Exploring Nintendo’s Super Metroid | Video Gameography

The first season of Game Informer’s Video Gameography explores the history of the Metroid series. After running down Samus’ classic debut and handheld outing, we’re moving onto the most influential entry in the series: Super Metroid.

Released on April 18, 1994 for Nintendo’s Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Metroid sold well enough at the time, but its legend has only grown over time as more and more titles take inspiration from Samus’ haunting adventure across the planet Zebes. Developed by Nintendo R&D1 with a staff of 15, and directed by Yoshio Sakamoto, Super Metroid is widely considered one of the greatest – if not the greatest – game ever made. In this episode, we talk about Super Metroid’s grueling development, its unique approach to cinematic storytelling, the ways it surprised players, and how it helped spawn the Metroidvania genre

Join hosts Ben Reeves (@BenjaminReeves), Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7), and special guest, Game Informer alumni Joe Juba for the next hour as we explore Super Metroid’s lore, development history, and lasting impact. 

If you’d like to get in touch with the Video Gameography podcast, you can email us at podcast@gameinformer.com. You can also join our official Game Informer Discord server by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the Video Gameography channel under “Community Spaces.”


Update: Free Burritos Not The Source Of Roblox’s Ongoing Outage

Click here to watch embedded media

Update: Roblox is still unplayable, and we still don’t know when it will come back, but we now know free burritos have nothing to do with the game being offline. As jokes about burritos killing Roblox ran rampant on social media, Roblox Corporation took to Twitter to update its community, which consists of over 43.2 daily active users.

Still making progress on today’s outage,” the tweet reads. “We’ll continue to keep you updated. Once again, we apologize for the delay. We know that this outage was not related to any specific experiences or partnerships on the platform.”

This messaging rules out the Chipotle promotion, and yet leaves the entire Roblox fan base in the dark as to what is going on with their beloved game. Roblox’s website is also down, offering nothing more than a static image that reads, “We’re making things more awesome. Be back soon.”

Given just how long this outage is, we’re hoping Roblox Corporation comes forward soon with information about the what is happening to the game. Players are heavily invested in this game – either with worlds they created or money they’ve sunk into it just to play. Here’s hoping it comes back soon. We rarely see games go offline for this long.

Original Story: Who doesn’t want a free burrito from Chipotle? This tasty opportunity is currently being offered in Roblox through a limited Halloween-themed experience called the Chipotle Boorito Maze. On each day from October 8-31, the first 30,000 people who make it through the maze to the Chipotle restaurant will win a free (and real) burrito.

We don’t know why Roblox is currently down, but the timing of it going offline for most players lines up with this promotion, leading us to believe a wave of players may be overloading the servers or there may be some problem with this new offering.

After going offline last night, Roblox is now working on recovery efforts, stating that some users are starting to have limited access to the game again. We’re hoping it comes back online soon so we can all see this wild promotion with our own eyes. It reminds us of Burger King’s silly Sneak King game that was sold by the chain. Roblox players can apparently dress up in a Chipotle-themed costume and are asked to track down ingredients in the maze, all while dodging monsters, too.

Have you earned your free boo-rito yet? Let us know in the comments below!


Nintendo Reportedly Closes California and Toronto Offices

According to a new report from Kotaku and confirmed by The Verge, Nintendo has closed its offices in California and Toronto.

The shuttering of the office in Redwood City, California, affects around 100 employees within Nintendo’s Sales and Marketing department, as well as its NMI, which is “a dedicated merchandising field team who work with retail stores across the country.” Kotaku’s article mentions “many of the now-displaced staff were upset over the decision.” 

Nintendo has confirmed the closures in a statement to The Verge. Here is the statement in full: 

Nintendo of America headquarters are in Redmond, WA, and Vancouver, BC. We are moving more of our employees and operations into those headquarters and will be closing small satellite offices in Toronto, ON, and Redwood City, CA, over time. 

Devon Pritchard, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Publisher Relations for Nintendo of America (NOA), will assume interim leadership of Sales, Marketing and Communications following the departure of Nick Chavez. Ms. Pritchard will oversee strategy and execution of sales, marketing and communications across the U.S. and Canada

We don’t yet know how many total jobs have actually been affected. From what we’ve learned in the above statement, many roles are relocating to Nintendo of America and Canada’s headquarters. Due to the rise of hybrid and remote working solutions, the office closure may not necessarily mean jobs have been lost. The opportunity to relocate also looks to be on the table for some.

With the Redwood location reportedly being closed down, Nintendo’s only offices on the West coast remain in the state of Washington, where its headquarters and distribution center call home.

The company recently released a new OLED model of the Switch, Metroid Dread, and added new Switch Online features (and a price bump to support it). For your weekly dose of audio Nintendo news and discussions, check out our podcast All Things Nintendo.


The Scariest And Creepiest Entries In The Pokédex

With Halloween just days away, we thought it would be fun to post our Game Over page from issue 319 of Game Informer, highlighting some of the creepiest entries found within the Pokédex. Not every Pokémon is cute and cuddly, many are dangerous and pose a serious threat to the lives of others. Without further ado, here are The Scariest and Creepiest Entries in The Pokédex:

So, you wish Pokemon were real? Maybe reading these creepy facts from the various Pokémon games will make you think twice.


Pokémon Sun and Moon


Pokémon Emerald


Pokémon Gold


Pokémon Black and White


Pokémon Ruby


Pokémon Ultra Sun


Pokémon Ultra Moon


Pokémon Sun


Pokémon Sun


Pokémon Black 2 and White 2


Pokémon Black


Pokémon Y


Pokémon Y


Pokémon Moon


Pokémon Moon


Pokémon Ultra Moon

This article originally appeared in Issue”>https://www.gameinformer.com/magazine”>Issue 31https://www.gameinformer.com/magazine" target=”_blank”>9 of Game Informer.


Six Scary Good Board Games For Halloween

Each year brings hundreds of new board and card games to the market, and even the recent dampener on social get-togethers hasn’t halted the flow. Without fail, in each year, some of the most popular themes include horror, monsters, magic, and mystery – perfect fits for a Halloween get-together.

Whether you’re looking to head to the game store and snag something for a game night this weekend, or you’re planning farther out, and you’re just a fan of games about things that go bump in the night, each of these recent releases provides a lovely evening of fun, with just the right mix of amusement and spooky vibes.

Horrified: American Monsters
Publisher: Ravensburger

A standalone follow-up to the original Horrified release from 2019, the new American Monsters variant offers enough new content to justify a purchase if you already loved the first one. However, this version is also a perfectly solid entry point if this is your first go-around. Where the first game featured baddies like Frankenstein’s Monster and Dracula in a decidedly 1930’s vibe, this new installment leaps us forward into the 1950s, with classically American mythology at play, including monsters like Bigfoot, Mothman, and the Jersey Devil. American Monsters avoids the label of being a reskin, because it does such a good job of making each monster (and how to defeat them) unique.

Players work together to range out across the board and halt the monsters as they terrorize a small town. Dynamic difficulty is as easy as choosing the number of monsters to place on the board; be warned that a four-monster assault is a recipe for a big challenge. The interactivity and cooperative play are especially gratifying, as each player leverages their character’s special skills to help save the day. It also must be said that the art team has done a stellar job recalling the 1950’s small-town horror aesthetic. Play this if you’re a fan of old-school Drive-In monster flicks, or you just want an especially accessible and easy to pick up cooperative experience.

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

To grasp the enthusiasm behind Unfathomable, a brief history lesson might be in order. Back in 2008, Fantasy Flight released a game based on the Battlestar Galactica TV show. It was a fantastic release, especially because it so ably captured the drama of that show, where most of the ship seemed to be working together, but traitor Cylons were secretly at work, undermining the team’s goals. That game fell out of print for the various licensed-related reasons you might expect, but excitement about the game hasn’t faded.

Unfathomable takes the bulk of that gameplay model, and reskins the experience into Fantasy Flight’s universe of Lovecraftian horror. Instead of a spaceship Galactica, it’s a steamship Atlantica on the way to Boston in 1913. And instead of Cylons, it’s Father Dagon, Mother Hydra, and the Deep Ones, gradually infiltrating and attacking, until they pull everyone down into the frigid depths.

As the game begins, everyone seems to be acting in concert, but at least one player is a hybrid, working counter to your interests, carefully swaying events to aid the monsters. In an especially amusing twist, you may play a significant chunk of the game before an awakening phase reveals that you’re also a hybrid, and your loyalties must shift if you want to win.

Unfathomable features dramatic turns and sometimes devastating swings of fate, especially if a traitor is able to maneuver themselves into a position that they can do real damage. But, of course, that’s half the fun of the game – no one should take winning as the only goal. Rather, enjoy the tension and knowing smiles that pass around the table, as well as the stunning art and miniatures that bring Unfathomable to life. It’s a wonderful revival of a clever game system from over a decade ago, and well worth the trip into the dark waters of the high seas.

Goonies: Never Say Die
Publisher: Funko Games

With each passing year, The Goonies franchise feels like an increasingly dated reference. And yet the cult classic film maintains a strong and enthusiastic following – it’s just a ton of fun. There’s nothing explicitly “Halloween-y” about the new Goonies board game, but the combination of kids on a wild adventure, a supernatural-tinged pirate treasure hunt, and the threat of maniacal foes at your heels all feel uniquely suited to the holiday.

In the game, most of the players work together as one of the kids like Mikey or Chunk (and Sloth, of course), to outwit the villainous Fratelli family, and other foes they meet along the way. Those bad guys are controlled by the final player, who manages booby traps and other encounters to try to halt the Goonies from finding success and treasure. These adventures play out across nine distinct scenarios, which do a good job of following the movie’s threads, as well as expanding upon them.

Specifically targeted at devoted fans of the 80’s movie, it may be a very specific niche. But it’s still a wonderful game with tons of nods to the source fiction. If you really love what you find, you can even track down the “Under the Goondocks” expansion, which adds in the playable teen Goonies, three new adventures, and more.

echoes: The Cocktail
Publisher: Ravensburger

If your spooky get-together is more about adults chilling out, rather than hardcore board gamers ready to learn a fancy new horror game, I’d like to introduce you to the echoes series. This is an audio mystery game that requires you to sync up to a smartphone app to play it. The game then plays out a mystery story told through a combination of audio storytelling on the app, and cards/board pieces that are laid out on the table. The schtick is that each player is an investigator that can hear the “echoes” of objects left behind. Scan the object, and listen closely to solve the puzzle.

I played “The Cocktail,” one of two initial offerings in this game series. In this installment, you’re trying to unravel the identity of a mysterious mob boss. A separate game/installment is also available; The Dancer is all about the ghost of a young girl in a Scottish country manor and how she died. Pick your poison.

Each game is really only meant to be played once by a given group – once you solve the puzzle, there’s not much reason to play again. But the novelty is definitely there, challenging the whole group to piece together the 24 parts of the story in the right order, each subdivided into different chapters. I love the way the game challenges everyone to pause and listen closely to the tiniest detail in the audio recordings, some of which can be key to moving the puzzle to the next step. Echoes is a great choice for fans of escape rooms, puzzles, and social play, and the relatively brief hour-long playtime won’t bog down the party. A single copy is inexpensive, so you won’t feel too let down when it’s all over, especially if you and your friends have a memorable puzzle-solving adventure along the way.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game – Revised Core Set
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

One of the best horror-themed games of the last decade, the Arkham Horror card game takes the popular universe of the board game and distills the same style of storytelling and adventuring into an awesome expandable card game. Players take on the role of characters in the small New England town of Arkham, racing against time to halt cultists, sanity-testing monsters, and world-devouring ancient monstrosities. The narrative is atmospheric and fun, and the gameplay is brisk and well-balanced, all about building out a deck of cards and managing threats at different locations. However, it’s the way each scenario connects to the next that will keep you engaged as you watch your choices echo out across the campaign.

The new revised core set wisely does not upset the Lovecraftian apple cart (don’t eat those!). If you are already a devoted player, this is not the purchase for you. Instead, this new core set nails a few important goals for new players. Perhaps most importantly, it supports four players instead of two with a single boxed set. It also adds a few cards that originally didn’t appear until later expansions, broadening the initial array of upgrade options for investigators. And it also reorganizes the box’s contents, with the goal of a faster pick-up-and-play experience.

If you’ve wanted a fun long-term campaign, rooted in horror overtones, but not overwhelming in complexity or mechanics, it’s an ideal offering from an established and well-liked franchise.

Bellum Magica
Publisher: Blue Orange Games

A big part of Halloween is getting to indulge in our darker impulses, at least in fun. As such, Bellum Magica is a superb fit for families or friend groups looking for an accessible and quick-to-learn engine building game. Players take on the role of evil overlords scrambling for power and control, but the whole thing is pretty playful and colorful, rather than dark and mean-spirited.

Engine building games demand that you gradually build a system of resources and units that increase in power and reach with each passing turn. In this case, you’re recruiting goblins and other dastardly creatures, which you can figuratively fling at either the hapless human kingdom or against your opposing evil warlord players. All the while, you’re gathering treasure and increasing your clawed grip on power.

In the sphere of strategy games, Bellum Magica has opted for light, quick, and thematic over complex and immaculately balanced. It’s easy for a single player to get steamrolled by everyone else for no particular reason, and dice-rolling adds a randomness at which many veteran players may scoff. But the less-than-an-hour playtime should be your hint that this is a game meant to be embraced for its wild swinging shifts of control and the fun of being the bad guy. If everyone can get on board with the concept, it’s a beautifully illustrated and amusing diversion.

If magic and horror aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of other wonderful tabletop games to discover over at our Top of the Table hub. As always, if you’d like a personalized recommendation for your next game night, don’t hesitate to drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to offer some suggestions. Happy Halloween!


The Coolest Pokémon: Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike Cards We Pulled From Booster Packs

Earlier this month, the Pokémon Trading Card Game released its special Celebrations expansion to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise as a whole. While that limited expansion was focused squarely on the past, the world of Pokémon TCG pushes ahead with its newest expansion, Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike.

Earlier this year, The Pokémon Company released its Sword & Shield – Battle Styles expansion, which introduced a new mechanic that allows players to use special variants of Pokémon to either deliver a knockout blow or approach battles more strategically. This latest expansion, Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike, expands on that mechanic with new Fusion Strike cards that typically gain bonuses when other Pokémon with Fusion Strike are in play. The idea is to let players create synergies between their Pokémon through Fusion Strike Style decks.

The Fusion Strike expansion adds 20 Pokémon V, 13 full-art Pokémon V cards, and 8 Pokémon VMAX cards, including a few really awesome Mew cards. In addition, players can collect 20 new Trainer cards, plus 7 full-art Supporter cards and 1 special Energy card. 

