Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest Will Continue This Year, Starts In June

As the smoldering ashes of what was to be the now completely canceled E3 2022 event slowly extinguish, video resident baron of exclusive reveals, Geoff Keighley, is quick to promote his Summer Game Fest will indeed continue this year.

In a tweet sent out this afternoon, Keighley confirmed Sumer Game Fest would take place in June with a big Kickoff Live show and more events to follow through the subsequent months. His full tweet reads: 

“Excited to share that @SummerGameFest will return this June with a slate of events. We’ll be producing another Kickoff Live show with announcements, news and first looks. Much more to share in the coming weeks, along with some very cool new elements for ’22.”

Summer Game Fest began in 2020 and was created in combination due to the cancelation of that year’s E3 Expo along with growing frustrations with the trade show in previous years. Keighley now partners with developers and publishers to show up an upcoming slate of games, featuring new looks at titles and world premiere reveals in various digital showcases throughout the summer months.

There’s no word on who will show up this year for Summer Game Fest, but the scope of the event will likely become clear in the coming months. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

E3 2022 Is Completely Cancelled, Digital Included

E3 has been completely canceled this year, IGN reports with further confirmation by VentureBeat.  

In a statement to VentureBeat, the Entertainment Software Association, which organizes E3, said the following:

“We previously announced that E3 would not be held in person in 2022 due to the ongoing health risks surrounding COVID-19. Today, we announce that there will also be no digital E3 showcase in 2022.”

The ESA announced in January that a physical convention would not take place but an online-only version was still a possibility. Today’s news broke when IGN’s Rebekah Valentine confirmed the contents of an email sent to Razor PR lead Will Powers, who tweeted that it stated a digital E3 was no longer happening as well. It appears these emails were sent to all of the ESA’s partners prior to the announcement. 

There has not been an in-person E3 since 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 show was also canceled and the 2021 iteration was an online event consisting of trailers and digital booths for media. However, many publishers either declined to participate or appeared in Geoff Keighley’s Summer Games Fest, making E3 2021 a shallow disappointment to fans and the press. 

It’s likely due to the 2021 show’s reception that the ESA also tells VentureBeat that it plans to “revitalize” E3 in 2023 as “a reinvigorated showcase that celebrates new and exciting video games and industry innovations.” 

[Source: IGN, VentureBeat]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Heart Machine Announces Hyper Light Breaker, Enters Early Access In 2023

Platform:
PC

Publisher:
Gearbox Publishing

Developer:
Heart Machine

Heart Machine, the development studio behind Hyper Light Drifter and Solar Ash has revealed its next project titled Hyper Light Breaker.

Breaker, which was announced on G4 this afternoon, is a new game set within the Hyper Light universe, where players will enter early access next year. Unlike Drifter, Breaker will be a 3D action title with cooperative gameplay. According to creative director Alx Preston, this new adventure is not a direct sequel to Drifter.

Click here to watch embedded media

The Steam page for Hyper Light Breaker offers this description for the game: 

“​​​​​​Enter the Overgrowth, a new land in the world of Hyper Light. Play alone or with friends to explore massive biomes, defeat brutal monsters, create new builds, survive the mysterious Crowns and overthrow the almighty Abyss King in this adventure from the creators of Hyper Light Drifter.”

You can watch the debut trailer above, which sets the stage with a stylish, action-packed animated sequence and ends with a splash of a look at the game in-engine.

Click here to view embedded media

 

Heart Machine is partnering with Gearbox Publishing, although other than Steam, no other platform has been announced for Hyper Light Breaker at this time.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Breath Of The Wild 2 Delay, PlayStation Plus, And Weird West | GI Show

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

Publisher:
Devolver Digital

Developer:
WolfEye Studios

Release:
March 31, 2022

Rating:
Mature

We’re back with another fantastic episode of The Game Informer Show! Join us this week for a news-heavy pod, where we dive into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel being delayed and the PlayStation Plus changes coming in June. That’s not all, though, as we’re also breaking down our time at the Game Developers Conference and our review impressions of Weird West, publisher Devolver Digital’s exciting new immersive sim. As always, we end all the fun with another round of Listener Questions that Muppet fans won’t want to miss!

Click here to watch embedded media

Follow us on Twitter: Alex Stadnik (@Studnik76), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Jill Grodt (@Finruin), and Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7)

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 – Intro
00:04:25 – Breath of the Wild Sequel Delay
00:21:12 – PlayStation Plus Changes
00:55:07 – Weird West
01:13:52 – GDC 2022 Impressions
01:34:11 – Housekeeping
01:40:02 – Listener Questions

The Playlist:

Game Informer Staff discuss the games they’re playing.

The Playlist before Topic of the Show? That sounds weird, right? You’re darn tootin’, partner, as this week’s segment is all about Weird West, the exciting new immersive sim from developer WolfEye Studios. Van Aken is here to chat about his review impressions of the latest Devolver Digital joint and highlights the game’s interesting characters, strange yet alluring sci-fi world, and how the gameplay compliments this bizarre but enticing experience.

Read our Weird West review here.

Topic of the Show:

GDC 2022 Impressions

For the first time in a long time, the Game Developers Conference was held in person, and the Incineroar of Indies Jill Grodt had the pleasure of attending. Join Jill as she talks about what it was like being back at a conference that holds special meaning to her, what games she got to play, and her overall impressions of the smaller experience. We also dissect one of GDC’s biggest controversies: a prevalent former GI staff member…licking a burrito (I know, I’m sick too).

Read our Bugsnax DLC impressions here.

Listener Questions:

The Game Informer crew answers your burning questions.

This week’s Listener Questions are a blast, featuring inquiries on the Breath of the Wild delay, the best Muppets, and our favorite Cinderella story games.

Read this week’s questions below and submit your own via the Official Game Informer Community Discord or by emailing us at Podcast@GameInformer.com:

How relieved are you that you won’t have to have BoTW2 vs. Elden Ring GOTY discussions? – Crater (Discord)
Who’s the GI Crews’ favorite Muppet? – SavoyPrime (Discord)
In honor of the collegiate basketball tournament nearing its’ end and the Cinderella story St. Peters being knocked out of it, here’s my question… what is your personal favorite Cinderella story game. If you’re not familiar with that term, what game were you not expecting to play or enjoy, and it completely surprised you, in a good way? – AFireOutside (Disord)

 

For more Game Informer podcasts, check out Video Gameography, our video game history podcast, All Things Nintendo, which deep dives into Nintendo’s library of games every week, and From Panel to Podcast, our latest show focusing on the world of comic books!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Obi-Wan Kenobi Premiere Gets Small Delay, First Two Episodes Available On Day One

Obi-Wan Kenobi was slated to premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday, May 25, but the hotly anticipated Star Wars series has been pushed back. 

Thankfully, the delay is a short one. The show now begins Friday, May 27. In a video announcing the update, the man himself, Ewan McGregor, dropped the bonus news that the series’ first two episodes will be available to watch on day one.

Click here to watch embedded media

Obi-Wan Kenobi fills the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope by following the Jedi Master’s exploits on Tatooine while keeping an eye on a young Luke Skywalker. He’ll confront all manner of threats from the Dark Side, including the live-action debut of Imperial Inquisitors and the big bad himself, Darth Vader, played by a returning Hayden Christensen. 

The rest of the cast includes Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, and O’Shea Jackson Jr., among other names. Disney bills Obi-Wan Kenobi as a “limited series,” suggesting it will only consist of a single season. You can watch the debut trailer here.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Earthworm Jim 2 And More Games Added To Switch Online In March Update

Cutting it close and making it just before the buzzer, Nintendo has released the March update for games being added to the Nintendo Switch Online Service.

Click here to watch embedded media

Earlier in the month, F-Zero X was added to the collection of Nintendo 64 titles as well as a trio of Sega Genesis titles, and now three more games are available for the NES and SNES library. Here’s what you can load up and play right now if you’re a Switch Online subscriber.  

Earthworm Jim 2 – SNES

“In this wild platformer released for the Super NES™ console in 1995, you worm your way back into your super suit and take on the role of Jim, the annelid with attitude!”

This marks the first Earthworm Jim title to be added to the Nintendo Switch online service, and the sole SNES addition this month. If you’re looking for a bonkers comedic platformer that reeks of the 90s, look no further than Earthworm Jim 2.

Dig Dug II – NES

“DIG DUG has decided to take a vacation on a remote island, but the POOKA and FYGAR won’t give him the chance to rest! In each round, clear out the enemies by inflating them until they burst or by digging up traps for them to fall into. But be careful that you don’t get too close to their attacks or fall into your own traps!”

Dig Dug II is a departure from the original’s classic arcade gameplay. You still have the ability to inflate enemies, but your goal now is to strategically demolish parts of an island to eliminate enemies. The NES version of Dig Dig II was originaly released in 1989.

Mappy–Land – NES

“MAPPY the police mouse has prepared all kinds of wonderful presents for MAPICO and MAPPY Jr. But the big cheese of the feline world, NYAMCO, has ordered his clowder ‘MEOWKIES’ to hide the presents throughout MAPPYLAND.”

This sequel to the Namco arcade classic Mappy was released on the NES in Japan in 1986, while North America recieved a localized version in 1989. Mappy–Land resurfaced in 2015 for purchase on the Wii U Virtual Console.


Are you planning to dig into any of these classic games? Let us know which ones you’re excited to play in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt Exits Early Access On April 27

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PC

Publisher:
Sharkmob AB

Developer:
Sharkmob AB

Release:
April 27, 2022

2022 is shaping up to be a noteworthy year for Vampire: The Masquerade fans. In addition to the May 19 launch of the narrative RPG Swansong, we now know that Bloodhunt, the free-to-play battle royale, will exit Early Access and launch in full on April 27.

The game first entered Steam Early Access last September, and 1.0 launch means Bloodhunt is also coming to PlayStation 5. The third-person shooter unfolds in Prague and pits players in the roles of vampires against each other. You can play alone or squad up with friends to take on opposing players as well as AI-controlled adversaries. Your supernatural abilities are determined by whichever of the six vampire clans you align yourself with. No matter what side you choose, players use vampiric powers to climb and run along walls and drain blood from victims to increase health and boost powers. Or you can just mow targets down with guns, crossbows, and other firearms. That works too. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Bloodhunt supports cross-play between PS5 and PC. The PS5 version boasts features such as Tempest 3D audio, adaptive trigger feedback, and smaller perks such as the DualSense light displaying the color of your faction. Although the game is free, you can pre-order a special Founders Edition for $59.99 that includes the following bonuses: 

  • PS5 exclusive Samurai Mask
  • PS5 exclusive Headrush and Fast Forward outfits
  • Over 100 cosmetic items
  • 1,000 tokens for the in-game store

For an early idea of what’s in store, you can read our pre-alpha impressions of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodhunt here.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Nintendo Switch Sports Gameplay Trailer Reveals Ranked Modes, Mii Customization, And More

Click here to watch embedded media

Platform:
Switch

Publisher:
Nintendo

Developer:
Nintendo

Release:
April 29, 2022

Nintendo Switch Sports was first announced in February when fans of the classic Wii Sports game and Nintendo newcomers learned that six sports – Soccer, Volleyball, Bowling, Tennis, Badminton, and Chambara – would be available at launch. Moreover, the latest overview trailer (see above) revealed a new ranked mode, Mii customization, and much more.

In today’s trailer, much of what we all saw in February has been reiterated: the game takes place in Spocco Square, a multisports facility specific to Nintendo Switch. Activities like Volleyball and Chambara allow you to play your own way with intuitive motion controls, from serving, bumping, setting, spiking, and blocking to dual-wielding swords to level the opposition. Timing leads to more potent hits in other games like Tennis and Badminton. Bowling gives you leeway to roll the ball straight or at different curves to nab that coveted strike. Lastly, Soccer introduces a fun new mechanic to the Joy-con, allowing players to wrap the controller around their thigh of choice to simulate dynamic kicks. 

Local and online multiplayer is a given, but a new ranked mode called Pro League ups the ante. Each sport comes with a Pro League where you start at E-Rank and can gain points from victories to climb the leaderboards and enter the top-tier A-Rank. There are 12 skill-based ranks in all – it would be pretty sweet if Nintendo Switch Sports amassed a burgeoning esports scene. Of course, you can look cool while competing against the AI or other players. A character customization menu lets you create the sporty getup of your Olympic dreams. While playing online, any earned points can be redeemed for cosmetic items. You can also use Mii characters if you’d prefer that blocky, low-poly aesthetic.

Nintendo Switch Sports launches for the titular console on April 29. Golf is slated to drop in an update this Fall. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

[UPDATE] A New Marvel’s Avengers Patch Is Live To Address PS5 Crash Bug

Marvel's Avengers

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

Publisher:
Square Enix

Developer:
Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal

Release:
September 4, 2020
(PlayStation 4,
Xbox One,
PC,
Stadia), March 18, 2021
(PlayStation 5,
Xbox Series X/S)

Rating:
Teen

Update: 2:37 p.m. ET: The Marvel’s Avengers Twitter account has announced that an update has gone live for PS5 to fix the crash bug. 

Original Story: Marvel’s Avengers post-launch success hasn’t been stellar since its release in 2020. The bright side is that Crystal Dynamics has supported the game with solid expansions and character drops like War for Wakanda and Spider-Man. Despite these fun inclusions, a new game-breaking bug on PlayStation 5 negatively affects the remaining player base’s enjoyment of the superhero title. The bug in question causes Marvel’s Avengers to crash every time it loads up, and the only way to fix it is by deleting your progress. 

A recent tweet thread (seen above) from the official Marvel’s Avengers Twitter account spoke about the current quick-fix:

“Our team is continuing to investigate the issue causing a crash for some PS5 players. We think we’ve identified a fix that is currently being implemented/tested. We hope to have more news by tomorrow morning and will continue to keep you updated.

In the meantime, here’s a workaround that is resolving the issue for some players – just note that it will reset your campaign progress: Go to Operations and Reset your Reassemble Campaign Progress. As soon as you become young Kamala on A-Day, force close the game from the PS home screen, then you should be able to start Avengers Initiative.”

According to IGN, commenters have noted that the fix works and only targets story progress – playable characters and purchased microtransactions remain unaffected. However, a large swath of players remains dismayed at the prospect of deleting their campaign. Throw in the fact that many PS5 players have missed out on this week’s double XP event (which concludes today), and it makes even more sense that things look particularly bleak. Hopefully, the bug will be patched very soon. 


Have you been affected by the bug? Let us know about your experience in the comments below! 

[Source: IGN]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

New Marvel’s Avengers PS5 Bug Can Only Be Fixed By Deleting Your Story Progress

Marvel's Avengers

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

Publisher:
Square Enix

Developer:
Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal

Release:
September 4, 2020
(PlayStation 4,
Xbox One,
PC,
Stadia), March 18, 2021
(PlayStation 5,
Xbox Series X/S)

Rating:
Teen

Marvel’s Avengers post-launch success hasn’t been stellar since its release in 2020. The bright side is that Crystal Dynamics has supported the game with solid expansions and character drops like War for Wakanda and Spider-Man. Despite these fun inclusions, a new game-breaking bug on PlayStation 5 negatively affects the remaining player base’s enjoyment of the superhero title. The bug in question causes Marvel’s Avengers to crash every time it loads up, and the only way to fix it is by deleting your progress. 

A recent tweet thread (seen above) from the official Marvel’s Avengers Twitter account spoke about the current quick-fix:

“Our team is continuing to investigate the issue causing a crash for some PS5 players. We think we’ve identified a fix that is currently being implemented/tested. We hope to have more news by tomorrow morning and will continue to keep you updated.

In the meantime, here’s a workaround that is resolving the issue for some players – just note that it will reset your campaign progress: Go to Operations and Reset your Reassemble Campaign Progress. As soon as you become young Kamala on A-Day, force close the game from the PS home screen, then you should be able to start Avengers Initiative.”

According to IGN, commenters have noted that the fix works and only targets story progress – playable characters and purchased microtransactions remain unaffected. However, a large swath of players remains dismayed at the prospect of deleting their campaign. Throw in the fact that many PS5 players have missed out on this week’s double XP event (which concludes today), and it makes even more sense that things look particularly bleak. Hopefully, the bug will be patched very soon. 


Have you been affected by the bug? Let us know about your experience in the comments below! 

