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Wasteland 3 Delayed To August 28

COVID-19's impact on the game industry pushes another game date back, as InXile's Wasteland 3 has been pushed to August 28 (Be sure to check out an awesome feature on Wasteland 3 in the current issue of Game Informer!}. Studio head Brian Fargo issued a statement via Twitter, commenting that a shift to work-from-home procedures had impacted development. Wasteland 3 was previously expected to land on May 19 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

We have an important update on Wasteland 3’s release date. pic.twitter.com/hiX1CygcUk

— Wasteland ☢️ (@Wasteland) March 31, 2020

Delays due to a rapidly changing world are becoming commonplace, and I'm looking forward to sliding around an ice-cold Denver when Wasteland arrives. And hanging out with robo-Reagan, he's a cool president.

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 6:29 pm

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered Is Out Now On PlayStation 4

One of the most revered campaigns in the Call of Duty series is back in remastered form, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign being released today on PlayStation 4 - coming to other platforms a little later. Infinity Ward's title has been remastered by Beenox with new visuals, improved animations, audio enhancements, and supports up to 4K resolution (and will have uncapped framerate when it arrives on PC!).

Click here to watch embedded media

Even if you haven't thought much of some CoD campaigns (Don't sleep on Infinite Warfare!), Modern Warfare 2 is one of the iconic ones, featuring memorable characters and missions and of course, the infamous "No Russian" level.

Players that purchase the remaster also get some cosmetics that they can use in Modern Warfare and Warzone.

Posted on 31 March 2020 | 5:47 pm

Final Fantasy VII Remake Releases Early In Some Markets

This shouldn't be a surprise, but COVID-19 is starting to affecting the release of several upcoming games. Previously, Square Enix promised that the spread of the virus would not delay the release of the game on April 10, and the company is still holding to that. However, the publisher recently released a statement updating how the game will roll out.

https://twitter.com/finalfantasyvii/status/1244538864263364608

In short, Final Fantasy VII Remake has already shipped to Europe and Australia. Square Enix hopes this will gives fans a greater chance of getting their hands on the title. This applies to the physical version of the game, and the company has made no statements regarding the digital release, which is still set for release on April 10.

With the spread of the pandemic, many gamers are hunkering down in their gaming dens to play games. If you're hoping to get your hands on Final Fantasy VII remake soon, we wish you luck, and if you go snag a copy before the rest of the world, please don't spoil anything.

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 10:18 pm

You'll Soon Be Able To Compete In Pokémon Go Raid Battles From Your Home

Niantic continues to alter Pokémon Go to accommodate trainers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a new blog post today, Niantic says its mission has been to "help people get outside, exercise, and explore the world, with the ultimate goal of helping people connect with others." Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Niantic is adapting its vision in the coming days and weeks to accommodate players who are stuck indoors.

One of the big changes is letting trainers team up with friends to take on raids from their own homes. We don't know exactly how this will work yet, but it should cut down on the unnecessary risk of people heading outdoors to a gym's location to get a Pokémon they don't want to miss out on.

Adventure Sync is receiving a tweak that will allow trainers to track steps indoors and on a treadmill. Niantic is also looking at ways that will allow players to "share memories about their favorite real-world places." Lastly, Niantic is working on a new way to bring Pokémon Go Fest to players. More details on all of these things will be shared soon by Niantic.

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 5:28 pm

Valorant Closed Beta Starts Next Week

Riot Games has announced the start date of the upcoming closed beta for Valorant, the studio's recently revealed tactical hero shooter. Select players will be able to test out the FPS ahead of its planned summer launch beginning April 7.

To register for the closed beta, you must connect your Riot account to your Twitch account, then watch highlighted Valorant streams for the chance to receive closed beta access. While your progress will not carry over into launch, any Valorant Points – the currency used to buy skins and other store items – you purchase will be given back to you at launch with a 20 percent bonus. Riot is currently planning on keeping the closed beta as short as possible, but may reevaluate if it hears unexpected feedback from participants.

The closed beta will initially be limited to the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, and Turkey, but could expand to additional regions depending on how the current COVID-19 pandemic progresses. "Our plan was to bring the Valorant Closed Beta to as many players around the world as quickly as possible, but the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted those plans, compromising a wider global rollout," executive producer Anna Donlon said in a statement. "For now, we have to focus on the regions where we feel most ready, with more regions following in the months to come."

For more on Valorant, check out our deep dive on the game here.

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Posted on 30 March 2020 | 5:00 pm

Report: Super Mario Galaxy Could Be Coming To Switch

Mario is one of the most iconic characters in video games, so every one of his birthdays is worth celebrating. If recent reports are to be believed, Nintendo may be planning an impressive celebration that includes Switch rereleases of many of Mario's best games. 

Eurogamer and VideoGamesChronicle reported that Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy will all get rereleases sometime this year. Additionally, Nintendo is working on a new Paper Mario title and a deluxe version of Super Mario 3D World that includes new levels. 

If true, these details are very exciting, but we may also soon hear new details on Nintendo/Universal's upcoming Mario-themed park as well as the upcoming animated Super Mario Bros. movie.

A few weeks ago, Nintendo announced its partnership with Lego, and it's possible that was just the beginning for our mustachioed pal. We've reached out to Nintendo for further comment.

The original Super Mario Bros. released in Japan on September 13th, 1985, so the 35th anniversary is set for this fall. Hopefully, we'll hear more soon. 

[Source: EurogamerVideoGamesChronicle]

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 4:46 pm

Report: Remaster Of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Coming Soon

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

This morning the German PlayStation Store briefly leaked a listing for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered (PS4, Xbox One, and PC), with a release listing of tomorrow, March 31. Website Call of Duty Tracker captured screenshots and a trailer before they were taken down.

The remaster features the 2009 title's campaign – including the infamous "No Russian" mission (click here to read what developer Infinity Ward told us about it), and there is also a Classic Ghost bundle with the recent Warzone mode.

A COD: MW 2 remaster has been rumored for quite a while, and as COD Tracker points out, Warzone was recently leaked and released in a similarly quick manner.

[Source: CODTracker]

Posted on 30 March 2020 | 2:57 pm

Upgraded Nier Replicant Heading To PlayStation 4, Xbox One, And Steam

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In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Nier series of games, Square Enix today announced an upgraded version of Nier Replicant (the original Japanese PlayStation 3 release) is heading to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. The port is being developed in conjunction with Toylogic and is spearheaded by director Yoko Taro and producer Yosuke Saito. Square Enix also revealed a new mobile game called Nier Incarnation is in development at Applibot (you can see the trailer below). No release information was provided for either game.

Nier Replicant will feature rerecorded music along with a new tracks by Keiichi Okabe, and will introduce new characters and potentially one more ending. The full title for the game is "Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139..." Nier Replicant has had many names outside of its PlayStation 3 release. In Japan, the Xbox 360 version is called Nier Gestalt and it featured an older man as the protagonist instead of the teenage boy. The older protagonist was also in the western releases, which were just called Nier. I think I got all of that right. Confusing, no? 

Square Enix says the sequel, Nier: Automata, has "shipped/downloaded more than four million units worldwide."

