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Some parents are really invested in their kids' report cards or success in extracurricular activities. Othercide offers a different kind of parental pride as you command a small army of warrior Daughters armed with giant swords and sleek revolvers they can use to slice, bash, and blast through a menagerie of Lovecraftian horrors. But this is more than an outlet for such dreams of blood-drenched parenthood, though. Othercide is also the best turn-based tactics game of the year so far.
With the help of a mysterious figure called the Red Mother, Othercide puts you in charge of a darkly ethereal realm called the Inner Void from which you summon Daughters – echoes of whatever the Mother used to be – to stop the coming of an eldritch entity known as Suffering. Similar to 2018's Into the Breach, this will require failing and going back in time over and over until you manage to get it right. Each successive "Remembrance" allows you to carry over a currency called Shards from your previous run, so I never felt like I was having to start from square one. Failure is an expected and essential part of progression.
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Once I realized that death was never really the end, it could sometimes feel a bit too forgiving, though. Shards are used to activate unlocked bonuses on a per-run basis like increased health and damage, and even the ability to skip bosses you've already defeated. While there is a satisfying sense of progression, I usually earned so many shards per run that I didn't have to make interesting decisions about how to spend them. I could activate all of the bonuses I'd unlocked at once.
Luckily, the other resources at my command did require me to make those difficult calls. Notably, Daughters do not heal between missions, and you won't find any healing abilities or items. On top of taking damage, most of the more powerful special attacks cost health to use. The only way to heal a daughter is to sacrifice another one of equal or higher level. Having a supply of sacrifices is rarely an issue, as the Vitae needed to summon new daughters is handed out in abundance. But the emotional weight I felt destroying one of my children so that another may live could be potent. As a consolation, the beneficiary will carry a part of the sacrificed daughter with them always in the form of a small mechanical bonus based on her stats at the time of death.
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The final, and most precious, resource is resurrection tokens. Since each failed Remembrance sends your entire current roster to the cemetery, these function as a way to carry over some of your best fighters from one run to another. They're very hard to come by over the course of a run, though spending shards can allow you to start with a few from the get-go. They allowed me to maintain some sense of continuity and build a deeper bond with Daughters who had been with me since the beginning, which I really appreciated.
When the turn-based action kicks in, Othercide proves itself a satisfying, challenging, sometimes frantic tactical dreamscape. Each of the four classes has a distinct role to play, from the tanky Shieldbearer to the heavy-hitting Blademaster to the ranged support specialist, the Soulslinger. The enemy diversity is great, from quick and deadly Scavengers to hulking, insectoid abominations that can lock you in pace with a gooey discharge. New foes are introduced gradually across the five chapters, and even seeing familiar ones in new combinations often forced me to stop and think about how to handle the situation.
A time-based initiative system throws further excitement and consideration into the mix. Daughters who use more than half of their action points will have to wait a lot longer to act again, so it's often smarter to end your turn with at least half remaining so you can better react to the changing battlefield. And with three mission types – the tense Rescue, desperate Survival, and ass-kicking Hunt – I had to learn what works best in a variety of situations.
The one area where these missions felt a bit lacking was in the map selection. I saw the same layouts often enough for it to become a little repetitive, even if the horde of baddies was different every time. At least they're nice to look at. Well, "nice" might not be exactly the right word. Othercide is bleak as hell, and its mostly black-and-white, gothic horror aesthetic does a great job creating an atmosphere of oppression and danger. The splashes of red the highly stylish Daughters bring enhances the feeling that they stand as emblems of hope in this doomed nightmare.
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I can't wrap up without mentioning the bosses, which are each expertly-designed puzzles that often have multiple viable solutions, but will absolutely kick your ass back to the beginning if you go at them guns blazing. I wasn't able to best any of the ones I came up against on a first try, but any enemy you've faced previously will be added to the codex where you can read up on its behavior. All of the enemies in Othercide behave deterministically; there's no randomness involved, except in the dice rolls for things like attacking and dodging. So understanding that a specific boss or enemy will always go after the closest Daughter, or the one with the least health, can allow you to manipulate them and lead them into traps. I really hit my stride when I realized the power this knowledge could give me.
