The Stream Team: Into the Mists of Dungeons & Dragons Online's Ravenloft

With the free access to DDO's Ravenloft quests going away at the end of August, Massively OP's MJ is aiming to get some of those quest lines in. And her first foray will be Into the Mists, a quest involving getting lost in a dark and forbidding forest. Nothing to worry about, right? Tune in […]

Crucible's latest beta patch introduces a big overhaul for scenarios and objectives

Crucible has been one of online gaming's punching bags of the summer, what with Amazon's decision to pull the once-launched title back into closed beta for reworking after players just didn't connect with it. In fact, last week, the game delayed its next round of testing a pinch more thanks to bugs. Well, that update […]

'Our mentors are leaving in droves': Blizzard staff are organizing to demand better compensation

Yesterday, we covered Bloomberg's report on how Blizzard employees were circulating a spreadsheet of their wages and raises in an effort to determine whether Blizzard had gone far enough with its promises to dispense fair pay, particularly in light of increased duties following the 2019 layoffs. As we noted, employees told stories of skipping meals […]

Ashes of Creation's newsletter gets pumped for Alpha One

Are you ready for Alpha One? That's the question that Ashes of Creation's community as the game barrels toward this momentous test event this fall. In this month's newsletter, the team hyped up the progress being made toward the alpha while rounding up a lot of the interviews and AMAs that Intrepid Studios did in […]

Fall Guys Ultimate Knockout's launch day initially trips and falls, gets back up to big numbers

This is pretty much a "water is wet" sort of story, especially for those of us who have seen messy MMO and online game launches before, but we still want to touch back on Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout as the game officially launched yesterday with a bit of a sputtering start. The game first tried […]

GDC Summer 2020: Immersive multiplayer storytelling with Disney's Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Prior to this whole virus thing, one thing that I was enjoying about MMOs was how they (along with ideas taken from social media) were influencing other genres, particularly when that involves merging tech and real-life spaces to create immersive spaces and games. The idea of themeparks playing with this has been awesome in the […]

TERA NA's next PC update will bring a 64-bit client and a new 20-person raid

Whenever an MMO touts its client getting an upgrade in bits, I'm brought screaming backwards in time to my console war years when the bit size of a system was somehow an effective marketing strategy. In the case of the PC version of TERA, the upcoming update to a 64-bit client is less about marketing […]

Desert Oasis: Our guide to playing Black Desert's season servers

The introduction of Black Desert's season servers this summer was my chocolate-in-peanut-butter moment of the year. I didn't know the combination would be so good! Other players seem to think so as well. The special season servers were pretty packed throughout the entire season, and there was never a dull moment in server chat! It […]

Overwatch's Summer Games have returned with a new twist on Lucioball

Sportsball is pretty strange in pandemic times, as the professional leagues and kiddie teams alike are struggling to find safe ways to return to group sports. The same isn't true in Overwatch, where the shooter's version of The Olympics has returned once again. "Grab your beach ball and join the fun in Overwatch Summer Games […]

GDC Summer 2020: How Niantic adapted Pokemon Go gameplay in the time of COVID-19

GDC Summer 2020 is running all this week, and I'm, well, at home. But much like Pokemon Go, the convention adapted, and while I've had a few "con" moments already, it doesn't feel like it's adapted quite as well as POGO. Lucky for GDC and us, Niantic "sent" Product Lead Matt Slemon and Senior Game Designer […]

Guild Wars 2's Festival of the Four Winds returns August 11

It's been only a week since Guild Wars 2 dropped its latest content episode, but already the ArenaNet team is moving to the next festival: Festival of the Four Winds, launching once again on August 11th. "The Festival of the Four Winds returns on August 11! Whether you relax by chilling out at the beach […]

Perfect Ten: Then things to do when you just want to chill out in an MMO

Let's face it: Sometimes, playing MMORPGs — as with any video game — has the potential to stress us out. We might feel under pressure to get all of those dailies done, to bring our A-game to raids, or to scramble to get holiday events done before the end date arrives. Personally, I'm not a […]

Black Desert Mobile adds a new tower defense mode, PC lets players graduate season servers early

Black Desert and Black Desert Mobile both have some things going on in the news today, as is very often the case for these games, so allow me to once again offer you this bundle of Black Desert treats to look over. We'll start with the mobile version, which has introduced a new mode known […]

Fallout 76's Colossal Problem patch lives up to its name as the communuty melts down over massive building bugs

So yesterday's Fallout 76 patch did… not go to plan. Bethsoft added the foundation for A Colossal Problem to the game, and that's not a euphemism, mind you; that's actually what it's called, though the playable part was pulled before it went live. In any case, the patch has been a colossal problem indeed since […]

No, Lord of the Rings Online Classic isn't going to happen, Standing Stone says

When any MMORPG has gone on long enough, a movement among fans to return to the earlier days of the game tends to emerge. Call it "legacy fever" or what have you, but the nostalgia for old systems and a more limited scope seems to appeal to some players. But for those calling for a […]

Phantasy Star Online 2 episode 4 brings new quests and events, a PvP arena, and arrival on Steam

Today is a pretty big day for Phantasy Star Online 2 as the game is releasing its big episode 4 update, bringing new quests and new monsters, an all-new PvP battle arena, and the addition of Bonus Quests which can offer up huge XP, Mesata, and item rewards, though those quests can only be accessed […]

Riot is closing up shop for a week to grant devs a break from crunch and deadlines

It's not at all uncommon for senior staff to take holiday vacations in the USA, nor is it uncommon for whole studios in Europe to close down for a summer break, but you seldom see the latter here. Riot Games, however, will be the exception, as it's announced it'll close down the studio – which […]

War breaks out in WoW Classic as Horde players retaliate for Alliance Ahn'Qiraj Scarab Lord griefing

It would seem that the factional drama over getting the Scarab Lord title in WoW Classic was simply the flashpoint for a major bonfire on the Sulfuras server, as the re-opening of the gates of Ahn'Qiraj touched off a massive battle between Horde and Alliance guilds, with members of the slighted Horde guild reportedly seeking […]

The Daily Grind: Who is the greatest female NPC in an MMO?

From Jaina to Wonder Woman, Vette to Galadriel, MMORPGs sport an inspiring roster of strong and fascinating women. Sometimes they headline the game, as in the case of Tabula Rasa's Sarah Morrison. Sometimes they serve as protector figures, such as Destiny 2's Sloane, while other times they serve as antagonists, such as Star Wars: The […]

The Stream Team: Completing concert collection and powering a ranger in AQ3D

The end of the Breaking Benjamin battle concert in AQ3D is eminent, and the conclusions of that 54+ step quest is in sight for Massively OP's MJ. Today is the day! She will complete the concert. But not only that, MJ will also power up her new ranger. It's a double-header of wrap-ups. Join us […]

Trove has a celestial summer with the launch of the Lunar Plunge event

It's about time to reach for the stars — quite literally — in Trove as the game kicks off the Lunar Plunge event where players can gather up all sorts of celestial-themed goodies. During the Lunar Plunge, Invasions will be replaced with Starfalls that will see Stars and Lunar Drops randomly appear around the world. […]

Shroud of the Avatar adds player town teleporters and previews new building block types

Release 80 is now live in Shroud of the Avatar and with it are new ways for players to blip between player-created towns. The teleporter items that were previewed earlier are now in-game, with a number of different types of things that can function as a route between player-created towns, from the previewed wagon to […]

Activision-Blizzard Q2 2020: Year-over-year revenues are up for the first time in six quarters

We're back with another dip into Activision-Blizzard's financials, this one Q2 2020, the first report since shareholders lambasted the company for excessive executive pay and the first report since BlizzCon 2020 was outright canceled. MMO readers will recall that Q1's report was heavily focused on on COVID-19 impacts and talking up better-than-expected returns, but as […]

Massively OP Podcast Episode 282: Gate crashers

Justin and Bree discuss WoW Classic, Dragon's Prophet, Warhammer Online's Return of Reckoning, Phantasy Star Online 2, and EVE Echoes, with adventures in LOTRO, SWTOR, WoW, and SWG Legends, plus mailbag topics on memorable MMO stories and the greediest games.

Rebirth Online makes its early access arrival to Steam

Steam is now home to another free-to-play MMORPG from our friends in South Korea. This time it's Rebirth Online, which appears to be the PC version of the mobile MMO Rebirth M now released on Steam Early Access. As we covered when publisher/developer Caret Games first announce the arrival of Rebirth Online, this title hits […]

Past Fate promises new spells and skill trees to alpha as its Kickstarter marches on

As the second Kickstarter drive for sandbox MMORPG Past Fate rolls on, the devs at Icy North Games are still hard at work improving the game's alpha build, kicking out a bug fix-loaded update and planning on future updates that will include more spells & abilities for Necromancer, Warrior and Priest classes as well as […]

For Science: Meta-analysis of aggression studies shows no link between aggression and video games

Do video games make people violent? The dispatch from the APA back in March certainly seems to indicate that it thinks so, which runs counter to what even researchers connected to the studies cited believed. But a new meta-analysis released on the Royal Society site went through 28 different studies and analyzed the data from […]

Fallout 76 patches in a new public event and the communal Brotherhood of Steel base building effort

I'll be honest, the only reason I enjoy the Brotherhood of Steel is that they have neat toys, which I suspect would be a prime reason for Fallout 76 players to join in on the community goal of building a Brotherhood of Steel base, which is something that can now be done with the latest […]

Choose My Adventure: The absurd tsunami that is AdventureQuest 3D

Let's see… I was flung across the world, I fought an extremely hyperactive unicorn bro, I nearly got defeated by chickens, and I fought a monstrous tree stump that spoke only in puns. And that was just the beginning of my AdventureQuest 3D adventures. To be honest, I was expecting plenty of silliness. I used […]

Final Fantasy XIV will be down for 24 hours for patch 5.3 maintenance

Get anything you need to have done in Final Fantasy XIV done before August 10th. Anything you want done before the patch, at least, because that's when patch 5.3 comes roaring on to the game's servers with a 24-hour long maintenance window. Yes, it starts at 6:00 a.m. EDT on August 10th and ends at […]

Not So Massively: First impressions of StarCraft II's co-op prestige system

Last week, StarCraft II celebrated its tenth anniversary by launching the major 5.0 patch. With it came the new "prestige" system for co-op mode, offering a wealth of new strategic options for every commander. It would take weeks — if not months — to explore all the new options in detail, but for now I can […]

Yet another Ubisoft executive is out of a job in the wake of ongoing sexual misconduct allegations

Ubisoft is still feeling the effects of sexual harassment allegations at the executive level as Tommy Francois, VP of editorial and creative services, is how gone from the company entirely. Francois was previously put on administrative leave in June and widely reported to have left earlier this week, though Gamasutra's source says he was in […]

Trove interview: Gamigo on console's future, Bomber Royale, and the next class for a revamp

With Trove's fifth birthday and its Delves expansion now behind it, we're curious about what's next for the game. Gamigo's Cornelia and Coby – Product Manager and Game Designer on Trove, respectively – kindly chatted with us about that and a few other burning questions, like what's up with console, which class is next up […]

Phantasy Star Online Director on working on the original: 'The pressure was intense'

We wouldn't have Phantasy Star Online 2 without the original Phantasy Star Online – not just because numbers work like that, but because a big part of what made PSO2 possible was the foundational work done on PSO. A new interview with director Takao Miyoshi looking back on the original includes, among other things, his […]

Blizzard staffers agitate against poor worker pay as Activision-Blizzard rakes in billions

Blizzard's labor practices have been under scrutiny over the last couple of years, propelled in large part due to mass-layoffs at the top of 2019 that coincided with Blizzard's "historic" $7.5B revenue haul. Apparently, those who survived the layoffs haven't given up agitating, as a new report on Bloomberg covers the World of Warcraft, Diablo, […]

New World wraps up 'density test,' and the community is impressed

With all the activity flitting about Amazon's New World these days, you wouldn't think that the upcoming MMORPG has been delayed all the way into 2021. This past weekend, the studio ran a "density" (read "stress") test to prepare the servers for the promised pre-order preview that's coming later this month. Said density test has […]

Lord of the Rings Online opens the doors to Rohan housing and Helm's Deep

It's always a momentous occasion in Lord of the Rings Online when a brand-new type of housing is added to the servers, and today's may be even more so. The long-awaited Rohan housing is now open for purchase, offering themed premium houses for players to inhabit. Update 27.2 adds two Rohan neighborhoods with regular and […]

The Daily Grind: How can MMO communities revive a dying playerbase?

A while back, I read a Reddit thread from players of a certain small MMO who were discussing what the community could do to, well, save the game and give it the prominence it deserves. "Honestly this game is awesome, and has so much potential," the OP said. "I'd love to see it thrive – […]

The Stream Team: Speed gardening in Path of Exile

Massively OP's MJ wants to get in some more gardening before she's gone on her moving excursion. With all the packing and moving, she hasn't been able to play Path of Exile's latest league and her melee Scion nearly as much as she's wanted to. And now she'll be facing an undetermined time of being […]

Massively Uplifting: Good deeds don't take the summer off for Bungie, Niantic, and Trolls in WoW

When summer comes, some lucky folks get to take the season off. Even those who continue on their regular labors often head out on real life adventures and vacations. Conventions, family reunions, fairs and amusement parks — these were standard July activities. 2020, however, has certainly put the kibosh on many summer plans all across […]

Lord of the Rings Online community reschedules Weatherstock for September

In hindsight, Lord of the Rings Online's greatest annual player concert series couldn't have picked a worse time to try to host the event. Last month's Weatherstock was originally going to rage all day on July 18th, but that's about when the servers caught on fire and the game went mostly offline for great periods […]

Closed alpha testing results see survival sandbox Craftopia delay its early access launch

MOP's Bree and I — and probably some other staffers here — are pretty eager to see what Craftopia is all about. For those who don't remember the last time we cast eyes on this one, it styles itself as an open world survival crafting game with farming, crafting (obviously), dungeon delving, monster hunting, and […]

Black Desert addresses caster-heavy Conquest Wars, new regions, and gear progress walls

We're back once again with another set of Black Desert Heidel Ball player questions. Who knew that we'd be getting so much mileage out of an image of the Black Spirit adorably holding a microphone? In this Q&A round we get a number of answers from a wide variety of topics. One of the very […]

Fortnite's receding water level reveals a new Atlantis-like location known as Coral Castle

As the water level recedes in the battle royale island of Fortnite, more locations are revealed, yet those who have been exploring the area (when they're not being shot by other players) have been curiously peering at a particular corner of the map that was previously covered by a whirlpool that seemed to suggest a […]

ARK discusses balance changes and Genesis part 2 release, Atlas answers player questions

Hi there! Do you love some survival sandboxes developed by Studio Wildcard and Grapeshot Games? Then you're in the right place as both ARK: Survival Evolved and Atlas are in the news. Let's get to it. In ARK's latest community crunch, players are given the rather unhappy news that Genesis part 2's release is being […]

Final Fantasy XI: The Voracious Resurgence gets its own teaser site

It turns out that Final Fantasy XI will just keep going forever. The game has been pumping out monthly updates reliably ever since its supposed maintenance mode kicked off, of course, but now it's getting new story content… and as a demonstration of scope, the new story has a subtitle and even a full special […]

Path of Exile lays out a rough timeline for its next major expansion

Now that Path of Exile has effectively completed work on the Harvest League (sort of), the time has come for the devs at Grinding Gear Games to look ahead to 3.12 with a general idea of when players can expect the next League. As a result of a 14 week development cycle to create Harvest, […]

Star Citizen discusses its plans for finalizing the Stanton system

The Stanton system of Star Citizen (aka the only star system available to explore in the alpha right now) is almost fully built. Sort of. Maybe? It's a work in progress. That's the broad strokes message from the latest Calling All Devs video, though there are more specific details that should be noted before you […]

World of Warcraft ad accidentally shows up in Disney's Spaceship Earth

So for those brave foolhardy souls venturing into Walt Disney World during this year of the pandemic, it must be a surreal experience to see normally crowded parks spread out and subject to all manner of extra precautions. But it must be even more surreal when an MMORPG just happens to pop up in one […]

World of Warships enters into a crossover with Transformers for unique skins and voices

It's time for Transformers to cross over with World of Warships, and that means… ship skins. Like, seriously, that's the thing. You might think that you would get ships based on some of the numerous Transformers with sea-based alternate modes (Tidal Wave, Broadside, Seaspray, Thunderblast, Depthcharge, Splashdown, Undertow, Flattop, Manta Ray, and Waterlog all spring […]

Surivival Horror Tormented Souls Announced for 2021 Release

You might think you're alone in the dark, but you'd be wrong. 

