Simulation Genre RSS Feed | Simulation on GameSkinny en Launch Media Network New Alternate Costumes Revealed for Smash Bros. Ultimate Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:10:12 -0400 Bryant Pereira

Previously unseen renderings of alternate costumes for various Super Smash Bros. Ultimate characters have been revealed in an exclusive video by Source Gaming. PushDustin found a render of Yoshi from the newly announced Yoshi's Crafted World on Nintendo's press asset library and got permission from the Big N themselves to publish their findings.

In addition to the adorable fuzzy Yoshi alternate, costumes for Mecha Ridley, Mario Maker Mario, Pikachu Libre from Pokken Tournament, female Robin, and more were shown off in the video.

Adding onto the excitement, Twitter user Zalman posted a few extra secret renderings of Alph from Pikmin, and my personal favorite -- a classic green tunic Link costume.

With these new renderings comes endless possibilities for additional alternate costumes for the already colossal sized cast. What Super Smash Bros. Ultimate costumes are you hoping for? Metal-Mewtwo? Kingdom Hearts Cloud? Let us know in the comments below!

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Final Fantasy XIV Prelude in Violet Launches Today Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:03:20 -0400 Zack Palm


Today marks a new chapter opening in Final Fantasy XIV as patch 4.4, the Prelude in Violet, releases. Now that the Garlean-controlled regions have been liberated, it's time for adventurers to embark on a new journey.

This latest update brings with it a number of changes and new content, such as additional main scenario quests and sidequests, two new dungeons, a new raid, recipes, housing options, and more.

One new change in particular to highlight is the Ceremony of Eternal bonding. It's a fancy way of detailing that players now have the opportunity to marry other player characters in the game. If the players remain in the Eternal bond over a length of time, they can celebrate an anniversary together down the road.

Beyond the Final Fantasy XIV Online patch, fans around the world can prepare for the upcoming Fan Festivals tour. You have three opportunities to join in on the fun. Here are the upcoming tour dates and their locations:

  • North America: November 16 to 17, 2018, in Las Vegas
  • European: February 2 to 3, 2019, at the La Grande Halle de La Villette in Paris
  • Japan: March 23 to 24, 2019, in Tokyo.

If you can't make it, ensure you write these dates down as the development team plans to host live streams on Twitch for you to join in on from the comfort of your own home. 

For more information on Final Fantasy XIV Online, in-depth patch notes, and to purchase any digital version of the game, check out Square Enix's website.

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SteelSeries' Upgraded Arctis 3 Bluetooth Now Available Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:57:39 -0400 QuintLyn

A new, upgraded version of the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset -- billed as the best gaming headset for Nintendo Switch -- is now available for purchase. This new version of the Arctis 3 features a variety of updates based on user feedback, including better memory foam in the ear cushions, extended bass response, and a simplified cable system. It also still offers all the features that fans of the original headset have come to love.

The Arctis 3 is advertised as "The only solution available for combining wireless chat audio from the Switch mobile app with high quality, zero latency wired audio directly from the Switch." While it may not be the ultimate wireless solution, it does help alleviate a pain with Nintendo Switch's new online service.

Those currently in the market for a new headset will be happy to know that despite the upgrades, the new Arctis 3 Bluetooth is available at a lower price than the original. It can be purchased via the SteelSeries website for $99.99 USD (€129.99).

Fortnite Switch Bundle Announced Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:32:20 -0400 Zack Palm

The Double Helix Bundle has landed! For anyone looking forward to dropping into Tilted Towers in Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, look no further than this new bundle featuring the beloved battle royale game.

The special bundle includes a Nintendo Switch system, 1,000 V-bucks for the owner to use as they choose in Fortnite, and the exclusive Double Helix Set, which consists of a new character outfit, backpack, glider, and a new pickaxe. 1,000 V-bucks translates to about $10 in virtual currency -- just enough to get players started with this season's Battle Pass.

The Double Helix Bundle arrives in stores on October 5 for $299.99, just in time for the holiday season. If you already have a Nintendo Switch, feel free to download Fortnite for free from Nintendo's eShop. 

Here's Your First Look At "Big Hero 6" In Kingdom Hearts III Tue, 18 Sep 2018 11:02:48 -0400 QuintLyn

As the launch of Kingdom Hearts III draws closer, Disney and Square Enix are busy showing off some of the new worlds fans will be visiting. The game's Tokyo Game Show trailer features the heroes of Big Hero 6 and the city they protect, San Fansokyo. Sora, Donald, and Goofy team up with the Big Hero 6 super team to fight the bad guys and share friendship along the way.

Of course, the trailer isn't completely set in San Fransokyo. It also shows new content from some of the other previously revealed worlds including Frozen, Tangled, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

During the Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix also revealed the official Kingdom Hearts III box art, featuring artwork from the series director, Tetsuya Nomura. Check it out below.

Fans looking forward to Kingdom Hearts III can unlock the Starlight Keyblade early by playing Kingdom Heats Union χ[Cross] now.

Telltale's Walking Dead Continues with Suffer the Children Trailer Tue, 18 Sep 2018 13:13:42 -0400 Nia Jayne

WARNING: Spoilers from Season One of The Walking Dead and Episode 1 of The Final Season.

