Some of you expressed interest in the Nintendo Switch version of Torchlight III in particular, and well, here it is, ready to be downloaded today from the eShop for $40. It's the last port out of the gate.
In terms of Switch-specific features, you can use the touch screen to manage your inventory and the menus, and the exclusive pet is a freaky Ashen Glittersprite. Hey, what have you got against llamas?
Not to tell you how to spend your money, but I'd probably wait for a significant sale unless you're in a ravenous mood for a lighter action-RPG that won't push back too hard or throw complicated loot your way. That lack of complexity was one of my biggest criticisms – Torchlight III feels like a step down from the eight-year-old Torchlight II – and there's just no getting around it. Newer isn't automatically better.
There's always the possibility that Torchlight III can get better over time, but considering it already went through its Early Access phase and the updates didn't turn things around, I'm not optimistic right now.
Frankly, if you're on the fence, I'd give Minecraft Dungeons some serious thought even if you're zero percent invested in the wider Minecraft universe. Semi-related: I miss Gauntlet Dark Legacy so much.
The essence of a lot of the Forza Horizon experience is "Go fast, go as fast as possible." That's not always true for racing and its strategic braking and positioning. But, for speed traps, stunt jumps, drag races, etc? Yep, just go really fast.
Reddit user CarBoy0001 has figured out how to go faster than anyone else, making him the de facto best Forza Horizon 4 player of all-time. Making use of the game's constantly-running train, he positioned his car on the tracks while wedged against a brick wall. When the train hits him, the physics sort of pinch him against the corner of the wall, sending the car instantly flying and nearly hitting 700KPH. That's about 430MPH, I did the maths for the Americans.
Check out the clip below. (Sorry, you have to click through. There's no way to properly embed reddit clips.)
Epic is doing its part to make sure you're ready for Halloween. Okay, maybe it'd be nice if Epic showed up and decorated your house and stitched your costume together. Maybe placed some candy by your door. But as afar as video games go, Epic has you covered.
Last week, Jordan told you that Costume Quest 2 and Layers of Fear 2 are the next designated Epic Games Store freebies. Now I'm here to tell you it doesn't taper off for Halloween proper. Next week's treats are Blair Witch and Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered.
That's a good mix. Layers of Fear 2 and Blair Witch are here for the paralyzing grotesque horror. Costume Quest 2 is something more lighthearted yet Halloween-themed. Ghostbusters is the beloved blockbuster hit. Something for everyone.
You know the score. Pick up Costume Quest 2 and Layers of Fear 2 before October 29. That's when Blair Witch and Ghostbusters take over, just around the corner. Speaking of, don't look just around the corner. There's probably something scary as hell over there.
When I first played Xenoblade Chronicles, it grabbed me in a way that many JRPGs of that era failed to do.
It's just a plain old beautiful game from top to bottom, littered with zones you want to explore and an utterly fantastic soundtrack. Over 10 years since its original release, Nintendo is reminding us just how gorgeous this game really is with a "seven-minute relaxation video."
I have to say, it works! It's basically just time-lapsed shots of the game's various environments, set to several songs from the soundtrack (Maracuna Woods - Night and Escape Boat Camping). My personal favorite bit? It's gotta be Satorl Marsh, which you can see at roughly 4:54 in. I'm a sucker for blue and purple marshes!
While I just recently finished the Definitive Edition of Xenoblade (and the epilogue) for our review, I have the itch to play it again. Thankfully at this point the universe is fairly expansive, with Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade 2 (plus its expansion). I have an iteration to replay every few years, cycling on and off!
There was a brief time in my childhood where I was obsessed with the Iditarod. The allure of that type of competition, just a guy and his dogs traveling the snowy wilds of Alaska, was enticing to a more youthful version of me. My obsession with it resulted in Iron Will finding its way into my family's VCR on an almost weekly basis.
Like most of the things I fancied in my youth, the call of the wild eventually stopped speaking to me. I outgrew the childish notions of becoming a world-famous dog sled racer and settled for more realistic goals, like becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. I'd even forgotten how often I watched that movie in the '90s until a little trailer for The Red Lantern popped up on my YouTube feed and reminded me that, oh yeah, I'm still kind of obsessed with this.
There are two highly-anticipated cyberpunk games launching within the next month, one of them much much much much muuuuuccccchhhhh more highly-anticipated than the other. While everyone in the world is waiting for Cyberpunk 2077, a lot of people will pass the time with Ghostrunner.
If you need a refresher, Ghostrunner is the futuristic, first-person, parkour-oriented, one-hit-kill melee action game. There was a demo earlier this year, and it was absolutely electric. Ghostrunner was one of the many entrants in the Digital Dragons Indie Celebration showcase that I was a judge for. It ended up winning the top prize.
If you haven't been swayed yet, here's a little more in Ghostrunner's favor. It's getting free next-gen upgrades in 2021. On Xbox, Ghostrunner will be part of Microsoft's Smart Delivery program, meaning players on Xbox Series S/X will automatically get that version on their new consoles. (Here's the up-to-date full list of Smart Delivery games.) PlayStation doesn't have a similar program, so anyone who buys the game on PS4 will just be able to download the enhanced version on PS5 for free.
Anyway, if you're a little skittish on Ghostrunner simply because we're so close to next-gen, know that it's moving into the future with you. That's, uh, super fitting, I guess.
Sony has been rolling out the redesigned PlayStation Store for web browsers this week on a regional basis, and earlier today, the changeover happened in the United States. So far, it's a vastly different-looking site – and the functionality we've gotten used to over many years hasn't carried over beat for beat. The new storefront is an upgrade in some ways and an undeniable downgrade in others.
This is going to be a big adjustment, that's for sure. Nothing is quite where you want it to be.
Whether you're looking at your PlayStation library and remotely queuing PS4 downloads, checking your trophy progress, or scanning for deals, everything is flashier (and sometimes faster) but not necessarily more functional from a usability standpoint. That's to say nothing of growing pains like a lack of search filters and wishlists, and the complete removal of legacy listings for PS3, PSP, and PS Vita games.
My biggest hangup so far? Not having individual game titles written out with plain text.
