Pokémon Snap Guide: Where To Find Pokémon In The Lental Region

New Pokémon Snap

New Pokémon Snap is now available, and you’re probably wondering where you can find your favorite Pokémon across the Lental region’s diverse biomes. As you may have seen in our other guide, which lists all the Pokémon we’ve discovered so far, New Pokémon Snap features a huge collection of your favorite monsters to find and photograph. While we haven’t uncovered all the Pokémon scattered across the Lental region ourselves, we have a pretty good lay of the land.

The Lental region charges you with scouring 12 different diverse biomes across different research levels and times of day. As you might expect, different Pokémon live in different areas and conditions, while various species are also more active during the night, while others are energetic and visible only during the day.

Where To Find Pokémon In New Pokémon Snap

As you head into these maps, please note that this isn’t a comprehensive list, but rather a guide to help you know what to keep an eye out for. As such, the below images and descriptions contain spoilers for which Pokémon appear where. Keep in mind that different Pokémon appear at different research levels, so if you see something on our maps but not in your game, keep leveling that area and the Pokémon will appear eventually!


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Florio Nature Park

The opening area of New Pokémon Snap eases you into the action, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of opportunities to discover and photograph iconic Pokémon in this wildlife park. Florio Nature Park lives up to its name, delivering a sprawling greenspace for Pokémon to congregate. Along the way, you can spot Dodrio prancing around, Bidoof building a dam, Swanna leading its Ducklett, and Bouffalant grazing. Come back at night for a chance to spot Scorbunny running amok, a showdown between Pinsir and Heracross, and some great opportunities with Combee and Vespiquen.

As you wrap up the mainline part of Florio Nature Park, you’ll open up the Illumina Spot, which features Meganium. Keep the giant grass Pokémon glowing for the best photo opportunities. As you continue on repeated playthroughs, Pokémon like Eevee will begin appearing in the Illumina Spot.

Research Camp

One of the pleasant surprises of your New Pokémon Snap journey is the ability to photograph the myriad monsters that wander around the grounds of Professor Mirror’s Research Camp. Not only does this enable you to get up close with Pokémon who are used to the presence of humans, but there are some monsters that are only present at the Research Camp. This location offers outstanding opportunities for photographing Meowth, Starly, Audino, and Stoutland, while the sharp-eyed researcher can find Cutiefly and Bunnelby just off the beaten path. Of course, it wouldn’t be a fully populated camp without two of the most popular Pokémon: Pikachu and Eevee.


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Founja Jungle

After completing enough research in Florio Nature Park, you’re able to jump to Belusylva and ride through the Founja Jungle. Liepard, Beautifly, and Bounsweet can get right in your face, but you might have to work a bit to attract the attention of Pikipek and Quagsire. Come back at night for a wider spread of critters, including Ariados, Ledian, Toucannon, Morelull, Yanmega, and others. 

Elsewhere Forest

The most mysterious of all areas, Elsewhere Forest carries an eerie feeling throughout your entire journey, giving us serious Lost-Woods-from-Zelda vibes. As you push through the disjointed course, you end each segment getting consumed by fog, only to emerge in seemingly disparate clearings filled to the brim with Pokémon like Bulbasaur, Trevenant, Espurr, and even Celebi.

Once you unlock the Illumina Spot of Elsewhere Forest, you can engage in an encounter with Milotic. Tracking the slippery water type can be tricky, but it gives you plenty to shoot while it swims all around you. On repeated playthroughs, Milotic is joined by creatures like Lotad, Magikarp, Serperior, and Espeon.


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Blushing Beach

The gorgeous Blushing Beach gives us a taste of the tropical life of Maricopia and surrounds you with Pokémon to match the theme. Whether you’re talking the walking palm tree that is Exeggutor or the surfing Alolan Raichu, the luau theme is in full effect – especially if you play some music for the Bellossom. Machamp may be using the beach as an opportunity to workout and show off his muscles, but Blastoise is taking it easy along the shore. Come back at night and you can witness a battle between Seviper and Zangoose, or be an audience member as Primarina sings a song. You can also toss an apple at the red shovels on the beach to pull Sandygast out of hiding (and scare Octillery half to death in the process).

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Maricopia Reef

The beach is great, but what about the big game you can only spot further out at sea. Reefs are always wildlife hotspots, and the Maricopia Reef in New Pokémon Snap is no different. From aggressive Sharpedo that will not hesitate to snap right back at you if you hit them with a fluffruit to Squirtle chilling on the rocks, you have plenty of water types to shoot. As you navigate around a swirling whirlpool, you’ll be able to spot several nautical flying types like Wingull and Pelipper, plus a Wailord that you couldn’t miss even if you tried your hardest. Depending on the research level and time of day, you end the the stage with Pelipper, Corsola, Mareanie, Lapras, and Pyukumyuku.

Lental Seafloor

Perhaps the densest area of Maricopia, the seafloor gives you two completely different routes to explore once you unlock the Illumina Orb and can encourage the Clawitzer to blast away the rocks. While seeing Pelipper swimming beneath the water is cool, I was more fascinated by the interactions between Wailmer and other Pokémon like Octillery and Qwilfish. Later in the stage, you can get some great shots of two Clawitzer battling, as well as plenty of shots of Tentacruel as you head towards the surface. Once you unlock the cavern area of the Lental Seafloor, you have access to a few new Pokémon like Lanturn and Golisopod.

The Illumina Spot of the Lental Seafloor gives you a run in with Wishiwashi in both Solo and School forms. Watching the monstrous School form swirl around you is almost terrifying in the dark depths. Not a ton of other Pokémon travel that deep, but on repeated journeys through the deep seas, Wailmer showed up, but Wishiwashi’s School form remained the star.


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Sweltering Sands

If you’re tired of water and water types, fear not, as it’s off to the dry dessert! Sweltering Sands, despite being a barren landscape, features a pretty strong selection of Pokémon. It’s hard to miss Cacnea rolling down the dunes or Mandibuzz circling overhead, but repeated playthroughs yield encounters with Pokémon like Tyranitar, Lycanroc, and more. If you come back at night, Lycanroc’s Mightnight form comes out to cause mischief, other Pokémon like Silicobra, Sandshrew, and Kangaskhan stretch their legs. If you find yourself stuck on how to stop the tornado during the day, try lighting up all three Crystabloom plants by the one on the right to reveal Flygon.

Fireflow Volcano

If the dessert wasn’t hot enough for you, how about an active volcano? Altaria and Archeops glide and lounge all around you, while majestic Luxray observe to make sure you don’t pull any funny business. As you descend into the volcano itself, you’ll spot all kinds of rock and fire types, including Monferno, Charmander, Aerodactyl, and Tyrantrum. Once you unlock higher research levels, you can take the right path to see a gathering of Flareon, Charmander, Slugma, and Torkoal, or go left and witness a showdown between Charizard and Tyrantrum.

The Illumnia Spot of Fireflow Volcano is probably the most difficult, but it’s still pretty straightforward. The two Volcarona surrounds itself with flames, rendering Illumina Orbs useless. Toss some fluffruit their way and the fire will dissipate temporarily, allowing you to snap them in all their glory. On return visits to the spot, you can see additional Pokémon like Monferno, Talonflame, and Archeops, but you have better opportunity with them in the main Fireflow Volcano course.


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Shiver Snowfields

Up next, it’s out of the frying pan and into the … frozen tundra? The Shiver Snowfields deliver plenty of ice types for you to photograph. Beartic and Swinub are pretty easy to spot, as is Mamoswine, but don’t miss the Skarmory off in the distance. Nighttime visitors will have a shot at Delibird, Jynx, Vanilluxe, and Mightyena. Don’t miss your chance to lure out an Alolan Sandslash when you see its well-camouflaged quills sticking out from the snow.

Outaway Cave

Outaway Cave gives you lots of shots at Gengar, though few of them are truly great opportunities. The best way to get the ghastly ghost type on camera is to toss fluffruit into any swirling portals you see on walls or the floor. Always be on the lookout for bat Pokémon like Crobat and Noibat, as they’re a pretty steady presence. As you descend deeper, keep a lookout for Croagunk singing their tunes.

The Illumina Spot features a massive Steelix bursting through tunnels and leaping all around you. Simply snapping photos of it won’t do you any good; you need to light it up with several Illumina Orbs before Professor Mirror will accept your shots. Come back after you accomplish your mission and you’ll also spot Noibat, Carbink, and Sableye on the path. 


Ruins of Remembrance

The final area of the main campaign is the Ruins of Remembrance. Here, your research culminates as you learn more about the Illumina phenomenon. Houndoom prowl as if to guard what lurks beneath the ground, while Salandit and Noivern welcome you to the subterranean setting. Once you enter the main room of the ruins, you can spot plenty of creatures, ranging from Chandelure and Natu to Sigilyph and Golurk. You can also encounter Absol, but your main focus is to light up all of the Crystabloom plants to progress the story – try nudging the Natu that’s asleep on the Golurk’s shoulders if you can’t figure out how to get that last one to light up. Also, Jirachi is easy to miss, but it appears on top of one of the Illumina statues at higher research levels.

The final Illumina Spot lets you chase down the grand prize: Xerneas. The Legendary Pokémon from Pokémon X teleports all around you as you do your best to snap photos of it. When you come back to the spot, Xerneas is joined by Pokémon like Woobat, Umbreon, Sigilyph, and more.

For more on New Pokémon Snap, be sure to read our full review here and see our list of every Pokémon we’ve encountered (so far) here.


New Dragon Age 4 Concept Art Brings Back The Grey Wardens

New Dragon Age 4 concept art has arrived just in time for the weekend, and it brings back the Grey Wardens front and center. The order has gone through the Void and back, especially during the events of Dragon Age Inquisition, and it looks like we’ll be seeing them once more – perhaps to face down an Old God tied to Solas

I knew something was coming when Dragon Age 4 executive producer Christian Dailey  responded to a post from BioWare creative director Matthew Goldman about something “grey and point,” and I’m so happy I’m an overthinker, because now I get to write about more Dragon Age. The latest glimpse at fanart is a proud Grey Warden with a sword raised and his shield held high.

Depending on what you did with the Wardens in Dragon Age Inquisition, the future of those that protect Thedas from the Blight is precarious and unstable. After being used as a pawn by Corphyeus due to a created False Calling, the Order was left in disarray, banished back to Weisshaupt to regroup.  

The last trailer to enjoy was given to use late last year, filled with even more artwork and our first look at Tevinter’s high-society landscapes and a glimpse at those pesky Antivan Crows, fans have been hungry to learn more about what’s next – especially regarding a certain egghead named Solas. With Nevarra, Antiva, and Tevinter all on the horizon, Dragon Age 4 will be taking fans to the corners of Thedas previously unexplored yet heavily talked about. We might even see the hidden depths of Nevarra with a possible Mortalitassi companion, something we explored in-depth with our previous coverage here

With the books (especially the anthology Tevinter Nights) and comics (most recently with Blue Wraith) pairing beautifully with the ending of the Tresspasser DLC in Dragon Age Inquisition, we’ve known that the next step for the Thedas tale would be set in Tevinter and the surrounding areas for awhile now. BioWare also previously confirmed this earlier this year, making the next step for the Dragon Age franchise an exciting one. With the concept art art showcasing the Wardens once more, does this mean we can add Weisshaupt to that list of destinations? I sure hope so! 

What do you think about the latest Dragon Age 4 concept art tease? Interested in learning some of our theories about the next game? Check out our in-depth breakdown of red lyrium here, including how we think Solas had the purpose along of self corruption. 


This Destiny 2 Cosplayer Looks Incredible With Her Petra Venj Cosplay

If you couldn’t tell already, I love everything about cosplay and adore being able to share some of the incredible fan creations made within the cosplaying community. With that in mind, being a massive Destiny fan has made one particular Petra Venj cosplay stick out in the best way possible as she effectively brings the character to life in stunning detail. 

The cosplayer in question is Karin Olava and her portfolio is beyond incredible. For those that may be unfamiliar with who Petra is in the Destiny universe, she’s an Awoken warrior that was in service of Queen Mara Sov until her disappearance during the Battle of Saturn. In Destiny 2, players can find her in the Dreaming City (and sometimes the Tangled Shore) as a vendor. 





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A post shared by Karin Olava (@karinolava)

How can you look at this Destiny 2 cosplay and not be impressed? From Mass Effect to The Elder Scrolls, her attention to detail and expert craftsmanship is inspiring and really is a strong testament to the passion she has for games. 





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A post shared by Karin Olava (@karinolava)

The cosplaying community is always growing, providing a space where fans can bring some of their most favorite characters to life. Sometimes, these recreations are exact representations. Other times, cosplayers put their own creative twists on a particular franchise. Either way, it’s amazing seeing people express what they love, especially in a way that showcases their talent beautifully. 





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A post shared by Karin Olava (@karinolava)

With Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen coming to a close here soon with Season 14 bringing with it a plethora of new features (like Transmog), the Bungie community has seen a massive surge in its own ranks. Karin’s cosplay is just one of many ways Guardians are showing off that Destiny appreciation, I can’t wait to see what else this microcosm of communal fandom does next. 

What do you think about this Destiny 2 cosplayers’ Petra cosplay? Who is your favorite character from the Bungie space shooter? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Borderlands Movie: Every Character Casting Confirmed So Far

It feels like every other week we are learning about a new Borderlands movie casting, so we decided to put all of the names together for your convenience. This list will be updated as more names are revealed, but for those curious – here is every confirmed character casting so far for Eli Roth’s Borderlands movie. 

