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Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Apologizes For 'Tone Deaf' Statement, Read Full Letter Here

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has issued a letter to his employees following the news that a walkout is planned for tomorrow. The walkout is the latest step employees are taking to improve work conditions following details of a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard from the state of California over reported gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace going public. 

Game Informer has obtained a copy of the letter from Kotick to the company as a whole, stating that it has "been a difficult and upsetting week." The letter goes on to denounce the initial Activision Blizzard response, agreeing with the community that the messaging was "tone deaf" and that it is "imperative" that the teams come together and "acknowledge all perspectives and experiences and respect the feelings of those who have been mistreated in any way." He added, "I'm sorry that we did not provide the right empathy and understanding."

The letter continues, saying:

Many of you have told us that active outreach comes from caring so deeply for the Company. That so many people have reached out and shared thoughts, suggestions, and highlighted opportunities for improvement is a powerful reflection of how you care for our communities of colleagues and players – and for each other. Ensuring that we have a safe and welcoming work environment is my highest priority. The leadership team has heard you loud and clear. We are taking swift action to be the compassionate, caring company you came to work for and to ensure a safe environment. There is no place anywhere at our Company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind. We will do everything possible to make sure that together, we improve and build the kind of inclusive workplace that is essential to foster creativity and inspiration.

Kotick also details an immediate plan of action, with the first mandate of enlisting the help of an external law firm called WilmerHale. WilmerHale will investigate current policies within the company to "ensure that we have and maintain the best practices to promote a healthy and inclusive workplace." Given the inflammatory and egregious nature of the allegations at hand, WilmerHale is likely to face an especially challenging task. 

The CEO also provides contact information for Stephanie Avakian, who is revealed to be most recently the Director of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement. This contact information is to be used by anyone that feels or has felt uncomfortable while working at Activision Blizzard in conjunction with the ongoing investigation. 

As for what's next ahead of the court proceedings going forward, Kotick has listed the below actionable items in response to the aforementioned lawsuit: 

  1. Employee Support. We will continue to investigate each and every claim and will not hesitate to take decisive action. To strengthen our capabilities in this area, we are adding additional senior staff and other resources to both the Compliance team and the Employee Relations team.
  2. Listening Sessions. We know many of you have inspired ideas on how to improve our culture. We will be creating safe spaces moderated by third parties for you to speak out and share areas for improvement.
  3. Personnel Changes. We are immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the Company. Anyone found to have impeded the integrity of our processes for evaluating claims and imposing appropriate consequences will be terminated.
  4. Hiring Practices. Earlier this year, I sent an email requiring all hiring managers to ensure they have diverse candidate slates for all open positions. We will be adding compliance resources to ensure that our hiring managers are, in fact, adhering to this directive.
  5. In-game Changes. We have heard the input from employee and player communities that some of our in-game content is inappropriate. We are removing that content.

The message ends with a message of support and a desire to offer a "welcoming, comfortable, and safe" work culture. To learn more about the harassment lawsuit, please refer to our previous coverage here

Posted on 28 July 2021 | 3:43 am

Netflix Dragon Age TV Series Rumored To Be In Development

Netflix has been holding nothing back in terms of taking up as much space in the gaming community as possible. Whether that be by actually offering games or just delivering surprising adaptations, the streaming company has been on a roll, and now it looks like it's rolling towards Thedas with a new rumor. That's right; apparently, there is a Dragon Age TV series in the works over at Netflix, at least if recent rumors are to be believed. 

In a new report from a "trusted source," Giant Freakin Robot has learned that a reported Dragon Age TV series is in the works. No details were offered at this time, but if I were to guess, I would say that it would be in an animated format if this is happening. The reason being is that a Dragon Age adaptation would be massive when retelling the tales of Thedas. That, and any BioWare-related adaptation has usually been animated. Even Dragon Age has had its previous spinoffs with Cassandra's origins story in Dawn of the Seeker. 

With no details and no confirmation from BioWare or Netflix, it's hard to speculate what this new series could be about, or even if it truly exists. That being said, we do know that Dragon Age 4 will continue the story that began without Wardens deep into the hearts of Tevinter, Nevarra, and the beautiful Antiva. We know that the recent comics have also been rooted deep within the land of blood mages and magisters with Tevinter, as well, so I would assume that anything branching away from that would take a new approach. Whether that be an adaptation of the games themselves or the incredible books and comics that spawned after is anyone's guess, but Thedas is huge, which means that there are a billion and one different ways a TV series could go. 

Regarding Dragon Age 4, we didn't get a new trailer during EA Play, but we did just recently get some fancy new concept art that features The Crows! If interested, check out our previous coverage here, where you can see my tinfoil hat in the shape of Zevran in action. 


It will be interesting to see where Netflix goes next with its gaming journey. What do you think about a possible Dragon Age TV series? Would you want an adaptation or a new Thedas adventure entirely? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! Unless the comment section is still showing disabled, then @ us at GameInformer over on Twitter with your thoughts and come back when we've got them back up and running! 

Posted on 28 July 2021 | 12:12 am

Best PC Games To Play On Steam Deck When It Releases

Valve announced its own handheld device just a few short days after Nintendo's reveal of the Switch OLED. Called the Steam Deck, Valve's contribution to handheld gaming is literally a small PC in the palm of your hands. If you have huge hands, this thing is not small. Shortly after this announcement, we shared which games you cannot play on the Deck at launch; though Valve is currently working on circumventing that restriction, we thought we should even things up slightly. So, here are the games I can't wait to play and that you should check out when the Steam Deck arrives! 

Baldur's Gate 3

Despite still being in Early Access, therefore incredibly restricted in terms of content, I can't stop rolling new characters and replaying what is available in Larian's Baldur's Gate 3 adventure. Since the fantasy journey launched in Early Access, the studio has made many changes to what players can expect. From new classes to more room to explore, each update brings this game ever closer to its full release. With a massive world to trudge through and tiny little caves that house untold dangers, taking this particular D&D saga on the go is more than a little perfect. Even more so with the campfire feature reminding me of another favorite RPG venture: Dragon Age Origins. 

Go ahead, romance that hot vampire, you know you want to. 

Death Stranding

When I first tried Death Stranding out on PlayStation, it was a game I wanted to like very much. My first degree is actually in philosophy - you can hear responsible adults laughing at me in the background if you listen closely - so Kojima's creative way of seeing the world has always appealed to my analytical mind. Because of that, this was a title I very much wanted to love and vested far more time into it than I'd like to admit. But I just couldn't feel that connection, though I enjoyed the overarching experience. Then it came out on PC, and I decided to try again. 

A little warmer, but no dice. 

I think for a game like this, in terms of my own personal enjoyment, playing outside of the box may be that secret little puzzle piece that unlocks the bigger picture. Death Stranding will be something I plan on diving deeply into once more to give it one more shot! And if the Steam Deck's freedom isn't enough to make it to the final stretch? That's OK too! I won't like every game, just like you won't, and that's alright. Still, can you imagine playing this on the go? Exciting! 

Fallout 3

You can almost hear the image above, can't you? Of the Fallout series, the third game is my favorite, depending on the time of day you ask me. Flipping between 3 and Obsidian's New Vegas, this is another RPG experience I can't wait to re-enjoy on the Steam Deck. 

Since it's an older title, especially on Bethesda's engine, this game doesn't have the best graphics to offer, which means the smaller screen won't be detrimental to the Vault-Tec experience. And it gives you the excuse to flaunt those Black Widow skills once more for some sweet, sweet loving. Ooh, la la.  

Portal 2

The Portal franchise is a gift wrapped up in perfection atop beauty. This physics-breaking adventure from Valve may not ever see the third game, but the first two were memorable gaming experiences that broke convention. Pairing witty humor, existential crisis, and a murderous AI robot that sometimes can become a potato, the Portal experience is one that never grows tired. Escape each level from your back porch, from your bed, or during a long road trip. Its mechanics will keep your mind engaged, and the story will keep you entertained in the best way possible. 

Just don't bring up lemons, please. We can't hear Cave Johnson's tangent again. 

Divinity: Original Sin 2

A game that lets you bone a literal bag of bones, I mean come on? What more could you want? 

All jokes aside, this is another Dungeons & Dragons treasure that you can easily tank hundreds and hundreds of hours into. In a similar style of Baldur's Gate 3, this RPG adventure offers a tale centered around murder, mystery, and more romance. Do you see a pattern here? Sorry about that...

This game is also by the same team that made Baldur's Gate 3, so if you liked that but can't wait for the full version, then Original Sin 2 is a must-play. You can read our full review here if you need a little extra nudge. 

Dragon Age: Inquisition

OK, yeah. I see it now—last game type like this, promise. Pinky swear! I say Dragon Age Inquisition because this seems to be a divisive entry out of the three games despite winning numerous awards. It's the longest of the BioWare games, with a total completion sometimes clocking in at over 200 hours. Inquisition tied up loose ends of the first two games, including what happens after Anders' rebellion, learning more about the name behind Varric's crossbow, and seeing little Connor all grown-up once more after his harrowing experience in Redcliff. It also offers some of my personal favorite characters in gaming history, including the one and only Dorian Pavus. 

There is a lot to love about Inquisition, but it definitely suffers from pacing issues. Many people, when they tell me they didn't enjoy Inquisition, have mentioned that they never made it past the Hinterlands or never made it out of Haven and onto Skyhold. I believe that the game does not truly begin until Skyhold has been claimed and that the joy of this Thedasian adventure lies within exploring the limitless open world. If you played it once and didn't enjoy it, I urge you to try so again, this time with the comfort of portability at your disposal. 

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

To me, what makes the Mass Effect trilogy story so special is the characters themselves. Throughout 30 years of gaming, I've become so attached to thousands of characters, all with something special to add to any gaming adventure. That being said, there is something about the progression of getting to know Mass Effect NPCs that feels organic, real, and not unlike how we build friendships and romantic relationships in real life. They are special in a way that, even as a writer, I'm not sure I could convey properly. 

The dialogue feels natural and engaging. There are squabbles, there is the process of having to win someone over, and these characters go to hell and back with each other. That sort of shared experience creates bonds in any situation, and that connection is conveyed expertly with the narrative structure and the in-game mechanics. As someone who was on active duty, there were real-life situations I went through with people that couldn't stand me and vice versa. Those situations we endured together, though? That forged a bond that transcended previous perceptions. That same transformative relationship building is very much evident in the Mass Effect trilogy and something that can be felt on a universal scale no matter each player's IRL journies. 

Through loyalty missions that dig deep into these characters' pasts to dialogue options that shape how these characters see the player within this world, every action feels meaningful and impactful, which is a large part of why Mass Effect is so incredibly immersive. These characters matter. They matter to Shepard, and they matter to you. 

Final Fantasy XV

Boy Band meets America's Next Top Chef. This Final Fantasy adventure is massive and puts a more modernized spin on the Square Enix franchise, and 14 has a story that shouldn't be missed. Drive around with your pals, flirt with cute mechanics, and eat some of the best dinings on this side of gaming. 

While there are many light-hearted moments in this particular adventure, Final Fantasy XV houses a much darker tale, one that centers around the scorned Ardyn Lucis Caelum with Noctis and his friends charged with solving boundless mysteries. The world of XV is massive and offers unthinkable freedom for players, but it's more than just its pretty scenery. Final Fantasy XV tells a meaningful tale of friendship, trust, and fighting for what you believe in. It's about taking back your home, your power, and sharing in that with those closest to you. While there are some lulls, the ability to take it with you on the go with the Steam Deck is just the thing to mosey you on right past those. 

Red Dead Redemption 2

I still remember the day that Red Dead Redemption 2 was announced. After years of begging for a continuation of the Western story, Rockstar Games finally delivered with a prequel rather than a sequel. And it was a smart move because fans of John Marston got to see a younger outlaw and were given a chance to fall in love with a new star found in Arthur Morgan. The second game in the Redemption series broke barriers with its stunning attention to detail with every blade of grass, every horse print in the snow. The legacy continues with Red Dead Online, which is now available as its own standalone experience, for a chance to be the badass cowboy you were always meant to be, but this time with your friends. 

Still waiting on that Undead reveal, though...

The Witcher 3

The Witcher 3 is a fantasy adventure, yes, but I promise it's not like Divinity Original Sin or Baldur's Gate 3. It's a little like Inquisition, but only because of the steamy romance, but it really is an incredible journey. Another game that is impossibly long, especially if you're planning on running through the post-launch expansions, the most recent Witcher game is a ride no player can forget. With Netflix having its own live-action adaptation of the books that inspired the games, plus a spin-off show and an anime, now is the perfect time to get acquainted with what it means to be a witcher that is facing a world filled with monsters, prejudice, and temptation. 

Force Roach, the trusty steed, up onto rooftops like old times, only this time? You too can play it atop of a roof. I don't recommend it and legally I can't tell you to do that, but if you so happened to find yourself on a roof playing this game? Well, I wouldn't be mad at it. (Just be safe!!!)

And there you have it! Those are the games I can't wait to play on the Steam Deck when it arrives late 2021, early 2022! And keep in mind, this is just 10 picks on what I would personally like to see you check out and what I'm looking forward to playing on the Deck. There are so many more options if these don't suit your fancy! Go the DOOM route for some epic destruction, go Control for a mind-bending nightmare, or take it to the underworld with the incredible Hades title! Play what you want how you want, that's what portable means.

If you missed out on the announcement and want to learn more about the specs, feel free to check out our previous coverage here

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 11:26 pm

A Hidden Face With An Eyepatch Sets Off More Abandoned Speculation

Blue Box Game Studios is heading towards not only the release of their game Abandoned, but first the launch of a real-time trailer app for the PlayStation 5. Set to release on August 10, this app now known as “Abandoned: Real Time Experience” will feature multiple in-engine videos running off the PS5 hardware. In a new tweet today, Blue Box posted a teaser image for the app that’s reviving some fan theories about the project having Konami’s and/or Hideo Kojima’s involvement.

Are you ready? We are! pic.twitter.com/dQJwjot99S

— BLUE BOX Game Studios (@BBGameStudios) July 27, 2021

“Are you ready? We are!” reads text of the tweet. At first glance the image in the tweet above looks like only a logo. I missed the true teaser hidden in the background the first few times I looked at it. Behind the blurred facade you can make out the silhouette of a person’s head, and closer inspection will reveal what looks to be an eyepatch the right eye. A white line follows along the brow of the face. Could it be a reflection of light, or possibly more text concealed behind the blur?

Twitter users are running with the image which obviously looks like any variation of Metal Gear Solid’s Snake donning an eyepatch. Some are even trying to de-blur the image to give a clearer look at the face, others are attempting to decipher the unreadable text above the logo. Now that I’m thinking about it, that font is looking very familiar as well… 

Some theorists are focusing on the face:

Snake..is that you? pic.twitter.com/d0jqOVUNrr

— T-800 (@RznZen2) July 27, 2021

Others are taking a stab at the hidden text:

It looks like russian pic.twitter.com/IJQYdDC2Yw

— Vinicius Gepeto (@viniciusgepeto) July 27, 2021

Could the blurred text in the background be???
"Welcome in Silent Hill" pic.twitter.com/WWHbHisZkv

— Sven ※ (@soraroxas77) July 27, 2021

While another group of dreamers have their own grand ideas: 

It was him all along... pic.twitter.com/rg0hgQHzE7

— 🍑 (@SweetPeachGames) July 27, 2021

Blue Box Game Studios and Abandoned have been under a microscope for months regarding theories the game is connected in some way to Hideo Kojima, Konami, and the Silent Hill franchise. Some think the game's director Hasan Kahraman's name is code for Hideo Kojima, while others followed wilder clues tied to the name of the studio and the famed Death Stranding creator. Hasan denied the studios involvement with Konami and Silent Hill last month in a video posted on Twitter, however, if that's true, this new teaser image is not helping to alleviate that rumor. I was on the side of Abandoned having nothing to do with any Konami property, but now I don't know quite what to think. 

