News Category RSS Feed | News RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Final Fantasy 7 Remake Director Tetsuya Nomura to Focus on Other Projects Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:17:51 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Tetsuya Nomura is handing the Final Fantasy Remake Part 2 directorship to Naoki Hamaguchi and stepping down from the project. Nomura recently broke the news to Famitsu (courtesy of GamesRadar) following the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade news.

Nomura told Famitsu he's too busy with other projects, and he's confidant enough that the series' direction and gameplay are well established that he'll no longer need to act as director. However, Nomura will still have an indirect role as creative director.

Hamaguchi served as Final Fantasy 7 Remake's co-director. Prior to that, he was Mobius Final Fantasy's project lead and the director for Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns.

So that's at least one thing we know for sure about Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part Two and the only thing for now. How long Part Two will be and what might happen is still completely up in the air, even more so than before now Square Enix unveiled an all-new DLC episode starring Yuffie, a formerly optional character from later in the original game.

[Source: GamesRadar]

New Pokemon Snap Features Online Leaderboards Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:14:45 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Pokemon Company teased some fresh new features in New Pokemon Snap as part of the Pokemon 25th anniversary celebrations, including glowing Pokemon and online leaderboards.

As with the original Pokemon Snap, the professor ranks photos based on quality and pose. Ace and budding Snap photographers alike can go online and post their favorite photos, and should these pics find favor with other players, they could be included in the game's featured photo roundup.

One way of increasing both a photo's points and the chance of shooting a popular pic is catching Pokemon doing unusual things. The latest New Pokemon Snap trailer showed the usual "throw fruit at Pokemon" option, but players can also attract Pokemon with music to encourage unique behavior.

Another option is using the new Illumina Orb item. Illumina Orbs have different effects depending on the Pokemon, but they all revolve around light. Swanna glows when it comes in contact with an Illumina Orb, while Cinderrace's fire gains an ethereal blue light.

Sometimes, though, it just comes down to luck and catching Pokemon doing rare and unusual things at the right time. New Pokemon Snap releases April 30 for Nintendo Switch.

Capcom Will Port Monster Hunter Rise to PC in 2022 Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:11:52 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Capcom will release Monster Hunter Rise on PC in 2022, series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto told IGN.

Tsujimoto mentioned the decision came after carefully considering what fans wanted. He said:

We received a lot of requests for a PC version of Monster Hunter Rise, particularly from overseas players, and so we have decided to develop a version for PC, which we aim to release in early 2022.

Monster Hunter Rise is built on the RE engine that powered Devil May Cry 5 and the Resident Evil 2 remake. Whether the Rise PC port includes enhanced graphics or at least additional options isn't certain.

Tsujimoto declined IGN's requests for more information, saying the Rise PC port is still under development.

This marks the second Monster Hunter game to see a release on desktop, following Monster Hunter: World and the Iceborne expansion's PC ports. 

Monster Hunter Rise will first release on March 26 for Nintendo Switch. Check out the latest footage from the February Nintendo Direct, featuring new monsters and a glimpse of the deadly Rampage.

[Source: IGN]

Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis Bringing Full FF7 Lore to the Table Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:08:17 -0500 Ashley Shankle

No matter your experience with Final Fantasy 7 and its spin-offs, if you want to experience the story before the version presented in Remake, one of yesterday's FF7-related announcements might be just what you're hoping for. Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis was announced alongside The First Soldier, the first battle royale to carry the series moniker.

Ever Crisis, though, is likely a more comfortable sort of title for fans as a total rehaul of the Final Fantasy 7 universe.

Ever Crisis will include the original Final Fantasy 7, with additional story content later added to the universe in Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus. It looks to be the full Final Fantasy 7 story, before the events of Remake.

On top of what appears to be the inclusion of all relevant story content, the game features a chibi visual style reminiscent of the blocky graphics of the original PlayStation title. Its battle visuals are much more detailed, however, and it has a more modernized, real time battle system.

Fans of the original Final Fantasy 7 may find some notable discrepancies in the trailer, particularly Aerith being in the party during the scorpion fight in the Mako reactor at the start of the game. We'll have to wait for release to see how or why she is present much sooner than before.

Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis is scheduled to release on Android and iOS devices in 2022, but it too will be an episodic release like Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Let's hope this is a paid title along the lines of Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition, and not some sort of gacha game as some are predicting.

Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier Battle Royale Game Revealed Fri, 26 Feb 2021 14:26:37 -0500 Ashley Shankle

It's been a big week for Final Fantasy 7 fans, with three announcements from Square Enix continuing the classic's legacy into the modern market. One of the releases revealed was Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier, the publisher's first battle royale. The news comes fresh on the heels of the news surrounding the PS5 upgrade and Intergrade version of FF7 Remake

Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier will be set a full 30 years before the events of Final Fantasy 7 and will feature a mixture of PvP and PvE content, with a number of enemies from the classic JRPG making appearances.

Notably, The First Solider will be taking place at the time Shinra established SOLDIER, with players seeming to compete to become the first SOLDIER in the program.

Seeing as those that come from the SOLDIER program within the game's lore, characters duking it out in The First Soldier will have to have proficiency in more than just firearms. The trailer shows characters using guns, melee weapons such as swords, magic spells Final Fantasy fans should be well-familiar with, and even summons such as Ifrit in the heat of combat.

This is all an interesting dive into the Final Fantasy 7 universe to be sure, and how rounds will play out with the mixture between PvP and PvE is something not seen in many battle royale titles to date.

Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier is scheduled to release sometime this year, but so far Square Enix have only announced the title for Android and iOS. An official PC release of this would be perfect. Square Enix, please? 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus Takes Trainers on an Open World Adventure Fri, 26 Feb 2021 12:18:40 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Game Freak and The Pokemon Company announced Pokemon Legends: Arceus as part of the Pokemon 25th anniversary celebrations. Pokemon Legends is an open-world action RPG set in the feudal past of Gen IV's Sinnoh region. Its planned release date is on Nintendo Switch in early 2022.

Pokemon Legends follows a young trainer on their journey set in the Sinnoh region as they create the area's first-ever Pokedex. As with most games in the series, the region's Pokemon expert sends players on their journey, but that's where the similarities seem to end.

Legends takes place in a growing village that acts as a hub area set in a never-before-seen area of Sinnoh. Players venture out to various parts of the world from there, and while there's plenty of Sinnoh Pokemon lurking in the wild, trainers won't just be finding Bidoof and Starly around every corner.

Pokemon Legends' starters pull from multiple generations, offering Gen II's Cyndaquil, Gen V's Oshawott, and Gen VII's Rowlet. Trainers can also ride, run, and fly across the world with their Pokemon.

The open world Pokemon game also seems to combine action elements with turn-based combat. The trailer showed trainers choosing some actions from a menu, while others — including catching Pokemon and dodging attacks — happen in real-time. This comes alongside news of two remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.

Pokemon Gen IV Remakes Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Are Coming Fri, 26 Feb 2021 12:17:45 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Pokemon Company announced Gen IV remakes Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl during the Pokemon 25th anniversary Pokemon Presents stream. Both games will release worldwide on Nintendo Switch in late 2021 and have outside developer ILCA at the helm, rather than Game Freak.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl re-create Gen IV's Sinnoh region with enhanced lighting and visuals while remaining true to the original region layout. While rumors suggested these Gen IV remakes would be in the same vein as Pokemon Let's GO, that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Pokemon don't roam the landscape, and the capture system resembles the traditional Pokemon style of selecting and hurling a ball instead of using Let's GO's timed button press system. Both games also use a more refined graphics style similar to the Link's Awakening remake.

Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will include the entire Sinnoh Pokedex. Whether they'll also include Pokemon from later entries, as Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire did and what changes they might make to the story are still uncertain. This comes alongside news of the upcoming open world RPG, Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is a PS5 Upgrade Coming with New Story DLC Fri, 26 Feb 2021 10:18:32 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix announced the long-awaited Final Fantasy 7 Remake PlayStation 5 upgrade during Sony's February State of Play. The upgrade has numerous enhancements in store, but that's not all that was revealed. SE also unveiled a new story episode taking place before the party leaves Midgar is on the way. The whole package for PS5 will be called Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Intergrade and will release June 10, 2021 alongside the PS4 to PS5 upgrade.

Intergrade includes a paid, PS5-exclusive DLC starring Yuffie and a companion from Wutai, a region Cloud and friends visit after leaving Midgar in the original game. In it, they face off against Shinra operatives while trying to steal a valuable Materia to restore Wutai's honor.

Players who currently own Final Fantasy 7 Remake on PS4 can upgrade to the PS5 version for free, and those with a physical copy of FF7R will need a PS5 with a disc drive to upgrade. They will, however, need to purchase the Yuffie DLC separately once they upgrade. 

Intergrade is a separate package for PS5 and has a few purchase options. It can be purchased separately on the PlayStation Store or bundled digitally with Final Fantasy 7 Remake for PlayStation 5 for $69.99. There's also a digital deluxe edition for $79.99 that includes a mini-soundtrack and digital artbook. Pre-orders for either edition include a Cactaur summon.

There's also a physical standalone release for Intergrade, though Square Enix didn't say how much that will cost or what bonuses it may include.

The FF7 Remake PS5 upgrade improves the game's textures and lighting, adds fog effects where applicable, reduces load times, and adds a photo mode.

It's also introducing performance and graphics modes. As with other games using similar features, such as God of War on PS5, FF7R's performance mode prioritizes 60 fps, while graphics mode emphasizes delivering 4K visuals.

Another addition is Normal (Classic) difficulty mode. This new mode enables auto attack so players can focus on issuing menu-based commands similar to the original Final Fantasy 7.

How much content Intergrade includes and what it will cost on its own isn't clear, though Square Enix did suggest they would release later FF7 Remake installments in shorter chapters to avoid long gaps. All of this comes alongside news of Square's mobile battle royale game set 30 years before the classic JRPG. 

BioWare Cancels Anthem Next Update, Shifts Focus to Dragon Age 4 Thu, 25 Feb 2021 19:02:13 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Anthem development is ceasing, BioWare Austin Executive Producer Christian Dailey announced in a new blog post. While the existing Anthem live service will continue for the foreseeable future, Anthem NEXT and all future upgrades are canceled.

Dailey cited multiple reasons for the decision. Chief among them is development difficulties the team encountered during 2020. Dailey said:

...while we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare, working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams.

From now on, Dailey said BioWare will split its focus between Dragon Age 4, the new Mass Effect, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bloomberg's Jason Schreier confirmed the Anthem NEXT team was shifted onto Dragon Age 4 around the time the news officially broke.

Anthem first released in 2019, and despite showing promise in its gameplay, it was universally criticized for lacking content.

[Source: BioWare Blog]

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Release Date, Price, and Pre Orders Announced Thu, 25 Feb 2021 18:34:26 -0500 Josh Broadwell

EmberLab announced the Kena: Bridge of Spirits release date during Sony's February State of Play alongside a brand-new trailer. Kena: Bridge of Spirits will release August 24, 2021, for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via the Epic Games Store. As of now, it is not planned to launch on any Xbox platforms. 

The price for Kena: Bridge of Spirits was shared, as well as news that pre-orders are open now. The standard edition costs $39.99, while the Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes a soundtrack, an in-game weapon, and in-game skins for Kena's companion Rot, costs $49.99. 

The new Kena trailer, which is the first since the game debuted during the PlayStation 5 reveal event, offered a more detailed glimpse into the gorgeous world Ember Lab created. Kena is a spirit guide in training, learning how to help departed souls move on to the next world.

Not all spirits are so willing to move on, and Kena will face plenty of opposition from both the forces of darkness and the grief of those left behind.

The trailer also highlighted some of the game's fast paced combat, showing Kena wield her spirit guide staff against her foes both as a melee weapon and by launching projectiles. Kena dons a mask at one point, though what its use is — whether she needs it to view the spiritual plane or it grants her special powers — remains a mystery for the time being. Stay tuned as we uncover more secrets. 

New Heroes and The Labyrinth Coming to Kingdom of Heroes: Tactics War Thu, 25 Feb 2021 15:03:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The latest Kingdom of Heroes: Tactics War update adds new heroes and some Alter Realm quality of life tweaks. Neowiz also teased Kingdom of Heroes' challenging new Labyrinth mode set to release in March.

Elisabeth and Gerda are Kingdom of Heroes' two new characters. Elisabeth is a five-star Dark Hero archer who uses her own health to rain down pain on her enemies. However, Gerda's skills help restore her health, both from opponents and from leaching it out of party members.

Gerda is a five-star priest and a Water Hero specializing in support. In addition to regular healing abilities, Gerda can cast a buff on herself that, when it vanishes, heals the party and may create a shield against new attacks. 

Meanwhile, Neowiz is streamlining the Alter Realm with different difficulty levels, faster battle movements, and less time required for boss fights.

The Kingdom of Heroes March update adds the all-new Labyrinth mode, tasking players with getting their team as far as possible in the Labyrinth before death inevitably takes them. Health won't recover after each fight, but players can resume where they last died until the Labyrinth cycle renews and starts everything afresh. 

Masato Kato's Another Eden Coming to Steam Soon Thu, 25 Feb 2021 15:01:49 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The free-to-play mobile RPG Another Eden: The Cat Beyond Time and Space is coming to Steam later in spring 2021. Developer WFS games is holding a competition on its website where 30 people can win early access to Another Eden on Steam and an Another Eden mousepad.

Another Eden follows Aldo as he's hurled 800 years into the future and uncovers a sinister plot spanning time and space that he must stop by traveling through time to confront the evil behind it. It's a big task, but Aldo can recruit over 100 allies to help along the way.

If you're thinking a time-traveling retro-style RPG sounds a lot like Chrono Trigger, you're right. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 7 scenario writer Masato Kato is the mind behind Another Eden's story, and even Chrono Trigger's composer, Yasunori Mitsuda, helped compose the soundtrack — when he wasn't working on Sea of Stars, presumably.

Another Eden is free to play and includes in-game purchases tied to obtaining other characters and useful items. However, WFS is running a wishlisting campaign with rewards given out to all who wishlist Another Eden on Steam and a free four-star Suzette character for all who start the game on Steam.

Hellpoint Arrives on Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia Thu, 25 Feb 2021 11:58:45 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Hellpoint mostly flew under the radar when it released for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in summer 2020. A Soulslike action RPG set in a strange sci-fi futurescape with demanding mechanics and a nebulous story, it elicited mixed reactions from critics and genre fans alike. Despite that, it's found a niche audience that's dedicated to uncovering its deep mysteries and unfurling its dark secrets.

Now, developer Cradle Games and publisher tinyBuild are bringing it to Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia. Digital versions are currently available on both platforms, while physical standard and collector's editions on Switch and PS4 are also up for purchase. All versions retail for $34.99. 

These versions of Hellpoint are essentially the same as those found on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for all intents and purposes. However, one of the coolest features of Hellpoint, its implementation of local split-screen co op, isn't available on the Switch. That version currently only supports online co op, and there's no word if Cradle Games plans to implement local play in the future. 

We enjoyed our time with Hellpoint last year, saying that even though it's flawed and relies on its inspiration a bit too much, it gets a lot of things right, including its combat, setting, and story.

Since we took a look at it, the game has received a number of patches, hotfixes, and updates. TinyBuild has even added in a PvP mode, called Hellpoint Arena, which lets players eviscerate each other for items and armor. 

Those playing the game on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility can take advantage of the now-normal next-gen graphics and performance enhancements of faster load times and 4K 60fps. Dedicated PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S ports are set to launch sometime later this year. 

Mortal Shell: Enhanced Edition Brings the Pain to PS5, Xbox Series X|S Thu, 25 Feb 2021 10:11:19 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Mortal Shell is coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S on March 4, 2021. Following a long line of games that have already received next-gen enhancements and upgrades, the Enhanced Edition of Cold Symmetry's Soulslike ARPG is set to take advantage of new console hardware. 

The upgrade will be a free download for those who already own the game and will retail for $39.99 for those who haven't yet picked it up. 

The official reveal trailer above shows all of the console enhancements in action, which include 4K 60fps performance on PS5 and Xbox Series X and refined in-game assets. Mortal Shell will run at 4K 30fps on Xbox Series S, according to the developer. 

