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Monday, 16 November 2020

Payday 2 Update 200 out now with 4 new DLC packs

Great news for Payday 2 fans – the developers at Overkill have released Update 200 for their popular online heist sim alongside a new DLC expansion.

The landmark PC update is available to download now and includes a fresh wave of fixes as well as changes to the game's Infamy system which now offers hardcore players even more ranks to obtain.

This comes in hand with four new chunks of Payday 2 DLC, one of them being the Buluc's Mansion heist. Available as part of a bundle, this can also be purchased along with the Gunslinger Weapon Pack, Tailor Pack 3, and Weapon Color Pack 3, adding even more ways to customise your own heister.

Overkill recently reconfirmed to fans that Payday 3 is still coming though we'll have to wait a while for an update as its still in an early design phase.

Anyway, here are the latest patch notes for Payday 2. You can find the hotfix 200.1 changelog here.


Payday 2 Update 200 Patch Notes

Update size: 1.2GB

General

  • The crimespree catch up bonus will now only work for players at reputation level 100.
  • Fixed an issue with the "I Will Succeed With Dignity" achievement unlocking incorrectly when re-buying pre-planning assets.
  • Fixed an issue when starting a stealth level without casing mode, where Crew AI looked like they were holding invisible pistols.
  • Fixed an issue where an American dispatcher could be heard when Joy was used to answer guard pagers in non-American heists.
  • Added weapon color support to the anti-piracy system.
  • Fixed an issue where players would get stuck in a nearly infinite loading loop after switching between different profiles prior to readying up in the loadout screen.
  • Fixed an issue where some weapons were locked after going infamous without having a level lock.
  • Disabled Swedish as a language option in steam since the game is not translated to that language.

Levels

  • Fixed an issue on Boat Load Holdout where enemy AI would despawn within view of the player.
  • Fixed an issue on Big Bank Holdout where the player was able to access an out of bounds area through a window.
  • Fixed an issue on Big Bank where the AI would stutter while walking up the stairs near the entrance.
  • Fixed a Z-fighting issue on Border Crossing for the upstairs door frame in the overkill house.
  • Fixed an issue on Border Crossing where the glass of one of the trucks in the beginning was shown as blue and yellow on AMD graphics cards.
  • Fixed an issue on Border Crossing Day 2 where loot bags could be thrown into unreachable locations.
  • Fixed an issue in Breakfast in Tijuana where the police uniform could be picked up through the wall.
  • Fixed an issue in Breakfast in Tijuana where the car key tags would block the numbers on the wall.
  • Fixed an exploit on Counterfeit where the cops could be manipulated with loot bags.
  • Fixed a crash on Election Day Day 2 that could occur when lockpicking a door in the mall.
  • Fixed issue on First world Bank Holdout where players could use a bookshelf to avoid combat.
  • Fixed an issue on Framing Frame Day 3 where the ragdoll of a guard could fall down some stairs and make the pager unreachable.
  • Fixed an issue in the safehouse where the player could clip through the floor near the stairs.
  • Fixed an issue on San Martin Bank where an already opened gate would open a second time, when using the manager's key.
  • Fixed navigation issues on San Martin Bank in a security room.
  • Fixed navigation issues on San Martin inside the rooms on the roof.
  • Fixed an issue on San Martin Bank where some windows would not trigger the alarm when broken.
  • Fixed a graphical issue on San Martin Bank where the railing on the balcony just outside the cafeteria did not connect to the wall.
  • Fixed an issue on San Martin Bank Holdout where players were able to place sentry guns inside trash bins.
  • Fixed a navigation issue on Scarface Mansion where Crew AI could get temporarily stuck when the car drops through the roof.
  • Fixed a sound issue on Scarface Mansion where the same line of dialogue would trigger twice at the same time.
  • Fixed an art issue on Scarface Mansion where textures would display z-fighting issues with the carpets inside the mansion.
  • Fixed a collision on The Alesso Heist that could lead to the player being stuck behind a door on the upper floor.
  • Fixed a graphical issue on The Biker Heist with a ceiling decal.

Characters and Enemies

  • Fixed a texture issue on the helmet used by heavy SWATs.
  • Fixed an issue with Sangres' arms in first person with certain outfits.
  • Fixed clipping issues while wearing the "Scrub" Outfit.
  • Fixed clipping issues while wearing the "Tuxedo" Outfit.
  • Fixed clipping issues on "The Showman" suit on the arms for certain heisters.

Perk and Skills

  • Fixed an issue where the final perk for the Maniac deck would not work properly.
  • Fixed so that clients with the Sixth Sense skill can buy assets associated with the skill in pre-planning even if the host doesn't have the skill.

UI

  • Added a "NEW" indicator icon next to contractors with new available heists.
  • Fixed an issue where drop-in clients could "Buy All Assets" for a game already in progress.
  • Fixed an issue with misleading stats when equipping a speed pull magazine.
  • Fixed a rendering issue with the XL 5.56 Microgun when equipping a weapon color.
  • Fixed an issue where masks were not centered on the screen when previewing.
  • Fixed an issue where the client's UI would not update pager count correctly, when the host would dominate an NPC and answer the pager.

Weapons

  • Fixed a graphical issue on the Commando 101 Rocket Launcher when using weapon colors.
  • Fixed a missing animation with the Akimbo Judge Shotguns when aiming down sight immediately after firing.
  • Fixed an issue with automatic weapons where two bullet fire sounds would play while only one bullet was fired.
  • Fixed Z-fighting on certain patterns when using the tropical foregrip on the M60 Light Machine Gun.

Source: Steam


Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 brings the puzzle mash-up back for another zany adventure

Technically, Tetris Effect: Connected is already the definitive puzzle game of the year. But there's always room for more, especially if you've got a competitive streak, whereas Enhance have been more focused on a meditative or cooperative experience. The Puyo Puyo series has always been first and foremost about competitive play, as you stack complex and crazy chains together to send garbage over to your opponent's screen.

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 essentially builds on the success of its predecessor's surprise crossover, which also helped introduce Puyo Puyo to a wider audience in the West. It doesn't look to disrupt that formula but instead adds a few pleasant extras that both newcomers and fans can get behind.

Unlike the cheaper no-frills multiplayer-specific Puyo Puyo Champions, a new Puyo Puyo Tetris title means a meaty single-player campaign, which is as silly and filled with all the high-pitched Saturday morning cartoon energy as you might expect (English and Japanese audio are both available this time too).

While it is a sequel, it also doesn't matter if you missed out on the first entry of the puzzle mash-up as it appears that the cast from across the worlds of Puyo Puyo and Tetris don't remember each other either. Nonetheless, a new ominous threat – albeit in the form of a cutesy anime girl called Marle – has their worlds colliding once again, which is a perfect excuse to run around the world, make new friends, and of course get into a lot of puzzle battles.

For newcomers, the Adventure mode is a great way to be introduced to the game styles and different modes, but fans will still get a kick out of progressing through it and getting all the star ratings for each stage. Better still, if you get three stars for all the stages in a chapter, you can even aim for a fourth star rating.

There's even more incentive to play Adventure mode this time round as it's how you'll progress through brand new Skill Battles. These introduce RPG battle mechanics as the goal is not to simply bury your opponent with garbage but deplete their HP bar down to 0. You'll also pick a party of three characters, each with their own unique skills – it also doesn't hurt that each character's battle animations during combo chains have also been given an extra spot of pizazz from before.

These character skills include recoveries and buffs like recovering HP or strengthening your defence, but there's also skills tied to Puyo Puyo or Tetris, such as changing all the Puyos to red, or auto-arranging Tetriminoes so you can go for an easy Tetris. Skills are activated with a simple button press. These consume MP, which you don't have a lot to begin with, so you can't spam skills though MP does slowly restore over time. Playing through each skill battle as well as the campaign can also level up your characters, unlock new characters, as well as reward you with item cards, which you can equip for passive buffs like improving your attack or defence.

For this preview, we're limited to only being able to discuss the first chapter of Adventure mode, and because this chapter only includes one skill battle, it's not really enough to gauge just how interesting this new mode might be. It probably doesn't help that, as a high-skill player, I can easily KO my opponent in about 30 seconds with a 4-chain combo without ever glancing at my skills. Naturally, I'll have to play more of the campaign, unlock more characters and level up before I get a clearer idea. However, I also imagine its depth and long-term appeal will reveal itself when playing against other higher-level opponents online. It probably goes without saying though that it's not a mode you want to jump straight into online right away.

Hopefully, this new mode will prove worthwhile to justify an upgrade for those who were already taken by Puyo Puyo Tetris the first time around. But with the return of previous modes, such as the excellent Swap Mode, as well as Fever, Party and Fusion, all available in solo, local and online multiplayer, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 looks set to be a colourful recipe for multiplayer mayhem on all consoles just in time for the holidays.


Capcom hack: Information on 350,000 people stolen along with sales and financial reports

Capcom have posted a press released stating that they were "the victim of a customized ransomware attack" and that corporate records have been stolen along with the names, addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, and email addresses of 350,000 people. No credit card or payment information was stolen.

Those affected include people who have contacted customer service in Japan, Capcom store members and Esports members in North America, their shareholders, former employees, and people who have applied to join the company. Capcom say they have "begun contacting individuals whose information it has verified to have been compromised to explain the background of this incident and current situation."

Along with this personal data the hackers are said to have taken sales reports, financial information, development documents, and information on business partners. The mind boggles at just how one hack managed to access so many different areas of the company, clearly their internal security needs looking at.

If you think you may be one of the individuals who's data has been compromised you can contact Capcom as below.

Japan: Capcom Data Security Incident Support Line (Japanese only)
Tel. (toll-free): Game customer inquiries 0120-400161
General inquiries 0120-896680
Hours: 10:00 AM – 08:00 PM
North America: Capcom USA Customer Support Page
www.capcom.com/support
EMEA: Capcom Europe Customer Support
feedback@capcom.com

 

Here is a full breakdown of what was stolen

1. Information verified to have been compromised

i. Personal information: 9 items

  • Personal information of former employees: 5 items
    (Name & signature: 2 items; name & address: 1 item; passport information: 2 items)
  • Personal information of employees: 4 items
    (Name and HR information: 3 items; name & signature: 1 item)

ii. Other information

  • Sales reports
  • Financial information

2. Potentially compromised data

i. Personal information (customers, business partners, etc.): maximum of approx. 350,000 items

  • Japan: Customer service video game support help desk information (approx.134,000 items)
    Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses
  • North America: Capcom Store member information (approx. 14,000 items)
    Names, birthdates, email addresses
  • North America: Esports operations website members (approx. 4,000 items)
    Names, email addresses, gender information
  • List of shareholders (approx. 40,000 items)
    Names, addresses, shareholder numbers, amount of shareholdings
  • Former employees' (including family) information (approx. 28,000 people);
    applicants' information (approx. 125,000 people)
    Names, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, photos, etc.

ii. Personal information (employees and related parties)

  • Human resources information (approx. 14,000 people)

iii. Confidential corporate information

  • Sales data, business partner information, sales documents, development documents, etc.

Capcom are implementing measures going forward and coordinating with law enforcement authorities in Japan and the U.S. " It is safe for Capcom customers or others to connect to play the company's games online and access its websites," they add.

