The Best Couch Co-op Games on PS5

Looking for couch co-op experiences on your shiny new PS5? We've rounded up the best games right here.

The post The Best Couch Co-op Games on PS5 appeared first on GameSpew.

Immortals Fenyx Rising Review

Taking clear inspiration from Breath of the Wild with its charming art style and abundance of puzzles, Immortals Fenyx Rising is a triumph.

The post Immortals Fenyx Rising Review appeared first on GameSpew.

The Best PS5 Accessories to Gift This Holiday

Christmas is quickly sneaking up, and if you've still got some gifts to buy, we're here to help you out.

The post The Best PS5 Accessories to Gift This Holiday appeared first on GameSpew.

DOOM Eternal Heads to Nintendo Switch December 8th

Get ready for some handheld rip and tear action.

The post DOOM Eternal Heads to Nintendo Switch December 8th appeared first on GameSpew.

Chronos: Before the Ashes Review

Originally a VR game, Chronos: Before the Ashes has undergone some tweaks and has another chance to entertain on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

The post Chronos: Before the Ashes Review appeared first on GameSpew.

SoulCalibur VI Introduces Hwang as Final DLC Character

Be the light that strikes down evil with this new character being added to SoulCalibur VI. 

The post SoulCalibur VI Introduces Hwang as Final DLC Character appeared first on GameSpew.

A Monster Hunter Movie-Themed Quest is Coming to Monster Hunter World This Week

On Friday, you'll have a very exciting reason to jump back into Monster Hunter World.

The post A Monster Hunter Movie-Themed Quest is Coming to Monster Hunter World This Week appeared first on GameSpew.

GameSir X2 Mobile Controller Review: The Ultimate Cloud Gaming Accessory

If you've jumped on the cloud gaming bandwagon via your Android phone, you should consider picking up a GameSir X2 mobile controller.

The post GameSir X2 Mobile Controller Review: The Ultimate Cloud Gaming Accessory appeared first on GameSpew.

90s Playstation RPG SaGa Frontier Gets a Remaster

1990s Playstation RPG SaGa Frontier is getting the remaster treatement, along with an all-new co-protagonist.

The post 90s Playstation RPG SaGa Frontier Gets a Remaster appeared first on GameSpew.

Cryospace is a New Sci-fi Horror Game Arriving on PC

Stuck on an alien-infested colony ship, Cryospace is set to make you the galaxy's unluckiest maintenance man.

The post Cryospace is a New Sci-fi Horror Game Arriving on PC appeared first on GameSpew.

Control May Be Coming to Xbox Game Pass This December

Could Control be coming to Xbox Game Pass this December? All signs point to Hiss.

The post Control May Be Coming to Xbox Game Pass This December appeared first on GameSpew.

GreedFall is Making its Way to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S

Publisher Focus Home Entertainment yesterday announced that GreedFall will be getting a release on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.

The post GreedFall is Making its Way to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S appeared first on GameSpew.

The Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids

Wondering what the best games for kids are on Nintendo Switch? Worry not - we've got you covered right here.

The post The Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids appeared first on GameSpew.

How to Apply for a Job in Football Manager 2021

Wondering how to apply for a job in Football Manager 2021? Here's everything you need to know.

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How to Find Free Agents in Football Manager 2021

Wondering how to find free agents in Football Manager 2021? Here's what you need to know.

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How to Increase Your Transfer Budget in Football Manager 2021

Wondering how to increase your transfer budget in Football Manager 2021? Here's what you need to know.

The post How to Increase Your Transfer Budget in Football Manager 2021 appeared first on GameSpew.

How to Save Your Game in Football Manager 2021

Wondering how to save your game in Football Manager 2021? Here's what you need to know.

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Comanche is a Polished Relaunch of the Long-Grounded Chopper Series

Comanche breathes new life into a long-neglected 'copter series.

The post Comanche is a Polished Relaunch of the Long-Grounded Chopper Series appeared first on GameSpew.

Serious Sam Collection Review

Serious Sam Collection bundles up three fantastic games along with their expansions, and is a must-have for first-person shooter fans.

The post Serious Sam Collection Review appeared first on GameSpew.

Save Up to 36% Off a Range of Nintendo Games in CDKeys' Black Friday Sale

CDKeys is offering discounts of up to 36% on a range of first-party Nintendo Switch titles as part of its Black Friday sale.

The post Save Up to 36% Off a Range of Nintendo Games in CDKeys' Black Friday Sale appeared first on GameSpew.

Nintendo Switch firmware 11.0.0 is out, adds new features, details here!

Nintendo have released the latest update for the Nintendo Switch and along with the usual stability bobbins there are a couple of new features that you may find useful. Once you have updated you will be able to prioritize downloads, so you won't have to wait for a patch for an existing game to finish downloading before you can start downloading something else. You can also transfer screenshots and videos to smart devices and your PC. 

Here are the full patch notes:

Ver. 11.0.0 (Released November 30, 2020)

Nintendo Switch Online was added to the HOME Menu.

A new feature that automatically downloads backed up save data was added to the Save Data Cloud.

  • When using software with the same Nintendo Account linked to multiple systems, save data backed up from one console will automatically be downloaded to your other system(s).
    *To use this feature, it must be enabled under System Settings > Data Management > Save Data Cloud.
    *Save data will not be downloaded automatically unless save data for that software exists on the console. The first time only, users must download the save data manually.
    *A Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the Save Data Cloud service.

A new Trending feature was added to the User Page.

  • Users can check what software their friends are playing or have started playing recently.
    Information will not be displayed for friends who have their online status set to display to no one.

Users can now transfer screenshots and videos from Album to their smart devices.

  • Users can wirelessly connect their smart devices to Nintendo Switch to transfer the screenshots and videos saved within their Album.
  • For screenshots, users can transfer a maximum of 10 screenshots and 1 video capture at once.
    *To connect, users must use their smart device to scan the QR Code displayed on the Nintendo Switch screen.
    For more information, please refer to the Nintendo Support website.

A new Copy to a Computer via USB Connection feature was added under System Settings > Data Management > Manage Screenshots and Videos.

  • Users can use a USB cable to connect Nintendo Switch to their computers to copy the screenshots and videos saved under Album.
    * A USB charging cable [model HAC-010] or a USB-IF certified USB cable that supports data transfer is required to connect to a computer.
    For more information, please refer to the Nintendo Support website.
    * Connection via the Nintendo Switch dock is not supported. Please connect the Nintendo Switch system directly to the computer.

Users can now select what download to prioritize when there are multiple downloads in progress.

  • When there are multiple software, update data, or downloadable content downloads in progress, users can now select which they want to download first.
  • You can set this under Download Options by selecting the icon for the software you want to download first on the HOME Menu.

User icons were added.

  • 12 user icons that commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. series were added.

Users can now name preset button mappings with the Change Button Mapping feature.

Brazilian Portuguese was added as a supported language.

  • When users set their region to the Americas and their language to Português, the language used on the HOME Menu and in certain software will be displayed in Brazilian Portuguese.

Several issues were fixed, and usability and stability were improved.

Source: Nintendo

XIII Remake has been patched, includes bug fixes and game improvements

When the XIII Remake was released the reception for the return of the first person shooter was not good. Players and fans of the original XIII have reported numerous issues with the XIII remake, and by all accounts the game is currently not worth the money. The issues are so prevalent and the outcry widespread that Microids issued an apology about the state of  the game

They have now released a new patch for the game which is now live on PC and PS4  and should be coming soon for Xbox One. "This patch fixes some of the issues you may have encountered since the beginning of your adventure," say Microids, "The teams are working relentlessly to provide you with regular patches to improved playing experience."

Rather than list everything that has been fixed we have a summary of issues that have been patched,

  • Weapon improvements (balancing, animations, tweaks, notably on ADS on machine guns, some audio)
  • Better Gameplay experience : AI bugs where enemy would not react, in-game objective markers, UI glitches, new narrative sequences, more user-friendly pickups, achievements tweaks, various bugs related to checkpoints and potential blockers
  • Art debugging and improvements (various collision and occlusion bugs, optimization, animation glitches, a lot of polish in levels – adding VFX, light, etc..)
  • Notable fixes on users feedbacks : mouse sensitivity, weapons animations and sounds (partially)

If you missed it you can read the apology from Microids below,

The highly anticipated remake of XIII, awaited by many fans, came out earlier this week. Unfortunately, players expectations have not been met by the launch version and we hear loud and clear the legitimate criticism and disappointment.

First and foremost, we would like to offer our most sincere apologies for the game's technical issues. In its present state, XIII does not meet our quality standards and we fully understand players' frustrations. The pandemic has impacted the game's production on many levels. Pivoting to home working for the teams has added unexpected delays in the development schedule and the QA process. We hoped we would be able to provide a Day One patch fixing all the issues but the development of this update is taking more time than expected.

Source: Microids

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War patch increases weapon XP rates

Treyarch has released a new patch for Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War and this addresses the earn rate for weapons XP. Treyarch has confirmed this will be available in multiplayer and zombies. There has also been a fix applied to Nuketown '84 to close off an exploit where players could leave the bounds of the map. Those who use the Napalm Burst Ammo Mod should also now see consistency with the amount of XP awarded using it.



  • Increased Weapon XP earn rates for both Multiplayer and Zombies.



  • Addressed an issue that was causing lower-than-targeted Weapon XP in solo matches and in later rounds.
  • Addressed an issue where the Napalm Burst Ammo Mod wasn't consistently awarding Weapon XP when equipped.



  • Nuketown '84
    • Closed an out-of-bounds gap that allowed players to stay alive outside of the playable space.

In our review for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Nick wrote:

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a decent entry in the series, but it feels like it doesn't quite know what it wants to be. The campaign is full of underused ideas, while the multiplayer misses some of the magical charm of Modern Warfare, opting for faster paced aggressive battles which just don't feel as satisfying. While still enjoyable, Black Ops Cold War fails to recapture the magic of Black Ops 1 and 2.
You can read the full review here.
Source: Treyarch

DOOM Eternal will release on Switch next week

Nintendo and id Software have confirmed that DOOM Eternal will be releasing on the Switch next week, December 8th to be precise. The release will come through the Nintendo eShop for now, with a physical release date yet to be confirmed. Those who purchase DOOM Eternal before December 22nd will get DOOM 64 and the Rip & Tear pack. That pack will include the DOOT Revenant Skin to use in Battlemode, Cultist Base Master Level which is a mix of the campaign level, and Throwback Shotgun Weapon Skin.

The Nintendo Switch version of DOOM Eternal will motion aiming using the gyro controls, and can be used at the same time as using the control stick. The game includes language support for English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

In our review for DOOM Eternal, Miguel wrote:

Doom Eternal doesn't just set the bar, it breaks it. Many of the best games of the FPS genre do what has already been done, and can do it really, really well, but Doom Eternal does what no other game has done before, crafting a fast-paced power fantasy that sets your brain cells on fire. It's an addictive exploration of the mythic Doomslayer character that delivers hours of blood-drenched fun, dozens of memorable collectibles, and a fan-pleasing story book-ended with gorgeous worlds and unforgettable music. Doom Eternal is a ripping, tearing masterpiece.
You can read the full  DOOM Eternal review here.
Source: YouTube

SoulCalibur VI's final character for Season Pass 2 is Hwang

Bandai Namco has announced that the final character for SoulCalibur VI's second season pass will be the swordsman Hwang, who has not been an official playable character since SoulCalibur III. If you do not have the season pass you will be able to buy Hwang as an individual character. He will be available from December 2nd. Hwang follows Setsuka who was released for SoulCalibur VI back in August. A trailer showing gameplay of Hwang can be viewed below.

