Blog Archive

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Fallout 4 runs at 60fps on Xbox Series S with advanced backward compatibility techniques

Microsoft have been making a big deal about the potential of their extensive backward compatibility programme on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, from simply steadying frame rates and dynamic resolutions of Xbox One titles, to Auto HDR through machine learning and even talk of doubling the frame rate of games.

The backward compatibility team have now revealed the first example of this: Fallout 4. Originally a basic 1080p30 game, Bethesda's RPG has had its 30fps frame rate limit removed and can run at double the frame rate on Xbox Series S.

There, that's much better, isn't it?

The technique to double the frame rate is something that Microsoft will implement on a case-by-case basis, as some games may not work due to the original physics or animations. Those games would require a patch and additional work to iron out the kinks, though Microsoft have also stated in the past that for many games, adding new Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X performance targets and profiles could require as few as three lines of code.

Auto HDR is a much broader enhancement, with machine learning trying to analyse each frame of the game and broaden the colours and dynamic range available – reportedly Microsoft will be disabling this in cases where it doesn't work quite right – and "nearly all" backward compatible titles will now have 16x anisotropic filtering to improve the appearance of textures. This was previously done for select Xbox One X Enhanced games in backward compatibility.

Back to the frame rate doubling, and it's great to see how this can improve the experience for Fallout 4 and Xbox Series S. The implication is that this will also apply to the game on Xbox Series X, but this is not yet known. Bethesda released an Xbox One X update that boosted game resolutions to 2160p. Given the sheer power of the Xbox Series X, you'd bet that it could pull the same 60fps trick at 4K, but nothing is confirmed just yet.

Source: Microsoft


Get 12 months of PlayStation Now for £35 via Amazon

Amazon Prime Day is on, the annual event where millions of people buy loads of things they don't really need. As usual there are a bunch of video game deals but nothing too spectacular, a few quid off FIFA 21 or Doom Eternal, that sort of thing.

However, if you are look for a bargain in then Amazon are offering twelve months of PlayStation Now for just £35. That works out at around 9 pence a day for access to over 700 games including PS4 titles.

In May Sony confirmed the latest figures of PlayStation Now subscribers, announcing that 2.2 million people worldwide are signed up to the streaming service. This is over double the amount from last year when the figure hit one million subscribers. While it is a decent number it is still approximately five times lower than what Microsoft  has managed with Xbox Game Pass. That subscription service has reached over 10 million subscribers since its launch in 2017 across Xbox One and Windows 10. PlayStation Now had a three year head start launching in 2014, though only in select areas. While the figures show an improving picture for the service Sony still has its work cut out to get more people subscribed as the next generation arrives.

Over the last few months, Sony has been offering some big hitting titles on the PlayStation Now service, in April Sony added Marvel's Spider-Man and Just Cause 4, March saw Control and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and February had Uncharted: Lost Legacy and Horizon Zero Dawn. Other games on the service Dishonored 2, Metro: Exodus, Days Gone, Trine 4, RAD, MediEvil, and NASCAR Heat 4.

How PS Now will fare when the PS5 launches remains to be seen. With Microsoft being in a strong position already with Game Pass it has that advantage over Sony going into the next generation. Sony has decisions to make as well regarding when PS5 games will be added to the PS Now service, especially when Microsoft is utilising Xbox Game Pass to bring new games day one to subscribers. Sony may have to have a similar tactic if the company wants to compete in the streaming market.

Source: Amazon


Corsair K60 RGB Pro Keyboard Review

A year or two ago, you wouldn't have caught me dead with gaudy gamer RGB anywhere on my desktop setup. While the neon glow of a piece of RGB gear is gorgeous, I always considered it a bit excessive to ever want for myself. Fast forward to today, though, and I've thoroughly eaten my words. I've got bias lighting on the backs of my screens, an ultra-comfortable gaming mouse kitted out with multiple glowing bits and spots, and now I've added a Corsair K60 RGB Pro to my desk.

The colorised keys of this premium kit are already a massive game changer for me personally, but there's plenty of other solid features to this keyboard that might warrant an upgrade if you're in the market for a new desktop device. At $90 in the US, it's actually around the middle of Corsair's RGB-happy keyboard range, comparing well against other high-end mechanical keyboards. It's slightly less appealing in the UK, where it can be found for £109, for whatever reason.

Aside from the price, the weight and feel of the K60 scream one word: premium. With a brushed aluminium frame and a hefty weight of 880g or 1.95lb, the K60 is a sturdy beast that won't slide around your desk or get any cracks or scratches easily. I'm in love with the texture of the surface, and while the keycaps themselves look a tad more basic by comparison, they've got a unique look going thanks to their elevated style.

The RGB emitters under the keycaps stick out a lot further than you might see on other keyboards, giving the keycaps a sense that they're almost floating above the body of the keyboard. While it certainly gives the keyboard more real estate to emit gamer glow from, the fact that the emitters and the keycaps aren't uniform leads to an awkward visual disconnect whenever I look at the keyboard. It's a shame that some important keys are missing, as well. The K60 has no dedicated media buttons, and on top of that, there isn't even a Function lock key to permanently swap the operation of your F keys.

Of course, if you're the type to prioritize RGB with your keyboard, this is still great news for you. The glow of the K60 is bright, gaudy, and gorgeous. You can adjust the brightness and style of the glow through your function keys, enabling a variety of patterns like rolling waves, a sliding scanner, rippling glows as you type, and more. For me, I enjoy going with a simple single-colour glow on the keyboard. It's nice to simply have easy-to-spot backlit keys for when it gets darker in my room, but getting to set them to a sleek purple that matches my mouse is a fun bit of personalization.

You're afforded a lot more options for customisation if you connect to the Corsair iCUE software, which is the same software you'd use to alter the RGB and functionality of any other Corsair products you might be rocking.

The K60 is kitted with 100% CHERRY VIOLA mechanical keyswitches, on top of full n-key rollover and anti-ghosting. For the uninitiated, all of that basically translates to one of the most responsive and accurate keyboard experience you'll ever have.

As someone who's spent many a night being deprived of sleep by the loud clang of my college roommate's mechanical keyboard, I was happy to hear that the K60 is nowhere near as loud and obnoxious. Your typing gives off satisfying little clunks, but it's a much softer sound that won't prove too distracting.

The only distracting thing is the spacebar. Even with standard light presses while typing out an article or email, the spacebar spouts off a noticeable mechanical twang that continues to echo for a second after you press it. That same sound can sometimes be heard from the rest of your keypresses if you're really slamming the keys or looking out for the sound, but the fact that it's so noticeable on every press of the spacebar is a massive distraction. Even with a headset on and a video playing, hearing the sound of the spacebar echo out dozens of times a minute as I type proves to be way too intrusive for my tastes.


Aquanox: Deep Descent gets a new trailer explaining the game ahead of launch

First person underwater vehicle shooter Aquanox: Deep Descent launches on October 16th for PC, almost twenty years after the first game in the series hit the waves. As some gamers weren't even alive back in 2001, THQ Nordic have put together a trailer explaining what the new game entails.

Here's more about the game which I have shamelessly copied from the press release.

Aquanox: Deep Descent is a first person underwater vehicle shooter, in which players control a variety of customizable ships to engage in fierce battles in the dystopian deep sea world of Aqua.

In the near future, the Earth's surface has become uninhabitable. What remains of humankind lives in former mining and research stations, deep below the surface of the sea. Born and raised in the only world we know, the loose network of underwater settlements, torn by the war for resources and dominance between various factions.

Take control of a team of highly trained fighter pilots and experience an epic story in the deep sea world of Aquanox. Send your enemies down to Davy Jones's Locker with well-aimed torpedoes, mortars, mines and more. Explore the deepest corners of the oceans – mysterious, hazardous, uncharted.

Features

  • Fight: Unique underwater vehicle combat with a wide variety of play styles
  • Co-op: 4 player drop-in co-op, with four distinct pilots who are all involved in the game story
  • Customize: Choose your ship, and upgrade it to fit your preferred playing style
  • Explore: Explore, salvage, and loot- all while discovering the deepest corners of the ocean
  • PVP: Classic multiplayer modes, including Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch Dogfighting

For more on the history of the game you can pop over to the Aquanox Deep Descent Official Website. The game will launch on Steam and there is also a Limited Edition on Amazon for € 39.99 / £ 34.99 / $ 39.99. Sploosh!

Source: Press release


King Arthur: Knight's Tale is a dark tactical RPG twist on the Arthurian legend

The last half decade has seen Hungarian developer NeocoreGames make a name for themselves in the action RPG genre. The success of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing led to not one, but two sequels, before they snapped up one of the many Warhammer 40,000 licenses out there to create Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr.

For their next game, though, they're returning to the company's real roots. Their earliest games mixed real-time tactics, role-playing, and grand strategy genres together in the two King Arthur: The Role-Playing Wargame games and it's this historical fantasy setting that they're returning to with King Arthur: Knight's Tale… but with a twist.

King Arthur: Knight's Tale doesn't follow the same blend of genre buzzwords as The Role-Playing Wargame, nor is it an action RPG, instead forging a different path for the company. This is a dark fantasy tactical RPG, similar in some ways to the XCOM series with turn-based combat, but with more RPG-like depth to each character's growth through the campaign, deep loot tables, and with permadeath and other roguelite elements thrown in for good measure.

That's not the twist, though, which comes in the story that Neocore have woven, turning the Arthurian legend on its head, quite literally. You play as the traditional villain of the tale, Sir Mordred, tasked with gathering knights to a new roundtable and venturing forth to battle all manner of fantastical beasts.

But where's King Arthur? The game is actually set after the climactic Battle of Camlann between King Arthur and the infamous black knight, in which both were dealt a fatal blow and passed away… and yet they both still live. The magical island of Avalon is now beset by nightmarish enemies, with King Arthur somehow at the heart of them all. Now Sir Mordred must try to kill Arthur once more for the good of the realm.

The game will play out on multiple levels, with tactical RPG battling taking place on a grid-based battle map. You'll have the pick of over 30 heroes, each of which is aligned with one of five classes. Success can depend on your ability to scout out an area, luring enemies into an ambush and take advantage of their weaknesses; with the aforementioned permadeath in mind, you'll probably want to play cautiously. Thankfully you can heal injuries, curses and disease, but they will take time and sideline a particular hero.