Capcom would once again like to reiterate its deepest apologies for any complications or concerns caused by this incident. As a company that handles digital content, it is regarding this incident with the utmost seriousness. In order to prevent the reoccurrence of such an event, it will endeavor to further strengthen its management structure while pursing legal options regarding criminal acts such as unauthorized access of its networks.

Source: Capcom


NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Review

Amongst the first raft of super shiny titles to become even more super and shiny, NBA 2K21 has been upgraded for the brand-new generation of console. Visual Concept's seminal basketball series has always pushed the boundaries for video-game sports: visually, dramatically and monetarily, and now they've got a huge amount of extra power at their fingertips to push ahead to even greater heights. Honestly, these players are going to be ten-feet high and glistening like a diamond by the time they're finished.

It's nice to see that Visual Concepts have put some effort into NBA 2K21's update as well, moving beyond a simple buff to the graphics and frame rate, and bringing in new features like the huge online hub of The City, and gameplay enhancements to make this feel like a worthy addition to the launch line-up for the Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5.

I'm sure that those tuning in for this coverage don't need too much context as to what NBA 2K21 is about, but for those searching for something to play on their new consoles here's a brief overview. NBA 2K21 is the premier – read: only – basketball experience you'll find this year, and while NBA Live has definitely shown willing in the last couple of years, NBA 2K has proven time and again to present a better rendition of b-ball, even if the shadow of microtransactions is always looming large.

At the heart of the experience is MyCareer, a story-led mode where you take your created MyPlayer through from playing high-school basketball all the way up to the NBA. As is now expected, production values and performances rival those of a serious TV drama, with actors like Djimon Hounsou and Michael Kenneth Williams acting alongside cover star Damien Lillard to convincing effect.

The new-gen edition of NBA 2K21 brings a first for the series, as MyCareer – or more specifically The W – now allows you to create a female player to take on their own route to the WNBA. I'm not convinced that the power of the Series X or PS5 was needed to make this kind of equalising progress – it reminds me of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Unity claim that women are more complicated to animate – but it's a welcome step on the path to inclusivity.

However, it's one step forward and one step back here, as The City, that big new social space that forms a major component of the next gen 2K21 online experience, is closed to female MyPlayers.

In terms of things that make very little sense, the online hub that allows for players to indulge in some street-style basketball action would have been the perfect place for male and female MyPlayers to interact, and yet that's not the case. Perhaps we'll have to wait for NBA 2K22 for this particular 'upgrade' to bring it in line with, you know, normal life, but this year's edition still makes great strides with The W, The W Online and MyWNBA.

It's more of a shame when The City is a huge and important leap forward for the franchise, and one of the key additions that makes this feel like more than a new-gen spruce up. Building on The Park and The Neighbourhood spaces of previous games, this online metropolis is filled to bursting with things to do, starting with your introduction via Rookieville before you head off into the sprawling city. This is where NBA 2K21 starts to feel like a basketball MMO; you can jump into action with other players you meet in the street at any hoop you care to find, while quest givers pop up around the city issuing you challenges to take part in, pushing you to make your way around all of the new facilities. You could easily spend months in here, and I fully expect plenty of new console NBA 2K21 players to do so.

If you're heading over from the PS4 or Xbox One editions, the first tangible improvement you're going to see is the huge reduction in loading times. The speed that everything moves along on Xbox Series X is hugely impressive; your phone is going to be grossly neglected in the coming years as we lose all of that Twitter-checking time as you head into a game. Out of everything else, this is fast becoming my most-loved feature of the new generation.

Of course, the game looks better too. NBA 2K has always pushed the boundaries, not just for sports games, but for video games in general, and once again they're at the forefront of what's possible in this opening salvo of the new generation. Character models have been given a clear upgrade, but the most impact can be seen in the game's improved ball handling and expanded animations.

More than ever, NBA 2K21 is pushing through the uncanny valley towards lifelike visuals. From the standard view, NBA 2K21 looks and sounds as though it could be a real-life broadcast, and it's an absolute pleasure to play. It all feels incredibly snappy in your hand too, and there's virtually no input lag. I've sometimes felt as though NBA 2K's timing doesn't match with what my brain is trying to do, and yet that sensation is entirely gone now.

2K21 saw Visual Concepts re-design the Pro-stick, though dedicated users will be glad to know you can choose whether to stick with the older style or the newer enhanced one. You can now influence aim with the Pro-stick, making it by far the most accurate way of playing, if you have the skill to make the most of it.

Amusingly, the latest 2KTV broadcast survey shows that over 75% of players still pick the good old shot button, so it's absolutely the top-end of the NBA 2K community that this is for. Still, if that's your bag it's there for you to use, and more control options are only to be welcomed, but it's going to take a lot of work before it's as consistent as a well-timed button press.

Besides all of the key additions you've still got all of the core modes that form the basis of NBA 2K, drawing in MyCareer, MyTeam and MyNBA to provide you with monstrous amounts of basketball action to take part in. Of course, VC – or Virtual Currency – is still hanging around here, but much like last year I didn't feel remotely compelled to drop any extra money into 2K's sizeable accounts. It's there if you want to speed things up, but I found the freely available ways to earn it did enough, whether that's playing the game well, or watching 2KTV broadcasts. There's no egregious in-game adverts at launch, but if you're wondering where 2K can insert ads in a few months time without loading screens to hang them off, it might be with the dangled carrot of some VC for sitting through an ad.


Godfall Guide – 15 essential tips and tricks

Godfall was the first game ever revealed for the PS5, luring RPG fans in with its blend of flashy melee combat and a promise of more loot than you'll know what to do with.

In Godfall, you'll don one of the game's many Valorplates – supercharged suits of armour imbued with powerful magic. Combining these with various weapons and upgrades, you can tailor both the style and combat capabilities of Orin in your quest to take down the all-powerful Macros.

If you're familiar with loot-driven roleplaying games then you shouldn't have too much trouble getting to grips with Godfall. However, there are some nuances at work here beneath the simple hacking and slashing. This Godfall guide will share some tips and tricks to help improve your overall experience with this PS5 launch title and power up your Valorian warrior.


Godfall Tips & Tricks

1. Godfall uses a close-up camera to emphasise its cinematic combat. The downside to this is that you'll often get slashed and shot at by enemies who are off-screen. Make sure you keep an eye on the arrow-shaped indicators around your character – these will flash red when an attack is incoming.

2. Parrying isn't your only defensive technique but it's one you should attempt to master as soon as you can. Pressing the block button as an enemy attack is about to land will trigger a parry, temporarily stunning your target and deflecting projectiles. You'll want to combine this technique with the Deathblow Skill. This will allow you to follow-up a parry with a brutal counterattack.

3. Prioritise targets when locked in combat. Enemy formations will typically include more fragile opponents such as spellcasters who can heal and buff their allies or even grant them invincibility. Focus on these foes first.

4. Remember to use every attack and special power when in combat. It's easy to get carried away simply using your light and heavy combos though you should be weaving between Weapon Techniques, Shield Throws, Polarity Charge strikes, and your Archon Fury ultimate to dominate battles.

5. Godfall's Takedowns are quick yet flashy finishers that will either kill an enemy outright or will at least drain most of their health. To trigger a Takedown you need to Breach an enemy first by dealing stun damage, increasing the yellow bar beneath their health counter. Takedowns can also occur after successful parries with some skills also making them appear more regularly.

6. The Soulshatter mechanic isn't explained very well when starting out in Godfall but it's pretty handy. In a nutshell, your light attacks will deplete an opponent's health bar while also isolating part of it in a light green colour. Follow up with a heavy attack and this green portion will shatter on top of your base weapon damage.

7. Use Orin's Spirit Vision to scout the area for points of interest. This will darken the screen while highlighting chests, hidden objectives, and collectables in a glowing light. Hidden objectives are displayed as red beacons and can often lead to some pretty sweet loot drops if you can decipher their simple puzzles.

8. Make sure you are visiting Zenun's Forge whenever you find a piece of loot that slots nicely into your loadout. Here you can increase an item's rarity as well as spending resources to boost its primary stats. Don't hoard your crafting materials – even the rarer ones become more abundant and easy to find towards the late game.

9. If you haven't done so already, sign up for a SHiFT account. This can be used across various Gearbox published games including the Borderlands series. It will take a few minutes to punch in your details and bind your SHiFT and console profiles but if you're serious about getting the most out of Godfall it's a step worth taking. SHiFT codes will be given out in future which can be redeemed for time-limited rewards and content.

10. One trait Godfall borrows from the latter genre is populating maps with crates and pots. You'll want to smash these whenever you get the chance – while a lot of them will be completely empty, others conceal health pick-ups and currency.

11. The Silvermane is just one of many Valorplates you can equip in Godfall. Each one has its own supercharged "Archon Fury" ability as well as passive perks and other bonuses. You can power through the entire game with only one Valorplate though they're easy to unlock and let you experiment with slightly different combat playstyles. Each of the game's three worlds offers a different type of base material (Infused Jasper, Crystalline Tear, or Aetheric Filament) which can be combined with Valorplate Cores to craft these Valorplates.

12. Don't ignore the Training Arena. While it's true that Godfall's combat is fairly straightforward, if you aren't paying attention to the skills you unlock you may be unaware of advanced attacks and combos. Visit the arena to test new weapon movesets and to give yourself a quick refresh of Godfall's combat controls if you've taken a break from the game.

13. Godfall is a loot-driven game at its core. Although skills will influence the battle tactics available to you, it's the weapons, charms, rings, and other equipment that will dictate your raw stats including health and damage. There are several things to consider when slotting new items into your Valorplate. First you want to check the rarity or colour of loot with purple or higher gear always warranting closer inspection. You should then compare its stats to optimise your equipped items (for example, choosing weapons with a higher DPS number). However, there's something else to consider here. Most loot will also have attached perks, such as a bonus chance to inflict Chill or Poison. If two pieces of loot have similar primary stats then always check what else they have to offer.

14. While loot is random, you have complete control over which skills to unlock in Godfall. Skill points will come by simply playing the game, levelling up, and completing certain missions or Merits. Godfall's skill grid is far from flashy though it gives you a preview of all the bonuses you can unlock, some of them adding moves to your arsenal with others amping your core stats. Some of our top picks include critical chance/damage boosts, wider parry windows, Deathblow, and Weapon Technique enhancements. It's possible to unlock every skill, though prioritising some over others is definitely worthwhile.

15. Godfall features a catalogue of tiered achievements called Merits. These track just about everything you do in game from killing specific enemy types to popping open chests. Merits can dish out some hefty rewards so make sure you're tracking them in the menu.


For more on Godfall, you can read our first impression via our review in progress. Full review to follow soon.


[UPDATE] THQ Nordic say the TimeSplitters 2 leak was a joke

UPDATE: "This is just an innocent Easter egg," a THQ Nordic spokesperson said. "The vendor in the game is a character known especially for not telling the truth."

"That's was a stupid thing to do and very annoying," a spokesperson for everyone else said, "Think very long and hard about what you did and never do it again."

Original story below…

Well this is a new way for a game to leak, usually it's the Korean Ratings Board or some voice actor spilling the beans, this time it is one of the publishers own games. A mysterious YouTube account called Beyond has posted a video showing some in-game items available in THQ Nordic's SpellForce 3: Fallen God, and alongside Biomutant and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom items is one for the "TimeSplitters 2 Remake".