For anyone who's ever watched a monster movie and thought "Hey, it would be pretty cool to be that monster," the premise of Carrion is immediately appealing. It's a power fantasy that has you going an utter rampage through an underground facility, terrorizing both armed and unarmed inhabitants along the way. Developer Phobia Game Studio is uncompromising in its approach to making Carrion as true to this fantasy as possible, and it makes for a game unlike any I've played thanks to a collection of truly excellent moments. Even when the novelty of grabbing a helpless scientist and slamming them all around a room, Hulk-style, wore off, Carrion's puzzles and cerebral combat encounters still kept me thoroughly entertained. The monotony that lurks between them, however, is the real monster.
If there's one thing that Carrion nails, it's the movement and abilities of its leading amorphous, multi mouthed, tentacled monstrosity. The monster has total freedom of movement, with its appendages automatically shooting out and pulling it toward whatever direction you point it in. It's delightfully creepy to watch and there's a great speed and fluidity to its movements, which is important because hit-and-run tactics are crucial when dealing with the more dangerous weapon-wielding enemies you'll encounter.
You can control one of your tentacles via the right stick and grab either enemies or pieces of the environment with the right trigger. Enemies can be consumed for health and extra biomass, or slammed and tossed around like rag dolls; bits of the environment can be hurled across the room; and doors can be ripped right from their hinges. It's hard not to crack a devilish smile when you're able to creep down on an enemy from the ceiling, quickly pull them up, eat their top half, and drop their lower half down for the rest of the people in the room to freak out about.
As you progress through the underground facility, you'll unlock strains of DNA that add new abilities to your repertoire, such cloaking, growing blades and charging through barricades, and most notably, parasitically controlling a human. In typical Metroidvania fashion, these abilities typically have both a combat use and a navigational use, and every time you get a new ability you'll be able to explore previously closed-off sections of the map.
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The best Metroidvanias manage to hide worthwhile upgrades and secrets to encourage backtracking and exploration whenever you get a new ability. This is one pro tip Carrion doesn't follow in that there are only nine mostly useless, optional upgrades. Worse still, searching for them is a nightmare because of how easy it is to get lost. There's no map to consult, no reminder of your current objective, and no waypoint or hint system to guide you. At one point I backtracked to access a previously blocked off area, only to find that all it did was provide a useless shortcut. Then I found myself hopelessly lost in a cleaned-out facility for an absolutely miserable two or so hours of aimless wandering.
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On my second playthrough, I could see that there is a fairly cleanly laid-out path to follow to get from main objective to main objective, but any deviation from that path makes it very hard to find your way back because you don't know what those main objectives are. Just to illustrate how much of an issue this was, my first blind playthrough took about six hours. My second took a little over two.
It's worth repeating that the actual moment-to-moment gameplay of Carrion is excellent. There are some very cleverly laid-out encounters that offer a ton of freedom in terms of how you literally pick apart your prey, and while it's pretty easy early on, in the later bits it ups the ante significantly with armored mechs, fast drones that can rip you to shreds, and flamethrower-wielding soldiers who will have you rushing to the nearest body of water if they manage to set you on fire.
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As far as the story goes, there isn't much of one to speak of, but that actually works in Carrion's favor. From the start until the end, the perspective never shifts away from the monster, outside of a couple of quick flashback sequences that provide some context for its origin. That makes it kind of a fun and unique way to experience the increasingly dire state of your human adversaries, as presented through emergency bulletins and LED signs.
