Survival Games Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Survival Games RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Sons of the Forest Hotfix 3 Updates Cannibalistic Hotkeys, Helldoor Thu, 02 Mar 2023 21:57:45 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Sons of the Forest Hotfix 3 is out for PC players now. Released on March 1, 2023, the patch was another small one from Endnight Games, this time focusing on Hotkey fixes and eliminating an issue with the Helldoor.

According to some players, assigning a severed arm or leg to a Hotkey meant that the arm or leg would be eaten instead of equipped when the Hotkey was pressed (gross). There were a few far less repugnant issues, too, such as the Flask being removed when hotkeyed or UI issues around the quick-select feature added in Hotfix 2 on February 28.

Here's a quick rundown of the patch notes from the developers on the game's Steam page.

  • Fix for hotkeyed flask removing flask when used.
  • Arms and Legs will now be equipped instead of eaten when hotkeyed
  • Fix for hotkey button label not fitting in inventory view for some buttons
  • Fixed hotkey icon showing first hotkey for all unassigned items
  • Fixed Helldoor collider not blocking certain interactions

This is the third small patch to Sons of the Forest since the survival-horror game was released into PC Early Access on February 23, 2023. Aside from Hotfix 2, the first small update to the game tidied up issues with input mapping and the game locking up when players removed the Guide Book from the Backpack. 

The first significant update should be arriving on the island on March 9, 2023, according to the countdown clock on the game's start menu. Endnight Games has done a great job of listening to the massive community growing around Sons of the Forest with the recent hotfixes, so it will be interesting to see what arrives in that patch. Stay tuned for more coverage there.

Sons of the Forest Early Access Review: The Quiet Part Loud Tue, 28 Feb 2023 22:17:56 -0500 Thomas Wilde

When I was a kid, I had a lot of PC games I’d picked up at garage sales, and a few of them didn’t have a manual. Playing them felt like stumbling through the dark, but I kept going with them because any idle accomplishment under those circumstances felt like a small victory. You get your dopamine where you can, I guess.

I’m bringing this up because Sons of the Forest, now in Steam Early Access, reminds me of that experience. For everything it explains about itself, there are a half-dozen things that it doesn’t, from its story to its world to its mechanics. At the start of the game, you’re dropped into a hostile wilderness and expected to figure the rest out for yourself.

That ends up, for the most part, working in its favor. SotF is a puzzle box of an experience, where its slow build and lack of exposition adds to the overall mystery. There are a few things it really could stand to explain, like certain basic controls or parts of its UI, but it’s strangely addictive once you get a handle on it, with some real scares.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Sons of the Forest is a survival horror game that, at least initially, is more about the “survival” part. In addition to fighting through enemies with scarce resources, you’ve got to find and secure shelter, food, and potable water.

You play as an unnamed mercenary who’s sent to an equally unnamed island as part of a retrieval team. You’re out to find Edward Puffton, a billionaire who went missing with his wife and daughter eight months before.

On approach, an unknown force shoots down your team’s helicopters, and you live through the crash through pure, dumb luck. The only other survivor, Kelvin, is left deaf, concussed, and unable to fight. That leaves you essentially alone with an axe, a lighter, and a knife, against an island that turns out to be inhabited by cannibalistic mutants.

Compared to its predecessor, 2018’s The Forest, you’ve got a little more going for you in Sons. You start the game with a GPS map of the island, and your character’s initially more combat-capable than The Forest’s Eric Leblanc. For the first few in-game days in SotF, you’re set for most fights once you scrape together the materials to make an improvised spear.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

My first impression of SotF, though, is that it’s surprisingly quiet, particularly for a horror game. Unless you’re playing on the low-conflict Peaceful mode, it isn’t long before you run into one of the island’s cannibals, but SotF doesn’t accompany that first encounter with a big musical sting or evocative cutscene. Instead, enemies are simply treated like part of the island’s landscape: tree, river, rock, bush, mutant cannibal.

It ends up being surprisingly effective. Much of the island is a well-rendered, colorful natural landscape, and it’s often beautiful to look at, but there’s a subtle atmosphere of dread that only gets more intense as you explore.

The coastlines are littered with totems made from tortured corpses, and many of the island’s most peaceful vistas have a corpse, old or new, hidden in them somewhere. I spent a couple of in-game days building a log cabin on an isolated river delta, and halfway through, found a space beneath a rocky overhang where a couple of people had crawled off to die. You’re never more than a few paces away from the site of someone’s ugly death.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

The cannibals themselves show up almost at random. They’re cautious at first, but the longer you’re on the island, the more force they bring to bear against you. Again, this isn’t something SotF tells you; you go from being harassed by an occasional weird ape-man on Day 1 to having to fight entire skirmish parties by Day 12.

That throws you into a strange sort of arms race. Inasmuch as you have starting objectives in SotF, you’re meant to explore the underground cave systems in search of the equipment that’ll allow you to open up the parts of the island that are initially inaccessible.

Those caves, however, are some of the most terrifying environments in the game, full of some of the most dangerous monsters in the game. It's simple and primal, but there's rarely anything scarier in any video game than having to feel your way around in the dark, because there's something around that will see you if you turn on a light.

Screenshot by GameSkinny

You have to stock up on resources to stand a chance of surviving the caverns, but that requires you to explore the island, and that, in turn, takes time that you don’t really have. Every day you spend on random exploration or base-building in SotF takes you closer to the game’s burn phase, where the cannibals start fielding small armies in an attempt to take you out.

As a result, I had a couple of false starts with SotF before I managed to find a groove. On the one hand, it’s a horror game, and like any horror game, it’s best to go into it totally cold.

On the other, there are a couple of crucial mechanics and pieces of equipment that the game doesn’t tell you about, so it’s useful to do some reading about it before you start. In particular, the quick-select mechanic, where your character can pull something out of his backpack to equip it rather than opening up his whole inventory, is both absolutely necessary for survival and never explained at any point in-game. (Addendum: numerical hotkeys were added to Sons of the Forest on February 28, 2023, in Hotfix 2.)

That leaves Sons of the Forest performing a truly bizarre balancing act: spoilers are death, and are also virtually required.

Sons of the Forest Early Access Review Impressions

Screenshot by GameSkinny


  • One of the most unsettling horror experiences of the last few years.
  • A slow-building atmosphere of dread.
  • Peculiarly addictive, even if it’s hard on the nerves.
  • Satisfaction in managing to overcome and survive the island’s dangers.


  • Core controls and mechanics aren't explained well.
  • Next to no reason to build a base aside from your own entertainment.
  • You get a crosshair when you throw spears or rocks but not when you shoot a bow or gun.
  • The usual Early Access jank is in full effect.

The lo-fi approach to horror in Sons of the Forest means it’s one of the scariest games I’ve played recently, being hands-off with its environment and encounter design. You never feel secure or fully out of danger in SotF, and any stray fight can at least cost you resources that you can’t afford to lose.

It’s a strange, janky sort of game, though, and some of it’s in ways that can’t be explained by SotF being in Early Access. There’s a fine line between discoverability and impenetrability — between a game that’s meant to be figured out and a game that’s simply obtuse — and Sons of the Forest, like The Forest, jumps back and forth across that line.

Featured image by GameSkinny.

Sons of the Forest Hotfix 2 Adds Hotkeys, Addresses Other Controls Tue, 28 Feb 2023 17:59:58 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Sons of the Forest Hotfix 2 is live now for those playing the survival-horror game in Early Access on PC. It's a tad bit larger than the first Hotfix that was released the day after the game's launch addressing a few more issues revolving around hotkeys and controls. It's also a larger download size, coming in at 344.4MB. 

The patch notes detail the addition of hotkeys and that the team at Endnight Games has tweaked the prompts for skipping cutscenes and exiting the Guide Book, among a few other things. 

Here is a small hotfix for a few issues that have come up over the weekend.

  • Added hotkey system for keyboard/mouse. Assign hotkeys in inventory by pressing numerical keys 0 through 9 on hovered items in inventor.
  • Improved cutscene skip prompt; will now appear briefly at start or show when common skip keys are pressed (esc, space, etc.)
  • Added heavy attack tutorial to loading hint
  • ‘Back’ (default Esc) will close Tutorial book, Construction book and Grab bag interactions

Players have been clamoring for the addition of a Hotkey system in the game, and to be frank, it's a great quality-of-life addition that will go a long way. It's also good to see another option added for closing the Guide Book because "B" wasn't it. To learn how to assign quick-select bindings, we've got a quick Hotkey explainer here to help.

Sons of the Forest reached a peak of more than 400,000 players shortly after release, and it's currently sitting just above Hogwarts Legacy as #4 on the Top Games by Concurrent Players on Steam Charts. Since the game is currently in Steam Early Access, there are bound to be plenty more patches and Hotfixes to come, like the most recent that eliminates accidental cannibalism. Stay tuned for more on GameSkinny. 

Featured image via Endnight Games YouTube.

Sons of the Forest Duplication Bugs Abound in Early Access Fri, 24 Feb 2023 11:20:30 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Sons of the Forest duplication bugs are already being found by players, even though the game just launched into Steam Early Access on February 23, 2023. It's not uncommon for survival games of this ilk (and others like RPGs) to have these types of exploits; Endnight Games' previous title in the series, The Forest, also had dupe glitches, after all. But the speed at which players have uncovered them speaks to the game's popularity on streaming platforms like Twitch and reinforces the continually-growing player count on Steam

A quick search of YouTube, Reddit, and the game's Steam forums reveals a number of item duplication glitches popping up for Sons of the Forest in Early Access. Some are relatively simple and include creating an infinite item loop with saving and crates, containers, and caches spread around the map, while others are slightly more involved.

One YouTuber discovered how to duplicate unlimited arrows with the 3D Printer, quite a few players have found how to duplicate logs, and some Steam users have found ways to duplicate meat or dupe fish.

