Blog Archive

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Watch Dogs Legion Seamlessly Unites Both Story and Gameplay into a Single Poignant Package

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Watch Dogs Legion is a game that offers near-infinite possibilities. Players can utilize advanced technology that lets you hack into nearly any terminal, phone, surveillance and security system, computer, AI system, vehicle, or other tech devices that you may find. You also have an entire city full of people who can be recruited and made to fight on your side against the oppressive surveillance state.

Albion, a private military company, has taken over London and crushes its opposition underfoot through deportations, arrests, and constant surveillance of its citizens. A criminal empire is also able to flourish under this new government and London is on its knees once the hacker resistance group DedSec is framed for a terrorist bombing and dismantled. But DedSec is slowly gaining back its power and needs to recruit new members into the fold to rebuild, resist, and eventually overthrow Albion.

The plot may not be the most original but it is compelling and the story beats do a great job at keeping you engaged. The myriad of twists and turns are synonymous with a dystopian near-future setting. And while not ambitious in concept, it's certainly ambitious in how readily it tackles many sensitive and extremely relevant issues such as immigrant rights, police corruption and brutality, a militarized police-state encroaching on civilian rights, the overreach of tech surveillance, and many other modern issues.

Watch Dogs Legion lives up to its namesake in both story and gameplay, with its premise that no one person can fight alone against the powerful and that united, the oppressed can make a stand and change things for the better. The recruitment system reflects this beautifully as it allows players to scan and approach literally any person in the city and ask them to join DedSec. They then have their own unique mission to complete to get them on your side, though sometimes you can instantly recruit them by fulfilling certain requirements such as rescuing them from a dangerous situation. There are also candidates that can be recruited by happening upon a certain scripted event, such as being assaulted or arrested by a police officer. And once you free them, this counts as having completed their recruitment mission and they are now on the side of DedSec.

Each operative falls under one of three classes: Enforcer, which specializes in guns and overall damage-dealing; Hacker, best for remote control operation; and Infiltrator, which is a pure stealth class that can also be good for melee. The sheer possibilities of operatives you can recruit is staggering and each one is distinct with their own voices, history, occupations, and relationship to DedSec depending on other characteristics. But instead of coming off awkward or gamey, it adds an incredible depth to Legion that truly makes London feel lived in.

Gameplay-wise this also means that you have a near-limitless pool of potential operatives to choose from — handy when you consider how easy a mission could result in death, arrest, or injury. But no need to worry, as players have the option of customizing their operatives' equipment and abilities using tech points gathered from completing objectives or performing other tasks. These upgrades range from enhancing the effectiveness of tech gadgets, making your weapons more powerful, increasing close combat capabilities, the ability to enhance stealth capabilities to better avoid detection, and so much more.

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The mechanics of Watch Dogs Legion do have a learning curve in terms of mastering all the tools of the trade, with the game dropping you right into the thick of things. However, once you become more familiar with controls and other options available to you, you won't need to recruit as many backup bodies. Rather you can focus on quality operatives (the ones with skillsets most suited to combat, hacking, and stealth) and mission needs (such as specific job requirements) instead.

Most missions that I played focused on breaking into a high-security area and moving around undetected until you either recover pertinent information for DedSec or you locate a person of interest. The map function denotes a hostile area in red, which is a subtle but excellent way to alert players that they now need to move carefully around said areas to avoid detection.

By far the most vital skill to master in order to complete these missions is hacking. Hacking has always been a linchpin in the franchise and it returns full force in Legion. You need to hack cellphones to distract police officers, guards, and other dangerous personnel as you traverse restricted areas. Hacking certain vehicles and machinery is necessary for getting past certain obstacles. Hacking security cameras gives you a full view of areas and the dangers within, while hacking computers nets you information and security clearance. Hacking environmental hazards create traps that can be used as distractions or for taking down enemies from a distance. Hacking security robots lets you fly over dangerous hotspots and reach hard to travel areas, or gets pesky surveillance off your back. And finally, your best friend the spiderbot is vital for traversing through tight squeezes and accessing otherwise impossible to reach areas.

