Space Jam: A New Legacy Is Coming To Xbox Game Pass With Three New Xbox Wireless Controllers

A new Space Jam is on the way into movie theaters soon and to celebrate the return of Bugs Bunny and friends, Xbox teamed up with fans to create a Space Jam: A New Legacy-inspired Arcade game. Now, we’re seeing the fruit of that labor a little more closely, as well as three new themed Xbox wireless controllers to celebrate the upcoming release. 

In a new blog post, Xbox’s Sarah Bond detailed how this game adaptation came to be. To create the final experience, according to Bond, the team took two ideas from two different gamers, a youth-competition winner named Narayan from India and an adult-competition winner named Ricky from the United States. The two different game ideas came together to become an Arcade homage to Space Jam, both the original and the new film coming out in July. Ricky wanted a classic beat ’em up style adventure, whereas Narayan had their own mechanics in mind, and together? It looks pretty cool! 

Click here to watch embedded media

Space Jam: A New Legacy – The Game features the beloved Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny and the newest member of the Tune Squad, LeBron James, as they face the Goon Squad in a wacky basketball beat ‘em up. A rogue artificial intelligence named Al G. Rhythm has trapped our heroes inside the Warner Bros. server, with little chance of escape. The Tune Squad must fight their way through a virtual army of Al G.’s creation while also searching for four pieces of “Legacy Code” that will allow them access to the nefarious villain’s secret location. Al G. has sent two members of the Goon Squad – The Brow and White Mamba – to stop the Tune Squad in their tracks. Fortunately, our heroes have access to a variety of moves, including a special basketball, and some rather unique Space Jam cards, to help them out. But will their teamwork be enough to stop Al G. Rhythm’s evil plans?

Space Jam: A New Legecy, the game, will be launching on July 1 exclusively on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate as a Perk for a limited time. For those that may not have Ultimate, Perks is an additional free feature included in the membership that allows players additional access to game add-ons, exclusive partner offers, and more. In this case, that’s a new Space Jam game. A New Legacy will be available on Xbox consoles, Xbox App for Windows 10, and Xbox Game Pass on iOS and Android devices.  

But that’s not all! We also have three new Xbox wireless controllers to celebrate, as well: 

  • Tune Squad: Become a member of the Squad and channel your inner Tune with this awesome controller, featuring one of Bug Bunny’s favorite colors – Carrot Orange.
  • Goon Squad: If you’re feeling like a super cyber-baller, pick up the Goon Squad controller, but prepare to face the Tunes on the court.
  • Serververse: Step into the Warner 3000 entertainment “Serververse” with this new out-of-this-world controller.

Each controller retails for $69.99 and will be available on July 8 on the Microsoft Store and Amazon. Microsoft will be showing off more of these bad boys here soon with a special Space Jam: A New Legacy – The Game live stream event on July 1 at 11 a.m. Pacific. To learn more, check out the full blog post right here


Scarlet Nexus Review – Anime Ascendant

Click here to watch embedded media

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Bandai Namco

June 25, 2021

Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: PC
Also on:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Scarlet Nexus transports players into a “brainpunk” anime world where psionic powers and bizarre otherworldly creatures threaten humanity. What does brainpunk mean? In this somewhat modern era, massive advances in mind technology have led to the use of incredible psychic abilities. Of course, not everything is as it seems, and a mystery unravels over the course of the journey. Scarlet Nexus excels at selling its stylish and unique world, crafting combat that’s a joy to play and watch, pitting players against weird, wonderful bosses. However, some elements – like character dialogue, relationship building, and level design – weigh down an otherwise excellent experience.

Click here to watch embedded media

Scarlet Nexus seems tailor-made for anime lovers with sharp visuals, zany plotlines, and fantastic action sequences. Even if you don’t love anime, the combat and animations are eye-catching. Initially, you’re just whacking away monsters and gaining experience – tasks familiar to anyone who has ever played an RPG. Soon, you get the chance to manipulate the environment via psychokinesis. This can be as simple as throwing around barrels and boxes, but it is way more fun lifting busses, chandeliers, ice sculptures, and more. I had a blast ripping the world apart to shred enemies and pulling up the scenery then riding it around the environment. The kinetic elements create an incredibly smooth flow from fight to fight. Over the course of the game, combat becomes much more complex and interesting as you gain the ability to tap into your friends’ special abilities and weave them into your assaults. For example, does an opponent goes invulnerable whenever you get close? Go invisible or teleport to them! Having trouble dealing with speedy opponents? Stop time altogether. Later in the game, you can even use multiple abilities simultaneously to really make the screen explode with massive combo chains. I loved experimenting and combining skills to absolutely tear foes apart.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



As I developed relationships with the character roster, I gained the opportunity to call them in directly to participate in massive combo attacks. Skirmishes often cap off with an epic anime animation as you slaughter the villainous creatures with stylish finishing attacks. As if this wasn’t enough, you gain new brain-related skills as you progress, such as an activatable brain field that must be charged up in battle that conveys tremendous psionic powers for a brief time. To add a bit of a risk-reward element, you must manually turn the brain field off before the timer runs out – or you’ll die. Combat is the best part of Scarlet Nexus, and it grew more enjoyable and interesting as I advanced in the story.

The world of Scarlet Nexus is awesome. The monsters you battle, known as Others, are aberrant amalgamations of organic material and random, familiar objects. These creepy creations are as fascinating as they are unusual. Frenetic boss battles where you engage in lightning-fast brain warfare with other psionic adepts play out like badass anime sequences, and made me feel like I was actually playing an anime.

The action is incredibly engaging. The story and characters, not so much. Unfortunately, the story introduces a ludicrous number of characters early on and they don’t grow much throughout the campaign. The plot is an absurd out-of-this world tale that only makes sense in a universe this strange, but the little vignettes you unlock by improving your relationship with each individual character feel sterile and stagnant.

Scarlett Nexus also becomes repetitive with reused areas and monsters to an extreme degree, especially in the later areas. There are enough bizarre things to hold your attention even as you begin to get bogged down with the formulaic level design that alternates between checkpoints and arenas. The level layouts in Scarlet Nexus feel overly functional to a ridiculous degree, with little distance from checkpoint to checkpoint – just a straight line of checkpoints and arenas without any dressing. Luckily, enough lush, animated trappings are around to take you out of that cold design as you cruise from stage to stage.

Whatever brainpunk’s take on over-the-top psychic reality is, I’m into it now. Bandai Namco has crafted something truly strange and quite satisfying with Scarlet Nexus, and I hope we get a slightly more refined sequel.

Score: 8.75

Summary: Bandai Namco constructs a stylish and compelling fantasy that’s all about the combat.

Concept: Tap into incredible mind powers as you battle to save the world and unravel mysteries of the past

Graphics: Scarlet Nexus excels at selling an anime fantasy world with powerful, stylish displays and impactful animations

Sound: The soundtrack syncs up with the fluid action for scintillating synergy, but doesn’t always hit the mark

Playability: The action starts simple and amusing, but grows more complex and satisfying by the game’s end, with massive combo chains, call-ins, and special abilities

Entertainment: With incredibly satisfying combat, weird and wonderful creatures, and an awesome aesthetic, Scarlet Nexus is well worth your time

Replay: Moderate

Click to Purchase


New Outriders Update Increases Legendary Drop Rates By 100 Percent

Outriders had a hell of a launch period. While we enjoyed our time with the game, immensely so, seeing the journey after day one was hard to witness at times. With server issues and meta tweaks, the team at People Can Fly has had its hands full but they remained dedicated to polishing the rough edges and with the latest Outriders update? It shows. Most notably is the Legendary drop rate adjustment, increasing drop rates across the board by 100%, but that’s not all the latest patch has to offer. 

What’s new in Outriders?

Previously, the studio offered an appreciation package to say thank you to players for bearing with the team as they hammered out details of the online game. People Can Fly did update fans in its most recent public post saying that a second appreciation package is on the way after tests on integration conclude.

Freebie loot drops and Legendary rate changes aside, the studio has also confirmed that Legendary Level brackets have been removed, which takes away level restrictions on Legendary gear. PCF added that prior to this update, some loot would only drop from enemies after a certain level, like Ugake Cowl with level 48s. After listening to community feedback, this has been taken out and a Legendary Anti-Duplication system has taken its place. The Anti-Duplication system is exactly what it sounds like, giving players a fair shot at unique gear and differing rolls. 

Scripted Boss Loot is also now available to drop all-class specific Legendary helmets for the campaign in addition to an overhaul of the Luck system to increase drop rates on high-tier weapons even further. 

For more on the latest Outriders patch, check out the rest of the update notes below: 

  • [CONSOLES] Added extra options and settings for controller customization including Deadzones, Look Sensitivity, Acceleration and Legacy layouts
  • [XBOX] Improved Sign-in Times
  • [EPIC STORE VERSION] Fixed an issue that was preventing the pre-order Hell’s Ranger gear from unlocking as intended
  • Made improvements to multiplayer connectivity
  • Earthborn Gear / Hell’s Ranger DLC equipment can now be scrapped
  • Fixed an issue that was causing old inventory items to be marked as new.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from running if they were stunned while using the Trickster’s Cyclone skill.
  • [EDIT for clarity] Fixed a bug that allowed a combination of two closely timed attacks to result in visual one-hit kill on players, from Alpha Perforo’s and Behemoths / Brood Mothers
  • Fixed a bug that caused the Scrap Grenade projectile to be blocked by dead enemies.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Feed the Flames’ Ash effect to not trigger properly in multiplayer.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Weapon mod ‘Ravenous Locust’ to not deal damage if used together with the ‘Weightlessness’ mod.
  • Mitigated an issue whereby players could get stuck in an animation after using Gravity Jump in multiplayer.
  • Crash Fixes.

Thoughts on the latest update for Outriders? Is this enough to get you back into the game? Sound off with your hot takes in the comment section below! 


Minecraft Goes Above And Beyond To Celebrate Sonic’s 30th Anniversary

Tomorrow is officially the 30-year anniversary of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game, and Mojang is celebrating the blue blur by releasing a Sonic-themed DLC pack for Minecraft. This isn’t just a few skins, but an entire adventure based on the Sega icon’s beginnings.

A trailer announcing the new content shows off what kind of adventures players will go on as Sonic and friends speed through classic zones from the original anthology of games. There’s shots of Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Amy, and Eggman, all of which are playable with their own special abilities. A flash of Super Sonic and a Chaos Emerald spells out some classic secrets are hidden within this impressively built content. Even a group of chao from Sonic Adventure make an appearance!

The DLC itself contains a hub where you can control Sonic and crew through familiar settings. It starts off in a tutorial teaching the player how to jump, collect (square) rings, and even spin dash. It turns out this is Tail’s Lab, which is filled with items and memorabilia from the series. Sonic can travel through portals within the lab to classic levels like Green Hill Zone; complete with appropriate sound effects, music, and enemies. Everything one would expect from a Sonic game is present in these recreated zones including, most importantly, the speed. Sonic can run through speed boosts, loops, and jump on any Badniks that get in his way. Rings collected in each zone can be spent to purchase more characters to play with or extra lives.

Click here to watch embedded media

The Hive, a Minecraft mini-game server, is also going to have an upcoming event coinciding with this new Sonic content. The DLC announcement on has this to say about it: “You can also celebrate Sonic’s birthday by joining the special server event! Starting soon, The Hive are hosting a two-week server-hub takeover featuring mini-games and a few festive surprises. I heard a rumor that something special is happening on one of the weekends, so make sure to check in regularly!”

