DNF Duel | New Gameplay Today

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There are plenty of fantastic fighting games out there, both old and new. As Arc System Works continues to update its older Guilty Gear games with rollback netcode, those fighters are given new life. However, is there room for another fighter with recent entries in the genre, such as Guity Gear Strive, and others on the horizon like SNK’s King of Fighters XV? After going hands-on with the DNF Duel beta over the past weekend, Game Informer editor John Carson thinks so. 

Game Informer editor and today’s host, Wesley LeBlanc, is joined by John, AKA The King of Late Night, AKA possibly the greatest fighting game player in the world, to discuss the recent beta test. The two also talk about what makes DNF Duel different in a busy genre, where its inspirations lie, and most importantly, how it feels to play. 

In this New Gameplay Today, we also have 15 minutes of action-packed DNF Duel Beta gameplay on top of the discussion topics above. Thanks for watching, and be sure to let us know what you think of this upcoming fighting game from Eighting and Arc System Works. 


Four Star Wars Battlefront II Action Figures Are On The Way

Each week, Hasbro unveils new Star Wars action figures at Bring Home the Bounty. This week’s reveal focuses its sights on Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront II video game from 2017. Hasbro is bringing four new action figures from the game to market. All four are Clone Troopers decked out in some of the game’s unique armor coloring. Three of the figures fall into the 3 and 3/4-scale Vintage Collection, with the final one joining the Gaming Greats Black Series line.

The latter figure is the Umbra Operative Arc Trooper with a cool black and orange coloring. This clone stands at roughly six inches in height and comes with two pistols. It will be sold exclusively at GameStop with an expected ship date next April.

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A smaller, vintage version of the Umbra Operative Arc Trooper is also on the way next April exclusively at Entertainment Earth. This iteration comes with four weapons and a removable helmet.

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Next up in the Vintage line is a different Arc Trooper decked out in red and white armor, almost looking like it has Xbox 360’s red ring of death on its helmet. This figure is expected in April exclusively at Big Bad Toy Store.

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The last Battlefront II figure revealed is, you guessed it, yet another Arc Trooper – this one choosing to wear black and white armor with hints of green to battle. This figure comes with four weapons, a removable helmet, and will be sold exclusively at Dorkside Toys in April.

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Disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer


Brandon Sanderson, Author Of Mistborn And Stormlight Archive Series, Says He’s Working On A Video Game

Brandon Sanderson, the famed author behind fantasy series Mistborn and The Stormlight Archive series, has revealed he’s working on a video game. 

This news comes by way of a recent blog post he made titled “State of the Sanderson 2021,” which, like previous “State of” posts made by the author, details what he has going on in his career. He mentions feature films, TV series, and more, but he also quickly divulges that he’s been working on a game for a while and we might be seeing it soon. 

“I’ve been working on a video game for several years, and I suspect it will be announced this year,” Sanderson writes. “So commence speculation.” 

Sanderson’s post includes a note that says the game is not based on one of his properties and is instead something new he built with the team he’s working with on this project. He also said that people will recognize the company developing the game but playfully suggests it’s “probably not the one you’re thinking of right now,” nor is it “that other one either.” 

And that’s all Sanderson had to say about this game. Sanderson entering the video game scene would be quite a treat for fans of the author, whose only other experience in games is minimal. He wrote a novella e-book in 2011 for Epic Games Infinity Blade series called “Infinity Blade: Awakening.” (Editor’s note: he has also worked on some fiction for Magic: The Gathering. – JC) However, as the author notes that this game won’t be based on one of his own series, those holding out for a Mistborn RPG will have to continue their wait. 

Perhaps this development will go so well that Sanderson decides to greenlight a Mistborn game of some kind. While not a full game, you can technically get a taste of Mistborn in the form of a game by way of Fortnite, which recently sold a skin based on Kelsier. Be sure to check out Sanderson’s entire “State of” post for more information about what the author is up to. 

Are you excited to see the game Sanderson has been working on? Let us know in the comments below!


These Five Exclusive Horizon Forbidden West Screens Show The Burrower And The Daunt

In celebration of our Horizon Forbidden West cover story, which digital subscribers read now, we’re letting you get a look at the new screens Guerrilla Games shared with us for the story. These shots were provided exclusively to Game Informer for our extensive 12-page feature to highlight certain aspects we discussed.

For some context for the images below, they mostly feature a new area called the Daunt, which is a canyon at the eastern edge of Sundom (Carja territory). This new settlement acts as an onboarding area to get players up to speed with the game’s new mechanics. It is Aloy’s last stop before she heads to the Forbidden West. These screens also provide a view of a market and tavern to show off the more lively locales.

Lastly, there’s a look at a new machine called the Burrower, which is a successor to Horizon Zero Dawn’s Watcher. This common recon machine can tunnel underground and resurface in unexpected locations. When it senses danger, it emits a high-pitched sound to call allies and stun enemies.  According to game director Mathijs de Jonge: “We wanted to add even more character and locomotion to the machines in Horizon Forbidden West, so the Burrowers are very similar to otters or weasels: flexible, quick, and pretty ferocious!”

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What do you think of the new screens? Let us know in the comments below!

For more on Horizon Forbidden West, be sure to read our latest issue, which breaks down the new skills trees, workbench, and Aloy’s fierce new enemies. We’ll also have more content coming online throughout the month about our cover story experience. Our hub below leads to everything we’ve posted so far in one convenient place. 


Weird West, The Upcoming Immersive Sim From Former Dishonored Devs, Delayed To March

The upcoming immersive sim western from former Dishonored and Prey devs, Weird West, has been delayed. 

Previously due out on January 11, 2022, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Weird West will now hit those platforms a little over two months later on March 31, 2022. As for why, the team at Wolfeye Studios needs more time to make it as great as it can be. 

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“Weird West is an impressively deep mix of action RPG and immersive sim elements built on the Wolfeye team’s experience with Dishonored and Prey,” a press release about the announcement reads. “Early feedback is fantastic but, as is the case with any immersive sim, there are a lot of variables that can lead to unintended consequences. More time is needed to deliver an experience that the community expects from Wolfeye and Devovler. The team understands this might be a disappointment to folks, but want to sure that the game they’ve worked on for years is launched in the best form possible.” 

Weird West was first announced during The Game Awards 2019 and it promised a very weird west indeed, complete with gunslingers and fantastical creatures. Two years later, one Game Informer editor went hands on with it and determined that Weird West is a wild west worth exploring

Are you excited for Weird West? Let us know in the comments below!


Ubisoft Doubles Down On NFTs, Calls Them A ‘Major Change That Will Take Time’

Ubisoft, the company behind franchises like Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, first broached the topic of NFTs back in early November, revealing plans to one day implement them into its games and also develop blockchain games. We learned a month later – this month – that Ubisoft’s comments in November were less a broach of NFTs and more preparation for a reveal of its NFT-based platform called Ubisoft Quartz

Quartz is now live as a beta where players can earn NFT cosmetic items to use in Ghost Recon Breakpoint. However, the announcement and reveal of Quartz was met with criticism, with many calling for Ubisoft to back off the idea of NFTs in its games. A report from Eurogamer reveals that Quartz Digit recipients have sold a total of just 15 of these NFTs, likely a number much smaller than Ubisoft anticipated. Still, in a new interview with Decrypt, Ubisoft’s blockchain technical director revealed that the company is still committed to the technology, as reported by Video Games Chronicle

“We have received a lot of feedback since the announcement and we hear both the encouragement and the concerns,” Didier Genevois said. “We understand where the sentiment towards the technology comes from, and we need to keep taking it into consideration every step of the way. This experiment is meant to understand how the value proposition of decentralization can be received and embraced by our players. We know it is a major change that will take time, but we will stay true to our three principles.” 

According to Genevois, those three principles are: 

  1. “Use the tech responsibly.” 
  2. “Build a safe environment” 
  3. “Only leverage energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchains [and] focus on meaningful value propositions for players that benefit their gaming experience.” 

Decrypt interviewed Genevois in light of yesterday’s announcement that Ubisoft was partnering with Aleph.im, a company that will give Ubisoft a place for decentralized storage for NFT assets, which Ubisoft calls Digits on the Quartz platform. 

“Our main objective with Ubisoft Quartz is to showcase the true value of decentralization to our players,” Genevois told Decrypt. “Aleph.im played a key role in the realization of our vision by allowing us to go one step further and decentralize the storage of the Digits’ video asset and metadata.” 

Aleph.im founder Jonathan Schemoul believes “most big publishers will end up proposing in-game NFT support,” according to Decrypt. It seems EA is intent on making it happen, at least, as its CEO, Andrew Wilson, recently said NFTs and blockchain games are “the future of our industry.” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said back in October that for now, the Epic Games Store welcomes games that use blockchain technology, too.  

At the moment, the use of cryptocurrencies is largely viewed as harmful to the planet. Ethereum, one of the most-used cryptocurrencies, though, is working on something it calls “The Merge,” which it says will “start the era of a more sustainable, eco-friendly Ethereum.” Only time will tell how green Ethereum becomes. 

[Source: Video Games Chronicle, Decrypt]

What do you think of Ubisoft’s NFT initiative? Let us know in the comments below!


The Horizon Forbidden West Digital Issue Is Now Live

If you subscribe to the digital edition of Game Informer, you can now read all about Horizon Forbidden West through our latest cover story, plus all our 2021 year-in-review content. Following today’s cover reveal, our digital issue is now live to subscribers on web browsersiPad/iPhone, and Android devices. Individual issues will be available for purchase later today. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

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

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


Marvel Releases Official Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Teaser

Hot on the heels of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which hit theaters one week ago, Marvel Studios has released a teaser for its highly anticipated Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Spoilers for No Way Home below…

Okay so just in case you missed that nice spoiler warning up above, I figured I’d write some additional sentences here for those whose eyes might have wandered down just a bit. I’m going to write just one more sentence for those wandering eyes because I care about you and don’t want you to get spoiled of something you don’t want to be spoiled on. 

Alrighty, into the multiverse below. 

If you’ve seen even just one of the many trailers for No Way Home, you know it centers around a Doctor Strange-cast spell gone wrong and said spell opens up the multiverse. This is how Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is able to fight villains seen in previous Spider-Man movies such as Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and Electro. Things are going well by the end of the movie in terms of multiverse containment, but anyone who stuck around for the very last post-credits scene knows the same can’t be said for Doctor Strange. 

In fact, in a move not used by Marvel Studios since Captain America: The First Avenger, the last post-credits scene in No Way Home isn’t even really a post-credits scene – it’s a full-blown teaser trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Today, Marvel Studios has released that trailer to the public, no No Way Home ticket required. 

