News Tagged Articles RSS Feed | News RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network HMs are Gone in New Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Trailer Wed, 29 Sep 2021 10:02:14 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Pokemon Company debuted a new Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl trailer introducing Amity Square, poffin making, and the Poketch's functions. One of which means poor Bidoof is free from its HM shackles forever.

The Poketch is your handy all-in-one gadget that's part map, part Item Finder, and now, part Hidden Move instigator.

The original Diamond and Pearl tied Hidden Moves such as Cut and Surf to actual Pokemon attacks as their predecessors did, which meant they took up a move slot. The Gen IV remakes let you call in wild Pokemon to use the same moves.

Amity Square in Hearthome City gets a makeover as well. Where you could take just one cute Pokemon for a walk with you before, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl let you take a stroll with your whole team of six adorable critters.

There's even a poffin-making station in the park, where you can stop off for a quick baking session and give your precious Pokemon a well-deserved treat.

There's also a brief glimpse at some of Sinnoh's helper characters, Cheryl and Riley, you'll encounter at key points in your journey.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl release November 19 for Nintendo Switch, and that's not the only taste of Sinnoh headed to the Switch. Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Game Freak's first open-world Pokemon game, launches January 28, 2022.

Game Freak Debuts Noble New Pokemon Legends Arceus Trailer Wed, 29 Sep 2021 09:55:18 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Not content with one new Pokemon trailer in one day, Game Freak and The Pokemon Company released a meaty new Pokemon Legends: Arceus trailer. There's a lot to digest, but chief among the new pieces of information is the Hisui Region's noble Pokemon.

Noble Pokemon are blessed with power and often lend their aid to people in need. One of them is the brand-new Bug/Rock Pokemon Kleavor, a Hisuian evolution of Scyther. Some unknown phenomenon is causing them to enter a frenzied state and wreak havoc across the land, and it's your job to put things right again.

You'll work with one of Hisui's Guardians, people tasked with caring for the Noble Pokemon, to restore order by battling these unique creatures and calming them with a special balm.

You'll need to dodge their attacks and exploit their weaknesses, but simply winning in battle isn't enough. The problem is only resolved when you apply enough balm.

So far, we know there's four Noble Pokemon in Hisui:

  • Kleavor, with Lian as its Guardian
  • Basculegion, with Iscan as its Guardian
  • Wyrdeer, with Mai as its Guardian
  • An unknown "lady Pokemon" with Arezu as its Guardian

The new Pokemon Legends: Arceus trailer also highlighted some of Jubilife City's areas of interest, including retailers with extensive options tailored to your fashion needs, crafting stations where you can create potions, balms, and more, and an area to develop photos.

Pokemon Legends: Arceus releases January 28, 2022, for Nintendo Switch.

Salt and Sacrifice Gameplay Grapples With Savage Enemies and Wicked Mages Mon, 21 Jun 2021 15:00:47 -0400 David Carcasole

Salt and Sacrifice, the recently announced follow-up to developer Ska Studios' indie hit Salt and Sanctuary, has just received an extended trailer showing off a whopping 10 minutes of gameplay. 

The PlayStation trailer highlights the combat and platforming challenges players will face in Salt and Sacrifice, as well as a couple of boss fights and co-op play. The studio's distinct hand-drawn style and unique foggy lighting are back in what already looks to be another compelling Soulslike adventure. 

Salt and Sacrifice was revealed at the Summer Games Fest kickoff event, with a trailer that showcased some new mechanics, such as the grapple hook, which we get a closer look at in this gameplay trailer. It already looks to be creating new, complex platforming challenges while adding a level of player maneuverability that wasn't possible in Salt and Sanctuary

Glimpses of the game's inventory, equipment, and crafting systems can be seen, alongside what looks to be a fast travel system involving runes. 

There's still no word on a specific release date for Salt and Sacrifice, and there is no more clarification regarding whether or not it'll come to Xbox and Nintendo consoles. For now, Salt and Sacrifice is set for Q1 2022, launching on PC, PlayStation 4, and PS5. 