Another commenter showed how even some quest-related items reappear after saving the game, exiting to the main menu, and loading back into the game, a process also found in several other Sons of the Forest item dupe methods. Though it's hard to tell if it's actually glitch, since it seems to work just by saving and reloading the game in general. 

While it's possible some of these exploits will get removed in future updates and hotfixes from Endnight Games, it's entirely feasible that some will remain and become part of the overall experience. For example, it's still possible to duplicate items in The Forest, which was first released in 2014, with some players continuing to make content around the exploits, as evidenced by YouTube searches and player guides. 

Of course, it's also plausible that updates, patches, and additions throughout the development process will lead to new item dupe exploits, as well. It's not uncommon for fixes to introduce bugs that weren't there previously.  

There are sure to be more Sons of the Forest duplication glitches found in the coming days and weeks, and of course, some could disappear forever throughout the game's Early Access period or only be removed at some point after its 1.0 launch. In the meantime, it will certainly be interesting to see what the community uncovers on the cannibal-infested island.

Featured image via Endnight Games.

Sons of the Forest Hotfix 1 is Small but Fixes Two Key Issues Thu, 23 Feb 2023 21:33:45 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Sons of the Forest Hotfix 1 is already out, and it fixes two issues bugging players of the survival horror sim at launch. It's not uncommon for any game these days to have fixes pushed out just before or at release, and Endnight Games' latest is no exception. Anyone logging in to play on Steam through Early Access with be met with small, 28.1MB patch before getting back into the woods. 

The small patch notes detail the fixes to the game's input mapping and a bug that caused the game to freeze for players. 

  • Fix for removing book from backpack locking up the game.
  • Fixed an issue with input mapping.

According to one Steam user, it appears the inputting mapping error happened when they tried to skip a cutscene, then, "the time went negative and 'looped'", locking up the game. It's unclear how many others players were affected, but now it seems to be a thing of the past with Hotfix 1. 

It's good to see Endnight Games squashing bugs quickly for Sons of the Forest, especially considering the game has gotten off to an incredible start, with its player count reaching 400,000+ players the afternoon of launch, a number that far surpasses any achieved by the game's predecessor, The Forest. Currently, there are 32 pages of bug reports in the official Steam forum dedicated to tracking errors. 

Endnight Games asks anyone experiencing what appears to bugs or errors to post on this Steam forum. The team asks that anyone submitting reports related to performance include their system information, and if players can reproduce the bug, that gives them even more information. Save-specific issues should be sent to the official support email listed at the top of the thread. Though there may be other fixes in the interim, such as Hotfix 2, the next scheduled Sons of the Forest update is on March 9, 2023. 

Featured image via Endnight Games.

Sons of the Forest Player Count Hits 400K+ in Less Than 48 Hours Thu, 23 Feb 2023 19:06:58 -0500 Peter Glagowski

The long-anticipated Sons of the Forest has finally entered early access on Steam and it's already off to an incredible start. As reported by SteamDB and Steam Charts, the game has hit a peak player count of 411,804 players less than 48 hours after release, and it's currently in the Top 5 most-played Steam games right now.

This is considerably more than the all-time peak of its predecessor, The Forest, which only ever managed to hit around 76K. It's also more than double that of the comparable game Raft, which entered 1.0 release last year and rocketed up the charts to about 100K concurrent players.

What does this mean for Sons of the Forest? Well, apart from having a wave of interest flooding over it and the sheer amount of players actually crashing Steam, it stands to reason that developer Endnight Games has a certified hit on its hands. The Forest became one of the most talked about survival titles back in 2014, but a plethora of other games have since risen up and stolen its crown. There was every chance that Sons of the Forest would be a dud.

The larger player count could also be down to how much more ubiquitous streaming is in the modern era. The Forest launched at a time when Twitch was still relatively niche, even if both Sony and Microsoft's then-latest consoles supported out-of-the-box Twitch functionality. Almost a decade later, we've seen the rise of influencers and esports teams and even the creation and dismantling of competing platforms (RIP Mixer).

As of the time of writing, Sons of the Forest is rocking 589K viewers on Twitch. That puts it currently at the number one most viewed thing on the platform, surpassing the nebulous "Just Chatting" category and juggernauts such as Valorant, Fortnite, and League of Legends. That's kind of ludicrous for a game most people have likely never heard of.

While the game likely won't topple giants like Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveDOTA 2, or PUBG on Steam when it comes to top records, the fact that it is ever encroaching on those games on Steam's player charts is really impressive. Whether or not this popularity can be maintained is the real question, but Sons of the Forest is certainly coming out all guns blazing.

Featured image via Endnight Games.

No Man's Sky Fractal Update Includes Tons of Additions, Fixes (Full Patch Notes) Wed, 22 Feb 2023 16:04:35 -0500 Peter Glagowski

The greatest comeback story in 2010's gaming, No Man's Sky, has just received a brand new update in the form of Fractal. Bringing the version number to 4.1 and including a whole host of tweaks, bug fixes, additions, and bonus features on all platforms, there is a tremendous amount of stuff that has changed in Hello Games' sci-fi exploration game.

One of the bigger additions is PSVR 2 support on PlayStation 5, but owners of Sony's latest hardware aren't the only ones that are getting something new.

As detailed on the official No Man's Sky website, you'll see changes to things like UI options, resolution scaling, and even gyroscopic controls for supported platforms. You can also get new gear like the Fearsome Visor. There is a lot to cover, so here's a complete patch notes rundown for 4.1. 

No Man's Sky Complete Fractal 4.1 Update Patch Notes (February 22, 2023)

VR Updates

  • No Man's Sky now fully supports PlayStation VR2.
  • PS VR2 benefits from a high-res display, as well as higher quality textures, improved particle rendering, terrain tessellation effects, increased planetary details, increased draw distances, and much more.
  • Support has been added for PS VR2 headset vibration.
  • Support has been added for PS VR2 Sense controllers, including advanced haptics and adaptive triggers.
  • All VR players with a higher resolution headset now benefit from a sharper UI, placed at a more comfortable default distance from their eyes.
  • The VR play area boundaries are now far more lenient, reducing instances of the play area warning occurring unnecessarily.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause shaky or inaccurate VR cursor positioning over time.
  • VR players can now use hand controllers to position the Personal Forcefield directly, allowing for advanced combat tactics.
  • VR swimming controls have been significantly improved.
  • The VR base building experience and UI has been significantly improved.
  • The VR base building menu now correctly appears as part of the wrist projector.
  • When base building in VR, snap-points and part previews now track the player’s head position rather than cursor.
  • The VR galaxy map experience and UI has been significantly improved.
  • It is now possible to travel through the galactic centre in VR.
  • Fixed a VR-specific issue that could block interactions after using the galaxy map.
  • The VR surveying experience and UI has been significantly improved.
  • Markers for objects belonging to other players are now easier to target in VR.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a visual lag in Multi-Tool positioning in VR.
  • The projector menu on the rear of larger Multi-Tools now has a custom, more appropriate position.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause custom markers to be positioned incorrectly in VR.
  • Fixed a rendering glitch that could occur when scanning in VR with the HUD disabled.
  • Fixed a clipping issue that could occur with the player’s head when entering Photo Mode in VR.
  • Player hands are now shown correctly in VR Photo Mode.
  • The “Scan” and “Change Weapon” right-hand wrist projector options are now usable inside starships and exocraft.
  • With the combat auto-follow behavior engaged, players are no longer required to have their hands on the flight stick to fire starship weapons in VR.
  • Changing speeds in the starship now gives a small amount of vibration in VR, to provide feedback that the throttle adjustment was successful.
  • The ship and companion summoning UI has been improved and clarified in VR.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the UI to move around while interacting with creatures and companions in VR.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause areas of the Space Anomaly to load or unload incorrectly, based on where the VR teleport preview was currently aimed.
  • VR players can now adjust their jetpack direction mid-flight while the teleport preview is being aimed.
  • Fixed an issue that could occur when using VR teleport movement to navigate between the freighter hangar and bridge.

Wonders Updates

  • A new section has been added to the Catalogue – “Wonders”.
  • The Wonders Catalogue tracks your play and records notable discoveries, planetary extremes, and unusual objects collected.
  • Sections include:
    • Planetary records, such as temperature, toxicity, highest point reached, overall hostility quotient, and so on.
    • Creature records, including various size records and noteworthy environmental adaptations.
    • Flora and mineral records, measured against a range of categories.
    • A record of rare items with the highest market value on the galactic exchange.
    • The number of times you have interacted with rare planetary glitch objects.
  • Any entry in the Wonders catalog can be selected to take you to its detailed entry in your discoveries list, allowing you to easily mark and visit its parent star system.

Gyro Control Updates

  • Nintendo Switch and PlayStation players can now enable motion-sensor-based gyro controls.
  • Gyro controls allow for accurate fine-tuning of camera movements using controller motion on top of thumbstick control.
  • Gyro controls can also be used to move the cursor in UI screens.
  • Gyro controls can be enabled from the Motion Sensor section of the Controls options.
  • A wide number of tuning options are available for players to customize their gyro experience.

Options Updates

  • The various options menus have been reworked and reorganized to accommodate a new suite of options, as well as to help players quickly navigate to whichever option they wish to change.
  • Options can now be adjusted from the boot and save select screens, allowing for customization before starting a game.
  • On PC, video and graphics options have been merged into one page for ease of use.
  • An option has been added to allow players to set the in-game language to be different from the default system language of their device.
  • An option has been added to reset your current position while aboard a freighter, to provide a safe return aboard after becoming stuck.
  • An option has been added for all non-Switch platforms to use the enlarged menu text already used on the Switch.
  • An option has been added to allow players to customize who has access to the contents of their refiners.
  • An option has been added to remove all white flashes from the game and replace them with fades to black.
  • An option has been added to allow players to adjust the strength of various hazard-related screen effects, such as visor frosting.
  • An option has been added to allow players to disable all automatic “follow” camera movements in third-person.
  • An option has been added to allow players to adjust the handedness of their player character in first-person mode.
  • An option has been added to allow players to adjust the handedness of their player character in third-person mode and to move the character to the other side of the screen.
  • An option has been added for PlayStation 4 VR users to use their DualShock 4 to directly control the cursor while in menus, instead of using the thumbsticks.
  • A number of options have been added for VR players to adjust the distance from the screen of various menu elements.
  • An option has been added for VR players to adjust the strength of the vignette effect deployed to reduce motion sickness.
  • An option has been added to allow players to scan objects with the Analysis Visor without being required to hold down the scan button.
  • An option has been added to allow players to toggle the behavior of the jump button on gamepads, so that it can be used as an alternative “Build” button while in base-building mode.
  • An option has been added to allow players to swap the functions on gamepad thumbsticks, i.e. to toggle which stick is Sprint and which stick is Scan.