We'll find out soon enough because the Realtime Experience app for Abandoned is ready for preload on July 29 PlayStation 5, and goes live with the first trailer on August 10. Hopefully there will be some answers to the gaming community's ever-growing list of questions in there. Abandoned is scheduled to releases sometime this year on PS5 and on PC "eventually."

What are your theories for Abandoned? Are we just getting trolled, or is there actually a connection here? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 9:30 pm

Newly Announced Spyro Statue Is A Collector’s Dream

Today we got word of a newly announced figure from First 4 Figures, a team that consistently pumps out some of the nicest video game collectibles we’ve come across. Available today for preorder, the company’s new line-up of figures from Insomniac’s Spyro 2 are especially striking.

The new figure line celebrates that fondly remembered 1999 PlayStation release, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage. The statue is modeled directly off the adorable dragon’s appearance on the cover for that game, including raised right paw, forward lean, and a seeming mischief in his eyes. The statue exhibits immaculate color work, and realistic textures on Spyro’s scales, wings, claws, and more.

While Spyro himself appears the same in both versions, the trappings that surround the hero vary based on which version you choose to purchase. The more expensive definitive edition is set in a detailed resin base inspired by the portal seen near the end of the game (after taking out Ripto). The portal features light-up LED orbs and triangles. The whole PVC piece stands at 9 inches in height, and will put you back by $224.99, at least if you preorder during the “early bird” period that runs until August 11. After that, expect the price to move up to $249.99.

The exclusive edition is pictured here, and the definitive edition above at the top of the article

If you’re looking for a more affordable way to celebrate one of your childhood gaming buddies, the same statue is available through the exclusive edition, priced at $99.99 during early bird pricing, and $109.99 if you choose to wait until after August 11. The big difference here is the smaller base, which shows Spyro surrounded by fire. In this version, the figure can light up with LED lighting for a static flame effect, or an animated one, which makes it look like the fire is flickering.

Regardless of which version you select, and when you choose to order, estimated release for the new Spyro 2 figures is set for Q2 2022. If Spyro isn’t your thing, First 4 Figures works with a number of video game properties, including these Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Zelda & Link statues, or this massive Shadow statue from Sonic the Hedgehog.

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 9:00 pm

The Batmobile, K.I.T.T., And Other Famous Cars Roll Into Hot Wheels Unleashed

Mattel just unleashed a list of the cars Hot Wheels Unleashed players will enjoy at launch.  In addition to signature favorites, that bunch also includes famous vehicles from popular properties like TMNT, Back to the Future, and more.

The company confirms 66 cars will be available to unlock in the game on day-one. To collect them, all you'll have to do is play the game. Hot Wheels originals such as Boneshaker, Twin Mill, and more are sure to please enthusiasts. For those of us who are less plugged into the scene but would still like to drive something recognizable, a new trailer also revealed the addition of five iconic vehicles from pop culture:  

Of course, “Time Machine” refers to the DeLorean in regards to Back to the FutureSnoopy, meanwhile, sits perched atop his dog house but is sadly not in full Red Baron mode despite the pose. For me, the Batmobile’s resemblance to the classic Animated Series version makes it my favorite car of the lot. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Mattel also shared the list of real-life vehicles featured in the game:

If you haven’t heard of Hot Wheels Unleashed until now, the game offers a more arcade-style of racing with players speeding across the signature orange tracks to the finish. The kicker is that you’re literally a life-sized diecast vehicle (meaning you’re small) in giant rooms, like a garage for example. While it’s not a kart racer in that it doesn't feature Mario Kart-style power-ups, Hot Wheels Unleashed is still presented as an over-the-top experience. You can watch extended gameplay footage here

Hot Wheels Unleashed crosses the finish line on September 30 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.


Are you excited to play Hot Wheels Unleashed? What other famous cars would you like to see in the game? Let us know in the comments! 

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 8:13 pm

Activision Blizzard Employees Stage A Walkout Following "Abhorrent" Response To Harassment Lawsuit

Following the news that the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is suing Activision Blizzard for labor abuse, sexual harassment, and various other reported mistreatment, the company issued a statement in an attempt to debunk and reduce the claims. Now, Activision Blizzard employees are staging a walkout in protest of the "abhorrent and insulting" statement from executives as a way to support the ongoing suit.

The walkout is poised to begin on Wednesday, July 28, and is meant to be a show of support for the ongoing lawsuit. Game Informer learned that a driving factor behind this public display is because many "don't trust [Activision Blizzard] to do the right thing and help the people asking for help" from a Blizzard employee that wishes to remain anonymous. In a separate statement to Polygon, a protest organizer told the site, “We believe that our values as employees are not being accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership." The statement continues, saying that the hope is to “improve conditions for employees at the company, especially women, and in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.”

The protest is in conjunction with a statement that was made public earlier this week, a joined effort signed by over 2,500 current and former employees. The allegations against Activision Blizzard detail reported incidents that are "violations of the state's civil rights and equal pay laws." Much of the alleged behavior laid out in the lawsuit targets women and other marginalized groups, including reported evidence that shows widespread gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and long-term behavior from those in supervisor roles that is even a contributing factor to one employee's suicide. 

The full letter is as follows: 

To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard, We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership. We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry. Categorizing the claims that have been made as “distorted, and in many cases false” creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims. It also casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first. Immediate corrections are needed from the highest level of our organization.

Our company executives have claimed that actions will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action -- and the troubling official responses that followed -- we no longer trust that our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. To claim this is a “truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit” while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences regarding harassment and abuse is simply unacceptable. We call for official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault. We call on Frances Townsend to stand by her word to step down as Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network as a result of the damaging nature of her statement. We call on the executive leadership team to work with us on new and meaningful efforts that ensure employees -- as well as our community -- have a safe place to speak out and come forward. We stand with all our friends, teammates, and colleagues, as well as the members of our dedicated community who have experienced mistreatment or harassment of any kind. We will not be silenced, we will not stand aside, and we will not give up until the company we love is a workplace we can all feel proud to be a part of again. We will be the change.

The above response dropped shortly after former CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime issued his own statement, telling former employees that he understands that he failed while expressing regret over past inaction. His statement received mixed reactions from the gaming community. Some former employees of Blizzard Activision weighed in thanking Morhaime for not deflecting, while others claimed that the former CEO knew exactly what had been going on over the past decade. 

The action against Activision Blizzard is a result of over two years of investigation. In the allegations, the lawsuit alleges that HR was fully aware of the culture happening and that attempts to seek help from Human Resources were reportedly ignored. "Employees were further discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel was known to be close to alleged harassers," details the lawsuit documents. "As a result of these complaints, female employees were subjected to retaliation, including but not limited to being deprived of work on projects, unwillingly transferred to different units, and selected for layoffs."

To learn more about the current state of the lawsuit, you can read the full legal documents here

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 7:25 pm

Studio Ghibli Inspired Baldo: The Guardian Owls Gets August Release Date

Since its reveal in the summer of 2019, Baldo: The Guardian Owls has quietly risen to become one of most anticipated indie games out there and now it finally has a release date. The Zelda-inspired adventure with Studio Ghibli visuals is launching August 27. 

The adventure stars Baldo, an cheerful young lad who embarks on a grand adventure revolving around an ancient prophecy. Along the way players interact with a cast as colorful as the game’s vibrant open world itself. Gameplay consists of third-person combat, puzzle-solving, and dungeon crawling in the style of classic 3D Zelda. In a 2019 interview with Red Bull, Baldo creator and artist Fabio Capone said the game "It isn't focused on combat mainly, although that's a big part of it, but it will share a lot of elements from the Zelda series. At its core Baldo is a puzzle and dungeon game, although there are plenty of other secrets inside."

Check out the original announcement trailer below. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Baldo comes courtesy of Italian studio Naps Team. Capone is a big fan of Studio Ghibli’s work (namely Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, and Mary and the Witch’s Flower), and Baldo began as a passion project fueled by a desire to create a game that captured the whimsical tone and presentation of those films. The project has been in development in some form or another for the last 15 years, making today’s announcement the light at the end of a very long tunnel for Capone and his team. 

If you like what you see, you can find Baldo: The Guardian Owls on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and iOS via Apple Arcade. The game looks incredibly charming, so I'm personally excited to finally get my hands on it.  


Are you excited to finally dive into Baldo: The Guardian Owls? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 6:23 pm

The RPG Issue Featuring Tales Of Arise Digital Issue Is Now Live

RPG fans rejoice! If you're a digital subscriber to Game Informer, you can now read up on Tales of Arise and several other exciting role-playing games we're looking forward to! 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 or start a new subscription here.

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 5:53 pm

Cover Reveal – The RPG Issue Featuring Tales Of Arise

In this issue, we celebrate the role-playing genre, with a special focus on the games we can't wait to play in the coming months and years. One RPG that has our attention is Tales of Arise, which is just a few months away from its September 10 release. We have 14 pages devoted to the next entry in Bandai Namco’s long-running franchise, which the esteemed developer is calling a “reinvention” of the series. For our cover story, we played the first chapter of the game and chatted with key members of the development team to discover exactly what this reinvention means. Find out everything from how the new progression system works and how it incorporates the series' hallmark "Titles" to why boss battles are so much more intense this time around. 

You’ll also learn more about the two fascinating worlds Bandai Namco created, Rena and Dahna, which are rife with conflict and interesting personalities. At the game’s helm are two very different characters from these two very different worlds. One can’t feel pain, the other can only cause it. Our cover story dives into how this interesting dynamic drives the narrative and explores darker topics around loss, elitism, and societal decline. And that’s only scratching the surface of what’s in store for this important entry in the 25-year franchise.

Tales of Arise isn’t the only reason to dive into this issue. We also round up some of the most promising RPGs on the horizon and give you a list of games we can't wait to play. This includes deeper looks at Elden Ring, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Astria Ascending, Rune Factory 5, and Shin Megami Tensei V. If you're looking for an RPG to put on your wishlist, we've got you covered.

Next, we spoke with Red Hook Studios' founders Tyler Sigman and Chris Bourassa about the upcoming Darkest Dungeon II. In this deep-dive exclusive, find out what you can expect as the tantalizing turn-based combat of Darkest Dungeon transforms into a roguelike romp across an apocalyptic wasteland. We've got the details on an all-new character coming to the game, The Runaway, and a grotesque faction centered on horrific hunger, The Plague Eaters. Hop on the caravan and get ready to experience the stylized cosmic horror in an all-new way. As a special web exclusive, you can read the entire feature online now.

Brian Shea also takes time to reflect on Sonic the Hedgehog's 30th anniversary. Blake Hester profiles video game developer and internet phenom Ikumi Nakamura about her time across the industry working on projects like Ōkami, Bayonetta, and most recently Ghostwire: Tokyo. Matt Miller rounds up a few RPG tabletop games that can help refresh your game night. And, we round out our previews section with heavy hitters like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Halo Infinite, and Metroid Dread. All that and much more in this issue of Game Informer!

Print subscribers can expect their issues to begin arriving in the coming days/weeks. The digital edition of this issue launches this afternoon, July 27, for PC/MaciOS, and Google Play. You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on Nook and Kindle. To subscribe to either the digital or print version, click here.

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 4:00 pm

Most Popular Choices In Mass Effect Legendary Edition Revealed, Last Chance For Mass Effect Freebies

Back in May, BioWare celebrated the release of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition by giving away a ton of free content, including the ability to craft your own character art. One freebie bundle including the Mass Effect OST, the comics, and art books to enjoy, but that offer is about to run out soon, so grab them while you can! In addition to the free loot drop, BioWare also revealed some of the most popular choices that players made in the Mass Effect Legendary Edition. But first, let's talk about the freebies. 

For those looking for some sweet tunes, the full Mass Effect soundtrack is available to download, for free, in addition to the Mass Effect Redemption and Invasion comics respectively. Two mini art book for Mass Effect 2 and 3 are also available in addition to a digital lithograph of the best ship in the galaxy: the Normandy. This offer is only available for a little while longer, so make sure to grab anything of interest right here

Ready to dive into some Mass Effect Legendary Edition stats? Good! Just a fair warning, however: the below infographic does contain spoilers for key choices made in the three games. If you have not beaten the trilogy, I would recommend turning away now. 

❗ SPOILERS AHEAD ❗

You’ve all made tons of choices in #MassEffect Legendary Edition. How do yours match up against other commanders? pic.twitter.com/5Knk5o8Ib4

— Mass Effect (@masseffect) July 27, 2021

Still here? Good! Let's break it down: 

Who Is Your Shepard?

32% of players donned the helm of Jane Shepard, whereas 68% assumed the role of John Shepard. The most popular pre-service history is the Earthborn origin story, growing up in gang life until Shepard eventually found themselves in the Alliance. 52% chose the Earthborn life while 27% took on the Spacer role and 21% chose to have the Colonist history. 

What about classes? 

In the same vein, 44% chose the Survivor psychological profile, with 43% coming in as a War Hero and a small 13% choosing the Ruthless route. 

Popular Choices

60% of players for the Legendary Edition chose to save Ashley on Virmire over Kaidan, with 6% killing Wrex on the same planet. A whopping 93% decided to ally with the Rachni Queen in the first Mass Effect, with 67% killing the Reaper Breeder Queen in Mass Effect 3. 

96% of players cured the Genophage (good!) with the same amount getting Tali pardoned versus being exiled from the Flotilla. 

For popular squadmates in Mass Effect 1: 

  1. Garrus
  2. Tali
  3. Liara
  4. Wrex
  5. Ashley 
  6. Kaidan

In the Priority Rannoch mission, 80% of players were able to achieve peace, with 11% siding with the Geth and a small 9% siding with the Quarians. This is also tied to how many renegade vs. paragon points a player has, which is something we detailed in our guide here on how to avoid simple mistakes

And the most commonly asked question when talking about choices? 68% of players punched the reporter in the face. Myself included. Them's the breaks. 

Surprisingly enough, BioWare didn't detail who the most popular romance option was. Must have been 100% Garrus because he's clearly the right choice. Again, I don't make the rules. 

Want more Mass Effect Legendary Edition goodness? Check out our alive and well hub right here! We've got news, opinion pieces, mods, and so much more! And remember: be the person Mordin would want you to be. 

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 3:32 pm

PAX West 2021 Safety Precautions Change, Now Requires COVID-19 Vaccine Or Negative Test Results

ReedPop confirmed that PAX West 2021 would be an in-person event this year following a year of lockdowns and digital-only conventions. At first, some expressed excitement over the return at some semblance of normalcy, that was until it was revealed that the safety precautions being implemented were the bare minimum at best. Following several notable outlets withdrawing attendance and the community as a whole responding to the PAX announcement, a few changes have been made to the requirements for entry: attendees must either be fully vaccinated or show recent proof of negative test results for COVID-19. 

"Throughout the year, the PAX team has been actively working to support a safe environment for our PAX West visitors," ReedPop tells Game Informer. "We are pleased to announce that, in line with the recommendations of state and local public health authorities, we will be implementing a vaccination or negative COVID-19 test requirement for everyone at PAX West. We appreciate your patience as we worked with our venue and the authorities to create our comprehensive plan."

Following the aforementioned recommendations, the new plan includes proof of recent negative test results with a COVID-19 PCR or antigen test or status of being fully vaccinated. Additionally, attendees will need to supply a valid government ID as proof of person. 

Regarding the initial backlash, ReedPop had this to say: 

"When PAX West 2021 badges were announced, the PAX Team decided to communicate what we could commit to at that time, rather than what we were working toward. While we let the community know the health and safety guidelines could evolve, we wanted to get it right, and we feel confident that verification of fully vaccination or negative test, along with continued face-covering requirements for everyone, will create an environment that promotes the wellbeing of our PAX community."

In addition to the updated safety guidelines, ReedPop also reinforced that additional measures are to be taken, including reduced capacity and mandatory masks to be worn at all times. This applies to attendees, exhibitors, staff, and Enforcers. To learn more, feel free to check out the official PAX West site here. To search for a vaccine center near you, this resource has been helpful in the past. 

