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It's one thing to call a game "small," maybe referring to its length or something about its quaint aesthetics. But TOEM, a game about the joy of photography, is small in the way a snow-topped winter cabin is small, or a sleeping cat is small, or a plate of cube-shaped cheeses and nicely sliced meats is small. It's small in totality; pristine, complete, and precise. It's perfect for snuggling under a blanket on a quiet evening with a scented candle and a mug of cocoa to finish in one contented sitting. TOEM starts with smallness in premise: a young protagonist, equipped only with a camera given to them by their mother and a pair of clogs, is now old enough to journey through their little top-down, black-and-white world to see the sights, take photos, and finally witness TOEM's titular phenomenon: a spectacle described in the opening minutes with awe-struck vaguery. After departing from their quiet hometown, they visit adorably diverse areas including a dense forest with a woodland hotel, a seaside town featuring both sunny beaches and stormswept coastline, a bustling city full of rushed business folk, and a snowy mountain peak, helping members of the community with their camera along the way. The initial camera functions are simple ones: you can zoom in and out, or flip it to take a selfie. Later, it gets a little bit deeper when you get a tripod that lets you set up specific shots, and a horn you can honk to elicit goofy reactions from your subjects. Rain, snow, and mud can spatter your camera lens, though certain items or interactions will clear this problem up if you don't like it. Beyond these, don't expect more elaborate photo editing tools from TOEM — but of course, just five minutes with it is enough to know that fancy camera functions would be utterly beside the point. TOEM doesn't gamify its photography further than "take a photo of this" to solve a puzzle or progress forward. There's no photo scoring and no Pokemon Snap-like rarity system. In a different kind of photo game, this simplicity might have been a disappointment, but for the most part I didn't miss it in TOEM. The cute, humorous scenarios TOEM rewarded my curiosity with were almost always satisfying enough without having to try and set up some perfect shot, and even without a quest or a reward to motivate me, I often found myself framing goofy selfies with characters and places I liked just because I wanted to. Good photos tell stories, and good photo-taking games tell many stories. Good photos tell stories, and good photo-taking games tell many stories; therefore, TOEM is a very good photo-taking game. Though its bookend areas are short by storytelling necessity, the rest are densely packed, intricate, and diorama-like in their design, giving the feel of playing around with an exceedingly well-made set of paper dolls or a 3D comic book. Each map is stuffed with pleasant moments featuring characters like a grouchy newspaper boss who's rightfully proud of his mustache, a balloon family celebrating a birthday, or a DJ moose performing one heck of a set to an audience of glow stick-waving fans. The busy-ness of one or two areas (specifically ones with intense weather) did start to noticeably cause the game to chug on the Switch, but this was limited to those locations and was only a brief, minor annoyance. There are longer stories, too, like the investigator you run into in each town who's after a shady character hiding in the scenery, or a series of ghosts tired of having to do everything for themselves. Most of TOEM's encounters happily marry the ordinary with either myth or absurdity, elevating day-to-day moments by asking you to look a little closer through a camera lens and appreciate the ways in which an army of ants might be just as delightful as a towering snow monster. Pet Photography TOEM's critter compendium is there for you to log every animal you encounter, from ladybugs to birds to a cute little frog. But throughout your journey you'll also encounter lots of different cats and dogs, and each individual is its own entry in the collection. They all have their own names – many named after pets belonging to the developers at Something We Made or others who contributed in different capacities. Many of these little photographed stories are useful for moving forward, as community service is rewarded with free bus rides to the next area. You'll have to help out a handful of folk in each area through photo taking, fetch quests, or exploration in order to reach your eventual goal. For instance, you might need to use your zoom lens to identify all the items gumming up the machinery in a power plant to get a bridge to lower, find a lost dog, or take photographs of a snowman's scattered body parts for an upset snowman builder. You're free to take on whichever tasks you want to reach the quota for moving on, so if you get stuck on one it's simple enough to just swap your focus to something else. But TOEM's humorous, grounded writing was so enjoyable and its characters so silly and pleasant that I was eager to try and finish every possible task presented to me just to see all its world had to offer. And it was easy to go beyond even that, as TOEM also comes with a short list of achievements, collectible clothing items, a critter compendium you can fill with photos of cats, dogs, bugs, and other animals, and plenty of surprising photo interactions to stumble across as you go. You can also collect a number of catchy, soothing music tracks from composers Launchable Socks and Jamal Green, which will dip in and out as you wander through the world and offer both musical accompaniment and also, critically, occasional silence to appreciate TOEM's superb sound design. All together, I only spent about three hours finishing TOEM’s story and an extra hour after that finding every last secret. I could have happily stayed longer, but TOEM was such a precise, neatly wrapped little box of a game that I feel greedy asking for more. It's complete in a way I feel games often struggle to be, like a rare TV show that ends exactly how the writers intended after just a season or two, or a tasty meal that's filling rather than stuffing. I think there's something brave and wonderful about wanting to make something that is deliberately small in an industry where padded length and grand scope and scale are often equated with value by many people. I love walking away from a game feeling this content. Continue reading...
 
Deathloop is set to release for PS5 and PC on September 14 (see it on Amazon, or Amazon UK). It will be available in a standard edition, as well as a deluxe edition that comes with a few digital extras. You'll find full details about what comes in each edition, as well as preorder bonus information below. And in case you're wondering if Deathloop is any good, you can take a look out our Deathloop review, where you'll find all kinds of details about why our critic rated it a 10/10. Preorder Deathloop (Standard Edition) PS5 Get it at Amazon - $59.99 Get it at Best Buy - $59.99 ($10 reward with My Best Buy) Get it at GameStop - $59.99 Get it at Walmart - $59.99 Get it at Target - $59.99 Get it at PlayStation Store (digital) - $59.99 Get it at Amazon UK - £59.99 PC Get it at Amazon - $59.99 Get it at Best Buy - $59.99 ($10 reward with My Best Buy) Get it at GameStop - $59.99 Get it at Walmart - $59.99 Get it at Target - $59.99 Get it at Steam - $59.99 The standard edition of Deathloop comes with the game itself, plus the preorder bonus (see below). Deathloop Deluxe Edition PS5 Get it at Amazon - $79.99 Get it at Best Buy - $79.99 ($10 reward with My Best Buy) Get it at GameStop - $79.99 Get it at Walmart - $79.99 Get it at Target - $79.99 Get it at PlayStation Store - $79.99 PC Get it at Amazon - $79.99 Get it at Best Buy - $79.99 ($10 reward with My Best Buy) Get it at GameStop - $79.99 Get it at Walmart - $79.99 Get it at Target - $79.99 Get it at Steam - $79.99 The deluxe edition of Deathloop comes with the game itself, plus the following digital items: .44 Karat Fourpounder Weapon "Eat the Rich" Tribunal Weapon "Sharp Shooter" Julianna Skin "Party Crasher" Colt Skin Soundtrack Selections 2 Trinkets (Equippable Buffs) Deathloop Preorder Bonus "Storm Rider" Colt Skin 1 Trinket (Equippable Buff) Royal Protector Machete (PS5 Exclusive) Additionally, if you preorder Deathloop from Best Buy, you'll get a $10 reward coupon to use on a future purchase. The only catch is that you have to be a My Best Buy member to take advantage of the deal, but signing up is free. What is Deathloop? Deathloop is a first-person shooter from Arkane Lyon, the developer behind the Dishonored series. It's about a pair of rival assassins who are stuck in a Groundhog Day-type loop where they keep living through the same day over and over again. You play as Colt, and your goal is to break the time loop by taking down eight targets in a single day. To do so, you can take advantage of a wide array of weaponry, as well as supernatural powers. As you go about your business, you're being hunted by Julianna Blake, another assassin. Julianna is controlled by the game's AI, but if you want to, you can enable multiplayer to let Julianna be controlled by another player. Or you can invade another player's game by taking control of Julianna and hunting down Colt. Despite Microsoft now owning Bethesda, the parent company of Arkane Lyon, Deathloop remains a PS5 console exclusive. As such, it takes full advantage of the DualSense controller, offering haptic feedback and using the adaptive triggers. Other Preorder Guides Chris Reed is a commerce editor and deals expert at IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed. Continue reading...