Mojang certainly brought quite the gift for Sonic fans just in time for the big 3-0. Minecraft’s Sonic the Hedgehog DLC is available today on all platforms supporting the Minecraft Bedrock Edition. Sega is celebrating Sonic’s anniversary with a new way to play the Genesis games, and a remaster of Sonic Colors later this year. Our own Brian Shea spoke with Sonic Team’s Takashi Iizuka recently about the series and its future.


LEGO Super Mario Co-Op Shown Off In New Trailer With Mario And Luigi

It’s-a me, LEGO Mario! And LEGO Luigi! And now the two can play together because LEGO Super Mario is getting some co-op action. Nintendo shared a new video showcasing how the co-op aspect of LEGO Super Mario will work, marking this as the first time that LEGO Mario and Luigi are being connected together in a playable way within the LEGO Super Mario universe. 

The co-op adventure kicks off on August 1 and will allow Nintendo fans to play together for a couch co-op experience that is fun for all ages. Players can take to the world of LEGO to collect extra in-game goodies like coins, sync up with one another and work in tandem to take out dangerous Mario-verse foes and complete challenges for some sweet rewards. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Luigi in the LEGO-verse made headlines for a pretty strange reason earlier this year. Before the Luigi addition was officially announced, his blocky brother in red was creepily calling out for him. That has since been fixed and the reason behind that update weirdness was revealed. With the Luigi Star Course retailing for $59.99 and many more addable components also available, the addition of co-op just makes this LEGO adventure even more enticing for the Nintendo community. To learn more about all of the different ways LEGO is paying homage to the Super Mario franchise, you can check out the official website right here

Thoughts on going in on some LEGO Super Mario co-op action? What other gaming franchises would you like to see turned into a new blocky adventure? Shout out those hopes and dreams in the comment section below! 


Crossplay Is Now Live In Overwatch! Ashe Event Also Launching Today

You should never need an excuse to play Overwatch, but Blizzard delivered a great one today: Cross-platform play is now live. Overwatch crossplay going live allows players to team up and compete against one another on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch platforms.

PC players can jump into crossplay immediately, but console players will first need to connect to a account to enable this new feature. Complete cross-platform play is allowed in Quick Play, Arcade, and Custom matches, but Competitive brings a major roadblock for the PC crowd. Given the control and speed advantages that a mouse and keyboard bring, Blizzard isn’t uniting PC and console for ranked matches. PC players will always be matched with other PC players. That said, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox players can come together through crossplay for Competitive matches.

If you are returning to the game to check out crossplay, you’ll also run into Ashe’s Deadlock Challenge, a new event that runs from June 22 to July 5. If you play 27 matches, you’ll unlock a legendary skin for Ashe and B.O.B. Leading up to that goal, nine matches nets you a player icon, and 18 games rewards a spray. You can earn additional sprays by watching Overwatch on Twitch for two, four, and six hours.

Ashe’s Deadlock Challenge lines up nicely with the recent release of Deadlock Rebels, an Overwatch young-adult novel by Lyndsay Ely that tells the origin stories of Ashe and McCree. You can read the first chapter on Blizzard’s website starting today. Here’s a synopsis of the book in question:

In the years after the Omnic Crisis, the American Southwest is ruled by vultures looking to profit off the chaos. The West is ripe for the taking, and Elizabeth Caledonia Ashe intends to write her name across it.

When Ashe is arrested yet again on the morning of her high school graduation, her aloof, old-money parents decide to disinherit her from the family fortune. To steal back what’s rightfully hers, Ashe teams up with her omnic butler, B.O.B., and local ruffian Jesse McCree for a series of heists, catapulting the trio into a game of fast money and dangerous alliances. Along the way, Ashe discovers that family isn’t just about blood. It’s about the people who’ve got your back when your back’s against the wall.

If you fell off of Overwatch, will crossplay bring you back into the fold? If you have been playing on console, are you excited about the chance to take on players on other systems? Sound off in the comments below!


Borderlands Movie Has Finished Filming With First Look At Claptrap In Action

After numerous teaser images and a behind-the-scenes look during E3 2021, we’ve got our first official colorized image from the upcoming Borderlands movie with Eli Roth at the helm. Even better, everyone’s favorite robot that they love to hate comes bearing a message: “That’s a wrap!” 

The Borderlands movie has officially finished filming, which means it won’t be long now until we get a trailer to see how the cast takes to the world of Pandora. But, before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s start with our first on-set image that isn’t just a vague black shape: 

Game Informer via Gearbox

For those that may be needing a little refresher course, the upcoming Borderlands movie will be a live-action take from Eli Roth with an all-star cast that includes names like Kevin Hart, Cate Blanchett, Jack Black, and more. 

The story centers around Lilith, played by Blanchett, as she travels back to Pandora (against her wishes) to locate the missing daughter of Atlas (Edgar Ramirez). With a mysterious past and an attitude that could put the fear of god into anyone, Lilith must team up with a band of misfits from the beloved Gearbox franchise to take on this mission and take out some of the biggest baddies on this side of Pandora. 

For the full list of characters we know of so far, and who is playing them: 

  • Ariana Greenblatt – Tiny Tina
  • Benjamin Byron Davis – Marcus
  • Cate Blanchett – Lilith
  • Charles Babalola – Hammerlock
  • Cheyenne Jackson – Jakobs
  • Édgar Ramirez – Atlas
  • Gina Gershon – Moxxi
  • Jack Black – Claptrap
  • Jamie Lee Curtis – Tannis
  • Janina Gavankar – Commander Knoxx
  • Florian Munteanu – Krieg
  • Kevin Hart – Roland
  • Steven Boyer – Scooter
  • Ryann Redmond – Ellie

The Borderlands games have been a pinnacle marker for looter shooters ever since 2009 when the first title released. The hilarious dialogue, off-the-wall storylines, and weirdly unique characters all add up to make an incredibly enjoyable experience. The studio behind Borderlands has never shied away when it comes to doing whatever it wants within the realm of Pandora and it will be interesting to see how that creative freedom translates onto the big screen. 

Thoughts on our first look at Claptrap and the news that the Borderlands movie has officially wrapped? Sound off in the comment section below! 


The Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Digital Issue Is Now Live

If you subscribe to Game Informer‘s digital edition, you can now read our extended coverage of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Following last week’s cover reveal, our digital issue is now live to subscribers on web browsersiPad/iPhone, and Android devices. Individual issues will be available for purchase later today. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

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

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


Sea of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life – Game Informer Live

Ahoy me hearties. Let me spin you a yarn. A tale of stormy seas and how a sea-faring group of sailors (developers) weathered a rocky start and put together an adventurous romp in Sea of Thieves. The folks over at Rare have spent the last few years tuning and updating Sea of Thieves and have turned the pirate adventure into a fun and engaging space for the game’s players.

Click here to watch embedded media

Today is a special day for fans of nautical nonsense as Rare’s open-world pirate title is getting one of its biggest updates yet with one hell of a familiar face. A Pirate’s Life marks the entrance of some of cinema’s most iconic swashbucklers in the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, and more from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The update was announced last week as a part of Microsoft’s huge E3 showing and fans will get the opportunity to sail the seven seas with the Disney characters starting right now!

So get in landlubbers, we’re going sailing. Blake Hester, Alex Van Aken, and Alex Stadnik are answering the call of the sea and checking out the latest update for Sea of Thieves! We’ll be going live at 3 p.m. CT, so join us in the chat as we take on the new enemies, challenges, and more from Rare’s latest game update!

Excited for more on Sea of Thieves? We have you covered on the site as our own Marcus Stewart got to preview the new A Pirate’s Life update and has all the details you could ever want. If you’re in the mood for more Xbox goodness, be sure to check out our list of the top Xbox Series X titles, a breakdown of the recent Halo Infinite multiplayer trailer, and a look at Microsoft’s new line of monitors designed specifically for the company’s home consoles.


PAX West 2021 Confirmed To Be An In-Person Event With Safety Precautions Detailed

With vaccinations continuing to roll out, PAX West 2021 will be among the gaming events returning to offer in-person community celebrations. Not only will the event be returning in a more familiar form outside of a digital alternative, but ReedPop also has detailed safety precautions that are being implemented for those planning on attending. 

PAX West 2021 will be returning to the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA, from Friday, September 3 through Monday, September 6. Badges for the upcoming convention will be going on sale “in the next two weeks,” with options to also get PAX Online 2021 access, as well. PAX Online will be taking place on Thursday, July 15, through Sunday, July 18. 

Leading up to PAX West, ReedPop has canceled six consecutive in-person events. Now that we are dipping our toes back into any sort of normalcy, ReedPop wants to assure gamers that it is taking safety precautions seriously. This means health patterns will be tracked, and a reduced event capacity number has been implemented. More detailed precautions are coming at a later date. 

“It’s been almost two years since the last PAX West, and it’s been surreal to imagine its triumphant return,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder of Penny Arcade and PAX. “I can’t think of a better excuse to leave the house than PAX West.”

For those excited for a little more of a competitive experience, PAX Arena is partnering with Metro Esports for a special Valorant amateur open tournament. Players interested can show off their skills for a chance at winning a shot at that $10,000 prize pool. Quarter and semi-finals will be going down on July 15 at 12 p.m. Eastern, with Finals bringing it all full-circle on July 17 at the same time. “I am beyond excited to partner with ReedPop and engage a broad and diverse community of gaming enthusiasts,” said Shaon Berry, Founder and CEO, Metro Esports, about the upcoming tournament.

For those interested in taking part in PAX West this year, four-day badges for the general public will run $230, with individual-day options at $60 a pop. For media and content creator applications, those are now available for PAX Online East until June 30, with PAX West applications following shortly after. 

To learn more about PAX West and the digital events leading up to its return, you can check out the official ReedPop website right here


Write Your Own Story With This The Last Of Us Part II Notebook Box Set

The Last of Us Part II isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but we can probably all agree that Ellie and Abby’s journals were pretty cool, right? If you think so and want a cool collectible or are just a general stationary aficionado (they exist), luxury design store Cook and Becker and Naughty Dog have something for you. The two companies have put together limited edition replicas of the two characters’ notebooks and packaged them alongside with other goodies.

The two premium notebooks feature character art and illustrations pulled straight from the game, such as Ellie’s sketches. You can still write in it yourself, of course, with plenty of lined blank pages. Abby’s book even includes a blank workout schedule.

No journal is complete without a good writing instrument, so the set includes a black graphite pencil for Ellie and a red carpenters pencil for Abby. Cook and Becker also tosses in a fine art print, post-it notes shaped like Molotov cocktails, stickers, a guitar pick, and a guitar-shaped paperclip. It all comes packaged in a fancy box bearing an appropriate cordyceps fungus warning message, which will likely deter unwanted eyes from prying into your box. Probably. 

This whole set is limited to only 3,000 so best grab it sooner than later if it tickles your fancy. You can purchase it now for $89.95 (plus shipping) with the expected shipping date set for November 30. The store page can be viewed here

This seems like the best sort of collectible in that it’s both decorative and functional. It’s not quite up my alley, but I appreciate the craftsmanship and I’m always more interested in collector’s items that branch beyond the usual steelbook case or expensive statue (though you can also grab one modeled after Ellie here). 

Interested in picking up this collection? Are you a general fan of collecting notebooks and stationary? Let us know down in the comments!


Microsoft Expands “Designed For Xbox” Program To Monitors Supporting HDMI 2.1 Features

When buying a next-gen console, there are more considerations to make other than which controllers or headsets will work with your new system. The Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 have features that your current TV or monitor might not be able to support. Does it have Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) features like FreeSync? Will it support HDR? How about 120hz for buttery-smooth gameplay while at 4K resolution? Microsoft is making it easier to find out which screens will bring out the best in the newest generation of consoles by expanding its “Designed for Xbox” program.