Say you want to find a specific DLC pack for a game with tons of add-ons – or hell, say you're simply looking at any video game in any sale, period. In either case, all you're going to see for each listing is game artwork that may or may not clue you in with a clear, easily discernible logo. It's a UX mess.
I have a feeling Sony will tidy things up sooner than later and we'll also see some of these missing features return in time for the PlayStation 5 launch. As it stands, the store feels weirdly unfinished.
As long as Project xCloud has existed, we've always assumed a singular vision for Microsoft's game streaming: Run Xbox-quality games powered by the cloud, played with an Xbox controller on Android devices.
Actually, in an effort to make the mobile platform feel more natural, Microsoft has been working with developers to create native touch controls for some of those games. As a first pass, Microsoft has 10 games on Xbox Game Pass that now have dedicated touch controls on Android. They are:
You may not recognize the title Immortals Fenyx Rising. Did you miss the name change? Did you know it as Gods and Monsters, from Ubisoft's E3 2019 conference? Okay, well it got a name change that was allegedly due to a Monster Energy trademark dispute; but maybe wasn't.
Yeah, this game is a little weird. Before it arrives in December as one of the last big titles of the year, we took it for a test drive thanks to the new Stadia demo. It's...alright so far.
Any reason to throw a party. Halloween's quickly coming up, and Epic has used its impending arrival as occasion enough to throw a big ol' sale. It's not even really Halloween-themed except for in name! Nobody's going to complain, though.
The Epic Games Store Halloween Sale has discounts on 144 games, and most of the markdowns are pretty decent. Mortal Shell for $23.99, Hades for $19.99, Control: Ultimate Edition for $27.99, Crysis Remastered for $19.49, Civilization VI for $14.99. It's a lot. You'll have to check out the full list to see if anything tickles your fancy.
Here's where you can Galaxy Brain this sale. Epic is still running the Rocket League free-to-play introductory offer where you get a $10 coupon just for claiming the game. The coupon is good for $10 off any game or add-on priced at $14.99 or higher. If you haven't used this offer up yet, you can suddenly nab Hades for $9.99. Nobody's arguing with that.
It's very much time-sensitive though, because the Rocket League offer ends tomorrow. Go to this page and claim Rocket League with your Epic account before October 23 at 8am Pacific to secure the coupon. Once that's done, you have to use the coupon before November 1. So that's a week to think about what you want to pick up. However, you don't need a week to think because you already know that you're gettin' Hades.
The coupon expires on November 1 and the Epic Halloween Sale ends on November 5. Choose wisely.
Halloween Sale 2020 [Epic Games Store]
If you're yet to check out the colorful and chaotic action of Kirby Fighters 2, then now you have no excuses, as Nintendo has released - UNLEASHED - a demo for the Switch multiplayer slugfest.
The demo features the first chapter of the Kirby Fighters 2 story mode, "Buddy Match Debut," along with offline and online Vs. battles. All four Fighter Rank 1 warriors are in effect, allowing you to check out Sword Kirby, Staff Kirby, Bomb Kirby, and Bandana Waddle Dee. You can check out a trailer for the demo at the foot of the article.
Kirby Fighters 2 was surprise-launched by Nintendo back in September. The platform adventure features over a dozen stages, co-op, and Vs. multiplayer modes, and a new copy ability that sees the adorable pink blob become a daring luchador. Fun stuff.
Sucker Punch Productions' co-op Legends mode in Ghost of Tsushima blew me away, and I think that's going to be the consensus going forward as more players – even folks who don't typically go for this sort of multiplayer side offering – dig into the free update. Here's what's coming up on the roadmap.
As promised early on, the first raid, The Tale of Iyo, isn't far off – it will be released on October 30. That said, Legends players won't be able to waltz in with an under-powered crew made up of randoms. The "absolute minimum" Ki gear requirement is level 100, and the raid won't have matchmaking, meaning we'll need to form our own groups ahead of time. I can't say I'm surprised, but I am bummed. LFG it is!
For the rest of us who are nowhere near that Ki power level yet, there will be a Nightmare-tier Story and Survival mission to check out every Friday starting at 8:00 a.m. Pacific with "weekly modifiers" to spice them up. "They'll be very difficult, but if you and your fellow Ghosts are able to complete them along with all bonus objectives, you'll get max-level gear that will help you become Raid ready."
Sucker Punch also announced a patch that's going out today with fixes for network errors, crashes, and a tutorial glitch. There's also now support for PSN's "Player's Met" feature in Legends.
This is the gift that keeps on giving. I'll probably still be playing it by the time the PS5 is out. I feel like I've only scratched the surface with my main (the Hunter) by playing through every mission at least once, and it's a testament to the quality of Legends that I not only want to get back in there to tackle the Silver and Gold challenges, but I want to do so with the three other character classes, too.
Every Ghost of Tsushima player should try to play these Story missions at the very least.
Week One Update [Sucker Punch Productions]
Bandai Namco has announced that Hunter x Hunter's Meruem and YuYu Hakusho's Hiei will both be unleashed upon the Jump Force roster next week. Both characters will be made available to purchase on PS4, PC, and Xbox One on October 27, although Nintendo Switch players will unfortunately have to hold on until early 2021.
Son of the Chimera Ant Queen, Meruem was the main ant-agonist of Hunter x Hunter's "Chimera Ant" story arc. An initially violent and sociopathic ruler, capable of horrendous acts even toward his own fellow Chimera Ants, Meruem would eventually face deep-seated reflection upon encountering a steadfast and noble Gungi player named Komugi.
Hiei is an expert fighter, having mastered martial artist and swordsmanship at a young age, with his abilities further bolstered by his command of the "Darkness Flame", a highly dangerous skills that increases the powers of his bone-shattering strikes. A valued member of Team Urameshi, "The Master of the Evil Eye" is a indomitable foe on the battlefield.
You can check out a typical Bandai Namco "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" trailer for the two new DLC characters below.
As we enter winter 2020 for real soon enough, the marquee game on the Switch this week is the very model of a winter wonderland: The Red Lantern. Of course while it is wondrous it's also treacherous, as you'll need to survive the cold with your trusty dog sled team. You can read all about it in our review here.