Sword-y fighting game SoulCalibur VI launched in 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, reviving the dormant sword-y fighting game series with a few tweaks and changes to its popular formula. Version 2.00 was a big overhaul of the game's balance, introducing new moves for all characters, adding new combos and ways to overcome sticky situations.

Two new battle mechanics were also added:

  • The Soul Attack, a strengthened strike that can turn the tide of a battle.
  • The Resist Impact, the ultimate defense move capable of repelling any attack including the currently unblockable ones.

In our review for SoulCalibur VI, Dom wrote:

SoulCalibur VI is a fantastic looking entry in the series, but beyond that feels like something of a missed opportunity. The core combat remains as vibrant, weighty and enjoyable as ever, but the Reversal Edge adds in an element of chance that feels at odds with what most fighting games set out to achieve. The two interminably dull story modes don't help either, with players left to rely on the the straightforward arcade and online modes for their kicks.

You can read the full SoulCalibur VI review here.

Source: Bandai Namco

No Man's Sky Next Generation Update 3.13 is out, here are the patch notes

Hello Games have released a new patch for No Man's Sky Next Gen, and that patch will roll out on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and rather oddly as it's very much last generation, Xbox One, today. Here are the patch notes.

Patch Notes
  • Fixed an issue that could cause shared bases to fail to download correctly for other players.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some NPC starships to appear overly large while playing in multiplayer.
  • Increased the quicksilver reward given for completing the daily mission at the Nexus.
  • Added an option on all platforms that allows players to customise the strength of pad rumble.
  • Added an option on PlayStation 5 that allows players to customise the strength of the trigger feedback.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause some lighting scenarios to be overly bright on next-gen consoles.
  • Fixed an issue that could caused random gaps to appear in the terrain on startup, and reduced the frequency of blocky and mismatched terrain textures generally.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause some planetary props to be invisible until looked at directly.
  • Fixed an issue that caused inconsistencies in the numbering when viewing customisation options.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause part of the tutorial to occur on an inappropriate planet.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause base parts to hover when constructed atop of decals.
  • Critical markers (such as the ship and any active missions) are not faded with distance when viewed in the Analysis Visor.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause some photography missions to fail to recognise when players were on the correct planet.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause camera shake to persist after warping.
  • Fixed an issue that caused fireworks not to detonate correctly.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could prevent the tutorial from working correctly if players started on volcanic biomes.
  • Fixed a number of issues with overly-loud base props.
  • Fixed a number of issues with photo mode on PlayStation 5.
  • Fixed a number of text and display issues with PlayStation 5 activities.
  • Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause incorrect differences in rock distribution between Ultra and other planetary quality settings.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the atmosphere on some weird planets to be overly dusty.
  • Fixed an issue affecting the placement of props on the terrain.
  • Introduced a performance optimisation related to moving foliage.
  • Introduced a small optimisation to terrain rendering.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the game to crash when transferring items to/from other players on Xbox.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when predatory creatures bite something.
  • Fixed a rare crash that could be caused when entering the galaxy map with a large number of active missions.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when landing on a derelict freighter in multiplayer.
  • Fixed a rare crash that could occur on projectile impacts.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when scanning.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when using weapons with non-standard muzzle flash colours.
  • Fixed a number of memory-related crashes.
  • Fixed a rare crash that could occur when getting in the starship.


Interview: Jeffrey Yohalem discusses the myths and comedy that made Immortals Fenyx Rising

What would modern media be like without the Greek Myths? It would be whole lot less fun, that's for certain. From Children's books, to TV shows, films and video games, the media we consume is inundated with the distinctive presence of these larger than life mythological personalities.

Indeed, the (mis)adventures of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon et al. have been told and retold in our cultural stories for millennia. Just in the last five years alone we've seen numerous reimagining's of Ancient Greek mythology in the video game world – which leads to a question, is a fresh take on the myths even possible? Ubisoft Quebec seem to think so and have put their money where there mouth is, creating Immortals Fenyx Rising, a comedic action adventure cram packed with Greek Mythology.

With the game out later this week – and our Immortals Fenyx Rising review is live right here – it's a perfect time to chat with the the narrative director and lead writer on the project, Jeffrey Yohalem. We talk all things mythological, but first, that fresh take, is it possible? How do you make something so old, new? Especially when so many people have been there and told the story before you?

"I knew what other people had done," Jeffrey told me. "I think I probably consciously didn't want to do what they had done, but also the lens that I had chosen to examine this all through was humour. I already knew that was a pretty fresh take. Taking the myths and looking at them through the lens of something like 'Robin Hood Men in Tights', 'Princess Bride' or 'Naked Gun', I felt like that was new." Well, Jeffrey, you just listed three of my favourite comedies of all time there – if you had my curiosity before, now you really have my attention.

For those who've already played the demo of Immortals Fenyx Rising on Google Stadia, I'm sure you've come away pleasantly surprised with just how funny the game is. Genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. A feat in and of itself, even more impressive when you consider that humour and action adventure games rarely go hand in hand. Key to the appeal are the divine double-act of Zeus and Prometheus. Ostensibly the narrators, these two bickering gods are much more than that. They bring plentiful silliness, occasional slapstick, big chuckles and an improvisational lightness of touch that feels remarkably original.

"They feel like the original odd couple" Jeffrey explained, "they were cousins and Prometheus fought beside Zeus in the war against the Titans and then Prometheus goes off and steals fire for the humans and Zeus was very unhappy with that. So he has Prometheus chained to the mountain and has this eagle pecking his liver for all eternity. Now Zeus needs Prometheus' help after doing that to him. They have this old friendship which has really soured and now they need to work together. The comedy of that forced relationship really propels you through the open world."

It really does. Zeus, in particular, appears to be making up the story as he goes along, adding extra events to heighten the drama or lobbing different beasties into the fray, seemingly just for the sheer hell of it. I wondered, was this freestyling plot a nod to the original myths primarily being of an oratory tradition?

"Yeah, it's both that" Jeffrey replied, "and also that in a game a lot of times the main character talks to themselves, which is a little awkward. Here you have two characters commenting on everything the player does. You basically have these interactive narrators following you around and cracking jokes about what you're doing, and that felt very good.

"Also, as you said, the oral tradition, the idea here is that the story of Fenyx is contained in a lost poem, which told the story of the battle between the Titans and Zeus. That would have been a spoken poem, but we don't know what the contents of it were as they've been lost to time."

This seems a wonderful idea. No longer do I need to listen to my player character banging on about how "I can't carry any more". It drives me crazy. You're already carrying enough weapons to arm a small country and so much ammo that you could build a staircase to the moon with it, what difference are two glass jars going to make?

"I got to do jokes about those moments too" said Jeffrey, who had interrupted my inner monologue, but let's not be too harsh – my ranting really wasn't going anywhere. "It's a lot of fun to examine video games from the perspective of the Ancient Greek gods. That kind of anachronism was fun."

Okay, so we've got humour and we've got a pair of bickering narrators doing their best to emulate the leads in a buddy cop movie. Were there any issues with, when it came to making these character likeable, the fact that both the gods and heroes of Greek mythology could be so thoroughly unlikeable? When a supposed paragon of heroism like the legendary Theseus also enjoyed dabbling in a spot of kidnapping, are you going to have trouble getting the audience on their side? Is the answer just to hide those negative traits and behaviours?

"No, quite the opposite" Jeffrey suggested. "I feel like a lot of modern retellings just brush the more problematic aspects of mythology or the most twisted behaviour of the gods under the rug. Because this is a comedy I wanted to bring those elements to the forefront and examine them from a modern perspective. I felt that all of these things that were problems in fact speak to our current political climate and who we are as human beings on social media.

"Right now our heroes are being shown on camera all the time. We see them being selfish, we see them being clumsy falling down stairs, we see them making all kinds of mistakes. At the same time everyone is under such pressure to curate their Instagram story to have the perfect relationship, the perfect food, the perfect house, there's all this pressure to be perfect, but it's also increasingly impossible to be perfect."

Jeffrey continued, "I feel like mythology is the perfect lens to examine that. The Greek's believed in balance where what makes us human and makes us complete are both our strengths and weaknesses."

And what do these unpalatable aspects of Greek Mythology tell us about the past? That the denizens of Athens were a bit pervy perhaps? "The funny thing is that most of the incredibly weird gratuitous stuff is Roman. A lot of the incest, a lot of the rape, is from Roman additions to the material. Nowadays you'd look at the Roman's views of sexuality and violence as pretty unhealty, whereas the Greeks were more balanced and healthy."

So, what have the Romans ever done for us? Made teaching mythology in Primary Schools much more difficult than it would otherwise have been, it seems.

I thought I'd best wrap things up and that led me to my final question for Jeffrey. The original Greek myths are the primary source for the inspiration behind Immortals Fenyx Rising, that means the storylines that infuse the game are over two millennia old. Did Jeffrey ever have any concerns that these stories would no longer be relevant to a modern audience? Was there a need to freshen the stories up and significantly change them?

"No, the humour is sort of modern but again it's all based on stuff that's there in the original myths. A lot of it is just bringing to the forefront some ideas or concepts that were present in the myths but that a lot of very serous mythological work tries to paper over because it doesn't fit with modern sensibilities. When you really look at the content of these stories, what happened in them, the reactions, there's all this comedic gold in there. When you do a comedy you can examine all that, rather than just adhere to it mindlessly. I think the texts were rich with the opportunities to talk about the failure of human beings and the weirdness about our behaviour in the past and the present." What could be more relevant than that?

Thank you to Jeffrey for taking the time out to talk with us during the Immortals Fenyx Rising Virtual Press Event – you can also catch our Immortals Fenyx Rising review. Immortals Fenyx Rising will be released on December 3rd for Stadia, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. So, everything basically!

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.4 release date confirmed, titled "Futures Rewritten"

Square Enix have announced the release date for the upcoming Final Fantasy Patch 5.4, dubbed "Futures Rewritten".

This newest update for the popular Final Fantasy MMO will be dropping next week on December 8th, 2020 and, like the many patches before it, wheels out plenty of new content for fans to play through together.

As expected, Final Fantasy Patch 5.4 introduces new story quests as well as additional content in the forms of a new raid, dungeon, trials, and much more. You can catch a more detailed list of what's being added below.

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.4 Futures Rewritten Content

  • Main Scenario Quests
  • Eden's Promise Raids
  • New Dungeon – Matoya's Relict
  • Chronicles of a New Era – The Sorrow of Werlyt
  • New Trial – Castrum Marinum
  • Save the Queen – Past to Rest
  • New Large-scale Battle – Delubrum Reginae
  • Blue Mage Update
  • Ishgardian Restoration Updates
  • New Unreal Trial
  • Skysteel Tool Update
  • Treasure Hunt Update
  • Ocean Fishing Update
  • Triple Triad Update
  • Doman Mahjong Update
  • Explorer Mode
  • Performance Update
  • New Game+ Update

Of course, there will be plenty of smaller updates worked into this latest FF14 update. Expect Square Enix to post a comprehensive breakdown in their patch notes on December 8th.

Final Fantasy XIV Patch 5.4 will take players into 2021 where they can expect more announcements. Fans won't have to wait long for a major announcement it seems…

Whatever these "cool things" Square has planned for their February reveal are, it won't stop the Final Fantasy XIV community from furiously speculating over the game's rumoured fourth expansion.

Square have delivered a new expansion every two years since the game's launch with Heavensward in 2015, Stormblood in 2017, and Shadowbringers in 2019.

