PS5 And Xbox Series X Raytracing Can Have Impact on Gameplay, Says The Initiative Dev

ps5 xbox series x

We've seen a bit of what next-generation console technology is capable of, mostly with regards to the solid-state drive. Ratchet and Clank allows for seamlessly passing from one world to the next on PS5 while the Xbox Series X helps facilitate the simultaneous dual-reality gameplay seen in The Medium. But are there other innovations that are only possible on next-gen hardware?

GamingBolt posed this question to Francisco Aisa García, who is a senior gameplay engineer at The Initiative. Are there graphical innovations that next-gen consoles could pull off compared to current gen? He said that raytracing could be a major factor and that it will be "ubiquitous everywhere."

"I think for sure we're going to see innovations all around. What gets me excited is the things that are built into the hardware to process things faster. All these things you can think of, like raytracing and the benefits we will see… We've seen raytracing already, but never seen the full potential, because we've never had people dedicated exclusively to building worlds around this technology.

"And in the new generation, it's going to be ubiquitous everywhere. The teams are going to work on technology to support raytracing, and how to use it, and I'm quite sure we're going to come out with some things we aren't expecting.

"Raytracing can also have impact on how you play games, you can see reflections everywhere for example, which can affect how AI reacts because they can respond to those reflections. That's something you can now incorporate into your design that you wouldn't have even thought of before." How long it'll take to see this in an actual game remains to be seen but it could change up stealth games significantly.

The Xbox Series X and PS5 are currently slated to launch this holiday season. While Microsoft's console will receive some new details this month, Sony is rumored to be hosting a new State of Play for PS5 in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.

Cyberpunk 2077 – V Can Look Around During Dialogue Scenes For Potential Trouble

Cyberpunk 2077_11

The question on many people's minds right now is whether or not Cyberpunk 2077 will actually make it in 2020 or not. As it stands, the game has had two high profile delays, and it's somewhat up in the air I'd say. But in the meantime, we have been getting bits and pieces of the game's fascinating futuristic world, and today we got a little taste of a neat little feature that's sure to be interesting for whenever the game does ship.

Via the Official PlayStation Magazine (September 2020), the developer revealed an interesting feature in relation to dialogue. Much like CD Projekt RED's previous titles, there will be a ton of talking, and a ton of dialouge options, but apparently Cyberpunk 2077 will actually allow your player character, V, to took around during these talks. Part of this is for immersion, since it's more realistic for you to be able to look around as you talk, but also you can look around to see if potential trouble is brewing, in case you're locked in a conversation and other NPCs are in the process of jumping you, meaning you can still get the drop on foes even they plan to ambush you.

I imagine that feature could get old if used a lot, but it definitely seems like a potential way to spice things up a bit for the many interactions with shady characters you'll undoubtedly have. It could also be a way to just entertain yourself in a fun way during lengthy dialogue segments.

As of now Cyberpunk 2077 is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 19th, with a Stadia version to come later. The developer also recently revealed there are seemingly no plans for a beta or demo before that.

Haven Developer Looks To Utilize Haptic Feedback And 120 FPS For PS5 Version


The makers of Furi announced their next game last year, Haven. While it shares a similar look to that game, it seems to be a vastly different type of experience as it follows two people who are "special" to one another as they must traverse together through a dangerous new world. The game was one of many indie titles that Sony chose to highlight for their PS5 showcase, and it seems the developers want to take as much advantage as possible.

Speaking with Wccftech, Creative Director Emeric Thoa talked about the game's next gen version. It seems the studio is in the early stages of this version of the game, so they couldn't commit to any features for sure, but did say they want to utilize the haptic feedback of the DualSense controller and get the game up to 120 FPS for that port and make the most smoothing gliding possible. While Thoa did say they wanted to bring the game to as many systems as possible, as it stands only a PlayStation 5 version has been confirmed for next generation consoles, so the context is only in relation to Sony's next system.

"We are at the veeeeery early steps of working on PS5. It's a bit early for me to say. We will of course try to make the best use of the PS5 new hardware and features. One thing that's the most exciting to me is to use the new gamepad haptic features and a 120FPS framerate to make gliding as smooth as possible."

Haven has also been announced to come to the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. As of now, no version of the game has a release date.

Grounded Surpassed 1 Million Players Within Just 48 Hours


No one was quite sure what to make of Grounded when it was first shown. From Obsidian Entertainment, a company known for their huge, ambitious RPGs, this was a smaller scale survival-based adventure game. Well, the game is in early access, and it seems by and large (no pun intended) that people have liked what they've seen.

Via Obsidian's official Twitter, it was announced that the game surpassed 1 million players in just the first two days of the game's early access launch and includes a thank you message from the game's Director. It's not too surprising, since the game topped the Steam charts at release despite being available on Xbox Game Pass for both Xbox One and Windows Store at the same time. It certainly bodes very well for the game's future.

Grounded is available now in early access via both Xbox Game Preview and Steam Early Access. The full version of the game is set to launch for Xbox One and PC sometime in 2021.

Grand Theft Auto Online Quietly Patches Out Money Exploits

Grand Theft Auto Online_Diamond Casino and Resort

It's going to be a long time until we get Grand Theft Auto 6, and boy, do I mean a long time going by what we know. But that's probably not a huge problem for a lot of players since Grand Theft Auto Online is still going strong. The game has shipped over 130 million copies after all. And for that you got to have a lot of (in-game) cash, but unfortunately, it seems nice little exploits to get extra cash have been patched out.

