Desktop Platform RSS Feed | Desktop RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Gears 5 Multiplayer Review: A Greater Arsenal, But Not Without Issues Tue, 17 Sep 2019 10:49:46 -0400 Mark Delaney

While we delivered our Gears 5 campaign review ahead of the weekend, we wanted a few more days with the expansive multiplayer suite before passing our final judgment on that side of The Coalition's blockbuster.

As it turns out, we didn't need a heck of a lot more time anyway. Even a week post-launch, the game's multiplayer component is plagued by connectivity issues.

When it is working, the component's modes are phenomenal, and in time, Gears 5's multiplayer will likely deliver a best-in-series experience just as its story mode has. But as of now, there are too many issues plaguing it to be anything better than decent. 

Bugs in the Sawmill

For a game that launched to some players on September 6 and to the rest of the world four days later, Gears 5's stability is still inexcusably poor.

Maybe it's a sign that the game's launch was bigger than anyone expected, which, considering the numbers coming out, may mean Game Pass is having a hell of a month, but none of that matters outside of Microsoft's corporate offices.

For fans, Gears 5 multiplayer is a brilliant experience, but only when it's working  and that's currently not often.

Several of my play sessions both before and after launch were hit by connectivity flaws, including disconnects and false starts when heading into new rounds. These hiccups don't happen all of the time, or else I wouldn't have so much forthcoming praise to share, but it is more common than anyone should find permissible.

To their credit, the development team has been extremely vocal on forums and social platforms like Twitter, as well as on the game's website, keeping players updated with how fixes are progressing. Once these issues are ironed out, it looks likely Gears 5's multiplayer will join its campaign as being the new benchmark for the long-running franchise.

Hero Shooter-Lite

While several fan-favorite modes return with little tweaking, like Arms Race, Dodgeball, and TDM, these are supplemented by completely new modes that give Gears one of the most robust multiplayer offerings in the industry.

Arcade mode is what The Coalition has called a "hero shooter-lite," where players load into a battlefield with their preferred character and abilities they can customize. Meant to be played a bit faster and wackier than the standard modes of old, Arcade offers game-changing mid-match upgrades that feel like totally new ideas for the series.

Properly balanced out of the gate, you'll quickly find your own playstyle as you learn to work with others to maximize effectiveness just like you would in something like Overwatch

The Great Escape

The greatest addition to Gears 5 is the new Escape mode. A three-person PVE experience, Escape drops you into a Swarm hive where you detonate a bomb before charging as fast as you can to find the exit in a long, labyrinthine interior. Your only clue as to where to go next is often to follow the trail of bodies you've left ahead of you.

With safe rooms on the way and an emphasis on resource management, it's often the case that you don't have what you want in terms of ammo or weapons when things go down, but as a true survival experience, that's perfect. You rely on teammates and well-timed item drops from corpses to keep charging ahead until you find salvation in the outside world.

Charting Your Own Way

Escape is an excellent mode all on its own, but it's made even better because players can make and share their own maps. The Coalition hopes to expand this map-making ability to Versus and Horde modes later, but even for now, it's an interesting tool that gives the whole suite the feeling of a studio going above and beyond.

Featured maps from The Coalition will welcome players to the Escape menu each week, but the best and most played user-generated content will be highlighted too, and you can search for specific maps that you've heard are good or maybe your friends made. There are even some already designed to boost achievements.

"If It Ain't Broke ..."

Versus and Horde, meanwhile, return their familiar elements to Gears 5 and don't add a whole lot new. For many players, this makes for an "if it ain't broke" proposition, though it should be noted that it's not all just shotgunners so far in the early days. 

It's obvious that the devs gave more attention to bettering other gun classes, meaning firefights should be more varied than the old days where enemies wall-hugged from room to room until they were in your face with a Gnasher.

All of this comes on the foundation of the deepest customization and ranking system ever seen in the franchise.

Unlocking skill cards improves characters across all modes and allows you to craft your exact character to a level that I can't recall seeing in any other shooter. Add to that the most content, be it characters, maps, or many cosmetics, will be free or earnable with in-game currency, and you've got a player-friendly system that still leaves space for the "whales" to buy into some content and keep the studio working for the betterment of the whole.

  • The deepest Gears online experience yet
  • Escape mode is a fantastic new addition to the series
  • Tweaks to gunplay make it more worth playing without a Gnasher
  • Arcade is a faster, looser take on Gears with hero shooter inspirations
  • Connectivity issues continue to plague the game at the time of writing

If this review was written a few weeks from now, I'd bet the score you see below and the words written within would contain more praise. Sadly, it's too unstable even 10 days after the Game Pass Ultimate launch day to earn those higher marks.

It feels safe to assume The Coalition will iron out the problems found here, and Gears 5's multiplayer will join its story mode as the best in the franchise. For now, you can see how great it will be, but that doesn't hide how troubled it is today.

Daymare 1998: Aegis Chamber Temperature Cooling Puzzle Guide Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:15:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Daymare 1998 is chock full of key cards, computer unlock codes, and puzzles. One of those puzzles is a little more difficult than the rest, requiring agent Liev to adjust coolant levels to proper temperatures in order to access the Pollux virus, fight the first mini-boss, and leave the Aegis level.

Thankfully, cooling things down is easy with the guide below. 

Aegis Temperature Puzzle Solution

When you enter the room with the PL-X 731 temperature control computer, don't be distracted by the zombie on the left by the desk; another zombie will immediately assault you from the right.

After taking care of the two Zeds, run up the stairs and go past the locked door to access the coolant computer.

 Temperature Start Point

Your goal is to go from the start point in the image above to the end point in the image below so that Chamber 1 is full, Chamber 4 is at two bars, and Chambers 2 and 3 completely empty.

To get there, you need this temperature combination:

  • Chamber 1: -15 degrees
  • Chamber 2: 20 degrees
  • Chamber 3: -5 degrees
  • Chamber 4: 0 degrees

Here's where things get difficult: you can only empty or fill one bar at a time, and the reserve tank only has enough space to hold one bar's worth of coolant, so you have to remove and add coolant strategically to make this work.

To skip all the frustrating guesswork, here is the fastest, easiest method to get to the correct temperatures:

  • Empty Chamber 3
  • Fill Chamber 1
  • Empty Chamber 2
  • Fill Chamber 1
  • Empty Chamber 2
  • Fill Chamber 1
  • Empty Chamber 2
  • Fill Chamber 1
  • Empty Chamber 2
  • Fill Chamber 4
  • Empty Chamber 3

After completing that pattern, you should end up with this solution:

 Temperature End Point Puzzle Solution

Unlike with the Aegis power puzzle, you don't have to flip any switches or do anything extra at the end. The mini-game automatically ends and you are popped back out into the main gameplay loop.

Afterwards, it's time to fight the game's first mini-boss, so make sure you've got your ammo combined into clips and ready to go before leaving the room.

Need help with any other puzzles? Check out our other Daymare 1998 guides.

Daymare 1998: Aegis Greek Password Puzzle Solution Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

There's classic challenging survival horror puzzles, and then there are brain teasers that are just flat out unfair or poorly designed, and the Daymare 1998 Greek Password puzzle falls into that latter category.

Don't feel too bad if you're stumped by this one -- the game really doesn't go out of its way to offer clues as to how to answer the phrases (and hopefully that will be dealt with after launch in a patch).

Below we explain exactly how to input the proper Greek passwords into the founder's office hidden desk terminal at the end of the Aegis level.

For all three of the phrases, don't forget to scroll over to the big Enter key (the one with the 90 degree turning arrow, of course) after each Greek letter combination is entered and hit F to actually input the password.

Greek Password 1

Phrase: "Cast a light unto the darkness and there shall be no storm from which he cannot save you."

  • Answer: ΧΑΣΤΟΡ

It's easy to accidentally answer this one wrong since there are two O symbols on the keyboard, one with a line through it and one without -- you want the one without the line to proceed.