The text accompanying item (translated from French) reads: "It's finally coming! The iconic shooter, which has stood the test of time to join the era of modern games."

Back in 2019 it was revealed that one of the creators of the original TimeSplitters IP, Steve Ellis, has joined THQ Nordic to help them work on a new game. The news was revealed via they rather dry Interim Report Q1, April-June 2019 document published by THQ.

Last year Deep Silver acquired the much-loved TimeSplitters IP. We're delighted to announce that one of the series' creators, Steve Ellis, has joined us to help plot the future course for this franchise.

The original series kicked off way back on PlayStation 2 in the year 2000 and was followed by the numbered sequel and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, all of which scored highly in reviews and became firm fan favourites. Sadly, after the third outing things got rather messy.

A fourth game was rumoured to be in production at Free Radical in 2007 but in 2009 Crytek snapped up the studio and put the game on hold, renaming the studio to Crytek UK. By 2011 the game was back in production but had moved to run on CryEngine, the following year it cancelled with Cevat Yerli from Crytek stating "Look, I wish we were working on it. The thing with TimeSplitters is, if we made a sequel to TimeSplitters, nobody would accept this apart from some fans, and we don't know how big the fan community is unfortunately."

By 2013 Steve Ellis, the chap who has rejoined THQ Nordic, had given up. "I don't think there's any chance that's [TimeSplitters 4] going to happen, you always got to the point where the marketing person in the room would say 'I don't know how to sell this' because they want a character that they can put on the front of the box. Every marketing person and every publisher we spoke to [said] 'You can't have that as your selling point' and maybe the sales figures of previous games backed that up."

In 2014 Crytek were in financial trouble and sold Homefront 2, which Crytek UK were working on, to Deep Silver, and shut down the studio, but most the staff immediately joined the new Dambuster Studios to continue to work on the game. Deep Silver's parent company, Koch Media, had then been bought by THQ Nordic.

In August 2018 Crytek were in financial trouble (again) and sold the TimeSplitters franchise to THQ Nordic along with Second Sight, meaning the TimeSplitters IP was once again, via a very convoluted path, reunited with the team who made it and it appears we're getting a remaster of the second game.

Source: YouTube via VGC


Godfall SHiFT Codes – where to find and redeem them in-game

One thing you may have noticed while playing Godfall is the option to redeem "SHiFT" codes via the in-game pause menu.

Available now on PlayStation 5 and PC, the newly launched looter-slasher is the latest game from Gearbox Publishing who have used SHiFT codes for games in the past, including the Borderlands series.

So what exactly are SHiFT codes? What do they do in Godfall and, more importantly, where do you find them? Here are some quick answers to those questions.

Godfall SHiFT – where to find and redeem them

SHiFT is a reward system Gearbox have been using since Borderlands 2. The way it works is as follows: by following Gearbox and SHiFT compatible games on social media and online video platforms, there will be occasional SHiFT code giveaways, each key being an alphanumeric code that is 25 characters long.

In order to redeem them you will first need a SHiFT account. This can be done in Godfall or by popping open a web browser. Punch in your details, link to your gaming platform ID, then verify your account to start redeeming SHiFT codes.

These codes will expire after a set time period, encouraging players to quickly dive in and reap any rewards. SHiFT codes have been used primarily with Borderlands 2, Borderland: The Pre-Sequel, and Borderlands 3. They often reward fans with Golden Keys to open special chests, as well as unlocking themed character skins as well as snazzy paint jobs for weapons.

So, what do SHiFT codes unlock in Godfall? Although the rewards system is clearly visible in-game we have yet to see any Godfall specific codes go live. However, it's safe to assume that SHiFT codes will be used primarily for cosmetic items such as Valorplate skins, as well as small bundles of crafting resources. Although these materials are pretty easy to farm, SHiFT rewards could definitely help speed up this process.

The easiest way to keep track of SHiFT codes as they go live is to hover around Godfall and Gearbox's social media. A more efficient method is to follow SHiFT code bots or visit message boards to get notified as soon as new rewards are available.


Tetris Effect: Connected Review

There's something primal, something insanely emotional and personal, about Tetris Effect. When I originally awarded Tetris Effect 10/10 on PSVR and called it a "game of the generation" many people sneered. The comments across each social media platform were the same; everybody laughed and said "it's just Tetris." Everybody, that is, except those that had actually played it. With the benefit of time and the ability to, you know, play the game, the world discovered just how powerful the Tetris Effect is. Now that it's arrived on Xbox with multiplayer in tow, the effect is only growing stronger.

There is a nugget of truth to it being "just Tetris", if only that it has to be Tetris in order for any of this to make sense. Designed by Alexey Pajitnov some thirty-six years ago, the fundamentals have not changed, and they do not need to, as Tetris is still one of the best games ever created.

Tetris Effect takes in elements of the previous years of Tetris development and wraps them in one of the most incredible audio-visual skins that gaming has ever served to us. If you want to see the evolutionary trail that leads to Tetris Effect you simply have to follow designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi's career path, taking in Space Channel 5, Rez, Child of Eden and Lumines. All roads lead to Tetris Effect, the culmination of two decades of mercurial game design. We shouldn't have expected anything less.

Tetris Effect: Connected finally brings the game to the Xbox platform, appearing for the launch of the Xbox Series X and coming with the gloriously sharp 4K Tetrominos that PS4 Pro owners have been cutting their eyeballs with for years. Of course, what the transition has lost is VR support, and it shouldn't be underestimated just how life-changing Tetris Effect is when you are ensconced within it.

The best I can recommend is sitting on the floor about two feet from the screen, cranking those headphones up and running the lights down real low. It will do, but I wonder how much of my own emotional response has been programmed in by playing in VR, and whether someone coming to the game on Xbox will have quite the same reaction. I hope they do.

Xbox players do get the first taste of Tetris Effect multiplayer though, and it's been worth the wait. Other platforms will have to hold out for another six months, so I guess that some balance has been brought to the Tetris Effect multiverse. That feels like a very Mizuguchi thing to do, even if it's more likely it was some suits in a boardroom.

Multiplayer has two distinct ranking systems. Your Tier is your overall ability and experience level, and that's based on your average Skill Rating across all of Tetris Effect's modes. As you'd hopefully expect, it goes up when you win Ranked Matches, and down when you lose. If you're more about the taking part than the winning,  then you will still increase your skill rating no matter what you're doing, but it's going to be much slower than being a winner.

At the centre of Tetris Effect's multiplayer modes is the Tetrimidion, and as you progress up the Tiers you'll come ever closer to what the game describes as "a wondrous sanctuary that only the most worthy may enter." Whatever that might mean.

As you'd hope you can choose between ultra-serious Ranked Matches, playful Friend Matches and even – whisper it – Local Matches that you can play with the real people in your home. Can you imagine?

As you'd expect from Tetris Effect, it's not simply a straightforward 'put the blocks in the slots' type affair here, or at least, not entirely. Connected is a unique take on the formula and sees you form a three-player team with other players who then have to work together to defeat AI-controlled bosses. At points your three screens join together to form an immense wall of Tetronimos that can cause equally massive damage.

You have to work together at these points, taking turns to fill in the gaps, and in local play especially it just works incredibly well. You shout at your partners "over here!" and point excitedly towards a little gap, or huff and puff when they fill in the spot you had your Tetronimos all set to drop into. Co-operative Tetris shouldn't work, but just like with VR, Mizuguchi has found a way.

Remember I said it wasn't all straightforward Tetris-ing? Well, the rest of the modes are far more traditional, including the central Zone Battle. This is a pure one-on-one competition played with the standard Tetris Effect rules that you've hopefully learned through the single player campaign. You drop Tetronimos on your opponent by making line attacks. Score Attack is very similar, though it's purely your score against theirs, and there's none of the horror of them dropping extra blocks on you at an inopportune moment.

If you're feeling nostalgic, the final multiplayer mode is Classic Score Attack, which removes all of the niceties that years of Tetris development have brought. There's no Hold Queue, no Hard Drop, no quick Lock Down, no… anything that wasn't in the Game Boy version. It's a short, sharp shock after you've been playing Tetris Effect for any length of time, but it's actuality quite freeing. This is Tetris at its most stripped back, and in a multiplayer setting there's nothing here to save you.


Destiny 2: Beyond Light – The Disgraced Strike Guide

Beyond Light is finally here for all to play, marking one of the biggest shifts in the series' history. As part of that, lots of content made its way into the Destiny Content Vault, including several weapons, strikes and locations, but fortunately Beyond Light brings new content to the table along with a completely new strike and one returning strike. Players are already making their way through the new content, which is why we thought now was the perfect time to put together a guide for both, helping you to get the most optical run.

Europa brings with it a new strike titled The Glassway, while the returning Cosmodrome has The Disgraced strike. The former is an all new strike, while the latter is a slightly remixed version of the original Destiny 1 strike. It's a slightly weak offering of new content considering just how much stuff went into the vault, but let's get stuck in.

Also, this will be a general guide for the strike, breaking down each encounter and discussing which weapons will be most effective.


Earth, Cosmodrome – The Disgraced – Recommended Power Level 1100

Enemy Types: Fallen, Hive

Those familiar with the original Destiny will recognise The Disgraced strike. Returning from the recently announced Destiny Content Vault, The Disgraced is the first strike to make its way into the game, and while it mostly retains the majority of the original, there is one subtle change to the last encounter.

The Disgraced starts at the Forgotten Shore. You and your fellow guardians will ride alongside the coast until you reach a carpark looking structure titled the Terrestrial Complex. Head to the back of the carpark and swing a right and a left and make your way up a few sets of stairs before arriving at your first combat encounter.

Terrestrial Complex: Encounter One

The first encounter here is nice and easy, with a big large room and lots of areas for cover amongst the many Fallen. There's a pretty balanced mix of vandals, shanks and captains throughout the room, although they shouldn't give you too much trouble provided you equip an appropriate load-out.

With lots of cover and tight angles, we would recommend using something with medium to short-range capabilities. The Gnawing Hunger assault rifle with a kinetic shotgun would provide the perfect mix of short and close range for this encounter, enabling you to mow down waves of Fallen with ease.

Other recommended weapons:
IKELOS_SMG_V1.0.2 – Energy SMG (Enemy Damage)
Cold Front – Kinetic SMG (Enemy Damage)
Hawthorne's Field-Forged – Kinetic Shotgun (Powerful Enemy Damage)
Blasphemer – Kinetic Shotgun (Powerful Enemy Damage)
One Small Step – Kinetic Shotgun (Powerful Enemy Damage)

With the Fallen vanquished, it's time to make your way upstairs, although you'll need to watch out for a small group of Fallen vanguards making their way down. Stick to your SMG or assault rifle to easily dispose of this group.


Terrestrial Complex: Encounter Two

Once you've made it up the stairs, you'll find yourself in a room that opens out into a loading bay with a small number of Fallen enemies. Once the Fallen are defeated, it's time to take on the Hive which fills the loading bay. You'll be coming up against witches, knights and shriekers here, so you'll want something that packs power and has decent ranged attack power. You'll also have to contend with several thrall and acolytes running at you, so make sure your fireteam is focusing on different enemies.

