We’ve emerged from the depths of the BioShock series to begin a fresh season of Video Gameography! We’re doing things differently this time as we’re discussing the gameography of a developer rather than covering an individual game series. That studio is Supergiant Games, acclaimed indie developer of Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and Hades. This week, we continue our season by analyzing the second game in Supergiant’s catalog, Transistor.
Released for PlayStation 4 on May 18, 2014, and PC a day later, Transistor was a very different game for Supergiant to make compared to its freshman effort a few years prior. Development started just a few months following the release of Bastion, and while its first game was a success, the tight-knit studio wanted to prove what it did wasn’t lightning in a bottle. In this episode, we discuss the various ways Supergiant pushed against the ever-present shadow of Bastion in the games design and the studio’s production methods. We also cover the process of creating a new retro-inspired cyberpunk setting, the unique tactical action combat, and how the studio landed on a voiceless lounge singer named Red and her talking sword, the Transistor, as the main characters.
Join hosts Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7), John Carson (@John_Carson), and Game Informer Magazine Content Director Matt Miller (@MatthewRMiller) for a verbal stroll through the history and narrative of Transistor!
If you’d like to get in touch with the Video Gameography podcast, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join our official Game Informer Discord server by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the Video Gameography channel under “Community Spaces.”
It’s the weekend! In a week that saw the Mario movie get delayed, the announcement of an Xbox/Bethesda showcase, and the surprise reveal of Disney Dreamlight Valley, we’re ready to kick back and wind down. The Game Informer staff has a variety of activities lined up, from watching sportsball to catching up on the telly to playing those wacky video games. Read on to find out what we’ll be up to and let us know what your plans are too!
Brain Shea – This weekend, I’m continuing my playthrough of Kirby and the Forgotten Land and playing more of MLB The Show 22. With any luck, I’ll have some extra time and can start up Lego Star Wars.
Wesley LeBlanc – After platinuming Elden Ring a few weeks ago, I decided it was time to finally beat Horizon: Forbidden West and shortly after doing that, I decided to get that platinum trophy too. After 56 hours with Guerrilla’s latest, I’m left feeling a touch empty with the Horizon series. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed both Horizon: Zero Dawn and Forbidden West, and the latter improves upon nearly everything the first did. It looks amazing, too, and its sound design is top-notch. However, I’m left feeling that it was so iterative that it never really reached beyond the initial “neat” I said aloud when I first booted it up. It’s a great game, and I’d recommend it to basically anyone that likes open-world games, but I don’t think it ever truly wowed me. With that behind me, though, I’m continuing to use this relatively quiet period in games to finish up Grand Theft Auto V (for the first time in my life!) and continue working through Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
Marcus Stewart – Vidya games! Have you heard of these things? There are a lot of them, and I’m struggling to hold them all. I hit the 100-hour mark in Elden Ring this week and my adventure continues to truck along. I’ll also split time between Weird West, Rogue Legacy 2, and Nobody Saves the World.
Kim Wallace – I plan on finishing Tokyo Vice this weekend, which I’ve been enjoying a lot. My Bulls were eliminated, so tonight I’m rooting for the Timberwolves to upset The Grizzlies. I need sports in my life, even if my teams are out of the playoffs. Other than that, I’ll probably read some comics (still working through the Trial of the Amazons arc) and catch up on some games.
John Carson – Greetings from Portland! I’m spending time on the road (and in the air) this weekend, so my Switch is my main gaming console for the next few days. I’ll be jamming on some Hades and Xenoblade Chronicles, and trying out the new Magic set on Arena when I have an hour to sit down and play through a draft.
What entertaining hijinks will you indulge in this weekend? Share your plans down in the comments!
This week, Brian is joined by fellow Game Informer editor Jason Guisao as the two once again talk about Nintendo Switch Sports, this time getting Jay’s final impressions of the game. The two then talk about the latest news in the world of Nintendo before Jason swaps out for Game Informer‘s Kim Wallace to celebrate 30 years of the Kirby franchise.
The All Things Nintendo podcast is a weekly show where we can celebrate, discuss, and break down all the latest games, news, and announcements from the industry’s most recognizable name. Each week, Brian is joined by different guests to talk about what’s happening in the world of Nintendo. Along the way, they’ll share personal stories, uncover hidden gems in the eShop, and even look back on the classics we all grew up with. A new episode hits every Friday!
00:00:00 – Introduction 00:00:54 – Nintendo Switch Sports Review 00:09:13 – Splatoon 3 Release Date 00:14:08 – New Genesis Games on Switch Online 00:17:18 – Classic Sonic Games Getting Delisted 00:20:41 – Changes to Pokémon Go Mega Evolutions 00:22:43 – Pokémon TCG: Pokémon Go Expansion 00:23:55 – Mario Movie Delayed to 2023 00:29:16 – Celebrating 30 Years of Kirby 01:26:34 – Definitive Ranking: Kirby Games 01:30:53 – eShop Gem of the Week: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
If you’d like to get in touch with the All Things Nintendo podcast, you can do so by emailing AllThingsNintendo@GameInformer.com, tweeting to Brian (@BrianPShea), or by joining the official Game Informer Discord server. You can do that by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the All Things Nintendo channel under “Community Spaces.”
For more Game Informer podcasts, be sure to check out The Game Informer Show with hosts Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken, which covers the weekly happenings of the video game industry, and Video Gameography with hosts Marcus Stewart and John Carson, which explores the history of video games – one series at a time! We also have From Panel to Podcast from host Andrew Reiner, covering everything from the world of comic books, including the shows, movies, and games that spawn from them!
If you’ve ever looked at your Xbox Series S and thought to yourself, ‘this is cool but what if the giant, green, one-eyed octopus thing named Gargantos from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was on it instead,’ then today is your lucky day.
That’s because Microsoft has unveiled just that: a custom Xbox Series S console with Gargantos on it that you can win in a new giveaway. Plus, Xbox has created four custom controllers based on upcoming characters in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Wong, and America Chavez. Microsoft says that each controller will feature distinctive and recognizable components and textures from the characters’ costumes.
You can enter for a chance to win this custom Xbox Series S console and all four of the custom Xbox controllers by retweeting the official Xbox sweepstakes tweet below.
