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A whole new branch makes its appearance as early access ships. European destroyers sport powerful torpedoes and solid artillery, along with Repair Party consumable starting from Tier IV, thus compensating for the lack of Smoke Generator. Lead by two new officers, Conrad Helfrich and Stig Hansson Ericson, this line is ready to set sail. Those can be found, along with Jerzy Świrski, in European or regular Commander containers, or obtained for 900,000 Commander XP in the Store. Helfrich, however, being the starting Commander for Pan-European ships, will be awarded to players with their first such ship obtained.
The branch is going to be available through European regular or Big crates, with Guarantee system active for the latter, dropping Tier III-VI ships of the branch and the co-star of the Element of Choice campaign, Tier VII Premium destroyer Friesland, at certain amounts of containers opened (20 for Early Access ships, and 30 crates for Friesland). Friesland is also going to be available for purchase, for 750,000 Global XP points. Tier I Gryf and Tier II Romulus, on the other hand, will be unlockable for credits, while Tier VII Östergötland will be available with the start of the next update, simultaneously with the branch becoming researchable. Each Early Access ship (thus not including Gryf and Romulus) comes with a personal mission, rewarding in-game items.
The Pan-European destroyers content drop is also reinforced by a couple ships, precisely the famous and coveted Tier VI Premium destroyer Błyskawica coming back to the Store and the all-new Öland of the same Tier and type, that packs a punch as well!
Back to Belfast Campaign
Versatility is her second name: meet Belfast ’43! She’s a British Premium cruiser of Tier VII, sitting at the newest campaign peak. That’s a new variant of the famous cruiser, but the powerful ability of running Smoke Generator, Radar and Sonar consumables at the same time is still there. Prepare for agile playstyle, that is pretty much different from what you’re accustomed for while riding the waves in the original version of Belfast!
Belfast ’43 is obtainable with Admiralty Backing active after 100 milestones in 5 weeks with catch-up mechanic enabled. Alongside her players will be able to earn a ton of in-game items, such as crates, boosters, camouflages, and more.
3 Arena Seasons
A perfect opportunity to win some prizes, have fun, and test your skills: Arena seasons are here! Battles of 4 3-players teams (ship tiers are IV, V, and VI, respectively) with bonuses scattered around the map (no HP regeneration among them this time) and no carriers allowed: it sounds as good as it is.
Prizes are awarded after each season end, with the participants separated into six categories, depending on their results. The prize range includes Commander Progression items, crates, Steel and more in-game goods.
This update also serves as a testing ground for a new feature: the Auction. Players with at least 25 total games across all modes under their belts will be able to participate in blind bidding for exclusive lots with their doubloons or credits. The earlier the bid is made and the bigger it is, the bigger chance to get the desired item. Each bid may be revoked, and the funds remain locked until that happens or auction ends with awarding the winners with the items they bid for and returning the bid to all the other participants.
This time the lots include a set of Insignias, the rare Golden flag to fly proudly, and an all-new ship: German Tier III Premium battleship König Albert. The Auction is going to run for 4 days, from June 2 to June 6.
Spend the spring on the seas and turn the tide!World of Warships: Legends
Wargaming.net☆☆☆☆☆ 406 ★★★★★ Get it now Experience epic naval action in World of Warships: Legends, a global multiplayer free-to-play online game in which you can master the seas on the decks of history's greatest warships! Recruit Legendary Commanders, upgrade your vessels, and stake your claim to naval domination alongside and against players from around the world. FREQUENT UPDATES New content in the form of ships, Campaigns, Bureau Projects, events, and more arrive regularly! Each update brings new features to shake things up in-game. FEATURE RICH Develop Legendary warships such as Yamato from the ground up in the Bureau, compete in Ranked Battles seasons for exclusive patches and extra rewards, and finish epic Campaigns to gain powerful new ships! CHOOSE YOUR COMBAT STYLE Take control of over 120 destroyers, cruisers, and battleships—a range that's perfect for every playstyle, whether it be an all-guns-blazing approach, more careful and methodical attacks, or tactics that are unique to you. TURN THE TIDE IN EPIC 9V9 BATTLES Join forces with friends to challenge players around the world, and work together across consoles to devise strategies and plan attacks via voice chat. Cooperate to outgun your opponents and Turn the Tide of battle! World of Warships: Legends features loot boxes known as "containers" and "crates." These provide various items to boost your in-game progress Related:Slipknot vs. Zeus: Legendary Metal Band Enters the Battleground of the Gods in SmiteThe Latest Paladins Update Emerges from the ShadowsPlay Fortnite on iOS, iPadOS, Android Phones and Tablets, and Windows PC with Xbox Cloud Gaming for Free
May continues to rain in new content for EA Play members! Whether players are running the pitch in FIFA 22 in their Inter Milan “Made in Milano” Apparel or gearing up with the Close Shave Weapon Charm in Battlefield 2042, there’s new rewards for all types of gamers.
All the great content coming to EA Play in May can be found below:Grid Legends – EA Play May Event – May 1 to May 30NHL22 – World of Chel Bag – May 1 to May 31Madden NFL 22 – Draft Pack – Now to May 19FIFA 22 – FUT Season 6 XP Boost – Now to June 9FIFA 22 – Inter Milan ‘Made in Milano’ Apparel and Volta Coins – Now to June 9FIFA 22 – Hero Jorge Campos Tifo Set – May 1 to May 31Apex Legends – Shield Loading Screen – May 17 to June 13Battlefield 2042 – Close Shave Weapon Charm – May 1 to May 31
In addition to all these rewards, hockey fans can now skate onto the rink with NHL 22 on The Play List. But wait — there’s more with EA Play, as The Play List is home to a growing library of titles, including the recently added award-winning Lost in Random, the thrilling F1 2021 and dozens of other fan-favorite games.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Game Pass PC members, you get EA Play at no additional cost with your Game Pass subscription, so you can enjoy great player benefits, including in-game challenges and rewards, unlocking special member-only content, trials of select brand-new titles, access to a collection of our best-loved series and top titles, and save 10% on purchases of Electronic Arts digital content.Slipknot vs. Zeus: Legendary Metal Band Enters the Battleground of the Gods in SmiteComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Jurassic World Evolution 2, Sniper Elite 5, and MoreFall Guys Launching June 21 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S
Music and gaming have always been synonymous with each other, and when perfectly paired, the combo of audio and visual storytelling can often lead us to emotional and unforgettable experiences. From start screen nostalgia to sweaty palmed boss battle crescendos and watery eyed goodbyes, there’s a never-ending list of moments that continue to resonate with us long after the credits roll.
Often, those moments help to bring us together, too. Whether you’re empathizing with upvotes in r/eldenring or singing Halo acapella in a restroom with 25 of your closest friends, there’s joy in both shared experiences and in the discovery of new ones.
This May, as we continue the celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we wanted to offer up the opportunity for more discovery and a deeper connection to the APIHM community by inviting our friends in both music and gaming to share their favorites. Below, you’ll hear from artists signed to 88rising, as well as content creators we’ve featured in our Xbox Plays sessions earlier this month. There’s also a Spotify mixtape we put together that we think will be your new favorite playlist. We hope you enjoy what’s been shared as much as we enjoyed putting it together.88rising Artist – Stephanie Poetri
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?I’ve always been really into games, starting from those dress up and cooking Flash games on random websites, it’s always been my favorite pastime. I love that it kept me awake and active mentally. I especially love when I can use my creativity! Like building houses, farms and bases! My most memorable gaming moment would probably be when a bunch of my high school friends and I made a Minecraft server during school break, and we would go on everyday to create this huge village with a town hall and different areas. There was even some lore! It was so fun to hang out with my friends online without having to actually leave my room, and when we came back to school we had a bunch of inside jokes!
What are your favorite games of all time?I think the best game of all time for my play-style is Minecraft. The way it allows you to play in so many different ways, alone or with friends, is so amazing, and the fact that it always gets updated every year is so exciting. I always end up going back to it. I also really like The Sims, I used to always only build houses but recently I’ve started actually playing with the characters and I’m on my 5th generation! I also would like to highlight Apex Legends, Minecraft Dungeons, Stardew Valley, and PUBG!
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?The Minecraft home screen sound is probably the most nostalgic sound to me. I also love all of Stardew Valley‘s in-game music. I even listen to it sometimes when I have work to do. My favorite is probably “Dance of the Moonlight Jellies.” It is such a perfect tune to accompany the visuals of the scene and you can hear the sound of waves and it is just so serene. I will say they definitely inspired me to want to learn how to make music for games.88rising Artist – Ylona Garcia
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?What made me fall in love with gaming was how it served as a great way for me and my siblings to bond. Family is extremely important to me. We love getting together on our days off to play video games.
What are your favorite games of all time?I love Minecraft, Call of Duty: Black Ops (2, 3, and 4), Resident Evil, Guitar Hero, and the Batman Arkham video game series.
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?Batman Arkham City’s “Mercenary” by Panic! At The Disco and of course, my song “Entertain Me” which was actually included in the launch trailer of Valorant’s playable character Agent Neon. It was a really interesting experience being able to blend the worlds of gaming and my music together!88rising Artist – Elephante
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?The first games I was well and truly obsessed with were Diablo II and StarCraft — my parents ended up breaking the CDs because I was playing so much. I also would love playing Goldeneye and Super Smash Bros. with my friends on N64. My most memorable gaming moment ever though is probably beating the Taken King raid in Destiny 1 on hard mode with a group of homies on PS4. We spent like 8 hours on that, and finally clearing it was the most satisfying feeling ever.
What are your favorite games of all time?Right now, it’s Apex Legends and Legends of Runeterra. Diablo II, StarCraft, and the OG Super Smash Bros when I was a kid. Oh and of course Pokémon (Red gang gang).
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?Whenever I hear the Legend of Zelda theme, I’m 8 years old again. I loved Ocarina of Time – not only was the music incredible, I loved how they actually incorporated music into the gameplay, and really nailed how the music you learn in game gives you power.Creator – Yoojin
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?I really got invested into online gaming at a lonely point in my life, so I definitely really appreciate and love the social aspect of it – being able to connect with friends from all over the country, and the world through gaming! I think my most recent memorable gaming moment was hitting Masters for the first time in Apex Legends.
What are your favorite games of all time?Anything Pokémon really, Apex Legends, and Final Fantasy XIV.
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?The Littleroot Town theme from Pokémon Emerald really takes me back to my childhood, when I’d just be splayed on my bed happily starting my Hoenn adventure on my Nintendo DS. It just always makes me feel comfy and at home whenever I hear that track.Creator – Kiyoshi YoRHa
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?Zelda: Ocarina of Time holds a special place in my heart because me and my family would sit and play the game together. Sometimes they would let us stay up with them to finish some of the puzzles or watch a boss fight. The game itself was amazing too, there was really fun action combat, interesting characters, awesome scenery and incredible music!
What are your favorite games of all time?Coincidentally, Zelda: Majora’s Mask is absolutely one of my favorite games of all time. It was the first game I played that had an eerie and unsettling setting. As strange as it sounds it was really refreshing to play a game like that. It really kickstarted my love for other games that are similar, like Bloodborne.
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?The OST from Tunic, Dustforce, Celeste, Persona 5, Zelda: Majora’s Mask, and Bloodborne are all amazing video game music that I adore so much.Creator – Snowlit
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?Gaming has always been a part of my life since I was a kid – it just feels so natural. I remember playing Tetris on the original Game Boy, then moving on to Kirby Super Star and Super Mario World on the SNES. Super Mario 64 on the N64 and Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation were my first foray into 3D video games. My love for RPGs in general grew from there, when I dove into the rich worlds of Final Fantasy VIII through X-2, as well as Diablo II on PC. Fast forward to now, where I’ve completed dozens and dozens of games across various platforms, largely thanks to my 7+ year streaming career on Twitch. There are so many memorable gaming moments, from finishing my first solo Dark Souls playthrough at 295 deaths, to being moved to tears during Ori and the Blind Forest, to enjoying a no-VATS stealth sniper build in Fallout 4.
What are your favorite games of all time?My favorite games of all time are too many to list these days! But the ones that always come to mind when I’m asked include: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Final Fantasy VII (and Final Fantasy VII Remake), Ori and the Blind Forest, Bloodborne, Red Dead Redemption 2, Hollow Knight, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Yakuza 0.
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?The soundtrack to Final Fantasy VII/Remake is probably the most iconic for me. I had the fortune of attending the Final Fantasy VII Remake Orchestra World Tour earlier this year, and being able to experience a classic video game soundtrack through a live orchestra is absolutely phenomenal. Other noteworthy soundtracks include those from Dark Souls III, Bloodborne, Ori and the Blind Forest, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. I’ve found that the music from a game can stick with you for years and really adds to the whole of an enriching gaming experience.”Creator – Yoshi Sudarso
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?There are so many moments and reasons that I absolutely love gaming. But it ultimately boils down to two things, the friends I’ve made and the ability to jump into another world. I remember buying my very first handheld console w my brother and sharing it. We weren’t allowed to own one. So at night, we would take turns holding a flashlight while the other played under our covers.
What are your favorite games of all time?Digimon World, Ragnarok Online, Maplestory, Megaman X, Legends, Battle Network, Final Fantasy VII and VIII, PoyPoy, League of Legends, Pokémon Leaf Green, and Monster Rancher.
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?Digimon World, Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9, 10, Ragnarok Online, Kingdom Hearts, “Warriors” (ft. Imagine Dragons). My wife walked down the aisle to Final Fantasy VIII‘s “Eyes on Me” and now I hum it to my son for bedtime.Creator – AznSensation
What made you fall in love with gaming, and what are your most memorable gaming moments?For as long as I can remember, I have been playing video games, starting games like Street Fighter II and TMNT: Turtles in Time on SNES. I’ve had so many memories of gaming, and a lot of them have been saved on Twitch – but I remember very distinctly the first few days of Gears of War 3 launch. My friends and I all attended different universities, but we all picked that game up at midnight. We’d all skip our classes and chill over Xbox Live and earned every achievement of that game.
What are your favorite games of all time?Gears of War is by far my favorite franchise. Some honorable mentions: the Just Dance franchise – because it’s the last standing rhythm-based game on consoles, and For Honor for being one of the most unique combat games out there.
Is there game music or a game soundtrack that resonates with you or makes you feel nostalgic?I think the easy cop-out answer here would be to give praise to any Nintendo franchise or any of the Final Fantasy soundtracks, so I’m going to go with a curveball and say Saints Row: The Third. That game had handpicked tracks for specific moments of the game that made it feel cinematic. One moment you’re jammin’ to Kanye West jumping out of helicopters, and the next you’re fighting luchadores while listening to songs from “The Karate Kid.” When you’re not doing those things, you’re cruisin’ down the street with the homies listening to Sublime while singing lyrics to a song you didn’t know you knew the lyrics to. Honorable mention: Need For Speed: Underground. Let’s be real – everyone is following that playlist on Spotify. If you aren’t, I bet you’re about to go do it right now after reading this.”
Play. Connect. Impact: Learn more about all that Xbox and Microsoft are doing in celebration of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at our Xbox Community Hub and Microsoft’s AAPIHM Community Hub.
About 88rising: 88rising is the pioneering global music & media company representing the best of Asian talent. 88rising was the first company to launch an Asian-centric music festival in the United States (Head in the Clouds Music & Arts Festival – now in its fourth year), the first to have an Asian artist top the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts and Spotify’s Weekly Global Albums chart, and the first to launch an all-Asian radio channel reaching all of North America. In 2021, 88rising executive produced and curated the soundtrack to “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” – Marvel Studios’ first Asian-American superhero. In 2019, they were awarded Label of the Year by NetEase, one of the largest music streaming platforms in China. With over 160 million followers across global social media platforms and over 40 billion total streams and views, 88rising’s global influence is undeniable.Related:Xbox Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by Supporting API Game Creators and PlayersDolby Vision on the Apple TV App and Spotify Video Podcasts Coming to XboxComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Red Dead Online, Final Fantasy X/X-2, FIFA 21, and More
The mosh pit is in mid-lane of the Battleground of the Gods, thanks to the all-new Slipknot crossover event. Smite has partnered with the world-famous heavy metal band Slipknot to bring all nine band members in-game with a series of fantastic skins, available now for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Like all our crossover events in Smite, this was a labor of love. Many of our developers are “maggots” — the term for Slipknot faithful. But perhaps no one is as big of a fan as our Audio Lead Kellen Malone, who asked me to pass along this note:
“As a fan of Slipknot for over 22 years, working with Slipknot has truly been a surreal experience. Helping to put Slipknot and their music into Smite has been a passion project and a peak moment in my career that I will never forget. Slipknot went above and beyond with clown recording sounds that we incorporated into our sound effects. The Titan Forge team put in a monumental amount of effort to make this a reality and was worked on by many long-time Slipknot fans. Stay metal.”
This head-banging event lets you buy your favorite band member’s skin directly, be it Corey Taylor, clown, Sid Wilson, Craig Jones, Michael Pfaff, Jay Weinberg, Mick Thomson, Jim Root, or Alessandro Venturella. All items are also available in a chest. Unlock three cosmetics to get the Slipknot Music Theme and rock out on the battleground to snippets from the songs “Duality,” “Psychosocial,” and “The Devil In I.” There’s no better time to buy than now — a Gem Sale is live until May 30!
If you’ve got Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you can get started with the Slipknot Starter Pass for free! This Starter Pass includes the gods featured in the Slipknot event, their Voice Packs, a 30-Day Account Booster, and a Deal of the Day Token to help you get started in Smite as fast as possible.
For all our Xbox players, this update also brings a special surprise: Your first chance ever to play on the Classic Conquest map! This throwback to Smite’s earliest days, previously available only on PC, is now available as part of our new Smite Night feature. Every Saturday is now your night to play Smite; log in each Saturday to play featured game modes like Classic Conquest, get special free rewards, and so much more! Saturday is Smite Night, every week!
We’re also turning back the clock with the all-old Blast from the Past Battle Pass. You can finally unlock Trickster Loki on Xbox, just with your initial purchase. Then you can unlock up to three more skins that you choose! Pick from favorite skins that you may have missed in a previous Battle Pass — the choice is yours!
If you’re a ranked main, you’re in luck: Our biggest Conquest refresh yet is here! In addition to a huge balance pass that drastically changes how the game feels, the all-new Knight’s Keep map is here. This refresh brings a new Arthurian castle art set alongside Arthurian obelisks and offerings. The obelisks will grant you catapult siege pushers in lane, helping you to victory.
We can’t wait to head bang with you in Classic Conquest or Knight’s Keep!SMITE
Hi-Rez Studios☆☆☆☆☆ 1230 ★★★★★ Get it now Xbox One X Enhanced Enter the Battleground of the Gods Join 35+ million players in SMITE, the world’s most popular action multiplayer online battle arena. Become a legend of myth, enter the Battleground of the Gods, and play FREE now! 100+ Gods Unleash each deity’s unique strategies, legendary weapons, and earth-shattering powers. Rain lightning down upon your foes as Zeus, assassinate from the shadows as Loki, or transform and trick your foes as the Monkey King, Sun Wukong. Which God will you choose? Unique Perspective Unlike other MOBAs, SMITE puts you directly onto the battlefield with a third-person action viewpoint. From blind-side ambushes to aimed shots, a new pantheon of strategic possibilities awaits. Become Godlike Never played a battle arena before? Don’t worry. Auto-buy, auto-level, and the deathmatch-like Arena mode let you jump right into divine MOBA action. Aspiring pro? Top the ladders, join a competitive team, and you too could be playing at the SMITE World Championship. © 2012 – 2021 Hi-Rez Studios, Inc. "SMITE", "Battleground of the Gods", "Titan Forge Games", and "Hi-Rez Studios" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Hi-Rez Studios, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. All trademarks and copyright material are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved. TRANSFORMERS and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2021 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro. Related:World of Warships: Legends Spring Update is Now LiveCheck out May EA Play Member Rewards for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate MembersComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Jurassic World Evolution 2, Sniper Elite 5, and More
With the launch of Sniper Elite 5 fast approaching — available on day one with Xbox Game Pass — we want to showcase the accessibility features you can expect to find in the latest instalment of the award-winning series.
It’s important to us that as many people as possible can play our games and so we’ve worked hard to reduce barriers and make Sniper Elite 5 more approachable. We’re also aware of the importance of publicizing our features so you know if you can play before you buy. Without much further ado here are the upcoming accessibility features in Sniper Elite 5.Difficulty Customization
Everyone is an Elite as you can customize the difficulty to whatever suits you.
You’ll have five pre-set difficulty levels to choose from ranging from Civilian (Very Easy) to Authentic. Our new Civilian difficulty is our equivalent of a story mode with highly reduced combat, player damage, and enemy awareness, so we hope this will open the game up to players who found Sniper Elite 4 too challenging. In addition, you can customize the combat, sniping, and tactical aspects of the game independently to better suit you.
But difficulty customization doesn’t end there. In our Advanced Difficulty mode you can fine tune a huge range of specific elements to best suit your playstyle. From how much information is displayed on the radar to health regeneration and enemy AI behavior, you’ll be able to tailor the game to your capabilities.
Difficulty can also be changed at any time from the pause menu, so there’s no need to restart a mission if you find the challenge too high or low.Tutorials
Sniper Elite 5 introduces enhanced tutorial options. Not only do you have constant access to detailed tutorials (accessed from the pause menu) to help guide you through all the mechanics and enemies you may encounter, but we also have options for the frequency of tutorials and even an option to reset them. So, if you have a break and come back to the game or just need extra reminders, you can reset the tutorials and jump straight back in without having to play through an introductory level to get your bearings.Subtitles and Text
Sniper Elite 5 is fully voice acted and with that come subtitles. Our subtitle customization gives you the ability to change text size, color (from a range of pre-sets) and background opacity. All subtitles include speaker names too, so you’ll always know who’s talking.
In multiplayer we have a quick chat wheel with common shout outs – each of these are also voice acted and have subtitles displayed on screen.
Sniper Elite 5 also has some scaling options for text in menus and some HUD elements. Scaling for UI text is limited to small, medium, large sizes.Color Blindness Adjustments
We know our color blind players struggled with the Stealth system in Sniper Elite 4 as it relied heavily on color. So, to help fix that we’ve added color adjustments to SE5 for enemy awareness and location markers. You can now choose from four pre-defined color palettes; original and 3 color blind accessible variants.Customizable Audio Levels
We’ve separated out some audio channels so you can set them to whatever works best for you. Including individual sliders for hit feedback, dialogue and enemy awareness cues, you’ll be able to balance the sounds most important to you as you play. For multiplayer you can enable or disable voice chat and adjust the chat volume independently.
We also have a setting to adjust the Dynamic Audio Range, so that you can reduce the severity of loud noises like explosions. Finally, SE5 uses Spatial Audio to help you locate enemies around you and immerse you in the fight.Controls and Input
Anyone can be a Sniper, and with the huge range of Aim Assist options available you won’t have to worry about pinpoint accuracy if that’s not your thing. Aim Assist is also customizable by state, so you can have different aim assistance settings for firing from the hip, scoped and iron sights.
Sniper Elite 5 will also launch with full control remapping on mouse and keyboard. For gamepad users we have 6 pre-sets to choose from – three layouts each with left and right-handed variants. These left and right variants swap the stick functionality.
SE5 will also offer the standard sensitivity and axis inversion options.Accessibility First
The first time you launch the game you’ll be asked to do the usual set up, but you’ll also get a chance to change the accessibility settings and subtitle display right away before any cut scenes. This ensures that you can experience the game in a way that suits you from the get go.
A few visual settings we offer include support for reducing motion sickness, where you can disable Motion Blur and Binocular Distortion. And finally, everyone loves a kill cam, right? Well, not always. You’re free to turn off Kill Cameras or X-Rays whenever you like. So if gore isn’t something you’re keen on, you can play without fear of those incredibly graphic testicle shots!
Although we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved for Sniper Elite 5, we’re still at the start of our accessibility journey. We hope to release more accessibility features in updates and we want to hear from you – our players – about what barriers you face and what features would help you. Or is there something we have that doesn’t quite meet your needs? Get in touch with us on Twitter @Rebellion, join the conversation on our Discord, or through our Help Centre.Sniper Elite 5
Rebellion☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $59.99 Pre-order Continue the fight with thrilling extras when you pre-order Sniper Elite 5! Pre-order the Sniper Elite 5 Standard Edition to receive: • Target Führer: Wolf Mountain Campaign Mission The latest instalment in the award-winning series, Sniper Elite 5 offers unparalleled sniping, tactical third-person combat and an enhanced kill cam. Fight your way across the most immersive maps yet, with many real-world locations captured in stunning detail, and an improved traversal system that lets you explore more of them than ever before. France, 1944 – As part of a covert US Rangers operation to weaken the Atlantikwall fortifications along the coast of Brittany, elite marksman Karl Fairburne makes contact with the French Resistance. Soon they uncover a secret Nazi project that threatens to end the war before the Allies can even invade Europe: Operation Kraken. EXPANSIVE CAMPAIGN Many real-world locations have been captured using photogrammetry to recreate a living, immersive environment, and multiple infiltration and extraction points and kill list targets provide a whole new perspective on each mission. Take on the Nazi plot solo or work with a partner, with improved co-op mechanics allowing you to share ammo and items, give orders and heal each other. ADVANCED GUNPLAY PHYSICS AND TRAVERSAL Use ziplines, slide down slopes and shimmy along ledges to reach the perfect vantage point, or to sneak past a sharp-eyed lookout. Factor in rifle stock and barrel options along with gravity, wind and heart rate while you line up your sights on the target. HIGH CALIBRE CUSTOMISATION Use workbenches to customise and upgrade virtually every aspect of your weapon – change scopes, stocks, barrels, magazines and more. Rifles, secondaries and pistols all have a huge variety of options. On top of that you can select the ammo to suit your target, from armour-piercing right down to non-lethal. INVASION MODE – CAMPAIGN DROP IN PvP AND CO-OP Invade another player’s Campaign as an Axis sniper and engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse, providing a new dimension to the challenge as you stalk your prey. Alternatively, as Karl you can call for assistance and have a second sniper drop in to help you out of a tricky situation. TENSE ADVERSIAL MULTIPLAYER Customise your character and loadout and earn XP, medals and ribbons as you take on intensely competitive 16 player battles that will really test your sharpshooting skills. If co-op’s more your style, you can team up with up to 3 other players against waves of enemies in Survival mode. ENHANCED KILL CAM More realistic and grisly than ever, the trademark X-ray kill cam returns, showing you the true destructive power of each shot. Bones deflect bullets unpredictably, ripping a new path through enemy bodies. SMGs and pistols can also trigger kill cams, including multiple shots in dramatic slow motion. Sniper Elite 5 Deluxe Edition
Rebellion☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $89.99 Pre-order Pre-order the Sniper Elite 5 Deluxe Edition to receive: • P.1938 Suppressed Pistol The Sniper Elite 5 Deluxe Edition includes: • Base Game • Season Pass One Season Pass One comes fully loaded with: • 2 Campaign Missions • 6 Weapon Packs • 2 Weapon Skin Packs • 2 Character Skin Packs • Target Führer – Wolf Mountain The latest instalment in the award-winning series, Sniper Elite 5 offers unparalleled sniping, tactical third-person combat and an enhanced kill cam. Fight your way across the most immersive maps yet, with many real-world locations captured in stunning detail, and an improved traversal system that lets you explore more of them than ever before. France, 1944 – As part of a covert US Rangers operation to weaken the Atlantikwall fortifications along the coast of Brittany, elite marksman Karl Fairburne makes contact with the French Resistance. Soon they uncover a secret Nazi project that threatens to end the war before the Allies can even invade Europe: Operation Kraken. EXPANSIVE CAMPAIGN Many real-world locations have been captured using photogrammetry to recreate a living, immersive environment, and multiple infiltration and extraction points and kill list targets provide a whole new perspective on each mission. Take on the Nazi plot solo or work with a partner, with improved co-op mechanics allowing you to share ammo and items, give orders and heal each other. ADVANCED GUNPLAY PHYSICS AND TRAVERSAL Use ziplines, slide down slopes and shimmy along ledges to reach the perfect vantage point, or to sneak past a sharp-eyed lookout. Factor in rifle stock and barrel options along with gravity, wind and heart rate while you line up your sights on the target. HIGH CALIBRE CUSTOMISATION Use workbenches to customise and upgrade virtually every aspect of your weapon – change scopes, stocks, barrels, magazines and more. Rifles, secondaries and pistols all have a huge variety of options. On top of that you can select the ammo to suit your target, from armour-piercing right down to non-lethal. INVASION MODE – CAMPAIGN DROP IN PvP AND CO-OP Invade another player’s Campaign as an Axis sniper and engage in a deadly game of cat and mouse, providing a new dimension to the challenge as you stalk your prey. Alternatively, as Karl you can call for assistance and have a second sniper drop in to help you out of a tricky situation. TENSE ADVERSIAL MULTIPLAYER Customise your character and loadout and earn XP, medals and ribbons as you take on intensely competitive 16 player battles that will really test your sharpshooting skills. If co-op’s more your style, you can team up with up to 3 other players against waves of enemies in Survival mode. ENHANCED KILL CAM More realistic and grisly than ever, the trademark X-ray kill cam returns, showing you the true destructive power of each shot. Bones deflect bullets unpredictably, ripping a new path through enemy bodies. SMGs and pistols can also trigger kill cams, including multiple shots in dramatic slow motion. Related:Umurangi Generation Special Edition Available Today with Game PassLittle Witch in the Woods (Game Preview) Available TodayComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Jurassic World Evolution 2, Sniper Elite 5, and More
Ogre is the official adaptation of the legendary and multi-award-winning wargame from Steve Jackson games, and it’s coming to Xbox!
Ogre is a turn-based strategy game full of mechanised warfare which requires tactical decision-making and lots of strategic thinking. Here are six reasons to play Ogre now that it’s out on Xbox.Learn the World of Ogre
In the near future, there’s a warfare where one type of unit inspires such fear that even allies keep a safe distance: the Ogre. AI-powered, cybernetic tanks, that are so powerful they are the equivalent of a battalion of tanks and infantry.
Hovercrafts, tanks, marines, infantry, and the Ogres themselves, all take part in an endless world war. As the player, you’ll take command and compete for dominance on the irradiated battlefields of the future.Sharpen Your Strategy
Choose which units you want to include in your ultimate team, where to position them, and which attacks will work best against your enemy. Roll dice to determine how successful your decisions are going to be, and watch your tactics unfold in front of your very eyes.Multi-Award-Winning Game
From classic and beloved boardgame to PC game, the official adaptation of Ogre is now coming to Xbox. Fans and veterans of the game will be at home right away with the adaptation to Xbox, and fresh players will find their new favourite, deeply rewarding, turn-based strategy game.Time-Tested and Compelling Gameplay
The tabletop game has withstood the test of time for over 40 years, captivating players on tabletop and PC. Now it’s your turn to be captivated on Xbox! This release is the definitive Xbox version of Ogre, which includes the expanded G.E.V. rules for even more variety.
The PC version released in 2017 was the first ever digital adaptation since 1986, and since then we’ve been working hard to make it the best it can be, and to bring it to Xbox.Huge Variety of Units and Scenarios
You’ll be able to build your own faction with a whole host of different types of units. From Light, Superheavy, and Missile Tanks, G.E.V.s, Infantry, Marines, Howitzers, and Ogres (Mark I – Mark VI). Make your dream unit and utilise trains and command posts as you see fit. Roll your way through many types of terrain, across bodies of water, and make use of defensive areas to shield your units from attack. Play your own way in a variety of different ways.Playable Again and Again
Will you play as the North American Combine, or the Pan European Federation? The choice is entirely yours to make as many times as you want, with whatever units you want. Ogre’s AI will throw curveballs each time you play, so expect the unexpected even when you think you’ve figured it out! With so many ways to play, plus getting all of those achievements, Ogre is playable again and again.
Explore the world of Ogre yourself, it’s out now on Xbox!Ogre: Console Edition
Auroch Digital☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $22.49 Get it now Ogre is a turn-based strategy game of mechanised warfare, requiring tactical decision-making and strategic thinking. It's the official video game adaptation of the legendary tabletop wargame from Steve Jackson Games, developed by the award-winning Auroch Digital. In the warfare of the near future, one type of unit inspires such fear that even allies keep a safe distance: the Ogre. These AI-powered tanks are so powerful they're the equivalent of a battalion of tanks and infantry. Hovercraft, tanks, marines, infantry, and the monstrous Ogres all take part in an endless world war. As a player, you take command and vie for supremacy on the irradiated battlefields of the future. Related:Join the UNTURNED Beta on Xbox One beginning August 4th!A New Microsoft Store Experience is Coming to Xbox InsidersCrossfireX Open Beta Begins June 25, Play 3 Days Early Starting Today
Join us this weekend for the next Indie Live Expo where we’ll showcase a great batch of indie games for fans worldwide. You can check out the livestream on May 21 and 22 on two shows, simulcast in English, Japanese, and Chinese on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and other platforms to be announced. To celebrate the event, we are also setting up a sale on great ID titles with the Indie Live Expo Sale on the Xbox Store.
Indie Live Expo is a digital showcase series connecting indie game fans worldwide which has a combined more than 42.5 million viewers across four shows to date.
The live streaming event will take place across two shows, simulcast in English, Japanese, and Chinese on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, and other platforms to be announced. Day1: Let’s Play will spotlight current indie games that fans can play today, including information and a focus on gameplay footage. Day2: Premiere will feature world premieres of brand-new, unannounced games, and new information on previously announced games, along with an “Indie Studios Around the World” feature with live performances.
Here’s a sample of what we have on sale.
Deeer Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game: Take on the role of your average, everyday deer. Use your stretchy neck, your stabby horns, and everything a deer has in its arsenal to tear through the city. Frolic and play with the other animals or decimate the city till there’s nothing left in this “slow-life town destruction game.”
Imagine Earth: A real-time planet simulation and a build-up strategy game. Your job as a space colony manager is to explore and populate distant planets. Build thriving and profitable colonies on a global scale and trade resources and goods into space.
Coffee Talk: A game about listening to people’s problems and helping them by serving up a warm drink out of the ingredients you have in stock. It depicts lives as humanly as possible, while having a cast that is more than just humans. Immerse yourself in the stories of alternative-Seattle inhabitants, ranging from a dramatic love story between an elf and a succubus, an alien trying to understand humans’ lives, and many others modern readers will find strongly echo the world around them.
Bright Memory: A lightning-fast fusion of the FPS and action genres, created by one-man development studio Fyqd using Unreal Engine. Combine a wide variety of skills and abilities to unleash dazzling combo attacks.
This is the first sale in collaboration with a Japanese indie game event. Please check out the Indie Live Expo official site for more information. Stay tuned until the day of the event on May 21 and 22, playing the games participating in this sale!Related:
Immerse yourself in realistic combat gameplay and the vast terrain of the idyllic island of Everon, or even create your own! With Arma Reforger (Game Preview), players experience a fight for supremacy over 51 km2 of stunning landscape in an authentic Cold War setting.
Live the thrill and intensity of Arma’s realistic battle on Xbox for the very first time. This standalone, multiplayer sandbox serves as a steppingstone on the road to Arma 4 and offers a sneak peek of what’s to come.
Powered by Bohemia Interactive’s proprietary Enfusion engine, Arma Reforger showcases exhilarating gameplay while offering powerful modding tools that enable players to create assets, design scenarios, change gameplay mechanics, and alter battles in real time. Console owners can download unique content from modders around the world, allowing them to play an infinite variety of scenarios.
Multiplayer, Military Careers, and Persistent Player Profiles
Arma Reforger (Game Preview) offers a seamless multiplayer experience via two distinct game modes. The first is Conflict, which enables players to join others online and experience realistic Cold War combat, fighting for the island of Everon in a massive, open-world terrain as a soldier of the US or Soviet Army. Capture strategic positions, dominate the battlefield, and work in tandem with others to secure objectives in a dynamic and unforgiving environment that features weapons and vehicles authentic to the period, recreated in meticulous detail.
The second multiplayer game mode is called Game Master, which is as powerful as its name suggests. Game Master is an easy, user-friendly tool that allows players to create various scenarios, manage events as they unfold, and guide other players through curated experiences via Reforger’s real-time scenario editor.
Enjoy Shared Content and Help Shape Arma’s Future
As mentioned above, Game Master mode offers access to a dynamic, no-holds-barred editor that can create and / or manage in-game scenarios in real time. Designed for newcomers and Arma veterans alike, this curative, mod-compatible game mode offers a responsive battleground where anything can happen. You also can enjoy other people´s mods! Play their scenarios or deploy assets from them. Players can explore the Workshop and filter created content using various criteria like rating, content type, genre, and more. There’s no need to reload the game if you want to join a modded server; simply join the server where your desired mod is located and enjoy!
Arma Reforger (Game Preview) is just the beginning for Bohemia Interactive and its renowned series; a platform that serves as a steppingstone on the road to Arma 4 and offers an exciting glimpse of the bright future ahead. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Arma’s players: the chance to test Arma’s approach, gameplay, and infrastructure and to shape what comes next for Arma 4 and the series as a whole.Arma Reforger (Game Preview)
Bohemia Interactive a.s.☆☆☆☆☆ 132 ★★★★★ $29.99 Get it now Free Trial This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. Powered by the new Enfusion engine, Arma Reforger lets you fight for supremacy over 51 km2 of incredible island terrain in authentic Cold War setting, or create unique scenarios in real-time with the Game Master curation mode. Return to Everon, the war-driven microstate from the hit game that started it all, Arma: Cold War Assault. Arma Reforger is a first step towards Arma 4 and a versatile platform, offering a glimpse of things to come. Everon Return to Everon, a 51 km² mid-Atlantic island in the Malden archipelago. Revisit familiar locales from Operation Flashpoint and revel in the natural beauty of a massive open-world; a stunning landscape of pine and broadleaf forests, flowing rivers, ponds, idyllic towns, and austere mountains, surrounded by pebble beaches and rocky coastlines. Conflict Join players online and experience realistic Cold War combat as a US or Soviet Army soldier. Capture strategic positions, dominate the battlefield, and work with others to secure objectives in a dynamic, unforgiving environment. With a selection of period-authentic weapons and vehicles, recreated in meticulous detail, Arma Reforger's multiplayer game mode returns you to war. Game Master Control events, create unique missions, and guide players towards victory in Game Master — or submit yourself to the challenges devised by all powerful creators and fight your way through a responsive sandbox where anything can happen. Workshop Expand the game with original modded content from other creators! Download mods from the The Workshop, Bohemia Interactive's own integrated, repository service, and enrich your game with new assets or scenarios. Multiplatform Deploying on both Xbox and PC for the very first time in the Arma series, Arma Reforger's modded content is now available to all and can be downloaded by console owners from the Workshop, a content creation sharing repository, exclusive to the game. Multiplayer Curate events for friends behind the fog of war as Game Master in Arma Reforger's real-time scenario editor or team up and go head-to-head with others across a sprawling island terrain in Conflict. Related:Grounded Brings a Not-So-Itsy Spider and More Shrooms to the BackyardGrounded Insects Take FlightGrounded Content Update: Ziplines, Hedges, and Pumpkins, Oh My!
Umurangi Generation Special Edition — available today for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S with Game Pass — lets you delve into a world where disasters have painted the sky red. Playing as a member of the Umurangi Generation (Te Reo Maori for last generation), you work as a courier for the Tauranga Express who is also an avid photographer. Zip around town capturing these last moments of life on Earth as disaster unravels around you, with each stage taking you closer to the end of the world.
Take pictures however you would like, using a variety of lenses and filters to make your photo capturing potential limitless. Use this freedom of expression to take all kinds of photos, using the objectives as a guide to progress through these war times.
Umurangi Generation focuses on player expression and creative output as part of the game’s core design philosophy where objectives can be completed in thousands of different ways — we’ve seen players find many creative ways of taking a Photo Bounty that we never could have imagined.
This game was inspired by games like Jet Set Radio and Pokémon Snap. It is also particularly made with people who enjoy photography, or retro style art from the early 2000s. This thematic title also boasts great music, letting you settle into the world and become immersed in the life of the Umurangi Generation.
The Umurangi Generation theme came from the developers’ experience of the bushfires in Australia. The roaring fires that painted the skies red were seen as a dystopian omen of the destruction the Earth was experiencing, juxtaposed by the news and politicians brushing off the situation as the “new normal.”
Welcome to the world of the Umurangi Generation Special Edition, available to play today with Game Pass.Umurangi Generation Special Edition
PLAYISM☆☆☆☆☆ 79 ★★★★★ $24.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Umurangi Generation is a first-person photography game set in the retro future. Set in Tauranga, Aotearoa off the back of an impending crisis, major cities are walled off, with the United Nations deploying the military and towering mecha to defend against an alien invasion. From fighter jets beaming overhead, the sound of constant gunfire and wounded soldiers to the advertising boards in-game, everything you see provides more context to the daily lives of those in Tauranga. Despite all of that, life goes on… People go to work, party to escape reality, complain about the government and the inequalities between the poor and the rich… As a courier for the Tauranga Express, you get to travel around Tauranga taking pictures and documenting the world and its reality through the lenses of your camera. Throughout the game, you will unlock a variety of lenses and equipment. *This version contains both the full PC version, its DLCs, as well as some additional modes. ▼ Unique and expressive grading system Each photo you take is judged on its color, content and composition. Taking a photo will net you a cash score, which will go towards your final payout. Complete Photo Bounties any way you like. Once you've completed these bounties, deliver the parcel to finish the level. ▼ Exploration bonuses on each level New equipment for your camera is unlocked by finding film canisters, recreating postcards, fulfilling timed deliveries, and finding a way to fit all of your friends in one photo. ▼ Full creative control Edit your photos and develop your unique color grade. The tools in the game are flexible enough that you can touch up your photos to look better than when you took them. If you are an experienced photographer, you’ll fit right in. If this is your first time, you’ll be on your journey in no time. ▼ Speed run and creative modes The game offers replayability through two special play modes. The speed run mode tests your gaming skills and is perfect for those up for a challenge. The creative mode, on the other hand, gives you full control over the creative side to achieve that perfect snap, sure to satisfy those of you avid photographers out there. ▼ What is an 'Umurangi'? Umurangi is the Te Reo word for Red Sky. Related:Scoping Out the Accessibility Features of Sniper Elite 5Little Witch in the Woods (Game Preview) Available TodayComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Jurassic World Evolution 2, Sniper Elite 5, and More
I am very pleased to announce the Little Witch in the Woods is available today as part of the Xbox Game Preview program.
My colleagues and I have had numerous contemplations and experienced many trials and errors to present you with a better experience and will continue to do so. We hope that you would enjoy the daily life of a witch and feel happiness through the Little Witch in the Woods.
Experience Being an Apprentice Witch
The game Little Witch in the Woods is about the life of Ellie the witch. Witches live together at Lucerin Ortu, where they build houses for witches all over the world, dispatching witches to help villagers living nearby. Apprentice witches at the magic school are dispatched to the Witch’s House, serving as an apprentice witch under the owner witch.
You will become Ellie the new apprentice witch, starting the daily life of a witch. You will not be good at everything from the very beginning. But that’s okay. The many mistakes you make will make you grow. Helping those in need of help and solving the problems you are facing, you will find yourself growing into an amazing witch.
Engage in Activities to Become a Formal Witch
Wandering in the forest, you will meet many creatures, record them in the witch’s book, and collect ingredients. If you process and mix the collected ingredients well according to the recipe, you will be able to make stunning potions. Use the potions you’ve made to solve many different problems and enjoy daily life as a witch. If you’ve solved a big problem, you will be able to feel greatly rewarded as you fall asleep at night.
Meet villagers from the village near the Witch’s House. Become friends with villagers with different personalities and listen to their stories. If they are having trouble with something, help them with their trouble. Your little help will become someone’s great pleasure.