Source: Final Fantasy XIV

Immortals Fenyx Rising Review

Let us get the obvious out of the way: Immortals Fenyx Rising has some similarities to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can climb almost every surface and you have wings to glide on, both of which use stamina, there are vaults in place of shrines, and there are a lot of puzzles to solve out in the wild. However, Immortals: Fenyx Rising is a much more focused experience that uses its base of Greek mythology to present a fun and at times humourous experience.

The tale of Fenyx begins as he or she is washed upon the Golden Isle, which was by the legendary inventor Daedalus as a home for the Greek gods, demigods, and some humans. It is not a good time to be visiting though, as Typhon, the son of the titan Gaea who was imprisoned by Zeus, has escaped and is out to take his revenge. His invasion of the Golden Isle has seen the gods Athena, Ares, Aphrodite, and Hephaestus being overpowered to the point that Zeus turns to Prometheus for help. The entire story is narrated by Prometheus with Zeus chipping in, and this narrator relationship offers some good humour while giving a crash course in Greek mythology.

The Golden Isle is split into different regions, each the domain of one of the gods. Fenyx must find the essence of the fallen gods and restore them back to power. The regions cover different biomes, from lush grasslands to arid desert and cold mountainous climes. While these areas look quite large, the map is not so big that travelling around it becomes overwhelming, and this is helped in part with the amount of content there is to discover.

Much like Ubisoft's other open world games there are a lot of side content to tackle if you fancy taking a break from the main path of the story. A plethora of Vaults transport Fenyx to Tartaros to solve puzzles and fight enemies, the rewards for doing so typically being weapon or armour skins, and a bolt of Zeus' lightning. Along with Ambrosia found in the world you can use these resources to improve Fenyx's health and stamina. The difficulty of each vault is rated out of three, and vary in length. Some can be tackled in a few minutes while others will take much longer due to the multi-faceted aspect of them. The puzzles themselves vary between moving balls to sockets, stacking weights, killing enemies, and tracing a path using arrows.

Outside of the Vaults there are heroic challenges such as Odysseus's arrow challenges where you have to thread arrows through an obstacle course, or navigation challenges to tackle within a time limit. There are also a number of treasures to simply find though exploring. Some will be sitting in the world, others will be guarded by monsters, and others will require puzzles to be completed to grab them. Not to mention you can tame mounts across the world, allowing you to traverse the ground faster.

A big part of Immortals Fenyx Rising is the combat. Early on in the game it can be a challenge as Fenyx is weak and does not have a lot of stamina to fight, but as you unlocks godly powers and abilities are upgraded the combat becomes much more satisfying. Soon enough you will be dodging enemy swipes, performing hits in the air, and stringing together lengthy combos.

You need to keep an eye on your stamina, with godly powers consuming a lot of it, but certain armours will grant stamina and health bonuses, while others will make attacks more powerful. As you gather resources in the world you will also be able to upgrade the power of Fenyx's sword, axe, and bow as well as their armour.

You have some decent customisation options for Fenyx from the basics of skin and hair colour/styles, tattoos, choosing their gender, and whether their voice is masculine or feminine. If you can get bored of how your character looks, you can also change their appearance at any time after the prologue mission.

Immortals Fenyx Rising was not without issue while playing on Xbox Series X. There were a few occasions where the game would freeze, most notably during a cutscene when trying to upgrade my potion capacity. This forced me to restart the game, but Ubisoft will doubtless patch the game to address niggling issues. A bigger problem is that some of the vaults and pacing toward the end of the game feels drawn out. The last vault slowed things down so much, when all you want to do at that point is to get to the final boss battle.

Empire of Sin Review in Progress

Technically speaking, Empire of Sin is currently a bit of a mess, but like a chalk outline in a cordoned-off crime scene, it's the sort of mess that's very difficult to tear yourself away from. Part Crusader Kings grand strategy, part XCOM, part RPG, no-one could accuse this Prohibition-era empire sim of not stacking the chips high when it comes to creativity, raw ambition, and a real love for systemic gameplay. I just can't help feeling Romero Games have poured out a glass of hooch before it's fully fermented.

I've spent around 17 hours with the game on standard difficulty, and during that time, some incredible highlights have been dulled by a nagging feeling that things aren't quite working as intended. Rivals frequently make stupid combat descisions, so a lot of fights effectively play themselves, while the nemesis-style character interactions the game is capable of occur rarely and sporadically. Enemy factions are too passive, not expanding aggressively, or even making use of many of the game's (admirably extensive) diplomacy features.

Bumping the difficulty up to hard certainly improves the feel of the AI – strategy veterans should definitely lean toward a higher difficulty – but encountering several broken quests has me believing the problems aren't simply down to the AI on standard difficulty and are, at least in part, technical.

A few crashes I can let slip, but I've played more than one quest that forced me to load an old save and make different story choices because the other route is broken and stops me progressing. It leaves a sour taste, like someone took a wee in my whiskey stills.

One quest shut down all my breweries for a month for narrative reasons, but then wouldn't let me open them again once I'd finished, effectively crashing my economy. Throw lost progress from corrupted autosaves, crashes, and animation quirks into the brew, and I was thinking of going teetotal.

There's a few real issues that feel like very deliberate design decisions, too. The lack of a Total War style combat auto-resolve – a fairly standard strategy feature for strategy hybrids such as this – means a lot of time is spent fighting simple, grindy battles when you're mopping up after a war with a rival gang. Being able to pause and warp around instantly to anywhere on the map also makes ambushing foes far too easy, and makes upgrading racket defence feel a little pointless. There's no way to speed up time, either, leading to periods of thumb twiddling, baseball bat polishing nothingness.

This all stings like salt in a switchblade slash, because when Empire of Sin works, it really does feel like it has the makings of a classic. The voice acting, ambience, moody streets, writing, and the soundtrack are all phenomenal. The more difficult fights are also incredibly engaging, especially when the unique traits of your recruited mobsters start popping off in unexpected ways.

The ambient character interactions are great, too. Crew members will refuse to target friends and loved ones if you happen to end up fighting them, they'll fall in and out of love and get jealous, they'll sometimes rebel if you don't promote them enough. There are personal quests, story quests, and ambient quests, often filling up the space between the strategy meta-game. There's some dynamite design here, it just feels like most of the shipment got damp somewhere in storage. It feels muzzled, uneven, and generally like it's not quite working as it was designed to.

But hey, first you get the money, then you get the power, then you release like, ten patches and a couple of DLCs to get the game where it should be, as the cynical mantra surrounding unpolished games goes. And here's the thing: I'm not just eager for things to get fixed so I know whether to recommend the game, I'm eager for the game to get patched because I'm excited to play a lot more of it. That has to mean something.

I've been playing with the 'Day One' patch installed on PC – due to certification, this will released as a 'Day Seven' patch on 9th December for PS4 and Xbox One, and on 15th December on Switch – but the next update  is expected in January to bundle in fixes for known issues and tweaks for those highlighted through player feedback.

If you take one thing away from this review in progress, it's that you might want to treat Empire of Sin like you would an early access title for now. Everyone's got their own personal tolerance for bugs, just as everyone has their own personal tolerance for bathtub-brewed moonshine. There's definitely a good time to be had in Chicago's foggy, bloody, liquor-drenched streets, but there are big, noticeable, sort of heartbreaking flaws here as well.

Pop back soon for a full review, capiche?

BBC's Watchdog is investigating Amazon's disappeared PS5 deliveries

While the vast majority of PS5 deliveries will have likely arrived as intended on the console's UK launch on 19th November, the internet was flooded with reports of Amazon deliveries not arriving as intended. Some consoles were seemingly swapped out for other goods, ranging from cat litter through to kitchen appliances, while others were simply marked as delivered when they hadn't been.

Now BBC's consumer affairs show Watchdog TV show is investigating the matter, as discussed in a pun-laden segment on The One Show last week. Presenter Matt Allwright, who's also known for Rogue Traders, Fake Britain and other consumer-focussed shows, joked about some of the items that people had received instead of their consoles, before ending with a call for people to get in touch at

In the wake of numerous accusations of disappearing or swapped PS5s, Amazon promised to "put it right" for their customers.

In response to the claims, Amazon issued a statement to VGC saying, "We're all about making our customers happy, and that hasn't happened for a small proportion of these orders. We're really sorry about that and are investigating exactly what's happened. We're reaching out to every customer who's had a problem and made us aware so we can put it right. Anyone who has had an issue with any order can contact our customer services team for help."

However, since then, it's seemed that "putting it right" has boiled down to offering gradually increasing gift card values depending on how much people have kicked up a fuss, but not promise to prioritise customers for new stock that is coming in. Some missed deliveries have been resolved, with our writer Nic B seeing his console labelled as "handed to resident" on the 19th, and then showing up several days later.

Others haven't been as lucky, or have had to push Amazon into a proper response. When confronted with definitive proof of a delivery driver's skullduggery, the parent of an expecting child having to drive to the Amazon depot and speak to the manager, a driver was fired by the company. One driver.

The whole matter puts the reputation of Amazon's delivery network at stake – in fairness, their reputation is predominately for working their employees to the extreme while paying them as little as possible – with the allegations suggesting issues that run through Amazon's supply chain, both within their warehouses where items are picked and with their network of delivery drivers.

Source: The One Show via VGC 

Why Yakuza: Like a Dragon's English dub is such a triumph for the series

As a fan of Japanese games, one of the first things I'll always do first is go into the settings and switch the audio to Japanese, or sigh with dismay when I discover that there's only English audio available. Listening to the original language has always been important for immersing me in a story, especially when it's a game as Japanese as the Yakuza series.

I'm especially reminded of the early days of voice overs in games. For Western audiences, the dodgy dubs of Hong Kong martial arts films or Japanese RPGs, might have given these exotic products a hilarious endearing quality. As an Asian person myself, I end up feeling even more embarrassed having these botched recordings trampling over any intended pathos especially at a time games were getting more realistic.

So it's been a huge surprise that for Yakuza: Like a Dragon, I decided to take a leap in with the English audio, which has completely changed my mind on the matter. Atlus' job on localisation has been among some of the best in the industry but this really is their masterpiece, not just with the text but bringing it to life in one of the best dubs I've ever experienced in any medium.

Of course, Sega also did a great job with last year's Judgment which could be considered a test run, since it was a spin-off that introduced completely new characters but still in the Yakuza universe. This was also following the soft reboot of the series, since Yakuza 0 and the Kiwami remakes that were responsible for giving a previously niche series much wider attention to Western audiences. Back then, I had asked Yakuza's localisation producer Scott Strichart some questions about the decision to dub Judgment in order to reach an even wider audience.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Guide – Find collectables, unlock job skills, and get quick XP

"I don't think a lot of our core fanbase really realizes how many people pass on playing Yakuza because they have to read subtitles," he says. "That's not a slight against anyone, it's just how they play, whether that's because they're balancing other tasks while they play video games or they're the type that just wants to be able to get up and get a snack during a cutscene, you know?"

Audience exposure to foreign language media has also improved tremendously over the past decade, especially with platforms like Netflix, but Strichart still believes there's a huge gulf when expecting any media in a foreign language to truly permeate an English-speaking culture. And when the latest Yakuza game is actively going up against holiday blockbusters like Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Spider-Man: Miles Morales, it has to step up if it wants to be more than just the dark horse cult title.

What the dub gets right immediately is the lip sync, either by ensuring the lines and the experienced voice over cast's delivery matches the Japanese during pre-rendered cutscenes or by having the developers re-animate lip flaps for the English audio. When these games luxuriate in lengthy dramatic cutscenes with huge close-ups, that detail matters, and the excellent results here make a mockery of the so-called authentic 'Kurosawa mode' in Ghost of Tsushima.