The key to knowing whether a TV will support these new features is if the display has HDMI 2.1 ports. This newer configuration of HDMI allows for a higher bandwidth of information to flow between the console and TV at faster speeds, which makes all those breathtaking features above possible to do, not just separately, but at the same time!  

Microsoft has announced Phillips, Asus, and Acer are making some of the first monitors to have the “Gaming Features For Xbox” sticker slapped on the box, all of which are sporting HDMI 2.1 ports. Phillips is bringing out a 55” television this summer with a built-in soundbar which will support AMD FreeSync for reduced screen tearing and 4K resolution at 120hz.

Asus is releasing a monitor with a whopping 43” screen size, while Acer is focusing on a desk-sized 28” monitor. Both monitors due out later in the year are also equipped with VRR via AMD FreeSync, HDR, and have 1ms response times on top of supporting 4K resolution at 120hz. Acer’s Xbox edition gaming monitor, however, is also TUV/Eyesafe certified which is supposed to reduce eye strain over extended play sessions.

Now, it’s important to remember these are not the only displays supporting all of these features, but it will make it a tad easier on consumers knowing they can pair these products slapped with a “Gaming Features for Xbox” with a brand-new console to get the most out of it. There’s plenty of new games and old taking advantage of these HDMI 2.1 features including those pushing up to 120 fps using Xbox’s FPS boost on Series X/S. 

Have you made the jump to a better monitor or TV with the new generation of consoles or PC video cards? What’s the most game-changing feature for you? Let us know in the comments!


Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Game Will Offer Streaming Mode To Avoid DMCA Music Strikes

Click here to watch embedded media

DMCA music strikes have become an even bigger problem over the past few years, and with a game like Guardians of the Galaxy that centers around well-known oldies, the concern for streamers is great. One way studios are combating the content restriction has been to offer a specifically tailored Streaming Mode to make it safe for creators to share their play experience with their community without fear of a strike. Eidos Montreal is offering a Streaming Mode for its upcoming Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game, offering a way for players to stream without having to worry about consequences. 

In a new interview with VentureBeatsenior narrative director Mary DeMarle talked a little bit about how music plays a role in the upcoming Guardians game, including classic hits that fans can expect to see, including how 80s the soundtrack is going to get. “Everything from Iron Maiden to Rick Astley to KISS to Wham to Blondie,” she told the site. 

She added, “The way we use the music in the game is fun. Of course, we’ll use it as part of the cinematics or to heighten the drama in some scenes. You’ll be in big battles and hear something amazing like ‘The Final Countdown,’ because it matches the story. But at the same time, we have two unique ways we use it. One is, in the Milano, you have moments where the story takes you to the ship and you can hang out and talk to all the Guardians. There’s a jukebox in the Milano where you go over and pick the song you want to hear as you explore. You can listen to the songs on your own, how you want, while you’re hanging out.”

When the site asked about any sort of Streaming Mode, she did say that she’s not the right person to ask and that “someone can get you the correct answer.” That correct answer comes by way of an Eidos Montreal spokesperson that told TechRadar that there will be a Streaming Mode that will disable all licensed music. This addition will allow players to progress through the story without being concerned over automated DMCA strikes, especially on Twitch. 

Interested in learning more about the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game? Good news! It’s our cover story next month, so be sure to mosey on over to our dedicated hub here for more first looks and insider information! In addition, we’ll be updating this hub with new interviews and features, so keep it tuned into Game Informer to learn more about the upcoming Star-Lord adventure. 

What are your thoughts on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy from what we saw during E3 2021? Do you think Streaming Modes should be more commonplace in gaming? Sound off with your spiciest of hot takes in the comment section below! 


Abandoned Developer Shuts Down Silent Hill Rumors In New Video, Q&A Coming Soon

BlueBox Game Studio has been at the epicenter of rumors over the past month for its upcoming horror adventure called Abandoned. There have been many theories as to what Abandoned would be, but one of the most prevalent rumors links it back to being a Silent Hill project that Hideo Kojima is keeping hidden. Some of the fan theories out there are pretty wild and the studio itself has tried to clarify them, but any clarification has been met with skepticism and has had some feeling that the “deflection” is “proof” that it’s Silent Hill. Now, the studio’s director is definitively saying the studio’s truth and putting a “face” to the person in a new video.

Hasan Kahraman took to Twitter to provide a short and to-the-point video about the upcoming Abandoned game. The very nature of the studio has been a hot topic, given that it is a smaller indie company that not a lot is known about. Kahraman himself has been a huge source of conspiracy theories, with some even claiming that he’s an actor covering up for Kojima. With so much hype surrounding Abandoned and expectations being placed upon the small indie team, it has been entertaining, worrisome, and bizarre watching the events unfold. Theories and fan speculation aside, Kahraman did not beat around the bush when it came to speaking straight from the heart and squashing the bigger rumors out there: 

The main points he contested in the above video is that he is not a paid actor, he is a real developer, they are actually working on a game called Abandoned, he does not work – or is associated in any way – with Hideo Kojima, and that the team is not working on a new Silent Hill project. He also confirmed that the studio is looking to do a dev Q&A video soon, though a specific date hasn’t been set yet. 

Despite the video clearly addressing some of the most notable speculation topics, there are still those refuting what was said and sticking to the thought that this is a paid actor. As a personal concern, Abandoned seems to be promising a lot with such a small team and a team that we don’t really have any history with for comparison. My worry is that the speculation-driven hype surrounding Abandoned will place deep-rooted expectations on the horror game, expectations that will be impossible to reach because the very experience itself isn’t what people are assuming. I’m interested, and I know I am far from alone, in what the upcoming Q&A session will offer, especially in terms of the more graphically rooted ambitions for the survival title. 

What are your thoughts on the Abandoned loop of rumors? Conspiracy theories shared in good fun, is this really just an elaborate stunt with Kojima, or is this a bigger conversation regarding the patterns of our community with expectation vs. reality? Sound off with your hot takes in the comment section below. 


Raptors Hunt In Packs! Exclusive First Details For Jurassic World Evolution 2

SLIGHT SPOILER: A world of trouble is teased within Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom‘s final moments. Director Colin Trevorrow shows us what happens next in the little-known short film Battle at Big Rock, which gives the thunder lizards new territory to explore. We’ll have to wait until next June to see how this story concludes in Jurassic World: Dominion, but can soon play through another of this story’s chapters within the video game, Jurassic World Evolution 2.

Frontier Developments says that this sequel will have more of an authentic story that shows us what is happening within the United States. This isn’t just a theme park building experience. You’ll be pushed to contain dinosaur threats in different ways as this narrative unfolds.

In a 30-minute, hands-off demonstration of the game in action, Frontier shows me one of the environments set within the northern hemisphere. Snow-capped mountains stand tall over a sprawling lake flanked by a thick forest of pines. Sunlight dances across the water, leading the eye to another glimmer flickering off of a massive glass dome, which I quickly realize is a new aviary. It’s positioned next to the ominous peak of Jurassic World’s innovation center, which sits next to a crowded street filled with gift shops, attractions, and swarms of people. Behind this commotion, I see movement within the tall pines. The necks of Brachiosaurus bound slowly within them, looking oddly small given just how tall the pines are.

The game’s director Richard Newbold tells me we are looking at a Sandbox map, which stretches across the entire screen. “All of the maps the player has access to are a lot bigger than the first game,” he adds. “There’s a lot more space available to build and place as many dinosaurs as possible. With changes to the territory system, they’re going to need a lot more space in some instances, especially since there’s a direct conflict between some species. It’s not as easy to put as many dinosaurs in the same space. There’s a lot more balance that needs to be done.” Along with the forest theme, the player will make parks in desert settings (which you can see in some of the images).

The dinosaurs that you’ll add to your park and enclosures are more realistic than they were in the first game. Newbold tells me there are over 75 different species to unearth – most are ground dinosaurs, but players can also add marine and flying reptiles as well. In my brief look at this sequel, I wasn’t able to see if the Tyrannosaurs Rex moves in new ways, or if it hunts more realistically, but I did see how it studies its habitat. Newbold hatches two Tyrannosaurs from the Hammond Creation Lab, and to much surprise, they emerge together, looking even more menacing than ever when standing next to each other. Their entry animation is a sight to behold. The Tyrannosaurs’ bodies are brown, but the crowns on their heads appear to be slightly red.

The player will have more skins and colors to choose from when creating their dinos. I’m told each dino has roughly a dozen body colors along with seven different patterns. Holding true to the expeditions from the first game, dino DNA is once again obtained from fossils. When eggs are synthesized, you can tweak the DNA to enhance social behaviors, make them more resilient to disease, less aggressive to rangers, and more. Rather than incubating one egg at a time, you can now generate a clutch of eggs. “As part of this editing phase, you are increasing or decreasing the chance of any of those traits manifesting,” adds Newbold. “Once you make that decision, you choose which ones you want to bring to maturity and release them all in one go as a group.”

When a dinosaur hatches from the Lab, it won’t immediately settle into a state of comfort or agitation, and will instead explore the habitat to see if there’s an area that fits its needs. If that space is found, the dinosaur will claim that territory.

The dinosaurs residing in distinct territories means that the player can set up a variety of areas within the same enclosed space, and hopefully keep them comfortable. When a dinosaur is highlighted in an enclosure, the player will see its territory, which displays as a white outline on the ground.

“This system is dynamic,” says Newbold. “It’s building up as the dinosaurs walk around this enclosure. As the Triceratops moves, it will move its territory in a new direction as the old territory it created long ago starts to decay. It’s walking toward things it needs – water, forest, and ground fiber. It’s not just about that, but also the territory of other dinosaurs in the area. Sometimes the species are complementary and they live together harmoniously; but other times the species will have conflicts. If there’s an overlap in their territories, there may be behaviors between those two dinosaurs. They’ll try to build their territory to their size. It’s a dynamic system that puts a realistic connection between dinosaurs.” This also means a species will rest together, socialize in more ways, and act more like herd in their defined space.

Frontier has made it easier for the player to implement change to these enclosures and has minimized the back and forth between menus and gameplay. Executive producer Adam Woods walks me through this new system. “I can quickly edit the environment with the landscaping tools, and you can see the dinosaur [information] is left up so I can quickly reference it,” he says. “You can see I need forest, so I can use the paint brush tool to add trees. The forest needs are met as I do this.”

Herbivores now feed on the foliage and no longer require feeders, so you’ll need to make sure you add the right plants when editing the terrain. For the Triceratops, the solution is the fibrous ground plant. The number of items that players can add to the enclosure is greatly expanded. I saw roughly a dozen different rocks, and there may have been more.

The enhanced enclosure design extends to the aviary, which can hold numerous flying critters, including the Pteranodon, which I got to see emerge from a Lab. Three of them fly out together, each animated in different ways to give off the impression of a flock. Their habitat is barren at first, but Woods dives into the editing tools to quickly add trees, water, and rocks to it. The size of the aviary is also determined by the player. More glass domes can be added freely – much like the fencing – to make the enclosure grow dynamically. If the Pteranodons grow agitated, they can smash through the glass and fly around the park, potentially going after guests. The player will then need to track them down and tranquilize them to get them back where they belong. I asked if the ground dinosaurs could interact with the flying reptiles, and neither Woods or Newbold wanted to talk about it just yet, saying that answer will come closer to the late 2021 launch of the game.

I didn’t see any dinosaurs fight in my demo, but I’m told the smaller variety will team up to take on larger beasts. Yes, that means raptors hunt in a pack! “Predators, when taking after their prey, will chase after them dynamically,” adds Newbold. “There’s no stopping and starting. There’s improvements to the fighting system as well.”