The upcoming movie that Roth is making with Lionsgate has some impressive talent behind it. Some of the casting choices have thrown fans off, while others have felt like the perfect fit. We’ve got names from Star Wars, American Horror Story, Halloween, and so much more. Check out the full confirmed cast list so far, a list that will be updated when more characters are confirmed. 

Every Borderlands Movie Character Casting Confirmed So Far 

The upcoming movie will center around Lilith, played by Cate Blanchett. This infamous outlaw has a past she’s not ready for people to uncover, especially when she’s forced to return to Pandora to find Atlas’ lost daughter. To complete her latest mission, she must team up with some of the best of the best. That includes the adorably badass Tiny Tina, the annoying-yet-helpful Claptrap, and so many others. The upcoming movie, much like the games themselves, involves a few redemption arcs, some crass jokes, and a tenuous grip on sanity. The fate of the entire universe is in their hands, it’s up to this group to band together and save the day. Again. 

The movie itself is set to begin filming soon in Budapest, a popular location for many shows and films due to COVID restrictions. 

The Borderlands franchise has been a standard for looter shooters ever since the first game made its debut back in 2009. With its witty banter and completely unique cast of characters, Gearbox has shown no fear when it comes to doing whatever it wants to do with the crazy world of Pandora. That creative freedom has paid off a lot for the series, so it will be interesting to see what Roth does with it going forward with this adaptation. 

Thoughts on the Borderlands movie cast so far? Any particular actor you’d rather see cast instead? Shout out those thoughts loud and proud in the comments below, we’d love to hear what you think! 


Pokémon Snap: Pokédex List Guide

New Pokémon Snap

Now that New Pokémon Snap is out and photographers everywhere are diving in, more and more players are discovering the wonders of the game’s Lental region. In New Pokémon Snap, players are tasked with filling out their Photodex, a catalog similar to the Pokédex found in the mainline entries. The region contains various diverse biomes for players to ride along. While those areas certainly contain plenty of scenic vistas, the main attraction is how many different Pokémon they house.

New Pokémon Snap

Unlike the Pokédex, New Pokémon Snap’s Photodex fills out as you go, meaning they are numbered in the order in which you can encounter them. This makes filling out a particular level simpler. Because of this, Pokémon and their evolved forms aren’t placed next to one another. If you’re worried your favorite monster didn’t make it, we’ve got you (mostly) covered. 

All Confirmed Pokémon Snap Entries So Far

New Pokémon Snap features more than 200 different Pokémon to discover and photograph. Check out all the creatures we’ve encountered to this point in our photographic journey. Just be warned: The following list contains spoilers. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back as we continue to update the list of Pokémon found in New Pokémon Snap!

New Pokémon Snap


As you may have noticed, we’re missing a few entries, but we will continue to update this as we discover more Pokémon on our journeys. For our full thoughts on New Pokémon Snap, be sure to read our review here.


New Pokémon Snap And Returnal Reviews – GI Show

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On this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, we discuss a handful of the games we’ve been digging recently, including New Pokémon Snap, Returnal, and Judgment. Sure that’s not a long list of games, but they are pretty great games. Next, we take some time to reflect on the new Mortal Kombat film. Is it worth a watch? Listen and find out.

It’s a full show, but we make time for another fantastic round of community emails. So please join Brian Shea (@BrianPShea), Dan Tack (@dantack), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Liana Ruppert (@DirtyEffinHippy), Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7), and Ben Reeves (@Benjaminreeves) for another wild and ever-entertaining episode!

Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below and share the episode if you enjoyed it. You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Playlisten on SoundCloudstream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to podcast@gameinformer.com for a chance to have them answered on the show!

Our thanks to The Rapture Twins for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their music on their website.


Borderlands Movie Casts Its Moxxi, Hammerlock, Marcus, And More

The Borderlands movie casting continues. Following the announcement that Star Wars Battlefront 2 star Janina Gavankar would be playing Commander Knoxx for Eli Roth’s adaptation of the Gearbox franchise, we’ve got new actors joining the fray. The Borderlands cast continues to grow with our Moxxi, Jakobs, Hammerlock, and more getting their Hollywood counterparts ready to begin getting into character. 

Deadline reveals the latest talent joining the Lionsgate film featuring Gina Gershon (most recently of Riverdale) as Moxxi with Cheyenne Jackson (American Horror Story) playing Jakobs, Charles Babalola as Hammerlock, Steven Boyer as Scooter, Ryann Redmond as Ellie, and Benjamin Byron Davis as Marcus. 

So far, here is a list of all of the casting we have for the upcoming movie: 

  • Ariana Greenblatt – Tiny Tina

  • Benjamin Byron Davis – Marcus

  • Cate Blanchett – Lilith 

  • Charles Babalola – Hammerlock

  • Cheyenne Jackson – Jakobs

  • Édgar Ramirez – Atlas

  • Fina Gershon – Moxxi

  • Jack Black – Claptrap 

  • Jamie Lee Curtis – Tannis

  • Florian Munteanu – Krieg

  • Kevin Hart – Roland 

  • Steven Boyer – Scooter

  • Ryann Redmond – Ellie

Excited? Here is the full, official synopsis for the upcoming Borderlands movie adaptation: 

Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team – Roland (Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption;

Tiny Tina (Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Black), a persistent wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power.

The fate of the universe could be in their hands – but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.

The beloved looter shooter first began its wild ride back in 2009 and immediately it solidified itself as a trailblazer of the genre. From this franchise’s hilarious narrative to its beyond off-the-grid cast of characters, the Borderlands series has always held a certain type of quirky charm that made it easy to dive back into the world of Pandora. The cell-shading art style adds to its magic, giving it the feel of an action-packed moving comic book, which makes this live-action adaptation an intriguing choice. 

What do you think about the latest casting decisions for the upcoming Borderlands movie? How are you feeling Eli Roth taking the helm of this movie take? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below. 


The Story Behind Supergiant Games’ Pyre

In our latest issue of Game Informer, we have a studio profile devoted to Supergiant Games, but we didn’t want to stop there. We’re also taking the celebration online, sharing the stories behind each of the indie developer’s fantastic titles. After looking at Supergiant’s debut with Bastion and then its follow-up Transistor, we’re finally moving on to its most distinct and involved project: Pyre

For its third game, Supergiant felt like it was time to increase the challenge and, in the words of studio director Amir Rao, “go bigger across all dimensions.” What resulted is a game unlike any other. Both fascinating and complex, Pyre gave the studio a chance to take its detailed world-building even further, involve the players and their choices in a meaningful way, and most importantly, experiment with a new style of gameplay. “It’s a game that pushed us creatively in many ways, like more than any game we’ve ever made, including Hades,” says creative director Greg Kasavin. “Because with Hades, we did come back to certain types of ideas that were more comfortable for us.”   

Pyre was all about not dreaming big and learning new skills, even if it meant having to accept some hard lessons along the way. And the team created it in three years, the same time it took to make a much smaller game  Transistor. 

New Studio, New Attitude

With two hits under its belt, Supergiant had the urge (and resources) to try something more ambitious. After having so many challenges on Transistor, the group was in a much better place when starting work on Pyre. Their newfound success allowed them to upgrade to a fancier studio, moving to a nicer part of San Francisco right next to a coffee shop and chocolate factory. 

According to principal voice actor Logan Cunningham, the work/life balance was starting to “click into place,” as more team members were having families. New wellness policies, like mandatory vacation, were ensuring members took care of themselves. “The whole process on Pyre was just much more pleasant than anything we’ve done before,” Cunningham recalls.  

The team also felt it had proved that Bastion wasn’t just a flash in the pan, and it was ready to experiment in ways it hadn’t before. For Pyre, the group decided to go bigger, with a party-based RPG and a procedural narrative. However, it also got a bit experimental and eccentric with NBA Jam-inspired gameplay. “We went wild, and I think we also went wilder than we thought we were gonna go,” says art director Jen Zee. “I think what I remember as the motivating factor behind Pyre was we were sick of doing worlds where there was only one person.” 

One important aspect of Pyre’s development is how the studio decided on which ideas to pursue. Supergiant believes in a collaborative process, where members discuss their interests and pick the elements that most excite them. As a way to avoid Transistor’s long and fraught pre-production issue, Supergiant Games got straight down to business on Pyre. “We just told everybody to go chase their passions and then we’ll figure out how to put it together,” Kasavin says. 

Kasavin tackles the synthesis of those ideas, combining everyone’s contributions and deciding what ties them all together for a game concept. “I would go so far as to say that’s my primary role,” Kasavin says. “That’s probably one of the most important things I do, because we’re not a studio where one person says, ‘Here’s the game we’re making.’ So with Pyre as a concrete example, Amir and Gavin were prototyping this competitive sport. Jen was creating these wild characters – tree people and worm people – and I’m giving my own ideas about what the world and what the play experience can be.”

The Power Of Saying Goodbye

While the Supergiant team might be shy to use the word “sports” to describe Pyre’s genre, it was on the studio’s mind. Technical director Andrew Wang recalls fantasy football becoming popular at Supergiant, and the sports fans were wondering how to incorporate the fun of following a team. Then things took an interesting turn. “Amir was talking about retirement, specifically in a sports context when a star athlete has to make that calculation,” Kasavin recalls. “Do you go out on top? Do you play another season? And what’s going through your head when you do that? That led to these broader conversations about the experience of saying goodbye to a close friend.”

That last part is what made players connect with the game in a special way. Sure, competing in Rites to win against other teams brings the adrenaline rush of competition, but you essentially were fighting to give a character you’ve befriended their freedom from exile, or as Kasavin likes to put, “giving them a return to glory to where they came from.” Every Rite came with the opportunity to give a character a better life, but the goodbye always hit hard, as they were out of your party for the rest of the game. 

“A lot of players who enjoyed Pyre, they remark on these moments in the game, the liberation rites, where you have a chance to say goodbye to someone you care about,” Kasavin says. “I’m really glad that that worked out, because in hindsight, that was a really hard thing to prototype. You needed all the surrounding context and the build up [to these matches], but you also needed to have time with these characters and grow to care about them for the stakes of that moment to be meaningful in any way. Then you need all the stuff after that moment to [create the] experience of them no longer being around and have other characters talk about how they miss that character.”

And this is only a sample of the extra thought and care Supergiant had to put into everything in Pyre. The game succeeds because of how all of its parts complement one another, but it took a lot of effort to make everything come together, both technically and creatively. 

Ambitious Undertakings

Having more characters who interacted with one another, playing in bigger spaces, and accounting for player choices gave the team a lot to take on, and they did it all while staying the same size: 12 people. “We dreamed big for Pyre, and from the technical side, it ended up being quite challenging,” Wang says. “Pyre was almost like doing two games. On the technical side, there were very different requirements for being able to see this wide-open world versus the more reactive, action-oriented sports stuff. What I optimized in one version wouldn’t necessarily help the other.”

The project bred challenge, especially for the narrative having to account for the different states a player’s party could be in due to their choices. “For my part, it was this big exploration into procedural narrative,” Kasavin says. “Essentially, there’s a lot of optional procedural scenes that are varied based on the character. We had to account for you having any number of characters in your group at a given time.” 

This meant supporting a playthrough where the player lost every Rite and still having it make sense for the overall story. Kasavin knew this was a big task, but felt it fit with the game’s themes of accepting failure and moving on. 

Pyre was also the first time Kasavin wrote dialogue for characters in a game, which was refreshing and would later provide an invaluable learning experience that would come in handy for Supergiant’s next title. “Pyre was the first time where two, sometimes three, and sometimes even four characters may be talking to each other and have a scene like that,” Kasavin says. “That was a fun experience for me. A lot of that, certainly on the narrative side, Hades picked up right where Pyre left off.”

On Pyre, everyone was constantly learning new things due to the ambition of what the team wanted to accomplish. Composer and audio director Darren Korb found the sound for the game early with what he calls “its acoustic ‘70s fantasy rock,” which is more in his wheelhouse. “My goal for [Pyre’s music] was to extrapolate a genre of music from the intro to [Led Zeppelin’s] “Stairway to Heaven,” just the flute and the guitar thing. So, that’s what I tried to do and it was a useful creative guide.” 

However, creating the sound didn’t come without some challenges, especially when having it be more reactive to what the player is doing. “There is a very complicated dynamic music system in [Pyre],” Korb says. “The whole piece could dynamically switch based on what was happening in the game. It was really valuable from a learning perspective for us. One of the things we learned was after a certain amount of interactivity, there’s diminishing returns if it’s too subtle, if it’s not noticeable. After all, the point of the interactivity is to notice it.” 

The Biggest Challenge With Pyre…

Development director Gavin Simon sums up Pyre in a way that captures its beauty and also its problem: “With Pyre, we made a game that there probably is no counterpart for in the game industry,” he says.

If anything cost Pyre some of its appeal, it was the difficulty people had understanding exactly what the game was. “I think it was alienating for some of our other fans and very hard to pitch and describe to people,” Zee says. 

Kasavin agrees: “If we have trouble clearly articulating what we’re working on, we have to ask ourselves, ‘Do we want that?’ I love Pyre. I think some of the best work I’ve ever done is in that game, but the part where it was hard to describe to people? I don’t love that part.”.

Pyre launched and received stellar reviews, but it didn’t match the sales or status of Bastion and Transistor. However, Pyre did what it needed to. “What we look for in our games is, ‘Did it do well enough for us to be able to keep going? And is it a capable game? Do some of our players love it the most out of all our games?’ [Pyre] absolutely hit those checkmarks for us,” Kasavin says. 