The Pokémon Company sent us a ton of booster packs, which we cracked open. I noticed a definite emphasis on Gen I Pokémon when it came to standard cards, but as I look at the VMAX and full-art cards I pulled, the distribution across the generations feels pretty even. As much as I loved the standard Lapras, Snorlax, and Arcanine cards I pulled out of the packs (none of which are included in the gallery below), most of the full-art cards I pulled were not from Gen I.

You can see my favorite cards I pulled from the newest expansion below.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



The Pokémon Trading Card Game: Sword & Shield – Fusion Strike expansion is available November 12. For all things Pokémon Trading Card Game, head to our special hub by clicking on the banner below!


Four Scary Movies For Horror Game Fans

A few weeks ago, we published a detailed rundown of what horror games we think you should play this Halloween season. But with no trick or treating this year, you’re going to have a lot of extra time on your hands to be scared. Luckily for you, Game Informer is always here to help. Rather than suggesting horror video games for you to play, this time we’re here to run down some scary movies we think you should watch if you like things that go bump in the night. 

Did you like Friday the 13th: The Game? Check out Sleepaway Camp

It would be too easy to recommend a Friday the 13th movie here. Instead, you should watch the criminally underappreciated Sleepaway Camp. Released in 1983 by director Robert Hiltzik, Sleepaway Camp tells the story of Angela Baker and her stay at Camp Arawak. Angela doesn’t quite fit in and is often bullied by the older kids at camp, or much worse, tried to be taken advantage of by the adults running the camp. Conspicuously, though, all these people die in very, very horrible ways. 

In a lot of ways, Sleepaway Camp is your run-of-the-mill slasher flick. A bunch of kids get up to some trouble, they die horribly, and it’s all pretty cheesy and poorly acted. And you could argue some of the content in Sleepaway Camp has not aged gracefully by 2020 sensibilities (maybe check out Does The Dog Die before watching). On the other hand, there’s an ambition to Sleepaway Camp that sets it apart from other slashers. Coming out in 1983, during the deluge of slashers trying to cash in on the success of 1978’s Halloween, Sleepaway Camp tries to tell a story about being trapped in your own body and feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. As Bartłomiej Paszylk wrote, it’s an “exceptionally bad movie but a very good slasher.” In recent years, the movie has gained a strong cult following and even received some critical reevaluation.

Whether or not Sleepaway Camp pulls any of that off is up to the viewer, but it’s an admirable attempt to do something smarter with a pretty boring genre. Interestingly, Hiltzik has only made two movies: Sleepaway Camp and 2008’s Return to Sleepaway Camp, one of the many films in the series. Hiltzik, who is a New York City lawyer these days, reportedly was unaware the movie even had a following until he was approached to record a commentary for it in 2000. 

The hook of Sleepaway Camp, and the thing that’s always mentioned by its fans, is its shocking ending. And for good reason. It is extremely shocking. I won’t spoil it here, but the sound alone has bothered me ever since I first saw the movie. Count me among the biggest fans of this exceptional bad movie but very good slasher. 

Did you like Outlast? Check out Noroi: The Curse

A dime a dozen and still overpriced, found footage media is everywhere these days. It’s relatively cheap to produce, easy to fill with jump scares, and easy to get bodies in seats. But there are some stand-outs, like the godfathers of the genre, The Blair Witch Project and Cannibal Holocaust. There’s also Noroi: The Curse, which came out in 2005, two years before the first Paranormal Activity blew the genre wide open. 

This once-hard-to-find-outside-of-Japan horror movie is less of a found footage film and more of a scrapbook of different events tied together to tell a sort-of cohesive plot. Using “actual” found footage and that of news broadcasts, live shows, and old documentary footage, Noroi tells the story of Masafumi Kobayashi, a paranormal investigator who has since gone missing after his house burned down, as he looks into paranormal happenings around Tokyo and how they’re connected. It all goes very poorly for Kobayashi. 

Noroi is never overtly scary. It believes in its story enough to allow fear to bubble in its viewer, dragging on, and building a slow burn before its final climax. It’s also unafraid to be bleak. The movie never lets you out of its grips, never giving you a moment of brevity, always holding you down below the surface with it. If you’re not tired of found footage movies, give this one a shot. It’s a genuinely unique take on the genre and has some really disturbing moments that will stick with you.  

Did you like P.T.? Check out The Exorcist III

We couldn’t do this list without including P.T., the “playable teaser” for Hideo Kojima’s now-canceled Silent Hills game. It’s against gamer law, actually. But it gives us a chance to talk about The Exorcist III, the best Exorcist film you’ve never seen. 

What ties P.T. and The Exorcist III together (aside from them both being somewhat about possession) is the persistent sense of dread in each. For the hour or two you play P.T., you are always on edge. From the opening seconds of The Exorcist III, a feeling of anxiety will be in the pit of your stomach, slowly rising as things get worse and worse. It is easily one of the tensest movies ever made. 

Taking place 15 years after the exorcism of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist, and ignoring the events of Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III follows Lieutenant William F. Kinderman, the investigator on the Dennings case in the first movie, as he attempts to solve a series of murders around the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C., the setting for the original film. While fingerprints suggest these murders were perpetrated by different people, the method of murder used matches the killings of The Gemini Killer, Kinderman discovers. The only problem is The Gemini Killer was executed 15 years ago. Or maybe he wasn’t, as it’s revealed a patient in the psychiatric ward of the hospital the movie largely takes place in was found 15 years ago catatonic and amnesic, until one day waking up claiming to be The Gemini Killer. 

It’s not the most coherent plot, and the way the movie shoehorns in a relationship to the events of the original Exorcist movie are largely unneeded. However, once the movie gets going, it never stops. Only the second (and final) movie directed by William Peter Blatty, who wrote The Exorcist novel and film-adapted screenplay, The Exorcist III is a masterclass in restraint and suspension. Murders or violence are rarely shown on-screen, we’re only given brief glimpses of the aftermath and detailed descriptions from characters, such as a body expertly drained of blood or a corpse stuffed full of rosaries. There is also the single best jump scare ever committed to film in this movie. I won’t say anything other than it is horrific. 

Inevitably, The Exorcist III will forever live in the shadow of The Exorcist. And for what it’s worth, I think there’s merit to that. The Exorcist is one of the greatest movies ever made, much less one of the greatest horror movies ever made. But don’t sleep on this sequel! It’s easily available on streaming services and shows a writer-turned-director at the top of his game. 

Did you like The Last of Us Part 2? Check out Lady Vengeance 

Okay, technically not a horror movie, but bear with me. Like The Last of Us Part 2 (which you could argue is also technically not a horror game), Lady Vengeance, as the name implies, is about revenge. And more than that, it’s about the hollowness of revenge and the lengths in which we’re willing to go to exact that vengeance. 

The final part in South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s “Vengeance Trilogy,” proceeded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, starring Parasite’s Park Dong-jin, and the critically-renowned Oldboy, Lady Vengeance tells the story of Lee Geum-ja as she gets out of prison after being convicted for the kidnapping and murder of a six-year-old boy 13 years earlier (might want to check out Does The Dog Die before watching this one, too). We learn that at one time Dong-jin became a sensation in South Korea because of the young age in which she admitted to committing her crime but has also become a beacon of the effectiveness of prison reform. It’s worth pointing out, Lady Vengeance is full of twists and nothing is what it seems at first. 

Outside of prison, Dong-jin gets to work on her meticulously crafted plan for the revenge and murder of the man who landed her in prison. I’ll stop short of saying anything else about the plot of the movie, but once you find out the true nature of what’s going on in Lady Vengeance, what it lacks in traditional scares it makes up for with the true horror of human nature. 

For me, Lady Vengeance is the standout movie in the Vengeance Trilogy, though they’re all worth watching. It’s a beautiful film, and perhaps Park Chan-wook’s most visually stunning until his 2016 psychosexual drama The Handmaiden. It’s also unafraid to deeply examine human flaws, taking close looks at anger, betrayal, and what we’re willing to do to feel justified in our actions. 


Amy Hennig Is Working On A Narrative-Driven Action-Adventure Marvel Game With Skydance Media

Former Uncharted series director, Amy Hennig, has revealed that she’s working on a Marvel game with Skydance Media. 

Skydance tapped Hennig to head up a new division within the studio to work on games heavily focused on narrative back in 2019; now we know more about her first game there … well kinda. We know it’s a Marvel game, but it’s currently an unannounced title, so there’s no telling which superheroes or villains we’ll be playing as. However, we do know what kind of experience it will be. 

“Skydance New Media, the new interactive division of Skydance Media helmed by award-winning writer and director Amy Hennig, announced today a partnership with Marvel Entertainment to develop a narrative-driven, blockbuster action-adventure game, featuring a completely original story and take on the Marvel Universe,” a press release reads. “This marks the first initiative from the new AAA game studio, which was formed by Hennig and Electronic Arts veteran Julian Beak to pioneer a new category of story-focused interactive entertainment – a groundbreaking convergence of games, film, and television.”

Narrative-driven, blockbuster action-adventure sounds a lot like Uncharted, right? It seems like Hennig is right at home with whatever this game is. 

Skydance has assembled what it calls an “accomplished crew of developers with decades of AAA experience in action and adventure gaming,” as well as consultants from the film, television, and comics world. The team is focused on creating “high-fidelity, richly interactive experiences crafted for traditional gaming platforms” and emerging streaming platforms, according to the press release. 

“I can’t imagine a better partner than Marvel for our first game,” Hennig said. “The Marvel Universe epitomizes all the action, mystery, and thrills of the pulp adventure genre that I adore and lends itself perfectly to an interactive experience. It’s an honor to be able to tell an original story with all the humanity, complexity, and humor that makes Marvel characters so enduring and to enable our players to embody these heroes that they love.”

Click here to watch embedded media

While waiting to learn more about this Marvel game, read about how Hennig is working on Square Enix’s Forspoken with Star Wars: Rogue One writer Gary Whitta. Check out our thoughts on the latest Marvel game in Game Informer’s Guardians of the Galaxy review after that.

What Marvel hero or villain do you hope Hennig’s team is tackling? Let us know in the comments below!


The Procrastinator’s Guide To Video Game Halloween Costumes

Uh oh! It’s Halloween weekend, and you still don’t have a costume for yourself or your children? Fear not! I have scoured the internet for the best, and worst, outfits you can buy. Being that we’re all gamers here, I focused on outfits based on our favorite interactive medium. Some of these are great. Others… not so much. But the clock is ticking, and beggars can’t be choosers. Here’s a list of video game Halloween costumes that haven’t sold out (yet), along with links to purchase them. 

Women’s Yoshi Skirt Costume

If you don’t mind looking like you skinned Yoshi alive and wore his body parts like a monster, this women’s outfit is sure to delight, or horrify, Super Mario fans. | Purchase


Cuphead Adult Costume

If you’re planning to make a deal with the Devil this Halloween, you may as well look the part in this Cuphead-inspired outfit. Yes, it also comes in Mugman.| Purchase

Adult Red Among Us Inflatable Costume

The real fun is having friends try to deduce who’s under this inflatable outfit. You can slide your arms through two front-facing holes in case you decide life must imitate art. By that, I mean ending a life. That’s pretty sus. | Purchase

Ace Costume for Kids

Remember Ubisoft’s battle royale, Hyper Scape? It’s still a thing, and your kid can be the hipster among the sea of Fortnite costumes by repping a battle royale that hasn’t dominated all of pop culture. | Purchase

Harley Quinn Costume Arkham City

Harley Quinn has caught up to Heath Ledger’s Joker as a superhero costume you’ll see 1000 examples of. For video game fans, this outfit based on Harley’s Arkham-verse appearance looks pretty dang good. | Purchase

Sonic the Hedgehog Deluxe Movie Child Costume

Remember the near-disaster that was Sonic’s original design for his feature film? Relieve those horrible memories, or rather let your kid fall into that trap, with this reminder of the internet’s power to demand change. | Purchase

Spyro the Dragon Adult Costume Jumpsuit

Wearing this outfit requires a willingness to clown on yourself (Lord knows everyone else will), but you’ll also be rewarded with an amusing outfit based on gaming’s favorite dragon. | Purchase

Adult Kassandra Costume

We all know Kassandra is the better protagonist in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, so let everyone else know with this divine costume. | Purchase

Kids’ Wraith Costume

If you’ve got a kiddo that adores Apex Legends, or you just want to express your fandom through your child against their will, this Wraith costume will get the job done. You’ll just need two more thematically similar friends to complete the squad. | Purchase

Adult Crash Bandicoot Costume

I won’t lie – this Crash costume terrifies me. That face is just…the worst. Ruin your friends’ fond PlayStation 1 memories with this unsettling ensemble if you have no soul. | Purchase

Child Kairi Costume

Every parent has to confront the scary truth: sooner or later, your children will discover Kingdom Hearts. And that’s okay! You may as well lean into it, starting with this simple and clean Kairi costume. | Purchase

The Legend of Zelda Deluxe Link Breath of the Wild Men’s Costume

Link is always a popular video game option so why not go with his most recent incarnation? It probably won’t make you any better at climbing, and we wouldn’t recommend jumping off your roof using a sheet to glide. But, if you do those things anyway, at least you’ll look kind of cool in the process. Degradable bow not included. | Purchase

Female Minecraft Armor Costume

I don’t know much about Minecraft, but this is a pretty neat take on the game’s armor. I especially like the blocky leg pieces; it’s like wearing the old Socker Boppers toys on your feet. You can probably roundhouse kick someone and it would feel like getting hit by a pillow. Probably. | Purchase

Switch Joy-Con Couples Costume

Couples’ costumes are always fun, and these unofficial Nintendo Switch Joy-Con outfits are a fun theme for pairs looking for something creative. You just have to tolerate having your partner in the Left Joy-Con costume constantly drift away from you. | Purchase 

Master Chief Ultra Prestige Adult Costume

Okay, this is pretty awesome. It’ll set you back over $600, but if you can afford it and really want to win your local bar’s annual costume contest, you’ll be tough to beat. | Purchase

Which costumes are your favorite? What do you plan on dressing up as for Halloween? Let us know in the comments!


Place Of Residing Evil: Looking Back At Capcom’s Original Survival Horror

Tokuro Fujiwara didn’t play video games; he didn’t even know that Konami was a game developer when he walked into the studio to apply for a product planner job he’d heard about through a college recruiter. However, Fujiwara excelled at game development. After breaking into the industry at Konami, Fujiwara moved over to Capcom, where he created Ghosts ‘n Goblins and Bionic Commando before working on other 8-bit classics such as Strider, DuckTales, and Mega Man 2.

Fujiwara’s most significant contribution to the gaming industry, however, might be an often-overlooked RPG for Nintendo’s first console that never officially released outside Japan. Entitled Sweet Home, Fujiwara’s project sounds like a game bound for obscurity; it was an adaptation of a low-budget Japanese horror film that served as an early experiment in video game horror. In spite of all this, Sweet Home became a cult hit and went on to inspire the Resident Evil franchise as well as the entire survival horror genre.