If a dinosaur is injured, it may need to visit the Paleo-Medical Facility, the one new structure I see among the familiar Ranger Station, Research Center, Park Tour, and more buildings from the first game. This medical facility is white, and has a large fenced-in area behind it where dinosaurs can be treated. You’ll need to fly them in via helicopter. If a dinosaur cannot be treated in the field, you’ll need to bring it here. The example I’m told is if one is seriously injured in battle. The Paleo-Medical Facility also comes with a unique vehicle called the Mobile Vet Unit, which you can freely control (just like all of the other vehicles in the game).

Monitoring dinosaurs’ health will be much easier through the implementation of the new ranger post, which looks to be a small shack that you can place anywhere in an enclosure. The rangers use this station to perform welfare checks. The dino vitals are not as clearly defined in this sequel. Woods says there’s a bit of a “fog of war” to that information, and the player will need to keep tabs on it. The best way to do that is through the ranger post.

Significant enhancements are also being applied to guests, their behaviors, and the structures you can build for them. Each guest’s mood is divided into four categories: adventure, standard, nature, and luxury. They will gravitate to areas that they seek the most. For instance, an adventure junky will want to see carnivores.

The player can tailor attractions and amenities to these specific groups. These two structures are fully customizable, right down to what they offer and how they look. With the click of a button, the base attraction can transform into an aquarium, bowling alley, cinema, arcade, spa, and you name it. The design of that building is also fully customizable. The facade, roof decoration, entrance, entrance location, signage, and immediate surrounding ground can be changed with a number of preset options. For the ground, you can have trees, dinosaur skeletons, flags, and more. The color of all of the items can also be altered. If you want your shop to be hot pink, so be it. If you want each piece to be a different color, you can do that, too. The range of color is extensive, allowing for specific shades to be picked from a wheel.

During my demo, Woods and Newbold were positioned in the lower left, covering up most of the display where the park rating was in the first game. I didn’t get to see what was there, but when Woods moved his arm, I saw a series of arrows. I asked if the player could speed up time, and Newbold responded: “There are some time controls. We allow the player to pause time and also speed up time.” If a problem arises in the park, those time controls may be disabled until that issue is taken care of. 

One of the new threats to the northern region is a snowstorm, which covers the ground in snow and can create problems all across the the park, such as losing power.

Woods and Newbold walked me through a number of the game’s new features, but wouldn’t talk about others that were teased in the trailer. We know marine dinos are in this sequel, but I didn’t get to see them. The Mosasaurus lagoon will have to be huge, but what else can we add to it, and how customizable will it be? What other water dinosaurs are in the game? Can they leap up and eat land dinosaurs? We really need to know the answer to that last question…

Details about game modes are also light at this time. I did however learn that the contract missions from the first game aren’t in the story campaign, but will be present in Challenge mode. 

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. Frontier says they have nothing to say at this time about a Switch version. Details are also scarce for the new generation versions, but I’m told they will be enhanced.

I walked away from my demo impressed by the changes that Frontier is implementing. It looks to be a much deeper experience than before that gives the player a variety of new toys to use with less hassle. I can’t wait to see that darn Mosasaurus, and how the story will be handled. Here’s hoping they give us looks at these aspects of the game soon!

The Dinosaurs I Saw:
Tyrannosaurus Rex


Bungie To Destiny 2 Players: “Don’t Buy The Spicy Ramen Coupon Emblem”

People selling emblem codes online is nothing new but with Bungie Day right around the corner, there is a small warning from the studio to try to save Destiny 2 players a couple of bucks. The long and short of it? Don’t buy the Spicy Ramen Coupon emblem. It’s not a scam in relation to phishing info, it’s just a crappy thing to do with a gift that’s meant to be free for the community

The senior community manager for Bungie took to Twitter to do two things: warn players against paying money for something that is going to be free, and to ask dataminers to please — for the millionth time — stop spoiling surprise content. 

With Bungie Day just around the corner next month, the freebie being spoiled and then sold does kind of suck. I’m assuming he is also referencing the many leaks that occur within the community, including a massively egregious one that pertains to the current ongoing storyline that we opted out of covering out of respect for the creative team. 

For those that are currently enjoying Destiny 2: Season of the Splicer, the story has been getting immersively intense. The journey thus far has given us a unique perspective into the world of the Fallen and even has us confronting the parts of our own Guardian history to challenge what we thought we knew. For those that may be looking for a small refresher, we broke down a particularly meaningful turning point in the current questline, which you can read here, concerning our own Saint-14 and what it means when your perception turns out to be anything but what you thought was the truth. 

With Bungie celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and with more lore explorations on the horizon concerning a certain song, it will be interesting to see what the studio has in store for the road ahead. Now that Bungie itself has confirmed that at least one of those celebrations will be continuing on the Spicy Ramen tradition, we’re looking forward to seeing what else this year’s festivities will have to offer. 


Final Fantasy 9 Is Getting An Animated TV Series

So many games are getting movie and television adaptations, and one more just got added to that growing list. Final Fantasy 9 is the latest gaming adventure to get its own animated series. The company in charge of production promises that it will be a kid-friendly adventure that fans will love. 

The Final Fantasy 9 animated series is being developed by French Cyber Group Studios alongside Square Enix. The goal for the studio is to begin production at the end of 2021, or the beginning of 2022 at the latest. “The games have a strong co-viewing potential,” said Pierre Sissmann, the CEO of Cyber Group Studios, to Kidscreen.  He added that this series will appeal to both those familiar with Final Fantasy and for those just coming to it, giving both a chance to immerse themselves within a beloved universe.

For those that may have missed out on Final Fantasy 9’s more innocent storyline, this tale is a bit more generic in terms of what a JRPG has to offer. But generic doesn’t necessarily mean bad; it’s a charming tale that tells the story it wants to tell. With the ninth entry, Princess Garnet has been kidnapped by Zidane and the Tantalus Theater Troupe. The heir of Alexandria wasn’t exactly a helpless victim, however, seeing as she actually wanted to escape from the pressures of royalty to experience the outside world. Shenanigans are afoot, and both her and her personal guard join Zidane’s group to embark on an epic quest filled with adorable chibi-like characters, wholesome dialogue, and – of course – the threat of darkness overtaking the world and everything we know within it. 

You know, the usual. 

Honestly, this entry into the Final Fantasy was adorable, and it was genuine in its journey. An unapologetic JRPG that could translate quite nicely into an animated TV series, especially with a clear goal in mind for the target audience. If you want something a little more grown-up, we touched on other TV adaptation news earlier today with a brand new Netflix’s The Witcher season 2 teaser trailer, which you can see here

Thoughts on Final Fantasy 9 getting the animated TV series treatment? What other games would you like to see get a shot at the big screen? Sound off with your hottest of hot takes in the comment section below! 


Activision Blizzard Shareholders Reach Consensus On Say-On-Pay Plan

After a delay on the decision, Activision Shareholders have reached a consensus regarding the company’s Say-on-Pay proposal. The Board of Directors has also seen mass re-elections across the company with an average of 96% of votes. 

The decision regarding Say-on-Pay was delayed initially after a complaint was lodged about “misleading information” surrounding the proposal. According to the company, that information was allegedly a swaying factor in whether or not shareholders would pass the compensation plan. This conversation is ongoing, especially in relation to Bobby Kotick’s salary, the current Chief Executive Officer, and how those profits are filtered going forward.  

What is Say-on-Pay?

Say-on-pay is a corporate term that essentially says a firm’s shareholders can vote on the financial compensation for its executives. The topic of compensation at Activision Blizzard has been a hot topic, especially as the CEO’s pay continues to be the highest in the business even while the company experiences massive layoffs. Kotick had one of his biggest payouts in the industry the same year over 800 employees were laid off, and more layoffs followed suit over the course of the year. This caused some shareholders and investment groups to push back against the monetization practices and structure of Activision Blizzard, though the approval means that compensation plans go forward as planned based on shareholder feedback. While Activision Blizzard’s Say-on-Pay isn’t perfect, it is in a better state than it has been in previous years. 

In a statement to Game Informer, an Activision Blizzard spokesperson had this to say: “We are pleased that, based on exceptional shareholder returns and responsiveness, Activision Blizzard shareholders again approved our say-on-pay proposal and reelected our Board directors with an average of 96% of votes. The additional time shareholders requested allowed them to thoroughly review the facts about Activision Blizzard’s rigorous pay-for-performance compensation practices as well as changes the Board made to our executive compensation based on extensive feedback from shareholders.”

With Say-on-Pay, Activision delayed an investor vote on the proposal when certain groups (which remain under wraps) urged to vote against the notion, citing it as an attempt to prevent loss of votes. With several notable investor groups coming out against the notion, CtW Investment considers the issue “not settled” despite the vote to pass. In a statement made to, CtW director of executive compensation Michael Varner expressed that the matter of pay scale at Activision Blizzard is not over. 

“With only 54% of votes cast in favor, the proposal nearly failed to receive majority support – it appears Activision did just enough arm-twisting for the measure to pass,” Varner told the site. “Most importantly, keep in mind that Say on Pay votes in the 50% range are extremely rare: less than 4% of companies in the broader Russell 3000 index receive support that low and the average support for the Say on Pay proposal in the S&P 500 is 88.6%.”

He added, “Activision will be expected to make even further changes in response to a vote where 46% of shareholders expressed discontent, they will not be able to ‘rest on their laurels’ solely with the changes they made thus far to Mr. Kotick’s pay. Also, this marks the sixth time in the past eight years Activision has received less than 70% support for its Say on Pay proposal, and the 2021 vote is the lowest support the company has received on this proposal in its history.”


Ska Studios Shows Off 10 Minutes Of Salt And Sacrifice Gameplay

During Summer Games Fest, Ska Studios pulled the curtain back on Salt and Sacrifice, the sequel to the cult favorite, Salt and Sanctuary. The premier trailer provided glimpses of the dark and likely challenging follow-up, but a new gameplay video offers an unnarrated, uninterrupted walkthrough of the game in action.

The footage premiered as a part of GameSpot’s Play For All stream. It shows off the protagonist, a custom created paladin which is one of the game’s eight classes. Gameplay retains the 2D hack n’ slash combat with FromSoftware style trappings. It gives a look at a pair of boss fights, one of which is against a giant pyromancer, and how the character uses a grapple hook to quickly scale environments. 

At one point, the player summons an ally to fight alongside them. Salt and Sacrifice features both local and online co-op, and that assistance will likely be invaluable if the experience is as difficult as its predecessor (which it likely will be). Enjoy the action below. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Salt and Sanctuary launched in 2016 and was praised for its fun 2D rendition of Dark Souls-esque design. We scored it an 8.5 out of 10 with GI editor Matt Miller saying “This nightmarish island is well worth a visit, even if you’ve never confronted the challenging games that engendered the adventure.” In terms of presentation and combat, Salt and Sacrifice definitely looks on par with the previous game with some new twists thrown in. I suspect that’s more than enough to excite fans of the original. 

Ska is targeting Q1 2022 to release Salt and Sacrifice for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC for $19.99. 

How do you think Salt and Sacrifice is shaping up compared to the first game? Are there any new features or improvements you’d like to see? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Death Stranding Director’s Cut Confirmed As PS5 Exclusive, New Stealth Mechanics Added

The Death Stranding Director’s Cut was first revealed during Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest. The trailer that was shown gave not-so-subtle nods to Hideo Kojima’s classic Konami franchise, Metal Gear Solid. Death Stranding protagonist, Sam, infiltrates an underground M.U.L.E. base and almost decides to use a Fragile Express cardboard box to sneakily get around the compound; we all remember doing the same thing as Snake back in the day. Moreover, new information about the Director’s Cut rating, console availability, and mechanics (possibly inspired by Kojima’s work on espionage games) have come to light in a recent announcement. 

