Marvel's Avengers Introduces The Villainous A.I.M. In New Trailer

marvel's avengers image

Marvel's Avengers will finally be here at the beginning of next month. The game will follow the core group of the your favorite Avengers, with more to follow, including Spider-Man if you're in the PlayStation ecosystem. Like all comic stories, you need a good villain, and today we get a look at this games big bad in the form of A.I.M.

Advanced Idea Mechanics, aka A.I.M., are a group that rises to prominence after the A-Day disaster and superheroes are outlawed with the intent of creating an alternative. In the trailer below, Director Shaun Escayg and others talk about in length about the group and how they oppose the Avengers, and the thought process in designing them for the game. If you are familiar with the comics, you know the organization isn't what it seems, as well as who leads it.

Marvel's Avengers will release September 4th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia, with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X ports coming later. We've got a few things that'll be helpful to know about the game before you get it, and you can read that through here.

Borderlands 3 Teases 4th Campaign DLC With Full Reveal Set For August 25

Borderlands 3

Last year's Borderlands 3 came out after a very long hiatus for the franchise, but it ultimately seemed to pay off as the game has been a major success. Since its initial release the game has enjoyed a very healthy DLC schedule, with the last one being Bounty of Blood. A fourth is also coming, which we got a tease for today, and it seems it's bringing the crazy.

A very brief teaser was posted for the upcoming 4th DLC campaign. There's little here, but what is is pretty crazy, in the most literal sense, as it shows Krieg, the playable Psycho from Borderlands 2, in a meditative pose in a state of mind that seems anything but calming. The full reveal won't be until next week, but it's quite the little tease.

Borderlands 3 is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Stadia. The full reveal for the next DLC campaign is set for August 25th.

Wasteland 3 Shows Off Co-op In New Trailer

Next week, it's time to go back into the wasteland with InExile's third entry in the RPG series, Wasteland 3. The game seeks to scratch a certain kind of itch for old school fans who are looking for tactical and choice-based gameplay that has long term effect. The game is promising to be a much grander and more epic one in scale than many expect, and you know, you won't have to go it alone.

The game will feature co-op, and today the developer has decided to highlight that aspect. You can work with a player to develop strategies for combat, how to navigate the many deadly factions and cults you'll face, as well as decide (aka fight over) how to divy up loot. Check it out below.

Wasteland 3 will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on August 28th. The game will also be available day and date on both the Xbox One and PC Xbox Game Pass service.

Trials Of Mana "Significantly Surpassed" Expectations, Says Square Enix

trials of mana

Earlier this year, we got a revival of Trials of Mana via a HD remake that saw the title redone in a new style very similar and familiar to the original game. The franchise has been one of Square Enix's many dominant Japanese RPG series. With this and a recent collection, it seems to be making a comeback. The publisher seems impressed with the numbers so far.

During an Investor Q&A with Yosuke Matsuda, President of Square Enix, he confirmed that the game had not only sold well, but had "signficiantly" exceeded the company's expectations. Unfortunately, no numbers were given to show what those expectations were, but it seems the company is pleased. Matsuda also mentioned it looked to be part of a trend of their digital catalog titles experiencing growth, meaning that we can hopefully see more titles like this in the future.

Trials of Mana is available now on PlayStation 4, Switch and PC.

Hitman 2016 And Shadowrun Collection Will Be Free On Epic Games Store The Week Of August 27


Ever since launching at the tail end of 2018, the Epic Games Store has been controversial. Since the beginning, Epic Games sought timed exclusivity deals instead of store improvements to get its customers, which has bothered many a PC player who aren't fond of the practice. The latest one was next year's Hitman 3 a deal that was announced earlier today. How you feel about it is up to you, of course, but in the meantime you can get caught up on Agent 47's adventures for free, alongside some cyberpunk, next week.

As seen on the Epic Games Store today during its weekly refresh, next week's games will include 2016's Hitman. The reboot of the series is where this current trilogy, that will end with Hitman 3, began. Beside that will be Shadowrun Collection, which is a bundle of three different games: Shadowrun: Dragonfall – Director's Cut, Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun: Hong Kong – Extended Edition. They are three RPG titles in a fantasy cyberpunk setting with old school RPG gameplay and branching narrative storylines.

This week's free titles are Enter the Gungeon and God's Trigger, which will be free until August 27th. On that day, Hitman and Shadowrun Collection will go live and will be available for free until September 3rd.

EA Sports UFC 4 Review – A One-Two Punch

The UFC franchise has been something of an oddity among EA's sports games. While most of their titles see annual releases, EA Sports UFC 4 is the first release in over two years, and with that kind of time comes heightened expectations. Did the developers put their extra time to good use, or is UFC 4 more of the same? The answer is a little bit of both, but UFC 4 still manages to offer a good time.

The core of any UFC game is obviously the fighting system, and it's here that UFC 4 shines. The game doesn't shake up its formula too much, instead opting for incremental changes and measured improvements. It doesn't seem like much at first, but there are some welcome changes here. The fighting feels fast and fluid. Punches and kicks connect well, and carry a hefty weight to them. Combos are simple to learn, and the system is flexible enough to reward experimentation. The game also does a good job of easing players into the fighting mechanics. It does so through the career mode, which is started immediately when you first open the game. The early stages of the career mode take your character through a brief run in amateur fighting. It's here that you're taught the mechanics of the fighting system through a series of small fights and training sessions.

