Not much is known about Nintendo's sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A short teaser debuted last year that saw Link and Zelda seemingly encountering Ganondorf once more but there's been no gameplay footage or substantial information since then. Nevertheless, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachet feels that Nintendo will have no trouble selling tens of millions of units.
Speaking to GamingBolt, Pachter was asked about the sequel and whether it will maintain the same level of critical and commercial success (especially since Breath of the Wild sold over 20 million units since launch) or see a drop-off. He responded that, "I think it will sell more. Bigger install base, and the brands that everyone buys Nintendo systems for are Zelda and Mario Kart and Smash Bros. And how many Switches will be on the market by the time the next Zelda is out, 75 million? They will probably have no trouble selling 25 million units of the next Zelda game, they will probably sell 35 million, even 40 million."
These would be pretty good numbers but Pachter notes that, "They're great games. Zelda is the best thing that Nintendo does, I'm not a big Smash guy, but Mario Kart and Zelda are great." Interestingly, he also speculated that the reason Nintendo hasn't done a new Mario Kart title since 2014 is because "They want to have a giant install base to sell it to and set records."
As for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's sequel, series producer Eiji Aonuma said fans would have to wait "a bit longer" for updates. Nevertheless, Nintendo is working with Omega Force on Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a Musou-style hack and slash title set 100 years before Breath of the Wild. It features Link, the Champions, a younger Impa and even Zelda as playable characters and releases on November 20th for Nintendo Switch.
For a few years now, FIFA games have started becoming particularly stale, and though major new headline additions like The Journey, VOLTA, and the UEFA license do keep slightly shaking things up every now and then, it still feels like the series is caught in a rut, like it has settled on a way that it wants to do things and refuses to move outside of that comfort zone too much. Sure, we get some tweaks and improvements to the on-pitch gameplay every year, some of which work out very well, but for the most part, things have remained largely the same, especially these last couple of years or so.
FIFA 21 feels perhaps like the most unnecessary instalment in this franchise in a while. It still makes some improvements to the actual football, and in particular, its attacking gameplay feels smoother and more enjoyable, but all in all, there isn't much here to speak of by way of necessary, major additions or changes.
"FIFA 21 feels perhaps like the most unnecessary instalment in this franchise in a while."
But let's speak about the on-pitch football first, because that, after all, is what matters most in any football simulation title. Thankfully, this is an area where FIFA is generally solid every year, and FIFA 21 doesn't disappoint. The actual action on the pitch is as smooth and compelling as ever, striking the right balance between accessibility and still having a high skill ceiling.
As I mentioned earlier, attacking gameplay in particular has benefited from some tweaks. The addition of creative runs, which allows you to send a player on a run in a direction of your choosing right after passing the ball, is worthy of special praise, because of how quick and snappy it feels to use. Threading spaces, sending out passes, and then setting off on runs to set up your next attack feels so much more enjoyable thanks to creative runs.
Your teammates also seem to be much smarter in FIFA 21 than they did in last year's game, at least as far as attacks are concerned. Thanks to improved positioning artificial intelligence, your teammates seem to have a much better understanding of where they should be at what moment. The players with higher ratings seem to be especially smart about this, which means making a particular player the focal point of your attack and then building passes around them is often a nifty tactic.
Of course, with more aggressive attacking AI and the addition of creative runs, this means that FIFA 21 once again takes a step backwards with its defending. It's an area where the series has been wildly inconsistent over the years and has never seemed to manage the sweet spot. This year, the pendulum has very clearly swung heavily in offensive football's direction, which means defensive AI lags behind noticeably.
"Threading spaces, sending out passes, and then setting off on runs to set up your next attack feels so much more enjoyable thanks to creative runs."
The area where FIFA has most been in need of a number of years now is Career Mode, and once again, this year's game fails to make the necessary improvements. In fact, it very much follows the same pattern of additions and tweaks that EA Sports have stuck to in recent years. FIFA 21's Career Mode does make some changes for sure, and one in particular works out well enough, but they ultimately end up feeling like additive improvements, leaving the rest of the Career Mode to feel as stagnant as ever.
The one big change it makes is to training. FIFA 21 allows players much greater control on how to train and retrain players. You can set particular regimens for each player for different positions and playing styles, and the younger the are, the better they will respond to that training. This gives you far greater control over how the players in your team are progressing.
