Pantheon aims high for its undated Alpha One test

Considering all of the crowdfunding invested and time spent waiting for Pantheon to be built, supporters of the upcoming MMO are undeniably eager to get their hands on the title — no matter how unfinished it may be. Visionary Realms attempted to set proper expectations for the upcoming Alpha One test in hopes that people […]

Last Oasis Season 3 breaks the map into Small Realms and brings the survival sandbox to Xbox Game Preview

It's been one year since the woodpunk survival sandbox Last Oasis arrived to early access, and this time around the devs at Donkey Crew are looking to shake things up with the arrival of Season 3. Most notably, the game's large world is now being broken up into Small Realms, which will hopefully allow the […]

World of Warcraft increases Brazil and Russia sub prices, defends Classic drums changes

If you're a World of Warcraft player in Russia or Brazil, you have our sympathies when you look at your bill next month. Blizzard announced that it's had to roll out significant price increases for both regions after years of leaving the cost steady. According to Wowhead, Brazil players will see (for example) a one-month […]

LOTRO Legendarium: Finding purpose in Lord of the Rings Online's Wildwood

In what promises to be quite the busy year for Lord of the Rings Online, the game's first content update — Wildwood — arrived earlier this month. New content is always welcome, but this is a particularly curious addition to the game. It's the first time that we've seen the dev team add in a […]

The Stream Team: Checking out Mortal Online 2's beta stress test (plus some extra keys!)

Have you been curious about Mortal Online 2? Are you interested in taking a sneak peek? Massively OP's MJ is on both counts — and she's doing it! Thanks to this weekend's beta stress test, she'll get a glimpse of this new game that's currently under development. And she isn't planning to go in alone: […]

Magic Legends offers compensation for missing battle pass items, addresses performance and monetization issues

(This post has been updated at the end with the promised announcement about monetization and performance feedback.) Magic Legends might be calling its current version an open beta, but since it is offering things to purchase like a premium battle pass, it's more like a soft launch, and one thing you don't want to see […]

WRUP: Ham hunters edition

Ham hunters! Hunting ham! Not pigs. Pigs are where you get ham. They're just hunting actual ham. Why would you think they were hunting pigs. That's disgusting. It's wrong. They're just in this to hunt that delicious ham. Here are some kinds of ham: honey glazed, uh… actually I just know about honey glazed. Maybe […]

The Daily Grind: Do you take the path of least resistance in MMOs?

It's been a long-held axiom in the gaming industry that players will always, always pick the path of least resistance toward a goal or desired reward — even if said path is less enjoyable than another one that is longer or more complex. This issue certainly been the bane of MMO developers, who always have […]

The Stream Team: Starting up the new Sandsea story in AQ3D

Massively OP's MJ has been eagerly awaiting new story in AQ3D, and now it's here! The Sandsea story is starting in the town of Bastion, and she's ready to dig right in. There's rumor of an artifact she needs to find to face Vane again, and MJ will excavate the entire desert to find it. […]

Betawatch: Magic Legends hits the open beta soft launch

If you're worried about your launches being too hard-edged and solid, consider a nice soft launch like the one Magic Legends has done. The open beta is here, and since the game isn't planning another character wipe, that means that the game is in soft launch state now. It has, uh… been a bit of a […]

Genshin Impact has made a billion dollars in its first six months of operation

For a while there it seemed like no one would stop with the Genshin Impact memes, huh? But six months out from launch, it seems that the game has genuinely made quite an impact, as analyst SensorTower is reporting that the game has hit $1 billion in player spending six months after its release in September. […]

Starbase talks up planetary atmospheres and adds a ship diagnostic scanner, eyes early access for May 2021

Starbase has a number of updates to share, but one of the larger ones that we'll be leading off with is a more narrow release window for the space building sandbox's early access. Developer Frozenbyte is now eyeballing an early access launch for sometime in May 2021, with a date to be announced sometime in […]

Wild Terra 2 patches in the ability to brew alcohol and get drunk

Huh? What? What do you want? What's the problem? Oh. Right. News items. We've all been playing some Wild Terra 2, you know? The new patch added… it added… it added beer. So much beer. You can get, like… you can get drunk now. You can brew some beer. And other liquors. Gonna… gonna make some […]

The Stream Team: Warframe's Space Ninjas turn eight

Do Space Ninjas celebrate birthdays? Of course! And Massively OP's MJ is ready to party with all the space ninjas in Warframe. With eight years under its belt, there's plenty do do, so MJ has her pick of many activities. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. to help us celebrate in space. What: Warframe Who: MJ Guthrie […]

Final Fantasy XI gears up for a lighter patch in April

The bad news for Final Fantasy XI fans is that the next version update for the game in early April will be a little bit thinner than it has been in recent months. The good news is that it's not for any reason more elaborate than just having less development time and thus opting to spend […]

Destiny 2 launches a new Strike, adjusts PvP lobby balancing, and swings a banhammer at cheaters

The Season of the Chosen continues to roll on in Destiny 2, and the latest addition to the game's content cadence is the Proving Grounds Strike, where players must face the Champion of the Cabal in a Rite of Proving. The latest patch has also introduced Crucible adjustments for Stasis abilities, added some PvP functions […]

Tencent is launching multiplayer survival game Undawn on PC and mobile this year

Did the world need another multiplayer survival title? Maybe not, but nobody's gonna be sad to get a good one from a solid publisher sitting on a giant pile of money, I suspect. And that's what's happening, as this week Tencent – under its Lightspeed & Quantum banner – took the wraps off of Undawn, […]

Aion NA is offering players a limited-time free boost to level 80

Let's say you're curious about what's been happening at the tippy-top end of Aion, but you're not exactly keen on climbing the 80 levels to get there. If that's the case, then the game's new level 80 boost event has your number. This event will grant players that have at least one level 10 character […]

Star Citizen talks up the new reputation system arriving in alpha 3.13

This week, Star Citizen's regular video series is all about earning that rep, outlining the reputation system that's arriving in alpha 3.13 as well as detailing what the system means for the game and how it will evolve and grow. At its core, reputation in Star Citizen is about filling up two bars with NPCs […]

Blue Protocol shares some selfie time with a preview of photo mode

If it wasn't really obvious, we love screenshots taken in MMOs. We also love when those MMOs offer a way for players to take dynamic screenshots, and that's just what Blue Protocol will let its players do thanks to its photo mode. The feature was showcased by the game's Japanese Twitter account, which offered a […]

Bless Unleashed details planned changes coming to field combat and dungeon mechanics

Bless Unleashed is planning some changes to its overall experience according to the latest dispatch from the development team. A lot of changes, really. For example, out in the field players can look forward to a smoother overall quest flow as well as a variety of new NPCs to meet and interact with while exploring the […]

WoW Factor: Why aren't we getting more customization options in Shadowlands?