Greek Password 2

Phrase: "No matter the injury it will never end his journey."

  • Answer: ΠΟΛΛΥΞ

This one is even more annoying because there are two different N symbols and three different E symbols on the keyboard.

Here you are specifically looking for the flat topped N at the top-right corner of the keyboard and the three-tiered E symbol at the bottom-left near the Z.

Greek Password 3

Phrase: Long and perilous was the journey of the Argonauts to enter into its possession.


Yeah, this one's the most obnoxious of all. The first letter is the one that looks like a lower case "r," followed by the O with no line, the upside down V, the triangle, the normal E, the normal N, and the O with a line through it. From there the letters should be easy to select before inputting the password.

Make sure your ammo clips are full before entering the password, because a zombie will frequently get up from the floor near the computer after completing this puzzle -- even if you cleared the room first.

Need help with any other puzzles? Check out our other Daymare 1998 guides:

Daymare 1998 Aegis Power Puzzle Guide Tue, 17 Sep 2019 09:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Retro horror game Daymare 1998 started life as an unofficial Resident Evil 2 remake — before the real remake squashed those plans  so you've got to put your old-school survival horror goggles on to figure out some of the game's puzzles, including the Aegis Power puzzle. 

If you're having trouble with the power switch puzzle in the Aegis level, we've got you covered in the guide below. Once you know the proper pattern, it's simple to bypass the electricity issue and restore power to the facility.

Aegis Power Switches Solution

 The correct power switch order

While the trainee note on the swivel chair and the power status screen on the computer terminal next to the switch panel give a basic overview of how the puzzle is supposed to work, they don't give you the full answer. There's a bit of trial and error involved.

If you want to skip all that and just move onto the next portion of the level, then flip these switches from red to blue on:

  • Cargo Area
  • Submarine Shaft
  • Lab Area
  • Control Room
  • Reception Hall
  • Server Room
  • Security Room

When those switches are all blue, the Helipad Access, Decont. Area, Offices Area, and Canteen/Dorm lights should still be red. You'll know you've got the pattern correct when all of the white dots in the middle are lit up from top to bottom.

Here's the part that's vexing some players, though: you then need to press "D" to move away from the power lights to the switch, and press "F" to actually pull the switch and reset the power.

Most of the game's other interfaces don't work this way, so make sure to go through that extra step or the power won't come back on.

After the power comes on, you'll immediately be attacked by a zombie from the left side (from the staircase where you entered the room), so make sure your ammo is loaded before completing the puzzle.

Stumped on another puzzle found later in the game? Check out our other Daymare 1998 guides covering the major puzzles across the game's 14 levels, and be sure to leave us a comment if you need help with any we haven't covered yet!

Watch 40 Minutes of Gameplay for The Outer Worlds Mon, 16 Sep 2019 17:52:36 -0400 GS_Staff

Now that the Tokyo Game Show is behind us, publications lucky enough to attend have started posting videos and reactions from the show.

One of those is Video Games Chronicle, which was able to grab a whopping 40 minutes of gameplay for The Outer Worlds, Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming sci-fi RPG. 

While others have shared 20 minutes of gameplay from a Taiwanese outlet that attended TGS, the footage from VGC features menus and dialog in English. 

The trailer gives us a good idea of what to expect from The Outer Worlds: expansive story, vast exploration choices, and dozens of customization options. What the trailer didn't show was lots of combat. However, considering Obsidian's pedigree with titles such as Fallout: New Vegas and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, it's a safe bet there's plenty to be had in the final product. 

The Outer Worlds is set to release on October 25, 2019, for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One. It will release on the Nintendo Switch at a later date

We were able to see The Outer Worlds at E3 earlier this year, where the colony of Halcyon was showcased alongside companions and a mission involving the Monarch Corporation. 


FIFA 20 Demo: Reactions to the Latest Generation are Mixed Sat, 14 Sep 2019 09:00:01 -0400 RobertPIngram

With the summer transfer deadline in the rearview mirror and club rosters finalized, that means that the dawn of a new year of FIFA is just around the corner.

While fans will still have to wait until September 24 to get their hands on the full version of FIFA 20, the demo is available early, and it gives players just a small taste of what's to come this year. While the standard demo fare rears its head, like a limited assortment of teams to actually play as, the big news is the ability to try the new street soccer VOLTA mode.

After spending some time with the demo, the news is mixed for fans of the series.

Full Side Play Stars

Although VOLTA might have stolen headlines since the announcement of the new feature, the core of any FIFA game will always be its ability to create a realistic and fun simulation when it comes to full-side of world-class soccer, and FIFA 20 lives up to the series' lofty standards. 

FIFA has long been the standard-bearer for EA's various sports simulations, and while each new iteration has been loaded with buzz words and big talk, it's fair to say there has generally been an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach to the game's mechanics.

With FIFA 20, that is still the clear operating premise. While the game doesn't feel exactly like its predecessor, and elite-level players may remain upset about the increased variance in chained skill maneuvers, if you've played a recent edition of FIFA, you'll likely find that you're right back in the swing of things in short order.

If you're new to the series or haven't played in a few years, don't worry about your skills. The game's default trainer overlay provides visual cues for suggested actions and the button or stick combinations to perform them, so you can hit the ground running.

While the new features aren't revolutionary, they're not invisible either, and at the end of the day, what you're left with is another very strong performance from the FIFA team.

VOLTA Disappoints... For Now

Before getting into my hands-on experience with the new mode, it's important to remember that a limited demo with only one-offs is far from the full picture of a game. With that large caveat out there, however, the early look is a big let down.

While the early talk of the new mode was appealing, with the game taking a realistic approach to small-sided games, what's actually delivered so far doesn't quite live up to expectations. 

The game leans into the flair and style of street ball, with standard passes and lobs occasionally being delivered in show-stopping, over-the-top manners, but the mode lacks the fluidity you'd hope for with a proper streetball option. Although highly skilled players may have more luck using flair and style to their advantage, new payers may find themselves playing the same game only cramped, ironically finding that the game, in turn, feels more bogged down than a standard match.

That's not to say there isn't promise in the mode, though. Just by the very nature of changing the dynamics of the game it does provide a fun alternative to standard play. Three-a-side on a tiny pitch is a vastly different experience, as is trying to tuck the ball into the game's small, keeper-less goals.

The first time my player rocketed a shot off a side wall then hammered in her own rebound for a self-pass goal was genuinely exhilarating, and the ability to have coed teams may seem small, but only if you've never been unable to squad up with your friends because your Pro is the wrong gender.

There are sprouts of how VOLTA may yet deliver on the promise of its first press release. Unless more is done to make the mode run smoother and the full options expand the world of VOLTA enough, however, it will remain a fun occasional diversion more than an expansive mode worth pouring hours into.

Final Whistle

As far as demos go, this is a promising showing from EA. There's every reason to believe that the standard favorites, from pro campaigns to FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), will be as great as ever.

Although VOLTA failed to blow the doors off in demo form, it may well shine once players have access to the full array of options. If you're considering picking up FIFA 20, put on your game face and give the demo a spin.

While you wait for the game to arrive, be sure to check out our article on everything we know about the game, which includes everything from flair and career mode to pre-order information, trailers, and gameplay. 

FIFA 20 is set to release on September 27 for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It will be included in Origin Access and EA Access.  

Borderlands 3: How to Redeem SHiFT Codes (Plus a Bunch of Vault Codes) Fri, 13 Sep 2019 17:17:37 -0400 Tobbpitt

SHiFT Codes are back in Borderlands 3, and with them have come VIP Codes for use by members of the Vault Insider Program. To top things off, there's already a free code for three Golden Keys you surely want to get your hands on.