Alongside these enhancements, Mortal Shell on PS5 will, unsurprisingly, take advantage of the DualSense's haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and built-in speaker to add new nuance and fully flesh out the experience. 

Alongside this new update, Cold Symmetry has revealed that it is working on a special limited edition of the Soulslike, a Deluxe Edition, that features a massive "140-page artbook showcasing never-before-seen art and illustrations created during the game's development, as well as an exclusive reversible cover and art postcards." 

This physical version will retail for the same $39.99 as the Enhanced Edition

Mortal Shell was one of our favorite games of 2020. We praised it for its "strong combat and enjoyable boss fights, elegant and streamlined progression system, and mysterious world that begs for expansion." 

NieR Replicant's Enhanced Cinematic Highlights Upgrades, Improvements Wed, 24 Feb 2021 14:15:41 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix released an enhanced version of NieR Replicant's opening cinematic, showcasing the remaster's improved graphics, soundtrack, and voice acting. "Enhanced" doesn't fully do it justice, though.

The original NieR cinematics and trailers, including those for the Western release NieR Gestalt, are products of the time. Environments are murky and smudged, the audio is flat, and voice acting suffers from sounding too compressed.

Not so in the new NieR Replicant cinematic. It features dramatically improved visuals in addition to revamped voiceovers and a robust soundtrack, including better textures, brighter colors, and a clarity visibly missing from the original.

It's in keeping with the development team's desire to move away from the original game's "rough charm" and create a brand-new experience.

While the NieR Replicant cinematic doesn't show much gameplay, the few bits that do appear look as if they run at a smoother framerate.

NieR Replicant releases April 23 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam, and it's backwards compatible on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. If you still can't get enough of NieR Replicant, check out close to 10 minutes of NieR Replicant gameplay and even more of the improved soundtrack.

New Returnal Trailer Reveals Atropos' Mysterious Environments Wed, 24 Feb 2021 12:12:38 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Returnal on PS5 follows Selene on her journey to escape a cycle of rebirth on the planet Atropos, and a new trailer highlights some of the environments she'll be forced to revisit again and again. 

While Atropos seems like an exotic planet straight out of a sci-fi film, not all is as it appears. In the Overgrown Ruins, the first location the Returnal trailer shows off, Selene encounters plenty of what one would expect with a name like "Overgrown Ruins" — until she exits the forest. At the edge of the overgrowth is an old-fashioned house perched on a hill. The lights are on, somebody's home, but it's not supposed to be there.

The Derelict Citadel hints at Atropos' mysterious past. All the ruins point to a strange civilization built around what Selene calls the hive mind, but whether this civilization is truly a thing of the past is less certain.

The last part of Atropos the new Returnal trailer reveals is the Crimson Wastes, which doesn't always live up to its name. It's partly a desert wracked by violent windstorms. Yet Selene keeps getting flashes of a snowy wasteland at the same coordinates, and the two keep flickering back and forth.

Returnal releases April 30 for PlayStation 5 following a short delay earlier in the year. Be sure to check out our overview of Returnal's weapons and loot system if you're still catching up.

New UR Units Headline War of the Visions' Anniversary Celebrations Wed, 24 Feb 2021 12:03:32 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix is celebrating War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exviusfirst anniversary early with special summons, returning rare units, and more. The developer and publisher also announced a special WOTV anniversary broadcast on March 20 at 6 p.m. PST/9 p.m. EST, with details of even more anniversary bonuses in store.

UR Vinera and UR Viktora receive a winter makeover for a limited time. Vinera is an earth-affiliated Pugilist and dishes out big damage with her Snowball Fight limit break attack, while Viktora, the water-based Sniper, hits enemies twice and may blind them with her Winter's Reward limit break.

The celebrations also introduce the acquisition quest for Creysse, a new Gunner/Viking MR unit, and reward players with the necessary materials for enhancing her. The new Vision Card Marilith is available through summoning and, if obtained, grants players the Esper Marilith with its powerful Slash attack.

From now until March 2, players get a variety of daily login bonuses, including a UR-guaranteed Unit Summon Ticket A and up to 2,100 Visiore, and that's alongside a daily MR+ guaranteed summon x10. Both of these are Part I of the WOTV first anniversary celebrations, with more bonuses and rewards coming as the birthday bash continues. 

Halloween 2020's UR units, Rairyuu and Little Leela, are making a comeback, also for a limited time. The War of the Visions first anniversary livestream will air on YouTube.

Stardew Valley Board Game Brings Farm-Fresh Goodness to Your Tabletop Wed, 24 Feb 2021 11:54:27 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone (ConcernedApe) recently revealed there's a Stardew Valley board game in the works. It's a tabletop take on the popular farm-sim game meant for up to four players. It's available now for $55, though it only ships to the U.S. at the time of writing.

The Stardew Valley board game replicates a regular game of Stardew Valley. Players need to save the valley from the nefarious Joja Corporation, which means restoring the Community Center through completing a set of random goals and making friends along the way.

Time passes and weather patterns change as players draw a card from the season deck each round. Just like regular Stardew Valley, forging friendships with the town's various characters unlocks new Community Center bundles, and players upgrade their various skills, such as fishing and mining, by completing challenges.

The biggest challenge, though, is coordinating actions each round to get the maximum amount done and push towards completing one of the required goals. Barone said the Stardew Valley board game's "depth and complexity" means it's intended for those experienced with tabletop games already. He also provided the game's full rule book so players can see for themselves whether it's the right choice before purchasing.

It sounds as if the Stardew Valley board game is a separate project from the other two new SV games Barone is working on, which means there's even more Stardew Valley in store aside from the recent 1.5 update.

[Source: Stardew Valley Developer Blog]

Leon, Charizard, and More Sync Pairs Soar Into Pokemon Masters EX Wed, 24 Feb 2021 11:48:51 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Pokemon Masters EX is getting some Champion-sized updates in the coming month, including additions to sync pairs and more. The game's first Master sync pair and a very hungry 'mon are coming up first, followed by two new Champions later in March. 

Galar Champion Leon and his buddy Charizard are the first Master sync pair for EX, and they'll be available from February 25 through March 17. These types of sync pairs are powerful duos that have a passive skill providing boosts to the whole party. Marnie and Morpeko are also available in the same time frame, and while they aren't a Master duo, Morpeko is packing its signature Hangry mode to shake battles up.

Both characters have special story events celebrating their arrival in EX. Leon's runs from February 25 through March 17 and features him battling alongside Marnie and Gloria in a series of tournaments. Marnie's Spikemuth-themed Yell and Dream event kicks off March 3 and also ends March 17.

Unova Champion Iris comes to Pasio with Hydreigon along with Kalos' Diantha and Gardevoir sometime later in March.

Pokemon Masters EX is celebrating a year and a half of battles in March and is starting a series of login bonuses from February 25 through March 30, where players can earn up to 10,000 Gems. That's just icing on the Leon, Charizard, Marnie, and Morpeko cake.

Gran Turismo 7 Won't Hit the Track Just Yet, Gets Delayed Tue, 23 Feb 2021 14:06:50 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Gran Turismo 7, originally thought to be releasing in 2021, is delayed to an unspecified time, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said. The announcement came as part of an exclusive interview Ryan gave with GQ Magazine.

The Sony boss didn't have much else to say about the delay or the rationale behind it, but a Sony public relations representative did say COVID and remote work challenges are behind it. They promised a statement about the game soon and said:

GT7 has been impacted by Covid-related production challenges and therefore will shift from 2021 to 2022. With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months.

It's a situation Ryan said is unavoidable in the current climate, though he's happy to wait and ensure the best version of the game releases.

I think in this world, where creative people are working remotely, you’ve just got to respect the fact that that development needs to take what it needs to take and to get the games right. 

There are two approaches to this: you can either hold the date and put out the game irrespective of quality or you can ship it when it’s right. We have always taken the latter approach. 

The Gran Turismo series is certainly no stranger to delays. Gran Turismo 5 suffered continuous delays spanning several years between its announcement in 2005 and release in 2010. Here's hoping Gran Turismo 7 won't be subject to the same fate.

[Source: GQ Magazine]

A New PlayStation VR Device for PS5 is in Development Tue, 23 Feb 2021 14:03:56 -0500 Josh Broadwell

A new PlayStation VR set is in the works designed with the PlayStation 5 in mind. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan revealed the PS5 VR device's existence during an exclusive interview with GQ, which was followed by a new PlayStation Blog post from platform planning Senior VP Hideaki Nishino with some additional details.

The device is currently unnamed and still in development, and Nishino said the new PS VR device's release date will be sometime after 2021. However, Ryan told GQ that dev kits will soon be going out. 

"We’re very excited by it and we think that people who are going to make VR games for our new VR system are going to be very excited too," Ryan said, though he declined to comment on what the new virtual reality device's launch line-up might look like.

In addition to resolution and improved field of view tracking, PS VR for PlayStation 5 includes a number of other enhancements. One is streamlining how players connect the device to their PlayStation 5. Gone are the numerous cords and attachments in favor of just one cord.

The new PS VR controller will have "a focus on great ergonomics" and some of the DualSense's special features, though Nishino didn't mention which ones would be included. And for the record, Sony isn't calling it PSVR 2 ... just yet, anyway. 

[Source: GQ, PlayStation Blog]

Days Gone The First of Several PlayStation Games Coming to PC Tue, 23 Feb 2021 12:11:22 -0500 Josh Broadwell

More PlayStation games are coming to PC, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said in an exclusive new interview with GQ Magazine. Days Gone leads the way with a PC port planned for spring 2021, though Sony still has plenty in store for its consoles.

Ryan said:

We find ourselves now in early 2021 with our development studios and the games that they make in better shape than they’ve ever been before. Particularly from the latter half of the PS4 cycle our studios made some wonderful, great games.

There’s an opportunity to expose those great games to a wider audience and recognize the economics of game development, which are not always straightforward.

Days Gone developer Bend Studio confirmed Ryan's comments shortly after the interview was published.

In 2020, Sony released Death Stranding and Horizon: Zero Dawn on PC, marking the first time Sony exclusives appeared on other platforms. While rumors from 2020 indicated Sony would release Bloodborne on PC, Ryan made no mention of what other PlayStation games may appear on PC or when.

In a separate interview with Famitsu that Video Games Chronicle translated, Ryan rebuffed rumors from multiple sources that Sony is ignoring Japanese developers. Following up on comments he made in December about a number of exciting Japanese-developed games in store, Ryan said: 

SIE also has strong relationships with licensees in Japan, so we will continue to strengthen our ties with them and develop titles made in Japan for PlayStation fans around the world.

What these may be is still under wraps, though one of them is Final Fantasy 16, first shown off during the PlayStation 5 reveal event and currently well underway in development. Stay tuned for more updates. 

[Source: GQ, Video Games Chronicle]

Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 Delayed With Change in Developer Tue, 23 Feb 2021 11:42:23 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Paradox Interactive have released a statement that is part surprise, part disappointment, and just a little relieving with all things considered: Vampire: The Masquerade  Bloodlines 2 has been delayed.

That's not all the statement reveals, however. Developer Hardsuit Labs have been removed from the project entirely and are being replaced with a development studio yet to be announced. Paradox will also not be accepting new pre-orders for Bloodlines 2 for the time being, leaving the game's future perceptibly in the air.

This is not the first time Bloodlines 2 has been delayed, with the game initially announced for release in early 2020 and seeing a number of notable staff being removed from the project over the course of the year.

The original Vampire: The Masquerade  Bloodlines holds a place in the annals of gaming history as one of the most notable RPGs of its time, despite its technical issues. It is disappointing to see the sequel going through a rocky development cycle, but if recent exceedingly-hyped releases are anything to go by, then one has to trust Paradox is taking the right step here in protecting the integrity of the project.

Currently, Vampire: The Masquerade  Bloodlines 2 has no announced prospective release timeframe, but perhaps that is for the best while the title continues development. 

Twisted Metal TV Show Revving Up for Production Mon, 22 Feb 2021 14:34:32 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions are developing a live-action Twisted Metal TV show. Variety first broke the news and said the idea comes from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, both of whom have worked on projects such as Deadpool, Zombieland, Zombieland 2, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Cowboy Ninja Viking.

Cobra Kai's Michael Jonathan Smith will act as writer and executive producer for the series, with Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan of PlayStation Productions as co-executive producers. 

Qizilbash said that "We are thrilled to have such a great team working on bringing this iconic game to life for the fans." Where the Twisted Metal games focus on a yearly tournament where contestants destroy each other's cars for victory, the adaptation is a bit different.

It's part action, part comedy following a "motor-mouthed outsider" on a perilous delivery mission — and not just because of Sweet Tooth the psychotic ice cream truck clown. On paper, it sounds more Mad Max than Twisted Metal, but we'll have to wait and see. 

As yet, there's no word what network Twisted Metal will run on or when filming may begin. The Twisted Metal TV series is just one of PlayStation Productions' current projects, among which includes a series based on Final Fantasy XIV.

[Source: Variety]

Final Fantasy 16 Won't Be Turn Based, Naoki Yoshida Says Mon, 22 Feb 2021 12:04:15 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Final Fantasy 16 has no turn-based elements, Producer Naoki Yoshida said in a recent interview on Tokyo's One Morning radio show (translated by Gematsu). Yoshida also said the newest Final Fantasy features a different kind of narrative that reflects its audience's age.

Like its numerical predecessor, Final Fantasy 16 swaps turn-based combat for a real-time action system. However, Yoshida plans a robust support system for those less familiar with, or less fond of, real-time battles and just want to focus on the story.

He didn't elaborate much on Final Fantasy 16's support options but said the system will help make it a "smooth and enjoyable" experience for everyone.

It seems Yoshida and the development team are shifting Final Fantasy 16's story away from Final Fantasy 15's lighthearted cars-and-noodles adventure in favor of something a bit darker and more considered. Yoshida said he understands that many Final Fantasy fans have grown up with the series and developed a different worldview, something he wants to reflect by balancing the "good and bad" of life in Final Fantasy 16's story.

He said:

I believe there are certain hardships that are experienced when becoming an adult, so I want to make the main theme of this game something that those who grew up playing Final Fantasy and understand reality can still enjoy, get something out of, and think about.

Final Fantasy 16 will release on PlayStation 5 at a still-undetermined date. While details are scarce, Square Enix did provide an overview of Final Fantasy 16's characters and world. Meanwhile, Yoshida's other Final Fantasy project, Final Fantasy XIV, is gearing up for the brand-new story expansion Endwalkers later in 2021.

[Source: Gematsu]

Diablo 2: Resurrected Officially Announced, Rogue Confirmed for Diablo 4 Sat, 20 Feb 2021 13:50:03 -0500 Ashley Shankle

After years of fans holding out hope for Blizzard to return to Diablo 2 in one form or another, the developer has finally decided to give the beloved ARPG the attention it deserves.

Announced yesterday during BlizzCon, the legendary title will be returning as Diablo 2: Resurrected, a remake including the base game and its Lord of Destruction expansion.

Diablo 2: Resurrected will bring more than just shiny new graphics to this classic title. The game will also feature cross-platform progression so players can hop on their characters between PC and console, and, of course, controller support comes in tow with that good news.

Blizzard have also confirmed there will be a shared stash function, and rumor is the remake will even have automatic gold pickup as a base feature to the game. These are huge quality of life improvements over the original that certainly no one could complain about if true.

This all sounds like great news and the new visuals do suit the style of the original version of the game, but that's not all the attention the Diablo series received yesterday.

Diablo 4
 has also been confirmed to include a Rogue class, a predictable but warmly welcomed addition to the upcoming game's roster. So far Druid, Barbarian, Sorceress, and now Rogue have been confirmed.

Blizzard weren't keen to let us know too much more during yesterday's Diablo 4, but they did show how the game's world shifts as you push through and clean out the evil plaguing the many would-be havens of Sanctuary.

After the state in which Warcraft 3: Reforged was released and in some respects continues to be in, it's understandable to be pensive about the state of Diablo 2: Resurrected; and reservations over Diablo 4 after Diablo 3 are also fairly well-deserved. Time will tell if these titles live up to the old Blizzard name.

