Playstation 4 Platform RSS Feed | Playstation 4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Set Your Own Sail and Survive in Indie Roguelike Windbound Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:16:19 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

5 Lives Studio and publisher Deep Silver announced a brand-new project today in Windbound. It's an indie survival game, but Windbound sets itself apart from the rest with one particular mechanic not often found in the genre: sailing.

Kara, a young warrior, ends up shipwrecked in the Forbidden Isles and must figure out a way to survive using only her intelligence and, eventually, her custom-made boat. It's billed as a "nomadic" survival game, meaning you won't be surviving in one place until you turn it into your personal empire. Once an island's resources run out, Kara must find a new island.

That's where the boat comes in. You'll design it to safely ferry you across the dangerous, wild ocean, dealing with treacherous winds, sea monsters, and more along the way. Each island has its own ecosystem, and they're randomly generated as well. From the looks of it, Windbound isn't a journey that'll get stale fast.

Kara's ultimate goal is getting home, of course, but the Forbidden Isles host many strange mysteries as well. Things aren't as idyllic as they seem, and what Kara finds might change her life forever.

Windbound is set for a digital release on August 28 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Windbound news as it sails in.

Inuzuma Eleven Great Road of Heroes Delayed to 2021 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:02:54 -0400 Erroll Maas

It was announced on the official Level-5 blog that the studio's upcoming soccer RPG, Inazuma Eleven Great Road of Heroes (formerly Inazuma Eleven Ares), has once again been delayed and will not see a release until sometime in 2021. The game was previously delayed back in 2018

According to a translation by BlackKite and JapaneseNintendo, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino stated in the blog post that production has been in a difficult state due to problems in game development, including rising online criticism and declining staff motivation. The currently ongoing global pandemic was not cited as one of the problems in development.

Hino continues to say that the team almost gave up on the game altogether, but decided to restart development. This new Inazuma Eleven game will utilize the development system and engine used for recent titles in the Yo-Kai Watch series, to ensure that it will be completed and remain at a high quality.

Level- 5 will also be creating the new Inazuma Eleven without having it more directly tied to an anime series, as was originally planned with Inazuma Eleven Ares. However, it is expected to have a much higher degree of freedom, possibly integrating features from all previous games in the series while also still adding some new ones.

Hino said he also would like the game to be more beginner-friendly and be a "brand-new title with a new feeling." Further clarification on this statement has not yet been provided.

Whether this new Inazuma Eleven game will still keep the Great Road of Heroes title or have another name change has not yet been revealed.

The brand-new Inazuma Eleven title is planned for release on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in 2021 in Japan. Although Inazuma Eleven Ares was previously confirmed for a Western release, it is not yet known if this new game will be released in any other territories.

The first Inazuma Eleven can be purchased digitally on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in North America and Europe, and the corresponding anime series is available on Amazon Prime Video in North AmericaInazuma Eleven 3, as well as the Inazuma Eleven GO series, can be purchased on the Nintendo 3DS eShop in Europe.

5 Great Party Games That Can be Played with a Controller or a Phone Wed, 01 Apr 2020 12:28:35 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs

Game controllers are expensive, and it's frustrating to try and dig a bunch of them out when you have buddies over to play video games. Luckily, there are a whole bunch of great party games that don't require traditional game controllers in order to play! 

Whether they're controlled by a phone, tablet, or laptop, or don't even require any kind of controller at all, these five party games will get your buddies involved no matter how many controllers you own. 

Jackbox Party Packs 1-6

The mad geniuses behind the Jackbox Party Pack were by no means the first to pioneer the phones-as-controllers trend, but they were definitely the folks who popularized it. 

By now, Jackbox Party Packs are de rigueur at most hip social functions, the same way beer is. And although the games do vary in quality (I can't remember the last time anyone ever asked specifically if we could play Zeeple Dome), games like Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, Fibbage, and, of course, the original trivia party game, You Don't Know Jack, are all near-perfect party games.

The wild thing is that Jackbox Games doesn't seem to be running out of ideas anytime soon. Jackbox Party Pack 6 is the strongest title from the studio yet, and they're already hard at work on the next one, which will include another entry in the Quiplash series, the best game franchise they've ever created. It's possibly the best party game ever made.

And yes, these games are obvious picks, but they're also not the only ones out there.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is a singular gaming experience that was, at launch, held back by requiring a virtual reality rig. Now, it's available across platforms (although if possible, I do recommend trying to play it in VR, even if it's just via Google Cardboard or a Gear VR system).

The gist is this: one player is tasked with defusing a bomb, but they have no idea how to do it. The rest of the players use their phones or tablets to access the bomb defusal manual to help them out. As the timer counts down to the big kaboom (complete with an anxiety-inducing ticking), the players must communicate as the bomb defuser can't see the manual, and the other players can't see the bomb.

How the bomb is defused depends on how the bomb looks, so it isn't long before the game devolves into a hilarious, stressful romp full of "cut the red wire!" "WAIT, NO: CUT THE GREEN WIRE!" "Are you sure?" "No, actually, don't cut any wires!"

It's incredibly unique, and the tense nature of the game is turned up to full if the bomb defuser is wearing a VR headset, effectively trapping themselves in a room with the bomb as it ticks, ticks, ticks away. If you're anything like me, this isn't a game you'll be able to play for more than 30 minutes or so at a time, but even still, those 30 minutes are incredibly fun.


Spaceteam bills itself as the original "cooperative shouting game" and that's pretty much the best way to introduce it. The game supports between two and eight players, all of whom are tasked with the near-impossible task of flying the universe's worst spaceship ever  together.

Each player's phone displays a different collection of panels, dials, buttons, and switches, as well as an action that must be performed in order to keep the ship running smoothly.

The trick is that most of the time, you don't have the right button to press to perform the action your phone is telling you to. This is where the cooperative shouting comes in.

Quickly, the game becomes exhilaratingly-quick and fun, with just a dash of stress sprinkled in for good measure. And better yet, the game is 100% free, though if you enjoy it, you can join the Admiral's Club and support the developer's future projects in exchange for more content!


Halfway between Mario Kart and Twisted Metal, Obliteracers is a high-action racing title that allows for a whole bunch of control options including keyboards and gamepads. However, it also lets up to 16(!) players to control their vehicles using a phone, tablet, or even another laptop or computer connected to the same network.

The game itself is no slouch either: it's frenetic, responsive, and sports a variety of game modes perfectly tailored to any environment, whether you want more of a hardcore battle racing experience, or whether you want to kick back with a party mode. Don't sleep on this one.

Use Your Words

Don't write Use Your Words off as a Jackbox ripoff. Yes, it is a party game that counts on you and your friends being funny, but Use Your Words sets itself apart with a distinct visual style and voice.

As with the Jackbox Party Packs, you'll be controlling the game using your phone, but the minigames on display here are different, more bite-sized, and they're more suited for casual-drop-in-and-drop-out party play, from a captioning contest to a wonderfully shameless spoof of Family Feud.

The game supports between three and six active players, but up to 1,000 folks can join the game's audience and participate as well! It's a shame that, despite its quality, it will always be compared to its beefier cousin over at Jackbox. It deserves to be appreciated on its own merits.


That's it for our list on the best party games that you can play with any controller, including a phone. Are there any we missed that should be on our list? Let us know in the comments below!  

Trails of Cold Steel 4 Coming to North America Soon Wed, 01 Apr 2020 11:35:12 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Nippon Ichi Software America announced The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 is coming to North America this fall for PlayStation 4 and sometime in 2021 for Nintendo Switch and PC.

The news comes from an exclusive Game Informer report. There's also a trailer, but be warned: it contains spoilers for the end of Cold Steel 3 as well as the as-yet unlocalized Ao no Kiseki. The rest of this post will contain mild spoilers as well.

Cold Steel 4 picks up right where Cold Steel 3 leaves off. Protagonist Rean Schwarzer is missing, the Erebonian Empire is on the brink of war, and Chancellor Gilliath Osborne is moving towards the finale of plans decades in the making.

And that's exactly why Cold Steel 4 is so full of spoilers. It's the culmination of events begun way back in the first Trails in the Sky game. It's an inevitable issue for a series as interconnected as Trails, but on the bright side, it also means Cold Steel 4 has the biggest cast in the series yet (excluding the upcoming Hajimari no Kiseki).

You'll play as old and new Class VII, the four main heroes of Crossbell's Special Support Section, and the main protagonists from the Trails in the Sky games, among several others. Like Cold Steel 2 before it, Cold Steel 4 introduces new elements to combat as well, including ultra-powerful Lost Arts.

And as always, there's a wealth of mini-games to help you unwind, like the return of Vantage Masters and fishing.

All versions are getting a regular "Frontline" edition that comes with

  • The game
  • "Echoes of Erebonia" digital soundtrack
  • Physical copy of the Black Records

However, the Frontline Edition isn't up for pre-order yet.

There's a special limited edition for $99.99 as well, which gets you:

  • The game
  • Ashen Awakener steelbook
  • Collector's box
  • Twilight Resonance (official soundtrack)
  • The Complete Black Records art book
  • Daybreak cloth poster
  • 7 art cards

Trails of Cold Steel 3 upped the ante in almost every way from its predecessors, with storytelling, characters, streamlining, and combat. It's not just a school story anymore, and we're definitely looking forward to experiencing the end of this fairy tale.

You can check out the original Trails of Cold Steel 4 announcement and trailer over on Game Informer. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails of Cold Steel news as it develops.

Best Kids Games for Keeping Them Entertained — Anytime Tue, 31 Mar 2020 19:28:52 -0400 Joshua Broadwell


Super Smash Bros. Ultimate


Unfortunately, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is only an option for Nintendo Switch owners. If you’ve got one (or more), though, then you’re in luck. It definitely earns the “Ultimate” part of its name with the amount of variety and content on offer here. There are over 70 characters to choose from, along with every stage from the series’ history.


It offers several robust single-player options if you aren’t keen on online matches, plus plenty of co-op options. But if online is what you’re looking for, it’s usually top-notch as well. The ranking system means you typically won’t get matched with someone way out of you league, so everyone can enjoy their time with Smash Ultimate.


If you're looking for another brawler for other systems, Brawlhalla is another great choice — and it's a lot like Super Smash, but in the best ways possible. 




Whatever the reason you need to keep the kids entertained and out of trouble, these games should give you plenty of options. Let us know what your fail-safe games are for keeping the kids busy, and be sure to give us a like and share on social media if you enjoyed what you read!


Be sure to check out these other awesome kid-centric games in case you didn't already find what you were looking for: 


Madden NFL 20


The most recent Madden game, Madden NFL 20, packs enough content to keep any football fan busy for a long, long time. Its story mode, Face of the Franchise, lets you create a career football player and follow them through the college divisions all the way to the top of the NFL. It might not be quite so engaging the further you get into it, but it’s still a very solid experience. The real magic is on the field in normal matches, though.