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TombStar is a Space Western Top-Down Shooter Coming in 2021

tombstar

You've risked it all to be here, don't screw it up. 

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Manage Your Own Cult in Honey, I Joined a Cult, Coming in 2021

honey i joined a cult

Having trouble managing your cult? You might want to try Honey, I Joined A Cult. 

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The Best Racing Games on Xbox One

forza horizon 3 cockpit

There's no shortage of quality racing games on Xbox One, but which ones are the best? Take a look at which racing games we think you need to play.

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Pikmin 3 Deluxe is Coming to Nintendo Switch in October

pikmin 3 deluxe

Those little buddies called Pikmin are ready to help you out once again in Pikmin 3 Deluxe. 

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Mortal Shell Gets Release Date and New Trailer

You can tell after watching Mortal Shell's trailer it's wickedly cool. 

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Windbound Preview: I'm on a Boat

Windbound (1)

Everybody look at me, 'cause I'm sailing on a boat!

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PC Building Simulator Gets New Esports-Focused Expansion

PC Building Simulator ASUS

Have you ever dreamed of building PCs for esports teams? PC Building Simulator has got your back. 

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Ary and the Secret of Seasons Preview: Old School Charm

Ary and the Secret of Seasons

Due out on PC and consoles on 1st September, Ary and the Secret of Seasons is a third-person adventure that's dripping with old school charm.

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Horizon Zero Dawn is Stunningly Beautiful on PC

Horizon Zero Dawn Tue_Aug__4_00-39-59_2020

Horizon Zero Dawn launches on PC on Friday, and you're in for a real treat if you have a PC capable of running it at high settings.

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Brunch Club is Headed to Xbox One and PS4 Next Week

brunch club

The best time of the day happens between breakfast and lunch - brunch!

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Check Out the Reveal Trailer for Musical Puzzle Game LightBreak

lightbreak

Face the struggles of telling a story only through music in upcoming musical puzzle game LightBreak. 

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Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town Lands on PC Next Week

willy morgan and the curse of bone town

Enter a new pirate-themed adventure in Monkey Island-inspired Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town.

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This is the Zodiac Speaking is Coming to PC and Consoles in September

This is the Zodiac Speaking

Experience the chilling tale based on true facts with This is the Zodiac Speaking coming in September. 

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The Best Fighting Games on PC

Mortal Kombat 11 2 (1)

Whether you like battling with others online or taking on your friends in your living room, these are the best fighting games on PC right now.

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Find Out What Drives You in the New Project CARS 3 Trailer

Project Cars 3

"This is your journey, own it."

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The Alto Collection is Headed to PC and Consoles Next Week

The Alto Collection

The beautiful Alto Collection is finally making its way to PC and Consoles. 

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Hellbound Review

Hellbound 2 (1)

Hellbound is an enjoyable first-person shooter that offers old-fashioned balls-to-the-wall action, but it's over far too soon.

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Spider-Man is Coming to Marvel's Avengers, But Only on PlayStation

Your friendly neighborhood superhero is joining the Avenger's in their new adventure. 

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Blasphemous The Stir of Dawn Update is Now Live

Blasphemous The Stir of Dawn

The Game Kitchen's excellent Blasphemous has just got even better thanks to its latest update. The Stir of Dawn is essentially free DLC.

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Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition for PC Review

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the shining beacons of what Sony's first-party studios created this past generation. A new IP from Guerrilla Games that saw them stepping away from the first-person shooter series Killzone to create something that felt utterly new and distinctive. Robotic animals roam the Earth as humanity has reverted to tribalistic forms of living; it's a fantastical setting, and one with a deeply engaging hard sci-fi lore that's just begging to be uncovered.

The twinned stories of Horizon Zero Dawn see Aloy stepping out into this world and the tale of how this version of the Earth came to be, driving you forward just as much as the robot-hunting action RPG gameplay. Scouting out a herd of robots, quietly taking out their Watchers and then taking down the beasts for the resources you need is one thing, but battling the larger and much more fearsome beasts, using all manner of tech-infused rustic weaponry is another. It remains a fantastic combination and is sure to be a game that PC players will enjoy discovering for the first time.

However, revisiting the game in 2020 highlights the step forward that Guerrilla Games can take with Horizon Forbidden West. The opening tutorial areas plod along to a certain extent, not helped by the game's insistence that you "Follow!" Rost and stick to his shifting waypoint – can we make the way Ghost of Tsushima's NPCs match your speed an industry standard now, please? – and if I found the dialogue animations wooden in 2017, then the same is true here. I genuinely find it a bit creepy how Aloy just locks eyes and never lets go throughout her intensely earnest questioning of other people. As compelling as the main story is, the sidequests and interactions with other quest givers is much more formulaic.

It plays well on mouse and keyboard – I'd definitely recommend pulling the FOV all the way out to 100º, compared to the default 70º – the precision of a mouse helping with those precise bow and arrow shots to the weak points of the robots. Of course, you can always plug in a gamepad, and even pretend like you're playing on Xbox One.

The disappointment really comes from Horizon Zero Dawn's level of optimisation on PC, in particular, because it follows in the wake of Death Stranding coming to PC, which saw Kojima Productions adopt Guerrilla Games' Decima Engine for their creation.

Guerrilla Games have kitted the game out with plenty of display and graphics options to customise the game to suit your set up. There's full ultra-widescreen support, you can adjust the FOV to pull the camera further away from Aloy, and a mixture of V-Sync, frame rate limits, frame rate targeting, and render scaling.

Coming from the semi-fixed quality targets of the game on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro, there's not quite as much leeway to improve the graphics than can be found in games designed with PC in mind from the off. You have an "Original" preset, which sets all of the settings to Medium, but can preview what each of the settings means as you flick through from Low to Ultra. In some cases these affect the level of detail settings and how close to the camera detail is culled to preserve performance, though Guerrilla has added a number of improved lighting, reflection and other effects over the PS4.

It's interesting to note that, while Death Stranding embraced Nvidia's DLSS 2.0 to use machine learning image reconstruction for increased detail at lower resolutions, and also had AMD's FidelityFX CAS for less nuanced image sharpening, neither of those technologies is present in Horizon Zero Dawn on PC. The irony, of course, being that the game used checkerboarding on PS4 Pro in order to upscale from 1800p to 2160p. You can try and enable these techniques via your GPU drivers, but it's not a part of the game.

The original game was locked to a 30fps target, even if you turned on the PS4 Pro's "favour performance" mode which knocked the game resolution down to 1080p but only shored up the frame rate at that 30fps level. PCs can quite easily smash that performance target… but not quite as well as I had expected.

With an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 and Vega56 combo, my gaming PC is still fairly high-end and easily outstrips what is found in the PS4 Pro. In the vast majority of games, I can simply set the graphics to the highest preset and enjoy a locked 60FPS at 1080p. In fact, with Death Stranding, I can savour the game's gorgeous landscapes with a frame rate around 90FPS with the graphics at maximum. The same cannot be said of Horizon Zero Dawn.

The benchmarking tool gives a rosy picture, with 1080p60 looking a cakewalk and even a solid 4K30 possible with its swooping fly-through of Meridian city, but it's misleading. When actually playing the game the story is quite different. Repeating a run through a stretch near Mother's Heart, I could only muster a frame rate in the high 40s at original graphics and 1080p. Step that up to Ultimate at 1080p, and it was the low 30s, while 4K is consistently in the high teens. It improves when heading into later biomes, like the desert and frozen north, but it's never meeting that 60fps target for me.

We can rule out driver and pre-release builds for this – this was with the day one patch installed and the Radeon 20.8.1 drivers, both intended to shore up performance and released this morning. We also briefly tested the game on the same system we reviewed Death Stranding on – an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 and Nvidia GTX 1060 – to similarly mediocre results. Running through the same stretches of the world and performance is not close to what we expect from a PC meeting the Recommended specifications, which can take Death Stranding in its stride.

So what's the reason for this? It's easy to point fingers and cry about poor optimisation, but there are also significant stylistic differences. The rough Icelandic style terrain of Death Stranding is gorgeous, but Horizon Zero Dawn has much, much denser foliage and more trees that cast more complex shadows, both of which are frame-rate sapping challenges. I am quite certain that Guerrilla Games could continue to work and optimise their game further, and hope they do, because it feels below par on our hardware.

While performance is a disappointment, the game is more than playable and can still be much more fluid than the console version. You will just have to accept that you won't be seeing 60FPS on anything but an ultra-high-end PC.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition brings Guerrilla Games' fantastic sci-fi adventure to a whole new audience, but PC players used to ultra-high frame rates will have to accept a step down in performance as they enjoy Aloy's journey.


Mortal Shell release date has been confirmed, and it will be out in a couple of weeks

PlayStack and Cold Symmetry have announced the release date for Mortal Shell, and players will not have to wait long. Mortal Shell will be released on August 18th for PS4, Xbox One, and Epic Games Store on PC as a digital release. A Steam release will occur in 2021 after the exclusivity period is finished. A price point of $29.99/€29.99/£24.99 has been set for Mortal Shell. PlayStack confirmed that the beta had 350,000 players in one week.

Cold Symmetry's four co-founders  Andrew McLennan-Murray, Anton Gonzalez, Dmitry Parkin, and Vitaly Bulgarov said in a joint statement:

"Launching Mortal Shell worldwide is a dream come true. Our commitment to our fans is to create a soulslike game that is authentic, uncompromising and unrelenting. We were humbled by the popularity of the beta and we closely studied the feedback we received to create something that we are incredibly proud of."

In our preview piece for Mortal Shell, Jason wrote:

Mortal Shell is set in a predictably grim fantasy world. Everything is horrific, monsters roam all around, and you can't even pick up a lute and play it without being assaulted for merely existing. I did actually spend some time playing a lute, but we'll get back to that. You play as this creepy husk of a humanoid, but despite this perceived frailty, you've actually got some interesting powers. The most interesting of these by far is the unique ability to jump into defeated warriors. This grants you better stats, as well as access to their varying skillset as you do battle.

You start off terrible, but then the more you play, the better you get, until you're skilled and powerful enough to shred your enemies like they're nothing. Mortal Shell already seems to have that feeling perfected, and I'm really excited to jump into the full game when it arrives.

You can read the Mortal Shell preview here.

Source: Press Release


Street Fighter V Season 5 roadmap confirms four of the five new fighters

Capcom has held its Street Fighter V Summer update today with the likes of Director Nakayama-san and Producer Matsumoto-san revealing details about Season 5. There is a lot of content incoming from this winter with five new fighters confirmed as part of the new season. Those fighters include Dan Hibiki, Rose, Oro, and Akira Kazama. The fifth character is yet to be announced by Capcom and will be revealed in due course. You can watch some early footage of Dan below.

Capcom released the roadmap for Street Fighter V Season V. In the roadmap, it confirmed that Dan would be released in Winter 2020 along with a new stage, battle mechanic, battle balance update, and new costumes. Then in Spring 2021 Rose makes a grand entrance along with another new stage, and new costumes. In Summer 2021, Oro and Akira Kazama will be added to the roster mix, once again with new costumes and a new stage. Then in Fall/Autumn 2021 the mystery character will be released for players to fight with a further new stage, new costumes, and another battle balance update. However, Capcom has stated that things could change with timings.

Back in May, Capcom confirmed the existence of the fifth season for Street Fighter V, and in a statement the company wrote:

We know our players are wondering what's next for Street Fighter V, so we have some exciting news to share. Due to the positive reception to Season 4 and Champion Edition, we are planning to do a final Season "V", which will add "V" more fighters to the roster. Three new stages are also being planned.

Street Fighter V is currently available on PS4 and PC.

Source: Capcom


UFC 4's latest fighter ratings reveal Conor McGregor, Daniel Cormier, and Demetrius Johnson stats

EA has released the next set of fighter ratings for UFC 4, and we are now in the top 20 ranked fighters in the game. Among the list which goes from 20 to 11 are Conor McGregor, Petr Yan, Justin Gaethje, Rose Namajunas, Daniel Cormier, TJ Dillashaw, Jorge Masvidal, Max Holloway, Alex Volkanowski, and Demetrius Johnson. Just like the previous ratings the fighter stats here show the fighters' health, striking, and grapple ability out of five stars which gives them an overall star rating.

Rank Fighter Weight Class Overall Striking OVR Grapple OVR Health OVR
20 Conor McGregor Male Lightweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 3.5 STAR 4 STAR
19 Petr Yan Male Bantamweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 3.5 STAR 4.5 STAR
18 Justin Gaethje Male Lightweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 3.5 STAR 4.5 STAR
17 Rose Namajunas Female Strawweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR
16 Daniel Cormier Male Heavyweight 4.5 STAR 4 STAR 5 STAR 4.5 STAR
15 TJ Dillashaw Male Bantamweight 4.5 STAR 5 STAR 4 STAR 4.5 STAR
14 Jorge Masvidal Male Welterweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4 STAR 4.5 STAR
13 Max Holloway Male Featherweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4 STAR 4.5 STAR
12 Alex Volkanowski Male Featherweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4 STAR 4.5 STAR
11 Demetrious Johnson Male Flyweight 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR 4.5 STAR

 

You can find the previously confirmed fighter ratings here, here, and here. UFC 4 was announced during the UFC 251 event, with EA giving us a look at their upcoming fighting game. Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury were also confirmed as pre-order DLC characters.

We spoke to them about how they're trying to make the game more responsive than ever, and how there's a real focus on letting you take your custom fighters into any game mode – find the full interview here. We also checked in on why they were ditching Ultimate Team for the game, and if and how they will be adding support for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

For now, UFC 4 will only be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 14th August.

Source: EA


Wreckfest Summer Smasher tournament live, adds Hellvester vehicle

Bugbear Entertainment have let loose the Hellvester, kicking off their Wreckfest Summer Smasher August tournament.

This comes as part of a live update that will be available for free to everyone who already owns a copy of the game on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Wreckfest players are invited to take on a series of seasonal challenges and can even get behind the wheel of monstrous aforementioned Hellvester, a modified combine harvester ready to churn up anything that gets in its path.

Since launch, Wreckfest has received a number of free update as well as paid DLC expansions including a Season Pass loaded with vehicles and many, many customisation options.

From racing lawnmowers to monster trucks, Wreckfest has a range of game modes and events that are generally aimed at having fun watching the advanced vehicle damage systems at play.