You can sign up for the Diablo 2: Resurrected alpha on the official site, provided you're logged in, but the release date for Diablo 4 is still yet to be announced.

Konami Might Have Two Silent Hill Reboots in Progress Thu, 18 Feb 2021 15:39:34 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Konami might have two Silent Hill reboots in the works, a new report from Video Games Chronicle says, and The Medium's Bloober Team might be handling one of them.

VGC's Andy Robinson said separate sources confirmed that Konami has been trying to find a developer for one Silent Hill reboot for a while now and finally outsourced it to a "prominent Japanese developer." However, other sources suggest Konami wants more than one reboot for the series, one faithful to the original games and the other approaching it from a different angle.

That's where Bloober Team might come in. The speculation of Bloober's involvement comes from a new interview Bloober's CEO, Piotr Babieno, gave with Babieno told GIBiz the team is working on a new and exciting action-horror game:

[It's] another horror IP, and we’re doing this with a very famous gaming publisher. I can’t tell you who. I can’t tell you what the project is, but I’m pretty sure when people realize we’re working on it, they will be very excited.

VGC's sources say at least one Silent Hill game should be revealed this summer. All this follows a year of Silent Hill development rumors and cancellation rumors. Whatever the case, it seems likely Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama won't be involved, as he's hard at work on Bokeh Studio's inaugural death-game title.

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Soars onto Nintendo Switch This Summer Thu, 18 Feb 2021 10:59:38 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Nintendo is bringing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword to Switch on July 16 with refined motion controls and a brand-new button scheme. The news come alongside a Skyward Sword Switch trailer during the February Nintendo Direct.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword takes place in Skyloft thousands of years before the original Zelda and tells the story of the original Triforce bearers. It's an atypical Zelda game in structure, not least because it originally relied on motion controls for all Link's combat when it first released on Nintendo Wii.

Those motion controls were often quite fiddly and unresponsive. Now, however, Nintendo has refined them for use with the Switch's Joy-Con. The right Joy-Con controls Link's sword, and in place of the Wii Nunchuk, the left Joy-Con controls his shield.

There's a special set of Skyward Sword Joy-Con releasing alongside the game featuring the Hylian crest and Zelda logo.

For the first time, however, Skyward Sword finally has a button scheme that replaces motion controls for handheld mode and Nintendo Switch Lite users.

Skyward Sword on Switch releases July 16 as part of the Zelda 35th anniversary celebrations.

Monster Hunter Rise Trailer Introduces Two Fearsome New Foes Thu, 18 Feb 2021 10:58:39 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Monster Hunter Rise made an appearance during the February Nintendo Direct, debuting several fearsome new monsters and offering a glimpse at the game's impending calamity. 

First up is the Rakna-Kadaki, a spider-like creature that immobilizes foes with the fine threads it shoots from its mouth. On top of that, Rakna-Kadaki spews deadly gas and carries its larva into battle for added support. Expect to find these in Monster Hunter Rise's volcanic Lava Craters.

The Almudron, normally a solitary creature that remains apart from settlements, is driven by the calamity to rampage villages and cause chaos. Almudron coats itself in mud to both counter attacks and hurl at enemies to slow them down.

It also uses a golden liquid from its tail that's powerful enough to dissolve stone and creates a pit of sinking sand wherever it falls.

The latest Monster Hunter Rise trailer also gave a glimpse at some returning monsters, including Basarios and Diabolos, while showing Kamura village as it readies for war and the village's twin wardens donning battle gear to enter the fray.

Monster Hunter Rise releases March 26 on Nintendo Switch, and Capcom promised more information on the calamitous Rampage soon.

Samurai Warriors 5 Leaps Into Action This Summer Thu, 18 Feb 2021 10:57:29 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Koei Tecmo announced Samurai Warriors 5 during the February Nintendo Direct, a reimagining of the Samurai Warriors series scheduled for release sometime in summer 2021. Despite debuting during a Nintendo Direct, Samurai Warriors 5 will also release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

Koei Tecmo and Omega Force intend Samurai Warriors 5 as a fresh start for the series, and it takes place in an all-new era: the Sengoku Period.

The struggle between legendary figures Nobunaga Oda and Mitsuhide Akechi headlines the game's central plot, though Koei Tecmo is keeping most of the details under wraps for now.

Samurai Warriors 5 features re-imagined character designs and a new visual scheme that seems to go heavy on the cel-shaded style. However, it still revolves around the series' signature "1 vs 1,000" combat shared with the Dynasty Warriors series.

Koei Tecmo has more to reveal during a special Samurai Warriors 5 livestream scheduled for February 25.

[Source: Gematsu]

Octopath Traveler Devs Unveil Project Triangle Strategy Wed, 17 Feb 2021 18:55:30 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The team behind Octopath Traveler is working on a new tactics game tentatively called Project Triangle StrategyProject Triangle uses Octopath's signature 2D-HD style and revolves around a complex morality system determining how the game plays out.

Project Triangle takes place on the continent of Norzelia and in the three nations of Glenbrook, Aesfrost, and Hyzante. It's a rugged place with limited resources, and the struggle for salt and iron in particular has sparked an endless series of conflicts.

Choices players make at key moments in Project Triangle have a drastic effect on how the narrative unfolds, and it's deep enough to where Square Enix said each player's experiences will be different.

Project Triangle uses a traditional elevation-based tactics system with a few twists. Flanking foes by placing an ally unit on either side earns the chance for a powerful follow-up attack from the ally unit, while ramming them into an ally also triggers a special second strike.

Like Divinity: Original Sin, the elements play a significant role too. Players can link attacks by creating water and then casting a lightning spell on the wet area. Naturally, enemies can use these strategies, as well.

Project Triangle Strategy is set for release on Nintendo Switch in 2022, and a free Project Triangle demo is available now. Stay tuned for our impressions of it in the coming days. 

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Expansion Pass Detailed Wed, 17 Feb 2021 18:53:15 -0500 Josh Broadwell

If you thought saving the kingdom was the end of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, you were wrong. Nintendo announced the Age of Calamity expansion pass with new characters, weapons, and more during the February Nintendo Direct.

Age of Calamity's expansion pass will cost $19.99, and the new content starts rolling out May 28 with a purchase bonus of:

  • New weapon for Link
  • New costume for Link

The first proper wave in the Age of Calamity expansion pass hits in June 2021. It'll bring the following to the game:

  • New character(s)
  • New weapon types
  • More Ancient Lab challenges
  • More challenging enemies

It's not yet clear how many new characters the first wave includes or who they might be.

Wave 2 lands in November 2021, and with it comes:

  • New character vignettes
  • New stages
  • More new characters
  • New skills for existing characters

Naturally, the expansion pass needs the full version of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity to work, and it's definitely worth it for Zelda fans and Warriors fans alike.

Mario Golf: Super Rush Hits the Links June 25 Wed, 17 Feb 2021 18:51:47 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Mario and friends are hitting the links once again in Mario Golf: Super Rush, headed to Nintendo Switch on June 25. It's the first Mario Golf game since the lukewarm Mario Golf: World Tour, but Super Rush has more in its golf bag than the usual 18 holes.

Mario Golf: Super Rush's traditional golf mode offers motion controls and a number of features to help fine-tune shots and make the perfect landing.

Super Rush includes several additional modes to shake things up. Speed Golf is one. Every player tees off at the same time, then it's a mad dash to the ball to see who can land it in the cup the fastest.

In true Mario fashion, there's plenty of power-ups to help even out the playing field or put a wrinkle in the competition's plans.

Mario Golf: Super Rush is bringing back Mario Golf's beloved story mode as well. Players enter their Mii into golf competitions, starting off as a lowly rookie and gradually working up to champion status with some help from leveling up and stat increases along the way. Stay tuned for more when this game hits the course. 

No More Heroes 3 Release Date Announced During Nintendo Direct Wed, 17 Feb 2021 18:50:21 -0500 Josh Broadwell

After what feels like an eternity of waiting and hoping, we finally have a No More Heroes 3 release date. Nintendo and Grasshopper announced the latest entry in Travis Touchdown's saga releases August 27 on Nintendo Switch.

Aliens have invaded the planet, and after reducing an entire city to rubble they're holding an intergalactic superhero tournament to decide Earth's fate. Travis takes part to save the planet, but it's not as simple as that.

No More Heroes 3's tournaments have a steep entry fee. Travis must take on odd jobs around the city to earn enough money and take part in each trial, meaning it's one of the only times where cutting the grass could actually save the world.

Each trial is a massive boss fight that turns into more than just a simple beatdown. Every alien Travis faces has a special gimmick, from turning the arena into a first-person horror adventure to making the fight play out in Final Fantasy fashion.

No More Heroes 3 releases August 27 on Nintendo Switch and as yet, there's no word whether it will head to other consoles.

Splatoon 3 is Real, but We'll Have to Wait Until 2022 Wed, 17 Feb 2021 18:48:49 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Splatoon 3 is in production, and it's coming to Nintendo Switch in 2022. Nintendo announced the third entry in the endless war between Inklings and Octolings during the February Nintendo Direct and unveiled a first look at it.

Splatoon 3 takes place in a brand-new area, the "sun-scorched Splatlands" and the city of Splatsville. Something terrible has happened, and the Inklings and Octolings make their way to Splatsville in the aftermath, looking for a new life — and plenty of new fights.

We don't know much about Splatoon 3 yet, but the trailer description says there will be new moves, new weapons, and much more.

There's also a detailed character creation screen at the start of the game, offering several skin, eye, and hair options plus a chance to customize the strange little creature that accompanies the protagonist Inkling.

Nintendo broke its long-standing rule of not revealing games more than a year away, but it promised more Splatoon 3 information over the coming year.

Square Enix Announces Legend of Mana Remaster Wed, 17 Feb 2021 18:41:28 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Square Enix is releasing Legend of Mana remastered for Nintendo Switch on June 24. The announcement came as part of Nintendo's big February Nintendo Direct. But that doesn't mean it's just on Switch. It's also coming to PC and PlayStation 4 on the same date. 

The classic world-building PS1 title will feature an updated orchestral soundtrack and the option to toggle enemy encounters on and off. The soundtrack can be switched between the remastered version and the original.

There's also a new mode called Ring Ring Land, where players raise monsters through a series of Digi-pet-style minigames.

Legend of Mana breaks from its predecessor, Secret of Mana, and tasks players with literally putting the world back together. The map is blank, but pieces of the world, including dungeons and towns, gradually come back to life as players discover artifacts and fill the map out once again.

Legend of Mana on Nintendo Switch releases June 24. It will retail for $29.99. Pre-orders up until June 23 "will receive an early purchase reward, including 10 avatars and a custom Legend of Mana theme on the PlayStation 4 or Legend of Mana wallpaper on PC," according to Square. 

New Friends are Everywhere in No Man's Sky Companions Update Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:57:29 -0500 Josh Broadwell

It gets lonely in space, but the No Man's Sky Companions update is here to fix that. The free Companions update is live now on all platforms and lets explorers make friends with the space oddities they find on their journeys.

Hello Games' Sean Murray said in a new PlayStation Blog post that players can tame any creature encountered in No Man's Sky and call them up whenever, even in the Space Anomaly.

Each companion has a distinct personality and communicates through a special link with the Exosuit. There's even a chance that, if they're raised with great care, companions will lay eggs and give birth to a new generation of friends.

But life in No Man's Sky isn't just about dressing your pets up with accessories and stickers (editor's note: it is, actually). There's work to do, and these companions are here to help. They'll explore alongside their human friends, complete chores, and even don some shoulder lasers to take out Sentinel threats.

No Man's Sky also includes a scientific component to the companion relationship, with gene sequencing and genetic customization for greater control over the future generations of space pals.

If you still haven't taken the leap into procedurally generated worlds unknown, now's the time to do it. No Man's Sky has more to offer than ever before, and it's also on sale in the PlayStation Store's Double Discounts sale.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

PlayStation Store Double Discounts Sale Offers More Bang for Your Buck Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:55:17 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Sony isn't slowing the sales train down anytime soon and just kicked off the PlayStation Store's Double Discounts sale. It's offering discounts on dozens of hits, including Red Dead Redemption 2, No Man's Sky, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, and more, with extra price cuts for PS Plus members.

Here's a taster of what the Double Discounts sale has in store.

PlayStation Store Double Discounts Sale

Game Sales Price PS Plus Discount Original Price
Red Dead Redemption 2: Ultimate Edition $66.99 $33.99 $99.99
No Man's Sky (PS4 & PS5) $44.99 $29.99 $59.99
Devil May Cry 5  $22.49  $19.99   $24.99
Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled - Nitros Oxide Edition  $41.99  $23.99   $59.99
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe Edition  $46.89  $23.79   $69.99
The Outer Worlds  $41.99  $23.99   $59.99
Days Gone Digital Deluxe Edition  $39.99  $29.99   $49.99
Crysis Remastered  $23.99  $17.99   $29.99
Fuser VIP Edition  $89.99  $79.99   $99.99
Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe Edition  $57.59 $35.19    $79.99 
XCOM 2 Collection  $59.99  $19.99   $99.99
Star Wars Squadrons  $31.99  $23.99   $39.99
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition  $27.99  $15.99   $39.99
Grand Theft Auto 5 Premium Edition  $32.39  $19.79   $44.99
Marvel's Spider-Man: GOTY Edition  $29.99  $19.99   $39.99
ARK Survival Evolved  $29.99  $9.99   $49.99
God of War (2018)  $14.99  $9.99   $19.99
Mortal Kombat 11  $32.49  $14.99   $49.99
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition Upgrade  $17.49  $9.99   $24.99
Assassin's Creed Odyssey Gold Edition  $62.99  $39.69   $99.99


The full Double Discounts sale list is on the PlayStation Store. If none of this tickles your fancy, the PS Store's Big in Japan sale is still ongoing until February 24 and a Games Under $20 sale also live now. 

Magic: Legends' Equipment System Prioritizes Function Over Rarity Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:54:07 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Cryptic Studios and Perfect Entertainment outlined Magic: Legends' equipment system in a new blog post and discussed how it differs from the typical loot drop system. 

Just like Magic: The Gathering, Magic: Legends' equipment comes in four tiers: Common, Uncommon, Rare, and Mythic Rare. These are split across Head, Arms, Feet, and Body gear slots, plus two extra slots for accessories.

In addition to the usual stat boosts one expects from equipment, Magic: Legends' equipment offers mana-specific enhancements. Some gear reduces damage from specific mana colors, for example, while others regenerate health, steal life force, or boost potency.

Every piece of gear has a permanent Core Mod and at least one interchangeable Adaptive Mod, and collecting a piece of gear automatically opens customization options for that specific piece at the Tailor.

There's a Tailor in each hub area, where players can edit and customize any available pieces of equipment and create a new look without altering the gear's stats and enhancement bonuses.

There will inevitably be duplicate pieces of gear, but instead of selling them, Magic: Legends lets players trade them for Adaptive Mods or use them to increase the gear's overall level.

Magic: Legends enters PC open beta March 23, and Cryptic plans a full release for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 later in 2021.

[Source: Perfect Entertainment]

Rebellion Announces Evil Genius 2 Sandbox Mode, Deluxe Edition Tue, 16 Feb 2021 13:54:54 -0500 Josh Broadwell

What's even better than building the ultimate evil lair? Rebellion's answer is building the ultimate evil lair that defies the laws of logic, and Evil Genius 2's sandbox mode encourages you to do exactly that.

Rebellion announced sandbox mode in a new trailer and revealed Evil Genius 2's deluxe and collector's editions as well.

Evil Genius 2's sandbox mode lifts all restrictions on lair building, making you the true master of your ignoble domain and throwing logic and practicality out the window. Torment your minions, torment your foes even more by never letting them die, and do it all without the fear of getting caught as you experiment to your depraved heart's content.

Sandbox mode is a free mode and will be available right out of the (digital) box.

Evil Genius 2's deluxe edition ($59.99) offers even more wickedness for your unholy arsenal. Along with Evil Genius 2 Season One Pass it adds the Trojan Horse, Fountain of Youth, and Aurora Borealis items for use in-game.

