Fall Guys is keeping the crossovers coming, and in a story we'll file under "nobody saw this coming," Tron is the next game coming to the best game about jelly beans. This isn't the first time Fall Guys has gotten a major corsover, and it's not likely to be the last, but it made a little more sense when Godzilla found his way into the game. Seriously, who was asking for Tron?
Four outfits names after various characters from the movies – Sark, Tron, Rinzler, Quorra – will be coming to Fall Guys. Fall Guys's current season, Season 4, is future-themed so it's not a bad fit when you think about it. Sark will be available in the in-game store for 22,000 kudos, while the other three will be a part of a paid DLC pack. The pack will be releasing on May 24th.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is currently available on PS4 and PC. Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game are in development, but were recently delayed. Cross-platform play is also coming in the future. Developer Tonic Games Group was recently acquired by Epic Games.
Kenneth Stephens oversaw WB Games' Monolith during the development of both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War. Now, he's headed to a new, as-yet unnamed studio at EA, which will focus on developing open world action adventure games. The new studio will be based in Seattle, but may offer opportunities for remote work.
The move will also reunite Stephens with EA senior VP and group GM Samantha Ryan. The two worked together when Ryan was president of Monolith and later SVP of production and development at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
"The action-adventure space is a hugely important genre in our industry, and to us at EA," Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz. "Players and fans of those games are so passionate and it's also one of my personal favorite genres. We've also recently had success with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and we would love to entertain more fans with similar interests."
Ryan wouldn't say whether the new studio would be developing a new IP or working on an existing brand or franchise. "We're still figuring out a lot of foundational questions," Ryan says. "How big? What games? How fast to grow? Kevin and I both know how important it is to get the foundations of any studio 'right' and he'll take his time to figure it all out. When you rush, you don't give yourself time to be thoughtful. Why rush?"
EA plans to reveal more information about the new studio in the fall.
Outriders has been a major success for People Can Fly and Square Enix. Despite it having several issues at launch, including a bug that wiped out players' inventories (which is now being fixed) the game saw more than 3.5 million players its first month, and Square Enix believes the title can become its "next major franchise."
It's not all good news, though. While People Can Fly has made huge strides bringing the game up to snuff, it still has some technical issues. The next patch, which People Can Fly is hoping to release tomorrow, will address a pretty big damage mitigation issue that causes affected players to die "very quickly or in some cases instantly when hit by an attack." The developers also said the "patch will additionally include crash fixes, as well as added telemetry to help us diagnose currently outstanding sign-in issues that might remain after this patch release."
In addition to patching the game, Square Enix is also working on a community appreciation package to apologize players for all of the technical issues the game suffered at launch. The current plan is to reward all players who played between March 31 and April 11 with a Legendary weapon, "a level appropriate amount of Titanium", and the Frustration emote, though all of that may change.
"We are still determining when the appreciation package will be delivered," People Can Fly said on Reddit.
Outriders is "on track to become the company's next major franchise," according to publisher Square Enix. The co-op sci-fi shooter, which was developed by People Can Fly, had more than 3.5 million players during it's first month on the market. Part of that is likely because the game released on Xbox Game Pass at launch. It's also available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, PS5, PC and Stadia.
"With over 3.5 million unique players, average play times of over 30 hours and extremely high engagement for co-operative play, we and the amazing team at People Can Fly are so excited with this initial success," said co-head of studio at Square Enix External Studios Jon Brooke.
"Launching a new game IP is never easy and we remain very grateful for the community's support and feedback – we continue to listen carefully and want to assure everyone that we are committed to improving and enhancing the experience in the coming weeks and months. We also look forward to expanding on Outriders in the future."
Outriders has obviously been a huge success, but it had several issues at launch, including bugs that wiped out player's inventories, which People Can Fly have begun to restore. The studio also announced that it is planning another patch to address damage mitigation issues ans is working on a "community appreciation package for fans."
Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games is continuing The Dark Pictures Anthology. The latest entry, which is the third after Man of Medan and Little Hope, is titled House of Ashes and is set to release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox series X|S, and PC later this year. That's not news, really, but this new teaser trailer for the game is. House of Ashes is set in Iraq in 2003 and once again stars Ashley Tisdale, who is most famous for her role in the High School Musical series.
A press release for the game summarizes House of Ashes as follows: "In the shadow of the Zagros mountains a military unit comes under fire from Iraqi forces. The resulting firefight causes an earth tremor where both sides fall into the ruins of a buried Sumerian temple. With all communication severed, our protagonists are trapped in a terrifying underworld they must navigate to escape, unaware that something ancient and evil has awakened in the shadows and has found a new prey to hunt."
It all sounds suitably scary, and the teaser looks good and builds some terrific atmosphere. Thankfully, we won't have to wait long to see how the game plays, as a gameplay reveal is slated for May 27th. You can watch the teaser trailer below:
The Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley has announced plans for Summer Game Fest 2021. Summer Game Fest is slated to start with a "Kick Off Live" show featuring world premieres on June 10th, which is just two days before E3. The first Summer Games Fest, which kicked off last year, took place between May and August. This time, however, the event has been "condensed" due to fan feedback, Keighley told VGChronicle.
Summer Game Fest promises "a memorable month of announcements and updates" that overlaps with E3 and includes events like Ubisoft Forward which will be streamed by both Summer Games Fest and the ESA. Kick Off Live will take place on Thursday, June 10 at 11 am PT. The event will feature "more than a dozen" world premieres and preview of the publisher livestream events planned to follow. It will also feature a performance by Weezer.
