It's not a huge surprise, but it's great to have a confirmation that it's happening. During Friday's Final Fantasy XIV livestream, it was revealed the game is officially coming to the PlayStation 5 with an open beta planned for this April.
Final Fantasy XIV is arguably the most celebrated MMORPG on the market today, and this fall, Square Enix wants to take it to the moon. During a livestream on Friday night, producer Naoki Yoshida announced its next expansion, Endwalker.
In today's giveaway you can claim an Alliance Reborn MatHa Bundle for Star Trek Online: House Reborn!
With a new season of Star Trek Online content comes great responsibility! I mean, comes new stuff to give away!
Today we're flat-out giving away a MatHa Bundle for the first 50 people who show up -- we're also doing a contest for an even greater Strike Wing Bundle for 5 lucky winners!
After being delayed out of the PlayStation 5's launch window, Destruction AllStars is rolling onto the scene at an opportune time. This hero-based destruction derby game would've struggled to catch on as a full-priced release, but as a PlayStation Plus pack-in, it might build enough of a recurring player base.
For those of us lucky enough to secure a PS5, slowly but surely, we've been running out of new things to try. Personally, my list is dwindling. As brilliant as it is, and as much as I adore it, Demon's Souls can only last me so long. My PS4 backlog has been doing a lot of heavy lifting so far – especially with some of the performance-boosting updates that are popping up for older games – but there's something special about a built-for-PS5 title that looks sharp and plays well. Destruction AllStars fits the bill.
My first night with the game was encouraging – the cars have breezy handling, the rules and controls are easy to learn, and getting into an AI or even online match is snappy. In other words, Destruction AllStars is the kind of chill game I could pick up again after a six-month break without feeling lost.
At the same time, I worry about its longevity. It's surprisingly light on content and that's a big problem.
If you're upgrading your copy of Nioh 2 to the remastered PS5 version, you're almost certainly going to want to bring over your save file rather than start from scratch. There's a little more involved in the transferring process than I was expecting, and if you're looking for pointers, Team Ninja has us covered.
You can read the developer's instructions on Twitter (along with visual aids), but I'll recap them here.
Start with the PS4 version of Nioh 2 and go to the title screen – click into "System" and scroll down and select "Cross-Save Management." In this menu, upload your PS4 save data to cloud storage.
Next, boot up the PS5 version of Nioh 2 with the same PlayStation Network account and head to the title screen – go into "System," and pick "Cross-Save Management." Now you can download your data.
This process needs to be repeated for every individual save file you want to bring over to PS5.
One other tidbit: to switch between the PS4 and PS5 editions, go to the game on your PS5 home screen, press the Options button (aka the "start" button), and choose the Game Version you want.
If you have the Nioh 2 season pass on PS4 and you're seeing an error message about not having the "rights for the add-on required to resume the game with the downloaded character data," try grabbing the equivalent PS5 DLC. I haven't tested this myself yet (I will tonight), but I've seen that suggestion.
Don't be alarmed if you see a Steam notification that one of your friends – you know who – is settling in for a late night with OpenTTD. The transportation management sim is coming to Steam on April 1.
"These days, we mostly distribute our game via our website," the developers wrote this week in a blog post. "But times are changing, and so is our hair. Over the last few months, we [Patric "TrueBrain" Stout and Owen "Orudge" Rudge] have silently been working to become a bit more visible in the world. Don't worry, not for reasons you might think: OpenTTD has as many active users as it had in 2007. But more because we no longer think it is the right approach to only distribute via our own website."
Apart from the exposure a Steam release could bring to the long-running open-source PC game, the developers also considered the fact that "other people" have been listing OpenTTD on "some stores."
"They are not always updated with new releases, sometimes even slacking behind a few years. And maybe more important to us: we can not guarantee that the uploaded version is unmodified and is the version as we intended. So, instead of fighting it, why not turn around and join them! Why not release our own, verified, builds on those stores!" (They've already released the game on the Microsoft Store.)
A lot can happen between now and April, so go ahead and wishlist OpenTTD on Steam if you have grand logistical plans in mind for your bustling business. I could never quite click with the original Transport Tycoon in the same way as, say, SimCity or RollerCoaster Tycoon, but I'm older and wiser and hopefully a little more patient of a player now. I should give this another serious attempt in 2021.
While it may have been analogous with our beloved Nintendo Entertainment System, the world of the Famicom was far different than the one we saw in the west. From the freedom explored by a Konami in its prime to the read/write frontiers of the Famicom Disk System, the gaming landscapes seen by Japanese gamers had far different peaks and valleys than we saw in the western world.
So allow us to be your tour guide in exploring this alien land filled with unusual heroes and bizarre concepts. We'll shed some light on what you may have missed simply by living on the wrong side of the ocean and, if it's possible, let you know how you can get your hands on these foreign artifacts.
If you're new to Rust or it's been too long, you might want to start slow with a Softcore server. It's an official new way to play that's more "casual"-oriented – but that doesn't mean it's completely chill.
As outlined by Facepunch Studios' Maurino Berry, there are four main differences in Softcore mode, at least to start. The team expects to "continue to iterate and improve on it moving forward."
- When you're killed, half of your inventory can be reclaimed by you at either the spot of your death, or at a reclaim terminal (found at Bandit Town and the Outpost) – items in the reclaim terminal will de-spawn after two hours.
- All players may now spawn at either the Bandit Town or Outpost safezones at any time (provided they are not flagged as hostile).
- You may only view the contents of a wounded player.
- Maximum team size is four (this includes the number of people who can authorize at a Tool Cupboard or on an Autoturret).
To be clear, this offshoot isn't taking away from the default hardcore Rust experience – vanilla servers will still be in the "majority." Initially, at launch, there will be 10 servers running Softcore mode.
The new update also includes a marketplace with delivery drones to foster more trading. Eat it, Bezos!