And most of these hacking mechanics are done quite well. After some practice, it becomes second nature to use the tools at your disposal to scout out areas, break-in using various devices and equipment, distract guards, and other tech-based tasks. The screen prompts you when a certain action is available such as hacking a device or piece of equipment. The hit detection on said actions is quite accurate and its activation is instantaneous.

There's more to Watch Dogs Legion than hacking, and the second most important mechanic is stealth. Within the confines of the main story, you need to track down the trail of DedSec operatives, find possible informants, and uncover the secrets hidden and atrocities committed by Albion. This is mainly accomplished by using stealth and the options are simple but effective, working surprisingly similar to how someone would sneak around in a slightly exaggerated real-life setting. You simply crouch down and hide behind cover to avoid the line of sight of enemies, then take them down using traps, special Takedowns, or with combat.

If you happen to catch the eye of a foe (a small meter quickly fills red to inform you of this danger), then they'll investigate the area you're currently in which means you have to escape and hide or take them out. Because if you're found out, higher-ups will call for backup and you'll be swarmed by enemies with guns. You need to be careful even with stealthy Takedowns because the guards will become suspicious seeing their comrade knocked out and search the area.

Occasionally, certain situations lead to unavoidable combat and even though it's clear that not nearly as much effort was put into the basic fighting system other than punch and dodge, it still feels easy to control and matches the realism of Watch Dogs Legions. Most operatives are normal citizens who are either mediocre or terrible fighters and cannot match up with a trained officer or soldier, which means you'll be going into a brawl at a disadvantage. Luckily, there are even ways to mitigate that: recruit characters who are specialized in combat or give characters weapons that can even the odds (firearms, melee weapons, brass knuckle stun guns, etc.). You can also choose operatives with gadgets that let them avoid combat altogether in a sticky situation such as with a cloaking device.

And in the midst of it all, players get to occasionally play gumshoe as you — with the help of DedSec mission control and a wise-cracking AI — piece together various clues garnered through hacked files, witnesses, and even an impressive AR Field that recreates moments in time to examine.

Outside of the main story, there's still plenty to do. There are tons of side tasks that populate the map and will keep players busy. There are recruitment events for special characters who allow for a bevy of unique benefits such as bailing out teammates faster than normal or for better infiltration into government facilities. Missions that generate extra ETO (the cryptocurrency used in the game) are also present, as are special operations that allow for players and citizens to take back control of an entire section of London (which makes moving around said area much easier). Hidden minigames such as darts that net you said ETO are also included. ETO, by the way, is mainly used for customizing your currently playable operative with various outfits. It's a completely cosmetic feature but one that is still tons of fun to play around with.

The majority of the game controls quite well: stealth feels realistic, hacking is intuitive, and even combat can be fun if approached from the right angle. And what brings all these variables and mechanics together is the enemy AI, which is absolutely stellar. It takes what could be drab and repetitive gameplay and makes the entire experience of infiltration equal parts exciting, frustrating, and satisfying when successfully pulled off. Even when the mission is going well, there's still a tangible tense atmosphere as one false move can turn the tables against you.

However, there's a major caveat: sometimes input issues can arise in the most inconvenient or downright catastrophe ways. If your character or an NPC shifts just a bit, the action prompt can change completely. For takedowns, this means that now instead of German Suplexing that guard for an instant knockout, you just punched him in the face and have to deal with a raised alarm. And in the streets, it means I can somehow knock a poor granny out instead of boarding a moped, which immediately puts police heat on me and forces me to hide until it dies down. It's beyond frustrating and truly the only blemish in the controls, but it's a major one than can wreak havoc in a situation that was otherwise going smoothly.

Watch Dogs Legion's graphics are stunning with London recreated in gorgeous detail. From landmarks, to the lush greenery of parks, to the litany of little places of interest, Ubisoft has clearly put in the time and effort into recreating the grandeur and dreariness of this great city. There's also random occurrences of rain, with objects affected by it and the roads becoming harder to drive on — clearly a graphical flex, but an impressive one nonetheless. The UI is also quite clean; information is displayed on the screen in an easy to understand format that still fits in with the game. Not to mention, the sound design that plunges the player into a densely populated cityscape. Even the motors of the various vehicles are crisp sounding and accurate.