Click here to watch embedded media

Posted on 29 March 2020 | 3:34 pm

Surprise Nintendo Direct Drops Bevy Of Details For The Switch

Click here to watch embedded media

Nintendo released a surprise Nintendo Direct presentation offering a shotgun blast of details for various Switch games.

Apart from 2K's Switch collections for Borderlands, XCOM 2, and BioShock, and a release date for the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (May 29), the presentation also dropped a variety of news on a bevy of titles.

If you don't want to wait for those titles, Nintendo has announced Switch games and content available now: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order expansion pass content featuring the Fantastic Four, Shinsekai: Into the Depths, Good Job!, A Ring Fit Adventure update featuring a rhythm mode with music from Splatoon 2, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey, Star Wars: Jedi Knight Academy, Panzer Dragoon: Remake, and the Bravely Default II demo.

And further out in the future Switch owners can look forward to games including:

Finally, despite the bevy of great news today, Nintendo sensitively reminds us that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of these release dates may change.

[Source: Nintendo]

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 4:15 pm

Next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Character Comes From Arms

Back in January, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate director Masahiro Sakurai announced a second Fighters Pass, which will bring six more downloadable fighters to the biggest crossover battlefield in gaming. While we still don't know the details of who the first character of Fighters Pass Vol. 2 will be, we do know that the character will hail from Arms, the 2017 fighting game from Nintendo.

Arms features 15 characters, each of which has a distinct style and arsenal of moves. While it would make sense for Spring Man or Ribbon Girl to appear in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate thanks to their mascot statuses for the game, Twintelle garnered quite the fan base when the title launched. Also working against the idea of Spring Man as a playable character is the fact that he's currently an Assist Trophy. 

Whichever character the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate development team chose from the Arms roster will be both announced and released in June. For more on Arms, check out our review.

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 3:15 pm

Bravely Default II Demo Available Now On Switch

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During today's Nintendo Direct Mini, Square Enix and Nintendo showed off a lengthy trailer for Bravely Default II (which you can see above). The trailer details the journey ahead, which begins with a character named Seth washing ashore on the continent of Excillant, which is occupied by five kingdoms.

Seth, a sailor, is one of the new Heroes of Light, and will be joined by princess Gloria, traveling scholar Elvis, and mercenary Adelle.

The trailer walks through the Brave and Default combat powers, job system, and abilities. Nintendo announced a demo for Bravely Default II is now available. No exact release date for the full game was given, but it is confirmed for a 2020 release.

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 3:04 pm

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition Hits Switch In May

Nintendo has announced the original Xenoblade Chronicles, which debuted on Wii in North America in 2012, is coming to Switch. This game serves as the debut of Shulk, who has continued on to appear in the two most recent Super Smash Bros. titles.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition brings enhanced controls and visuals, as well as a brand new epilogue story called Future Connected for fans to play through. This version also brings easy-to-read and easy-to-use menu screens and HUDs, and some of the music tracks have been remixed. 

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition launches for Switch on May 29. On the same day, you can also pick up the Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Works Set, a 250-page artbook, which you can see below.

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 2:51 pm

Check Out What You Can Unearth During Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Bunny Day

Zipper T. Bunny is heading to your island on April 1 to hide eggs as a way of celebrating Bunny Day. You'll need to hunt for the eggs, and either dig them up of fish for them. Your efforts reward you with the chance to craft limited-time items, such as a festive table, clothing, and more.

The event runs from April 1 to 12 and is free to all players. Later in April, Nintendo is ushering in another free update with Earth Day festivities. Animal Crossing: New Horizons received a glowing 9 out of 10 review from Game Informer's Jeff Cork, who called it "an all-inclusive package that takes the best of what’s come before and adds meaningful upgrades for returning visitors and curious newcomers alike."

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 2:45 pm

2K Releasing Switch Collections For Borderlands, XCOM 2, And BioShock On May 29

During today's unexpected Nintendo Direct Mini, 2K Games announced collections for Borderlands, BioShock, and XCOM 2 are all coming to Switch on May 29.

The Borderlands Legendary Collection consists of Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Borderlands 3 is not included or on Switch yet. BioShock: The Collection, which was aleady revealed, contains BioShock Remastered, BioShock 2 Remastered, and BioShock Infinite: The Complete Edition. Finally, the XCOM 2 Collection holds XCOM 2, the War of the Chosen Expansion, and four DLC Packs.

Here's hoping the pandemic is over by the end of May, but if not, 2K Games is delivering hundreds of hours of great entertainment to make our days a little easier.

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 2:19 pm

Epic Games Announces Multiplatform Publishing Partnerships With Studios Behind Control, Limbo, And The Last Guardian

Epic Games has announced it will publish new titles by Remedy Entertainment, Playdead, and Gen Design as a part of a new multiplatform publishing initiative. According to Epic Games, developers retain 100 percent of all intellectual property and creative control of their work and will benefit from 50/50 profit sharing. Epic also touts it will cover to up 100 percent of development costs including developer salaries, quality assurance, localization, marketing, publishing costs, and more.

Remedy Entertainment is coming off of its award-winning action title Control, which was an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC when it launched in August. Playdead has released two award-winning titles: 2010's Limbo and 2016's Inside. Finally, Gen Design is the studio headed by the visionary developer behind Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, Fumito Ueda. In 2016, the studio worked with Sony to release The Last Guardian.

"[Gen Design], Remedy, and Playdead are among the most innovative and talented studios in the industry, with strong visions for their next games,” said Hector Sanchez, Head of Epic Games Publishing, in a press release. “They will have full creative control, while Epic will provide a solid foundation of project funding and services.”

Click here to watch embedded media

No additional information was made available on these deals, the games they will produce, or other potential partnerships at this time. 

Posted on 26 March 2020 | 2:00 pm

Pokémon Go's St. Louis Event Was Supposed To Be This Weekend ... And It Still Kind Of Is!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this weekend's Pokémon Go Safari Zone event in St. Louis has been postponed indefinitely. People who held onto their tickets can have the event unfold from the safety of their own homes. During the original event hours, Niantic is activating the encounters and Special Research that would have only been available in St. Louis.

This means you can participate in the event from anywhere in the world, but again, you needed to retain the ticket. If you did, you don't need to do anything other than boot up the game to play on the day you were originally going to in St. Louis.

Along with Unown, which has become a staple at Niantic's gatherings, players will also have the chance to catch Chatot, a Pokémon that is exclusive to the southern hemisphere.

If you were hoping to attend the Liverpool Safari Zone (April 17 through 19) and the Philadelphia Safari Zone (May 8 through 10), they too have sadly been postponed, but the same offer is available to people who held onto their tickets, meaning you can get the rare Pokémon without leaving your house.

I'll be playing the game on Friday and will report my findings during the event. Niantic always has a few surprises in store for these fests and I wouldn't be surprised if the same happens this weekend.

