[It's day three of four! Still plenty of chances to enter and win a TOTALLY FREE game!]
In today's contest you can win one of Hypertrain Digital's games on Steam!
Hypertrain Digital has been cranking out games for five years now -- can you believe it? They're celebrating their huge milestone by running a sale for all of their games on Steam. But what's better than a cheap game? A free one, of course!
For the next four days, we're giving away 500 copies of their games daily, including Breathedge, Stoneshard, Desolate, The Wild Eight, and Police Stories. I said, there are 500 winners per day! Make sure you tell your friends. If I had any, I sure would!
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin has been a long time coming, and even though it's dropping in a super crowded release week, I'm thrilled to see this spunky rice-growing action-RPG platformer finally come out.
As a laid-back agricultural sim with monster-whacking side-scrolling action bits, it's a pretty chill game, one you can throw yourself into for 20 hours or slowly but surely complete over a few months.
I had high hopes coming in – maybe too high? – but there's still a lot to like here. Especially the rice.
These days, it feels like Xbox has its eyes set on everyone. Studios are getting gobbled up by Microsoft's gaming division, and Xbox is fresh off of its crown jewel acquisition: Buying Bethesda for $7.5 billion. A dent in anyone's wallet for sure, but it's not slowing Xbox down.
Bloomberg reports that Xbox is aggressively trying to buy a Japanese developer. Several studios have confirmed that they've had meetings with Xbox where acquisition is the primary discussion. These teams are said to be "from small to big." No studios were named because the talks were private, but it seems as though no deals have been struck.
Xbox has a few goals in mind when it comes to Japan. There's an ever-pressing need to add to the stable of Xbox Game Studios developers, the in-house teams who will develop first-party titles for Xbox Game Pass. But, it's said that Microsoft is also looking to expand its presence in Japan. Xbox has been notoriously poor-selling in Japan (Xbox One represents .1 percent of all Japanese console sales in 2020) and Microsoft thinks it can make up some ground there by investing in the Japanese audience. It's not going to overthrow PlayStation in the foreseeable future, but there's nowhere to go but up.
Rumors have come and gone in recent years over Xbox's efforts to acquire a big-name Japanese studio. Platinum was at the center of a lot of those rumblings, but that idea appears to have fallen apart. Sega has been in the conversation recently too, although it's unclear if there's any foundation to that gossip. Regardless, Xbox is certainly willing to put its money where its mouth is. That's a bit easier when you have Microsoft cash to play around with.
The Dark Pictures Anthology has at least one more story left. After teasing the third game inside Little Hope with an out-of-context premonition sequence and a post-credits teaser trailer, it's official: Supermassive is bringing House of Ashes to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S in 2021.
From a ghost ship to a witch town to a buried Sumerian temple – I love the variety.
As if the trailer didn't already scream "The Descent" at the top of its lungs, in today's announcement, Supermassive referred to House of Ashes' threat as "a nest of ancient and unearthly creatures."
The game is set in 2003, in Iraq, and the lead is Rachel King, a CIA field operative. During a military skirmish, friendly forces and foes alike plunge into the darkness as an earthquake opens up sinkholes.
Just based on that premise alone, I think House of Ashes has the strongest anxiety-inducing potential so far. Supermassive has tried to ride the line between the real and the supernatural in The Dark Pictures Anthology, and now that players have caught onto the trend, I'm hoping for some clever subversion.
If not, I'm still along for the ride, and I'm curious to see where the Curator's story is heading.
We're on the cusp of a new generation of consoles, and Ubisoft has three(!) massive open-world games coming over the span of just a few weeks. And while the environments the developers there create just keep getting better, the same can't be said about the faces of the people who populate these places.
That's just one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Dan, and Charlotte come together to talk Watch Dogs: Legion, Bugsnax, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, PS5 storage space, and Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. All that, plus adorable White House dogs, on Podtoid Episode 466.
Playing Bugsnax while starting a diet is probably not the ideal way to enjoy the game. I'm sitting here doing my best to not think about food and the Grumpuses of this island keep asking me to chase down grinders with googly eyes or cinnamon roll snails. Or fiery bowls of ramen. Or Bungers.
God I could go for a Bunger right now.
With new PlayStation 5 details coming to light as media embargoes are partially being lifted, there was a lot to talk about last week, and there will be even more to say this week. Early impressions are favorable, but when it comes to super nitty-gritty details, there's bound to be some disappointment.
Sony painted a clearer picture of the PS5 today with an FAQ detailing "everything you want to know." If you have a random unanswered question, this post is your best bet – at least for the time being.
These are the confirmations, revelations, and reiterations that stood out to me.
- According to Sony, you can't transfer PS5 games to a USB drive. "PS5 games must be stored on the console's internal ultra-high speed SSD for gameplay. Explorations for allowing players to store (but not play) PS5 games on a USB drive in a future update are underway."
- "On day one, you'll be able to connect a compatible USB drive and use it to store and play your PS4 games. You'll be able to play PS4 games while they remain stored on the external device."
- "For now, we recommend that you hold off on purchasing any M.2 SSD drives intended for use with PS5."
- "Will every PS5 game benefit from 3D Audio? Yes. Even simple channel-based audio will have additional dimensionality thanks to PS5's Tempest 3D AudioTech."
- "Supported resolutions are 720p, 1080i, 1080p, and 2160p. PS5 can output resolutions up to 2160p (4K UHD) when connected to a 4K display."