Rendering & Optimizations Updates

  • Dynamic Resolution Scaling has been added for PlayStation 5. This technology allows the game to maintain a consistent framerate across all scenarios and results in a significantly improved image quality in some situations, such as during spaceflight.
  • PlayStation 5 now supports AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution 2.0 technology, providing high image quality and improved framerates.
  • The HDR rendering system has been overhauled for all platforms for a richer and more dynamic color experience while playing on an HDR display.
  • The particle rendering system has been improved to add support for high-quality additive particles.
  • Introduced a significant optimization for all platforms when loading large numbers of bases within a single system.
  • Introduced a significant number of memory optimizations for all platforms.
  • Fixed a visual glitch with tornado rendering on Nintendo Switch.
  • Fixed an Xbox-specific issue that could cause occasional flickering.
  • Fixed a camera issue that could cause jittering in various anti-aliasing systems.

UI and Quality of Life Updates

  • A significant number of new player titles have been added, earned by progressing through various core and factional milestones.
  • The maximum number of owned starships has increased from nine to twelve.
  • Players can now “Quick Charge” a technology, without having to drag and drop the fuel into the selected slot. Select and drop functionality has been retained for players who wish to fine-tune the amount of charging substance used.
  • Additional filters have been added to the Expedition and Twitch reward menus, accessed via the Quicksilver Synthesis Companion.
  • Players can now begin an expedition at any time before the current expedition ends, rather than needing to start two days before the expedition times out.
  • A variety of new cooking recipes have been added, making use of various titan worm-related products.
  • The accuracy and input tracking speed of inputs on PlayStation controllers has been improved.
  • The hint system for crafting components that you cannot currently afford has been improved.
  • Objectives in pinned installation or crafting missions now correctly skip sections for subcomponents if the player already has enough of the parent component.
  • Fixed an issue where text and highlighting in the build popup would not correctly reflect the amounts needed if the item in question is built in multiples greater than one (such as projectile ammunition).
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Personal Refiner to always show 0 as its current progress while it is being highlighted by a mission hint.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented crafting highlights from working in the Multi-Tool inventory.
  • Technologies are now always installed fully charged when playing on a difficulty setting that does not use up fuel.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent a base computer from being moved before it had been claimed as a base.
  • Fixed an issue that could prevent Exocraft weapons from being correctly auto-selected after installation.
  • Fixed an issue where an Exocraft would not become your primary selected vehicle after building its geobay.
  • The Ship Launch Auto-Charger now requires a solar mirror rather than a magnetic resonator to install.
  • The “Stories Learned” count in the Catalogue no longer counts every individual word of alien language as its own story.
  • The selection highlights for the various collections in the Catalogue have been updated.
  • The selection highlights for the various game mode options when starting a new game have been updated.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the words PREV | NEXT to become stuck on the screen after teleporting aboard a frigate.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the “destructible” target icon to appear low res.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the creature icons in the Analysis Visor to appear low res.
  • The icon used to indicate the presence of a biological horror has been updated.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the preview of the jetpack/starship/Multi-Tool etc to be rotated when scrolling a scrollbar in the inventory.
  • Fixed an issue that caused base parts to still be flagged as new and unseen in the base building menu despite having been built.
  • Fixed an issue that caused descriptions to vanish from the base building popup panel in some circumstances.
  • Fixed a visual glitch that could cause flickering lines when viewing expedition milestones.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the scrollbar to be in the wrong visual state after changing from one story to another in the Collected Knowledge section of the catalog.
  • Fixed an issue that caused there to be no page count dots on the bottom of some catalog categories.
  • Fixed a large number of issues that could cause cropping text, particularly in VR.
  • Fixed a large number of typos and spelling errors.
  • Fixed an issue that could occasionally cause some NPC dialogue boxes to be skipped over.

Bug Fixes

  • The networking system for persistent interactions has been rewritten for increased stability and robustness. This fix addresses a number of issues that could cause the saved state of objects such as refiners to be reset upon entering or leaving a multiplayer session.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented camera shake from applying correctly while in the vicinity of a black hole.
  • Fixed a number of issues that could cause volcanoes to block access to mission-critical buildings.
  • Fixed a number of issues that could cause players to become stuck inside volcanoes.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some planetary objects to appear low detail, even at close range.
  • Fixed an issue that caused various buildable doors to fail to connect to power grids (and thus never shut).
  • Fixed an issue that prevented base part variants from being duplicated.
  • Fixed a rare issue that could occasionally cause freighter bases to fail to sync to other players.
  • Fixed an issue that caused freighter colors and engine effects to fail to sync to other players.
  • Fixed a number of issues that could cause freighter bases and freighter inventories to be lost or fail to apply correctly when examining a new freighter to purchase.
  • The chat message sent to other players upon entering your base now correctly references the name of the specific base.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented NPCs from navigating correctly around planetary settlements on PlayStation 4.
  • Fixed a visual glitch in the starship heads-up display during landing.
  • Fixed an issue that caused some substances in the catalog to offer a non-functional “Locate Substance” button.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause mission markers for expedition rendezvous points to use incorrect icons after reloading a save.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause duplicate entries to appear in the teleport terminus list during the tutorial.
  • Fixed an issue that could occur when canceling the discovery naming process on Switch.
  • Fixed a number of Switch-specific issues that could block progress or cause incorrect mission selection near the end of some expeditions.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause visual glitches in starship trails while flying in hailing formation.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow VR players to break the mission flow in Nexus missions by taking off too early.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Nexus Sentinel Pillar missions to fail to find a destination system in particular circumstances.
  • The amounts gained and used when refining Di-Hydrogen jelly have been adjusted for logical consistency.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the Minotaur to fail to deploy weapons correctly when under AI autopilot and equipped with a Sentinel Hardframe arm.
  • The Minotaur AI will now make correct use of Bio-Mechanical Stun weaponry.
  • Fixed a rare crash that could occur while deleting Exocraft race checkpoints.
  • Fixed an issue that could allow starship cargo probes to continue after the ship has landed.
  • Planetary rings are now correctly rendered while inside a freighter base.
  • Fixed a number of navigation and AI behavior issues that could occur when biological horrors attempted to pursue the player while despawning.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented some technologies from correctly appearing in the Exosuit Technology section of the catalog.
  • Fixed a visual glitch that caused NPC ship trade routes to render incorrectly in some circumstances.
  • Fixed an issue that caused cape and cloth movement to lag slightly out of sync with player movement.
  • Fixed a number of visual issues with the Exosuit backpack seen in the Inventory screen when wearing a cape.
  • Fixed a number of visual issues with the status bar lights on the Retro jetpack unit.
  • Fixed a number of visual issues with the status bar lights on the Exotic jetpack unit.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the Boltcaster to use incorrect audio.
  • Fixed a rare hang related to audio playback.
  • Fixed a rare audio issue that could cause incorrect environmental effects when in caves.
  • Fixed a number of audio issues that prevent correct volume settings from being applied in the mode and save select menus.
  • Improved the audio related to meteor impacts.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause the pulse engine effects to continue to play after canceling a pulse jump.

Updates to Missions

  • All Nexus missions, including Quicksilver rewards, are now available to Nintendo Switch players.
  • The “Trace of Metal” mission chain is now available to Nintendo Switch players. This story-driven mission has a number of unique rewards, including a drone companion and Sentinel-related customization options for the Minotaur.
  • Introduced a significant optimization to the mission system during expeditions.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a blocker during the segment of the living ship mission where players must visit the graves of fallen Travellers.
  • Fixed a number of issues that could result in duplicate living ship components being awarded.
  • Fixed a number of mission issues where an incorrect number of enemies remaining was reported in the mission text.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause players to miss out on some recipes while progressing through the Base Computer Archives mission chain.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause a blocker in the Trace of Metal if the Sentry drone was dismissed at mission-critical moments.
  • Fixed a visual issue in the log that could show Nexus mission objectives as completed before the players have left the Space Anomaly.

Utopia Expedition

  • A brand new expedition, “Utopia” will begin shortly after the release of the Fractal update.
  • The Utopia expedition will see players working for the mysterious Utopia Foundation as they attempt to rebuild the planets of an abandoned solar system.
  • Strange goings on in the system require the shelter of a Utopia Foundation base in order to craft items or install technologies, requiring explorers to plan ahead before venturing out into the wilds, and to work together to establish a network of bases across the system.
  • Rewards for assisting the Utopia Foundation in their noble efforts include a set of unique posters; a buildable holographic friend statue; an exclusive new helmet customization; an exclusive new robotic drone companion; and the brand-new Utopia Speeder class starship.

Updates to Particles

  • The visual effects for portals and their interactions have been significantly improved.
  • The color diversity of non-Euclid galaxies in the galaxy map has been improved.
  • Damaged machinery effects have been reworked for improved quality and to match up with audio effects.
  • The visual effect for breaking through a starship’s shielding system has been reworked.
  • Crashed freighter atmospheric effects have been significantly improved.
  • The atmospherics and other visual effects for monoliths and plaques have been significantly improved.
  • Abandoned building atmospheric effects have been significantly improved.
  • Door explosion visual effects have been reworked and improved.
  • The visual effects for Hexaberry harvesting have been improved.