Telltale Games released the trailer for the upcoming second episode of The Walking Dead The Final Season, Suffer the Children coming out next week. The trailer shows some of the fallout from the first episode, mainly AJ's decision to shoot and kill Marlon and his confusion surrounding this, but it also drops a bombshell on players who have been with Clementine since the beginning of her journey. Someone from her past has returned. Lilly, a well-known character from Season One who had a major player choice surrounding her, is back. Not only is she still alive, but she seems to be playing the role of the villain.

The trailer suggests an animosity between Clementine and Lilly surrounding Lee, her protector from the first season. This could be due to the choice where Lee could leave her behind on the road after Lilly shoots Carley/Doug. The dynamics between the two could be interesting but also worrying for Clem. Depending on the choice from Season One, will Lilly act differently towards Clementine? With everything at stake and Clementine struggling to protect AJ and herself, how will she cope when confronted with a familiar face?

A still image released from Suffer the Children raises even more questions. It seems to be a walker at first glance, but closer inspection suggests this is a person wearing a walker skin, similar to the Whisperers from the comic series. This could be yet another threat for Clementine to deal with, or perhaps Lilly has something to do with it. She proved that she was willing to do anything to survive in Season One, becoming the leader of a Whisperer-like group could be a possibility for her. Clementine may be facing her greatest challenge yet. 

Suffer the Children releases Wednesday 26th September for PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider FPS Drop & Spikelag Fix Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:56:53 -0400 Sergey_3847

Many PC players are experiencing some serious FPS drops, stuttering and spikelag issues in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This makes the gameplay a lot less enjoyable and at times even makes the game unplayable.

If you're one of those players that can't wrap their head around fixing these issues, then just follow our step-by-step guide below for all the possible solutions to FPS drops and spikelags in the game.

Step 1: Change Game Settings

Some of the game's settings may not be optimized to work properly on your system. So in order to force the game run as it should here's what you can do:

  1. Go to "SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Shadow of the Tomb Raider"
  2. Right-click on the "SOTTR.exe" file
  3. Choose "Properties," and click on the "Compatibility" tab
  4. Check the box with "Disable Full Screen Optimization"
  5. Click "Apply" and close the window

After that you need to make Steam launch the game at high priority, here's how to do it:

  1. Go to your Steam Game Library
  2. Right-click on Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  3. Choose "Properties," and click on the "General" tab
  4. Click on "Set Launch Options"
  5. Type in the "-high" command (without the inverted commas)
  6. Press "OK" and close the window

Lastly, you can change the graphics settings inside the game's menu to the following recommended ones:

  1. Launch Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  2. Go to "Settings"
  3. Choose "Display and Graphics"
  4. Set Anti-Aliasing to one of the following options:
    • Off
    • SMAA
    • TAA
  5. Set VSync to Off

You can also set your display mode to Windowed, and set the actual resolution of your monitor. Try a few of these options and your FPS should stabilize.

Step 2: Change nVidia Settings

This step will be useful for those who use nVidia graphics cards. In addition to the previous step you can do the following adjustments:

  1. Launch nVidia Control Panel
  2. Choose "Manage 3D Settings," and click on the "Program Settings" tab
  3. In the list of applications select Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  4. Enable "Threaded Optimization"
  5. Disable VSync
  6. Set "Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames" to "1"
  7. Set "Texture Filtering" to "Performance"
  8. Click "Apply" and close the window


With the help of these settings adjustments you now should be able to run the game without any FPS drops and spikelags. For other related Shadow of the Tomb Raider guides at GameSkinny, just follow the links below:

New Rocket League Hot Wheels DLC Coming September 24 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:26:46 -0400 Allison M Reilly

Hot Wheels and Rocket League developers Psyonix have partnered up once again to announce an exclusive DLC pack. The Hot Wheels Triple Threat pack, costing $5.99 launches on all available platforms September 24.

The DLC features three premium Battle-Cars: the Gazella GT, the MR11, and the Fast 4WD. Four unique details are available for each vehicle as well as three car toppers: a gorilla, a snake, and a spider.

To celebrate Hot Wheels' 50th anniversary, free content will also launch alongside the DLC. The free content includes a new rival arena and 50th-anniversary themed customization items.

Beginning in mid-October, the die-cast Hot Wheels Rocket League 5-Pack will be available in stores worldwide. The pack includes the premium Battle-Cars plus the Bone Shaker and Twin Mill III, the Hot Wheels DLC cars from last year. The real world diecast cars will feature Rocket League-branded paint jobs, and select packs will include a code for an exclusive in-game item, the "Hot Hot Wheels."

We gave Rocket League a 9 out of 10 when it released, and it's continued to impress us year after year.

Megaquarium: Joyous Fun in a Straightforward Management Simulator Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:21:36 -0400 Zack Palm

Whenever you sit down to enjoy a majority of management simulators, you're expected to handle various different pop-ups jumping up at you to gain your attention, you're expected to notice small problems in your facility and address them accordingly, and the developers want you to handle every detail with the accuracy of an overhanging god. The developers behind Megaquarium threw away this mindset and instead hand you a wonderful simulator so you can sit back, relax, and take pride in the joy you bring to crafting a lovely aquarium for every member of the family to enjoy.

Though Megaquarium may seem overly simple, there's plenty the game brings to your attention in a great manner without making you feel like you have to micro-manage every detail of every day as you run your ideal aquarium.