Madden 20 introduces a new feature to the formula with X-Factor Superstar Abilities. These are unique to star players, created with their own real-life strengths and abilities in mind that shake up how you execute your plays and approach each situation. Madden 20 also offers challenge modes, dynamic Playbooks, and basically anything football lovers might want in a Madden game.


Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age


Speaking of Dragon Quest, If monster-catchers and MMOs aren’t really your kids’ thing, then Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age fills that RPG niche very well indeed. It’s the latest and arguably one of the best in the long-running Dragon Quest series. It’s brighter, more colorful, absolutely jam-packed with things to do, and as always, the localization is some of the best in the industry. 


You’ll do the usual RPG things — gather a party of misfits, journey around the world, and try to save it from evil — but like all Dragon Quest games, XI offsets the familiar with a huge heart and plenty of character.


Despite being the 11th title in the series, you don’t really need any prior experience with Dragon Quest to appreciate it, though references to earlier games mean fans get the most out of it. Better yet, it’s available on every platform except Xbox One. The Switch version has added content, but the base version on PS4 and PC is still a modern classic and an excellent single-player experience.




Minecraft is a pretty obvious choice for games to keep your kids entertained. Heck, they (and you) might even be completely sick of it by now. If that’s the case, fear not. There’s still plenty more you can do with Minecraft. Multiplayer games, either of your own creation or on dedicated servers, are always an option to shake things up, as are survival games.


Minecraft has countless excellent creative servers for building themed or guided worlds as well and frequently demos new “snapshots” of upcoming features on PC (like the Busy Bees trailer above). Basically, Minecraft never stops, and there’s always something new to try — even if it’s just venturing into a new world.


But if you're absolutely fed up with Minecraft, there are other alternatives. Roblox is one, a combination of world builder and game designer where you can create your own games within the game. Dragon Quest Builders 2 is another, offering a more guided take on the "build anything" idea, a story, and tons of the series' trademark charm. Even though it's not as open as Minecraft, you can still create pretty much anything you can dream of.


Cities: Skylines


Cities: Skylines is one for the older kids. It’s an incredibly deep, immersive simulator-strategy game where you’re in complete control of your very own... well, city. And we mean “complete. control.”


You’ll determine everything from road layout and economic strategy to sewer maintenance and development zoning. Every choice you make determines how your city grows — or collapses in a spectacular mess around your ears.


Cities: Skylines has a number of well-realized expansions, too, adding even more content. Some focus on nightlife, while others focus on industry and parks and recreation. Still others focus on tourism and alternative energy production.


It’s on the Switch and PlayStation 4 as well, though the PC and Xbox One versions are the only ones that allow for modding. Also, note that the Switch version doesn’t always perform the best.


Of course, you could always go old-school and pick up the ultimate classic, Sim City 2000 on Good Old Games. It's perfect for any age group. 




You might have heard about Temtem when it entered early access back in January. It’s pretty obviously inspired by Pokemon, but there are some key differences that make it worthwhile even if you’ve caught ‘em all elsewhere.


Temtem is essentially an MMO — designed to play with others and explore together — while Pokemon is essentially a single-player experience. Temtem takes place on a brightly colored archipelago, too, and really cranks up the Indiana Jones feels: the sense of exploring a strange, magical new world.


And there’s even more, though. Developer Crema Games has a host of new content additions planned for the next year. These are designed to flesh out the end-game content and provide even more ways to enjoy the game.


If you’re looking for something more traditional, though, Pokemon Sword and Shield on Nintendo Switch would definitely fit the bill. The latest Pokemon games don’t shake the formula up that much, but they’re fresh, fun, and full of life.


LittleBigPlanet 3 or Super Mario Maker 2


LittleBigPlanet 3 or Super Mario Maker 2 are tied to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, respectively. But if you have either of those systems on hand, both titles offer a mind-boggling amount of content to keep the kids busy and encourage imagination. Maybe they'll learn a thing or two along the way.


Both games have a story mode of sorts, traditional platforming adventures that put your skills to the test. They’re really just for getting ideas for the main attraction, though: level building.


At their cores, Little Big Planet and Super Mario Maker 2 are level creators. You’ll choose from a vast array of tools and themes to design anything you can imagine. Obviously, Super Mario Maker 2 is all about making Mario levels, but Little Big Planet really lets your imagination run wild. Plus, both have multiplayer modes so you can play together or with friends.


A Hat in Time


A Hat in Time is another product of the 3D platformer renaissance, but it’s far from derivative. Hat Kid travels through space — until she doesn’t anymore. She’s lost all her space fuel and must explore all the worlds she can reach to find more. Fortunately, Hat Kid gets special powers from all the hats she creates, so there’s never a dull moment on her travels.


Whether you’re solving The Murder on the Owl Express or dealing with the ruthless Mafia of Cooks, the worlds are absolutely stuffed with things to do and uncover. It’s cute and funny, plus a little bit chaotic when it needs to be. There really isn’t anything quite like A Hat in Time.


LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga


Pretty much any Lego game is worth trying out if you’re interested in the franchise. But for sheer breadth of content, you can’t get any better than Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. This isn’t the new Lego Star Wars, though; it’s the 2009 Complete Saga, which means Episodes 1-6.


Aside from meaning you’ve got six Lego games to play through in one package and more playable characters than you can shake a lightsaber at, it also means basically any computer can play it. There’s co-op play involved as well if more than one person wants to join in the fun. With character customization, hidden bonuses, and challenge modes, busy you and your younglings will be for a long time.


Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair


We considered Yooka-Laylee one of the best PC games for kids a while back (and it's made it on almost every list for kids we've done since it released).


But we can’t deny Playtonic improved the formula even more with Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. It foregoes the original’s devotion to the 3D collect-a-thons of old and combines Donkey Kong Country style platforming with top-down exploration and puzzle-solving inspired by 2D Zelda games.


It’s gorgeous, it’s colorful, and there are enough hidden collectibles and secrets to encourage multiple playthroughs. In short, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is just plain fun. Even better, it’s available on all modern platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


It's tough keeping the littl'uns occupied at the best of times. But if you're stuck at home for any reason, finding ways to keep the kids busy becomes a necessity. Fortunately, video games fill that need pretty darn well. There's a ton of kid-friendly options to choose from, but picking out the best ones can be more difficult than it might seem.


That's why we've put together this list of the best games for keeping the kids entertained at any time. They're all good for any age, and none can be completed quickly.

Minecraft Dungeons Release Date Delayed, But Not For Long Tue, 31 Mar 2020 13:27:35 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Minecraft Dungeons was originally planned for a vague April release date, but that's now changed a bit. Mojang just announced the dungeon-crawler spinoff of its acclaimed block builder will release a month later, on May 26.

It's a simultaneous launch for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One (including Game Pass), PlayStation 4, and PC. Minecraft Dungeons won't initially have full cross-play support, but the team plans on implementing it sometime in the future.

There's no word on why there was a delay for the game. Still, it's barely a month-long delay, so the cause likely wasn't anything too serious.


Dungeons is shaping up to be worthwhile. The development team released multiple dev diary videos highlighting various aspects of Minecraft Dungeons' gameplay over the past few months. We've seen all the care put into Minecraft Dungeons' sound design, along with the challenges of balancing levels to reward single-player and multiplayer styles.

You can pass some of the time leading up to May 26 by checking out the Minecraft Dungeons toy line Mattel and Minecraft are working on too.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Minecraft Dungeons news as it crawls up from the depths.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review — I Would Punch 500 Guys Tue, 31 Mar 2020 09:40:46 -0400 Jason Coles

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a Musou game. We all know how Musou games go. You, as whichever flavor of badass you're playing as, run around a map beating the ever-living hell out of any and everything that your fist/sword/foot can make contact with. It's a simple but intensely fun formula that is always at it's best when there's a little bit of innovation. 

These innovations, at least recently, have best been implemented in crossover games like the Dynasty Warriors series, which I like an awful lot. I legitimately have a deep personal connection with it because it's one of the reasons me and the best man at my wedding met. However, Hyrule Warriors is probably the best entry in the series so far thanks to all of the innovations that the game brought with it.

Thankfully, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 does a lot of things right. 

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review — I Would Punch 500 Guys

Hell, it might even be the new reigning champ of the Musou battle royale that I assume someone is keeping track of. It manages this thanks to an incredibly faithful retelling of the obscenely-long One Piece story and a few really cool mechanics. 

It is, for the most part, still the game series you know and love. You punch some dudes, you use some heavy attacks, you take over areas, and you kill bosses. On top of that, though, it has meaningful reasons to use your dodge move, special giant bosses that need specific tactics to beat, equippable special skills, awesome jumping air-attacks, and some incredibly long skill trees too.

The boss battles really show off a lot of these mechanics. They have super armor that you need to break through, but you can only do so as they're attacking, forcing you to time your dodges to take advantage of these openings before going all out and taking the enemies down. 

It squeezes a lot of tasty anime juice (not a phrase I will ever use again) out of the orange that represents the Musou genre, and it's an incredibly fun experience as a result. These games are always about being a giant power trip, and the Straw Hat Pirates all embody that to their core anyway, making them a fantastic fit. 

And I Would Punch 500 More

The story is told through a mix of narration, still images, and wonderfully animated cutscenes. It does an incredibly good job of condensing the 900 episode-strong series into around 14 hours of campaign, though it's worth making sure you've watched the series if you're worried about spoilers.

It's split into multiple missions, some of which force you to choose a single character and others that offer up a selection of characters. They're always relevant to the plot, though, and you'll have the chance to play as a lot of different heroes and villains as you make your way through the game. 

Even if you aren't a fan, though, the completely absurd action and story will pull you through and maybe even convert you to the cause. Beyond the campaign itself, you can always play through the Treasure Log Mode, which serves as extra missions apart from the story, or Free Play, which is the ability to replay the story missions with whatever character you want.

All of the modes allow for multiplayer, which is usually limited to just two people, but it occasionally allows for four-player online play, too, which is spectacularly good fun.

That is, good fun if you like the Warriors formula. For many people, the combat is dull and repetitive, and while the additions here help, you'll likely still have that complaint if the genre's never won you over before.

There are some technical issues, too: I found myself staring at the inside of a wall more often than I'd like thanks to the weird camera tracking, and the loading times on the Switch gave me (nearly) enough time to watch episodes of the anime while I waited. 

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review — The Bottom Line

  • Huge cast of characters
  • Deep skill customization and unlock system 
  • Loads of content to play through
  • Occasionally dodgy camera 
  • Long loading times on the Nintendo Switch

When you throw in the ability to grind out your skill trees and chase ever more impressive kill counts, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a game with an incredible level of replayability. It's sure to be exactly the kind of escape you need, and the sheer joy you feel when stomping through endless hordes of enemies while shouting "Gum-Gum Gatling Gun" at people is something that only this game can provide.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a must-play for fans of both the game series and the show itself, and it might just be the best Musou game ever made. 