Much of the text released on the Director’s Cut ESRB page remains the same as the base version of the game. There’s still a Mature rating, but now we know that Sam’s journey across a desolate, haunted, and isolated America is coming exclusively to PlayStation 5. However, some new stealth mechanics are hinted at in an extra sentence, “…players can perform stealth takedowns of enemies (e.g., strangling characters from behind).” You can read the entire passage in Gematsu’s Twitter thread above.

While takedowns aren’t new to the Death Stranding gameplay loop, the mere inclusion of this might hint towards a newfound emphasis on tactical espionage engagements in the Director’s Cut. Of course, this brief announcement might explain why there were some serious Metal Gear Solid vibes in the Summer Game Fest reveal trailer too. 

Matt Kato reviewed the version of Death Stranding that released in 2019, and like a lot of Kojima fans everywhere, he wasn’t impressed with the auteur’s newest title, “Try as it might, Death Stranding’s story doesn’t shore up its faults. It’s the normal Kojima mix of twists-and-turns, tropes, and overbearing themes, but at least I like that it explores real-world topics like the theory of multiple dimensions and key events in the history of the planet’s biodiversity. Like Sam himself, I often wasn’t sure why I kept going in Death Stranding. Maybe there was a little bit of pride in another task checked off the list, another job done. Unfortunately, this added up to little reward in the end.”

Kato’s points are definitely valid but I mainly agree with my good buddy, Blake Hester, who thinks that Death Stranding Is One Of The Best Games Of The Last Generation.


Blue Box’s PS5 Exclusive Abandoned Coming To PC “Eventually”

Coming off weeks of speculation over whether their new game Abandoned is a stealth Hideo Kojima project, Blue Box Game Studios has revealed some information about another platform this game might be released on.

Abandoned is currently slated for an exclusive release on PlayStation 5, but according to a couple of tweets from the studio over the weekend, that may only be a matter of console exclusivity. In response to someone claiming they don’t own a PS5, Blue Box responded with, “The PC community will rejoice,” and when asked straight out if Abandoned was coming to PC, “Eventually” was the answer given. It’s unclear whether this is a timed exclusivity deal or if work on the PC version is set to happen at a later date.

Blue Box and Abandoned have been circulating as curiosities in the game industry recently. Building a grand theory from its thematic relation to the cancelled Silent Hills project from years ago, internet detectives have found numerous connections which they thought pointed to Abandoned secretly being associated with Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima. This is a whole rabbit hole to go down, which I won’t indulge in here, but the theory trying to be proved pegged Kojima as using a similar tactic from when Metal Gear Solid V and Silent Hills were first revealed. He created fake studios and framed the projects as something outside of the existing franchises they eventually were revealed to be a part of. If he did it once with Silent Hill, why not again?

After theorists picked apart small details from the announcement trailer and pinpointed names with the same initials as Hideo Kojima, Blue Box eventually stepped in and shut the rumors down. They put out a tweet saying, “We wanted to set things straight. We have no relations with Konami. Silent Hill is owned by Konami. We do not have any relations with Hideo Kojima. It was never our intention to tease the name as Silent Hill. We sincerely apologize for this.”

Blue Box Game Studios will soon be revealing more of Abandoned with a trailer app for the PS5 which will give a non-playable look at the game in-engine using the console hardware. The game is slated to release on PlayStation 5 during Q4 of 2021, and on PC “eventually.”


Battlefield 2042 Reveal Causes Battlefield 4 Server Capacity Increase

When DICE shared its first look at Battlefield 2042, the FPS love and hype went through the roof. From weaponized tornados to a rework of how classes operate within the open verticality of some of the largest maps in the franchise’s history, it’s easy to see why shooter fans are excited to get their hands on the latest adventure. While we still have some time yet to wait, FPS players have been swarming Battlefield 4 to brush up on those aiming skills. So many players, in fact, that the studio has had to increase the server capacity. 

EA provided a notice to Battlefield 4 players, saying that the company has noted the longer queue times and the excitement for what’s next. Because of that, the server capacity has been increased in the US West region to compensate for the influx in traffic: 

We were absolutely blown away by your excitement and reactions to the recent Battlefield 2042 reveal.

Since then, many of you have jumped back into Battlefield 4 to already get a taste of the return to all-out-warfare. We’ve been monitoring your experience and noticed queue times in the US West region were far longer than in other regions. Good news, we’ve increased server capacity for this region – you can expect less waiting and more playing.

We’ll continue monitoring queue times and will make further adjustments as necessary. 

One thing that Battlefield 4 players loved about that iteration of this series is its verticality. Battlefield has always been known for its expansive maps and freedom of terrain. While the franchise has lost a little of that through the years, Battlefield 2042 looks to herald in a new wave of extensive ground to cover, taking players to all corners of the world to be the best of the best through a competitive online lens.

Game Informer was allowed to get some up-close-and-personal time with the upcoming shooter ahead of its October release, and we couldn’t get enough of what DICE is doing this time around. More vehicle types, a deeper story for the Specialists, a way to heal teammates from across the map with a gun? DICE is going all-in with ensuring that Battlefield fans know that the team was listening, especially following all of the feedback regarding Battlefield V. 

Interested in learning more about what we uncovered about Battlefield 2042? You can check out our full preview right here. You can also mosey on over to our dedicated game hub to learn even more, including how the Battle Pass works, returning weapons, and so much more. 

What are your thoughts on everything we’ve seen thus far about Battlefield 2042? Are you among those returning to Battlefield 4 before the upcoming game’s arrival? Sound off with your thoughts on all things Battlefield in the comment section below! 


New Netflix’s The Witcher Season 2 Trailer Teases A Hardened Journey For Salvation

Earlier this month, Netflix shared a brief teaser trailer for The Witcher season 2 with Ciri front and center. Now it’s Geralt’s time to take back the spotlight with a new video showcasing the “White Wolf” as shared by the star himself, Henry Cavill. Cavill took to his Instagram to share a new look at the upcoming season, plus a closer inspection of his new and improved armor.

The video is short but, paired with the constant chase for salvation, is incredibly powerful. Following the assumed death of a major character in the first season and the confirmation of their return and a possible Wild Hunt, season 2 is going hard to see how truly dark this series can be. Check out our latest look below to see the latest teaser for the series adaptation: 





View this post on Instagram












A post shared by Henry Cavill (@henrycavill)

Much like the earlier Ciri teaser, the above video is a rapid-paced series of shots with the theme of running and salvation playing in the background. In the books and the games, salvation is something that Geralt has often chased after, and Cavill helped bring that to life with the show’s first season. With the end of season one bringing Ciri and Geralt together again, the return to his childhood home of Kaer Morhen marks the beginning of a long and arduous journey ahead.

Season two will take these characters to even bleaker depths and will continue to show Geralt’s path from a different perspective. With Ciri and Geralt both having their time to shine, who could be the face of our next teaser trailer? Yennefer? A new character altogether? We’ll have to see, but it looks like the team is inching closer to a full trailer reveal, which means we should be getting a release date soon as well. 

What are your thoughts on the latest Netflix’s The Witcher season 2 trailer? Do you think the team has done a good job at adapting the books that inspired one of the most beloved RPG experiences in gaming to date? Weigh in with those hot takes in the comment section below! 


Tekken X Street Fighter Officially Dead, Was ‘30 Percent Complete’

Tekken X Street Fighter, the long in-development crossover game that was first announced in 2010, is officially dead according to Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada. Not to be confused with Street Fighter X Tekken, which was revealed at the same time and launched in 2012, Bandai Namco’s side of the crossover coin spent 11 years in development limbo with minimal updates on its status. 

For those of you saying “Well, duh,” remember that the game’s cancellation was never publicly confirmed. Harada insisted for years that the game was still happening. However, on a recent episode of Harada’s Bar, a video talk show the designer launched earlier this year where he chats with guests and answers questions from a secret bar location, the topic of Tekken X Street Fighter arose. 

“We were working really hard on that,” says Harada. He goes on to praise the “really nice” models they designed, particularly for female characters like Chun-Li, but says they independently can’t show anything they made due to Capcom owning the Street Fighter cast. 

Speaking to the game’s overall progress, Harada says, “Yeah, development stopped but we got about 30% done.” He then goes on to discuss that the team had seemingly completed motions for certain characters. Harada is particularly proud of how Dhalsim turned out. 

He then goes on to praise the game’s concept art, then laments on how it’s all been wasted. “We wanted to show it but the project died.” 

You can listen to the conversation beginning at 17:17 mark. After an intermission, the discussion resumes at 21:25. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Tekken X Street Fighter was meant to be the inverse of Street Fighter X Tekken in that Ryu and Co. would battle it out on Tekken’s turf in a fully 3D fighter. Both games were revealed together during the 2010 San Diego Comic Con but, for reasons still unknown even after this confirmation, Bandai Namco’s end of the deal never materialized. Odds are Bandai Namco simply cut its losses when the project took too long; Harada told Video Games Chronicle in 2019 that continuing development was “harder to justify” from a logic and business standpoint despite his passion for the concept. The closest realization to that vision was Akuma’s guest spot in Tekken 7, an appearance that came to be thanks to the knowledge Bandai Namco gained while developing Tekken X Street Fighter. 

This cancellation is likely the least surprising news ever as I think many of us assumed a long time ago that Tekken X Street Fighter was never going to happen. Still, as games such as Final Fantasy XV and Duke Nukem Forever have shown, long-in-development projects can still see the light of day, so it wasn’t totally unreasonable to cling on to the hope of a surprise comeback. It’s good to know that we can finally lay the myth of Tekken X Street Fighter to rest. If nothing else, at least we get the consolation prize of Kazuya coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Were you still holding out for Tekken X Street Fighter? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Tekken X Street Fighter Officially Dead, Was Only ‘30 Percent Complete’

Tekken X Street Fighter, the long in-development crossover game that was first announced in 2010, is officially dead according to Tekken director Katsuhiro Harada. Not to be confused with Street Fighter X Tekken, which was revealed at the same time and launched in 2012, Bandai Namco’s side of the crossover coin spent 11 years in development limbo with minimal updates on its status. 

For those of you saying “Well, duh,” remember that the game’s cancellation was never publicly confirmed. Harada insisted for years that the game was still happening. However, on a recent episode of Harada’s Bar, a video talk show the designer launched earlier this year where he chats with guests and answers questions from a secret bar location, the topic of Tekken X Street Fighter arose. 

“We were working really hard on that,” says Harada. He goes on to praise the “really nice” models they designed, particularly for female characters like Chun-Li, but says they independently can’t show anything they made due to Capcom owning the Street Fighter cast. 

Speaking to the game’s overall progress, Harada says, “Yeah, development stopped but we got about 30% done.” He then goes on to discuss that the team had seemingly completed motions for certain characters. Harada is particularly proud of how Dhalsim turned out. 

He then goes on to praise the game’s concept art, then laments on how it’s all been wasted. “We wanted to show it but the project died.” 

You can listen to the conversation beginning at 17:17 mark. After an intermission, the discussion resumes at 21:25. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Tekken X Street Fighter was meant to be the inverse of Street Fighter X Tekken in that Ryu and Co. would battle it out on Tekken’s turf in a fully 3D fighter. Both games were revealed together during the 2010 San Diego Comic Con but, for reasons still unknown even after this confirmation, Bandai Namco’s end of the deal never materialized. Odds are Bandai Namco simply cut its losses when the project took too long; Harada told Video Games Chronicle in 2019 that continuing development was “harder to justify” from a logic and business standpoint despite his passion for the concept. The closest realization to that vision was Akuma’s guest spot in Tekken 7, an appearance that came to be thanks to the knowledge Bandai Namco gained while developing Tekken X Street Fighter. 