Those are the full patch notes for the 4.1 Fractal update in No Man's Sky. Stay tuned for more future updates. 

No Man's Sky Gets PSVR 2 Mode in Latest Fractal Update Wed, 22 Feb 2023 12:58:50 -0500 Peter Glagowski

The first update of 2023 for No Man's Sky brings a ton of new features to the game, including some very cool gear. But one of the biggest additions is support for the PlayStation VR 2 headset. With the headset launching today from Sony, many games are receiving free updates to immerse players into their respective game worlds.

Resident Evil Village is one such example, having been given free DLC with PSVR 2 support. Such support for No Man's Sky makes a lot of sense, especially since developer Hello Games has supported VR in past versions.

While the procedurally generated open-universe game doesn't play dramatically different from the current PSVR or Vive versions, some of the PSVR 2's unique features have been exploited to give you a more immersive experience. The Sense wand controllers provide tactile feedback when piloting a ship, grabbing plants, or punching various objects. There is also head and hand tracking, allowing you to physically remove items from your utility belt and such.

The rest of the changes are being kept vague on the official No Man's Sky website. Things like "A vast number of gameplay and quality of life improvements" and "Up to 4K resolution" sound great but don't really mean a whole lot out of context. Gyro controls for both PS4 and PS5 are mentioned (and reaffirmed on Sony's PlayStation Blog), so that's a solid addition.

That maybe isn't a whole lot to go on, but fans likely already know what they're getting into here. It shouldn't be difficult to draw conclusions on what else has changed. For more, check out the full patch notes here.

Minecraft Gets Some Surprise Mega Man X Themed DLC Today Tue, 21 Feb 2023 14:53:12 -0500 Peter Glagowski

With absolutely no warning whatsoever, developer Mojang has shadow-dropped some Mega Man X-themed DLC for Minecraft. Packing 14 classic skins and an arsenal of nine classic weapons, a short trailer shows off what looks like recreations of classic stages from the different games in the series.

In an awesome move, this Minecraft DLC features a sidescrolling perspective for its levels to really emulate the classic Mega Man X style. You can also team up with friends and battle Chill Penguin, Sting Chameleon, Armored Armadillo, and Storm Eagle, as well as the dastardly Sigma, with nostalgic music and sound effects.

As you can guess, you'll be able to adorn your characters with costumes based on X and Zero and wield iconic weapons, such as the mega buster and Z-saber. You won't be limited to the heroes, either, as you can don armor from any of the robot masters and even Dr. Wily.

Said levels are based on recreations from the series. With the focus being primarily on the first Mega Man X, you'll likely be able to trek across locales such as Snow Mountain, the Forest, and Sigma's Hideout. During your travels, you'll collect bolts that can be used to upgrade your abilities with the option to buy heart containers and extra lives. Players will probably have the ability to create their own levels using parts from this DLC, too.

The Mega Man X DLC pack is available for Minecraft through the in-game marketplace. It should be accessible on all platforms that are currently being supported (sorry Wii U, New 3DS, and Vita players).

Viking Survival Game Valheim Lands on Xbox Game Pass This Spring Thu, 16 Feb 2023 19:23:59 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Valheim, the popular Viking survival sim from developer Iron Gate Studio and publisher Coffee Stain, will set sail for Xbox platforms soon, settling on Game Pass this March. There is currently no firm release date for when it will arrive on Microsoft's subscription service for consoles, but it is on the horizon. The game is currently available on PC via Steam and PC Game Pass. 

The news was announced as part of a recent Embracer Group earnings release; Embracer is the parent group of Coffee Stain and several other video game publishers and developers, such as Gearbox, Crystal Dynamics, THQ Nordic, and Saber to name a few. It was previously reported in 2022 that the game would be arriving on Xbox platforms in 2023. Now we have a better idea of when. 

Valheim was originally released into Steam Early Access in 2021 to strong reception, garnering some 330,000 reviews to date on Valve's platform. Those sentiments have been "overwhelmingly positive," according to Steam's metrics. It also released on PC Game Pass in September 2022. 

Valheim has received a number of updates and a major biome expansion called The Mistlands in 2022. At least two further major updates are planned to be added at some point, The Ashlands and Hildir's Quest.

Game Pass has several tiers. Both PC and console Game Pass subs are $9.99 a month, while Game Pass Ultimate, which also includes Xbox Live Gold, gives access to both console and PC Games Pass, and includes EA Play, is $14.99 a month. New members can subscribe for $1 for the first month.

Floodland Review: Community Building Mon, 05 Dec 2022 12:09:00 -0500 Hayes Madsen

Post-apocalyptic games are usually fairly dreary and oppressive affairs, but Floodland takes a different approach, weaving themes of hope and exploration into the overall experience. It's a survival city builder that tries to inject more personality and personal storytelling into things, and even though that idea doesn't always land, Floodland's mechanics are usually enough to keep you chugging along, always eager to play a little more and optimize your settlement. 

The story of Floodland takes place after a climate change crisis has annihilated most of the world's population and sent much of the land underwater. All you know is something called The Event caused all of this destruction, and now you have to lead a small clan down the path to rebuilding humanity. 

At the start of each randomly generated playthrough, you'll choose from one of four clans to lead, each coming from its own distinct background, which then leads to specific strengths and bonuses. For example, the Fire Brigade is made up of former first responders, while the Good Neighbors is a tight-knit group that used to live in the same community. 

There's a basic story that ties all the gameplay together, with each new bit of story reading like a journal entry, illustrating the humans at the heart of everything. Interestingly, that idea translates directly to gameplay, as one of your most important resources ends up being the people themselves. 

Floodland's unique aesthetic paints each map with a series of islands and landmasses, separated by both shallow and deep bodies of water. A thick fog coats everything, meaning exploration is the first thing you need to focus on, finding essential resources, spots to set up gathering buildings, and abandoned structures to explore. 

Floodland can be pretty tough to wrap your head around at first, even with a wealth of tutorials. There are over a dozen resources you'll need to manage eventually, although they get introduced incrementally. There's both safe food and unsafe food, with the latter having the potential to poison or make your people sick. On top of that, you layer in water for survival, plastic for building, wood that you turn into planks, rock, metal, and the list goes on. 

Of course, to gather all these resources, you'll need people, splitting your population between your various gathering buildings and your storage buildings, where you can assign them exploration and construction tasks. This creates an interesting dynamic where you're constantly trying to balance your survivors' tasks and exploration to find additional people trapped in buildings to bring into your clan. 

As you find these other survivors, however, they have clans of their own, all with differing ideals, which can create tension in your settlement. This is where Laws, Floodland's other major gameplay system, comes into play. As time progresses, you'll slowly build a resource called Authority, and this can be used to pass Laws that affect your settlement at large. These Laws are largely grouped into four categories that focus on martial law, economic expansion, peace, and leisure activities. 

Laws balance the varying opinions of your different clans, and each clan has a tension meter that goes up as you do things they don't like. Consequently, people will start to steal extra resources, and if the meter gets high enough, an entire clan can even decide to leave. 

While these systems, in theory, could help create some deep narrative drama, that's seldom the case. It's an issue endemic with Floodland: There's simply not enough narrative variety. You end up seeing the same issues and lines over and over as unrest fluctuates back and forth, and the system ends up feeling more like a bother meant to simply slow your progress. 

While it can be hard to piece together all these disparate systems, there's an undeniable hook to Floodland's gameplay loop. The exploration mechanics bring a unique take on the survival city-builder, and the game does a good job of doling out resources and rewards at a steady pace, meaning you always have something to upgrade and improve. 

While Floodland's bright aesthetic really works, there are some performance issues that I ran experienced deep into playthroughs. As your settlement grows larger, it's fairly common for the framerate and performance to suffer, and once I reached a certain settlement size, the fast-forward button would be nearly impossible to use because of how it tanked the framerate. This is obviously something that can be ironed out with future patches, but it undeniably had an impact on the experience, slowing down my overall progress.

Floodland Review — The Bottom Line


  • Unique concept unlike any other city-builder.
  • Strong gameplay loop.
  • Gorgeous aesthetic and visual style. 


  • Too many resources to keep track of. 
  • Narrative trappings ultimately don't feel satisfying. 
  • Performance issues as your settlement grows larger. 

Floodland's biggest selling point is its unique setup, and for the most part, that helps it stand apart from other city-builders. There's an undeniable learning curve as you grapple with dozens of different systems and resources, but if you can overcome that, there's a satisfying core gameplay loop underneath. 

More than anything, Floodland feels like a game that could really benefit from some updates and content changes. As it stands, there's a unique city-builder that fans of the genre will likely enjoy, but it could be one of those games that really turns into something special with the right support. 

[Note: Ravenscourt provided the copy of Floodland used for this review.]

Deathverse: Let It Die Review – Alone in a Crowd Mon, 03 Oct 2022 16:13:40 -0400 Daniel Solomon

From the off, you just know that Deathverse: Let It Die is going to be a trip. It opens with a huge, gaudy, swinging show-tune number, proclaiming the game’s intent as a funky Death Jamboree. It’s a banger and worth the storage space just to hear it. And the game could be too, for the most part, save a few pretty egregious missteps.

Supertrick’s Deathverse has a straightforward premise dressed in surreal clothing; on paper, it’s a fairly run-of-the-mill multiplayer battle royale in which 16 players fight to the death on a shrinking battlefield. Deathverse, though, is set in the wake of a cataclysmic event exacerbated by a playful grim reaper, detailed in the spiritual prequel Let It Die.

Now, hundreds of years in the future, humanity has fully embraced its weird side and is reveling in the launch of an ultraviolent reality show called Death Jamboree, in which 16 contestants – you guessed it – fight to the death on a shrinking battlefield.

This plays into the language around the game’s mechanics. You earn Good Points (GP) from the show’s audience by being entertaining (brutal and murderous, in other words), and GP is your main source of healing and stat boosting in-game. GP is the metric by which you’re scored in the Death Jamboree, and the more the audience likes you, the higher it goes, and up goes your health with it.