Posted on 25 March 2020 | 10:44 pm

Plague Inc. Introduces New Mode Focused On Fighting Pandemics

In Plague Inc., players unleash a deadly virus across the globe and try to infect as many people as possible. Following a ban in China, developer Ndemic Creations is adding a new update that flips the script from destroying the world with a virus to saving it by containing the outbreak. Ndemic is also donating $250,000 to fight COVID-19. The donation is split between the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

In a post on the Plague Inc. website, Ndemic said that, "When arranging our donations with the WHO and CEPI, we were repeatedly asked if we could make a game which let the player work to stop an outbreak. Therefore, as well as providing financial support, we are accelerating work on a new Plague Inc. game mode which lets players save the world from a deadly disease outbreak."

This free update pushes players to boost healthcare systems, social distance, quarantine, manage disease progression, and more. The new mode is being developed with the help of experts from the World Health Organization, as well as the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network.

Posted on 25 March 2020 | 2:09 pm

Sony Slowing PlayStation Game Download Speeds In Europe

As lockdowns sweep across the globe to try to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people who are online has increased dramatically, so much so that countries are concerned that the internet could break.

In Europe, Netflix is reducing streaming quality for 30 days. Netflix believes the move will lower its traffic by 25 percent. On a global scale, Google is defaulting all streaming to "standard quality," but viewers can still select a higher quality as they watch.

Now Sony is joining the cause in Europe, announcing today that it is slowing and delaying game download speeds. In a statement on PlayStation Blog, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan said "We believe it is important to do our part to address internet stability concerns as an unprecedented number of people are practicing social distancing and are becoming more reliant on internet access."

Posted on 24 March 2020 | 7:47 pm

Microsoft Giving Away Free Minecraft Education Content

Microsoft is giving away free Minecraft Education content to help kids out of school and everyone else cope with their isolation due to COVID-19. 

The game's marketplace has a new Education collection that contains Minecraft tours of places such as the International Space Station or inside the human eye, as well as community creations exploring topics like Greek history.

The content is free and available through June 30.

[Source: Microsoft]

Posted on 24 March 2020 | 7:31 pm

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne's New Update Is Live, Alatreon Battle Coming In May

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A long adventure in a fantasy world sounds like a good distraction right now. If you haven't ventured into Monster Hunter World yet, or its massive Iceborne expansion, now is a good time to do so. Conversely, if you've already gone through all of the content, you may want to check out the new title update that hit PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today. The PC version gets the update on April 8.

The update introduces two monster variations: Furious Rajang and Raging Brachydios. Both of these battles are for high-level hunters. Furious Rajang is more powerful than its standard counterpart, can pin hunters, and also can fire off new medium and long-range attacks. The beast also doesn't have as many weak spots. Raging Brachydios is coated in dangerous slime and can trap hunters. Defeating these beasts produces materials that you can use to craft new Palico weapons, armors, and gear.

The update also introduces layered weapons. Capcom says the layered weapons "alter the appearance of weapons without impacting their stats." Players will find even more layered weapon designs arriving in April. Additionally, players have a chance to receive rare decorations through Carved Feystones when helping other hunters with Assignments, and regular quests offer King Armor Spheres as rewards. You can also kick unwanted monsters out of a region with something called the Banishing Ball. Sounds useful.

On April 9, PC and console players are invited to take on the Full Bloom Fest, which delivers a new Poogie costume, and all sorts of new seasonal Palico gear, pendants, decorations, meals, and more.

In May, the elder dragon Alatreon will be added as a foe you can take on. You can see him in action in the trailer above.

Posted on 23 March 2020 | 3:05 pm

PlayStation 5 Will Play "Almost All" Of The Top 100 PlayStation 4 Games At Launch [Update]

Update: In a recent clarification on the original PlayStation Blog post, Sony noted that the number of PS4 games expected to be supported through backward compatibility is much higher than PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny's initial comments made it appear.

"We believe that the overwhelming majority of the 4,000+ PS4 titles will be playable on PS5," the post says. "We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. We’re currently evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to spot any issues that need adjustment from the original software developers." 

Sony also notes that further updates on backward compatibility will be coming in the months ahead, along with more details about the PS5. 

Original Story (posted 3/18/20, 12:05pm): During today's "Road to PS5" presentation, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny ran through a lot of technical details regarding Sony's upcoming hardware. Though the event seemed geared more towards developers than consumers, it did clarify some information about one of the topics gamers are passionate about: backwards compatibility.

Cerny revealed that PS4 (and PS4 Pro) backwards compatibility is a native part of the PS5 chipset, and that it isn't a scenario like the PlayStation 3's backwards compatibility, which essentially just included a copy of the PS2 in every console until the feature was removed in later iterations. 

"Once backwards compatibility is in the console, it's in," Cerny says. "It's not as if a cost-down will remove backwards compatibility like it did on PlayStation 3."

However, that doesn't mean that every PS4 game will automatically work perfectly out of the gate. Cerny says that running PS4 titles at boosted frequencies can cause complications in certain games. "The boost is truly massive this time around, and some game code just can't handle it," he says. "Testing has to be done on a title-by-title basis."

So what PS4 games can you play on your PS5? Cerny says that "almost all" of the top 100 PS4 games (as ranked by play time) will be available at launch. Presumably, tests on individual games will continue beyond that to continue broadening the library.

By contrast, the Xbox Series X has an even more inclusive approach. Last month, head of Xbox Phil Spencer explained that all existing Xbox One games – including Xbox 360 games that are already backwards compatible on Xbox One – will work on the Xbox Series X.

All of these recent PS5 backwards compatibility details pertain specifically to PS4 Pro and PS4 titles; Cerny did not mention anything about whether PlayStation games from earlier generations will also work on PlayStation 5. 

Posted on 20 March 2020 | 9:15 pm

Report: Rosario Dawson Cast As Ahsoka Tano In The Mandalorian's Second Season

The Clone Wars is back and so is Jedi Ahsoka Tano. As fans celebrate her return in this beloved animated series, they may have an even bigger moment to look forward to this year. According to Slashfilm, Tano will also appear in The Mandalorian's second season, which is slated to air on Disney+ this October.

Since this is a live-action show, Tano will be brought to life by actress Rosario Dawson from Rent, Daredevil, and Eagle Eye fame. Dawson has long played along with fans requesting she be cast as Tano in a show. Now it appears to be happening. Tano was first brought to life in the animated series by actress Ashley Eckstein.

Tell ‘em! #AhsokaLives https://t.co/n4ddfqiTl2

— Rosario Dawson (@rosariodawson) January 12, 2020

Posted on 20 March 2020 | 5:21 pm

Resident Evil 3 Brings Back The Knife Run

Knife-only runs have been a staple of Capcom’s community since the original Resident Evil on PlayStation. During these playthroughs, fans challenge themselves to complete various Resident Evil games using only the knife as their offensive weapon – no guns allowed.

A successful knife run is challenging and requires an intimate knowledge of the Resident Evil game being attempted. Unfortunately, knife runs were basically impossible in the remake of Resident Evil 2 because knives in that game would break. This was because knives were used as a defensive weapon that would prevent zombies from biting you. Some would argue that this made knives more valuable, but it had the unfortunate consequence of killing the knife run. 