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The teaser echoes some of the words said by a cautious Wong in No Way Home who didn’t want Strange messing with the spell that would eventually open up the multiverse. It then shows Strange meeting up with Wanda Maximoff, who we haven’t seen since the finale of WandaVision. That Disney Plus show teed up events that happened in Westview as something that would lead to consequences for Wanda in Doctor Strange 2, but the doctor quickly brushes that aside. He’s not upset with her – he needs her help in restoring the multiverse.

From here, the teaser gets wild in ways only a Doctor Strange movie can. We see and hear Mordo, a character not seen since the end of 2016’s Doctor Strange, and we see Strange Supreme, the more villainous Stephen Strange that first appeared in the Disney Plus show Marvel’s What If? 

It’s a wild teaser trailer and best watched after viewing No Way Home, but if you couldn’t resist, or if you have seen it already, we want to hear what you think! Let us know your thoughts about the teaser in the comments below!


Every Mainline Halo Game Ranked

The missions change. They always do. While that’s true, what’s at the heart of the Halo franchise does not change – it’s Master Chief, Cortana, some punchy guns that don’t get old, and a soundtrack that never lets up. Throughout the decades, Chief and Cortana (and buddies like Buck) have found themselves on Earth, Sanghelios, hurtling through space, aboard exploding rings, and more. But no matter the locale, we were finishing the fight – even when some of those battles were more grueling than others.

Sadly, Chief was absent from the fight the Game Informer editors partook in to rank all the Halo games from worst to best. It’s important to note that we opted to rank only the Xbox console FPS Halo games, which means you won’t find mobile, arcade, or RTS spinoffs like Halo Wars or Fireteam Raven in this list. Now, onto the ranking – continue to find out which Halo game finished the fight on top.


Halo 5: Guardians

Xbox One – 2015

Halo 5: Guardians is not an outright bad game – I think most would agree that like pizza, a not-so-great Halo game is still Halo. However, Halo 5 strayed a bit too far from the traditional recipe to garner any praise over its predecessors or sequel. Featuring just a handful of missions with Chief and Cortana – the two beloved characters we want to spend our time with – we go on nearly three times the amount of missions with Spartan Locke and his squad instead. It was tough to finish Halo 5 without feeling empty. Where was the simple but heartfelt storytelling Halo was known for? Why are there loot boxes in multiplayer? Halo 5 was pretty and played like Halo, which means it played well, but it lacked too much of what we want in the franchise to rank any higher.


Halo 3: ODST

Xbox 360 – 2009

Halo 3: ODST is not a bad game – it’s great. It was the first game in the series to prove that Halo could be fun without Chief (so long as it’s not Halo 5: Guardians), and it established a new tone in the wider Halo universe. Dropping the large-scale sci-fi chaos seen throughout Halo for at least half of its playtime, ODST saw us control decidedly not-Spartan soldiers that couldn’t take hundreds of bullets like Chief. Soldiers that probably had families at home. As a result, the events of ODST felt more human and all the more dangerous. Plus, it introduced jazz to the franchise. Serving as a great juxtaposition to the traditional multiplayer experience, ODST also brought Firefight to the series, an excellent wave-based co-op mode that fans still love to this day.


Halo 4

Xbox 360 – 2012

Halo 4, the years have been kind to you. Perhaps stunted a bit out of the gates by longtime fans that felt guarded against a non-Bungie studio taking the reins, 343 Industries’ first go at a mainline Halo entry was largely viewed as successful over time. It features one of the best storylines in all of Halo, further solidifying the heart and conflict between Chief and Cortana that would become the foundation of Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Infinite, and it takes the series’ lore in new directions that felt refreshing and unique. Where 4 faltered, though, was its multiplayer suite. Its Battle Rifle wasn’t great, the Assault Rifle was weakened to push people more toward the DMR, and it continued Reach’s trend of armor abilities/loadouts, which most agreed were not needed. Still, Halo 4’s campaign is worth a replay to this day. 


Halo: Combat Evolved

Xbox – 2001

What more can be said about Halo: Combat Evolved? It’s the one that started it all, and while it hasn’t aged as nicely as others on this list, is it even fair to assume it would? Now at 20 years old, the level design and gunplay don’t hold up as well as we’d like, but it’s still a game filled with sci-fi wonder, be it someone’s first playthrough or tenth. It established the entire Halo universe from which its sequels are built, and it solidified Master Chief, Cortana, the UNSC, and the Covenant as video game mainstays. It doesn’t compare to later offerings in the series on the multiplayer front, but it established what it needed to: a foundation for Bungie to nearly perfect in later entries. Also, Blood Gulch – like, come on. Iconic.


Halo: Reach

Xbox 360 – 2010

Halo: Reach, for many, is the pinnacle of Bungie’s efforts in the Halo franchise. It’s also Bungie’s last. While the campaign is remembered as one of the best – we’ll never forget the first time we saw the “Survive” objective – its multiplayer changes led to series lows that would eventually be course-corrected by Halo Infinite. Still, Noble Team features a memorable cast of characters, several exciting locales, space dogfighting, and a heartbreakingly unforgettable campaign finale. We only wish Reach’s multiplayer hadn’t introduced armor abilities and loadouts. These features got in the way of what made Halo’s multiplayer gameplay such a standout experience.


Halo Infinite

Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC – 2021

Halo Infinite is by all accounts the best Halo’s been in years. It’s not just a return to form for the series’ multiplayer, which drops things like loot boxes in favor of battle passes and brings back classic Halo gameplay devoid of armor abilities and loadouts. It also features a Halo campaign that charts a new path for Master Chief while respecting the franchise’s 20-year legacy. Dropping the more linear campaign progression of Halo’s past, Infinite takes place on the semi-open world of Zeta Halo that features outposts, Spartan Cores, Forerunner artifacts, and more to explore. While these open-world activities are same-y, they never grow stale because Infinite’s standout combat is at the heart of each. The story doesn’t reach the heights of other Halo games, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to the lows of Halo 5: Guardians. On the multiplayer front, 343 Industries has some progression issues to fix. Still, when you’re not looking at challenges and experience points, you’re playing one of the best Halo multiplayer suites in the franchise’s history.


Halo 2

Xbox – 2004

Halo 2 is arguably the most important game in the entire franchise. Not only did it further solidify Master Chief as an icon we’d be seeing more of, it also shipped with online multiplayer that would define online gaming with friends for years. Bungie developed a party system for Halo 2’s multiplayer, added playlists, prototyped skill-based matchmaking, and made voice chatting easier than ever. The need for servers or LAN parties was gone – Xbox Live had us covered. Beyond multiplayer, Halo 2 furthered the story of Chief, Cortana, the UNSC, and their fight against the religious zealots known as the Covenant, even if it felt more like a Part One than a fully-complete campaign by the end. It also introduced Brutes to the series, enemies we’re still fighting to this day in Halo Infinite, and it gifted the world with the electric guitar version of the main Halo theme song. It ripped then, and it still rips now. Thank you, Halo 2.


Halo 3

Xbox 360 – 2007

Halo 3 is the best the series has to offer, and if someone wants to play just one Halo game to see what all the fuss is about, it’s the one most would point to. It features a fantastic story, the best multiplayer suite in the entire franchise, and a Forge mode that allowed us all to create our wildest dreams (did anybody else’s “wildest dream” in Forge just turn into Valhalla with snipers and vehicles everywhere?). Halo 3 is also special because it was Bungie’s last mainline numbered Halo title as the team had opted to move forward with 3’s DLC, ODST, and Reach, a Halo prequel. At the time, the story ended on such a high note that if it were the last mainline game, we’d be satisfied. Fortunately, 343 Industries picked up the mantle, but for a brief moment in time, Halo 3 provided us with a solid and heartfelt conclusion, perfect for John-117. We finished the fight, and it was time for Chief to rest, until yet again, the mission changed. I mean, they always do, right?

What’s your ranking of the Halo series? Let us know in the comments below!



New Halo Infinite Winter Contingency Event Now Live, 10 Free Rewards Up For Grabs

Halo Infinite is joining in on the winter holiday fun other live-service multiplayer games take part in each season, and similar to those, there are plenty of free rewards to earn by taking part. 

Dubbed Winter Contingency, this event began yesterday, December 21, and will run until January 4. What’s more, there are ten free rewards for all players to earn, and earning them is simple: play a match of Arena or Big Team Battle. That’s it. 

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“Rewards will be unlocked over time, meaning they will not all be available to grab on day one,” a Halo Waypoint blog post about the event reads. “Think of Winter Contingency like your in-game Halo advent calendar: you’ll unlock one reward each day, with the event running through the morning of January 4, 2022. To be clear: While the daily rewards conclude on December 30, what this means is you’ll have several extra days to catch up on any items that you may have missed.”

For example, if you didn’t play a match yesterday, you’re one day behind, but because the event lasts until January 4, you’ll earn your final reward on December 31 (assuming you play a match every day in between now and then). 

Speaking of rewards here’s what you can expect

  • Day 1: Wild Justice nameplate
  • Day 2: Peppermint Laughter armor coating
  • Day 3: UA/Tatius shoulder left pad
  • Day 4: UA/Tatius shoulder right pad
  • Day 5: Peppermint Laughter MA40 Assault Rifle weapon coating
  • Day 6: Snowmageddon backdrop
  • Day 7: Navlogcom nameplat
  • Day 8: Peppermint Laughter MK50 Sidekick weapon coating
  • Day 9: Myesel ammo pouch
  • Day 10: Sunset Contessa armor coating

If you’ve already nabbed your daily reward today and need something to do, check out the official Game Informer Halo Infinite review. Then, give our breakdown of everything available in the Halo Infinite shop this week (including a very Iron Man-esque armor coating and cat ears) a look. 

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


Third And Final Xbox 20th Anniversary Shoes Unveiled, Sold Out Immediately

The third and final pair of Xbox 20th Anniversary shoes were unveiled yesterday, and as any sneakerhead might guess, they sold out immediately. 

Priced at $140, the Adidas Forum Tech Boost sneakers sold out immediately, but it looks like more could be on the way. On the official Adidas storefront page for the shoes, you can sign up for email notification of future drops. Of course, it could just be referencing any incoming future drops, but we’re hoping it means more of these Boosts are on the way because they look great. 

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As you can see above, they’re heavily inspired by the main talking points of Xbox – a sleek black color, highlights of translucent green, and of course, the classic Xbox logo. Xbox says these shoes specifically were inspired by the Xbox Series X, which makes sense – the first Xbox x Adidas collaboration highlighted the original Xbox design. The second drop was inspired by the Xbox 360. 

“The design is a nod to the Xbox Series X, a platform to experience 20 years of Xbox while also pushing technology to deliver the ultimate gaming experience,” an Xbox Wire post about the sneakers reads. “Draped in black netting against a green liner, the inside of the shoe resembles the iconic green vents of the Xbox Series X. The sneaker also includes our modern Xbox sphere logo with subtle highlights to represent our console power button and the elegant style of the Xbox Elite Wireless Controler.” 

