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The Last Of Us TV Series Lands Its New Director

Chernobyl's Johan Renck was initially slated to direct the upcoming The Last of Us TV adaptation for HBO, but scheduling conflicts forced a change of plans. Now a new filmmaker has been nabbed to direct the upcoming project with Beanpole's Kantemir Balagov stepping up to the plate as director. 

The new director choice has been revealed via The Hollywood Reporter, confirming that the show is back on track. Balagov is a Russian filmmaker that is no stranger to heartfelt drama and his talents have made him the seemingly perfect fit to pilot the upcoming HBO series. 

The Chernobly touch isn't completely gone with Renck's exit. Craig Mazin, the series' creator, is still attached to the upcoming The Last of Us adaptation as a writer and co-executive producer. 

Regarding the TV series itself, the game's creative director (and now Naughty Dog co-president), Neil Druckmann, has confirmed that he will be working alongside Mazin and the rest of the team to bring the story of The Last of Us to life once more through a different medium. "Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus," Mazin mentioned in a previous interview. "Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I'm so honored to do it in partnership with Neil."

"From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us," added Druckmann. We don't have all of the details regarding the upcoming show, very little is actually known about the narrative direction and creative liberties, but we do know that it adapts the first game and will "enhance" what fans loved about their entry into this world."

The HBO adaptation will be a retelling of events from the first game; a violently heartbreaking tale set 20 years after the fall of civilization as we know it. The story revolves that of a smuggler named Joel and his father-esque relationship with a younger Ellie as they fight for survival against a fatal pandemic with no end in sight. Originally hired to smuggle a 14-year old Ellie out of a warlike quarantine area, Joel's path eventually becomes intrinsically intertwined with Ellie's as the pair learns more about one another and form a familial bond that was portrayed beautifully in the first game. 

It will be interesting to see what this team does to bring such a narrative to TV audiences, especially under the helm of Sony Pictures Television. With PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog all on the front lines as producers, the latest gaming adaptation has high hopes for being faithful to a franchise many have fallen in love with without being a carbon copy of what we've already experienced

What do you think about the recent director change for The Last of Us HBO TV series? Any casting picks you'd love to see make the cut for the show? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 10:41 pm

New Elder Ring Concept Art Revealed, Then Taken Down

Click here to watch embedded media

We don't know when we're going to get official new Elden Ring details, nor do we know when we'll finally get a new trailer, but at least we have something to "ooh" and "aah" over with some new concept art. One artist tied to the highly anticipated game recently shared some new Elden Ring concept art, though it was taken down a day later.

The artist in question is Gabriel Bjork Stiernstrom, who shared a ton of new Elden Ring concept art for eager gamers to feast their eyes on. The below images were shared by Twitter user @Okami13_ from the artist's official website where they uploaded an entirely new gallery: 

Some new Elden Ring concept art was revealed today by one of the artists who worked on the original E3 trailer.. 👀

Full gallery: #EldenRing #FromSoftware

— Okami (@Okami13_) January 14, 2021

The artist added an additional note onto the Reddit thread following their decision to delete the original images, saying: 

I feel like I need to write a disclaimer for you so that you have a better understanding of what it is I am sharing. I worked on the ‘E3 2019 Announcement Trailer’ of Elden Ring and these keyframes and concepts are just a selection of the work I did for the trailer because I’d like to share some of the work that I am proud of. I have not worked on the game itself.

Digic Pictures was responsible for a part of the E3 Announcement Trailer, the part with the figure hammering in the darkness. This was my first project at Digic Pictures and I made these concepts two years ago, back in January 2019. I had no idea what I was working on; the only information I knew was that FromSoftware was the client. I first learned about the project and the title when everyone else did at the E3 reveal. So I hope that explains how little I actually know about the game.

Now regarding the concepts I am sharing. Most of these were made for internal discussion at Digic Pictures between the Art Director, Director, Producer, and Leads. When they were happy with something they would then share those concepts with the client. In the end, FromSoftware would more or less provide us with most of the concept art in any case.

They added that people can take the art however they wish, the decision to share wasn't about "insider knowledge" or hinting at a new trailer. Instead, they just wanted to share some of their work that contributed to the reveal trailer. This isn't indicative of any sort of announcement plans by the studio, though many in the responding thread took the post to be a teaser of sorts. 

Most of the images can be seen in the trailer itself at the top of the article. The hammering sequence, in particular, was among the art shared, though it appears that most of it has since been taken down after this article was written. 

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



Also included was a version of the scene where the tree roots were taking over, though the artist added that it was felt that this version was "too much Dark Souls," prompting a change in direction. 

If you want to check out this artist's ArtStation and official portofio to see when the images come back, or just to check out their other amazing work, you can do so right here and here

[Source: Artist via IGN]

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 8:22 pm

Bungie's Original Halo Site Goes Offline Next Month For Good

It's the end of an era. Bungie first brought the Halo vision to life, laying the groundwork for an iconic Xbox staple that has continued to evolve long after it moved into the hands of 343 Industries. While Bungie hasn't been involved in years with the series, the original Halo website has continued to be a resource for fans by housing stats, player data, community screenshots, and so much more. Now, it's going away for good. 

In a recent blog post made by the team at Bungie, it was confirmed that is going offline next month, taking with it more than just a domain name. All stats, files, and other community-driven data from Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach will be going dark. 

"Everyone is welcome to save their stats and files, however they can, if you'd like to say anything," reads the latest blog post. The site is set to go offline on February 9, which is the cutoff for saving anything that Halo fans are looking to treasure. 

As a massive fan of Halo myself, the news is not unexpected but still hurts. Years of scouring the forums, sharing hilarious screenshots, and even spinning off into comedic Red vs. Blue role-playing gave me some solid memories through the years. While those good times will always live on in my heart, it's a sad day to learn that the source of many of them will be going away forever. 

The shutdown notice also comes as no surprise due to the company's focus on Destiny 2, especially with a number of new expansions still on the way. With Beyond Light undergoing massive changes with each new Season, Bungie's focus is better served being zeroed in on its current IP. 

What do you think about the original Halo site going dark? What are some of your fondest memories from that time? Sound off with those Master Chief-inspired takes in the comment section below! We can cry together...

[Source: Bungie]

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 5:50 pm

Mortal Kombat Movie Debuts First Images And New Story Details

Mortal Kombat by Warner Bros. makes its long-awaited debut this April, and Entertainment Weekly has a new piece sharing story details and exclusive photos from the film. The new images give fans a look at some of their favorite kombatants in all their cinematic glory. 

The article runs through the film's opening minutes, a battle between Sub-Zero and Scorpion in their pre-ninja identities, Bi-Han and Hanzo Hasashi, respectively. The batch of photos give us good looks at Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sonya Blade, Jax. The article also spotlights Cole Young, a brand-new character and the film's apparent protagonist. He's a down-on-his-luck, washed up MMA fighter who has a mysterious connection to the notorious tournament, evidenced by a birthmark of the iconic dragon symbol on his chest. Other confirmed characters include Raiden, Kano, Shang Tsung, Mileena, and Nitara. Be sure to head over to EW’s site for the full scoop, as it’s well worth a read.

For those worried that the film may water down the game’s signature gore, according to director Simon McQuoid, "it's definitely not gonna get a PG-13 rating." A big reason for that will be the movie’s fully realized Fatalities, a first for any Mortal Kombat film, some of which come directly from the games. Everything about the film looks promising on paper, and after suffering a COVID related delay, it’s nice to see a light of the end of the tunnel for the project. 

Mortal Kombat is also being produced by Todd Gardner and James Wan (Aquaman, The Conjuring). The film releases April 16 and will be available to stream on HBO Max the same day it hits theaters. For more on Mortal Kombat in cinema, check out this opinion piece on why the original 1995 film might be the best video game movie ever made.

[Source: Entertainment Weekly]

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 5:21 pm

New Persona 5 Strikers Gameplay Trailer Goes "All-Out"

Persona 5 Strikers is just a month away and fans can't wait to get their hands on the Musou-esque combat that awaits. With the launch on the horizon, Altus just dropped a brand new "All-Out" trailer to enjoy and the gameplay shared definitely lives up to the name of the video. 

Persona 5 Strikers takes the characters and art style we love and brings them back in a big chaotic way, mixing hack and slash with RPG elements expertly. In the below trailer, those powerful combat moves are shown off with impressive flourish while maintaining that iconic style the Persona franchise is known for. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Our own Brian Shea came away with positive first impressions of the game, accentuating his love of the mainline series. "If my early hours are any indication, Persona 5 Strikers serves as a compelling follow up to one of my favorite role-playing games of all time," he notes in his full preview (seen here). "Not only am I enticed by the idea of carrying on with the lives of the various members of the team, but I'm intrigued by the directions the story is going."

The adventure officially kicks off when Persona 5 Strikers arrives on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC on February 23. Are you excited to kick butt and take names? Sound off with those Persona-related thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 4:32 pm

Hitman 3 Releases On Nintendo Switch Later This Month Via Cloud

Hitman 3 is almost here and to celebrate, IO Interactive has just confirmed when fans can get their hands on the Nintendo Switch version of the highly anticipated title. For those wanting to take the assassination simulation on the go, the Switch experience will be dropping later this month but only via the cloud. 

Arriving alongside the other platforms, the Switch version of Hitman 3 arrives on January 20. Due to the nature of the game and its more complicated graphics settings, the only way to play this title on the hybrid console is to play is through the cloud which — for those that may not know — requires an impressive internet speed as well as a stable connection to ensure quality. 

HITMAN 3 on Nintendo Switch arrives 20 January! The World of Assassination awaits...

— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) January 15, 2021

While the Switch version of Hitman 3 won't run similarly to its PC and new-gen console counterparts, other cloud-based titles have found success with Nintendo players. While a downgrade is to be expected, the beauty of games cloud games Doom Eternal and Wolfenstein: The New Order proves that the Big N's console-on-the-go does more for mobile libraries than it gets credit for. 

The return of Hitman is a big deal for the studio, and the third entry was a massive focus for our most recent issue of the Game Informer magazine. We even took a crack at the game's first mission, which you can watch here to see how the new Camera Tool works as well as the gameplay mechanics that saw a massive upgrade. 

What do you think about the cloud-reliant version of Hitman 3 on Nintendo Switch? Are you excited to get your hands on the latest IO Interactive title? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!

Posted on 15 January 2021 | 4:06 pm

Returnal's New Trailer Spotlights Its Sci-Fi Weaponry And Combat

Click here to watch embedded media

A new trailer for Returnal gives us a look at some of the unique weapons players will use to survive its hostile alien world. With the game only a couple of months away, this marks the first time players have gotten a deep dive into its combat. 

Returnal blends third-person action with a roguelike structure. Players control Selene, an astronaut who crash-lands on a strange planet controlled by a mysterious time loop. Every time Selene dies, she’s reborn and re-experiences the same events again and again. In roguelike fashion, that also means her inventory starts from scratch with each cycle as well (though some elements persist).

Developer Housemarque took to the PlayStation Blog to break down Returnal’s combat, which combines third-person shooting with the studio’s trademark arcade-style action. Base weapons become augmented with various weapon traits that change how they perform, such as exploding shells for the shotgun-like Spitmaw Blaster. Players can stack traits to combine the same effects for “surprising results” in the heat of battle. In total, there are 10 base weapons and 90 weapon traits (with three levels each). Selene can only hold one weapon at a time, however, so players must choose wisely while also experimenting with different loadouts to find suitable combinations. 