You might be surprised that I haven't written a piece in WoW Factor yet about the BlizzConline announcement that we would get no new customization options in World of Warcraft throughout this expansion. But the reason is that there's not actually much to write about there. This was a bad choice that ultimately hurts the […]

Elite Dangerous shares an on-foot tour of an Odyssey starport, planetary missions, and alpha test schedule

Last night was an absolute info dumping from Elite: Dangerous regarding its upcoming Odyssey expansion, with announcements, livestreams, and videos galore shared over a couple of hours. Heading off the list is a detailed roadmap for the Odyssey alpha test, which will roll out in four phases. The first three phases will have testers starting […]

Hands-on with Monster Hunter Rise: Well-worth the cost of admission

Well, as Monster Hunter Rise is finally out. We received a pair of review copies at the last minute, so with about 10 hours under my belt, I think it's safe to to start things out with a gut-reaction to the release, reflecting naturally on the game's preview, predecessor, and past titles. While late-game or […]

Playable Worlds' Raph Koster posts a manifesto on the future of MMOs

Believe us, we here at Massively OP are dying to know all of the details about the online game project that Raph Koster and his team at Playable Worlds is making. We'll probably be waiting a while to see what the Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies creator is up to, but at least Koster […]

World of Warcraft is altering the deal on game time purchases, settling on just 60-day increments

Players who obtain their World of Warcraft game time through Blizzard's shop have fewer options this week, as the studio announced that it has removed the 30- and 180-day pre-paid time purchase options from the store. "We recently conducted a review on the available services in all currencies. Based on this, we have decided to […]

The Daily Grind: How do you push for change in a broken MMO?

The Path of Exile community has been roiling over the past couple of weeks, first because of the Harvest crafting nerfs and then because of a massively upvoted Reddit post that argued POE is an "abusive" game that is destined to be overtaken by other titles that better respect players' time and health. Obviously, POE […]

The Stream Team: Helping Historian Thrimbul fight fire lords in Neverwinter

Where there's fire, there are firefighters. And in Neverwinter, Massively OP's MJ is the fire fighter! Historian Thrimbul needs her help to make the volcano safer, and she'll be fighting the fire lords (who are not the friendly sort). Join us live at 9:00 p.m. for a smoking hot time. What: Neverwinter Who: MJ Guthrie […]

Massively Overthinking: What are your MMO character customization dealbreakers?

Back in February, when BlizzConline was at its height, part of the World of Warcraft community lost its mind over the revelation that Blizzard won't be adding new customization options between now and… whatever the next expansion turns out to be a year and a half from now. It was particularly galling for players of […]

Albion Online's first patch to Call to Arms increases the faction warfare point pool

At the end of the day, fighting in faction warfare in Albion Online is like fighting with your siblings over who gets the last piece of pie. There are limited resources and someone needs to get the most of them. So much like an exhausted mother trying to figure out how to cut a pie slice […]

Hearthstone retracts nerfs to cards in Wild, adds a Classic format, and prepares for its next expansion

March 25th – today! – and March 30th are two notable dates in Hearthstone as the online CCG will be getting a variety of updates and improvements, starting with today's update 20.0. This new update will introduce Classic format that lets players use the game's originally launched 240 cards, including replacements for Stonetusk Boar and […]

Dauntless normalizes Trials power, adds hunt level requirements, and brings back Springtide in latest update

You know how you can tell you mean serious business when hunting in Dauntless? When you sport a pair of bunny-faced repeaters in battle. That's one of the highlights of the multiplayer critter slaying RPG's 1.5.6 update, which brings back the Springtide Easter holiday event. During the event, players will once more need to gather […]

Massively of the Go: Pokemon Go's April events bring snakes, trash, and mysteries

Pokemon Go's St. Patrick's Day "had no effect" on at least one snake: Snivy! But fortunatelt, the Gen 5 pokemon is getting its own Community Day April 11th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time. Frenzy Plant doesn't really do much to make its final evolution stand out in PvE or PvP unless you're […]

The Stream Team: Celebrating seven years of SMITE

SMITE commemorates its seventh birthday today, and Massively OP's MJ is ready to celebrate with the gods! And the fact that pets are invited makes it all the better. Part of the festivities is the new Talons of Tyranny event, which includes pet skins of fluffy kitties and pups. Obviously there is no way for […]

Spellbreak is adding 5v5 point control mode, ranked match league, and 12 weeks of story quests in April 8 update

There's a new chapter coming to the spell-shooting battle royale title Spellbreak, and this time it's bringing a new mode that isn't another variation on battle royale. Chapter 2: The Fracture is headlined with Dominion mode, a 5v5 point control battle where teams accrue points for keeping control of three different zones and taking down […]

Path of Exile will showcase its April 16 Ultimatum expansion and Path of Exile 2 in April 8 livestream

It's almost time once more for another round of expansion hype for Path of Exile. Developer Grinding Gear Games has put out an announcement of an announcement in trailer form, confirming that the game's soon to come Ultimatum expansion will be detailed in a livestream on April 8th. Players can look forward to new content […]

Elder Scrolls Online has three weeks of events planned thanks to its 7th birthday and April Fools'

It's hard to believe that almost seven years ago, Elder Scrolls Online finally lurched out of the gates into the hands of PC players. Though that launch was rocky, the game has come such a very long way in terms of quality and popularity, winning multiple awards from our staff and readers since then. So […]

ArcheAge's Akasch Invasion patch is live with the new Gunslinger skillset

As promised, ArcheAge and ArcheAge Unchained are getting a blast of new content today in the form of the Akasch Invasion. "With the new update Akasch Invasion, gamigo's online role-playing world of ArcheAge will receive a new ranged skillset, a breathtaking new zone with lore packed quests, and a challenging new raid that requires all factions […]

So, how did Magic Legends' soft launch go?