- "PS5 is compatible with 8K displays at launch, and after a future system software update will be able to output resolutions up to 8K when content is available, with supported software."
- "Input latency has been optimized on the DualSense wireless controller compared to the DualShock 4 wireless controller."
- "PS5 players will be able to reduce or disable the force of haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. Players can also remap buttons on the controller."
- "Under most conditions, [the DualSense's] battery life is expected to be similar to the DualShock 4 wireless controller. Recharging time when connected to PS5 or the DualSense Charging Station is estimated at approximately three hours."
- "In the future, other [DualSense] colors will become available."
- PS5 games are not region-locked.
- "The majority of legacy PS4 demos and betas will not be playable on PS5. Moving forward, however, new demos and betas will be playable on the PS5."
- "Is there a particular type of USB drive I should use for storing PS4 games for play on my PS5? Use a SuperSpeed USB or faster (USB 3.0 or later) storage drive with 250 GB minimum and 8 TB maximum capacity, formatted for exFAT (note: PS5 can format a connected compatible USB drive for exFAT). Devices with a faster specification may result in shorter load times for PS4 games stored on the drive."
- "The ability to transfer game saves between a PS4 version and a PS5 version of the same game is a developer decision and will vary title by title for cross-generational games."
- "Does PS5 support 3D Blu-ray movies? No, 3D stereoscopic output is not supported on PS5."
- "USB and Bluetooth keyboards and mice are supported at a system level, though game developers will decide whether to support at a game level."
- "PS5 will not support folders or themes at launch."
- "PS Store on PS5 is now fully integrated into the system with lightning-fast browsing and a simplified, smarter layout that makes it easy to find the right game."
- "Spotify will be supported at launch, enabling music playback, including as in-game background music. Players can also listen to music from a USB drive, including MP3, FLAC, and AAC formats."
- "PS5 automatically captures the past 60 minutes of your gameplay at 1080p resolution. 4K resolution is also available if you manually record your gameplay using the Create button."
- "No, the PS5 system doesn't include a dedicated web browser app."
- "We're updating PS4's Remote Play feature. Now, in addition to being able to access your PS4 from a PC or a mobile device, your PS4 can access other consoles via Remote Play too, right on your TV. This includes the ability to connect to your PS5 and stream a PS5 game to your PS4 so you can play it there."
There are lingering topics – I've seen concerns about the PS5's current lack of VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and Dolby Vision/Atmos support, among other blanks that need to be filled in – but this is a start.
Sony says it intends to update the PS5 FAQ with more information "in the future."
PS5: The Ultimate FAQ [PlayStation Blog]
About 35 hours into Assassin's Creed Valhalla, I unlocked the "Silent Viking" achievement for killing 10 consecutive enemies without alerting anyone. It really drove home how different this Assassin's Creed is from all the other Assassin's Creeds. In previous games, maybe Origins or Odyssey, I would've methodically dismantled entire fortresses and earned that same achievement within the first few hours.
Assassin's Creed Valhalla is indiscreet and inelegant. It's a brash spectacle that's more interested in glorifying the toils of war than with quietly subduing and destabilizing the enemy. It's more Viking than assassin, so much that Valhalla feels out of place in the Assassin's Creed lineage. It's a wayward-growing branch on the family tree.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey was the Least Assassin's Creed Game Ever two years ago to great effect. Valhalla strayed too far to its own detriment.
The Physical Media vs. Digital Media war rages on, and it's a battle that I feel passionately about. Gimme codes for everything. I don't need mountains of boxes to stash away. If that means losing some game I'd never replay a decade from now, good riddance (time of your life).
Score one for the other team. Apparently, Team Ico's The Last Guardian has some next-gen enhancements on PS5 but only if you have the disc. As NX Gamer presents in the video above, The Last Guardian runs at 60 frames per second with the disc in the drive, and 30 frames per second as a digital entitlement making use of PS5 backward compatibility.
Post-launch patches are the culprit. When The Last Guardian first launched in 2016, it had an uncapped frame rate. That didn't play nicely with PS4 hardware, so it was patched to introduce a 30fps cap. It made the game much more stable.
Now, anyone who plays The Last Guardian on their PS5 with a disc is getting the unpatched version; anyone who plays it on their PS5 in a digital format is getting served a patched version. That's why the disc runs better now that the PlayStation 5 is actually capable of hitting those higher frame rates.
Finally, The Last Guardian as it was meant to be played. Just a console generation later and only for people who are clinging to physical media. You've won the battle but you will not win the war.
Next-gen webslingers won't have to save New York City all over again. Insomniac Games has done a 180-degree reversal on its approach to Spider-Man save data.
Back in September, we were told that Spider-Man saves from PS4 would not be compatible with the PS5 version of Spider-Man: Remastered. Players would have to start over, unable to retain any progress from last-gen.
Now, Insomniac has informed us that Spider-Man: Remastered actually will get save exports:
At a certain point in my life, religiously chasing racing games kind of passed me by.
Don't get me wrong, I'm always up for a digital drive: I just might not be partaking in every single entry of a franchise. Although Codemasters has been a paragon in the genre for decades now, for whatever reason the Dirt series was always in my rear view mirror.
Until I gave Dirt 5 a go.