There's also of course the incredible cast themselves, some which you might recognise from plenty of other Atlus releases but working at the top of their game. The Yakuza games are often highlighted for their absurd moments but that also risks giving a very narrow backward take of 'weird Japan' when the reality is they've always struck a balance between surreal silliness and heavy melodrama. This dub captures these tones faithfully, making you laugh out loud during its comical moments and at the brink of tears when Ichiban's completely overwhelmed with passion and emotion.

Part of that faithfulness could also be attributed to some appropriate casting for its major roles, even if that's not usually expected for a dub, where you're already replacing audio from another language in the first place. Yet Yakuza is also grounded in realism unlike say an anime production, so I think it's significant that quite a few of the lead roles in Like a Dragon are played by Asian actors, including Kaiji Tang in the starring role, Greg Chun (Judgment), Will Yun Lee (Sleeping Dogs), as well as the legendary George Takei, who brings a real gravitas to patriarch Masumi Arakwa, one of the most fascinating antagonists in the series' history. Kudos to Sega for giving these talented actors the spotlight during the game's promotion worthy of any Nolan North or Troy Baker.

I also have to commend them for going the extra mile and actually translating the karaoke songs into English. Those who played the recent Yakuza remasters will have seen the option to play these mini-games with translated lyrics already but to have its cast also belt out these tunes in English is quite another level.

More importantly is that, regardless of your view on subtitles or dubs, you have the choice to pick whichever you prefer. Having dual audio has thankfully been more common in all of Sega and Atlus' games, especially as storage limits are no longer a concern. Diehard fans who want the original audio don't have to feel short-changed with being forced to only have English, whereas those who don't want to have to read subtitles also don't have to just make do with a poor quality dub. Fans of subs are even better catered to since there are also two English subtitles, one for the English audio, while another more accurately translates the original Japanese.

Naturally, the next hurdle is whether Sega can aim to have the localisation done in conjunction with development so that we get to a point where future Yakuza games have a simultaneous release, which Strichart has stated is a goal from an interview in Inverse. On the other hand, I also wonder whether they might also have an opportunity to look back.

I actually went back to play the original PS2 game this year, and quite honestly, the dub wasn't half bad. Voice-acting has certainly improved a great deal since then but if you were to compare it to say Shenmue, it's a damn sight better. If Sega want the series to reach a wider audience, as well as putting Yakuza 0, Kiwami and Kiwami 2 on Game Pass, perhaps the next step would be to patch in an English dub for these games too. Doing this retrospectively is arguably too costly, though for anyone who's finished the latest game, getting the cast for it isn't out of question either. It's something I would have balked at in the past, but based on the standard achieved in Like a Dragon's localisation, my ears are open at such a prospect.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Guides & more from TheSixthAxis

PlayStation Store End of Year deals start with up to 70% off Death Stranding, Assassin's Creed, God of War & much more

Sony have kicked off a set of 'End of Year' deals on the PlayStation Store, offering up to 70% off a wide range of games available digitally.

Despite the successful launch of the PlayStation 5, major exclusives like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima and circumstance leading to a boom in engagement with the PlayStation brand and platforms in general, Sony seem to be pretty keen to wave goodbye to 2020. They've gone straight from Black Friday to the 'End of Year' sale, seemingly skipping past previous promotions like 12 Deals of Christmas to just get on with it.

It's worth noting that the Black Friday sale is still on, and ends today on 30th November. It includes 2020 PlayStation 4 blockbusters The Last of Us Part II for £31.34 and Ghost of Tsushima for £39.04, or there's Star Wars Squadrons for £21.69Resident Evil 3 Remake for just £16.49, and so, so much more. There's a few games in there with free PS5 upgrades as well, including Watch Dogs LegionNo Man's Sky, FIFA 21WRC 9 and Borderlands 3.

For the End of Year sale there's plenty of big games on offer, which you can browse on the PlayStation Store. We don't have a full list, but here's what Sony have featured on the first page of the store and some highlights from beyond:

  • Death Stranding – £15.99 (71%)
  • God of War Digital Deluxe Edition – £15.99 (36%)
  • Ratchet & Clank – £7.99 (50%)
  • Dead by Daylight: Special Edition (PS4 & PS5) – £9.99 (60%)
  • Assassin's Creed Origins – £10.99 (78%)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Special Edition – £26.24 (65%)
  • Mortal Kombat X – £7.99 (50%)
  • Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty: Complete Edition – $5.09 (70%)
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey – £15.39 (72%)
  • House Flipper – £12.99 (35%)
  • Monster Hunter World – £11.99 (25%)
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – £16.74 (33%)
  • F1 2019 – £8.99 (80%)
  • Dark Souls III Deluxe Edition – £13.74 (75%)
  • Uncharted: The Lose Legacy – £7.99 (50%)
  • The Crew 2 Deluxe Edition – £11.99 (75%)
  • Resident Evil 2 Deluxe Edition – £17.99 (60%)
  • Alien Isolation – The Collection – £9.59 (80%)
  • Need for Speed – £3.99 (75%)
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition – £19.99 (60%)
  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 – £7.99 (50%)
  • WWE 2K Battlegrounds Digital Deluxe Edition – £24.74 (45%)
  • Far Cry 4 Gold Edition – £13.49 (70%)
  • Metro Exodus Gold Edition – £18.54 (65%)
  • MediEvil – £12.49 (50%)
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan – £8.99 (64%)
  • Need for Speed Rivals – £2.71 (83%)
  • Need for Speed Payback – £7.49 (70%)
  • Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition – £3.74 (85%)
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ – £7.67 (84%)
  • LA Noire – £17.49 (50%)
  • Bloodborne – £10.39 (35%)
  • Predator: Hunting Grounds Digital Deluxe Edition – £29.99 (40%)
  • The Surge 1 & 2 Dual Pack – £16.99 (66%)
  • Dirt Rally + PSVR Bundle – £4.99 (80%)
  • Doom VFR – £9.99 (50%)
  • Peaky Blinders: Mastermind – £7.99
  • Shenmue III: Digital Deluxe Edition – £20.99 (70%)
  • Valkyria Chronicles Remastered – £4.79 (70%)
  • Ticket To Ride – £5.59 (65%)
  • Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – £2.39 (85%)
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered – £8.99 (78%)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration – £4.99 (80%)

Source: PS Store

Shut In Review

There's an unwritten rule here at TheSixthAxis that unnecessary mentions of the whole pandemic situation will be mercilessly cut from reviews by our erstwhile editor. With Shut In, however, the experience of playing is so inextricably tied up with whole notion of lockdown that I hope to get a free pass for this article. [I'll allow it – Ed.]

Shut In has a more internalised focus than a government's imposition of lockdown, as it is mainly concerned with the effect of serious mental health conditions on your character's ability to actually leave his house. The game's release is a billed as a deliberate imaginative attempt to engage with Covid-19 which offers the potential for a huge potential audience. The bleak and dark nature of the game's humour, however, perhaps means that it will remain a more niche title.

This is a totally lo-fi experience. The graphics are deliberately simplistic and pixel-based. The sharp edges and relative lack of refinement and clarity work well to represent the way in which your character views the world. Everything looks normal enough, but the visuals are indistinct enough to give your surroundings a necessary sense of unease and claustrophobia. This makes Shut In a rare case where the aesthetics are key to the gameplay rather than a display of faux nostalgia.

The game is essentially an old school point and click adventure, albeit with a controller friendly approach. Finding items and using them in the correct room allows you to progress, but there are a huge number of tricks and traps that will swiftly show you the Game Over screen. Even horrible death isn't an escape, though, as you always wake up the next day to try and probably fail again. This seemingly unending cycle of entrapment and failure speaks both to the lockdown experience and more specifically to the nature of depression and anxiety. As a sufferer of these conditions myself, I recognised the symptoms being played with, although they are taken to their logical extremes here.

Your opening tasks are eerily reminiscent of the way that these conditions can make you feel. Simply getting dressed, washing, and cleaning your teeth are things that should be practically automatic, but when your brain chemicals are misfiring they can become the equivalent of gaming achievements – chores that occupy your whole being and genuinely feel like they are too much to cope with. In Shut In these simple tasks are made difficult by the surreal behaviour of your house, a location which feels like an antagonist at times, and the immediacy of horrible death. When the game asks you if you want to just stay in bed, it really can feel like the best option.

As is usually the case for this kind of adventure game, a large proportion of the puzzles are relatively trial and error in nature as they rely on you scouring the screen for interactive objects and areas before then working out which item to use. Getting a puzzle wrong usually results in a witty line of dialogue in this genre, but with this game any mistake is fatal – what constitutes a mistake may not always be that obvious.

Many of the puzzles depend on the game blurring reality and hallucination. Doors disappear or are replaced with chalk outlines, everyday objects become deathtraps, and even kitchen cupboards can become portals to alternative versions of your home. The oppressive and claustrophobic effect of this is hugely effective, whilst also suiting the small size of the game's environment. This intense location is surprisingly packed with things to do, with many interactions being missable in a successful playthrough. This offers some welcome replayability, but the resonance of the themes with my own conditions mean that I have not ventured back.

Where the game becomes more of a tough sell, though, is through the level of dark humour it uses. This mostly takes the form of the narrative text delighting in tormenting your character or relishing your failure. I accept that this works as a metaphor for the interior voice that so often manifests as one's struggles with mental health issues, but it does come awfully close to outright ridicule at times. This isn't necessarily a deal-breaker, but it's worth bearing in mind if you come to the game expecting a sympathetic treatment. I think the idea is to make day to day activities feel like a challenge – living with mental illness is the Dark Souls of lives – but at times the separation between the narrative voice and the game was unclear.

Epic are giving away this all-time indie classic next week

It doesn't matter that Christmas is just around the corner, Epic always seem to be in the giving mood. Next Thursday the Fortnite creators will be adding one of the greatest indie classics of all time to their extensive catalogue of free games.

Cave Story+ is an amped up version of the brilliant 2004 original which was developed by Daisuke Amaya. With enhanced HD visuals and extra content, Cave Story is one game retro/indie fans will want to add to their Epic Games library.

Whenever discussing Cave Story, it's always worth mentioning the controversy surrounding Nicalis who are responsible for its more modern iterations. They have been dogged in shutting down Cave Story fan projects despite the original game (and its assets) being completely free for the indie community.

This week we saw MudRunner added to the Epic Games Store. This popular truck simulator is a precursor to one of our favourite games of 2020, Snowrunner, tasking players with rescues and deliveries while combating rough terrain.

Below we've published the full list of Epic free games, complete with their availability dates and review links.