For instance, retraining players into new positions is a much more viable option now, so if you have an ageing winger that doesn't have the stamina or agility to play in that position anymore but can still easily land a killer pass, you'll have a much easier time retraining them to play in a deeper, more central position.
Meanwhile, with the new training features, you now also have a lot of control over the young players in your club and how they progress. FIFA games have often tried to push youth development and scouting onto Career Mode players in part years, but it has always felt like an underwhelming system at best. In FIFA 21, given the tools at your disposal, you do have much greater incentive to train and improve players in your own academy in order to help them flourish.
"The area where FIFA has most been in need of a number of years now is Career Mode, and once again, this year's game fails to make the necessary improvements."
Other than improvements with the training though, FIFA 21's Career Mode is more of the same. Transfers have a couple more options, such as a loan-to-buy option, but by and large, many of the same issues still persist. Squad and press interactions are at best vapid and unnecessary. There is a new Sharpness system, but I haven't seen it having any real effect on my players' form or abilities in any meaningful way.
I feel like I've said this in my FIFA reviews every year for the past few years, but the Career Mode needs a reinvention desperately, and I really hope net year's game, which will be the series' proper next-gen debut, will be the one to do that.
VOLTA returns as well, offering a different flair and style of football than what FIFA as a package is all about, and is an experience that is much the same as last year's. There's a short, roughly four hour-long single player introductory story mode called The Debut, but it's largely forgettable. The actual football in VOLT mode is as fun, fluid, and fast as ever, but even more so than last year, I found that it couldn't hold my attention for too long.
On the visuals and presentation front, it's clear as day that FIFA 21 is the last FIFA game of the current console generation, because it's beginning to look a little aged. The flash and pomp of overlays, camera angles, snappy presentation, and enthusiastic commentary is all still here, so FIFA still very much feels like an authentic simulation of a real matchday, of course. But the pitches could do with a little more detail, and character models and animations are beginning to look dated. Here's hoping next year's game decides to leverage next-gen hardware to deliver a shinier experience.
"On the visuals and presentation front, it's clear as day that FIFA 21 is the last FIFA game of the current console generation, because it's beginning to look a little aged."
I have never been as compelled to say this about a FIFA game as I am this year- but FIFA 21 feels rather skippable. Veteran fans of the series probably won't do that, and sure, there are some good changes to on-pitch gameplay this year, but none of it feels crucial or fundamentally vital. Outside of the pitch, there is, once again, nothing much to speak for either. All of this means that FIFA 21 is solid and still immensely playable, but very stale, and rather unnecessary.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
MiHoYo's Genshin Impact is a pretty stunning free-to-play title and a very fun action RPG. However, at the end of the day, it's also a gacha game. While you receive four characters free, each corresponding to a single element, additional characters require special types of currency to "Summon". These are Acquaint Fate and Intertwined Fate, and are used at the "Wish" menu. The former is used for Standard Wishes while the latter is for limited time or event Wishes.
When starting the game, you'll have enough currency for the Beginner's Wish. This is a specific pool of characters and items that costs 20 percent less Acquaint Fate and contains Noelle (a four star character who can use Claymores and has strong defense). Summons come in two flavors – 1x Wish and 10x Wish Set – and it's better to use the latter since this provides better characters and weapons.
Go for the 10x Wish Set to get Noelle guaranteed and then maybe use the second 10x Wish Set to get another four or five star character. Just be aware that the drop-rates for four and five star characters is pretty low at 0.6 percent and 5.1 percent respectively.
After using 20 Wishes in the Beginner's Wish banner, it will expire and no longer be available. Now you're meant to grind out Acquaint Fate and Intertwined Fate by playing the game (or spending money but try to avoid that). Fortunately, there are a few methods to farming Fate in-game. First, go to the Shop menu and look at Paimon's Bargains – you can exchange different currencies for Fate here. Primogems are one such currency – check out the various ways to farm them below.
Various quest completions and achievements will also net you Fate. When spending Fate on any character banner, check the drop rates and who's available in the pool. Keep this in mind for future banners as well and try to avoid spending Fate until you're absolutely sure there's a character you want.
