Call of Duty is the franchise that seems like it'll still be getting entries up until the heat death of the universe. Now the series even has its own ongoing battle royale mode in the popular Warzone. It has very much become its own thing as a compliment to the annual Call of Duty, such as 2020's Black Ops Cold War and presumably will do the same for the next game, rumored to be a return to World War 2. Now, it seems some end is near, however.
The official Call of Duty Twitter twitted out a cryptic teaser that says simply that the end is near. There's no other context, but most likely it is related to a new map update. A recent leak seemed to indicate that a new map is coming based on 1980s Verdansk. It's unclear at this point how all of this will go down, but it seems we'll find out something on April 21st one way or another.
Call of Duty: Warzone is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC.
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) April 13, 2021
Later this month, we will get a remaster of the original NieR with a goofy and long title, fitting of the quirky series. While it will be revisiting the first game, and has now officially gone gold, many were first introduced to the franchise via its sequel NeiR: Automata. It seems Square Enix is pretty aware of that, so they are giving a little bit of a cosmetic crossover for the new title.
A listing on the Xbox store has gone live, which you can see here, that sees some costumes for NeiR Replicant. It's titled 4 YoRHa and includes several costumes for the game based on the sequel, specifically some very 2B-themed garbs. It's listed as being free, though is not live as of now. While only up and live on the Xbox store as of now, there's no reason to expect this won't also come to the other versions.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… will launch on April 23rd for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
When it comes to conversation around the Nintendo Switch, most is centered around the rumored 'Switch Pro,' a stronger version of the system that many enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating. However, it seems Nintendo wanted to reveal another version of the system, this time in a familiar form with a new color shade.
Nintendo has announced that a new color of the Switch Lite will be coming out next month. The system will join four other colors the console is already available in: coral, yellow, gray and turquoise. It will also share the same functionalities as previous releases and will be handheld-only and retail for a suggested price of $199.99 USD. While the system launches alongside the re-release of Miitopia (as highlighted in the official announcement below), there is no game bundled.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is available now in the four color mentioned above, with the blue edition set to launch on May 21st.
Introducing a fresh new blue color #NintendoSwitchLite, launching on 5/21 for $199.99. The blue Nintendo Switch Lite will release separately on the same day as the hilarious adventure game, #Miitopia! pic.twitter.com/WD6FAc8pqr
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 13, 2021
Last year's Ghostrunner seems to have been a bona fide success story, and the IP is now owned in full by 505 Games. And there are still updates coming. As we already know, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S native versions of the game are on the way sometime this Fall. As part of the continued releases, there is also some free modes and some premium cosmetics.
The free updates came today that brought Photo Mode and Kill Run Mode. Photo mode is probably pretty self-explanatory, but Kill Run Mode is an arcade score attack. You have a strict time limit where you play through a section of the game as quickly as possible where killing enemies nets you extra time. Alongside it is the Metal Ox pack, which is a paid cosmetic pack for $4.99, and you can check out the trailer detailing it below.
Ghostrunner is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. You can check out the roadmap for the upcoming content planned, including the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of the game, through here.
Later this year, we will see the return of the action series version of Ninja Gaiden with the Master Collection. The collection will see three games, each a re-release of some kind of previous games in the legendary franchise (though, unfortunately, we will not see an option for the original releases). The games themselves stand alone, however, and today we got a look at all the ninja you can play through the collection.
As mentioned, all three games were re-releases of previous titles, and all added and/or altered content from those releases. One of the big things was the addition of multiple characters outside the main protagonist of Ryu Hayabasa. The trailer highlights him, as well as Ayane, Momiji, Rachel and Kasumi, all of whom were playable throughout the trilogy of titles. While you cannot play through the campaign in full as all characters, they each have either a dedicated section or can be played in alternate mission modes in the case of Sigma 2.
Ninja Gaiden Master Collection will release on June 10th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. We got to sit down and do an extensive interview with the Head of Team Ninja Fumihiko Yasudan about the release, which you can read in full through here.
While virtual reality has not quite caught on like many expected it to, there still is a dedicated market to the tech. Two of the biggest drivers of it so far has been Sony with their PSVR, and Facebook with their Oculus branch that has specialized in VR and have released multiple headsets on both the low and high end. Now, the latter has a showcase of what's coming next.
The company announced on their official blog that the first ever Oculus Gaming Showcase will happen next week. Cloudhead Games, Ready At Dawn and ILMxLAB are all teased as being part of the event, as well as updates on Pistol Whip, Lone Echo 2, and Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge.
