Epic Game Store Platform RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Epic Game Store RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Saturnalia Review: Fear Itself https://www.gameskinny.com/3520t/saturnalia-review-fear-itself https://www.gameskinny.com/3520t/saturnalia-review-fear-itself Sat, 29 Oct 2022 13:22:44 -0400 Will Borger

It starts on the title screen. The fear. A woman whispers in a language I don’t understand. Strange sounds move around her voice. I haven’t even started playing Saturnalia, and I’m already unsettled. It’s at this point I know this game is going to be something special.

Jointly developed by Santa Ragione and Big Trouble Game Studio, Saturnalia is a unique take on the survival horror genre, mixing roguelike elements with incredible art design and an ambitious narrative to create a game that’s quite unique – even if it may not seem that way at first.

Saturnalia is set in Sardinia, a culturally rich region of Italy known for its unique folklore, which features in the plot. The story takes place in the fictional mining town of Gravoi. Initially, we follow Anita, a geologist who has spent the last year surveying the mine to see if it can be reopened at the behest of a prospective buyer. Unfortunately, reopening the mine has awakened… something that begins to stalk the town. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything; you really should go in with as little information as possible.

Over time, you’ll unlock more characters, ultimately ending up with four in total. Each has a different ability. As a geologist, Anita has a map of the mine and can memorize the way to any point in town you’ve previously visited. Paul is a photojournalist with a camera who can take pictures of clues and stun the creature stalking the town with the camera’s flash. Sergio has a satellite phone – Saturnalia takes place in 1989 – and can call for backup from the other characters from almost anywhere. Claudia, small and thin, can squeeze through gaps other characters can’t.

Each character also has their own story driving them forward. Anita has been having an affair with a married man and has to decide whether to leave the town or stay and try to start a family. Paul is returning to the town to learn more about his late parents. Sergio is a former drug addict who left the town years ago after the end of a relationship with an older man and has come back for closure. Claudia is the daughter of a local bar owner dealing with the strange circumstances surrounding her aunt’s suicide.

Characters progress their stories independently of one another, so it’s possible to complete the game with any combination of them done – or any combination of characters alive. There are multiple endings depending on who lives and what you accomplish. You’ll want to do them all, but two things stand in your way: the town itself, and the creature chasing you.

The creature is terrifying. Its approach is accompanied by a rattling sound, like the loudest version of the world’s angriest rain catcher. It’s terrifying the first time you hear it and loses none of its power as the game progresses. As it gets closer, the sound becomes louder and louder, and when it's close, you can see its silhouette in the dark.

It’s scary to see the creature, but worse to hear it because you don’t know where it is. You only know that it’s near you, and it’s coming. You cannot fight it; your only options are to run and hope you lose it, or hide.

Being found doesn’t mean death – at least, not right away. You’ll immediately switch to another character, and have a limited amount of time to save the one that got grabbed. Fail to do so, and they’re gone. And this is where the town comes into play. Gravoi is a claustrophobic, sprawling place, stacked upon itself and full of dead ends, side streets, and confusing pathways. Navigating it feels like stepping into a labyrinth, no matter how many times you’ve walked it.

In the dark, it's foreboding and challenging. You can only see a few feet in front of you without lighting a match, one of several limited resources you have to manage. Some things help – maps dot several of the street corners, and you can light bonfires scattered throughout the town for light and landmarks – but every match, and the coins it takes to buy them and other resources, is almost always spent in the mines, where light is precious and rare.

This feeling of helplessness and being limited weighs on you as time wears on and resources become scarcer and scarcer. Every match spent walking across the map, every trip to acquire another resource, is anxiety-inducing because you’re not only spending resources but risking another encounter with the creature.

You can team up with other characters and travel together for access to everyone’s special abilities, but doing so makes more noise, as does opening doors and doing just about everything else. And the more noise you make, the more you risk attracting the creature. You have to constantly weigh the risk of traveling alone and running into an obstacle your current character can’t deal with, and increasing the risk of attracting the creature. Both can be frustrating and set you back, but which trade-off is worth it is up to you.

As you progress, each trip becomes a test of endurance. You’ll want to follow up on the clues you find, but is another trip to the mines or the church worth the potential outcome? I often found myself having to work up the courage to attempt to see everyone’s story through. Worse still, memorizing the town’s layout means nothing; losing every character completely resets the town’s layout. Thankfully, you’ll keep any clues – handily sorted into an interactable mission screen and connected by lines to show how they’re related – and story progress if find yourself so unlucky.

The whole thing is wrapped up in beautiful art. Everything looks like it was hand-sketched. Heavy lines outline the characters and buildings, merging with the deep darkness of the night and the neon-pink fog that covers much of the town. The visual design – a mix of inspiration from Giallo films, theatre, stop-motion animation, and roto-scoping – achieves an arthouse style that feels effortlessly cinematic, and the excellent sound design, which draws on ancient music and sounds, makes Saturnalia an audio and visual joy, even at its most terrifying.

Saturnalia also deserves praise for its accessibility options. You can control almost every facet of it, from whether or not the village resets on death to how aggressive the creature is in hunting you, or whether or not you have infinite matches or an auto-walk to location system. You can even enable permadeath. This allows players to customize the settings to their liking individually or via a series of presets. 

Saturnalia Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Stylish visual and sound design.
  • Compelling story and characters.
  • Accessibility options allow you to manage difficulty and scares.

Cons

  • The odd audio or visual bug.
  • Navigating the town can be frustrating.
  • It might be too scary for some.

Saturnalia isn’t a long game; you can complete the whole thing in a dozen hours, and often fewer, depending on how you play, but it’s a memorable experience nonetheless. It uses horror in smart ways to explore social topics – the town’s isolation, resistance to change and to outsiders, and the ugly social beliefs that those things inform.

Those facets combine perfectly to make a game that isn’t just horrifying because of the monsters that stalk us in the night. It’s horrifying because of the monsters we make, too – and the things we’re capable of becoming.

[Note: Santa Ragione provided the copy of Saturnalia used for this review.]

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Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review – Bustin' Makes Me Feel Fine https://www.gameskinny.com/bd2zk/ghostbusters-spirits-unleashed-review-bustin-makes-me-feel-fine https://www.gameskinny.com/bd2zk/ghostbusters-spirits-unleashed-review-bustin-makes-me-feel-fine Tue, 25 Oct 2022 11:52:50 -0400 Will Borger

Few movies have ever seemed more primed for video games than Ghostbusters. You don’t need much: a few friends, some proton packs, a trap or two, and a ghost to bust. While there have been plenty of Ghostbusters games since the original 1984 film that let you wear the slime-covered shoes of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, and Winston Zeddemore, Illfonic’s latest title, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, takes things a little further by letting you play as a Ghostbuster or one of the ghosts they’re assigned to take down, all in asymmetrical multiplayer.

If you’ve played Illfonic’s other titles, like Friday the 13th or Predator: Hunting Grounds, or genre bigwigs like Dead by Daylight, you’ll already understand the basics of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. It’s a 4v1 title, with both sides trying to accomplish different objectives. The Ghostbusters are trying to capture a ghost and destroy the rifts that allow it to come back once captured, and the ghost is trying to avoid capture long enough to finish haunting a building and then survive a short timer and escape.

The Ghostbusters are kitted out exactly like you’d expect: they’ve got a PKE meter for tracking ghosts and rifts, a Particle Thrower for tethering ghosts and destroying rifts and haunted objects, a Proton Pack for managing the heat and power of said Particle Thrower, and a Ghost Trap, which... well, you get the idea.

On the other side, there’s the ghost. There are several different ghosts to play as, all of which are a little different, but the core idea is the same. They come equipped with a basic attack, two special abilities regulated by cooldowns, the ability to haunt and possess objects, and an extremely powerful ultimate skill with a substantially large cooldown.

The ghost’s job is to control the map by haunting individual objects and using its powers to scare the bejesus out of the poor civilians unlucky enough to be in the area. Haunting items and scaring civvies badly enough makes them leave the map, increasing the haunt meter the ghost needs to fill to win. It also makes it easier for Ghostbusters to find the ghost – just follow the screams.

At best, it’s an interesting game of cat and mouse; the Ghostbusters have to coordinate to win, while the ghost has to play smart. To get there, though, you’ll have to suffer through the game’s story.

There are good things there, most notably Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson returning to reprise their roles as Ray and Winston, respectively. The former runs a bookstore across the street from the iconic firehouse that specializes in the supernatural, while the latter is the boss of the Ghostbusters. There are other new characters, too, and all of them are fine enough. The real issue is your character.

You create your own Ghostbuster in Spirits Unleashed. It’s a robust character creator, but everyone you make looks like they’ve stepped out of Fortnite. They look fine, just kind of... bland. What’s worse is that your created character doesn’t have much to say beyond the odd combat line, so when you’re in a cutscene, characters just talk at you rather than to you.

And these conversations could have desperately used trimming. They all go on too long, and while they’re occasionally funny, it’s not enough to make up for all of the monologues, and it’s hard to care about a story where your character seems to be little more than a personality-free gig worker.

Still, questionable art style aside, the game does a good job of capturing the look and feel of Ghostbusters. Between missions, you’ll spend time in the firehouse and Ray’s bookstore adding to Egon’s spores, molds, and fungus collection, chatting with the cast, customizing your buster, and just generally enjoying the look and feel of the Ghostbusters universe.

This is also where the tutorial takes place. Spirits Unleashed does a decent job of teaching you the ropes, though does often throw a lot of dialogue and text boxes at you at the same time, especially in the ghost tutorial, which can make it hard to figure out what to pay attention to. You can skip it, of course, but it’s a good thing to play, as the game has a lot of mechanics to learn.

Once it’s done, you get to the real meat of things, and that’s where Spirits Unleashed starts to falter. It’s fun when it works and you have a full squad. You can play alone if you want; bots will fill in the gaps. It’s a nice touch, but the Ghostbuster AI is remarkably stupid – it’s not typical to see all three of your AI companions go down in a pile of slime at once – and the ghost AI, while better, is still very easy to beat.

It’s better with a full squad, but even then, the general gameplay experience in Spirits Unleashed is honestly pretty dull. Almost everything is measured by some sort of meter – the Particle Thrower’s heat, the ghost’s abilities, how haunted the area is, how scared civilians are, and so on – and you’ll spend most of your time managing them as a result.

There’s lots of strategy and teamwork. Ghostbusters must work together to find rifts, trap ghosts, and calm down civilians, and the ghost has to be smart about when they use their abilities and how they manage their powers, but there’s not a lot of room for individual skill, and things become repetitive very quickly. It doesn’t help that there are only six maps.