Stay Tuned for More Activities
Because what we are presenting is only a preview at this point, there will be more contents filled in the game in the future. Since our plans in life are often changed by unexpected happenings, we are sometimes afraid of sharing our blueprint. But despite such risks, we would like to share some promises that we would like to keep with you.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article. More than anything, we hope that the world and the characters presented in the game Little Witch in the Woods would be able to present you with happy experiences.Little Witch in the Woods (Game Preview)
SK telecom☆☆☆☆☆ 67 ★★★★★ $15.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Free Trial This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. "Play a little witch's daily life as apprentice" In the 'LUCEREIN ORTU', witches live together. They built 'Witch House' in various areas and have been sending their apprentice witches there. The apprentice witches must go to the one of the 'Witch's Houses' and help the nearby village and villagers. If you complete your apprenticeship successfully, you can become a formal witch. Become Ellie the Apprentice Witch and experience her daily life! "Experience various stories" Become the main character, Ellie, and proceed with the story so that you can complete your apprenticeship successfully. Practice the teachings you learned at the Witch School, help people and make the world a better place. Make friends with the charming characters in village, and listen to the inner story they bear. If you can be their best friend, you maybe hear their secret. "Enjoy explore and witchcraft" Gather and Process materials to create potions! The potions are useful in solving problems. Explore a mysterious fantasy world. You can find unique areas, and you can meet cute creatures there. Interact with various creatures and fill in the information in the witch's book! Find a hidden place! You can get special items or find shortcuts there. "Have leisurely daily life" Chat with new friends and find out their tastes. If you give them a gift that suits their taste, you will be able to get closer to your friends more quickly. The witch and the cat are inseparable partnerships historically. Communicate with cats living in various places. Their each personality will be as different as appearances. If you have a fateful encounter with a cat, the cat may want to spend every day with you. Sometimes you can fish and enjoy the peace. A relaxing rest will give you the energy to go on a vigorous adventure the next day. Related:Scoping Out the Accessibility Features of Sniper Elite 5Umurangi Generation Special Edition Available Today with Game PassComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Jurassic World Evolution 2, Sniper Elite 5, and More
Fly throughout the historic cities of Rome and Venice, soar above Mediterranean coastlines, and navigate sheer-faced peaks, all rendered in lifelike realism with World Update IX: Italy & Malta. The Microsoft Flight Simulator team has refined this area with the latest geospatial data available, including digital elevation modeling, aerial and satellite imagery, and triangulated irregular network (TIN) modeling of 20 cities, including Rome, Naples, Venice, and Milan.
World Update IX includes:Four handcrafted airports:Palermo Airport (LICJ) in SicilySondrio Airport (LILO) in the southern TyrolMarina di Campo Airport (LIRJ) on Elba IslandBolanzo Airport (LIPB) in the southern TyrolEnhanced detail of 100 other airports94 points of interest in Italy11 points of interest in MaltaThree bush tripsThree discovery flightsThree new landing challenges.
World Update IX: Italy is available free today to all Microsoft Flight Simulator owners. Ensure that your simulator is updated, download World Update IX, and explore the beauty and intrigue that Italy & Malta have to offer from above. The sky is calling!
Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update IX: Italy & Malta is available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming.Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases Famous Flyer #2, the Granville Brothers Gee Bee Model Z and Model R-2Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases New Aircraft in the “Local Legends” Series Today with Dornier Do J WalMicrosoft Flight Simulator Releases World Update VIII: Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and Andorra
Hey friends, please act surprised, we have even more games coming to Game Pass! For a real surprise – we have five games coming so soon that it’s literally today soon! Charge your controllers, plug in your mouse, fire up your second monitor, and let’s look at what is coming to your playlist for the rest of May.Available Today
Her Story (PC) ID@XboxThe game that relaunched an entire genre, Her Story is the award-winning mystery game from Sam Barlow, writer/designer of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and creator of Telling Lies. In this nonlinear crime fiction classic, a woman is interviewed seven times by the police. Search the video database and explore hundreds of authentic clips to discover her story.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 (Cloud, Console, and PC)Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to Frontier’s highly successful Jurassic World Evolution, building upon the ground-breaking and immersive 2018 management simulation. It introduces a compelling new campaign and Chaos Theory Modes, range of new features, customization options and awe-inspiring new dinosaurs that include flying and marine reptiles.
Little Witch in the Woods (Game Preview) (Console and PC) ID@XboxAvailable on day one with Game Pass: Little Witch in the Woods tells the story of Ellie, an apprentice witch. Explore the mystical forest, help the charming residents, and experience the daily life as a little witch.
Skate (Cloud) EA PlayHead back to where it all began in Skate, available today with cloud gaming via EA Play! Get chased by security guards, impress citizens, ride with pros, discover skate shops, and make spots your own in this fully reactive city!
Umurangi Generation Special Edition (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@XboxAvailable on day one with Game Pass: Umurangi Generation is a first-person photography sandbox set in the retro future city of Tauranga, Aotearoa during an impending crisis. As a courier for the Tauranga Express, you get to travel around Tauranga taking pictures and documenting the world and its reality through the lenses of your camera.Coming Soon
Farming Simulator 22 (Cloud, Console, and PC) – May 19Farming Simulator 22 brings a multitude of new gameplay features and offers more content and player freedom than ever before, including new ground working features like mulching or stone picking, an improved build-mode adding greenhouses and beehives, as well as a new character creator to bring your own, individual farmer to life.
Vampire Survivors (PC) ID@Xbox – May 19Jump straight into the action, mow down thousands of night creatures, and survive until dawn! The gothic-horror world of Vampire Survivors will throw relentless hordes of monsters at you: make the right choices, or rely on your skills and favorite weapons to turn the tide and quickly snowball against your enemies
Floppy Knights (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – May 24Available on day one with Game Pass: Floppy Knights is a fresh take on two familiar genres: tactics fused with card-game strategy. Join Phoebe and Carlton, a brilliant young inventor & her robot-arm bestie, as they square off in turn-based battles. Build the perfect deck, execute seamless card combos, and lead your Floppy Knights to victory!
Hardspace: Shipbreaker (PC) ID@Xbox – May 24Available on day one with PC Game Pass: Equipped with cutting-edge salvaging tech, carve and slice a variety of derelict spaceships at will in zero-g to recover valuable materials. Be careful with your tools: you don’t want to trigger an explosive chain reaction that could be deadly, or worse – costly! Upgrade your gear to take on more lucrative contracts to pay your debt to LYNX Corporation through a compelling campaign, relax in freeplay, or compete in timed challenges.
Sniper Elite 5 (Console and PC) ID@Xbox – May 26Available on day one with Game Pass: The award-winning series returns with unparalleled sniping, tactical third-person combat and an enhanced kill cam. Fight your way across the most immersive maps yet, with many real-world locations captured in stunning detail, and an improved traversal system that lets you explore more of them than ever before.
Cricket 22 (PC) ID@Xbox – May 27Step on to the field for the most comprehensive cricket game ever with PC Game Pass! With more licenses, a narrative-driven career mode, and 4K visuals, Cricket 22 is a true next-generation sporting experience. All-new control options make the game more accessible to players of all skill levels, while Big Ant Studios’ authentic recreation of every aspect of the sport provides hundreds of hours of hyper-realistic cricket action for fans. Lead your team to glory, your way!
Pac-Man Museum+ (Cloud, Console, and PC) – May 27Available on day one with Game Pass: Pac-Man Museum+ features 14 of the series’ legendary games! Players can enjoy the iconic original arcade classic alongside a variety of other play styles from over 40 years of Pac-Man history! Also includes online leaderboards and the ability to customize your very own virtual arcade room! Plus, Ultimate members can play with cloud gaming and touch controls on day one, no controller needed!Game Updates
Grounded: The Bugs Strike Back Update – Available nowYou’ve been in the backyard for a while, and the bugs have had enough! Prepare for new base defense modes, new armor upgrades, additional crafting items and traps, an all-new bestiary system, and even more to discover when the bugs strike back! Learn more here.Xbox Touch Controls Added to 11 More Games
Ultimate members, we’ve added Xbox Touch Controls to 11 more games ready to play from the cloud today. Jump in on the Xbox app for Windows PCs, Xbox Game Pass mobile app on Android devices, or Xbox.com/play on your Windows PCs and Apple phones and tablets, no controller needed!A Memoir BlueContrastDanganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary EditionEiyuden Chronicle: RisingFar: Changing TidesKentucky Route ZeroLoot RiverParadise KillerTainted Grail: ConquestTownscaperVisage Leaving May 31
The following games will be leaving the Game Pass library soon, so be sure to jump back in to tie up any loose ends or grab remaining achievements before they go. As always, be sure to use your membership discount to save up to 20% to keep them in your library.EA Sports NHL 20 (Console)Farming Simulator 19 (Cloud, Console, and PC)Knockout City (Console and PC) EA PlayResident Evil 7 Biohazard (Cloud, Console, and PC)Spellforce 3: Soul Harvest (PC)Superhot Mind Control Delete (Cloud, Console, and PC)Yes Your Grace (Cloud, Console, and PC)
The only thing left to do while we wait for these games is to follow us on Twitter at @XboxGamePass and @XboxGamePassPC. Maybe send along your go-to Vampire Survivors build so I can make it past 5 minutes? Catch you next time!Related:Check out May EA Play Member Rewards for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate MembersSlipknot vs. Zeus: Legendary Metal Band Enters the Battleground of the Gods in SmiteScoping Out the Accessibility Features of Sniper Elite 5
Listen up, Beans! Fall Guys is launching Season 1: Free for All on June 21 alongside its launch for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S! We here at Fall Guys HQ are so excited that all the hard work has paid off — and we think all you Xbox folks will be, too.
For the Fall Guys initiated, we’ve had six seasons of ludicrous mayhem together since 2020. We’re so pleased that starting June 21, more players than ever are going to join the Blunderdome to compete for the ultimate prize: the Crown. We’ve been beavering away behind the scenes to guarantee that everyone, from veterans and newcomers, enjoys the same great Fall Guys experience on Xbox.
Better still, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members are in for a tasty treat. We’ve masterminded three exclusive costume rewards for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members via Perks—Robo Rabbit, Coconut Milk, and Purple Hipster—and we’ll be making one available each month for the first three months. That’s right:
June, you get an exclusive costume!
July, you get an exclusive costume!
August, you get the picture, let’s move on…
From an adorable android Robo Rabbit to the colorfully cool Purple Hipster costume, every one of our new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Rewards costumes is bound to make an impression on the obstacle course. Ultimate members can go claim these exclusive skins starting on June 21 via the Perks gallery on their Xbox console.
Pre-register your interest in Fall Guys Season 1: Free for All now. By helping us hit the pre-registration milestones you can unlock some amazing rewards! Anything from the Keen Bean nameplate to the incredible Melonhead costume. All unlocked milestone rewards will be awarded to everyone that pre-registers, for more information, please visit Fall Guys Pre-Registration.
So, to recap:Fall Guys is going free on June 21.Fall Guys is coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S that same day.Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members get three of our best costumes ever.You can wishlist the game right now on the Xbox Store.June21Woooooo
If only it was free to speed up time… See you on the flip side, Beans.Related:Check out May EA Play Member Rewards for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate MembersSlipknot vs. Zeus: Legendary Metal Band Enters the Battleground of the Gods in SmiteComing Soon to Xbox Game Pass: Jurassic World Evolution 2, Sniper Elite 5, and More
The title of the world's most valuable company no longer belongs to Apple, and the crown hasn't passed back to previous record holders Microsoft, Google, or Amazon. Saudi Aramco, the world's largest crude oil exporter, took the top spot from the tech giant. It was ranked 4th most valuable company last year, and is 94% owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (which weirdly also owns most of SNK).
According to a report in the Financial Times, Apple lost its position despite being the first company to hit a $3 trillion market value back in January.
Apple has sustained losses of 19%, and its share prices fell to $146 (the lowest since November 2021) after hitting the $3 trillion mark. Currently, Apple is valued at $2.37 trillion. Aramco managed to squeak past it at a $2.43 trillion market value. Apple is still the most valuable US company, with Microsoft coming in at $1.95 trillion.
Apple CEO Tim Cook blames supply shortages and Covid-related lockdowns in China for costing the company at least $8 billion this quarter alone. Despite those challenges, Apple still managed to have its third best quarter ever in revenue.
Shares for Saudi Aramco have risen nearly 30% since the new year. Skyrocketing oil prices have only helped the Crown-owned energy company: this quarter alone has seen an 82% increase in profits from last year at around $40 billion dollars.
The current price of a barrel of oil is $139, the highest in 14 years, and countries that have turned away from Russian oil since its invasion of Ukraine are increasingly buying from Saudi Arabia.Cooling off
(Image credit: Cooler Master, EKWB)
It makes sense to see tech companies take a hit while energy companies score record profits, especially during these turbulent times. But Apple may easily retake its crown once supply chain issues are resolved. "You can't compare Apple to Saudi Aramco in terms of their businesses or fundamentals, but the outlook for the commodity space has improved," James Meyer, CIO at Tower Bridge Advisors, told Bloomberg. "They're the beneficiaries of inflation and tight supply."
There's really nothing quite like an adventure by Amanita Design, makers of memorable and beloved games like Samorost and Machinarium. So I'm sure I'm not the only one thrilled to see the Czech indie collective has just announced a new game. It's called Phonopolis, and the "hand-crafted adventure" will be the studio's first dive into full 3D graphics. Check out the beautiful and intriguing (but painfully brief) teaser above.
In Phonopolis "players will take on the role of Felix, a thoughtful young man who, along with his fellow citizens, faces the imminent threat of falling under the control of the dystopian city’s authoritarian Leader once and for all, effectively losing their humanity," reads the press release from Amanita Design.
If that plot summary sounds a bit political in nature, you're correct—hell, the press release even includes a quote from George Orwell's 1984, and the game will explore a number of different themes like "constructivism, futurism, or suprematism, and their societal impact as a tool of propaganda." While that all sounds pretty heavy, Amanita Design says it's "still keeping the overall experience playful and light-hearted."
Hand-crafted isn't an exaggeration, either—the game is genuinely being painted and assembled in the real world out of corrugated fiberboard, and then photographed and uploaded. "Even though the game is being developed within a 3D engine, we’re still hand-crafting as many assets as we can. All textures are painted on cardboard, cut-out, digitized and placed on its respective 3D model," says Oto Dostál, technical artist on Phonopolis.
(Image credit: Amanita Design)
The result of that effort looks beautiful and unusual—which describes pretty much all of Amanita's adventures. Unfortunately there's no release date for Phonopolis yet, other than that the developer expects it to be ready for launch "within the next year."
My gaming diet is pretty simple. I'll play through a campaign on the default difficulty setting and futz around with some multiplayer before turning my attention elsewhere. It's rare that I get sucked into a world long enough to dismiss the many other games chittering for attention in my Steam library. There's no chance of me finishing all the side quests in Elden Ring, nor am I going to collect all the doodads in Celeste, and those are both games I love!
That said, I always like it when a developer bakes in a nasty curveball to seduce the most ardent members of their community. Yes, I might not be interested in the discipline and heartbreak of a ludicrous undertaking, but I'm always happy to watch others conquer the beast. It makes me wonder what I could be capable of if I ever matched their obsession; if I, too, attempted to scale some impassable mountains.
Those challenges that make most of us say "hell no" are what we're covering on this list. Below you'll find 10 of the most brutal, mean, or otherwise onerous mechanics ever found in a videogame. These range from depraved hard modes and severe game-over punishments to nefarious minigames and endless, life-consuming item grinds. Together they represent the best and worst of gaming culture; expanding our imagination, while simultaneously making us lose our minds.
Be wary of trying any of these for yourself. They aren't for the faint of heart.World of Warcraft: Insane in the Membrane
(Image credit: Redditor Hycran)
Vanilla Warcraft was an ornery, misshapen beast, replete with all sorts of finicky, D&D-esque thematic holdovers. Yes, today the game has been tamed into a svelte, efficient mobile game-like juggernaut, but back in 2005 you could dedicate your life to some truly wasteful Azerothian pursuits. Honestly, a number of early-WoW artifacts could've made this list (the less said about the High Warlord grind the better) but we're focused on The Insane title because, well, it's still achievable today.
Basically, there are a number of factions in World of Warcraft that serve no real tangible purpose, but you can still grind rep for them if you choose. Those factions include: The Bloodsail Buccaneers, the Darkmoon Faire, Ravenholdt, and four Goblin cities strewn across the map. To reach Exalted status—the highest possible reputation tier—with any of these factions requires the player to repeat a handful of grim, drudgerous turn-in quests over and over again, slowly inching up the progression bar like Frodo on the summit of Mount Doom. In fact, some of these grinds actively made the game more hostile. Becoming friendly with the Bloodsail Buccaneers dubs you a target-on-sight in several major travel hubs, effectively adding the player to a Most Wanted list. Your reward? A title that reads "The Insane," so everyone else on the realm can know where your priorities lie.EverQuest: the XP death tax
(Image credit: Bhagpuss on Blogspot)
Player death has become increasingly less punitive as time goes on. Developers are cognizant of how much stymied progression sucks, and the idea of, say, my Valheim camp getting annihilated every time I succumb to exposure fills me with dread. But modern generosity isn't a thing with old-school EverQuest, which carries a few tendrils from its rowdy, late-'90s framework. When you die in EverQuest (and you will die a lot), expect a fraction of your accumulated experience points to leak back out into the ether. Insult to injury! Not only did that low-res imp kill you, he's actively made your character weaker.
To think us millennials grew up thinking that the corpse runs in Dark Souls were a bit much.XCOM: Ironman Mode
(Image credit: Gosunoob)
XCOM isn't the only game to feature an Ironman mode, but I've always found its particular spin on the format uniquely heinous. No save-scumming, no resets, no mid-campaign difficulty edits; you're forced to stare down every dice roll and live with the consequences. After all, that's what an actual commander must do in the field of battle. Did a corporal miss a high-stakes 90 percent shotgun blast condemning your mission—and resource supply—to a total freefall? Hey man, that's the reality of an intergalactic invasion.Europa Universalis 4: The Three Mountains
(Image credit: Redditor purawskis)
The Ryukyu Islands are a small chain of land masses located off the southern coast of Japan. At the start of a Europa Universalis 4 campaign, they are subjects of the Ming Dynasty, and have only six troop regiments to call their own. The Three Mountains achievement asks you to take control of the proud Ryukyuan people and conquer the world.
Of course, an invasion of China, Japan, or Korea will lead to certain death, and the remoteness of your starting position does not offer any easy ways to expand your holdings. In fact, anyone who plays EU4 this way is likely to be squashed like a bug within their first few minutes, as rival empires blob out and swallow you whole. But it can be done; let Ryukyu thrive from sea to shining sea.Hollow Knight: Pantheon of Hallownest
Hollow Knight is already a difficult game, so when the developers added a 40-minute boss rush mode, culminating in a souped-up remix of the secret final boss—who is already one of the hardest encounters in the history of PC gaming—I knew I was going to… watch a bunch other people try to beat it live on Twitch. Yes, the Pantheon of Hallownest was explicitly added to satiate the biggest Hollow Knight sickos in the universe, because those are the only people willing to make repeated white-knuckle attempts to topple the challenge when, say, one stupid death on Troupe Master Grimm sends you back to square one.
The ending you get isn't even that interesting! I shudder to think what treachery Team Cherry is cooking up for Silksong.Max Payne 3: New York Minute
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)
God bless Rockstar Games. Who else would be willing to turn a chilled noir epic like Max Payne 3 into a cheeky arcade shooter as soon as the credits rolled? The "New York Minute" mode is unlocked after completing the campaign, and it puts Payne up against the most dastardly villain he's ever faced; a rapidly depleting timer. Your goal is to make it through every level while constantly adding precious seconds to the clock. (Headshots add six seconds, melee kills add 10, and so on.) It's one of the maddening achievement hunts you'll ever endure, but at least it adds some extra functionality to Max Payne's trademark bullet time. The minutes morph into hours, so long as you're in the midst of a swan dive.Overwatch: The Floor Is Lava
(Image credit: Blizzard)
Lúcio, it should be said, is a support character. He can boost the party's speed or restore health, depending on what polarity his magic boombox is set at. He's also able to run on walls, mostly to distract the players from the stark reality that they could be playing a much more exciting hero. But Blizzard did include one devilish Lúcio-specific challenge to keep us up at night: To obtain an achievement called "The Floor is Lava," a player must score three kills in a single life, all while wall-riding. Getting just one kill, on the ground, is a rarity as Lúcio, so a triple requires some genuine savant-level play.
Your best bet? Camp out at the enemy's team spawn and hope to bump a party off the edge with Lúcio's Soundwave blast. That tends to work about once every two billion matches, so you better get started.Nethack: old-school permadeath
(Image credit: tk-337 on Reddit)
The definition of permadeath has become confused. Yes, in Hades you are sent back down the River Styx every time you deplete your health bar, but then you stand in front of the mirror and juice your attack power and flirt with Meg at the bar. The same cozy mindset applies to every other millennial roguelike; Enter The Gungeon, Dead Cells, Rogue Legacy, all of those games pale in comparison to the funeral stench of the floppy-disk bound first generation of roguelikes. Nethack, (or Cataclysm, or, hell, Rogue itself) never blessed the player with any facile meta-progression. No, death just bounced you back to the title screen; nothing more, nothing less. You knew the deal when you signed up.
This is why the grognards turn their nose up at us interlopers. They come from a generation where a gnarly gank didn't lead to a few points in movement speed back at home base.Final Fantasy 10: Dodging lightning
There is no advanced metagame to Final Fantasy 10's lightning dodging; no clever cheese to unlock the hidden nuances beneath the surface. Instead, you are simply asked to wander out into the Thunder Plains and press the "A" button whenever the screen flashes white. Do that 200 times in a row—in a row!—and you'll be rewarded with an achievement and a crucial celestial weapon piece. It's an awful, twitchy flash game sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of one of the most beloved RPGs of all time. I have a lot of fond memories about lightning dodging, but I was also 10 years old with a lot more time on my hands.Spelunky: Eggplant Run
Derek Yu brought back the eggplant run in 2020's underrated Spelunky 2, but we're going to focus on the original's indomitable trial. I'm guessing roughly 98 percent of people who've ever descended into Spelunky never made it past the second biome, but for an elite group of diehards, the treachery of King Yama barely scratches the surface. To truly flex Spelunky superiority, you must first acquire a delicate Eggplant item, and bring it along with you through every single one of the game's many boobie-trapped corridors. Once you enter the final chamber, toss the eggplant at Yama's face. He'll morph into a peaceful purple being, and your name will live in Spelunky lore forever.
I cannot understate how challenging this is. There are moments in a solo eggplant run where you'll need to trust an AI character with the fragile, luscious eggplant. If they end up in the spikes? Game over. Honestly, I think every developer should include a few abstruse trials designed to rankle their most dedicated players. Can you imagine what the eggplant-run equivalent in Elden Ring would entail?
Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel recently launched on Steam to great success, but back in the real world the physical version of Konami's card-battler is as popular as ever (here's our guide to getting started). As with all of these big card games, competitive rules change over time and certain cards that are deemed too powerful are banned from competition or limited in their use.
And now, after 17 years, Konami has unbanned one of those cards. It's called Change of Heart and is much-beloved by players because it lets you be a prime dick to your opponent: the card gives you control over one of your opponent's monsters and lets you use it against them for a turn (thanks, Polygon). Doubtless its biggest fans also play Priest in Hearthstone.
The news came as part of a wider update to the forbidden and limited card list for competitive Yu-Gi-Oh! play. Change of Heart has been forbidden since April 2005, but is now limited: meaning players can have one of them in their deck (confusingly enough, Yu-Gi-Oh! has three types of deck: you can have one between them all).
Yu-Gi-Oh! fans seem to be mostly pumped about Change of Heart's unbanning. I haven't watched the anime, but apparently the card plays a role in the story. Even from the outside though, it's clear why such a card would have been outlawed all those years ago. Balancing around a card that can flip your best monster against your own life points sounds like a nightmare, but maybe 17 years of subsequent card releases have dulled Change of Heart's bite.
Mostly, the news is making folk nostalgic for classic Yu-Gi-Oh! The consensus seems to be that this card has such good basic utility that it's essential for certain decks, and that the half-demon half-angel art is completely baller. Or as Redditboisss put it: "Change of Heart is crazy. Apollousa with 3200 attack? Mine now."
Greedfall is a 2019 action-RPG about the colonization of a magical island paradise. Developed by Spiders and published by Focus Home, it's about what you'd expect: Interesting in spots, simplistic in others, and overall "adequate," as we said in our 67% review: "Competent enough to recommend with caveats."
Still, it was a hit, selling more than a million copies within a year of release (which is quite good for a niche RPG from Spiders) and another million since, and today publisher Nacon—which acquired Spiders in 2019, just ahead of the release of Greedfall—announced that a sequel is on the way.
Greedfall 2 is, in fact, a prequel, set three years before the events of the first game. This time around you'll play as a native of Teer Fradee, the fantasy realm being colonized in Greedfall, who's been forcefully relocated to the colonists' home continent of Gacane, a land ravaged by war, plague, and political scheming. Using "diplomacy, cunning, or combat," you must gain your freedom, make allies, and try to halt the conquest of your home.
"While we were working on Steelrising, our love of the GreedFall universe never faded, and so we are thrilled to be returning to it," Spiders founder and director Jehanne Rousseau said. "In this new chapter, players will explore the old continent with its bigger and more diverse environments. They will meet new companions and new factions, and I hope they will have unforgettable adventures."
Nacon said Greedfall 2 will maintain a focus on story and player choice, "but also includes new gameplay in the form of more tactical combat." We found Greedfall's combat "not particularly exciting," so that should give the "action" part of the action-RPG a bit more zing—although hopefully not at the expense of the "RPG" side of things. It's expected to be out sometime in 2024.
At a talk during Display Week 2022, Meta (you know, Facebook as was) went into surprising detail about the specifications of its Quest 2 VR headset . Meta display engineer, Cheon Hong Kim, talked about the Quest 2's display architecture and design challenges in using LCD panels for VR headsets.
The talk covered the importance of Low Persistence, a technique that illuminates the pixels in each frame as your head moves in real time (via UploadVR). Without this technique, fast head movements can be perceived as motion blur by your brain, which could be a very unsettling feeling. The early versions of the Oculus Rift Development kits back in 2013 had this problem and were remedied a year later.
LCD displays were often considered bad for VR because of response times when compared to headsets with OLED displays like the Valve Index or PlayStation VR. In 2017 the release of a new type of "fast switch" LCD improved response times on the Oculus Go and Quest 2 headsets.
One interesting tidbit from the talk is that the lens for each eye actually gets less than the listed 1832 x 1920 pixels. This is because Quest 2 only uses a subsection of the single panel split for the two eye lenses. And since the lenses are more rounded than square, the corner of the display is never actually needed or seen by the user's eyes. So even if the resolution is technically 1832 x 1920 per eye, you're actually not seeing that.
The talk also details the causes of the Screen Door Effect that plagues some VR headsets. The Screen Door Effect is when an image in front of your eyes takes an, uh, screen door effect when the gap between pixels becomes visible. The Quest 2 still isn't immune to this phenomenon. However, it is hoping to increase counts on future headsets to eliminate motion and ghosting.
If you're thinking of pulling the trigger on a VR headset, we reviewed and tested all the major players and put together a handy little guide to our favorites.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)
Elden Ring quests guide - Elden Ring: Ranni's quest - Elden Ring: Blaidd's quest - Elden Ring: Millicent's quest - Elden Ring: Sellen's quest - Elden Ring: Nepheli's quest - Elden Ring: Fia's quest - Elden Ring: Irina's quest - Elden Ring: Varre's quest - Elden Ring: Hyetta's quest - Elden Ring: Thops' quest
Want to complete the Elden Ring Yura quest? For all you Bloodborne players who helped Eileen, this one will ring some bells. The quest is almost identical, as you help Yura hunt a number of bloody fingers until one gets the better of him. It doesn’t have loads of steps, and you can skip most of them if you only want his long-katana, Nagakiba, and his Ronin Armour set.
But Yura’s quest reveals a lot of fun lore in terms of Dragon Communion and how it basically turns people into power-hungry psychopaths—like the final bloody finger you fight, Eleonora. You also get to meet Shabriri, and fight against the only Ravenmount Assassin in the game, despite the numerous references the group gets in weapon, armor, and talisman descriptions.
So, if you want to help the grumpy ronin on his bloody path to save the one he loves, while also filching some unique items, here’s every step you need to take to complete the Elden Ring Yura quest.Elden Ring Yura quest summary
There are only a few main steps to Yura’s quest, but if you want his full story, you can do the optional ones too:
1. Talk to Yura by the Seaside Ruins Site of Grace (Optional). 2. Defeat Flying Dragon Agheel (Optional). 3. Talk to Yura again (Optional). 4. Defeat Bloody Finger Nerijus when he invades outside Murkwater Cave. 5. Talk to Yura north along the river from Murkwater Cave (Optional). 6. Summon to help Yura fight the Ravenmount Assassin on the bridge by the Main Academy Gate Site of Grace in Raya Lucaria. 7. Talk to Yura on the bridge (Optional). 8. Talk to dying Yura in the Second Church of Marika then defeat the invader, Eleonora. 9. Talk to Shabriri, now inhabiting Yura’s body, at the Zamor Ruins Site of Grace (Optional). 10. Either kill Shabriri to get the Ronin Armour set or inherit the Frenzied Flame and return to find the armour dropped where he was standing.Yura and Agheel
(Image credit: FromSoftware) Where to find Yura
The first place you find Yura is under a ruin archway near the Seaside Ruins Site of Grace. He’ll warn you of Flying Dragon Agheel in the lake, but if you defeat Agheel, he’ll give you the location of the Church of Dragon Communion and explain the lore behind it. You don’t have to do this step, but it gives you some background into Violet Bloody Finger, Eleonora (whom Yura is hunting) and what likely happened to her. For those only interested in Yura’s Nagakiba katana, you can kill him at this point to get it. This will end the quest, but Shabriri will still spawn later on letting you claim Yura’s armour set, too.Bloody Finger Nerijus
(Image credit: FromSoftware) How to get Reduvia
The first main step in the quest is to head to Murkwater Cave in West Limgrave. Near the entrance you’ll be invaded by Bloody Finger Nerijus. He can be quite tough to beat if you’re right at the start of the game, but if you wait a little while, Yura will summon in to help you. This makes things a lot easier since Yura also seems to be invincible when fighting Nerijus. Defeat the Bloody Finger and you’ll get the Reduvia dagger. If you want to speak to Yura about the bloody fingers, head north up the river to find him.Bloody Finger Ravenmount Assassin
(Image credit: FromSoftware) How to get Raptor of the Mists
Next you need to head to Raya Lucaria in Liurnia of the Lakes. Gain access to the academy with the Glintstone Key, then head north-ish along the bridge to find a summon sign. Use this to enter Yura’s world and help fight the Ravenmount Assassin. This invader wields the Raptor Talons hand weapon, but shouldn’t be too hard to beat with Yura by your side. The reward for this fight is the Ash of War: Raptor of the Mists, which lets you jump above opponents when they land a hit. It’s a little useless, but still good fun. Talk to Yura on your return if you want more info about his quest.Violet Bloody Finger Eleonora
(Image credit: FromSoftware) How to get Eleonora’s Pole Blade and Nagakiba
The final stop of Yura’s journey is the Second Church of Marika in the Altus Plateau. Approach the church, being wary of the blood dogs, and head inside to speak to a dying Yura. Once you talk to him, he’ll die and drop his long katana, Nagakiba. After a short delay, you’ll get invaded by Eleonora. Besides Juno Hoslow, she is the hardest NPC fight in the game.
Eleonora frequently uses dragon incantations such as Dragonfire and Greyoll’s Roar, so it’s a good idea to maintain distance when you aren’t attacking so you can evade them. Her pole blade inflicts both fire and bloodloss buildup, and you should watch out for her weapon skill: a Malenia-esque combo of sweeping slashes. Defeating her will give you the pole blade, but also a Purifying Crystal Tear that you can use in your Wondrous Physick to nullify Mohg’s blood curse in his boss fight.Shabriri
(Image credit: FromSoftware) How to get the Ronin Armor set
The last place you find Yura is by the Zamor Ruins Site of Grace, though he’s not Yura anymore. Shabriri has inhabited Yura’s corpse and tells you to go and inherit the Frenzied Flame from under Leyndell. If you do this, he’ll disappear, leaving behind Yura’s Ronin Armour set, but you can also just kill Shabriri to get it. Even if you kill Yura right at the start of the game, Shabriri will still appear here, letting you get both Yura’s weapon and armour even without completing his quest.
We all remember our first tango with the world behind a VR headset. "Right," your malice rises as you titter under your breath, "what can I throw, and how well does it smash?"
It's almost a certainty that players, given an ounce of freedom, will push the boundaries of what's right and wrong. When the realisation hits that your actions won't have any real-world consequences, many will take things to their limits, and skirt the periphery of human ethics—Rimworld's human skin hat makers, I'm looking at you.
At the less extreme end of that spectrum, every person I've ever watched play VR has immediately started flinging items around, the second they're given any level of agency. And the utter glee in their actions is startling. People just seem to love the reckless tossing of objects. Heck, there's an entire game dedicated to the phenomenon, called… wait for it: Throw Anything.
But what is it that drives this destructive urge? Why do we get so much satisfaction from yeeting stuff in games?
Throwing things around is one of life's greatest simple pleasures. A game of catch, javelin or shotput is good for you, after all. Throwing can be a great workout, it trains reflexes, and improves hand-eye coordination… and the novelty of doing so in a fantasy world makes it all the more appealing.
In certain situations, a good toss can be a way to relieve pent up anger (stop giggling), or a way to prove or improve the strength of your arm (seriously, you're such a child). But for many, what I think it comes down to is a simple show of defiance.
My old Pathfinder/Stars Without Number homebrew GM gave me a tip for designing TTRPG campaigns: "Think of the most ridiculous thing your players could possibly do, then multiply it by 100. That's what they'll do." Wise words that were often echoed by other game designers I've crossed paths with. Usually punctuated by the phrase "So don't bother planning too much."
In designing video games, though, you have to plan for every possible interaction. Until we have extremely powerful AI designing games as they're being played, game designers have to be prepared for anything their players might want to explore within the safety of what we, in game design, call 'the magic circle.'
(Image credit: Galactic Cafe)
The Stanley Parable is a great example of a game that makes affordances for, and actively encourages this defiant urge. Have you ever met a person who didn't throw themselves off the cargo elevator, or go against the narrator's instructions at least once? No. Challenge a player's freewill, show them a sign that says 'don't,' and it's like a little switch goes off in the back of their heads—a Dexter's Lab, DeeDee-esque "Ooh, what does this button do?"
Of course they'll try photocopying the doughnuts in Job Simulator, yes they'll blow up lampshades with grenades in Half Life: Alyx, and you can bet when they see the mirror in Batman: Arkham VR they're gonna twiddle their little Batnipples (don't pretend you didn't).
(Image credit: Owlchemy Labs)
What drives a player to throw things around, or just generally break the rules in games seems to come down to a combination of things: The childlike curiosity games manage to bring out in people, coupled with the absence of real-world repercussions. That's all then reinforced by the neat little dopamine hit you get when you realise the narrator's now pissed off at you, or the catharsis that comes from witnessing the gorgeous smash physics and animations the game artists have created for each object.
Someone once told me that people play games in order to feel like their actions matter. And sure, smashing cups and twiddling your Batnips might not seem to serve much of an existential purpose, but all this contributes to a player's sense of influence, power, and independence. All of which are important for nurturing a healthy mental state.
So, whether you believe tossing things around to be a profound or arbitrary pastime, it's something gamers will always be drawn to. Be that either to finally feel like they're having an effect on the world in front of them, or just to make Batman look like a right weirdo.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands seems to have been a hit for Take-Two, with the publisher saying the game "outperformed our expectations" in its latest earnings report.
While it wasn't specified how many copies it sold, CEO Strauss Zelnick said the Borderlands spin-off is "viewed as the best new franchise launch from 2K in several years," (thanks GamesRadar.) I'm a little surprised to see it referred to as a new franchise, but it seems as though Take-Two wants to do more with the Dungeons & Dragons parody.
Zelnick wrapped up his praise for Tiny Tina Wonderlands by saying "we look forward to the possibilities for this new franchise in the years to come." Despite being a more fleshed-out version of a Borderlands 2 DLC, the report also mentioned that "nearly 30% of players" had never played a game from the looter shooter series before now.
WWE 2K22 and Red Dead Redemption were also called out as high achievers for Take-Two. WWE 2K22 had a better first month than the previous two years, while Red Dead Redemption 2 has hit over 44 million copies sold.
Jody gave Tiny Tina's Wonderlands a respectable score of 70, enjoying it more than Borderlands 3 but finding it still couldn't quite reach the same height as Borderlands 2. "It still succeeds more often than it fails, though," he wrote in his review. "That's partly just because of how the Borderlands formula has been honed over the years."
The best gaming PC takes the pain out of building a new rig yourself, and may just save you a few pennies along the way. That's a significant shift from how things worked in the past, where scouting out your own components was the most cost-effective route into PC gaming. But with prices still high on graphics cards, system builders are able to offer the best-value builds for your buck.
The larger system builders—such as Alienware, HP, and Origin—have better odds of securing hard-to-find GPUs and CPUs than the average consumer during these lean times. These system builders will also offer pretty generous warranties that cover parts and labour if anything goes wrong with your rig. And that offers you the peace of mind that when you hit the power switch and nothing happens you have someone to call on for help. When you build yourself, that's all on you.
When ordering a prebuilt PC, keep an eye on lead times; some retailers have customers wait at least three to four weeks before shipping out customized PCs. If you can't wait, places like iBuyPower offer same-day shipping on its stock of RDY prebuilt systems. Imagine playing Elden Ring on a brand new gaming PC with a GeForce RTX 3080 by the end of the workweek.
Your future gaming PC has got to have the best graphics cards and best CPU for gaming that fits under your budget. That's why we tested systems that give you the best framerate-per dollar value at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K. There's something for everyone on this list, from budget to high-end.
(Image credit: Alienware) 1. Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition
The best AMD gaming PC
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600–5950X | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650 Super–RTX 3090 | RAM: 8GB–64GB DDR4 3200MHz | Storage: 1TB HDD–2TB HDD + 2TB SSD | Warranty: 1 year (onsite)AMD CPU + Nvidia GPU comboQuality Alienware/Dell designAfter sales careSounds like it'll take offDivisive case design
Our favourite Aurora Ryzen config:
AMD Ryzen 9 5900 | Nvidia RTX 3070 | 16GB DDR4-3200 The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 is a great card for 1440p gaming and when paired with the absolute powerhouse that is the 12-core, 24-thread 5900, it can turn its hand it pretty much anything you throw at it. View Deal
The Aurora Ryzen Edition takes over the top spot from the Intel builds. The AMD Ryzen processors of the new generation are exemplary in terms of both performance and price. And with the potential for a 16-core, 32-thread chip inside your Alienware gaming PC, alongside an Nvidia RTX 3090, you're looking at something rather special.
The latest AMD Ryzen processors are exemplary in terms of both performance and price. The Ryzen 9 5900X stands out as a spectacular chip not just for productivity but also for gaming. That 12-core, 24-thread CPU shows just how far AMD has managed to push its smart chiplet-based Zen 3 architecture in order to deliver an affordable, seriously high core-count processor for a gaming PC.
These used to purely be server-side specs.
But the lower end has something to offer too. The different configurations on offer mean that for £1,249 you can get a six-core machine with a GTX 1650 Super inside it that will handle 1080p gaming in that sleek Alienware chassis.
It does have to be said that there is an Alienware premium attached to whichever components you choose. However, the higher-than-average price provides you with reliable build quality, exceptional customer service, and solid warranties. The numerous pre-fab options offered by Alienware also help eliminate much of the guesswork associated with customizing your system. Some options provide better value for the parts used, but for hassle-free PC gaming out of the box, it's tough to beat the ease of use that Alienware provides.
You should definitely take a look at the configuration options, because the lowest spec option only comes with a single stick of DDR4 memory, which will halve the available bandwidth compared to running a pair of them, even at the same capacity. That's expensive, however, and there aren't options to, say, either have one 8GB stick or two 4GB sticks.
Take a look at the SSD on offer, too. Something with a 256GB SSD in 2022 is not going to get you much change out of having Windows 11 and Forza Horizon 5 installed at the same time.
The unconventional design of the case exploits every inch of its limited space but does initially feel a bit awkward to tinker with. However, the ability to access nearly every part of the PC without tools is a definite plus and expedites upgrades and maintenance. There's an obvious priority here on providing a convenient, premium product with some potential for upgrades, and the Aurora Ryzen Edition accomplishes that goal.Image 1 of 4
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(Image credit: Alienware) 2. Alienware Aurora R13
The best Intel gaming PC
CPU: Up to Core i9 12900K | GPU: Nvidia GTX 1650 Super–RTX 3090 | RAM: 8GB DDR5-4400 – 64GB DDR5 | Storage: Up to 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD + 2TB SATA HDD | Warranty: 1 Year (onsite)New chassis with windowToolless accessUpgradeableSolid after-sale supportPricey higher end configs
Our favourite Aurora R13 config:
Intel Core i7 12700KF | Nvidia RTX 3070 | 16GB DDR5-4400 Pairing the impressive RTX 3070 with one of Intel's newest Alder Lake CPUs will give you a great gaming PC without an offensively exorbitant price tag. This config also comes with 16GB DDR5-4400—importantly configured in dual-channel mode—and a 512GB NVMe SSD. You will need to select the GPU in configuration options, to get the superior graphics card.View Deal
Look, an Alienware Aurora with a side window. What a world. The new Aurora R13 uses the release of Intel's Alder Lake processors to deliver a slight redesign of its extraterrestrial chassis and offers a host of configurations, from the Core i5 12400F, thru the i5 12600KF and i7 12700KF, all the way up to the Core i9 12900KF.
They're paired with Nvidia GPUs from the GTX 1650 Super up to the unfeasibly expensive RTX 3090, or AMD Radeon cards from the RX 6600 XT up to the RX 6900 XT. That gives you a range of Alienware gaming machines from reasonably affordable 1080p gaming right up to blistering 4K workload-smashing performance, and the Alienware AIO cooling system will help keep the cozy interior of the case at a reasonable temperature too.
While the actual configs Alienware offers are great starting points, as with the Ryzen Edition, it's absolutely worth digging around in the customization options when it comes to picking the right rig for you.
It has to be said that Alienware is being a bit stingy with its DDR5 memory here. In that only the Core i7 or i9 versions of the Aurora R13 are able to be configured with dual channel memory out of the box, or have more than 8GB of DDR5. It's also not the fastest either, with only DDR5-4400 available.
I'll give it a break while DDR5 is expensive and hard to find, but it still stings and I'm not impressed.
The unconventional design of the case exploits every inch of its limited space but initially feels a bit awkward to tinker with. However, access to nearly every part of the PC without tools is a definite plus and expedites upgrades and maintenance. There's an obvious priority on providing a convenient, premium product with some potential for upgrades, and the Aurora design accomplishes that goal.
The issue with all gaming PCs and parts right now is availability. And that's currently hitting Alienware as hard as the rest. Picking up a new Aurora R13 rig today means you're not going actually to receive it for a month at least.
(Image credit: CyberPower PC) 3. CyberPowerPC Infinity X125 Gaming PC
The best machine for 1440p gaming
CPU: Intel Core i5 10400F | GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3050 8GB | RAM: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD | Warranty: 5 yearPowerful and quiet runningStandout lighting and looksExcellent for 1080p and 1440p gamingNo USB Type-C ports
Our favourite CyberPowerPC Infinity X109 config:
Intel Core i5 12600KF | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 This is a slight variation on the machine we recently looked at for review, boasting a more powerful Intel Alder Lake CPU alongside the 1080p/1440p powerhouse that is the RTX 3060 Ti. This an impressively quiet gaming PC that also looks incredible thanks to a wealth of RGB-lit fans.View Deal
When you buy a new PC, you're essentially looking for a powerful system that offers decent value for money from a reliable company. You want it to look good as well. Quiet running wouldn't hurt. Throw in a graphics card that you can't buy for love or money, and you have the Cyberpower Infinity X125 Gaming PC.
For just over a grand, you get a powerful Intel Core i5 12400F CPU. You also get a GeForce RTX 3050 (which you can and in fact should swap out for an RTX 3060 Ti), which is a solid mid-to-high-end card. It'll handle 1080p gaming just fine.
CyberpowerPC has decided to stick with DDR4 RAM as opposed to DDR5 for this build—Intel's Alder Lake chips support both memory types. Pricing for the new memory standard is starting to come down, but DDR4 is definitely in a better place for gaming. And for the money, we'd much rather see the healthy capacity and speed that this offers over just using the newest funkiest thing.
This also impacts the motherboard choice, as DDR5 motherboards tend to cost notably more than their DDR4 brethren. Here Cyberpower has used a budget MicroATX B660 motherboard from MSI, the PRO B660M-A WIFI, which as the name suggests, adds Wi-Fi 6 support to the mix. Don't worry though, there's an ethernet port of speedy wired connections too. This motherboard also houses the machine's 1TB SSD, which sits below a heatsink between the CPU and graphics card.
All of this is bundled neatly into a surprisingly good looking chassis for a budget build. This has been kitted out with four RGB fans to tick that gamer aesthetic as well, although you'll be pleased to know you can turn this light show off using the included remote control easily, too. This is a glass-fronted case, but don't worry there's plenty of airflow thanks to the grills on the right-hand side and a healthy gap between the fans and that front panel. It's a good solution, that runs quiet and keeps the system components running cool.