“We kept the knife inexhaustible [in Resident Evil 3], so you can use it forever,” says producer Peter Fabiano. “We're dealing with survival horror and everything is exhaustible. You run out of bullets. You run out of herbs. You run out of all the items you can use. So if you did run out of everything, what would you have? The knife. The director always wanted to make it so that you at least have your trusty knife. That’s always something you can rely on.”

Capcom went on to clarify that they are aware that hardcore fans like challenging themselves to knife-only runs, and that it has tested knife-only playthroughs in the office. The studio says that it's not easy, but some members on the team have completed the remake of Resident Evil 3 with only a knife.

Personally, I stick with the shotgun.

For more on the remake of Resident Evil 3 be sure to read our preview impressions from last month or watch our New Gameplay Today video preview

Posted on 20 March 2020 | 4:00 pm

Prime 1 Studio Is Releasing A $2,400 Doom Eternal Statue

Standing in at 43 inches in height, Prime 1 Studio's Doom Slayer statue will likely jump out in any room you put it in. This statue is a part of Prime 1's Museum Masterline collection. If $2,399 is too steep of a price for you, Prime 1 is offering two additional versions with less bells and whistles.

The standard version is $1,799, features an LED light-up helmet, and base. The deluxe version is $1,999 and comes with the same things, along with two interchangeable right arms: one holding the Crucible, and another with either the Super Shotgun or Plasma Rifle. The ultimate edition comes with everything from the deluxe edition, along with another interchangeable right arm that can hold the BFG 9000, heavy cannon, or chainsaw.

The base reflects the end of a battle, with various skulls and the remains of a Pinky at the Slayer's feet. Preorders are open now, but the statue won't ship June 2021 at the earliest. You can see more images below.

Posted on 20 March 2020 | 3:02 pm

Trainers Can Now Take On Pokémon Go's Paid Genesect Research Challenge

Niantic has made changes to Pokémon Go to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic – including numerous ways to keep people from gathering in one location – and the latest paid challenge reflects this. I'm beginning my quest and I'm having no problem working through the goals from my home.

If players purchase the $7.99 ticket for the Special Research Task "A Drive to Investigate," they'll have between now and March 23 at 10 p.m. local time to finish it. Unlike previous tasks, this one is streamlined to feats you can handle from home, including catching element-based Pokémon, playing with your buddy, and battling other trainers (which you can do through the Battle league). To catch the elemental Pokémon, I recommend using incense to create more spawns. A huge supply of incense can be purchased in the store right now for just one gold, and they each last for an hour (opposed to the usual 30 minutes).

You'll only need to complete four of the five tasks to reach the Genesect encounter, although the fifth task gives you 10 extra Genesect candies. Good luck with the quest, trainers, and have fun!

Posted on 20 March 2020 | 2:58 pm

Disaster Report 4 Demo Is Now On PlayStation 4 And Switch

Given what's going on in the world right now, inviting players into a different disaster scenario may not seem like the best idea, but the Disaster Report series has always been about people helping each other out, and we could use a lot of that right now. You can get a taste of what's to come in Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories through a playable demo that just released on PlayStation 4 and Switch.

Disaster Report 4 begins with a catastrophic earthquake striking Tokyo. As you work your way to safety, you will meet other people along the way and will have to make choices as to how you interact with them. You can see some of those interactions in the trailer below. Publisher NIS America hopes to have the full game in your hands on April 7 for PC, Switch, and PlayStation 4.

Click here to watch embedded media


Posted on 20 March 2020 | 12:16 am

The Messenger Developer Sabotage Announces Turn-Based RPG Sea Of Stars

Sabotage, the studio behind 2018 indie darling The Messenger, has announced a Kickstarter campaign for its new project. Sea of Stars is a beautiful turn-based RPG that serves as a prequel to the Ninja Gaiden-inspired The Messenger. However, rather than exploring the origins of certain characters, this prequel looks to expand and enrich the world introduced in The Messenger.

Just as The Messenger drew inspiration from Ninja Gaiden and the classic Metroidvania formula, Sea of Stars borrows heavily from classic RPGs like Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire, and Illusion of Gaia. While this may seem like a jarring leap between such distinct genres, Sabotage says this was the plan going in. "We've been wanting to make an RPG all along, but it just was too ambitious as a first project and too risky to arrive with no name for ourselves and propose such a big project," says CEO and creative director Thierry Boulanger. "We wanted to start building interest about this world. We're slowly telling the important story arcs of that world, one game at a time. The game genre that we use is always the best way to tell whichever story that we're telling. For The Messenger, it was a platformer because it was just one character and a more linear, straightforward mission; now it's all about exploration, a party of six people, and higher stakes, so the RPG is kind of indicated there."

Sea of Stars takes the world of The Messenger, which was flooded to the point there was only one island remaining, and lowers the tide as we travel back hundreds of thousands of years to a time where you could hop from island to island and explore the various communities that existed on them. In the video presentation I saw, I witnessed a vibrant colony of humanoid seahorses, a group of gorillas hidden deep in a dark cavern, and a cult of lizard assassins working to resurrect their evil goddess. All the while, the threat of a flesh monster who can manipulate bone, blood, and flesh to create abominations to do his bidding looms. 

To fight off the flesh monster's creations, the world looks to Children of the Solstice, guardians who were born on either the summer or winter solstice and acquire the power of the sun or moon. At the beginning of the adventure, you choose to play as either Valere, a girl imbued with the power of the moon and carries a heavy-hitting staff, or Zale, a boy harnessing the power of the sun who uses his agility to blade dance. Regardless of the character you choose, the story remains largely unchanged, and the other protagonist remains in your party and plays a crucial role in combat, solving puzzles, and traversing the world.

During the presentation, I see how two characters play off each other in exploration. As the two protagonists come to a head-shaped stone formation with a moon symbol in the top, the two characters manipulate the time of day into night, illuminate the symbol, and open the door to reveal an enemy scorpion monster to fight.

Battles play out in typical turn-based fashion, but they are far from passive affairs relying solely on random-number generators. By timing your inputs in conjunction with when your attack animation occurs, you can inflict more damage to your target. Conversely, if you time your defensive input with your assailant's animation, you can mitigate the damage done to you. In addition, when you cast a spell, it sometimes requires certain inputs to maximize the spell's effectiveness. For example, in one battle I saw, Zale casts a Sunball attack, but before he blasts the fireball at the enemy, the UI prompts the player to mash a given button as much as possible within a given window.

Click here to watch embedded media

When an enemy goes to cast a spell, it broadcasts a series of attacks you can perform to neutralize the incoming spell. In a different battle, the soon-to-be-casting enemy displays two moon symbols, a sun symbol, and a sword symbol over its head. This means that for every attack that matches those symbols, the spell will be weaker. Sabotage hopes all of these, when combined with the standard elemental weaknesses and interchangeable battle party, delivers a turn-based system that elevates beyond what other titles in the space have done.

One pain point for a lot of RPG players is the grinding requirements present in a lot of traditional titles. Sabotage wanted to ease that pain by making it more about your battle plan and skill in executing your moves than how much time and repetition you put into the battles leading up to that. "Grinding, at least in my opinion, can be tedious," Boulanger says. "You still have progression; through combat, you still upgrade your character, but you're always moving the story forward. The game is shorter, but you end up playing it more because you have no friction in replaying it because it's never a task. It's constantly moving forward. For us, grinding is probably so you spend more time in the game, but you'll spend even more time in the game if you want to play it two or three times."