Thomas reviewed the game almost a year ago after Wreckfest made its long-awaited debut on consoles having spent a prolonged period in early access. Scoring the game a 9/10, here's what he had to say:

What's curious about Wreckfest is that it aims to mix the crash and burn gratification of the demolition derby type games with more serious racing games, creating an interesting hybrid of simulation and arcade racing in one petrol-infused experience.

When Wreckfest isn't proving itself a capable racer, it's also throwing you in a demolition derby filled with combine harvesters, or forcing you to wreck Reliant Robins while driving a school bus. The career mode throws some genuinely whacky scenarios in your direction and just lets you have unmitigated fun.

Wreckfest is a surprising triumph in blending the best that sim and arcade racers have to offer in an explosive and visually gratifying package. A few visual issues and overly aggressive AI do little to spoil one of the best driving games of 2019.

For those unfamiliar with Bugbear, this is the same Finnish studio that brought us Ride Racer: Unbounded, as well as FlatOut 2 and FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage. That explains a lot.

Source: Press Release


Necromunda: Underhive Wars gets release date and gameplay trailer

Rogue Factor and Focus Home Interactive have given Warhammer fans their first proper look at Necromunda: Underhive Wars, a third person strategy game based on the popular Games Workshop license.

They also confirmed a release date for Necromunda: Underhive Wars, which will launch simultaneously on PC an consoles – including PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – next month on September 8th.

Necromunda is a name that should be instantly familiar to those who love their tabletop gaming. Created by Games Workshop in 1995, it's a skirmishing spin-off from their ever-popular Warhammer 40,000 franchise.

However, there are key differences between Necromunda and 40K. Instead of massive pitched battles between two sci-fi armies and their machines of war, Necromunda is set within a sprawling dystopian city that has definite Mad Max and Judge Dredd undertones. After falling off the grid in the early 2000s, Games Workshop recently brought Necromunda back to life with a new iteration of the popular skirmishing tabletop game. Here's the official blurb:

Necromunda: Underhive Wars brings you closer to the action than any tactical game before, giving you an over-the-shoulder view of every lethal takedown, brutal melee engagement and explosive firefight. Dive deep in the twisted, vertiginous, dark tunnels of the Underhive in this tactical RPG's compelling story campaign and Salvage Operations, where rival gangs will fight to the bitter end for personal power, wealth, survival and the honour of their Houses. Lead, grow and customize your gangs in action-packed, persistent game modes, where you'll bring your forces to fight against the AI, or with up to three other players online. The choices, and consequences, are yours – only the strongest will survive.

From what we've seen of Necromunda it already looks like a huge step up for developer Rogue Factor. Their previous game, Mordheim: City of the Damned, was another Games Workshop adaptation focused on their now-defunct Warhammer Fantasy setting.

What's particularly impressive is how the game will allow you to customise, develop (and thereby become attached to) your warband. We'll hopefully see more of Necromunda and its playable factions ahead of its release next month.

Source: Press Release


Pikmin 3 Deluxe is the latest Switch port of a Wii U game – original release delisted from eShop store

Nintendo have announced Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be coming to Nintendo Switch on 30th October. It's the latest in a long, long line of Switch ports of the company's Wii U games, augmenting it with DLC and additional features.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe amps up the game's co-op in particular, with the ability to play the whole Story mode in co-op, the addition of new side-story missions (which can also be played in co-op), and the Deluxe release bundling all the Mission mode DLC from the Wii U version. Oh, and there's head-to-head multiplayer in Bingo Battle.

There's also new difficulty options, lock-on targeting, optional hints and a more relaxed difficulty mode for those who'd rather things weren't quite so frantic.

Pikmin is a cult classic series, with the intrepid interstellar adventures of lead character Olimar always leading to him crash-landing and needing to enlist the help the colourful little Pikmin to help him get his ship back together.

We reviewed Pikmin 3 all the way back in 2013, with Al saying:

Pikmin 3 is unlikely to change the fate of the Wii U and the current direction the platform holder is taking, despite being a hugely enjoyable game. It's deep enough to keep you hooked, although there's not quite enough meat on the bones to warrant a second look. For fans of the earlier two games this can be considered an essential continuation of the series and one that definitely deserves a place on your shelf; for anyone new to the series, they might – wrongly – leave wondering what the fuss was all about.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe will be out with a full game price tag of $60, but in a somewhat cheeky move, Nintendo have delisted the original Wii U version of the game from the eShop store. That was priced at $20, obviously undercutting the price of the Switch release, and Nintendo have seen fit (just as they did with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze) to remove the option. To be fair though… if you wanted Pikmin 3 on Wii U, you'd probably already have it by now, or would be able to grab a physical copy second hand.

Source: press release, Nintendo Everything


Fall Guys had over 1.5 million players in its first 24 hours, despite server troubles

It's a good thing the Fall Guys have got so much soft squidgyness to them, because they fell over a lot yesterday. I am, of course, talking about the game's servers being overwhelmed by the game's surge in popularity on day one, and now Mediatonic have revealed just how popular their Takeshi's Castle 'em up was in the first 24 hours.

That's right, over 1.5 million players ran headlong into walls of doors, spinny hammer and swinging balls, and it's this sheer demand that overwhelmed the company's servers. That was obviously helped by the game being dropped in the laps of PlayStation Plus subscribers as one of August's free games, but it was always going to be a streaming darling, and shot to the top of Twitch as well.

The servers got so bad that the social media team got all in a flutter and set up an owl-based Twitter account for the game's servers!

We were playing the game last weekend in the last technical beta test before release and had an absolute ball. Read our Fall Guys preview here, where Jim said:

Tied up in such a cheeky, vibrant package, Fall Guys has the makings of a true multiplayer marvel and one that touts slapstick silliness over a constant barrage of blood and bullets. We'll be throwing ourselves into this mad little game on launch day and we'll surely be grinning from ear to ear as we do.

Last night saw the game's trophy list revealed, with no small amount of puns and trolling of those trying to earn the sacred platinum. Those aiming to unlock the Fall Guys platinum trophy will undoubtedly struggle when it comes to completing the conditions for "Infallible" – a gold trophy which requires you to come first five times in a row. A trophy the dev team can't see anyone unlocking unless you truly are a Fall Guys deity.

Devolver Digital and Mediatonic have revealed their content roadmap for the game (when it comes back online).

So, it looks like we're due to see new rounds added to Fall Guys, as well as unlockable costumes (well a cactus costume, at least) and "new features" the developers aren't ready to announce just yet.

Source: Twitter


For Honor unveils new Warmonger hero, combat overhaul update

Ubisoft have announced the details surrounding its latest For Honor update which will be dropping tomorrow, on August 6th.

This new For Honor title update can be split into three parts, including a new playable hero: The Warmonger. She's styled on the singleplayer campaign's antagonist, Apollyon, and although we have plenty of sword-wielding heroes among For Honor's ranks, The Warmonger is proof that, yet again, the developers are able to breathe new life into their unique fighting game:

The Warmongers are determined to become the new leaders of Heathmoor. With renegades from all factions among their ranks, they wear grim masks as an homage to the fallen wolves who knew the true nature of war. The Warmongers prey upon enemies with their elegant flamberge and use a dark power named Corruption to weed out the weak.

In short, The Warmonger is an adaptable vanguard class fighter who is easy to learn with attacks such as a undodgeable charging top heavy, a parry impale that inflicts bleed, and a unique clawing attack that can be weaved into a variety of combos.

Rise of the Warmongers is a new For Honor in-game event and one that has a free battle pass loaded with unlockable cosmetic goodies. The third, and most significant part of this update is the long-awaited combat design refresh as explained in-depth below.

For a long time the For Honor team have been teasing changes to the game's core combat system. These have gone through rigorous testing between the developers and player community, geared towards making the gameplay more fun and active.

At a glance it may appear as though not much has changed but beneath the hood Ubisoft Montreal have sculpted the combat system to favour a more offensive style of play. Attack speeds, damage, and stamina costs have all been adjusted, rewarding dynamic play and mix-ups while discouraging players from "turtling", making defence more read-focused as opposed to being reactionary.

Other changes include quicker attack recovery with most attacks also having a lower damage output. On top of that, the first 100ms of each attack animation is hidden, which helps gear For Honor towards encouraging offensive strategies.

Attack consistency has also been improved, making inputs more accessible while adjusting animations and the timing of indicators.

There's a lot of nitty gritty details that have been reworked, many of which go completely over our heads despite putting dozens of hours into the game. Ubisoft Montreal have published an in-depth guide on how attacks, inputs, and delays are changing as part of the core combat update.

Above is a slowed down GIF of the changes. We've summed up the major combat update changes here:

• Fight Moves speeds more consistent and faster over the network
• Stamina Penalties removed
• Stamina Cost of Lights Adjusted
• Damage values adjusted
• Recoveries normalized (Frame Advantage / Frame Disadvantage)
• Adjusted sub- 500ms opening attack speed
• Adjusted Dodge Attack Speed
• Hero-Specific Changes (ex: Orochi)
• Feats Changes
• Zone Attack Input comfortability improved

Source: Press Release


The cake is not a lie: Asda and Tesco to stock the official Xbox Controller cake

I am sure you have seen the videos that are doing the rounds on the internet showing seemingly real objects that are actually amazing cakes. Good news, soon you can have your ultra realistic Xbox controller cake to fool your friends!

Laugh hilariously as the pick it up to play Halo and find it's made of sponge and icing! Chuckle as they press a button and find their thumb sinking in to the cakey goodness! What japes you can have! Let's take a look a the cake…

Oh. Well it's, er, close I guess? Maybe.If you squint.

The controller is a sponge cake with a later of scrummy raspberry jam and edible decorations, is nut free, and will be coming to Asda and Tesco next month.

In other Xbox news, Microsoft have announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be gaining free game streaming via Project xCloud on 15th September. From that date, any subscriber in 22 countries will be able to play over 100 games from the service on Android phones and tablets. This will include Xbox Games Studios titles as they launch into Xbox Game Pass later this year and beyond.

Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Leaning on Android's support for bluetooth controllers, you'll be able to play using the official Xbox One controller or DualShock 4 – if you were looking for something to use it for in future – with additional controllers and accessories coming from Razer, PowerA, 8BitDo, and Nacon to either attach a phone to a controller, or some Joy-Con style controllers to the side of a phone or tablet.

The following games have been confirmed, but the full line up of titles will effectively just be the games that are available on Game Pass in mid-September, with Microsoft adding and taking from the library each month.

  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Crackdown 3 (campaign)
  • Destiny 2
  • F1 2019
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Gears of War 4
  • Gears 5 Ultimate Edition
  • Grounded
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Killer Instinct Definitive Edition
  • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Quantum Break
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
  • State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • Tell Me Why
  • The Bard's Tale Trilogy
  • Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
  • Wasteland 3
  • Wasteland Remastered
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2

Source: Twitter

P.S. I am legally required to use the Portal quote when cakes are mentioned, I know it's tiresome, sorry. 


Windbound mixes the survival genre with a gust of Wind Waker magic

The survival game genre is one that's been well ploughed over the last few years, with hugely popular titles like The Forest, Subnautica, Don't Starve, Grounded and plenty more lighting up the best sellers charts. There's something that players find so compelling about being stranded in a hostile environment, forced to fend for themselves and regularly hunker down to survive the elements and enemies that will attack you.

Windbound takes some of the fundamental elements of the genre and blends it with an ever-changing environment. You see, instead of setting down roots, founding a new base and then regularly venturing out from a fixed point, you take your base with you from island to island. Your base, if you couldn't already guess, is a boat.

The game starts with Kara finding herself shipwrecked in a heavy storm, seemingly at the hands of a gigantic Nautilus sea monster. Thankfully, that's not the end of her – this would be a very, very short game if it were – and she wakes up on a frankly idyllic little island with nothing to hand but her trusty little knife. Exploring this new land, it's not long before you find the Oar of the Ancestors atop an unusual rock formation, the oar responding to kara's touch and the necklace that she wears, and giving you the key tool with which you can set sail once more and start to reveal more of the game's story.

The boat makes for an intriguing change of pace, starting off with a simple canoe made of grass and then expanding it to have multiple pontoons, decking, a sail, and everything that you need to be able to gather from each island you visit and craft new gear to prepare you for the next. In truth, we only got to scratch the surface of what's possible here, our play time giving us a relatively short window to see the game's opening moments, and then jump ahead a few chapters to see how the boat can evolve. By the fourth chapter, you should easily have two or three hulls strapped together with a basic platform on it, as well as a fire that you can stoke to cook food and a cooker for concocting potions.

Regardless of the size of your boat, it's a wonderful feeling as you sail between islands. The camera starts to feel more dynamic, the sounds become more evocative of crossing the open waters, and there's a real The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker vibe, thanks in part to the stylised visuals. It's nowhere near as toon-like as Wind Waker, perhaps coming by way of Breath of the Wild, but there's certainly some common ground to be found.

The music that accompany this is lovely, injecting playfulness, tension, drama and majesty as they're required. The light and joyous plucked strings as you chase after little wild pigs on the first island make way for groaning didgeridoo-like sounds as you encounter the strange and unnatural rock formations. The up tempo drums that thump as you fight territorial animals switch to sweeping piano and strings when you take to the seas and head over to a new landmass. The only thing I feel is missing at times is the sound of the ocean, which I'd love to have a far greater presence than it does. It is there, but it's often so low in the audio mix that it feels completely absent.

Though the game is procedurally generated, the opening chain of small islands are more tightly constrained to ease players into the adventure. The grass is vibrantly green, there's adorable little wild pigs running around and little danger as you get your fingers and thumbs around the basic controls and menus.

There is a touch of awkwardness to be found in these early interactions, in my opinion. Inventory management is always a tricky game element to design, and while it's simple enough to bring up the inventory and crafting screen, I always felt that I was looking at the wrong part of the screen, expecting something to be in the foreground when it was in the background, and then flipping back and forth as I try to find my place – it's like trying to plug a USB cable in at the first try. It's not helped by the crafting menu being sub-divided into pages to flip through, instead of a large scrollable list. I'm sure there's a reason for that later into the game, do help sort a ballooning crafting system, but it feels a bit too obtuse early on.

You start off with an inventory size that's just the wrong side of being too small, but this can be expanded in a couple of ways. First, you'll likely find the materials needed to create a simple storage unit to strap onto the front of your canoe, but this gives you a hilariously small new storage pool. Later upgrades can switch from grass and leaves to using bamboo and wood, giving you sturdier materials for your boat – which you might need if and when pesky little crabs hop on and start chomping away! – and offering better and more advanced upgrades. Of course, you'll also be able to craft a bag to expand your carry on luggage as well.

As you venture into each chapter's new map, you'll be charting the unknown, trying to pick out what might be an island from the thick clouds that seem to line the horizon. There's some great potential for varied biomes here, and we got to see a big shift from those serene patches of vibrantly colourful lands at the start of the game as we sailed to an imposing, murky island surrounded almost entirely by rocks. If the swampy atmosphere didn't already scream "Danger!", then the giant frog and explosively toxic plants should do.

In truth, danger seems to only really be there if you go looking for it. You'll need to hunt animals in order to take their bones, hides and meats and craft them into new tools or cook to give you health and energy, but they're not defenceless. Whether it's a wild boar, a pair of rhino-like beasts, or gigantic frogs, you'll need a deft touch to dodge their attacks and strike back. It's not the most challenging experience from what we saw, and the combat controls feel intuitive across knives, spears, slingshot and bow and arrow, but get your timing wrong and you'll take some hooves to the face a few times too many. If you're not looking for a fight at that time, it's pretty easy to just run away during these early parts of the game.