I’ve never played a game like Deathloop before. More accurately, I’ve played a lot of games that are a little bit like it – Dishonored, Hitman, Outer Wilds, and even Dark Souls among them – but never anything that fits so many interesting ideas together to create something so fascinatingly unique. Its ever-repeating day, doomed to loop until you can break it by murdering eight targets, is a playground for impactful gunplay, absorbing investigation work, satisfying experimentation, and even tense multiplayer standoffs. Developer Arkane Studios’ precise calibration of these pieces make Deathloop an intricately built clockwork machine that doesn’t so much quietly hum, but rather confidently roars. Your eight targets, known as Visionaries, have taken up residence on Blackreef; a cold and grey island made appealingly vibrant by dashes of 1960s fashion, architecture, and technology. Awakening every morning on its freezing shore is your protagonist Colt, a consistently amusing and understandably sweary gunslinger whose amnesia prevents him from knowing how he got here or for how long he’s been looping. Surprisingly for the scenario, there's no ticking clock snapping at your heels as you try to end the cycle by taking all your targets out before the day resets and they’re all resurrected. Deathloop’s smartest decision is to split its day into four time periods – morning, noon, afternoon, and night – and you can remain in each of them for as long or as short a time as you’d like. You choose one of Blackreef’s four unique districts to visit in each period, and you can take your time to thoroughly explore and crack some of Deathloop’s most elusive optional secrets without the fear of time running out. That’s not to say there aren’t complications, though. Your targets are spread out across those time periods and locations, so much so it’s initially impossible to kill them all before the day runs out. As such, you need to herd them together so that you can murder more than one at a time. To achieve this, you must conduct an investigation into their lives and schedules that took me roughly 20 hours, uncovering Blackreef’s exciting secrets, learning fascinating details about your adversaries, and eventually concluding by orchestrating a satisfying solution that ensures every single one of them dies before midnight strikes. Despite using a “live, die, repeat” structure, it’s best to think of Deathloop as a temporal metroidvania rather than anything close to a roguelike. Its chief currency is information: as you chase down objectives and unearth new leads, you’ll discover clues that help you to unlock doors and exciting new opportunities in areas you’ve previously visited, both in time and space. Those areas are, in Arkane tradition, intricately detailed and dense with personality. The decrepit Karl’s Bay, with its cavernous, rusting aircraft hangars perfect for staging ambushes in, is home to an obsessive cult that devoutly follows one of the Visionaries. The sleeker Fristad Rock, meanwhile, with its rock ‘n’ roll club filled with tempting off-limits chambers, provides a fantastic challenge for your infiltration skills. Thrilling discoveries come as you begin to recognise the cause-and-effect connections between times and districts. Excitingly, the details of the four locations shift depending on the time you visit them. As the day goes on, the island becomes increasingly anarchic as its residents grow rowdier and smash up furniture, graffiti walls, and even crash a car into a building. In the afternoon, a snowstorm redecorates Blackreef with a white blanket, while the evening is host to an exuberant party that dominates the Updaam district. Between these big visual changes are subtle, more meaningful alterations, such as changing enemy patrols, water freezing to provide new pathways, or a secret apartment window that only opens in the afternoon. These changes help create a constant sense of discovery all throughout Deathloop’s day. Once you’ve played through all four time periods, the day resets and you start again. Dying will also send you right back to breakfast time, although Colt’s supernatural abilities allow him to survive death twice per time period, which keeps things fair and provides an opportunity to quickly learn from mistakes without things getting frustrating. Either way, each reset also strips your inventory of every weapon, power, and upgrade you’ve picked up, forcing you to start afresh each day. Saving you from despair is the Infusion system, which allows you to permanently bind items to Colt so that they survive the loop. It requires spending Residuum, a resource found around Blackreef which is rare enough to force considered purchases, but in enough supply that each new loop will consistently bolster your arsenal. This system cleverly encourages you to vary your approach, allowing you to taste Deathloop’s many flavours without committing until you’re ready. Each day involves picking up a new assortment of guns with varying perks from the enemies you chew through, as well as upgrades called Trinkets, by the bucketful. Trinkets, of which there are dozens, allow you to make meaningful alterations to both your weapons and to Colt, such as the ability to reload in an instant or move without making noise. The loop’s cycling buffet of options allows you to discover and test new equipment, which will go on to inspire your Infusion choices. My increasing enamourment with supernatural abilities such as the Force push-like Karnesis, for instance, saw me invest in Trinkets that increased how long I could use them for, and even fuel them with my health should I run out of power. Over time, you’ll build up a collection of your favourite items, from which you choose a loadout before heading into the next location. While you may lose equipment at the end of a run, a reset never disrupts your investigation – you hold onto every single discovery you’ve made so far in your quest log and intel files. This means you rarely have to repeat the same activity twice, which eliminates a frustration many other time-loop games suffer from. Discoveries automatically set new objectives, which unfortunately robs you of the chance to draw your own conclusions but does ensure you’re never exasperated by hidden links. It’s a worthwhile tradeoff that keeps Deathloop moving at a lively pace. The journey your objectives take you on frequently shines a new light on locations and time periods you’ve visited before, which builds up a rewarding bank of knowledge. You gradually learn shortcuts through buildings, safe havens with health dispensers, and treasure troves that refill with the same violent delights – punchy weapons or even reliable sources of Residuum – every day. The most thrilling discoveries come slowly but surely as you begin to recognise the cause-and-effect connections between times and districts, such as when I realised that breaking into a computer in the morning will ensure a door in a different district will be unlocked in the afternoon. After a couple of hours of linear introduction (which do spend a little too long in a tightly controlled tutorial mode), the whole island and time loop is opened up to you to explore as you please – any district, in any order. You are provided with starting leads for each of the eight Visionaries, which unfold as linear quest lines, but how you pursue them is entirely up to you. You could opt to tug on each new thread as you find them, hopping between leads to cover as much ground as possible in a single loop, which provides a gratifying sense of efficiency. Or you could chase down a single lead, skipping time periods and locations in dogged pursuit of a specific part of the puzzle. This remarkable freedom helps fulfill the investigator fantasy; there’s a genuine sense that each choice you make helps narrow the search, inch by satisfying inch. Since most people on Blackreef are more interested in killing you than chatting, the answers to Deathloop’s murder puzzle are largely discovered in the classic formats of audio diaries, notes, and computer messages. Granted, those are a dime a dozen in just about every game since BioShock, but Arkane has outdone itself here: these are the best I’ve experienced in any game; concise, deeply flavourful, and often surprisingly funny. Via the aggressive messages sent by “AlphaWolf69”, for instance, you’ll quickly learn that one Visionary, Aleksis Dorsey, is a frat boy scumbag whose only rightful place is at the business end of your shotgun. Directly tying objectives to these diaries and messages means each new discovery further develops an authentic antagonistic relationship between you and the Visionaries as you play, rather than having a manufactured one dropped in your lap. Arkane’s deft storytelling hand doesn’t always hold entirely steady, though. If you don’t fully absorb every note and connect the many dots yourself, which is highly possible given the amount of freedom you have, Colt’s personal story – a fun, twisty history that intertwines with the lives of his targets and acts as Deathloop’s overarching plot – might not quite come together. And without it, the short concluding chapter can feel not just abrupt, but rather thin. As much as I appreciate Arkane having confidence in us to make these connections ourselves, Colt’s story feels like something that should have been served up in small milestone meals throughout the loops in a way that can’t possibly be missed, rather than scattered like cookie crumbs across the world to be overlooked by those who just want to get on with the next justified murder. Shotgun Symphony The precision engineering of this complex, looping world is held in balance by Deathloop’s combat system, which is a delightfully raucous affair that roars like a dragon with ballistic breath. If you prefer to go loud you can paint the walls with the insides of Blackreef’s violent thugs – all of whom appear to have fallen out of an Andy Warhol painting – using a small but well-tuned array of fantastically heavy weapons. Among the best are the Pepper Mill, a sputtering machine gun that feels as if it were wrenched from the undercarriage of a fighter plane, and The Fourpounder, a pistol that fires with the force of a battleship’s cannon made miniature. Despite acquiring these trusty favourites, I constantly found myself switching between the entire armoury as I planned around different tactics. If you’re playing on PS5, as I did, each gun produces a different effect in the DualSense’s triggers and haptic vibrations, generating a deeply enjoyable sense of force with every fight. These guns are joined by a library of Slabs, which are supernatural powers stolen from the corpses of Visionaries. These can be used in combination with your weapons and the environment to approach situations in your preferred manner, and all routes feel robust no matter if you choose to go loud or quiet. Pairing the teleportation Slab, called Shift, with the invisibility of Aether, for example, allows you to zip up to the rafters and observe enemy paths unseen, picking off stragglers with a silenced nail gun. The Karnesis Slab, meanwhile, can be used to levitate groups and repeatedly slam them into walls until there’s no life left in them. Adding to the Slabs’ value are upgrades, such as the ability to chain your teleport with a kick that’s so powerful it causes a sonic boom – which are acquired by looting the same Slab multiple times. This provides a strong reason to revisit your targets over and over to claim their Slabs, should the hilariously brutal neck-snap melee kill not be enough encouragement. The links between your weapons and powers make Deathloop’s combat (or avoidance thereof) a hotbed for joyful experimentation. The system truly comes alive, though, when you learn how Trinkets can harmonise the individual components of your loadout. The right combination can create a whole new playstyle: you might become a hands-off hacker capable of remotely locking down rooms and take out targets with gun turrets that heal you with each kill; or perhaps a master navigator who can double-jump up onto balconies and magically switch places with enemies; or a telekinetic tank with ocean-deep ammunition reserves and a health bar that never seems to run out. This has a deck-building appeal to it, as you mix and match your inventory to craft kits tailored for delightful shootouts, sneaky infiltrations, or a hybrid of the two. Over time, you’ll develop a character build refined in anticipation of the final, perfect loop. Does that sound too easy? There is, of course, a catch. Doing her best to ensure you never make it as far as the final loop is Julianna Blake, the only Visionary who ever takes a direct interest in Colt and operates on his level. She constantly chats with you over the radio, and your boisterous banter with her imbues this complex, mechanical game with an endearingly human personality. “If you don’t try to break the loop,” she taunts, “I’m just going to kill you over and over again in increasingly violent ways until you do!” Colt breaks her off; “Fine! I’ll break your f***ing loop, and whatever I did to p**s you off, I’m sorry!” It’s said with such comically coarse delivery that Colt instantly proves himself a worthy antithesis to the largely silent protagonists of other Arkane games. Combat is a delightfully raucous affair that roars like a dragon with ballistic breath. But the biggest difference between Julianna and her peers is that where the other Visionaries will only get aggressive if you invade their home turf, Julianna is a restless and free-roaming hunter. She’ll seek you out and crash your investigation party, turning up like a miniboss fight out of the blue. For example, after silently killing my first target and all their guards, I turned around to find Julianna inches from my face, blocking the exit in a moment that called back memories of BioShock’s terrifying dentist. The ensuing shootout – taking place in a hangar rapidly filling with lethal gas – threatened to send me back to the morning without any of the cool treasure I’d scooped up that day. Julianna’s enhanced aggression, resilience, and ability to disguise herself as generic enemies means she’s a welcome tangent in Deathloop’s predictable and repeating patterns. She’s not quite as dangerous as she sounds – I only actually died by her hand during the earliest stages – but the alert music that signals her arrival in the area nonetheless drums up some genuine tension every time. That’s the case in single-player mode, at least. Julianna serves a greater purpose, in that she can be controlled by another player who can “invade” your game to try to thwart you. This twist on the PvP mechanic popularised by Dark Souls turns her into an entirely different beast. Naturally more intelligent than her AI stand-in (or not, I suppose, depending on the person you’re playing against), a ‘real’ Julianna provides a more authentic sense of cat-and-mouse to the proceedings. This chase is a thrill that not even the few lag spikes I encountered could dampen, and a challenge that turns the ability to replay the loop after the credits have rolled into a much more alluring endgame scenario. Thankfully, if you detest the sound of a randomer jeopardising your perfectly arranged kill, invaders can be entirely locked out of your game, or limited to just friends, with the simple flick of a menu switch. From the other perspective, playing as Julianna is similar to controlling Colt, but she has a different rhythm. Without Colt’s resurrection ability, every wrong move could be your last, and you’ll need to kill your target three times to ensure he’s dead for good. It’s a balance that initially seems unfair, but eventually reveals itself to simply be a different kind of battle. Deception becomes the key part of your toolkit; there’s a quiet thrill in switching appearances with an NPC and blending in, doing your best to replicate an AI patrol route (not unlike Watch Dogs’ multiplayer mode). The map knowledge you’ve learned over many loops helps pinpoint ambush locations in places you’ll know Colt is likely heading to, which is a gratifying reward for mastering Deathloop’s level design. My apologies to the person who I repeatedly toyed with in the rock club, invisibly stalking them using vents I’ve discovered on multiple visits to stay two steps ahead. Encouraging you through repeat invasions is a ‘Hunter Rank’ progression system. This can be increased by completing challenges, each of which prompts you to kill Colt in a variety of fun ways. Success unlocks a rapidly growing collection of weapons, powers, and Trinkets for Julianna (she and Colt do not share an inventory), a wardrobe of new looks for both playable characters, and further challenges to complete. PvP is by no means an essential mode, but for anyone as similarly taken by Deathloop’s combat as I am, it’s essentially a rewards system for killing in smart ways. Continue reading...