[Source: IGN]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Weird West Review – A Fantastical Frontier

weird west review

Reviewed on:
PC

Also on:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Publisher:
Devolver Digital

Developer:
WolfEye Studios

Release:
March 31, 2022

Rating:
Mature

Weird West is a spellbinding, isometric portrayal of the Wild West. From the minds behind Dishonored and Prey, this compelling immersive sim is unlike any western tale you’ve experienced. Its macabre frontier isn’t just a land of cowboys and cattle but one brimming with old magic and hideous monstrosities like werewolves, flesh-eating sirens, gold-hungry zombies, and bewitched trees capable of trapping the souls of men. 

The game’s main narrative is a five-chapter anthology following the lives of five “heroes” – a bounty hunter, a man-turned-pig, a tribal protector, a werewolf, and a zealot – whose journeys are unknowingly connected. You play as the Passenger, a faceless entity who possesses a new protagonist in every chapter for mysterious reasons. The story begins by following a rancher who’s given up her old life as a bounty hunter but must dig up her irons to rescue her kidnapped family member. What starts as a safe, conventional cowboy revenge story unravels into a tale of unbelievable outcomes. You’ll help a poet lift a curse in one moment, causing him to only speak in rhymes. In another, you’ll contemplate turning in a sheriff after discovering they’ve converted the jail into a meat market and are feeding on imprisoned criminals’ corpses. After a slow start, Weird West quickly ups the ante in thrilling and absurd ways, and just when you’ve figured things out, something unexpectedly changes. It’s so fun seeing how each chapter spirals into another with every new revelation. 

Click here to watch embedded media

While the mythology of Weird West is enchanting, its sandbox gameplay brings the world to life. You can solve most problems via stealth as long as you stay out of sight and adequately hide bodies, though there’s a bevy of guns, bows, and melee weapons enticing you to engage in the game’s raucous twin-stick-style shoot-outs. Blast foes into bits with the shotgun’s screen-shaking burst, fan the revolver’s hammer to unleash a rain of bullets, or quietly eliminate opponents with Sentry Silencer. This unlockable rifle ability silences your next shot and doubles damage to unaware enemies. 

Each of the five protagonists wields unique spells in addition to perks like increased health or movement speed they share with the other characters. The Pigman can deflect bullets with his rubbery skin, soak the surrounding ground in poison, or charge enemies headfirst to deal devastating damage. At the same time, the Protector is capable of summoning spirit bears or tornadoes that can be imbued with elemental properties. Combat requires a level of precision best suited for mouse and keyboard, but if your only option is to play Weird West with a controller, I’d recommend using the game’s Tactical Mode, which slows time down to let you better plan out your movements. 

weird west review

You could aim at the apparent red-hued TNT barrel for a loud explosion or blast away at a box of ammunition, sending a barrage of bullets in every direction. However, I don’t recommend the latter method if you’re low on ammo. Many enemies have weaknesses like fire or poison, but sometimes you’ll find yourself low on supplies. Instead of using a dynamite stick or molotov cocktail to cause a fire, equip the bow and arrow next to a nearby flame to create a fire arrow. Make sure you don’t accidentally blow yourself up, as I did several times. If you set yourself on fire, quickly find a water source – a pond, bathtub, or even a water pump – before burning to death. These physics-based interactions make me enjoy solving the game’s challenges, though it’s frustrating when awkward camera angles hinder my best-laid plans.

The overworld of Weird West is large and populated with dozens – nearly hundreds – of diamond-shaped nodes representing the many homesteads, towns, and stretches of wilderness you can travel between. The map’s abundance of locations is sometimes overwhelming, with new areas cropping up on almost every trek, though I am often rewarded with new loot when I stop. In addition to serving as trade hubs and places of rest, towns are often places you can hire mercenaries to join your posse as party members. While some hired hands will help your cause free of charge – revenge often serves as a better currency than coins – many will require a hefty upfront fee before lending their trigger finger. 

Click here to view embedded media

 

How will you earn money, though? You could break into the bank and rob its coffers if you have enough dynamite or lockpicks. Though choices often come with consequences (even outside of story moments), it’s better to return at night when the bank’s closed if you want to avoid a shoot-out or a criminal reputation. With a rope in your inventory, scale the bank’s rooftop and quietly enter through the chimney chute. Regardless of approach, Weird West entertains a bevy of playstyles, often encouraging me to look at situations through a different lens. 

Whether in notable moments or otherwise forgettable encounters, Weird West remembers everything you do. Side characters you betray will show up much later, sometimes during pivotal moments, to enact swift vengeance. On the flip side, new friends – like the lady whose land deed I retrieved – might show up in your time of desperation if you assisted them earlier in your journey. These consequences add significance to even the smallest choices, and you never know how the world might react to a decision. If you eradicate all of the people in a town – yeah, I’m looking at all of you sickos who did this while playing Skyrim in high school – the space will become abandoned. After enough time passes, it will become a literal ghost town, as ghoulish monsters attracted by the smell of rotting corpses take up residence and permanently transform the establishment into a hellish domain.  

Click here to view embedded media

 

Weird West’s best assets are its well-developed characters and deep gameplay systems, but its overall production value is underwhelming. The game’s cell-shading looks good enough on higher settings and large screens, but the composition quickly becomes muddy on less-powerful machines like my Steam Deck. Additionally, a minor bug prevented me from saving my game occasionally, leading to several frustrating deaths. 

Regardless, developer Wolfeye Studios has crafted one hell of a debut release. Weird West subverts expectations, twisting well-trodden cowboy tropes into dark fantasy vignettes brought to life by immersive sandbox elements. 

GI Must Play

Score: 8.5

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Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Death Stranding Director’s Cut Is Worth Another Trek Across America

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PC

Publisher:
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer:
Kojima Productions

Release:
September 24, 2021
(PlayStation 5), March 30, 2022
(PC)

Rating:
Mature

Admittedly, it’d take very little for me to be on board with a Death Stranding Director’s Cut. It only needed to be more Death Stranding for me to be sold on revisiting Hideo Kojima’s latest vanity project. Luckily for me, that’s exactly what the Director’s Cut is. I love the original release, and this is a perfect excuse to dive back in. I think you should play it, too. But maybe not for the reasons you think. 

Death Stranding Director’s Cut is pitched as an expanded version of the base game that came out in 2019, the definitive version of Kojima’s vision. After 26 hours – and much, much more still to go – my knee-jerk impression is that the Director’s Cut moniker is marketing spiel more than anything. Still, there are some fun and creative new additions that enhance the overall experience.

For new players, all the bells and whistles you’ve come to expect from PlayStation re-releases are present in Director’s Cut – performance/resolution modes, unbelievably fast load times, 60 frames per second, and all that good stuff. More interestingly, new missions and deliveries have been added into the game somewhat seamlessly; they appear within the primary campaign itself rather than offset as the “New Content.” 

Returning or revisiting players are likely to get more out of these additions solely based on prior experience with the game. And to be fair, some of the additions are really good. I especially liked the cross-over with Valve’s Half-Life Alyx, which puts the Gravity Glove into Director’s Cut (this was in the PC version of Death Stranding, but this is the first time it’s been on console), allowing you to grab items in the world without actually walking over to them. The Maser Gun, which quickly incapacitates human enemies with a bolt of electricity, is also a great touch – though the game’s wonky aiming makes the weapon better for stealth than combat. The new racetrack makes for a fun diversion to the main path, but the game’s poor car controls mean it can be frustrating when you’re constantly crashing against walls. A Jump Ramp for motorcycles is fantastic because you can do sick stunts. Lastly, new songs included within new porter missions are all consistently solid. And as an aside, the way the game – both Director’s Cut and the original release – implements licensed music into its mission structure is so good; I wish all games were as clever in their use of music as Death Stranding. 

Importing a PlayStation 4 save means you can instantly access a lot of the new content in Director’s Cut. However, if you’re like me and want to start a new playthrough of Death Stranding, know the new stuff is scattered throughout the game’s entire campaign. At 26 hours into my playthrough, there’s still a lot, if not a majority I haven’t found – I cannot wait for the Cargo Catapult in Chapter 5. I think this is a smart way to implement new elements into the game and the best way to experience it; I feel like I’m stumbling upon it organically rather than just running down a checklist of everything I haven’t seen before. When I come across something that wasn’t in the base game – sometimes after hours and hours of old content – it makes the game feel fresh and new, even if it’s not. 

The Director’s Cut is the best way for newcomers to experience Death Stranding in some respects, but I wouldn’t discount buying the base game if you want the original experience instead. Both ways have their merits. I haven’t personally found anything in Director’s Cut that radically changes the core Death Stranding experience in such a way that it’d be impossible to play anything but – especially if you want to save a little money by buying the original release. 

But none of this really gets at the core of why I think you should play Death Stranding.

A Messy, Holistic Experience

The more time I spend with Director’s Cut, the less interested I am in running down a list of new or old mechanics – which sits at odds with my assignment: write a simple impressions piece on the game’s new content. The Gravity Glove is nifty, for sure, and the race track is fun enough, but I wouldn’t say any of the new content alone is reason to run out and buy Death Stranding Director’s Cut. At the same time, I think you should play Death Stranding if you haven’t, and the Director’s Cut only reinforces that opinion. My impression is this game needs to be experienced, no matter what form you decide to play. 

What makes Death Stranding great, and why I think it’s one of the best games of the last generation, has less to do with any individual aspect and more to do with the entire package. As a triple-A, Sony-published video game, Death Stranding is a baffling product. Not in the sense that its lore is confusing – it’s not; it’s remarkably straightforward within its fiction. Instead, Death Stranding is simultaneously a masterclass in holistic game design – make no mistake, the game is literally about walking from here to there – combined with one of the thematically messiest stories I’ve ever experienced. Kojima is wildly all over the place with what he seems to think about any given topic, leading to a lot of contradictory ideologies. But in all respects, Death Stranding’s earnestness seeps out of every pixel. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Playing Death Stranding, you get the sense that Kojima put it all on the table – his ideas about the video game industry, climate change, and for whatever reason, westward expansion and the dream of an America that maybe never existed. That the majority of the game is, in the purest sense, a walking simulator, where you manage balance, stamina, and the weight on your back, is a daring gameplay choice ostensibly meant to alienate some players. And in 2021, a game about a world-shattering event that forces everyone inside and away from human contact hits harder than when the game was first released in 2019. I think Kojima stumbled into that coincidence, but it gives the events of Death Stranding more gravity regardless. 

I love Death Stranding for everything it is. More so than almost any game last generation (save for maybe Nier Automata), it’s a game I find myself thinking about and reminiscing on; I often pull up YouTube videos just to see it in action or hear someone talking about it. Part of this comes down to the core gameplay. Walking from point A to B, delivering packages, is a meditative and calming experience for me. I enjoy planning my routes, assembling my cargo, and setting out across the vast reaches of nothingness. I love that nothingness more than anything else in the game. When Death Stranding does eventually dip its toes into action, I don’t like it as much. 

I admire the way the game goes against trends. While many games try and cater to the player’s every want and need, Death Stranding requires you to meet it on its terms. Playing the game is challenging and obtuse. Mastering the game requires patience and commitment. You’re not running around, clicking on the bad guys’ foreheads, watching blood and sparks go everywhere. You’re largely alone in this world, putting one foot in front of the other in a way that’s often tedious and monotonous in the moment but immensely satisfying at the end of any given journey. 

As an entire piece of work, Death Stranding largely stands on its own. There are, truly, not many other games like this from a narrative and mechanical standpoint – and that includes Kojima’s other work. The story’s attention to detail to a meticulous degree, the way it builds its lore and universe is fascinating. Even if it doesn’t always stick the landing – Kojima has a habit of thinking his concepts are harder to grasp than they actually are, leading to a lot of over-explanation – the commitment to world-building in a way that’s believable if you’re willing to buy into its fiction creates something unlike much else in video games. There’s an almost literary quality to the way Death Stranding takes its time to establish every minute detail in its lengthy story. You can argue Kojima’s previous Metal Gear series did the same thing narratively, but those games don’t reach quite as far as Death Stranding when it comes to obtuse game design. If anything, the closest thing to Death Stranding might be P.T., the “playable teaser” for Kojima’s infamously cancelled Silent Hill reboot, which was similarly inscrutable at times. 

The fact that Death Stranding exists isn’t surprising. The fact that Death Stranding exists as a Sony first-party release costing untold millions of dollars, with a full-blast marketing campaign reserved for only the biggest games, and celebrities a lot of games couldn’t afford, is one of the most surprising things that’s ever happened in the game industry, as far as I’m concerned. I’m so glad it does exist, though. 

If you’ve never played Death Stranding, I think you should. Whether it’s the original release or the new Director’s Cut, the game is worth experiencing. Not to say it’s perfect by any means (read Game Informer’s review for a second opinion). But there’s nothing like Death Stranding. And there may never be again; I struggle to think Sony or any other publisher will ever let Kojima be this free a second time – at least not with this kind of budget. That’s what makes Death Stranding worth experiencing. Gravity Gloves, race tracks, and cargo catapults are just icing on the cake.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe Release Date Announced, And It Was Always Right In Front Of Us

Click here to watch embedded media

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

Publisher:
Crows Crows Crows

Developer:
Crows Crows Crows

Release:
April 27, 2022

427 isn’t just Stanley’s employee identification number. The number cleverly is also the release date for Crows Crows Crows’ The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe.

The developer took to Twitter today, where it posted a new trailer announcing the release date of Ultra Deluxe, which is coming on April 27. The trailer starts like a bland corporate training video and gets intense in a hasty fashion.

A video explains Stanley’s place at the company where he works, pressing buttons on a computer all day. Then the camera zooms out to the player’s perspective, who runs into the hall revealing endless rooms with the same video projected onto screens. The trailer’s tone gets more frantic as the camera moves into a maintenance room, whipping around to different points of interest before arriving at a painted brick wall and a handwritten sign that reads, “Welcome back Employee 427!” You can check out the trailer for yourself above.

Initially announced in 2018, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe marks the first time the game will be playable on consoles. This expanded and enhanced version will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC when it releases next month. You can read our review of the original game here.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Diablo 4 Boasts Five Explorable Regions With Over 150 Dungeons

Platform:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Publisher:
Blizzard Entertainment

Developer:
Blizzard Entertainment

Release:
TBA

Blizzard Entertainment released a Diablo IV Quarterly Update yesterday, and several devs chimed in on what the upcoming open-world RPG will offer players. Recently-appointed game director Joe Shely voiced that Diablo IV will be “an immersive world you can wander through and enjoy getting lost in.” These words held even more weight when art director of environments Brian Fletcher and lead exterior environment artist Matt McDaid added that Sanctuary (the game world/mortal realm) boasts five explorable regions with over 150 dungeons. 

There’s much to do and see in Diablo IV. The dungeons that players encounter brim with dynamic weather, lighting effects, and props so that each foray feels unique and personalized. As far as visual storytelling and direction go, the team focuses on two pillars, “old masters” and “return to darkness.” Art director Chris Ryder said it best:

“We approach creating the environments of Diablo IV through a darker and more grounded interpretation than earlier installments. The “old masters” pillar gives us a lens to filter our art through, considering the techniques classical painters like Rembrandt used, with their controlled use of detail, tonal range, and expert use of color palettes. The “return to darkness” pillar is a through-line in everything from dungeons to lighting and embodies the idea that Sanctuary is a dangerous and dark medieval gothic world.”

There’s more insight from other creators at Blizzard, so click the link above to read the extensive Quarterly Update. Dan Tack got to play a demo of Diably IV back in 2019 and concluded his impressions by stating:

“Much has been said about the grim aesthetic that Diablo IV brings to bear, but it’s different seeing and playing in it. There is blood and bodies everywhere, a world without much hope, ridiculously dark – after Diablo III, it’s a stark contrast indeed. Moving through the world to try and find as many cool things as I can before the demo time runs out, I manage to clear out both dungeons available before the end … The task of slaughtering monsters en masse is as satisfying as ever, a loop that I’m sure will feel more meaningful outside of a demo where leveling and customization aren’t available. While Diablo IV is definitely quite a ways away, the demo is a great showcase for the direction that the game is headed.” 


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

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Game of Thrones Prequel Series House of the Dragon Premieres In August

House of the Dragon, the prequel series to Game of Thrones centered on House Targaryen, premieres on August 21, HBO announced on Twitter today. 

The 10-episode series, which will only be streamed through HBO Max, is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, when the Targaryens were still in power. However, House of the Dragon centers on the inner turmoil that led to their downfall, particularly a civil war known as the Dance of Dragons. The show draws partial inspiration from author George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book Fire & Blood.  