[Note: A copy of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4was provided by Bandai Namco for the purpose of this review.] 

Persona 5 Royal Strength Confidant Guide Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:15:01 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Persona 5 Royal’s Strength Confidant follows the same basic pattern as the original Persona 5’s. Velvet Room wardens Caroline and Justine task you with a series of Persona fusion tests, most of which require specific skills that aren’t always naturally available to that Persona.

However, it shakes up ranks two through five with different tests and lets you get one incredibly useful skill earlier.

The events where you can take Caroline and Justine out into the real world, starting after you clear Madarame’s Palace, are completely unconnected to the Strength Confidant.

The main goal in those events is acquiring skill cards, as you can only rank up the Strength Confidant through finishing the penal labor tasks they give you.

Strength Confidant Rank 2

Your next task is producing Ame-no-Uzume with the Frei skill. It doesn’t occur naturally in the Persona, and you’ll need to be at least Level 16 to perform the necessary fusion of Suzaku and Berith

Alternatively, you could fuse Cait Sith (found in Kamoshida’s Palace) with Succubus and use a skill card to teach Frei. If you have Persona 5 save data on your system, you can get a Frei card (among others) by checking out the cardboard box in your attic room.

Strength Confidant Rank 3

The twin wardens’ third task for you is pretty easy in Royal and really isn’t much of a test at all. You need to present Flauros with the Tarukaja skill.

The only way to fuse Flauros is by three-way fusion, using Eligor, Berith, and Orobas. Eligor learns Tarukaja at Level 16, and that’s also the lowest level possible you can obtain it at.

So in other words, just do the three-way fusion and make sure you carry Tarukaja over.

You can choose to train a Persona through Lockdown now, where they’ll gain a new skill or an elemental resistance.

Strength Confidant Rank 4

Attaining Rank 4 will take several fusions, unless you either get lucky or wait just a bit. This time, you have to fuse Phoenix with the Counter skill. The normal way to do this is this:

  • Fuse or obtain Yaksini. The cheapest method is fusing Hua Po (Madarame’s Palace or Mementos) with Jack o’ Lantern (Kamoshida’s Palace or Mementos). Yaksini carries the Counter skill.
  • Fuse Yaksini with Kelpie (Kamoshida’s Palace, the Mad Marsh Horse)

Keep Phoenix around or make sure you have money to summon it later. It’s the first Persona of the Faith Arcana, and you’ll need it for a boost in Kasumi’s Confidant events.

Strength Confidant Rank 5

Next up, you’ll fuse Setanta with the Rakukaja skill. Setanta’s base level is 25, but you’ll need to wait until Level 26 to fuse it.

That’s because you’ll need to fuse Lamia first, who gets Rakukaja automatically. Then, just fuse Lamia with Silky, and there you go.

Rank 5 opens up Special Handling, which was previously confined to rank ten. Special Handling lets you fuse Personas of a higher level than your current one, which is incredibly useful.

It’s also incredibly expensive. Trying for a Persona even just five or ten levels higher than your current can cost upwards of 40,000 Yen. You can definitely break the game using Special Handling, but you’ll need to stock up on your cash reserves to do it.

Strength Confidant Ranks 6-10

The remaining Strength requests are exactly the same as base Persona 5, and unlike other Persona remakes, the attributes and skills of the Personas you used in base P5 are the same. You can just follow the same guidelines as before.

The Velvet Room Alarm

One other thing to briefly note is the Alarm system in the Velvet Room. This feature unlocked right as I was ready to fuse for Lamia, after securing the route to Kaneshiro’s treasure (though obviously that will vary for you depending on how you manage Joker’s level).

The Velvet Room can randomly enter an alarm state after you win a battle in a Palace or Mementos. Everything’s unstable, and chances are high your fusions and itemizations won’t go as planned.

After one successful use of the Gallows, Guillotine, or Electric Chair, your chances of an accident go up even more.

On the bright side, you’ll get either a powerful Persona or a Persona with powerful skills they shouldn’t actually have. These are perfect for re-fusing to pass these skills on to a more powerful Persona.

But, because everything is so unstable, you never want to attempt fusing for the twins’ tasks during an Alarm state. You probably won’t get the desired result (or the skill you need will change anyway), which means you’ll just be spending more money on summoning Personas to try again.


That's all you need to know for navigating Persona 5 Royal's Strength Confidant changes. Be sure to check out our other Persona 5 Royal guides for more tips and tricks, including

Persona 5 Royal Confidant Guide: Kasumi Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:15:01 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Kasumi Yoshizawa is one of the highlights in Persona 5 Royal. She’s a new character, a new party member, a new romance option, and of course, a new Confidant. Unfortunately, you don’t get to see a lot of Kasumi until much later in the game, and she’s not a permanent party member until the third semester.

If you want to reach that point, you’ll need to work on Kasumi’s Confidant ranks. Until December, you can only go up to Rank 5, but if you don’t hit Rank 5 before December 22, then you don’t unlock the third semester and the game's true ending.

With that said, her Confidant events should definitely take priority over whatever else is going on, and you’ll need a Faith Persona each time to get the maximum benefits. Like with the other Confidant guides, we aren’t listing spoilers here, which means we also aren’t talking about anything narrative-wise after Rank 5.

Faith Confidant Rank 1

As with all Persona 5 Royal Confidants, you’ll attain the Faith Confidant’s first rank automatically. It takes place during a new event on May 30. It’s not narratively significant, but we won’t spoil it anyway so you can experience it fresh.

As always, your conversation choices don’t matter for this one, so it also doesn’t matter that you won’t have a Faith Persona by this point.

Faith Confidant Rank 2

It’ll be a short while until you can rank up again with the Faith Confidant. Kasumi texts you on June 8 after school, or if you ignore it, you can find her hanging out near the promenade in Kichijoji.

Phoenix is the lowest-level Faith Persona, and you can’t fuse it until you’re at least Level 21 (unless you get really lucky with a fusion accident). Depending on how you’ve played, it’s possible you’ll be at this level already.

The cheapest way is fusing Kodama (which you can find in Madarame’s Palace) with Pixie, or you can take your Councillor Persona Kushi Mitama and fuse it with Bicorn.

  • 1: 1st or 3rd choice (+1)
  • 2: 1st choice (+1)
  • 3: Doesn’t matter
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: 1st choice (+1)

Most of your choices don’t really matter for this event. Once it’s done, you’ll rank up and get the Tumble ability. Tumble means you won’t get surrounded by Shadows anymore when you’re in a Palace.

Faith Confidant Rank 3

Rank 3 should be available on June 28 or June 29. Head over to Kichioji and speak with Kasumi to start. From here on, values reflect having a Faith Persona with you.

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: 1st or 2nd choice (+2)
  • 3: 1st choice (+3)
  • 4: 2nd choice (+2)
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: Doesn’t matter
  • 7: Doesn’t matter
  • 8: 1st or 3rd choice (+3)

Faith Confidant Rank 4

Nothing special about this one, though it doesn’t become available for almost a month.

  • 1: 2nd choice (+2)
  • 2: 1st choice (+3)
  • 3: Doesn’t matter
  • 4: 1st or 2nd choice (+2)
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: 1st choice (+2)
  • 7: Doesn’t matter
  • 8: 1st choice (+2)
  • 9: 1st or 2nd choice (+2)

Attaining Rank 4 unlocks the Chaines Hook ability. This lets you use the grappling hook to trigger an ambush attack from further away.

Faith Confidant Rank 5

This is an important milestone for Kasumi’s Confidant. You’ll need to reach Rank 5 before December 22 or you won’t be able to go further, and you can’t unlock the third semester.

  • 1: 1st choice (+2)
  • 2: Doesn’t matter
  • 3: 2nd choice (+3)
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: 1st or 2nd choice (+3)
  • 6: 1st choice (+3)
  • 7: Doesn’t matter
  • 8: 1st or 3rd choice (+3)

Faith Confidant Rank 6

You can’t progress past Rank 5 until after January 13. It’s a bit unusual in that none of the choices matter until the last one during the phone call.

For that, the 2nd and 3rd options both give +2.

Once you’re finished, you’ll unlock the usual bonuses associated with team members: Follow-up, so Kasumi can potentially knock an enemy down if you don’t, and Athletics Talk, where Kasumi can step in and salvage Shadow negotiations.

Faith Confidant Rank 7

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: Doesn’t matter
  • 3: 1st choice (+2)
  • 4: 1st choice (+3)
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: 1st or 3rd choice (+3)
  • 7: 3rd choice (+2)

Rank 7 gives Kasumi the Harisen Recovery ability. By now, you probably already know Harisen Recovery lets that party member potentially heal status ailments if they’re in the party.

Faith Confidant Rank 8

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: Doesn’t matter
  • 3: 2nd choice (+3)
  • 4-8: Doesn’t matter
  • 9: 2nd choice (+3)
  • 10: 2nd choice (+2)

Rank 8 gives Kasumi the Endure ability, meaning she might survive an otherwise deadly attack.

Faith Confidant Rank 9

Rank 9 is where you’ll have to choose whether you want a romantic relationship with Kasumi.

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: Either gives +2
  • 3: Either gives +2
  • 4: 1st choice (+2)
  • 5: All are +3
  • 6: 3rd choice (+2)
  • 7: Doesn’t matter
  • 8: This one is where you have to choose. It’s pretty obvious which is which, but just in case: “I love you too” is the romantic option, and “Let’s stay friends, okay?” isn’t.

Just remember if you’ve already chosen a romantic route for another Confidant, you get caught on Valentine’s Day when they realize you betrayed their trust.

The choices change from here.


  • 9: Both choices (+2)
  • 10: All are +3
  • 11: 1st choice (+2)


  • 9: 1st choice (+2)
  • 10: 3rd choice (+3)

Whatever route you choose, Rank 9 gives Kasumi the Protect ability. She might step in and take a hit for Joker if it would otherwise prove fatal.

Faith Confidant Rank 10

The choices for this one are split as well, depending on which route you took.


  • 1-4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: 1st or 2nd choice (+3)


  • 1-3: Doesn’t matter
  • 4: 1st or 2nd choice (+3)

Rank 10 unlocks a new form for Kasumi’s Persona.


That's it for Kasumi's Confidant guide, but be sure to check out our other Persona 5 Royal guides for more tips and tricks, including the other new Confidants:

Persona 5 Royal Confidant Guide: Akechi Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:15:01 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

One of the big changes in Persona 5 Royal is how the Justice Confidant is handled with Goro Akechi. In Royal, Akechi’s Confidant no longer ranks up automatically as you progress in the story. Instead, you’ll hang out with him like with any other Confidant. 