Volition has released further details about what fans can expect from the Saints Row reboot's characters and customization options – and why we've seen so little of the classic purple color scheme so far. In an update post published to the official Saints Row website, Volition addressed a number of questions raised by the community surrounding what new characters the reboot would bring with it, what details the developer could share on how customization in the game would work, and why the trailer showed a distinct lack of Saints Row purple. In terms of the game's new characters, Volition shared details about three upcoming Saints added to the game as well as the title's player-controlled character - the Boss. Saints Row will set out by showing the Saints as a fledgling criminal organization at the beginning of its journey - meaning that the reboot's new characters don't necessarily start out as criminal masterminds but instead rise up through the criminal underworld during the game. The new members shared by Volition include Neenah, a talented getaway driver who leans into gang life to support her crew; Kevin, a DJ and people pleaser who starts out in the game as a member of the Idols; and Eli, a business entrepreneur who cares about making money above anything else. Volition also shared further details on the player's character, the "Boss", explaining that fans will be able to customize their role in the title as they decide the means by which they run their criminal empire. In terms of customization, Volition says that they have "built the biggest customization suite," of any Saints Row game to date. The developer reaffirmed that the reboot's customization tools will allow players to personalize a number of elements about the game's main character. In addition to being able to decide whether you play as a "stone-cold killer or a fantastic looking freakshow," fans will be able to select how the Boss sounds from across eight different fleshed-out voices for the role - four female and four male. The developer also announced that the game would be bringing back layered clothing to its list of features, giving players more control over how they style their character in the game. According to Volition, the game's vehicles will also include a huge number of customizable options to toy with. The developer also addressed the distinct lack of Saints Row purple shown off in trailers to date. According to Volition, the premise of the new game, which places its characters at the start of their respective criminal journeys, is the explanation. Fans worried about the change in tone needn't worry says the developer, as the series' iconic purple color scheme, and the Saints' identity, will become clearer as the game progresses. "We begin by showing the Saints at the start of their criminal journey, over the course of the game they form the Saints and rise to the top of the criminal underworld, reaping rewards and recruits along the way," confirmed the team at Volition. "The further they go down that path, the more you’ll see the purple ‘uniform’ come into play, and the more visually adorned with purple and fleur de lys the Saints, their HQ, and their recruits become." For more on Saints Row, make sure to check out our article detailing what comes in each edition of the game. Alternatively, if you're looking forward to the series' upcoming revival, then why not check out this piece on the game's announcement trailer where we sat down with creative director Brian Traficante and lead producer Rojé Smith to breakdown every Saints Row secret, easter egg, and detail in the announcement trailer. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
Images from Redfall, the upcoming Xbox Series X/S console exclusive from Dishonored and Deathloop developer Arkane Studios, have seemingly leaked from a playtest. The leaked images were first seen in a now-deleted Reddit post from TheRedFall and show off some of the game's weapons and heroes alongside the Redditor describing a game that appears to be very much like Borderlands with Dishonored-style abilities. Other Redditors, like kidaXV, have reposted the images and re-wrote what was originally said. Two of the weapons that appear in the images are titled the UV Beam M01 and Stake Launcher M02. Besides these weapons sounding like the perfect foil for vampires, they also show their descriptions and modifiers. For example, the UV Beam has a "Rating" of 5,384, a high "Rate of Fire", a bit lower "Reload Rate," and a "Magazine Size" of 65. It also boasts "Additional charge capacity," "Increased accuracy while moving," and "Increased petrification speed." There is also a "Scrap Value," which may be Redfall's currency. The weapons come in one of five rarity levels, and the Loadout screen shows that each character will have access to three weapons, and one slot for Armor, Medkit, Remnants, and Memento. There were six heroes in the playtest, and each hero has three abilities assigned to them as well. It's also important to note that these images are from a very early stage of the game and are likely not indicative of the final quality for its graphics or even aspects of its gameplay. Games constantly change throughout their development, and while it is exciting to see more of a much-anticipated game, expectations need to be set properly. Redfall was announced at E3 2021 and showed a glimpse of the open-world co-op FPS that will feature vampires created from an experiment gone wrong. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected] Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch. Continue reading...
Deathloop is nearly upon PC and PS5 players, and I've found the sweetest deals for that swingin' '60s FPS. Not into Arkane's incredible fusion of Dishonored, Prey, Hitman and a dash of Dark Souls? Maybe you have a need for many Need For Speeds, or perhaps a handsome collection of Borderlands titles instead. I've skewed today towards "many games in one" deals, so be sure to take advantage of these bargain priced packs! 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. He speaks in "Simpsonsese" @Grizwords. Continue reading...
While EA Motive has shared a brand-new look at Dead Space Remake's USG Ishimura, it also revealed that this would be the last update for 2021. Motive shared the news on Reddit in a post that explained a bit more about what the team is focusing on and how it is taking fans' feedback to heart. "Everything we showed was a work in progress which means that we’ll be working on things like Isaac’s suit, the aesthetic and ambiance of the Ishimura," EA Motive's CM_Ythisens wrote. "We’re doing work to ensure it has the right level of wear and tear. For example, here is an early work in progress clip showing some of the ways that the team is going to be giving that worn look to the Ishimura." They continued to say that the team is going to "be heads down now working on the game, taking some time to review all the thoughts, theories, and suggestions you’ve all shared with us. We look forward to showing you how you’ve helped shape the game next year when we’re further in development!" The behind-the-scenes look (which you can see here) of the Dead Space Remake is all about the USG Ishimura and how the team is making the ship and main location of the Dead Space Remake into the terrifying place it will end up being. As an added bonus, we get a look at an idle animation of Isaac Clarke! This final update follows a dev livestream where EA Motive discussed combat, graphics, story tweaks, and unveiled that Gunner Wright would be back to voice Clarke. The Dead Space Remake is a fully next-gen rework of the 2008 horror classic and, while there is no official release date or window, we do know that it will be released on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected] Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch. Continue reading...
Rockstar Games was one of the developers that presented a game during PlayStation’s much-anticipated showcase this week. But instead of a new game, Rockstar’s announcement was for Grand Theft Auto 5 and Grand Theft Auto Online coming to PlayStation 5 in 2022. After nearly a decade of continued success and popularity, GTA’s fans are ready to move on and are letting Rockstar know it. With a shelf life that will eventually extend across three console generations and millions of sales under its belt, folks already know about GTA 5 and still play GTA Online in droves. But since being first released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles back in 2013, fans just don’t want to hear about GTA 5 anymore. As of this writing, the latest GTA 5 and GTA Online Remastered trailer from the PlayStation Showcase has 32,000 dislikes compared to just 15,000 likes. A similar dislike-to-like ratio appears on the same trailer across different channels including Rockstar’s own official YouTube. “Welcome back to Los Santos?” one commenter writes in the YouTube trailer on the official PlayStation channel. “No thanks. Been stuck there since 2013.” The trailers advertising the re-release of an already massively successful game might sting less if the trailer didn’t highlight things like “Seamless character switching,” which is a feature of Grand Theft Auto 5 and not necessarily something new that’s only possible on the PlayStation 5. Fans have also called out how the trailer highlights the improved graphics and enhanced gameplay. Without specific details, many say the visuals and gameplay look largely unchanged from existing versions of the game. And though fans have been happy to celebrate GTA 5’s success, in the past year or so, the community has shifted focus towards a possible sequel, Grand Theft Auto 6. One fan even went so far as to crash a German game show to ask Rockstar on live TV where GTA 6 might be. Unfortunately, Rockstar hasn't said much at all about a potential Grand Theft Auto 6. Rumors have suggested a sequel will not arrive until 2024 at the earliest, and Rockstar itself has undergone some changes after Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser left the company earlier this year. With the hype cycle in full swing for the next GTA game, fans are now more than happy to take shots at GTA 5. After all, with 150 million units sold as of 2021, they’re punching way up. Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd. Continue reading...