Even if Pyre didn’t shine as brightly as the studio’s previous titles, it was a stepping stone for what would ultimately be Supergiant’s biggest hit. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I can’t imagine that Hades would even exist if not for Pyre,” Kasavin says. “I didn’t ever get it out of my system – the idea of escaping from purgatory.”

Be sure to check out our previous features on Bastion and Transistor, and stay tuned for our final entry, with Supergiant’s journey through Hades, coming soon.


Super Replay Is Back With Bloodborne

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It’s Souls farming time! Wait, is that actually on a t-shirt? Anyway, we’re back today with more Super Replay and more Bloodborne! The journey has been a terrifying one, and with many bosses behind them, the crew is about to face some of its biggest challenges yet. Join us for part eight of the Bloodborne Super Replay today at 2 PM CT!

Are you ready for a chilling thrill ride through FromSoftware’s masterpiece? Bloodborne is a dark horror action/RPG that tasks the player with navigating through haunted streets full of werewolves and shuffling, shambling ghouls – and that’s just the first hour. Bloodborne showcases immaculate environments dripping with atmosphere, creative and cruel monster designs, and terrors ripped from the great beyond. And we’re going to play through it! Super Replay, the legendary Game Informer series that pairs pro players with even more professional commentary, is back.

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As the flagship revival title, Bloodborne is going to be live and uncut every Friday at 2 PM CST. So won’t you come join us for a blood-tinged brawl? How many times will I choke during boss fights? Will I even remember how to use the parry guns? (Probably not).

But I have faith that together, we will make it through, even if that includes farming up a mess of blood vials to get past a grotesque pig and other creatures of the night. This is a raw, organic playthrough at its finest, as I haven’t really touched the game since my second playthrough of The Old Hunters shortly after it launched. In short, it’s the perfect way to bring all the fun and intensity of the Super Replay directly into your eyeballs, shot live and beamed into reality via livestream. 

“Bloodborne is a blood-drenched horror gem that has only the faintest of cracks in its façade. Bloodborne succeeds through sparse storytelling, lush atmospheres (conjuring up notions of the best of Lovecraft’s work), and tight combat that forces you to be aggressive,” I said in my Game Informer review. “While this new IP doesn’t stray far from the established Souls franchise, it is a magical, wondrous work that admirably instills both terror and triumph in those brave enough to delve into it.”

Checkout the entire Replay series here and get started with the Bloodborne run in epic fashion here.

Do you like Super Replay? Are you glad to see it back? What other games would you like to see featured in the future? Let us know in the comments!


Dungeons & Dragons Podcast Features Jeff Goldblum As An Elf Sorcerer

A Dungeons & Dragons podcast with Jeff Goldblum as an elf? We’re calling it now, we’re rating it 10 out of 10 Goldblums. In this new D&D podcast, Goldblum takes on the role of a sorcerer that goes by the name of Balmur as part of the Dark Dice podcast. This makes a new season for the ongoing D&D campaign, which is slated to kick off next month. 

The Jurassic Park star is getting in touch with his magical side for his latest role alongside five other characters. Just like with any other Dungeons & Dragons campaign, we have no idea how his character will fare until the dice are rolled. The plot thickens, and so does our excitement because Goldblum is a national treasure. 

As reported by Deadline, the newest season of the Dark Dice podcast is called The Long March and is set to air on May 12. This is an audio-only podcast, so we can’t see his exaggerated expressions as an elf in person, but his voice can be recognized from a mile away. You can catch up on the journey thus far right here

Interested in learning more? Dark Dice is a horror podcast that centers on the Dungeons & Dragons universe and uses incredible sounds, music, and other special audio effects to create an immersive experience for listeners to enjoy. The main scope of this horror adventure focuses on six travelers that set forth on a journey into the “ruinous domain of the nameless god.” The podcast creators promise that there are plenty of twists and turns, and that “they will never be the same again.” 

I honestly haven’t heard this podcast myself until writing this, but listening to the first season while typing this up and imagining Goldblum in the mix has me excited. The audio craftsmanship is impeccable. I genuinely can’t wait to dive deeper into this D&D experience more in detail this weekend. 

Are you excited to see how Goldblum takes to the world of Dungeons & Dragons? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Call Of Duty’s New Battle Pack And In-Game Challenge Will Help Fund Veteran Employment

May is Military Appreciation Month, and Activision is lending a helping hand to veterans in need by launching the Call of Duty Endowment Medical Heroes campaign. The initiative aims to raise money to place combat veterans, such as medics and hospital corpsmen, into high-quality jobs. Beginning today, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Call of Duty: Warzone will feature a special battle pack with proceeds from its sale helping fund the initiative. 

This pack, dubbed the Call of Duty Endowment Battle Pack (posted above), includes a new Operator skin created in partnership with Timothy Hobbs Jr., an Army Veteran Combat Medic and Call of Duty fan. Endowment helped find Hobbs a job once he returned home, and all net proceeds from the pack will fund the campaign with $2 million being the goal. You can get a look at the battle pack and hear all about Hobbs’ story in the short video below.

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Also beginning today is the Revival Challenge. Until May 9, reviving five people while playing Warzone unlocks the unique Endowment calling card. If one million players complete the challenge, all Warzone players will be treated to a double-XP day. Furthermore, Activision will donate $1 to Endowment for every completed challenge up to $1 million.

Activision hopes to raise $3 million total between the Battle Pack and Revival challenge, which would be enough to help $5,800 veterans find work. The Call of Duty Endowment program has used similar events through the years to help place over 81,000 veterans into quality jobs and hopes to raise that number to 100,000 by 2024. 

Helping veterans successfully transition back into the workforce has been a growing issue in the U.S. for decades. If you’re interested in helping veterans get back to work beyond this specific campaign, you can visit the Call of Duty Endowment webpage to learn other ways of providing aid.


Destiny 2 Season 14: Here’s How Vault Of Glass Raid Will Approach ‘World’s First’

Destiny 2 Season 14 is just around the corner, which means a ton of new features and gear to look forward to. With the return of the epic Vault of Glass raid from the first Destiny game, some have questioned how Bungie is going to handle the World’s First event that puts prizes on the line for the fireteam that can run it blind first. Since Vault of Glass isn’t new, will there still be a World’s First? Or are there enough changes to justify this tradition? Luckily, Bungie has given Guardians some answers. 

It’s time to take the fight back to Antheon once more and the ability to do just that is least an a month away! While the overall story of Vault of Glass isn’t being touched at all, that doesn’t mean that the raid mechanics are staying the same. “Our goal is to keep the feeling similar to how you remember, but we have made some updates to bring this content to Destiny 2 standards,” said Bungie in its latest update blog post

Tweaks are expected, but what does that mean for the event that hardcore Guardians crave? Ignoring that I hilariously failed even remotely placing with Deep Stone Crypt’s arrival, which I documented here, it’s a little tricky doing a World’s First when many of the competing Guardians took part in the raid when it was first released. Not to worry, Bungie planned for that. While the overall raid hasn’t evolved beyond recognition, there have been changes that players will have to adapt to. According to Bungie, here is how the team is “shaking things up” a bit: 

  • Vault of Glass will launch with Contest Mode (explained here) enabled for 24 hours
    • You will need to be at 1300 Power to be at the cap for all of the encounters
  • Clearing Vault of Glass with Contest Mode active is the first step to access the new Challenge Mode in the Director and the Tempo’s Edge Triumph
  • Completing Tempo’s Edge, a curated list of Triumphs, in this newly unlocked Challenge Mode, will be how a fireteam crosses the World First finish line and claims their prize
  • To enforce the Triumph requirements in the Challenge Mode, your team will wipe if you fail the success conditions during each encounter

It wouldn’t be a World’s First without prizes, right? Bungie made a belt, seen below, to commemorate those that place, but the studio also wanted to do something special for those that took part in the original World’s First for Vault of Glass. Because of that, you’ll notice the OG World First fireteam emblazoned in the belt below: 

Both the Tempo’s Edge Triumph and Challenge Mode will only be available to players for the first 24 hours of the race to World’s First before it disappears. If you miss out, don’t worry; Bungie promises that those challenges will make a comeback later on in the season. Rewards, a shiny new emblem, the adrenaline of just kicking ass? It’s going to be glorious. The adventure begins on May 22 at 10 a.m. Pacific. 

Are you excited to see who wins the latest Vault of Glass World’s First? Are you going to be joining your fireteam to try to be the Guardian that secures the win? Sound off in the comment section below. Zavala would want you to. 


IO Interactive Is Reportedly Working On A New Fantasy Game For Xbox

IO Interactive is still celebrating the successful launch of its most recent Hitman game, but that doesn’t mean that the studio is resting on that alone. In a new report, it is revealed that the studio could very well be working on a brand new fantasy IP for Xbox (in addition to the James Bond game that is also in the works). 

The latest report comes via Windows Central in the video below. In the video, it is revealed that Microsoft has a few exciting projects in the works concurrently, among them being a fantasy game from IO. This is interesting because several weeks ago I had an anonymous message tell me through the social app Tumblr that a game with “dragons” (likely saying this knowing my love for fantasy games) was coming from the Hitman studio, though my trail ended there. Now, Eurogamer is stating that their own sources have seemingly corroborated that message, and the report from Windows Central, stating that it is a AAA game and is years away from being revealed. 

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IO working on a new IP isn’t a surprise. IO’s own Hakan Abrak previously spoke on what’s next as part of the GameIndustry.biz keynote when looking back on self-publishing the Hitman franchise. In that video, which you can see here, Abrak talks about the trials and success of the Hitman series and teased that the team is working on a “third universe” that is a “bit different” but something the studio is excited about. With the most recent Barcelona IO location opening up, the dev team is heads-down on working on its next big adventure, including a new James Bond game

Whatever the new game aims to be, it’s reported that it will be under the Xbox Games Studio umbrella. This will give the studio more resources and more support to see their vision flourish. Xbox, under the leadership of Phil Spencer, has pivoted sharply in the last few years, taking a more aggressive approach to game development that was significantly lacking in the Xbox One era. Aggressive in terms of being unafraid, yet maintaining a creative distance from studios working under its name so that the process remains undisturbed and true to original ideation. 

So what do you think? A fantasy game with dragons? A medieval fantasy game about dragons? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear what you think! 


CD Projekt Red Execs Receive Massive Bonus Following Cyberpunk 2077 Launch

The Cyberpunk 2077 launch was one of the most anticipated launches in recent years, making its post-release hardships all of the more shocking. From mismarketing to veiled review restrictions to even game-breaking bugs where many felt last-gen version of the title was something else entirely, it’s been a tumultuous post-launch period for the Polish company. With sales-tied bonuses acting as a light at the end of the tunnel, how that bonus was allocated has been made public and sees top-level executives winning big with other employees receiving less than what was expected. 

The report broke over at Bloomberg about post-launch Cyberpunk 2077 bonuses. While the entire staff is expected to get the promised incentives, the numbers don’t add up to what was expected. Keep in mind that the gap between executives and the rest of a company is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. More than that, however, the gap between what the execs are getting and what the devs are getting is raising more red flags. Especially given the talk leading up to the game’s launch, including members of the team calling out leadership and shareholders on the development road leading up to this point. Before diving into the numbers a little bit here, I do want to call attention to the fact that the original report even states that it’s “not all bad,” and that the attention surrounding everything that went wrong with Cyberpunk 2077 beyond its glitches has put an effective spotlight on the studio’s culture. Mixed messaging, a “wing it” attitude, and poor planning are all just some of the many puzzle pieces that made up this chaotic picture. However, that is changing, and the higher-ups are looking at restructuring to make CDPR a healthier place to work for retentive purposes. This was publicly acknowledged during the financial call, as well. 

Despite a rocky launch and even being de-listed from PSN by Sony, Cyberpunk 2077 was still the biggest selling game for the studio. An annual report document has been released, citing that CDPR CEO Marcin Iwinski is netting a $6.3 million bonus, with co-CEO Adam Kicinski making the same. Board member Adam Badowski is slated to take home an estimated $4.2 million. 

It was relayed to the broader team that the profit-sharing bonuses would range between $5,000 – $9,000, with senior personnel netting anywhere between $15,000 to $20,000. A spokesperson told Bloomberg that there was a total of $29.8 million allocated for bonuses across nearly 870 employees. That number seems odd, given that five CDPR board members netted a total of $28 million. The former number, the $29.8 million, breaks off to be around $34,000 each, according to the spokesperson, in addition to smaller bonuses that were granted earlier this year, including the stock bonuses that were allocated late 2020. 

That being said, even the higher level members of the board took some financial hits as CDPR stock took a sharp dive following the launch chaos and formal investigations into the studio. Even with the knocks, the bonuses that executives received are astronomical and were, according to the CEO, just. “We earned this money and the company earned this money,” said Kicinski when he was asked if the top-level bonuses were “appropriate.” He added, “But more net profits, more bonuses.” 

This isn’t the first studio to suffer mismanagement, but the many layers as to why the launch went so wrong dives into several deeper issues within many industries, not just gaming: Management not effectively caring for those that work under them, non-transparency with the public (though they did a phenomenal job at making it look the opposite), and the refusal to make adjustments when certain aspects along the process no longer made sense (e.g. the base PS4 and Xbox One launch). 

The studio has promised to correct the issues the Cyberpunk 2077 launch faces, and has done just that with countless patches post-release. Still, the board of directors needs to be clear about how they are going to make the work environment safer and better for employees; now is not the time for vague replies. That being said, after speaking with a few developers ourselves, there are some that are reporting a feeling of hope that the changes ahead will be good. 