The survival genre brings with it a bit of a reputation, with many of the most popular examples making a name for themselves through Early Access. Rough edges are often the name of the day as often small indie devs have to manage the tricky balancing act of fixing bugs, adding new content and managing their newfound audience. Windbound neatly skirts around that problem by releasing in a finished form – what a novel concept! – and from the small amount of time we spent with the game, it certainly seemed well put together.

With a gorgeous art style, wonderful atmosphere and an intriguing take on the survival game genre, Windbound is absolutely one to keep an eye on when it comes to Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC and Stadia later this month.


Marvel's Avengers beta shows promise for Earth's Mightiest Heroes

Going into the Marvel's Avengers beta there was a fair bit of scepticism on my part. Being a fan of superheroes and Marvel in particular there is a mixture of excitement in having a AAA game where the iconic heroes team up and some trepidation on how that would all actually work. The Marvel's Avengers beta gives a taste of what players can expect from the main game, and it looks promising, though not without a few issues.

In the beta you can play through 3 main story modes, some War Zones, Drop Zones, and a secondary mission focused on Hulk. Starting out with the A-Day level (the same one that was playable at last year's E3) players will get to grips with each of the core Avengers team including Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Black Widow. It's a good mission that gives you a chance to try out the different combat styles of each, from the close quarters fisticuffs of Black Widow and Captain America, to more of the ranged and weapon based combat of Thor and Iron Man. Meanwhile Hulk is a tank that can take out groups quickly while tearing through scenery as he's apt to do. Each Avenger can slot three super abilities to the shoulder buttons that charge up after use and can help level the playing field when needed.

After A-Day the other campaign missions centre around Kamala Khan (AKA Ms. Marvel) and Hulk, with Kamala firmly in the spotlight. Although she's existed in the pages of Marvel comics for almost a decade now, she's not as established as the other Avengers, yet she's arguably the most fun to play of the lot. When she Embiggens, bosses become much less of a challenge too. As a character she's quirky and relatable, due to the fact she's an Avengers fangirl herself who often finds it hard to contain her excitement in their presence. Even when Black Widow and Iron Man become unlockable, bringing the roster up to four characters in the beta, Ms Marvel is the character I kept going back to.

Drop Zone missions in the beta do begin to feel quite repetitive. You either must take out an elite AIM squad, destroy turbines, hold an area, or engage in a domination-like match to get hold of control points. I hope the missions are more varied in the final release of Marvel's Avengers. The environments are samey too, but that would be down to the limited locations in the beta. The full game should have plenty more on offer, depending on where the Avengers find themselves exploring during the main story.

As you play missions you will find gear that improves character power levels in an of RPG-lite way, similar to the looter shooter progression of Destiny and Borderlands. You will only get gear for the character you are controlling, so if you want power parity you will have to replay missions with the other characters to get that gear. That forces you to get used to playing with the different Avengers, but it can get repetitive, in the same way running multiple characters in looter shooters tend to involve a fair bit of grinding. Gear does not change the appearance of characters, with that solely happening when new costumes are unlocked.

The Chimera is the main hub for the Avengers, and it is huge. Unfortunately, your walking speed feels very slow, so it can take a bit of time to get from one part of the ship to another. Just a slight increase in walking speed could help alleviate that, and I have another very slight nit-pick here as well: I do not like the sound the doors make when they shut! They sound sci-fi, but also make it seem like the doors are saying "thoka" (hard th not soft), and in Punjabi that means spit. Every time a door shuts, I hear it saying "spit" at me. I'm sure it's nothing more than a coincidence, but it is there!

The Marvel's Avengers beta gives more than a quick glimpse of what to expect from Crystal Dynamics newest game. This is a large helping of content from the game and after spending a few hours picking away at it, we've come away finally understanding exactly what this game is and what the Tomb Raider studio is trying to achieve. So far it's coming together nicely, and while not exactly revolutionary we're impressed with how it enables a group of radically different Avengers to fight side-by-side. Let's just hope the story can inherit some of that MCU magic and that we see more mission variety when the game finally touches down on September 4th.


Hunt: Showdown update 1.11 rolls out bug fixes, Legendary content

Crytek have released a new patch for their experimental bounty hunting, battle royale game, Hunt: Showdown.

The upate for PC version 1.4.2 is now available, as are the official patch notes which we've listed below. These same changes will be coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One via console update 1.11.

So, what changes can Hunt: Showdown players expect from 1.4.2? Crytek have added a clutch of new Legendary gear including three pieces of equipment and two weapons.

Meanwhile, the team have been working on a new wave of balances alongside general gameplay improvements and a raft of bug fixes.

Hunt: Showdown update 1.4.2. (console 1.11) patch notes

New Legendary Content

"LeMonnier's Kit"

  • First Aid Kit
  • Description: "Dr. LeMonnier was fatefully suspicious of Huff's actions in the asylum, and though this First Aid Kit can stem heavy bleeding, it could not stop the pinprick injection that transformed him into another experiment."

"Steel Eye"

  • Spyglass
  • Description: "The determined pursuit of one's goals requires a clarity of ambition. Those with a headstrong mentality – said to be steely-eyed – see their targets clearly with this looking glass."

"Rising Sun"

  • Flare Pistol
  • Description: "This inlaid Flare Pistol glints brilliantly in the magnesium rays of its discharge. A small detail, appreciated by connoisseurs of the night."

"Steel Sprung"

  • Hand Crossbow
  • Description: "More than just a showpiece of its smith's skill, this complex Hand Crossbow is wrought from fine materials with expert machining, proving deadly and powerful."
  • Exclusive Legendary Rewards:

"The Auger"

  • Lebel 1886 Talon
  • Description: "Scrawled in blood on this Lebel 1886 Talon are the ritual markings that make it possible to divine the future. Amongst the Hunters, some with this ability are called Augers."

General Updates

Audio

  • When a Hunter stops burning, an "extinguish" sound effect is now played.
  • Reduced the amount of reverb and ambience played inside of underground and prison areas.
  • Reduced impact of Lightfoot on water land sfx.

Gunplay

General

  • Updated the Damage of Duster Heavy Attacks from 67 to 72, allowing it to kill Hellhounds with 1 attack to the head, bringing its performance very close to that of the Knife.
  • Updated the Damage of Knuckle Knife Light Attacks from 45 to 58, now killing Grunts, Hives and Hellhounds with 2 Light attacks.
  • Changed Damage resistance of Hellhound heads to allow Machete and Heavy Knife Light Attacks to perform 1 hit kills.

Frag Bomb

  • Reduced minimum damage at the edge of the explosion radius.
  • Reduced effectiveness of the explosion reaching targets behind cover.

Hunter

Traits

Adrenaline

  • Now unlocks at Rank 1.
  • Now activates when health is below (not equal) 50 hp.
  • Previous threshold was 25 hp.

Gator Legs
"Walk and sprint faster in deep water. Also make less noise while crouched in water."
Decreases movement speed penalty in deep water.
Stamina consumption is still lower as a result now.
Water effect sounds caused by moving while crouched have reduced volume now.

Conduit
"Get a health and stamina boost when picking up a Clue, Rift, or Bounty token"
Heals 50 hp, same as before.
Instantly refills melee and sprint stamina.
Takes effect when any bounty token is transferred to the player (even via Serpent).

Ghoul

  • Decreased cost from 4 to 2 upgrade points.

Resilience

  • Decreased cost from 4 to 2 upgrade points.

Dauntless

  • Increased interaction range by 50%.

Beastface

  • Decreased cost from 5 to 3 upgrade points.

Decoy Supply

  • "Restock all types of Decoys from ammo crates."
  • Restocks one Decoy Fuse per crate now.
  • Restocks more Decoys and Blankfire Decoys now.

Trials Mode (PvE)

Stillwater Bayou

Balancing Adjustments:

Catfish Grove – "Fall Where They May":

  • Hives now spawn in a predefined Order.

Stillwater Bend – "A Futile Undertaking":

  • Immolators now spawn in a predefined order
  • Flammable Barrels instead of Explosive Barrels
  • Medium:
  • "Kill and Banish 11 Immolators" -> "Kill and Banish 10 Immolators"
  • "+ Avoid bleeding damage" -> "Kill 10 Hellhounds with fire"
  • Hard: "Avoid any Damage" -> "Avoid Fire Damage"

_Developer Note:_ The unpredictable spawns of the Immolators and Hellhounds in combination with having to avoid any kind of damage was too punishing, so we decided to adjust the challenge-requirements for the difficulty to be more in line with the other wave challenges.

Scupper Lake – "Fisherman's Tale"

  • Hellhounds have been replaced with Grunts
  • Medium: "Kill 10 Hellhounds with fire" -> "Kill 15 Grunts with fire"

The Chapel of Madonna Noire – "Fire in the Bones"

  • Immolators now spawn in a predefined order
  • Medium:
  • "Kill and Banish 8 Immolators" -> "Kill and Banish 10 Immolators"
  • "Kill 15 Hellhounds with fire" -> "Kill 10 Hellhounds with fire"

Wave Trials

  • "Not All For Show" – Alain & Son's Fish – Mind your steps as you try to figure out the best route to complete the Parkour in time. Oh, and the Hives, but your dual Bornheims should be plenty to take care of them.
Lawson Delta

Parkour Trials

  • "Be Jubilant, My Feet" – Wolfshead Arsenal – A truly explosive Race through the Arsenal that will require you to make good use of all your tools and the Mosin Obrez Mace.
  • "Resist Much, Obey Little" – Fort Carmick – Armoreds have invaded the Fort and you will have to find the best way to get through them in time with your trusty Caldwell Rival and a lot of explosions.

Sniper Trials

  • "From Dust To Dust" – Sweetbell Flour – Nothing like a good crusty rustic bread, but be careful not to burn it. Use the Vetterli Deadeye to its full extend to prevent the Immolators from burning anything other than themselves.

Wave Trials

  • "Gratitude and Treachery" – Blanc Brinery – Choose your path wisely while dual wielding your Chainpistols to fight off the Armoreds and Grunts that riddle this location.
  • "The Mother of Taking Chances" – Golden Acres – Make sure to retrieve your bolts as you take out the Grunts, but don't let the Hellhounds bite you!
  • "Virtue Meets Brute Force" – Maw Battery – Make sure to use your four Dolches to their maximum extent as ammunition is limited and the targets are plenty.
  • "Exult Over Downfall" – Iron Works – While blasting Armoreds with your Explosive Crossbow is fine, be sure to use precision when taking out the grunts.
  • "Reap the Whirlwind" – Brickworks – Nothing quite like blowing up Meatheads with your Bomb Lance! But beware the Hives or things can get out of hands really quick!

Exclusive Rewards:

  • Unlock Legendary Lebel 1886 Talon "The Auger" when reaching 70 Trial Stars

World

  • Windows can now be opened or closed (like doors) while cooking a throwable item.

Store

  • Reduced the cost of the Knuckle Knife to 15 Hunt Dollars.
  • Reduce the cost of the Heavy Knife to 25 Hunt Dollars.
  • Changed unlock Rank for Trait Adrenaline to Rank 1.
  • Changed Upgrade point costs:
  • Reduce the cost of the Resilience from 4 to 2
  • Reduce the cost of the Ghoul trait from 4 to 2 Upgrade Points.
  • Reduce the cost of the Beastface trait from 5 to 3 Upgrade Points.
  • Reduce the cost of the Gator Leg trait to 2 Upgrade Points.

New Legendary Weapons

  • Added First Aid Kit "LeMonnier's Kit" for 200 Blood Bonds
  • Added Spyglass "Steel Eye" for 200 Blood Bonds
  • Added Flare Pistol "Rising Sun" for 200 Blood Bonds
  • Added Hand Crossbow "Steel Sprung" for 400 Blood Bonds

Exclusive Legendary Rewards:

  • Added Lebel 1886 Talon "The Auger" at 70 stars

Bug Fixes

General
  • Fixed an issue where Hunters equipped with dual wield weapons had the wrong pose in the menu and weapons were not attached to the model's hands.
  • Fixed an issue where some Hunters could not be burned.
  • Fixed an issue where the Dauntless trait would works through walls.
  • Fixed a bug where the statistics for 'Wellspring bounty' did not display the correct number (includes Rifts).
  • Fixed a bug where if the user searched for a partner and canceled it instantly lead to an error message after some time.
  • Fixed a bug where the "Allow teams of three" checkbox did not get automatically checked when creating a steam invite group of 3 players.
  • Fixed an issue where no lightning strike was triggered when the wellspring was activated for the first time.
  • Fixed an issue where players could use the First Aid Kit while being poisoned and on fire.
  • Fixed an issue where the 'being poisoned' screen effect would persist after being revived in Bounty Hunt or respawning in tutorials and trials.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented dead players from being burned again after burning was stopped once.
  • Fixed some issues where dead players might not receive fire damage when they died in uneven terrain.
  • Fixed multiple animation issues.
  • Fixed an issue where the Matchmaking System could not find players for a team even though they were the same prestige level.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Lebel Marksman and Springfield Marksman variants to have no movement slowdown when aiming down sight.
  • Fixed a bug where players could shoot 2 bullets at the same time.
  • Fixed a bug where not everything of an extracted player got removed after completing the extraction.
  • Fixed some localisation issues.
  • Fixed various crashes.
Audio
  • Fixed an issue where the outdoor ambience was audible inside a building in Lawson Delta, Lawson Station.
  • Fixed an issue where the beacon audio stops playing in the exploration mode after returning from a trial.
  • Fixed an issue where trial audio stingers overlapped each others.
  • Fixed an issue where trial audio stingers were triggered at the wrong time.
  • Dolch dual wielding reload audio is now in sync with its visuals.
  • Fixed an issue where player could start empty handed when loading into a Trial challenge that does not have weapons.
AI
  • Fixed most instances where concertina Armoureds could damage players through walls.
  • Fixed an issue where the Butcher could take no damage from Sticky Bombs.
  • Fixed an issue where the Assassin could take no damage from Sticky Bomb explosions.
  • Fixed an issue where a meatheads attack could deal irresponsibly high damage.
  • Fixed an issue where AI attacks would instantly detonate ignited red barrels which caused problems in some trials.
  • Fixed an issue where the player who ignited an Immolator was not awarded the kill after the Immolator burnt out and died.
  • Fixed an issue where AI could spawn in the same spot multiple times during a session.
  • Fixed an issue where AI wouldn't spawn during Trials.
  • Fixed an issue where AI density could vary during trials.

Trials

  • Fixed an issue where some traits would not be applied when playing a Trial.
  • Fixed an issue where the generator audio would persist on Trial restart.
UI
  • Updated the Values for the Light Melee attack with the Ammo box from 13 to 31. The damage hasn't changed, the numbers in the store has been wrong.

  • Updated the Values for the Heavy Melee attack with the Ammo box from 27 to 67. The damage hasn't changed, the numbers in the store has been wrong.

  • Fixed issues where the Leaderboards were missing entries or displaying wrong statistics.

  • Fixed an issue where sorting in the Leaderboard did not work as intended.

  • Fixed multiple issues with overlapping texts and buttons.

  • Fixed an issue in Trial Mode where only the first reward got displayed in pop up when claiming more then one.

  • Fixed an issue where equipment bar did not always update after trial start/end/restart.

  • Fixed a HUD issue where Crosshair size doesn't adjust when changing the fire mode on the Lemat mark II.