Starting Deathverse, you’re quickly thrown into the Crazy Violent Basic Training program, led by Uncle D2 – a small flying robot in the shape of a skull. He graciously takes you through the combat mechanics and introduces you to your very own small flying robot – the Wilson device. The Wilson device serves as your faithful companion and useful multi-tool in navigating this world; it’s your weapon, shield, scanner, and skills all rolled into one. And when the Wilson takes a hit (such as when an enemy breaks your shield), so too does your offensive capability.

The combat itself has certainly taken a few cues from the Souls franchise – all shoulder buttons to attack and what-have-you – which is easily forgotten as a relatively recent design choice. It does differ in a few key ways, though; there’s no locking on or parrying, and playing offensively almost all the time is actively encouraged here. Since your attacks generate GP and heal you, the result is an interesting tug-of-war dynamic. This means it’s never too late to win and that landing a few choice blows, even when you’re on your last legs, can quickly turn a fight around in your favor.

With the training out of the way, you’re free to jump into one of the game’s two modes – Ranked or Exhibition. Aside from the rankings system, they are fundamentally the same; both are set on Bonuriki island, a reasonably sized stage divided into seven zones, each with a distinct feel and layout.

The show’s hosts, Bryan Zemeckis and Queen B, will announce the arrival of you and your fellow players, and you’re in. It’s then time to put that brief tutorial to use and try to come out on top.

Matches play out in a familiar enough fashion. You spawn with a little breathing room, allowing you to grab a Sub-Skill (typically explosives, debuffs, or distraction techniques) and some charge from a Power Pod for your Main Skill. These are specific to the weapon you’ve chosen, and there are currently five categories with three variations of each, consisting of a machete, katana, hammer, mechanical arms, and a buzzsaw.

These weapons are unlocked by crafting, and they all feel great to play with, offering a wealth of options to suit your playstyle. The katana is fast, has a high damage output, and has some flashy Deathblows (special moves) in its repertoire. If you really want to wind people up, though, the buzzsaw gives you a lot of mobility and can be extremely difficult to interrupt.

There is a slight PvE element to the Death Jamboree, too, as small monsters known as cryptids roam the stage – easy pickings for some bonus GP and some crafting materials. The other AI enemy, the hunter, is a much more frightening affair, however. They are summoned by the hosts with the express purpose of ruining your day, and if you don’t turn tail and run at the first sight of them, they will succeed. The hunter is immortal and will tear a contestant to shreds with just a few attacks, though mercifully, they will retreat after a moment or two.

All this chaos plays out as the island’s contaminant, SPLithium (yes, that’s honestly what it’s called) rolls in, forcing the remaining players closer together until only one remains. While I did say that the comparison to Dark Souls’ combat only ran so deep, the whole feeling of playing reminds of a lighter-hearted version of the invasion system in those games. Players are out to stunt on you. I’ve even knocked someone clean off the stage when they thought they were safely harvesting materials – and this speaks to the game’s greatest strength; it is silly but a real joy to be in on a moment-to-moment basis.

And yes, there is jank – Deathverse is clearly a AA budget game at best. A particularly weird moment is when a match ends, and the winner is interviewed in silence by one of the hosts. Let’s hear from our champion, they say, and we hear nothing.

Despite all I like about the game, battle royales live and die by their social aspect, and Deathverse truly does itself no favors in this regard. As it stands, the only way to play with friends is by hosting a private room, a function that's locked behind the highest tier Jamboree Pass (Deathverse’s battle pass equivalent) at around a $30 cost to the player.

There’s a small saving grace in that you don’t need to have this tier, or any in fact, of the Jamboree Pass to join a room, but envision the following scenario: four friends want to play together, and one buys the platinum Jamboree Pass. Said friend leaves after an hour. The remaining members of the group must now either go their separate ways, or one of them too must now cough up three hours’ worth of the average worker's wage to keep going as a group. All of this for a feature that is free in literally every other example of the genre. A truly baffling aspect of this, too, is that established groups of friends will likely never even try the game for this exact reason.

One hopes that this will get walked back pretty quick-sharp if Deathverse wants to last out its roadmap – which it needs to because it’s feeling fairly bereft of content at launch, with just one map, one hunter, and five weapon types. And to be clear, I want the game to succeed – it's got some interesting stuff in the pipeline, including a feature whereby random matches will be broadcast to the developer's official Twitch channel in a kind of metagame recreation of Deathverse’s premise. But as it stands, it’s very hard to recommend to your friends.

Deathverse: Let It Die Review – The Bottom Line


  • Genuinely fun to play.
  • Short and snappy matches give it a real moreish, just-one-more-go quality.
  • The whole vibe of the thing.


  • Matchmaking with friends locked behind the most expensive battle pass.
  • Lack of launch content.
  • Virtually no cosmetic customization options for free players.

Deathverse is a game of two jarring, contradicting halves; the psychedelic presentation and anarchic spirit of this contender to the battle royale throne is coupled with some of the worst monetization in a game in recent memory. If you’re the sort of player who doesn’t care for the social aspect of multiplayer gaming, there’s a lot of fun to be had here – and it looks like it’ll only get better.

But as it stands, the content deficit and paywalled parties mean that as someone who values the moments of human interaction higher than most other facets of the genre, I won’t be taking this trip again anytime soon.

[Note: The free PlayStation 5 version of Deathverse: Let It Die was used for this review.]

Retreat to Enen Review: Paradise Lost Thu, 04 Aug 2022 12:44:38 -0400 Jonathan Moore

The effects of human-caused and human-exacerbated climate change are now impossible to ignore. Radical changes beyond natural fluctuations have begun to wreak havoc across the globe, putting humanity's future at grave risk. Even with dutiful, proactive effort, the best outlook may be avoiding the worst possible outcome: a global ecosystem brought to or beyond the brink of extinction.

Potentially, we're already on the trajectory portrayed in the opening moments of Head West's Retreat to Enen, which explores a timeline where humanity's overconsumption and lack of prescience doomed society to an ignominious collapse. But this isn't your typical post-cataclysm shrouded in the dense cloak of war and famine (though that happened long ago). The world has seemingly bounced back, with the vestiges of humankind learning from its mistakes, focused on rediscovering the necessary symbiosis between it and nature.

With such a goal, some introspection is undoubtedly needed, leading to a pivotal mindset shift one that rejects untenable consumption and embraces mindful sustainability. One avenue is self-reflective meditation, a core pillar in Retreat to Enen's gameplay loop, which at regular intervals charges you to pause and consider the world around you. It's a unique mechanic not found in any other survival game, allowing Enen to accent the typical beats of the genre while calling attention to how we interact with our natural world and the digital ones we frequent. 

The issue is that outside of those bounds, Retreat to Enen struggles to be a mechanically compelling experience, stirring up unnecessary frustrations that act in direct opposition to its contemplative core. 

Retreat to Enen Review: Paradise Lost

Set more than 2,500 years in the future, Retreat to Enen portrays an Earth well on the path to healing. Humans have learned to live in lockstep with the world, theoretically taking only what they must to endure while becoming custodians instead of parasites. To prove yourself as one of these caretakers, you're tasked with venturing into the wilds to survive and reflect upon your purpose before bringing your knowledge back to share with future generations. 

An obviously Biblical play on words, the land of Enen is one of striking landscapes spread across three distinct biomes: the sand-strewn subtropical island of Enen itself; the dense, sylvan acreage of The Valley of the Giants; and the snow-swept crags of the frigid Great North. While these places may be visually lush, they're oddly devoid of life on the scale expected from the lite narrative setup, adding an inescapable weight of emptiness to Retreat to Enen

The odd turkey gobbles as it runs through the brush or snow, a lone deer meanders through the trees and undergrowth, a solitary fish swims in the waves above undulating kelp forests and poisonous anemones. Not filling the world with creatures is perhaps an attempt to build a firm sense of place through the most environmental of environmental storytelling. Maybe the Earth isn't as far along the path of healing as suspected. But there's a palpable disconnect between the life these environments could reasonably support at this point in Earth's rejuvenation and what they actually do support.

To kill and harvest these animals is a chore, too, and in ways, further decouples the idea of survival from the ideal of custodianship that battle at the game's core. To conceivably dissuade you from hunting entirely, rabbits and boars are master escape artists, with some capable of disappearing through the trees as soon as you see them, not when they see you; deer and iguanas are likewise highly attuned to your presence at every turn. Wolves, bears, and snakes will attack you without provocation, though they are strangely less aware of your existence despite being apex predators and often get stuck on the environment. 

Hunting, in short, is a laborious process that can be literally hit or miss  the spear animation makes thrusts wobbly and inaccurate, and the lack of any hit indicators, visual or auditory, for arrows makes ranged attacks hollow and hard to trace. Traps and nets are utterly useless, incapable of catching anything no matter how long they're left out or where they're placed (at least over 12 hours of play, in my experience). 

What makes things more existentially complicated is that some animals provide only meat while others provide only pelts, and in a game with deeply rooted themes of sustainability, the more realistic and better option would have been that each animal drops multiple materials when brought down if a hunting system must be included. At the very least, every part of the animal should be used in some crafting component as a sign of respect that aligns with the game's motifs. When you can't chop down trees or dig holes, but you can kill an animal and leave most of it behind, there's contradiction between the message and mechanics. 

Alongside hunting, there's gathering, of which you'll do a great deal in Retreat to Enen. You'll pick up all kinds of materials from the ground, ranging from sticks, rocks, and clay blocks to potatoes, mushrooms, and medicinal herbs. Mining is also an option, but not in the traditional survival-game sense. Instead of existing as veins running through the ground or across escarpments, ores and gems are attached to rocks and cliffs in clusters, which you'll break apart with your futuristic Quantum Control ability, the same one used for harvesting animals.

These mats are, of course, used to craft items, build structures, cook meals, and brew medicinal tonics, all subs-systems that sound more in-depth and less tedious than they actually are.