What? Did you think Microsoft wouldn't put its best foot forward with the launch of Xbox Series X. Considering that Xbox Game Pass is the belle of the ball nowadays on the services side, that means making sure a bunch of new games anchor the November lineup and attract new subscribers.
This Xbox Game Pass writeup is more nuanced than most because it's the one where Game Pass and EA Play are officially bolted together for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. The vows have been said, the rings have been slid on fingers. All that's left is an inappropriately sloppy tongue kiss.
So, "more than 60" EA Play games will be available on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate tomorrow. Here's a link to all the EA Play titles. It's actually 85 if you count them up, so it's unclear where the 25-ish game discrepancy comes from. Regardless, it's a lot.
But, that was all known for the past two months. There's also a greater-than-usual number of organic Xbox Game Pass additions lined up for the next week or so. Some of its high-profile stuff like the brand new Destiny 2 expansion; some of it's under-the-radar stuff with cult-like status like River City Girls and Streets of Rogue. However, you frame it, there's a lot to choose from.
Here's what's coming to Xbox Game Pass soon:
Last week saw the UK enter government-mandated lockdown once again, as the nation severely struggles to subdue the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown led to a spike in video game sales, as UK citizens prepared to spend several more weeks indoors.
Overall, the boost in physical purchases didn't make a world of difference to the UK Charts, which sees Electronic Arts' football simulator FIFA 21 retain the number one spot for a fifth consecutive week. Nintendo's Animal Crossing: New Horizons managed to clamber back up to number two, pushing out Ubisoft's open-world adventure Watch Dogs: Legion, which appears to have peaked - at least physically - after just one week of release.
Animal Crossing is not the only Nintendo brand to appear in the Top Ten, as veteran entries Super Mario 8 Deluxe, Ring Fit Adventure, Super Mario 3D All-Stars all continue to shift copies on a week-by-week basis. Perhaps the only real news of note this week is the debut of L.O.L Surprise! Remix: We Rule the World, with the mega-popular gacha doll brand poking its wide-ass head into the premier league.
This is the final UK Chart listing of the current generation. While physical PS4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One titles will continue to sell way into the foreseeable future and beyond, the PS5 and Xbox Series X platforms are expected to raise the bar on digital purchases.
We're down to the wire here with Destiny 2: Beyond Light folks.
Bungie giveth and Bungie taketh away: as the expansion due on November 10 will arrive alongside of new content and the "vaulting" (read: removal) of a lot of legacy stuff. Today, you can still enjoy that old content for a while until the maintenance hits at 6:30 PM ET. After that, the game will prepare for the expansion and may not be available from that point on.
After everything is above board, Bungie expects that period to end and Beyond Light is scheduled to hit at 12PM ET tomorrow. You can start pre-loading the game right now on PS4, or opt for the PC/Xbox pre-load at 7PM PT tonight. The new storage sizes will run you 65.7 GB on Xbox systems and 70.78 GB on PlayStation devices. on PC, it'll clock in at 69.7 GB.
As a reminder, the "next-gen upgrades" for Destiny 2 are coming on December 8. If you play the game on Xbox Series X or PS5, you can enjoy enhanced visuals, a smoother framerate, and a few other things like an actual FOV slider: it's not just for PC players!
Now that all of the technical stuff is out of the way, it's time to see what this expansion can bring to the table.
This Week at Bungie [Bungie.net]
Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of developers such as Rockstar Games and 2K Games, is in talks to purchase veteran UK publisher Codemasters, responsible for multiple racing series such as DIRT, OnRush, GRID, and the official F1 franchise.
Codemasters announced to its investors that Take-Two had made a non-binding offer to purchase the company at 485 pence (around $6.40 per share), payable at 120 pence-per-share in cash and the remainder in Take-Two stock. This values Codemasters at around $974 million USD, which is an increase on Codemasters' self-value approximation of around $873 million.
Should Take-Two make an official bid, Codemasters has stated its intention to unanimously recommend that its shareholders accept the deal, officially making Codemasters part of the Take-Two Interactive portfolio. Take-Two has a deadline of December 4 to solidify its offer.
"Take-Two believes that the combination of Take-Two and Codemasters would bring together two world-class interactive entertainment portfolios, with a highly complementary fit between Take-Two's 2K publishing label and Codemasters in the racing genre," reads a statement from the holding company. "In addition, Take-Two believes that it can bring benefits to Codemasters' performance by leveraging Take-Two's global distribution network and 2K's core operating expertise in publishing, including live operations, analytics, product development, and brand and performance marketing."
Codemasters' most recent release, DIRT 5, is available now on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.
Very, very soon we'll get to witness Omega Force's take on the Zelda: Breath of the Wild universe with the hack and slash prequel: Age of Calamity.
Now while the whole action focus might not be for everyone, the new takes, twists, and turns of the narrative might excite a lot of people out there. Having played a bit of it myself, I can say that the new take on Hyrule is very refreshing at times, especially given that we get to see so much of this world before the calamity event snuffed it out. That concept has now retroactively been added to Breath of the Wild thanks to this mod from YouTuber banan039.
In a roughly 11-minute video, banan039 sails across Hyrule in their modified Vah Medoh paraglider and shows off the fruits of their labor. Which is, literally, a rebuild of Hyrule using Age of Calamity as a basis. A lot of the builds in Hyrule Field that were completely demolished are now back; giving us a glimpse of what might have been had our heroes succeeded the first time around.
