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EA has announced that Battlefield 2042 will be delayed until November 19, 2021, pushing the release date by almost a month after its original October 22 release date. In a press release, DICE GM Oskar Gabrielson cites ongoing complications with the COVID-19 pandemic. “Given the scale and scope of the game, we had hoped our teams would be back in our studios together as we move towards launch. With the ongoing conditions not allowing that to happen safely, and with all the hard work the teams are doing from home, we feel it is important to take the extra time to deliver on the vision of Battlefield 2042 for our players.” Battlefield 2042 is EA and DICE’s first Battlefield game since 2018’s Battlefield 5, and it is the latest game to be hit by a delay in 2021. Unlike some other major releases originally planned for 2021, Battlefield 2042 will still launch this year and won’t impact EA’s financial forecast for the fiscal year 2022. EA also says an update on the Open Beta for Battlefield 2042 will be announced later this month. Battlefield 2042 will be set in the near future and will include hallmarks of the series such as large-scale battles and huge open maps. In addition, Battlefield 2042 is set during an environmental disaster so players will contend with natural disasters like tornados appearing on the map as well. A new addition to Battlefield 2042 is a mode called Portal which will let players create custom games using assets from Battlefield 2042, Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3. Check out IGN’s Battlefield 2042 preview for our take on the next large-scale military shooter. Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd. Continue reading...
When DokeV got its latest new trailer at the recent PlayStation Showcase, some people (including us!) were initially confused. The game had originally been marketed as an MMORPG, but now all its messaging called it an "open-world action-adventure." No massive multiplayer online elements in sight. What happened? According to Pearl Abyss director of animation and motion capture and DokeV lead producer Sangyoung Kim, it was a simple matter of vision. At one point in its development, an MMORPG like Pearl Abyss' previous title Black Desert Online made the most sense. Now, it doesn't. "We’ve had a lot of discussions about the game’s direction while working on DokeV and as the result, we concluded that making it an open-world action-adventure game allows us to best express our vision for the game," he said. "Now we are going in the direction of enjoying the diverse gameplay in the vast open world." All that said, though, that doesn't mean the multiplayer components are gone from DokeV. The monster-filled adventure will include both a single-player experience in its main storyline, Kim told IGN, as well as "collaborative multiplayer elements to work on with other players," such as fighting boss monsters together as a group. "Of course, there will be a PvP element in the game," he added. "For those competitive elements, we are developing it with the idea of friendly competition that encourages good sportsmanship. We will come back with more information on this in the future." We learned several other tidbits from Kim, including the immense size of its open world, and a little about the different kinds of activities players can participate in with their Dokebi beyond just battling and exploring. All in all, DokeV is shaping up to be a colorful and exciting undertaking, which explains why we are still, unfortunately, still left hanging on a release window. But given the apparent size and scope of the game we saw last month, it'll hopefully be worth the wait. Rebekah Valentine is a reporter at IGN. Continue reading...
Deathloop is available now, and it's drawing rave reviews for its unique loop mechanic and the creative freedom of its mechanics. But over on PC, Deathloop is currently getting hit hard by fans who are upset with stuttering issues. Over on Steam, Deathloop currently sits at a Mixed rating with around 2,763 reviews. Many of the top reviews complain about frame rate stuttering, poor optimization, and other issues, most of which is being traced to Denuvo Anti-Piracy software. The DRM software is notorious for causing technical issues on PC games. Dishonored 2 suffered similar problems until Bethesda removed the software. Now it's back in full force with Deathloop. IGN reached out to Bethesda about plans to fix the issue, but received no response. In a joking Reddit post this morning, though, a user with a Bethesda flair popped in to confirm that a fix is being prioritized. "Hey all, I'm one of the DEATHLOOP Community Managers, and while those burgers do look great, regarding performance we are aware of reports that some PC users are experiencing stuttering issues in DEATHLOOP," the user MortalEmperor wrote. "We're actively investigating the issue right now as a priority, and will update you with more specific information as soon as possible." Once the stuttering issues are fixed, fans will find a spectacular immersive sim that should be firmly in the Game of the Year conversation for 2021. Our review called it a "new high watermark" for Arkane and developers of similar games. "Despite its seemingly endless complexities, Deathloop is one of the most confidently designed games I’ve ever played," our reviewer wrote. "Its unique, high-concept ideas around time loops and non-linear investigation work are implemented with elegance, making its systems feel effortless to navigate, learn from, and ultimately master." Deathloop is available now on PC and PlayStation 5. Continue reading...
 
A great co-op game leaves you with a memorable shared experience, something you can reminisce with a friend about months or even years later. They can forge friendships, maybe test the limits of others, or even just bring people closer together. We love co-op games at IGN, which is why we wanted to take some time to put together this list of the top 10 cooperative games of all time. Before we start though, a few caveats as we define what “co-op” means for this list. First, we wanted to focus on games that were truly built around that cooperative experience. This is a list of the top 10 cooperative games, not the 10 best games that happen to be playable cooperatively, which is why you’ll see a lot of games, or separate modes, that can only be played with two players. There are going to be a few that can be played solo, but these experiences are really defined by their cooperative versions. To make room for those games, we had to make some tough cuts, including Halo and Borderlands. Also, to keep this from stepping on the toes of other genres, we’re omitting MMOs, MOBAs, and any games that are solely focused around competitive cooperative play. Rainbow Six Siege and the Battlefield games are amazing cooperative experiences for those on the same team, no doubt, but for this list, we want to highlight the games that bring people together to work towards a common goal that’s not simply “beat the other team.”. With that said, here are the 10 best cooperative games of all time. 10. Splinter Cell Conviction Even as a complementary mode to Splinter Cell: Conviction's main story, the co-op campaign absolutely shines as a thrilling and fun way to team up with a friend to eliminate tons of bad guys from the shadows. Set as a prologue to Sam Fisher’s story, you take on the roles of a US and Russian agent working together to stop a deadly black market sale, and can use the “Mark and Execute” mechanic in tandem to pull off some amazing, cinematic takedowns. Communication is key when crouching through the dark, ratcheting up the tension as you split up to take different paths or protect your friend as they put themselves in a vulnerable situation, cleanly and quietly picking off interlopers as they try to attack your exposed partner. This surprisingly meaty campaign caps off with one of the most surprising and exhilarating endings to a co-op story ever, which may end up putting a slight strain on your friendship. The one bummer is that servers were turned off in 2019, making it exceptionally hard to play in 2021. Just another reason why it's high time to bring both Splinter Cell and this incredible co-op mode back for all to play. 9. Overcooked 2 Overcooked became the foundation for a job-based co-op genre that has spawned many similarly frantic experiences, but there's a level of polish and iconic charm that keep us coming back to Overcooked specifically. With the addition of the throwing mechanic in Overcooked 2, level design transformed from teetering on the edge of somewhat manageable to total, gleeful kitchen chaos. Story campaigns have chefs running back and forth between moving food trucks, pirate ships on the ocean, tossing food over active volcanoes and other varied locales that you wouldn’t normally plan to cook a plate of spaghetti at. Nailing perfect coordination and understanding the fine-tuning of each kitchen's quirks is the key to going for perfect ratings, and it's truly a feat that only the most iron-willed chefs working in tandem can pull off. 8. Streets of Rage 4 Street of Rage 4 is anything but a nostalgia play, despite coming out over 15 years after the last entry in the series. This is one of the best beat-em-ups of all time, straight up, and it shines even brighter in co-op mode, and not just because you’ll have a much better chance to survive it’s challenging difficulty. More than anything else, what makes Streets of Rage such a great co-op game is its balance of approachability and depth. It’s super easy to jump right in, adjust the difficulty and assists to your preference, and have a blast even with someone who doesn’t know all of the ins-and-outs of the franchise. But gather together a group of veterans who know how to really dig into Streets of Rage 4’s mechanical depth, and it’s even more fun to challenge yourself to get as far as you can, especially with the Mr. X Nightmare Survival mode DLC released after launch. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, grab a metal pipe off the ground, an apple for health out of a trash can, and jump into one of the most fun co-op games around. 7. Divinity Original Sin 2 Much like its clear inspiration, Dungeons and Dragons, Divinity Original Sin 2 is a tremendously fun cooperative experience, but it does require finding the right partner or group to play with. After all, it’s an incredibly dense RPG with tons of dialogue, character customization options, and turn-based combat, but if you do find that right person or people willing to engage with its depth and commit to a full campaign much like you would with a D&D group, Divinity Original Sin 2 is an unforgettable co-op experience. Every fight is its own cooperative puzzle where you must coordinate with your party, plan moves ahead, and make careful use of your own character's unique skills in order to overcome some truly tough battles. And just like a good D&D game, it’s all about exploring the story as a group, discovering how your choices impact the world, and working together to achieve your goals. 6. Monster Hunter World Monster Hunter: World brilliantly retains its intricacy, difficulty, and sense of wonder through multiplayer. A great single-player experience is catapulted into the amazing category with fellow hunters in co-op. Whether on the hunt against a fantastic beast, or back at the hub just getting silly, sharing the exhilarating process of prepping for a difficult battle and barely making it by the skin of your teeth is one you have to experience with your pals, and not just your Palicos. Admittedly, playing through the main story with friends can be a bit of a tedious task at times, but the story missions are just a ludicrously small fraction of the hundreds of hours of adventure Monster Hunter: World has to offer, especially when much of the “post-game” content is at its best when played in teams, like the intimidating Behemoth with recognizable MMO mechanics from the Final Fantasy 14 crossover, or the sincerely difficult arch-tempered Elder Dragons, and the most challenging of all, Fatalis. Defeating these fiercest of foes with your bestest of buds will strengthen those bonds even more - or make you want to disown someone for not drinking their Armorskin. Either way, it’s a great time. 5. Left 4 Dead 2 The Left 4 Dead games drop players into what is essentially a video game version of the zombie movies 28 Days Later or Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake. That is, it’s you and some friends versus thousands of hungry and very fast zombies. And teamwork is essential if you want to survive the legions of the undead in this magic experience that developers have been trying to recapture ever since its debut. Each campaign’s objectives will be much more achievable if all players work together, consistently communicate, and take on specific roles within the group. One of Left 4 Dead’s most genius inclusions is the A.I. director, which monitors your team’s progress and tones down — or ramps up — the difficulty based on how well you’re doing. If you’re doing too well, the A.I. Director can make success practically a nightmare, and having real human buddies at your side may just give you the edge you need to make it through. Oh, and why Left 4 Dead 2 over the original? It’s got better Special Infected (the Jockey is a personal favorite), a better campaign, and Valve even ported over everything from L4D1 into the sequel...so you don’t even need the first game to experience all its fun. 4. Sea of Thieves To those who have had dreams of donning a pirate's hat and setting sail on the salty waves in search of treasure and wonder, Sea of Thieves is the game for you. From following lore-filled Tall Tales that lead to valuable treasure or manning the 4-pirate vessel, The Galleon, to battle enemy ships on the water; a coordinated band of friends makes everything a lot more manageable, and fun, in this swashbuckling world. Having your crew at your side when setting foot on islands of nautical baddies and delving into caves with powerful pirate captains is always optimal to assure a bountiful voyage. Hilarity can ensue at any moment with a collection of pirate items on hand like a banjo and hurdy-gurdy for sea shanty sing-alongs or a tankard for some booze-based camaraderie. And for those who always hoped for a Pirates of the Caribbean video game, the Disney-collaborated Pirate’s Life storyline now available in Sea of Thieves makes these virtual high seas all the more alluring to explore. Savvy? 3. It Takes Two If creativity was electricity, It Takes Two power an entire town. Hazelight Studios’ brilliant co-op-only adventure released just this year and yet it is so good that it clearly deserves a spot in the upper echelon of the all time great co-op games. The key to It Takes Two’s success as a cooperative experience is that it always maintains its core as a co-op platformer, but with every new area, it changes up the rules, and how its two characters, Cody and May, must interact with each other. The result is a game that always feels fresh, and always encourages its co-op partners to figure out new ways of working together. Just when it feels like the game has done everything it can with one mechanic, it moves on to a new one that’s just as fun as the last. And most importantly, everything is built around the idea of cooperating with your partner, as it literally cannot be played alone. 2. Rock Band 4 Guitar Hero may have started the plastic instrument trend, but when Rock Band came out, it turned it into a co-op phenomena, and while we could really put any of the Rock Band games here, we’re going with Rock Band 4 simply because it’s the most available one to play in 2021 and features years of iteration under its belt. Rock Band is quite simply the ultimate four-player co-op experience for two key reasons: it’s a damn good rhythm and karaoke game first and foremost, regardless of what instrument you’re playing, with an expansive catalogue stretching across genres and eras. But secondly, there’s a unique social aspect to Rock Band that just isn’t present in any other game. You can play Rock Band to achieve high scores and gold star every song on expert, but its most joyful version is one where you’re not worrying about any of that. Instead, the most important part is goofing off with your friends and pretending to be rock stars together, an experience Rock Band delivers in (ace of) spades. For those that continue to virtually rock, we salute you. 1. Portal 2 Portal 2 is one of the greatest puzzle games of all time, but what’s even more impressive about it is that, in addition to having that stellar single-player campaign, on top of that is, in our opinion, the best co-op experience of all time. It’s perfectly paced, brilliantly split up into multiple areas, each focusing on a different puzzle mechanic, and strikes just the right mix between tests of skill and tests of the mind. The puzzles themselves are more complex than ever before, especially since you now have four portals to work with as opposed to the two in single-player mode, but they somehow never become frustrating because it’s always fun to experiment, piece together the puzzle bit by bit, and collaborate with your buddy whether through voice chat or the clever pinging system. Even 10 years later, there’s still nothing quite like playing Portal 2 with a friend. And that’s our list! Like so many others, this was a very tough list to cull to just 10, with games like Resident Evil 5, Destiny 2, and the aforementioned Borderlands and Halo games just missing this list for one reason or another. Let us know what you think in the comments. Continue reading...