Leading them as Sir Mordred and rebuilding Camelot poses some interesting questions of morality. Mordred was, obviously, the bad guy, but it will be up to you to chart his course through the campaign and pick which quests to send your heroes on. Will your decisions lean toward the tyranny that he was best known for? Or will he turn over a new leaf and become a righteous ruler that King Arthur might be proud of?

It's going to be interesting to see how those elements come together, and we were only offered a glimpse of them at this time. The campaign will span twenty story missions, as you reclaim the kingdom from seven enemy factions and build up to defeating its ten bosses, but there will also be endgame modes and content to tackle after you've (presumably) rescued Arthur from his nightmarish fate. The permadeath and potential to simply run out of heroes adds a little extra spice to proceedings and could encourage multiple playthroughs.

King Arthur: Knight's Tale is expected to release in Q1 2021, but Neocore are first holding a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in the hopes of building a small community of enthusiastic fans to help shape some of the finer details of their twist on the Arthurian legend. The Kickstarter is live today, leading to a backer beta in November, before launching on Steam early next year and then for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.


Fall Guys adds a chonky Sonic the Hedgehog costume

A new costume has been revealed for the smash hit multiplayer game Fall Guys and it is based on everyone's favourite blue hedgehog. The brand new Sonic costume was demoed in a live stream yesterday and features the characters iconic red shoes and white gloves. That said, the costume is still stretched over a Fall Guy bean so it doesn't exactly look like Sonic, take a look.

The costume will be available tomorrow, 14th October, and will cost you five crowns for the top half and another five crowns for the bottom so you're going to have to be a good player to get the full costume.

Fall Guy Season 2 went live last week and brought new levels, new costumes, a new seasons pass and visual updates to existing levels, check out the patch notes below.

Here are the patch notes:

  • New Feature –  The Show Selector: Time-Limited Shows give players new ways to enjoy their favourite rounds types by selecting which Show they want to play!
  • New Feature –  Nameplates: Mix and Match customisable Banners and Nameplates to compliment your Fall Guy's attire!
  • New Feature –  Random Outfit Generator: Press triangle on the customiser screen until you get a combination of items you like!
  • Improvement – See your party members fall alongside you while waiting for matchmaking to complete.
  • Improvement – Fall Guys now have more responsive mantling up ledges.
  • Improvement – Visual updates to many levels
  • New Level –  Knight Fever:  Our hardest gauntlet level yet.
  • New Level –  Wall Guys:  Cooperate with other players to traverse castle walls.
  • New Level –  Egg Siege: A brand new Egg Scramble map with moving drawbridges!
  • New Level –  Hoopsie Legends: A Solo Hoopsie Round with moveable blocks.
  • Plethora of new customisation options – costumes, faceplates, colour palettes, emotes, and celebrations.
  • Many bug fixes and optimisations.

When it launched on PlayStation Plus Fall Guys quickly became the most downloaded PlayStation Plus title ever!

Source: Twitter


Horizon Zero Dawn PC update 1.06 is out, here at the patch notes

Guerilla have dropped a new patch for Horizon Zero Dawn on PC with a couple of tweaks including one that makes Aloy walk in a straight line, an odd thing to have to patch but there you go.

Here are the patch notes.

KNOWN ISSUES

  • Some players are experiencing an out of memory error during the game optimization process.
  • Some players are experiencing graphical settings issues, such as Anisotropic Filtering or HDR not working correctly.
  • Some players are experiencing performance issues on specific GPUs or hardware combinations.
  • We're aware of and continue to investigate issues that are not yet solved on both the player-compiled lists by u/EvilMonkeySlayer and u/Rampage572 – thank you!

PATCH NOTES

Crash Fixes

  • Fixed a streaming compute shader crash
  • Fixed a crash on startup related to file paths with non-ANSI characters

Graphical Improvements

  • Fixed an issue where characters would noticeably warp between cuts during a specific cutscene in main quest "The Point of the Spear"
  • Fixed an issue where box graphics would flash during the final cinematic of the game
  • Fixed an issue in HDR where the UI could get overlapped by a black scene
  • Fixed an issue where turning on the Adaptive FPS option gave lower performance results than setting similar results manually

Gameplay Improvements

  • Aloy forward walking direction – Aloy now walks directly towards the direction the camera is facing when you press forward, rather than at a slight angle

Other Improvements

  • Executable details – Properties of the executable now also displays the current version

We gave the game 7/10 in our review, a mark down from the PlayStation 4 version as it needed a beast of a PC to run. "Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition brings Guerrilla Games' fantastic sci-fi adventure to a whole new audience, but PC players used to ultra-high frame rates will have to accept a step down in performance as they enjoy Aloy's journey," we said.

Source: Guerilla


Oculus Quest 2 Review

The original Oculus Quest was the device that really made virtual reality make sense to me. While the console-connecting PSVR was my first taste of home VR, and remains an impressive system that's capable of far more than its hodge-podge of peripherals would have you believe, it's hard to go back once you've experienced standalone VR without any wires. Oculus Quest 2 does such a good job of smoothing off the original unit's few remaining rough edges, there's very little reason to have to.

The Oculus Quest 2 looks every inch like a desirable piece of modern tech. Having ditched the original's all-black aesthetic, the Quest 2 is a pleasingly rounded, pure white headset that looks as though it's been designed to sit on every Ikea table you can find on Instagram. It's smaller too, feeling more compact in your hands, less bulky on your head, and remedying one of the key faults of its predecessor.

The biggest downside to the original Quest was its weight. An hour or two of the front-heavy system and you'd be feeling it in your cheeks for the rest of the day, no matter how you positioned the headset's straps. The Quest 2 makes a resounding move to rectify this by dropping the unit's weight from 571g to 503g, and within moments of putting it on the difference is obvious. It's still not effortlessly weightless – we're a long way from being able to pack these kinds of specs into something you won't notice – but it's a major improvement, adding some precious minutes to how long you can have it strapped to your head before feeling fatigued.

They've altered the strap too, swapping out the rubberised strap for a fabric one. In terms of usability they're very similar, with a central pillar connecting up with an adjustable band that runs around your skull and keeps the Quest 2 firmly in place, but the new strap has a pleasing tactility that feels far nicer under your fingers and against your head.

If you're looking for the an even better experience, Oculus have created a pro strap with an optional battery pack. It brings back some of the weight that was removed, but with it set at the rear of the unit the idea is that it provides balance and extra play time. We'll be running a full review of this peripheral when we've spent more time with it this week, but our first impression has been very positive.

The other major physical change from the original Quest is the loss of the lens slider. This was used to set the distance between the lenses across a range of increments, but it was easy to accidentally knock, whether during play or when coming in or out of storage. The Quest 2 alters this so that now you physically move the lenses inside their housing.

It reduces the number of lens positions down to three, which feels like a step back in a number of ways, but if you're swapping between different members of a household it makes the experience far quicker and easier. The positions are simple to click through, with a central button clearly showing which numbered slot the lenses are in. Once you know what your setting is you can just move to it within moments. I assume that some original Quest users will have lost their preferred setting, but across our household no one experienced any problems with the reduced range of options.

With the removal of the slider the outside of the Quest 2 features a fairly minimal number of controls. There's a volume rocker on the underside, and the left-hand side plays home to both the power button and the sole 3.5mm connection. The only other defining features are the Quest 2's camera units that allow for its inside-out tracking. Much like the original Quest they do a fantastic job of tracking you in whatever play space you've defined when starting up, and they'll allow you to see the outside world if you come up against that boundary.

The other main part of the Quest 2 package are the touch controllers. You get two in the box – one for each hand, as if that needed saying – and it's gratifying to find that there's no need to invest in anything else to get up and running; the box even serves as a robust place for keeping the Quest 2 safe, so you don't even necessarily need a case.

The touch controllers haven't had much in the way of external updates over the original other than getting a white makeover to match, but they were already a mature and well-conceived VR interface. It's a shame that they still rely on the AA batteries and haven't had a rechargeable upgrade but you can easily remedy that yourself for £10, and they certainly last a long time during use, boasting a 4x improvement over the originals.

The Quest 2's UI is largely unchanged from what Quest owners have been experiencing over the last few years, and it's a great example of a company getting the fundamentals right. The central bar shows the battery status of both your headset and the touch controllers, as well as giving direct access to your apps and games, sharing options, friends and options. That's all there is to it, but you'll find you can hop around from game to option to chat with no sign of lag or stuttering. The enhanced innards of the Quest 2 keep everything nipping along at pace, and it's a pleasure to interact with.

It's been fantastic to see the evolution of the original Quest, with features like the Minority Report-aping hand and finger tracking now included in the central options, and the Quest 2 has benefitted from the three years of consistent development. While the Quest never felt unfinished in its early days, the quality of life improvements of the firmware match up to the newly revamped hardware of the Quest 2. This is a slick, sleek virtual reality tech package, and Facebook are making a major play for the space.

Therein lies one of the rubs. You can no longer simply use an Oculus account to use a Quest device, and you'll be needing a Facebook account in order to do so. Who you trust with your data is becoming an ever-more difficult task to monitor, and the recent history of the company may not fill you with confidence that it's going to be well looked after when directly in Facebook's hands. For the majority it will barely register, but it's disappointing that there's any kind of barrier to entry when the technology is as good as this.

One of the most obvious improvements to the Oculus Quest 2 is the increased resolution. Coming in at 1832×1920 per eye, the jump over the Quest's 1440×1600 is apparent from the moment you put the headset on. It's difficult to quantify what that will come to mean in usage terms, especially when many games haven't had a Quest 2 update to take true advantage of both it and the added oomph of the new Snapdragon XR2 chip, but as of this moment, everything is crisper and cleaner than it was before.

Tetris Effect – easily one of my games of this generation – looks utterly beguiling, and those Tetronimoes and their psychedelic surroundings have simply never looked better. Similarly, the tactical squad shooter Onward benefits greatly from the cleaner display, the sharper image working wonders as you line up a sniper shot through a scope or sneak a peek around a corner.

The Oculus Quest 2 has also upped its refresh rate to a punchy 90hz, and though that's currently limited to the home screens and a few select titles, soon enough everything on the Quest 2 will be hitting that natively. Alongside a smoother experience it should help those that suffer from motion sickness to feel a little less overwhelmed. Anyone that's suffered from it during a VR session will know how horrifyingly bad it can be, and anything that can reduce it is a godsend.