  • Fixed an issue where the Unequip button doesn't unequip dual wield weapons at once.

  • Fixed an issue in Wave Trials Mode where the banner for banishing won't show up if target AI doesn't die through player.

  • Fixed an issue in Quickplay Mode where there was no lightning present for the player that activates the wellspring.

  • Fixed a HUD issue where the upper line of ammo counter from dual-wield weapons was also visible for single weapons.

  • Fixed an issue where the dual wield icon could be displayed on large weapon slots.

  • Fixed an HUD issue where, when one bullet was missing in one weapon of a pair, not both ammo counters were displayed.

  • Fixed an issue preventing the swap of certain weapons with a legendary or dirty versions of itself.

  • Fixed an issue where the controller could freeze in certain condition.

  • Fixed an issue where a wrong calculation of weapons in roster would happen when having dual-wield equipped.

  • Fixed an issue where the dual-wield icon would still be active when user has only one and a "locked" weapon.

  • Fixed a missing shortcut on the Summary screen when playing with a controller.

  • Fixed the Dual Wield weapon icons in the weapon wheel.

  • Fixed an issue where used consumables are shown in the hunters inventory after the mission.

  • Fixed a bug where trying to exchange a dual wielded weapon for a large weapon only displayed a pick up message.

  • Fixed an issue where an incorrect image was used when picking up ammo for the Crossbow Shotbolt and Explosive variants, as well as the Poison Hand Crossbow.

  • Fixed an issue where the new host in a team of three would not have an invite button after specific steps.

Source: Steam


Modern Warfare & Warzone update 1.24 patch notes have landed, read them here

Modern Warfare update 1.24 is now rolling out, having only been available to a select group of PS4 users before Activision made the latest patch more widely available. Infinity Ward have now released the patch notes which you can read below.

Season Five: File Size and Download Instructions

Owners of the full version of Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone will have a decrease in overall footprint on console.

Please note that the Season Five update will have a download size of approximately 34-54 GB for owners of the full version of Modern Warfare and free-to-play Warzone who are up-to-date with the latest update.

PlayStation 4: 33.9 GB

Xbox One: 49.8 GB

PC: 54.2 GB (Modern Warfare owners) and 47.4 GB (Warzone only owners)

Once the new Season of content has been integrated into your game, and provided you had the update prior to Season Five installed, Modern Warfare will have a decrease in overall footprint on console.

A reminder, console players can choose also to uninstall/remove other data packs if no longer needed for a smaller overall file size.For detailed information on uninstalling/removing other data packs, read this article.

———————-

PLAYLIST UPDATE

  • Modern Warfare
    • Ground War (Adding Verdansk International Airport)
    • Blueprint Gunfight
    • Search and Destroy Double Down (12v12)
    • Face-Off (Livestock)
    • Oil Rig and Harbor 24/7
  • Warzone
    • BR Duos
    • BR Trios
    • BR Quads
    • BR Solos Buy Back (previously called BR Solos Stimulus)
    • Blood Money Quads
    • Mini Royale Trios (Fast-paced Battle Royale in condensed areas of Verdansk)

GENERAL FIXES:

  • Added Weapon Inspect!
  • Fix for an issue where store bundle images could get stuck on the previous bundle image when scrolling on PC
  • Fixes to prevent screen tearing
  • Fix for an issue where Price and Gaz occasionally lose their eye models while navigating various menus
  • Fixed a bug where, when the 'Headshots Only' option is set in a custom game, the male Operator hitboxes aren't functioning properly
  • Fix for an issue where the default scope on the Rytec AMR cannot be customized
  • Fix for a bug where Care Packages, Juggernauts, and Emergency Airdrops were not getting properly refunded to the player if getting the 'Too many vehicles, refunding killstreak' message in a Custom Game
  • Stopping Power rounds are now preserved on dropped weapons
  • Added a brief decay period when transitioning from heavy footsteps (sprint, tactical sprint) to lighter footsteps (walk). This addresses players immediately becoming quiet upon slowing down from fast movements
  • Fixed a bug where the player's choice of weapon fire and scope states were not being saved and restored after interacting with the Sentry Gun, Shield Turret, and Care Package
  • (We'll have weapon tuning and other weapon adjustments in a future patch. Stay tuned for updates.)

MODERN WARFARE:

  • Fix for invisible collision appearing in Barakett Promenade
  • Fix for a bug where the 23.0″ RPK Barrel was appearing broken in-game and in the Gunsmith menu
  • Fix for an exploit where players were able to give themselves unlimited ammo
  • Fix for an exploit using the Recon Drone and Care Package
  • The PKM – Bludgeoner will now gather ammo from any other PKM weapon
  • Fixed an issues where players were hearing the missed hit VO for the Precision Airstrike when right after calling it in
  • Added a VO line when a player's High Alert warning is triggered
  • Fixed an issue where players could receive 'wallbang' kills when shooting through players

WARZONE:

  • New Warzone loot items!
  • Gulag weapons will now rotate every week between four sets total
  • Increased effective damage range for all semi-auto DMR and semi-auto Sniper Rifles
  • Increased effective damage range for the FR 5.56
  • Fix for a bug where the player's physics could be controlled by the helicopter while they parachute out
  • Fix for an issue where players were unable to call in any Air Strikes
  • Fix for seeing invalid pings on the Heartbeat Sensor
  • Added new VO lines to warn players of enemy Recon Drones being called in near them (BR only)
  • Previously, the Most Wanted contract could respawn dead players. Now, it can respawn players in the Gulag in any state
  • Fix for the 'Alive in Gas' challenge timer

CALL OF DUTY LEAGUE:

  • Fix for an exploit while inside the blue kiosks on Piccadilly
  • New restricted attachments:
    • Muzzle – Suppressors (all)
    • Optic – Thermal Sights (all)
    • Underbarrel – Merc Foregrip

CO-OP MODES (Tac Ops, Classic Special Operations, Survival):

  • Team Ping is now enabled in these modes
  • New Challenges: Playing it Bogart – Defeat enemies in style while supporting your teammates in these Co-Op Focused Challenges

SPECIAL OPERATIONS: SURVIVAL

  • Added new map, Crash
  • Fix for exploit involving the Equipment Store

PC:

  • Improved stability
  • VRAM usage is now displayed in 2 separate bars: one for Warzone and the other for multiplayer
  • Added a keybind for Air Vehicles' Horn in the Killstreak and Vehicles tab in the Options menu

Source:Infinity Ward


WRC 9 adds Japan to it's race locations, new gameplay video revealed

NACON and KT Racing studio have announced that Rally Japan will return to the series, the first time it has been seen since 2011. You can check out some of the Japanese courses in the new gameplay trailer below.

Making its return for the first time since 2011 is Rally Japan, in which players can enjoy the thrilling mountains and forests of the Aichi and Gifu districts, that will host the WRC season's finale in November. Just like the real WRC drivers, in WRC 9 players can master the demanding course with its narrow asphalt roads and aggressive corners, while also navigating the lush environment which affects the driver's visibility.

WRC 9 will be available on September 3rd on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC from the Epic Games Store. The Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X versions will follow at a later date. Pre-orders for the game are now live and include a standard and deluxe digital editions.

We previewed the game recently and said:

There's an impressive amount of that content to be found under the hood, with those 100+ stages spread across 14 countries, and KT Games stating that over 35 of these stages are brand new. That will then come to include Rally Portugal and Rally Finland both being expanded to feature eight stages each in the months after launch. You'd be forgiven for not being able to spot what's new and what's old, especially when what I've seen of the menus and UI is nigh on identical to WRC 8, right down to the pre-rally intros. I guess you don't want to fix what isn't broken.

So there's a lot of great new rallying coming to WRC 9, and some intriguing new features that we look forward to seeing in action, but WRC 9 is maybe shaping up to be more of a transitional year for the series, taking a bit of caution as they approach a big console jump.

Source: Press release


Röki Review

If there's one thing everyone knows about Scandinavia, it's that it's the home of Ikea and Lego, but a close second would be the astonishingly rich wealth of folklore and legends – stories that have been the inspiration for titles from The Lost Vikings to the PS4 God of War. Most famous of these are the familiar exploits of Odin, Thor, and Loki, but there is more to Scandinavian folklore than those pesky gods. Röki focuses instead on a much smaller scale, almost domestic level of myth, and in doing so makes for an emotional and beautiful meditation on family and loyalty.

The backstory of Röki is a melancholic one. You play as Tove, a young girl who must look after her younger brother, Lars, as their dad has lapsed into depression after her mother died giving birth to Lars. This is a stark and emotive beginning, but one that is introduced with sensitivity and charm. Rather than focusing on this loss, the game introduces Tove's responsibility through simple daily tasks, such as keeping the fire lit and cooking the family meal. We quickly empathise with Tove's position as a girl forced into being mature before her time, an initial impression that carries through the entire game. This is in stark contrast to the classic Jim Henson movie, Labyrinth, a comparison text that often came to mind throughout Tove's adventure. In that movie, the focus is on Sarah coming of age, whereas here Tove has already had to grow up due to family tragedy.

This is heavy material, so it is a testament to Röki's success that it remains a gentle and charming experience. Tove is a brilliantly written character and demonstrates a great blend of sensible carer and naive child. Hell, even Lars isn't annoying – a rare thing indeed in gaming where younger siblings are almost always insufferable. Their father is given space to grow through the narrative as well, with the result being that all three feel like real people who have suffered from terrible loss, but come out the other side stronger for their experience. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was genuinely moved by the game, whether through small asides or larger narrative developments.

Aesthetically, Röki has a simple beauty that is totally in keeping with its setting and tone. Developers Polygon Treehouse have acknowledged the influence of Moomin creator Tove Jansson (as evidenced by the main character's name) and there are many similarities with the magical blend of darkness and innocence in Röki's world. While not as detailed as some other games, the artstyle perfectly complements the narrative and conveys the child-like imaginations of the young protagonists. I was reminded of the brilliant cartoon Hilda, which similarly represents a young girl and her interactions with the myths and creatures of Scandinavia. The music is also beautifully judged and helps to set the mood of exploration and excitement whilst also feeling appropriate.

Röki is at heart a point and click adventure, a genre that is often synonymous with frustrating pixel hunting for objects and trial and error attempts to combine everything you might find along the way. Fortunately, Röki is a wonderfully streamlined example of the genre that makes great use of quality of life mechanics such as a button press to highlight interactive objects. There are also few examples of the more egregious moments of obscure logic. This does mean that Röki is relatively easy, and this is my main criticism of the game, but instead succeeds in combining narrative and gameplay into an interactive and emotional adventure. The central themes and narrative are handled so well that the absence of roadblocks to progress instead becomes a positive as you will want to follow Tove's journey to the end.

The title of the game refers to a monstrous creature that demolishes Tove's house and kidnaps Lars at the beginning of the game. Whilst the graphical style ensures that this doesn't become too terrifying for younger players (the game in general would make a great family experience and help to facilitate some important discussions) the sense of loss and despair in Tove's reaction is palpable. In setting out to find and rescue Lars despite her fear, she becomes a truly inspirational hero and one well in keeping with the mythological influences.

The themes of loss and family extend further to the overall narrative, as it is revealed that Tove and Lars have become caught up in an ancient battle between the four Guardians of the Forest. Represented as giant animals – wolf, bear, stag, and raven – these godlike figures are the ones Tove must persuade to help her in her quest. Having banished their raven sister for her relationship with a human, the Guardians must confront their own guilt and pride in order to bring about a reconciliation that will save Lars. All of this is conveyed without relying on lengthy exposition and the changing reaction of the Guardians in the face of Tove's bravery and determination is excellently done. I look forward to replaying the game with my children, both of whom are self-confessed mythology nerds.


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Ver. 8.1.0 patch notes have landed

The latest update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is now available for Nintendo Switch players to download with tweaks to matchmaking and the ability to select stage-specific music. They have also reworked the formula that decides who is an Elite Smash player.

Here are the notes:


Update Notes

The latest software version is needed to enjoy the following features:

Stage
・ The Small Battlefield stage has been added. You can also set Small Battlefield as a Preferred Rule in Online battles.

・ You can now select any stage-specific music for the Battlefield, Small Battlefield, Big Battlefield, and Final Destination stages.

Online
・ The online user experience has been adjusted.

・ The way matching is determined when using Preferred Rules has been adjusted.

・ Following a look at the current number of players eligible for Elite Smash, the threshold for entry has been recalculated to allow more players. Additionally, the way initial values for Global Smash Power are calculated has also been adjusted.

Further investigations and adjustments to Online mode are expected.

General
・ Several issues have been fixed to improve gameplay experience.

Compatibility Issues

・The latest software version is required to enter Online mode.
・Local wireless play is not compatible with Ver. 8.0.0 and earlier. All players who want to fight in local wireless battles need to make sure they have the same software version.
・There may be some compatibility issues with replays from Ver. 6.1.0 – Ver. 8.0.0. Replays from Ver. 6.0.0 and earlier are not compatible. If you want to keep your replays, convert them into videos before installing the update. You can do this via Vault → Replays → Replay Data → Convert to Video.

How to Update

1. Highlight the software on the HOME Menu and press the + Button to open the options menu.
2. Select Software Update, then either Via the Internet or Match Version with Local Users.

Source: Nintendo


UPDATE: Fall Guys matchmaking back online

UPDATE: The matchmaking feature seems to be back online, have fun!

Original story below…

If you are trying to get in a new game of Fall Guys then you're out of luck, the game has proved incredibly popular and the servers have been totally overwhelmed. Mediatonic have been trying to turn on new servers to cope but it just was not working so they've hit the rest button and turned off matchmaking until hey can make sure they have enough servers.

Devolver Digital and Mediatonic have revealed their content roadmap for the game (when it comes back online)

So, it looks like we're due to see new rounds added to Fall Guys, as well as unlockable costumes (well a cactus costume, at least) and "new features" the developers aren't ready to announce just yet.

We were playing the game last weekend in the last technical beta test before release and had an absolute ball. Read our Fall Guys preview here, where Jim said:

Tied up in such a cheeky, vibrant package, Fall Guys has the makings of a true multiplayer marvel and one that touts slapstick silliness over a constant barrage of blood and bullets. We'll be throwing ourselves into this mad little game on launch day and we'll surely be grinning from ear to ear as we do.

Last night saw the game's trophy list revealed, with no small amount of puns and trolling of those trying to earn the sacred platinum. Those aiming to unlock the Fall Guys platinum trophy will undoubtedly struggle when it comes to completing the conditions for "Infallible" – a gold trophy which requires you to come first five times in a row. A trophy the dev team can't see anyone unlocking unless you truly are a Fall Guys deity.

Source: Twitter


Anti gravity combat racer Pacer will be released in September

R8 Games has announced that the anti-gravity combat racer Pacer will be released on September 17th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. Pacer will include five different craft types that will all be customisable, 14 tracks to race around, and eight game modes including Elimination, Endurance, battle royale inspired 'Storm' modes, and a mode called flowmentum. There is also a campaign mode and online multiplayer for up to 10 players per race.

In our preview for Pacer, Dom wrote:

Despite my woefully adequate performance, Pacer looks pretty spectacular in motion, and the tracks take in the various locale types we've come to expect, from arid desert plains through to lush jungles. No matter where you are, each track is a warren of twisted metallic routes that leap and plunge through the landscape like a nightmarish version of the M25. Fortunately it's pretty hard to get lost.