As reported via Game Watcher, the exploits in question were related to exploiting the Cashing Out mission with a free Elegy car, and the other involved two players purchasing apartments and one targeting expensive targets while the other did cheaper ones and transferring apartments between the two. While nothing has been explicitly said in patch notes, players noticed they were no longer doable, which dataminers confirmed to be the case. It's not the first time Rockstar has quietly killed off a money exploit, so no easy cash on these hard roads, at least until another exploit is found.

Grand Theft Auto Online is available alongside Grand Theft Auto 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, and is confirmed to be coming to next generation consoles in 2021.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Showcases Airports And Aircraft In Another Stunning Trailer

microsoft flight simulator

Next month will see the much anticipated return of Microsoft Flight Simulator. The game will once again bring us to the skies above with a variety of different aircraft. And at this point we don't have to tell you the game looks good, and I mean really, really good, too, but it can never hurt to see more of a good thing with a new trailer that highlights your destinations and what you'll be using to get there.

A new trailer released by the publisher shows off the airports you'll be going to in both the standard and deluxe version of the game. Of course, it doesn't come close to showing all that will be in the title, which includes over 37,000 airports, but you can see that the same level of detail and fidelity is applied to all parts of the game. We also get a close up of several aircraft, some of which you haven't seen before.

Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on PC on August 18th. A Xbox One version was also initially announced, but no word on when to expect it. It's also been confirmed to get some degree of VR support after launch.

Halo Infinite's Multiplayer Will be Free to Play, Microsoft Confirms

halo infinite

343 Industries recently put rumours about Halo Infinite launching without multiplayer to bed, but those aren't the only rumours that have popped up of late. Recent reports had indicated that the shooter's multiplayer would be free to play and would run at 120 FPS. Taking to Twitter via the official Halo account, the developers have now officially confirmed that, saying, "Halo is for everyone."

With the multiplayer being free and the campaign being available via Xbox Game Pass, Halo Infinite is opening up the gates for a flood of players to jump in right from the get go, which is exciting news, especially for a new Halo game. Of course, the hope is that the multiplayer being free won't be offset by microtransactions, but that's not something 343 Industries or Microsoft have talked about so far. In their tweet, they say that more details will be shared later.

Some other brief details on the Halo Infinite multiplayer have also been shared in recent days. 343 Industries are apparently building on Halo 5's multiplayer while also keeping the esports scene in mind. Meanwhile, it's been confirmed that the new items that were shown off during the game's gameplay reveal – the grappleshot and Drop Wall – will be included in the multiplayer as pick ups in the maps.

Halo Infinite launches this Holiday for Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.

Ghost of Tsushima – 5 Big Things It Does Better Than Most Open World Games

Open world games dominate the industry the way first person shooters used to about a decade ago (if not more), to the extent that it feels like every other AAA release is set in an open world, while even most smaller releases feel obliged to allow players to explore large, semi-open environments. That's a good thing, of course- we're big fans of open world games here at GamingBolt. But with that kind of saturation, the feeling of "been there, done that" continues to grow with every new game, especially when games that want to break out of the mould and try new and interesting things continue to grow increasingly rare.

Every once in a while though, along comes a new release that does try interesting new things, and when they succeed, they inherently stand out among the crowd. Sucker Punch's latest samurai epic Ghost of Tsushima isn't always the most inventive games, and in many ways it can feel quite formulaic, but when it comes to open world design, it strikes a unique balance between building on industry tropes, and introducing new ideas of its own.

In doing so, it ends up creating an experience that, as I mentioned earlier, does stand out. Because Ghost of Tsushima does quite a lot of things better than the vast majority of open world games out there, specifically in terms of open world design. These might not be huge innovations, but in these following five ways, I hope it becomes a guiding wind for others in the industry.


The number one rule for developers in the industry when it comes to open world maps seems to be- bigger is always better. In many ways, that's true. After all, the point of an open world is to give players vast open spaces to explore and mess about in, so obviously, even bigger spaces should mean a better map, right? And sure, technically that's true. But as we've seen more and more these past few years, that philosophy can easily lead to a problem that's become increasingly more common in games these days- bloat.

Ghost of Tsushima avoids that problem, and it avoids that by being exactly as large as it needs to be. Make no mistake, this is not a small map. It is absolutely massive, full of things to do and places to see. It is also beautifully diverse, encapsulating lush fields, dense forests, bustling settlements, swampy marshlands, and frozen mountains. In those ways, it does the things any open world map should do on a surface level.

But Ghost of Tsushima goes beyond the surface level, because while it is a large and varied map, it also never feels so large that it becomes intimidating. For instance, in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the oh-so-classic example of a bloated open world, exploration loses all meaning because the world feels so overwhelmingly large. On the other hand, with a map that is massive and yet still relatively condensed, Ghost of Tsushima makes you feel like you can see everything there is to be seen. Even if that's something you don't want to do, you know that it's something you can conceivably do without having to spend hundreds of hours. And best of all, thanks to the lack of bloat, all the locations in the map don't start blending into one another after a point- you remember each place you visit… which takes me to my next point.


ghost of tsushima

Atmosphere is one of Ghost of Tsushima's biggest strengths. The game has an uncanny knack for transporting you to its setting and completely immersing you in your surroundings. A lot of that comes from the fact that every inch of the map feels carefully and cautiously handcrafted. As you move through the island of Tsushima, you find yourself in a variety of biomes and locations, as I discussed above, and each has its own distinct personality.

What contributes to that more than anything else is the game's strong art design. Ghost of Tsushima is a technically impressive game, sure, but it wouldn't be half as visually pleasing as it is if it weren't for the art style. It uses colours in abundance, painting a rich and vivid tapestry of astounding sights every chance it gets, from fields of flower bursting with colour to forest floors covered in bright red leaves.