Enter the Multiverse with Xbox and Marvel Studios in the “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” custom console and controller sweepstakes. Learn more: https://t.co/G3vtfbtdIc
A not-so-long time ago in the same galaxy we all reside in, Respawn Entertainment deviated from its first-person shooter roots to create Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. This third-person action game was the studio’s first stab at tackling the coveted Star Wars license, crafting an original adventure set five years after Revenge of the Sith. It stars Cal Kestis, a padawan turned junker (played by Shameless star Cameron Monaghan) that managed to evade the Jedi purge of Order 66. After he’s outed by the Sith, he embarks on a quest to recover an artifact capable of locating force-sensitive children while also avoiding capture by the Inquisitors, who are elite Jedi hunters.
The game features a blend of lightsaber combat and a suite of Force abilities. Borrowing inspiration from FromSoftware’s Soul series, encounters are challenging, requiring a strategic blend of blocks and parries to outduel opponents. Meanwhile, the various planets take on a Metroid-inspired progression with players unlocking abilities to backtrack to previously inaccessible areas.
Fallen Order was released on November 15, 2019, and was a critical and financial success. It also served as a saving grace for single-player fans, providing proof to an increasingly multiplayer-focused EA that linear story-driven experiences can still make the big bucks. With a sequel reportedly in the works, we’re revisiting this gem of the Star Wars video game pantheon.
Join Marcus Stewart, Jill Grodt, and Wesley LeBlanc on Twitch today at a special start time of 12:30 p.m. Central as we journey through the entirety of Cal Kestis’ adventure. Expect plenty of laughs, deaths, and general nerding out over all things Star Wars. We encourage you to hang out with us in chat. Just as a reminder, subscribing to Game Informer on Twitch rewards access to the officialGame Informer Discord channel where you can interact with our lovely community as well as the editors. See you in chat!
Final Fantasy is a staple in JRPGs and video games as a whole. It might have more entries in it than any other series out there and it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. On top of that, thanks to its anthology-like nature, if one Final Fantasy game doesn’t click for you, there’s a good chance another one will. As a result, ranking the Final Fantasy series can be highly contentious. Everyone has a lot of love for the first entry they played, and then there are heavy hitters like Final Fantasy X and VII, too.
However, the staff here at Game Informer did the seemingly impossible: we ranked all 19 mainline numbered Final Fantasy games, including their direct sequels, from worst to best. As a reminder, this ranking is the sum of collective thoughts of the Game Informer staff and your own personal ranking will almost certainly be different. We’d love to know your ranking, though, so after checking out ours, drop your own in the comments below!
Final Fantasy II
Original Release: NES – 1998
There’s an argument to be made that none of the mainline Final Fantasy games are outright bad. However, in any ranked games list, there has to be a game at the bottom and putting Final Fantasy II here was an easy call. It wasn’t released in the West until years later, and by then, the Final Fantasy franchise had moved on to bigger and better things, which made it hard to return to the series’ first sequel.
What’s there isn’t inherently bad, but it’s certainly strange. Unlike Final Fantasy, you aren’t earning overall experience that levels up your character’s stats across the board. Instead, your individual traits like HP, Magic, Stamina, and more, improve based on the actions you actually take in battle. It’s interesting, sure, but it’s more cumbersome and confusing than it is fun. Unfortunately, since combat is core to the game, the leveling system really bogs it down. That its story is unremarkable on top of that makes Final Fantasy II hard to recommend to anyone lacking a passionate interest in the franchise’s history, but the recent Pixel Remaster does make playing through it much easier.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Original Release: PlayStation 3 – 2013
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, for all its faults, is special, though perhaps not in the way Square Enix wanted. The only threequel in the series, Lightning Returns is a look at how far Square Enix can stretch the universe of a mainline Final Fantasy. Dropping the party-based combat of the previous entries with a mostly solo Lightning experience, you’re tasked with saving as many people as you can before the world ends. As a result, Lightning Returns is played to the backdrop of a highly divisive mechanic that puts a clock on everything you do.
If time runs out, you’re essentially put through New Game Plus, which has you restart the game with all of your current stats. That can be quite annoying, especially if you screw things up in the final hour. Ultimately, though, Lightning Returns fails to make a largely positive impression. It drops some of the highlights of the XIII universe, like XIII-2’s monster collection and crystarium, and adds in mechanics the series didn’t need. Its story is just as nonsensical as its predecessor and Lightning is at her weakest in this entry. It’s hard to recommend Lightning Returns to anybody as a result, save for hardcore fans of the XIII world, but even then, they’re sure to be disappointed by drastic changes to gameplay and mechanics, and a weaker presentation of the series’ main protagonist. | Our Review
Final Fantasy III
Original Release: NES – 1990
Often mistaken for Final Fantasy VI and forgotten here in the states as a result of it not hitting the U.S. until many years later when it was remade for the Nintendo DS, Final Fantasy III is less a good game worth playing and more a textbook on staples of the Final Fantasy franchise. Its story and world is forgettable, but its combat is completely serviceable. At its worst, it’s the most skip-worthy Final Fantasy game in the franchise. At its best, it’s the game that laid the foundation for systems, mechanics, and more that we’d come to really love in later entries.
Final Fantasy XI
Original Release: PlayStation 2, PC – 2002
Square Enix made a big bet with taking Final Fantasy to the MMO space in 2002, and for early adopters, it mostly paid off. Final Fantasy XI invited fans to explore Vana’diel, a vast world where players could create a unique character, choose from a variety of classes, and group up with friends and others through the power of the internet to take on quests, dungeons, and other dangers of the world together for the first time.
In just a few short years, other MMOs like the genre dominating World of Warcraft, and much later, Final Fantasy XIV, would come along with exceptional improvements in approachability and plenty of quality of life changes XI just could never muster in its updates over the years. Those who want to still venture into Vana’diel can, though! XI is still very much active and available 20 years after its initial launch.
Final Fantasy V
Original Release: SNES – 1992
Final Fantasy V falls between two beloved Final Fantasy entries – IV and VI – that many see as some of the best in the series. Unfortunately, that means Final Fantasy V is often forgotten. It also means it’s closer to the bottom of this list than it is to the top, but don’t count this one out because its job system is one of the franchise’s best. Building off of the more basic version of role swapping first introduced in Final Fantasy III, V’s jobs opens up the game’s RPG systems in ways not previously seen in the series, and we’re not just saying that because of the ridiculous combos you can create with it. The job system’s flexibility really lends itself well to making each party member feel like a character you’ve personally crafted and molded.