It simply wouldn't be an anti-grav game without a banging soundtrack, and Pacer is all set to tickle your earholes with thumping tracks from a number of artists including Wipeout and Psygnosis alumni Cold Storage. They immediately set the tone, and once again reinforce the sense that R8 are drawing on the genre's history while keeping a firm eye on its future.

It's not as though the anti-grav genre has been entirely defunct without Wipeout at its head, but where Redout, Antigraviator and Fast RMX added their own wrinkles to the future racing formula, it looks as though Pacer is expanding beyond the genre's boundaries to deliver a racing experience worthy of the 21st Century and beyond.

You can read the full Pacer review here.

Source: Press Release


PS Now August additions include Hitman 2, Greedfall, and Dead Cells

PlayStation Now's August update has landed and subscribers will be able to get Hitman 2, Greedfall, and Dead Cells. Both Hitman 2 and Dead Cells will be available on PS Now until February 21st, while Greedfall does not have a date of removal. You can check out what we thought of each of the games in our reviews. Here are some samples.

In our Hitman 2 review, Stefan wrote:

"Building on the foundations of the 2016 game, Hitman 2 is full of the best Hitman stealth action yet. Yes, it's evolutionary in some ways, and you have to accept the series' idiosyncratic take on the genre, but there's space for it to keep growing with the return of Escalation missions and continuing Elusive Contracts. Whether you're a blackmailing pink flamingo, throwing briefcases at people, or getting robots to do your dirty work, the satisfaction of an expertly planned and executed hit is like nothing else."

In our Greedfall review, Gareth wrote:

Greedfall has an ambitious story, but it's not backed up by the clearly repeated environments, simple combat and dull abilities that take ages to unlock. However, seasoned RPG players might well be able able to look past those flaws in favour of the interesting, well written stories about political manoeuvres and oppression that make up the bulk of the quests in this pretty dark, deep world.
In our Dead Cells review, Jason wrote:

With incredibly satisfying gameplay, a constant stream of unlocks, and a world that challenge every cell of your being, Dead Cells is a must own for anyone who likes even one aspect of what has been mentioned here. Every success will fill you with endorphins, every failure will inspire you to get better. When you finally take out the final boss you will be elated. It is here that Dead Cells lets you know that it is just the beginning, there are a few more go around yet, and each one gets harder and harder. This is the kind of game that can last you forever, you just have to let it beat you in the head a few times.

Source: PS Blog


FIFA 21 gameplay trailer describes the new creative dribbling and agile runs systems

EA has now released the official gameplay trailer for FIFA 21, and expands on the differences between the new game and FIFA 20. One of these changes is the new agile dribbling system which will allow players to find more ways past opponents with more skill. There is also the new creative runs system in which players can now manually direct AI player runs for smarter ways to get past defences. Better positioning awareness means players will be working out where best to run or hold a defence. A natural collision system means players will fall over less and act more naturally compared to FIFA 20.

The Pre-Season event for FIFA's Ultimate Team in which players can get awards for both FIFA 20 and FIFA 21. To get these rewards players will need to complete Objectives and Squad Building Challenges in Ultimate Team, and by doing so they will get the following content in FIFA 21.

  • x2 Coin boosts (5 games x 500 coins)
  • FUT 20 Icon Home Kit
  • FUT 20 Future Stars Kit
  • Anchor Chemistry Style
  • Engine Chemistry Style

That is just the first batch of rewards with more to be added later in Pre-Season. In addition to those rewards there will be other content made available in the game too. The rewards will be available in FIFA 21 by October 16th and have to be redeemed by November 23rd.

If you are an EA Access member you will get some early hands-on time with FIFA 21, and 10% off if you purchase the game with progress carrying over. FIFA 21 is going to be a Dual Entitlement title which means if you buy the PS4 or Xbox One version of the game then you will get the next-generation version for free, provided you are upgrading within the same console family. The physical version of the game will come with an entitlement code to allow you to upgrade to the PS5 or Xbox Series X version of FIFA 21, so there is no need to purchase the game digitally to benefit. If you do upgrade be aware that not all progress will carry over to the next generation. EA states:

All progress you make or content you acquire within FIFA 21 Ultimate Team (including players, items, coins, FIFA Points, match record, and leaderboard placement), as well as all progression in VOLTA FOOTBALL will transfer from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 and back, or Xbox One to Xbox Series X and back. Progress within all other modes including Online Seasons, Co-Op Seasons, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, etc. will be specific to the console you are playing on and won't transfer between consoles.

FIFA 21 will be released for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 9th.

Source: YouTube


Here are the Destiny 2 Hotfix 2.9.1.2 patch notes, fixes the "Means to an End" quest bug

Destiny 2's weekly reset has come with a hotfix which, at last, fixes the "Means to an End" quest bug that has been plaguing players for weeks. There are also fixes for bugs within Nightfall: The Ordeal and the Leviathan Raids.

Here are the patch notes!


NIGHTFALL: THE ORDEAL

  • Fixed an issue where the Ordeal version of Lake of Shadows was inaccessible at tiers above Adept for players who do not own Forsaken.
  • Fixed an issue where the Festering Core Master Nightfall was listed as 1080 Power in the Director, but was actually 750 Power.
      • Guardians should expect a much greater challenge when engaging with this strike.

RAIDS

  • Leviathan rewards of XP, Glimmer, and chances towards Exotic Engrams or Bright Engrams are now back on a weekly lockout.
      • Note: Weapons and armor are not affected by the weekly lockout, and can be earned multiple times a week.

INVESTMENT

  • Fixed an issue where some players could not acquire the "Means to an End" quest from the Prismatic Recaster.

ARMOR

  • Fixed an issue where Ruinous Effigy could trigger the heal from the Stronghold Titan Exotic armor while blocking with the carry object.
  • Fixed an issue where Umbral stat Focused engrams could provide less than 10 in the selected stat.

Bungie has recently that it has made the decision to push back the release of the Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion and the new date is now November 10th. Beyond Light is supposed to be the first of three new expansions that look to take Destiny 2 further. The other two expansions are The Witch Queen and Lightfall, and the plan behind these expansions is to extend the life of Destiny 2. Season of Arrivals will now be extended until the launch of Beyond Light.

In a statement released today, Bungie said:

"As the first chapter in a new trilogy of expansions, Beyond Light is the beginning of a new era of Destiny 2. We have a powerful story to tell and incredible new features that we're really excited for players to experience. As always, our goal is to make the coolest, most entertaining expansion we can possibly make for our fans. To that end, we are doing what's best for the game and moving the launch date.  
The past few months have been a challenge and will continue to be during this pandemic. We've learned to create together in a new way, by having to work apart from one another. Despite these hurdles, we're still committed to the same level of quality that our fans expect.  
Over the coming weeks, we'll be unveiling more of what we're working on for Beyond Light and what that also means for Season of Arrivals, which will now extend to November 10. Beyond Light sets the stage for an incredible future in Destiny 2 and, though it's coming later than we originally anticipated, we're excited to continue that journey with you this November."
Source: Bungie

Lost Wing Review

Lost Wing is aptly named. During my time with the game, my Wipeout-inspired craft lost its fragile wings some three thousand, four hundred and thirty-two times. Lost Wing has also made me lose my temper, my self-respect, my willpower and my desire to exist numerous times. It's also glorious fun.

Lost Wing is best described as a runner arcade game, though one that's fused with the levelling up and procedural generation of a roguelite. Your craft whizzes down a neon-coated track that takes more than a few nods from the iconic movie Tron. There's also hints of Race the Sun that suffuse the visual design, so suffice to say it is an aesthetically arresting game.

When you're not distracted by looking at pretty things, you'll need to dodge and blast obstacles that are in your way. Your ammo is finite, so also make sure to pick up 'charge' orbs. Charge is vitally important, as it not only powers your blaster, it also allows you to activate a slow-motion mode. Without a regular application of slow-mo, the much more likely your craft will end up splattered against a rock like a bug against a windshield. That's because the further into the level you go, the faster and faster Lost Wings gets until an incomprehensibly blistering pace is reached, where brain, fingers and game must become a unified whole to survive… until you splat against the inevitable windshield.

This is an emotional game, one of spectacular euphoric highs and crushing nightmarish lows. There were moments when my heart was in my mouth as my craft nimby dodged a field of obstacles, gliding to safety in a Matrix infused action-fest that would make Neo jealous. Then, a distraction and 'blam' it's all over. A life is lost and you have to start again. It's a devastatingly addictive gameplay loop.

The procedurally generated tracks don't feel randomised, instead offering a cohesive experience that has both a sense of design and purpose. For example, an innocently placed booster that might just hurtle you into a big fan, a series of perfectly placed jumps that push your reactions to the limit, a cavalcade of obstacles in just the right position to provide you with a clear optimal line (if your reflexes are up to it). Thankfully, the controls are smooth and responsive. Failure is never the game's fault, just your own for not being quite quick enough.

That is until you come up against a curious design decision made on behalf of developers BoxFrog Games. At certain points on a run an anomaly will be detected. At this point you'd best prepare a paper bag as the screen will rotate in a nausea-inducing display of what can only be described as pure unmitigated hatred for your eyeballs. With everything suddenly upside down your controls will of course be reversed and so, unless you have magic fingers, death will soon ensue. I hated this mechanic. It feels so cruelly unfair and is so diametrically opposed to the excellent design choices made elsewhere.

Lost Wing isn't just a game that wears its hardcore credentials on its sleeve then; its entire shirt, tie and cardigan combo is coated in hardcore. To combat this, which I appreciated, you're given three lives per run. This also ties in to a partial checkpoint system, where reaching certain points in the track will enable you a respawn closer to your objective: a big, bad boss. The bosses are satisfactory but ultimately unnecessary – defeating them doesn't end the level, as you carry on in pursuit of leaderboard glory – and the boss battles will soon fade from memory.

At the start of Lost Wing you'll find very little to do. You'll have access to your first craft, one track and easy mode. To unlock content you'll have to gather points and gain levels across multiple runs, riffing on the metagame found in your typical roguelite. It's a neat idea, encouraging the player to get the most out of each track and ensuring that they're ready for the harder courses when they get to them. Unfortunately, it takes too long to level up, there's a lot of grind required to unlock just about anything. You're also given a lot of duff rewards after levelling up – having to gather a variety of different paint jobs for your craft before you obtain an exciting new track is arduous. Certainly, this is an element of the game that requires some tweaking to achieve a satisfying balance.

There's several issues that hamper proceedings then, but these need to be checked and balanced against the price point. For well under a tenner Lost Wing is an absolute bargain, offering a journey that has ton of heart in your mouth action, so long as you can stomach the frustrations on the way.


xCloud streaming launches on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on 15th September

Microsoft have announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be gaining free game streaming via Project xCloud on 15th September. From that date, any subscriber in 22 countries will be able to play over 100 games from the service on Android phones and tablets. This will include Xbox Games Studios titles as they launch into Xbox Game Pass later this year and beyond.

Cloud gaming with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will be available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Leaning on Android's support for bluetooth controllers, you'll be able to play using the official Xbox One controller or DualShock 4 – if you were looking for something to use it for in future – with additional controllers and accessories coming from Razer, PowerA, 8BitDo, and Nacon to either attach a phone to a controller, or some Joy-Con style controllers to the side of a phone or tablet.

The following games have been confirmed, but the full line up of titles will effectively just be the games that are available on Game Pass in mid-September, with Microsoft adding and taking from the library each month.

  • Ark: Survival Evolved
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Costume Quest 2
  • Crackdown 3 (campaign)
  • Destiny 2
  • F1 2019
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Gears of War 4
  • Gears 5 Ultimate Edition
  • Grounded
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
  • Killer Instinct Definitive Edition
  • Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Quantum Break
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition
  • State of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • Tell Me Why
  • The Bard's Tale Trilogy
  • Wasteland 2: Director's Cut
  • Wasteland 3
  • Wasteland Remastered
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2

Source: Xbox


World of Tanks update 1.10 patch notes have arrived, read them here

This month is the tenth anniversary of World of Tanks and to celebrate the developers have released a huge new update which includes a new system for equipment, six new Polish medium tanks, and the return of Pearl River.

Here are the patch notes!


Main Changes

Equipment 2.0

We reworked the equipment/consumables UI while the equipment system was completely reworked.

  • Four equipment categories were added: Firepower, Survivability, Mobility, or Scouting. When equipment is mounted into a slot of the corresponding category, the received bonus increases. All vehicles of Tiers VI–X now have slots with categories.
  • Several existing equipment items were reworked.
  • Several new equipment items were added.
  • The interface for mounting equipment was reworked, including windows for mounting equipment/consumables and replenishing ammo. The technical characteristics section was extended.
  • The number of slots for equipment and consumables was changed for Tier I–IV vehicles. Directives can now only be equipped starting from Tier V. The mechanics of damage to modules/crew, as well as damage caused by fire was reworked for Tier I–III vehicles.
  • The Improved Equipment bonus was increased.

The following branch of the Polish medium tanks has been added

  • DS PZInΕΌ (Tier V)
  • B.U.G.I. (Tier VI)
  • CS-44 (Tier VII)
  • CS-53 (Tier VIII)
  • CS-59 (Tier IX)
  • CS-63 (Tier X)

New mechanic for the Tier X Polish medium tank

The Tier X Polish medium tank received the mechanic of switching between drive modes.

  • Standard mode: the vehicle moves at standard speeds and has standard gun handling parameters.
  • Spinning turbine (turbo) mode: the vehicle travels significantly faster while gun handling parameters considerably decrease.

Balance Changes to Wheeled Vehicles

Made changes to the mechanics of causing damage to wheels. Damage to a drive wheel will reduce the overall power of the vehicle, and damage to a traction wheel will affect its speed. Considering that almost all wheeled vehicles in the game have all-wheel drive, damage to any wheel will cause a reduction in dynamics. This change does not affect the Premium wheeled vehicles, the Panhard EBR 75 (FL 10) (Tier VIII) and the AM 39 Gendron-Somua (Tier II). These vehicles will remain unchanged.

Revamped Bond Mechanics

Bonds can now be earned in a different way. Our goal is to make the whole system more transparent, understandable, and predictable. At the same time: Players will be able to earn bonds not only in single-tier battles but in all Random or Grand Battles in Tier X tanks so long as they rank in the top 10 of their team by base experience earned. In other words, when playing in a Tier X vehicle, you will earn bonds even in battles against Tier VIII and Tier IX vehicles.
The higher your position in the Battle Results by experience earned, the more bonds you will receive:

  • If you win, you will earn 7 bonds for being in the top 3 and 5 bonds for being in the top 10.
  • If you lose or draw, you will earn 5 bonds for being in the top 3 and 3 bonds for being in the top 10.

The same rule applies to Grand Battles and Ranked Battles.
Each Tier X vehicle will have a weekly limit (similar to the system in Battle Pass):

  • Any Tier X vehicle can earn up to 100 bonds per week.
  • Once the limit for a particular vehicle is reached, bonds will not be earned until the limit resets.
  • The limit is shared by all modes (Random Battles, Ranked Battles, Grand Battles).
  • The limit is reset on Monday morning.
  • Each Tier X vehicle will have its own limit (once you reach it for a vehicle, you can start earning bonds in a different one).
  • Under the new system, epic medals and Battle Heroes achievements will no longer earn you bonds.

Maps

  • The Pearl River map will return to the game with a significant makeover. The Standard and Encounter Battles types are available for Teir III-X vehicles.
  • Balance changes have been made to the Cliff, Prokhorovka, Berlin, and Ruinberg maps.

New Battle Communication System

We have revised the communication system for Random Battles to expand & improve interactions between players.