The cast includes Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen), Olivia Cooke (Lady Alicent Hightower), Paddy Considine (King Viserys I Targaryen), and Emma D’Arcy (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen). Writer and producer Ryan J. Condal (Rampage, Colony) and George R.R. Martin serve as principal showrunners.

You can watch House of the Dragon’s first trailer, which premiered last October, here.


Are you excited to watch House of the Dragon? Let us know in the comments!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus Get Stylish Crossover Today

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

Publisher:
Bandai Namco

Developer:
Bandai Namco

Release:
September 10, 2021

Rating:
Teen

Tales of Arise and Scarlet Nexus were two of the best JRPGs of 2021 (if you’re a fan of the genre, you should also go play Nier Replicant!). Leading up to its release, Arise was slated as the definitive 25th Anniversary Tales game touting a more expansive game world than previous entries and an engine switch that would boost the series’ graphical capabilities. Scarlet Nexus, on the other hand, was a surprise hit with fun telekinetic abilities and fast-paced combat. Today, Bandai Namco is celebrating its 2021 success stories with a free, stylish crossover event for both games.

Click here to watch embedded media

If you’d like to see the incoming cosmetic items in action, watch the trailer above. Both games are getting three equipable items and a music track:

Tales of Arise

  • Myoho Muramasa Replica
  • Handmade Hairclip Replica
  • Baki
  • BGM: Opposed Viewpoint

Scarlet Nexus

  • Blazing Sword
  • Broken Iron Mask
  • Owlet Doll
  • BGM: Flame of Hope

Last year, we enjoyed playing both games. I awarded Tales of Arise a 9.25 and wrote, “Tales of Arise is a fantastic reinvention of Bandai Namco’s tried and true formula. It might even be the best installment in the franchise to date.” 

Dan Tack gave Scarlet Nexus an 8.75 and concludes his review by saying, “Whatever brainpunk’s take on over-the-top psychic reality is, I’m into it now. Bandai Namco has crafted something truly strange and quite satisfying with Scarlet Nexus, and I hope we get a slightly more refined sequel.”

If you’re a fan of both games, be sure to check out the crossover event today and don your favorite gear. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Hands-On With Bugsnax Expansion The Isle Of Bigsnax

Bugsnax Isle of Bigsnax DLC

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Publisher:
Young Horses, Inc

Developer:
Young Horses, Inc

Release:
November 12, 2020

The oddly lighthearted and heartfelt adventure Bugsnax launched November 2020, making it one of the first games many played on PlayStation 5, which was released the same day. Nearly a year later, Young Horses, the game’s developer, announced during a Sony State of Play the game would be getting a new DLC. Called The Isle of Bigsnax, the expansion will be free for players who already own the base game. On top of a fresh story, which should take three to five hours to complete according to the creators, fans can expect a slew of new content. And while it’s aiming to release in the first half of 2022, we got an early hands-on look at the game at GDC.

Adding hours of playtime to the original game, Young Horses announced players would receive their own in-game dwelling to renovate. Now you can feel like part of the Grumpus community. The hut begins as a glorified pile of sticks. But, by completing requests from fellow villagers, players gain access to options for furniture, paint, decorative items, and even an upstairs. Many of these received objects reflect the giver. The exercise-obsessed Chandlo may offer players a weightlifting trophy, while Snaxburg’s Mayor Filbo might gift an adorable stuffed Grumpus.

New players are shown to their new abode right after entering Snaxburg for the first time. However, returning players get a tour of their shack upon talking to Filbo and find their mailboxes already stuffed with retroactive rewards for any requests they’ve unwittingly completed. The developers at Young Horses explain the pile of new tasks and objectives should give players a good reason to continue exploring Snaktooth island and engaging with its inhabitants.

Keeping this goal in mind, Young Horses’ latest expansion will also introduce hats for your favorite scrumptious Snax. Did you ever wonder what happened to the head adornments of your Grumpus companions after they take on a Bugsnax form? Well, it looks like the island’s tasty residents got them, and it’s up to you to track them down. More than just a simple and silly cosmetic feature, players have to earn each hat in a scavenger hunt-like search. Hats can be found on certain Bugsnax in the wild, and capturing them grants access to a new cap. There are around 25 in total and include a chef’s hat, witch’s hat, and Chandlo’s “Snax” baseball cap. The developers hope this gives players a fun challenge that makes revisiting previous locations worthwhile.

The Isle of Bigsnax

I got a chance to go hands-on with the upcoming DLC, and, from what I’ve played so far, the expansion will be another merry romp through a strange world. The Isle of Bigsnax gives players more – and bigger – Bugsnax, content that builds on the original experience, and a chance to dive deeper into the relationships and story from the base game.

The demo begins just before the point of no return in the initial story and sets me on a beach with the muscle-bound Chandlo, scientific Floofty, bone-carrying archeologist Triffany, and spiritual Shelda. The titular island has appeared in the middle of the ocean, and, having made it to the beach, we are now out of range from the rest of the villagers. The experience boasts numerous puzzles, and most are built around my arsenal of unusual gadgets. The first puzzle asks me to bridge a gap by lighting a torch. In another instance, I rdiscovered several mazes with moving pillars and winding corridors too small for any Grumpus to fit into. However, it was perfectly sized for my ball-bound Strabby, which I guided through the obstacles to hit a door-opening switch.

Players can also look forward to several larger-than-life Bugsnax encounters. My first new sighting, a giant Bunger, sends Chandlo flying into a pile of jars that just happen to contain dust that makes Bigsnax smaller. But even slimmed down, the creature still needs to be stunned to catch. So, I grab the tripwire and then feed my prize to the weakened Chandlo, giving him the strength to go on.

The team then sets up camp, and the story begins to take shape. This archeological adventure may uproot accepted beliefs about Mother Naturae, who Shelda worships, as the jars of Bugsnax-catching dust was found at her shrine. At the camp, I have a choice between four different quests. However, I’m instructed to follow Triffany’s storyline for this preview. She has me work my Snax-guiding magic to open a few blocked-off areas. This includes one puzzle that triggers a boulder-like Bigsnax to pop out at us, a nice Indiana Jones reference that highlights the game’s humorous tone.

I encounter plenty more Bigsnax in my short adventure, though I don’t have any handy shrink dust to capture them. Each enlarged Snax takes on an entertaining form, like a sentient celery stick that carries separate, chocolate-looking critters on its back. I saw lobster made from macaroni noodles that loved cheese. And one of my favorite new Snax was called a Millimochi, made of a group of frosty treats lined up to create a multi-snack creature.

The Isle of Bigsnax is aiming to come out in early 2022. Considering that the window is waning fast, fans might soon have their hands on the expansion. Including the hut, hats, and fresh adventure, the new content is about 80 percent as big as the original game, according to the developers. So, if it took you 10 hours to finish the base experience, it may take around 8 hours to explore everything the super-sized expansion has to offer. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

UPDATE – April PlayStation Plus Lineup Includes SpongeBob Remaster And More, Persona 5 Leaving PS Plus Collection

PlayStation Plus April Lineup SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, and Slay The Spire Free Games

Platform:
PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Publisher:
Mega Crit Studios

Developer:
Mega Crit Studios

Release:
January 23, 2019

Rating:
Everyone 10+

Update 3/30/22: Our original story stated the lineup as a rumor, but we can now confirm that Slay the Spire, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, and Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom Rehydrated will be the April 2022 Playstation Plus titles, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog.

What wasn’t available in the rumor mill is that Persona 5 will be leaving the Playstation 5’s exclusive PlayStation Plus Collection. PS Plus subscribers will have until May 11 to add the Atlus JRPG to their library to ensure the game can be played after it leaves the service for good. There were no reasons given as to why Persona 5 will be removed from the bonus catalog.


Original Story 3/29/22: The April 2022 PlayStation Plus lineup has reportedly leaked. It includes Hood: Outlaws & Legends as its main PlayStation 5 title alongside two PlayStation 4 games: Slay The Spire and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated. 

This news comes by way of French forum Dealabs user billbil-kun, who has leaked the PS Plus lineup almost every month for the past seven months, as reported by Eurogamer. Now, while billbil-kun has been accurate in the past, it’s important to note that this is still a potential leak and not official wording, so there’s always the chance this lineup is incorrect. However, subscribers have an interesting lineup ahead of them for April if it’s correct. 

Hood: Outlaws & Legends

Hood: Outlaws & Legends was released less than a year ago, on May 10, and it’s a gritty take on the classic tales of Robin Hood and others, in the form of team-based multiplayer combat. In it, two teams of various classes face off in a battle to collect stolen medieval riches, with four major character archetypes to choose from: ranger, brawler, mystic, or hunter, and each has plenty of customization options to accompany them. In short, Hood: Outlaws & Legends is a medieval, multiplayer heist game

Click here to watch embedded media

Slay The Spire

Slay The Spire is a deckbuilding rogue-like that’s one of the best card-based games out there. In it, you use cards as tools to create classic fantasy archetypes of your choice to brave the dangers of various random dungeons. Each run, you’re inspired to try out new cards, create new decks, and build upon reworked tactics to make it further and further up the titular spire. If you die, you restart knowing what went wrong last time. It’s a fantastic game, and you can read about why in Game Informer’s 9.25 out of 10 Slay The Spire review

Click here to watch embedded media

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is a June 2020 remaster of the original SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom, first released in 2003. It’s a classic mascot platformer with light combat and many collectibles to find. It’s also widely praised as one of the best SpongeBob games, so if you need a Krabby Patty or two, Rehydrated might be right up your alley. It’s one of many Steam Deck ready games, too, if you have that device and want to give it a go before playing it on PlayStation. 

Click here to watch embedded media

If you haven’t yet, add last month’s PS Plus games, which include Ghostrunner, Ark: Survival Evolved, Team Sonic Racing, and a bonus in the form of Ghost of Tsushima: Legends. These will likely be available until the end of March, and if April’s lineup is like previous months, the new PS Plus titles will be available for download starting this Friday, April 1. 

[Source: Eurogamer]


Are you excited about this potential lineup? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Unpacking Moves To PlayStation Consoles This Spring

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Publisher:
Humble Games

Developer:
Witch Beam

Release:
November 2, 2021
(PC,
Switch,
Xbox One), 2022 (PlayStation 5,
PlayStation 4)

Unpacking became one of 2021’s hidden gems when it launched on Xbox, Switch, and PC last November. Soon, PlayStation fans will have a chance to experience this unique narrative adventure when it comes to PS5 and PS4 this Spring.

As the name suggests, the game’s premise involves unpacking the belongings of a woman throughout multiple stages of her life. From childhood to adulthood, you’ll open box after box to place her most precious objects in various rooms throughout different homes. Though you can put most items wherever you please (creative placements can unlock hidden achievements), some can only go in specific spots, which you’ll have to figure out. Besides being a relaxing good time, Unpacking was praised for its effective use of environmental storytelling to take players on a journey through the protagonists’ life.

Click here to watch embedded media

Publisher Humble Games also announced physical versions of Unpacking for PS5, PS4, and Switch. You can pre-order a copy, which runs for $34.99, by visiting Limited Run Games.


Are you interested in giving Unpacking a shot on PlayStation? Let us know in the comments!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Child Of Light’s Aurora Joins Bloodstained As Free DLC Tomorrow

Platform:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android

Publisher:
505 Games

Developer:
ArtPlay

Release:
June 18, 2019
(PlayStation 4,
Xbox One,
PC), June 25, 2019
(Switch), December 3, 2020
(iOS,
Android)

Rating:
Teen

Aurora, the tenacious main character from Ubisoft’s Child of Light, will be available as a playable character in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night starting on March 31 for select platforms. Her inclusion was originally teased back in 2019 along with Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight.

Bloodstain’s publisher 505 Games released a brief trailer that teases Aurora’s impending inclusion, but more information can be found in a new blog post on the game’s website. There, a smidge of context is given to why she has arrived in a new franchise. 

Click here to watch embedded media

“Aurora has lost her way and awoken in a strange, dangerous new land. Armed with the Sword of Matildis and accompanied by the loyal Igniculus, she must find a way to escape. Despite the dire situation, Aurora is not alone. Johannes is on hand to help her increase her power by transmuting items found in chests throughout the game,” says 505 Games community manager Jason Ryan.

Aurora will be available for free and can be selected as the playable character when starting a new Bloodstained campaign. She’ll be listed alongside the game’s native characters, Miriam and Zangetsu. 

This DLC won’t be appearing on every version of Bloodstained quite yet. Tomorrow marks Aurora’s arrival on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, but Switch owners will have to wait for an unspecified later date.

Click here to view embedded media

 

Child of Light is a 2014 turn-based RPG developed by Ubisoft Montreal that stars Aurora, a princess who finds herself in another world and fights for a way back home with the help of her firefly partner Igniculus who also appears in the Bloodstained DLC. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is the spiritual successor to Koji Igarashi’s games in the style of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which released in 2019 following a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015. You can read our review of it right here.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Movie Review – Full Speed Ahead

When Sonic the Hedgehog 2 launched on Sega Genesis in 1992, it took the foundation laid with the Blue Blur’s debut entry and expanded it in myriad ways. In the 16-bit sequel, Sonic had new moves and a two-tailed fox friend to aid him, but with those upgrades came more significant threats from the evil Dr. Robotnik. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Genesis was immediately regarded as a definite upgrade over the already strong first entry in the series. Similarly, Paramount’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie expands the universe established by its predecessor and delivers a better overall film thanks to bigger action setpieces, laugh-out-loud gags, and some terrific fanservice moments.

Warning: While I try to remain as spoiler-free as possible, some aspects of the narrative and characters are mentioned throughout this article.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 carries the unenviable task of following up a movie that was, by most accounts, a surprise hit. The first film succeeds by being a fun, family-friendly video game adaptation that tells a heart-filled story while paying homage to the character of Sonic the Hedgehog. While Sonic the Hedgehog‘s unexpected positive reception could have put its sequel in a difficult spot since it comes in with higher expectations, the Jeff Fowler-directed Sonic the Hedgehog 2 clears the higher bar, delivering a better movie in nearly every way.

sonic the hedgehog 2 movie

The story picks up less than a year after the first film’s events. Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) is stranded on the mushroom planet, while Sonic (Ben Schwartz) acts as a vigilante. While the first movie’s theme is the importance of friendship and family, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 centers on discovering what it means to be a hero. This theme doesn’t quite attain Spider-Man’s “With great power…” levels of meaningfulness, but some worthwhile lines and sequences hammer home that theme, particularly when Sonic’s father figure, Tom (James Marsden), is involved. 

Despite that thematic shift, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 retains the heart that makes the first film so well-liked. Sonic remains energetic and endearing, thanks mainly to Schwartz’s performance. Both Schwartz and Carrey truly come into their own in this film, further embracing their respective roles. Carrey, in particular, delivers one of his most over-the-top performances, full of exaggerated line deliveries and seemingly elastic body humor moments only he can provide. His performance as an increasingly unhinged antagonist is among the highlights of this movie.

sonic the hedgehog 2 movie

The addition of Tails (Colleen O’Shaughnessey) and Knuckles (Idris Elba) also elevates the movie above its predecessor. O’Shaughnessey tackles Tails in a way only a voice actor who has spent eight years already playing the character could, delivering her lines with a genuine, earnest understanding of Sonic’s sidekick. Elba also provides strong voice work as the dimwitted brute Knuckles, though with such a well-known voice coming out of the echidna warrior’s mouth, I sometimes fell out of the immersion. These two characters fit well into the story, and their characterizations are authentic to what fans of the source material would want. One of the things I most desired from the first movie was a deeper exploration of the lore surrounding the planet Sonic came from, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 delivers that.

