IO Interactive is nearing the final days of production for Hitman 3, which ships early next year. However, the team isn't about to rest on their laurels. Instead, fans of the developer are in for a treat tomorrow when IO announces their next project. No word yet on if it's another Hitman sequel, but, were I a betting man, I'd guess they're cooking up something new. We've known for a while they're seemingly working on a new IP, and this could finally be it.
— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) November 18, 2020
Now, IO Interactive hasn't made a non-Hitman game in about a decade. And that was the less-than-favorably-received Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days. That said, IO has come a long way as a developer since then. Plus, they've essentially perfected the Hitman formula at this point, so it makes perfect sense for them to try something new.
One very intriguing option could be the long-awaited sequel to Freedom Fighters. IO Interactive took the property with them when they split from Square Enix a few years ago, so it's perfectly possible. Of course, it's been quite a while since the first Freedom Fighters. However, with more of that IO polish, the sequel could be another valuable IP in the team's portfolio.
It would also be fun to see IO working on a brand new property. Outside of Mini Ninjas, the studios' entire catalog is full of shooters. Seeing them work with something completely new would be a treat.
Check back tomorrow to get all the details from IO Interactive's next project. And, of course, get ready for some great Hitman action early next year. Hitman 3 comes to Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X on January 20.
The post IO Interactive Set to Reveal Next Project on November 19 by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.
Flight combat simulators have gotten some rather unique takes over the years, including anthropomorphized animals piloting fighters in space and riders piloting dragons in a traditional fantasy world. The Falconeer puts another interesting twist on the genre, with pilots riding on giant falcons outfitted with powerful weaponry as they fight pirates and complete a wide range of missions.
Players start in the prologue, as they witness a routine training session gone horribly wrong and fight a losing battle against an insurmountable foe. From there, you play as a new character and journey with them as they build up their status from a simple hired hand protecting a nation of merchants from sky pirates. Conversely, you could join a completely different faction, depending on how you choose your path at the start.
Foes at first are comprised of a basic variety of sky pirates, thugs who prey on and plunder the weak. The enemy variety then grows to incorporate large airships, flying beetles, manta rays, and even the dragon-like weavers. And each enemy type features unique movement patterns and specialties that players must become accustomed to in order to prevail.
The controls for these aerial battles are precise and simple enough to learn, yet require practice to fully master techniques such as learning how to minimize energy lost during your ascents while gaining speed with rapid descents. It's also important to learn how to maintain proper positioning, so the battle to control the skies above your foes becomes even more crucial.
Learning how to aim the reticle for precise firing is not only a necessary skill to efficiently take down enemies, but also vital in conserving your charge for weapons. Said weapon packs can only be charged by entering a thunderstorm, so proper rationing of your limited resources also becomes an important factor.
What makes The Falconeer so appealing is how both the premise and aircraft of choice, a giant falcon, makes the game uniquely attractive to those who normally wouldn't be interested in the genre. Because honestly, who doesn't love the idea of getting to ride on a giant animal companion while fighting sky pirates and dragons in a gorgeous ocean world? Especially when said warbird controls far smoother and more organically than any plane or ship could ever hope. Not to mention, it certainly injects a refreshing change to a genre that suffers from a lack of diversity.
Outside the complexities of battle, however, lies a surprisingly empty world. The lore is fascinating with just enough intrigue and detail to captivate your attention immediately. Meanwhile, the visuals and architecture are stunning, as it uses its vibrant color palette and stylized graphics to great effect. But when you finally are able to fully dive into said world, there's not much to do except explore the few areas to purchase wares, fight, go on repetitive side quests to earn extra money, and push the main story forward.
It's disappointing to say the least, and the main cause for it is clearly the over-ambitious open world environment. The Falconeer, like many other open world titles, suffers from having very little to actually do in such a setting. This is a game that would have strongly benefited from being more linear, as something smaller in scope leaves far more room to fill with better-developed points of interest, flight paths, and a fully fleshed out lore that capitalizes on what was so tantalizing teased to us in the beginning.