The shoe also features a green heel and translucent sole that Xbox says pulls directly from its latest controller. Looking at the sole, you’ll find the Xbox 20th Anniversary logo tucked inside the shoe, too. 

The shoes went live for $140 yesterday and sold out immediately. Some pairs are already going for $200 on resale sites. If I know anything about shoes, those prices will almost certainly rise in the coming weeks. Hopefully, Adidas releases some additional pairs so that people interested in these can avoid resale prices. 

While waiting to see if Adidas releases some more, check out the first Xbox-themed sneakers revealed back in October and then take a look at these Xbox 360-inspired shoes. Check out these recently-unveiled Adidas x Guardians of the Galaxy sneakers after that.   

What do you think of these shoes? Let us know in the comments below!


Buy Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition On PC, Get A Free Rockstar Game

Rockstar Games is once again treating PC gamers to something a little extra by giving out a free game with the purchase of Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition.  

As an incentive to buy the collection through Rockstar’s store on PC, you’ll be able to redeem an additional free Rockstar game to add to your digital collection. That’s on top of the advertised 20% discount and the free original versions of the trio of games that were brought back as a make-good for performance issues at launch.

Which games can you snag for free? It’s, of course, a selection of titles developed by Rockstar, but there are some great options to choose from. However, you only get one, so choose carefully. Here’s the list:

  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition
  • Max Payne 3
  • L.A. Noire
  • Bully: Scholarship Edition

If you already own those games through Rockstar’s launcher, you won’t be able to redeem a second copy. But, there are a couple of alternatives, like a Great White Shark Cash Card for GTA Online or 55 Gold Bars for Red Dead Online.

You can find the holiday deal on Rockstar’s site, which will be available through January 6, 2022. Unfortunately, the deal is only available through Rockstar’s storefront, and there aren’t any similar deals extended to console players.

Will this incentive be enough to get you to pick up the remastered trilogy on PC? Let us know what you think in the comments.


Ranking The Entire Assassin’s Creed Series

The Assassin’s Creed series debuted in 2007, and since then, the series has become a fixture in the gaming landscape. It received reliable annual installments (or more!) for several years; that cadence has relented a bit now, but the franchise’s long history has certainly left us with no shortage of Assassin’s Creed games to enjoy. But how do they stack up against each other?

 We originally published a version of this list back in 2015, but more Assassin’s Creed games have released now, and some of our perspectives have shifted. So we are taking another look at the titles in the whole main series (no spin-offs or side-stories) and ranking them, highlighting the best moments and acknowledging the weaknesses in each.


Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation (2012)

Even as the lowest entry on our list, we can’t say Liberation is a “bad” game. However, it was originally created for Vita (though an HD port was eventually made), and the system’s limitations are apparent in the design and gameplay. Apart from its gimmicky features and restricted scope, Liberation still feels like an AC game at its core. The combat is a fun balance of offense and defense, and the story does a good job exploring the gray area between Assassins and Templars. Heroine Aveline’s ability to use different personas to navigate New Orleans doesn’t pay off, but Liberation delivers solid action even if it doesn’t take the series into exciting new territory.


Assassin’s Creed III (2012)

Ezio would be a hard act for any hero to follow, and AC III’s Connor struggles to live up to his predecessor’s legacy. Without much initiative of his own, he mainly does chores for important historical figures – and is coincidentally at the heart of every noteworthy event of the American Revolution. Narrative plausibility aside, this entry introduces some important and interesting elements, like naval combat and homestead-building. The colonial cities and vast wilderness aren’t as fun to explore as Renaissance Europe, but this ambitious installment tries to provide a wealth of content and and tell a complex, generation-spanning story. It may not succeed at every turn, but you can’t accuse AC III of not trying.


Assassin’s Creed Revelations (2011)

Up to this point in AC’s lineage, each entry in the series felt like a significant step forward. However, Revelations isn’t much different from Ezio’s other adventures; it has fun gameplay, cool missions, and a cinematic presentation. On one hand, it’s hard to complain about more of a good thing. On the other, that’s how franchise fatigue settles in. A tower-defense minigame is the only noteworthy addition – but it’s terrible and interferes with your enjoyment of the rest of the game, which makes the whole experience feel like a step down. Plus, even though Revelations brings closure to the Ezio/Altair storyline, Desmond’s modern-day arc stalls completely, so it doesn’t convey a larger sense of progress.


Assassin’s Creed Rogue (2014)

Did you like Black Flag? Then you’ll probably like Rogue, because it is basically the exact same game with different characters and cutscenes. The biggest improvements are removals, not additions; the aggravating tailing and eavesdropping missions from Black Flag are nowhere to be found. Otherwise, the experience is a familiar one – except this time you’re a Templar hunting Assassins, a story twist that doesn’t fully realize its potential. Rogue leans heavily on proven parts of the AC formula. You sail around on a ship, deploy your fleet, capture territory, hunt for collectibles, and (of course) perform assassinations. While this stuff is always fun, Rogue’s gameplay is too reiterative to be truly impressive.


Assassin’s Creed Unity (2014)

You’ve probably heard the horror stories about Unity, or even experienced them yourself. There’s no diplomatic way to say it: This game was a disaster at launch. Fans playing in the first few weeks encountered so many problems that Ubisoft issued a formal apology. The damage was already done in terms of public perception, but here’s the surprising part: Unity actually got pretty good once the holes were patched up. Today, players can absorb a relatively hassle-free vision of the French Revolution, with fun co-op missions, an interesting levelling mechanic, and an uncharacteristically challenging approach to combat. Plus, the relationship between Arno and Elise is well done, adding a personal touch to the story.


Assassin’s Creed (2007)

The original Assassin’s Creed may not have all of the expanded systems of later entries, but it has a clarity of vision and purpose that is masterfully executed. Most of AC’s open-world peers were about destruction in contemporary cities, but Ubisoft broke the mold by immersing players in a vast and mysterious ancient world that is still compelling today. The mix of stealth and action encourages you explore while being mindful of your surroundings, the combat is deliberate and unique, and the key assassinations have an almost puzzle-like quality. The missions preceding those assassinations are repetitive, but the hints of the larger narrative thread give players just enough to make them come back for more.


Assassin’s Creed Origins (2017)

Every installment in this series makes changes to the formula, but Origins represents the biggest shift from one entry to the next. By reimagining combat and progression, Origins takes steps into the RPG genre with elements like tiered gear, player levels, and an expanded skill tree. Despite those changes, Origins still has many series hallmarks, like the fascinating Egyptian setting and the struggle between factions vying for power. While this game boldly tries new things, that experimentation comes with mixed success. Though Origins’ risks are exciting, their rough-around-the-edges quality makes this experience feel like a first step in a larger evolution.


Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (2020)

Valhalla’s map might seem scaled-down compared to the massive size of Odyssey and Black Flag, but it arguably features more content than any Assassin’s Creed game to date. Spanning the entirety of England and two mythological realms (soon to be three, thanks to a massive 40-hour expansion coming in 2022), as well as Ireland courtesy of the Wrath of the Druids DLC, simply put, there’s no shortage of things to do in Valhalla. Be it sailing around English riverbanks, looting and plundering like the Viking king or queen Eivor is, assassinating Order of the Ancient members across the countryside, or laying waste to furry predators in Norway, you’re going to be busy having a bloody (literally) good time. Like its open-world RPG predecessors, it features morsels of lore for those interested in the larger Assassins vs. Templar conflict and features significant reveals that could shape future Assassin’s Creed games. But at the heart of Valhalla is a story of family, sacrifice, and revenge. If you need hundreds of hours of Assassin’s Creed gameplay, Valhalla has you covered.


Assassin’s Creed II (2009)

Fully embracing its open-world destiny, Assassin’s Creed II gives players denser cities to explore, more activities to undertake, and a more engaging combat system. The introduction of Ezio, who is remains the series’ most recognizable hero to date, is just one of AC II’s pivotal moves. It also establishes other key elements, like building and upgrading a headquarters, finding neat collectibles (like “the Truth”), and earning income over time. This entry is also a visual treat, recreating the splendor of Renaissance Italy in full effect, from the towering cathedrals to the winding waterways. With so much to do and see, getting lost in Assassin’s Creed II is inevitable.


Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013)

In many ways, Black Flag is a deviation from the Assassin’s Creed titles that came before it – but it’s still a ton fun. As a treasure-hunting pirate, you trade the tall buildings and political conspiracies of previous games for the danger of the high seas. A pirate’s life is exciting, from the thrill of exploration to the chaos of naval battles – not to mention the sound of your crew singing sea shanties. The story feels underwhelming and fragmented, but you’re so caught up in conquering islands that you barely notice. If you approach Black Flag as a pirate fantasy rather than a traditional Assassin’s Creed game, you won’t be disappointed.


Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (2018)

Continuing the exploration of RPG territory started by Origins, Odyssey fully incorporates the new genre elements into the Assassin’s Creed structure. As a mercenary in Ancient Greece, players have a satisfying level of ownership over all of their exploits. Whether you’re making choices in dialogue or sailing across the huge map in your customized ship, the expansive sense of freedom in Odyssey is exhilarating. The skill tree gives you access to an array of exciting combat abilities, making you feel like an all-powerful force on the battlefield. The sheer volume of quests and activities mean that the tasks can get repetitive, but Odyssey’s exceptional post-launch support (via free updates and paid DLC) help inject variety into the adventure.


Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (2015)

A series can acquire a lot of baggage over multiple installments, implementing more features across several different games than could ever fit in a single entry. Syndicate sifts through the possibilities and assembles an almost perfect representation of the “classic style” Assassin’s Creed experience. The carefully crafted assassination missions (with great unique kills) and the compelling Victorian setting are the highlights fans would expect. However, the adventure still holds surprises; the new zipline reinvigorates traversal, and the upgrade system gives you a satisfying way to expand the abilities of the twin protagonists Jacob and Evie Frye. 


Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)

Brotherhood strikes an almost perfect balance between judiciously refining the best parts of its predecessor and making its own mark on the series. While many elements return from AC II, the new mechanics Brotherhood contributes to the formula make it a deeper and more rewarding experience – but just by a hair. You are able to be more aggressive in combat, performing chain kills rather than waiting around for attacks to counter. Instead of upgrading a single base, Ezio renovates the entire city of Rome, claiming territory and improving shops to build Assassin influence. He also recruits his own initiates, calling on them in combat and sending them on missions that complete automatically in real-time. This layer of management makes players feel like more than a single blade in the crowd; it conveys a sense of overseeing and steering the fate of the Assassin order as a whole. Add in a clever competitive multiplayer mode, and Brotherhood becomes the ultimate Assassin’s Creed experience against which all others are measured.