PWE's Magic Legends has been out in the wilds of soft launch open beta for two days now, so it's time for a check-in. And you know the Community gif with Donald Glover and the pizza and the fire? Yeah, the Reddit looks about like that right now. Multiple members of our own staff have […]

Desert Oasis: The problem with Black Desert's season servers – and how to fix it

Black Desert's had some exceptional growth over the past year. What I've always liked about this game is that it's never tried to be what it's not. It's always been a grindy MMORPG where killing mobs is the primary way of getting stronger. So most of its major content updates include more grindspots and better […]

Grab a Mortal Online 2 key for this weekend's beta stress test! [Added more keys 3/26/21]

So, who wants to play some Mortal Online 2 beta this weekend? Yep, the folks behind MMO sandbox Mortal Online have been working on Mortal Online 2 for the past year and change, and now, studio Starvault is finally ready for a big ol' stress test, which means it wants you! "The purpose of this […]

Vague Patch Notes: The fine art of shutting yourself up (so you can enjoy MMOs again)

This week, an unusual thing happened to me: I didn't really want to write this column. This may not sound all that unusual to you, but I assure you it is unusual. I enjoy my job for the most part (every so often there's something more depressing to write about and those days are less fun), […]

Final Fantasy XIV updates its Death Unto Dawn preview site with images and lore teasers

The next patch for Final Fantasy XIV is approaching quickly on April 13th, and players already have some new things to chew on from the latest update to the special preview site for the patch. A batch of new screenshots have just been uploaded along with previews of the next bits of the main story and […]

Star Citizen adds the Tumbril Cyclone MT to patch 3.13, puts ships on the back burner as players map out future tech updates

Patch 3.13 of Star Citizen is just around the corner (maybe), with the current roadmap outlining features like Stanton system polish, mining sub-components, new delivery missions, and a reputation UI among other updates. Another item has been recently added to the list: the arrival of the Tumbril Cyclone MT, a version of the Cyclone ground […]

Elder Scrolls Online sends a clean-up crew to the Flames of Ambition dungeons

Just because a dungeon is all new and sparkly doesn't mean that it's at its best. After all, any MMORPG veteran knows that the freshest content is usually the buggiest — and in the most need of developer attention. And so it is with Elder Scrolls Online's first DLC of the year, Flames of Ambition. […]

Lord of the Rings Online publishes post-Wildwood fixes, struggles with customer service slowdown

If every content update for an MMO is the star of the stage, than the inevitable follow-up bundle of fixes is the understudy waiting in the wings. After last week's Wildwood release, Lord of the Rings Online is putting out Update 29.0.1 to squash bugs and revert a UI animation change. Also, a cameo from […]

The Daily Grind: Which MMO has your favorite combat animations?

When the time comes, almost every MMO has a moment when it's time for you to start cracking heads instead of chatting and socializing. Some games feature almost nothing else, others treat combat only as a measure of last resort. But today, the question isn't about the mechanics of fighting things but the visuals. It's about how […]

The Stream Team: LOTRO puts a spring (festival) in your step

Spring is here, and that means so is the spring festival in LOTRO, and Massively OP's MJ welcomes both the season and the celebration. She's eager to check out the new things, including a new festival boss at the Bee's Big Business. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to add a spring festival to your […]

Multiplayer survival shooter Generation Zero teases base building and base defense in April 27 update

It was only a matter of time before those pesky human survivors in multiplayer survival FPS Generation Zero got all organized and started harboring thoughts about resisting their robot invaders. The game's next major update, which is being appropriately called Resistance, is arriving to PC, PS4, and Xbox One players on Tuesday, April 27th. Other […]

Fall Guys serves up new courses, four-player mode, and '80s neon kitsch in latest season

It's time to see if you're a true survivor. The newest season for multiplayer platformer royale Fall Guys is officially live, and it's got all of the '80s neo-futuristic styling you could handle, with a wide variety of thematic cosmetics and seven new neon-soaked obstacle courses including Hoverboard Heroes, Short Circuit, and Power Trip. In […]

Check Out a Brand New Trailer for Upcoming Horror Martha is Dead

We love to see new psychological thrillers!

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How to Beat the Bull in It Takes Two

Wondering how to beat the giant metal bull in It Takes Two? Here's everything you need to know about winning this boss fight.

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How Long Does it Take to Beat It Takes Two?

Wondering how long it will take you to beat fantastic co-op adventure It Takes Two? We've got the answer you're looking for right here.

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Tennis World Tour 2 Review (PS5)

Tennis World Tour 2 makes its way to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Thanks to gameplay tweaks and additional content, it's worth considering.

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How to Beat the Wasp Queen in It Takes Two

The Wasp Queen is the second major boss you'll come up against in It Takes Two, and she puts up a good fight. Here's how to beat her.

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How to Beat the Toolbox in It Takes Two

Wondering how you defeat the toolbox boss in It Takes Two? Follow our guide and you'll have the pesky thing beat in no time.

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Does It Takes Two Have Online Matchmaking?

It Takes Two is all about playing in co-op. But does it have online matchmaking? Here's what you need to know.

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Culinary Combat Game Epic Chef is Releasing on Consoles and PC Later This Year

Have you ever wanted to be in a food fight? 

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Can You Play It Takes Two Solo in Single Player?

It Takes Two is a game designed to be played in co-op. But does it have a single player mode? Here's everything you need to know.