While I didn't get my hands on Sea of Stars, the gameplay footage shown to me was gorgeous and engaging. The battle system looks to experiment in interesting ways without alienating turn-based combat fans such as myself. When combined with meaningful exploration and a beautiful world full of mystery, I'm looking forward to learning more about Sabotage's next title.

Sabotage launches its Sea of Stars Kickstarter campaign today. If you'd like to contribute to it or learn more about the project, head here. The title is still early in development, so players should expect to wait until 2022 before being able to add the game to their PC or consoles.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

 

                                                                                                           

Posted on 19 March 2020 | 4:00 pm

Comparing The Technical Specs Of PlayStation 5 And Xbox Series X

During today's "Road to PS5" livestream, PlayStation's Mark Cerny delivered a talk getting into the details of the PlayStation 5's specs and architecture. Earlier this month, Xbox released the technical specs for the upcoming Series X.

Check out how the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X stand shoulder to shoulder based on what we know so far.

  PlayStation 5 Xbox Series X
CPU 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHZ 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz
GPU Architecture Custom RDNA 2 Custom RDNA 2
Memory/Interface 16GB GDDR6/256-bit 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
Memory Bandwidth 448GB/s 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage Custom 825GB SSD 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
IO Throughput 5.5 GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed) 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
Expandable Storage NVMe SSD Slot 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External Storage USB HDD Support USB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

Both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are set to release during the holiday season. We'll have more information as it comes.

Posted on 18 March 2020 | 7:19 pm

PlayStation 5 Tech Specs Revealed

Tech investigators Digital Foundry have gotten an advanced look at Sony's PlayStation 5 presentation by Mark Cerny that is happening now, and have posted the specs for the holiday console.

Here they are straight from Digital Foundry:

CPU
8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)

GPU
10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHZ (variable frequency)

GPU Architecture
Custom RDNA 2

Memory/Interface
16GB GDDR6/256-bit

Memory Bandwidth
448GB/s

Internal Storage
Custom 825GB SSD

IO Throughput
5.5 GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)

Expandable Storage
NVMe SSD Slot

External Storage
USB HDD Support

Optical Drive
4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

On the face of it, the PlayStation 5 is contrasted with Microsoft's Xbox Series X (which also recently revealed its specs) in some areas, such as the GPU of the Series X boasting 12 TFLOPS of performance. Cerny's presentation and Digital Foundry's analysis goes more in-depth on the PS5, its architecture, and how its used, beyond the numbers.

We'll surely learn more about the PlayStation 5's specs and how it all comes together from the presentation and in the future before launch.

[Source: Digital Foundry]

Posted on 18 March 2020 | 4:42 pm

PSA: Trials Of Mana Demo Now Available

If you're curious about the upcoming 3D remake of Trials of Mana, you can get your first big taste of it today. A playable demo is now available on Switch, PS4, and PC ahead of the game's April 24th release. 

Your progress in the demo will carry over to the full game when it releases. The colorful remake has more than just modern graphics, expect voice acting, tweaks to combat, and the addition of a jump button.

For more on Trials of Mana, we played the game a few months back at TGS and came away optimistic.

Posted on 18 March 2020 | 3:28 pm

Update: Echo Is Coming To Overwatch

Click to watch embedded media

Update 2: Blizzard has officially announced Echo as a playable hero. You can watch her origin story above. Blizzard calls her an "evolutionary robot programmed with a rapidly adapting artificial intelligence, Echo represents the cutting edge of technology." Odds are she arrives in the game on March 23.

Update:
The official Overwatch Twitter channel has released another tease that will almost certainly end up being Echo as a playable hero. The new image of an Omnic has the name "Echo" on it along with the date March 23, which is likely her release date. You can see it below:

> Accessing…

> File decryption: Complete

> Displaying image pic.twitter.com/pSZUJV9q7W

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 18, 2020

Original Story:
As people quarantine themselves during the pandemic, video games, movies, and TV are proving to be a great way to pass the time. For me, Overwatch is always a good game to turn to. The game is currently in the middle of its Archives event, which brings back co-op and delivers new skins, but something bigger may be coming soon. The official Overwatch Twitter account is teasing what appears to be a new hero. Cryptic as always, these teases appear to be pointing to long-known character Echo as the new hero, but we won't know for certain until Blizzard fully pulls back the curtain.

Echo is an Omnic that we know eventually joins Overwatch. She was featured prominently at the end of the Reunion animated short, and will almost assuredly be a hero at some point, but Blizzard has taken its time in rolling her out, and hasn't wanted to talk much about her, either. The teases come in two forms: A short audio message, which you can listen to below, and this document:

Doctor Liao appears to be talking about an Omnic she created for purposes of good, and that sure sounds like it is Echo. The date on the document implies whoever this hero is will hit at some point in March. Here's hoping we find out in the coming days and not the end of the month. Who do you think Blizzard is teasing? Leave your best guesses in the comments section below.

> Accessing…

> File status: Corrupted.

> Playback initiated. pic.twitter.com/lGl26qvhxt

— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) March 17, 2020

Posted on 18 March 2020 | 3:04 pm

Dead By Daylight Hits iOS And Android This April

Dead by Daylight, the popular 4v1 multiplayer horror title, is set to hit iOS and Android next month. Dead By Daylight Mobile is a free-to-play title that delivers an experience tailored to smartphones based on the popular PC and console title from Behaviour Interactive. 

In this 4v1 game, players take on the role of either one of four ill-fated "survivors" or a lone-wolf killer. Those who are taking on the odds can choose from several iconic horror-movie killers including Michael Myers from Halloween, Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, a Demogorgon from Stranger Things, and more. 

Dead by Daylight Mobile launches on the App Store and Google Play on April 16. Android players can pre-register by heading here, while iOS players can pre-register by visiting this link. Those who pre-register receive bonuses ranging from in-game Iridescent Shards to cosmetic clothing for their characters.

Posted on 18 March 2020 | 3:00 pm

Play Assassin's Creed Odyssey For Free This Weekend

Click to watch embedded media

For those of you who aren't going anywhere this weekend, Ubisoft has a great game for you to check out this weekend. Running from March 19 through March 22, you'll be able to download and play Assassin's Creed Odyssey for free on your Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. If you buy the game after the free period, all progress made during it carries over.

All players who login this weekend will get Ezio's Roman armor set for free. This armor is available to people who are downloading Odyssey for the first time, as well as longtime players who are returning to the game. The armor is unlocked through Ubisoft Club, and includes the Milanese Sword.

If you are playing on PlayStation 4, you won't be able to earn Trophies during the free period, and should you purchase the game afterword, if you want them, you'll have to replay those sections of the game that the trophies are associated with. Due to what Ubisoft calls "technical mumbo jumbo," Epic Game Store players will have to re-download the entire game if they upgrade to the full version.

For more details on all versions, check out Ubisoft's official Assassin's Creed website.