Rust was a bewildering and hostile survival experience when I first played it years ago, and I mostly mean that as a compliment. But as curious as I've been to revisit my deadly old stomping grounds as the game continues to grow, there's a mental barrier – I'm not always in the mood to face the odds.
I can't say this new mode sounds pleasant, exactly, but I'm intrigued. I'll see how it adapts. With over 200,000 concurrent Rust players, there's no shortage of people to put Softcore through its paces.
"Softcore is something we've wanted to do for years," said producer Alistair McFarlane. "We'll be tweaking and updating based on player feedback. We know this isn't for everyone, it's an experiment! – let's see where this goes and progresses over the next few months. EVERYTHING is subject to change."
It's important to remember the classics. And the Dreamcast was an absolute staple console. To many, it was the best system ever made.
While we remember how great it was, it's also fascinating to reminisce on its history, and the decline of Sega as an absolute hardware powerhouse. Just about 20 years ago, Sega announced that they would discontinue the Dreamcast and become a third-party developer. It was a pretty big deal at the time!
Hitman 3 appears to have had the same impact for the long-running stealth franchise as Yakuza 0 had for the adventures of Kiryu Kazuma. While the Hitman series has always been popular, a quick look on social media implies that IO Interactive's newest sequel has brought a flurry of wannabe sharpshooters into the World of Assassination.
And already the Danish developer is offering players new content for the sequel. Yesterday saw the return of Escalation Contracts - essentially new missions and marks to eliminate in already established locations. The first contract sees Agent 47 return to Thornbridge Manor in order to stage a series of unhappy accidents.
February 11 will add a new Featured Contract - produced in association with YouTube series MinnMax (me neither). February 18 adds a throwing knife-exclusive Escalation, while on February 23 Deluxe Edition owners can enjoy a special premium Escalation, The Proloff Parable, which sees "The White Shadow" pick their way through a snow-covered train as it ruses through the Carpathian Mountains.
Putting games on my radar is one of my absolute favorite perks of this job.
At this point in gaming's history, a ton of stuff comes out at any given time. I mean just look at the Switch eShop! It's getting 30-40 titles per week gumming up those works. Curation is more important than ever. Even free-to-play titles cost time, after all.
So when Littlewood came across my desk, my interest shot up. Described as a "peaceful RP that takes place after you've saved the world," it has a lot in common with classic and modern life/gathering simulators. It's out on the Switch on February 25, with pre-orders going live on February 18.
In case you're curious, Littlewood came out in August of last year to "overwhelmingly positive" reviews on Steam, so it might be worth putting on your radar, too. Exploration, chatting with townsfolk, collecting, and harvesting are the main focuses: so there's probably something for everyone!
Sean Young [Twitter]
Love is in the air, everywhere I look around. Well, that's actually a complete fallacy, but one game that is already feeling the soft-tinted vibe of Valentine's Day is Nintendo's mobile battle Fire Emblem Heroes, with a quartet of new heroes celebrating the happy holiday.
For the most part, it's a family affair, as joining the 17 billion-strong character roster are the husband and wife duo of Gustav and Henriette, hanging up their royal duties to return to the battlefield. I have to admit, that's pretty novel. Also available are the couple's noble son, Alfonse, and a new Dual Hero in the form of the edgy-beyond-belief Lif, partnered with the equally dour Thrasir in what is clearly a bit of fun on the developers' part.
Well, with thousands of people still playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild at pretty much all hours of the day, even years-removed from its launch: a damage-less 100% run was bound to happen at some point! But speedrunner JoeDun can claim to be the first to do it.
Announcing the accomplishment on Twitter, JoeDun has shared how they did it in the below video. Let's break it down together.
Arc System Works has revealed the date for its next Guilty Gear Strive open beta. PS4 and PS5 fans can check out the newest action in Heaven and Hell on the weekend of February 18, while pre-order customers can jump into the battle a day earlier on February 17.
The new beta will feature a huge cast of 13 fighters, including new kids on the block Giovanna and Nagoriyuki, (though the recently revealed Anji Mito will not be available). Playable modes include online and offline Vs., Training Mode, and GG Strive's in-depth tutorial, giving newcomers an opportunity to learn the basics of the admittedly tricky fist-trader. Online battles will be used to study GG Strive's heralded rollback netcode.
Launching on April 9 for PS4, PS5, and PC, Guilty Gear Strive is the seventh mainline entry in the eccentric and hyper-stylized anime fighting series. Featuring a brand new engine, gorgeous visuals, and a redesigned ranking system, Arc System Works hope that GG Strive will bring a new army of players into the fold, while delivering the deep, breathless combat long-time fans have come to know and love.
Ubisoft's remake of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time didn't wow newcomers and it certainly didn't impress long-time fans when it was announced last September. In the aftermath, the game was delayed to March 2021. Now, it's being pushed back even further – to an as-yet-unknown date.
Another update from Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake dev team: pic.twitter.com/O6OOmYXhOD— Prince of Persia (@princeofpersia) February 5, 2021
Sharing the news on Twitter, Ubisoft said the community's "passion and support" are "driving our development teams to make the best game possible." A replacement release date for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake wasn't given – not even a vague "2021" – but the "extra development time will enable our teams to deliver a remake that feels fresh while remaining faithful to the original."
First impressions are everything, and I think it's smart for Ubisoft to go dark until it can confidently nail the art direction, no matter how long that takes. From what I've seen of last year's footage, the remake was hitting this weird middle ground that just doesn't fly these days. It looked like a half-step.
It was jarring to see The Sands of Time resurface with anything less than the red-carpet treatment. If you're going to bring it back after all this time, you might as well do it right. Otherwise, who's it for?
Whenever a game gives me a kickass credit sequence: I play it.
Devil May Cry games generally have my vote in terms of best end credits, but the flight simulator in the Smash Bros. series comes close. Porky Zarate felt the same way, and became one of the first documented players to hit all 190 names in the credits.