I’ve got a long history with the Tales series. I was absolutely obsessed with Tales of Symphonia back on the GameCube, beating it at least four times, and I’ve been chasing that special kind of JRPG love for years – mostly without success. I’ve played Abyss, Graces, Hearts, and the acclaimed Vesperia, but they all felt like too much of a retread. Even Berseria, which felt like a good refresh for the series, didn’t do much for me. But Tales of Arise has finally rekindled that flame, feeling both like a brand-new game with an outstanding story and excellent combat while also making good use of the best ideas that have kept the series going for this long. The Tales series is known for how well its stories are told, and Arise is no exception. In fact, Arise is now my favorite in the series, exceeding Symphonia. It centers around Alphen, a slave with a mysterious past who cannot feel pain. He is charming and helpful, going out of his way to assist anyone in need and acting as a protector of his fellow slaves. He shares the lead role with Shionne, a member of the slaver race who cannot be physically touched without cursed magic thorns erupting from her body. Watching their relationship grow from contentious but necessary to actually becoming friends is one of my favorite parts of any game in 2021. The other characters also learn and grow, which felt good to witness. There are not just worldwide stakes but interpersonal ones as well; everyone has their damages and they must learn how to cope and deal with them. Without spoiling anything, the story touches on the horrors of war and slavery, the long-lasting affects of colonization on indigenous peoples, the realization of one’s own privilege and how it relates to others and the less fortunate, one’s purpose in a damaged world and what they can do to help, and more. But that’s not to say everything is dour – there are plenty of moments that made me laugh out loud or smile because of how charming the well-rounded and flawed characters can be, and they’re made even better by a stellar voice cast. What We Said About Tales of Berseria Tales of Berseria is a surprisingly strong showing for this long-running series. Its tragic story of broken people fighting on the wrong side of history makes it utterly compelling, and its well-tuned combat more than makes up for its lack of interesting environments. Simply put, this is a tale too heartbreaking to miss, or to forget. – Meghan Sullivan, January 23, 2017 Score: 8.8 Read the full Tales of Berseria review The painted, almost watercolor look really makes Arise stand out from previous entries and the art direction makes everything easy to understand. The world is massive, too, and exploring all of its regions takes around 50 hours. If I had to find one thing to complain about, it’s the small but frequent localization issues. For instance, sometimes the lip synching is off – I couldn’t tell if it was a timing thing or they just never animated the characters to sync with the English voice acting. I also caught the occasional typo in the subtitles, or noticed a character would say a word that was not what was written in the subtitle. But other than that, Arise seems very well polished. Movement and attacks feel like a combination of traditional Tales combat and a character-action game like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. One area where it really shines is in how much better combat feels than in previous Tales games. While Arise maintains the familiar circular arena, actual movement and attacks feel more fluid than before, more like a combination of traditional Tales combat and a character-action game like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. For instance, the perfect dodge mechanic gives you a second of slow-motion after an enemy’s attack and teleports you into range for a counterattack. The classical and rock-inspired music during fights goes along well with this, making it all feel exciting. Arise continues to use the free camera that debuted in Berseria, which makes the use of Artes, or special moves, much easier to aim in the midst of a fight. Using Artes and perfect dodges will build a meter that puts your character in an overdrive state that gives you a costless use of Artes and access to a Mystic Arte, a kind of finishing move. On top of that, Alphen has a risk-reward mechanic of expending his health in order to strengthen his attacks. Another of Arise’s clever new additions is that all six characters come with a special skill mapped to the D-pad that is used to counteract anything an enemy can do. For instance, Rinwell the mage has an interruption ability that not only stops an enemy from casting a spell but steals it, allowing Rinwell to cast it during that fight. Or, if you run into a shielded enemy, Law’s ability can break through that shield, opening the enemy up for damage. And while you can only have four of the six characters in battle at a time, you can still use all six of their skills at any time. (You can also open up the menu during battle and switch out any character you’d like, or even change out what Arte a character has equipped, so letting us use all of their abilities at once just saves us the hassle of manually switching them out.) There were many moments where I said, “Cool!” out loud, to no one but my dog. This combat sundae is already expansive and wonderful to engage with (there were many moments where I said, “Cool!” out loud, to no one but my dog) and they’ve topped it with the cherry of flashy combo moves between two characters which looks more like something out of Guilty Gear Xrd instead of an RPG. There are so many extravagant effects and flourishes that I worried at first that it would be easy to get lost in the chaos of it all, but it remains so readable that I never once lost track of what I was doing or where my character was. It’s very friendly to learn, too – whenever one of these new mechanics pops out, a tutorial comes along with it to get you more familiar with it while adding an entry into the menu in case you, like I did, forget how to pull something off. (This kind of thing isn’t all that uncommon in modern games but I always appreciate it.) Further along, an arena becomes available where you can tackle solo and group challenges, which helped me understand the flow of combat even better. After grasping the new combat system, the ultimate test of skill comes in the form of two things: big monsters that you can find in the open world, and boss battles. Usually coming at the end of each area, bosses typically have a wider combat arena than normal and area-of-effect skills that can take out your whole party if you’re not careful. While these fights might take more effort, they never overstay their welcome or feel unfair. Every boss fight feels like a culmination of the area it takes place in, from making good use of the new abilities you’ve learned there to expanding how the enemies you’ve fought there use their attacks. Even when you’re not actively fighting, everything you do feeds back into the combat. There’s a crafting system for making better weapons with materials found from ore around the map and from items dropped by enemies. There’s a cooking system that gives various bonuses from attack to defense and even buffs for finding better materials. There are cute little owls scattered about that give you costume customization pieces, which in itself does not give you any sort of combat bonuses, but collecting enough will unlock other useful things to use in combat. And that’s not even mentioning walking off the beaten path to find items and rare monsters that drop even better loot. I never once felt like anything I did was wasting my time; in fact, I intend to go back for more so that I can play at a more leisurely pace and soak in everything I want. Though exploring the world is fun to do, Arise does have an expansive fast-travel system that takes a lot of the slog of backtracking out of the equation. It’s just one of the many quality-of-life improvements over previous Tales games that kept the pace of the story and action going over the entire 50 hours. Continue reading...
Even though a US Court today ruled that Apple was not a monopoly and did not violate antitrust laws in the Epic v. Apple suit, it didn't have kind things to say about Apple's 30% take rate on in-app purchases. In its final order, the court goes over the numerous arguments from the case, at one point addressing the fact that Apple takes a 30% cut of all purchases occurring in apps published on its store. Though the 30% rate has been common in the game and app industries for years, in recent times platforms such as Steam, Microsoft, and Epic itself have opted to take less, while Apple has dug in its heels. This was brought as evidence against Apple, with Epic suggesting that its hold on the market and insistence on 30% ultimately drove prices up for consumers. Apple argued that not only was 30% was an industry standard, but that developers get a commensurate value from the App Store to make up for the cut. But the judge disagreed, calling the take "unjustified." "One...developers could decide to stay on the App Store to benefit from the services that Apple provides," the ruling reads. "Absent competition, however, it is impossible to say that Apple’s 30% commission reflects the fair market value of its services. Indeed, at least a few developers testified that they considered Apple’s rate to be too high for the services provided. Two, Apple has provided no evidence that the rate it charges bears any quantifiable relation to the services provided. To the contrary, Apple started with a proposition, that proposition revealed itself to be incredibly profitable and there appears to be no market forces to test the proposition or motivate a change." Basically, the judge is saying that the 30% rate Apple takes is impossible to determine the value of, because there isn't enough competition to suggest otherwise. Furthermore, it doesn't seem like anything Apple does for developers has any relation to the money they take from in-app purchases. The court went further, pointing out that the justification for a 30% rate could be determined if a third-party store put pressure on the company to innovate and provide features to developers it had previously neglected. But with competition currently held back, there's just no way to tell. But, again, the ruling doesn't call Apple a monopoly — just "anticompetitive." It has a share of the mobile gaming market between 52% and 57% that it battles with Google for, making for a "mostly duopolistic" ecosystem that Apple has "considerable market power" within. And that, the court concludes, may soon turn into a monopoly if its market share keeps going up, competition doesn't step up its game, or Epic or someone else brings a better antitrust case to court next time. "The evidence does suggest that Apple is near the precipice of substantial market power, or monopoly power, with its considerable market share. Apple is only saved by the fact that its share is not higher, that competitors from related submarkets are making inroads into the mobile gaming submarket [Nintendo Switch], and, perhaps, because plaintiff did not focus on this topic." Overall, most of the ruling was in favor of Apple, though Epic won a specific battle with an injunction forcing Apple to allow developers to link to outside payment options within their apps (though this still doesn't let them add direct payment that bypasses the App Store's systems). Tim Sweeney has said that as a result of this, he will not be bringing Fortnite back to to the App Store until direct payment is permitted. Epic first brought this suit to Apple following Apple's removal of Fortnite from its App Store last year after Epic incorporated the ability to skirt Apple's payment system, thus avoiding Apple's 30% platform fee. We've since seen plenty of similar challenges to Apple's walled garden, including proposed legislation that would solidify the ability for developers to use their own payment systems, as well as continued pushback on Apple from other developers frustrated by its policies. We've also learned a lot from the suit, including the ways in which Epic weaponized its fans against Apple and the general confusion the court system experienced when faced with, well, video game nonsense. Sadly, we're still not sure (legally, anyway) exactly what a video game is. Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
With the ruling of the Epic v. Apple trial dropping today, we got answers to some of the most pressing legal questions brought up during the proceedings. Sadly, the answer to the question, "What is a video game?" was not among them. The fact that this was a question at all during the court proceedings may sound absurd if you're not familiar with how legal arguments work, but it turns out, agreeing on definitions of important and often common terms is necessary to make a case in court. In Epic v. Apple, the question of "what is a video game?" came up during the first few days of court proceedings, but as noted in the court's final ruling, "no one agrees and neither side introduced evidence of any commonly accepted industry definition." Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney tried to offer his own definition, but it involved trying to define Fortnite's creative mode as...not a video game at all: "I think game involves some sort of win or loss or a score progression, on whether it is an individual or social group of competitors," he said. "With a game you’re trying to build up to some outcome that you achieve, as opposed to an open-ended experience like building a Fortnite Creative island or writing a Microsoft Word document. There is no score keeping mechanic and you are never done or you never win." Meanwhile, Apple's head of app review Trystan Kosmynka offered that games are "incredibly dynamic," "have a beginning, [and] an end," and have "challenges." The court was unimpressed. In the final ruling, the judge acknowledged that video games did appear to "require some level of interactivity or involvement between the player and the medium" and "are also generally graphically rendered or animated, as opposed to being recorded live or via motion capture as in film and television" (though that second part might have been debunked had anyone introduced Telling Lies into evidence). In the end, though, the judge threw up her hands on this particular question, saying the definitions she was given did not capture "the diversity of gaming that appears to exist in the gaming industry today." She also pointed out that Sweeney appeared to be trying to define Fortnite as something other than a game — a metaverse, in fact. But she wasn't impressed by that either. "The Court need not reach a conclusive definition of a video game or game because by all accounts, Fortnite itself is both externally and internally considered a video game," the ruling reads. "Epic Games markets Fortnite to the public as a video game, and further promotes events within Fortnite at video game related events. Although Fortnite contains creative and social content beyond that of its competitive shooting game modes, there is no evidence or opinion in the record that a video game like Fortnite is considered by its parts (i.e., the modes within the game) instead of in its totality. "By both Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Weissinger’s own descriptions, the metaverse, as an actual product, is very new and remains in its infancy. At this time, the general market does not appear to recognize the metaverse and its corresponding game modes in Fortnite as anything separate and apart from the video game market. The Court need not further define the outer boundaries of the definition of video games for purposes of this dispute." While we were left without a legal definition of a video game from Epic v. Apple. we did get a definition of sorts for something a bit more unusual: Fortnite's Peely. Peely, who was brought up in court in his suited Agent Peely garb as a visual aid for what Fortnite players could do in Creative mode, briefly diverted proceedings when Apple's attorney quipped that they thought it was "better to go with the suit than the naked banana, since we are in federal court this morning.” This was brought back up later in the trial when Epic's attorney countered this joke by asking Epic's VP of marketing Matthew Weissinger if there was anything inappropriate about Peely without the suit. "It's just a banana man," Weissinger replied. During its final ruling, the court stated that it agreed with this characterization of Peely and that it found the suit Agent Peely wore "not necessary but informative." So much for video games, but at least Peely has a legal definition. (He also was exploded into banana goo by Ryu back in March in the Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 6 cinematic trailer, but he appears to be fine now.) The court's ruling today on Epic v. Apple will likely spark further challenges in court, especially with challenges on so many fronts already. There's proposed legislation that would solidify the ability for developers to use their own payment systems on top of the ruling, as well as continued pushback on Apple from other developers upset at its walled garden policies. Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