"Combat is fluid, and hits feel visceral and exciting."

It's a welcome introduction. The career mode is the crux of the game, and for the most part it's a solid experience. It's no revolution, but it works well and is fun to play through. The first step is character creation. Making your character is pretty straightforward, and the creator is deep enough to mess around with. I was able to create some pretty wacky characters in it. You take this custom character through the career, where you manage your training, persona, and social media. And of course, participate in fights. The simple social media aspect allows you to respond to fans and other fighters, building friendships or rivalries based on your responses. It's simplistic, but it's a nice touch nonetheless. After you accept a challenge, you determine how close to the match your training camp starts.

Once you reach that point, you spend a set number of points for each week on training, fight promotion, research and other things. There's a reasonable amount you can do here. You can research your opponent to learn about his fighting style, make social media posts to promote your fight, or take to the gym to keep yourself fit. Ideally, you'll find a balance of all three, but hitting the gym is vital. It keeps you fit, which effects your performance in the match, and grants you points that are used to improve your skills. Like the rest of the game, the skill system is nothing that hasn't been done before, but it's done well and it works. Points can be invested in your various attributes, such as stamina, hit range and power, blocking and so on. Or they can be invested in upgrading and learning new moves, or in perks that grant you passive bonuses during matches.

Once you enter the Octagon and the fight begins, you get to the real meat of the game. UFC 4 performs pretty well here as well. Combat is fluid, and hits feel visceral and exciting. The fight mechanics are fairly straightforward, and the AI provides a decent challenge. Meanwhile, improvements to wrestling and grappling keep the flow moving pretty well. Transitions in wrestling on the ground are a lot smoother and easier to manage than in previous games. They're still far from perfect, mind you, but they're a definite step in the right direction. Clinching is easier to enter and escape, and your options for offense and defense during clinches have been improved.

EA Sports UFC 4_13

"Stamina is the main resource in UFC 4's fighting system, and if you drain it too quickly, as you're apt to do in a grapple, your max stamina is reduced for the rest of the match."

Unfortunately, the game's biggest issues also come in the Octagon. The game's meta is dominated by wrestling, specifically submissions. They're far too powerful (and easy) to perform, and far too devastating to be a victim of. The rhythm of transitions and escape is clunky and hard to get down. And God help you if your opponent has a higher Wrestling stat than you do. That little statistic is seemingly the only real factor in grappling. You can do everything right to try to escape, filling up the bar to stand up, but if your opponent has a higher Wrestling stat, they will still somehow manage to knock you back down.

Escape can be nigh on impossible. And since transitions and escape attempts put a pretty significant drain on your stamina, it only takes a couple of failures to find yourself caught in an inescapable loop. And even if you do escape, you find yourself at a serious disadvantage. Stamina is the main resource in UFC 4's fighting system, and if you drain it too quickly, as you're apt to do in a grapple, your max stamina is reduced for the rest of the match. This means that even if you manage to successfully escape, you'll find yourself at a major disadvantage for the rest of the fight. It makes wrestling feel punishing, and makes Jiu Jitsu specialized fighters a nightmare to encounter. It may be a realistic depiction of how hard wrestling is, but mechanically it isn't very fun.

This also makes skills that impact wrestling, or make you more resistant to it, the most important skills by far. Thankfully, the rest of the fighting experience is a lot of fun, despite the flaws of the wrestling system. Landing a punch feels great, and the thrill of a hard-fought victory never gets old. You'll feel like a genuine badass fighter working your way through the brackets of the UFC, eventually taking your shot at the UFC title. The different play styles you can choose from mean your different characters feel distinct, opening up a decent amount of replay value as well. The rest of the game is pretty basic. There's a quick fight mode where you can pick from the game's huge, all-star roster of fighters past and present for one-off matches. And of course, there's an online mode where you can test your skills against other players.

EA Sports UFC 4_14

"There's a quick fight mode where you can pick from the game's huge, all-star roster of fighters past and present for one-off matches."

UFC 4 doesn't reinvent the genre, nor does it fully resolve the franchise's long-standing issues with wrestling mechanics. But it still offers up a fun and rewarding experience, one that manages to capture the visceral excitement of the sport in an experience that is both accessible and rewarding. Solid fighting mechanics make you feel powerful, while an entertaining career mode offers solid replay value. It may not be a perfect game, but it's a lot of fun regardless. New and returning players alike can find something to enjoy here, whether you're an experienced player or new to the Octagon.

This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.

Microsoft Flight Simulator Graphics Analysis – Next-Gen Is Already Here

Topping off the increasingly impressive PlayStation 5 technology showcases we've seen over the past few months, Microsoft finally went ahead and launched Flight Simulator. 14 years after Flight Simulator X, we're looking at a nearly 2-generation leap and the results are, well, tremendous to say the least.

Microsoft's promotions for the games — especially an advertisement highlighting the nearly 40-year pedigree of the Flight Simulator series — are appropriate because what we're seeing here is very clearly the culmination of decades of work. It's most definitely next-generation, but a very PC-centric vision of what that entails.

Yes, technically an Xbox One S and Xbox One X version of the game is in the making — though without a clear release timeframe at present. However, this is a game that can bring the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti to its knees with sub-30 FPS framerates. In the here and now, this is the technological showcase of what's possible in the next decade of gaming.