The long-awaited Gonner2 is also hitting Switch, as well as the cute looking Carto and Supraland. Nintendo also put up a Kirby Fighters 2 demo if you want to try out the new sequel: which itself is an expanded version of the Kirby Fighters minigame from Triple Deluxe. Oh, how spinoffs have a life of their own sometimes.
Of course, the other main course is DLC-related: The Crown Tundra expansion for Pokemon Sword and Shield. It's coming sometime today and will cap off the season pass for this generation of Pokemon: it remains to be seen if there's more DLC on the way eventually.
In case you missed it, all four main characters in Borderlands 3 are getting new skill trees thanks to the upcoming Designer's Cut DLC: which is part of the second season pass.
While Amara and the best Borderlands 3 character (do I even need to say their name?) were already spoiled, today Gearbox has unveiled the upcoming alterations to Moze and Zane's playstyle, and they both sound just as fun as the other two.
Sega has announced a tentative release window for its evolutionary strategy title, Humankind. Originally scheduled to launch sometime this year, Amplitude Studios' game of city, people, and culture-building will now launch on PC and Stadia in April 2021.
Interested parties are able to pre-order Humankind right now, and will receive a 15% price discount, as well as a selection of in-game bonuses for doing so. The Humankind Digital Deluxe Edition includes a download of the game, a digital soundtrack, a unit and tech tree PDF poster, the Notre Dame DLC expansion, and an exclusive set of decorations and avatars.
The Witcher 3 is one of the few games that keeps on giving, beckoning people back to it like a siren's call. Whether it's the clever DLC expansions or plain old graphical mods or updates; it's very easy to get sucked back into Wild Hunt.
The Switch version was perhaps the best effort by CD Projekt Red to keep people talking about it, which thankfully fit on one giant game card. But it seems like the publisher isn't quite done with it just yet, as they just unleashed a new update (3.7) for Switch owners this week.
In short, it fixes "numerous bugs" and adds to the overall stability of the game. That's a familiar patch pass for any Nintendo fan, as Nintendo itself loves to deliver those vague updates on a regular basis. But there's also a few extras tucked away in there, like an updated Simplified Chinese localization and a bug fix for "multiple file transfers to/from Steam."
CD Projekt Red says that Switch users could be hit with a nasty issue where their progress was blocked depending on how they transferred their save from PC to Switch; so those problems should be fixed going forward. Thronebreaker was also updated to 1.0.2: you can find those notes below.
Excuse me while I imagine the countryside of Blood and Wine for the 10th time this month. I'm not quite relenting to the Witcher bug just yet, but I'll succumb soon enough once the new generation madness has quieted down and Cyberpunk 2077 is finished.
Updates [CD Projekt Red]
Hearthstone has been enjoying a fairly healthy cadence of content and updates, shuffling between major expansions and Battlegrounds mixups, but that whole formula is going to fundamentally change this year.
Amid the announcement of the next expansion (Madness at the Darkmoon Faire), the game's developers have unveiled a completely new progression and rewards system, as well as a new mode: Hearthstone Duels. We'll start with Duels as it's easier to digest.
Billed as a mode that will "change every season," you have the ability to choose a hero, hero power, and a treasure, then create a 15-card starter deck. From there you'll fight human opponents in the same rougelite-dungeon-crawling style as several previous campaign expansions.
Heroes are a little wacky and draw from a larger pool, much like the Battlegrounds mode. Prior sets (including as far back as classic cards and the first Naxxramas expansion) are in. Early access is available today, so long as you own the Madness at the Darkmoon Faire Mega Bundle. You can also try to randomly win early access through a Twitch promotion, which you can find more info on here. As a proviso, you need to have all heroes at level 10 to access Duels.
The mode will officially arrive on November 17, and when it does, you can also use the revamped ticket system to access the competitive side: Heroic Duels. In short, Arena Tickets are now "Tavern Tickets," and allow access to Arena or Heroic Duels. Good! Another way to use tickets if someone doesn't care for Arena.
As for that whole progression rework, here's the gist: the game is getting achievements, it'll track your rewards, quests now have a daily and weekly section, and your profile page will show more details. Everything is accessible via a new journal icon, which will replace the original quest log section. That's hitting the live version of the game on November 12.
Big changes! That also includes a seasonal system, which Blizzard is calling the "reward track." It contains 50 levels as well as 10 new hero skins and more loot like card packs and card backs. You'll get 150 gold per level after you max out at 50: which sounds like something that will definitely be in flux as Blizzard experiments with this system that's new to Hearthstone, but widely used for other similar games.
Naturally there's a free track and a premium track, the latter of which is unlocked with the Tavern Pass: the existing prototype for all this that just provided Battlegrounds rewards. You could see the wheels turning with that one!
18.6 Patch Notes [Battle.net]
NetherRealm Studios has released the first gameplay trailer of John Rambo, the latest in a series of special guests joining the Mortal Kombat franchise. Rambo - along with returning kombatants Mileena and Rain - will be available to purchase as part of Kombat Pack 2, which launches for Mortal Kombat 11 on November 17.
In the super-violent preview, we see the tortured war veteran cut down foes such as Kabal and Erron Black, before facing off against another '80s action movie icon, The Terminator. In an inspired bit of design, Rambo is not only armed with his iconic knife - the same blade that endlessly worried British film censors back in the day - but is also equipped with a series of environmental traps, including tripwires, claymores, and tree-swings.
The minute detail that has gone into Rambo is impressive. Even some of his hand-to-hand attacks are ripped straight from the knock-down, drag-out scraps featured in the movies. Of course, having Sylvester Stallone voice the character is a huge bonus, and the character's likeness is very accurate from a visual standpoint. The trailer ends with the klassic "throat tear" from the fourth Rambo movie. The only thing missing is the .50 caliber mounted jeep from the same flick... Don't let us down NRS.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate will contain the base game, the Aftermath expansion, and both Kombat Packs. It will launch for PC, as well as current and next-gen consoles, on November 17. Players who already own Mortal Kombat 11 on PS4 or Xbox One will receive a free upgrade to PS5 or Xbox Series X should they pick up a next-gen platform.
Here Nintendo is with yet another surprise, and yet another "limited time release!" It's been an insane year.