The five different spooks and the ability to customize your Ghostbuster’s gear to more specialize your playstyle helps – you can sacrifice recoil control for a better tether, for instance – as does the fact you and your abilities level up as you play. But in the end, you just do a lot of the same thing over and over and over again. And as with any multiplayer game, enjoyability largely depends on the people you’re matched with, especially since you’ll probably have to talk to them (unless you’re the ghost).

It’s better with friends, of course, but even then, the game never captures the tension, urgency, or moment-to-moment decision-making of something like Dead by Daylight, and your individual choices, whether as a ghost or a Ghostbuster, don’t impact the outcome in a way that makes long-term play sustainable. The lack of content – only one mode, only a few maps, only a few ghosts – doesn't help. Realistically, you can see most of what the game has to offer in a few hours, and once you do, there doesn’t feel like much reason to play.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Review The Bottom Line

Pros
  • Nails the look and feel of Ghostbusters.
  • Bots enable solo play.
  • Fun with a group.
Cons
  • Limited maps.
  • Low individual skill ceiling.
  • Your character doesn't really interact with the story.

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed isn’t a bad game; every cast member, sound effect, and visual reference communicates its love for the source material, but it’s ultimately not that engaging to play solo, and the novelty wears off quickly even with a group.

Hardcore Ghostbusters fans and dedicated groups who love these kinds of games will no doubt find something to love here, but right now, there’s just not that much to interest anyone else. Bustin’ is supposed to make me feel good, but I spent most of my time with Spirits Unleashed the way the civvies do during haunts – waiting for it to end.

[Note: IllFonic provided the copy of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed used for this review.]

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Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Review — Nearly Unrestrained Chaos https://www.gameskinny.com/0bx81/stranger-of-paradise-final-fantasy-origin-review-nearly-unrestrained-chaos https://www.gameskinny.com/0bx81/stranger-of-paradise-final-fantasy-origin-review-nearly-unrestrained-chaos Fri, 25 Mar 2022 11:50:59 -0400 David Restrepo

Team Ninja has built a name for itself over the years. From Ninja Gaiden to Nioh, the studio is known for capitalizing on fast-paced, technical combat with a level of fluidity that few games can match. From the moment you pick up the controller with any of these, you know you’re playing a Team Ninja game.

It’s this DNA that runs through Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. It’s not as accomplished as the aforementioned efforts, but it’s still a strong action RPG that sets a new standard for real-time combat within the overarching Final Fantasy franchise.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Review — Nearly Unrestrained Chaos

If you’ve paid attention to its pre-release marketing, Stranger of Paradise has garnered a reputation for its cheese. From Jack Garland busting out emo music after a JRPG monologue to interrupting a boss’ introduction with an expletive and fist to the face, it oozes confidence.

If these moments captured your attention, you’ll be disappointed to find that the final product hardly reflects the cherry picked scenes circulating online. The vast majority of the story takes itself too seriously with a straightforward plot about ridding the world of Chaos. To its credit, the plot does become more complex as it progresses.

Unfortunately, that escalating plot is hamstrung by poor pacing. Most cinematics rarely justify their existence, and you’ll often begin a level with the squad saying something to the effect of, “let’s move on,” with that being the extent of many cutscenes. When the infrequent plot beats do occur, the script makes it difficult to grow attached to anything or anyone. Most of the truly intriguing narrative bits are locked behind optional lore entries found in the final hours.

Stranger of Paradise showed signs of being a truly admirable B-movie game. More often than not, however, it languishes in plain mediocrity rather than enjoyable cheese.

Time to Meet Chaos

Luckily, Stranger of Paradise nails its core combat and role playing systems. True to Team Ninja’s legacy, it is filled with layers upon layers of mechanics. If you’re in the market for something chunky that requires dedication and mastery, Stranger of Paradise is right up your alley.

To begin with, there’s a fascinating interpretation of the Final Fantasy magic system. By default, you begin each mission with two bars of MP, which all abilities hinge upon. You can gradually increase your maximum MP gauge for a mission by performing Soul Burst finishing moves, which requires depleting enemy break gauges.

So many factors influence this, with different jobs, weapons, and enemies varying their associations with the break gauge. For example, knuckles have their own system whereby the more you wail on foes, the more damage you’ll do to both their health and break gauges. The Duelist job, on the other hand, has an ability that deals guaranteed critical damage, which targets the break gauge more than the health bar.

It isn’t just AI that is beholden to such a system. Your break gauge also plays a crucial role in Stranger of Paradise’s skill ceiling. While standard blocks are always an option, expending magic allows you to use the Soul Shield. Properly timing the Soul Shield without depleting the break gauge opens enemies for a follow-up attack, increasing your max MP just as with the Soul Bursts.

Adding an extra layer of depth, many enemies have specific abilities that can be stolen through the use of a Soul Shield and banked for later use. This is all without touching upon the concept that each death reduces your max MP, forcing you to become hyperaware of these systems. 

Commendations are also in order for Team Ninja’s ability to translate so many classic Final Fantasy jobs into such a fast-paced setting in a way that complements its vision while remaining true to their spirit.

The Thief, for example, is often associated with stealing items or gold. It’s a JRPG staple. Due to Stranger of Paradise’s design and structure, there is no gold, and the only items that exist are either potions or shards used to level up classes. How does the Thief work in Stranger of Paradise, then? Its job ability snatches foes’ instant abilities instead, letting you bypass the waiting game. 

This attention to detail extends throughout the experience. It runs deeper than a malleable job system that empowers you through distinct options that honor the series' legacy. Many levels also play some sort of homage to a prior mainline Final Fantasy title.

Even when Stranger of Paradise is riffing off an older entry, it isn’t obvious unless you’re intimately familiar with the installment in question. Levels are often based on old locations, using gimmicks inspired by those entries without feeling like retreads.

There’s one level that draws from Final Fantasy 13’s Sunleth Waterscape, replete with a forest containing orbs that influence the weather. In turn, these alter the available routes. Despite the weather altering orbs, it doesn’t feel like you’re running through an asset flip of one of the Final Fantasy 13 trilogy’s forest sections. This applies in equal measure to the remixed versions of classic Final Fantasy tracks.

Rather than a friend with a photographic memory recounting a past event beat for beat, it’s analogous to being asked what you remember from five years ago. The large strokes remain intact, with your mind filling in the blanks as you go. It’s familiar, but not overly so. 

This Isn't the Good Kind of Chaos

For all of its mechanical density, Stranger of Paradise fumbles balancing. With so many jobs to juggle and job affinities, which grant bonuses depending on the equipped gear, it needed a carefully considered loot system to succeed.

It fails on this front, however. You’re constantly acquiring more gear than you know what to do with, which you’ll want to dismantle between missions. Unfortunately, you also will want to save some gear for specific jobs because of their job affinities, but the rate at which gear drops demotivates this approach. This isn’t helped by an arbitrarily low carry capacity that doesn’t appear tuned to the frequency of loot drops and number of jobs.

As you move up the ladder from basic to advanced to expert jobs, further malleability is introduced. Most advanced and expert jobs can use more than one weapon type, for example. As this complexity piles on, the drive to keep up with loot and jobs diminishes.

By around the halfway point, you’ll probably settle on one pairing that works for you, rarely switching no matter how fun or useful it might be to do so occasionally. You won’t want to switch battle presets for a specific boss or area 25 hours in when your gear isn’t up to snuff, forcing you to either make do or farm the existing level until you get quality drops. This demotivation is only further exacerbated by the need to keep up with AI gear and jobs. The loot system doesn’t encourage experimentation in the way it should.

Feeling the Heat

There’s also one major elephant in the room that needs to be addressed: performance. The PC version has come under specific criticism, but in actuality, no iteration of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin runs as well as it should. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X performance modes both seem to run at 1080p with visual fidelity and art direction that’s a step below Nioh. Despite this technical makeup, it fails to hold a consistent 60 frames per second on either console.

The experience of playing Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin on a next-gen console should have been comparable to the PlayStation 5 versions of Nioh and Nioh 2. Instead, it feels like you’re playing those games on a PS4 Pro, but with even worse performance.

It could come down to a lower budget. Maybe it’s due to Team Ninja abandoning its proprietary Nioh engine in favor of technology with which they’re less familiar. Perhaps both factors are to blame. Regardless, the end result is what matters most. By that account, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is one of the most underwhelming cross-gen releases since the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched. A product bearing the Final Fantasy name, with such clear appreciation for the franchise, deserves a more lavish treatment than this.

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin Review  The Bottom Line

Pros
  • Faithful reinterpretation of classic Final Fantasy jobs, mechanics, and levels
  • Expansive job system with tons of distinction to suit any kind of player
  • Well designed encounters and boss battles
  • Fluid combat with plenty of depth
Cons
  • Loot system fails to mesh with everything else
  • Outdated visuals mixed with equally poor performance 

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin is an endearing action RPG that takes careful steps with its reappropriation of traditional Final Fantasy systems. The translation to Team Ninja’s brand of fast-paced combat feels amazing when it’s firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, it’s let down by technical issues and a loot system that actively pushes you away from messing around with its jobs in the way that it so desperately wants.

[Note: The reviewer purchased the copy of Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin used for this review.]

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Chorus Review: Stellar Space Shooting https://www.gameskinny.com/3adug/chorus-review-stellar-space-shooting https://www.gameskinny.com/3adug/chorus-review-stellar-space-shooting Fri, 03 Dec 2021 10:00:02 -0500 Samuel Adams

In recent years, fans of third-person space shooters have been treated to a slew of new experiences that have launched the genre back into the limelight. Elite Dangerous, Star Wars Squadrons, Rebel Galaxy Outlawand more have all grown this genre and its fanbase, putting players right into the cockpit of ships straight out of an 80s sci-fi flick and setting them on a course to cruise the stars.

Chorus is the latest newcomer to the scene, delivering gameplay packed with enjoyable fights and a solid narrative. While Chorus starts off with familiar story beats, it quickly opens up to deliver plenty of original ideas. Between top-notch gameplay and a quality narrative, Chorus is not only one of the best releases of the fall season but one of my favorite experiences of the year. 

Chorus Review: Stellar Space Shooting

Rather than choosing between embracing a legacy franchise and sticking to a lore-less space simulator, Chorus brings players into an entirely new sci-fi universe with a cast of characters that are wrapped up in a losing battle against a cult known as the Circle. While it may be an entirely original story, longtime fans of sci-fi (especially Star Wars: The Force Unleashed) won't be lost for too long.