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The darts minigame I mentioned previously is rather fun, if not a bit quirky control-wise. You essentially focus a constantly moving reticle around the board and once it shrinks down to a pinprick you throw the dart. You can also liven things up by having a drink, which predictably makes things more difficult to control but nets you more winnings if you manage to pull off a win.

There's also an illegal fight arena you can take part in, which are scattered around the city and grant you reward points for completing them. They're bare-knuckle boxing match-ups that find you fighting against four different opponents, one at a time in a tournament style. At the end of the fight, if you win, you get to choose one of the fighters you faced to recruit as part of your team, allowing you to play as them. While I wasn't able to try out the tournament personally, I was informed that these recruits are special ones that have enhanced physical combat capabilities, making them formidable fighters against the various government agents.

Despite the few control hiccups that marred an otherwise stellar gameplay experience, Watch Dogs Legion continued to shock and awe me during my preview session. I found my nearly four-hour playthrough of the title fly by in an instant, as I was immersed in the city of London that Ubisoft so lovingly and accurately crafted. There's so much to do and discover with all of the pulse-pounding missions and dark mysteries buried within to the simple joys of driving around the streets and scoping out random citizens and delving just a little into their lives. Watch Dogs Legion is a joy to play and I can't wait to explore everything it has to offer once the game releases later this month.

The post Watch Dogs Legion Seamlessly Unites Both Story and Gameplay into a Single Poignant Package by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.


Xbox Series X Listings for Wolfenstein, Prey, and Dishonored Collections Have Appeared

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Hot off the heels of being acquired by Microsoft only a few weeks back, it seems as though Bethesda is now looking to bring over some of its most popular titles to the next-gen Xbox Series X/S platform.

Spotted on the ESRB's website, a pair of new collections related to both Wolfenstein and Arkane Studios have now popped up for Xbox Series X. The former bundle is called the Wolfenstein Alt History Collection and seems to contain all four titles in the franchise that MachineGames released this generation. The second related to Arkane is referred to as Dishonored & Prey The Arkane Collection and contains all three Dishonored entries to go along with the 2017 release of Prey.

What can be confirmed about these two collections is that, well, they absolutely exist. In the time since each appeared on the ESRB site, listings for both bundles have gone up for sale at certain retail chains. Moreover, both seem to be available as of today with Wolfenstein retailing for $79.99 and the Prey and Dishonored package costing $59.99.

The big question that remains now is whether or not these two lineups will also be released for the Xbox Series X when it releases next month. While all eight games in mention here will surely be forward compatible on the platform, whether or not they will have been specifically optimized for the XSX remains to be seen.

Either way, we'll keep you updated on this story as we learn more. Considering the collections are appearing on retail sites, we'll likely hear from Bethesda in the near future.

The post Xbox Series X Listings for Wolfenstein, Prey, and Dishonored Collections Have Appeared by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


Latest Dreams Patch Releases Tomorrow That Focuses on Music

dreams ps4

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, a new update is coming to Media Molecule's Dreams tomorrow which adds new musical instruments to use, new tracks, and more.

The update will include hundreds of new musical instruments, synths, guitars, and even a church organ to give your levels some spooky vibes. They've also added upgrades that help match effects in time with music beats. New music clips have also been added which you can use to help make your own music. Additionally, new music tracks have been added which can also be edited and remixed. Lastly, Media Molecule has added starting points, which are shorter than music tracks and come from other levels like the ones in the story mode.

There's no exact time of when it'll launch but Media Molecule will also provide full patch notes when the update goes live. Additionally, the update will include fixes for the VR mode but it's unknown what will be fixed.