Posted on 18 March 2020 | 1:35 pm

The Resident Evil 3 Digital Issue Is Now Live

If you have a digital subscription to Game Informer, you can now read our huge cover story on Resident Evil 3! Following today's cover reveal, our digital issue is now live to subscribers on web browsersiPad/iPhone, and Android devices. Individual issues will be available for purchase later today. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

The issue launches later this week on our third-party subscription apps including Kindle and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your existing print subscription here or start a new subscription here.

Posted on 17 March 2020 | 5:38 pm

PlayStation 5 Tech Details Coming Tomorrow

Sony has announced it is revealing more PlayStation 5 details tomorrow (9 a.m. Pacific) via a "deep dive" presentation by system architect Mark Cerny.

The livestream will be hosted on the company's official blog, and it will go over the console's architecture and how it will apparently "shape the future of games."

Sony's presentation comes shortly after Microsoft recently revealed the specs for the Xbox Series X.

Tomorrow at 9am Pacific Time, PS5 lead system architect Mark Cerny will provide a deep dive into PS5’s system architecture, and how it will shape the future of games.

Watch tomorrow at PlayStation Blog: https://t.co/bgP1rXMeC8 pic.twitter.com/BSYX9tOYhE

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) March 17, 2020

[Source: Sony]

Posted on 17 March 2020 | 2:14 pm

Resident Evil 3 Demo Coming Soon

Click here to watch embedded media

Capcom has announced two separate chances for you to get your hands on Resident Evil 3 before it comes out on April 3 (PS4, Xbox One, and PC).

The game's demo – featuring Jill Valentine, Carlos Oliveira, and a terrifying Nemesis – is out this Thursday, March 19 (12 a.m. Eastern on Xbox One and 1 p.m. Eastern on PS4/PC).

The demo also includes an exclusive, post-completion cinematic trailer, as well as an interesting side challenge: Twenty Mr. Charlie statues are strewn throughout the demo for you to find (with an onscreen counter that keeps track of your tally). There's no word on what will be your reward if you get them all.

Resident Evil 3 includes the Resident Evil Resistance multiplayer online component, where a single player-controlled mastermind tries to wipe out four players in a certain amount of time by unleashing bioweapons and setting traps.

Capcom is starting an open beta for Resistance, starting on March 27 (3 a.m. Eastern on PS4/Xbox One and 1 p.m. Eastern on PC) that runs until the game launches on April 3. Participants can play as Daniel Fabron, one of the four masterminds in the mode, and one of four of the final game's six survivors.

For more on the game, check out our hands-on impressions in this episode of New Gameplay Today.

Posted on 16 March 2020 | 2:48 pm

Microsoft Reveals The Power Of Xbox Series X

Today on Xbox Wire, Microsoft revealed the full specs for Xbox Series X, and let Digital Foundry and Austin Evans take this powerful hardware for a test drive. The hardware used for these hands-on sessions isn't the final model that will ship to retail, but Microsoft is clearly comfortable enough at this point to say this is what the Series X will be.

The tests highlight the power of Series X, which Digital Foundry points out is "capable of running four Xbox One S game sessions simultaneously on the same chip." In the video below you can see just how much faster Series X can load games.

Click here to watch embedded media


We're still going to get some load times, sadly, but they are dramatically reduced on Series X.

Xbox Wire's Editor-in-Chief Will Tuttle also broke down how Quick Resume works. "Since game states will be stored directly in the system’s SSD, they’ll even persist after you turn off the console, unplug it entirely, or even take a system update," he wrote. "One of the testers on the team unplugged his console for a week, then took an update, and was still able to continue right where he left off without so much as a loading screen." You can also see this feature in play in the video below:

Click here to watch embedded media


And Microsoft continues to bang the drum of ray tracing as a key next-generation feature. The hands on sessions delivered impressive ray tracing results, showing how they produce more realistic environments and sound, which will even benefit the back catalogue of games if developers update their games.

Below is the full rundown of specs for Xbox Series X:

CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.66 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
Die Size: 360.45 mm2
Process: 7nm Enhanced
Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320mb bus
Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
Internal Storage: 1 TB Custom NVME SSD
I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s (Compressed, with custom hardware decompression block)
Expandable Storage: 1 TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
Optical Drive: 4K UHD Blu-Ray Drive
Performance Target: 4K @ 60 FPS, Up to 120 FPS

Posted on 16 March 2020 | 1:55 pm

Pokémon Go Makes Changes For The Coronavirus Pandemic

Pokémon Go is one of the most popular social gaming experiences out there, but it now needs to scale back the social interactions as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. Last night, developer Niantic issued a statement that addresses the outbreak, and what players can expect from Pokémon Go. The message states that "the safety of our global player community is our top priority. COVID-19 is challenging us and the world to adjust. We’re putting our focus on expanding features and experiences in our games that can be enjoyed in an individual setting and that also encourage exploration!"

Niantic isn't turning off raids or other aspects of the game, but is giving trainers the ability to do more on their own. First up, trainers should go into the Pokémon Go store where they'll find a new incense gift that only costs one gold. This 99 percent discount gives players 30 incense items. When one is put into use, the time it lasts is doubled from 30 minutes to an hour. Incense ups the number of Pokémon players will be able to catch in an area, even if they are out in the middle of nowhere where nothing ever spawns.

All normal Pokémon habitats will generate more spawns, another move that limits the trainer's need to move around.

Next up, you'll still need to walk around with incubators to hatch eggs, but the distance you need to travel to accomplish this feat has been cut in half. A 10k egg only needs to be walked 5.

While you'll need to be near PokéStops to spin them, Niantic is upping the number of gifts that are handed out, meaning you'll be able to send friends much-needed items long distance, and they'll hopefully return the favor.

Lastly, the planned community day for March 15 that would give players a chance to catch a shiny Abra has been postponed indefinitely. Again, Niantic isn't removing any elements from the game. The company announced that Cobalion and Lugia are returning to raids starting March 17, and also will add Genesect to a special Research task starting on March 20. As trainers take on these challenges, be mindful of the safety of others and yourself.

Posted on 13 March 2020 | 2:43 pm

Overwatch's Archives Event Returns With New Skins

Like clockwork, Overwatch is back with another Archives event, but this one is a little different. Although players will be entering the same Archives Brawls from previous years, extreme modifiers to both the enemies and players should make them play out differently.

In the first week of the event, which kicks off now, two Uprising missions are unlocked. In one, the enemies you square off against will drop lava on death. In the other mission, you have 50 percent of your normal health, yet you deal more damage.

In the second week, players can take on two Retribution missions. The enemies in the first can only be damaged if you land a critical hit. In the second mission, enemies only sustain damage if you are near them.

The final week of Archives brings two Storm Rising missions. The first must be played without support heroes. Don't worry, you can heal yourself by dealing damage. In the second mission, some enemies are enraged. If you kill them, you spread the rage.

All of your wins during this period will help you unlock three legendary skins. For week one, nine wins gets you an epic Holi Symmetra skin. Week two is an epic Rustclad Torbjorn. And week three delivers an epic Bear Mei.