Harnessing the power of the cloud

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars and countless man-hours into building up its Azure cloud infrastructure since 2010. Over the years, Azure's developed into a public cloud solution of choice for thousands of businesses across the world, delivering intensive applications and interfaces available anytime, anywhere. Microsoft never concealed its designs to leverage the power of Azure to boost Xbox (read Windows in this case) gaming.

However, between the maturity of Azure cloud implementations and the widespread availability of high-speed broadband, it's only in the past couple years that Azure-based cloud gaming has really become a possibility. It's no surprise that Microsoft is launching xCloud this year, too.

But, outside of pure-play game streaming, Flight Simulator is the single most impressive use of the cloud in a game that we have ever seen. Flight Simulator taps into over 2 petabytes (that's 2000 Terabytes) of satellite imagery on Bing Maps, covering every corner of the world. At present, Nimbus' 100 TB SSD (the largest storage device in existence) costs US$40,000, so it's going to be a couple decades before we can happily set aside a petabyte or two for game storage.

How does Flight Simulator solve this problem? By leveraging the cloud and addressing cloud-specific issues in a way that stays true to the game's experience. While high-quality imagery of the whole world will need that much storage, Flight Simulator takes advantage of the fact that you're flying in more or less a single direction, over real-world time intervals — it'll take you several hours to cross the Atlantic. This gives Flight Simulator plenty of time to load data for your destination in the background. Yes, this will annihilate your data cap if you play the game for extended sessions. But, considering the sheer level of detail on offer — over 35,000 airfields and every major city and settlement in the world to explore, that seems like a reasonable compromise. But what does Flight Simulator do with that 2D map data from the cloud?

This is where the magic of AI comes into the picture. Asobo Studios leveraged machine learning to convert Bing Maps imagery into 3D building models with stunning accuracy. While little details here and there are a bit off, the AI gets so much right that you don't have to try hard to suspend your belief.

Photogrammetry: photorealism delivered to scale

microsoft flight simulator

How does Microsoft Flight Simulator look so damn real? A big part of the answer is Asobo's extensive use of photogrammetry. This is a technique we've seen in a number of games — notably Battlefront and Battlefront II, where real-life objects are scanned in to capture real-world texture and mesh detail. With a physically-based lighting model, photogrammetry assets can look stunningly lifelike. Asobo uses photogrammetry to capture the interior and exterior surfaces of all the planes in the game. Photogrammetry assets are also evidently in use with the hand-crafted airports. It's also possible that a number of photogrammetry assets were fed into the machine learning implementation, resulting in more lifelike environmental textures, even in remote parts of the map.

Volumetric cloud rendering:

microsoft flight simulator

We talk often about the quality of volumetric clouds in current-gen games. Titles like Assassin's Creed: Odyssey and Horizon: Zero Dawn feature accomplished cloud rendering solutions, which look great from down on the earth. However, Flight Simulator trumps them all, and it's got a good reason to. Unlike third-person open world titles, Flight Simulator, as the name suggests, has you flying. Those clouds — which in other games are thousands of feet away, are literally right in front of you. Flight Simulator's cloud rendering solution is remarkable, delivering dense, large-scale volumetric clouds that react and pass on lighting from the sun. The volumetric clouds are also tied into real-life weather forecasts: heavy storms can hit performance hard since the clouds are very computationally intensive to render.

Textures and model detail:

microsoft flight simulator

Flight Simulator's in-cockpit detail is par-excellence. The game's 100GB install size have evidently gone to good use. Physically based rendering, together with photogrammetry texture work results in a cockpit environment that could easily be mistaken for a photo at first glance. This high level of quality extends to model asset as well. In-game models are of a very high fidelity, with high poly counts on the plane models. We honestly have trouble seeing how this will scale down to run on the Xbox One S at an acceptable level of performance. Generated texture assets for the procedurally generated locations are also of a high quality, though you'll want to visit the handcrafted airports to see on-ground texture detail at its best.

LOD and pop-in:

microsoft flight simulator

After Epic's Lumen in the Land of Nanite demo, a lot's been made of the power of next-gen SSD storage to eliminate pop-in and distracting LODs in-game. Flight Simulator appears to be doing something similar, but without leveraging exotic storage solutions. We're looking at a brute force approach here that hammers high-end GPUs to deliver high quality vistas that quite literally extend for miles in every direction. Effective LOD scaling is arguably easier with Flight Simulator considering that, on average, the camera's very distant from most assets relative to other game times. Regardless, the remarkable draw distances and the smoothly managed pop-in do wonders for maintaining a sense of immersion throughout a flight.

Is Flight Simulator really next gen?

Looking at Flight Simulator screenshots, it's possible to answer this question in two ways: on the one hand, the quality of eighth-gen visuals has improved a lot. If you were to put Flight Simulator's visuals up against an arguably far more limited top-tier AAA title, you'd see that plenty of modern games feature high poly vehicle models, photogrammetry, and state-of-the-art lighting and volumetrics. Flight Simulator's ace in the hole, though, is it's ability to deliver next-gen AAA quality visuals at an unprecedented scale. In many ways, it's delivering moment-to-moment visuals, at a never seen before scale. In short, Microsoft Flight Simulator is already in next-gen mode before next-gen begins.

Demon's Souls Could Launch With PS5 – Rumor

Demon's Souls PS5_01

Bluepoint Games' Demon's Souls, a remake of the beloved FromSoftware classic, was recently rated for the PS5 in South Korea and Japan. This could indicate a release soon but given that the PS5 is out this holiday season, will it join the console's launch line-up? According to Kinda Funny co-host Imran Khan, also formerly a senior editor at Game Informer, it's possible.