Cat-Loving Spartans! Here’s What Is In Halo Infinite’s Shop This Week

Halo Infinite’s shop updates every Tuesday at 10 a.m. PT with new items that players can purchase with credits. Since the launch of the free-to-play multiplayer component, 343 Industries has done a nice job of offering up colorful items for players to purchase. The latest rotation brings a bundle that alienates dog lovers but should make cat enthusiasts feel right at home.

This week’s pricey 2,000 credit bundle is called Fire and Frost and gives your Spartan the red-and-gold coloring of Iron Man. To use this armor coating you need the Yoroi and Mark V armor core. The bundle also comes with the Trash Removal stance, and Tempest of Blades emblem, nameplate, and weapon decal.

The most comical item this week is the Cat Lovers bundle that gives your Spartan helmet cat ears. You also get a faded blush armor coloring and a Tabby charm for your weapons. If you just want to look like a cat yet want to show off your love of food through the charm, the Chow Down bundle gives you a pizza slice charm, a bacon charm, and a Second Breakfast emblem, nameplate, and weapon decal.

For those of you seeking more realism, the Maltese Mayhem Weapon Set offers a variety of weapon models, such as the Critpoint Shroud design for the MK50 Sidekick. You also unlock the Maltese Mayhem weapon coloring.


A New Report Details Employee Exodus Happening Within Ubisoft

A new report from Axios details what is reportedly a large exodus happening at Ubisoft. 

Axios’ report about this exodus says colleagues across the company refer to what’s happening as “the great exodus” and “the cut artery.” Those colleagues describe this exodus happening at Ubisoft as something they’ve never seen before, citing reasons such as low pay, competitive opportunities, frustration at the company’s creative direction as of late, and the recent scandals surrounding the video game development and publishing company. 

The report also says that “at least five of the top 25-credited people from the company’s biggest 2021 game, Far Cry 6, [are] already gone,” noting that on the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla side of things, 12 of the top 50-credited developers from that game have departed as well. It’s important to note, of course, that it’s not uncommon for developers to depart from a company after work on a game is complete, but Axios spoke to a dozen current and former Ubisoft employees who say these departures are part of a large exodus happening at the company.

Axios notes that LinkedIn reveals that Ubisoft’s Montreal and Toronto studios are down “at least 60 total workers in the last six months,” and that two current Ubisoft developers say this exodus of employees has led to stalled and slowed projects. 

One developer told the publication that leaving the company is “an easy target for recruiters,” given all of the company’s scandals as of late, and that another former-Ubisoft employee left after becoming disappointed with directives from the company’s Paris headquarters, citing that “there’s something about management and creative scraping by with the bare minimum that really turned [them] away.” 

However, Axios reached out to Ubisoft and management told the publication that it is on top of the exodus and that while attrition is up, the company has also hired 2,600 employees since April. 

“Our attrition today is a few percentage points above where it typically is…but it’s still within industry norms,” Ubisoft’s head of people ops, Anika Grant, told Axios

Elsewhere in the report, one programmer told the publication that they were able to get a job with triple the pay after leaving Ubisoft. Grant said Ubisoft recently gave all of its workers at its Canadian offices a pay raise and that “those boosts have improved retention by 50 percent.” 

This report comes after a summer where employees were left unhappy with Ubisoft management and its handling of internal scandals. Back in July, a new report revealed that many Ubisoft employees were unhappy with how leadership handled “Me Too” and in October of 2020, a report revealed that 25 percent of Ubisoft employees experienced or witnessed workplace misconduct

In other Ubisoft news, the company announced last week that it is developing a Splinter Cell remake. For more information about the exodus of employees reportedly happening at Ubisoft, check out Axios’ full report

[Source: Axios]


[UPDATE] Embracer Group Acquires Perfect World Entertainment And Dark Horse Media

UPDATE 12/21/21 1:00 p.m. Central: News of Embracer Group’s acquisitions are coming fast today, with the holding company now also acquiring the North American operations of Chinese media entity Perfect World Co., Ltd. According to an announcement by Embracer, the agreement is for a one-time payout of $125 million for the Perfect World Entertainment publishing arm and developer Cryptic Studios and those companies’ combined 237 full-time employees. You can read the full announcement here.

You may know Cryptic Studios as the company behind Magic: Legends, a multiplayer RPG set in the world of Magic: The Gathering which was canceled before development made it out of the beta phase. However, Cryptic is responsible for other successful MMOs such as Neverwinter and Star Trek Online, both of which it’s still supporting.

Original Story: Embracer Group, the parent company of THQ Nordic, has entered into an agreement to acquire Dark Horse Media, the famed comics company and intellectual property holder of over 300 franchises. 

This news comes by way of a new Embracer Group press release, which reveals that “due to commercial reasons the specific transaction terms are not disclosed.” Embracer says Dark Horse will become the tenth operative group within the company, which is continuing to grow thanks to today’s acquisition as well as recent acquisitions of Borderlands maker Gearbox and World War Z developer Saber Interactive

“Through the acquisition, Embracer strengthens its transmedia capabilities by adding expertise in content development, comics publishing, and film and TV production,” the press release reads. “Dark Horse owns or controls more than 300 intellectual properties, many of which are attractive for future transmedia exploitation, including the creation of new video games.” 

Despite the acquisition, current Dark Horse CEO and founder Mike Richardson will continue to lead the comics maker. 

“I can’t express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse moves into this new chapter in our history,” Richardson writes in the press release. “The synergies that exist with the Embracer network of companies promises exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and companies we work with. I’ve had a number of compelling conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors and I’m very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. I have to say, the future of our company has never looked brighter.” 

Dark Horse was founded in 1986 by Richardson with the idea that “writers and artists were treated as partners.” It’s now home to Dark Horse Comics, Dark Horse Entertainment, which is behind series like The Umbrella Academy and Resident Alien, and Things From Another World, a company responsible for the creation of graphic novels, toys, statues, and other types of collectibles. 

This acquisition is expected to be completed by early 2022. 

Are you excited about the prospects of this acquisition? Are you concerned about what might come of this acquisition? Let us know in the comments below!


Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour Returns Next February With New Announcements And More

Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour is set to return in 2022. 

More specifically, it seems we’ll be getting some new looks at Dragon Ball games like Dragon: The Breakers on Februrary 18, 19, and 20 next year. The announcement tweet about this returning event promises fans a chance to “experience the latest Dragon Ball announcements together.” 

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The official Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour site lists the following, although there’s no word on if this means we’ll be seeing announcements for each of these Dragon Ball-related things: 

The Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour 2022 trailer promises all of the zaniness you might expect out of this event based on previous showcases like this. It also seems to showcase a metaverse-like virtual setting for players to enjoy the three days of the event. Only time will tell for now. 

For more, head to the official Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour 2022 website and then read about the recent reveal of Dragon Ball: The Breakers, a delightfully silly-looking asymmetrical multiplayer game. Check out Game Informer’s Dragon Ball FighterZ review after that. 

What do you hope to see during Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour 2022? Let us know in the comments below!


Embracer Group Acquires Dark Horse Media For Undisclosed Amount

Embracer Group, the parent company of THQ Nordic, has entered into an agreement to acquire Dark Horse Media, the famed comics company and intellectual property holder of over 300 franchises. 

This news comes by way of a new Embracer Group press release, which reveals that “due to commercial reasons the specific transaction terms are not disclosed.” Embracer says Dark Horse will become the tenth operative group within the company, which is continuing to grow thanks to today’s acquisition as well as recent acquisitions of Borderlands maker Gearbox and World War Z developer Saber Interactive

“Through the acquisition, Embracer strengthens its transmedia capabilities by adding expertise in content development, comics publishing, and film and TV production,” the press release reads. “Dark Horse owns or controls more than 300 intellectual properties, many of which are attractive for future transmedia exploitation, including the creation of new video games.” 

Despite the acquisition, current Dark Horse CEO and founder Mike Richardson will continue to lead the comics maker. 

“I can’t express the excitement I feel as Dark Horse moves into this new chapter in our history,” Richardson writes in the press release. “The synergies that exist with the Embracer network of companies promises exciting new opportunities not only for Dark Horse, but also for the creators and companies we work with. I’ve had a number of compelling conversations with Embracer CEO Lars Wingefors and I’m very impressed with him and what he and his team have built. I have to say, the future of our company has never looked brighter.” 

Dark Horse was founded in 1986 by Richardson with the idea that “writers and artists were treated as partners.” It’s now home to Dark Horse Comics, Dark Horse Entertainment, which is behind series like The Umbrella Academy and Resident Alien, and Things From Another World, a company responsible for the creation of graphic novels, toys, statues, and other types of collectibles. 

This acquisition is expected to be completed by early 2022. 

Are you excited about the prospects of this acquisition? Are you concerned about what might come of this acquisition? Let us know in the comments below!


Cruis’n Blast Could Get Online Multiplayer, Additional Content In Future Update

Online multiplayer functionality and DLC could soon be coming to Raw Thrill’s Cruis’n Blast in a future update. 

First reported by Nintendo Life, Raw Thrills boss Eugene Jarvis recently took part in a Reddit AMA where he talked about a number of video game-related things, including the recently-released Cruis’n Blast. He said that the next goal for the team is online multiplayer. 

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“Online multiplayer is out next goal for Cruis’n/Switch…when we get our online multiplayer going, we’ll definitely look at bringing on some more content,” Jarvis said in the AMA

While not official confirmation that online multiplayer and additional content are coming to Cruis’n Blast, it’s at least nice to hear that Raw Thrills is looking into both. That’s great because one Game Informer editor who wrote up their first impressions of the arcade racer noted that it was a disappointment Cruis’n Blast didn’t feature online multiplayer

Elsewhere in the AMA, Jarvis said he’d love to see the original Cruis’n Nintendo 64 trilogy ported to Switch and that he’ll “talk to Miyamoto” about seeing what Raw Thrills can do. 

Only time will tell if online multiplayer and additional content like new cars and tracks make their way to Cruis’n Blast. For now, check out our thoughts on in it this episode of All Things Nintendo, which is Game Informer’s Nintendo podcast, and then read about how Cruis’n Blast is an unapologetic, enjoyable arcade racing throwback after that. 

[Source: Nintendo Life]

Did you check out Cruis’n Blast on Switch? Let us know in the comments below!


Cover Reveal – Horizon Forbidden West

In 2017, Guerrilla Games wowed us with a new IP that was different from anything it had ever produced. Best known for the shooter Killzone series, Guerrilla flipped the script and ventured into the open-world action/RPG genre, inviting us to a post-apocalyptic Earth where massive, animal-like machines have become a part of the ecosystem. Horizon Zero Dawn was an overwhelming success, with adrenaline-pumping battles, an awesome protagonist in headstrong Aloy, and exciting discoveries around every bend. We couldn’t wait to experience more, especially since Guerrilla had left some loose ends hanging. Thankfully, the highly anticipated sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, is just around the corner with its February 18 release date. 

