The Best Accessories to Gift an Xbox One Gamer

The holiday season is coming up, and you've still got gifts to buy. Argh! Don't worry; we're here to help.

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Haven Review

True love is a complicated emotion.

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El Hijo – A Wild West Tale is the Cutest Stealth Puzzle Game You'll Play

Out today on PC, El Hijo - A Wild West Tale is a stealth adventure that puts you in the shoes of six-year-old El Hijo on a mission to find his mum.

The post El Hijo – A Wild West Tale is the Cutest Stealth Puzzle Game You'll Play appeared first on GameSpew.

The Best Couch Co-op Games on Switch

The Nintendo Switch is perfect for playing with friends and family, so we've picked out its best couch co-op games for your convenience.

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

Aardman and Bandai Namco Join Forces to Work on a New Game

Aardman, the animation studio behind Wallace and Gromit, have teamed up with games publisher Bandai Namco to develop a brand new IP.

The post Aardman and Bandai Namco Join Forces to Work on a New Game appeared first on GameSpew.

Get Three Months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1

If you haven't yet got Xbox Game Pass, you probably should jump on this offer.

The post Get Three Months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $1 appeared first on GameSpew.

How to Save Your Game in Immortals Fenyx Rising

Wondering how you save your progress in Immortals Fenyx Rising? Here's everything you need to know when it comes to saving your game.

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What Difficulty Should You Play Immortals Fenyx Rising On?

Wondering what difficulty you should play Immortals Fenyx Rising on? We've got all the info you need right here to make the best decision.

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How to Get Red Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising

Wondering how you get Red Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising so you can upgrade your weapons? We've got you covered.

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How to Get Purple Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising

Want to improve your defence in Immortals Fenyx Rising? You'll want Purple Adamantine Shards to level up your helmets and armour for that.

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How to Get Yellow Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising

After Yellow Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising so you can upgrade your potion and arrow carrying capacity? Here's how to get them.

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How to Get Blue Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising

Used for upgrading weapons and armour, you're going to want a lot of Blue Adamantine Shards in Immortals Fenyx Rising.

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How to Increase Your Max Health in Immortals Fenyx Rising

There is a way to increase your max health in Immortals Fenyx Rising, and you're going to want to do so in order to survive its hardest encounters.

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How to Get a Mount in Immortals Fenyx Rising

While you can explore the massive map of Immortals Fenyx Rising on foot, it's faster to do it on the back of a mount.

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How to Upgrade Your Maximum Stamina in Immortals Fenyx Rising

Stamina is very important in Immortals Fenyx Rising, as it determines your ability to climb, glide and more.

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How to Fast Travel in Immortals Fenyx Rising

The world presented to you in Immortals Fenyx Rising is huge, so you're not going to want to travel everywhere by foot.

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PHOGS Review

Have you ever seen anything as disgustingly cute as PHOGS? Probably not.

The post PHOGS Review appeared first on GameSpew.

The Best Games Available on PS Now

PS Now offers over 700 games for you to play on PS4 or PC. Thinking about subscribing? Here are the best PS4 games you can play via the service.

The post The Best Games Available on PS Now appeared first on GameSpew.

How Long Does it Take to Beat Immortals Fenyx Rising?

Wondering how long it takes to beat the combat and puzzle-filled Immortals Fenyx Rising? We've got the answer for you right here.

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Project Wingman Drops Your Pilot into a Wallet-Fuelled War

Project Wingman is a real rush, striking the right balance between realism and entertainment.

The post Project Wingman Drops Your Pilot into a Wallet-Fuelled War appeared first on GameSpew.

Per Aspera Review

If Mankind is to reach the stars beyond our solar system, we need to learn the interstellar equivalent of crawling and walking before we can run. We've been to the Moon a few times, but our ambitions have to be greater, first to establish a base on our Satellite, and then to reach for Mars and settle upon our closest neighbour.

It's an almost unimaginable feat, and yet it's one that's been romanticised countless times in science fiction, and planned for through thought experiments, isolation tests and robotic adventure (and misadventures) to the red planet. Per Aspera is the latest game to put a plausible spin on how we might achieve that goal, but as ever, it comes with some fascinating sci-fi twists and an engaging narrative to accompany your colony building endeavours.

You don't play as the human settlers, nor some formless god-like overlord, but rather as AMI, a freshly awakened AI. You've been designed by the human mission controllers back on Earth to accrue knowledge, understanding and effecting sentience over time, while building and acting as the custodian to the colonisation and terraforming project.

It's compelling way to view all of your actions through that lens. You'll start off placing factories and mines wherever they need to go, but will soon start to understand how you can do this in a more efficient manner – having played the first few hours for a preview, I was keen to plant my structures to create a more sensible road network on my second attempt. However, as I expanded to making a second base and landing spot, I fell into another trap. I started to queue up the building of advanced mining rigs when really I needed to be more conservative. Machine learning is all the rage these days, and while my process wasn't quite as destructive, I still learnt through iteration.

You're welcomed to Mars and guided through the game by interactions with various humans like Dr. Foster from the ISA back on Earth and Commander Valentine who leads the humans of the colony that you help settle on the planet. Sometimes you're given conversational prompts, where you can role play while being taught about the game with a decision, though they lead to the same place and ask you to follow up your words with in-game actions instead. Similarly, as your character grows, you'll have AMI's moments of reflection that can also pop up conundrums about its role, how the humans will view its contribution, the consequences of actions, self-determination and more.

It's compelling and can throw a few curveballs to change your perspective at times, but the pacing of these interactions don't quite hang together. New gameplay mechanics trigger pop ups to explain what they do, and these are often then followed by communications that also introduce them, make one or the other feel a little redundant. AMI will always present a little missive about a new research technology's advantages… randomly around half way through the research process instead of at its successful completion. It's also all too easy for communications and moments of reflection to arrive in a jumbled up order as the story tries to keep up with your progress.

Despite the overlapping guidance early on, there's also some elements that simply aren't explained all that well. You might think you can tackle any and all planetary actions once you've built your first spaceport, and you seem to be able to engage with things like repairing satellite arrays, sprinkling temperature capturing black dust around the place, or opening up new sectors of the planet to explore, but you can't. You actually need to build a second spaceport in order to do so, but again, there's no clearly marked upgrade or research that does this – Hint: you need to research Space tier 2.

But there's twists coming, and one that will widen the eyes of any sci-fi fan as it emerges. It's not enough to simply set up some habitat domes and mine your way through the resources of the planet, you will also have to manipulate the planet to be truly habitable, to have an atmosphere, to have enough air pressure for human life to expand and flourish, for that air to be breathable. There's several methods you can use to achieve this, from nuking the poles, to importing greenhouse gasses from Earth, to dragging asteroids through the thin atmosphere to deposit their frozen resources.

And then there's, out of nowhere, the prospect of needing to fight for survival, building armies of drones to take on enemies that appear out of nowhere. You do find numerous known and secretive remains of previous expeditions and colony attempts that were sent to Mars by various Earth governments. Is it another rival space agency to the ISA? Is it aliens? Colonist sabotage?

Either way, combat is a surprising element to have to suddenly deal with, forcing you to build defensive platforms and drone factories to defend your fragile industrial network. A single meteor strike in the wrong spot can already take a long time to recover from, so a roving droid army is not going to be pretty. Droid combat is a simple case of building enough defences and also growing your own droid army into a doom stack that can overcome the other base.

It's with combat that the game presents another issue, though. The speed of the resource harvesting, manufacturing and the little drone network shuffling things around was such that I set my game to 8x or 16x speed almost exclusively. I was blissfully unaware of the first drone attack ravaging my offshoot base in another sector because I simply wasn't really warned about it. The notifications are just a bit too small in the bottom right corner, and honestly, situations where a building has been destroyed by adverse conditions, meteors, or hostile drones, or even just a mine running completely dry really should drop you back down to 1x speed and give you a heads up.

Still, despite the flaws, there's a compelling game here. You'll initially agonise over if and when you'll find vital resources mine to feed your hungry industrial machine's growth, turn your focus to building up offshoot bases, overcome enemy forces as they mysteriously appear (and puzzle your way through the increasingly mysterious plot) and eventually pushing the planet's atmosphere and temperature over the edge toward habitability and what comes next.

Dauntless Reforged launches with huge new update

Dauntless has only gotten better in 2020 with loads of new and revised content. So, what better way to round out the year than with a huge new update that reworks many of the game's core pillars?

Dauntless Reforged will launch today across all available platforms including PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch (as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility). Update 1.5.0 is designed to completely change the way you interact with Dauntless, swapping out brief boss battles for more of an open-world structure.

Instead of joining matchmaking queues to battle specific Behemoths or Behemoths of a certain rank/element, you will now drop into one of 18 islands known as "Hunting Ground". Each one is packed with creatures and resources, allowing six Slayers in one online session. This significant change in design encourages exploration, allowing you hunt multiple Behemoths while also making use of gliders to travel each biome.

Developer Phoenix Labs are also revamping character progression with The Slayer's Path which offers a more nuanced and rewarding way to developer your online avatar. Gear progression has also undergone a makeover, allowing you to craft new armour and weapons that are immediately useful in a loadout. Previously, even when farming endgame content and Behemoths, you'd need to craft a weak piece of gear first before upgrading it – a time consuming, repetitive process.

For those Slayers dropping into Ramsgate after the Reforged 1.5.0 update, don't worry, your progression will carry over. You'll earn the appropriate amount of aethersparks and aetherhearts needed to power up you existing arsenal of weapons and armour. As for your Mastery rank, Dauntless will let you remap these using the game's new Slayer's Path.

For a more in-depth explainer on The Slayer's Path and how to Reforge gear, Phoenix Labs have posted this handy guide.

A wintery new Hunt Pass has also been added to Dauntless. Whatever you do in-game will earn you Hunt Pass experience, unlocking a spread of Cold Front cosmetics and other useful items.

It's another exciting update for Dauntless, a game which continues to go from strength to strength. We recently posted our up to date 2020 review of the game, scoring the free-to-play Monster Hunter rival a stellar 8 out of 10:

Although hardly original in its premise, Dauntless offers an extremely fun and accessible take on the monster-hunting roleplaying game. It wastes no time in throwing you straight into the action and while easy to pick up there's plenty of depth there for fans of the genre. What's more Dauntless is completely free to play, gracefully sidestepping those annoying monetisation pitfalls we're so used to seeing.

Source: Dauntless

Watch Dogs Legion Update 2.30 does not fix Xbox Series X|S save issues

A fresh update has been pushed out for Watch Dogs Legion on all platforms, fixing plenty of crashes, bugs and issues through the game, but one frustrating issue remains for players on Xbox Series X|S.

The issue is a real game-breaker, with the game auto-save function simply not working, meaning that any progression is lost if you ever close the game and reopen it. When Watch Dogs Legion was a game for which Quick Resume was disabled, that means if you ever wanted to play something else, you'd lose your progress.

Ubisoft acknowledged the issue in November, saying that they hoped to have it fixed in early December, but it's still a real sore point for those affected, who might have owned the game for over a month now.

There is some good news though, as the dev team have now identified the underlying issue and are working on an additional update to fix this.