This is probably the most exciting aspect of Age of Calamity. Zelda: Breath of the Wild dropped a lot of subtle hints when it came to worldbuilding, but now we may be able to look at the world in a new light. Or, you can choose to ignore it. The Zelda timeline is kind of like that!
This weekend, Ubisoft officially debuted the next event headed to its tactical multiplayer shooter, Rainbow Six Siege. As previously reported, Operation Neon Dawn will bring several reworks to the super-popular esports title, along with brand new Defender Aruni.
Hailing from Thailand, Apha Tawanroong was one of Royal Thai Police's sharpest and most decorated investigators. Her world was shaken, however, when she was involved in a bomb blast while on an operation in Bangkok with Rainbow's Thermite, which resulted in the loss of her left forearm and leg. Undaunted, Apha underwent extensive physical and psychological therapy, before donning prosthetic limbs and returning to her field of expertise. Shortly after returning to action, Apha was approached by Rainbow's crack sniper, Kali, who recruited Apha to black ops outfit and Rainbow collaborator NIGHTHAVEN.
Aruni, a 2-speed, 2-armor Defender, brings to the party the high-tech Surya Laser Gate. Deployed over doors, windows, and hatches, the Surya Gate not only damages any Attackers that step over the threshold, but also takes care of gadgets and projectiles that pass through its field, making its deployment over objectives near-essential. A small gap at the gate's base will allow for drones or well-aimed projectiles, and the generator will power down for a brief recharge period once the field is broken.
As Brett noted in our full review, Assassin's Creed Valhalla falls short in several respects.
That's especially true when you directly compare it to its predecessor, Odyssey, which seemingly set an impossibly high bar for the series. The next-gen experience doesn't really make up for any of those shortcomings.
The shadowy alcoves of Tekken 7 are set to get a little more threatening this week, as Bandai Namco has announced that the first DLC character of season four, Kunimitsu, is set to join the 3D fighter's roster as soon as tomorrow, November 10.
As previously reported, the masked kunoichi is not the original Kunimitsu of classic Tekken fame, but is in fact her daughter, who has donned her retired mother's mask and will be dedicating her life to continuing the family's legacy - including its endless vendetta with the mysterious samurai, Yoshimitsu.
Kunimitsu is the first character of Tekken 7's fourth season, and will be available to purchase individually or as part of the season four pass. Players who pick up the young ninja will also bag themselves her dramatic "Vermillion Gate" battle arena.
Also launching tomorrow will be a free update for all players bringing a laundry list of changes under-the-hood. Alongside numerous balance tweaks, a slew of new features are also being added to Tekken 7. These include a Wi-Fi indicator, a revamped UI, improved online stability and a refreshed ranking system, setting the Tekken faithful up for another year of bone-crunching one-on-one action.
Devil May Cry 5 was an absolute triumph.
Don't take it from me, read our review! Oh wait, that was me. Well, take it from me.
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is pretty good too.
The time has come for amiibo to shine once again! Sort of.
We can talk about select features of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity now: an umbrella that includes amiibo support. Here's a quick rundown of how it all works, since Nintendo has been fairly vague up until this point.
Today, Sony put out a new ad that gives us a little more insight into when a few exclusives might actually arrive. It's great news, given that there might be a little drought after everyone is done with the November offerings and Cyberpunk in December. So here's the takeaway.
In the below ad, there's text indicating that Gran Turismo 7 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are allegedly due in the "first half of 2021" as of today, November 9. Horizon Forbidden West is targeting a "second half of 2021" release.
The ad also reminds us that Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon's Souls are available on launch day on November 12. Poor Sackboy! He was completely left out in the cold, as is the custom for the kinda-Sony-mascot-but-kinda-not character.
[Don't call it a comeback, Bass has been here for years. But this is kinda a comeback for Destructoid Draws. Marvel at how talented some of our community members are in this second Guilty Gear edition of the beloved community classic. -Anthony]
There's a joke about fighting game re-releases in here.
Can you believe it's been almost two years since the last time I've hosted Destructoid Draws? I sure can't! It can be a little scary, realizing how quickly time has gone by. And now a new console generation, and more importantly a next Guilty Gear entry, is right around the corner. Is there a better time to revisit the theme of the very first Destructoid Draws and return to a series that's very dear to me?
For those who (understandably) would like a little context, Destructoid Draws is a blog series where community members join to draw video-game related Things following a theme. This time, my Destructoid friends drew a Guilty Gear character and shared with us a little tidbit about their choice.
Without further ado, let's get started! One more time, with feeling!
It sounds hyperbolic, but fiction can absolutely get people through some tough times, especially if that character is particularly relatable. Okay, maybe not Spider-Man himself, but Peter Parker sure gets the job done.
The thing is, there are lots of different versions of Spider-Man that people can relate to. Now, we just got another one in Miles Morales — and like the first time around, Insomniac did its job once again.
This week sees the retro fans over at Hamster go super obscure for the latest addition to its Arcade Archives range. Now available to download on PS4 and Nintendo Switch is Sun Electronics' tile-flipping maze game Pettan Pyuu.
Released way back in 1984, Pettan Pyuu tasks players with guiding a rather dapper... erm... flip-top egg robot thing, (yes, that'll do), as it makes its way through a series of isometric, inter-dinemsional mazes. Chased by strange worm and spider-like creatures, our hero must stay one step ahead of his adversaries, while pushing a series of weak walls onto the pursuers. Once all of the enemies have been squashed, the round is complete. For two-player action, a Ms. Pettan is also available.
Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber ZXSpectrumGames4.
The dream of a global Yakuza launch is just that – a dream – but it feels more tangible than ever.
Yakuza has skyrocketed beyond niche status in the West thanks to the best-in-class Yakuza 0, and as word of mouth continues to spread, curious players who don't usually play these sorts of games have taken a chance on the wacky, bold, unapologetic series they've heard so much about over the years.
No one else is really doing what Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has been able to consistently pull off.
I maintain that Kiryu's origin story is the high-water mark – Yakuza 0 is one of the defining greats – but if you're looking for something new to try or you've been there and done that in the cabaret clubs and you don't want to commit to a full series playthrough, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an enticing next step.
With a new Dragon Quest-loving protagonist, a much larger city to hang out in, a vastly different combat system to master, and little in the way of narrative baggage, this could easily be your introduction.
There are many great autumn traditions we celebrate in this country. Pumpkin-spiced everything, Thanksgiving, radio stations playing Christmas music way too damn early, but my favorite tradition is taking time to watch the newest "Treehouse of Horror" episode on The Simpsons. Are they are good as they used to be? Nah, but they're still usually better than the rest of the season.
That's just one of the topics on this episode of Podtoid. CJ, Chris, Occams, and Charlotte talk TV, No More Heroes, Duolingo, Silent Hill, and Cruel Jaws. All that, plus we answer some listener questions, on Podtoid Episode 465.
Sony Interactive Entertainment just can't stop teasing the Demon's Souls fanbase with mouth-watering footage of its upcoming PS5 remake. Following on from last week's trailer, SIE and Bluepoint Games has released a 12-minute State of Play video, showing off the incoming fantasy epic in crisp, 4K resolution.
Narrated by SIE creative director Gavin Moore, the video gives the fanbase its first lengthy look at Demon's Souls for PS5 in action. We get to see our hardened protagonist picking their way through grim and familiar surrounds, offering sword-assisted head-ectomies to a nightmare gallery of beasts and monsters, culminating in a momentous battle with the Dirty Colossus, which frankly sounds like something you'd ask for in a shady establishment.
Demon's Souls will launch day-and-date with the PS5 on November 10/19. A $90 Digital Deluxe Edition is also available for pre-order right now.
"This video game is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or any real persons, living is purely coincidental. No organization or government agency has approved endorsed or authorized the use of their names or logos or product."
For some time now, Ubisoft has opened many of its titles with a disclaimer similar to the one above, often placed front and center each time the game in question loads. While a company wanting to "cover its back" is understandable, it gets harder to swallow said message with each release. Ubisoft is heavily invested in narratives concerning political upheaval, corrupt governments, class rebellion, and the breakdown of society. But the publisher's persistence in distancing itself from the topics it capitalizes on is getting long in the tooth.
Ubisoft's fiction is frequently embedded in recognizable real-world drama. The publisher openly linked Watch Dogs: Legion with Brexit before reiterating that Ubisoft games are "not political." The Division 2 featured war in the streets of Washington. 2018's Far Cry 5 was about doomsday preppers following a false idol, while the upcoming Far Cry 6 concerns a fascist dictatorship on an island off the shores of the United States.
There's nothing wrong with tackling socio-political subjects in any medium - creators can and should when the opportunity arises - but at least own your stake. Telling the audience that your wares "aren't political" doesn't wash when you set your latest adventure in "post-Brexit" Britain, open the story with terrorist attacks, feature dialogue referencing "fake news" and "social media conspiracies," and then add British xenophobia, a work-shy Prime Minister, and a crumbling NHS to the mix.
When companies take this tack, it comes off as having your cake and eating it too, allowing the product's marketing to bask in the headline-grabbing buzz of real-world concerns while not having to actually enter legitimate discourse with those for whom these themes may be disturbingly relevant. Make your point, but also own it. To do otherwise is arguably exploitation.
Cblogs Recap: Week 45
It's no secret that Microsoft was fighting an uphill battle with the Xbox One. The initial announcement of the draconian DRM strategy did not go over well, with Sony and the gaming community at large taking every opportunity to dunk on it. But over time, the console landscape shifted dramatically. Microsoft, along with Phil Spencer, completely changed the conversation.
Xbox Games with Gold provided players with permanent copies of 360 games. Microsoft extended its hand to other publishers, opening the floodgates for cross-platform play — while Sony opposed the program for another year, only relenting for certain big-ticket games. Xbox Game Pass utterly shifted the landscape of "generations," becoming the first major successful "Netflix for games" concept.
That philosophy extends to the Xbox Series X family.
[Since this is our first of the two new hardware reviews, here's a quick side note. We've made both articles fairly uniform, so you can compare and contrast them together when the PS5 review hits. You can find our Xbox Series X unboxing article here.]
Video gaming's worst kept secret is finally out in the open. Electronic Arts has officially announced Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, a full remaster of BioWare's fantastic space opera trilogy that engrossed a globalaudience of players on PS3, PC, and Xbox 360.
Taking the opportunity to celebrate November 7 - known to the Mass Effect faithful as "N7 Day". EA finally announced that the trilogy remaster was in the works, with a tentative release window of Spring 2021 on PS4, PC, and Xbox One. It will be forward compatible with next-gen platforms, and will include "targeted enhancements" on the new hardware.