If longtime fans of Oxenfree have thought about jumping back into the adventure on PC before Oxenfree II's release next year, they might be surprised to find some radio transmissions they didn't find the first time around. And if you're one of those players, don't worry - you're not forgetting some key story beats or realizing you missed some important conversations. Five years after its release, Night School Studio has periodically been updating its acclaimed, original choice-driven narrative with a series of new audio teases that directly tie into the villains of Oxenfree II. It's an ambitious gambit, but absolutely befitting of Oxenfree's paranormal, meta-story. The villains of the upcoming sequel are so powerful, or messing with forces that are, that they're literally changing the fabric of the original's world and appearing, at least audibly, where they once weren't. Night School Studio has dipped into fourth-wall-breaking territory before, but to find out more about this exciting undertaking, I spoke with members of the Night School team about why they decided to bridge the games like this, how it prepares players for the sequel, and more. Some details may be considered spoilers for Oxenfree II, so turn back if you don't want to know any details about the sequel ahead of its launch. Otherwise, watch the new video below for more on Oxenfree's updates and how they set up the villains of Oxenfree II. What Oxenfree's Updates Hint at in Oxenfree II A couple of updates to the Steam version of Oxenfree have already gone live, and fans have been piecing together what these radio broadcasts might be leading toward. And as perceptive fans may have already realized, these broadcasts are offering insight into the world of the sequel's villains, a collective group known as Parentage. These broadcasts offer players who discover them a bit of characterization and background for these characters, while also showing how significant a force they might be if their actions are reverberating through the original game. It's a startling approach, but one that the developers felt was absolutely natural to the world they've created and are now building upon. "The rules of the world, and the rules of the universe, allows things that happen in the future to reverberate into the past, and vice-versa," Studio Lead Writer Adam Hines told IGN. "We wanted to make sure that we went deeper with it [than other ARGs], and made sure to honor the Night School pillars of really strong characters, really compelling dialogue, and nice and scary as well," Writer Adam Esquenazi Douglas added. In that sense, as Douglas explained, the radio updates being added for players to discover are aimed to feel like a complete story themselves, with a beginning, middle, and end that should satisfy those who discover them all, while also offering depth to what's to come in the sequel. And the team is highly aware of the challenges that come with telling such a story, in such a peculiar way, namely in not wanting to spoil the experience of the sequel, and in producing a story in this series of transmissions that not all Oxenfree II players may experience. "We're always very cautious about spoilers and not wanting to ruin the mystery aspect. That's such a big chunk of why people play these types of games is being able to really dig in as much as they want," Hines said. "We landed in a really good spot of giving hints of intent, and giving hints that someone is really intentionally trying to push their way into what Alex and her friends unwittingly stumbled into in Oxenfree 1, and got stuck in and had to deal with. Now, with Oxenfree II, we're dealing with a group that is very specifically and intentionally trying to uncover and discover this stuff. And, poke at it and see what you can do with portals, time, and space. "Of course it's all going to go horribly wrong. So, we get to see hints of that through these radio updates," Hines continued. "This is giving you a sense of who the quote-unquote bad guys are going to be for Oxenfree II. And, then also when you start to play Oxenfree II, and start to push up against these characters and meet them, if you've done the radio update journey from Oxenfree 1, hopefully that will feel like you already have a sense of how they got to where they are." "Introducing the antagonists in an interesting way...instead of having a trailer just focused on them. Why not let you hear them doing their dirty work in the first game?" "There was never a clear antagonist [in Oxenfree 1]," Studio Director Sean Krankel elaborated. "We're dropping you into this weird mystery island, and you're going to have to unravel it. And, we didn't think we could do that again this time, frankly. And, so introducing the antagonists in an interesting way just felt like a compelling, cool thing to do instead of having a trailer just focused on them. Why not let you hear them doing their dirty work in the first game?" That sets the table for players exploring these audio logs to have some fascinating insight into Parentage ahead of Oxenfree II, but Night School was also very cognizant that not every player who jumps into the sequel may have discovered or even heard these radio additions. In that sense the team worked hard to make something rewarding for players, both in the act of discovering it and what it entailed, but also something that, should you miss out on this bit of worldbuilding, won't hamper a player's experience of the sequel. Hearing the Future As these updates are sound-based radio transmissions, they tie into a common element of Oxenfree - its evocative sound design. So much of Oxenfree's mood-setting came through audio, whether it be the voice acting, the glitchy sound effects of its supernatural-meets-real-world story, or the memorable score by Composer Andy Rohrmann, aka scntfc. And as Rohrmann explains, these radio updates provide further ways for him to not only play with what he's done before, but tie it into Oxenfree's world in fascinating ways. "Some [ways the score is integrated] are just kind of fun musical tricks. But, there's also ideas of music that might show up in the radio plays is actual [Oxenfree] score. But we're using it diegetically in this instance. So...they break a lot of these concepts of 'What is the game,'" Rohrmann explained. These radio plays, and the connective tissue that then gives the two games, also gave Rohrmann a unique opportunity to work with the first game's soundtrack in a way that not only let the new music be in dialogue with that first score, but also speak to the wider themes at play. "There's actually time looping, and the way these narrative threads are structured, makes it almost make too much sense to go back and rework something," he said. "I'm not saying it's less work, but, it's a great opportunity to essentially remix my own work in relevant ways." Though Rohrmann did not, of course, want to spoil what work he may be doing with this ARG or ahead of the sequel that could lead to Oxenfree II clues, he did point to an ARG moment in the past that gives an indication of what may come. "I'll give one more example just because this may be relevant in the future. We seeded ARG elements six months before Oxenfree one came out, which was a song I said, "Oh, here's a song from this game. You can listen to it if you want.' It had morse coding. People have since realized that the melody was playing morse code. They would have been onto something six months before the game came out, but, obviously nobody knew who it was. So, it sat dormant until the week of the game coming out. Then, people thought 'Oh, that's morse code.' "The foundation [of Oxenfree] is already begging to be messed with, to be meta and strange." "Once I discovered [that people realized this], I could change it because front-facing on band camp, you can't tell if a file has changed. And, so we got to play with this idea of time in the real world; 'I went there yesterday, and then I downloaded it today, and it's different.' And Rohrmann's work may be more relevant to Oxenfree than some fans may realize. "Andy really has been so much of the foundation of the more mind-bendy aspects of the game. In the first one, everything from his actual recording process, which was super analog. He literally broadcast himself, recorded the broadcast, and then put them on a reel and stretched it out and broke it up. All that stuff leads into the design. The tape reels from the first game, dealing with time loops, all that Andy heavily influenced," Krankel said. "The foundation [of Oxenfree] is already begging to be messed with, to be meta and strange," Krankel continued. "Audio and radio broadcasts being the foundation of how you interact with that has meant that Andy has been more than a composer. He is really like a designer on this project and was on the first one as well." Is Talking About It Spoiling the ARG? Night School has a history with ARG's and Oxenfree, the original of which actually involved real-world locations, but tried their best to play up the mystery of it. And the funny thing about ARGs for fictional stories is where the creators draw the line. To acknowledge an ARG is going on breaks some of the fun that comes from imagining a story bleeding into our world. Then again, actually addressing it helps bring awareness, more curiosity, and, ultimately, more chances for fans to collaborate and work on piecing everything together. And, frankly, it's cool when a story can be told in such a unique way like this. "With the first game, it was important to be secretive about it because the world was being introduced to these characters and this lore. And, we also just didn't think anybody was looking at us. If anything, they were looking at the game," Krankel said. "Any ARG components a few years ago, we wanted them under this shroud of secrecy. But, as we've moved forward, and as we're building out this next team, the way that we look at it is there can be multiple touchpoints that tell a singular story." "As much effort as goes into the game's story, is going into this story, and it's all intended to be one singular piece of work. It just so happens that part of it isn't in Oxenfree II. Before we cared about being top secret about everything, now we want everybody to know it's out there, and see it and feel it." "We've been trying to strike a delicate balance between wanting to give enough that you want to know more. But, not too much that it feels like the apple has gone rotten," Hines added. "This is great because now it's not so much waiting for a puzzle so people can rush to solve it [like in other ARGs]. It's more a story, and it's more narrative," Rohrmann said. And Night School very knowingly made this interwoven story with the idea that fans would dissect every element of it, and hope that process will be as rewarding as it was coming up with how to implement it. "One of the great things about our fan base is that no matter what we put out they will pick it apart to the atoms, just to figure out what we're going for," Douglas said. "And, we wrote a lot of this content specifically with them in mind. So, whenever a sentence stops halfway through and you really want that sentence to finish. That's why we did it. It's because of you." "There are still things out there that we've already dropped, that had yet to be discovered," Rohrmann said. "We've already seeded mysteries and things. So, it's been really fun to take those ideas and integrate them into a game that came out five years ago. I mean, that's so cool. How often does that happen?" Oxenfree II is headed to PC, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch in 2022. Oxenfree's new updates are currently only available via the Steam version of the original game. Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior Features Editor, PlayStation Lead, and host of Podcast Beyond! He's the proud dog father of a BOY named Loki. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush. Continue reading...
Dell is one of best brands we'd recommend if you're looking to get a prebuilt gaming PC. The Alienware gaming desktops offer a staggering array of options, all built into a custom chassis that's both easy on the eyes and easy on the wallet. Alienware gaming laptops have been redesigned to be thinner and lighter while still offering the same immense power under the hood. For those of you on a budget, Dell also offers its Dell G-series gaming desktops and laptops. You still get to customize it to your heart's content, but at a much lower price point. If you're not looking for a gaming rig, the XPS laptop is perfect for the road warrior, and the Inspirons are great for value-minded students. Combine all of this with readily available sales and coupons, as well as Dell's best-in-class customer service, and you can understand why they are at the top of our buying list. Dell and Alienware Coupon Codes Dell XPS Intel Core i7 RTX 3060 Ti PC for $1369 Enjoy high end PC gaming on a budget. There is one of the best deals we've seen for an RTX 3060 Ti equipped PC and handily beats out a similar deal we saw on Labor Day by over $100. The RTX 3060 Ti is a very powerful video card; it's better than the previous generation's RTX 2080! It's a big upgrade from the 3060 non-Ti model and the one to get if you're going to play games at resolutions of 1440p or higher. This particular deal is found on the Dell Small Business site, but anyone can purchase there just like on Dell's regular site; you can treat Dell Small Business as exactly the same as Dell Home. Dell XPS Intel Core i7 RTX 3070 PC for $1659 If you need a gaming PC that can handle 4K resolution, you should consider stepping up to an RTX 3070. The RTX 3070 performs a bit better than the previous generation's fastest video card, the RTX 2080 SUPER. You don't lose much fps compared to the RTX 3080 (at most 10% at 4K) but you save hundreds of dollars in terms of cost. Extra 17% Off Alienware Gaming Laptops Dell S2721DGF 27" 1440p GSYNC Gaming Monitor This is one of the best gaming monitors you can buy for under $500. The S2721DGF is a 27" monitor with an excellent IPS panel (better than the VA panel found on the popular S3220DGF model). It features wide viewing angles and excellent color rendition including 98% DCI-P3 color coverage. At the same time, it boasts a super fast 1ms response time and up to 165Hz refresh rate through the DisplayPort. It's also FreeSync Premium Pro and G-SYNC compatible. More Dell Gaming Monitors on Sale with Coupon Configurable Alienware RTX 30XX Gaming PCs Alienware gaming PCs equipped with the latest RTX 30 series video cards are not as expensive as you think. In fact, if you opt to buy a config without adding any unneeded upgrades (and swapping components yourself), you'll actually pay a price that's less than what you'll find almost anywhere else. For example, an RTX 3080 desktop PC would run as low as $2070. Check out all of the options below, from an RTX 3060 all the way to an RTX 3090. New! Alienware X15 and X17 Gaming Laptops Dell has launched two new Alienware laptops for 2021, the 15" X15 and the 17" X17. They succeed the m15 and m17 as Alienware's flagship gaming laptops. They also happen to be the thinnest Alienware laptops ever despite the fact that they're equipped with the next generation RTX 30 series video cards. In fact, they are thinner than the "ultra-thin" Razer Blade 15" laptop. The X15 model measures in at only 0.63" thin and 5.2 pounds and the X17 model is 0.84" thin and 7.05 pounds. The laptops also feature the newest Intel 11th gen H-series processors and a powerful quadruple fan active cooling system that keeps all the components nice and cool. Continue reading...