Ninjas and the stealth genre are like PB&J sandwiches: even with stale bread, it's usually a mix powerful enough that it can overwhelm any unpleasant flavors — though Aragami 2 is the exception that proves that rule. This sleuthy third-person adventure is an utter delight when you're exploring its brilliant serpentine levels or disposing of evil-doers by way of some creative supernatural powers, both of which are even more fun while hip-tossing your way through the campaign in co-op with a buddy. Even so, a lackluster story, painfully repetitive missions, and one too many bugs keep Aragami 2 from being a tale worthy of legend. Set in an entrancing, war-torn feudal fantasy land known as Rashomon, Aragami 2 puts you into a stoic hero's spiffy tabi boots as they try to save the Kurotsuba clan from a miasma of death and disease. It seems a rival clan known as the Akatsuchi wants to wipe any competition from existence, no matter how war-crimey things get. Despite Aragami 2 sewing compelling seeds involving themes of spiritualism, the story never blooms into anything meaningful in the 15-hour long campaign. It's all just shallow set dressing to justify why you're throat-punching armored guys around the countryside. At least, as a silver lining, you don't need to know what happened in the first game to enjoy this one. That doesn’t really slow Aragami 2 down, though, as prowling around enemy encampments is a ton of fun early on. I typically find the best way to approach levels is to get a good lay of the land via high ground, then proceed with whatever attack plan allows for maximum sneakiness. If an assassination target is on a building's second floor, climbing up its siding to dip in through a window for a silent takedown will minimize unnecessary encounters. Or, if a situation calls for knocking out several guards, slinking behind them one at a time via back alleyways is an excellent means by which to ensure you're not overwhelmed. The labyrinthine quality of Aragami 2's levels encourages crafty, meticulous strategies that are a blast to plan and execute. Few moments in Aragami 2 are quite as satisfying as witnessing your wild schemes come to fruition in a fell swoop. That fabulous self-expression only amplifies once shadow skills come into the fold and wildly expand on how you can approach levels. My favorite is Dark Flame, a skill that, on command, will turn lamp posts into explosive clouds of sleep-inducing gas. It comes in handy when there's a posse of baddies hanging around a choke point, where individually taking them down is nearly out of the question. If you're lucky, though, there'll be a lamp post close by that's eager to send them off counting sheep. Which there often is! Few moments in Aragami 2 are quite as satisfying as witnessing your wild schemes come to fruition in a fell swoop. Of course, there are times when a plan goes awry, and things devolve into duels that are about as enjoyable as pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks in knee-deep mud. Combat in Aragami 2 is bizarrely swampy and awkward for a game about ninjas, where the timing of both hits and misses feels off, as if the animations aren't keeping up with the fights themselves. I'm relatively confident the parry maneuver is partially to blame as it often doesn't, well, actually parry incoming sword-swipes. Frustration sets in quickly when parrying fails, and then enemies wail on your defenseless carcass. Only two or three hits will send you belly-up, so it's best to sprint, hide, and wait for the guards to get back to patrolling, particularly if two or more are on your tail. Considering guy-with-sword is the only enemy type to encounter for the vast, overwhelming majority of playtime, you'll likely grow tired of fights, regardless of the outcome. I came to avoid combat at all costs for these reasons alone, even forgoing lethal takedowns when possible out of the fear that they might somehow trigger more tussles later on. Guy-with-sword is the only enemy type for the vast majority of playtime. There were more scraps in my future, sadly, especially as I steadily lost patience with Aragami 2's excruciatingly slow pacing. Missions have a nasty habit of returning to the earlier levels ad nauseam, upwards of five times in the most egregious instances. Sure, you might be gathering intel now instead of rescuing prisoners like last time, but visiting a stone quarry for the umpteenth occasion aggravates beyond belief. Worse yet, virtually every objective is either just a boring fetch quest to nab random items or assassination contracts with no substance. There's just a staggering lack of variety across the board. It feels like developer Lince Works wanted to draw out the campaign to reach an arbitrary hour count, but Aragami 2 could have nearly half of its missions cut and would be better for it. If that were the case I probably would not have resorted to madly sprinting towards a mission's finish line near the campaign's last few hours, often fumbling quieter sequences and resulting in more tiresome fighting. As is true of nearly every game that supports it, having buddies by your side goes a long way in alleviating Aragami 2's more tedious sections. Outside of a handful of short tutorials, the entire campaign is available in online co-op for up to three players, and it's a blast. In the beginning, my friend and I would usually congregate just beyond a group of enemies’ line of sight, carefully scanning ahead of us while coming up with the best means to take multiple targets out at once together. If two guards split off from each other, I'd strangle whichever veered left while the fool that went right got blitzed by my friend. Synchronization came so naturally that it wasn't long before all it took was a quick countdown before an attack because we knew what the other was thinking. Even combat isn't so bad when someone else is there to pull aggro off you and share the load. Not even co-op can save Aragami 2 from its disastrous glitches, though. These range from harmless, chuckle-worthy stuff, such as guards running laps as if they're in an intense ring-around-the-rosey match to inexcusable game-ending things where you clip out of a level and have to restart the whole mission to progress. Bugs aren't frequent, as I only encountered a handful during my time with Aragami 2, but the effects are pretty severe when they do crop up. For example, during a co-op session, my friend and I couldn't complete a mission because the resources we had to gather were missing the "pick up" button prompt, forcing us to hard restart. When a game is already trying your patience, that kind of thing can push it over the edge. Continue reading...
Update: Alongside the standard hardcover edition of The Art of Halo Infinite, Dark Horse Books will also be releasing a Deluxe Edition version. The Deluxe Edition features an exclusive cover by Halo Infinite art director Sparth and a slipcase inspired by Master Chief's Mjolnir armor. The set also comes with a portfolio of several art prints showcasing the wide vistas of the Halo station. Check out The Art of Halo Infinite Deluxe Edition below: The Deluxe Edition is priced at $79.99 and will be available for preorder through Dark Horse Direct, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores and comic shops. Both versions are currently slated for release on December 14, 2021, a month after the game arrives on the Xbox and PC. The original story is below: Halo Infinite is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious and graphically impressive games in the series. And if you want an insider look at the characters, worlds and technology of the game, Dark Horse Comics has you covered with The Art of Halo Infinite. IGN can exclusively debut the cover to The Art of Halo Infinite, created by the game's art director Sparth. Check it out below: Here's Dark Horse's official description for The Art of Halo Infinite: The Master Chief is back in Halo Infinite, the biggest and most visually spectacular Halo yet. Halo Infinite will debut on PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X, Microsoft's fastest and most powerful console ever. To take full advantage of its prodigious graphical prowess, 343 Industries built an all-new, next-generation game engine, giving their world-class artists the tools and technology to realize the beauty, mystery and wonder of the Halo universe in unprecedented style and fidelity. 343 Industries have given Dark Horse access to the art and artists who have brought Halo Infinite to vibrant, vivid life. It's all here in unparalleled detail, the heroes you've grown to love—the Master Chief, the brave soldiers of the UNSC, as well as the weapons, vehicles, villains and vistas—and of course, the eponymous and magnificent environments of Halo itself. The Art of Halo Infinite is priced at $39.99 for the regular hardcover and $79.99 for the deluxe edition, and both are currently scheduled for release in Holiday 2020. You can pre-order the regular edition on Amazon. We recently got a closer look at Halo Infinite at the Xbox Games Showcase. Find out more about the new story and villain details revealed, as why 343 Industries says there won't be a Halo Infinite 2. IGN's Brian Altano and Max Scoville recently unboxed another art book from Dark Horse during [email protected] Check out the video below to see what you get with the deluxe edition of The World of Cyberpunk 2077: Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter. Continue reading...