Pass content will release in stages following Evil Genius 2's launch, and some of the content includes:

  • A new campaign
  • Two henchmen packs
  • Two minion packs
  • A lair item pack

Rebellion said Season One has even more to offer, and it's a mix of free and paid content.

Finally is Evil Genius 2's collector's edition, exclusive to Rebellion's online store. It's $84.99 and includes:

  • Evil Genius 2 on Steam
  • Season One Pass
  • Evil Genius magazine
  • Evil Genius Maximilian statue

Evil Genius 2 releases March 30 for PC via Steam. Rebellion is offering pre-order discounts on all three game versions, and if you haven't already, check out a full 10 minutes of Evil Genius 2 in action.

Substantial Metro Exodus Next-Gen Upgrade Rolling Into the Station Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:12:51 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Metro Exodus is getting a meaty next-gen upgrade later in 2021 and some extra visual enhancements for high-end PCs. Deep Silver and 4A Games announced the Metro Exodus next-gen versions in a new blog post and said both the console and PC upgrades will be free.

Metro Exodus on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will support 4K visuals and run at 60fps, along with improved load times. The Xbox Series X version is getting spatial audio enhancements and reduced control input latency, while the PlayStation 5 version will support the DualSense's haptics.

The next-gen upgrades also include ray tracing on both consoles, a feature previously exclusive to high-end PCs but found in the likes of Spider-Man: Miles Morales and the next-gen version of Control. Specifically, it's Deep Silver's Ray Traced Global Illumination and Ray Traced Emissive Lighting made possible by the dev team "overhauling" the game's engine.

Deep Silver won't leave Xbox Series S owners out of the fun. Metro Exodus on Xbox Series S features 1080p resolution, 60fps, and full ray tracing.

Existing owners get the next-gen version for free, with Smart Delivery support on Xbox Series X|S.

Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition uses Deep Silver's new ray tracing technology to deliver "the ultimate ray traced experience." It requires a ray tracing capable GPU as the bare minimum and will be issued as a separate game instead of as a patch. However, Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition will still be free for existing owners.

[Source: Deep Silver]

Silent Hill's Keiichiro Toyama Shares Death-Game Inspirations for New Project Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:01:53 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama is working on a new horror adventure game with his studio Bokeh and recently posted a video with some never-before-seen screenshots, plus insights into its ongoing development.

Toyama found inspiration for the as-yet-unnamed horror title in so-called death game stories, narratives that pit characters against each other in gruesome competitions, not unlike Danganronpa. Without giving much away about his upcoming game, Toyama said:

These [death game] works tend to add entertainment to somewhat brutal worlds, so I naturally took that approach. 

The view I have of horror is the everyday life being shaken. Rather than just showing scary things, it should question our position and make us challenge the fact that we're living peacefully.

Judging from the concept art Toyama shared, it seems safe to say Bokeh's new (and first) game will certainly shake up everyday life. The stills nearly all center on insects and other monstrosities in various stages of bursting out from human hosts, with one illustration — of the protagonist, perhaps — holding a sword and standing on the top of a building.

We still have a ways to go before seeing anything else about Toyama's new game. Bokeh's game is scheduled for release on "as many console platforms as possible" sometime in 2023.

[Source: IGN, YouTube]

NieR Replicant Gameplay Video Highlights Improvements All Around Fri, 12 Feb 2021 15:18:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

NieR fans want just one thing: more NieR Replicant gameplay. Square Enix obliged with a nearly 10-minute NieR Replicant gameplay video highlighting the remaster's enhancements and some combat tweaks.

The first thing on immediate display is NieR Replicant's visual enhancements compared with NieR Gestalt. Gone are the blurry, smudgy environments of the PS3-era, and in their stead are detailed textures, longer draw distances, and crisper visuals all around.

NieR Replicant's soundtrack received a brush up too. The Barren Temple BGM in particular was tweaked with a slightly slower tempo, increased ambiance, and more distinction given to the vocals.

It's not alone, either. Square Enix released two sample tracks of remastered NieR Replicant classics, "Snow in Summer" and "Kainé" from the Soundtrack Weiss, part of the game's special White Snow edition. There's also a new compilation video with shorter clips of more remastered tracks.

The NieR Replicant gameplay video also highlights changes Square Enix said it made to the combat system, including the new magic attacks added for more combo potential, and as we reported before, NieR Replicant is fully voiced.

The script won't be quite what fans remember from the original, though. It's been updated in a few ways, not the least of which is Kainé's spiced up dialogue in keeping with her personality. NieR Replicant releases April 23 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

Spiritfarer Roadmap Promises New Passengers, Islands Thu, 11 Feb 2021 16:18:46 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Thunder Lotus has free, new Spiritfarer content planned for the rest of 2021, including new spirits, story events, islands, and more, the developer outlined in a Spiritfarer content roadmap. 

The first round of Spiritfarer's additional content is planned for spring 2021. New character Lily headlines this update. Lily is Stella's sister, whose spirit comes aboard as Stella starts uncovering more of her memories. Lily is awake at night and provides enough light for Stella to continue navigating even after dark.

The next update sets sail in summer and centers around Stella's former neighbor Beverly. The two meet in Oxbury and rekindle their friendship by bonding over the past.

The Beverly update also adds an Archive Room to the ship, where Stella can view new Acetate collectibles. Thunder Lotus promised even more tweaks and enhancements in this update, but is saving details for a later date.

Finally is the fall update, and it's a big one. Spiritfarer's fall update sees Stella travel to a new island with an old hospital, where she meets Jackie, the hospital steward, and Daria, Jackie's patient. Being the Spiritfarer, Stella decides to help Jackie take care of things.

It'll add new building materials, resources, and events too, but like the summer update, Thunder Lotus is keeping some information back for now.

We thought Spiritfarer was pretty complete and wonderful when it released in September 2020, but we definitely won't complain about even more, no matter how much it might (read: will) break our hearts.

[Source: Thunder Lotus]

Epic Games Store Spring Sale Discounts Cyberpunk 2077, Hades, More Thu, 11 Feb 2021 16:16:58 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Epic Games Store Spring Showcase event kicks off with a big new sale on the Epic Games Store itself from now until February 25. It's rife with discounts on major titles, such as Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin's Creed Valhalla, and indie hits alike, including Hades and My Time at Portia.

Here's a small sampling of what the EGS Spring Showcase sale has going on.

Epic Games Store Spring Showcase Sale

Game Sales Price Original Price
  EA Star Wars Triple Bundle
(Jedi Fallen Order, Squadrons, Battlefront 2)
 $44.99  $89.99
  Alien Isolation  $9.99  $39.99
  Cities: Skylines  $7.49  $29.99
  Cyberpunk 2077 $53.99  $59.99
  Immortals Fenyx Rising $40.19  $59.99
  Assassin's Creed Valhalla  $49.79  $59.99
  Carrion  $14.99  $19.99
  Pumpkin Jack  $20.99  $29.99
  Control Ultimate Edition  $23.99  $39.99
  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 Remastered  $29.99  $39.99
  Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-reckoning  $19.99  $39.99
  Mortal Shell  $23.99  $29.99
  Death Stranding  $35.99  $59.99
  Disco Elysium  $21.99  $39.99
  The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt GOTY Edition  $9.99  $49.96
  Hades  $19.99  $24.99
  Shemnue 3 $16.99  $49.99
  The Outer Worlds  $29.99  $59.99
  My Time at Portia  $11.99  $29.99
  Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun  $5.99  $39.99


The full list is over on the Epic Games Store. Aside from the sale, Epic announced today that the entire Kingdom Hearts series would be coming to PC, exclusive to EGS

Kingdom Hearts Shines Its Light on PC Soon Thu, 11 Feb 2021 16:16:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Kingdom Hearts is coming to PC on March 30, exclusively on the Epic Games Store. Square Enix made the announcement as part of the Epic Games Store Spring Showcase event. 

It's not just one Kingdom Hearts game on PC either. The entire Seeker of Darkness saga, a total of 11 Kingdom Hearts games, is landing on the EGS on March 30. They're split up over the following bundles:

Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5 Final ReMix ($49.99)

  • Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD Remastered cinematics)
  • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded (HD Remastered cinematics)

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue ($59.99)

  • Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance HD
  • Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep –A fragmentary passage–
  • Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover (movie)

Kingdom Hearts 3 + Re:Mind DLC ($59.99)

Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory ($59.99)

Bringing Kingdom Hearts to PC has been a long time coming. Producer Ichiro Hazama said:

Our collaboration with Epic Games is one that stretches back to the development of Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and as part of this ongoing relationship, the team at Epic Games have been incredibly supportive in helping us make this a reality.

I’m incredibly excited for so many new players to discover and enjoy the action, magic and friendship of Kingdom Hearts on PC.

Those who purchase the Kingdom Hearts 3 + Re:Mind bundle will receive the in-game Elemental Encoder Keyblade. All Kingdom Hearts games on PC are available for pre-order now. On top of the news, there's a pretty good sale going on over at EGS, too. 

[Source: Epic Games]

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Celebrates Lunar New Year with Cow-Tastic Rewards Thu, 11 Feb 2021 14:14:15 -0500 Josh Broadwell

It's the Lunar New Year, and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is celebrating with a new unit and a whole lotta' bull until February 24.

The Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Lunar New Year event introduces Shui Yu, a Neo Vision magic wielder available as part of a limited-time summon event. Shui Yu is a strong support unit that excels at negating elemental damage and serving up water-based pain to her opponents.

She's accompanied by several returning units, with highlights including:

  • Emperor Foo
  • Qin
  • Bai Hu & Zhu Que
  • Chow
  • Yan 

The Cattle-clysmic Battle Event runs for the event's duration and gives players a chance at taking on Tujin Niu to earn exclusive equipment, Incredibull Tokens, and more.

These Incredibull Tokens are meant for the special Lunar Slots de Chocobo, available until March 3. The Lunar Slots offer special prizes for the event, including Transcension Pearls and Summon Tickets. If tackling Tujin Niu is too much, fear not. The event's daily login bonus includes one Incredibull Token, along with Lapis and Ascension Pearls.

Finally is a Premium NV Summon, with every fourth Multi-Summon being free and a 35% summon rate for the event's returning 5-Star units.

HBO's The Last of Us Casts Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal as Ellie and Joel Thu, 11 Feb 2021 12:32:17 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Last of Us HBO series has cast its two lead roles. Game of Thrones' Bella Ramsey will star as Ellie Williams in The Last of Us, while The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal will portray Joel Miller. 

The announcements come from two separate exclusive reports — The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline, respectively — which series creator Neil Druckmann quickly confirmed on social media.

Prior to The Hollywood Reporter's scoop, unconfirmed reports tapped Moonlight's Mahershala Ali as Joel. The Reporter said Ali was in talks for "a role," but nothing came of it.

The Last of Us casting news comes shortly after HBO and Naughty Dog confirmed Kantemir Balagov as the pilot episode's director.

A number of supporting roles remain unconfirmed for now, including Marlene, Tess, and Joel's brother Tommy. As yet, there's no set air date for The Last of Us' pilot episode.

While it's unclear how the HBO series will adapt Naughty Dog's record-breaking games, there is some indication Druckmann and co-writer Craig Mazin plan to include Ellie's full story and not just events from the first game. They delayed casting and filming in 2020 until The Last of Us 2 released to better align the narrative with what takes place in Seattle.

[Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline]

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart Release Date Announced, Pre Orders Live Thu, 11 Feb 2021 12:05:30 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart releases June 11 exclusively for PlayStation 5, Insomniac announced in a new blog post. Rift Apart pre orders are open now for both the digital standard and digital deluxe editions.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart follows Ratchet and his robo-pal Clank on a journey through the dimensions to stop the evil Dr. Nefarious and his plans to rule the omniverse. Insomniac calls Rift Apart an ideal entry point for series newcomers, though the duo will re-visit warped versions of famous locales with nods to past Ratchet games.

Along the way, they'll also encounter another Lombax, and while Insomniac didn't offer her name yet, they did say "you’ll be feeling rosy soon."

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart comes in two versions for now, the standard and deluxe. The digital and physical standard editions cost $69.99. 

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart digital deluxe edition will cost $79.99 and include:

  • Five armor sets
  • 20 Raritanium
  • Stickers for photo mode
  • Digital soundtrack
  • Digital artbook

All pre-orders include two special items, the Carbonox armor from Going Commando and the Pixelizer blaster from the 2016 Ratchet and Clank reboot. They unlock automatically for digital pre orders, while physical pre orders include a voucher for downloading the items. Insomniac recommends confirming with retailers whether they're offering the pre order bonus, however. 

Stay tuned for more on Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart in the coming months, including our review of the game later this summer. 

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

Minecraft Dungeons Celebrates 10 Million Players with New DLC Wed, 10 Feb 2021 15:33:17 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Minecraft Dungeons has reached over 10 million players since releasing in May 2020. The news comes just a couple of weeks before Minecraft Dungeons' latest DLC, Flames of the Nether, releases on February 24.

Mojang included some extra details about what these millions of players have been up to. They've defeated the Arch-Illager more than 5 million times and the Redstone Monstrosity more than 7 million times, with over 100 million multiplayer sessions logged so far.

As a celebration, Mojang announced a new cape and a new pet will be added to existing players' inventories as free DLC on February 24.

Ancient Hunts, another free update, goes live February 24 with new endgame challenges against Ancient mobs that reward players with top-tier Gilded equipment should they vanquish these mobs.

That's also the day Minecraft Dungeons Flames of the Nether becomes available. It won't be free — Mojang hasn't announced a price yet — but it adds six new missions, a twist on existing biomes, and plenty of new gear and artifacts.

All three updates will be available across each platform at the same time.

[Source: Mojang, Destructoid]

Save on Niche Favorites, Big Names in the PlayStation Store Big in Japan Sale Wed, 10 Feb 2021 13:41:06 -0500 Josh Broadwell

It wouldn't be a proper year in Sony's sale calendar without a Big in Japan sale, and 2021 is no different. From now until February 24, the PlayStation Store's Big in Japan sale offers hefty discounts on big and niche hits alike, including (almost) the entire Trails of Cold Steel series, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, DanganronpaJudgement, and more.

Here's a small taste of what's on offer during the Big in Japan sale.

PlayStation Store Big in Japan Sale

Game Sales Price Original Price
  13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim  $29.99  $59.99
  Danganronpa 1+2 Reload  $9.99 $39.99
  Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony  $15.99  $39.99
  Judgement (PS4 edition)  $19.99  $39.99
  Trails of Cold Steel 2  $23.99  $39.99
  Trails of Cold Steel 3  $35.99  $59.99
  Trails of Cold Steel 4  $44.99  $59.99
  Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory  $40.19  $59.99
  Kingdom Hearts: All in One Package  $24.99  $99.99
  Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions  $35.99  $59.99
  Sakura Wars $29.99  $59.99
  Odin Sphere Leifthrasir  $17.99  $59.99
  Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom  $9.59  $59.99
  Tokyo Xanado eX+  $11.99  $59.99
  AI: The Somnium Files  $23.99  $59.99
  Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen  $41.99  $59.99
  Zero Escape: The Nonary Games  $14.99  $49.99
  Disgaea 4 Complete+  $29.99  $49.99
  Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk  $19.99  $49.99
  Shenmue III Digital Deluxe  $22.49  $74.99


That's just the tip of the iceberg. The full list is over on the PlayStation Store. Meanwhile, the Critics' Choice sale is still ongoing, and PS Plus members have a bit more time to redeem this month's free games.

Pumpkin Jack Springs to Life on PlayStation 4 Soon Wed, 10 Feb 2021 12:26:51 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Halloween might be long gone, but Headup Games is keeping the spirit alive and bringing Pumpkin Jack to PlayStation 4 on February 24.

A throwback to platformers of years past, Pumpkin Jack sees the gourd-headed menace fulfill a contract from the devil himself and get into all manner of trouble in the process.

The world of Arc-en-Ciel offers puzzles aplenty, not to mention dastardly foes, precarious minecart rides, and one very snarky crow, among other friends and obstacles Jack will encounter on his journey.