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Asterix and Obelix: Slap Them All! is a Side-Scrolling Beat 'Em Up Releasing Later This Year

Sometimes you just gotta slap a bunch of people in the face. 

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The Best Fighting Games on PS5

Managed to get your hands on a PS5 and wondering what are the best fighting games available on it? We've got a list for that.

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DARQ: Complete Edition Review

If you like your puzzle games with a good helping of the macabre, then consider DARQ to be on your must-play list.

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PUBG Mobile Team Announces Undawn, a Post-Apocalyptic Action Game

An upcoming open world co-op title is on the way. 

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Back 4 Blood Has Been Delayed Until October

Back 2 Waiting

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Clockwork Aquario is a Resurrected Cutesy Platformer

Clockwork Aquario is a resurrected cutesy platformer that very nearly saw the light of day in the 1990s.

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Inner Ashes Will Tell a Story About Alzheimer's

Inner Ashes is a PS4-exclusive puzzle adventure about a man who, thanks to Alzheimer's, is slowly losing his memories.

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Groundbreaking 90s Show GamesMaster is Getting a Book

Currently being funded on Kickstarter, GamesMaster: The Oral History is a book about the ground-breaking 90s games show.

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Here Are Last Night's BAFTA Games Award 2021 Winners

The BAFTA Game Awards 2021 took place last night, albeit virtually. But who walked away with a faintly disturbing mask-on-a-stick?

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Find Out More About Path of Exile: Ultimatum in a Livestream on 8th April

Path of Exile players are getting some new information regarding an upcoming expansion. 

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13 of the Longest Games to Play While You're Stuck at Home

Don't get yourself down about being stuck indoors for a long while, play some video games. These are some of the longest, and best, games available.

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The Switch Pro Could Indicate Nintendo's First Tentative Steps Back Into The Power Game

Rumors about an impending revision of Nintendo's extremely successful hybrid console, the Switch, have seemingly existed for almost as long as the Switch itself has at this point. While the Switch itself was fairly high tech for a mass-market priced mobile device in 2017, it obviously made several hardware concessions owing to its form factor.

Hindsight has proven that to be the correct move, judging by the relentless success of the console, which continues to break records at an unprecedented pace more than four years into its lifespan. However, especially with the onset of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, it is clear that the Switch finds itself outmatched on the hardware front to an exacerbated degree. As mentioned already, the Switch has always been outmatched by the other consoles on the market. This makes sense – it's essentially a tablet, and portable devices powered by battery can never match the power of their high powered full scale cousins contemporaneously. Until recently, this hasn't proven to be a lot of trouble.

Thanks to Nintendo's early efforts, and their smart utilization of industry standard Nvidia hardware and development APIs, the Switch has seen a lot of third party support, including some games that were inconceivable on the platform, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and DOOM Eternal, having made their way over. Nevertheless, there were very clear limitations and concessions that had to be contended with by third parties for the Switch even when the other consoles on the market "only" outmatched it as much as the PS4 and Xbox One did.

Now that those consoles' successors are out, the difference is even bigger, and the Switch could risk losing a lot of the third party support it has accrued. While third party support will never be as paramount to Nintendo's success as it is to PlayStation or Xbox, it has still obviously been important for the Switch – from indie breakout hits such as Hollow Knight, Celeste, or Hades, to games published by the top publishers in the industry, including Octopath Traveler, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and the just released Monster Hunter Rise. 

And while the Switch's third party situation for this year seems secure, the system could face a sudden contraction of output next year, leaving it high and dry – not unlike the drought of games that killed the Wii prematurely, and caused Nintendo so much trouble with their consoles for the better part of the next decade.

Monster Hunter Rise

Suffice it to say, then, that the Switch would benefit greatly from updated hardware. Given that it's only four years old, a full fledged successor right now seems early – especially given just how successful the console has been, and how many users would feel burned if a successor did come out right now. An upgraded mid-life revision, however, keeping in line not as much with PS4 Pro or Xbox One X as with previous Nintendo mid-life revisions for their handhelds, such as the Gameboy Color, the DSi, or the New 3DS, seems like the appropriate solution to the problem. And sure enough, we have started getting increasingly well sourced and concrete rumors on what this so called Switch Pro may entail when it launches, allegedly later this year.

These early indications are actually shocking – because they seem to imply a system that is putting some emphasis on raw hardware power and performance, something Nintendo hasn't strictly speaking focused on in almost two decades, not since the GameCube. As I mentioned, the original Switch was actually fairly impressive mobile hardware for the time (there was no other similarly priced mobile device at the time that had better hardware – no, your $1,000 smartphone doing better than the Switch doesn't count any more than a $1,600 PC doing better than the PS5 does).

However, it was very clearly, even then, making some concessions in terms of hardware. The upcoming Switch Pro (which is what we'll call it here for now), though? While obviously still underpowered compared to the Xbox Series or PS5, owing to the limitations imposed by the form factor, it seems to be gunning for higher end hardware for its class than any Nintendo system has in 20 years.

While specifics are still thin – we know it has "a newer, improved CPU and more RAM" but we don't know exact numbers, for example – there are other particulars that seem to back up this notion. For instance, it has been repeatedly established that the console will be capable of 4K output in docked mode. This, of course, means that Nintendo is unwilling to be late to the 4K party as it was to the HD party (where the company had a similar chance of outputting an HD enabled revision for the SD Wii, but chose to resist the demands, to its own ultimate detriment). The Switch, of course, lacks raw processing grunt to be able to render 4K graphics, and therefore, the new system's SOC will enable 4K output via DLSS 2.0.


DLSS is a total game changer. This Nvidia-exclusive technology involves the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to automatically clean up an image and render it at much higher resolutions with very little in the way of performance cost. Put simply, it's the kind of thing that allows even a 720p rendered image to look like it is rendering well above 1440p resolutions (and it can be even more effective, and work on even lower resolution output images). The difference in image quality can be startling, and even for a low resolution image, can end up with a result that looks on par with something that a lower-end next gen console, such as the Xbox Series S, would put out. In other words, it's the kind of thing that can allow Nintendo to have their cake and eat it too – they can stick with the (by necessity) lower powered mobile chips, but get higher quality image output consistent with the expectations from current gen, and therefore continue to retain at least the same amount of third party support as they have been getting so far (if not actually expand on that).