Beyond the job system, which is easily (and rightfully) the main selling point of Final Fantasy V, this game’s soundtrack rips. Plus, its softer story is refreshing compared to the world-ending calamities often seen in JRPGs and even other Final Fantasy titles. Often forgotten, Final Fantasy V deserves your time at some point in your gaming journey (perhaps via the new Pixel Remaster of it). It won’t blow your socks off like others on this list, but you’ll roll credits satisfied you played through this 1992 classic.
Original Release: NES – 1987
Final Fantasy is not a bad game by any means, but in a series with dozens of entries, it’s also not the best or even one of the better titles in the franchise. However, credit where credit’s due: it began the Final Fantasy franchise, and for that reason, it deserves some love.
The story is straightforward yet barebones – although Team Ninja was somehow able to spin one of the edgiest Final Fantasy games out of it in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin – and it lacks today’s quality of life features (many of which were added in the pixel remaster, fortunately), but at its core is a foundational combat system that would evolve and inspire Final Fantasy games for decades to come. Hell, in a way, it practically wrote the dictionary for JRPG combat (with some help from Dungeons & Dragons, of course). Today, Final Fantasy might not be the one younger players are pining to replay, but it’s an essential part of video game history and always will be.
Final Fantasy XIII-2
Original Release: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 – 2011
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is regarded by some as the solution to XIII’s problems, but of course, that depends on what you view as problems in the original Fabula Nova Crystallis entry. If you wanted more wide-open spaces, improvements to the already-great combat system of XIII, and more information regarding some of XIII’s narratively weaker characters – like Serah – then you’re going to really like XIII-2. If you wanted a better story than that of XIII, prepare for disappointment because XIII-2’s plot is nonsensical at best and absolutely bonkers at worst. However, when you get past the change in the pace of exploration and the off-the-wall time travel story, you’re treated to another fun, albeit weaker, entry in the universe of XIII. That there’s a monster hunting side activity to switch things up when you need a break from standard combat and narrative progression makes XIII-2 even more unique.
At its core, XIII-2 is a fine game. It’s a lesson in developers perhaps listening a little too much to feedback and criticism, to the point where it can clash with what fans of the first game really liked, but it’s an interesting rare sequel in the Final Fantasy franchise that we’re happy exists. Plus, the music, like that of XIII, still absolutely slaps. | Our Review
Final Fantasy X-2
Original Release: PlayStation 2 – 2003
X-2 may not reach the lofty heights of its phenomenal predecessor, but it’s a solid and somewhat underappreciated gem. Watching Yuna, Rikku, and Paine fight to keep Spira’s factions from dragging the nation into a civil war while also searching for Tidus were compelling hooks that had their share of cool moments. Yes, the dresspheres are thematically silly, but it was a goofy way of presenting a superior version of Final Fantasy X’s already excellent battle system. We’d be remiss not to mention the music, too, as X-2 provided memorable bangers like “Real Emotion” and “1000 Words”. | Our Review (HD Remaster)
Final Fantasy XV
Original Release: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC – 2016
The hype surrounding XV’s release was palpable. Originally titled “Versus XIII,” XV not only built upon the Fabula Nova Crystallis series of games that the XIII Trilogy established, but it also served as the next evolutionary step for Final Fantasy with the implementation of a next-gen open world (not to be confused with XII’s hub-centric open world). Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus, and Ignis weren’t a particularly riveting bunch, but their road trip through Eos’ verdant landscapes was filled with a plethora of fun interactions, from real-time battles with Astral Summons to cooking over a campfire beneath a sky full of stars.
Final Fantasy XV is just shy of top-10 nirvana because of its repetitive action loop, confounding plot (especially during its mid to final hours), and unremarkable side quests. Even so, XV’s frenetic combat system and gorgeous environments would undoubtedly influence future Final Fantasy projects. | Our Review
Final Fantasy XIII
Original Release: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC – 2009
Final Fantasy XIII is the black sheep of the franchise in many ways. Fan reception at release wasn’t stellar – especially compared to the hype around it – and many disliked its more hallway-like linearity and lack of openness (until much later in the game). However, once you strap in, you’re in for a treat. Featuring a cast of great female leads, some male leads that nicely complement the story of this game’s women, and one of the series’ best combat systems, Final Fantasy XIII deserves more love than it gets. Its combat, which is focused on finding weaknesses to stagger enemies, is fresh, and it’s such a wide swing in the opposite direction of the excellent (but highly divisive) combat of its predecessor that you can’t help but admire it.
The story can be pretty nonsensical in an overarching sense, but the individual stories of each character showcase series high depictions of romance, fatherhood, sibling love, and more, all further enhanced by an excellent voice cast. And don’t you worry, we didn’t forget about what is easily the best aspect of Final Fantasy XIII, and that’s the music. Masashi Hamauzu did to Final Fantasy XIII what Phil Collins did to Disney’s Tarzan: created a masterpiece when nobody expected it. From “The Promise”, which weaves in and out of the story in both explosive and tender ways, to battle themes like “Blinded By Light”, and the all-time bop, “The Sunleth Waterscape”, Final Fantasy XIII’s score is still one we’re jamming to today. | Our Review
Final Fantasy XII
Original Release: PlayStation 2 – 2006
Final Fantasy XII doesn’t get enough credit. Despite its critical and commercial success, XII often flies under the radar when compared to other Square Enix blockbusters. Nevertheless, it’s a love letter to sweeping epics with ensemble casts, gorgeous metropolises coupled with wartorn setpieces, politics marred by dire conspiracies, and, most importantly, magic. An expansive assortment of bosses – flaming ponies, tyrannosauruses, and mechanized aircraft to name a few – and meandering dungeons give XII’s open world an impressive sense of scale and depth.