Fortunately the back of the loading bay entrance provides plenty of cover, giving you the opportunity to duck in and out between sniper or bow shots. Focus on the witches first as they are going to cause the most damage to your team, before moving your attention to the knights which spawn further down the loading bay. A mix of something like Riskrunner or Trinity Ghoul alongside a sniper rifle would provide the perfect duo for dealing with thrall waves and the much tougher enemies.

Around the third wave of Hive, the shriekers which sit at the back of the loading area will open up, battering your team with projectiles alongside thrall and acolytes. This is where your sniper rifle will prove handy, giving you the perfect amount of firepower to take out these hard-hitting ranged Hive enemies.

With the Hive defeated, it's time to move on. At the end of the loading area, swing left into a room with an orange light and make your way through the opening shutters. Fight your way through a number of rooms, which includes a servitor and a few vandals. Once you make it to the other side, you'll find yourself in the public Sky Watch area. You'll want to make your way down the path and into the Hive structure on your right.

If you're running low on special or kinetic ammo, consider taking out the few Hive enemies outside the structure, although you can skip them if you'd rather save some time.


The Jovian Complex: Encounter One

After making your way through the Hive structure, you'll come out at the entrance to the Jovian Complex. Things start to get a little tougher from here on out with several tough enemies to take down.

The first encounter here involves strike boss Navota, Eir Spawn, a high-level witch with a lot of health. The initial battle with Navota takes place in a narrow hall which swings left and opens up into a rocky area with lots of verticality. You will need to balance using what available cover there is through some scaffolding on the left and deal with the waves on weaker enemies approaching. Navota will also spend her time throwing some hard shots your way, and with what little space there is, it's easy to get caught out here. Navota has a solar shield, so any solar based weapons will work a treat here. One team member with a Sunshot should do the trick, meaning you can keep focusing on damage.

You ideally want something quite heavy hitting for damaging Navota, but you'll also need to deal with other enemies in the background. The Witherhoard is an excellent option here as you can place damaging mines under the boss and swap out to an energy assault rifle or machine gun in your power slot and deal with enemies while also damaging the boss.

Around half-way through their health meter, Navota will retreat, leaving you to deal with a room filled with enemies. This is a busy area, filled with knights, ogres and acolytes. Focus your fire on the ogre first as it will make the knights and acolytes a lot easier to deal with. Use your distance in this encounter as there's plenty of cover and a clear line of sight to the majority of enemies in the room. The key here is to be patient and deal damage where it counts – especially if you are under the light level or running a 100k.

Other recommended weapons:
Sunshot – Legendary Energy Hand Cannon (Navota's shield)
Xenophage – Exotic Heavy Machine Gun (Boss damage)
Thermal Erosion – Heavy Machine Gun (Boss/enemy damage)
Seventh Seraph Saw – Heavy Machine Gun (Boss/enemy damage)
Gnawing Hunger – Energy Assault Rifle (Enemy Damage)
Falling Guillotine – Power Sword (Boss Damage)
Trinity Ghoul – Exotic Energy Bow (Enemy Damage)


The Jovian Complex: Encounter Two

Navota, Eir Spawn is back and now you must fight her in the midst of a hive ritual. Unfortunately, all that damage you did before is gone and Navota now sits at full health. Just like before, Navota can deal some serious damage if you get caught in her line of sight and she's got a pretty big health pool as well. The room layout is also a little unusual, as Navota will flip between the room's two different levels, but enemies can spawn from all sides. Movement is key in this fight, as it will not only let you dodge attacks but also keep tabs on the many waves of enemies.

Just like before, a Sunshot hand cannon will help with her shield, while The Witherhoard can provide ongoing damage to both the boss and the waves of spawning enemies. Standing on the second level to the right of left of the platform Navota sits on will provide you with plenty of cover, but you will want to watch out for enemies spawning behind you.

This is a relatively simple boss encounter, with no additional mechanics. Just keep plugging away at the Navota's health and managing the enemies within the room. Keep at it and before you know it, the strike will be over. Enjoy your loot Guardians, you've earned it!

Other recommended weapons:
Sunshot – Legendary Energy Hand Cannon (Navota's shield)
Xenophage – Exotic Heavy Machine Gun (Boss damage)
Thermal Erosion – Heavy Machine Gun (Boss/enemy damage)
Seventh Seraph Saw – Heavy Machine Gun (Boss/enemy damage)
Gnawing Hunger – Energy Assault Rifle (Enemy Damage)
Falling Guillotine – Power Sword (Boss Damage)
Trinity Ghoul – Exotic Energy Bow (Enemy Damage)


UK Charts 14/11/20: For the first time in years, Call of Duty is not #1 at launch

We haven't been posting the charts for a while as, well, no one reads them, but we're making an exception this week as something monumental has happened. For the first time in a very, very long time, Call of Duty has not topped the charts in it's launch week and has been beaten by Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

We knew Valhalla had done well as Ubisoft's had reported the day one player count had smashed that of it's predecessor, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, with double the number of players. According Gamesindustry.biz Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has sold 65% less boxed product than that of last years release, but Activision have countered this saying Cold War "set a new record as the highest first day digital sales worldwide in franchise history".

Call of Duty missing the top spot is not the only oddity this week as the sales include PlayStation 5 games, even though the console is not out, so Spider-Man: Miles Morales grabs third place with 71% of those being for the PlayStation 5 version of the game. Demon Souls, which is only on PlayStation 5, manages to chart in sixth place, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure just misses the top ten at number thirteen. Sales of PlayStation 5 games accounted for 19% of all sales.

Further down the chart, Godfall lands at No.16, Yakuza: Like A Dragon makes No.20, and sadly Codemaster's Dirt 5 has dropped out of the charts just one week after it was released, a surprise when it was pushed hard on Xbox Series X.

Here is the GfK Top Ten for the week ending November 14th:

Last Week This Week Title
New Entry 1 Assassin's Creed Valhalla
New Entry 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
New Entry 3 Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
1 4 FIFA 21
2 5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons
New Entry 6 Demon's Souls
6 7 Super Mario 3D All-Stars
3 8 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
5 9 Minecraft (Switch)
4 10 Watch Dogs: Legion

Source: GI.Biz


WRC 9 vs. DIRT 5 – Which racing game uses the DualSense best?

If there's a genre that should benefit particularly well from the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller, it's racing games. It's one of the many reasons why the prospect of Gran Turismo 7 has got so many series fans salivating – I mean, the stunning graphics from its reveal also helped – but there could be a little while to wait before we get to play Polyphony Digital's next sim racer.

In the meantime, and for the launch of the new generation, we have WRC 9 and DIRT 5, a pair of strongly contrasting racing games that show just how much DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive triggers can add to the racing genre. While both games focus on off-road and mixed terrain racing, one's aiming to be a rally racing sim, while the other is all about over the top arcade action, and that's led to two very different approaches.

WRC 9 lives up to its sim rallying aspirations, giving us a pretty straight forward interpretation. The right trigger, your accelerator, is kept loose, but as you pull it back and your rally car rockets forward, you'll immediately notice the little clicks and nudges it gives to your finger as gears shift up. The brakes, meanwhile, are kept almost as loose, but add tension and resistance as you reach the bottom of the left trigger's travel, mimicking some of the feel of a real brake pedal or a loadcell in a high-end racing wheel set up. Its one other bit of information to impart is when you're slipping to a halt, angrily clicking at your finger and making a bit of a racket as the game tells you off.

The rest of the feedback is reserved for a combination of the haptics rumble and the built-in speaker of the DualSense. You could immediately tell the difference between different surfaces if you needed to, but there's a great variation from the smooth asphalt's non-existent feedback, to light gravel giving a steady thrumming buzz as you drive over it, and then heavy gravel where there's jagged, violent and unpredictable rumble from the haptics. You can add to that the sound of stones kicking up and bouncing off the car's floor, the sounds conveniently coming from the controller held below your head.

Of course, that's if you're managing to stay on the incredibly twisty and narrow of the technical rally stages found throughout this game. Dip some tyres into the rough and you'll feel it fed through that side of the controller… most of the time. There's some inconsistency here, where I'd expect cutting a corner to rumble my controller harder and finding it remaining absolutely consistent with the rest of the road. Obviously, smashing into a wall or something similarly definitive never failed to get some angry buzzing, and I was delighted when my right trigger suddenly became heavy to indicate engine damage, but KT Racing could work to fine tune the feedback the game is outputting further. No mean feat for a cross-gen game that's building off a lot of iterative content, as WRC 9 is.

By contrast, Dirt 5's approach is more surprising. As soon as you start playing, you notice that Codemasters Chesire have ratcheted up the tension of the right trigger, your accelerator, while leaving the left trigger completely loose. It's surprising and initially jarring to say the least, and the polar opposite of realism, but it allows Codemasters to use the triggers for more feedback alongside the vibration of the controller's grips.

As you're racing, bouncing around on track, jostling for postition, there's obviously variation in the vibration you're getting through the haptic motors, but the triggers also shift and alter their tension. Braking heavily while turning will have the left trigger do its angry clicking wiggle back at you, but the same effect is also used for other big impacts, like landing from a jump. Both triggers are alive as they try to add to the immersion of the game's action.

Yet, that's not really what I'd want from a racing game in terms of actual feedback. Dirt 5's all about big arcade action, and that can be a lot of fun to have piped through the controller, but analyse it a little deeper and it feels like there's a lack of finesse here, on a similar level to the four point assault on your tactile senses that the Xbox controller offers in this game.

The DualSense can do more than this. The haptic motors in particular are merely on or off, failing to really communicate a difference between surfaces or an intense additional impact, when the DualSense can modulate the motor strength as shown in WRC 9. The best trick Dirt 5 pulls in terms of communicating what the car is doing is in releasing that accelerator tension when the rear steps out for a drift. It's a great effect and a kind of feedback that can really inform you about how to control the car.

For a long time now it's felt almost mandatory for those who want to step into the world of sim racing to pick up a decent racing wheel to enhance the force feedback and their understanding what their car is doing in-game, and that's certain to remain the case through the next generation. However, there's a chance that the DualSense can help narrow that gap, to give you a better understanding through the triggers of when your tyres have grip and when they don't, just as a racing wheel's force feedback can.

WRC 9's more realistic interpretation of what the DualSense as a whole can simulate feels the more essential experience of the two, but Dirt 5 still feels more vibrant and lively than on DualShock 4. They're fascinating first attempts though, and I can't wait for a racing game to fully realise the DualSense's potential.


Thrustmaster T.16000M Space Sim Duo Review

Everyone I knew growing up wanting to be in the emergency services, or perhaps an astronaut or footballer. I wanted to be Luke Skywalker. Smaller me couldn't quite grasp that wasn't exactly the job – obviously I know now that the job is being a Jedi, and is still absolutely a possibility – but I knew that was what I wanted to do with my life.

Besides being best friends with Harrison Ford and having a sword that made an incredible buzzing sound, Luke Skywalker got to fly the greatest spaceship ever created; the X-Wing. I made cardboard boxes and pieces of furniture into X-Wing configurations – though some days they were KITT from Knight Rider – and merrily barrel-rolled into battle against my sister's dolls and my Grandma's Airdale Terrier, Meggy. Meggy wasn't very good at being a rival TIE Fighter pilot, but she was a pretty decent AT-AT.