We All Start Here

The game's story is loose, but it keeps you engaged as a player. You start beginning to learn how to run your own aquarium, discovering what the needs of your fish are and what they require to stay alive. There's a lot more going on than you expect! However, you don't have to manage too much of it, only make it available for your staff to access, and they do the rest.

The game introduces you to the requirements of each tank, as they need proper water filters and heat filters to survive in a suitable environment. This becomes easy management, at first, until the game starts to throw at you various species that need different things beyond this -- some require the proper amount of vegetation living their tank, or the right amount of hiding spaces to survive; fish need their privacy if they're ready to get adored by humans. Each tank provides space for a certain amount of fish, and each species of fish takes up a certain amount of space. 

This concept becomes a bit more complicated due to some species growing even larger after a set number of days. You either prepare for this by having space for more filters or heaters to accommodate the bigger fish, or have an empty enough tank for them to room. You also have to watch out for their tank-mates -- as they may eat smaller fish if they grow too big.

Are you following all of these minor details?

While it may seem insane at first, Megaquarium breaks all of these concepts down in simple, easy-to-follow levels that make you handle them one by one. None of these issues or problems are brought up without a thorough explanation, which makes this game a fun experience to behold as you can almost never feel left behind, unless you jump straight into the sandbox menu.

Breaking Out

The game's campaign takes a while to break you out of its training wheels, but when it does you'll have a wide-wealth of skills at your disposal. You'll learn how to build tanks in the middle of a floor and have the equipment away from the audience's eye, how to make it look natural against the wall of your establishment, and how to provide the best reading material for your audience without letting them look at it for free. There's balance to knowing how to build your aquarium, but it's entirely up to you.

The campaign's levels give you a good breadth of what to expect when you craft your own building, but don't expect any handouts -- expect for the optional missions that pop up to give you a small leading hand while you handle the main mission of managing your revenue and your prestige. The more prestige you have, the more ranks of fame your aquarium has, which means the wider diversity of fish and buildings you can incorporate into your personal choices. These pieces of research take time, as they you need aquarium points in ecology and science to build. You can only add these up based on the types of animals you have in your establish. 

Thankfully, the wonderful break downs make it easy for you to see what you're earning and what you need to work on. You can even see which fish are the most popular, and this changes based on where they're located in your aquarium.

The Beautiful Data

Don't fret if you believe you're going to spend half of your time in game staring at a menu, reading numerous numbers. This part distinctly tells you the information you need to know, and then you can freely move on to use that date to improve your park.

It's that simple!

On the lower left hand of the screen you pull up how much money you make in a day based on the tickets you sell. While you can change how much the tickets cost, you can see the increase of how many tickets are purchased based on the attractions you've added to your establishment. You can't strictly see this information, but it becomes obvious as you add more exhibits and add more places for people to visit. I found myself waiting a few days for the audience members to do their rounds, view what they wanted, and then move on, before I felt safe in adding a new attraction. 

One thing that was really nice about this game was I never felt a distinct pressure about crafting a new area. Some management games hurt or encouraged me to build a new station, and when they hurt me I felt the repercussions for several days as I attempted to cover the losses. You don't get that in this game. You can have bad things happen to your tanks, such as a bigger fish eating a smaller fish or a predator eating a prey, but other than that, there's no big consequence to adding a new tank to your facility to increase revenue or prestige to build your location even further. 

You do have to look out for the fact you may build too many tanks for a similar species. The more diverse species you have in an aquarium, the happier your audience is as they don't have the see the same thing over and over again. When you watch out for that, the minor attractions like food, drink, and restroom facilities, you're basically golden to sit back and enjoy the numbers going up, and up in this game.

Difficult To Produce Errors

One thing I never felt while running my little aquarium was a sense of fear. I never feared I would run out of money, I would simply need to wait a day or two for income to arrive and I could purchase the items I needed. I never felt the information the game gave me was insufficient to where I would accidentally house fish together that could eat each other. While it did happen, it was never a learning experience, it was always presented to me.

This is the one thing Megaquarium doesn't seem to present players: a sense of worry or doubt in themselves in what they build. There's plenty of brakes given to the player to ensure they build at a gradual rate without going too overboard. I never went into the red and never ran into money issues or felt I needed to fire an employee to ensure the lights stayed on.

Though, this isn't a huge issue. For those who want a simple, relaxing simulation game to play without feeling the need to constantly fixate over charts, this makes for an excellent experience. There's nothing wrong with this, but it feels like a missed opportunity for players to feel the weight of having to own a struggling business.

The Result

Megaquarium invites you to have a good time learning how to run your own aquarium with the various different mechanics going on in its game. You learn plenty, and when you the spend the time getting to know what you need to do to run your own establishment, everything falls into place -- don't ever feel too pressured!

Though this game doesn't offer too much pressure, that's not the point. You're meant to relax while you build your favorite aquarium and provide pure joy for everyone who walks through your days to view your exhibits. Only remember to watch what species you put together and what you show off, as too much of a good thing is not a good sight for others to behold!

Game Sensei Releases Battle Royale Trainer In Early Access Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:20:31 -0400 Ty Arthur

Game skills training company Gamer Sensei launched Range Royale today in early access on Steam. The training program is available for $5.99, with 15% off through September 24th in celebration of the early access launch.