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania Will Feature Over 300 Levels Thu, 17 Jun 2021 13:26:37 -0400 Ashley Shankle

If Super Monkey Ball seems like it's been around forever, it's because it has been. The series made its home console premiere in 2001.

Sega have something in store for AiAi and friends to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary in the form of Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, an HD remaster compilation of the first three games in the series.

Banana Mania will feature over 300 levels from Super Monkey Ball, Super Monkey Ball 2, and Super Monkey Ball Deluxe; along with 12 minigames for players to challenge themselves and their friends at. It seems these classic stages will be given a new wrapping in the form of a new campaign as well as new playable characters.

Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania
will release for all modern platforms on October 5, sandwiched between the 20th anniversary of the Japanese and North American releases of the original Super Monkey Ball on the GameCube.

If you're a fan of the series and want a little more banana to your Monkey Ball, you'll be able to grab up either the Digital Deluxe Edition featuring classic skins, customization items, and the classic soundtrack; or you can splurge on the physical 20th Anniversary Edition featuring an art book, collectable sleeve, and further in-game cosmetics.

Find out more about Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania on the official website, and look for more news on this upcoming title here on GameSkinny.

Prison Architect Second Chances Expansion, The Pit Update Available Now Wed, 16 Jun 2021 12:08:31 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Prison Architect's fifth expansion is out now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Called Second Chances, the DLC retails for $5.99 and can be purchased now. Publisher Paradox Interactive said the expansion would be coming to the Nintendo Switch version of Prison Architect on June 29. The expansion is 10% off until June 22. 

Second Chances is all about giving inmates more ways to get back out into society with "improved behaviors." The expansion adds a number of programs to Prison Architect, such as Animal Therapy, Meet & Greet, and Former Prisoner Classes. Depending on an inmate's actions, they can be granted early release, though some could end up back in the clink, or have their sentences extended.  

There are even ways for inmates to use their good behavior to open up shops, "including a Bakery, Restaurant, and Therapy Room," according to Paradox. 

The DLC expansion releases alongside a free Prison Architect update, The Pin, which adds more objects to the game, as well as new actions, policies, and rooms. 

This update [The Pin] introduces Custom Intake, allowing players more flexibility with scheduling and restricting prisoner intake. Players can also initiate Narcotics Search, which has K-9 units and their handlers search for drugs using existing Shakedown or Tunnel Search options.

Other additions include the Reception Quick Room, Staff Keys Policy, construct outdoor rooms, allow prisoners to use recreational facilities during free time, and additional Objects. 

The game's last expansion, Prison Architect: Going Green, added farming elements to the management simulator. Stay tuned for our review on Prison Architect Second Chances

Miyazaki Gives New Details on Elden Ring Lore, Combat, Fast Travel, and More Tue, 15 Jun 2021 18:11:01 -0400 Jonathan Moore

From Software's highly anticipated action RPG Elden Ring was finally revealed during the lead up to E3 2021. A gameplay trailer was shared as part of the Summer Game Fest, showing combat, traversal, and summons. Fans even got a taste of the game's story and lore, albeit there's still a lot more to unpack. Now, there are more details about the game straight from creator Hidetaka Miyazaki. 

In an exclusive interview with IGN, Miyazaki provided new tidbits of information that shed more light on Elden Ring, including its story, the Lands Between, combat, abilities, fast travel, and more. 

The Elden Ring Story is Lore-Heavy, but It's Meant to be More Accessible 

Stories in the Souls series have a penchant for being oblique. Though many of the very high points are presented in a traditional manner, most of the deeper, perhaps most interesting, lore is scattered in out-of-the-way areas or found in texts. Some franchise fans have devoted themselves to piecing it all together, and it's the driving factor for multiple playthroughs. 

However, Miyazaki told IGN that Elden Ring's story will be, at least on some levels, more accessible than the stories in previous From games — specifically those in the Souls series. Elden Ring's story, written in collaboration with George R.R. Martin, is "more character-driven," and while there is still deep lore to be uncovered, the team wanted to find a balance between telling too much up front and holding too much back in hidden places.