Led by the Great Prophet, a Palpatine-like figure that fell from grace and turned toward darkness, the Circle is determined to "cleanse humanity" by any means necessary — even if it means destroying it. You play as Nara, the Circle's deadliest warrior, the Great Prophet's protege, and a master of supernatural powers known as "rites." Nara is tasked with destroying an entire planet — and its billions of residents.

Nara leverages her powers and her connection to this force, opening a rift in reality and devastating this world and its inhabitants. With billions dead, Nara realizes what she has become and speeds away from the Cult and into hiding where she starts a new life as a scavenger — and fierce fighter of the rebellious Free Militia.

Alongside the Circle and the Free Militia, there are a variety of other factions that add a second layer to the world's conflict. Like the Free Militia, the Resistance is pulling out all of the stops to defend humanity against the Circle, while Pirates roam the skies and take survival into their own hands.

With new factions revealed as the story progresses, the dialog between these groups of survivors helps put faces, names, and stories behind the people that you're protecting to raise the stakes and give the goal of saving humanity even more meaning. 

Nara's history as a killer and Cultist may be the initial focus of Chorus, but it's her bond with her ship that quickly takes the spotlight. Forsaken, casually referred to as Forsa throughout, is Nara's Cult ship and partner from her former life.

Her supernatural rites form a strong connection with all technology, including her ship, creating a synergy with Forsa that makes them the ultimate dynamic dogfighting duo. 

Once you're filled in on the backstory, Chorus opens up into a semi-open world with a good variety of random encounters and events to discover. While it's easy to stay focused on completing the main story, Nara and Forsa are free to roam star systems and discover everything from quick side missions to memory echoes that share story moments, all coming together to build out both their backstory and Chorus' universe.

Many side missions may only take five or 10 minutes to complete, but the occasional branching mission will lead you from one objective to another, adding a level of depth to the small snippet of storytelling while also cluing you into a larger part of the universe. 

Chorus' cutscenes and story moments bring a lot more to the table than I initially expected, but the gameplay is what truly shines. Starting out with a machine gun as the main and only weapon, Nara's arsenal quickly opens up to include lasers and missiles alongside her rites — and those powers can certainly come in handy during space combat.

As your arsenal expands, so does the variety of enemies. The Circle's forces quickly grow from easy-to-kill Crows to shielded fighters, gunships, and frigates, each with their own set of defenses and weaknesses. 

While weapons and abilities are unlocked frequently, there are also plenty of options for players to tweak their ship and its equipment to their liking. Three skill slots are available in addition to a handful of different weapon types for each of the three weapon classes. Notice that the health bar is getting a little too low too often? Give your shields a buff. Are you using missiles more than your other options? Give them a little accuracy boost. 

Chorus provides plenty of freedom for players to give their tools of choice buffs, but the combat design helps nudge the player out of their comfort zone to experiment with different weapons and abilities that match specific scenarios and melt enemies with ease.

You will use lasers to weaken shields before unloading a barrage of machine-gun fire onto an enemy, teleport behind enemies to blast them out of the sky, and use the EMP-like Rite of the Storm to take enemy tech offline before lighting them up with a swarm of missiles.

After fleshing out your arsenal, it only takes a couple of minutes to learn the flow of combat and start to understand the cadence of each fight. Without spoiling the story or sharing too much about unlockable skills and weapons, I'll say that plenty of gameplay elements are brought in to keep you busy throughout the entire experience.

One of the core mechanics that quickly emerges in Chorus is the Drift Trance, a skill that lets Nara change her course with ease. While it's initially introduced as a handy way to traverse twists and turns in tight spaces, Drift Trance becomes a core part of the overall gameplay as you learn to leverage all of the tools at your disposal.

Rather than having to take the time to change course and retarget an enemy, you're able to pivot on a dime to target and take out enemy after enemy with speed. It may not seem like a significant gameplay component at first glance, but drifting adds a level of speed and accuracy to Chorus that helps it stand out in comparison to other entries in the genre. 

Chorus Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Quality original story
  • Beautiful skyboxes 
  • Enjoyable gameplay loop

Cons

  • Forgettable side characters
  • Little weight to skill customization choices

Chorus rings in a new universe for players to explore with a cast of characters and set pieces that already feel familiar but mostly carve our their own section of the universe. Campaign missions aren't simply a means to an end to deliver a gameplay experience, but instead, create an original world filled with characters and story beats that are easy to enjoy.

With a solid gameplay loop, a variety of side missions, and an engaging, original story that doesn't overstay its welcome, Chorus delivers one of the best sci-fi experiences of the year.

[Note: Deep Silver provided the copy of Chorus used for this review.]

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20 New Horror Games To Play For Halloween 2021 https://www.gameskinny.com/69k2t/20-new-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween-2021 https://www.gameskinny.com/69k2t/20-new-horror-games-to-play-for-halloween-2021 Tue, 19 Oct 2021 13:05:17 -0400 Mark Delaney

Happy (almost) Halloween! Since it's October, it's unofficially horror season. If you're already neck-deep in a horror movie or horror book marathon, maybe you're looking for the best horror games to play for Halloween as well. 

If so, you're in luck. We've spent the last several weeks playing and curating a list of spooky and spooky-ish games for horror gaming fans of all kinds. These games all launched on their respective platforms this year, though in some cases they were playable elsewhere in previous years.

On this list, you'll find scares in every format and from teams big and small. Find the scares right for you and let us know how you like them. Here are 20 horror games to play for Halloween. 

Big Budget Horror Bewitchings

These selections come from bigger teams with bigger budgets resulting in some bigger scares.

Resident Evil Village

While Resident Evil needs no introduction, sometimes games from earlier in the year get lost in the fall shuffle. Village is a unique entry in the long-running series due to its curious cast of characters and never-before-seen monsters and you'd be wise to remember it as perhaps the quintessential horror game of the year.

Back 4 Blood

Back 4 Blood is just what it sounds like: a new Left 4 Dead-like horde shooter, but unlike the others we've seen, this one is from the original team at Turtle Rock. While it has its flaws, it remains a go-to for co-op zombie-slaying. If you need more from the subgenre, also check out World War Z: Aftermath and Aliens: Colonial Marines.

The Medium

One of the first big games of the year, The Medium is fairly described as Bloober Team's Silent Hill audition. Rumors persist that the team is working with Konami on reviving the classic series, but in the meantime, check out this gorgeous horror with old-school horror sensibilities and music from Akira Yamaoka.

Little Nightmares 2

If I may put my thumb on the scales, I think Little Nightmares 2 is my favorite horror of the year. This grotesque sequel to Tarsier's unforgettable 2017 game revives the series' penchant for some of the most unsettling imagery in horror games ever. It sets out to create a world of childlike nightmares and it achieves that gloriously.

Indie Incantations

These selections offer smaller but arguably more interesting takes on the murderous and macabre.

If On A Winter's Night, Four Travelers

This pixel-art indie is perhaps the most buzzed-about of the year, and its setup feels a bit like Hitchcock with a touch of Poe. In just a few short hours, Four Travelers will leave its mark on you with a story you'll be thinking about long after Halloween.

Undying

Undying rejects the sad dad trope and goes instead for a fresher story about, well, a sad mom. Why is she sad? Because she's infected with a zombie plague, so she only has a short time to get her child to safety. This survival game meshes gameplay and story very well and though it's just in early access, it's already proving to be worth it.

Nightslink

If you're short on time, Nightslink offers the best scares-to-minutes ratio. At just 30 minutes long, Nightslink's mystifying story of a quasi-drug dealer in a dystopian hellscape will leave you feeling like you need a showerand isn't that a sign of an effecting horror story?

Mundaun

You'll hear some GOTY buzz for Mundaun from many of those who have played it. This pencil-drawn horror feels rustic and unnerving at every turn, and it delights in leaving players confused and unsafe even in its often wide-open plains and quiet cabins.

In Sound Mind

In Sound Mind is memorable for its blend of old and new-school horror elements. Vast hub levels provide exploration, while puzzles bring out the PS1-era horror flavorings. It's a fun and unpredictable mix overall and manages to appeal to horror fans of all kinds as a result.

Tormented Souls

If you'd rather play something that adheres strictly to the design of Resident Evil and Silent HillTormented Souls is a faithfully-made creation dedicated to that era. Weird crest keys, labyrinthine exploration of a mansion, and monsters that take nightmares to new heights, Tormented Souls is the horror game for the horror historian.

Chasing Static

The visual style and puzzle-solving of Chasing Static borrow heavily from the original Silent Hill — it even opens in a diner — but the first-person perspective sets it apart while making its inspiration obvious. Like Tormented Souls, this is a modern horror that proudly recalls its roots and is built for fans who want the same.

VR Voodoo

These selections can be played in immersive virtual reality. Warning: VR horror is not for the faint of heart.

Resident Evil 4: VR Edition

We'll have more to say on Resident Evil 4's foray into virtual reality soon, but for now (and without breaking embargo), we'll just say that Resident Evil 4 is coming soon to Oculus Quest 2. If that arrangement sounds good to you, you may be onto something.

Wraith: The Oblivion - Afterlife

From the same overarching series as Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse comes Wraith, a first-person horror with some fantastic settings to explore on your VR headset. if you've never played horror in VR, it's arguably the best way to experience the genre, and Wraith makes as good a jumping-on point as any.

Cosmodread

While Dead Space isn't in VR, Cosmodread is the closest we can get for now. It holds its own as a horror roguelite, daring players to explore its winding and abandoned spaceship as otherworldly horrors lurk just out if the light. As horror and VR are such a great fit, so are horror and rogueish elements, so Cosmodread makes for an enticing mix of all three.

Horror-Adjacent Haunts

These selections are horror-ish, but shouldn't be as spooky as those listed above.

Inscryption

I'm obligated to say something about each of these games, but I'd rather not say anything about this one. It's spooky, it's weird, but it's so unlike anything else you've probably ever played that you should really go in knowing as little as you can. One note: It does involve a card game, but the full experience is more than that. Give it a try even if that's not your genre. It's about to be one of the biggest games of the year.

Scarlet Hollow

This horror-adventure game has been adored by its players this year, as evidenced by its Very Positive rating on Steam, and for players who like a spooky story without the pure terror that comes with some others, it makes for a solid gateway horror game. It also features hand-drawn art from Abby Howard, an award-winning webcomic artist, so it stands out from a sea of other horror visual novels.

Echo Generation

Somehow Echo Generation is more Stranger Things than the official Stranger Things game at times — even its central characters look plucked right out of the show. This voxel-art adventure dips into mysteries and monsters without going overboard into scary stuff, making it a good choice for family-oriented frights.