[Source: CDPR via Bloomberg]


Wreckfest Looks Stunning On PlayStation 5, See How It’s Different

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Bugbear Entertainment’s Wreckfest tore up last-gen consoles with glorious destruction turning every race into a junkyard of smoldering steel. A nicely enhanced version of the game is readily available on Xbox Series X, giving the racing a boost in resolution and fidelity, but an even more tricked out version is coming to PlayStation 5 on June 1. If you already own the PlayStation 4 version, the PlayStation 5 upgrade will cost you $9.99.

Now to complicate matters with a free option: PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download Wreckfest on PlayStation 5 for free on May 4, one month before the enhanced version’s update hits the store. That’s right, you won’t have to fork out $9.99, and you get it early.

This update offers a number of significant tweaks, including improved shadows, particles, and environmental lighting. You’ll also see more foliage, more dynamic dirt on the vehicles, and more realistic skid marks. Like most enhanced new-gen titles, Wreckfest will offer faster load times, higher-resolution textures, and new DualSense haptic effects.

I played the living hell out of Wreckfest on PlayStation 4, and absolutely adored just how chaotic it can get, especially in the demolition derbies. I gave this racer a review score of 8.5 out of 10, and said “The video game market is filled with racing simulations, and it’s nice to see oddities like Wreckfest that deliver the exact opposite. Why race a clean path when you can race dirty? If that proposition sounds fun to you, you can’t go wrong with this aggressive racing experience.”

Developer Bugbear has a long history of making racing games. From the FlatOut series to Ridge Racer Unbounded, the studio has shown it knows how to making edge-of-your seat competitions, and Wreckfest is easily the best of its efforts, dazzling with its visuals, racing feel, variety, and awesome destruction models.


These Yakuza 0 Vinyl Sets Let You Rock Out To The ‘80s In Style

Yakuza 0 fans probably agree that the game has some pretty sweet tunes inspired by the 1980s. If you’re someone who prefers to enjoy such musical delights on an actual record player, Sega has something special for you. The company has partnered with Laced Records to create not one but two Yakuza 0 vinyl sets.

First up is a 6 LP box set that boasts over 90 remastered-for-vinyl tracks. These include karaoke favorites like “24-hour Cinderella” and “Bakamitai”. The vinyls themselves are heavyweight, 180g LPs and come in printed sleeves housed in a nice box. There are two editions of this box: the Standard one features black vinyls while a Limited version exclusive to Laced Records boasts color-in-color discs. You can pre-order it now for $120 here

The second set is a double LP of 27 tracks hand-picked by the Yakuza team. It features two heavyweight 180 LPs that come in light blue and light green colors. These are packaged in printed inner sleeves that sit inside of a widespined outer sleeve. This set costs $35 and can also be pre-ordered right now over here

The approximate shipping window for both sets is October of this year. Now all you need is a flashy dance floor, some lights, and a rival in an eye-patch to dance against to complete the Yakuza 0 fantasy. Well, the less murder-y version of it anyway. 

If you haven’t played Yakuza 0 but are curious to give it a shot, you can check out our glowing review of the game here. Meanwhile, if you fancy yourself a collector of video game soundtracks, here’s a list of recent vinyls we’ve covered that you might still be able to pick up. 

Demon’s Souls
Mass Effect Trilogy
Silent Hill/The Last of Us

Any of you planning on picking up these stylish vinyl sets? Let us know in the comments!


New Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Gameplay Trailer Reveals Wall Running And Dash Ability

Creative director Marcus Smith just revealed 15 minutes of new Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart gameplay footage during Sony’s most recent State of Play. This is the second trailer we’ve gotten this week, going more in detail about some of the new faces we’ll be meeting and Rift Apart’s latest evil. 

With every trailer we get, it feels like the latest Ratchet & Clank gets even more stunning. With PlayStation 5’s ray tracing and impressive load times, Rift Apart is poised to be an incredible new ride for longtime fans (and newcomers) of the Insomniac franchise. 

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The latest gameplay comes after more information was finally revealed about the mysterious new Lombax character. Rivet is a resistance fighter from another dimension that will team up to help stop the evil Emperor Nefarious from taking over the world. She’s another playable character that players can kick butt with, which will be needed because Nefarious City – if going by the name alone – sounds like it’s going to be anything but an easy ride. If her voice sounds familiar, you may recognize Jennifer Hale. Hale is in so many different titles out there, including our Jane Shepard from the Mass Effect games. 

The gameplay also showcases some of the new weapons that players can master, and some of the new outfits players can don as well. This standalone adventure looks like it’s going to be teeming with action, we can’t wait to dive in! The gameplay also lays out how quests will work and even better? How absolutely stunning they are when exploring this new dimension. 

 The latest State of Play also showed off a few other key announcements, which you can see here with our previous coverage. 

Are you excited to take on a new Ratchet & Clank adventure with Rift Apart? What are your thoughts on Rivet so far? Sound off with those Insomniac Games hot takes in the comment section below! 


Among Us Is Coming To PS5, PS4 With Exclusive New Ratchet & Clank Skin To Celebrate

Among Us isn’t a new game by any stretch, but the jellybean/astronaut online game is currently seeing a massive surge in popularity that began in early September of 2020. Since that boom in visibility, this murder mystery adventure has taken over the gaming world, showcased on the biggest stream channels on Twitch, on late-night talk shows, and even in the world of politics. Now, it’s growing its player base even more with the confirmation that the sus little game is making its way over onto PS5 and PS4 systems. Even better? An adorable new cosmetics pack is also on the way. 

The arrival of Among Us on PlayStation comes with both generations being included, an exclusive Ratchet & Clank skin, hat, and pet, and the ability to play with others no matter the platform. It’s great, especially if you’re one of those who have some unresolved issues with friends. Keep it simple and just murder them (in-game). 

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Among Us has grown a lot since its popularity expansion. Instead of making the planned sequel, the team over at InnerSloth instead decided to pivot and focus on the first game to make it even more enjoyable for all. It’s on mobile, it’s on Switch – and now with PlayStation? It’s going to be everywhere. Maybe InnerSloth will go the cheeky Bethesda route and make it playable on the Amazon Alexa next. I’m just saying, weirder things have happened. 

With the recent arrival of the new airship and a few tweaks to gameplay to be more accessible, especially with the symbols added to the color-specific objectives to make it easier for those with colorblindness, Among Us is the gift that keeps on giving. This is a game we here at Game Informer play every weekend, and I’ve been enjoying every moment of it. I even scored this indie title an 8.5! 

“As much as I enjoy playing Among Us, I have just as must fun watching it,” reads part of our full review. “Its simplicity makes it easy to boot up for streamers, and the conversations about who is sus are great entertainment for active livestream chats.”

“Diving into Among Us, I see the charm despite its simplicity, and I can’t help but to love the way this game makes me look at everyone as if they are super sus. Among Us is what it is, and unapologetically so. This year may be bad, but having fun experiences definitely isn’t; Among Us provides a much-needed reprieve from reality without taking itself too seriously.”

It’s a fun game! I can’t wait to see where this team takes it next. 

Thoughts on Among Us and its Cinderella-like story towards stardom? What do you hope the team adds next to this suspicious-driven gaming experience? Shout out those thoughts loud and proud in the comments below! 


Watch The Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart State Of Play With Game Informer

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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is set to release this Summer, and Sony is hosting a new State of Play today to showcase new gameplay from the upcoming PS5 game. The event promises a 15-minute presentation on Insomniac’s platformer action game, during which we’re hoping to hear more about one of the game’s new protagonists, as well as a few announcements about the upcoming indie games on PS5.

We’ll be watching along and commentating in real-time, so be sure to join us starting at 3:55 PM Central on the Game Informer YouTube channel. The latest gameplay promises to show off brand-new weapons that we’ve never seen, plus a closer look at some of the new armor, and more about what Rivet (the game’s evergreen character) brings to the story in this journey to defeat Nefarious. 

Everything we’ve seen from Rift Apart has looked incredible so far, especially with PlayStation 5’s ray tracing. This is a beloved series from the team over at Insomniac Games, a franchise that has earned every bit of love it’s gotten. If you haven’t yet played Ratchet & Clank (2016) and are hoping to prepare for the upcoming sequel, read our review here:

Ratchet & Clank has always been a showpiece of new-gen technology, and while this entry’s environments look a little retro, the detail in the characters and the explosion of bolts and gears are legitimate spectacles. The colors pop, the worlds feel more alien, and the heart of the adventure is right where it needs to be: with explosions and rockets lighting up the screen like a Fourth of July fireworks celebration.

So be sure to join in on the fun, hang out, and shout out your thoughts about what’s revealed during today’s PlayStation State of Play right alongside us. We’ll geek out, have fun, and froth over what’s coming next. 

Which announcements are you hoping to see? Are you looking for anything specific from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart? Let us know in the comments down below!


Netflix’s Castlevania Season 4 Trailer Revealed For The Show’s Final Season

At long last! We finally have Netflix’s Castlevania Season 4 trailer to see exactly what the show’s final season will have in store for fans. It looks like we’re going back to where it all began for one final fight, one final chance at survival. 

In the trailer below, we see our cast once more ready to finish the fight that hit a crescendo in season 3. With Hector now ready to create an army of deadly night creatures and the fight to make sure that Dracula stays dead once and for all, it looks like the final season is prepping to go out with a massive bang. 

Check out the first official trailer for Castlevania season 4 below: 

The Castlevania Netflix animated series first made its debut back in 2017, and fans immediately fell in love with the creative take. Castlevania lovers were thrilled by the (very short) first season so much that the second season was received in an even more positive light, netting a very rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 

There have been quite a few changes behind the scenes in the last year. Writer and executive producer Warren Ellis was accused of several instances of sexual misconduct, which he later denied. According to DeadlineEllis has not been a part of any talk surrounding a continuation of the Castlevania series space with a possible spinoff. 

Netflix’s Castlevania airs its final season on May 13 with a 10-episode run on the streaming platform.

What are your takes on the Netflix Castlevania series? Any particular hopes regarding the final season? Sound off with your vampire-hunting thoughts in the comment section below! While you’re at it, go ahead and shoot us over your dream gaming adaptations! Might as well, they seem to be all of the rage lately. 


Amnesia: Rebirth Adds Less Spooky Adventure Mode And PS5 Upgrade [UPDATE]

Update 4/29/2021: The (mostly) horror-free Adventure Mode is now live in the PlayStation 4 version of Amnesia: Rebirth. Furthermore, the update also includes a PlayStation 5 upgrade that bumps the performance to 60 frames per second. To clarify, the update applies to those who play the PS4 version on PS5; there is no native PS5 version of the game. To learn more about what the Adventure Mode entails, check out the original story below: 

Original Story: Amnesia: Rebirth, like previous entries in the series, can be a tense, anxiety-inducing experience. At the same time, it’s also an adventure game filled with puzzles to solve. If you’re a newcomer more interested in the story and puzzles (or just a returning player that wants to replay the game without dealing with the stressful insanity mechanic), Frictional Games has added an Adventure Mode designed to cut down the horror elements to create a more liberating, exploratory experience.

Adventure Mode is available now on PC, and will come to the PS4 version of the game in the coming weeks. The optional mode doesn’t change anything about Rebirth’s story, but environments feature increased lighting so that you won’t have to wander around in darkness nearly as much. When you do enter a dark area, the game’s insanity mechanic is disabled, so you’re free to run around in pitch black rooms all you want. The creepy audio/visual effects that affected the player’s sanity are absent as well. Best of all is that monsters won’t attack unless you engage with them first.

While Adventure Mode removes some mechanics, it also adds new puzzles to the experience. This gives you something extra to chew on since you won’t be running for your life as much, while also providing some incentive to revisit the game in a new light. 

Frictional added a similar update to Soma called Safe Mode, which the studio says was well-received by players and helped broaden the game’s appeal. It’s always nice to see developers take steps like this to make games more accessible, whether it be disability options, features that address arachnophobia, or by simply making the experience less spooky. Again, Adventure Mode is entirely optional, so horror fans can still enjoy Amnesia: Rebirth in its original form; everyone wins. 

What do you think of Amnesia: Rebirth’s Adventure Mode, and will you be giving it a shot? Let us know in the comments!


This Final Fantasy VII Yuffie Cosplay Will Get You Even More Excited For Remake Intergrade


We’re obsessed with cosplay as much as everyone else is, and we’ve seen our fair share of incredible takes on Final Fantasy VII’s endearing cast. Last year, Briana White’s magical photo shoot of Aerith (she also voiced the character!) stunned the jrpg community. And with Remake Intergrade slated for a summer release, we’ve all been appropriately blessed with an awesome Yuffie cosplay too. 

Kainosaurus’ (also known as Kairannosaurus Rekt on Twitter) badass portrayal of Yuffie evokes everything that makes the fan-favorite ninja so great. Check out the photo(s) above and then head over to their Instagram to see all of the other characters that they’ve brought to life – from Demon Slayer’s Tanjiro to everyone’s favorite water-Pokemon gym leader, Misty. Kainosaurus not only gets Yuffie’s outfit and cunning smirk right, they also bring out the famous Shuriken in some of their photos, reiterating how badass, irrevocably confident, and sometimes silly Yuffie can truly be.