Miyazaki said:

We hope that that level of understanding is easy to access, but then again there's a lot more depth there as they [players] explore. And this depth, again, this idea of uncovering the world as you go, picking up its many little pieces, it's multilayered, it's complex, it's very fascinating. 

The Lands Between are Vast but Interconnected

FromSoftware has said that Elden Ring features the largest map they've ever made. And while it remains to be seen just how large it is, Miyazaki provided some new context to The Lands Between and how they are interconnected. 

There are six primary areas in Elden Ring, each of those home to one of the game's demi-god bosses. Players will have the freedom to tackle most areas in the order they choose, though some will be understandably blocked off until certain criteria are met. Miyazaki stressed that there is a "mainline path" in Elden Ring, but that the team didn't want to force players into a specific route. 

One of our big themes for development of this new world was that, because of the grandeur and sense of scale of it, we didn't want players to get lost and not have any clue of what to do or where to go. So there is an element of guidance, particularly at the beginning. There is a mainline route that they can follow, but at any time they're free to break off this route and to take the untrodden path... 

There also seem to be subareas within these larger, overarching areas on the Elden Ring map. Miyazaki referenced "catacombs, castles, and fortresses" as places players can visit, all ripe for exploration.

Though the gameplay trailer shows some of these reportedly smaller areas alongside forests, mountains, and swamps, Miyazaki did not provide any further details on the landscapes players can expect within these areas. 

There is a Hub — And Fast Travel

Details are still scant on both of these, but Miyazaki confirmed that Elden Ring will have a hub similar to Firelink Shrine in Dark Souls. However, it won't be accessible until "later into the game." 

He also mentioned that there will be some sort of fast travel system in the game, helping players get from one area to another more quickly. Players can choose to traverse the map on their trusty steed, as seen in the trailer, but the team wanted to integrate the two options, reinforcing the sense of choice and freedom central to Elden Ring.

You Can Summon Fallen Enemies and Other Players

The Elden Ring gameplay trailer shows a player summoning and fighting alongside blue phantoms. While it seemed these were others players, Miyazaki confirmed that these blue phantoms are AI-controlled spirit summons, which can be conjured offline to help players. It's an expanded system from ones found in From's other games, where specific NPCs can be summoned to help fight bosses.

These summons can become companions, but it's still unclear how they're summoned or for how long they follow the player. 

And these spirit summons, we feel like – as well as there being a large variety to them – they're a nice collectable hidden element within the game world to discover and to equip as you go.

Miyazaki also confirmed that there will be traditional, Souls-like player summons as part of Elden Ring's multiplayer component, but he did not elaborate on the system. 

There are Many Abilities and Skills

Dark Souls 3 introduced skills and abilities in the form of weapon arts, and further explored in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. It appears a similar system will be found in Elden Ring.

Miyazaki said that abilities and spells, another central pillar to the Souls franchise, can be purchased and learned from NPCs. But also made clear that there are other ways to discover these that are tied into the game's focus on freedom and exploration. Many are found by uncovering specific portions of the world, giving players reason to travel off the beaten path and look for secrets. 

Miyazaki continued by saying that "there are ... around a hundred skills in total" that can be interchanged with many of the game's weapons. "Obviously, you're free to combine your different skills with different weapons. You're free to build your character with different weapons and equipment."

Stealth Will be an Option but is Not Required

A big part of the IGN interview with Miyazaki revolves From's central design focus for Elden Ring: player freedom. When it comes to combat, the team wanted to let players approach situations with different tactics. While combat still looks strategic and weighty in comparison to the Souls franchise, there's also an element of Sekiro to be found in its stealth elements it seems.

Players could always sneak up on enemies to perform a devastating backstab, but stealth in Elden Ring is a bit more than that. It appears the system will be a more meaningful compliment to barreling into fights with weapons drawn. 

We think it's a relatively simple implementation of stealth, but it has a wide variety of uses. And again, it contributes to this level of player freedom, we feel. So you're able to crouch, you're able to sneak and be less easily detected in long grass for instance.