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 2:37 pm

Free Animal Crossing: New Horizons Update Dropping Soon With Fireworks, Nintendo Teases Future Content

Ever since Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched back in March 2020, the simulator game has seen a plethora of events. Nintendo has made sure that island life is as fun as possible from holiday celebrations to surprising crossovers. That being said, there has been a significant drop in content this year. Still, there are some fireworks on the way later this month alongside a promise of fresh Animal Crossing: New Horizons content coming down the pipeline. 

The company took to Twitter to remind players that a free Animal Crossing: New Horizons update is dropping this week on July 29. There will be weekly firework shows as well as some new seasonal items, but most importantly? A promise of more on the way: 

In addition to these updates, more free content for #AnimalCrossing: New Horizons is currently in development for later this year. More information will be shared in the future, so please stay tuned. Thank you for your support and patience.

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) July 27, 2021

Nintendo confirmed in the above thread that more New Horizons content is in development and is slated to arrive later this year. While the post didn't share any details, it did say that more will be revealed "in the future." 

The Animal Crossing franchise is highly beloved by the Nintendo community, and for a good reason. With lovable characters, the ability to create a world all on its own, and a constant rotation of new events to keep things exciting, it's easy to see why this series is such a staple in the gaming community. 

There's only one thing I want to see in future updates, and it's an answer to a question I've had since launch: Where the heck is Brewster? 


What are your thoughts on Animal Crossing: New Horizons' lifespan so far, and what would you like to see in future updates? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

If the comments are showing disabled, there is a technical issue we are working on that has affected the comment section. Please be patient as our team works on a fix so we can get back to chatting! 

Posted on 27 July 2021 | 2:13 pm

Splitgate Launch Delayed To August Due To Server Overload

Splitgate, the free-to-play multiplayer shooter that blends Halo-esque gunplay with Portal style, well, portals, won’t be launching tomorrow as planned. That’s because the open beta that’s been running during the past two weeks had so many active players that the servers became overloaded, forcing a delay. 

If you haven’t heard of Splitgate, it’s a fast-paced sci-fi shooter with a fun and familiar twist. Players can fire portals that function exactly as they do in Portal, meaning you can create your own entry/exit points. This adds another thoughtful layer of strategy as you set up shortcuts to quickly warp across maps and create unpredictable vantage points for attack. Of course, your opponents can do the same which lends itself to all sorts of chaos. Already boasting a variety of maps and modes, Splitgate has earned positive buzz since entering beta in 2019

Click here to watch embedded media

That fanfare has only grown. The open beta that began 14 days ago garnered hundreds of thousands of players within the first week. That player count has now jumped to an impressive 2 million. However, the massive glut of users has put a severe strain on the game’s servers. 

“Our team has been blown away by the incredible reception the Splitgate community has shown us,” says 1047 Games CEO/co-founder Ian Proulx. “With the steep and sudden increase in players trying to access servers, we’re having to sort out a myriad of technical issues that come with this level of insane growth. We’ve worked hard to provide a high-quality game and experience, and our biggest challenge is simply to have enough capacity to serve the entire community.”

Because of these technical issues, the game’s full launch will not go live on July 27 as planned. Instead, Splitgate will be released sometime in August. The current open beta will continue running in the meantime. To help remedy these problems, 1047 Games will receive $10 million in financial backing by venture firm Human Capital to help fund the expansion of the developer’s engineering and tech support. 

Splitgate may not have an exact launch date yet, but it will be available free-to-play on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (and yes, it will support cross-play). The full launch will also introduce new maps and other content. 


Have you played Splitgate? If so, what do you think and are you disappointed by the delay? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 10:22 pm

Almost 1,000 Activision Blizzard Employees Sign Open Letter To Leadership, "We Will Not Be Silenced"

Nearly 1,000 employees of Activision Blizzard are speaking out against the company's "abhorrent" response to the details of the ongoing labor lawsuit going public. The response from executives denounced the lawsuit, claiming that details represented in the legal documentation were "unfounded," "distorted," and "untrue." You can read the full statement here, but now the employees hurt by the company's response and continued culture are speaking out, making it known that they will not be silenced as the lawsuit progresses. 

Details on the allegations emerged last week when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, following years of investigation.  The incident once more puts a spotlight on the games industry around issues of misconduct, especially against women, recalling recent revelations from publisher Ubisoft. In the case of these latest claims against Activision Blizzard, the reason for the suit centers around "violations of the state's civil rights and equal pay laws," specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. The details of the lawsuit included allegations of widespread gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and an underlining "frat-boy culture" that has even contributed to the suicide of one female employee. After the details went live, Activision Blizzard quickly scrambled to get a statement out, a statement that further added fuel to the ongoing fire resulting from these allegations. 

In a new open letter to Activision Blizzard's leadership, nearly 1,000 employees signatures have been added. The letter is in conjunction with hundreds of social media posts we've seen over the past weekend from current and former employees alike detailing their own experiences. The contents of the signed statement were first reported by Bloomberg, and Game Informer has independently seen the letter as well.

The full letter is as follows: 

To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard,

We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership.

We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry. Categorizing the claims that have been made as “distorted, and in many cases false” creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims. It also casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first. Immediate corrections are needed from the highest level of our organization.

Our company executives have claimed that actions will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action -- and the troubling official responses that followed -- we no longer trust that our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. To claim this is a “truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit” while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences regarding harassment and abuse is simply unacceptable.

We call for official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault. We call on Frances Townsend to stand by her word to step down as Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network as a result of the damaging nature of her statement. We call on the executive leadership team to work with us on new and meaningful efforts that ensure employees -- as well as our community -- have a safe place to speak out and come forward.

We stand with all our friends, teammates, and colleagues, as well as the members of our dedicated community who have experienced mistreatment or harassment of any kind. We will not be silenced, we will not stand aside, and we will not give up until the company we love is a workplace we can all feel proud to be a part of again. We will be the change.

The letter comes just days after former CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime issued his own statement, telling former employees that he understands that he failed them when they needed him the most. His statement received mixed reactions from the industry and community members alike, with some former employees thanking him for taking responsibility. In contrast, others pointed out that he knew exactly what had been going on over the past decade. 

As mentioned in our previous coverage, the report alleges that Activision Blizzard has many women dodging "unwanted sexual comments" and "being groped" during what is being called a cube crawl: 

In the office, women are subjected to 'cube crawls' in which male employees drink copious amounts of alcohol as they 'crawl' their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and joke about rape.

The lawsuit, a result of over two years of investigation, also claims that HR was fully aware of the culture happening and that attempts to seek help from Human Resources were reportedly ignored. "Employees were further discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel was known to be close to alleged harassers," details the lawsuit documents. "As a result of these complaints, female employees were subjected to retaliation, including but not limited to being deprived of work on projects, unwillingly transferred to different units, and selected for layoffs."

The suit also details a significant pay gap between male and female co-workers, which alleges that many women are offered a similar role as a male counterpart at a much lower compensation rate. Game Informer has talked to many current and former Blizzard Activision Blizzard employees about the details of the lawsuit, with several male developers stating that they have posted their own salaries publicly to support their co-workers. The suit also details opportunities that were seen as primarily going to men first, stifling progressive growth within the company's infrastructure. The lawsuit details specific examples of alleged mistreatment, abuse, and other disturbing behavior through the years, which can be found here

[Source: Bloomberg]

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 8:49 pm

Popular Final Fantasy 14 Encyclopedia, Poster, And Picture Books Are Being Republished, New Manga On The Way Too

If you clicked into this article, then, like me, you’ve been enamored with Square Enix’s classic Final Fantasy franchise. While XIV isn’t my preferred experience - I’m more of a traditional single-player JRPG kind of guy - I can say that I truly enjoyed the hours that I put into it a couple of months back. But any fan of the franchise should be excited to learn that a couple popular Final Fantasy XIV texts are being republished: an encyclopedia, a picture and poster book, and some new manga inspired by other IPs. Everything that's coming out is detailed below. Some covers haven't been finalized yet

Click image thumbnails to view larger version

 

                                                                                                           

Encyclopaedia Eorzea, vol. 1 and vol. 2

 

Compiled by the development team, the two volumes of the encyclopedia delve into the locales, organizations, and history of the game world, Eorzea. Additionally, you can get some valuable insight into the regions beyond the main continent to the east. There’s also a complimentary code for the Namingway minion if you’re still unconvinced. Both volumes will drop on April 12, 2022 and you can pre-order them today. 

Final Fantasy XIV Poster Collection

Everyone loves posters. What if I told you that you could get 27 removable Final Fantasy XIV posters in one sitting? Sounds too good to be true, right? The poster collection book has stunning character art from A Realm Reborn and Shadowbringers. They’re even printed on press-varnished card stock. I have no idea what that means since I’m not much of a poster collector, but it sounds incredibly enticing. Pre-orders begin on August 10, and the book will actually be available on May 10, 2022.

Final Fantasy XIV Picture Book (English Translated Edition)

This one is a real treat. Lead Story Designer Banri Oda and Concept Artist Hiroyuki Nagamine have joined forces to make a picture book for all you Final Fantasy XIV fanatics out there. Don’t be fooled, this book is meant for all ages and, for the first time ever, it’s been translated into English for Western audiences. Pre-orders start on October 26, and the picture book itself drops on July 26, 2022. 

SINoALICE and My Happy Marriage vol. 1 (Manga)

 

SINoALICE vol. 1 is inspired by Yoko Taro’s mobile game of the same name and drops on February 8, 2022. You can pre-order it today. 

My Happy Marriage vol. 1 is a Cinderella-inspired historical romance. Personally, I love anything with the romance tag, so I’ll probably be grabbing this for myself. Pre-orders are scheduled for September 21 with a June 21, 2022 release date. 

So which text(s) are you going to buy, or … are you planning to purchase them all? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 8:00 pm

Halo Infinite Flight Test (Beta) Will Offer Weapon Drills As Part Of 343's Largest Technical Test To Date

The Halo Infinite beta flight is dropping soon and 343 Industries wants to make sure that Insiders know what to expect before dropping into the world that gave us Master Chief once more. From weapon drills to Battle Passes, here is what you can expect from the upcoming early play period. 

As with any testing period, the studio was very careful to ensure that players knew that there are going to be some "bumps" with the early play access, which is to be expected in any beta test. The team also let fans know that this is technically called a technical preview, simply because it's past the point of being alpha but not quite yet to the point of being as complete as the term beta suggests. 

To prepare players for what sort of experience the Halo Infinite technical test will have to offer, the blog post reads: "We also want to be very upfront and transparent about the fact that we will certainly have some bumps and rough edges in this build. Our teams have been working hard to ensure that the build and experience are such that it can deliver on our goals, but this is very much still work-in-progress, and we expect some hiccups of varying degrees over the course of the technical preview. For further context, this technical preview is a couple of months behind where the development team and ‘main’ game build currently is given the process and time it takes to go through all the gates and steps before releasing to the public."

Click here to watch embedded media

With Halo Insiders preparing to "flight" the upcoming technical preview, a few of the core areas the team is looking for feedback on includes stability, online services, core gameplay, maps and modes, weapon drills, and menu/Battle Pass UI. The stability feedback is standard, as is server connectivity, but the weapon drills are going to really give players a chance to dive in deep into the familiar guns and new weapons joining the fray, as well. 343 is also looking for feedback regarding how the maps are designed and whether or not players feel that they flow naturally and that they feel "fun and fair."

THis is one of the biggest technical previews for the company to date, which allows for a more encompassing experience for Halo fans to dive into. It also means a higher risk for things to go wrong, so please keep in mind that this is an early testing period, which means it is not going to be perfect or necessarily indicative of what will be available at launch. Feedback is crucial, so the more you have to offer, the better. 

To learn more about the upcoming Halo Infinite beta technical test, check out the full blog post here

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 7:27 pm

Digital Exclusive Mechanics Come To Magic: The Gathering Arena With Jumpstart: Historic Horizons

Wizards of the Coast is changing the Historic format on Magic: The Gathering Arena in a huge way with its upcoming Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set. Not only are cards from Modern Horizons and Modern Horizons 2 hitting the client in this release, but so are 31 brand new Arena exclusive cards, some of which have mechanics only possible in a digital game of Magic.

In an exclusive reveal with IGN, Wizards announced some cards coming to Jumpstart: Historic Horizons and looked at two new Arena-only mechanics. “Seek” brings the power of searching your library for a card but allows you not to have to shuffle your library. When a player “seeks,” a random card is chosen from their library using the predetermined variable in the rules text and is put into their hand. The deck does not shuffle afterward because the player doesn’t see any of the cards in their deck when the card is found.

Another mechanic making its debut in Historic Horizons is called “perpetually.” When a card is modified “perpetually” by an effect, those changes stay with the card regardless of whether it’s in hand, shuffled into the library, on the battlefield, or exiled. Perpetual effects are permanent on that specific card for the remainder of that game. Parts of a card that can be affected include casting cost of spells, power, and the toughness of creatures.

Our final look at the digital exclusive mechanics comes in the form of a new Planeswalker, Davriel, Soul Broker, which uses “Conjure” and a handful of choices that don’t exist on the card itself. Conjuring brings a card into existence from out of thin air and into your hand without the need for the conjured card to be in your library or sideboard. Examples given in IGN’s article include conjuring the dual land Tropical Island or card draw spell Ponder. Davriel allows conjuring up Manor Guardian, a creature which “seeks” a non-land card with mana value two or less upon its death. One of this Planeswalker’s abilities involves “offers” and “conditions.” “Offers” are choices like drawing cards or receiving an emblem for a permanent benefit for the remainder of the game, while “conditions” are equally punishing options as a price for your previous beneficial choice.

For those who aren’t familiar with Jumpstart, it’s an event set where you pick two themed booster packs and shuffle them together. No experience with deckbuilding is required at all. Previous themes included goblins, unicorns, discard, lands, and elves. While the original Jumpstart had some variations to theme packs, new to Historic Horizons is the randomization of card slots within a theme giving even more possibilities for what can be found within a pack.

Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is scheduled to hit MTG Arena from August 12 until September 9 and comes with these new mechanics among 31 Arena-specific cards in a massive 782 card set featuring tons of new cards injected directly into the Historic format. Magic also added its first Dungeons and Dragons-themed set this month, and you can read about its dungeon mechanic here


Adding digital-exclusive effects is bound to be divisive among the Magic community. How do you feel about this change to Historic? Should a new format be created to house these big changes? Plant your respectful takes in the comments.

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 7:18 pm

Netflix Live-Action Pokémon TV Series Reportedly In The Works Under Lucifer's Joe Henderson

Netflix is continuing on its venture into the realm of gaming, this time with a new Pokémon live-action series under the helm of Lucifer's Joe Henderson. 

The latest Netflix adaptation comes by way of Varietywhich reports that the project is still very early in development and that there are no details available at this time. A source close to the site said that Henderson, who is the co-showrunner and executive producer for the Netflix adaptation of the Lucifer comics, is slated to write and executive produce the series about catching 'em all. 

According to Variety, the project is shaping up to be "akin" to Ryan Reynolds' Detective Pikachu film that came out in 2019 in terms of live-action and CGI. Nothing has been confirmed at this time, however, and Netflix has not responded to a request for comment. 

We've seen shows, movies, comics, and games aplenty centering around the popular pocket monster franchise, including the live-action take with Detective Pikachu. Where the company decides to take this franchise is anyone's guess, but with a property as beloved as Pokémon, we hope that they don't overthink it too much and keep the formula recognizable for longtime lovers of this series. 

As for Henderson, he's currently working on another comic book adaptation for Netflix called Shadecraft, which was announced back in March. Henderson himself wrote the comic with Lee Garbett as the artist, so if he is attached to this reported Pokémon take? He's going to be a busy, busy man in the coming years. 

It will be interesting to see where this series goes, especially since Pokémon has been a beloved experience since it first began back in 1995. Since its inception, the franchise has grown to be a powerhouse of various media adaptations, merchandise lines, and so much more. 