The improved resolution and refresh rate could well be key for those that want to use the Quest 2 as a PCVR headset, and if you're looking to play some of the impressive PC exclusives like Half-Life: Alyx, the Quest 2 makes a convincing case thanks to its innate versatility.

It's as simple as hooking it up to your PC with the Oculus app installed – ideally with the Oculus fibre-optic cable, though cheaper USB-C cables are available – and you can play Oculus and SteamVR titles with ease. There's even an option to play wirelessly using Virtual Desktop, though there's a few hoops to jump through and it may not quite function the way you'd hope depending on your WiFi setup. Still, when the Quest 2 isn't just replacing its predecessor, but the Rift as well, it gives you some indication of just how important and integral Facebook think it is.

The Oculus Quest 2 is the next step in home VR that builds on the foundations of the original Quest's genre-defining standalone setup. This is a truly next generation console that's beaten both Sony and Microsoft to the punch.


Today's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare update will let you delete individual modes on PC

Today's update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PC will include options to uninstall different modes from the game and free up some of your under pressure hard drive and SSD space.

The news was revealed by Infinity Ward's Production Director Paul Haile on Twitter last night.

The feature is finally coming to the PC version of the game, having been given to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players back in June, and comes a little over a week after some gamers found that Modern Warfare was now so big on PC that it would no longer fit onto a 250GB SSD.

Of course, this is all because Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has ballooned in size since its initial release, with the PC version of the game already catering to higher end graphics cards with higher quality assets, and then with Infinity Ward and Activision adding to the campaign, co-op and multiplayer with the Warzone battle royale mode. That's available standalone and for free, but has been bundled into Modern Warfare's install size to cater to the cross-over nature of the seasonal content, unlocks and game events.

It's great to see for one of the biggest games on the planet, and it's something we expect to become more common as we head into the next generation of console. The size of game installs has been a topic of discussion through the run up to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S release in November, with both consoles having ultra-fast SSDs built in, and with next-gen games only able to run from the SSD or expansion SSDs, not from external hard drives. On the one hand, games will initially be smaller on next-gen consoles, with developers able to drop some of the workarounds needed to load quickly from hard drives and use higher levels of compression, but even then, some games will be absolutely massive.

For titles such as Call of Duty where many will run through the campaign once or twice before dedicating the rest of their gaming time solely on the multiplayer modes, it absolutely makes sense to let users delete the content they will no longer be using.

Source: Paul Haile


HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless Gaming Headset Review

While I've been using a headset for PC games for as long as I care to remember, it's only in the last few months that I've started using one for console gaming. I'd always felt like it was a bit of a hassle, especially with the wired set ups of the PS3 and Xbox 360 era, but it's far easier to go wireless these days, which finally convinced me to stop polluting my house with the sound of Destiny 2 gunfire and anime late at night.

The HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless Gaming Headset has a lovely sleek design with a white body, black cushioning and some blue accents. It goes very nicely with the needlessly white PS4 I own, and I'm sure it'll match the PS5 and DualSense as well. I don't normally get all that hot and bothered about matching colour schemes for my gaming peripherals, but when it does all work out like this, I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me happy.

It's not just good-looking, because it's also incredibly comfortable. Weighing in at just 275 grams, it's pretty easy to forget that it's even on your head. The earpads are nice and soft and have a wonderful passive noise-cancelling effect that will ensure that it's not just keeping you from disturbing everyone else, they'll have a hard time disturbing you as well. That's a pretty important thing in a headset when your house is filled with two chaotic cats and a toddler (I'm not actually ignoring her, this is just for dramatic effect).

The audio it delivers is great too. Relying on dynamic 40mm drivers, the headset delivers extraordinary clarity in each sound. You feel like everything is right next to you, and thanks to the way it blocks out external noise you don't have to pump the volume up just to be able to hear everything that's going on in the game or TV show you're watching.

The unidirectional microphone ensures that you can easily be understood whenever you happen to be gaming with others, and the swivel to mute function means you can swing it up and out of the way when you're chowing down on ice cream in the middle of a raid or being forced to interact with people in the same room as you.

As my first ever wireless headset, I can say that the HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless Gaming Headset was incredibly easy to set up. You just stick the USB dongle into whatever you want to use it with, turn on the headset and voila, sound is getting all up in your ears.

The other main factors are the range and battery life. It can apparently broadcast audio up to 12 meters in an open field, but since I don't live in a field (open or otherwise), all I can say is that walking into the small kitchen that's smushed into my lounge let me do some cooking while chatting to friends. You'll probably be fine in your house too. The battery life is also suitably impressive for a modern wireless headset, with HyperX rating it for 17 hours. I have to admit I charged it before that point just to be safe, with a decidedly modern USB-C port for when you need or want to top up.

The only real issue I have with the headset is the lack of a 3.5mm jack. The headset is for a PC or PS4, so it's not strictly necessary, but the lack of one does mean you can't co-opt it for with with other gadgets or Xbox consoles that you've got hanging around.


See the Overcooked! All You Can Eat next-gen overhaul compared to the original

Team17 have released a video comparison for Overcooked! All You Can Eat, their upcoming next-gen remaster of the hugely successful culinary co-op series. The remaster bundle will be out for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S later this year.

The side-by-side video shows off a slew of levels and how they've been packed with more detail, enhanced lighting, graphical effect and more.

Underneath it all, there's over 200 levels, as the bundle gathers together Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2 and all their DLC, but while it's the first game's content that will benefit the most here, there's a big step forward for the second game as well, thanks to the new lighting and shadow detail. The whole game runs in 4K and 60FPS on PS5 and Xbox Series X, as well.

Beyond that, loading times will be lightning fast, there's a new set of trophies and achievements to earn, and there's now cross-platform multiplayer across the whole game – online multiplayer was only introduced for Overcooked! 2.

Helping newcomers to the game with be the new assist mode that will let you slow the timeouts on recipes, lengthen rounds, and just skip levels outright. To be more inclusive, new accessibility options add a scalable UI, dyslexic-friendly text, and colour blindness options. All of these things are great to see, when other titles like Moving Out have helped reduce the bar for entry quite significantly from the game that inspired them.

Team17 have decided to sidestep the arguments over free and paid cross-gen releases with this remastered bundle, which is a paid, standalone release. It's worth remembering that the first game released way back in 2016, while its sequel came out in August 2018 and has been supported and expanded with free content since.

Overcooked! All You Can Eat will be out both physically and digitally for PS5 and Xbox Series X later this year.

Source: YouTube


Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix Review

I honestly wasn't expecting much when I fired up Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix for the first time. After all, its 2018 predecessor was widely panned as a game with not much going for it. So, it is a pleasant surprise to say that Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is a decent kart racer that has some depth to it, though it is missing some character.

The game follows the traditional form of the kart racer, giving you series of eight cups to take on, each with four races and tracks inspired by Nickelodeon shows. They range from Avatar's Ba Sing Se through to the Rugrats inspired Reptar Ruins. Outside of the Grand Prix you can take on 42 challenges that are divided between hitting targets, beating times, avoiding obstacles, and boss races. There is also the time trial mode to set new records on tracks by beating ghost racers, and an Arena mode which features a free for all deathmatch inspired mode as well as a capture the spatula mode.

Whatever you decide to do, there's a wide range of 30 racers for you to choose from, though some can only be unlocked by completing game modes. They're joined by 70 support characters, and it's these that add a real tactical element to Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix.

First you will choose a Chief character who has a slime ability that can be activated in races, be it Plankton's rain of chum to slow your rivals or Zuko's fire boost that shoots out flames to attack with. Then you have the Crew Engineer and Crew Mechanic. These support characters have abilities that work passively or activate automatically, including Spongebob's Gary giving you more slime, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Splinter granting invisibility after you attack an opponent. Bundle all of that with picking different engines, exhausts, and tyres, and you've actually got to put a little thought into choosing your loadout before you go racing.

There's three difficulty settings, but you'll want to go for the highest difficulty if you want a meaningful challenge. The Slow difficulty will have you outpacing opponents with ease, and this is only slightly upped at the Middle tier. The challenge events have their own difficulty settings with some being very easy, while a few will take quite a few attempts to beat. Some of them focus on drifting, specifically getting your drift up to the blue sparks level. They are the highest spark level with yellow and purple preceding them, similar to the drift progression found in Mario Kart 8. While there are crew members who can mitigate these challenges a little, like Mrs Puff and her instant purple sparks ability, it feels like it takes ages to get to blue sparks with some drift areas feeling like they are a bit too short to manage it in time.

Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix is also just lacking a certain charm. While it looks good and the tracks are entertaining, it feels a bit flat. You have all of these characters from Nickelodeon shows, but outside of some character specific animations there is no real soul to them. The game features no voice acting whatsoever, so all you hear in races is the music and the drone of the karts. Weapons definitely take inspiration from Mario Kart with a Purple Squid filling in for the Blue Shell, rocket footballs in for red shells, a hand mimicking the inkspots to reduce visibility, and so on.

Unfortunately, at time of writing I was unable to try out the online portion of Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2: Grand Prix as there seemed to be no one playing in either the Grand Prix mode or Free Race mode in the first five days after released. There is promise of a decent experience here, but the community will need to really pick up if there's going to be much longevity for online play.


Report: PlayStation 5 accessories and games have their launch date moved forward by a week in the UK

Good news everyone, Sony have moved forward the launch date of the PlayStation 5… media remote!  According to Simply Games, Sony have pushed forward the release date for all the PlayStation 5 accessories apart from the DualSense controller.

This means the PlayStation 5 camera, media remote, and headphones will launch on November 12th, the same day the PlayStation 5 launches in the United States, but you will have to wait for a week until the 19th before the console is released in the UK.

I quick check on Amazon reveals that PlayStation 5 games have also been brought forward, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales now has a release date of the 12th as does Sackboy: A Big Adventure. 

Sony recently updated the PlayStation 5 FAQ and revealed that if you have bought one of those snazzy new HD cameras for the PlayStation 5 you won't be able to use for your PlayStation 4 VR games.

The HD Camera is not compatible with PS4 games – please connect a PlayStation Camera via a PlayStation®Camera adaptor.