Guns have dual fire modes activated by the Dual Sense controller’s adaptive triggers. Pressing the aim button halfway activates one firing mode and pushing it all the way down triggers the second. This creates a seamless swap between firing modes, which are randomly assigned to guns which each cycle. Other weapons showcased include the Ground Spike, a tool that impales creatures with a massive spike, and the Atropian Blade, a sword that can shatter shields and block projectiles. 

In terms of non-weapons gadgets, the bittersweet Parasite might be the most unique. This strange organism latches on to Selene and grants extra health with each kill but slain enemies leave pools of harmful acid behind. Returnal features other risk vs rewards elements, such as cursed chests that grants valuable treasure at the expense of being saddled with a negative status ailment, such as taking damage when opening doors. 

After cutting its teeth with arcade-style games like Nex Machina and Resogun, Returnal is Housemarque’s biggest release yet and it looks to be shaping up quite well. We can’t wait to get our hands on it when it launches March 19 for PlayStation 5 and PC.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 9:55 pm

Free Rainbow Six Siege and Ghost Recon Breakpoint Crossover Event Coming Soon

Two Ubisoft games - Rainbow Six Siege and Ghost Recon Breakpoint - are coming together for a free, end-of-the-month crossover event. Titled “Operation Amber Sky,” the new event includes nine new campaign missions in Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. A poisonous gas called Amber Ruin threatens the peace, so players will be tasked with finding an antidote. The gameplay loop of Operation Amber Sky revolves around entering gaseous areas (masks will be provided, of course!) and completing a variety of mission objectives while trying to survive.

Rainbow Six Siege operators will also be playable during the event as popular operatives - specifically Ash, Finka, and Thatcher - will be joining the fray alongside the Ghost Recon team. You can swap out teammates for the Siege characters, and their loadouts and ability kits will make appearances during battles as well. Finally, over 120 new cosmetics will be available so that players can customize their avatars. 

Additionally, Breakpoint is getting a free weekend from January 21-24, so players will be able to hop into Operation Amber Sky without already owning the game. The crossover event launches at the start of the free weekend on January 21. 

[Source: GameSpot

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 9:24 pm

Portal 2 Players Team Up To Create An Impressive New Campaign

Since Portal 3 doesn't seem to be in the near future for Valve, the desire for any sort of a continuation of the sci-fi franchise featuring a homicidal A.I. reigns free and unbridled. For that reason, this fan-driven Portal 2 project is the perfect excuse to dive back into the world of cakes that don't really exist and philosophies about demanding life take its lemons back. 

I've actually covered this mod previously, and for good reason. The project is called Desolation, and it is an extensive campaign that fleshes out the Portal universe. The mod team is back from a nice holiday break, and to celebrate, they've shared a new gameplay video of how Desolation works in Portal 2 and what other fans can expect: 

Click here to watch embedded media

One of the cooler aspects of the gameplay reveal is a new environmental style that the team implemented called "Industrial." According to the modding team, "This style features open test chambers built into vast mined-out caverns. Constructed in the 1990s, Industrial serves to fill the gap between Old Aperture and the modern Enrichment Center, with the chambers built using modern materials assembled by human construction workers rather than by machines. This means the reconfigurable panel arms associated with the Enrichment Center are not present: the structures are rigid and formidable, resulting in a starker appearance. The visuals are further enhanced by our suite of new graphical features which help bring the Source Engine up to date, such as PBR (Physically Based Rendering) and a new tonemapper."

The above video also showcases one of Chapter 3's new testing chambers: Chain. This sequence looks tricky as can be with the faith plate reliance, but the team assures interested fans that it's "a lot less complicated than it looks." 

Also included in a new HUD overlay that allows players to track their progression and other key informational tidbits before going into each chamber. 

The aspect that I'm most excited about, personally, is the new Portal gun concept art (which has continuously evolved since May of 2018): 

From character adjustments to new challenges, Portal 2: Desolation is an astoundingly impressive project driven by passionate fans who want to continue on in an adventure that so many of us have fallen in love with. This particular modding team also provides in-detail updates on its modding page, which you can check out for yourself right here

Want more mods? Check out a few of my other favorite Mod Corner picks below: 

Thoughts on the gameplay reveal for Portal 2: Desolation? Sound off with your hot takes in the comment section below! If you're looking for mod recommendations for other games, feel free to drop a request as well! 

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 9:11 pm

Star Wars: Squadrons Is Free-To-Play On Xbox For A Limited Time Alongside Two Other Titles

News broke yesterday that the Star Wars franchise is expanding beyond the previous EA exclusivity, beginning with Ubisoft taking its shot at a galaxy far, far away with a new open-world adventure. With Star Wars games being a hot topic, Xbox is offering players a chance to check out Motive Studio's Squadrons experience for free for a limited time. That's not the only game offering a free trial period over on Team Green either. 

For a limited time, Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate members can check out Star Wars: Squadrons, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Yooka-Laylee for free starting today until January 17 at 11:59 p.m. PT. This offer is also available for both Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S owners as well, so everyone can join in on the fun as long as they are a member of the Gold or Ultimate programs. 

Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can play three great games this weekend during Free Play Days. Full details here:

— Xbox Wire (@XboxWire) January 14, 2021

For those that might not have dipped their toes into the Xbox Game Pass pool quite yet, it's a good deal! With this membership, there are two options to choose from with the Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Both offer Team Green fans a chance to play over 100 titles at no additional cost, including day-one launches of first-party titles. With the acquisition of Bethesda, there will be even more incentive to join up with this particular service, not to mention the rumor that Ubisoft+ may be also joining in with its own library in the near future. 

Xbox Game Pass is $10 a month, whereas Xbox Game Pass Ultimate comes in at $15 and includes Xbox Live Gold. It's a pretty good deal, especially for those that are picky with their games. 

Do you have the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership? What are your thoughts on how Microsoft has cultivated its internal ecosystem thus far? Sound off with what you think about Xbox's continued evolution in the comment section below! 

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 8:39 pm

Super Nintendo World's Debut Is Delayed Again Following Osaka State Of Emergency

Super Nintendo World’s opening next month has been delayed. Universal Studios Japan announced that the new theme park was slated for a February 4 debut, but because of Osaka’s state of emergency status, everyone will have to wait for a new opening date. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the opening was pushed back. Super Nintendo World’s gates were originally set to swing open last year during the highly-anticipated 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, but the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to those plans. 

The Verge reports that, just yesterday, Osaka and eleven other prefectures issued states of emergency that will still be in effect by February 7 (after the initial February 4 opening). And while the social restrictions in place aren’t as strict as conventional COVID-19 lockdowns, citizens are still being urged to stay home. Additionally, eateries and theaters close earlier in the day. It’s only natural that Super Nintendo World will remain closed.

Based on previous footage of Shigeru Miyamoto touring the park, Super Nintendo World features green pipe entryways, Peach's Castle, Mount Beanpole, and a Mario Kart ride. Nintendo fans will be able to explore these areas and many more exciting features when Universal Studios Japan releases a new launch date after the state of emergency period ends. 

[Source: The Verge]

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 7:40 pm

Riders Republic Delayed To Later This Year

Riders Republic, Ubisoft’s wacky extreme sports game, has been delayed. The title was originally slated to launch February 25 but will now arrive at an undetermined date later this year.

Ubisoft’s tweet explains the reason for the delay is to simply allow more time to give the game some more TLC given its large scope, especially in its online multiplayer. 

Riders Republic premiered during last September’s Ubisoft Forward event. The game pits up to 50 players against each other in a variety of extreme competitions including biking, snowboarding, skiing, and wing suiting. Despite the huge player count, the game can still be enjoyed solo as well as in co-op. Players can also compete in events, such as the X Games, and sign sponsorships to raise their Rider’s clout. Another cool feature is the game’s real-world locations based on America’s national parks such as Bryce Canyon, Grand Teton, and Mammoth Mountain. We don’t get many AAA extreme sports games anymore, so Riders Republic is a welcomed project and looks like a blast so far. 

Many studios are still finding their groove when it comes to working from home, so I wouldn’t expect Riders Republic to be the last big release to suffer a major delay. We’ve already seen marquee titles games such as Outriders, Hogwarts Legacy, and even the already far away Pragmata get pushed back. But as many of us should already know, if delaying a game ensures a better product, developers should take all of the time they need. 

When Riders Republic eventually crosses the finish line, look for it on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC.

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 7:32 pm

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Firebase Z Zombies Map Revealed

A new zombie experience comes to Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with Firebase Z. Firebase Z is the latest map to arrive for the Zombies mode of the shooter, continuing the Dark Aether narrative into season two. 

Black Ops Cold War Zombies will be getting the new Firebase Z map on February 4, making it the perfect co-op experience to get down with on Valentine's Day (or not, but it'd be a lot cooler if you did). The new map will be free for all players and will bring players to Outpost 25 following the destruction of the WWII-era Projekt Endstation site in Poland. These events set the course for the Dark Aether outbreak, an outbreak that will continue its storyline well into season two with the newest map. 


Treyarch has confirmed that it will have more to reveal about the latest drop in the "coming weeks" and will be celebrating "115 Day" on Friday, January 15 with even more Firebase Z details. 

This reveal comes at the same time as the mode being free-to-play across all platforms for a limited time; fans don't even need to own Black Ops Cold War in order to get in on the action. 

For those craving that Zombies experience right this minute, the new Raid map for Onslaught is now available for PlayStation players alongside the new Wakizashi Sword (which is not platform-specific). 

Excited to dive into the new Black Ops Cold War Zombies Firebase Z map next month? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! You can also see what we thought of the latest Call of Duty experience with our full review right here. 

[Source: Treyarch]

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 6:22 pm

Axiom Verge Is Getting A Free Content Update

Almost six years after its original release, new content is on the way for the original Axiom Verge. The 2D, Metroid-inspired indie game from developer Thomas Happ came out back in 2015 and earned acclaim for its clever gameplay and retro aesthetic. Now, with Axiom Verge 2 on the horizon, Happ has made the surprising announcement that a new randomizer mode is coming to the first game.

In a blog post, Happ explains that he has been working on Axiom Verge 2 since the launch of the original, and this new randomizer is the result of the passion and dedication of fans in Axiom Verge speedrunning community; it was made primarily by volunteers while Happ focused on the upcoming game.

So what does the randomizer actually do? It switches up the order in which you receive various items and upgrades, allowing experienced players to challenge themselves. According to Happ’s post, “Essentially, the Randomizer Mode randomizes (thus the name) the items you get as you progress through the game, but in a very sophisticated way. The Randomizer is smart enough to know that in certain areas you need weapons with certain characteristics to progress.”

In other words, it doesn’t just give you weapons in a haphazard random order. Because of the way the game is structured, you need access to weapons with specific properties (like shooting through walls, or destroying certain barriers) at certain points, or else your progress would be blocked. That’s what the randomizer mode is smart enough to figure out, ensuring that you can still move forward while also adding a layer of unpredictability to your playthrough.

If that sounds interesting, you should read the full post to get a more complete idea of how the mode works, and what the additional options are. The randomizer is available now (in beta) for the Steam and Epic Games Store versions of Axiom Verge, and will come to consoles as a free update once the team gets “all of the kinks worked out.”

Axiom Verge 2 is releasing sometime in the first half of 2021, so while you wait, you can check out this randomizer to re-familiarize yourself with Axiom Verge's strange, haunting sci-fi world. 