Aside from that, though? Well, let's dive into the patch notes.

Watch Dogs Legion Title Update 2.30


  • Fixed an issue that allowed players to change game difficulty and permadeath options while in the main menu.
  • Fixed an issue where a black screen could occur when opening the door to hidden rooms.
  • Super Game Over: Fixed an issue where, after getting Game Over in Permadeath Mode, players would spawn without any player characters when starting a new game.
  • Players can no longer defy space and time to open an ETO safe an infinite amount of times.


  • Fixed an issue where operatives would sometimes fall through the water on builds with AMD GPUs.
  • Fixed an issue where players could get stuck on saving after exiting the game.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when loading the team menu.
  • Fixed a crash that might occur when using the inventory.
  • Fixed an issue where lightning could get overblown during the day.
  • Optimized loading time when quitting to the main menu.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when the game autodetected input devices.
  • Fixed an out of memory crash.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when enabling or disabling Ray Tracing.
  • Further optimizations made to save games to reduce the likelihood of corruption and lost progression.

Xbox (General)

  • Added Arabic subtitles to the English and Russian version of the game.
  • Fixed an issue where voice over would sometimes get auto muted.

Xbox One

  • Fixed an issue where a crash could occur when recruiting an Albion guard in the mission "Inside Albion".
  • Fixed a crash that could occur after longs periods of play.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when exiting the drone point of view during the "Into the Void" mission.
  • Further optimizations made to save games to reduce the likelihood of corruption and lost progression.

Xbox Series X

  • Fixed an issue where the game launched in English when the console language was set to Arabic.
  • Improved graphics in instances where corruption occurred.

PlayStation 4

  • Fixed a crash that could occur when exiting the game.
  • Fixed a crash that could sometimes occur when spawning into a new area.
  • Further optimizations made to save games to reduce the likelihood of corruption and lost progression.

PlayStation 5

  • Fixed a crash that could sometimes occur when resuming the game from the main menu.
  • Fix a crash that could occur when quitting the game.
  • Fixed a black screen that could occur when playing the "Inside Albion" mission.


  • Fixed an issue where lightning could get overblown during the day.
  • Optimized loading time when quitting to the main menu.

Source: Ubisoft

The Last of Us 2 gets new Abby story trailer

Almost half a year after the game's launch, Naughty Dog have uploaded a new trailer for The Last of Us: Part II.

Not exactly timely you might think, but it shows off portions of the game that were mostly absent from all pre-release media leading up the game's launch back in June.

This new trailer for The Last of Us: Part II has a much heavier emphasis on Abby as a character, showing the game's story play out partly through her eyes.

The video is chock full of spoilers so if you've yet to play the game yourself and want to go in blind then stay well clear of this one.

As those who have played TLOU2 will know, around half way through you will switch from Ellie to Abby, replaying the days leading up to their confrontation. This came as a huge surprise – just as we thought the The Last of Us: Part II was about to wrap up, it near enough doubles in length, and then some.

With awards season on the horizon, Sony are no doubt keen to thrust their flagship game of 2020 back into the spotlight after a very drawn out year.

As with most PlayStation 4 games, The Last of Us: Part II is playable on PS5 thanks to the console's backwards compatibility feature. Those playing on Sony's shiny new console can expect improved loading times as well as enhanced haptic feedback which also makes use of those DualSense adaptive triggers.

As for what comes next, Naughty Dog have yet to make any announcements. We know that TLOU's Factions multiplayer is due to return so hopefully we'll get some news on that soon.

The Last of Us: Part II Guides from TheSixthAxis

FIFA 21 & Madden 21 PS5 and Xbox Series X|S free upgrades are now available

EA's sporting debut on the new generation of consoles has come a little early as FIFA 21 and NFL Madden 21's PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions have released today, instead of tomorrow.

If you own a PS5 or Xbox Series X|S and also own a copy of FIFA 21 and/or NFL Madden 21, you should now be able to redeem the new generation version on the respective PlayStation and Microsoft stores.

EA have gone a different route to other cross-gen releases, particularly those on Xbox, cooking up a scheme of their own that they're calling Dual Entitlement.

The end result is largely the same, though there's a limit to when you can unlock the upgrade from now until the launch of the '22 games in each series.

For both games there are also limits on what player progress carries forward, limited primarily to online game modes like Ultimate Team, and there's some data that can have a one way trip to the new generation.

For NFL Madden 21:

Your acquired content in Ultimate Team and your progress in The Yard will transfer. Push your progress from Franchise and Face of the Franchise to next gen consoles to continue your Next Level NFL journey.

Head here for more details.

For FIFA 21:

All progress you make or content you acquire within FIFA 21 Ultimate Team (including players, items, coins, FIFA Points, match record, and leaderboard placement), as well as all progression in VOLTA FOOTBALL will transfer from PlayStation 4 to PlayStation 5 and back, or Xbox One to Xbox Series X|S and back. Progress within all other modes including Online Seasons, Co-Op Seasons, Career Mode, Pro Clubs, etc. will be specific to the console you are playing on and won't transfer between consoles.

Oh, and in other good news, EA have used the power of the next generation to remember what language you want between play sessions:

Source: EA

Leaks suggest that Kratos and Master Chief are coming to Fortnite Season 5

A number of sources  have suggested that PlayStation icon and the God of War himself, Kratos, will be coming to Fortnite. He will be joined by Xbox icon, Master Chief, so the two can finally duke it out.

Both leaks have come from data miners and have been posted by various sources. Sony themselves have also teased that Kratos is joining the game by posting an audio log.

"The next guy you're picking up literally has vanquished multiple gods with his bare hands in a fit of uncontrollable rage," yep, that's Kratos. There are also rumours of Fortnite getting skins from The Mandalorian.

Epic have just launched the new monthly subscription service, Fortnite Crew, which bundles together each season's Battle Pass, 1,000 V-Bucks per month and a monthly Outfit Bundle that will be exclusive to subscribers.

The bundle costs £9.99 / $11.99 / €11.99 per month, so a few pennies shy of £120 across a whole year, though you can stop and resume whenever you wish without losing access to anything you've paid for at that point.

That does leave a question mark over its comparative value. 1,000 V-Bucks is now sold for £6.49 after Epic gave a permanent 20% price cut on all platforms except iOS and the Google Play Store – we'll come back to this point – and a battle pass costs 950 V-Bucks, with a new season coming along roughly every 3 months. Since you can earn the value of a Battle Pass through its reward chain each season, that's potentially an extra 4,000 V-Bucks for players to spend.

A little napkin math puts the battle pass and monthly V-Bucks at a value of £102.54.

The real value for players will come through the monthly Outfit Bundle, though. Epic state that these are only for subscribers and "will never be sold or given away to non-Crew members." That will be particularly alluring for fans when skins in the Items store cost 800, 1,200, 1,500 or 2,000 V-Bucks depending on how highly Epic decide to rate their rarity.

Source: Twitter

Everspace 2 has plenty to see, solve, and shoot

Last time I got my hands on Everspace 2, it was at PAX East and the game was still pretty early into production. Despite that, what I got to play was a pretty promising little slice of space-shooter action. At the time, I was given free rein in a couple of pockets of space that were occupied by some asteroids, some missions, some outlaws, and docking stations to repair and refuel whenever needed. it was a simple little loop of activity, but the sharp combat and deep customization on offer were already incredibly appealing.

With the game prepping for an Early Access launch in January (delayed to avoid the Cyberpunk 2077 launch), there's a lot more meat on the bones of this ambitious open-world arcade shooter.

The previous Everspace was a roguelite action game that saw you navigating tight spaces and engaging in similar battles as you raced to the end of your run. Everspace 2 takes that core combat and gameplay and slots it into a massive, story-driven open-world experience where you're rarely doing the same thing twice. As I played the recent closed beta, I spotted all sorts of objective and jump-drive markers that brought me to an impressive variety of tasks and missions.

Many of these were even tied into the main story of the game, presenting you with named characters and story beats that added to my investment. In one instance, I was asked to act as the muscle and escort a crew of asteroid miners through outlaw territory. Their leader eventually became disenfranchised with the grueling work his crew was being forced to do, though, and brought them to an abandoned space facility to go AWOL and start a new life. Except he hadn't informed any of them of this, so I was presented with the option to either give up my mission and let them run off, or kill him and escort the miners back to their facility.

While I did choose to end the life of the exhausted captain, it wasn't an easy choice at all. Much of Everspace 2 is just pew-pewing things and having cool crazy space adventures, so darker moments of human drama like this help make the experience a lot more memorable.

Of course, it's hard to discount just how fun shooting at bad guys and asteroids is. The combat and controls in Everspace 2 are as tight as ever, and the visuals of the game have been improved dramatically since I last played.

You start out in Everspace 2 with a rather simple kit of tools and a basic ship, but as you progress, you can expand and customize your arsenal in an insane amount of ways. You can get new ship parts, new weapons, assist tools, special combat abilities, and more. The combat abilities are especially interesting, as you can unlock unique traits for them that completely alter how they function.

There isn't any penalty to dying beyond the reloading of a checkpoint, but you'll burn through cash pretty quickly if you keep on needing to repair and restock your ammo after battle, so balancing your combat efforts is key if you want to afford some fun new equipment.

There have been a few other impressive arcade space-shooters in the last few years, but nothing has felt like it has quite the same scale as Everspace 2. The world is massive, the activities are varied, and the customization is staggering. For a game heading into Early Access in just a few months, it already feels full to the gills with addictive content. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what else gets added to the game as it hits Early Access later this year.

Amazon UK offer priority PS5 stock to customers whose orders disappeared

Amazon are actually following through on their promise to "put it right" for customers who had disappearing or swapped PlayStation 5 deliveries at the console's launch.

Having already refunded affected customers (and usually give them a gift card as compensation), those who missed out are receiving emails giving them priority access to upcoming PlayStation 5 stock. The important part is that you need to respond and get in touch with Amazon's customer services team by the end of Saturday, or those consoles will be sold to other customers.

Here's Push Square managing director Anthony Dickens with his email from Amazon:

At the time of the PS5's launch, numerous Amazon customers found that their deliveries were either being marked as delivered, when no such thing had actually happened, or that their expensive console had been replaced with kitchen items, kitty litter and other random items.

The whole matter has put the reputation of Amazon's delivery network at stake – well, outside of that they pay their employees very little and push them to the limits of what they can do with their waking hours – 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. Some people even went so far as to taking their home CCTV footage to the Amazon depot, speaking to the manager, a getting the driver fired by the company. Of course, that's just one driver and there's no official statement to explain what has happened or how Amazon will ensure this doesn't happen again.

In response to the initial accusations, 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."

We now see them actually putting it right, but that isn't stopping BBC's consumer affairs programme Watchdog from looking into what's happened.

via Eurogamer

State of Decay 2 gets Xbox Series X|S optimisations and new Lethal difficulty

Undead Labs are rounding out 2020 with an update for open world zombie survival game State of Decay 2, giving it a spruce up for the new generation of Xbox consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, while also adding a new top tier difficulty level for the hardest of hardcore players out there.