The old PS4 camera runs at 720p, the new one is 1080p and and includes new feature such as background removal. PlayStation VR owners are going to have swap the cameras out, the old PS4 camera to play any existing PSVR games, and then back to the PS5 camera if they want to broadcast or play any future PSVR games that, presumably, will work with the new camera and take advantage of the higher definition.

Sony state, the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games will still work and many of them will benefit from the added power of the new console. The PS5's Game Boost feature will make select PS4 games run at higher or smoother frame rates, and seems to be applied across the board.

However, that comes with some caveats and advisories:

  • Some functionalities that were available on the PS4 console may not be available on PS5 consoles. In addition, some PS4 games may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior when played on PS5 consoles.
  • Before purchasing add-ons to play with your PS4 games on PS5 consoles, please try to boot and play your PS4 games on your PS5 console to see if you are happy with the play experience.
  • Please note, playing PS VR games on a PS5 console requires a PlayStation VR headset, a PS camera (sold separately from PS5 console) and a PS camera adaptor (no purchase required).
  • Always update your PS5 console to the latest version of the system software.

There are ten titles that Sony have noted will not work on PlayStation 5, for whatever reason. These games will be labelled in the PlayStation Store as only being compatible with PS4, and are as follows:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe's Diner

Source: Twitter


MX vs ATV All Out Switch Review

MX vs ATV All Out is an extreme-sports race that mixes a number of different vehicle classes into one hectic mess of tricks, mud, races and crashes. The title originally released in 2018 to mostly mixed and negative reviews, but has Rainbow Studios turned the title around in it's Nintendo Switch port?

First things first, this is definitely a game for those people who consider themselves Motocross fans. The game features numerous professional riders, official brands, recognisable tracks and just about everything else a fan of the sport would need, all in one package. The bikes and riders are incredibly detailed with lots of customisation options and upgrades to boot, giving fans plenty of options to get stuck into.

All Out lets players control both the bike and the weight of the rider through the left and right analog sticks. Shift the right the stick left and the rider will lean to the left, and vice versa. It's a neat system which enables players to shift their weight when going around contenders, helping to maintain both speed and control.

There are several different types of race disciplines in the game, ranging from closed circuits through to large open areas that involve driving across rough terrain. The former are often the most fun, featuring numerous vehicle types and some really varied terrain to battle with. Tussling with other drivers for first, second and third can be a lot of fun, although it can feel a little unfair when a car launches you off your bike.

There are also trick events, in which players can manipulate their bike and body in order to pull off flashy tricks to score points. This was probably the most enjoyable mode for me as there's a real joy to be found in linking tricks together and building a solid run across many of the ramps.

Between races, players can explore a large hub area filled with collectibles and jumps to play around with. It's a great way for players to get to grips with the games controls and physics without the pressure of being in a race. The collectibles also provide an added element of challenge as they can be quite difficult to reach.

Unfortunately, MX vs ATV All Out is not a good looking game. It sports visuals that sit somewhere between the resolution of this genre and the texture quality of last gen and the one before that. Grass, trees and mud all look washed out with a dynamic resolution that looks like it drops quite a bit below 720p at points.

Even when the original was released on PS4 and Xbox One in 2018. Many of the reviews complained about how washed out and drab the visuals look, and while a port to Switch was unlikely to dramatically overhaul the graphics, it's a shame that no effort has been made here to try to rectify those complaints. It's one of the poorest examples of what the Nintendo Switch is capable of.

I'm also not a fan of the game showing all of the DLC races in the event selection screen. You actually have to scroll past them to get to the playable races and that just sits wrong with me. That's before you consider that there has been an Anniversary Edition release on PS4 and Xbox One that bundled some of the DLC expansions in, which are kept separate for the Switch version of the game. At £34.99, it's relatively budget pricing, but this still feels pretty cheeky.


David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker to star in Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality for PC and consoles

The BBC and Maze Theory have announced Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality, a new game coming to consoles and PC with both David Tennant and Jodie Whittaker taking the part of the Doctor. It's not a completely new game but rather a reimagining and expansion of the 2019 game Doctor Who: The Edge of Time which was for VR only. The new(ish) game will launch in Spring 2021 for PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC, with next-gen versions also confirmed but undated.

Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality features:

  • A Console and PC adventure across Space and Time – built with current and next-generation consoles in mind, Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality features new worlds to explore, new puzzles, new challenges and new gameplay.
  • An Original Doctor Who story – uncover a universe-spanning threat as you seek to save reality from a series of time-breaking glitches. Continue the story that began in The Edge of Time and partner with the Doctor to unearth a greater mystery.
  • New Enemies and AI – come face-to-face with classic Doctor Who monsters including the Daleks and Weeping Angels. Experience the metal-clad terror of the Cybermen and more foes yet to be revealed…

Unfortunately Doctor Who: The Edge of Time was a bit of a dud and scored just 4/10 in our review. "I like Doctor Who a lot. As a TV show it's got all the best things about good entertainment and genuinely has some incredible storylines and messages. Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is not one of them though," ," said Jason in his review. "Between sluggish movement and dull puzzles, I think it's enough to say that even Jodie Whittaker can't save this game."

Also revealed was Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, a new game for mobile and Switch. For this game you will be heading back to Wester Drumlins, the spooky house from the classic Who episode "Blink". You get to team up with a familiar face, Petronella Osgood!

Source: Press release

 

 


Guilty Gear Strive launches in April for PS4, PS5, and PC, new character announced

Arc System Works has confirmed that Guilty Gear Strive will be released on April 9th for PS4, PS5, and PC via Steam. The studio also announced the game's Deluxe and Ultimate Edition. The Deluxe Edition will come with the Season Pass, while the Ultimate Edition will have the Season Pass plus the soundtrack and special character colours. The Season Pass itself will contain five fighters, two stages, and new story content. Speaking of fighters, new fighter Giovanna was also announced and you can see her in action below.

Giovanna rounds out the base roster of 15 characters. Add the five DLC characters and there will be a total of 20 fighters to choose from. Guilty Gear -Strive- has been in development since 2018, with the full announcement coming in the middle of last year. The start of 2020 then saw Arc System Software hold a closed beta well in advance of the game's planned release, originally planned for 2020, to give the team enough time to digest the feedback and data and adjust the game.

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

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

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

Source: YouTube/ResetEra


Something for the Weekend – 10/10/20

We're exactly one month away from the start of the next generation, with the release of the Xbox Series X coming on 10th November, but all the chatter over the last few days has been about the PlayStation 5, with Sony finally answering some of the burning questions about their soon-to-be-released console. Backward compatibility, how to install an SSD expansion, PSVR support and more have all been revealed now, making up the bulk of the headlines in our round-up.

Let's dive in!

In the News This Week

Games in Review

Things are starting to ramp up toward the end of the year, and we've got reviews to help you decide what's worth picking up:

And we had a couple hardware review, with a focus on soothing or vibrating your ears with high-end sound, and making sure you sound as good as you can.

Featured Articles

Away from the review queue, Nick played an awful lot of Baldur's Gate 3's Early Access release, finding an enthralling world, albeit one that's a touch mean.

Dom revisited Avicii Invector with the Nintendo Switch Encore Edition release, calling it the "perfect portable album", and he put a few questions to Synthesis, a go-to voice acting and localisation studio based in Germany. Steve then got a bit creepy, exploring the Alpine setting and hand-drawn visuals of Mundaun.

Nic braved the outside world to visit a cinema and watch Akira in 4K. Was it a worthwhile endeavour? Can you still visit a cinema in a responsible socially distanced manner? We discuss exactly that.

Finally, What We Played featured Star Wars Squadrons, Baldur's Gate 3 and The Survivalists

Trailer Park

The PlayStation 5 teardown video shows removable side panels, dust holes and how to install an SSD

NBA 2K21 next-gen gameplay revealed running on PlayStation 5

Rainbow Six Siege Tachanka Rework goes live today on Test Servers

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered confirmed, out this November

Monster Hunter Rise shows off new combat gameplay

Your Achievements

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

  • MrYd played "too much" Genshin Impact, as well as checking out Trine 4 from PS Now and Rogue Company.
  • It was a bit of Horizon Zero Dawn and Flight Simulator for hornet1990.
  • A different kind of flight was on ron_mcphatty's menu, as he played and loved Star Wars Squadrons
  • Lieutenant Fatman is finding Death Stranding "surprisingly fun" right now.
  • And Crazy_Del has been racking up more platinums. Sound Shapes on PS4 and PS3, Hitman Go on Vita, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and Beyond: Two Souls have been knocked off, and with more planned for the weekend.

Have a good weekend (and wrap up warm if you're going out) and we'll see you on the other side!


Reports suggest PS3, Vita, and PSP games will no longer be purchasable from PlayStation web store

There are reports suggesting that Sony will no longer allow people to purchase PS3, PSP, or PS Vita games from the PlayStore Store through its website or the PlayStation App. Instead, the only way players will be able to purchase any games for these systems will be through the PlayStation Store on those devices directly. For example, digital PS3 games will only be purchasable through the PlayStation Store app on the a PS3 system. This moves does not just affect games though with apps, avatars, and themes all apparently being removed as well. Eurogamer reported on the exact list which can be seen below.

SIE will no longer offer the ability for consumers to purchase:

  • PlayStation 3 games and add-ons
  • PSP (PlayStation Portable) games and add-ons
  • PlayStation Vita games and add-ons
  • Apps
  • Themes
  • Avatars

The report, which references an email sent to PlayStation development partners, also appears to confirm that the wishlist will be removed, and any current wishlists maintained by players will be wiped. Apparently these changes will first hit the web store on October 19th and then the mobile app on October 28th. Sony has yet to clarify why it will be removing games from previous systems from its web or mobile stores. Of course, the company will want to make way for PS5 games. This comes hot on the heels of confirmation that the PS5 camera will not be compatible with PS4 PSVR titles. Sony also stated game save transfers between the PS4 and PS5 will be dependant on developers. Sony also confirmed 10 games that will not be playable on PS5 through backwards compatibility.