Becoming part of the Vault Insider Program doesn't cost anything, and can be done on the VIP portion of the Borderlands 3 website. However, you must have a SHiFT account to sign up for the VIP — so before you get to crackin' some codes, you'll need to:

  1. Sign up for a SHiFT account here
  2. Sign up a Vault Insider Program account here

If you don't intend to sign up for the VIP, just skip the second step.

How to Get SHiFT Codes and VIP Points

Codes will be passed out via social media and other means, such as product purchases, much as they were with Borderlands 2. As a matter of fact, the very first free SHiFT code for the game was a Borderlands 2 code. Crazy, right?

You'll have to keep your eyes peeled over the coming weeks and months to grab up codes while you can.

VIP Points are another matter, which can be earned by participating in the program. Have a click around the VIP site once you've signed up to take a gander.

Be sure to link your preferred platform to your SHiFT account.

How to Redeem SHiFT Codes in Borderlands 3

You have three available methods for redeeming SHiFT Codes as it stands:

  • Go to the SHiFT website and redeem the code
  • Head to the game's main menu, navigate to SHiFT Code, and enter the code there
  • Go to the VIP website and redeem the code

Really, it's very easy, but again: Do be sure to link your preferred platform to your SHiFT account.

Free SHiFT Codes and Vault Points

The first free code I mentioned above must be put into the SHiFT website, and not the VIP website.

  • Three Golden Keys: ZFKJ3-TT3BB-JTBJT-T3JJT-JWX9H

However, more codes are being discovered. Some of these may not work for you, but try them all on the SHiFT website rather than in-game or the Borderlands 3 VIP website.

No guarantees, but here are some codes to try. Make sure you include the dashes, it's easiest to copy and paste. These were found spattered about Reddit, again: No guarantees!

  • One Golden Key: ZRWBJ-ST6XR-CBFKT-JT3J3-FRXJ5
  • One Golden Key: Z65B3-JCXX6-5JXW3-3B33J-9SWT6

As for Vault Point codes, these must be input into the Vault Insider Program site. It's best to put these in as soon as you can, who knows how long they'll last:

  • ABCEASYAS123 (250 Points)
  • ALMOSTTHERE (1000 Points)
  • BL3REVEAL (100 Points)
  • BL3ATE3 (250 Points)
  • BL3WELCOME (250 Points)
  • BUILDURSQUAD (250 Points)
  • CLAPTASTIC (250 Points)
  • Dreamlandvip (100 Points)
  • DIGISTRUCT (250 Points)
  • EARLYACCESS (500 Points)
  • FIGHT4SANCTUARY (250 Points)
  • FORTNITEXMAYHEM (250 Points)
  • FRESHBOOTY (250 Points)
  • GAMEVIP (100 Points)
  • ITSHERE (1000 Points)
  • LARALOFT-BL3LAUNCH (200 Points)
  • LESSTHANTHREE (250 Points)
  • LOOTLOOTLOOT (250 Points)
  • MYMAIN (250 Points)
  • OVERCLOCKED (250 Points)
  • OVERONEBILLION (250 Points)
  • SEVENDAYS (250 Points)
  • SOHAPPYTOGETHER (250 Points)
  • Unblinkingeye (1000 Points)


Found some more SHiFT and VIP Codes? Post what you've found in the comment section below and help your fellow Vault Hunters out!

Be sure to check out our other Borderlands 3 guides for more tips and tricks. Borderlands 3 is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. 

Borderlands 3: How to Complete Skag Dog Days Fri, 13 Sep 2019 16:10:48 -0400 Ty Arthur

The long wait is over and fans can finally joy puke their faces off with Borderlands 3, which of course in proper franchise fashion includes utterly insane starter quests like Skag Dog Days. Not quite sure how to pick up those Cactus Fruit and complete this intro quest? 

Turns out Cactus Fruit is wildly resistant to bullets and elemental damage effects like shock, corrode, cryo, and radiation. There's one simple trick to get those fruit to fall free, though, and its easier than you think!

Finding Skag Dog Days Cactus Fruit

         The Big Succ Location.

To find the fruit, just run around the areas marked with the triangle on your map and look for the very obvious red cactus.

The fruit itself is immune to damage, no matter how many bullets you lob at them or special class abilities you use, but they will immediately fall free if you deal even a single point of area effect splash damage.

The easiest way to do that is with The Big Succ gun found inside the trailer marked on the map position above.

Just use the gun's alternate fire mode to lob grenades instead of firing bullets.

If you didn't pick up The Big Succ earlier in the quest (or ran out of grenades or whatever), you can still get the Cactus Fruit to fall free by causing melee splash damage instead.

To go this route, use the the ground pound ability by tapping the crouch button while falling from a distance. Any large rocks near the plants with the Cactus Fruit should be high enough to deal splash damage through the ground pound and knock the fruit loose.

            Using Big Succ grenades to get Cactus Fruit.

It seems like those grenades should really obliterate the fruit, but whatever, we're not going argue the physics of a game that has guns with legs.

What method did you use to cause splash damage and grab your Cactus Fruit? Let us know in the comments, then head over to our other Borderlands 3 guides here after you finish the Skag Dog Days quest!

Borderlands 3: How to Skip Cutscenes Fri, 13 Sep 2019 15:30:42 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Let's face it: with more than a million guns to "pew pew" and worlds to explore outside of Pandora, most of us just want to play Borderlands 3 — desperately. We don't really want to sit through cutscenes. No, we want to skip them, especially the long cinematic at the beginning. 

While you might start with one Vault Hunter, you'll certainly want to try all of them since each presents wildly different abilities and playstyles. Thing is, there's the opening movie to sit through, then the one after you choose your VH.

While gorgeous and fun and raucous the first time 'round, watching it a second, third, or fourth time quickly becomes a slog, even if the theme song is a good one and the bar fight is pretty badass.

How to Skip Intro Cutscenes on PS4 and Xbox One

Unfortunately, you can't skip the intro cutscene on console

How to Skip the Intro and Splash Screens on PC

Of course, resourceful PC players have a solution for everything. Follow the steps below to get around the pesky opening cinematic: 

  1. Go to your game files
  2. Look for Borderlands3/OakGames/Content/Movies
  3. Locate the file called Marcus_Intro
  4. Change the file name (it doesn't matter what it's changed to)
    • However, do not delete the file

If you want to skip the splash screens, too, change the "LOGO" files found in the same folder. It won't net you any trophies or achievements, but it will help you get into the game even faster. 

As always, thanks to the great Redditors that continuously figure all of this crazy stuff out. For more tips and trick for Borderlands 3, be sure to check out our growing guides page

Green Man Gaming Friday the 13th Sale Slashes Prices on PC Games Fri, 13 Sep 2019 14:38:55 -0400 GS_Staff

From big-budget horror titles to terrifying indie gems, Green Man Gaming is slashing prices on dozens of titles and DLC packs just in time for Friday the 13th. Some are even cut down by as much as 75%.  

Since all good things come in threes, those interested in taking advantage of the sale have three days to do so. Green Man's Friday the 13th horror deals end on September 16. 

While we'll go over the most notable games and DLC packs on sale in the table, alongside their sales prices, notable franchises include Dead Rising, Doom, Layers of Fear, OutlastResident Evil, and The Evil Within.   