How to Level Up Characters
Genshin Impact is interesting in how it handles level-ups. While you can gain EXP by defeating enemies, you'll quickly find that using Character EXP items is a much quicker way to power up. These can be obtained from the open world but also drops frequently from the Blossom of Revelations (which costs Original Resin to activate). Quests can also give some good EXP while also contributing to one's Adventure Rank.
First of all, however, prioritize who you want to level up. Find your core group of characters that you'll be using throughout the game. Build up a decent inventory of Wanderer's Advice (1,000 EXP), Adventurer's Experience (5,000 XP) and Hero's Wit (20,000 EXP) to power them up when you need to. Kaeya and the Traveler aka player character are good characters to start with. Others, like Amber and Noelle, take lower priority in terms of damage output. If you happen to pull a character like Diluc, Jean or QiQi, level them up as quickly as possible.
We'll cover character Ascension in greater detail in another guide. Each character requires different materials for Ascension, which essentially raises their level cap and allows for further upgrading a character's stats. Getting to Ascension Level 2 is necessary for leveling up talents and these also require specific materials for upgrading.
How to Farm Talent Upgrade Materials
You'll find talent upgrade materials via two dungeons – Forsaken Rift and Taishan Mansion. Each offers different materials on a rotating cycle. Here's the full list of materials they provide, starting with Forsaken Rift (which requires Adventure Rank 27 to access):
- Teachings of Freedom
- Teachings of Resistance
- Teachings of Ballad
- Guide to Freedom
- Guide to Resistance
- Guide to Ballad
- Philosophies of Freedom
- Philosophies of Resistance
- Philosophies of Ballad
Next is Taishan Mansion. Its materials are:
- Teachings of Prosperity
- Teachings of Diligence
- Teachings of Gold
- Guide to Philosophy
- Guide to Diligence
- Guide to Gold
- Philosophies of Prosperity
- Philosophies of Diligence
- Philosophies of Gold
It's a good idea to level up talents because along with outputting more damage, they also provide some strong passive bonuses for the end-game.
This upcoming generation of consoles is a different beast from the ending generation. For one, these systems are much more up to date with current technology than the PS4 or Xbox One were, but maybe more importantly, they're backwards compatibility with the previous generation (and beyond in the case of the Xbox), which the PS4 and One lacked. Sony actually detailed their policy and abilities on BC recently, though there is one key thing of note.
As always, with a new generation of systems comes a lot of cross-gen titles, and some publishers have been handling it pretty smoothly with straightforward upgrades from current gen to next gen, while others…haven't. But for those that do, it seems as if there has been issues on the PlayStation side with save transfers. Unlike Microsoft, who has their universal Smart Delivery method publishers and developers can employ (though some developers have opted out of using that system), it seems as if Sony is leaving it up to the developers entirely as explained on the official PlayStation blog.
"Please note that the ability to transfer game saves between a PS4 version and a PS5 version of the same game is a developer decision, and will vary title by title for cross-generational games."
This explains why several titles that had PS4 to PS5 upgrade titles have lacked save transfers, such as mostly recently Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Maneater. Sony themselves, at least, seem to be doing it with the most recent announcement that Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales will have save transfers.
Considering the COVID pandemic ongoing, this year has been a weird one. With most major conventions, specifically E3, being canceled, both Sony and Microsoft opted for a much slower drip feed approach to their marketing for the new generation consoles. How you enjoyed that is up to you, obviously, but we're about a month away now from their launches now, and it's time for more traditional, mainstream marketing.
Microsoft released the official launch trailer for the Xbox Series X and Series S. It features fantastic actor Daniel Kaluuya, probably largely known for his lead role in the film Get Out, as he's sent through a variety of trippy experiences, some of which harken to specific titles such as Halo and Assassin's Creed. In truth, it doesn't really tell you much about either system, but it's pretty cool to look at.
Both the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will launch worldwide on November 10th. For a round up of everything you'll need to know about the consoles before release, we have you covered.
It was quite the long wait for Borderlands 3, but ultimately one that seemed to be worth it in the end when it was all said and done. The game has sold very well and continued to get support well after launch, including the upcoming Arms Race Mode, that is being hyped up as almost a separate game all its own. But before that, we get to return to an old favorite for the Halloween holiday.