I Am Fish is without a doubt the weirdest game I’ve played this year and appears to have been made by insane people. In other words, I really enjoyed it. It’s an intentionally frustrating physics-based platformer and a literal fish-out-of-water story that challenges you to overcome ridiculous obstacles. Escaping captivity is not always as fair or forgiving as I’d hoped and sometimes can be downright infuriating, but overcoming its preposterous challenges is frequently a thing of beauty. As a glutton for punishment, I found I Am Fish to be a challenging, entertaining ride that had me laughing, cursing at seagulls, and occasionally sobbing uncontrollably on the carpet as I had to restart a section yet again. This is a bizarre, over-the-top tale of a quartet of fish who eat sentient bread (which you might remember from I Am Bread) which awakens human-like sentience and intelligence in them. Naturally, they use this to wreak havoc on their human overlords and absolutely destroy entire towns, like a nihilistic retelling of Finding Nemo. It’s truly one of the weirdest premises I’ve ever beheld and it kept me laughing and shaking my head in disbelief the whole way through – around 10 hours. Perhaps weirdest of all is how I Am Fish develops and expands upon the stories from I Am Bread and Surgeon Simulator, giving lots of backstory and exposition to those games in what appears to be an incredibly ill-advised attempt to establish the BGU (Bread Gaming Universe, obviously). And honestly, I’m here for it. The completely absurd attempt to create a cohesive series out of a tongue-in-cheek bread game only adds to the charming stupidity that called to me in the first place. You should expect to die a lot. Like I Am Bread before it, the main obstacle you face in I Am Fish is that your playable characters are just really darn difficult to control, yet precision is almost always required. And when you’re constantly under threat from everything, like cars running over you or, oh, I don’t know – coming into contact with air for more than a few seconds, you should expect to die a lot. As I floundered to direct a rolling fishbowl or flopped my way into a body of water, I never felt like I was completely in control of the aquatic animals, which is equal parts annoying and hysterical. If I added up all the times I shouted something like “Oh, give me a break!” at the screen and gave you the number you’d probably think it was my least favorite game ever, but it’s all by design. I cried tears of joy when I finally made it past a particularly annoying section where seagulls were trying to kill me while I rolled around in a glass bottle, and I cracked up as I was repeatedly run over by cars. I Am Fish has four playable fish, three of which have unique abilities that must be mastered to solve puzzles. The piranha, for example, can bite and destroy just about anything in his path, while the flying fish can, well, fly. The introductory levels for each fish are total highlights, where your new abilities are fresh and puzzles gradually become more challenging as you learn to make the most of your latest set of fins. There are some really stellar levels, like one where you’re swallowed by a drunk man at a club and have to make him stagger to a bathroom from within his stomach before he barfs you up. Or when you roll your fishbowl over the rooftops of a town using the electrical wiring like guide rails. Figuring out how to think like a fish and overcome absurd obstacles is a completely worthwhile experience, even when you’re dying a ton. That said, not all the frustration thrown your way is fun; some sections cross that delicate line from being entertainingly annoying to just making me want to turn it off and play something more casual, like Demon’s Souls or Battletoads (1991). The bottle sections in particular just feel downright cheap sometimes, as I found myself wriggling helplessly in a very unwieldy bottle while trying to navigate extremely precise landscapes. In another, I found myself painfully inhibited by my own AI-controlled allies who eagerly followed me wherever I went and constantly got in my way, causing me to die half a hundred times or so. Parts made me want to turn it off and play something more casual, like Demon’s Souls or Battletoads (1991). These kinds of extreme and uncalled for frustrations actually made up a not-insignificant amount of my time with I Am Fish, enough for me to develop a kind of love-hate relationship with it. To make matters worse, some sections go way too long without a checkpoint, which forced me to replay parts repeatedly, each time more irritating than the last. It’s unfortunate that it tried so hard to tick me off sometimes, because when things came together I didn’t mind or even notice how much I was dying just because the obstacles thrown at me made me laugh. But I Am Fish pushes those limits pretty regularly and laughter is replaced with deep sighs and stress eating. If the normal controls are somehow not difficult enough for you, there’s also the Bossa control style, which makes you flap the thumbstick around like a fish’s tail in one of the most insane control schemes I’ve ever used. For masochists interested in a swift kick in the pants, this can be pretty entertaining, though I can’t see myself ever wanting to put myself through that kind of agony for longer than a level or two. I Am Fish isn’t very long, with only 13 levels that I was able to beat in 10 hours or so with a fair amount of goofing off, but there’s quite a bit of replayability to it. Levels are mostly linear, but usually have a few different paths you can use to reach your goal. You can also chase star ratings by finding the fastest route through levels and completing speedruns with as few deaths as possible. Naturally, collectible pieces of bread provide an optional challenge – they’re found on the most difficult or out-of-the-way routes to encourage further pain, if you’re into that sort of thing. Collecting enough pieces of bread and earning higher star ratings also unlocks one bonus level, which makes replaying levels and honing your skills a worthwhile endeavor. Continue reading...
Valve says that its upcoming handheld PC, the Steam Deck, is nearing the end of development – and the company has begun shipping out a limited number of dev kits for testing. In a post on the Steam Store, Valve has confirmed that its upcoming Steam Deck is "in the final stages of development" and that the studio has started rolling out a dev kit program that will see a number of partner companies receive test build versions of the hardware. In the post, Valve says that the launch of its dev kits will allow the company the chance to "guide game developers through the process of getting their games on Steam Deck while also continuing to gather their feedback as [it] prepare for the official launch at the end of the year." The company has confirmed that Steam Deck models received by parter companies as part of the dev kit program will be functionally identical to what will ship to fans later this year. If all goes to plan, developers receiving their test build models of the handheld shouldn't run into too many issues when trying out their games on the Steam Deck. Despite a belief in some areas of the community that the portable PC's hardware specifications sound a little on the light side, Valve has said that it is confident that the portable PC will be future-proof. Not only does this mean that future releases for some time should be playable on the handheld but that the machine shouldn't run into any major problems during the testing period with partnered developers. To further put doubts surrounding the console's capabilities to bed, in July, Steam Deck developer Pierre-Loup Griffais confirmed that the portable hardware had managed to run a range of titles released across this year with no issues on its 800p screen. Griffais pointed toward a benchmark 30 FPS target for the Steam Deck, which he said Valve considered to be the 'floor' of what it considered playable during performance testing. While the Steam Deck itself doesn't yet have an exact release date, Valve's launch of the dev-kit program seems to indicate that the company is on track to deliver the handheld to fans in its current December release window. One fan of the handheld who's already had his hands on the Steam Deck is Xbox Boss Phil Spencer. The Microsoft Executive praised the device's feel and controls before also saying that running Xbox games such as Halo through Xbox Cloud Gaming feels good on the handheld. For more on Valve's upcoming Steam Deck, make sure to check out our dedicated page for the portable PC where we've got a range of articles about the device including a rundown of how it compares to the Nintendo Switch and details surrounding how the Steam Deck's trackpad and gyro controls simulate the accuracy of a mouse. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN eagerly anticipating the Steam Deck's release. You can follow him on Twitter to tell him what you think about the upcoming handheld. Continue reading...
Well, there's never been a better time to get DiRT-ier. (In a video game sense—do try to wash your hands during a pandemic.) It also seems to be the season to buy a game distributed by Koch, because Terminators, Maneaters and Spongebobs are being discounted out the wazoo today. All those bargains and more await you below. Notable Sales for Nintendo Switch Purchase Cheaply for PC Exciting Offers for XO/XS Product Savings for PS4/PS5 Sign up to get the best Aussie gaming deals sent straight to your inbox! Adam's an Aussie deals wrangler who spends too much of his income on the bargains he finds. You can occasionally find him @Grizwords. Continue reading...
Beloved original Xbox classic Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (aka KOTOR) is back as...a timed PlayStation 5 exclusive? We discuss the strange circumstances of this long-awaited revival, from the exclusivity deal to the developer behind it and more. Plus: we get psyched for Halo Infinite's next multiplayer test flight, Grand Theft Auto 5's next-gen edition gets delayed, and more! Subscribe on any of your favorite podcast feeds, to our new YouTube channel, or grab an MP3 download of this week's episode. For more awesome content, check out our Halo Infinite Flight performance preview, which does a deep-dive tech analysis on the still-in-development slice of Halo Infinite multiplayer: Oh, and you can be featured on Unlocked by tweeting us a video Loot Box question! Tweet your question and tag Ryan at @DMC_Ryan! For more next-gen coverage, make sure to check out our Xbox Series X review, our Xbox Series S review, and our PS5 review. Ryan McCaffrey is IGN's executive editor of previews and host of both IGN's weekly Xbox show, Podcast Unlocked, as well as our monthly(-ish) interview show, IGN Unfiltered. He's a North Jersey guy, so it's "Taylor ham," not "pork roll." Debate it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan. Continue reading...