Film Fright

At some point in the late ‘80s, Capcom began talking with Japanese film company Itami Productions about making a game based on the then-upcoming film Sweet Home. The gory horror flick centered on a small crew of documentarians who break into the abandoned country home of a famous artist named Ichirō Mamiya. According to legend, 30 years previously Ichirō hid several precious frescos somewhere inside his home, and the fictional film crew hope to uncover these lost treasures for a documentary. Unfortunately, a mysterious ghost traps the crew inside the late artist’s house, kicking off a series of paranormal events ultimately leading to their demise.

Before the film’s theatrical debut, Capcom sent Fujiwara to walk through the set and talk with the film’s director. Fujiwara and his team used reference materials from this visit to create many of the objects and environments in the game. When it came to the script, however, Fujiwara took several liberties, often elaborating on story elements that were only hinted at in the film.

For example, at one point in the movie, the fictional documentarians stumble upon a small grave. The crew then discovers that the grave belonged to Ichirō’s infant son, who had died tragically after accidentally falling into a furnace. Devastated by this event, Ichirō’s wife kills herself and begins haunting their home.

This plot point isn’t developed further in the film, but in the game, Fujiwara added a series of collectable diary entries that expand on the narrative. These diaries explain how Ichirō’s wife was driven crazy after the death of her child, and how she proceeded to lure other young children to their deaths so her son would have playmates in the afterlife. Thronging with premature souls, Ichirō’s house eventually becomes a hotspot of paranormal activity.

It was unprecedented in the late ‘80s for a video game to expand on a film’s narrative in this way. Most games of the era were lucky if they could accurately communicate the main beats of the film they were adapting, let alone embellish the narrative. Fujiwara, on the other hand, knew games were capable of doing more than was expected of them, and this push to explore the limits of the gaming medium can be seen in every element of Sweet Home’s design.

Scared 8-bitless

Since Fujiwara’s game was based on a movie, developing its story was relatively easy. However, Fujiwara had few reference points when it came to designing Sweet Home’s gameplay. A few early PC titles had played around with horror themes, such as Nostromo and 3D Monster Maze, but games rarely delivered the kind of oppressive atmosphere Fujiwara wanted. In 2003, Fujiwara told the Japanese gaming magazine Continue he wanted Sweet Home’s gameplay to be an interesting mix of unconventional concepts and an attempt to do something the industry hadn’t seen before.

Many of Sweet Home’s gameplay concepts still sound fresh even by today’s standards. Players control five different heroes as they explore Ichirō’s mansion and participate in random turn-based RPG encounters. Unlike most RPGs, however, monsters didn’t drop money or items. Instead, Fujiwara thought it would be more interesting if players collected important story items in the world and then used those items to open up new areas – a gameplay system that would later become a staple of the survival horror genre.

Players could also group their heroes into teams of up to three, but that meant one team was always short by at least one member. Characters also had special items that gave them unique abilities. For example, one character had a lighter that could burn away ropes blocking corridors and doorways, while another character had a first-aid pack that could neutralize status ailments. The difficulty ramped up significantly if party members started to die thanks to a permadeath system. However, Sweet Home remembered those who sacrificed themselves for the greater good and delivered one of five different endings based on players’ actions throughout the game.

One of Sweet Home’s most impressive features was successfully selling the horror experience on Nintendo’s 8-bit console. As players explored the mansion, furniture would suddenly move to attack them, ghosts could be seen fluttering down the hall out of the corner of the screen, and distorted animal’s sounds would be heard echoing though the mansion’s blood-scrawled walls. Sweet Home’s graphics seem crude by today’s standards, but when players first got their hands on the game two-and-a-half decades ago, many of them were too scared to play in the dark. Fujiwara had accomplished his goal: No one had ever seen anything like Sweet Home before.

A Reign Of Terror

Sweet Home released in Japan in 1989 for Nintendo’s Famicom, and received generally favorable reviews. The film’s official trailer actually helped promote the game, and many reviewers thought the game was the better product.

Unfortunately, RPGs had an unproven track record in the U.S. at the time, and Nintendo of America’s stringent release guidelines showed preference for kid-friendly content, so Capcom decided against localizing the game for the NES in Western markets. Despite that decision, Sweet Home’s legacy would be felt worldwide.

Years later, after the release of Sony’s first PlayStation console, Fujiwara was still fond of his work on Sweet Home. Now a producer at Capcom, Fujiwara felt like it was time for the company to remake Sweet Home as a new franchise using updated console technology. He handed the project to a creative young director named Shinji Mikami.

Resident Evil – as it would come to be called – was groundbreaking for a lot of reasons and deserves its spot in gaming’s hall of fame. However, many of Resident Evil’s most iconic elements, including the mansion setting, multiple protagonists with specialized items, environmental puzzles, telling a story though scattered notes, item management with a limited inventory, and even the door loading screen are all on display in Sweet Home. Resident Evil – and the entire horror genre – owe a blood debt to this long-forgotten 8-bit game that had no right to be as good as it was.

This feature, covering the history of the game, would go on to inspire Resident Evil and originally appeared in Issue 282 of Game Informer.


Mario Party Superstars, N64 On Switch, Captain Dangerous | All Things Nintendo

On this week’s episode of All Things Nintendo, we have a surprising amount of topics to chat about. Host Brian Shea is joined by Ky Parker aka Captain Dangerous to talk about her work as a toy photographer and set builder, and what means to be a Nintendo Ambassador. They also chat about all the news coming from the world of Nintendo before Brian gives his review on this week’s big release: Mario Party Superstars.

If you’d like to follow the people from this episode on Twitter: Brian Shea (@brianpshea), Ky Parker (@CaptDangerous64)

The All Things Nintendo podcast is a weekly show where we can celebrate, discuss, and break down all the latest games, news, and announcements from the industry’s most recognizable name. Each week, Brian is joined by different guests to talk about what’s happening in the world of Nintendo. Along the way, they’ll share personal stories, uncover hidden gems in the eShop, and even look back on the classics we all grew up with. A new episode hits every Friday!

Be sure to subscribe to All Things Nintendo on your favorite podcast platform. The show is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Google Podcasts.

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:01:03 – Captain Dangerous Interview
00:27:10 – Advance Wars 1+2 ReBoot Camp Delayed
00:32:13 – Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition Release Date
00:35:11 – Death’s Door Coming to Switch
00:36:36 – Pokémon Legends: Arceus New Hisuian Forms
00:39:54 – Pikmin Bloom
00:45:25 – Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC
00:48:25 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
00:50:55 – N64 and Genesis Games on Switch
00:58:43 – Mario Party Superstars
01:18:20 – Definitive Ranking: Mario Party Minigames
01:27:58 – eShop Gem of the Week: Blasphemous

If you’d like to get in touch with the All Things Nintendo podcast, you can do so by emailing AllThingsNintendo@GameInformer.com, tweeting to Brian (@BrianPShea), or by joining the official Game Informer Discord server. You can do that by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the All Things Nintendo channel under “Community Spaces.”

For more Game Informer podcasts, be sure to check out The Game Informer Show, which covers the weekly happenings of the video game industry, and Video Gameography with host Ben Reeves, which explores the history of video games – one series at a time!


What’s Your Favorite Horror Game?

If there’s one thing we all have in common, it’s that we’re scared of something. If you’re saying right now, “I ain’t scared of anything,” well, come on, you know there’s that something that makes your spine shiver. For me, it’s death and suffocating spaces. Oh, and Michael Myers, too. Fortunately, there aren’t any games based on Halloween out there for me to play (although the famed slasher is a playable killer in the excellent asymmetrical multiplayer horror, Dead by Daylight). 

However, there’s plenty of games where you die. You can die in most games, though, but the ones that really emphasize those deaths are the ones that leave me shaking in my boots. Add a touch of claustrophobia to the formula and you’ve created my nightmare. My all-time favorite horror game is something some might not necessarily consider a game in that genre, but it spooks me nonetheless: BioShock

For starters, I’m claustrophobic and Rapture is perhaps the most claustrophobic in-game city ever made (you know, the whole completely underwater thing is quite suffocating). Then there’s the submechanophobia, which is the fear of mechanical objects underwater. I blame Disney World for this one – something about an animatronic moving underwater just freaks me out. Oh, and the Splicers are terrifying, too, of course. BioShock doesn’t scare me too much these days as I’ve played it probably near a dozen times, but if you haven’t yet played it, go in blind and enjoy. 

There are others that really get under my skin, too. The recent Resident Evil 2 Remake does the trick. Stuck in a terrifyingly hostile place? Check. Zombies that want to eat you? Check. Jump scares galore? Check. Extremely graphic deaths? Check. Large menace that stalks you constantly? Check. There’s this year’s Resident Evil Village, as well. I won’t spoil it here, but the House Beneviento segment in it is downright disturbing. Then there’s Outlast 2, which is perhaps the most disturbing and terrifying game I’ve ever played. I don’t go to church, but I felt like I needed to after finishing it. 

Some other horror highlights in my history include P.T., Resident Evil 7, Little Nightmares, Friday the 13th, the hospital in The Last of Us Part 2, and Condemned: Criminal Origins (a game I played way too young). 

What about you? What’s your favorite horror game? Are there any games you’re too scared to play? What are your favorite horror moments in otherwise non-horror games? Let us know in the comments below!


Top 10 Horror Games To Play Right Now

Horror games provide some of gaming’s most exhilarating experiences, and much like their silver screen counterparts, they aim to get you as close to experiencing death as possible without actually dying. In between the thrills and jumpscares, horror also lends itself well to character-focused storytelling that can often pull on one’s heartstrings (but not before bumping that heart rate up a bit first). While what makes something scary ranges from person to person, this list highlights some of the most terrifying recent games we’ve played. Here are ten great horror games, listed in no particular order, that you’ll have a spooky time getting lost in.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Pc

Resident Evil 2 Remake is a rare gaming feat in many ways. It successfully remakes the beloved classic of the same name, and it does so with some of the most visually stunning graphics in all of gaming. Plus, it’s straight-up terrifying. You play as either Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield while making your way through the zombie-ridden Raccoon City Police Department and other parts of the greater Raccoon City. As you might expect in a Resident Evil, there’s plenty of puzzles, scares, and of course, zombies. Easily one of the most terrifying entries in the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil 2 Remake is a master class in horror, blending together what solidified the series as a mainstay years ago with modern graphics and gameplay that have you squirming on the couch with clutched, sweaty hands. It boasts a lot of replayability, too, thanks to its various playable storylines and multi-character side content. Whether you’re new to the franchise or returning for a scare, Resident Evil 2 Remake is an excellent place to start. | Our Review

Resident Evil Village

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia

Resident Evil Village features much of what fans love about the series with a return to the very roots of horror: vampires, werewolves, gargoyles, and other monsters. As the name suggests, it takes place in a remote village in Europe cut off from the rest of the world, which makes it easy for nine-foot-tall beauty Lady Dimitrescu, hammer-wielding Heisenberg, and cursed ventriloquist doll Donna Beneviento to play with protagonist Ethan Winters like a toy. Ethan remains as bland a character as he was in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but his arc is given a shot in the arm thanks to a mysterious search for his missing daughter. Plus, Resident Evil Village is chock full of lore that long-time fans will surely eat up, although whether or not it’s lore they like will vary from player to player.  Resident Evil Village uniquely avoids the use of zombies, opting for classic horror antagonists like werewolves instead while still paying homage to all of the complex puzzles and survival-horror stress that popularized the series decades ago. | Our Review

Little Nightmares 2

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Stadia

Little Nightmares 2 might be the closest to a Tim Burton-made game as we’ll ever get if the famed Nightmare Before Christmas director were a game developer. From the moment it begins, Little Nightmares 2 immediately oozes the familiar ambiance and dread of a horror game. Add to it the world’s unsettling characters, as well as protagonist Mono, which resemble claymation more than anything else, and you’ll find Little Nightmares 2’s platforming some of the scariest in the genre. Its puzzles sit finely between being complex enough to be fun and simple enough not to be irritating, and while combat is easily the weakest aspect of Little Nightmares 2, it adds just enough variety to keep players on their toes. If words like “macabre,” “sinister,” “Tim Burton,” and “mysterious” characterize your favorite games, Little Nightmares 2 is sure to be a hit for you. If you haven’t yet played the first Little Nightmares either, it’s also great, and when played back-to-back, the series gives you an unnerving and stress-inducing romp through one of gaming’s most unique worlds. | Our Review

Until Dawn

PlayStation 4

Until Dawn is perhaps the best couch-multiplayer title on this list and best played in a living room with friends. It is a classic b-horror camp film translated to a video game where you take control of eight teens trying to survive an ill-fated night at a spooky mountain cabin. Unlike the games it’s clearly inspired by (looking at you, Resident Evil), there are no puzzles or survival-horror inventory management systems to be found in Until Dawn. Instead, your primary focus is exploring the spooky locale and the characters who inhabit it. Until Dawn’s main claim to fame is how it emphasizes your decisions in-game. The fate of each character is up to you and the choices you make. Will you make it out with everyone alive, or will you be the lone survivor? That’s up to you, how much your hands shake while holding a controller (antagonists can find you if your hands shake too much), and how great you are at completing quick-time events. Those QTE’s are probably Until Dawn’s weakest points, mostly in that one glance away from the screen could drastically change a character’s outcome. Still, its production values, scares, and fun b-movie characters will have you forgetting about that failed button press in no time. | Our Review


PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Linux

Remember Amnesia and how scary that was? Well, Frictional Games took all the horror and existentialist dread from that series and placed it in an underwater AI-driven network of laboratories, living spaces, reactors, and more. You play a run-of-the-mill man who awakens in a seemingly abandoned research facility deep in the ocean, unaware of how you got there and, perhaps more importantly, why you’re there to begin with. Overgrown pipes and rusted gears fill the hallways of this network of underwater structures someone called home, or at least, the office. Drawing heavily on classic horrors like Alien and The Abyss, Soma thrives on making you feel alone… until you’re not, and then a hulking malfunctioning robot is doing all it can to make you fish food. As if the literal horror of being stuck on the ocean floor in an abandoned facility overrun with murderous AI wasn’t scary enough, the game takes many twists and turns that feel at home in one of Albert Camus’ existentialist stories. What makes something living? What exactly is life? How does AI play a role in extending our lives or perhaps taking them over? These questions await you hundreds of meters beneath the ocean waves of Soma’s sea of dread and terrifying ambiance. | Our Review

Dead by Daylight

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Stadia, iOS

There aren’t many horror multiplayer games out there, but when Dead by Daylight exists, that’s okay because it happens to be a scary movie brought to life. Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical multiplayer game that sees a group of up to four survivors fight to stay alive by dodging an otherwise guaranteed death. That demise comes by way of the one player in control of the map’s killer. While the survivors fight to turn on generators, throw exit switches, and ultimately escape, the killer has one goal: slaughter the survivors first. It’s a ton of fun and perfect for online play with friends and family. When it launched, Dead by Daylight contained a modest amount of killers, but in the years since then, the killer roster has grown to 25, and that line-up is one of the main reasons Dead by Daylight is on this list. It doubles as an excellent way to keep things fresh and a love letter to horror. Its original killers are great, but Behaviour Interactive has added icons like Michael Myers, Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, Ghost Face, the Demogorgon, Pyramid Head, Elliot Spencer, Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, and more to take Dead By Daylight from a great game to check out to a must-play for fans of horror. | Our Review


PC, Android

If horror movies and television shows like Paranormal Activity and The Haunting of Hill House fit your fancy, then check out Phasmophobia. The pitch for Kinetic Games’ early access title (note: because it’s early access, you’ll almost certainly run into bugs, so keep that in mind when playing) is that you and up to three other players are paranormal investigators. Not unlike the ghost hunters seen in movies like Insidious or even Ghostbusters, you’re tasked with finding ghosts within a given location and what ensues is a slow burn toward the inevitable jump scare that will have all but one (the person who got scared) laughing a lot. Phasmophobia isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it’s a great game to play at night with friends. It doubles as a great game for people to watch, too, because who doesn’t love watching someone get scared? It’s also simple enough that anyone could jump in and experience the terror that is simply walking through a haunted house. Couple a round of Phasmophobia with a rewatch of Paranormal Activity, and you have yourself a terrifyingly great time.


PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Visage is an indie game about exploring what appears to be a haunted house. It oozes terror in mundane rooms like a kitchen or a laundry room, but it doesn’t take long for the game’s more psychological scares to reveal themselves. You’ll find yourself transported to cemeteries, psychiatric wards, abandoned supermarkets, and more, and it’s here that you’ll be tasked with solving puzzles as different characters, each experiencing their own thematic journey through a personal Hell. Not only are these character arcs terrifying, but they’re legitimately great stories, which can sometimes be rare in the horror genre. Because of this storytelling approach, players can experience a variety of different scares in the same setting. While Visage has some jank around the edges and a clunky inventory system, it’s worth seeing past those issues as it’s an exceptional option for horror fans  | Our Review


PC, Mac

Devotion is one of the most terrifying games on this list. It’s also the most controversial, having been pulled from online storefronts as a result of an in-game joke criticizing China’s president. While it’s still not available on most storefronts, it can be purchased on Red Candle Games’ official website. Devotion unfolds in a small apartment in 1980s Taiwan, using the otherwise mundane setting to tell the story of a family torn apart by marriage and career problems, and the struggles of raising a chronically sick child. Its gameplay is simple enough that anyone interested can give it a go – you’ll be collecting clues and items to solve puzzles – but the game uses its simplicity to keep the focus on the reason you’re playing Devotion: the horror. Devotion uses psychological scares to keep players on their feet, making them question if that hallway looked like that earlier or if you’re just losing your grasp on reality. Red Candle Games’ excellent sound design elevates the already fantastic horror experience to a new level, too, as every creak in the floor or whine from the window hinge will have you shaking in your seat. Devotion is downright scary, but it’s also a fantastic exploration into the family at the heart of this story. How does trauma breed new traumas? How does stress color the daily activities of life? These questions and more are answered as you barrel toward the game’s ending that successfully finishes before it can lose steam, a rarity in the genre. Simply put, if horror is your thing, play Devotion. | Our Review


PlayStation 5

When you ask someone what their favorite classic horror movie is, there’s a good chance it’s either The Exorcist or something like it, or Alien. If the latter is your answer, Returnal is a game for you. While it probably wouldn’t be described as horror first and foremost – its action-heavy third-person shooter gameplay sits front and center – a couple of hours with it reveals that it’s deeply rooted in the sci-fi horror that makes Alien scary over 40 years later. Returnal is about an astronaut stuck in a time loop. She crashed into an alien planet with nothing but a pistol on her person, and she must fight through hordes of hostile alien creatures and bosses to progress further and further. If you die, the loop begins all over, with little if any items carrying over from your previous run. Your one goal is to figure out what’s happening, and you do that by inching further and further toward the game’s thought-provoking ending. Returnal’s gameplay is excellent, but the horrors of the alien planet, the exotic yet dreadful atmosphere, and the mysteries contained within a reappearing and deceptively mundane house will keep you saying, “just one more try.” Don’t expect jump scares, demons, ghosts, or straightforward storytelling, but much in the same way that Alien thrives on keeping Ripley as close to death as possible at virtually all times, Returnal stresses how lucky you are to be alive, with just a pinch of health left, after every encounter. | Our Review

What games on this list do you enjoy? What games would you add that aren’t currently listed? Let us know in the comments below and if you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other recent genre lists: 

https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/10/08/top-10-action-games-to-play-rig…; target=”_blank”>Top 10 Action Games To Play Right Now

https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/10/06/top-10-metroidvanias-to-play-ri…; target=”_blank”>Top 10 Metroidvanias To Play Right Now


Fall For Indies: Darkest Dungeon 2 And October’s Spookiest Titles

Neighborhoods are starting a transformation from ordinary dwelling spaces to fright fests as we draw closer to Halloween. Lawns are filling up with the decorative deceased and – unfortunately for people who rightfully fear spiders – oversized arachnids. And it seems like indies can’t resist the lure of the upcoming spine-chilling holiday either. A noticeable chunk of indies coming out the next few weeks have a particularly frightening slant to them. However, the news might be even more ghastly, as one of October’s most anticipated releases recently fell victim to a delay.

A Trick and A Treat

Even the indie space has its juggernaut projects, and the end of October was looking ripe for a massive harvest. But current events have mirrored the season’s candy-gathering traditions, offering players a trick and treat.

Solar Ash

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Let’s start with the trick; Solar Ash – the second game from Heart Machine, the studio that made Hyper Light Drifter – has been delayed. Originally set to launch in the last week of October, fans will now have to wait a little more to play it. But don’t despair; the game still technically has a fall launch date. Solar Ash is coming to PlayStation platforms and PC December 2.

Darkest Dungeon 2


Get ready to savor the sweet, sweet treat that is Darkest Dungeon 2 because it entered Epic’s Early Access on October 26. The sequel continues the Lovecraftian horror narrative with similar combat and a well-known host of adventurers, but it plans on spicing things up with some changes. These include a new character called the Runaway, which you can read more about here.

It’s Spooky How Many Games We Need To Play

RIP our free time because there are just too many good indies to check out. Last month’s hits are still calling our name, but that’s only half the reason to feel unsettled. Late October holds a score of scary-looking titles to get you into the Halloween spirit.

Into the Pit

Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Into the Pit got an awesome reveal at this year’s Xbox Gamescom showcase, and the retro-looking roguelite just recently launched. When your cousin finds an ominous hole in the ground, there’s no thought to turning away or try to cover it up. No. You both belong to a family of mystics and can’t pass up the occult opportunities. This magic-infused, first-person title is coming to Xbox Game Pass and looks like it is ready to celebrate Halloween.



Undying is a little on the nose for the spooky season, but we won’t hold that against the game. This intriguing adventure title follows a mother who, in a world infested by the undead, has been bitten by a zombie. With scant time left, she must prepare her young son to survive in the world without her. Coming to Steam Early Access October 19, Undying will task you with teaching him how to fight the hungering horde before joining the zombies’ ranks yourself.


Switch, PC

Don’t leave your mouth ajar when you see this game’s delightfully creepy, hand-drawn art style. Hitting on October 20, Jars is a mix between a strategy, puzzle, and tower defense game. The objective? To break as many fragile containers as you can find down in the basement. But you are not out to simply be destructive; no, destroying these jars ties into saving the world.



Read the stars and decide the fate of many in this story-driven title. Luckily, you’ll be playing as a Soothsayer, so you’ll already have some idea how to interpret those tricky celestial bodies. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for error, so be sure to think hard about your pronunciations. You can check out the announcement trailer here to decide if you should pick Grotto up when it releases October 20.

Gravewood High


On October 20, Gravewood High is entering Steam Early Access. And, let’s be honest, high school is hard enough without the looming threat of mysteriously disappearing, but the students at the curiously named school just can’t catch a break. Especially since the building seems to have transformed into a dangerous maze and a terrifying teacher is on the hunt for you.

Echo Generation

Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

It’s time to grab your crew and patrol the neighborhood for aliens because Echo Generation is launching on PC and Xbox Game Pass October 21. The release date trailer recently gave us a little more to look at in this beautiful, voxel-art game with some serious nostalgic vibes. If you are interested in playing a Stranger Things-like, turn-based RPG, Echo Generation might be for you.


PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Slated to release October 21, Evertried is a tactical roguelike all about getting up a tower in the afterlife. The isometric view and pixel graphics meld together with the game’s turn-based combat, creating an experience that looks both challenging and easy on the eyes. Can you reach the top?  



With its colorful palette and unique style, this point-and-click adventure follows a robot on a mission to protect her space station from an encroaching danger. The team uses the term biopunk to describe the game’s aesthetic mix of the robotic and organic. Growbot will be blasting off on October 21, and the title will give you the chance to fend off the crystalline danger while exploring a vibrant alien world.

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is a top-down meets side-scrolling puzzle game with a curious premise. You switch between two protagonists who are out to solve a mysterious disappearance. The twist? One is a young girl and the other is her teddy bear. But don’t be fooled by the cute-sounding leads – the game has a dark tone and takes inspiration from Tim Burton, Jules Verne, and Conan Doyle. Tandem: A Tale of Shadows comes out October 21.

Subway Midnight


Aggro Crab Games, the developer behind the wonderful roguelite Going Under, is publishing its first game. Developed by Bubby Darkstar, Subway Midnight’s cuteness makes it feel all that more frightening. The bizarre action will take place on a train full of ghosts. As you move from one car to the next, you’ll attempt to help them come to terms with their past lives. However, someone is after you, so you’d better go quickly unless you’d like to join the dead when this game comes out October 28. 

Campfire Tales


Who’s ready to tell scary stories around the campfire? Launching on October 28, the developer’s description for this game builds a unique narrative. It reads: “DO NOT PLAY! This 8bit game is a port from a mystery source…This casual, linear, interactive story game centers around a campfire with old friends telling… tales.” So, pick up Campfire Tales at your peril.

Are these unnerving titles not for you? You can find more releases in our previous Fall For Indies lists; just click on the goose. 


Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water | Replay

Mount Hikami isn’t ready for the Replay crew. Today, the Game Informer team dons costumes in Halloween fervor as they explore the terrifying secrets of. Will this Replay turn into a full-fledged Super Replay? Anything is possible, so come join us and let us know if you want to see the entire game’s playthrough as we go live on Twitch at 2 PM CST.

Click here to watch embedded media

The Fatal Frame games task players with battling ghosts by taking photos, meaning you need to zoom in and get close to the ghouls and ghasts, facing down your fears. Can the Game Informer crew master the abilities of the Camera Obscura and survive?

There’s only one way to find out, so join us as the action happens. One of the earlier Fatal Frame games, Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly, is a horror classic. Will Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water live up to the franchise’s legacy? Well, probably not, as the game originally launched on the Wii U ages and ages ago to rather divisive reception, but this remaster might make for some harrowing Halloween festivities all the same.



Free Burritos May Have Knocked Roblox Offline

Click here to watch embedded media

Who doesn’t want a free Burrito from Chipotle? This tasty opportunity is currently being offered in Roblox through a limited Halloween-themed experience called the Chipotle Boorito Maze. On each day from October 8-31, the first 30,000 people who make it through the maze to the Chipotle restaurant will win a free (and real) burrito.

We don’t know why Roblox is currently down, but the timing of it going offline for most players lines up with this promotion, leading us to believe a wave of players may be overloading the servers or there may be some problem with this new offering.

After going offline last night, Roblox is now working on recovery efforts, stating that some users are starting to have limited access to the game again. We’re hoping it comes back online soon so we can all see this wild promotion with our own eyes. It reminds us of Burger King’s silly Sneak King game that was sold by the chain. Roblox players can apparently dress up in a Chipotle-themed costume and are asked to track down ingredients in the maze, all while dodging monsters, too.

Have you earned your free boo-rito yet? Let us know in the comments below!


Krafton, The Company Behind PUBG, Acquires Subnautica Developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Krafton, Inc., has announced that it is going to acquire Unknown Worlds Entertainment, the developer behind Subnautica. 

This news comes by way of a press release on Krafton’s site, which reveals that it decided today that it is going to acquire Unknown Worlds. Krafton says this acquisition continues the company’s strategy of expanding and securing top-tier talent under its umbrella of studios. 

Click here to watch embedded media

“This latest decision continues Krafton’s expansion strategy of securing and investing in top-tier talent that aspires to evolve, innovate, and create new experiences,” the press release reads. “Unknown Worlds becomes Krafton’s sixth independent studio, joining a stable of other seasoned developers that include PUBG Studios, Striking Distance Studios, Bluehole Studio, RisingWings, and Dreamotion.”

As noted above, Krafton is the company behind Striking Distance Studios, which is developing The Callisto Protocol, the sci-fi horror game developed by Dead Space co-creator Glen Schofield set in the PUBG universe. Now, Krafton has another horror (look, trying to survive underwater in Subnautica is scary) developer under its umbrella in Unknown Worlds. 

“It was immediately apparent how closely Unknown Worlds and Krafton are aligned in the way we think about games and game development,” Unknown Worlds CEO Charlie Cleveland says in the press release. “Subnautica and PUBG both started humbly and evolved successfully through constant iteration and feedback. We want to bring new games to the world stage – and with Krafton, we’re a big step closer. We’re truly looking forward to our future together.” 

Click here to watch embedded media

Krafton says Unknown Worlds will continue to work as an independent studio, despite the acquisition, as it wants the studio’s structure and leadership to remain in place so that it can retain its “unique creative identity.” The press release also reveals that Unknown Worlds is “currently working on a new genre-defining game, which is slated to launch into early access in 2022.” 

No other details about this game now in development were revealed, but with it launching into early access next year, it seems it will follow the route of Subnautica: Below Zero. While waiting to see what that game is, check out our thoughts on Subnautica in Game Informer’s Subnautica review and then read our thoughts on its frozen sequel in Game Informer’s Subnautica: Below Zero review.

Do you want to see a Subnautica battle royale? Let us know in the comments below!


Knockout City Gets Free New-Gen Enhancements Next Week

Knockout City, EA’s wacky multiplayer dodgeball game, ranks among 2021’s most pleasant surprises. The game is a riot and will join November’s batch of PlayStation Plus games after already appearing on Xbox Game Pass. If you’ve enjoyed lobbing exploding balls into the faces of friends or strangers on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S, your matches are about to look and feel even better. 