Another substandard aspect of The Falconeer is the very limited character creation. While I enjoy the fact that I can choose from several variations of pilots and falcons, and you can even choose your own origin story, it's still not a proper customization mode. Moreover, the origin story has little bearing on making the game feel any more engaging or distinct once started. Even worse, the pilot has absolutely no personality, which makes the decision to not have a full character creator even more baffling.
Players have the option of choosing from four classes: Falconeer, Mercenary, Imperial Freelancer, and Mancer Seeker. These classes not only change what your falcon looks like and form part of your backstory, but also determines said falcon's stat and skill specialization. Though, despite the voiced guide, the game doesn't make this distinct class system clear in the beginning so you're left experimenting with various configurations until you learn this for yourself.
And where the game fails in customizing the looks of the falcon, there are some great options for customizing how they play in battle thanks to both the aforementioned class system and another mechanic. Essentially you earn splinters to upgrade your falcon's gear, mutagens, and chants. This can range from changing the weapons equipped on you, to how you boost your falcon's abilities, and more.
Having that kind of control over how your companion plays during dogfights and fine-tuning them to best suit your playstyle helps keep gameplay engaging when the story does nothing of the sort. You can even purchase falcons as you proceed in the story and earn more money, offering even more opportunities to create the perfect flyer that works for you.
The Falconeer is very much a labor of love — you can see how much time and effort its sole creator put into its development and that shines through in its gameplay and the beauty of the setting. Combat is fast, fun, with a fantastic strategic edge while the graphics and designs are bright and striking. However, the choice to make this an open world title truly holds it back from the greatness it could have achieved and results in a game filled with potential that's only partially realized.
That being said, considering that The Falconeer was developed by a single person makes it a far more impressive effort. And despite its pitfalls, it's a solid entry in the combat flight simulator genre that's more than worth checking out.
The post The Falconeer Review — Holds its Own, Despite a Shaky Takeoff by Allisa James appeared first on DualShockers.
Today, the team at EA Sports finally pulled back the curtain on all the updates and improvements coming to Madden NFL 21 on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Ahead of the announcement, they held a press event where we got a bit more information. We weren't able to get hands-on with the new game, but it was an in-depth presentation of all the new bells and whistles. So, give the announcement trailer a watch below and join me below to learn more about everything.
Obviously, Madden NFL 21 looks better on PS5 and Xbox Series X. That's the least surprising news you'll get out of today's content drop. However, it's important to note that the players don't just look more realistic. The team at EA Sports has also done work to improve the entire presentation. For example, when you're on offense, you'll now see your actual defensive players on the sideline.
That sideline will be more populated and will interact more during different contextual moments. So, when you wallop a ballcarrier with a bone-crunching hit on third down, you might see your offensive teammates coming out to congratulate you. It's a system that, without question, is going to improve immersion in a big way.
That said, the biggest addition is the implementation of Next-Gen Stats. This takes real-world data collected from NFL players to make Madden feel more realistic. Many of the examples we were shown focused on route-running, which looks much more natural than the robotic routes you're used to. Obviously, a lot of needs to be seen in person to be believed; however, it certainly looks like a great first step to improve the simulation side of football over the course of the next-gen.
Even in this first effort, it should help the entire game feel much more realistic. The team showed how they're taking real-world routes and translating them in-game. This both makes the route more natural and allows EA to implement new plays during the course of the season.
And it's not just wideouts that will feel the boost. Expect to better feel the difference in how players control across the board. That means more realistic coverage, easier to read running lanes, and (fingers crossed) competent blocking. Again, we need to actually play the game to fully buy-in. However, the potential certainly feels there. Which is a big change from current-gen Madden.
EA is also using the Next-Gen Stats to power replays. You'll see key metrics show up in big replays to give you a better idea of how gnarly that big touchdown was. Whether it's seeing top-end speed or the distance the ball travels in the air, it's data that will be fun to see in real-time.