A recent “leak” that occurred Monday seemed to indicate that a lot of unannounced titles and anticipated sequels were on the way and also coming to PC. It featured word of PC ports for previously console-exclusive titles and more, too. As first spotted on Reddit, software developer Ighor July performed a datamine of Nvidia’s GeForce Now database and in doing so, discovered listings for a lot of unannounced games, sequels, ports, and more. What Gamers Are Saying It didn't take long for this leak to take off. The original post on Reddit has nearly 2000 comments. The top comment is "No Bloodborne? It must be legitimate," and it comes by way of redditor KingBroly. It's a fun poke at the desire many have to see Bloodborne come to PC and there are many other comments like it. However, many of the commenters are taking this leak as 100% true. There are also some, like redditor howmadstha, who note that titles like Bioshock 2022 seem fake and take away some of the credibility that this datamine found real games, though. The most common takeaway from the commenters on that original reddit post is that if this turns out to be huge, it might be one of the biggest leaks in gaming history, but that there's a good chance this isn't what it seems. Over on Twitter, things are hovering between "THIS IS NOT A DRILL [INSERT GAME] LEAK CONFIRMED" and "ehh who knows, these might just be placeholders." There's also those taking this opportunity to make a good meme or two out of the situation. To be fair, the leak did appear quite believable at first glance. It wasn’t a shoddy screenshot of a game playing on a monitor or a supposed list of things to come — it was a list of game listings made within Nvidia’s GeForce Now database. GeForce Now is Nvidia’s games streaming service not unlike Google Stadia or Amazon Luna. Surely the leak must be legitimate if it’s coming by way of such a massive, prominent, and most importantly, credible company, right? Nvidia's Response to the Datamine On the surface, it seemed that way, but now we know that’s not necessarily the case. Nvidia responded the following day on September 14 that the list of datamined games were listings “used only for internal tracking and testing,” adding that some titles included are “speculative” and don’t constitute “confirmation nor an announcement of any game.” Nvidia said in a statement to IGN that it took immediate action to remove access to the internal list and that “no confidential game builds or personal information were exposed.” So that’s that, right? Well, in the landscape of games, it doesn’t take much for a leak, rumor, or datamine finding to take off and this week’s Nvidia datamined listings are no different. Why The Listings Aren't All That They Seem However, there might be more to this. Sure, there are some listings in the datamine that quite obviously read as “no way” — looking at you Bioshock 2022, which seemingly alludes to the new Bioshock game announced in late 2019 as coming from 2K’s new Cloud Chamber studio. There’s always the chance that Bioshock 4, or whatever it’s called, could come out in 2022, but that seems extremely unlikely. Just a couple of months ago, they were hiring a writer for an open-world setting. Let’s put some puzzle pieces together: 2K created a new studio in 2019 called Cloud Chamber to create the next Bioshock game, which was announced at the time as now in development. That game is reportedly open world and it’s also still hiring writers. Considering Bioshock’s bread and butter is often its writing, it would seem a story for Bioshock 4 is not even set in stone yet. You can see why a brand new Bioshock game that’s reportedly open world and still hiring writers for a brand new studio announced in 2019 doesn’t seem likely for 2022, right? Perhaps that’s a placeholder, or maybe it’s a spinoff or remaster. A spinoff seems unlikely considering 2K announced Cloud Chambers as essentially the Bioshock studio. All three Bioshock games were technically remastered with 2016’s Bioshock collection by Blind Squirrel Games (a studio known for its remasters), too. However, the Nvidia datamine does mention a “Bioshock RTX Remaster” (alongside Mirror’s Edge RTX and Batman: Arkham Knight RTX remasters as well). Maybe that’s what “Bioshock 2022” in Nvidia’s listings is supposed to be, but that also seems unlikely because “Bioshock 2022” and “Bioshock RTX Remaster” are separate listings. Making Sense of What's Probably Not Real There are a lot of other titles in the datamine that seem more like guesses akin to Bioshock 2022 than actual titles we can expect to see anytime soon. “Kingdom Hearts IV '' is another title in the datamine that reeks of a guess. Kingdom Hearts 3, the latest numbered title in the series, was first announced in 2013. It didn’t release until 2019. A fourth sequel doesn’t seem like something happening anytime soon given the franchise’s track record either. There are spinoffs to be had first, after all. Other titles we deem a guess include Titanfall 3 (that one might even be wishful thinking on Nvidia’s behalf because Respawn said last year that no new Titanfall games are in development), Metro Next, which seems to be a reference to a possible sequel in the Metro series, Crysis 4, likely added to the list by Nvidia due to the recent Crysis trilogy remaster announcement, and Gears 6. Making Sense of What's Probably Real Elsewhere in the datamine, there are games that we already know are happening so a listing in Nvidia GeForce Now for internal use makes sense. Titles in the datamine we’re going to categorize under “games we already know are coming” include GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas remasters (reportedly coming together in a single trilogy remaster), Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves collection, which PlayStation announced is coming to PS5 and PC in its most recent showcase, Payday 3, which was announced years ago, and Resident Evil 4 Remake, which is reportedly in the works, amongst others. Then there’s the titles whose inclusion in the Nvidia GeForce Now list is what we’ll call questionable. For example, Dragon’s Dogma 2 was revealed through a massive Capcom leak that occurred in 2020. Nvidia likely added that title to its list as a result rather than actual knowledge the public is not currently privy to. Another title that’s questionable is Final Fantasy 7 Remake — a recent datamine of Epic Games Store backend data revealed that the PC storefront will add this game to its offerings. That hasn’t been confirmed yet but that same backend datamine revealed a potential Alan Wake Remaster and that has since been confirmed. That confirmation makes a PC version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake seem much more likely and there’s a chance Nvidia is already aware of such a version. Nvidia might also have simply created a placeholder after the Epic Games Store datamine though. The PlayStation Effect Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this entire Nvidia GeForce Now leak is the mention of God of War (2018), Returnal, and Demon’s Souls for PC. None of those games have been announced as coming to PC, but it wouldn’t be surprising if such an announcement occurred. That’s because Sony has been slowly but steadily bringing its previously exclusive-to-PlayStation titles to PC. Horizon Zero Dawn was added to PC last year and Days Gone was added to PC this year. We know Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: Lost Legacy are coming to PC next year and on top of all of this, PlayStation recently announced that it had purchased Nixxes, a studio that specializes in PC ports. Put all of this together and God of War, Returnal, and Demon’s Souls coming to PC doesn’t seem all that unlikely. To add fuel to this datamine fire, the leak says there’s no mention of Insomniac’s Spider-Man or Bloodborne. If Nvidia was just taking guesses, it seems odd to not include Spider-Man and Bloodborne, right? What makes Nvidia think God of War, Returnal, and Demon’s Souls would be coming to PC but that Spider-Man and Bloodborne would not join them. Purely speculating, perhaps Nvidia knows that the three aforementioned titles are, in fact, coming to PC. Making Sense Of It All Speculation, leaks, and datamined info aside, all of this adds up to one murky conclusion though: Nvidia might know some things not currently public and some of these games, be it ports, sequels, or brand new IP, might be real. It’s just as probable that Nvidia is guessing based on what it’s seen and heard, much like this piece speculates on things based on information out in the wild too. The reality of the situation is that we’ll likely never know. These listings might be a big look at unannounced games and ports that weren’t meant to be seen by the public just yet. They might also be speculative guesses and placeholders. Quite literally, only time will tell. Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes. Continue reading...
Imagine stepping into an original D&D setting that’s been lovingly written and DM’d by Tim Burton or Shel Silverstein. Instead of elves and dwarves, you have a giant card shop that’s also a person, a decadent duke, and a scary-looking upside-down guy who only dreams of being able to rhyme – just to give a few examples. That’s the wildly creative premise of Lost in Random, a wholly original action-adventure game that thinks outside the box. Its combat wears thin, but exploring its worlds never does. You play as Even – one of two twin sisters, Even and Odd – who are fated to roll the Queen’s mystical six-sided dice at age 12. The resulting roll determines which of the six worlds in the kingdom of Random they’ll spend the rest of their lives in. Long story short: Odd is sent off to the Queen’s world but Even isn’t willing to let her go without a chase. The world-spanning adventure that ensues after you manage to escape the dreary starting zone of Onecroft, takes plenty of nods toward films like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Coraline, and other similarly gothic-inspired stop-motion films. Despite the entirety of Random being drenched in dark hues of black and green and gray, each world still offers completely unique and decadently layered settings. The other, equally otherworldly characters of the world react to them in weird and unexpected ways that keep you guessing. For example, Two-Town’s denizens feature two directly opposite personalities that can shift each time the Queen rolls her dice. This has resulted in the construction of a separate Two-Town, called the Upside-Downtown, which completely obscures the town’s skyline, kinda like that one scene out of Inception. It makes Two-Town feel that much more immense, and you can tease apart as much or as little of the zone’s background story as you’d like through side quests, or by speaking to the many interesting NPCs hanging around town before moving on. Meanwhile, Threedom and its people are trapped in a perpetual state of war over a series of petty squabbles between the three outlandish Triplets. The other, equally otherworldly characters of the world react to them in weird and unexpected ways that keep you guessing. For instance, you’re constantly told about Lost in Random’s appropriately named and visually terrifying Shadowman. You hear snippets about this terrifying monster that stalks the shadows and snatches lost children who wander too far from home, but when you finally meet him he’s frustrated that the war is too distracting and no one’s paying attention to him. This is just one of many ways that Random feels lived-in and richly detailed. These otherwise creepy characters are made lovable through the genius of Lost in Random’s writing. And these otherwise creepy characters are made lovable through the genius of Lost in Random’s writing. Incredibly memorable characters like Mannie Dex, Seemore, Herman, Ooma, The Nanny, and so many others make moving to the next world kind of like watching the next movie in a 20-hour series of timeless holiday classics. Then there’s the semi-real-time combat, which as you probably guessed from the name, leans heavily on dice rolls and cards. It’s sort of like Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s combat system, but it’s a bit simpler once you get used to these very random rules. You start each battle with your trusty slingshot, which allows you to shoot crystals off of the faces and bodies of your foes. Once you’ve collected enough of them, a new card is added to your hand – up to a total of five cards. The part that makes this interesting is the fact that each card in your hand is randomly pulled from your much larger deck – which lets you store up to 15 cards at a time, including duplicates if you want a few cards to show up more regularly than others – and you have no way of predicting which cards will appear when you roll your dice. Don’t worry if this sounds too weird, because most of the cards you can equip in your deck include the usual mix of swords, healing potions, and bombs. The real-time part of combat kicks in when you spawn a weapon and button-mash your foes to death or until your weapon breaks. All of this “cards” business would shuffle Lost in Random’s real-time combat around and make it more appealing than the average button-masher if the enemy’s AI wasn’t so easy to outsmart with such minimal effort. There are two issues here. The first issue is that you’re never prompted to select a difficulty level unless you go digging into the menus after already having spent some time playing. The other issue is that, on the default difficulty mode, each foe is packed with a lot of hit points, and a single battle might still take about 20 minutes or longer – simply because of how many of them will spawn before you’re finished. Regardless, each of these enemy types are pretty slow and predictable, and it’s easy to use any damage-dealing card to beat them down without thinking too hard. It feels great for the first few battles, especially when you’re playing with interesting card combinations like Blacksmith’s Blink and Crystal Curse – the former giving you the ability to deal damage when you dodge roll your way through enemies, which causes crystals to break off of them, and the latter giving you the ability to deal damage each time you break those very same crystals – but the novelty does eventually wear off. Combat encounters end up appearing a bit too often, slowing down the pacing of the otherwise excellent story and dialogue sequences that make Lost in Random truly shine. Continue reading...