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 6:03 pm

Apex Legends Season 10 Trailer Shows Seer’s Abilities, New Weapon, Map Changes, And More

Click to watch embedded media

The end of Apex Legends Season 9 is in sight. So much so that the time has come for Respawn to start dropping a bevy of new cinematics to announce what exactly is coming next for the popular battle royale. The new legend joining the roster is Seer; we’ve seen his Raiden-inspired design, and we’ve heard his mystical backstory. Today, however, Season 10 got its most revealing trailer to date that showed Seer’s abilities, a brand new weapon, the incoming map changes, and some battle pass cosmetics. 

Officially titled Emergence, Season 10 is taking us to Worlds Edge once again. Parts of the map give way to large rivers of lava, meaning that there will be more environmental hazards to watch out for as you and your team make swift rotations. Of course, there are new laboratories that offer a lot of cover and precarious but fun zipline routes. Moreover, Seer finally made his in-game entrance. His ultimate casts a large holographic dome that reveals enemy locations in a large radius. And his passive allows him to spot enemy footsteps and movements through solid surfaces. In all honesty, he seems like a much better version of Bloodhound. Hopefully, our favorite felagi fighter isn’t sidelined until further notice. 

A new LMG, called Rampage, can be seen decimating squads throughout the trailer. Based on the footage, I’m not entirely sure what ammo type it’ll take – I’m hoping for light since that’s the only weapon tree that’s still missing a light machine gun. And was that a thermite that someone loaded into the gun?! In any case, the Rampage LMG can shoot down doors, so for any players that like to door block to pop off quick heals, you’d better start counting your blessings for the rest of Season 9. You can also get a brief look into new legendary skins for Valkyrie and Horizon; there will undoubtedly be more to unlock and equip when you purchase Emergence’s battle pass. 

Apex Legends Season 10 finally launches on August 3.


Let us know what you thought about the new trailer in the comments below!

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 6:03 pm

Olympic Gold Medalist Rocks The Witcher Medallion During This Year's Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Olympics are in full swing and gold medalist Vitalina Batsarashkina is once again wearing her love of The Witcher on her proverbial sleeve. Unlike last time, however, this time she's wearing that love around her neck. 

CD Projekt Red's Radek Grabowki spotted the Witcher medallion that Batsarashkina was sporting during this year's event noting that this isn't the first time she's let her fandom love shine. The first time, at least that we know of, was back in 2016. Given the several Witcher shows in the works and how expansive the third game was, it's easy to see how she's kept that love going and it's awesome to see her bring in a little more gaming to the ... well, the games. 

Years-long commitment to the Witcher universe. I’m loving it! 👏 https://t.co/EaFGX6RUgg

— Radek (@gamebowski) July 25, 2021

Others were quick to note other ways she showed her Witcher passion, including on her eyewear that she sported during the Rio games in 2016: 

On her shooting eyewear as well pic.twitter.com/J7j9GBhieM

— Kioshi (@nanashit774) July 25, 2021

Batsarashkina not only represents the Witcher fandom unofficially, she's also at the Olympic games representing Russia. She is a part of the female shooting team where she competed this past weekend in the 10m air pistol competition. For those that may need a little reminder, the medalion she can be seen wearing is the same one that Geralt of Rivia dons in the games by the Polish studio. 

Needless to say, she did the RPG community proud because she took home the Gold. Who knows, maybe the studio will find a neat little way to pay homage to her love of the series in the next Witcher game? Stranger things have happened. 

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 3:34 pm

Mortal Kombat 11 Surpasses 12 Million Copies Sold Worldwide

Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest entry in a renowned franchise that has spanned decades. The game features a sizable roster with (literally) bone-crushing combos, a solid single-player story mode, and a continuously burgeoning multiplayer scene. Like many of the other NetherRealm titles that have come before it, Mortal Kombat 11 has reached an impressive milestone; it's surpassed 12 million copies sold worldwide.

According to an emailed press release, NetherRealm Studios Creative Director Ed Boon expressed heartfelt words after learning about Mortal Kombat 11’s latest achievement. “When Mortal Kombat launched nearly 30 years ago, I never dreamed it would grow into the franchise it is today with more than 73 million games sold,” Boon said. “We have some of the most passionate fans in the world, and we appreciate the support they have shown us over the years.” 

It’s not particularly surprising that Mortal Kombat 11 has found this level of incredible success. After all, the franchise is one of the industry’s biggest video game dynasties – even Mortal Kombat Mobile has over 100 million installs! – that has spawned many television shows, animated movies, and live-action films, including the latest one that Brian Shea reviewed. However, additional content updates have stopped now that NetherRealm is moving to its next project. What the next chapter in the Mortal Kombat franchise will look and play like remains to be seen, but based on how beloved the IP is to millions of fans around the globe, it’ll likely be another well-earned success story for Ed Boon and co.

Andrew Reiner enjoyed his time with Mortal Kombat 11 despite some loot problems, concluding his review by stating, “Mortal Kombat 11 may have loot issues, but the combat has never been more rewarding. You can finish the entertaining story mode in one sitting, but getting the gear for the character you want could end up being more of a time-stealing tale than the one the game tells.”

Mortal Kombat 11 is available on current- and last-gen consoles as well as Switch, Stadia, and PC. Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is a more expanded version of the game that launched towards the end of last year; be sure to play that for the complete experience. 


What do you hope to see in Mortal Kombat 12? Or, more broadly, what do you hope to see in NetherRealm Studios’ future games?

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 3:12 pm

Capcom Is Now Offering Resident Evil Perfumes To Celebrate Leon, Jill, And Chris

Ever looked at Jill Valentine, Leon Kenney, or Chris Redfield and thought to yourself: "Self, I want to smell like those fine specimens"?  If the answer is yes, then boy, do we have the perfume for you. Capcom is now selling officially licensed Resident Evil perfume, and don't worry: it doesn't smell like blood and gore like the gimmick candle the company sold a few years ago

For now, the perfumes are limited to just the three characters and to the Capcom Japan store. The company hasn't confirmed if the eau du zombie killer line will be making its way to the west, but there is hope for those that don't have a pal in Japan for the hookup. In the past, Japan-exclusive items did eventually make their way to a global release. That, and eventually the line will make its way to Amazon Japan, which usually will ship internationally. 

Capcom

The downside is that we don't actually know how the three scents smell. The description states that the perfumes were inspired by the characters, but doesn't reveal how. What are the notes? Floral, musky, fruity? Do they smell like murder and rampage, or do they smell like the frustration we felt in Village when we were yelling at Chris, "THIS COULD HAVE BEEN AN EMAIL." No matter, they're nifty collector's items at worst. 

Capcom is no stranger to making scents based on its popular franchsies, including an admittedly awesome Devil May Cry line, Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter, and more! To learn more about the Resident Evil additions and what Capcom has in store, you can check out the official shop's listing right here

Holding out for a global release? We get it! But while you're here, feel free to mosey on over to our most recent Resident Evil hub with Village to see all of the latest and greatest regarding the latest entry in the Capcom franchise. 

Header image art by Mistfighter on Deviantart

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 2:11 pm

New Star Wars Comic Sees Leia And Luke Skywalker Visiting Jedi Fallen Order Planet

In the latest issue of the comic series Star Wars Adventures, both Luke and Leia are scouting for a new Rebel base. The latest possible location is a planet that gamers will recognize if they've played Respawn Entertainment's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, a planet called Bogano

Bogano is an Outer Rim planet that the Skywalker family has come across, and it was first introduced in the Respawn game. It is here that the duo will continue on in their quest for safety and fortitude for the Rebel army, continuing on this anthology's journey of exploring even more of the Star Wars universe. 

Star Wars Adventures #7 will show Leia arriving solo to Bogano, only to find that Luke is already there and is communing with the Force. The official Star Wars website offered a first look at the upcoming issue as part of the anthology written by Landry Walker and Sam Maggs, with illustrations done by Liana Kangas and Nick Brokenshire. Before its full arrival on July 28, take a sneak peek at the upcoming adventure in the preview images below: 

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For those that may not remember, the planet is grassy in nature and very much still a mystery. Covered in wetlands, this is a planet that housed a Vault built by the Zeffo civilization that Fallen Order's Cal Kestis must explore. With puzzles to solve and mysteries to uncover, Bogano was one of several planets that Cal was drawn to, but its ties to the Jedi is what makes it truly a remarkable place. In Borgano, Jedi Master Eno Cordova discovered a safe place to build a base from, and it was there that Cal searched for the Holocron that housed a list of Force-sensitive children in the galaxy following the Great Jedi Purge. 

The newest Star Wars adventure arrives on July 28 and is available to pre-order online and at your local comic book shop.


Are you interested in exploring Bogano even more with Leia and Luke at the helm of this adventure? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 26 July 2021 | 1:43 pm

The Best Trailers From This Year's San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic Con is usually one of the biggest shows of the year, offering glimpses into the future of comic books, movies, television shows, and video games. The creators of these projects and the talent that brings them to life are usually on hand for panels and to meet fans. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's show is once again virtual, earning the name Comic-Con@Home 2021.

This change in approach has led to less involvement from creative studios and far fewer reveals to marvel at, but this year's show still delivered a couple of surprises, especially with trailers for new animated television shows. I've rounded up the trailers that I thought were the most exciting or unexpected. You can view them all below:

Star Trek: Prodigy

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This new CGI animated series will air on Nickelodeon, and looks to slot in nicely next to other successful ventures of similar design like Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous. Make sure you watch until the end for a nice audio surprise.

Blade Runner: Black Lotus

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Adult Swim and Crunchyroll are creating a CGI animated series based on the theatrical films that takes place between Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. This show will consist of 13 episodes, and follows a new replicant named Elle.

Slasher Flesh & Blood

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A wealthy family comes together for a reunion, only to learn they just entered a game of life and death and are being hunted by a killer. Slasher: Flesh & Blood will debut on Shudder on September 12.

The Walking Dead

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The final season of The Walking Dead debuts on AMC on August 22 (but you can stream it on August 15 on AMC+). This trailer shows plenty of walkers and calls this final act a "death march."

The Walking Dead: World Beyond

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The Walking Dead: World Beyond is also coming to an end after just two seasons, which was the plan from the moment the show was announced. This trailer gives you a first look at how Iris' story will conclude. The show returns to AMC on October 3.

Posted on 25 July 2021 | 2:37 pm

Blizzard Co-Founder And Former CEO Responds To Activision Blizzard Lawsuit, "I Am Extremely Sorry That I Failed You"

This past week, legal documents regarding a lawsuit from the state of California against Activision Blizzard surfaced. The lawsuit's details are graphic, disturbing, and detailed in a way that is causing both the gaming community and the industry to take action. Following the initial report, Blizzard co-founder and former CEO Mike Morhaime has released his own statement. Unlike Activision's response, Morhaime took full responsibility for the "failings" of the company concerning the sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and toxic behavior that was reported to be prevalent within the company's culture. 

Content warning for graphic conversations regarding sexual misconduct, abuse, and suicide. 

Morhaime took to Twitter with an extended apology message to those in the company he used to lead. The first portion of his response directly called attention to the allegations, lending support to those speaking out. "I have read the full complaint against Activision Blizzard and many of the other stories," his statement began. "It is all very disturbing and difficult to read. I am ashamed. It feels like everything I thought I stood for has been washed away. What’s worse but even more important, real people have been harmed, and some women had terrible experiences."

He continued, saying, "I was at Blizzard for 28 years. During that time, I tried very hard to create an environment that was safe and welcoming for people of all genders and backgrounds. I knew that it was not perfect, but clearly we were far from that goal. The fact that so many women were mistreated and were not supported means we let them down. In addition, we did not succeed in making it feel safe for people to tell their truth. It is no consolation that other companies have faced similar challenges. I wanted us to be different, better.

"Harassment and discrimination exist. They are prevalent in our industry. It is the responsibility of leadership to keep all employees feeling safe, supported, and treated equitably, regardless of gender and background. It is the responsibility of leadership to stamp out toxicity and harassment in any form, across all levels of the company. To the Blizzard women who experienced any of these things, I am extremely sorry that I failed you."

Activision's immediate response to the details of the lawsuit going public was filled with denial and aggressive deflection, a response that Morhaime was careful not to take. Instead of taking the route the initial Activision response reflected, Morhaime offered support. More than that, he made it clear that he knows that a simple statement is nothing without action, saying, "I realize that these are just words, but I wanted to acknowledge the women who had awful experiences. I hear you, I believe you, and I am so sorry to have let you down. I want to hear your stories, if you are willing to share them. As a leader in our industry, I can and will use my influence to help drive positive change and to combat misogyny, discrimination, and harassment wherever I can. I believe we can do better, and I believe the gaming industry can be a place where women and minorities are welcomed, included, supported, recognized, rewarded, and ultimately unimpeded from the opportunity to make the types of contributions that all of us join this industry to make. I want the mark I leave on this industry to be something that we can all be proud of."

There were various reactions to his stance, including responses from former and current Activision Blizzard employees. Some were candied with Morhaime saying that he was right, he did fail them, recounting times when they tried to speak up in the past only to be bullied, belittled, gaslit, or - in some cases - physically reprimanded: 

I was later reprimanded for doing that, completely ignoring how terrified I was that my trying to save someone's life had somehow put my job in jeopardy, and that I was going to be assaulted at a work event because of it.

It felt like I was never given any grace, despite so -

— Cher Scarlett (@cherthedev) July 24, 2021

When I think back specifically to how many women Afrasiabi harassed and assaulted, myself included, and how many people were traumatized by Bridenbecker, the toxic environment that Pearce's EA's had for so many years... it's hard for me to think that you couldn't have enabled it.

— Cher Scarlett (@cherthedev) July 24, 2021

Someone asked me what I thought of Dreamhaven recently and their message about creating a diverse place and I responded…how could I believe that when you tolerated what went on at Blizzard. You filled the ranks w/ old guard taken from Blizzard.

— Connie Griffith (@gamedevconnie) July 24, 2021

There’s a long way to go, and there are a lot of people who need to review past misses and lost opportunities to recognize certain behaviors/people for what they were.

— 💖💛💙Stephanie “The Vaxxed” Krutsick🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸 (@skrutsick) July 24, 2021

“The fact that so many women were mistreated and were not supported means we let them down. In addition, we did not succeed in making it feel safe for people to tell their truth.”

👆

These are the key phrases.

— 💖💛💙Stephanie “The Vaxxed” Krutsick🏳️‍🌈🇺🇸 (@skrutsick) July 24, 2021

While the words do offer a genuine reaction, they are nothing without action. Numerous former employees have come forward to respond to Morhaime saying that he "knew all along," which brings us to the course of action. Will Morhaime assist in the lawsuit? Will he provide support for those he talked about in his public statement? Legal support, financial support, job placement support in response to the allegations? 

The investigation has been going on for over two years, according to the initial report, centering on a declared "frat boy" culture within Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit also cites the company being a "breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women." As mentioned in our initial coverage, the details in the lawsuit are graphic, recounting purported incidents that include casual discrimination all the way up to sexual assault and harassment. The lawsuit goes so far as to state that certain actions led to the suicide of one developer following a trip with her supervisor, who reportedly brought "butt plugs and lubricant" on a work trip with her in hopes of coercing her into unwanted relations.

To learn more, including the reported attempts to go straight to HR, we encourage you to read our previous coverage here

Posted on 24 July 2021 | 4:37 pm

New Leak Shows Metroid Prime 4 Studio Behind Canceled Legend Of Zelda Game Starring Sheik

We first made Sheik in Ocarina of Time back in 1998, but what if she had her own game entirely? It almost happened, and following our previous feature talking about why we'd like to Zelda get her own game courtesy of our own Jason Guisano, the surfaced canceled Sheik adventure has captured our hearts and attention. 

A recent leak spotted by Source Gaming's EIC features a canceled Sheik-focused game that was seemingly in development from Retro Studios. This is the same studio that is also currently working on Metroid Prime 4.  Former Retro Studios artist Sammy Hall has shared looks at the alleged game before with artwork of Sheik. Sheik has the appearance of a male Sheikah, but it is later learned in the games that it is actually Princess Zelda in disguise. It was an awesome storyline when Ocarina was first released, making the prospect at a standalone game seem immensely appealing. That being said, the project seems to be canceled given a recent leak that comes via a few different sources, but the original source comes from a leaked document that showcases the Sheik title planned between the years 2005 and 2008. 