Dreams was released back in February after being in early access since last April. Like Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet series, Dreams lets players create whatever they'd like, from full games to short films. PlayStation VR support was added to the game back in July. As Dreams was releasing, Media Molecule confirmed that the game is running on the PlayStation 5 but it isn't officially coming to the console. Additionally, Media Molecule hopes the game will continue getting support after the PS5's release.

Between its early access and final release, some amazing creations have come from the game. Back in July, one user remade a portion of Fall Guys using the PlayStation VR mode. Meanwhile, another user started working on a remade version of Halo Infinite inside Dreams.

Dreams is available now on PlayStation 4. The music update will release sometime tomorrow. As more news comes on the future of Dreams, we'll be sure to let you know.

The post Latest Dreams Patch Releases Tomorrow That Focuses on Music by David Gill appeared first on DualShockers.


NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Gameplay Trailer Brings All The Sweat

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NBA 2K21 is out now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One. But who cares about that? It's time for next-gen, baby! Today, the team at 2K Sports dropped the first gameplay trailer for next-gen consoles, and let me assure you, there's a ton of sweat. You have never seen a sweatier virtual Steph Curry in your life. Plus, they, for some reason animated a Mark Cuban. Are the rest of the owners animated or just him? Oh, and there's some fun cinematic action going on. Check it out below.

Now, obviously, we'll have to wait to see the same fully in action. These are cinematic shots of gameplay with no HUD. However, some of this looks pretty dope. As expected the sweat tech is on another level. The reflections on the court are also pretty slick. However, some of the animations still look a little jerky. That said, at other times it looks completely smooth and lifelike, so that side of things is a bit of a mixed back.

On the whole, though, it looks great. Sports games and racers always serve as showpieces for next-gen hardware and NBA 2K21 looks to continue that trend. Hopefully, it plays as well as it looks. And maybe the next-gen version won't have as many scummy microtransactions. A man can dream!

NBA 2K21 comes to Xbox Series X on November 10. It will launch on PS5 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea on November 12 and everywhere else on November 19. And, of course, it's available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

The post NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Gameplay Trailer Brings All The Sweat by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Among Us is Brought to Life in Horrifying Fashion by God of War Art Director

Few would have expected that a 2018 indie title would become a breakout hit two years later, but Among Us has seemingly defied the odds. Over the past few months, the low profile indie game had an explosion in popularity and has become one of 2020's breakout hits thanks to its clever emphasis on player deception. Of course, it helps that the game's charming aesthetics lend themselves to being portrayed in a horrific fashion, as seen by this art from Sony Santa Monica Studio's Raf Grassetti.

Grassetti–who was the art director for 2018's God of War–shared a piece of art on his personal Twitter depicting an Imposter mercilessly killing a Crewmate from Among Us. Of course, the scene that we all know too well from the game is made even more jarring when it's a sculpted CG creation straight out of Alien. You can check out Grassetti's work below, along with a timelapse video of him putting together the artwork:

This of course isn't the first time that Grassetti has shared some impressive creations on social media, as previously he has recreated some of the iconic fighters of Super Smash Bros. UltimateStar Fox, and many more. We recommend heading over to his Instagram to see even more of his amazing work and 3D models.

Among Us was first released back in 2018 by developer InnerSloth, and while the game released to a quiet reception two years ago, it surprisingly has become one of the biggest streaming hits of the past few months. The developer initially was aiming to release a sequel, but thanks to its surprise success, those plans have been cancelled in favor of expanding on the original game with new content and updates. If you haven't seen or played the game for yourself, you can watch as the DualShockers staff slowly tears ourselves apart in our stream of the game.

Among Us is currently available on PC, iOS, and Android.

The post Among Us is Brought to Life in Horrifying Fashion by God of War Art Director by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Baldur's Gate 3 is Also Coming to Mac in Early Access; New Screenshots Released

Baldur's Gate 3

With its announcement last year, Baldur's Gate 3 has had fans of the revered RPG series eager to see what developer Larian Studios has been making. As the creators of the Divinity: Original Sin series, Larian has a knack for crafting immersive, dense, and engaging RPGs, and players will finally get a taste of what's in store with the Early Access release of the anticipated game. However, Mac players will also be able to join in today with a surprise announcement from Larian.