You’ll definitely want to make the time to raise Akechi’s Confidant rank. You’ll need to get it to Rank 8 by November 18 if you want to unlock Persona 5 Royal’s true ending. Make sure you’re keeping up with your Charm and Knowledge stats prior to starting, as you’ll hit a barrier at rank three otherwise.

Also, the nature of Persona 5 Royal means there will be mild story spoilers in this guide.

Justice Confidant Rank 1

As with base Persona 5, you’ll automatically start the Justice Confidant on June 10 during the social studies field trip to the TV station. You don’t have to do anything specific during the conversation, as you get no bonus points either way.

What you should do from here on out is make sure you have a Justice Persona on hand every time you hang out with Akechi, so you get additional points during each Confidant event. Archangel is the cheapest and the one you’ll get first.

Justice Confidant Rank 2

You can get to Rank 2 as early as June 13. Head to Kichijoji, and you’ll find Akechi loitering outside Penguin Sniper. This is typically where he is for future events as well.

  • 1: 1st choice (+2)
  • 2: Doesn’t matter
  • 3: 1st choice (+3)
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: 3rd choice (+3)
  • 6: 3rd choice (+2)

Rank 2 gets you the Sleuthing Instinct ability, which gives you a chance at revealing one enemy weakness when battle starts

Justice Confidant Rank 3

Get your Knowledge and Charm stats to Level 3 for this one. That shouldn’t be too hard, since the next Akechi event doesn’t open until June 23.

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: 1st or 2nd choice (+2)
  • 3: Doesn’t matter
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: 2nd choice (+2)

Justice Confidant Rank 4

Nothing special about rank four itself, but it does unlock the Jazz Jin club.

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: 3rd choice (+3)
  • 3: 1st choice (+3)
  • 4: 1st choice (+2)
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: 1st choice (+3)
  • 7: 2nd choice (+2)

Now you get Sleuthing Mastery, which grants a chance at spotting all of one enemy’s weaknesses at the start of battle.

Justice Confidant Rank 5

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: 1st choice (+2)
  • 3: 1st choice (+3)
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: Any choice (+2)

Justice Confidant Rank 6

Nothing noteworthy about getting to this point either and no rewards for ranking up. However, it starts to reveal more of Akechi’s past and character, and you'll trigger the scene at Leblanc Cafe.

  • 1: 3rd choice (+3)
  • 2: 2nd choice (+2)
  • 3: 1st or 2nd choice (+3) 
  • 4: 1st choice (+3)
  • 5: 1st or 2nd choice (+2)
  • 6: 1st choice (+3)
  • 7: 1st choice (+3)

Justice Confidant Rank 7

Make sure your knowledge stat is at Rank 4, else you can’t access Akechi’s Rank 7 event. Plan ahead so you don’t miss out on valuable time.

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: Doesn’t matter
  • 3: Doesn’t matter
  • 4: 2nd choice (+3)
  • 5: Doesn’t matter
  • 6: Doesn’t matter 
  • 7: 3rd choice (+1)

Rank 7 unlocks Harisen Recovery. This ability randomly recovers status ailments for all allies.

Justice Confidant Rank 8

Getting to Rank 8 in Akechi’s Confidant is completely different from all the others. Spoilers ahead.

You have to fight Akechi in Mementos, so be prepared. None of your conversation choices matter during this phase. Because you fight alone, you’ll need to be prepared. Remember Akechi’s Persona uses Curse and Bless skills, so don’t use Personas with weaknesses to either (or equip the Ring of Vanity you get from Madarame’s Will Seeds). 

Rakunda, Tarunda, and Sukunda or Sukukaja skills are helpful to decrease Akechi’s stats and boost your evasion. That’s important because there’s no way you can guard against Almighty skills like Megidola.

Finally, be sure you have plenty of restorative items. Beads are ideal since they restore all your HP. If you haven’t neglected Takemi’s Confidant, though, you should be able to stock up on HP restoring items at a decent price anyway.

When all is said and done, and you’ve ranked up to 8, your dialogue choices start counting again.

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: 2nd choice (+3)
  • 3: "I accept"

Justice Confidant Ranks 9 and 10

You’ll automatically rank Akechi’s Confidant up to 9 and 10 over the course of the story. Saying any more would be completely spoiling one of the game’s biggest twists, so we’ll leave it alone and just say you unlock the ultimate Justice Persona.


Assuming you got to this point, there are still more surprises in store. But you'll need to have worked on your Maruki Confidant and Kasumi Confidant rankings as well. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Persona 5 Royal guides.

Persona 5 Royal Confidant Guide: Maruki Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:15:01 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Takuto Maruki is one of Persona 5 Royal’s brand-new characters, and he’s got a brand-new Arcana and Confidant as well: the Councillor Confidant. Maruki’s Confidant is excellent. You’ll get +5 SP each time you spend time with Maruki, plus a range of other combat benefits. 

Mild spoilers lie ahead, but reading on is vital for unlocking Persona 5 Royal’s true ending and getting to the third semester.

You’ll need to get the Councillor Confidant up to Rank 9 before November 18 to access the new third semester. That means it’s pretty important you have a Councillor Persona on hand every time you trigger a Confidant event. The earliest you can do this is Level 12, with Kushi Mitama. It’s the cheapest way as well.

Councillor Confidant Ranks 1 and 2

You’ll automatically establish the Councillor Confidant on May 13, after the school assembly meeting. As always, it doesn’t matter what responses you give here: It’s automatic.

You’ll also attain Rank 2 on the same day. We aren’t listing what the responses are to help keep from spoiling things too much, so we’ll just list the number of the response instead. Unless you did a lot of grinding, you probably won’t have Kushi Mitama by now. If you do, it gives an extra point for your correct responses.

  • 1: 2nd choice (+1)
  • 2: N/A. Choice doesn’t matter
  • 3: 1st or 2nd choice (+1)
  • 4: 1st choice (+1)

This first event doesn’t have a follow-up phone call. You do get Detox, though, a chance to cleanse Joker of all ailments in battle.

Councillor Confidant Rank 3

You should be able to rank up again by May 23 when Maruki contacts you by phone. I didn’t have Kushi Mitama yet thanks to a daft decision, so these are just the base values.

  • 1: 3rd choice (+1)
  • 2: 1st or 2nd choice (+1)
  • 3: Doesn’t matter
  • 4: 1st or 3rd choice (+1)
  • 5: 1st or 2nd choice (+1)
  • 6: 1st (+1)

Rank 3 gives you the Flow ability. You’ll randomly begin battle in a Charged and Concentrated state, which means your physical and magic attacks will do extra damage.

Councillor Confidant Rank 4

Maruki should contact you again a week later. Depending on how many points you got before in your events (and if you had a Councillor Persona), you might not be able to rank up yet. From here on, I’m using values you get with a Councillor Persona.

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: 1st choice (+3)
  • 3: 3rd choice (+3)
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: Both choices (+2)
  • 6: 1st choice (+3)
  • 7: 1st choice (+2)

Councillor Confidant Rank 5

Rank 5 gives you access to your next ability, the highly useful Mindfulness. Mindfulness offers a random chance to restore Joker’s HP when it’s low.

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: Doesn’t matter
  • 3: 3rd choice (+3)
  • 4: 1st or 2nd choice (+2)
  • 5: 2nd choice (+2)
  • 6: 1st or 3rd choice (+2)

Councillor Confidant Rank 6

You won’t get Rank 6 for a while. The Confidant automatically pauses until you’ve cleared Futaba’s Palace, the pyramid.

After that, it resumes automatically, so you don’t need to worry about it until you’re prompted to continue. Just make sure you take him up on his offer every time, so you aren’t down to the last minute getting up to rank nine.

  • 1: 3rd choice (+3)
  • 2: 1st choice (+3)
  • 3: 1st or 3rd choice (+2)
  • 4: Doesn’t matter
  • 5: 2nd choice (+2)
  • 6: 1st choice (+2)

Councillor Confidant Rank 7

After Rank 6, Maruki’s requests come in regularly like before, once per week. Again, give them priority.

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: 2nd choice (+3)
  • 3: 1st choice (+3)
  • 4: 3rd choice (+3)

Rank 7 brings you Flow Boost, which makes it more likely you’ll start battle in a Flow state.

Councillor Confidant Rank 8

Nothing super special about Rank 8, though you start to get a real idea of who Maruki is.

  • 1: 1st choice (+3)
  • 2: 1st choice (+3)
  • 3: 1st choice (+3)
  • 4: 1st or 3rd choice (+2)
  • 5: 1st choice (+3)
  • 6: 1st choice (+3)
  • 7: Doesn’t matter
  • 8: 1st choice (+2)

Councillor Confidant Rank 9

This is the last time you’ll hang out with Maruki in a normal event. It gets a bit heavy, too, so keep that in mind.

  • 1: Doesn’t matter
  • 2: 3rd choice (+2)

And now you get Detox X, which increases Joker’s likelihood of shedding ailments.

Councillor Confidant Rank 10

Rank 10 happens automatically on November 18. We won’t say anything else, because that would spoil basically everything. You’ll unlock the ultimate Councillor Persona as well, which we also won’t spoil for you, and Wakefulness, which increases the amount of SP recovered through Mindfulness.


That's everything you need to know about Persona 5 Royal's Councillor Confidant. Be sure to check out our other Persona 5 Royal guides for more tips and tricks.

Nier: Replicant, an Upgraded Version of the Original Nier, Coming West Mon, 30 Mar 2020 12:01:02 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Square Enix dropped a surprise over the weekend, announcing Nier: Replicant is coming West for the first time. It's set to launch at some point on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam.

Because it's a Nier game, it's no surprise the official title is Nier: Replicant ver. 1.22474487139. Nier: Replicant isn't a full remake or remaster; instead, it's an upgrade. It'll feature new voiced lines, some new content, and orchestral remasters. According to a Famitsu interview with producer Yosuke Saito (as translated by HDKirin) there may or may not be a new ending as well.

Nier is a bit complicated with all its various endings and branching paths, but here's the gist of what Replicant is. It's Nier: Automata's prequel and was a Japanese-only release. The story follows a brother trying desperately to save his sister's life from a creeping darkness in the series' staple post-apocalyptic setting. The West got Nier Gestalt, which was essentially the same story told from a father's standpoint instead of a brother's.

That's all we know about Nier: Replicant for now, but you can check out the original press release on Square Enix's press site. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nier: Replicant news as it develops.

Control: The Foundation DLC Review — Further Down the Rabbit Hole Sat, 28 Mar 2020 15:48:29 -0400 Mark Delaney

Control was one of the most critically lauded games of 2019. We gave it an outstanding 9 out of 10 and much of the internet agreed, as it took home many Game of the Year awards from all over.

That makes its first expansion, The Foundationa highly anticipated event, especially among those who appreciate the game for its ultra weird world-building. 