super luigi 64 in Real pic.twitter.com/2mbm8wlnK3— axo #BlackLivesMatter (@axoonium) July 26, 2020
FILTRACIÓN:iQue estuvo trabajando en un juego de Pokémon "principal" completamente en línea por allá de 2004. ➡ Hilo con detalles. Esto es increíble. pic.twitter.com/cIfHq6QETk — Centro Pokémon (@CentroPokemon) July 24, 2020
A bunch of Nintendo prototypes are apparently currently being compiled from leaked source code right now as of this post First up there's this Yoshi's Island proto with different UI graphics, placeholder music from Mario World, and has a prefix of 'Super Mario Bros. 5' pic.twitter.com/Qqock5RZaS— Akfamilyhome @ Origami King (@Akfamilyhome) July 24, 2020
super donkey pic.twitter.com/59OaRGJ0DK— David notgivingmylastname (@DavidNGMLN) July 25, 2020
Some Mario Kart 64 (Super Mario Kart R) alpha source seems to have surfaced. Very interesting. Guess they started with some SMK source/assets pic.twitter.com/yWLDFECD2k— Beck Abney (@abney317) July 25, 2020
So here he is. It is now largely assumed that this particular Link sheet comes from a scrapped BS Zelda 2 remake. (for Satellaview) There's some interesting details here, like the blood or rust on the sword. Fascinating stuff. https://t.co/xPnEiLPI5v pic.twitter.com/FBlvt8TF4A— Brian (@Protodude) July 25, 2020
Sprites e designs beta dos Pokémon de Sinnoh encontrados no código fonte de DP vazado no último dia 24. É bom tomar nota que muitos desses sprites são apenas placeholders. Na sequência: Arceus, linha Gible, Regigigas, Darkrai.#pokemonleaks #nintendoleaks pic.twitter.com/4azIr1Yy7k— Zenny TH (@Treinador_Zenny) July 26, 2020
I still can't believe we have actual graphics data for Dragonfly of all things now. today's been like some kind of weird fever dream pic.twitter.com/FJcNy0JtQZ— Rusty! (@PixelatedWah) July 25, 2020
People are digging up all sorts of unused art assets from the latest Nintendo leak. Here's some screenshots of some examples. Bowser from SMW apparently had legs at one time? pic.twitter.com/EZGDjiGAx6— Gaming Alexandria (@GamingAlexandri) July 24, 2020
[poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
they found an unused sprite of luigi giving the middle finger in a super mario world prototype pic.twitter.com/HMYMj9OgvX— misato bruh (@KatsuragiSimp) July 25, 2020
We got an early look at the set from D&D's Principal Narrative Designer Chris Perkins, which you can check out in the video and image gallery below.
"We don't do a tremendous number of box sets," Perkins said. "And we don't always have the luxury of time or money to really test ourselves... You'd think that we're just taking something that exists, we're putting it in a fancy package and 'Whoop!' it's done, but actually so much thought and so many people were involved in the concepting and the packaging and the design, the cards, the DM screen, and everything. It was actually a very time consuming – but fun – process."
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The set retails for $99.99USD, comes in a coffin-shaped box with Ravenloft-inspired etchings and contains...
"It was always my wish that at some point we could put a version of the adventure together that actually had the cards with it, and it's out of that idea that this boxed set emerged," Perkins says. "We did want to make sure that if Beadle and Grimm [a company that specializes in high-end D&D box sets like this one or this one], for instance, were doing their own version of it, we wouldn't eventually be duplicating what they would do. They tend to go, with their Platinum Editions, in the hundreds of dollars. So this is kind of filling in middle space between what they would normally do and what we would normally sell."
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The updates to the adventure itself mostly consist of previously-published amendments to the book, such as tweaks to an additional character option or corrections of printing errors, but the most notable updates are to some items that were deemed insensitive or offensive after the original publishing, particularly in regard to a disabled character and the depiction of a group of nomadic NPCs known as Vistani. A recent post on the D&D website explains that, "regrettably, their depiction echoes some stereotypes associated with the Romani people in the real world," and that the team wanted to avoid depicting them in a way that relied on "reductive tropes."
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As such, several sections of explicitly problematic text have been removed and/or altered*. "Curse of Strahd [Revamped] specifically address pain points around the Vistani and around this disabled character, and there were small other issues to resolve as well," Perkins said. "We wanted to clean that up a bit and remove some stuff that the fans didn't particularly like in terms of representation and how they were depicted – it's that sort of very granular-but-important change. More like surgical changes to the adventure than some sort of grand sweeping change."