Combining FPS and Battle Royale coaching techniques with a full single player experience, Range Royale is a solo training game for competitive players looking to hone their skills.

This hybrid game/trainer is aimed at getting you into the final 10 of any Battle Royale, MOBA, or FPS match. Designed by esports professionals, Range Royale offers players the ability to improve their in-game shooting skills in a solo practice arena that includes a selection of common Battle Royale weapons and game modes.

Range Royale is focused on offering a highly tuned solo experience, so players can hone their skills against bots behaving like real-world players before unleashing their improved abilities in front of competitors. Jim Drewry, CEO of Gamer Sensei, had this to say:

We’ve already helped many thousands of gamers improve through our robust coaching platform at Now we’ve added a unique training game with the release of Range Royale. We are thrilled to provide another way to help players win more in the games they love.

Range Royale can help players improve in PUBG, Fortnite, Call of Duty Black Ops, H1Z1, and Realm Royale. It’s also a great aim trainer for fast-paced FPS games including CS:GO, Overwatch or Paladins.

For more information on Range Royale's early access release, visit

This launch comes on the heels of Gamer Sensei’s recent partnership with Hi-Rez Studios to expand the site's current suite of games available for coaching. 

Gamer Sensei is a coaching platform for players who want to win more in their favorite games, featuring esports player coaches vetted through a rigorous application process.

Players are connected to a Sensei based on a variety of preferences and once a match is made, students receive personalized one-on-one lessons via custom coaching software.

Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight & Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight Get Pre-order Exclusives Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:27:32 -0400 Ashley Gill

There's not too much longer now until Persona fans can get their fix on the dance floor with the upcoming releases of Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, both slated for release on December 4 with pre-order exclusives fans won't want to miss.

Those who pre-order the Day One Edition of Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight will be granted the use of Shinjiro Aragaki, the gruff Hierophant of SEES. Along with Shinjiro comes Persona 3's final boss theme: Battle Hymn of the Soul.

Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight's pre-order bonuses aren't all that different. Detective Goro Akechi will be available in-game for pre-order holders as well as the Persona 5 track Will of Power.

You don't have to just keep these characters to their respective rhythm games, though -- both Shijiro and Goro will be available for play (along with their respective songs) in either game.

If you're a PS Vita owner and want your Persona dancin' on the go, you can get in on the extra characters as well. Since there is no physical release for the PS Vita, those who buy the games on the Vita will be able to pick up the PS4 pre-order exclusive characters on the PlayStation Store for free within the two weeks after launch.

Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight are scheduled for a release on December 4. Each game is priced at $59.99 on PS4 and $39.99 on PS Vita, but those who purchase the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection get both games for the lower price of $69.99 or $99.99 on the PS Vita and PS4 respectively.

Get Spooky with the Pokemon Center's Eerie Delights Line Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:58:26 -0400 Bryant Pereira

It's already halfway through September, which means it's basically October -- and that means it's spooky time. As Halloween approaches, the Pokemon Center has released a new line of merchandise to get trainers in the haunting spirit.

The Eerie Delights Halloween-themed items include plush toys, a pin set, keychains, and more featuring every trainer's favorite ghoulish and eerie Pokemon from Gengar to Mimikyu -- and, of course, lots of Pikachu.

The Eerie Delights line consists of the following:

  • Plush – New Halloween-themed plushies featuring Pikachu, Eevee, Espeon, Mimikyu, Gengar, and more
  • Keychains – Plush keychains featuring Umbreon, Sableye, and Banette
  • Pin set – A three-pin set featuring Pikachu, Gengar, and Mimikyu
  • Pokémon TCG Playmats – Two new and uniquely spooky playmat designs

In addition to the Eerie Delights line, there are more Pokemon Halloween products featuring Pumpkin Pikachu and more at The Eerie Delights merchandise is exclusive to the United States.

If you've got Pokemon fever in addition to your Halloween spirit, stay tuned for more information on the release of Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu & Eevee coming November 16 for the Nintendo Switch.

Call Of Duty Black Ops 4: Blackout Battle Royale Open Beta Impressions Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:31:08 -0400 Ty Arthur

After releasing a trailer for Blackout just over a week ago, Treyarch finally let the wider world in on the mode's beta over the past two weekends. 

Along with Rapture Rejects and Fractured Lands, Blackout has easily been one of the most anticipated Battle Royale entries of the year. With the beta on PC finally launching last Friday, we finally got a taste of what to expect in this new twist on a familiar recipe.

If you didn't get a chance to play this weekend, here's what you need to know about the battle royale mode coming with Black Ops 4 on October 12. 

Battle Royale Mode, Call Of Duty Style

A lot of players weren't really sure what to expect from Blackout mode based on some of the early news trickling out from Treyarch and Activision. Would it be a wacky, wild time like the more colorful and outlandish BR games? Are they trying to emulate the realistic survival shooters but just add in some high tech equipment and vehicles?

After playing the open PC beta, its clear Blackout mode is much more PUBG than Fortnite, which is probably bad news for the former considering their dwindling player count. There's no harvesting resources or building structures, and not much in the way of silliness either.