You're able to use that to your advantage to sneak up on the enemy, get a back stab, get a stealth attack. But you're also able to use it to bypass certain areas and to assess situations from afar.

Stamina and Health Work Differently

Anyone who's played a Souls game, Bloodborne, or Sekiro knows that stamina is an important part of every movement and interaction, from rolling through poisonous swamps to blocking incoming enemy attacks. But it won't be as important in Elden Ring. Miyazaki didn't elaborate, but he said it will be "less restrictive." 

He also said that there will be more health items in the game. Whereas Demon's Souls uses different grasses to heal players, Dark Souls uses Estus Flasks, Bloodborne uses Blood Vials, and Sekiro uses Gourds, Elden Ring will presumably have several items that can restore health. Miyazaki said this is because the world map is so large, and it can be inferred that resting points may be fewer and farther between than in other From games. 


From the Erdtree to who the Tarnished are and how the team gained inspiration for the game's enemies and bosses, there's a lot more to the IGN interview that's well worth checking out. Be sure to click the link near the top of this article to find out more. 

Elden Ring is set to launch on January 21, 2022, for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Until then, stay tuned. 

[Source: IGN]

Metroid Dread Brings the Metroid Saga to an End Tue, 15 Jun 2021 16:32:17 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Metroid Dead is alive, and it's coming to Nintendo Switch as the first 2D Metroid with a new story in 19 years. Metroid Dead releases October 8 and picks up where Metroid Fusion left off, concluding the saga begun in the first Metroid game.

Metroid Dread pre-orders are open now.

Metroid Dread sees bounty hunter Samus Aran travel to another remote planet and this time, instead of the SA-X, she's hunted by a pack of deadly robots. The E.M.M.I. robots pursue Samus relentlessly and, as Nintendo revealed during its Treehouse Live E3 2021 segment, they do have insta-kill attacks.

It's a first for the series and is meant to increase the sense of fear accompanying Samus throughout her journey.

Metroid Dread is a 2D Metroid, but the trailer shows it switches into 3D rather often, not unlike the ill-fated Metroid: Other M.

In keeping with the genre Metroid helped establish, Samus will make use of new power-ups alongside her usual arm cannon and missiles to overcome the threat and finally bring this epic story to a close. Stay tuned for more as we learn it. 

It's Wario Time With WarioWare: Get It Together Coming This September Tue, 15 Jun 2021 16:25:25 -0400 David Carcasole

It's-a-me, Wario! Well, not really, since Wario isn't writing about his brand new game. You might think that's a weird way to start an article, but WarioWare: Get It Together is bound to be a weird game, so it kinda' fits. 

Announced during Nintendo's E3 2021 Direct, WarioWare: Get It Together is a brand new WarioWare game coming to Nintendo Switch this fall, on September 10, 2021. All the micro-game madness from previous titles seems to be returning in this one, though now you'll be able to tackle the madness with a friend in two-player co op. 

The trailer is hilariously narrated by none other than the big man with a mustache himself, and it showcases some of the different 200 micro-games you'll be able to play in this new installment, along with the return of some beloved favorites.

What's also interesting is that you'll be able to tackle the same micro-games with different characters using their different abilities. If you can't wait to get in on the micro-game mayhem, you can currently pre-order WarioWare: Get It Together now on the Nintendo e-Shop. Stay tuned for more. 

Mario Party Superstars Goes Back to Mario Party's Golden Ages Tue, 15 Jun 2021 16:21:51 -0400 David Carcasole

Mario Party Superstars isn't exactly the follow-up to Super Mario Party, but rather a jump back in time throughout the mini-games and boards of the Mario Party games of yore. The newest addition to the Mario Party family, Nintendo announced the game during its E3 2021 showcase. 

It will include over 100 mini-games from across the series, all of which support button controls. It will also include online play from launch, a feature that was only recently added into the most recent release in the mainline Mario Party franchise. 