Ahead of its debut in Early Access today, developer Larian Studios has announced that Baldur's Gate 3 will also be coming to Mac players today, allowing them to experience the title alongside PC players. Additionally, the studio also shared several new screenshots from the upcoming title, which should appease players waiting to play the Early Access build.

The new screenshots showcase a bit more of what to expect from the anticipated RPG, including new looks at the conversation and dialogue system and a glimpse of combat. Rooted in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, from what we've seen so far it seems like Baldur's Gate 3 is a worthy successor to the classic RPGs that it follows.

Larian detailed earlier this year that the Early Access build will be comprised of the first act of the game, and overall will showcase around the first 25 hours of the game. Specifically, the studio explained that be able to create characters from 6 different classes and a number of different races, and that the build will have most of the features that the studio is aiming to implement within the final game. Naturally, given that this is an Early Access build, players can and should expect to see bugs, but more content and updates will be provided as the build progresses in development.

Baldur's Gate 3 is available through Early Access today on PC and Mac. For a closer look at the game, you can check out the screenshots below:

The post Baldur's Gate 3 is Also Coming to Mac in Early Access; New Screenshots Released by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Latest Trailer Shows off Some Familiar Allies

Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is shaping up to be one of the Nintendo Switch's biggest hits this holiday season. Originally revealed on Twitter at the beginning of September, the game takes place 100 years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and reveals the events that led to Hyrule's near destruction.

The game's developers Koei Tecmo and Nintendo have been fairly forthcoming with information about the title, which releases this November, thus far. We've had plenty of images and information on the Champions of Hyrule, a further look at Princess Zelda and the reveal of Impa as a playable character.

Now, in their latest clip, Nintendo has offered a glimpse of some familiar allies who will be helping players on their adventure. Described as "critical to the fight against Calamity Ganon", the characters shown off in the new trailer very recognisable to those who have played Breath of the Wild. 

The first two characters, Purah and Robbie, are researchers of Shiekah technology. Purah resides in the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab and Robbie within the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab. Within The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, completing a quest from Purah, for Robbie, would allow players to craft high tech "Ancient Equipment". Purah, on the other hand, offers new runes for the Sheikah Slate, as well as upgrading some of Link's existing ones. It's likely their love for technology will play a part in assisting players on their journey.

The other ally teased is none other than the King of Hyrule. Little is known how he will assist, however, it's likely he will offer some military firepower to battles.

Alongside the release of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Nintendo has confirmed that the notoriously difficult Champions Amiibo set would be getting a rerelease. Both the game and Amiibo will be releasing on November 20.

The post Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Latest Trailer Shows off Some Familiar Allies by Sam Woods appeared first on DualShockers.


The Solitaire Conspiracy Review — If The Cards Are Cold, Dont Go Folding

Since playing Thomas Was Alone on PS Vita seven years ago, I have always looked forward to the next Mike Bithell game. This is especially true if that release is under the "Bithell Short" banner which includes short, two to three-hour experiences like Subsurface Circular and Quarantine Circular. Bithell's newest, The Solitaire Conspiracy, is the latest from this line and presents the same quality content you would expect from the lauded developer, albeit not for the reason you would expect.

From my experience with Bithell's games, like Thomas Was Alone and Subsurface Circular, the focus is typically on storytelling. The writing is always witty and smart while presenting a well-told story. The Solitaire Conspiracy does tell an interesting tale using a card game, which is impressive given the constraints it has as opposed to a text adventure like Quarantine Circular, but I was never truly captivated by the story being told.

In The Solitaire Conspiracy, the spy agency known as Protego is destroyed, leaving its spy crews without direction. How this has happened is a bit unknown, but Protego's Jim Ratio, played by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller, tells you it's a bad man named Solitaire. Ratio has selected you to rebuild Protego back to its former self and stop Solitaire.

To do that, you play a modified version of the classic card game, Solitaire.