Just this morning, the publisher has announced that the Marth-starring Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light will be available "for the first time in the US" on December 4. Note that this is the 1990 game that started it all for the 30-year-running franchise; which helped bring tactical grid-based combat to the forefront.
When it hits on December 4 it'll cost you $5.99 to pick up, but again, there's a catch. Nintendo says, specifically, that the game will "only be available to purchase until the end of the franchise's 30th anniversary on March 31, 2021." You can find more info on the game itself here.
Note that they are doing a similar marketing scheme with Mario 3D All-Stars, as well as Super Mario Bros. 35. Jump Rope Challenge initially was marketed with this same "limited-time" angle, but the company relented and made it available for the foreseeable future. Time will tell what happens here, just know that for now, you're on a timer. It's getting a little out of hand at this point.
A 30th anniversary edition is also coming to "select retailers," which will run you $49.99. It comes with a replica NES game and box, as well as a 222-page art book, an NES style manual, a Nintendo Power collectible and game download code.
[Update: A rep for Crunchyroll has contacted Destructoid to confirm that it will be supported as a day one app on PS5.]
While a lot of folks are concerned about what games they can play on their shiny new consoles day one: others are also curious as to what apps they can turn to in their downtime from playing games. Sony has unveiled its day-one plan for PS5, and it involves a few staples.
Disney+ will be making the cut, as well as Netflix, Spotify, Twitch and YouTube. Sony also has a non-exhaustive list of additional streaming apps on the way, including Amazon Prime Video, MyCanal, Hulu, Peacock (NBC's new streaming service) "and more." Surprisingly, Apple TV+ (which isn't widely supported on some devices yet) is coming to the PS5 as well as the PS4. There is no direct mention of HBO Max or several other streaming apps.
Sony is overhauling the media section on the PS5, utilizing a new control center that allows you to "quickly switch between channels, skip, or pause music." They're also pushing their new Media Remote, which can power on the console as expected, as well as instantly launch apps with a dedicated button: the four of which are Disney+, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube.
I know "it's all about the games" for a lot of people, but I'll be messing around with The Mandalorian around the time the PS5 arrives, as well as the reboot of Animaniacs that's coming a few weeks after its launch; and countless other shows. I like knowing the PS5 can do it all!
New media experience and top entertainment streaming apps coming to PS5 [PlayStation Blog]
Legendary video game director Hideo Kojima has begun work on his next project. As spotted by the eagle-eyes of ResetEra, Hideo's studio - Kojima Productions - has begun a huge staff drive for "best-in-class" talent to work on the mysterious new title. This will be Kojima Productions' second release, following its strange 2019 adventure, Death Stranding.
The job listing is surprisingly vast, with Kojima Productions looking to fill numerous vacancies within its coding, art design, sound, writing, and localization departments, as well as looking for a producer and an assistant producer. Almost an entire development team, in fact. There are no clues whatsoever as to what type of game Kojima has up his sleeves this time, and thus another long, drawn-out period of speculation, forum-fighting, and baffling fan theory video-creation begins.
Hideo Kojima will no doubt be pleased to be back at work on a new project. In an interview with LiveDoor News back in June, the Metal Gear creator lamented that a recent "big project" he had planned had fallen through completely, so hopefully this new title will help get his creative juices flowing again. We'll just have to wait some eons before we get to experience it, no doubt.
Whenever I read the patch notes for Spelunky 2, I picture myself dying in bizarre and obtuse ways. Each bullet point – every balance change and quality-of-life improvement – is a cautionary tale about how a run could end. "Bomb bags and bomb boxes now react to lava," you say? Yeah, I'm gonna die to that!
If you're chipping away at a brick wall (and let's face it, no matter how skilled you are in Spelunky, there are always new challenges to strive for), then every little adjustment can make a difference.
We recently told you about an update that rebalanced the first zone, Dwelling, so that the creatures wouldn't be quite so out of control. Now, here's another one: a just-released update with a lot of great tweaks. I'll recap some of my favorite odds and ends, or you can read the whole spoiler-y list over here.
- Prevented Hired Hands from dropping held items from ledges
- Mounts' hitboxes slightly widened so they should be harder to miss and easier to ride
- Balance: Added gold on top of snap traps as bait so they're easier to spot
These are the big three right here. Hired Hands are a hilariously tragic nuisance. The fire-breathing Rock Dogs, in particular, can be weirdly finicky to jump on even when the coast is completely clear. And snap traps... oh, snap traps. They're arguably the sneakiest obstacles to watch out for in Spelunky 2.
Other much-appreciated changes:
- Small physics tweak that should make the player less likely to be unjustly crushed
- Players can now fall through platforms while attacking
- Vlad's Cape now auto-deploys after the second jump if holding the button
- Prevented spear traps from appearing in the entrance room in a specific theme
- Dialogs' and descriptions' text box size now also changes depending on players settings
- Vendors will now drop their weapon when eaten by a mantrap
- Pets can now enter through special worlds' doors
- Minor improvements to collision detection
Derek Yu and BlitWorks are listening to player feedback, and it shows. I'm thankful.
Patch Notes: 1.13.0b [Steam]
When it comes to a series like Devil May Cry, you're gonna want to crank that frame rate as high as it'll go – or maybe not! Maybe you'd prefer to have ray-traced reflections and other bells and whistles.
We knew the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X release of Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition would offer at least a few choices – a godsend for anyone who has strong opinions about prioritizing performance over visuals, or vice versa – but today Capcom clarified what kind of options we can expect.
Here's a recap, as relayed by Capcom's William Yagi-Bacon on ResetEra:
Ray tracing on
- 4K/30fps or 1080p/60fps
Ray tracing off
- 4K/60fps or "up to 120fps" in High Framerate Mode
As far as these options go for a console release, I'm pretty dang pleased. Ray tracing can be a sight to behold, but it's even better when it's a choice. And when it comes to Devil May Cry 5 specifically, hitting 4K and 60 frames per second is going to be so slick. I'm ready to see some Legendary Dark Knight runs.
A bit of housekeeping: ray tracing won't show up in the Xbox Series X version until sometime after launch, and "object rendering is prioritized and ray-tracing is automatically disabled when High Framerate Mode is enabled, or when playing in Turbo or Legendary Dark Knight gameplay modes."
