Aug 13, 16:00

PCGamesN Sunday, August 13, 2023 3:30 PM
     Rainbow Six Siege reveals preset bomb sites, new operator, and more

The latest Rainbow Six Siege reveal confirms all the additions coming to Year 8 Season 3 of the Ubisoft FPS game, which include a new operator, Ram, a huge transformation to quick match, and the addition of a new player commendation system. The latest update for Rainbow Six Siege, Heavy Mettle, also gets a confirmed release date and introduces balance changes for some of the best Rainbow Six Siege operators.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Best FPS games, Best Rainbow Six Siege operators, Play Rainbow Six Siege

PCGamesN Sunday, August 13, 2023 12:17 PM
     Star Wars Outlaws should be less Jedi Survivor, more Andor

Star Wars Outlaws looks like the galaxy far, far away's first true open-world adventure. The iconic sci-fi franchise has had many games focusing on the dark and light side of the force, boasting both fan-favorite lightsaber wielders and original heroes like Cal Kestis and Galen Marek. For Outlaws, however, I'm so much more excited by the prospect of being a comparatively normal person attempting to survive in this complex, dangerous universe.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Best Star Wars games, Best open-world games, Best single-player games

PCGamesN Sunday, August 13, 2023 9:23 AM
     Texas Chain Saw Massacre won't end like Friday 13th, Gun says

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre game is a new project from Gun Interactive and Sumo Nottingham, and with the team at Gun known to be massive horror nerds, they're among the best choices to bring the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre IP to its own horror game. If you didn't already know, they're also the team behind the popular Friday the 13th game, which sadly shut down its servers in 2020 due to licensing issues. In a conversation with PCGamesN, Gun's creative director Ronnie Hobbs reassures us that the Slaughter Family won't go the same way as Jason Vorhees and his mother.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Best horror games, Best multiplayer games, Best survival games

Siliconera Sunday, August 13, 2023 3:00 PM

Gran Turismo Movie Actors

Gran Turismo is one of those game-to-movie adaptations that sounds like a joke. Let's take a game that's exclusively about driving cars with no characters or plot and move it into a narrative medium. However, much like the similarly real-yet-fake-sounding Tetris movie from earlier this year, Gran Turismo is based on a real-life story around the game, not the game itself.

In 2008, Nissan and PlayStation got together to create the GT Academy. This was a competition that took the best Gran Turismo players in the world and turned them into real-life professional racing drivers. The movie tells the story of the third GT Academy winner, Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), although bizarrely, it treats him like he was the first.

The movie chronicles Jann's journey from a guy obsessed with Gran Turismo to his rise through the ranks on the real-world professional circuit. He is guided by Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom), a Nissan UK marketing exec who came up with the idea for the GT Academy, and Jack Salter (David Harbour), a former driver turned mechanic roped in to coach the Academy entrants.

[caption id="attachment_977870" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Gran Turismo Movie CGI Image via Sony Pictures[/caption]

You probably already have an idea how this movie goes. It's a race movie, a genre that frequently sees the plucky underdog overcome the odds and become the great champion. Even better if he wipes the smile off a rival's face in the process. And yes, Gran Turismo is exactly that movie. Problem is, it misses what makes those movies work.

We love to see an underdog beat the odds. Of course, we all know that our hero is going to become the grand champion by the end. However, what makes these kinds of movies compelling is the push-and-pull of expectations. The losses. The setbacks. The struggles that make us root for our hero and cheer when they eventually rub their rival's smug face in their own hubris.

Gran Turismo does none of this. Every hint of a challenge that Jann encounters in his journey is resolved in seconds. Every race is just a highlight reel of Jann doing cool stuff, designed to let us know how his applied gamer knowledge makes him much better than the professional race drivers he's up against. Even the rival characters the movie sets up may as well be faceless opponents due to how little conflict they bring to the table. It is, quite frankly, tedious.