For our 12-page cover story, we spoke to Guerrilla Games about what Aloy’s adventure westward will entail, and we were treated to two hands-off demos. One demo showcased an area early in the game, providing a glimpse at the more detailed towns and character models alongside the new skill trees and workbench system. Our second demo took us much later in the game to see a boss battle in action against a new fierce foe: the Slitherfang. However, the new machines are only part of Aloy’s struggles this time around. Find out more about the additional pressures and conundrums coming her way, and how Guerrilla Games is taking Aloy and the gameplay in Horizon Forbidden West to a new level. 

In addition to our main cover, we also have a Game Informer Gold edition. Limited to a numbered print run per issue, this premium version of Game Informer isn’t available for sale. To learn about places where you might be able to get a copy, check out our official Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks. Click here to read more about Game Informer Gold.

This issue also marks the first reveal of Game Informer’s new brand refresh and magazine design, and we’ve prepared a gallery below to give you a preview of the new look. Our graphic designers spent a great deal of time finding ways to create a more readable experience as we look to push Game Informer into a new era. You’ll notice a new look and feel as you read through the pages of the magazine, which also includes our top 10 games of 2021, genre awards, and editor picks. Did your favorite game win big? Read to find out and look back on another great year in gaming. 

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We didn’t stop there, though. Telltale is coming back in a big way, and associate editor Wesley Leblanc has the first big look at the studio’s reinvention, including its newly announced The Expanse: A Telltale Series being co-developed by Deck Nine. We also dive deep into another highly anticipated sequel hitting soon: Dying Light 2: Stay Human, detailing our recent hands-on impressions and why we feel optimistic about the February 4 release. And if that’s not enough, we have looks at Elden Ring, Forspoken, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Year Two

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


Intel’s CEO Believes The Ongoing Chip Shortage Could Last Until 2023

We’re in Year 2 of the new-gen consoles from PlayStation and Xbox, and it’s still as tricky as ever to get your hands on one. 

This is due to several reasons, including the rise of online bots that automatically purchase these consoles, the resale market, and more, but perhaps chief among these reasons is the ongoing chip shortage. These chips are used in the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles, which means PlayStation and Xbox cannot produce as many as they’d like as quickly as they’d like. Unfortunately, after AMD CEO Lisa Su said back in October that the chip shortage could last into 2022, the CEO of Intel has now said he believes it could last into 2023. 

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This news comes by way of Nikkei Asia, which reports that the U.S. should expect supply gaps due to a shortage in semiconductors used not just in new-gen consoles and PCs, but other pieces of technology such as cars and more. 

“The overall semiconductor shortage is quite significant and the semiconductor industry was growing about 5% per year before COVID,’ Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said during a press conference recently. “COVID disrupted the supply chains, causing it to go negative. Demand exploded 20% year-over-year and disrupted supply chains created a very large gap…and that exploding demand has persisted.” 

Gelsinger continued, adding that it takes time to build a capacity to address this gap and demand size. He also said that Intel is building new expansive facilities to help address the shortage in Arizona and New Mexico and that he expects more to come to the U.S. and Europe as well. 

This chip shortage has, of course, affected PlayStation and Xbox, as anyone trying to buy a new-gen console knows, but it’s drastically affected Nintendo as well. The Japanese company recently revealed back in November that it expects to make 20% fewer Switch consoles between now and March, setting back its sales expectations by about 6 million units. 

[Source: Nikkei Asia]

Are you struggling to get your hands on a new-gen console? Let us know in the comments below!


Ghost of Tsushima Movie Director Gives Update On The Film’s Status

It might be a while until we learn more about the Ghost of Tsushima movie adaptation currently in the works.

That’s because director Chad Stahelski, who’s perhaps best known for directing all three John Wick films (as well as the upcoming fourth one, too), told IGN in a new interview that the team behind it wants to do right by the game. To do that, the team is taking its time. 

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“We just want to do it right,” Stahelski said. “You know how video game adaptations can go. So we’re taking our time and doing it right. We’re working very closely with game developers to make sure we stick to what’s great about it.” 

IGN notes that Stahelski stated that a script is still being developed for the movie. He also said that fans of Ghost of Tsushima “would be very happy with what we’re working on,” noting that he’s played it “many times,” which is something that initially drew him to the project.

When asked if Jin Sakai English voice actor Daisuke Tsuji would be reprising his role in the film, Stahelski said, “we’ll see,” and they “haven’t gotten that far yet.” Only time will tell for now. 

For now, read about the original announcement of a Ghost of Tsushima movie and then read about how Tsuje really wants in on the film – he even said he entirely agrees to butt-nudity in it. Read our thoughts on the game in Game Informer’s Ghost of Tsushima review after that. 

[Source: IGN]

Are you excited about this Ghost of Tsushima movie? Let us know in the comments below!


An Assassin’s Creed Origins 60 FPS Update Could Be On The Way

The ancient Egypt of Assassin’s Creed Origins is a visually stunning place to explore, and it could soon look even better. 

That’s because Ubisoft has revealed that it’s looking into adding 60 FPS support to the Bayak-led Assassin’s Creed title. This news was announced today, December 21, which also happens to be Assassin’s Creed Day. No, it’s not an anniversary for the first Assassin’s Creed title or any title in the franchise. It’s the day of the Winter Solstice, and in Assassin’s Creed lore, December 21, 2012, was supposed to be the end of the world. 

However, Desmond Miles sacrificed himself to save the world from the destruction of Juno. That happened in 2012’s Assassin’s Creed 3. Assassin’s Creed Origins would be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC five years later. As the name implies, its story represents the origin of the Assassin Brotherhood (or at least what would one day become the Brotherhood). It sounds like soon we’ll be able to experience that origin story in 60 FPS. 

Unfortunately, those looking for more will have to wait and see what comes of this update, as Ubisoft did not reveal anything else. There’s no word of when this 60 FPS patch might go through, nor is there a definitive guarantee it will happen – just Ubisoft’s assertion that it’s “looking into adding 60 FPS support for Assassin’s Creed Origins.” 

While waiting for this update, check out Game Informer’s Assassin’s Creed Origins review and then check out our thoughts on Assassin’s Creed III. After that, read about the now-live crossover between Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and then check out Game Informer’s ranking of all Assassin’s Creed games.

Would you jump back into Assassin’s Creed Origins if it received a 60 FPS update? Let us know in the comments below!


Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Will Have Crossplay And Cross-Save Support At Launch

Konami has announced that its upcoming free-to-play card game, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel will launch with crossplay cross-save support. 

This news comes from Nintendo Life, which reports that Konami announced this news alongside many other features players can expect in Master Duel during the Jump Festa 2022 event recently held. The game is not yet out, but it’s expected sometime this Winter, which means its release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, and Android could be imminent. For now, you can check out its official trailer. 

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As noted by Nintendo Life, duelists can expect the following features in Master Duel: 

  • 4K resolution duels
  • Over 10,000 cards to unlock across the series’ history 
  • A Solo Mode campaign
  • Deckbuilding and a large database with Decklists
  • Tutorials to teach players how to play 
  • Special events and tournaments 

Because of today’s news, duelists can now expect to be able to play their Xbox-owning friend while on a PlayStation, for example. Or, they could play on their mobile device while their opposition plays on PC, thanks to Master Duel’s crossplay support. And thanks to cross-save support, players can freely switch between platforms. You can play primarily at home on a console or PC and then take your progression with you on the go via your mobile device. 

While waiting for Master Duel, read about its reveal and the reveal of Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel Saikyou Battle Royale that happened alongside it. Check out why one Game Informer editor believes Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel might finally be what fans are looking for after that. 

[Source: Nintendo Life]

Are you excited about Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel? Let us know in the comments below!


Ruined King: A League of Legends Story Review – Royal Pain

Publisher: Riot Games
Developer: Airship Syndicate

November 16, 2021

Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: PC
Also on:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch

Even twelve years after its initial release, League of Legends stands atop the esports pantheon as one of the most popular competitive games in the world. Ruined King: A League of Legends Story takes several of the beloved MOBA’s notable characters and drops them into an entertaining, albeit overlong, role-playing experience. Skill-based progression, explorable hubs, and turn-based combat might immediately excite fans of developer Airship Syndicate’s debut project, Battle Chasers: Nightwar. However, Ruined King’s implementation of these features is often mediocre. Nevertheless, the total package is an adequate single-player alternative to Riot’s multiplayer-centric titles.

Sadly, Runeterra’s verdant prairies are absent from Ruined King. Instead, I spent several hours predominantly traversing the port city of Bilgewater and its neighboring region, the Shadow Isles, to find and defeat forgettable antagonists. These locales are home to vicious pirates, wild beasts, and restless spirits. Ruined King’s washed-out grays and sickly greens parallel grim motifs like revenge, greed, and displacement. But after retracing my steps through the same shadowy caverns and bleak harbors for several hours, that subdued color palate took its toll; the many marketplaces and temples became increasingly lifeless and dull.

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This is a shame because the ensemble cast – Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Ahri, and Pyke – have fun and diverse personalities. Silly banter and tense disagreements between the protagonists keep Ruined King’s predictable narrative interesting. Each legend interacts with the game world differently, making for some engaging interactions. Pyke’s expertise as a harpooner allows him to dive into deep waters to access hidden passageways. At the same time, I’d shoot Ahri’s magic orbs from various angles to activate far-off switches or solve environmental puzzles. These skills were always valuable, especially when scouring dungeons for rare gear and lore documents. Of course, collectibles weren’t the only things that awaited me while completing main and side quests. 

Most areas are host to a bevy of enemies, from long-bearded undead warriors to stone giants, and battling these monsters helped make up for the uninspired level design. When a battle begins, an “initiative bar” at the bottom of the screen indicates the turn order, but a “lane” system – inspired by League of Legends mechanics – spices up the formula by allowing characters to move up or down the initiative bar at will. A sword swipe or magic blast from the speed lane will hit earlier with reduced damage. Conversely, gunshots or shield bashes from the power lane take longer to activate but are particularly devastating. “Zones” that appear along the bar have the chance to apply buffs or debuffs, so using lanes to obtain or avoid these random conditions added even more depth to the action. Even though I wish foes were more challenging, the clever rhythm of Ruined King’s lane system made me want to seek out brawls all the time.

I loved using Braum’s “Stand Behind Me” ability in the power lane to cast mighty shields on the entire party. And if I didn’t feel like waiting for a lane ability, I relied on default attacks for instant gratification. An ultimate meter builds up throughout engagements, and activating these super abilities often meant the difference between slaying a beefy boss or losing the bout entirely. Unfortunately, I couldn’t substitute party members in or out of combat, which didn’t allow for much roster experimentation. Moreover, during several combat scenarios, I felt like I was being punished for any tactic that didn’t include the typical healer or tank-focused lineup. Fast-traveling to a rest spot to make emergency swaps and remedy this issue was a constant immersion-breaker.