Asked about the timing of the Vergil-only DLC for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Yagi-Bacon said that Capcom will have more info to share "in the coming weeks." DMC5SE is releasing digitally for Xbox Series X on November 10 and PlayStation 5 on November 12. A physical version is coming on December 1.
I have to say, despite owning a 4K TV, I'll be fine with 1080p gaming for the foreseeable future.
You're going to be blocked from playing Minecraft if you don't add some security to your account. Minecraft's owner has mandated that a Microsoft account is required for all of Mojang's games.
The reason for the change is mostly focused on security and safety. It'll allow for two-factor authentication, it'll introduce improved parental controls, and it'll enable chat and invitation blocking. Another perk is that all Minecraft PC games will be connected to the same acconut.
This affects all editions of Minecraft, from the original Java Edition to the most current version. Microsoft assures everyone that nothing else will change, though. Microsoft says "You'll also keep your Minecraft Java username, and new players will still get to choose their Minecraft username." Once you've completed the free account migration, you'll receive a cape for your trouble; the cape can be seen in the gallery below.
It's all going down relatively soon. Anyone with a Java or Mojang account will have to make the switch sometime early next year. New players will have to create Microsoft accounts rather than Mojang accounts starting this fall.
Java Edition is Moving House [Minecraft]
Ubisoft's Uplay is going away. Before you start celebrating too vigorously, it's only going away in name. More than a decade after it first showed up alongside Assassin's Creed II, Uplay is being rebranded to something that better suits every company's ambition to curate an ecosystem.
This morning, Ubisoft unveiled the new Ubisoft Connect. It seems to be a lot of what Uplay already was. There's still a rewards program where accomplishing in-game feats earns currency for buying perks. It's still a client for launching PC games.
However, one big change is that Ubisoft Connect will support cross-platform saves on "as many future titles as possible." Of course, you'll have to buy the games on multiple platforms to make use of this feature. But, picking up an Assassin's Creed on a super sale years down the line might look more attractive when you know that you have a bunch of progression from another platform. Many of Ubisoft's games are padded-out affairs, and the assurance that you're not always starting from scratch is enticing.
There are a few other tweaks to Ubisoft Connect. The UI has changed, probably to look more streamlined and current. Ubisoft has created a cross-platform friends list. There's been an overhaul to the "Sam" AI who doled out game tips; now it's called "Smart Intel" and is supposedly better at its job. (Are any of these video game advice-giving assistants actually good?)
The headliner is definitely the cross-progression, though. Ubisoft has already confirmed that it's coming to Hyper Scape, Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Riders Republic. All you need is a free Ubisoft Connect account to unlock the functionality. Ubisoft Connect kicks off alongside the launch of Watch Dogs: Legion on October 29. Maybe some cross-saves will quiet down all that rioting in the UK.
15 seconds into this Xbox Series X gameplay preview for Scorn, I let out a loud "what is that?!"
This goes without saying if you've been following Ebb Software's fleshy horror game over the past four-plus years, but that was far from the only time I reacted vocally to something grotesque. This first-person adventure isn't H.R. Giger-inspired so much as it is a fervent tribute to the late, great artist.
Even though you'll have an eXistenZ-approved gun in Scorn, this is a more methodical, slow-going, exploration-driven experience (at least based on this 13-minute preview). It might not seem super riveting right now, but I'm open to it – and I think it'll feel far better when we're in control and we're the ones risking our necks in this nightmare realm. A guided tour on YouTube isn't the same.
Whether this is your particular brand of horror or not, Scorn is going to be accessible to a big pool of players in the Xbox Game Pass library. The latest word on the PC and console release date? 2021.
Some of these corridors low-key remind me of Prey. I really dug Prey, and I still do.
Mario Kart Tour is the latest game to get its spook on for the Halloween season. The Halloween Tour, which is live in the mobile racer right now, adds a selection of themed character skins and other spooky-ooky goodies to the game's gacha pipe.
The first week sees the addition of Halloween Mario, which basically just jams a Jack O'Lantern on the plumber's bonce and sits him in a matching kart. In addition, the Butterfly Glider also makes its return to the mix. Week two will herald the arrival of Halloween Peach, dressed to the nines as a witch and sporting a cool black-and-pink roadster.
Of course, it wouldn't be Halloween in Mario world without King Boo, and the ghostly monarch is available in all his golden glory for Gold Pass owners. Tour Gifts this event include extra rubies and Larry Koopa. You can check out all the Halloween content in the trailer below.
You probably shouldn't go into Genshin Impact with the mindset of collecting every character.
Although the game is fairly generous in terms of allowing players to experience the entire campaign without spending a dime, it is a gacha game after all, so cycling characters in and out is part of the framework of the game. To that end, Venti, one of the first gacha-related party members, has been cycled out. Klee, the bomb-wielding maniac, is stepping in.
Klee is live now as part of the "Sparking Steps" banner, which is a fancy name for one of the gacha menu options in Genshin Impact. You'll need to make "wishes" inside of this banner to nab Klee, who is a five-star "pull" (reward). Thank goodness this game is free-to-play and you don't need all of these characters to make progress; even if the FOMO angle is real.
As you can see in her debut video below, she kind of kicks ass: showcasing plenty of slow-walks away from enemy crowds that are blowing up in her wake. She'd make a great addition to my party, but since I'm not spending any money on the game; if she doesn't show up, she doesn't show up.
So what's next for the game? Well, we're getting one big update on November 11 and another on December 23. Klee is expected to cycle out on the former date.
We knew Red Hook Studios was making a sequel to Darkest Dungeon, didn't we? Don't tell me I'm the only one who let that tidbit slip. They can't hurt me or my heroes if I don't acknowledge them!
The studio is back today with a more substantial (but still very teaser-y) trailer for Darkest Dungeon 2, along with news that the tough roguelike RPG will debut on the Epic Games Store in 2021. There's a sparse landing page on the Epic Store with verbiage that could definitely apply to the original game.
In a follow-up tweet, Red Hook said the 1.0 version will also launch on "other PC storefronts." If you're wondering about possible console ports, no word yet, but I'm sure they'll eventually come to fruition.