In addition, BioWare general manager Casey Hudson has announced a brand new Mass Effect title is also in the works. "A veteran team has been hard at work envisioning the next chapter of the Mass Effect universe," said Hudson on the official ME blog. "We are in early stages on the project and can't say any more just yet, but we're looking forward to sharing our vision for where we'll be going next".
"For me personally, Mass Effect represents years of work and countless special memories, so every year I feel incredibly fortunate to celebrate N7 Day with players around the world. Thank you so much for supporting us over the years. I can't wait to continue our adventure together—revisiting our favorite memories in the Mass Effect universe, and creating brand new ones!"
Fuel up the Mako and fire up the Normandy folks, the adventure returns...
Sony certainly killed it with the PS4, didn't they? I mean, Microsoft handed them the "W" on a silver platter as soon as that draconian DRM presentation hit.
But something remarkable happened: Microsoft fought back. Instead of throwing in the towel, they made strides in the backward compatibility arena that no publisher had done before. All the while, Sony crafted killer exclusive after exclusive, fighting the good fight with the thing that matters most: games. Sony had to work to sell those 112-million-plus units and take a coveted spot in the "top five all-time best-selling console" list.
This generation, after all of the groundwork laid by Microsoft, we're poised for a fairer fight. But Sony is really coming in swinging yet again with the PS5.
[As this is our second of the two major console reviews, here's a quick side note. We've made both articles fairly uniform, so you can compare and contrast them together. You can find our PS5 unboxing article here.]
Maybe it's just me, but it seems that, somehow, the weeks of the horrorscape that is 2020 are getting faster and faster. Events that once seemed set in the future are upon us, impending, or passed entirely. It feels as if the year has flown by and, as we head into November, a new era of video gaming beckons. None of us really know when Real Life will return to normal, (or "The New Normal"), but just continue to be your very best self, look after those around you, and support those that may not be doing as well. Things will improve and a lot of us are handling this unprecedented year better than we give ourselves credit for.
This week was a bit of a disaster for me, game-wise. A couple of blinding migraines put me off excess screen-staring for a couple of days, then my PS4 - a launch model - finally bit the dust while trying to eek out Ubisoft's Watch Dogs: Legion. This required me to purchase another PS4, just a fortnight before the PS5 drops. Beggars belief. As for DedSec's adventures in old London town, keep your eyes peeled for a review very soon. Oh, it was also my birthday, which saw me enter a new decade. I hope it's a good one.
Hope y'all have had a good week, and have been successful in finding hours of great digital entertainment. This is your time to shine, as always, so jump into the comments below and let us know what games have taken your fancy this week. There are no rules, (there are some rules), but spill the beans on the old, the new, the great, the bad, and everything in between. We love hearing what you've all been up to.
Have a safe and pleasant weekend, from all of us at Destructoid.
In today's contest you can win Black Desert Prestige Edition for PS4 of Xbox One!
So this Black Desert game has been floating around for a long time, now. It started out as a Korea-only MMORPG, but word got out and now it's available here in the West! Or from wherever you're reading this. Whatever.
The game saw its official launch today, and you know how it goes -- we're not just giving away the base game, but also the Prestige Edition content! Check it all out below.
There's more fuel on the fire of Remedy and 505 Games' Control: Ultimate Edition controversy. Originally, it was early adopters who were incensed that it'd require an entirely new Game of the Year-type edition of Control to access the upgraded versions for PS5 and Xbox Series X. Now it's the Ultimate Edition adopters' turn to be annoyed.
Remedy has revealed that Control's next-gen upgrades have been delayed until early 2021. Anyone who's itching to play the enhanced version on their shiny new consoles will be left waiting.
Harmonix is a fascinating case study of a studio.
What was once the "Frequency/Amplitude" developer (this is how I'll always remember them) eventually made their mark on gaming with the Guitar Heroes series, followed by Rock Band. It's ironic that the folks that helped start the in-home guitar revolution ended up living longer than their creation, having been the steward of Rock Band for around 13 years now.
But Harmonix has always struggled to move out of the shadow of that success. Games like Fantasia: Music Evolved, while fun, never quite put them on the map. Before long the next Rock Band project would be announced and they'd fall back into a comfortable rhythm.
Fuser tries to do something interesting in that same rhythm space, but like several of their other ideas, it comes up short in many respects.
Moon Studios updated Ori and the Will of the Wisps today in preparation for the Xbox Series X/S, and I have a feeling it'll be just the kick in the pants some people needed to check out one of the year's best video games. The team calls it a "huge upgrade" for the new Xbox consoles. It's easy to see why.
Xbox Series X can pull off 4K HDR at 120FPS, and there's even a "6K Supersampled mode" that runs at 60FPS. On Xbox Series S, Will of the Wisps offers 1080p HDR at 120FPS and 4K at 60FPS. Beyond that boost, there are extra niceties like faster load times, high-fidelity audio, and "instant input response."
For anyone still struggling with lingering bugs or crashes, there are new performance and stability improvements "across all Xbox One SKUs," including extra polish "throughout the game experience."
Moon Studios updated the PC version of Will of the Wisps, too. You can dig into more graphics and audio modes (on both the super-high and low end) and benefit from some of those same stability fixes.