If you have the gold or are lucky in loot crates, you can purchase or unearth five new legendary skins, along with additional icons, emotes, and sprays. You'll have until April 2 to snatch them up. You can see some of skins and sprays below:

Posted on 12 March 2020 | 6:00 pm

Lego Super Mario Adds Real-World Platforming To The Construction Toy

Click here to watch embedded media

Nintendo and Lego announced some kind of partnership a few days ago, and a newly revealed video sheds some light on just what we can expect from Lego Super Mario. Suffice it to say, it's a little more ambitious than minifigs.

As you can see in the teaser video, the centerpiece of the collaboration is a large Mario build. Players can switch it on, and his eyes and other elements will come to life through animations that appear on several screens. Players can then have the figure interact with a variety of Mario-inspired playsets to earn virtual coins (complete with sound effects), avoid hazards, and perform other actions. Judging from the clip, it looks to have board-game-like elements. 

The sets are due out this year, but details such as pricing and exact release dates are still unannounced.

Posted on 12 March 2020 | 6:25 am

Update: E3 2020 Officially Canceled

Update:

The ESA has officially canceled E3, and is currently looking at putting together an online version of the show in June.

Here is the organization's official statement:

After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry – our fans, our employees, our exhibitors and our longtime E3 partners – we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020, scheduled for June 9-11 in Los Angeles.

Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We are very disappointed that we are unable to hold this event for our fans and supporters.  But we know it’s the right decision based on the information we have today.

Our team will be reaching out directly to exhibitors and attendees with information about providing full refunds.

We are also exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020. Updates will be shared on E3expo.com.

We thank everyone who shared their views on reimagining E3 this year.  We look forward to bringing you E3 2021 as a reimagined event that brings fans, media and the industry together in a showcase that celebrates the global video game industry.

Original Story:

Ars Technica is reporting through multiple sources that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will cancel this year's E3 trade show in Los Angeles.

The website was informed last night, and shortly after Ars was tipped off publisher Devolver tweeted: "Cancel your E3 Flights and hotels, y'all."

Later, Bloomberg ran a story that included that the official cancelation announcement from the ESA will happen today, March 11, at 9:30 a.m. Pacific according to "a person familiar with the matter."

Bloomberg is further reporting that the ESA has sent a private memo to partners that says it is considering holding E3 as an online event this summer.

If E3 is indeed canceled, it would be the latest domino to fall in a chain of events created by the coronavirus that has caused game delays, companies sending workers home, and the postponement of GDC from this month, among other disruptions.

[Source: Ars Technica, Bloomberg, Devolver Digital]

Posted on 11 March 2020 | 4:05 pm

State Of Decay 2: Juggernaut Edition Hits This Friday, Delivers New Map And Improved Graphics

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State of Decay 2 released on May 22, 2018 for Xbox One and PC, and was in rough shape when it hit. Game Informer's Jeff Cork gave State of Decay 2 a rating of 6.5 out of 10 and said that it has "a lot to love, but is overwhelmed by legacy issues and a slew of all-new ones that came along for the co-op ride." The game slowly improved through the various DLC offerings, and is now getting a second chance at life through the massive Juggernaut Edition, which is essentially a complete relaunch of State of Decay 2. It's free for people who already own the game.

Juggernaut Edition includes all of the previously released DLC (the Independence Pack, Daybreak, and Heartland), and also offers an all-new map called Providence Ridge, which is described by developer Undead Labs as a "rugged logging town." Providence Ridge features five bases, environmental storytelling, and a Sasquatch named Shaggy Jack. Players who are returning to State of Decay 2 will run into a different tutorial a revised user interface, and improved controls (which assign dodge and stealth to different buttons). Heavy weapons are being added to melee combat. There are 10 different kinds of these slow, but powerful tools, including a double-bit axe, "big ol' shovel," and a sledgehammer.

Click here to watch embedded media

On the gameplay front, all Plague Heart locations are shown to players early on. The safe zone around bases is larger, and the prestige limit has increased dramatically from 9,999 to 99,999. Bug fixes and mission tweaks are said to be in great abundance in this update.

Undead Labs also overhauled the visuals and audio. You'll hear new tracks and effects as you roam the wasteland, and also see more foliage and dramatically different lighting (as you can see in the video above).

You can learn more about Juggernaut Edition by reading State of Decay 2's official patch notes.

Posted on 11 March 2020 | 3:09 pm

Horizon Zero Dawn Coming To PC This Summer

PlayStation's head of Worldwide Studios Hermen Hulst today announced via PlayStation Blog that one of the most beloved exclusive titles of the PS4, Horizon Zero Dawn, is coming to PC this summer. Not much more information is available at this time, but Hulst, the former managing director of Horizon Zero Dawn developer Guerrilla Games, tells PlayStation Blog that the new studio directors at Guerrilla will have more details soon.

While bringing first-party titles to PC has become the rule rather than the exception for competitor Xbox, Hulst says this will remain on a case-by-case basis for PlayStation's first-party titles. "[Releasing] one first-party AAA title to PC doesn’t necessarily mean that every game now will come to PC," he says. "In my mind, Horizon Zero Dawn was just a great fit in this particular instance. We don’t have plans for day and date [PC releases], and we remain 100% committed to dedicated hardware."

Horizon Zero Dawn released in 2017 in close proximity to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Persona 5, and several months before Super Mario Odyssey. Even launching in a year with so many beloved titles, Horizon Zero Dawn was a legitimate Game of the Year contender thanks to its excellent world design, unique encounters, and terrific quests. You can read our review here.

We don't know exactly when Horizon Zero Dawn will hit PC, but Sony says fans should expect it this summer.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

Posted on 10 March 2020 | 3:52 pm

GI Update: Publisher Cathy Preston Retires

Our long-time publisher, friend, and Game Informer family member Cathy Preston has retired. Her impact on Game Informer can’t be measured. During her 20-year tenure as publisher, our subscriber base grew from hundreds of thousands to over eight million at its height. She believed in me, and believed in every member of our staff. I don’t know where we’d be today without her support of our best (and even our worst) ideas.

Not only was she a great leader, Cathy inspired the culture here at Game Informer as well. Sure, she made decisions that were good for the business, but it was important to her that these decisions were also good for the employees. She cared about us, and respected the balance between our professional responsibilities and personal lives. Her dedication to this vision created a place to work unlike any other.

Yes, Cathy was my boss, but I can’t thank her enough for being my friend. It has been an honor working with her, so from the team here at Game Informer: The scope of our gratitude is impossible to put into words.

Cathy’s retirement comes as we restructure the business unit here at Game Informer. Unfortunately, that means we are also saying goodbye to six other great people who were a part of what makes this place so special and were integral to Game Informer's success story.

At the core of this sad news is the fact that Game Informer will always be family. And we wouldn’t have that experience without the support of our community and our friends in the game industry. So, thank you. And I hope you will join me in thanking Cathy – the magazine wouldn’t be what it is today without her.

Thanks as always for reading.

Andy

Posted on 10 March 2020 | 2:00 pm

Nintendo & Lego Are Building A Lego Super Mario Partnership

Nintendo and Lego are partnering for something Super Mario Related, but the pair have yet to reveal exactly what it might be.