The Foundation promised to go deeper into the history of The Oldest House, and among new paranatural abilities for Jesse Faden and a massive new space to explore, it's precisely the story, as it so often is with Remedy, that will have fans happy to serve another stint as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Control.

At the end of Control, as is tradition for a Remedy game, we were left with more questions than answers. The studio revels in its mystery and Control piled on the confusion more gleefully than anything before it to come out of the Finnish development house. It's for that reason that Control is so crucial and satisfying at once. Though a lingering mystery can be fun, The Foundation's best attribute is how it manages to provide lots of answers.

Specifically, the category of questions being answered in the first of two announced expansions relates to The Oldest House itself. Jesse is still in the seemingly ageless office working to clear out the Hiss when she tries to trace Agent Marshall's footsteps. Doing so leads her down to the titular, and previously unseen, region of The Oldest House: its very roots. 

There she must repair The Nail, which if you've seen LOST, is a lot like the Heart of the Island. The Hiss threaten to destroy The Oldest House and it's up to Jesse and her awesome powers, now expanded in the DLC, to thwart them.

The new region is mostly a system of caves, so secret that many who work for the Bureau didn't even know it existed. Exploring this area feels new and exciting from the first moment, as it contrasts the brutalist and analog offices of old with stalagmites, rocky tunnels, and red sand galore. 

It's in these tunnels where you'll unravel the earliest origins of The Oldest House in a story that teasingly drips out over roughly five hours. If before you found yourself pouring over every word in the game's audio or written diaries, The Foundation will have you inspecting every inch of the world once again. 

The revelations, while not without their own new set of questions, are substantial and well worth the time of anyone who enjoyed the game before. Episodic story DLC feels like it's a dying breed in an age of season passes and cosmetics, but Remedy's commitment to the process pays off. The Foundation feels essential in a way I don't remember feeling about DLC since the Mass Effect series.

It's not just lore that you can look forward to. There are some gameplay improvements, too.

With four Rituals to perform, the game's major quadrants mix in massive puzzle areas with plenty of combat. New tools are at Jesse's disposal, too, chiefly the Shape ability that enhances both combat and the already-perfect platforming the game had before. It allows Jesse to alter the terrain to give herself solid ground or drive some rocky spikes from below or behind enemies. It's super satisfying and makes the environmental combat more nuanced.

To counter that, new enemy types come in the form of Hiss Sharpened, which are, curiously enough, quite like Alan Wake enemies in that they melee you with sharp objects such as axes. Though the flow of combat is mostly the same even with these new enemies, one area in which the design has greatly improved is in the boss battles. 

Control was the first time Remedy ever got them right, but there were lots of frustrations to be had, too, including some bad checkpointing and unclear strategies players were meant to use. In The Foundation, boss battles are laid out more clearly, and even when they're tough, they seem much more manageable even on the first try.

Add to that some extra secrets that can be missed my favorite sequence being something that feels pulled right out of Sayonara Wild Hearts  and it's evident The Foundation is a complete package of what players should want and expect with paid DLC.

Minor annoyances are present as well, like one recurring puzzle type in particular that gets frustrating on its fourth and final iteration. The game also adds a new ability to call in backup at a few specific moments, but in my experience, these Deployed Rangers don't help all that much and just make one of the trophies/achievements hard to unlock.

But in the grand scheme of what The Foundation adds to the world of Control, these are pretty forgivable offenses. Lore hounds will have a field day with this one. 

  • Fantastic continuation of the lore and world-building
  • New abilities are fun and add layers to combat and platforming
  • Lots of optional secrets to discover
  • One particular puzzle gets frustrating in the late-game
  • The new Deployed Ranger assists don't work as intended

It feels a bit nostalgic to revisit a great single-player game with high-quality DLC like this. It's a dying trend, but Remedy has always taken pride in telling weird and wonderful tales, and The Foundation is the latest, but thankfully not the last, chapter of their newest brain-bender.

Anyone who enjoyed Control for its story should consider The Foundation essential playing.

[Note: A copy of The Foundation DLC was provided by Remedy for the purpose of this review.]

14 Relaxing Games You Can Play on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch Fri, 27 Mar 2020 18:47:49 -0400 Ty Arthur


Tell us which of these 14 games you plan on playing by sounding off in the comments below. Be sure to let us know what game takes the edge off for you or which games should be on this list that aren't!


Of course, not everyone will want their gaming to be all teddy bears and rainbows. If you'd rather get your frustration out by fragging hordes of enemies or engaging in a thousand or so turns of a complex strategy battle title, there's still tons of options.


To get started, take a look at all the free games currently available, and stay tuned for our upcoming list of great games with the longest campaigns!




Another extremely laid back game without combat, the oddly intriguing Wattam is all about reconnecting with old friends while dancing, holding hands, and even skyrocketing off by using your odd hat.


Although there's perhaps more poop than you might care for in a relaxing game, Wattam is undeniably charming and a joy to play when you don't want something too heavy.




Watercolor is already pretty relaxing, so it just makes sense to use it as an art medium in a game meant to offer hope like Gris. You don't have to worry about combat or dying here, and this is one of those rare platformers where you won't be constantly frustrated while trying to figure out the mechanics.


What really makes Gris stand apart is its lack of dialog. Everything in this story is told through emotional connections and visual cues, which makes it extremely soothing to play.


Bejeweled 3


The original time waster. Bejeweled should always be in your backup list of quick and easy games to jump into. When you need the problems of the day to fall away and for your mind to focus on soothing colors and patterns, this is the way to go. 


For that rare group of people who didn't spend hours playing this online back in the day, Bejeweled is a Match-3 where your goal is just to swap jewels around the board causing larger and larger matches (and corresponding cascading explosions if you manage to get 5 in a row). It simple, low stakes, and addicting.


Imminently relaxing even when it was just a simple web game a decade back, Bejeweled has only increased its relaxing gameplay options since then, as the more recent PC and console editions also include Zen Mode.


The Room


Point-and-click puzzle titles may not be the first choice for a relaxing experience, since there are so many opportunities for frustration to arise with obtuse mechanics or high difficulty. The Room avoids those problems through the strength of its gameplay and the overall immersion of its sounds and visuals.


You can get lost in this one, especially if you prefer games to be a little on the creepy side. Essentially, you've got an escape room in digital form, but all the levers, knobs, and pulleys are just really satisfying to play with in this particular iteration of the genre.


A World Of Keflings


Oddball title World Of Keflings probably would have forever faded into obscurity (and let's be honest, it still isn't that well known) if it hadn't been one of the early free Games With Gold to hit the Xbox 360.


If you missed out on it way back when, now is a great time to jump back in, because there's not much room for frustration in this adorable city builder. Your Xbox (or Wii) avatar serves as the only giant in a world of very small inhabitants, so you get to help the Keflings build their utopia.


Gather sand and clay to make glass, stockpile planks to take to the carpenter for making carved wood, and so on until you get into a zen-like groove of harvesting and building.




If you like the idea of Abzu but would prefer the grandeur of the open world of nature instead of what's found beneath the waves, then Eastshade is for you. As a free spirited traveling painter, your only goal here is to wander around and paint pictures of beautiful scenery.


Along the way, you can help people out with their problems and make the world a little bit better of a place. This is a game that's more about the journey than the destination, as its basically an open world simulator but without a ton of objectives other than to enjoy the scenery and chat with some fine folks.




The polar opposite of Subnautica, the ocean-exploring Abzu focuses on the calm, peaceful aspects of life beneath the waves. Swim with whales, weave through coral reefs, and experience life to the fullest while following schools of fish in this incredibly vibrant and visually stunning experience.


There's not a ton of actual "game" here, but that's alright: sometimes you just want to live in an underwater paradise and not have to save the world or rack up a high score.


Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles


If you've already played My Time At Portia or Stardew Valley, then Yonder is the next farming game that should have your attention. Forget about combat or anything stressful, because The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is a wonderful lazy Sunday of a game.


Unwind while exploring a gorgeous island, building a farm, taking time out for a fishing break, and helping people out while learning skills like carpentry and sewing. It's simple, it's easy, and it's exactly what you need when the real world is too much to handle.


Slime Rancher


Back in days of yore, heroes slaughtered slimes by the thousands in the various Dragon Quest games. Now we live in more enlightened times, and realize slimes are an adorable, intelligent species that should be sustainably farmed in Slime Rancher.


The concept sounds bizarre, but it is wonderfully relaxing to suck up carrots, beets, and even chickens into your suction gun and then plop them out to feed slimes as you build up your ranch.


It is important to note that as you get towards the end, the puzzles can, in fact, become difficult and stressful. That being said, most of the game is wildly comforting and incredibly low stakes.


Animal Crossing New Horizons


New Horizons is just about the best way to take things at your own pace and forget the troubles of the world right now. Dig up fossils, catch bugs, build your house, make animal friends.


This next gen reboot of the classic Nintendo franchise lets you live out your interior (and exterior!) decorator fantasies across a whole island while slowly expanding access to new areas. Whether crafting, buying, hunting, inviting new creatures to live nearby, or just enjoying the scenery, there's also something relaxing (and fun) to do in Animal Crossing.


Stardew Valley


You had to know the country living sim Stardew Valley would make the list, right? Take things at your own pace as you learn to live off the land by farming, fishing, raising animals, and forging relationships with other members of the local community.


Of course, Stardew Valley isn't totally without stress as you manage various resources, especially if you see everything as a challenge to overcome as quickly as possible, but for the most part, this is laid back gaming at its finest. There are a good number of mods to make things more relaxing. 


Stardew Valley also (finally) features multiplayer, so you and your friends and family can all farm together. 


For those looking to take a darker route, Graveyard Keeper offers a different, but definitely less relaxing, take on the farm-life genre. 


Industrial Petting


Farming and ranching simulators are some of the best go-to titles for relaxing games, and there's no shortage of options there. While the big names like Farming Simulator are worth trying out, there's also plenty to explore if you dig into the indie scene. 


Industrial Petting is one of those lesser-known titles that's currently available in Early Access. While the content isn't overflowing yet, there are still tons of adorable animals to enjoy while building up an empire of ethically sourced, fair trade exotic pets.


Coffee Talk


Sitting somewhere between a visual novel and a barista simulator, there is something weirdly relaxing about brewing up a cup of joe in Coffee Talk while listening to people's problems.


The twist, of course, is that in Coffee Talk's universe, supernatural beings walk among us. Think of it as a low-key Shadowrun, with none of the violence and a lot more coffee. You'll get to offer advice to an elf and a succubus whose parents don't approve of their relationship while learning how to make lattes, teas, and smoothies.


I dunno' if actual real-world baristas will get the same soothing level of therapy out of it, but everyone else is in for a wonderfully relaxing time. Not sure if this format is right for you? Grab the free demo at Steam to try it out before you buy!