It says Retro Studio in katakana there so I'm pretty sure that is exactly what it is lol https://t.co/6RObu8p7ax

— Joshua 'NantenJex' Goldie (@MrNantendo) July 20, 2021

In the above document, it looks like the plan was to have Ocarina's Sheik be a playable character for fans of the Legend of Zelda franchise. According to the archive of this document, the game was going to be an action RPG, which is the usual style for the Zelda series, and it was set to be "ten times weirder" than the usual adventures of Link and co. The story was reportedly set to be during the Dark Gerudo's 100-year arrival of Ganon, which honestly sounds amazing. 

Je découvre également ce site (https://t.co/BhznwfiOBA) qui répertorie plein de jeu annulé ou de version béta/proto de jeu. Il y a pas mal de jeux de niche mais aussi pas mal de curiosité dont un projet de plateformer 3D commandé par Valve et Xbox annulé.https://t.co/esaigcuFmc pic.twitter.com/yE5kPRes8E

— Kyio🌛 (@Kyiosuke13) July 15, 2021

Nintendo has made no mention of a possible Sheik game in the past, making this venture an interesting rabbit hole to dive into. 


So, we've got to ask: would you be down to play a Sheik-focused Legend of Zelda game? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments below! 

[H/T Nintendo Life]

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 6:30 pm

Dark Adventure RPG Black Book Arrives In August

Morteshka and HypeTrain Digital have announced a release date for Black Book, which arrives on August 10. Where can you find it? Well, just about everywhere. Black Book is coming to Steam, EGS, GOG, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. If you’re looking for a demo experience before diving into a purchase, the game has a prologue segment available for free right now on Steam and Xbox that covers the tale of Vasilisa becoming a witch, a narrative that flows into the core game. 

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In the base game, Vasilisa is seeking the titular Black Book for its magical powers, specifically the ability to bring back the dead. Card-based battles are the order of the day as you move through a dark world of Slavic folklore. You’ll meet friendly companions, employ demons to your cause, and collect cards to strengthen your powers as you head through the main story and side content. Make sure you keep your demons occupied, because they’ll begin to annoy and even harm you if you don’t keep them entertained! The various villages, towns, and other somewhat friendly fare as you proceed through dark forests offers some respite from hordes of dangerous enemies and sinister supernatural foes.

If you have tried the prologue chapter, what did you think? Do card collecting, deckbuilding RPG systems work for you? After Slay the Spire, Monster Train, and numerous other offerings have become available as this genre goes more mainstream, they’ve been a blast to experiment with. There’s something special about cutting all the chaff out of your deck and having only your perfect power combos to draw, or creating a massive, towering card giant that’s fueled by its size. What are your favorite deckbuilders, if any? Are you planning to check out Black Book? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 6:30 pm

The Official Game Informer Community Discord Is Now Open

game informer discord

We're happy to announce a project that's been in the works for a long time — the Official Game Informer Community Discord! Yes, we finally made one. So if you're interested in hanging out, playing games, and chatting with Game Informer staff and our friendly community, this is the place for you. Want to join? Awesome. We want you to join, too. Simply subscribe to our Twitch channel, sync your Discord and Twitch accounts, and then join the fun!

Need guidance on how to join our Community Discord server once you've subscribed on Twitch? Follow these steps once you're signed into Discord, according to the Discord Twitch Integration FAQ:

Q: How do I join a sub-only channel?  A: From the top! Here are the steps:
  1. Go ahead and sync your Twitch account with your Discord account, by going into User Settings > Connections > Twitch.
  2. Discord will automatically sync with your Twitch account, and you'll find all the streamers you're subbed to right in the Connections tab! You can hit the "Join Server" button and you'll get your special sub role, just like that. 

Why are we connecting the Discord to Twitch? Well, we want this to be a positive and inclusive space that we can all enjoy together, and we have some wonderful community moderators in place. This link makes it easier to ensure our Discord remains a safe place for our fans at all times.

We can't wait to chat with all of you wonderful folks on Discord. We'll see you soon!

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 6:02 pm

Skate City Gets A New Tokyo Level

In celebration of skateboarding being included in the Olympics for the very first time, Skate City has been updated with a new Tokyo, Japan level, available today. As publisher Snowman tells it, this level is the biggest added to the game to date. It's available exclusively through Apple Arcade.

The level will combine various parts of Tokyo, including famous skate spots from the real-world city, new large metropolitan areas, and small backstreets. The new level will also come with 21 new challenges, 30 new goals in Skate City's Endless Skate mode, new songs in the game's soundtrack, new skateboard decks and clothes in the shop, and a new leaderboard. 

Check out the level's new trailer right here:

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"For the last few years, we’ve been looking for an interesting way to tie a real-world event into something we make, but we never wanted to do anything that didn’t feel meaningful," Snowman co-founder Ryan Cash said in a statement about the update. "When the Tokyo games were announced, it was a no-brainer for us. Skateboarding’s coming to the Olympics for the first time in history, which is a triumphant moment for the sport. We knew we had to be part of it in some small way.”

"Skateboarding being included in the Olympics for the first time is a pretty big cultural milestone for the sport," Snowman senior producer Andrew Schimmel added. "We wanted to celebrate the moment by releasing our take on one of our most favorite cities in the world: Tokyo." 

While the new Tokyo level is exclusive to the Apple Arcade subscription service, Snowman recently brought Skate City to consoles and PC back in May. The game is also available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. Snowman recently added a major expansion to one of its other games, Alto's Odyssey, released on July 16.

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 4:04 pm

Super Replay – Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

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Look at me: I am the captain now.

After watching Dan Tack wipe the floor with Bloodborne in our last Super Replay, it’s time that I, Marcus Stewart, do the same with its successor, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Released in 2019 to critical acclaim, this tough-as-nails ninja epic flipped the FromSoftware formula on its head with a combat and parry system that promotes pure skill and aggression. The game’s memorable bosses can’t be felled by simply grinding and out-leveling them. You have to out-finesse them. It’s a challenging game, but at 2 p.m. CT, I’ll be tackling Sekiro in its entirety in a quest for redemption. 

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As much as I enjoyed Sekiro I never finished the game after I hit a wall whose name rhymes with “Lardian Grape”. After suffering defeat after defeat I walked away for over a year and decided to travel the globe in search of enlightenment. I scaled mountains, meditated under waterfalls, and trained under the tutelage of Tibetan monks: all to acquire the mental and physical skills necessary to beat Sekiro once and for all. 

Okay, I may have embellished that last bit. However, I have an even better support system. FromSoftware expert Dan Tack will act as my trusty coach, and I’ll also have Andrew Reiner in my corner to provide his entertaining brand of commentary and moral support. It doesn’t matter if it takes 5, 10, 15, 20 episodes or more. When the dust settles, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will be nothing more than another notch in my belt and I’ll finally become a master shinobi. 

Join us every Friday on Twitch at 2 p.m. Central as we go live with what’s sure to be a raucous and entertaining playthrough of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Our livestreams are a blast and we love interacting with our readers, so we hope to see you there! If you can’t catch us live, we’ll have the archived episode uploaded to our YouTube channel 24 hours later. Can I finally exorcise Sekiro's demons for good? I may need your encouragement and advice to pull it off. 

Be sure to check out the entire Bloodborne Super Replay as well as check out past Replay episodes by visiting our archive. Be sure to also let us know what games you’d like to see us tackle in future Super Replays!

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 3:37 pm

Bungie Details Destiny 2: Season 15 Transmog Changes With Synthstrand Modifications

As Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer continues to inch towards completion, Bungie continues to provide updates for what's next in the immediate future and for season 15. When the current season implemented the long-requested Transmog feature, it was met with mixed feedback. Some didn't mind the seasonal cap and the grind for materials because it fell in line with similar aspects of the online game. In contrast, others were frustrated by the cap and felt that the studio overcomplicated the process. Bungie has just revealed a few changes it is making to Synthstrands and the overall transmog process with that feedback in mind. 

The latest Bungie Blog post opened up about some of the feedback players have given about the entire Armor Synthesis system. The first step to taking that feedback to heart includes a few small changes to the currency used to transmog: Synthstrands. "Effective at the start of Season 15, we will deprecate the passively-earned world currency, Synthstrand, that was used to purchase Armor Synthesis bounties from Ada-1," reads the latest blog entry. "In its place, these bounties will be purchasable for 10,000 Glimmer instead."

The reason for this small but impactful change is to cut down on the grind time for Synthwave tokens that each class needs to spruce up their gear. Another byproduct of removing this currency is that it allows for the Consumables inventory slots to be a little bit more freed up while also making the entire transmog process just a little bit simpler. The change won't go live for next week's update, but Bungie states that it will be effective at the launch of Season 15. 

If you're worried that these changes aren't enough, don't be. Bungie concluded its transmog update by stating that the team is still paying close attention to feedback concerning the Armor Synthesis system, including player reactions to when the changes roll out next season, to ensure that transmog works the way it's meant to and can be enjoyed by all. 

We don't know when Destiny 2: Season 15 will kick off, but we do have August 24 to look forward to. Bungie confirmed a special event for August 24 that will presumably reveal exactly what the next season will have to offer as well as a look at the Witch Queen expansion on the horizon. Which is great, but Osiris? He's acting more than a little sus, and now that Savathun is walking around the city under the guise of someone we know? Well, it's about to get real. 

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 3:11 pm

The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Featured Some Killer Songs From Games

The Tokyo Olympics are in full swing, and despite some odd policies involving cardboard beds, there is no mistaking that the excitement is high for Olympic fans. For those that may have missed this year's Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony, the competitive event kicked off with some killer songs from some of our favorite games. 

From Final Fantasy to NieR, the opening ceremony was rife with amazing tracks from some of our favorite video games. I'm a little sad to see that there were no Nintendo tracks featured. Can you imagine the music from Legend of Zelda? That being said, they'd probably get sued, so maybe it's best that the Big N's amazing music was left out of this year's opening ceremony.

For those interested in the full tracklist: 

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Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Songs

The Tokyo Olympics is officially underway from July 20 and will continue until August 9. The closing ceremony will commence on the final day, with the Tokyo Paralympics commencing on August 24 before the Winter Games kick off on February 4, 2022. 


Thoughts on the opening ceremony sounds for this year's Tokyo Olympics? Do you have plans to watch the games this year? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

[Source: NikkanSports]

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 2:15 pm

New Dead Space Remake Details Revealed, Including Zero Loading Screens And Learning From Past Mistakes

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Earlier this week, Motive and EA revealed the Dead Space remake after numerous rumors that some sort of revival was on the way. While the teaser was just that — a teaser — we did get a few more details about what the remake will have in store. Get ready to dismember some limbs, folks, and let's dive into what we know so far. 

In an interview with IGNsenior producer Philippe Ducharme and creative director Roman Campos-Oriola revealed a little more about what the remake has in store. For those worried that the remake will remake a little too much: don't be. The pair assures fans of the iconic space franchise that the team has the original vision in mind when tackling this project. That being said, it's not just a tiny polish job either; there is a lot of work going into rebuilding this game utilizing EA's Frostbite engine. 

“We started with the original level design of the original Dead Space," said Campos-Oriola when talking about referencing original assets, including those that never made launch. "What's funny is that you can see some of the iterations that were made prior to ship by the team. In the first chapter, you can see some corridors that they wanted to do first in a certain way, and then you can understand why they changed it for technical constraints or [some other reason].

“Then, in terms of visuals, sound, gameplay, everything, we are rebuilding all of these assets. We are not porting them; it's not uprezzing the texture or adding more polygons to the model. It's really rebuilding all these elements, shooting all the animations, et cetera.”

Tech advancements

The duo confirmed that the remake is still very early in development, which is giving the team more time to find creative ways to harness Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 technology in an effort to take the immersion of Dead Space "even deeper" and a more "fully interactive" experience. A good example of this is that there will not be any loading screens, that way "there's not going to be any m moment where w'ere going to cut your experience" or cut away from any scene players find themselves in. 

According to Campos-Oriola, "What was really important was to be able to capture the unique look of Dead Space. That unique sci-fi look, but it's gritty and dirty and you feel that everything has been used for a long time. Capturing that dirty, industrial look, but with the level of detail that we can afford now, was something important during the production of that atmospheric benchmark.”

With a full rebuilding of the game, the team is implementing changes inspired by unused concept art and character designs, environmental changes, and adding volumetric effects and more dynamic lighting to bring each scene to life in frightening detail. From the sounds of the game being far more immersive than the original by  using 3D audio, to the entire experience rooted in dark colors and threateningly lit corridors, everything about the changes are still very much "rooted in the DNA of what Dead Space is." 

Filling in some plot holes

The two devs also stated that while this is a remake of the first game, the studio did look at the franchise as a whole to get a better vision for how they want the remake to play out in an effort to "flesh out" concepts a little more thoroughly in the first adventure. 

“For us, the foundation is the Dead Space 1 story. So, by default, that's what is canon. But then there are some improvements that we want to make to that story,” Campos-Oriola said. “And not necessarily improvements because those things were not really working in the original, more improvements because of what came after, and we're like, ‘Aw man, that's interesting if we could reference that, or if we could make a link to that."

What about microtransactions?

The pair confirmed that there will be no microtransactions for this game and that there were "never" any plans to add them into this single-pplayer experience. This concern doesn't come out of nowhere. EA decided to add microtransactions to Dead Space 3 and that inclusion wasn't met with the most positive reception. With microtransaction blunders that continued to follow after, most notoriously, Star Wars Battlefront II, Motive and EA agreed that this sort of additional pay model has no place in the Dead Space remake. Thankfully.

“We want to make games that deliver the experiences our players are looking for. Sometimes that is a single-player story-focused experience, where players can immerse themselves in another world,” Miele said. “Other players want us to show up every day with new content and events in our live services like Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, The Sims, Apex, and FIFA to name a few. We want players to choose an EA game or experience, and that means we need to make the type of games they want to play. Focusing on just one genre or model limits the number of players we can reach. We want to meet the players where they play and commit ourselves to impressing our fans with games that continue to surprise or delight them.”

We don't have a release date at this time, which is expected considering it is so early in its development, but at least we know we can experience the horrors of Dead Space once more sometime in the near future. 


Thoughts on the Dead Space remake reveal? What sort of changes are you hoping to see? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 1:23 pm

2021 Video Game Release Schedule

If you're wondering what games are coming up in 2021, we've put them all in one convenient location. This list will be continually updated to act as a living, breathing schedule as new dates are announced, titles are delayed, and big reveals happen. This should help you plan out your next several months in gaming and beyond.

As the gaming calendar is constantly changing, we highly recommend you bookmark this page. You'll likely find yourself coming back to this to find out the most recent release schedule for the most anticipated games across PC, consoles, handhelds, and mobile devices. If you notice that we've missed something, feel free to let us know! Please note that games will not get assigned to a month until they have confirmed release dates.