The trailer also digs into some of the quality of life upgrades we'll be able to enjoy with Mario Party Superstars, such as being able to matchmake with random players online, save your progress mid-game and use stickers to communicate with other players.

It is worth noting that though the mini-games will be from games across the series, the five boards included in Mario Party Superstars will all be from the N64 era. Mario Party Superstars is slated to launch on October 29, 2021 and you can currently pre-order it from the Nintendo e-Shop. Stay tuned for more. 

Nintendo Debuts New Breath of the Wild 2 Trailer at E3 2021 Tue, 15 Jun 2021 16:11:00 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Breath of the Wild 2 releases in 2022, Nintendo announced during its E3 2021 presentation alongside a new trailer. While we still don't have a specific release date or even an official title, the BotW 2 trailer gives us over a minute of evocative new footage.

The trailer shows Zelda falling into a void, then cuts to Link above the clouds. It's not just a tie-in with Skyward Sword though. This is very much Breath of the Wild's Hyrule with ruins, paragliders, and even Bokoblin fortresses built on top of Talus monsters.

It looks as if we'll be needing the glider more than usual too. Hyrule in the sky is broken up into dozens of island chains and opportunities for Link to use his new power-ups.

We're not quite sure what those are yet, but we saw Link's arm tainted by the whatever-it-is underneath Hyrule Castle and featuring a fragmented look. In one scene, Link interacts with a water droplet and immediately transports up onto a pillar and through the stone, so it seems Nintendo has some big surprises in store.

All Three Mainline Danganronpa Games are Coming to Nintendo Switch Tue, 15 Jun 2021 14:41:22 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Danganronpa is coming to Nintendo Switch later in 2021, Nintendo and Spike Chunsoft announced during the Nintendo E3 2021 presentation. All three mainline Danganronpa games will release as Danganronpa Decadence.

Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp is also included in Decadence. It's an expanded version of the board game from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony and features a beach brawl contest at a tropical resort.

Danganronpa Decadence will release as one package physically, though each game will be available separately on the Nintendo eShop.

As yet, there's no word on whether Danganronpa Ultra Despair Girls will release on Nintendo Switch as well.

Each Danganronpa game revolves around a set of murder mysteries. The psychotic bear Monokuma and his offspring trap a set of students in a location — school, for example, or an island — and wait for them to eventually kill each other off.

Naturally, your goal is escaping without being counted among the dead, but you'll need to keep your wits about you.

Nintendo Announces Tekken Smash Bros. Ultimate Crossover Tue, 15 Jun 2021 14:39:52 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Kazuya from Tekken is the new Smash Bros Ultimate DLC character, Nintendo announced during its E3 2021 presentation. Kazuya joins the 60+ strong roster of characters sometime this summer, with more information to come on June.

Kazuya is the protagonist in nearly every Tekken game and joins the likes of Ryu from Street Fighter and Terry Bogard from classic SNK games as a hand-to-hand melee fighter.

Series creator Masahiro Sakurai will show Kazuya in Smash on June 28 in another installment of his Smash Direct-style video series. As ever, expect to see breakdowns of Kazuya's moveset and some strategies for how to use the new Smash DLC character to his full extent.

As for when Kazuya will release in Smash, there's still no firm date as yet. These characters usually release soon after Sakurai shows them off, so we could see Kazuya in Smash on June 28 or not long after.

Shin Megami Tensei 5 Release Date Announced at E3 2021 Tue, 15 Jun 2021 14:37:26 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Following an earlier leak, Nintendo confirmed that the Shin Megami Tensei 5 release date is November 11. Shin Megami Tensei 5 pre-orders will open on June 21.

Unlike previous games where you see the world die or change, Shin Megami Tensei 5 takes place in an alternate dimension. One day, an average high school student suddenly gets transported to a ruined world where demons and angels roam the devastated highways and plains.

Once there, you fuse with a mysterious being and gain the power to speak and fight with demons. The Shin Megami Tensei 5 plot is still wrapped in mystery, though the usual SMT things still apply. 

You'll command demons in battle, negotiate for survival and new partners, and use the Press-Turn system to your advantage by targeting weaknesses.