If you may recall, Smash Melee has a memorable end credit minigame that allows you to shoot every name you can: it even scores you at the end! Evidently Zarate was inspired by this challenge issued by Nathaniel Bandy, who offered a $3000 bounty on the first person to hit all 190 credits.
The requirements were as follows: must be done on a GameCube or Wii, use of controller must be verified through recording, gameplay must be captured, and the deadline was March 31, 2021. Well, Zarate checked all of those boxes, as the video below showcases their real-life inputs for verification. They even made a Twitter account in the race to 190.
If only 2001 me could have seen this with their own eyes.
Sony's cinematic reboot of Resident Evil will be with us as soon as this fall, according to a new report from Tinsletown magazine Deadline. Produced by Constantin Films, the as-yet-untitled movie has been given a tentative release date of September 3, 2021, a mere seven months from now.
Details surrounding the project remain relatively scarce, although it was previously revealed that the new big-screen adaptation of Capcom's survival horror franchise will be an origin story, returning the timeline to 1998, the infamous locale of Raccoon City, and the haunting Spencer Mansion - site zero for the Resident Evil universe's series of unfortunate events.
Almost all of the franchise's classic characters are accounted for, with Upload's Robbie Amell as Chris Redfield, Maze Runner's Kaya Scodelario as Claire Redfield, Avan Jogia as Leon Kennedy, Umbrella Academy's Tom Hopper as Albert Wesker, and Ant-Man and The Wasp's Hannah John-Kamen donning the beret of Jill Valentine. While the new film is not explicitly linked to the previous Resident Evil movies, Robert Kulzer will remain on board as producer.
Animal Crossing has been a powerhouse for Nintendo.
Although there were several marketing lead-ins for it, I don't think a lot of people expected it to be that big, but with current world events, it kind of lead to a perfect storm for the life simulator. Nintendo is exceedingly proud of it, and it's about to become the best-selling Switch game of all time in just under a year.
President Shuntaro Furukawa even sung its praises in a recent investor Q&A, citing it as a large reason why the Switch continued to fly off the shelves. He explains, ". Because Animal Crossing: New Horizons was a hit, many consumers became interested in Nintendo Switch, and that was one of the major reasons for the sales increase of the systems. We are aiming to continue this momentum and increase the cumulative sales volume to overtake that of Wii."
Overtaking the Wii is not only doable, it's expected. The Wii ended up with 101.63 million units sold in its lifetime, but it's also just shy of the top five all-time selling systems. It's going to take a lot to dethrone the 155 million-ish of the PS2 and Nintendo DS line (individually), but Nintendo will try. If the Switch cracks the 102 million mark and breaks past the original PlayStation, it's home free to the top five.
Furukawa goes on to further explain Nintendo's strategy from here on out, stating, "While we are considering various measures to achieve this, one point that we consider critical to this effort is the fact that a wide range of consumers are currently playing Nintendo Switch. Many of those who purchased Nintendo Switch at launch have already played a variety of different titles, while there are also consumers who were encouraged to purchase a Nintendo Switch by the release of a game in a series like Pokemon or Animal Crossing...And our research has found that approximately 20% of the Nintendo Switch family sell through between October and December 2020 in the main regions was due to demand for multiple systems within the same family. We will aim to continue increasing our sales volume by rigorously responding to this kind of demand for multiple systems as well."
Multiple Switch units per household is a mantra Nintendo has been chanting before Furukawa even came into power, and it's a mentality that they hope will propel them to DS-level financials stardom this generation.
One of the most instantly recognizable - and most lovable - video game soundtracks of all-time belongs to Nintendo's 1990 smash hit Super Mario World. And the jolly SNES OST is about to get a whole new reappraisal, thanks to the stellar work performed by The Super Mario Restored Project.
As spotted by Digital Eclipse's Chris Kohler, the restoration team identified the samples featured in the Super Mario World soundtrack, and then rebuilt the themes using fully uncompressed versions of said samples. This presents the soundtrack with a style akin to that of a full digital orchestra, adding a richness to the harmonies that wasn't there before. Check out the "Overworld" theme below for an example.
Seeing Nintendo get involved with DLC was weird (the same goes for paid online and eventually season passes), but once they did, you could see the dollar signs pop up in real time. Nintendo has DLC-ed up a ton of their games in the past, and based on a new Q&A session from company president Shuntaro Furukawa, that strategy isn't ending anytime soon.
Speaking to investors, Furukawa explains the second wind a few of their games have gotten from DLC, most notably Pokemon Sword and Shield, as well as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Furukawa states: "As for the increase in sales of add-on content, major contributions came from the second round of add-on content for Pokemon Sword Expansion Pass and Pokemon Shield Expansion Pass, which was released in the third quarter, and from Fighter Pass Vol. 2 for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo Switch Online sales increased thanks in part to the growth in membership that has accompanied the rise in hardware sales."
Furukawa, like he has in Q&As of old, further predicts a boon of digital sales, noting, "Consumers who have bought digital products and experienced their convenience tend to prefer to continue to make digital purchases, so we see digital sales continuing to trend upward over the mid-to-long term." So expect more digital-focused DLC on top of everything.
Just the other day, I was musing on how much more monetary potential directly integrated DLC has for Pokemon, compared to the previous "extra game(s)" model. Nintendo has now confirmed the obvious.
A Japanese man has been arrested by authorities for allegedly generating and selling hacked critters from Nintendo Switch release Pokémon Sword & Shield. The 23-year-old was apprehended in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture after being caught allegedly selling a hacked Sobble.
The suspect is accused of having used a "jailbroken" Nintendo Switch console to run a service online in which they would create hacked Pokémon to order, with each critter retailing for around ¥500, with a commission fee of up to ¥800 should an individual order six Pokémon or more. It is alleged that the man has made somewhere in the region of ¥1.15 million (or roughly $10,000 USD) since Pokémon Sword & Shield's release in November 2019.