Once the film’s early stages establish these new characters, the story efficiently gets up to speed as Sonic and Tails embark on an adventure to retrieve the powerful Master Emerald before Dr. Robotnik can get his hands on it. Along the way, we’re treated to high-octane action sequences and more gags, one-liners, and quips than seem plausible. The action scenes are exhilarating; the snowboarding sequence shown in the trailers is a terrific tribute to similar moments from the games, while a confrontation featuring Sonic and Tails storming into battle aboard The Tornado biplane brought a smile to my face. The humor is equally crowd-pleasing, and I had multiple laugh-out-loud moments for every joke that felt too heavy-handed or obvious. Even the Easter eggs, while easily noticeable, were often cleverly injected in ways that garnered chuckles.

sonic the hedgehog 2 movie

Fittingly, the pacing of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is often speedy. However, inconsequential scenes sometimes drag too long, such as a dance number or one subplot featuring characters and arcs outside of the main storylines. The movie began to feel like a slog in those moments, but they are thankfully few and far between; whenever Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, or Robotnik are on the screen, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is relentlessly enjoyable.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 retains all of what made the first film good while shedding much of its dead weight. Despite those sequences and arcs that overstay their welcome, whenever any of the main characters were on screen, I was captivated thanks to the high-flying action scenes or the humorous banter. I loved the characterizations of all the major players. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this franchise as it expands into another already-confirmed sequel, plus a Paramount Plus streaming show starring Knuckles. If the credits scene is to be believed, the next stop for this franchise is going to be an exciting destination for fans.

8.5

About Game Informer’s review system
Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Everybody’s Golf Online Servers Shutting Down In September

Platform:
PlayStation 4

Publisher:
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer:
Clap Hanz

Release:
August 29, 2017

Rating:
Everyone

If you’ve been hitting the links online in Everybody’s Golf, your days on the green are now numbered. Sony has announced that the online servers for the 2017 title are shutting down later this year.

The shutdown occurs on September 30, as per a message that appears when you visit the game’s PlayStation Store page. It also states that “all online features (including online multiplayer modes) will cease on that date. You will still be able to play and enjoy the game in single-player offline modes.” 

That means Everybody Golf will lose its online open-course exploration, where players could freely roam courses and communicate with other players. It also lets players indulge in non-golfing activities such as fishing and swimming. Competitive options such as the game’s Turf Mode and international tournaments will also fall to the wayside. 

Furthermore, this also means that the following online-dependent trophies will no longer be attainable:

Platinum Trophy – “Push it to the Limit!”

Gold Trophy – “Walking Encyclopaedia”

Bronze Trophy – “Online Debut”

Everybody Golf launched in August 2017 and was the first entry to drop the North American Hot Shots Golf branding (it was always Everybody’s Golf in Japan). Though it wasn’t exactly a hole-in-one in terms of features or depth out of the box, it’s always sad to see another online mode fall to server cuts. There’s no official explanation for the shutdown, but maintaining servers costs money. One must assume the online community isn’t active enough to justify keeping the lights on at this point. 

To learn more about Everybody’s Golf, check out our review.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Forspoken | Exclusive New Gameplay Today (4K)

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PC

Publisher:
Square Enix

Developer:
Square Enix

Release:
October 11, 2022

After weeks of Forspoken fun, the video portion of our coverage is coming to an end. But we’re not going quietly into that good night. We have one last 4K episode of New Gameplay Today with developer Luminous Productions’ exciting followup to Final Fantasy XV, including even more exclusive looks at the game. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Join Alex Stadnik as he assembles the dream team to go into the nitty-gritty of Forspoken with industry powerhouses Kim Wallace and Jill Grodt. The three of them kick things off with a look at an area of the game that has been ravaged by The Break, a storm that’s causing inhabitants of Athia to mutate into fantastical and disturbing creatures. Just like our previous coverage, protagonist Frey Holland’s powers are on full display, showing off her vast array of spells she can wield and all the gorgeous particle effects to compliment them. We also jump into our hands-off thoughts on the game’s traversal and discuss why we hope it will be one of the highlights of our experience. 

Finally, we wrap up this fun 10-minute look at the game with our closing thoughts on Square Enix’s next action RPG, and what we’re thinking of our time seeing the game ahead of its October 11 release date for PlayStation 5 and PC.


We know you’re sad our coverage of Forspoken is wrapping up shortly, but fear not. We still have one more written piece coming to the website. If that’s just not enough, you can enjoy plenty of Forspoken content, including our written and video looks at the numerous spells in the game, our preview impressions on an episode of The Game Informer Show, and so much more. Be sure to click on the image below to head over to our coverage hub as well. Thank you so much for watching, and we hope you enjoy this beautiful 4K episode of New Gameplay Today!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Fast & Furious Crossroads Will Be Delisted Next Month, Less Than 2 Years After Release

Fast & Furious Crossroads Delisting In April Bandai Namco

Platform:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Publisher:
Bandai Namco

Developer:
Slightly Mad Studios

Release:
August 7, 2020

Rating:
Teen

Publisher Bandai Namco has announced that it will be delisting Fast & Furious Crossroads on April 29, effectively ending all sales of it. 

This news comes by way of a small update on the game’s official website that says “all product sales will end on” April 28, 2022 at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET/4 a.m. CEST (on April 29), as reported by Video Games Chronicle. What this means is that if you don’t own Fast & Furious Crossroads come April 29, you won’t be able to buy it digitally at any point after that. However, because it was released physically, you could always track down a hard copy of the game. 

Bandai Namco says that “if you bought the game digitally, it will remain in your library and can be redownloaded in the future.” DLC for it will be delisted on April 29 as well, so if you’re interested in owning that, you’ll need to purchase it soon. The DLC is completely digital so don’t rely on physical copies of Fast & Furious Crossroads to add it to your library, because that won’t be possible. Despite all of this, its online functionality will remain active. 

For more about Fast & Furious Crossroads, watch its zany reveal at The Game Awards 2019, which saw stars Vin Diesel (Dominic Toretto) and Michelle Rodriguez (Letty Ortiz) take to the stage to talk about the game. Read Game Informer’s Fast & Furious Crossroads review after that. 

[Source: Video Games Chronicle]


Are you going to purchase Fast & Furious Crossroads before it’s delisted next month? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Judge ‘Prepared To Approve’ Activision Blizzard $18 Million Settlement In One Of Its Sexual Harassment Lawsuits

Activision Blizzard Lawsuit Settlement $18 Million

Activision Blizzard, the publisher-studio giant behind franchises like Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, is set to bring an end to one of the multiple lawsuits filed against it with an $18 million settlement. 

It must be approved by the courts first, of course, and according to The Washington Post, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer is “prepared to approve” Activision Blizzard’s $18 million settlement in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It’s important to note that this lawsuit is just one of many Activision Blizzard is facing and you can read more about the others, including this one filed last week, here

“The Court is generally satisfied that both the monetary relief and the nonmonetary provisions are fair, reasonable, and adequate,” a California court filing published today reads, according to The Washington Post.

These filings call the opposition’s – in this case, California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing which has its own lawsuit against Activision Blizzard – evidence “speculative.” As noted by Kotaku, during this settlement hearing, a DFEH lawyer argued to a judge that the EEOC’s motion to proceed with this settlement was in violation of states’ rights to its own judicial proceedings. On the other hand, the EEOC said that the DFEH had months to make this claim but waited until the “eleventh hour” to do so, going as far as to accuse the DFEH of delaying proceedings related to this lawsuit. The judge agreed and said DFEH’s argument was “untimely,” according to Kotaku, and that if a party disagreed with them, they could take it to the ninth circuit court. 

“We are pleased the Court recognizes our agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is fair, adequate, and in the public interest,” Activision Blizzard said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Our goal has always been to provide immediate and meaningful compensation to eligible employees who choose to participate and to continue workplace improvements that make Activision Blizzard a model for our industry.” 

The DFEH worries that if this settlement goes through, it will lose the opportunity to pursue further damages at a state court level, since this settlement would be happening on a federal level. 

“The DFEH will continue to vigorously prosecute its action against Activision in California state court,” DFEH spokesperson Fahizah Alim said in a statement to The Washington Post. “In recent weeks, DFEH defeated Activision’s request that the Court dismiss DFEH’s case, and DFEH has sought documents and other evidence of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation violations over many years by Activision. The Court has set a trial date in February 2023.” 

A lawyer The Washington Post spoke to said claimants for both the EEOC’s case, which is getting primed for a settlement, and the DFEH’s suit could opt-in to receive compensation from this $18 million settlement. However, if they do choose to do that, they would be disqualified from continuing forward in the DFEH suit. The DFEH does not want this to happen, which is why it and the EEOC are at odds with each other in regards to these lawsuits. 

If this $18 million settlement is approved, it would be the EEOC’s second-largest sexual harassment settlement ever negotiated by the federal agency. According to The Washington Post’s report, money from the $18 million settlement will go toward creating harassment and discrimination prevention programs at Activision Blizzard, to be audited by the EEOC. Leftover funding could go to charities related to women in gaming, or charities committed to spreading awareness of gender equality issues in gaming. 

Speaking non-monetarily, this settlement includes provisions that require Activision Blizzard to expand its mental health counseling services and add new personnel evaluation processes that allow employees to leave feedback in regards to their bosses, according to The Washington Post. On top of that, an independent equal-opportunity employment expert will have to be hired by Activision Blizzard and they will report to the EEOC, and the company will also be required to give mandatory sexual harassment training. These terms would remain for three years and if Activision Blizzard breaks the terms, the EEOC could seek monetary relief. 

[Source: The Washington Post]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, Rogues, Savage Spider-Man, And More! | From Panel To Podcast

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Publisher:
Warner Bros. Interactive

Developer:
Rocksteady Studios

Release:
2023

Two big games were just delayed: the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. On this week’s From Panel to Podcast episode, we talk briefly about the latter being moved into 2023, and also discuss Marvel Unlimited coming to Xbox Game Pass – a move that shocked us.

As always, we spend most of the episode talking about last week’s comic book releases, and end the show with a look ahead to what releases next Wednesday.

If you would like to follow us on Twitter: Andrew Reiner (@Andrew_Reiner) and Philip Hoff (@bnow23).

From Panel to Podcast is a weekly show created by two lifelong comic book readers who offer suggestions on which comic books you should be reading each week. Each episode also dives into the latest developments for comics in video games, movies, and television shows. We’ll even discuss comic book collectibles and anything we think you should know about that pertains to this entertainment medium.

Be sure to subscribe to From Panel to Podcast on your favorite podcast platform. The show is available on Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

PlayStation CEO Says First-Party Games Will Not Launch Day One On Revamped PS Plus

PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan PlayStation Plus First Party Games

Developer:
Sony Interactive Entertainment

Following Sony’s unveiling of its heavily-rumored PlayStation Plus revamp, which combines the features of Plus and those of PlayStation Now into three different tiers, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that players should not expect first-party games to launch on the service. 

Seemingly alluding to the fact that Xbox Game Studios titles launch day-one on Xbox Game Pass, Ryan said if PlayStation were to do this, it would break the company’s “virtuous” release cycle. This news comes by way of a new interview with Ryan over at GamesIndustry.biz, who spoke to the CEO about today’s PS Plus news. 

“We feel like we are in a good virtuous cycle with the studios where the investment delivers success, which enables yet more investment, which delivers yet more success,” Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz. “We like that cycle and we think our gamers like that cycle. 

“[In terms of] putting our own games onto this service, or any of our services, upon their release…as you well know, this is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past. And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service. We feel that if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken. The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want.” 

However, despite Ryan saying publishing first-party titles on PS Plus would break the company’s virtuous cycle, the CEO won’t go as far as to say “never,” noting that the industry is constantly changing. 

“The way the world is changing so very quickly at the moment, nothing is forever,” Ryan said. “Who would have said even four years ago that you would see AAA PlayStation IP being published on PC? We started that last year with Horizon Zero Dawn, then Days Gone, and now God of War – a hugely polished and accomplished PC version of that game. [We’ve had] great critical success and great commercial success, and everybody has made their peace with that happening and is completely at ease with it. I look back four years and think nobody would have seen that coming.

So I don’t want to cast anything in stone at this stage. All I’m talking about today is the approach we’re taking in the short term. The way our publishing model works right now, it doesn’t make any sense. But things can change very quickly in this industry, as we all know.” 

Elsewhere in the interview, Ryan touches on the pricing of the company’s new PlayStation Plus tiers, alluding to the fact that when looked at as an annual charge, the tiers offer better pricing than Xbox Game Pass (although, of course, there’s an argument to be made about which service is the better deal in terms of content). 

“It is a fact – for our services, at least – that the great majority of people subscribe through a 12-month subscription,” Ryan said. “It’s more than two thirds who subscribe that way. That is an area of value proposition that we have looked at very hard. What we are delivering is that, for a 12-month subscriber, and that is the great majority of people, the monthly subscription rate for PlayStation Plus Extra will be $8.33. And for PlayStation Plus Premium, it will be $9.99. We think, for what people are going to get, this is a terrific value proposition. And one that simply wouldn’t be possible if we were to put our studio’s games into the service upon release.” 

Ryan said “every major publisher” will be present in the service, including indies, big games, and “things that celebrate our heritage.” He also said the Premium tier isn’t for everybody but that “once we can share the line-up with the world, we think there’s going to be a lot of interest in that.” 

“It’s about rounding off the offer that we have,” Ryan said. “With platforms, it is seldom just one single thing that makes a platform really attractive. It’s a combination of many things. And having a really strong service proposition definitely helps.”

For more, read Game Informer’s breakdown of today’s PlayStation Plus news

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]


What do you think of the new PlayStation Plus tiers? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Bill Clinton Makes Amusing Cameo In Guilty Gear Strive

Platform:
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Publisher:
Arc System Works, Bandai Namco

Developer:
Arc System Works

Release:
June 11, 2021

Rating:
Teen

Guilty Gear Strive launched last summer and is still going strong with DLC characters and Evo fighting tournaments. I bet you never expected a former president to make an appearance in the game. That’s right, Bill Clinton is a prop in the background of one of Guilty Gear Strive’s various arenas. Sure he’s not a playable fighter, but he is a gracious spectator.

Gamespot provided the details of why his inclusion is so cheeky and ironic. Clinton condemned a 1999 ad for the game: “kill your friends, guilt free.” Guilty Gear wasn’t the only title mentioned. Still, in a video I’ll link here, Clinton does state that the violence apparent in the slogan mentioned above is “the most unbelievable [example]” of all the games he criticized. While this speech has seemingly been lost to time, Guilty Gear fans have taken pride in their favorite fighter’s beratement. Now, Clinton is the latest addition to the game all these years later. Things always come full circle, don’t they?

The picture of Clinton (seen above) is pretty blurry, but that’s undoubtedly him. The update dropped yesterday with the White House Reborn map that features the 42nd president of the United States, the addition of fan-favorite fighter Testament, and the Digital Figure mode which was used to discover the Clinton photo in the first place. Guilty Gear Strive’s second season is off to a hilariously good start.  

[Source: Gamespot]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Sega And General Mills Team Up For Sonic The Hedgehog Cereal

Ahead of next week’s anticipated release of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 in theaters, Sega and General Mills have announced a partnership to bring the spikey blue hedgehog to breakfast nooks nationwide.

General Mills will be releasing two Sonic branded food products, with the obligatory breakfast cereal taking center stage. Featuring honey-flavored rings with spin dash and chaos emerald marshmallows, this cereal is going all out on representing Sega’s mascot. There’s also a “fun back-of-the-box activity for a speedy way to start the day.” Neat!

Michael Cisneros, Senior Manager of Licensing at SEGA of America has this to say about the partnership:

“General Mills is one of the foremost brands in the food industry — especially when it comes to youth-focused products, so we’re thrilled to partner up with them. This partnership is a really fun and creative way to integrate some iconic aspects of the Sonic games into a whole new product line, and we’re excited to introduce it to Sonic fans.”

Also getting the Sonic treatment is a box of fruit snacks which we don’t have any details about yet, other than its existence. Both products are considered “special editions,” so don’t expect these to last on grocery store shelves for long. They’re going to go fast!

Paramount Pictures’ Sonic the Hedgehog 2 hits theaters April 8.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Fortnite: Epic Games Announces Zero Build, A New ‘No-Build’ Mode For The Battle Royale

Fortnite Zero Build Announced

Platform:
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac, iOS, Android

Publisher:
Epic Games

Developer:
Epic Games

Release:
July 25, 2017
(PlayStation 4,
Xbox One,
PC,
Mac), April 2, 2018
(iOS), June 12, 2018
(Switch), August 9, 2018
(Android), November 10, 2020
(Xbox Series X/S), November 12, 2020
(PlayStation 5)

Rating:
Teen

Epic Games unveiled Chapter 3, Season 2 of its popular free-to-play battle royale, Fortnite, by removing all building from the game. Many predicted that this was a temporary change meant to allow players to get used to new mechanics like sprinting, mantling, and more. 

Now, nine days later, Epic Games has unveiled Fortnite: Zero Build, a permanent mode where there is no building. This mode will sit alongside the return-to-normal building battle royale mode in Fortnite, giving players the option to choose between the two before jumping onto the island. 