The world also seems the most varied it's been so far, where the usual urban areas blend with deserts and snowfields, among other environments.

Atlus hasn't announced any Shin Megami Tensei 5 special editions yet, but we expect that will change closer to pre-orders opening on June 21.

Capcom Shows Off New Great Ace Attorney Mechanics at E3 2021 Mon, 14 Jun 2021 19:24:47 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles releases July 27, 2021, for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, and Capcom unveiled two new mechanics during its E3 2021 presentation.

First is the Dance of Deduction. As in other Ace Attorney games, you'll spend time outside court by investigating scenes and interrogating people of interest. In Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, however, you're accompanied by the great Herlock Sholmes, which is a blessing and a curse. 

Herlock finds clues and gets people to speak about sensitive topics, then immediately reaches the wrong conclusions based on the information he finds. Your task is finding the truth amid the disaster Herlock creates.

The courtroom battles are a bit different this time as well. They're called Summation Examinations and feature you going head-to-head with the six jurors. Each has their reasons for believing your client is guilty, and it's your task to find holes in their testimonies, then back it up with your evidence.

As you persuade each juror, they'll add a flame to the scales of justice and, if you do it right, tip them in favor of your client.

These are just a few of the differences we can expect from The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Capcom promised more surprises in store for when the game releases.

Sonic Colors Ultimate Releases this Fall on All Platforms Mon, 14 Jun 2021 19:22:26 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Sega announced Sonic Colors Ultimate during the Sonic 30th Anniversary event and debuted a new Sonic Colors Ultimate trailer during E3 2021. Colors Ultimate releases September 7 for PC via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

It features enhanced visuals, the new Rival Rush mode, backwards compatibility with PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, and several other improvements over the 2010 original, including "refined controls."

Sonic Colors Ultimate follows Sonic through Dr. Eggman's nefarious theme park. The Blue Blur encounters mysterious entities called Wisps that grant him superpowers, such as passing through walls and charging up attacks.

Sonic Colors Ultimate will come in several versions, including:

Physical Standard ($39.99)

  • Pre-order includes baby Sonic keychain

Digital Standard ($39.99)

  • Baby Sonic keychain
  • Movie boost giving Sonic an electric aura from the Sonic movie
  • Exclusive icons

Digital Deluxe ($44.99)

  • Early access to the game starting September 3
  • Ultimate music pack with three original game remixes
  • Exclusive icons
  • Ultimate cosmetic pack with movie, gold, and silver Sonic sets

Stay tuned for more on Sonic Colors Ultimate as we approach its September 7 launch date. 

12 Minutes Release Date Announced at Xbox E3 2021 Mon, 14 Jun 2021 17:22:51 -0400 Josh Broadwell

We finally have a 12 Minutes release date thanks to the Xbox/Bethesda showcase at E3 2021. Publisher Annapurna Interactive announced 12 Minutes will release August 19 on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. It will also be available through Game Pass on day one. 

A man and his wife are celebrating a romantic evening together when suddenly, a police officer breaks in. He accuses the woman of murder, arrests them both, and beats the man to death. Then the man wakes up again, 12 minutes before his death, only to repeat things again.

12 Minutes is a time-loop game where a man relives the trauma of his death endlessly until he finds a way to break free and find a solution to the hell he's trapped in.

Luis Antonio (The Witness) makes his development debut as the solo developer behind 12 Minutes, while James McAvoy (His Dark Materials), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and William Dafoe (Spider-Man, At Eternity's Gate) voice the three main characters. Stay tuned for more on 12 Minutes

Forza Horizon 5 Revs Up for November Release Date Mon, 14 Jun 2021 17:17:56 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Racing game Forza Horizon 5 is on track for a 2021 release date. Developer Playground Games and publisher Microsoft officially announced the game during the E3 2021 Xbox/Bethesda showcase, confirming that it will take to the track on November 9 for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. It will be available on Game Pass day one. 