From a gameplay perspective, XII’s gambit system allowed players to customize the behaviors of their party members and added nuance to enemy engagement, non-randomized encounters (adversaries were visible in the overworld) made each explorable location feel alive, and a dynamic camera would go on to inspire the real-time combat in XV and VII Remake. If you haven’t played XII yet, Zodiac Age is the definitive remaster that implements myriad quality of life changes alongside a job-based progression system. | Our Review (The Zodiac Age)
Final Fantasy VIII
Original Release: PlayStation – 1999
Arguably the most divisive Final Fantasy of the PlayStation era, Final Fantasy VIII is easily the most daring of the three. Following the exploits of mercenary students known as SeeDs from Balamb Garden, angsty teen Squall and his crew find themselves wrapped up in an ancient sorceress’s plot to warp the fabric of time and space. Their journey takes them to the brink of life and death, explores the past through clever flashbacks, and makes players question the reality of the events taking place. Featuring incredible cinematic summons known as Guardian Forces and the entertaining trading card game Triple Triad, Final Fantasy VIII was a spectacle to behold with a vast world to explore and vibrant characters to team up with and grow attached to.
However, VIII’s most controversial component is its junction system, which allows magic spells to be equipped to boost specific character stats. These spells also act like items stored in the inventory, forgoing the use of MP, and have to be “drawn” from special areas on the map or directly from enemies in battle. That means using a spell junctioned to a character will reduce whichever stat it’s supposed to be boosting. Tying these consumable spells to player power is a risk/reward system that some either love or hate, and at the end of the day, holds Final Fantasy VIII from joining the upper echelon of the series.
Final Fantasy IX
Original Release: PlayStation – 2000
As a smart blend of classic themes and new-school design, the ninth entry manages to appease two generations of fans while standing on its own merits. We loved exploring Alexandria as Zidane, Garnet, and the crew with the black mage Vivi unexpectedly stealing the show as one of the franchise’s best characters. Combat is arguably the strongest of the PS1 trilogy of games, and the ability system made obtaining and swapping out gear more exciting than ever. IX concludes what many fans consider the golden era of the franchise, and it does so on a high note.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Original Release: PlayStation 4 – 2020
Midgar is back with a new-gen sheen! Remake was one of our favorite games of 2020 and for good reason; Square Enix made smart changes to VII without sacrificing the novelties of the original. Fully-rendered characters and environments, remastered music, VO/ambiance that gave a voice to the cast and the sprawling cityscape they inhabit – these are but a few new features that modernized and amplified the magic of VII. Better yet, a real-time combat system brought players closer to the action than ever before and made iconic weapons like the Buster Sword and Tifa’s rock-solid fists feel unique and powerful.
Perhaps the most ambitious aspect to Remake is its narrative. Stopping Sephiroth and Shinra remains the primary objective. However, vital changes to the game’s finale and a swath of fleshed-out peripheral characters, as well as new ones, might mean that Remake’s unfinished story will branch off in interesting and unexpected ways. | Our Review
Final Fantasy X
Original Release: PlayStation 2 – 2001
Final Fantasy X was a revolution in many ways. As the first entry with full voice-acting, it makes the most of it by telling an engrossing and often tear-jerking tale of heroes overcoming ancient destroyers and burdensome cultural traditions while finding love throughout it all. X’s revamped battle system made confrontations faster and more engaging, and the Sphere Grid set an exciting new standard in freeform character progression. Tidus may be a dork, but he’s balanced out by the relationships with his endearing allies like the kind-hearted Yuna and the too-cool-for-school Auron. Decades later, we’re as eager to dodge lightning bolts, climb Mt. Gagazet, and sob uncontrollably at the ending as we were in 2001. | Our Review
Final Fantasy IV
Original Release: SNES – 1991
At a time when RPG stories were threadbare or even nonexistent, Final Fantasy IV set the stage for what would go on to be the bar to beat for the next generation of RPGs. There’s raw emotion in many of the encounters and scenarios that occur in Final Fantasy IV that may seem unbelievably simplistic and cliche today, but were quite moving when games had a lot less to work with in terms of narrative setups and development. Much like the swap to PlayStation’s new hardware helped make Final Fantasy VII a hit, the Super Famicom/SNES let the series look stunning with a fresh look compared to its NES predecessors. In addition, the active-time-battle system added additional tension to classic turn-based combat.
Characters like Cecil, Kain, Rydia, Golbez, and more would go on to represent character classes and archetypes for ages. Huge fights against challenging elemental bosses were immortalized with Nobuo Uematsu’s “Battle With the Four Fiends”, with an unforgettable journey culminating in an epic endgame moon dungeon. Side content journeys to find hidden summon spells and special gear accentuate a traditional story of good vs. evil. | Our Review (Complete Collection)
Final Fantasy VII
Original Release: PlayStation – 1997
Where would Final Fantasy be without its monumental seventh entry? The first game in the series to employ FMV and 3D graphics, VII ushered in a new era for emotional storytelling and immersive world-building. Memorable character designs – from Sephiroth’s silver hair and impossibly long masamune to Barret’s bulky build and arm cannon – helped solidify Cloud and co. as the poster children for the entire franchise. Resounding, prevalent themes like political corruption, ecoactivism, mental illness, and survivor’s guilt added narrative texture to VII’s already-impressive dieselpunk, dystopic world. Even Square’s conventional turn-based combat was amplified by cutting-edge art direction and Nobuo Uematsu’s timeless score. Final Fantasy VII is arguably the most influential and lasting installment on the list.
Final Fantasy XIV
Original Release: PlayStation 3, PC – 2010, A Realm Reborn: PlayStation 3, PC – 2013
Easily one of the biggest success stories in all of gaming, Final Fantasy XIV transformed from an absolute trainwreck in its first iteration to what is now one of the most popular MMOs and highly regarded installments in the series. Since its 2.0 update, A Realm Reborn, developers at Square Enix’s Business Unit III have lovingly crafted a complex and engaging narrative filled with memorable characters and clever callbacks to almost every entry in the Final Fantasy series.
