strikes from behind. It was awesome.
The issue with giving the player such immediate power is ensuring there's a satisfying level of challenge to be had. Fear not, because Shing! manages this and them some – this can be a hard game. Whilst the visual design of the enemies is uninspired, their attacks are anything but. Each foe you face has several specials designed to knock you out of a combo string. Different combinations of these enemies can offer significant challenge, as you have to skilfully asses the situation to best aim and time your attacks and avoid being countered. It's a satisfying gameplay loop, one that is lifted immeasurably when three pals join you to experience the cathartic chaos as a unit.
Of course, like with any walk and punch-athon, there's a point where repetition can set in and this is where developers Mass Creation have really put their thinking caps on to keep things fresh. First off, this is a funny game. Genuinely laugh-out-loud chucklesome. Sure, some of the jokes can come off a little childish, but they are delivered with such energy and enthusiasm by the talented voice over cast that you can't help but let down your adult sensibilities and giggle along. The tragic fate of Bob the temp was a highlight. Then there's the dialogue moments where the characters just sit and have a chat. These tea-breaks provide an opportunity to get to know the cast of characters. Bichiko, Tetsuo, Aiko and Wilhelm stopped being visual parodies of Mai Shiranui, Strider, Ayane and generic Viking and became more rounded personalities. I became rather attached to this cast of loveable reprobates and their banter over the course of the game. At any point in the game you can switch to a different character, ensuring you can freshen things up for yourself with a brand-new move set on the fly.
Boss fights get a degree of innovation too. Rather than just being a straight-up smackdown to slowly, imperceptibly, bring down a big bad's health bar, most boss fights inject a spot of most welcome puzzle solving. One example of this that avoids major spoilers is the minion gobbling first boss – who just so happens to be virtually indestructible. Until you discover that a beam of light can be reflected back into his eyes, blinding him so that he eats a bomb demon and is damaged from the inside out. It's a neat idea and serves to break up the hack and slash, forcing players to adopt a more considered approach. Sure, there's a few bosses that resort to the player just having to wail away on them but there's some real treats of a boss fight to be discovered too.
So, where does Shing! go a little awry? Visually the game is a tad indistinct, the 2.5D aesthetic giving everything a mundane look in stark contrast to the sharp anime seen in the opening cinematic. There's also some numerous and lengthy load screens to sit through. Are these really necessary? Especially when they incessantly pop-up to slow the pace down of otherwise bite-sized action sequences. Hopefully this is something that can be fixed in future patches.
Then there's the objectification of the female characters, which, let's face it, is unnecessary and embarrassing for all involved. Why is Bichiko wearing a thong and bikini into battle and why is every woman in the game terrified of trousers? It's 2020, we don't need or want this. Or lets have some fun and put the male cast and all the yokai in thongs too, I reckon Wilhelm would rock this look.
Gaming is a tough gig. You and I both know it. The stamina required to look, unblinkingly at a hi-res monitor for multiple hours, pressing buttons, pulling triggers and moving analogue sticks with split-second efficiency is far beyond most modern athletes, while the acumen required to instinctively know every route, every tactic and every possible outcome for an encounter is the kind of thing military strategists work their whole lives to attain.
Given that it's clearly the hardest hobby, you need to look after yourself, and the folks over at Anda Seat have crafted a gaming chair in collaboration with Fnatic that's going to keep your
posterior performance, and your posture, in peak condition.
Gaming chairs are heavy. It's always something of a surprise when they arrive and the box has caused the courier to have some kind of lumbar region episode. The benefit of that is that you can be certain that the components Anda Seat have used are going to be strong and robust, and once you start putting the thing together there'll be no doubt in your mind that it's going to be able to take a serious amount of parking, sitting, or taking the weight off.
Before you can get to the sitting part, you are going to have to put it together. Anda Seat have included everything you need in the box, including tools, so there's no need to go searching around for your toolbox or that Philips screwdriver that lives at the bottom of the draw in your kitchen.