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 6:00 pm

Musician Performs Mournful Song About PS5 Shortages

The PlayStation 5 has been nigh impossible to come by, and it’s left many gamers in an emotional state. Each announcement of a new restock fills us with hope only to have that light extinguished in a matter of minutes or even seconds thanks to how quickly the systems get snatched up (thanks in no small part to scalper bots). One Twitch streamer expresses that heartache in perhaps the purest form possible: through the power of song. 

According to Kotaku, that streamer is one Claudio Sanchez, a musician and frontman of progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria. Prior to his Twitch stream, Sanchez, who does own a PS5, performed a quick, impromptu song about PS5 shortages using the console's menu music as the backup melody. The result is a mournful ditty that is both lovely and hilarious, and perfectly captures the frustration all of us have experienced trying to procure the elusive console. If I were an online storefront, I’d license the song and have it automatically play the moment stock sells out again. But that's just me. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Sanchez tells Kotaku that this song is the latest of small performances based on the games (or in this case, hardware) he’s playing at the time. If you want to support more of Sanchez’s work or just watch him play games, take a look at his Twitch channel.

PlayStation 5 heartbreak comes in many forms, whether that be the abrupt cancellation of those cool custom black versions or the always crappy  “I got a cinder block instead of a console” trick. For better or worse, now we have Claudio's haunting melody to accompany our disappointment whenever a online cart fails to check out in time. Feel free to talk, or sing, about your failed attempts to land a PS5 in the comments below. 

[Source: Kotaku]

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 6:00 pm

New Outriders Trailer Revealed Alongside PC Launch Options

Outriders is just a few months away and to celebrate, Square Enix and People Can Fly have shared a new trailer showing off how the shooter performs on PC. The studio also shared a few of the ways the team is ensuring the game works the way it is intended on PC and what sort of options players can look forward to at launch. 

Outriders is a shooter with heavy RPG elements that has offered some impressive looks into the upcoming title thus far. Mass Effect meets Borderlands with a heavy Bulletstorm influence, People Can Fly's new game offers a lot for those looking to squad up and take on the dangerous world of Enoch. It's expansive and filled with action that is explored more in the video below, specifically for how well the title aims to run on PC. 

Click here to watch embedded media

At launch, Outriders will offer key remapping and advanced graphic options for players to choose from, as well as support for most first-party controllers on PC. Interface and subtitle support will also be provided, supporting 13 languages for players around the world. 

Outriders will also offer a customizable HUD, which the team talked a little about earlier last year, in addition to ultrawide screen support up to 3440 x 1440 and adjustable Field of View. 

Dynamic Resolution Scaling will also be offered in order to tweak settings for performance purposes, in addition to the power of NVIDIA DLSS that utilizes an AI to help increase overall performance through NVIDIA GeForce. 

There will also be cross-save capabilities as well, but only within specific ecosystems. Square Enix has confirmed that this feature will not work between different platforms. That means that cross-save would work between PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, but not PlayStation 5 to Xbox Series X. 

As for the game itself, Outriders has seen a slight delay from its original February launch; now the game is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on April 1. You can learn more about the upcoming shooter with our previous coverage here

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 5:35 pm

Resident Evil Village Gameplay And 'More Resident Evil News' Coming Next Week

Resident Evil Village was first revealed last June as a new-gen title, but despite it coming sometime in 2021, we still haven't seen significant gameplay or learned too many details about the title. That all changes next week, as publisher Capcom has announced the Resident Evil Showcase, which will take place one week from today. Not only will we receive the first real look at gameplay plus a new trailer for Resident Evil Village, but Capcom is also promising additional Resident Evil news on top of anything related to Village.

The event will feature producers from the Resident Evil series and will provide a guided tour of Resident Evil Village, hopefully giving us more insight into the direction the game is going. To this point, all the information we've received on the title has come from teaser trailers, interviews, and, oddly enough, a PlayStation 5 promotional video featuring tennis star Naomi Osaka. The event is hosted by Brittney Brombacher, co-founder and co-host of What's Good Games. You can see the teaser for the Resident Evil Showcase starring Brombacher below.

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The most recent mainline entry in the series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, changed the formula in drastic ways, most notably adopting a first-person view, with a stronger emphasis on grotesque horror after Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 shifted more towards the action-packed third-person shooter style of gameplay. Since the release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Capcom has released critically acclaimed remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. Speculation, fan demand, and a leak from Capcom has led people to believe that the publisher could be poised to announce a remake of the beloved Resident Evil 4, but there is no evidence to suggest if this will occur during this streaming event. Since the announcement simply says, "more Resident Evil news," it's also possible that this event could see additional information surrounding the announced Resident Evil reboot film or the upcoming Netflix series.

The Resident Evil Showcase is scheduled to take place on Thursday, January 21 (one week from today) at 2 p.m. Pacific / 5 p.m. Eastern. Stay locked right here on our website for ways you can watch along with the Game Informer staff, or catch up with us after the fact for all the news and analysis coming out of the event.

[Source: Resident Evil on Twitter]

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 5:32 pm

Live-Action The Medium Cinematic Trailer Is A Tantalizing Teaser Of The Horror To Come

Bloober Team knows a thing or two about weaving an incredible horror tale, and that streak continues with the upcoming psychological thriller, The Medium. To celebrate the upcoming launch of this titillating horror adventure, the studio behind the title just revealed a new live-action trailer that offers an eerie new look at the mystery behind it all. 

The Medium is much more than just another scary experience. It's a game that flirts with psychological warfare, meant to tease the player into a dualistic experience that thrives on uncertainty and a convoluted sense of reality. The live-action trailer goes beyond that, showing off even more disturbing elements to the world that The Medium has to offer: 

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“The Medium is a game with a very strong narrative backbone. The most important thing for me was to understand what the essence of this story is, who its heroes are and its tone,” said Writer & Creative Producer, Tomasz Bagiński. “The task was to lean as hard as possible on the emotional side of the story while trying to keep as many of the twists as possible a secret. The script is supposed to build a certain mood rather than reveal a story.”

Bagiński is an academy award-nominated filmmaker, as well as a Bafta winner, and a phenomenal storyteller. He has also worked on other gaming staples like Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher series in addition to previous work with Ubisoft and Microsoft. 

“The Medium is our biggest and most ambitious project to date,” said Piotr Babieno, CEO, Bloober Team. “When we thought who could write a live-action trailer for the game, Tomasz Bagiński quickly became the most natural choice. After all, his Oscar-nominated The Cathedral was also inspired by the art of Zdzisław Beksiński, just like the spirit world in our game. I’m personally very happy that we could create something together.”

The Medium, according to Bloober, is the studio's most ambitious project yet and will force players to attempt survival in not one reality, but two simultaneously.  With a soundtrack co-composed by Silent Hill's Akira Yamaoka, this chilling adventure could be the next big thing in horror if it lives up to its promise. 

As for the journey itself, the story follows Marianne, a character that is plagued by terrifying visions that blend two realities. There's the reality we know and see every day, and then there is the reality that belongs to spirits and very dangerous things that go bump in the night. As her visions progress, Marianne will travel to a Krakov, Poland hotel that is the home to a horrifying tragedy and it is there that she must unravel the mystery that plagues her. 

The Medium officially makes its psychological debut on January 28 on Xbox Series X/S and PC through the Epic Games Store, Steam, and the Microsoft Store. 

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 2:00 pm

New Pokémon Snap Release Date Revealed In New Trailer

Nintendo confirmed that a new Pokémon Snap was on the way back in June of last year and now we've got a new trailer showing off the photography-driven adventure alongside a confirmed release date. 

New Pokémon Snap will arrive on Nintendo Switch on April 30 and will bring back the fun-loving photo-taking game in full force. Hopeful trainers will be able to take to the Lental region and explore to their ecological heart's content, faithfully building up their impressive Pokémon Photodexes while observing these adorable little pocket monsters in their natural habitat. 

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“New Pokémon Snap presents a fun twist on a Pokémon adventure, with enchanting gameplay that lets players see some of their favorite Pokémon in a different light,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “This new game is a fun addition to the strong lineup of Pokémon titles available on Nintendo Switch, and we can’t wait to see everyone’s pictures when New Pokémon Snap launches on April 30.”

Pokémon can be found all over the place in the wild, each thriving in their homes waiting to be discovered. Players will be able to harness their inner photographer as they capture the beauty between these creatures during playful moments and those more territorial times. Nintendo also teases that there are quite a few hidden surprises throughout the Lental reason, including secluded areas just waiting to be explored. 

Exploring an entire region can seem like a daunting task, but don't worry; Professor Mirror is there to guide all trainers through their discoveries, instructing them how to take the perfect snapshot. From learning how to pose the pocket monsters in just the right way to learning how to frame a picture just right, New Pokémon Snap has everything fans need to craft their own perfect experience with the re-imagining of a beloved favorite. 

New Pokémon Snap officially arrives on Nintendo Switch on April 30. Are you excited to dive back into this photography-filled world? What has you the most hype? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below and tell us what you think! 

Posted on 14 January 2021 | 1:15 pm

CD Projekt Red Co-Founder Explains What Went Wrong With Cyberpunk 2077

The Cyberpunk 2077 launch was riddled with issues beyond simple glitches. From the intentional misleading nature of hiding console versions of the game from reviewers to downright game-breaking bugs and a whole slew of marketing issues, the once-sterling reputation of CD Projekt Red took a massive hit following release. Following the delisting of the game from the PlayStation Store and refunds galore, the co-founder of CDPR just shared a new video detailing what the road to launch looked like, what went wrong with last-gen console copies, and what the team is doing to make it right. 

In addition to the video below, a few key questions were answered alongside an infographic showing off the roadmap going forward. From the gap between PC and console versions of the game to what the studio is currently doing to be proactive about fixes, here is the latest update about the state of the game and where CD Projekt Red stands pending an investigation notice that went public earlier this month

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A big question following launch (and the reason behind the storefront delisting) is what happened to the last-gen console version of the game? While the company previously told investors that the last-gen versions were almost treated as an afterthought, the latest Q&A paints the picture that the studio thought it was in good shape. 

"Cyberpunk 2077 is huge in scope, it features a multitude of custom objects, interacting systems and mechanics," explained CD Projekt Red in its latest post. "In the game, everything is not stretched out over flat terrain where we can make things less taxing hardware-wise, but condensed in one big city and in a relatively loading-free environment. We made it even more difficult for ourselves by first wanting to make the game look epic on PCs and then adjusting it to consoles — especially old-gens. That was our core assumption. And things did not look super difficult at first, while we knew the hardware gap, ultimately, time has proven that we've underestimated the task."

When asked if the team tested older versions of the game to make sure it ran as promised, CDPR claimed that the internal testing done did not show most of the errors seen at launch, saying "As we got closer to launch, we saw significant improvements each and every day, and we really believed we'd deliver in the final day zero update." 

CD Projekt RED A roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077 updates

The day-zero update was no small patch, but it wasn't enough to fix many of the issues reported with many citing PlayStation 4 versions specifically as almost unplayable at launch. 