Ubisoft has unveiled the full Far Cry 6 post-launch plan and says that the game's roguelike villain DLC will launch its first of three episodes in November. As shared in a press release, Ubisoft has confirmed that its Season Pass DLC content will kick off this November around a month after the game's initial release date on October 7. The Season Pass itself will include three episodic adventures in each of which, players will take the role of a different notorious Far Cry villain struggling to escape the horrors of their own minds. While the DLC's first episode, which focuses around Far Cry 3's iconic Vaas, will launch in November, episodes two (Pagan Min) and three (Joseph Seed) will launch in January and March 2022 respectively. In what the studio is coining as a "die and retry" addition to the series, the Far Cry 6 Season Pass will lean into the roguelike genre when it releases. Players starting the DLC questlines will be handed nothing more than a pistol to defend themselves as they attempt to navigate their way through the depths of each villain's psyche collecting new power-ups and greater weapons on the way. The game's Season Pass will be playable both solo and with a friend in co-op mode with Ubisoft confirming that only one player needs to own the DLC content for co-op mode to work. In addition to the Season Pass, Ubisoft also detailed what further content they'd be adding to the game after it releases. According to the company, the game will feature weekly insurgencies that will release starting at launch. These weekly challenges will see players eliminate a number of new threats that rise up across the island of Yara. Ubisoft says that players will be rewarded with updated gear for successfully completing the weekly tasks. The game will also feature the addition of six special operations that will introduce new gameplay mechanics into Far Cry 6 throughout six unique areas in the game's world. During these, players will be tasked with snatching perilous chemical weapons from arms dealers controlled by the game's main antagonist Antón Castillo. Once captured, players will then have to take the highly unstable material to an extraction point before it overheats. The game's first two new locations — Maceo and Mesozoico — will be available at launch with four other maps coming additionally at later dates. Three further crossover missions will also subsequently be released into Far Cry 6 featuring guest stars from Stranger Things, Rambo and Danny Trejo. Fans of the series purchasing the Far Cry 6 Season Pass will also gain access to Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. Those who buy the game for Windows PC will receive the original version of the Blood Dragon released in 2013 while console and Stadia Players will instead receive a copy of Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon: Classic Edition. The Blood Dragon Set also includes two weapons, a vehicle, and more that can be used in Far Cry 6's main game. For more on Far Cry 6, why not check out this piece that takes a look at six new exciting additions that will debut in the upcoming title. Alternatively, if you're looking to pick up the game for PC then why not check out our guide to the game's PC specs, which are reasonable — unless you want to play the game with max settings. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
A judge has finally ruled in the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit, issuing an injunction in Epic's favor that forces Apple to permit developers on its platform to link to outside payment options within their apps. The injunction states that Apple is "permanently restrained and enjoined from prohibiting developers from (i) including in their apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to In-App Purchasing and (ii) communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app." This ruling favors Epic, which brought the suit to Apple following Apple's removal of Fortnite from its App Store last year after Epic incorporated the ability to skirt Apple's payment system, thus avoiding Apple's 30% platform fee. The court's final order took issue with both parties' definitions of their "relevant markets," saying that the market the two were fighting over was neither Apple's own internal systems (as Epic said), nor all of gaming (as Apple claimed), but rather "digital mobile gaming transactions." Given that market, the court declared it "cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws." But nonetheless, the court stated that Apple's conduct was "anticompetitive," hence the injunction. The court stated it believes the injunction will "increase competition, increase transparency, increase consumer choice and information while preserving Apple’s iOS ecosystem which has procompetitive justifications." However, Apple did counter-sue Epic for breach of contract, and the judge ruled in favor of Apple on this point. The court has ordered Epic to pay out 30% of the $12,167,719 in revenue Epic collected from users in the Fortnite app on iOS through Direct Payment between August and October 2020, plus further damages. In total, Epic will pay Apple at least $3.6 million. This is doubtless not the end of the fight, as either party can still escalate the issue to a higher court if they are dissatisfied. Furthermore, this ruling comes in tandem with proposed legislation that would solidify the ability for developers to use their own payment systems, as well as continued pushback on Apple from other directions on its restrictive walled garden. A similar ban on major platforms preventing developers from using outside payment was recently put into effect in South Korea. Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
 
Here's one for fans of looter shooters. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is set to release for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC on March 25, 2022 (see it at Amazon). A spinoff of the Borderlands series, this game drops you in what's essentially a tabletop role-playing game. It lets you dispatch enemies using magic, swords, and guns on your way to collecting all the best loot. You can play solo or with friends. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands comes in a handful of editions, which can be a little confusing. Below, we have all the info you need to sort through the thicket of who should get which edition for which console and what comes in each one. Read on for the goods. Tiny Tina's Wonderland - Standard Edition PS4 Get it at Amazon - $59.99 Get it at Best Buy - $59.99 Get it at GameStop - $59.99 Xbox One Get it at Amazon - $59.99 Get it at Best Buy - $59.99 Get it at GameStop - $59.99 PC Get it at Epic Games Store - $59.99 The standard edition covers the PC version of the game, plus the previous-gen consoles. Tiny Tina's Wonderland - Next Level Edition PS5 Get it at Amazon - $69.99 Get it at Best Buy - $69.99 Get it at GameStop - $69.99 Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One Get it at Amazon - $69.99 Get it at Best Buy - $69.99 Get it at GameStop - $69.99 The Next Level edition is what they're calling the one for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. It's worth noting that the Xbox version of this edition is also compatible with Xbox One. This edition comes with the game, plus the Dragon Lord Pack bonus content. At the time of this writing, 2K has not detailed what is included in the pack. Tiny Tina's Wonderland - Chaotic Great Edition PS5 Get it at Amazon - $89.99 Get it at Best Buy - $89.99 Get it at GameStop - $89.99 PS4 Get it at Amazon - $89.99 Get it at Best Buy - $89.99 Get it at GameStop - $89.99 Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One Get it at Amazon - $89.99 Get it at Best Buy - $89.99 Get it at GameStop - $89.99 PC Get it at Epic Games Store - $79.99 The Chaotic Great edition comes with the game, plus the Dragon Lord Pack bonus content and the Season Pass. The Season Pass gets you the Butt Stallion Pack and 4 post-launch content drops. Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Treasure Trove (Game Not Included) Get it at GameStop - $99.99 GameStop has an exclusive treasure trove to accompany the game. Note that it does not include the game itself. The game is sold separately. Now that we're clear on that, the treasure trove comes with the following items: Butt Stallion Plush Illustrated Tarot Cards Standalone Bunkers & Badasses Module Enamel Companion Pins Butt Stallion’s Castle Papercraft Booklet Cloth Wonderlands Map Tiny Tina's Wonderland Preorder Bonus Preorder the game before March 24, 2022, and you'll receive the Golden Hero Armor Pack. It includes two golden armor themes that can be applied to any armor set. Additionally, anyone can go to the game's official website to claim the Town Crier Pack. It does require you to have a Shift account and a 2K account, and to subscribe to a newsletter. Tiny Tina's Wonderland Trailer Other Preorder Guides Continue reading...
Gameplay from a since-lost movie tie-in for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 has seemingly resurfaced more than a decade after it was created. Between the trailer release for the MCU's Spider-Man No Way Home and Insomniac Games announcing Spider-Man 2 at this month's PlayStation Showcase, everyone's favorite wall-crawler has taken center stage in recent weeks. However, in addition to newer editions of Spider-Man circulating the web, Obscure Gamers has leaked footage from what seems to be the game tie-in for Sam Raimi's scrapped Spider-Man 4 movie. The footage, which was posted on Obscure Gamers YouTube channel, allegedly shows an early build copy of what could have been for Radical Entertainment's Spider-Man 4. Over eighteen minutes long, most of the clip features Spider-Man swinging casually around a relatively well-modeled build of New York City. The city itself looks pretty complete compared to other features in the footage. According to Obscure Gamers, this is likely because the game was using a version of a map brought over from Prototype. In 2019, Wayne Dalton, a previous environment artist for Radical Entertainment, shared a range of screenshots and details from what he said was the canceled Spider-Man 4 that ended up becoming Prototype 2, adding to speculation that this would have been the case. Spider-Man's web-swinging mechanics and some of his combat techniques are both shown off in the footage - both of which seem at first glance to be very similar to that of previous Spider-Man games in the Raimi tie-in series. One of the more surreal parts of the footage, however, come in the form of the footage's NPCs. Unfinished and untextured, citizens of Manhattan can be seen walking and driving around the streets as grey blob-like character models. In a few absurd clips throughout the footage, Spider-Man can be seen interacting with the blobs as they flock toward him before waving and cheering him through the city streets. Despite few details being officially confirmed for Raimi's canceled Spider-Man 4, speculation at the time suggested that John Malkovich would have joined the cast to play Vulture. Earlier this year, leaked footage from YouTuber CyberSonic seemed to show off what might have been a final battle sequence between Spider-Man and Adrian Toomes in the movie. Whilst Activision's previous addition to the franchise, Spider-Man 3, released to mediocre reviews, many fans would likely still be intrigued to see what could have been for a final fight scene between Spidey and the Vulture in a fourth movie tie-in title. Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter. Continue reading...