The only downside with this case is that there are no USB Type-C ports on the front panel, just USB 3.0 Type-A. There is a USB 4 port on the motherboard itself, but this hasn't been connected to anything, something that is compounded by a lack of Type-C ports on the rear I/O—a surprising omission for any motherboard in 2022.
When it comes to performance, the Infinity X125 sits exactly where you'd expect—just about capable at 1080p, although it's a tough call at times. You're going to want to tweak some of the settings to maintain a smooth frame rate, particularly when it comes to more exacting games, which probably isn't what you want to hear after dropping a grand on a new gaming PC.
Metro Exodus, for instance, averaged 50fps at the highest settings, while turning on RTX pretties drops this down to 41fps, and yes, that's with DLSS turned on. You can tweak the settings to hit 60fps, but then you're not getting the best visual experience. At least you have GeForce Experience on hand to make the whole thing as easy as possible.
This machine runs quietly and coolly even when pushed hard too. Even though Cyberpower has used the stock Intel cooler, the temperature still only hits 79°C. The RTX 3050 maxes out at just 66°C as well. Those case fans aren't just for the pretty RGB lights.
Overall then, there's plenty to like here. Component selection mostly makes sense and it's a surprisingly good looking system given its budget nature. I'd recommend upping the graphics card to an RTX 3060, for sure, and the lack of USB Type-C ports is annoying, but it's still a decent PC for the money. It's well built, using well-known components, and there's plenty of space for further upgrades too.Image 1 of 4
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(Image credit: Corsair) 4. Corsair One
The best compact high-end gaming PC
CPU: Up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X | Intel Core i9 11900K | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 | RAM: 32GB DDR4-3200 | Storage: Up to 2TB NVMe SSD | Warranty: 2 yearSlim, minimalist footprintIncredible looksOutstanding performanceHard to access interior
Our favorite Corsair One config:
Ryzen 9 5900X | RTX 3080 | 32GB DDR4-3200 Finding powerful, small form factor gaming PCs is tough going, but the Corsair One design has big Mac Pro energy, and this beastly mini machine sports both the finest AMD processor you can buy as well as Nvidia's best 30-series graphics card. And don't come at me with your overpriced RTX 3080 Ti...View Deal
Corsair has overhauled its compact One gaming PCs with the latest parts from Intel, AMD, and Nvidia—and we're absolutely here for it. The Corsair One i300 is the latest version of the compact high-end gaming PC. That's a lot of cutting-edge hardware for what can only be described as a helluva lot of money.
Don't dismiss the memory or storage in this rig either. DDR5 is currently incredibly hard to get ahold of. In 64GB trim like we have here, you know you're not going to come up lacking in any game on this front is welcome. Yes, it's overkill, but it means you won't need to upgrade anytime soon.
The Corsair One A200 and i300 deliver top-of-the-line gaming performance, which is perhaps unsurprisingly considering its credentials: up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, while on the Intel side you can have the latest Alder Lake chips, such as the incredible Core i9 12900K. It's wild what you can stuff into such a small chassis nowadays and have it run reasonably cool and quiet, too.
Something that hasn't changed too much since it first appeared on the scene, is that chassis. The idea of this being a beautiful PC is often banded around with expensive builds, but here it's genuinely warranted. This is a machine that you not only want to have in clear view on your desk, but it won't take up much room, or make too much noise if you do. Honestly, this thing is much smaller than you might think, measuring half as deep as most mid-tower systems.
The Corsair One achieves this by using two compact liquid coolers, one for the CPU and one for the GPU. You'll have to adjust your expectations for CPU temperatures perhaps a little above your comfort zone during intense operations, but there's nothing these chips aren't built to handle day in, day out.
When you're dealing with high-end kit, temperatures can get toasty. Very toasty. The Core i9 12900K in this build is a power-hungry chip (drawing up to 241W), and it can run hot when stressed even in much bigger systems with triple-fan coolers. Here, I witnessed the CPU temps touch 100°C a couple of times in testing, resulting in the chip throttling back—although only briefly even when pushed hard. This is still an incredibly powerful CPU too, so even allowing for this brief throttling, it's still one of the fastest machines I've ever used, and tops plenty of the benchmark tables.
Overall, the Corsair One ably achieves what it sets out to do. It's a compact gaming PC that showcases the latest technology an impressively smart, and dare I say, beautiful case. It's a machine that many gamers would love to own, but few can afford. But for those that can... it's a treat.
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(Image credit: HP) 5. HP Omen
The best gaming PC for under £1,000
CPU: Intel Core i5 10400F | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 | RAM: 16GB HyperX DDR4-2666 | Storage: 256GB M.2 SSD, 1TB HDD | Warranty: 1 yearPowerful components Sober thrill-free designed Easy to upgrade
Our favorite HP Omen config:
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X | Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti | 16GB DDR4-3200 The updated HP Omen desktop machine comes with a shinier chassis and can be configured to house an RTX 3060 Ti for under £1,400. It's worth upgrading the 256GB SSD at the time of purchase through, as that's a bit pokey by modern standards.View Deal
Hewlett Packard has been around since before the Second World War, and that historical expertise is evident in the design and construction of the Omen line of gaming PCs. I mean, they are slightly smaller than they were back in the day, but the heritage remains. HP Omen offers a wide range of customization options with its Omen 25L, 30L systems, allowing you to take your pick of AMD, Intel, and Nvidia component CPU and GPU options.
You can also take that configuration to the memory and storage requirements, too, allowing you to really tailor your system. HP Omen rigs are on the more restrained side of PC gaming, so you won't find an over-elaborate liquid cooling system or a massive suite of spectacular RGB lighting. Tall, surprisingly thin towers still contain some of the best hardware around today.
Omen systems are appropriately named dense black blocks of computing power. If you value smooth lines and compact design over the flash and spectacle of RGB, you'll appreciate the dark, slightly brooding aesthetic of the HP lineup.
We've looked at machines with last-gen processors in them, and that can be a good way to save a little cash, because you can still get the very latest Nvidia GPUs inside them. You can also get last-gen GPUs, but we'd advise you to steer clear of either the RX 5500 or RTX 2080 Super builds; those are still relatively expensive and the graphics hardware will date far quicker than anything else in the system.
We haven't specifically reviewed the latest range of gaming systems from HP, but we've been testing its gaming PCs since the Obelisk range, and we've always appreciated its no-unnecessary-frills approach to system-building and the value proposition of its rigs.Image 1 of 1
(Image credit: Scan) 6. Scan 3XS 3080 Gaming PC
The best PC for streaming
CPU: Intel Core i7 12700F | GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB | RAM: 16GB DDR4-3000 | Storage: 1TB NVMe | Warranty: 3 yearExcellent build qualityStrong components selectionGreat warrantyAvailability fluctuates
Our favorite Scan 3XS Gamer config:
Intel Core i7 12700F | Nvidia RTX 3080 | 16GB DDR4-3600 It's not easy getting your hands on Nvidia's Ampere GPUs, but Scan is one of the biggest retailers in the UK and seems to have better access than most. This combo of Intel Core i7 12700F and RTX 3080 should see you right for years, even at 4K. View DealYour next upgrade
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Scan has been a mainstay of system building in the UK for years, and we've used enough of their systems to know that we're in safe hands whenever we get a gaming PC in for review. The systems are well built, using well-known components, and all backed up by a brilliant three-year warranty (on-site first year). That warranty does bring peace of mind.
This 3XS Gamer 3080 is like a wishlist given physical form, boasting an RTX 3080 alongside Intel's excellent gaming CPU, the Core i7 12700F. This may not be the overclockable variant (it lacks that all-important trailing K for that), but given overclocking has little impact on gaming performance, we're cool with that. Speaking of being chill, the Corsair Hydro H100x does an excellent job of keeping the CPU in check.
You get a 16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX kit for your money, which should see you good for years of gaming to come, and there's a healthy 1TB SSD from Intel to keep things humming along. This is all housed in the Corsair iCue 220T case, which is a good-looking case offering plenty of airflow to keep your components running optimally.
You can, of course, configure the machine to your heart's content, with faster processors, more memory, better storage options, you name. Scan also has a few other builds to get you started, including RTX 3070 systems from £1,500 and the option of going with either Intel's Core i5 10700 or AMD's brand new Ryzen 7 5800X.
One of the most significant advantages to building your PC is the ability to hand-pick every single component in the system. This allows you to take your time shopping around for deals and finding the perfect combination of parts to fit your budget and performance needs.
The downside for most inexperienced builders is that this whole process can take some time and has the potential to cause quite a headache if something goes wrong. You only get warranties on the individual components, not your finished build, and this is where the best pre-built gaming PCs shine.Are pre-built PCs good value for money?
When you pay the premium to configure or purchase a pre-built PC, you are paying for more than just the parts. You are paying for warranty service, support, and peace of mind that your system was put together by professionals. These are some of the things we value highly when considering what the best gaming PC is. We also look at other unique selling points like design, upgradability, and anything you wouldn't be able to do when building it yourself.What's better, pre-built or DIY gaming PC?
One of the most significant factors that make PCs stand apart from the competition is the design. Pre-built systems like the Alienware Aurora R11 or Corsair One use unique in-house chassis designs you wouldn't be able to purchase when building it yourself. You can take some comfort in knowing that these systems were designed and built specially to house your configuration, though that can make upgrading more awkward later on down the line.
When we set out to choose our top choices of pre-built gaming PCs, we look at almost every major manufacturer and system integrator to find the best combination of value, reliability, customer feedback, design, and performance for various budgets and needs.
A former Minecraft YouTuber who left the scene following allegations of abuse is now trying to sell their channel, which has 11.2 million subscribers. Adam Dahlberg, who achieved fame under the name SkyDoesMinecraft before changing it to SkyDoesEverything in 2018, began uploading videos in 2011 and became one of the most-popular creators for the extremely sizeable Minecraft audience.
In January 2022 Dahlberg's former partner Elizabeth Torgerson made public allegations of abuse in a document posted to iCloud. Following her claims former employees of SkyMedia, Dahlberg's company, came forward with their own allegations.
Torgerson details the pair's relationship and Dahlberg's alleged behaviour, as well as including screenshots of texts and video footage. The allegations include physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual harassment and assault of other women, and incidents where the police had to get involved.
She describes an incident where "we were bought up to in inpatient hospital room. You became violent with me. You called me disgusting names. Saying racist comments as well as the 'N' word and trying to fight the staff. I still tried to love you and speak calmly. I came up to you and you started screaming and kicked your feet into my belly and started shoving me away screaming awful things. I thought I was going to miscarry it hurt so bad. I stood up and the social worker hugged me while I bawled my eyed out. Security took over again. They made sure I was okay and had me leave."
While the document mentions several occasions when the police were called, and references police reports, it does not appear that Dahlberg was ever charged with any offense.
Dear Adam Dahlberg aka netnobody afka SkydoesminecraftIts time everyone knows the truth. Im tired of letting you get away with this. The police know.Putting the evidence below since it wont upload appropriately https://t.co/xUQHCM23cgJanuary 23, 2022See more
Dahlberg has not posted a new video to the SkyDoesMinecraft channel in ten months, and has been silent on social media since January. when Torgerson went public with her allegations. Now the SkyDoesEverything and Sky Vs Games channels have been listed on Fameswap, a site where social media accounts are sold, by a user called 'SkySellsStuff' (thanks, Dexerto). The accounts were put up for sale on April 19, and the listing for the main one reads:
"Start your brand off with a diamond play button. This channel has made over 8 million dollars, over 10 million subscribers, 4 billion views, and will be ready for you to start your brand when purchased. It will be wiped and ready for new content, streaming is enabled as well as memberships, Start stronger then anyone with this channel."
The main account is being offered for $900,000. The secondary account comes with a similar guarantee that all content will be wiped. It appears neither have been subject to any offers. Interestingly enough it is against Youtube's terms of service to flog a channel that has access to monetisation, so we'll have to wait and see how that one plays out.
I've contacted Dahlberg's management to ask for comment, and will update with any response.
Acer just hit us with a press release for the upcoming Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition. It's a new take on the 2020 model Predator Helios 300 we reviewed previously, only with a bunch of next-gen upgrades. The main change is the addition of Acer's own SpatialLabs technology, which will mean users could theoretically play their games in 3D.
3D SpatialLabs technology has been inside laptops for a good year already. Since mid-2021, people have been 3D modeling and watching movies on SpatialLabs laptops, but this is the moment it comes to gaming-centric machines.
The Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition will come not only with a stereoscopic 3D panel, but with Intel's 12th Gen i9 12900H CPUs, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPUs. Sadly, the Helios 300's panel will top out at 60Hz, which is a little disappointing for a gaming machine.
In the recent press conference live stream outlining the device's specs, the company even calls itself out for limiting it to 60Hz, explaining that "because of the power that it requires to make this happen, it has to limit its refresh rate."
My main question is obviously... well, why bother? Has the novelty of 3D games not died down hugely since the Nintendo 3Ds came out? I suppose this was just the next step in Acer's plot to innovate in the gaming space. And now that I think about it there are some games I'd love to try out with this tech.
Alongside the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition, Acer is bringing the SpatialLabs TrueGame application. This new gaming platform lets your machine access and process the files of your favorite games as you play them, so that they can be rendered in 3D stereoscopic mode.Your next machine
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The real hurdle, of course, will be how many games are supported in stereoscopic 3D. Acer claims there are "already more than 50 supported triple-A titles on SpatialLabs TrueGame." In the grand scheme, that's not a great deal, but Acer says "you can expect to see new titles being released every month."
So, we should see that number growing steadily. But there's always going to be an issue of price—think of how expensive a current-gen 4K laptop is today, and imagine what that will look like with the cost of 3D stereoscopics slapped onto it.
They'll be coming to stores early Q4, for a hefty $3,400. Phew.
The boss of Saints Row's titular gang is speeding through Santo Ileso, utterly disregarding numerous laws of the road. There's the usual reckless driving and ignoring traffic lights, of course, but more notable is what she's dragging along behind her car: a portaloo. An occupied portaloo.
She's softening up the unfortunate crook inside the loo so she can find out where his pals are holding a member of her gang. They were meant to be enjoying an evening of telenovelas, but he went and got himself kidnapped by the Idols, one of the Saints' rivals. And while this is a scripted mission, the winch is something you can attach to most vehicles outside of this scenario. Choppers can similarly pick stuff up and fly off with it. If Just Cause has taught us anything, it's that tethering stuff to vehicles always leads to hilarity.
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Volition has made it clear that with a new gang comes a change in tone, as well as a more considered approach to your inner circle and the relationships you develop with them. There's more than a hint of Fast & Furious' obsession with family, and like that series there is some straight-faced sincerity amid the wingsuit stunts—you can bounce off pedestrians to get more air—and explosive heists. So it's still a farce, but one with emotional grounding and internal logic.
"It doesn't matter how absurd a thing is if it has an emotional truth underneath it," says lead mission writer Jeremy Bernstein. "That final mission [in the demo], Kevin's missing, the Idols are gonna kill him, and that's serious, and it feels serious to you and it feels serious to the boss, to the character that you're playing. So the things you do to rescue him, beating the guy's head against the jukebox and dragging him around in the porta-potty, those are absurdist, but the emotionality behind it, that grounding, that character drive, that's all very real. You're trying to find your friend. That gives you this great balance where you are doing absurd things, but it feels like it matters. Absurdism for the sake of absurdism, that's where everything feels fluffy and doesn't feel like anything really means anything."Job search
We're not talking superheroes, alien dictators and trips to Hell, but the classic shenanigans still survive. Insurance Fraud, where you get tossed around like a ragdoll for a quick buck, is still here, as is Mayhem, letting you blow off some steam by blowing everything up. What grounded means for Saints Row, then, is not a dismissal of the antics that made it stand out from GTA, but an attempt to make it coherent.
You can see this in how it presents its over-the-top activities. Things like Insurance Fraud and Mayhem are now connected to criminal ventures: businesses you open across the city in an attempt to take it over. From your war table in your customisable HQ, you can see the whole city and decide where to plonk down your new illicit businesses, in turn unlocking new activities and rewards.
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So you get your "fun and wacky" situations, as principal designer Damien Allen puts it, but they still "make sense of this criminal empire." There's a point to the weird stuff you're doing. And there's more to do beyond these criminal ventures.
"There's other opportunities that aren't necessarily tied to a building that the Saints can get into," Allen says. "And they have just as much variety as the buildings as to what those activities are, focusing on different abilities and mechanics and things we have throughout the game. If you have a favourite thing to do, there's probably an activity that allows you to express that."
There's a lot of weird shit.Kenzie Lindgren, associate UX designer
Other opportunities for shenanigans include random ambient diversions, like finding an armoured truck that you can loot, and side hustles, which let you repeat tasks that appear on the map, like riding shotgun for someone while they rob a shop. Nobody in Saints Row ever considers committing crimes that don't end in high-speed pursuits, nor should they.
While the criminal ventures can be placed in any of the available slots on your map, where you plonk them doesn't actually matter much, though I do like how it allows you to put your stamp on the city just a wee bit, making yours look subtly different from your friends' stomping grounds. And then you'll be able to show it off in co-op.
(Image credit: Volition)
"The game is all playable—all facets of the game, open world, critical path—in untethered two-player co-op," says Traficante. "We do have moments where we need to sync the players up with invites and joins as we've done similarly in the past. In terms of progression, all the content is dialled up—you've got a buddy, so it's not going to be as easy as it would be [solo]. But co-op partners earn and share rewards. So if you're playing a game, let's say in late game, you join the early game, you will get those rewards. And when you get that mission, or you get those moments, the game will ask you if you want to skip."
It's a good opportunity to show off your slick new threads or souped-up ride, as well. A liberating amount of customisation has always been Saint Row's deal, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that this remains true in the reboot. Volition released a trailer showcasing character customisation a wee while ago, and this time I got to see it in action as the developer switched between various versions of the boss on the fly. This can all be done via your phone whenever you want, though you may need to unlock some stuff before you put together your perfect protagonist.
As well as being able to make plenty of cosmetic changes to your vehicles, there's also some handy practical enhancements, including an ejector seat that's perfect if you fancy switching from driving to gliding in your wingsuit, boosts that give you a nice rush of speed, and the aforementioned winch. This goes for weapons, too, so you can change their appearance or enhance them, like turning a regular pistol into a machine pistol. The big new feature, however, is being able to swap their look for that of another weapon. We got transmog, baby!
(Image credit: Volition)
"There are going to be some limitations," explains Kenzie Lindgren, associate UX designer, "But there's going to be a certain set of, let's say, melee weapons, and you have your starter … but if you don't like the look of it, you can go and change the visual effect that's on it. So it keeps the stats of the original but you can change the look of it. And I believe that these are all [progression-based unlocks] as well, so you're not going to have it right away."
It's another excuse to hit the shops or hunt down other opportunities for weapon rewards. And whether you're tweaking your boss, your vehicle or your weapon, "there's a lot of weird shit," Lindgren promises. She teases that there's a lot of fun stuff you can stick on food trucks specifically, and Allen adds that you can stick bits of cardboard on some of the cars, "just because". I'm rather partial to the big foam fingers, which I'm sure I'll be using with the weapon trasmog system a lot.Hostile takeover
One thing Volition appears to be taking a bit more seriously this time are the shootouts. The previous games didn't offer a lot of structure to the fights, instead just giving you plenty of enemies to mop up with your increasingly devastating arsenal. Sure, there were distinct objectives and scripted sequences, but overall they had a very loose feel. The reboot's approach keeps the chaos, but foes seem like tougher customers, with more smarts and abilities tied to their role and what gang they belong to, beyond just filling your soft body with lots of bullets.
"[The gangs] each feel very unique," says Allen. "They each feel like you know when you're fighting Panteros, you know when you're fighting Marshalls and Idols. The way they arrive and what you need to fight them feels very different, so it gives more of a sense of a personality to each of the enemy factions and that your strategies need to change. You still have tonnes of weapons and tonnes of variety, and you can move and shoot and shoot from the hip. But you have to think differently than you did in the past."
(Image credit: Volition)
In attempting to show off the breadth of Saints Row, Volition doesn't offer much time to dig into the characters and clams up whenever any story questions are raised. It's hard to get a feel for them, then, and the sequences with the gang bantering are some of the weaker parts of the demo, where they used to be a highlight. I did enjoy the boss and her pal being upset about missing their telenovela date, however, and one mission's climax puts one of your mates in the spotlight when she commandeers a monster truck, rams it into a furnace and destroys a factory. Commendable. I can see myself growing to like them, but right now I'm still mourning the old gang.
The old cliché of the city being part of the cast is alive and well, but at least with Saints Row it's a cliché Volition has earned the right to use, especially after the eccentric, lively cities of 3 and 4. Each district of Santo Ileso is meant to have its own vibe and NPCs, not just wandering the streets but getting into trouble with the law—or at least getting parking tickets—or just hanging out listening to an impromptu musical performance. Possibly from you. Of the 100 emotes you can bust out, you've got musical options, and ones that let you keep walking, so you can strut down the street while strumming your guitar as people dance and applaud. Around here this would probably inspire a mob to chase you down and smash your instrument over your head, so this makes a nice change.
Nothing in my 20-minute hands-off tour really surprised me, which is strange for a reboot. But it did absolutely seem like Saints Row. It couldn't be any other game. This is fine with me—there isn't a Saints Row I don't like—and no doubt this will be good news for fans worried about Volition changing too much. But any reinvention needs something bold and new to showcase the new direction, and so far Saints Row doesn't seem to have that. With the delay pushing it back to August, however, there's still time to wheel out something unexpected.
Lost Ark has had a problem with bots for a while now, and publisher Amazon Games has been commendably frank thus far about how it is and plans to deal with them. Back in March over a million accounts were banned for running bots—an unprecedented number—yet they remain a massive issue.
As well as banning accounts, Amazon has tweaked quest rewards, altered the queuing system (one of the biggest issues was that real players were being forced to wait long times to get onto bot-heavy servers), matchmaking changes and chat filters to target bot spam.
A new blogpost once again addresses the issue, beginning: "We know that bots have been causing frustration within the community, and we share in that frustration."
Amazon says that "since Lost Ark launched, we’ve been fighting a war against the bots infiltrating Arkesia. Addressing bots can be especially challenging in free-to-play games because it’s so easy to create an account and enter the game, but we’re working on multiple fronts to fight them."
It then lists some of the steps the publisher has taken:Permanently banned several million accounts that participated in botting, hacking, or gold selling.Level-gated area chat to keep brand-new accounts from spamming gold-selling advertisements.Actively updated the game’s automatic chat moderation with lines and phrases that we know are commonly used by gold sellers.Changed the reward structures of quests and events to add a stronger deterrent against using bots to farm gold.Updated and improved Easy Anti Cheat detection capabilities to better identify and act against bots.Enabled a native detection system to help quickly identify bad actors and take action against them.Improved reporting tools in-game to help our players report bots and our support staff act more quickly on reports.Blocked IP from regions where we do not have publishing rights that have shown large amounts of bot activity.Blocked VPNs to stop bad actors from working around IP bans.
While Amazon reckons that all of these measures have achieved some degree of success, "our work is far from over." It says that it can't be open about some of the stuff it's currently working on lest it allow the bot users to more easily adapt, but is improving the game's "native bot detection system" and will be making further changes to events and rewards to "remove paths for bot abuse." It is further looking into how it can "combat bots natively at scale" and, if it cracks that nut, every MMO developer in the world will want to know how.
The publisher also addresses community requests for Captcha tools or two-factor authentication, which would in theory help with the bot problem. Amazon Games basically says nice idea, but the scale of the game and different laws across the regions it is operating in make this an unrealistic thing to implement.
It's pretty interesting seeing a publisher of this size face up to a perennial issue, and Amazon Games is clearly both serious about the problem and has all the resource in the world to throw at it. Whether bots is actually a solvable problem, of course, remains to be seen—doubtless Elon Musk would love to know how.
Looking for Total War: Warhammer 3 mods? The third installment in the Total War: Warhammer series may be pretty great—just look at our review—but it definitely has a problem with replayability. Your first campaign might be a lot of fun, but before long, you'll likely grow tired of dealing with Chaos Rifts and having to complete somewhat repetitive Chaos Realm challenges.
With Immortal Empires slated for later this year a little way off, it's the perfect time for mods to prove their worth. Whether you want to disable the more frustrating elements of the central campaign like Chaos Rifts and Minor Settlement battles, or just want to turn it into more of a sandbox experience, there are already plenty of Warhammer 3 mods from which to choose.
If you're familiar with popular mods from the previous games, you might recognise some of these as follow-ups, but there are lots of new ones to contend with, too. That said, here are some of the best Warhammer 3 mods to try out right now.Toggle Chaos Realms
Download from: Steam Workshop
The first mod you should download, Toggle Chaos Realms by DrunkFlamingo does just that. At the start of your campaign you'll be given the option to turn off the Chaos Realms, transforming the Realms of Chaos campaign into a sandbox strategy experience akin to previous Total War games. That means no more rifts popping up in your provinces, no more Chaos Realm challenges, and best of all, no more Greasus Goldtooth beating you to the finish.Minor Settlements Become Land Battles
Download from: Steam Workshop
This Warhammer 3 mod makes a minor tweak, but it's an essential one for players who want things back to the way they were. Minor settlement becomes land battles by Flavius removes the new minor settlement maps for siege battles, and instead turns them into field battles like they used to be in Total War: Warhammer 1 and 2. If you're looking for a speedier campaign where you don't have to grind for every territorial gain, this mod is perfect.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly/prop joe) Change Starting Settlement
Download from: Steam Workshop
Start positions are important in Total War: Warhammer and alternate start positions for legendary lords was one of the most hotly requested features in the first game. My personal favorite mod, Change Starting Settlement by prop joe, lets you launch a campaign and then pick and choose where you want to begin. It's a little like the Totally Random Total War Generator mod for the second game, adding a huge amount of replayability by allowing you to effectively change your early game challenges and campaign progression with a simple switcheroo.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly) Legendary Lore
Download from: Steam Workshop
Total War: Warhammer has introduced a whole host of new players to the world of Warhammer Fantasy, and that's partly because the games are so great at bringing the lore to life. However, if you want to learn even more about the setting's locations and characters, Legendary Lore by thesniperdevil might add a little more flavor to your campaign. As you explore new regions, defeat legendary lords, upgrade settlements, and recruit units, you'll get a nice box with some text telling you about each. It's a great way of learning more about the world with little bits of bitesized lore.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly/SFO Mod Team) SFO Grimhammer III
Download from: Steam Workshop
Venris and the SFO Mod Team are back with SFO Grimhammer III. After the mod's huge success with the first and second game, this new version looks to overhaul Total War: Warhammer 3 in much the same way, bringing the game "closer to the lore and Warhammer universe". So far they've rebalanced units, sieges, and spells, but their roadmap addresses every part of the game by the end of the year. If it turns out anything like their previous Warhammer mods, it'll be a must-have addition to the game.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly/Marthenil) Daniel Painter
Download from: Steam Workshop
What Warhammer fan doesn't love an army painter? Daniel the Daemon Prince may come with his own choice wargear, but Daniel Painter by Marthenil adds a whole extra layer of customisation to your paragon of pain, letting you deck him out in in a variety of colours. If you're someone who used to spend way too long creating their own Space Marine colour scheme in Dawn of War, this mod is definitely for you.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly) One Button Respec
Download from: Steam Workshop
Ever add skills to your legendary lord only to realise they're useless later in the campaign? One Button Respec is another mod by DrunkFlamingo that allows you to re-allot all your legendary lord or general's skill points. Simply click the button in the character skills panel, pay 1,000 gold, and you choose brand new skills, though be aware, you can only do this once for each character.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly/ChaosRobie) More Manual Control
Download from: Steam Workshop
Everyone remembers their first time firing a goblin out of a Doomdiver and trying to aim him at the enemy as he soars, and then plummets, through the air. The ability to aim and fire artillery is such a great little mini-game in Total War: Warhammer, but more Manual Control by ChaosRobie adds the feature to far more units. Instead of just manually aiming with cannons and catapults, you can now aim all sorts of units for maximum accuracy. One step closer to turning Total War into an FPS.
(Image credit: CreativeAssembly/Beans) More Character Names
Download from: Steam Workshop
There are a lot of armies in Total War: Warhammer 3, and with a lot of armies, comes a lot of generals. After a while you start to get a little tired of seeing regular old Joe McBloodskull heading another host of Khornate daemons. In typical CA fashion, a lot of the names are often very bad puns, too. I'd never deny someone a pun, but it can break immersion at times. More character names by Beans centres around adding lots of lore-friendly faction names to Total War: Warhammer 3, so no matter how many armies you run into, you're always fighting someone different.
(Image credit: Creative Assembly/Poljanan) Dead of the Orient
Download from: Steam Workshop
It's not just the Old World that has undead. It's documented in the lore that Cathay also has its fair share of things that go bump in the night, and many expected to see so-called "Jade-blooded vampires" on launch. There's a good chance that when undoubtedly Neferata arrives as a legendary lord, we'll also get Cathay's famous vampires. In the meantime, however, Dead of the Orient by Poljanan adds some undead-themed units and buildings for Grand Cathay. The Forbidden Legion is my personal favorite—a unit of ancient re-animated warriors who give off a real terracotta army vibe.
What is it? A narrative adventure about vampires. Expect to pay $50/£35 Release date May 19, 2022 Developer Big Bad Wolf Interactive Publisher Nacon Reviewed on AMD Ryzen 5 3600, Nvidia RTX 2080 Super, 32 GB RAM Multiplayer? No Link Official site
The virtual legacy of Vampire: The Masquerade is patchy to say the least, but the tabletop RPG did inspire one of the best-written video games of all time. 2004's Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines was a sultry, humorous, and delightfully twisted portrayal of Los Angeles' undead underbelly, filled to bursting with weird and wonderful characters. Cackling bikers, deranged nightclub hostesses, smouldering late-night radio hosts, and even murderous prosthetics experts. It may have been buggier than a rotting corpse, but it excelled at making vampires seem sexy, scary, and above all, strange.
Vampire: The Masquerade: Swansong does the complete opposite. Its cabal of backstabbing bloodsuckers are painfully boring, frequently stupid, and exhibit all the charisma of a Nosferatu living in a bin. Big Bad Wolf's narrative RPG has grand ambitions and spots of potential, but it all falls apart in a mess of half-baked ideas and a script sucked dry of personality.
(Image credit: Nacon)
Setting its vampire story in Boston, Swansong sees you play as three different vampires, all high-ranking members of the Camarilla (a sort of cross between a governing body and the Mafia). Emem is a politically ambitious vampire who struggles with authority, while Galeb is a suave and loyal Camarilla henchman. Finally, there's Leysha, who has recently awoken from three years in hibernation due to the debilitating mental illness that commonly afflicts her Malkavian clan.
The decision to focus on a trio of characters makes for a confusing opening. Swansong gives a rapid-fire overview of the three perspectives, while simultaneously introducing the rest of the Camarilla court and sketching out the off-screen events that kickstart the plot. Gradually, it becomes clear that a party organised by the Camarilla to seal an alliance with a local group of thaumaturges (vampire warlocks) has been attacked by unknown assailants, and the head of the Boston Camarilla, Hazel Iversen, dispatches the trio on separate missions to investigate the debacle.
Structurally, Swansong's closest living relative is Life is Strange, combining elaborate dialogue sequences with third-person exploration and puzzle solving. The systems behind both are more involved than Life is Strange, in ways that I'll get into later. But none of it ultimately matters because the most crucial element in Swansong's design—the writing—is devastatingly bland.
(Image credit: Nacon)
To begin with, the script is almost entirely humourless. Nearly every character is droningly serious, delivering exposition in thick, flavourless spoonfuls like cod liver oil. This isn't to say that everyone should be quipping like they're in a Marvel movie, but compared to the fireworks-display of a script that Bloodlines has, Swansong's dialogue is flatter than a hedgehog on a highway.
The lacklustre writing undermines the rest of the game.
The bigger problem, however, is how muted each character's personality is. Galeb is a vampiric Agent 47, with a persona that runs little deeper than his suit. In fact, 47 is arguably the more expressive of the two, as at least he'll crack the odd pun while he's garrotting some trust-fund ghoul. Emem's rebellious streak, meanwhile, mostly manifests in petulant whining that makes her difficult to empathise with. Leysha is the strongest character, with her polite, slightly anxious demeanour masking a deep psychological instability. Unfortunately, she's accompanied by a profoundly irritating child vampire called Halsey, and her character arc revolves largely around her affection for the bothersome goblin she calls "sugar fangs".
The lacklustre writing undermines the rest of the game, which is a shame, as there is some ambition on show. Narrative choices are both extensive and genuinely affect the trajectory of the plot. In an early example, Emem heads to the base of the warlocks to attempt a reconciliation, but ends up tossed in their underground dungeon. She eventually escapes, and can head straight for a confrontation with the warlock's leader. But a little exploration reveals a new character, and a potentially very different outcome to both the scene and the entire story.
(Image credit: Nacon)
There are also some decent ideas explored in the story itself. The central mystery surrounding who's behind the attack is intriguing, while the character conflicts produce some stimulating drama. The strongest of these is Leysha's toxic relationship with her vampire therapist. The concept of a vampire therapist is probably the closest to a joke that Swansong gets, but his disturbingly domineering demeanour toward Leysha overrides the inherent absurdity in the idea, and their storyline delivers the best twists in the game.Toothless
Sadly, these are isolated highlights, scattered canapés in an otherwise lukewarm buffet of ideas. Outside of the writing, Swansong's biggest problem is that inhabiting its vampires is not much fun. Each character has an elaborate skill-tree that covers dialogue, environmental skills like deduction and lockpicking, and clan-specific vampire powers. The intent is to let you tailor each character in highly specific ways. But the XP needed to upgrade these abilities is tied to how well you perform in each scene. Given that each character only has a handful across the game's 15-hour-length, this means that one badly handled scene can severely hamper that character's progression. Imagine if every bad choice in Telltale's The Walking Dead made the next one harder to get right, and you've got some idea of the problem that can develop in Swansong.
(Image credit: Nacon)
While this issue can be avoided with good fortune, a harder flaw is how trite some of the game's dialogue sequences are. Key exchanges in Swansong are known as confrontations, wherein you need to verbally defeat your opponent in a protracted argument with multiple phases. But rather than saving this system for the most significant story beats, Swansong often applies it to trivial bunfights. One 'confrontation' sees Galeb, a century-old vampire whose clan's entire shtick is using people like puppets, struggling to convince a parking attendant to open some electronically locked garbage containers. Said parking attendant is admittedly a 'thin-blood' vampire, but it's hardly a thrilling premise for a battle of wills.
Imagine if every bad choice in Telltale's The Walking Dead made the next one harder to get right.
The overall quality of each scene also varies significantly. When he isn't shouting at people in a car park, Galeb's chapters are by far the best in the game. The first sees him trawling through a lavish penthouse apartment, attempting to solve the murder of a decapitated businessman. It's a well-constructed detective puzzle with a clever final twist. The second is (somewhat fittingly) reminiscent of Hitman's Hokkaido level, with Galeb exploring a large subterranean facility where there are multiple solutions to the puzzle presented to you.
Not all the chapters are so rewarding. Emem's two major scenes are also the weakest. The warlock dungeon looks cool, but the action mostly centres around some weirdly implemented platforming and an annoying pattern-matching puzzle. Her second act sees you snooping around a dingy backlot trying to get some biker vampires to join your crew. There's a decent hacking-themed puzzle within this, but I'm not sure that hacking puzzles are what players will be flocking to Swansong for.
(Image credit: Nacon)
Indeed, you may have noticed by this point that Swansong isn't very… vampire-y. You occasionally get to feed on humans to boost one of your ability bars, but the way this is implemented in the game's limited spaces makes the mechanic feel crowbarred in. Moreover, your vampiric abilities often play second-fiddle to puzzles themed around phones, laptops, and other electronic equipment. There are also some truly bizarre one-off conundrums that appear to have been lifted from mid-nineties adventure games.Letting off steam
The worst example of these appears in Leysha's second chapter, where she needs to escape from the basement of a vampire bar prowled by heavily armed mercenaries. It's worth noting that Leysha's Malkavian abilities let her turn herself invisible and mimic the appearance of other people, meaning she's more than equipped for stealth and subterfuge. But instead of building escape routes around these abilities, Swansong finds an excuse to nullify these powers, then contrives the stupidest puzzle since Gabriel Knight 3's cat-hair moustache.
Are you ready for this? It's a doozy. The guard blocking your way just happens to be stood beneath a pipe that's venting boiling-hot steam. Despite repeatedly scalding his big bald bonce, the guard refuses to move from the doorway, but also refuses to wear the ballistic helmet all the mercenaries have been issued, instead setting it aside on some crates. To escape the area, you need to find a way to increase the steam pressure until it poaches his head like an egg and kills him. Bear in mind that this is a very serious vampire RPG, and not a rejected Monkey Island game.
At least Swansong looks nice. Sometimes. Areas like the Red Salon bar let the environment designers have a bit of fun, although much of the game takes place either in nondescript rich-person apartments, or grey concrete interiors like sewers or ventilation systems. Also, aside from a couple of skyline panoramas, Swansong doesn't do much to represent Boston as a place. You don't get a sense of the city's unique history and architecture as you do in, say, Fallout 4. It could be set in New York or Los Angeles and you wouldn't think much of it.
Ultimately, Swansong doesn't seem to know what kind of game it wants to be. It's variously a talking simulator, a detective game, a classically styled adventure puzzler, and a diet Hitman sandbox. There's even a late-game stealth section that's completely mechanically detached from the rest of the experience. As abruptly introduced stealth sections in non-stealth games go, it isn't terrible. But I'd happily trade it and so much else for a stripped-back, Telltale-style story that frontloaded Swansong's narrative choices, or a dedicated supernatural detective game. Or just a game that didn't make being a vampire feel like such a chore. Between this and the missing-in-action Bloodlines 2, Vampire: The Masquerade's heyday feels more distant than ever.
Meet Fade, Apex Legends' newest hero. He's a phase-powered mercenary who, like Tracer Overwatch, can rewind time with his tactical ability, send allies and enemies to an alternate dimension with his ult, and gains a speed boost after sliding. He also has a skull mask ripped straight out of Call of Duty and, oh, right, he probably won't ever be playable on PC or console.
That's the big thing. Should've opened with that.
Apex Legends launched its mobile edition proper this week after a months-long soft-launch, which has been developed in part by Tencent's Lightspeed Studios. Apex Mobile has being built from the ground-up on a new engine, with its own features and modes (a shockingly more involved firing range and team deathmatch among them). But the game's launch trailer also quietly just dropped the game's first mobile Legend.
Wording from Respawn has fluctuated between "mobile-first" and "mobile-exclusive", though official word is that there are currently no plans to bring Fade to PC. According to Dotesports, his kit was designed specifically for mobile, and would require a significant rework to make the jump to the main game.
That mobile-specific design doesn't just seem to map to his mechanics, either. Apex Mobile is going for a new audience, and Fade's visual appearance feels a little more generic, to the point that he's already being confused for a character from Hi-Rez Studio's Rogue Company.
Shoutout to Fade's character design being so "Shooter Guy" that Polygon mistook Chaac from Rogue Company for Fade and put a picture of him in their article covering the release of Apex Mobile 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/PjJJBFUMjpMay 16, 2022See more
Respawn hasn't written off bringing Fade (or future mobile legends) to PC entirely. But the new guy arrived without any of the usual fanfare of existing Legends—Newcastle, for example, had a whole season of story buildup and two lore videos to tell us who he was and why we should care before arriving with a truck full of shields this season.
Fade is just a guy in an edgy mask who says "surging forward!" every 15 seconds. Maybe, perhaps, Apex's handheld legends will make it to the main game someday. I just hope that when they do, they don't feel like haphazard additions to a roster that takes great care to make each character feel like part of a larger family.
Looking for fun Elden Ring mage builds? Sorcery has stepped up a notch in FromSoftware’s latest game with many different schools of magic and a shedload of staves with which to cast your spells. When you add all of the Elden Ring talismans that buff magic or cast speed, and the Ashes of War that infuse your weapons with magic damage and skills, you end up with one of the most complex classes in the game.
It’s strange really, because sorcery is actually very simple: spell go brrr, buff intelligence for more damage, and so on. But some players don’t just want pure power, and as with Dark Souls, thematic builds often win over those that just melt every enemy in sight. Mages also have to deal with risk and reward. Glintstone Crowns buff intelligence, but have their own drawbacks, and the same is true for powerful talismans like Primal Glintstone Blade, Marika’s Soreseal, or even Lusat and Azur’s Glintstone staves.
So, whether you’re the kind of player who wants to obliterate bosses with Comet Azur and Terra Magica, or you’re more interested in sneaky PvP spells like Night Comet, here are our best Elden Ring mage builds to strengthen your sorcerer.Best Elden Ring mage builds
Glintstone Crowns and sorcery-boosting talismans like the Magic Scorpion Charm and Primal Glintstone Blade can decrease HP and combat stats, so it's up to you how heavily you want to lean towards becoming a glass cannon, and how much you want to invest in combat stats alongside your spells.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)
Staff: Meteorite Staff Weapon: Meteoric Ore Blade Armor: Any Glintstone Crown and sorcerer robe Talismans: Graven Mass Talisman, Primal Glintstone Blade, Radagon Icon, Moon of Nokstella Stats: Intelligence, Mind, and Dexterity Best spells: Rock Sling, Collapsing Stars, Meteor of Astel
For those that get jealous of faith builds and their Bestial Incantations, Gravity Sorceries are the perfect salve. Like beast spells, these deal physical damage, and are amazing at breaking poise and staggering enemies. It’s easy to build right from the start of the game, too, since you can grab the Meteorite Staff in the Swamp of Aeonia for its strong intelligence-scaling, and get Rock Sling from the Street of Sages ruin.
You can also grab the Meteoric Ore Blade from the Caelid Waypoint Ruins, or just defeat the Onyx Lord on the beach next to where you start for his Ash of War: Gravitas. Whack this onto most weapons for intelligence-scaling and a cool skill that flattens flying enemies. In terms of talismans, you have a lot of choice: Graven Mass or Graven School are a must since they buff sorceries, and the Radagon Icon improves cast time. That said, neither are available at the start of the game, so you’ll want anything that boosts intelligence or FP, such as Marika’s Scarseal in Siofra River. Since the Meteorite Staff doesn’t upgrade, you’ll also need to change staff eventually to keep up those damage gains. The Carian Regal Scepter is a good replacement.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)
Staff: Carian Regal Scepter Weapon: Darkmoon Greatsword Armor: Snow Witch Hat Talismans: Graven Mass Talisman, Radagon Icon, Magic Scorpion Charm, Primal Glintstone Blade Stats: Intelligence, Mind, and Strength Best spells: Ranni’s Dark Moon, Adula’s Moonblade, Freezing Mist
Gone are the days of Hoarfrost Stomp being used by every invader, but Cold Sorceries are still pretty darn good—if you specialise in them you also get a reason to wear Ranni’s fancy-looking witch hat. There is no staff that boosts Cold sorceries, but the Carian Regal Scepter has great intelligence-scaling, and will boost Ranni’s Dark Moon. Since Cold Sorceries are all about frost buildup, you’ll also want a weapon that applies it, and there’s no better than the Darkmoon Greatsword you get at the end of Ranni’s quest.
For something a little earlier on, it’s best to grab the Chilling Mist or Hoarfrost Stomp Ashes of War near Caria Manor and add them to a strength-scaling weapon. There are Frost weapons in the form of the Frozen Needle and Icerind Hatchet, but they primarily scale with dex and don’t line up stat-wise with the Darkmoon Greatsword. You’ll need to head to Caria Manor anyway to purchase Cold sorceries from Seluvis. For talismans, the Graven Mass buffs sorceries, the Radagon Icon reduces cast time, and the Magic Scorpion Charm increases magic damage. For your last talisman, you could use Primal Glintstone Blade for FP reduction, or any other talisman you choose.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)
Staff: Azur’s Glintstone Staff Weapon: Lazuli Glintstone Sword or Carian Knight’s Sword Armor: Azur or Lusat’s Glintstone Crown Talismans: Graven Mass Talisman, Primal Glintstone Blade, Radagon Icon, Magic Scorpion Charm Stats: Intelligence and Mind Best spells: Comet Azur, Terra Magica, Stars of Ruin
If you desire maximum power and to annihilate bosses with a giant beam like many do with Comet Azur, Primeval Sorceries are your best bet. Everything in this build is about boosting damage and the key spell for doing that is Terra Magica. This AoE boosts magic potency by a whopping 35 percent for anyone standing in it, and can be found after the Academy Crystal Cave dungeon in Liurnia. Azur’s Glintstone Staff has strong intelligence-scaling and reduces cast time, which is useful when you’re using big, slow spells. If you favor Comet Azur, you should also wear Azur’s Glintstone Crown as it boosts the spell’s damage by a further 15 percent. You can get both Comet Azur and the crown through the Sellen quest, while Azur’s Staff is located in Raya Lucaria on the upper level of the Church of the Cuckoo.