It is entirely possible to put it together by yourself – I did – but connecting the backrest to the base of the seat is difficult without someone else to help. A bit of brute force might also be needed to get the caster wheels onto the five-star base, and you're then going to have to lift the chair portion up onto the wheels too. Once you've secured it all together though, the remainder, including the covers that hide all of the mechanisms, are simple and easy to attach. That second person might speed things along a touch, but it's all a relatively straightforward process that's going to result in a fully functioning, exceptionally cool-looking gaming chair.
The Anda Seat Fnatic Gaming Chair wears its gamer credentials all over in a style that's likely to be marmite to some. Personally I think it looks fantastic, with bold and bright looks and credible styling that match up perfectly with Fnatic's eSports outlook. There's Anda Seat and Fnatic logos all over the place as well, to prevent anyone watching your latest Twitch stream from being in any doubt where your chair came from.
It's got a deep, chunky backrest that has a huge black Fnatic logo embossed onto the back, while a smaller Anda Seat logo is stitched into the headrest. There's also two open sockets built into the backrest, aping the look of a racing car bucket seat, though they also perform a function as strapping for some of the chair's optional cushioning runs through them.
You'll want to be using that additional cushioning from day one; the lumbar support alone has to be one of the most comfortable additions I've come across in a gaming chair. When it's combined with the memory foam head pillow, you'll feel perfectly supported throughout you time in the chair.
Where some other manufacturer's pillows and cushions aren't held on in a particularly clear, obvious, or useful way, the offerings here fit perfectly into the curvature of the chair, while the thick elastic straps and chunky clasps are built to last. They do have the effect of making the chair look a little like it's wearing a pair of braces from the back, but I actually kind of like that.
The seat itself is well foamed and sprung, with huge, thick foam cushioning for you to perch upon, and it's no word of a lie to say it's the comfiest gaming chair I've had the opportunity to sit in. If you also find yourself needing a short snooze, it reclines to a frankly ridiculous, near-horizontal, position, while somehow staying resolutely upright.
The only mild disappointment with the Anda Seat Fnatic Edition Gaming Chair is that they've not used real leather, opting instead for premium PVC leather like you'd find in a BMW's interior. The advantage is that it'll have kept the cost down – it still has an RRP of £399.99 – it's easy to clean, and it's liable to be plenty durable in the long term.
In terms of control options Anda Seat have covered every possible base. From 4D armrests – that's armrests that go up and down, forward and back, left and right, and rotate on a central axis – to hydraulic height adjustment and variable reclining angles, you will be able to find a position and height that's just right for you.
Asobo Studio has announced that patch 2 for Microsoft Flight Simulator is in its final stages of preparation, and it should be available within the next 10 days. While the studio has not released full patch notes yet, it has released a preview set stating what changes there will be. Asobo has confirmed there will be updates to the aircraft, the aerodynamics, the user interface, and animations among other changes. Asobo also confirmed it is working on its video series with an update on that expected next week. The world will be changes a bit too, and there will be new additions to the market. You can check out the patch 2 preview notes below.
PATCH #2 HIGHLIGHTS (full patch notes will be released with the patch)
- Performance improvements
- ATC updates
- UI updates
- Aerodynamic updates
- Aircraft updates
- Cockpit visuals and animation updates
- General aviation system updates
- General aviation avionic updated
- Airliner system updates
- Airliner avionic updates
- Live Weather updates – (e.g. 225/3kt wind fixed, persistency fixed, etc.)
- Upgraded multiplayer servers
- Marketplace updates
- Content Manager updates
- Localization updates
- Accessibility updates
- Camera updates
- Bush Trip updates (e.g. completion trigger fixed/Completionist achievement fixed)
- World updates
In our early review impressions, Stefan wrote:
Microsoft Flight Simulator is remarkable. A recreation of the entire world that you can explore at your leisure, whether you want to put on a faux-airliner captain's hat and take on some intercontinental flights, or just hop in a prop plane while wearing your pyjamas. As you will have seen over the last year or so, it can look absolutely stunning.
You can read the full article here.