On November 2, new-gen enhancements will hit the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of Knockout City free of charge. Players who obtained the game through Game Pass or PS Plus are eligible for the upgrade as well. What are you getting? Here’s the full breakdown below:   

  • PlayStation 5: Native 4K at 60FPS or 1440p (upscaled to 4K) at 120FPS
  • Xbox Series X: Native 4K at 60FPS or 1620p (upscaled to 4K) at 120FPS
  • Xbox Series S: 1440p at 60FPS or 1080p at 120FPS

Options for Performance and Quality modes will appear in the main menu. Developer Velen Studios has also improved Knockout City’s overall lighting and added effects such as ball lights. High-fidelity textures arrive across the board after only being present in the Series X and PC versions of the game, too. You can read more about the enhancements at the Knockout City website

If you’re curious about Knockout City, be sure to check out our review to find out why we scored it an 8.5 out of 10 right here. You can also check out this opinion piece on why there should be more dodgeball video games in general.


New Witcher Season 2 Trailer Teases The Coming War

Netflix has released a new trailer for the upcoming second season of The Witcher and as you might expect following the end of the first season, it teases the coming war. 

That war will see Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia aka The Witcher, Freya Allan’s Ciri, Anya Chalotra’s Yennefer, and more weaving their way through it, too, all while fighting monsters and magic, of course. As the trailer notes, “something has changed” and the world is acting strange – there’s a war, monsters roam freely when they should be hibernating, and for everyone that isn’t Geralt, it seems like the end of days. For Geralt, though, it’s just “horses**t,” as he’s already lived through “three supposed end of days.” 

Click here to watch embedded media

If one thing is clear from the trailer, it’s that there is a war coming, and as Geralt points out in it, it’s because The Continent belongs to nobody (despite basically everybody trying to make it theirs.) Monster by Kanye West featuring Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver plays over the entire thing, too, and now we want to hear Jaskier’s rendition of the song. 

And speaking of Jaskier, everyone’s favorite bard is back with Geralt. It seems Geralt had to pay his bail or bust him out of jail, but nonetheless, the Witcher needs him. We’ll all find out why when Season 2 of The Witcher drops on Netflix on December 17. 

While waiting for that, check out this Witcher Season 2 trailer released over the summer that teases a hardened journey for salvation, and then read about CD Projekt Red’s Witcher 3 is getting DLC inspired by the Netflix series after that.

Are you excited for Season 2 of The Witcher? Let us know in the comments below!


Halo Infinite: 343 Industries Used Halo 3 Character And Enemy Designs For Inspiration

343 Industries has revealed in a new Inside Infinite blog post that it relied on character and enemy designs from the Halo 3/Halo: Reach era of the franchise for inspiration. 

Microsoft and 343 Industries have been pretty open about their desire for Infinite to harken back to the days of classic Halo. It’s set on a single Halo ring – Zeta Halo – much in the same way Halo: Combat Evolved was set on a ring, and the designs retain the more streamlined look of Bungie’s Halo games. Now, we know it’s because Halo 3 and Halo: Reach were the inspiration. 

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



“The spiritual reboot actually made it easier for us to incorporate some more legacy designs into the characters,” Halo Infinite character and combat director Steve Dyck writes in the blog post. “One of the best examples of this is the Elites, Grunts, and Jackal who all have a much more ‘legacy’ design to them than we had in Halo 4 or 5. In terms of which part of the legacy we looked to for inspiration, we settled most around the Halo 3/Halo: Reach timeframe and then incorporated the Banished aesthetic where it made sense along with the Halo Infinite art direction.” 

Halo Infinite’s campaign character art lead, Bryan Repka, added that 343 Industries knew early on that it wanted to “spiritually reboot” Halo’s characters, and doing so meant taking a look at every single character in the franchise. As a result, “every character in Infinite was redesigned in some way,” Repka said. 

“Like [Steve Dyck] mentioned, we really relied on the designs of the past,” Repka continued. “We wanted to get back to the legacy designs that made Halo characters iconic, but we didn’t just want to just up-res them. We wanted to add our own flair while staying true to the 20 years of history.” 

Click here to watch embedded media

Repka used Elites as an example – they were bigger and bulkier in Halo 4 and 5 compared to Elites of older Halo games and Repka said 343 Industries “ended up scaling them down and giving them a more sleek look” so that they looked “fast, agile, and intelligent.” The idea was that Elites would once again contrast heavily against the bigger and more hulking Brutes featured in Infinite. 

For more about the character and enemy designs in Halo Infinite, be sure to check out the full Inside Infinite blog post. Read about Craig the Brute’s new glow-up after that and then check out Game Informer’s breakdown of everything we know about Halo Infinite so far.

Do you like the new designs? Let us know in the comments below!


343 Industries Releases New Look At Glow-Up Of The Year Winner Craig The Brute

When Microsoft and 343 Industries revealed the first-ever Halo Infinite campaign gameplay last year, it was met with a lot of criticism, and Craig the Brute was at the center of it all.

Craig, at the time, was just a standard brute. The poor guy showed up to work that day thinking he’d just be standing around, guarding an outpost, just like every day before. Craig was earning money to put food on the table for his family, and then one fateful day, Spartan 117, aka Master Chief, came knocking, and the brute had to get absolutely wrecked by him. As if that’s not a tough enough workday, Craig became the central point of criticism regarding that gameplay showcase: people thought he didn’t look great. 

Well, look who’s laughing now: Glow-Up of the Year winner Craig the Brute. 

As you can see in the screenshot above, Craig is looking great. He ditched the shaved head look in favor of a lil mini mohawk, and he even grew out a goatee. As indicated by his new face paint and armor, Craig’s received a promotion too – as he should have after seemingly surviving a fight against Master Chief. Look, are we still going to absolutely wreck Craig’s entire day when Halo Infinite comes out on December 8? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy for Craig and his glow-up. 

The latest Inside Infinite blog post released today features an entire section dedicated to this glow-up, too, and it turns out 343 Industries has a love-hate relationship with Craig. 

“The team has a sort of love-hate relationship with Craig,” Halo Infinite character and combat director Steve Dyck says in the blog post when asked about Craig. “While it was fun to see the community gravitate towards Craig, he unfortunately represented some content and systems that were not ready for prime time in that demo. The positive outcome of Craig was that he was one of the factors in gaining some more time to finish work and get Brutes to a place where the team is happy with them.” 

To coincide with this Halo Infinite update, Xbox made a tweet to help ring in Craig’s new look, and it’s a very good one: 

For a more detailed breakdown of Halo Infinite character and enemy designs, be sure to check out the full Inside Infinite blog post. Read about everything shown in the new Halo Infinite campaign showcase from earlier this week after that, and then check out our breakdown of everything we know about Halo Infinite

What do you think of Craig the Brute’s glow-up? Let us know in the comments below!


Darkest Dungeon 2, Shin Megami Tensei V, and Guardians of the Galaxy | GI Show

darkest dungeon 2

We’re back with another exciting episode of The Game Informer Show! In a game-heavy episode, we’re talking about our impressions of Darkest Dungeon 2, Shin Megami Tensei V, and our review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy! On top of that, we also quickly discuss the highlights from Sony’s latest State of Play, and end the show with a buck-wild entry of community questions.

Follow the crew on Twitter: Alex Stadnik (@Studnik76), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Andrew Reiner (@Andrew_Reiner), Kimberley Wallace (@kstar1785), and Dan Tack (@dantack)

The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join hosts Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken every Thursday to chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from all around the industry. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.

Check out the timestamps below to jump to a particular point in the discussion:

00:00:00 – Introduction

00:02:38 – Sony State of Play Highlights

00:26:28 – Darkest Dungeon 2 Impressions

00:41:24 – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Review

00:53:49 – Shin Megami Tensei V

01:12:30 – Ad Break

01:14:00 – Housekeeping

01:18:14 – Listener Emails

Topic Of The Show:

Darkest Dungeon 2 Impressions

Darkest Dungeon 2 is out and early access, and it’s making waves here at Game Informer. Join Dan Tack as he breaks down his time with developer Red Hook Studios’ ambitious sequel to the 2015 grotesque indie gem. We talk about the highs and lows of the experience thus far and chat about why fans should give the game a try even if they usually don’t play titles in early access.

Watch our Darkest Dungeon 2 New Gameplay Today here.

The Playlist:

Game Informer staff discuss the games they’re playing.

Join us for another huge segment of The Playlist! Reiner kicks things off for us by expanding on his review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and let’s us know why Eidos Montreal’s new superhero action title is one of the year’s biggest surprises. Next up Kim “Kstar” Wallace goes into her early impressions of Shin Megami Tensei V and lets us know whether or not fans are going to like the latest series entry from Atlus! Finally, Alex Van Aken is handing in some late homework and lets us know how he’s been enjoying playing catch up with Back 4 Blood and Psychonauts 2.

Read our Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy review here.

Listener Questions:

The Game Informer crew answers your burning questions.

This week’s selection of listener questions goes entirely off the rails, as the crew discusses what classes they’d be if the GI team were in an RPG, what games we’d give out for Haloween, and what three gaming wishes we have.

Read their questions below, or submit your own via the Official Game Informer Community Discord or by emailing us at Podcast@GameInformer.com:

Hello everyone at Game Informer. First of all, thanks for always giving me a podcast to listen to. So many of a certain age remember the game genie, right? Well, let’s say you’re cleaning one and find an old one. When you dust it off, an actual genie pops out. It tells you “I am the mighty gaming genie! I can grant any three gaming wishes,” so if you had any three gaming wishes, what would they be and why? #bigmanswag – Mike Boyle (Email)

 If GI was an RPG, what kind of character would you be? Class/stats/specials/tropes etc. Dan Tack we already know is canonically a mage, but what else we got? – Crayter (discord)

If you had enough money to hand out game codes for Halloween, what game would you choose to give out? – BiscuitsWithDavey (Discord)

For more Game Informer podcasts, be sure to check out https://www.gameinformer.com/podcast/2021/10/12/introducing-video-gameo…; delay=”150″ href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/podcast/2021/10/12/introducing-video-gameo…; rel=”noopener noreferrer” tabindex=”-1″ target=”_blank”>Video Gameography, our video game history podcast, and https://www.gameinformer.com/podcast/2021/10/06/introducing-all-things-…; delay=”150″ href=”https://www.gameinformer.com/podcast/2021/10/06/introducing-all-things-…; rel=”noopener noreferrer” tabindex=”-1″ target=”_blank”>All Things Nintendo with host Brian Shea which deep dives into Nintendo’s library of games every week.


Call Of Duty Warzone: New Pacific Map Will Go Live A Month After The Launch Of Vanguard

We already knew Season 6 of Call of Duty: Warzone would be the last for Verdansk, which is the current map in rotation for the popular battle royale. Now we know when we’ll be officially saying goodbye: December 1. 

That’s because the new Pacific-themed map, officially known as Caldera, will launch on December 2. However, anyone that owns Call of Duty: Vanguard, which releases November 5, before the launch of Season 1 on December 2, will get 24 hours of early access to the new Warzone map. Verdansk will be no more on December 1, but those who didn’t purchase Vanguard and want to play Warzone specifically on that day will still be able to – they’ll just be launched into Rebirth Island, rather than Caldera. 

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



Activision Blizzard has detailed what you can expect to find on Caldera when it hits Warzone for everyone on December 2. 

“Lush forests and rocky crags. White sand beaches and mysterious ruins. A dormant volcano that towers over the 200-plus points of interest,” a Call of Duty blog post reads. “A map roughly the size of Verdansk, which it will replace as part of the [Season 1] update, this new map is based on two years of research and listening to the community.” 

The map is “visually appealing” and ready to support Vanguard’s armaments. Plus, it will support fully-optimized cross-play, cross-progression, and cross-gen support. Following the debut of Caldera, the game will be known as Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific, or Warzone Pacific, according to the blog post. 

Activision Blizzard says your progression from Verdansk will carry over as well, including operators, calling cards, weapons, and more. 

If you’re sad about saying goodbye to Verdansk, don’t fret: everyone will get a proper goodbye to the map. Described as an encore for it, Operation: Flashback will go live on November 18 and last through December 1. 

“The city and its surrounding area hosted over 100 million players for the past 18 months, and plenty has changed since March 10, 2020,” the post reads. “From blasting back to the year 1984 to hosting ‘80s Action Heroes and Hauntings, Verdansk proved to be the place to drop in again and again. To celebrate – and bring back – these classic moments and many more, lead developer Raven Software created a special ‘Operation: Flashback’ limited-time mode, featuring plenty of surprises that cover Verdansk’s action-packed history.” 

Two unique rewards will be up for grabs in Operation: Flashback, too: an emblem and an animated Calling Card that can be earned by those who claim a win during the operation.

For more about Warzone Pacific, the first Season of Vanguard, and so much more, head to the Call of Duty blog post further detailing everything you can expect and then read about how new streaming tech will allow Vanguard to be up to 50% smaller than previous Call of Duty releases. Check out Game Informer’s impressions of the Vanguard multiplayer after that. 

Are you excited about Caldera? Let us know in the comments below!


Darkest Dungeon 2 Enemies: The Profanity Count Leaders So Far

Darkest Dungeon has always been a game that could inspire some of our most colorful language with challenging enemies and creatively devious encounters. Its sequel was recently released in Early Access and is carrying that torch forward. Though the game has not been out long, we’ve already run across several enemies that have made our blood boil, muscles tense, and obscenities fly from our mouths – which makes defeating them all the sweeter. Here are the top contenders on this dubious, profanity-laden leaderboard so far.


The Foetor

There’s something about this smug SOB’s demeanor that is just designed to get under the skin. Like most of The Foetor’s inhabitants, the Lord is swollen with tumors, and the ones that have teeth (yes, some tumors have their own little horrific mouths), laugh alongside the grotesque figure when he mocks you with his haughty, dismissive chuckle. Shutting him up is a real pleasure.


The Sprawl

This innocuous-seeming figure hardly seems worthy of your attention at first glance. The Sacrificial is small, thin, and hunched over. However, if you ignore this creature long enough, it slowly makes its way to the front of the combat line, carrying a large, lit brazier on its back. In Darkest Dungeon, nothing good happens if any enemy, rather than attacking, slowly makes its way towards you. In this case, failing to stop this creature in time ends with a bang.



A cosmic, tendrilled nightmare, the Shambler is not an opponent found on most battlefields. However, if it does come after you, you could find yourself transported to an unearthly realm watched over by the monstrosity’s numerous eyes. It shuffles fighters up in the ranks, which is always infuriating, and also continues to spawn hostile tentacles until you defeat it.

Dreaming General & Tap Root

The Tangle

Found in this area’s lair, aptly named The General’s Keep, are the Dreaming General and insidious Tap Root. You can only reach this mini-boss battle after defeating two other waves of foes, so you come to the battle weak. On top of that, this swear-inducing combo is capable of keeping your fighters completely tied up with its roots, slowly strangling the chance of success.