Replying to a Twitter user about it being a launch title, especially with the recent rating, Khan said, "I'd doubt it if only for COVID reasons but I don't think it's off the table." Interestingly, he added that, "As far as I know, they had always been targeting launch/launch window." Plans could change, especially given everything that's happened this year, but there could be a chance.

Neither Sony nor Bluepoint Games offered any kind of release window with the remake's reveal. However, the launch rumors are interesting when you consider recent comments by Eric Lempel, Sony Interactive Entertainment SVP and head of global marketing. He told that the PS5 launch window line-up is "best line-up that we've ever seen in the history of PlayStation." Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Astro's Playroom, Godfall and Bugsnax make for a pretty strong line-up but Demon's Souls would truly complete it.

We'll have to wait for more details in the coming months. In the meantime, head here to out how Bluepoint Games is using the PS5's DualSense controller to make the combat feel "grittier, darker, and deadlier."

Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Official Artwork Revealed

call of duty black ops cold war

After months of rumors and leaks, not to mention an ARG, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War was finally confirmed. Activision is teasing a full reveal inside Call of Duty: Warzone on August 26th. In the meantime, the teases continue with the latest being official artwork for the game.

There's not much to glean here, aside from the obvious conflict between the United States and Soviet Union. The presence of two characters seems to indicate two playable sides to the story. Call of Duty titles have been offering multiple playable characters since its inception so we'll see how this shakes out in the grand scheme of things.

Platforms for Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War have yet to be revealed, though PS5 and Xbox Series X versions seem a given. Treyarch and Raven Software are developing and Activision has hyped the latest release as being "very different" and "more engaging" than its previous games. As always, stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

Horizon Forbidden West Weapons Feel More Unique, Satisfying to Use With PS5's DualSense

Horizon Forbidden West (4)

Recently, developers for Deathloop, GhostWire: Tokyo and Demon's Souls have revealed how the PS5 DualSense controller impacts the experience in their upcoming titles. Guerrilla Games and Insomniac also chimed in on the same PlayStation Blog, discussing how the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback play into Horizon Forbidden West and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Let's start with Horizon Forbidden West game director Mathijs de Jonge.

He stated that the sequel features new weapons "designed to feel unique and play a specific role in combat with machines and human opponents." With the DualSense's adaptive triggers, weapons "feel even more unique and satisfying to use." As for Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, creative director Brian Horton said that the precision of haptic feedback allowed allowed for "all sorts of new things."

"In Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, we'll be hinting to players which direction attacks are coming from by providing haptic feedback from the appropriate direction on the DualSense wireless controller. What does it feel like to use Miles's stealth ability? How does a Venom Blast feel? Because of the high resolution of DualSense wireless controller's haptics system, we can really push the dimensionality of the feedback," said Horton.

"For instance, as you hold down Square to do a Venom Punch, you feel Spider-Man's bio-electricity crackle across from the left side of the controller, culminating in the right side on impact." It really gives new meaning to the phrase "feel like Spider-Man" because, well, you're actually going to feel a lot of Miles' actions.

It'll be a while before we can play around with the DualSense functions in Horizon Forbidden West – it's currently slated to release in 2021. However, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales is out this holiday season, launching alongside the PlayStation 5. Stay tuned for more details on both in the coming months.

Street Fighter V Pro Punished by Capcom for Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Street Fighter V Sponsored Content Capcom Pro Cup 2018

Last weekend was the first North America Qualifier for 2020's Capcom Pro Tour for Street Fighter V where the best in the region played to nab a spot for future events. With COV-19 Capcom is naturally taking precautions by having all of the Capcom Pro Tour events take place online. When the news first broke out this upset players due to the game's poor online netcode. Due to aggressive insults following the qualifier, Capcom made a statement taking action against pro player Victor "Punk" Woodley.

In losers finals, Woodley played against Alex Myers where there were signs of lag occurring throughout but was never recognized by the commentators. According to Ginx, Woodley was streaming his games on his personal stream where he threw his fight stick on the ground following his loss. These clips have since been deleted. He later went to the tournament's discord server accusing Myers wins as fraudulent due to the lag. "My man lagged versus Mario, Snake Eyez, he lagged all day," said Woodley. Punk also went out to call Myers a bitch as well as harassed tournament organizer Alex Valle.

Woodley eventually apologized to both Myers and Valle with both accepting his apology ready to move on from the situation. Capcom decided to take action on Woodley's behavior by having him begin the next qualifying tournament in loser's bracket which takes place in November later this year due to breaking the Capcom Pro Tour Code of Conduct. This will be Punk's last opportunity to qualify for the final tournament which will take place sometime in 2021. Punk finished in second place last year during the Capcom Cup 2019 tournament.

Capcom's decision received mixed feelings from the fighting game community including James Chen, one of the Street Fighter V commentators during the match. "I really hope they rescind this. This is unnecessary, IMO," said Chen. He continues, "Salt happens. And social media allows people easy access to making emotional mistakes. It *was* a mistake, but he already apologized for it. It was over. For the sake of integrity, please let Punk off with just a warning." Chen later reversed his thoughts saying "As people have pointed out, Code of Conduct rules were violated, so enforcing the CoC is the right choice to make. And by that logic, I will support the decision made."