Game/DLC Sales Price Original Price
Dead Rising  $5.40 $19.99
Dead Rising 2 $5.40 $19.99
Dead Rising 3 $8.10 $29.99
Dead Rising 4 $13.50 $29.99
Doom (2016) $13.49 $19.99
Doom (1993) $6.75 $14.99
Doom II $2.25 $4.99
Final Doom $2.25 $4.99
Doom 3 $9.00 $19.99
Doom VFR $20.24 $29.99
Dying Light $12.24 $39.99
Dying Light
The Borzak Horde
$6.02 $9.99
Dying Light
Season Pass
$9.18 $29.99
Dead by Daylight $9.00 $19.99
Dying Light
Shattered Bloodline
$3.77 $6.99
Dead by Daylight
Ash vs Evil Dead
$2.69 $4.99
Dead by Daylight
$3.77 $6.99
Dead by Daylight
$3.77 $6.99
Dead by Daylight
A Nightmare on Elm Street
$3.77 $6.99
Dead by Daylight
Darkness Among Us
$3.77 $6.99
Dead by Daylight
$2.69 $4.99
Layers of Fear $3.60 $19.99
Little Nightmares
Complete Edition
$8.10 $29.99
Outlast $2.70 $19.99
Outlast 2 $6.75 $29.99
$1.21 $8.99
Resident Evil 2 (2019) $31.31 $59.99
Resident Evil 2 (2019)
Deluxe Edition
$43.46 $69.99
Resident Evil 7 $13.50 $29.99
Resident Evil 7
Gold Edition
$18.90 $49.99
Resident Evil 6 $6.75 $29.99
Resident Evil 5 $4.50 $19.99
Resident Evil 5
Gold Edition
$6.75 $29.99
Resident Evil Revelations $6.21 $29.99
Resident Evil Revelations 2
Deluxe Edition
$13.50 $29.99
Resident Evil 4 $4.50 $19.99
Resident Evil 0 $7.20 $19.99
Resident Evil HD Remaster $7.20 $19.99
System Shock Enhanced $1.35 $9.99
System Shock 2 $2.25 $9.99
The Evil Within $9.00 $19.99
The Evil Within 2 $27.00 $59.99
The Evil Within
Season Pass
$42.20 $69.98


Those interested in grabbing these sales before they disappear like a promiscuous teenager in a slasher flick can find the full catalog of games over on the Green Man Gaming page here.  

As we get closer to the holiday season, as well as Halloween (which IS a holiday), there are sure to be more and more sales to be had, so be sure to check back at GameSkinny! 

Borderlands 3: How to Equip Weapon Trinkets Fri, 13 Sep 2019 13:29:48 -0400 Tobbpitt

Who doesn't want a little trinket hanging off their current flavor of the minute weapon in Borderlands 3? Your vault hunter and weapons can be customized in so many ways, the weapon trinket almost seems paltry but aside from slapping skins on your guns, equipping trinkets is one of the few ways to always see your customization skills at work.

Trinkets don't do anything: literally nothing... Aside from adding a little more flair to your weapons, they have no other use.

Weapon trinkets dangle off the side of the gun you have it equipped to, which is enough for some. It's certainly enough for me.

How to Equip Weapon Trinkets

Equipping a trinket isn't all that different from equipping a skin to your weapon since both have to be done from your inventory. (You can equip a skin just by pressing the Inspect button/key when highlighting a weapon in your inventory. Easy peasy.)

Popping a trinket on your guns isn't much different.

Open your inventory and shuffle your way over to the weapon you want to slap a trinket onto, then press left on your D-pad or what have you — I'm sure this is just done with the arrow keys or something with KBM, though I can't comment — to select the little empty box to the left of the weapon you want to attach a trinket to. Choose one and you're all done.

Equipping a trinket does not consume it, meaning you can equip one trinket across multiple weapons as you play the game (that's right, you can slap that diamond ponytail on every weapon if you want). No harm in making use of them, if you want to give your play a bit more flair.

Weapon trinkets may not mean much to some Borderlands 3 players, but any bit of customization you can see pretty much all the time is A-OK by me.

Gears 5 Campaign Review: Gears Has Never Been Better Fri, 13 Sep 2019 11:39:08 -0400 Mark Delaney

We're still a few days out from handing down our final verdict on the expansive Gears 5 multiplayer suite, but in the meantime, we want to weigh in on the campaign.

Unlike many popular multiplayer games, the Gears series has always attracted a large number of campaign players as well, and that's never felt more justified than it does with Gears 5.

By taking some stunning risks, delivering a better script, and putting on an audiovisual clinic, Gears 5 offers the best campaign in the series. Ever. 

Gears 5's biggest shift  that being its move to Kait as the main protagonist is apparent in all its marketing materials, but that change doesn't come until Act II. Before that, it's JD, Marcus' son and the flawed hero of Gears of War 4who remains the still-imperfect playable character. 

These first few chapters look and feel a lot like what series veterans are used to, even as it still bears the style of The Coalition's more colorful makeover. City streets and corridors re-invite players to the Gears we've had for so long, where you can chainsaw ugly monsters or cut them down from a distance with loads of firepower. After an unsettling story moment at the end of Act II, one that represents this script's best-in-series writing well, the tone abruptly shifts to something that feels quite different.

Kait's saga is the most personal in the series to date, even literally, as we often see inside her own unwell mind. However, it's the best in the series for reasons that go beyond just that introspection. Gears 5 makes a welcome habit out of subverting expectations over and over again throughout the 12-hour campaign.

Moments big and small are upended by surprises, like the ebb and flow of combat and dialogue, which has for so long been metronomic in this and other shooters but now cleverly unravels in Gears 5. Character moments will be interrupted by chaos when you least expect it, while the game lets things breathe more than Gears is known to do.

Gears 5 cares more for its characters, too. Even as many fans were invested in the likes of Dom, Baird, and Marcus in the original trilogy and scoffed at JD, Del, and Kait in 4, the latest in the series does more for all the living characters, both past and present, than ever before. Beneath the bulky exterior, Gears has fully-fledged human beings in its starring roles now. I even got goosebumps a few times. That's new.

The series once dedicated to gravel-voiced testosterone junkies is no longer afraid to cry, and it's a beautiful thing. It's so affecting in Gears 5 that it's made me retroactively care more for the series' earlier narrative shenanigans. 

It's especially daring how Kait is promoted to the starring role, and even more so when you realize she's likely to be the pivotal character in Gears 6, too. I can't think of other series that have pivoted from one hero to the next mid-trilogy like this, and it seems unlikely any similar moves would've been successful. From a storytelling view, it feels unfathomable almost improper that the story could unfold as it does in The Coalition's first two outings as Gears caretakers, but they've nailed it, and I'm excited for what's ahead.

The final scene of Gears 5 has the pitch-perfect summer blockbuster cliffhanger mood they're going for, and I now find myself a bigger fan than ever thanks to Kait's motivation.

It's one of many sweeping changes that The Coalition has made since taking over with Gears of War 4, and the handoff looks even more secure here in Gears 5. New enemy types in basic combat and boss battles are to be expected from any shooter, but the cover-shooting heart of the franchise still doesn't miss a beat. Supplemented with new environmental tactics, like shooting the ice beneath enemies, as well as the returning storm mechanics from 4 make Gears 5 a game that always feels great.

The Coalition's north star seems to be paying homage to what worked before but not fearing big changes. They've made many in this game alone and most of them work well.

A pair of open-world hubs have their ups and downs, though. With one main objective in each of the two areas, players are left to their wind-sailing skiff to explore for more blips on the map. Twelve side missions and some collectibles round out the optional content in total, while the bookend sections surrounding Acts II and III don't offer any similar areas, making the move to open-world feel half-baked.

Stuck between a linear past and a future potentially more vast, Gears 5  feels like a trial run for an even more expansive Gears 6 in a few years, and that move will be a smart one as the side missions are a fun addition to the series. But for now, players may be wondering why they have so few toys for so much sand.

But at least that sand is gorgeous. Environments in Gears 5 make it the best looking Xbox game to date. It instantaneously becomes the new benchmark for their first-party titles and will help usher in the next generation with this pretty of a picture. Act III's red sand screams of The Last Jedi, but Gears makes it work for itself just as memorably. Before that, the crystalline blue tundra helps diversify the battlefield like never before for the once grey-brown franchise.

Character models have always been inflated, though The Coalition slimmed them down a bit when they took over. However, by imbuing the world with a wider color palette and using some amazing lighting effects, Gears 5 is visually flawless, even as sawing Swarm monsters in half doesn't tend to be the most portrait-ready scene.