Returnal

One of PlayStation's biggest PS5 games of the year, Returnal is a roguelite with a blatant obsession for Ridley Scott's Alien. When she crash-lands on an alien planet, Selene has no idea that the monsters she will face will be there to greet her again and again as she plunges headfirst into a timeloop she can't yet understand. In a year of timeloop games, Returnal may be the best of all.

Alan Wake Remastered

The 2010 cult classic from Remedy has been reborn 11 years later and still makes for one of the most stylish thrillers ever on consoles or PC. This remastering is very well done and represents the game's first appearance on PlayStation consoles. But no matter where you play it, it's definitely creepy enough for Halloween without veering totally into horror territory.

Related articles:

That's it for our array of horror game recommendations for you to dive into this October or even beyond. Are there any others you might recommend? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Grime: Missable Vendors Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/bijg7/grime-missable-vendors-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/bijg7/grime-missable-vendors-guide Tue, 10 Aug 2021 10:00:28 -0400 John Schutt

You’ll find most of your weaponry and armor in the world, and said armor is merely decoration. What you'll be using vendors in Grime for is mostly buying consumables and upgrade materials, though the odd rare item appears in vendor inventories later in the game.

Here’s the rub: you can miss some vendors entirely if you progress the story too far. And I do mean entirely. They disappear from the game for the rest of the playthrough.

This guide will mention all the missable vendors in the game, their locations, and how to avoid missing them.

Missable Vendors in Grime

Like Bloodborne and other Souls games, time “passes” in Grime whenever you defeat specific bosses. That means if you go far enough, you’ll miss every vendor in the game. When you make it to the last few bosses, the entire world will be empty of friendly NPCs.

For this article, we’re assuming you haven’t made it to the bottom of the Garden and talked to Shidra afterward.

Heod

Heod is found in many locations, with the first being in the Unformed Desert in the header image.

Heod makes his way throughout the world of Grime, but he’s only a merchant for the first two-thirds of the game. If you don’t buy what he’s selling by the time you reach the Garden, he’s gone forever.

The Art Merchant

Character with red arms holding a blade in a dimly lit cave.

The Art Merchant is found in Lower Lithic, though is missing in the above image.

Notorious for vanishing early on, you’ll want to buy everything the Art Merchant is selling before you take the lift through the Nerveroot to the Worldpillar.

Explore Lithic until you’ve found the Lithic Portrait, Poem, and Effigy and return them to the Merchant among his stone-trapped friends. Don’t leave until you do.

The Assistant

The Assistant vendor's trade menu.

The Assistant is found in The Worldpillar.

These strange, star-headed plant beings populate the area around and below the Worldpillar. They’ll announce themselves as assistants, and one of them provides a good amount of upgrade materials, weapons, and a single full set of armor. They hang around as long as Shidra does, leaving once you collect the ability to upgrade your gear at Levolam stones.

Shidra of the Worldpillar

A towering four-armed vendor looms above the player character below.

The godlike Shidra upgrades your gear until you learn the ability to do so yourself. After that, he vanishes from his home in search of...something.

One final note: if you miss Heod in either Lithic or the Nerveroot, some of his stock will appear at the Assistant in the Worldpillar, particularly weapons and other gear. His inventory of consumables stays with him, however, so if you want to stock up on usable items, spend your Mass whenever you run across the rocky codger.

That's it for missable vendors in Grime. Check out our other Grime guides here on GameSkinny.

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GRIME: How to Respec Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/i7uz4/grime-how-to-respec-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/i7uz4/grime-how-to-respec-guide Fri, 06 Aug 2021 09:55:24 -0400 John Schutt

The gameplay in GRIME demands a lot of the player, both in terms of skill and build quality. It's got plenty of RPG elements between its stat allocation and traits systems that give you a lot to mull over to make the perfect build for your playstyle. With this all in mind you need to know how to respec, so you can play with different builds and find the one for you.

In this guide, we’ll go over what you can and cannot change once you spend points and the materials you’ll need if you want to respec at all.

How to Respec in GRIME

When you play GRIME, there are two pools to spend points in: your character's stats and Traits from the prey you capture throughout the game.

As of right now, there is no way to respec your statistics back to zero in GRIME.

The developers have the ability on their radar, but a full respec option won’t likely be available for some time. The game needs to receive bug fixes, balance patches, and stability work before additional systems make their way to players.

Thankfully there is a way to refund Trait points, provided you have the rare item required.

Scattered throughout GRIME’s world, usually hidden in secret rooms or guarded by challenging monsters, are items called Motley Pearls.

If you have one of these in your inventory, you can use it to refund all the Hunt Points you’ve spent on a single trait. This will free up those particular Hunt Points for use on another Trait of your choosing but will consume the Pearl itself.

Be aware there are more Traits available for use than there are Motley Pearls, especially early on, so use them wisely. Remember that if you use a Motley Pearl to respec a trait, you lose all the benefits that Trait once granted.

You will be able to re-spend all the points you got back if you make a mistake, but you’ll have essentially wasted the Pearl in doing so.

That’s all there is to know about how to respec your character in GRIME. Stay tuned for more content from this Met-Souls-Vania, a name I just made up.

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Where to Find The Power Cell (In Need of Repairs) in Cris Tales https://www.gameskinny.com/v1xws/where-to-find-the-power-cell-in-need-of-repairs-in-cris-tales https://www.gameskinny.com/v1xws/where-to-find-the-power-cell-in-need-of-repairs-in-cris-tales Fri, 23 Jul 2021 16:11:54 -0400 StevenGreen

There are a ton of quests to partake of in Cris Tales. One such quest is called In Need of Repairs, where Adri the Inventor asks that you find a Power Cell in order to ultimately complete the quest.

While the Power Cell item can be tough to locate, we're here to help with that by taking you through all the steps. Here's where to find the Power Cell in the In Need of Repairs quest.

Give Adri the Inventor the Documents

Give Adri the Inventor the Documents you were previously tasked with finding (the ones to aid her in her creative endeavors). After doing so, she asks for a Power Cell to continue and suggests that you search in an old robot for the part. 

Now, the robot you saw earlier in the city will disappear, so for now, you just need to continue the story to find the robot in its new location. Hint: it will reappear as a boss fight very soon. 

Following the Robot Boss Fight

After defeating the robo-boss, walk up to the defeated robot and attempt to talk to it. This will trigger a dialogue sequence where you'll be given a crystal that just so happens to be the Power Cell that Adri the Inventor needs for this quest!

Continue through the story until you've completed the sewer dungeon, and you'll meet up with Adri the Inventor again, where you can give her the Power Cell she requested.

She says that you can find her research complete in a few years, so you must travel into the future in order to see the results. 

Using Matias' ability, return to Adri's shop to receive the Crystal Motherboard. Returning to the present and discussing the motherboard with Adri the Inventor will start another dialogue sequence where you'll be rewarded with 2,000 Marbles and a quest completion!

And that's how you find the power cell in Cris Tales. For more on this JRPG from Modus Games, stay tuned. 

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Chivalry 2: Best Weapons for Each Class https://www.gameskinny.com/uoes0/chivalry-2-best-weapons-for-each-class https://www.gameskinny.com/uoes0/chivalry-2-best-weapons-for-each-class Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:25:44 -0400 Justin Koreis

Chivalry 2 has crashed onto the scene like a 500lb boulder fired from a catapult. In this medieval PvP hack-and-slasher, you choose from one of four classes (and three subclasses each) with unlockable weapons and tools to earn. But which are the best? 

Finding the right mix of weapon and warrior can be the difference between winning the day and being broken on the battlefield. Here are the best Chivalry 2 weapons for each class. 

Best Weapons for Each Class in Chivalry 2

Archer 

Agathian archer aiming at Mason soldiers on a beach with ships in the background.

The Archer may be the most straightforward class. This encompasses the long-range combatants of Chivalry 2.

Characters of this class will have small one-handed melee weapons, but they aren’t really effective unless they are able to sit back and pick off enemies from afar.

The Longbow 

  • Subclass: Longbowman
    • Faster windup, release, and recovery
    • Strong against distant targets
    • Weak against all melee classes

The damage from the longbow, usable only by the Longbowman subclass, is moderate, assuming you take the time to draw it all the way.

Arrows can be nocked while moving, a significant advantage over the crossbow, which requires you to be stationary while reloading.

The rate of fire and mobility allow you to chip away rapidly at enemies, turning the tide for your allies in many skirmishes.  

The Javelin 

  • Subclass: Skirmisher
    • Fast windup, boosted stab damage, and bonus shield damage
    • Strong against shielded enemies
    • Weak against Knights

Javelins are where the circles of melee and ranged weapons meet. They are effective in direct combat, but can also be thrown for excellent damage.

Somehow you have pockets full of javelins and can throw five of them before needing to resupply. A shield in your off-hand lends an added layer of protection, resulting in the one true hybrid class of Chivalry 2 

Vanguard 

Agathian Vanguard attacking a Mason soldier with a Messer in tournament grounds.

The Vanguard has naturally greater speed and less health than other melee classes.

As a result, Vanguards have the ability to dictate the range of battles, darting in and out of reach to land attacks and escape reprisal, with the best Vanguard weapons taking advantage of this.

Maul 

  • Subclass: Devastator
    • High damage with slow animation
    • Strong against Knights, Footmen
    • Weak against Archers

The Maul is an extreme damage weapon, and can often crush enemies in a single blow. This weapon is unique to the Devastator subclass and doesn’t unlock until your vanguard reaches Level 15.

The speed is slow, and the range is good, but not great. This is a weapon all about power.

Skillful use requires players to keep enemies in the middle ground, close enough to land blows, but not close enough for fast, short-range weapons to make contact.

That isn’t always easy, but doing so rewards players with substantial knockout power. 

Messer 

  • Subclass: Raider
    • Increased speed and damage for slash attacks
    • Strong against groups of enemies
    • Weak against shielded enemies

If there is a “meta” weapon in Chivalry 2, it is the Messer. This two-handed sword has one of the better ranges in the game, surprising speed, and damage buff for horizontal slice attacks.

The result is one of the few weapons in the game that can effectively keep entire groups of enemies at bay, and skilled users can rack up impressive kill counts.

It also has a leaping strike that covers a significant distance, and it hits with devastating power. It is, without a doubt, one of the best weapons in the game.

Footman 

Agathian footman in a field attacking Mason soldiers with a spear.

The Footman represents the rank-and-file personnel of the medieval army. They are balanced characters with moderate stats and can be used in any situation.