Fantastic news for old-school fighting game fans, as SNK has confirmed that the previously rumored re-release of SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium is set to return. The dinky fighting extravaganza will launch on Nintendo Switch February 17, the latest release in the publisher's Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection.
Launched in 1999 for SNK's short-lived but great handheld platform, Match of the Millennium sees a who's who of superstars from franchises such as Fatal Fury, Street Fighter, The Last Blade, Samurai Shodown, King of Fighters, and Darkstalkers square off in both one-on-one and tag-based mayhem.
Packed to the brim with content, Match of the Millennium features eight unlockable characters for a total roster of 26 fighters. Also included are three battle modes and the celebrated "SNK Olympics" - a selection of cute mini-games based on titles such as Metal Slug and Ghouls n' Ghosts. This re-release will preserve this low-key but wonderful entry to the fighting game genre for future generations. Brilliant stuff.
If y'all buy this then maybe... just maybe... it will send SNK and Capcom a message.*
*it won't send a message.
In today's contest you can win tricky platforming title Blue Fire for Switch or Steam!
Can you believe it's already February? I can't. We thought we were clear of 2020, but as it turns out, the world is still kind of on fire!
Well, let's feed the fire -- win yourself a copy of the brand new action/platformer Blue Fire for your Switch or PC! Hey, at least you'll have a new video game, right?
No matter how you feel about the current state of Resident Evil or where exactly you fit into the fandom, I think we can all agree that this series has gone places – some fantastic, some dreadful, but all memorable. And while the jury is out on Village, it already feels like a fitting next step; a real culmination.
I don't intend to go overboard with Lady Dimitrescu mania, but at the same, I couldn't skip sharing this image – a hilarious Tyrant lineup render from 3D artist Marcos RC. It's everything to me.
some sizes compared to it— Marcos RC (@MarcosRCRE) February 3, 2021
ignore the Salazar pic.twitter.com/AMkwvtwHGj
I'm cracking up over here. Hope you are too.
From Ramon Salazar's stupid little face to the artist's Twitter location ("Raccoon City – before the tragedy"), I'm loving this image, and I'm reflecting on how good we've got it as Resident Evil fans. Other survival-horror series haven't been so fortunate. This high won't last forever, so enjoy it while we can.
Bless this beautiful mess.
Overwatch 2 and Diablo IV are looming on the horizon, but 2021 is shaping up to be a quiet year for Blizzard, at least as far as those big-name sequels go. Speaking to investors today in an earnings call, Activision confirmed that neither sequel will launch this year – though I don't think any of us were expecting Diablo IV to be done anytime soon given the team's public-facing quarterly updates.
Here are some notable highlights from the call, as recapped by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad.
$ATVI Conference Call:— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 4, 2021
- Strong momentum going into 2021 with CoD, WoW and Candy Crush. (COD Mobile in China, Shadowlands etc...)
- New Call of Duty premium game launching in Q4.
- New remastered content will be unveiled this year. (Diablo 2?)
- 2022 will be a step up.
Activision says Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 will not launch this year.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 4, 2021
Sounds like Overwatch 2 will come in 2022.
Expanding on Ahmad's Diablo II suggestion, Vicarious Visions – which we recently learned was rolled into Blizzard – is rumored to be working on a remake. If it's happening, that'll buy Diablo IV some breathing room. On the flip side, Blizzard can't afford another Warcraft III: Reforged situation.
It's been a morale-eroding couple of years for Blizzard fans in terms of corporate controversies, departures, and shaky releases, no doubt about it. I can't say I have the utmost faith in the future of the company, but it's still home to talented creators, and I hope things start turning around soon.
Our next update should arrive in two weeks – the remote BlizzConline event starts February 19.
Maybe you've heard of Devolver Digital and Four Quarters' Loop Hero but you didn't want to get too attached until there was a release date. Well, now we've got one: the PC game is coming out March 4.
I appreciate that this trailer looks and sounds like it was lifted from a cursed VHS and polished up a bit for 2021. The narration reminds me of moody old video game, toy, and board game commercials.
Loop Hero is probably better played than explained – conveniently, there's a Steam demo right now. A too-brief summary: your adventurer strolls along a path, battling creatures along the way, and you'll need to deck them out with better gear and make clever use of cards that can be strategically placed on the field. If you're really pressed for time, the game's interactive website overviews the core loop.
The concept speaks to me as a fan of the more "active" idle games, and I love the whole vibe. The sheer number of genre influences and deeper elements in play here has me feeling pretty optimistic.
"You can't stand in the way of progress" is a favored motto of your resident capitalist, and no company knows that better than Endron, the energy corporation currently sucking the life force directly out of our dying planet. But this ecological matter goes far beyond your average Wall St. executive's portfolio. The greed, recklessness, and inconsideration of this particular conglomerate's schemes are far more frightening, going beyond the bottom line.
Endron is one of the many humanistic fronts for The Wyrm, a terrifying spiritual entity that greedily drains civilizations of their very life force, leaving behind inhospitable husks, destroyed wilderness, and millions of broken lives. While the snake suits and shark smiles of its executives are avaricious enough, at its heart The Wyrm is a more ancient and primeval force, one that has currently focused its endless thirst on the greenery of Washington State woodland Tarker's Mill.
Hope is not lost, however, as Tarker's Mill is home to a pack of equally ancient, but far more noble Garou: men and women born of man, wolf, and spirit. The Warriors of Gaia. The werewolves. While the outside world merely sees another case of Endron's inhumanity visited upon Mother Earth, the Garou are more attuned to The Wyrm's machinations, vowing to stop the evil spirit from destroying their homeland, their people, and the planet itself.