And, of course, the wind is a crucial factor as well. You wouldn't think that something as simple as the wind would be so important in shaping a game's identity, but here, it absolutely is. There's nothing quite like walking across a hill covered in tall and beautiful stalks of tall grass that are gently swaying against gusts of wind.


ghost of tsushima

This is an area where most modern AAA open world games falter, where most games in this space resort to the easiest and most bland way of getting their players to traverse their environments. Following the marker, following the compass, following the minimap, or some variation of that is what most open world games have usually relied on to get players from point A to point B.

Ghost of Tsushima doesn't do that. Its world is designed to ensure that players always find something new and something exciting. Following birds and foxes to side activities might become repetitive after a while, but there's just something about hearing the chirps of a golden bird that invariably pulls you away from whatever you were doing so you can see where it wants to lead you.

Even if you don't care about the mechanical and material gains that exploring the world might lead to, sightseeing in and of itself is enough of a motivator. Ghost of Tsushima's world is beautiful, and it keeps delivering moments of striking beauty that occur naturally through the course of exploration. Climbing on top of an innocuous hill might reward you with a glorious vista of the horizon and all the things on the island that lie between it and you. Riding through a forest towards the sound of rushing water could suddenly treat you with a view of a beautiful lone tree standing on an isolated island in the middle of a lake. Even simply walking on a beach at night and watching the moonlight being reflected in the calm and still waters of the ocean while the Mongol fleet waits imposingly in the distance can be a breathtaking sight.


ghost of tsushima

For some reason, it's very hard for many open world games to make the very act of exploration and discovery feel rewarding- or at least it's started feeling that way as games have started relying more and more on "follow the marker", because in doing so, you can so often be so focused on your destination that you stop caring about the journey. Some games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Breath of the Wild succeed in avoiding those pitfalls, and Ghost of Tsushima comes very close to being just as successful at doing so.

Where most open world games mark side activities in the on-screen UI, Ghost of Tsushima asks you to follow birds and foxes. When a quest tells you that you have to, say, follow a trail of purple flowers to get to your destination, you physically have to find those flowers yourself, and then follow that trailer – not a marker in the UI – to get to your mission objective. Talking to NPCs yields hints about various side activities, while civilians that you rescue from Mongols or bandits might tell you about enemy encampments.

Something else that Ghost of Tsushima makes use of that makes a massive difference is fog of war, which is by no means a new mechanic, but one that more open world games need to make use of. That's because side activities and points of interest in the world are only revealed to you as you explore it- it happens organically. It incentivizes exploration. Instead of just dumping every location of interest in the world in one go on the game's map, Ghost of Tsushima tasks you with discovering those locations yourself. It's such a simple way to ensure that players actually feel rewarded for going off the beaten path and exploring the world, but it's so incredibly effective.


ghost of tsushima

This is impressive purely on a technical level, and in a very, very obvious way. All this talk of SSDs and the elimination of loading times with next-gen consoles has only gained so much traction because that can make such a huge difference in any game (especially an open world one)- but here's Ghost of Tsushima, running on positively archaic hardware, already giving us a taste of what that feels like.

How often have we waited impatiently for a game to load after you fast travel from one place to another? How often have we restlessly checked our phones as we wait for a game to throw us back into the action after we die? How often have we waited for a game to load its entire world after we boot it up? Too often, right? Just think of the ridiculously long time Red Dead Redemption 2 makes you wait every time you load a save.

Ghost of Tsushima ensures that all that downtime is kept to a minimum. What's even more impressive than its lightning-fast loading is the fact that it is artificially extended. During development, Sucker Punch found that the game was loading so quickly that there was barely any time to read the tips the game throws at you in the interim, and they had to actually extend those loading times. What sort of witch magic is allowing them to do that on a PS4?

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.

Dark Souls 3 Cinders – Why It's So Awesome

FromSoftware's Dark Souls 3 launched more than four years ago. It's crazy to think that even with the studio releasing a brand new title in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that the tale of the Lords of Cinder could still see such devotion. Granted, mods have helped in that respect and titles like Dark Souls Remastered have their own awesome overhauls, whether it's Daughters of Ash or the recent rogue-lite mod. However, Souls fans now have something else to keep them busy before the arrival of Elden Ring. Now they have Cinders.

By now, you've probably heard of Cinders but what exactly is it? What does it change? Why is it being received so well and why should you go out of your way to play it (at least, on PC)? Cinders is essentially an overhaul mod, one that makes sweeping changes to the mechanics, progression, abilities, weapon balance – everything you could think of, right down to New Game Plus. It also adds heaps of new content, from hundreds of new weapons, rings and armor pieces to new Sorceries, Pyromancies and Miracles. That's the short version.

Dark Souls 3

"In essence, it makes Dark Souls 3 even more addictive, if that's what you wanted (or didn't know you needed, which rest assured, you do)."

The long version is that Cinders makes Dark Souls 3 a much more refined, enjoyable experience. It offers a lot more freedom to play how you want, for as long as you want. It offers more build diversity and easier ways to achieve certain builds from the outset. In essence, it makes Dark Souls 3 even more addictive, if that's what you wanted (or didn't know you needed, which rest assured, you do).

Before installing Cinders, be aware of two things: First, you must play offline since the game's anti-cheat bans players for even the slightest of mods. Second, Cinders modifies key parameters of the base game, to the extent that older save files become incompatible. While the mod can be safely removed and older saves accessed again, make a backup just in case.