Weapons like the Lazuli Glintstone Sword or the Carian Knight’s Sword are a good choice for this build since they need minimal Strength and Dexterity, but still have Intelligence scaling for damage. For talismans, Graven Mass and Magic Scorpion Charm are a must for extra sorcery damage, while the Radagon Icon reduces cast time even further. Primal Glintstone Blade reduces FP consumption, so is a good way to offset the increased FP costs of Azur’s Glintstone Crown and his staff.
(Image credit: FromSoftware)
Staff: Staff of Loss Weapon: Moonveil or Wing of Astel Armor: Night Maiden set and whatever Glintstone Crown you prefer Talismans: Graven Mass Talisman, Magic Scorpion Charm, Radagon Icon, Concealing Veil Stats: Intelligence, Mind, and Dexterity Best spells: Night Comet, Night Maiden’s Mist, Unseen Form
Invisibility Sorceries are an increasingly popular spell type in Elden Ring as they can fire unseen projectiles that go through blocks, making them strong in PvP. This school of sorcery is located in Sellia in Caelid and a lot of the spells come from there, as does the Staff of Loss. This offers a damage boost to all of the spells you’ll be using here. If you want to lean into the PvP aspect of this build, then Moonveil is always a strong weapon choice. But for a more thematic setup, you could use the Wing of Astel, the Nox Flowing Sword, or Urumi, all of which are dex-scaling weapons. Dexterity reduces casting time, so dex weapons are beneficial for spellcasters.
The outfit doesn’t matter so much for this one, and you can wear any of the Glintstone Crowns based upon whatever stat you’re willing to sacrifice for more Intelligence. Either that, or you can go thematic again and wear the Night Maiden set. Lastly, you’ll want the usual talismans in terms of Graven Mass, Radagon Icon, and Magic Scorpion Charm. But if you want to lean into the stealth aspect of this build, Concealing Veil can be used in PvE or PvP for sniping at foes, which makes for some great fun.
The best SSD for gaming can have a bigger impact than you might think. Yeah, SSDs ensure that your games load as quickly as possible, but they'll also make Windows run so much smoother too. With Microsoft releasing the DirectStorage API for Windows, games can potentially tap into these fast transfer rates for even quicker load times soon too.
The speeds of an SSD against a standard spinning hard drive are night and day—the same with SATA drives and the best PCIe 4.0 SSDs. Once you see games like Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption 2 boot in seconds, not minutes, there truly is no going back.
Every SSD here has gone through our intensive benchmarking suite. It's a combination of real-world game loading tests and synthetic speed tests to find the best SSD for gaming. We've even used each SSD as the primary drive on a new install of Windows 11 to check its performance.
You'll notice that our picks for the best SSDs are pretty much just 1TB and 500GB drives; anything smaller than that, while cheaper, suffers a drop in speed. And honestly, with games being so big nowadays, a 250GB SSD will fill up so much faster than you think. Anything bigger ends up being too expensive to be a practical choice unless you find a good 2TB or 4TB SSD on sale.Best SSD for gaming
(Image credit: Western Digital) 1. WD Black SN850
The best PCIe 4.0 SSD
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Controller: WD_Black G2 | Memory: BiCS4 96-layer TLC | Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 | Seq. read: 7,000MB/s | Seq write: 5,300MB/sBlistering PCIe 4.0 throughputExcellent real-world performanceSolid 5 year warrantyRuns hotNo AES 256-bit encryption
Our favorite WD Black SN850 config:
WD_Black SN850 | 1TB | 7,000MB/s read | 5,300MB/s write The 1TB version is our pick from the SN850 range. The 500GB drive lacks the full punchy pace that is the signature of 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSDs and is pricier than most similarly capacious PCIe 3.0 drives, but the 1TB SN850 has a decent sticker price and stellar speed. And is just about the best you can buy today.View Deal
The Western Digital Black SN850 makes a fashionably late entrance to the PCIe 4.0 party. It can hit 7,000MB/s reads and 5,300MB/s writes in sequential transfers, which is well beyond most drives' capabilities. That's because it uses the latest PCIe 4.0 interface, which has double the theoretical bandwidth limit of other PCIe 3.0 drives. Performance ultimately defines any SSD; the WD SN850 really stands out from the crowd. The synthetic benchmarks, spearheaded by ATTO and AS SSD, show that this is very much a second-generation PCIe 4.0 drive, with peak sequential read speeds knocking on 6,750MB/s and 5,920MB/s, respectively. Writes are lower than the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus but still healthy, at either side of 5GB/s. The 4K write performance in AS SSD manages to flip this over, and the WD SN850 outpaces the Sabrent drive.
If your motherboard doesn't have a bundled heatsink, then you may need to look at the $20-more expensive version of the drive—it uses the shipping container aesthetic of Western Digitals external drives. Which, personally speaking, looks good, although whether you can spot it in your case is a different matter. If you can aim some active cooling at the drive, then that'll be even better. We didn't notice any throttling in testing, although it's something to be aware of.
The Samsung 980 Pro, which had the edge for a few months, is left out in the cold, especially as it costs the same as the SN850, but loses out to the newer drive in every metric (apart from operating temperatures). Neither is a bad drive, obviously, but if we had to recommend a next-gen SSD right now, there's only one clear option, and that's the WD SN850. It's simply the best drive you can buy today.
Read the full WD Black SN850 1TB review.
(Image credit: Future) 2. WD Black SN770
The best value for money PCIe 4.0 SSD
Capacity: 1TB | Controller: Sandisk PCIe 4.0 | Flash: Kioxia BiCS5 112-layer TLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Seq. read: 5,150MB/s | Seq. write: 4,900MB/sSolid performanceIn-house controller and flashFive-year warrantyRelatively small SLC cache......slow when you go over itCan get toasty
Our favorite WD Black SN770 config:
WD Black SN770 | 1TB | 5,150MB/s read | 4,900MB/s write This DRAM-less drive may not offer the fastest throughput, but it isn't far off, and in terms of value for money it's in a class of its own. 1TB for just over $100 is definitely worth picking up.View Deal
We've seen some incredible NVMe SSD releases recently, but they've tended to focus on top-end performance and come with prices to match. The WD_Black SN770 bucks this trend and like its predecessor, the SN750, is aimed at offering better value for money than outright performance.
The main way it achieves this is by being a DRAM-less SSD drive. This saves a big chunk of the manufacturer's bill of materials, and thanks to advances in the latest controllers, it can be surprising how little impact this has on performance. Such drives are slower, don't get me wrong, but this new SN770 still quotes read and writes of 5,150MB/s and 4,900MB/s respectively. Not bad.
The drive itself is a low-profile affair, with this 1TB model boasting a single NAND flash module at the back (actually a rebranded Kioxia BiCS5 112-Layer TLC chip) and the SanDisk controller towards the connector. Western Digital rarely reveals much about its controllers, and that's the case once again here.
The SN770 is available in four sizes—250GB, 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB, although there's no 4TB option, which is a bit of a shame. If you want a seriously capacious drive, you're going to want to track down the Sabrent Rocket offerings, which go all the way up to 8TB.
The synthetic performance shows the SN770 trails more expensive drives in terms of reads, although the writes are much closer. The 4K performance is relatively impressive and shows that the SN770 has something to offer in this crowded marketplace. It's not too surprising that this drive outperforms Samsung's DRAM-less offering, as that is a PCIe 3.0 drive, after all, but the extent to which it does is impressive.
It's worth noting that this drive can get hot when pushed, just like the SN850 in fact. It hit 76°C after a long day of testing, although that was without any direct cooling on it at all, not even a heatsink. It should be fine in most systems, especially if your motherboard does come with some cooling solution.
It's in the real-world tests where the SN770 really struts its stuff. Basically, you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference between this drive and much faster offerings in most day-to-day operations. Given this is the cheaper drive right now, that counts for a lot. If you need better performance, then the SN850 is clearly the better drive, but you will pay considerably more for it.
The only problem issue for this drive is that we don't know for sure how fast a drive needs to be for Microsoft's DirectStorage. We know some developers have been targeting 5,000MB/s, which is where the SN770 sits in our testing. So it should be good, and for the money, it's very tempting. If you're a serious gamer though, we'd recommend going a little bit higher up the product stack, and grabbing that WD_Black SN850.
Read our full WD Black SN770 1TB review.
(Image credit: Seagate`) 3. Seagate Firecuda 530
A speedy PCIe 4.0 SSD that will last and last
Capacity : 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB | Controller: Phison PS5018-E18 controller | Memory: Micron 176L TLC NAND | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Seq. read: 7,300MB/s | Seq. write: 6,900MB/sAll round great performanceExcellent endurance ratingsOne of the more expensive PCIe 4.0 drivesLacks AES 256-bit encryption
Our favorite Seagate Firecuda 530 config:
Seagate Firecuda 530 | 2TB | 7,300 MB/s read | 6,900 MB/s write The 2TB version is the version to go for; it gives you the highest straight performance and an astounding endurance level. The version with the gorgeous EKWB heatsink is a little more expensive, but if you don't have integrated SSD cooling on your motherboard it's worth going for.View Deal
Seagate may have taken a while to get into the solid state game, and especially the PCIe 4.0 market, but it has arrived with a bang with the Firecuda 530. With or without the heatsink (something that's necessary for its PlayStation 5 compatibility) the latest Seagate drive is a stunner.
Of course, the rated sequential read/write speeds are fantastic, but it's the endurance levels that really stand out compared to the competition. The 2TB drive we tested has an unprecedented 2,550 TBW rating when it comes to endurance, which is something you won't see this side of an SSD made for Chia mining. The 2TB FireCuda 530's rated sequential read and write speed is 7300/6900 MB/s, and that’s pushing the limits of a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface. For users looking at the other capacities, the 4TB drive has the same rating while the smaller 1TB and 500GB drives are rated for 7300/6000 MB/s and 7000/3000 MB/s respectively.
It combines brand-new Micron 176-Layer TLC NAND—the same memory Crucial is using to great effect with the new P5 Plus drives—with a Phison PS5018-E18 controller. Micron claims that its 176L TLC NAND is the best in the industry with a 30% smaller die size and a 35% improvement in read and write latency over its previous generation 96L NAND.
Apart from the PCMark 10 storage tests, the FireCuda 530 either matches or beats the big bois of the storage world, and when you add its leading sequential performance and endurance rating, the Seagate 530 is at least the equal of any consumer SSD on the market.
And in terms of performance the FireCuda 530 either matches or beats the big bois of the storage world, and when you add its leading sequential performance and endurance rating, the Seagate 530 is at least the equal of any consumer SSD on the market.
Read our full Seagate Firecuda 530 2TB review.
(Image credit: Sabrent) 4. Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus
The best drive for performance and value for money
Capacity: 2TB | Controller: Phison PS5018-E18 | Flash: Micron B47R 176-layer TLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Seq. read: 7,100MB/s | Seq. write: 6,600MB/sUpdated flash and firmwareStrong synthetic throughputRuns coolNot the fastest in everythingNot the cheapest option either
Our favorite Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus config:
Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus | 2TB | 7,100MB/s read | 6,600MB/s write The 2TB model may be pricier than the 1TB drive, but not only do you receive extra space but also extra performance for your money.View Deal
The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus was the first SSD to hit our lab using the new Phison E18 controller, which is the follow-up to the immensely popular Phison E16 controller found in basically every first-gen PCIe 4.0 drive. Offering peak reads of 7,100MB/s and writes of 6,600MB/s, it wasn't only a major step up from the first generation of PCIe 4.0 drives but a notable improvement over the Samsung 980 Pro, especially in terms of write performance.
In testing, this performance was born out too, with the faster write performance dominating Samsung's drive in the write tests. Real-world performance didn't always tell the same story, although the differences between these top drives can be slight. Even so, you're looking at AS SSD hitting 5,868MB/s for reads and 5,630MB/s for writes. Impressive stuff.
Sabrent has recently updated this drive to use faster NAND flash and also new firmware for the Phison E18 controller. The quoted performance doesn't change with this update, but some performance metrics have improved, and it's that bit closer to the competition while still offering solid value for money.
One thing worth noting is that the SSD market is in a state of flux at the moment, with pricing shifting almost daily. On release, this was the cheapest second-gen PCIe 4.0 you could lay your hands on, but there's often nothing between this and our top pick, the WD_Black SN850, which is why this is in the second spot.
This drive does run cooler than the SN850 though, which may be a factor if you're looking for a drive for a cramped case. Also, this is a drive worth keeping an eye on in the sales season as it's often keenly discounted, more so than the other drives here.
The new version of the Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus is a welcome release, even if it doesn't dramatically alter the drive's place in the market. We've had faster drives released recently, like the Kingston Fury Renegade, along with more budget-focused offerings like the WD Black SN770, leaving the new Rocket 4 Plus in pretty much the same place as the original—not the fastest, nor the cheapest, but a happy middle ground of the two.
Read our full Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 2TB review.
(Image credit: Crucial) 5. Crucial MX500
The best SATA SSD for secondary storage
Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB | Controller: Silicon Motion SM2258 | Memory: Micron TLC | Interface: SATA 6Gbps | Seq. read: 560MB/s | Seq. write: 510MB/sOne of the fastest SATA drivesCompetitive price per GBLow endurance rating for heavy data writesSlow compared to any NMVe SSD
Our favorite Crucial MX500 config:
Crucial MX500 | 1TB | 560MB/s read | 510MB/s write It's not always possible to jam an NVMe SSD into your PC or laptop, and if that's the case then you need a great SATA drive. And the Crucial MX500 is most definitely that. With a full terabyte of storage, and performance at the limit of the SATA interface, it's a quality drive.View Deal
The Crucial MX500 is the only SATA drive left on our list of the best SSDs for gaming, but when the price delta between PCIe and SATA is so small, it's difficult to make an argument for the far slower technology. But, as there is a hard limit on the number of M.2 slots on your motherboard, there is still a place for SATA SSDs as secondary storage.
And the Crucial MX500 is one of the best. With SATA's maximum theoretical bandwidth limit of 600MB/s, it's nearly as quick as you'll get, and Crucial's drives have long been among the best-value options available too. This is the most affordable 1TB SATA drive you can pick up and it makes a great second home for your Steam and Epic libraries.
It will happily function as a boot drive on systems with no M.2 sockets, or at least no bootable M.2 sockets anyway. You will still be missing out on the zippy response of your operating system running on the SSD-specific NVMe protocol, but if that's not an option anyway, this drive will see you right.
(Image credit: Kingston) 6. Kingston Fury Renegade
Awesome PCIe Gen 4 performance but at a serious price
Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB | Controller: Phison PS5018-E18 | Flash: Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC | Interface: M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 | Seq. read: 7,300MB/s | Seq. write: 7,000MB/sKiller PCIe 4.0 performanceExcellent write enduranceLow operating tempsPainfully pricey4K performance merely competitive
Our favorite Kingston Fury Renegade config:
Kingston Fury Renegade | 2TB | 7,300 MB/s read | 7,000 MB/s write High-capacity SSDs are expensive, particularly the latest PCIe 4.0 drives. But if you're after a seriously speedy drive that will last you for years, then this Kingston drive is impressive. View DealYour next upgrade
(Image credit: Future)
It would be easy to look at the Kingston Fury Renegade SSD as just another Phison E18-based drive with another stupid name, but that would mean missing out on one of the outright fastest PCIe 4.0 SSDs in the business. The Renegade certainly cranks out the numbers. It also runs cool, has excellent rated write endurance, and a long warranty. But all that good stuff comes at a painful price.
Phison's PS5018-E18 is an eight-channel controller knocked out on none other than TSMC’s 12nm process. It’s loaded with five CPU cores in total, three based on generic ARM Cortex R5 IP and two cores with proprietary Phison designs. Phison claims the E18 can crank out 7.4GB/s read and 7GB/s write speeds, not to mention one million IOPS. We’ve previously seen the E18 classified as an NVMe 1.4 chip, but Kingston claims NVMe 2.0 support for the Fury Renegade.
We believe Kingston is using the same Micron 176-Layer 3D TLC chips as seen in the KC3000 sibling drive. All of which means you’re looking at a thoroughly up-to-date drive. Obviously, the PCIe 5.0 standard is notionally upon us with the arrival of Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs. But we’re some way from PCIe 5.0 drives and platforms being mainstream and compatible drives being available in volume.
In terms of the subjective computing experience, we doubt you’d be able to pick it from the rest of the high-performance PCIe Gen 4 crop. This means the broader package and pricing are key differentiators. We feel good about this drive’s long-term reliability thanks to those cool running temps and epic write endurance rating. The value for money proposition is a lot less appealing. This is currently one of the most expensive PCIe Gen 4 drives out there right now, rolling in at $425 at the time of review. The Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus, WD Black SN850, and Samsung 980 Pro can all be had for considerably less money. So, as undeniably good as this is, we find the Kingston Fury Renegade a little tough to justify at this lofty price point.
Read our full Kingston Fury Renegade review.Best SSD for gaming FAQ What's the difference between SATA and NVMe PCIe-based SSDs?
As the prices of NVMe SSDs fall every day, we don't see much difference in cost between the best NVMe SSDs and their SATA-based equivalents. When the cheapest 2.5-inch 1TB SATA SSD is only $24 less than an equivalent capacity NVMe PCIe drive (and four times slower), why bother with older SATA technology when you can move into the future for so cheap?
Many of the best SSDs for gaming still use the PCIe 3.0 interface, but we're starting to see more PCIe 4.0 drives sliding into the market. Corsair was an early pacesetter here, and the newly launched 500GB Samsung 980 Pro SSD did well in testing, but the value proposition isn't the greatest, unfortunately.
Where SATA's theoretical performance limit is 600MB/s, and PCIe 3.0's is 4,000MB/s, the newer PCIe 4.0 SSDs can double that figure to a maximum of 8,000MB/s. The current top speed of available Gen4 drives is around 7,000MB/s, which is double that of the previous generation, top out at 3,500MB/s, in the real world.How big an SSD should I buy?
The easy, slightly dumb answer is: as big as you can afford. With SSDs, the higher capacity, the quicker they are. That's because you end up with more memory dies plumbed into a multi-channel memory controller, and that extra parallelism leads to higher performance.
We would traditionally say that an entry-level SSD should come in at least 512GB in order to pack in your operating system, for slick general system speed, and your most regularly played games. But such is the increasing size of modern games that a 1TB SSD is increasingly looking like the minimum recommendation. That's also where the performance starts to go up too.Is PCIe 4.0 worth it for SSDs?
If you want the absolute fastest drives available then PCIe 4.0 SSDs are the way to go. They're quicker than any PCIe 3.0 drive, and will make large file transfers for such things as video editing lightning fast. They will also be prepared for the future of gaming in Windows 11 with the DirectStorage feature being used to take the load off the CPU and fire data directly at the graphics card to improve performance and shorten, or even remove, load times in tomorrow's open world games.Can you put a PCIe 4.0 SSD in a 3.0 slot?
Yes, you can. They M.2 socket is identical between the two generations of interface and so a PCIe 4.0 SSD will fit comfortably inside a PCIe 3.0 slot. They will also function perfectly well too, except the Gen4 drive will be limited by the speed of the older interface.
That is is theoretically 4GB/s, but is actually closer to 3,500MB/s due to various overheads. PCIe 4.0 SSDs do cost more than their PCIe 3.0 counterparts though, so unless you're planning to upgrade to a supporting platform soon, it's probably worth sticking with a more-affordable PCIe 3.0 drive.How do we test SSDs?
SSDs make your whole system faster and more pleasant to use. But they matter for gaming, too. A fast-loading SSD can cut dozens of seconds off the load times of big games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or MMOs like Final Fantasy XIV. An SSD won't affect framerates like your GPU or CPU, but it will make installing, booting, dying, and reloading in games a faster, smoother process.
When shopping for a good SSD for gaming, one of the most important factors is the price per gigabyte. How much will you have to spend to keep a robust library of Steam games installed, ready to be played at a moment's notice? With many new games surpassing the 50GB and even 150GB mark, this becomes even more critical.
To find the best gaming SSDs, we researched the SSD market, picked out the strongest contenders, and put them through their paces with various benchmarking tools. We also researched what makes a great SSD great, beyond the numbers—technical stuff like types of flash memory and controllers.
PCIe 4.0 SSDs are supported by 2nd and 3rd Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs and X570 and B550 motherboards as well as by Intel's latest Rocket Lake platform. Sure, they're mighty for bandwidth, but when it's crunch-time in-game, there's not a vast amount more it can deliver than a PCIe 3.0 drive, at least not until Microsoft delivers DirectStorage, which will be exclusive to Windows 11.Is PCIe 4.0 worth it for SSDs?
If you want the absolute fastest drives available then PCIe 4.0 SSDs are the way to go. They're quicker than any PCIe 3.0 drive, and will make large file transfers for such things as video editing lightning fast. They will also be prepared for the future of gaming in Windows 11 with the DirectStorage feature being used to take the load off the CPU and fire data directly at the graphics card to improve performance and shorten, or even remove, load times in tomorrow's open world games.
A recent cybersecurity report shows how immensely idiotic many CEOs and business owners can be, considering the strength of their chosen account passwords. Imagine entrusting the livelihood of hundreds, even thousands of employees to someone who uses '123456' or 'qwerty' as a password.
Prepare yourself for a long-ass facepalm, people—this one's a doozy.
The research comes from NordPass password manager (via IFLScience) which identified back in 2020 that the general public's most commonly used passwords were sequential numbers like '123456', 'picture1', and yep, you guessed it: 'password'.
The more recent research sample consists of 290 million cybersecurity data breaches around the globe, and denotes the job level of those affected. Turns out, when it comes to CEOs and other high-ranking businesses execs, their password choices are much the same as the general public, although many often feature names. Tiffany was spotted in 100,534 breaches; then there was Charlie with 33,699; Michael was found 10,647 times; and Jordan, 10,472 times.
The report also ranks mythical creatures and animals as some of the top passwords to have been cracked in data breaches. 'Dragon' was spotted 11,926 times, and 'monkey' comes in at 11,675.
I spoke to an IT support engineer we'll call Mr. Smith, who recommends that companies should consider handing out randomly generated passwords as new accounts are created. "Arguably the strongest passwords are 3 random words, something that you can make a story about in your head to help you remember," he says.
That's something we've preached in the past, and its something the UK's National Cyber Security Centre recommends, too.Peak Storage
(Image credit: Future)
Best SSD for gaming: the best solid state drives around Best PCIe 4.0 SSD for gaming: the next gen has landed The best NVMe SSD: slivers of SSD goodness Best external hard drives: expand your horizons Best external SSDs: plug-in upgrades for gaming laptops and consoles
Right now, Smith is working on a more complex password generator that encourages story elements to make them more memorable. Imagine getting a password featuring a word combo like SturgeonOfLoathing, ObligingAardvark, or SpellboundFalcon... of course you're going to remember it.
Using these kinds of generators in business IT department means everyone gets a fun password that's harder to crack, and because it's memorable people are less likely to change it to something stupid like 'dragon'.
The research is pretty worrying, and makes it painfully clear that most data breaches don't happen because of some profound cyber hacking initiative; around 80% are down to stupid people making stupid-ass passwords (Verizon).
It also makes you wonder... Does the boss even go to those 'mandatory' cybersecurity training meetings we get so many emails about?
Arma 4 has been confirmed to be in development, and to hold you over in the meantime, you can experience Arma Reforger.
First up, the developers provided the news that Arma 4 is in development with a video that takes a look back at previous entries in the series and teases Arma 4 at the end.
Nothing is known about the title, Arma Reforger is being described as a platform that serves as a stepping stone on the road to Arma 4 by offering a glimpse of the future ahead. It allows you the chance to test Arma’s approach, gameplay, and infrastructure and to shape what comes next for Arma 4 and the series as a whole.
Capcom has released two short videos for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, each one giving you a look at a specific weapon.
The first one, which is posted below, takes a look at the Hammer. It features the attacks Impact Burst, Impact Crater, the Switch Skill Swap action which will be common to all weapons, Spinning and Charge for Silkbind Bludgeon.
The Great Sword is the subject of the second trailer. The massive sword features the Silkbind Attack Strongarm Stance, and like other weapons, you can use Skill Swap to switch to Hunting Edge, Slash combos Charged and Surge, then there's Rage Slash and True Charged Slash.
Torn Banner Studios announced today that Chivalry 2 is heading to Steam on June 12.
Previously a timed-exclusive to the Epic Games Store, the Steam version of the game will have immediate parity with all other versions, containing all game updates released to date, and the same content as every platform.
Alongside the June 12 release on Steam, players can look forward to the Tenosian Invasion update across all supported platforms - including Steam.
Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown has not only been delayed into 2023, but the PS4 and Xbox One versions have also been canceled.
According to Nacon, the delay will allow KT Racing to make it "the most polished gaming experience in the franchise" by spending more time on its development.
KT Racing will also use the extra development time to optimize the game and to get players more involved. The plan is to schedule closed betas which will allow the team to gather feedback to keep improving the game's quality until it releases.
If you haven't jumped into Call of Duty: Vanguard multiplayer, you can do so from today through May 24.
During this time you will have access to over 20 maps and 10 modes including the new Mayhem Multiplayer map, Arms Race, Ship Haus, and others.
In Mayhem, you get to stomp around a 1950s monster movie set on this new map. Despite its tiny layout, you'll feel large as you battle through a small-scale replica of a metropolis. You will fight around skyscrapers in the center of the map, surrounded by an outer path where you can traverse an ocean or move off-set.
Rovio has announced Angry Birds have come to Minecraft via a new adventure DLC.
Available now for Minecraft: Bedrock Edition players, the new world comes with two game modes, and a gaggle of extra goodies.
Developed by Oreville Studios, the DLC features the famous birds once again trying to stop the pigs from whatever nefarious scheme they have concocted.
The Valiant is an upcoming action-RTS with RPG elements "coming soon" to consoles and PC.
Described as a fresh experience for players wanting something new in the genre, the game focuses more on tactical combat with smaller forces.
In it, you will encounter a story-driven campaign where each mission’s challenge is unique. Decisions both on and off the battlefield will count, and you will want to select your forces carefully for each mission as well as decide the skills and equipment given to each hero.
We can expect some news on Final Fantasy 7 in June as part of Square Enix's celebration of the series' 25th Anniversary.
This is according to Square's Tetsuya Nomura, who said to expect the news next month.
"Next month, we're planning to publish information related to [Final Fantasy] 7's 25th anniversary," said Nomura stated during a promotional stream for for the mobile-based spin-off, The First Soldier. (thanks, RPGsite).
When it comes to JRPGs, there are few that are more unashamedly themselves than Xenoblade Chronicles. Released in 2010 as a final hurrah for the all but abandoned Wii, its colourful blend of MMO-lite combat, mechs, and endearingly earnest UK voice acting come together in a gaming experience like no other. Despite its humble Wii Origins, Xenoblade’s vast expanse and all-timer orchestral score create a grand sense of adventure that few of its genre mates have managed to top – even now, 12 years later.
Yet, that’s not to say it’s perfect. If we were to label it anything, we’d have to file this cult curio under ‘flawed masterpiece’. This is a game that meanders. It’s a story of teeny tropes and towering titans that bores as often as it excites, and thanks to its auto-attack system – ripped wholesale from an MMO – it features one of the most bizarre combat systems in gaming. Yet in spite of it all, I find myself returning to Bionis and Mechanis’ luscious lands, time and time again.
Xenoblade Chronicles has not always been an easy game to enjoy – and the hardware it’s been relegated to certainly hasn’t helped. I’ve tried getting into Monolith Soft's RPG masterwork on various occasions, with varying degrees of success. With the Wii version releasing via an incredibly limited run, getting a copy of the game was near impossible. So, I initially started my journey across the Bionis via a Dolphin-emulated version on my Mac – and thanks to some unusable Wii controller mappings, failed miserably.
If you’ve ever wondered why ReedPop, a company that runs multiple pop culture events such as PAX, NYCC, and MCM doesn’t have a pop culture news and features website, wonder no more. Popverse is live.
Created by a team of world-class pop culture experts who have written for the likes of USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, Newsarama, Paste Magazine, The Comics Journal, and The AV Club, Popverse will delve deep into your favourite fandoms.
Here’s Editor-in-Chief, Chris, to fill you in some more:
Nacon and Spiders have announced GreedFall 2: The Dying World is in development for consoles and PC.
A sequel to Greedfall, the RPG will focus on story and player choice and includes new gameplay in the form of more tactical combat.
Set three years before the events of the first game and the adventures of De Sardet, this time out you will play as a native of Teer Fradee, uprooted by force from your island. Taken to the continent of Gacane, where the colonists are from, the old world has been ravaged by war and scarred by the Malichor plague and the political scheming of the different factions.
There’s been an update to the ongoing Capcom esports licensing debate, one which seemingly closes the book on the issue with the owners and attendees of community events in a more favourable position than they were this March.
In an official post published on the Capcom USA website, revisions to the original rules have been laid out, alongside an explanation on why these changes have been made and a short series of quick elaborations on certain sticking points that were a source of frustration. All in all, it seems as though the vast majority of major problems have been at the very least lightened up, which in turn provides smaller events like your typically regional monthly tournament or weekly boozy bar gaming session more breathing room.
A selection of major changes were also listed out in the article, which we’ve included below:
Techland, the studio behind Dying Light and Dying Light 2, has announced the development of a new triple-A project.
The studio said it has a team dedicated to the unannounced title, which is an open-world action RPG in a fantasy setting.
With the success of Dying Light and the great opening for Dying Light 2, Techland felt now was the time to announce it has a new title in development, and that it is hiring folks to help fill various positions within the team.
Microsoft has announced a batch of games coming to Xbox Game Pass in May.
Available from today are: Her Story for PC, Skate for Cloud through EA Play, and Jurassic World Evolution 2 for Cloud, Console, and PC.
Also available today is Little Witch in the Woods for console and PC through Game Preview. The game tells the story of Ellie, an apprentice witch. In the game, you will explore the mystical forest, help the residents, and experience daily life as a witch.
World’s Edge is back in Apex Legends, and any long term player will know what that means. We’re dropping back into Fragment! This point of interest is a beloved hotspot for early game drops, meaning a large chunk of the match population will be dropping there as their very first stop.
But why is that? Well, for one, it’s massive. Even with a large number of squads dropping there, you’ll likely be able to find a decent amount of loot for you and your buddies to pick up and use against other squads. Secondly, due to its position being somewhat close to the centre of the map, it’s a great spot to rotate out from when the first or second circle starts drifting away.
When the circle remains over Fragment, you can be certain that fresh squads will continue funnelling in from all directions, so it’s also one of the best places to hold up if you’ve got a taste for action. It’s a good thing people who like hot dropping - intentionally starting in heavily contested locations - are typically starving for high-intensity games.
Saints Row has got a long and chequered history. We’ve come a long way from the the 3rd Street Saints and Volition’s fairly detached view of gangland violence back in 2006. Perhaps because the developers at the studio got sick of its games being labelled ‘GTA clones’ or perhaps because the market was shifting quite significantly into the 2010s, Saints Row – as a series – mutated quite a lot from its original vision until its hiatus in 2013.
And perhaps that was for the best; ending the series with your main character being elected President of the United States after foiling a terrorist attack, defending the earth from an alien invasion, and then being planted into a simulated world seemed like good call (but not before having him learn the true meaning of Christmas, and go to hell, of course).
With Saints Row 2022, things couldn’t be more different. This game – a complete reboot of the series – sort-of goes back to the roots of it all; you’re a young upstart gang member, disillusioned with gangland life, and eager to set up your own crew to break up the status quo. To that end, you recruit members of each of hometown Santo Ileso’s three main controlling factions: the gym bros of Los Panteros, the anarchist Idols, and the private military contractors of Marshall Defense Industries.
I didn’t expect to be putting Resident Evil and Attack on Titan in the same headline this morning, but Behaviour Interactive clearly know their audience. Last night, during Dead by Daylight’s sixth anniversary broadcast, BHVR revealed that players can expect to see a second Resident Evil chapter, an Attack on Titan crossover, and a Dead by Daylight-inspired dating sim.
During celebrations of the fifth anniversary, the first Resident Evil chapter for Dead by Daylight launched. With it came legends of horror, Leon S. Kennedy and Jill Valentine as survivors, and Nemesis as a killer. However, the map that came as a part of the chapter, Raccoon City Police Department, came with various issues and was not available for a while after launch.
Considering the overall success of the chapter, with Dead by Daylight reaching its highest player count during the chapter’s launch, it comes as no surprise that we’re going to soon be seeing more faces from Resident Evil. This is the first time that Behaviour Interactive have introduced two chapters from the same franchise, and this time around, the chapter will be called ‘Project W’.
Amazon Prime Day 2022 is getting closer and closer, and there's no better time to find a deal on that new Nintendo Switch console you've been eyeing up. Before that day arrives, you can look back on the best deals for the Switch during Prime Day 2021, and take a look at our predictions about what we might see on sale again.
Last year, there were some great Nintendo Switch Bundles that included games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and New Pokémon Snap that ended up being cheaper than the console itself at its regular price. There was also speculation of a new Switch Pro being released around that time, and now that the Switch OLED has been out for over half a year hopefully there will be some discounts and bundles for that too.
Below we'll have more highlights of Switch deals from Prime Day 2021, as well as links to consoles, games and accessories that we think could have offers on them this year. Also, following the Jelly Deals Twitter account is a great way to stay up-to-date on Nintendo Switch and Prime Day news so you never miss a deal. Once you've dropped a follow, let's get into the Switch Prime Day 2022 breakdown.
Evil Dead: The Game is an affectionate love letter to Sam Raimi’s horror franchise and its mass of loyal fans. I’ll hold my hands up and immediately say that I feel indifferent towards the Evil Dead movies. While I’m a horror devotee through and through, my love lies with the crass nature of Rob Zombie movies when it comes to those delicious horror/camp crossovers. That being said, I have a huge appreciation for the work of Sam Raimi, and was still incredibly interested to see just how the direction of his movies would be applied to an asymmetrical horror game.
Despite my interest in the game, my hopes were never that high: the last multiplayer horror game that I played – Back 4 Blood – inspired one of the biggest feelings of disappointment I’ve ever experienced when it comes to games. Yes, really. So this time, despite the two games being very different, I couldn’t help but expect more of the same; they're both horror-focused, multiplayer games coming from developers with patchy histories. You understand my caution, right?
But I was pleasantly surprised by Evil Dead: The Game. It felt as though the title had learned from previous mistakes in the genre, for the most part. There’s also no need to fear that a lack of love for Evil Dead is going to dampen your enjoyment – the game is playable and parseable in its entirety even if you know nothing of Ash and friends; you’re just going to have multiple punchlines fly over your head.
Elden Ring has received a handful of patches since its release at the end of February. Developer FromSoftware made a number of improvements to the game's performance, fixed a few bugs, and rebalanced a whole host of skills and weapons in an attempt to tone down the most obviously overpowered options.
As with many Japanese developers, FromSoft is guilty of making tweaks that do not get mentioned in patch notes. Players are left to discover and document those on their own in an attempt to keep track of what actually changes from one patch to another.
Those changes are usually relevant, which is why players tend to look for them. But some go entirely unnoticed - unless you're an eagle-eyed modder. YouTuber Illusory Wall, who made a career out of digging deep into FromSoftware's games to discover cut content, clip through boundaries and track hidden changes, has put out a video about a particular unlisted change you may not even think to check for.
It is nearly time to crown the Europa League champions as Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt are set to go toe-to-toe in Seville!
EA has celebrated the upcoming final with a new Showdown SBC, with the winning player set to receive a +2 boost to his card.
FIFA 22 Showdown SBCs are a very simple, but very clever concept, that relies on real-world footballing fixtures and results to determine upgrades to cards.
To start off, 2 cards are released as Showdown SBCs for a limited time for an upcoming fixture, usually pitting two relatively equally matched teams against each other that have an interesting or important fixture upcoming.
FUT players can complete both SBCs if they wish if the cards are heavily upgraded from their base versions, or they can ‘bet’ on which teams they think will win the fixture by completing their SBC in hope of a further upgrade.
Once the SBC expires and the game is played, the Showdown SBC cards receive upgrades based on the result of the fixture.
For the team that wins the fixture, the corresponding Showdown SBC card in-game will receive a +2 OVR Upgrade, further boosting the card to new heights, while the card from the team that lost will remain the same rating.Danny Da Costa (OVR 90)
Start Date: Sunday, 15 May
Expiry Date: Wednesday, 18 MaySBC Requirements
You will need to submit just two squads to unlock Da Costa's new Showdown item.
The requirements are as follows:
GermanyMinimum 1 Germany playerMinimum 1 Team of the Week playerMinimum 82 Team RatingMinimum 75 Team Chemistry
1 x Premium Mixed Players Pack
BundesligaMinimum 1 Bundesliga playerMinimum 85 Team RatingMinimum 65 Team Chemistry
1 x Prime Electrum Players Pack
Estimated Cost – 90kConnor Goldson (OVR 90)
Start Date: Sunday, 15 May
Expiry Date: Wednesday, 18 MaySBC Requirements
You will need to submit just two squads to unlock Goldson's new Showdown item.
The requirements are as follows:
EnglandMinimum 1 England playerMinimum 83 Team RatingMinimum 80 Team Chemistry
1 x Small Prime Mixed Players Pack
84-Rated SquadMinimum 84 Team RatingMinimum 70 Team Chemistry
1 x Small Prime Gold Players Pack
Estimated Cost – 60k
A host of Brazilian stars have been released as part of the event, and one rapid star is available to unlock via an SBC.
Take a look at the new Team of the Season card and how to unlock it in FIFA 22 Ultimate Team.Saudi Pro League TOTS
Argentina midfielder Ever Banega is the top pick in the SPL Team of the Season squad.
With a 94 OVR, the former Sevilla maestro looks capable of mixing it with the very best players in the game!
Brazilian stars Anderson Talisca and Romarinho are next in line, with both men receiving high-rated cards.
Odion Ighalo is the main man up top for the SPL side with a superb 91 OVR card.Carlos Junior (OVR 90)
Start Date: Sunday, 15 May
Expiry Date: Sunday, 22 MaySBC Requirements
You only need to submit one squad to unlock Carlos Junior for your club.
The requirements are as follows:
Carlos JuniorMinimum 1 Brazil playerMinimum 84 Team RatingMinimum 65 Team Chemistry
1 x TOTS Carlos Junior
Estimated Cost – 29kTOTS Schedule
We have many key dates for the Team of the Season schedule already, so check them out below:Week #1 - Community TOTS / Eredivisie TOTS - Friday, 29 April Week #2 - Premier League TOTS - Friday, 6 May Week #3 - Bundesliga TOTS - Friday, 13 May Week #4 - LaLiga TOTS - Friday, 20 May Week #5 - Ligue 1 TOTS - Friday, 27 May Week #6 - Serie A TOTS - Friday, 3 June Week #7 - Ultimate TOTS - Friday, 10 June
The Ultimate TOTS will bring the TOTS campaign to a close with the very best cards included from across the different leagues.
As with each release, we will be getting SBCs and Objectives players too, with a TOTS Leandre Tawamba card now available to unlock via objectives.Terrific Tawamba
Al-Taawoun has four games left to save themselves from relegation, and Tawamba's goals could be key to keeping them up.
He has netted regularly throughout the season, with 15 goals in 26 games, making him the league's fourth-top scorer.Leandre Tawamba (OVR 90)
Start Date: Sunday, 15 May
Expiry Date: Sunday, 22 MayObjective Requirements
There are five objectives to complete to unlock Tawamba's new card, and they can be completed in any game mode.
The requirements are as follows:
F is for Finesse – Score five finesse goals using Saudi Pro League players
1 x Gold Pack
Scoring in the Gulf – Score using Saudi Pro League players in 12 seperate matches
1 x 75+ Rated Rare Player, 1 x TOTS Swap Token Bell
Winning Tawamba – Win 10 matches with a minimum of 7 Saudi Pro League players in your starting XI
1 x Premium Gold Pack
March On – Play 15 matches in any game mode
1 x Electrum Players Pack
Creative Decisions – Assist 11 goals with a Cross
1 x Small Electrum Players PackTOTS Schedule
We have many key dates for the Team of the Season schedule already, so check them out below:Week #1 - Community TOTS / Eredivisie TOTS - Friday, 29 April Week #2 - Premier League TOTS - Friday, 6 May Week #3 - Bundesliga TOTS - Friday, 13 May Week #4 - LaLiga TOTS - Friday, 20 May Week #5 - Ligue 1 TOTS - Friday, 27 May Week #6 - Serie A TOTS - Friday, 3 June Week #7 - Ultimate TOTS - Friday, 10 June
The Ultimate TOTS will bring the TOTS campaign to a close with the very best cards included from across the different leagues.
Accompanying that is the Saudi Pro League TOTS, with some top South American stars headlining the squad.Release Date
The Saudi Pro League TOTS was released on Sunday, 15 May at 1pm ET / 6pm BST.
It joins the Bundesliga TOTS squad in packs until that rotates out on Friday, 20 May, being replaced by the La Liga TOTS.
The SPL TOTS will be in packs for one week, before the Liga NOS, Super Lig and Belgium Pro League TOTS cards release on Sunday, 22 May.Saudi Pro League TOTS
Argentina midfielder Ever Banega is the top pick in the SPL Team of the Season squad.
With a 94 OVR, the former Sevilla maestro looks capable of mixing it with the very best players in the game!
Brazilian stars Anderson Talisca and Romarinho are next in line, with both men receiving high-rated cards.
Odion Ighalo is the main man up top for the SPL side with a superb 91 OVR card.SBC & Objectives
Along with the full squad being released in packs, there have also been two new cards released that you can unlock for your club.
Carlos Junior has arrived as an SBC player, and with 96 Pace the Brazilian could be a great value super sub.
Also available to unlock it Leandre Tawamba, and you can earn him by completing his set of objectives.TOTS Schedule
We have many key dates for the Team of the Season schedule already, so check them out below:Week #1 - Community TOTS / Eredivisie TOTS - Friday, 29 April Week #2 - Premier League TOTS - Friday, 6 May Week #3 - Bundesliga TOTS - Friday, 13 May Week #4 - LaLiga TOTS - Friday, 20 May Week #5 - Ligue 1 TOTS - Friday, 27 May Week #6 - Serie A TOTS - Friday, 3 June Week #7 - Ultimate TOTS - Friday, 10 June
The Ultimate TOTS will bring the TOTS campaign to a close with the very best cards included from across the different leagues.
Fortnite, with all its unique dates and events, has managed to keep fans around for a long time. Being one of the biggest games in the world, fans are eagerly anticipating the next season. Here's what we know about Fortnite Season 3 so far.LATEST - Only Weeks Away
Now that we're in the middle of May, it seems likely we are now just weeks away from the next season. Hopefully, we'll see some updates on it soon.
With the current season set to end at the start of June, it seems likely that Fortnite have big Summer plans.Update 20.30 is here
The latest update is finally here, hinting at the future of the game. As Fortnite continues to grow, we get even closer to the next season.
Fortnite Update 21.00 also known as Season 3, has begun playtesting according to @iFireMonkey on Twitter.
It's exciting to see the first confirmation of its existence! We already knew that it was chronologically next, but we can often be left waiting a long time to hear anything about the state of the update.Fortnite Season 3 Start Date
While the season may still start on Saturday or Sunday, it's not often that a new season kicks off with a big event. With the absence of a major interactive spectacle to end Season 1, it seems only right that we see something happen to end Season 2 or start Season 3.
Beyond the strange timings and dates, there is also the possibility that a 'black hole' situation is used to transition into Season 3. With the finale of Season 2 taking place on a Friday, could Epic be prepared to shut Fortnite down for a whole weekend and not start season 3 until Tuesday, 7 June?
Something similar was planned to start Chapter 3 but this was apparently cut short after large leaks came out revealing most of the surprises Epic had lined up. This has not been confirmed by Epic but feels like it's entirely possible given how much content typically leaks within the Fortnite community.
Regardless of how the season is shaping up this early, we're sure to learn more as we progress through the Resistance storyline. Should any major updates or leaks break offing better clarity on how Season 3 will launch, we'll be sure to keep you updated!
The main squad arrived in-game yesterday, with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Christopher Nkunku leading the charge.
A Flashback Axel Witsel made an appearance via a Flashback SBC, and he has been joined in the Squad Building Challenge markets by French forward Anthony Modeste.
Here is everything that you need to know about his Team of the Season card.Anthony Modeste (93 OVR)
Start Date: Saturday, 14 May
Expiry Date: Saturday, 21 MaySBC Requirements
There are two squads needed to submit to unlock the 93-rated card, with the requirements as follows:FranceFrench Players: Min 1TOTW Players: Min 1Squad Rating: Min 84Team Chemistry: Min 75Reward: One Prime Mixed Players PackBundesligaBundesliga Players: Min 1Squad Rating: Min 85Team Chemistry: Min 65Reward: One Gold Players PackBundesliga TOTS out NOW
The official EA Sports FIFA Twitter account has revealed the Bundesliga TOTS squad that is available in packs right now.