As for the trailer, it's weirdly cozy in a world-ending sort of way. Apart from the staple narration, we're also getting a peek at the now-very-much-3D character models, which I've grabbed screencaps of below. I'm curious to see how these classes will look in the full context of Darkest Dungeon 2.
"Has been a really cool experience working with our character modelers Kevin and Jordan to sculpt these 3D canvases for me to draw on," said Red Hook co-founder Chris Bourassa. "Preserves the game's signature art style/hand-drawn quality while allowing us to push animation and VFX."
343 Industries will finish the fight as soon as it finishes the flight. Closed testing on the final Halo game has officially begun. Once that has wrapped up, Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC will be complete.
Halo 4's test flight is live for everyone who's enrolled in the Halo Insider program. Here's the content that's included:
Indie outfit tinyBuild has revealed that its next release will be Hello Engineer - a spin-off from its creepy 2017 stealth title Hello Neighbor - currently in development for the Stadia platform.
Details are relatively slim at this time, but a new reveal trailer demonstrates that Hello Engineer will see groups of players come together to scavenge materials and resources in an abandoned scrapyard, ultimately allowing for the construction of bizarre, ramshackle vehicles and robots. Unfortunately, our young crafters are not alone, as "The Neighbor" is also on the scene, and has a few monstrous contraptions up his own diamond pringle.
Hello Engineer will launch on Stadia in 2021. Hello Neighbor 2 is also currently in development.
The second half of Pokemon Sword and Shield's season pass is nearly here, as Crown Tundra is set to debut tomorrow.
So far, all of the promotional materials for the DLC have shown that it could be more expansive than the first half (Isle of Armor), but of course the jury is still out in terms of just how deep it would be. With the current generation's limitations, anything is possible.
For now, things are sounding good. Speaking to VG247, a Game Freak rep confirmed that much of the DLC will deal with the mystery of Calyrex, which is the main questline of the new zone. Beyond that, players will be able to explore another mystery dealing with a legendary tree, as well as hunt down three new legendary birds that shift around the landscape just like the legendaries in Pokemon Gold and Silver.
Additionally, "Dens" are going to be a major mechanic, which lead players to one of the big gimmicks of the DLC: the ability to capture every old legendary. Here's a rundown from VG247 that explains how they'll work: "he twist in the tale is that you're not fighting with your own Pokemon. At the start of the lair, you choose one from a set of randomly-generated creatures – and then each time you defeat a Pokemon in a dynamax battle, before moving on one player can choose to swap their existing, probably injured Pokemon for the one you just defeated. At the end of the lair behind numerous battles and branching pathways is a legendary or other similarly rare Pokemon."
Then there's the Galarian Star Tournament, which brings back the big stadium battles from the main storyline. Here, you'll get to partner up with another trainer of your choice, then duke it out tournament style. According to a Pokemon Company rep, it's the "hardest challenge in the game" thus far.
On paper, this sounds like a really complex DLC you can sink your teeth into and might eclipse Isle of Armor in terms of replay value. We'll find out tomorrow.
Pokemon The Crown Tundra DLC [VG247]
Irreverent indie publisher Devolver Digital has announced that it has acquired Croatian video game studio Croteam, best known for the explosive Serious Sam series as well as philosophical puzzler The Talos Principle.
The acquisition comes at the end of an extended working relationship between the two companies, which Devolver cutely describes as "dating." In an official statement on the publisher's website, Devolver announced the match made in hell and that it was "thrilled" to be partnered with its childhood sweetheart.
"A decade ago Devolver Digital was just getting started and looking for its first project to partner on in the emerging digital distribution world. Similarly, Croteam was on the search for a partner it could trust to help them bring their beloved franchise back to prominence with the upcoming Serious Sam 3. And like that, the next big Serious Sam game brought old partners back together and forged a decade of friendship and dedication."
"Since then Croteam and Devolver Digital have partnered on dozens of games - from the frantic Serious Sam series to the award-winning The Talos Principle across PC, consoles, VR, and mobile platforms. Croteam and Devolver Digital have been dating for so long that we decided to go ahead and just get married."
Croteam's latest release, Serious Sam 4, is available now on Stadia, and is coming to PS4 and Xbox One in 2021. A sequel to The Talos Principle is currently in development.
Alas, it is alive and well, but only if you have a Stadia account (for now). For those of you who are Stadians, Google has announced today that Orcs Must Die 3 is getting its first major DLC: Drastic Steps. It's billed as an "expansion," and will contain five new scenarios (including a large scale War level), as well as new weapons, traps, skins and an endless map. It's $10 and it'll arrive on November 10. I'll be there: all of the above is just what the game needed, and I hope there's more to come.
In more Stadia-related news, the Humankind beta demo is live today. Also, ARK: Survival Evolved is coming in "early 2021," and will be a part of the Stadia Pro program; which is kind of like Game Pass for Stadia.
As a reminder, several demos went live yesterday as part of Stadia's week of demos promotion. There's more news coming tomorrow!
Earlier this week, we reported on a controversy that had blown up within the NBA 2K community, after publisher 2K Games added unskippable commercials to the loading screens of the latest entry in the basketball franchise one month after the title's launch.
The commercials for the Oculus Quest 2 appears during pre-game loading screens as a part of NBA 2K21's "2K TV" segments. Fans took to Reddit and social media to express their disdain at being forced to sit through product ads in a title they had paid upwards of $70 for.
2K Games has released a statement on Twitter, where the publisher acknowledged that the offending videos "impacted our players' experience in a way we didn't intend, as these ads are not meant to run as part of the pre-game introduction." 2K Games then stated that "This will be fixed in future episodes."
Note that "fixed" does not necessarily mean "removed." As such, players will have to see how the ads are implemented going forward. Last year's franchise entry, NBA 2K20, would become a notorious example of aggressive monetization, advertising, and gambling within the AAA industry. NBA 2K21 has already gotten off to a poor start in regards to turning around said reputation - and the ball, ultimately, lies in the publisher's court.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, like most DBZ-related media, is alive and kicking. And it's about to get its second major DLC pack this year.
In case you missed it, Bandai Namco revealed that the second DLC is called "A New Power Awakens - Part 2," and the main gimmick is 1vs100+ battles; where your Z Fighter is facing off against a giant horde. You'll gain new abilities to boot, with potential additional content to sift through beyond the upcoming mode, which is titled "Mob Battle."