Source: Eurogamer

 


Risk of Rain 2's 1.0 update will be released on consoles this month

Hopoo Games has announced that update 1.0 for Risk of Rain 2 will be released for consoles on October 20th. This update was released for the PC version of Risk of Rain 2 back in August, when it left Early Access. The main features of update 1.0 include the actual ending of the game, the new Captain survivor, new challenges, monsters, and stages to complete. There were also a lot of gameplay changes and you can check out the original patch notes below.

Risk of Rain 2 update 1.0 patch notes

Major Content

    • Added System: Game Ending
      • The game now includes a proper ending, with credits and cutscene.
    • Added System: Server Browser
      • Quickplay served an important function at launch – but the QP featureset is barebones. Not only that, but the game has evolved past needing to just find a match – you need to find the right match. We think a built-in Server Browser (and hosting) will still allow you to connect and find other players easily while also providing a lot of the features and choices you want to make before connecting to a game.
    • Added System: Intro Cutscene
      • The game now includes an intro cutscene!
    • Added New Survivor
      • New Survivor: Captain
    • Added New Stage
      • New Final Stage: ???

 

  • Added 4 New Music Tracks
      • New Track: Through a Cloud, Darkly
      • New Track: …con lentitud poderosa
      • New Track: You're Gonna Need a Bigger Ukulele
      • New Track: Lacrimosum

 

  • Added New Survivor Skin
      • New Survivor Skin: Captain Skin

 

  • Added 2 New Monsters
      • New Monster: ???
      • New Monster: ???

 

  • Added New Boss
      • New Final Boss: ???

 

  • Added New Interactable
      • New Interactable: Scrapper

 

  • Added 7 Items and 3 Equipment to the game
      • New Item: Item Scrap (White, Green, Red, Yellow)
      • New Boss Item: Molten Perforator
      • New Boss Item: Shatterspleen
      • New Boss Item: Mired Urn
      • New Lunar Item: Defiant Gouge
      • New Lunar Item: Mercurial Rachis
      • New Lunar Item: Purity
      • New Equipment: Super Massive Leech
      • New Equipment: Gorag's Opus
      • New Equipment: Forgive Me Please

 

  • Added 3 Character Challenges to the game
      • New Captain Challenge: Captain Mastery
      • New Captain Challenge: Wanderlust
      • New Captain Challenge: Worth Every Penny

 

  • Added 3 Challenges to the game
      • New Challenge: I Love Dying!
      • New Challenge: Washed Away
      • New Challenge: The Calm

 

  • Added 36 Lore Entries to the game
    • New Item Lore Entry: Molten Perforator
    • New Item Lore Entry: Shatterspleen
    • New Item Lore Entry: Mired Urn
    • New Item Lore Entry: Super Massive Leech
    • New Item Lore Entry: Gorag's Opus
    • New Item Lore Entry: Forgive Me Please
    • New Item Lore Entry: Soulbound Catalyst
    • New Item Lore Entry: Bandolier
    • New Item Lore Entry: The Crowdfunder
    • New Item Lore Entry: Old Guillotine
    • New Item Lore Entry: Jade Elephant
    • New Item Lore Entry: Blast Shower
    • New Item Lore Entry: Lepton Daisy
    • New Item Lore Entry: Shattering Justice
    • New Item Lore Entry: Topaz Brooch
    • New Item Lore Entry: Ocular HUD
    • New Item Lore Entry: Unstable Tesla Coil
    • New Item Lore Entry: Milky Chrysalis
    • New Item Lore Entry: Will-o'-the-wisp
    • New Item Lore Entry: Gnarled Woodsprite
    • New Item Lore Entry: Halcyon Seed
    • New Item Lore Entry: Purity
    • New Item Lore Entry: Glowing Meteorite
    • New Item Lore Entry: Preon Accumulator
    • New Item Lore Entry: Aegis
    • New Monster Lore Entry: Clay Dunestrider
    • New Monster Lore Entry: Alloy Vulture
    • New Monster Lore Entry: Imp
    • New Monster Lore Entry: Void Reaver
    • New Monster Lore Entry: ???
    • New Monster Lore Entry: ???
    • New Monster Lore Entry: ???
    • New Stage Lore Entry: ???
    • New Character Lore Entry: Huntress
    • New Character Lore Entry: Captain
    • New Character Lore Entry: MUL-T

Gameplay Changes

  • General
      • Bleeds now refresh all existing bleed durations on that target. This affects both enemies and players, and is a huge change for how bleeds will work.
      • Increase difficulty rate over time for all difficulties by +10%.
        Developer Notes: In this update, we've buffed a ton of items – and also given players way more agency over the way a run progresses. Our goal is for players to be more engaged with the game – what we don't want is for the game to be suddenly much easier. This is a bit of a sanity check, and shouldn't dramatically change the difficulty.
      • Slightly reworked OSP. The goal is to fix inconsistencies and make it actually protect you from one-shots – while also fixing some abuse cases with curse.
        • The threshold for OSP is now displayed on the healthbar with a faint graphic.
        • Now has a lingering 0.1s duration when activated.
        • 🌧 Now is subtracted via Curse (Shaped Glass, Artifact of Glass, etc), i.e a curse of 10% will remove OSP entirely.
        • 🌧 Update OSP logic so it still triggers if you receive multiple sources of damage in the same frame that go past OSP values, i.e Malachite Lesser Wisps

 

  • Elites
      • Blazing, Overloading, Glacial
        • 🌧Health Bonus: 470% ⇒ 400%
      • Malachite, Celestine
        • 🌧Health Bonus: 2350% ⇒ 1800%
          Developer Notes: We've had a lot of feedback that elite health has always felt a bit bloated – and that subsequently, it makes the Old Guillotine feel required. Our intent is to make characters less reliant on the Old Guillotine, and to make it feel more like an elite hate item – and less of an overall DPS item.

 

  • Survivors
        • 🌧🌧🌧 Mobility skills are now considered 'sprinting', scaling with sprint speed multipliers and also sprinting after use.
        • Melee Survivors
          • 🌧 Melee skills will now perform more consistently at high attack speeds.
          • Melee skills will now scale hitpause duration with attack speed – since the pause when hitting enemies were static, melee characters actually scaled poorly with attack speed.
          • Melee skills will now 'hold' you in the air better at high attack speeds.
        • Added a 'Keyword' system. Keywords are just words to describe common repeated behavior without explaining it every time. Added the following keywords:
          • Freezing
          • Stunning
          • Shocking
          • Poisonous
          • Regenerative
          • Agile
          • Percent HP
          • Sonic Boom
          • Weaken
          • Expose
          • Heavy

 

      • MUL-T
        Developer Notes: MUL-T has gotten some love from this patch to really push forward the idea that his weapons are strong in specific roles. Faster swap time and more responsive actions for the weapons will (hopefully) make weapon swapping feel better. We've also admittedly creeped cooldowns down over time, and MUL-T felt a bit left behind.

        • Base Acceleration: 25 ⇒ 30
        • Rebar Puncher
          • Now charges after firing, rather than before.
        • Scrap Launcher
          • Now behaves like a rocket instead of a grenade
          • Lifetime: 3s ⇒ 4s
          • Explosion Radius: 5m ⇒ 7m
          • Velocity: 70 m/s ⇒ 100 m/s
        • Nail Gun
          • No longer has an initial shotgun of 6 nails.
          • Now has a final shotgun of 12 nails.
          • Now fires in a consistent corkscrew pattern
          • Proc Coefficient: 0.4 ⇒ 0.6
          • Damage: 60% ⇒ 70%
          • Wind-down duration: 0s ⇒ 1.152s
        • Retool
          • Swap duration: 0.7s ⇒ 0.4s
        • Transport Mode
          • Cooldown: 8s ⇒ 6s
      • Mercenary
        Developer Notes: The Mercenary was always supposed to be the highest skill-cap survivor. However, in actual gameplay he became very flow-charty, using abilities directly off cooldown while holding down M1. The intent for all these changes is to allow skill expression, dynamic cooldowns, and higher risk vs reward in fight with the new 'Exposed' debuff. The hope is that the character will be stronger for advanced players, but weaker for new players.

        • Base Health: 140 (+42 per level) ⇒ 110 (+33 per level)
        • Base Regeneration: 2.5 health / second ⇒ 1 health / second
        • NEW Debuff: Exposed
          • Striking an Exposed target reduces all cooldowns by 1 second and deals an additional +350% base damage
        • Laser Sword
          • Third Strike Damage: 300% ⇒ 130%
          • Third hit now applies 'Exposed' debuff
          • The second and third hit of the combo can no longer be started in the middle of other attacks
        • Whirlwind
          • Ground Speed Multiplier: 6 ⇒ 8
        • Blinding Assault
          • Cooldown: 7s ⇒ 8s
          • Can now be canceled mid-attack by both Whirlwind and Rising Thunder
        • Slicing Winds
          • Last hit now applies 'Exposed' debuff
      • Acrid
        Developer Notes: Acrid has always been a melee-ranged hybrid. We want greater rewards for engaging in melee and completing your M1 combo for players who enjoy a more aggressive playstyle.

        • NEW Buff: Regenerate
          • Regenerate for 10% health over 0.5 seconds.
        • Vicious Wounds
          • Third hit of the combo now grants 'Regenerate' buff
        • Ravenous Bite
          • Now grants 'Regenerate' buff
        • Frenzied Leap
          • 🌧Now (properly) stuns
      • Artificer
        Developer Notes: We want to enforce the Artificer's role as a high-damage, high AoE character. Nano-Bomb in general was core to the fantasy, but was pretty much inferior to Nano-Spear in every way.