So let's start with the character select screen. Everything is pretty much as you remembered it but look at the Classes tab. The range of options has been heavily expanded. Want to start out as a Wayfarer, like Alva, and spin to win against foes? Go for it. How about a Sentinel with the Fallen Knight set and massive Zweihander to pummel foes? You've got it. Maybe you want to start with a Samurai build and get those parries in from the beginning. Or a Paladin with a Greatsword, Heal Aid and corresponding armor. Heck, become a peasant who previously lived in the Undead Settlement and is now a Great Scythe-wielding Champion of Ash. You can even play as the Skeptic aka the annoying, masked clerics in the Undead Settlement that inflict bleed and laugh creepily (creepy laugh sadly not included).

Once your Class and Burial Gift – which has also been expanded to include various Gems for Weapons Infusion, an Estus Shard, Coiled Sword Fragment, various Rings, a Master Key and more – has been selected, it's off to the Cemetery of Ash. Except, not really. You instead begin your journey on the left-most bell tower of Firelink Shrine. Yes, the Sword Master with the Uchigatana is no longer there (but that's fine since it's not difficult to find the katana). You don't have to fight Gundyr this time, though if you venture down to the Cemetery challenge him, he'll already be in Corrupted Gundyr form. Also, he may or may not completely beat you down with a new, annoying Curse mechanic. It's a toss-up but should definitely serve to shock some veteran players.

Dark Souls 3 - Iudex Gundyr

"There also new shortcuts between different locations, allowing you to go from the High Wall of Lothric straight to Archdragon Peak to challenge The Nameless King right off the bat."

Venture into Firelink Shrine and speak to the Firekeeper as normal. The bonfire now lets you travel to the Undead Settlement along with the High Wall of Lothric. Cinders also changes up the location of some bonfires. The "Tower on the Wall" bonfire has been replaced with a Boreal Outrider Knight, which can provide a rather unpleasant surprise if you're busy running from foes (but drops a Pontiff's Left Eye ring, perfect for recovering HP by battering foes with multiple hits). The bonfire near Vordt of the Boreal Valley has been removed and instead, there's one near Emma's location, making it easier to challenge the Dancer of Boreal Valley multiple times (especially if you decide to do so in the early going).

There also new shortcuts between different locations, allowing you to go from the High Wall of Lothric straight to Archdragon Peak to challenge The Nameless King right off the bat. Fancy a trip to the Yorshka bonfire? Use the shortcut in the Cathedral of the Deep. With these shortcuts, it's also easy to dive into the Ashes of Ariandel and Ringed City expansions at a much quicker pace. Granted, the layouts of some levels aren't entirely perfect with their enemy placements. Catacombs of Carthus might be a slog due to seemingly more Wheel Skeletons, for example.

Then again, before you go anywhere, you might be awestruck by the expanded number of options at a bonfire. In the base game, resting at a bonfire gives you the "Travel", "Attune Spell", "Organize Storage Box", "Burn Undead Bone Shard" and, after beating the game, the option to start a New Game Plus playthrough. In Cinders, you can do all of these along with leveling up, allotting Estus, Reinforcing and Infusing weapons, repairing equipment, sacrificing items for Souls, and even forging items like Embers. It's super convenient not having to return to the Firelink Shrine for several of these functions, though you'll still need to provide different Umbral Ashes to the Shrine Handmaid to unlock new items. Other functions like Transposing Souls to acquire boss weapons also need to be done at Firelink Shrine so it's worth returning every now and again.

"While there aren't brand new bosses per say, you will see some classic foes from other Souls games making a return (which we won't spoil here)."

Let's talk new content. There are 50 new rings, over 135 armor sets (with more than 48 being new) and 415 weapons (195 being new). Along with re-balancing numerous weapons and making a lot of them more viable, armor now has different stats and effects, making each piece viable for some build or the other and increasing build diversity all the more. Poise has also been changed with active and boosted Poise available and FP now recovers passively, encouraging you to unleash weapon Battle Arts and spells more frequently. Weapons can also be augmented even further with the addition of Primordial Materials for those who seek an end-game pursuit to keep pushing towards.

Covenants also provide different bonuses when equipping their respective items. The Aldrich Faithful boosts Dark damage by 5 percent while the Mound Makers boost physical damage by 5 percent. Rosaria's Fingers will increase the amount of Souls gained from enemies by 10 percent while the Watchdogs of Farron will reduce weapon Stamina consumption by 10 percent. While there aren't brand new bosses per say, you will see some classic foes from other Souls games making a return (which we won't spoil here). Some of them may appear as Phantoms while others are mini-bosses waiting to break you down. Their presence – with perhaps one boss fight being the exception (but still being extremely cool) – don't feel tacked on at all.

Maybe you're keen on starting a relationship with a certain NPC – and no, we don't mean wedding Anri of Astora. Use the Ring of Bethrotal on an NPC will give you the ability to flirt, which provides three different outcomes. If successful, you'll receive a gift and each NPC has their own unique gifts to bestow (from an Undead Bone Shard to an Estus Shard). It's just another neat little extra on top of everything else.

All of these new benefits and bonuses may lead you to think the base game is now easier. Granted, some items are meant to make certain playthroughs less stressful, especially one that allows for summoning an immortal Solaire of Astore, who will draw aggro, unleash lightning spells and deal a respectable amount of damage.

"After defeating a boss for the first time, you get their Memory which can be used to challenge them again at any time."