Overwatch is celebrating the Year of the Ox with its 2021 Lunar New Year event until February 25. Along with eight new character skins – three of which are weekly-challenge unlocks – there's a fresh mode, Bounty Hunter, that's planning to stick around in the Arcade rotation even after the event wraps up.
How does Bounty Hunter work? Simple: the first kill of the match will turn the speedy sharpshooter into a "target," at which point everyone will chase them down as bounty hunters. If you end up slaying the targeted player by landing the killing blow, you'll become the new target, and the cycle will continue.
Now, for the skins. There are five legendary looks and three epic outfits for the Year of the Ox.
Terracotta Medic Baptiste
(Unlockable from Feb. 4–11 with nine wins)
(Unlockable from Feb. 11–18 with nine wins)
Imperial Guard Reaper
(Unlockable from Feb. 18–25 with nine wins)
Tiger Huntress Ashe
Pale Serpent Widowmaker
Bull Demon Orisa
Though I've slipped out of my old Overwatch routine and have mentally moved on, I still really admire the overall consistency of Blizzard's skins – especially after I go check out newer multiplayer games (like this week's Destruction AllStars on PS5) that fail to make the most of their cast of characters.
These skins! I'm going to have a lot of catching up to do whenever Overwatch 2 pulls itself together.
Activision Blizzard, Infinity Ward, and Major League Gaming Corp. are facing a copyright lawsuit pertaining to the popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Warcom operator, "Mara."
The lawsuit was filed in a Texas court by Clayton Haugen, a North Carolina-based writer and photographer, who alleges that Activision stole Mara's appearance from photographs of his fictional character "Cade Janus." The character of Janus features in Haugen's short story November Renaissance, with the photographs taken for marketing purposes as Haugen hoped to option the story to studios as a potential movie project.
Haugen alleges that Activison not only hired the same model - streamer and cosplayer Alex Zedra - to portray Modern Warfare's Mara, but also used the same make-up artist as Haugen, and attempted to source the same props used in Haugen's original shoot. Haugen claims that his photographs - which had been shared on social media - were a direct source for the development team and were pinned to the studio's walls.
Pictured below are comparison photos of "Cade Janus" and "Mara" as featured in the lawsuit.
It's once again time to slide in, claim your free games from the Epic Games Store, and get out. In this giveaway – running today through February 11 – you can get Metro: Last Light Redux and For the King.
You probably already know Metro – it's the not-distant-enough future, and life in the post-apocalyptic tunnels of Moscow isn't all it's cracked up to be. Last Light is the second game, and this Redux version is the "definitive edition" remaster with DLC packed-in and gameplay improvements. If you've been intimidated by this series, you may want to try the action-oriented Spartan mode over Survival mode.
I feel like For the King has popped up a few times before in free promos. It's a tabletop-inspired fantasy roguelike RPG that you can (optionally) play in local or online co-op. You in? Here's a visual aid:
Next on deck is Halcyon 6 Starbase Commander, a ship-commanding strategy RPG with base building and crew management to keep you occupied. It'll be up for grabs for one week starting on February 11.
It's been a rough start to the day for Red, an animated wooden doll who awakens to find that one of their arms has been stolen by a mischievous dwarf. Undaunted, Red sets about the seemingly simple task of recovering the missing appendage from its thief. But this is just the start of Red's adventure, and adventure that will bend the very fabric of all realities...
This is the premise that sets up RPG Everhood, developed by indie outfit Foreign Gnomes and headed to PC and Nintendo Switch on March 4. Everhood will see Red interact with a cast of bizarre characters on a kooky quest through a fantastical kingdom. Characters such as a sentient ATM machine, a banjo-playing froggo, a "nearly-nude" knight, and a giant spider, among others.
From the trailer, you can see Everhood has a similar overall style to Toby Fox's beloved RPG, Undertale - what with its pixelated visuals and slightly unnerving universe. But Everhood's combat appears to be a sort of bullet-hell take on the rhythm-action of Guitar Hero and Rock Band. It looks like a wild ride.
Disclosure: Everhood is represented by Stride PR, a marketer which also employs three ex-Destructoid writers. As always, this did not factor into the decision to cover this announcement.
Warning: The trailer below contains flashing imagery.
If you're currently zapping through the Switch port of Obsidian's The Outer Worlds, then you'll be pleased to hear that Peril on Gorgon - the sci-fi adventure's first DLC expansion - will be arriving on the Nintendo platform on February 10.
Released on PS4, PC, and Xbox One back in September 2020, Peril on Gorgon sees the crew of The Unreliable travel to an abandoned science outpost located on the titular asteroid. There they discover the grim aftermath of Halcyon's experiments, as they pick their way through the ruins of a project gone very, very wrong.
Peril on Gorgon features a brand new location filled with weaponry and gear just waiting to be looted. It also introduces new questlines and characters - both friendly and not-so-friendly. Once installed, players can visit Gorgon at any time provided they have passed the planet Monarch, so you don't have to have completed The Outer Worlds before you take this detour into the new world.
We're days away from a new Mario game. Well, a re-release of an old Mario game. But it has a new title!
Before Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury gets here, there is other stuff to peruse on the Switch eShop. Like...Blue Fire! Or Haven. Or Skyforge, a free-to-play MMO that came out in 2015 on PC to mixed reception (and in 2017 on PS4/Xbox One), but is hitting Switch today.
Please clap! Or not. It's totally okay for a marketplace to have calms before storms. The Switch eShop could use a legitimate break actually, before it tries to slam 30-40 square-shaped games into a round hole again.
Bethesda announced that Robert A. Altman, the co-founder and CEO of ZeniMax, has passed away.
"He was a true visionary, friend, and believer in the spirit of people and the power of what they could accomplish together," Bethesda said. "He was an extraordinary leader, and an even better human being."