From physics-based puzzles to bosses with glowing weak points, Pumpkin Jack is an ode to classic gameplay design, but that's on purpose.

Creator Nicolas Meyssonnier calls Pumpkin Jack the love child of MediEvil and Jak & Daxter, and it's a comparison that works. Despite the clear design inspirations — or perhaps because of it — we called Pumpkin Jack a spooktacular and dazzling adventure for old and young alike in ouPumpkin Jack review.

Pokemon GO Kanto Tour Offers Chance at Catching Shiny Mew Wed, 10 Feb 2021 12:08:17 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Pokemon GO Kanto Tour kicks off February 20 at 9 a.m. local time, and Niantic shared a bit more information about the event, including one very special reward.

The Kanto Tour includes a Special Research event built around the original 150 Pokemon and clues about a mysterious Kanto Pokemon that won't be too mysterious if you're familiar with the region. Completing it leads you to a Shiny Ditto, but it also unlocks Kanto's Masterwork Research.

Masterwork Research is a brand-new, intensive research type where finishing just the first step involves getting the Kanto platinum medal. Some of the required tasks include:

  • Reach level 40
  • Catch 30 Pokemon of each type
  • Spin 151 unique PokéStops
  • Walk 151 km

Finishing the Kanto Masterwork Research unlocks an encounter with Shiny Mew.

The Kanto Tour's 10 new Collection Challenges aim to re-create the original quest of catching 'em all. In addition to raids, research, and evolution, there's an incense and trade challenge, both of which feature different methods of obtaining version-specific challenges depending on which Kanto Tour ticket players are using. Trading is required to obtain all the event's Pokemon.

The other five challenges are based on five locations from Kanto:

  • Pallet Town Challenge
  • Pewter City Challenge
  • Cerulean City Challenge
  • Fuchsia City Challenge
  • Pokemon League Challenge

These are all in hourly rotation and feature music inspired by each location. Here's the Kanto Tour rotation schedule (all in local time):

  • 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.: Pallet Town
  • 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Pewter City
  • 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Cerulean City
  • 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.: Fuchsia City
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.: Pokemon League
  • 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.: Pallet Town
  • 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.: Pewter City
  • 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: Cerulean City
  • 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.: Fuchsia City
  • 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: Pokemon League
  • 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: Pokemon from all previous hours

[Source: Niantic]

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Mobile Gets Modes, DLC from Console and PC Tue, 09 Feb 2021 15:58:59 -0500 GS_Staff

Koji Igarashi's excellent Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night was released for iOS and Android devices back in December 2020. While it meant fans had yet another way to play the new Castlevania action-platformer, the launch didn't bring with it all the bells and whistles found in the console and PC versions of the game.

Namely, some of Bloodstained's modes were missing, as was a previous console and PC launch day DLC, Iga's Backpack.

A relatively new iOS and Android update (which was released last week, and we just missed at the time) moves Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on mobile a step closer to those other versions with the inclusion of Boss Rush Mode, Speed Run Mode, and Sound Mode. 

Boss Rush is exactly what it sounds like: a mode for the most hardcore Ritual of the Night players. It pits you against a continuous stream of the game's bosses, some of which are incredibly unforgiving, with Zangetsu being only the beginning. 

Speed Run Mode is for those that want to test their skills at beating the game as quickly as possible. It features the basic game, just with all of the cutscenes and dialog bits removed.

Finally, Sound Mode is a way to simply listen to Bloodstained's score on the go (since it's criminally not on Spotify already). It also allows for listening to every bit of the game's soundscape, including individuals sounds, tracks, and other recordings. 

The update squashes a few "known" bugs, "optimizes the operating system," and adds "operation panel customization function in configuration." 

All of that comes alongside the release of the Iga's Backpack DLC for mobile. It adds a new whip to Ritual of the Night, as well as "a super powerful boss: Koji Igarashi himself." 

The mobile versions have sadly yet to receive the Classic Mode DLC, which turns Ritual of the Night's 2.5D perspective into traditional, old-school 2D, but maybe that's coming soon. Fans can only hope. 

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is available on iOS and Android devices for $9.99. The Iga's Backpack DLC is $0.99. 

[Source: Destructoid,]

Evil Genius 2 Gameplay Trailer Shows Off the Layers of Lair Building Tue, 09 Feb 2021 14:15:43 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Rebellion only recently unveiled Evil Genius 2's release date, and now we're getting a deep dive into Evil Genius 2's abominable smorgasbord of world-conquering options thanks to a new trailer with developer commentary. 

Building the best lair is key to taking over the world, which means careful resource management and planning. Every hideout needs power (those traps don't run on evil willpower alone), but that's just the start. Building out the lair's communications center expands crime network potential, for example, and training facilities turn hapless minions into (semi) capable evildoers.

"Semi" capable because the genius is still in charge and needs to direct minions for maximum effect. Fortunately, minions work well under orders, carrying out their tasks and even undertaking minion-improvement training to better serve their overlord.

All this plays out over Evil Genius 2's main campaign centered around world domination. However, a number of side quests present opportunities to recruit new follower types and further expand the web of evil, and there's plenty of freedom in how world domination actually comes about.

Whatever the route, the time will come when justice knocks at the door. Every genius, no matter how evil, must tread carefully lest the continued disappearance of high-ranking goodness enforcers attracts excessive attention. Still, there's plenty of room to take enemy agents on a... special... tour of the lair from time to time.

The world is literally yours for the taking. 

Crash Bandicoot 4 Spins onto Switch, Next-Gen Consoles Soon Tue, 09 Feb 2021 14:13:43 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is heading to Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5 on March 12. Crash 4 for PC is scheduled for release sometime later in 2021 via Blizzard's portal.

Crash 4 on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S will cost $59.99, while the Switch version will be $39.99. Existing Crash 4 owners on PS4 and Xbox One can upgrade to the PS5 and Series X|S versions for free, though if they own the disc version, they need a console with a disc drive for the update. 

Next-gen updates include 4K and 60fps support on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Xbox Series S will upscale Crash 4 to 4K, though as with other games, it won't support 60fps.

The PC version will be a bit different. 4K support depends on a rig's specs, of course, and the frame rate is capped at 60fps if using the recommended settings. It's uncapped if not, but whatever the choice, Crash 4 on PC has to be played with an internet connection.

We called Crash 4 a beautiful, if sometimes frustrating, step in the right direction for the series that skillfully combines retro gameplay with modern charm.

[Source: Activision]

ESA Wants a Digital E3 in 2021, But Nothing's Confirmed Yet Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:21:26 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) wants a digital E3 2021, according to a new report from Video Games Chronicle. The ESA has developed extensive plans for what that event would look like, though whether it actually happens is less certain

The ESA's digital E3 2021, if it were to happen, would ditch the 2020 plans for turning it into a fan event and be something of a cross between a normal E3 and one of Steam's seasonal festivals. The plan is to host the event June 15-17, the days a physical E3 would take place in 2021 under normal circumstances.

A press conference would kickstart each day at 10 a.m. PST, leading into "keynote presentations," panels, gameplay demonstrations, awards, and more. Publishers and developers would stream game demos to media and consumers alike.

However, the ESA needs support from its major publishing partners. While there's no word whether Sony and other big publishers are still planning their own separate events again, Geoff Keighley told VGC the Summer Game Fest is happening once again in 2021, and he won't be part of the ESA's plans for E3.

One other unnamed publisher told VGC they also would pursue their own presentations again this year instead of paying the ESA a reportedly six-figure fee to appear in E3.

While there's no telling what manner of expo we'll get this summer, it seems the E3 format of the past two decades is well and truly finished.

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

Terraria's Stadia Port is No Longer Happening Following Developer Row with Google Mon, 08 Feb 2021 15:14:45 -0500 Henry Stockdale

Terraria's been on more platforms than we can count at this point. First launched in 2011, it's had a long journey from PC to Nintendo Switch, the latter version we thought quite highly of. But if you were hoping to see the sandbox game on Google Stadia, that version has now been canceled.

The move has nothing to do with Google's recent decision to shut down their first-party studios either, which has shaken developer confidence in the cloud gaming platform.

It instead comes down to what appears to be an ongoing dispute between studio Re-Logic and Google, which seems to have begun when Re-Logic's YouTube channel was suspended on January 26 because of what Terarria co-creator Andrew Spinks ultimately says was a ToS violation, despite the channel being inactive for months.



The Team YouTube Twitter account responded to the above-tweet (seen in the thread) with automated replies, sending Spinks to Google's account recovery page and account recovery help page. Other inquiries by Spinks to the Team YouTube account that are seen in the thread received similar responses. 

Since Re-Logic's accounts are tied to his personal Google account, Spinks took to Twitter today to express his continued frustrations with Google and the inability to recover his account.




Google has yet to publicly respond to any of this outside of yet another automated response from Team YouTube on February 8 asking Spinks to share more information. This was in the same thread Spinks confirmed that Terarria would not be coming to Google Stadia. 

Stay tuned for more on Terarria.

[Source: IGN]

Final Fantasy XIV 5.5 Update Brings Two Tales to a Close Mon, 08 Feb 2021 13:15:09 -0500 Josh Broadwell

On April 13, Final Fantasy XIV 5.5 will bring both Shadowbringers and the NieR: Automata crossover story to a close in a two-part update leading into Endwalkers. Square Enix also provided additional information about the FFXIV PlayStation 5 beta, which is scheduled to begin the same day.

FFXIV 5.5 adds new main scenario quests split into two parts that will pave the way for Endwalkers, and it's also bringing the final chapter to the YoRha: Dark Apocalypse raid.

Save the Queen and Sorrow of Werlyt both receive new updates, and there's a new dungeon, Paglth'an, opening up that players can tackle with other adventurers or with NPCs via the Trust system.

Crafters are getting new tools and rewards, while musicians can change instruments at any point during their performance in FFXIV 5.5 without interruption. 

Finally, Final Fantasy XIV 5.5 introduces two new trials. One pits teams of level 80 heroes against an enhanced primal enemy for a chance to earn new rewards, and The Cloud Deck trial adds the fearsome Diamond Weapon battle for Normal and Extreme difficulties.

Final Fantasy XIV's PlayStation 5 beta kicks off April 13, featuring improved frame rates and load times among other things. PlayStation 4 players with a copy of FFXIV and an active FFXIV account may download the PS5 version for free once the beta begins.

The full PS5 version will be available immediately following the beta's end, though there's no set date for that yet.

Final Fantasy Showcase Reveals FFXIV 6.0 Endwalkers Sat, 06 Feb 2021 12:03:41 -0500 Josh Broadwell

2021's first Final Fantasy XIV announcement showcase unveiled Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker, which is FFXIV's 6.0 update. It's set to release in fall 2021 for PC, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. There will also be a PS5 beta scheduled on April 13 coinciding with patch 5.5.

FFXIV Endwalker sees the Warrior of Light (aka you) travel to the moon with Alphinaud and Alisaie in a dramatic conclusion to the story of Hydaelyn and Zodiark begun in A Realm Reborn.

It's not the end of FFXIV, though. Producer Naoki Yoshida said the team is already planning the game's 6.1 update, which will feature the first fully brand-new story since Heavensward.

Two new FFXIV classes headline Endwalker's bigger updates.

First up is Sage, a healer class wielding magic-infused knives. There's no class requirement for Sage, though players will need to be Level 70 and, obviously, own Endwalker. The second is a melee job, though the showcase didn't have anything to say about that one yet.

FFXIV 6.0 introduces several new locales to visit, including the lush tropical city of Radz-At-Han and the Garlean imperial capital of Garlemald.

Construction in the residential area of Ishguard is finally complete — though not open until 6.1 — and the Golden Saucer is getting some new, as-yet-unknown updates.

Endwalker's Island Sanctuary brings a bit of Stardew Valley to Final Fantasy XIV, tasking players with transforming a desert area into a thriving farm.

Endwalker also includes some of the typical additions that come with new expansions. The level cap is increased, this time to 90, there's a new raid called Pandaemonium with its own separate story, new PvP elements, and a new alliance raid. Unlike previous raids, this one revolves around remaining in-game mysteries instead of crossovers. And finally, there's a new tribe, the Arkasodara, and a new enemy type in the FFX-adjacent Anima.

If you've still not taken the plunge into Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix expanded the game's free trial to include almost the entirety of the first two story arcs, which is well over 100 hours of gameplay.

Ubisoft Delays Prince of Persia: Sands of Time Remake Again Sat, 06 Feb 2021 10:09:40 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Ubisoft is delaying Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake one more time, the company announced on Twitter. This go around, Prince of Persia remake is delayed "to a later date" with no solid estimate of when that might be.

The remake was originally delayed in December, pushing the January release date back to March so the developers could deliver a polished product. Then, they cited the challenges of developing a game during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This time, though, Ubisoft's statement only mentions the delay will help them create a game that feels new and fresh.

The original vision for the remake was streamlining gameplay and adding some modern touches. Whether this statement means Ubisoft judged the Prince of Persia remake was too close to the original after all and wants to move away from the source material isn't clear, since the statement is a touch vague.

Whenever it does release, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $39.99.

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon for Switch Blasts Off Soon Sat, 06 Feb 2021 10:07:49 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon DLC hits Nintendo Switch on February 10, 2021, Obsidian announced on Twitter. 

The DLC costs $14.99 for other platforms, though Obsidian did not mention a price for the Switch version of Peril on Gorgon.

Peril on Gorgon fits seamlessly with the rest of The Outer Worlds. Players can access it at any time after arriving on Monarch, though Obsidian recommends being at least Level 25 before starting the expansion.

Peril on Gorgon drops players in the midst of a mystery, following a path of clues kicked off by a severed arm in a briefcase. While it doesn't add much to the game's main story, we praised Peril on Gorgon for adding even more of what makes The Outer Worlds so enjoyable when the DLC first released in September 2020.

Presumably, Peril on Gorgon on Switch comes with the same graphical improvements added to the base game that fixed some of the rougher — and muddier — aspects of the port.

There's also a second The Outer Worlds DLC pack on the horizon, Murder on Eriadnos, though it doesn't have a firm release time frame yet.

Century: Age of Ashes Hands-On Preview — Free to play With Fire Fri, 05 Feb 2021 12:47:22 -0500 Jason D'Aprile

Century: Age of Ashes is an online-only, free-to-play battle game care of French developer Playwing. The game recently finished a round of beta testing, with all three characters scheduled to hit the final version and several maps and game modes available, so we caught a ride to see how it’s going before the official release later this month. 

Century offers a pretty straightforward set-up. It’s an aerial dogfighting game at heart, so the crux revolves entirely around flying majestically through the air astride the back of mighty beasts while trying not to get burnt like toast while attempting to toast everyone else.

It’s hard to say why you’d name a game about huge combative winged fire-breathing lizards Century, but the concept essentially sells itself — and the execution is undeniably solid. 

Century: Age of Ashes Hands-On Preview — Free to Play with Fire


Century is a team-based game, supporting up to 18 players in a match. Carnage mode is team deathmatch, with two teams of up to six dragons vying for superiority. Survival is a last-team-standing variant for up three teams and 18 players, but the crux is players can only be respawned by a teammate. The capture the flag mode is Gates of Fire, whereupon the flag holder racks up points by flying through magical gates in the level.

So, there’s nothing here that should surprise any long-time fans of online multiplayer games, but the whole dragons thing still makes a marked impression. 

The three character choices cover the most basic ground of play styles. There’s the combat-heavy Marauder with a tracking fireball and ice bolts. The Windguard is a support beast that can heal allies, reduce their fireball cooldowns, and lay down a smoke trail. The Phantom is the stealth killer of the group, able to cloak to near invisibility and set aerial mines. 

All three are interesting variations with great looking dragons, but it does feel like a limited set of choices. To help with that, the game will offer plenty of visual customization perks and options; this is where the F2P elements come in. Loot crates and daily bonuses, microtransactions, and other familiar elements seem to be fully at show here.

That said, the developer has been adamant that these are style perks, not performance boosts. They've been vocal about being careful not to fall into the pay-to-win mentality, so while there’s an XP system, players won’t be able to just dump money in for the privilege of becoming overpowered. The more you play, the more customization perks you'll acquire, but the dragons will mechanically remain the same.