Ubisoft has confirmed details of The Division 2's next two title updates, those being 11 and 12. The company has more details to share about title update 11 confirming that it will release on September 22nd. When it launches Season 3 will begin adding missions to hunt down the BTSU leader, new events to take part in, new weapons to use, and new gear to equip. Alongside the new mission a new PVE mode is being added, and that is called The Summit. In The Summit, players will fight up 100 floors of a building encountering all the factions found in The Division 2. It will be accessible to everyone who has reached level 40, and completed Warlords of New York.
Title update 11 will also add appearance mods giving even more customisation options for character gear. The new gear and weapons that will be added include Belstone Armory & Hunter's Fury brand sets, the Backfire Exotic Submachine Gun and the Memento Exotic Backpack. Hazard protection will also be buffed along with other balances and bug fixes being implemented.
Title update 12 is where some of the big announcements lie though. That will be the start of season 4 and in that season players will be hunting down Faye Lau. A release date for title update 12 is yet to be confirmed. One of the big announcements is that The Division 2 will support cross generational play. That means The Division 2 players on PS4 will be able to play with those on PS5, and the same will go for those on Xbox One and the Xbox Series X/S consoles. The Division 2 will be playable on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as a backwards compatible title.
Finally, Ubisoft also announced the Limited Special Event called Codename: Nightmare. Players will be working their way through Kenly College this winter, but details on what the event will entail is yet to be confirmed.
THQ Nordic and Gunfire Games have announced Chronos: Before The Ashes, a prequel to Remnant: From The Ashes. The main heroes's journey takes him into a labyrinth filled with monsters to fight to save his home, but there is a twist. Everytime a player dies they age by one year so the more the character is killed the harder the game may get as they get older, meaning they could lose skill or find it more challenging to fight. The announcement trailer is a little odd though, with some gameplay shown. Have a watch and you might get the trailer, but we didn't.
Here are the main features for Chronos: Before The Ashes:
- Adventure RPG – Refreshing combination of Adventure Game elements and RPG mechanics.
- Deep Combat – A variety of weapons, abilities, and powers are available to the player in the pursuit of their quest.
- Unique Aging Mechanic – Every time the player dies they age one year. Players must adapt to their advancing age as they progress throughout the game. You will begin your adventure young, nimble, and quick, and end your time in the game wise and more attuned to magic.
Remnant: From The Ashes was recently given away on the Epic Games Store. Chronos: Before The Ashes will be released on December 1st for PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia, and Switch.
Source: Press Release
The physical retail industry is struggling and has been for some time now. Shops were already weathering storms of increased internet shopping, and increased expenses before COVID-19 hit and shuttered thousands as countries went into lockdown. One of those companies that is struggling is GameStop, and the company is having to make more cuts. Earlier this year, GameStop announced it would be closing over 300 stores but with what has happened that number is going to rise to between 400 and 450 stores worldwide. There has also been confirmation more stores will close next year.
GameStop had tried to defy lockdown regulations earlier this year in a bid to keep trading, with the company marketing itself as an essential retail space. That went as well as you may imagine with local governments enforcing closures of the stores. Following all of this, CEO George Sherman took a 50% pay cut, while Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell took a 30% cut. Other staff were also impacted by wage cuts and inventory purchases dropped. The company was also trying to reach agreements with landlords over missed rental payments due to the pandemic.
While Gamestop saw sales rise online by 800% over the last few months that still only made up for 20% of the company's total sales, and performance overall is down by almost 13% compared to last year. Last year, the company was already struggling and had shuttered stores already around the world. It is difficult to see how GameStop will survive long term even with a new generation of consoles on the horizon. Both Microsoft and Sony are pushing digital sales with their digital only options with the discless PS5 and Xbox Series S, which will further dampen physical sales including the second-hand market for the next generation.
505 Games made a bit of a stink when they announced Control: Ultimate Edition and that this version of the game would be the only one to have an upgrade path from PS4 and Xbox One to PS5 and Xbox Series X | S.
However, over the weekend, a number of users discovered that the PlayStation Store was showing the Ultimate Edition, despite only having purchased the Digital Deluxe Edition. This has been rectified since, but it's obviously thrown a bit of fuel on the smouldering embers of discontent about this.
Resetera user Hitokiri03 was the first to spot this:
So….Control Ultimate Edition just came out on PSN and it says that I own it.