Thankfully, Cinders anticipates your desire for more challenges and pain. There's the Altar of Affliction which lets you enable a variety of different Curses in return for an increase in Souls and the chance for Primordial Materials to drop. Want enemies that can't be staggered with 30 percent increased defense and damage that also have passive health regeneration (which will apply to bosses as well because why not)? Or maybe you fancy nerfing yourself, removing passive FP regeneration, doubling Stamina consumption and cutting max HP, FP and Stamina in half? You can even shroud yourself in darkness, putting your memory of the new enemy locations to the test, or have weapon durability just randomly reduce by 1 every 10 to 30 seconds or so.

Then there's the new Trial of Perseverance, which offers a wave-based survival mode against hordes of enemies. Though the waves have set enemies – some will only contain skeleton foes while others have Undead Settlement enemies – their appearance is randomized with each new wave. Kill enough enemies until the wave's overall health bar is reduced to zero and you'll earn Souls and other Reinforcement Materials afterwards. Primordial Materials have a chance to drop as well with more Curses increasing the drop rate. Sounds easy enough but enemies show no mercy in this mode and Curses can make this borderline terrifying (especially when you get the Bone Gang 10 times in a row).

Curses also apply to the base game, upping the difficulty of the entire campaign in exchange for more Souls and Primordial Materials. Don't want to suffer Curses but still want those Primordials? Take the No Hit Challenge for each boss. Defeating a boss without taking any damage will confer a different Primordial Material, with tougher foes like Sister Friede, Darkeater Midir and Slave Knight Gael providing the highest quality material, Primordial Slabs. And if you fail, don't worry – after defeating a boss for the first time, you get their Memory which can be used to challenge them again at any time. This makes practicing for zero hit or SL1 runs all the more easy while offering another challenge and accompanying reward for those who seek it.

"Go for a Soul Level 1, full-Curse, NG+7 playthrough with the Mark of Sanguis active for the greatest challenge."

You can also equip different Marks to further increase the difficulty in exchange for more Souls. Mark of Canis is restricted to High Wall of Lothric while Mark of Piscis is for the Road of Sacrifices and Farron Keep but both Marks essentially remove all other enemies in favor of dogs and crabs respectively. The Mark of Sanguis is much more brutal – it adds more enemies, gives them some new attacks and even brings in some minor bosses. It also applies to the entire game and stacks with the different Curses.

And if all of that isn't enough, then New Game Plus is the way to go. Not only does it increase the defense, health and damage dealt by all enemies, like in the base game, but it also adds Echoes of the Past. These are enemy NPCs that appear like ghosts and are tougher than your average Phantom. You'll have plenty of incentive to kill them though since they drop more powerful versions of certain Rings and Primordial Titanite when killed the first time (though you can respawn them at bonfires to farm for Souls). It's also possible to skip to higher New Game Plus levels from the beginning. Go for a Soul Level 1, full-Curse, NG+7 playthrough with the Mark of Sanguis active for the greatest challenge.

Cinders may not be for everyone and is definitely not recommended for those playing Dark Souls 3 for the first time. But for those who have cleared all the content and want to change things up on their next playthrough, Cinders is simply incredible. It addresses so many little concerns that add up to a much smoother experience without compromising on the difficulty. One of my main concerns was starting a new character and having to slog through the game before the build started coming together.

Dark Souls 3 Cinders

"The lure of trying out a new build in all of this content has always been hard to resist, and the mod simply expands on your available options while giving you tons of other things to do."

Cinders not only addresses this but tries to accommodate every possible play-style out there (yes, even Miracle builds). If something isn't to your liking, then use the shortcuts provided and farm for the weapons you'd like – especially since some can drop guaranteed from foes. Finding a new weapon and simply going back to a previous bonfire to reinforce and infuse it is just great. And thanks to the addition of passive FP generation, I've been picking up more weapons to simply experiment with their different Combat Arts.

The sheer amount of customization and changes to progression don't diminish the base game's challenge. If anything, it says a lot about the foundation of Dark Souls 3 that so many additions and changes can fit in so seamlessly. So if you've been looking for an excuse to revisit Dark Souls 3 on PC and don't mind having to play offline, then I highly encourage you to check out Cinders. The lure of trying out a new build in all of this content has always been hard to resist, and the mod simply expands on your available options while giving you tons of other things to do. Nothing befits Ash more than fire and Cinders offers more than enough to keep you burning away.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.

Ghost of Tsushima Players Have Dueled 57.5 Million Enemies in First 10 Days

Ghost of Tsushima_05

Sucker Punch Productions' Ghost of Tsushima has been an incredible success for Sony, selling over 2.4 million units in its first three days. Within the first 10 days of release, its players have racked up some impressive stats. As the PlayStation Twitter notes, players have engaged in 57.5 million duels and taken 15.5 million photos.

They've also pet 8.8 million foxes and spent 810 years on horseback. Total flute songs played equaled 28.1 million while the number of haikus written – good or bad – hit 14.2 million. Standoffs are significantly higher in number than duels, totaling 156.4 million. And finally, the number of enemies who cowered in fear of the Ghost was a staggering 139.4 million. There's no stat on the number of enemies who's suffering was ended but give it time.

Ghost of Tsushima is currently available for PS4 – you can check out our review here. It recently received a major update that added Lethal difficulty and Lower Intensity Combat while allowing for larger text size. Stay tuned for more updates on its success in the coming days.

Street Fighter V Will Have Two-Week Free Trial With All 40 Characters

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The Japan Fighting Game Publisher's Roundtable livestream that premiered last night dropped tons of news, including a brand new announcement for Street Fighter V. According to the stream, there will be a two week free trial starting on August 5th. The trial will feature all 40 playable fighters from the Champion Edition:

And just to reiterate, a new Street Fighter V stream will premiere this coming Wednesday (Aug. 5th) at 10 AM PT. The livestream, according to the previous Twitter status update, will reveal the future of SFV. This includes esports news, Season V character reveals and news, and more. Hopefully we'll get some really juicy news.