The in-game UIs are painfully opaque and difficult to read, with far too transparent backgrounds and text far too small. While there are options to add or remove predators or to nix the HUD altogether, there aren't any options to increase menu transparency or text size, two things that would be nice quality of life additions for everyone, not just those with impaired eyesight.

Building outlines jitter and flip around wildly as you try to place them, making it difficult to construct even single structures, let alone expansive, intricately designed camps, as shown in several pre-release marketing materials. Most components used to build houses and other more intricate items are locked until the end of the second biome, well after the entire process of meticulously gathering materials or doing most anything else has likely slipped into tedium. 

Cooking gives you access to a wide variety of dishes, though there's no way to cook single items like meat on the campfire, a strange deviation from the typical survival formula. Frustratingly, none of the meals can be added to your inventory after they've been made either. It's an odd choice to rely on fruits, vegetables, and smoked meats while away from your campfire cooking pot when you can brew and subsequently carry antiseptic and anti-venom with you anywhere, healing parasite infections or snake bites while exploring. 

But exploration, too, is fraught with frustration. There is no map or compass in Retreat to Enen, forcing you to flex your navigational and memorization skills to the extreme. The absence of these foundational wayfinding tools makes little sense considering the technologically advanced features of your suit, which can manifest buildings from holograms or disappear animal carcasses in a film of blue light. 

To be fair, it's possible to place navigational flags leading to and from points of interest, but crafting them requires a flower found only in the first biome. You'll spend a copious amount of time searching for them or growing them in planters (Retreat to Enen's barebones farming system that barely counts as a farming system) that it's more time efficient to make note of landmarks and move forward to the next objective. 

Indeed as a way to remind us our actions have consequences, Spirit plays a pivotal role in Retreat to Enen. Managed alongside your hunger, thirst, health, and temperature meters, Spirit dwindles over time and when performing actions tied to Quantum Control, such as mining and harvesting animals. It's a neat concept in theory and one of the elements that ties directly into the grander principles running through Retreat to Enen. But it's easily subverted (at release) by quickly switching Quantum Control on, initiating an action, and switching it off. If you let that realization influence you, there's very little weight to it. 

As Spirit dwindles, you must seek out meditation points across each of the biomes to replenish it. In these cerulean geodesic domes, you'll take a breath to relax and contemplate the world around you, following on-screen prompts to inhale and exhale, providing real-life calming benefits not often found in video games. To take things further, each biome has three well-hidden Arcadian ruins that must be discovered to unlock more crafting and building recipes and to reach subsequent biomes to finish the game. 

They're also where you'll find gold meditation domes with guided mindfulness exercises led by a gentle, balmy voice. These lessons are similar to those found in mental wellness apps like Calm and Headspace, grounding you both in-game and in real life. Using a good set of headphones and closing your eyes, the serene sounds of Enen's biomes tangibly lower anxiety and stress, helping you walk away refreshed, grounded, and aware of your effects on the world around you. 

It's too bad, then, that these gold domes disappear once they've been used, only accessible through subsequent playthroughs, and that the monotony of doing essentially everything else wipes that calmness away. 

Retreat to Enen Review The Bottom Line


  • Majestic, varied landscapes.
  • Effective meditation exercises.
  • Thought-provoking. 


  • Tedious gameplay loop. 
  • Unbalanced systems and mechanics. 
  • Frustrating lack of navigational tools. 
  • Contradictory themes and messaging.
  • No way to revisit meditation exercises.
  • Little replay value. 

Retreat to Enen says a lot about our role on this planet. We are caretakers that should do what we can to preserve our only home in this vast, near-limitless universe, lest we doom ourselves entirely. It's our duty to find sustainable ways to coexist with the ecosystems around us, passing that knowledge to future generations so that they might learn from our mistakes. In that way, Enen represents not a physical or digital space but moreso a spiritual one within us.

That's a big message to tackle in such a small package  and Retreat to Enen is an admirable attempt at doing that. It reminds us to be patient, take a breath, and calm ourselves, think clearly, and make more meaningful decisions about our environment. But with apps like Calm already providing easily-accessible spaces for meditation and reflection, a central message that's unfortunately muddled by contradictory and subjective views on sustainability, and lackluster survival mechanics and systems that get in the way, it's hard to recommend a retreat to Enen. 

[Note: Freedom Games provided the copy of Retreat to Enen used for this review.]

ARK 2 Trailer Confirms New Location, 2023 Release Date Sun, 12 Jun 2022 16:56:22 -0400 Jonathan Moore

It's been about a year since we've seen anything for ARK 2, the upcoming sequel to ARK: Survival Evolved. The game was first teased during Summer Game Fest 2021. Now, as part of Summer Games Fest 2022, there's a new in-engine trailer teasing ARK 2's 2023 release for PC in Steam Early Access and Xbox Series X|S and PC with Game Pass Game Preview. 

Admittedly less involved than the first teaser released by developer Studio Wildcard, this new look still gives fans a little more backstory on the setting of ARK 2. The game takes place on Arat, where humans have fled to "start over" following a cataclysmic war. Unwittingly or not, it's unclear, but they also brought dinosaurs along from an "extinct Earth."

Studio Wildcard says that it originally intended to release ARK 2 in 2022 but decided to push the game to 2023 to fully realize its vision, saying via a blog post regarding the sequel:

We are currently working on our expansive sequel with all our might! But we have postponed the release date to 2023 in order to create an adventure that will be unforgettable for everyone, respectful of our team’s health, realize the potential of upgrading to Unreal 5, and to introduce revolutionary full mod support for console players! We believe that ARK 2 will be the ultimate primal survival experience and want to devote the resources needed to bring that to fruition. 

Most noticeable in the game's two trailers is that ARK 2 features Vin Diesel as Santiago riding a rather large T-Rex, accompanied by his daughter Meeka, voiced by Auli'i Cravalho (Moana). But ARK 2 will have more changes than simply adding a set of protagonists. The official blog post linked above goes into much greater detail, claiming that the game will revolutionize the survival genre (and there's a lot of ambition behind the project), but some of the key points are: 

  • New mechanics for traversal, parkour, sliding, swinging, and free climbing. 
  • Cross-platform modding for a variety of things, from creatures to items. 
  • Souls-like melee combat with the ability to target-lock, dodge, block, perform combos and staggers, and more. 

There will also be the native Aratai, "an opposing PvE force" that will "hunt and attack" players (though do we really need the natives to be the bad guys?). Aside from that, there will be modular, component-based crafting, dynamic world events, a massive world to explore, player progression via XP and knowledge points, and "sensory-based creature AI" that can "now track and hunt by sight sound, and smell."

ARK 2 can now be wishlisted on Steam, and ARK: Survival Evolved is free-to-own for anyone who picks it up by June 19, 2022. All of this comes alongside the announcement of ARK: Ultimate Survivor Edition launching for Nintendo Switch in September 2022, and that ARK: The Animated Series has 14 episodes of 30 minutes in post-production. 

The Last of Us Remake is Heading to PS5 in September Fri, 10 Jun 2022 18:10:45 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Sony and Naughty Dog have announced that The Last of Us is getting the remake treatment. Called The Last of Us Part I, the game is being rebuilt from the ground up (Sony says it's a "complete" remake) for PlayStation 5. It's set to release on September 2, 2022, with the PC version still in development. A trailer for the remake can be seen above.

As expected, The Last of Us Part I will take full advantage of the PS5's capabilities, implementing fast loading times, haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D audio. Naughty Dog has taken the opportunity to bring The Last of Us up to modern standards, the developer says in a PlayStation Blog post regarding the upcoming release

Rochelle Snyder, Sr. Manager of Communications at Naughty Dog said, "We’ve implemented modernized gameplay, improved controls, and expanded accessibility options in this single-player experience to allow even more individuals to enjoy the game. Effects, exploration, and combat have all been enhanced."

The PlayStation Blog posted also three comparison sliders showing the graphical differences between The Last of Us Part I and The Last of Us Remastered, the latter of which was released for the PS4 back in 2014. You can see those below. 

So far, Sony hasn't shared many more details on what can be expected from The Last of Us Part I when it comes to combat, traversal, or accessibility options, though it's safe to guess that like the improved graphics, they run more in line with The Last of Us Part 2

According to the PlayStation Blog, The Last of Us Part I is currently available for pre-order across three editions. Those who pre-order will also get supplements and weapons parts packs. 

  • The Standard Edition includes the base game for $69.99.
  • The Digital Deluxe Edition includes the base game alongside a number of skills, upgrades, skins, and other goodies for $79.99.
  • The Firefly Edition includes the base game, everything in the Digital Deluxe Edition, a steelbook case, and The Last of Us: American Dreams comic 1-4 for $99.99. 
    • The Firefly Edition is only available through in the United States, though it's already out of stock as of June 10, 2022.

Chernobylite PS5 Review: A Tale of Two Modes Wed, 04 May 2022 12:23:11 -0400 Jonathan Moore

First released through Steam Early Access in 2019 before making its way to a 1.0 launch on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms in 2021, Chernobylite has seen several tweaks and additions over the past two and half years. The latest is the release of a free next-gen update for PS5 and Series X|S that brings a handful of graphical and performance updates to the maudlin environments of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

On the majority, Chernobylite is still the same game as when we reviewed it in 2021: “inconsistent … with fantastic highs and frustrating lows.” The graphical and performance updates haven’t drastically revolutionized the core experience. Its story and mechanics are expectedly the same. The tragedy is that these next-gen upgrades follow the same incongruent path as the rest of the game.

Chernobylite PS5 Review: A Tale of Two Modes

There are two modes to choose from in the PS5 and Series X|S versions of Chernobylite: resolution mode and performance mode. Resolution mode targets dynamic 4K at 30fps with raytracing and increased environmental details, shadows, and textures. Performance mode targets 1080p at 60fps with higher graphics quality. Both support faster loading times, and the PS5 version uses the haptics and adaptive triggers of the Dualsense.

