Delaying Halo Infinite was a major decision by Microsoft, and it was one that many didn't expect them to make. That's not just because it's perhaps one of their biggest releases in years, but also because it was being billed as the flagship launch title for the Xbox Series X. However, given the rough state the game looked to be in in its gameplay reveal, most agreed that the delay was a good idea, and would lead to a better game.
Now, new information is probably emerging that suggests that Microsoft and developers 343 Industries are prepared to make even more sacrifices to ensure that Halo Infinite is the best game that it can be. Over on ResetEra, insider sponger – who has been verified by the forum's moderators as being a legitimate source of such news and has previously leaked accurate information – is suggesting that Microsoft could be considering making big changes to Halo Infinite's launch plans. This isn't information that is coming from official channels, so take it with a grain of salt for now.
The biggest of the aforementioned changes is that the first person shooter – which is currently being developed as a cross-gen release – could drop its planned Xbox One version and become an Xbox Series X exclusive. Sponger states that on the base Xbox One, Halo Infinite is struggling quite a bit- apparently, it's failing to hit a 1080p resolution – and in fact is even lower than 900p – and facing major issues with asset loading- even worse than those that were apparent in the game's recent gameplay demo, which was running on a PC.
343 Industries have a plan for the fixes that they need to put into place. "Idea is to change at the engine level how assets load, make RT as default (improve/"unlock" some assets), improve geometry, post-processing and add more CPU bound interactivity," the insider says.
In fact, in another post, sponger states that even delaying Halo Infinite once more and releasing it in early 2022 is not off the table. Apparently, 343 Industries and Microsoft are convinced that it needs to be the "best Halo game ever"- and based on this, they seem to be willing to make any sacrifices necessary.
Until not too long ago, Microsoft had stated on more than one occasion that there would no first party Xbox Series X exclusives for a couple of years until after the console's launch, and that all of their games would be coming to Xbox One for the foreseeable future as well. However, at the Xbox Games Showcase in late July, multiple first party releases – including the likes of Fable, Avowed, State of Decay 3, Forza Motorsport, and Everwild – were confirmed as Xbox Series X exclusives, and Microsoft's subsequent statements presented a pretty different picture from their earlier ones.
Halo Infinite is, for now, the only major upcoming first party game by Microsoft that is confirmed to be coming to Xbox One as well, so if it were to drop its current-gen version, it would be a pretty notable change. Many might argue, however, that it would probably be for the better, especially for the game itself. Once again though, don't put too much stock into this until we hear something more concrete.
Meanwhile, Halo Infinite has been at the center of a controversy of its own since the announcement of its delay. A recent report claimed that the game had been going through a rough development period for a number of years for a variety of reasons, though developers 343 Industries have categorically denied several of the claims in the report.
False rumours and next-gen hype cycles go hand-in-hand, and there's been no shortage of those this time around either. We recently talked about PS5-related rumours that have popped up over the last few months that turned out to be less than accurate, and here, we're going to do the same with Xbox Series X. So without further ado, let's get started.
PERFECT DARK REVEAL AT XBOX GAMES SHOWCASE
As Microsoft's youngest first party studio, there's a lot of curiosity about what The Iniaitive's first project is going to be, and multiple reports over the past few months have suggested that the Santa Monica-based studio is working on a revival of the beloved Perfect Dark franchise. We're hoping that that is indeed true – and it very well may be – but one thing that definitely turned out to be false was the timing of its reveal. Days before the Xbox Games Showcase in late July, reports started emerging that the Perfect Dark reboot would be revealed at the show- which, of course, didn't happen. Here's hoping we do get to see the game before too long.
WB Games Montreal have been teasing their new game for a couple of years now, and now, after a long and torturous wait, they have finally unveiled it. Gotham Knights took center-stage as DC FanDome kicked off, and with a new trailer and a gameplay demo, Warner Bros. introduced us to their new upcoming superhero game. There was quite a bit that we learned about it, and here, we'll be talking about some of the biggest talking points about the game coming out of the show.
Gotham Knights has a rather interesting premise. For starters, though it's set in the Batman universe, it's not a Batman game- the main reason for that is that the Batman is dead. The trailer reveals that the Caped Crusader died in a mysterious explosion, and as he did, he left behind a message for several of his fellow crime-fighting vigilantes in the Batfamily, telling them to protect Gotham City in his absence. Who caused that explosion? Is Bruce Wayne really dead? We will obviously find the answers to these questions in the game itself… but we think we have a pretty good idea what those answers will be already.