        • Plasma Bolt
          • Blast Radius: 4m ⇒ 6m
        • Charged Nano-Bomb
          • Now has slight gravity
          • Blast Radius: 10m ⇒ 14m
          • Blast Damage, Max Charge: 1200% ⇒ 2000%
          • Blast Force: 1300 ⇒ 3000
          • Lifetime: 5s ⇒ 10s
          • Improved FX for clarity
        • Ion Surge
          • No longer has -75% damage falloff at the edge of the blast

 

  • Items
      • Monster Tooth
        • Healing: 8 (+8 per stack) ⇒ 8
        • 🌧Now also heals for 2% (+2% per stack) of maximum health
      • Medkit
        • Healing: 24 (+24 per stack) ⇒ 20
        • 🌧Now also heals for 5% (+5% per stack) of maximum health
      • Repulsion Armor Plate
        • Now properly reduces damage from environmental effects
      • Warbanner
        • 🌧 Now also places a Warbanner when activating the Teleporter
        • Improve VFX to be less opaque, since it will always be near the Teleporter
      • Death Mark
        • Debuff Duration: 7s ⇒ 7s (+7s per stack)
        • 🌧Remove text stating that the damage bonus scaled with stacks
      • Old Guillotine
        • Execute Threshold: ~20% (+20% per stack) ⇒ 13% (+13% per stack)
          Developer Notes: Since we've re-tuned the health of elites across the board, the Guillotine should be appropriately re-tuned as well.
      • Runald's/Kjaro's Band
        Developer Notes: The two rings have undergone a bit of a rework, working off of an internal cooldown rather than a chance on-hit. We're hoping that this can help diversify one of our "on-hit" items to be more than just attacking enemies and hoping things activate. We've also changed the behavior of Kjaro's to be more of the AoE option, while Runald's is the single target option.

        • Proc Chance: 8% ⇒ 100%
        • Now has an internal cooldown of 10 seconds
        • Now has a minimum threshold of only triggering on attacks that deal 400% or greater damage
        • Runald's Band
          • Ice Blast Damage: 250% (+125% per stack) ⇒ 250% (+250% per stack)
          • Ice Debuff Duration: 3s ⇒ 3s (+3s per stack)
        • Kjaro's Band
          • Fire Tornado Damage: 500% (+250% per stack) ⇒ 300% (+300% per stack)
          • Fire Tornado Hitbox Width: 4.8m ⇒ 13m
          • No longer moves
      • H3AD-5T v2
        • Reworked logic for calculating fall speed so it scales better while falling farther. Now has the following behavior:
          • Damage Coefficient: 1000% – 10,000% at maximum speed
          • Explosion Radius: 5m – 100m at maximum speed
          • Improved FX
      • Interstellar Desk Plant
        • Healing Radius: 3m (+1.5m per stack) ⇒ 5m (+5m per stack)
        • Healing: 5% max health every 1 second ⇒ 5% max health every 0.5 second
      • Milky Chrysalis
        • Now grants true flight and antigravity instead of jump-to-hover.
        • Pressing jump now performs a short dash in the direction of movement with a 0.5s cooldown.
      • Strides of Heresy
        • No longer puts you in combat
      • Helfire Tincture
        • Helfire Radius: 10m ⇒ 15m
        • Helfire Duration: 8s ⇒ 12s
        • Improve VFX and SFX
      • Effigy of Grief
        • Now placed at where you're aiming, rather than at your feet
        • No longer is consumed on use.
        • Now limited to 5 per map per character.
      • Little Disciple
        • Fire Rate: 0.5s ⇒ 1.6s
        • Damage Coefficient: 100% (+100% per stack) ⇒ 300% (+300% per stack)
        • 🌧Fire Rate now scales with movement speed

 

  • Stages
      • 3D Printers will appear more often on all stages, ~50% more
      • 3D Printers will cost less to spawn on all stages, ~50% less
      • The new interactable, the Scrapper, can now appear on all stages
      • Titanic Plains
        • 🌧 Update with new visuals to make it depressing
      • Sky Meadow
        • Update with new visuals and functionality that leads to the final stage
      • Bazaar Between Time
        • Base Portal Chance: 25% for the first portal ⇒ 37.5% for the first portal
        • Lunar Buds: 4 ⇒ 5

 

  • Monsters & Bosses
    • Mini Mushrum
      • 🌧 Base Health: 360 (+108 per level) ⇒ 290 (+87 per level)
    • Parent
      • 🌧 Base Health: 1200 (+360 per level) ⇒ 900 (+270 per level)
    • Lesser Wisp
      • Now properly stops charging attack sound when interrupted
    • Imp Overlord
      • 🌧Maximum Blink Distance: 600m ⇒ 300m
      • Now throws Void Spikes in a staggered fashion, rather than all at once
    • Magma Worm
      • 🌧Maximum "Blink" Distance: 600m ⇒ 300m
      • Now considerably more aggressive and better able to hit targets
        Developer Notes: The blink behavior of both the Imp Overlord and the Magma Worm allows it to follow players between platforms, but it leads a lot of the times to the bosses blinking across the map to attack drones and turrets. While they may still do that, it'll be a bit less pronounced.
    • Void Reaver
      • Now attempts to lead its Void Bombs in a straight line against its target
      • Updated AI to fire more aggressively and backpedal when its target is too close
      • AI now has 360° vision
    • Bison
      • 🌧 Add spawn effect and animation (finally!)

Quality of Life

  • 🌧 Added a language dropdown menu to the Main Menu
  • Audio has received an overall mix pass
  • Reduced the audio levels of the Magma Worm, Imp Overlord, and Clay Dunestrider
  • Updated the Teleporter model
  • Updated the Ukulele model
  • Improved Infusion VFX to be more noticeable
  • Reduced brightness of some Mercenary effects to they are less white and have more color
  • Fixed dithering for several on-character item displays
  • Updated the kick system to be able to supply detailed messages and enforce version matching when connecting to a server
  • Added functionality for servers and lobbies to provide mod info and reject players for mismatches
  • Servers can now define behavior to run upon entering character select by supplying a "server_pregame.cfg" config file
  • Updated "MUL-T: Gotcha!" challenge to allow Preon tendrils to count toward completion
  • A bunch of other stuff we probably forgot!

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue with spread from bloom being applied to both minimum and maximum spread (ie you could never have a bullet travel dead-center when your spread bloom is at maximum) for Commando's Phase Blast, Huntress' Ballista, and MUL-T's Rebar Puncher
  • Fixed potential physics crash that could occur if a character attempts to use a melee attack after crossfading into a new animation from a paused animation
  • Fixed immobilization from Void Reavers and REX's Tangling Growth becoming permanent if using Wax Quail while affected, which would also sometimes lead to a crash upon getting killed
  • Fixed Repulsion Armor Plate not applying against posthumously dealt damage
  • Fixed Visions of Heresy allowing Huntress' Ballista to exceed three shots
  • All gameplay stats are now forced to update before generating the final run report to make sure all values are up-to-date at the end screen
  • Fixed MUL-T's Nailgun not properly animating over the network
  • Fixed some projectiles not playing their pre-expiration sounds over the network
  • Fixed several sounds not being played over the network
  • Fixed a timing issue in which lobby player count would not update immediately after a player leaves the lobby
  • Fixed a variety of other bugs we also probably forgot!

Source: Steam


Epic free games giveaway gets a horror favourite next week

It may not feel like it but we're just a few weeks away from Halloween. While it's unlikely we'll see as many trick or treaters looting their neighbours this year, it hasn't stopped video games from celebrating this macabre annual tradition.

Next week, Epic Games will be adding a horror favourite to their thick catalogue of free games. Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs will be available from October 15th through to the 22nd, bringing some seriously spooky vibes to the Epic Games Store. As long as you sign into your Epic account and add it to your collection, it's yours to keep forever.

You'll also be able to get a copy of Kingdom New Lands, completely on the house. This edition of the stylise 2D strategy game includes the post-launch expansion.

As for this week's picks, you can now get your hands on both ABZU and Rising Storm 2: Vietnam. Check the full list of Epic free games below:

Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs October 15-22, 2020
Kingdom New Lands October 15-22, 2020
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam October 8-15, 2020
ABZU October 8-15, 2020
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


The Medium will released in December for Xbox Series X|S and PC

Bloober Team has confirmed that its psychological horror title The Medium will be released on December 10th for Xbox Series X|S and PC, coming a month after the release of Microsoft's next console generation. Pre-orders have gone live for The Medium and it is priced at priced £41.74 / €49.99 / $49.99, though those who order before the release date will get a 10% discount. Anyone who orders through Steam will get The Medium Original Soundtrack featuring a 'dual' score soundtrack by  Akira Yamaoka, of Silent Hill fame, and Bloober Team's Arkadiusz Reikowski, plus The Art of The Medium digital artbook.

When The Medium was originally announced Piotr Babieno, CEO at Bloober Team, said:

"Every one of our games has a central theme that drives its creative and technological design. In The Medium, we focus on perspective and perception. When you change your point of view, you discover that things are more complicated and nuanced than you initially thought. The Medium is our most ambitious game ever and we can't wait to show you how we're translating this vision into a psychological horror."

The game follows Marianne, a medium who's haunted by visions forced to live between both the real world and the spirit world. At times you'll be able to explore both worlds simultaneously, controlling both versions of Marianne with a single analogue stick, investigating different elements found in each world. Marianne has varying abilities as well, able to tap into supernatural powers like Out of Body in the spirit world.

Source: Press Release


All Indivisible production will be halted confirms 505 Games

There have been some major changes at Lab Zero Games, developers of Indivisible, over the past few months. It all really began when studio head Mike Zaimont was accused of making sexist and racist comments, as well as creating an unsafe work environment. Originally, Mike said he would step down as the studio head but eventually decided against that. That led to a lot of people quitting Lab Zero Games in protest. Then, last month it appeared Mike fired everyone else at Lab Zero effectively making him the only employee of the company. This in turn has affected development of Indivisible, and now publisher 505 Games has weighed in saying there will be no further work don on the game.

In light of the recent restructuring and dissolution of Lab Zero, 505 Games would like to clarify what this means for the future of Indivisible.
At this stage, apart from content that is already in submission, there will unfortunately be no more production on the game. We understand that longtime players have been waiting for Guest Characters as well as some Backer created characters. Regretfully, this additional content will not be added to the game. There is an update for Nintendo Switch that is already in submission. It will add Razmi's Challenges, New Game+ and Couch Co-Op to the Nintendo Switch. That update will bring all platforms to the same level of development and offer a complete game experience to all current and future players. This is expected to release later this month starting on October 13th and rolling out to other regions afterwards.

Indivisible is a game of diversity, inclusion, friendship and evolution. 505 Games worked with the talented and creative people at Lab Zero for many years to bring Indivisible to life. We are proud of the game that was created and are happy that it has received the positive response that it deserves. We are sorry the journey has ended this way. We wish to thank all the Indivisible players, new and old, who have supported the game. From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate you

505 Games

In a further FAQ, 505 stated that backers who paid for the Ajna statue will still get them. These statues will enter production soon and 505 Games will provide information on when they will go out. Indivisible will not be removed from any storefronts so will be available both digitally and physically. The North American Switch physical release will happen in November but those who have pre-ordered should double check if the stores will be able to fulfil those orders. Any digital backer codes from IndieGoGo are the responsibility of Lab Zero Games, and it is very unlikely players will receive those due to the studio's situation.