The announcement trailer showcases in-game 4K footage of the game's tracks and environments in stunning detail. Racing games have always been litmus for the graphical power of any "next-gen" console, and Forza Horizon 5 continues that tradition. The game's photorealistic backdrops highlight the diverse environments through which players will race. 

Forza Horizon 5 is set in Mexico, bringing the number of countries featured in the series so far to six. And it's perhaps the most realized location so far, and not because of the game's expert use of photogrammetry and ray tracing that renders environments in such great detail. The Playground Games team has worked to "authentically" recreate the game's locations, even going so far as to add incredible street art from artists like Farid Rueda

The varied environments include jungles, deserts, "sea-side" villages, volcanoes, stadiums, and much more.   

Aside from its multiplayer modes, which make use of the franchise's Horizon Live service and Forza Link to help players find and play with other racers, Forza Horizon 5 also features a single-player mode called Expeditions. This exploration mode sees players scouting out locations "for the festival to expand" to. 

Playground Games unveiled the Events Lab, which allows players to create their own races and game modes. The gameplay trailer shows players racing through a stadium full of bowling pins, obstacles, launch pads, and more. It's unclear exactly how robust this game mode will be, but it certainly looks very compelling. 

There's sure to be even more information on Forza Horizon 5 in the months leading up to launch this November, so stay tuned. For an even deeper dive into the game, consider heading over to the official Forza YouTube, where Playground Games' Creative Director Mike Brown and Associate Art Director Conar Cross talk more about all things Forza Horizon 5

Eldest Souls Release Date Brings Souls-Like Indie to PC, Consoles Soon Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:58:59 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Following years of development and several previews, Fallen Flag Studios announced an Eldest Souls release date of July 29, 2021, during the E3 2021 Future Games Show. Eldest Souls will launch on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.

Fallen Flag describes Eldest Souls as a Souls-like indie game, "a challenging, pixel-art boss-rush game with a focus on fast-paced brutal combat." Like any good RPG, you're goal is killing the gods.

There's a good reason though. The Old Gods brought devastation to the world, turning the environment into a wasteland of desolation. You'll encounter only bosses during Eldest Souls — no trash mobs or grunt enemies roam these lands.

However, there are NPCs to find and side quests to complete when you aren't busy customizing your combat style. We checked out Eldest Souls a couple of years ago and were impressed with it even then, so we're looking forward to the game's full release. Stay tuned for more on Eldest Souls over the next month. 

New Halo Infinite Multiplayer Details Emerge in MP Deep Dive Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:52:44 -0400 Aaron Bayne

After its unveiling during the Xbox/Bethesda E3 2021 showcase, an overview for Halo Infinite Multiplayer has shed more light on the stand-alone experience coming later this year. The free-to-play multiplayer component of Halo Infinite, which is scheduled for a Holiday 2021 release alongside the sing-player campaign, is promising to capture the essence of old-school Halo whilst modernizing it, at least according to developer 343. 

The 12-minute overview gave us a bunch of new details about the mode, showing what will be on offer from day one, with customization seemingly at its heart. Halo Infinite Multiplayer will come with myriad customization combinations from launch, where players can swap out armor coloring, emblems, effects, and pieces. And customization doesn’t stop with Spartans.

Vehicles will also have customization options, but more interestingly, they come with a set of new damage mechanics. Players can shoot off tires, hoods, and more, all of which will affect how the vehicle is controlled. And a doomsday-like mechanic will set vehicles ablaze, leaving players with a small window to utilize their vehicles or bail.

With the game arriving this Holiday as a free-to-play component, Multiplayer will come with a battle pass, but unlike seasonal battle passes for games such as Apex Legends and Call of Duty, players will never lose access to it after purchase.

It does seem that future seasonal passes will be available for purchase; however, it is a possibility that what is meant by this is that players will be able to complete their battle pass beyond the season it is associated with. The exact nature of its construction remains to be seen. 