To my eye, there’s not much discernible difference between the two modes when it comes to graphical fidelity. Chernobylite’s environments already employ a good amount of detail at 1080p, and many are striking even at the lower resolution. Light soaks through the trees in haunting spindles, and clouds of smoke and toxic gas undulate in and out of ghostly buildings sat in 30 years of radioactive decay.

Foliage and water details are sharp, with wind animations being a standout. While not nearly as detailed as those found in other shooters, character and weapon models are nicely done. I’m not sure anyone expects a monumental improvement over the base game in those departments anyway, as it would call for more than just the addition of new graphics modes.

Oddly enough, changing from performance mode to resolution mode doesn’t provide an eye-popping difference. In fact, it’s almost an imperceptible one on the whole. Raytracing slightly improves lighting and shadows, making night and evening levels particularly stirring. But that’s … about it. I spent a good amount of in-game time trying my hardest to find a “wow moment,” one where I switched between modes and could immediately tell the difference or easily point one out. It just never happened.

What is most noticeably affecting is the difference between 60fps and 30fps. Playing in performance mode makes Chernobylite feel better. It’s smoother and more fluid, making everything from aiming to searching for survival supplies more effective. Playing in resolution mode is sluggish by comparison. Aiming feels downright lethargic, and even with motion blur turned off, assets look soupy when you (slowly) turn, as if they’re whirling in an environment that’s turned into a radioactive morass.

On the topic of aiming, gunplay is made better with the Dualsense’s adaptive triggers. Pulling the revolver's trigger requires a bit more strength than I’m used to, but it adds a sense of anxious dread to each encounter, whether against NAR soldiers or Shadows. Playing without it feels ho-hum by comparison. Outside of that, the haptics are mostly regular vibrations that add nice touches (like those that warn you of nearby Shadows), but they don’t feel as necessary as the adaptive trigger additions.

The most perplexing thing about Chernobylite’s next-gen updates (at least on PS5, as I’ve not played the Series X|S versions) is that you can’t swap between performance mode and resolution mode in-game. Instead, you must save your game, exit to the main menu, and make the change in the options menu there.

It’s a small problem made more irritating by the save system, which seems to always put you at the point of an autosave even if you’ve made and loaded a manual save. I suppose most players will pick a resolution and stick with it, not changing much at all, but it’s an oversight nonetheless.

Chernobylite PS5 Upgrade Review — The Bottom Line


  • 60fps performance mode.
  • Adaptive trigger functionality.
  • Stable and mostly bug-free.
  • Great-looking environments at 1080p.


  • 30fps resolution mode makes movement sluggish.
  • Resolution mode doesn't improve graphics quality enough.
  • Can't switch between modes without fully exiting the game. 

Chernobylite’s next-gen update is the best way to play the survival-horror game on console despite its unevenness. Aside from some animation slowdown in the loading screens, the game runs at a solid framerate, and perceivable frame dips were nonexistent in my playtime examining the upgrade. Only one glitch saw a stationary soldier clipping through the environment and back again over about 20 seconds before righting himself and moving on.

Now is undoubtedly the time if you’ve yet to jump into Chernobylite on PS5 or Series X|S. To read over our more expansive thoughts on the game, head over to our full review right here, which talks in greater detail about its story and mechanics.

[Note: The Farm 51 provided the copy of Chernobylite used for this review.]

No Man's Sky Sentinel Update Overhauls Combat, Adds New Weapons, More Wed, 16 Feb 2022 15:27:56 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Five and a half years after launch, No Man's Sky is still getting significant updates for the low, low cost of free. Available now on all platforms, Sentinels again rewrites what we think we know about the space survival game from Hello Games. While it's mainly about the eponymous enemies found on almost every planet in the NMS universe and fighting them, Sentinels also brings a wide array of changes to other parts of the game. 

First and foremost, Update 3.8 overhauls a few combat mechanics. Hello Games says that combat is now "faster-paced" than before. There have been tweaks to everything from camera settings to hit indicators, and sentinel health. 

Repair bots have been added to mend damaged Sentinels in the field, and the pesky baddies now have more machines in their ranks. The Sentinel Hardframe Mech is an imposing goliath covered in dense armor and can fly around using a jetpack. Oh, and they have flamethrowers, too.

Heavy Combat Drones similarly have thick armor plating and add another wave of enemies before other heavy hitters like the Quad and Walker arrive. 

To make things even more chaotic, Summoner Drones do exactly what it sounds like: summon reinforcements directly into the fray. What's more, Drones can deploy shields, have three new weapon types, and can destroy the landscape around them, creating craters and other obstacles you'll have to navigate.

There are a few new tricks up your space sleeve to face these new threats. Active camouflage technology allows you to disappear at a moment's notice, avoiding sentinel patrols entirely or escaping from overwhelming numbers. It also helps against predators, too.

Player Minotaurs will now follow them into battle as allies; the Neutron Cannon gives access to a "charged energy weapon [that] can be used both as a rapid-fire projectile launcher and also charged up to release a deadly, close-range barrage of destruction."; and Exomechs will be more useful in combat situations. Stun grenades provide further defenses against Sentinels, as well. 

You'll also be able to hunt and shut down Sentinel Pillars, ominous-looking structures that act as bases for Sentinels, giving you a respite from their shenanigans, however briefly. 

Outside of all that, Hello Games has added new visual effects animations to various weapons, implemented more customization options, increased the number of Multi-Tools that can be carried, introduced new materials and upgrades, included a new Exobiology Expedition, and inserted new quests, lore, and stories. That's not to even mention tweaks to warping, quality of life changes, and graphics fixes. 

It's a truly mammoth update. You can read more about it over here on the NMS Blog

Dysmantle Review: Break 'em Fri, 21 Jan 2022 14:00:50 -0500 Peter Hunt Szpytek

I haven't actually "finished" Dysmantle, but I hardly think that getting to the "end" is the point of most survival/crafting games in the first place. If that were the case, then studio 10Tons Ltd. wouldn't have made Dysmantle's map so big. Seeing it all in even 25 hours is nearly impossible. 

Between fighting my way through zombies, harvesting resources, and exploring the abandoned cities and countrysides that the island setting has to offer, I found that there's quite the competent survival/crafting game hidden beneath Dysmantle's surface.

Although it might take a few hours for all of its elements to really come together and though it's not as deep in some areas as I wanted, the quality of the primary loops make up for a lot of shortcomings that might weigh the experience down.

Dysmantle Review: Break 'em

Dysmantle starts simply enough: it’s been a few years since the end of the world brought about by a mysterious zombie infection. The unnamed player character has been hiding in an underground bunker Fallout-style to avoid the worst that the apocalypse has to offer.

When their food supply runs out, they leave their solitary life to try and escape their island home with nothing other than a crowbar and a backpack. From there, the entire objective of Dysmantle is about collecting the proper resources to leave the island and upgrading your gear to stay alive long enough to finally travel elsewhere. 

In terms of a central story, that’s about it, but there are plenty of smaller, more contained narratives going on through the many side quests you'll discover while exploring the island. Generally, the only overarching story beats revolve around the mystery of what actually happened on the island, but that information is typically relegated to broadcasted audio logs from someone who seems to be the only other person alive on the island.

Unfortunately, they don’t have much personality and, because the radios are strewn about the giant world, I felt like I was missing a good chunk of what’s going on because I knew I wasn't going to be able to find them all.

That said, it’s a nice hands-off approach to storytelling that can serve as a welcome break from the extremely cinematic and involved narratives of AAA gaming, though, that means that anyone looking for even the slightest bit of character out of Dysmantle’s survival narrative might leave the experience disappointed.

Because of how much of a backseat it’s given, it’s clear that the story isn’t the focus here: instead, Dysmantle points you to its crafting and survival mechanics. In terms of crafting, Dysmantle gets a lot correct based on how well executed the progression is. Right off the bat, you can’t find a whole lot of resources given the limitations of the dinky crowbar, but as you level up, you’ll be able to invent all sorts of different tools that provide new options for breaking things.

Dysmantle starts off a tad overwhelming when it comes to the pacing of learning new crafting recipes; you have far more items to craft than you could ever hope to make. As things progress. however, that slows down a significant amount and you can think much more critically about what tools will be necessary to get more resources and progress quests even further. 

Resource mining and crafting have a great loop that can get addicting. I frequently caught myself picking up Dysmantle when I had a small break from work meaning to play a quick 30 minutes and found myself still playing two hours later with enough wood to build a sizable house in the middle of the forest.

That’s where the problems with the crafting come in, however. There isn’t much, if any, structure building here. You can’t put up walls to cut off groups of zombies (or ex-humans as the game cutely calls them) or to build a shelter from the cold. All crafting comes in the form of upgrades to your weapons, clothing, resource gathering tools, and survival instruments.

That must mean, then, that survival is where Dysmantle’s other main focus lies, but that isn’t quite true either. Typical survival mechanics like managing hunger and thirst levels, as well as keeping track of how often you’re sleeping, aren’t present at all. There is a cooking mechanic to help upgrade things like maximum health, but, as Dysmantle tells you when you find your first stovetop, you don't need to worry about eating to stay alive.

For some reason, the game also keeps track of how many in-game days it's been since you first left your bunker, but there's not a real reason for this. In other games with permadeath systems, that might be used to count how long you've gone without dying and starting a new character, but in Dysmantle, death is more of an inconvenience than anything else, making the counter ultimately not important. 

Unfortunately, the only traditional survival mechanic present is making sure that you're kept safe from the elements, which simply translates to crafting a warm coat for the northern, frozen areas and the shortest khakis imaginable for the desert and jungle environments.

It could be argued that taking care of the many zombies that took over for the island’s former inhabitants is the true survival element, but that leaves some to be desired; zombie combat boils down to hitting a zombie with an object and then dodge-rolling out of the way of their attacks.

In typical zombie-game fashion, there are a handful of different zombie types, from the typical run-of-the-mill ones to agile mutants with blades for hands. But combat is pretty shallow and the different mutations don’t change that much from encounter to encounter.