Epic Games store free games list

Game Name Dates Available
Cave Story+ December 3-10, 2020
MudRunner November 26-December 3, 2020
Elite: Dangerous November 19-26, 2020
The World Next Door November 19-26, 2020
The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia November 12-19, 2020
Dungeons 3 November 12-19, 2020
Wargame: Red Dragon November 5-12, 2020
Ghostbusters The Video Game – Remastered October 29-November 5, 2020
Blair Witch October 29-November 5, 2020
Layers of Fear 2 October 22-29, 2020
Costume Quest 2 October 22-29, 2020
Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs October 15-22, 2020
Kingdom New Lands October 15-22, 2020
Rising Storm 2: Vietnam October 8-15, 2020
ABZU October 8-15, 2020
Pikuniku October 1-8, 2020
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition September 24-October 1, 2020
Football Manager 2020 September 17-24, 2020
Watch Dogs 2 September 17-24, 2020
Stick It To The Man! September 17-24, 2020
Railway Empire September 10-17, 2020
Where The Water Tastes Like Wine September 10-17, 2020
Into The Breach September 3-10, 2020
Hitman August 27-September 3, 2020
Shadowrun Collection August 27-September 3, 2020
God's Trigger August 20-27, 2020
Enter the Gungeon August 20-27, 2020
The Alto Collection August 13-20, 2020
Remnant: From the Ashes August 13-20, 2020
A Total War Saga: Troy August 13-14, 2020
Wilmot's Warehouse August 6-13, 2020
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP July 30 – August 6, 2020
Barony July 30 – August 6, 2020
20XX July 30 – August 6, 2020
Next Up Hero July 23-30, 2020
Tacoma July 23-30, 2020
Torchlight II July 16-23, 2020
Lifeless Planet: Premier Edition July 9-16, 2020
The Escapists 2 July 9-16, 2020
Killing Floor 2 June 9-16, 2020
Hue July 2-9, 2020
Stranger Things 3 June 25-July 2, 2020
AER Memories of Old June 18-25, 2020
Ark: Survival Evolved June 11-18, 2020
Samurai Shodown NeoGeo Collection June 11-18, 2020
Overcooked June 4-11, 2020
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection May 28-June 4, 2020
Civilization VI May 21-28, 2020
Grand Theft Auto V May 14-21, 2020
Death Coming May 7-14, 2020
Crashlands April 30-May 7, 2020
Amnesia: The Dark Descent April 30-May 7, 2020
For the King April 23-30, 2020
Just Cause 4 April 16-23, 2020
Wheels of Aurelia April 16-23, 2020
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments April 9-16, 2020
Close to the Sun April 9-16, 2020
Gone Home April 2-9, 2020
Drawful 2 April 2-9, 2020
Hob April 2-9, 2020
Totally Reliable Delivery Service April 1-8, 2020
World War Z March 26-April 2, 2020
Torment x Punisher March 26-April 2, 2020
Figment March 26-April 2, 2020
Watch Dogs March 19-26, 2020
The Stanley Parable March 19-26, 2020
A Short Hike March 12-19, 2020
Mutazione March 12-19, 2020
Anodyne 2 March 12-19, 2020
Gonner March 5-12, 2020
Offworld Trading Company March 5-12, 2020
Inner Space February 27-March 5, 2020
Faeria February 20-27, 2020
Assassin's Creed Syndicate February 20-27, 2020
Aztez February 13-20, 2020
Kingdom Come: Deliverance February 13-20, 2020
Ticket to Ride February 6-13, 2020
Carcassonne February 6-13, 2020
Farming Simulator 19 January 30-February 6, 2020
The Bridge January 23-30, 2020
Horace January 16-23, 2020
Sundered: Eldritch Edition January 9-16, 2020
Darksiders Warmastered Edition January 1-9, 2020
Darksiders 2 Dethinitive Edition January 1-9, 2020
Steep January 1-9, 2020
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair December 31, 2019
Hello Neighbor December 30, 2019
The Talos Principle December 29, 2019
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun December 28, 2019
Hyper Light Drifter December 27, 2019
FTL: Faster Than Light December 26, 2019
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator December 25, 2019
Celeste December 24, 2019
Ape Out December 23, 2019
Little Inferno December 22, 2019
Superhot December 21, 2019
Towerfall Ascension December 20, 2019
Into the Breach December 19, 2019
The Wolf Among Us December 12-19, 2019
The Escapists December 12-19, 2019
Jotun: Valhalla Edition December 6-12, 2019
Rayman Legends November 29-December 6, 2019
Bad North November 21-29, 2019
The Messenger November 14-21, 2019
Ruiner November 7-14, 2019
Nuclear Throne November 7-14, 2019
Costume Quest October 31-November 7, 2019
Soma October 31-November 7, 2019
Layers of Fear October 24-October 31, 2019
Q.U.B.E.2 October 24-October 31, 2019
Alan Wake: American Nightmare October 17-24, 2019
Observer October 17-24, 2019
Surviving Mars October 10-17, 2019
Minit October 3-10, 2019
Metro 2033 Redux September 26-October 3, 2019
Everything September 26-October 3, 2019
Lego Batman Trilogy September 19-26, 2019
Batman: Arkham Collection September 19-26, 2019
Conarium September 12-19, 2019
ABZU September 5-12, 2019
The End is Nigh September 5-12, 2019
Celeste August 29-September 5, 2019
Inside August 29-September 5, 2019
Fez August 22-29, 2019
Hyper Light Drifter August 15-22, 2019
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden August 15-22, 2019
GNOG August 8-15, 2019
For Honor August 2-9, 2019
Alan Wake August 2-9, 2019
This War of Mine July 25-August 2, 2019
Moonlighter July 25-August 2, 2019
Limbo July 18-July 25, 2019
Torchlight July 11-18, 2019
Overcooked July 4-11, 2019
Last Day of June June 27-July 4, 2019
Rebel Galaxy June 20-27, 2019
Enter the Gungeon June 13-20, 2019
Kingdom: New Lands June 6-13, 2019
City of Brass May 30-6, 2019
Rime May 23-30, 2019
Stories Untold May 16-23, 2019
World of Goo May 2-16, 2019
Transistor April 18-May 2, 2019
The Witness April 4-18, 2019
Oxenfree March 21-April 4, 2019
Slime Rancher March 7-21, 2019
Thimbleweed Park February 21-March 7, 2019
Axiom Verge February 7-21, 2019
The Jackbox Party Pack January 24-February 7, 2019
What Remains of Edith Finch January 11-24, 2019
Super Meat Boy
December 28, 2018-January 10, 2019
Subnautica December 12-27, 2018

The Epic Games Store also hosts a growing number of online free-to-play hits including Fortnite, as well as Rocket League, Dauntless, Rogue Company, and more.

Source: Epic Games

SaGa Frontier Remastered announced for PS4, Switch, PC and mobile

Square Enix has dropped a surprise announcement today by revealing SaGa Frontier Remastered, a remaster of the original 1998 PlayStation title. The game will be released on PS4, Switch, PC via Steam, Android, and iOS. The target release window is Summer 2021. The remaster will allow players to play as Fuse who becomes a playable character. SaGa Frontier Remastered will expand on the original game too with more features and events to experience.

With the Free-Form Scenario System players can choose to play as any of the eight characters, with each one having their own story and aims. That means there will be plenty of replay options to discover the story of each character. The SaGa series span off from the Final Fantasy series. SaGa Frontier was the first of the SaGa games to be released outside of Japan, followed by SaGa Frontier 2 a couple of years later. There were a few other new SaGa games released in the early 2000's. SaGa: Scarlet Grace was then the new entry a decade later releasing in 2016 for Vita. The Romancing SaGa games have been remastered over the last few years and released worldwide too.

Source: YouTube

Something for the Weekend – 28/11/20

As England enters its last weekend of lockdown (but not really), there's plenty to get up to this weekend while remaining safely inside. From Formula 1 to Rugby, there's loads of sport to watch on TV, but who could forget about the new consoles that are providing us with some great games to enjoy? Oh, and maybe you're doing some bargain hunting online?

Let me know what you're planning to get up to below, but not before we take a glance at the past seven days on TSA:

In the News This Week

And are you wondering what freebies you can grab with your online subs next week?

Games in Review

Here's what was in our review list this week:

And we had one hardware review for our readers looking for a new controller, plus something a little different:

Featured Articles

From our features, Reuben explored why it's time for The Legend of Zelda to give us a Female Link, while Jim asked, which Call of Duty is better between Cold War and Modern Warfare?

Elsewhere, Mahin turned their attention to R.U.S.E, the real-time strategy game, and spoke to three players about what still brings them back to the game a decade on from launch.

Finally, What We Played was packed full, and included Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon's Souls & COD Black Ops Cold War.

Trailer Park

Cyberpunk 2077 PS4 Pro and PS5 gameplay revealed

Monster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 4 is coming to PS5, Xbox Series X & everything else

Rainbow Six Siege next-gen trailers confirms PS5 Xbox Series X|S release date

Red Dead Online standalone edition announced

Your Achievements

Here's what you in our community has been up to this week:

  • Crazy_Del's 500th Platinum, and first on PS5 was Miles Morales. That was swiftly followed by Astro's Playroom, MK11, Spiderman Remastered, Cencept Destruction, Watchdogs Legion, and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Seven Platinum's in a week has to be a record!
  • willbuchanan has been playing more Far Cry 5, and also found someone to help mop up the multiplayer trophies.
  • Andrewww called AstroBot "truly excellent", and is looking forward to returning to Demon's Souls.

Have a good weekend and I'll see you again soon!

What We Played #477 – Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon's Souls & COD Black Ops Cold War

It feels like everyone is ploughing through the new-gen releases this week, as more and more people I know have popped the Astro's Playroom platinum, and seen off the Miles Morales story. I've been too busy to play all that much this week, but I did clear every artefact and find every jigsaw piece in Astro so I don't have too far to go there. Otherwise I've played some Sackboy with my sons, and they – and I – love it. It's been a nice and chilled game to get together and play, and the music is fantastic!

Steve was the first to drop in this week, and he's had a quieter one too, having been on the 'GaaS' grind of grading/marking papers taking precedent. "I've managed a couple of hours of the intense Visage – review to come – which is a genuine nerve-shredder. Also put a lot of commuting time into Wordament on Android and, despite the cool games I really want to play on Switch, working through the nostalgically retro Goblin's Sword. Hoping to get stuck into Twin Mirror later after the last batch of papers."

Meanwhile, Reuben has been having a great one, tucking into the usual suspects of Final Fantasy XIV and Hades, alongside Miles Morales, finishing Astro's Playroom, ploughing through more of Tears of Avia (review incoming), and getting all emotional over Ori and the Will of the Wisps (as you will too when you play it).

Jason has been playing some Rocket League for a change of pace and has achieved Diamond rank in 3s now, saying it's "a big old step up from my peak of Silver last season. Other than that I've been playing some stuff I'm not allowed to talk about. Exciting."

After his launch day woes with Amazon, Nic B's PS5 miraculously turned up letting him smash through Astro to start the week, "which is fantastic." He then picked up Miles Morales and still had time for the odd game of Magic. Aran is reviewing Immortals Fenyx Rising, but that's all we can tell you for now.

Jim has mostly been playing Demon's Souls this week, "slowly chipping away as I improve my character build and fell one boss at a time. It's a phenomenally obtuse RPG and I'd be very interested to know how it's done – sales wise – considering how it's not very casual friendly. I've also been hopping between the superb Dirt 5 and Assassin's Creed: Valhalla. In the latter, I've gone exploring my home county of Oxfordshire for loot while crossing off even more of Valhalla's quirky side missions."

Gareth has been playing Chicken Police for review and Watch Dogs Legion of fun. "The latter is taking absolutely ages because I keep distracted by side missions and real life. Found a man holding a cone just walking around Westminster the other day, not sure what he was planning."

Miguel has been messing around a bunch in Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, saying "it's got an AMAZING story campaign but the multiplayer has been super addictive too! I've also been playing a lil Animal Crossing, some Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memories, aaand a little Noita"

And to round things out, Tuffcub has played Destiny 2 and "Hot Beardy Men Do Manly Stuff (aka Assassin's Creed Valhalla)", while Tef has been playing a bunch of things off and on, including Dirt 5, AC Valhalla, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5 and more. He's also terraforming Mars in Per Aspera for a review next week.

Now it's your turn, what have you played?

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Guide – Find collectables, unlock job skills, and get quick XP

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (also referred to as Yakuza 7) isn't like any Yakuza game before it. This latest entry in the long-running Sega series is a love letter to the JRPG genre infused with the same criminal underworld skulduggery and thick wedges of weird side content fans have come to expect.