Intelligent players create opportunities for advantageous situations and matchups. Good Footmen will outspeed heavy attackers, and overpower light enemies, provided they use the right tools for the job.

Spear

  • Subclass: Poleman
    • Increased speed and damage for thrust attacks
    • Strong against Knights and Vanguard
    • Weak against Archers

The spear, used by the Poleman subclass, has the longest range in the game, and a damage boost for thrusting attacks. Using a spear allows Footmen to strike at enemies from a safe distance.

The weapon excels when used behind allies, where accurate players can pick apart the opposition while avoiding hitting allies by using the pinpoint accuracy of the spear's thrust.  

Shovel 

  • Subclass: Field Engineer
    • Lower damage with boosted speed and recovery
    • Strong against Knights and Footmen
    • Weak against Vanguard

Yes, that says shovel. The Field Engineer subclass has some unique weapons, and the shovel is the best of them all.

The blade of the shovel does mediocre damage, but the attacks are much faster than any landscaping implement has any business being.

The shovel is a tool of ferocity, pressing into the action to overwhelm the enemy. Perfect for burying the competition.   

Knight 

Agathain knight holding a war axe high whil attacking Mason soldiers in tournament grounds.

Knights are the classic image of feudal European warriors. Their armor grants them the greatest amount of health and the slowest movement speed.

They are best used in the thick of the action, where skilled blocking and riposting allow them to shrug incoming blows and return significant damage.

War Ax 

  • Subclass: Officer
    • Boosted combo speed and damage for overhead attacks
    • Strong against Knights and Footmen
    • Weak against Vanguard

The war ax, used by the Officer subclass, does its best work with vertical swings, making it a great weapon for dealing damage in groups without harming allies. It has good damage output and reach.

The swing speed is boosted, giving it a good shot to successfully land blows immediately following a block of another heavy weapon.

The quickness of combos is increased, making this an extremely effective weapon against groups or in one-on-one duels.    

One-Handed Spear 

  • Subclass: Guardian
    • Fast release with boosted stab damage
    • Strong against Footmen
    • Weak against Vanguard

Knights of the Guardian subclass can summon their inner Leonidas with this short spear and shield combination.

The shield allows them to press close to enemies but remain relatively safe from harm.

Up close, the spear can be aimed around the blocks of enemies, finding areas gaps in the defense. This combination can be extremely frustrating for players on the other side, as they take damage when they think they should be safe.  

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Great warriors know how to use the best weapons for their class. Still, it requires skill to use them in battle, and you may need to experiment with these or other weapons to find what best suits your playstyle. For more feudal warfare, be sure to check out our Chivalry 2 game hub

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Scavengers Early Access Review: Can We Last Through the Winter? https://www.gameskinny.com/5orot/scavengers-early-access-review-can-we-last-through-the-winter https://www.gameskinny.com/5orot/scavengers-early-access-review-can-we-last-through-the-winter Tue, 04 May 2021 15:24:31 -0400 Mark Delaney

In just four years, the battle royale genre has gone from niche to a must-have addition for many of gaming's biggest franchises. Now, many competitive games, including virtually all shooters, continue to iterate on the popular mode in different ways.

Though Midwinter Entertainment is unusually shy about saying so, Scavengers is one of the genre's newest innovations.

It seems as though the team doesn't want to be pigeonholed into the battle royale maelstrom, and perhaps that's smart given how busy that space is these days, but some games inevitably rise to the top, and thanks to the team's shooter pedigree, Scavengers has the potential to emerge from that storm as a fan-favorite.

Scavengers is a free-to-play third-person co op "survival shooter," according to its creators, but for anyone jumping in for the first time, what you really need to know about Scavengers is that it's a battle royale.

With dozens of players on every iteration of the game's massive and frosty map, teams of three must work together to scavenge for supplies, fend off enemies both AI and human, and be the last team standing when the dropship arrives.

Perhaps Midwinter doesn't call its debut title a battle royale because that comes with certain connotations, several of which Scavengers defies. For instance, you can die and return after a 60-second respawn timer. There's no Gulag to prevail in. There's no Reboot Van at which your allies revive you. The simple, yet ultimately nerve-rackingly long, respawn timer is one way Scavengers challenges players to play cooperatively.

As the map shrinks due to an ever-encroaching blizzard, if at any point all three players are eliminated on a team, they're all sent back to the lobby. This provides the right kind of anxiety, the kind this genre is meant to provide. Being the lone survivor on a team, desperate to survive until your allies get back in the fight, is fun every time, even if it doesn't go your way. It gives every round the sense that you're going down swinging.

The map's storm moves slower than the ones in other games in the genre, meaning you can often outrun it even if you start to trek out of it later than you should.

But there are unique consequences for staying in Scavengers' storm. With gauges for both hunger and warmth, players will see the latter drop fast, eventually blocking part of their health bars unless they can recover it using campfires or some crafted items, like a Thermal Boost. As you sprint, you accumulate hunger as well, so even if you're hoping to lie low for a long portion of any round, it won't be long before it's time to hunt for food.

These survival elements add a necessary spin on the genre. In addition to crafting vital survival tools, players can also craft shields, throwables, and signature weapons for each of the game's seven class-based heroes at launch, three of which are unlocked on day one. While crafting and survival mechanics aren't anything novel either, Scavengers bridges the last-player-standing excitement of battle royale with the reward of survival games, where the best-prepared players, not necessarily the best shooters, can do the most damage.

Shooting in Scavengers feels excellent. The game's pedigree, including the former Halo creative director and veterans from BattlefieldCall of Duty, and more, shines through. A pretty standard assortment of guns, like assault rifles, shotguns, snipers, revolvers, crossbows, and more, don't impress with any sort of innovative mechanics on their own, but they make up for it thanks to tight controls that ensure players never need to grapple with the game itself, only the enemies.

That's more than one can say for what is admittedly still my favorite game ever -- PUBG -- and puts Scavengers closer to Warzone or Fortnite in terms of battle royales that actually feel good to play. The genre is wildly all over the map in this regard, but Scavengers is reliable when it comes time for a shootout.

The biggest issue Scavengers has is its map features. The point of every round is to escape with not just your life, but also the most Datapoints, which can be gathered at major settlements across the map or dropped by AI and human enemies. This added factor means Scavengers is the battle royale that scores you based on your found loot, which is fun as a concept.

Some of the game's best bits are nevertheless let down at times by a map too flat and barren in between its main settlements. I've landed on using the sniping- and crossbow-class characters, because I just don't see the utility in playing someone with close-quarters special weapons, like a shotgun or a melee sword. The sightlines are so vast when between settlements. It feels like anyone who needs their targets at close range is at a severe disadvantage.

I've lucked into my preferred character, a stealthy archer named Kali, being such a strong fit for the current geography of Scavengers. Anyone who loves to play as the shotgunner of their group may find Scavengers to be more of an uphill battle, figuratively and ironically speaking, because the terrain can be so flat on the outskirts of towns. 

I expect the meta to quickly reveal itself to favor long-range gunners, at least in this earliest of Early Access stages.

Scavenger's economy is based on not just cosmetics, but also individual research projects players can explore between rounds. Researching new items, weapons, and talents is straightforward for anyone who's played mobile games or those that borrow from it, though it's worth noting nothing in Scavengers' economy is predatory like those of many mobile games. Players earn credits as they play, and while you can use them to complete research projects faster, I've not yet seen any reason to.

There's always more to unlock, and every crafting resource you'll need can only be found by playing the game. I wouldn't call anything in Scavengers pay-to-win for that very reason. It's play-to-win, with an option to speed things up by a few hours if you really want to.

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Scavengers is in its infancy as an Early Access live service game, and that's a period during which fans should reasonably expect some growing pains. Midwinter's debut has fewer than some others, to its credit, though no one would rightly argue it's without blemishes.

The foundation is strong, and one can quite easily see a future where this competitive game continues to grow thanks to its fusion of two of the industry's biggest trends. Scavengers has at least earned my curiosity for now, and with strong ongoing support, I expect its harsh but fulfilling world will draw in plenty more Explorers too.

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Disco Elysium: The Final Cut Review — Return to Revachol https://www.gameskinny.com/h4d5u/disco-elysium-the-final-cut-review-return-to-revachol https://www.gameskinny.com/h4d5u/disco-elysium-the-final-cut-review-return-to-revachol Mon, 05 Apr 2021 15:33:54 -0400 Dylan Webb

Disco Elysium took us by surprise when it launched in 2019. Once a PC exclusive, this text-heavy isometric RPG took us to the streets of Revachol, the former capital of the world divided under foreign occupation.

Developed by ZA/UM, we gave that version a 10/10 for "its interesting, entertaining, and hilarious game world with fully realized factions and characters, unique art style, and overall mood," and much more. 

Now Disco Elysium is back with The Final Cut, an expanded edition on the PS4, PS5, Stadia, and PC (where players can claim it as a free upgrade).

The Final Cut marks the first time Disco Elysium’s come to consoles, with Switch and Xbox editions arriving later this summer. It makes for a fantastic improvement on the base game, offering some significant upgrades that add to the narrative, only let down by a few performance issues on PS5.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut Review — Return to Revachol

If you played Disco Elysium before, you know what to expect here, as The Final Cut retains the same gameplay and story as the original. If you aren’t familiar with the game, it's a straightforward premise. Seven days ago, a body was found hanging from a tree behind a hotel in Revachol’s Martinaise district, and the main character's been sent to investigate.

Problem is, this detective is a serious alcoholic, and after a wild night of drinking, he wakes up an amnesiac in a completely trashed hotel room. Fighting with his own consciousness to get up, he slowly discovers he's a cop, though he's misplaced key items like his gun and badge. Joined by Lieutenant Kim Kitsuragi, it’s down to this pair to discover what happened.

Before diving in, players must choose what kind of detective they'd like to be, either working from one of three preset character sheets or creating their own from scratch. This all helps form what the game calls the detective’s “ancient reptilian brain."

Character sheets are divided into four pillars  Intellect, Psyche, Physique, and Motorics  letting you allocate points towards each, all of which contain special skills. For example, if you’d rather play a Sherlock-Holmes-type detective, Intellect is a must, which offers skills like “Encyclopaedia” that provides a better idea of the world around you.

Should you prefer the tough guy approach, Physique is your way forward, offering skills that augment endurance, your pain threshold, or your ability to intimidate witnesses (since there is no "real" combat in Disco Elysium). 

As you investigate, successful actions are determined by a dice roll. Depending on your build (and luck), how you allocated points determines success probability, though failed rolls don’t prevent the story from continuing.