XIV, as it stands today, is a love letter to the franchise that has blazed its own distinct trail and story that stands on its own as one of the series’ best. Sure, its an MMO at heart, but much of it can be played and enjoyed solo. If you have friends to quest with, though, there are hundreds of hours of delight to share. That flexibility has gone a long way to invite more people to play and experience the trials and tribulations of the Warrior of Light and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, as they strive to unite the nations of Eorzea and the rest of the world. It may be the most daunting modern Final Fantasy to dive into, but it’s undoubtedly the most rewarding and exciting entry in the last two decades. | Our Review
Final Fantasy VI
Original Release: SNES – 1994
Final Fantasy VI is not only the best entry in the series, but it remains one of the greatest role-playing games, period. An amazing (and large) cast, a great protagonist in Terra, an even better villain in Kefka, superb music, and a fantastic story boasting several “best of gaming” moments – VI has it all. The combat holds up as a pinnacle of old-school turn-based gameplay steeped with customization and depth. In particular, transforming into Espers to wipe out Magitek suits and soldiers is a satisfying power trip. Final Fantasy VI leaves us conflicted because it’s a game we desperately want to see remade with the reverence and care that Final Fantasy VII received. At the same time, we hope Square never touches it as it’s perfect as is.
Final Fantasy XVI is nearing the end of development, according to producer Naoki Yoshida, but there’s still no word on a release date for the RPG.
Oddly enough, Yoshida’s reveal about the development of FFXVI doesn’t come by way of any usual channels like Twitter, a press release, or a development update video. Instead, it comes by way of a new Yoshida interview in a free magazine currently being given away at Uniqlo stores in Japan, as discovered by Twitter user alverich_ff14 and translated by Video Games Chronicle.
The free magazine is meant to tie in with a collaboration between Uniqlo and Square Enix, in which Uniqlo is selling 16 different t-shirts, each based on a one of the 16 mainline Final Fantasy games.
“Development of the latest title, Final Fantasy XVI, is in its final stages,” Yoshida says in the magazine. “Final Fantasy XVI aims to integrate the story and the gaming experience into a single player game. Unlike online, which portrays multiple players simultaneously, Final Fantasy XVI focuses on the individual. This makes the story more immersive. It’s a very dense story. As an adult, I learnt about society and said to myself, ‘reality is not as easy as a video game.’ I hope that those who once left Final Fantasy will remember how exciting their passion for video games was back then.”
In this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, special guest Joe Juba joins the podcast crew to compete in a video game fantasy draft comprised of the incredible games released in 2017. Heavy hitters like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, and Nier Automata are quickly scooped up, but surprises await as your hosts attempt to craft the best possible roster of game releases. Expect many shenanigans and some twists in this pre-recorded special episode!
The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join hosts Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken every Thursday to chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from all around the industry. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.
If, at any point, while playing through the Mass Effect series, you’ve thought to yourself, “I really wouldn’t mind a replica of the Reaper Sovereign ship,” then today’s your day.
That’s because BioWare and Dark Horse Direct have unveiled a new 14-inch Reaper Sovereign ship replica, and it’s beautiful. What’s more, it’s available for pre-order now for $299.99, and if it’s something you just have to have, you should act fast because there are only 1000 of them in total. Pre-orders are expected to ship sometime between November of this year and January 2023. So if you buy one, you don’t have to wait too long to have it in your hands.
“Reaper Sovereign has landed on Eden Prime after 50,000 years and is reigning down planet-shattering destruction,” Dark Horse’s description reads. “This spectacular replica is made of polyresin and crafted by the masters at Gentle Giant Studios. At 14 inches tall on an 11-inch diameter base, this statue will have you re-experiencing this iconic moment from Mass Effect.”
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 discovered 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 April 28. 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.
The indie moniker describes a game made by independent creators, i.e., those not under the umbrella of a major publisher. That could mean anything from a solo developer working on a debut title to critically acclaimed teams releasing self-published works. While these games have been around as long as the industry, their popularity surged in the early 2000s. This was partly due to new digital distribution and crowdfunding options, which presented opportunities for some would-be game makers.
Though many of gaming’s best-loved indies belong to this early era, independently made games reached a whole new level of mainstream attention in the following decades. There are so many launching every day now it can be difficult to keep up. So to help, this list explores the most recent titles that have enthusiasts excited. Appearing in no particular order, the games below represent the new kids on the indie block worth checking out.
Earning comparisons to another well-loved indie, Kentucky Route Zero, Norco is a thoughtful, funny, intense, and surreal look at life in the Deep South. Throwing issues like unbridled greed and American society under a microscope, the innovative point-and-click adventure is brought to life with gorgeous pixel art and poignant writing. Players step into the shoes of Kay, whose brother has gone missing following the death of their mother. While searching for her sibling, Kay discovers that her mother was researching a significant discovery before passing away. Following the threads of that project and looking for her brother leads Kay to unravel a strange mystery through swamps filled with oil refineries and fading suburbs. | Our Review
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
A green-clad fox wakes on an idyllic beach, yawns, then heads off on an enigmatic adventure. The beginning seconds of Tunic give the player a small hint of what to expect from the fantastic game. Its simple visuals, tranquil music, and adorable protagonist create an enchanting atmosphere, while the many mysteries at the title’s heart drive Tunic to be one of the best games of the year. Sharing many aspects with another of 2022’s great titles, Elden Ring, this indie is all about taking a step back and letting the players find their own way. Tunic overflows with singular puzzles and magnificent moments of discovery, many of which are aided by Tunic’s exceptionally designed, in-game instruction booklet. These helpful collectible pages not only offer practical help but also infuse the game with the best kind of nostalgia. | Our Review
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
A tall tale told by developers with games like Dishonored and Prey under their belts, this wild take on the West earns its name by bringing players to some weird places. How weird? Well, of the game’s five main protagonists, two of them are a pig-man and a werewolf. So, pretty weird. Life on the frontier in this recent indie can be hard. You might worry about fending off vicious desperados one day while confronting a cannibalistic jailer the next. Its twin-stick mechanics work wonderfully for shoot-outs, and the physics system lets you take creative approaches to problem-solving. Find yourself outnumbered? Look for a box of ammunition to shoot; the contents will go flying at any enemies in the vicinity. All of this is bolstered by an intriguing story that manages to thread all the desperate main characters together. | Our Review