COURT OF OWLS
As for who caused those explosions, it was almost certainly the Court of Owls. The game's announce trailer confirms at the end something that leaks and teases and rumours have been hinting at for a couple of years- that the shadowy organization known as the Court of Owls will be the primary antagonists in Gotham Knights, and that their assassins, known as Talons, will be a major threat that will be have to dealt with. Their exact involvement in the story hasn't been detailed yet, but we can't wait to face off against this new threat.
So in Batman's absence, who is going to take up his mantle as the protector of Gotham? Well, it won't be any one person. Four members of the Batfamily are going to step up and fill the void left behind by the Dark Knight. These four playable characters in Gotham Knights are going to be Batgirl (or Barbara Gordon), Robin (or Tim Drake), Red Hood (or Jason Todd), and Nightwing (or Jason Todd). Outside of these four, some information on secondary characters and other antagonists has also been confirmed. Alfred is back, of course, but Commissioner Jim Gordon seems to be dead. Meanwhile, we also know for a fact that Mr. Freeze is returning.
NOT IN THE ARKHAM UNIVERSE
Batman being dead and someone else having to step up in his absence may seem like a premise that fits very well with how Arkham Knight ends, but WB Games Montreal have confirmed that Gotham Knights is not set in the Arkham universe. This is going to be an entirely new story in a new universe, even though there are, of course, going to be plenty of similarities as far as gameplay is concerned.
Gotham Knights will take place in an open world Gotham City, similar to Arkham City, Origins, and Knight, but Gotham seems to have received a much-needed makeover. The open world of the game has five distinct boroughs, so we can probably expect each of them to have their own distinct look and feel, while the gameplay demo that was shown off also showed the streets being actually populated with vehicles and pedestrians, something that we never saw in the Arkham games. Traversal around this city also seems interesting. There will be gliding and grappling, of course, but players will also be able to use the Batcycle to get around Gotham.
With four distinct playable characters sharing the spotlight, there's plenty of room for unique playstyles and different abilities, and from what we've seen of the game so far, that definitely seems to be the case. It seems each of them has unique fighting styles and combat abilities, and a couple of these were shown off in the gameplay demo. Robin seems to have access to the Justice League satellites, which allows him to teleport short distances, while Batgirl has a fighting style rather similar to that of Batman himself- in addition to some interesting new abilities, such as summoning a swarm of bats to aid her in combat. Meanwhile, it also looks like characters will be able to team up for tag-team attacks and finishers on enemies.
One of the more interesting things we learned about Gotham Knights in its gameplay demonstration was the fact that it seems to be going all-in on RPG mechanics. Characters earn experience and level up, and as they do, they unlock new abilities and power up existing ones. Enemies also have their own levels and health bars, and damage numbers pop up during combat. Meanwhile, the demo also confirms that the boss characters will scale up as you level up yourself, which means fighting one of them at lower levels will be a lot different than squaring off against them with a more powered-up character.
It seems like this is going to be the defining feature of Gotham Knights. WB Games Montreal have confirmed that the entire game is going to be entirely playable solo- but also in co-op with up to two total players. The entire gameplay demo that was shown off showed Batgirl and Robin teaming up to take down Mr. Freeze, and this, of course, is where their unique abilities and styles and team-up attacks came in. The prospect of teaming up with another player to clean up the streets of Gotham is a rather exciting one.
A LIVING CITY
Neither WB Games Montreal not Warner Bros themselves have specifically mentioned that Gotham Knights is going to be a live service game, but it seems like the pieces are certainly in place for that to be the case. In addition to all the RPG elements and co-op shenanigans that they've revealed, they're also promising a living, breathing Gotham City that will offer new challenges over time. Whether that just means extensive post-launch support or a proper service model remains to be seen.
So when exactly is Gotham Knights coming out? The superhero action-adventure title will be releasing some time in 2021 – the exact date hasn't been confirmed – and as many predicted, it will be a cross-gen game, coming to the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC.
The PS5's DualSense and its adaptive triggers and haptic feedback are things that Sony are banking on hard in the lead-up to their next-gen console's launch, and developers seem to be quite excited about those features as well. And racing sims in particular seem like a genre that will benefit quite a bit from those features.
For instance, Gran Turismo 7, too, will be leveraging the DualSense's adaptive triggers and haptics, and speaking on the PlayStation Blog, Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi talked about just how that will be done.
With the adaptive triggers, Yamauchi says that the upcoming racing sim will now have a more realistic representation of ABS while braking, while thanks to the haptic feedback, he promises "a bigger range of frequencies" in terms of feedback in the controller.