However, other than the salivating "free lunch" style considerations, DLSS' presence on this new system actually indicates Nintendo is using among the highest end chips available for this Switch. You see, DLSS requires the presence of specific hardware cores on the SoC, called Tensor Cores, which are present on only a select few high end Nvidia architectures by definition – which means that if the Switch has DLSS, it has to have an SOC based on those high end architectures.

This narrows down the list significantly, and indicates the Switch Pro may be going for, if not the very latest and absolute cutting edge Turing and Ampere architectures, then at the very least Volta – which by itself is a near generation leap over the Maxwell architecture used in the base Switch model, and, coupled with DLSS, could deliver a stark difference in graphics on the new model.

nintendo switch

There are other indications the Switch is going for higher-end hardware too. It appears that rather than sticking with an LCD screen like the base model did, the Switch Pro is going for a bigger OLED screen (smartly sticking to the 720p resolution in what I can only imagine is a concession to battery life, which would otherwise suffer from the already fairly low battery longevity the current models deliver). Again, an OLED screen is an "unnecessarily" high end component, the kind that's probably the first to go when costs are being cut.

It is certainly something you couldn't imagine in a Nintendo product – remember, Nintendo didn't even fully commit to IPS panels for the 3DS line (and right until discontinuation, 3DS buyers were subject to a lottery of their systems having either lower quality TN panels for the screens, or the IPS ones). Even Sony, who do typically deliver higher end hardware, did not stick with OLED for their handheld PS Vita after the first version, with the revision ditching it in favor of an LCD. So Nintendo going for that OLED here, in combination with the implication of much newer and cutting edge SOC tech, and the requisite CPU and RAM boosts that a mid-gen revision would otherwise have, definitely indicates that they are willing to deliver a more powerful for its class product than they have for 20 years now.

Obviously, all of this is rooted in speculation born out of (admittedly well sourced) reports of what the Switch Pro will be. If the Switch Pro ends up being a more modest bump, then all of this speculation is pointless, and we can conclude that Nintendo is still sticking with its strategy of getting the most out of older and proven tech rather than being willing to play the power game.

And I guess that's fine for them, it's a strategy that has worked for them, and it has definitely worked for the Switch, which will probably end its run as one of Nintendo's best systems when all is said and done. However, the prospect of Nintendo finally being ready to dip its toes back into the hardware pool – even if on its own terms, in the hybrid console field – is tantalizing for many, we imagine, and I can only hope that the Switch Pro ends up living up to the expectations generated by these reports – assuming that it, obviously, exists in the first place.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.

It Takes Two Review – All Together Now

In the last few years, games have started to use complex issues – depression, loss, examinations of violence, the nature of choice, grief, and so on – as major mechanics and ideas in their gameplay systems. But I think It Takes Two might be the first game to try its hand at turning a broken marriage into a co-op-only action-adventure game.

The story follows Cody and May, who have decided that it's easier to split up than solve whatever problems they're having. Naturally, this upsets their daughter Rose, who has bought a book about love in the hopes of helping her parents. When she cries onto the homemade dolls representing her parents while wishing they would stay together, she inadvertently transfers her parents' consciousness into the bodies of the dolls. The game chronicles their journey to escape the spell that binds them. Cody and May aren't alone, though: they have the (unwanted) help of The Book of Love/Dr. Hakim, an anthropomorphic book with an extremely questionable Spanish/French/Italian/who knows really accent who is determined to get Cody and May back together.

"The game's tone is all over the place. One minute a very distressed Rose is trying to talk to the empty bodies of her parents and the next a talking book with a bad accent is lecturing the two dolls containing the consciousness of said parents about the importance of collaboration while hip-thrusting"

While the game is often very charming, It Takes Two's story is utterly bonkers, and honestly one of the game's biggest problems. The game's tone is all over the place. One minute a very distressed Rose is trying to talk to the empty bodies of her parents and the next a talking book with a bad accent is lecturing the two dolls containing the consciousness of said parents about the importance of collaboration while hip-thrusting. Dr. Hakim is meant to be funny, but his appearances are mostly very awkward and uncomfortable.

The larger problem, however, is the game's portrayal of marriage. It Takes Two never takes the time to really get into May and Cody's issues. Cody complains that May is never home, and it seems like May resents Cody for not providing for the family the way she does, but the things that break their marriage are never explored. Instead of being a marriage that collapses under the weight of serious problems, their relationship seems like one that shouldn't have ended in a marriage in the first place. Almost all they do is argue, and while they may complement each other when things in the game are going well, they're quick to blame each other for any new issues that arise. Meanwhile, the game continues to push the idea that all of this is solvable if they just learn to like each other again without ever digging into the more complex realities that arise in a long-term relationship. On the surface, It Takes Two seems to want to explore complex ideas, but it pivots away from them almost as soon as they arise.

It also doesn't help that Cody and May are genuinely terrible people. Not only do they seem incapable of parenting their daughter, knowing how each other thinks, feels, or spends their time, or working out problems without immediately resorting to blaming one another, they also do some genuinely terrible things. At one point, the couple becomes convinced that to break the spell they're under, Rose needs to cry on them. They decide that the best way to make this happen is to murder Rose's favorite toy elephant, Cutie, who, like everything else in the world around them, seems to have been brought to life by the spell animating the dolls Cody and May inhabit. When Cutie learns Cody and May plan to murder her, she begs for her life, but they're determined. By the time they throw her to her death, she's lost an arm and an ear. Cody and May claim they feel bad about the whole thing, but that doesn't stop them from mutilating and murdering a living thing because they think it will help them. The scene is incredibly uncomfortable to play and highlights the inconsistency in It Takes Two's writing, which alternates between hopelessly naive and incredibly dark.