Controls are intuitive and the game is easy to get right into. The dragon-riding physics feel right, lending a genuine sense of excitement to the flying. Rapid dives, tight banking, and deftly maneuvering through tight spaces is a ton of fun. The combat is cut-throat and exciting too, even if breathing fire still feels a lot like an auto-turreting gun sometimes. 

The arenas themselves are just large enough to hold the action without feeling like you ever have to travel to find the action. Mixing snowy mountains, ancient-looking stone keeps, and fiery volcanic landscapes, the maps we played offer an exceptionally good mix of open spaces and tighter enclosed areas to keep players constantly moving and on edge. 

Both the landscapes and the dragons look fantastic as well. The dragons are detailed, primeval beasts with incredibly detailed models and animation. The settings are stark and beautiful, but not so busy as to be distracting. 

PC players will be able to take flight soon and given the cost of diving in is nothing, Century: Age of Ashes should definitely be worth a look — even if we still think the name is really boring.

Windjammers 2 Reveals New Arcade Mode, Return of Classic Competitor Fri, 05 Feb 2021 10:21:36 -0500 Henry Stockdale

Between Streets of Rage 4 and Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, Dotemu have been hot on the scene with retro revivals lately. Currently, the developer is working on a sequel to the 1994 Neo Geo sports game, Windjammers, and while fans of the original have been waiting patiently for Windjammers 2 since 2019, Dotemu has some new details to share ahead of its release later this year on PC, Switch, and Stadia. 

Dotemu have revealed new gameplay footage outlining the game's Arcade Mode. Fans will conquer championships in solo play, and each athlete has their own story, each coming with personalized endings. That includes Steve Miller, one of Windjammers' original competitors, who's confirmed to be returning. 

In a press release accompanying the gameplay video, Dotemu outlined further improvements coming to Windjammers 2. Online multiplayer will implement rollback netcode, often considered the smoothest means of providing online play. 

If you're excited to try it now, PC players can still access the game's Steam demo until February 9. Stay tuned to GameSkinny as we learn more about this anticipated sequel. 

VestGames Gets Eville in New Medieval Social Murder Game Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:16:04 -0500 Josh Broadwell

VestGames is leaping into the social murder deduction field with Eville, which has a demo out now. Hendrik Holle, Eville's creator, describes the game as a cross between Among Us and the classic tabletop game One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Like Among Us, the goal in Eville is either murdering everyone in town or identifying the culprit and dealing with them, which is a nice way of saying "set them on fire."

However, like WerewolfEville features multiple character classes, along with items, merchants, and even upgrades to try and stay alive or not get caught.

Eville's trailer highlights a bit of what sets the game apart, including murder methods, such as traps and melee attacks, abilities, the village itself, and even a day/night system. 

There's an Eville demo live now as part of the Steam Game Festival, though as yet, Eville doesn't have a solid release date. Whenever it does launch, PC is the only confirmed platform for now.

Save the Multiverse While Looking Fabulous with Magic: Legends' Planeswalker Bundle Thu, 04 Feb 2021 15:13:09 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Sure, Magic: Legends is all about building the best decks with powerful spells, but you can still look your best while doing it. Perfect World Entertainment announced the Planeswalker Bundle for Magic: Legends, a DLC pack with several exclusive skins and cosmetics for $39.99.

Magic: Legends' five different classes and mana types inspired the Planeswalker Bundle's cosmetic items. They can be used on any character and include:

  • White: Sanctifier  Armor of Serra 
  • Blue: Mind Mage  Azorious Vestments
  • Black: Necromancer  Demonic Raiments
  • Red: Geomancer  Ghitu Garb
  • Green: Beastcaller  Zendikar Survivalist’s Gear

The game's signature summon spells get their own special alt skins in the bundle.

  • ‘Wrathful’ Lightpiercer Angel
  • ‘Tinkerer’ Academy Wizard
  • ‘Ashen’ Volatile Thrull
  • ‘Obsidian’ Earth Elemental
  • ‘Enormous’ Jungle Baloth

Finally, the Planeswalker Bundle also comes with the special Gilded Lotus Artifact and the experimental summon Sentinel with its own alt skin.

The Planeswalker Bundle is available for pre-order now, and items unlock once Magic: Legends enters its open beta on March 23.

[Source: Perfect World Entertainment]

Chart a Path to Victory in Roguelike Deck-Builder Loop Hero Thu, 04 Feb 2021 14:18:29 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Four Quarters and Devolver Digital announced the roguelike deck-builder Loop Hero will release March 4 on PC via Steam, and there's a demo available now.

Loop Hero takes the idea of heroes carving their own paths very seriously. Each stage is comprised of a route the hero must traverse in a specific way. It's the player who decides what goes in each tile on the loop, and while it sounds like a good excuse for stuffing every stage with the best gear and items, there's more to it than that.

Loop Hero is about making a balanced path using the hand the hero is dealt and each hand includes a mix of enemies, buildings, helpful items, and more. That means trying to outfit them with what they need before tackling the inevitable Big Bad and probably dying in the process.

Fortunately, the hero unlocks powerful new cards to increase the chances of not dying along the way.

The Loop Hero demo is live now on Steam, and until March 11, Devolver is offering a discount on Loop Hero that brings the price from $14.99 to $12.79.

Slay The Spire Makes Its Way to Android Devices, Out Now Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:39:48 -0500 Henry Stockdale

It’s been over three years since Slay the Spire first launched in Early Access on PC, and we’ve witnessed quite a journey for the game since. Getting a full release back in 2019, MegaCrit’s hit roguelite/card game hybrid has made its way to each major console too.

Last year it landed on iOS devices, leaving Android users in the dark. Until now, that is. Publishers Humble Games have just launched Slay the Spire via the Google Play Store, compatible with Android 5.1 and up.

If you aren’t familiar with Slay the Spire, Humble Games have outlined its key features below, which include: 

  • Dynamic Deck Building: Discover hundreds of cards to add to your deck with each attempt at climbing the Spire. Select cards that work together to efficiently dispatch foes and reach the top.
  • An Ever-changing Spire: Whenever you embark on a journey up the Spire, the layout differs each time. Choose a risky or safe path, face different enemies, choose different cards, discover different relics, and even fight different bosses!
  • Powerful Relics to Discover: Powerful items known as relics can be found throughout the Spire. The effects of these relics can greatly enhance your deck through powerful interactions. But beware, obtaining a relic may cost you more than just go

It’s a great time to dive into one of the most popular games in the genre. If you're just getting started, consider checking out our Slay the Spire guides, and stay tuned for more StP news as it develops. 

PQube and Twin Hearts to Bring Kitaria Fables to Next-Gen Systems Thu, 04 Feb 2021 12:28:12 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Next-gen systems are getting a taste of farm-fresh goodness when RPG-farm-sim mix Kitaria Fables releases on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S later in 2021. The game is also planned for release on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam.

Like Rune FactoryKitaria Fables blends RPG elements with traditional farm-sim mechanics. The player wakes up on their uncle's Thunderbunn Farm in Paw Village, but also like Rune Factory, building the farm and forging relationships is only part of the daily routine. Once the crops are cared for, it's time to hit the dungeons.

Kitaria Fables features real-time action combat, where the strength of the players' crafted equipment and items plays a significant role in how battles unfold. There's special emphasis on prep work — gathering items and hitting the shops before setting out — and even magic has to be forged at the local smithy.

The relationships nurtured with other villagers also helps determine certain stats and what bonus rewards the player gets. However, it's not clear whether Kitaria Fables includes romance and marriage options.

Kitaria Fables is expected to release sometime later in 2021.

[Source: Gematsu]

New Hitman 3 Contracts Unveiled by IO in February Roadmap Thu, 04 Feb 2021 11:37:51 -0500 Josh Broadwell

IO Interactive released a Hitman 3 roadmap for February, outlining several new escalation contracts and timed missions, including two exclusive to the game's deluxe edition.

The Baskerville Barney, Hitman 3's first special extra contract, is live now and finds 47 returning to Dartmoor. But this time, his appointment is with the entire Carlisle family. Each member is a target but can only be eliminated through accidents. Thankfully, there's no shortage of ways to cause accidents at Thornbridge Manor.

On February 11, IO introduces the first set of Hitman 3's two featured contracts. The folks at the MinnMax Show created the first contracts, involving bananas and knife throwing in Dubai.

Kinda Funny is responsible for the second set, bringing even more chaos and destruction to Dartmoor when it goes live on Feburary 23.

Hitman 3 Deluxe Edition owners return to the Carpathian Mountains and Mendoza on February 23. The Proloff Parable tasks players with eliminating key targets onboard the last mission's train using only a white katana and Sieger 300. Mendoza's exclusive escalation contract is the Gauchito Antiquity, where 47 must eliminate each target after poisoning them with emetics.

Finally, Hitman 3's first round of elusive targets goes live from February 26 through March 8, when 47 must stalk and destroy The Deceivers on the streets of Sapienza.

If you're just getting started with the World of Assassination and need some help before tackling these tougher challenges, check out our Hitman 3 guide collection for all your stealthy needs. 

The Customer is Always Tasty in Daedalic Entertainment's Godlike Burger Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:06:13 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Visiting a burger joint in outer space might be nice, unless it's Daedalic Entertainment's Godlike Burger, where you're likely to be on the menu. Godlike Burger has a demo available now through February 9 as part of the Steam Games Festival. It provides a generous taste of what it's like to run your own murder-burger stand.

On the one hand, Godlike Burger is a normal business simulator. The goal is selecting just the right ingredients to please customers, keep the business afloat, and make everyone happy by serving them the food they love most.

The thing is, that special ingredient making everyone happy is the customer — and not in a campy, job training "the customer is our blood" way. You're literally murdering customers and serving them as sandwiches.

But you'll have to get creative about it because, obviously, feeding customers to each other is a bad thing. Clever use of traps and other dispatch methods is key to avoiding detection, but if worst comes to worst, there's always a fresh patch of galaxy full of burger-loving aliens and space police who don't know you yet.

Godlike Burger is planned for early access on Steam sometime in early 2021 and is available for wishlisting now.

First Phantasy Star Online 2 Update of 2021 Shines with New Luster Class Wed, 03 Feb 2021 16:04:00 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The first Phantasy Star Online 2 update of 2021 is out now, adding a new class, new quests, more items, more story, and bigger level caps.

Luster, the new Scion class headlines PSO 2's content update. Luster uses Gunblades in three different styles, depending on the weapon's element.

Zandi is a speed and AoE focused style activated by Wind and Lightning elements. Fomel prioritizes heavy melee combat and ramps up with Fire and Dark elements, and Baran, activated with Ice or Light, works best for defense and ranged attacks.

Luster also comes with four unique skills highlighting the class' diversity, but players need to reach level 75 on at least two classes before Luster unlocks.

If that sounds troublesome, Phantasy Star Online 2's new update offers some additional ways to level up. There's a new story quest and new mission quests, higher difficulties for Urgent Quests, plus Extreme Quests and an accompanying Extreme Pass.

The Phantasy Star Online 2 update is free and live now on PC and Xbox One/Xbox Series X|S.

[Source: Sega]

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Backer Beta Live Now Wed, 03 Feb 2021 15:30:06 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous backer beta is live now, Owlcat Games announced, with a hefty amount of content and an upcoming "choose your story" community quest.

The beta, available for those who supported the game's Kickstarter and Slacker Backer at the beta tiers, includes Wrath of the Righteous' first three chapters, side quests, and companion stories with some romance options.

It also includes the fourth chapter, though its side quests are not yet complete, and some assets won't reflect the final product. In all, this is a chance to experience six of the game's nine Mythic Paths, three new classes, and a new pet progression system.

The Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous beta totals approximately 50 hours. While the narrative does change depending on which Mythic Path players choose, Owlcat said the significant narrative changes won't appear until later in the game.

Wrath of the Righteous' first "choose your story" quest streams live on February 5 at 8 a.m. EST on Owlcat's Twitch channel and has players develop a narrative set in the Crusade by making crucial choices at the right time.

Owlcat plans a Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous release on PC for summer 2021, with a second beta going live sometime later in spring.

PlayStation Store Critics' Choice Sale Discounts Some of Last Gen's Biggest Games Wed, 03 Feb 2021 14:16:50 -0500 Josh Broadwell

2021 is the year of PlayStation Store sales so far, and the trend continues with the PlayStation Store's Critics' Choice sale live now through February 17. We're getting one of these sales every week, it seems.

For this sale, there are discounts on some of the PlayStation 4's hottest games, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 +2and more. 

The selection is a bit slimmer than previous sales, but here's a sampling of what the Critics' Choice sale has to offer.

PlayStation Store Critics' Choice Sale

Game Sales Price Original Price
  Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice GOTY Edition  $38.99  $59.99
  Doom Eternal Standard Edition  $19.79  $59.99
  Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2  $29.99  $39.99
  Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order  $19.79  $59.99
  Red Dead Redemption 2  $29.99  $59.99
  Final Fantasy XIV Online: Complete Edition  $29.99  $59.99
  Borderlands 3 (PS4 and PS5)  $19.79  $59.99
  Immortals Fenyx Rising  $35.99  $59.99
  Destiny 2 Beyond Light + Season  $33.49  $49.99
  Assassin's Creed Valhalla  $40.19  $59.99
  Resident Evil 7  $9.99  $19.99
  The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition  $9.99  $49.99
  Assassin's Creed Bundle (Origins, Odyssey, Valhalla)  $63.99  $159.99
  The Outer Worlds Board-Approved Bundle  $59.99  $79.99
  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare  $44.99  $59.99
  Watch Dogs: Legion (PS4 and PS5)  $29.99  $59.99
  Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate  $35.99  $59.99
  The Sims 4  $9.99  $39.99
  FIFA 21 Champions Edition  $19.99  $79.99
  Grand Theft Auto V Premium Edition  $14.99  $29.99


The full list of included titles is on the PlayStation Store. Meanwhile, PlayStation Plus members: don't forget to take advantage of this month's free PS Plus games, including Destruction AllStars for PS5 owners.

Apex Legends Switch Version Releases Soon, Season 8 Out Now Wed, 03 Feb 2021 13:35:11 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Apex Legends Nintendo Switch version releases March 9, Respawn and EA announced. The news of Apex Legends' impending release on Switch coincides with Apex Legends' Season 8, out today, that includes a brand-new playable Legend, new items, and more.

This marks the first time Apex Legends launches on a portable device, and Panic Button — known for their Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein II Switch ports — handled the Apex Legends Switch version.

Like other versions of Apex Legends, the Switch version is free to download. However, seasonal Battle Passes, including the Season 8 pass, cost coins earned through gameplay or available for purchase in the in-game store. These Battle Passes include new weapons, faster access to new Legends, and other rewards unlocked as players earn Battle Pass XP.

Playing the game is the normal way to level up Apex Legends' Battle Passes. Since the game's Switch version releases several weeks after Season 8's Battle Pass releases, however, Respawn is offering Switch players 30 free levels for the Season 8 Battle Pass. Switch players will also earn double XP for the first two weeks after March 9.

Apex Legends Season 8 introduces Walter Fitzroy, the Salvo Mercenary with a love of explosions, plus the 30-30 Repeater rifle, and new areas added to the Kings Canyon map.

If you're new to Apex Legends, we've got you covered with our extensive collection of Apex Legends guides.

[Source: EA]

NCAA Football Franchise Retakes the Field as EA Sports College Football Wed, 03 Feb 2021 11:51:56 -0500 Jonathan Moore

NCAA Football will be returning after an eight-year absence, though it will carry a slightly different name. Electronic Arts and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) have partnered to bring the popular simulation series back to consoles in the near future as EA Sports College Football.

The series is in the very early stages of development, and there are no concrete details regarding which platforms it will release for — or even when the first installment of the series will exit the huddle.

Cam Weber, EA Sports EVP and GM, said that "we [the development team] have a lot of really exciting work ahead of us, and a great team that is eager to bring a new game to players in the next couple of years." 

Of course, it's safe to assume EA's new collegiate football product will launch on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S when it does release, especially considering it's likely a few years off, but whether it will come to other platforms outside of those, including PC, is still unclear.