“It’s-a me, LEGO Mario!”
Stay tuned… #LEGO #LEGOSuperMario #Nintendo pic.twitter.com/kSoboRFX2q

— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) March 10, 2020

Nintendo has had a deal with Lego competitor K'Nex, so today's announcement could represent a big shift in the toy-block landscape.

No specific products have been revealed just yet, but we're certainly excited for whatever potential sets come our way.

[Source: Nintendo, Lego]

Posted on 10 March 2020 | 1:54 pm

2K Making NFL Games Again

2K's last officially licensed NFL football video game – ESPN NFL 2K5 – came out in 2004, and since that time fans have clamored for a deal that would bring the league and the publisher back together.

Today 2K has announced that it is indeed renewing its partnership with the NFL through a multi-year deal, although in a slightly different form than back in the glory days of the NFL 2K brand.

2K is planning multiple "non-simulation football game experiences," according to the official press release, which are already early in development and scheduled to release in 2021.

No word on which platforms these titles will appear on or whether NFL 2K series developer Visual Concepts will be back at the helm in any capacity.

"We’re thrilled to be back in business with the NFL in a partnership that will span multiple video games centered on fun, approachable, and social experiences," said David Ismailer, president of 2K.

Although the deal's "non-simulation" stipulation seemingly all but rules out 2K once again challenging Electronic Arts' Madden NFL franchise, it's possible the new deal could pave the way for an NFL Blitz-style, over-the-top take on the sport. In a similar vein, in 2018 2K published the NBA Jam-inspired NBA Playgrounds 2 by Saber Interactive.

Posted on 10 March 2020 | 12:00 pm

Reggie Fils-Aimé Joins GameStop Board of Directors

GameStop today announced plans to add three new independent directors to its board, who join amid GameStop’s public discussions of ongoing changes to its business strategy.

The new additions include William Simon, who previously served as president and CEO of Walmart U.S., and James Symancyk, who has served as president and CEO of PetSmart. For the gaming audience, however, the most familiar addition to GameStop’s board is undoubtedly Reggie Fils-Aimé, who is best known within the gaming community as the former president and COO of Nintendo of America. Fils-Aimé first became a public figure for many rank-and-file gamers during the years in which he took a starring role in Nintendo’s marketing efforts, including years of Nintendo’s E3 media presentations.

Symancyk and Simon will join the board immediately, and Fils-Aimé will join on April 20. The announcement comes as several other members of GameStop’s board prepare to retire from involvement, including longtime member Dan DeMatteo.

GameStop also announced new plans for the organization of its board in the coming years, with a particular focus on continual refreshment of its members, the further details of which are highlighted in a release from the company.

Disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer

Posted on 9 March 2020 | 10:30 pm

Everything We Know About Call Of Duty Warzone, A New Free-To-Play Battle Royale

Last year, Respawn Entertainment's Apex Legends was announced and immediately released. Activision is following suit this year with the surprise announcement and release of Call of Duty: Warzone, a new free-to-play battle royale game that delivers massive 150-player battles. Call of Duty: Warzone launches tomorrow at 8 a.m. PDT on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The Modes
Players can jump into two different avenues of play: Battle Royale, which unfolds exactly as you would expect with a gas cloud slowly grouping everyone together until only one team is left standing, and Plunder, a new style of play that pushes teams to collect as much cash as they can before the match ends. To earn money in Plunder, you can sneak off on your own and loot to your heart's content, complete in-match contracts, and hunt down other players and steal the hauls they've gathered.

The Map
Players drop into Verdansk, a thriving city turned battlefield that Activision says has over 300 points of interest. These locations include Gora Dam and Gorengard Lumberyard. Verdansk is a sprawling coastal city that just happens to be set at the foot of a giant mountain. Sections of the map offer long sight lines, and other areas push players to use close-quarters tactics to dart in and out of buildings.

Vehicles
Much like Blackout, Call of Duty's first foray in battle royale, players don't have to run across the map on foot. Vehicles are scattered everywhere. In Warzone, players can hop onto an ATV to dart across dangerous areas. If you want your entire crew to ride together, the tactical rover and SUV both seat four players, but are not ideal for rough terrain. If you fear a team is wielding rocket launchers, your entire team can ride in the cargo truck, but the heavy armor it provides comes at the expense of speed. And if you want everyone on the map to know where you are, the helicopter is once again available.

Game Informer is streaming Call of Duty Warzone for several hours tomorrow right as it launches. Come join us for a day of fun, and hopefully plenty of victories!

Posted on 9 March 2020 | 7:27 pm

Call Of Duty Free-To-Play Battle Royale Releases Tomorrow

Click here to watch embedded media

Update:

Activision has confirmed Warzone and announced that it's coming out tomorrow. Details below such as the 150 player count, Plunder mode, and that you don't have to own the full game are correct.

Warzone goes live on March 10, 8 AM (PDT) for existing Modern Warfare owners, and later at 12 PM (PDT) for everyone.

The company's official blog has more details about Warzone, including its city location – Verdansk, the vehicles involved, Contract objectives, progression, and more.

Also stay tuned for our livestream of the mode tomorrow.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

 

                                                                                                            

Original Story:

It looks like we're a step closer to the release of the long-rumored Call of Duty battle royale mode, Warzone. YouTuber Chaos posted a gameplay video of the mode, which has since been taken down.

The video contained several details, however, including that it's free-to-play, supports up to 150 players (with solo, duo, and trio squads), you don't need to own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to participate, and it features cross-platform play among the PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Warzone uses classic COD maps such as Terminal, Broadcast, Scrapyard, and Overgrown, and features two modes. One is a traditional battle royale, the other is called Plunder. This one is respawn-based and includes collecting cash and spending it for killstreaks and revive tokens.

Activision has yet to officially announce Warzone or its release date. However, given that Chaos says he played it at a pre-release event, perhaps it could be out in the wild soon.

[Source: Chaos via Polygon, IGN]

Posted on 9 March 2020 | 5:22 pm

See How Spawn Fits Into Mortal Kombat 11 In Brutal New Gameplay Trailer

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Todd McFarlane's Spawn is coming to Mortal Kombat 11 starting next week, bringing his arsenal of chains, guns, and battle axes to the ring. A new gameplay trailer shows how the character, voiced by Keith David, fares against a fellow chain-wielder, Scorpion.

Spawn's appearance marks the end of the game's Kombat Pack DLC bundle, which also includes The Joker, Sindel, the Terminator T-800, Nightwolf, and Shang Tsung. If you have the pack, Spawn will be available for download starting March 17, and he'll be accessible as an individual download on March 24.

If you like the way Spawn looks in the trailer, McFarlane Toys is releasing a figure based on his Mortal Kombat appearance starting today.  

This isn't the first time Spawn has flexed his powers in a video game. Back in 2003, he was an Xbox-exclusive character for Soulcalibur II. If you want to get a nice reminder of how far games have come visually over the past few decades, it's worth pulling up a clip of his cameo on YouTube for a little comparison.

Posted on 9 March 2020 | 2:31 pm