"The traditional platforming is great, but what makes the gameplay in It Takes Two special are the unique abilities that each character gets in certain situations."

Fortunately, the gameplay fares much better. As I said before, the game is co-op only, requiring another person to join in via local vertical split-screen or online. I teamed up with my wife and we played the game on our couch, but whatever you choose, the game is split-screen so you can see what your partner is doing. The game starts off as a platformer, with both characters having access to a spring, jump, double-jump, and air dash ability. The platforming is both responsive and precise, so you'll feel confident as you take on everything from the easiest jumps to the most stressful gauntlets. As with Hazelight's previous game, A Way Out, you'll have to help one another out to progress. Sometimes that means flipping switches to open doors for your partner, moving navigating splitting paths, or moving around parts of the environment.

The traditional platforming is great, but what makes the gameplay in It Takes Two special are the unique abilities that each character gets in certain situations. Early on, Cody has nails that he can throw into wooden walls to hold things in place or create paths for May to swing across with the head of a hammer. Later, May gains access to a pair of anti-gravity boots that let her walk up walls, while Cody acquires a special belt that allows him to grow or shrink at will. At another point, Cody gets a gun that can fire sap that sticks to environments and enemy wasps, while May gets a matchstick gun that can detonate the sap.

As the game's mechanics change, so does the type of game that It Takes Two becomes. In the space-themed level, it's a puzzle-platformer that evokes bits of Super Mario Galaxy. In the section with the sap and matchstick guns, it's a third-person shooter. Later, in a medieval section where Cody becomes a wizard and May takes the role of a knight, it plays like Diablo. Sometimes, the two players end up playing completely different games, like the section in which Cody flies a plane through a nearby tree while May stares down the leader of the local squirrel militia in a Street Fighter-style piece of one-on-one combat.

"It Takes Two often feels like the best Nintendo games, consistently introducing new mechanics and evolving their use in creative ways before testing the player's mastery of them, generally in a boss fight. After that, they are discarded and never appear again."

Just when you think the game is running out of ideas, something else comes around the corner, each with its own unique set of mechanics that is never repeated at any point in the game, and all of it executed very well. It Takes Two often feels like the best Nintendo games, consistently introducing new mechanics and evolving their use in creative ways before testing the player's mastery of them, generally in a boss fight. After that, they are discarded and never appear again. It Takes Two shows repeated mastery of several genres and game mechanics, and nothing ever overstays its welcome. None of the games are exceptionally deep, but the sheer breadth of them means you'll never be bored, and It Takes Two always finds creative ways to make sure you're communicating with your partner and working together.

The game's environments are similarly creative. Players spend time in space, on a pirate ship, riding dinosaurs, navigating a warzone, climbing a tree, and everything in-between. While each environment is clearly designed with a specific gameplay goal in mind, there's plenty of other pieces of the environment to interact with. There are also mini-games to find and play against your partner that include tug-of-war, a Guitar Hero-esque rhythm game, a shooting range, a pair of battle tanks, and more. Like every other bit of It Takes Two's gameplay, they're a lot of fun, and the game keeps score of who wins a loses so you can claim bragging rights.

The only problem with It Takes Two's gameplay is that sometimes one character gets a more interesting ability or plays a more interesting segment than the other, though these are generally few and far between. Generally, both players have something interesting to do, and most of the time, the differences made me want to replay the game as the other character to see how it felt. Combine the game's unbridled creativity and sheer variety with its excellent art design and wonderful music, and It Takes Two is a joy to play.

It Takes Two

" Most games of this kind falter because they can't tell when something is or isn't fun, and the poor sections overstay their welcome. Here, the characters and story are what could have used both more attention and an editor."

It Takes Two isn't a long game; most players will finish it in 10-12 hours, and it's not particularly difficult, either. Players have an unlimited number of lives and checkpoints are very generous. About the only you have to restart a section is if you and your partner both die at the same time. Even then, most of the progress you've made will be preserved. It's probably a good decision, given how much of the game's appeal is that something new is always around the corner, but don't come to It Takes Two looking for a challenge; it mostly isn't there, though that doesn't stop it from being a blast to play, especially with the right partner.

It really is a shame, then, that its story is so shallow and its characters so unlikeable. I know I was supposed to be rooting for Cody and May to make up, get back together, and regain their original bodies, but I often found myself thinking that they deserved what was happening to them – which, admittedly, is kind of the point. They're both intensely unlikeable people and objectively awful parents, and it's a shame that you have to deal with them to enjoy the rest of what It Takes Two has to offer. Most games of this kind falter because they can't tell when something is or isn't fun, and the poor sections overstay their welcome. Here, the characters and story are what could have used both more attention and an editor.

As poor as some of the storytelling choices are, however, it doesn't stop It Takes Two from being an excellent co-op game, whether you're playing it on a couch or online. I just wish that I'd cared more about its characters and thought they might actually benefit from getting back together – and that Rose had left Dr. Hakim on the shelf where he belonged.

This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.

Monster Hunter Rise Guide – 15 Beginners Tips and Tricks to Keep in Mind

Like Monster Hunter World before it, though Monster Hunter Rise retains the core complexities that have defined the series for so long, it also makes a concerted effort to be more accessible and welcoming to newcomers. Even so, this is still Monster Hunter, which means there's a lot the game's going to throw at you, and if you're new to the series, you might feel a little lost, especially in your first few hours with the game. To help smooth out that transition, here, we've compiled a few beginners tips and tricks that you should keep in mind as you jump into Monster Hunter Rise.