The rumours said that the Bundesliga TOTS squad was better than the Premier League one, and we're inclined to agree!
There is pure class all over the pitch, with Jude Bellingham the standout with his astonishing card that boasts every single base stat as 90-rated or above.
World-class strikers Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland both make the team with ridiculous 97 OVR and 95 OVR cards.
FUT 22 legend Christopher Nkunku is included which adds to his collection of 11 cards in Ultimate Team.
Canadian left-back and FIFA 22 streamer Alphonso Davies makes the cut with an awesome 93 OVR card.
Teenage sensation Florian Wirtz also features with an awesome 95 OVR TOTS card that boasts 97 dribbling and 95 passing.Key Dates
The Bundesliga Team of the Season squad was released at 1pm ET / 6pm BST on Friday, 13 May, replacing the Premier League squad in packs.
The new squad will stay in packs for one week from release, with the La Liga TOTS squad taking over from it on Friday, 20 May, again at 1pm ET / 6pm BST.
Check out some of the names that you can expect to see included in the upcoming Team of the Week release below.Kevin De Bruyne (94 OVR - TIF)
Kevin De Bruyne should be the headline act in Team of the Week 35, after the Belgian maestro produced one of the greatest individual performances the Premier League has ever seen against Wolves.
The Belgian scored four, including a first-half, week foot hat-trick, to fire Manchester City within four points of a fourth Premier League title in the last five years.Harry Kane (93 OVR - TIF)
Another Premier League star who is in line for a high-rated TOTW card is Spurs striker Harry Kane.
The boyhood Arsenal fan put his loyalties to one side on Thursday evening, netting twice in the first-half en route to a 3-0 victory that keeps Antonio Conte's side alive in the race for a top-four finish.Jamie Vardy (87 OVR)
Jamie Vardy has endured a tough season on a personal front, with the Leicester striker missing large parts of the season through injury.
He's ending the season on a high though, as he grabbed a double in the Foxes' 3-0 victory over relegated Norwich City on Wednesday night. A first inform of the season is in the offing for the Englishman.Jonas Hofmann (85 OVR - SIF)
The Bundesliga season drew to a close today, with Borussia Monchengladbach the biggest winners on the final day.
Jonas Hofmann's double helped Monchengladbach to a 5-1 victory against Hoffenheim, as they ended their underwhelming season on a high.Georgios Giakoumakis (85 OVR - TIF)
Celtic celebrated their Scottish Premiership victory in style on Saturday afternoon, as they hammered Motherwell by six goals to nil.
Greek striker Georgios Giakoumakis was amongst the goals yet again, netting twice, including a stunning overhead kick, as Celtic Park celebrated the return of the Premiership trophy.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a little bit of a surprise hit a few years ago. Though many thought it would be good, they weren't quite anticipating a Game of the Year contender. With all this goodwill behind it, the world is waiting for the official announcement of the next game. Here's what we know about it so far.Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Announcement
Being a bit of an open secret for some time, EA finally announced that they were working on three new Star Wars games with Respawn Entertainment earlier this year. Being the team behind the hugely popular Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it was a given that one of those titles would be a sequel to it.
On his podcast, GamesBeat decides, Jeff Grubb announced that we would see the official unveiling at the Star Wars Celebration in May. He said:"We’re gonna hear about that in May at Star Wars Celebration, is when that’s coming. So keep an eye out for that because that’s where it’s happening."Star Wars Jedi Survivor Release Date
Although we have an official release, once again, Jeff Grubb has given us valuable insight here. In a recent tweet, he stated that he thinks Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will come out between February and March next year.
If this is true, the guess at a Star Wars Celebration announcement makes even more sense. This year, it is set to go live between May 26th to May 29. We could see an official trailer and announcement at any point over those days. If we don't see it then, it could still come next year, we may just have to wait a little while longer.
This is clearly a big game for the studio so they are likely putting in a lot of effort to get the announcement just right. It could take them a little time. If anything happens, we will update you right here.
With its 2.0 update being released today on Android and IOS, PUBG Mobile players can expect the battle royale to be packed with changes. The new update provides an overhauled map, new legendary rewards and content related to the legendary anime, EVANGELION.
The update also introduces new anti-cheat methods and provides some general fixes. Here's everything you need to know about 2.0.*LATEST* PUBG Mobile Runs Butterfinger Promotion For U.S. Players
To celebrate the new 2.0 update of PUBG Mobile, the popular Battle Royale has teamed up with the peanut-butter chocolate bar Butterfinger to bring exclusive themed items to the game.
The three items in question are a Butterfinger parachute, buggy and costume set, all of which are decorated in the brand's yellow and blue colours.
The promotion runs until August 31st 2022 and will require players to purchase a pack of qualifying Butterfinger chocolate bars and upload their receipt to their promotional website in order to be sent the items with three qualifying purchases required to get everything. This period will also see a themed log-in challenge to get more exclusive rewards.PUBG Mobile's Livik gets revamped.
Starting on May 11th, PUBG Mobile is giving Livik a drastic overhaul. This redesign primarily focuses on the urban areas of Livik which have been redesigned to better reflect the available combat options in the game.
Livik's urban landscapes will also see a golden, resource-rich area randomly spawn at the beginning of each match. This golden area will provide a great number of supplies for players to grab. They will also spawn a series of mini-games like Blomster's Soccer Challenge and items like random crates that need treasure maps to track down.
The overhauled map also includes zip lines and the new four-seater Utility Task Vehicle for faster travel between areas, recall towers to revive dead teammates and a volcano hazard which will erupt randomly.Royale Pass Month - Hidden Hunters
With every new season, there is a new Royale Pass Month and PUBG Mobile's cycle 2 season 6 sees a new batch of legendary rewards for the taking.
The Hidden Hunters Season of PUBG mobile will see players collect themed glasses, parachutes, masks and more as they progress their way through the tiers of the Royale Pass. Pass missions are also trackable through the mini-map in matches to help players work through them. After working their way up to rank 50, players can pick between one of two rewards.PUBG Mobile Teams Up With Evangelion
PUBG Mobile also announced a partnership with the acclaimed anime EVANGELION, with plans on bringing the series' fearsome angels to the battle royale's various maps in a yet unannounced event for the future.New Anti-Cheat Methods and other changes in PUBG Mobile
Cheaters beware as PUBG Mobile is strengthening its security.
Update 2.0 brings with it a new dedication to crack down on cheaters as PUBG Mobile introduces two both the intuitive Eagle and Fog of War anti-cheat systems to try and stamp out cheaters for good.
Other minor updates coming with 2.0 include new shop items, a series of wingman finishes available in the "Lucky Spin" mode between May 17th and May 24th as well as some standard visual improvements across the board.
PlayStation is infamous for its events. Employing whole orchestras, huge exclusives and more than a few theatrics, they make some of the most interesting gaming showcases in the world. Xbox and Nintendo have also capitalised on this market, bringing their own unique charm. With the Xbox and Bethesda showcase just around the corner, it makes sense for Sony to work on their own. Here's what we know about the next one so far.LATEST - Could be coming in June
In their show, Games journalists Mike Minotti and Jeff Grubb were talking about gaming news and Jeff Grubb revealed he has heard we could get an event in June. In it, he said:
"I'm also hearing from multiple people that Sony will actually have a show the first week of June. I can't confirm that but I'm hearing from a bunch of different people but maybe that's just scuttlebutt."God of War Ragnarök Event Unlikely to Happen Soon.
When it comes to the most anticipated PlayStation releases that we could see soon, they don't come much bigger than God of War: Ragnarök.
Ragnarök was speculated to have a State of Play dedicated to it and solely it on Friday, May 27th, 2022. This wouldn't be out of the ordinary. PlayStation is known to put on special State of Play events dedicated to specific titles that they believe are noteworthy, with many of their first-party titles getting that treatment. It's easy to assume that God of War Ragnarök would be getting the same treatment.
According to God of War Ragnarök producer Cory Balrog in a Twitter video celebrating the fourth anniversary of God of War (2018), there is "something cool" coming for the game soon but no other information has been given since then, so it's hard to know whether that rumoured date is true.
The May 27th claim has also been further disputed by insider "Ashhong" on forum site Resetera who believes the date is "too soon" from when they last checked.
Further putting that date in doubt is the impending Summer Game Fest event set to start on June 9th 2022. While there is no guarantee that Sony will fall within the timeframe that Summer Game Fest is running, the June period tends to be where all the major companies make their big announcements and showcases, so a larger multi-game State of Play event that involves God of War Ragnarök isn't completely out of the realm of possibility either.
All of these possibilities aren't confirmed as of writing so hopefully, we can get an official announcement soon so the dreaded "2022" release date can get a little more fleshed out.What is State of Play?
After Sony decided to stop attending the annual E3 events back after its 2018 showcase, the decision was made to produce a series of shorter pre-recorded video packages that would be broadcast live, in the vein of Nintendo Direct.
Dubbed "State of Play" Sony's PlayStation events have since become an integral part of the PlayStation brand, announcing and showcasing a variety of major titles in their line-up and even being used for the official PS5 reveal.
Silent Hill rumours have become one of the most common things in modern gaming news. Konami's IP has been safeguarded for some time but it seems like multiple studios and teams have tried to get a project off the ground to no avail. Likely stemming from the breakdown of Hideo Kojima led P.T, Konami is making this decision carefully. Recent DMCA strikes show that there's something they want to hide. Here's what we know about it so far.LATEST - New Silent Hill could be a PS5 Exclusive
Jeff Grubb, a reputable journalist and gaming figure, has shared that he believes Silent Hill has a strong chance of being a PS5 exclusive. Given P.T was originally a PS4 exclusive demo, it makes sense that Konami and Sony's relationship is still strong.
Hopefully, we'll see more news on this in the future.Konami Seemingly Confirm New Silent Hill Game Via DMCA Takedown
As posted on the Gaming forum website Resetera and Twitter by user AestheticGamer Aka DuskGolem, the leak supposedly confirms a Silent Hill game being worked on by both Sony and Konami and consists of a series of high-fidelity screenshots that have since been taken down with DuskGolem claiming that the DMCA Takedown notice he received was from Konami themselves.
If true, this would be a public acknowledgement that the screenshots leaked by DuskGolem are real and belong to Konami, giving something concrete to what has otherwise often been nothing more than rumour and speculation.
Despite this confirmation of the images belonging to Konami, however, this leak should be taken with a pinch of salt. While Konami has claimed the images as theirs lending a lot of believability to the rumours: We don't know for sure if the images being shown are a new Silent Hill entry and not just some other Konami project being worked on. Nor do we know if these projects will represent or resemble anything close to a final release, Silent Hill or otherwise.
We won't know either of these things until an official confirmation is made so until then, we just have to hope these leaks are true and that Konami is planning to revive Silent Hill to restore true terror to gaming once more.
EA announced that it would be removing Battlefield 2042's 128 Breakthrough multiplayer mode on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC and will stick with the 64 player count version. The change will be reflected in Update 4.1 when it releases on May 19.
"When reviewing the available experiences in All-Out Warfare, we felt that the 128 player modes are better suited for Conquest where gameplay spaces are larger, and where you have a more natural fit for sandbox gameplay," said EA on its website.
EA notes that the player count was reduced as it felt like each individual player's contributions were reduced due to the sheer intensity and chaos during combat that come with having 128 players on one map.
Update 4.1 for #Battlefield2042 goes live across all platforms tomorrow (19/5) at 08:00 UTC ✅ It's a zero-downtime update so you'll be good to jump in and play once you have it downloaded 🎮 Update Notes: https://t.co/t75GIOLdTS pic.twitter.com/95Dore6tEG— Battlefield Direct Communication (@BattlefieldComm) May 18, 2022
"As a result, squads in Breakthrough 64 have a better opportunity to work together, to flank the enemy, place a spawn beacon, use their plus menu to attach suppressors, then clear, and hold a point - one squad helping turn the tide as an example," EA continued. "We believe that the move to 64 players will bring back the pacing that helps celebrate these moments of teamwork and PTFOing, and will be keeping a close eye on how our changes help to improve the experience ahead of the start of Season 1."
There are other changes to the game within the 4.1 update, including weapon re-balancing with improved base recoil and Specialist adjustments, such as Angel no longer being able to grant Armor Plates with his Supply Bag and Irish's Fortification System recharge time being reduced from 25 seconds to 20 seconds.
Battlefield 2042 hasn't had the best time in the spotlight. It was late with features such as adding a Scoreboard and voice chat functionality. At one point, it even had fewer concurrent players on Steam than previous entries in the franchise. EA reportedly also blamed the timing of Halo Infinite's surprise multiplayer release on Battlefield 2042's troubles.
In our Battlefield 2042 review, we said, "For a game claiming to be the future of Battlefield, 2042’s impressive Portal options make it clear that it doesn’t stack up to the past. Instead, it’s those same customization tools that could come to define it in time."
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey
God of War’s debut on PC in January 2022 ushered in a whole new way to play the game thanks to the addition of mods. But thanks to a mod by OmegaFactory, God of War replaces its father-son duo with another iconic pair from The Simpsons.
While many mods just replace characters with the likeness of another, this Simpsons mod takes it a step further. It features new dialogue and some great voiceover work that takes the original game’s mood from dark and sometimes somber to knee-slapping hilarious.
The mod also replaces The Stranger with everyone’s favorite Hi-Diddly-Ho Neighborino, Ned Flanders.May 15, 2022
If you’ve ever wanted to see Ned Flanders leap through the air to dodge a swing from Homer’s Wonder Bat, this mod will give you that and a whole lot more. It also comes complete with taunts from Ned to “repent your sins” as Homer tells him to “go back to church, loser.”
The character models for Homer, Bart, and Ned are all from the hit sandbox action game The Simpsons: Hit and Run. While the character models don’t quite reach the highs of the Hit and Run’s fan-made remake in Unreal from 2021, they still have that classic Simpsons charm.
If you’re anxiously awaiting the 2022 release of God of War: Ragnarok, this mod might be a fun way to try and pass the time. We gave 2018's God of War a glowing review and praised it for its "outstanding characters, world, and combat come."
Casey is a freelance writer for IGN. You can usually find him talking about JRPGs on Twitter at @caseydavidmt.
IGN and Rogue Games teamed up to produce the first-ever Rogue Jam that not only offered publishing deals to indie developers, but also $800,000 in total prize money that will be used to help bring these games to life. Now, the winners have been revealed.
Throughout five episodes over the past few weeks, a team of judges that includes IGN EVP and CCO Peer Schneider and former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé has selected the top games in five categories - Huge Potential Winner, Eye-Poppingly Beautiful, WTF?, Overall Winner, and Audience Choice.
If you'd like to watch all the episodes before seeing all the winners, be sure to check out each one below before checking out more details of the victorious games and a video preview of each one.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead for Rogue Jam!Rogue Jam Episode 1: Huge Potential WinnerRogue Jam Episode 2: Eye-Poppingly BeautifulRogue Jam Episode 3: WTF?Rogue Jam Episode 4: Overall WinnerRogue Jam Episode 5: Audience ChoiceRogue Jam Episode 1: Huge Potential Winner - Enter the Chronospherse
Enter the Chronosphere won the Huge Potential award at Rogue Jam 2022 and took home $50,000 and Rogue Games right of first refusal. In Enter the Chronosphere, players must master a turn-based "bullet hell" roguelike game where the action only takes place when they move. While this allows players all the time in the world to plan their next move, the challenges that wait will still require precision and careful thinking.Rogue Jam Episode 2: Eye-Poppingly Beautiful Winner - I See Red
I See Red won the Eye-Poppingly Beautiful award at Rogue Jam 2022 and won a cash prize of $100,000 and a Rogue Games publishing deal. In I See Red, players take on the role of a space pirate who loves nothing more than invading enemy spaceships and stealing weapons and other goods. The game is a fast-paced, frantic twin-stick shooter that also proudly wears its roguelike aspects on its sleeve.Rogue Jam Episode 3: WTF? Winner - Zapling Bygone
Zapling Bygone was named the ultimate WTF? game at Rogue Jame 2022 and is taking home $100,000 for that honor and a Rogue Games publishing deal. Zapling Bygone is a mix of open-world, roguelike, and metroidvania styles and puts you in control of a hive mind that must platform through the world, defeat their enemies, and wear their skulls to absorb their consciousness. These skulls give you new powers that help you navigate an alien world.Rogue Jam Episode 4: Overall Winner - Seadog
Of all the games to enter Rogue Jam 2022, Seadog took home the ultimate prize to become the Overall Winner. In doing so, the developers earned $500,000 and a publishing deal with Rogue Games. So, what is this game that secured victory above all others? It is a game about a skateboarding frog that also happens to be a sailor.
Seadog puts players aboard a ship that is stranded in a ship graveyard and tasks them with traversing through the world by using the skateboard and the many tricks this sailor frog can learn. You won't be alone in this mission, however, as you will be accompanied by your ship's captain - an A.I. that's stored on a flash drive.Rogue Jam Episode 5: Audience Choice Winner - Mysplaced
In the final episode, Mysplaced took home the award for Audience Choice alongside $50,000 and a Rogue Games right of first refusal. This Zelda-like game doesn't shy away from its inspiration and should feel right at home for those who loved the top-down entries of the franchise like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, specifically the remake! While not much has been revealed about the game, we do know it follows a hero who finds himself in a mysterious world.
Here's some good news for all the Magic: The Gathering players out there -- a bunch of upcoming cards are up for preorder on Amazon. We’ve got Dominaria United, Double Masters 2022, a new Universes Beyond Warhammer 40K crossover, and more. There’s a lot heading our way this year, so take a look at what’s available.Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Cards
Dominaria United releases September 9. It represents the beginning of a major story arc that’s planned to comprise four sets. Details about the plot are hazy for now, but you can expect to hear more in August.
This set includes Draft, Set, and Collector boosters, as well as Jumpstart boosters, which replace Theme boosters. Basically, each Jumpstart booster is based on a theme, and if you combine two of these packs together, you’ll have everything you need to play.MTG: Double Masters 2022
Only July 8, Double Masters 2022 arrives. It includes popular (and powerful) cards from previous sets, some of which will sport new artwork. These may be pricy, but every Draft Booster includes two rare and/or mythic rare cards, as well as two foil cards. These are also available at Best Buy.MTG: Universes Beyond: Warhammer 40,000
A new set of Warhammer 40,000 commander decks is heading our way on August 12. You can buy them individually or as a bundle -- or, if you want to go all out, you can preorder the collector's edition of the bundle. It's a bit on the pricy side, but hey, it's a collectable.MTG: Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate
Finally, arriving June 10 is a whole big batch of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate cards. They come in the typical Collector, Draft, and Set boosters, as well as Commander decks.
Chris Reed is a deals expert and commerce editor for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.
Publisher Nacon and developer Spiders have announced GreedFall 2: The Dying World for PC and consoles. The game is set to launch in 2024.
GreedFall 2's story is a prequel, taking place three years before the events of the first game. Players will assume the role of a Teer Fradee native who is uprooted from their island and is taken to where the colonists originally came from, the continent of Gacane, which has been decimated by both war and the Malichor plague.
"We are very excited to reveal GreedFall 2 to everyone, the new game from Spiders," said Nacon CEO Alain Falc in a statement. "Many fans across the world were begging for this sequel, and we are delighted to be publishing this new game that these fans are sure to love. We also hope it will appeal to new players and all fans of role-playing games, great stories, action, and fantasy."
Spiders founder and director Jehanne Rousseau added, "While we were working on Steelrising, our love of the Greedfall universe never faded, and so we are thrilled to be returning to it." She continued, saying, "In this new chapter, players will explore the old continent with its bigger and more diverse environments. They will meet new companions and new factions, and I hope they will have unforgettable adventures."
While GreedFall 2 is planned for release on consoles in 2024, it's currently unknown whether it will skip the previous generation with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One like Gotham Knights did.
In our original GreedFall review, we said, "GreedFall is almost everything I want out of a big, juicy, old-school RPG. While it’s still lacking a lot of polish, the exciting combat and excellent, complex quest writing bring it very close to that winning formula of a mid-2000s BioWare game." Spiders and Nacon have announced that it has so far sold 2 million copies.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey
Final Fantasy VII Remake director Tetsuya Nomura has said Square Enix will be making "various" announcements next month regarding the original game's 25th anniversary.
As reported by RPGSite, Nomura teased the announcements on a livestream for Final Fantasy VII spin-off The First Soldier, saying that Square Enix would be celebrating the original game's 25th anniversary.
"Next month, we're planning to publish information related to VII's 25th anniversary," he said. "I wonder how [much] I'm allowed to share about it. Next month we will publish various things."
Final Fantasy 7 turned 25 years old in January this year, the anniversary of its original Japanese release. It's western 25th anniversary is still upcoming; the original game launched in the States on September 7, 1997, and in Europe on November 17.
Remake Part 2 entered full development in July 2020 and original Final Fantasy VII director Yoshinori Kitase said earlier this year that the development team would like to announce the game in 2022 if possible.
That being said, Square Enix has other Final Fantasy VII related projects in the works (including The First Soldier and upcoming mobile RPG Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis), but the announcements could be much smaller and more akin to the recent clothing line reveal.
An announcement regarding Final Fantasy XVI is also expected soon, with producer Naoki Yoshida previously promising a big reveal was coming this spring.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.
The SEGA Dreamcast was one of the most innovative consoles ever. It also marked the end of an era. Aware that its time in the console business was almost over, Sega said to hell with it and went all-in on fascinating, weird experiments, from the delightful rhythm games like Space Channel 5 to strange curiosities like Seaman.
In compiling a list of the 10 best Sega Dreamcast games, we sought to create a snapshot of the Dreamcast's legacy, which encompassed everything from burgeoning online play to wild peripherals. We kept the focus on North America for the most part, which meant omitting many of the excellent shoot 'em ups from Japanese video game developer G.rev, but we did manage to sneak in Rez — a pioneering rhythm game that was always meant to be on Dreamcast.
The Dreamcast is long gone, but the games listed here live on as some of the most beloved games ever made. Here are the 10 best Sega Dreamcast games of all time.10. The Typing of the Dead
A spin-off of The House of the Dead 2, The Typing of the Dead was initially designed to improve one's typing and practice how fast one can type, however, its idiosyncratic gameplay and humor make it so much more than that. Instead of a light gun, you’re using a computer keyboard and the power of proper spelling and grammar to fend off hordes of undead.9. Grandia 2
The Dreamcast didn't have many RPGs, but the ones it did have were good. Along with Skies of Arcadia, Grandia 2 is generally considered one of the two best RPGs on the platform, lauded for its excellent soundtrack and even better battle system. While Grandia itself has faded, its mechanics have sprung up in a variety of RPGs over the years, from Ubisoft’s Child of Light to Penny Arcade’s On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness.
Grandia 2 was also one of the best-looking games on the Dreamcast. Filled with high-quality magic spells, special attacks, and other touches, it was a noticeable cut above what was available on the PlayStation at the time, especially during its most elaborate attack sequences. Its visual luster has faded in the years since, but it's still good fun to play, as demonstrated by the recent remaster. It remains worthy of the Dreamcast's legacy.8. Phantasy Star Online
The Dreamcast's Phantasy Star Online was a rebirth for the brand. Phantasy Star Online was a hit at debut, switching from the original first-person dungeon crawling and overworld exploring model to a new 3D real-time action RPG. PSO added online play with friends, character creation, and more to the franchise, which was distinct from the previous games' narratives.
Combat was enjoyable and varied depending on your character's customization; different races and classes excelled at melee, ranged, or technique combat. The four quest areas varied in style and fostered replayability by allowing you to level up and acquire materials to feed your pet Mag, which would provide special abilities such as buffs, stat boosts, and powerful photon blasts. These features increased replayability by enabling players to create new characters and experiment with alternative race and class combinations.
Following its initial release, Phantasy Star featured additional missions, raised level caps, new difficulty levels, and more, all of which could be downloaded, which was uncommon at the time. Phantasy Star Online appeared to just keep going, and for those of us who picked it up again on later systems like the Gamecube or the Xbox, it had a second life, capturing our attention and time all over again with enhancements.7. Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Adventure 2 released just 3 years after the first Sonic Adventure and improved on the originals formula in every way. Levels were tweaked to fit the personalities of the characters. Sonic and Shadow were all about speed and platforming, Tails and Dr. Robotnik were all about blasting their way to the finish line with their mechs, and Knuckles and Rouge were all about exploration and treasure hunting. Alternate objectives were included in each level, adding to its replay value. The Chao garden improved upon its return and was a fun distraction where you could raise and train Chaos to compete in races and karate. A 3D version of Green Hill Zone was available as a reward for those who collected all 180 emblems by earning an A in every mission.
There were also many two-player head-to-head modes in which you could race on foot, fight in mechs, embark on a treasure hunt, or race in go-karts. Sonic Adventure 2 also featured some of the best music songs in the franchise's history. There’s a reason songs like 'Escape from the City' and 'Live and Learn.' were saved for the finale and encore in the Sonic 30th Anniversary Symphony. Sonic Adventure 2 for its time was everything we had wanted from a 3D sonic game.6. Rez
Produced in part by Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who would later be known for his work on games like Lumines and Tetris Effect, Rez wasn't just unique, it was cool. It managed to combine rave culture and rail shooters, fueled by the Dreamcast's open-ended creativity.
Rez's development team is still emotional about this project to this day, coming as it did in the midst of the Dreamcast's unceremonious death. It would eventually release on PlayStation 2, and is now available on a multitude of platforms, including the Meta Quest 2. But as the last vestige of "cool Sega" and a rhythm game pioneer, Rez will always be a Dreamcast game first.5. Jet Set Radio
An action game where players venture through Tokyo using skates, spray graffiti, and evade authorities, with fun, addictive gameplay and a stellar soundtrack? Jet Set Radio is something special. While its sequel Jet Set Future's gameplay is a bit more refined, the cel-shaded vibrant art direction, music and distinct gameplay of the original make it a true gem that has influenced spiritual successors such as Hover and Bomb Rush Cyberfunk.4. Marvel vs. Capcom: New Age of Heroes
Marvel vs Capcom 2 on the Dreamcast was a game-changer in the world of fighting games. Not only was it a near arcade-perfect port, meaning that the developer didn’t have to make any sacrifices or tweaks to get it to run just as well as it did in the arcades, but Marvel vs Capcom 2 was simply one of the best fighting games of its time. Being able to play it at home without having to spend your allowance at the arcade was something that no doubt created an entire generation of fighting game fans.3. Power Stone 2
There’s a reason why people are still clamoring for more Power Stone; despite the wealth of arena and party fighters that have come out since Power Stone 2, there’s still nothing quite like it. Part of the appeal was that there were juist so many different ways to take the fight to your opponent: You could just wail on them with your character’s unique list of moves and special moves, you could run off and hop in a turret or use some other sort of environmental interactable, you could pick up one of the seemingly hundreds of items, or you could hunt down the three power stones and transform into your super powerful alter ego and turn the tide of the fight definitively in your favor.
Power Stone 2’s multiplayer battles were just so incredibly dynamic, and the Dreamcast is still the only place to experience them.2. Skies of Arcadia
There’s a lot that makes Skies of Arcadia one of the best RPGs of the Dreamcast era, but the number one reason is its sense of discovery and adventure. Skies of Arcadia is all about being an adventuring Sky Pirate, discovering new lands, recruiting new crew members to your ship, and you know, stopping an evil empire from destroying the world with ancient weapons.
Skies of Arcadia is charming, its world fascinating, and while many probably experienced it on the Gamecube as Skies of Arcadia Legends, the original Dreamcast version will forever hold a place in the pantheon of fantastic JRPGs.1. Soulcalibur
The original Soul Calibur is still one of the best fighters ever made. When it came to the Dreamcast, people were still pumping quarters into machines across the world to play, but somehow you got a better version at home with new features and better graphics than the original.
To get such an amazing version on a home console was really special and to this day, the Dreamcast version of Soul Calibur holds up as one of the best things about the console. If you’ve never tried this tale of souls and swords you are missing out on something special.
Agree with the picks on our list, or are some of your favorites missing? Well, you can share your own top Dreamcast games lists with us via IGN Playlist, our brand new tool that allows you to keep track of your gaming library, create lists and even rank them, discover what some of your favorite creators are playing, and more. Head over to https://www.ign.com/playlist to find out more, and start creating your own lists to share with us!
Having watched roughly 50 minutes of Saints Row gameplay, I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen. Deep Silver Volition’s reboot of the series looks a lot of fun, filled with the wackiness, carnage, and humour you’d expect. It feels comfortably familiar, but with enough new ways to play to make it not just seem like a retread of what’s come before, and promises to be a welcome throwback to an era when playful, urban open-world games were a much more common occurrence.
The first thing that caught my attention was the huge emphasis placed on customisation. Everything – from your playable “Boss”, a huge range of vehicles, arsenal of weaponry, and your base – can be tailored to your own designs. Car customisation in particular looks substantial with everything from paint jobs to neon underglows available. The character creator is also extensive, giving players the option to create just about anything human-shaped their mind can imagine. You can also completely overhaul the look of your character at any time - simply open the in-game phone app to perform the most advanced cosmetic surgery known to man. In a weird way, it reminded me of The Sims as you build a library of characters, each with their own backstory you’ve made up in your head, to take control of.
However, the setting is less SimCity and more Sin City. The world of Saints Row is a fictional depiction of the American Southwest and looks colourful and bustling with life. The main city of Santo Ileso – a well-observed riff on Reno, Nevada – is a perfect example of this as little vignettes play out as you stroll down the street. A band might start playing out of nowhere, or you may even decide to provide the music yourself by pulling out a guitar to entertain or annoy the locals.Tonally, Saints Row fits somewhere in between the second and third of the original series.
It’s this mix of a semi-realistic setting and knowing silliness that made the Saints Row games what they were. Distinct sandboxes where anarchic behaviour is not only encouraged, it’s often required. Tonally, Saints Row fits somewhere in between the second and third of the original series - not quite as dark as 2, but not as off-the-wall bonkers as The Third. From the brief conversations I heard in cutscenes and the way the members of your gang spoke to one another, I was getting big Watch Dogs 2 vibes – something I’m sure will split people – but as a big fan of Ubisoft’s San Francisco-based sequel, I found this encouraging.
That said, Saints Row appears to offer a much more rural setting than you might expect. Large swathes of desert punctured with pockets of civilisation fill the map, and it all looks pretty good too as dust and sand is kicked up into every cactus you fly by. These large open areas look set to be where Saints Row’s vehicles shine, with fully revamped driving mechanics which borrow from familiar favourites.
Games from the mid-2000s were never shy of taking successful gameplay quirks and dropping them into theirs, and that legacy continues here. Slide swiping into other cars conjures flashbacks of Burnout on PS2, while ejecting from a speeding car, deploying a wingsuit and hijacking another is a staple of Just Cause. I’ve even seen hints of a Back to the Future-style hoverboard. These are all positive steps, because what I’ve seen looks really good fun and there’s a good reason why you’d want these mechanics in an open world. Of course, the big test will be when we actually get to go hands-on and find out if these are successfully implemented.
One thing Saints Row has always benefited from is its vast range of unique weapons and that’s no different here. I’ve seen guns that shoot bullets through walls as if they’re paper, finger guns that fire bullets from giant foam fingers, and my favourite - the Thrustbuster - a throwable football that sticks onto enemies and vehicles, sending them flying into the air before exploding into tiny pieces. Every weapon, even the more conventional ones, have their own unlockable signature abilities too, such as turning a simple pistol into a quickfire machine pistol with the click of a button.One thing Saints Row has always benefited from is its vast range of unique weapons and that’s no different here.
As you’d expect, the action and violence is all very cartoony. It’s fluid too, and finishing off an enemy with their own weapon before diving feet first into a nearby car for a quick escape – then climbing onto the roof to fend off chasers while car surfing – looks very slick. Enemies do look a bit bullet spongy, with some taking several shots in the head to take down, and it’s often completely ridiculous, but that’s always been part of Saints Row’s charm.
There appears to be a ton to unlock, such as special moves like the Pineapple Express – in which you shove a grenade into an enemy's mouth and launch them at one of their friends – as well as skills and perks let you tailor your style further. There’s real variety in the enemies too, with each rival gang having their own fighting styles, units and mini bosses.
From what I’ve seen, activities are pretty standard open-world fare. Randomly generated Discoveries – like blowing the doors off an armoured van to get to the cash inside – provide moments of distraction, plus there are more scripted side missions. Main missions are as you'd expect from an open world game of this kind - a lot of car chases, firefights, and the occasional big explosive moment. For example, borrowing a heavily weaponised helicopter to destroy a rival gang's facility before landing on the roof and infiltrating, further increasing your grip on the city. Then there’s the modes which abandon story in favour of pure fun. One of these is the returning Mayhem, a mode where you cause as much damage as possible within a set time limit. It’s Saints Row in its purest form and makes no apologies about it.
Taking down other gangs looks like it’ll take up most of your time in Saints Row as you gradually complete missions to increase your influence over the map by fulfilling the 14 separate business ventures available on your war table map. New gameplay mechanics and modes (such as Saints Row classic - Insurance Fraud) and customisation options unlock as you progress through these objectives too, as well as collectibles to find around the world – some of which can be used to redecorate your church base – further driving home the point of Saints Row being full of character, and encouraging you to stamp some of your own character on its world.
There’s a lot going on in Saints Row then, and all of it will be fully playable in drop-in and -out co-op too. Whether it all comes together to make for a great time before its August 23rd release date is hard to know, especially as we’ve yet to actually play it. From what I’ve seen so far though, I’m hopeful. Saints Row is looking like a fun throwback, and finger guns crossed it feels exactly like that.
Simon Cardy would like a Burnout reboot next, please. Follow him on Twitter at @CardySimon.
Bungie has released a statement on the Buffalo, New York mass shooting that saw ten people killed and three others injured in a what police are investigating as a racially motivated attack.
The Destiny developer has pledged that, for at least one year, all profits from its Black Lives Matter "Be Heard" pin - which has also been moved to the front page of the Bungie Store - will go to a charity who monitors and reports hate groups and extremists in the United States. Bungie worked with its internal inclusion club, Black at Bungie, to plan the response.
Our “Be Heard” Pin is available on the @BungieStore and all profits are donated to @splcenter. The pin also comes with an emblem so players can show their support in Destiny 2.https://t.co/imXxDfK1Iv pic.twitter.com/TAwFins9gn— Bungie (@Bungie) May 17, 2022
Its statement said: "All profits from this pin will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a charity whose work includes monitoring hate groups and other extremists throughout the United States and exposing their activities to the public, the media, and law enforcement.
"In addition, our studio is committed to supporting the success of our inclusion, diversity, and equity initiatives for 2022 and beyond. We understand the fight for equality and equity is not easily won but is a constant effort by all people.""Our studio is committed to supporting the success of our inclusion, diversity, and equity initiatives for 2022 and beyond. We understand the fight for equality and equity is not easily won but is a constant effort by all people."
Black at Bungie will also partner with the developer's player support and community teams to bolster its efforts to make its online spaces safe and anti-racist, urging other game developers and communities to do the same.
It's not the first time Bungie has been vocal over issues of social injustice, as on May 5 it spoke out against the proposed overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the historic Supreme Court judgement used to secure rights to abortion across the U.S.
Bungie's message on the Buffalo mass shooting also came after streaming platform Twitch and online chat service Discord released statements over their association with the shooting. The gunman streamed the attack for two minutes on Twitch and planned it using Discord.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.
Imagine compacting the gothic open world of 2004’s Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines into an RPG that is far slower and more deliberate in its execution, dousing it with the same variety of linear, character-driven storytelling made popular in Telltale’s The Walking Dead series, then finally handing it off to receive one last blood injection from the legendary puzzle game Myst. That’s the pedigree that Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong tries to live up to, but it struggles to piece its own identity as a detective RPG together until the very end. It’s rich with decisions that should feel meaningful in theory, but its emotional moments exist in service to a broader story with no clue what to do with them. Meanwhile, its many obtuse puzzles are often too clumsily explained. With all of that working against it, you’d be mortally forgiven for walking out of Swansong’s dark, hazy alcove before its final embrace.
Things kick off as you step into a fancy pair of vampire shoes and head on down to the Camarilla, an upscale vampire court seated in the heart of Boston. It’s always a treat when you get to play the clear villain of a story... but that sadly isn’t the case here. Instead, Swansong quickly positions you as the downtrodden, misunderstood hero of its grimdark underworld. Its villains are a generic group of heavily armed religious fanatics in police uniforms that unironically label themselves the “Second Inquisition.” And if that wasn’t enough to make your eyes roll, it’s headed by Stanford, a guy whose monologues are so predictable and one-sided that he fails to be seen as anything other than a cheesy cartoon villain. In virtually every scene he shows up in, he spouts some euphemism about ending the vampire reign forever, and then he begins speaking Latin until he gets dramatically ferried off-screen. Hold on, I thought the whole titular Masquerade was about hiding the existence of vampires from the public for this exact reason? If he were a better villain, he’d tweet about them.
If you don’t already have an emotional investment in Vampire: The Masquerade’s world, Swansong does very little to pull you in. From the first scene, you’re barraged with jargon-rich dialogue spoken between characters who already know what’s going on – and who already have a history with one another – but don’t know you. None of the three playable characters – Leysha, Emem, or Galeb – really felt like an “in” for me, though I did enjoy Galeb’s general badassery. He’s the Camarilla’s point man (if you’re familiar with Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt, Galeb is the equivalent to that game’s Ventrue Enforcer class). Still, he isn’t all that relatable, and for a good chunk of time, most of the conversations feel like walking into a party where everyone talks to each other but no one talks to you. All three characters have their own unique backstory related to where they sit on the Camarilla’s hierarchy, and at least they’re each decently voice-acted, but it’s still jarring to be dropped directly into each of their stories at full speed ahead without establishing the stakes of the vampire world that are so quickly threatened by the Second Inquisition.Swansong does very little to pull you in.
As a result, any emotional connection to be had with the cast of vampires only begins to form in the last quarter of Swansong’s 20-hour story – well after you’ve already made most of the decisions that would determine each character’s fate. Worldbuilding is certainly helped along by the lore-rich codex, if you take the time to read it, but even after spending significant time gaining an understanding of the vampire underworld the first few legs of the story are still rather uninspired and uninteresting until you’ve had sufficient time to shape it around your choices.
There’s no shortage of supernatural violence in Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, but not in the way you’d normally expect for an RPG. There’s no combat here whatsoever, just cutscenes where combat takes place in scripted displays of vampiric fighting prowess. This isn’t a death knell by any means, since the best RPGs can get by without the need for constant action. Unfortunately, this is far from the best.
Despite the lack of fighting, you still need to sate your character’s bestial thirst – more specifically, you need to maintain their Discipline bar, which is like a mana bar that powers vampire abilities. To do this you have to periodically sneak one of several designated humans into private spaces and suck as much blood as you can without killing them, which is yawn-inducingly simple to do. If you do end up killing a mortal by deliberately drinking from them two times, the Suspicion gauge shared by each of your three characters goes up, which can gradually incur skill penalties until you bring it back down again by collecting loose pieces of intel that your NPC vampire comrades seem to have a knack for leaving around everywhere.You must suck as much blood as you can without killing a victim, which is yawn-inducingly simple to do.
It’s almost always worth feeding on each human at least once to replenish your Discipline, since that’s what grants the ability to dominate tense conversations, reveal hidden objects, or even teleport to distant hidden locations, depending on who you’re playing as. Likewise, as your Discipline pool goes down, your Hunger goes up, gradually making you less capable during tense encounters.
Aside from the times you do get to use your vampire powers, most of your time in Swansong is spent doing the same mundane things that any regular human could’ve done. You begin each mission with a limited pool of Willpower points to spend hacking computers, picking locks, and displaying your flair for rhetoric while discussing the finer points of human blood. This would be fine enough if the skill point system were less punishing, but an unbalanced and unclear skill check system dominates dialogue and confrontations. For instance, in certain cases a critical conversation can still result in failure even after you’ve spent enough precious Willpower points that they display as having 100% chance of success in the menu. That’s not what 100% means!Swansong can easily slow to a halt if you fail enough interactions.
Fail states don’t boot you to a game over screen, but they can cost you experience points that you would have been able to allocate in the following mission. They also tend to change the direction of the overarching story, supposedly making later encounters more challenging. And because Willpower-restoring items are so few and far between, Swansong can easily slow to a halt if you fail enough interactions, which can happen if you choose to allocate your experience points to the wrong skills before each level. That’s a big problem, since you can’t change or re-specialize your skills once you find yourself stuck in front of a locked skill check unless you’re willing to restart the level from scratch. Making matters worse, Swansong’s maps are so inconsistently designed that it’s functionally impossible to know which skills will or won’t be useful before you start. It’s a crap shoot.
It’s good that there’s always at least one solution to move the story forward that’s available to all characters on each map, but the most basic possible solution usually involves solving a puzzle, which might be more trouble than it’s worth. Despite charming my feet off for the first several levels, especially in the Jefferson Library and in Jason Moore’s apartment, the puzzle-solving detective work that seemed so appealing at first glance quickly lost its luster once I realized that the story itself wasn’t ultimately interesting enough to compel me forward. Many of these riddles, which required several layers of deductive reasoning to solve, didn’t fit in that well with the themes of the story itself and thus felt like padding rather than interesting contextual challenges. That meant that when a puzzle had especially inconspicuous clues, unrelated to anything the characters had been talking about, the solutions could feel out of left field even if they weren’t entirely illogical. Many of them give you little to work from and often forced me to run around in circles before I finally managed to piece them together. They’re not inherently bad, but it simply doesn’t gel with the pace of the storytelling.Puzzle solutions could feel out of left field even if they weren’t entirely illogical.
At least each of these reasonably spacious albeit contained environments look exceptionally good when played on Max settings. Lighting and fog effects look especially sleek and the art direction is generally punchy, giving a distinct identity to each location. The Camarilla itself is especially cool to explore, layered with contrasting black marble and sharp red hues that evoke a sense of being in an otherworldly but classy space.
You might get too used to staring at some of Swansong’s decorations for a longer time than you’d have hoped, though. As I said earlier, its puzzles require a high level of deductive reasoning, which is just fine, but a few of them do get a little too esoteric for their own good. For instance, one puzzle requires you to pay very close attention to the direction a certain mythical king is pointing his arms, but you won’t know that without doing some serious guesswork – especially since the same clues are placed immediately next to a completely different puzzle. One of the later puzzles requires you to trace your character’s missing daughter through a military complex, but you’ll need to translate a single piece of well-hidden information through several layers of logical deduction – finding a code on a printed sheet, figuring out what that’s supposed to open, finding another code, and so forth – before you can find the final solution and move forward once and for all.
This type of puzzle solving can work in the right circumstances, but here it’s in conflict with the already dreadfully slow pacing set by Swansong’s slow-burn story. I love to compare its style of storytelling to Disco Elysium, which arguably worked so well because you got to explore the protagonist’s inner monologue as he himself stumbled through the problem-solving process. However, such a level of self-awareness just doesn’t exist in Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong. Likewise, it often assumes you’re paying close attention to its long stretches of mind-numbingly dull dialogue. This is where Swansong often hides clues in plain sight, but since I generally didn’t know what to look for until I was already in front of a given puzzle, these long dialogue scenes (which were unskippable) ended up feeling more like a ploy to pad out Swansong’s length than anything else.
Thunderful Games has four separate SteamWorld games in development with three expected to launch next year.
The company revealed during its latest financial results that SteamWorld Headhunter - a third person action adventure that was revealed in November - is just one of four different genres the SteamWorld franchise is exploring. It is expected to launch in 2023, along with two others.
Those two, codenamed 'Strawberry' and 'Coffee', will be followed in 2024 by 'Caramel'. Are all listed as "SteamWorld IP" games, with Strawberry and Coffee actually listed before Headhunter in Thunderful's development timeline.
Strawberry is a puzzle game being developed for mobile, Coffee is a city-building game for PC and console, and Caramel is a turn-based tactical shooter and strategy game in development for PC, console, and mobile.
Mixing and matching gameplay styles isn't unusual for the SteamWorld franchise which has released games in the deck-building, platformer, and Metroidvania genres since the original Tower Defense game was released in 2010.
The number of games in development is a little surprising though, as Thunderful plans to release as many SteamWorld games in next two years as it has in the last nine.
While Headhunter was only official announced in November, the game's official Twitter account revealed in May last year that several SteamWorld were in development, though we now know a bit more about how many, what they are, and when they'll be released.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.
Most of Dead by Daylight is spent running away from its stable of horror villains, but a surprise visual novel will soon have players running toward familiar characters like The Trapper... for romance.