But what about reviews? When review codes went out, the embargo restrictions were intense. Some of those restrictions, that have previously gone public, stated that no organic gameplay footage could be shared pre-launch and codes were restricted solely to the PC version. When asked why the review process was handled in such a controlling manner, the response claimed that readiness was behind the decision to keep it PC-only: 

We started sending out PC review keys to start the review process in the first week of December. Come December 10th, launch day, we had a really good start with PC reviews, and while it’s not perfect, this is a version of the game we were, and still are, very proud of. When it comes to the review process for consoles, at the same time PC codes were sent out we were still working hard to improve the quality of the game on old-gen consoles. Every extra day that we worked on the day zero update brought visible improvement — that’s why we started sending console codes for reviews on the 8th December, which was later than we had planned.

The game released December 10, with some being able to play it on December 9, but the console codes sent out were massively restricted. Game Informer did not receive a console code until post-launch, and many of the usual outlets that provide reviews were left waiting until post-launch. 

Regarding the future of the game, CD Projekt Red promises that fixes the bugs reported is its top priority with several major hot fixes having already been deployed. When I revisited the game following some of the improvements made to make it safer for those with epileptic tendencies, I saw a massive difference between that moment and when we first played for review purposes. Still, there is more work to be done, work that the company recognizes and is actively working on. 

The latest update also reaffirms that Cyberpunk 2077 free DLC plans are still intact. That being said, DLC has been bumped as a lower priority item on the task list while there are still issues needing to be addressed. 

While this is good news and great for those hopeful to play the Cyberpunk adventure when it is more polished, there is an obvious concern: What about the team? Many of the developers challenged investors openly, asking for accountability for poor communication with the community and the part their pressure played in the work culture surrounding this title. 

With numerous reports of grueling working conditions surrounding the culture of CD Projekt Red on the heels of a promise from leadership to not push its team to their limit as with the release of The Witcher, the amount of post-launch work has raised a concerns over what this means for the devs themselves. What actions are CDPR leadership taking to ensure the health and safety to those working to make these changes? How is the current leadership ensuring that quality changes are implemented and kept going into the future? These are important questions and questions that will hopefully be addressed so the developers that love what they do, that are proud of their work in Night City, can openly be exuberant in the latest game to come from the Polish studio. 

[Source: CD Projekt Red]

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 10:27 pm

Two New Hidden Areas Found Following Recent Destiny 2: Beyond Light Reset

It's a new week, which means another reset for Destiny 2: Beyond Light. With each reset comes new changes and progression towards upcoming seasons and fresh content. It also usually comes with some kind of nerf for Warlocks, but this week we've got something even more exciting: new quest areas to explore. 

With Season of the Hunt, Guardians were tasked with a few new exotic quests, including reforging Hawkmoon and revisiting old locations. Following the most recent reset this Tuesday, some players have noticed that two new hidden areas have suddenly become discoverable which could be connected to Hawkmoon's continuation or something else entirely. 

The first area was found and posted on Reddit, as seen in the video below, where a door opened up following the conclusion of the Crow mission. In the video, a ship can be seen with new dialogue and a tease of more quest possibilities: 

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Another area was discovered shortly after, also posted on Reddit, that will challenge players to explore a secret Trostland tunnel. "I noticed that the black warp barrier was removed from the mysterious tunnel connecting the Trostland to the new Reservoir," notes redditor LukVuko. "I also noticed that the fireplace in the Trostland produced hitmarkers when shot, and had the idea of shooting it with a fully-charged Hawkmoon. To my surprise, the wall blew apart, opening up this tunnel! It ends at a closed door, please look around and see if you can find any quest triggers or something!" 

They then added that a charged bullet isn't a necessity, but equipping Hawkmoon is required: 

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Some commenters replied saying that this could be a continuation of the Hawkmoon questline, while others are speculating that it could be a new exotic entirely. 

The first area found is interesting because the ship is flawless in shape, something that surprised Guardians exploring the suddenly opened location. One common consensus that fans are coming to is that this could be due to some sort of blessing from the Traveler, but we won't know until whatever these areas unlock is fully available. Given that the ship can bug out while exploring this area, it's clear that this particular location isn't meant to be open to the public yet, but if it's showing up now? That means whatever secret is being hidden could be revealed soon. 

Shoutout to my Destiny 2 clan 'The Asian Federation' for the keen-eyed spot! 

What do you think about the hidden areas found within the latest reset for Destiny 2: Beyond Light? What are your thoughts on the most recent season thus far now that the Dawning event is concluded? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 8:58 pm

Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night Gets Classic Mode And Kingdom: Two Crowns Crossover Tomorrow

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s next big updates arrive tomorrow. The spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is getting its long-awaited Classic Mode as well as a big crossover event with Kingdom: Two Crowns.

Classic Mode is geared towards old-school Castlevania fans by adding an 16 bit-inspired UI and five levels of vintage-style gameplay, including new boss battles. Meanwhile, The Kingdom: Two Crowns crossover adds the Dead Lands, a new area to the castle that comes straight from the kingdom-building simulator. Before Miriam does that, though, she’ll have to find the crown first. These updates come free of charge to Bloodstained players and arrive as part of Update Version 1.20, which are slated to hit the game January 14 at 10 a.m. PT. 

Per the game’s roadmap, Bloodstained's next two updates are slated for Q1 and Q2 of this year and will feature additional modes, another crossover, and a new playable character. Past updates have added a boss revenge mode, chroma wheel, and the Bloodless playable character. It’ll be interesting to see what comes next. By that, I mean I want a full-blown sequel, which could be a possibility given how well the first game sold (over a million copies as of June 2020). 

In case you couldn’t tell, we enjoyed Bloodstained quite a bit. The game successfully captured the best elements of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (not a surprise given Bloodstained is helmed by SOTN mastermind, Koji Igarashi), while adding a bevy of cool wrinkles to make it stand on its own. Check out our review of the game here. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS and Android.

Editor's note: we have updated the piece the reflect Bloodstained's new post-launch roadmap. 

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 8:51 pm

Skystone Games Announces Two New Adventures With Boundary And The Last Friend

Skystone Games is a new publisher that was founded by industry veterans David Brevik and Bill Wang. To spearhead the company's goals going into 2021, Skystone has revealed two new games coming down the pipeline, which include a competitive shooter and a new tower defense adventure. 

The first game revealed under the Skystone Games umbrella is Boundary, a competitive shooter from the team at Surgical Scalpels. But what is Boundary? According to Skystone,  this game is "set in an alternate near-future timeline where the Space Force is more than a Netflix TV show, Boundary explores space combat like never before. Taking the best of first-person shooter mechanics, adding in Zero-G movement, Surgical Scalpels creates a new visceral experience for fans of competitive shooters. The battle over the remains of space stations or solar arrays on maps that literally defy gravity."

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This shooter aims to offer a completely new take on the competitive FPS genre while offering a customizable means for customization, gravity-defying maps, and a world stunningly built using Unreal Engine 4. 

The Last Friend is a new tower defense-inspired game that blends a brawler experience to bring the two genres into one cohesive game. And there are dogs. Lots of dogs. 

When the world goes into the apocalypse, there is nothing better than best friends as company… especially when it’s an army of loyal canine companions. The Last Friend brings in an army of super-powered dogs to help players drive back the violent mutants and gangs of the apocalypse in a fun, fast-paced hybrid of Tower Defense and Beat-Em-Up.

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And yes, you can pet the dogs. 

These two games join the already established lineup that includes Undying, Spacelines from the Far Out, and Underworld Dreams. The five revealed titles will be launching on console and PC throughout 2021. 

While Skystone Games is still in its infancy, the company has taken the last six months to truly push its growth boundaries with the goal to offer a diverse array of gaming experiences to players around the world. 

“It is our goal that Skystone Games will become a premiere developer-first publishing studio for many years to come,” said CEO Bill Wang. “We believe in the independence, ingenuity, and passion of today’s game development studios, and we cannot wait to show everyone the kind of surprises we have in store for 2021 and beyond.”

“When Bill and David came to our team intending to provide creative guidance and global publishing services in a way that empowers developers and shares the rewards of their hard work, we were ecstatic to get involved,” said Sam Englebardt, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Galaxy Interactive. “We believe in Skystone’s vision and can’t wait to see what everyone thinks of the games they’re making.”

You can learn more about Skystone Games and where its mission statement through the official website right here. You can also register for the upcoming Boundary beta here as well to get ready for a new shooter experience.

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 8:17 pm

Bethesda Delays Elder Scrolls Online's Gates Of Oblivion Event Away From U.S. Inauguration Day

Bethesda teased Gate of Oblivion, the upcoming expansion to The Elder Scrolls Online during last month's Game Awards with a full reveal promised for January 21. According to Eurogamer, though, the publisher has pushed back that reveal by a few days to avoid brushing up too close against Inauguration Day in the U.S.

For our international readers, January 20 marks the day that President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office. Following the attacks on the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, however, threats of similar armed uprisings during the inauguration have surfaced. In light of these events, Bethesda says it’s “playing it safe” by moving Gates of Oblivion’s big reveal from January 21 to January 26 at 5 p.m. EST/10 p.m. GMT. It’s worth noting that ZeniMax, Bethesda’s parent company, is headquartered in north Washington D.C. and, according to Bethesda, most of its employees live or work near the Capitol.

Due to Inauguration Day in the United States falling on Jan. 20, we are moving our Global Reveal Event for Gates of Oblivion from Thursday, Jan. 21 to Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 5pm EST/10pm GMT. Thank you for your support and we will see you soon! Details here:

— The Elder Scrolls Online (@TESOnline) January 13, 2021

We don’t know much about what the upcoming expansion entails other than the (obvious) return of Oblivion Gates as well as big bad Mehrunes Dagon. The Gate of Oblivion global event will be streamed live on Bethesda’s Twitch channel and will feature a roundtable of developers and special guests including ZeniMax Online Studios Director Matt Firor and Bethesda Senior VP of Marketing and Communications Pete Hines. Viewers can expect to receive Twitch Drops throughout the event as well as the Viridescent Dragon Frog pet for free. A post-show delving deeper into the announcements will air immediately after the event concludes. 

All in all this is a good move for Bethesda. Better to be safe than sorry. In the meantime, the studio is hard at work publishing the new Indiana Jones title from Wolfenstein developer, Machine Games.  For more Elder Scrolls goodness, check out these hot Elders Scrolls VI rumors as well as our recent episode of Replay of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

[Source: Eurogamer]

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 6:53 pm

Hogwarts Legacy Delayed Until 2022

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Last year, Sony unveiled a new Harry Potter game called Hogwarts Legacy during its PlayStation 5 showcase. The open-world action RPG was originally slated for a 2021 launch, but the studios attached to this magical adventure have announced the decision to push back the release until 2022. 

The announcement of the delay debuted on the game's official Twitter account, saying, "We would like to thank fans from around the world for the tremendous reaction to the announcement of Hogwarts Legacy from our Portkey Games label. Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us, so we are giving the game the time it needs."

— Hogwarts Legacy (@HogwartsLegacy) January 13, 2021

Developed by Avalanche Software, and published under Warner Bros. Interactive's Portkey Games label, Hogwarts Legacy is an extended way to experience a franchise that is beloved by many. The open-world adventure is set during the 1800s in the Harry Potter universe, allowing players to get their Quidditch playing on while crafting potions, learning magic, and even undergoing the iconic Sorting Hat initiation. 

While we know that the game has been pushed back until 2022, we don't have any specific release window at this time. What we do know, however, is that Hogwarts Legacy is still slated to release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Given the extended timeline before launch, it is possible that Warner Bros. may decide to pivot away from a last-gen release given that it could be up to two years after the launch of a new generation of consoles. 