It also sounds great thanks to awesomely designed audio, including the return of Ramin Djawadi, of Westworld and Game of Thrones fame, as composer. The Coalition has found their sonic soulmate in Djawadi and can't let him out of the building until he scores the finale to this new trilogy.

As this review arrives post-launch, I didn't experience some of the issues reported elsewhere regarding progression bugs, though I did encounter some that required checkpoint restarts. Given how unforgiving the checkpoints often are in Gears 5, those were annoying. Thankfully, they never persisted and some have already been patched out, too.

Still, this is Xbox's biggest game of the year and the flagship launch for its holiday rush Game Pass initiative. It would be silly to say Gears 5 is unpolished since it does so much so impressively, but several of the bugs, like an interact prompt that never seems to work the first time, have the feeling of QA reports deliberately overlooked.

  • Revitalizes the series with a new emotional core
  • Environments are more varied and interesting than ever before
  • Takes big risks in the story and gameplay and most of them pay off
  • Frequently subverts expectations 
  • Some bugs cause annoyances and force restarts
  • Open-world sections feel half-baked

Before Gears of War 4, the series felt like its future was up in the air. For some, that feeling grew stronger after a polarizing debut for The Coalition. 

Gears 5 not only puts that debate to rest, it delivers a new benchmark for Xbox Game Studios. When Master Chief returns next Christmas, it's Gears 5 he'll need to contend with to claim the top spot among Microsoft's first-party campaigns. 

[Note: A copy of Gears 5 was provided by Microsoft for the purpose of this review.]

NHL 20 Review: Top-End of the Talent Pool Fri, 13 Sep 2019 09:00:01 -0400 RobertPIngram

It's fall, which means it's time for another rollout of EA's NHL series. For fans of the genre, there's good news: NHL 20 is back with an entertaining hockey simulation and a variety of fun ways to play.

With the always-popular Ultimate Team mode, an intuitive and instructive Career Mode, and some pond hockey inspired games to enjoy, there's a little bit of everything waiting for you in this year's edition.

Getting Up to Speed is Easy 

The most important thing about any sports game is how it handles. Clunky controls can drive a player insane and steep learning curves can make it difficult for anyone new to get into the game.

When it comes to converting the minutiae of an entire sport into a single controller, the NHL series is perhaps the biggest challenge EA faces outside of the UFC. With players flying around the ice on skates and wielding their sticks in dynamic fashion, it's important for EA to truly replicate the high-speed feel of elite hockey.

And, thankfully, EA does it with impressive economy. Button and joystick usage is efficient, and the game provides a great deal of creative expression and control with minimal use of the gamepad's functions.

While classic controls that harken to the series' much revered early iterations on the Super Nintendo and SEGA Genesis are available, the game is meant to be played on a modern two-joystick scheme, and it's at its best when you do so.

On a very basic level, your left stick controls your skater while your right stick controls their stick, but what at first seems like a somewhat limited layout actually delivers controls which help you to feel like a true NHL star.

By combining the right stick with a few buttons to modify it, not only do players have full control over the shots they take, but a deep system of dekes and misdirections opens up for skilled players to master.

With a little practice, your next open ice opportunity can see you beat the last man with a spin-o-rama, then fake the goalie out of his pads before nudging the puck past him into the exposed net with the toe of your stick.

If the above sounds rather intimidating and like something you'll never be able to manage, you are in luck. The game includes a Training Camp, which guides you through controlling your players, starting with basics like passing and shooting, before progressing to open-ice dekes and playing the puck between your legs.

The entire process plays out through a series of small tutorials which teach the moves, explain why and when to use them, and has you perform them in a training setting to get them down pat.

As a player who has always been more comfortable relying on the old-school controls of my youth, it got me acclimated and finally modernized in no time at all.

Be a Pro Career Shines

The series' franchise modes are always popular options for players, and the "Be a Pro" mode, in particular, lives up to expectations. While the lack of extras like interviews and apartment building from some of EA's other sports franchises will be seen as a plus by some and an omission by others, what it delivers here is a focus on playing hockey, which is easily strong enough to stand on its own.

When starting your career, you have three options for pre-draft preparations. If you want to jump straight into the league, you can go right to the draft. Those who prefer earning their slot can instead join a CHL side as a teenager and start making a name for themselves.

The Memorial Cup offers a happy compromise of the two, with your pro joining a CHL side for the four-team round-robin tournament, which will see you playing between three and five games before entering the draft.

No matter how you choose to go about your formative years, the experience is a can't miss way to play the game.

Playing in shifts means you can power through your career at a reasonable clip, while the coaching instructions you receive double as a training camp feature by encouraging you to perform certain moves for bonus experience and also showing you how to perform them. Even if you've never played an NHL game before and skip training camp, you'll be feeling like a veteran on the ice after a few games.

World of CHEL Goes Royale

If there's one thing the NHL's stadium series has taught us, it's that hockey fans will always have a special place in their hearts for the game being played in its pickup setting outdoors on a frigid winter's day.

It was only natural that it would find its way into the NHL series, and the expanded role of World of CHEL in NHL 20 shows EA is committed to the concept. While the grind-heavy approach is frustrating, with your character starting out with only a small handful of customization options unlocked in your free starter bag, the gameplay itself is an excellent change of pace from full side games.

Taking a sporting twist to the trendy world of last-man-standing, this year's edition of CHEL includes two different online elimination modes.

In THREES Eliminator, you can pair up with two friends to take on opponents in a rapid-fire series of winner-moves-on-pond hockey. Survive all three rounds and you'll be the kings of the bracket.

Even more fun is the ONES Eliminator option, which cuts the ice in half and places you and two opponents on the ice at the same time, all looking to bang in the most goals before the clock runs out. As in THREES, the winner moves on to the next round until finally, the 81 players who started the game are whittled down to one winner.

Ultimate Team is Back

At this point, the existence of an Ultimate Team mode, where you open packs of cards to cobble together a team logo, uniform, and players, is a given in any EA sports game, but the NHL version is among the best. While there are the usual concerns about the appeal to microtransactions that these modes include, it does offer a variety of ways to play for those opposed to such things. 

In addition to the option to play online seasons to progress through the game's online tiers, there are offline options which allow you to play with and build your team even if you don't like online play. From taking on challenge modes with set objectives to battling against computer-controlled versions of other players' actual HUT squads, there's plenty of Ultimate Team fun to be had without ever venturing online.

  • The game's tutorial and overlay options provide an easy entry for new players without oversimplifying gameplay and harming the top-end of the talent pool
  • New World of CHEL options add even more fun to an already enjoyable side mode
  • Strong "Be a Pro" mode is an absolute pleasure to play
  • Players who have NHL 19 may not feel there is enough new about the latest addition to justify the cost
  • Some mechanics in "Be a Pro," specifically the camera when coming off the bench, can be aggravating and lead to on-the-ice errors
  • The inability to utilize the game's in-depth team creation feature for HUT in order to maintain the unlock-based system of earning real uniforms is disappointing and wasteful

NHL 20 is definitely a strong entry in the larger sports simulation world. For those looking to try a hockey game for the first time, or who have taken a few years off from the series and are ready to get their hands on some new features and updated rosters, this game is a no-brainer. The gameplay is fluid and fun, and the various play styles offer enough variety to more than get your money's worth.

For players who purchased NHL 19 but aren't members of the every-year club, it's a more challenging call. While there are certainly nice elements to the game, and the addition of Elimination modes promises a good time, it's hard to say if that's enough to justify paying full price for an improved version of a game that's only a year old.

If you opt to sit this one out until next year, you'll be missing out, but if you don't mind playing a year behind, you can wait for NHL 21 with the peace of mind knowing that you're missing out on a step forward, not a giant leap.

[Note: A copy of NHL 20 was provided by Electronic Arts for the purpose of this review.]