Imagine then, a world where slightly older me can become Luke Skywalker piloting an X-Wing. With the arrival of Star Wars Squadrons I've finally got the Star Wars dogfighting game I always dreamed of, but, if you're going to really fire up the old imagination – and don't have any cardboard boxes or oversized dogs to hand – you're going to need a flightstick. Thrustmaster are here to help, and with the Space Sim Duo you're not just getting one flightstick, you're getting two.

The Space Sim Duo comprises of two T16000 flightsticks. Readily considered one of the best mid-range sticks out there, if you're into regular, earth-bound flight-sims it's likely you only really need one, but once you're unleashed in a zero-gravity environment that dual set-up suddenly makes a whole lot of sense.

The T16000 mixes plastic and metal components and feels resolutely solid in-hand, while its black and orange colour scheme manages to give just the right weight to your futuristic fantasies without it looking like some alien horror that's bursting out of your desk. To top it all off, when you put your hand on each stick the base lights up with an orange glow, and despite being such a simple thing it genuinely adds to the experience. Not only do you feel like you're about to take a spaceship out for a jaunt, it looks like you are as well.

There's an embarrassing, and potentially mind-boggling array of control inputs on each T16000, and when you combine the two there's 42 buttons, sliders, triggers and directional inputs to make use of. While it's on a game by game basis, you'll almost certainly be able to customise your controls to fit in exactly with what you're doing, though you still might want some sticky labels if you're the forgetful sort. Star Wars Squadrons had no problem identifying both sticks, and you can set to customising your layout with no friction whatsoever.

Each stick control boasts a clear orange plastic trigger that produces a satisfying click with every press. While it's not as industrial feeling as the metal-built HOTAS Warthog, it's solid and feels as though it's going to cope with many hundreds of hours of digital laser cannon fire. You've also got three slightly clunky sounding input buttons that are easily accessible with your thumb, and a directional hat. These are primarily used for looking around your cockpit and out into the space beyond, but as you've got two you could use one for weapon selection or changing your ship's combat modes.

Moving down to the metal base, there are a further twelve input buttons and a thrust slider. I have to admit to not being a particularly huge fan of this style of slider; they'll do in a pinch, but they have a short range of movement and aren't in the most natural place even if you're only using one stick. I'd always opt for a full thrust unit as you'll find in a HOTAS set-up, but with the dual stick set-up you've got another option.

I added the thrust controls to my left stick in Star Wars Squadrons and had a riot using the pair of inputs simultaneously. You can add a dedicated thrust unit to this set-up as well if you're feeling particularly flush, but it becomes much less necessary, at least as far as something like Star Wars Squadrons is concerned. You might want something less strenuous if you're undertaking a long-haul flight in Elite: Dangerous for example, but for a space combat game I can't recommend it more.

Both T16000 sticks are fully customisable depending on which hand you're using, with replacement hand rests and a switch beneath the base for selecting which hand you're using. Though I can't see a necessity for it as part of the dual set-up, it does give you some flexibility if you were lending one to a potential pilot friend that you were trying to recruit to the Rebellion – or the stinking Empire.

As you'd expect from a Thrustmaster, the pair of T16000 sticks boast just the right level of tension. Thanks to the inclusion of their patented HEART sensors every movement is faithfully replicated on screen, and even small motions are picked up accurately. There's no option to alter the stick tension which is worth bearing in mind, but I honestly don't think you'd need to. I used the pair for hours before beginning to tire, and the base is weighted to just the right degree that they won't be going anywhere unless you truly want to re-enact your ship being blown up.


Spider-Man: Miles Morales update 1.002.001 is out, patch notes here

Insomniac have released the ridiculously numbered update 1.002.001 for Spider-Man: Miles Morales on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It adds the much requested ability to transfer save games from PS4 to PS5, plus selfie poses and ray-tracing improvements on the PS5 version.  Here are the full notes.

Version 1.002.001 Release Notes

General Updates

  • Added option to change time of day during post-game
  • Added rewards for completing benchmarks (Photo Mode stickers)
  • Added supported localized VO
  • Added option to transfer save from PS4 to PS5
  • Added in-game option to upgrade to Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition (PS5 only)

Photo Mode Updates

  • Added selfie poses
  • Added depth of field slider
  • Added light distance

Accessibility Updates

  • Added customizable button remapping
  • Added mono audio selection

General Fixes & Polish

  • Improved stability
  • Performance improvements on PS4
  • Performance improvements on PS5
  • Ray-tracing improvements on PS5
  • HDR improvements
  • Subtitle and localization text fixes
  • Various additional fixes

We gave Spider-Man: Miles Morales 8/10 in our review. "Spider-Man: Miles Morales feels like more of a sequel than it is a stopgap, entangling players within its web of cleverly refined mechanics while delivering some familiar web-slinging thrills," said Jim. "A heroic technical showcase for PS5 owners picking up their consoles on day one, this meaty side story in the Spider-Man saga has us even more excited than before to see what Insomniac Games have planned next."

You can read the full review here.  

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Guides & more from TheSixthAxis

Source: Insomniac


Warning: It may be a good idea not to use the PS5 rest mode for the moment

With the PlayStation 5 now officially out in North America and other territories gamers have been getting their hands on the new console and unfortunately there seems to be a an issue with the PlayStation 5 rest mode. The mode allows you to put the console to sleep and instantly pick up where you left off, the same as it does on the PS4.

Insomniac have confirmed that there is definitely an issue if you put the PS5 in to rest mode when playing Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the remastered original Spider-Man game.

There are also multiple reports of Godfall also suffering the same problem.

Users who have been hit by the problem have to rebuild their PS5 database and most find that has worked. However, a small number of gamers have found that the rebuild fails and bricks their console.

To stop your PS5 going in to rest mode go to the Settings menu on the console, the navigate to Power Saving and then Set Time Until PS5 Enters Rest Mode. From here select "Don't Put in Rest Mode".

Just as an aside: Sony, what's with capitalising everything but 'in' on that menu option? Weird.

It appears the delayed release of the PlayStation 5 might just be to the advantage of us here in the U.K. as Sony have five more days to get to the bottom of the problems and get a firmware update out, no doubt the developers of the games are also looking at the problem.

There are also reports of PS5's crashing at various points and throwing up the error code CE-108255-1, a rather generic "Something went wrong with this game or app." Sony have yet to make any official comment on this but @AskPlayStation on Twitter is DM'ing individuals with advice,  so best to try there if you have the problem.

PlayStation 5 Guides and more from TheSixthAxis


Dirt 5 – how to upgrade from PS4 to PS5 for free

If you were unsure whether to pick up a copy of Dirt 5 on release day due to the impending launch of new consoles, Codemasters made it an easy decision for rally racing fans by announcing a free cross-gen upgrade.

In a nutshell, if you've already purchased Dirt 5 on PlayStation 4 and want to make the leap to PS5 without buying the game again, you can do totally do that. The same applies for those who own Dirt 5 on Xbox One wanting to switch to the newer Xbox Series X|S. Naturally, you won't be able to upgrade from one family of systems to the other, so don't go shoving your Xbox Dirt 5 disc in your PS5.

Dirt 5 isn't the only game offering a free upgrade. We've already seen others follow suit including Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Dead By Daylight, Borderlands, FIFA 21, and many more. So, how do you get in on this free PS4 to PS5 upgrade?

We've been testing the PS5's games and features for the past couple of weeks now and while there's a lot to love, some features don't come tagged with explainers or are hidden away in submenus. This guide will quickly show you how to upgrade your existing copy of Dirt 5 from PS4 to PS5.

Of course, you will already need to have purchased a copy of Dirt 5on PlayStation 4, whether you purchased it as a direct download via the PlayStation Store or have a physical disc-based version.

Once you've set up your PlayStation 5 and signed into the PSN profile used to originally buy Dirt 5, go into the PlayStation Store and look for the game (use the search bar if you're having issues).

Even when you've found the Dirt 5 page, you may miss where to upgrade to PS5. If you press download then you'll likely end up installing the PS4 version instead. When on the store page, look to the right side and you'll see an icon for the PS5 upgrade (it's sitting just above the trophies tab). We've attached a screenshot (depicting the same screen, but with Assassin's Creed: Valhalla) below so you know where to look.

Our resident racing expert Thomas H-L left a glowing review of Codemasters latest entry in the long-running series, scoring Dirt 5 an 8 out of 10:

DIRT 5 strips away the more serious elements of the franchise and puts all its eggs in one, arcade cabinet shaped, basket. At times a riot, in other areas a little repetitive and lacking in finesse, it nevertheless delivers on the concept of an adrenaline-fueled off-road racer. It's a game that makes you sit forward in your seat and savour the joys of jumping a Dakar Rally Peugeot 3008 over a ravine.

PlayStation 5 Guides and more from TheSixthAxis


8 things to do with your DualSense controller while you wait for your PlayStation 5 to arrive

Because reasons, Sony have decided to release all the PlayStation 5 peripherals and games on November 12th, the launch day of the console in North America and other regions, but over here in the U.K. we still have to wait until November 19th until we get the console itself. So, what do you do with a Dualsense controller until then? Well we have some ideas…

1. Celebrate Christmas early

2. Take it to a kinky leather bar

3. Introduce it to the rest of the family

4. Celebrate it's first ever birthday

5. Give it a giant robot to keep it safe

6. Show it all the places you still can't own a PlayStation 5

7. Take it for a walk in the countryside

8. Wear it as the ultimate in bling!

We have a huge amount of PlayStation 5 content on the way including a review of Godfall, so keep an eye for that. We also have a load of guides ready for you, check this lot out.

PlayStation 5 Guides and more from TheSixthAxis

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Guides & more from TheSixthAxis


Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – How to fix the PS5 download bug and Dualshock from disconnecting

Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War seems to have some interesting 'features' that were never listed. It's disconnect PS4 Dualshock controllers mid game, and some people can't even download the PlayStation 5 version, it just gets stuck in their queue and/or downloads the PlayStation 4 version instead.

Let's start with the PS5 download bug which unfortunately has one fix at the moment and you're not going to like it. You need to do a full factory reset of the console, which will wipe any games and updates you have installed.

To perform a factory reset of your PlayStation 5, you must navigate to the gear icon on the top right of the home screen which takes you to the System Settings page. From there head to the System section, , select Reset Options and then Reset Your Console. At this point you will need to confirm you are going to wipe everything from your console.

As this is such a huge bug Activision should be fixing it very quickly so you may want to wait a day or two rather than have to reinstall all your PS5 games.

Moving on to PlayStation 4 players who have been reporting that the Dualshock controller starts flashing and disconnects. This seems to happen at the start of the third mission in the campaign but there are also reports of the fault occurring during multiplayer and zombies matches.  There is a fix, but once again it's not a good one, you need to hook the controller up to the console with a USB cable and play with it connected rather than wirelessly.

Insert the cable in to your controller, connect it to the PS4, then got to Settings > Devices > Controllers and from that menu choose Communication Method and change it to "Use USB Cable". That should sort you out, again it's a rather huge bug so hopefully Treyarch are on the case and will issue a fix soon.