The latest Oculus headset was the Oculus Quest 2 that released last year, an update to the company's lower end and most accessible headset that was completely wireless. We'll keep you updated on what news comes from the event.
Following several teases, Out of the Blue has announced that Call of the Sea will be coming to PlayStation. It's set to release in May for PS5 and PS4 as per an official tweet. A more concrete release date should be revealed in the coming weeks.
Launching this past December for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC, the first person adventure title is set in the 1930s and follows Norah. Having ventured to an island in the Southern Pacific, she's searching for her missing husband. The island holds its share of secrets though and Norah will need to solve puzzles and gather notes to discover the truth.
Taking inspiration from H.P. Lovecraft works, Call of the Sea received some decent critical acclaim at launch. You can check out our review here for more details. Those who have Xbox Game Pass can also try it now. Stay tuned for more details and updates in the meantime.
We are excited to announce that Call of the Sea is coming to PS4 and PS5 in May 2021! pic.twitter.com/CFhCCu9E6H
— Call of the Sea | Out Now! (@COTSGame) April 13, 2021
BioWare has released a new comparison trailer for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, showcasing all of the graphical improvements made over the original games. In a separate post, it also detailed the different processes, from improving over 30,000 individual textures to upgrading its version of Unreal Engine 3 to make it more unified. Check out the trailer below.
Though physically based rendering or PBR hasn't been used, various materials like metals, fabrics and so on will react with light "in a more convincing way." Significant work has also been done to improve skin, hair and eye shaders while new environmental particle effects were added throughout each game. All of the pre-rendered cinematics have been re-rendered in 4K and for those that couldn't be re-captured, an AI upscaling program was used for the original videos. Numerous cutscenes and conversations have also had "dozens, if not hundreds" of bugs though some – like the "What'd you just say?" bug – still remain.
The post also highlights upgrades to shadows, the implementation of screen space ambient occlusion, anti-aliasing and bokeh depth of field, and bringing features like dynamic volumetrics from Mass Effect 3 to the first two games. Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is out on May 14th for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. It recently went gold.
Less than two months after its last Direct, Nintendo has announced a new Indie World Showcase for tomorrow. As per Nintendo of America on Twitter, it will take place at 9 AM PT. The livestream will feature about 20 minutes of fresh and new indie titles coming to the Nintendo Switch.
The last major Indie World Showcase featured announcements for Cyber Shadow, Grindstone, Super Meat Boy Forever and Among Us. It should be interesting to see what tomorrow's presentation has to offer. Of course, there's the obligatory hope that Hollow Knight: Silksong will make an appearance. It was in the "final testing" stage as of early January 2021 so perhaps we'll see some new gameplay footage.
Though Nintendo hasn't confirmed its next Direct presentation, it will be a part of E3 2021 which takes place from June 12th to 15th as a digital-only event. Other publishers confirmed to appear include Microsoft, Ubisoft, Capcom, Take Two Interactive and more. Stay tuned for more details and updates in the meantime.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 13, 2021
Though it's lost roughly $450 million on its storefront thus far, Epic Games is doing very well for itself. The company recently completed a round of funding to the tune of $1 billion. Among the investment partners is Sony Group Corporation which invested $200 million, following its $250 million investment for a minority stake last year.
Epic Games stated that, "[The investment] builds on the already close relationship between the two companies and reinforces their shared mission to advance the state of the art in technology, entertainment, and socially-connected online services."
Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said that, "We are grateful to our new and existing investors who support our vision for Epic and the Metaverse. Their investment will help accelerate our work around building connected social experiences in Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys, while empowering game developers and creators with Unreal Engine, Epic Online Services and the Epic Games Store." Appaloosa, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, GIC, Altimeter, Franklin Templeton, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Park West, KKR, AllianceBernstein and Luxor Capital make up the other investment partners.
Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony Group Corporation chairman, president and CEO, stated that, "Epic continues to deliver revolutionary experiences through their array of cutting edge technologies that support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry. We are excited to strengthen our collaboration to bring new entertainment experiences to people around the world. I strongly believe that this aligns with our purpose to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology."
The relationship between Sony and Epic Games has developed significantly since the latter debuted its Unreal Engine 5 tech demo running on PS5. We've also seen Kratos from God of War being included in Fortnite with Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn making her debut on April 15th. PS5 players can also partake in the Aloy Cup for unlocking the Horizon Zero Dawn bundle early. As for where things could lead next, stay tuned for more details.