Funny enough, I just started playing it this week. The buzz was legit.
Online multiplayer support has been a thorny issue for some games recently, and the same can be said for Sackboy: A Big Adventure. While Sumo Digital is planning to support local and online co-op by the "end of 2020," at launch, only two- to four-player local co-op will be included in the PS4 and PS5 game.
"We've made the difficult decision to delay the full online multiplayer functionality within Sackboy: A Big Adventure," design director Ned Waterhouse said today on the PlayStation Blog. "The team have been working hard to ensure that online is the very best experience it can be for players and we just need a little more time to get it right so you can enjoy it to the fullest with your friends and family."
Whenever I hear that online multiplayer is coming later (in this case, it will be added in a free patch shortly after launch), I get a little nervous. When it does show up, will it be stable? Will it need further fixes? It's also worth noting that Sackboy will have "cross-generation multiplayer" on PS4 and PS5.
This delay doesn't change my outlook either way – I'm still looking forward to Sackboy and I still think platformer fans shouldn't sleep on it – but it is a bummer for anyone planning to go the online co-op route. I have an extra DualSense controller, so I'm good to go whenever I end up getting this game.
It's not even a budget concern as much as it is a time issue. I don't have enough!
Any game releasing next week that isn't a part of the big, shiny, new console generation faces the possibility of being forgotten as the industry focuses on the next-gen tech that everyone will be talking about. It would almost seem foolish to position yourself against such gladiators. But the developers at Edelweiss think their game has what it takes to stand out. Against an onslaught of sequels about to hit game stores, they're pitching something unique with Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin.
While many games come and go from my mind, Sakuna's secured itself a nice, comfy spot in the back of my brain when I first saw a trailer for it back in 2018. I wasn't familiar with the developer's previous effort in Astebreed, but its enchanting scenery and rice farming footage made it stand out. At E3 2019, I got to try it out for myself and found it to be a charming action game with the makings of something spectacular.
At the very least, it's different from almost everything else on the market. As I found out in an interview with Edelweiss, that's one of the selling points they believe will keep it in the minds of gamers as it goes up against some heady competition.
There's no topping Miles' Into the Spider-Verse suit, but Peter Parker is adding a few stylish suits to his eclectic wardrobe for Spider-Man Remastered. As if it isn't hard enough already to pick a favorite look.
Apart from the Amazing suit, which Insomniac previously spoke about, Spider-Man Remastered will also add the all-new Arachnid Rider suit and the Armored Advanced suit. You can see them in the gallery below. The Arachnid Rider, in particular, is worth inspecting up close. Zoom in. Check out that detailing.
Even if you're skipping the PS5 remaster, you'll still be able to wear these suits in the original PS4 version of Spider-Man – we just don't know how long the timed exclusivity period will last.
Personally? I'm down for Miles Morales asap, but Spider-Man Remastered isn't a priority.
We've gotten to the point where Astro Bot is now a series and I am here for it.
The little Sony mascot that could originally starred in 2013's Playroom, before it catapulted into stardom with Astro Bot Rescue Mission: a fully-fledged platformer for PSVR. Now it's out of the VR realm and ready for action once again as, in part, a taster for a new piece of tech.
What crummy fortunetellers and soothsayers we are. We couldn't even predict The Medium's delay before it happened.
The Xbox Series X launch-window lineup took a not-insignificant hit as Bloober Team's new horror game The Medium got pushed back into early 2021. Originally scheduled for December 10, 2020, it has been delayed until January 28, 2021. That's a seven-week setback.
Konami has already gone to great lengths to scrub P.T. from existence, that much is well-documented. Following the cancelation of Silent Hills, P.T. was abruptly pulled from the PlayStation Store and unable to be downloaded ever again. The only way to play P.T. was to already have it on your PS4's hard drive.
Now, Konami has made sure the beloved playable teaser's ghosts remain in the past. After some will it/won't it discussion over P.T. living on through PS5 backward compatibility, it seems as though Konami has delivered the coup de grâce.
Polygon reports that P.T. can't be transferred from a PS4 to the PS5's SSD storage. Because of this, it's not supported through backward compatibility.
Here's what's weird though: Polygon also reports that P.T. worked on the PS5 at one point. In late October, Polygon did a data transfer and played P.T. from the beginning. It was perfectly playable. However, after a factory reset, the transfer couldn't be initiated again. The functionality was removed sometime in the few days leading up to this morning's PS5 review embargo.
Sony points the finger at Konami and calls this "a publisher's decision." Konami had told us in the past that P.T. wouldn't work on PS5, but the logic behind that statement seemed shaky. Konami said that P.T. wasn't PS5-compatible because you could no longer download it from the PlayStation Store. We had already known that. It seemed to reason that anyone who simply transferred the files would be all set.
Not so, and it's entirely because Konami is hellbent on making sure P.T. dies. At this point, it's probably best to not even try the transfer just in case something happens to the file on your PS4. Someone needs to preserve history because Konami's actively trying to erase it.
P.T. is not playable on PlayStation 5 [Polygon]
Despite some earlier attempts at the hobby, I've come to accept that I am not a game collector. I don't have it in me to buy a game with the intention of keeping it forever. I'd rather play it and trade it than keep it on a shelf. However, a few games have warranted return visits over the years, such as my annual trek through Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, for instance, or the occasional dip into the post-game of Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. Thus, I keep a small binder on my shelve to house those old games.