Many of the COD standbys are here, however, like flash bangs and some familiar weapons. If you think you've mastered Call Of Duty's multiplayer, get ready to re-learn your strategy, as there are significantly increased health and armor from what you'd expect. There won't be any instances where you can knife a guy and he goes down in one hit, and headshots aren't an instant kill if the other player has full armor.

Beloved locations from across the series are built into the extended map size, including the infamous Nuketown. Sadly, that area is on the far edge, so it's usually one of the first to be swallowed by the shrinking circle.

Much like Fortnite, your strategy can change radically based on where you landed, from tense vertical office building firefights to open landscape sniping.

The speed of the game essentially splits the difference between Fortnite and PUBG. Battles are hectic and frantic if a group lands in the same area, but firefights will slow down as the herd thins due to the slow shrinking of the circle. I'd expect some tweaks on the circle speed by release. Battles do tend to last longer in Blackout than other BR games, however, due to the higher health and prevalence of armor.

Since Black Ops 4 is all about the multiplayer, Treyarch made the decision to have each mode collide in certain ways, which adds a little something extra. For instance, zombies appear in some matches of Blackout mode for a further challenge (or for using to your advantage if you lure another player into them).

In most ways, this is a very standard Battle Royale experience. You jump off the aircraft and pick a landing site, hoping to find loot quickly before getting into a brutal firefight.

If you've played any BR game, you know exactly what to expect. The wingsuit feels more responsive and has better control on the way down than many other games, however.

Equipment and weapons are currently everywhere, with dozens of options in larger buildings. It's extremely unlikely you'd ever be without a weapon immediately in the first structure you enter.

Loot is currently so plentiful that it seems item counts will likely be reduced in the full version, as inventory management becomes an issue.

A Fistful Of Guns

Besides all the typical shotguns, assault rifles, and sniper options, Blackout mode features an array of high tech gadgets to utilize.

The sensor dart is nifty, letting you know where nearby enemies are located, but personally, I had the most fun with the grapple gun.

Like with most crazy gadgets, you can accidentally kill yourself by attaching to the wrong surface, as I learned early on. That actually ended up being my first ignominious end, not at the hands of a homicidal fellow player, but by misjudging my grapple.

In my very first round, I didn't take into account the speed of the collapsing circle and ended up taking a bunch of damage while sprinting into the safe zone.

I made it with -- and I kid you not -- exactly one health remaining. Even a single stray bullet would mean my imminent demise, so I figured the right thing to do was grapple to the top of a building and wait for a wounded player to pass by below. It should be easy to kill someone low on health and loot all their items, right?

Sadly, I grappled onto the exact wrong edge of a building and ended up falling off instead of landing safely on the ledge. I took at least one point of damage from falling, and that was the end of my first Blackout match. Hey, at least I made it into the top 10!

 This is me, at exactly 1 health, just barely escaping the circle

The Bottom Line

Visually, Blackout mode isn't up to the par with other COD games, but I can see how that would be necessary to have such a huge map with so many players on at the same time. Sadly, it also lacks the vibrant colors and cartoon style of either Realm Royale or Fortnite.

In terms of controls, the scheme is basically split evenly between standard Call Of Duty style (aim down sights, vault through windows, etc.) and the typical Battle Royale options (pick up items, open/close doors, hold key to heal, etc.)

It's a smooth transition once you wrap your head around the fact that you are playing two types of games mashed into one. Other than the graphical downgrade, it didn't ever feel like one style was sacrificed in favor of the other. If you're used to Call Of Duty's gameplay, you'll be at home, and if you're used to PUBG or Fortnite's gameplay, you'll still get the hang of it right away.

In its beta form, Blackout was quite a bit buggier than expected. I get that betas exist specifically to iron out those kinks, but I was surprised that a AAA game due to launch next month still has so many issues.

While the frame rate was stable, on the PC version I had multiple crashes during my evening of play. Hopefully, that will be fixed by the Black Ops 4 October 12th release date. 

Bugs aside, if you love the Call Of Duty gameplay and like the Battle Royale genre, this is a no-brainer. Obviously, you'll dig this and want to pick it up on release day. If you didn't care for how the COD games played before this entry, then adding BR probably won't convince you to jump in.

Want to know what else is in store with the other game modes? Check out our impressions of the other multiplayer Black Ops 4 betas here! Not sold on this year's COD entry yet? Take a look at our definitive pre-release guide for everything you need to know about Black Ops 4.

INSOMNIA: The Ark's Launch Trailer Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:13:44 -0400 QuintLyn

It's taken eight years for Russian developer Studio Mono to complete their dieselpunk RPG, INSOMNIA: The Ark, but it's finally ready for players to explore. The epic sci-fi game takes players to Object 6 -- a massive space station filled with people on a 400-year journey to find a new home. When the player awakes from cryogenic sleep they discover they are suffering from a rare disease -- and that they're also the key to saving humanity.

INSOMNIA: The Ark is a story-centric game where player choices matter. Players are free to explore the game their way, avoiding class restrictions and character grind. They will also feel the impact of their decisions, as the game features "points of no return" that will affect the story as they go on. This offers plenty of replay value to those who want it, with the possibility of discovering twelve different endings.

Sci-Fi RPG fans will be able to pick up INSOMNIA: The Ark via Steam on September 27, at a cost of $29.99 / £29.99 / €29.99.