[caption id="attachment_977871" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Gran Turismo Movie Jann Image via Sony Pictures[/caption]

It doesn't help that Jann is hard to root for. Not because he's obnoxious or annoying. No, that would require him to be interesting. The movie makes a plot point out of Danny not wanting to put Jann in front of a camera because of poor press training and limited confidence. However, his limited screen presence and charisma extends to the movie itself. He has two personality traits – he likes Gran Turismo, and he listens to cheesy adult contemporary music to chill out. Other than that, I really couldn't tell you anything about him.

Fortunately, Gran Turismo does have David Harbour to carry it, as the man is acting on behalf of everybody else here. Jack Salter is the best character. He's stubborn, abrasive and yet secretly a softie who does want the Academy entrants to succeed despite his protests. His anti-pep talk to the GT Academy entrants is a brilliant scene. His emotional range when talking about his backstory is superb. And we truly feel his frustration dealing with the rich snobs who buy their way into motorsport. Even his character arc is more interesting than our protagonist's. This movie should be about him. It's a crime that it is not.

[caption id="attachment_977873" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Gran Turismo Movie Race Image via Sony Pictures[/caption]

So it's a poor race movie, but does it hold up as a movie about Gran Turismo? For that, we all need to admit what fans play the games for – car porn. The games are about owning a garage full of lovingly rendered exotic cars and racing them in locations around the world. Maybe even taking some pictures of them in Photo Mode while soft jazz plays in the background. No judgment, I own two of these games myself, I get the appeal.

However, the Gran Turismo movie struggles with this too. Despite Nissan's strong presence in the movie, and the prevalence of many famous circuits, there's very little attention given to the cars themselves. There's a single scene where the team briefly ooh and ahh over the Nismo Le Mans vehicle but it's over in seconds. Instead, this is a movie about the blandest driver alive, and we are mostly going to be looking at his face.

In reality, this movie exists for one reason. Sony Group Corporation would like you to buy a PlayStation 5 and a copy of Gran Turismo 7. Look how cool this superfan is! That could be you! It's why so many of the visuals of the game itself appear to be from the latest entry and why the DualSense keeps showing up from time to time. This is despite the real Jann Mardenborough winning the GT Academy in 2011. At the time, the most recent game in the series was Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3. It's a weird inaccuracy that clearly exists because a marketing executive demanded it.

[caption id="attachment_977874" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Gran Turismo Movie Accident Image via Sony Pictures[/caption]

Weirdly, despite being a two-hour PlayStation commercial, it gets the series wrong in ways that I feel it shouldn't. There are a lot of CGI visuals during races meant to emulate Jann visualising the game's UI and yet none of the UI elements appear to be from any of the games. Polyphony Digital appears to exist in a tiny broom closet of an office, when I'm certain that the developer of Sony's best-selling first-party franchise would occupy a much larger location. They don't even use the recurring Kenny G joke to sneak in some of the games' bossa nova menu music, which feels like a wasted opportunity.

It's not entirely clear who this movie is for. It fails to stand on its own as a movie without the associated video game baggage. Yet it's also devoid of fanservice to the games or indeed the cars they're about in the first place. There are much better race movies out there, and if you want to learn about Jann Mardenborough's rise to fame, stick to watching his highlights on YouTube. If you just want fast cars on iconic tracks, you're better off playing the games themselves.

The Gran Turismo movie is out now in UK and European theaters. It will release in the US on August 25, 2023, and in Japan on September 15, 2023.

The post The Gran Turismo Movie Stalls on the Starting Line appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Sunday, August 13, 2023 12:00 PM

The Summer Hikaru Died Manga Balances Grief and Horror

The first volume of the The Summer Hikaru Died manga slaps readers in the face with its premise. Hikaru, the dear friend and person Yoshiki loved most died. However, "Hikaru" is still there. We're immediately confronted with not only how wrong this is, but how devastating this is for a young man grieving and trying to reconcile a life with this new entity.

It's incredibly how quickly The Summer Hikaru Died forces us as readers to face Yoshiki's new reality. We get six pages that feel incredibly ordinary. Two high school kids hanging outside a corner store, enjoying snacks while dealing with the heat. One of them, "Hikaru," mispronounces a word. But it's such that it could be no big deal. People mess up. Except Yoshiki then brings up how Hikaru went missing in the mountains near the town for a week. All the while, his eyes are hidden.