This cancellation is likely the least surprising news ever as I think many of us assumed a long time ago that Tekken X Street Fighter was never going to happen. Still, as games such as Final Fantasy XV and Duke Nukem Forever have shown, long-in-development projects can still see the light of day, so it wasn’t totally unreasonable to cling on to the hope of a surprise comeback. It’s good to know that we can finally lay the myth of Tekken X Street Fighter to rest. If nothing else, at least we get the consolation prize of Kazuya coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Were you still holding out for Tekken X Street Fighter? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Call Of Duty: Warzone Players Are Being Murdered By A Door

Doors have been an interesting topic of conversation in games over the past year, including how difficult they are to render during the development process. Now I guess they are done being talked about because doors have gone from being difficult to being downright murderous … at least when it comes to Call of Duty: Warzone. That’s right, death by door is now added to the list of things that can kill you in the battle royale adventure. 

Reddit user Rxelik (as spotted by Kotaku) took to the forums to share a weird glitch where a door just straight-up murders. To be fair, the player did charge into it like a bull in a china shop. When the player bounced off of the door, they didn’t recover, instead, they laid dying on the ground hoping for a team revival. Doors are dangerous, friends, the more you know: 

Click here to watch embedded media

The door can be seen in the video above with a large black bar marking it as off-limits. Upon coming up on the clearly barred door, one player said “nay-nay,” and decided to charge into it regardless because video clips are funny and sometimes you just have to laugh.  

Some Redditors in the comment section have noted that this door seemed open prior to a recent Warzone update, making the barring of it an odd standout. Others just weighed in with jokes about “Knock-knock-knockin’ on heaven’s door.” There are also the theories that this may be something that will tie into a future update alongside the red doors that allow for map traversal. Regardless of what’s actually going on, at this moment? It’s death. Death is what’s going on.

Warzone, like any online game, is no stranger to bugs, but this door glitch is one of our favorites. Have you run into any hilarious Call of Duty glitches? Do you think this is a bug or some deeper conspiracy tied to a possible future update? You decide in the comment section below! 


Shin Megami Tensei V Special Editions Revealed Along With New Gameplay Trailer

Shin Megami Tensei V has been a long time coming, and we finally know it’s releasing this November. If you’re a fan looking to get more bang for some more buck, Atlus has revealed a pair of special editions for the game that you can pre-order now.

First up is the physical Standard Edition of the game, which you can pre-order now to receive an exclusive steelbook case. It still costs the standard $59.99, but you can only purchase it from either Amazon, Best Buy, or GameStop (disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer). 

    If you’ve got deeper pockets to match your equally deep devotion to this series, feast your eyes on the Fall of Man Premium Edition. This big bundle will set you back $119.99 and includes the following:

    • 6×11.5” Printed Sling Bag
    • Steelbook case
    • 100+ page demon handbook
    • 2-disc soundtrack
    • Collectible box

    To further whet your appetite for some demon-slaying (or negotiating) goodness, Atlus also released a new gameplay trailer. 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Shin Megami Tensei V takes place in Tokyo and kicks off when the protagonist takes a detour during a walk home due to a murder scene blocking their usual route. Along the way they wind up unconscious and awaken in a post-apocalyptic version of the city. They are then saved from being devoured by demons by a mysterious heroine. The two join up to form a Nahobino, a being that is neither human nor demon, to explore this new world in search of answers. The game was first announced way back in January 2017 and was unveiled alongside the Switch itself. It spent years under the radar with minimal updates until it re-debuted during a Nintendo Direct in July 2020

    Shin Megami Tensei V launches exclusively for Switch on November 12. 

    What do you think of these special editions? Anyone willing to take the plunge on that Fall of Man bundle? Let us know in the comments!


    As Cyberpunk 2077 Returns To PlayStation Store, Sony Offers Warning About PS4 Version

    When Cyberpunk 2077 launched, the game had more troubles beyond simple bugs and glitches. The road leading up to the game’s release was rife with reports of studio crunch, rushed visions, and a cacophony of confusing timelines. That much was evident upon its release with Cyberpunk 2077 giving players a very different experience than what was promised. The disconnect between the product and its promise was so vast, in fact, that Sony quickly took down the game from its storefront and offered up refunds for gamers displeased with what CD Projekt Red had to offer. Sony promised it would return if, and only if, the Polish studio could make right by consumers and deliver the game that was advertised. Now that we’ve had numerous massive patches go live, the futuristic game is back on the PlayStation Store, but not without a warning for PS4 players. 

    Sony took to Twitter to let Cyberpunk hopefuls know that the game is back up on the PlayStation Store. It also came with an addendum, saying: “Work on the PS4 version continues, with fixes and updates to be released throughout the year. For the best experience on PlayStation, playing on PS4 Pro or PS5 consoles is recommended.”

    To be fair, any game on a PS4 Pro and PS5 would look better than its vanilla PS4 counterpart, but the need for total transparency is understandable. CD Projekt Red has been under the spotlight of several investigations with the Polish government regarding the processes behind the development of Cyberpunk 2077, including misleading marketing materials used to control consumer reactions. 

    There is no denying that this had been an incredibly trying time for the team, even before the launch of Cyberpunk 2077. Studio leadership has admitted to crunch in the past following the development of The Witcher 3. After the culture came to light, there were promises to do better but it quickly became clear that the promise of a more stable working environment was not honored. Instead, leadership chose to bury the issues that plagued development and the result left us with one of the worst launches in gaming history. The developers themselves have even questioned those in charge, including investors, as to what is going to be done to ensure this doesn’t happen again. With the future of Cyberpunk 2077 in question and The Witcher as an ultimate goal for the team to return to, there is a lot about the CPDR culture that needs to be addressed, both internally and regarding their tarnished reputation with the public. 

    Hopefully, there can be a lesson found within this mess for the leadership that is at the head of the Polish studio, especially so with new projects already in the works over at CDPR. 

    What do you think about the timeline of Cyberpunk 2077 and its return to the PlayStation Store? Do you think CDPR deserves some slack or was this a long time coming? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below. 


    Fallout: London Reveal Trailer Shows Off Impressive New Fallout 4 Overhaul Mod

    As part of Mod Vertical, I love highlighting a variety of different experiences. Small tweaks, quality of life changes, and massive overhaul projects that can make our favorite games feel brand new; there are so many amazing passion projects out there to uncover. I’ve shared numerous overhaul mods for Bethesda’s Fallout universe in the past, but we’ve got a new experience to look forward to with Fallout: London. Fallout: London expands Fallout 4 beyond the Commonwealth, bringing it into the land of tea, crumpets, and giant mechs that want to kill you where you stand. 

    Like any overhaul mod, Fallout: London is massive. It takes what fans loved of the original game and expands upon it in a creative way with no limits. Fallout: London allows survivors to venture out into previously unexplored areas in Fallout 4 while taking on a new storyline, meeting new characters, and exploring pre-war European history through the lens of the Bethesda RPG. Take a look at the reveal trailer below to see what’s in store: 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    With mods of this scale, it’s pretty safe to go into them as if they are just new games entirely. With new stories to explore and entirely new experiences to enjoy, this ain’t your momma’s Fallout 4. It will even offer players new Factions to learn about, including The Gentry, which is a Faction with roots found within the royal line.

    So when does Fallout: London take place? The setting is 2237 but with deep historical influence. For those that are familiar with the franchise, this places London before the events in Fallout 3. There are also no Deathclaws. While some of you may be disappointed by that news, I say good riddance because holy crap…

    We don’t have a release date yet for Fallout: London, but these types of conversion mods take years to make. If you’d like to track this team’s progress, you can do so right here

    Want even more mod goodness? Of course you do! Check out these other great fan creations while we await more London news: 

    What are your first impressions of Fallout: London? Any other games you’d like to receive some mod recommendations for? Hit us up in the comment section below, we’re here to help! 


    Netflix’s The Witcher Season 2 Director Reflects On Filming During COVID-19

    Netflix’s The Witcher season 2 has been done filming for quite some time now and is gearing up for a full trailer first look after a small teaser earlier this month. While we await another peek at what season 2 will have in store, director Stephen Surjik opened up a little bit about his time working on set. 

    Surjik directed two episodes while in England and as he reflected on how many days of shooting those two episodes entailed, he looks back on his year and a half in England fondly. With The Witcher and in the role of director, he has more time to prepare for the vision he has in mind. That being said, that didn’t mean there weren’t moments of restlessness thrown in. “In the case of something like The Witcher, I get all of the prep time, the shooting time, but some days we were shooting just a few shots because it was all special effects,” Surjik told ComicSoon.netThere were stunts involved, large crowds, it was difficult to get. I like doing it so that it’s properly done, but I like to be able to get done with a decent amount of work in a day, and that’s really just because I get bored if it takes too long to shoot.” 

    He’s also been hard at work on The Umbrella Academy’s latest season as well, but COVID made switching between projects all the more difficult. That being said, the director mentioned that working with Netflix was a dream when it came to dealing with the pandemic. With shooting being something up in the air more times than not, the company ensured that the entire crew was paid even when work could not be done. “I’ve never seen anything like it, they were really incredibly supportive at a time when everyone was afraid, and everyone was paranoid that the world was collapsing.” 

    The crew’s schedule dropped at a moment’s notice often, causing difficulties when it came to pulling the entire vision together into a cohesive scene. But, they got it done and Surjik says that he is proud of the work they did and the work he continues to do going forward. Even if the crazy schedule did cost him more than a few opportunities to work on other projects.

    Earlier this month, we were given a small glimpse at Netflix’s The Witcher season 2 with a trailer that focused heavily on Ciri. We know that the upcoming season will be much darker than its predecessor as we head back to where it all began for our dear Geralt: Kaer Morhen. After how the first season ended, we’ll be seeing quite a few reunions, confusing reconnections, and magical friendships spark once more. We’ll also be seeing Ciri come into her own right and possibly even a Wild Hunt in action, if previous set leaks are any indicator. 

    What are you the most excited to see in Netflix’s The Witcher season 2? Do you think COVID will have a negative impact on how the show is received when it airs later this year? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


    Sea Of Thieves: A Pirate’s Life Preview – The Day That Rare Finally Caught Captain Jack Sparrow

    Rare surprised Sea of Thieves fans by announcing it had partnered up with Disney to bring the swashbuckling world of Pirates of the Caribbean into the game. While Rare had previously shied away from such crossovers, the move makes sense – and not just because both properties revolve around pirates. Sea of Thieves was always designed with the philosophy of giving players the freedom to forge their own paths and make a name for themselves on the high seas. That defines the pirate’s life, and that freedom is what Captain Jack Sparrow values even more than the shiniest trinket, making him the perfect fit for the adventure.  

    A Pirate’s Life launches June 22 as a free expansion that kicks off Season Three of Sea of Thieves. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned player or a curious newcomer enticed by the idea of sailing alongside cinema’s most famous pirate. Rare says anyone can immediately jump into A Pirate’s Life, even describing it as a great starting point for newcomers. If you’re considering taking the plunge, Rare provided a deep dive into the expansion’s narrative premise, its large new areas filled with fearsome foes, and the movie-themed booty players can earn.

    This Is A Tale…Of Captain Jack Sparrow

    A Pirate’s Tale unfolds over the course of five large story quests, or Tall Tales, which themselves are divided into smaller chapters that can be played solo or with friends. Jack Sparrow has stolen perhaps the greatest treasure imaginable: a golden key to other lands and a ticket to true freedom. Jack uses it to open a portal that transports him to the world of Sea of Thieves. Unbeknownst to Jack, he’s followed by the villainous Davy Jones, who discovers he has no dominion over the dead in this unfamiliar world. That doesn’t sit well with Davy, who wants to control these new oceans, threatening the pirate’s life for everyone.