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Vanquished adversaries drop gold and, more importantly, materials to spend on weapon and armor enchantments. I collected an impressive number of enchantment recipes while traveling off the beaten path, and my combat prowess towards the latter half of Ruined King benefited from this. I often altered my gear to increase crit ratings so that my katana-wielding Yasuo and gun-toting Miss Fortune boasted significant attack numbers. I also earned ability points for leveling my party (experience points are shared), which I’d use to amplify default and lane powers. “Rune shards” were also doled out every few levels and, once equipped, introduced fun modifiers that bolstered stats of my choice, like Illaoi’s healing or Pyke’s evasion. I appreciated having many routes to upgrade my favorite fighters and customize their respective kits.

Ruined King is a conventional RPG set in the League of Legends universe with an exciting lane system that smartly reconstructs the standard turn-based loop. Still, a forgettable story about good vs. evil and reiterative backdrops are apparent drawbacks. The action and imaginative characters do their best to keep the game’s 20-30-hour time sink enjoyable. Still, players that aren’t already fans of Riot Games’ flagship franchise are better off skipping this entry.

Score: 7

Summary: Ruined King: A League of Legends Story might impress fans with its nuanced combat systems, but beyond that, Riot Games’ latest RPG is a mediocre experience at best.







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Final Fantasy 6 Pixel Remaster Releasing This February

Square Enix announced back in October that the pixel remaster of Final Fantasy V would be launching on November 10, and it did, with word that the pixel remaster of Final Fantasy VI would be coming next, naturally. 

However, many expected a December release, but now we know it’s coming later. Square Enix has now revealed that we can expect this remaster on PC, iOS, and Android in February, although a specific release date was not given.

Click here to watch embedded media

“In order to bring you the best experience possible, we’re giving ourselves the necessary time to apply final polish while finishing development on the game,” a Steam post from Square Enix reads. “We’re adding some new items for those that pre-purchase either the game individually or have purchased the bundle. We’re looking forward to sharing the final title in our pixel remaster series with you all early next year and we hope you’re looking forward to it.” 

As far as pre-purchase items go, players will get Locke’s Theme (Timelapse Remix), The Decisive Battle (Timelapse Remix), Terra’s Theme (Timelapse Remix), Searching for Friend (Timelapse Remix), and Aria di Mezzo Carattere (Instrumental). They’ll also get two Final Fantasy VI wallpapers, and two more wallpapers from the pixel remasters of the first six Final Fantasy games. 

While waiting for Final Fantasy VI to hit PC, iOS, and Android next February, check out why one Game Informer editor thinks these Final Fantasy pixel remasters are awesome

Are you excited to play Final Fantasy VI? Let us know in the comments below!


What’s New In Fortnite Today: Teases Of The Matrix’s Neo And Trinity


Epic Games updates Fortnite every day at 4 p.m. PT with new skins, gear, and more. On top of the daily items found in the shop, there’s a chance that new quests, world-changing events, and entirely new gameplay ideas will be added to the game at any time. Here’s what you can look forward to finding today:

As is usually the case, all of the day’s new content is exclusive to the item shop, meaning you’ll need V-Bucks to add any of these goods to your collection. The big items for sale tie into The Matrix films. Thanks to two new emotes, you can make your character leap into the air like Trinity or dodge bullets like Neo. These moves are joined by a new “Ones and Zeroes” weapon skin that makes each firearm look like it’s constructed of The Matrix’s green and black coding. The animated effect is quite cool.

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Neo and Trinity skins have to be on the way. If I had to guess, we’ll see them any day. Epic may wait until The Matrix Resurrection‘s theatrical and HBO launch on December 22, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they drop tomorrow – with both characters getting new and old-school Matrix skins. If you open the Matrix-themed present in the holiday lodge, you’ll get a cool Sentinel glider for free.

The shop also has a variety of new holiday-themed goods, including the return of the Cutiepie skin from Chapter 2, Season 1, and Blinky from Chapter 2, Season 5. Also returning are Fennix, Artica, Athleisure Assassin, and the color-changing Kaws Skeleton. The emotes offered are Say So, Leapin’, Whirlwind, and Pizza Party.

The Spider-Man: No Way Home content is still for sale, as is the Gears of War Kait and Marcus skins. The Deep Freeze Bundle is now available at a lowered $11.99 price. This pack includes the Frostbite skin, similarly themed gear, and 1,00 V-Bucks.

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Blazing Strike Pays Loving Homage To The 2D Glory Days Of The Fighting Genre

Blazing Strike

Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: RareBreed Makes Games


Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Originally announced in 2016 for an early 2017 release under Steam’s now-defunct Greenlight program, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Blazing Strike was canceled. However, after years of fine-tuning the gameplay, seeking different methods of funding the project, and undergoing a full visual overhaul, Blazing Strike is finally poised to launch in 2022. I went hands-on with a recent build of it and came away impressed with how the game pays loving homage to the 2D fighters I grew up with in the ’90s.

In late 2016, developer RareBreed Makes Games delayed the planned playable Steam demo indefinitely. Following an abandoned Kickstarter campaign in 2019, the dev moved funding efforts to Patreon and decided to rework the visuals from custom-shaded 3D to full 2D pixel art. In May 2021, RareBreed Makes Games announced it had secured a publishing deal with Aksys Games, a publisher known in the fighting game space for its work on franchises like Guilty Gear, BlazBlue, and Under Night In-Birth. 

Click here to watch embedded media

The 2D fighting genre may be alive and well thanks to series like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, and the aforementioned Guilty Gear, but that isn’t stopping RareBreed Makes Games from paying tribute to the iconic games of yesteryear. With systems that take inspiration from series like Marvel vs. Capcom, Street Fighter, and The King of Fighters, Blazing Strike is a promising blast from the past. But the game is far more than derivations, as the developer implements modern mechanics and mobility into that classic 2D style to create something that has a world of potential.

One of the big missions for RareBreed Makes Games was to create something that is easy and approachable to pick up, but difficult to master. To accomplish this, Blazing Strike implements light-normal combos akin to what is seen in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, giving players easier ways to kick off combos by just tapping the light-normal buttons. Blazing Strike also uses various comeback mechanics, including Critical Strike, which can be activated when your health is in critical state, giving you enhanced speed and combo opportunities.

Blazing Strike

The game also hopes to give players more mobility, which it accomplishes through one of its main mechanics: the Rush system. This set of mechanics kicks off when a player holds down the Rush trigger. Once activated, Rush mode allows the player to execute various moves, including unique character Rush abilities, special forward-moving Rush combos, Rush specials similar to EX moves in Street Fighter, and faster movement speeds and higher jumps.

Blazing Strike is set in a dystopian future where a resistance group fights against an autocratic government. The roster, featuring 14 fighters with distinct visual and gameplay styles, reflects this bleak, futuristic setting. On top of those 14 playable characters available right off the bat, the developer hints that there could be three boss characters that may or may not be playable in the final game.

Blazing Strike

The build I played featured just three of the 14 fighters that will be in the main game, but it gave me a good sense of the roster diversity RareBreed Makes Games is going for. Shinsuke gives off serious Ryu vibes, and I love the powerful moves Jake’s glowing blue arm enables him to do, but my favorite character in this build is Pink Samurai. Not only is her visual style the most distinct of all the characters who are playable to me, but her sword gives her longer reach (rivaled only by fellow sword-wielder, Ryohei) and I love her moveset. 

Since many of the characters’ moves utilize the classic fighting game motions featuring quarter-circles or back-forward plus attack buttons to execute special moves, my muscle memory from decades of Street Fighter play transitions to Blazing Strike with ease. The gameplay is smooth and, as the developer intended, easy to pick up and play; after just a short time messing around with the player-versus-CPU mode, I was executing special moves and racking up wins against the A.I. The Rush mechanics, which are activated by holding down the trigger, give you a noticeable speed boost and was instrumental in many of my more successful combos, which admittedly, were also aided greatly by the light-normal combo system.

Blazing Strike

While I was only able to spend time in Vs. mode, the final version of the game will include a story mode, arcade mode, training mode, persona A.I., and online play featuring GGPO rollback, which will hopefully provide the best online experience with as little lag as possible. Blazing Strike is currently set to hit PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC in either Q1 or Q2 of 2022.


Updated: All Of The Marvel And DC Superheroes In Fortnite

From Thanos to Batman, Fortnite is becoming a comic book fan’s dream come true. If Epic Games keeps adding Marvel and DC characters at a rapid-fire clip, there’s a chance we could have an awesome showdown of 100 heroes and villains years down the road. The latest addition is The Batman Who Laughs, a prominent character in the new Fortnite comic book published by DC Comics. Epic surprisingly didn’t create any skins for the recently released movie, Eternals.

You can take a look at all of the comic characters that were a part of a season or an event below:




The Batman Who Laughs

Beast Boy

Black Manta

Black Panther

Black Widow




Captain America

Captain Marvel



Dark Phoenix



Doctor Doom


The Flash



Ghost Rider

Green Arrow


Harley Quinn

Iron Man

The Joker




Nick Fury

Poison Ivy





Silver Surfer









Wonder Woman


The Gunk Review – Colorless, But Comfortable

Publisher: Thunderful Publishing
Developer: Image & Form Games, Thunderful Development

December 16, 2021

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

I began The Gunk with eager anticipation, blasting across the swirling clouds of the cosmos. The opening cinematic is beautiful and full of promise. Unfortunately, it is also the apex of the short game’s trajectory. In a game filled with alien worlds splashed with color and populated with extraterrestrial mysteries, The Gunk falls surprisingly flat. Fortunately, this spacecraft manages to stay afloat with likable characters, solid gameplay, and a serviceable story.  

The Gunk’s heroes, Rani and Becks, are a pair of plucky and impoverished space haulers. They touch down on an unknown planet hoping to discover valuable resources to pay off their debts and set themselves up for life. As Rani, you fearlessly explore the unknown world, scanning life forms for data, jumping from craggy cliffs to oversized leaves, and eventually, clearing away obstructive, plant-destroying Gunk. Becks stays with the ship, but the comms allow an easy back and forth between the ship’s co-captains, which reminds me of Cowboy Bebop and Firefly, shows that star intrepid space travelers in constant need of cash. While not bad company to keep, this highlights a problematic pattern: nothing in The Gunk feels unique.