“Zero Build is a pure test of weapon, item, and traversal ability,” Epic Games’ announcement reads. “Zero Build can be found in the Discover page as Solos, Duos, Trios, and Squads playlists (Access the Discover page by clicking on the ‘CHANGE’ button above ‘PLAY!’ in the Lobby). Without building, all players have the recharging Overshield as your first line of defense in Zero Build. Zip up Ascenders to access Blimps or use Mantling to get high-ground over your opponents. Don’t forget to Sprint between cover on your way to a Victory Royale.” 

Epic Games has also released a trailer about Fortnite: Zero Build, complete with gameplay from the new mode, to celebrate the news, and as expected, it looks like Fortnite … with no building. Many in the community have enjoyed this gameplay twist in Fortnite, so it being a standard option alongside the regular battle royale mode is a win for all players. 

Click here to watch embedded media

For more, read about the launch of Chapter 3, Season 2, which brought Doctor Strange to Fortnite, and then check out this story about another Fortnite and Marvel team-up for a comic book


Are you excited about Fortnite: Zero Build? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Sequel Delayed To Spring 2023

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel 2022 Delay Spring 2023

Platform:
Switch

Publisher:
Nintendo

Nintendo has delayed the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild to Spring 2023. 

This news comes by way of a video shared by Nintendo on Twitter. The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma reveals that the development team needs more time to make it as special as Nintendo wants it to be.

Click here to watch embedded media

Here’s what Aonuma says in the video, in full

“Hello, I’m Eiji Aonuma, producer on The Legend of Zelda series. I have an update to share on the launch timing of the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. We previously announced that we were aiming for a 2022 release for this game. However, we have decided to extend our development time a bit and change the release to Spring 2023. For those of you who have been looking forward to a release this year we apologize.

“As previously announced, the adventure in this sequel will take place not just on the ground as in the previous game, but also in the skies above. However, the expanded world goes beyond that and there will be an even wider variety of features you can enjoy including new encounters and new gameplay elements. In order to make this game’s experience something special, the entire development team is continuing to work diligently on this game, so please wait a while longer. That’s all for today’s announcement. Thank you.”

The video shared by Nintendo also features footage from the sequel, with at least one new shot. Unfortunately, Nintendo did not share an official name for the game, still referring to it as a sequel to Breath of the Wild. Since its announcement, that’s how Nintendo has referred to the game and fans eagerly await the reveal of its title. Only time will tell when that will be and it sounds like we’ll be waiting a little longer than expected to find out. 

For more, read about how Breath of The Wild’s follow-up should expand on the games’ fantastic emergent experiences, and then check out Game Informer’s favorite Zelda moments and memories


Are you excited for this sequel? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Game Theory Reveals Gaming Coffee Table

Dedicated tabletop gaming tables have been gaining steam for some time now, offering custom solutions for players who want a more nuanced solution for where to play out RPG or board game nights. Game Theory Tables is one of the recognized players in the category, thanks largely to the success of its customizable Origins table. Today, the team is launching a new crowdfunding drive for that table and a recently announced new coffee table format of a similar design, alongside a substantial discount on their standard pricing.

The original Origins table was most notable for its customizability, including a choice of wood color, playmats, cupholders, and optional accessories like USB chargers and dice-rolling towers. But its chief success lies in its recessed design, which offered a 4-inch recessed play area, which a dining top could cover, keeping in-process games in stasis while the family enjoys dinner, and allowing the game to pick back up when the group is ready to get back to the action.

The new coffee table variation of the Origins table seems to recognize that many players have switched to a more relaxed approach to game night get-togethers. The idea seems to be that the crowd is gathered in easy chairs and couches, leaning in to take a turn when the time is right, but you still want a suitable play space.

Alongside the new coffee table twist, Game Theory is also updating the original Origins table for its latest run in 2022.

The two options are headed into a new crowdfunding drive, with a planned slate of 650 units of each table available for purchase, and with pricing marked to 30 percent below Game Theory’s standard website pricing. If you’ve been waiting and considering springing for a new play surface to enjoy with your gaming group, the Kickstarter goes live today.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

April PlayStation Plus Lineup Reportedly Leaked, Includes SpongeBob Remaster And More

PlayStation Plus April Lineup SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated, Hood: Outlaws & Legends, and Slay The Spire Free Games

Platform:
PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Publisher:
Mega Crit Studios

Developer:
Mega Crit Studios

Release:
January 23, 2019

Rating:
Everyone 10+

The April 2022 PlayStation Plus lineup has reportedly leaked. It includes Hood: Outlaws & Legends as its main PlayStation 5 title alongside two PlayStation 4 games: Slay The Spire and SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated. 

This news comes by way of French forum Dealabs user billbil-kun, who has leaked the PS Plus lineup almost every month for the past seven months, as reported by Eurogamer. Now, while billbil-kun has been accurate in the past, it’s important to note that this is still a potential leak and not official wording, so there’s always the chance this lineup is incorrect. However, subscribers have an interesting lineup ahead of them for April if it’s correct. 

Hood: Outlaws & Legends

Hood: Outlaws & Legends was released less than a year ago, on May 10, and it’s a gritty take on the classic tales of Robin Hood and others, in the form of team-based multiplayer combat. In it, two teams of various classes face off in a battle to collect stolen medieval riches, with four major character archetypes to choose from: ranger, brawler, mystic, or hunter, and each has plenty of customization options to accompany them. In short, Hood: Outlaws & Legends is a medieval, multiplayer heist game

Click here to watch embedded media

Slay The Spire

Slay The Spire is a deckbuilding rogue-like that’s one of the best card-based games out there. In it, you use cards as tools to create classic fantasy archetypes of your choice to brave the dangers of various random dungeons. Each run, you’re inspired to try out new cards, create new decks, and build upon reworked tactics to make it further and further up the titular spire. If you die, you restart knowing what went wrong last time. It’s a fantastic game, and you can read about why in Game Informer’s 9.25 out of 10 Slay The Spire review

Click here to watch embedded media

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom Rehydrated is a June 2020 remaster of the original SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle For Bikini Bottom, first released in 2003. It’s a classic mascot platformer with light combat and many collectibles to find. It’s also widely praised as one of the best SpongeBob games, so if you need a Krabby Patty or two, Rehydrated might be right up your alley. It’s one of many Steam Deck ready games, too, if you have that device and want to give it a go before playing it on PlayStation. 

Click here to watch embedded media

If you haven’t yet, add last month’s PS Plus games, which include Ghostrunner, Ark: Survival Evolved, Team Sonic Racing, and a bonus in the form of Ghost of Tsushima: Legends. These will likely be available until the end of March, and if April’s lineup is like previous months, the new PS Plus titles will be available for download starting this Friday, April 1. 

[Source: Eurogamer]


Are you excited about this potential lineup? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Apex Legends Next-Gen Update Launches With 4K Resolution And 60fps, More Upgrades On The Way

Platform:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Publisher:
Electronic Arts

Developer:
Respawn Entertainment

Release:
February 4, 2019
(PlayStation 4,
Xbox One,
PC), March 9, 2021
(Switch)

Rating:
Teen

Apex Legends is still one of the most bombastic and frenetic battle royales on the market. I’ve been covering its growth for a while, but The Warriors Collection event, dropping today, might bring the most notable and highly-anticipated change to Respawn’s Titanfall-adjacent shooter in years: a next-gen update. This upgrade launches with 4K resolution and 60fps, among other exciting features. However, further additions are in the works.

According to Eurogamer, the next-gen version of Apex Legends comes with the aforementioned upgrades as well as higher draw distances (not all improvements are available on Xbox Series S) and high-res maps. Sure, the battle royale’s comic-book aesthetic might not be as eye-popping as games with “realistic” graphics, but it’ll be nice to see the new detailed textures on characters and geographical structures. 

Many console fans are waiting for 120fps, and that is undoubtedly on the way. Eurogamer reports, “further additions coming soon include 120fps, more visual and audio improvements, and haptic feedback and adaptive triggers on PS5.” I predominantly play on Xbox, but even I can’t resist checking out how Apex will feel with a DualSense controller when the next update is implemented. 

Click here to watch embedded media

The Warriors Collection event brings the 9v9 Control mode back into rotation with a Caustic-themed map called Caustic Treatment. Moreover, a new arena, Drop-Off, is coming to the 3v3 playlist. Be sure to watch the trailer above for more info. 


Will you be hot-dropping into Apex Legends today? Let us know in the comments below! 

[Source: Eurogamer]

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Sony Unveils New PlayStation Plus Options That Combine Plus And Now Together

PlayStation Plus New Tiers PlayStation Now Essential, Extra, Premium

PlayStation has finally pulled back the curtains on its heavily-rumored relaunch of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now, and as expected, it combines Plus and Now benefits. 

Spread across three tiers – PlayStation Plus Essential (cheapest), PlayStation Plus Extra, and PlayStation Plus Premium (most expensive) – one of these is basically what Plus has been for years. At the same time, the other two add in Now’s backward compatibility features. All three tiers launch this June, although PlayStation did not reveal an official release date. 

Here are the three tiers that will be available this June: 

PlayStation Plus Essential

  • Benefits
    • Provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are getting today, such as:
      • Two monthly downloadable games
      • Exclusive discounts
      • Cloud storage for saved games
      • Online multiplayer access
    • There are no changes for existing PlayStation Plus members in this tier.
       
  • Price* for PlayStation Plus Essential remains the same as the current price for PlayStation Plus.
    • United States
      • $9.99 monthly / $24.99 quarterly / $59.99 yearly
    • Europe
      • €8.99 monthly / €24.99 quarterly / €59.99 yearly
    • United Kingdom
      • £6.99 monthly / £19.99 quarterly / £49.99 yearly 
    • Japan
      • ¥850 monthly / ¥2,150 quarterly / ¥5,143 yearly

PlayStation Plus Extra

  • Benefits
    • Provides all the benefits from the Essential tier
    • Adds a catalog of up to 400* of the most enjoyable PS4 and PS5 games – including blockbuster hits from our PlayStation Studios catalog and third-party partners. Games in the Extra tier are downloadable for play.
  • Price*:
    • United States
      • $14.99 monthly / $39.99 quarterly / $99.99 yearly
    • Europe
      • €13.99 monthly / €39.99 quarterly / €99.99 yearly
    • United Kingdom
      • £10.99 monthly / £31.99 quarterly / £83.99 yearly 
    • Japan
      • ¥1,300 monthly / ¥3,600 quarterly / ¥8,600 yearly

PlayStation Plus Premium** 

  • Benefits:
    • Provides all the benefits from Essential and Extra tiers
    • Adds up to 340* additional games, including:
      • PS3 games available via cloud streaming
      • A catalog of beloved classic games available in both streaming and download options from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations 
    • Offers cloud streaming access for original PlayStation, PS2, PSP and PS4 games offered in the Extra and Premium tiers in markets** where PlayStation Now is currently available. Customers can stream games using PS4 and PS5 consoles, and PC.*** 
    • Time-limited game trials will also be offered in this tier, so customers can try select games before they buy.
  • Price*:
    • United States
      • $17.99 monthly / $49.99 quarterly / $119.99 yearly
    • Europe
      • €16.99 monthly / €49.99 quarterly / €119.99 yearly
    • United Kingdom
      • £13.49 monthly / £39.99 quarterly / £99.99 yearly 
    • Japan
      • ¥1,550 – monthly / ¥4,300 – quarterly / ¥10,250 yearly
  • PlayStation Plus Deluxe (Select Markets) For markets without cloud streaming, PlayStation Plus Deluxe will be offered at a lower price compared to Premium, and includes a catalog of beloved classic games from the original PlayStation, PS2 and PSP generations to download and play, along with time-limited game trials. Benefits from Essential and Extra tiers are also included. Local pricing will vary by market.

“The new Extra and Premium tiers represent a major evolution for PlayStation Plus,” PlayStation’s announcement blog reads. “With these tiers, our key focus is to ensure that hundreds of games we offer will include the best quality content that sets us apart. At launch, we plan to include titles such as Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal. We’re working closely with our imaginative developers from PlayStation Studios and third-party partners to include some of the best gaming experiences available with a library that will be regularly refreshed. 

“When the new PlayStation Plus service launches, PlayStation Now will transition into the new PlayStation Plus offering and will no longer be available as a standalone service. PlayStation Now customers will migrate over to PlayStation Plus Premium with no increase to their current subscription fees at launch.” 

PlayStation says this launch effort will begin with a regional approach. In June, the launch will happen in “several markets in Asia, followed by North America, Europe, and the rest of the world where PlayStation Plus is offered.” It aims to have most PlayStation Network territories live with these new tiers of subscription by the end of the first half of 2022. 

“Building upon more than 25 years of expertise in gaming innovation, this change to our subscription services highlights our continued efforts to evolve our network services business to match customer’s preferences,” the blog post reads. “With the all-new PlayStation Plus, we’re focused on delivering a compelling game subscription service with curated content from our exclusive PlayStation Studios team and our third-party partners. The newly enhanced PlayStation Plus will enable our fans to discover and engage with more content than ever before, and deeper their connection with the PlayStation community through shared experiences.” 


What do you think of these new PlayStation Plus tiers? Let us know in the comments below!

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Read An Exclusive Excerpt From Long Live Mortal Kombat: Round 1, A Novel On The Early History Of MK

Long Live Mortal Kombat: Round 1 – The Fatalities and Fandom of the Arcade Era is an upcoming novel detailing the origin and early history of Mortal Kombat. The book compiles interviews with MK co-creator John Tobias and other designers, critics, and fans to weave a comprehensive tale of the franchises’ beginnings. Author David L. Craddock (Stay Awhile and Listen trilogy, Monsters in the Dark: The Making of X-COM: UFO Defense) has launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the book off the ground and shared an exclusive chapter from the book with Game Informer that you can read below.  

Long Live Mortal Kombat: Round 1 Book Cover


Long Live Mortal Kombat: Round 1 – The Fatalities and Fandom of the Arcade Era goes behind the scenes to reveal untold stories from the making of Mortal Kombat 1 through 4 and explores how the franchise impacted popular culture, and is funding now on Kickstarter. In this excerpt from the book, a small boy earns the respect of the drug dealers who rule his arcade by besting them in a fight—in Mortal Kombat.

**

Bulgaria’s opioid crisis didn’t happen overnight. The country was part of the Soviet bloc, a totalitarian regime whose agents policed drug channels in and out of regions under their control. Residents of countries such as the United States and Europe had access to a plethora of recreational drugs, but a drug network taking root in Bulgaria was viewed as next to impossible.

That changed in 1968 when Bulgaria’s International Youth Festival allowed young people to meet attendees from other countries. They traded stories of where they lived and what they liked to do for fun. Drugs, a staple of the counterculture movement in the U.S. and abroad, were a huge part of the gathering. Still, Bulgaria avoided an epidemic until the fall of 1990. At the Hemus Hotel, located downtown in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Iranian refugees who had fled to escape the politics of their homelands spread word that they were open for business. They were careful, operating out of locations such as the underground shopping area of the National Palace of Culture. Rates of heroin usage climbed over the next two years. In 1992, incidents involving heroin addicts soared by 31 percent as the drug spread.

As those who ran the drug market grew bolder, their dealers emerged from the underground and set up shop in more public places. Amusement parlors became prime spots to conduct business. The clientele consisted largely of children and teens who were unsupervised, and the latter group showed an interest in substances that would guarantee them a good time. The market’s reach grew as dealers worked together to trade secrets and strategies. To avoid detection by law enforcement, they stashed heroin in pockets or, bolder still, held it in their hands until they made a sale. With nothing to do between serving customers, they commandeered coin-op games until a buyer approached. Soon, they were unafraid of police intervention. Local law enforcement had no clue what was going on.

By 1993, Bulgaria’s dealers thought of themselves as kings. Anyone who game rooms knew not to approach a cabinet if local dealers were playing, usually surrounded by a coterie of toughs who were there to protect him, or push their own supplies, or both. If you weren’t there to buy drugs, the cabinets with their flashing screens may as well not exist. No one dared oppose them.

No one except a 10-year-old boy with preternatural hand-eye coordination and enough strength to tear a head free of its body.