Source: IGN / PushSquare


Something for the Weekend – 14/11/20

It's been a monumental week in the video game industry as the 'next gen' finally becomes 'this gen'. That is unless, you're a PlayStation fan living in Europe and still have a tantalising wait for your PS5 console.

As many of us look jealously upon our friends across the pond and around the world play with their shiny new toys, let's recap everything that happened this week.

In the News This Week

Games in Review

It was a strong start to the new generation, but we didn't get time to explore everything we wanted to in some of the launch day titles. Stay tuned for the full reviews, but here's our initial thoughts:

And here's our full reviews:

And from the hardware side of things, we had a gaming keyboard review

Featured Articles

All of those reviews might be a little overwhelming, and we don't blame you – that's why Nic has spent some time answering the question many of you will be asking: what are the best PS5 games at launch?

If you're itching to get your hands on the new Assassin's Creed, then Adrian has been speaking to some experts to see just how accurate Ubisoft have portrayed the Viking era, while Reuben had a look at Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a "fantastic" spin off.

Finally, What We Played included plenty of next-gen gaming with Demon's Souls, Gears Tactics & Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Your Achievements

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

  • hornet1990 went back two generations, giving Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon a whirl on PS3.
  • Valhalla will be the focus of Crazy_Del's weekend, who's also just 1 trophy away from the platinum in Watchdogs.
  • willbuchanan started Far Cry 5, and is already put off by those pesky online trophies.
  • Another member revisiting their PS3 was tactical20
  • Andrewww is looking forward to Thursday, but can't decide between Demon's Souls, the Pathless, Spider-Man, or something else!
  • When even MrYd says "too many things" you know he had a busy week! EA Play is offering him loads of new games including Fallen Order and Rocket Arena. Meanwhile from PS Now, he tried out Vermintide 2 and Rage 2.

Have a good weekend and I'll see you in the new generation!


Beat Saber's BTS music pack is out now

The latest music pack for Beat Saber has arrived with the focus being K-Pop band BTS. The pack adds a total of 12 BTS songs and it also features the TinyTAN versions of the band members. The pack comes with 12 songs from BTS including the likes of Dynamite, Boy With Luv, and Not Today. You can listen to a snippet of some of the music in the latest trailer, and a look at how the gameplay may look with this new song pack. The pack currently costs £12.72.

The full BTS song list available in this pack can be found below.

  • Blood Sweat & Tears
  • Boy With Luv (Feat. Halsey)
  • Burning Up (FIRE)
  • Dionysus
  • DNA
  • DOPE
  • Dynamite
  • FAKE LOVE
  • IDOL
  • MIC Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)
  • Not Today
  • UGH!

Beat Games Studio has releases multiplayer for the PC version of Beat Saber, with that update being released on October 13th. With the multiplayer aspect players will be able to create their own avatars, and play against friends or strangers online. The multiplayer will definitely be releasing for PC VR headsets on the 13th of October. At the time the studio had announced there would likely be a delay for the multiplayer update rolling out to PSVR, and it has not yet arrived. In fact, multiplayer will not be released on PSVR until some point in 2021.

Source: Steam


Madden NFL 21 update 1.17 adds new Yard Play A Friend feature, full patch notes here

EA has released update 1.17 for Madden NFL 21 with the biggest new feature being Yard Play A Friend. This mode allows players to now challenge their friends in The Yard. It seems like a pretty simple thing to set up as long as everyone selects the same venue and uses the same password to get in. There have also been some gameplay updates such as blocking improvements, general fixes in Franchise mode, and some playbook improvements too so plays run smoother. The full patch notes are below.

Madden NFL 21 1.17 update patch notes

Gameplay Updates:

  • Fixed an issue allowing offensive users to breakout of the handoff on Gun Flex Y Off Mtn Counter and run with the QB, making the play appear to be a version of QB Draw
  • Fixed an issue causing awkward ball warping on some on HB Toss plays
  • Fixed all distance-related abilities to take pass-leading into account as a triggering condition
    • DEV NOTE: Route Abilities were not giving catching benefits due to the pass leading of the Quarterback. E.G. A receiver with Short Out Elite would not receive any benefit if the receiver was inside the numbers when the pass started even if the pass lead caused the receiver to catch the ball short, outside of the numbers. Any time a ball is led to the area on the field that the Ability is designated for the receiver will get all the Ability catching benefits.
  • Fixed a playbook issue on a specific Jet Sweep PA play causing a blocker to miss a rushing defender
  • Fixed an issue where motioning an outside receiver would cause inappropriate defender coverage swapping vs. specific coverages
  • Added functionality for user-controlled defenders to successfully Hit Stick the ball carrier immediately following a Block-Shed
  • Tuning to reduce reaction-time penalty for Linebackers with the LB Style Trait set to 'Cover;' this tuning should make coverage LB's react quicker in reading running plays and moving towards their run fits

Playbook Updates: 

  • Blocking improvements:
    • Made several adjustments to improve blocking on plays like Inside Zone Split, RPO Read WR Screen, PA Jet Sweep, and RPO Peek
    • Improved Left Tackle blocking on Pass plays in certain formations to address an issue where the blocker would miss an Edge Pass Rusher
  • Updated Out Routes in compression formations and the Tight End's route in RPO Y Peek so the releases are cleaner and the routes are more effective
  • Addressed issues where the Halfback and Tight End would sometimes run into each other on plays like Zone Split Lead, Alert X Smoke, and RPO Alert Jailbreak Screen
  • Alignment improvements:
    • Strong Safety in Cover 3 is in better position to play outside runs vs Wing formations
    • Adjusted Wide Receiver splits in Spread formations to improve spacing and timing
  • Updated the Halfback's run hole on 0 1 Trap plays which gives the Halfback more space away from the Defensive Lineman who's being trapped

Franchise Updates:

  •  Face of the Franchise Updates:
    • General stability improvements
    • Fixed an issue with several abilities not unlocking or equippable when they should be
    • Fixed an issue in the WR Drills causing users to sometimes fail the drill even after making the appropriate catch
  • Franchise Updates:
    • The first set of Franchise updates announced post-launch have arrived, check out the Madden NFL 21 Gridiron Notes for more info on the following changes:
      • Dev Trait Regressions: Star, Superstar, and Superstar X-Factors will now have desired counts that are treated as the "correct" amount of each Dev Trait in your Franchise. Eligible players will be regressed in priority order until the target is met. These targets can be changed via Commissioner settings.
      • X-Factor Customization: We brought over our functionality from player mode that allows the player to alter the Superstar and Superstar X-Factor abilities on their players inside of Core Franchise as both a coach and an owner.
      • Playoff Bracket: Starting Week 13 of the regular season, there will be a Things To Do item that takes you to the current playoff picture if the season ended that week including the seeding for each team that would be in the playoffs. Once Wild Card week begins, the playoff bracket will also have the scores of all games that have been played, and the box score available by clicking on the matchup. There will also be a way to access this bracket through the "schedule" button, with a new tile labeled "Playoff Picture".
      • Career Stats: One of the top community requests for several years now, we added the week matchup and result of the game to each player's season stats via their player card. We also added what team a player finished their season with on each year of their career stats via their player card.
      • Retirement Improvements: In Re-Sign Players week, there will now be a Things To Do item that takes you directly to the Transactions screen sorted to Retired players to provide a quicker look into who is riding off into the sunset.
    • General stability improvements
    • Fixed an issue where the user was sent back to the Things to Do tab when exiting out of a screen even if they were on a different tab

The Yard Updates:

  • New Feature: Yard Play-A-Friend.
    By popular demand, you can now play against your friends in The Yard.How it works:
    0) Select the Play-A-Friend tile in The Yard hub.
    1) Pick a venue and party size and build out your party as you normally would.
    2) Make sure to tell your friend's team what venue and party size they should select.
    3) At the prompt, both party leaders set the same matchmaking password. This can be anything you want, just make sure you both enter it exactly the same.
    4) … (Magic of the internet happens here)
    5) Play against your friend and make sure they know you are better than them.

    NOTE: You won't earn progression from Play-A-Friend games.

Superstar KO Updates:

  •  Stability and UI improvements for Superstar KO Endless Run.

Presentation Updates:

  • Added functionality for users to toggle the Passing and Kicking Feedback Text on/off via the 'Visual Feedback' setting in the settings menu

In our Madden 21 review, Dom wrote:

Madden 21 has the components to be a solid, if utterly by-the-numbers entry in the franchise. However, a raft of bugs and glitches serve to undo the game's atmosphere at every turn.
You can read the full Madden 21 review here.
Source: EA

Asterix & Obelix XXL: Romastered Review

Asterix and Obelix, written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo, is one of the greatest comic book series of all time. Don't even @ me. Mostly because I'm still not entirely sure how Twitter works. This is a bande dessinée that, thanks to its hilarious characters and brilliant storytelling, enthused me with a lifetime fascination in ancient history. So, when the opportunity came up to revisit a world of heroic Gauls, villainous Romans and gallons of magic potion in Asterix & Obelix XXL: Romastered, I wasn't exactly going to say no.

Ever since Crash Team Racing – Nitro Fuelled made silly money, there's been an increasing interest amongst developers and publishers to revisit their old property, spruce it up a bit with a new paint job and hopefully connect with not only the game's original fans but an entirely new generation – or two – of players. Asterix & Obelix XXL: Romastered then is a remake of the original action adventure game, first released back in 2003.

The game follows a classic set-up for an Asterix and Obelix story; the inhabitants of our heroes Gaulish village have been kidnapped by Romans, so its up to our intrepid duo to set-off in hot pursuit to save their chums from the vile machinations of Julius Caesar. This will see them visit lands like Egypt and Greece to jump on platforms, solve rudimentary puzzles, punch legionaries and smash, quite literarily, thousands and thousands of unattended crates to collect helmets. If you've played any 3D platformer over the last twenty years then you'll know exactly what to expect here.

What does the whole 'Romastered' bit entail then? Basically you get updated graphics, refined sound and a handful of new challenges to undertake that have been peppered throughout the levels. These consist of time challenges in which you have to collect coins or race to a finish line. It's, in all honesty, a tad underwhelming as an offering. Though there's a neat idea that sees you able to switch between the remake and the original game with the tap of a button. This device is even utilised within the gameplay, the player having to switch between the two modes to be able to see and collect all the coins in a time challenge for example. On the downside, it also serves to reveal how little has changed between the original and the remake. If you're after a significant improvement to the graphical fidelity of the original then you're going to be disappointed, this is as basic a polish-up as you'll find.

What this remake needed, more than being a bit prettier, was an entire overhaul of the original's fundamental gameplay mechanics. Sadly, that hasn't happened. And because of that, look forward to spending most of your time with the game beating up boxes to collect Legionnaire helmets. Who knew that the Pharaoh's of Ancient Egypt had such a predilection for stacking wooden crates everywhere. It's a wonder they even ever had time to build any temples with all that box carrying going on. Every level is suffused with crates to smash, rendering it a tedious and repetitive activity. There's no sense of accomplishment in finding a particularly well-hidden collectable as you're literally tripping over the things.

Worse still is the lack of a motivational reason to go collectable hunting. You're meant to be able to use the helmets to buy items and power-ups from the in-game shop but there's so few products on offer that you'll struggle to spend your ill gotten gains. Even more aggravating are the stupid and frustrating challenges you must overcome that require you to collect a huge amount of helmets – even though you already have a huge amount of helmets.