Everything in this adventure is reminiscent of something else, and, for the most part, it’s been done better somewhere else. After encountering the planet’s titular gooey substance for the first time and vacuuming it up with my robotic arm, I flashed back to Luigi’s Mansion. Other features, from opening shortcuts by dropping climbable vines to shooting glowing buttons that open locked doors to harvesting the planet’s plant life for crafting materials, feel incredibly well-trod and uninspired. On the one hand, The Gunk feels familiar and slightly comfortable. On the other hand, nothing really sticks out, making this experience almost forgettable.

Despite evoking other great shows and games, The Gunk never reaches the heights of its inspirations. Despite the range of colors in these alien landscapes, the hues never pop, and the terrain always seems a little unsaturated. Instead of triggering an awe-inspiring moment where the grey, Gunk-infested landscape transforms into a vibrant oasis of exotic plant life, the dulled aesthetic means cleaning the Gunk from a location only has a moderate visual impact, which diminishes the thrill of cleansing each area.

During dialogue-heavy sections, the character models’ lips flap like lifeless puppets, resulting in cutscenes that are fine to listen to but awkward to watch. Running, jumping, and shooting feels smooth, but I occasionally got stuck on the surrounding geometry. Hovering helplessly in the air thanks to a glitch is annoying, as is noticing that plants and rocks often have the same texture, but they didn’t stop me from having a good time running around the world and accomplishing my mission.

That mission is, at first, straightforward. Collect resources from the world to make much-needed repairs to my robotic, vacuum-ready prosthetic arm and look for anything that might sell for big bucks. However, the adventurous Rani can’t stop herself from trying to rid the world of the sticky mass threatening its flora and fauna. Unraveling the mystery of the Gunk’s origin puts Rani at odds with the pragmatic Becks, who doesn’t want to waste their precious and diminishing supplies fixing someone else’s problem. As a result, the conflict at the heart of this story was strong enough to push me on from one linear section to the next.

The Gunk deserves a fair bit of criticism and only a little unreserved praise. The connection between the characters holds up the story, sucking up goo is strangely satisfying, and the mechanics work as intended. However, I wish the world felt more distinctive and better realized. The environment has the potential to be a vibrant kaleidoscope with brilliant hues and unearthly forms. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hit that mark. All said, The Gunk is a competent romp through space, but not a stellar one.

Score: 7

Summary: The characters’ relationship bolsters the story and sucking up goo is satisfying, but The Gunk doesn’t offer much that players won’t have seen before.

Concept: Clean the toxic globs that threaten to swallow a planet while scavenging for crafting resources and riches

Graphics: Though the concept is bright and extraterrestrial, the final product is lackluster, with dull colors and unpolished textures

Sound: The score mostly recedes into the background, but the back and forth character banter is engaging

Playability: Cleaning an area of sludge and clearing the path forward to revitalize the surrounding landscape is rewarding

Entertainment: Nothing here will surprise seasoned gamers but The Gunk has enough diverting action and puzzle-solving in its brief runtime to keep players’ attention

Replay: Moderate

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Diablo IV’s Itemization And Paragon System Overhauls Headline Quarterly Update

Another quarter of the year has passed, therefore another quarterly update from the Diablo IV team at Blizzard is upon us. This update on the demonic RPG focuses on some important topics like itemization and endgame progression.

As always, Blizzard releases these updates for Diablo IV every few months, and the entire blog for this edition can be found right here. First, items are on the menu, with the return of +Skill stats returning to the series. With class skill points coming back, it was only a matter of time until we saw gear that would affect the ability trees. This means your weapons or armor are able to bestow rank-ups for your classes skills, increasing proficiency for spells or attacks, sometimes even giving you access to skills many levels before you’d normally have them! 

Continuing on with items, the blog reiterates the importance of legendary items in the grand scheme of class builds and endgame progression. Legendary stats are now set to appear on different item slots, instead of just one, allowing for greater customization possibilities. A new vendor called the Occultist will allow players to take the skill from one legendary item and transfer it to another. Below, you can see a Barbarian’s axe with all of its stats, and the essence made from it that can be imposed onto a different piece of gear.

While we’re on the subject of customization, Diablo IV’s endgame is going to have a completely overhauled Paragon system. Dubbed the Paragon Board, players will unlock this feature at level 50. The goal is to fill out tiles as characters gain Paragon experience. You’ll initially begin on the boards center tile, and like the license board from Final Fantasy XII, you’ll claim tiles adjacent to the ones you’ve already filled in. Some tiles will be labeled as rare or magic, some sections can be altered with a glyph. When the claimed tiles reach a “gate” at the edge of the board, a new, unique board can be attached (with its own legendary tile) to continue building out the character in the way you want.

Capping off the quarterly report is a fascinating deep dive into the game’s visual effects. There’s plenty of detail on the studio’s visual philosophies and explanations for how and why things look the way they do. If you dig technical breakdowns, make it a point to set aside some time to read that section and watch the videos that accompany it.

And that’s it for this quarter’s scheduled Diablo IV info. While much progress is being made, it was recently stated that Diablo and Overwatch may be further away than previously expected. We’ll just have to patiently wait for more updates, one of which we know will only be a few short months away.


Assassin’s Creed Immersive Concert Announced For 2022

Fans of Assassin’s Creed, especially its many soundtracks, may be pleased to hear that Ubisoft and Overlook Events are launching an immersive concert based on the series. Dubbed the Assassin’s Creed Symphonic Adventure, this original concert takes players on an orchestral adventure across the franchise.

In the past, Overlook Events has organized the well-received Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya Symphonic Adventure concerts. Assassin’s Creed Symphonic Adventure follows a similar format, synchronizing a live orchestra and choir with HD video, lighting, and sound effects. The result is a two-hour musical journey across the entire series that boasts over 100 tracks. Check out the trailer below. 

Click here to watch embedded media

The premiere kicks off at the Grand Rex in Paris on October 29, 2022 which coincides with Assassin’s Creed’s 15th anniversary. If you’re planning to be in the area, tickets go on sale tomorrow, December 21. You can purchase your seat from the concert’s official website. If you can’t make it to France next October, don’t worry.  A world tour is scheduled to launch in early 2023.

Are you interested in attending the Assassin’s Creed Symphonic Adventure if it comes to your town? Let us know in the comments!


The Game Awards Breaks New Records With 2021 Viewership

The Game Awards have been breaking their own records year-over-year and the 2021 show was no different. 

Last year, The Game Awards 2020 broke records with over 83 million viewers, and this year, the show had an estimated 85 million tune in by way of “global livestreams.” Like previous award shows, this year’s event was livestreamed across more than 30 digital networks around the world such as YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, and more. 

“On Twitter, The Game Awards delivered a record-setting 1.6 million tweets about the event in 2021, its best-ever performance,” a press release reads. “The show trended #1 worldwide for the 8th year in a row, commanding 11 out of the top 30 worldwide trends at the peak of conversation.” 

Over on YouTube, a new record for watch time was made with over 1.75 million hours watched on the main Game Awards stream, which does not include co-streams. That’s up 14% compared to last year’s show. Year-over-year, fan voting increased 27% to more than 23.2 million votes. 

“We are grateful we could return to an in-person ceremony in 2021 and continue to build on our success with significant international growth in 2021,” The Game Awards producer and host, Geoff Keighley, said. 

For more context about this year’s record-breaking 85 million livestream numbers, here’s a look at the numbers for previous years

  • 2021: 85 million
  • 2020: 83 million
  • 2019: 45.2 million
  • 2018: 26.2 million
  • 2017: 11.5 million
  • 2016: 3.8 million
  • 2015: 2.3 million
  • 2014: 1.9 million

If you weren’t one of the 85 million livestreams, don’t worry – here’s Game Informer’s list of every winner from The Game Awards 2021.

Did you tune into The Game Awards 2021 this year? What did you like? What do you think it could do better next year? Let us know in the comments below!


Forspoken, Sifu, And Game Of The Year 2021 | GI Show

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What’s a Thursday without another exciting episode of The Game Informer Show? We’re back to our regular scheduled release and today we’re diving into our impressions of Forspoken, Sifu, and our Game of the Year pick for 2021. That’s not all though. Jill, John, Stadnik, and Van Aken are here to go over their personal top ten lists and discuss what games made a huge impact on them in a stacked year. Later in the show, Marcus, Dan, and Kim join the madness to recap who won The Game Awards predictions from a few weeks ago and wrap the proceedings with another fun section of Listener Questions!

Follow the crew on Twitter: Alex Stadnik (@Studnik76), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7), and John Carson (@John_Carson), Jill Grodt (@Finruin), 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 PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcast app.

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

00:00:00 – Introduction

00:03:30 – Game Informer’s Top 10 Games of 2021

00:06:34 – Editor Top 10 Picks of 2021 (Part 1)

00:54:31 – The Playlist

00:55:00 – Forspoken Impressions

01:08:47 – Sifu Hands-On Preview

01:19:32 – Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

01:34:09 – Housekeeping

01:38:46 – The Game Awards Predictions Winner

01:50:45 – Listener Emails

Topic Of The Show:

Game of the Year 2021 and Editor Top 10s Part 1

It’s that glorious time of year again when we get to sit down and celebrate the best of the best in the industry. 2021 was anything but ordinary, but it still produced some amazing gaming experiences, and today we’re recapping our official top ten list and letting you know what won our Game of the Year. We also want to take some time over the next few weeks to give each editor a chance to spotlight their own lists. Today’s episode features the Alexes, Jill, and John talking about their love for Metroid Dread, Life is Strange, and so much more. If you enjoyed this chat, be sure to tune in over the next few weeks as we highlight more top tens from the rest of the editorial staff!

Check out our top ten list here.

The Playlist:

Game Informer Staff discuss the games they’re playing.

After weeks of chaos, we’re finally returning to The Playlist! The GI crew has been hard at work checking out some of 2022’s most interesting titles. Jill sticks with us here to talk about her time previewing Forspoken, Square Enix’s new action title that has a lot going for it, but also a lot to prove before it releases in May of next year. Stadnik later chimes in with his thoughts on his hands-on time with Sifu, developer Sloclap’s exciting new action game. With masterful melee combat, slick style, and an interesting aging mechanic, it has instantly shot up his most anticipated list for 2021, and is excited to share his experience with you! Finally, John Carson wraps up the segment with his thoughts on his time with Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker and discusses why the month and a half long grind has been worth it to see all the new content!

Check out our New Gameplay Today on Sifu here.

Listener Questions:

The Game Informer crew answers your burning questions.

This week’s Listener Questions kicks off with a different segment. We’re bringing Marcus, Dan, and Kim back to recap the winner of our Game Awards predictions we did a few weeks ago. Who reigns supreme, and who is looking forward to next year? You’ll just have to tune in to find out. After that, we answer your burning questions of what bosses made us throw a controller, whether or not we like the end-of-year recaps, and what we thought of the year in games!