Even if deckbuilding games are not your typical cup of tea, don’t miss out on Inscryption because of its apparent genre. There is a lot more going on here below the card table. Starting out as a prisoner in a strange cabin, you find yourself in a horrific fight for your life against an inhuman opponent. The only way, according to your captor, to get out of this situation alive is to beat him at an unusual game. With the wild gleam in his eyes – the only thing you can really see in the dark room – the monster across the table from you lays out the rules for a contest that falls somewhere between Dungeons & Dragons and Hearthstone. Except you can tip the scales in your favor by pulling out your own teeth, and losing is a death sentence. The mesmerizing strategy game comes bundled with a narrative that goes in wildly unexpected directions. | Our Review
Chicory: A Colorful Tale
PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC, Mac
Chicory: A Colorful Tale exemplifies indies’ remarkable ability to generate unique experiences. The game, made by a group of independent creators including Wandersong developer Greg Lobanov, works as a coloring book. Brush in hand, you set about painting the world and its inhabitants with color. Besides giving players the creative freedom to tint the environment to their hearts’ content, the artistic implement ties into the game’s practical mechanics. Glowing inks light the way in dark caves and coating particular types of foliage shrinks them down to size, clearing the way for the hero. But Chicory’s narrative, the reason you have the brush to paint with at all, is also uncommon. It thoughtfully explores hard-to-tackle mental health themes like depression and imposter syndrome. | Our Review
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Can you save the ones you love from becoming mindless monsters before time runs out? That’s exactly the question this pixelated sci-fi game puts to its players. Acting as the automaton Alma, you watch as the world’s supply of Anima dwindles. Ravaged by war with humanity, Arcadia’s robotic residents need Anima to maintain sentience. Without it, they will transform into machines capable only of brutal destruction, killing those around them with no remorse. However, the game’s clock is always ticking. If you can’t save everyone in time, who will you allow to fall into madness? The unfolding narrative changes depending on who you save (or don’t), so your every decision alters where the game goes. On top of this, Unsighted has laudable, hectic action to keep players on their toes. | Our Review
Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Adding to the growing list of games that shy away from combat, Sable offers players the chance to explore a vibrant desert landscape, taking whatever road or quest that strikes their interest as they play. The intriguing concept solves the problem many games’ narratives face. Why, if your main quest is so important, would you step away to help the world’s inhabitants with their relatively unimportant concerns? In Sable, you play the titular character who sets off on a ceremonial journey to discover themselves. If you have a primary goal, it’s to collect masks by helping people. When you’re ready to finish your expedition (and the game), you return home to select one of the masks you’ve gathered to represent your future identity. Before making that decision, the game encourages you to wander a truly stunning and unique environment on your customizable hoverbike. | Our Review
The Forgotten City
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
There’s only one rule in The Forgotten City: Don’t sin. On the surface, it sounds like a good deal; lead a good life and live forever. However, the punishment for breaking the single tenet is death – not just for you, but for every single resident living with you. The difficulty of this puzzling time-loop adventure is figuring out how to make sure everyone is following the rule without running afoul of it yourself. Does stealing medical ingredients to save a life constitute a sin? As a modern-day traveler that just happened to drop into the ancient Roman community while exploring an ancient ruin, unwrapping the politics of this millennia-old city is challenging. And getting to the bottom of the mysterious edict may take more time than you have until someone breaks the golden rule. | Our Review
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Initially coming out in 2020 (though it released on Xbox and PlayStation consoles the following year), Hades is one of the “oldest” indies on this list. Despite the myriad marvelous titles that have hit shelves over the past few years, we just couldn’t keep from giving a shout-out to this hell-raising game. A rogue-lite set in the ancient Greek underworld, Hades follows the story of Zagreus. This errant heir to the realm seeks to fight his way out of Hades and discover the truth behind what happened to his mother. Developer Supergiant Games was already known for its stellar titles before Hades’ release, like Pyre, Bastion, and Transistor, but the studio’s latest game is arguably its most successful. | Our Review
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Death’s Door developer Acid Nerve is a two-person team based in the UK that managed to produce one of the best games of 2021. Besides the killer artwork and deadly combat, Death’s Door also manages to deliver a soul-snatching story. Working as a reaper crow, it’s your job to make sure newly deceased spirits pass on. But things go off the rails when your latest assignment goes astray, upsetting the balance of the universe. Your mission to set things right sends you down an unexpected path, one that leads to unraveling an enormous conspiracy embedded in the heart of your own death-managing organization. The compelling narrative is backed by impeccable, fast-paced gameplay that earns it a spot on this list. | Our Review
Did we miss any of your recent indie favorites? Tell us about them in the comments! And if you’re hungry for more top games to play right now, click on the banner below to get your fill.
Balan Wonderworld was a disappointing game for most, especially for a game from Yuji Naka, the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Now, Naka has taken to Twitter to reveal that not only was he removed as the director of Balan Wonderworld about half a year before its release in March of 2021, but that he has also filed a lawsuit against the game’s publisher, Square Enix, for doing so. He says now that proceedings are over and he’s no longer bound by company rules, he’s speaking out about what happened to him, as translated by Twitter user Cheesemeister3K.
“I was removed as the director of Balan Wonderworld about half a year before release, so I filed a lawsuit against Square Enix. Now that the proceedings are over and I’m no longer bound by company rules, I’d like to speak out.” #BalanWonderworldhttps://t.co/Ht0Zc9soBa
“I think it’s wrong of Square Enix not to value games and game fans,” Naka writes on Twitter, according to Cheesemeister’s translation. “According to court documents, I was removed as the director of Balan Wonderworld for two reasons. It was done by the producer, head of marketing, head of sound, managing director, and HR. First, when a YouTuber’s arranged piano performance of the game music was released in a promotion instead of the original game track, turning the composer into a ghostwriter, I insisted that the original track be released and this caused trouble.
“Second, according to court documents, [Naoto] Ohshima told producer [Noriyoshi] Fujimoto that the relationship with Arzest was ruined due to comments I made wanting to improve the game in the face of Arzest submitting the game without fixing bugs. Also, in an email to Ohshima to Fujimoto, he wrote: ‘I just told the staff about the demo delay.’ When I told them, ‘This was prod. Fujimoto’s decision. Let’s do our best for him,’ the staff applauded and cheered. This was unexpected, and I was moved. The staff’s been down lately, but their spirits have been revived. Thank you very much. All of us on the staff will work hard. So the schedule wasn’t up to me, but the producer, yet the schedule being tight was the producer’s doing. Something was off.”
Naka continues, stating that in releasing an original game, it was wrong to put out an arranged track with promotional materials. He felt that the game music everyone could hum to were the original tracks, not arranged pieces made by someone other than the composer.