Beat Hazard 2 Arrives in Beta And Heads to Early Access Soon Mon, 17 Sep 2018 12:21:48 -0400 Zack Palm

The developers of Beat Hazardthe SHMUP meets rhythm game originally released in 2009, have at long last created a follow-up, Beat Hazard 2. This game moves to your soundtrack, giving you a different experience based on the type of music you have playing. The trailer above gives you a brief glimpse of what to expect in the sequel.

This game features players taking the helm of a small spacecraft as they travel across the stars, doing battle with a number of foes while their playlist goes on in the background. Ever wondered what type of boss your favorite song would look like? Beat Hazard 2 features procedurally generated bosses that change based on what song you're playing. 

To ensure everyone will have the chance to play their music in Beat Hazard 2, the developers have gone out of their way to ensure almost every form of music source would work with their game. If you don't have any downloaded music, you can always sync your Spotify, Amazon Music, or downloaded library to the game. You can also have songs play from ShoutCAST, an internet radio station that plays stations from around the world.

Want to see how well your friends play to your music? There's a soundtrack leaderboard where you can compete with your friends to see who can get the highest score on your group's favorite song.

As of right now, Beat Hazard 2 is out on beta but releases on Steam Early Access come October. The game's full release won't happen until the first quarter of 2019, but fans can get a discount by pre-ordering early.

New Horror Game Silver Chains Announced Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:46:57 -0400 Zack Palm

Russian developers Cracked Heads Games announced their debut game Silver Chainsa first-person psychological horror title set in a 20th century Victorian home. A trailer, available above, accompanied the announcement. The game will release as a collaboration between Cracked Heads Games and publisher Headup and will release on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

In the game you'll play as Peter, a man who wakes up in the Victorian home in rural England following a mysterious accident. Though he finds no one else in the home, he soon discovers there are other, supernatural entities scouring the property. Peter must find his way out while learning about the home's dark secrets -- all while realizing this is not the first time he's been inside these walls.

Silver Chains will have players tackling difficult puzzles while attempting to avoid the numerous entities relentlessly hunting them. Like every good horror game, you won't have any weapons to fight your foes, you must simply run. Check out this early gameplay footage from last year.

Silver Chains is set to release in Spring of 2019 for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Stay tuned to Gameskinny to learn more.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 + Superamp Pro-Gamer Console Headset Now Available Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:31:15 -0400 QuintLyn

Starting today, North American Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players can get their hands on the latest iteration of Turtle Beach's Elite Pro headset, the Elite Pro 2 + Super Amp. This new audio system is designed with professional gamers in mind. In fact, Turtle Beach even worked with pro esports teams such as OpTic Gaming, Splyce, and the Houston Outlaws to develop the new system.

The Elite Pro 2 picks up where its predecessor left off, offering professional-grade audio performance while adding new ways for players to control their audio experience. The headset audio is driven by Turtle Beach 50mm Nanoclear esports-tuned speakers. It also features a high-sensitivity noise canceling mic using TruSpeak technology. For added comfort and flexibility, the mic can even be removed. Other features include a durable metal headband with a suspended pad, a glasses-friendly design, magnetic cooling gel-infused memory foam ear cushions, as well as removable decorative plates for easy customization.

The addition of the SuperAmp gives players a new way to control their game audio using a dial audio controller that provides players on both consoles a better audio experience. The dial connects via Bluetooth to the Turtle Beach Audio Hub mobile app, giving gamers more control over their audio settings via their phones.

The Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp is available for purchase in North America as of today at an MSRP of $249.95. Gamers in Europe and the UK will be able to purchase the set on October 12.

Life is Strange 2 Theories: Our Predictions for Characters, Plot, and Gameplay Mon, 17 Sep 2018 17:56:16 -0400 Victoria B.

As fall quickly approaches, so does the release of the anticipated third installment to Life Is Strange. The first game was a much-needed success for Dontnod Entertainment and introduced players to Max and Chloe as they searched for a missing Arcadia Bay student using time travel.

The episodic series was a hit and spawned a prequel, Life is Strange: Before the Storm, and The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which hinted at the newest game, Life is Strange 2.

Though the developers have revealed some information to fans over the past several months, there are still quite a few mysteries surrounding the game.

Here’s what we know about Life is Strange 2 so far and predictions for what to expect from the next game in the franchise. Of course, there will be spoilers ahead, so tread carefully or turn back now. 

Digging Into Character and Plot

While some fans approved and others did not, the developers at Dontnod Entertainment have made it clear that Max, Chloe, and Rachel’s stories are completed, meaning they're not likely to appear in Life is Strange 2.

While we're sure to get a few nostalgic Easter eggs, players should expect to meet new characters this time around. In fact, we already know who the narrative will focus on based on the end of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, as well as the Life is Strange 2 trailers that have already been released.

What We Know About the Characters of Life is Strange 2

The protagonist of the new game is Sean Diaz, an awkward 16-year-old living with his 9-year-old brother, Daniel, and his single father, Esteban, in Seattle, Washington.

The first episode starts in October 2016, three years after the events of Life is Strange and roughly two months before The Amazing Adventures of Captain Spirit.

The gameplay trailer (which you can see below) reveals the first act of the game and gives audiences a look into each of these characters.