**

Growing up, Andrey Stefanov had zero interest in video games. He wanted to build kingdoms out of LEGO bricks. He dabbled in home games like Super Mario Bros. 3, but always returned to his bricks. Then he discovered Mortal Kombat. However, Bulgaria’s Kombat cabinet looked nothing like the hardware found across North America. Coin-op games were expensive to import, so Bulgarian operators would buy kits to install in the cabinets of older games no longer earning. “We had MK1 with a three-button layout. It was not the original arcade design; it was used in some other game,” Stefanov says.

At first, Stefanov watched older kids play Mortal Kombat and didn’t see what all the  hype was all about. The graphics were great, with characters that looked more realistic compared to Street Fighter II, and the bloodshed was kind of cool. But so what? Take away the gore and it was just another punch-and-kick game. Then, at the end of a match between a ninja clad in black and yellow, and a cocky Hollywood star, the sky turned dark and the ninja peeled off his face to reveal a skull. Turning to his dazed and bloodied opponent, the ninja breathed flame and reduced the humbled star to charred bones.

“I was like, ‘That changes everything.’ The real reason for me to start playing was Scorpion’s fatality in the first game,” he says.

Every day, his parents gave Stefanov five coins for lunch at school. Every day, he made the five-minute walk to the mall near his apartment, climbed to the second floor, and ventured into the arcade where he spent his lunch money on Mortal Kombat. The game’s learning curve was steep. His three-button layout had one punch, one kick, and block. With two buttons missing, he had to do certain moves by pressing combinations of buttons such as throwing Sub-Zero’s ice by pressing down, forward, and high punch plus block.

The second and larger obstacle was the drug dealers. As Mortal Kombat‘s popularity exploded, the dealers dictated who could play. Their rules were simple: they played, and everyone else could watch or get the hell out. When they weren’t charring opponents or throwing fireballs, they stole lunch money from kids who wandered into the parlor. Some dealers knew Stefanov, so they took it easier on him. “The biggest threat I received was them taking my money for school,” he recalled.

Every now and then, the dealers let him play. The gesture was not made out of kindness. The dealer on duty would wait until Stefanov got near the end of the battle plan—an endurance match, or better yet, the fight against Goro or Shang Tsung—then insert coins, thrash Stefanov’s character, and finish the game in minutes. “It was kind of humiliating,” he admits.

Bullying was not enough to keep Stefanov away from the game room. He peeked his head in and played when the toughs weren’t around, and resigned to being chased off when one of the dealers decided it was his turn to play. Instead of running away, Stefanov hung back and picked up on strategies like punching characters out of the air and thought about how he might string moves together to form combos. One with Sub-Zero was simple: hit a jumping kick, then immediately perform his slide before his opponent landed.

Soon, a larger problem materialized. Stefanov only had so many coins. A solution materialized as a wealthy friend at school who lived in a huge house and had a Sega Mega Drive (known as Sega Genesis in the U.S.) with a copy of Mortal Kombat. “It is very different from the arcade, but you could practice on it, at least.”

Owning a Mega Drive was a status symbol. Bulgaria had been a communist country until mass demonstrations forced the government to adopt democratic reforms in the early 1990s. Part of the result was Bulgaria opening its borders to do business with foreign companies like Nintendo and Sega. Before democratic reforms were adopted, those and other game companies had no way of selling their products. That left the market open for imitators like the Terminator, a bootleg console that played Nintendo Famicom cartridges and some NES titles. Sega and Nintendo could release their 16-bit platforms in Bulgaria, but their machines proved too expensive for most consumers. Instead, most Bulgarians who had money for games bought the Terminator 2, a console with Super NES-like molding but colored black instead of beige, and only cost 23.09 Bulgarian Lev, or $13.68 in 2021 US dollars. Most games cost one Lev, or 59 cents.

Stefanov’s friend loaned him the Mega Drive and Mortal Kombat cartridge. After his family went to bed, Stefanov sat awash in the television’s glow, practicing special moves and combos. It was the first of many nights he sacrificed sleep. One morning a week later, Stefanov dressed, collected his lunch money, then skipped school and headed to the arcade. One of the dealers was hogging the cabinet. He was playing as Sub-Zero. After every win, he boasted that no one could play ice ninja better than he could. Stefanov approached and politely asked if he could challenge him. The dealer smirked and waved him forward.

At the character select screen, they both chose Sub-Zero. Two rounds later, Stefanov’s character stood over the doppelganger’s corpse, blood dripping from the severed spinal column. The dealer shot him a nasty look, then deposited more coins. This time he waited until Stefanov made his choice—Sub-Zero again—then counter-picked, a tactic where one player chooses a character based on their opponent’s choice. The dealer chose Johnny Cage, the cocky Hollywood star.

A crowd formed around them. Stefanov risked a glance at the dealer. The man’s face had gone from scarlet to puce. This was bad. Stefanov dropped his right hand from the buttons. With his left hand, he tilted the joystick one way, then the other, causing his character to pace back and forth. The dealer took the first round with Flawless Victory. The onlookers, mostly friends of the dealer’s, cheered and applauded. The dealer turned to his Stefanov wearing a smug grin. “It’s fine. You can play. I’ll beat you, anyway.”

Stefanov placed his right hand on the buttons. Within one minute, he’d won a round. Within two, he’d separated the dealer’s head and spinal column from his body again. The dealer swore and shoved Stefanov against the cabinet, slapping him again and again. Then the man stormed off. Wincing, Stefanov left the arcade.

He returned the next day. To his surprise, the dealers, including the one he’d killed twice, let him step up to the machine. This time, instead of bumping him off the cabinet or roughing him up, they asked questions. A grin split Stefanov’s face. “You had to learn to play the game so you’d be able to do well even on single-player,” he explains. “You had to learn respect to not be terrorized.


 

David L. Craddock

You can support Long Live Mortal Kombat: Round 1 – The Fatalities and Fandom of the Arcade Era by visiting its Kickstarter campaign. Craddock plans to hold a Reddit AMA today at 1 p.m. Eastern to answer questions and share additional content. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Game Studios Show Support For Ukraine

Game Studios Show Support For Ukraine

Russia openly attacked and invaded Ukraine on February 24 after weeks of mounting tensions between the two countries, with hundreds of Ukrainian citizens reportedly killed by bombings and Russian militia as a result. As the world watches this historical and terrifying event unfold, efforts have begun to aid civilians and organizations on the ground floor and those displaced, like the Ukrainian Red Cross. Many of these efforts have come from studios within the video game industry, some in the form of charity drives, others with public displays of support for Ukraine. 

Game Informer will continue to update this story. 

Fortnite

Epic Games announced that from March 20 through April 3, all proceeds from its popular battle royale, Fortnite, would be donated to humanitarian relief for people affected by the war in Ukraine. 

One day later, the Fortnite Twitter account revealed that Fortnite players had already raised $36 million. 

Update: As of March 22, Fortnite (and its players) have raised $50 million in humanitarian relief funds to support people affected by the war in Ukraine. 

Update: As of March 25, Fortnite, and the Fortnite player base making purchases in the Fortnite Item Shop and elsewhere, have raised $70 million in humanitarian relief funds to support people affected by the war in Ukraine. 

All In! Games

Chernobylite developer The Farm 51 and its publisher, All in! Games, announced a new DLC pack for Chernobylite on March 21. Titled Chernobylite Digital Charity Pack DLC, the total net income from this DLC will be donated to the Pure Heart Foundation, “a non-profit charitable organization established in 2013 that works with underprivileged communities focusing on humanitarian aid and youth projects,” according to a press release. 

The Pure Heart Foundation is distributing donated humanitarian and medical aid to those in need, including hygiene products, nappies, baby food, phones, sleeping bags, and medicine. The charity pack will be available from now until March 14, 2023 on Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG. It costs $3.99 and more details about it can be found here

Humble Bundle

On March 18, Humble Bundle announced its Stand With Ukraine Bundle. Running through March 25, with over 120 games, books, and software, 100% of this bundle’s proceeds will be donated to humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. Games include Back 4 Blood, Metro Exodus, Fable: Anniversary, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, The Long Dark, and more.

More details about this Humble Bundle can be found here

Square Enix

Square Enix, the publisher and developer behind the Final Fantasy franchise, announced on March 14 that it has donated $500,000 to The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to support the people of Ukraine affected by Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country, which has resulted in war. 

Riot Games

On March 5, Riot Games, the publisher-studio behind Valorant and League of Legends, announced that from March 5 to March 12, all proceeds from battle pass sales for Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, Teamfight Tactics, and Wild Rift, as well as the new Bee skin line in League of Legends, will be donated to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and the surrounding region. 

In addition to player-supported fundraising, Riot announced it would be donating $1 million across three humanitarian efforts: 

  • International Medical Corps
  • Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders
  • Polish Red Cross

On March 9, Riot Games revealed that it and players of its games had raised more than $3 million to date and as of March 29, the total raised is $5 million. 

Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco, the publisher behind titles like this year’s Elden Ring and more, revealed on March 11 that it would be donating roughly $848,000 to Save the Children in support of Ukraine.

“The Bandai Namco Group has decided to make a donation of 100 million yen to Save the Children in support of their humanitarian cause for people affected by the crisis in Ukraine and seeking refuge outside the country. We hope that the people and communities affected by this crisis will be able to return to peaceful days as soon as possible.” 

Niantic

Niantic, the studio behind games like Pokemon Go, revealed on March 10 that its games are no longer available for download in Russia and Belarus as a response to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Plus, gameplay for Niantic’s titles has been suspended indefinitely in Russia and Belarus. 

“We stand with the global community in hoping for peace and a rapid resolution to the violence and suffering in Ukraine. Niantic’s games are no longer available for download in Russia and Belarus, and gameplay will also be suspended there shortly.” 

Nintendo

Nintendo is the latest company to halt sales and shipments of its products to Russia amidst its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Joining the likes of Microsoft and PlayStation and dozens of other game studios, Nintendo has suspended all shipments to Russia for the “foreseeable future” as of March 10. Still, the company did not say this was in support of Ukraine like most publishers and studios have, as reported by IGN. The publication reached out to Nintendo to ask if it’d be providing a message of support for Ukraine, and a Nintendo spokesperson said, “We would like to express our concern for all those affected by the conflict.” 

“We have decided to suspend shipping all Nintendo products to Russia for the foreseeable future,” Nintendo told IGN. “This is due to considerable volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods.” 

This news comes days after Nintendo placed the Russian eShop into maintenance mode, which prevents users from buying digital games, effectively suspending all sales and downloads in the country. As IGN points out, this wasn’t necessarily done in support of Ukraine either, at least not directly and publicly. Nintendo said its payment service no longer processed Russian Rubles, forcing the eShop to close temporarily. 

On top of all of this, Nintendo delayed Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp yesterday due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It did not announce a new release date for the game. 

PlayStation

Sony Interactive Entertainment announced on March 9 that it is suspending all sales and shipments of both hardware and digital goods in Russia amidst its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. 

Joining the likes of Microsoft and Nintendo and dozens of other studios and publishers who have done the same, PlayStation is showing its support for Ukraine by effectively cutting Russia off from its services and titles. SIE called for peace in Ukraine in a statement to The Verge alongside this news. 

“Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) joins the global community in calling for peace in Ukraine,” a spokesperson said. “We have suspended all software and hardware shipments, the launch of Gran Turismo 7, and operations of the PlayStation Store in Russia.”

This spokesperson also said that Sony announced a $2 million donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the NGO Save the Children to support those affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Necrosoft Games, Itch.io, and More Than 700 Developers – Bundle For Ukraine

Necrosoft Games and Itch.io, a digital games storefront with a focus on indies, announced a Bundle For Ukraine on March 7 that will be live until March 18 and with it, 100% of proceeds will be split as donations to the following charities: 

  • International Medical Corps: This charity provides medical assistance in Ukraine. Itch.io writes that “they have very low fundraising overhead (1% of income), with 89% of donations going to medical aid and 10% to administration. 
  • Voices of Children: This is a Ukrainian organization that helps children cope with the horrors of war, PTSD, re-adjusting to school, and ultimately, getting back to being kids. Itch.io writes that “they have also been doing a lot of grassroots impromptu work during the war, such as helping set up shelters.” 

This bundle comes at a minimum “cost” of a $10 donation and donating at least $10 (although you’re free to donate however much more you’d like) will get you nearly 1000 products like digital tabletop RPGs and books, as well as games. 

“The people of Ukraine are under attack,” Itch.io writes. “As game developers, we want to create new worlds, not to destroy the one we have. That’s why we’ve banded together to present this charity bundle to help Ukrainians survive this ordeal and thrive after the war ends. This cause has resonated with creators around the globe, to the extent that our bundle contains almost 1000 games, tabletop RPGs, books, etc.” 

More specifically, this bundle includes almost 600 digital games, 300 analog tabletop RPGs, and dozens of “asset packs, books, zines, and comics, soundtracks/music, and a host of other products.” 

Epic Games

Epic Games announced on March 5 that it has suspended sales of its games in Russia as a result of the country’s unprovoked attack and invasion of Ukraine. This news comes by way of GamesIndustry.biz, which first reported that not only have sales of Epic Games’ titles been suspended in Russia, but in-game purchases are no longer allowed as well. However, Epic Games alludes that it is not ending all of its services in Russia in a Twitter statement. 

“Epic is stopping commerce with Russia in our games in response to its invasion of Ukraine,” the official Epic Games Newsroom Twitter account writes. “We’re not blocking access for the same reason other communication tools remain online: the free world should keep all lines of dialogue open.” 

Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has suspended all sales of its games, both physical and digital, and associated in-game microtransactions in Russia as a result of its unprovoked attack and invasion of Ukraine, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz

The publisher, by way of President and COO Daniel Alegre, announced this to employees via its own internal messaging system before publishing the statement on its own website on March 5. In the statement, Alegre revealed the suspension of sales in Russia and said its priority remains the safety ot its employees, especially those currently affected by what’s going on in Ukraine. 

“The company is matching employee donations 2:1 to organizations providing immediate relief in the region,” Alegre writes. “Together, we have raised over $300,000 in this effort. Next week, we plan to add additional charities to choose from for consideration and also will raise the company matching limit from $1000 to $10,000.” 

You can read Activision Blizzard’s statement, in full, below: 

Sad Cat Studios

Sad Cat Studios, the Belarus-based team behind Replaced, released a statement of support for Ukraine on March 4, making it clear that it is a studio against war. 

“We are a Belarusian studio and we want to make it perfectly clear: we are against war,” the statement released on Twitter reads. “We condemn Russian aggression towards Ukraine as well as Belarusian government’s involvement in that aggression. There is absolutely no excuse for [the] war and suffering which is unfolding right now. 

Our team has endured the rallies against dictatorship in Belarus in 2020 – one of us have been injured, one arrested. Now one of our own is caught amidst the chaos of war, defending his country, and we are incredibly proud to have such courageous people on our team. That being said, we have ultimately decided to focus on [the] well-being of our team as well as relocating.” 

Remedy Entertainment

Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind Control, released a statement on March 4 in support of Ukraine, revealing it has donated 50,000 euros to the Red Cross to help victims of war. 

“As Remedy Entertainment, we all stand united in our support of Ukraine,” Remedy Entertainment writes in its statement. “To help the people of Ukraine and alleviate some of their suffering, we have donated 50 thousand euros to the Red Cross to help the victims of war. We have given direct support to all our Ukrainian employees, and we are prepared to take action to aid their families and loved ones back home. 

We are also providing support to our Russian employees, who are appalled by this brutal war. We do not blame those who are not responsible. We do not usually make public statements about world events, but the completely unjust invasion of Ukraine by the Russian regime has shocked and touched us all. We hope that peace will win.” 

EA

EA, the publisher behind sports franchises like NHL and Madden NFL as well as games like Battlefield 2042, announced on March 4 that it has stopped sales of its games and content, including virtual currency bundles, in both Russia and Belarus. Here’s EA’s pic.twitter.com/vsZuQtYmX6

— Pokémon (@Pokemon) March 3, 2022 ” target=”_blank”>statement, in full: 

“We continue to be shocked at the conflict that is unfolding in Ukraine, and join so many voices around the world in calling for peace and an end to the invasion,” EA writes in the blog post. “We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Our primary concern is the ongoing safety of those in the region, particularly colleagues and partners, and we are seeking to understand how we might best help them further beyond our programs that are already in place. 

We have made the decision to stop sales of our games and content, including virtual currency bundles, in Russia and Belarus while this conflict continues. As a result, our games and content will no longer be available for purchase in our Russian region storefront on Origin or the EA app, including through in-game stores. We are also working with our platform partners to remove our titles from their stores and to stop the sale of new in-game content in the region. 