Woodley responded to Capcom's statement simply with "Well time to make this losers bracket run count." The second North America Qualifier will take place on November 21, 2020.

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Halo Master Chief Collection ODST Update for PC Brings Weapon Skins, New Armor and More

Halo: The Master Chief Collection's newest season is right around the corner. Naturally, that means more brand new content. Players on PC are finally going to be able to play Halo 3: ODST and Halo 3: ODST Firefight. But across the board, new customization options are coming for Halo 3 specifically, in the form of seasonal rewards.

This new info comes from multiple videos uploaded to Youtube by the lucky folks that have been accepted into the Halo insider program. This group has access to the latest flight build of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. That also means though that a lot of what you'll see in their videos is essentially still in development, so it's important to take some of this new content with a grain of salt. While a lot of new additions seem set in stone, others could be changed later down the line when this update is released for the public.

With that out of the way, let's get into the most important part of the ODST update for the PC version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection: customization. Weapon skins and armor customization are going to be available for Halo 3 multiplayer after this update, although don't expect too much. So far only three weapons have skins: the magnum, battle rifle and assault rifle. Those pickings are pretty slim, but still, the chance to pop players' heads in Swat with a gold magnum can't be missed.

As for armor customization, well it won't be what you expect to put it simply. Don't worry, there aren't any microtransactions. All armor and weapon skins are unlocked the same way they are every season, with in-game points. But, the new armor customization options are fairly limited. There isn't an updated version of the Hyabusa or Recon armor, in fact, there's not really new armor, just different color visors you can tack on to helmets.

Moving on from aesthetic additions, players can also expect a ton of changes to content versus their original release. Take for instance ODST Firefight, which players can fully customize for the first time ever. You'll be able to change player health, jump height and more for an easier or more difficult time facing off against waves of the Covenant. But perhaps the biggest gameplay change is the first-ever addition of weapons to Halo 3. The game will be getting three new guns, all originally from ODST: the silenced SMG, the auto pistol and the brute plasma rifle. It's not clear yet whether these new weapons will be added to Halo 3 multiplayer or if they're only going to present in Forge mode, but an expanded arsenal is never a bad thing.

The one piece of info we don't have yet is when we can expect this update to officially release. Until then, I'll just be playing swat and custom games with my pals, pretending it's 2009 all over again.

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Genshin Impact Housing, Farming, Alternate Costumes, Optimization of Farming Domains Hinted At By miHoYo

Genshin Impact Housing haloween alternate costumes feature

Genshin Impact could end up including a housing system, a farming system, and bonus costumes at some point. We learned all that via a video interview published on August 18, with miHoYo co-founder and General President Forrest Liu. The interview was MC'ed by miHoYo's Overseas Operations team member J.Hyun.

Throughout the interview, Forrest Liu explained his upcoming game for those unfamiliar with it. Genshin Impact is an open world action RPG developed and published by miHoYo, an independent studio initially based in Shanghai. It's the same studio behind Honkai Impact 3rd. Genshin Impact features a seamless open-world with a full fledged solo story. An elements-based battle system with each character using one of seven different elements. And the possibility to play online coop. Genshin Impact is also free to play, with a gacha to get new characters, though it's nearly not as aggressive as many other games. We'll be publishing a detailed report on the game's Beta Test soon for more intricate details on the game's flow.

In the video interview, Forrest Liu also explained how the development of Genshin Impact began. It derived from how miHoYo constantly strives to do something different and exciting. Racking their brains to figure out what kind of game they'd like to play themselves, they started going toward open-world. This is how the Genshin Impact project began in 2017.

miHoYo's wish to focus on Anime Comics Games (ACG) is also what drove the company to start publishing the Genshin Impact manga in 2018, one year before the game project was announced. Developing Genshin Impact is no easy task however, and Forrest Liu admitted miHoYo initially underestimated the work required to create an open-world.

Later on in the interview, Forrest Liu explained that similarly to Honkai Impact 3rd which regularly receives new content, Genshin Impact will be regularly updated as well. This could include content such as:

  • More characters and stories
  • New ways to enjoy coop, social gameplay and other gaming experiences, with possible examples including a housing system, farming, a costume system, more co-op activities.
  • Optimizing the experience of farming Domains (These are basically short battles you need to clear under a time limit to get materials used in character and weapon upgrades.)
  • These materials to strengthen your characters and equipment could be farmed on the open-world outside of Domains.
  • Adding new dynamic mechanics to gameplay within Domains (dungeons) to keep they fresh and accentuate the need of strategic party setups.

The interview is included below. Be sure to activate English subs through the YouTube configuration menu. Just click the small wheel as usual.

Genshin Impact: Housing, Farming And More Teased (Interview)

Genshin Impact currently has over 1 million per-registrations as I'm writing this:

Multiple incredibly cute artwork are being shared on Twitter as well:

Genshin Impact launches on PC and Mobile on September 28. The PS4 version is coming a bit later in Fall 2020.

On a related note, miHoYo is also developing the N0va Desktop project and its VTuber YoYo Lumi.

The post Genshin Impact Housing, Farming, Alternate Costumes, Optimization of Farming Domains Hinted At By miHoYo by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.