I bought the Deluxe Edition but I wonder if you had the game + the season pass automatically you own the ultimate edition like most games on PSN.
Did they change their mind or they forgot to tell Sony about their plans?
Can someone verify this on Xbox too?
This was then backed up by several other users, until the store page was modified in some way to separate Control: Ultimate Edition from the Digital Deluxe Edition. It's likely that the store page was simply configured incorrectly.
Over on the Xbox Microsoft Store, here's what the store page lists shows:
As you can see, 'Control – Xbox Series X' is simply a part of a bundle on the store, similar to how other bundles will show the game, DLC and other entitlements.
This does renews the questions over 505 Games' half-hearted explanation of the Ultimate Edition:
We spent several months exploring all of our launch options for Control Ultimate Edition and no decision was taken lightly. While it is challenging bringing any game to next gen platforms, we quickly realised it was even more difficult to upgrade our current user base to next gen with full parity across platforms with our year-old game.
Every avenue we pursued, there was some form of blocker and those blockers meant that at least one group of players ended up being left out of the upgrade for various reasons. As of today, we can't offer an upgrade to everyone, and leaving any one group out feels unfair. We understand that is not what you want to hear.
It was believed that this was down to Microsoft's insistence to developers and publishers that upgrades to the next-generation not come in the form of paid DLC, however, a number of other games have seemingly found a way around this. NBA 2K21 is being sold in a special cross-gen edition, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has both standard and cross-gen editions. In COD's case, those purchasing the standard edition on both PS4 and Xbox One will be able to upgrade to the cross-gen edition for $10.
It's clear at this point that it's a business decision and that there is some kind of workaround available to publishers to skirt past Microsoft's restriction. However, it might not be as simple as blaming 505 Games. There will be some additional work required from Remedy to add the enhanced graphics options and optimise for the new consoles, and that does come with an associated cost. Wanting to charge for that is not unreasonable, even if it is nicer for consumers.
The difficulty could be that there's no equivalent path from the standard or digital deluxe bundle on to the Ultimate Edition, as there is with Black Ops Cold War. There you are simply making up the difference in price between Standard and Cross-Gen versions. On the PS Store, the Ultimate Edition is priced at £32, while the Standard Edition is still on sale for £49.99 and DLC Season Pass for £19.99. If the Standard Edition were to drop to £20, for example, then it might be possible.
Either way, this has just been a store slip up and 505's stance has seemingly not changed on offering next-gen upgrades to prior purchasers, free or otherwise.
Handhelds have always proved a perfect home for tactical games. The combination of a more thoughtful, slower pace, and set mission structure, makes them ideal for the player on the go, able to dip in and dip out as they see fit. Similarly a roguelite cycle works wonders as well. Stick them together and you're onto a real winner in the handheld space. As if by magic, Focus Home Interactive has brought it's uber-stylish tactical roguelite Othercide to Nintendo's hybrid Switch, all set to give you the best of both worlds, with tactics at home and on the go. After we reviewed Othercide at launch on those chunkier consoles, we just had to know how the Switch version was going to turn out. As it happens, pretty well.
Othercide is amongst the most compelling games I've played this year purely in terms of aesthetics. Boasting a largely black and white visual style with bold red highlights, it immediately evokes memories of Frank Miller's Sin City, or perhaps Mike Mignola's Hellboy. It is undeniably memorable, attractive and just plain cool. Most games would kill for the incredible level of art design that Othercide wears so effortlessly.
The colour palette isn't the only reason to check into Othercide. The game's Gothic-horror creature designs are delightfully macabre, with shocking and utterly lethal results to going anywhere near them. They're recreated with care and attention by their character icons when you move over them, but in the Switch version you are relying more on them to paint a true picture of what you're fighting over the character models themselves.
Beginning in the Age of Shattering in 1897, you initially encounter Mother, fighting against The Other in an attempt to prevent them from destroying The Veil. It's an evocative, if somewhat unclear narrative setup, and Othercide is the kind of game that will play its narrative hand close to its naked, broken, terrifyingly bony chest.