It is a bit weird at first, but the card game fits within the game's world, and it all makes sense by the end of the three-hour story. However, the narrative itself just didn't interest me nearly as much as previous Bithell projects. A lot of that has to do with how it is presented.

 

Most of The Solitaire Conspiracy's story is presented by Jim Ratio on a futuristic-looking computer monitor. Greg really does a good job in his role as Ratio. However, having watched legitimately hundreds of hours of Kinda Funny and IGN videos featuring Greg, it was really hard for me to separate his real-world self from the character he is playing. It wasn't until halfway through the campaign where it felt like this started to fade and wasn't just seeing him as himself any longer. Again, Greg does a great job, but it was just really hard for me not to see him as Greg Miller of Kinda Funny and instead see Jim Ratio of Protego.

In a more minor way, The Solitaire Conspiracy's story is told within mission objectives. In the campaign, you level up by completing a mission. Each mission has an objective, predetermined crews, and a set amount of experience. As you progress through the campaign, you'll be able to choose between three different missions, with each usually having different amounts of experience to gain.

These objectives usually tell you about Solitaire's plans, and how each of the crews will infiltrate and disrupt said plans. As the "Spymaster," you are in control of these crews, coordinating each infiltration by playing a card game. It is neat how it connects the solitaire-inspired card game to its sci-fi world, but there is definitely a disconnect there.

 

For example, a mission objective might say something like, "Solitaire has a recon base; use your crew to infiltrate the location and find intel." That sounds pretty action-packed, right? But then you are brought to a pretty chill card game, which is technically you, the "Spymaster," coordinating this attack on Solitaire. Even though it all feels right within the game's world, it is just a bit hard to connect the game's objectives and the card game together.

By the end of The Solitaire Conspiracy's campaign, I just never felt invested in the story that was being told. It just feels like a roller coaster ride. I'm along for the ride, but I am not doing anything that really feels like it affects what happens in the story. That doesn't mean it's not fun, though.

The Solitaire Conspiracy's version of solitaire is actually quite easy. There are up to four suits (or crews) in a deck, and you have to stack each crew in numerical order from ace (considered 1) to king. Once the stacks are complete, you win the game. That basically sounds like plain jane solitaire, but it does have its own unique quirks that makes it very fun and approachable to play.

One of these quirks is to allow you to put lower value cards under any card that is of higher value, no matter what suit it falls under. For example, if you have a card valued at 2, you do not need to put it on top of a different colored 3; it can go on top of any card valued higher than a 2.

Each suit, which is presented as different spy crews, has its own unique abilities. These abilities become available as soon as you begin a stack with that crew's ace. To execute those abilities, you simply place that crew's face card on top of any row. Those abilities include "exploding" a row which randomly distributes those cards to other rows, organizing a row from lowest value to highest value, and sending the next card you need in a specific crew's stack to the bottom of a row. There are a total of eight of these abilities, each can be a benefit or detriment depending on how you use it.

Let's look at that last ability I listed: "Sending the next card you need in a specific crew's stack to the bottom of a row." On the surface, that seems like a terrible ability to have. In some cases, it really is a detriment to your board. However, with some thought, it can be incredibly beneficial.

For example, let's say I put down the ace for the crew with that ability. That seemingly detrimental ability can now be activated. The next card I want is another ace to start another stack, but it is at the very bottom of a six-card long row. However, if you use this ability on that ace's designated suit in a row that only contains one card, that ace you were trying to grab becomes significantly easier to do so.

The crew abilities bring a much-needed strategy to this fairly simple game. Sure, it lacks the challenge even normal solitaire brings, but clearing a board feels just as satisfying.

The previous games under the "Bithell Short" banner had a bit of replay value, but I never imagined myself playing either Subsurface Circular or Quarantine Circular more than two or three times. With The Solitaire Conspiracy being a card game, it has way more replayability than any Bithell Short so far.

Along with the campaign mode, there are Skirmish and Countdown modes. Skirmish allows you to pick up to four crews, and play a round of Bithell's modified solitaire at your own pace; it is essentially like the campaign mode but without the leveling and predetermined crews. It's fun, but it feels more like a practice mode for Countdown.