No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle have their own page in that old game binder. Every few years, I find myself gravitating back toward them, usually when I need to let out a lot of anger by cutting some fools in half. But I think now is the time for me to give those old games up for good. Not because I'm over them, but because the Switch ports for both games are so much better than the originals.
Out of nowhere, Shenmue III was ensnared by the siren's song of the Epic Games Store. Met to an outcry by tons of backers who felt bamboozled by the near zero hour change (just months before it actually launched), Ys Net and Deep Silver maintained course and kept the exclusivity intact. Until now, that is.
It looks like Epic's exclusive deal is up. We already knew as much, but over on the game's Kickstarter page, it is now fully confirmed that Shenmue III is coming to Steam on November 19. Ys Net says that if you "opted in" to Steam back in late 2019, you're now able to claim your code. A year later. As a reminder, you can check out the full list of PC requirements below.
For Shenmue III, more platforms in any capacity, even within the PC subgroup, is a win. It's still only available on the PlayStation console family, so folks who were holding out for the Steam edition can finally partake. It's also great news for everyone who pulled out of the Kickstarter campaign entirely, as you can casually pick it up on the storefront of your choice going forward.
Steam release announcement [Kickstarter]
PS5 fans are finally getting some details and extended footage taken from the brand new platform exclusive Destruction AllStars, in development at Lucid Games and WuShu Studios. Publisher Sony Interactive has released an extended trailer for the over-the-top and super-kinetic racing title, along with more details regarding AllStar's concepts and modes.
Destruction AllStars will see a madcap roster of dynamic and charismatic characters battle it out in vehicular warfare - the fender-bending impact of games such as Destruction Derby and Twisted Metal mixed with the personality of Overwatch, so to speak. Some of the modes available at launch will include the free-for-all chaos of Mayhem, the grand theft auto action of Carnado, zone-capturing team game Stockpile, and finally the battle royale action of Gridfall.
Racers will also be able to hone their death-defying driving skills in a deep training mode, and bag themselves in-game rewards in a series of single-player challenges. For artistic types, Destruction AllStars will also boost customization options, allowing players to change up their racer and vehicles looks to nail that crowd-pleasing color schemes - a must-have given AllStars' vivid rainbow aesthetic.
You can check out the trailer below. It has to be said that Destruction AllStars doesn't seem to have captured many eyes out of the gate - not helped by receiving an unfortunate delay before it even got the green light - but I still think it's worth keeping an eye on, especially for those who - like myself - tend to forget that the brake button even exists.
Destruction AllStars launches in February as a PlayStation Plus game.
ININ Games has announced that retro-infused release Bubble Bobble 4 Friends: The Baron is Back is headed west later this month. The multiplayer take on the classic single-screen platformer will arrive on PS4 and Nintendo Switch on November 17.
Additionally, players who own the vanilla edition of Bubble Bobble 4 Friends will receive a free download the same day adding the new Baron is Back content free of charge. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends includes over 200 stages of classic arcade action and features four-player co-operative play, online scoreboards, and the return of terrifying villain Baron von Blubba. As a bonus, Taito's original 1986 edition of Bubble Bobble is also included as part of the package.
We are just six days away from the launch of Gearbox's epic fantasy adventure, Godfall. The publisher has released a final launch trailer emphasizing the third-person adventure's lush locations, amazing effects, and hard-hitting, ground-shaking combat.
As one of the last of an ancient party of warriors known as The Valorian Knights, players must battle through the elemental realms on an almost foolhardy quest, facing impossible odds en route to a showdown with the mad god, Macros, who has violently conquered the realm of Aperion, leaving it on the precipice of total extinction.
Already skilled in hand-to-hand combat, the Valorian Knights are able to enhance their armor, weaponry, and skills with the use of "Valorplates," Zodiac-inspired relics which add buffs and effects when applied to your protagonist. Fine-tune your knight as befits the realm, and then you can start dishing out the vengeance to everyone standing in your way.
Godfall launches on PC via Epic Games Store on November 12. It will launch on PS5 in Japan, Canada, and North America, with most other territories following one week later on November 19. Various special editions are also available to pre-order.
For years, some dedicated World of Warcraft players have been "multi-boxing," a term that refers to utilizing multiple accounts and machines to play several (or droves of) characters at once.
In the before-times, this was commonly known as "dual-boxing," when players would have two PCs (or a laptop and PC) next to them, allowing two characters to quest together. But over time multi-boxing became a cottage industry for gold farmers, altering the course of Auction House prices and in some cases, the open world experience. Now, Blizzard is taking a stand before the launch of the Shadowlands expansion.
In the innocuously titled post "Policy Update for Input Broadcasting Software," Blizzard directly calls out "third-party input broadcasting software, which allows a single keystroke or action to be automatically mirrored to multiple game clients," using the term "multi-boxing" by name. Blizzard says that this is now an "actionable defense," and will start warning users before suspending/banning them if they detect this activity. They couldn't have put it more plainly: "We strongly advise you to cease using this type of software immediately to maintain uninterrupted access to World of Warcraft."
As someone who has played WoW since the start, this was a long time coming. Although I've known many people with multiple accounts, multi-boxing has always been sort of a grey area, and has gotten much worse in recent years (particularly during Legion into Battle for Azeroth) as software has made it easier to have armies of bots running around.