The key aspect is that you ostensibly take on the role of Mother, and through your blood you raise Daughters to send into battle against The Other. These myriad clones of yourself fit into a number of sub-classes, from defensive specialists through to their long-range siblings, and the more time they spend in battle, the more their strength and ability will grow.
Unfortunately, Othercide has plans on keeping you unsettled throughout, not least by being as hard as nails, but also because it wants you to fail. Failure is built into the very fabric of Othercide's gameplay loop, and your Daughters are going to die. The game autosaves too, so there's no going back, no classic Fire Emblem trick of resetting your console to undo a stupid mistake; once you've made your move you're done.
However, death isn't the end, and even losing every single one of your heroes merely leads to you starting over again, ready to give it another try. This is where the roguelite swing comes into play, and Othercide is fortunate enough that you'll want to keep grinding away at its gothic-charms over and over again.
The move to the Switch has had some clear visual compromises, but they do little to reduce the game's overall aesthetic qualities. Cutscenes look clear and relatively crisp, but moving in closer to the character and enemy models during tactical play shows a roughness that wasn't present in the Xbox One X version we originally reviewed. That's fairly typical considering the relative power of the two consoles, but there's seemingly little to no anti-aliasing at work to round off those rougher edges.
There's considerably less detail overall to the characters and enemy models as well, doubly so when playing in handheld mode, which is disappointing coming from the other console versions. The visual design is one of the game's highlights, and the black and white imagery needs that distinctiveness to be truly effective. You definitely still get the sense of foreboding and evil that they represent, but it's indistinct and fuzzy, while various visual effects like rain and character transparencies are much more simplistic.
All the compromises mean that Othercide feels well optimised well for Nintendo Switch, with no signs of slowdown or judder, and when playing in handheld mode the UI has been suitably sized to make sure you're not going to be squinting at your console all day. It just doesn't hit the same highs as its more powerful brethren.
None of that diminishes the effectiveness of the game's central draw, which is the tactical combat and roguelite loop which you'll readily find yourself drawn into. Nor does it take away from the game's incredible audio design, with its chugging guitars, abrasive tones and vocal chants raising the atmosphere to unprecedented levels.
Funcom have announced a new major expansion for Conan Exiles and it's due to launch in just a few days.
Conan Exiles: Isle of Siptah will be available to PC players of the fantasy survival game from September 15th and is priced at $19.99. Funcom have confirmed that the DLC will be making its way to consoles, though PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will have to wait until 2021.
Isle of Siptah is aimed primarily at Conan veterans, introducing an entirely new map as well as new materials, mounts, and activities:
Isle of Siptah is a massive expansion to the open world survival game Conan Exiles, featuring a vast new island to explore, huge and vile new creatures to slay, new building sets and a whole new gameplay cycle. Fight the elder races in new underground dungeons. Defeat demonic monstrosities that spawn from a storm of pure chaos. Dominate the surge to secure the island's only supply of thralls.
You arrive at the island shipwrecked and alone. With nothing but the scraps on your back, you craft the tools you need to survive. At first a simple camp and some crude stone tools, with time a fortress and brutal greatswords made from hardened steel or obsidian.
Your eyes are drawn towards the center of the island, where a dark tower looms above the landscape. The violent storm that swirls around it seems to gather strength and unspeakable horrors stalk within. But your most dangerous foe may be the other survivors on the island, as resources are scarce and the fight for survival is savage and brutal.
- New Map: Isle of Siptah – Start a fresh, new experience on the massive Isle of Siptah. Explore sun-drenched beaches strewn with shipwrecks, dense and tall Redwood forests, broad valleys dotted with ancient Acheronian ruins, the remains of a Stygian colony, and the foreboding Tower of Siptah at the island's center.
- New Dungeon Type: Vaults – Uncover long-forgotten vaults holding the remnants of elder races from a distant past. Discover hidden halls, solve ancient puzzles, and slay the fiends and demons within. Loot valuable treasures and harness the power of the sigils of the elder races.
- New Feature: Maelstrom – A massive storm swirls around the dark tower at the center of the island. Powered by sinister magic, it spawns horrifying monsters from the outer void, attacking anyone who dares to venture or build within. Defeat these horrors to get your hands on a brand new and important resource.