If you're a hardcore Madden player, I would highly suggest you seek out more info about EA's implementation of Next-Gen Stats. It absolutely seems like the one feature that could improve your experience on the new consoles. Sure, making it look pretty is great. However, most fans will probably agree that great gameplay trumps all.
As you can imagine, there's a ton of info here that I absolutely can't wait to address in a next-gen "review" in December. However, there two other points I want to make you aware of before we wrap up. The first is that EA is using the term "muscle jiggle" to describe some of the new movement. It's a dumb term that I'm absolutely in love with. It's like the sports game version of boob physics. I hope it sticks around for the entire generation.
Much more importantly are some of the changes they've made to the playbook. We still don't have the ability to create our own plays; however, there are some key updates. For one, you can now favorite plays, making it much easier to instantly select the best plays depending on the situation. They've also added the ability to select plays based on specific players. So, if your wideout has a favorable matchup, you can more easily target him with your play selection. These aren't game-changing updates, but they will improve your ability to call an effective football game.
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When I started playing through Marvel's Spider-Man in 2018, I pretty much spent the first hour or two of the game almost entirely swinging through New York City. As a New Yorker now for five years, Insomniac's recreation of New York City was by far one of the best interpretations of the city that I've seen in a game, which made it a thrill to swing through and see it (almost) perfectly brought to digital life. My partner especially loved watching the game in motion as she would ask me to swing to different parts of the city trying to find our favorite NYC landmarks, from Times Square, to Radio City Music Hall, The Met, and to the areas of the Village and SoHo.
For me, having such a detailed and near-perfect recreation of my home was one of my favorite parts of playing through the original game. With the release of Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales last week, that feeling that I had is almost intact, but not without a bit of longing nostalgia attached to it.
The New York City that I saw in 2018 while playing the original Spider-Man was far more similar to what the city was like at the time rather than the New York City that Miles Morales depicts now in 2020. While Miles Morales is set in New York City in the midst of the holiday season–which is just beginning to start here in the city IRL–it also shows a much different iteration of the city than we've seen during the last eight months.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having begun to hit the US in the early parts of this year, like many other parts of the country, New York City especially felt the brunt of the pandemic's effects this past spring. Almost overnight, the city went into lockdown to combat the virus, and along with it came a city that was a shadow of what it was in January and February. The bustling areas of midtown emptied out, famed live entertainment venues and theatres closed down (and still remain shuttered), and many businesses and long-time establishments of the city have barely been able to make it over the past several months; some gone forever.
Initially, seeing the struggles that New York City has gone through over the last eight months felt bittersweet when I first started playing Miles Morales. On the one hand, it was a reminder of how vastly different the real NYC is right now compared to the joyous, celebratory version that the game depicts, free from the constraints of a pandemic that has drastically changed it. Going through Central Park or swinging by the Empire State Building was as much of a thrill as it was a reminder that I haven't been in Manhattan for the last eight months, wondering even more what it looks like now compared to when I was last there in March. Even the game's startup screen showing Miles on the subway–with phone in hand and headphones on–made me miss going on the subway again, a phrase I never would have considered uttering before now.
Back in April, Hard Drive shared an article titled "NYC Resident Plays Spider-Man Just to Remember What It Was Like to Walk Around." Obviously, it's a satirical article, but it was hard not to laugh while also feeling a twinge of pointed truth attached to it. And playing through Miles Morales and being able to see my favorite parts of the city only brought that truth forward even further by letting me explore the city I love in a time when, physically, it's difficult to do that right now. This was especially the case after seeing the holiday season shown through Miles Morales. It made me miss the holiday traditions that I'd usually enjoy around this time, whether it's seeing the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center or exploring the Winter Village at Bryant Park.