Hitman 3

January

Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues (PC) – Iron Conflict (PC) – MXGP 2020 (PlayStation 5) – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game - Complete Edition (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Hitman 3 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) –  – Read review Teratopia (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Dyson Sphere Program (PC) – Ride 4 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – Shing (Xbox One, Switch) – Gravity Heroes (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Nuts (Switch, PC, iOS) – Cyber Shadow (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Main Assembly (PC) – Stronghold: Warlords (PC) – The Sims 4: Paranormal Stuff Pack (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Ryte - The Eye of Atlantis (PC) – The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – The Dark Eye: Memoria (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Disjunction (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Madden NFL 21 (Stadia) –  – Read review Olija (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Sword of the Necromancer (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Medium (Xbox Series X/S, PC) –  – Read review The Yakuza Remastered Collection (Xbox One, PC) – TOHU (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Bonkies (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Gods Will Fall (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- The Prophecy of the Throne (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Turrican Flashback (PlayStation 4, Switch) –
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

February

Control (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Destruction AllStars (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (PlayStation 4) – Blue Fire (Switch, PC) – Haven (Switch) –  – Read review Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Kinetic Edge (PC) – Nioh 2 Remastered - The Complete Edition (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – Nioh Remastered - The Complete Edition (PlayStation 5) – The Nioh Collection (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Little Nightmares II (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (Switch) –  – Read review Fallen Legion Revenants (PlayStation 4, Switch) – The Sinking City (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Curse of the Dead Gods (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Horned Knight (PlayStation 4) – Persona 5 Strikers (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos (Switch, PC) –  – Read review We Were Here (Series) (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – Horned Knight (Xbox One) – Cotton Reboot (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Darius Cozmic Revelation (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Forward to the Sky (Switch) – Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection (Switch) –  – Read review Hellpoint (Switch) – Wrath: Aeon of Ruin (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Bravely Default II (Switch) –  – Read review Horned Knight (Switch, PC) – RetroMania Wrestling (PC) –
Yakuza: Like A Dragon Yakuza: Like A Dragon

March

Harvest Moon: One World (Switch) – Maquette (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) –  – Read review Neptunia Virtual Stars (PlayStation 4) – Yakuza: Like A Dragon (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 (PC) – Ar Nosurge DX (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Ciel Nosurge DX (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Loop Hero (PC) –  – Read review Sea of Solitude: Director's Cut (Switch) – Two Point Hospital: Jumbo Edition (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Apex Legends (Switch) –  – Read review Gensou Skydrift (PlayStation 4) – Crayta (PC) – Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch) –  – Read review Core (PC) – Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (Switch) – Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame 4 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – Mundaun (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review R.B.I. Baseball 21 (Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android) – Samurai Shodown (Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Saviors of Sapphire Wings & Stranger of Sword City Revisited (Switch, PC) – Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Adios (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Dungeon Defenders: Awakened (Xbox One) – Red Ronin (PC) – Cartel Tycoon (PC) – DARQ: Complete Edition (Switch) – Jack Jeanne (Switch) – Maglam Lord (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Marvel's Avengers (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Can't Drive This (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (Switch) –  – Read review Root Film (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Overcooked: All You Can Eat (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town (Switch) –  – Read review Dirt 5 (Stadia) –  – Read review Love Live! School Idol Festival: After School Wai-Wai! Home Meeting!! (PlayStation 4) – Paradise Lost (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Black Legend (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Crash Bandicoot: On the Run (iOS, Android) – Dandy Ace (PC) – DARQ: Complete Edition (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – El Hijo - A Wild West Tale (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Balan Wonderworld (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Genesis Noir (Xbox One, Switch, PC) – It Takes Two (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Monster Hunter Rise (Switch) –  – Read review Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 And 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Neptunia Virtual Stars (PC) – Auto Chess (PlayStation 5) – Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Stadia, PC) –  – Read review Evil Genius 2: World Domination (PC) –  – Read review Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (PC) –  – Read review Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix (PC) –  – Read review Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix (PC) –  – Read review Kingdom Hearts III (PC) –  – Read review Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind (PC) –  – Read review Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory (PC) –  – Read review Narita Boy (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Tennis World Tour 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – Drive Buy (Switch, PC) – The Binding Of Isaac: Repentance (PC) –
Outriders

April

Outriders (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review What Comes After (Switch) – World of Demons (iOS) – Lost Words: Beyond the Page (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Oddworld: Soulstorm (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) –  – Read review Star Wars: Republic Commando (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Pac-Man 99 (Switch) –  – Read review Before Your Eyes (PC) –  – Read review Borderlands 3: Director's Cut DLC (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Cozy Grove (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood (PC, Mac) – What The Dub?! (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV (Switch, PC) – Poison Control (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Fez (Switch) –  – Read review Ashwalkers (PC) – Drifters Loot the Galaxy (PC) – SaGa Frontier Remastered (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC, iOS, Android) – Super Meat Boy Forever (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) –  – Read review Tribal Pass (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – MLB The Show 21 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) –  – Read review Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Buildings Have Feelings Too! (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Immortals Fenyx Rising: The Lost Gods DLC (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – ScourgeBringer (PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita) – Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion (Switch, PC) – Judgment (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Stadia) –  – Read review Nier Replicant ver. 1.22474487139 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Death end re; Quest (Switch) – Genshin Impact (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review The Sinking City (Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Total War: Rome Remastered (PC) – New Pokémon Snap (Switch) –  – Read review R-Type Final 2 (Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – RetroMania Wrestling (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Returnal (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Terminator Resistance: Enhanced (PlayStation 5) –
Resident Evil Village

May

Sayri: The Beginning (PC) – The Colonists (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Skate City (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Resident Evil Village (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Hood: Outlaws And Legends (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids DLC (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – Before We Leave (PC) – Famicom Detective Club: The Girl Who Stands Behind (Switch) – Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir (Switch) –  – Read review Mass Effect Legendary Edition (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Subnautica (Switch) –  – Read review Subnautica: Below Zero (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Days Gone (PC) –  – Read review Divinity: Original Sin 2 (iOS) –  – Read review SnowRunner (Switch) – Aerial_Knight's Never Yield (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Elite Dangerous: Odyssey (PC) – Manifold Garden (PlayStation 5) – The Wild At Heart (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Knockout City (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Miitopia (Switch) – Rust (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) –  – Read review Biomutant (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Final Fantasy XIV (PlayStation 5) – King of Seas (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Maneater (Switch) –  – Read review Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Maid Of Sker (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Oddworld: Collection (Switch) – The Idolmaster: Starlit Season (PlayStation 4, PC) – The Longest Road on Earth (PC) – Song of Horror Complete Edition (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) –  – Read review Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – World's End Club (Switch) –  – Read review
Mario Golf: Super Rush

June

Ghosts 'n Goblins: Resurrection (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Operation: Tango (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) – Stonefly (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Elder Scrolls Online: Gates of Oblivion (Stadia, PC) – World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic (PC) – Wreckfest (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Pro Cycling Manager 2021 (PC) – Tour De France 2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Evergate (PlayStation 5) – Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Persistence (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – Mighty Goose (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Backbone (PC) – Chivalry 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Edge of Eternity (PC) – The Elder Scrolls Online (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – The Elder Scrolls Online: Gates of Oblivion (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) – Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) –  – Read review No More Heroes (PC) – No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (PC) –  – Read review Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Chicory: A Colorful Tale (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac) –  – Read review Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Game Builder Garage (Switch) – Guilty Gear -Strive- (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Wave Break (Switch, PC) – Among Us (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) –  – Read review Strange Brigade (Switch) – Heliborne (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) – Wingspan (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) – Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights (Switch, PC) –  – Read review Lego Builder's Journey (Switch, PC) –  – Read review Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video Game (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Worms Rumble (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch) – Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Legend of Mana (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Roguebook (PC) – The Eternal Castle Remastered (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) –  – Read review Mario Golf: Super Rush (Switch) –  – Read review Scarlet Nexus (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 And 2 (Switch) –  – Read review Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) –  – Read review Curved Space (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Destroy All Humans (Switch) –  – Read review Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny (Switch) – Doom Eternal (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Sky: Children Of The Light (Switch) –  – Read review Spirit of the North (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) – Doki Doki Literature Club Plus (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – GreedFall (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

July

Blaster Master Zero (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) –  – Read review Operation: Tango (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) – A Plague Tale: Innocence (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch) –  – Read review Ys IX: Monstrum Nox (Switch, PC) – Sam & Max: This Time It's Virtual! (Quest) – Blue Fire (Xbox One) – Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin (Switch, PC) –  – Read review Claire de Lune (PC) – Curved Space (Switch) – Where the Heart Leads (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – Bullet Age (PC) – Lost At Sea (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – Space Jam: A New Legacy (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) – F1 2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Observer: System Redux (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) – The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (Switch) –  – Read review Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Cris Tales (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Death's Door (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) –  – Read review Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) –  – Read review Monster Harvest (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Pokémon Unite (Switch) – Last Stop (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) –  – Read review Blue Fire (PlayStation 4) – Orcs Must Die 3 (Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Contra Returns (iOS, Android) – Blightbound (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Microsoft Flight Simulator (Xbox Series X/S) – Neo: The World Ends With You (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Samurai Warriors 5 (Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – Tribes Of Midgard (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) – Chernobylite (PC) – Nier Reincarnation (iOS, Android) – The Forgotten City (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Eldest Souls (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series (PC, iOS, Android) – The Ascent (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Alone With You (Switch) –  – Read review
New World

August

Grime (Stadia, PC) – Lemnis Gate (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – The Ramp (PC) – Dungeon Defenders: Awakened (Switch) – My Time At Portia (iOS, Android) –  – Read review The Falconeer (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch) – Black Book (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Godfall (PlayStation 4) –  – Read review Lawn Mowing Simulator (Xbox Series X/S, PC) – Icarus (PC) – Foreclosed (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Naraka: Bladepoint (PC) – SkateBIRD (Xbox One, Switch, PC, Linux) – Hades (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) –  – Read review Road 96 (Switch, PC) – Greak: Memories Of Azur (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, PC) – Humankind (PC) – 12 Minutes (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Recompile (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – RiMS Racing (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – Madden NFL 22 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – Aliens: Fireteam Elite (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Hoa (Switch, PC) – I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and The Liar (PlayStation VR, Rift, Quest, Vive) – Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) – King's Bounty II (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Marvel Future Revolution (iOS, Android) – Psychonauts 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – ProtoCorgi (Switch, PC) – Baldo: The Guardian Owls (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS) – No More Heroes 3 (Switch) – KeyWe (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – New World (PC) – Rustler (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Big Con (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) –
Deathloop

September

Lake (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous (PC) – WRC 10 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – The Medium (PlayStation 5) –  – Read review Chernobylite (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) – F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – Sonic Colors: Ultimate (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Life is Strange: True Colors (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC) – Lost in Random (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – NBA 2K22 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Tales of Arise (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – WarioWare: Get It Together! (Switch) – Deathloop (PlayStation 5, PC) – Aragami 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Switch) –  – Read review Diablo II: Resurrected (PC) – Sable (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Death Stranding Director's Cut (PlayStation 5) – Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot (Switch) –  – Read review Lost Judgment (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) – Ghostrunner (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – In Sound Mind (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – Astria Ascending (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Hot Wheels Unleashed (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Life is Strange Remastered Collection (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Rogue Lords (PC) –
Back 4 Blood

October

FIFA 22 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Phoenix Point (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) – Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (Switch) – Far Cry 6 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, Mac) – Metroid Dread (Switch) – Back 4 Blood (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Demon Slayer: The Video Game (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – A Little to the Left (PC) – The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Battlefield 2042 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – Super Robot Wars 30 (PC) – Age of Empires IV (PC) – Riders Republic (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) – Mario Party Superstars (Switch) –
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

November

Just Dance 2022 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia) – Forza Horizon 5 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) –  – Read review Shin Megami Tensei V (Switch) – Pokémon Brilliant Diamond (Switch) – Pokémon Shining Pearl (Switch) – Farming Simulator 22 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia) – Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac) –
Dying Light 2: Stay Human

December

Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp (Switch) – Dying Light 2 Stay Human (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) –
Stray

To Be Announced

Abandoned (PlayStation 5) Among Us (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4)  – Read review Anno: Mutationem (PlayStation 4, PC) art of rally (Switch) As Dusk Falls (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) Away: The Survival Series (PlayStation 4, PC) Axiom Verge 2 (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) Aztech Forgotten Gods (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Babylon's Fall (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) Backbone (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) Balsa Model Flight Simulator (PC) BattleCakes (Xbox One, PC) Bear and Breakfast (Switch, PC) Beast Breaker (Switch, PC) BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Boundary (PlayStation 4, PC) Braid: Anniversary Edition (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, Linux) Bright Memory: Infinite (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) Card Shark (Switch, PC) Chorus (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) Circuit Superstars (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Commander Keen (iOS, Android) Crimson Desert (PC) CrossfireX (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) Crysis Remastered Trilogy (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Cyberpunk 2077 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S)  – Read review Danganronpa Decadence (Switch) Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp (Switch) Dangerous Driving 2 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Darkest Dungeon II (PC) Destiny 2: The Witch Queen (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC) Devolver Tumble Time (iOS, Android) Digimon Survive (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (Xbox Series X/S, Switch)  – Read review Dordogne  (Switch, PC) Dual Universe (PC) Dungeon Defenders: Awakened (PlayStation 4) Dustborn (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) Earth Defense Force 6 Eastward (PC, Mac) Echo Generation (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) Edge of Eternity (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) Elite Dangerous: Odyssey (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) Encased (PC) Endling (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Epic Chef (PC) Evil Dead: The Game (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Evil West (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Eville (PC) Exo One (Xbox Series X/S, PC) ExoMecha (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch)  – Read review Far: Changing Tides (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (Switch)  – Read review Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier (iOS, Android) Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) Frozen Flame (PC) Garden Story (Switch, PC) Golf Club Wasteland (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Goodbye Volcano High (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) Halo Infinite (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) Heavenly Bodies (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) Hello Neighbor 2 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) Hindsight (Switch, PC, iOS) Hollow Knight: Silksong (Switch, PC) Horizon Forbidden West (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) Humanity (PlayStation VR, PlayStation 4) Hunter's Arena: Legends (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) Hyper Scape (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S)  – Read review Hytale (PC, Mac) Imposter Factory (PC) In Sound Mind (Switch) Industries Of Titan (PC) Inscryption (PC) Jack Move (Switch, PC) Jett: The Far Shore (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) Jurassic World Evolution 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Know By Heart (PC) Last Days of Lazarus (Xbox One, Switch, PC) League of Legends: Wild Rift (iOS, Android) LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Let's Build a Zoo (PC) Life is Strange Remastered Collection (Switch) Little Devil Inside (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) Little Witch in the Woods (PC) Lost Ark (PC) Madison (PC) Martha Is Dead (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) Metal: Hellsinger (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Mineko's Night Market (Switch, PC, Mac) Neo: The World Ends With You (PC) Neon White (Switch) Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) No Place For Bravery (Switch, PC) Nobody Saves the World (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) Nour: Play With Your Food (PlayStation 5, PC) Open Roads (PC) Oxenfree II: Lost Signals (Switch, PC) Panzer Dragoon VR Paranoia: Happiness Is Mandatory (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Phantom Breaker: Omnia (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Pokémon Unite (iOS, Android) Puzzle Quest 3 (PC, iOS, Android) Puzzling Places (PlayStation VR, Rift) Rawmen (PC) Roller Champions (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Scavengers (PC) Scorn (Xbox Series X/S) Second Extinction (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) Seed of Life (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Session (Xbox One, PC) Shadow Warrior 3 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) She Dreams Elsewhere (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Shredders (Xbox Series X/S) Skater XL (Switch) Smash Ball (PC) Solar Ash (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) Song in the Smoke (PlayStation VR, Rift, Quest) Sons of the Forest (PC) Soup Pot (Xbox Series X/S, PC) Spelunky (Switch)  – Read review Spelunky 2 (Switch)  – Read review Splitgate: Arena Warfare (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) Star Wars: Hunters (Switch) State of Decay 3 (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One) Stray (PlayStation 5) Surviving The Aftermath (Xbox One, Switch, PC) System Shock Remastered (PC) Temtem (Xbox Series X/S, Switch) The Academy: The First Riddle (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) The Anacrusis (Xbox Series X/S, PC) The Artful Escape (Xbox One, PC) The Binding Of Isaac: Repentance (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch) The Forgotten City (Switch) The Good Life (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) The Gunk (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) The House of the Dead: Remake (Switch) The Last Friend (PC) The Outlast Trials (PC) The Riftbreaker (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) The Settlers (PC) The Slormancer (PC) The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe (PC) The Walking Dead: Survivors (iOS, Android) The Waylanders (PC) The Witcher: Monster Slayer (iOS, Android) Those Who Remain (Switch) Thymesia (PC) Total War: Warhammer III (PC) Tunche (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Tunic (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) Ultimate Rivals: The Court (iOS) UnDungeon (PC) Unknown 9: Awakening (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) Unpacking (Switch, PC) Valheim (PC) Way to the Woods (Xbox One, PC) We Are The Caretakers (Xbox One, PC) Weird West (PC) Where Cards Fall (Switch, PC) White Shadows (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) WWE 2K22

Posted on 23 July 2021 | 2:13 am

Lawsuit Document Against Activision Blizzard Details A Long History Of Harassment And Discrimination

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing has filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard after years of investigation. The reason for the suit centers around "violations of the state's civil rights and equal pay laws," specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. 