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition launched earlier this year on February 14th. The Champion Edition included 40 characters, 34 stages, over 200 costumes, and all the modes released so far for the title. In addition, Gill — the main villain of Street Fighter 3 — was added to the roster either through the Champion Edition in February 2020. Seth from Street Fighter IV also made his debut with a complete redesign.

However, poor netcode continues to be a long running issue among players. Back in January a subredditor by the name of Altimor took to fixing it on the PC side, showing that it could be done in two days. Unfortunately the code did not work for PS4 and broke crossplay between the console and PC. Then on February 12th, Street Fighter V Executive Producer Yoshinori Ono announced on Twitter that Capcom was working on a netcode adjustment for a later release. Six days later, that patch came out and the results have been muddled, to say the least.

The last big announcement for Street Fighter V involved three new fighters being added to the game: E. Honda, Lucia, and Poison. The same news also involved an apology from Valve as they accidentally leaked said characters before they could be revealed properly at EVO 2019.

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Tekken 7 Season Pass 4 Trailer Announces New Moves for Fighters, Online Play Enhancements

Bandai Namco, PC, PS4, Tekken 7, Xbox One

Tekken 7 dropped a new trailer showcasing their upcoming Season Pass 4 during the Japan Fighting Game Publisher's Roundtable livestream last night. According to the trailer, every fighter will get brand new moves. There will also be online play enhancements and new features:

The Season Pass 4 will release this fall for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. In a bonus surprise, longtime favorite Kunimitsu was teased:

The last character to come to Tekken 7 was Leroy Smith, who made his official trailer debut in a gameplay/music video fusion. Previously two other challengers were revealed in two new trailers: veteran Ganryu and new fighter Fahkumram, alongside Tekken veteran Zafina was revealed for the title. The character first debuted in Tekken 6 and returned as a playable character in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. During the same EVO event we saw the fake Solid Snake fighter revealwhich garnered ire from longtime Solid Snake VA David Hayter on Twitter.

Two years ago, the developer unexpectedly announced Noctis from Final Fantasy XV as a character. The next year they showed fans a video announcing that Negan from The Walking Dead would be a playable fighter. You can check out more screenshots of both Neegan and returning fighter Julia Chang here.

Last year, Bandai Namco revealed that the game had passed four million copies sold worldwide. We found Tekken 7 to be a great fighting game that won us over with its "rock-solid fighting mechanics."

Tekken 7 launched in Japanese arcades back in 2015 and on consoles worldwide in 2017. It has since remained one of the most widely played titles in the fighting game community. The game made its return at EVO 2019 in early August with the third-highest entry numbers. Just under 2,000 players competed in Tekken 7 this year and just as we expected we ended up with a really entertaining tournament.

The game is currently available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. You can purchase Tekken 7 on Amazon.

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Soul Calibur VI Reveals the Deadly and Beautiful Setsuka, DLC and Free Content Update Coming Soon

Bandai Namco, PC, PS4, Soul Calibur VI, Xbox One. Setsuka

Soul Calibur VI had its own fair share of announcements during the Japan Fighting Game Publisher's Roundtable livestream last night. The biggest was the reveal of beloved fighter Setsuka, who will be coming to the DLC pack 11 later this week. For those familiar with her, she still uses Iaido as her signature style:

Launching on the same is DLC pack 12, which will feature brand new content for the character creation mode. And beside that release will be free content update 2.20 featuring a brand new stage, battle adjustments for all characters, Setsuka's classic costume parts, Tekken themed outfits, new Groh episode, and more.

In other Soul Calibur VI news, Princess Hildegard von Krone was revealed to be coming to the game as its latest DLC fighter, as a part of the Season 2 DLC pass. Other returning fighters from the franchise include YoshimitsuVoldo, and Seong Mi-Na and Astaroth (who were revealed during EVO 2018).

2B from Nier: Automata also made an appearance in the weapons-based fighting game. 2B is an android and the protagonist of NieR: Automata. She wields two swords as her primary weapons, although she also wields spears and combat bracers. Her pod support system helps her in battles by allowing her to glide, and attack enemies from a distance.

On the official Japanese website, Bandai Namco warned players about NSFW creations, specifically that if you make an inappropriate character in the Create a Soul mode, you may get banned from online play.

Dualshockers very own customizable characters Bowsette and Boosette were a very big hit, with players crying out asking where they can find a guide for the two characters for a Soul Calibur VI build so they could do it too. You can check out our guide on how to make Bowsette and Boosette in Soul Calibur VI's character creator here. You can also check out our review of the game here, which declares that it's "undoubtedly one of the finest fighting games of this generation."

Soul Calibur VI is available right now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One and you can pick up your copy by heading over to Amazon.

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Guilty Gear -STRIVE- Drops Two Character Trailers, Confirmed for PS5 and Steam

Akira Katano, arc system works, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, New Guilty Gear, PS4

Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, the next entry in the long running franchise, received an exciting new character reveal trailer during last night's Japan Fighting Game Publisher's Roundtable livestream. Leo Whitefang and Nagoriyuki were announced for the title and they both look like a blast to play:

On top of that Guilty Gear -STRIVE- has been confirmed to be coming to both PS5 and Steam on top of its original PS4 release, though it's still delayed to 2021. And the next character trailer will be released in early October, so that'll be some more exciting news. Meanwhile check out the gallery of art and screenshots that made its debut as well:

Akira Katano, arc system works, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, New Guilty Gear, PS4 Akira Katano, arc system works, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, New Guilty Gear, PS4 Akira Katano, arc system works, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, New Guilty Gear, PS4 Akira Katano, arc system works, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, New Guilty Gear, PS4

Recently Arc System Works confirmed that the title will feature rollback netcode after much fan request. The Final Round stop in the tourney, which was scheduled for March 20th-22nd, had been cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns.