More than 30 publishers are participating in the event. The full list includes 2K, Activision, Amazon Games, Annapurna Interactive, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Battlestate Games, Blizzard Entertainment, Capcom, Devolver Digital, Dotemu, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Finji, Frontier, Gearbox Publishing, Hi-Rez Studios, Inner Sloth, Koch Media, Mediatonic, MiHoYo, PlayStation, Psyonix, Raw Fury, Riot Games, Saber Interactive, Sega, Steam, Square Enix, Tribeca Festival, Tencent Games, Warner Bros. Games, Ubisoft, Wizards of the Coast, and Xbox.
It's official: #SummerGameFest returns LIVE starting on Thursday, June 10.
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) May 19, 2021
While Deathloop's time periods and looping make up a core part of the game, its second playable character Julianna is a major component on her own. On the PlayStation Blog, creative director Dinga Bakaba revealed some new details on the mysterious agent. As it turns out, she originally started out as one of the Visionaries but actively hunt down Colt on her own.
While there was some concern about how a second playable character could impact NPC density or the scale of Blackreef Isle, art director Sebastien Mitton said the PS5's CPU "gave us oxygen" with its speed. Julianna is capable of more than shooting Colt – she can use tannoys to mess with him, which causes some back-and-forth barbs to ensue. She's noted as being playful and doing everything for fun, which fits pretty well with how the Visionaries view their activities on the isle.
When Julianna is being controlled by another player, there will be a unique sound to indicate the same. Some of the things she can do includes "appearing and disappearing at random", leading to some jumpscares; mess with the player without being seen; and maybe provide some weaponry for Colt to use. "She's eternal. She doesn't care about dying. She cares about the hunt and how she can make it interesting over an eternity," says Bakaba.
Deathloop is slated to release on September 14th for PS5 and PC.
As one of the best games available on the PS4, fans have been wondering when The Last of Us Part 2 will receive enhancements for PS5 via backward compatibility. Those inevitable upgrades have now been officially confirmed. Patch 1.08 is now live for the game, Naughty Dog has confirmed, and it brings improvements targeted for those playing the game on PS5.
Specifically, it will improve the game's resolution, make load times significantly faster, and will also add a toggle so that you can choose between 60 frames per second or 30 frames per second. It is, of course, a free update for everyone who already owns the game on PS4.
Meanwhile, there's plenty else for The Last of Us fans to look forward to as well. It's been leaked that a remake of the first game is in the works, while Naughty Dog is also working on a multiplayer project, which is probably a Factions game. Series creator and director Neil Druckmann has also said that a story for Part 3 has been outlined– though if that happens, it won't happen for a while. Finally, an HBO adaptation of The Last of Us is also currently in the works.
Arkane Studios' Deathloop is still a few months off but various previews have begun dropping for the supernatural stealth shooter. On the PlayStation Blog, creative director Dinga Bakaba shared some new details on what sets the game apart from the typical rogue-lite. Yes, you can carry over "certain things" between loops but death isn't the immediate end.
Instead, you get Reprises which provide three chances in each loop to continue. You'll need to locate your corpse to recover any items though. And though the story isn't occurring in real-time, there are four time periods which change the activities, stories, routes and so on for each district. These also change where your targets could be. Switching between time periods can be done from the quick menu but there are certain "repercussions" that could happen. One positive example includes saving a character at an earlier time period who will unlock a door later and provide access to a new area.
Along with stealth and eavesdropping on targets to learn key information (like finding a masked target among a sea of masked individuals), there are Slabs which provide unique abilities, Trinkets that bestow upgrades and a tool for hacking turrets. Some key abilities include Kinesis for tossing enemies into the air or against walls but you'll need to choose carefully. Colt can only carry three weapons and two powers (each being able to have two upgrades).
Being a PS5 exclusive for one year after launch, Deathloop will take advantage of the DualSense. When your gun jams, the adaptive trigger is locked to convey the same. "But when you're out of ammo, the trigger effect will disappear. Even before your brain registers it, the animation, the click-click sound, you'll know you're out," says Bakaba. Each weapon will have a "slightly different feel" to it.
Deathloop is out on September 14th for PC and PS5. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.
The Xbox Series X and PS5 have brought developers significantly better hardware to work with than what we've had with the PS4 and Xbox One for the last few years, but as is usually the case with generation transitions, it's probably going to be a while before we see studios beginning to get the most out of the hardware, especially with most games probably being cross-gen for the foreseeabl future.
That's exactly what Tor Frick, creative director of The Ascent and co-founder of developer Neon Giant, feels as well. Speaking with GamingBolt in a recent interview, when asked about the impressive hardware of the Xbox Series X and how he foresees it aiding development in the coming years, Frick said that it's likely going to be some time before we see that properly. At the same time, he also added that things such as the faster SSD will help smaller developers bridge the gap between smaller and larger budget games.
"I think it will take some time before it becomes apparent how big of a shift this will be," he said. "It will take some time before the development community will have the possibility to fully embrace the new baseline of hardware. The fast load times will allow developers to create experiences that are more seamless, richer, more detailed and more varied. It will help smaller developers bridge the gap between budget titles and what we would traditionally expect from AAA studios. I think we will just see even more variety of games being made from studios of all sizes, which is amazing."
The Ascent launches for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on July 29. In this same interview, Frick also spoke with us about the game's Xbox console exclusivity. Our full interview will be live soon, so stay tuned for that.