A press release outlining the news said that "EA Sports begins development of exclusive new college football console experience," with no mention of a PC version. For reference, EA's Madden NFL franchise has launched a PC version alongside its console version for the last several years, including its most recent installment, Madden NFL 21

Currently, there are 100 colleges set to appear in EA Sports College Football, with each school's "logos, stadiums, uniforms, gameplay traditions, and more that fans have come to know and love" included. EA did not yet specify which schools currently make up the selection or if the selection includes only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions.

The last installment of the NCAA Football series came in 2013, and the series was put on hiatus after a legal dispute regarding the use of player likeness. Though the games never used real player names of then-currently-enrolled student-athletes (cover athletes were those that had already graduated), likenesses and stats were similar to the appearances and skillsets of real players.

According to EA, EA Sports College Football "will not include student-athlete names, images, and likenesses..."

Judgment Remastered Launches in April for Next-Gen Consoles, Stadia Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:16:41 -0500 Henry Stockdale

We’re coming up to two years since Judgment first launched on PS4. Released in 2019, this Yakuza spin-off took us back to the streets of Kamurocho, playing lawyer-turned-detective Takayuki Yagami. 

Weaving a tale of murder and mystery, we thought it was excellent, giving it 9/10 stars. Now, Sega have confirmed Judgment Remastered is in the works. Launching on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia April 23, 2021, for $39.99. 

Sega also revealed that the game will feature some refined visuals at 60fps, alongside improved loading times. The release also comes with the previous DLC, which admittedly doesn’t amount to much more than a girlfriend present pack and battle pack, but it's still nice to have it included nonetheless. 

Sadly, the release doesn’t appear to have a free upgrade for PS4 owners, meaning that unlike Yakuza: Like A Dragon, PS5 players who previously purchased it will need to do so again if they want Judgment: Remastered

We’ll keep you informed with any further developments on Judgment, so stay tuned.

Free God of War PS5 Next-Gen Upgrade Live Now Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:11:08 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The God of War PlayStation 5 free next-gen upgrade is live now, adding an extra set of graphics options to the game to get the most out of Sony's latest hardware. The update works for both physical versions of the game and digital downloads, including the free PS Plus Collection download on PS5.

Sony's Santa Monica Studio outlined what God of War's next-gen upgrade features in a new blog post. Where God of War on PlayStation 4 Pro included a standard split choice between performance or visual fidelity, God of War on PlayStation 5 combines both of the modes.

That means God of War on PlayStation 5 supports 60fps, plus 4K checkerboard  and up to 2160p resolution on compatible devices.

After downloading the free patch, this will be the game's new default setting. However, those who want the original two performance mode options can choose "Original Performance Experience" and revert back to 4K checkerboard at 30fps.

If you've yet to dive into one of the best action-adventure games on any PlayStation console, now's the best time to take the leap. Stay tuned for more on God of War and news on its upcoming sequel, God of War Ragnarok (or just God of War 2, it's still up in the air), later this year. 

[Source: Sony Santa Monica]

Fall Guys 3.5 Update Brings Mid-Winter Mayhem and Classic Costumes Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:06:41 -0500 Josh Broadwell

'Tis the season for a Fall Guys mid-season content drop, as Devolver Digital adds a new mode, costumes, and more in the Fall Guys 3.5 update.

Fall Guys 3.5 adds Snowball Survival to the mix, a brand-new round where all the beans must struggle for supremacy in an arena full of massive snowballs. It also adds more than 40 Round remixes, new variations on existing rounds, and a set of new Round playlists.

New arrivals are headed to the Fall Guys costume store, along with the Sugar Plum DLC pack. Classic Fall Guys costumes, including costumes inspired by Sonic the Hedgehog, Untitled Goose Game, and Godzilla, make their return by popular request.

Finally, Fall Guys 3.5 introduces some bug fixes, addressing crash issues, performance troubles, and two issues specific to Freezy Peak and Hex-A-Gone.

Fall Guys' mid-season update is live now on PlayStation 4 and PC via Steam. If you haven't played Fall Guys yet, find out why we said it's one of the most addictive and hilarious games around.

Koei Tecmo and Gust Announce Atelier Mysterious Trilogy DX Tue, 02 Feb 2021 13:05:37 -0500 Josh Broadwell

The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack is headed to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam on April 22, 2021, Koei Tecmo Europe announced on Twitter.

The bundle brings together Atelier Sophie, Atelier Firis, and Atelier Lydie and Suelle in one package and includes a few bonuses as well. Atelier Sophie DX features a new story segment and at least one new costume.

While Koei Tecmo said more information will be announced at a later date, the Famitsu announcement (translated by Gematsu) mentioned all three games will have "most" of their original DLC. Each game's DLC added helpful items and some new areas to explore, though it's not clear which of these will make the cut in the final versions.

As with the Arland and Dusk trilogy packs, each of the Mysterious DX games will be available for individual purchase as well.

[Source: Gematsu]

EA Announces Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Release Date, Improvements Tue, 02 Feb 2021 11:59:08 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition releases May 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam, with free next-gen upgrades at some point later on. According to IGN, there are no plans as of now to bring the Legendary Edition to PS5 or Xbox Series X|S in a "dedicated" way.

EA made the announcement alongside a new ME: Legendary Edition trailer and, courtesy of Video Games Chronicle, a list of what players can expect from the remasters.

The remaster collection comes with more than 40 pieces of DLC, including story DLC and promotional weapons, and Mass Effect 3's extended cut ending DLC with additional epilogues. It will not include Mass Effect multiplayer, however.

Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is more than a standard remaster, despite still running on Unreal Engine 3.

In addition to 60fps support on Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, and next-gen systems, EA said the Legendary Edition includes "tens of thousands" of improved textures, as well as improved lighting, shaders, and models. 


Legendary Edition

Mass Effect 3's "Femshep" is playable in Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2, and all three games have expanded customization options. Class-based weapon restrictions are no more, enemy AI gets a boost, there are more autosave points, and control schemes are streamlined across all three games.

Legendary Edition developers worked the trilogy's combat improvements back through the older games. All this is most noticeable in the original Mass Effect, which saw several of its environments and wonkier gameplay mechanics overhauled. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition releases May 14, but it's not the only Mass Effect in store. Late in 2020, BioWare teased a brand-new Mass Effect from a "veteran" development team.

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

Google Shutters Stadia First-Party Development Studios Mon, 01 Feb 2021 17:08:11 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Google Stadia is closing its first-party development studios, Stadia VP Phil Harrison announced. Stadia will have no platform exclusives "beyond any near-term games," and Harrison cited time and cost as the primary reasons behind the recent decision.

According to sources from an exclusive Kotaku report, the closer leaves approximately 150 developers without jobs. Harrison said Google will try to help them find new positions, though Jade Raymond, former head of Google's development studio, left the company "to pursue other opportunities."

While Stadia won't have any first-party games moving forward in the long term, the statement said Google will continue to support Stadia in other ways.

Harrison said:

We’re expanding our efforts to help game developers and publishers take advantage of our platform technology and deliver games directly to their players.

We see an important opportunity to work with partners seeking a gaming solution all built on Stadia’s advanced technical infrastructure and platform tools.

Stadia subscriptions will continue as normal, new Stadia members can still purchase subscriptions and get started with Stadia's free plans, and the decision won't affect game libraries in any way.

Harrison said the platform's goal moving forward is delivering high-quality third-party content to all Stadia players and, in the process, advancing the position of cloud gaming in the industry.

Our goal remains focused on creating the best possible platform for gamers and technology for our partners, bringing these experiences to life for people everywhere.

[Sources: Google, Kotaku]

MLB The Show 21 Enters the Batter's Box on PlayStation and Xbox This Spring Mon, 01 Feb 2021 17:04:38 -0500 GS_Staff

The next installment in Sony's perennial Major League Baseball simulator has a release date. It will launch on April 20, 2021. Perhaps more newsworthy is that MLB The Show 21 will mark the first time the series has stepped up to bat on anything other than a PlayStation. MLB The Show 21 will be available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S day and date. 

Alongside news of the game's release date, developer Sony's San Diego Studio unveiled the game's cover, featuring San Diego Padre's shortstop, Fernando “El Nino” Tatis Jr. 

MLB The Show 21 will feature cross platform play for all platforms, though there are a few wrinkles.

PS5 and Xbox Series X|S players will be able to play each other, while PS4 and Xbox One players can take to the diamond on opposing sides. Players within the same ecosystem (PS4 to PS5 and Xbox One to Series X|S) can also play each other. However, there appears to be no cross platform play between platforms of different generations outside of the same ecosystem, such as PS4 to Series X|S. 

Cross saves (cross progression) will be available, though year-to-year saves will not be. There is no free next-gen upgrade for those who purchase the PS4 or Xbox One versions of the game, though the collector's edition comes with both current- and next-gen versions of the game. 

According to a PlayStation Blog post, pre orders for the standard edition of MLB The Show 21 come with the base game and 5,000 Stubs, while pre orders for the next-gen standard edition come the same 5,000 Stubs plus 10 The Show Packs. 

Sony said that more info regarding the collector's edition will be shared on February 3, so stay tuned for more on MLB The Show 21

[All assets via Sony Interactive Entertainment]

Eldest Souls Releases Q2 2021 and Brings the Fight to New Platforms Mon, 01 Feb 2021 16:32:41 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Eldest Souls releases in the second quarter of 2021 — roughly sometime between April and June — and Fallen Flag Studios announced it's coming to current and previous-gen systems.

Eldest Souls follows a hero's journey to defeat the vengeful Old Gods after they stole the essence of life and doomed the world to death. 

Fallen Flag originally announced the boss rush pixel art game for Switch and PC in 2019, and early previews were promising. The game's signature pixel art style earned the Retro Roots award from Pixel Awards Europe 2020.

We praised Eldest Souls' optional challenges, brutal combat, and gorgeous art when it first debuted at E3 in 2019, and it's evolved a fair bit since then both in visuals and gameplay. Where that early preview build only had skills in three categories, the launch version features multiple powers and abilities players can combine for a unique build in every playthrough.

Francesco Barsotti, Fallen Flag's Co-Founder and Programmer, said:

Over the last year, we’ve been hard at work making Eldest Souls the best it can be.

The response to the trailers and the demo during the Steam Game Festival lit a fire under us and we’re further excited by the chance to bring this experience to even more players. We can’t wait to see Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC players challenge the Old Gods.

While there's no solid Eldest Souls release date just yet, PC users can wishlist it on Steam.

Save the World from Deadly Disease in Plague Inc: The Cure Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:54:53 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Having destroyed the world with a deadly disease in Plague Inc. Evolved, Ndemic wants you to save it again in the newly released expansion Plague Inc. Evolved: The Cure.

Ndemic developed the expansion in partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and the World Health Organization, and it's available on Steam, iOS, and Android now. Console versions will follow later.

In Plague Inc: The Cure, players must control a deadly pandemic raging across the world with the same level of strategy and depth as the original Plague Inc. Locating the disease and those affected by it is just the start.

An effective response must include economic support, incentives for nations to plan for quarantine, vaccine research, and more.

If all that sounds just a bit too close to home, CEPI CEO Richard Hatchett said:

Games like Plague Inc. Evolved: The Cure represent an incredibly important medium... to show the world the steps needed to address similar global health threats and their associated complexities.

We are delighted that Ndemic Creations have taken the initiative to raise awareness of both the tools needed and the challenges that must be overcome to rapidly and effectively respond to outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases.

That said, Ndemic also notes that The Cure's scenarios and recommendations are not 1:1 to real-world pandemic preparation and control. Ndemic said that Plague Inc: The Cure is free "until COVID-19 is under control."

Cris Tales Receives a Second Delay, Now Launching in July 2021 Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:52:29 -0500 Henry Stockdale

Back in October, publisher Modus Games said they were delaying upcoming indie JRPG Cris Tales from a planned 2020 release. Developed by Colombian studio Dreams Uncorporated, the game was scheduled to launch in early 2021 but has just received another delay, now expected to launch in July 2021.

Coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch, Cris Tales follows the story of Crisbell, a young girl with the ability to see the past, present, and future all at once as she sets out to save her magical world.

To make up for this new delay, Modus Games have also released a new overview trailer, showcasing the locations we can expect to visit with Crisbell and her companions.

If you’re keen to try Cris Tales out before this summer, a previously-released demo for the game is still available on Steam, GOG, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Pre orders for the standard edition and collector's edition of Cris Tales are live, and Modus shared a blog post outlining more about the game, including its story, exploration, combat, and more. Stay tuned for more on Cris Tales in the months leading up to release. 

Balthier Headlines Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia 3rd Anniversary Events Mon, 01 Feb 2021 11:41:35 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is three years old, and Final Fantasy XII's Balthier has a new gun and outfit to celebrate. From now until March 1, Square Enix has several other anniversary events planned, including login bonuses, special missions, and even a few sales.

Balthier's new weapon is Sirius (XII), and it's obtainable in a banner event live until February 16. Apart from looking snazzy, Sirius (XII) grants Balthier the Tides of Fate attack that hurls a massive wave at all enemies. There's also a new Balthier costume based on Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions available for purchase and a Golden Kactgun skin bundle that turns any character's guns into golden cactaurs.

Logging in through Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia's third-anniversary celebrations earns a slew of rewards, including EX Tokens, burst tokens, draw tickets, and more.

Every player's first multi-draw during the event is free, and players can spend the event's Draw Tickets to earn even more daily free multi-draws Square Enix promised several multi-draw banners to spend that draw on, including EX weapons for all 141 characters.

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia is offering discounts on different Gem packs through the celebration event, along with special Chocobo Panel missions with new rewards, half SP costs for Summon Trials quests, and double rewards for Cycle Quests.

Divide the Spoils — and Responsibilities — in Stronghold: Warlords Co Op Multiplayer Fri, 29 Jan 2021 17:09:07 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Stronghold: Warlords' multiplayer is breaking the mold a bit with a new co op mode that lets players team up to dominate the world. Firefly Studios showed Stronghold: Warlords' co op mode off in a lengthy new gameplay video and shared some insight.

Most RTS and civ-building games with multiplayer pit empires and friends against each other. Stronghold: Warlords does plenty of that in deathmatch mode, but co op lets players share resources and strategy together.

Firefly's Marketing Director Nick Tannahill said:

Stronghold is already a complex game for newcomers, with the mix of economic city building, castle simulation and real-time strategy.

Introducing co op means that one player can handle base building, while the other leads their forces into battle or prepares their defences for an incoming siege. 

Co op is a chance for experienced players to share their knowledge and help newcomers ease into Warlords' many systems, but beyond that, it's a way to divide tasks and increase efficiency in combat and management.

One player can stoke the home fires and handle diplomacy or economics, for example, and the other can wage global warfare and bring the nations under their thumb.

Firefly delayed Stronghold: Warlords so it would release with multiplayer, and that includes the newly announced co-op mode. Stronghold: Warlords releases March 9 for PC via Steam, and if our earlier hands-on experience and glimpse at new classes are anything to go by, it'll be worth the wait.

Black Ops Cold War’s New Zombies Map, Firebase Z, Revealed Fri, 29 Jan 2021 15:44:41 -0500 Henry Stockdale

Treyarch have been placing a clear focus on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's Zombies mode recently. Having offered fans a free access week for it two weeks ago, they've now confirmed that the Dark Aether story will continue within Firebase Z, launching next week, February 4, as a free update.

Marking the second chapter of this saga, Firebase Z takes place in Vietnam after the events of Die Maschine, seeing a group of special forces soldiers transported to this hellish dimension via a Dark Aether portal. Grigori Weaver is back to provide his support too, looking to save Samantha Maxis. 

A trailer accompanying the announcement offers a clear look at what to expect. Bringing in a fairly large playing field around a military outpost, several new enemies are present, including a terrifyingly large zombie cyclops that fires lasers. 

That's not the only thing coming either. The classic Express map from the original Black Ops series is due to return, alongside a 40-player Endurance mode. Prop Hunt update is also getting new maps within this update. Stay tuned to GameSkinny as we continue bringing you updates on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.