The optimisations for the new consoles are pretty straightforward on a surface level. Both consoles now run the game at 60fps, with Xbox Series X doing so in full 4K and Xbox Series S running at 1080p. However, there's also improved image quality settings, faster loading times and they're tightened up the controls. Undead Labs say that these improvements will be rolling over to the PC platform at some point as well.

Regardless of the platform you play on, the new update also takes you to the Lethal Zone, which ramps things up even further compared to Nightmare difficulty. As with the other difficulty settings, you can set the whole game to Lethal difficulty, or shift individual difficulty sliders for different aspects of the game, like zombie damage, blood plague deaths.

Here's the full patch notes and run down of what this means:

Lethal Action

Combat is murderously unfair.

  • All sources deal +100% damage to the player (compare to +60% in Nightmare)
  • Infection gains from zombie attacks are +100% (compare to +60% in Nightmare) –Infection from plague consumables is unchanged from Nightmare
  • Blood plague kills survivors within 5 minutes of infection (compare to 10 minutes in Nightmare) – Zombies can cause nearly twice as many different injuries as they do at lower difficulties, leading to deeper injury stacks piling up
  • Duplicate injuries instead apply 80% of that injury as trauma (compare to 66% in Nightmare)
  • Dodging costs +100% Stamina (compare to +50% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicles take +300% damage from hitting or getting hit by zombies (compare to +160-180% in Nightmare)
  • They also take +200% damage from other sources (compare to +125-150% in Nightmare)

The undead are terrifying and relentless.

  • All freaks are replaced with the blood plague freaks from Heartland
    You can encounter hordes with one of each plague freak. It's a plague party!
  • Gun noise is raised by +150% (compare to +75% in Nightmare), bringing even more zombies
  • Zombies will now chase a sound for up to 5 minutes (compare to giving up after 1 minute in Nightmare). Got your running shoes on?
  • The baseline siege threat at your base starts at 8 (compare to 5 in Nightmare)

Plague hearts are extremely tenacious and dangerous.

  • Destroying a plague heart does not kill all nearby plague zombies.
  • Plague Hearts take significantly less damage. Note that melee is now (comparatively speaking) a bit more effective than other options, rather than less. Get up close and personal, if you dare!
  • Melee = -50% Damage (compare to -33% in Nightmare)
  • Ranged = -62.5% Damage (compare to -25% in Nightmare)
  • Explosion = -62.5% Damage (compare to -25% in Nightmare)
  • Fire = -62.5% Damage (compare to -25% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicle Impact = -75% Damage (compare to-25% in Nightmare)

Lethal Map

There's almost nothing useful left in this town.

  • About 70-80% of houses are pre-looted
  • There are zero non-guaranteed resource drops of any kind – That means you only get the resources you expect from looking at a site's flyout on the Map Screen, if that, and never any surprise bonus rucksacks
  • Other "lucky find" drops are similarly reduced to very low rates, or even zero, including a lot of mid-range guns

Good luck finding a ride.

  • The map has only 33% the normal number of vehicles (compare to 65% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicles are always out of gas and seriously damaged

Plague hearts are everywhere.

  • There are 3 times the standard number of plague hearts (compare to 1.5 times in Nightmare)
  • Plague hearts are hidden, and the radio command to find them is available (same as in Nightmare)
  • Plague hearts are allowed to cluster up with each other like crazy (unlike in Nightmare)

Lethal Community

Your survivors know they're doomed

  • All survivors have a -30 Morale penalty (compare to -15 in Nightmare)
  • All survivors gain experience at -60% the normal rate (and Nightmare is now -30%)
  • Nightmare used to be -50% but we reduced the penalty
  • All survivors gain standing at -40% the normal rate (and Nightmare is now -20%)
  • Nightmare used to be -30% but we reduced the penalty
  • Resources are consumed quickly
  • Survivors consume 2 Food each (compare to 1.5 Food in Nightmare)
  • Food outposts provide 2 Food to compensate, and this time, they won't break your entire community when the update launches
  • Costs at the base are increased over Nightmare in a few areas:
    • Ammo costs are +150% (compare to +100%)
    • Materials costs are +150% (compare to +100%)
    • Parts costs are +100% (compare to +50%)
  • Weapons repairs cost +50% (compare to +25% in Nightmare)
  • Vehicle fuel efficiency is reduced by 25% (compare to no reduction in Nightmare)

Other Difficulty Changes

  • From the Wishlist (link): Nightmare Action now features blood plague screamers and bloaters in addition to the existing blood plague juggernauts
  • Blood plague bloaters now do half as much plague damage on exploding, because otherwise, they were literally instant death when hit by a vehicle at Lethal
    • This is balanced out by a more intense Burning Lungs injury (replacing the usual Gas Inhalation)
  • Blood plague screamers also have a new injury they apply to avoid a problem with one-shotting survivors at Lethal difficulty
    • Now they apply a single-shot Chemical Burns injury 75% of the time
  • We reduced the prevalence of crossbows across the board, as players have reported that they were showing up too often
    • They used to spawn more often at higher difficulties. Now they look like this:
      • 75% standard on Dread
      • 66% standard on Nightmare
      • 50% standard on Lethal
  • Fuel efficiency (which is increased at Green difficulty and reduced at Lethal difficulty) now lives on the Community slider, instead of the Map slider.

Are you brave enough to give Lethal mode a go?

Source: Undead Labs

Sea of Thieves will have seasons and a battle pass starting in January 2021

Rare have announced a major change in how they're creating and releasing content for Sea of Thieves. Instead of monthly updates, they'll be shifting to seasons of content and adding a battle pass to the piratical adventures, with Season One set to start in January.

As with every other game that uses this model, seasons will be roughly three months long, starting off with a major content drop and then adding to that with with time limited events and new rewards to unlock. Season One will feature Merchant Detectives, where you seek out a lost shipment in a spot of pirate sleuthing on behalf of the Merchant Alliance.

As you'd expect, there's rewards to be earnt from playing the game, with 100 levels of pirate renown to earn that unlock cosmetics like clothes and new ship sails. Specific challenges will tap into older content or get you to play in specific ways.

And then there's the battle pass, called a Plunder Pass in this game, which is a paid reward track that runs through the season and adds additional cosmetics and things to unlock.

2021 will see Rare refocus their efforts on the Adventure mode of the game, sidelining the PvP Arena mode.

Sea of Thieves launched back in March 2018 to slightly bemused fanfare. After years of build up, critics and players alike were a touch confused over what you could do in the game outside of attacking other players and taking on treasure hunting fetch quests. Still, there was an undoubted allure to it, despite the lack of content.

I wrote in our Sea of Thieves review:

"Sea of Thieves defies modern gaming conventions in brilliant and refreshing fashion, creating a fairly unique sandbox where you and your crew need to find your own fun. It might be in real need of more variety to the quests and activities, but Sea of Thieves' curious charms are like a siren's song that keep drawing me back for more piratical adventures on the high seas."

Thankfully, Rare were quick to realise their failings and started to develop new content for the game. This came in the form of in-game events, new sea monsters, the PvP Arena mode, and some narrative adventures to follow, you've also been able to become an Emissary and get a pet cat. They built up a steady following, boosted further by the game's release on Steam, and it feels logical that they turn their focus to ways to monetise and sustain the game in the long run, especially as other parts of the company get to grips with developing Everwild. Reportedly, they're still in the experimental stage of trying to figure out what that game will actually be…

Source: YouTube

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Review

Since closing out Ezio's trilogy almost a decade ago, Assassin's Creed has meandered both terms of its historical settings and level of quality. Although I've played every mainline entry in this beloved series, I haven't enjoyed one as much as I did Revelations and its masterful predecessor, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. While these games are vast and visually breathtaking, their stories and rehashed jumble of gameplay mechanics have ultimately held them back from greatness.

With that said, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is the closest this series has come to recapturing that former glory, delivering a Viking epic that has already amassed a throng of fans. This is the culmination of what Ubisoft had started with Assassin's Creed Origins, pivoting the series towards a Witcher style of action RPG.

It's a triumph though not without flaws. Assassin's Creed: Valhalla may not be the long-overdue return to the series' roots some die-hard fans have been dying for, but easily succeeds in being one of the strongest open world games of 2020 and likely one of the first you'll play on PS5 or Xbox Series X|S.

Valhalla has you plugging into yet another Animus, as Layla, Shaun, and Rebecca have fled to another location in the present day story arc of the series. At this point it's honestly very difficult to care about what these three are up to in the modern day, despite it arguably being the most important story thread in Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft dropped the present day ball a long time ago and have been fumbling ever since. Thankfully, Eivor's savage saga – and Valhalla's myriad other Vikng tales – are more than enough to hold your attention.

"The Templars are being naughty again" seems to be etched in permanent marker on whatever whiteboard the Assassin's Creed writers pen their ideas for every sequel, The same applies here with Valhalla, though Ubisoft cleverly weave this omnipresent thread through a story of warring kings and conquest that consumes England during the 9th century.

The invading Norse scour the country in search of land to settle on and kingdoms to raze. While some employ brute force tactics, others seek to form pragmatic alliances, with Eivor's Raven clan caught in the middle.

Assassin's Creed: Origins and Odyssey were both colossal games, and while the prospect of a 60+ hour RPG may be heavenly for some fans, a great many found this approach to be too overwhelming. Cleaving through a vast landmass populated with endless filler content is a fast track to fatigue, and one Valhalla mostly manages to sidestep.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla guides & more from TheSixthAxis

Don't get me wrong, there's an absolute shedload of content here. Once Ubisoft have finished rolling out their season pass (which will take us to both Ireland and Paris) this game could easily clock in at well over a hundred hours. However, the way its portioned out makes Valhalla much easier to digest than its direct predecessors.

Once you've established Ravensthorpe – your own Viking settlement in the heart of England – you'll pledge to seek the alliance of surrounding counties and kingdoms, embarking on a new main story arc every time you do so.

Although you're free to go wherever you want (I immediately took a trip down south to the Isle of Wight) Valhalla's story structure and the power level tied to each region helps to softly funnel you from one area to the next.

Each story arc has its own tale to tell. Some are stronger than others, yet they all feed into Eivor's development as a character, often giving the player multiple approaches to dealing with certain scenarios. Speaking of Eivor, regardless of which gender you choose, they serve as a superb avatar for your Viking romp across England, injecting just enough of their own character while letting the player forge their own destiny.

Once again, Assassin's Creed is split between the three core pillars or combat, stealth, and exploration. Valhalla unapologetically leans on the latter and you can't exactly blame Ubisoft. Their depiction of war-torn medieval England in all its wild and mysterious wonder is enchanting yet gritty, occasionally spliced with fantasy elements and tying into Norse mythology.

Stealth is straightforward, enabling those who want to play as the silent assassin type. By mastering the hidden blade and Eivor's bow, you can clear entire camps without being detected. Ducking in and out of cover, monitoring patrols, and popping precise headshots feels fun and fluid, especially with raising your hood and blending into crowds a returning option.

However, the Vikings weren't exactly known for skulking in the shadows. I spent most of my time facing my enemies head-on, swinging axes, splintering shields, and chopping off limbs. Close combat relies on a mix of light and heavy attacks combined with blocks, dodges, and well-timed parries.