From the footage, we learn that Sean is still finding his passions in life, similar to previous protagonist, Max Caulfield. Sean's father encourages him to settle on one interest to invest his time, but things are, of course, not that easy. This small, but essential thread is something that already ties the series' stories together. 

Along with these pivotal characters, Sean seems to have a close bond with his friend Layla, and though it’s unclear how she'll be involved in the overall story, the amount of screen time she gets in the trailer indicates it’s likely we’ll see her play a larger role in the plot.

Who is the Telekinetic Force in Life is Strange 2? 

The gameplay video below concludes following an intense altercation between an aggressive neighbor and a policeman. When Esteban is murdered by the policeman, Sean's telekinetic abilities are awakened ... 

Or are they Daniel's? 

The footage focuses on Sean when a telekinetic force pushes the officer away.  However, that doesn't mean that Sean is the one with supernatural talents. If we know anything from film -- and Dontnod's previous efforts -- camera angles can be used to deceive the audience. 

We know one of them has abilities, but we'll have to wait and see which character actually holds them. 

Off to Mexico? 

After the altercation with the police officer and Sean's neighbor, the two brothers are forced to run away. From what we know, it's a safe bet they'll be going to Mexico. 

Early in the trailer, Sean's father says that Mexico is his home country, so it would make sense for the boys to seek out family members or, perhaps, even friends there. 

On top of that, we know that Dontnod's writing team traveled to Mexico during development, further suggesting the plot will involve the two brothers traveling there. 

Trailers and comments by the game's writers have also indicated that the brothers will be running from the law.


Predictions for Life is Strange 2

Through careful analysis of the trailers, experience with previous Life is Strange games, and conventions of the genre, here's what we think will happen in this sequel.

Unlike the original, Life is Strange 2 will be taking place in multiple locations and span more than just a few weeks. The brother-duo is often depicted in the wilderness and walking on foot, indicating their physical and emotional journey will be long and rigorous for many months.

With just their journey from Seattle, Washington to Beavercreek, Oregon -- a trek of some 200 miles -- it's evident the two boys will likely be on the road for a majority of the game.

Based on the themes we've seen so far, the story will delve into the classic mold of the road trip, albeit with much heavier connotations than is typically depicted.

It wouldn't be a Dontnod story is there were some antagonists along the way. 

The Antagonists of Life is Strange 2

The Law: We already know the brothers have a "dust-up" with the police, so it's not a stretch to assume the many members of the law will be after the duo. 

Evading arrest and questioning, especially when escaping Washington, will likely be the primary form of opposition the player will face. This could also create a few interesting when it comes to narrative and choice throughout the game.

Layla: OK. Hear this one out. While Layla is clearly an ally to the two and in no way a villain, it doesn't mean she won't get in the way of their journey. Concerned about her missing friends, Layla may desperately seek to find out where they are and inadvertently expose them to the authorities.

Nature: Nature is a common source of antagonism in these types of stories. The overcoming the environment, escaping the wilderness, and struggling to survive all play roles in many coming-of-age or adventure narratives. Now that the two protagonists are without money, parents, or food, it's clear that not all of the game's antagonists will be flesh and blood.

Relationships: There are bound to be some bumps in the road with the brother's relationship. The two, exhausted from travel and dealing the loss of their father, probably will have trouble adjusting to the new power dynamic of their relationship. Also, Sean's influence on Daniel could backfire in the future. As the developers have stated, everything Sean does affects Daniel's behavior.

Daniel's Power: Though it's a little unclear who wields the telekinetic powers, I predict it's Daniel mainly because of the images in the gameplay footage and the twist it would give to the plot. It would also be a smart choice for writers to have Daniel be supernatural since he is still a young child. The power will be even more dangerous and difficult to control. The players will need to help Daniel manage his newfound abilities. However, Daniel's emotions led to the first catastrophic destruction and could lead to more throughout the story.

We predict players will have to overcome each of these struggles as they make their way to the destination.

Gameplay and Mechanics

Many of the mechanics in Life is Strange 2 are going to be similar to previous installments, but the newest game does have a few changes up its sleeves.

For example, Sean will be able to interact with other characters, and you can select his dialogue or actions, thus affecting the narrative in real-time. Most dialogue choices and narrative decisions function the same as previous Life is Strange games, but your choices in this story affect what Daniel learns from his older brother.

Whatever Sean does will teach Daniel what is right and wrong.

Sean will also carry his sketchbook around, which is similar to Max’s journal in Life is Strange and Chloe’s letters in Before the Storm. While the sketchbook includes journal entries and gives the player a look into the character’s inner thoughts, it also acts like Max’s photographs or Chloe’s graffiti tags.

Sean will find opportunities to observe his surroundings and the more things he notices, the more detailed his drawings will become. We imagine sketches will be a new collectible for completionists to seek out.

Also like other games in the franchise, the protagonist also has a phone, which will be used to show interactions with other characters, such as those with Sean's best friend, Layla. 

Another new addition is Sean's backpack, which the game's designers have suggested will impact the brothers as they travel. Players can decide what to store in their backpack, but there may be limited space, forcing the player to choose what to take and what to leave behind, adding another wrinkle to the gameplay.