As Thomas points out in our review, Yakuza: Like a Dragon isn't some cobbled together homage to turn-based roleplaying games. It stands on its own as strong surprise instalment in the Yakuza series with a cast of compelling characters and some fun, engaging battle mechanics.

With the game now available on PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S (a PS5 worldwide release is coming in March 2021), we've put together some handy guides to help you and Ichiban on your way to ruling the streets of Yokohama. Read below for more information on how to find collectables in Yakuza: Like a Dragon, master each job skill, increase character bonds, and bag some quick XP.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon – Quick XP and levelling guide

Here we discuss the best methods and techniques for earning experience points to level up your characters. This covers the best places to grind as well as which items and gear can help score you as much XP as possible.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Guide – All Mini-Games and where to find them

The Yakuza series is well known for its repertoire of mini-games. Between completing missions and beating down Yokohama's more unsavoury crowds, you can partake in a number of fun side activities. From SEGA arcade classics to running your own cabaret club, here's an in-depth breakdown.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Guide – Where to find all Kappa Statues

One of the optional quests in Yakuza 7 will have you searching for 10 Kappa statues. These creepy looking monuments are scattered around Yokohama – snapping photos of all 10 is a great way to earn some money fast. This guides includes every location with images to help guide you.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Guide – Where to find all Missing Cats

Somewhat similar to the Kappa statues quest, you can have Ichiban and his party scouring the game for 9 missing felines. Here's every location, each one tagged with a handy screenshot.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon – how to improve friendship bonds

As you progress through Yakuza's story, you will recruit more characters to your party. Each of them has their own role to play in the game's story and – as in the Persona series – you can increase your friendship bond with them for special perks. Here's everything you need to know about how bonds work in how to increase them using the most efficient techniques.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Job Guide – Every character starting job and skills

One thing we love about this Yakuza game – and JRPGs in general – is the job system. This allows you to change a character's profession and thereby change their combat role with different commands and abilities. However, each member of your party has a starting job unique to them – this guide gives you a deep dive on these jobs and their attached skills.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Job Guide – Every male character job and skills

Some jobs in Yakuza: Like a Dragon are gender-specific roles. Here you can view all the jobs available for characters Kasuga, Nanba, Adachi, Joon-gi, and Zhao.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon Job Guide – Every female character job and skills

The last of our Yakuza job guides hones in on characters Saeko and Eri, detailing the jobs available to both characters.

For more on Yakuza: Like a Dragon, our resident series expert Alan has ranked every mainline Yakuza game in the series. Which entry do you think comes out on top?


Rainbow Six Siege PS5 upgrades are a big improvement over PS4

We're just a few days away from the hotly anticipated next-gen upgrade for Rainbow Six Siege on PlayStation 5. Ubisoft will be deploying this free update next week on December 1st, allowing anyone who owns a copy of the popular tactical shooter to make that leap to PS5.

Although Siege is currently playable on PS5 via backwards compatibility, this new version of the game comes tagged with several notable improvements setting it way above its older, ageing PS4 counterpart.

The team at Ubisoft Montreal have posted an extensive breakdown via the PlayStation blog. In a nutshell, here's what you can expect from Rainbow Six Siege on PS5:

  • Performance Mode: Target 120 fps with 4k Dynamic Resolution Scaling
  • Resolution Mode: Target 60 fps with 4k Resolution
  • Activity Card support for Ranked, Unranked, Newcomer, Quick Match, & Events so players can dive into the game faster

Other improvements include DualSense integration faster loading time thanks to the PS5's SSD, shaving off some valuable seconds of waiting time.

With the DualSense, Rainbow Six Siege is dialling up the immersion by simulating the trigger pull effect across its arsenal of weapons. This will be paired with overall improvements to haptic feedback, the DualSense rumble being context sensitive.

In other Siege news, last week saw one of the game's very first Operators undergo a makeover. The armour-clad Tachanka now carries a Shumikha incendiary grenade launcher instead of his previous static turret gadget. Speaking of which, this LMG has been torn from its mount and can now be used as Tachanka's primary weapon. There's also a new elite skin available to celebrate his rework as seen below.

There's more Siege goodness to come even after the game's leap to next-gen. Next month will see Year 5 Season 4 roll out with a new Operator, map rework, and more. Here's a summary.

Rainbow Six Siege Y5S4 Summary

  • New Operator – Aruni
  • New Gadget – Surya Gate
  • Skyscraper map rework
  • Hibana X-KAIROS update
  • Echo Yokai drone update
  • Jäger Active Defense System update
  • Reduced runout timers
  • Improved Gadget on Gadget interactions
  • Sixth Guardian charity initiative
  • Vigil, Zofia, Dokka, Nomad, Kaid, Wamai and Kali Operator price reductions

Source: PlayStation Blog

Damsel Review

Available now on all consoles, Damsel is a platformer in which you shoot vampires, defuse bombs, and rescue hostages as efficiently as possible. The quicker you do it, the better your finishing time and the higher your score on the leaderboards, which is what this game is meant to be all about. Unfortunately it doesn't have the staying power to keep you coming back after those first couple of hours.

Graphically, Damsel is a mixed bag. It's a 2.5D game that's made to look like a comic book. everything is colourful and bright, with cartoon-style impacts and damage numbers. There's a few nice touches here, such as how the damage numbers fall out of the air and land on the ground after a second or two. Characters themselves are 2D and stick out a bit against the 3D backgrounds, but they're smoothly animated and the way hostages dance once you rescue them is quite charming.

Damsel's cutscenes are animated comic panels that look pretty good, but there's little reason to pay any attention. There is a story about a vampire organisation turning out to be untrustworthy (shocking, I know) but there's barely any characterisation to speak of and it always just feels like a thinly veiled setup pushing you to the next level. There isn't much else to say about its presentation which is sadly unremarkable on the whole. Damsel doesn't stand out from the waves of similar looking games, particularly in terms of its character designs. The lack of an engaging narrative doesn't help differentiate this indie game from its competitors either.

Gameplay has the same highs and lows. Our titular Damsel can shoot with her shotgun that fires slugs, although she'll melee instead if you're close enough, with a double jump and dash for quick movement. When you hit an enemy your combo counter will go up one and refresh its timer, and if you keep hitting enemies you'll get more points, naturally. So you're going to want to keep your combo going, which you can do by collecting the many purple skulls dotted about the levels as well as hitting enemies. The skulls are usually arranged in a way that guides you through a level, so you can often defeat an enemy or two and follow the skulls to the next ones. The game is at its best when you're following these skulls, mopping up some enemies and pushing on.

Unfortunately there's a few issues in Damsel, such as the controls being a bit too loose. You'll find yourself slightly misjudging jumps and shots pretty often even after you'd expect to be used to it – it just feels a bit inaccurate, which isn't what you need from a game relying on your accuracy for a high score. Worse than this though, are the mini-games. There's a lot of them, whenever you rescue a hostage, defuse a bomb, use a keypad, or anything like that. If you fail the bomb mini-game in Damsel you fail the level instantly and have to start again. It's immensely frustrating to rescue four hostages and defuse three bombs only to slightly mess up the eighth one you've had to complete, as if it wasn't already obnoxious enough breaking the flow of the platforming and combat.

And even worse than that is that the way levels are designed seems to impede Damsel's gameplay. As mentioned, it's best when you're following skulls and defeating enemies, but levels are sometimes designed in a way that doesn't flow quite as well you'd like. As a result, it usually feels a bit awkward and even when you are as efficient as you can be, the slight fuzziness of the controls and the level design makes it feel less satisfying, as if it was luck or coincidence that saw you through. Then as you get further into the game, things obviously get busier, so on top of all that you can't quite tell what's happening and crucial details, like explosives get lost behind enemies or effects, resulting in you shooting hostages by accident, or blowing yourself up. It soon stops being awkward and becomes frustrating.

Sony is reportedly banning people sharing access to the PlayStation Plus Collection on PS5

Reports have come out of PlayStation 5 owners being banned for sharing and/or selling access to PlayStation Plus Collection via their shiny new consoles.

PlayStation Plus Collection is a fantastic bonus for those picking up the PS5, giving PlayStation Plus subscribers access to 20 PS4 games playable via backward compatibility.

It took all of 15 seconds for users to figure out that once you redeem those games via the PlayStation 5 home menu, they are attached to your account like any other PS Plus title and you can then go and play those games on any PlayStation 4. That also means that any account with a PS Plus subscription can be used with a PS5 to redeem those games, making away with hundreds of dollars worth of games.

Sony naturally haven't taken too kindly to those who are abusing this promotional bonus, and especially not those who are seeking to profit from it, so they're waving their ban hammer around for the most obvious offenders out there. If a PS5 sees dozens of users logged in on the same system, and from regions where the PS5 is not yet available, that's an obvious red flag for Sony to investigate.

Reports are that the accounts most closely tied to the PS5s being used for account sharing are getting permanent bans, possibly locking the PS5s themselves, while the PS4 accounts are getting temporary bans of a couple of months.

I'm sure there's someone somewhere in Sony's creative department looking at resurrecting the classic "You wouldn't steal a…" video for a new era.

You wouldn't steal a handbag, would you?

PS5 PlayStation Plus Collection Games List

Game Name PS5 Enhanced? Release Date
Batman: Arkham Knight No 23/6/2015 Review
Battlefield 1 No 21/10/2016 Review
Bloodborne No 25/03/2015 Review
Call of Duty: Black Ops III No 06/11/2015 Review
Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy No 30/06/2017 Review
Days Gone Yes 26/04/2019 Review
Detroit: Become Human No 25/5/2018 Review
Fallout 4 No 10/11/2015 Review
Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition No 29/11/2016 Review
God of War Yes 20/04/2018 Review
Infamous: Second Son Yes 21/03/2014 Review
Monster Hunter: World No 26/01/2018 Review
Mortal Kombat X No 14/04/2015 Review
Persona 5 No 04/04/2017 Review
Ratchet and Clank No 20/04/2016 Review
Resident Evil 7 No 24/01/2017 Review
The Last Guardian Kind of 07/12/2016 Review
The Last of Us Remastered A little bit 30/07/2014 Review
Until Dawn No 26/08/2015 Review
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End No 10/05/2016 Review


Source: GameBraves via ResetEra

Cuphead's The Delicious Last Course DLC has been delayed again

Studio MDHR has announced it is delaying the release of Cuphead's final DLC The Delicious Last Course, with the aim now being 2021. This is not the first time the DLC has been delayed. Back in July 2019, Studio MDHR delayed The Delicious Last Course aiming to release the content in 2020. In the latest statement the delay has been pinned on the impact of COVID-19 which has interfered with the studio's ability to work as it intended to on the content. The full statement is below.

While the Delicious Last Course is a continuation of Cuphead and Mugman's grand adventure, it's also a conclusion to the story that began on that fateful day at The Devil's casino.  In true Studio MDHR fashion, we aren't content for this final chapter to be anything less than our best work Throughout development, we've challenged ourselves to put everything we learned from making Cuphead into the quality of The Delicious Last Course's animation, design, and music.

Meeting this standard has been extremely challenging for us amid the global pandemic that has affected So many of our fellow developers. Rather than compromise on our vision in response to COVID, we've made the difficult decision to push back the release of The Delicious Last Course until we are confident it will delight the Cuphead community the way we feel if should. We know many of you have been waiting to return to the Inkwell Isles, and our goal is to make the trip back there next year a truly magical one.

With our warmest regards,

Chad & Jared Moldenhauer

Cuphead was released in 2017 for Xbox One and PC. Then in April 2019 Cuphead was released on the Switch before landing on PS4 in July this year. The Delicious Last Course DLC was first announced back in 2018 with an aim of a 2019 release date.