Content warning for graphic conversations regarding sexual misconduct, abuse, and suicide. 

The investigation has been going on for over two years, and as Bloomberg reports, the lawsuit charges that the environment within Activision Blizzard hosts a "frat boy" culture. The studio is also being called a "breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women." The report is graphic at times, recounting purported incidents that scale from more casual discrimination all the way up to sexual assault and harassment. The lawsuit goes so far as to state that certain actions led to the suicide of one developer following a trip with her supervisor.

As detailed in the lawsuit documents found here, the report alleges that Activision Blizzard has many women fending off "unwanted sexual comments" and "being groped" during what is being called a cube crawl: 

In the office, women are subjected to 'cube crawls' in which male employees drink copious amounts of alcohol as they 'crawl' their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and joke about rape.

According to the report, sexual harassment and misconduct even resulted in one woman committing suicide during a work trip with her supervisor, who reportedly brought "butt plugs and lubricant" in hopes of coercing her into unwanted relations.

As is increasingly common with reports like these, the report claims that many attempts were made to talk to HR for any sort of resolution and go up the chain of command for assistance. "Employees were further discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel was known to be close to alleged harassers," reads the lawsuit documents. "As a result of these complaints, female employees were subjected to retaliation, including but not limited to being deprived of work on projects, unwillingly transferred to different units, and selected for layoffs."

Also included in the lawsuit is the pay gap between male and female co-workers, which alleges that many women are offered a similar role as a male counterpart at a much lower compensation rate. The suit also details opportunities that were seen as primarily going to men first, stifling progressive growth within the company's infrastructure. The documents also report that many of the women under the Activision Blizzard umbrella felt they needed to work harder and longer than their male counterparts for a chance at the same opportunities. The lawsuit details specific examples of this, which can be found here

Game Informer reached out to an Activision Blizzard spokesperson about the lawsuit, and they responded with the following statement: 

We value diversity and strive to foster a workplace that offers inclusivity for everyone. There is no place in our company or industry, or any industry, for sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind. We take every allegation seriously and investigate all claims. In cases related to misconduct, action was taken to address the issue. 

The DFEH includes distorted, and in many cases false, descriptions of Blizzard’s past. We have been extremely cooperative with the DFEH throughout their investigation, including providing them with extensive data and ample documentation, but they refused to inform us what issues they perceived.  They were required by law to adequately investigate and to have good faith discussions with us to better understand and to resolve any claims or concerns before going to litigation, but they failed to do so.  Instead, they rushed to file an inaccurate complaint, as we will demonstrate in court. We are sickened by the reprehensible conduct of the DFEH to drag into the complaint the tragic suicide of an employee whose passing has no bearing whatsoever on this case and with no regard for her grieving family.  While we find this behavior to be disgraceful and unprofessional, it is, unfortunately, an example of how they have conducted themselves throughout the course of their investigation. It is this type of irresponsible behavior from unaccountable State bureaucrats that are driving many of the State’s best businesses out of California. 

The picture the DFEH paints is not the Blizzard workplace of today. Over the past several years and continuing since the initial investigation started, we’ve made significant changes to address company culture and reflect more diversity within our leadership teams. We’ve amplified internal programs and channels for employees to report violations, including the “ASK List” with a confidential integrity hotline, and introduced an Employee Relations team dedicated to investigating employee concerns. We have strengthened our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and combined our Employee Networks at a global level to provide additional support. Employees must also undergo regular anti-harassment training and have done so for many years. 

We put tremendous effort into creating fair and rewarding compensation packages and policies that reflect our culture and business, and we strive to pay all employees fairly for equal or substantially similar work. We take a variety of proactive steps to ensure that pay is driven by non-discriminatory factors. For example, we reward and compensate employees based on their performance, and we conduct extensive anti-discrimination training, including for those who are part of the compensation process. 

We are confident in our ability to demonstrate our practices as an equal opportunity employer that fosters a supportive, diverse, and inclusive workplace for our people, and we are committed to continuing this effort in the years to come. It is a shame that the DFEH did not want to engage with us on what they thought they were seeing in their investigation.

To read the full report, you can learn more about the ongoing lawsuit from Bloomberg here, including personal retellings from numerous sources within the company. 

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 10:43 pm

The Last Of Us TV Series Casts Anna Torv As Tess

The Last Of Us took the industry by storm when it first released in 2013. A definitive shift in video game storytelling, Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic journey about Joel and Ellie continues to resonate with people around the world almost a decade later. The HBO adaptation will follow the events from the first game, and Joel’s first battle buddy (and, perhaps, romantic interest at one point?), Tess, has finally been cast.

Anna Torv of Heavenly Sword (Nariko’s voice actress) and Fringe fame is joining an already growing family of talent, led by Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the mind behind both games. Tess will be a recurring character that will travel across a devastated America alongside Pedro Pascal’s (The Mandalorian) Joel and Bella Ramsey’s (Game of Thrones) Ellie. Other cast members include Nico Parker (Dumbo) as Joel’s daughter, Merle Dandridge (The Last Of Us video game) as Marlene, and Gabriel Luna (Terminator: Dark Fate) as Joel’s brother, Tommy. Jeffrey Pierce, Murray Bartlett, and Con O’Neill will also be starring in the television series.

If you’re unfamiliar with the central plot of the game, The Last of Us chronicles the relationship between a grieving, but hardened, father and the young girl he must escort in a decaying America, rampant with infected creatures looking for their next meal. Joel and Ellie must come to grips with their own traumatic pasts in order to band together and survive the journey. Striking moments of happiness and heartbreak ensue. 

If the series does extremely well, it would be interesting to see an adaption of The Last Of Us Part II which Andy McNamara awarded a rare 10:

“I can rave about the attention to detail, the world, and the combat, but the story is where The Last of Us Part II sets a new bar. It is more about challenging your heart than your reflexes, and I simply cannot recommend it enough. There is much to be said about this game that can’t be said here due to spoilers, but you should play it as soon as you can with as little info as possible. But you don’t need to know specifics to appreciate how the gameplay and environmental cues all play into a single purpose: They make you feel the choices, helplessness, and the violence at the heart of this world and its characters. I can safely say this is the best narrative game I have played. I felt the loss. I felt the confusion. It is a game that turned me inside out with each twist of the screw.”

Are you excited to see Anna Torv’s portrayal of Tess? What moments from the first game are you looking forward to when the show premieres? How about ideas for some original story beats? Share your hopes and dreams down below!

[Source: Deadline]

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 6:37 pm

Ripple Effect Explains How Battlefield 2042's Portal Works And Coding For Newbies

Click here to watch embedded media

Earlier today, Ripple Effect Studios debuted Battlefield Portal, a new creative suite for players to essentially build the Battlefield match of their dreams. From pulling from previous games' assets to being able to get silly like going a round with nothing but defibrillators, Portal offers a lot of freedom for players to enjoy. That being said, the Logic Editor requires a little coding goodness, so how easy it that for those that may be completely new to this sort of editing? Turns out, pretty easy! 

Speaking with creative director Thomas Anderesson from Ripple Effect Studios, we wanted to know how easy a massive creation tool like this to use would be for coding "noobs" and what Ripple Effect is doing to make it enjoyable for all. "I don't think it's so much of a concern, as we don't expect the logic editor and the depth of the logic editor to maybe be of interest to everyone," said the creative director when we asked if there were any concerns about usability for Portal. "What we are offering is, of course, we expect a lot of people to come in and look at experiences. So giving more power, a little more advanced logic editor for the power users will allow for more interesting and unexpected experiences for the masses, if that makes sense. And I also there's an in the builder portion of Portal, there's, of course, aside from the logic editor, you have mutators, and settings that are very easy to tweak and very easy to set up. So I expect a lot of people to be able to curate and customize their server the way they want it without having to dabble in logic."

Ripple Effect Studios doesn't expect players just to already know how to use this feature, so they are creating guides and tips for Portal users to utilize before diving all in. Anderesson confirmed that the studio has a few plans in the works to help players through using Portal, saying: "So in the website itself, there will be hints, we're talking about videos, we want to, we wanted to have a robust set of tutorials and stuff ready for launch, so people can learn how to do this. And then of course, we're hoping that the community takes over for things that maybe we have missed falling through the cracks, that kind of stuff, where maybe influencers, community, people set up their own tutorials for things and that people even share, I think Rob or Justin mentioned that you can actually copy the URL for your creation and get help for from the community in like, Oh, this doesn't quite work as I expected it kind of I get helped to fix this. And through the tools you can, you can get other people to help you. It's pretty cool."

For those that may feel intimidated by the coding aspect: don't be. When asked if he had any advice for those that may feel that the coding aspect might be a little too difficult, he responded, saying, "Oh, that even goes farther than a portal question. I think it's easy to say I think there's nothing really to be intimidated by, I think the system is robust enough for you to be able to experiment and see what happens when you do a certain thing. If people want to practice and look at this programming language before released, it's based on something called blockly that you can find in various implementations. I know I saw something that I think makes code is what Microsoft calls it. And people can experiment with that on other platforms today. But it's nothing to be afraid of if it's not the most amazing experience. In the beginning, I'm sure people will pick this up fairly fast. And it's based on a very kind of, in a human way you can think of it as When this happens, do this. And there's plenty of options and things to choose from. But there's no better way and get stuck in it. And just try things out, experiment, and play against AI. If you're afraid that people will laugh at something that you created play against AI, it's a safe, safe environment for you to test your creations."

If Ripple's answers put you at ease a little bit, don't be afraid to dive into the new features that the studio is creating. To learn more about what Battlefield Portal has to offer, including how it's pulling from older games, check out the full reveal right here

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 6:05 pm

Dead Space Remake Announced

Today’s EA Play presentation concluded with a bang with the reveal that the original Dead Space is getting a full-on remake. The long-rumored project is being developed exclusively for new-gen consoles and PC and will give a premium facelift to Isaac Clarke’s horrific adventure aboard the USG Ishimura

EA's Motive Studios, the developer behind Star Wars Squadrons and Star Wars Battlefront II, is rebuilding Dead Space from the ground-up using the Frostbite Engine. Besides reassembling the game with high-end lighting, textures, and assets, EA’s press release states that the game will feature an “improved story, characters, and gameplay mechanics”.

The publisher doesn’t go into details on what those improvements entail, but the narrative premise remains the same: as everyman space engineer Isaac Clarke, you’re on a mission to repair the USG Ishimura, a mining shiponly to discover it's been overrun by terrifying alien creatures called necromorphs. These monsters have not only slaughtered most of the Ishimura’s crew, but they can also reanimate corpses. The worst news is that your girlfriend Nicole, is stationed somewhere on the ship. Isaac must race to find Nicole while combating the necromorph scourge as well as his own deteriorating sanity. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Dead Space released in October 2008 and was hailed as a horror masterpiece that blended the tense sci-fi horror of Alien with exceptional storytelling and satisfying, dismemberment-focused combat. Game Informer scored the game a 9.25 out of 10, with reviewer Andrew Reiner summing up the game’s horror saying “Dead Space is technically a survival horror game, but it should really be compared to motion picture juggernauts The Thing and Aliens, as it channels the essence of those films more than it does any other game. If horror is your forte, dim the lights, crank up the surround sound, and take the deepest breath you ever have. I think you'll agree, no game has ever been this frightening.” 

In a press release, Phillippe Ducharme, senior producer on the project, expresses the love and care going into the project saying  “The Dead Space franchise made a huge impact on the survival horror genre when it was released 12 years ago, and I came to Motive as a fan first to specifically work on this game. We have a passionate team at Motive who are approaching this remake as a love letter to the franchise. Going back to the original and having the opportunity to do so on next gen consoles excited everyone on the team. As we look to modernize the game, we’ve reached out to dedicated fans and invited them to provide us with feedback since the early stages of production to deliver the Dead Space game they want and for new players to enjoy as well.”

The original Dead Space, as well as its two sequels and Wii spin-off, were developed by Visceral Games, which was shut down in 2017. Even before the studio's closure, the series had been on hiatus since Dead Space 3 launched in 2013. Meanwhile, Dead Space's creator, Glen Schofield, has since formed his own studio to develop a new sci-fi horror game, The Callisto Protocol

Sadly, EA didn’t share a release window for the Dead Space remake but it’s slated to launch for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. 


What improvements do you hope to see in the Dead Space remake? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 6:00 pm

New Battlefield 2042 Gameplay Trailer Shows How You Can Build Your Own Battlefield With Portal

Ever wanted to create your own Battlefield experience? With Battlefield Portal in 2042, you can do just that! Revealed during the latest EA Play Live showcase, Electronic Arts and Ripple Effect Studios (formerly known as DICE LA) shared a new Battlefield 2042 gameplay trailer that shows off the community-driven experience that is Battlefield Portal. 

Everything seen thus far of Battlefield 2042 has had longtime fans of the FPS franchise excited. Despite the always-online requirement, the return of total verticality and the freedom that Battlefield is known for has the community buzzing. That's why the community-driven feature known as Portal is so exciting; it's a feature that was designed specifically because players have been asking for years for a detailed experience like this, one where players could completely tailor a game however they see fit. As seen in the video below, that even includes bringing a defibrillator to a knife fight, but that's just the start. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Players can go all sniper if they want, reduce the pool size to a much lower number, pull from assets - including maps - from several Battlefield games from the past, and so much more. So how does it work? Battlefield Portal is a creation suite that allows players to customize game settings to their liking. It includes various settings, custom modes, and a Logic Editor. The Logic Editor will allow players to play around with the game's code to not only create the ultimate Battlefield experience, but also to share it with the community.

While creative modes aren't totally new to the Battlefield franchise, the level of customization seen with Portal and the Logic Editor is. “Battlefield Portal is truly a love letter to our passionate and long-time fans,” said Justin Wiebe, senior design director at Ripple Effect Studios. “We’ve created a set of tools that really gives the community the chance to create their own signature Battlefield experiences, while also bringing back these iconic Battlefield classics for our veteran players to revel in and our new players to experience for the first time.”

With pulling from previous Battlefield experiences, here is a breakdown of assets available through Battlefield Portal: 

Classic Maps:

Weapons:

Vehicles:

Gadgets:

Armies:

Soldiers

With confirmed four seasons of Battlefield 2042 for the first year after launch, Battlefield Portal will also see new content added with each new season. To learn more about all things Battlefield, including our previous impressions with some up close and personal time with the game, check out our game hub here

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 5:56 pm

PSN, The Steam Store, And More Services Suffered From Widespread Outages

Outages come and go all the time; it’s always an inconvenience because these things always seem to happen when we’re enjoying a favorite show, getting ready to confirm a purchase on a favored item, or simply grinding in a multiplayer game with a crew of friends. Earlier today, however, multiple internet services were reportedly suffering from outages. These outages extended beyond platforms like the Steam Store and PSN. Apparently, a couple of banking pages and the Airbnb site were affected too.

Ah.

Great.https://t.co/rmcQKssyUT

— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) July 22, 2021

According to The Verge, “a spike of over 40, 000 users are having issues with the PlayStation Network, and the Steam store is also not currently functioning.” At one point today, the web browser version of the Steam store would lead to a DNS failure server error. This was also appearing on the Steam app. Specific titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty were also experiencing similar problems. The Verge went on to state that there were even reports of 911 systems being down across the country. 