The Harvest Child

The Foetor

The Harvest Child is the lair boss for the Foetor. It’s a grotesque assortment of tentacles with a baby’s head placed in one big, disgusting cornucopia. Its attacks are even less attractive, as the Harvest Child can make your heroes forget everything except their desire to chow down on the surrounding rotting meat. This, of course, damages them and could lead to death. The worst part is the game forces the player to ring the dinner bell.

Hoping to see some of these bodies in action? Check out https://www.gameinformer.com/livestream/2021/10/25/darkest-dungeon-ii-g…; target=”_blank”>our Darkest Dungeon 2 stream here. For those of you who have braved the journey already, shout out your favorite enemies in the comments below.


I Want To Like Riders Republic, But Can’t Get Past Everything I Hate

Riders Republic

We were not given early access to review Riders Republic, Ubisoft’s new open-world action sports game. So, while you wait for our full review, here are some thoughts on the game after nearly a dozen hours. We hope to release a formal review sometime next week. 

I think the best way to describe Riders Republic is to tell you about its soundtrack. Specifically, two songs prominently featured and played ad nauseam over almost every single race and objective. 

The first song is “All I Want” off The Offspring’s 1997 album Ixnay on the Hombre. If the name doesn’t immediately ring a bell, it’s perhaps best known as the song in Crazy Taxi. You know, the “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” song. That one. 

The second is a cover of Coolio’s landmark 1996 song “Gangsta’s Paradise,” softly performed by Les Ukulélés Girls, featuring the artist Zita. Replacing the original’s bass and drums of the original, and the almost icy and cold keyboard lead that rests over them, is the light strumming of a ukulele as a woman creates her own melodies, assuring you that she is, in fact, “a loc’d out gangsta, set trippin’ banger.” Actually, before we continue, I think you need to hear this one yourself. It is truly one of the worst things I have ever heard in my entire life. 

Click here to watch embedded media

I bring these two songs up because I think they fully encapsulate everything wrong with Riders Republic. “All I Want” is iconic for a reason. Its inclusion in Crazy Taxi for the Dreamcast came at a pivotal time for open-world game design. Though we largely see the Sega Dreamcast as a failure these days, Sega’s console was full of fascinating and unique games. Yes, they were commercial products released by a giant company, but games like Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi spoke to an entirely new audience of teenagers and young adults because they were made by people who understood and lived in that youth culture themselves. The inclusion of a song like “All I Want” in Crazy Taxi was iconic because it spoke to the audience of the time. It was cool and unique for a band like The Offspring to show up in a video game, especially one like Crazy Taxi.

I don’t want to speak out of turn, but I think “Gangsta’s Paradise” has a similar position within pop culture. It speaks to a specific time and place in Coolio’s life and is meant to resonate with people who relate to its lyrics. Distilling the emotion of that original song to a poorly sung and butchered ukulele cover destroys what makes the original special in the first place. 

As does taking a song popularized by another game, Crazy Taxi, and putting it in your big-budget action sports title. It doesn’t take a genius to see what Ubisoft’s doing – trying to cash in on specific and important cultural milestones in its own commodified way. Mind you, there are four songs by The Offspring in this game. Four. In 2021. On top of two songs from Green Day’s most recent album, Father of All… You know, that Green Day album everyone knows and loves. 

Who, exactly, is this game for? 

riders republic preview

Riders Republic is desperate to make you think it’s cool. At all times. It constantly throws slang at you that no one outside of Ubisoft’s writers’ room has said in the last 20 years. Constant banter about breaking out “a whole new level of steeze,” whatever the hell that means, all said without a shred of self-awareness or irony. Repeated over and over in unskippable dialogue prompts that play every time you scroll over a certain part of the game’s map or while out traversing the world. It wasn’t cool the first time; it’s unbearably insufferable the 12th time. I fear what I may do when I finally hear it for the 100th time. 

This is the same problem with the game’s soundtrack. The bulk of this game is racing, and every time you load into one, there is, by my estimation, an 80-percent chance one of the songs by The Offspring or that Coolio cover will play. There is an in-game radio with different genres and stations, but once you enter a big race, the game has a predetermined soundtrack. Play a dozen races and there’s a really good chance you’re going to listen to the same three songs a dozen times. One time, while working my way through a race, “All I Want” played twice in a row. I considered throwing my PlayStation 5 off a cliff. 

What bothers me so much about Riders Republic is that underneath its insincere attempt at being cool and edgy is a fantastic racing game. Riders Republic’s massive open world, based on a large handful of the United States’ actual parks – such as Mammoth and Yosemite – is fantastic, massive, and ever-changing. Blistering down a snowy mountain on my snowboard before launching off a ramp, high into the air, changing into my wingsuit, which I use to glide back down to earth, switching to my mountain bike at the very last second to finish my journey back down to sea level, is constantly exhilarating – especially if you play in first-person, which makes everything feel faster than humanly possible. 

The races are all fun – music notwithstanding. Barreling down a course against up to 63 other players, as you bash against your opponents, trying desperately to outmaneuver them and not ride off the side of a sheer cliff wall is hilarious, challenging, and invigorating

Testing my skills with various sports is a standout. Multi-sport races force you to switch from bikes to wingsuits, skis, and more, whether you’re ready or not. This is a great way to test players, to make them use all of Riders Republic’s mechanics. And when you’re able to pull off a complex, lengthy race it rewards you with an immense sense of satisfaction. 

Engaging with Riders Republic’s good parts means also engaging with heaps of things that I find insufferable. And that’s really unfortunate. Because the things I like in Riders Republic, I really like. Hell, I love them. But the things I hate get under my skin in a way few games do. I really want to like this game, but this game seems hellbent on not letting that happen. 

To be fair, at this point, most action sports have been commercialized and corporatized beyond the point of recognition. But still, forcing myself to play hour after hour of Riders Republic, I can’t get over how gross the whole thing feels. The racing is great, but everything else feels like the developers took a look at a world they didn’t care enough to actually understand and then tried to replicate it without any knowledge of how to relate to its ostensible audience or the people they were imitating in the first place. It’s a culture vulture in video game form. The writing and the music are all examples of the various ways Riders Republic just doesn’t get it.

Riders Republic wants you to think it’s cool, that it knows what’s cool and that it’s going to give you a crash course on how to be cool. But I think even the lamest person on Earth would see through its veneer. Common sense should dictate that a collection of The Offspring’s songs in 2021 is not, “a whole new level of steeze.” Neither are all the actual sponsorships in the game from companies like Ford. Absolutely nothing is more punk rock than an F150, right? The atmosphere is obnoxious and vapid. I don’t know if fun racing mechanics can fix that. 


November PS Plus Lineup Includes Knockout City And Kingdoms Of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

PlayStation has announced the PlayStation Plus lineup for November and it’s one of the largest free games offerings for the service yet. 

Six titles are up for grabs this month, three of which are exclusive to VR. Knockout City, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, and First Class Trouble are your “standard” games this month. The Persistence, The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners, and Until You Fall are what you can expect on PSVR. All of these will be available to add to your library on November 2. 

Knockout City was released just this year and it’s coming to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 for free as part of the PS Plus lineup next month. It’s an online multiplayer game where you play dodgeball across multiple maps while using a variety of abilities and powerups to stay alive and take your opponents out. Check out Game Informer’s Knockout City review to find out why we gave it an 8.5 out of 10. 

Click here to watch embedded media

First Class Trouble will be coming PS5 and PS4 as part of the PS Plus lineup as well. Described as a social deduction party game, this six-player mystery will assign four players to be Residents aboard a luxury space cruiser tasked with stopping a rogue A.I. protected by the Personoids, who will be played by the other two players. They’ll need to deceive the other four players to keep the A.I. alive at all costs. Check out Game Informer’s coverage of First Class Trouble for more information. 

Click here to watch embedded media

The last non-VR title coming in the November PS Plus lineup is Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. This remaster of the 2012 now-cult-classic title that goes by (basically) the same name is just a PS4 game, although PS5 players will be able to play it via backward compatibility. With a story written by R.A. Salvatore and Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, and gameplay designed in part by former Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lead designer, Ken Rolston, Kingdoms of Amalur mixes fast-paced third-person action combat with the deep RPG systems you’ve come to expect in the fantasy genre. Check out Game Informer’s review of the original, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, to find out why we gave it an 8 out of 10 back in 2012. 

Click here to watch embedded media

On the PSVR side of things, you’re getting The Persistence. This horror game pits you against a doomed deep space colony starship overrun by mutated crew members who want to kill you. You must survive all that the now-murderous ship has to offer as you move deeper and deeper through its ranks to (hopefully) repair it so you can escape. Read up on Game Informer’s coverage of The Persistence for more information about the sci-fi horror roguelite. 

Click here to watch embedded media

The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners is set in the same universe as the Walking Dead, you must fight through the walker-infested ruins of what used to be New Orleans. You must take out dangerous walkers in your way while deciding if others in the world are friend or foe. Oh, and you have to do it from the terrifying first-person perspective, too, so if plunging an ax into a walker’s head is your jam, you’re in for a good time. What’s especially neat about this title being in the November PS Plus lineup is that it just received a large update called Aftershocks back in August

Click here to watch embedded media

The final PS Plus game you’ll be getting next month is Until You Fall. Described as a collision of synthwave and fantasy, this PSVR sword fighting game will see you taking advantage of mythical settings and magic-infused weapons to defeat your foes. It’s a hack-and-slash roguelite, too, so you can expect to die a lot…which is always fun in VR! 

Click here to watch embedded media

All six of these games will be available for download and to add to your library starting on November 2. Knockout City, First Class Trouble, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning will be available until December 6. The three VR titles will be available to PS Plus subscribers until January 3. 

If you haven’t yet, be sure to add this month’s PS Plus offerings – Hell Let Loose, PGA Tour 2K21, and Mortal Kombat X – to your library. You have until November 1 to do that.

Are you excited for next month’s PS Plus offerings? Let us know in the comments below!


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas In Development For Oculus Quest 2

Oculus, the virtual reality company owned by Facebook, has revealed that it is currently working on bringing the classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to its Quest 2 device. 

This news comes by way of Facebook’s identity-changing livestream today, where the company is expected to announce its new name. During the stream, it was revealed that Oculus is working on a “built-for-VR version” of the famed GTA.

“Today at Connect, we announced that the Rockstar Games classic Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is in development for Quest 2,” an Oculus blog post reads. “Get a new perspective on Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas as you experience (again or for the first time) one of gaming’s most iconic open worlds.”

Oculus says this project has been “many years” in the making and that it’s excited to reveal more, but more was not revealed today. There weren’t any screenshots of what the VR perspective in San Andreas might look like, nor were any details shared about whether or not this would be a port of the classic game to VR, a port of the upcoming remaster, or a complete remake. 

This news comes hot off the heels of Resident Evil 4’s Oculus Quest 2 VR release, which was well reviewed, including here at Game Informer where we gave it an 8.75 out of 10.

While waiting to learn more about this VR version of San Andreas, catch up on news of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition coming out soon, which includes a remaster of San Andreas. Be sure to read up on all the changes and improvements coming to that trilogy remaster after that. 

Will you be checking out Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in VR when it hits the Oculus Quest 2? Let us know in the comments below!


Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Is Already Ubisoft’s Second Biggest Game Of All Time

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has made Ubisoft a lot of money.

That’s because it’s the publisher’s “[second] largest profit-generating game” in its entire history, and it achieved that title in less than 12 months. Curious as to what Ubisoft’s biggest game of all time is? So are we, but Ubisoft doesn’t mention who wears that crown in its First-Half 2021-22 Fiscal Earnings Report released today.

Click here to watch embedded media

“Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has been outperforming Assassin’s Creed Odyssey across the board since its release,” the fiscal report reads. “This quarter, the Siege of Paris expansion, whose creation was led by the amazing team at Ubisoft Singapore, delivered record engagement. In less than 12 months, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is already the second-largest profit-generation game in Ubisoft’s history, reflecting the remarkable strength and value of the franchise.” 

Ubisoft says more “great new content” is on the way for Valhalla’s second year on the market, making special mention of content coming in the “second half of the current fiscal year.” It’s unclear if this content will be more in line with free DLC or paid expansions like the recent Siege of Paris. 

Elsewhere in the fiscal earnings report, Ubisoft’s recently-released Far Cry 6 is performing quite well too. There wasn’t any mention of specific sales numbers, but the publisher says playtime per player is up 25% in Far Cry 6 compared to 2018’s Far Cry 5

Click here to watch embedded media

“Early sales are in line with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s solid performance, a game released in a similar timeframe,” the report reads. “With an exciting post-launch plan over the coming months, Far Cry 6 is set to be a strong performer this holiday.”

It seems the DLC content that’s coming to Valhalla and Far Cry 6 will be heavily supporting Ubisoft’s next fiscal year in 2022 as well because the company only name drops three games in its lineup for next year, although it does leave the door open for more.

“Eighty percent of Ubisoft’s investments are focused on significantly expanding its premium offering for the coming years, and notably next fiscal year with the releases of Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Mario + Rabbits: Sparks of Hope, Skull & Bones, and more exciting games,” the report reads. 

The “and more exciting games” part could be alluding to titles such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake, which was originally set to release this coming January but has since been delayed indefinitely. Perhaps Ubisoft is playing it safe by not namedropping this hotly-anticipated remake in the report just in case that indefinite delay slips into 2023. 

While waiting to see what Ubisoft releases next year, check out Game Informer’s review of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and then check out our impressions of its latest expansion, The Siege of Paris. Be sure to read Game Informer’s Far Cry 6 review after that. 

Are you excited about any of Ubisoft’s offerings in 2022? Let us know in the comments below!


The Top 10 Open World Games To Play Right Now

There was a time when video games were largely linear affairs. You either moved up and down or from left to right in enclosed spaces. As technology evolved, so did the scope of digital worlds. Now players are regularly treated to expansive environments filled with quests, interesting characters, and horizons that stretch further with every console generation. These experiences consume dozens if not hundreds of hours, and as more of them flood the market, knowing which titles are worth the time investment has become crucial. To that end, we’ve assembled a list of 10 great modern open-world games available today to help make what can be a paralyzing decision a little easier. These are listed in no particular order and don’t necessarily represent the best games of all time. Rather, this will be an ever-changing list of quality titles to arrive in recent years that you should go out of your way to get lost in.  

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

The Witcher 3’s gritty fantasy world is as beautiful as it is deadly. We would never want to actually live in it, though, due to its densely packed population of supernatural monsters, tyrannical rulers, and (typically) backstabbing citizens. The Witcher 3’s Continent keeps you on your toes thanks to the impact of its choice-driven gameplay. Small choices often come back around hours later in more significant ways than you expect, making every shifty thief, sultry mage, or cowardly would-be-knight worth engaging. With a compelling main storyline, dozens of meaningful sidequests, and boatloads of treasures, The Witcher 3, as well as its phenomenal expansions, succeeds in making its gargantuan setting worth uncovering. | Our Review

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Switch, Wii U

What makes Breath of the Wild magical is that it unclutters years of triple-A open-world design. Instead of littering Hyrule with icons telling you where to go, it allows players to forge their own paths. It only has one mandatory mission: destroy Ganon. Since you can do that right away, everything else is optional. Even the largest games force you to adhere to the path of a main linear narrative. In BOTW, one player’s approach to slaying Ganon can be totally different from another’s. Do you complete the four primary dungeons? Seek out the Master Sword? Build up your hearts? The beauty of it all: there’s no wrong answer. 