Employees of Activision Blizzard under the banner of the ABK Workers Alliance, with the support of the Communication Workers of America guild (CWA), have filed an unfair labor practice suit with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging the company has engaged in union-busting and intimidation of workers. In a press release sent out by the groups today, ABK Workers and CWA accuse Activision Blizzard of "using coercive tactics to attempt to prevent its employees from exercising their rights to stand together and demand a more equitable, sustainable, and diverse workplace." "It is their right as workers to organize for a work environment free from abuse, discrimination and sexual harassments, and this right is protected by federal labor law," it continues. The complaint itself alleges that Activision-Blizzard has threatened employees, told them they cannot discuss wages, hours, or working conditions, "maintained an overly broad social media policy" and then both engaged in surveillance and enforced its policy against employees who "engaged in protected concerted activity." One anonymous employee reportedly told Vice that some of the more outspoken employees at the company had recently been told their work performance was not up to standards, despite it being good previously. Another said the company had recently been "hemorrhaging people" in the wake of the harassment lawsuit against Activision-Blizzard. Said lawsuit was filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing earlier this year, alleging that Activision-Blizzard fostered a "frat boy" culture in which female employees were subjected to sexual harassments, unequal pay, and further unfair, discriminatory, and harassing treatment over the years. The subsequent weeks saw an industry-wide outcry against the company's culture, including numerous current and former employees sharing their stories of mistreatment at the company on social media and with the press, and an employee walkout. The ABK Workers Alliance was formed during this time in response to the suit, with the purpose of demanding better from the company for its workers. Activision Blizzard has since made some moves to address the issues, including the termination of a number of employees accused of bad behavior, the removal of in-game references to multiple people named in the suit and other accusations, the replacement of former Blizzard president J. Allen Brack with co-leaders Mike Ybarra and Jen Oneal, and just today the hiring of former Disney VP Julie Hodges as its new chief people officer. However, ABK Workers say the company has not meaningfully addressed its published demands, which include new recruiting, hiring, interviewing, and promotion policies, publication of representative data on employee compensation, a third party audit of the company's HR, reporting processes, and executive staff, and an end to forced arbitration. To the latter point, ABK Workers tweeted today that "if the NLRB rules in our favor, the ruling will be retroactive and we will set a precedent that no worker in the US can be intimidated out of talking about forced arbitration." Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject. Next year's Call of Duty game will be a sequel to 2019's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, according to new reports. Industry insider Tom Henderson tweeted that Call of Duty 2022, codenamed Project Cortez, is expected to be a sequel to 2019's Modern Warfare reboot. VGC also reports that Modern Warfare 2 is on the way next year and that it will include a campaign featuring U.S. special forces fighting Colombian drug cartels. Project Cortez was part of this week's GeForce Now datamine, with Infinity Ward slated to be the developer. In IGN's Modern Warfare 2019 review, we called the game "great," saying, "Modern Warfare’s gorgeous new Realism mode, the large-scale Ground War, and quick and dirty Gunfight help mix things up for a good time." It would make sense for the series to follow up the 2019 reboot since Modern Warfare broke multiple sales records at the time of its release. This year, it's Sledgehammer Games' turn to release the new Call of Duty, with Call of Duty: Vanguard set to come to PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 4. For more, check out our Call of Duty Vanguard multiplayer beta impressions. Or, read about how Call of Duty banned 100,000 accounts in a single day. Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant. Continue reading...
A modder has put the Super Mario 64 engine inside of Minecraft, creating a playable version of Mario in the game. @pdxdylan posted on Twitter, showing off his work to get the polygonal plumber inside the blocky world of Minecraft. You can see Mario running around multiple biomes, showing off his triple jump, long jump, swimming, climbing, and more moves straight from the classic N64 title. IGN spoke to Dylan, who says he was inspired to make this project, simply because he knew it was possible, and that it would look a bit funny. "I've done other work with Super Mario 64 before on other engines, but the thought of Mario in a completely different game intrigued me, so I decided to do it as a fun project," Dylan said. "I've always been into tinkering with games, figuring out how they work, and making mods for them." Dylan says that this project was made possible by the n64decomp community, a group of fans and modders who reverse-engineered Super Mario 64 to decompile the source code. However, due to Nintendo's history of issuing cease and desist orders for fan projects, Dylan doesn't have any plans to release the Mario Minecraft mashup. "I really do wish I could release it to the community. There's a lot of potential for this mod, especially ideas like players being able to build their own courses for Mario to run around in, or speedrunners trying to beat Minecraft as Mario in the quickest time," Dylan said. "However, due to Nintendo's strict enforcement on fan games and mods, I don't believe it will ever reach that point." Dylan says his personal end goal is to make Minecraft playable from start to finish as Mario. In a follow-up tweet, he also said he'll continue posting videos of the project online, to keep giving the community glimpses of this fun mod. For more wacky Super Mario 64 mods, you can watch the gameplay of Peach's Castle as a playable level in GoldenEye 007. Or, for something Nintendo encourages you to build and modify yourself, check out the recently-revealed LEGO Super Mario 64 playset. Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant. Continue reading...
In July, Ghost of Tsushima was the 110th best-selling game by dollar sales in the US — not even worth a mention in a sales roundup. In August, thanks to the Director's Cut release, it shot up to No. 2. According to The NPD Group, it was second only to Madden NFL 22, which took the top spot in its launch month for the 22nd year in a row and became the fourth best-selling game of the entire year so far. For the year, it's currently sitting behind Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, MLB The Show 21, and Resident Evil: Village, though if history is any indication we'll see Call of Duty: Vanguard blast past them all later this year. Humankind debuted in August as the best-selling PC game and the fourth best-selling game overall, while The Last of Us Part 2 jumped from No. 23 to No. 10 thanks to various retail promotions. On the hardware side, sales in August were up 45% from last year to $329 million — once again not a shocking increase given that this time last year everyone was holding off on buying consoles while waiting for the new ones. That said, the last time sales were that high was in 2008, a few years after the release of the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360. The Nintendo Switch was once again the best selling console for the month in unit sales and remains the best-selling console of the year so far, though the PS5 beat it in both categories if you look at dollar sales and remains the fastest-selling PlayStation console ever. Accessories spending was flat at $164 million, with the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless controller as the best-selling accessory for the month. The PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White remained in the top spot for the year so far. In total, spending on all games hardware, content, and accessories in August was up 7% from last year to a total of $4.4 billion. The following are the top ten best-selling games for August 2021 by dollar sales. As always, keep in mind that this does not include digital sales of several major game publishers, including Take-Two Interactive and Nintendo, and only counts physical sales for those games, meaning some games may have sold more than they appear to: Madden NFL 22 Ghost of Tsushima Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Humankind Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales Mario Kart 8 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Minecraft Assassin's Creed: Valhalla MLB: The Show 21 Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
Following its third round of funding, Splitgate developer 1047 Games has raised $100 million, which the company says will help to carry out the studio's long-term vision of revitalizing stale game genres. In a press release, the studio confirmed that its most recent round of funding will help the studio to flesh out its vision for Splitgate as a top-tier, AAA competitive shooter and further establish the company as a "leading creative force of distinct and inventive IP in the gaming space". According to the developer, the additional financial firepower granted will help contribute towards its long-term ambition to create a new era of classic games. In doing so, 1047 Games will aim to act as a pioneer in genres that it says have "currently stalled", by implementing "new takes in well-known, globally recognized genres." Long-term goals aside, however, CEO and co-founder of 1047 Games, Ian Proulx, confirmed that the studio's immediate future is still fully committed to working on Splitgate. “Building on our core success with Splitgate is our main focus in the immediate future - we are rapidly scaling across all areas of our studio,” said Proulx. “We are far from finished building out what we feel is the complete Splitgate experience for our loyal and dedicated fans. The funding secured from our partners, combined with the belief and support of our vision, enables us to focus on both our short-term growth needs, and more importantly, our long-term vision for 1047 Games as a premier driver of completely fresh gaming experiences for fans.” 1047 Games funding comes from a number of private equity firms. However, it's venture capitalist company Lightspeed Venture Partners that has taken up the role of the studio's lead investor. Amy Wu, a partner at the investment firm spoke further on what attracted the company toward 1047 Games. “In gaming, Lightspeed focuses on founders that have a bold vision for innovation and the determination to build the next generational platform,” said Wu. “We found that with Ian and Nick. They’ve done so much with minimal funding, and we’re excited to see what they can do with more firepower. We’re proud to be assisting them as they take their brand to the next level.” It's hard to argue with the investment firm's comments either. In August, 1047 Games announced that Splitgate would remain in open beta for the foreseeable future due to the unexpected popularity that the title had seen over the summer months. In little time, the developer worked hard to dramatically improve the game's server capacity in order to cater to its newfound player base. The team then launched its first competitive season for Splitgate that added a new map called Karma Station into the game as well as a 100-level Battle Pass full of unlockable items, and a brand new mode called Contamination. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN who spends a lot of his time in Splitgate attempting to throw grenades at enemy portals. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
Ubisoft and Binge are teaming up for a live-action series adaptation of the popular Driver video game franchise. GamesIndustry.biz reports that Driver is officially shifting gears and returning to screens as a live-action series that will "focus on undercover agent and ex-racecar driver John Tanner as he tries to take down a crime syndicate." The series will be released exclusively on Binge, a new streaming platform dedicated to delivering premium entertainment for gamers. The Driver series will be produced by Ubisoft Film & Television's Vincent Talenti and Allan Ungar, who directed and co-wrote the Uncharted live-action fan film that took the internet by storm upon its release in 2018. Driver's executive producers also hail from Ubisoft Film & Television, with Jason Altman, Danielle Kreinik, and Genevieve Jones attached to the project. "Our mission at Ubisoft is to bring our games to life in new and exciting ways and create content set in the world, culture and community of gaming," Kreinik said of the new series, per Deadline. "Working with Binge will allow us to bring a Driver series directly to the audience who is most passionate about seeing this franchise come to life." "Having the opportunity to adapt Driver alongside the team at Ubisoft Film & Television is a dream come true," Ungar added following the project's announcement. "As longtime fans of the franchise, we're excited to deliver an original, premium and rich storytelling experience that will take fans and newcomers on a thrilling ride." The first game of the Driver series was released for the PlayStation in 1999 and its runaway popularity fuelled five further main installments. IGN's review of 2011's Driver: San Francisco called it a "game-changing, eyebrow-raising idea" infused "with unparalleled variety and a ridiculous supernatural twist whilst staying true to its Seventies chase-movie roots." The new Driver series adaptation joins a growing slate of Ubisoft TV and movie projects, including a live-action Assassin's Creed series for Netflix, a Beyond Good and Evil movie helmed by Detective Pikachu director Rob Letterman, and a movie based on The Division starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain. Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter. Continue reading...
Microsoft has rolled out a new update for the PC Xbox app, allowing Windows 10 PC owners to stream console games from either your Xbox console or through Xbox Cloud Gaming (aka xCloud). Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers in 22 countries can now use the Xbox app on Windows 10 to access xCloud. A new "Cloud Gaming" section will appear by clicking on the Game Pass tab, showcasing all the titles that support Xbox Cloud Gaming. Previously, Windows 10 PC owners had to access Xbox Cloud Gaming by going to Xbox's website through a browser, signing in, and playing the cloud gaming beta. The new update also allows you to stream games from your Xbox Series X, Series S, or Xbox One onto your Windows 10 PC via Xbox remote play. This is the first time Microsoft has enabled Xbox remote play on Windows 10 PC for owners of either Xbox Series console. Microsoft also made some changes to remote play, such as the option to stream games at 1080 up to 60 frames per second and the ability to select Xbox 360 and original Xbox games. The update to the Windows 10 Xbox app comes as no surprise from Microsoft as the company moves more and more in the direction of letting users play Xbox games on almost any device. In late August, during Gamescom 2021, the company announced that the Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One are getting cloud gaming this holiday season. Microsoft is also planning to extend the Xbox One's lifespan by bringing Series X/S exclusives to the older hardware through the cloud. Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster. Continue reading...