We are deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of Robert A. Altman, our Founder and CEO. He was a true visionary, friend, and believer in the spirit of people and the power of what they could accomplish together. He was an extraordinary leader, and an even better human being. pic.twitter.com/FZFsVtHc5t— Bethesda (@bethesda) February 4, 2021
In its statement – viewable in full on Twitter – Bethesda said it was "proud to carry on the values and principles Robert taught us," and extended its "deepest sympathies to Robert's family [his wife Lynda Carter and two children], who are a part of our family and have always treated us as part of theirs."
Current and former employees of ZeniMax – to say nothing of subsidiaries including id Software, Arkane, Tango Gameworks, and MachineGames – have shared their condolences and memories.
Sega continues to roll out cool free content for its great puzzle title Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. Today sees a new update arrive on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch platforms that adds a handful of extra characters, new challenges rules, and accessibility options.
Once downloaded, players will be able to step into battle as gothic weirdo Strange Klug, cute mermaid Serilly, magic gal Rafisol, and ghostly troublemakers Yu & Rei. The Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 soundtrack will also be expanded with three new tunes, which include Rafisol and Strange Klug's personal themes.
Challenge mode receives a total of six new Multiplayer rulesets: Endless Fever, Endless Puyo, Tiny Puyo, Sprint, Marathon, and finally Ultra, all of which can be played in online and offline Vs. battles. Most importantly, new settings have been added for color blind players, with new trichromat, protanopia, deuteranopia, and tritanopia adjustments.
You can check out a trailer for the new update below. Don't forget that Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 will be hitting PC on March 23. It's a really great time - alone or with friends - and if you haven't checked it out, I suggest you do. Puyo!
Borderlands 3 has been dormant for a bit, but it's about to get another windfall very soon as a result of newly minted DLC.
The thing is, we haven't really seen that much of the fabled "Director's Cut" add-on that was announced a while back, but that all changes on February 10. Gearbox has confirmed on its blog that the Borderlands Show is returning on that date at 9AM PT, where it'll share a "mountain of mayhem" sized news tidbit.
The main event is the aforementioned Director's Cut, and if it's anything like past shows, it'll be fairly comprehensive, spliced in with live footage. Gearbox promises "additional missions, endgame content, and behind the scenes extras." Hopefully the Director's Cut is better than the Designer's Cut. At this point, the second season pass really hasn't justified itself.
Not that I necessarily want or need any more content from this game (a second season pass is a bit much, and a third would be a Pitchford hat trick), but I would have liked to have seen more worlds and sandboxes like the prior DLC pass. It wasn't all perfect, but at least it added extra incentive to future playthroughs.
Electronic Arts has spoken of its delight in the publisher's acquisition of developer Codemasters. EA purchased the racing games specialist back in December 2020 for $1.2 billion - the sudden bid pulling the sale out from under the nose of Take-Two Interactive.
During a recent conference call, in which EA discussed the status of BioWare, the Star Wars license, and its upcoming releases, CFO Blake Jorgenson called the Codemasters acquisition "one of the best growth opportunities there is," denoting why EA was so willing to fork out top dollar to add the British studio to its bulging portfolio of developers.
"The Dirt franchise, the Grid franchise, all of their franchises are incredible games, but none of them have actually taken advantage of a large publishing organization and a marketing muscle that we're able to deliver," said Jorgenson to investors. "We think that has growth to it, not to mention the talent that's in that organization that could continue to help our Need for Speed business or our Real Racing business. It could be very powerful. So we know it is not a FIFA-sized business, but we know there is incredible opportunity to own essentially all of the driving business there is."
Own essentially all of the driving business there is...
Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson also spoke of the "incredible potential" the company sees in Codemasters' established range of racing IPs. "We think that F1 plus live service plus our marketing muscle is a profound opportunity. And we think that Grid and Dirt also represent great new additions to our portfolio [...] But the big win here is bringing together what we believe is going to be the greatest collection of racing talent in the industry."
Later that day, Codemasters board of investors gave their official approval of EA's purchase, with 63 of the company's 76 shareholders voted in favor of selling up. European antitrust regulators have already passed approval on the deal, and as such EA is expected to complete the sale in spring.
EA sees "huge potential" in racing following Codemasters acquisition [GamesIndustry.biz]
Nippon Ichi Software has released the opening movie to its upcoming murder mystery RPG Tantei Bokumetsu, (literally "Detective Eliminator"), which the publisher recently revealed following a series of strange and unsettling teasers.
The hyperactive cinematic introduces us to the 14 detectives of the Detective Alliance - each and every one of them highly specialized in a trademark field - who find themselves cloistered together on the remote "Morgue Island". One of these lawmakers, however, is actually a lawbreaker, the notorious serial killer "Yatzuzakikou," who is currently wanted for over 100 brutal murders.
In case you missed it, Destruction AllStars is out on PS5 via PlayStation Plus right now. And it's totally not called "Destructoid AllStars," I promise.
While playing, folks have noticed a really strange issue right from the get-go: like people screaming into a mic unprompted. Why? Well, AllStars has a weird voice system that instantly enables DualSense microphones, so everyone will hear each other in a giant auto-created party system.
I know a lot of people are already freaked out at the idea of the DualSense mic picking up your thoughts, but that's another plane entirely! Here's the full tweet: "Thanks for all the feedback so far! We're aware of issues surrounding voice chat in Destruction AllStars and are hard at work on a fix! In the meantime, you can mute a party chat by pressing the PlayStation button, then Square on the party card or create a private party chat."
So you heard it straight from the developer's mouth: mute party chat if you're having issues until a fix arises. Just know that you need to do that over and over, and not in-game, but from the actual system UI card. Oof! At least a fix is on the way.
Lucid Games [Twitter]
[Update: Amy is out too, it seems. The voice of Amy for around a decade announced that she is not going to be working on Sonic Prime with the rest of her crew. As she puts it: "It's true. I'm loading out with my brilliant compadres."]