Take one activity that required Asterix and Obelix to ski down a precarious snow coated mountain. A smug NPC demanded that I collect two thousand helmets whilst hurtling down from the peak, despite the clunky controls rendering this fairly impossible. This same NPC then taunted me with the fact he had an item that I would require to progress any further and – surprise, surprise – he'd only give it up in return for all those helmets. Why did he want two thousand bonce protectors? Who knows. I tried the challenge something like nine times before managing it, on each attempt grinding my teeth with the knowledge that I already had seven thousand helmets but for some reason the NPC wouldn't accept those helmets as payment. What was the problem, did they have the wrong ear flaps or something? What's the point of collecting collectables if the game world and its inhabitants render them entirely pointless.

Combat doesn't fare much better and is a tedious case of smashing one button repeatedly as you punch through hordes of your foes. There's little to break up the monotony, other than calling in your dog – Dogmatix – to bite a Roman's bum. Other than that, you'd best make sure you do some thumb stretches to prepare yourself for all the button mashing. I suppose there's a few moments of enjoyment to be had from the combat, finding the weak point in Roman shield formations provides a hint of strategy, but then when you do find the weakness it's just a case of standing in place and spamming the attack button – so hardly revelatory.

And that's the quintessential problem with Asterix & Obelix XXL: Romastered. This a game that's made up of finding collectables, fighting Romans and solving puzzles and two thirds of those things are just plain boring to do. Puzzles fair better but any enjoyment to be had is tempered by the fact that everything you're tasked with doing is a puzzle you've solved countless times over the last seventeen years. Safely carrying flaming torches to light distant fires and switching between characters to remove obstacles are solid but uninspiring fare.


Assassin's Creed Valhalla day one player count smashes AC: Odyssey

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla seems to be going down pretty well, then. The Viking era sequel massively outperformed its predecessor, Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, on launch day according to publisher Ubisoft.

In a press release, Ubisoft announced that Valhalla had doubled the number of day one players compared to their latest time-hopping AC instalment back in 2018. Considering how beloved Odyssey was (and still is), that's no small feat.

Then again, it should come as no surprise. COVID-19 and a patchwork of regional and national lockdowns around the globe have led to a spike in "player engagement" as more of us turn to video games as a safe escape. Not only that, with the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S finally touching down, plenty of gamers will have no doubt picked up a copy of Valhalla to see what these new machines are capable of.

Here's what Ubisoft CEO, Yves Guillemot, said about Valhalla's reception:

We are humbled by the reception from the players and extremely proud of what our teams have accomplished with Assassin's Creed Valhalla, which builds on the amazing success of its predecessors. In the context of COVID-19, shipping Assassin's Creed Valhalla on no less than seven platforms is an incredible achievement for all of the teams involved around the world. We are excited to greet players on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 with a game that unleashes the power of the new hardware. This paves the way for an exciting Christmas period, with Assassin's Creed Valhalla set to be one of this season's biggest hits.

We're still beavering away at our review playthrough of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. Having upgraded our copy of the game from PS4 to PS5 we're keen to dive back in and see where Eivor's Viking adventures take us.

Source: Press Release


Assassin's Creed: Valhalla guides & more from TheSixthAxis


What We Played #475 – Demon's Souls, Gears Tactics & Assassin's Creed Valhalla

It's finally started! The next generation is here, and dove right into it here at TSA. I was lucky enough to grab an Xbox Series X, and I've been massively impressed by how fast and quiet it is. Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Dirt 5 are both fantastic, while Planet Coaster: Console Edition has been the perfect antidote to all the pillaging and drifting. I've also returned to Tetris Effect: Connected, with some thoughts on all the multiplayer shenanigans coming soon!

Aran also joined team Microsoft, saying he's been surprised at how much he's enjoyed Gears Tactics on Series X. "The game has really drawn me in and I'm having configuring squads to find the battles. Have also started Observer Redux for review. More on that next week."

Steve finished his Normal playthrough of the impressive FFVII Remake and is weighing up a Hard run through. He's also been "lopping limbs and breaking skulls in the rather fun Rune II, and spent a traumatising couple of hours with the great little Shut In."

Tuffcub has been playing "Destiny 2 Beyond Light: Back to the Grind", but is it really back to the grind if the grind never stopped. Meanwhile Gareth has been playing Chicken Police and Shadow Fight Arena for review, as well as some more Watch Dogs Legion and Minecraft.

Nick P has actually managed to get a selection of games tucked away, telling us. "I finished TLOU2 which was… ok. Definitely not the masterpiece everyone is saying. There's a decent game in there but it's muddied with filler and bad writing. I finished Little Hope which I quite enjoyed. It's miles better then the slightly disappointing Man of Medan with the game having more of an intense horror feel to it. Finally, played and got the Platinum on Maneater. Man, what a fun game. It was a short experience but I walked away wanting more. It's like Goose game but violent!"

The DualSense has been almost glued to Jim's hands this week, as he's been ploughing through that first wave of PS5 launch titles including Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Demon's Souls, and Godfall. "Flipping between them has been exciting yet there comes a certain amount of disorientation as I hurtle from one game into the next. As a reprieve, I've spent the occasional fifteen minutes here and there with FUSER which has been great fun." He continued, "Whether I'm taking it seriously or just trying to make some garish sounding mixes, it's easily one of the best things I've played in 2020. When attempting to wind down, I've found myself going back to Final Fantasy VI. Again. I'm now powering through the second half and would say it's close to topping FF9 as my fave game in the series. I've already purchased Final Fantasy IV while it's on discount, so I know what I'm playing next!"

Nic B has played a lot of Genshin Impact, where he's run into the pay wall for upgrading his characters and stuff. He's still determined to keep the game absolutely free, though. Meanwhile, Ade has been enjoying a host of different things this week: "Laura and I have been playing through Asterix and Obelix XXL 3 on coop – it's a fun little game, if a little shonky in places. Punching Romans out of their sandles is always a delight! Other than that I've been finishing off the story mode of Shadow of the Tomb Raider before hopefully starting on Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Oh, and I've been playing Paw Patrol Mighty Pups with my son for review, it's a surprisingly alright game!"

Miguel started playing Yakuza: Like A Dragon! "So far, its everything I was expecting. Really amazing story and visuals, love Ichiban, but mannnn the turn-based combat is just not as visceral or exciting as the action combat for me. I can already tell the RPG stuff is a ticking time bomb for me, at some point all the systems and jobs and party members are gonna start pouring in and I'm either gonna plow through it for the story goods or I'm gonna fall off hard when the game asks me to grind for five hours." He's also been playing Teardown, "a very very cool indie game", a bit of Fuser, some Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin, and last night he played co-op Bloody Palace in Devil May Cry 3 with a pal, "which was ssoooo silly and dumb and fun."

Thomas Harrison_Lord has been playing F1 2020 online with some fellow TSA readers, saying "It's fun, but the same-old F1-game multiplayer tropes are starting to grate. Weird virtual safety car delta times, inconsistent penalties and restrictive race-length options, all of which have been in previous iterations. Time for a next-gen version, please."

And finally, Tef's also been on the next-gen train, checking out WRC 9 and Dirt 5 on PS5 to share some thoughts on what the DualSense can do for racing games, savouring the upgrade to DMC5 Special Edition (even if he's not the most ardent DMC fan), dipping a toe into the compelling world of AC Valhalla, and dashing through Sackboy: A Big Adventure.

And now, what about you? Have you had chance to hop on the next-gen train? Or are you waiting for next week's UK launch of the PS5?


Godfall Review in Progress

Godfall may have been the first game announced for PlayStation 5, but as we've approached the launch of Sony's newest console, it has seemingly surrendered its leading position in the vanguard for a seat on the sidelines.

Despite some telltale trappings of an online title, this "looter-slasher" from Counterplay Games and Gearbox Publishing is not a multiplayer live service game akin to Destiny, Marvel's Avengers, or Anthem. It does have a reliance on replayable content, as you run the same gauntlets time and again for a chance at better loot and higher gear stats, but Godfall is primarily an action heavy RPG that is mostly built around solo missions from what we've played so far.

The story here is pretty thin and boils down to a rivalry between two powerful warriors, the last of their kind. Having been bested by the wolf-headed Macros, you must regain your strength and must seek him out before he becomes unstoppable.

Although Godfall has you interacting with other characters, there's a very small supporting cast here and they're mostly there to fill the game's hubworld with vendors and quest givers. Counterplay have at least tried to craft some lore for their game's setting but it's just not that interesting and feels like filler.

Your base of operations looks like a fantasy Batcave, its main portal surrounded by an armoury of Valorplates: chunky metal suits, each one imbued with various perks and abilities. The designs are pretty imaginative, even if there are only two human-looking body types, though it's arguably Godfall's weapons that are the most important part of a loadout.

Godfall touts five weapon classes in total and it won't take long for you to try them all out. These include the longsword, polearm, warhammer, greatsword, and dual blades, each with their own movesets. Aside from their individual "Weapon Technique" attacks, they don't feel wildly different and you'll still get the same basic actions such as blocking and dodging.

This game straddles the line between basic hack n' slash and something more refined. As you explore Godfall's open areas and carry out objectives, you'll dispatch enemy patrols and larger bosses with a flurry of light, heavy, and special attacks. Your foes will bite back, however, and you'll soon find that evading and parrying their colour-coded blows is just as important as unleashing your own onslaught.

If we had to compare Godfall to one game in particular, it would be 2018's God of War. There's a heft to its combat and the close-up camera angle means that you'll need to rely on flashing indicators to avoid off-screen attacks.

The similarities end there, really. Outside of combat, Godfall aligns more with your typical run-based loot game. Chasing down Macros quickly becomes a secondary objective as you feverishly pursue the best weapons and gear for your Valorian knight.

Godfall doesn't have the most exciting loot system we've come across, though it does succeed in funnelling a steady churn of items for players to sift through or salvage. The upside to weapons having so much common ground is that you can easily switch between the five without having to completely relearn how to fight. As they increase in rarity, they'll come tagged with better DPS and a growing list of perks which may swerve your combat playstyle.

There's still a lot more of Godfall we need to play before we pass a final verdict. What we've seen so far is a serviceable action RPG and one that could well step up a gear once we've hit that endgame and its multiplayer elements. However, at this early stage, Godfall feels like a lesser deity among the PS5's pantheon of launch titles, though one that some fans of the genre will still come to worship.


Xbox Series X|S launch biggest in Xbox history, announces Microsoft

Microsoft's Liz Hamren, CVP of Gaming Experience and Platform, has written today to confirm that the launch of the Xbox Series X|S is the biggest console launch in Xbox history. This means it has beat the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One when it comes to launch numbers. The Xbox Series S brought in the highest number of new players percentage wise compared to other Xbox consoles. 3,594 different games were played collectively by users in the first 24 hours of the Xbox Series X|S launch, with Game Pass now doubt having an impact there. In fact, 70% of Xbox Series X|S users are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass. Here is what Liz Hamren had to say:

Thanks to you, the launch of Xbox Series X|S is now the most successful debut in our history. While we missed the emotional spark of being together with you in person, it was incredible to celebrate a new generation of gaming with the millions on our celebration livestream and everyone who participated in our global launch across 40 countries.