It ticks all the boxes on a very basic checklist and although Eivor's bonus abilities allow you to slot eight flashy combat techniques, the fighting gameplay is a bit bland overall. I enjoy it in small bursts, but after a while I kept going into autopilot, mindlessly mowing down entire warbands.

Instead of skillful duels between a handful of warriors, Valhalla prefers Viking raids with dozens of fighters launching themselves into the fray. As a result, battles are bigger yet more chaotic, most enemies defaulting to the same basic AI,  while others act as though they're in a world of their own.

However you approach Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, you'll earn a steady trickle of resources and experience points which are then funnelled back into your settlement and filling out Eivor's ginormous skill tree. Whether you sail your longboat to a guarded monastery or power through one of the game's long story arcs, Valhalla will leave you satisfied with the rewards offered.

Partisans 1941 Review

The Eastern Front in WW2 is often overlooked by video games, but Partisans 1941 makes that setting its home in this real-time tactics game. Taking place under German occupation, you control a squad of resistance fighters, undertaking daring missions, while also introducing some base-building and resource management mechanics to the genre.

You start the game as Commander Zorin of the Red Army, who escapes a German POW camp and sets up a group of guerrilla fighters who conduct missions from their secretive woodland base. As your squad gradually grows, each character joins with their own special abilities and skill trees. Zorin, for example is equipped with a throwing knife for stealthy kills, while another character, Sanek can use a disguise to slip past enemies unnoticed. That's not to say that all of the abilities are stealth based; Fetisov's main ability is to spray multiple enemies with a burst of SMG fire, while Vavara is able to take a 'sniper' shot with greater accuracy and range – perfect for long-range kills.

Each mission allows you to pick a number of your partisans to take part, with objectives that range from rescuing innocent civilians from execution, to obliterating an enemy garrison to disrupt the occupation. Each mission can also have optional side-quests, the difficulty of which is often determined by what partisans you brought along to the mission. It can be difficult to judge from the initial mission briefing which partisans would be best to bring based on their skills – I tended to favour the more stealth-based characters, while ensuring that there was one or two combat focused partisans just in case things kicked off or I came across a large group of patrolling Germans that I couldn't eliminate one by one.

The maps are of a good size, often offering multiple routes to your overall objective. I'd favour sticking to the more open fringes of the map where there's fewer enemies, but a more heads on approach leads to more combat and being able to loot enemies and buildings for ammunition and items.

Despite all of the enemies being well armed with machineguns and seemingly endless ammunition, it's annoyingly rare to find much ammo on their bodies or looting boxes and buildings. That in turn encourages the player to play more tactfully, but I'd prefer to see some balance changes (at least for the 'Easy' difficulty) that makes finding ammo more plentiful as there's nothing more frustrating than running out of ammo in a firefight.

You'll find yourself moving ammo or special items between your characters often. These items can be deadly in the right hands – another favoured tactic of mine is to place bottles to lure guards away from their patrol routes and to more secluded spots. Vavara can unlock the skill to take this a step further and fill the bottle with chloroform to knock them out.

As with most games in this genre – I'm sure you've heard of Commandos, Shadow Tactics and Desperados – a key mechanic is the 'tactical pause' which allows you to plan and execute your attack, fully utilising your partisan's special abilities. It works pretty well, but it would have been nice if you could queue multiple actions for each partisan, such as selecting successive enemies to engage. There can also be a few problems in synchronising your attack if the ability animations are of different lengths, but once you've perfected your strategy, it will often yield a satisfying result with several dead enemies ready for plundering.

When you are mid-fight, it's important to micro-manage your partisans, directing them at to which enemy to engage, while also ensuring that they are using the most appropriate weapon or using grenades and other equipment at the right moment. Sometimes it can feel a bit one-sided with the enemy AI having X-ray-like vision once they are alerted, shooting your partisans who only moments ago were concealed in a bush. It will force you back to cover to get a defence bonus, or to flee, perhaps leading them into an ambush. Caution is important though, because if any member of your squad dies, it's game over.

When things don't quite go to plan (which is often), it's easy to hit the reload button and resume from your last quick save. That is unless; you're playing on the hardest difficulty in which saving mid-game isn't allowed. I'll be honest, I found some aspects of the game hard enough as it is, and the prospect of losing your mission progress does not appeal to me in the slightest!

Each mission lasts about 30-60 minutes, so I'd imagine only the most dedicated fans will attempt the game on the hardest difficulty, and even have several playthroughs under their belt to learn the ins and outs. It's not just knowing the best method for each mission, but also understanding each of the character's strengths and weaknesses and how to fully utilise their abilities.

Between missions, there is a base-building aspect in which you must look after your camp. Each day, you can decide what work you set your characters too, from fishing and collect food, to logging and gathering other resources. Alternatively, you send them out to ambush convoys for you or deliver propaganda leaflets to boost morale. With these resources, you can then build various buildings, such as a hospital tent or workshop, which can then craft items for your upcoming missions and eventually upgrade your weapons.

In theory, your partisans can pick up 'long term' injuries during missions. While most of the time you can use health kits to regain heath, other injuries will persist throughout the mission, requiring you to then patch them up at the hospital tent once back in base. In reality, I found that unless each engagement went in my favour, I'd simply reload the last save and give it another attempt. Of course in the hardest difficulty this isn't possible, so it's pretty much a feature you can be ignored on the easy and normal difficulties.

Phogs! Review

When asked "What is best in life?" Conan should have said doggos. Doggos are best in life. Presumably, that's why in the game Phogs!, you play as both Red and Blue, a magical double dog, linked by a stretchy belly. Picture a sausage dog with a head on both ends, that's also somehow made of rubber — that's you.

At its core, Phogs is a relatively simple puzzle adventure game. One end has a blue collar, the other a red collar, and you control both simultaneously (or control one half of the double dog with a friend in co-op). You bite onto things, stretch around or across things, and use a combination of these two commands to solve the puzzles spread out across the world at large.

Since you're basically a double-headed hollow flesh tube (which is, incidentally, the worst thing I have ever written), a lot of the puzzles involve acting biting and dragging things or acting as a hose — connecting two outlets to direct water from A to B, and watering plants or filling up pools as your cute little dog brain(s) see(s) fit.

You can also bark at things and emote at the person sitting next to you, but that does nothing other than tell the person next to you that you failed to bite onto the thing you're trying to bite and that you're passive-aggressive, respectively.

Mechanically, this all makes the game very simple. Despite this, there is quite a lot of gameplay you can get out of this game — too much I would argue, as Phogs feels roughly a third too long.

One of the things you quickly realise, as you embark on your adventure, is that though the puzzles are themed around the three different worlds of play, sleep and eat – the three things that dogs care about — they are all much of a muchness. There's only so much you can do with two commands.

This all, unfortunately, makes the game feel very repetitive. With each world having six levels and a boss, and with each level split into around five zones linked by a double-ended snake, that's a lot of very similar puzzles that you need to work your way through.

Generally speaking, this level of repetition would mean you get through the game pretty quickly, but Red and Blue handle like a greased-up snake on an ice rink, which really slows you down.

Not only is it hard to control, but the fixed camera isn't always great at helping you through the world. You'll frequently find yourself sniffing out a collectable or looking for a solution, only to wind up getting stuck behind something a hedge. Frustratingly, this tends to end with you either wiggling yourself off the ledge or just manually respawning at the nearest checkpoint.

All of this is compounded by how buggy the game is. From the opening telling you that Bite and Stretch are on the wrong buttons, to constantly getting caught on the scenery, there is a lot in this game to annoy.

This brings us to the unfortunate lack of a story. Although Phogs doesn't necessarily need one, it would have been nice to have some sort of narrative to hang the experience on. Instead, you're left asking questions like: What the hell is going on? Who gave Red and Blue their coloured collars? Why the hell am I playing as a hollow flesh tube?

If there was a supposed reason why Red and Blue are doing what they're doing, there may be a more compelling reason to play the game other than that it is heckin' cute.

And the game really is cute; the visuals are lovely and the idea of a double-headed dog plodding off on an adventure will melt any dog-lover's heart. This is why I am so disappointed that the game is so frustratingly dull towards the end. Simply put, it outstays its welcome.

As it stands, the story is that Red and Blue go and get three magical McGuffins and bring them back to the home base.

Yep. The game about dogs is secretly just a fetch quest.

If you can get past the repetition and are just itching to play the game, it's still an experience worth pursuing. There is fun to be had, perhaps playing through the game with your kid, figuring out the puzzles together. However, if you have kids that are prone to bickering, the heavy controls will probably lead to frustration and fighting, so bear that in mind.

There's also a fair amount of longevity — not that the game needs it — in the form of collectibles, with each level having a scattering of golden bones and a 'boingle' (it looks like the pokemon Roggenrola, but Google assures me it's actually a type of dog). The bones can be used to purchase hats from each of the world's hat stores. Who doesn't love a dog wearing a little hat?

ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos Review

A small number of us (well, several million of us) have been living with virtual reality gaming for a few years now, watching as the format has grown from shooting galleries and walking simulators to more and more immersive and complex experiences. However, one genre I didn't necessarily expect to make the jump to VR was the visual novel.

While not a devotee of the style, I appreciate the ways in which visual novels can offer a new take on interacting with a written story. In ALTDEUs: Beyond Chronos, the usual visual novel style is expanded to include full voice-acting and some basic physical interaction.

The style and storyline of ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos is about as anime as you could wish for. Whether you're a long-time fan of Japanese culture or a relative newcomer you'll instantly recognise many of the clichés and tropes, but as is often the case, these generic visuals conceal an interesting story of technology and emotion. Experiencing this in VR genuinely manages to enhance the central themes and ideas of the story, and more than I initially expected too. This perhaps shouldn't have been a surprise given MyDearest's previous VR visual novel, Tokyo Chronos, was very well received, though I came to ALTDEUS with fresh eyes.

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where giant alien entities known as Meteoras have destroyed the surface of Earth and forced the remaining human survivors to live underground, using their own virtual reality systems to augment the environments. This blending of system and setting is a clever way of getting past the usual barrier of the screen, and works especially well in VR.

You play as Lieutenant Chloe, a 'designed human' (sort of like a cyborg but never fully explained) and pilot of one of the massive battle robots entrusted with defending against the Meteoras. To begin with, Chloe is a blank character with little emotion or defining features, but as the game progresses she becomes increasingly human and distinctive. Once you find out that she is still suffering from the grief of her friend Coco having been eaten by a Meteora, the game develops into a story of vengeance.

Visually, ALTDEUS is striking in a very anime way. While the environments are plain, there's plenty of detail on the character models. These range from the obligatory spiky haired dudes to embarrassing 'waifus', with the most interesting being Professor Julie, a scientist who has created a replacement body that looks like a cross between Edward Scissorhands and a Barbie doll. In true anime style, if you look down you'll discover your own set of virtual boobs, so that's a thing. This would have made sense with you playing a female character, but with no body below your anime bosom, it's an eye-rolling inclusion.