“I believe that every effort must be put in to make games the best they can be until the very end so that game fans will enjoy what they buy,” Naka continues on Twitter. “It wasn’t right to, without discussion, remove and completely disassociate from the project a director saying so. Retweeting, liking, etc. on SNS and such was banned, so I don’t think Square Enix values game fans. There were many comments and wonderful illustrations about Balan Wonderworld, and I’m really sorry that I couldn’t react to them.
“Myself, I’m truly sorry to the customers who bought Balan Wonderworld in an unfinished state. From this point onward, I will be able to react to posts tagging me or directed only toward me on SNS and such. I believe that when making games, asking for fixes in order to make something good should be a given, and if that’s not possible, it should be talked over, but it looks like they can’t. I don’t think they value games.”
Naka points to Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as an example. He says that two weeks before finalizing the game, it was changed so that as long as you have at least one ring, you won’t die. This wouldn’t have happened if he weren’t allowed to improve the game to the very end, Naka says.
“Improving a game until the very end is what being a game creator is all about, and if that’s not possible, something’s wrong,” Naka writes, according to Cheesemeister. “I asked my lawyer to negotiate my just being able to comment until the end of production, but their refusal led me to file suit. I think that the resulting Balan Wonderworld and the critical reception it received have a lot to do with what happened. I’m really disappointed that a project I worked on from the start turned out this way.
“I personally regret that Balan Wonderworld was released to the world in an unfinished state. I wanted to consider all kinds of things and release it as a proper action game. I don’t think that Square Enix and Arzest value games and their fans.”
It’s unclear what the result of Naka’s lawsuit was, but he’s clearly able to speak publicly about Balan Wonderworld now, something he says he wasn’t able to do before.
It is important to keep in mind what is going on within Activision Blizzard at this time regarding ongoing allegations about the work culture. The ongoing lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against the company is over reported toxic workplace culture. The bulk of the suit focuses on “violations of the state’s civil rights and equal pay laws,” specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. To learn more about the proceedings thus far, including details listed in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, please check out our previous coverage here.
As you can see, there’s really not much to glean from it. It sounds very Modern Warfare-y and looks very Modern Warfare-y, too, but it doesn’t reveal much about the actual game. Perhaps there’s something to be made out of the muddled voices playing during the trailer, but it’s likely that this teaser is just setting the stage for a bigger reveal in the coming weeks or months. The Call of Duty account that tweeted out the teaser does say, “The new era of Call of Duty is coming,” so perhaps the company believes this game will shake up the franchise in a big way.
It wouldn’t be surprising because Infinity Ward’s 2019 Modern Warfare reboot did just that for the series, especially in its rollout a few months before Call of Duty: Warzone. Plus, 2019’s Modern Warfare is still regarded by many as the best Call of Duty in recent years. With Infinity Ward working on Modern Warfare II, fans are likely excited to see what this sequel looks like. Sadly, there’s no telling when the next look will be but if it’s like Call of Duty reveals in years past, we could be weeks or even days away. Only time will tell.
Now that Rogue Legacy 2 has gone 1.0, I’ll be touring its finished state today on Twitch at 2 p.m. Central.
Rogue Legacy 2 has been in early access for a couple of years, building upon its predecessor’s fun – and challenging – roguelite formula. You still control members of a warrior bloodline who must battle through a procedurally generated castle rife with dangers. Every death gives you a new character you can outfit with helpful/strange genetic traits, from dealing increased attack damage to farting every time you perform an action.
Look forward to watching a fun stream as I’ll likely be sending an entire generation of warriors to their doom. Our review will arrive in the coming days, so be sure to read our review in progress for editor John Carson’s current thoughts on the game.
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11 Bit Studios’ celebrated anti-war game, This War of Mine, is getting revamped and expanded for a re-release on modern consoles.
Dubbed the Final Cut, the game, in which players manage a party of civilians surviving in a war-torn city, is coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S –including Xbox Game Pass – on May 10. It boasts a 4K resolution and a readjusted UI. Content-wise, it includes the locations from the base game and introduces a new character, quests, and events.
Additionally, the three DLC narrative episodes, This War of Mine: Stories, will be available for purchase separately on PS5/XSX. This War of Mine: Complete Edition is a bundle containing Final Cut and Stories if you want everything.
11 Bit Studios, based in Poland, states that the ongoing Ukraine/Russia conflict is the motivator to re-release This War of Mine and repromote its anti-war messaging to a new group of players. The studio recently raised nearly $700,000 for Ukrainian civilian aid by heavily discounting the previous versions of This War of Mine. 11 Bit CEO Przemek Marszal says in a press release:
“The message and themes existing inside of This War of Mine have, unfortunately, become brutally vivid and relevant in recent months. We believe it’s especially important to educate people on the realities of war right now, while its horrifying reality has become a daily struggle for people that are close to us. We’re proud that recent This War of Mine fundraising helped us create a wave of spontaneous help for war victims in Ukraine, and we hope we can further spread our antiwar message with This War of Mine: Final Cut.”
For more on This War of Mine, check out our review of the original 2014 release here. You can also catch up on how the game industry has helped assist those affected by the war in Ukraine here.
Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Every year millions of people around the world flock to Disney theme parks for the experience of spotting beloved characters and taking in the aesthetics and rides that let them relive their favorite films. The wonder and excitement of stepping into a Disney-infused world is unmatched – a childhood rite of passage and way for adults to recapture a part of their younger selves.
Gameloft wants to bring that feeling into the gaming world with its recently announced free-to-play game Disney Dreamlight Valley. The life-simulation adventure game lets you create your own avatar and design your own world, where you’ll interact with iconic characters and find nods to the Disney and Pixar classics in the items and structures around you. I recently saw a demo for Dreamlight Valley and chatted with the team behind it, and it has a lot of potential. Here’s what you need to know about the experience that’s launching sometime in 2023 for all major consoles, PC, and Mac.
It’s Split Into An Adventure Game And Life Sim
You can think of Disney Dreamlight as a hybrid experience. You have the main narrative path where you discover why the world fell into darkness and its inhabitants lost their memories. Every objective you complete provides a picture as a hint to guide you in piecing together what happened. This also includes discovering why you’re the chosen one to bring this world from its desolate state into a thriving landscape.