Perkins says this is something the entire D&D team is focused on, particularly in light of recent discussions centered around diversity in the tabletop roleplaying community. "I think every product that we do is trying to march us forward a step, as far as that goes," he says. "We started this product in late or the middle of last year, so a lot of what Curse of Strahd Revamped addresses are issues that we saw long before the recent discussions on social media and stuff like that. The recent stuff is going to translate to changes to other products down the road past this one."
Such projects, like the upcoming Rime of the Frostmaiden adventure and another still-to-be-revealed title, see constant iteration. Chris and the team were making tweaks and edits to the entries for how the book handles formerly "evil" races like Orcs and Drow right up until the book was recently sent off for printing. "Every product is an opportunity for us to get (A) more sensitive and more aware," Perkins said. "And (B) to get more voices involved in our products and our product making in our product planning. And that means working with a broader range of freelancers, that means bringing people on staff who have different perspectives, different backgrounds and voices, and bigger, more fundamental steps than, you know, a change to a word here or a page there."
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For more D&D on IGN, why not check out our guide to moving your game online during the time of social distancing, or if you're just getting into the hobby have a look at our picks for the best Dungeons & Dragons starter sets or how to play D&D for free. Of course, if you're thinking about giving tabletop role-playing a try but aren't sure if D&D is the right fit, check out our guide to finding the right TRPG for you and your group.
JR is a Senior Editor at IGN who really misses playing D&D in person and constantly pines for it on Twitter.
* It's worth noting that the book's illustrations of the Vistani still evoke Romani culture, and some players may still associate certain abilities (such as their ability to cast curses or hypnotize players using an "Evil Eye") with outdated cultural stereotypes.
Whether it's 2005 or 2020, there's something cathartic about running amok in an idyllic 1950s world as an angry gray alien and slurping up human brains by the gallon. This upgraded remaster of the original Destroy All Humans! recaptures that simple joy, and does a respectable job of updating the look and feel. It was never a masterpiece of open-world third-person action, but it still knows how to have some fun.All things considered, the completely remade graphics look pretty good – you probably wouldn't mistake it for the latest and greatest, but it certainly doesn't look ancient. There's plenty of detail on the perpetually sneering face of our alien protagonist, Crypto, and the world looks colorful, if a little sparse. Human characters are much more cartoonish than they were originally, which works well enough even though their animations aren't great. The redone cutscenes are certainly a big improvement. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/destroy-all-humans-graphics-comparison-2005-vs-2020"] All of the voice acting is straight out of the 2005 version, so we get the good with the bad. The main character, Crypto, still seems miscast – he sounds like some kind of weird alien hybrid of Jack Nicholson and Duke Nukem, and his lines usually aren't very funny. On the other hand, you hear much more chatter from your alien overlord, who's played by Invader Zim's Richard Horvitz, and he's always amusingly over the top as he screams orders at you. ("As I suspected: the humans are just elaborately evolved meat!") And the main villain, the leader of the Men in Black-style organization Majestic, sounds like a sassier Kylo Ren. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Playing%20as%20a%20rampaging%20monster%20definitely%20hasn%E2%80%99t%20gone%20out%20of%20style."]The moment-to-moment gameplay of Destroy All Humans! holds up reasonably well, which is no surprise since playing as a rampaging monster is a concept that definitely hasn't gone out of style in the past 15 years. (Just look at this year's Maneater, for instance.) Almost immediately you wield a wide range of alien powers, like a jetpack, the ability to throw people around with your mind, pop people's heads so that you can steal their brains, and disguise yourself as any human you see for some very simple stealth. You start out feeling overpowered in fights with small groups of enemies and it only grows from there with new abilities and upgrades, so you have lots of options to mess around with. Of course, enemy AI is extremely basic and the hordes of easily swatted bad (good?) guys spawn in all around you, so it's a simple but fun style of action as you bounce around zapping 1950s-era police, soldiers, and G-men, tossing grenades and rockets back at them and blasting tanks. The controls feel snappy and most of the weapons are good fun to use – it's hard to go wrong with a chain lightning gun, a plasma blaster that reduces victims to skeletons, and a grenade launcher. The anal probe is fairly useless, though – it's all in service of a joke that's instantly played out. All of it's heavy on auto-aim so you basically just have to fire in the general direction of a target, which makes the new target lock feel pretty unnecessary. Success is much more about staying on the move than it is about precision accuracy. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=destroy-all-humans-remake-screenshots&captions=true"] To keep that type of action from getting too monotonous, every so often you jump into your flying saucer and wreak havoc from above with your death ray. The controls are a little wonky in that
If that rating is accurate, this would be the first time World of Warcraft would be playable on a console. Since its launch in 2004, the game has only ever been available on PC and Mac. IGN has reached out to Blizzard for comment about the listing. In other Shadowlands news, we learned earlier this month that the upcoming expansion will drop the fee necessary to change your gender in-game, which used to cost players $15. World of Warcraft director Ion Hazzikostas also told IGN recently that Shadowlands is the perfect expansion for returning players. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.