At a recent anniversary event, Behaviour Interactive announced a new dating sim titled Hooked On You: A Dead By Daylighting Dating Sim. Developed by Psyop, the creators of I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin' Good Dating Simulator, it will feature "romance, steamy references and... shirtless outfits."
Hooked On You's stars will be four familiar Dead By Daylight killers who inhabit something called a magical land called "Murderer's Island:" The Huntress, The Spirit, The Trapper, and The Wraith. Here's how the official release describes it:May 17, 2022 Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim takes players on Murderer’s Island. Their companions: four dead-sexy Killers who, underneath their murderous exteriors, just want a little romance. Fans flirt their way into the hearts of The Huntress, The Spirit, The Trapper, and The Wraith, uncovering dark twists along the way. Will they find true love, forge friendships or get hacked to death? Only they can decide. As mystery unfolds, it’s their job to make sense of it all. What brought them here? Where did these Killers come from? Why do they show so much interest? And, most importantly, if only one had to be chosen for love… who would it be?
On top of its new dating sim, Behaviour Interactive also announced another crossover with Resident Evil titled "Project W"; a new original chapter titled "Roots of Dread"; an Attack on Titan collaboration, and a major update for its mobile game.
Now seven years old, Dead by Daylight has grown to include some 31 survivors and 28 killers, collaborating with famous franchises such as Hellraiser, Ringu, and Stranger Things. As for its quirky new dating sim, Hooked On You will be out this summer on Steam.
Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.
After Starfield and Redfall both got delayed out of 2022 on the same day, we discuss why Xbox fans are understandably frustrated with the lack of major first-party exclusives this year. Next year does look amazing - and we discuss that in detail - but we also talk about how many fans are tired of being told "Wait until next year." Can the Xbox Showcase provide any immediate answers? Join us!
Subscribe on any of your favorite podcast feeds, to our YouTube channel, or grab an MP3 download of this week's episode. For more awesome content, check out our latest IGN Unfiltered interview, where Joseph Staten – one of Halo's original creators and now the head of creative on Halo Infinite – discusses his fascinating career:
Ryan McCaffrey is IGN's executive editor of previews and host of both IGN's weekly Xbox show, Podcast Unlocked, as well as our monthly(-ish) interview show, IGN Unfiltered. He's a North Jersey guy, so it's "Taylor ham," not "pork roll." Debate it with him on Twitter at @DMC_Ryan.
If, for some reason, you decided you weren't too keen on LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga at full price, well my patient and frugal friend, the Nintendo Switch version is on sale right now at both Walmart AND Amazon.LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga on Sale
It's important to note both Amazon and Walmart's deals are being offered by 3rd party sellers, but they're being fulfilled by the respective retailers. I buy 3rd party stuff all the time and haven't had any problems. At least, not yet.
Traveller's Tales really did an outstanding job with this one. In our LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga review we called it "a series of interplanetary playgrounds that are dense with discovery and entertaining diversions."
Basically, even the video game versions of the movies you didn't like are fun to play through. That's saying something, considering how divisive the nine movies making up the Skywalker Saga actually are. Is there anyone who absolutely loves them all? I'm sure there are, and I'm sure they'll be in the comments.
Seth Macy is Executive Editor, IGN Commerce, and just wants to be your friend. You can find him hosting the Nintendo Voice Chat podcast.
Epic’s new game engine, Unreal Engine 5, is set to add a new suite of options and seemingly ease the process of game development for developers large and small. That ease of use, plus a drastically improved toolset and multiple features designed to save time for developers, could lead to development methods that look vastly different from previous generations.
But how poised is it to actually change the game development landscape? IGN spoke to a number of both AAA and indie developers to discuss what Unreal Engine 5 brings to the table and the possible ripple effects it could have on the industry. The picture these devs painted of the engine is one of efficiency, increased useability for spread-out dev teams, and the possibility of indie games being larger in scope than ever before.Nanite
The biggest changes Unreal Engine 5 introduces include Nanite (Unreal’s geometry system), Lumen (its updated lighting system), and advancements in world and data streaming. These of course only scratch the surface, as Unreal 5 also includes changes to physics, fluid simulations, AI operations, character animation, and many more. But let’s examine those big three.
Nanite promises “limitless geometry.” And while that may sound like the 9th circle of hell to those who shared my experience in high school, it actually means that full quality assets, containing millions of tiny triangles can be created or imported to Unreal 5 with tiny hits to performance compared to before.
According to Studio Technical Director at The Coalition (Gears 5) Kate Raynor in a recent Xbox Wire, Nanite “enables full-quality movie assets to be rendered in real time. This means that our artists can create assets with tens of millions of polygons, scalable to scenes with billions and billions. The details are just incredible, more than 100 times what was possible before.”
In previous Unreal Engines, placing objects with massive geometric detail in the middle of a scene could lead to intense slowdown and a tanking framerate. As Chief Technology Officer for new AAA studio That’s No Moon, Barry Genova, told IGN: “Nanite opens the ability to use highly detailed geometry while maintaining good runtime performance.”
In Epic’s engine showcase video, Lumen in the Land of Nanite, you can see the massive amount of detail broken down to the actual triangles. You can also see the same in The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal Engine 5 Experience, and even toggle the triangle view on and off yourself.
You couldn’t work easily with objects that had this level of detail before Unreal Engine 5, and the workaround in older engines is mostly two-fold: normal mapping and authored LODs, or levels of detail. Normal mapping involves taking a custom, highly detailed 2D texture, and wrapping it around a lower detail object. Think of the face swapper in the Mission Impossible movies, or the movie Possessor, if you truly would like to have nightmares forever.
It allows developers to achieve textured detail without breaking the bank when it comes to resources, whether those resource constraints are the target hardware devs hope to ship on, or even the budget of the game, as removing extra steps can save tons of time and money.
Custom LODs allow high resolution and low resolution versions of the same in-game asset to dynamically swap with each other based on the player’s distance, or line of sight to the object. A developer could let you see the best version of an object as you examine it from three inches away, but including that same asset far off on the horizon would simply be a waste of resources, as the engine would have to work to maintain that level of detail while it’s not even possible to see. This was all done manually in previous engines, as developers had to create these extra assets and tell the engine when to use them.
Both of these solutions, among many others, were creative workarounds to unavoidable problems, but Epic claims to fix them with Nanite. Nanite allows the developer to place the highest quality asset possible, with massive amounts of geometric detail, without worrying about faking it with normal mapping or papering over the cracks with custom LODs. Indie developer Dan Kim Nguyen praised this element of UE5, and told us that “it’s a game changer.”
“Any environment assets I create are less likely to cause performance issues when brought into UE5. I worry less about poly counts [or the level of detail], for assets. This gives me more freedom as an environment artist to create more realistic assets.”
Unreal’s website claims it achieves all this by “[Intelligently doing] work on only the detail that can be perceived and no more,” by handling LODs without the extra steps of having to create and tell the engine when to use them, and by streaming its data much more efficiently. And this isn’t only going to help resource-constrained indie devs, as Bloober Team (The Medium, The Blair Witch Project) Lead Programmer Mariusz Szaflik explained.
“Multiple orders of magnitude increase in geometry complexity is a huge game changer for us,” he said. “Artists are less constrained by polygon budget, could work faster and be more creative. Of course, Nanite is not a holy grail that will allow artists to put whatever they want into the game world, but certainly, it can smooth asset related pipelines and increase productivity/visual fidelity…”
These detailed assets can either be custom-made, or imported from the Quixel Megascan library, a huge repository of assets available to pull from inside Unreal 5 using Quixel Bridge with just a drag and drop. But detailed geometry wasn’t the only thing slowing down developers; lighting was also very cumbersome in previous engines.
Which brings us to Lumen.Lumen
Lumen is Unreal 5’s “fully dynamic global illumination and reflections system.” Much like Nanite, Lumen promises to save on development time and to maximize resources. Travis Johnston, Director of Technology for ProbablyMonsters (whose team Firewalk is working on a new multiplayer IP for Sony), told us why that’s so useful.
“Literally everyone at the company has been waiting for this,” he said. “Most importantly, artists are beside themselves as they no longer have to make tradeoffs of either reduced lighting quality or slower workflows with delayed results. Designers no longer need to choose between the amount of dynamic environments in the game vs. the overall lighting and shadow quality.
Engineers no longer have to set up and maintain lightmap farms that slow down builds and can suddenly fail during important milestones. Lastly, the finance people at small companies no longer need to make capital investments in lightmap farms just to get decent-looking demos out the door. Gamers now get worlds they can interact with and modify that still look amazing for even better immersion. Literally everyone wins, so we expect the visual bar on games to jump very quickly in the next year.”
Lumen also works hand-in-hand with Nanite, as high detail geometry would be wasted without high detail shadows and lighting. “Diffuse lighting,” or indirect lighting that often bounces off multiple sources is now dynamic, much more accurate, and less resource-intensive, as it can all be handled in-engine without a lighting artist performing multiple render passes or “baking” light to check the look of their scene.
This interactivity with geometry also has dynamic in-game consequences, as Lumen in the Land of Nanite shows during its cave section. In that demo, the lighting that was hitting the outside roof of the cavern is allowed to shine through once the geometry is broken, creating a hole in the structure.
In older engines, this would be a scripted section with pre-baked lighting that would require specific instruction and rendering passes by a lighting artist. “Lumen and Nanite have changed the way we think about content creation,” said Szaflik, “and now some things (like fully dynamic environments) are easier to create than ever before.”
But Lumen and Nanite, although possible game changers on their own, wouldn’t make as much of an impact in giant open worlds if Unreal 5 didn’t change how the engine handles data across those immense spaces. For that, Epic created World Partition.'World Partition' and 'One File Per Actor'
World Partition is, essentially, a new system that makes it much easier to build large open worlds. While “data management” isn’t the sexiest term to the outside observer, World Partition has the potential to be one of the most important features for both AAA and indie studios, as it automates much of what makes open worlds currently so hard to manage. The potential to streamline the creation of open worlds particularly excited CD Projekt Red (The Witcher 3, Cyberpunk 2077), explained its Chief Technology Officer Paweł Zawodny.
“Broadly I think one of the things I’m most excited about when thinking about the wider industry is the availability and accessibility of technology to create open worlds,” said Zawodny. “Large scale open worlds historically have required a lot of investment and resources, and are hard to make with smaller teams.
"They can be complicated and a massive challenge for independent studios who simply don’t have hundreds of developers on staff. But with Unreal Engine 5 putting a big focus on open worlds, I think you’ll start to see smaller developers taking on open worlds and seeing what they can do in that space.”
World Partition does the work of dividing your giant open world into smaller levels - behind-the-scenes, of course, not in the act of actually playing - so the game is only loading what it needs and not breaking the performance.
This not only helps with performance, but workflow as well. Both representatives from Bloober Team and ProbablyMonsters mentioned a new feature inside of World Partition by name: “One File Per Actor,” or OFPA. In older Unreal Engines, if you wanted to make changes to a particular file, it could lock another developer out of what they were doing until you were done, slowing everybody down. OFPA lets a developer work with a very small, partitioned building block of the level without affecting anyone else’s work, drastically easing the workflow for everyone.
In Johnston’s Words, “many conflicts over source control exclusive check-outs have all but gone away and team members can no longer accidentally hold each other up.” This new data management system is especially important in a post-pandemic world where many devs are no longer occupying the same physical space and can’t be asked to please log off for the twelfth time so everyone else can get their work done.Workflow
There will be games that look incredible in large part because of these new tools, but again and again, the answers we received from devs about the features they were most excited about were ones that improved the efficiency of their workflow. Developers can theoretically focus on what they want to do in the first place: spending less time fiddling with tools, and more time making games fun, a process called “iteration” that requires tons of trial, error, and time.
The process of iteration is so important, that several developers mentioned it by name, especially as it pertains to the “gameplay loop,” or what the player will be doing over and over again while playing their game. If that core loop isn’t fun or enjoyable in some way, then what’s the point?
In that previously mentioned Xbox Wire, Rayner said “UE5 enables developers to take the handcuffs off and truly create the content we’ve always dreamed of making. No more compromises! It also creates the removal of friction points in workflow… UE5 has rapidly increased our iteration time because working within the engine is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get experience. There is no more guesswork. The tech is all there, and now all we have to do is familiarize our content creators to it.”
Unreal 5 promises to make developers' lives easier. With ballooning budgets, expanding production timelines, and an increasingly remote workforce, anything to ease the pipeline will theoretically lead to more time in the playtesting and design phases. But this newfound accessibility when it comes to using lifelike assets doesn’t come without caveats. Bruce Straley, co-creator of The Last Of Us, addressed the general advancement in development tools in a recent tweet, saying that aesthetic distinction is a must.
“Now that realistic graphics are at every devs’ fingertips, stylization & art direction is going to be essential to stand out from the crowd,” tweeted Straley. “Good art directors, creative artists & artistically-minded rendering engineers are needed now more than ever… Likewise for gameplay systems: the more compromises to dynamic, interactive, responsive experiences made in order to [achieve] photorealistic graphics, the further we get from actually achieving integrated, “realistic” gameplay experiences.”
With Nanite, Lumen, World Partition, and a more efficient pipeline, Unreal Engine 5 appears to give developers more power over the scope, look, and mechanics of their games than ever before. “Unreal Engine 5 is going to continue to push the quality of all games higher,” said Genova. “Unreal allows teams to focus on the game instead of having to spend a significant amount of time building up all the framework and infrastructure of an engine.
"It showcases what is possible providing inspiration -- even for games not made with Unreal Engine. Developers have more time to research, innovate, and iterate on the gameplay providing a wider variety of experiences for all the players. It is net-win for everyone.”
Ronny Barrier is a Gameplay Producer for IGN.
Arma Reforger is a work in progress. That point was hammered home over and over again at a recent preview event hosted by developer Bohemia Interactive. It's been almost a decade since the release of Arma 3, and while a formal sequel is still on the horizon, the company is first offering a smaller, scaled-down version of their traditional warfighting precision. The goal, says Bohemia, is for Reforger to be a "bridge" towards Arma 4; using the platform as a testbed to gauge community feedback throughout the rest of the development cycle. That makes a lot of sense considering how Reforger, and the future Arma 4, are both headed to consoles for the first time in the series’ history. The studio now needs to answer questions it never had to ask before. Can a gamepad mesh with the complex logistics of a military simulator? Does the console audience even have an appetite for Arma's many quirks? You can understand why Bohemia wanted to dip their toes in first before taking a dive.
Arma Reforger is, in some ways, a reimagining of the first game of the series -- 2001's Operation Flashpoint. A fictional Eastern European island from that game, Everon, has been fully remastered in Bohemia's new Enfusion engine, and players are cast as either Americans or Soviets in the keening, late-’80s apogee of the Cold War. I was granted access to a pre-release build, which gave me a tutorial and a few multiplayer servers that were otherwise abandoned by any other actual human players, and it was immediately clear that Bohemia's graphical retrofitting paid off. Pastures bloomed with dewy grass, trees lined the horizon on the impressive draw distance, glassy water lapped against the shores. Bohemia mentioned that development for Reforger has been difficult, likely because importing systems to a brand new gaming infrastructure is always challenging. But this new chapter of Arma is both beautiful, functional, and right in line with other triple-A shooters on the market.
Reforger plans on keeping the vibrant Arma modding scene alive and well. The main menu includes a link to the Workshop, where players will be able to upload their own bespoke creations directly to the game's servers. Reforger also includes a new game mode called Game Master, which is pitched as a way one player can effectively direct an Arma multiplayer match through the ebb and flow of battle. (It sounds similar to a DM in Dungeons & Dragons.) This should be a boon for diehards of the series; finally, a chance to play around with Arma's tools using modern technology.Game Master is pitched as a way one player can effectively direct an Arma multiplayer match through the ebb and flow of battle.
Some PC lifers might fear that Bohemia's console pivot means that the studio will deemphasize some of Arma's more fiddly, hardcore tics. I'm not a milsim expert by any means, but from what I saw, those anxieties can be safely put to bed. Reforger keeps both the restless shooting mechanics and all of the administrative overhead; you will absolutely be hauling supplies to different checkpoints in order to construct vehicle depots and armories, and this remains a waypoint free experience. That means Xbox players are going to become very much accustomed with their compass and coordinates, as they triangulate where, exactly, the enemy lines are located.
But anyone spending the $29.99 on Reforger's early access release should know that, as of this writing, the game seems to be in its opening stages of development -- especially compared to how fleshed-out and content-rich earlier games in the series are. Reforger has one gigantic map so far, and only two modes. One is the aforementioned Game Master suite of tools, and the other is a capture-and-hold rigamarole, which means that currently, Reforger has a dearth of single-player content outside of the tutorial. Compare that to Arma 3, which released an expansion focused on a literal alien invasion three years ago. It becomes clear that Bohemia has a long way to go before Reforger reaches feature parity with the rest of the series. (Right now, the studio is saying that Reforger will be in Early Access for about a year, with frequent updates occurring throughout the cycle.)
Unsurprisingly for a work-in-progress Early Access game, I also ran into a number of bugs during my playthrough, including some psychedelic visual glitches and a number of crashes as I attempted to load into matches. Remember, I was playing on empty servers, so I can't speak to the stability once everyone is piling onto Everon at the same time. I can only imagine that Bohemia is eager to see how their backend holds up.From what I saw, any concerns about Arma being 'dumbed down' for consoles can be safely put to bed. Reforger keeps both the restless shooting mechanics and all of the administrative overhead.
But hey, these are the growing pains of any intrepid new platform. New Arma games are treated like seismic events in the milsim community, and Reforger – with its new engine and fresh debut on consoles – stands as one of the boldest ventures in Bohemia's history. We'll keep checking in as the war rages on.
Following rumors that horror game developer Bloober Team is remaking the legendary Silent Hill 2, CEO Piotr Babieno has said he cannot comment, but hopes to make an announcement about the company's future projects "as soon as we can". He added that its unannounced project will "still be a Bloober Team title", even if it's made in partnership with another company. Babieno also explained that future Bloober games will be bigger and more gameplay-focused than in the past, and will not be "walking sim"-type experiences.
Speaking to IGN at Polish games conference Digital Dragons, Babieno responded to rumors (first reported by influencer Nate the Hate and subsequently journalist Jeff Grubb) about a Silent Hill 2 Remake by saying:
“We can’t comment on anything we are doing because we appreciate our relationship with our partners, of course. So we can’t [say] anything. We will make an announcement about our future projects as soon as we can. So then you will know much more." Chuckling, he added, "Officially."
Bloober Team entered into a partnership with Konami — owner of the Silent Hill series — last year. Since then, multiple reports have linked the developer (which developed horror games Layers of Fear, Observer, Blair Witch, and The Medium) with a Silent Hill project. It was even forced to deny that some of its unused game concepts were planned Silent Hill titles. Bloober confirmed previously that it's simultaneously working on two titles, one with Konami, while another, due to be published by Private Division, is a new IP. Babieno tells me a third title is in pre-production.
Later in the interview, I asked Babieno about the company's experience working with a license holder in the case of Blair Witch, and the CEO briefly referenced one of Bloober's upcoming projects, making clear that his company's approach is to make games on its own terms, even if it's within someone else's franchise.
“I would say that it’s hard to work with someone who [owns an IP you’re working on], but we are always talking with those licensors, [saying] 'Guys we would like to use your license, but we would like to tell our own story.' If we are not able to tell our own story, if we will not have creative freedom, it doesn’t make sense, because Bloober Team will not make a great game," Babieno said. "If you are in a prison, you will not be able to fly. So that’s why we are trying to only [make] those titles in which we are feeling, ‘OK, it will be a Bloober Team game, not someone [else’s].' So even on the project we can’t talk [about], it will still be a Bloober Team title.”
Babieno didn't make clear that this was a reference to the Konami title, but it feels likely given that Bloober's Private Division game is a new IP. If that is the case, and Bloober is working on Silent Hill, Babieno's words could be taken to mean that the company is applying its own ideas to Silent Hill 2, or alternatively that its Silent Hill game is actually a new story in the series entirely. The CEO did not provide any further comment on those lines.
Speaking more generally about Bloober Team's future, Babieno said that the company was aiming to change the kinds of games it makes, while sticking with the dark, psychologically focused subject areas it has specialised in.
“There are a lot of people in our team who would like to do bigger games, with more gameplay, with some game mechanics [we haven’t used before] because mostly our past titles were experience-like, right? It was more about the mood, about the story, not necessarily about gameplay. [...] We would like to do games which will tell our stories based on the game mechanics. So you could expect that each of our future titles will have a lot of gameplay mechanics. Those titles will be bigger.”
He added that Bloober's games would continue to transition away from the "walking simulator" approach of its early successes, such as Layers of Fear.
"It’s not a huge jump, it’s rather evolution, but right now we are well-prepared to make games similar to Hellblade, to name [one example]. But I would say that we will still have our DNA - those games will still belong to Bloober Team’s legacy, and they will be bigger. We will tell stories [through gameplay], it will not be walking sim kinds of experience in the future, but still, the subject, those feelings which we would [we would like our fans to feel], they will remain," Babieno said.
Aside from the rumors about a Silent Hill 2 remake, images from what is rumored to be a brand new Silent Hill were revealed last week — and swiftly deleted after a copyright claim. The deletion seems to lend credence to their authenticity, although Konami has not commented.
Silent Hill 2 remains one of the most beloved games ever released. We named the PS2 psychological horror one of the best games of all time, calling it "an exploration of the depths of human depravity and the effects it has on the people and places around us that few video games have handled with such a disturbing grace and maturity."
Techland has revealed the first piece of concept art for its unannounced AAA open-world fantasy action RPG. Additionally, the development team has recently recruited talent that has previously worked at Arkane and CD Projekt Red.
The concept art features a man looking at some sort of ancient city surrounded by lush trees, pink vegetation, and waterfalls. Notably, the archetecture of this ruin isn't traditional medieval England in its aesthetic, so we may be in for something slightly left field for AAA fantasy.
For this new IP, the studio has employed narrative director Karolina Stachyra and narrative lead Arkadiusz Borowik, both of whom previously worked on The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
The rest of the team has similarly notable backgrounds. Recently recruited members include open world director Bartosz Ochman, who previously worked on Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3. Mario Maltezos, the project's creative director, has worked on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Mad Max, while lead game designer David McClure worked on Deathloop. Lead animator Kevin Quad worked on Horizon Zero Dawn and its DLC, and lead UI designer Marcin Surosz was a UI/UX designer at People Can Fly.
“We're very happy with what we have accomplished with the Dying Light franchise so far," explained Techland CEO Pawel Marchewka in a press release. "Moreover, our journey with Dying Light 2 Stay Human has only just begun as we plan to support this game for at least 5 years, with its scope and size matching, if not exceeding, what we have provided our community with during post-launch support for its predecessor."
"At the same time, our ambition is to introduce a brand new IP that is vastly different from what we have been doing for the past several years. We want to create a fully next-gen experience," he continued. "A new fantasy epic set in a sprawling open world, fueled by the skills and experience we have gained as a team over the years, infused with new ideas, passion, and creativity. While we cannot share more details about this project now, we're all truly invested in it and looking forward to showing it to gamers when the time is right."
Are you ready to begin a new, thrilling journey with Techland?We are hiring for the unannounced AAA Open World Action-RPG in a fantasy setting!Join us now! https://t.co/0yplHvELBW pic.twitter.com/MPZcv7p8iG— Techland (@TechlandGames) May 17, 2022
Techland is currently hiring more developers to work on the unannounced fantasy game. This seems to be an ongoing trend of studios trying to court more talent by teasing high profile projects either on social media or showing them off within game showcases, as in the case of Ubisoft's Splinter Cell remake.
Techland are fresh off developing Dying Light 2, and while many of the development staff are remaining with the zombie open world to create post-release content, it seems clear that the studio is gearing up for production on their next (hopefully major) IP.
George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey
Xbox has revealed its second wave of games coming to Xbox Game Pass in May. We've already seen Trek to Yomi, NHL 22, and Loot River come to Game Pass in the first half of the month, and now games such as Sniper Elite 5, Vampire Survivors, Jurassic World Evolution 2, Pacman Museum+, and more are coming to the Game Pass over the next couple of weeks.
More games are expected to hit the service soon, including Assassin's Creed Origins, but with it confirmed to be not turning up in May, you should probably expect it in June instead. For now, here's everything so far coming to Game Pass this month. (ICYMI, Sony has also announced some of the games coming to the new PS Plus as well)Sniper Elite 5 is On Game Pass from May 26
The award winning shooter series is returning with Sniper Elite 5, and it'll be available on day one of release on Xbox Game Pass for console and PC users. Experience sniping and tactical third-person combat with a wild x-ray kill-cam that can still produce some stunning cinematic shots.Everything Coming to Xbox Game Pass in May 2022Loot River — Available NowCitizen Sleeper (Console, PC, Cloud) — Available NowTrek to Yomi (Console, PC, Cloud) — Available NowDanganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Anniversary Edition (Console, PC, Cloud) — Available NowEiyuden Chronicle: Rising (Console, PC, Cloud) — Available NowThis War Of Mine: Final Cut (Console, PC, Cloud) — Available NowNHL 22 (EA Play) (Console) — Available NowHer Story (PC) ID@Xbox — Available NowJurassic World Evolution 2 (Cloud, Console, and PC) — Available NowLittle Witch in the Woods (Game Preview) (Console and PC) ID@Xbox — Available NowSkate (Cloud) EA Play — Available NowUmurangi Generation Special Edition (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@Xbox — Available NowFarming Simulator 22 (Cloud, Console, and PC) — May 19Vampire Survivors (PC) ID@Xbox — May 19Floppy Knights (Console, PC) — May 24Hardspace: Shipbreaker (PC) — May 24Sniper Elite 5 (Console, PC) — May 26Pac-Man Museum+ (Console, PC) — May 27Cricket 22 (PC) ID@Xbox — May 27Jurassic World Evolution 2 is Now on Xbox Game Pass
"While it lacks the customization and management depth of Frontier's other recent, excellent park-builders, Planet Coaster and Planet Zoo, getting to see these prehistoric beasts at eye-level from one of those stylish ‘90s tour Jeeps has never looked more enticing." - IGN reviewed Jurassic World: Evolution 2 last year and gave it a 7/10.Vampire Survivors is Coming to Xbox Game Pass on May 19
Don't underestimate this game just because of its graphics, it's an addictive and wild ride that can create some serious gaming chaos once you get into the later stages of a session.Everything Leaving Xbox Game Pass This Month
Here's everything Xbox has confirmed is leaving Xbox Game Pass in May. This includes Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – The Definitive Edition which will depart the service on May 10. Notable games also leaving the service at the end of the month include Resident Evil 7, NHL 20, and Superhot. See all the other games departing Game Pass below.Leaving May 10Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – The Definitive Edition (Cloud and Console)Leaving May 15Enter The Gungeon (Cloud, Console, and PC)Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster (Console and PC)Remnant: From the Ashes (Cloud, Console, and PC)Steep (Cloud and Console)The Catch: Carp and Coarse (Cloud, Console, and PC)The Wild at Heart (Cloud, Console, and PC)Leaving May 31EA Sports NHL 20 (Console)Farming Simulator 19 (Cloud, Console, and PC)Knockout City (Console and PC) EA PlayResident Evil 7 Biohazard (Cloud, Console, and PC)Spellforce 3: Soul Harvest (PC)Superhot Mind Control Delete (Cloud, Console, and PC)Yes Your Grace (Cloud, Console, and PC)Best Game Pass Deal Right Now: 2-Years of Game Pass Ultimate for $135 (Save $224)
First up, your Game Pass subscription must not currently be active - I repeat, you must not have an active Game Pass for this to work. Once you're confident, proceed to the next step.
Next, you need to invest in up to 3-years worth of Xbox Live Gold. You can easily buy 12-month Xbox Live Gold codes from Amazon or other retailers, costing $60/£50 depending on your region.I Recommend Stacking 2-Years of Xbox Live Gold
The maximum amount of stacking for Gold subscriptions is 36-months (costing $180), any more than that will be lost. So, to keep things safe for those who currently have a Gold membership, I recommend sticking to just 2-years' worth (costing $120/£100).
Now, here's the fun part. Once you've redeemed these codes and stacked your Xbox Live Gold membership up to your liking, you can then convert this time to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate at a 1:1 ratio.
Head to the Xbox Live Gold upgrade page and proceed to convert the time you've paid for directly into Game Pass Ultimate. If you've never used the upgrade feature before, this will cost $1/£1 (total cost coming to $121/£101). If you have used this before, it will instead cost you $14.99/£10.99 to upgrade.
Overall, at most, you'll be paying only $135 for 2-years of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (instead of $359). If you manage to pull off a 3-year conversion, at most you'll be paying $195 instead (instead of $539). Now that's a big discount. Once you're done, just make sure you turn off auto renewal as well.
Robert Anderson is a deals expert and Commerce Editor for IGN. You can follow him @robertliam21 on Twitter.
It’s a common occurrence with many of the most sought-after LEGO sets: shortly after they’re released, they sell out everywhere. That happened earlier this month with the LEGO Horizon Forbidden West Tallneck set. The release date arrived, the listings went up at retailers, and it sold out almost immediately. Well, it’s back at Amazon right now -- at least for the time being. It’s available to order at the standard MSRP of $79.99, but shipping is currently listed as "1 to 2 months" at the time of this writing.Order the LEGO Horizon Tallneck SetGet it at Amazon - $79.99Get it at Amazon UK - £69.99See it at Walmart - SOLD OUTSee it at LEGO Store - SOLD OUTSee it at Best Buy - SOLD OUTSee it at Target - SOLD OUT
That shipping delay is not ideal, of course, but it also may ship much sooner than that. Last week, Amazon had the Tallneck available to order with the same 1 to 2 month shipping estimate, and those orders shipped within the week. So it’s very much a “your mileage may vary” type of a situation.
What makes the LEGO Tallneck building kit so great? For starters, it’s a big set, comprised of 1,222 pieces. Fittingly for the giant mechanical dinosaur creatures from Horizon Forbidden West, it’s taller than you might expect. Once built, this set stands over a foot tall. It also comes with an adorable Aloy minifigure (complete with a bow and a buildable spear), plus a Watcher mini-build as well. You can give the Watcher blue, yellow, or red eyes, depending on how dangerous you’re feeling.
This Horizon Tallneck set is part of LEGO’s line of builds intended for adults. It comes in a black box, with a big 18+ label on it. To that end, it’s made more for display than for play. It comes with a display stand that includes a properly sized birch tree and a rusty apocalyptic stoplight.
For more information, you can check out our full LEGO Horizon Tallneck build feature, which goes into the overall experience in detail.
Chris Reed is a deals expert and commerce editor for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 18th, 2022. In today’s article, we’ve got a few new releases to look at along with the latest sales and expiring discounts. As far as news goes, Pokemon Home has been updated and should now work with the recent few Pokemon game releases. Better late than never, I suppose. Aside from that, it’s a bit of a quiet day. Well, the next couple of days should make up for that with interest. Let’s get to work!New Releases Behind Closed Doors: A Developer’s Tale ($4.99)
This is an indie game by an indie developer about an indie developer who is transported into another world where he has to conquer challenges that resemble indie games. Platformers and top-down shooters, mainly. But before that, you’ll be living that indie dev life. Waking up late, brushing your teeth, grabbing a bite to eat, doing some coding, replying to emails from customers. The usual stuff. This game feels like it is aimed at a very specific niche, and I’m not sure that I am in it.Divination ($4.99)
You are a fortune teller in a gritty cyberpunk world. That’s the size of it. People come and talk to you about their problems, pull some runes, and you have to interpret them as you see fit. Their future depends on how you choose to read it, and you’ll have to live with the results. Sometimes the answer to their problems is clear, but most of the time it isn’t. The future may not be written, but your customers are going to take your advice very seriously. Think carefully before you read those runes.Regular Factory: Escape Room ($9.99)
Another escape room game, this time set in a factory. A totally regular factory. Yessir, nothing unusual here. Explore the rooms, gather the items, solve the puzzles, and see if you can figure out all the secrets of this mundane setting. There couldn’t possibly be anything truly amiss. After all, titles don’t lie.Sales
(North American eShop, US Prices)
That’s a list of sales, alright. Nothing particularly unusual, but not exactly a list of the usual suspects either. The outbox is a bit more ordinary in most respects, with plenty of good games in it that you have had countless opportunities to pick up at reasonable rates in the past. Will today be the day that changes your heart? Check those lists, dear reader, if you have the courage and finances to do so.
Select New Games on Sale
Pode ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/23) Gem Wizards Tactics ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/24) Little Bug ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/24) Furi ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/24) Deployment ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/24) Candle: Power of the Flame ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/31) Battle Group 2 ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/31) Spirit of the North ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/31) Stranded Sails: EotCI ($7.49 from $24.99 until 5/31) Morbid: The Seven Acolytes ($7.49 from $24.99 until 5/31) HoPiKo ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/31) Foreclosed ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/31) Don’t Give Up: A Cynical Tale ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/31) Bounty Battle ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/31) Buildings Have Feelings Too! ($5.99 from $19.99 until 5/31)
Cloudpunk ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/31) The Count Lucanor ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/31) Rattyvity Lab ($1.99 from $2.49 until 6/1) Kubi Adventures ($2.09 from $2.99 until 6/1) Jurassic World Evolution CE ($20.99 from $59.99 until 6/7) RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 CE ($10.49 from $29.99 until 6/7) Garfield Kart Furious Racing ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/7) The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf ($29.99 from $39.99 until 6/7) Marsupilami: Hoobadventure ($20.99 from $29.99 until 6/7) Beyond a Steel Sky ($29.99 from $39.99 until 6/7) Syberia ($2.98 from $14.90 until 6/7) Syberia 3 ($4.99 from $49.99 until 6/7) Flashback ($3.99 from $19.99 until 6/7) Agatha Christie: Hercule Poirot ($22.49 from $29.99 until 6/7) Far: Changing Tides ($15.99 from $19.99 until 6/7)
Struggling ($5.24 from $14.99 until 6/7) Asterix & Obelix Slap Them All! ($22.49 from $29.99 until 6/7) Asterix & Obelix XXL Romastered ($11.99 from $29.99 until 6/7) Asterix & Obelix XXL 3 ($5.99 from $29.99 until 6/7) Speedway Racing ($2.49 from $9.99 until 6/7) Super Street: Racer ($9.99 from $39.99 until 6/7) Gear.Club Unlimited ($2.98 from $14.90 until 6/7) Gear.Club Unlimited 2 ($5.99 from $39.99 until 6/7)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Thursday, May 19th
AmaneSwitch ($8.39 from $13.99 until 5/19) Axiom Verge 2 ($17.99 from $19.99 until 5/19) Captain Tsubasa RoNC ($14.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) Cardaclysm SotF ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/19) Circa Infinity ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/19) Cozy Grove ($9.72 from $14.99 until 5/19) Digimon Cyber Sleuth Complete ($14.99 from $49.99 until 5/19) Doraemon Story of Seasons ($14.99 from $49.99 until 5/19) Dragon Ball FighterZ ($9.59 from $59.99 until 5/19) Dragon Ball FighterZ Ult. ($16.49 from $109.99 until 5/19) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 ($7.49 from $49.99 until 5/19) Dragon Ball Z Kakarot ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Ult. ($42.49 from $84.99 until 5/19) God Eater 3 ($8.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) Hidden Paws ($2.99 from $3.99 until 5/19)
Monster Boy & the Cursed Kingdom ($13.99 from $39.99 until 5/19) My Hero One’s Justice ($8.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) My Hero One’s Justice 2 ($14.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) My Lady Sayo ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/19) Naruto Ninja Storm Trilogy ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/19) Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/19) Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/19) Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/19) Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 ($14.99 from $49.99 until 5/19) Ni no Kuni II RK ($29.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) Ni no Kuni WotWW ($9.99 from $49.99 until 5/19) Oceanhorn MoUS ($5.24 from $14.99 until 5/19) Oceanhorn 2 KotLR ($22.49 from $29.99 until 5/19) Omega Labyrinth Life DX Edition ($29.59 from $79.99 until 5/19) One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 ($14.99 from $59.99 until 5/19)
Pixel Heroes Mega Byte & Magic ($5.09 from $14.99 until 5/19) Pumpkin Jack ($13.49 from $29.99 until 5/19) Rigid Force Redux ($6.79 from $19.99 until 5/19) Riverbond ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/19) Roundguard ($7.79 from $19.99 until 5/19) Silver Chains ($8.49 from $24.99 until 5/19) Soundfall ($25.49 from $29.99 until 5/19) Sword Art Online FB Complete ($8.99 from $59.99 until 5/19) Sword Art Online HR Deluxe ($7.49 from $49.99 until 5/19) Syndrome ($4.99 from $24.99 until 5/19) Tales of Vesperia Definitive ($9.99 from $49.99 until 5/19) The Gardens Between ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/19) Waifu Impact ($4.24 from $4.99 until 5/19) Wingspan ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/19)
That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the big ol’ list of Thursday releases. Games like Snow Bros. Special, Deadcraft, and Guild of Dungeoneering will be available, and we’ll have summaries of all of them. We’ll also have some sales and whatever big news rolls in over the course of the day. I hope you all have a great Wednesday, and as always, thanks for reading!
When I got the Steam Deck a few weeks ago, I installed a lot of games that aren’t officially verified or supported. These included Sunny Tam’s Danmaku Unlimited games. There are a few games I try to install on every device possible to just have easy access to them, and Danmaku Unlimited 3 ($4.99) is one of them. When Sunny Tam announced Danmaku Unlimited: WYVER ULTRA, I was very interested to see how it would play. Following a short teaser, we now have a work in progress look at Danmaku Unlimited: WYVER ULTRA gameplay. Check out the gameplay footage including a lot of bullet hell action, music from Blankfield, and more in Sunny’s Tweet below:
— Sunny Tam (@SunnySyTam) May 18, 2022
As of now, Danmaku Unlimited: WYVER ULTRA still doesn’t have a confirmed set of platforms or a release window. I hope it is out this year, but will be patiently waiting for it to hit whatever platform comes first. While PC is likely alongside Nintendo Switch, hopefully we get a mobile version as well around launch. Until then, you can buy Danmaku Unlimited 3 on the App Store for iOS here and Google Play for Android here. Check it out on Steam here and Nintendo Switch here. Check out our forum thread for it here. Have you played the Danmaku Unlimited series yet on any platform and what do you think of the new gameplay so far?
While we are still waiting for Happy Game from Amanita Design to hit mobile, the studio has announced a new title. Happy Game is still planned to hit mobile. Phonopolis is a new hand-crafted adventure game from Amanita Design in development for multiple platforms. The story will tackle real-world themes and relatable topics dealing with manipulation, individualism, and more. Amanita Design also says the experience will be light-hearted. You will play as Felix who is the only person who recognizes the threat of being under control by the city’s authoritarian Leader. Once under control, people lose their humanity. Barring the trailer, there are some screenshots on the Steam page which you can check out here. Watch the Phonopolis trailer below:
Phonopolis is in development for multiple platforms right now. Mobile isn’t confirmed, but I assume it will show up eventually on mobile if not at launch. I’m a huge fan of Amanita Design games so I’ll be playing this wherever it releases first. There is no release window yet, and Amanita Design mentions that fans should not expect it to arrive with the next 12 months. As an early look, Phonopolis looks superb. I didn’t expect less from Amanita Design, but the studio continues to impress with visuals after all these years. I hope we get more details on platforms and a potential release window soon. Until then, I’m looking forward to playing Happy Game whenever it hits iOS. I’ve already gotten it on PC. What do you think of Phonopolis so far?
This week’s new ACA NeoGeo classic from SNK and Hamster is the fighting game World Heroes ($3.99) on both iOS and Android. World Heroes is a fighting game that debuted back in 1992 featuring characters like Hattori Hanzo, Joan of Arc, and more fighting to become the world’s strongest champion. A deathmatch mode featuring stages with many traps is also included in addition to the normal mode. If you’ve not kept up with Hamster’s ACA NeoGeo series, these releases have many modern conveniences as detailed in Shaun’s reviews of other games that you can read below. Hamster previously released a trailer for the World Heroes console version which you can watch here. World Heroes follows Aero Fighters 2 that arrived last week. Check out a screenshot from the Android version of World Heroes ACA NeoGeo below:
Check out World Heroes ACA NeoGeo on the App Store for iOS here and Google Play for Android here. As with prior releases on mobile, this costs half of what it does on consoles. If you’ve not heard of the series or seen it in action on mobile yet, Shaun has reviewed most of the releases so far in the ACA NeoGeo series on iOS. Check out his reviews for Samurai Shodown IV here, Alpha Mission II here, Metal Slug 5 here, Shock Troopers here, NAM-1975 here, ZED BLADE here, PUZZLED here, The King of Fighters 2002 here, Big Tournament Golf here, King of the Monsters here, and Last Resort here. Check out the official website here. What SNK classic would you like to see arrive on mobile next through this series and will you be buying this one?
A major update for Pokemon Home (Free) for iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch has just gone live in the form of Pokemon Home 2.0.0. The Pokemon Company recently revealed that this update was coming soon, and it has finally gone live bringing some welcome compatibility updates and new content. The highlights are compatibility support for the excellent Pokemon Legends: Arceus and also Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. The update also brings in challenges, stickers, Pokedex info from other games, more information about where a Pokemon was first met being added to its details screen, and also various issues fixed. Until now, Pokemon Home only supported the National Pokedex. Now it does a lot more with compatibility added for new games, new bonuses, and more. Check out the chart below to see how compatibility works back and forth between new and old games.
Because of the setting for Pokemon Legends: Arceus the way Poke Balls work will be a bit different. The official website has more details on what you need to keep in mind when moving across games. Check out the article on this here. Make sure to check out the bonuses available to celebrate this update as well as detailed in the article above. If you’ve not downloaded it yet, Pokemon Home is available for free on the App Store for iOS, Google Play for Android, and the eShop for Nintendo Switch. Details for the paid plans are available here. Check out the official Pokemon Home website here. What do you think of Pokemon Legends: Arceus if you played it on Switch recently?
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 17th, 2022. In today’s article, we have a little news to check out before we head into two full-sized reviews. Mini Motorways just hit the Switch last week after successful runs on other platforms, and I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that it’s as brilliant as ever. We also have a detailed look at Cotton Fantasy, which is due to hit later this week. There are a couple of new releases to have a gander at, along with the usual lists of new and expiring sales. Let’s get rolling!News
‘Fall Guys’ Will Finally Arrive on Switch June 21st in Free to Play Form
It’s been a bit of a long road since Fall Guys was announced to be getting a Switch port back in February of 2021. The game was supposed to hit the platform in the summer of last year, but it was delayed. Well, it’s back on the menu now and it’s pretty close to release. Fall Guys will hit the Switch and other platforms on June 21st, but it will be coming in a new free-to-play form. The game will support cross-platform play with cross-progression, and if you happened to buy the game before you will get a nice bonus bundle for your trouble when the free-to-play shift happens. Naturally, there will be ways to spend your money if you want to do that. We know how this dance goes.Reviews & Mini-Views Mini Motorways ($14.99)
Dinosaur Polo Club’s Mini Metro is one of the more compelling and stylish puzzle games I’ve played in the last ten years. At the time it came out, I hadn’t played anything else exactly like it, and it’s still a game I like to fire up and play when I have a little time to kill. It seems so dead simple at first, but it doesn’t take long for any given game to turn into a chaotic storm that you’re trying to stay just one step ahead of.
Mini Motorways isn’t quite as fresh as its predecessor, as it is almost immediately identifiable as a derivative of that game. But hey, fun isn’t just about freshness. This game originally hit Apple Arcade a few years back, and it immediately stood out for me in that early line-up. Sure, it looks like Mini Metro. It controls like Mini Metro. And it has a similar goal wherein you’re trying to manage an ever-increasing flow of traffic using limited supplies and a map that doesn’t always want to cooperate.
In shifting the topic from train lines and stations to houses, destinations, and the roads between them, Mini Motorways becomes a very different animal. Traffic management is even more important here since there are so many more vehicles in play. To that end, the extra upgrades and special tools often help you deal with that traffic flow. There are traffic lights to create some order at your busy intersections. There are roundabouts that help things flow more smoothly and avoid jams. There are also motorways that you can use to connect two direct points over top of everything else.
You’ll also have bridges and tunnels to help you contend with the environmental features of the map. As with Mini Metro, there are a variety of maps you’ll be playing on and their general layouts can wreak havoc with your building strategies if you aren’t careful. The risks are similar to the original game. If the traffic doesn’t flow properly and things pile up too long, you’re finished. You have a limited amount of resources to do what needs to be done, and you’ll only get more if you can survive the week. Instead of people waiting impatiently at stations, here pins build up at the destinations. If cars can’t reach them fast enough, you’ll find yourself in trouble in a hurry.