If you check the notation on the PSN webpage, all services are up and running as of right now. The browser version of the Steam store looks to have been restored as well. However, the sheer scale of the outage leaves a lot of room for the re-emergence of internet issues. We’ll keep you updated if these problems come back and end up persisting throughout the day. 


Were you affected by these issues today? Are certain websites and services still down for you? If so, which ones are giving you trouble? Let us know what your situation is in the comments below!

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 5:43 pm

Lost in Random Rolls The Dice On A New Gameplay Trailer, September Release Date Announced

Lost in Random by Zoink, the makers of Fe, is a promising-looking EA Originals title we’ve been waiting to get our hands on since it was announced last summer. Today’s EA Play presentation treated us to a new gameplay breakdown of the game’s unique combat and also finally pulled the curtain back on a release date. 

On September 10, you can guide a young girl named Even on a quest to rescue her captive sister, Odd. She’s joined by Dicey, a living dice, as they explore the Kingdom of Random. An evil queen reigns over this dark fairytale world, which is divided into six realms governed by a cursed black dice. 

At its core, Lost in Random is a third-person action-adventure title but combat takes the form of flashy dice battles that unfold in board game-like arenas. By collecting coins, players can trade them to purchase cards that grant new attacks, abilities, and more. For example, one card causes Dicey to explode on contact with enemies. Another card transforms him into a giant hammer. Other cards can afflict enemies with curses and spawn traps in the environment. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Even herself can drop baddies using a slingshot. She can also knock off energy cubes that fuel Dicey. When Dicey’s at full power, he can unleash a time-freezing spell that brings enemies to a halt, giving you a temporary window to unleash the power of randomness.

Lost in Random’s Tim Burton-esque vibe combined with its unique tactical combat has all the potential of a gem in the making. It was recently honored as part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s first official games selection, so it’s already doing something right. We’ll find out once we get our hands on it when it launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. 


Are you interested in checking out Lost in Random? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 5:41 pm

Apex Legends: Emergence Revealed At EA Play Alongside New Legend And Ranked Arenas

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During EA Play today, we got a look at the next big update for Apex Legends called Emergence. Coming with this release is the brand new Legend Seer, a substantial update to the 3v3 Arena mode, and the future of the Apex Legends Global Series.

Opening the Apex segment of the show was a trailer featuring Seer, a new recon-focused Legend, taking out a bunch of the existing characters. The cinematic is stylish with the creole vampire narrating as he hunts his prey in lava-covered areas and snowy terrain. Here we get a glimpse of his abilities utilizing tiny drones that emerge from a jeweled compartment in his chest.

Apex director Chad Grenier gave some more details on his gameplay in an interview segment following the video. Seer can track opponents by using insect-like drones, sending them out to reveal targets that normally can’t be seen. His ultimate constructs a sphere in a chosen area that allows you to see movement within. While having knowledge of enemy positioning is a strong ability, Grenier revealed savvy players can sneak through undetected if they move slowly. Sprint through Seer’s globe, and you’ll surely be spotted.

Emergence isn’t just about adding to the roster, it's also expanding on Apex’s Arena mode. Grenier talked about the importance of giving players more to do outside of the traditional Battle Royal mode, and how adding Ranked Arena matches to the game does just that. Ranked Arenas will give players the chance to take these smaller three-on-three skirmishes seriously by bringing a ranking system to the mode and matchmaking players of similar skill together.

Closing out the segment, EA Play’s host Austin Creed and Grenier talked about the continuation of the Apex Legends Global Series. This year’s Global Series bumps the prize pool to $5 million and is letting PlayStation and Xbox players join in thanks to the recently implemented crossplay feature. Previously, the Global Series was only for players on PC, so this greatly opens the pool of potential competitors. Switch players will have to wait for another time, it seems. Pro League and Challenger Circuit events will be included in the competitive season as well.

Apex Legends: Emergence with Seer and Ranked Arena matches launches August 3 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.


How’s this new update for Apex Legends looking? Does Seer have what it takes to make an impact with his superior tracking skills?  Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 5:25 pm

Grid Legends Revealed, Mixes Live-Action Performances With In-Game Races

Click here to watch embedded media

Codemasters got today’s EA Play Live off to a strong start. Now that the developer has been acquired by EA, a bevy of fan-favorite racing franchises like Grid, F1, and Project Cars are now under a new banner. A short montage of these experiences aired and then Senior Gameplay Designer Becky Crossdale took to the stage (virtually) to announce the next chapter in the Grid series: Grid Legends. 

Grid Legends tells a compelling story about the intensity that surrounds the World Championship. The uniqueness of this game, however, comes from the implementation of live-action performances. This unique approach is bolstered with the help of filming tech used on The Mandalorian. Players will go toe-to-toe with a dominant team of drivers that will stop at nothing to keep their opponents off the track. In addition to the traditional structure of organized racing, Crossdale also mentioned the welcome addition of mixed class racing. This includes potentially dropping F1 cars, rally cars, trucks, hyper cars, muscle cars, and open wheel vehicles all in the same match for some wacky-looking contests. 

Other game modes like Boost Mode and Elimination Mode will be in the game (you’ll probably catch me totalling everyone else’s ride in the latter). And some awe-inspiring locations are making first time appearances. Crossdale mentioned that you could drive the new Aston Martin Valkyrie down tracks in Moscow, London – don’t forget to keep an eye out for Buckingham Palace! – and the world-famous Alpina course, which will push your favorite hyper cars to their limit. There are over 130 places routes in total so you'll have plenty of content to dive into. 

Grid Legends is slated for a 2022 release on next- and current-gen consoles as well as PC. Are you looking forward to diving into the single-player narrative or would you prefer racing your friends? What modes or cars do you hope to see? Post your thoughts in the comments section below!

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 5:20 pm

Sony Is Offering PS5 Owners Six Months Of Apple TV Plus For Free

With Ted Lasso being a hit show for Apple TV Plus – Jason Sudeikis front and center – now is the perfect time to dive into the Apple service. Don't feel like adding another subscription cost to the pile? No worries, Sony and Apple are teaming up to offer PlayStation 5 owners six months of free Apple TV Plus. 

If you have a PS5, though the current-gen systems are still tough to get, all you have to do is boot up the Apple TV Plus app and sign in with an Apple ID, and boom, you've got access to Plus for six months. As recommended with any sort of promotion like this, make sure to cancel the month before that six-month period ends. That way, you're not charged $4.99 a month (unless you want to keep it going, that is). 

The offer for six free months of Apple TV Plus is available now and will be accessible until one year from now on July 22, 2022. It's honestly a great service, especially with the joy that Ted Lasso brings, a show that is entering its second season later this week. Mythic Quest is also a must-watch, as well as a plethora of new lineup TV shows slated for later this year. 

For those interested in taking Sony up on this offer, you can learn more here at the PlayStation website

Hopefully, PlayStation 5 restocks will become a little more common when the holiday season arrives. Sony has said that the shortage is expected to continue into next year, though a small burst of restocks have been continuously becoming available for several months. 


Between anime services and Apple TV, what do you think about partnerships like this with Xbox and PlayStation? Are they enough to entice you into trying out a new service, or do you typically tend to steer away? Sound off in the comments below! 

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 3:12 pm

Horizon Forbidden West's Aloy Joins Genshin Impact For A Limited Time Only

While we have some time still before we can get our hands on Horizon Forbidden West, that doesn't mean we can't dive into a gaming adventure as Aloy in the meantime. For a limited time only, Guerrilla Games and miHoYo are teaming up to bring Aloy to the Genshin Impact roster for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 players. 

PlayStation took to Twitter to reveal the news, including how rank 20 players can get their hands on Aloy's Predator Bow. The new update is coming soon with version 2.1, which will include the new crossover. We don't have specific details yet, but PlayStation promises to reveal more soon: 

Want to obtain Aloy’s Predator Bow? Travelers above Adventure Rank 20 will receive this for free via in-game mail.

And if you’re playing on PS4 or PS5, you’ll get exclusive access to Aloy as of Update 2.1! pic.twitter.com/RY6m8oqM6F

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) July 22, 2021

Genshin Impact has seen a lot of success since the free-to-play game has hit the market. While it is a gatcha game, our own Dan Tack — who is known for his blunt criticisms about this particular trend in games — has mentioned in the past that this mechanic doesn't actually hurt the game. Genshin gives players the freedom to explore and take on new challenges while exploring a world, not unlike that seen in Nintendo's Breath of the Wild. Heavily inspired by the open-world Link adventure, Genshin Impact continues to evolve with more updates, new characters added to the roster, and new expansions to make the ride all the more enjoyable. 


Thoughts on the Genshin Impact x Horizon Forbidden West crossover? What other games would you like to see make their way into the world of Teyvat? Sound off with those hot takes in the comment section below! 

Posted on 22 July 2021 | 2:20 pm

Injustice: Gods Among Us Movie Announced

Injustice is an animated movie inspired by Netherrealm Studios' fighting game and the DC comic series from Tom Taylor called Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year One. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, and DC, the upcoming animated tale will transport fans to an alternate Earth where Joker turned Superman's inside out

Announced via The Hollywood Reporterthe upcoming animated film takes place in a world where the Joker tricked Superman into murdering his beloved Lois Lane. We know how this story plays out: Superman goes berserk and aims to control Earth in its entirety while deep within his spiral. Can Batman and company stop him before it's too late?

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment via THR

Justin Hartley will be voicing Superman alongside Anson Mount as Batman, Zach Callison as Damian and Jimmy Olsen, Laura Bailey as Lois Lane, Brian T. Delaney as Green Lantern, Brandon Michael Hall as Cyborg, Gillian Jacobs as Harley Quinn, Yuri Lowenthal as Mirror Master, Shazam, and Flash, Edwin Hodge as Mr. Terrific and Killer Croc, Fred Tatasciore as Captain Atom, Derek Phillips as Nightwing and Aquaman, Anika Noni Rose as Catwoman, Kevin Pollak as Joker and Jonathan Kent, Faran Tahir as Ra's al Ghul, Reid Scott as Green Arrow and Victor Zsasz, Janet Varney as Wonder Woman, and finally: Andrew Morgado as Mirror Master Soldier. 

At the helm of this project is Justice League Dark's Matt Peters as the animated film's director with a script written by Batman: Hush's Ernie Altbacker. Jim Krieg is set to produce the movie with Sam Register as the executive producer. 

While we don't have a release date at this time, the Injustice movie is expected to release sometime this fall. 


Are you excited to see the narrative of Injustice: Gods Among Us once more in a different format? What are you the most hopeful for regarding this animated take? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 21 July 2021 | 7:06 pm

Guilty Gear Strive's First DLC Character Releases Next Week

Guilty Gear Strive was released a little over a month ago, and now Arc System Works is ready to start delivering new characters to the game. In a trailer released last night, we looked at the first DLC character, Goldlewis Dickinson, and the roadmap for the upcoming slate of content in Strive’s Season Pass.

Goldlewis Dickinson is the “Secretary of Absolute Defense,” a slightly different position than what we have in the real world United States. Slightly cooler, too. He’s dressed in what I’m sure isn’t a standard-issue uniform, complete with jeans covered with chaps, a big horned belt buckle, and actual horseshoes emblazoned on his gloves to give a little extra impact to his punches. This big brawler carries a heavy-duty coffin with an Area 51 sign slapped on the front. He claims that there aren’t any aliens around in the trailer, but the blue otherworldly arm punching from the coffin says otherwise.

Dickinson’s move-set is reminiscent of other burly fighting game characters with big sweeping attacks utilizing that heavy coffin and his alien friends to apply pressure. Also at his disposal are flying drone bomb projectiles to keep enemies busy while Goldlewis finds a way in to attack. Once the Secretary does get in, he has options by using his command grab to apply three skull-cracking headbutts or shoulder charging in to start a combo. Goldlewis packs some serious firepower with a massive chain gun he can combo into from a coffin attack and a super that blasts his unfortunate victims with an orbital laser from space.

Click here to watch embedded media

Goldlewis Dickinson is slated to hit Guilty Gear Strive on July 27 for season pass owners and on July 30 for those who wish to pick him up individually on PlayStation consoles. Steam users will be available to find the DLC for individual purchases on July 27. Arc System Works gave a rough timeline for the rest of this season’s DLC along with this character announcement. No price was given on buying Dickinson solo, but the season pass runs $29.99. August will bring another character, with another fighter coming sometime before the end of the year. 2022 is the current time for the final 2 DLC characters and new stages for the season, the final one bringing new story content along with it.

Who’s missing from Guilty Gear Strive’s roster that you’d like to see return? Have you been playing Strive, and what do you think of it? Tell me about it in the comments!

Posted on 21 July 2021 | 3:52 pm

This Wholesome Skyrim Mod Offers A Spell That Lets You Get Your Hug On

Skyrim is easily one of the most heavily modded games out there, more so since Bethesda started supplying console mod support. Some of these fan creations are complete retellings and new adventures, while others — like this Skyrim mod — are more about the simple things in life. 

The Self Hug Spell Mod from Nexus Mods user The Seagull (uploaded by DevicsPrey) is bringing a little wholesomeness to the world of Tamriel. "We all need a hug from time to time, but not all of us have someone around to provide such luxury," said the mod's creator when explaining how this came to be in the first place. "Use your mighty magics to emulate the sensation of being hugged and improve your mood drastically."

According to the mod's creator, it's a simple spell that was added for brevity, and you know what? Sometimes, simple is good. Simple is just what we need. The world would be a better place if we had a little more empathy and a little more compassion towards one another. Apparently, that applies to our toon selves in-game, as well. 

To download this mod, which is a first for this creator, check it out right here

If you want even more hugging, there's another mod called "I'm Glad You're Here" that lets you hug it out with your followers, in-game spouse, and other characters littered throughout Tamriel. 

Want even more mod goodness? Check out some of our other favorites with previous Mod Corner entries below, including more Bethesda fun: 


What are your thoughts on a hug-centric mod for Skyrim? Any particular mods out for PC that is your go-to? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! You can also request recommendations for future Mod Corner stories, as well! Happy to help! 

Posted on 21 July 2021 | 3:05 pm

New Ghost Of Tsushima Director's Cut Trailer Reveals More About Iki Island

A new Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut trailer dives deep into the dangers of Iki island, a new playable area for fans of the samurai game to roam. This expansion is exclusive to the Director's Cut, giving newcomers even more of a reason to jump in, as well as those that may have already completed Jin's journey. 

"If you’re a history buff, you may know that in addition to Tsushima, the neighboring island of Iki was also invaded during this time period," said Sucker Punch when the Director's Cut was first revealed. "We’re excited to reveal that a whole new chapter in Jin’s journey is coming and will take place on Iki. In this new story, Jin travels to the island to investigate rumors of a Mongol presence. But soon, he finds himself caught up in events with deeply personal stakes that will force him to relive some traumatic moments from his past."

Take a look at the latest video below to see what awaits in Iki island: 

Click here to watch embedded media

Iki Island is the next step for Jin's journey where he discovers a mysterious Mongol tribe has begun to claw its way into the island. Jin learns about a Shaman called Ankhsar Khatun, which we witness in the video above,  and about her followers called the "eagles." The Shaman claims to dominate even the souls of man, not just the nations they run, which proves to be Jin's greatest challenge yet. To face this new threat, Jin must travel to Iki Island, though past traumas ensure that this adventure is anything but smooth sailing. 

The new expansion comes with fresh armor for Jin, new horse armor, mini-games, fighting techniques, enemies, environments, and even new mapping options. For the trophy hunters out there, the Director's Cut will include new earnable trophies, as well. 

For those who have already completed the adventure of Ghost of Tsushima on the PlayStation 4, Sucker Punch promises that save transfers from the PS4 to the PS5 are doable, so it'll be easy to dive right in see some of the new features for yourself.  Enhancements include Dual Sense haptic feedback and 3D audio, as well as 60 FPS targeted framerates. 

Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut is available to pre-order now, with a full release slated for August 20, 2021. 


Are you excited for what Ghost of Tsushima: Director's Cut has to offer? What aspect of Iki island has your attention the most? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Posted on 21 July 2021 | 2:45 pm