"I think the most effective use of the adaptive trigger [in Gran Turismo 7] is for representing the operation of the antilock brake system (ABS) while braking," Yamauchi said. "A typical ABS releases brake pressure intermittently while the driver applies pressure to the pedal. The adaptive trigger is suited for recreating this pedal feel, and it will allow the player to accurately feel and understand the relationship between the braking force they want and the tire's grip.
"Compared to the rumble force feedback we had in the past, the special character of the haptic feedback is that it has a bigger range of frequencies it can produce."
Recently, various other developers have also spoken about how the DualSense's unique features will be used in their games. from the Demon's Souls remake's grittier and deadlier combat, to Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo's innovations with weapons, to Horizon Forbidden West and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales' more tactile feedback.
Gran Turismo 7 is currently in development for the PS5. It does not yet have a release date.
We don't often get to see Chinese developers making waves with major AAA games, but Black Myth: Wu Kong looks to be the game that will fill that void. Announced recently by indie development team Game Science, it looks like an absolute visual and technical marvel, and its 13 minute-long reveal trailer has quite a bit of eye-catching gameplay to show off as well.
It shows plenty of combat, with a particular focus on melee attacks, using various abilities, and dodging, and put together, it looks fast-paced and kinetic. The main character can transform into a variety of creatures, and based on what's being shown here, the boss battles are going to be rather interesting as well. What's most notable is the visuals- from the animations to the art to the detail crammed into the environments, Black Myth is definitely looking like a technical showpiece so far. Based on the Chinese epic Journey to the West, the game also has a rather interesting narrative premise, so we're curious to see more of the game, and how it shapes up as development progresses.
Game Science was founded in 2014 by several former Tencent employees, and though they have since then worked on plenty of games, this is their first attempt at a full-fledged AAA console release. Of course, one never really knows how a game will turn out until the full thing releases, but Black Myth has made a strong impression.
Black Myth: Wu Kong doesn't have a release date, but it's being target for PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. The game is being developed using Unreal Engine 4. Check out its full gameplay reveal below.
After plenty of months of leaks, and a couple of recent weeks of teasing, Activision finally announced Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War last week, and confirmed that a full reveal of the game will be coming on later this weel within Call of Duty: Warzone. Ahead of that, they've started sharing some new details.
As reportedly by Charlie INTEL on Twitter, Activision have recently been sending out promotional emails for the shooter's upcoming reveal, and in those emails, they've confirmed that the game will be exclusive to Blizzard's Battle.net launcher on PC. Considering the fact that last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and other past Call of Duty games have also launched as Battle.net exclusives, this doesn't come as a surprise, though it will surely be a controversial decision nonetheless.
Meanwhile, it's also been confirmed that the game's PC version is being handled by Beenox, who also worked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered, as well as the PC versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War's full reveal will happen on August 26. Stay tuned for more details until then.
— Call of Duty News (@charlieINTEL) August 21, 2020
Marvel's Avengers' ongoing beta has given many people the chance to jump into its co-op shenanigans and experience the game for themselves. Soon, however, it will be launching in full, and as we approach its launch date, more information on the game is starting to emerge.
Recently, YouTube channel TheRelaxingEnd (via MP1st) uploaded an unboxing video of the game's Earth's Mightiest Heroes Edition – the PS4 version, to be more precise – and in the video, we got a look at the game's box. On the back of the box, as is always the case, there's several details about the game, including how much free space you'll need on your system to play the game. With Marvel's Avengers, that number stands at 90 GB. It's worth noting that that's not necessarily the game's file size, rather how much free space you'll need to download and install the game.
Marvel's Avengers is out on September 4 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia, and will be releasing for PS5 and Xbox Series X later in the year. Recently, datamining of the ongoing beta may have spilled the beans on a host of unannounced upcoming playable characters- read more on that through here.
"When is the next Direct?" is a question that countless people have asked countless times this year, and yet, though there have been plenty of mini-Directs, game-specific presentations, and more recently, Partner Showcases and indie presentations, a Direct is still nowhere in sight. It seems, however, that one might be on the horizon.
GamesBeat's Jeff Grubb, who's been a reputable source of insider information across the board over the past few months, recently said in the GamesBeat Decides podcast (which you can view below) that the next Nintendo Direct presentation might be coming as early as this Friday, which is August 28th. Grubb says that based on the things he's heard, there's "a strong possibility" that that's when the Direct will happen.