Remake Intergrade is a continuation of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s narrative. We’ll be able to play as Cloud and his companions once again but with visual enhancements and quality-of-life tweaks (among a bevy of other cool features), but Yuffie takes the main stage in her own standalone episode, titled INTERmission. Aside from employing her flashy, acrobatic melee combos, you’ll also be able to throw her throwing star at enemies meaning that she’ll be a capable fighter at multiple ranges. 

Multiple gameplay screenshots of Yuffie’s ability kit were revealed earlier this month, but how she’ll be tied into Remake’s story – whether that be similar to the original game’s trajectory or completely different this time around – will likely be unpacked in the coming weeks leading up to the episode’s release. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade launches for PlayStation 5 on June 10. 

What do you think of Kainosaurus’ cosplay; are you just as captivated by it as we are? And are you excited to dive into Remake’s next chapter?

[Source: Kainosaurus via Reddit]


TikTok Is Trying To Find The Next Gaming Superstar With ‘TikTok Gamers Got Talent’

TikTok is trying its best to wipe the memory of Vine forever (but never from our hearts), and this video platform has grown exceptionally in recent times. Official marketing tools, funny videos with friends, gaming clips – it’s everywhere. Because of that growth in the entertainment world, the brand is teaming up with Enthusiast Gaming and e.l.f. Cosmetics for TikTok Gamers Got Talent. Who is going to be the next gaming superstar? I dunno, but shoot that shot. 

TikTok Gamers Got Talent is exactly what you’d think: a competition with a direct focus on the gaming community. It’s a seven-week live series that will center around a certain amount of contestants in an effort to find the crème de la crème of gamer talent. The series is poised to air on May 9, 2021, at 7 p.m. Eastern. In a search for “hidden talent” in the gaming community, this initiative aims to aid in a fresh wave of new talent. What better way to put gamers through their paces than by putting them on the spot in front of millions? 

There is a $25,000 prize pool on the line and prizes that include e.l.f. Cosmetics. 

“TikTok continues to be a platform where culture starts and through TikTok’s Gamers Got Talent, a North American first, our gaming community will have an opportunity to reach new audiences, be discovered and entertained,” said Nadia Niccoli, Director of Marketing at TikTok Canada, in a press release. “We’re excited to have two industry giants in their respective areas, e.l.f. Cosmetics and Enthusiast Gaming, onboard to support and show gamers the power of TikTok.”


Got a talent? Show us what you got for your chance to be featured in our live show. Powered by: @elfyeah #TikTokGGT #Contest

♬ original sound – Luminosity Gaming

So what kind of talent is going to be showcased? According to TikTok, literally anything! “From guitar riffs to trick shots to cooking and everything in-between, Gamers Got Talent is an opportunity for gamers and gaming fans on TikTok to showcase their most impressive skills to a panel of celebrity judges.”

“TikTok Gamers Got Talent marks our first foray into connecting with the TikTok gaming community and we’re proud to be the premier sponsor of this live series,” said Kory Marchisotto, Chief Marketing Officer at e.l.f. Beauty. “In true e.l.f. style, we are going all in – proving that anything is e.l.f.ing possible. We can’t wait to see some bad-ass girl gamers unleash their amazing talents.”

Each week, the panel of celebrity judges will change. There will be a mix of famous TikTok’ers and veteran gamers, as well as Luminosity Gaming’s Toripareno, Nickeh30, Muselk, bbno$, and more. 

“We are thrilled to partner with TikTok and e.l.f. Cosmetics, who share in our passion of gaming, to uniquely deliver this immersive and engaging experience to our gaming fan communities,” commented Thamba Tharmalingam, COO of Enthusiast Gaming. “This partnership provides a great opportunity to shine a light on the talented and passionate female gamers in our communities and we look forward to the talent and creativity that our audience will bring.”

To join in on the competition, create a TikTok that showcases your talent and use the #TikTokGGT tag. Make sure to upload it to GamersGotTalent.com. For now, this competition is only available to North America and Canadian residents between April 27 through May 2. You can learn more about the program right here


Free Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order Next-Gen Updates For PS5 And Xbox Series X Drops This Summer

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a Respawn Entertainment title that allows fans of a galaxy far, far away to partake in an exciting open-world adventure with an ever-evolving narrative. For those itching to jump back into the boots of Cal Kestis once more with the power of PS5 and Xbox Series X, or for those that may be dipping those toes in for the first time, a free next-gen upgrade is on the horizon. 

The next-gen upgrade will be kicking off sometime this Summer, as confirmed by an official StarWars.com blog post. While an exact date hasn’t been given at this time, the free PS4 to PS5 and Xbox One to Xbox Series X/S upgrade will deliver “a number of technical improvements” to a new generation of gaming consoles. This cross-generational update will be completely free for those that already own the game.

This is an additional upgrade from the one back in January that boosted framerates to 60 fps and enhanced resolution for all platforms. 

Don’t have it yet? Now’s a good time to scoop it up because there is a special Star Wars sale going on now with up to 70 percent off Standard and Deluxe editions of the game. The special sale is going on now and will end on May 12. That means that you can go twice as hard on the fandom by scooping this up on the fan-created Star Wars holiday: May the Fourth (be with you). 

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Personally, I loved my time with Fallen Order, much more than I thought I would. When the game was first teased, I wasn’t impressed by the main protagonist. He seemed fairly bland, and not much set him apart from other human characters in the franchise. I was glad to be proven wrong; his introduction to the Star Wars verse, as well as the introduction of the rest of his crew, is one that fits nicely and holds promise for future tales. 

Our own Andrew Reiner enjoyed his time with the “turbulent thrill ride,” scoring the game an 8.75 out of 10. “Despite these numerous little problems, Respawn’s maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success,” reads his review on Game Informer“I couldn’t put this game down, both for the thrill of exploring and wanting to see where the story took me next. The inspirations are taken from Dark Souls, Uncharted, and Metroid Prime unite to create something unique that just happens to work incredibly well for this beloved license. Like most starships in this universe, Jedi: Fallen Order could use a little polish, but the rust doesn’t hold it back from roaring with excitement.”

Are you excited to see more next-gen improvements for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? What are your own thoughts about the latest adventure from Respawn? Sound off with those hot takes in the comments below! 


Let’s Play The First Two Hours Of Returnal – Game Informer Live

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Returnal reviews went live this morning, with the Game Informer score clocking in at a massive 9.5. Today, you can join Dan Tack as he plays the game with a fresh save file. You may have already seen much of the areas we explore today in previews, but that’s okay, it just means you won’t get spoiled! 

Dan will also be there to answer any questions you have about the game (without spoilers, of course!). How hard is the game? How long can someone expect to play to “beat” it? What are the best weapons? What should you be looking for? Is this roguelike game really worth $70? Come chat as we answer all these questions and more on today’s episode of Game Informer Live! You can join us at 12:30 CST for all the action!

Returnal is a challenging game that hinges on exploration, curiosity, terror, and triumph. “Returnal is a powerful roguelike recipe offering intense combat, a drip-fed narrative of palpable dread, and a cohesive combination of artistic elements. Housemarque’s third-person shooter delivers lightning-fast action transfused with incredible exploration, featuring equal doses of intensity and lingering unease,” reads the Game Informer review. “Every run is the start of something new, but what you learn over many failures provides an extra edge as you attempt to chart the sci-fi horror world of Atropos. Returnal deftly combines gameplay, graphics, and musical composition to create a haunting tapestry that’s an absolute joy to partake in, even when a mistimed dodge or a sinister trap claims your life.”

Yep, it can be tough. Yep, losing big on a run you have worked hard on hurts. But you will succeed. You will survive. And crawling from the wreckage of your losses, you will come back and break down those that failed to shatter your spirit. And along the way, your journey of discovery is perhaps the most interesting, learning how to interact with various items, environmental foibles, and more. Returnal continually dials up a feeling of unease and discomfort and does deliver on these dissonant notes. 

While you’re here, don’t forget to check out our Returnal survival guide for some more essential tips to stay alive and thrive in the deadly ruins of Atropos.


Microsoft Is Reducing Its PC Sales Cut To Match Epic Games Store

When the Epic Games Store announced its low cut from games sold through its storefront, it was a big deal. This is the first time in a long time that Steam has had a viable competition on the business-facing side, and it looks like that studio-positive step has encouraged Microsoft to do the same. Microsoft is now reducing its own PC cut to match that of the Epic Games Store, further putting more of a spotlight on Steam and Valve’s refusal to tweak its monetary demands. 

In a recent Xbox Wire blog post, Microsoft has confirmed how it is “helping developers deliver an exceptional experience,” including more resources for these teams with a smaller sales cut. “As part of our commitment to empower every PC game creator to achieve more, starting on August 1, the developer share of Microsoft Store PC games sales net revenue will increase to 88 percent, from 70 percent,” reads the new post. “A clear, no-strings-attached revenue share means developers can bring more games to more players and find greater commercial success from doing so.”

Head of game creator experience & ecosystem at Microsoft Sarah Bond went into more detail about the revenue shift over on LinkedInincluding further breaking down Game Pass PC stats and outreach initiatives for indies. The shift to 88 percent from 70 percent is an exact match for Epic Games Store, with the previous 70 percent matching Steam’s current quo. 

The Epic Games Store itself is very developer-friendly when with its sales cut, especially with the boom in the indie scene in recent years. Valve has been the epitome of PC clients through the years, and while there have been challengers to that space, such as GOG, Valve has largely remained untouched by the need to change its monetization model in relation to studio cuts. 

CEO Tim Sweeney has previously addressed the company’s decision to come into the space with the smaller cut number and how exclusives play a part in that, saying, “This question gets to the core of Epic’s strategy for competing with dominant storefronts. We believe exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry.”

More money in the studios’ pockets that create these amazing adventures means more resources for continuations, expansions, and more support. It’s a great move on the industry side, a move that will also positively impact consumers. 

Thoughts on the recent changes that Microsoft has detailed? Thoughts on Epic Games Store and its part in the evolution of the industry? Sound off with your hottest of hot takes in the comment section below! 


Lost Soul Aside Reemerges With 18 Minutes Of Dazzling Gameplay

Lost Soul Aside seemed like it was lost in the wind for years now, but the stylish action game created by a single developer is very much alive. Creator Yang Bing shared 18 minutes of brand-new footage during a recent Chinese Sony conference, showing off how far the game has come. We also learned that it’s also heading to PlayStation 5. 

If you need some catching up, Lost Soul Aside first emerged in 2016 and turned heads for its fast-paced action and triple-A presentation despite Bing being its sole developer at the time. It was so impressive that Sony stepped in to publish the game, turning Lost Soul Aside into a timed PlayStation 4 exclusive. Subsequent gameplay showings over the years continued to impress, and Bing now has a team working on it called UltiZero Games. Today’s footage marks our first real look at the game since August 2018

Lost Soul Aside has always been compared to Devil May Cry and Final Fantasy XV in terms of its action and presentation. That hasn’t changed much, with the protagonist Kazar ripping through all manner of foes using a variety of weapons (courtesy of his transforming dragon companion) including swords, lances, and even a claw/boot combo à la Dante. The flashy, combo-heavy combat is dazzling to watch, and the video also provides a few story beats to boot. Check it out below. 

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The reason Lost Soul Aside looks even sharper than you remember is because it’s running on PlayStation 5 in this demo, according to the game’s official Twitter account. We wondered if it would make the jump to Sony’s current platform, so the confirmation, while unsurprising, is good to have. Not to worry, PS4 owners; Lost Soul Aside is still slated to launch on last-gen as well.

Unfortunately, there’s still no release window for Lost Soul Aside. In the meantime, we’ll continue to salivate over its wicked action and hope we’re now closer to getting a release date. 

How do you think Lost Soul Aside is shaping up so far? Share your thoughts in the comments. 


Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Agrees To 50% Bonus Cut And Salary Reduction

Activision Blizzard

CEO Bobby Kotick has been in the headlines for his leadership practices and inflated salary, especially back in 2019. During that time, Activision Blizzard laid off more than 800 employees despite a profitable year, only to have it revealed that Kotick’s salary came in at $30 million. Since then, more layoffs have occurred and big names at Blizzard have been moving on to pursue other ventures. The state of Blizzard following its absorption into the Activision Blizzard umbrella has been a constant source of scrutiny in the gaming community, especially in regards to Kotick and his extravagant salary. Now, the CEO has agreed to a 50 percent bonus reduction and a salary cut moving forward, in addition to several other key changes that could be a positive step for the folks at Blizzard. 

The move came to light when a portion of the extension agreement filed with the SEC went public (via WoWhead). In the documentation, it was revealed that Kotick both agreed to slashing his salary and cutting his bonus by 50 percent. In addition to the pay changes, he also agreed to terminate the Transformation Transaction Award and the Shareholder Value Creation incentives.

According to the SEC filing, “Under the Extension Amendment, effective January 1, 2021, the Compensation Committee and CEO agreed to reduce his contractually agreed-upon base salary by 50 percent to align with targets established at the bottom 25th percentile of the Company’s peer group, despite the Company’s strong relative performance.” 

The base salary for the executive has been slashed from $1,750,000 to $875,000 on an annual basis. The 50 percent bonus reduction also has a ceiling of $1,750,000 for each fiscal year, both for 2021 and for 2022. The moves made with the CEO’s reductions are based on feedback from shareholders after a steady incline of concerns from the games industry, both on the consumer and the business side. 