Link can climb any surface, meaning that, provided you have the stamina, you can reach the summit of any mountain and concoct numerous paths to your destination. Hyrule also operates on realistic physics and principles for players to experiment with (i.e., all metal objects conduct electricity). It boasts hundreds of shrines with concise, entertaining puzzles and numerous mysteries, be they majestic dragons or an island that’s more than meets the eye. Breath of the Wild rocks for promoting improvisation and creativity more than anything. Its legacy has been cemented thanks to a growing number of titles borrowing from its playbook, such as Genshin Impact and Immortals Fenyx Rising. | Our Review

No Man’s Sky

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Open world? Try open universe! No Man’s Sky lets players freely explore entire solar systems worth of randomly generated planets. Each planet is like a box of chocolate; you never know what you’re going to get. Strange animals, bizarre plant life, wild weather conditions, and valuable resources await your scanner. No Man’s Sky infamously launched as a solid game that underdelivered on its grander promises. In the years since, the game has done a complete 180 with numerous expansions and updates that have added, among other things, base-building, true multiplayer, creature taming, actual storylines, underwater exploration, VR support – all for no extra charge. No Man’s Sky has miraculously transformed from a punchline to one of the most content-dense and beloved games out there. If you haven’t entered the cockpit of your ship since 2016, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. | Our Review (circa 2016)

Red Dead Redemption II

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Few studios craft worlds that feel as lifelike as Rockstar Games, and Red Dead Redemption 2 might be their crowning achievement. Every inch of this wild west drips with immaculate detail and feels like you’ve stepped into a time portal to the 1800s. Survival elements such as cooking, camping, and hunting allow players to role-play as a trail-worn gunslinger effectively – and it’s more fun than you’d expect. Emergent side missions mean a fascinating story or memorable stranger can pop up at a moment’s notice, and there’s plenty of diversity when it comes to the strange sights you’ll stumble upon. Tack on an incredible story led by a deeply compelling protagonist in outlaw Arthur Morgan, and Red Dead Redemption 2 rivals not only the greatest games but the classic westerns that inspired it. | Our Review

Death Stranding Director’s Cut

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Let’s forget Death’s Stranding’s confusing narrative, goofy dialogue, and subpar combat for a moment. Most agree that the game’s strongest aspect is simply walking around and delivering packages. As Sam Porter, you’re a post-apocalyptic delivery person that connects distant settlements by bringing them goods. Doing so involves a strategic game of stacking cargo based on weight and equipping tools like strength-increasing leg braces. The game becomes a thoughtful – and literal – balancing act of traversing rocky terrain and climbing mountains while avoiding toppling over and damaging your cargo. On the one hand, it’s tedious and sometimes infuriating. On the other, hiking for miles on end is peaceful and oddly satisfying. Things get better once you’re able to create highways, zipline networks, and other infrastructure that both you and thousands of strangers can utilize, thanks to the game’s online network. Death Stranding is an acquired taste but, its sparse landscape and freeform approach to exploring have an undeniable appeal. | Our Review  

Marvel’s Spider-Man

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4

Exploring a wonderfully realized replica of Marvel’s Big Apple rocks for one reason: web-swinging. Spider-Man’s primary mode of transportation is a blast and arguably the most entertaining form of traversal in any open-world game. It may be the only title in which you’ll never want to fast-travel. For New Yorkers, it’s cool to crawl up landmarks such as the Empire State or Chrysler Building. For comic enthusiasts, spotting Avengers Tower, Doctor’s Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum, Jessica Jones’ Alias Investigations office, The Bar With No Name, and other recognizable hotspots is a thrill. Challenges such as Harry Osborn’s science experiments, busting random street crimes, or catching pigeons (yes, pigeons) offer solid fun, as does collecting backpacks filled with charming mementos documenting Peter Parker’s decade-long superhero career. | Our Review

Ghost of Tsushima

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4

Per the title, Sucker Punch’s samurai epic unfolds on the real-life Japanese island of Tsushima during the Mongol invasion of 1274. Warrior Jin Sakai must liberate his home by any means necessary, whether dueling enemies face-to-face or stealthily picking them off from the shadows. The overwhelming beauty of Tsushima is breathtaking. Copious flower fields, tall grasses, and bamboo forests that dance in the wind create the sense of living in an idealized version of every samurai movie ever made. Smart and subtle guidance in the form of a summonable wind current points players in the right direction without breaking immersion. The game boasts plenty of side quests, but the most substantial consists of narrative episodes following the exploits of Jin’s primary allies. Following a fox to a hidden treasure or meditating by a waterfall to compose a haiku captures a whimsy and serenity that few games offer. | Our Review

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

The Assassin’s Creed series offers an exciting line-up of historical destinations: Renaissance Italy, Victorian London, and Ptolemy-era Egypt, to name a few. If we have to pick one, we’re going with Odyssey’s jaw-dropping take on ancient Greece. If you’re looking for a game to get absolutely lost in, Odyssey overflows with content. Multiple main narrative threads, countless side quests, fortresses to conquers, naval battles, mythical animal hunts, and much more await hero Kassandra/Alexios. Odyssey feels more fun to explore because it embraces being a video game more than any entry, letting you climb almost any surface. It even has an ability that negates fall damage (so long, hay piles). If spending a hundred hours clearing out the base game isn’t enough, DLC expansions such as the fantastic Fate of Atlantis extend this big fat Greek adventure. | Our Review 


Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

You don’t see many open-world indie games, but Sable offers a refreshingly minimalist, non-violent approach to roaming an expansive landscape. As the titular Sable, you embark on a ritualistic journey to find your purpose in life. Cruising across a striking desert aboard your land speeder-esque glider, you’ll visit towering landmarks and isolated villages to collect masks signifying your destiny. Doing so involves helping as many or as few people as you see fit. Like Breath of the Wild, Sable is about making your own way with no primary task to complete. If you want to collect every mask available, you can. If you only find one and decide “this is what I’m meant to be”, that’s fine too. Sable’s colorful cast of characters ooze personality despite lacking a voice, and the fascinating cultures and advanced technology hiding amongst its dunes make every discovery feel like an event. Backed by a stellar ambient soundtrack by Japanese Breakfast, Sable is an unforgettable coming-of-age road trip. | Our Review

Horizon Zero Dawn

PlayStation 4, PC

Horizon Zero Dawn’s post-apocalyptic United States acts as one giant mystery. Modern humanity fell centuries ago, though humankind continues on in small, tribal societies. All that remains of the former civilization are sentient, robotic animals that inhabit the land as naturally as any living creature. As the warrior Aloy, uncovering the truth behind mankind’s collapse, the origin of these mechanical beasts, and your connection to it all serve as effective hooks that, thankfully, stick the landing by the end. The robots themselves serve as the main attraction by presenting entertaining battles that force players to strategically dismantle them part by part. Horizon Zero Dawn is also a technical powerhouse. The game is drop-dead gorgeous, and the juxtaposition of futuristic and primitive aesthetics make it stand out amongst a crowded sea of similarly designed titles. While the game’s mission design won’t surprise open-world veterans, few settings have proven as alluring in their premise as Aloy’s. | Our Review


Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy | Game Informer Live

Marvel has proven that its interest in video games is anything but a passing fancy. The two Insomniac Spider-Man games have wowed with amazing visuals and an enthralling superhero story. In addition, upcoming entries such as Marvel’s Midnight Suns and Marvel’s Wolverine have fans excited for the future. But what can fans play now? Developer Eidos Montreal has the answer with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and we’re going to be streaming the opening two hours live exclusively on Twitch!

Click here to watch embedded media

Join Alex Stadnik, John Carson, and Dan Tack as they check out the latest game to feature Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Gamora, and Drax starting at 2 p.m. CT! The crew will be starting from the very beginning of the game, testing out the new combat system, and trying to shut up during a majority of the game’s wonderful cutscenes.

If you haven’t heard by now, Guardians of the Galaxy is quite good, while not perfect. The developer’s choice to center the game around Star-Lord pays off in gameplay and narrative perspectives. Our official review, penned by the EIC Andrew Reiner, says: 

From the moment the Guardians of the Galaxy are introduced as a space-faring team that will do anything for a quick buck, it’s abundantly clear how much of a dysfunctional mess they are. Gamora and Rocket are at each other’s throats. Drax and Star-Lord don’t see eye to eye. And no one is paying attention to Groot. For the next 15-plus hours of gameplay, I listened to these misfits bicker, hurl insults, and chatter nonstop – much to my enjoyment.

If you’re enjoying our live content and want to engage with it more, we have exclusive GI Discord that fans can nerd out games, movies, anime, and so much more! Thanks for watching, and we hope you enjoy the stream!

Today’s stream is brought to you by Nvidia GeForce Now! If you want to learn more about the streaming service, be sure to check out the company’s blog here!


Final Fantasy 5 Pixel Remaster Gets November Launch Date

The Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Series is a remastered collection of the first six Final Fantasy games. Instead of releasing the titles simultaneously, Square Enix opted to launch the first three games all at once before individually dropping the back half of the bunch. Final Fantasy IV arrived in September and now it’s time for the fifth entry to return to the spotlight.

Final Fantasy V Pixel Remaster launches to Steam and mobile devices on November 10. Like the previous games, it features updated pixel art, modernized gameplay and menus, a rearranged soundtrack by original composer Nobuo Uematsu, and goodies such as a bestiary and illustrations gallery. Final Fantasy V originally launched in Japan in 1992 but didn’t reach the U.S. until 1999’s Final Fantasy Anthology for PlayStation 1. The game is most famous for introducing an expanded job system that allowed a greater degree of party customization, which has been adopted and expanded upon in later Final Fantasy entries. 

The FFV Pixel Remaster normally runs for $17.99, but you can nab it at a 20% discount ($14.39). Those who pre-order it receive two wallpapers and timelapse remixes of three in-game songs: “The Main Theme,” “Battle at Big Bridge,” and “A New World.” If you’d rather purchase all six games at once, the bundle for that currently sits at a discounted price of $74.82.

Looking at the release cadence of Final Fantasy IV and V, it’s probably safe to assume that the legendary Final Fantasy VI will arrive sometime in perhaps late December or January. Have you been playing the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters? Will you be jumping into FFV for the first time thanks to this remaster? Let us know in the comments!  


Resident Evil Village Ships 5 Million Units Less Than Six Months After Release

Resident Evil Village has been out for less than six months, having released on May 7 earlier this year, but it’s already shipped a whopping 5 million units. 

This news comes by way of a press release from Capcom, which reports steady growth of Resident Evil franchise sales overall thanks to a multifaceted expansion of the series. This alludes to the off-controller Resident Evil things happening such as Netflix’s Resident Evil Infinite Darkness anime series and the upcoming Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City movie.

Click here to watch embedded media

“Capcom remains firmly committed to satisfying the expectations of all stakeholders by leveraging its industry-leading game development capabilities,” the press release reads. 

Video Games Chronicle reports that Village’s 5 million units shipped achievement came faster than it did for the previous four games in the Resident Evil franchise. Earlier this month, though, Capcom announced that Village’s predecessor, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, had shipped 10 million units. Capcom hopes that Village overtakes Biohazard as the fastest-selling Resident Evil game, according to VGC.

For more about Village, check out our thoughts on it in Game Informer’s Resident Evil Village review, and then find out where it lands on Game Informer’s top-scoring reviews of 2021 list and Game Informer’s top 10 horror games to play right now. Be sure to watch the first trailer for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City after that.

[Source: Capcom, Video Games Chronicle]

Did you pick up Resident Evil Village? Let us know what you think of it in the comments below!


Magic: The Gathering Celebrates A Bloody Vampire Wedding With Crimson Vow

Preview season for the newest Magic: The Gathering set, Innistrad: Crimson Vow, begins today. Wizards of the Coast just wrapped a stream showing off all the basics of the upcoming expansion, the second set taking place on the plane of Innistrad this year. What’s happening in Crimson Vow? What mechanics can players expect? Is there anything exciting for card collectors? Look no further! You can find all of those answers below.

The Lore of Crimson Vow

In a recently unprecedented move, WOTC is releasing a fifth standard legal set this year and a sequel of sorts to the previous one, Midnight Hunt. Innistrad’s horror setting and tropes are very much a favorite of Magic players. Instead of making a quick visit to the plane, we get two full expansions; each centered on the world’s more popular tribes: Werewolves, and now a focus on Vampires in Crimson Vow.

Continuing the story from Midnight Hunt, where the humans failed in preventing the plane from being plunged into the eternal night, Vampires are ready to thrive in the neverending darkness. One head of a vampire clan, Olivia Volderan, has taken an artifact known as the Moonsilver Key, a component needed to restore day to the plane. Of course, being a nightwalker, Olivia would instead use the key to gain power and influence among the vampire clans.

Olivia Voldaren and in her wedding garb, featuring a veil made of souls

Cue the crux of Crimson Vow: Olivia Voldaren’s opulent vampire wedding to another blood-drinking family leader, the long-slumbering Edgar Markov, the progenitor of all vampires on Innistrad. Wedding Edgar and uniting the two most prominent vampire families will put Olivia Voldaren in a position of incredible power.

The Planeswalkers on Innistrad from the Midnight Hunt return, but those who did not have cards in that set will be represented in Crimson Vow. Expect new Planeswalker cards for Chandra Nalaar, Kaya, and of course, the vampire Planeswalker Sorin Markov, with Teferi, Arlinn Kord, and maybe Wrenn playing a part in the story. Can the heroic group of Planeswalkers stop Olivia’s plan, recover the Moonsilver Key, and restore balance to Innistrad? The answer will most likely be found in the cards.

Crimson Vow’s Mechanics

A few mechanics will return, bridging the gap from Midnight Hunt, including Disturb and Daybound/Nightbound which you can learn about here. A third mechanic technically counts as a returning mechanic, though it comes from another plane altogether…


Making its way back to Magic from the Khans of Tarkir block is a simple but flavorful mechanic: Exploit. Cards with Exploit let the player sacrifice a creature they control for effects to occur. While the keyword costs a creature on your board to be consumed, you benefit from the effect detailed on the Exploit card, as well as letting you play into any sacrifice or graveyard synergies your deck may be built around. In the case of Fell Stinger, Exploit allows a target player to draw two cards and lose two life.