Most of the action takes place in the game engine, but you occasionally switch to flashback sequences in cutscenes and there are some fun immersive concert scenes in later playthroughs.When I say later playthroughs I don't mean idly repeating the game, but instead that the structure requires you to play multiple times to find out the real story. This makes the overall playtime surprisingly long for the format, but it isn't immediately obvious that there is so much more to see after first completing the game. It would be far too easy to think you've reached the end and uninstall the game, but to do so would mean that you missed it getting truly interesting.

I fell into this trap, but was lucky to be prompted by the press release to play again. The second, third and subsequent playthroughs aren't just a simple matter of repeating the same content and making different choices, but actually take you on entirely different routes through the game and open up new perspectives. While that the initial playthrough left me pretty cold, the game became genuinely emotional in ways that I was not expecting after multiple plays.

The story's writing here is perhaps the most important aspect and it is fine. The overall narrative is interesting and goes in some surprising directions, characters are well defined and there are few moments that were particularly jarring. That being said, this isn't groundbreaking prose in any way, with the overall effect being a result of the combination of writing and performance. Most of the cast do a good job of bringing the characters to virtual life and I was happy to listen to a lot of the dialogue, although a quick skip option is available if you read quicker than the delivery. The subtitles are clear and not too distracting if you choose to hear the voiceover instead.

I was, however, surprised by how low the soundtrack is in the mix considering how prominent the pop music is in the game's marketing and storyline. There are occasional moments when it takes centre stage, but I was expecting more from it than I got.

FIFA 21 update 1.09 improves online play, adds Playtime tool

EA Sports have dropped their newest patch for FIFA 21, which is now available to download and install across all platforms. You'll need to install this latest version of the footie sequel in order to access online features.

FIFA 21 update 1.09 adds a couple of features to the game including an improvement in online gameplay responsiveness, showing a visual connection indicator.

Another interesting highlight is the activation of what EA Sports are calling the FIFA "Playtime" tool. This gives players a more in-depth breakdown of playtime statistics with options available to place limits on the number of matches you play a week, or how much money you're spending on those FUT packs. It's definitely a step in the right direction though there's no telling just how many FIFA fans will use this new feature.

FIFA 21 Update 1.09 Patch Notes

Online Gameplay Responsiveness

  • Connection Monitoring is now available for all players.
    1. The setting to modify the feature is located within the Visual Settings of the Game Settings menu.
    2. To learn more, please check the article here.

– Added a new FIFA Game Data Center in Miami, Florida.

Learn more about Connection Monitoring and the FIFA Game Data Center in Miami.


  • Activated the FIFA Playtime tool which is designed to give players more insight and control over how they engage with FIFA.
    1. FIFA Playtime requires opting in, and this can be done by visiting the Playtime tile under the Customise tab of the FIFA Main Menu, or through the Settings menu on the FUT 21 Web App/FIFA 21 Companion App.

Learn more about FIFA Playtime.

Addressed the following issue:


  • When playing VOLTA Squads with player controlled teammates, only the Captain was gaining Objectives progress.

A next-gen upgrade for FIFA 21 will be available on December 4th for both PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. This will be available to everyone who currently owns a copy on PS4 and Xbox One, unlocking 60 FPS gameplay with improved visuals across the board and other bonus features such as enhanced haptics from the PS5 DualSense controller.

Aran reviewed FIFA 21 on PlayStation 4 back when it launched last month, scoring the game a solid 8 out of 10, praising its mix of game modes and attacking gameplay. Here are his closing thoughts:

On the pitch, FIFA 21 is an incremental improvement over FIFA 20, but doesn't address some of the biggest issues with defending and the high-scoring matches this leads to. With Volta still missing a certain spark and Ultimate Team not really changing much, it's the Football Manager-inspired Career mode that takes the biggest step forward. It's still a good football game, but it feels like the real focus is on next-gen.

Source: FIFA Forums

Red Dead Redemption 2 update 1.26 adds new online content

In case you missed it, Red Dead Online – the vast multiplayer component for Red Dead Redemption 2 – launched as its own standalone game this week. To coincide with its release, Rockstar Games have rolled out Red Dead Redemption 2 update 1.26.

Now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One (as well as PS5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility) you can now posse up with your cowpoke chums for some online misadventures.

Red Dead Redemption 2 update 1.26 has its revolvers firmly locked on Red Dead Online with no notable changes to the main game. Rockstar have been working to expand its Bounty Hunter content with plenty of game-wide improvements and discounts for players.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Update 1.26 Patch Notes

Prestigious Bounty Hunter License

  • The Prestigious Bounty Hunter License adds 10 new Ranks of progression atop the 20 from the Bounty Hunter Role Ranks with high level items and skills to acquire, new weapon variants and horses, Infamous Bounty targets on the Bounty Boards and more.

Legendary Bounty: Gene Beau Finley

    • Prestigious Bounty Hunters should keep an eye on the Local Bounty Boards over the next few weeks for information on new Legendary Bounties, starting with dandy-turned-bastard Gene "Beau" Finley and his gang wanted for a string of robberies.

Outlaw Pass 4

    • A new Outlaw Pass also makes its way to Red Dead Online today, with new outfits, emotes, camp upgrades and more.

Improvements, Bonuses, New Horses, & More

    • Various additions and improvements have also been implemented today including the ability to combine stubble with beard styles and use the Advanced Camera while on horseback.
    • Bounty Hunters can use a new Gunspinning Management option in the Player Menu to select and swap learned Gunspinning tricks.
    • Visit the local Stable to peruse the new Mustangs and Missouri Fox Trotters.

Discounts and Bonuses

    • Bounty Hunter missions reward Double XP
    • Increased RDO$ and XP payouts in Free Roam Missions/Events and Bounty Missions
    • Bounty Hunter License discounted by 5 Gold Bars
    • Novice, Promising, Established, and Distinguished Bounty Hunter Items are 40% off
    • A Land of Opportunities missions reward Double XP
      • "Kill Them, Each and Every One" and "Destroyed by Grief" reward bonus RDO$100 upon completion
    • All Red Dead Online players will receive Rewards for 2,000 Club XP and 2,000 Bounty Hunter XP this week; those Rank 5 or above will receive a Treasure Map, while all players Rank 10 or above get a free Ability Card Upgrade of their choice.
    • Pamphlets, Melee/Thrown Weapons are 30% off
    • Tents, Camp Themes, Camp Dogs, and Fast Travel Posts are 40% off
    • Additional discounts include:
      • 30% off all Stable Slots
      • 30% off all Repeaters
      • 30% off all Pistols
      • 30% off the Schofield Revolver
      • 30% off all Horses
      • 30% off all Saddles and Improved Saddles
      • 30% off all Coats (doesn't include Legendary Animal clothing)
      • 30% off all Vests
      • 40% off all Outfits including Role Outfits

Here's an updated summary of what you can kind in Red Dead Online now in 2020:

Forge your own path across any of five unique Specialist Roles. These include apprehending everyone from low-level criminals to notorious gangs as a Bounty Hunter, learning the secrets of the animal kingdom as a Naturalist or hunting wildlife as a means for source materials as a Trader, searching for exotic treasures as a Collector, to even running your own underground Moonshine distillery.

Help the widow Jessica LeClerk and her right-hand man, Horley gain revenge upon the men who killed her husband in A Land of Opportunities, a series of story-based cooperative missions for two to four players.

Compete in Showdown Modes, a series of competitive modes where players and teams compete in classic gunfights and objective-based competitions like capturing territory or supplies.

Red Dead Online is available for under £5 on both the Epic Games StoreXbox Live, and over on the PlayStation Store. As long as you have PlayStation Plus.

Source: Rockstar

Total War: Warhammer II – The Twisted and The Twilight DLC Review

The relentless rat-nuzzlers at Total War studio Creative Assembly have done it again, by which I mean they've released a paid DLC somewhat overshadowed by a simultaneous free update. The free Wood Elves faction overhaul, and sort-of-free-if-you-own-certain-content Legendary Lord Drycha, are the most enjoyable new additions, and this turns conversations about monetary value into nebulous, slippery things, like a basket of soaped-up eels, which makes a reviewer's job a bit tricky.

There is still some great new paid content, though. Both the new Wood Elves and Skaven units in the paid DLC portion are tremendous fun, even if the campaigns that introduce them are fairly lacklustre.

The Skaven changes are less dramatic, so before we cover the Wood Elves, let's make like Londoners in the 17th century, and have a heated conversation about some rats. Clan Moulder are the new addition, previously represented by a handful of monstrous units, but now granted their own faction and campaigns, headed up by Lord Thrott the Unclean. Thrott is the thiccest of rodents, eternally hungry, and with a penchant for unholy biological experiments. This manifests in a handful of new monsters, the monster-buffing packmaster hero, and the 'Flesh Laboratory' upgrade system.

The Flesh Laboratory allows you to spend a resource called growth juice – which you earn through winning battles or from sporadic deliveries – on horrific and useful mutations for your army. Some are practical, like reduced upkeep and combat buffs, and some are pure Skaven silliness, like turning your monsters undead or letting them emit huge flesh explosions. You unlock new mutations by building on top of old, but if you push a unit too far, you end up with horrific creations that rot away from the inside. Tasty.

The Flesh Lab does what the Skaven do best, really, which is offer ways to break the game in consistently entertaining and devious ways. Much like the previous Skaven lord packs, the new Moulder mechanics provide both power creep and comic relief in equal measure. The campaign itself, which involves weakening the Wood Elves by destroying key settlements as a timer ticks down for a final battle, feels a little too streamlined, but running a pure Moulder army is still a blast. For the Skaven as a whole, adding new speedy flankers and anti-large options makes an already powerful race potentially terrifying in the right hands.

The new Wood Elves campaign, starring the Sisters of Twilight, works well as an introduction to the new faction mechanics, but doesn't offer much that's unique to the Sisters themselves. They're a great lord choice, in terms of design and dialogue, and they're enjoyable to spend time with, but a campaign mechanic that involves upgrading special items feels half-baked.

Wood Elves now claim campaign victory by improving the health of magical forest settlements then performing rituals. This is achieved by capturing, razing, or allying with surrounding settlements, as well as fighting ambient quest battles that are usually accompanied by a dilemma. These dilemmas and fights are the best part of the Sisters' campaign, ensuring a steady variety of foes that keeps their tall, defensive playstyle varied and (on higher difficulties) quite challenging.

Personally, I love playing tall in Total War, and I love the thematic weight of swiftly crushing anyone who messes with my forests, like some sort of psychotic Lorax, so the faction rework is a real treat. The new dilemmas also continue the Warden and The Paunch's trend of having longer segments of great writing to bring campaign events to life.

The new Wood Elves units fill out some real tactical gaps in their roster, too. Great Stag Knights are a monstrous shock cavalry that hit like a truck riding a bigger truck, but tend to melt if you leave them in combat for too long. Zoats are take on large monstrous enemies with healing and armour spells, perfect for screening out and flattening flankers. Bladesingers are terrifyingly efficient anti-infantry, anti-armour blenders, and new hero Ariel is a powerful spellcaster. Altogether, they do add more micromanagement to an already micro-heavy faction, but continue to make the Wood Elves very satisfying to try and master.