  • Added a one-button solution ("T") to highlight targeted locations, tanks, and objectives or set existing pings as active targets.
  • Active targets will show the number of players contributing to it.
  • Added a new "F2" key shortcut to set an object or marker as an active target.
  • Players with the same active target will see each other in the playerlist. It also shows when players are directly supported.
  • Added markers that highlight pinged positions in the 3D world.
  • For normal "Attention to" pings, pressing ALT will show which player set a ping.
  • Added new context-sensitive objects and new ping types and messages. The command wheel's design and behavior were improved.
  • Markers of tanks and bases can now be highlighted through terrain without a clear line-of-sight.
  • Added markers for bases in Random battles.
  • Minimap pings can now be placed at an exact location, similar to other game modes.
  • Non-SPG players are now able to set waypoints on the minimap by clicking the right mouse button.
  • At the start of battle, players can select one of several named waypoints marking important positions on the map.
  • Messages sent to other players are voiced and trigger a "callout". By pressing the "Z" key (command wheel), players can instantly confirm the message while it is on screen.
  • Improved the sound system to give information on the type and direction of pings.
  • Modified flood protection to provide a smarter way to avoid ping spamming.
  • Included several customization options for communication in "general settings" and "controls settings".
  • Changed some quick commandes (key F2-F8).

Changes Based on Common Test Results

  • Interface sound volume can now be adjusted using the "interface" audio slider.
  • Voiceover volume can now be adjusted using the "voice messages" audio slider.

Steel Hunter

Mode added as a continuation of the current Expedition. The start is scheduled for August. Details will be provided later in an article on the portal.

Changes Based on Common Test Results

  • Increased the penetration values of all guns for the Arlequin, Raven, and Harbinger Mk. IV
  • Decreased the amount of restored durability for the Recovery Zone and Repair Zone abilities.
  • Decreased the damage caused by the Minefield ability.
  • Decreased the initial number of shells for vehicles, as well as the number of shells that can be replenished from loot points.
  • Fuel tanks were excluded from modules that can be damaged.
  • Made changes to the characteristics of the double guns that allow using the salvo more effectively.
  • Now, XP earned for destroying an enemy vehicle will not be added automatically. Instead, it will be inside Spoils of Wars (red smoke).
  • For the Raven and Harbinger Mk. IV vehicles:
    • Decreased the hull and turret weight, thus increasing Specific Power.
    • Increased the turret traverse speed.
    • Increased the hull traverse speed.
    • Increased damage per minute for all guns.
  • Fixed various minor issues.

Rewards for Players Who Have Fought Many Battles

We added a number of new medals and progressive decals for players who have fought a large number of battles.

Progressive Decals

Progressive decals are available for applying to the following 3D styles:

  • Pretty Fly (TL-1 LPC)
  • Stable Communication (T-44-100)
  • Captured King Tiger (King Tiger)
  • Mordian (BDR G1)

Missions to increase progressive decal levels are available for the following vehicles:

  • Valhallan Ragnarok (KV-2 (R))
  • Captured King Tiger (King Tiger)
  • Fury (M4A3E8)

Changes to Technical Characteristics

  • Tier I vehicles will no longer receive damage to their crew members or modules. Only their tracks can be damaged, but their repair speed is increased.
  • Tier II vehicles will receive damage to modules, but their crew members cannot be injured. Fire will cause low damage to these vehicles.
  • Fire will cause low damage to Tier III vehicles.
  • Gun Rammers and their analogs will be available for mounting on vehicles starting from Tier V.

U.K.

AC 1 Sentinel

  • Changed the reload time from 2.3 to 2.07 s

Sexton I

  • Changed the reload time from 12 to 10.8 s

Germany

Tiger I

Replaced the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 gun with the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 mod.Vlt, which has the following parameters:

  • Reload time in the Pz.Kpfw. Tiger Ausf. E turret is 7.8 s
  • Aiming time in the Pz.Kpfw. Tiger Ausf. E turret is 2.5 s
  • Changed the shell damage for the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 mod.Vlt gun from 240/240/295 to 280/280/370 HP

VK 36.01 (H)

  • Changed the dispersion of the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 36 L/56 gun in the Pz.Kpfw. VI H Ausf. H2 turret from 0.38 to 0.36 m
  • Decreased the dispersion on turret traverse for the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 36 L/56 gun in the Pz.Kpfw. VI H Ausf. H2 turret by 25%
  • Changed the reverse speed from 12 to 14 km/h
  • Changed the vehicle durability with the Pz.Kpfw. VI H Ausf. H2 turret from 1060 to 1200 HP
  • Changed the vehicle durability with the VK 36.01 (H) turret from 1000 to 1100 HP

Tiger II

  • Replaced the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 gun with the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 mod.Vlt (shell damage of 280/280/370 HP)
  • Replaced the 10,5 cm Kw.K. L/52 gun with the 10,5 cm KwsPz.K. L/52 (shell damage of 360/360/440 HP)
  • Replaced the 10,5 cm Kw.K. L/68 gun with the 10,5 cm KwsPz.K. L/68 (shell damage of 360/360/440 HP)
  • Improved armoring of the hull and the "top" turret

E 75

  • Replaced the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 gun with the 8,8 cm Kw.K. 43 L/71 mod.Vlt (shell damage of 280/280/370 HP)
  • Replaced the 10,5 cm Kw.K. L/52 gun with the 10,5 cm KwsPz.K. L/52 (shell damage of 360/360/440 HP)
  • Replaced the 10,5 cm Kw.K. L/68 gun with the 10,5 cm KwsPz.K. L/68 (shell damage of 360/360/440 HP)
  • Replaced the 12,8 cm Kw.K. 44 L/55 gun with the 12,8 cm Kw.K. Ausf. E (shell damage of 530/530/670 HP)
  • Improved armoring of both turrets
  • Changed the vehicle durability with the E 75 Ausf. A turret from 1820 to 1850 HP
  • Changed the vehicle durability with the E 75 Ausf. B turret from 1920 to 1950 HP

E 100

  • Replaced the 12,8 cm Kw.K. 44 L/55 gun with the 12,8 cm Kw.K. Ausf. E (shell damage of 530/530/670 HP)
  • Changed the aiming time of the 15 cm Kw.K. L/38 gun in the E 100 turret from 2.9 to 2.7 s
  • Improved the turret armoring

Italy

Now Gun Rammers cannot be mounted on Tier VIII–Π₯ medium tanks.

Progetto M40 mod. 65

  • Changed dispersion of the gun from 0.33 to 0.35 m
  • Increased the gun dispersion after firing a shot by 33%
  • Changed the aiming time from 2.1 to 2.5 s
  • Changed the turret traverse speed from 36 to 34 deg/s

Prototipo Standard B

  • Changed the dispersion of the Cannone da 105 Rh V1 gun in the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) turret from 0.35 m to 0.37 m
  • Changed the dispersion of the Cannone da 105 Rh V1 gun in the Prototipo Standard A (W 2) turret from 0.35 to 0.37 m
  • Changed the dispersion of the Cannone da 90 Rh gun in the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) turret from 0.32 m to 0.33 m
  • Increased the dispersion of the Cannone da 90 Rh gun in the Prototipo Standard A (W 2) turret after firing a shot by 17%
  • Increased the dispersion of the Cannone da 105 Rh V1 gun in the Prototipo Standard A (W 2) after firing a shot by 33%
  • Increased the dispersion of the Cannone da 90 Rh gun in the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) turret after firing a shot by 17%
  • Increased the dispersion of the Cannone da 105 Rh V1 gun in the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) after firing a shot by 33%
  • Changed the aiming time of the Cannone da 90 Rh gun in the Prototipo Standard A (W 2) turret from 2 to 2.1 s
  • Changed the aiming time of the Cannone da 105 Rh V1 gun for the Prototipo Standard A (W 2) turret from 2.4 to 2.6 s
  • Changed the aiming time of the Cannone da 90 Rh gun in the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) turret from 2 to 2.1 s
  • Changed the aiming time of the Cannone da 105 Rh V1 gun for the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) turret from 2.3 to 2.5 s
  • Changed the turret traverse speed of the Prototipo Standard A (W 2) from 32 to 30 deg/s
  • Changed the turret traverse speed of the Prototipo Standard B (R 1) from 34 to 32 deg/s
  • Changed the engine power of the MB 837 Ea engine from 750 to 690 h.p.

Progetto M35 mod 46

  • Changed the times for autoreloading shells from 8, 9, and 12 to 7.2, 8.1, and 10.8 s (third, second, and first shell in the magazine).

Poland

Added the following vehicle for testing by Supertest players: CS-52.


U.S.S.R.

T-28E with F-30

  • Changed the reload time from 6.1 to 5.49 s

T-29

  • Changed the reload time from 5.2 to 4.68 s

SU-76I

  • Changed the reload time from 4.3 to 3.87 s

A-32

  • Changed the reload time from 4.57 to 4.1 s

SU-122А, SU-76M, SU-85B, T-70, T-80

  • Changed the tier of the M-80 engine from IV to III

Object 430

  • Increased the dispersion during movement of the Object 430 suspension by 14%
  • Increased the dispersion during movement of the Object 430 improved suspension by 14%
  • Increased the dispersion on hull traverse of the Object 430 suspension by 14%
  • Increased the dispersion on hull traverse of the Object 430  improved suspension by 14%
  • Increased the dispersion on turret traverse of the 122 mm D-25TSU gun in the Object 430 turret by 20%

Object 430U

  • Decreased turret armoring
  • Increased the dispersion during movement by 33%
  • Increased the dispersion on hull traverse by 33%
  • Increased the dispersion on turret traverse by 20%

KV-3

  • Improved the turret armoring
  • Changed the dispersion of the 122 mm D-25T gun in the KV-3 turret from 0.46 to 0.44 m
  • Changed the aiming time of the 122 mm D-25T gun in the KV-3 turret from 3.4 to 3.1 s

KV-4

  • Replaced the 122 mm D-25T gun (shell types: AP, APCR, HE; penetrations values: 175/217/61 mm) with the 122 mm D-25TS, which has the following parameters:
    • Shell types: APCR, HEAT, HE
    • Penetration values: 217/270/61 mm
    • Dispersion in the KV-4-5 turret is 0.44 m
    • Aiming time in the KV-4-5 turret is 3 s
    • Reload time in the KV-4-5 turret is 12 s
    • Gun depression angle in both turrets is -8 deg
  • Changed the dispersion of the 107 mm ZiS-24 gun in the KV-4-5 turret from 0.38 to 0.36 m
  • Decreased the dispersion on turret traverse for the 107 mm ZiS-24 gun in the KV-4-5 turret by 38%
  • Changed the reload time of the 107 mm ZiS-24 gun in the KV-4-5 turret from 10.3 to 9 s
  • Changed the aiming time of the 107 mm ZiS-24 gun in the KV-4-5 turret from 2.9 to 2.3 s
  • Improved armoring of the KV-4-5 turret

ST-I

  • Replaced the 122 mm D-25T gun (shell types: AP, APCR, HE; penetrations values: 175/217/61 mm) with the 122 mm D-25TS, which has the following parameters:
    • Shell types: APCR, HEAT, HE
    • Penetration values: 217/270/61 mm
    • Dispersion in both turrets is 0.44 m
    • Aiming time in both turrets is 3 s
  • Decreased the dispersion during movement of the ST-I suspension by 7%
  • Decreased the dispersion during movement of the ST-IM suspension by 12%
  • Decreased the dispersion on hull traverse of the ST-I suspension by 7%
  • Decreased the dispersion on hull traverse of the ST-IM suspension by 12%
  • Changed the dispersion of the 122 mm M62-T2 gun in the ST-I turret from 0.38 to 0.4 m
  • Changed the reload time of the 122 mm M62-T2 gun in the ST-I turret from 13.3 to 12.7 s

IS-4

  • Replaced the 122 mm D-25T gun (shell types: AP, APCR, HE; penetrations values: 175/217/61 mm) with the 122 mm D-25TS, which has the following parameters:
    • Shell types: APCR, HEAT, HE
    • Penetration values: 217/270/61 mm
    • The gun dispersion is 0.44 m
  • Decreased the dispersion during movement by 28%
  • Decreased the dispersion on hull traverse by 28%
  • Changed the hull traverse speed from 26 to 30 deg/s
  • Changed dispersion of the 122 mm M62-T2 gun from 0.38 to 0.42 m
  • Decreased the dispersion on turret traverse for the 122 mm M62-T2 gun in the IS-4M turret by 25%
  • Changed the reload time of the 122 mm M62-T2 gun from 12 to 11.5 s
  • Changed the aiming time of the 122 mm M62-T2 gun from 2.9 to 2.5 s
  • Changed the turret traverse speed from 22 to 25 deg/s
  • Improved hull and turret armoring

U.S.A.

Added the following vehicle for testing by Supertest players: T77

Changes to the technical characteristics of the following vehicles:

T32

  • Replaced the 105 mm Gun T5E1 gun (penetrations values: 198/245/53 mm) with the 105 mm Gun T5E1/45, which has the following parameters:
    • Penetration values: 208/245/53 mm
    • The gun dispersion in the T119 turret is 0.4 m
    • The reload time in the T119 turret is 9.4 s
    • The aiming time in the T119 turret is 2.1 s

M103

  • Replaced the 105 mm Gun T5E1 gun (penetrations values: 198/245/53 mm) with the 105 mm Gun T5E1/45, which has the following parameters:
    • Penetration values: 208/245/53 mm
    • The gun dispersion in the T140 turret is 0.39 m
    • The reload time in the M89 turret is 9.4 s
    • The reload time in the T140 turret is 9.3 s
    • Aiming time in both turrets is 2.1 s
  • Decreased dispersion during movement of the T97E1 suspension by 9%
  • Decreased dispersion during movement of the T97E2 suspension by 10%
  • Decreased dispersion on hull traverse of the T97E1 suspension by 9%
  • Decreased dispersion on hull traverse of the T97E2 suspension by 10%
  • Changed the reload time of the 120 mm Gun T122 in the T140 turret from 11.4 to 11 s
  • Changed the reload time of the 120 mm Gun M58 in the T140 turret from 11.2 to 10 s
  • Changed the aiming time of the 120 mm Gun T122 in the T140 turret from 2.6 to 2.5 s
  • Improved armoring of the T140 turret
  • Improved armoring of the hull

T110E5

  • Improved armoring of the hull
  • Decreased the dispersion during movement by 22%
  • Decreased the dispersion on hull traverse by 22%
  • Decreased the dispersion on turret traverse by 25%
  • Changed the reload time from 10 to 8.8 s

France

Panhard EBR 90

  • Changed the engine power of Panhard 12H 6000 mle.63 from 580 to 560 h.p.
  • Changed the top speed the rapid mode from 85 to 83 km/h
  • Changed the reverse speed the rapid mode from 85 to 83 km/h

Panhard EBR 105

  • Increased the dispersion during movement by 33%
  • Increased the dispersion on hull traverse by 33%
  • Increased the dispersion on turret traverse by 33%
  • Changed the aiming time from 1.2 to 1.4 s
  • Changed the view range from 350 to 340 m
  • Changed the chance of engine fire from 0.1 to 0.15
  • Changed the engine power from 750 to 720 h.p.
  • Changed the top speed the rapid mode from 95 to 91 km/h
  • Changed the reverse speed the rapid mode from 70 to 65 km/h

Known issues:

  • In some cases, sequence of events in damage log is distorted.
  • The client cannot be maximized to full-screen mode while the player is having a Skype call.
  • If a vehicle falls on the ground without damage to any modules, the sound of suffering damage is played.
  • Oscillating aiming circle in the 16x and 25x magnifications in Siege Mode during Frontline battles.
  • The reticle indicator remains on the SPG after switching to Artillery mode if a vehicle partially intersects the red line.
  • Events at the end of the battle are not synchronized with the text of the battle result.
  • In some cases, automatic repair/replenishment of ammo and consumables after a battle does not take place, even if the amount of credits on the account is sufficient.
  • In some cases, fallen trees fall through the terrain.
  • Consumables are not replenished from the Depot if the player does not have enough credits for a complete automatic ammunition resupply.
  • Upon successful completion of the Alliance-14 mission during the Chimera operation, the failed mission icon is displayed after the battle.
  • The Marks of Excellence on some vehicles appear double when the camera zooms out.
  • The time for the transition to the Garage after applying customization elements has increased.