Techland, the developer behind Dying Light 2, has announced an update on the development process for the game – which has been delayed until February 4, 2022. The studio shared a statement surrounding Dying Light 2: Stay Human on the game's official Twitter account and pointed toward the ambitious nature of the project as one of the main reasons for its delay. "The team is steadily progressing with the production and the game is nearing the finish line," said Techland CEO Pawel Marchewka. "It is by far the biggest and the most ambitious project we've ever done. Unfortunately, we've realized for us to bring the game to the level we envision, we need more time to polish and optimize it," he continued before announcing that the team had decided to move the game's official release date back to February. This isn't the first time that Techland has announced a delay for the zombie survival game. With an initial release date of Spring 2020, the studio announced in January of last year that it was delaying the game indefinitely. Earlier this year, a subsequent report surrounding the title's delayed development suggested that a toxic working environment at the studio had been one of the factors that had hindered the project. The game's December 2021 release date was then later announced in May alongside the title's new name, Dying Light 2: Stay Human. Elsewhere in the statement, Marchewka apologized for the title's most recent delay. "We are sorry to keep you all waiting a little longer, but we want the game to meet your highest expectations on release and we don't want to compromise on this," he said. The CEO then went on to confirm that content creators will still be getting their hands on both PC and console versions of the game next month - meaning that fans won't need to wait too long before they can see more of what the title has to offer. He then finished by explaining that the company is gearing up towards sharing some further details about Dying Light 2: Stay Human later this month. Techland's announcement of Dying Light 2 at E3 2018 revealed a number of exciting features in the game. The developer said that the survival title will present players with meaningful choices that come with real consequences and that you'll only see 50% of the game's full content in a single playthrough. More recently, further gameplay has shown off how the game's parkour elements, both in its use during combat and as a tool to traverse the title's rugged environment. For more on Dying Light 2, make sure to check out the game's official Welcome to Villedor gameplay trailer below. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
Randy Pitchford quietly announced a new Brothers in Arms game months ago and nobody seemed to notice. As spotted by Exputer, Pitchford announced that Gearbox is working on a new entry to the Brothers in Arms series during a podcast interview with Ted Price of Insomniac Games back in April this year. While the episode of The Game Maker's Notebook originally aired back in April, news of the announcement has finally been picked up after the podcast was uploaded to YouTube this month. While discussing the larger topic of studio announcements and how these have to be timed correctly to avoid sending fans' expectations into overdrive, Pitchford spoke about his preferred method for revealing games using the release of Borderlands 3 as an example before casually announcing a new Brothers in Arms title to reinforce his point. "I didn't announce Borderlands 3 until, like, it was beta," said Pitchford. "And it sucks because we're working on another Brothers in Arms game, but I'm not saying sh*t until we have it. We have fans that really love that and they're just going to have to suffer." For those who'd like to listen to the excerpt, it begins around the 53-minute mark. The Brothers in Arms series began life back in 2005 with the release of Brothers in Arms: Road to Hill 30 for PC and consoles. The title garnered interest as it poised fans in command of their very own small tactical units as they looked to maneuvere through enemy forces. Since then a number of subsequent titles in the series have released - the most recent of which was Brothers in Arms 3: Sons of War in 2014 for mobile. In 2015, Gearbox announced that it had cancelled production on Brothers in Arms: Furious 4 - a title that looked set to return the Brothers in Arms franchise to PC and consoles. Following its cancellation, Pitchford said at the time that the game had eventually been repurposed and became what we know today as the free-to-play shooter Battleborn, which released in May 2016. It's not clear whether the new Brothers in Arms game would reprise Furious 4's ideas. In other Brothers in Arms news, the studio announced last year that it is adapting the World War 2 shooter series into a TV show with the help of showrunner Scott Rosenbaum. While very few details have since emerged about the show, it is understood that the show will feature characters based upon real people from the period as it follows a team of eight soldiers on a mission to rescue their colonel from the Nazis before they discover the D-Day plans. If you're looking to relive more from the Brothers in Arms franchise, then make sure to check out this article we published last year that discusses just some of the reasons behind how the tactical shooter series managed to captivate its audience so well. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
Norwegian video game company Funcom announced it has fully acquired the rights to Conan the Barbarian as well as other properties like Mutant Year Zero and Solomon Kane. A new, unannounced game that combines many of Robert E. Howard’s characters is now in the works as a result of this new acquisition. In a press release, Funcom announced it has acquired Cabinet Group for an undisclosed sum, and with it, several iconic characters most notably Conan. Cabinet’s entire portfolio will be absorbed into Funcom’s subsidiary Heroic Signatures and Cabinet CEO Fredrik Malmberg will become the new president of the Heroic Signatures. As part of the announcement, Funcom disclosed that it is “currently overseeing the development of an unannounced game which will combine many of the characters in the Robert E. Howard universe.” Howard is a pulp fiction writer whose most famous characters include Conan the Barbarian and the demon-slayer Solomon Kane. While the game isn’t specifically a Conan the Barbarian game, whatever this project is will likely include him as a character. Funcom’s acquisition of Conan and other Cabinet properties will not affect any projects currently in development, including the Conan series at Netflix. Nor will it impact the ongoing Conan comic book from Marvel. Instead, the developers of several Conan games including Age of Conan and Conan Exiles will fully own the character going forward. Although Conan was made famous on film thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the last time we saw Conan on screen was in a 2011 reboot starring Jason Mamoa. Luckily for us, Mamoa went on to play another fantasy hero in DC’s Aquaman. Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd. Continue reading...
With brand deals for the 2010 cult classic Alan Wake long since expired, the title's upcoming remaster will not feature its predecessor's iconic product placements when it launches on October 5. According to an article by Screen Rant, Remedy is set to strip the game of its real-world products when it releases next month. With brand deals having since expired for the title, a PR representative for Alan Wake Remastered confirmed that the remaster will be replacing its partnership-sponsored advertisements with generic in-universe branding. Aside from its otherworldly tone and cult classic status, the original release of Alan Wake also became known (less lovingly) for its high number of brand deals. Product placement in the psychological thriller managed to creep its way into everything from background environment models to the title's core gameplay elements. When exploring the quaint mining town of Bright Falls, fans will likely remember the Verizon billboards that stood proudly along the game's forest-lined streets, even after darkness fell. The title didn't stop there, however, as a number of core gameplay elements also brought with them exclusive brand tie-ins. From searching far and wide for Energizer branded batteries as a vital source of power for Alan's torch to including vehicles manufactured by Ford and Lincoln, players were never far away from encountering a familiar corporate logo in the game. The inclusion of real-world products in Alan Wake is one that divided its fanbase. While some players balk at the idea of real-world products being pushed on consumers during a time of escapism, others found it gave the title grounding and relatability. In a Reddit thread detailing Remedy's decision to replace the old branded products with in-universe advertisements, one fan seemed particularly repulsed by the thought of using anything but Energizer batteries to power their torch: To see more from the upcoming remaster, make sure to check out the title's recent trailer, which debuted at this month's PlayStation Showcase. It'll be interesting to see – if there is an Alan Wake sequel on the way – whether that game gets the same generic branding, or if the real-world advertisements return. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
As was hinted at yesterday, Deathloop is indeed amazing and I've still got you covered for all the best deals on a launch day purchase. I'd also like to personally recommend the whopping 46% off deal that's happening for Mass Effect Legendary Edition on consoles. Last but not least, fighting game fans should be aware of quite the fisticuffs sale on Xbox. All those deals and more await you below! Notable Sales for Nintendo Switch Purchase Cheaply for PC Exciting Offers for XO/XS Product Savings for PS4/PS5 Sign up to get the best Aussie gaming deals sent straight to your inbox! Adam's an Aussie deals wrangler who will haunt you on the Deathloop servers. Invasions aside, he lives @Grizwords. Continue reading...