    A Pirate’s Life is an original story that combines elements from every Pirates of the Caribbean movie with Rare presenting their own take on these classic characters. While obviously a kick for fans, Rare also says you don’t need to have watched every film to grasp what’s happening. But for enthusiasts who want to know, the studio also says to assume that this Jack Sparrow has already survived the events of the 5th film, Dead Men Tell No Tales

    Jack is voiced by Jared Butler, who portrayed the character in Kingdom Hearts III. Rare is going all out to make sure their version of the pirate remains accurate to the source material. For example, the studio hired Johnny Depp’s stunt double for the 4th film, On Stranger Tides, to perform Jack’s movements (in full make-up and costume no less) while providing plenty of expert insight into his quirky mannerisms.  

    The reveal trailer confirmed other familiar faces such as Jack’s first mate, Mr. Gibbs, and there’s also hints pointing at the presence of Jack’s rival, Captain Hector Barbossa. It doesn’t stop there, as Rare says players will meet other members of the Black Pearl’s crew. Does this mean Elizabeth Swan and/or Will Turner make an appearance? Rare doesn’t want to spoil anything but didn’t confirm or deny either way. 

    While you can’t play as Jack yourself, he becomes a full-fledged member of your crew. He’ll aid in combat (like manning ship cannons) and accompany you during missions. Jack will even pose for selfies. Rare describes Jack as a fun though unpredictable partner. If the films are anything to go by, it wouldn’t be shocking if fans suffer betrayal or three from their charismatic though self-serving companion. 

    Another important new face is the Castaway, a mysterious storyteller who serves as the keeper of the Tales you’ll experience. There’s also the Cursed Captain, a talking, disembodied skull. Players find him early on and he provides guidance and exposition about the worlds of A Pirate’s Tale. He’ll also spout witty commentary for just about everything happening around you, including when you dance or play music for him. You can also just abandon him on the ground, though he likely won’t be a big fan of that. 

    An Expanded Horizon

    Players begin A Pirate’s Life in the Sea of the Damned, a special realm that connects Sea of Thieves’ main world to the expansion’s areas as well as anywhere else Rare could want to go in the future. Unlike most of Sea of Thieves’ locations, only you and your crew will occupy this zone, allowing Rare to craft more cinematic moments that unfold here. This eerie realm features haunted grotto caves, a ship graveyard, all blanketed by the ghostly glow of an ominous lighthouse. Given its name, expect to face plenty of pirate ghosts eager to make you a permanent resident. 

    Another new area is the Sunken Kingdom, an undersea domain ruled by the sirens. They construct their homes by attaching gigantic chains to ships, then drag them under to break apart to use the salvage to build new structures. Thus, the area is littered with sunken vessels surrounding the otherwise colorful, coral covered kingdom. Unfortunately, the Black Pearl herself fell victim to the sirens, and one of the Tales tasks players with diving to below to search the Pearl in search of Jack’s trusty compass. Diving plays a larger role in A Pirate’s Life thanks to networks of underwater cave systems where players will explore deeper than ever. To facilitate that, Rare is adding air-bubble producing plants to allow players to stay under longer. 

    While Rare wouldn’t reveal every new locale in A Pirate’s Tale, it describes each zone as being substantially large and filled with activities outside of the critical story path. Areas contains meaty sidequests, plenty of hidden lore to find, as well as secrets to keep an eye out for. 

    On that note, A Pirate’s Life is not only inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean films but also by the iconic Disney ride that gave birth to them. Disney Park fanatics will likely recognize recreated scenes from the ride, such as the pirate band and the skeleton captain sitting atop the treasure pile. Rare even included original audio from the attraction to bring these scenes to life while adding nostalgic authenticity. 

    Fierce Adversaries Requires A Powerful New Weapon

    A Pirate’s Life brings many new dangers in the form of never-before-seen foes. Sirens may be the deadliest adversaries. These mythical terrors evade players with swift, graceful movements, using their siren song to attack from afar. Their speed also allows them to quickly move in to unleash a barrage of vicious scratch attacks. Worse of all, a gemstone in their chests allows sirens to create a healing sphere that can restore their vitality as well as damage players. Siren leaders are tougher versions with more potent healing abilities and carry weapons called the Trident of Dark Tides.

    Other enemies include Ocean Crawlers, a class of crustacean-like creatures that come in several types. One is a clam-headed humanoid that can spew poison, burrow underground, and charge at players using its rock-like shell head. Crab Ocean Crawlers are hulking tanks with sturdy armor and immense strength. The electric variant may be the most dangerous. They fire lightning bolts, can quickly dash around, and generate electric shields that damage players and their teammates should they attack it. If you think you’re safe outside of the expansion, think again. Rare states that every new enemy will dynamically populate Sea of Thieves’ larger world and are not confined to A Pirate’s Life. 

    Thankfully, players can also wield the aforementioned Trident of Dark Tides. This mystical staff fires powerful magic bolts but can also be used as a melee weapon. While you’ll gain access to the weapon simply by playing A Pirate’s Life, they can be found anywhere within Sea of Thieves’ larger world washed up on beaches, within shipwrecks, and in other locations. It simply serves as another tool for players of all types to use as they wish. 

    Rewards And Cosmetics

    As with every previous season, A Pirate’s Life brings its own set of tiered rewards that are unlocked simply by playing. Those who complete 100% of each Tale by finishing every objective and finding every secret will be rewarded with a special sea shanty of a certain famous pirate tune from the films that you’ll be able to play with your crew.  

    Premium Pirates of the Caribbean cosmetic items can only be purchased from the Pirate Emporium. You may not be able to control Jack Sparrow, but you can buy his outfit and masquerade as him as well as other Black Pearl crew members. The famous prison dog, complete with cell keys in his mouth, can be bought as a pet. And, of course, you can outfit your ship with cosmetic items based on the ships in the film, such as the tattered sails of the Black Pearl

    A Pirate’s Life is Sea of Thieves’ biggest expansion yet, both in sheer size and depth and due to the magnitude of collaborating with Disney on such a beloved franchise. The studio has spent almost two years toiling away on A Pirate’s Life in secret; it considers the fact that it didn’t leak prior to its reveal a feat in itself. While it gives long-time players a fun new bone to chew on, this is probably the best lure yet for getting new players on board. Pirates of the Caribbean remains a popular franchise and taking on Davy Jones’ Flying Dutchman with Jack Sparrow at your side is a potent draw. It’s also a great time to get new eyeballs on Sea of Thieves to show off the significant improvements Rare has made since its lukewarm launch in 2018. 

    Best of all, Rare says A Pirate’s Life isn’t going anywhere even after Season Three concludes. Its content will remain in the game for as long as it sees fit. That’s good news if you can’t dive on day-one. As someone who was pretty mild on Sea of Thieves and has been waiting for a good excuse to check out its current state, A Pirate’s Life is the most alluring reason yet to set sail one more time. 


    You Can Now Look Inside A FIFA Ultimate Team Pack Before Buying

    EA Sports is trying something new with FIFA Ultimate Team, or FUT, packs during their Festival of FUTball event. Starting today, June 18, the FUT store is swapping out all of the packs with new preview-able versions. None of the potential cards from the packs are changing, but now you can take a peek at the actual contents of a pack in the store before committing to making a purchase.

    Here’s how it works according to a post on EA’s FIFA site: “In the FUT Store, you can select a Preview Pack to preview its contents. It’s important to remember that by previewing a pack, you are not yet making a decision to use FUT Coins or FIFA Points to buy the pack. Note the highlighted sections below, which signal that the pack you are selecting is a Preview Pack.”

    Looking at a FUT pack’s contents will give the option to buy it or leave it sitting in the shop. Luckily there isn’t a cost to preview a pack, though if you decide not to buy one that’s already been scoped out, you’ll have to wait for a timer to expire. Once the time runs up for that pack, it refreshes to a new set of contents. The pack will show some of its cards in the store window to signify it has been previewed. We should also mention that a previewed pack does not display whether its contents are duplicate items the owner may have in their collection, though when you do purchase a pack with duplicates, they can be handled like extras from any other pack.

    EA plans for Preview packs to be an ongoing staple in the FUT store during the remainder of the Festival of FUTball, which runs until July 16. 

    This is certainly an interesting way to eliminate the wholly blind aspects of purchasing digital randomized goods. EA has been in the crosshairs of investigations and lawsuits regarding this specific practice in the past, some compare the practice to gambling, and EA has even gone to the lengths of limiting microtransactions in the latest FIFA game. Giving players a little more agency in how they spend money on loot boxes is helpful, but there’s more work yet to be done to make loot boxes fair. Regardless, this is certainly a step in a more consumer-friendly direction.


    A New Ellie Statue Headlines Fresh The Last Of Us Part II Gear

    PlayStation is dropping some new threads and other items in its gear store to celebrate the one year anniversary of The Last of Us Part II’s release. A post on the PlayStation Blog written by Naughty Dog’s Lead Designer of Communications Joshua Bradley runs down some of the items available as of today.

    Most impressive on the list of items is one for the collectors out there. A 16” statue featuring a scowling Ellie brandishing a large bowie knife is available to order, though it won’t ship until December. The figure was created using actual in-game assets, an impressive method used to sculpt this collectible. Here’s the product details for this piece:

    It’s time to head to Seattle with Ellie from The Last of Us Part II. This Ellie statue shows an angry Ellie with both hands on the machete for extra power ready to strike. Her clothes are ripped and worn but she has revenge on her mind. In-game files were used in creating Ellie (a big thank you to the Naughty Dog team) and she stands approximately 16” tall (i.e. 1:4 scale) from the bottom of the moss covered stone and dirt base to the top of her head. The Ellie statue is made using polystone resin and is skillfully hand-crafted and painted by artisans*. The Ellie statue includes deluxe, full-color packaging, a hand-numbered base and a validation card.

    Ellie’s new statue is priced at $529.99 while supplies last.

    Another product available today is a button-up collared short sleeve shirt with a hammer and machete icon pattern. The shirt comes in khaki or black and is selling for $79.95. Pre-orders for these snazzy shirts are set to ship around July 15, however some sizes are already backordered.

    Some other items arriving in the store today include a pencil pouch with a matching pattern to the shirts above, a long-sleeve tee with the game’s logo on the left chest area, a scarf, and a leather dopp kit “for when you need that extra space for just one more health kit on your travels.” You’re probably safe to put your toothpaste and contact solution in it instead.

    In case you missed it, there’s word Naughty Dog is working on a new multiplayer game! Also, check out Game Informer’s review of the The Last of Us Part II which recently received a PlayStation 5 upgrade patch increasing resolution and framerate for the next-gen console. 



    Bayonetta 3 Still Exists And Is ‘Progressing Well’ According To Nintendo

    For precisely the umpteenth year in a row, Nintendo held yet another E3 Direct presentation with no mention of Bayonetta 3. Despite debuting way back at the 2017 Game Awards as a Switch exclusive title, the game has been radio silent in the years since with the only updates coming in the form of vague reassurances that it’s still happening, keeping the hope alive. Nintendo provided another such update during a recent interview with GameSpot

    GameSpot’s Tamoor Hussain interviewed Nintendo Treehouse’s Nate Bihldorff and Bill Trinen about the company’s E3 showing and wrapped up the fun conversation by asking the million dollar question: Where is Bayonetta 3? Bihldorff began by confirming that the game “definitely still exists” with Trinen adding that Bayonetta 3 is not only real but is “progressing well”.

    “We like to show things when we’re ready to show them, and certainly we like to show things when we think the developers are ready to show them,” explains Trinen before telling fans to “stay tuned”. 