Fixed Issues

  • Fixed the issue when players could not recruit a crew member for a Collectors' vehicle before it was purchased.
  • Fixed the issue when invitations to join a Platoon were sometimes not received.
  • Fixed the issue when the option "Accept invitations from friends in the Garage" was applied with a delay.
  • Fixed the issue when an applied style was not counted towards missions that require "going into battle with a camouflage applied".
  • Hits on allies are no longer counted in the Battle Results as hits on enemy vehicles.
  • On the Operations reward screen, the pop-up hint of the badge now displays the player's full nickname.
  • The "Intuition" perk can no longer activate during the 30-second pre-battle countdown.
  • The Detailed Report now contains information about bonds deducted for the automatic resupply of Directives.
  • The volume of Airstrike sounds now depends on the actual distance from the player's vehicle.
  • Fixed the issue when driving through sunflowers affected the vehicle's speed.
  • Fixed the issue of the small size of the "Spring" camouflage pattern on the T-54 first prototype.
  • The client-server models of many objects on maps were synchronized.

Source: WorldofTanks


Hellbound Review

Hellbound is not subtle. Billed as a love letter to the golden age of FPS games, this is a totally unabashed 90s throwback, complete with lightning-fast combat, over the top weapons, and an almost total disregard for modern ideas of narrative and storytelling. The clearest influence is obviously Doom, for many the granddaddy of the genre (yes, there were earlier examples but Doom's influence outdoes chronology), and the Argentinian developers, Sailbot Studios, must expect that their game will be compared with both the original game and it's more recent high-res reboots. So, the question remains, is this a heavenly slice of nostalgia, or an infernal rehash of long-surpassed design and mechanics? Come with me to Hell and I'll tell you more.

The comparisons to Doom are obvious and ooze from every pore of Hellbound. Everything from the setting and colour palette to the level design and mixture of shooting and key collecting is present and correct, so much so that it could be argued that Hellbound has a real issue in trying to establish any kind of identity outside of being a tribute.

This is even more apparent given the success of Doom and Doom Eternal as we are a long way past the barren years of po-faced military shooters dominating the scene. Hellbound's main claim to individuality is the presence of Hellgore who, despite the accidental rhyming name, is not the environmentalist nightmare of many right-wing Americans, but instead a pretty blatant Hellboy clone. Described as a huge badass and a tortured soul, Hellgore is resurrected by humanity to take revenge on the creatures of Hell for their massacre of his people. Hellbound is certainly not going to win any rewards for originality or story-telling but nor does it need to if the action and gunplay is good enough.

Hellgore's personality is intended to drive a large part of the game's storyline and progress, and Sailbot Studios have ensured that he is voice-acted in an appropriately gruff and macho fashion by the prolific Artie Widgery. Widgery does a capable job in channelling both Doomguy and Hellboy but is hamstrung by the (deliberately) dumb dialogue. Peppered with profanities and lacking any kind of nuance, Hellgore comes across as the kind of annoying jock who you love to hate in countless movies.

Fortunately the lack of any character development in dialogue interaction means that this doesn't ruin the experience but the repetition of simplistic swearing phrases does mean that their welcome is overstayed. This is exacerbated by the game design's focus on excessive difficulty, meaning that you'll be hearing the same 'dialogue' multiple times.

Graphically, Hellbound is pretty smooth and runs well on my aging Geforce 1050Ti. There are a good range of graphical options too, so ensuring that the rapid combat is represented in the smoothest way for your system should be foolproof. These details – although they should be expected – do illustrate the love that the developers have for their source material, and are a far cry from the limited options in many console orientated titles.

Aesthetically, Hellbound is not just influenced by Doom, it looks and feels like a modern take on the original graphics. Whereas the recent Doom games emphasised the industrialised nature of their game-worlds, Hellbound is all about deserts, pits of fire and mysterious crypts. Whether there is room for development is a matter of conjecture though, as the game only contains one set of levels.

Whilst each of the guns available pack a decent punch and have two firing actions as befits their generic origins, again these are limited. By the end of my three hour campaign playthrough I had unlocked pistol, shotgun, chaingun, and rocket launcher, alongside a melee weapon. This is real lowest common denominator stuff and feels like an Early Access range. The lack of anything more original or esoteric may be a deliberate choice but just contributes to the overall feeling of a game that doesn't really have any ideas of its own. Gunplay owes a debt to both Doom and the Serious Sam series, as there are numerous combat arenas where hordes of enemies charge at you from all directions, sections that feel more like they belong in the free survival mode than the paid for campaign.

The game opens with a warning that it may be too hard for players due to its 90s influences and certainly lives up to this initially. That difficulty is largely brought about through a huge lack of balance between health and enemy damage. Combined with the swarming hordes of enemies in some sections and you have a frustrating experience more in keeping with the survival mode mentioned above.

This is most apparent several levels in when you first face a kind of skinless hound demon. These can take almost all of your health away in one pounce on the default difficulty. This often results in trial and error gameplay as you learn through dying where the enemies will spawn from. And spawn they do, with clear and obvious trigger points and placing. Whilst authentic, the effect here is ridiculously dated, especially when combined with the almost complete lack of any obvious AI. Some aspects of the genre are best left in the past, but Hellbound rehashes both the good and the bad.


Fall Guys roadmap reveals new DLC levels, costumes, and more

Devolver Digital and Mediatonic have revealed their content roadmap for the newly released Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.

Having launched only hours ago on PC via Steam and PlayStation 4 (as one of August's PlayStation Plus freebies) there are no doubt thousands of you already bumbling about looking to score your first win.

However, you may already be wondering what comes next for Fall Guys. Without waiting for the dust to settle, Mediatonic posted the following tweet, complete with an image roughly outlining future content for the game:

So, it looks like we're due to see new rounds added to Fall Guys, as well as unlockable costumes (well a cactus costume, at least) and "new features" the developers aren't ready to announce just yet.

We were playing the game last weekend in the last technical beta test before release and had an absolute ball. Read our Fall Guys preview here, where Jim said:

Tied up in such a cheeky, vibrant package, Fall Guys has the makings of a true multiplayer marvel and one that touts slapstick silliness over a constant barrage of blood and bullets. We'll be throwing ourselves into this mad little game on launch day and we'll surely be grinning from ear to ear as we do.

Last night saw the game's trophy list revealed, with no small amount of puns and trolling of those trying to earn the sacred platinum. Those aiming to unlock the Fall Guys platinum trophy will undoubtedly struggle when it comes to completing the conditions for "Infallible" – a gold trophy which requires you to come first five times in a row. A trophy the dev team can't see anyone unlocking unless you truly are a Fall Guys deity.


Resolutiion Review

I've got a lot of time for top-down 2D action adventure games. There's something about colourful pixel worlds and a solid combat system that just sits right with me, which is why many of my favourite games sit somewhere within the genre. Set in a violent post-apocalyptic cyberpunk world, Resolutiion is a fast-paced action adventure that invites you to explore this world, uncover its secrets, unlock new abilities and learn more about the strange and unusual setting.

The story of Resolutiion is pretty surreal, with sporadic exposition and the dialogue from characters often being incoherent rambling. You do encounter some hidden away characters who provide some much needed depth, but it still always feels like you are being kept at arm's length from the narrative.

Playing like a Metroidvania, you'll find new paths and entrances as you unlock your abilities. For example, a few hours into Resolutiion you pick up the ability to lay bombs, using them to blow parts of the scenery to smithereens and opening up a new set of areas to explore. With each new ability, you can reach previously inaccessible paths, providing players with plenty of opportunity and reason to backtrack.

Resolutiion's combat is very reminiscent of 2016's Hyper Light Drifter. Players must mix aggression with evasion in order to fell groups of enemies, stringing together melee attacks in combos and dashes to dodge. Be overly aggressive and you'll soon find yourself swarmed by enemies, taking copious amounts of damage. Most combat encounters can be summed up as figuring out the enemy's attack pattern and reacting in order to dish out damage. As you travel through the world you'll pick up new abilities which can be used in combat. These often help turn the tide a little on large groups of enemies, although a skill meter limits how much you can use them.

Figuring out enemy attacks is especially important during Resolutiion's excellent boss battles. Each boss requires you to figure out that pattern of attack and the right window to attack. It was rare for me to finish bosses on my first try, and I got the same feeling upon beating one that I do during Dark Souls' boss fights. I was pleasantly surprised to see just how imaginative some of the bosses were, with no two encounters feeling alike.

One area that Resolutiion really excels in is it's fantastic pixelated art style. This is a really stylised world, bursting with colour and detail across the ten distinct areas. The way in which the developers convey minor details about an area is fantastic and this brings a lot to the game's style of world building. I would almost go as far to say that the art design provides more narrative exposition that the dialogue does. A dark synth-infused soundtrack backs up those visuals, adding to the dark aesthetic that runs through many of the world's areas. Resolutiion is visually and audibly something quite special.

As stunning as Resolutiion's world is, it really falls short on making it fun to traverse. The aforementioned Metroidvania world design quickly becomes frustrating as it isn't always clear what area you need to go to next. I spent a lot of my time in Resolutiion wandering the world in the hope that I would just find the right way forward. Considering this game clocks in at twenty hours, there's a lot of needless wandering that could have been streamlined to create a more condensed and enjoyable experience.

You can unlock shortcuts later on that reduce travel time, but they only work in one direction, so you can actually end up losing a lot of progress if you take what you think is a path to a new area only to find out it is a shortcut to somewhere you've already been. This happened to me a few times and it left me even more frustrated with the world layout. It's these world design issues that hold Resolutiion back from being something truly exceptional.


PlayStation Plus August free game Fall Guys is now available to download

Both of August's free PlayStation Plus games are now available to download for free, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered being joined by the cute and cuddly battle royale game Fall Guys.

Fall Guys is out today for PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam, but is launching as a freebie for PS Plus subscribers in August.

Here's the download links for August's PlayStation Plus games:

Ordinarily Fall Guys will cost you £15.99 on the PlayStation Store or Steam, but the game is free. Alongside its release is the first cosmetic DLC, a set of fast food themed costumes, though there is also an in-game set of patterned skins and costumes to unlock as you play.

We were playing the game last weekend in the last technical beta test before release and had an absolute ball. Read our Fall Guys preview here, where Jim said:

Tied up in such a cheeky, vibrant package, Fall Guys has the makings of a true multiplayer marvel and one that touts slapstick silliness over a constant barrage of blood and bullets. We'll be throwing ourselves into this mad little game on launch day and we'll surely be grinning from ear to ear as we do.

Medatonic have released a little behind the scenes making of video, one that was clearly recorded much, much earlier in 2020.

Last night saw the game's trophy list revealed, with no small amount of puns and trolling of those trying to earn the platinum. Those aiming to unlock the Fall Guys platinum trophy will undoubtedly struggle when it comes to completing the conditions for "Infallible" – a gold trophy which requires you to come first five times in a row. A trophy the dev team can't see anyone unlocking unless you truly are a Fall Guys deity.

Do you think you'll be up for the challenge? Let us know if you'll be giving it your best shot.


Dead By Daylight matchmaking and rank update now live

Developer Behaviour interactive have announced major changes to the way matchmaking works in Dead By Daylight. These changes have now gone live across PC and console versions of the game.

This update for the popular asymmetrical horror game will introduce improvements to how groups of players are matched together, pairing those of a similar skill level.

The matchmaking update was previously being tested on the Xbox One version of Dead By Daylight though it has now been rolled out to other available platforms including PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

You can read the full FAQ below, but here's a quick breakdown. In short, Dead By Daylight is replacing the current Rank system for Ratings. Behaviour Interactive have admitted that Ranks were more indicative of how often users play instead of representing their actual skill level. Ratings will be more dynamic and, according to the developer, this system has allowed them to produce more balanced match-ups during their extensive tests.

We have been running smaller tests of the system on select Xbox One regions for the past few weeks, and the results have been encouraging. The rollout on all Xbox One regions is the next step in testing the system on a wider audience. If all goes well, we are planning on rolling out this feature for all platforms in a couple of weeks.

The next phase that you will notice goes live with the upcoming mid-chapter update: We are no longer allowing Killers to switch their character while searching for a match, or once in a lobby (excluding Custom Matches). This will allow the new Matchmaking System to track player skill with each killer individually and match them against more appropriately skilled opponents based on their killer selection.

To put it simply: If you are great with The Oni but you struggle with The Nurse, you will now be playing against stronger survivors when you play The Oni than you do with The Nurse.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

The most obvious thing you will see when the new system is active is that there will be a greater variation of Ranks in a single match. Rank 1s playing Rank 20s? It's possible, don't panic when you see this, as Ranks are not a true indicator of a player's skill and are no longer used for matchmaking.

Additionally, this system comes with a revamped algorithm for matchmaking as a whole. This should improve wait times for finding matches, and we will continue to tweak this part of the system to improve them further over the coming months.

WHY REPLACE RANKS?

Ranks are not a great way of figuring out how good a player is at the game, because it primarily focuses on "How often you play" and not on "How skilled you are when you play". Based on our matchmaking studies, there are a great deal of "low" ranked players (15-20) who can easily play just as well as "high" ranked players (1-5), but they simply don't play enough games in a month to increase their rank before they reset on the 13th. And as an inverse, there are Rank 1 -5 players who perform at levels more typical of lower ranks but they play so many games that their rank is higher than expected. This results in unpredictable games: All five players may have the exact same rank but wildly different skill levels in practice, making matches unbalanced.

HOW ARE RATINGS BETTER?

The new Rating system is focused on measuring a player's skill and predicting how they will perform against a given opponent. This way we can build matches that are more objectively fair for everyone in the game. We have analyzed over 3 million games (at last count) during our tests, and the matchmaking system is proving to be extremely accurate at predicting the outcomes of matches.

By using this new system, we will be able to place players into more balanced matches more often. When a match is unbalanced, the system will know exactly how unbalanced it is and adjust the player Ratings accordingly.

WHY ARE THERE STILL RANKS?

Matchmaking has been and continues to be one of the hottest topics we hear about, and we have been listening! To get this implemented as quickly as possible, we have decided to roll it out independent of a rework of the Rank system. That doesn't mean we don't have plans for Ranks, however! We are exploring different ideas like turning them into a monthly activity tracker and reward system, when we are ready, we'll communicate more about that

In other Dead By Daylight news, the game's future cross-play and cross-progression updates were detailed by Behaviour Interactive. Earlier this year Dead By Daylight also had a crossover event with Konami horror classic, Silent Hill, featuring a new survivor (Cheryl Mason), a new killer (Pyramid Head) and the Midwich Elementary School map as DLC.

Source: Dead By Daylight forums