Much of the strategy comes in how to make an efficient layout with your on-hand resources, and it feels like just as soon as you’ve got one thing sorted a new house or building appears that you’ve got to try to connect somehow. Eventually, you just won’t be able to keep up. Unlocking further levels requires you meet certain score thresholds, but the real longevity in the game comes from trying to constantly best your scores. There are leaderboards for each map, as well as unlockable challenge modes. The launch version of the game comes with fourteen maps in total to unlock and play, easily offering up tens of hours of entertainment. You can play with touch controls or button controls, though I found the former to work best while the latter were merely adequate.
Mini Motorways isn’t as revelatory as Mini Metro was, but it’s just as easy to get completely and utterly absorbed with. It’s a bit better for players on the go as building the roads can be a little fussy with the button controls, but I think however you play it you’ll have a really good time with its tense, challenging puzzle gameplay. As the game has been out for a few years now on other platforms, there’s already a plethora of content to enjoy in this Switch version, and if Mini Metro is any indicator there will likely be more on the way. A fantastic pick-up for puzzle fans or those who enjoy being stressed in a good way.
SwitchArcade Score: 4.5/5Cotton Fantasy ($39.99)
This is the sixth Cotton game we’ve seen release on the Switch since Cotton Reboot came out last July. There have been some ups and downs, mostly due to whoever was behind each particular release. Cotton Reboot from Rocket-Engine, BEEP, and ININ Games? Fantastic. Cotton 100% from Ratalaika and ININ? Just fine. Panorama Cotton from Ratalaika and ININ? Buggy at launch, fine after some patching. Cotton 2 Saturn Tribute and Cotton Boomerang Saturn Tribute from City Connection? Brutal lag-fests at launch, and only a little better after patching. Very hit or miss as a whole.
Cotton Fantasy is a bit different from those games, most obviously because this is a new game rather than a remake or port. Our publisher this time in the West is once again ININ Games, with development chores handled by original Cotton developer Success and Studio Saizensen of Umihara Kawase fame. While it still largely plays as a 2D horizontal shoot-em-up, the visuals are made up of polygons now rather than sprites. In some form or another it pays tribute to almost every Cotton game that came before, but it also forges its own path. You get bonus levels that play like Panorama Cotton. There are multiple playable characters as in Cotton 2 and Cotton Boomerang, and some of them bring back specific mechanics from previous entries. And just wait until you see the main antagonist’s motivations for their misdeeds.
Some of the playable characters are official guests who pay homage to entirely different games, like Psyva Ria, whose gameplay takes notes from Psyvariar. Since the game is developed by Studio Saizensen, Kawase herself naturally makes an appearance, fishing line in tow. These characters actually mix up the gameplay strategies significantly, and each one has their own bonus level to unlock by clearing the game with them. There are seven characters in total as far as I’ve found, which means you get seven bonus levels that effectively double the size of the initial game. The Japanese version had an eighth character available as a preorder bonus, but I can’t find a way to unlock her here.
Whichever character you choose, you’ll make your way through colorful levels, battling enemies, collecting gems, and racking up a high score as best as you can. There are leaderboards for each character, and the competition is already fierce. Once you’ve cleared a level, you can also play it in training mode at your leisure. Training mode also allows you to set a wide variety of parameters, from lives to your starting rank to how many bombs or options you have, and more. In terms of standard play options, you have difficulty settings, volume settings for various sound elements (yes, you can turn off the voices if you want), control mapping, and even turn off certain UI elements.
Luckily (and unsurprisingly), the input lag issues that afflicted the Saturn Tribute games aren’t present here. The gameplay is nice and snappy, and the framerate generally behaves itself outside of a few instances when the screen gets extremely busy. The stages are fun to play through with lots of neat surprises, and the boss battles are suitably challenging. In short, this is a really good Cotton game. It’s pretty wild that twenty-one years after the last wholly new game in the series, we’ve got a cool new Cotton game to play. The wide array of characters and unlockable stages give this game a nice longevity, and the fact that you can credit feed your way through the game means anyone can get through it if that is their aim. Those chasing scores will find plenty of potential here for that, as well.
While I’m sure some players are suffering from a bit of Cotton burn out with so many releases in such a short span of time, but if you like shooters you’ll want to check out Cotton Fantasy. The game is very enjoyable from a design standpoint and it holds up quite well on the technical end, especially compared to a few of the less impressive Cotton ports we’ve seen on Switch. Those who are performance sensitive will find the game runs a lot better in docked mode, but I didn’t mind it in handheld either. I’m a bit torn as to whether or not this game is better than Cotton Reboot, but that’s good company to be keeping.
SwitchArcade Score: 4/5New Releases Furi – Modore Edition ($24.99)
This is a bundle that includes both the original Furi and its brand-new DLC, Onnamusha. Take to the fight with Onnamusha and make full use of her distinct attacks. If you already own the base game, you can buy the Onnamusha DLC on its own for $6.99. A great game, and this bundle is the perfect way to get into it if you haven’t before.Equestrian Training ($34.99)
I SAY THEE NEIGH! Microids has a new game about the joys of riding horses. It’s based on official FFE diplomas and aims to help you improve your knowledge and skills without even hopping onto the back of a real horse. Will it succeed in that goal? Hm. I say this as someone with extensive riding experience since childhood: probably not. But hey, it could be fun anyway. You can practice riding horses, answer quiz questions, and play a variety of mini-games. Various charts will track your progress over time, allowing you to see how you’ve grown.Sales
(North American eShop, US Prices)
The super fighting robot, Mega Man, has his titles on sale again. Nothing unusual about that, but there’s never a bad time to pick those up. More interesting are sales on Grapple Dog, Radical Rabbit Stew, and To Be Or Not To Be. There’s practically nothing in the outbox, but if you want a discount on the OPUS games you’re not going to see them on sale again for a while.
Select New Games on Sale
Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection ($19.79 from $29.99 until 5/23) Mega Man 11 ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/23) Mega Man Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $14.99 until 5/23) Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/23) Mega Man X Legacy Collection ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/23) Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2 ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/23) Let’s Sing 2022 ($27.99 from $39.99 until 5/23) Voxelgram ($3.99 from $7.99 until 5/23) Grapple Dog ($11.24 from $14.99 until 5/23) Floogen ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/23) KeyWe ($16.74 from $24.99 until 5/24) Little Friends: Dogs & Cats ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/24) Disjunction ($7.99 from $15.99 until 5/24) No Straight Roads ($16.74 from $24.99 until 5/24) Radical Rabbit Stew ($3.99 from $15.99 until 5/24)
My Singing Monsters Playground ($23.99 from $39.99 until 5/24) Big Crown: Showdown ($2.49 from $12.99 until 5/24) AnShi ($9.99 from $17.99 until 5/30) Taxi Chaos ($12.49 from $34.95 until 5/30) Speed 3: Grand Prix ($9.99 from $39.99 until 5/30) Mickey Storm & the Cursed Mask ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/30) Ancient Rush 2 ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/30) The Company Man ($15.99 from $19.99 until 5/30) SkateBIRD ($16.99 from $19.99 until 5/31) Truck Simulator USA 2022 ($2.39 from $11.99 until 5/31) Arietta of Spirits ($12.99 from $19.99 until 6/1) Skautfold: Shrouded in Sanity ($6.49 from $9.99 until 6/1) ELEA: Paradigm Shift ($1.99 from $7.99 until 6/5) To Be Or Not To Be ($4.89 from $6.99 until 6/6) Choices That Matter: ATSWO ($2.99 from $5.99 until 6/6)
Choices That Matter: ATHWL ($2.99 from $5.99 until 6/6) Choices That Matter: ATSWE ($2.99 from $5.99 until 6/6) Dungholes ($5.59 from $9.99 until 6/6) Moorhuhn Jump & Run Traps & Treasures ($6.49 from $12.99 until 6/6) Balloon Girl ($4.47 from $7.99 until 6/6) Project: Knight ($1.99 from $4.99 until 6/6) Duggy ($3.91 from $6.99 until 6/6) They Bleed Pixels ($1.99 from $14.99 until 6/6) Dark Arcana: The Carnival ($2.09 from $14.99 until 6/6) Family Mysteries 3: CM ($2.09 from $14.99 until 6/6) Grim Legends 3: TDC ($2.09 from $14.99 until 6/6) Must Dash Amigos ($2.99 from $6.99 until 6/6)
Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 18th
Draw a Stickman: Epic 2 ($1.99 from $6.99 until 5/18) OPUS: Echo of Starsong ($22.49 from $24.99 until 5/18) OPUS: Rocket of Whispers ($8.09 from $8.99 until 5/18) Space War Arena ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/18) Wolfstride ($13.49 from $14.99 until 5/18)
That’s all for today, friends. I’ll be back tomorrow with a few new releases, more sales, and perhaps a little news. My precious New Nintendo 3DS is on its way back to me after some very speedy repairs at Nintendo. May its new A button last for many years to come, because I imagine Nintendo won’t be servicing them too much longer. I hope you all have a terrific Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!
Open world games have been flying high since Grand Theft Auto III popularized the concept more than twenty years ago, and they show no signs of slowing down with the likes of Elden Ring continuing to chew up the sales charts. While the Nintendo Switch’s slimmer specs compared to its peers may make it more difficult to bring these sprawling worlds to the system, that hasn’t stopped it from playing host to many fantastic open world games. We’ve gathered up ten of the best for your consideration. Note as always that this is merely our own list of favorites, and they are presented in no particular order or ranking. Let’s go!The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ($59.99)
The least surprising entry on this list, to be certain. While the game was originally developed for the Nintendo Wii U, it got the nod to be Nintendo’s premiere first-party launch title for the Nintendo Switch. It’s hard to say where the Switch would be today if it weren’t for Breath of the Wild, which reinvented the Zelda series, brought countless new players to the open world format, and did a fantastic job of showing off what Nintendo’s latest hardware had to offer prospective buyers. It is adventure in the purest sense, and while it has a number of years under its belt now it remains a must-have title for the system.Immortals Fenyx Rising ($59.99)
In some ways, Immortals Fenyx Rising comes off as “the Breath of the Wild we have at home". I won’t deny that. But while it may not be the most original thing in the world, it’s well-made and polished enough that you can’t help but find plenty to enjoy about it anyway. The dungeon puzzles in this one are well-designed, and the overworld is a joy to explore, particularly as you expand your capabilities. You can regularly find this game on deep discount these days, and it’s a real steal if you don’t mind its somewhat corny personality.The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition ($59.99)
One of the Nintendo Switch’s “impossible" ports, The Witcher 3 is an incredible game with a story that is not to be missed. There are a lot of things to praise about this game, but I’d specifically like to call out how well it handles its towns. They feel like actual settlements, and when you come riding into town after completing a quest there’s an immersion to it that is hard to match. The only real weak point in this game is in its combat, and that’s more bland than bad. It’s still amazing to load this one up and just marvel at the fact that Saber Interactive actually pulled it off.LEGO City Undercover ($29.99)
Okay, let’s step away from the fantasy stuff for a bit and get into an open world game where you cause mayhem all across a huge modern city. Yes, it’s LEGO City Undercover, and it is as hilarious as it is fun to play. It’s fascinating to see what the LEGO game developers can do with a virtually original property. As much joy as they obviously have with their licensed fare, they seem to been free to explore a lot of other interesting ideas in this game that may not have fit in any other titles. If you have a love of cheesy old cop movies, you’ll really appreciate this one.Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition ($29.99)
Sandbox? Open world? Action-adventure? Minecraft is pretty much whatever you need it to be, I suppose. There are a lot of reasons why people love open world games but if you’re into them for the sense of exploration and discovery, it’s hard to find much better than Minecraft. Every new seed is a whole new world full of surprises, and every cave or cliff is a chance for new adventures. It’s amazing how a game most of us have probably played to death can still suck you into its reality, but Minecraft has that power and likely always will.Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ($59.99)
Here’s another one that is getting a little long in the tooth, but the magic of having Skyrim in a portable form is still something to behold. Indeed, its rougher elements are sometimes part of the fun of playing Skyrim. You can mess around with an awful lot and get some very funny results. Or you can just play it straight and dig your hands into a massive adventure set in a gorgeous world. People have been playing this game for more than ten years now, and if you haven’t played it yet you need only give it a try to see why.Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen ($29.99)
It’s hard to believe there was a time where Capcom thought it was a good idea to have the Devil May Cry team take a break from that series in order to make a WRPG-style game. But you know what? It was a good idea. It was a really good idea! It’s such an odd hybrid of elements that it still has a singular flavor to it after so many years. As you might expect given the team’s pedigree, the combat in this game is particularly strong compared to similar titles. If you’re looking for an open world game with slightly deeper and more stylish battles than the norm, give this one a shot.Burnout Paradise Remastered ($29.99)
Cars can do open worlds, too. Burnout Paradise may have been the last big hurrah for this series, but it says something that Electronic Arts can rerelease it more or less as-is on new consoles and it doesn’t feel very egregious. Explore Paradise City and get into a variety of races and other activities, or just enjoy a nice drive while listening to some tunes and seeing the sights. Or, you know, do that Burnout thing and cause massive crashes for fun and profit. It’s up to you how you want to spend your time in this paradise.Dying Light: Platinum Edition ($49.99)
Alright, we were all getting a little too relaxed there. Time for something a bit more intense. Dying Light is an open world zombie survival game that made the transition to Switch surprisingly well. It’s a mix of parkour, survival, and exploration. Most open world games have day-night cycles, but few of them draw such an intense line between the light and dark as this one does. There’s a beauty in some of the locations in the daytime, but at night you really have to focus on surviving. If you stop and smell the roses, you probably won’t live to see the morning. This Switch version is loaded to the gills with content, giving you plenty to see and do in this grim world.A Short Hike ($7.99)
Let’s end this list with something a little smaller and more personal. A Short Hike is exactly what the title promises, tasking you with making your way to the top of the mountain. You know, whenever you want to. There’s a lot of things to see, characters to meet, and side things to do if you just want to enjoy yourself and take it easy. And you should, really. Trying to go directly to the goal won’t take you very long, but if you take your time and really absorb the atmosphere of this little game, you’ll find it sticking with you for quite a while.
And that’s the list. It’s a shame a certain publisher biffed a certain rerelease of a certain trilogy of games as I would have loved to have them on here, but there’s nothing we can do about that. Do you have a favorite open world game on the Switch that you don’t see on this list? Hit those comments below and let me and the rest of the room know. You can never have too many recommendations!
Interested in more lists? Check out our other Nintendo Switch recommendations!The Best First-Person Shooters The Best Roguelikes The Best Racing Games The Best Puzzle Games The Best Retro Collections The Best Beat-Em-Ups The Best 2D Platformers The Best Western RPGs The Best Shoot-Em-Ups The Best Fighting Games The Best Action-RPGs The Best Rhythm Games The Best Visual Novels The Best JRPGs The Best 3D Platformers The Best Metroidvanias
One of the most anticipated releases for many has been the mobile port of roguelike first-person looter shooter Gunfire Reborn from Duoyi Games, but it has been kind of a rocky road to get there. Originally launching on PC last fall, a mobile version of Gunfire Reborn was first announced in February with pre-orders showing an expected release date of April 15th. Sometime after that announcement Duoyi decided that a staggered launch would be best so they could stress test the game and its servers before launching to a massive global audience. So just prior to its original April 15th release date, Gunfire Reborn was launched in Europe only with more rollouts to more regions including North America planned for May and the rest of the world planned for June.
Well, the launch in Europe seemed to go off without a hitch, and fans outside of that limited launch were clamoring for the mobile version of Gunfire Reborn to be released in their own regions. So Duoyi decided to switch gears once again and, outside of mainland China, have gone ahead and launched Gunfire Reborn in the rest of the world as of today. Yes, if you are in North America and had May 25th marked on your calendar, you’ve just got an early present. The PC version of Gunfire Reborn, which spent more than a year in Early Access prior to its full launch last November, is highly regarded from fans on that platform, and I think the entire experience should translate really well to mobile. Players in our forums are already enjoying this mobile iteration, so check out Gunfire Reborn on both iOS or Android now.
After following the Apex Legends Mobile (Free) announcements over the years, it has finally launched on iOS and Android worldwide. Apex Legends Mobile has had early tests, a soft launch, and more leading up to today’s release. While pre-registrations previously went live on Google Play for Android, the iOS pre-registrations were only available through the official website. Respawn’s super popular battle royale is out now on mobile with an all-new legend: Fade. Alongside the release today for Apex Legends Mobile, a new gameplay trailer showcasing the new legend and more is available now. Watch it below:
If you’d like to grab it and it has rolled out in your region, you can download Apex Legends Mobile on the App Store for iOS here and Google Play for android here. Check out the official Apex Legends Mobile website here for more information. Alongside the release, EA has revealed the prime time patch notes for the game on mobile detailing shop changes, the new legend: Fade, and much more. Check those out here. Have you tried any of the betas or the soft launch for Apex Legends Mobile yet and will you be playing it today when it goes live worldwide?
Pokemon Unite (Free) on iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch has just launched an optional paid subscription in the form of the UNITE Club membership. This is priced at $9.99 a month and it includes various benefits like gems, trial holowear each week, additional trial licenses each week, exclusive discounts on fashion items, exclusive holowear, and more. You need to subscribe only on one platform to claim the benefits, but can use them on other devices linked with your account. Details on what needs to be used on the specific platform you subscribe on are here. Check out the announcement poster for the subscription below for added details:
If you’ve not played Pokemon Unite yet, includes cross platform play and progression across mobile and Nintendo Switch. If you’re planning on subscribing to UNITE Club, more details on what you need to do or keep in mind across platforms and for the membership in general are here. If you’d like to play Pokemon Unite on mobile, download it on the App Store for iOS here and Google Play for Android here. It is available on Nintendo Switch here. Check out the official website here. Have you played Pokemon Unite on Nintendo Switch or mobile yet and what do you think?
And there's a trailer.
Last year didn't bring us the Switch 2, but it certainly brought us something very interesting and unexpected. 2021 saw the release of, not Breath of the Wild 2, but a brand new NES game called Slow Mole.
Slow Mole is known for anything but slowness, as the game has garnered a reputation among the speedrunning community for being extremely fun and challenging. Created by animator Erik Rosenlund, it's free to play and download, and you can even emulate it on original hardware. There's also a physical cartridge release also in the works — which you can read up on over on Erik's Patreon.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Get ready to play Skyrim, again, maybe.
It's a tale as old as time: Some big developer announces that their game is available on "consoles" or "all platforms", and conveniently forgets the 50+ million Nintendo Switches floating around the world.
At least, that's what happened when Bethesda announced last November that the new Skyrim Anniversary Edition, which includes all the game's DLC, mod content, and a new fishing system was "available on all platforms"... when it wasn't.
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nirvanA will be here soon.
Sony has published a new trailer for Spike Chunsoft's upcoming murder mystery sequel, AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative featuring a bunch of new and returning characters.
We're already well acquainted with Mizuki, Aiba, Iris Sagan, and Amame Doi — who are all returning from the first game. New joint-protagonist Ryuki, his eyeball companion Tama, student Kizuna, and comedian and quiz host Komeji have all been introduced to us before, too. But this trailer does highlight a few new names and faces who we can expect to bump into during our investigation of the Half Body serial killings:
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Strawberry, coffee, and caramel go well together.
Thunderful Group's latest interim report is out now (which you can read here), and while it reveals the company had a bit of a weak first few months of 2022, things are looking up for it. Most notably, the future of one of its biggest IPs — the SteamWorld series — is looking very bright.
Last year, we found out about a brand new third-person co-op sequel to SteamWorld Dig — SteamWorld Headhunter — at the Thunderful Games showcase. We've got to wait until 2023 to get our hands on that, which is a little bit of a wait, but we'll be rewarded for our patience with three other SteamWorld games, all releasing in 2023 or 2024.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Worldwide shipping available!
Oh no, here we go again. Kirby's back to melt our hearts and steal our cash.
Yes, a new range of lovely Kirby plushies have appeared for pre-order over at Playasia. As always, worldwide shipping is available on all of these – we've displayed prices in USD below, but you'll be able to purchase them in your home currency when you land on each page.
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'Rhythm-Violence' game is now 5 years old.
When the Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017, I — like many others — devoured The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I was hooked, and it was only when Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launched a month later that I was wrenched away from the land of Hyrule. But while Mario Kart 8 remains as incredible as it was on the Wii U — more so, in fact — I bounced off it pretty quickly; a case of ‘been there, done that’, perhaps. I’d already completed the non-Deluxe version and felt like I was just going through the motions. Nevertheless, I played it more or less to completion; after all, I dropped £50 on the digital version, giving me a certain obligation to at least polish off the single-player component.
So with that done, I found myself in a bit of a rut; I’d rinsed Breath of the Wild and I now faced a daunting two or three months without anything to keep me occupied until the eventual release of Splatoon 2. Then a game popped up on the eShop in May 2017; a smaller, unassuming title that nevertheless gained much-deserved recognition and acclaim in the months leading up to its release. That game was Thumper.
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Landmarks from the prequels abound.
We're really feeling the onslaught of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 news at the moment, and today, Nintendo of Europe has thrown us even more nuggets of information about the game. After we got a look at Millick Meadows and Eagus Wilderness in an update last week, we've now got a closer look at two nature-abundant areas that have a lot more relics of the past.
The recent screenshots and character details haven't been shy about showing off hints of past locations, or even using the names of them, in Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and today's selection is no different. If you're a series fan, you're bound to get your head in a spin working out just what is in each location, and how everything has ended up there.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
It won't give you the blues.
We have to say, The Pokémon Company has been absolutely killing it with its short animated series over the past few years. And it now has what looks to be another stunning series, as the first episode in the Pokémon Legends: Arceus anime series, Pokémon: Hisuian Snow, is out now and available online!
Hisuian Snow follows Alec, a young boy who meets a Hisuian Zorua out in the wild. The people of Hisui believe that Pokémon are hostile and that they can't live in harmony with humans — just like in the game — but Alec's encounter with the cute little fox leads to the boy questioning that belief. Also, a shiny on your first try? That's a bit unfair!
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Ys-ier said than done.
Nihon Falcom is one of Japan's premier RPG developers, and has been making games since 1982. The company is most famous for the Ys series, debuting in 1987 with Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished, and also later creating The Legend of Heroes series in 1989 with Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes.
And it seems like Nihon Falcom's president, Toshihiro Kondo, wants to do something with its large back catalogue. In the latest issue of Famitsu, Kondo has revealed that there are already "plans" to bring more titles to the Nintendo Switch. Perhaps not too surprising, given last year the company created an in-house development team for the Switch, but still exciting!
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
"We are always thinking outside the box".
The Polymega's journey to market hasn't been a smooth one by any stretch of the imagination, with some customers still waiting to get their hands on the system they laid down cash for many moons ago – but now the product is finally out there, there's been a lot of speculation about where it could potentially go next.
We already know that an N64 module is in development, but one system that fans have constantly been asking about is the Sega Dreamcast.
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Early bird pricing available now.
First 4 Figures has unveiled its latest collectable statue, this time giving The Legend of Zelda fans yet another opportunity to liven up their shelves at home.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Mipha PVC statue is inspired by her official artwork from the game and comes complete with her Lightscale Trident. On the base, you'll find the Sheikah tribe's eye symbol that appears when activating the Sheikah Slate interface as well as LED lighting that can be animated.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Open the door, remove the veil.
Bandai Namco's long-awaited remaster package of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil is right around the corner and in anticipation of the adorable dream traveller's return, the company has released the opening cutscenes to both games in the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series collection.
This is the first time the games have been rereleased together, and the very first time that Lunatea's Veil has even seen a rerelease (after the first game got a Wii remake in 2009).
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Streets of Range.
While all the trendy kids talk about Streets of Rage 4 and (accurately) discuss how awesome it is, those of us that prefer the soft glow of nostalgia look back to the original. In truth it doesn't hold up as well as its outstanding sequel, but it's an iconic game among retro enthusiasts and some of us that had our young minds blown back in the day.
Always open to monetising nostalgia, SEGA has teamed up with Numskull Designs for a few bits of merchandise, available now in Europe from the official online SEGA store. As you can see in the image at the top there's a t-shirt, hat and mug - presumably because some consumers that happen to be older gentlemen like this scribe need t-shirts for getting the groceries, a hat to cover the expanding bald spot, and a mug for drinking tea and coffee.
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Who would have thought that a chance encounter between leaves and hot water would lead to one of the most popular hot drinks in the world? Tea is a necessity for many of us to survive, mostly because the Nintendo Life team is 90% British, but also because it serves as a soothing, relaxing ritual that starts our day.
This article? Fuelled by tea. Our reviews? Caffeinated by a nice cuppa. And this feature, in which we speak to the developers of upcoming Switch game, Spirittea? Literally would not exist without the existence of Camellia Sinensis, the plant that made all this possible.
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Adventure game boasts a 'Steampunk-ish' aesthetic.
Developer Francisco Gonzalez has unveiled Lamplight City, a detective adventure game inspired by the likes of Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens launching on Switch on June 2nd, 2022. It sees you take control of Miles Fordham, a private investigator within the New Bretagne, a thriving port city that falls foul to five grisly crimes.
Your job is to solve each of the five cases, but Lamplight City has been designed to let you fail. Multiple suspects and false leads may throw you off the game, but when a crime becomes unsolvable, the narrative will continue regardless, your failure to solve the case affecting various story aspects.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Seize the truth with the SSS.
NISA Europe has released a brand new trailer for the upcoming The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero which introduces us to the Special Support Section — the main cast in the fourth game in the Kiseki/Trails series. Originally released in Japan on the PlayStation Portable in 2010, this upcoming Switch port marks the game's first official English release in the West.
These "new protectors of Crossbell" are Lloyd Bannings, a rookie detective who fights with duel tonfas; Elie MacDowell, the pistol-wielding granddaughter of the mayor of Crossbell City; Tio Plato, master of orbal technology (magic) and a child genius; and Randy Orlando, a flirt and battle-hardened halberd fighter.
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Yours to play for a week.
One of the regular perks of a Nintendo Switch Online membership is access to Game Trials, in which you can download and play full versions of games for a week - with enough hours it's certainly possible to reach the credits in some of the titles that have featured.
Nintendo of Europe has announced its next NSO trial, and it's a rather good one - Spelunky 2 will be available to play from 25th to 31st May, though subscribers can pre-install now if they want to be ready to go next week.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
"The greatest game show on earth".
A little while back (nearly a year ago, in fact), we reported on the newly announced DEATHRUN TV, a twin-stick rogue-like game from publisher Merge Games and developer Laser Dog. After a long wait, the game has been confirmed to release on Switch on June 1st, 2022.
The official announcement trailer is sadly age-restricted, so we'll instead ask that you head on over to YouTube and check out the gameplay for yourself - go on, off you pop. Come back after, though!
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
"What we're trying to do is replicate the joy of freedom".
Announced in February 2021 and released just five months later, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD was a welcome upgrade for an oft-under loved Zelda title. One of the biggest changes to the HD port was the addition of a second control scheme — the ability to play the game without motion controls, which made the game more accessible to tons of people.
Tom Crago, CEO of Tantalus — the developers who made this port possible — spoke about the difficulties of translating the motion controls of the Wii Remote to the Switch's button inputs on a recent episode of the Fragments of Silicon podcast.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Finally we see new moves for the best weapon.
Though it's still over a month away (arriving on 30th June), Capcom is promoting Sunbreak - the major upcoming expansion for Monster Hunter Rise - a great deal. Recently we've had a look at the single-player Follower Quests, and it's also started a run of weapon showcase videos that highlight new moves and the upcoming 'Switch Skill Swap' ability.
In the first batch we saw Sword & Shield, Switch Axe and Heavy Bowgun, and we have another three videos to enjoy. Pleasingly this includes the Insect Glaive, which in this writer's humble opinion is the most awesome of Monster Hunter weapons, though it certainly got debuffed a bit in Rise. Lots of players master multiple weapons, but some have a favourite that they return to every time, which is an equally fun way to play.
Read the full article on nintendolife.com
Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $59.99 Pre-order Six years ago, the right half of a corpse was discovered. The left half was never found…until six years later, completely fresh with no signs of decay. Now, Special Agents Mizuki and Ryuki, along with their AI partners Aiba and Tama, are tasked to solve the bizarre Half Body serial killings while unveiling the mysterious plot known only as the Nirvana Initiative… NOTE: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until the release date/time: 06/24/2022 (check the product page for release date/time in your region). Product Info: Developer: Spike Chunsoft Publisher: Spike Chunsoft Website: AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES Nirvana Initiative Twitter: @SpikeChunsoft_e
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Outward: Definitive Edition Is Now Available For Xbox Series X|SThis Week’s Deals With Gold And Spotlight SaleUmurangi Generation Special Edition Is Now Available For PC, Xbox One, And Xbox Series X|S (Game Pass)
Prime Matter☆☆☆☆☆ 8 ★★★★★ $39.99 Get it now Outward: Definitive Edition delivers the ultimate experience for Outward players. It is not just a visual overhaul, but naturally combines the new mechanics and features from Outward and both DLCs, The Soroboreans and The Three Brothers, to make it feel like a brand new experience. Beside the new weapons, dungeons and DLCs unique mechanics, you can also expect quality of life improvements. Adventurers, now is your best chance to explore the world of Aurai! Outward delivers an immersive RPG experience coupled with survival gameplay, offering a deeply-rewarding challenge for the most avid gamers. • Just your everyday traveler As an ordinary adventurer, you’ll not only have to hide or defend yourself against threatening creatures, but also brave the hazardous environmental conditions, protect yourself against infectious diseases, make sure you get enough sleep, and stay hydrated. Embark on perilous expeditions across untamed lands to reach new cities, undertake varied missions and discover hidden dungeons crawling with formidable enemies. • Tackle the challenges solo or co-op In order to survive in the dazzling yet deadly world of Aurai, you’ll have to be cunning, clever and prepared. Devise diverse strategies to defeat your foes and don’t neglect your basic needs, sharing your journey with a friend, locally or online. • City Building Mechanic: Rebuilding Sirocco Create your own landmark in Aurai by helping the population to survive in this ruthless world! With the new City Building mechanic, you are part of rebuilding the Refugee Camp into New Sirocco. • Enchantment System Armor up and get stronger as you can enhance your weapons, trinkets and armors through the enchanting system! From increasing damage, weather resistance, elemental damage, personalization and even more, you will find your perfect enchantment among over 85 recipes. Product Info: Developer: Nine Dots Studio Publisher: Prime Matter Website: Outward: Definitive Edition Twitter: @NineDotsStudio / @primemattergg
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SEvil Dead: The Game Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|STourist Bus Simulator Is Now Available For Xbox Series X|S
Here are this week’s games and add-on deals available from the Microsoft Games Store. Discounts are valid now through May 23, 2022 (actual end date varies by sale).Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands: Chaotic Great EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S20%DWG*WWE 2K22 for Xbox OneXbox One, Xbox Series X|S25%DWG*The Division 2 – Warlords of New York – Ultimate EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S80%DWG*Atlas (Game Preview)Game Preview67%DWG*The CrewXbox One, Xbox Series X|S w/ Free Trial67%DWG*L.A. NoireXbox One X Enhanced50%DWG*XCOM 2Xbox One X Enhanced90%DWG*The Artful EscapeXbox Game Pass33%DWG*Tales from the BorderlandsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S25%DWG*Aery – Calm Mind 2Xbox One X Enhanced25%DWG*Dodgeball AcademiaXbox Game Pass20%DWG*Genesis NoirXbox Game Pass50%DWG*I Am AliveXbox One Backward Compatible70%DWG*Kerbal Space Program Enhanced EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S75%DWG*Kerbal Space Program: Breaking GroundAdd-On25%DWG*Kerbal Space Program: History and Parts PackAdd-On50%DWG*Kraken Academy!!Xbox Game Pass25%DWG*Mars: War LogsXbox One Backward Compatible67%DWG*No Longer HomeXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%DWG*OutlandXbox One Backward Compatible70%DWG*Paradise KillerXbox Game Pass25%DWG*Prince of Persia ClassicXbox One Backward Compatible75%DWG*Risk: Urban AssaultXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%DWG*Sayonara Wild HeartsXbox One X Enhanced40%DWG*The Division 2 – One-Time Offer PackAdd-On50%DWG*The Division 2 – Warlords of New York EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S80%DWG*Tiny Tina’s WonderlandsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S20%DWG*Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands: Next-Level EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S20%DWG*Tom Clancy’s The Division 2Optimized For Xbox Series X|S85%DWG*WWE 2K22 for Xbox Series X|SXbox One, Xbox Series X|S25%DWG*WWE 2K22 nWo 4-Life EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S25%DWG*XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe EditionXbox One X Enhanced90%DWG*XCOM 2: War of the ChosenAdd-On90%DWG*ZOMBIXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%DWG*Monster HarvestXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Spotlight SaleSublevel Zero ReduxXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Spotlight SaleCyberpunk 2077Xbox One X Enhanced50%Spotlight SaleWorld of Warships: Legends – 2,750 DoubloonsAdd-On20%Spotlight SaleWorld of Warships: Legends – 20,500 DoubloonsAdd-On20%Spotlight SaleWorld of Warships: Legends – 47,000 DoubloonsAdd-On20%Spotlight SaleParadox ErrorXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Spotlight SaleDungeon Escape: Console EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Spotlight Sale0 DegreesXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Spotlight SaleEndurance: Space ActionXbox One X Enhanced33%Spotlight SaleMoonfall UltimateXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Spotlight SaleSoul AxiomXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Spotlight SaleSlide StarsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Spotlight SaleSpeed 3 – Grand PrixXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Spotlight SaleHistorical TrilogyXbox One, Xbox Series X|S65%Spotlight SaleDr. AtominusXbox One, Xbox Series X|S20%Spotlight SaleShiroXbox One, Xbox Series X|S20%Spotlight SaleStelaXbox One X Enhanced70%Spotlight SaleSuper Night RidersXbox One X Enhanced75%Spotlight SaleSpace CrewXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Spotlight SaleA Knight’s QuestXbox One, Xbox Series X|S95%Spotlight SaleDo Not Feed the MonkeysXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Spotlight SaleCATTCHXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Spotlight SaleTyd wag vir NiemandXbox Play Anywhere70%Spotlight SaleFrane: Dragons’ OdysseyXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Spotlight SaleIllusion of L’PhalciaXbox Play Anywhere50%Spotlight Sale6180 the moonXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Spotlight SaleDemetrios – The BIG Cynical AdventureXbox One, Xbox Series X|S90%Spotlight SaleXenon Valkyrie+Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S90%Spotlight SaleAcalesiaXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Spotlight SaleOliver’s Adventures in the FairylandXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Spotlight SaleRuined King: A League of Legends StoryXbox One, Xbox Series X|S35%Spotlight SaleRuined King: A League of Legends Story – Deluxe EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S35%Spotlight SaleFIFA 22 Xbox OneXbox One, Xbox Series X|S85%Publisher Spotlight SeriesA Plague Tale: InnocenceXbox Game Pass75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesWindjammers 2Xbox Game Pass20%Publisher Spotlight SeriesBeast QuestXbox One, Xbox Series X|S90%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCrossCodeOptimized For Xbox Series X|S40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall of Duty: Vanguard – Standard EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesInsurgency: SandstormOptimized For Xbox Series X|S33%Publisher Spotlight SeriesA Plague Tale: Innocence – Coats of Arms DLCAdd-On33%Publisher Spotlight SeriesA Way OutEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesAeon Must Die!Xbox One X Enhanced50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesAeon Must Die! – Wrathful King SetAdd-On33%Publisher Spotlight SeriesAlekhine’s GunXbox One, Xbox Series X|S85%Publisher Spotlight SeriesAliens: Fireteam Elite Deluxe EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S55%Publisher Spotlight SeriesAliens: Fireteam Elite – Deluxe Edition UpgradeAdd-On40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesApex Legends – Champion EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Publisher Spotlight SeriesAry and the Secret of SeasonsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesStar Wars Battlefront IIEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesStar Wars Battlefront II: Celebration EditionXbox One X Enhanced80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesStar Wars Battlefront Ultimate EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesBear With Me: The Complete CollectionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesBear With Me: The Lost RobotsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S w/ Free Trial80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesBlazing ChromeXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall of CthulhuXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall Of Duty: Advanced Warfare Gold EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall of Duty: Black Ops Cold War – Standard EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall Of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall Of Duty: GhostsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall Of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Launch EditionXbox One X Enhanced67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall of Duty: Modern Warfare RemasteredXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall of Duty: Modern Warfare – Digital Standard EditionXbox One X Enhanced50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCall of Duty: Vanguard – Cross-Gen BundleXbox One, Xbox Series X|S35%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCris TalesXbox Game Pass50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesA New HomeXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCrossCode Deluxe EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCrossCode: Manlea SkinAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNinja SkinXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCurse of the Dead GodsXbox Game Pass50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesCurved SpaceSmart Delivery75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesDead AllianceXbox One, Xbox Series X|S85%Publisher Spotlight SeriesDegrees Of SeparationXbox One, Xbox Series X|S70%Publisher Spotlight SeriesDiRT 4EA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesDiRT RallyEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesDiRT Rally 2.0EA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesExtinctionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S85%Publisher Spotlight SeriesExtinction: Deluxe EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S85%Publisher Spotlight SeriesFaraday ProtocolXbox One X Enhanced60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesFIFA 22 Ultimate Edition Xbox One & Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S65%Publisher Spotlight SeriesFIFA 22 Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S70%Publisher Spotlight SeriesGreedFall – The de Vespe ConspiracyAdd-On33%Publisher Spotlight SeriesGreedFall – Gold EditionSmart Delivery55%Publisher Spotlight SeriesGRID LegendsSmart Delivery40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesGRID Legends: Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesHood: Outlaws & LegendsSmart Delivery50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesHood: Outlaws & Legends – Forest Lords PackAdd-On33%Publisher Spotlight SeriesIn Sound MindXbox Series X|S50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesInfernaxXbox Game Pass20%Publisher Spotlight SeriesIt Takes Two – Digital VersionEA Play50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesLichdom: BattlemageXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesLost in RandomEA Play50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesMass Effect Legendary EditionEA Play60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesMaximum Football 2019Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesMaximum Football 2020Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesMudRunner – American Wilds EditionXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For SpeedEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For Speed HeatEA Play80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For Speed Heat Deluxe EditionXbox One X Enhanced80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For Speed Hot Pursuit RemasteredEA Play80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For Speed PaybackEA Play60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For Speed Payback – Deluxe EditionXbox One X Enhanced70%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNeed For Speed RivalsEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNHL 22 Xbox OneEA Play67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNHL 22 Xbox Series X|SEA Play67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesNinjin: Clash of CarrotsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S w/ Free Trial80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesObliteracersXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesOthercideXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesOverride: Mech City BrawlXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesOverride 2: Super Mech LeagueSmart Delivery75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesOverride 2: Super Mech League — Ultraman Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesOverride: Mech City Brawl – Super Charged Mega EditionXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesPang AdventuresXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesPlants vs. Zombies: Battle For NeighborvilleEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesPlants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Deluxe EditionXbox One X Enhanced65%Publisher Spotlight SeriesRemothered: Broken PorcelainXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesRoad RageXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesRock of Ages 3: Make & BreakXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesRustlerSmart Delivery45%Publisher Spotlight SeriesSuper Animal Royale Super EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Publisher Spotlight SeriesShady Part of MeXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4EA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Plus Cats & Dogs BundleXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Cats and Dogs Plus My First Pet Stuff BundleAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 City LivingAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Deluxe Party EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Discover UniversityAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Cottage Living Expansion PackAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Snowy Escape Expansion PackXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Eco LifestyleAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Get FamousAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Get To WorkAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Get TogetherAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 Island LivingAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 My Wedding Stories Game PackAdd-On20%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Sims 4 SeasonsAdd-On50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesSkate (Back Compat)EA Play67%Publisher Spotlight SeriesSkate 3 (Back Compat)EA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesSnowRunnerXbox Game Pass50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesSnowRunner – Season PassAdd-On20%Publisher Spotlight SeriesSnowRunner – Year 2 PassAdd-On20%Publisher Spotlight SeriesStar Wars Jedi: Fallen OrderEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesEA STAR WARS TRIPLE BUNDLEXbox One, Xbox Series X|S70%Publisher Spotlight SeriesStar Wars SquadronsEA Play75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesStreets of Rage 4Xbox Play Anywhere50%Publisher Spotlight SeriesMR. X NIGHTMAREPC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe SurgeXbox One X Enhanced70%Publisher Spotlight SeriesThe Surge 2Xbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesTitanfall 2EA Play80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesTitanfall 2: Ultimate EditionXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesTrine 4: The Nightmare PrinceXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesTrine: Ultimate CollectionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesTyler: Model 005Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S w/ Free Trial80%Publisher Spotlight SeriesVampyrXbox One X Enhanced75%Publisher Spotlight SeriesWonder Boy: The Dragon’s TrapXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesWorld War Z: AftermathXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Publisher Spotlight SeriesWorld War Z – Explorer Weapon Skin PackAdd-On35%Publisher Spotlight SeriesWorld War Z: Aftermath – Zeke Hunter Weapons PackAdd-On35%Publisher Spotlight SeriesWWZ Upgrade to AftermathAdd-On35%Publisher Spotlight SeriesYoung SoulsXbox Game Pass20%Publisher Spotlight SeriesYs OriginXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Publisher Spotlight SeriesMortal Kombat 11Xbox Game Pass67%Fighter SaleTHE KING OF FIGHTERS XV Deluxe EditionXbox Series X|S (Optimized)25%Fighter SaleUFC 4 Deluxe EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Fighter SaleStreet Fighter 30th Anniversary CollectionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Fighter SaleDead Or Alive 6: Digital Deluxe EditionXbox One X Enhanced75%Fighter SaleAsterix & Obelix Slap Them All!Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S35%Fighter SaleBud Spencer & Terence Hill – Slaps And BeansXbox One, Xbox Series X|S85%Fighter SaleCentury – Initiate PackAdd-On20%Fighter SaleDarksiders III – Deluxe EditionXbox One X Enhanced80%Fighter SaleDEAD OR ALIVE 2 UltimateXbox One Backward Compatible20%Fighter SaleDead or Alive 3Xbox One Backward Compatible20%Fighter SaleDead Or Alive 5 Last Round (Full Game)Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Fighter SaleDead Or Alive 6: Season Pass 1Add-On50%Fighter SaleDead Or Alive 6: Season Pass 2Add-On50%Fighter SaleDead Or Alive 6: Season Pass 3Add-On50%Fighter SaleDead Or Alive 6: Season Pass 4Add-On50%Fighter SaleDEAD OR ALIVE 1 UltimateXbox One Backward Compatible20%Fighter SaleFight Night Champion (Back Compat)EA Play75%Fighter SaleInjustice 2Xbox Game Pass67%Fighter SaleInjustice 2 – Ultimate PackAdd-On75%Fighter SaleMayhem BrawlerXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Fighter SaleMortal Kombat 11: Aftermath ExpansionAdd-On65%Fighter SaleMortal Kombat 11 Kombat PackAdd-On55%Fighter SaleMortal Kombat 11 Kombat Pack 2Add-On55%Fighter SaleMortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Add-On BundleAdd-On65%Fighter SaleMortal Kombat XXbox One, Xbox Series X|S67%Fighter SaleMortal Kombat X – XL PackAdd-On75%Fighter SaleSuper Puzzle Fighter Turbo II HD RemixXbox One Backward Compatible80%Fighter SaleRogue StormersXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%Fighter SaleShadow GangsXbox One X Enhanced25%Fighter SaleStreet Fighter IVXbox One Backward Compatible80%Fighter SaleSuper Street Fighter IV Arcade EditionXbox One Backward Compatible80%Fighter SaleKOF XV Team Pass 1Add-On40%Fighter SaleUFC 4EA Play80%Fighter SaleUltimate Marvel Vs CAPCOM 3Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Fighter SaleUltra SFIVXbox One Backward Compatible80%Fighter SaleUnruly HeroesXbox One X Enhanced60%Fighter SaleWarDogs: Red’s ReturnXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%Fighter SaleDEEEER Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer GameXbox Game Pass40%INDIE Live Expo SaleImagine EarthOptimized For Xbox Series X|S25%INDIE Live Expo SaleCoffee TalkXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%INDIE Live Expo SaleBright MemoryXbox Series X|S (Optimized)20%INDIE Live Expo SaleRecord of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth-Xbox Game Pass30%INDIE Live Expo SaleA HERO AND A GARDENXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%INDIE Live Expo SaleA YEAR OF SPRINGSSmart Delivery30%INDIE Live Expo SaleBoyfriend DungeonXbox Game Pass20%INDIE Live Expo SaleDarkestville CastleXbox One, Xbox Series X|S65%INDIE Live Expo SaleDiscoloredXbox One X Enhanced35%INDIE Live Expo SaleGet-A-Grip Chip and the Body BugsXbox One X Enhanced20%INDIE Live Expo SaleGiraffe and Annika（ジラフとアンニカ）Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%INDIE Live Expo SaleHeadliner: NoviNewsXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%INDIE Live Expo SaleHenchman StorySmart Delivery35%INDIE Live Expo SaleKAMIKOXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%INDIE Live Expo SaleLacuna – A Sci-Fi Noir AdventureXbox One, Xbox Series X|S50%INDIE Live Expo SaleLA-MULANAXbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%INDIE Live Expo SaleLA-MULANA 2Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S75%INDIE Live Expo SaleMechstermination ForceXbox Play Anywhere40%INDIE Live Expo SaleMomodora: Reverie Under the MoonlightXbox One, Xbox Series X|S80%INDIE Live Expo SaleMoon HuntersXbox One, Xbox Series X|S90%INDIE Live Expo SalePupperazziXbox Game Pass15%INDIE Live Expo SaleRaji: An Ancient EpiсXbox Game Pass50%INDIE Live Expo SaleRising HellXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%INDIE Live Expo SaleShing!Optimized For Xbox Series X|S75%INDIE Live Expo SaleSisters Royale: Five Sisters Under FireXbox Play Anywhere70%INDIE Live Expo SaleSpace Moth Lunar EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%INDIE Live Expo SaleSpeed LimitXbox One, Xbox Series X|S70%INDIE Live Expo SaleSpider Solitaire FXbox Play Anywhere50%INDIE Live Expo SaleStar Hunter DXXbox Play Anywhere70%INDIE Live Expo SaleSubaraCityXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%INDIE Live Expo SaleTetragonXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%INDIE Live Expo SaleThe Coma 2: Vicious SistersXbox Play Anywhere70%INDIE Live Expo SaleThe Good LifeXbox Game Pass40%INDIE Live Expo SaleThe Life and Suffering of Sir BranteXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%INDIE Live Expo SaleThe Sealed AmpouleXbox One, Xbox Series X|S20%INDIE Live Expo SaleTouhou Luna NightsPC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S20%INDIE Live Expo SaleVambrace: Cold SoulXbox Play Anywhere70%INDIE Live Expo SaleWhen the Past was AroundXbox Play Anywhere60%INDIE Live Expo SaleYuoniOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%INDIE Live Expo SalePhoenotopia: AwakeningOptimized For Xbox Series X|S30%INDIE Live Expo SaleAngels of DeathXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%INDIE Live Expo SaleFIFA 22 Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleAssassin’s Creed Valhalla Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleCyberpunk 2077Xbox One X Enhanced50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleThe Sinking City Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleBack 4 BloodXbox Game Pass50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleApex Legends – Champion EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Optimized For Next Gen SaleAssassin’s Creed Odyssey – Gold EditionXbox One X Enhanced75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleAssassin’s Creed Valhalla + Watch Dogs: Legion BundleSmart Delivery60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleAssassin’s Creed Valhalla + Immortals Fenyx Rising BundleSmart Delivery65%Optimized For Next Gen SaleAssassin’s Creed Valhalla Ragnarök EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S40%Optimized For Next Gen SaleBack 4 Blood: Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleBack 4 Blood Annual PassAdd-On40%Optimized For Next Gen SaleChicken Police – Paint it RED!Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S35%Optimized For Next Gen SaleChorusSmart Delivery50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleControlXbox One X Enhanced60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleControl Ultimate EditionXbox Series X|S (Optimized)60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleCricket 22Xbox Game Pass30%Optimized For Next Gen SaleDevil May Cry 5 Special EditionXbox Series X|S (Optimized)50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleDisciples: Liberation Digital Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery25%Optimized For Next Gen SaleDying Light: The Following – Enhanced EditionXbox One, Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleELEX IISmart Delivery20%Optimized For Next Gen SaleForza Horizon 4 Deluxe EditionXbox Play Anywhere65%Optimized For Next Gen SaleForza Horizon 4 Standard EditionXbox Game Pass67%Optimized For Next Gen SaleForza Horizon 4 Ultimate EditionSmart Delivery65%Optimized For Next Gen SaleFor Honor – Marching Fire EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleGhostrunnerSmart Delivery60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleGreedFallXbox Game Pass60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleHOT WHEELS UNLEASHED – Ultimate Stunt Edition – Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleHunting Simulator 2: Elite Edition Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleHunting Simulator 2 Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleJust Dance 2022 Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery45%Optimized For Next Gen SaleLife is Strange: True ColorsXbox Game Pass50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleLife is Strange: True Colors – Deluxe EditionSmart Delivery50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleLife is Strange: True Colors – Ultimate EditionSmart Delivery25%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMadden NFL 22 Xbox Series X|SEA Play75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMetro Exodus Gold EditionSmart Delivery75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMonster Energy Supercross – The Official Videogame 5Smart Delivery30%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMonster Energy Supercross 5 – Special EditionSmart Delivery30%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMonster Truck Championship – Rebel Hunter Edition Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMonster Truck Championship Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMortal Kombat 11 UltimateSmart Delivery60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleMy Friend Peppa PigXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Optimized For Next Gen SaleNHL 22 Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S67%Optimized For Next Gen SalePJ Masks: Heroes of the NightXbox One, Xbox Series X|S30%Optimized For Next Gen SalePort Royale 4Optimized For Xbox Series X|S50%Optimized For Next Gen SalePsychonauts 2Xbox Game Pass40%Optimized For Next Gen SaleTom Clancy’s Rainbow Six ExtractionXbox Game Pass50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleRelictaSmart Delivery80%Optimized For Next Gen SaleRiders Republic Gold EditionSmart Delivery50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleRims Racing : Ultimate Edition Xbox One & Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S40%Optimized For Next Gen SaleRiMS Racing Xbox Series X|SXbox Series X|S (Optimized)50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleRoguebook Xbox Series X|SXbox One, Xbox Series X|S25%Optimized For Next Gen SaleRoguebook – Deluxe Edition Xbox Series X|S & Xbox OneXbox One, Xbox Series X|S25%Optimized For Next Gen SaleSaints Row The Third RemasteredSmart Delivery75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleSCARLET NEXUS Ultimate EditionSmart Delivery33%Optimized For Next Gen SaleShadow Warrior 3Smart Delivery40%Optimized For Next Gen SaleSherlock Holmes Chapter OneOptimized For Xbox Series X|S35%Optimized For Next Gen SaleSpacebase Startopia – Extended Edition Bonus ContentAdd-On50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleStar Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Deluxe EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S70%Optimized For Next Gen SaleStar Wars SquadronsEA Play75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleCode VeinXbox One X Enhanced30%Optimized For Next Gen SaleTennis World Tour 2 – Complete Edition Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S75%Optimized For Next Gen SaleDark Souls II: Scholar Of The First SinXbox One, Xbox Series X|S33%Optimized For Next Gen SaleTour de France 2021 Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S70%Optimized For Next Gen SaleTropico 6 – Next Gen EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S25%Optimized For Next Gen SaleWarhammer: Chaosbane Slayer EditionOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleWatch Dogs: Legion Gold EditionSmart Delivery50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleWerewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood Champion of Gaia Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleWerewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S60%Optimized For Next Gen SaleWRC 10 Deluxe Edition Xbox One & Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleWRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship Xbox Series X|SOptimized For Xbox Series X|S50%Optimized For Next Gen SaleAssassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of RagnarökAdd-On25%Spring Add-On 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BundleAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – For the Bounty BundleXbox One, Xbox Series X|S70%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – The Companion BundleAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – Gunslingers BundleAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – The Prodigal DaughterAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – The Seekers BundleAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – The Uncanny BundleAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleHunt: Showdown – They Came From SalemAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2 – Black MantaAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2 – DarkseidAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2 – EnchantressAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2: Fighter Pack 1Add-On75%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2: Fighter Pack 2Add-On75%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2: Fighter Pack 3Add-On75%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2: HellboyAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2: Infinite TransformsAdd-On75%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2: RaidenAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleInjustice 2 – Red HoodAdd-On50%Spring 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Add-On SaleJust Cause 4 – Toy Vehicle PackAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleKingdom Come: Deliverance – A Woman’s LotAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleKingdom Come: Deliverance – DLC CollectionAdd-On75%Spring Add-On SaleKingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning – FateswornAdd-On30%Spring Add-On SaleLEGO Batman 3: Season PassAdd-On80%Spring Add-On SaleLEGO DC Super-Villains Season PassAdd-On75%Spring Add-On SaleLEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 Season PassAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleLEGO Marvel’s Avengers Season PassAdd-On70%Spring Add-On SaleLEGO Worlds Classic Space Pack and Monsters Pack BundleAdd-On75%Spring Add-On SaleLet’s Sing 2022 Song PassAdd-On33%Spring Add-On SaleSniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 – Lock n’ Load Weapons PackAdd-On33%Spring Add-On SaleSniper Ghost Warrior Contracts – Merciless Marksman Weapon & Skin DLC PackAdd-On33%Spring Add-On SaleMetro Exodus – Sam’s StoryAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleMetro Exodus – The Two ColonelsAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleMetro Exodus Expansion PassAdd-On65%Spring Add-On 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Add-On SaleThief – Booster Pack: GhostAdd-On67%Spring Add-On SaleThief – Booster Pack: OpportunistAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleThief – Booster Pack: PredatorAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleThief – The Bank HeistAdd-On85%Spring Add-On SaleThief – The Forsaken – Challenge MapAdd-On85%Spring Add-On SaleTitan Quest: AtlantisAdd-On60%Spring Add-On SaleTitan Quest: RagnarökAdd-On60%Spring Add-On SaleTom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands – Year 2 PassAdd-On60%Spring Add-On SaleTrials Rising – Expansion passAdd-On60%Spring Add-On SaleTropico 6 – Caribbean SkiesAdd-On35%Spring Add-On SaleTropico 6 – FestivalAdd-On35%Spring Add-On SaleTropico 6 – LobbyisticoAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleTropico 6 – SpitterAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleTropico 6 – The Llama of Wall StreetAdd-On50%Spring Add-On SaleWasteland 3: Cult of the Holy DetonationAdd-On40%Spring Add-On SaleWasteland 3 Expansion PassAdd-On55%Spring Add-On SaleWasteland 3: The Battle of SteeltownAdd-On60%Spring Add-On SaleWatch Dogs 2 – Season 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PLAYISM☆☆☆☆☆ 73 ★★★★★ $24.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Umurangi Generation is a first-person photography game set in the retro future. Set in Tauranga, Aotearoa off the back of an impending crisis, major cities are walled off, with the United Nations deploying the military and towering mecha to defend against an alien invasion. From fighter jets beaming overhead, the sound of constant gunfire and wounded soldiers to the advertising boards in-game, everything you see provides more context to the daily lives of those in Tauranga. Despite all of that, life goes on... People go to work, party to escape reality, complain about the government and the inequalities between the poor and the rich... As a courier for the Tauranga Express, you get to travel around Tauranga taking pictures and documenting the world and its reality through the lenses of your camera. Throughout the game, you will unlock a variety of lenses and equipment. *This version contains both the full PC version, its DLCs, as well as some additional modes. ▼ Unique and expressive grading system Each photo you take is judged on its color, content and composition. Taking a photo will net you a cash score, which will go towards your final payout. Complete Photo Bounties any way you like. Once you've completed these bounties, deliver the parcel to finish the level. ▼ Exploration bonuses on each level New equipment for your camera is unlocked by finding film canisters, recreating postcards, fulfilling timed deliveries, and finding a way to fit all of your friends in one photo. ▼ Full creative control Edit your photos and develop your unique color grade. The tools in the game are flexible enough that you can touch up your photos to look better than when you took them. If you are an experienced photographer, you’ll fit right in. If this is your first time, you’ll be on your journey in no time. ▼ Speed run and creative modes The game offers replayability through two special play modes. The speed run mode tests your gaming skills and is perfect for those up for a challenge. The creative mode, on the other hand, gives you full control over the creative side to achieve that perfect snap, sure to satisfy those of you avid photographers out there. ▼ What is an 'Umurangi'? Umurangi is the Te Reo word for Red Sky.