Back in 2017, Kotick netted $28,698,375 even after a pay cut, which is around 300 times more than the average employee. While a massive pay increase is nothing normal for a person in a CEO position, eliminating 800 employees only to immediately turn around and say, “Just kidding, we need 2,000 more to fill those spots” is not normal. At least, it shouldn’t be. Seeing this new agreement is a positive first step, but one of many that must be made to ensure the integrity of Blizzard and to start the long road ahead of reparative actions following a declining public perception around the work culture. 

There will be another earnings call with stakeholders on May 4 to discuss the next steps for the brand and what is coming for Activision Blizzard and all of the properties under that name. 


What To Expect From Animal Crossing: New Horizons May Update, Including Seasonal Event Changes

Want to know what you can expect from the upcoming Animal Crossing: New Horizons May update? We have the return of several events, including the May Day celebration, Museum Day, and the arrival of the Wedding season. That being said, seasonal events that are making a comeback aren’t going to quite be what players will expect, because Nintendo was very careful to tell fans that these returning festivities will have “new twists” to enjoy. Additionally, we also have the full patch notes for what’s new starting today. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons May Plans

There are a few events on the way, including one that begins today! For those interested in those extracurricular celebrations while living out that island fantasy, here are the dates you should be paying attention to: 

Event Dates

May Day – April 29 through May 7

  • With your May Day ticket, take an interesting island tour for a special surprise

International Museum Day – May 18 through May 31

  • Stamp Rally returns. Talk to Blathers to receive a special stamp card, which you can use when inspecting a variety of creatures in New Horizons

Wedding Season – June 1 through June 30

  • Love is in the air following Reese and Cyrus’ wedding last year, now it’s time to celebrate again by meeting back up on Harvey’s island
  • Exclusive wedding-themed items will also be returning at Able Sisters and Nook Shopping

Seasonal Items

Nook Shopping will have special new items throughout the month of May and June, including furniture and DIY recipes to celebrate Mother’s Day, Cheese Rolling, and more. 

The usual changes can be expected as well, including new bugs and fish making their way into the game. Nintendo has also said that there will be differences noted in the returning events, giving players a fresh reason to jump back into island life and the ability to play new content. 

New Patch v. 1.10.0

The most recent update includes the following, courtesy of Nintendo

General updates

  • The May Day, International Museum Day, and “wedding season” seasonal events have been updated.
  • It’s now possible to wake up from a dream by using the – (minus) Button.
  • The following content has also been added:
    • Additional limited-time seasonal items from Nook Shopping.

Fixed issues

  • Fixed an issue where the player could build a fence on the pier when standing on top of a custom design placed on the ground.
  • Other adjustments and corrections were made to improve the game play experience.

Thoughts on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons May update? What has you the most jazzed up about what’s on the way? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off Comes To Switch Today

It’s just like the old song says: If nautical nonsense be something you wish, then put down the phone and pick up a Switch! Nickelodeon and developer Tilting Point have announced their popular mobile and PC title, SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, is making its console debut by way of the Nintendo Switch. Better yet, you don’t have to wait to dive in, as it is available now.

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In SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, players are tasked with preparing meals in customizable and upgradeable versions of Bikini Bottom’s restaurants. Players interact with characters like Mr. Krabs, Patrick, Squidward, Sandy, and more as they visit iconic locations like the Krusty Krab and Sandy’s Treedome. The game features 400 story levels as players work to become the best fry cook this side of SpongeBob’s pineapple. 

The Switched is called the “Extra Krusty Edition” and features platform-exclusive features including unique cooking powers, challenges, and additional downloadable content. The game has been redesigned for its console debut, though no announcements have been made beyond the leap to Switch.

You can see the announcement trailer below.

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SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off launched on iOS and Android in May 2020. On the back of the Nickelodeon series’ name recognition, the game garnered 17 million pre-registered players in the lead up to launch and landed in the 10 most downloaded games across 97 countries on iOS and 79 countries on Google Play. In its first week, Krusty Cook-Off reached more than 2.2. million daily active users. The game has received a four-star average user review score across more than 260,000 reviews on Google Play and a five-star average review score from more than 105,000 ratings on the iOS App Store. The game has since come to PC via the Microsoft Store.

SpongeBob SquarePants has proven to be one of the most enduring characters of the last two decades. Since his debut in 1999, the beloved yellow sponge has starred in the long-running cartoon series, several feature-length films, multiple video games, and more than his fair share of memes. For more on SpongeBob and Patrick, check out our conversation with those two voice actors from San Diego Comic-Con a few years back.

SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off is available on Switch now in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. It arrives on the Nintendo platform in Europe and Asia in the coming weeks.


New Halo Infinite Details Revealed, Including Crossplay And Cross-Progression For Xbox And PC

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New Halo Infinite details have been revealed, including that the upcoming shooter from 343 Industries will be crossplay and cross-progression-compatible between PC, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One. Not only will players be able to play with their friends no matter the generation or platform within the Windows family, but they won’t lose any progress should they choose to bounce between PC and Xbox. 

In addition to being more accessible in terms of availability, Microsoft has also confirmed that 343 Industries is working hard to ensure that the PC version of Halo Infinite exceeds expectations. One of the ways that it is doing just that is offering a “premier PC experience” with features like ultrawide and super ultrawide support, triple keybinds, a wider variety of “advanced graphic options,” and more. 

While not a new trailer or a release date for when the now-delayed game will arrive, the PC dedication in addition to console is a good sign to see. When the Halo Masterchief Collection first made its way over onto to Steam, it was plagued with stability issues, a ton of bugs, and poor porting. The team has worked tirelessly to correct these problems and has largely turned the experience around. Given that, however, it is easy to see why 343 would want to avoid a similar situation with a brand new game like Halo Infinite. 

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Regarding when a possible release date will be set, we don’t know for sure. That being said, a voice actor reportedly tied to Halo Infinite, actor Verlon Roberts, recently mentioned during a podcast that it will release in the month of November. He claims to be playing Spartan Griffin, a character from the Shadows of Reach companion novel and a character that hasn’t been confirmed by the studio to be in Infinite. Still, the actor doesn’t really have any reason to lie about that, so perhaps Griffin’s reveal will come in whatever showcase Xbox has next. 

Halo Infinite was meant to be a launch title for this generation with the Xbox Series X, but it was delayed when criticisms came in bulk about the state of the game during a previous gameplay reveal. Instead of pushing forward to hit that launch, 343 instead made the decision to delay the launch altogether and get it right the first time. 

To learn even more about the upcoming game and what else is happening in the 343 universe, you can check out our Halo: Infinite game hub right here

Thoughts on the PC-specific features for Halo Infinite and the crossplay/cross-progression availability between PC and Xbox systems? What are your overall feelings about Halo Infinite as a whole? Sound off with those hottest of hot takes in the comment section below. Craig the Brute would want you to. 

[Source: Xbox]


Is Returnal Worth $70?

It’s time we ask one of the biggest questions about Returnal: Is it worth $70? In my review, I scored the game an extremely high 9.5. Returnal is an excellent game, and also a special experience to explore. For more details on that specifically, you should read the review to get a sense of what you’re in for if you do choose to play Housemarque’s grandiose bullet-hell. If we want to cut to the chase, the answer is yes, I consider it worth $70, as it has experiential value beyond simply existing as a great game.

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Obviously, you can get a lot for $70, and the new “standard” price point is intimidating, and concerns have been raised about Returnal’s “roguelike” structure somehow making it less of an experience or a game. You can absolutely get months and months of Game Pass for the same price, but you can’t get Returnal. Entertainment dollars are not 1:1 like objects, and one dollar spent on one entertainment experience isn’t the same as another. You could get a ton of double cheeseburgers instead of a steak dinner too, but the steak can be worth it. It depends on what you’re looking for.

Not everything with a price tag is simple conveyance of an owned product. Tours have price tags, theater plays have price tags, hikes up mountains can have price tags. Games are more than an object for simple purchase like a boot, a hammer, or a writing desk. Games can convey feeling, tone, and value beyond shooting the bad things, picking up loot, and making numbers go up. With a game like Returnal, you do need to be concerned about whether the experience of discovery, failure, and eventual triumph and release is a correct fit for your dollar, but you do not need to worry about the quality of the game or whether or not it “feels” like it’s worth $70.

Somewhere along the way, the perception of roguelikes has become they shouldn’t be full-priced titles due to their very nature, likely spurred on by the deluge of wonderful roguelikes that have found their way on Kickstarter, early-access programs, or wound up on services like Game Pass. That doesn’t mean roguelikes can’t be full, meaty games as well that are worth every bit as much as other titles. Returnal boasts an amazing, complementary soundtrack alongside a journey of atmospheric exploration, rising tension, and gnawing horror. That it has all these things accompanying a slick shooter with responsive controls, awesome boss fights, and plenty of lightning-fast action to master is an achievement that delivers far beyond whatever “another one of those roguelike games” means.

At the end of the day, roguelike is merely a structural framework for other parts and components, and the quality of Returnal absolutely justifies its “full-game” price tag. The conversation about whether games should have experienced a price hike to the new $70 mark is a different one, and this discourse seems to be more about the game/genre/structure itself being unworthy of the “real game” designation. After spending many hours with Returnal, I can in fact answer the question of whether it’s a “real game” worthy of that “real game” price tag. It is. Have a great time (well, an uneasy, tense time to be precise, but enjoyable all the same) on Atropos!


How To Survive In PlayStation 5’s Returnal

Returnal’s cycles of life and death are challenging, punishing, and sometimes frustrating when you find a run ending due to forces seemingly outside of your control. Like many roguelikes, learning how to operate within the bounds of variance is your best ally. Want to get the edge on the alien lifeforms that dominate Atropos? We have some serious tips for you that should give you the edge when you’re going through Returnal. There’s a lot to take in but absolutely no story spoilers in these tips, though it’s inevitable that some gameplay mechanics and features will be discussed, so be aware of that before you dig in. Let’s go!

Stay Alive

In Returnal, you generally only have your one fragile life to live before being sent back to the beginning. Now, what constitutes the beginning does change over the course of the campaign, but you want to have a backup plan just in case you get ambushed by a giant tentacle monster, get stuck in a lockdown trap battle that destroys you, or just die normally on one of the game’s tough bosses. Returnal has two main ways you can cheat death. One of these is by finding a renewal spot in a biome that you can pay ether to get a “free life.” If you activate one of these renewal spots (found inside areas marked with the blue triangle door), you will be able to come back once after dying at this spot, essentially creating a one-time-use checkpoint. Important note: this spot counts only for the biome that you’re in. Once you leave the biome, the checkpoint is null and void and you will have to find a new one. Again, it only works once and cannot be activated again once you come out of it. These are handy, but not the best method of progression and more of an insurance policy. In many cases, your valuable ether would be better spent unlocking new equipment or other resources.

The best method of resurrection happens on the spot with certain artifacts like the astronaut figurine and the watch. Look for artifacts that say “It will never let you go” or associated language. These will bring you back to life on the spot when you die, which is incredible for taking on difficult boss fights. Using the renewal area, the boss will be fully restored when you crawl your way back, but with these special artifacts you can take a full bar or two off a boss and have an entire life to spare if you run into a beam or a truckload of projectiles. Having the extra life (or two!) provides a serious psychological advantage during these fights as well, as you will be much more relaxed and able to concentrate on those jumps and dashes. A note on a progression run: If you find yourself with a renewal spot locked in, wait until you’re ready to challenge the boss before picking up the resurrection artifacts so that you don’t lose them to an accident.

Another important aspect of survival is to keep upping your life total. Those extra lives look a lot better with a gigantic health bar! Picking up resins (green plus-marks on the map) keeps your health total high, and every three pips you pick up extends your health bar. There are special artifacts that can help get your life total up extremely high that you’ll find over the course of progression, but the important thing to remember is this: If you are getting stuck on a boss, farm the level (and potentially, previous biomes depending on the situation) for all it has to offer in terms of health pickups and extensions. This is a time-consuming process, but it will drastically improve your odds against the harder bosses in the game. Alternatively, if you’re feeling like a pro speedrunning master, you can just go for the next boss you have on tap, but I advise taking the slow and steady route if you have any doubts.

Parasites are your best friend. One of the best parasites you can find early in a run is the one that regenerates your health when it’s low. With proper health add-ons and management, you can get this parasite to start ticking when you have a significant portion of health, allowing you to go toe-to-toe with bosses for ages even while making some errors. Always be on the lookout for parasites, as their benefits are often much better than their penalties.

Get Big

The environment has many mysteries that benefit the curious observer. Fake walls, hidden precipices, and areas that become accessible as you gain access to Metroid-style progression tools are all valuable finds. While the minimap is incredibly valuable for discoveries around you, many additional secrets are hidden off the map. Sometimes you may encounter side rooms that have no map, or a “static” effect that hides it. Look around these rooms carefully every time, and especially pan the camera up. There are often hidden additional secrets to discover. One health node or one chest might not seem like much, but these add up a ton over the course of the run and can make all the difference.

Weapons. Are. Important. As you progress through the biomes, new weapons will enter your potential pool that can then appear anywhere. Some of the coolest ones you won’t get until later, but one in particular you need to keep an eye out for, the Electropylon Driver. At the time of this writing, this weapon is an absolute beast that puts many of the others to shame, as you can stack up the pylon shots to create electric fields. You can essentially stack these fields and create death zones for targets that will get eaten away very quickly by standing in them. This weapon ironically feels incredibly unwieldy when you first get a chance to use it but stick with it and watch even the biggest and nastiest enemies melt down into nothing against it.

An important note about all weaponry is that you do continue to unlock and improve traits for these as you progress, so the added damage potential that comes over time can help a lot during tough bosses. You will still have to be a dodge wizard, but you must dodge a lot less when you have good output, as some of the bosses can be quite spongey!