The best vehicle for these new features is vengeful branchwraith Drycha's new Mortal Empires campaign. To play it, you'll need to own both Warhammer 1 and 2, as well as the Realm of the Wood Elves DLC. Drycha has similar objectives to the other Wood Elves factions – to restore the Tree of Ages – but goes about things very differently, being either ambivalent or outwardly hostile to the other elves. Tree units are buffed, but elf units are effectively brainwashed into fighting for her, so suffer penalties. She can also recruit beasts like spiders, wolves, and manticores. The result is an extremely unique, flavourful campaign experience, with a lot more freedom than either of the paid offerings.

In implementing a host of well needed, though less immediately eye-catching, changes to the core of the game, the release of the Twisted and Twilight and its accompanying patch are less a glorious crown of blossoms and more a solid network of oaken roots. The DLC campaigns themselves feel more like tutorials for Mortal Empires, but there's so much character in both the new factions, you might not even notice. It's not the best DLC we've seen, but it does make Total War Warhammer II into a better game, however incrementally.

Cyberpunk 2077 fans can get this amazing deal on Cyberpunk RPG

Cyberpunk 2077 officially launches next week – that's right, we had to check our notes too. The eagerly anticipated action RPG will finally be plugging into PC and consoles on December 10th after numerous delays.

Although slightly offset by the arrival of new consoles, there's still a fever pitch for Cyberpunk 2077. This is due to the game's promise of an incredibly rich roleplaying experience, crafted by the same hands that forged The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.

If you can't get enough of Cyberpunk, then Humble Bundle have a deal that's well worth investigating. For the next two weeks, they'll be selling a huge collection of Cybperunk RPG books and modules for a knockdown price. Many of these were originally published in the 1990s by R. Talsorian games.

From the Cyberpunk 2020 core rules book to a variety of campaign sets and other world-building material, Humble Bundle have compiled 30 tomes for the table top RPG that would normally fetch upwards of $500. Purchases will help support the AbleGamers charity.

At the time of writing, you can grab digital copies of the entire lot for just under £12. You only need to pay half of that to get the core set plus 16 expansions. Needless to say, if you're looking to get into pen and paper RPGs or simply fancy exploring a rich archive of Cyberpunk source material then this is it.

Cyberpunk 20777 was delayed back at the end of October an additional three weeks, with company bosses Adam Badowski and Marcin Iwinski explaining, "The biggest challenge for us right now is shipping the game on current-gen, next-gen and PC at the same time, which requires us to prepare and test 9 versions of it (Xbox One/X, compatibility on Xbox Series S|X, PS4/Pro, compatibility on PS5, PC, Stadia)… while working from home."

Cyberpunk 2077 will be out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on 10th December. It will be playable on Xbox Series X | S at that point and on PlayStation 5, but full next-gen enhancements will not be there on day one.

Source: Humble Bundle

Override 2: Super Mech League Preview – Embracing the silliness of City Brawl

Let's face it, giant robots smacking seven shades of scrap out of each other is just straight up fun. It's so fun that Modus Studios have jettisoned Override: Mech City Brawl's pretensions of defending the world from an alien threat and have focused on the simple delights of massive mechs beating the living oil out of each other for the sequel.

Override 2: Mech Super League plonks up to four mechs into a smallish arena and tasks them with a simple objective; take out their rivals with any means necessary. Having been a fan of the original game I was eager to get my mech on when the open beta ran toward the end of November, and while I had fun with the demo, there's no doubt this promising sequel has some issues to resolve before launch day.

First thing to notice is that the visual fidelity of Override 2 has been significantly improved over the original game; there's much more graphical detail to be enjoyed in nearly every area. The hulking mechs are brimming with character and visual nuance, feeling aesthetically unique and distinctive. The same can be said of the arenas they inhabit; there's much more going on in the environments this time out with levels that move and transform as the battle rages.

Take the Park level as an example, which is basically an enormous gateaux – giant robots fighting on a sponge cake is the one thing I never knew I always wanted. Various sections of the sugar filled sweet treat rise and fall, separating players and encouraging new avenues of attack at a moments notice. There's even giant strawberries strewn around the arena for players to pick-up and lob at an unwitting mech to hilarious effect.

One of the most noticeable aspects of Override 2 is how the game has embraced its inherent silliness. This can be seen most obviously in the collectable weapons littered around each arena. There's electric spears, light swords, and grenade launchers, but also some wonderful oddities, with a comedy mallet and a humungous frying pan being clear highlights. Smacking an unwitting mech through a building with a mighty frying pan of doom was one of my favourite moments of the beta.

Combat itself remains chunky, weighty and satisfying, though many aspects have been streamlined from the original game. No longer do you attack using the individual limbs of the bot, you instead have a more traditional light and heavy attack structure. Combos are available by combining light and heavy moves, whilst bombastic specials can be easily activated with minimal inputs. It all adds up to a very accessible experience, allowing even a novice to get stuck in and do some cool stuff, whilst there's plenty of dashes, blocks, throws and counters for those who like a more refined fighting experience.

There's an impressive roster of twenty mechs promised for the final game, though the beta was restricted to eight. Old favourites such as Watchbot, Vintage and Setesh have returned, looking even more mechtacular than ever, while Sprinkles is one of the standout additions, armed with a deadly selection of sparkles and bubblegum themed attacks. Having the ability to trap my rival in a giant florescent pink bubble was not an attack I expected to have, but it's one I repeatedly used to confound my opponents. Well, until they proceeded to wipe the floor with me, at least!

The biggest challenge a player will face isn't a rival mech, but the challenge of getting their head around an extremely unwieldy camera and lock-on function. It's one that insists on giving the player the most unhelpful view possible. Part of the problem is that your mech is often too large on the screen, blocking the view of the opponent and making it unnecessarily difficult to assess and respond to their attacks. The other issue is that the camera is very unclear about which enemy it's locked-on to – not a problem in one on one matches but in bigger battles I often find myself incapable of focusing on who I wanted to hit. A much clearer HUD with a more obvious lock-on icon will be necessary to avoid frustrations when the full game is launched.

Issues with control don't stop there, however. Double jumping is impossibly finicky, and your mech is unable to clamber up a ledge even though they have clearly leapt high enough to do so. Though this problem could be down to the god-awful lag that dogged online proceedings.

Sadly, my time playing online with Override 2 was dogged by lag. One on one matches were fine, but as soon as more players joined the fray, things really started to grind to a halt. It was rare that a match that started with four players managed to end with four. Instead, players would end up being forced to drop out and be replaced by bots, letting things stabilise once only two remained. Local play is where it was at, and here, with smashtastic and cathartic combat, the qualities of Override 2 revealed themselves.

This is a fast and frenetic game, and thanks to the accessibility of its controls it proves a great equaliser between the skill levels of players. I was able to have some competitive battles with various members of my family – even those with little to no fighting game experience were able to pick up wins and enjoy themselves. Combo strings are very generous in their timings and even simple attacks result in over-the-top Marvel VS Capcom style moves. This is a game that allows every player to feel awesome. Four player split screen was impressively smooth and responsive throughout.

So, there's clearly still some work to be done for Modus Games in the final month of development, but with a more stable online experience and refinements made to the camera, Override 2 could offer a fun fighting game for all the family when it launches on 22nd December. Just in time for a mech-tastic Christmas.

DayZ 1.24 update fixes server crashes and other issues

There's a new update out for DayZ, bringing the multiplayer sandbox survival title up to version 1.24 on consoles.

Available now across all platforms including PC (where the patch is listed as 1.10.153598) as well as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the developers at Bohemia Interactive have rolled out a list of fixes along with some general improvements.

These follow the game's recent 1.10 patch which added new content and features to DayZ including items such as the splint, improvised shelter, pipe wrench, and M3S truck. You can catch a glimpse of some of these additions in the Dayz 1.10 trailer above.

DayZ Update 1.24 Patch Notes


  • A server crash related to actions
  • Fixed a server performance weakness whenever a player connected
  • Attachments of the Gas Stove were disappearing upon reconnect
  • In specific cases, the character could not regain the ability to jump and sprint after healing a broken leg
  • Wrong buttons appeared next to the character customization menu
  • Issues with the unconsciousness state when falling on steep terrain
  • Damaged M3S truck wheels were indistinguishable from the pristine variant
  • Occasional graphical glitch that appeared when interacting with the M3S truck side plates
  • Glass in the windows of the M3S truck turned into pristine state after destroying
  • The Fire Barrel could not be attached to the barrel slots to the M3S truck
  • Empty gaps and ghost inventory slots when attaching a barrel or crate to the M3S truck
  • It was not possible to stop the car engine in specific cases
  • The engine damage point from water level on the M3S engine was too low, causing the vehicle to be damaged in more cases than it should be
  • An occasional issue where the screen could get darker after respawning
  • The player was able to deploy some items on sea water at certain places
  • Temperature on food was fluctuating when cooked on direct cooking slots
  • An exploit for fast cooking, using smoking slots
  • Broken reflectors on the Sarka 120 did not change their texture properly
  • The radiator of the Sarka 120 could not be seen unless you opened the trunk of the car
  • Liquid could be poured or drained to/from closed barrels
  • The actions for draining and pouring liquids could not be switched while in prone
  • It was possible to build the territory flag pole with 3 long wooden sticks


  • Improved vehicle stability after the server restart
  • Wetness of an item no longer affects its weight
  • Improved the off-road performance of the ADA 4×4
  • Lowered the transfer of damage from reflectors to the surrounding zones on the Sarka 120
  • The player should not look at the car to be able to stop the engine


  • Items wont get wet during rain

Bohemia Interactive have confirmed DayZ on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S will run better than on last-gen systems. We haven't seen any technical breakdowns though they cite a noticeable improvement in overall performance.

Source: DayZ Forums

Dead By Daylight adds new Killer with 4.4.0 "Binding of Kin" update

Behaviour Interactive have risen from their crypt once again with another meaty content update for Dead By Daylight.

The hugely popular multiplayer horror hit has kicked off its latest in-game season (called "Chapters") with Dead By Daylight patch 4.4.0 – this will appear as update version 2.09 on some platforms. It adds a new Killer and Survivor as well as plenty of bug fixes and even some visual upgrades.

Dead By Daylight's new Killer (well, Killers) is The Twins. Charlotte and Victor possess one of the more unique Killer Powers we've seen added to the game. Using Blood Bond players can separate them, controlling Charlotte and Victor independently. Victor can pounce on Survivors to inflict damage and incapacitate them as Charlotte lumbers towards them, closing in for the kill. He can also be used as a sentry, highlighting Survivor locations for his sister. To balance this, players are able to attack Victor, causing him to vanish then regenerate on a cooldown. The Twins also have three perks available to them.

For more on Dead By Daylight update 4.4.0 you can review the patch notes in full below.