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Here we go…the latest episode of This Week On Xbox.
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PQube Ltd☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $19.99 $17.99 Pre-order More Than Just a Retro Romance - Balance social life with the intensity of running an esports team in a retrofuturistic world where arcades dominate the gaming scene. After the success of the award-winning visual novel Arcade Spirits, Fiction Factory Games are back with a ground-breaking standalone sequel. Customizable Characters - Design your own character and rival using a massively expanded character creator. Choose your pronouns, shape your personality, feelings, and preferences, then see them reflected in the story. Alter your character and change your pronouns after every chapter to see what reflects you best! 9 Romance Paths & Multiple Endings - Choose how your story plays out while interacting with a diverse group of lovable individuals. Build your own championship legend and let your relationships blossom into beautiful friendships... or perhaps more? Become an Esports Champion – On top of the gripping and often heart-warming tale, The New Challengers throws a sense of classic arcade competitiveness into the mix. Take on the world in Fist of Discomfort 2, a tactical fighter interwoven within the narrative. Amazing Voice Cast – Enjoy an incredibly unique visual novel with a distinctive art style, and cast of colorful characters bursting with style and personality. Experience the emotional highs and lows alongside a stellar voice cast which includes SungWon Cho (ProZD), Fryda Wolff, Simply Undrea and many more! Continue the Story - Played the original Arcade Spirits? Import your previous choices and keep an eye out for returning faces and a few hidden surprises. NOTE: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until the release date/time: 05/27/2022 (check the product page for release date/time in your region). NOTE: This game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game.
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EpiXR Games☆☆☆☆☆ 9 ★★★★★ $9.99 Get it now Xbox One X Enhanced Aery – A new Frontier is a story-driven 3D flight exploration game in which you control a bird-like creature in space and on distant planets. You can observe how humanity slowly evolves, inhabits new planets and discovers the secrets of the galaxy. While you progress through the story you will be able to see the different stages in which humanity has been at every state of their evolution. The story itself talks about different events and milestones that have been reached as well as different happenings in between. You can quite literally fly through space and time and different stages of human development. Follow an interesting story through a wonerful, peaceful Sci-Fi world and enjoy the speed of flying at the same time. This story-driven game is non-violent so that you can enjoy the intuitive and relaxing gameplay in 8 giant different stages that are waiting to be explored. Product Info: Developer: EpiXR Games Publisher: EpiXR Games Website: Aery – A New Frontier Twitter: @EpixrG
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Aery – Dreamscape Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SAery – Calm Mind Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SAery – Calm Mind Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|S
Boss Team Games, LLC; Saber Interactive Inc☆☆☆☆☆ 759 ★★★★★ $59.99 Get it now Step into the shoes of Ash Williams or his friends from the iconic Evil Dead franchise and work together in a game loaded with over-the-top co-op and PVP multiplayer action! Play as a team of four survivors, exploring, looting, managing your fear, and finding key items to seal the breach between worlds in a game inspired by all three original Evil Dead films as well as the STARZ original Ash vs Evil Dead television series. The Deluxe Edition of Evil Dead: The Game includes Season Pass 1. Season Pass 1 includes 4 DLC packs at a discounted rate. Iconic Characters - Play as characters from throughout the Evil Dead universe, including Ash, Scotty, Lord Arthur, Kelly Maxwell, & more, with new dialogue performed by Bruce Campbell & others! Play As Good or Evil - Fight for the forces of good or take control of the Kandarian Demon to hunt Ash & others while possessing Deadites, the environmental objects & more as you seek to swallow their souls! Off-the-Wall Visuals - Whether you’re tearing a Deadite in 2 with Ash's chainsaw hand or flying across the map as the Kandarian Demon, realistic visuals & physics-based gore brings the horror to life! This...Is My Boomstick - Brandish your short barrel shotgun, chainsaw, cleavers and more to do some delightfully gruesome violence against the armies of darkness. Evil Dead: The Game
Boss Team Games, LLC; Saber Interactive Inc☆☆☆☆☆ 269 ★★★★★ $39.99 Get it now Step into the shoes of Ash Williams or his friends from the iconic Evil Dead franchise and work together in a game loaded with over-the-top co-op and PVP multiplayer action! Play as a team of four survivors, exploring, looting, managing your fear, and finding key items to seal the breach between worlds in a game inspired by all three original Evil Dead films as well as the STARZ original Ash vs Evil Dead television series. Iconic Characters - Play as characters from throughout the Evil Dead universe, including Ash, Scotty, Lord Arthur, Kelly Maxwell, & more, with new dialogue performed by Bruce Campbell & others! Play As Good or Evil - Fight for the forces of good or take control of the Kandarian Demon to hunt Ash & others while possessing Deadites, the environmental objects & more as you seek to swallow their souls! Off-the-Wall Visuals - Whether you’re tearing a Deadite in 2 with Ash's chainsaw hand or flying across the map as the Kandarian Demon, realistic visuals & physics-based gore brings the horror to life! This...Is My Boomstick - Brandish your short barrel shotgun, chainsaw, cleavers and more to do some delightfully gruesome violence against the armies of darkness. NOTE: This game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game.
Product Info: Developer: Saber Interactive Publisher: Boss Team Games, Saber Interactive Website: Evil Dead: The Game Twitter: @TweetsSaber / @BossTeamGames / @EvilDeadTheGame
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Outright Games Ltd.☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $39.99 Pre-order Bring magic back to Equestria and play with the new generation of MY LITTLE PONY characters, in an adventure full of fun, fashion and good friends! Earth Pony Sunny wants to make the world a better place by hosting Maretime Bay Day, a forgotten celebration of friendship and magic. But some pony is out to spoil the celebration - and they're stealing cakes, letting bunnies loose, and even spoiling Pipp's paintings! Only you can help Sunny throw the most magical celebration Equestria has ever seen. Use your magic to put on fashion shows, find the cutest animals, fly with the Pegasi and more. Customize your ponies by unlocking new skills and accessories, including new hats and jewelry, rollerblades, and fashion magic. Your friends Hitch, Izzy, Zipp and Pipp are here to lend a helping hoof every step of the way. And you can invite another player for multiplayer minigames! The ponies need you to make Maretime Bay Day unforgettable – can you find the mysterious party pooper and bring back the magic? NOTE: You may pre-download this game, but it will not be playable until the release date/time: 05/27/2022 (check the product page for release date/time in your region). Product Info: Developer: Melbot Studios Publisher: Outright Games Website: MY LITTLE PONY: A Maretime Bay Adventure Twitter: @Outright_Games
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Hotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SHotel Transylvania: Scary-Tale Adventures Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SRyan’s Rescue Squad Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|S
Nacon☆☆☆☆☆ 5 ★★★★★ $29.99 Get it now A dark fantasy roguelike where you play as the Devil! A DARK TALE Defeated many moons ago, you are finally coming back with your most faithful disciples to take revenge on those miserable Demon Hunters. Play runs after runs and collect ancient artefacts to regain your power and take back your rightful place. THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS Setup your team of famous evil geniuses like Dracula, the Headless Horseman or Bloody Mary. Build their set of skills and create synergies to face any mortal who dares to stand in your way. Unlock new abilities, collect souls, make the right choices in events and use your powers to slay the forces of good. Product Info: Developer: Leikir Studio, Cyanide Studio Publisher: Nacon Website: Rogue Lords Twitter: @LeikirStudio / @CyanideStudio / @Nacon / @RogueLords
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Rogue Lords Day One Edition Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SCricket 22 Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SCricket 22 Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|S
Aerosoft GmbH☆☆☆☆☆ 16 ★★★★★ $29.99 Get it now Create your own bus empire on Fuerteventura now! Thanks to the economy system in the new Tourist Bus Simulator, you will be able to found your own bus company on the popular holiday island Fuerteventura. Your offer comprises scheduled routes, hotel shuttles or sightseeing tours. Furthermore, you also have to manage your fleet, including vehicle care and maintenance, and employee planning. If you are successful, you can continuously expand your fleet. In this PC game, the entire island has been faithfully recreated including a large number of roads and unpaved tracks, cities, villages and beaches. All areas are accessible. Thanks to the 1:5 scale, even long bus tours can be completed in an enjoyable driving time. The MAN Lion's Coach is available in two sizes. You can choose between different bus designs to find the right one for each task. FEATURES Map of Fuerteventura at an extremely high level of detail - 20 faithfully recreated cities and beaches - Many pass roads, serpentines, points of interest and three harbours - Find hidden stashes and other uncommon and interesting places Large selection of vehicles - MAN Lion’s Coach and Lion’s Coach C, originally as they are used on the Canary Islands - Large selection of bus designs, appropriate for each task - Off-road and service vehicle Various offers for your customers: - Scheduled routes: transporting passengers all over the island - Hotel shuttle: transporting tourists from the airport to hotels and back - Sightseeing offers for hotels with interesting custom tours for the tourists Economy system: - Extensive fleet management, incl. maintenance work - Personnel management and recruiting drivers, guides and mechanics - Maintaining vehicles, incl. refuelling, reparations, service in one’s own or an external workshop - Managing the bus company’s spare parts store, insurances, WIFI, catering, etc. - Supporting employees for their searches for flats, gyms, beaches, and bars - Extend your depot for additional vehicles - Buy your own apartment or estate and improve your personal accommodation Freely movable bus driver as well as passengers who board and leave Bus wash Various levels that can be unlocked by completing orders and gaining experience Product Info: Developer: Zero Games Studio, TML Studios Publisher: Aerosoft GmbH Website: Tourist Bus Simulator Twitter: @ZeroGamesTweets / @TMLStudios / @AerosoftGmbH
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Outward: Definitive Edition Is Now Available For Xbox Series X|SArcade Spirits: The New Challengers Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SEvil Dead: The Game Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|S
KEMCO☆☆☆☆☆ 12 ★★★★★ $14.99 Get it now Talismans are magical items that contain great power, even with some that can grant any desire. Kronos, a boy training as a wizard, and Serene, who consider one another as siblings, become enveloped in a Talisman conspiracy. Will they be able to save themselves and the world from the threatening danger? Equip Talismans to the Skill Board to acquire skills and fatal moves to turn the tides in turn-based battles. Forging and upgrading weapons, armor and Talismans from materials will grant you additional advantages. There are also strategic elements with battle formations and traps, and not to mention the variety of quests, arena and monster achievements that await as challenges in this fantasy RPG! NOTE: This game leverages Smart Delivery allowing access to both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S versions of the game. Product Info: Developer: EXE-CREATE Publisher: KEMCO Website: Infinite Links Twitter: @ExeCreate / @KEMCOGLOBAL
Affiliate commission may be earned from Microsoft if you click a link and make a purchase.Related:Outward: Definitive Edition Is Now Available For Xbox Series X|SArcade Spirits: The New Challengers Is Now Available For Digital Pre-order And Pre-download On Xbox One And Xbox Series X|SEvil Dead: The Game Is Now Available For Xbox One And Xbox Series X|S
Roller Champions is coming to PS4 (and PS5 via backwards compatibility) on May 25, offering fast-paced, competitive, free-to-play matches in which you can rise to sports-legend glory. Its roller-skate arena action is based on three simple rules: catch the ball, do a lap while keeping it in your team’s possession, and score!
To better understand the game, its origins, and its gameplay decisions, we spoke with Gauthier Malou, Roller Champions’ creative director.Play Video Gladiatorial beginnings
“Blending is at the core of Roller Champions,” says Malou, and that’s especially true when it comes to its origins, which combine inspirations as diverse as arcade games and a dystopian movie from the ‘70s. Before Roller Champions, Malou was part of a small team at Ubisoft tasked with two missions: create free mobile games, and keep an eye on the market to observe its trends. It was during this time that his team noticed that “the market was moving more and more towards interaction between players, spectators, and organizers,” he recalls, citing examples like Twitch and esports competitions.
“Streamers are like a Roman emperor who has to entertain the crowd,” says Malou, “and the more fun the game is to watch, the more viewers will ask the streamers to replay that game. So, at first, we thought of a classic gladiator game with swords.”
But the team wanted to approach the idea in a unique way, and that’s when Malou had a flash of inspiration: Rollerball, one of his favorite movies from the ‘70s. Depicting a dystopian world in which corporations take over and create spectacles to satiate the masses, the film is violent and dark – but that’s not what attracted him to it.
“The fact that this movie had gladiators on roller skates in a circular arena, like Ben-Hur, that’s an original approach,” he says. “Roller skates are based on physics and inertia – it gives us fun gameplay where we’re going to push each other, knock each other down.”
Of course, the colorful and dynamic Roller Champions bears no resemblance to the dark and cruel world of Rollerball. Instead, the team set to work creating a prototype in a roller-skating arena that put competition at the center of the game while still remaining fun and inclusive.
By combining soccer, basketball, handball, roller derby, and a handful of other sports, the team created a totally unique sport. With no guns, cars, or power contests, Malou explains that Roller Champions is a game that’s “not gendered, not filled with testosterone, and that’s also, in my opinion, ultra-modern, because roller skates are an environmentally friendly way to reclaim concrete cities.”
But competition is still a core part of it. “We’ve always believed in the power that comes from confrontation. It’s in us, we’re competitive,” says Malou. “And to have confrontation with good values and fair play, we created a sport.”As fun to watch as it is to play
While working on the details of this new sport, the team followed one clear, central guideline: the game should be as fun to watch as it is to play, and someone who doesn’t know the rules of the game should be able to enjoy the action just by watching the players move on the track.
During development, Malou found innovative ways to test whether the game was on the right track. “I showed my mom a match when she didn’t even know what the game was,” he recounts. “She was like, ‘Oh, he’s good because he does a backflip and falls nicely on his feet. Ah, he sucks because he fell on his butt.’ Without understanding the rules, she was able to enjoy the game.”
These characteristics of the game – being instantly accessible, understandable, and fun – are important not only for the gameplay, but also for the fact that the game is free. Malou notes that Roller Champions may seem complicated at first; the game presents a completely new sport, and players will need to learn everything.
“Our strength, though,” he says, “is the instant fun that comes once people pick up the controller to try it.” A price tag creates a barrier to entry, Malou says, but being free means that “to try it is to embrace it.”
But while the game is immediately understandable and fun, that doesn’t mean it’s simple. The basic concept – pick up the ball, do a lap with it, and score – is amplified by moves that can be combined to create exponential possibilities.
“What brought a lot of variety was the combo aspect,” Malou says. “Kicking right after you jump, jumping again when you’re already in the air, doing a double dodge, making a pass when you’ve just fallen.”
The same concept of combos also applies to the many game modes the team is testing. “For example: hot potato,” says Malou. “It’s the exact same game, but if you don’t make a pass after five seconds, the ball explodes in your hands. And that game mode can be perfectly combined with the 2v2 game mode.
“Every time we add more game modes, the number of possible combinations is going to be exponential,” says Malou.Play Video The superstars
Although the development team has been experimenting with other combinations, the main game mode will always be 3v3. “We want players to feel like superstars,” says Malou, “so that everyone has a chance to shine, to have their moment of glory, to be cheered on. We’re keeping it as intimate as possible in terms of the number of players.”
To emphasize the idea that the players are celebrities, there are no classes in the game; everyone gets the same equipment and the same chances. “It’s really the players who have their stories and their abilities,” Malou notes, “so if you want a good defender on your team, you recruit a player who is a good defender. The players are the champions, not their characters.”
The map design is another gameplay decision that puts the focus on the players. “The game doesn’t have big maps with hundreds of players. Instead, it’s very intimate,” Malou says. To add to the effect of its small size, the map is also fully visible; its center wall is transparent to keep the audience’s attention on the champions at all times.
To ensure that the audience shares the same experience, the team also reduced the number of subjective elements in the game as much as possible. Players won’t see their enemy team as red, for instance; the teams are neutral colors, yellow and blue. By removing this element of opposition, the development team can ensure that the audience appreciates the players’ skills more than the clashes between the teams.
“Everything’s conceived so that the audience sees the same thing, because then they share the same experience,” says Malou. “There’s a sense of community, because they’re talking about the same thing at the same time.”
Roller Champions launches for free on May 25 for PS4, and is playable on PS5 via backwards compatibility. Get ready to strap on your skates and roll up to glory – superstardom awaits!
The official adaptation of Steve Jackson Games’ legendary and multi-award-winning wargame, Ogre, is now available on PlayStation. Bursting with mechanised warfare, this turn-based strategy game requires a lot of tactical choices, and even more calculated thinking. Based on the original board game created in 1977, this game will transport you into another time.Play Video
Here are five explosive reasons as to why we think you will love it.Hone your strategy
The strategy starts when you choose the units you want to be in your dream faction, where you want to position them, and which attacks are suited best for the fight you’re in. Then you’re leaving the success of these strategic choices down to the roll of dice, and all you can do is sit back and watch your plans play out in front of you.Set in the not-so-distant future
In a timeline not so different from ours, Ogre is set in the near future. There’s armed conflict where one specific type of unit, the Ogre, instills so much fear into even its allies. Ogres are AI-driven, cybernetic tanks that are so powerful, they equate to the same firepower as a battalion of tanks and infantry. Get ready to fully immerse yourself in this multi-award-winning classic that has been revived for PlayStation.
As the player, you’ll be taking command of hovercrafts, tanks, marines, infantry, and even the Ogres themselves, as you take part in an endless world war. Strive for domination on the irradiated battlefields of the (not-so-distant) future.Create your dream faction
With two different factions to choose from; you’ll be able to play as the North American Combine or as the Pan European Federation, and then build your dream faction from there. You’ll be able to choose from Light, Superheavy, and Missile Tanks, G.E.V.s (Ground Effect Vehicles), Infantry, Marines, Howitzers, and Ogres (Mark I – Mark VI) to create a different team each time you play.
If you’d like to keep improving yourself, you can keep perfecting the factions you build until you feel like you’ve figured it out the lay of the land. And then, once you’ve figured out that perfect sweet spot, you can keep using the same team, keep using the same, unbeatable faction each time. Make your ultimate unit and use Trains and Command Posts as you please.Super re-playable campaign
There are so many different ways to play Ogre, with multiple options to build your factions, different factions to choose from, and numerous scenarios to try. The AI in Ogre will constantly surprise you, to the point where no two games will be the same. There are also loads of different terrain types, including bodies of water, for you to carry out your battles on. Incorporate the terrain into your battle strategy, use defensive areas to shield your units from attack, or bodies of water to stall the enemy.
And of course, not forgetting all of those trophies to grab too! Add all of this to being able to perfect your dream unit over and over again, and you’ll be able to find new and exciting ways to play Ogre each time.Gameplay that has withstood the test of time
For over forty years, the tabletop game has survived the test of time, enchanting players on both tabletop and then PC, and now we have brought it to life on PlayStation. This release is the ultimate PlayStation version of Ogre, including the expanded G.E.V. rules, which come from Ogre’s original sequel, for even more variety.
When the PC version was released in 2017, it was the first ever digital adaptation of Ogre since the game’s original creation in 1986, and since then Auroch Digital have been working hard to bring it to PlayStation, and also to make it the best it can be.
Discover the vast world of Ogre for yourself, it’s out now on PS4 and PS5!
In Dead by Daylight’s new chapter Roots of Dread, the new Killer is The Dredge. A formless mass of twisted limbs writhing in the shadows, The Dredge is a manifestation of darkness itself. A uniquely frightening figure, it was imperative that The Dredge captured the spirit of a monster lurking beneath your bed. And while Dead by Daylight is most certainly a horror game, conjuring such a unique flavor of fear presented an exciting challenge for the game design team.
For one, its Reign of Darkness Power shrouds the map in a pitch-black state, turning simple navigation into a matter of life and death. During this supernatural nightfall, visibility becomes severely limited, making it so that Survivors can only see what’s directly in front of them. While this certainly brings an exciting new horror element to Dead by Daylight, such a drastic visual change was not without a few behind-the-scenes hurdles.Hello Darkness
“One of the first things, and this is something people don’t often consider, is that we must think about the technical feasibility of our desired experience,” explains Patrick Harris, Dead by Daylight’s lead game designer. “Lighting levels and visibility levels are a very technical challenge, and when conceptualizing a Power like The Dredge’s, we have to consider that.”
“It becomes an interesting discussion between the tech side and the design side,” he notes. “The design side says we want an experience like this, and tech says doing exactly what you just said will have implications on performance. We work together to find a balance.
“It’s tricky to get the lighting and visibility to change dynamically in a match, maintain performance, and adhere to the original design desire. On top of that, you must then consider the feedback we get from our playtests, which feature a wide range of player skill.
“I’m not the most amazing Survivor player in the world, by my own admission,” Patrick says with a laugh. “When I faced The Dredge, I found the darkness to be very tough — especially in early iterations. A lot of the less experienced Survivors felt that. On the other side, many of the high-skilled players had each Map memorized. You could throw a blindfold on them, and they could still find the Generators.
“We had to find a balance where the high-skilled players were scared and impacted by the Power while the newer players were not completely overwhelmed. That was a tricky one, and that’s where the idea of having The Dredge’s aura be visible during the darkness came from. It helped strike a balance between the two groups while maintaining the fear factor. It also helps that when you see The Dredge, it’s absolutely terrifying.”Lockers
That’s only the beginning. The Dredge has the ability to teleport to any locker across the map, granting it an oppressive level of mobility. And should it teleport to a locker while a Survivor is inside? Some things are better left to the imagination.
“We’ve wanted a Killer that jumped out of lockers and scared Survivors for a while,” explains Patrick. “Something that takes a pillar of safety and flips it on its head. ‘There’s three lockers in this room, do I really want to go here?’ This is going to be the Killer that makes lockers scary.”
Survivors can take protective measures by locking a locker door, but there’s one problem. “You can only lock those lockers once,” says Patrick. “It’s not necessarily a great idea to run around and lock them all. If you do that at the beginning of the game, The Dredge is going to smash each lock and you’ll be in for a bad time. Slow your roll and be mindful.”Finding balance
Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer game where two sides must go head-to-head, and striking an effective balance between Killer and Survivor is an integral part of the game design team’s toolkit. At the same time, both sides are made up of a wide-ranging spectrum of player skill, making it difficult to predict how the community will respond to a Killer’s competitive potential.
“You never know which tier a Killer will end up being until the community gets their hands on it,” muses Patrick. “Sometimes it’s because they figure out how to do something you never thought of. Sometimes they do something they shouldn’t be able to do. Lot of times, we’re just impressed with the creativity.”
It always helps when a Killer’s Power allows for the possibility of mind games, raising the skill ceiling and inviting a good old-fashioned battle of wits. While The Dredge’s Power allows for map-wide darkness and Locker teleportation, there’s an additional ability Survivors must fear: The Remnant. When The Dredge charges its Power, a static Remnant is created. From there, the Killer has two options: teleport to a Locker or instantly snap back to the Remnant.
Consider a scenario where a Survivor you’re chasing is running toward a locker. You prepare to cut them off by teleporting to a locker up ahead, charging your Power and creating a Remnant. After a few seconds, they realize what you’re planning and decide to double back by running toward you. Rather than teleporting to the Locker as originally planned, you can snap back to your Remnant and instantly resume the chase.
“When we did the initial playtests with The Dredge, we didn’t have the Remnant,” recalls Patrick. “It was one of the last parts of the Power to be added. It added a level of mind-gaming to The Dredge that wasn’t present, making for some interesting gameplay during chases. There’s an exciting level of decision-making.”
It’s clear that the game design team is excited for players to get familiar with The Dredge, whose immersive gameplay and unsettling visual design brings a new style of horror to The Entity’s Realm. This harmonious union of gameplay and character has become one of the game’s beloved pillars, and Patrick is keen to praise the work of Dead by Daylight’s Killer Designers. “The Killer Designer we have working on The Dredge, Janick Neveu, has been on the team longer than I have,” he notes. “He is an absolute expert at his craft. I won’t take any credit on The Dredge – Janick absolutely killed it. He constantly impresses everyone on the team with his fantastic Killer designs.”
Embody fear itself as The Dredge in Dead by Daylight’s brand-new chapter Roots of Dread, available on June 7.
That’s right, Fall Guys is going free for all and cross-play starting June 21, with a new PS5 version that enhances the bean-stumbling action.
But before we dig deeper into what’s new, let’s take a look back on where we started… Can you believe that we launched Fall Guys all the way back in August 2020? A lot has happened in those two years, including some amazing collaborations and huge game-changing updates. I think Squads Mode has been the single biggest improvement to the game so far—it just felt like such a completely fresh way to play with a party without having to constantly drop out because someone from the dev team got eliminated in Round 1 again (not going to name any names here). It’s just such a great feeling to share the joy of a win with all your friends watching along!
Hitting the one year anniversary of Fall Guys’ launch was a really special moment. To have anyone take interest in our silly obstacle course bean game in the first place was an incredible honour, but to have a dedicated, passionate community celebrate a year of achievements in Fall Guys is something else entirely. Development’s never smooth sailing but I’m incredibly proud of how the team has sustained and improved the game since the launch.Play Video
No PlayStation Plus membership required for online play.Well, what’s new?
How long have you got? We have so many new features, obstacles, Rounds and more being added to Fall Guys in this new Season.
My personal favourite new in-game addition is Blast Balls for sure! As a design team we were looking for new ways to make final Rounds that give players more agency to go after each other and make some clever strategic plays. Blast Balls achieve that while still staying true to the core of Fall Guys—they’re funny, grounded in physics and perfect for creating highlight worthy clips.
We also have some incredible new Rounds being added, one being Hex-a-Ring. It’s basically a version of Hex-a-Gone that is being played on a rotating tube, you have to keep moving through layers of tiles while not falling off the rotating floor and not falling down into the slime! I’d be lying if I said a lot of our team were good at this Round, but I can’t wait to see the community highlights when they get to try it out.
With some absolutely wild collaborations lined up, we really can’t wait for everyone to dig in and try it for themselves! For more news and teasers on upcoming collaborations, keep an eye out on our social channels.
I couldn’t possibly spill the beans on ALL the new features in the upcoming season but I’m very excited to let you know some of the awesome PS5 technical features coming up.Now a look at the technical details
We’re really excited to bring some awesome features to Fall Guys for PS5 players.
First of all, we’re really happy to say that we’ll be utilising enhanced physics and native 4K asset handling which means… Fall Guys will be hitting 60FPS at 4k on PS5 starting June 21. This is a huge deal for us—just imagine every colourful costume stumbling along in 4k resolution—so beantacular!
Our Tonicteam has been trying out some fun stuff with the DualSense wireless controller’s haptics to add to the game further down the line. Dan Parkes (one of our audio engineers) added this lovely feature where the controller starts to vibrate as you get closer to the Crown. It’s subtle but it really adds to the tension as you reach the final few meters of Fall Mountain and Lost Temple.
We’ve also been working on Direct Access for Fall Guys on PS5, which essentially links certain parts of the Fall Guys menu to fast tasks. This means that you’ll be able to jump straight to Main Show, Duos, Trios, and Squad modes from the launch menu. But don’t worry. You won’t start falling into a match until you confirm you want to load into matchmaking.Rewards galore
As a thank you to all of our amazing Fall Guys players, anyone who’s downloaded and played Fall Guys before June 21 will be eligible for some iconic rewards. We don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but a little Pegwin told me that it includes a certain Veggie Dog and Fiesty Dwarf costume…
We’re also running a pre-registration campaign where we hope to unlock some very cool rewards with the community, for more information on Free for All pre-registration, check out @FallGuysGame on Twitter.
It’s been a wild ride, but I’m so excited to see so many new players entering the Blunderdome for the launch of Fall Guys: Free for all on June 21.
To everyone that has enjoyed Fall Guys us along the way, thank you so much. Seeing how much the community has grown and supported the game has been so rewarding, this has been a huge labour of love and we’re all really looking forward to sharing our silly bean game with the rest of the world.
See you in the Blunderdome!
It’s almost here! Our new PlayStation Plus service is launching soon, and we are pleased to share with you an early look at some of the games* that will be included during the launch time frame. As we announced in March, there will be three benefit plans to choose from– all with exciting games to play.
Here’s a look at the games to come. Please note titles may vary by local market, and some titles may not be available to stream until after launch, but they will be available to download and play.Play Video Monthly Games
In any PlayStation Plus plan you choose, you’ll get the same benefits that are currently available today for PlayStation Plus members. We have yet to announce the monthly games for June, but stay tuned to PS Blog.PS4 and PS5 Game Catalog
We’re focused on adding high quality titles into the PlayStation Plus service for players to enjoy. I’m pleased to share a selection of the content that will be available for PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium/Deluxe plans. PlayStation.com will be updated with the game list when it launches in your region.Alienation | Housemarque, PS4Bloodborne | FromSoftware, PS4Concrete Genie | Pixelopus, PS4Days Gone | Bend Studio, PS4Dead Nation Apocalypse Edition | Housemarque, PS4Death Stranding and Death Stranding Director’s Cut | Kojima Productions, PS4/PS5Demon’s Souls | Bluepoint Games, PS5Destruction AllStars | Lucid Games, PS5Everybody’s Golf | Japan Studio, PS4Ghost Of Tsushima Director’s Cut | Sucker Punch, PS4/ PS5God of War | Santa Monica Studio, PS4Gravity Rush 2 | Japan Studio, PS4Gravity Rush Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4Horizon Zero Dawn | Guerrilla, PS4Infamous First Light | Sucker Punch, PS4Infamous Second Son | Sucker Punch, PS4Knack | Japan Studio, PS4LittleBigPlanet 3 | Sumo Digital, PS4LocoRoco Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4LocoRoco 2 Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4Marvel’s Spider-Man | Insomniac Games, PS4Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales | Insomniac Games, PS4/PS5Matterfall |Housemarque, PS4MediEvil | Other Ocean, PS4Patapon Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4Patapon 2 Remastered | Japan Studio, PS4Resogun | Housemarque, PS4Returnal | Housemarque, PS5Shadow of the Colossus | Japan Studio, PS4Tearaway Unfolded |Media Molecule, PS4The Last Guardian | Japan Studio, PS4The Last of Us Remastered | Naughty Dog, PS4The Last of Us: Left Behind | Naughty Dog, PS4Until Dawn | Supermassive Games, PS4Uncharted The Nathan Drake Collection |Naughty Dog, PS4Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End | Naughty Dog, PS4Uncharted: The Lost Legacy | Naughty Dog, PS4WipEout Omega Collection | Clever Beans & Creative Vault Studios, PS4 Ashen | Annapurna Interactive,PS4Assassin’s Creed Valhalla*** | Ubisoft, PS4/PS5Batman: Arkham Knight | WB Games, PS4Celeste | Maddy Makes Games, PS4Cities: Skylines | Paradox Interactive, PS4Control: Ultimate Edition | 505 Games, PS4/PS5Dead Cells| Motion Twin, PS4Far Cry 3 Remaster*** | Ubisoft, PS4Far Cry 4*** | Ubisoft, PS4Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition | Square Enix Co. LTD, PS4For Honor*** | Ubisoft, PS4Hollow Knight | Team Cherry, PS4Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy | Square Enix Co. LTD., PS4/PS5Mortal Kombat 11 | WB Games, PS4/PS5Narutoshippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., PS4NBA 2K22 | 2K Games, PS4/PS5Outer Wilds | Annapurna Interactive, PS4Red Dead Redemption 2 | Rockstar Games, PS4 Resident Evil | Capcom Co., Ltd, PS4Soulcalibur VI | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., PS4South Park: The Fractured but Whole*** | Ubisoft, PS4The Artful Escape | Annapurna Interactive, PS4/PS5The Crew 2*** | Ubisoft, PS4Tom Clancy’s The Division*** | Ubisoft, PS4 Classic Games Catalog
PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe members will have a selection of popular classic games to play, with some titles that will show improved frame rates and higher-quality resolution compared to their original launch versions. For select original PlayStation and PSP classic games, members will also enjoy a new user interface with menus that allow you to save your game at any time, or even rewind the game if you want a do-over.
Also, players who have previously purchased the digital version of select games from the original PlayStation and PSP generation will not have to make a separate purchase or sign up to PlayStation Plus to play these titles on PS4 or PS5. When these titles are released for PS4 and PS5, players can head to PlayStation Store and download a version for the consoles at no extra cost if they already own the digital version of the title. Some of the titles will also be available for individual purchase.
Additionally, some remastered classics from previous console generations will be added to the PlayStation Plus Premium/Deluxe plan. Below is an early look at a selection of games that will be available.
Classic Games Catalog – Original PlayStation and PSPApe Escape | Japan Studio, Original PlayStation Hot Shots Golf | Japan Studio, Original PlayStationI.Q. Intelligent Qube | Japan Studio, Original PlayStationJumping Flash! | Japan Studio, Original PlayStationSyphon Filter | Bend Studio, Original PlayStationSuper Stardust Portable | Housemarque, PSP Mr. Driller | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Original PlayStation Tekken 2 | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc., Original PlayStation Worms World Party | Team 17, Original PlayStation Worms Armageddon | Team17, Original PlayStation
Classic Games Catalog – RemastersApe Escape 2 | Japan Studio, PS4Arc The Lad: Twilight of the Spirits | Japan Studio, PS4Dark Cloud | Japan Studio, PS4Dark Cloud 2 | Japan Studio, PS4FantaVision | SIE, PS4 &nb