Countdown is a survival-style version of the game. You are presented with waves that increase in difficulty as you complete them. Every time you add a card to a stack, you add more seconds to your timer. However, once the timer runs out, your run is over.

Adding that timer exponentially increases the "difficulty" of the game. It's not actually harder, but you have to think much more quickly than the chill version of the game you play in Skirmish and campaign. With the inclusion of a leaderboard, The Solitaire Conspiracy has so much replayability.

The crew at Bithell Games has done it again. The Solitaire Conspiracy may not be the developer's best-told story, but it's one of the most enjoyable on a gameplay level. And like every Bithell Short, it never overstays its welcome. If you want to play something short and sweet, look no further.

The post The Solitaire Conspiracy Review — If The Cards Are Cold, Dont Go Folding by Michael Ruiz appeared first on DualShockers.


Yakuza: Like a Dragon Gets Wild New Trailer Showing Everything You Can Do in Yokohoma

Yakuza: Like a Dragon, SEGA, Ryu Ga Gotoku

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is almost here. We're about a month away from release, and today SEGA has dropped a brand new trailer to show off all the shenanigans you'll be getting up to. Of course, the main campaign is going to have plenty of content for you to work your way through. However, it wouldn't be a Yakuza game without some truly crazy side activities. The latest trailer confirms that there will be a ton of them. Check it out below.

As you can see, there is so much for Ichiban and his team to get up to. Obviously, your standard Yakuza fair is still here. You can play darts, hit the batting cages, or test your mettle at the arcades. However, there are a smattering of brand new minigames as well.

Most notably, at least for me, is the new kart racing game. It looks like the logical next step up from drone racing (Judgment) and Pocket Circuit Racing (Yakuza 0 and Kiwami 2). I didn't know I wanted Mario Kart in my Yakuza, but I am here for it. Yakuza: Like a Dragon also has a new company-building game, which has me hoping for a better version of Yakuza 0's property manager game.

And, for the first time in the series' history, the karaoke minigame will include songs with English voices. Of course, most hardcore fans will probably stick with the Japanese, but it's a neat addition that recognizes the growing admiration the series has in the West.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon launches on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on November 10. It will come to PS5 on March 2, 2021. That gives you about a month to get caught up on one of the best series in video games. It's well worth your time.

The post Yakuza: Like a Dragon Gets Wild New Trailer Showing Everything You Can Do in Yokohoma by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Idolmaster Starlit Season Delayed to 2021, More Idols From Cinderella Girls, Million Live, Shiny Colors Revealed, New Gameplay

idolmaster starlit season kirarin

Bandai Namco held a live stream for Idolmaster Starlit Season on October 6, titled the Starlit Report stream. The stream featured Idolm@ster General Producer Yozo Sakagami, Producer Hayato Kutaragi and multiple seiyuu: Wakana Maruoka (Rinze Morino), Rei Matsuzaki (Kirari Moroboshi), Arisa Kouri (Kaori Sakuramori), and Shimoda Asami (Ami Futami and Mami Futami).

In particular, the stream started with both producers apologizing for the lack of news on the game, as multiple events for it throughout 2020 were canceled, including an event that was online only. They noted the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down development and promptly announced Idolmaster Starlit Season is delayed from 2020 to a 2021 release, on PS4 and PC via Steam.

Following next, new characters appearing in Idolmaster Starlit Season were revealed. As a reminder, the game includes the original 13 characters from 765 Production in the original Idolmaster game, and then five characters from Idolmaster Cinderella Girls, five girls from  Million Live, and five idols from Shiny Colors. When the game was first announced, the character list was partly revealed. We now know got to see everyone:

starlit season Nana Abe and Kirari Moroboshi Mika Jougasaki, Ranko Kanzaki and Anzu Futaba from Cinderella Girls starlit season Million Live it'll be Tsumugi Shiraishi and Kaori Sakuramori Shizuka Mogami, Mirai Kasuga, and Tsubasa Ibuki starlit season Shiny Colors characters revealed were Rinze Morino and Amana Osaki Sakuya Shirase, Kaho Komiya, and Tenka Osaki

Nana Abe and Kirari Moroboshi from Cinderella Girls were revealed. The full group will include Mika Jougasaki, Ranko Kanzaki and Anzu Futaba.