The most recent trailers revealed Ramlethal Valentine as well as Millia Rage and Zato=1. So far we know that the previously announced characters are the protagonist Sol Badguy and Ky KiskeAxl Low and May, and Chipp Zanuff and Potemkin.

During the stage event dedicated to Guilty Gear at Tokyo Game Show 2019, Daisuke Ishiwatari and Akira Katano explained how they particularly detailed the characters' facial animations and how it's basically "3D Sakuga." You can really see that with the tons of different expressions the characters emote during their attacks and supers. At that same event, they also mentioned that the stage change mechanic has actual gameplay mechanics embedded into it. We've translated the full event here if you want to read more.

Guilty Gear -STRIVE- was first teased during EVO 2019. Daisuke Ishiwatari, the General Director, stated how the new Guilty Gear game isn't an "evolution" of the series, nor a "return to its roots," but instead a "complete rebuild of the franchise." Instead of adding or removing elements compared to the previous games, he described the development as completely breaking it down, picking up everything that made the series charming and unique, and rebuilding it with those components.

Ishiwatari then mentioned that this new Guilty Gear game is a "big challenge which will go head to head against the essence of fighting games." He added that going this route is a risky bet, but they're confident they can pull it off and bring out new possibilities, using all the experience and materials they've accumulated so far. He ended the message saying he believes games are bridges which can connect people, so he hopes this new Guilty Gear will reflect this idea.

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Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Developer Tease Future Content in AMA

fall guys

During a Reddit AMA, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout developer Mediatonic answered fan questions on how the game became a PlayStation Plus title, if it'll come to the PS5, and about future content. For those that don't know, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a multiplayer battle royale game where 60 players face off in wacky mini-games against each other.

Several fan questions were related to future content coming to the game. "We literally have huge spreadsheets full of level ideas that we love but haven't had the time to implement due to a pretty short dev cycle," said user ScrambledMeg, a lead level designer. "There will be variations of existing game modes as well as brand new levels with new mechanics. These will drop with the season content or on the off occasion might get dropped whenever we can get it in."

Other questions asked about topics like if there will be a split-screen mode, if there will be a creator mode, and if there will be exclusive PlayStation 4 skins. For all three questions, the answer is either these are things in development but won't be available at launch or aren't confirmed. With such a quick development cycle and small team, it's understandable why these features among other things aren't ready yet.

One user asked if the game will come to the PlayStation 5 and the developer said they can't confirm anything on that yet. Another user asked about how many people have worked on Fall Guys and the developer said 45 people have been on the game during its two years of development.

When asked how the game became an August PlayStation Plus title, user FallGuysJoe, lead game designer on Fall Guys, said "Sony were really enthusiastic about the game when we showed them an early version of it, and we felt that taking this route would help expose the game to a far larger audience than we could have reached on our own. Also, it's something that worked super well for Rocket League which has been one of our inspirations."

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is available on PlayStation 4 and PC on August 4. It'll be an August PlayStation Plus title alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game is having a beta this weekend as well.

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Beyond Good and Evil Movie from Netflix and Detective Pikachu Director in the Works

Beyond Good and Evil 2

In a story from The Hollywood Reporter, Detective Pikachu director Rob Letterman is teaming up with Netflix to direct an adaptation of Ubisoft's Beyond Good and Evil.

The live-action/animated adaptation of Ubisoft's game is early in development, with Netflix looking for writers for the screenplay. Jason Altman and Margaret Boykin from Ubisoft Film & Television will be producing the film. Besides these details, there's no information on casting or when the film will release.

Released in 2003, Beyond Good and Evil is set in the year 2435 where we follow Jade, a journalist who helps expose a government conspiracy that'll save her planet. It wasn't until 2017 where we got the announcement of Beyond Good and Evil 2, a prequel to the series. The game will be open-world, let the player choose their gender, and include online modes. One of the last major updates about the prequel was from 2018 where we learned Ubisoft Blue Byte is one of five Ubisoft studios on the game. The other three are Ubisoft Montpelier, Ubisoft Barcelona, Ubisoft Sofia, and Ubisoft Bordeaux. Additionally, the game will require an internet connection to play it.

The last major film Letterman directed was 2019's Pokemon Detective Pikachu, which he also wrote. It went onto become the highest-grossing video game movie of all time in July 2019, having made $433 million dollars. The film received a score of 68 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 53 on Metacritic. Currently, there's been no official announcement of a sequel in development. The first film stars Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, and Ryan Reynolds.

While we wait for the Netflix adaptation and Beyond Good and Evil 2, Beyond Good and Evil HD is available now on the Microsoft Store. You can also watch Pokemon Detective Pikachu now on HBO Max and VOD. As more news releases on Beyond Good and Evil, we'll be sure to let you know.

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Grounded Has Attracted Over One Million Players to its Backyard


After just two days of being available on Steam Early Access and Xbox Game PreviewGrounded has already racked up over one million unique players. This news comes just after we've learned that the game managed to hit over 12,000 concurrent users on Steam.

This stunning number was revealed through a post on Xbox's site by Adam Brennecke, a Game Director for Grounded. Following this milestone for the brand new title from Obisidan's 13-person team, Brennecke also announced when the game would be receiving monthly updates. Arriving with extra content and fixes to "ensure the best player experience possible" Grounded will begin receiving regular updates starting on August 27.