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 5:32 pm

Little Nightmares II Gets A New Trailer, Playable Demo, Custom Switch Giveaway, And More

Bandai Namco is rolling out the red carpet for Little Nightmares II in a big way ahead of its February 11 launch. The publisher has unveiled a bunch of branded goodies and events centered around its release, including hardware giveaways, a comic, and more. 

First and foremost is a new trailer that reinforces the fact that Little Nightmares II is still a creepy experience despite having a co-op partner along for the entire ride. If watching that gets you pumped to play, then you’ll be pleased to know that a free demo of the game's Wilderness level is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. Pre-orders for the game have also opened on the Nintendo eShop.

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Newcomers on Steam have a chance to win the original Little Nightmares by signing up their emails on the game’s website. The giveaway begins today and ends January 17. Bandai Namco isn’t done giving out freebies yet. The publisher is also giving away a Little Nightmares II branded Switch featuring a customized dock and Joy-Cons. The contest begins today as well and wraps up when the game launches next month. You can enter by visiting this link

Finally, if playing Little Nightmares II proves too spooky, you can both read the adventure in the Little Nightmares interactive comic, the first two episodes of which are live now on the App Store and Google Play. Fans who want to show their Little Nightmares II fandom can check out the game’s new line of apparel. Rain jacket not included, unfortunately.

Little Nightmares II is the follow-up to the well-received 2017 horror platformer. Players control returning protagonist Six who teams up with new playable character Mono to escape a nightmarish world. So far the game looks every bit as fun and unsettling as the original, and we’re excited to see how the full release turns out. Until then, you can watch us play a slice of the game in this episode of New Gameplay Today.

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 4:58 pm

Katy Perry Headlines Pokémon 25 Year Celebration Event

The Pokémon Company International is celebrating 25 years of the beloved franchise in a big way with a newly announced collaboration with pop singer Katy Perry. The global music celebration called P25 Music will feature Perry alongside other rising artists to ring in those "gotta catch 'em all" festivities. 

To celebrate 25 years of Pokémon, the company is teaming up with Universal Music Group for Brands to help make the 25th-anniversary party one to remember. This is the largest event to date for the franchise, according to the Pokémon Company, and will include "some of the biggest names in music." Perry's role in the celebratory event will also extend beyond headlining, she will also be working as a "premier collaborator" throughout the entire year.

“Pokémon has been a constant in my life from playing the original video games on my Game Boy to trading Pokémon TCG cards at lunch to the adventures of catching Pokémon on the street with Pokémon Go. I’ve even visited the Pokémon Café in Japan while on tour! It is an honor to be chosen to help celebrate a franchise that has given me so much joy in the last 25 years, and to be able to watch it evolve in the ways it’s provided that kind of electric joy for the kids in my life and around the world,” said Katy Perry in a press release about the Pokémon music event.

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“In Katy Perry, we see a kindred spirit to Pokémon, whose world is bright, fun and uplifting,” added Colin Palmer, vice president of marketing at The Pokémon Company International, in that same press release. “Katy is a wonderful ambassador to help us celebrate 25 years of Pokémon, and we can’t wait for music fans everywhere to experience the exciting collaborations we have planned.”

More details about the ongoing music event will be dropping throughout 2021 alongside the promise of even more exciting reveals on the way. 

“We are honored to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon and the significant cultural impact this beloved franchise continues to have around the world. Working together, we have developed dynamic year-round programming involving artists from across UMG’s labels — because what better way to create a global celebration than through the power of music,” concluded LJ Gutierrez, General Manager, UMGB.

In previous years, we've seen Pokémon Day announcements for new games as well as fun, integrative ways to join the fandom through things like Snapchat filters and special Pokémon Go events. While we don't have details about what could possibly be revealed outside of what we already know (like a new Pokémon Snap), more announcements will be flowing in steadily throughout the year as part of this special 25-year event. 

While much of the world is still dealing with isolation due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and Stay At Home orders, the power of music should not be discounted. Pairing the delight of music with the love of the adorable Pokémon franchise is a recipe for an awesome way to come together as a community.

To learn more about the year-long Pokémon celebration, you can check out the official Pokémon website here for more fan-driven activities and new announcements about what's next for the franchise. 

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 4:34 pm

Lucasfilm Games Will Continue Working With EA In The Star Wars Universe Following Ubisoft Reveal

News broke this morning that Ubisoft and Massive Entertainment are teaming up with Lucasfilm to create a new Star Wars experience for players to fall in love with. The reveal also means the end of the exclusivity deal that EA has currently regarding the Star Wars IP, leaving some fans wondering what that means for the future of games like Fallen Order and any other potential projects that were planned.  

Lucasfilm Games took to the Star Wars blog following the big announcement to shed some light on what else the company is working on, while also confirming that its relationship with EA is "stronger than ever" with several new games currently in the works under the Electronic Arts umbrella. 

“We’re really proud of the games we have created with EA,” says Lucasfilm Games VP Douglas Reilly. “We will continue working with them and our relationship has never been stronger. While we may not have a lot of details to share at the moment, we’ve got a number of projects underway with the talented teams at EA.”

This is good news for fans of the most recent release of Star Wars: Squadrons as well as Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. While a sequel for Fallen Order has only been reported, not officially confirmed, the single-player adventure starring Cal Kestis blew right through sales expectations following launch, which paves the way for a continuation should EA and Lucasfilm Games choose to do so. 

Star Wars 1313, the once anticipated but canceled EA Star Wars game, is also something that we'll never see; the coding for the title itself has sparsed to the wind and outdated, but that doesn't mean that EA can't support another Star Wars single-player adventure that offers an immersive way to experience a beloved franchise. Lucasfilm Games didn't confirm what projects are currently in the works with EA following the Ubisoft reveal outside of confirming that there are several planned, but it is nice to see that other talented studios can now shoot their shot regarding everyone's favorite galaxy far, far away. 

Missed the initial announcement regarding the upcoming Star Wars Ubisoft title with Massive Entertainment? You can catch up with our previous coverage here. Feel free to also sound off with your thoughts on the latest Star Wars happenings in the comment section below! 

[Source: Star Wars]

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 3:21 pm

New Star Wars Game Coming From Ubisoft And Lucasfilm Games

Today, Ubisoft announced a partnership with the newly established Lucasfilm Games to create a narrative-focused, open-world Star Wars adventure. This has been a particularly busy week for Lucasfilm Games as the new Star Wars banner was first revealed on Monday. Yesterday, Bethesda and Machine Entertainment unveiled an upcoming Indiana Jones game, and now Star Wars fans can excitedly wonder what Ubisoft has in store for the iconic brand.

“The vast Star Wars lore is an incredible source of inspiration for our teams,” says Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in a press release. “This is the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm Games, and we are pleased to be working hand-in-hand to build upon the incredible legacy of Lucasfilm to create a game that we know Star Wars fans will love.”

The creators of The Division franchise, Massive Entertainment, are set to helm the project. And the addition of the team’s in-house Snowdrop engine is slated to play a large role in the new game’s development. However, whether the new Star Wars project will share The Division’s online multiplayer elements remains unclear. “Ubisoft have a unique talent for crafting immersive worlds, so we’re thrilled to work with them on this project,” says Douglas Reilly, vice president of Lucasfilm Games. “Together we share a vision for the type of original stories we want to tell with our players in this expansive galaxy. They have the creativity, experience, and community understanding to bring awe-inspiring authenticity, depth and innovation to this new Star Wars game.”

In 2013, Electronic Arts signed a 10-year deal with Disney for Star Wars exclusivity. But now that Lucasfilm Games has been announced alongside these other partnerships, it seems safe to assume that Disney will not be renewing its agreement with EA in 2023. Nevertheless, EA affirmed its commitment to creating engaging Star Wars experiences in the coming years.

In a statement to Game Informer, an EA representative tells us, “We are proud of our long-standing collaboration with Lucasfilm Games, which will continue for years to come. Our talented teams have created some of the most successful games in the history of the Star Wars franchise, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Battlefront, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, and Star Wars: Squadrons. We love Star Wars and look forward to creating more exciting Star Wars experiences for players to enjoy.”

As for Ubisoft’s upcoming game, the release date is unknown, though it will likely be after EA’s Star Wars exclusivity agreement ends in 2023. Extra details on the open world, central storyline, and gameplay loop have also not been revealed. Nevertheless, Massive Entertainment’s creative director, Julian Gerighty assures that, “This is a lore that we love, and we want to do it justice with a game and story that bring both lifelong and new fans on an immersive and outstanding journey that will stay with them for years.”

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 2:38 pm

Hellpoint Arrives On Nintendo Switch This February

Can't get enough Dark Souls? Dying for news on Elden Ring? Looking for Souls-style action on the Switch? Well, action RPG Hellpoint is on its way to the Nintendo platform soon, scheduled to release on February 25. TinyBuild has revealed a new trailer to showcase some gameplay for the release, which you can check out below.

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Hellpoint contains tons of bosses to slay, secrets to explore, areas to uncover, and weapons to master. In fact, the game features certain areas and scenarios that can only happen when the "stars align" so to speak, as the heavens themselves conspire to create scenarios that unleash horrible demonic challenges. Of course, those challenges come with their own share of rewards as well, so you may find yourself fiending for some of the more difficult fights. Aesthetically, it blends dark, futuristic fantasy tropes with a bit of horror, as if Dark Souls, Event Horizon, and Warhammer 40,000 had an evil baby. 

Along the way, you discover checkpoints, level up, customize your character and hopefully find a few weapons that resonate with your playstyle. These weapons include a giant stone pillar, which can be really fun to smash things with. Ranged options are also available if you're looking to keep the gigantic foes at bay from a safe distance. A massive hub area unlocked early in the game provides a special place to upgrade your weapons and armor and plan your path through the derelict space station. and  Some light puzzles offer additional exploration opportunities, and you might even be able to sequence break your way to all sorts of areas in the game early if you're willing to probe each zone carefully.

It's entirely possible to miss special areas and encounters as you go through the game, so it's a good idea to investigate areas carefully, and pay attention to the positioning of the space station in orbit to make sure you're ready to handle any special enemies or bosses that are timed to the dangerous black hole events. 

The dark and deadly Hellpoint arrives on the Switch on February 25.

Posted on 13 January 2021 | 7:20 am

Trails Of Cold Steel IV Coming To Nintendo Switch This April

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV has been available on PlayStation since last October, but now it's coming to the Nintendo Switch! That's right, you can take all of your favorite heroes on the go this April. NIS America revealed the new platform launch date today with a tweet and a trailer.

Heroes must unite! Trails of Cold Steel IV is coming to Nintendo Switch on April 9, 2021! #TrailsofColdSteelIV

— NISAmerica (@NISAmerica) January 12, 2021

Trails of Cold Steel IV continues to follow the story and saga of Rean, adding to the tale that the franchise has been working on since Trails in the Sky. It's also the final entry in the Cold Steel saga and brings some resolution to some of the ever-expanding story threads and beats. Trails of Cold Steel IV boasts more characters than any other entry in the series, including numerous familiar faces. 

Looking to see a few of the characters you might meet on your journey? Check out some of the cast here. Game Informer's Kimberly Wallace conducted an interview with Nihon Falcom president and producer Toshihiro Kondo last year that's absolutely worth a read if you're thinking about diving into the story-rich world of Trails of Cold Steel, IV or otherwise. Read Kim's entire interview here.