    You can check out the clip yourselves at the 19:37 mark. 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    It’s a small update, but it’s better than nothing given we still know next to nothing about Bayonetta 3 or its projected release. The only footage of the game remains the cinematic debut trailer that featured the titular witch battling a powerful entity and seemingly coming out on the losing end. Rumors/wishful thinking suggests the game will re-emerge when Nintendo announces the equally mythical Switch Pro. I’m not sure I buy that just yet, but we can likely all agree that the game probably isn’t coming in 2021. Feel free to prove us wrong, Nintendo. 

    While Nintendo’s E3 Direct lacked any appearance from the sultry witch, it still had cool announcements in the form of Metroid Dread and the gameplay reveal of the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. You can check out our full E3 coverage hub to read about those stories and other announcements from the days-long events. 

    In the meantime, remind yourself of better times when Bayonetta games used to come out by checking out this Replay episode featuring the first game. Since he’s likely reading this, you should check out GI senior editor Blake Hester’s opinion piece on why the original Bayonetta is the best-playing game ever made

    When do you think Bayonetta 3 will make itself known again? Share your thoughts in the comments!


    Nintendo President Comments On New Switch Hardware

    Rumors have circulated for months and months that Nintendo is working on some kind of updated Switch hardware, a “Nintendo Switch Pro” that would feature a bigger screen and be capable of outputting in 4K resolution. But E3 has come and gone and Nintendo didn’t announce any such device. Is all hope gone that we could see an upgraded Switch before the end of the year? Maybe. Or maybe not. Nintendo is keeping all of its cards very close to the vest.

    President of Nintendo of America Doug Bowser addressed some of the Switch Pro rumors in a recent interview with The Washington Post, saying, “We are always looking at technology and how technology can enhance gameplay experiences. It’s not technology for technology’s sake. It’s how specifically can technology enhance a gameplay experience. And then where do you apply that technology? Do you want to apply it on current existing hardware or platforms, or do you want to wait for the next platform? And then what’s the right gameplay experience with that? There’s a host of factors that goes into it, and it’s something we’re always looking at.”

    Bowser may have sidestepped the question about new hardware a bit, but he went on to say, “As we enter into our fifth year, Nintendo Switch really is redefining what a console life cycle can look like, and the vibrancy of that overall life cycle with a strong cadence of content,” Bowser said.

    Nintendo might not need to release new hardware anytime soon. To date, the Switch has sold 85 million consoles as of April, and remains one of Nintendo most successful pieces of hardware. Does that mean the company won’t release a Switch upgrade in the future? No. The real question is when? And the answer to that is anyone’s guess (so go for it).

    For more on what Bowser thinks of Nintendo as a whole be sure to read The Washington Post’s full article.

    [Source: The Washington Post]


    An Alan Wake Remaster Might Have Been Found In The Epic Game Store

    Thanks to a post on Reddit, we may have a glimpse at a new Remedy project in the works. Information is routinely scraped from the Epic Games Store, which sometimes leads to the discovery of new games and products hidden in the store’s file system. Today, a curious folder string was found within Remedy Entertainment’s files reading: {dirUser}/Remedy/AlanWakeRemastered/. Could an upgraded version of Alan Wake be on the horizon?

    As of the writing of this story, the folder has been renamed to “Heron” and its directory has been given the overarching name of “HeronStaging.” Other files from Remedy within the Epic Game Store also use the “Heron” name going back to 2019, at least the folders themselves have been there that long. Staging, on the other hand, is usually a place where objects are grouped or assembled in preparation for a project. Because we know a folder in here was previously named “AlanWakeRemastered,” we can infer this is now a properly codenamed store page for a possible remaster being released by Remedy or Epic.  

    The potential of an Alan Wake remaster has some implications for another Remedy game coming down the line. Last year, Epic Games announced it was partnering with Remedy Entertainment to publish games from the Finnish developer. The deal is said to be for two games set in the same series, one of which is to be a more ambitious triple-A title, while the other would be smaller in scale. If this remaster is indeed published by Epic Games, and the two games being published are supposed to be part of one franchise, there is a good possibility we could eventually see a sequel to Alan Wake. While none of this is official yet, the evidence is slowly mounting to point in that particular direction.

    Alan Wake hasn’t been completely dormant since the original game released back in 2010 on the Xbox 360. It received a stand-alone mini-spinoff called Alan Wake’s American Nightmare in 2012, and most recently Control’s AWE expansion last August looked into the extraordinary forces of Cauldron Lake from the original Alan Wake. The original is also available to play on PC, through the Epic Game Store among other places.

    Here’s a fun Replay we did of Alan Wake from last year if you want to see what the game is like. What would you want from a sequel to Alan Wake, or is there anything you’d like to see addressed in a remaster of the original? Let us know in the comments!


    Bright Memory: Infinite Looks As Sharp As Ever In New Gameplay Trailer

    Bright Memory: Infinite was among the standout Xbox Series X exclusives that impressed us during the console’s first big showing last year. If you’ve been patiently awaiting your chance to experience the game’s fast-paced blend of first-person shooting and stylish swordplay, a new gameplay trailer has emerged confirming that it still has a pulse and is a wild as ever. 

    The game takes place in a futuristic version of Earth, set in 2036. An organization called the Supernatural Science Research Organization (SRO) has discovered strange phenomena occurring in the skies and sends agents out to investigate. Protagonist Sheila is one such agent, and during your investigation you’ll uncover an ancient mystery connected to events that could affect the fate of, not one, but two worlds. 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Infinite serves as a full-length sequel, of sorts, to the original Bright Memory by Chinese indie developer Zeng “FYQD” Xiancheng and his team at FYQD Studio. Similar to the story of Lost Soul Aside, Zeng developed Bright Memory single-handedly before later expanding to a full team. Zeng first released Bright Memory on Steam Early Access in January 2019 as a small episode that served as a demo of sorts for a larger title. While it impressed many, it also garnered controversy after Zeng admitted to using stolen enemy models in that first episode. Zeng claims his team has since replaced those original assets and the game exited Early Access in March 2020. 

    In a Steam post, Zeng states that the development on the main parts of Infinite are complete. The team’s focus has now shifted to recording voice lines and the soundtrack, as well as general debugging. That said, Bright Memory: Infinite still doesn’t have an exact release date, but today’s trailer reconfirmed its 2021 launch window. When it does arrive, it’ll come to Xbox Series X/S and PC. 

    As someone who played the first episode of Bright Memory, I’m pulling for Infinite to stick the landing. The game was undeniably entertaining and did a great job at making me feel 1000 times cooler than I really am. However, it also suffered from a noticeable lack of polish that held it back from true greatness. I’m excited to see how FYQD builds on that foundation. 

    Are you excited for Bright Memory: Infinite? Let us know in the comments. 


    Thanos Returns To Fortnite In The Thanos Cup

    Today, Epic Games revealed on its blog that Thanos is returning to Fortnite for Season 7. This is fairly appropriate as season 7 has an alien invasion theme, and also includes character like Superman and Rick Sanchez from Adult Swims hit show Rick and Morty.

    Thanos first appeared in Fortnite in 2019, as a tie in for the release of Avengers Endgame. Players who discovered the Infinity Gauntlet on Fortnite’s island could transform into the near-unstoppable foe and wreak havoc on the masses. At the time Thanos was fairly overpowered, but that was a limited time event.

    This time around, players can turn into the Mad Titan for as long as they like, because he is now a player skin. Starting at 7pm CT on June 26, players can purchase the Thanos skin and even equip the Infinity Gauntlet (completed with all six Infinity Stones) as seen in Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. However, don’t expect to start snapping people out of existence this time around – you’ll still have to earn all your kills the old fashioned way.

    You don’t have to wait for Thanos to show up in the item shop to become Marvel’s iconic villain. Starting on June 21, players can compete in the Thanos Cup for a chance to become the Infinity Stone wielding powerhouse.

    The details on Epic’s blog reads, “Grab your Duos partner and compete in up to 10 total matches in 3 hours to earn as many points as you can. The top-performing teams in each region will earn the Thanos Outfit and Back Bling inspired by Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. For anyone who earns 8 total points, you’ll receive the Thanos Watches! Spray. Note: It may take several days before prizing can be rewarded to all players.”

    It is also worth noting that players must have an Epic Account at level 30 and enable two-factor authentication on that account. Good luck and have fun.

    [Source: Epic Games]


    George R. R. Martin’s Time Working On Elden Ring Ended Years Ago

    Video games unsurprisingly take a long time to create, and the process unfolds in different ways for every game. Elden Ring is like every other game in this respect, but it’s been under a microscope this week, in part because of the excitement from its fanbase, but also because we haven’t heard much about it in quite a while. Following the premiere of the new trailer at Summer Game Fest, the silence of a key creative mind on the project has been broken. That person, of course, is famed novelist and creator of the A Song of Ice and Fire series George R. R. Martin.

    Martin was being recognized this week with an honorary doctorate awarded from his alma mater, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. During an interview about his life and career with Chicago PBS affiliate WTTW, Martin’s foray into game development was brought up. He spoke briefly on when he was part of the Elden Ring project. “My work on it was actually done years ago. These games, they’re like movies. They take a long time to develop,” says Martin.

    “Basically, they wanted a world created to set the game in. They wanted world building; as a big factor in fantasy and science fiction. And you’re not only talking the characters and the plot, but the setting is almost as important as everything else,” Martin says, then lists famous fantasy worlds such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. He continues about his development time on Elden Ring, “I worked up a fairly detailed background for them, and then they took it from there.”

    It sounds like Martin has been hands-off the project since. He wraps up on Elden Ring and his time working alongside From Software with this: “It’s been several years since I’ve last seen them, but they would come in periodically and show me some monsters they designed, or the latest special effects and cool things. But the game has been slowly developing and now it’s coming out in January, I believe, so I‘ll be as excited as anybody else to see it.”

    While the Game of Thrones creator isn’t personally writing all of the juicy lore-full item descriptions himself, his early work on developing the setting and history of Elden Ring’s The Lands Between will echo certainly through the game.

    Elden Ring is set to release on January 21, 2022 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. There’s an abundance of Elden Ring knowledge to absorb in the meantime. Check out Game Informer’s stories about what the new open world is like, and how the blue “spirit bodies” from the trailer play a role in the game.


    ‘Hack ‘N’ Shoot ‘Em Up’ Recompile Gets August Launch Window

    Hacking Metroidvania Recompile will invade console and PC motherboards this August. The eye-catching indie game puts players in digital shoes of a sentient rogue code exploring the electrifying digital wasteland of a computer mainframe.

    Gameplay consists of 3D platforming and third-person shooting, not to mention plenty of physics-based hacking. Exploration is non-linear with Metroidvania qualities, such as finding abilities or items to open new paths while also solving logic puzzles to overcome obstacles. We were impressed with Recompile when it first made noise last year, but if this is your first time catching wind of the game, you should check out its latest gameplay trailer to see what’s in store. 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    On the story front, you’re taking on a malevolent AI overseer called the Hypervisor while uncovering the Mainframe’s original purpose. The narrative also explores familiar themes such as the nature of machine sentience. Depending on your actions, which includes deciding whether to hack or destroy enemies or what systems to repair, you’ll unlock one of several different endings. The coolest twist is that the entire tale unfolds over the course of just one second in real time. 

    Developer Phigames still hasn’t specified an exact release date for Recompile outside of “August”.  Still, game director Phi Dinh couldn’t be happier to be approaching the light at the end of the tunnel. 

    “The finish line for Recompile is finally in sight. I’m super proud that we can finally show off the new-gen version, as well as the amazing new guest track by 65daysofstatic,” says Dinh. “It’s going to be great to watch players try their hands at the hacking mechanics and see how they put their skills to use in the Recompile Mainframe.”

    Recompile is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S (including Game Pass), and PC.

    Are you looking forward to Recompile? Let us know in the comments!