In many games, consumables are easy to ignore. Do not do that here. Consumables that may seem incredibly worthless can make a huge difference. For example, you may be dismayed to get something that only lasts 30 seconds and makes enemies drop resin. Doesn’t seem that amazing on paper, right? But learn the rooms. Find one that’s going to have a ton of small enemies or a swarm, and just hammer that thing. You could end up with a massive health bar as a result, especially in tandem with other items. Fighting a tough boss and can’t seem to get the dodge timing right? Pop a damage buff that destroys your movement potential but doubles your damage and get some work done! Consumables are extremely valuable, and while that’s obvious for the health packs, make sure you assess how you can use each and every one that comes your way. Always, always, always be on the lookout for the consumable that removes all your malfunctions, as this allows you to essentially open risky chests with absolutely no penalty. In one of the game’s later biomes where enemies can afflict you with malfunctions, this consumable is even more valuable.

Fighting Back

The zones will punish you and losing to a big boss can be devastating, but it’s all about the fundamentals in Returnal. Mastering the timing on dodge and jump is enough to maneuver around even the deadliest bullet-hell patterns, and the invulnerability window provided by the dodge is quite large. While it’s always best to boost your protection and health as high as possible and get the “extra lives” before heading into a boss fight, you can and will overcome these deadly enemies with practice and timing. Once you master the art of the dash, you might even have time to admire the glittering projectile swirls. As you battle fights that seem impossible, try different methods to counter their skills. Shielded foes can be broken with one slash of the sword (which you will find very early on) and some rambling alien creatures can be knocked down or staggered in melee as well. Frustrated by teleporting enemies that can annihilate you in a single blow? Watch for signals right before they strike and get out of the way!

If all else fails, learn the rooms. When you wander into a room that seems too good to be true, like full of health packs and nothing else, determine whether it’s a “timed room” where you might only be able to grab a few of them before they fall into a deadly chasm or a lockdown mini-boss room. With the latter, knowing that the room is going to lockdown, you can game the system and hang out near the door, inching up until the enemy appears and then dash out. Then, you can either battle the enemy without having to deal with the additional “locked in” component or walk away. You will discover a multitude of strategies like this to help avoid that one crucial hit in each run. Because here’s the thing: You never want to get hit.

One aspect of the game we haven’t talked about yet is the adrenaline meter. Essentially, as you kill things and don’t get hit, you begin to get serious bonuses stacking up. If you get hit, you’re back down to zero and must start climbing again. In this way, Housemarque really plays up its fast-paced arcade action roots. Shields and other tools that let you ignore a damage source can be instrumental here, as keeping a high adrenaline level will greatly enhance your abilities and resource acquisition. When you encounter a new enemy, you may not even want to shoot back for a few seconds. Instead, find out what it does, and how to avoid it. Avoiding things is really the essence of the game here, as dishing out the damage with whatever you’re holding is a more mindless endeavor.

One other important thing: Never forget about your alt-fire attack. These abilities can dish out damage orders of magnitude higher than your basic salvos and should be triggered every single time they are up on a boss monster or mini-boss. Avoid alt-fire abilities that put you close to the opponent like the lightning blast or special use alt-fires like proximity mine and try to get ones that allow for a focused burst of damage to cut through harder opponents like butter.

That One Biome (The Abyss)

Late in the game, one of the biomes is not like the others. This biome is especially dangerous, and, depending on your taste for friction, you may wish to loot up completely outside and simply rush through when you get there with as little engagement as possible. This may seem counterintuitive, but because the foes in this area can cause malfunctions when they hit you and/or damage you as much as a boss, sapping valuable health from your attempts at completing this area, discretion can be the better part of valor. I recommend beelining to the side doors (triangle gates) and avoiding as much direct conflict as possible. While all conflict in this zone is not easy to avoid and you may find yourself fighting some interesting and powerful foes, it may be wise to avoid what you can.

Discovery. Death. Perseverance, persistence, knowledge and eventually victory. Have fun with Returnal!


Returnal Review – Haunting Harmony

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Publisher: PlayStation Studios
Developer: Housemarque

April 30, 2021

Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5

Returnal is a powerful roguelike recipe offering intense combat, a drip-fed narrative of palpable dread, and a cohesive combination of artistic elements. Housemarque’s third-person shooter delivers lightning-fast action transfused with incredible exploration, featuring equal doses of intensity and lingering unease. Every run is the start of something new, but what you learn over many failures provides an extra edge as you attempt to chart the sci-fi horror world of Atropos. Returnal deftly combines gameplay, graphics, and musical composition to create a haunting tapestry that’s an absolute joy to partake in, even when a mistimed dodge or a sinister trap claims your life.

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Returnal is a challenging game that puts relatively high demands on the player. There are no difficulty dials to tweak, so the experience can feel overbearing at times, especially in one of the later stages. While this adds to the overarching horror elements that exude from Returnal’s core and enhances the sweaty grip-for-your-life moment of slaying a massive boss, it’s important to note that it’s possible to lose hours of potential progress in mere seconds should things go awry. Death is inevitable and can be devastating. Being willing to learn and ready to adapt your strategies and glean takeaways for future runs is essential. I felt that the challenges presented by Returnal enhanced the nature of the unknown alien planet and that these elements contributed positively to the overall game. Still, some players may find these asks to be outside of their enjoyment range.

As Selene, who gets stranded on an alien planet, your journey on Atropos brings questions and exciting revelations. The story is communicated slice-by-slice over time as you work through different biomes, with each narrative piece adding one element to a larger puzzle that’s a pleasure to work out. While anything but a blissful fairy tale, the narrative functions more like a soothing balm to the endless cycle of doomed runs and discomforting discoveries. When things were at their worst after a few failed runs, at least I was learning more about the mysteries that tie the world together. Try not to get spoiled by the story before playing the game, as it’s a pleasure to put together clue-by-clue.

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The exploration through the biomes is procedurally generated in some respects, but you learn to recognize rooms and what’s inside each one over time. This knowledge is power. Exploring carefully and mastering each space can lead to discovering hidden powerups tucked away in hard-to-find places, whether they are behind false walls or just out of sight on a precipice above. In addition to the temporary build that you craft each run, there are other permanent unlocks for your character to uncover. As you make progress, areas that you couldn’t previously access become available via tools like a grappling hook, hazard-protection boots, the ability to travel underwater, and more. Every time you find one of these new tools feels incredible as you can finally access areas that have taunted you with treasures for many, many runs. With each traversal find, you breathe a sigh of relief as a checkpoint is locked in.

Applying learned knowledge to situations and scenarios carries over to combat, which is incredibly fast and rooted in the “bullet-hell” genre. Players must avoid various objects on the screen, each with its own pattern and directional movement. Learning each pattern on standard enemies is a constant battle as you progress, as new and deadlier abilities and patterns regularly appear. Boss battles take this to the next level, and you will find yourself relying on muscle memory and perhaps uttering a quick prayer while attempting to dodge growing rings, moving barriers, and hundreds of projectiles at varying speeds simultaneously. Throughout the game, you may be surprised at just what you can accomplish in this regard. Several times I said to myself, “No way,” as the game pushed another blitz of swirling projectiles onto my screen, but with well-timed dodges and jumps, I shocked even myself. Patterns that seemed challenging at first became laughable as I mastered the game’s many systems, and it feels great to complete encounters with finesse.

Avoiding things is half of the battle. The other half is shooting back. In Returnal, you unlock a variety of different weapons with various modes of fire and traits to unlock over time, which is sort of a permanent progression mechanic that improves your damage output from run to run. I became a huge fan of the rocket and grenade launcher archetypes and their various tweaks, which allowed me to pay more attention to getting out of the way while issuing my payloads. However, you never really know which weapon will be your best option during a run, so you have to become comfortable using a lot of them regardless. This keeps things fresh and had me stuck with one of my least favorite weapons during a particularly tough boss fight, but it’s all part of the freshness that comes with each run. You never know what you’re going to get, and you have to use everything together to survive. In true roguelike fashion, you may have runs with excellent weapons where you make a ton of progress across multiple biomes, and in others, you may perish a room or two into your adventure.

Risk and reward are intricately tied together in Returnal, as there are numerous upgrades you can find that come with the risk of a malfunction that debuffs your character when you collect them. This means you might be able to increase your health pool or collect some bonus resources, but you might get a serious penalty as a price, like losing 85 percent of your damage while stationary. You can ditch these penalties by completing different goals, so careful planning for when to take on the risk of malfunctions is essential, as they can completely change the way you play. A late-game biome plays with the concept of issuing malfunctions for getting hit by some enemies, which, as you can imagine, is a massive incentive to up your dodge game. Learning how to manage malfunctions is a long process of weighing when and if to pick up specific bonuses, and it can make a huge difference on a run. Again, the theme of learning over time comes into play here, and I enjoyed tinkering with my risk profile on each run. Some runs, say when you are off to a bad start, the philosophy just becomes “well, I’m going to die anyway, why not roll the dice?” And sometimes, those dice roll in your favor.

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Returnal is a delightful immersion for the senses, even if the aspect it’s trying to convey is horrifying, lingering dread. It nails it in this regard, and is drenched with both in-your-face monstrosities and lurking terror. Enemy designs are hideous amalgamations of tentacles and teeth, which feel right at home in this bizarre alien hellscape. One of the late-game biomes is incredibly distressing to explore and may even significantly deter some players with thalassophobia.

The soundtrack, primarily composed by Bobby Krlic (Midsommar), provides a haunting backdrop that contributes immensely to Returnal’s constant and rising sense of trepidation. The unnerving melodies gnaw at the back of your mind long after you set the controller down. One stage in particular hinges on music, and the feeling that you get while climbing up to the boss as it gets louder and louder exudes cacophonic anxiety. Feedback from the DualSense controller is a nice touch to the overall ensemble, providing nuance from the tiniest droplet of rain to the impact of a titanic monster crashing into you at high speed.

Returnal is a relentless nightmare that’s a dream to play. The journey is full of horror and terrible discoveries, but also unbridled curiosity and wonder. If you have the taste for it, this is an adventure that begs to be experienced.

Score: 9.5

Summary: A deadly alien planet is a playground for your senses and curiosity.

Concept: Battle your way through a mysterious alien world in a third-person shooter roguelike featuring intense bullet-hell action and atmospheric dread

Graphics: Returnal’s presentation is a massive treat, and while you can’t always focus on the luscious visuals and lighting because you’re dodging your demise, they are striking and powerful

Sound: The amazing soundtrack by Bobby Krlic adds gloomy, dire tones to punctuate a potent palate of gunblasts and ruin crumbles that accompany the dark exploration

Playability: Picking up a weapon and firing at your first batch of aliens is easy. However, experiencing Returnal should be accompanied by some tolerance for failure, frustration, and willingness to learn precise timing, as each journey can end abruptly and devastatin

Entertainment: Returnal brilliantly meshes roguelike mechanics with precise combat and enigmatic exploration, making for an excellent game

Replay: High

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DC FanDome Returns This October

The DC FanDome will return for a 2nd edition this October. The celebration all things DC Comics provides looks at upcoming comics, movies, TV shows, and, potentially, video games. What can fans expect to see this year? 

This year’s FanDome takes place on October 16. DC announced the event with a teaser video on its Twitter account but hasn’t yet shared any news beyond that. Last year’s show was presented as an hours-long virtual convention with various panels and trailers airing at designated times. That’s likely to be the case again but there’s no confirmation either way. 

The epic global event is back!
Return to #DCFanDome 10.16.21 pic.twitter.com/ZifZGCPOig

— DC (@DCComics) April 28, 2021

So what does this mean for video games? Last year’s FanDome featured the debut of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, the next title by Batman: Arkham developer Rocksteady Games. We haven’t seen or heard anything about the game since it was revealed, which is fair since it’s not launching until 2022. Could it reemerge during this year’s show, perhaps with a first look at gameplay? We hope so. 

Suicide Squad isn’t the only big DC game on the horizon. There’s also Gotham Knights, the four-player action title starring the Bat Family. Players suit up as Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood to take on the Court of Owls following the death of Batman. It’s being made by Warner Bros. Montreal, who developed Batman: Arkham Origins, and was originally slated to launch this year before being delayed to 2022. There’s a solid chance Gotham Knights makes an appearance during the FanDome as well.

Of course, we’re sure to learn more about DC’s upcoming slate of films. Aquaman 2, The Batman, Black Adam, and The Flash are all scheduled to premier in 2022, so the company has a lot of promotion to do. In terms of celebrity appearances, Deadline reports that Jason Isaacs, Kaley Cuoco, Michael Rooker, Robin Wright, Viola Davis, Will Arnett, and Aisha Tyler will take part in the FanDome.

Are you excited for this year’s DC FanDome? Do you think Suicide Squad or Gotham Knights pops up? What surprises do you hope to see? Share your predictions in the comments!


This Valheim Mod Adds Necromancy Into The Game

Knowing necromancy means never having to say goodbye. Luckily, this Valheim mod adds exactly that. There’s already one mod that adds Skyrim’s magic into the world of Valheim, so adding necromancy just adds a little more flavor into the mix. 

I have been having a lot of fun with Valheim mods lately, so when a friend dropped this in Discord a few days ago, I couldn’t wait to try it out. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, and it helps me do what I love most: not die. 