Source: 505 Games


Crucible will be shut down by Amazon in November

Amazon Game Studios' hero shooter Crucible will be shut down on 9th November, the development team at Relentless Studios has confirmed. This ends what has been a poor cycle for Amazon's first major attempt in the games industry. Crucible was originally launched back in May as a free to play title. However, early issues meant a month later in June two of Crucible's modes, Harvester Command and Alpha Hunters, were retired so all the focus could be on the Hearts of the Hives mode. Then in July, Crucible was moved back to closed beta so it could be reworked. That hasn't helped leading to the closure announcement. The full statement is below.

Essence hunters,

In July we moved Crucible into closed beta. We made a list of features we felt would enhance the player experience, which we shared publicly on our roadmap, and with the exception of custom games (which we expect to ship in the coming days), we completed them all. With those features shipped, our next step was to evaluate the feedback we've heard from you, paired with the data we've collected, to determine our path forward.

That evaluation led us to a difficult decision: we'll be discontinuing development on Crucible. We very much appreciate the way that our fans have rallied around our efforts, and we've loved seeing your responses to the changes we've made over the last few months, but ultimately we didn't see a healthy, sustainable future ahead of Crucible. We'll be transitioning our team to focus on New World and other upcoming projects from Amazon Games.

We're offering a full refund for any purchases made. You can find more information on our support page. We will also be disabling credit purchases within Crucible.

In the next few weeks we'll be hosting a final playtest and community celebration, both in-game and in our official Discord. After that point we'll be disabling matchmaking, although you'll still be able to play Crucible through the custom games feature. Stay tuned for more information on that event. Servers will stay up for custom games until noon PST on Monday, November 9, 2020.

Thank you, as always, for being part of our community. This has been a labor of love, and we're grateful for the time we got to spend on planet Crucible with you.

Signing off once more,  -the Crucible team

As the statement says, players are entitled to full refunds on all the things they may have bought in the short time Crucible was running. Amazon Games' next big project is the MMO New World which was delayed to Spring 2021.

Source: Official Crucible site


Ghost of Tsushima can run at 60fps with PS5's Game Boost mode

Sony have detailed the extent of the PS5's backward compatibility today, revealing which games won't work from the 4,000+ titles available on PS4, delving into peripheral support, PSVR and more.

One of the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games that will be supported via PlayStation 5's backward compatibility is the recently released exclusive Ghost of Tsushima. While the PS5's Game Boost mode can help across the board to improve game frame rates and bump dynamic resolutions up to their maximum, Ghost of Tsushima will be able to recognise that it's running on PlayStation 5 and offer a special Game Boost mode to run at 60fps.

 

Sony explained in the blog post that "Select PS4 titles will see increased loading speeds on the PS5 console, and will also leverage Game Boost, offering improved or more stable frame rates. Some titles with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K may see higher fidelity."

What's fascinating about this is that it's being done within the limitations of backward compatibility and could be applied to other PlayStation 4 games, though the implication is that it's something coded into the game to tap into the extra power that's available. Could we see something similar for The Last of Us Part II?

This seems be akin to the "three lines of code" needed for Xbox One games to unlock frame rates and resolutions for Xbox Series X|S backward compatibility.

This isn't the only exciting thing happening in Ghost of Tsushima over the next few weeks. On 16th October, Sucker Punch will be releasing the Legends update, throwing a full on co-op mode into their historical Japanese action game. This will see players team up for wave-based Survival missions, tackle Raids, or switch from four players to two for some story missions.

Oh, and in news for all the dog lovers out there, you'll be able to unlock a charm that lets you pet the damn dogs. Even the spirit dogs!

Source: Sucker Punch


Sony confirms PS5 cross-gen save transfers are "a developer decision"

A growing story over the last couple of weeks has been that, where many cross-generational releases on Xbox will support cross-gen saves via the Smart Delivery scheme, those same games with free upgrades from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 will not do so on Sony's platforms.

Sony have now confirmed that this is "a developer decision" and one that will vary on a title-by-title basis.

The company also state that two of their key cross-gen launch titles, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure will support game save transfers. For Miles Morales, "when players decide to upgrade from PS4 to PS5 their game saves will transfer," while the function will require an update after release for Sackboy: A Big Adventure. Sony will provide additional details closer to launch, but the wording implies that this is a one way street from current to next generation.

Games such as Dirt 5, Yakuza: Like A Dragon, Maneater and Planet Coaster: Console Edition have all been confirmed to not allow you to transfer your single player save files and progression from PS4 to PS5, but let you take saves and progression back and forth between generations on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. That said, Dirt 5's Playgrounds uploads and Planet Coaster's Frontier Workshop does allow for some online elements to be transferred between generations.

Games where player progression is stored online are also relatively safe bets. Destiny 2, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and others that already have cross-platform progression will all allow you to take your multiplayer progression back and forth.

And on the other hand, it's not all smelling of roses on the Xbox side. Developers that do not adopt Smart Delivery also do not necessarily support cross-generational saves. The implication through all of this, however, is that Microsoft have created a system to handle the process, but Sony have not.

This seems to be down to a fundamental difference between how the two ecosystems will work, as explained by Tripwire Interactive for Maneater:

  • This is not a different application/game on XBox Series S & X and saves and trophies/achievements will carry forward.
  • This IS a separate application/game on PlayStation 5 and trophies, stats and saves will not transfer

Of course, there's no such concerns for backward compatible games. For PS4 titles, your saves can be transferred to PS5 in a number of ways, whether via LAN or WiFi, using an external USB drive, or cloud saves as part of a PlayStation Plus subscription.

Sony have today detailed a lot about the state of backward compatibility on PlayStation 5, revealing the 10 games that absolutely will not work on PS5, as well as revealing the slightly baffling fact that to use PSVR on PS5, you have to use the PS4 camera and not the new PS5 one…

Source: PS Blog


You cannot use the new PlayStation 5 camera to play existing PlayStation 4 PSVR games

Sony have updated the PlayStation 5 FAQ and revealed that if you have bought one of those snazzy new HD cameras for the PlayStation 5 you won't be able to use for your PlayStation 4 VR games.

The HD Camera is not compatible with PS4 games – please connect a PlayStation Camera via a PlayStation®Camera adaptor.

The old PS4 camera runs at 720p, the new one is 1080p and and includes new feature such as background removal. PlayStation VR owners are going to have swap the cameras out, the old PS4 camera to play any existing PSVR games, and then back to the PS5 camera if they want to broadcast or play any future PSVR games that, presumably, will work with the new camera and take advantage of the higher definition.

The FAQ also reveals the Share menu won't work if you are playing a PlayStation 4 game but you can map some buttons to take videos and screens.

The SHARE menu cannot be displayed during PS4 gameplay on PS5 consoles. You can take screenshots and images by pressing the create button on your DualSense wireless controller to show the create menu. Additionally, you can use the button shortcuts to start/stop video recording or to save screenshots as follows:

  • Single press the create (DualSense) or SHARE button (DUALSHOCK4) to show the create menu
  • Press and hold the create (DualSense) or SHARE button (DUALSHOCK4)  to take a screenshot
  • Double press the create (DualSense) or SHARE button (DUALSHOCK4) to start and stop video recording manually. 

Sony also state Tournaments, In-Game Live, and the PS4 Second Screen app will not work on PlayStation 5 so it seems they have been consigned to history.

Sony have posted a teardown video of the PlayStation 5 console showing how you can install a second drive to increase storage space, you can find more details on that here. They have also listed a few PlayStation 4 games that will not run on PlayStation 5.

Source: Sony


What We Played #470 – Star Wars Squadrons, Baldur's Gate 3 & The Survivalists

We do love to play some games here at TheSixthAxis, and we certainly have been doing that as the autumn game releases rain down on us like tiny plastic boxes of joy falling from the sky. I've spent a load of time with Star Wars Squadrons and I've really enjoyed it, though it's a shame to hear that we might not get any extra DLC or updates in the future.

Besides that I've started to play Ring Fit Adventures, and Baldur's Gate 3, all the while waiting for access to the Oculus Quest 2 we've been sent. I just put it on my head for ten minutes a day to listen to the tranquil 3D audio of the start-up screen at the moment. But that's all I can do.

Jason started us off with a string of expletives since he didn't believe it was the end of the week. In amidst that he also forgot to tell me what he was playing, but I can tell you now he probably enjoyed a Rogue-Souls-CCG-like which was both very tough and very pretty.

Nic B also swore at me, but he did at least remember the question, telling us "I've played a lot of Ring of Pain. Review embargo is the 15th, but first impressions embargo was yesterday so I can say it's a cool card-based roguelite dungeon crawler which is a fascinating idea. I also went to see Akira 4K in a cinema."

Jim spent most of his gaming time racking up a few wins in Fall Guys, making the most of the double Fame event before the Season 2 launch. He's also managed to hit a milestone in Final Fantasy VI, having progressed further than his original corrupted PS1 save from many years ago, saying "I can definitely see why it's a fan favourite with some interesting battle mechanics and characters."

Tuffcub tried to play Destiny 2 for about half an hour, but he's been too busy for games, which is a bit of a shame. Come on world, this man just wants to play Destiny 2! Aran did find time for games though, and spent it reviewing FIFA 21, saying "it has some improved parts over FIFA 20 but it isn't that much different". Alongside that he's playing through the campaign of Modern Warfare.

Also on the review path was Tom Lord, who has been playing a lot of Ride 4 for review. He's been browsing through the dealerships and ogling at motorcycles which is super satisfying, but the on-track action less so. Ade meanwhile has been playing the strategy game Warsaw for a console review, saying "It's a pretty unique game, but as the player is doomed to lose, there's no way you can win! Whilst this is fitting considering the history of the Warsaw uprising, it's also a bit… unsatisfactory. Anyway, more of all that in the review. I've also been playing Cake Bash for review which is pretty much Fight Club for sweet treats. Finally I've been playing some more Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which is probably Lara's best game yet."