Not sure if this is an error, but World of Warcraft: Shadowlands was rated in Brazil today for Xbox Series X + PC. https://t.co/PVcoSIn1ii@Blizzard_Ent @Warcraft Can you provide some insight? pic.twitter.com/h1n1lLUXIY— Gematsu (@gematsucom) July 27, 2020
The Master Chief is back in Halo Infinite, the biggest and most visually spectacular Halo yet. Halo Infinite will debut on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, Microsoft's fastest and most powerful console ever. To take full advantage of its prodigious graphical prowess, 343 Industries built an all-new, next-generation game engine, giving their world-class artists the tools and technology to realize the beauty, mystery and wonder of the Halo universe in unprecedented style and fidelity. 343 Industries have given Dark Horse access to the art and artists who have brought Halo Infinite to vibrant, vivid life. It's all here in unparalleled detail, the heroes you've grown to love—the Master Chief, the brave soldiers of the UNSC, as well as the weapons, vehicles, villains and vistas—and of course, the eponymous and magnificent environments of Halo itself.The Art of Halo Infinite is priced at $39.99 for the regular hardcover and $79.99 for the deluxe edition, and both are currently scheduled for release in Holiday 2020. You can pre-order the regular edition on Amazon. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=halo-infinite-xbox-games-showcase-gameplay-reveal-screenshots&captions=true"] We recently got a closer look at Halo Infinite at the Xbox Games Showcase. Find out more about the new story and villain details revealed, as why 343 Industries says there won't be a Halo Infinite 2. IGN's Brian Altano and Max Scoville recently unboxed another art book from Dark Horse during Comic-Con@Home. Check out the video below to see what you get with the deluxe edition of The World of Cyberpunk 2077: [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/the-world-of-cyberpunk-2077-artbook-is-packed-with-lore"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.
Setting aside the possibility that this could be fake (we've seen 3D printed controllers pop up ahead of console launches before), there are several theories around what this controller could be attached to. The simplest is that we're seeing a different colour variant for Series X, whether that's an unannounced public option, or a special edition made for Microsoft employees. This could also be a devkit or debug console controller - development models of consoles often look different to release models (for instance, the Xbox One X devkit was white as opposed to the production version's black). Another possibility is that this is the controller for the much-rumoured 'Xbox Lockhart', a lower-powered, lower priced model of Series X we're heard rumours about for some time. Back in early June, references to an 'Xbox Lockhart' were found in Windows Operating System code libraries, suggesting that there was a rumoured second console on the way, as part of the Xbox Series X family. In late June, a report surfaced suggesting that the Xbox Lockhart is set to be revealed in August, and will be known as the Xbox Series S. In other Xbox Series X news, check out every game confirmed and rumoured for Microsoft's next-gen console. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=confirmed-xbox-series-x-games&captions=true"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.
a white Xbox Series X? someone on Reddit claims they saw one at a party last night. If it's legit then it might be a special edition color for Microsoft employees https://t.co/yGgJirZ1bK pic.twitter.com/pDt4Wtqq1M— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) July 26, 2020