Now, the publisher is ready to give us our first real look at the DLC via screenshots, which we've gathered in the gallery below. According to Bandai Namco, you'll square off against Frieza (Golden) and the Frieza Force, which seems to be the titular "mob" in the Mob Battle gametype.
While the first DLC was fine for what it was in many respects, this one looks a lot more enticing and way more in the spirit of Dragon Ball. I'd probably play a full game based on this concept, as long as the "mobs" remain interesting and dynamic. We'll see if they pull it off for this DLC later this fall when it launches.
Fight hordes of enemies in the next DLC [Bandai Namco]
For Doom, hope springs eternal.
I know it seems counterintuitive for a game based around the powers of hell, but even if the series starts to slip and falter, eventually, someone will make a new Doom and it will, in all likelihood, hit the mark. It has a better track record than a lot of other shooter franchises; namely due to the respect the pedigree demands.
[Update: You can find future episodes as they arrive below.]
Say what you will about Pokemon Sword and Shield (and you will!), but I really love the Galar region.
Some portions of it feel underdeveloped, but the vistas and actual landscapes are beautiful and fun to look at. Having played Pokemon since day one of picking up Red and Blue at Toys "R" Us, it's crazy seeing how far the series has come: even if it hasn't come far enough for a lot of people.
If you also dug Galar, this video from The Pokemon Company's YouTube channel should give you a bit of background on the real-life UK inspiration. One word of warning though: if you want to skip all of the influencer-esque freaking out about how cool all the free stuff is, skip ahead to roughly 5:00 in.
While the actual touring is fairly light in this episode, there's more to come: it's part of a series that will be traveling around the UK "each week." If you're in the UK, you're probably thinking: this is just my backyard! Well, your backyards are breathtaking!
Surprise! Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 just got an update. No, it's not Tony Hawk 3 DLC. Wouldn't that be amazing though?
No, this one is a lot more low key if you're going at it solo, as it's focused entirely around multiplayer. Vicarious Visions has just patched in additional party features, which include "private skate sessions, party migration and leader promotion." You also now have the ability to play private matches across every map or "hang out in Free Skate."
Sadly, this patch doesn't open up matchmaking for free skate, so you're still at the whim of playing with people you know directly. It would be pretty amazing of Vicarious Visions intended on adding to the same game over time: patching in Tony Hawk 3+4, as well as social public free skating, to create some sort of Frankensteined Tony Hawk MMO.
That probably won't happen though, as Tony Hawk 3+4 as a separate SKU seems like a given, especially with the success of 1+2.
Vicarious Visions [Twitter]
ININ Games has announced that Cotton Reboot! - the all-new remake of the classic kawaii shmup - will be headed west on PS4 and Nintendo Switch in early 2021, expected to be around the same time frame as its February release in Japan.
As a quick refresher, Cotton Reboot! is a remake of the X68000 port of the 1991 arcade release Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams. It concerns the adventures of a young, mischievous witch-in-training, who teams up with a sexy space fairy to free the latter's homeland from a malevolent force known as "The Evils." Well, that's the idea anyway, in actuality out hero has learned that her new pal's home planet is full of candy.
Developed by studio Beep, Cotton Reboot! has had quite a trek to fruition, facing several delays and other hurdles en route to completion. But the cute 'n' colorful release, which features updated visuals, redesigned characters, and all-new score attack modes, along with the original X68000 release in its entirety - looks set to finally hop on its broom and take to the skies.
Cotton Reboot! will launch in Japan on PS4 and Nintendo Switch on February 25, with a western localization to follow soon after. A special Limited Edition is also in the works, and will be available to pre-order from ININ Games next month.
Cotton Reboot! coming west in Q1 2021 [Gematsu]
Twitch has implemented a mass purge of videos and clips from the VOD sections of its huge user base. Thousands of clips were removed from Twitch users' archives in a mass crackdown of the use of copyrighted material on the live-streaming website. Twitch has forgone its usual routine of requesting users take down the videos themselves, and is not offering those affected the opportunity to appeal.
In an email to many of its partners, obtained by esports writer Rod Breslau, Twitch stated that "We recognize that by deleting this content, we are not giving you the option to file a counter-notification or seek a retraction from the rights holder. In consideration of this, we have processed these notifications and are issuing you a one-time warning to give you the chance to learn about copyright law and the tools available to manage the content on your channel."
Twitch also requested that all of its users go through their archives and voluntarily remove all videos that feature copyrighted video, music, or other media. The purge is believed to be a Hail Mary play instigated by the streaming site after it had received "thousands" of individual complaints and DMCA notices from music labels and other copyright holders, leading to an unmanageable backlog of videos requiring investigation.
Twitch purges videos after "thousands" of requests from music labels [GamesIndustry.biz]
Sucker Punch Productions has opened a new job listing on its corporate website, which has, unsurprisingly, already set tongues wagging with excitement at the mystery project.
The studio is looking for a new narrative writer, and specifically asks that ideal candidates have "AAA open-world experience" as well as a "desire to write stories set in feudal Japan." Knowledge of feudal Japanese history is also listed as a positive boon.
While this listing is obviously no outright confirmation of anything in particular, it's hard not to get excited about the obvious outcome: Sucker Punch is in the pre-production stages of a Sly Raccoon sequel set in 12th century Kyoto. That's my takeaway and I'm sticking to it. Let's go, samurai Carmelita!
When "movable fighting man" G.I. Joe first made his way to British shores in the 1960s, he was renamed as the less nation-specific "Action Man." Despite this amusingly bland new moniker, Action Man was still a smash success with British kids, going on to sell thousands of dolls, ("It's an action figure, mum!"), in the ensuing decades.
The plastic military man and his kung-fu grip became so huge here in Britain, that when the super-popular G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero animated series made the leap overseas, it also needed to be renamed, to keep marketing in line with the toy range. So do you know what we got? Action Force. ACTION FORCE. The Brits are nothing if not great at poorly localizing American properties. That and making abysmal political decisions.