Burger King Twitch Marketing Campaign Receives Widespread Backlash

Burger King

Burger King might as well be known for its viral marketing campaigns and PR stunts more than their burgers at this point, and now it's coming to Twitch. From releasing a timelapse video of a burger going bad to show that it had no preservatives or additives to intentionally giving people the wrong order to promote their Impossible Whopper, they're one of the fast-food chains that's taken advantage of social media.

Burger King's recent Twitch campaign, however, has garnered somewhat universal backlash:

Twitch's donation feature allows fans and viewers to contribute a little money to the recipient and have a brief message appear on the stream. Some streamers also use a text-to-speech program that reads the message in case they miss it. To many, Burger King's use of this feature is somewhat of a breach of trust.

Steamers of most sizes have had to deal with other streamers coming into their chat at some point or another and advertising themselves. It's a reality of Twitch, but it's also incredibly bad etiquette. In fact, most streamers have something along the lines of "No self-promotion," written somewhere on their streams.

It's not a surprise that a number of people across the internet weren't happy about this either, because while the streamer is still getting money, if an individual person shouldn't do it, it's clear that it's a bad look for the major corporation.

This isn't the first time a larger company has done this sort of thing. Coke ran ads on Twitch that infamously featured them donating upwards of hundreds of dollars to streamers and the streamers' reactions to the donations. Even that campaign had its critics even though the streamers were actually receiving significant amounts of money.

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Martha Is Dead Gets Over Ten Minutes of Gameplay Footage

Martha Is Dead

The latest trailer from Martha Is Dead is quite a lengthy gameplay footage that shows off the game's various locations and its simple exploring and puzzle-solving mechanics.

Developed by LKA, the team behind Town of Light, Martha Is Dead is a first-person psychological horror game that invites you to a haunting adventure in the midst of World War II at Tuscany. Playing as Martha's sister, you will find her body in the shores of a lake, murdered and drowned. While you need to deal with Martha's shocking death, you should also put the different pieces of the puzzle to figure out the story behind the murder.

Powered by Unreal Engine 4, Martha Is Dead looks really gorgeous, and at some points of the footage above, it reminds of me of What Remains of Edith Finch, a remarkable indie masterpiece that was launched in 2017. As shown in the footage, there are various stunning locations in the game that you will pay a visit to uncover the secrets and get more clues on what happened to Martha before her death.

Luca Dalco, the founder of LKA, explained more about the setting of the game in his recent interview, describing it as an interesting and distressing experience set in a very special period of the World War II history. He said:

Martha is Dead is set in a really interesting and distressing period of history, with Italy at this time torn between two major powers fighting for the future. Martha's brutal murder brings with it a mirrored sense of misery. This game will shock, make players question the truth, and like The Town of Light, help continue a conversation around subject matters that still carry much stigma.

At LKA, we start with a story. Often it's uncomfortable, not painless, and based in truth. We learned a lot with The Town of Light, and Martha is Dead is taking everything we know, and turning it up to 10.

Martha Is Dead is currently set to release in 2021 for PC and Xbox Series X.

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Ghost of Tsushima Review — My Precious Sense of Honor

Ghost of Tsushima

Sucker Punch began this generation with one of the first major exclusives on PS4 in the open-world action game Infamous: Second Son. While it may not be the PS4's best exclusive, it gave players a glimpse of what the Sony console could do. So, it only seems fitting that the Seattle-based studio's newest game, Ghost of Tsushima, would be the PS4's last exclusive before the PS5 hits this holiday season.

It is obvious Sucker Punch has learned a lot about crafting an open-world since its last game; the island of Tsushima is one of the most captivating and beautiful worlds I have ever had the pleasure of exploring. But with combat that is deceptively simple and a pretty weak main story, Ghost of Tsushima is more of a fun love letter to samurai cinema than a completely original take on the genre. Personally, I was hoping for the latter.

In Ghost of Tsushima, you play as Jin Sakai, a samurai and the leader of Clan Sakai. The story begins with Jin and his uncle, Lord Shimura, who is the jitō of Tsushima, defending their home against Khotun Khan and his Mongolian army. It does not end well for the samurai, as Khotun Khan is able to kill nearly all of them while capturing Lord Shimura and taking control of the island. Jin is fatally wounded but is saved by a thief named Yuna. Jin then proceeds to save his captured uncle at Castle Kaneda, but fails in defeating Khotun Khan, and is thrown off a bridge. It is at this moment Jin realizes he needs some help and seeks the aid of some friends to assist with a charge against the Mongolians to hopefully take back the island of Tsushima.

I'm not an expert in Japanese history, nor am I a Kurosawa enthusiast (which the game is obviously inspired by given its "Kurosawa Mode"), so I can't really tell you how accurately it depicts this battle or how it utilizes its blatant inspiration from the lauded filmmaker. But as someone who plays a lot of story-driven video games and watches a lot of movies, this tale isn't all that original.

The idea of getting a group of "misfits" to take on a major threat to save life as they know it isn't anything new. Jin's journey in becoming the "Ghost" and questioning the samurai code isn't this new, either. Even when putting these two plotlines together, nothing quite novel comes about as a result. And because it doesn't take this well-worn formula into any new territory, I kind of just lost interest in the main story after the first act. The narrative is told well, but it lacks any surprise or suspense. You can tell where Jin's story is heading right from the beginning.

Despite its lackluster main tale, the side missions have some pretty compelling stories of their own. Without spoiling anything, Lady Masako and Sensei Ishikawa's questlines are among the best-told stories in Ghost of Tsushima. I was way more invested in what was happening in their lives than I was Jin's. Even some of the one-shot side missions have more interesting and original stories to tell. It's awesome that the storytelling didn't take a hit on these smaller quests. However, I wish that originality was more ever-present in the main story.