Now for the new mechanics debuting in Crimson Vow:

Blood Tokens

These artifact tokens fall into a similar family to Clues, Food, or Treasures. Blood Tokens are artifacts you can pay one mana for, tap, discard a card, and sacrifice the token to draw a card. Mana-wise, it’s cheaper than a clue to draw a card, though you do have to lose something from your hand. However, with many strategies in Innistrad sets, you sometimes want cards in your graveyard for grander purposes. I expect to be pitching plenty of Disturb cards into the graveyard using these Blood Tokens.



In one of the more interesting ways Wizards has found to lower the character count on a card, Cleave lets players cut out bracketed words in a card’s rules text for an alternate mana cost.

Here’s an example: Dig Up is a card for one green mana that says “Search your library for a [basic land] card, [reveal it,] put it into your hand, then shuffle.” If you pay the four-mana Cleave cost, you ignore the bracketed words making the card instead read as “Search your library for a card, put it into your hand, then shuffle.” No longer does the card being searched require to be a basic land, nor do you have to reveal it. Find any card and put it in your hand—a very powerful upgrade. I’m most excited to see what other cool effects Cleave will reveal hidden within other cards in Crimson Vow.



Humans have an uphill battle to fight after losing daytime altogether on the plane and being overwhelmed by the horrors and monsters of Innistrad. The new keyword Training will surely help bolster their forces. Training’s rules text reads, “Whenever this creature attacks with another creature with greater power, put a +1/+1 counter on this creature.” It’s kind of like a reverse Mentor from 2018’s Guilds of Ravnica. Some creatures will also have an added benefit when they “train,” like Savior of Ollenbeck, which exiles a creature from the battlefield or graveyard whenever the effect triggers.




Showcase Frames and Alternate Art Treatments

Crimson Vow’s vampire-only Showcase frames lean heavily into the luxury of the creature type and Olivia’s impending wedding. Wizards call this new treatment the “Fang Frame” featuring, well, fang-like adornments and ornate filigree around the border of the art.

What’s most exciting about these is the Fang Frame version of Sorin The Mirthless, which you can lay your eyes on above. Your eyes don’t deceive you, Sorin does kind of look like Alucard. That’s because famed Castlevania artist, Ayami Kojima, was hired to paint a rendition of everyone’s favorite vampire prince. And she absolutely knocked it out of the park!

Black and white horror-inspired Eternal Night cards return from Midnight Hunt as well and are featured on legendary creatures that are not vampiric by nature. Below you can see the alternate are for Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, which makes its return to Standard for the first time in almost a decade! Ten additional full-art basic land cards with new art using this style can be found in booster packs as well.

All of the above art treatments can be found in any Innistrad: Crimson Vow booster pack. Whether it’s a Draft, Set, Theme, or Collector’s booster; you have a chance to pull these awesome versions from anywhere.


Dracula Series

2020’s Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths marked the very first time alternate named cards with art from a non-Magic property were printed with Godzilla characters. With Crimson Vow, Wizards is tapping into the most iconic vampire of all time, Dracula. These alternate art, alternately-named cards are functional copies of the in-universe Crimson Vow cards, only these feature the names and art of characters from Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel. Above, you can see the alternate version of Sorin, which is Dracula himself, and below is Sister of the Undead, the Dracula Series version of Olivia, Crimson Bride.

Dracula has been interpreted in many ways over the years in countless movies, TV shows, games, and books. Wizards took the art direction from the source, the original novel, so every little detail on each of the characters is pulled from the words written by Bram Stoker himself. 

These cards will only be found in two places: collector’s boosters and as box toppers for booster boxes. Any kind of booster box will come with one Dracula Series card packed in the box.


Commander decks for Crimson Vow will complete the set started in Midnight Hunt with two new 100 card premade decks featuring Vampires and Spirits, respectively. Also continuing from Midnight Hunt is the trend Wizards set in inserting Commander-focused cards in Set and Collector’s boosters that cannot be found anywhere else. These cards include Wedding Ring, a new white artifact that enables an additional card draw, an action typically lacking in that color.

Crimson Vow will be available on Magic: The Gathering Arena on November 11, with pre-release events starting at local game stores on November 12. The official release for the physical set will be the week after on November 19.

And that’s all of the big news coming out of today’s Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Crimson Vow reveal event! Let us know what you think of the new set. Are you aiming to pull that incredible Ayami Kojima Sorin like I am? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!


You Can Play A Demo Of Metroid Dread Right Now

Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread launched to largely positive reviews earlier this month. The conclusion of Samus’ decades-long battle against the Metroids maintains the classic side-scrolling exploration and the modern additions of developer MercurySteam, such as the melee counter. However, it has one prominent, frightening new feature: E.M.M.I’s, nigh-unstoppable robots that Samus must regularly evade, adding a terrifying wrinkle to the formula. If you’d rather sample the game before committing hard-earned dollars, a demo for Metroid Dread is now available.

You can download the demo on the Switch eShop, or use the browser version to install it remotely. Nintendo hasn’t clarify how big of a slice the trial takes from the main game, but one would imagine it will let players face off with an E.M.M.I. and sample Samus’ new cloaking and/or magnetic grapple abilities. 

Metroid Dread netted a 9/10 review score from us at Game Informer. Reviewer Ben Reeves described Dread’s atmosphere as “powerful” writing, “Despite a few hiccups in this timeworn pattern, Metroid Dread is a white knuckle thrill ride that you shouldn’t fear.” The game has had an eventful lifecycle so far, with Nintendo patching out a progress-halting bug and controversial discovery that the game performs better on PC emulators. Regardless, Metroid Dread has become one of the best-selling entries in the series (and the highest-selling entry in the UK).

Will you be giving the Metroid Dread demo a test run? Let us know in the comments!


What We Know About Saints Row Customization

Saints Row

In our talks with Saints Row developer Volition for our most recent cover story, it quickly became apparent that it sees customization as a non-negotiable element of the core Saints Row experience. Ever since the first game came out in 2006, players have customized their character’s appearance. Those customization options have only expanded throughout the series’ history, growing beyond simply being able to choose how your character looks and sounds.

“Customization is one of the definitive things that Saints Row is known for,” chief creative officer at Volition Jim Boone says. “Not just the characters, but even the vehicles. And in Saints Row IV, we introduced weapon customization. It’s extremely woven into the DNA to the degree where I feel like if you don’t have customization, it’s hard to say that you’re a full Saints Row game.”

Volition has taken everything to the next level, giving players the power to tweak standard options like eye color and skin tone, add prosthetics to the main character, and even censor your protagonist’s nude body with things like emojis. “We’ve achieved dreams,” art director Frank Marquart says. “There were things that we really tried and we could not do on previous titles that we can now do in this game.”

While we don’t know precisely what elements of The Boss we’ll be able to customize when Saints Row launches next year, you’ll continue to unlock new options for your character, weapons, vehicles, and more. “A target from day one is to be the kings of customization,” creative director Brian Traficante says. “We want to give our players all the things they’ve had in the past and more. That’s what we’ve done.”

Saints Row may reel in some of the more over-the-top elements of the franchise’s most recent entries, but it has taken the customization elements to new levels. You can create a character anywhere on the gender spectrum, consisting of any race, or even go wild and create a complete monster.

Saints Row

When you participate in another trademark element of Saints Row, cooperative play, all of your customization options carry into the session. “Each co-op player looks exactly how you have customized them when in a co-op session,” says Boone. “All the customization options you have entered will be on full display without limited.”

On top of character customization, you can tweak other cosmetic elements to tailor the experience. As you progress through the game, you can expect to personalize your vehicles, weapons, and gang. Additionally, as you play through missions and expand the Saints empire, your church headquarters also improves with cosmetic options and visual upgrades.

Volition tells us it has much more to reveal in terms of customization, so we’re eagerly anticipating learning all about the ways we can make the protagonist (and the world around them) our own when Saints Row launches on February 25. For more on Saints Row, head to our exclusive coverage hub through the below banner.


13.4 Million PS5s Sold Despite Console Component Shortages

Sony’s unprecedented success is attributed to music products, recent developer acquisitions, and the popularity of the PlayStation 5, among many other things.  A VGC report states that “Sony enjoyed its biggest revenue and operating profit ever for a Q2 window.” Moreover, a total of 13.4 million PS5s have been sold despite component shortages. 

Sony’s games division has garnered almost $6 billion in revenue between July and September. Similarly, over the same three months, 3.3 million PS5 consoles have flown off the proverbial shelf, a 1 million increase over the first quarter – compare that ridiculous number to the meager 200,000 PS4 units sold in the same period. And yet, PS5 availability is still a point of contention for many PlayStation fans around the world.

CFO Hiroki Totoki discussed plans to invest more heavily in development capabilities as well as console semiconductor shortages linked to the ongoing global pandemic:

“The shortage of semiconductors has impacts in various areas and through various measures, we have been taking some action. For PS5, the target has been set for the number of units to be sold this year, and we have secured the number of chips that is necessary to achieve that. Regarding the supply of semiconductors, we are not concerned.”

Sadly, the target number was not specified. Nevertheless, PS5 games are hitting financial highs with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales surpassing 6.5 million copies sold, Demon’s Souls sitting at 1.4 million, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart sailing past 1.1 million purchases. Regardless of the component shortage, first-party titles and SIE at large have garnered sizeable finances in 2021, with the holiday season just around the bend. 

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

Have you nabbed a PlayStation 5 yet, or are you still waiting for more restocks?


Weird West Will Get Wild On PlayStation, Xbox, And PC This January

Wolfeye Studios has announced that its upcoming isometric action-RPG will ride into town (and demand a high noon showdown) on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and PC, this January. 

Developed by Wolfeye, a studio made up of former Dishonored and Prey devs, Weird West is a unique take on the Wild West genre. It features its fair share of cowboys, coyotes, and midday duels, of course, but this frontier is also home to Pigmen, the undead, giants, and more. It is very much a “weird” west, and it can be experienced by all on January 11. 

Click here to watch embedded media

“Sheriff Wolfeye Studios and their slack-jawed deputy Devolver Digital have announced that Weird West, their upcoming action RPG experience set within a surreal vision of the developing frontier, is coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on January 11,” a press release for the announcement reads. “To coincide with the news, the bucking broncos have opened pre-orders on Steam and released the first part of a brand new video series. Wolfeye Studios creative director Raf Colantonio walks through an overview of the game in the first of a series of deeper dive videos.” 

Anyone that pre-orders on Steam will receive a horse named Calamity in-game that is described as “a dependable mule that provides a leg up at the beginning of their adventures by doubling their inventory size, allowing them to escape locations even if enemies are chasing them, and faster travel to avoid missing out on timed objectives.” Calamity’s saddlebags will come stocked with items like lockpicks, bandages, and a Golden Ace of Spades upgrade token as well. 

Weird West will hit PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 11. 

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



For more about Weird West, check out the original announcement trailer that aired during the 2019 Game Awards, and then be sure to watch this release date trailer for it after that.

Will you be checking out Weird West when it comes out in January? Let us know in the comments below!


Necromancer, Set Items, And More Coming To Diablo Immortal

Diablo Immortal is poised for a new play session. This time, it’s a closed beta that’s coming to Android only, and it includes a swath of updates, changes, and new additions to the mobile Diablo experience.

Of note, the Necromancer joins the roster with a plethora of signature skills, including corpse explosion and skeletal minions. Check out the trailer below for a look at what’s hitting in this beta.

Click here to watch embedded media

Controller support is also coming in this update, a welcome addition for those of us who want to rid ourselves of the endless swiping and tapping. While the beta features a limited amount of controller options, it hopefully means even more is on the way as the game continues to march along to launch.

Click here to watch embedded media

Set items and set bonuses are also arriving, allowing players to mix and match powerful set bonuses. Set bonuses are conferred at three and six items, so you can create combos or shoot for a fully-loaded singular kit. Of course, you can utilize just a few set pieces along with legendary items or other gear, too. Set items are not class-specific, so you can try them out with different characters, builds, and loadouts.

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


Sony To ‘Aggressively Invest In Development Capabilities,’ More Acquisitions Likely On The Way

So far, 2021 has been a solid financial year for Sony. The acquisitions of Returnal developer Housemarque, Nixxes Software (known for its first-party PC ports), Star Citizen’s Firesprite, and remaster heavyweight Bluepoint Games contributed to a 20% increase in Sony’s total workforce.

According to VGC, this employee surge also led to record revenue numbers, as noted in the conglomerate’s second-quarter financial results. With this unprecedented level of success, Sony plans to “aggressively invest in development capabilities,” which likely means that more developer acquisitions are on the way.

Hiroki Totoki, Sony’s executive deputy president and chief financial officer, recently spoke about monetary success and the next steps. As Totoki put it, the new studios under the SIE umbrella are acclaimed for polished, engaging titles. And Nixxes Software, in particular, will ultimately help bring PlayStation games to other platforms.

“Going forward,” Totoki began, “We plan to leverage these studios to increase the development capability of PlayStation Studios and to use the expertise necessary to deploy games to PC and mobile devices.”

Totoki would follow that up by emphasizing SIE’s desire to invest in its gaming arm. In fact, this branch has emerged as Sony’s most successful division in recent years. 

“As a result of the acquisitions announced since the beginning of this fiscal year, the number of PlayStation studios will increase by four to 16, and the number of developers will increase by almost 20%. We plan to continue to aggressively invest in our development capability going forward.”

With Phil Spencer announcing Xbox’s ongoing mission to expand its brand with more studios as well as software-focused increases last week, it’s interesting (and expected) to see Sony follow suit. 

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]

What studios would you like to see supported and added to the Sony fold? Let us know in the comments section!


Vicarious Visions Will Lose Its Name In Merge With Blizzard Entertainment

Vicarious Visions, the developer behind the recent Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 remaster, is set to lose its name in merging with Blizzard Entertainment. 

This news comes by way of Polygon, which reports that its sources say Activision Blizzard told Vicarious employees that the company name would be lost when the merge is officially complete. While sad, it’s not surprising, considering we already knew that all that we know Vicarious for – its excellent remasters and remakes – would likely be pushed to the wayside as when the merge was revealed, reports from GamesIndustry.biz stated that the studio would be shifting to be “fully dedicated to existing Blizzard games and initiatives” like Overwatch, World of Warcraft, and more. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Vicarious employees reportedly told Polygon that they were under the impression that despite the merge, it would remain an independent studio that happened to be owned by Blizzard. When the news was announced to the team, a new studio name was not given, but according to Polygon, some employees are expecting the new name to be Blizzard Albany, as it’s located in Albany, New York. 

Employees at the studio told Polygon that they’re not surprised by this news, with one person saying the “writing was on the wall.” However, one employee at least was saddened by how sudden it all was, especially as the meeting was signaled as a “light and quick” one by Activision Blizzard. During the meeting, Activision Blizzard said no layoffs are currently planned for Vicarious.

For more details about the loss of Vicarious’ name, be sure to check out Polygon’s full report and then check out Game Informer’s breakdown of this merger and what it means for the studio after that.

[Source: Polygon]