A truly odd and offbeat offering from DoubleFine, Everything is sort of like an anti-Katamari Damacy. Instead of collecting everything and going inward, you constantly expand outward, so far, in fact, that you might start over at the beginning again! There's no end goal and now way to win or lose. You just exist and explore while philosophical concepts are presented as voiceovers.


Everything's non-traditional gameplay is particularly helpful in stressful situations, as this bizarrely wonderful simulator makes you feel connected to the universe at large no matter where you are. 


This imminently weird but wildly intriguing title made our list of the top bizarre games. They aren't all relaxing, but all of them offer something outside the norm. 


It can be pretty relaxing to mow down hordes of gangsters and aliens while imbued with superpowers in Saints Row 4 or to plow through crowds in GTA 5. But not all games are conducive to lowering your stress levels. Fast-paced shooters like Doom Eternal might not be the best way to keep your blood pressure in a happy place.


For those of us in need of something calmer, this list of 14 extremely relaxing games is just the ticket. Core gameplay in all of these titles is explicitly soothing and meant to put you at ease. 

The Longest Games to Sink Hundreds of Hours Into Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:44:37 -0400 Ty Arthur


Monster Hunter Freedom Unite


There is absolutely no question that you could sink a ton of hours into Monster Hunter World, the most recent entry in the Monster Hunter franchise, but it's Freedom Unite that takes the crown. Thing is, you need as PSP or PlayStation Vita to play it.


Offering up to 400 hours of play time, there's an undeniable sense of accomplishment built into Freedom Unite. that triggers something deep in our ancestral memory when we take down some big game, and Freedom Unite offers the ultimate in hunting with gigantic monsters.




What long games are you playing when you find yourself in need a few hundred hours to waste? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts on our picks, and be sure to give us some recommendations for games we could play until our eyes bleed!


Star Citizen


Though it's possible that Star Citizen will never be complete, what's available now in the game's Alpha version is still extremely extensive. 


While still missing many key features, there's plenty to do between combat and delivery missions, mining and trading, exploration, and direct interactions with other players. If you've ever wanted to go explore the stars in the most ambitious video game universe ever conceived, Star Citizen is the ultimate sci-fi time sink. 


Pokemon Black and White


While some Pokemon games are drastically shorter than others, Black and White is probably the way to go if you're looking to really sink your teeth into something.


For a Pokemon game, there is simply a stupid amount of content in Black and White, and it adds in 150 new pocket monsters to the roster to boot. The gameplay might be old-hat and repetitive by now, but if you want to relive your halcyon days of monster collecting, this is the way to go.


Of course, Black and White isn't your only option. For Switch owners, there's also Pokemon Sword and Shield. While the games don't include all of the Pokemon from the get-go, a completionist run could last more than 100 hours, and there are two expansions still on the horizon!


Fire Emblem Three Houses


Other than Breath Of The Wild, which I'm assuming you already know you should have played, this is one of the very best, and longest, games on the Nintendo Switch. 


Three Houses is filled to the brim with tactical combat and deeply strategic party management. It's got a winding, engaging story, and features elements from other genres, such as simulation and education. 


It isn't a stretch to say you'll be putting in 60 hours on the low end. For those who have to explore every nook and cranny and find every secret, 100 hours isn't inconceivable.


Persona 5


In general, console RPGs tend to offer pretty lengthy campaigns, especially compared against the brevity of any given shooter's single-player mode. But the cream of the crop is Persona 5.


The Persona games have always included a number of deeply interconnected relationship systems against the backdrop of intense complexity. Persona 5 kicks that design into high gear with the lengthiest story campaign yet, not to mention its Memento dungeons full of fantastic loot.


Depending on how much of Tokyo you explore and how far into New Game+ mode you go, 100 hours of playtime is a low-end estimate. If you've already played Persona 5, it might be worth jumping back in with Persona 5 Royal. If that doesn't suit your fancy, take a look at our ranking of the Persona franchise from best to worst.


Disgaea Series


Old-school gamers might recall how you technically could get Cloud Strife to Level 99 on the PS1 version of Final Fantasy 7, but you weren't really supposed to do that. The gameplay just wasn't built around that type of grind, which got old  fast.


Alternatively, Disgaea is a series that's explicitly built around that exact hustle, and the level cap isn't 99: it's 9,999. Yep, you read that right.


Aside from a ludicrously-high character level, every item you pick up in Disgaea has its own randomized dungeon, all so you can level up said item to 9,999. Theoretically speaking, there's no cap to the number of hours you could spend here. Some have certainly spent thousands upon thousands ... 


Thankfully, the series' strategy RPG combat stays fun during the endless grind, and all of the Disgaea titles feature tongue-in-cheek characters and interactions to keep things entertaining.


I'm a fan of Disgaea 2's PC port, but honestly, any of these titles on either console or PC are just phenomenal and worth sinking time into. Want the latest and greatest? Disgaea 5 is the most recent main entry to hit PS4.




What's more fun than giant mechs stomping each other into oblivion?  Harebrained Schemes' take on the long-running Battletech franchise. It's a winner when you need a game that goes on for a long, looooooong time.


While the campaign itself is somewhere in the 60-70 hour range, it's what comes after — when the full map opens up  that's a real time sink. Whether you're an achievement hunter, or you're just trying to get all the parts to build that elusive crab mech, you're facing down hundreds of hours of missions.


While such a glut of content got a bit stale at launch, additional mechs, travel events, and new mission types have since been added with free updates and paid DLC. If you quit after 120 the game first dropped, now is a great time to jump back in to see what's changed. Maybe even add 120 more. 


Any Civilization Game


Why stick with just one era of expansion and conquer when you could cover all of human history and then go far into the future as well? That's what's on tap if you decide to jump into Civilization, Sid Meier's 4X claim to fame. 


As strategy games go, Civilization is the paradigm to beat. Its turn-based design has stood the test of time and influenced countless other titles. Games can play out as fairly quickly if you know what you're doing, and unique bouts abound no matter which of the hundreds of civilizations you pick.  


One truly ludicrous example showcases a player who has been playing the same game of Civilization 2 for 10 solid years. No, not in-game years. Someone has spent a decade of their life on ONE Civilization match that never ended. 


If you aren't familiar with the gameplay, I recommend jumping in with either Civilization 5 or Civilization 6.


Sins Of A Solar Empire Rebellion


Just about any major 4X game could have made this list since they're all focused on expansion, have sprawling maps, and provide plenty of replay value. 


For the real goods, though, look no further than Sins Of A Solar Empire. Whether you want to establish an empire and deal with economic and political issues or just conquer the stars, Sins has dozens of gameplay possibilities. 


Between the story mode and the game's random maps, there are immediately hundreds of hours at your fingertips — but that's just the start. The game supports a bevy of mods, including those for popular fandoms such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Stargate


For example, the insanely-detailed Armada 3 mod is still the best Star Trek game that's ever been made, even if it's only a fan-made total conversion mod. 


Heroes Of Might And Magic 3


There are plenty of killer real-time strategy options out there, like Total War or Company Of Heroes. When you need a game that can keep you occupied for months on end, though, the large-scale conquests of Heroes Of Might And Magic have you covered.


Heroes Of Might and Magic 5  when the franchise first made the leap to 3D environments  is my personal favorite of the series, but Heroes Of Might And Magic 3: The Restoration Of Erathia is what essentially coined the idea of "just one more turn" in any and every strategy game. It's a great place to start.


Yes, the graphics are dated, but everything else still holds up. There's an immense level of challenge on the game's harder difficulties, but it's rewarding and worthwhile. That's not to mention the music is still absolutely phenomenal. 


If you'd rather play something more modern, there are plenty of newer entries that feature advanced the gameplay mechanics and venture into other genres, such as sci-fi. Age Of Wonders: Planetfall is an excellent pick to sink a hundred (or two) hours into.


Baldur's Gate 2


You don't have to look to the stars for a sprawling game experience in the triple digits. There's plenty to do in a world like Toril, especially in places like the Sword Coast or Amn.


The granddaddy of all PC RPGs, Baldur's Gate 2 (or, if you must, the "enhanced edition" from Beamdog) is custom-made for playing in long stretches.


Even if you've already played it from beginning to end, there's plenty of reason to jump back into the Bhaalspawn saga and try a different route. Side with or against Bohdi and her vampires, go with an all-evil party by grabbing Korgan, Viconia, and Edwin, or try another class to earn a radically different stronghold.


Another option that involves a significant time investment is the Baldur's Gate 2 romance system, which actually plays out over weeks and months of in-game time as you get to know companions. 


Kingdom Come: Deliverance


KC:D doesn't have nearly the same insane potential as Kenshi, but the trade-off is that there's significantly more story to enjoy. It does so in an open world with multiple ways to approach any situation.


You start off as a peasant-nobody and have to build up your gear and reputation in a very (very) deadly world. The combat is deep and tactical, with dozens of different weapon choices from swords to maces. Clothing also plays a key role not only for defense but for social standing. And there's a crafting element that's rooted in real-life alchemy. 


Kingdom Come is also significantly more polished and graphically pleasing than Kenshi, and looks utterly gorgeous on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, not to mention a high-end PC. 




Unconcerned with the typical story-rich RPG experience, Kenshi lets you play however you want. A true sandbox, you can build your own empire, become a slaver, start a rebellion, or just spend time crafting and researching. There's no right or wrong way to play Kenshi.


Once you get the basics of this truly punishing game down, though, it's time to extend your playtime with the game's dozens of mods. Here's a list of must-download Kenshi mods to get you started.


Ark: Survival Evolved


We'll start with the ultimate time sink. If you dig survival games or just like the idea of riding a dino across a prehistoric landscape before building your own city, Ark is up your alley.


You probably already know about Ark, but if you don't, the idea isn't just to fight other survivors and build a settlement, but it's also to tame and domesticate wild animals. From fiery Ark magmasaurs to spidery bloodhunters, creatures of all shapes and sizes can join your primal menagerie when you figure out the proper taming methods.


Yeah, it has some clunky UI and connectivity issues still, but there really isn't any competition when it comes to Ark, a survival sim where you get to build up a stable of animals and craft a society however you please.


To really understand the amount of time you might lose to Ark, just take a gander at the game's Steam page, where hundreds and hundreds of players have logged thousands of hours of play time!


If you're not a fan of the game's prehistoric sci-fi setting, Outlaws Of The Old West has essentially identical gameplay but lets you live out your Wild West fantasies instead.


Sometimes you just have a lot of time on your hands. Whether it's because of a long weekend or an extended vacation, there are times you just want to immerse yourself in a digital world for 100+ hours. 


Luckily, there are a ton of games that fit the bill. We're going to assume you already know that heavily modded Elder Scrolls entries or Fallout 3/4 offer hundreds of hours of gaming opportunities. So instead of pointing out the completely obvious, we're going to focus on a handful of games you might have forgotten about or, perhaps, hadn't considered. 