Occasionally when exploring, Dysmantle will close all the doors, cue a choir, and have you engage in a boss fight, but most of these are simply larger versions of zombies that you’ve already encountered with a simple gimmick. The only standouts are the giant mech fights that happen at a handful of set points, but they’re only truly memorable for breaking things up; they don’t really introduce anything new.

Although it’s shallow in a handful of places, the overall loop of Dysmantle is satisfying and, at times, hypnotic. The breaking sounds of kitchen tables, lawn chairs, and metal grates become something of a soundtrack that cuts through the silence of exploring a completely empty island.

Despite its apocalyptic setting, Dysmantle is a relaxing craft-a-thon perfect for anyone who derives satisfaction out of gathering resources to upgrade a character who can then go out to gather an even larger number of resources.

Dysmantle Review — The Bottom Line



  • Satisfying progression
  • Relaxing gameplay
  • Interesting and varied environments
  • Giant, expansive map
  • Hands-off story


  • Repetitive combat encounters
  • Shallow survival mechanics
  • Exclusively gear-based upgrades
  • Lack of soundtrack outside of setpieces

When looking back at Dysmantle, it's easy to see why the game has such a diehard community on PC and why its port to consoles has been so hotly anticipated. The hypnotic, addictive qualities of its resource gathering sections pair extremely well with side quests that often trust your intelligence to do more than simply follow a marker to a destination.

While it might lack some depth with its mechanics, there's still a rich world within the game for players to chew on for countless hours. 

[Note: 10tons Ltd. provided the copy of Dysmantle used for this review.]

Muck Game Crashing Fix Guide Mon, 16 Aug 2021 10:59:13 -0400 Serhii Patskan

Muck on Steam keeps crashing for many players even after some of the official bug fixes being released. So, what could be the problem? This guide will look into all the possible game crashing issues with Muck, and provide you with tips on how to fix them.

These game crashes are often caused by little things that many players overlook. For this reason we will provide you with some standard solutions, as well as some unforeseen causes that may crash your game.

Muck Game Crashing Fix Guide

Before trying anything new to fix your Muck game, test out all the standard procedures in the case of game crashing.

Re-install Your Game

All games are vulnerable to file errors, including Muck. Even a minor broken file can cause frequent game crashes. That's why it's always a good idea to simply re-install your game.

Follow these steps to re-install Muck on Steam:

  1. Go to your Steam client
  2. Select "Library" tab
  3. Right-click on the Muck game
  4. Go to "Manage" option
  5. Select "Uninstall" from the list

Once this is done, which shouldn't take long at all, it is advisable to restart your PC. After that, load the Steam client and install Muck by pressing the Install button.

Update Your Game to the Latest Version

Muck developer Dani consistently releases new updates for the game that also include lots of bug fixes. If your game is crashing, it is possible that your game may not have the latest updates installed.

In order to update Muck to the latest version in Steam follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Steam client
  2. Select "Library" tab
  3. Right-click on the Muck game
  4. Select "Properties" from the list
  5. Select "Updates" tab
  6. Choose "Always Keep This Game Updated" feature

Now you can be sure that Steam will update your game every time a new batch of bug fixes is being released.

Verify Integrity of Your Game Files

If you don't want to re-install the whole game, and you are sure that your game is fully updated, then you can verify the integrity of your game files through Steam.

You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Go to your Steam client
  2. Select "Library" tab
  3. Right-click on the Muck game
  4. Select "Properties" from the list
  5. Go to "Local Files" tab
  6. Select "Verify Integrity of Game Files" feature

Wait for the process to finish, which could take several minutes. At the end you will receive a report log stating which files have been fixed.

Update Your Graphics Card Drivers

One of the most common reasons for game crashing is the old versions of graphics drivers. If you haven't updated your graphics cards drivers for some time, then it is recommended to start doing it regularly.

Follow these instructions to update nVidia graphics drivers:

  1. Download the latest nVidia graphics drivers from the official page
  2. Start the installation process
  3. Restart your PC when finished

Follow these instructions to update ATI Radeon graphics drivers:

  1. Download the latest ATI Radeon graphics drivers from the official page
  2. Start the installation process
  3. Restart your PC when finished

Update Your Windows System

Windows OS also requires regular updates for all features of the game to be playable. That's why you need to update it regularly to prevent game crashes.

You can update your Windows 10 by doing the following:

  1. Press the Start button
  2. Go to "Settings" tab
  3. Select "Update and Security" feature
  4. Select "Windows Update" feature
  5. Click on "Check for Updates" option

You can also make your Windows update automatically by selecting Automatic updates in the Advanced settings in the same window.

Turn off Antivirus and Firewall

At times antivirus and firewall programs may interfere with your games, especially the ones that need to be online, which is the case with Muck.

If you're running an in-build Windows Defender antivirus, then you can temporarily turn it off during the gameplay:

  1. Press the Start button
  2. Go to "Settings" tab
  3. Select "Update and Security" feature
  4. Go to "Windows Security" tab
  5. Select "Virus and Threat Protection" feature
  6. Go to "Manage Settings" option
  7. Set the real-time protection to OFF

You also need to temporarily disable the Windows firewall:

  1. Press the Start button
  2. Go to "Settings" tab
  3. Select "Update and Security" feature
  4. Go to "Windows Security" tab
  5. Select "Firewall and Windows Protection" feature
  6. Open "Windows Security" settings
  7. Switch the Microsoft Defender Firewall option OFF

When you're finished playing, you can switch both antivirus and firewall back on.

Run Muck as Administrator

Finally, you can start your Muck game as an administrator, which gives you all the permissions, so that none of the programs will interfere with your gameplay.

You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Go to your Steam client
  2. Select "Library" tab
  3. Right-click on the Muck game
  4. Go to "Manage" option
  5. Select "Add Desktop Shortcut" option
  6. Go to your desktop
  7. Right-click on the Muck icon
  8. Select "Run as Administrator" option

Hopefully, these tips helped you solve the Muck crashing issues. Check out other Muck game tips and tricks articles by following our dedicated guides page.

Muck: How to Beat Chief Tue, 10 Aug 2021 11:34:26 -0400 Serhii Patskan

In the latest update 1.3 for the survival game Muck, the developer introduced a new world boss simply named Chief. This boss carries a new weapon, the Chief's Spear, which he may drop after being defeated. This guide will provide you with tips on how to beat Chief in Muck.

If you manage to defeat this new enemy, you will not only earn special rewards but also unlock a new Chief achievement. In this guide, you will learn about the best armor, weapons, and upgrades that will help you beat Chief, as well as a complete breakdown of all his moves and tactics on how to avoid them.

Since Chief uses the strongest melee weapon in the game, the Chief's Spear, it is advisable to craft the strongest possible armor in the game before fighting this new boss

One of the latest Muck updates made it possible for players to craft a new type of armor made of Obamium ore, which is the best material for crafting the armor set that has the most defenses in the game.

Obamium armor can be crafted in an anvil using the following recipe:

  • Helmet: 5x Obamium bar
  • Chest: 15x Obamium bar
  • Legs: 15x Obamium bar
  • Shoes: 5x Obamium bar

The other best weapon in the game besides the Chief's Spear is the Night Blade, which is available inside the cave chests or through crafting. If you still haven't got one, then it is highly advisable to craft it using this recipe:

  • 1x Black Shard
  • 15x Dark Oak Wood
  • 10x Obamium bar

However, during a particular attack Night Blade might not be the best weapon against the Chief, so use a bow with arrows instead.

Currently, the best bow in Muck is the Ancient Bow, which can be crafted in the fletching table with the help of this recipe:

  • 1x Ancient Bone
  • 1x Rope

Ancient Bone can be found inside the free chest in the Fletcher's Hut or as a drop from the Gronk boss.

The best type of arrows that will deal the maximum amount of damage to Chief are Lightning arrows. These can be crafted with the help of:

  • 1x Lightning Ball
  • 1x Dark Oak Wood

Lightning Balls drop only from Lightning Dave mobs. If you can't find these, then use fire arrows instead.

In addition to the weapons and armor that you will need for the Chief boss fight, you also should stack up some of the following upgrades:

  • Crimson Dagger
  • Horseshoe
  • Juice
  • Adrenaline
  • Berserk
  • Sniper Scope

These upgrades are designed to boost your health and increase your critical hit chance, which is especially important against the buffed version of Chief.

Beat the Chief

Chief can be compared to the Gronk boss, as some of his attack patterns are similar. But he's also got his own tricks, so be prepared for all of them.

Once you summon Chief by interacting with his statue, you need to be aware of the following attack patterns:

  • Slam Attack. His standard attack involves him slamming his spear into the ground. This happens only in case you get too close to Chief, so keep a healthy distance and this won't bother you.
  • Twirl Attack. Chief will produce a strange sound that will signal to your his twirl attack. Then, he starts spinning and hitting anything that catches his spear. Just run backward and start shooting him with your bow until he stops spinning.
  • Leap Strike. You shouldn't run away from Chief too far either, as he will perform the leap strike attack when he jumps forward and slams his spear into the ground.
  • Spear Throw. This attack is very similar to Gronk's sword throw. All you can do is hide behind the trees and the rocks. If the spear catches you, it'll deal a lot of damage. Fortunately, you will have enough time to take cover.

You will have short windows between these attack patterns, which you can use to deal damage to Chief.

The Night Blade can kill him in just five direct hits, but if you're using the upgrades, then he can die in three. So stack up on those upgrades, and patiently wait for your attack windows. In no time, you will easily defeat Chief.


Once you beat the Chief boss, he will randomly drop the following items (including drop rates):

  • Coin: 50-100 (100%)
  • Oak Wood: 5-15 (40%)
  • Ancient Core (33%)
  • Dark Oak Wood: 5-15 (20%)
  • Spear Tip (10%)
  • Chief's Spear (2.5%)

That's all you need to know on how to beat the Chief boss in Muck. If you want to know more about Muck, then head over to our dedicated guides page.