Tied in with the battle pass, Multiplayer’s live-service intentions mean that new content, including maps, modes, and more customization options are already being developed for post-launch content.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer is clearly a game designed for the players, and elements such as cross-play and cross-progression are key to that. 343 put a huge emphasis on the Halo community and its role in the ongoing development of Multiplayer.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer looks like a nice slice of intense, fun, and classic Halo action. We can wait to shoot it up with fellow Spartans when the game finally (and supposedly) launches this Holiday on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. Stay tuned for more. .

Returnal 1.4.0 Update Patch Eases Difficulty, Fixes Trophies Mon, 14 Jun 2021 15:39:51 -0400 Jonathan Moore

The latest Returnal patch is live now, and it makes the roguelike shooter just a bit easier while fixing some of the issues players have had with the game's trophies. On top of these fixes, Housemarque has also added additional locations for certain scout logs, tweaked some of the DualSense haptics, and provided performance enhancements. 

Notoriously, certain scout logs needed for the Returnal platinum had been previously hard to come by. The game's RNG elements mean that certain logs (and Xenoglyph ciphers, as well) don't appear in every run. However, some players, including myself, were forced to grind for hours to find them. According to Housemarque, that grind will now be a little less intensive with patch 1.4.0. 

Changes to how trophies are counted have also been implemented, allowing for some trophies to retroactively pop for certain areas and activities that "cannot be replayed." There's also now support for replaying certain sections of Act 1 and Act 2 to acquire trophies that were previously locked after completing specific sections. 

Additionally, one of the biggest criticisms about Returnal (aside from its ungracious save system) is its difficulty. Returnal is an unforgiving game; both its boss fights and the enemies haunting its biomes up to those boss fights can be maddeningly tough. Housemarque said that it has made "difficulty adjustments in all biomes for a more balanced gameplay experience." 

The full Returnal 1.4.0 patch notes can be seen below, courtesy of Housemarque

  • Platinum: Added support for replaying certain Act 1 & Act 2 Trophies

  • Platinum: Added support to retroactively award Trophies which cannot be replayed

  • Platinum: Added additional locations for Scout Logs 9, 34, 35 & 46 to appear more often

  • Platinum: Fixed an issue where 1 Cipher was sometimes unobtainable for Biome Survey Trophies

  • Platinum: Fixed an issue where some Activity Cards displayed an incorrect count

  • UI: HUD labels for items are now hidden when Selene is firing a weapon

  • UI: Fixed an issue where 2 actions could be mapped to a single button after switching controller presets

  • Cinematics: Fixed a rare audio sync issue in the secret ending

  • Audio: General mix improvements across the experience

  • Audio: Improved surround sound setup support across the experience

  • Audio: Added more DualSense haptics across cinematic moments for deeper immersion

  • Audio: Added DualSense haptics when using the Icarian Grapnel

  • Audio: Improved the dynamic range recommendations system

  • Audio: Allow users to override the dynamic range recommendations

  • Audio: Allow users to change audio output from the game menu

  • Balance: Various bug fixes to certain artifacts, parasites, consumables, and when certain malfunctions can occur in the early parts of the game

  • Balance: Players no longer receive parasites as rewards when players avenge their corpses

  • Balance: Enemies, Weapons, and Bosses - difficulty adjustments in all Biomes for a more balanced gameplay experience

  • Fixed an issue where Hyperion may drop the Key out of reach

  • Fixed an issue where Ophion may become invisible if the player uses a Reconstructor during the fight 

  • Fixed weapons not being found in Biomes after scanning but not collecting them

  • Fixed an issue where Selene could jump impossibly long distances 

  • Fixed multiple issues where Selene may become trapped in a room

  • Fixed a rare freezing issue when teleporting in Crimson Wastes

  • Fixed occasional frame rate drops when using the Electropylon Driver

  • Performance improvements, crash fixes, and multiple minor bug fixes

If you've yet to pick up Returnal and are wondering what it's all about, consider checking out our review, where we called Housemarque's roguelike shooter a tightly designed roguelike with some of the best gameplay the genre can provide, and it's the first game since Demon's Souls to provide a reason to own a PS5." If you're playing Returnal and looking for a little help, consider heading over to our Returnal guides hub