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

I’m curious what bosses in games have caused y’all to cry in frustration or scream with rage? Which have absolutely murdered you? – CaseyDavid (Discord)
Are you Stat people? I ask because I like to get those end of the year wrap ups like spotify does with your music and I just got my Nintendo stats for the year. Always enjoy looking back on that kind of info. Keep up the great work love the show! – Kody Gipson (Discord)
With Game Awards behind us, what’s your retrospective on this year in games as well as this year’s award show? – BigSliceGaming (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.


Poor Mordin. Mass Effect Suicide Mission Survival Rates Revealed

Mass Effect 2’s final moments carry the potential for death. Commander Shepard is tasked to lead a team on a suicide mission, and the choices made during it could lead to a beloved teammate losing their life. This mission can be completed without any losses (a strategy we detail in a handy flowchart), but most players lose one or two characters two during their first playthrough.

Many of you took on this mission for the first time in Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Following the game’s release, Electronic Arts and BioWare collected player data from this mission and have revealed the survival rate for each squad member.  This info is a small part of Electronic Arts’ extensive, numbers-filled year-in-review.

As the numbers show, the fan-favorite Garrus often lived to see another day, making it through the suicide mission in 98 percent of players’ attempts. The loveable singer Mordin died the most, surviving in just 90 percent of players’ games. You can see all of the survival rates in the image below:

Electronic Arts’ also revealed the most liked squadmates from the Legendary Edition, and they are not who you would think. Garrus is third on that list, trailing Kaidan and Ashley, as one and two. A quarter of players also apparently didn’t have the time to change the name of their Commander Shepard, which defaults to John/Jane. The numbers show 23 percent of players played the game under one of these names.

If you still haven’t played through the Mass Effect trilogy, there’s no better way to do it than through Legendary Edition. Kimberley Wallace gave this collection a review score of 9 out of 10, and said: “Even all these years later, Commander Shepard is a powerful force that lives up to their iconic status, and the trilogy is still captivating and worth your time.”


DNF Duel Fights For A Summer Release

In the midst of its initial open beta, DNF Duel received another trailer, showing off its eleventh confirmed character and announcing its intended release window of summer 2022 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC. 

Ghostblade will be joining the cast when the game releases next year, making him the second male Slayer class from Dungeon Fighter Online to be included. He wields a katana for a weapon, but more importantly, he has a spooky ghost living in his arm, making the appendage glow with a spectral blue hue. The trailer shows off Ghostblade’s intro cinematic and a tease of what his Awakening attack can do. Here’s a hint: a ghost and a blade are involved, and it looks fantastic.

Click here to watch embedded media

Eagle-eyed fans who watched the trailer’s debut during yesterday’s DNF Winter Fest have spotted a couple of new roster members in the new footage, which didn’t make it to the official trailer release. One shot revealed Ghostblade attacking the unannounced Mechanic, while another has people thinking they saw the Troubleshooter Agent variant, though that one is more speculative. Either way, I’m excited to see how both of them play if they are added, considering how varied and fun the rest of the cast is. 

While the trailer above doesn’t have that footage attached, you can check out the images over on Event Hubs’ story. But watch the video anyway to see some cool characters doing neat moves and get hyped for whenever we’ll be able to get our hands on DNF Duel again. 

Did you get a chance to try out DNF Duel this weekend? What did you think of the game so far? Which other Dungeon Fighter Online classes would you like to see come to Duel? Let us know in the comments!


The First Lord Of The Rings Movie Turned 20 Yesterday And That’s Kind Of Wild

If you’re anything like me, I want to apologize in advance because you’re really about to feel your age:  Peter Jackson’s Lord of the RingsThe Fellowship of the Ring turned 20 years old yesterday. 

Pretty wild, right? I knew the movie was old, but hearing that it was 20 years old, having first released into theaters on December 19, 2001, was a lot to take in. With 20 years behind it, a beloved movie that many still regard as an all-time high for fantasy storytelling in cinema, I figured it’d be fun to take a look at what 2001 looked like when “The Fellowship of the Ring” hit theaters. What consoles were we all playing? What were the most significant games that year? As you might expect, these fun little tidbits will feel as aging as the news that The Fellowship of the Ring is 20 years old, so mentally prepare for that. Without further ado…

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When Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings movie hit theaters, there’s a good chance you skipped its theater release to play video games, and that’s because you might have been too excited to leave your Gamecube or Xbox. Nintendo’s purple Gamecube console hit North American markets on November 18, 2001, just one month before The Fellowship of the Ring hit theaters. 

Three days before the Gamecube, Microsoft officially entered the console market with its brand new Xbox on November 15, 2001. There was this super popular launch game that you might have been preoccupied with on Xbox, too. Hmmm, what was it? Fusion Frenzy? Heck no (although Fuzion Frenzy is amazing)! I’m talking about Halo: Combat Evolved! 

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Funnily enough, Microsoft believed that Fuzion Frenzy was the launch game that needed to be pushed, having reserves about Halo: Combat Evolved (I learned of this in Game Informer’s latest episode of Video Gameography, which details the history of Halo: Combat Evolved). Little did we know that Halo: Combat Evolved would become the foundation for one of the biggest shooter franchises of all time. 

Elsewhere, Surreal Software, The Whole Experience, and Pocket Studios worked on Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance versions of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, a game released in September 2002. That would be the first 3D Lord of the Rings game, with War of the Ring and The Hobbit releasing in 2003. The Lord of the Rings Online would be released four years later in 2007, and believe it or not, it’s still receiving expansions today – the Fate of Gundabad expansion hit the MMO this year!

Some other notable 2001 games include Final Fantasy X, one of the most popular entries in the entire series, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Grand Theft Auto III, which was the first game in the franchise to make the jump to 3D, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, the first-ever Devil May Cry game, and arguably one of the best action sports games ever released, SSX Tricky (please remaster this already, EA). Super Smash Bros. Melee also hit Gamecube in 2001, and that’s a game still beloved today – Nintendo even recently announced official tournament support for the 20-year-old fighter.

Ahhh, the passing of time…

Do you remember seeing The Fellowship of the Ring in theaters? What games, books, movies, and music do you remember enjoying that year? Let us know in the comments below!


Blood Origin: First Teaser Trailer For Witcher Prequel Series Released

Hot off the heels of the release of The Witcher Season 2 on Netflix, the subscription streaming company has released the first teaser trailer for its upcoming prequel to the show, The Witcher: Blood Origin

As previously announced by Netflix, this prequel show takes place in the same world as The Witcher Continent that Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia inhabits, but it’s more focused on the elven side of things. The trailer features plenty of Michelle Yeoh’s Scian, as well as new looks at Sophia Brown’s Élle, Jacob Collins-Levy’s Eredin, and more. This is just a taste of who we’ll be seeing in the six-episode prequel when it hits sometime in 2022. 

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“Witness the untold history of the Continent with The Witcher: Blood Origin, a new prequel series set in an elven world 1200 years before the events of The Witcher,” a tweet from the official Witcher account reads. “The Witcher prequel series Blood Origin will dive into the events that lead to the pivotal ‘Conjuction of the Spheres,’ when the worlds of monsters, men, and elves collided.” 

As you can see in the trailer, there’s no Geralt to be found in this series. However, as Netflix notes, Blood Origin is about the Conjuction of the Spheres, which paves the way for Geralt’s story on the Continent 1200 years later. 

While waiting for Blood Origin, check out Season 2 of The Witcher, which just hit Netflix on Friday. Read about how The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is getting DLC inspired by the Netflix TV series after that and then check out Game Informer’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review.  

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


Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade: Free PS5 Upgrade Available For PlayStation Plus Subscribers

Joe Juba awarded Final Fantasy VII Remake an 8.75 when it launched back in 2020 on PlayStation 4, stating, “With smart (and surprising) additions to a classic world and its inhabitants, Final Fantasy VII Remake artfully appeals to nostalgia without being bound by it.” Remake Intergrade dropped this past summer exclusively on PS5, which disappointed fans who couldn’t get their hands on the next-gen console. Nevertheless, PS Plus subscribers who redeemed the vanilla Remake through the Sony-owned game service will get a free Intergrade upgrade. What’s more, the Yuffie Intermission DLC is available at a discounted price for a limited time.

The Final Fantasy VII Remake Twitter account published a tweet that detailed the good news (see above). The post reads as follows:

“Starting this Wednesday [December 22]…PS Plus subscribers who previously redeemed Final Fantasy VII Remake via PlayStation Plus will be able to upgrade to the PS5 version of the game. Episode Intermission, the DLC featuring Yuffie Kisaragi, will be 25% off for a limited time!”

So if you have a PlayStation 5 and own Remake through PS Plus, be on the lookout for a Remake Intergrade update later this week! Also, the Episode Intermission is totally worth your time. I reviewed Yuffie’s journey and enjoyed my time seeing Midgar through her eyes:

“Episode Intermission is brought to life by its bubbly, albeit goofy, main character. I loved how Yuffie’s personality came through in the myriad ways that she interacted with each setting – i.e., sliding down poles or flinging her shuriken at far-off mechanical switches to solve environmental puzzles. Exploration and combat are bolstered by an eclectic score that sports jazzy trumpets as well as roaring guitar riffs…I can’t wait to see how [Yuffie] fits into what’s next for Remake.”

In other Final Fantasy news, a PC port for VII Remake Intergrade was announced at The Game Awards 2021, and, more recently, Final Fantasy XIV was temporarily pulled from stores due to Endwalker congestion issues.


New Mystery Gift Event For Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, Shining Pearl Now Live

A new Mystery Gift event for the latest Pokémon games, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (BDSP), is now live. 

This news comes by way of Serebii.net, which reported that the mystery gift event is now live for all players. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer something like the shiny Zacia and Zamazenta recently distributed via Mystery Gift in Pokémon Sword and Shield. Instead of an actual Pokémon, this event is giving players some statues for their secret bases. 

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More specifically, the Mystery Gift code, MERRYCHR1STMAS, will give all players a jade-colored statue of Pacharisu, Lucario, Rhyperior, Electivire, and Glaceon. The smaller statues such as that of Pacharisu and Glaceon are quite cute, but if you’re looking for something more intimidating for your base, the Rhyperior and Electivire statues have you covered. The Rhyperior statue, in particular, is massive, standing nearly twice as tall as your player character. 

Players have until December 25 to redeem this Mystery Gift

Serebii.net also points out another Mystery Gift event that’s currently ongoing. From now until May 22, 2022, players can enter the code BDSPUNDERGROUND to get statues of Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup – the starters of BDSP. 

For more about BDSP, check out our thoughts on it in Game Informer’s Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl review and then check out Game Informer’s list of the top 25 Pokémon in Diamond and Pearl. If you haven’t played these remakes or just got started, check out Game Informer’s six tips for every new trainer in the Sinnoh region.   

[Source: Serebii.net]