Nick P has been playing Baldur's Gate III this week which has been "bloody marvelous". And of course he's played a bit of Warzone on the side, for a change. Gareth has been mostly playing the amazing-sounding One Finger Death Punch 2 and The Survivalists for review, though he's managed to squeeze in an hour or two of Minecraft VR alongside them.

Miguel has been playing a lovely mix of things, spending time with Genshin Impact, 13 Sentinels, Animal Crossing and Apex Legends. Steve was the last of the latecomers and told us "this week I finished TLOU2 which is a landmark in terms of cinematic gaming and technical achievements but is still rooted in the past in  so many ways. Could have been a few hours shorter and been just as effective. That being said it is one of the most important games of the generation. Other than that I've played a bunch of PC titles for review and tinkered with Oculus Link for lots of SteamVR fun."

Finally, Tef dove into the weird and slightly unsatisfying Super Mario Bros. 35. It's Super Mario smushed into the Tetris 99 formula for battle royale and doesn't quite pull it off, but is sure to get better and more varied as the players get better at it.

Now then, what have you played?


PlayStation 5 backward compatibility FAQ reveals 10 PS4 games that will not work

Sony have posted a support article detailing backward compatibility on the PlayStation 5 and the handful of PlayStation 4 games that will not work on the next-gen console. Of the over 4,000 games released for PlayStation 4, there are just 10 that do not work.

As Sony state, the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games will still work and many of them will benefit from the added power of the new console. The PS5's Game Boost feature will make select PS4 games run at higher or smoother frame rates, and seems to be applied across the board.

However, that comes with some caveats and advisories:

  • Some functionalities that were available on the PS4 console may not be available on PS5 consoles. In addition, some PS4 games may exhibit errors or unexpected behavior when played on PS5 consoles.
  • Before purchasing add-ons to play with your PS4 games on PS5 consoles, please try to boot and play your PS4 games on your PS5 console to see if you are happy with the play experience.
  • Please note, playing PS VR games on a PS5 console requires a PlayStation VR headset, a PS camera (sold separately from PS5 console) and a PS camera adaptor (no purchase required).
  • Always update your PS5 console to the latest version of the system software.

There are ten titles that Sony have noted will not work on PlayStation 5, for whatever reason. These games will be labelled in the PlayStation Store as only being compatible with PS4, and are as follows:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe's Diner

So basically, almost everything will work, but there's 10 games that definitely won't and there's bound to be some titles that have some funky behaviours. Some of this will surely be down to dependencies on PlayStation 4 system software and specific oddities with the game code that will now likely go unaddressed.

Additionally, the Share button functionality will be replaced by the Create button feature, while PS4 tournaments, In-Game Live and the PS4's Second Screen and game companion apps will not work.

If you've got a library of games installed on your PS4, you'll be able to transfer and play them on your PS5 using the WiFi transfer function. The FAQ states that "You can access PS4 games on a PS5 console directly from a PS5 extended storage drive," however we're not certain if this means that a hard drive formatted for use on PS4 cannot be then used for PS5.

Update: In a follow up post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony say "If you've already stored PS4 games and game data in the external USB storage device connected to your PS4, you can bring them over to PS5 with that external USB storage device."

Between the two statements, it seems as though the PS5 will be able to read data from a PS4 formatted external HDD, but will not be able to play games from one. That would seemingly require a HDD that has been formatted by the PS5.

Source: PlayStation


How Mundaun brings hand-drawn terror to its Alpine setting

The onset of a new console generation always brings with it an increasing push towards ever-more impressive graphical fidelity so it is refreshing to still see some genuinely original stylised aesthetics appearing on the indie scene. I'm not against photo realistic images of slathering jaws or dismemberment, but sometimes the focus on graphics can overshadow the importance of good design.

Mundaun certainly has bags of style thanks to the striking pencil-drawn art style. Game designer and illustrator Michel Ziegler has spent 6 years creating these and the love put in is clear to see.

Unlike most hand-drawn games, the world of Mundaun is still a fully 3D experience. Ziegler's illustrations have been texture mapped over the environment objects and the end result is an uncanny environment that feels like a folk horror take on the classic A-ha music video for 'Take On Me'. The claustrophobic atmosphere is juxtaposed with the rolling vistas of the Alps and makes for a hugely effective location. The sense of place is supported by a moving and atmospheric soundtrack that makes use of items from the mountains. Together, the whole game had a vivid feel reminiscent of the German expressionist horror films of the early 20th century.

The story for Mundaun has all the ingredients for a spooky folk horror time. Your character is returning to the Alps to discover more about the circumstances of their grandfather's death. I had the opportunity to watch a playthrough of a section from the middle of the game. This extract took place in the second of three large areas spread across the Alpine environment. The sense of place was enhanced by the signposts that both guide the player and mimic the trails and paths around the real life mountains. A handy goat can also occasionally help to show you alternative routes through dangerous areas.

The game itself is a mixture of exploration, survival horror, and puzzle solving. While there is a central narrative to work through, taking time to carry out mundane tasks such as making coffee will have direct benefits, with a light RPG system in place. The focus is clearly on atmosphere and story-telling however, as you work your way deeper into the mysteries of the region. While the Alps are predominantly quite a lonely environment, the developers promise pockets of life and a varied cast of characters. These will be brought to life through the use of voice acting in the local language, Romansh. It's an exceptionally specific focus that's characteristic of the personal nature of Ziegler's approach to the game's creation.

Exploration takes place in traditional first person style, but it's given an entirely new feel thanks to the unique graphical style. The open spaces promise alternative routes whilst puzzles seem self-contained and environmental. One eerie example in the demo involved swinging hanging hams in the correct order to release a key from a corpse's mouth – the corpse also hanging in the same curing room.

Mundaun is due out for PC and consoles sometime in Spring 2021 and looks set to be a distinctive and unique experience. Alongside the beautiful hand-drawn aesthetic and moving score, I am especially excited to find out more about the local folklores and traditions, immersing myself in the geography and language of the Alps to get a privileged glimpse of a little represented culture. Of course, I'll hopefully to scare myself silly in the process.


No Man's Sky Origins hotfix 3.03 is out now – here's the patch notes

Hello Games have been hard at work since the release of No Man's Sky Origins, the latest major update for the popular space exploration game. Hotfix 3.03 is out now across all platforms and fixes dozens of issues that were reported by the community.

No Man's Sky Origins brought sweeping changes and new features to the game, adding more planets to the procedurally generated galaxy, filling them with new flora and fauna, dramatic new weather effects, and more NPCs. The biggest addition (obviously) were the big Dune-like sandworms.

Here's the substantial patch notes.

No Man's Sky update 3.03

  • Fixed an issue that caused vegetation and other planetary items to be spread too thin when viewed at a distance.
  • Fixed an issue that caused a different mission to be selected when moving from one step of the Artemis story to another.
  • Fixed an issue that caused an occasional checkerboard pattern to appear on the terrain on frozen and volcanic worlds.
  • Fixed an occasional visual glitch that caused stretched polygons in the grass.
  • Improved the displacement effect on vegetation when it is pushed by the player or creatures.
  • Fixed an issue that caused items awarded by the Planetary Archive vaults to change rarity after save/load.
  • Players may now use the back-out button to select the 'Leave' option in an interaction.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented players from using the Multi-Tool upgrade terminal in VR.
  • When using the Analysis Visor, more distant markers are now shown slightly faded out.
  • Fixed an issue that made it difficult to summon the starship on some planets.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed the personal forcefield to activate while using the Analysis Visor.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented teleporter destinations from other galaxies from being visible on the teleport page.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented Xbox players from setting Waypoints from the Discovery Page.
  • Fixed an issue on PC that prevented base thumbnails from showing in the teleporter.
  • Virtual keyboard is now supported in Steam VR.
  • Fixed an issue where using the Steam VR desktop overlay would spin the game camera.
  • Fixed an issue that caused incorrect discovery counts to appear on planets where nothing had been discovered.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Local Information Register to display the system name as the planet name and vice versa.
  • Fixed an issue that caused incorrect thumbnails to display on the Discovery Page.
  • Opening the Discovery Page immediately after discovering something now correctly takes you straight to the details of that discovery.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the discovery thumbnail in the Analysis Visor to occasionally appear corrupted.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some creatures to appear at an incorrect position or scale when viewed on the Discovery page.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some flying creatures to be classified as 'Ground' by the Discovery Page.
  • Fixed an issue that caused jellyfish to face the wrong way while swimming.
  • Fixed an issue that caused frozen dead worlds to report overly warm temperatures.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause your ship to teleport inside buildings when visiting bases.
  • Trader ships that land on the planet's surface will now crush any objects they land on.
  • Fixed an issue that caused oxygen plants and carbon crystals to award too much of their substance on some planets.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause players to very occasionally warp into a system inside a planet.
  • Fix an issue that caused the Vy'keen smuggler to only say 'Grah!'
  • Fixed a number of audio and rumble issues with the Sandworm in multiplayer.
  • Fixed an issue that caused distant thunder audio to only play occasionally.
  • Fixed a number of audio issues with creatures.
  • Improved the icon for the Data Packet.
  • Exchanging an artefact at a Planetary Archive vault now correctly awards standing with the relevant faction.
  • Fixed an issue that blocked other players from using the vaults at the Planetary Archives in multiplayer.
  • Increased the likelihood of meteor showers on dead planets.
  • Fixed a number of clipping issues in the UI.
  • Fixed a number of text issues.
  • Fixed a number of minor errors in interactions.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Photo Mode cloud coverage option to be unavailable on some planets.
  • Improved the controls in Photo Mode, adding acceleration to the camera movement to allow more fine-tuned adjustments.
  • Added the ability to tilt the camera in Photo Mode.
  • Fixed an issue that caused screenshots taken in Photo Mode to be cropped to the wrong FOV.
  • Weather warning decals are no longer visible in Photo Mode.
  • Fixed a number of flickering issues present when using DoF controls in Photo Mode.
  • In Photo Mode, props will now be shown at the highest possible detail setting.
  • Fixed a number of memory-related crashes on console.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause poor framerate on PC VR.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some PC users with Windows hardware acceleration enabled to only see a white screen on boot.
  • Fixed a rare softlock that could occur when entering the ship at the moment you die.

Source: NMS


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