He goes on to warn listeners that, given Nintendo's recent track record with Directs, it might not necessarily be a full general Direct, and could very well end up being a Partner Showcase. However, Grubb adds that regardless of that, a general Direct focused on first party announcements is definitely on the horizon, and at most, will be happening before mid-September. With Nintendo having a special meeting with investors halfway through next month, Grubb says they will want to get ahead of questions about upcoming releases with announcements before then, though he also adds that he's been hearing about a full Direct by mid-September since even before the meeting with the investors was confirmed.
Recent rumours have suggested that a Nintendo Direct will be happening later this month, so there definitely seems to be a lot of smoke. That said, one never knows anything for sure with Nintendo, and we've been burned about Directs multiple times this year, so it's best to tread with caution, regardless of how reputable Grubb is as a source.
As for what Nintendo could announce in a Direct if it does get announced, there's been plenty of rumours about quite a few announcements. A collection of remasters of mainline 3D Super Mario games have been rumoured for a while, while recently, a retailer listing of a Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was also spotted. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is due out for the Switch later this year, so that could receive new details, while fans have been hoping for an update on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 for a while now.
Rocksteady have finally lifted the on what they have been cooking up, with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League finally being revealed yesterday- and though it's still a ways off and there's still plenty that we don't yet know about it, during an interview with creative director Sefton Hill following the game's reveal at DC FanDome yesterday, several details on the game emerged.
As its trailer establishes, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be set in Metropolis, confirmed to be an open world setting, and it looks like it's going to differ from the Arkham games' Gotham City in more ways than one. It looks colourful and vibrant, and it one would imagine that having four unique playable characters will lead to various different traversal options.
Different options will also be available in combat. During the aforementioned interview, Hill mentioned that Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang, and Deadshot will all have their own sets of abilities and skills that players will have to master, with Hill claiming that each of the four will have more depth to them, their mechanics, and progression than Batman did in the Arkham games.
Harley Quinn has a love for explosives and her baseball bat in melee combat; Deadshot has a jetpack, his arm canons, a fuel gun that allows him to set enemies on fire, and, of course, his sniper rifle; King Shark has his two deadly claws, raw brute strength, and can wield a massive machine gun; and Captain Boomerang looks to be the agile one of the lot, and uses, as his name implies, a special boomerang. Apparently, there's much more to all of them than that.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is going to be a co-op game, as many have predicted, with support for up to four players in total. However, if you want to play the entire game solo, you can totally do that. When played solo, the three characters that you're not playing as will be controlled by the AI, and players will have the option to switch between the four of them at will.
There's more info on the game from yesterday's panel, which you can view in full below (thanks to Arkham Videos for uploading it).
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League releases in 2022 for the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC. Rocksteady have confirmed that it will be set in the Batman: Arkham universe.
After literally years of teasing, WB Games Montreal finally put us out of our misery yesterday and officially unveiled their next game- Gotham Knights, their open world action-adventure game that will see players stepping into the shoes of four members of the Batfamily in the wake of Gotham's Caped Crusader's apparent death.
With a meaty trailer and a rather lengthy gameplay demonstration, there was quite a bit that we learned about the game yesterday, and alongside that, Warner Bros. also sent out a press release containing some more snippets about the upcoming release. Most of it is an addendum to what we already know, but it's still interesting regardless.
Gotham Knights will be set in an open world, of course, and the press release further adds that it will have five distinct boroughs. Players will be employing "a variety of traversal abilities" to get around Gotham City- we can assume that gliding and grappling traversal similar to the Arkham games will be featured, though we're curious to see what else will be on offer beyond that. Of course, it's been confirmed that players will be able to use the Batcycle, which is cause for excitement for sure.
Each of the four characters will come with their own unique gameplay skills, as well as "a growing arsenal of weaponry and gear." Batgirl (aka Barbara Gordon) is "a determined fighter and a skilled hacker", highly trained in kickboxing, capoeira, and jiu-jitsu, and equips a tonfa. Nightwing (or Dick Grayson) is "a natural leader and the eldest and wisest member of the Batman Family". He makes use of his "mastery in acrobatics" and his Escrima Sticks to dispatch enemies.
Red Hood (or Jason Todd) is "an intense and volatile anti-hero". Haunted by his death and eventual resurrection, he is defined by "peak human strength and proficiency in multiple combat techniques with all manner of weapons – both traditional and high-tech." Finally, there's Robin (aka Tim Drake), described as "a master of deductive reasoning". On top of being equipped with a collapsible quarterstaff and being a master of stealth, he "possesses a background in combined psychological warfare and behavioral sciences".
Gotham Knights releases in 2021 for the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PC. It will not be set in the Arkham universe– though Rocksteady's Suicde Squad: Kill the Justice League will be.