So what’s changed in The Final Cut, and how does it impact the experience? 

Voice acting is by far the largest update. Nearly 300 characters across Revachol are now fully voiced, which is a massive undertaking when you consider the script to contain around 1.2 million words. That includes a standout performance by Jazz musician Lenval Brown, who voices the detective’s innermost thoughts and brings a pleasantly authoritative voice that adds gravity to your decisions.  

If you prefer the original non-VO style, that option remains available, but this addition adds immense personality to an already wonderful cast. As a result, The Final Cut has a greater narrative impact than the original; an impressive achievement, considering it is arguably Disco Elysium's strongest aspect.

The Final Cut’s other significant addition is the inclusion of the previously-scrapped “political vision” quests tied to four prevailing (and wildly conflicting) political ideologies: Communism, Fascism, Moralism, and Ultraliberalism. As you play, you'll gradually develop a political alignment, letting you internalize the main character's political standing. It's a system that offers more insight into an already nihilistic, war-ravaged world.

And though these political vision quests don’t have any major impacts on the story, they offer a satisfying resolution to these ideological themes, giving a sense of closure to certain aspects of the game that was previously lacking.  

Elsewhere, The Final Cut’s additions aren’t as significant but provide several quality-of-life updates, including the inclusion of 4K. PC players now have controller support, several new animations and characters are included, new dialogue choices have been added, extra languages are now supported, and two new songs by British Sea Power appear.

Sadly, the PS5 version has several technical issues I encountered during this review, which weren’t fixed in Patch 1.1. Interactions feel a bit clunky, and the game doesn’t always recognize when you’ve selected an object to investigate or a person to talk to. There are also infrequent framerate drops, and sometimes, items just didn’t load.

Patch 1.2 promises to fix these issues, and though they're relatively minor, they did impact the overall experience. 

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Still the same superb RPG from 2019, just with extra bells and whistles
  • Fantastic voice acting
  • Beautiful visual style
  • Highly replayable

Cons

  • Minor technical problems on consoles
  • Doesn’t expand too much upon the original

Regardless of what route you take or which rolls you fail, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is an utterly compelling RPG worth looking into, either again or for this first time. The lack of combat might seem strange, but it never feels worse for the omission, channeling the same energy as Planescape: Torment.

What lies within is a dark, politically driven, and utterly hilarious story, one that never punishes you for failure. By offering The Final Cut as a free upgrade for PC players, too, anyone who previously visited Revachol has nothing to lose by making a second trip, and this is a game that actively encourages replayability.

Though I'm (currently) let down by a few minor issues on consoles, Disco Elysium is just as essential in 2021 as it was in 2019. I’m pleased to see it finally reaching a wider audience, and it comes strongly recommended.

[Note: ZA/UM provided the copy of Disco Elysium: The Final Cut used for this review.]

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Watch Dogs Legion Online Hands-On Preview: London Hosts the Hacking Olympics https://www.gameskinny.com/3k7zz/watch-dogs-legion-online-hands-on-preview-london-hosts-the-hacking-olympics https://www.gameskinny.com/3k7zz/watch-dogs-legion-online-hands-on-preview-london-hosts-the-hacking-olympics Mon, 22 Feb 2021 17:23:42 -0500 Mark Delaney

It's the current trend of games planning to offer both a deep single-player campaign and a robust online suite of modes to give players only the former at launch. The idea is to get the game out the door, take in feedback, and work on making the eventual online launch even better.

Robust worlds like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption have been revealed with such staggered schedules, and though 343 says it's not true, a rumor once suggested Halo Infinite would launch without multiplayer at first too.

The move has so far seemed to be a smart one. Players tend to forgive delays more easily than buggy launches, especially if the results are fun and exciting. For that reason, Watch Dogs: Legion Online will likely be forgiven for arriving five months after the solo story mode. Time will tell whether the game mode can be the hacker timesink Ubisoft has envisioned, but the source code proves intriguing.

Right away, it's evident Watch Dogs: Legion Online takes many cues from Grand Theft Auto Online. Like GTAO during its launch in 2013, Legion Online (or henceforth WDLO)'s range of things to do is wide enough but merely feels like the foundation for something grander in the months and years ahead.

Players can choose from activities such as instant co-op missions that matchmake them into lobbies with up to three others for one-off jobs and special assignments. They can also jump into the Spiderbot Arena or, in the suite's centerpiece, take on lengthy, multi-part (and often grueling) Tactical Ops.

Of course, sometimes the best part of all of this is just running around the sandbox of dystopian London, causing cars to veer off the road into Albion checkpoints. Admittedly, my team of four games journalists bookended our hours-long session just this way and had a blast in the process. 

In the in-between, we were given a tour of the game's more structured attractions. While the co-op missions were fun, they didn't shatter my expectations heading into the event. Each mission felt almost procedurally generated. Go to this spot, hack/steal/kill a number of machines/cars/bad guys, and exfiltrate alive. It's a rote formula, though like our freeform open-world antics, the missions do benefit from the universal truth that nearly everything is better in co-op. 

Conversely, Spiderbot Arena feels like it will be WDLO's most overlooked mode, and for good reason. It's fun in short bursts and controls really well, but in my experience, Legion has too many spiderbot sequences already, so I wasn't looking for any more chances to take control of the arachnid automatons.

If you're trying to command players' attention en masse, you'll need to do better than some familiar co-op missions and an arena shooter afterthought. It's a high bar in such a crowded field, where every multiplayer game is crafted to capture dozens of your gaming hours every week.

Delightfully, Tactical Ops mode clears that high bar. If the full game is so clearly inspired by GTA Online, Tactical Ops mode can be considered the game's "heists." These multi-part, potentially hours-long co-op missions creatively use the game's systems in ways that are unique to the online mode, meaning even players who loved the story but might be uninspired to play with others should give it a try.

Often Tac Ops missions split your party, two and two. This is interesting because as you break into pairs, you'll still all be sharing the same voice channel working on separate objectives but needing to coordinate, and maybe even synchronize, with your immediate partner as well as the whole group. It's the ultimate teamwork mode, and for that reason playing with friends looks to be a blast and one of the things I'm most looking forward to doing when the mode launches in a few weeks. 

Having said that, nothing makes fast friends as well as life-or-death co-op missions, and as our hands-on time with Tac Ops came close to the end of our day of play, my teammates and I quickly developed a workable, enjoyable camaraderie that enabled Tac Ops to go over not just successfully, but often hilariously.

At one point, we sought desperate refuge in a pub while killer super-drones patrolled just outside the windows we dared not peek out of, like a reimagined Shaun of the Dead where robots took over instead of zombies.

Some of Watch Dogs: Legion's most fascinating elements have been imported into Legion Online, such as the play-as-anyone directive. Like in the campaign, you can recruit whomever you'd like, and every anti-hero hacker brings their own skills, personality, and tools for the job. But unlike in the story mode, these recruitments cost you Tech Points, which were previously only used for upgrades like better guns and new gadgets. 

This means you'll have to choose between upgrades for your characters and new characters entirely. More impressive recruits mean a higher price but don't worry, they aren't on sale as far as I saw. Permadeath is still in play too, though since it's co-op, you'll now have a revive window to be saved, or maybe do the saving yourself. This makes your team cohesion all the more vital, as allies running off on their own may only have themselves to blame when their star Operative is down and out for good. 

Each mission of Tactical Ops takes anywhere from 20-60 minutes, and there were five parts in the Tac Ops mission I got to play.

We ended up dying several times on the final boss, which was both a rewarding challenge but also a bit of a questionable chore as it was a near rehash of the solo story's endgame. This is just one of many planned Tactical Ops missions, however, and I get the sense they will come more commonly than the GTAO heists.

The conundrum of live-service games today is that each one of them is built to be your live-service game. No one has time to fully invest in maybe more than two or three at the absolute most, so each one needs to prove it can sustain your interest in the long haul. Watch Dogs Legion Online looks to launch with a gamut of modes and attractions to try and capture the hearts of ample hackers.

Daily, weekly, and event challenges, a cosmetic rewards train a la the ubiquitous "Battle Pass," and enough blips on your map to ensure you're always catching up with what's available today collectively means WDLO is built to commandeer your free time.

Some of what will determine the success of that mission wasn't visible during my time but will be shortly after launch; things like how fast players can level up the Season Pass, how much XP players get for missions big and small, and what kind of rewards players can expect for just goofing around will all determine whether Legion builds a legion of online fans or London is left a ghost town.

The prospect of revisiting Ded Sec's London with friends and co-op partners is itself alluring, though to really keep players for the foreseeable future, Ubisoft will need to supplement Tactical Ops with more engaging content.

In 2021, every game with a big budget offers impressive quantities, but they don't all give players the quality experience worth hundreds of hours. Tactical Ops does, and its open-world is an even better sandbox with friends along for the ride, but some of the other parts of Watch Dogs: Legion Online don't capture the imagination as well, at least not yet. But that's the beauty of a live-service game. In time, the entire city can be the hacker's paradise everyone  players and creators  wants it to be.

Watch Dogs Legion Online launches across all its available platforms on March 9 as a free update for all players who already own the game. If you've yet to jump into Watch Dogs: Legion, consider checking out our review.

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Hitman 3 Scavenger Challenge Guide: Where to Find the Scrap Sword https://www.gameskinny.com/ouxes/hitman-3-scavenger-challenge-guide-where-to-find-the-scrap-sword https://www.gameskinny.com/ouxes/hitman-3-scavenger-challenge-guide-where-to-find-the-scrap-sword Sat, 30 Jan 2021 17:24:37 -0500 Mark Delaney

Every Hitman level tends to have a few unique and sometimes even funny weapons lying around. In Hitman 3's Berlin Level, Apex Predator, that's true once more with the Scrap Sword.

The implication seems to be a houseless person built a sword out of metal scrap, then left it in their hangout. Of course, that means Agent 47 can use it as a weapon against his foes. Here's where to find the Hitman 3 Scrap Sword and complete the brief but tricky Scavenger challenge.

Hitman 3 Scavenger Challenge Walkthrough and Scrap Sword Location

No matter where you start out the Apex Predator mission, you'll want to make it to the Juice Bar. It's clearly labeled thankfully, and is on the same level you'd start the mission if you're doing a default run. Otherwise, it's among the outdoor hangout areas but after the security checkpoint.

Once you're at the Juice Bar, look to the water to the right of the Juice Bar. To the left of the water are several large metal cylinders. Head down that corridor, and watch out for the ICA target who sometimes patrols the area. If he's in your way, waiting for him to leave is your best bet, as he's tough to take out with others so close as well.