The mechanic that has peaked most players interests, however, is the new supernatural abilities. Life is Strange’s other titles have demonstrated how they can work without Max’s time control powers, but we all know superpowers -- and the mechanics they bring with them -- can be a lot more fun. 

If Sean is the character who actually has the abilities, you will likely be able to use it in the game, but if it is Daniel’s power, you may instead be instructing the younger brother on when and how to use his powers.


With new characters, story, and gameplay, Dontnod wisely seems to be aiming for a fresh new experience that also feels familiar.

Once the first episode of Life is Strange 2 is released, fans will have the opportunity to dive back into the world as Sean and enjoy the Life is Strange universe in a new way.

The first of the five-episode series is set to release September 27 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for our review of the game, as well as more news and information on the Life is Strange universe as it releases. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider's Photo Mode Broke My PS4 Share Buttons Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:56:40 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Even if it means I need a separate savings account just for new controllers, every modern game should have a built-in photo mode. After spending 60+ hours in the gorgeous world that is Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I'm in the market for two new Dualshock 4's if I want to continue my escapades as an armchair paparazzo.

With more than 175 screenshots, it's no wonder that two share buttons on two Dualshocks have given up the ghost. With so many breathtaking vistas and interesting NPCs -- not to mention the Tomb Raider herself -- it's hard not to pause the game very few seconds to grab a snapshot of the environment or of the game's many explosive moments. 

God help me, I've not even played Marvel's Spider-Man yet. Excuse me while I take an advance on my next paycheck. 

In the past year and a half, games like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, the recently released Spider-Man, and Assassin's Creed: Origins have proven that most gamers secretly midnight as well-trained professional photographers. Just check out these spectacular community shots of your friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, and you'll see there's a growing number of us that could should have second careers in white-collar game photography. 

While it's most certainly not as robust as the mode found in Spider-Man, and it has a few annoying limitations, Shadow of the Tomb Raider's photo mode makes for stunning, funny, and sometimes "creepy" shots.

Earlier this year, the NPD Group affirmed that the Dualshock 4 was the best-selling controller of all time. It could be because so many console gamers own PS4s, which inevitably inflates the controller's sales numbers. But it could also be that like me, many PS4s owners just like taking pictures and keep breaking share buttons.

OK. Probably not, but it fits the weird angle of this article, so let's just go with it.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

However, one thing that's for sure is this: developers would do well to make photo modes more ubiquitous. Take the pulse of gamers and it's obvious that regardless of platform, we want the ability to not only make our own content from the games we love, but we also want the tools to do so right at our fingertips. 

Regardless if our controllers and equipment hold up shot after shot, we want to share game worlds with our friends and families, as well as the developers that spend so much time making them. It might seem inconsequential on the surface, but in a culture heavily predicated on everyman content creation, gamers demand the ability to share their exploits in multiple ways at the touch of a button.  

It's true that many of us could only dream of having the talents and abilities of true professionals like Duncan Harris of deadendthrills or Justin Pollock of Virtual Geographic, both of whom take truly breathtaking images used for marketing assets across the industry. But for the average gamer, having access to the tools those specialists have at their disposals is mostly out of reach. 

In-game photo modes increasingly help bridge that gap. 

Just like many that spent hour after hour taking amazing shots of Kratos and the frigid world of this year's God of War, and those who took picture after picture of a spandex-clad Peter Parker swinging through the Big Apple in Marvel's Spider-Man, most of my time with Shadow of the Tomb Raider was spent behind the lens. 

And even though I'm going to have to drop $60+ to grab a few new controllers, what I came away with after 60+ hours in SotTR was well worth the price.

That's because sometimes, playing video games isn't about blowing shit up or pounding other players into submission. Sometimes it's not about high scores or leaderboards. And sometimes it's not even about a good story. 

Sometimes, it's about getting so immersed in a world that you come out the other side feeling like you're somehow a part of it -- that you somehow affected it in a unique way. 

If you want to see some of the photos we took in our time with Shadow of the Tomb Raider's photo mode, take a look at our gallery on Imgur. Now, I'm off to add a few Dualshocks to my cart.  

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey Goes Gold A Month Ahead Of Launch Fri, 14 Sep 2018 16:12:43 -0400 QuintLyn

As a general rule in the world of gaming, when a game "goes gold", it pretty much happens at the same time as the game launches -- sometimes even if the game isn't really ready. So it might come as a surprise to those of you awaiting Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's October 5 release date that as of today, it has, in fact, gone gold. 

For players, this should be really good news. It means that the game is as good as Ubisoft hopes to make it. 

Accompanying this news is the announcement during the Nintendo Direct stream that Odyssey will be making its way to the Nintendo Switch in addition to all other standard platforms. However, it will be available on the Switch as a cloud-only only.

Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, the eleventh major installment in the franchise, takes players back to the year 431 BCE, during the Peloponnesian War. There, players will be forced to choose between joining up with the Delian League in Athens or the Spartan's Peloponnesian League.

The game is filled with choices in the form of dialogue options and branching quests. Players will even be able to choose between playing as a man or a woman and have the ability to develop romantic relationships with a wide variety of NPCs.

Ubisoft announced that it had plans to support Assassin's Creed: Odyssey well after launch, going so far to say that "there will be no full-fledged installment to the series in 2019."

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news, information, and guide content as the game nears launch.