Monster Hunter Rise

This might seem like the most obvious thing to anyone who's played Monster Hunter before, but it cannot be stressed how important it is to remember this. In spite of being an action RPG in which you take on massive monsters, Monster Hunter requires thought and observation. Button mashing and wailing on enemies is a straight ticket to failure. Observing your enemies, learning their movement and attack patterns, figuring out their weak spots, deciphering their tells for the bigger attacks- you need to be doing all of it, and this stands true for pretty much every single hunt in the game.


monster hunter rise

Visual cues are how monsters in Monster Hunter Rise will tell you when they're about to attack, and what attack they're about to unleash, which means it's always crucial that you pay attention and keep an eye on them. On top of that, Monster Hunter also doesn't give its monsters health bars, which means you also need to watch out for visual cues that will let you know when a monster is getting weaker and getting close to the point where it can finally be taken out for good.


monster hunter rise

With over a dozen different weapons, each differing from the other radically in so many ways, Monster Hunter Rise is, like its predecessors, brimming with variety. And while learning and using various different kinds of weapons is crucial, when you're starting off, it's best to limit yourself to just one or two. Rather than experimenting with all different kinds of weapons and spreading yourself too thin, focus on mastering a couple that you're comfortable with the most first, and only once you're confident in your use of those should you move on to new ones.


monster hunter rise

When you do try out new weapons, rather than heading straight out on a hunt or a quest with that in your arsenal, it's best to take it for a test drive or two in Kamura Village's training area. Years of playing games may have compelled you to ignore the very existence of a training area, but it's actually a very useful tool in Monster Hunter games. Learn the basics of a new weapon type first, understand how fast it is or what its range is or what the best combos are, and once you have a good grasp of the fundamental, that's when you should take it out for a spin out in the wild.


monster hunter rise

All of that's well and good, but exactly what are the best weapons for a newcomer in Monster Hunter Rise? The answer may vary depending on who you ask (and when you ask it), but generally, it's agreed upon that the dual blades, the sword and shield, and the greatsword are the best weapons for someone who's new to the series. Obviously, they each differ from each other quite a bit- for instance, while the dual blades have great speed, they don't do too much damage with each attack, while the greatsword sacrifices speed for DPS. You should, of course, be picking a weapon based on what suits your playstyle best, but those aforementioned weapons should ideally be the ones you go with in your initial hours.


monster hunter rise

As important as it is to not spread yourself too thin with multiple different weapon types in the early goings, as you get deeper into the game, it's crucial that you don't limit yourself too much either. The more difficult hunts, especially in the late game and the postgame, can be a little tricky, and you might find it particularly hard to brute force your way through them with the weapon that you're fond of the most. Figure out what the monster you're hunting will be the weakest to and be ready to had into the fight with a different weapon suited to that situation.


monster hunter rise

Monster Hunter Rise, like other games in the series, enforces a time limit on you its hunts, and while that can easly be a recipe for disastrous stress, it's actually not that big a deal. Most hunts in the game – even the more difficult ones later on – can easily be finished within the given time limit. While the timer is something you should keep an eye on to make sure you're not wasting too much time, don't let it force you to rush into things either. It's best to take your time with hunts and do a little bit of exploring before major fights.


monster hunter rise

Again, this might seem too obvious to anyone who's played a Monster Hunter game, but it cannot be overstated how important this is. Eating meals to prepare yourself for a hunt is a crucial part of series' core loop, and that's as true as ever in Rise. Make sure you're eating the right meals that give you the right kinds of buffs, because heading out on a hunt without that boost can make a lot of difference.


monster hunter rise

Monster Hunter World introduced the incredible turf wars mechanic, which would often see two or more monsters out in the wild dynamically chancing upon each other and taking each other on in fights. That mechanic returns in Rise, and it's best to leverage it as much as possible. Of course, owing to its very nature, it might not be something that you can always control, but whenever possible, if you can get two monsters to have a go at each other, and if that helps you out on your hunt, you should definitely grab that opportunity.


monster hunter rise

If you're heading into Rise with dozens (or hundreds, or thousands) of hours of World gameplay in your belt, you might be tempted to ignore the endemic life forms you find out in the wild. But while they were mostly meaningless in World, they're actually quite useful in Rise. From providing various different kinds of buffs to inflicting status effects on monsters to being used as consumables in combat and more, endemic life can be very useful in a pinch in Monster Hunter Rise. Be on the lookout for these while you're exploring.


Monster Hunter Rise

The Wirebug is one of the most crucial new elements Monster Hunter Rise has introduced, and it's as useful in combat as it is for traversal. Wirebug attacks in particular are a game-changer, especially for something like Wyvern riding- but as useful as they are, make sure you're not spamming them every chance you get. You only have a limited number of uses for these before you run out, which means you should unleash them only at the best of times. A couple of well-timed Wirebug attacks can really make a difference in a fight.


Monster Hunter Rise

The Wirebug is useful for more than just out and out offence during combat. It can also help with removing certain stat debuffs and status ailments. For instance, swinging around a couple of times using your Wirebugs is a great way to remove the Waterblight status effect, which can greatly reduce your stamina recovery.


monster hunter rise

Sharpening weapons is something that has always been a bit of a headache for Monster Hunter fans, but with the introduction of Palamute riding in Monster Hunter Rise, it can be done in a much more convenient manner. When you're in the middle of fights with raging monsters and you need to sharpen your weapons, make sure you get to that only once you're riding on top of your Palamute. This keeps you mobile and makes it harder for you to get hit, which means you can sharpen your weapons in relative peace.


monster hunter rise

Sheathing your weapons isn't always practical, especially when you're taking on a monster, but it can be incredibly useful at times. For instance, you'll find that you're able to run much faster with your weapons sheathed than you would have otherwise, which is something that can be particularly useful in certain situations. It's worth keeping in mind, however, that that also means your stamina drain faster, and stamina is something that you always need to keep an eye on in Monster Hunter games.


monster hunter rise

Crafting is, of course, one of the most crucial parts of any Monster Hunter game, which means that gathering resources, too, is just as important. While defeating monsters and farming for parts is the primary way to get your hands on new and useful crafting components, a lot of stuff can be found while exploring as well- and pretty much everything you can get your hands on can be useful in some form or another. Even seemingly useless items like dung can be important crafting components. So don't discard anything you see based on its apparent usefulness, or the lack thereof. You never know when something might come in handy.