As none of this would be possible without great games to play, we also want to thank our development partners around the world and congratulate them on their own respective launches this week, including delivering more than 40 new and Optimized games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Dirt 5, The Falconeer, Tetris Effect: Connected, Watch Dogs: Legion and Yakuza: Like a Dragon to players on day one, 30 of which support Smart Delivery.

We know that not everyone was able to get an Xbox Series X|S immediately and are working tirelessly with our partners around the world to bring as many new consoles to as many of you as possible over time and encourage you to check in with your local retailers directly for more details on availability in your market.

You can read our own review of the Xbox Series X right here.

Source: Microsoft


Gran Turismo Sport update 1.62 out now, read the patch notes here

Polyphony Digital has released update 1.62 for Gran Turismo Sport today. The new patch adds the Toyota GR Yaris 1st Edition RZ "High Performance" '20. Additionally, new logos have been added. Others have been removed. There have been some fixes too with one of the main ones relating to the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo and Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991) '16, which did not look like they were making turns while players were steering. The full patch notes below.

Main Features

1. Cars
– The following new car has been added:
・Toyota GR Yaris 1st Edition RZ "High performance" '20

2. Decals
– The following new logos have been added to the Decals section of My Library and are available by selecting a car from the relevant manufacturer in the Livery Editor:
・Nissan 04, 05
・Mazda 05~07
・Toyota Gazoo Racing 01~10

– The following logos have been removed from the Decals section of My Library and from the Favorite page, if they were added:
・Mazda 01, Mazda 100 years 01, Mazda 100 years 02

Other Improvements and Adjustments

– We repaired the issue where the rear wheels of the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo and Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991) '16 did not appear to turn when steering.
– We also attended to the issue where a network error [NE-21097097] sometimes resulted when attempting to access Sport mode after playing in Lobby.
– Support for the Logitech G923 Racing Wheel & Pedals have been added. The device name in the key assignment options has been changed to "Logitech G29/G923."
– Various other issues have been addressed.

Gran Turismo 7 was announced for PS5 back in June. When the game was announced there was mention that Polyphony Digital would be drawing on the past and present of the Gran Turismo franchise, as well as things that would be coming to it in the future. Now we know that will mean classic  tracks and vehicles being added in, along with the GT Simulation mode. There will also be a Sport Mode though the features for that will require online connectivity. You can find what more details about Gran Turismo 7 here.

Source: Polyphony Digital 


Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire 5 will be about Johnny Silverhand, coming next week

CD Projekt RED has confirmed that the fifth Night City Wire for Cyberpunk 2077 will be streamed on November 19th, and this stream will be about Keanu Reeves' character Johnny Silverhand. The stream will also look at the music that will be in Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt RED has also stated there will be a lot more to talk about, and that this Night City Wire will be a big one. Let's hope that big things do not include another delay.

The last Night City Wire focussed on the smaller world details such as the cars, motorbikes and fashion of Night City. Previous streams have given players to see gameplay, see the lifepaths you can choose, the weaponry you can wield. Originally, Cyberpunk 2077 was planned for an April 2020 launch before being pushed back to September, then November and now December. For those keeping track, the game was formerly announced way back in 2012 before the first cinematic teaser was shown in January 2013.

So, Cyberpunk 2077 will now be out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on 10th Decmeber. It will be playable on Xbox Series X | S at that point – the consoles coming out on 10th November – and on PlayStation 5 on November 11th/19th, but next-gen enhancements will not be there on day one. The game could take some advantages next-gen beyond simple backward compatibility, but for ray tracing and other more integral enhancements, we'll have to wait

Source: Twitter


The Nioh Collection is coming to PS5 in February

Team Ninja has announced it is remastering both Nioh and Nioh 2 for the PS5, with both games coming together in one package called The Nioh Collection. This collection will contain all the DLC for both games including the story expansions. Alongside The Nioh Collection, Nioh 2: The Complete Edition will be available on PS4, while Nioh: The Complete Edition Remastered and Nioh 2: The Complete Edition Remastered will be available as standalone titles on PS5.  The Nioh Collection will run at 4K and have upto 120 fps so the action will be super smooth. Players who own Nioh 2 or Nioh 2: The Complete Edition will be able to upgrade to the corresponding version at no extra cost.

However, if you have the disc version of Nioh 2 you will need a PS5 with a disc drive to get the upgrade, as there is no way to redeem the upgrade from disc to digital according to Team Ninja. Additionally, the base Nioh 2 Remastered and the Nioh 2 DLC expansions for PS5 cannot be purchased separately. Speaking of DLC, Team Ninja confirmed that the final DLC for Nioh 2, The First Samurai, will be available on December 17th.

In our review for Nioh 2, Jason wrote:

Nioh 2 builds on the excellence of the original with a fistful of new twists and ideas, from new Yokai abilities to full-on co-op through the entire game. Nioh 2 might well be the best Soulslike that isn't a FromSoftware game, and it's easily one of my personal contenders for Game of the Year.
Meanwhile in our original Nioh review, Dave wrote:

Do not dismiss Nioh as just another knockoff; it's so much more than that. By taking some inspiration from others, Team Ninja do prove with a rich combat system and solid foundation that they have the ability to surprise and innovate. The vast majority of the game is a pleasure to play, despite the fact that death is around every corner.  There's a lot I've not even touched upon in this review, simply because it's better experienced than told. For Koei Tecmo at least, all the effort was well worth it.

The Nioh Collection will be available on February 5th 2021 for PS5.
Source: PS Blog

Rune II: Decapitation Edition Review

The tale of Rune II's development is a saga in itself – a tale full of betrayal, greed, tyrannous giants (Zenimax), and the heroic acts of a small group of developers trying to avert Ragnarok. The full details are well documented, as can be seen in our earlier coverage, and my upcoming interview with the team at Studio 369, so having managed to make it all the way to release, what condition is the game now in? We didn't review the original, cursed release on Epic a year ago but I did play Rune II in its frankly shocking pre-Studio 369 form and let me tell you, it was barely a game at all with almost no content and a complete disregard for basic QA. I was therefore in a good position to see how much had changed with this build, and to see whether it lived up to the legacy of the much loved original.

Rune II sees your player-created Viking called forth by the mighty Heimdall to stop Loki's evil plan to unleash an unending cycle of Ragnarok on Midgard. Setting up your character is pretty standard RPG fare, with a choice of appropriate hairstyles and facial hair to choose from and a refreshingly accessible approach to stats.

Your points from levelling up go towards one of four branches – strength, dexterity, wisdom, or constitution, with each having various logical effects on your overall character abilities. While this may sound limited in comparison to the labyrinthine systems of many RPGs it is perfectly suited to the more action-focused approach of Rune II. Equipment and weapons also have built-in enhancements and there is a lot of loot-based fun to be had in trying to set up the best build for your gaming style.

Graphically, Rune II is a far prettier game than last year's version. It doesn't reach the cutting edge standards of Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, but there is a good amount of detail in the environments and enemy models are nicely designed. The biggest improvement is the much more defined Ages that you progress through. This sees the familiar landscape transformed by the ravages of ice, fire, and darkness, and I really liked the way in which these changes made the world feel changed and suited the story well. The explorable world is large, although I would have liked to see more incentive to leave the beaten path. There are runestones, chests, and enemies to slay scattered across the map but these are largely optional extras.

Last year's release had no real narrative to speak of, whereas Studio 369 have built a full campaign into the Decapitation Edition. In order to take on Loki and secure the future of Midgard, you'll have to take on quests, explore dungeons, and fight off Loki's hordes across the various ages of Ragnarok. In traditional action RPG fashion, many of these quests are relatively simple kill or fetch missions but they do provide a suitable framework for the limb lopping and brutal combat. There is full voice acting for the various villagers you'll meet but this is of hugely differing quality. Some of the accents are almost impossible to place and I found myself skipping a number of these conversations and using the subtitles instead.

Studio 369 have described Rune II as akin to a mix of Skyrim and Diablo, a combination that gives a good idea of the game. The main focus here is combat and loot  – lots of lovely loot. Enemies drop loot, chests contain loot, you pick up ingredients that you can craft into more loot, with the result being an ever-evolving selection of weapons and equipment for your Viking. This is all easy to manage with an intuitive interface and an easily accessed combination of radial equipment menu and skills hotbar. I found myself quickly switching between weapon sets to suit the combat style of my enemies, alternating between huge battle axes and the cagier sword and shield. While not as meaty as the likes of Dark Souls, there is a clear influence to be felt here, even if just for the ubiquitous stamina bar. My build helpfully negated this aspect and I was able to roll around like a Nordic Sonic the Hedgehog.

After the opening tutorial missions and the first dungeon, you'll be provided with the choice of aligning to a God. Odin, Hel, and Thor all open up different skill trees and playing styles, alongside the choice to go it alone as a Heathen. Odin is the path for healer style support skills and group buffs, Hel is a combination of rogue and necromancer, whilst Thor is all about magic damage. The Heathen path is focused on tank-style survivability and is my recommendation for a first playthrough in single player mode. The other modes are all good fun and offer genuine alternative approaches but are mostly more suited to co-operative play.

The bulk of my experience with Rune II was playing through the single player campaign but I was able to check out the multiplayer aspects too. The whole story can be played through in group co-op and the result is wonderfully chaotic. Enemy mobs scale with the size of the group which leads to massive melee battles with weapons and limbs flying everywhere. Studio 369 have kept Rune I's ability to throw your weapon at any time, and you can even pick up severed body parts as makeshift weapons too. This isn't a serious Viking-sim by any means, but it doesn't feel any less enjoyable because of that.


Ghost of Tsushima sales pass 5 million milestone

Ghost of Tsushima has now sold more than 5 million copies on PlayStation 4, Sony have confirmed. Herman Hulst, Head of PlayStation Worldwide Studios and former Guerrilla Games Director, made the announcement via Twitter, adding another interesting statistic.

The PlayStation exclusive samurai sim has now become the fastest selling original PS4 IP since it launched back in July, dethroning Horizon: Zero Dawn. It's a huge milestone for Ghost of Tsushima developers, Sucker Punch, whose previous games include the inFamous and Sly Raccoon series. Despite it's somewhat niche appeal, their gorgeous open world homage to classic samurai cinema has been catapulted into the PlayStation hall of fame.

In our review, we scored Ghost of Tsushima a fantastic 8 out of 10:

Ghost of Tsushima is an artistic triumph, capturing a real cinematic feel through its visuals, immersive world and soundtrack. However, Jin is a serviceable main character and he and his journey to save Tsushima is often overshadowed by secondary characters and smaller, more personal stories found in the side quests. Throw in some formulaic missions and an awkward user interface, and Ghost of Tsushima is at times more style than substance.

In the months since launch, Ghost of Tsushima has received numerous game updates, adding features such as New Game+ and, of course, the Ghost of Tsushima: Legends multiplayer which we've admittedly fallen in love with. A massive congratulations to Sucker Punch – we can't wait to see what they create next for PS5.

Source: Twitter (@HermenHulst)


Ghost of Tsushima Guides & more from TheSixthAxis

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends Guides & more from TheSixthAxis


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