New Resident Evil: Project Resistance Details Shuffle Out of the Tokyo Game Show Thu, 12 Sep 2019 17:24:02 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Capcom revealed its latest Resident Evil project, Resident Evil: Project Resistance, just a short while ago, and now we're getting some new gameplay information out of the Tokyo Game Show.

As expected from the initial teaser trailer, Project Resistance is a 4v1 multiplayer survival game. Capcom describes it as an asymmetrical experience, one where every player sees and deals with something different.

That's because one of the players is trying to do the other four in. One player takes on the role of the Mastermind and tries to impede the other players' progress (read: kill them) by taking control of a series of security cameras, directing enemies and weapons, and manipulating the environment — all thanks to a handy deck of cards that grants the Mastermind their power.

On the other hand, each of the four survivors has a unique set of skills they can employ to overcome the Mastermind's traps, and despite players working to survive on their own, Capcom says teamwork will be absolutely vital for making it out alive.

Think of it as the escape room from hell developed by Umbrella.

There's one other pretty big power the Mastermind has, and it's a series first: the Mastermind can control zombies and step into the skin of Mr. X (or Mr. Cross, for those inclined to see it that way.) to confront the other four players.

As of now, we still don't have an official release date for Resident Evil: Project Resistance, but RE Ambassadors and Xbox Insiders get access to a closed beta of the game from October 4 through October 7. No similar access for PC gamers has been announced yet, despite the game being set for a PC launch as well.

How Long Does it Take to Beat Gears 5? Thu, 12 Sep 2019 15:23:15 -0400 GS_Staff

The consensus is in: Gears 5 is one hell of a game. Whether you're playing it on Xbox One or PC, you might be wondering how long it takes to beat Gears 5

To answer that question, we asked our reviewer and looked at the website How Long to Beat, which compiles game data from users from around the world. As of this writing, we know that 37 of 52 players have submitted Gears 5 completion data to the site. 

We admit it's not exactly scientific, but the data below will give you an idea of how much time you can expect to spend with the game. 

So how long is it? 

Gears 5 Campaign 

Time: ~11 Hours

The game's campaign is roughly 11 hours long. Our reviewer said that's about right, as it took him around 12 hours to finish things up. 

Gears 5 Campaign + Extras 

Time: ~14 Hours

To complete the main story and what HLtB calls "extras," it takes roughly another three hours, putting your playtime at around 14 hours. Here, extras seem to include things like sidequests and non-story achievements.

Gears 5 Completionist

Time: ~17.5 Hours

For those going for all of the game's achievements, it looks like a completionist run will take around 17.5 hours. Of course, some players will be faster, while others will certainly take longer. It's just a matter of playstyle... 

How Many Acts and Chapters are in Gears 5

Now that you know the game's length, how many Acts and Chapters are in this sequel to Gears 4?  

Here's what we know: There are four acts with a total of 15 chapters

  • Act One has four chapters
  • Act Two has five chapters
  • Act Three has four chapters
  • Act Four has two chapters


In addition to the game's campaign, Horde mode returns with tons of enemies and a cast of characters wielding devastating abilities a la' Champions in Overwatch. That's not to mention other game-lengthening modes such as Escape, Map Builder, and Versus.

Currently, Gears 5 is out on Xbox One and PC. It is available both physically and digitally, and fans can also play it via Game Pass on both of those platforms. It is available for other PC players on Steam.

Gears 5 supports cross-play and cross-save on Xbox One and PC, including Steam. 

GreedFall Companions Guide: Quests and Romance Thu, 12 Sep 2019 13:42:21 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

You've set sail for Teer Fradee, the new world entirely at your fingertips. What better way to go about colonizing this new world than with your trusty companions by your side? GreedFall, like many RPGs, allows you to set up and outfit a variety of allies who can help you on your journey.

Each companion has a few different sidequests that you can complete to earn bonuses and, if you play your cards right, pick up a romantic partner along the way. Here are the different companions you can fight alongside and whether or not you can start a romance with them.

You'll want to make sure to talk to your companions regularly to unlock their quests and special talents. If you complete all three quests for a companion you can romance, you will then have the option to invite them home with you and start a relationship.

Here's what we know. 


Where Can I Find Her?

You encounter Aphra after you complete the quest "Scholars in the Expedition."

Can I Romance Aphra?

You can only start a relationship with her if you play as a male character. You will get the "Love and Botany" achievement/trophy for being in a relationship with her. 

What are Aphra's Quests and Missions?
  • Islander Knowledge: Unlocks after the quest "The Battle of the Red Spears."
  • Cave of Knowledge: Unlocks shortly after completing her previous quest.
  • The Linking Ritual: Unlocks shortly after completing her previous quest.


Where Can I Find Him?

Kurt joins you almost immediately at the start of the game.

Can I Romance Kurt?

You can only start a relationship with him if you play as a female character. You will get the "Guardian of Love" achievement/trophy for being in a relationship with him. 

What are Kurt's Quests and Missions?
  • Missing in Action: Talk to Kurt after you've spoken with Constantin after your arrival in New Serene.
  • Amongst the Ghosts: Will open shortly after completing his previous quest; a new dialogue option will appear when you speak with Kurt.
  • Settling Scores: Opens after you complete the quest "Treason!" SPOILER: Kurt will survive "Treason!" if you have already completed his other two quests.


Where Can I Find Him?

Head to Theleme and speak with the governor there. Petrus will then join your party.

Can I Romance Petrus?

Petrus is not available as a romance option.

What are Petrus' Quests and Missions?
  • The Vices of the Mother Cardinal: Speak with Petrus after completing the "Old Countries in the New World" quest.
  • Dangerous Bets: Speak with Petrus' father after finishing his first quest. Then talk to Petrus.
  • Sins of Father Petrus: Unlocks shortly after completing his previous quest.


Where Can I Find Her?

Siora joins you shortly after your arrival on Teer Fradee.

Can I Romance Siora?

You can start a relationship with Siora playing as either a male or female character. You will get the "Minundhamen" achievement/trophy for being in a relationship with her. 

What are Siora's Quests and Missions?
  • Find Queen Bladnid: Unlocks after completing "The Battle of the Red Spears."
  • Promises Set in Stone: Unlocks after completing "The Trial of the Waters." Do not accept the bribe that is offered to you as part of the main questline. If you do, Siora will leave the party and not return!
  • The Queen's Farewell: Unlocks shortly after you complete her previous quest.


Where Can I Find Him?

Vasco joins your party immediately after you arrive in Teer Fradee.

Can I Romance Vasco?

Vasco is a romance option for male and female characters alike. You will get the "Love and the Sea" achievement/trophy for being in a relationship with him. 

What are Vasco's Quests and Missions?
  • A Name for a Family: Unlocks immediately after speaking with Constantin when you first arrive at Teer Fradee.
  • Family Reunion: Unlocks shortly after completing the previous quest.
  • Forever a Naut: Unlocks shortly after completing the previous quest.


As you can see, there are four possible romance options in GreedFall, but only three on any given playthrough. You unlock achievements and trophies for each companion whose questline you complete, and they also give you stat bonuses as their opinion of you increases.

Don't fret if a quest doesn't open immediately if the only prerequisite is "complete the previous quest." Sometimes you need to wait until some time has passed in game. Go complete some other sidequests while you wait.

Looking for more on GreedFall? You can read our full, hands-on PC review here to find out if it is worth it before you buy it. GreedFall is currently out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One for $50. 

How to Become a Witch in The Sims 4: Realm of Magic Thu, 12 Sep 2019 11:38:32 -0400 Sergey_3847

The latest content update for The Sims 4, titled Realm of Magic, is out now, and it introduces a brand-new set of spellcasting abilities for your characters. However, not everyone can become a witch in The Sims 4, as this ability can only be acquired by teens, young adults, adults, and elders.

Also, the process of becoming a spellcaster may seem a bit daunting to new players. That's why you can save your time by following a simple step-by-step guide on how to become a witch below.