Though the New York that is in Miles Morales is in a very different place compared to where it is now, what hasn't changed from Insomniac's vision is its understanding of what makes New York City such a remarkable place. With much of the game taking place in Miles' new home in Harlem, where I've been many times to see shows at the Apollo Theater, it was almost surreal to walk with Miles and Ganke through a crowded street festival full of dancing, food, and Puerto Rican flags. Even in the game's smaller, more humorous moments, you can find authentically "New York" experiences, like when Miles encounters his (eventual) companion in a bodega cat.
You can pet the cat in Spider-Man: Miles Morales pic.twitter.com/2zZsZdI4DV
— Can You Pet the Dog? (@CanYouPetTheDog) November 13, 2020
For me, playing through Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales was a stark contrast of what New York City was like before the pandemic changed it entirely. But more importantly, it's an even greater reminder of everything that I love about the city; its character, its unique and diverse communities, and the experiences that you can only find here in NYC. Even in the midst of a very difficult eight months in the place that I call home, Miles Morales is a reminder of what myself (and many others) hope NYC will come back to: a brighter future ahead.
The post Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Makes Me Miss New York City by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.
The season of releases is currently in full swing. Over the last couple of weeks both Sony and Microsoft have launched the PS5 and Xbox Series S and Series X respectively and with them, plenty of new games. While not quite as extravagant as the others, Nintendo still has a big title releasing before the year is out, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
The title, which releases in just a couple of days on November 20, will be Nintendo's biggest new release this Holiday Season. Ahead of its impending launch, both Nintendo and Koei Tecmo have shared a launch trailer for the new game, packed with plenty of action to whet the appetite.
The trailer offers a look at all of the heroes within the game, including Link and Zelda as well as the four Champions of Hyrule, Impa, Robbie, Purah and the King of Hyrule. We also get small glimpses of the Divine Beasts, all of which will be playable in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
Alongside the heroes, the launch trailer offers a better look at the mysterious villain. It will certainly be interesting to see who they are and why they are allied with Ganon when playing through the game.
Age of Calamity is set 100 years after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The game will depict the struggles and the war leading up to the events of The Great Calamity that are felt throughout Breath of the Wild. The trailer teases the idea that Princess Zelda is struggling to awaken her powers ahead of the great battle, before showing her with the Bow of Light, the bow that is seen during the final battle of Breath of the Wild.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is out for the Nintendo Switch on November 20. You can expect our review of the game a short time after launch.
The post Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Launch Trailer Shows the Battle that Lies Ahead by Sam Woods appeared first on DualShockers.
On November 18, miHoYo announced a quick balance patch nerf for the Childe boss fight in Genshin Impact (PC, PS4, PS5, Mobile, soon on Switch). The boss fight against Childe in the archon quest (main story quest) Heart of Glaze will have its difficulty decreased on November 19.
This kind of fix will definitely trigger debates regarding game difficulty. The first time you do this boss fight, it's through main story content. Personally speaking, while bosses need to be challenging, I believe it's important it's beatable by most players. In order to be able to see the story. As such I believe it's a good choice on miHoYo's part. On the other hand though it'd be nice if the original boss fight difficulty stayed available as well for those who prefer it this way. In any case, the weekly boss fight versions of the boss battle won't be changed.
Moreover, rather than a difficulty debate, I believe it's more important to note this is a very similar situation to another previous change, the resin upgrade.
When miHoYo announced the 160 max Resin upgrade, the announcement was made first on the English Genshin Twitter. As I'm writing this, the Childe boss fight nerf was only announced on the English Genshin Impact Twitter as well. The Japanese Twitter didn't share the news yet. Showing once again miHoYo is actually particularly attentive to feedback from English players since the game's launch.
If you want to try out the boss fight the way it is now and respect the original vision of the creators of Genshin Impact tm, you have one day left to play the new Liyue story chapter, a New Star Approaches. I'll be playing it myself now as time didn't permit me to try it out yet.