Much like the iconic Rocky Balboa himself, the glory days of the arcade boxing genre are well behind it. Hell, when Midway’s respectable Ready 2 Rumble Boxing first laced up its gloves the President of Russia was Boris Yeltsin, Justin Timberlake was merely the tallest guy in NSYNC, and putting on a Marvel movie just meant watching Wesley Snipes kill a bunch of vampires. Modern iterations just don’t have the same magic, and while Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions is an earnest enough, budget-priced trip back to 1999, developer Survios’ attempt to breathe a little life into unpretentious arcade pugilism that’s two decades past its prime is honestly pretty disappointing. This is actually developer Survios’ second licensed boxing game based on the Rocky and Creed film saga; its first was 2018’s well-regarded VR game Creed: Rise to Glory. Unlike Creed: Rise to Glory, however, Creed Champions is an entirely non-VR experience and the two games have little in common beyond the same modest array of uninspiring and clichéd fantasy boxers that Survios has recycled from Creed: Rise to Glory. The Bleakest Victory Creed Champions’ take on the sweet science is simple enough to understand, with a straightforward two-button approach to strikes, a single button for special punches, and a button to block, which doubles as the button to slip punches and land counters if you time it right. Boxers fit into a handful of different styles, and there’s definitely a noticeable difference between the swarmers and the sluggers. Button mashing will certainly suffice on the lowest difficulty setting in most instances (and, if it doesn’t, loading up on powerful hooks or uppercuts from afar tends to get the job done). That changes on the higher settings, however, where opponents are cannier and quicker to pulverise you with combinations and slip counters. Here you must play more strategically by dodging, answering your opponent’s attempted counterpunches with instant counterpunches of your own, and making doubly sure they’re committed to throwing a punch at you before activating your special attack (which will prevent them from being able to block it). There’s nothing necessarily terrible about Creed Champions’ casual, pick-up-and-play approach, although it’s pretty weird how your boxers can’t make small movements without looking like they’re in slow motion. I also find it incredibly annoying that the AI is able to somehow interrupt my special punches with their own special punches, even though I could never do the same. The brief wind-up vignette would play for my character, only to immediately segue into the wind-up vignette for my opponent, and then my character would be the one getting his face caved in. It’s also pretty irritating that the AI is almost always able to get up milliseconds before the 10-count after three knockdowns, while getting up after a third knockdown for me was rare as it requires woodpecker-like reflexes that threatened to turn my thumb to dust. Blunder in Your Heart Creed Champions is not especially stunning to look at, and its arenas in particular seem quite plain and plagued by repetition. For instance, sure, the pictures on the wall at Delphi Gym seem authentic, but the same pictures are on every wall. That’s a simple thing but it gives you an idea of the level of attention to detail you’ll find throughout. The bigger problem, however, is really the startling lack of things to do. Arcade mode features individual arcade towers for each character, although as a Rocky fan the only ones I found mildly interesting were for the official movie characters like Rocky and Apollo, and I’ve absolutely no desire to ever play them again. Rocky’s story doesn’t even cover the films up until Rocky Balboa and his bout with Mason Dixon; it just stops at Rocky IV. Even Ubisoft’s Rocky Legends in 2004 included Rocky V’s brawl with Tommy Gunn. The story segments play out in text boxes accompanied by simple grunts and exclamations, alongside a stock pose from the boxers in one of a limited set of emotions. These are the times where Creed Champions more resembles a stereotypical mobile game, and it looks cheap and lacks personality. The closest thing it has to a cutscene looks like two pieces of clip art fighting in a Monty Python interstitial. The approach is also regularly clumsy, with dialogue flipping between being attributed to the main character of the story and a “narrator”, which is actually just the same person. The matches are broken up with training montages that are ultimately pointless, as boxers have no skills or stats to improve and the score you get seems meaningless. The presentation also clashes with established Rocky fiction. I’ll concede that switching Rocky and other characters from southpaw to orthodox (or vice versa) depending on what side of the screen they’re on is just a side-effect of Creed Champions’ arcade approach. However, little things like letting us play out the legendary third, secret fight between Rocky and Apollo in front of… dozens of people did make me cringe a little as a huge fan of the film series. Outside of Arcade mode, all Creed Champions has is a Versus mode where you can fight individual bouts against the AI or a friend, and a training mode. With no online functionality, however, all training mode can do is help you be better at Creed Champions than the people who either already live at your house, or are willing to visit. You can eat as much lightning as you want, but if you’re just gonna crap thunder all over you mates I doubt they’ll want to play Creed Champions with you for long. There’s a smattering of objectively incredible music lifted from the movies, but the little other music that’s been included pales in comparison to the likes of Bill Conti and Survivor and gets repetitive almost instantly. Continue reading...
After months of anticipation, the next major PlayStation Showcase has not only arrived, but it has also delivered some updates on key updates on games new and old. From the first gameplay reveal of God of War Ragnarok to the announcements of Marvel's Spider-Man AND Marvel's Wolverine from Insomniac Games, there were some big moments throughout the show. From the previously mentioned games to the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake to Forspoken and Tiny Tina's Wonderlands and more, we have gathered all the biggest news and trailers below to help make sure you don't miss a single one. God of War: Ragnarok Officially Revealed With A New Gameplay Trailer The sequel to 2018's God of War is officially called God of War: Ragnarok, and Sony revealed a brand-new gameplay trailer to show much more of Kratos and Atreus' new adventure. Unfortunately, there was no release date mentioned. God of War Ragnarok takes place a few years after 2018's God of War and the trailer shows that there is still some strife between Kratos and Atreus. Atreus wants to explore what it means to actually be Loki and have "Giant heritage." However, Kratos knows how dangerous that path Atreus wants to walk down is and wants to protect him from harm, which will include antagonists like Freya and Thor. Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Announced With a Tease of Venom Insomniac Games revealed that Marvel's Spider-Man 2 will be arriving on PS5 in 2023, and its first gameplay trailer revealed that both Peter Parker and Miles Morales will be facing off against Venom. Alongside returning voice actors Yuri Lowenthal (Peter Parker) and Nadji Jeter (Miles Morales, it was also confirmed that Candyman's Tony Todd will voice Venom. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake Announced for PS5 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is not only one of the best Star Wars games around, but it's also the favorite game of many around the world. Now, Lucasfilm and Aspyr are bringing a remake of the classic game that first arrived on Xbox in 2003 to PS5, where it will launch as a console exclusive. This new remake is being developed by not only industry veterans, but also some of the original team members of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Marvel's Wolverine Announced for PS5, Developed by Insomniac Games While it was just a brief glimpse, Spider-Man and Ratchet and Clank developer Insomniac Games announced it is working on Marvel's Wolverine for PS5. This new game is being directed by Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales' Brian Horton and Cameron Christian, and Insomniac's goal is to "not only respect the DNA of what makes the character so popular, but also look for opportunities to make it feel fresh and truly reflect the Insomniac spirit." Upcoming Hack-and-Slash Title Project Eve Looks Gorgeous Project EVE received a new gameplay trailer that showed a ton of hack-and-slash action that looked gorgeous in motion. Project Eve takes place in the near-future and "To win back Earth, the player becomes Eve, the survivor of the paratrooper squad deployed from the Colony, who must fight through powerful enemies with new comrades." Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Gameplay and Release Date Revealed The PlayStation Showcase gave us our best look at Tiny Tina's Wonderlands gameplay alongside revealing a release date of March 25, 2022. We catch a glimpse of some of the "epic settings" of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, which include everything from "majestic towns to mushroom forests, foreboding fortresses, and more." There will also be an "interactive tabletop zone, which players can explore as they discover dynamic encounters and traverse between all key locations. Old school J-RPG fans, we see you." Also, in a departure from Borderlands, players will be able to create their own hero in-game, that features a "multiclass system that lets you mix and match six unique character skill trees, all with their own awesome abilities." There will also be a ton of customization options Forspoken Trailer Shows Off Dragons, Magic, and Story Forspoken, which will arrive on PS5 in Spring 2022, got a new gameplay trailer that showed off Dragons, Magic, and story details. We are treated to new footage of main character Frey and her journey into the dangerously beautiful world of Athia. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Lost Legacy Are Getting Remastered for PS5 and PC Both Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Lost Legacy will be getting the remaster treatment on both PS5 and PC. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction Gameplay Trailer Reveals More of the Spin-Off Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Extraction will be released in January 2022, and this showcase gave fans a glimpse of the action players will experience when they have to fight off the Archaean threat. First Alan Wake Remastered Gameplay Revealed Alongside Release Date Alan Wake Remastered was already announced, but we now have our first look at gameplay and an October 5, 2021 release date. Grand Theft Auto 5 and Grand Theft Auto Online PS5 Upgrade Delayed to March 2022 While it was originally set for November 11, the PS5 upgrade (and presumably the one for Xbox Series X/S as well) has been delayed to March 2022. However, we did get a good look at the game in action. It was also announced that the standalone version of GTA Online will be available for all PS5 players with PlayStation Plus for the first three months after launch. Gran Turismo 7 Release Date Revealed Gran Turismo 7 will officially be released on both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on March 22, 2022. Tchia Is a Game Inspired by New Caledonia That Lets Your Soul Jump Into Animals Tchia is a game that is not only inspired by New Caledonia, but it is one that lets you "Soul Jump" into any physical object or animal in the world that each offers its own controls and abilities. The main character, Tchia, will also be able to use a Ukulele to influence the world and story. New Ghostwire: Tokyo Trailer Looks Trippy, But Still No Release Date While it's been a while since we've seen Ghostwire: Tokyo, this PlayStation Showcase gave us a new look at the supernatural thriller but offered little new info. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Gets Another Sassy New Trailer Ahead of Launch Ahead of its October 28 release date, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy has received another gameplay trailer showcasing all of our favorite team of heroes from the stars. Deathloop Launch Trailer Revealed Ahead of September 14 Release Date While it didn't reveal a ton of new details, we did get one more big look at Deathloop before its release date of September 14. The Free-To-Play Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt is Arriving on PS5 Later This Year Bloodhunt was announced earlier this year, and Sony is bringing the free-to-play, third-person battle royale game that is set in the Vampire: The Masquerade universe to PS5 later in 2021. Radiohead and Epic Games Tease Mysterious Collaboration, Kid A Mnesia Exhibition Kid A Mnesia Exhibition is a new game/experience from both Radiohead and Epic Games. Fans won't have long to wait as it will be released on PS5 in November 2021. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected] Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch. Continue reading...
Thank God it's allegedly Friday! (Had to check—lockdown brain says every day is basically the same.) More escapism is clearly what's required in our lives, which is why I've tapped a bunch of "full franchise" sales on PC. Xbox fans can also score a ton of value from a Borderlands and AC triple pack. Lastly, Deathloop is lurking around the corner and looks amazing, so take advantage of the cheap pre-order opportunity. 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 selector who's absolutely going to spend the next 2 days in VR. You won't find him @Grizwords. Continue reading...