Source:  Twitter

Greedfall will be releasing on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, new expansion coming too

The fantasy colonial setting of Greedfall is going to be released on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, Focus Home and NACON have confirmed in a joint statement. Greedfall has sold over a million copies. In addition, a brand new expansion will be released for Greedfall which will add more content to the island of Teer Fradee. Greedfall was released in late 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One offering players a chance to explore a new land in the search for a cure of a plague that was ravaging their homeland. In Greedfall players have to navigate relationships between different political factions including colonising powers and the native inhabitants.  There are no details on the expansion will include.

In our Greedfall review, Gareth wrote:

Greedfall has an ambitious story, but it's not backed up by the clearly repeated environments, simple combat and dull abilities that take ages to unlock. However, seasoned RPG players might well be able able to look past those flaws in favour of the interesting, well written stories about political manoeuvres and oppression that make up the bulk of the quests in this pretty dark, deep world.
Spiders, the developer of Greedfall, has not rested on its laurels. In July, the company revealed  for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. In Steelrising, you play as Aegis, the robotic bodyguard of Queen Marie-Antoinette, ordered to find your creator and put and end to the tyranny of King Louis XVI and the robot army he is using to crack down on the French Revolution. The Paris depicted in the game includes many monuments and famous locations, including those that no longer exist, including the Grand Chatelet and the Tour du Temple. Aegis has weapons built into her body, with items found while exploring letting you make her more powerful, more durable, or more mobile. There's seven families of weapons, which could be built into her arms, alchemical rifles for long range, or more powerful and forceful options as well.
A release date for Steelrising is yet to be confirmed.
Source: Press Release

Black Ops Cold War or Modern Warfare? Which Call of Duty is better?

With Call of Duty being the only non-sports AAA game series with a fresh instalment guaranteed to release every year, it's fair to say that not all of them have been bangers. Over the last console generation we also saw some factionalism as different segments of the Call of Duty community rallied around certain games and stuck with them, even after the next sequel had come around. The three development studios working on the franchise – Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer – all had different approaches when it came to delivering that triple layer experience: a meaty multiplayer sandwiched between a cinematic singleplayer campaign and an ever-changing co-op component.

This year Treyarch had the unenviable job of following up Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Although not everyone's favourite recent game in the series, for many others it marked a return to form and Warzone has cemented its place in the COD hall of fame.

However, that hasn't stopped Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War from trying to outdo its predecessor. Treyarch have made some bold choices with their fifth game in the popular sub-series, but is enough to contend with Modern Warfare?

Black Ops Cold War vs. Modern Warfare: Campaign

Firstly, there's the campaign. Black Ops III and its futuristic bending of reality proved more than a little divisive, thanks in part to Treyarch's insistence on making it a co-op focused experience, and then Black Ops 4 shelved its campaign entirely. With Cold War promising a return to the more traditional campaign format – dropping us in the 80s with a familiar cast of characters – there was definitely some promise there.

Where this campaign delivers is in the choices it presents. Most of them amount to next to nothing, though you're given more agency in Cold War than other Call of Duty campaigns before it, bar the superb Black Ops II. The skullduggery and mind games are more prevalent than ever here, one level showcasing this perfectly as you finally unravel one of the story's biggest twists. It's one that no one saw coming…

Where Modern Warfare was a punchy, incredibly well-placed thrillride, Black Ops Cold War wants its players to immerse themselves, reading through dossiers, and piecing together leads in your hunt for the big baddie. It works to an extent, but the overall story isn't quite as gripping and the characters far less engaging. Modern Warfare didn't have a flawless narrative, but it kept you charging from one story beat to the next.

Black Ops Cold War vs. Modern Warfare: Multiplayer

Next stop is multiplayer, where we'll also touch on the core gameplay. Modern Warfare made some notable changes to how Call of Duty's traditional running and gunning felt, creating a deeper sense of interactivity with the environments. Players could peak around corners, mount guns on surfaces, and even open/close doors.

Cold War inherits some of these changes – such as the in-depth Gunsmith weapon customisation – but overall it feels like a simplification. This less "realistic" strain of boots-on-the-ground action is one that I personally prefer, with a slightly longer time to kill and fewer opportunities for players to camp for entire matches.

The number of maps is fine and will no doubt expand with free additions just as Modern Warfare did. However, Treyarch's two big new modes – Fireteam's Dirty Bomb, and Combined Arms – don't really do it for me. Without any tutorials on hand to explain what's going on, those first few matches can be confusing, so even though they're more objective-based than Modern Warfare's 64-player Ground War, I found myself drifting more towards the traditional match playlists in Cold War.

It's still early doors, though. Even though Black Ops Cold War is out, Treyarch's first season for the game doesn't kick off until next month. Areas that have been looking a bit sparse (namely the amount of visual customisation available) are sure to be remedied, and Warzone is gearing up for the Cold War takeover.

Black Ops Cold War vs. Modern Warfare: Co-Op

Funnily enough, the original Black Ops was the last time I took the Zombies mode seriously. Call of Duty's carousel of co-op modes tend to be hit and miss though I've given each one a fair shake, hoping they'd draw me back in and then drifting away. Cold War's "Die Maschine" held my attention for a little longer than usual, deviously leaning on my nostalgia for that very first Call of Duty Zombies map, Nacht der Untoten.

Of course, there have been renovations since its debut in Call of Duty: World at War. The classic co-op mode has also been injected with some new and returning features without feeling like a total rehash. However, with only one map there isn't enough meat on the bone.

Still, it's way better than Modern Warfare's attempt at reviving Spec Ops. Infinity Ward could have made a truly class series of challenges, but instead opted for something multiplayer focused that just felt like a wasted opportunity.

Black Ops Cold War vs. Modern Warfare: The Verdict

Overall, if Treyarch delivered a campaign that had the same chops as Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War would be the hands down winner. They've played it safe with this year's multiplayer, but that's exactly what I wanted from them after years of either wall-running or hero-based shooting. Modern Warfare was definitely more revolutionary though the brutal time to kill made it a hard one to stick with.

The beauty of this series is that both games (and no doubt next year's entry) will all continue to support different factions of the Call of Duty fanbase.

Right now we're clueless as to what comes next. 2020 should have actually been Sledgehammer's turn to lead a Call of Duty sequel, but Treyarch were reportedly brought in to rescue a troubled development cycle, partnering with Raven Software. 2021 could see Sledgehammer returning to the spotlight, though a Modern Warfare sequel wouldn't be completely out of the question with enough manpower thrown at the problem by Activision.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla update is great news for trophy hunters

In case you missed it, Ubisoft have roll out their latest update for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, bringing the game to version 1.04 on PlayStation and Xbox consoles as well as PC.

With this patch came the option for players on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S to adjust the sequel's graphics settings, opting between Valhalla's 60 FPS performance mode or upping the visual fidelity instead.

The 1.04 update comes stuffed with loads of fixes and minor changes, many of which will slip under your radar (unless you ogle the patch notes here, of course). However, one big change that isn't listed in the change log on PS5 is a trophy fix fans had been hoping for.

If you were one of those Assassin's Creed: Valhalla players who bagged a copy of the game on PS4, then upgraded to PS5, you will have seen your trophy progress completely reset. Valhalla has two separate trophy lists for both versions of the game, even if it does allow a free cross-gen upgrade and cross-gen save transfer.

When we hopped on last night to raid a few villages we noticed that, after a few minutes, the PS5 trophies suddenly started popping. It seems as thought Assassin's Creed: Valhalla will read your cloud data, unlocking any trophies you may have already earned on PlayStation 4.

This is great news for a couple of reasons. Those trophy hunters who were unwilling to make the cross-gen leap can do so now, knowing their save progression and trophy data will seamlessly transition with them. I'm glad I won't have to fire up a new game save just to re-do those first few story-related trophies.

On top of that, those who already have the Assassin's Creed: Valhalla platinum on PS4 can quickly double their trophy count. Simply redeem your free next-gen upgrade on PS5, download Valhalla, and launch into a new game and watch those trophies come rolling in. Naughty.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla guides & more from TheSixthAxis

Warframe PS5 version now available, file size revealed

Warframe, the highly popular multiplayer shooter/slasher, is now available to download on PlayStation 5.

Weighing in at just over 25GB you can dive straight into this slick sci-fi ninjafest with, the PS5 version of Warframe being completely free-to-play.

You'll be able to carry your PS4 progression forward, Warframe allowing for cross-gen play between both systems. This next-gen upgrade will also make use of the DualSense adaptive triggers.

Here's what Digital Extremes COO, Sheldon Carter, had to say about the new PS5 upgrade (via the PlayStation Blog):

For us, it means bringing nearly eight years of evolutionary content into the future for PS5. It means new players experiencing Warframe for free with a brand new graphics engine, up to 60fps and 4K from the very start. It means PS4 players transitioning seamlessly to an all new generation. And it means all the friends you've made sticking together, with PS4 and PS5 gamers playing together with cross-generational play — a first for Warframe.

Warframe was made available on PlayStation 4 the day the console launched back in November 2013. Having played a fair chunk back in its heyday, and now in 2020, the two versions of the game feel worlds apart. Over the past several years, the team at Digital Extremes have pumped Warframe with a ridiculous amount of free content while introducing completely new ways to play.

Railjacks added the ability to command ships in Warframe, exploring space and engaging in dogfights. Meanwhile, the Plains of Eidolon update brought with it a huge open world to explore, steering away from Warframe's previous focus on tight, dungeon-like levels.

Digital Extremes are hoping that Warframe's fluid combat, combined with visual enhancements and a "butter-smooth" framerate will bring even more Tenno on board. For those picking up a PlayStation 5, it's well worth a shot. Not everyone will gel with the grindy progression you'll need to initially wade through but it's easily one of PlayStation's best free-to-play offerings.

Star Wars: Squadrons update 3.0 deploys next-gen upgrade

Star Wars: Squadrons has been bolstered with a slew of upgrades as developers EA Motive roll out update 3.0 for their space dogfighting sim.

Update 3.0 is now live across all versions of Star Wars: Squadrons, bringing with it some next-gen upgrades on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.

Those playing on Microsoft's latest console(s) can take advantage of 4K resolution with up to 120 FPS. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 5 version boasts "improved visual quality and lighting" which hopefully means a similar boost in resolution and image quality.

This new Star Wars: Squadrons update also crams in a new map, Fostar Haven, as well as new Starfighter components. You can catch the full patch notes below.

Star Wards: Squadrons Update 3.0 Patch Notes


  • Added Fostar Haven as a map to Dogfight and Fleet Battles (Solo/Co-Op vs AI and PvP)
  • Added next gen improvements
    • The game now supports up to 120FPS and up to 4K on Xbox Series X|S
      • Added an option for players on the Xbox Series X|S to prioritize enhanced visuals or enhanced performance
    • Improved visual quality and lighting on PS5
    • Variable frame rate support added for TVs and monitors that allow it
  • Fixed an issue where the game could crash while changing loadouts
  • Improved support for matchmaking between players with highly divergent load times
    • Players who are not finished loading when the match begins will now have an additional window of time to join the match-in-progress rather than timing out on start
  • Tweaked the brightness of light sources on PC so that they're no longer too bright in some instances
  • Fixed issue where the sky color of Esseles would appear to change when entering/exiting the station
  • Fixed an issue where the menu voice over accessibility feature could not play after entering a lobby
  • Fixed issue where Steam players could fail to log in if their screen name included certain unicode characters or emojis
  • Various stability improvements and minor bug fixes.