Step 1: Speak to a Sage in Magic HQ

In order to get to Magic headquarters in The Sims 4, you need to travel through a portal located at the waterfall on the edge of the new Glimmerbrook town.

When you arrive at the Magic HQ, you need to find a sage. There are three of them in the headquarters:

  • Simeon Silversweater: Sage of Practical Magic
  • L. Faba: Sage of Mischief Magic
  • Morgyn Ember: Sage of Untamed Magic

It doesn't matter who you speak to first, as all of them are capable of turning your character into a witch. When you find one of them, follow these steps:

  1. Start a conversation
  2. Introduce yourself
  3. Click on "Friendly Interactions"
  4. Choose "Ask How to Use Magic"
  5. Click on "I was born ready" option in the next menu

Step 2: Collect Magical Orbs

As a result of your conversation with one of the sages, you will be given a task to collect seven magical orbs scattered around the Magic HQ.

Go outside and find all seven orbs; they are very easy to see since the sage will give you a special ability for that purpose.

Go back to the sage and give him the orbs. As a reward, your character will be turned into a witch.


For more The Sims 4 guides, check out the list below:

Monster Sanctuary Early Access Impressions: Monster Mash Wed, 11 Sep 2019 14:17:54 -0400 Jason Coles

Collecting and training monsters is increasingly common in games now. Thanks to the popularity of several Japanese series with ‘mon’ in the title, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of games where capturing and battling various fluffy and unfluffy things is the primary goal. Of course, each of these games has achieved varying degrees of success.

The good news is that sometimes, these games try and branch out a bit, and that’s exactly what’s happening with Monster Sanctuary.

Monster Sanctuary is a turn-based monster battler with Metroidvania elements. Which is the latest in a long line of games designed to either set your brain on fire with excitement or have you screaming as you dunk your head into the toilet.

(Please don’t dunk your head into the toilet, it’s not hygienic.)

We Did the Mash

You play as a Monster Keeper in Monster Sanctuary, but a brand-new, green behind the ears type. You are one of four spectral familiars that's available at the start. Once you've made your choice, you then you set off on your journey to catch ‘em all.

Wait, no. Wrong game.

You then set off to climb the ranks within the Monster Sanctuary and eventually save it from the sudden appearance of powerful Monster Champions who are threatening the peace.

To do this, you go around fighting monsters, killing them, and then stealing their unborn children. At least, that’s how it seems. You battle monsters and can occasionally get eggs as a reward. You can then hatch these eggs and add them to your party, which can consist of six monsters. However, only three can be in a battle at any one time, so you have to choose carefully.

It’s a fairly standard system, but what’s really interesting is the battle system. Each battle is 3 v. 3, and there are a number of factors to take into account during each turn. Elemental strengths and weaknesses are given to you on a plate, so it’s all about strategy.

As you make your way through your turn, you build up a combo meter which increases your damage. This means if you need to heal, you can do so to start your turn, follow that up with a small attack, then choose your heavy hitter to get an extra 50% damage to your attack.

It’s a great system and one that adds a massive layer of complexity to a seemingly simple turn-based game.

Skillz To Pay The Billz

There is a wealth of different buffs, skills, and attacks to use, too, each of which you unlock using the skill system as you level up your beasties. You can choose from different passive buffs, stat upgrades, and even unlock new skills or upgrade your current ones. Each decision matters, though, and that’s what makes the game feel so good.

Every choice you make in battle is relevant, but that includes the things you do before you’ve even started a fight. Equipping your team with the right gear can take them from timid little fluffs and mushrooms into a squad of deadly beasts, and picking which of those to bring into the fray with you can decide the battle all on its own.

The best part is that if you mess up in a critical fight, you simply pick up right before you started the fight. This means you can experiment to your heart’s content, and never worry about needlessly backtracking.

The game's exploration is good, but it's very standard stuff. You go around a 2D map knocking down hidden walls, eventually unlocking new skills as you go and revisiting earlier areas for secrets and loot. It’s fun, but nothing revolutionary, and it can often be a little confusing as to where to go next. Not that it needs to be perfect, because the combat more than makes up for it, but it's worth mentioning.

  • Wonderfully deep combat system
  • Charming music and visuals 
  • Lots of customization 
  • Some battles take a while
  • It's not always clear where to go next

On top of all of this, it looks good, sounds good, and plays well. Monster Sanctuary is already shaping up to be an excellent game, and that’s despite it only being in Early Access.

If things continue on the path that it has currently laid out, then it’s sure to be the kind of indie gem that fans will talk about for years to come.

[Note: An Early Access copy of Monster Sanctuary was provided by Team 17 for the purpose of this impressions piece.]

Gears 5 Guide: All Relic Weapons Locations Wed, 11 Sep 2019 13:57:26 -0400 Sergey_3847

Gears 5 on Xbox One and PC introduces a whole slew of new and improved weapons called Relic Weapons. They can be found in secret locations scattered all over the game's map. In total, there are 17 Relic Weapons in the game.

They have one identifiable feature to help you find them: the Crimson Omen. If you see this, these weapons are very close. Grabbing them means you can destroy hordes of enemies in a much more effective way.

If you don't want to look out for these unique pickups on your own but still want to be a terminator, then just follow our guide below for all the possible locations of Relic Weapons the open(ish) world of Gears 5.

Enforcer Relic

The Enforcer Relic map location in Gears 5

The relic variant of Enforcer Submachine Gun can be found in Act 2 Chapter 2, right after you open the Northern Passage gate. Go to your left and look out for the Crimson Omen on the cliff wall. Your prize is right under the tree nearby.

This variant deals a lot more damage than the vanilla version, although there is one drawback as the firerate is a little bit slower.

Longshot Relic

When you reach the Train Tunnel at Act 2 Chapter 4, go to east and enter a shack that is painted red. Inside the shack you will see a sniper rifle on the table near the Crimson Omen.

This rifle has Active Reload, which means that you will always have an a free extra bullet.

Retro Lancer Relic

After the shack in Act 2 Chapter 4, go to the Old Cog Wall. From there, go northeast and locate a rocky area with a Crimson Omen clearly seen on top. You don't need to go up, though. Simply search for the relic at the foot of the hill.

This Lancer uses explosive ammo, which hits and damages all nearby enemies.

Dropshot Relic

From the above, move further to the west from the Old Cog Wall and locate the Transmission Signal Source objective. You will see huge ice boulders nearby with the omen inscribed on one of them. The weapon can be found right behind it.

Dropshot is designed to literally freeze your enemies. It fires cryo-blasting rounds that can stop any enemy in its tracks.

Torque Bow Relic

Now go back to the Old Cog Wall and turn south. Reach the Abandoned Mine and look out for the omen atop the hillhouse. The relic bow can be seen right under the trees.

If you like quiet weapons, then this relic bow will suite you just right.

Boltok Relic

In Act 2 Chapter 4, go to your next objective, which is the Condor Crash Site. Just above the marker you will see a wall with the omen and a relic pistol on the ground.

Boltok Relic can be a very accurate weapon because of its ability to fire from the hip.

Boomshot Relic

From the Condor Crash Site, go all the way up north to the North Tower Substation. Locate the buildings to the right of the substation and look out for the omen on the wall of the power generator. The relic weapon is right behind it.

Boomshot is a customized version of the grenade launcher that can shoot three grenades at a time.

Talon Relic

In Act 3 Chapter 2, you will be relocated to the Abandoned Airport. There you will see a row of hangars. Go to the first one and look behind the corner to your right of the entrance. The weapon can be seen by the wall.

Just like Longshot, this weapon has an Active Reload mechanism, which allows it to deal more damage while shooting.

Gnasher Relic

Then, go north from the Water Tower to the edge of the mountain. Just follow the marker indicated on the map above and you should be able to spot the weapon at the foot of the mount.

Gnasher is a highly potent shotgun that can kill enemies with a single shot, although it's not terribly accurate.