From Million Live it'll be Tsumugi Shiraishi and Kaori Sakuramori. They join Shizuka Mogami, Mirai Kasuga, and Tsubasa Ibuki.

Lastly, the Shiny Colors characters revealed were Rinze Morino and Amana Osaki. They'll appear together with Sakuya Shirase, Kaho Komiya, and Tenka Osaki.

New screenshots were published as well. Starlit Season is in full 3D and runs on Unreal Engine. The Producers noted Shiny Colors is illustrations based, so it'll be the first time in a way we'll see some of its characters moving in 3D.

We also got new Idolmaster Starlit Season gameplay, with explanations of the game systems:

Starlit Season has a main story, during which there are also Free Time parts where you can freely explore and spend time with a specific idol, to raise their bonds levels.

We got to see an example of these events at the 36:16 timestamp, with the producer meeting with Rinze Morino. She asks producer san about what they did overseas before returning to Japan:

idolmaster Starlit Season free time Rinze Morino idolmaster Starlit Season free time Rinze Morino idolmaster Starlit Season free time Rinze Morino

Next, they highlighted how Idolmaster Starlit Season (Stamas) is a crossover between Deresute, Million Live, and Shinymas, so you get to see idols from the different agencies chatting with each other for the first time.

Starlit season idol different agencies interacting with each other

There are tons of events like that. The gameplay example we saw is Kirari Moroboshi from Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage chatting with the Futami twins Ami and Mami from the original game, saying she'll make them outfits, at the 39:27 timestamp:

idolmaster starlit season kirarin

Next, players will have their work as a producer, following the idols around and managing their jobs, supporting them with the right words when needed.

These are timed choices in Sakura Taisen fashion. The producers noted the idols wear not their casual clothes but their stage outfit during these jobs, so they'll wear the outfits you selected. Some job offers need to be handled in groups.

We got to see an example of idols at work with the gameplay at the 42:26 timestamp, showing Kaori Sakuramori singing at a kindergarten. One of the kids starts crying, and she asks Producer san how she could help:

idolmaster starlit season work job system kaori sakuramori 3 idolmaster starlit season work job system kaori sakuramori 1

Next, Idolmaster Starlit Season has Lesson parts, where the idols enhance their Skills: Vocal, Dance, and Visual.

These are the idols' dancing, singing, and appearance. Each skill to improve has its own mini game you need to play. We got to see gameplay of the dancing mini game at the 45:39 timestamp of the Starlit Report stream. Basically there's a succession of directional buttons in rhythm shown on screen, and players need to reproduce it:

idolmaster starlit season lessons minigames singing dancing appearance gameplay 1 idolmaster starlit season lessons minigames singing dancing appearance gameplay 2

The producers explained you have a new song to train on each month ingame, with the difficulty increasing little by little. All the characters also wear the Luminas training outfit during lessons.

An Idolmaster Starlit Season yonkoma manga will also be published weekly on Twitter to introduce the game to fans.

A Twitter campaign to win shikishi of the characters signed by the seiyuu was also announced:

The next live stream for Idolmaster Starlit Season will happen in January 2021. This stream will reveal live gameplay for the concert parts. As the stream ended (an after stream happened on Niconico Premium though), the producers asked fans to be a little more patient.

The Idolmaster celebrated its 15th anniversary in July 2020. The Idolmaster Starlit Season, first announced on January 20, 2020, is part of the anniversary projects. It's the first console game following  The Idolmaster Stella Stage, which launched on PlayStation 4 in December 2017.

The post Idolmaster Starlit Season Delayed to 2021, More Idols From Cinderella Girls, Million Live, Shiny Colors Revealed, New Gameplay by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.


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