Our developers are planning to make the following fix within the 11/19/2020 update:
Decrease the difficulty of the Childe boss fight in the archon quest "Heart of Glaze."#GenshinImpact
— Paimon (@GenshinImpact) November 18, 2020
Genshin Impact has a pretty cool ongoing event, Unreconciled Stars. A new character voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara (the seiyuu of Simon, the protagonist of the best mecha anime of all time tm) also appears in it. Here's the event's schedule:
Event duration: 2020/11/16 – 2020/11/30
"Unknown Star" starting time: 2020/11/16
"Star of Deceitful Dreams" starting time: 2020/11/18. Where we're at right now.
"Star of Destiny" starting time: 2020/11/23
The post Genshin Impact Will Nerf The Boss Fight Against Zhongli's Boyfriend On November 19 by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.
Since its massive launch in July 2016, Pokemon GO has continued to find new ways to engage players with its take on bringing the world of Pokemon to the real world. 2020 especially has been an interesting year for developer Niantic to tweak the game's core mechanics in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we saw during this year's Pokemon GO Fest 2020. However, despite the changes to better suit playing at home, Niantic is continuing to drive the experience of playing the hit mobile game from anywhere by introducing its biggest update yet with new features that players can look forward to very soon.
Developer Niantic has officially revealed details for the next update for Pokemon GO called the "GO Beyond" update, which introduces some of the biggest changes to the mobile game since its launch in 2016. As the first "branded update" for the game, the GO Beyond update will add a number of new ways to play for both newcomers and veteran players across catching new types of Pokemon, earning experiencing and leveling up, and participating in the game's events and GO Battle League. Additionally, the update will also bring the Kalos region Pokemon from X and Y into the mobile game for the first time.
The week of November 30, 2020, Pokémon GO will GO Beyond.
GO Beyond Levels
GO Beyond Seasons
GO Beyond Evolutions
GO Beyond Discovery
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) November 18, 2020
As detailed by Niantic, the GO Beyond update will introduce Seasons to Pokemon GO that will bring greater availability of certain Pokemon or Pokemon types, alongside new events, rewards, and themes. The Season system will kick off with the "Season of Celebration" starting on December 1, 2020, which will be tied into the holidays and winter with a series of in-game events. Currently, Seasons are expected to run for about three months, but Niantic has explained that the duration of Seasons could change over time. Niantic also highlighted that during Seasons, players in different hemispheres will find different Pokemon compared to other regions of the world.
Additionally, the Beyond update will also increase the in-game cap to Level 50, allowing players to move past the current limit of Level 40. However, aside from just earning XP to level up, the update will also introduce new challenges that players will have to complete to earn their next Level, which will also provide new endgame challenges for players to engage with. The leveling system as a whole will be rebalanced in Pokemon GO to accommodate the new level cap, but Niantic stated that players that reach Level 40 before the end of 2020 will be able to earn special rewards.
Overall, the GO Beyond update will bring substantial new changes and features to the long-running mobile game hit. For a full breakdown of what to expect from the update, you can check out Niantic's blog posts with more specific info on the GO Beyond update.
Pokemon GO is available now on iOS and Android, with the GO Beyond update arriving on November 30, 2020.
The post Pokemon GO Beyond Update Adds Level 50 Increase, Seasons, and More Big Changes by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.
Embracer Group keeps expanding its gaming studios across the world by acquiring twelve new development teams that some of them might sound familiar to you.
In the current state of the video game industry, it's not that easy to find a company on the scale of Embracer Group. A mega-corporation formed up of six major publishers that each one owns dozens of studios and development teams. Currently, 58 studios are working directly under the wings of Embracer Group and twelve of them are new acquisitions.
Saber Interactive, the company behind titles such as World War Z, SnowRunner, and WWE 2K Battlegrounds, recently acquired Snapshot Games, the studio that was formed by the creator behind the XCOM series, and launched its debut title back in 2019 within the same genre as XCOM franchise. Although Phoenix Point didn't perform as successfully as the XCOM series, it was a good starting point for the developers at Snapshot Games. Davide Kaye, the co-founder of Snapshot, said:
We are thrilled that Snapshot is joining forces with the world-class team at Saber. Julian and I look forward to working with Andrey, Matt, and Lars to develop and expand the Phoenix Point universe, and to bring new IP to a global audience.