While we haven't reviewed Trails of Cold Steel IV, the series has enchanted us before. "The Trails of Cold Steel franchise continues to impress me. Whether it’s in the depth added to its fantastic turn-based battle system or the intriguing revelations tucked into its sprawling storyline, Nihon Falcom keeps taking the series in exciting directions," says Kimberly Wallace of Trails of Cold Steel III. "The way the developer has built up a massive world and its political tensions is fascinating, referencing events that happened way back in the Trails in the Sky arc. Seeing how all this history and lore unfolds has been an exciting part of the journey. Fans are constantly treated to callbacks and character reunions that feel like rewards for the long investment. " You can read the entire review for Trails of Cold Steel III right here.

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 9:25 pm

DC Universe Online 10 Year Anniversary Offers Players Free In-Game Gifts

DC Universe Online is celebrating 10 years of its incredible MMORPG experience by gifting players with a few in-game freebies. Earlier this week, Dimensional Ink Games revealed how the studio is giving back to the gamers that have enjoyed the DC Universe experience, starting with an offer of over $50 worth of free loot from now until the end of the month. 

What can players expect from the 10 year anniversary celebration? For starters, all players can look forward to a free Character Advance to CR290, a Paradox Gazer combat pet, a new Restored Shim'Tar Regalia-inspired new gear suit, a couple of new 10th anniversary emblems, and two new firework trinkets. 

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Members will also receive a few additional freebies to celebrate the game's anniversary, including the following: 

To make sure to get all of the Members-specific drops, simply log in before the end of January to unlock the special Member Appreciation Gift Box. Not a member yet? Also included in the anniversary celebration is a special discount on becoming a Member with a 20% discount to join up. You can learn more about the membership incentives right here through the DCUO website. 

DC Universe Online first made its debut in 2011 and since then, the community surrounding the comics-inspired adventure has continued to evolve with its players and their love of the game. With over 69,143,146 characters created, DCUO has continuously evolved smartly after going free-to-play. 

Take a peek at some other interesting tidbits surrounding the game as the studio celebrates 10 years of the MMORPG experience: 

“I’m thrilled to be part of the team and celebrate this incredible milestone for DC Universe Online,” Jack Emmert, CEO of Dimensional Ink, said in a statement. “After reading DC comic books for 45 years, it’s a dream come true to be able to play in DC’s rich multiverse. I can’t wait to see what the next ten years will bring!”

While the game celebrates a huge milestone, there is still more yet to come. It will be interesting to see where the studio takes this online social title next! 

Are you a fan of DC Universe Online? Share with us some of your favorite memories in the comment section below! 

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 8:45 pm

Overwatch's New Kanezaka Challenge Is Now Live

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Blizzard announced a new free-for-all map, Kanezaka, will hit Overwatch’s deathmatch mode today. As we previously reported, the new map takes place outside the walls of Hanamura castle, giving players a chance to explore and compete within the surrounding village for the first time. To celebrate the occasion, players (especially those who favor Hanzo) can earn limited-time rewards from now until January 25. 

The rewards in question include six unique sprays as well as the Kyogisha epic skin for Hanzo. Racking up victories in Quick Play, Competitive, or Arcade, nets you these goodies, and here’s how many you’ll need to get each one: 

3 wins - Pagoda player icon

6 wins - Yōkai spray

9 wins - 1 New Epic Skin: Kyogisha Hanzo

If watching someone else play Overwatch is more your thing, you can earn additional rewards by checking out any Twitch streamer playing the game to earn six Kanezaka Challenge Sprays. The number of sprays earned depends on the number of hours watched, so be sure to have those streams running in the background while you’re engaged with work or some other adult obligation to snag some easy rewards. 

2 hours watched - 1 new spray

4 hours watched - 2 new sprays

6 hours watched - 3 new sprays


Kanezaka looks like a blast, and also features a fair amount of Easter Eggs and environmental hints that Blizzard says will pay off in Overwatch 2. Be sure to keep an eye out as you’re racking up wins and earning skins (see what I did there?). Speaking of Overwatch 2, now that Kanezaka is out in the wild, we hope to hear more about it when BlizzConline occurs February 19 and 20. To learn more about Overwatch 2 as well as what Blizzard has in the pipeline in general (such as Diablo IV), check out our coverage hub from our Blizzard issue of Game Informer.

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Posted on 12 January 2021 | 7:57 pm

Warcraft Director Shares Fully Written Full Throttle Movie Script

Is a Full Throttle movie happening? No. Is there a full script for it anyway? Yup. Warcraft director Duncan Jones decided to use his in-quarantine time during the COVID-19 pandemic to draft an entire script for a non-existent Full Throttle film. The script's faithfulness to the game is making it easy to envision an adapted movie. 

The top of the script sets the tone of why this project even came to be, labeled "draft — COVID! Does anything matter!?" While some of us were catching up on our gaming backlogs, Jones wrote an entire movie. Balance. 

It blew my mind!
I LOVED that game. I mean, REALLY loved that game.

So the next time I had one of those freezes, I started writing this-

A fan script for the LucasArts classic, FULL THROTTLE.

— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2021

The director took to Twitter to share the script in its entirety while also taking a moment to share the video inspiration behind his script, a re-imagined Full Throttle 2020 creative endeavor helmed by Red Knuckles

Full Throttle first burst onto the gaming scene back in 1995. Developers Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman (then at LucasArts) crafted an expertly fine-tuned narrative perfect for those craving a motorcycle-driven adventure. With every month seemingly confirming a new videogame movie or television adaptation, this script — while casually made — isn't half bad when gauging the potential for a Full Throttle film. 

Interested in checking the script out for yourself? You can read it, in full, right here

What are your thoughts on Duncan's take on the Full Throttle game in a movie script format? Sound off in the comment section below and tell us what you'd envision for your dream movie adaptation! 

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 7:24 pm

Mundaun Brings Pencil-Drawn Horror To Consoles And PC In March

Mundaun is a striking horror adventure game announced last summer from Hidden Fields, a one-man studio run by developer Michel Ziegler. A press release bills the game as “a lovingly hand penciled horror tale," since it sports eye-catching pencil-sketched art that gives the survival horror adventure a uniquely creepy vibe.

Ziegler began making Mundaun as a passion project in 2014. The game’s story follows a young man named Curdin who travels to Mundaun, a real-life village in the Swiss Alps (a region Ziegler spent many childhood summers visiting) to learn the fate of his grandfather, who died under mysterious circumstances. During his stay, he discovers that Mundaun is haunted by a sinister force, and Curdin must unravel the town’s secrets to figure out what’s happening.

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Mundaun’s horror is inspired by local folklore. Instead of fighting enemies head-on, gameplay seems to largely consist of puzzle-solving while also avoiding dangerous enemies, whose presence feeds into the game’s fear system. Similar to games such as Amnesia, the fear system causes players to become disoriented when placed in terrifying situations – something Ziegler describes as a “cause and effect” feature. Since the game is survival horror, expect to collect and juggle an inventory of items as you explore deeper into the village.

Mundaun’s hand-drawn art stands as its most unique feature. Ziegler creates charcoal sketches of characters and maps them onto 3D models. The result is like watching a twisted sketchbook come to life, and gives Mundaun an unsettling atmosphere. You can watch how Ziegler creates the art in the short behind-the-scenes video below.

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Mundaun looks fascinating, and thankfully we won’t have to wait too long to see how it shapes up. Hidden Fields announced that the game launches March 16 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 7:13 pm

Arcade1Up Announces New Cabinets For X-Men, Dragon's Lair, Killer Instinct, And More

Arcade1Up is a company that lets you bring the arcade action you remember (or maybe only heard about, depending on your age) into the comfort of your own house, and it recently announced several new cabinets to add to your collection. From one of the most beloved co-op beat-'em-ups of the '90s to one-stop shops for some of the most classic arcade publishers around, the lineup Arcade1Up debuted during this year's Consumer Electronics Show is eclectic and enticing.

The lineup begins with the new X-Men arcade cabinet (pictured above), which features the classic side-scrolling 1992 brawler from Konami. This four-player cabinet might not allow you to squeeze six of your closest friends on to one screen like some of the double-wide original cabinets, but what it lacks in width, it makes up for in added features. You can bring in additional players online thanks to the cabinet's WiFi capability, plus it adds two additional Marvel action titles: Captain American and the Avengers, and The Avengers in Galactic Storm. The cabinet also features an X-Men-themed riser to bring the mini hardware to the correct height.

Next up is Dragon's Lair, the 1983 classic made let arcade-goers feel like they were controlling a cartoon. Those who pick up this cabinet get the hand-drawn original, as well as Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp and the science-fiction adventure Space Ace, also from animator Don Bluth. This machine also includes a custom riser, though the art (which is pretty much just the three games' logos) is more understated than that of the X-Men cabinet. If you're more of a Space Ace fan, you can also pick up the same cabinet in a Space Ace variant. 

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Rare is remembered by many for its arcade prowess, and Arcade1Up is celebrating that with a new Killer Instinct machine. While the classic fighting game is the centerpiece, the full games list on this cabinet includes Killer Instinct, Killer Instinct 2, Battletoads (arcade version), and Battletoads/Double Dragon. This package also features WiFi play and a matching riser for those who want additional height.

Speaking of classic arcade companies, the Atari Legacy Edition Arcade Cabinet features 12 games in one machine. Those who pick up this special release (which, again, includes a riser), will be able to play Asteroids, Centipede, Major Havoc, Missile Command, Akka Arrh, Crystal Castles, Tempest, Millipede, Gravitar, Liberator, Asteroids Deluxe, and Space Duel.

Arcade1Up has already given fans a Street Fighter II cabinet featuring the various editions of the game, but while this new Capcom cabinet features various Street Fighter II, it's more about celebrating the publisher than anything else. The Capcom Legacy Edition Arcade Cabinet gives you 12 games from Capcom's storied arcade past. This machine includes the original Street Fighter, Street Fighter II: World Warrior, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Turbo, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo, Darkstalkers, Strider, Commando, Final Fight, Ghosts n Goblins, and 1944. The cabinet itself is themed after Street Fighter II and also features a custom riser.

If you haven't yet gotten your Pac-fill, Arcade1Up is ready to give you all you can handle with the Bandai Namco Legacy Edition cabinet. Much like the Capcom and Atari compilation cabinets, this features a collection of some of Bandai Namco's most classic arcade titles, with a keen emphasis on the Pac-Man and Dig-Dug series. This arcade bundle features Pac-Man, Pac-Land, Pac-Man Plus, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac-Mania, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug, Dig Dug II, Mappy, and Rompers. This bundle also features a custom riser like so many of the others announced at the same time. 

If you're more of a sit-down gamer, the Pong 4-Player Pub Table machine lets you gather three of your closest friends to play eight Atari classics. On this machine, which features a clear cover top to protect against spills, you can play Pong, Quadra Pong, Pong Doubles, Warlords, Pong Sports, Circus Atari, Tempest, and Super Breakout. Since this is meant to be played seated, it does not include a customer riser like the rest of the machines on this list.

To this point, Arcade1Up has released a ton of arcade cabinets in all shapes and sizes. In the past, the company has released cabinets dedicated to Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA Jam, Marvel vs. Capcom, and more previously coin-operated classics. However, the machines tend to sell out relatively quickly, though Arcade1Up has sometimes brought them back into stock.

Pre-orders for the new cabinets are not yet open, but if you go to Arcade1Up's website, you can sign up to be notified when they are live.