Once your lane is clear, head down and then to the left until you get between the cylinders to find a mass of tires piled up and a yellow barrel. Approach the pile and notice the Scrap Sword sitting there.

Pick it up to complete the Scavenger challenge and pocket a sweet XP boost in the process. Now the question is: who's the lucky contestant that gets to, let's say "receive," the Scrap Sword? Well done, 47.

That's all you need to know about the Hitman 3 Scrap Sword and how to complete its Scavenger challenge. If you're looking for more tips on IO's latest in the World of Assassination Trilogy, consider heading over to our Hitman 3 guides page

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Hitman 3 Whiteout Challenge Guide: How to Get the Cocaine Brick and Use It https://www.gameskinny.com/owwuy/hitman-3-whiteout-challenge-guide-how-to-get-the-cocaine-brick-and-use-it https://www.gameskinny.com/owwuy/hitman-3-whiteout-challenge-guide-how-to-get-the-cocaine-brick-and-use-it Fri, 29 Jan 2021 16:04:58 -0500 Mark Delaney

Among the hundreds of Hitman 3 challenges, one of the funnier ones comes in the Berlin level, during Apex Predator, in which Agent 47 can cropdust a crowd of ravers and one of his targets with cocaine. 

If you're wondering how to complete the Hitman 3 Whiteout challenge and increase your level mastery for Berlin, here's all you need to know.

Hitman 3 Whiteout Challenge Walkthrough

Starting on the Berlin level, you'll want to get inside the biker club. From the queue outside Club Holle, run to the back of the level.

Dodge the guarded checkpoint by running to the right and hopping over the broken wall.

Keep sneaking through the few guards back there, or to make it a bit easier, change into one of their disguises when you isolate them.

You can use the nearby crowbar to distract and incapacitate them, as you may need it in a moment for something else anyway.

Head to the back where you'll see the biker garage on the left and a camera scanning the area on the right. In between those is a locked door. Use a lockpick or the crowbar to get the door open, then take the disguise of the food delivery guy who is back there on the phone.

As the delivery driver, ring the doorbell on the biker garage door. A biker will open the door but not let you in. Knock him out and hide the body in the nearby dumpster. Take his disguise too.

Now that you're a biker, you can move mostly freely. As always, be mindful of those who can see through your disguise.

Head to the room where bikers are filling statues with drugs and take the cocaine brick. 

With the drugs in your inventory, make your way to the dance floor of Club Holle where an EDM light show is going on. Far on stage right (your left) is a fan keeping the tripped-out audience cool.

Scan the guard near the stage with Instinct mode and it should trigger him checking in with his boss, signaling to Agent 47 that he's the Agent Chamberlain you're looking for.

Once he's identified (after your first playthrough, he will start out this way), stand by the fan with the cocaine brick in hand. Wait until he begins to move through the audience.

When he's close to the fan, throw the cocaine brick into the fan. This will spread the cocaine across the frontmost dancers and Chamberlain.

This will immediately unlock the Whiteout challenge, but as an added bonus, if you're looking to complete the hit, Chamberlain doesn't handle the accidental drug huff and ends up throwing up in the nearby bathroom, leaving you with an easy chance to drown him in his own vomit. Well done, 47.

That's all you need to know about how to complete the Hitman 3 Whiteout challenge. While you're here, you could also go to the basement bar and complete the Coconut Ball Surprise challenge if you haven't already. For more walkthroughs and tips, consider checking out our other Hitman 3 articles here

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Hitman 3 Coconut Ball Surprise Challenge Guide: How to Knock Out Florida Man https://www.gameskinny.com/knmw6/hitman-3-coconut-ball-surprise-challenge-guide-how-to-knock-out-florida-man https://www.gameskinny.com/knmw6/hitman-3-coconut-ball-surprise-challenge-guide-how-to-knock-out-florida-man Fri, 29 Jan 2021 15:56:04 -0500 Mark Delaney

Yes, Agent 47 can be the most accurate sharpshooter, the stealthiest assassin, and the most executing tactician in all the world, but he can just as likely bonk a dude on the head with a coconut. That's exactly the case with the Hitman 3 Coconut Ball Surprise challenge in Berlin level, Apex Predator. 

If you're wondering how to complete the Hitman 3 Coconut Ball Surprise challenge, follow our guide below.

Hitman 3 Coconut Ball Surprise Challenge Walkthrough

The Coconut Ball Surprise challenge can be completed on Hitman 3's Berlin level, Apex Predator. Go down to the Basement Bar, which is on the same level as the dance floor with the pulsing EDM music and lights going wild. At the back of the dancefloor and to the left is the entrance to the Basement Bar.

Head inside and grab the coconut from behind the bar. Note that this will be considered trespassing unless you're disguised as a guard or a bartender.

Once you have the coconut in hand, head down the hall and into the next room. There should be a conversation happening between a drug dealer in a red fishing hat and others. 

Approach the dealer telling him you want to buy, and he will escort you to a private area to do business. While there, knock him out and assume his identity. Then return to where you first met him.

If not right away, within a short period, an NPC named Florida Man should show up. You can talk to him if you'd like, but he's the subject of today's coconut bonking, so take out the fuzzy object and chuck it as his head.

As soon as it hits, you'll unlock the Coconut Ball Surprise challenge in Hitman 3.

Note that the Florida Man NPC is said to move around freely, but in our time with the game, he was impossible to find unless we summoned him by disguising Agent 47 as the drug dealer. Rather than find a flashy pants needle in a haystack of ravers, we think this drug dealer workaround is your best bet to finding him in Berlin and chucking a coconut at his head. Well done, 47.

That's it for the Hitman 3 Coconut Ball Surprise challenge in Berlin. For more assassination tips, consider heading over to our Hitman 3 hub for other challenge walkthroughs and guides. 

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Hitman 3 Domestic Disturbance Challenge Guide: Yates Murder by Proxy https://www.gameskinny.com/g6scc/hitman-3-domestic-disturbance-challenge-guide-yates-murder-by-proxy https://www.gameskinny.com/g6scc/hitman-3-domestic-disturbance-challenge-guide-yates-murder-by-proxy Fri, 29 Jan 2021 15:35:37 -0500 Mark Delaney

Even though Agent 47 is the world's greatest assassin, sometimes it's nice to keep your hands off a would-be mess and let someone else do the dirty work for you. The Hitman 3 Domestic Disturbance challenge in Mendoza is one such opportunity. 

Here's how to complete the Hitman 3 Domestic Disturbance challenge so you can sit back and enjoy the show for a change, all while increasing your level mastery. 

Hitman 3 Domestic Disturbance Challenge Walkthrough

As is always the case with Hitman, there are many routes to the end of this challenge, but we think we've found the optimal route.

From the start, head down the road to find the lawyer (looking exactly like Jim Rash, I'll add) on the phone and about to head into the Yates estate to conduct business. Don't let him get there. 

When he passes through the center garden, knock him out and assume his identity. You should hide the body, but don't throw it over the side of the garden wall or you'll be spotted.

Instead, drag him around to the opening and into the tall grass. Leave illegal weapons here too as you'll be frisked.

Tell the guards of your appointment and they'll escort you right into the home, an otherwise well-fortified estate. Quickly head upstairs to grab the basement key off the desk, then head back down to return to your escort.

When you're alone with the guard, take him out and take his clothes. Stash the body and stash or take the gun so it doesn't arouse suspicion and take Yates off his route.

Now with the basement key in hand, head downstairs to the basement. The locked door is in a corner on the ground level you first entered. Sneak into the back behind the two guards who would see through your disguise and open the sealed safe with code 2-0-0-6.

Take the files from inside the safe, which reveal that Don Yates ruined his wife's career to save his own. Head outside and find Mrs. Yates wearing a dazzling gold dress. She moves around a lot but won't be outside the estate grounds.

When she's alone, and ensuring you're dressed as a guard still, present her with the damning evidence. After that, you're on a path to victory, but here's how the rest plays out.

Mrs. Yates will read the files upstairs where you found the key earlier. She and Don Yates will then go outside and argue, leading to the downtrodden wife shoving Don over the balcony and to his death. Target down, and all you had to do was pass a manilla folder. Well done, 47.

That's all you need to know about how to complete the Hitman 3 Domestic Disturbance challenge in Mendoza. For more assassination tips and tricks, including more challenge guides, head over to our Hitman 3 hub

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Hitman 3 Nightcrawler Challenge Guide: How Take a Picture of the Sheik https://www.gameskinny.com/79jkn/hitman-3-nightcrawler-challenge-guide-how-take-a-picture-of-the-sheik https://www.gameskinny.com/79jkn/hitman-3-nightcrawler-challenge-guide-how-take-a-picture-of-the-sheik Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:24:25 -0500 Mark Delaney

Of all the hundreds of challenges in the game, the Hitman 3 Nightcrawler challenge is among the creepiest. It requires you to take a picture of the Sheik sleeping in his guest room in Dubai during On Top of the World. But since there's XP on the line, we did it anyway, and you can too if you follow our guide.

It's not a difficult challenge by most measures, but it does require some patience and a quick snap of the camera when it's time. Here's how to complete the Hitman 3 Nightcrawler challenge.

Hitman 3 Nightcrawler Challenge Walkthrough

The Sheik always begins the level speaking on stage, as he's unveiling the gold-coated skyscraper you're standing in. You can find the stage at the beginning of the level.  

Notice that his outfit is darker, while everyone else dressed like him is wearing white. Keep that in mind so he's easy to find in a bit, because the first thing you'll want to do is change into the disguise of a Penthouse guard. They're the security guards with red hats who are mostly found on Level 3 and up.

There seems not to be any particular guard who is especially vulnerable, so pick one that works for you and be sure to hide the body. You don't want to cause a disturbance and get the Skeik off his path.

Once you're dressed like a Penthouse guard, head back down to the heart of the party where the Sheik will still be mingling with guests.

Depending on how long you were gone, he's either going to be at the bar, speaking with random guests, or talking with one of the targets for the level, Marcus Stuyvesant. After he does this, the Sheik returns to the bar, then tells his guards he's going to "retire upstairs."

Mind that you're intent this whole time is to simply keep following him. Don't let him out of your sight, but also be mindful of the guards who can see through your disguise and dodge them as needed.

Eventually, the Sheik will enter Carl Ingram's private room and speak on the balcony for a moment. While he is in there, break into the locked room at the end of the hall. It's his room, and you'll want to get in easily before he enters, though you could also try to walk right in behind him if you can avoid the guard suspicious of you in that hall.