Fans have been speculating for roughly a week now as to what happened behind the scenes: is Sega gearing up to have Ben Schwartz (who voiced Sonic in the film) take over the role? Or will they be moving in a new direction entirely? The fate of Tails might give us a clue. When asked on Twitter by a fan on whether or not they would be participating in the Sonic Prime series, Tails voice actor Colleen O'Shaughnessey plainly responded, "No. I'm sorry to say I am not.."
This is a weird one, because O'Shaughnessey did voice Tails in the feature film (and recent games, and the Sonic Boom show), even if it was a cameo. It was a huge sign of goodwill for Sonic game fans, so it would be strange for Sega to undo all of that by recasting her entirely. Then again, recasts happen all the time for Hollywood, so it's in the realm of possibility.
Sega could also be planning a drastic revamp for these characters, separate from the film universe. We'll likely see more on those plans as early as this year.
Colleen O'Shaughnessey [Twitter]
Sonic the Hedgehog is set to be the next video game superstar to receive his own LEGO set. A cool diorama featuring Sonic, Dr. Robotnik, and other series icons has been approved by both LEGO and Sega, and is set to go into production this year, just in time for the blue blur's 30th anniversary.
The new kit, inspired by the Sonic Mania interpretation of Green Hill Zone, was submitted to the LEGO Ideas initiative by British Sonic the Hedgehog fan Viv Grannel. The neat looking setup received the requisite 10,000 votes by the LEGO community to be taken into official consideration, and as such Grannel's design will now become a fully-realized release.
Video game holding company Embracer Group has announced a series of mergers and acquisitions, which sees the Swedish conglomerate open its doors for Borderlands developer Gearbox Entertainment, Mac developer/publisher Aspyr Media, and mobile game developer Easybrain.
Of these purchases the spotlight has mostly fallen on the acquisition of long-time independent Gearbox Entertainment, which was purchased for $363 million, with a six-year performance target of $1.3 billion. Naturally, questions have been asked regarding the developer's team of personnel and future releases, with Borderlands publisher 2K Games being quick to note that the Embracer merger does not affect the relationship between 2K and Gearbox. The former will continue to publish Borderlands sequels going forward. (And given that six-year performance plan, we'll definitely be seeing them).
As for Gearbox as a studio, founder and magician Randy Pitchford will continue to lead a team of 550 employees on all future projects. Speaking in a new interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Pitchford called the merger "a rocket booster for our ambitions and our mission to entertain the world," while noting that "Embracer's strategy also provides access to capital, and access to capital was a limiting factor in Gearbox's ambitions."
Gearbox Entertainment, Aspyr Media, and EasyBrain join Embracer's already expansive family of developers and publishers, which also includes DECA Games, Coffee Stain Holding, and AAA publisher THQ Nordic, along with its subsidiaries Saber Interactive and Koch Media... Yikes. Lend us a tenner.
Did you know that Platinum Games is now retroactively adding cheat codes to The Wonderful 101 Remastered months after its release? Yes? No? Well I'm going to explain anyway!
Tucked away in the game's menus is a "Wonderful Code" option, which allows players to put in a string of letters to unlock new characters. The very first code that was unveiled was "UMBRANGIFT," which, as astute Platinum fans will recognize, unlocks Wonder Bayonetta for use in the game.
But since then Platinum has released a few more codes, all of which you can find in one location below (as more arise, we'll add them). The latest update involves the "Space Pirates, Unify!" code, which adds three members of the antagonistic space pirates: Prince Vorkken, Chewgi, and Immorta.
As a reminder, Platinum says that they plan on providing seven codes in total (for now), which are coming at a cadence of around one per week (give or take).
The Wonderful 101 Remastered [Steam]
Tomorrow sees the launch of Nioh Collection on PS5, bringing together two excellent adventure titles, freshly remastered for Sony's next-gen hardware. Publisher Koei Tecmo, alongside developer Team Ninja, has released a dramatic launch trailer to get fans ready for the revisit.
The Nioh Collection includes 2017's Nioh and its 2020 sequel Nioh 2, complete with all six previously released DLC expansions. Both titles have been blessed with a visual upgrade, significantly improved load times, and run at a maximum 120 frames-per-second - provided your display will allow this, of course.
The remasters also take advantage of the DualSense Haptic Feedback and Adaptive Trigger technology. Players who own the PS4 edition of Nioh 2 will receive a free upgrade to the PS5 edition. Cross-save support will allow you to pick up right from where you left off. Additionally, for PC players, Nioh 2: The Complete Edition will hit Steam tomorrow.
Set in Sengoku-era Japan, the Nioh series mixes sword and sorcery to present engaging, classy, and damn difficult RPG action. Both Nioh and its sequel received huge acclaim from critics and players alike, with praise directed towards its deep combat, interesting world, and challenging nature. If you never got around to checking out these samurai epics, then this collection might present the perfect opportunity.
The multiplayer side of Mass Effect 3 was unexpectedly fun in a hundreds-of-hours sort of way – the people who dug it genuinely loved it – but it won't be a part of this year's Mass Effect: Legendary Edition. While the three-game remaster bundle has a lot going for it, multiplayer feels like a major omission.
Speaking to Game Informer, project director Mac Walters said that the decision came down to time and resources; getting the main Mass Effect campaigns and story DLC up to speed took precedence.
"I feel strongly that we've chosen the things that are what the majority of our fans were most passionate about," he told the publication. "On the topic of multiplayer, it was just really hard. Getting all of the online systems working and functionality would have been another large chunk to do but at the same time, there are a lot of other logistics involved. The economy is built completely differently. Then questions came up like, 'Do we support it post-launch? What about people who are still playing multiplayer today? Do we try to find a way to somehow do crossplay between the PS3 and PS4?'"
In an interview with The Verge, Walters said that "at least at one point in time, everything was on the table." The lack of multiplayer let BioWare "focus on those single-player moments," and in the case of Mass Effect 3's Galactic Readiness, which had hooks in multiplayer, things are being rebalanced.