It's on that sixth page that The Summer Hikaru Died manga hits us with the line. We finally see Yoshiki's eyes, which are vacant with evident bags beneath them. He, the person who grew up alongside Hikaru, who loves him, and knows him better than anyone, asks, "You ain't the real Hikaru, are ya?"
[gallery columns="1" size="full" ids="977485" link="file"]
I feel it hits us, or at least me, as hard as it does "Hikaru." A full page is dedicated to his shock, before reality unravels. Mokumokuren's execution is flawless, especially as the art bleeds to reveal and hint at what might have happened and who this new "Hikaru" is. Yoshiki watches in horror, but at the same time we can sense his grief and desperation as he takes in what he already knew.

But at the same time, there's the sense of sympathy for whoever this new Hikaru is. This is a being that inherited the young man's memories and form to become a flawless copy. He's spent six months with Yoshiki, relishing life as a human. Likewise, Yoshiki's spent six months knowing something isn't right, with the manga's first volume showing in this first chapter how its eaten away at him. So, it ends with a sense of possible acceptance. Of the new Hikaru living the lie and Yoshiki going along with it because it means "a" Hikaru is still there.

The rest of the first volume of The Summer Hikaru Died manga deals with Yoshiki coming to terms with this newfound knowledge. We see how it shapes his relationship with Hikaru. Especially since this being he's spending time with is now showing no qualms about its nature due to knowing this is one person it doesn't need to wear a mask around. It also means watching Hikaru's actions more closely now that we, like Yoshiki, are privy to the truth. Examining every action. Wondering what he's capable of. Especially since it also means looking closer at how he influences those around him.

It's the beginnings of an incredible story. The things happening her feel so offputting and wrong, especially when we happen upon moments in the first volume of The Summer Hikaru Died that would be heartwarming or normal if, well, both of the people involved were actually human. The glimpses of what's going on and building tension are so satisfying, and they left me wishing we didn't need to wait until October 2023 for more.

The Summer Hikaru Died volume 1 is available now, and Yen Press will publish volume 2 of the manga on October 17, 2023.

The post The Summer Hikaru Died Manga Mixes Grief with Horror appeared first on Siliconera.

Siliconera Sunday, August 13, 2023 9:00 AM

Flutter Away Is a Pleasant Walk in the Woods

Games can be great at helping you decompress. Ones that fit into the "cozy" category are especially adept at this. Flutter Away is one of the latest such experiences. It's a pleasant means of getting away to the wilderness. It's a light photography game that sends you off to the woods for an afternoon, and it's a good way to calm down after a long day.

In Flutter Away, players step into the shoes of a person who's headed off to the rainforest to camp for five days. Your goal is to fill up a journal with details about the different butterflies you'll see there. Though you will also catch other features, such as a personable capybara, frogs, and flowers, the focus is on taking photos of the insects as you walk through a small area around you.
[caption id="attachment_977266" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Flutter Away Is a Pleasant Walk in the Woods Image via Runaway Play[/caption]
However, you're not going to go into it and find everything right away. Flutter Away paces things out. On your first day, for example, you'll find three. Two of them will appear during the day, and one at night. You'll get a to-do list of objectives for each day that will advance the "story," keeping you from really missing anything.

The bulk of the game involves walking on the designated path and checking for points of interest, occasionally interacting with plants to move them out of the way or shake them to reveal critters. If it's a butterfly, you'll need to take one photo of it either flying or resting in its habitat. After that, you'll need to extend a stick to get a butterfly to land on it. You'll then need to take another picture of it there to complete its entry. The notes "you" take don't get too detailed, but they do offer insight into history about them and their scientific names.