Destiny 2: How to Upgrade Moon Bunker Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:16:06 -0400 Sergey_3847

The Moon Bunker in Destiny 2: Season of the Worthy is very similar in design and purpose to the EDZ Bunker. However, there are some slight differences. This guide will provide you with tips on how to properly upgrade your Moon Bunker.

Most of your actions will stay the same as with the EDZ Bunker except a few slight changes that you need to consider. Just follow the steps below and soon your Moon Bunker will be fully upgraded.

Step 1: Earn Warmind Bits

Before upgrading your Moon Bunker through all three tiers, you need to earn Warmind Bits. This is easily achievable at Rasputin: Moon by doing weekly, daily, and repeatable bounties that each grant you 100, 50, and 10 bits respectively.

If you've played the EDZ Bunker event, then you will notice that it's the same amount of Warmind Bits. That's why doing these bounties is so important at first before getting any new weapons, mods and upgrades.

Each Moon Bunker category requires the following amount of Warmind Bits:

  • 60 for Rank 1
  • 120 for Rank 2
  • 240 for Rank 3

Step 2: Upgrade Your Bunker

When you have enough Warmind Bits you can start upgrading your bunker beginning from Rank 1.

The strategy is again very similar to the EDZ Bunker, but this time there is a slight change in the Rank 1 upgrades. The rest is the same.

Start upgrading all three ranks in the following sequence:

  1. Cost Reduction: Tier 1
  2. Warmind Bit Generation: Tier 1
  3. Cost Reduction: Tier 2
  4. Warmind Bit Generation: Tier 2
  5. Cost Reduction: Tier 3
  6. Warmind Bit Generation: Tier 3

The difference between EDZ and Moon Bunkers is that now you can't unlock Tier 2 and 3 categories of the same name before you unlock them at Rank 1. That's why this sequence is so important.

After you've unlocked the Cost Reduction and Warmind Bit Generation, you can unlock the rest of the categories as you see fit.


That's how you upgrade your Moon Bunker in Season of the Worthy. For more Destiny 2 guides, check out the list below:

Falcom Details Hajimari no Kiseki's Miserable Sinners, Cross Story System Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:18:16 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Nihon Falcom recently unveiled details for Hajimari no Kiseki's third story route, dubbed "The Miserable Sinners." Falcom also highlighted the unique narrative progression system Hajimari uses, called the Cross Story System.

The Sinners, a mysterious, ragtag bunch with potential ties to important events in the Cold Steel saga, are the focus of the Hermit story path.

Their leader is a knight who calls himself "C." It's the name the Imperial Liberation Front's leader used prior to triggering Erebonia's civil war, but this "C" uses different weapons and outfits. He's not the real "C," and no one knows why he might use the name. He's investigating the actions of Erebonia's Imperial Defense Force, defenders of the imperial family and capitol.

The next two characters, Nadia and Swin, should be familiar to those who saw Falcom's poster for the series' 15th anniversary. They're the boy and girl seen from behind at the top, and both are former members of an assassin's organization.

Nadia specializes in mid-range combat and stores her weapons in her giant teddy bear. She excels in analysis and uses her appearance to catch foes off guard. Swin is the more practical of the two and uses two different-length swords in combat. He's calm and collected, but Nadia tends to manipulate him.

It's thought, Falcom says, Swin and Nadia are the models for the protagonists in 3 and 9, a popular international novel series meant to act as a wanted poster more than entertaining literature.

The characters in the novel operated in the Calvard Republic, but Falcom is still playing coy as to whether Nadia and Swin are tied to the Republic.

Finally is Lapis Rosenberg, a living doll made by the famous Rosenberg Studios in Crossbell. She tries to act as human and grown-up as possible and just as frequently fails at it. Her goal is recovering memories of her past and helping Swin and Nadia in the process.

You'll be able to switch between The Miserable Sinners, the Crossbell Re-Independence story, and Erebonia's part of the narrative freely, thanks to the Cross Story System. You can't progress to the next chapter until all three parts of the current chapter are finished, and each route offers a new perspective on events as they unfold.

The cast is massive as you'd expect. Falcom is promising a "True Reverie Corridor" similar to Trails of Cold Steel 2's, where you can mix and match your party as you see fit.

Hajimari is the newest game in Falcom's Trails/Kiseki series and launches this summer in Japan, but there's no word yet on a Western release.

You can check out the full translation on Gematsu. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Trails series news as it develops.

Minecraft Devs Talk Minecraft Dungeons Price, Cross-Platform Multiplayer Thu, 26 Mar 2020 16:10:58 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

As we edge ever closer to the dungeon crawler's nebulous "April 2020" release date, developer Mojang recently published an FAQ covering some interesting tidbits about Minecraft Dungeons, including the game's price.

The standard edition of Minecraft Dungeons will cost $19.99 and the Hero Edition, which includes a Hero Cape, two player skins, and a chicken pet, will cost $29.99. The game will release on the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, and it will be available on Xbox Game pass on both PC and Xbox One when it launches. 

Mojang is also preparing two DLC packs for Minecraft Dungeons, and Hero Edition buyers get them free when they launch. Individual prices for the DLC packs were not provided. 

It should come as no surprise that Minecraft Dungeons is all about local co-op and online multiplayer. That begs the question of whether Minecraft Dungeons will be cross-platform, too. According to Mojang, yes — but not initially. 

When Minecraft Dungeons launches, it will only support multiplayer for those playing on the same platform. However, the goal is to introduce cross-platform multiplayer in a free update later.

The full FAQ post is on the Minecraft website.

We're looking forward to Minecraft Dungeons quite a bit, especially after hearing about things like how the team designed the game's soundscapes. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Minecraft Dungeons news as we creep(er) closer to launch.

Call of Duty: Warzone Pushes Battle Royale to Its Limits Thu, 26 Mar 2020 12:50:04 -0400 David Jagneaux

Call of Duty set the world on fire two weeks ago when Warzone, Activision's latest iteration of the best-selling franchise, released for free on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with full, seamless crossplay. It's not only the first free-to-play Call of Duty game, but it's also the first standalone title focused specifically on large-scale multiplayer like battle royale  and the new game mode, Plunder.

After spending a couple of weeks with the new game, trying out both modes extensively, digging into the Season Pass, and tweaking my loadouts obsessively, I've got a good handle on what I think of this new look Call of Duty. To be clear though: it is still in beta (although all of the microtransactions are live, mostly making that designation a cop-out to excuse bugs).

Call of Duty Battle Royale

Battle royale in Warzone is insane. There are 150 total players all dropping down onto the same map at the same time. They're all battling over the same loot to be the last team (or player) standing. It's extremely epic to behold.

Much of the moment-to-moment gameplay is comparable to other battle royale games like Apex Legends, PUBG, and Fortnite, but Warzone has a few unique features that set it apart. Perhaps the most important is The Gulag system.

Death in Warzone's battle royale mode is not the end. Instead, upon your first death (as long as it doesn't happen during the last third or so of the match), you're captured as a prisoner of war and sent to The Gulag prison camp. Once at The Gulag, you'll fight another prisoner (aka person that died) for a chance to revive and drop back into the match.

Getting a second chance like that is exhilarating, but it does make games last an incredibly long time since 50% of all first deaths are brought back into the game.

If you lose in the 1v1 Gulag match, then your teammates can still buy you back into the game at a buy station, so there are multiple chances to get back in the action here.

Armor is equipped with pieces that contribute to an overall armor level like in Fortnite and Apex Legends rather than individual armor slots like in PUBG. Everyone also starts with a pistol, so you're not completely unprepared when first landing. All guns have tiers and pre-installed attachments as well, so you won't actually loot those things one by one like in PUBG and Apex

One of the big new features I like best is the new contracts system. Spread around the map, you can find three different types of contracts to complete: recon missions (capture a waypoint on the map), bounty missions (go kill a specific player), and loot box missions (go collect these three loot boxes). For each contract you complete, you'll earn a big influx of cash.

Generally, the looting phase feels shorter in Warzone than in other battle royale games in regards to gear. Eventually, you'll start trying to amass cash instead.

Cash can be used to not only buy back fallen allies but also to purchase upgrades, such as airstrikes, and even call down loadout boxes that contain your custom-crafted top-tier guns and attachments. That same loadout you've been rolling with in multiplayer if you have the Modern Warfare base game? You can use it here. Or maybe you have a loadout that you specifically made just for battle royale.

The main draw of Call of Duty: Warzone is definitely the battle royale mode. This is Activision's follow-up to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout battle royale and is the direct answer to Apex Legends, Fortnite, and PUBG. It's what everyone asked for and talked about leading up to Warzone's release. Yet despite it all, it's my second favorite mode out of the two.


I avoided trying Plunder for several hours the first night I tried Warzone. "I love battle royale games," I thought. "Why would I bother with something that has respawns?" And oh, boy was I wrong.

Plunder uses the exact same map (Verdansk) and employs the same number of players as battle royale, but it completely changes the flow and strategy of matches. Instead of duking it out to be the last team standing, your objective is to amass the most money before time runs out. You do this by looting small caches around the map, killing players and taking their money, collecting massive loot boxes that drop from planes, or completing contract missions.

What makes Plunder so different is that there is no circle at all. Ever. The full map is always in play. Every time you die, you drop about half of your personal cash on your corpse and you get redeployed on the map. 

In order to lock in money for your team that can't be lost, you have to call in a cash balloon (which costs $30,000 to buy or can be found randomly in loot boxes with a max deposit limit of $150,000) or call in a chopper. The chopper can hold an unlimited amount of money, but it alerts everyone on the map when it's called, and it takes time to arrive. Every chopper pad is exposed as well, making it extremely risky to run up and deposit cash.

This creates an amazing sense of risk versus reward that continually ebbs and flows over the entire game, but it also establishes flashpoints on the map. Everyone is drawn to those areas, and you'll always end up in a big firefight.

Strategies shift often, though: Once you have deposited your cash, there is no downside to death other than having to wait for your respawn. The final wrinkle introduced is that all three of the top teams are always marked on the map as red moneybag icons, making them constant targets. Getting into first place is usually temporary since hiding isn't a viable strategy at that point.

I ended up loving Plunder because it's so dynamic. Battle royale tends to devolve into the same rhythm every time you play, but Plunder is constantly ebbing and flowing throughout the game. Matches are also extremely long, emulating a large-scale battle more with all of the respawns, and taking a player's money (and then shooting them out of the sky when they try to respawn on top of you) is endlessly satisfying. 

Free-to-Play Design

Other than Call of Duty Mobile, Warzone is the first time that Call of Duty has gone free-to-play. Fortunately, it's a great model. The entire game, all guns, all modes, and all actual core gameplay is entirely free to everyone. There is nothing you can buy with real money that gives you an actual edge in the game. At all.