- New Feature: Surges of Sorcery – Powerful surges of forbidden magic, granted by the elder god of Nyarlathotep, shoot forth from the Tower of Siptah. Humans and creatures appear in their wake, mysteriously teleported from the outside world. Move quick to capture them or be left in the dust as other players build their army.
- New Rhino Mount, Building Sets, and More – Charge into battle and slay your enemies from atop the ferocious rhino mount. Construct a small home or a vast city using two new building sets: the waterlogged remains of shipwrecks or the ancient and majestic stormglass. Find and equip powerful items, including new armor sets.
We reviewed Conan Exiles when it launched back in 2018. While we enjoyed some of its more interesting survival game concepts, technical issues and clunky combat held it back from greatness, scoring a 6/10.
Source: Press Release
Milestone are by far and away best known for their licensed properties. The MotoGPs, the MXGP and Supercross series, but they're also building a motorbike franchise off their own volition. Ride 4 is the next step in the evolution of their broadest of bike series.
It's absolutely fair to call this an evolution, but it also brings a number of meaningful new additions. The game builds off Milestone's expanding experience with Unreal Engine 4, where Ride 3 was amongst their first crop of games on the engine, they've pushed the boat bike out with lighting and weather, and it features the latest evolution of Milestone's Neural AI, A.N.N.A..
That leads to some interesting new changes for the career mode. It's given more of a structure, with players working through a trio of continental leagues, sprinkled with other events, but all leading up to a choice, a point at which you need to specialise. Will you pursue glory in the fictional World Superbike League, or take on the contrasting challenge of the World Endurance League? You can only do one.
You might actually want to pick the Endurance League, because it comes alongside a major improvement to how Ride represents endurance races. The game now features tyre wear, fuel consumption and pit stops to refresh your bike for another stint. That's such an important part of endurance racing, and goes hand in hand with races now being based of time – from 20 minutes, up to 24 hours – instead of the number of laps, and fully dynamic weather and lighting that can shift from day to night and back again. Even if you come in dead last and that race only lasted 20 minutes, that can feel like a particular achievement for certain caliber of players.
This is also where the upgrades to A.N.N.A. matter. For Milestone's MotoGP series, all of the riders on track are racing bikes of a similar class, and there's no in-race refuelling to worry about. For Ride 4 as a whole, A.N.N.A. has had to learn each of the tracks while racing every different speed and category of bike in the game, but on top of that, has learnt how to handle different race strategies, adapt to the different conditions that the game can throw up.
Over 16 million hours of racing has been completed by the neural AI in the process of doing this. Admittedly, a meaninglessly big number, but shows Milestone's commitment to the project. Even so, in our preview build, we did spot a few mindless crashes between the AI racers, which maybe haven't quite grasped how to handle big speed differentials just yet. Thankfully the flying riders from these crashes (which were far outnumbered by my own crashes, it must be said) don't actually harm anyone.
Now, some full disclosure: I've come to accept that I'm pretty bad at motorbike racing games. Or at least, the length of time between playing a two-wheeled racer strips away the thinly veiled understanding of how to brake front and rear, when to lean in to turn through a corner and hit the apex, and generally be competitive. I can get there, but it always takes me a long, long time to get up to speed compared to your average racer… with cars. So for my time with Ride 4, I mainly focussed on soaking in the sights and sounds, trying to appreciate the different types of bikes you can, well, ride.
The range of bikes on offer here is truly fantastic, and it's clear that there's a real passion for capturing each and every bike in as much detail as possible. 97% of the bikes are now built from manufacturer CAD files or 3D scans, while improvements to their materials library should make everything looks as authentic as possible. Milestone tout over four times the detail for bikes compared to Ride 3. It ranges from classic bikes from the 60s, like the 1966 Honda RC181 (Hailwood), through to more modern bikes like the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R6 or a nice 2019 Harley Livewire. It's genuinely interesting to me, as someone not terribly familiar with motorbikes, to see just how much the form of these machines has evolved over the last 50 years, becoming sleeker, more angular and stylised. I particularly love all the bikes with a single off-centre headlight. They look very cool.