There are some downsides to it, however. The big one is that Flutter Away is quite short. When I went through it, I was done in an hour. Which is pleasant enough! It was a good excursion. However, I didn't feel like I really had a chance to explore the woods. You're only allowed down very specific paths, and you're really guided through specific experiences. It's restrictive in a way I didn't really appreciated. I'd hoped for more of an excuse to just… get lost in the woods. Especially since it does feel so soothing.
[caption id="attachment_977267" align="alignnone" width="1200"]Flutter Away Is a Pleasant Walk in the Woods 3 Image via Runaway Play[/caption]
This also means there's really no excuse to return to Flutter Away when you're done. It's enjoyable for that first afternoon, I assure you. However there's really no reason to take multiple pictures of certain butterflies or things once you've gotten the ones you need to fill your journal or complete objectives. This isn't like Pokemon Snap, where you might get to see fantastic situations that make you want to go through multiple runs. It is a one-and-done camping trip.

Basically, Flutter Away is a short, guided trip through the rainforest to spend a little time chasing after and photographing butterflies. It's good at what it does. It's brief, letting you enjoy the moment, then head off to go into the more stressful real world. I do wish it offered a little more freedom or excuse to return to it, but it's good at what it does.

Flutter Away is available for the Nintendo Switch and PC.

The post Flutter Away Is a Pleasant Walk in the Woods appeared first on Siliconera.

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 11:34 AM
     There are a lot of villagers in Stardew Valley that you can befriend if you spend the necessary time talking to them and getting to know them. Some of these villagers are more interesting than others, as you can romance them. Romanceable characters are the bread and butter of Stardew Valley, as you go looking […]

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 11:25 AM
     There are a lot of cooking ingredients that you can use in Stardew Valley to make amazing recipes and foods that both your character and other villagers will thoroughly enjoy. Vinegar is one of these cooking ingredients that people will want to use for some of their cooking recipes. It is a vital ingredient in […]

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 8:55 AM
     There are five major skills in Stardew Valley, and for every 5 levels, you will have to choose special Professions that give you bonuses in those skills. Unfortunately, getting a Profession at level 5 will block you from two potential Professions at level 10. Since most players have no idea what Professions will be available […]

Aug 13, 08:00

PCGamesN Sunday, August 13, 2023 5:30 AM
     Snag this overlooked, 9/10 Wild West strategy game for 75% off, quick

Desperados 3 is one of the coolest strategy games in recent years, a Wild West adventure that blends the tactics and stealth of XCOM with the real-time strategy of Commandos and developer Mimimi Games' own excellent Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun. A prequel to the classic Desperados games, it follows a band of five unique outlaws on their travels across the Old West, getting into all manner of scrapes and shenanigans. If you missed out on Desperados 3 at the time, you'll definitely want to snap it up quickly in this Steam sale while it's at a bargain price.

MORE FROM PCGAMESN: Desperados III review, The best cowboy games on PC, The best RTS games on PC

Rock Paper Shotgun Latest Articles Feed Sunday, August 13, 2023 6:00 AM

Sundays are for going to yet another wedding. Before you reach for the smart clothes, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

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Twinfinite Sunday, August 13, 2023 4:00 AM
Spore, Spore, & Spore Some More

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 4:49 AM
     There are a lot of materials in Stardew Valley that you can craft and use to make a lot of money. However, some are hidden behind special crafting machines that you won't even know you unlocked. As you gain levels in Farming, Mining, and Foraging, you will unlock a lot of different items and buildings […]

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 4:06 AM
     In Project Zomboid, survivors and zombies are not the only existing creatures. Besides, we also have animals, which play a role as food resources rather than our allies. In this guide, we'll show you the list of animals and their purposes in Project Zomboid. Recommended Read: Can Zombies Break Walls in Project Zomboid? Project Zomboid […]

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 3:45 AM
     Sleeping is one of the best methods to regain your sanity and health in Don't Starve Together. While most players prefer using the Tent, learning other sleep methods can benefit you in different situations. Recommended Read: How to Increase Sanity in DST In this guide, let's learn how to sleep in Don't Starve Together! To […]

Gamer Empire Sunday, August 13, 2023 3:33 AM
     Surviving in Don't Starve Together requires a lot of effort, as you need to keep managing up to 3 attributes, one of which is sanity, an attribute that indicates if your character is insane or not. In this guide, let's learn how to increase sanity in Don't Starve Together. Recommended Read: Is Building Walls Worth […]