Lancer GR Relic

To the south of the Water Tower you will see an overhang supported by massive pillars. You can find the relic under the central pillar.

This customized assault rifle has a mind of its own. Basically, it detects nearby targets when you shoot straight and bursts into the air dealing damage to those nearby targets.

Overkill Relic

Follow the northeast path from the Bridge Control House and locate a huge rock protruding from the earth. The weapon can be seen laying around the rock.

Overkill is a semi-automatic shotgun, which can be easily switched to full auto mode by simply holding the trigger.

Embar Relic

After you reached the Train Turntable objective, move to the far west, and locate the Crashed Condor site. Search for the weapon among the crates that have fallen out of the airplane wreckage.

Embar is a powerful shotgun that shoots with electro-magnetic rounds that deal devastating damage. The only drawback is that it takes quite a while before the weapon is charged and ready to fire.

Lancer Relic

Find the Cargo Shipwreck objective located to the southwest of the Train Bridge. Look out for a relic weapon in the pile of debris south of the shipwreck.

Lancer is a multi-purpose assault rifle, which can be used as a firearm and as a melee weapon. Just press the Melee button to activate a melee atack, or activate its chainsaw for the ultimate execution.

Hammerburst Relic

Locate a building that stands between City Ruins and Harbor Docks. Enter the courtyard through the gate and go to your right. There is a weapon crate with a new relic weapon at the end.

Hammerburst is another assault rifle with a powerful ability to fire longer bursts with each trigger-pull action.

Markza Relic

Search for a Pump Station north of the Cosmonaut Training Facility and check out the vehicle graveyard to the north of the station. The trunk of the leftmost car holds a new relic weapon.

Markza is a sniper rifle with an option to shoot in fully automatic mode by holding the trigger. However, the accuracy of the weapon drops significantly.

Snub Relic

Go southeast of the Pump Station and follow the marker indicated on the map above. When you reach the edge of the map, search for the weapon at the base of the wall.

Snub is a modified pistol, which can shoot two bullets at a time. The distinctive feature of this firearm is the extreme accuracy of its shots.

Claw Relic

Lastly, find a half-buried building with a tower between the Cosmonaut Training Facility and Pump Station. This one can be seen in the bushes near the building.

Claw is a light machine-gun capable of reaching unbelievably fast rates of fire with the help of the Active Reload feature.


Various versions of Gears 5 are currently out on Xbox One and PC. Aside from being on Game Pass for PC, it is also available on Steam for the platform. For more Gears 5 guides, check out the list below:

PAX West 2019 Preview: Solving All My Problems With Violence in Streets of Rage 4 Wed, 11 Sep 2019 10:13:06 -0400 Thomas Wilde

Streets of Rage 4 feels like… well, pretty much exactly what it is. A French studio teamed up with a French-Canadian studio to make a stylish, faithful sequel to one of the great idle franchises in video game history, with a soundtrack by the original composer and a few equally legendary collaborators.

In a lot of ways, this feels like a fan project, the same way Sonic Mania did. Streets of Rage 4 isn’t an attempt to “update the series for a new generation,” or any other kind of random cash grab off an old license. It’s an arcade-style beat-‘em-up from stem to stern, with most of the old tricks, gimmicks, and conventions firmly in place. It felt familiar, and I felt and comfortable with it from the moment I picked it up, just as if it hasn’t been 25 years since the last Streets of Rage game.

Streets of Rage 4 is a collaboration between three studios. Lizardcube (the recent remake of Wonder Boy 3), in Paris, is handling the art direction, while Montreal’s Guard Crush Games (Streets of Fury) is handling the programming and Paris’s Dotemu is providing design work. The latter is also publishing the game.

I will say that the visuals are the biggest change. SoR4 in motion looks like the animated version of a European comic adaptation of the series. It's as if someone threw a giant sack of money at the guy who draws Yoko Tsuno to have him illustrate those old Sega licensed comics that ran in the U.K. in the ‘90s.

SoR4 is supposed to be set 10 years after the events of Streets of Rage 3, but Blaze Fielding hasn’t aged a day, Axel Stone looks like he joined a grunge band, the nameless city they’re in is still mostly populated by garish ‘80s gang members and the occasional dominatrix, and many of the backgrounds are rich with that ‘80s New York style of urban rot that all the old arcade beat-‘em-ups got out of movies like Death Wish and Cobra. It almost feels like a period piece.

Streets of Rage 4 has a soundtrack composed by series veteran Yuzo Koshiro, as well as Hideki Naganuma (Jet Set Radio, Sonic Rush, the last couple of Smash Brothers games), Yoko Shimomura (Final Fight, Street Fighter II, Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy XV), and Keiji Yamagishi (Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl, The Messenger). If you’re the sort of person who sits around listening to 16-bit chiptunes for fun, you should probably plan on ordering the SoR4 OST now. This is basically a supergroup for the 16-bit era.

I got a chance to play Streets of Rage 4 at this year’s Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle, at publisher Dotemu’s booth on the sixth floor of the convention center. They just handed me a controller and let me and a friend pummel our way through the game’s sixth stage.

The first thing I noticed, playing co-op, is that friendly fire is on by default, and according to a nearby Dotemu producer, cannot be turned off. Your worst enemy in Streets of Rage 4 is the person you’re playing with. The game was generous with its power-ups, so I was able to regain life by punching apples, hamburgers, and entire cooked chickens out of oil drums, but I wouldn’t have taken half as much damage if I wasn’t catching stray hands from Player 2.

I ended up playing as the newest character, Cherry Hunter, who’s the daughter of Adam from the original Streets of Rage. (Since Skate from SoR3 was Adam’s little brother, I guess the cross-city beatdown tour is now officially a Hunter family tradition.) Cherry felt like she was in the same mid-range zone as Axel always was, not too slow and doing decent damage, with the ability to bust out her guitar for an explosive chord that cleared the area around her.

One thing that did change in SoR4 from past games is that your special attacks still cost you small amounts of life, but it isn’t a permanent loss. Any life you spend on specials will regenerate a tick at a time as long as you don’t take any additional damage. The idea, according to Dotemu’s producers, is to make your special moves a risk vs. reward issue, rather than an emergency measure. As long as you can stay out of danger, you can freely incorporate your specials into your offense, which is great for clearing out sudden crowds of enemies.

That’s just one way in which SoR4 is a little kinder than the older games ever were. I remember complaining back in the day about a few other franchise revivals  like Contra  that kept a lot of the bad habits from the quarter-muncher days despite not being on an arcade cabinet anymore. Streets of Rage 4, though, at least in the stage from the PAX demo, doesn’t do that. You don’t have to memorize its patterns to avoid sudden cheap hits or deaths, the way that old ‘90s arcade games would in order to suck more change out of your pockets. It’s got a smoother, more intuitive difficulty curve.

Watching other people play SoR4, I did notice that I’d missed a few things. There are apparently a lot of secret moves and special attacks hidden in each character’s moveslist, the same way there were in Streets of Rage 3. There’s also at least one character that hasn’t been revealed yet, to go by the game’s key art. (I kind of hope it’s Busujima from Zombie Revenge, since this is suddenly the year for unexpected crossovers.)

I do wonder how Streets of Rage 4 will play if you didn’t grow up on arcade beat-‘em-ups. There’s a lot it improves about the original series the animation, the general difficulty curve, some of the basic mechanics but in a lot of ways, it’s trading heavily on nostalgia. The retrogaming guys I know are already hype for SoR4  Sega fans have been asking for a new Streets of Rage game since the Saturn was a thing but it’s enough of a throwback product that I wonder how well it’ll do with a brand-new audience.

Then again, it’s not a subtle genre. There are half a dozen guys over there with intact teeth, and your job is to go fix that. That will always have a timeless appeal.

For more coverage from PAX West 2019, be sure to head over to our PAX West 2019 hub