It's clear that Ride 4 aspires to be the Gran Turismo of racing in how you're given a (skippable) glammed-up cutscene panning across various angles of a bike as you buy it. Bikes that aren't bought in race trim can then be taken and customised, with an extensive range of upgrades and expanded livery editors. There will be a helmet livery editor for the first time in a Ride game, and a suit editor for the first time in a Milestone game, both joining the bike livery editor and tapping into a system to share them online.
The latest evolution of the Ride series shows that Milestone are in this for the long haul. There's a conceptual step forward here that adds something new and engaging to the series. Capturing more sides of motorbike racing with a truer representation of endurance racing that goes hand in hand with dynamic lighting, weather, and plenty other elements within the game. Really there's just something magical about starting a race, seeing the sun dip below the horizon, persevering through the hours of darkness and being greeted by the dawn and the final sprint to the finish.
Ride 4 is out for PS4, Xbox One and PC on 8th October, with a PS5 and Xbox Series X | S release following on 21st January 2021. There will be free upgrades to next-gen, with blanket Smart Delivery cross-gen ownership on Xbox, but a limited-time upgrade window on PS5 until 30th April 2021.
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 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)
- 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)
- 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 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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
The Ubisoft Forward stream kicked off with a look at Immortals Fenyx Rising, the new name for what wsa initially revealed as Gods & Monsters. 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.
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)
Collect 4 Star Players in VOLTA FOOTBALL
|Into the 90's |
Reach 90 OVR with your Avatar in VOLTA FOOTBALL
|End of Story |
Complete "The Debut"
|Da Skiller |
Complete All VOLTA Skill Games
|VOLTA's Finest |
Reach Division 3 in VOLTA Squads
Win a VOLTA Squads game with 3 other players
Score a goal from a Free Kick
|Natural Talent |
Win a penalty shoot-out without missing
Complete all Main Menu Skill Games
|Master Focus |
Score a goal from a cross when using Player Lock
|Squad Building Champion |
Complete 10 Squad Building Challenges in FIFA Ultimate Team
|Tactical Prowess |
Create your own custom tactic in FIFA Ultimate Team
|House Always Wins |
Play a game using any House Rule in FUT Friendlies
|Guardian of the Net |
Keep 10 clean sheets in FUT Squad Battles
|Dynamic Duo |
Win a Co-Op game with an online friend in FUT Squad Battles or FUT Division Rivals
|Accomplished Associate |
Play 10 Co-Op games with online friends in FUT Squad Battles or FUT Division Rivals
|FIFA Ultimate Theme |
Customise your FUT Stadium by having at least 20 cosmetic items active simultaneously
|Work of Art |
Unlock the Tier 3 Stadium in FIFA Ultimate Team
|Fan Favourite |
Reach 200 club appearances with a player in FIFA Ultimate Team
|Top Flight Football |
Earn 2000 FUT Champions points to achieve your first qualification for FUT Champions Weekend League
|Vision for Division |
Play a game in Division 4 or higher in FUT Division Rivals
|Seasoned to Perfection |
Complete 2 Milestone Groups in FIFA Ultimate Team
|Path to Victory |
Unlock all the traits within a skill-tree in Pro Clubs
|The First of Many |
Complete and win your first Pro Club Seasons league match
|Pro Clubs Rules |
Play and Complete a Cup House Rules Match in Pro Clubs
Unlock a Specialty in Pro Clubs
|Getting the Job Done |
Jump into a Sim match in Career Mode and win it
|Time For a Change |
Successfully convert a player to a new position in Career Mode
Attend both a Pre-Match and a Post-Match Press Conference
|Extra Sharpness |
Score one or more goals in a match with a player that has a maximum sharpness level in Career Mode
|One of us! One of us! |
Buy a player that had been loaned for the team in Career Mode
|Keeping Up the Pace |
Achieve an A grade rating in 5 different training drills in Career Mode
|European Glory |
Win the UEFA Europa League Final
Win the UEFA Champions League Final
Play 5 H2H matches with a friend in Kick Off
|In the Game |
Play a women's International football match
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.