Ghost of Tsushima

This notion of the lack of originality is also present in Ghost of Tsushima's gameplay, albeit in more interesting ways than its storytelling. Combat is similar to the Batman: Arkham and Shadow of Mordor series. Essentially, it's a slower-paced hack and slash that relies heavily on your ability to counter or dodge enemy attacks.

Initially, I really dug the combat. You really feel like a powerful samurai as killing enemies only takes a few hits. It also felt like I was unlocking new abilities at a good pace. From standoffs to the various stances, it felt satisfying as I progressed through the story. Having to switch stances to take care of enemies effectively kept me engaged with just about every combat scenario.

However, once I unlocked the Ghost stance (which is one of the coolest moments during Jin's story), it didn't really feel Jin was improving on much else. It also didn't feel like I needed to improve at this point. Although I didn't play this way, you could easily mainline the story, and still feel in control of every combat scenario. As long as you're good with switching stances and utilizing some of the Ghost weapons, fighting off 5 or more enemies is pretty easy.

I also didn't use many of the Ghost weapons that were available. Really, all I used were the sticky bombs and kunai. Both of these weapons were incredibly helpful in not only stunning the more annoying enemy types (I'm looking at you, staff boys) but also taking out anyone who was low on health. But other weapons, like the smoke, just didn't see much use. A lot of it has to do with how clunky it feels to switch between different Ghost weapons on the fly. By default, I just made sure I had enough kunai for each fight. Otherwise, I didn't really bother with ghost weapons unless I was really in a pickle.

All in all, those gripes are pretty minor. The combat does feel good, it just doesn't feel all that thoughtful. There were points where missions definitely favored a stealthier approach but I was still able to charge in head-on and take care of any group of enemies pretty easily. My biggest gripe with Ghost of Tsushima's combat is the lack of a lock-on feature. It really feels like I should be able to lock onto enemies, not just so I can single out certain enemies, but so I don't have to also fight a camera, which does get a bit annoying at times. But once I got used to the combat, that gripe became pretty minor.

Ghost of Tsushima

While Ghost of Tsushima's gameplay and story may not be revolutionary, the island of Tsushima itself is the real star. I don't think I have ever been so drawn to an open world. It's odd, because there really isn't much, in terms of the actual environment, that makes it stand out. There are even times when I look at a still, and it doesn't look all that great. But how the world is designed and looking at it in motion is a sight to behold.

I think some of the intricacies of Ghost of Tsushima's presentation will be written off as novelties, but I really do think it boasts of the smartest design I have seen in a video game. Using wind as an indicator for which direction to go would get annoying after a while. However, it never got old and is an awesome way to clear the screen of more visible indicators, like an arrow or a mini-map. The clean HUD allows you to take in the views, which again, look great in motion. Seeing the leaves fall, or grass moving in the wind really looks incredible, and at times tranquil. This is paired with an equally impressive photo mode that really showcases just how beautiful the island of Tsushima is.

Ghost of Tsushima may not be the perfect send off to the PS4 generation, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a great time playing through Jin's life-changing journey. The worst thing I can say about Sucker Punch's newest game is that it lacks originality. It just barely stands out. But if you really love well-crafted worlds and taking gorgeous pictures, Ghost of Tsushima is definitely worth a playthrough.

The post Ghost of Tsushima Review — My Precious Sense of Honor by Michael Ruiz appeared first on DualShockers.

Ghost of Tsushima Player Mods a Katana Controller for Some Epic Combat

It's been just a little over a month since Ghost of Tsushima launched on PlayStation 4 and since then we've seen a new update featuring new accessibility options and a new mode, as well as some general bug fixes and also Ghost of Tsushima: Legends which is a new co-op multiplayer for the title. If that wasn't enough to contend with, the Sucker Punch game also was the best selling title in Japan and also the USA. For all of you samurai wannabes who love nothing more than getting into some fisticuff action with foes, you need to check out this pretty awesome Katana controller YouTuber Super Louis 64 has modded for Ghost of Tsushima.

To use his full YouTube name, Super Louis 64 – Controller Bender loves to play games by using fun and quirky controllers. Previously, he beat Dark Souls by using a banana controller as well as taking on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild using a Ring Fit Adventure mod. You may initially think that this isn't possible and he's possibly a banana short of a bunch but looking through his videos, I've seen how amazing this guy is and more importantly, how much fun he makes the game. This time, however, Super Louis tries his luck with Ghost of Tsushima solely using a Katana that was originally designed in 2004 for the PlayStation 2 title, Onimusha.

Since the Katana controller was crafted for the PS2, Super Louis needed to mod it so that it would work with the PlayStation 4 and thus a new weapon entered the arena. After making some major readjustments, failing in some attempts at combat, and putting in hours of gameplay testing, Super Louis finally had his dream controller and feeling like a real(?) samurai, Louis was able to head out onto the island of Tsushima to take on the Mongols. Louis states in the video that he will never play Ghost of Tsushima with a regular controller again now that he has crafted the ultimate aid for his combat gameplaying needs.

To see how Super Louis modded his Katana controller and what buttons he has mapped – in case you would like to make your very own – you can check out the video embedded into the article, below. To also check out Louis' other insane controller modding videos, head on over to his YouTube channel and take a browse.