Nice history lesson, Moyse, but what does this have to do with G.I. Joe: Operation Blackout, GameMill Entertainment's new video game adaptation of the aforementioned Saturday morning show? Honestly, not all that much. But what's important is that now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Even when it comes to games we've known about for a while, the PlayStation 5 launch lineup isn't set in stone just yet. Today, Codemasters confirmed Dirt 5 will make the November 12 deadline.
In a tweet, the studio also reiterated several features: 4K and 120fps support, faster load times, cross-generation multiplayer with the PS4 player base, and "DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive triggers." As we previously learned, there's a free upgrade from PS4 to PS5 – but saves won't transfer.
Aside from the save-file caveat for PlayStation users, the rest of that list should sound familiar. Codemasters is making a similar pitch – including a 120Hz mode – for the Xbox Series X version.
As it now stands, Dirt 5 will hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One on November 6, followed by Xbox Series X/S on November 10, and finally PS5 on November 12. There are a lot of dates to keep track of next month. (Speaking of: Dirt 5 will come to PlayStation 5 in "other territories" one week later, on November 19.)
The last time I got a racing game for a just-launched console was Project Gotham Racing 3.
I know, I know – November is packed. But try not to forget about Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
You don't need to play it on November 10 – heck, you don't even need to play it on an Xbox Series X (or on a PS5 when March rolls around) – but keep it on your "thinking about you!" list, at the very least.
That might go without saying for a lot of Destructoid readers who are well-versed in the Yakuza series and know what to expect. For everyone else, I hope this game can be a breezy entry point with its English dub (which is wild), its new party-leading hero, Ichiban Kasuga (who's another lovable lug), and its new setting, Yokohama (which is significantly larger than our old stomping grounds in Kamurocho).
That's to say nothing of the surprisingly fresh turn-based combat, which I recently previewed.
Really, this tongue-in-cheek "Next Generation of Yakuza" trailer says it all. No one is out there making games like Yakuza, and we shouldn't take Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio for granted. It's such a heartfelt series.
Whether you already own Risk of Rain 2 or you've been waiting for the 1.0 update to land on consoles, today's the day. The fifth – but not final – major update rolled out on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. Before you ask, yes: the Switch version plays well enough to warrant a recommendation.
What does 1.0 entail? Most importantly, there's a new stage and ensuing final boss – along with a "proper ending" – and a new survivor, Captain, who wields microbots and a shotgun. Hopoo has also added several items to spice up your runs, a few more challenges and monsters to face, tons of lore entries, and several new songs. Current characters, stages, and bosses have been re-tuned, too.
Version 1.0 also raises the "difficulty rate over time for all difficulties by +10%." To compensate, the update buffs "a ton of items" and provides "way more agency over the way a run progresses."
The Captain is the tenth playable character.
For extended thoughts on Risk of Rain 2, check Patrick's review of the 1.0 PC release from August. "There is so much to love here, whether you are a fan of the first game or roguelikes as a whole."
I concur! I don't think the sequel necessarily makes the best first impression – it doesn't open up until you've unlocked more characters, all of which play very differently – but once it hits, it's hard to put down. (That said, I have a tough time switching off of the Huntress. She's always been my favorite.)
As for the future of Risk of Rain 2 post-1.0, the developers are planning to continue balancing the game as needed with free updates, but the team will eventually get cracking on paid DLC expansions.
Risk of Rain 2 Console 1.0 Update [Gearbox]
Unlike every other big game released in 2020, Final Fantasy VII Remake hasn't gotten many patches. Actually, Square Enix only updated the game once – and it happened today, six months after launch.
Reports are starting to come in that FFVII Remake update 1.01 has rolled out in certain regions, but at the time of writing, it's not yet available for download in the United States. Before you plan your next playthrough, it's worth stressing that this is a comparatively minor update meant to fix "various bugs."
[Update: Patch 1.01 released in the US, and yep, the official notes are just "fixed various bugs."
With that said, there isn't a breakdown. Some players have speculated that the late-game "vent bug" might be addressed, and that seems like a safe bet. Otherwise, I haven't heard of any major glitches.
Oh, you're wondering about the infamous door and other low-res textures?
They're the same as always. 1.01 isn't a silver bullet for "level-of-detail" complaints.
Larger-scale changes will have to come down the road, potentially in a PlayStation 5-optimized version of Final Fantasy VII Remake. That's what I'd expect, anyway. We'll see if Square Enix follows through. With the way the stars are aligning, I might be ready for a replay right before Remake Part 2 drops.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey was absolutely herculean in its approach to post-launch content. On the paid side, it featured two very substantial add-ons, each made up of three episodes. The free support was substantial too, as every player got access to 11 free missions called The Lost Tales of Greece. All of that was alongside level cap increases, new skills, a story creation mode, a discovery walkabout mode, and more. When all was said and done, Assassin's Creed Odyssey was relevant for more than a year after it first released.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla seemingly has similar ambitions, albeit maybe not quite as grand. Ubisoft has announced its plans for Assassin's Creed Valhalla's DLC, and it takes the same two-pronged approach to free and paid-for content.
Both of the premium add-ons will have Eivor leaving England. The first, called Wrath of the Druids, takes place in Ireland. It prominently features Gaelic myths, haunted forests, and a druidic cult. Wrath of the Druids is scheduled to launch in Spring 2021.
The second paid DLC channels its inner Assassin's Creed Unity. It's titled The Siege of Paris, and it tackles one of the most famous battles in Viking history. Ubisoft details it by saying "players will infiltrate the fortified city of Paris and the River Seine under a prolonged siege, uncover enemy secrets, and form strategic alliances to safeguard their clan's future." This add-on is planned for Summer 2021.
Additionally, anyone who buys the $40 season pass (or who purchases the Gold or Ultimate edition of Valhalla) will have access to the "Legend of Beowulf" quest which is available at launch. We learned about the Beowulf quest around the time Valhalla was announced, but this is the first time Ubisoft has actually confirmed it.
If Halo is Xbox's flagship franchise, The Master Chief Collection is its crown jewel. This anthology of Halo games is being constantly updated and ported, made better and better as time goes on. It's no surprise it'll be present right alongside the new generation of Xbox consoles.
Microsoft announced today that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be "fully optimized" for Xbox Series S/X starting on November 17. That means hitting 120fps in both campaign and multiplayer, improvements to split-screen, and hitting 4K on Xbox Series X.