On the other hand, Koch Media made a deal with the Shadow Warriors 3 development team, Flying Wild Hog. The studio is currently busy working on the third installment of the Shadow Warrior series that is set to be published by Digital Devolver sometime in 2021.
Aside from the two well-known studios above, some other development teams have been acquired by various branches of Embracer Group, including Mad Head Games, Coffee Stain North, Silent Games, Zen Studios, Thinking Ape Entertainment, Nimble Giant Entertainment, IUGO Mobile Entertainment, 34BigThing, Quantic Lab, and Purple Lamp Studios that delivered SpongeBob Squarepants Battle for Bikini Bottom -Rehydrated recently.
European PS5 fan's excitement levels are no doubt extremely high right now. Sony's latest console launched all over the globe last week, except for Europe, where it is due for release tomorrow, November 19.
To celebrate the impending launch, Sony has taken over Oxford Circus, one of central London's main underground tube stations. While usually, the London Underground is represented with big a red circle around the word "Underground", Sony has created their own play on this, using their iconic shapes.
— PlayStation UK (@PlayStationUK) November 18, 2020
Different entrances to the underground station have been replaced with the instantly recognisable pink square, blue x and green triangle, representative of those on the PlayStation's controllers throughout the years. The walls of the insides of the stations have also been changed to incorporate Sony's shapes.
This is a very cool marketing ploy from Sony and a cheeky one too. One of the signs just so happens to sit right outside of one of Microsoft's London stores.
In front of Microsoft pic.twitter.com/wZmGGMqXaF
— Nathan drake (@Nathand86914897) November 18, 2020
Alongside the signage changes, a handful of Underground Stations have also had their names changed to represent some of the PS5's biggest titles. Mile End has become Miles End, paying homage to Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Lancaster Gate Station has become Ratchet and Clankaster Gate. Seven Sisters has now become Gran Turismo 7 Sisters and West Ham Station will now temporarily be known as Horizon Forbidden West Ham Station. Clever Sony, very clever.
With the PS5 already out for the majority of the world, you can start to check out our reviews. Alongside our Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales review, we have Bugsnax, The Pathless, Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition and more available to read right now, with our console review and other titles such as Demon's Souls to follow soon.
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With the new generation of consoles arriving, some of the biggest publishers around the world started to raise the price tags for their upcoming games, including Sony. In a recent interview, the CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, spoke about the new price points for the first-party titles of PS5 and called them a fair price, regarding the amount of entertainment the games provide for each individual.
Currently, every AAA PS5 launch title is set to be on sale for $69.99, but those residing in the UK will have to pay £69.99 for the same games, which is almost equal to $90. Speaking to The Telegraph, when Ryan asked about whether he thinks the current price tag for Demon's Souls in the UK is fair, he replied:
Yes, yes, I do. If you measure the hours of entertainment provided by a video game, such as Demon's Souls compared to any other form of entertainment, I think that's a very straightforward comparison to draw.
For several generations, the price tag for big-budget AAA games used to be $59.99 on every major platform, but the new generation of consoles has brought a new tradition of pricing to the video game industry. Some companies like Take-Two Interactive, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Warner Bros. Interactive have officially raised the price bar up to $69.99 for their major games. On the other side, there are still some other companies like Ubisoft and Microsoft that haven't revealed their future plans about this matter and are following the same $59.99 price point.
As you may know, the new Demon's Souls is a remake and publishers sometimes tend to charge less for a remake title than a brand new one. Later in October this year, 2K Games launched the remake of the original Mafia game for $39.99. That said, some other publishers like Capcom and Square Enix charged full price for their recent remakes of Final Fantasy VII and Resident Evil 3.
The post Jim Ryan Says £70 for PS5 First-Party Games is a Fair Price in the UK by Mehrdad Khayyat appeared first on DualShockers.