Ghost of Tsushima is available to play right now and it a PS4 exclusive. If you want to order the game for yourself and see what all the fuss is about, you can do so through Amazon,

The post Ghost of Tsushima Player Mods a Katana Controller for Some Epic Combat by Rachael Fiddis appeared first on DualShockers.

League of Legends' K/DA is Making a Comeback Next Week, New Champion Seraphine Could be Joining the Group

Two years ago, K/DA set the world on fire. The fictional band that is tied to League of Legends released the song "POP/STARS" to coincide with the end of the World Championship in 2018. And as of next week, it looks like K/DA will now be returning with more music it seems.

In a new tease on social media this afternoon, it was announced that K/DA is set to be making a comeback next week on August 27. In a video that will be premiering on YouTube at 3:00pm EDt/12:00pm PDT, a track called "The Baddest" will debut, which is said to be a pre-release single. While this will be the return of K/DA, it seems like we could be seeing a whole lot more of them afterward, as well.

The most interesting part of this new Twitter account that made the announcement is that it also seems to be teasing new skins tied to Akali, Ahri, Kaisa, and Evelynn, the four League of Legends champions that are part of the pop group. The header image for the account features each character wearing new outfits that we haven't seen before, so be prepared to fork over some money for new skins.

As for what's next for K/DA after the premiere of this new track, well, the group could be looking to expand at some point. The next champion joining League of Legends is said to be a character named Seraphine. Initial details of Seraphine have started leaking publicly this week, some of which point to her being a musician.

A few weeks ago, some information made its way to me that indicated the Seraphine could be joining K/DA. An anonymous source who seemingly has contacts at Riot Games shared some leaked screencaps, videos, and other details that I viewed showing that Seraphine will be joining K/DA at some point later this year, perhaps around the time of the 2020 World Championship. Take this all with a grain of salt as I wasn't able to verify the information with multiple independent sources, but it seemed legitimate. Don't be shocked to see it come to fruition, especially since Riot already did a similar thing last year when releasing Senna.

Regardless, even if K/DA doesn't add another member, many around the globe will surely be happy to see the group returning and releasing new music in some form or fashion. We'll share the new track with you here on DualShockers next week once it goes live.

The post League of Legends' K/DA is Making a Comeback Next Week, New Champion Seraphine Could be Joining the Group by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

Black Myth: Wukong First Gameplay Footage Looks Amazing

Black Myth: Wukong

Black Myth: Wukong is a third-person action RPG coming from Game Science studio which can be simply named as one of the best-looking upcoming games from what we can see during its first gameplay trailer.

Chinese game developers have truly made huge progress over the last few years. Currently, there are a bunch of anticipated games under the development process at Chinese studios, including Boundary, Bright Memory: Infinite, and the recently announced Black Myth: Wukong. One strong similarity between all those projects is their undeniably incredible, next-gen looking graphics.

The very first footage from the pre-alpha build of Balck Myth: Wukong shows off 13 minutes of its gameplay and combat. The game's story and the setting are an adaptation from the famous Chinese novel, Journey to the West. Playing as Monkey King, you will explore a fantasy world populated with human-like animals and warriors.

The game features third-person melee combat, with a quite deep progression system that will allow you to learn and use over 70 different abilities throughout your whole experience in the game. The gameplay above shows off some of the mentioned abilities like turning into a bee or freezing your enemies.

Not many details about the gameplay have been shared so much, like whether the game will be a single-player focused experience or we get to see some co-op options as well.

Currently, there's no release window for Black Myth: Wukong, but it will be available on PC. There's been no word on console versions yet. The game has been developed on Unreal Engine 4, and it looks amazingly detailed in its pre-alpha footage.

You can pay a visit to the game's official website which is totally in Chinese, so it's a bit hard to understand what's going on in the world of Black Myth: Wukong, but at least you can check out more screenshots and brief clips from the game.

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Fall Guys Leak Teases A Collaboration with Portal and My Friend Pedro

Fall Guys Portal 2

One of the biggest charms of Fall Guys is the variety of different outfits that players can purchase whether it be through its in-game "kudos" currency or crowns which you earn one with every win you get. In the past weeks, we have already seen numerous different games collaborate with the battle royale success including Team Fortress 2, Hotline Miamiand Enter the Gungeon, but now it seems that we have more on the way.

According to Twitter user HYPEX, it seems that Chell from the Portal franchise and Pedro the banana from My Friend Pedro will be two new outfits making its way to the game. The Chell outfit is said to be on the Fall Guys shop starting on September 3rd exclusively on PC. However, with Mediatonic stating that today's update included Valve's outfits making their way to PS4 it is unknown whether or not Chell will truly be a PC exclusive if the leak turns out to be true. September 6 is the rumored date for Pedro which would be available on both platforms. If the shop runs like normal, both outfits will be available for two days with no confirmation that either outfit will appear in the shop again.

HYPEX previously leaked the Bulletkin outfit from Enter the Gungeon which turned out to be true, so this new leak does carry some weight. The user also leaked the T-Rex outfit that is in the shop right now for the correct time as well. Other users on Twitter have also shown the possibility of an Alyx outfit from Half-Life: Alyx and P-Body from Portal 2. There is so much potential on the different partnerships that Fall Guys could have as we've already seen teases of potential skins for The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 from CDProjektRed. All we can do now is wait and see.

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