September has officially become IGN’s Best Video Game of All Time Bracket Month, and that means we need YOU to help us decide which of the 64 games selected by IGN staff really are the very best. Throughout the month, we’re tallying our followers’ votes across IGN.com (On the bottom of this page!), and IGN’s YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to determine which game is the actual best and is capable of beating all others in a March Madness-style bracket tournament. We’ve sorted these 64 games into four randomly selected groups, and we’ve then ranked those games in the groups by what we believe are the best of the best. We’ve included games from all systems and generations, and we really wanted to try to pick many of the most beloved games from all different types of genres. While voting officially begins tomorrow, September 10, you can get a headstart by voting in all of the first round's 32 matchups on the bottom of this page. The polls will close at the end of the day on September 11, and voting for the second round, which will see the 32 games with the top vote counts moving forward, will begin on Tuesday, September 14. The full schedule is as follows; Friday, September 10 - Round of 64 Voting Begins Tuesday, September 14 - Round of 32 Voting Begins Thursday, September 16 - Round of 16 Voting Begins Monday, September 20 - Round of 8 Voting Begins Thursday, September 23 - Round of 4 Voting Begins Monday, September 27 - Round of 2 Voting Begins Wednesday, September 29 - Winner Declared! Now onto the first round. We’ve decided to call the groups by their #1 seed, so we will begin on the top left of the bracket with The Red Dead Redemption Group. While Rockstar’s legendary western took the top spot, there are some big challengers it will have to beat to make it to the next round. Not only will it have to secure victory over the likes of Journey, Chrono Trigger, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, but it will have to contend with the ever-growing popularity of Fortnite. Oh, did we forget to mention it also has to beat World of Warcraft, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and the multiplayer classic title Goldeneye 007 for Nintendo 64? That’s a tough one. The bottom left of the bracket is The Portal 2 Bracket, and it also includes some timeless classics like 2018’s God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - aka the game that has been on everything including Amazon Alexa. Sid Meier’s Civilization IV, which is perhaps the most iconic “one… more… turn…” game, also stands tall in this round alongside BioShock, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Inside, and Minecraft - the game that has sold over 200 million copies worldwide. The top right of the bracket is The Super Mario World Bracket and that classic SNES title made it to the top of IGN’s Top 100 games of all time list and starts off on top of this bracket in this tournament. There are some other big Nintendo games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokemon Yellow, and Super Mario 64, so it does have its work cut out for it. It will also have to compete with the likes of The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Halo 2, and Grand Theft Auto V - which itself has sold over 150 million copies worldwide. Lastly, we have The Super Metroid Bracket, which is another legendary game from Nintendo taking one of the top spots of this list. Not only will it have to potentially face off against other Metroidvanias like Metroid Prime and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but it won’t be able to take the crown if it can’t beat The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy 7, Bloodborne, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Tetris. Remember, you only have until September 11 to cast your votes below or on IGN’s YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for this first round, so be sure to choose carefully and let us know which game you think will claim the ultimate prize and why you chose the games you chose in the comments below! Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch. Continue reading...
Welcoooome to Nintendo Voice Chat! A brand new WarioWare hits store shelves this week, and Casey DeFreitas is joined by Tom Marks, Taylor Lyles, and Rebekah Valentine to talk all about Wario's latest wacky game. Plus, hear about IGN's reviews for Life Is Strange: True Colors and Baldo: The Guardian Owls. And, a new interview is shedding light on Nintendo's involvement with Retro Studios during the development of Metroid Prime. All that and more, this week on NVC! Check out the full interview from Kiwi Talkz for even more tidbits about Metroid Prime and Retro Studios. NVC is available on your preferred platforms! Spotify Apple iTunes Stitcher Podbay PlayerFM Podbean You can also Download NVC 577 Directly Here You can listen to NVC on your preferred platform every Thursday at 3pm PT/6pm ET. Have a question for Question Block? Write to us at [email protected] and we may pick your question! Also, make sure to join the Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast Forums on Facebook. We're all pretty active there and often pull Question Block questions and comments straight from the community. Logan Plant is the Production Assistant for NVC. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant. Continue reading...
As a part of the news that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is getting a much-desired remake, we also learned that voice actor Jennifer Hale will be reprising her role as Bastila Shan. “I can confirm that that is Jennifer Hale," said Ryan Treadwell, lead producer at developer Aspyr, in a blog post today. "We all think the world of Jennifer. She is an amazing talent and immediately slipped back into the role of Bastila when she came to help us with the teaser trailer,” In Knights of the Old Republic, Bastila is a member of the Jedi Order with a Force power known as "battle meditation," which lets her boost the morale of her friends while dismaying her foes. She plays a critical role in the game, with her rescue from Taris being a key plot point early in the game and her connection to the Jedi Council opening doors for the protagonist later on. She's also a potential (and, in Star Wars lore, canon) romance option for the protagonist. Hale, meanwhile, has been quite busy since she last stepped into Bastila's shoes. In games, she is perhaps best known as one of the voices of Commander Shepard in the Mass Effect original trilogy, and her more recent roles include Rivet in Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart, Ashe in Overwatch, and Kronika in Mortal Kombat 11. She's also not the only returning voice actor from the original game. "I do think that you’re going to see some other familiar voices return, but that’s probably as deep as we’re gonna go on that one right now," added Treadwell in the same blog post. And it isn't just voice actors who are returning. Treadwell also noted that many former BioWare developers who worked on KOTOR are now working on its remake, as well as developers from games like Demon's Souls Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Aspyr's remake of Knights of the Old Republic was announced as part of today's PlayStation Showcase and is headed to PS5 as a console exclusive at launch alongside a PC release, though no specific date or window has been given yet. The game is being rebuilt "from the ground up." Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
343 Industries has announced today that the next multiplayer preview for Halo Infinite will arrive on September 24. In a tweet shared on the official Halo account, 343 Industries detailed that players interested in participating in the next preview must have a fully registered Halo Insider profile completed no later than September 13 to be eligible. 343 Industries did not specify when the upcoming multiplayer preview will conclude as of yet. This is the second preview 343 Industries has done for its highly anticipated first-person shooter, following a technical preview held from July 29 through August 1. While the developer did not specify how many Halo Infinite previews it will hold ahead of launch, we know that 343 Industries plans to hold more before the game is released. Halo Infinite will launch on December 8, over a year after it was originally supposed to be released alongside the Xbox Series X/S. The game will also launch with no support for campaign co-op or a Forge mode, with both features slated to arrive in the game sometime next year. While Halo Infinite will launch nearly a month after the series' 20th anniversary, Microsoft is releasing a Halo-themed Xbox Series X and Xbox Wireless Elite Series 2 controller to commemorate the milestone with both limited edition products arriving on November 15. Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster. Continue reading...
Uncharted 4 and Uncharted: Lost Legacy are being remastered for PC and PS5 by Iron Galaxy. Revealed at today's PlayStation Showcase event, Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection will feature enhanced versions of both of the Naughty Dog adventures release for PS4. You can see some of the screenshots from the next-gen remaster just below. Uncharted 4 was first released back in 2016, which we awarded a 9/10 in our review. Uncharted: Lost Legacy, a side-story of sorts, was released the following year. Sony has been investing more heavily in porting its exclusives to PC in the last year, and even bought Dutch studio Nixxes to assist with that move. Apparently, Epic previously offered $200 million to make that happen, but Sony seems to have gone in a different direction. The Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection will release in early 2022. Continue reading...
If you somehow haven't gotten enough of a taste of what Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will have to offer when it launches next month, today's PlayStation Showcase delivered with yet another look at some of the humorous, snappy story moments coming up in the Guardians' adventure. The new trailer opens with the Grand Unifier, who we've seen in previous trailers, giving a dark, ominous speech before Star-Lord feigns a heart attack to, one can only presume, distract or throw him off balance, while Gamora shakes her head in exasperation. And it all goes silly from there. We also get a look at Cosmo, a dog with superpowers, intelligence, and the ability to telepathically communicate, who has a prior relationship with the Guardians. There are more looks at combat (both on foot and in space!) and hints at some big dramatic moments. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is still geared up for release on October 26 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Nintendo Switch via cloud, following its announcement earlier this year. We've already seen tons of the game so far, including a cinematic trailer centered around Grand Unifier Raker, and deep dives into changes to Star-Lord's backstory. Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine. Continue reading...
After going quiet for some time, Shinji Mikami's Ghostwire: Tokyo reappeared today, showing off new visuals from the upcoming supernatural thriller but otherwise offering little in the way of new info. Shown at today's PlayStation Showcase event, you can see some of the images from the trailer below. The Oni mask bleeding black blood is perfectly scary, at least. Despite being made by a Bethesda studio, Ghostwire: Tokyo is one of the few games that will remain PS5 console exclusives despite an acquisition by Microsoft. Mikami's previously told us that it technically isn't a horror game, and it was delayed to early 2022 to protect the health of staff working on it. Ghostwire: Tokyo is still expected to be released early next year. Continue reading...
We've gotten our first look at Grand Theft Auto 5 as a PS5 game. Seen in action at today's PlayStation Showcase event, the PS5 remaster of Grand Theft Auto 5 will see Michael, Franklin, and Trevor back on the streets of Los Santos, and looking better than ever. The new trailer also points to a March 2022 release date, a delay from the previously-announced November 11, 2021 date. When it arrives with an upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, it will mark the third generation of consoles GTA 5 has been released on. The upgrade applies to both the single player game, and GTA Online. Before that, we're also expecting to see surprises related to the 20th anniversary of GTA 3 on October 22. Continue reading...
Mysterious Square Enix and Luminous Productions action-RPG Forspoken has shown off a little more of its world and gameplay in a new trailer, and revealed that the game will release in Spring 2022. Revealed at today's PlayStation Showcase event, the new Forspoken trailer introduces us to lead character Frey as she enters the gorgeous (but dangerous) world of Athia. According to a PlayStation blog post, "Frey is a directionless, gritty yet street smart young woman who has persevered despite her rough upbringing in New York City. And her life hasn’t really gotten any easier now that she’s about to turn 21. Things take a turn for the unexpected when she’s magically transported to Athia, a land where fantasies and nightmares are suddenly very real." As Frey, who's voiced by Charlie's Angels star Ella Balinska, players will harness magical abilities to defeat monsters across the land, in addition to contending with the Tantas, the "destructive and twisted all-powerful matriarchs who have dominion over Athia." In addition to Balinska, Forspoken will also feature the voices of Jonathan Cake as Frey's companion Cuff, Janina Gavankar as Tanta Sila, Keala Settle as Johedy, and Monica Barbaro as Auden. Forspoken was announced as Project Athia in 2020, and was subsequently given a formal title in March. It's one Square Enix is hoping to make an impression with, its stated goal being to include the highest quality visuals in any open world game to date. Forspoken will also be a PS5 console exclusive for at least 2 years. Continue reading...
Borderlands spin-off Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is releasing on March 25, 2022. Announced with a new trailer at today's PlayStation Showcase event, the game will come to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and PC early next year. We also saw our first look at gameplay, giving us a taste of how the Borderlands spin-off will look in action. We saw lots of guns, new fantasy-based moves, unique enemies, and more. Wonderlands brings a fantasy-flavored twist to a Borderlands approach. First announced at E3 2021, we've so far had a breakdown of its weapons, loot, and enemies, but this marks our first taste of how it all fits together in the game itself. Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant. Continue reading...