The Game Boy Lives On: Top-Down Horror Title Deadeus Launches in 2021 Fri, 29 Jan 2021 14:59:43 -0500 Henry Stockdale

It's not uncommon to see retro-inspired titles these days. Thanks to the rise in digital distribution, it's given developers a much wider platform to showcase these types of passion projects.

Recreating the aesthetic of a generation long-past, the Game Boy has often been a focus of these new but retro endeavors. Even in 2021, Nintendo's aging handheld is getting new titles, and next in line is horror experience Deadeus.

Developed by -IZMA- and published by Spacebot Interactive, Deadeus focuses on a boy who experiences a prophetic nightmare, informing him everyone will die in just three days. Venturing out into his village, he must find a means to save them while encountering11 different endings.

You can play the ROM for free over on Itch.Io, choosing how much you'd like to donate to the developer, and a physical edition is also in the works. Better yet, this will be fully compatible with your original Game Boy, alongside Color and Advance models.

You can pre-order it now for $57.44/£42, with the package offering a cartridge, box, and manual. Physical editions pre-orders will close on February 15, with shipping planned for March.

Pokemon Masters EX Dishes Up Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day Fri, 29 Jan 2021 13:46:32 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Valentine's Day is approaching fast, and in Pokemon Masters EX, that means it's time for sweet treats and new Sync Pairs in the Palentine's Day event.

Palentine's Day is when Pasio trainers shower their human and Pokemon friends with desserts in the Baking Buddies story event now through February 18. Baking Buddies tasks players who've completed at least chapter one with finding dessert ingredients for Serena and Dawn, both of whom feature in special dessert-themed outfits.

Completing the event rewards players with food items such as Melty Chocolate, Fresh Berry, Fluffy Frosting, and more. Logging in daily for 13 days in a row during the event also earns players 1,000 Gems to spend on Sync Pairs.

Speaking of Sync Pairs, the Pokemon Masters' Palentines Day event adds two new Sync Pairs to the Sync Pair Spotlight mechanic. The first, available from now until February 18, is Serena and Whimsicott, with Stun Spore as Whimsicott's signature move. The second, live from January 31 through February 18, is Dawn and Alcremie, with a focus on Charm and Fake Tears.

Both new Sync Pairs feature their respective characters' dessert outfits and both can reach a 6-star EX Potential rating.

Rebellion Unleashes Evil Genius 2: World Domination This Spring Thu, 28 Jan 2021 13:27:31 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Rebellion kicks off a heinous plan for 17 years in the making when Evil Genius 2: World Domination releases March 30 for PC via Steam. 

The follow-up to 2004's Evil GeniusEvil Genius 2 features four playable villains, three unique lair locations with their own sets of challenges and benefits, more traps, more henchfolk, and pretty much more of everything that made the original a cult classic.

Whether players choose Zalika the science fiend, Emma the spy expert, musclebound Ivan, or Max the despot, the goal remains the same: establish criminal connections and expand your nefarious reach throughout the world.

Criminal masterminds naturally don't play by the rules, and there's all sorts of valuable loot up for grabs as the iniquitous fruits of your evil deeds. Cash is a major goal, since running an evil lair is no cheap feat. But some loot, including the Doors to Fort Knox, act as trophies and functional spoils of war.

This is all just the tip of the odious iceberg. Rebellion has more in store between now and Evil Genius 2's March 30 release date, including a brand-new game mode.

Housemarque Delays Returnal for Extra Polish Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:54:24 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Returnal is delayed until April 30, Housemarque announced on Twitter.

Delaying the PlayStation 5 exclusive was a joint decision between Housemarque and Sony Interactive Entertainment so the developers could polish the game further and deliver what fans expect.

Housemarque originally planned a March 19 Returnal release date, and the news follows a recent deep dive into the game's combat and roguelike mechanics.

Returnal follows Selene, a space explorer trapped in a seemingly endless cycle of death and rebirth. The only way out is pushing through Atropos again and again, uncovering the planet's mysteries and fending off its hordes of monstrous creatures. We can't wait to play it, so hopefully there won't be any more delays. 

Destruction AllStars State of Play Unveils AllStars, Modes, More Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:35:11 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Sony aired a new Destruction AllStars State of Play highlighting the game's modes, its AllStars (or heroes), and just a few of the ways players can wreak absolute havoc on the playing field when the PS 5 exclusive launches February 2.

Destruction AllStars launches with four modes, including a single-player mode. The primary one is a free-for-all where heroes compete for the highest score through destroying each others' vehicles, among other things. 

While Destruction AllStars features multiple vehicles, they all fall into three general types. The first is speed, and these cars obviously prioritize high mobility above all else. Nimble cars handle best of all, and heavy ones can take a beating at the expense of better movement.

It's not game over if a hero gets launched from their vehicle. Running around the arena affords more chances to score, grab power-ups, or grab onto enemy vehicles and either wreck them or take control.

Each hero has a unique ability, such as spawning flames to add extra damage or activating a stealth option. Destruction AllStars also includes hero missions, pitting one hero against their rival and throwing some light back story in the midst of the arena's chaos.

Carnado mode is much like normal mode, except players must bank their points in the stage's tornado for them to count. Getting wrecked before cashing in means losing everything.

Stockpile is an evasion-based team mode. Wrecking an opponent scatters their car's gears everywhere, but they can only be collected by exiting your own car. Teams control the map's various banks by depositing their gear stash their, and whoever controls the most at the end of the match wins.

Finally is Gridfall, a mode where everyone has limited lives, the floor falls away, and the last driver standing wins.

Playing Destruction AllStars online earns players special coins they can exchange for cosmetics and emotes, and that's it. There are no vehicle enhancements or anything other advantage Destruction AllStar coins can offer.

The State of Play promised more Destruction AllStar modes for sometime after launch. Destruction AllStars releases February 2 for PlayStation 5, following a brief delay, and is free for two months for PS Plus subscribers.

PlayStation Store Remasters & Retros Sale Discounts Old Favorites and New Classics Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:30:32 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Another day, yet another PlayStation Store sale. This time, the PS Store is discounting dozens of retro and remastered games, including Resident Evil Triple Pack, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, MediEvil, Dead Cells, and more through February 10.

Here's a sampling of what's on offer during the PSN Remasters & Retro sale.

PlayStation Store Remasters & Retro Sale

Game Sales Price Original Price
  Resident Evil Triple Pack  $19.63  $59.49
  Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection  $9.99  $19.99
  MediEvil Digital Deluxe  $19.99  $39.99
  Valkyria Chronicles Remastered + Valkyria Chronicles 4  $15.99  $39.99
  Spyro Reignited Trilogy  $15.99  $39.99
  Jak and Daxter Bundle  $14.79  $39.99
  Devil May Cry HD Collection  $14.99  $29.99
  Katamari Damacy Reroll  $20.99  $29.99
  Dead Cells  $12.49 $24.99
  Castlevania Anniversary Collection  $4.99 $19.99
  Gravity Rush  $9.89  $29.99
  Streets of Rage 4  $17/49  $24.99
  Dark Cloud  $5.99  $14.99
  Dark Cloud 2  $5.99  $14.99
  Ys Origin  $7.99  $19.99
  Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Special Edition  $4.49  $14.99
  Ape Escape 2  $4.99  $9.99
  Okami HD  $9.99  $19.99
  Metro Redux  $5.99  $29.99
  Resident Evil Raccoon City Edition  $31.99  $79.99


The full Remasters & Retro sale list is over on the PlayStation Store. PlayStation Plus subscribers get an extra helping of discounts in February with three free PS Plus games.

Next-Gen Updates Infiltrate The Division 2 on February 2 Thu, 28 Jan 2021 12:27:11 -0500 GS_Staff

Tom Clancy's The Division 2 will be getting next-gen updates on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S on February 2. It joins a number of other last-gen games, such as Destiny 2 and No Man's Sky, receiving performance and fidelity upgrades on Microsoft and Sony's new consoles. 

According to a tweet by Johan Lindholm, a Community Developer for the third-person looter-shooter, Title Update 12.1 will bring several changes and tweaks to The Division 2, "as well as 4K 60fps support for next-gen consoles." The tweet is confirmation of the news from a December State of the Game, which said the improvements were on the way. 

The Optimization Station, which was first brought into the game in the 12.0 Title Update, will be rebalanced, and 12.1 will also mark the start of The Division 2's Resident Evil event. The crossover is in celebration of Resi's 25th anniversary, and it will introduce to The Division 2 "outfits and weapons skins" from the survival-horror series.

Those who log into The Division 2 between February 2 and February 15 will get the Leon Kennedy RPD outfit. 

Back when The Division 2 was released in 2019, we called it one of the best looter shooters in years. Since then, the game has received steady updates, as well as the Warlords of New York expansion. If you're planning on jumping back into The Division 2 next week when the next-gen updates release, we've got a number of guides that you may find useful right over here

Control Ultimate Edition on PS5, Xbox Series X|S Won't Allow for Save Transfer Thu, 28 Jan 2021 11:18:23 -0500 GS_Staff

Control Ultimate Edition will be releasing digitally on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on February 2, with a physical launch coming March 2. It will bring with it performance and fidelity modes, Expeditions mode, and its two DLCs: The Foundation and AWE.

Those that already have the Ultimate Edition on PS4 or Xbox One will be eligible for next-gen upgrades when the digital version releases. However, these next-gen versions won't allow players of last-gen versions to bring over their save files, meaning those that have previously played the game will have to start from scratch.

The news was confirmed by Thomas Puha, Remedy's Communications Director, on Twitter yesterday. Puha said that because of the way the next-gen versions of Control Ultimate Edition are built, save transfers just weren't an option. 

Puha also clarified the benchmarks for both performance mode and fidelity mode, saying the former will hit "60fps with 1140p render resolution at 4K," while fidelity mode will hit "30fps with ray tracing at 1440p render resolution and 4K output."

A post on 505's support page confirmed these targets while also providing a bit more color, saying that "only performance mode is available on Xbox Series S ... targeting 60fps with no ray tracing, at 900p render resolution, and 1080p output." Of course, the Ultimate Edition will also support, in some capacity, the PS5's DualSense technology and help cards. 

Presumably, considering these next-gen versions of the game are different from the PS4 and Xbox One versions foundationally, Control Ultimate Edition on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S will also have separate trophy and achievement lists as well, though that is not yet confirmed. 

Control Ultimate Edition was just confirmed to be part of the PlayStation Plus February lineup, alongside Concrete Genie and Destruction AllStars

February PlayStation Plus Free Games Announced Wed, 27 Jan 2021 17:46:32 -0500 GS_Staff

February is already almost here, which means there's a new slate of free (technically complementary) games set to hit Sony's PlayStation Plus subscription service. This month sees the addition of one of 2019's best action-adventure games in Control: Ultimate Edition, the Jet Set Radio inspired Concrete Genie, and Destruction AllStars, Sony's more lighthearted take on Twisted Metal

Each is available for download starting February 2. Control and Concrete Genie are up for grabs until March 1, while Destruction AllStars can be snagged until April 5. The latter follows in the footsteps of Bugsnax, which launched on the service and was available on PS Plus for roughly two months before being removed. 

Control: Ultimate Edition

Before Control released in 2019, Remedy Games was best known for their incredibly atmospheric action-adventure horror game, Alan Wake, the influential 2001 third-person shooter, Max Payne, and perhaps to a lesser extent, Quantum Break

However, Control has quickly taken its rightful place alongside those games as one of the best in the genre. As the studio's most ambitious title to date, it ties in with all of those games, effectively creating what is now the fabric of the Remedy-verse

Control follows Jesse Faden as she searches for her missing brother in The Oldest House, an eldritch doorway between the real world and the Astral Plane hidden deep in the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Control. 

We loved Control in 2019, praising it for its "gorgeous set design," combat that "provides for some of the coolest gaming moments you'll see all year," and its "side missions [that] give it an X-Files quality..." Since then, Remedy has released two worthy expansions: The Foundation and AWE. The Ultimate Edition of the game includes the base games, as well as both expansions. 

Concrete Genie

Concrete Genie was also released in 2019, and while it shares a darker palette with Control, it offers its own take on the supernatural, making for an entirely different kind of action-adventure game. 

Players are cast in the role of Ash, who lives in a city overrun by grime and pollution; that's not to mention the group of bullies terrorizing him at every turn. As an artist, it's Ash's job to "bring the city back to life" and rid it of the darkness that's turned it sour by painting colorful creature murals throughout the game's various neighborhoods. 

Aside from the Jet Set Radio style painting mechanics attached to the PS4's motion controls, Concrete Genie features a number of puzzles to solve, as well as a good helping of platforming and open-world traversal. 

Destruction AllStars

Concrete Genie may be about creating works of art, but Destruction AllStars is all about, erm, well, destruction. Vehicular destruction that is. 

On the surface, Destruction AllStars shares a few obvious similarities to Twisted Metal (it's hard to avoid), but this PS5 title seems to have a lot in common with Rocket League as well, though we'll have to save our full judgment on that until it releases on February 5. 

Players can, of course, drive a number of vehicles in the game, smashing into and destroying their opponents' rides until there's one winner left standing. But players can also hold their own on when outside of vehicles, thanks to Hero abilities. In fact, as pointed out in a recent State of Play, players can traverse arenas to find and acquire new vehicles to get back into the chassis-crunching rat race. 

There's still a lot to learn about Destruction AllStars, but it looks like it could be one of the PS5's standout titles. Stay tuned for our review. 

That's it for February's complementary PlayStation Plus games. Be sure to download January's selection, which includes Maneater (PS5), Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PS4), and Greedfall (PS4), before it disappears on February 1. 

Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood Trailer Unleashes Cahal's Bloody Rage Wed, 27 Jan 2021 15:26:54 -0500 Josh Broadwell

Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood is the first World of Darkness game venturing into action RPG territory, and developer Cyanide released a new trailer showing a glimpse of what that means for Garou transformations and werewolf combat.

The new Werewolf trailer briefly highlights each of Cahal's forms. There's the Homid, or human, form, where Cahal can interact with technology, quietly subdue foes, and wield a crossbow when he feels like not being so quiet.

Lupus is his normal wolf form, perfect for slipping in and out of heavily guarded places or if an extra bit of speed is in order.

The big draw is Cahal's Crinos form, the one he'll be in for most of Werewolf's combat. This is where Cahal unleashes his inner rage, literally fighting tooth and nail to clear out swarms of Endron workers and any who dare stand in his way.

It's bloody and brutal, but it's also a fair few Garou forms shy of what avid World of Darkness fans might be expecting. But they won't have long to find out how Cyanide and Nacon put just these three forms to good use. Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood releases February 4 for PlayStation 4 and PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, and PC via the Epic Games Store.

The Elder Scrolls Online's New Blackwood Expansion Confirmed, Launches This June Wed, 27 Jan 2021 14:02:29 -0500 Henry Stockdale

The Elder Scrolls Online has had quite the journey. Originally released back in 2014, the MMORPG has continued growing since, offering continued expansions that have taken us to Vvardenfell, Summerset Isle, Elsweyr, and Skyrim.

Having announced the year-long Gates of Oblivion expansion last year, Bethesda have now revealed the first chapter is called Blackwood. Though it will arrive June 1, 2021, for PC, Mac, and Stadia players, PS4 and Xbox One owners will have to wait slightly longer until June 8.

Taking its name from Blackwood swamp, this expansion is set 800 years before the events of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You’ll set out to uncover the evil schemes of Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction, within a standalone tale that won’t rely on previous expansions. It will also contain roughly 30 hours of content and introduce companions. 

Speaking further about the new storyline, ESO’s Creative Director Rich Lambert confirmed:

This year, the story we are telling is essentially about a deal with the devil. Long ago, the Longhouse Emperors made a pact with Mehrunes Dagon, and it’s up to the players to figure out what is going on and how to stop their schemes from reaching completion.

In preparation for this, a separate DLC dungeon, called Flames of Ambition, is also launching, which leads players directly into this new chapter. That launches on March 8, 2021, and, like before, console owners will need to wait an additional week before getting their hands on it.

We’ll bring you Elder Scrolls Online news as it happens, so stay tuned for further updates.