Instead, everything is all cosmetics, like character skins, weapon skins, and so on, as well as XP bonus badges. For the purpose of covering the game, Activision provided me with enough COD points to buy the season pass, and I plan on renewing it myself once the next season starts. Unlocking new weapon skins is exciting and it actually entices me to try out guns I haven't used before since I have cool new skins. 

Technically, I haven't had a flawless experience. Sometimes the game suddenly suffers from crippling lag in the middle of a match with no explanation. Other times, I get disconnected and kicked back to the lobby for no reason. One time after dying in The Gulag, my teammates couldn't revive me until, inexplicably, it decided to let them 15 minutes later. When I came back, I moved at double speed everywhere I went. I've also seen people fall through the map a few times.

However, this is technically beta still, so some bugs here and there aren't too surprising and the game, as a whole, runs very well. It's certainly polished and features some of the slickest shooting you'll find in any battle royale game.

I'm still not sold on the player size and lack of team setups, but I think over time, things will even out a bit. I look forward to seeing new maps or, at the very least, how this map changes over time to keep things fresh. Since all of the cosmetics are actually really nice and fun to use, it's the first battle pass I have really enjoyed unlocking in quite some time.

Call of Duty: Warzone is out now, for free, on PS4, Xbox One, and PC with full cross-platform multiplayer, crossplay parties, voice chat, and friends list working great. Look out for me on the battlefield!

Doom Eternal Sentinel Battery Locations Wed, 25 Mar 2020 22:49:13 -0400 John Schutt

Doom Eternal sentinel batteries are some of the most critical collectibles in the game. You need these to unlock all of the doors in the Fortress of Doom and gain access to sealed upgrades and outfits for the Slayer.

You'll run across a few of these batteries in the course of regular play. Still, others hide behind platforming puzzles, challenges, and other hidden crevices throughout Hell and beyond. This guide will tell you where to find each sentinel battery in Doom Eternal

Note: Some images below do not have the batteries in them, but they show where the batteries are. Images were captured post-playthrough, where I collected most of the items in the level beforehand.

Exultia Sentinel Battery Locations

You'll come across the first sentinel battery in the game over the course of finishing the Exultia level. It is just before the transdimensional portal.

Initially, it's locked behind a large gate, and you'll have to go through the level to raise it. Once the gate is out of the way, you can't miss the battery.

Cultist Base Sentinel Battery Locations

Cultist Base Battery 1

The first Battery sits high above the first major combat arena. Clear the area of enemies, then look for a small ledge along the cliffside, near where you entered the area.

Jump to the ledge. Break open the grate, and punch the button behind it to unlock a gate below the main arena (below where the horde of zombies was when you first came into the area). Beyond the gate is a jump pad.

Take the jump pad up, and double-jump/double-dash to the battery's location, nestled in the cliff ahead (shown below).

Cultist Base Battery 2

After grabbing the sentinel battery above and completing the next section that pits you against demons in a long corridor, you'll exit outside and get a Praetor Suit token. Continue down to one of the level's toughest combat arenas (pictured below).

After the fight, go inside the keep and turn left at the intersection and follow the hallway down until you see the battery out in the open.

Cultist Base Battery 3

Shortly after you get the Sentinel Crystal while looking for your Super Shotgun, you'll enter a room with two elevators to your left and right. 

Take the elevator immediately to your left and go down one floor.

Once on the bottom floor, follow the hallway around until you see a Cacodemon float above some yellow-hued boxes. Kill the demon and jump up to the main floor. There are more elevators. Take the one on the left, this time riding up.

Jump on to the next floor and run until you see a large green button in front of a contraption.

Punch the button to release the monkey bar, shoot the other green button across the way, swing through the opening, and dash onto the climbable wall.

From the wall, look left. You should see an elevator with a large armor pickup in it.

Take this final elevator up, run around the corner, and you drop into the battery hallway. Collect the battery to open the gate.

Doom Hunter Base Sentinel Battery Locations

Doom Hunter Base Battery 1

You'll find the first sentinel battery of Doom Hunter Base in the back of the level's first combat arena, hidden, as they tend to be, behind a grate.

From the back of the room, go toward the entrance and look for an opening underneath the center platform about halfway down. There's a breakable vent. 

Break said vent and follow the tunnel, then jump up to the little room with the battery.

DoomHunter Base Battery 2

The second battery in this level is on the critical path. It can be found in the same area as the red key.

Move through the level until you come across a set of bridges and a massive outpost connected by floating, climbable walls and monkey bars. It's high above the snowy mountains below. The start of the area looks like this.

Swing on the monkey bars and jump to the central platform, then head toward the hanging climbable wall. You'll see a dash recharge nearby leading to the outpost. There's an open window in the side you'll want to jump through.

You're in the right place if there are about five zombies shambling about in the room. Turn to your right, and the battery will be staring you in the face.

Super Gore Nest Sentinel Battery Locations

Super Gore Nest Battery 1

The first sentinel battery in the Super Gore Nest is in the first acid area. You'll have the yellow gore key by that point, and you'll be going for the red key. Once you enter the area, you'll see several flaming chains that you'll need to avoid.

Past the fire chains is a pathway up and around, where you'll eventually reach a room with a rotating column in the center. To progress further in the level, you smash through a vent by using the monkey bars attached to the column.

To find your way to the battery, go through the tunnel at the bottom of the chamber instead.

You'll want to refresh your Rad Suit if possible, because you'll quickly take damage getting to the end of the tunnel.

Super Gore Nest Battery 2

It's almost impossible to miss this sentinel battery. It's at the end of a short platforming puzzle.

You'll be in an area with a Buff Totem and lava floors, floating skull platforms, and monkey bars. It's in the center of a huge lava lake surrounded by destroyed buildings. It looks something like this: 

As you make your way through the area, you'll take the monkey bars across to a small section with a moveable block, a short jump, and more floating fiery chains. 

At the end of that path is a climbing wall. Once you reach the top, the battery will be waiting to your left.

Super Gore Nest Battery 3

Once you have the blue key (the last of the three keys), you'll return to the first open area of the level; it's where you had your first big fight.

There's a blue locked door in the center spire, and it hides a jump pad. Near the pad is an easily reached secret (you can't miss it), and to the far right of that is a climbable wall.

Time your jump so you don't hit any of the flying debris, and climb up, then turn left. Turn left again and head down the hall. Turn right at the end of that hallway, and you'll come face to face with a Specter, one of those invisible Pinkie demons. Kill it or dodge around it.

Trudge down the path, and you'll drop down to the battery to the right of the slayer key.

ARC Complex Sentinel Battery Locations

ARC Complex Battery 1

You'll find the first battery close to a Vega Weapon Attachment drone (modbot). It's also close to the slayer key for this mission. The drone in question appears close to the end of the level, in one of the destroyed buildings. It can be seen below: 

Directly across from the drone is a stairwell you can take up and to the left. You'll arrive at a gap made by a broken walkway. Rather than go for the climbable wall, jump straight across the gap and the battery will be on the left.

ARC Complex Battery 2

You'll find the second sentinel battery in the ARC Complex on your way through the level. After firing the first turret at the giant tentacles blocking your way to Samuel Hayden's compound, you'll ride an elevator down.

After getting off the elevator, you'll walk down a hallway until you reach a small office. The battery is inside the office.

ARC Complex Battery 3

The third and final sentinel battery in this level isn't hard to find, but the arena before it will test you. There are plenty of heavy demons, and they come hard and fast. 

Finish the fight and you'll need to find the hole the Cyber Mancubus popped out of to drop into the purple slime tunnel below. From the entrance to the area, turn left and go straight into the corner. The hole should appear. 

Make your way to the end of the tunnel and use the monkey bar in the larger slime chamber to jump to the third battery's platform.

Mars Core Sentinel Battery Locations

Mars Core Battery 1

You'll find the first battery in the area just below the first large combat arena, as you're heading toward the BFG 10,000. 

Clear this arena however you please, then, when the path forward opens, don't go immediately into the green, spinny BFG Core tunnel. Instead, turn around, and there it'll be.

Mars Core Battery 2

This battery is near the end of the level's large platforming area that looks like a huge debris field in space.

As you make your way across the area, you'll eventually come to a small outpost with a tower. You'll then use a jump pad to get to another outpost across from it.

When you reach the other side, you'll need to go through a door on the critical path. Before you enter the door, turn around to find the battery on the roof of the previous outpost. Jump/dash over to get it. 

Mars Core Battery 3

Much like the second Super Gore Nest battery, this one is hard to miss. Once you enter the escape pod and crash land in the core of Mars, the battery will be waiting for you.

Taras Nabad Sentinel Battery Locations

Taras Nabad Sentinel Battery 1

The first well-hidden battery in a few levels is just below your spawn location. You can see it behind a grate not long after you load into the level.

Jump down on the platform and cross to the other side. There's a ledge you can drop down to that hides a breakable wall.

Beyond this wall is a short hallway leading to the first battery.

Taras Nabad Sentinel Battery 2

From tricky to downright insidious, the second battery is behind a gate you can only open with a hidden button. To make matters worse, the arena you're in marks the first instance of the Archvile in the campaign, and getting past that one could take a few tries.

To find the button that unlocks the gate protecting the pattery, you'll need to climb the stairs at the back of the arena and head to the right of the statue. There will be a smaller, breakable statue kneeling in the wall to your left you can punch.

Punch the statue, and you'll reveal the button. Press the button and a second pair of gates will open behind you. You'll need to head into the newly opened room, climb up a wall, and jump-punch a giant weight down from its chain.

Once the weight falls through the floor, all you need to do is jump down to collect the battery. It will look like this once you're done:

Taras Nabad Sentinel Battery 3

If the first two Taras Nabad batteries took a little brainpower, the third and final one takes almost none. All you have to do is make it to the area where you recover your Crucible from the Titan corpse, then look at the wall opposite the corpse. The battery lives in the back corner.

Once you collect the last battery from Taras Nabad, you'll have almost every sentinel battery in the game. You'll almost be free to unlock every door in the Fortress of Doom, deck yourself in some sweet looking armor, and fully upgrade everything in your arsenal.

But there's another way to pick up a few more sentinel batteries. 

There is One Battery Per Set of Level Challenges

One of the primary ways you'll collect sentinel batteries is through the completion of Doom challenges, first introduced in the Cultist Base level. You need to complete all three challenges per level to acquire the battery, and while many challenges are easy enough to finish, some take a little forethought. 

As soon as you enter any level following the Cultist Base, open your menu and tab over to the "Challenges" section. Complete the challenges as the requirements become available. 

You do not have to complete all challenges in one playthrough of a level. You can go back through Mission Select and finish whatever challenges you missed — even after the campaign. 


We've still got more Doom Eternal coverage coming, so stick around. Check out the other Doom content we've got in the meantime.