[Source: Arcade1Up via GameSpot]

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 6:45 pm

Dead Cells' Fatal Falls DLC Launches This Month

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Dead Cells was one of 2018’s best games (and our favorite roguelike), and it has a big DLC arriving in just a couple of weeks. Fatal Falls launches January 26 for consoles and PC, and injects the already stellar experience with deadly new enemies, additional biomes, and, of course, a fresh arsenal of weaponry.

Two mid-game biomes, The Fractured Shrines and The Undying Shores, are parallels to the Stilt Village, Clock Tower, and Time Keeper zones and serve as alternate paths for those areas. That gives players additional routes to help freshen up the middle section of runs. 


Players will combat new enemies like the Myopic Crow and Clumsy Swordsman as well as big bad The Scarecrow (who fans may recognize as a certain gardener). To slay these threats, you’ll need one or all of the seven new weapons: Lightning Rod, Ferryman’s Lantern, Scarecrow Sickles, Iron Staff, Snake Fangs, Serenade, and Cocoon. New power skills come in the form of a flying sword that relentlessly slashes foes as well as scythes that follow players and are attracted to enemies. Players also have 10 new outfits to help them dress for the occasion. 

Alongside Fatal Falls’ launch is a new bundle, Dead Cells: The Fatal Seed Bundle. It includes the base game, the 20 free updates, and both paid DLC's. Switch players can pre-order it now and get 33% off. The same discount will apply to other versions of the bundle when Fatal Falls launches on the 26th. That includes 50% off the base game (a nice intro price for newcomers) and 30% off The Bad Seed standalone DLC. These discounts begin January 26 and run into mid-February.

You can read our glowing review of Dead Cells here.

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Posted on 12 January 2021 | 5:00 pm

Bethesda Reveals New Indiana Jones Game

Bethesda just dropped a surprise reveal, teasing a new Indiana Jones game featuring a brand-new original story from Machine Games. Though not a full trailer, we did get a new video teasing the upcoming adventure, an adventure being executive produced by none other than Todd Howard. It just works. 

The first teaser video was shared on the official Bethesda Twitter with a follow-up tweet saying, "A new Indiana Jones game with an original story is in development from our studio Machine Games and will be executive produced by Todd Howard in collaboration with Lucasfilm Games. It'll be some time before we have more to reveal, but we're very excited to share today's news!" 

A new Indiana Jones game with an original story is in development from our studio, @MachineGames, and will be executive produced by Todd Howard, in collaboration with @LucasfilmGames. It'll be some time before we have more to reveal, but we’re very excited to share today’s news!

— Bethesda (@bethesda) January 12, 2021

While not an announcement many were expecting to see, Machine Games is the perfect fit for this type of adventure. The studio was first founded in 2009 with founding members from Starbreeze Studios making up its bulk. This studio was acquired by ZeniMax Media back in 2010 and from there, the team has focused on story-driven games, including  Wolfenstein: The New Order. 

More will be revealed at a later date but for now, we've got a swanky teaser trailer and our fan hopes and dreams to occupy our minds before more is shared. 

What do you think about Bethesda and Machine Games taking on the Indiana Jones universe? What do you hope to see from the upcoming game? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 4:48 pm

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Next-Gen Optimization Update Is Now Live

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a Respawn Entertainment title that allows fans of a galaxy far, far away to partake in an exciting open-world adventure with an ever-evolving narrative. Now that a new generation of gaming has arrived, the next-gen optimization update for Fallen Order is now available. 

The new update allows for backwards compatibility performance improvements for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, allowing players to experience a higher quality Star Wars journey on the latest generation of consoles. 

Electronic Arts took to the game's blog to detail specifically what the new update targets, as seen below: 

High-Level Summary of Features:

Console Specifics:

Xbox Series S

Xbox Series X Performance mode

Xbox Series X Normal mode (non-performance mode)

PlayStation 5

The PC version also saw an update this morning as well, though the above patch notes is specifically meant for console players interested in learning what's new. 

Have you experienced Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? What were your thoughts on Cal's journey? Sound off with what you thought of Respawn's single-player adventure in the comment section below! 

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 3:56 pm

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury For Nintendo Switch Revealed With New Trailer

Following the reveal of the Mario-inspired Red + Blue Nintendo Switch console earlier this morning, Nintendo also showed off the latest Super Mario adventure for fans to partake in with Super Mario 3D + Bowser's Fury. Bowser pretty much goes Super Saiyan in the Fury reveal, offering a different way to experience a beloved universe. 

While some Nintendo fans will already be aware of what Super Mario 3D World has to offer from the original on the Wii U, the Super Mario 3D World and Bowser's Fury bundle will have more than a few new content drops to enjoy. With 3D World, players can take to colorful levels to play solo or with friends as they transform into iconic Nintendo characters like Peach, Toad, and the popular Mario brothers themselves. 

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 “We hope players enjoy pouncing their way through two great Mario adventures in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, with lots of feline fun to be had whether playing solo or with family and friends,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing when talking about the company's latest announcement. “Along with the Nintendo Switch – Mario Red & Blue Edition system, we’re delighted to offer these new products that mark more than 35 years of Super Mario adventures.”

Two new Amiibo have also been revealed for the new title with the Cat Mario and Cat Peach figures that unlock special power-ups in-game. 

In addition to the new game and system reveal, Nintendo also revealed the Super Mario Bros. World Count Challenge special event. According to the company: 

A Nintendo Switch Online membership offers access to the competitive online battle game, Super Mario Bros. 35, for fans looking for a twist on a classic challenge. Players can put their Mario skills to the test during the Super Mario Bros. 35 World Count Challenge, which will be held three times from January to March.

To achieve the goal of the first Super Mario Bros. 35 World Count Challenge, players must work together to defeat 3.5 million Bowsers during the event period, which runs from 11 p.m. PT on Jan. 18 to 10:59 p.m. PT on Jan. 25. In addition to the 35-Player Battle mode, in which players can defeat Bowser as part of the regular gameplay, the Special Battle that week will feature courses with additional opportunities to battle with Bowser. During the event period, if the number of total Bowsers defeated in the game by players around the world rises to 3.5 million, individual players who defeat at least one Bowser will be eligible to receive 350 My Nintendo Platinum Points.

Excited for the next Super Mario adventure? You can learn more about Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury right here on the official Nintendo website. 

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 3:35 pm

New Nintendo Switch Console Revealed With Mario Red & Blue Edition

The Super Mario franchise has lit up our lives for 35 years and to celebrate, a brand new Nintendo Switch console has been revealed. The special Mario Red & Blue edition system comes bearing the usual red and blue color palette for the iconic Nintendo character and will be available to purchase beginning next month. 

Nintendo has confirmed that the new special edition Nintendo Switch system will be available to buy from select retailers only for $299.99. What the new console comes with is the usual fanfare: red Joy-Con controllers with blue straps attached, a blue Joy-Con grip, a Nintendo Switch dock that is also Mario-red, as well as the red matching Switch system itself. Also included is a Mario-fashioned Red & Blue Edition carrying case alongside a screen protector for those that really like to travel hard with their console. 

The new system comes just after the full reveal of Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury. “We hope players enjoy pouncing their way through two great Mario adventures in Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, with lots of feline fun to be had whether playing solo or with family and friends,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Along with the Nintendo Switch – Mario Red & Blue Edition system, we’re delighted to offer these new products that mark more than 35 years of Super Mario adventures.”

While the red and blue colors absolutely make sense, it would have been cool to see a variant with a bit more stylization. The red Joy-Cons are not that far different from the standard ones already available aside from the stripe of blue. Perhaps a green color in there to represent Luigi would have been cool, though then you run the risk of just looking like a Christmas-y console. Still, it's a nifty option for those looking to score a new system or to buy as a gift. You can learn more about the Nintendo Switch system yourself right here

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 3:04 pm

Upcoming PlayStation 5 Games Get New Release Windows

With a new generation upon us and the holiday releases behind us, many gamers are now looking ahead to what comes next. PlayStation 5 owners are wondering when anticipated games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Project Athia, and Kena: Bridge of Spirits will be releasing.  

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is usually more focused on gear and tech than software, but during Sony’s presentation during the event today, we got a little bit of news about when we can expect some of the PlayStation 5 games on the horizon. Near the end of the video, a bunch of small text shows the estimated releases for certain featured games (see image below). Though these may not be solid release dates, for several of the titles, these windows are updates from what was known previously.

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For example, Capcom’s surreal-looking sci-fi adventure Pragmata was originally revealed as a 2022 release, but is now listed as coming out in 2023. 

Kena: Bridge of Spirits was delayed out of 2020 to release early in 2021 instead. Now we know that "early" means sometime in March, according to this new info. If you want to learn more about Ember Lab's promising title before it releases, check out our Kena: Bridge of Spirits hub full of exclusive coverage. 

Another interesting tidbit is about Square Enix's Project Athia (which is presumably still a working title). The game was unveiled this summer during a PlayStation 5 event, but with no information about a release target. Now we can see Square Enix is aiming to hit January 2022. However, the game is in development at Square Enix's Luminous Productions studio, which has a history of taking its time with its projects.

As for Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Horizon Forbidden West, those are just listed as a vague "2021." That's not an update, but Sony has previously said that fans can expect Ratchet & Clank in the first half of the year, and Horizon in the second half.

Those may be some of the highest-profile revelations, but if you want to see everything in the tiny text without squinting at the image above, here's the relevant info in plain text:

Posted on 12 January 2021 | 12:40 am

Square Enix Files New Final Fantasy Trademarks

Square Enix has filed a few new Final Fantasy-related trademarks in Japan recently in preparation for the next entry of the Final Fantasy VII Remake. The included trademarks are Ever Crisis, the Shinra logo, and The First Soldier, and while that could mean anything, I know I'm not alone in hoping that Square Enix will give Crisis Core more of a spotlight. 

The trademarks were first spotted by Gemetsu and features file names that Final Fantasy fans would expect, especially Shinra with its centrical role of VII's narrative. Ever Crisis is where we get into Crisis Core territory, an incredible RPG prequel that came out on the PSP and the later mobile game Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII that never made it over to the west. Each of the trademarks filed were filed at the end of December 2020. 

For those that played the remake without having experienced the original or the attached companion stories with the PSP and mobile tales, Zach was a pivotal character in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII, which first made its debut back in 2007. This particular narrative acted as a prequel to the original Final Fantasy VII and was a part of a growing metaseries called Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. 

Like Cloud, Zach was a SOLDIER who was assigned the task of locating the missing Genesis Rhapsodos, a fellow SOLDIER. In his quest to locate his query, Zach learns of Genesis' origin and how Project G influenced Sephiroth and Angeal Hewley. The entire narrative was exceptionally vital when learning more about Sephiroth and who he truly is, and how he grew to be the powerful character we know today (or in my case, mindlessly obsess over). 

Crisis Core was an incredible experience that really is paramount when understanding the bigger picture regarding what the Final Fantasy VII Remake truly gives fans. Does this trademark filing mean we're getting another shot at experiencing Crisis Core? Despite thousands of fans asking for this exact thing, the probability is pretty low. Moreso when looking at the multiple parts that will make up the Remake and how each trademark files in with the episodic release. That being said, Zach made an interesting appearance at the end of Part I, so honestly? Square Enix is poised to do whatever they heck they want with this property should they choose. 