Call of Duty Vanguard sees Call of Duty returning to its roots… once again. It does that a lot. The first multiplayer beta opened up this weekend for anyone who preordered on PlayStation, and I spent a fair number of hours getting my feet wet ahead of its November 5 release date. If you, like me, have been playing the last several iterations of CoD, you will probably feel a sense of familiarity with Vanguard's multiplayer. Actually, let me rephrase that: you might feel like this is last year's Call of Duty MP with a WW2 skin. The only thing keeping me playing Vanguard instead of going back to Black Ops Cold War are a few interesting new modes. Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, and Domination are back, as you’d expect. However, Hardpoint, a mode I never really liked, has been changed to a new Patrol mode, which I definitely like. Rather than capture and hold static points, Patrol has you protecting a small circle of territory that moves along the map (hence the "Patrol" moniker). When a team of internet randos comes together to cover and capture this moving target, it's really fun. It's far and away my favorite addition to this year's multiplayer, as it encourages both active and passive team coverage and discourages camping. Well, long-term camping at least. Since the contested area is constantly moving, it's in the best interest of long-range shooters to post up in a sniper nest for just a few minutes. The area moves from wide-open spaces, to inside buildings, and back out again. It's great, actually. It requires using all your shooting skills: close-quarters, mid-range, and long-range, all within the course of a few minutes. It’s tough to tell who’s on which side. In all modes, close-quarters combat is where I'm finding the most frustration with Vanguard's multiplayer because it’s tough to tell who’s on which side. Last year's Cold War pitted NATO forces against Warsaw Pact forces, whereas this year (at least in the beta) both teams are made up of the same Allied characters. More than once, particularly in the Hotel Royal map, I didn't know who was who. If you're melee-close to someone, the indicator over their head just can't be seen, and even at a distance the muted red indicator often disappears into the muddy ochre and brown tones of the map. Thankfully, friendly fire is not a concern here (there's no Hardcore mode in the beta) because there are split-second moments where I’ve made the wrong call. Also, plenty where I’ve hesitated when I shouldn’t have and got smoked. I understand in 2021 no one wants to play as the Axis powers, but some sort of distinguishing feature between the two teams other than a small dot with their name in red would go a long way. I like being able to tell when I'm being approached by an enemy player by their character model rather than their Activision gamer name, and I don't want to have to git-gud at increasing my speed glancing up at the words floating above their head. Champion Hill is a cool twist on the battle royale formula. One mode where this isn't a problem is the new Champion Hill mode, a cool twist on the battle royale formula where instead of fighting to be the last team in an all-out war, you're instead running around in what's basically a glorified paintball battlefield. The premise is simple: you join a two- or three-person team, get dropped into an arena, and work to eliminate the other teams. There are 10 teams in all, each randomly battling one another 2v2 or 3v3, until only one team remains. During the matches you earn money you can use during breaks in the competition to buy upgrades like weapons, perks, and buffs, or spend during the match to upgrade your weapon. It's fun, but matchmaking took a long time no matter what I tried. I’m not sure if that's due to lack of interest or because it's still in beta, so I can't really fault it for that unless it persists in the final game. Speaking of maps, the three that’re available in the beta are... just okay. Of the three, Gavutu, a rain-soaked South Pacific location, is probably my favorite because it has most of the features I like in a mid-sized MP map: a corridor up the middle, a wide-open space on one side, and a more clustered group of obstacles and buildings on the other. It still doesn't quite feel right because in spite of the wide-open nature of the seaside of the map, it still feels a touch too small for the features it uses and during the course of the beta I never really got a feel for the "flow" of it. Hotel Royal, a small map with lots of CQC, is my least favorite of the bunch (in part due to the aforementioned friend-or-foe issues), while the Stalingrad-based Red Star gives me no strong feelings one way or another. I did appreciate how much Red Star reminded me of Call of Duty 2 from way back in the day, but other than that nothing really stood out to me about it. My opinion on the maps may change as I get more familiar with them, and week 2 will also open up The Eagle's Nest, a map based on Hitler's mountain stronghold (where it will be even weirder to not be fighting people dressed as Nazis). Of the three maps, Gavutu, a rain-soaked South Pacific location, is probably my favorite. Rank and loadout progressions have returned and appear to be exactly the same as they were last year, which was, in turn, very similar to how they felt in 2019's Modern Warfare. You create your loadout with primary and secondary weapons, lethal and non-lethal weapons like grenades and Molotov cocktails, three perks, and your killstreak bonuses. Using a weapon during a match unlocks upgrades like optics, magazines, and different barrels, among others. Gaining rank with your Activision account opens up more weapons and modifications and… yeah, it's pretty much exactly the same thing as last year, so it’s difficult to get excited about. One thing missing from the beta are unlockable skins, which add nothing to the gameplay itself but always push me to grind at least a couple of my favorite weapons to their highest levels. Hopefully those come back for the final game. What We Said About Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War Multiplayer There’s a very thin line between a nostalgic experience and an archaic one, and it’s a line that Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's Multiplayer has not quite managed to balance on. It feels like an old-school shooter at times which sometimes feels great but all too rarely, with simple map designs and underwhelming additions to playlists failing to hit the mark. If you’re looking for a quick burst of fun multiplayer action then there’s just about enough here to keep you entertained for an evening, but not much more than that. With some weapon balancing on the way and hopefully more maps and modes available in the future, there will be more to enjoy in Cold War’s multiplayer; I just can’t see it taking my time away from Modern Warfare or Warzone anytime soon. - Simon Cardy, November 17, 2020 Score: 6 Read the full Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War Multiplayer Review I did notice some weird ranking issues in both my profile XP and my weapon XP. Sometimes, for several matches, I'd accrue no XP whatsoever, in spite of all my efforts. Then, without warning, it would "catch up" and all the experience from the last 20 matches would suddenly appear at once. All the unlocks would come in a huge, delayed wave, which meant I wouldn't be able to apply any upgrades to my weapons, or use new weapons, for extended periods of time. It meant missing out on the satisfaction of progression level to level, which is hopefully something they iron out before release. The weapons feel modern and not World War 2-era at all. The weapons also feel pretty much the same as well, which is to say that they feel modern and not World War 2-era at all. I understand the reflective sight actually predates World War 2 by a lot so it’s not technically historically inaccurate, but it still feels very odd to have them on small arms. The kill streaks, like the Recon Plane and Glide Bomb, are just the Spy Plane and Cruise Missile streaks from last year (and those were just versions of the UAV and Cruise Missile streaks from the year before). I appreciate the feeling of familiarity from year to year, but part of me hoped for new, more novel killstreaks to feel more era-appropriate instead of just relabeling them. Additionally, skill-based matchmaking returns to Call of Duty in Vanguard and you're probably not going to like it if you're an old salt. Playing on PS5, which I'm admittedly not great at, I appreciated it. I usually play on PC and have a hard time adjusting from the joy of mouse and keyboard to controller-based play. For less competitive players like me, who just use CoD as an excuse to play online with friends for dozens of hours each fall, SBMM is a great way to ensure you win some and you lose some. But because you always play people of the same relative skill, there's no way to know where you stand in the great player database in the sky. There's also no way to shut it off, so it looks like a VPN remains your only option to skirt the algorithm if you'd rather not be matched with the same caliber of player. In short, I enjoyed myself during my weekend with Vanguard – especially in Patrol mode matches – but not as much as I’d hoped I would. It's hard to know if it's the so-so maps, playing with a controller instead of my preferred mouse and keyboard, or because it just feels so much like Black Ops Cold War with a WW2-era skin on it. It's still fun and I know I'll put in many hours when the final game comes out, as I do at the start of every Call of Duty cycle, but there's nothing really new here to get me excited about it. Hopefully my opinion will change as multiplayer evolves before its November launch, but if I had to score it right now I'd probably give Call of Duty Vanguard MP a 6. Remember, this is a beta and that score is in no way final, so be sure to check back around launch. Continue reading...
Developer Red Hook Studios has revealed that Darkest Dungeon II will enter Early Access on the Epic Games Store next month. The studio announced the news today on Twitter, stating that the game will be playable via the Epic Games Store on PC starting on October 26. When the game was first announced in 2019 with "The Howling End" announcement teaser, Red Hook revealed that six returning classes from the first Darkest Dungeon would be returning to the sequel: Grave Robber, Leper, Man-at-Arms, Plague Doctor, Highwayman, and Hellion. Red Hook also revealed that the first game's combat system will return, but that it would be "tuned-up" for the sequel. The developers said the sequel will employ a very different metagame structure, but opted not to reveal more about what that means. It seems players will get the chance to discover that very different metagame structure first hand in a little over a month. When the sequel was first announced, Red Hook said the team working on the game consisted of 14 people but that growing to 20 people was anticipated. "We love our dysfunctional cast of characters, our atmosphere and our world,'' Red Hook's Tyler Sigman and Chris Bourassa told PCGamer when the game was announced. "Horror is a fantastic space to explore interesting and unconventional ideas, and we have a lot more story we want to tell. Mechanically, we also think we have some valuable nuggets and there is more there that we'd like to explore and build on. Above all, we are committed to crafting Darkest Dungeon II to be its own experience; it will have its own creative and thematic identity." You can check out that creative and thematic identity on PC on October 26 when Darkest Dungeon II enters Early Access on the Epic Games Store. In the meantime, watch the Darkest Dungeon II announcement teaser and then read our thoughts on the first game in IGN's Darkest Dungeon review. Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes. Continue reading...
Fortnite is one of the most popular online games ever for young gamers. This sentiment isn’t just because of its enormous player count – Fortnite’s fluctuating daily average tends to land somewhere between 6 and 12 million players – but also because it is deeply accessible. Fortnite’s cost of entry is a new-ish phone and a decent WiFi connection. It theoretically shouldn’t have come to anyone’s surprise that TIME Studios chose it as the platform to deliver its March Through Time project, which brought Martin Luther King, Jr’s seminal 'I Have a Dream ' speech to the battle royale game. But considering the cartoonish youthfulness we tend to associate with Fortnite, it was. Black people were especially vocal online in highlighting both its problems and its potential to spread a positive message; I personally believed that a confusing rollout and lack of foresight made Fortnite a poor choice to host this event. However, after experiencing it for myself in-game and talking with others, I’m more convinced by its intentions, if not its execution. The Background On August 26th, 2021, TIME Studios partnered with Epic Games to launch “March Through Time”, an educational project centered on Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech housed within Fortnite Creative (a mode that allows players to build structures on private islands and/or create custom games and experiences). This year-long event, acting as an extension of TIME’s “The March” VR experience (a virtual recreation of the 1963 March on Washington installed at the DuSable Museum in Chicago), celebrates the 50th anniversary of MLK’s speech by inviting players to a digital recreation of The National Mall. Once there, players can listen to MLK’s words while completing mini-games that shed more light on the Civil Rights movement. The idea, according to Time’s announcement around the event, was to work with a handful of community creators to spread awareness of MLK’s speech addressing racial injustice. But TIME and Epic’s “March Through TIME'' event wasn’t welcomed with open arms when it launched on August 26th. Quite the contrary, a lot of people were baffled when it was announced on Twitter (the common concern being that children would only recognize MLK through Fortnite). The disconnect was exacerbated by the suddenness of the event’s reveal and the lack of context; though the initial Tweet said “presented by TIME in Fortnite,” most people seemed unaware that TIME Studios had anything to do with the project. This of course led to speculation and a large portion of Black Twitter voicing a shared concern about respecting MLK’s legacy, which is hard to do in a game like Fortnite where a Xenomorph can kick it with Rick Sanchez. Epic Games and TIME didn’t respond to our requests for an interview. Because of this, we weren’t able to learn what went into the planning and selection process (concerning the community creators) for the March Through TIME event. This concern reached its peak after players shared videos of themselves dancing/using disrespectful emotes (like cracking a whip) during the speech (Epic subsequently disabled emotes for the period). Bernice King, MLK’s daughter, made it clear that neither she nor The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center had anything to do with the “March Through TIME” event. TIME partnered with Intellectual Prosperities Management, Inc., run by Bernice’s brother Dexter King, which ultimately controls the licensing of King’s work. It’s safe to say that things got pretty messy, pretty quickly. Epic vs. Black Creators The thinking behind Epic’s efforts drew more suspicion because the company doesn’t have a great public track record when it comes to the black community. It wasn’t long ago that Epic was being sued by people like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro, rapper Terrance “2 Milly” Ferguson, and James “BlocBoyJB” Baker (among others), who claimed Epic monetized their popular dance moves without compensation. And while the lawsuits were withdrawn due to the plaintiffs needing to complete their copyright registration before filing - which can take a long time due to the Copyright office’s backlog - the idea that Epic could essentially take from creators without compensating them doesn’t sit well with black people in this space. (Regardless of the fallout of these potential lawsuits, companies co-opting black culture for profit without acknowledging or paying its original creators is old hat at this point). This sentiment was echoed by host, producer, and content creator Tamika “REDinFamy” Moultrie during a recent talk with IGN. Tamika explained that, for her, there was a dissonance between March Through Time and Epic’s relationship with the black community. “It’s kind of like an oxymoron to me if you don’t have things put in order that MLK was about,” Tamika said. “Essentially, Epic Games can’t take advantage of black creators while trying to spread a message of equality.” “It’s kind of like an oxymoron to me if you don’t have things put in order that MLK was about” Tamika -- who amplifies black and brown voices through her work (among other content, she hosts a series called Uncovering Black Women in Esports) -- is passionate about representation and sees a pattern of Epic prioritizing white creators. She notes that its Icon Series - a collection of skins dedicated to musicians and Fortnite’s top content creators - was particularly unbalanced, and prioritized white creators over black. “When we see black people attached to Fortnite, it’s always because of an entertainer like Travis Scott or LeBron James, you know, having a skin in the game. What about the people who actually play the game? The people who built their careers off this game? That should be worth something.” Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney has also made comments that have drawn scrutiny from black audiences. In November 2020, Sweeney compared his company's legal spat with Apple to fights for Civil Rights. He then doubled down on Twitter, asking his critics to confirm if he was “actually wrong” in comparing the two.As you can see from the responses to Sweeney’s tweet, his critics were quick to explain that yes, the comparison was incongruous to the respective situations. To give credit where it’s due, Epic Games has tried to improve Fortnite’s public image within the black community in the last year or so. Last year the company hosted the We The People event in Fortnite. It was presented by ØPUS UNITED in support of Black Lives Matter, marking the first time the game was used as a major platform for positive change. Epic also partnered with Jalaiah Harmon to add her viral TikTok dance “The Renegade” to Fortnite. And just recently concept artist DahjaCat revealed that their Joy skin, a black roller skater with vitiligo, was coming to the game. The company, at least these days, appears to be trying. TIME’s Target Audience So what was it like, as a black person, to actually experience the event inside Fortnite? Surreal is the first word I’d used to describe my experience. As I walked through a giant TIME magazine and stepped onto a miniaturized version of the National Mall, I was greeted with a video of MLK’s speech. It was playing in a small, closable window on the left-hand side of my screen and at various landmarks across the Mall so you could hear Martin Luther King, Jr’s voice regardless of where you went. There were plaques describing events tied to the Civil Rights movement and old photos that depicted some of our struggles. Some of them elicited an emotional response from me. It was evident that a lot of work had gone into creating this space. That said, all of this poignant visual data was still nestled in, well, Fortnite. The Civil Rights-era photos were a backdrop to superheroes running back and forth to key areas. Interactive prompts intended to make you connect with the struggle - such as pushing a boulder up a hill - fell a little flat. Again, it was surreal, and it didn’t all sit right with me. The Civil Rights-era photos were a backdrop to superheroes running back and forth to key areas. There were others, however, who more fully appreciated the goals behind March Through Time. Kahlief Adams, host of the wildly popular Spawn on Me podcast, valued the initiative as this was the first time he’d listened to MLK’s speech in its entirety. “I’ve seen it in snippets over the years,” Adams explained. “Like, of course you have because you’re a black person in America. We’ve all seen parts of the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. But I never really sat down and like, watched the entire thing.” “After the first initial moments,” continued Adams, “the couple of people who were kind of running around and acting a fool [stopped], everyone just sat down and just chilled. It was kind of dope.” Adams said that the gamification of historical events isn’t a foreign concept, despite the easy cynicism it elicits. “I know that there's an expectation for everyone to be really cynical about the connectedness that you can have in a moment like this, with a game that is about building things and shooting people. But it is really awesome to be able to have whoever those other humans were at that moment that were sitting down with me. I don't know what they've got out of that speech. I don't know if they care about Civil Rights. I don't know if they care about blackness. But they sat and they listened. And to me, that's really important.” For a variety of reasons, we can’t expect young people to be taught a robust education around black history. Adams sees massively popular online spaces such as Fortnite as an alternative when the education system fails, or when legal guardians are focused on more immediate tasks. “I think that people don’t remember just how much time and mental space is given or used up just around safety,” said Adams. “I grew up in a black-as-hell household. Like my grandma was raising fists and walking with Panthers. But that’s also not a thing that you sometimes engage with depending on your household. She was a single mom. She didn’t have time to sit me down and say, ‘Alright son, we’re going to watch the MLK speech from beginning to end.’ She was like, ‘do your homework and go to bed.’” Developer Neil “Aerial_Knight” Jones explained that, while he understands the immediate negative reaction, he feels like the event was planned and executed with good intentions. “My thing is that, in general, I try not to get mad at genuine attempts,” Jones said. “[Epic] is genuinely trying to do something good. And sometimes they’ll try it and still be really predatory. But other times, like this, I feel like this one is a really awesome situation and a good learning experience. They made their mistakes but I hope they try it again. Maybe not with Martin Luther King again but someone else.” So, Was the Event Successful? Now the dust has settled, it’s hard to measure how successful the March Through TIME event was. One could argue just being able to reach millions of kids around the world could be considered a win, despite the criticisms. “I think it was a success just for it being a first of something,” said Jones, “and we can’t expect the first pass to be exactly what we want it to be. Because they are just trying to figure it out.” The conversation surrounding the potential benefits of Epic Games and TIME Studios collaboration, and what another collaboration like that might look like in the future, is ongoing. That’s a good thing; black people should be given the space to discuss how we’d like our history to be presented. That said, I’m still not entirely convinced that Fortnite is the best choice. If an important message becomes distorted because of the issues associated with a given platform, then maybe that platform isn’t the right fit for that particular message. Black people should be given the space to discuss how we’d like our history to be presented. My hope is that these companies will work on proving people like me wrong, and that black developers and consultants are given the power to guide these experiences. And hopefully, with the proper planning and foresight, these types of events will be better received. Will they ever enact meaningful, positive, long-term change? Maybe one day. “I think, if you’re really being honest about all of this, it’s never really about did something move the needle at all,” said Adams. “The question is more, did it move the needle fast enough? And the answer will always be no, because we’re already 200 years behind.” Kenneth Seward Jr. is a freelance writer, editor, and illustrator who covers games, movies, and more. Follow him on Twitter @kennyufg and on Twitch. Continue reading...
A new leak suggests that Santa Monica Studios' 2018 hit God of War is the next PlayStation exclusive to make the leap to PC. As first spotted first on Reddit, Ighor July, a software developer recently performed a datamine of Nvidia's GeForce Now database notes several titles headed to the service, and subsequently on PC. That's because Nvidia's cloud gaming service streams PC games from storefronts like the Epic Games Store and Steam. In particular, it notes that God of War is coming to PC via Steam with that version streamable on the cloud gaming service. The datamine also mentions several other games, ranging from games rumored to be in the works, games that were already announced or available on PC, or games that are currently console exclusive. This includes the long-rumored Grand Theft Auto Remastered trilogy as well as PlayStation exclusives, such as Bluepoint's Demon Souls Remake and Housemarque's Returnal. Again, the datamine does not confirm nor deny any of the games listed and should be taken with a grain of salt. Yet, the move of more first-party PlayStation games is imminent as Sony is moving in a direction that will bring more of its exclusives onto PC. Previous games released on PS4 and were then ported to PC include Guerilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn and Bend Studio's Days Gone. In addition, Naughty Dog's adventure games Uncharted IV: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy are being remastered and packaged for PC as the Legacy of Thieves Collection. To further assist in this direction, earlier this year, Sony announced that it had acquired Dutch studio Nixxes, a company specializing in porting games onto PC. Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster. Continue reading...
Creative Assembly has announced that Total War: Warhammer 3 is being delayed and will now release in early 2022. As shared in an announcement on the official Total War Twitter account, the developer acknowledged that news of a delay would undoubtedly be disappointing for fans but explained that the extra time would allow the team to avoid pushing a rushed title to market. "With nearly a decade of development on the Total War: Warhammer trilogy behind us, it feels surreal to see its culminating chapter so close to release. While it's tempting to rush to the finish line as it comes into view, we have made the decision to give it a little more time by moving the launch window of Total War: Warhammer 3 from 2021 to early 2022," says Rob Bartholomew, Chief Product Officer at Creative Assembly. "The wait won't be much longer, and we'll have plenty of new information for you in the meantime. The new date will make for a stronger release and the best first step into a new era for Total War: Warhammer. We don't consider this release the end of our trilogy, but the start of years of content and support as we continue to bring the jaw-dropping scale of Games Workshop's fantasy universe to Total War." While news of a delay is never something that players look forward to hearing, fans on Twitter were generally accepting of Creative Assembly's statement. With crunch culture a controversial and sometimes all too easily accepted feature of the game's industry, some fans were clear that they'd rather the team maintained a healthy work-life balance while others thanked the studio for not taking the easy route out and releasing a broken game. For more on Total War: Warhammer 3, why not check out our preview of the title where we went hands-on with the stoic defenders of Kislev for the first time in a new type of quest battle. Alternatively, for more on Warhammer, make sure to check out our handy guide to everything that was announced at this year's Warhammer Skulls event. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
Carnage is joining Fortnite's Battle Pass as part of its brand new Chapter 2, Season 8, which launches today. The addition of the Marvel villain's character skin is just one of a number of changes making their way to the Battle Royale as players set out to face a brand new threat attempting to bring about the destruction of the island. The end of Fortnite's last season brought with it the destruction of the alien mothership in Operation Sky Fire. As a result, the cubes that powered the ship were sent tumbling down toward the ground, causing a new wave of terror to sweep the map. Now crashlanded, Season 8 of the Battle Royale delivers further on that threat as the cubes have begun creating a range of anomalies across the map. At various locations across the island, the anomalies themselves open up gateways to a monster-filled dimension called, 'Sideways' - a name that certainly feels like it gives off huge Stranger Things' upside down vibes. As part of the game's monster-filled season, a new character skin brings Kletus Cassady's symbiote alternate Carnage into the game as a Battle Pass reward. While fans will likely be eager to enter the island as the famed Spider-Man foe, doing so will require a little bit of work. In order to unlock Carnage, players will need to complete quests and wipe out enough players to garner the XP required to reach the skin where it is positioned at the end of this season's Battle Pass. Carnage's inclusion in the game comes just weeks before the theatrical release of Tom Hardy's Venom sequel, in which Woody Harrelson portrays the alternate symbiote as the film's formidable villain. The character also marks the latest in a number of Marvel-based collaborations to make it into Fortnite in recent seasons. In a list that includes Wolverine, Groot, Thor, Iron Man, and Venom, Carnage should feel very at home when entering the Fortnite map for the first time. On top of Fortnite's latest Marvel crossover, the Season 8 Battle Pass for Fortnite features a number of other character skins that fans can unlock including Imagined Order agent Kor; Fabio Sparklemane, a shredded anthropomorphic horse-like being with rainbow coloured hair, and a paintable cartoon version of the game's iconic mascot Fishstick known as Toona Fish. For more on Fortnite, make sure to check out our dedicated page for the game where you can read more on a range of the Battle Royale's latest news. Alternatively, to catch up on the game's story so far, you can check out more in the trailer for Season 8 below: Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...