After that, he will head into his room and tell his guards he is going to get some rest. He doesn't kick you out, so stay by his bed and pull out Agent 47's camera tool. 

The Sheik will only rest for a brief moment, less than five seconds rather inexplicably, so take the photo quickly, and you'll have your creepy challenge completed. Well done, 47.

That's all you need to know about how to complete the Hitman 3 Nightcrawler challenge in Dubai, On Top of the World. If you're looking for more assassination tips and tricks, we've got you covered here

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Hitman 3 Flying Monkey Business Challenge Guide: Where to Place the Banana https://www.gameskinny.com/4xheb/hitman-3-flying-monkey-business-challenge-guide-where-to-place-the-banana https://www.gameskinny.com/4xheb/hitman-3-flying-monkey-business-challenge-guide-where-to-place-the-banana Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:24:04 -0500 Mark Delaney

One of the best challenges in Hitman 3 is Flying Monkey Business, which can be completed on the Dubai level, On Top of the World. If you're looking for the steps you need to complete the challenge, we'll walk you through everything you need to know about Hitman 3 Flying Monkey Business.

Here's how to get a target to slip on a banana peel while fleeing on a parachute.

Hitman 3 Flying Monkey Business Challenge Walkthrough

The steps for Flying Monkey Business would be a lot more complicated, but luckily, much of it follows a Mission Story, "How the Mighty Fall," meaning the game will guide you for portions of this challenge.

To start, find one of the three bananas on the level. The easiest banana to find, if you're at least Mastery Level 4 on Dubai, is in the staff briefing room on the table. You can choose it as a starting location and already be dressed as a guard working the party.

Pick up the banana, and go to the Penthouse floor (Level 3). Head outside to where Ingram can play golf (you may know it from our Angry Birdy challenge guide). Make a manual save before placing the banana in case you need to reload for better placement. 

Holding LB+RB on Xbox, L2+ R2 on PlayStation, or ZL+ZR on Switch, place the banana directly where it's shown in the image below. This allows it to be placed as a banana peel rather than just a banana.

Notice how many tile lines it is away from the parachute (three). Be very exacting with this or you may miss your target. 

Next, head into the game's menus and choose to follow the Mission Story named "How The Mighty Fall."

For the next several steps, you'll be along for the ride, waypoint to waypoint, as you help Gray get some facetime with your two Providence targets on that level. He taunts them via video chat and tells you to "end it" when he's done, but don't.

Instead, let the scene keep playing out. Eventually, Ingram will find the panic button release and the previously locked room will open. They'll call for help having just been threatened with execution, and the whole place will soon go on alert, signaling an emergency evacuation.

The targets eventually run to their emergency parachutes (which, by the way, you can sabotage by cutting them with the kitchen knife found in the panic room.) They'll take the chutes and with their small army of armed guards, head outside to make an emergency getaway.

If you've placed the banana correctly, one of them will slip and briefly get knocked out, thus completing the Flying Monkey Business challenge. If they somehow missed it, reload a save from before you placed the banana and adjust accordingly.

Eventually, you'll get to witness the hijinx for yourself, and even pop an achievement or trophy in the process if you're playing on Xbox or PlayStation respectively. Well done, 47. That's all for the Hitman 3 Flying Monkey Business challenge. For more assassination tips and tricks, we've got more guides here

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Hitman 3 Angry Birdy Challenge Guide: How to Get the Explosive Golf Ball https://www.gameskinny.com/lnd81/hitman-3-angry-birdy-challenge-guide-how-to-get-the-explosive-golf-ball https://www.gameskinny.com/lnd81/hitman-3-angry-birdy-challenge-guide-how-to-get-the-explosive-golf-ball Fri, 29 Jan 2021 11:23:49 -0500 Mark Delaney

Like always in this series, Hitman 3 is full of odd, obtuse, and often funny challenges for players to complete. If you're wondering how to complete the Angry Birdy challenge on Hitman 3's Dubai level, Top of the World, this complete guide will ensure you get the explosive golf ball straight to Carl Ingram's green before he tees off   and blows up!

Here's how to complete the Hitman 3 Angry Birdy challenge.

Hitman 3 Angry Birdy Walkthrough

The first thing you'll want to do is go upstairs to Level 3 by the staff room. It's worth noting that if you're at least Mastery Level 4, you can choose this room as a starting area and already be clad in a waiter's outfit for easier moving about incognito. Otherwise, you'll want to grab a staff or security disguise before heading upstairs.

In this hall (the same one where you get the privilege keycard for the server room) there will be two maintenance workers. One is a man working in the corner, and another is a woman on the phone talking about an explosive golf ball she brought to work but decided not to unleash on her boss.

If you hurry while she's on the phone, you can knockout the man, stash his body in the closet in the hall, and take his disguise.

You'll also want to knock out the woman when you get the chance, as she's got the key to the maintenance room at the end of the hall.

Stash her body away as well and take the key to the end of the hall. Inside the door at the end of the hall, grab the explosive golf ball behind the red toolbox.

Next, you'll want to gain access to the Penthouse suite, up another level on Level 4. For that, take a disguise from a Penthouse security guard  the ones with the red hats.

Once you have that, you can mostly move freely, just be mindful of the occasional NPC that will spot you as an intruder if you're too close for too long. 

Go up the lavish staircase, and you'll see an interior with more rooms on the left and a balcony on the right. Head outside to the balcony and leave the explosive golf ball in the bucket of many more golf balls.

It'll be the first (and last) Ingram selects in a few moments.

With the ball waiting for its victim, you'll need to get Ingram frustrated so he abandons his loop and retires to some golf for what he wrongly expects will be a relaxing distraction.

How to Distract Ingram So He Uses the Golf Ball

It's important to know there are two levels to this area, and Ingram's path takes him up and down, through several rooms.

First, follow him until he's in the lower-level sitting room dictating an oral history of Providence into a recorder.

When it's safe, turn on the radio in the corner of the room. Careful as it's considered an illegal action and will arouse suspicion if anyone sees you do it. This will frustrate Ingram but he will resume dictating. Turn on the radio a second time to get him to storm off in a huff. 

Next, he'll move upstairs to his room. Keep following and again be mindful of the guards who will see through your disguise.

When he begins dictating in his room (where he's sitting behind a bunch of computer monitors), turn on the vacuum just outside the room to frustrate him a third and final time. This is another illegal action, so be careful.

Sensing he can't get any work done, he heads off to golf and take his mind off things. You can follow to watch the show or wait for the notice from a distance, but at that point, he's bound for the explosive golf ball.

He'll tee off, explode on contact, and maybe even fall off the side of the skyscraper for good measure. Well done, 47.

That's it for how to complete the Hitman 3 Angry Birdy challenge and get the explosive golf ball. For more assassination tips and tricks, consider heading over to our Hitman 3 guides page

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How to Get the Hitman 3 Case File in Dartmoor: Death in the Family https://www.gameskinny.com/9b52h/how-to-get-the-hitman-3-case-file-in-dartmoor-death-in-the-family https://www.gameskinny.com/9b52h/how-to-get-the-hitman-3-case-file-in-dartmoor-death-in-the-family Sat, 23 Jan 2021 16:50:45 -0500 Mark Delaney

While Hitman is usually a series focused on assassinating your targets, the World of Assassination trilogy has mixed up mission objectives more than a few times. With Hitman 3, one early example is the Case File in Dartmoor, or the "Death in the Family" level. If you're wondering how to get the Hitman 3 case file, either with the safe code or not, we have you covered in this guide. 

There are, of course, several ways to get this high-security item. Below we've explained the different solutions in a method-by-method walkthrough. 

Method 1: Crack the Safe

The physical Case File is upstairs in Alexa Carlisle's Office (Level 2 on your map). It's stashed away in a safe. Besides Alexa, only the bodyguards are allowed in the room. If Agent 47 is seen inside wearing any disguise other than a bodyguard uniform disguise (or no disguise at all, of course) it will be considered trespassing. Keep that in mind when you're strategizing how to enter the room.

The safe is guarded by a four-digit keycode, but you won't find the safe code in a document, nor overhear it in conversation, like so many other puzzle solutions in Hitman. Instead, pay attention to the room around you.

How to Get the Safe Code for the Case File

First, press the button on Alexa's chair, which moves a portrait and reveals the safe. Approach the safe and notice the four images above it. They are:

  • A clock
  • A telescope
  • A fire
  • A moose

These are clues you'll need to find the keycode. Look around the room for the items related to those images. 

From the safe and looking back toward the entrance, the clock is on the right side bureau, the telescope is upstairs in the window, the fireplace is easily spotted on the left wall, and the moose is a taxidermied moose head above the entrance doors.

Approach each of them and look for a small number on a plaque nearby, usually on a wall beside each item, though the number for the clock sits in front of it.

These numbers, if entered correctly, are your safe keycode. So for clock-telescope-fireplace-moose, the keycode is 1975. Enter that code and the safe will open without any alarm to worry about. From there, make your escape or finish off Alexa if you haven't yet to complete the level.

Method 2: Make Alexa Give You the Case File

This is the most time-consuming of all ways to obtain the Case File, but it might end up your favorite method too. To convince Alexa to give you the Case FIle, you'll need to follow the Murder Mystery storyline by activating the Mission Story "Means, Motive, and Opportunity" (or otherwise following those steps if you don't want the HUD guidance).

We've already gone ahead and fully detailed the murder mystery plot. Use our guide on the Hitman 3 Dartmoor Murder Mystery to eventually give yourself the opportunity to take the Case File peacefully from Alexa herself.

Method 3: Take Tokens from Fernsby and Rebecca

Entrusting two halves of the Case File with her butler Mr. Fernsby and her daughter Rebecca, Alexa has unknowingly put the pair in the crosshairs of The Silent Assassin.

Players need not ever head to the third-floor safe if they choose this route. Instead, find ways to incapacitate Mr. Fernsby the butler, as well as Rebeca Carlisle, pictured above.

When knocked out or killed, they will each drop a Case File Token. Once you acquire both, you don't even need to go upstairs. You've acquired the Case File via this alternative route.

If you've already finished off Alexa by then, you're in the clear. Head to the exit with everything you need, another job well done and the Case File on The Constant, Hitman's Big Bad.

And that's all you need to know about getting the Hitman 3 case file in Dartmoor during the Death in the Family mission. Whether you use the safe code or solve the murder mystery in "Means, Motive, and Opportunity," you've fulfilled the mission's second objective and gotten more points to your level mastery. 

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