Would you want to see a Crisis Core remake? What are you the most excited for when it comes to the next part of the Final Fantasy VII Remake? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 10:00 pm

Lords of the Fallen 2 Poised To Cement The Franchise As Long-Running Series

Lords of the Fallen 2 has had a rocky development history thus far, but CI Games seems confident the game will be a major player going forward. The studio released a statement updating fans on the game’s expanded scope, and how it’s the first step in a grander vision for the series. 

The first Lords of the Fallen, while quite good (read our review), was largely a by-the-numbers Souls clone in terms of design. CI says the sequel will “move the franchise to dark fantasy and will offer a revised and challenging combat system.” To that end, the scope has expanded to become, in CI’s words, “our largest project in terms of the whole of CI Games”. The publisher also unveiled the game's logo, as seen below. 

The publisher feels so confident in Lords of the Fallen 2 that it says the game has a chance of turning the franchise into a long-running series in the mold of Sniper Ghost Warrior.  CI Games also shares that the first Lords of the Fallen has sold 3 million copies since launching in 2014. 

Lords of the Fallen 2 has been simmering in development for some time. Deck13, who developed the first game, began work on the follow-up before the reins changed hands to the New York-based Defiant Studios in 2018, who rebooted the project from scratch. Unfortunately, Defiant and CI Games had a falling out of sorts, and CI brought development of Lords of the Fallen 2 in-house. Last September, it was announced that Hexworks would helm development of the game. 

We still have no idea when to expect Lords of the Fallen 2, but it’s coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Meanwhile, check out this feature about why the first Lords of the Fallen is hidden gem you shouldn't miss from the last generation

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 7:12 pm

Lucasfilm Games Is Now The Official Banner For All Star Wars Games

Everyone loves Star Wars. The galaxy far, far away has been expanded in various forms of media: Films, television shows, collectibles, novels, comics, etc. But being able to dive into new and unique video game stories that build upon the popular space opera's lore is, perhaps, the best way to experience the extensive world(s) of Star Wars.

Starting today, all past and future Star Wars games will fall under the newly announced Lucasfilm Games banner - a collaborative effort with a bevy of Star Wars-focused developers around the globe. You can read a little more about Lucasfilm Games on the official Star Wars website. Watch the new sizzle reel below. 

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Posted on 11 January 2021 | 6:50 pm

Dead By Daylight Studio Outlines Upcoming HUD Changes And More Tweaks Coming Soon

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Behaviour Interactive has continuously made improvements to Dead by Daylight since launch, cultivating a loyal community of players that are always looking ahead to the next content drop. While more horror stories are inevitably on the way, the studio behind the adventure outlined a few other key changes that are on the horizon such as HUD alterations, matchmaking, and more. 

Before talking about HUD changes, the team took a moment in its most recent developer diary update to showcase a few tweaks to The Clown mid-chapter. "Our resident funnyman has been cooking something up. Introducing the Afterpiece Antidote: This new throwable bottle shatters and releases a delayed yellow gas," reveals Behaviour Interactive. "Once the gas activates, anyone who steps in the gas receives a 10% movement speed bonus. Like your Tonic, this effect lingers for a few seconds after leaving the gas. You can swap between Tonics and Antidotes by tapping the Active Ability button at any time."

The post continues, saying: "[Afterpiece Antidote] will also cure any negative effects from the Afterpiece Tonic, so you’ll want to be careful where you throw them. They may make you faster, but a poorly thrown bottle will make the Survivor faster as well. Or you may want to lure a Survivor to an area with no pallets remaining with a juicy Antidote. But remember: If the two gases collide, they will neutralize each other and disappear."

The HUD is also undergoing its own metamorphosis with a brand new layout, which can be seen below: 

Character portraits are also added, allowing players to see their Survivor with a nameplate attached. Next to the Survivor's portrait is also a hook counter for those that want to track who has - and hasn't - been hooked. Killers will also be able to benefit from this with a meter showing off their hook's progress as the match carries on. 

UI options are also being implemented for accessibility reasons, allowing players to mess around with the settings to take up as much - or as little - space as desired. 

Some new Survivor animations are also being implemented in the name of realism, including turn rates, how fast each character can move, and more. A lot of these changes will be familiar, because it's all coming directly from player feedback.

Matchmaking is also getting a needed improvement, allowing matchmaking ratings to return and making skill-based matchmaking more effective. Additionally, Behaviour is adding a reward system for the most dedicated of players, giving them Bloodpoints as a monthly reward that will reset with each 20 rank marker reached. 

Graphics updates, mechanic tweaks, and miscellaneous smaller changes can also be seen. To see the full deep-dive into what's next for Dead by Daylight, you can read the full developer's diary right here

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 6:27 pm

OtterBox To Release Xbox Line Of Accessories

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OtterBox has long been a big player in the mobile space, creating a variety of cases and accessories for phones. Today, Otterbox is expanding its operations into console gaming with a line of accessories designed for Xbox. The first line of products arrive in mid-February and are designed to take advantage of Xbox gaming both at home and on the go.

I got my hands on all of the products OtterBox is releasing and found them all to be of high quality, easy to use and assemble. An OtterBox spokesperson told me that Xbox is hopefully just the start for accessories in the console space.

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Easy Grip Controller Shell
While offering protection for your controller, the key feature of this shell are the swappable grips. You'll find two sets of them in the box. One is a bit more abrasive, while the other feels slick on the palms. Both grips are designed to reduce sweat and slip. The shell is made of two pieces that lock around the controller, adding a few centimeters of thickness to it, but you likely won't notice the difference. The only slight downside is Xbox's Home button is partially covered by the frame, making it just a little bit more difficult to click. OtterBox is launching with three colors: dark web, dreamscape, and galactic dream.

Mobile Gaming Clip
This is the most impressive item OtterBox is releasing. The clip connects easily to the controller, and is sturdy, even allowing the player to adjust its angle and height as they play. The claw that holds the phone has an extendable arm that slides and snaps into place, allowing you to use almost any size of phone. When you are done using the clip, it can be collapsed for storage.

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Gaming Carry Case
This case is similar in design to the one that comes with the Xbox Elite controllers, but comes with a couple of cool additional features. The top of the case flips up into a stand which you can set your phone on. The back of the case has a port that you can pass a cable through for charging purposes. The case's interior comfortably holds the controller in the base with three additional netted areas pockets for cables and accessories.

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 6:01 pm

Gotham Knights' Open World Was Optimized For Co-Op

Gotham Knights was first announced during the DC Fandome streaming event. And even though it's not a part of the acclaimed Arkham series, the visuals and gameplay are informed by the popular Batman games. Players can take on Gotham's criminal underbelly as Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, and Red Hood. In a deep-dive interview with GamesRadar, Gotham Knights' executive producer Fleur Marty and creative director Patrick Redding talked about WB Montreal's mission to create a seamless, engaging two-player co-op experience while staying true to the Arkham series' gameplay. 

"We have entirely redesigned the combat system in order for it to work well in co-op," said Marty. "Of course, we're still a brawler, and some of the mechanics won't feel totally alien for people who played and enjoyed the Arkham series, but it is in many ways very different." Additionally, the entirety of Gotham City has been redesigned so that co-operative play feels more natural and intuitive. Redding mentioned how co-op experiences will make players feel like an unstoppable duo, "The two-player dynamic fits the fantasy and the Gotham City setting. The 'duo' or team-up is such a central feature of the universe that there's a literal shorthand for it in the comics, animation, film, and TV versions. Gotham is a city of alleyways and rooftops, so the footprint for gameplay needs to be compatible with that."

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Gotham Knights launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2021. For more info on the game, check out our own interview with Gotham Knights' creators. 

[Source: GamesRadar via IGN]

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 5:55 pm

This Mass Effect-Inspired Omniblade Lamp Is A Must-Have For Any N7 Hopeful

I'm Commander Shepard and this is my favorite Mass Effect-inspired lamp (not) on the Citadel. The BioWare Store made its triumphant return last year and every day it seems like the stock being offered adds something new. While my personal bank account is weeping, my N7-hopeful heart is absolutely living for this omniblade LED acrylic light now that was recently added.

The latest BioWare Store temptation is actually pretty affordable, coming in at $23 and available now to pre-order. Shipping is expected to occur around March, though an exact date hasn't been confirmed at this time. 

According to BioWare, here is what interested buyers should know about the omniblade collectible that is also quite functional: 

The lamp comes in at just over 10 inches tall and looks awesome lit and dormant, as well. "This acrylic lamp takes the design of Mass Effect’s Omni-Blade without the dangers that come with the melee weapon," reads the official light's description. "What looks like a searing, futuristic dagger suspended in a mass effect field is actually an elegantly crafted and die-cut acrylic plate.

"The design takes the style of a clean line art illuminated with an LED light on the base. This creates a soft glow. It looks especially good in the dark when the clear acrylic fades from view."

For those that know me, you know I've already slapped that pre-order down. I have no shame, but I do have all of the excitement. You can scoop up your own right here if you fancy! 

Posted on 11 January 2021 | 5:06 pm

CD Projekt RED Could Face A Hefty Fine Pending Polish Cyberpunk 2077 Investigation

Cyberpunk 2077's launch went the exact opposite of many's expectations: game-breaking bugs, talk over safety concerns, allegations of cut content, and misleading company jargon from CD Projekt RED has all led to a tremendously chaotic game release. Now, the Poland's Office of Competition and Consumer Protection is investigating the studio, an investigation that could lead to a hefty fine for the company should the future Cyberpunk 2077 updates fail to address the majority of concerns. 

Pending the investigation, CDPR stands to lose 10% of its annual income due to a fine. That's not factoring in the amount of returns seen across all platforms and the pending civil suits that are currently in progress. Polish representative Malgorzata Cieloch recently spoke with a Polish business newspaper to outline the current situation: 

"We will check how the manufacturer is working on the introduction of amendments or solution to difficulties preventing the game [to work] on different consoles, but also how it intends to act in relation to the persons who filed complaints and are dissatisfied with [their] purchase due to the inability to play games on owned equipment despite previous assurances [that it would]."

News of the investigation first broke by way of Polish biz-facing newspaper Dzinnik Gazeta Prawna and detailed that the next steps going forward depend on what fixes CDPR has lined up. 

In the initial newspaper report, Dominik Jedrzejko also weighed in, a Polish attorney with insight into the current investigation. According to Jedrzejko, he thinks that even if the fixes address the changes the studio is hoping to achieve, that it "may not be enough" to fight back against allegations of "unfair market practice." 

Following up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, there have been other conversations that have counted against the company including concern over trans representation in the game and grueling work hours for the staff that brought  Night City to life. It was reported shortly after launch that many developers went straight to the shareholders, demanding accountability and answers regarding how the launch went so wrong. 

The troubles with Cyberpunk 2077, despite there being an enjoyable narrative in the game and characters that matter, are more than just the bugs. It was the broken communication between the company and fans (despite deliberate attempts to make it seem otherwise) and the outright attempt at deception by not allowing reviewers access to console versions of the game and purposeful intentions to hid the current state of the game on last-gen systems; especially the PS4. Following its delisting from the PS4 store and easier means to a refund via the Microsoft storefront, the troubles continued to pour in, effectively destroying a lot of trust that fans had in the CDPR name. 

Respectfully, what do you think about the ongoing situation regarding CDPR and the Cyberpunk 2077 launch? Overhyped? Over-publicized? Just desserts? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below, but please keep it civil. 


Posted on 11 January 2021 | 4:26 pm