As players will surely remember, last year we had the Bloody Harvest event. It's back again for the month. The event can be started by talking to Maurice and hunting down ghosts to eventually open the portal to Heck to take on Captain Haunt. You can check out the trailer below.
Borderlands 3 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia with the game confirmed to be coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Bloody Harvest will be a repeatable mission that will be available up until November 5th.
It was yesterday when we got news of the latest update coming to the best-selling Mortal Kombat 11. Not only would we being getting three new characters in the form of Mileena, Rain and John Rambo, it also detailed the next gen plans for the title alongside its upgrade paths, which you can read about here. It was, by and large, a welcome addition, but unfortunately, for some groups there is still something key missing.
The original release of the game did not feature crossplay of any kind, but eventually it was patched to allow crossplay, but only between the PS4 and Xbox One. While some maybe hoped that with the release of Ultimate it would see that branch out, it's doesn't seem to be happening. WB set up a "Krossplay FAQ," and there only the current and upcoming PlayStation and Xbox versions were mentioned again. That means that there will be no crossplay available even when Ultimate and Kombat Pack 2 releases for the Switch, PC or Stadia versions.
It may not be surprising considering crossplay has been absent from those versions all this time, but disappointing all the same I imagine. Either way, Mortal Kombat 11: Ultimate Edition and Kombat Pack 2 will release on November 17th for all major platforms.
Sony provided some long-awaited details on PS4 backwards compatibility on the PS5, noting that some titles would benefit from a boost in performance. Sucker Punch Productions' Ghost of Tsushima will be one of those games. As confirmed on Twitter, it will be backwards compatible on day one and allow for transferring saves from PS4 to PS5.
As for the benefits it reaps from Game Boost, players can look forward to frame rates at "up to 60 FPS." Sucker Punch also said that while loading speeds are already great on the PS5, "just wait until you see them on the PS5!" It's worth noting that the resolution for 60 FPS gameplay hasn't been confirmed but it wouldn't be surprising if it was 1080p or 1440p.
The news comes at a very good time since Ghost of Tsushima will be receiving update 1.1 this month, which adds four player co-op via Ghost of Tsushima: Legends and New Game Plus. Can we expect cross-gen multiplayer in Legends? Time will tell so stay tuned for more details, especially regarding other PS4 titles that could use Game Boost on PS5.
#GhostOfTsushima will be playable on PS5 on day one via backward compatibility, and you'll be able to transfer your save from PS4 to pick up where you left off!
— Ghost of Tsushima OUT NOW (@SuckerPunchProd) October 9, 2020
PS5 owners playing with Game Boost will see an extra option to allow frame rates up to 60FPS, and while loading speeds on the PS4 are already great, just wait until you see them on the PS5!
— Ghost of Tsushima OUT NOW (@SuckerPunchProd) October 9, 2020
Frictional Games' Amnesia: Rebirth is out later this month, serving as the latest sequel in the Amnesia series. The story focuses on Tasi Trianon, who wakes up in the Algeria desert with her memory fragmented. However, a new trailer offers a bit more detail on the circumstances.
Narrated by Saleem Henachi, who crash-landed in the desert with other survivors on the Cassandra, it showcases some of the environments that players will explore. While some of these are set in ruins and abandoned towns, others are more other-worldly. Saleem also speaks of dark occurrences and something sinister lurking in the shadows (which is par for the series' course).
Amnesia: Rebirth is out on October 20th for PS4 and PC. Along with a new story and protagonist, it takes several new approaches to gameplay, like matches instead of tinderboxes. Check out a more detailed walkthrough here and stay tuned for more details.
Insomniac has announced that Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales has gone gold for PS4 and PS5, which means that discs have been sent for manufacturing. To celebrate, a GIF of the game's Spider-Men doing the classic sneak animation can be seen. It provides a comedic look at Miles' three suits in-game.
The news also means that principle development on the title has effectively wrapped. There will still likely be a day one patch addressing any remaining bugs and issues. But for all intents and purposes, the title is content-complete and in a launch-worthy state.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is out on November 12th for PS4 and PS5. Taking place one year after the events of The City That Never Sleeps DLC from the first game, it sees Miles becoming Spider-Man and taking on his own share of villains. Along with new missions, Miles also has his share of new powers to utilize. Check out the first gameplay for the title here.
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) October 9, 2020