Dead By Daylight Update 4.4.0 Patch Notes

Features & Content

New Chapter: A Binding of Kin

  • Added A New Killer – The Twins
  • Added a New Survivor – Élodie Rakoto

Live Updates

  • The Nightmare on Elm Street DLC is now available through the in-game store on the Nintendo Switch, Windows Store, Stadia, Playstation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. The full DLC will start to appear on each platform's respective store shortly.
  • Rite of The Ghost Face Daily Ritual has been simplified: "Mark 4 Survivors".
  • All Daily Rituals that were worth less then 30k bloodpoints are now worth 30k bloodpoints.
  • Sabotage Ritual now requires 4 Hooks to be sabotaged.
  • Blight's Adrenaline Vial addon now makes Rush Tokens regenerate faster than in the previous release.
  • Blight's Soul Chemical addon has a new function: During a rush, the moment you enter the 16 meter radius around a Survivor who is repairing or healing, trigger a tremendously difficult Skill Check for that Survivor. Can activate once per Survivor per Rush. Does not trigger for a Rush starting within 16 meters of the Survivor.

Visual Update:

  • Visual updates to maps in Ormond and Junkyard.
  • Visual update to the Hatch and Totem.
  • Visual update on the Twins Lobby.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that caused the player Cloud ID to be missing from the ban message.
  • Fixed an issue that caused daily rituals to be consumed even if the claim of bloodpoints for a completed daily ritual failed.
  • Fixed an issue that caused unavailable Archives cosmetics to appear on the Feature Store section if all the cosmetics were already purchased.
  • Fixed an issue that caused a short freeze when opening a chest.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented survivors from being able to start unlocking a chest from its side.
  • Fixed an issue that caused survivors to be able to steal items from chests opened by other survivors.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the animation of mending another survivor to be missing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the animation of waking up another survivor to be missing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused firecrackers not to destroy Hag traps.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Hag traps auras not to be visible while they are being burned by a flashlight.
  • Fixed an issue that caused survivors to be able to see through walls when using a flashlight and hugging the wall.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused killers to be stuck inside a generator after damaging it.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed survivors to sabotage hooks through walls.
  • Fixed an issue that allowed survivors to complete a sixth generator when failing a skill check while the fifth generator is completed.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented killers from damaging a breakable wall after getting stunned while breaking the wall.
  • Fixed an issue that caused notifications bubble not to appear when completing a generator inside a building in Badham Preschool.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Nurse blinks to be unreliable around the Blood Lodge.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the corrupted Pool of Devotion sound effect to be heard in the beginning of a match against the Plague.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the camera to pan left before panning right when entering the title screen.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Hillbilly's chainsaw to disappear during the pallet stun animation.
  • Fixed an issue in windowed mode which made it sometimes possible to resize the window when rotating the camera while holding M1
  • Fixed an issue which made exclusive cosmetics available to all
  • Fixed an issue on various maps which showed extremely bright lighting in various colors
  • Fixed an issue that may cause The Legion not to down survivors when hitting them while in Feral Frenzy when equipped with the Frank's Mixtape add on
  • Fixed an issue that caused the confetti of forth anniversary items to trigger in the tally screen
  • Fixed an issue that caused invisible collisions on the stairs leading to the Killer Basement on the Hawkins National Laboratory map
  • Fixed an issue that caused The Spirit to see flashlight beams during Yamaoka's Haunting
  • Fixed an issue that caused survivors' camera to clip through the generator pole when repairing a generator

Xbox One only:

  • Fixed a crash on Xbox One when trying selecting 'View profile' of a XSX account

Switch only:

  • Fixed an issue where the players would run at a slower speed when looking in certain directions

Known Issues

The Twins:

  • Victor may become stuck if he pounces on a locker with a healthy Survivor inside. Charlotte will be unable to search the locker until Victor is recalled.

The Twins' perks:

  • Coup de Grâce: Missing visual feedback when performing a modified lunge attack
  • Hoarder: The notification does not always work when Survivors pick up items in the basement
  • Hoarder: The perk currently does not lower the rarity of items found in chests
  • Hoarder: The perk currently does not spawn 2 extra chests

Élodie's perks:

  • Appraisal: The perk grants the "Chest Unlocked" score event when performing the Rummage action
  • Appraisal: Survivors keep rummaging through the chest for a brief moment after the action is completed
  • Deception: The UI does not function as intended
  • Deception: The feint locker animation may interfere with the rushed locker entry animation
  • Deception: Various issues may occur when using the perk with high latency
  • Power Struggle: The perk can't be used while actively wiggling
  • Power Struggle: The perk cannot be used immediately if the wiggle threshold was reached before wiggling
  • Power Struggle: Stunning the killer with this perk will sometimes snap the killer to the other side of the pallet
  • Power Struggle: Survivors may become stuck inside pallets after using Power Struggle

Will Dead By Daylight get bots on PC & consoles?

We recently re-reviewed Dead By Daylight for 2020, bumping up its original score:

Dead By Daylight has evolved into somewhat of a phenomenon, proving that the often maligned games-as-a-service model produces more than just cookie cutter loot shooters. It's still an acquired taste and a bit rough around the edges though stands out as one of the most unique ongoing multiplayer games of the generation.

Those who currently own a copy of Dead By Daylight on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can upgrade for free on the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S respectively, carrying over their progress – here's how.

Source: Dead By Daylight

For Honor reveals new hero, Y4S4 starts next week

Ubisoft have revealed their latest major content drop for For Honor with Year 4 Season 4 ready to roll out next week.

This newest season is dubbed "Mayhem" and will be going live next Thursday, on December 10th. Spearheading this latest update is a new For Honor fighter name Gryphon.

Wielding a two-handed bardiche axe, this battle-scarred warrior is the 29th character to join the For Honor roster. Earlier this year, Ubisoft introduced The Warmonger, a gruesome fighter styled after the singleplayer campaign's antagonist, Apollyon.

Is For Honor still worth playing in 2020?

Gryphon's hero trailer gives us a glimpse at some of his moves and perks. It's likely he'll be classed as either a heavy or hybrid fighter though it's hard to determine from the gameplay footage which difficulty tier he'll slot into. Here's a little bit of lore surrounding this For Honor newcomer:

Previously known as Holden Cross, Gryphon was a great warrior in the Order of the Lawbringers who fought side-by-side with Apollyon in the Blackstone Legion. After her death, he was rejected by his fellow Lawbringers, prompting him to join a mercenary guild and embark on a journey across the world, making friendships in all factions and learning new fighting techniques. Now equipped with a sturdy polearm named Bardiche, the Knight Errant Gryphon is here to lead the resistance to victory against the Order of Horkos.

Gryphon will be available when For Honor Year 4 Season 4 goes live on December 10th. You can unlock him for £6.49 as part of a DLC pack that also includes some extra cosmetics, resources, and other bonuses. This is the only way to gain access until two weeks later, on December 24th, when he'll be available to buy for 15,000 Steel, For Honor's in-game currency.

Ubisoft have yet to announce what other content and features will be included in Y4S4 Mayhem. What we do know, however, is that a next-gen upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S will be coming very soon. It will bring the following improvements:

  • Improved Water Reflections
  • Improved Distance Level of Detail
  • Improved Shadow Resolution
  • Improved Texture Filtering
  • 4k Resolution (Xbox Series X, PS5) / 1080 p (Xbox Series S)

Source: Press Release

Chicken Police Review

It's not often that the name of a game alone will make me take an interest, but Chicken Police is one such game. Whether it was a game about chicken police officers, or a fowl crimes division staffed by humans, I would have been happy with either bit of absurdity. It's the former, of course, as this noir point and click game introduces the hard boiled detective Sonny Featherland, who is an actual chicken.

Technically, Detective Featherland is a chicken-man, similar to mythical hybrid beasts like griffins or Egyptian gods. He's got the head of a chicken, with feathers and everything, but from the neck down he's all arms, legs, and trenchcoat. The rest of the cast of Chicken Police is a similar menagerie of animals from cats and dogs through impalas and flies.

When Deborah the Impala turns up at the beginning of the game to direct Sonny to her boss, it's clear that Chicken Police is something special. It nails the noir aesthetic and the music conjures the exact right tone. Sonny's dry and vaguely poetic dialogue as you select things around his office are dead on as well, not to mention his gravelly detective voice. Most importantly, the conversations you have with Deborah and others throughout the game feel like actual conversations, where you usually need to convince someone to hand over any really important information.

It leads to a surprisingly immersive point and click game, especially considering its comedic twist. If it wasn't for the occasional eggcellent pun, someone occasionally saying "what the cluck," and the characters' names, a listener would be convinced that it was a serious noir detective film.

But it isn't and it's all the better for it. There's plenty of silly animal puns, but it's a constant delight that often subverts the obvious jokes you'd expect from lower quality writing, embedding it in conversations full of world building and characters reveals. Whether it's Sonny and his partner chatting about meat substitutes, direct questioning, or idle chat with one of Sonny's old friends, dialogue is never superfluous or just for a joke, you're usually receiving more information about characters or the world with a tongue in cheek slant.

Games often struggle to deliver information to the player without it feeling like an information dump, but Chicken Police delivers all of the information you need so naturally that it shames many AAA games. It's such an interesting world as well, set in the city of Clawville where some establishments ban insects from the premises and where the mafia is ran by an actual rat. It's all coated in the expected amount of absurdity, but the quality of the voice actors and the depth in the writing really sell the setting as a real place and it's one that is very endearing.

Your investigation has you following up on some rather threatening messages sent to Deborah's boss, Natasha Catzenko. In standard point and click fashion, you can look at people you're about to talk to, with Sonny's comment giving you a quick idea about them before picking up a conversation. That conversation can lead to getting some new information, which you can then follow up on to try and uncover more details.

Alternatively you can interrogate someone once you find them to be a person of interest. This will have Sonny give you his read on how to go about getting information out of the suspect, and you'll then have to choose between dialogue options for the one that best fits that plan. It's surprisingly effective as a gameplay mechanic as it can feel like you're walking on eggshells one moment and pressing the advantage the next. You even get a rating after the interrogation so you know how well you did, but mess it up and you'll get less information.

Thankfully you don't have to write all your leads down as Sonny keeps a journal that tracks everything important in almost exhaustive detail. One problem with the journal though is that, whilst it does tell you when new info is added, it doesn't tell you where it is, so you won't know where to look when flicking through its pages. You also have a bag to carry any useful or suspect items around, though the game's UI is a little awkward here using shoulder buttons to cycle through the available items.

Elsewhere there's the stereotypical lack of clarity that point and click games tend to bring with them, which resulted in me occasionally going between locations until I found a solution to a puzzle, but there are optional hints from the pause menu if you get stuck. There's a few faster paced parts to the game, but the vast majority of it is going to be lengthy, deep conversations as well. If that's not your thing you probably already know to avoid this genre anyway.

[UPDATE] The PSN had issues, seems to be recovering

UPDATE: Managed to get on Destiny 2 but it keeps on kicking me off, giving the "lost connection" error, Down Detector is reporting a fall in "PSN Down" tweets so it might be fixed. Or not.

Original story below. 

Reports are coming in the of problems with the PSN. Twitter is littered with tweets and I can confirm that although I can log on to the PSN, Destiny 2 is having issues and will not connect. The reporting site Down Detector is also showing a missive spike in reports that started just a few minutes ago.

Sony's official service page shows everything is up and running but that usually takes a while to be updated. There are also reports that Twitch is having problems and many are suggesting that the Fortnite Live Event that is was scheduled for tonight may have caused a surge in traffic which has knocked out the services. It seems that you can log in to the PSN, and the store seems to work, but matchmaking within some games is borked.