I'm sure fans will delve into the minutia and pick apart Mass Effect: Legendary Edition in due time post-release, but at least for now, there's one other notable absence: the combat-heavy Pinnacle Station DLC.
As it turns out, the training facility DLC would've required a full-on new remake – Pinnacle Station was originally developed by Demiurge, and the source code isn't usable. "It would basically take us another full six months just to do this with most of the team we've got," Walters told Game Informer.
"I wish we could do it [...] leaving it all on the cutting-room floor, it was heartbreaking."
BioWare Explains Why It Didn't Bring Back Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer In Legendary Edition, BioWare Explains Pinnacle Station DLC Exclusion From Mass Effect Legendary Edition [Game Informer]
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition cuts multiplayer in favor of single-player improvements [The Verge]
It feels like it's going to be a while before Sony starts pushing out big new system-level features for the PlayStation 5. For now, it's a lot of tidying up – making sure there aren't moldy crumbs everywhere.
The newest PS5 firmware update, Version 20.02-02.50.00, was released today.
What's new? Not much. There's the crowd favorite stability/performance improvements to try and help us keep our tech-faith, a small quality-of-life editing feature for Share Factory Studio, and a fix for a rare but pesky-sounding installation issue that's been bugging some players with cross-gen titles.
- This system software update improves system performance.
- In rare cases, the PS4 version of a game would install from the disc after you upgraded to and installed the PS5 version. Now, when you insert the PS4 game disc, the PS4 version won't install unexpectedly.
- You can now select and edit video clips using Share Factory Studio from your media gallery.
Come to think of it, I've yet to put a disc in my PS5 – in part because I still have my PS4 Pro hooked up to a separate television – but rogue installations are never fun. Hopefully that's the last of 'em.
The demo-packed Steam Game Festivals are becoming a fixture of the PC storefront, and I'm so here for it. The latest event began this morning and will continue until February 9 at 10:00 am Pacific.
At first glance, the landing page for the February 2021 Steam Game Festival is better than before for casual "let me poke around" browsing. Maybe you have a wishlist all ready to go – that's the ideal way to do it – or maybe you're interested in trying some upcoming PC games but aren't sure where to start.
Steam has a bunch of genres, sub-genres, art styles, and even "moods" to help you whittle things down. That said, there are hundreds of Steam Festival demos to sift through if you're up for it.
I'm not above using the Popular Upcoming list as a cheat sheet. Little Nightmares II is up at the top, and I second that, hard – I wish I could say more today! Also consider looking into Tasomachi, Dream Engines, Stay Out of the House, Loop Hero, Genesis Noir, Minute of Islands, Dorfromantik, and Steel Assault.
One last thing: you don't need to have played the first Little Nightmares to dig into this demo.
If there's one thing Scrooge McDuck loves, it's gold. But in the NES version of DuckTales, he almost loved something more than his fortune: "dream and friends."
Speaking to Kotaku on the story of the NES classic, Darlene Lacey, who was in charge of overseeing Disney games at the time, made a crucial change to the game's ending. Originally, there was an option for Scrooge to give up his fortune and inform his nephews: "There really is more important treasure than this. That is . . . Dream and Friends."
Lacey was "tempted" to keep it in, but "knew" that they couldn't. So they altered it to the one we know today: "Right, lads! I couldn't have done it without you. I really am the richest duck in the world." They follow that up by saying that they "love" that fans found out about the original though, and thinks "it was the better line."
It's tough to accept! Having Scrooge show a change of heart isn't completely without precedent (both within the DuckTales TV and film universe, as well as the new series); but ultimately he still gets back at it, chasing his fortune and expanding his money bin beyond his coveted Number One Dime. I mean, Capcom and ostensibly Disney would have needed to hand-wave that other ending for the sequel!
The Story Behind DuckTales On NES [Kotaku]
For anyone currently enjoying the anime adventure of the recent Nintendo Switch release Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends and the Secret Fairy, prick up your ears, as publisher Koei Tecmo has unveiled the Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack, which is coming to PS4, PC, and Switch worldwide as soon as April 22.
The special set contains three titles from the cult JRPG series, namely Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey DX, Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DX, and Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings DX.
Each game in the collection not only comes complete with its original DLC, but will also feature a few new goodies, such as new costumes, vehicles, quests, and scenarios. Also added to each re-release are a new photo mode, a digital art gallery, and a quality-of-life double-speed battle option.
All three games will be made available separately.
It's once again sale time on the PlayStation Store, and thankfully, there's now a much-needed Deals tab when browsing the shop on a PS5. The Critics' Choice sale lasts until February 17, 2021.
I have quite a few highlights before I get to the full list further down in this post: Spelunky 2 ($13.99), Assassin's Creed Valhalla ($40.19), Doom Eternal ($19.79), Sekiro ($38.99), The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope ($20.09), Warhammer: Vermintide 2 ($11.99), World War Z ($8.99), The Sinking City ($17.99), Civilization VI ($14.99), and Dishonored: The Complete Collection ($17.99).
I'll also give a shout-out to Borderlands 3 ($19.79), which includes the PS4 and PS5 editions, the latter of which was excellent in co-op. It looked sharp, ran well, and the DualSense shooting kickback was wild without annoying me. If you're more into Destiny 2 these days, I get it. Beyond Light is down to $26.79
Otherwise, you can't go wrong with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 at $29.99 – it's a feel-good gem. And while Resident Evil 3 took a wallop for being too light, it's a breezy, highly replayable romp at $19.79.
I'm considering Immortals Fenyx Rising at $35.99, but I think the price will dip before long – and I think I can hold off. I'm at a point with Ubisoft open-worlders where it's best that I just wait until they've gotten their last major updates, however long that takes. Otherwise, I get in these situations where I marathon them once and never touch them again no matter what DLC inevitably comes later.