As this deeply troubling situation evolves, we’re continuously reviewing the steps we can take. In addition to changes to our EA Sports FIFA and NHL games, we are actively evaluating other areas of our games and operations, and will update with any further actions.” 

Microsoft

On March 4, Microsoft announced in a blog post that it was suspending sales of its products and services in Russia as a result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. This presumably includes Xbox-related products like consoles, official accessories, and more, considering Microsoft owns Xbox. 

“Like the rest of the world, we are horrified, angered, and saddened by the images and news coming from the war in Ukraine and condemn this unjustified, unprovoked, and unlawful invasion by Russia,” Microsoft president and vice chair, Brad Smith, writes in the blog post. “We are announcing today that we will suspend all sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia.

In addition, we are coordinating closely and working in lockstep with the governments of the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, and we are stopping many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions. We believe we are most effective in aiding Ukraine when we take concrete steps in coordination with the decisions being made by these governments and we will take additional steps as this situation continues to evolve.

Like so many others, we stand with Ukraine in calling for the restoration of peace, respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty, and the protection of its people.”  

This news from Microsoft comes just days after Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov publicly called on Sony and Microsoft to cut off Russia from its respective online gaming services immediately in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sony has not made a public stance or released a statement in regards to this war at the time of this writing.

Bloober Team

Bloober Team, the Poland-based studio behind The Medium and other titles, announced on March 3 that it is pulling its digital store pages from Russia and Belarus. 

“As the Russian unprovoked invasion of Ukraine continues, killing defenders and civilians alike, we at Bloober Team have decided to stop selling our titles in Russia and Belarus across all platforms,” Bloober Team writes in a press release. “We’ve been working with our partners to put the games down from the stores in these countries – the ban coming into effect first on Steam. 

Our hearts are with the Ukrainian people and this is one of several steps we’re currently taking to support them. We understand that our decision might affect many Russian and Belarussian players who are not involved in this invasion, but we strongly believe that every step that can help stop this war is worth taking – this includes showing full solidarity with the Ukrainian people both with words and actions, as well as creating pressure on the Russian and Belarussian public opinion. 

We believe a global joint resistance can help make a difference. We want to be a part of a world that doesn’t turn a blind eye to warmongering. And we won’t stay neutral when human lives are at stake.” 

The Pokémon Company

On March 3, The Pokémon Company released a statement in support of Ukraine on Twitter, pledging to donate $200,000 to its partners at GlobalGiving. 

“The growing crisis in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, which continues to cause the displacement of families and threaten the safety of children, is heartbreaking. 

The Pokémon Company International is making an immediate donation of $200,000 USD to our partners at GlobalGiving to provide humanitarian relief. The nonprofit will efficiently direct the funds to community-led organizations supporting families and children affected by the crisis.” 

Devolver Digital

Perhaps the most forward show of support for Ukraine, Devolver Digital, the publisher behind this year’s Sifu amongst others, kept it simple with the following on March 3: 

As you can see, Devolver Digital also includes links to charities people can donate to in order to help those in Ukraine. 

John Romero

John Romero, the famed co-creator of Doom II, announced on March 3 that he released a new level for Doom II and that 100% of the revenue from it will go to the people of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Red Cross, and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. 

Click here to view embedded media

 

“One Humanity is a new level for the 1994 id Software release Doom II created by John Romero to support the people of Ukraine and the humanitarian efforts of the Red Cross and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund,” Romero’s website reads.” 100% of the proceeds go toward these support initiatives. One Humanity is Romero’s first Doom II level since the release of the original in 1994. The .WAD contains a readme text file as well as the external mod data. Players must have an original copy of Doom II and a modern source port to play one Humanity.” 

You can read more about Romero’s charity effort here

GSC Game World 

GSC Game World, the team behind S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl, released a new video on March 3, detailing its current struggle in game development as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. GSC is based in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, which has been heavily bombed and targeted as a site for Russian takeover since the invasion began on February 24. In the video, the studio announced that it would be putting Stalker 2 development on the “sidelines” so that it can focus on keeping its employees safe during this conflict. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Here’s what was said, in full, in the video: 

“The previous week, we were editing the video about our motion-capture studio. We wanted to show how the cutscenes were created. Took time to watch videos, write scripts, and speak with actors. The previous week was ages ago. On the 24th of February, Russia declared war on Ukraine and sent rockets, tanks, and soldiers to our homeland. Our country is forced to fight for existence again. Seems like this is the price of freedom. This video is our answer to [the] ‘How are you guys?” question. Now we are striving to help our employees and their families to survive. The game development shifted to the sidelines, but we will definitely continue, after the victory. Glory to Ukraine.”

Avalanche Studios Group

Avalanche Studios Group, the team behind the Just Cause series and Contraband, released a statement of support for Ukraine on March 2. The studio revealed that it has donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

“We strongly condemn the ongoing invasion of Ukraine,” Avalanche writes in the statement. “Avalanche Studios Group is home to 44 different nationalities, including valued colleagues from Ukraine. In the face of this brutal and unprovoked war, we stand with them and their families, our partners and peers, and the entire people of Ukraine. 

To help alleviate some of the immense suffering, we are donating to the tireless humanitarian efforts of the UNHCR.” 

Unity

Unity, a video game engine development company, released a statement of support for Ukraine, including how it’s going to donate money to Ukrainian publishers and others, on March 2. 

“Unity stands with the people of Ukraine,” Unity writes on Twitter. “Here’s how we’re helping to support those affected: Internally, our employees are directly supporting four international humanitarian charities focused on helping the people of Ukraine with a triple-matching commitment from the company and our leaders. As of March 1, Unity and our employees have committed over $623,000 to supporting Ukraine.” 

Unity also launched two initiatives on the Unity Asset Store, and you can read more about those below: 

Plarium

Update, 3/10/22: Plarium has pulled its games from app stores in Russia and Belarus until further notice. It has also stopped accepting Plarium Play & Plarium.com payments in Russia and Belarus as well. 

Original Story: Raid Shadow Legends developer, Plarium, which is based in Ukraine, announced on March 1 in a new blog post that it has more than 700 employees sheltering in place throughout Ukraine and that its priority is the safety of its team. Plarium also revealed that it has donated $500,000 to the Ukrainian Red Cross Society alongside links and instructional help for people who want to help and get involved. You can read the statements, in full, by paging through the gallery below: 

Click here to view embedded media

 

Ubisoft

Ubisoft, the publisher and developer behind franchises like Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, released a statement on March 1 to show its support for its teams and the people of Ukraine. Here is the statement in full: 

“We are devastated and heartbroken by the tragic events taking place in Ukraine,” Ubisoft writes. “Many Ubisoft team members call Ukraine home, and the thoughts of the entire Ubisoft community are with them, their loved ones, and all those affected by this war. Our top priority is to take care of the safety and wellbeing of our teams and their families. Over the past months, Ubisoft has been closely monitoring the situation, and our primary focus has been the security of our teams.

As events escalated in mid-February, Ubisoft recommended all teams take shelter in a place they considered safe. To support them as they made these difficult decisions, each team member was provided additional funds to help cover exceptional costs and paid their salary in advance to account for any potential disruption to banking systems. Last week, when the unthinkable became a reality, Ubisoft worked to reinforce our support and assistance from our colleagues in Ukraine. We have set up alternative housing in neighboring countries where our colleagues and their families can take shelter if they wish and are able to do so.

To stay closely connected to all our team members, Ubisoft has created dedicated hotlines to provide them with personalized support and aid. We have also put in place an emergency communication system to ensure we are able to keep in touch with our colleagues in all circumstances. We stand by our teams in Ukraine and will continue to adapt and reinforce our support as the situation evolves. 

Many people in Ukraine, including children, are in dire need of humanitarian support such as medical supplies, shelter, and food. Today, Ubisoft is donating a total of 200,000 euros to the Ukrainian Red Cross and Save the Children to help meet the urgent needs of the Ukrainian population. To all our Ukrainian community and everyone affected by this war, please take care. We are with you.” 

Embracer Group

Sweden-based video game media holding company, Embracer Group, has an extensive video game catalog consisting of titles like Saints Row, Dead Island, Kingdoms of Amalur, and more than 250 more. It released a statement on Twitter on February 28 to show its support for Ukraine. 

“Millions of people are experiencing unthinkable hardships in Ukraine,” Embracer Group writes on Twitter. “The Embracer Group has decided to donate one-million US dollars for humanitarian aid to support those impacted through esteemed organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, SOS Children’s Villages, and ACT Alliance among others. 

In addition, our Group CEO, Lars Wingefors, will match this donation with another one-million US dollar pledge to support our employees and contractors who are directly impacted by this crisis.”

People Can Fly

People Can Fly, the studio behind last year’s Outriders, released a Twitter thread on February 28 showing its support for Ukraine, promising to donate 1 Polish zloty ($.22 USD), up to 1 million, for every Polish zloty donated by others to Polska Akcja Humanitarna, a Poland-based humanitarian organization that delivers aid to countries that need it. 

“Hard to find the right words,” People Can Fly writes on Twitter. “We are deeply saddened by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. At PCF, we firmly stand against war and any form of violence. We are doing our best to take care of our Ukrainian team members and their loved ones.”

Techland

Techland, the studio behind the recently-released Dying Light 2, released a statement of support for Ukraine on February 26. It’s also going to be donating roughly $225,000 to Polska Akcja Humanitarna, a Poland-based humanitarian organization that delivers aid to countries that need it.

“The ongoing war in Ukraine has left us devastated and heartbroken beyond words,” Techland writes on Twitter. “In the past few days, we’ve been focusing on ensuring our employees and their families are safe and receive support. We’ve also joined the efforts of the Polish gaming community in supporting our neighbors from Ukraine by donating 1 million PLN to Polska Akcja Humanitarna – an organization that provides humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict. Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.” 

Crytek

Crytek, the studio behind the popular Crysis franchise with an office based in Ukraine’s Kyiv capital, released a statement on February 25 to show its support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict happening there. 

“Kyiv has been home to one of the Crytek studios for the last 15 years,” Crytek writes in the statement. “Our focus in Crytek has always been that people come first, so the safety of our colleagues and their loved ones during this uneasy time has been paramount to us. We have been following the situation closely for the past few weeks and have been in close contact with the studio to do what we can to assist during this difficult time. 

We are deeply saddened by the current events, and our thoughts are with our team as well as all Ukrainian citizens.” 

CD Projekt Red

Cyberpunk 2077 and Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt Red, which is based in Poland, released a statement of support for Ukraine on February 25. In it, the studio pledged to donate roughly $225,000 to Polska Akcja Humanitarna, a Poland-based humanitarian organization that delivers aid to countries that need it. 

“The recent invasion on Ukraine, our friends and neighbors, left us shocked and outraged,” the studio writes in a tweet. “In solidarity with all victims of this act of aggression, the CD Projekt Group has decided to support humanitarian aid efforts by donating 1 million PLN to [Polska Akcja Humanitarna].”

Raw Fury

Raw Fury, the publishing label behind titles like Sable, posted a statement of support for Ukraine on Twitter on February 24. 

“Overnight, millions of Ukrainians have fled their everyday lives stolen away from them because of circumstances entirely out of their control,” Raw Fury writes in the statement “Houses lost, families separated, and the atrocity of war surrounding the neighborhoods they call home. War devastates all it touches, and this is a time when we all need to come together as a community to help. 

One of the tenets of Raw Fury is that we treat humans like humans, and when conflicts like this arise, it is more important than ever that we show empathy for each other. Raw Fury stands behind the citizens of Ukraine and we will be donating to the Ukrainian Red Cross to help support the victims of this war. We urge you all to help by donating so that aid can be made readily available for those in need.” 

Vostok Games

Vostok Games, the studio behind Survarium, posted a show of support for Ukraine on February 24 in the form of a picture of the Ukrainian flag with the hashtag “#StandWithUkraine.” 

Frogwares

Frogwares, the team behind The Sinking City and the Sherlock Holmes game franchise, tweeted on February 24 that it cannot stand by while Russia attacks its homeland, denying Ukraine of its sovereignty. 

“We can’t just stand by,” Frogwares writes on Twitter. “Russia attacks our homeland and denies the sovereignty of Ukraine. We are trying to stay safe, but this is war, there are no two ways about it. We call on everyone to force Putin to withdraw from our lands. #StopRussianAggression.”

Bungie

Bungie, the developer behind Destiny 2, announced on February 24 that it will donate 100% of the proceeds of the first 48 hours of its Game2Give drive to humanitarian aid efforts in response to ongoing conflict as a show of support to Ukraine. 

11 Bit Studios

11 Bit Studios was one of the first studios to not only outright call Russia out, displaying public support for Ukraine and its efforts to defend itself, but it also started a charity drive on February 24. It put This War of Mine, a staunchly anti-war game developed by the studio, on sale on consoles and Steam, and 100% of the profits made during this sale are going to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

On March 3, 11 Bit Studios announced that it was donating nearly $700,000 to Ukraine. The studio also released this statement alongside its original drive, which details how the Poland-based studio feels about the ongoing conflict:

Game Informer will continue to update this story. 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Jessie Buckley To Star In The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me

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

Publisher:
Bandai Namco

Developer:
Supermassive Games

Release:
TBA

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me is the upcoming installment in Supermassive Games’ collection of horror games and the season finale. So far, a cinematic trailer has established the atmosphere for the scares to come, and now we know that Academy Award-nominated actress Jessie Buckley will star in the game.

Buckley will lend her voice and likeness to the game’s protagonist, Kate Wilder. The actress’ film credits include The Lost Daughter (which earned her an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress at the 2022 Academy Awards), Wild Rose, and Judy. She’s also had notable TV roles on series such as Fargo and Chernobyl

The Devil In Me follows a documentary film crew that gets invited to explore a replica of the home of America’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes. While exploring the ominously named “Murder Castle,” things quickly take a turn for the worse as the crew is stalked by a dangerous figure. 

The Devil In Me ostensibly launches this year given the yearly release cadence of previous Dark Pictures games but Supermassive has not confirmed a release window.  It will serve as the finale of the first season of the Anthology. It was assumed that the final four entries in the planned eight-game series would make up Season 2; however, Supermassive recently trademarked the titles of five more games, bringing the total number to 10. 

Supermassive has a busy 2022 ahead because it also has the summer camp slasher horror game The Quarry hitting this June. The studio deems this star-studded title as a spiritual successor to Until Dawn. You can learn more about what that The Quarry entails here.

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

Top 10 Fighting Games To Play Right Now

Whether you’re looking for a traditional one-on-one 2D fighter, an arena brawler, a platform/party game, or a frantic tag-team affair, the current fighting game genre is diverse and action-packed. Want something balanced and geared for competition? Have friends over and want to play something accessible and approachable? Do you have a nostalgic itch to scratch or want to connect with a popular character in a new way? Fighting games have all of these bases covered. You don’t need to be a skilled tournament player to enjoy the games on this list, but the option is certainly there if you’d like. Presented in no particular order is a list that will mold and change as new games release. Here are the top fighting games you should check out right now.

The King of Fighters XV

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The King of Fighters XV’s impressive roster is just the start of what makes this game a must-play fighting game in 2022. Fan-favorite fighters from throughout the series’ nearly 30-year history have been gathered together to, as SNK puts it in the game’s marketing, “shatter all expectations.” Due to lore reasons from the previous title, many characters who had previously perished, like Ash Crimson, Shermie, Chris, and Yashiro, have returned, making a good chunk of the 39 character base roster faces we haven’t fought as or against in quite some time. 

KOFXV is a huge step up in visuals compared to XIV, and is as good or better when it comes to brawling in 3v3 team battles the series is traditionally known for. The game feels great to play online as well as offline thanks to the first modern implementation of rollback netcode for the series. This edition of KOF represents a bright future for SNK fighters, and one we hope to see supported for quite some time.

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

PlayStation 4, Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

An offbeat pseudo-sequel to both Persona 3 and Persona 4, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax takes the characters from Atlus’ hit RPG series and pits them against each other in fighting game matches. Recently re-released on PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC, this complete version of P4 Arena now features every character released through DLC and two entire story campaigns that continue after the events of Persona 4. Characters battle with their Personas on hand, giving this 4-button fighter two separate button inputs for each tandem team.