Anthem Director Leaves BioWare


BioWare's Jonathan Warner has announced that he has left the studio, moving on after nearly a decade at the developer. He hasn't said what he's going to be doing next, instead only stating that he's "moving on to do new things." Whether or not that means he will still be in the games industry remains to be seen.

Warner was most recently the director of Anthem. The looter shooter was met with criticism upon launch, and did not perform as well commercially as EA had hoped, quickly losing its playerbase owing to a lack of post-launch updates and a similar lack of necessary fixes to the base game. BioWare was working on an overhaul of the game dubbed Anthem Next, but that was recently officially canned by EA.

Prior to Anthem, Warner was also the game director on Mass Effect Andromeda, before which he served as producer on Mass Effect 3 and its post-launch content. Since May 2019, he had also been BioWare's chief of staff.

Assassin's Creed Series Narrative Director Darby McDevitt is Leaving Ubisoft

assassins creed valhalla

Darby McDevitt has been overseeing the larger narrative of the Assassin's Creed franchise for a long time now, operating as the master of the series' lore and the person who's generally been in charge of deciding what direction the series' larger narrative should take. He's announced, however, that he is leaving Ubisoft Montreal after over a decade at the studio.

McDevitt hasn't talked about where he's headed next, simply saying that he's "decided to set forth on a new adventure." He joined Ubisoft in 2011, following which he was the lead writer on Assassin's Creed Revelations and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, while also working on Assassin's Creed Unity. In 2017, he became the Narrative Director, following which he worked on Assassin's Creed Origins, and most recently, on Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Given the general focus and direction that McDevitt's work has lent to Assassin's Creed in the years he's been the narrative director, his loss is surely going to be a big one for the franchise and for Ubisoft.

Project Triangle Strategy Aiming for Runtime of 50 Hours

project triangle strategy

Taking the HD-2D art style of Octopath Traveler and merging it with turn-based tactics and choice-driven gameplay, Project Triangle Strategy (as it's being called right now) is looking like a particularly interesting prospect. The game's recent demo was met with solid responses all around, and there's plenty of questions about how the final project's going to turn out. During a recent interview at Game Live Japan (translated by Nintendo Everything), producer Tomoya Asano revealed plenty of new details, while also speaking about how long it's going to be.

Asano reiterated that Project Triangle Strategy will have multiple endings, and that currently, the development team is aiming for a runtime of about 50 hours, as they generally tend to with most of their projects. He did add, however, that that's up in the air, and things could change.

"We are planning for the game to have multiple endings," Asano said. "As for the game time, that's still up in the air… we always aim for around the 50-hour mark, but it never seems to turn out that way."

When asked about when we can expect to hear more about the game, Asano's response was pretty vague, simply saying that hopefully, it'll be "before it gets cold."

Project Triangle Strategy is due out for the Switch some time in 2022. The game's demo is currently available on the Switch eShop.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time Requires Always Online On PC

Crash Bandicoot 4

Last year saw the new entry, the latest in a very long time, in the Crash Bandicoot saga. The game was quite a joy, maybe even the best entry in the series, at least far better than anything since the original PS1 trilogy. The game came to PS4 and Xbox One, but recently was announced to be coming to a variety of other platforms, including PC. That version is out now, and there is something that some may not particularly like.

As reported by DSOGaming, the game has now gone live. It'll be exclusive to the launcher, and the game will be always online. This is despite the game being almost entirely single player, with the only multiplayer component being a local mode that just includes players taking turns doing runs. As of now, there is also no announced online multiplayer mode. It's not a huge surprise, since Activision has had the same online-only requirement for a lot of recent PC releases, but it's something to keep in mind.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch and PC.

Rust Console Edition Releases May 21

rust console edition

Rust has been around for quite a long time. The survival game has had quite a following since it originally launched way back in 2013. The game saw something of a resurgence due to some high profile streamers streaming the title, and it was announced that, after almost a decade on the market, the game would finally be getting a console edition sometime this Spring. Well, now we know exactly when that'll be.

The Console Edition will release in May, publisher and developer Double Eleven announced in a press release. It will be available as both a digital download as well as a physical one that will include a Day One Edition that will be available at select retailers, Gamestop and Amazon specifically if you're in the US. The Day One Edition includes a Future Weapons and Tools Pack. There will also be a Deluxe and Ultimate Edition for those playing digitally.

Rust: Console Edition will release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on May 21st. The original game is available now on PC.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 And 2 Gets Trailer For PS5, Xbox Series X/S Launch

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2_02

Last year saw the triumph return of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise with a remaster of the first two games. Going back was a blast from the past on last gen consoles, and now it's time for the new shiny systems to get their own native version. Today Activision celebrated with a new launch trailer.

The trailer is pretty similar to the one they released close to the launch of the first versions, which you can see here. They also sprinkle in a little of the praise that original release got, but it's mostly focused on lots of tricks and skateboarding. While this is focused on the PS5 version, it is also coming to next gen Xbox systems, too, though those with a disc will not have an upgrade path unlike the PS versions. The next gen versions are said to support 1080p/120 FPS and 4K/60 FPS, as well as various features of the PS5 DualSense controller, which you can read more about through here.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC. A Switch version is also set to come out sometime later this year.

Second Extinction Heads To Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One Via Game Preview And Game Pass April 28

second extinction

It feels like, for whatever reason, that killing dinosaurs in a game kind of vanished. Second Extinction, the horde shooter-based title from Systemic Reaction, is looking to remedy that in a big way with all kinds of dinosaur killing (technically, they are generically engineered dinosaurs, but whatever, good enough). Those on PC have been getting a good taste for awhile, and now it's time for Xbox folks to get their fair share.

It was announced earlier this year the game would be coming to Xbox Game Preview, and now we know it will be next month, as well as being part of Xbox Game Pass. The Steam version of the game has been in early access for those gaming on PC for quite sometime. You can check out the announcement trailer below.

Second Extinction is playable now in early access on PC, and will launch for Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One on Xbox Game Preview and Xbox Game Pass on April 28th.