  • HOTAS support now allows for devices with up to 128 buttons (up from 40 buttons per device)
  • Fixed issue on the Xbox One where HOTAS controls would be disabled if the controller went to sleep
  • HOTAS devices that don't have an X and Y axis, such as the Virpil throttle, are now properly recognized by the game
  • Fixed issue on PC where a gamepad could become unresponsive if not paired as the primary controller when other input devices were plugged in.

Cosmetic Customization

  • Added two new starfighter paint jobs: Typhoon Squadron for the New Republic and Interstellar for the Empire, the latter of which is inspired by the classic Kenner Products toys
  • Added the Vandal TIE fighter paint job based on Sabine Wren's iconic "handiwork"
  • Added the Powerful Ally X-wing appearance based on Luke Skywalker's swamp-sunken X-wing from Dagobah
  • Added the Zeltron Pilot head (Imperial)
  • Added the Pantoran Pilot head (Imperial)
  • Added the Venture set (jacket, pants, gloves) for the New Republic
  • Added the Paladin set (flight suit, gloves, helmet) for the Empire
  • Added the Navigator set (flight suit, gloves, helmet) for the Empire
  • Marauder gloves will no longer cause the player's hands to disappear.


  • Fixed an issue where starfighters wouldn't appear in the end-of-round transition screen.

Fleet Battles

  • Reduced the Morale gain for AI kills while on defense from 4 to 3
  • Morale gains and losses are no longer scaled based on the number of players present on the team
  • Fixed an issue where match music would continue into the end-of-round screens after the match was over
  • Corvettes and Raiders now spawn on a random side of the battlefield rather than in a fixed pattern
  • Fixed an issue where the Nebulon-B could display the incorrect amount of shield strength it had in its objective UI.


  • Made messaging clearer for Xbox players when trying to join a party that's full
  • Fixed issue where the social menu would lose functionality after exiting a PVP match as a spectator
  • Fixed an issue where muting multiple players at a time could incorrectly mute additional players as well
  • Fixed issue where laser sounds would fail to play when spectating a match in first-person
  • Fixed an issue where UI and menu elements could overlap.

Starfighters & Components

  • Added four new components:
    • Boost Extension Kit has been added to the X-wing, Y-wing, TIE fighter, and TIE bomber
    • Prototype Piercing Torpedoes have been added to the X-wing, Y-wing, TIE fighter, and TIE bomber
    • Ion Rockets have been added to the X-wing, A-wing, TIE Fighter, and TIE Interceptor
    • Anti-Material Rocket Turrets have been added to the U-wing and TIE reaper
  • Added 60% maneuverability (turn rate) reduction while firing the Rotary cannon and Auto-aim Rotary cannon
    • Does not apply during the charging stage before firing
  • Using the Assault Shield component now reduces maneuverability to better balance its role as a capital ship assault or starfighter jousting tool rather than as an all-purpose component
  • Fixed an issue where the Proton Bomb counter could display incorrectly after use
  • Starfighters using the Overloaded Shield component now start will fully overcharged shields
  • Fixed issue where ships from the wrong faction could appear in the hangar
  • Increased audio volume for the player's Tractor Beam
  • Guided Burst Cannon damage reduced to 28% of the unguided variant (down from 35%)
  • Fixed issue where the Vanguard paint job for the A-wing could have an unintended New Republic decal appearing on it when inside the cockpit
  • Removed incorrectly assigned auto-aim symbol from the icon for the Composite Beam
  • Different torpedo types now have distinct names when targeted (Proton vs Ion vs Piercing)
  • Reduced A-wing shield regeneration rate by approximately 1/3
  • Fixed an issue where the Unstable Engine could deal no damage to nearby targets.


  • Fixed an issue where the player could have a black screen after redeploying from the hangar
  • Fixed issue where Zerelda's voice over could start during the load screen before Mission 1, resulting in an animation desync
  • Fixed issue where the corvette could clip through the station in Mission 6
  • Fixed issue where the player couldn't complete the "Destroy Comm Array" objective if they died during the regroup-with-Gunny beat in Mission 6.


  • Your current Skill Rating is now shown as its value instead of as a percentage of tier progress after playing a ranked Fleet Battle
  • UI message for being in the low priority matchmaking queue is now clearer on how to get out of the low priority status: by playing more matches
  • UI messaging around forfeiting while in the lobby is now clearer
  • Fixed an issue where squadmates icons would not turn green when readied up
  • Fixed an issue where the menu overlay could not appear in the redeploy screenProvided additional UI support for long names so that they display correctly
  • Fixed an issue where the player could be unable to open menu during a match if the match begin while they were in a customization menu
  • Fixed issue where the missile lock UI could stay on the screen briefly after switching targets
  • Fixed issue where text said "Examine your squadron" instead of "Examine enemy squadron" in Squad Loadout while hovering over "Add friend"
  • Fixed issue where ship marker UI could appear during outro cinematics while playing Fleet Battles vs AI
  • Fixed typo in the description of the Mythosaur decal
  • Fixed an issue where the daily challenge timer could start counting upward after reaching 0:00
  • Fixed issue where holding the button rather than tapping it would not open the scoreboard during the post-match sequence
  • Fixed an issue where starfighters could get greyed out if the player rapidly shuffled between them.


  • Skyboxes now have increased resolution for high-rez VR headsets
  • Added an option for PC players to adjust their VR resolution scaling
    • Players using high resolution headsets (such as the Valve Index) should be able to enjoy higher frame rates without requiring the most powerful GPUs
  • Forward rendering is now used, potentially improving their VR performance
  • The game now uses less intensive forward shading when using the "Low" lighting quality setting in the graphics options, allowing VR to be used on mid-tier and even some lower-tier PCs
  • Fixed an issue where black bars would appear when transitioning out of a PvP match if the player died at the same time.

In our review for Star Wars: Squadrons, Dom wrote:

Star Wars Squadrons has taken an impressive first step in revitalising the Star Wars fighter pilot game. With a tale that feels like a genuine part of the galaxy far, far away, and space combat that gives you the tools to be an X-Wing or TIE fighting ace. Whether you're on the light or the dark side of the Force, this is a game that Star Wars fans need to play.

If you plan on playing Squadrons on your PlayStation 5 using PSVR then you will need to get your hands on Sony's virtual reality adapter. Here's how to request one.

Source: EA

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory Review

An outward observer of the Kingdom Hearts series might notice that the "third" entry in the series just came out last year, but while Kingdom Hearts III is the third mainline entry in the series, there are nearly 20 years of side-stories, remakes, and awkwardly-numbered prequels spanning a whole array of game consoles that make up the twisted tapestry of the Kingdom Hearts series.

Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory is the latest part of the constantly evolving universe of this wild series. More importantly, though, it's a celebration and compilation of years of Kingdom Hearts history for diehard fans to dig into, and in that regard, the game delivers in spades.

This isn't developer Square Enix' first rodeo when it comes to rhythm game spinoffs from prestigious JRPG franchises. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy and the unlocalized Theatrhythm Dragon Quest were musical celebrations of each series that packed in as much music and as many cutesy chibi characters as possible, while also sprinkling in some light JRPG mechanics to encourage progression. Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory borrows a bit from the DNA of those games, but while you'll see adorable little versions of your characters during loading screens, the game itself goes to great lengths to look and feel like the actual 3D Kingdom Hearts games that each song comes from.

You're hitting buttons in rhythm with the music, sure, but you're not just matching up with colored notes on a track highway. Sora, Donald, and Goofy automatically run down a vertical lane while enemies and items come towards you, and you'll need to hit buttons to smack enemies away, pick up lightning attacks, and soar through the air in time to the tunes. At first, it's a tricky sort of rhythm system to adjust to. Without direct and obvious incoming notes to react to, you're instead forced to learn the animations and placements of the various enemies to help you react in time. Once you get used to it this can be incredibly fun and rewarding, but a few elements like the jump-indicators for mid-air enemies still catch me out now and then.

The dedication to the aesthetic of the games runs deep, and it adds so much to the experience of the game. Each song you play comes from a specific world in a certain Kingdom Hearts game, and everything from the background environment to the enemies that appear on the stage will reflect that. New characters will even pop into your crew, including Disney guest characters when you're playing tracks from worlds like Aladdin or The Nightmare Before Christmas, for example. Being immersed in the sights that go alongside the sounds is great, but it also ends up highlighting the random pockets of missing musical history in the game. Kingdom Hearts III suffers the most, with barely any music featured from that game at all, and the most iconic tracks from a few side games have also gone missing.

You wouldn't discover this right away, though, as there isn't a traditional free-play mode with the entire tracklist to start with. Instead, you'll have to play through the World Tour campaign in order to unlock and experience each song in turn. This is also where the brand new story elements of the game live, but don't get your hopes too high about that. Despite trailers for Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory teasing this as Kairi's big solo adventure, she is (as usual) barely a factor in the story. She simply narrates brief recaps of story scenes from the previous games in the series, so you won't even be playing as her throughout the entire campaign. Kairi still plays a key role in the new story content, which does a very exciting job of clearly setting up the next chapter of the Kingdom Hearts story, but this juicy lore only comes at the very end of the game, so you'll be playing through 5-10 hours of World Tour before seeing any new info.

At the very least, the World Tour is a fun time. You explore a huge and winding overworld map made up of countless themed mini-worlds where each song lives, and you're tasked with completing challenges in order to unlock gates to new worlds and even obtain collectible memento cards. Challenges give a decent incentive to give your all during songs, but they're usually simple and repetitive "complete the stage with X% of health" or "hit X number of flying enemies" challenges that won't pose much of a threat unless you're playing on Proud mode. Item crafting gets introduced at a certain point in the story, but with so many challenges tasking you with completing a song without using items, I was way more incentivised to ignore the system than I was to make use of it.

Metro Exodus is getting a free update for PS5 & Xbox Series X|S – 4A Games also announce sequel and… Metro multiplayer?

4A Games have announced that their hit first person shooter Metro Exodus will be getting a free upgrade for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, taking advantage of the new hardware to feature higher frame rates, increased resolutions, reduced loading times, and bringing ray tracing effects across from the PC version of the game. They've also teased some elements of the series' future, including new generation exclusivity and… something multiplayer.

A release date has not been announced yet, but it will be a free upgrade to the game for owners on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One who are stepping up to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Until then, you'll still be able to enjoy the game via backward compatibility, playing at a boosted version of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

However, the enhanced game will be able to take advantage of new graphical features like ray tracing, which was exclusive to PC and Nvidia's RTX GPUs upon the game's original launch in 2019.

4A Games have also confirmed that the next Metro game is in development. The game will mean a complete overhaul of the game engine and renderer, which is being done with the new consoles in mind. In fact, the game is only coming to PC and "next generation consoles", which means PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, so that they can more fully take advantage of the power, SSD storage and hardware ray tracing that these machines offer.

In a strange twist for the single-player, narrative focussed series, 4A Games will be teaming up with parent company Saber Interactive (itself a subsidiary of the vast gaming empire of Embracer Group) to develop a new multiplayer experience in the Metro universe. It's not clear if this will be a part of the next Metro game from 4A, or a separate game entirely, but it's an interesting prospect. Saber Interactive developed the popular zombie co-op shooter World War Z, after all.

The announcement is a part of the Metro 10th anniversary, with the company releasing an interactive timeline of the studio and series' history. You can explore that here.

Nicole played Metro Exodus for our review and she wrote:

Metro Exodus provides an immersive FPS experience that marks a new milestone for the franchise. Its survival-horror, sandbox and shooter elements are remarkably well balanced, constituting an engaging and thrilling game that'll leave you no stranger to a good jump scare. The once linear horror franchise has been reformed, introducing expansive environments to indulge in without derailing the narrative. Metro Exodus is a must play.

You can read the Metro Exodus review right here.

Source: press release via Gamasutra