As far as I can tell the problem seems to be global, but that's just based off post from Twitter. We will keep an eye on things and let you know when the PSN has returned to stability.

While you wait, why not grab yourself a game in the end of year PSN 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%)



Rocket League Season 2 is rolling out next week, bringing more Xbox Series X|S enhancements

Psyonix has confirmed that Rocket League's second season will be going live next week, on December 9th to be precise, bringing with it more enhancements for Xbox Series X and Series S… but not PlayStation 5.

The theme of Season 2 is music and will include songs from EDM artist Kaskade. The new music will not just be part of the soundtrack as season 2 will add the customisation option of player anthems. Players can choose a song to play when they score a goal to really drive home the fact you hit the net.

Rocket League Season 2 will also bring with a new arena with this arena being Neon Fields, which is inspired by the EDM music scene. It will be available in Online Playlists and be selectable in Private Matches. A new season pass will be going live with music themed content, including the R3MX car and over 70 items across tiers available to those who purchase the premium Rocket Pass.

Throughout the season there will be Rocket Labs playlists that will offer some experimental ways to play the Rocket League. It will include an arena inspired by Rocket League's predecessor Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars.

There will be seasonal challenges with the first stage set to start on December 9th. The second stage will start on January 6th, the third stage will release on February 3rd, and the final stage will hit on March 3rd.The update for Season 2 will go live the day before season 2 launches and patch notes will be available on the same day.

But back to the next-gen support for a second. Psyonix were one of the developers who opened up about the state of affairs with regard to adding support for the new generation of games consoles.

PlayStation 5 owners will only be able to play the game is PS4 Pro mode thanks to the need to build a completely new version of the game – well, seemingly for everyone that isn't a first party Sony studio. On Xbox Series X|S, the game was enhanced on day one thanks to the ability to implement a "minor patch" they said to Eurogamer. This new update is adding further performance modes for the game that enable 120fps play. It's a similar state of affairs for games like Call of Duty: Warzone and Star Wars: Squadrons.

Here's the quality and performance modes that you'll find added to Rocket League:

Xbox Series X

  • Quality – 4K resolution at 60 FPS with HDR
  • Performance – Game runs at 2688×1512 resolution (70% of full 4K) at 120 FPS with HDR

Xbox Series S

  • Quality – 1080p Resolution at 60 FPS with HDR
  • Performance – Game runs at 1344×756 (70% of Full 1080p) Resolution at 120 FPS with HDR

Source: Press Release

The Good Life will be released in Summer 2021, announces SWERY

Hidetaka "SWERY" Suehiro has confirmed that The Good Life, first revealed back in 2021 in 2018, will be releasing in Summer 2021. This news comes following the announcement that The Good Life has found a publisher in Irregular Corporation which is based in London. The Good Life has been delayed before as a release was initially set for Spring 2020 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A Switch release has also been confirmed.

Update: Of course the game was not revealed in 2021. That's the future!

The extended time will allow the developers to have the English characters voiced by English voice actors, American characters to be voiced by American voice actors, English localisation that is proofread so it reads correctly, support for more languages in the text and user interface, in depth bug checking, and other improvements. SWERY finished the update by saying:

Personally, I want to deliver The Good Life to you all as quickly as possible. But I also understand after working on it so hard for such a long time that just a little more TLC will make it a lot better overall in the end. That's why I hope you'll give us all the time to further polish what we've built up.

I hope these feelings can reach everyone!!  

I also hope from the bottom of my heart that you'll keep cheering us on.  


And on a last note, please note that we're planning to send out the surveys for the campaign (asking things such as your choice of hoodie design, or the address to deliver your Collector's edition) in the second half of January 2021. We'll inform you of the details in a later update.

In The Good Life you'll play as Naomi, a journalist from New York who's decided to move to the British town of Rainy Woods in order to pay of her debt. The only way to do that is to take pictures of the many strange and unusual happenings in the town, solving a murder mysteries along the way. You can also take on various odd jobs, such as milk delivery, sheep shearing and more. The game's story and what happens to its inhabitants will change based on your actions and interactions. The weirdest thing about the town? The moonlight turns all the townspeople (including Naomi) into either cats or dogs once a month.

Source: Kickstarter

Control is actually coming to Xbox Game Pass this week in a stacked update to start December

Microsoft have revealed a bunch of games that are coming to Xbox Game Pass this month, and yes, Control is finally joining the subscription service almost a year to the day after Xbox boss Phil Spencer first seemed to suggest that it would.

That's just part of an absolutely stacked update for Game Pass subscribers across PC, Xbox consoles and Android game streaming. This week alone, Doom Eternal is arriving for PC after joining Xbox back in October, indie game Haven and Dragon Quest XI S Definitive Edition will arrive for Xbox and PC, there's Rage 2 for streaming, and more.

A little later in the month on 10th December, Assetto Corsa, GreedFall, Superhot: Mind Control Delete and more will arrive on various permutations of platforms.

Also, with yesterday's November update for the Xbox system software, you can now pre-install these games to play them as soon as they're available.

Without unity between games be available on different platforms, these updates are getting a little bit convoluted now, but that's a minor complaint compared to the sheer volume of games being thrown into the service each month.

Here's the full list of what's coming this week and next, and you wouldn't put it past Microsoft to add even more games in the second half of the month.

  • Control (Android & Console) – December 3
  • Doom Eternal (PC) – December 3
  • Haven (Console & PC) ID@Xbox – December 3
  • Rage 2 (Android) – December 3
  • Slime Rancher (Android & Console) ID@Xbox – December 3
  • Va-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action (PC) ID@Xbox – December 3
  • Yes, Your Grace (Android, Console & PC) ID@Xbox – December 3
  • Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition (Console & PC) – December 4
  • Call of the Sea (Android, Console & PC) ID@Xbox – December 8
  • Monster Sanctuary (Android & Console) ID@Xbox – December 8
  • Starbound (PC) ID@Xbox – December 8
  • Unto The End (Console & PC) ID@Xbox – December 9
  • Assetto Corsa (Android & Console) – December 10
  • Gang Beasts (Android & Console) ID@Xbox – December 10
  • GreedFall (Android, Console & PC) – December 10
  • Superhot: Mind Control Delete (Android & Console) ID@Xbox – December 10
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (Android, Console & PC) ID@Xbox  – December 10

Source: Xbox

Planet Zoo: Aquatic Pack announced, and it's out next week

Frontier Developments have revealed the Aquatic Pack for Planet Zoo, adding a bunch of new watery content into the game. The expansion will be out on 8th December and cost £7.99 / $9.99 / €9.99.

As you'd expect, the Aquatic Pack adds some fantastic new watery animals to the mix, with five of them in particular. There's the Diamondback Terrapin, the Giant Otter, Curvier's Swarf Calman, Grey Seal and King Penguin.

Obviously, you'll be trying to design watery enclosures for each of these, with foliage, scenery and zoo construction pieces that will all meet that. You'll be able to adorn the area with new murals to depict wild jungles and icy tundra, reflective materials, animal sculptures and cascading waterfalls. There's over 170 pieces to combine to create your perfect park.

A new timed scenario will be included, set in Oregon, USA and tasking you with creating a zoo based in a drained riverbed. It's water-centric, but will challenge players with space restrictions and lots of elevation.

Alongside the paid DLC, there will also be free content added in the update to support it. This includes new foliage and enrichment items, educational animal talks for visitors to go on, quality of life updates, and a free new timed scenario set in the Philippines.

We gave the base game on PC a glowing review last year, with Dom writing in our Planet Zoo review:

Planet Zoo is simply wonderful; a bright and breezy park builder that gushes with enthusiasm for its charges. There's depth to spare here, pushing further than either of Frontier's most recent management games have, and it leans into its own identity, with a keen eye for the importance of education, animal welfare and preservation.

If you're after a park management sim, and have a PC, it's a fine option, and the Aquatics Pack will only expand it further.

Source: press release

Rainbow Six Siege Year 5 Season 4 now live with free next-gen upgrade

Breach charges at the ready, Operators. The prep phase is over and Rainbow Six Siege is now officially available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

As we've previously reported, a free next-gen upgrade is available to anyone that currently owns a copy of Rainbow Six Siege. All you need to do is log into the account originally used to purchased Siege, then find the correct upgrade/version.

Here's what players on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S can expect from this beefed up version of the popular Tom Clancy shooter:

  • 4K resolution (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) / 1080p (Xbox Series S)
  • 120 fps (PlayStation5, Xbox Series X)
  • DualSense™ wireless controller capabilities for even deeper immersion (PlayStation 5)
  • Activities support for the most popular playlists so players can dive into the game faster (PlayStation 5)

The following features are also being implemented for an enhanced next-gen experience on all platforms:

  • Better accessibility (readability options, text to speech and speech to text)
  • Quick start (optimised login flow, streamlined intro sequence)
  • Ubisoft Connect overlay

Alongside this PS5 and Xbox Series X|S launch, Ubisoft have also kicked off their new season for Rainbow Six Siege. Year 5 Season 4 "Neon Dawn" is now underway.

The two highlights of Neon Dawn include Aruni and the new map rework for Skyscraper. Aruni is the game's first Thai Operator who brings an interesting defensive gadget into play – the Surya Gate. She also has a bionic arm which can pack quite the punch. A new animated trailer was released today, introducing her to roster.


Here's what else Ubisoft is bringing in Rainbow Six Siege Y5S4:

  • 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: Press Release

Fall Guys update 1.12 stumbles out ahead of Season 3

As we wait for news on Fall Guys Season 3, game developers Mediatonic have released a new update for their hugely popular battle royale beanfest.

Fall Guys update 1.12 is available to download now on PlayStation 4 and PC (as well as PS5, via backwards compatibility). You'll need to have this latest patch installed in order to hop online and join matches.

Sadly, this new version of the game doesn't seem to bring on any notable features or fixes. Mediatonic have yet to post their Fall Guys 1.12 patch notes and you won't find a changelog via the PS4 system menu.

Hopefully we'll get the lowdown on exactly what's been added to Fall Guys but for now we'd assume it's just some simple fixes around the edges to help with stability and performance.

Of course, 1.12 is a stepping stone for what comes next. Fall Guys Season 3 is on the way and, after decrypting Mediatonic's jigsaw puzzle teaser for their upcoming season, it looks like we'll be taking a walk (well, more of a tumble) through a winter wonderland.

In the meantime Fall Guys Season 2 is slowly ticking down as players continue to enjoyed its newly added clutch of medieval-themed game modes. It appears as though we'll get a proper look at the next season at The Game Awards. Hopefully we may hear more about whether Fall Guys will be coming to other platforms too including Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. A next-gen upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S seems unnecessary but could be on the cards.

Fall Guys didn't quite manage to grab our top prize but walked away with an excellent 8 our of 10 in Stefan's review. Here's how he summed up his time with the game:

Full of cute and cuddly jelly beans bumbling into each other in a race for the crown, Fall Guys is just about the most wholesome battle royale imaginable, and a whole lot of fun.

Fall Guys was made available for free on PlayStation Plus back in August and quickly became it's most-downloaded complimentary game.