So how does necromancy work in Valheim anyway? What this mod does is it adds that ability for players to summon up to eight skeletons to fight your battles alongside you. Players can summon them with the addition of a “convoking wand,” with a small catch of sacrificing HP (give a little to get a little). Players can heal with this ability, sacrifice, and command each skeleton to do their bidding. They also teleport with you and will follow you, so it’s really just a super morbid companion. Friends are fun! 

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The above video showcases this mod in action, showing off how the summoning works and how effective the skeletons are. Cycle through them, heal them, tell them where to go – this addition is pretty easy to control, so you don’t have to worry about a bunch of chaotic skeletons just wreaking havoc in the world of Valheim. 

There are two main kinds of skeletons that you can conjure with Warriors and Archers. Archers are a solid pick if you need range, but Warriors are great for when you’re solo’ing a boss. More features are on the way, as well, including more conjurable creators as part of the plan. 

According to the mod’s creator, here’s what players can look forward to in future updates: 

  • Add more conjurable creatures (a lot more involved than you’d think)
  • Add more customization (weaponry, skills)
  • Tweak balance if something is a bit too strong or weak
  • Configurable weapon damage and element damage modifiers
  • AI improvements
  • Manual targeting (force aggro skeletons onto one target to focus it first)
  • Make it so the text on skeletons doesn’t say pet because that’s pretty weird

Ready to raise some dead? You can download the necromancy Valhaim mod here

Interested in more Valheim goodness, including our full review, more mod recommendations, and what’s been updated so far? You can learn more about this Viking survival game right here with our game hub.  

Thoughts on necromancy joining the party with this Valheim mod? Are you looking for mod recommendations for a different kind of game? Sound off in the comment section below, happy to help! 


Game Informer Is Hiring An Associate Editor And Junior Developer!

If you are interested in joining the Game Informer family we have two full-time positions available: Associate Editor and Junior Developer. Before sending your résumé, please be aware of a few things:

  • Relocation is not immediately necessary, but we would love it if you joined us at our headquarters in Minnesota in the future.
  • The Associate Editor position requires extensive video game knowledge. Please include a cover letter and writing samples. If you have published work on other sites, you can use those links. Otherwise, please include writing samples as .pdf attachments.
  • We are looking for a Junior Developer to join our experienced Production team, working primarily on website and digital magazine applications.

We generally receive an overwhelming amount of résumés, so this process may take time. Keep this in mind if you don’t hear back from us right away.

Associate Editor

Job Description

Working with general supervision, the Associate Editor serves as one of the primary content creators for Game Informer, Game Informer Digital, and Game Informer Online. As such, associates must demonstrate fluency across all the game platforms and create unique news, preview, review, and feature content. Principle responsibilities include writing, proofreading, conceptualizing stories, maintaining a social media presence, and appearing on podcasts, video shows, and streams. The role requires occasional travel, both domestically and internationally, and occasional night/weekend work. The associate editor may interact with their supervisor several times a week, perhaps daily, to receive guidance and feedback. Some non-routine activities may require a supervisor’s advance approval.

Essential Job Duties And Responsibilities

  • Produce written news, preview, review, and feature content for Game Informer, Game Informer Digital, and Game Informer Online.
  • Work with editors to develop creative feature content and become a better writer/editor.
  • Travel to publishers, developers, events, and conventions to create content.
  • Meet daily and monthly magazine and website deadlines.
  • Proofread magazine and online features.
  • Develop an on-air personality for podcasts, videos, and streams.

Basic And Preferred Qualifications

  • High school diploma or GED required; Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program in English, journalism, or related field preferred.
  • Three years of experience writing and editing material for a magazine, newspaper, or other form of print journalism/media.
  • Must be able to travel domestically and internationally.

Minimum Qualifications, Job Skills, Abilities

  • Proficient knowledge of productivity programs, specifically Microsoft Office.
  • Proficient ability to communicate effectively with others using spoken and written forms.
  • Ability to recognize discrepancies/errors in written information, including the ability to initiate and respond to work errors in a professional manner, working collaboratively and cooperatively with others.
  • Expert knowledge of video games on all platforms, including consoles, handhelds, PCs, mobile, and tablets.
  • Ability to work under demanding time constraints, including meeting short-term deadlines.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with others.
  • Proficient relationship building skills, including the capacity to predict and manage behavior, build and leverage cross-functional partnerships within and outside of the organization.
  • Ability to positively model the organization’s commitment to integrity, diversity, inclusion, and maintaining a respectful workplace.
  • Consistently demonstrate a commitment to Game Informer policies and procedures, including but not limited to attendance, confidentiality, conflict of interest, and ethical responsibilities.

How To Apply

Junior Developer

Job Description

Working with general supervision, the Junior Developer works with the Production staff for Game Informer Online and Game Informer Digital. The primary focus is on the code base, developing to client and company specifications. Seeking a candidate with experience in Drupal 8/9 development and customization. Exceptional critical thinking, problem-solving, and troubleshooting skills are essential.

Minimum Qualifications, Job Skills, And Abilities

  • College degree (Associates or Bachelors) from an accredited program in Computer Science or related field preferred
  • Must be authorized to work in the US
  • Detail-oriented
  • A natural problem solver
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to follow instructions and work on a team
  • Results-oriented, reliable, able to work in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
  • Solid understanding of HTML, JavaScript, and CSS
  • Writing and maintaining code
  • Ability to communicate technical ideas to business users and other teams
  • Ability to both collaborate with team members and work independently
  • Continuous knowledge of current and emerging web technologies


  • Experience creating and modifying Drupal modules and themes, and performing Drupal site building work
  • Experience integrating open source and third-party applications into existing systems

How To Apply


Destruction AllStars Season 1 Adds New Character, Photo Mode, Blitz, And More

The team over at Lucid Games is looking to bring the heat with Destruction AllStars season 1. The first season brings with it a new game mode, fanciful photo options, a new character, and more. We’ve also got a new trailer showing off everything players have to look forward to.

What’s in Destruction AllStars season 1? 

This is the very first season for the game, adapting a popular model for online adventures in order to freshen up the gameplay experience for dedicated players. From getting new cosmetics to show off that in-game personality to the reveal of the new Blitz mode, check out the Hothots trailer below to get a first look at what’s on the way: 

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New Character

First off, let’s talk about Destruction AllStars’ newest personality. She goes by the name of Alba, and she’s a fierce competitor that is no stranger to this particular arena. After leaving Destruction AllStars for “several years,” Alba’s back and ready to show everyone around her who’s boss. 

Alba hails from Scotland and comes equipped with a very high-tech battle suit that gives her resilient armor against foes. While the studio says that it will have more to share on what she brings to the table at a later date, it did teaser her on-foot ability with Character Breaker. This ability will summon blockers to materialize in front of her. These blockers are called Bulwarks and their only job is to protect her from other competitors. 

Lucid also revealed her Hero Vehicle called Claymore. Claymore isn’t like other in-game vehicles. Its focus isn’t to slam, but instead to obliterate other vehicles with a laser beam that can hurt not only opposing rides but drivers as well. 

Season Pass

This game’s season pass is called the AllStar Pass, and it basically works exactly the way you would think. Just like with similar games in the online arena, the AllStar Pass will reward players for their progress by unlocking unique cosmetics. The team is also doing something special with Alba’s arrival. “With Alba returning to the competition, our AllStars have decided to roll out the red carpet and get dressed up for the occasion,” reads the latest blog post from PlayStation. “You’ll see a lot of black ties and tailcoats in the AllStar Pass as our AllStars get ready to welcome back a renowned veteran. Some of our AllStars have taken things even further, with two Legendary skins and one Heroic skin available in the AllStar Pass to really stand out from the crowd. With skins, emotes, avatars, banners and shouts, there’s plenty of ways to show off your style and change up your AllStars’ look.”

Photo Mode

Haven’t you heard? Photo Modes are all the rage, as they should be. While not having one isn’t a dealbreaker by any stretch of the imagination, this type of feature has become more and more prevalent in games over the past several years. Players want to capture cool moments on the fly and Photo Modes allow for unique customization options to ensure that every image is perfect. With this season literally called Hotshot, the ability to take snapshots comes at the perfect time. 

New Game Mode – Blitz 

Blitz is the new game mode that will arrive with season 1, giving really competitive players something special to look forward to. Blitz is essentially a modified Mayhem (which is likened to Deathmatch, for those that may be unfamiliar) and pits four teams of three against one another. So how is this new mode different than Mayhem? Simple, the rounds are shorter and designed to be way more fast-paced and “intense.” It will also require a little more strategy, making players choose a new AllStar at the beginning of each round. But it’s more than that; the Character Ability and Hero Vehicle will carry over from the previous round, allowing players to rollover that energy to kick off the next bout with a tactical advantage. 

Blitz will be arriving in the game mode lineup at the start of June. As for the first season itself, Destruction AllStars season 1 officially kicks off on May 5.

Are you excited to see how seasons shake up Destruction AllStars? What other inspiration would you like to see this team pull from going forward? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Free PS Plus May 2021 Games Revealed, Including Battlefield V

April has come and is almost gone, which means another new month of free games to look forward to. Xbox’s Games With Gold May lineup was revealed on April 27, and now it’s time for the free PS Plus May 2021 games to be revealed. 

This month includes racing action, hardcore survival, and a return to the Battlefield franchise as the future of the series continues to be a hot topic regarding what’s next. 

Free PS Plus May 2021 Games Lineup

The May lineup for PlayStation players includes Battlefield V, Stranded Deep, and Wreckfest. Battlefield V comes at the perfect time with rumors swirling around that Battlefield VI will be revealed soon, as well as the reveal of the Battlefield mobile game. Stranded Deep is great for those players that aren’t scared of anything when it comes to surviving in a world where everything wants to kill you, including the elements themselves. Survival games not your thing? Wreckfest lets you “drive hard, die last” with its fast-paced racing experience that takes full-contact to a brutal level.

The latest lineup of free games for PS Plus members will go live on May 4. Don’t have a membership yet? It’s not too late to sign up if any of these titles interest you, or the games that are being offered up currently as part of April’s lineup.

For those looking to jump in on this month’s action, it’s definitely not too late go nab April’s free games with Days Gone, Oddworld: Soulstorm, and Zombie Army 4 up for grabs. That being said, it is important to remember that an active PS Plus membership is required for all of the aforementioned titles. The membership for Sony’s online services includes free games each month, exclusive sales on select titles, and more. The free games downloaded due to the PS Plus service remain yours to keep unless you cancel your membership. 

Thoughts on the free PS Plus May 2021 games lineup? What do you hope gets added into the freebie lineup next? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Riot Games ‘Disappointed’ After Weird Shutdown Notice Of League Of Legends Fan Project Goes Public

The League of Legends community was riled up earlier this week when a fan-driven League of Legends project was shut down by Riot Games. While shutdown notices are nothing new, what caused the widespread disharmony was how a Riot representative approached communication with the project called Chronoshift. Under the name ‘Riot Zed,’ the representative was incredibly offputting, needlessly aggressive, and honestly? Really cheesy. When the email correspondence went public, the community reacted, and now Riot Games is responding to how the employee handled the entire situation, claiming a sense of “disappointment” over the encounter. 

For those that may be unfamiliar with this fan project, Chronoshift is/was a legacy server that allowed players to go back to an older version of League that they enjoyed. The original shutdown email can be seen here, but further correspondence reveals straight-up weird old school mob verbiage, making the entire exchange about a legal notice inappropriately comical: 

Neckbeard LoL developer “Zed” extorts indie mod developers of the Chronoshift project. I’m dying.

After the above Discord conversation was sent over to Riot’s legal team to confirm its authenticity, the company confirmed that the takedown notice was real and echoed a previous takedown notice sent to the Chronoshift team back in 2020. That being said, the way it was handled is anything but what Riot was wanting, saying, “Regarding the exchange with Riot Zed, we’re disappointed with the tenor of the conversation and we’ll be addressing this internally,” reads a recent statement from Riot to Eurogamer. “We often attempt good faith reach-outs prior to issuing legal documentation. In this case, however, given the Chronoshift team’s response, we have proceeded through more formal channels.”

Additional context from one of the members that worked on Chronoshift shows less of an angry reaction from their team, and more of a disappointed one. As spotted by the siteone person working on this project weighed in, saying, “Instead of opening a conversation about the future and interest in this kind of project, they attempted what could be seen as an attempt to take advantage of our work for free and start taking legal action against us,” one developer said on Reddit. “To our best knowledge, and the assessment of the lawyers specialised in IT copyright we talked the project over with, we have not done anything illegal.”

They added, “We have been working on this project for almost five years and thousands of hours,” the post continued. “We never asked for even as much a donation during all of this time, paying all of the expenses out of our pockets. This project has always been about the preservation of the early seasons of the game that cannot be experienced anymore, a time capsule for something long gone that people still express a lot of interest in to this day.”

While the takedown is, and shouldn’t have been, a surprise, there needs to be professionalism when this type of correspondence is concerned. How ‘Riot Zed’ handled the entire situation reflects poorly on them, and Riot by association. Now that the company is taking to “more formal channels” for the takedown of Chronoshift, this fan project looks to finally have met its end. Which is a shame, legacy servers are a phenomenal way to keep the community engaged and longtime fans still interested in a property. While the issues with these fan-driven servers are understandable, I hope that this means that perhaps Riot will look into possibly creating an official legacy server in its own right. It would be even better if they hired on some of the talented fans that made up the Chronoshift project. 

Thoughts on how Riot Games handled the takedown of Chronoshift? Thoughts on how Chronoshift responded? Sound off in the comment section below and tell us what you think should happen next.