The fast-paced combat is reminiscent of Arc System Works’ other efforts like Guilty Gear. However, it is far more approachable for newcomers who may be transitioning from the JRPG structure of previous Persona titles. Even though this game is technically a decade old, the new ports breathe plenty of life into this fantastic brawler, and an upcoming summer patch will introduce a hopefully improved rollback netcode for smoother online play. | Our Review

Street Fighter V: Champion Edition

PlayStation 4, PC

Take to the streets yet again in the newest edition of the gold standard in 2D fighting games. Street Fighter V: Champion Edition features 40 (and five more with DLC) World Warriors to play as in one-on-one battles in Story, Arcade, and local multiplayer and online modes. SFV’s innovation for the series comes in the way of V-Trigger and V-Skills, which give players an easy way to activate a character’s unique and powerful abilities. Those looking for a place to start with the genre will find a great introduction here, and returning brawlers are sure to feel right at home with Street Fighter V. 

Street Fighter V has been around for over five years at this point and has only gotten better with age and updates from Capcom. Since the launch of Champion Edition in early 2020, more characters and mechanics have been added to keep competitive and casual players interested. Recent additions to the cast include past favorites like Dan and Rose, the inclusion of Rival Schools alumni Akira, and a look at the future of Street Fighter with the arrival of Luke. That’s all in addition to the V-Shift mechanic. The game is receiving a patch to make it the “definitive edition” full of character balance changes across the board. Fighting game fans have plenty to dig into until Capcom announces its next foray into fighting games. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Switch

Few games have as impressive of a roster as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. What started as a series bringing together a handful of colorful Nintendo characters, like Mario, Pikachu, Ness, and Kirby, has transformed into a behemoth cast that includes iconic franchises owned by third-party developers and publishers. These outside additions range from Final Fantasy VII’s Cloud, Minecraft’s Steve, Banjo/Kazooie (originally a Nintendo property now owned by Microsoft), and fighting game faces like Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter. The unprecedented cast is now complete, with Kingdom Hearts’ Sora joining in mid-October, bringing the number of unique fighters to 82.

Everyone is here to brawl it out in a platform fighter for up to eight players simultaneously, with online and offline Smash modes filled with a plethora of memorable stages, music, and items that make matches even more exciting. Smash Bros. Ultimate is a joyous celebration of video games, and it’s hard to deny the magic of pitting Solid Snake up against Mega Man or Link versus Simon Belmont. This game is an exceptionally charming smile factory that’s as fun to play as it is to think about.  | Our review

Guilty Gear –Strive–

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC

Arc System Works’ anime-inspired 2D fighter is a downright showstopper visually, and its newest iteration, Guilty Gear –Strive–, makes the gameplay even more accessible for a broader audience. Like its predecessor, Xrd, Strive’s art style incorporates beautiful 3D character models that animate as if they were 2D sprites. The illusion is impressive and sets up the mind-blowing camera sweeps, revealing the characters’ actual dimensions, while still looking stunning at any angle. For those looking for some additional complexity in a fighting game, Guilty Gear has you covered with its suite of air dashes, complicated character mechanics, and its versatile Roman Cancel system. Strive’s most significant improvement for competitive players is the addition of rollback netcode, which provides a smoother, more stable online experience than Arc System Works’ previous online endeavors. Currently, Guilty Gear –Strive– is one of the hottest fighting games around, so if you’re looking to see the latest and greatest, look no further.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Leave it to Arc System Works to make one of the best-looking fighting games around. Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the greatest interpretations of the Dragon Ball anime and manga, utilizing Arc System’s trickery to make 3D models look like 2D sprites. In 3v3 battles, you build your team of Dragon Ball characters to throw fists in fast-paced tag matches. Choose from various Gokus, Vegetas, their Sayian family members, earthborn friends, or even incorporate any of Dragon Ball’s diabolical villains into your team. Matching up against specific characters can trigger special animations like Dramatic Finishes that recreate moments from the anime, like the often-memed Yamcha’s crater death or the father/son Kamehameha used by Gohan to finish off Cell. Dragon Ball FighterZ is currently the top tag fighter in the competitive scene, so its credentials as a fun fighting game are as strong as its interpretation of the legendary Shonen series it’s based on. | Our review

Tekken 7

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The King of Iron Fist Tournament rages on with the seventh mainline entry in the Tekken series. Tekken 7 continues the tradition of fathers throwing sons into volcanos in its story mode, as well as just being a prime example of a fun 3D fighter. Unlike many of the other games on this list, players have the freedom to move around the arena with three-dimensional movement. They can dodge or attack foes from sides and angles not possible in games like Street Fighter or Guilty Gear. Each limb of a fighter is mapped to a different button, which gives the player control over which side your attacks are coming from.

Tekken’s fights are hard-hitting and dynamic, with each character bringing their own brand of martial arts to the battle. You can choose straightforward characters like Kazuya, who uses strong punches, kicks, and sweeps, or flashier fighters like the Capoeira styling of Eddie Gordo. New to Tekken 7 is a dramatic slowdown effect caused by final hits or near misses from round-ending haymakers. The slowing of the action sounds jarring on paper but adds a ton of excitement and edge-of-your-seat moments to the game. Tekken 7 is easily one of the best entries in the series, if not the best, and demands to be added to your growing collection of fighting games. | Our review

Soul Calibur VI

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Soulcalibur has always had one big differentiator to other fighting games, and that’s its focus on weaponry. Each fighter wields their preferred armament in battle, which provides a suite of unique moves and strategies. Those swinging a massive blade, like Nightmare or Siegfried, have a far reach and hit exceptionally hard, while combatants wielding nimbler weapons like Taki or Raphael resort to quicker strikes and spry movement. Like its Bandai Namco developed counterpart, Tekken, Soulcalibur VI takes place on a 3D plane, allowing for sidesteps and even freely running around the battlefield.

Are you worried about being lost with Soulcalibur VI’s place in the series lore? That won’t be a problem with this entry, as it serves as both a reboot and sequel to the Soulcalibur franchise. Its Soul Chronicles mode lets players experience each character’s events throughout the history of the series, with updated events regarding the tale of this game. Soul Calibur VI certainly sets itself apart from everything else in the genre, but it’s easily one of the most fun games available now. | Our review

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate

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

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is a gory yet beautiful conclusion to the story arc that began in 2011’s Mortal Kombat. Netherrealm Studios, also known for its Injustice series, sets a high bar for how a AAA fighting game looks and plays. MK11’s crowning achievement is a best-in-class story mode that not only tells a great tale, especially for longtime fans of the series, but is fun to play as well. The story revolves around Kronika, mother of the Elder Gods and keeper of time. She is taking drastic measures to fix an anomaly in the universe’s destiny set forth by the actions of Raiden years ago. The resulting battle between beloved Earthrealm warriors and the forces of Kronika is bombastic and cheesy in all of the best ways. Time travel and alternate timeline shenanigans ensue, leading up to a final battle to control all of time itself.

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate brings everything from the base game and its expansion, Aftermath, into one package. That includes a roster of 37 Kombatants with series mainstays Sub Zero, Scorpion, Johnny Cage, and Shao Kahn, alongside a host of new characters and incredible guests the likes of The Terminator, Rambo, and The Joker. Each character comes with customizable moves and interchangeable costumes elements to further personalize your Kombatants of choice. Those who may be squeamish may want to skip this game, but fighting game fans, in general, should give MK11 a try if you can stomach intense violence. | Our review 

Skullgirls 2nd Encore

PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Originally designed as an homage to the playstyle of tag games like Marvel Vs Capcom 2, Skullgirls lets you choose up to three characters to take in a fight. Though you do have the option to go with fewer, resulting in your team or solo member having more health to account for the lack of partners. This flexibility in team size gives players the choice to embrace the complexity of a tag fighter or hone in and master just one character, a unique feature in the current slate of fighting games. Skullgirls’ recent resurgence is partially the result of its implementation of great rollback netcode, a valuable asset since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The game originally consisted of an all-woman cast, each partnered with a parasite that gives them superhuman powers. Eventually, male characters were also added to the roster.

Skullgirls was recently handed off from now-defunct Lab Zero Games to its new conservators at Hidden Variable Studios. And with new management comes a new business model. While Skullgirls 2nd Encore has been available for a number of years, the hand-drawn 2D fighter is jumping to a season character release structure, breathing new life into the game and ensuring we’ll be able to throw down with even more Skullgirls and guys in the future. | Our review

What games on this list do you enjoy? What games would you add that aren’t listed? Let us know in the comments! If you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our list of lists, a hub of all of Game Informer’s recent genre lists, and more!

Top 10 Action Games To Play Right Now

Top 10 Shooters To Play Right Now

Top 10 Metroidvanias To Play Right Now

Top 10 Adventure Games To Play Right Now

Top 10 RPGs To Play Right Now

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]

The Top 10 Xbox Series X Games

Top 10 Xbox Series X

Platform:
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Publisher:
Xbox Game Studios

Developer:
Moon Studios

Release:
March 11, 2020
(Xbox One,
PC), September 17, 2020
(Switch), November 10, 2020
(Xbox Series X/S)

Rating:
Everyone

So you got your hands on an Xbox Series X? Congratulations! As you’ve probably noticed by now, the hardware allows for lightning fast gaming when compared to previous generations, and the Quick Resume feature that allows you to seamlessly change games is, well, a game-changer. While the feature set of the Xbox Series X is impressive (not to mention its stellar backward compatibility library), you probably want some games to play on that beast of a console.

The team at Game Informer worked together to compile a list of the 10 games we think are the best on Xbox Series X/S. As more games come out, we’ll update this list with the latest releases that we feel deserve to crack the top 10.

Please note that while the list below contains 10 entries, we aren’t ranking them. If a game has made it this far (and managed to stay here), it’s a must-play, period. As such, we’ll be listing entries in reverse chronological order. Also, with future updates, you’ll find a rundown of previous entries at the bottom of the list. While those titles have gotten bumped over time, they are still all great games in their own right and worth exploring if you’re already caught up on the latest hits.

Here are Game Informer’s picks for the top 10 games on Xbox Series X/S:

Tunic

Release: March 16, 2022

Destined to be one of the year’s greatest titles, Tunic is an action/adventure game that takes the best from classical Zelda games and throws it together with Soulslike combat. Exploration and discovery are core to the experience, as the game gives players very few direct objectives. Rather, the intelligent level design and historically-inspired guidebook allow players to figure out the world for themselves, resulting in a unique sense of accomplishment. Tunic is a short game, requiring only about 12 hours to beat, but the secret-stuffed post-game content can stretch beyond the 20-hour mark. In a launch-day surprise, the developers announced Tunic would be available on Game Pass, making it a fantastic choice for Xbox owners. | Our Review

Halo Infinite

Release: December 8, 2021

Halo Infinite is a genuine love letter to what originally made Halo, as a series, the powerhouse franchise it is today. It did so while also breaking new ground for the sci-fi shooter. Opting to ditch the more linear structure of previous Halo campaigns, Halo Infinite presents players with a semi-open world set on the broken but lush ring known as the Zeta Halo. It’s filled with Forerunner secrets, collectibles, Banished outposts, and so much more. When you’re not exploring Zeta Halo, you’ll likely find yourself enthralled with the story missions set throughout the ring.

Featuring a more Halo: Combat Evolved-style of storytelling, if you’re a fan of the older games, something tells us you’re going to really enjoy what the Halo Infinite campaign has to offer. On top of that, Halo Infinite comes with a full multiplayer suite that’s entirely free-to-play, which means if you own an Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, or a PC, you can jump in right now. Complete with a unique battle pass system, nearly a dozen maps, punchy weapons you know and love, and some of the series’ best combat to date, Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is sure to have you saying “just one more match.” Halo Infinite isn’t just a great game – it’s the best Halo’s been in years. | Our Review

Forza Horizon 5

Release: November 8, 2021

From the moment Playground Games’ latest semi-arcade, semi-simulator racer begins, Forza Horizon 5 shines. Its opening is a thrilling adrenaline-inducing experience that doesn’t let up, and the same can be said for much of the game that follows. Forza Horizon 5’s Mexico is stunningly beautiful, teetering on the line of “is this real life” regardless of where you’re racing, be it the Baja desert, a tropical jungle, or a sun-soaked beach. Add in hundreds of cars realized digitally in the same life-like manner, and you’ve got a racer filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of exciting gameplay. It’s a perfect showcase for the Xbox Series X/S generation of consoles, but it’s a fun time on Xbox One as well. | Our Review

Psychonauts 2

Release: August 25, 2021

Arriving 16 years after the original, Psychonauts 2 absolutely delivers on the promise of what a new entry in the series could be in 2021. Featuring all of the heart of the original with revamped gameplay that feels at home on modern Xbox consoles, Psychonauts 2 is one of the best Xbox games to play today. It highlights mental health in a way not often seen in gaming, turning fears, worries, and more into both enemies and fun levels, and it does so to a beautiful effect. Not only will its diverse cast of characters and lineup of stories pull on your heartstrings, but your eyes are in for a great time, too, thanks to Double Fine Productions’ stunning visuals. If you’re looking to boot up Psychonauts 2 but are wondering if you should play the first before that, you can play both with ease, thanks to Xbox Game Pass. | Our Review

Hades

Release: August 13, 2021

Supergiant Games released Hades in 2018 as an early access title before it hit Xbox consoles this year, and you can tell Supergiant learned a lot during that time, as it shows in the final release. Today, Hades is a fantastic action game and one of the best titles available on Xbox. It charts new ground for the roguelite genre; proving games can tell meaningful narratives through the traditionally story-light format. It does so with a colorful cast of characters, great voice acting, a memorable score, and a beautiful art style that shines on Xbox consoles. If you’re looking for an enthralling romp through the hellish underworld or a game that’s easy to play in quick 20-minute bursts, you need to try Hades. | Our Review

Resident Evil Village

Release: May 7, 2021

Following two remakes of classic Resident Evil games, the franchise is back and pushing forward with the changes made in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in tow. Resident Evil Village continues the story of Ethan Winters as he tries to save his daughter from werewolves and vampires. The first-person gameplay, which debuted alongside Ethan in Resident Evil 7, feels better this time around. Village also expertly carries forward the tension you feel while being stalked by a powerful and ghastly creature, and the boss battles only bring the tension to new levels as you take on all manner of abhorrent beasts and baddies. | Our Review

It Takes Two

Release: March 24, 2021

Hazelight Studios’ debut effort, A Way Out, pioneered new ways to tell a narrative in the context of cooperative multiplayer gameplay, but the team truly perfected it with It Takes Two. The splitscreen co-op multiplayer game leverages its unique mechanics to provide fun and challenging puzzles, platforming sequences, and minigames as you work your way through several creative levels. It Takes Two isn’t just one of the best co-op games of all time, it also features a heartfelt story that touches on themes you don’t often come across in games. | Our Review

Hitman 3

Release: January 20, 2021

The “World of Assassination” trilogy from IO Interactive came to a thrilling conclusion with 2021’s Hitman 3. The latest game in the series not only provides players with an abundance of killer content, but also a ton of side activities, gameplay that rewards experimentation, and outstanding level design. On top of all that, if you own the last two Hitman games (or their content packs), you can import the levels from those games into Hitman 3 and play through the entire trilogy in one seamless experience. | Our Review

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Release: November 10, 2020

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio’s long-running Yakuza series bid a fond farewell to its protagonist Kiryu after seven mainline games. With Yakuza: Like a Dragon, the developer took a chance with Ichiban Kasuga, a loud, dorky, and well-intentioned protagonist that players immediately fell in love with. However, the changes didn’t stop with the gold-hearted Kasuga. This also marked the series’ transition to turn-based combat, which it transitioned to in seamless fashion. Despite these massive changes to the well-worn formula, Yakuza: Like a Dragon still feels decidedly at home when stacked alongside its predecessors thanks to the serious drama, the goofy side quests, and the nonstop action. | Our Review

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

Release: November 10, 2020

The 2D platformer genre isn’t what it used to be, but that hasn’t stopped Moon Studios from releasing some of the greatest entries in the illustrious genre’s recent history. Ori and the Will of the Wisps took everything the first, beloved game did and made it better. With a fantastic story, a breathtakingly gorgeous world, and gameplay that allows you to run, jump, and fight through any challenge thrown your way, Ori and the Will of the Wisps is an action-packed platformer that delivers on all fronts. | Our Review

For more lists about the best games on other platforms, check out our lists of the top 10 games on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Previous Entries: 

Source:[http://www.gameinformer.com/]