It's not entirely surprising that Grounded has gotten so much attention over the past couple of days. Besides having a fairly reputable name behind it, the game has been making its own rounds due to ads and its accessibility features, such as an Arachnophobia mode that allows players to alter the appearance of the creepy crawlies. For instance, instead of being a massive, hairy, lumbering thing with protruding mandibles, players can change spiders into a vague yet aggressive group of balls and ovals and even remove their specific audio effects.

While the number of players Grounded has attracted to the backyard is astounding in and of itself, it seems like the most surprised group may be Obsidian's team. Brennecke recorded a video that ended up on Twitter via the official Grounded account and said "It's blown us away, the team is so happy, and we're overjoyed with all the support we're getting."

Grounded is currently available on Xbox Game Preview and Steam Early Access for $29.99 USD.

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Halo Infinite Multiplayer Officially Confirmed to be Free-to-Play

Master Chief

Earlier today, new rumors starting swirling that Halo Infinite's upcoming multiplayer mode would be free-to-play for everyone and would also run at 120 frames-per-second. Well, while many rumors in the video game industry like this often get debunked, it turns out that this is instead absolutely true.

343 Industries took to the official Halo Twitter account this afternoon and confirmed that the multiplayer portion of Infinite will be absolutely free. Furthermore, it will run at 120fps on the next-gen Xbox Series X platform. This performance will likely be applicable to the PC platform, too. 343 then opted not to say anything further about this development and instead simply said that more information will be provided in the future.

Even though there's still not much we know about Halo Infinite multiplayer (other than the fact that it will feature the franchise's new grappling hook) this is a massive deal for the series. To make the premier franchise of Xbox Game Studios a free-to-play title, even to those who aren't subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, is something that many probably would have never expected. It also potentially adds credence to the rumors that Microsoft itself might be looking to shutter Xbox Live Gold.

Obviously, though, the campaign itself will still apparently cost you a typical retail fee, although it hasn't been disclosed just yet how much that might cost. And if the idea of paying a full retail value for a game that is only a campaign sounds like a ripoff, the fact that 343 will be expanding the single-player component of Halo Infinite over the years after it releases should ease those concerns a bit.

Halo Infinite is set to launch later this year alongside the release of the Xbox Series X and will also be coming to Xbox One and PC. Stay tuned within the coming weeks as we should start to see and hear a whole lot more about what the free-to-play model for Infinite entails.

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EA Set a Very Strong Financial Performance in the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2021


The financial report for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021 for EA shows a significant increase in the number of players in the FIFA and Madden series.

As a typical action from video game companies who has lots of shareholders around the world, Electronic Arts reported its financial performance over the first three months in the fiscal year 2020 which shows a 17% year-over-year increase in net bookings.

Thanks to the company's huge income from FIFA 20, Madden 20, and The Sims 4, EA has welcomed "tens of millions of new players" to its network, according to Andrew Wilson, CEO of the company. While the player base for FIFA has been doubled in Q1 FY2021 in a year-over-year comparison, Madden NFL managed to set even a higher record by setting a 140% year-over-year increase in acquiring more new players.

As per Blake Jorgensen, the CFO of Electronic Arts, this was an exceptional and unpredictable result for a first-quarter of a fiscal year for EA. With Apex Legends getting its Season 5 content, the player engagement of the game reached its highest peak so far. On the other, Maxis' The Sims 4 surpassed 30 million players overall which is a great record for the series.

EA is currently working on multiple new projects. The sports division is developing three new games including FIFA 21, UFC 4, and Madden 21. On the other hand, Motive Studios will be delivering Star Wars: Squadrons earlier in October, which is an aerial-battle-focused spin-off from the Star Wars series. The next big production from DICE Studios will be Battlefield 6 which is set to be launched either in late 2021 or early 2022.

Not to mention that a big part of EA's income is tied to the excessive use of microtransactions in most of the company's popular titles. While the company doesn't have any intentions to remove in-game purchases from its products, it's yet to be seen how they will react to the possible increase in the price of the games by the end of the current generation of consoles.

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Genki's 'Covert Switch Dock' Is Now Available For Purchase

Just under a year ago, video game peripheral maker Genki announced the Kickstarter campaign for their next product: the Covert Dock. Touted as the 'most coveted Switch accessory,' the Genki dock makes a simple promise: it's a portable dock and wall charger. The size of any standard AC to USB adapter, it provides almost everything that the official Nintendo branded dock does.

Featuring a USB type c plugin, an HDMI plugin and a USB 3.1 plugin, the Covert Dock can do nearly everything the normal one can, just at one-tenth of the size. The device still has a lot to prove, however. Genki promises that it won't damage or brick the Switch as other third-party docks have in the past, and considering an engineer from the company that designed the dock has been featured in Ars Technica to talk about why third-party docks used to damage everyone's favorite handheld-console hybrid, you're probably in safe hands.

Much like its name suggests, the covert dock actually has something to hide as well. Not only does it function as a dock for your Nintendo Switch, but it also acts as an AC to USB type c and USB 3.1 catch-all. Not only can it fast charge most USB type c devices, but it can also devices that use USB type c, like a Macbook, to a TV via HDMI and various USB-compatible devices, like a flash drive or a mouse.

Users beware, however. Genki provides no information about whether or not the Covert Dock ships with the necessary chords and parts in order to connect the Switch with a TV.

The Covert Dock will set you back $74.99 with free shipping for US residents. If Genki's promises are more than just hot air, this dock will be a must-have for transient Switch owners, especially once quarantine is over.

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