“We have that whole overarching meta-narrative where the player is discovering their purpose and saving the valley,” explains senior product marketing manager Claire Llewellyn. “They also have the storyline around building friendships with characters for the story arcs. And thirdly, they also have the whole realm story arcs to discover – the adventure aspect that they’re going on.”
While engaging with the main story, you can expect it to play much like an adventure game, with mysteries and puzzles to solve. Gameloft compared it to LucasArts games like Monkey Island and Indiana Jones. From what we saw, various portals to Disney and Pixar worlds exist, and you’ll have tasks to complete within these to restore characters’ memories and bring them back into the world. For instance, we had to locate some hidden items and move trash piles to get the goods to repair Wall-E. Once we did this, we not only unlocked new story clues but Wall-E was brought back into our world as a character living out their own life in it.
The other part of the game is the life simulation aspect. Think of a cross between The Sims and Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon. You are very much cleaning up this world and unlocking various biomes, such as a meadow and beach, which will advance the main story. Gameloft says it will take between 40 and 60 hours just to unlock all these areas in the game.
In addition, you’re also putting your own mark on it by designing it as your place. You have your own avatar you can customize and a house you can decorate as well. Activities litter the world for you to engage in, such as harvesting crops, mining materials, fishing, taming animals, and even designing your own clothes. Cooking and crafting recipes are aplenty, so you’re always working toward creating something new to either give as gifts or use to decorate the world.
Every Disney Character Has A Unique Story Arc
Gameloft drew inspiration for the game by challenging its team to think, “What would it mean to be living next door to Disney characters?” Beyond the main narrative, the team crafted unique stories for a multitude of big-name characters, who will casually walk around your world as you unlock them through the main story. Speaking with characters every day should net you new dialogue, and they all have their own A.I. schedules and behaviors. A bonus? Gameloft is also working with Disney’s voice team, so the voiced dialogue feels true to the characters.
Inspired by RPGs, every character also has a friendship level to showcase your bond and progress in their personal storylines. In my demo, Goofy asked for help finding his missing fishing rod, a nod to the character’s love for the activity. Once we located it in the world, our friendship improved with the anthropomorphic dog.
Every new friendship level you reach with a character gives you perks, such as new objects or decorations. You can build your friendship faster by giving characters gifts, so crafting items or cooking dishes for them is to your benefit – just keep in mind everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Once you reach certain friendship tiers, you get more of the unique story Gameloft crafted for the character.
There’s Customization Galore
Part of the experience is obviously about expressing yourself and putting your unique touch on the world. You’re always evolving the landscape, taking it from a dark desolate place to a vibrant populous. Watching various Disney and Pixar characters move into your world is a big highlight, but so are all the new items you can unlock and craft that exude the Disney spirit.
So far, the game has 1,000 decoration items, allowing you to create everything from a Monsters Inc-themed living room to a Little Mermaid-centric bathroom. Part of making your own avatar is creating your own individuality with your clothing. Gameloft wanted players to express themselves as Disney fans just like you see people at parks with their attire. You can design or purchase your own outfits, focusing on unique hats, masks, glasses, and more. In my demo, I saw everything from a winter Buzz Lightyear jacket to Elsa’s iconic blue Frozen gown.
A photo mode allows you to share your fun creations and experiences with others, but the game is still being worked on, so time will tell if Gameloft adds a feature for you to visit other friends’ worlds or download their designs.
“We have many plans for multiplayer interaction, but at the Early Access launch, we won’t have this kind of interaction yet,” says game manager Manea Castet.
Monetization Is Still In Flux But More About Cosmetics
With any free-to-play game, this is always the burning question, and it’s something Gameloft is still figuring out. However, the team was adamant that microtransactions would focus more on cosmetics.
“We made sure the monetization side of the game is being built during Early Access with our players to make sure that they like it,” Castet says. “The strategy now is to make sure it’s all about customization. We will have a system to unlock new outfits and new decorations that you can speed up with real money if you want. There is no way to speed up your gameplay, speed up your progress, or unlock a new area by spending real money.”
During the game, you will earn currency by doing different things in the world and reaching certain milestones but you cannot spend real money to unlock it. This currency can then be used to do things like increase inventory space and buy new decorations.
Early Access Is Helping Shape The Game
With all the Disney worlds and characters at its disposal, Gameloft has a lot of content to draw from and sees the game as having a long tail. Early Access will merely be the start of what’s in store.
“At Early Access, we’re going to have four doors [to Disney and Pixar realms] unlocked,” Llewellyn confirms. “We’re going to be unlocking additional doors for free for players. There’s a lot more coming and a lot more IP from Disney and Pixar that we’re going to be adding in the months and years to come.”
Those who want an early taste of the experience can play it in Early Access this summer. Here, Gameloft will be monitoring the community feedback and learning more about what you want from the game as it builds the final version of it. You can join Early Access by purchasing a Founders Pack or by being an Xbox Game Pass member. As an early adopter, you’ll earn exclusive in-game awards, which will carry over when the full game releases in 2023.
After nearly two years of being playable through early access, Cellar Door Games has fully released Rogue Legacy 2. I’ve been grinding away at finishing the rogue-lite sequel but haven’t bested its toughest challenges yet, and I don’t feel comfortable bestowing an official score on it until I do. However, I have poured well over 30 hours into Rogue Legacy 2 and have some thoughts to share about it in the meantime.
Once again, you control a bloodline destined to adventure into a procedurally generated castle to slay the bosses within. Every time an heir dies, you’re given the choice of three (or more) new adventurers from the next generation equipped with inherited genetic traits that make every heir unique. These traits could buff attack damage at the cost of a reduced mana pool or maybe give an heir irritable bowel syndrome, which causes that heir to pass gas regularly when jumping or dashing. Sometimes gigantism runs in the family, making an heir’s stature quite a bit larger than the average character. Traits can drastically change playstyles, while others might be humorous distractions designed to bring a smile to your face.
Rogue Legacy 2’s core loop is a lot of fun, just like its predecessor. There were many times I felt Rogue Legacy 2 was sticking too close to the contents of the original, only to realize many of those aspects I thought were direct rehashes are actually new or significantly expanded. For example, while present in Rogue Legacy, classes are entirely different now and add significant changes in gameplay that I especially enjoy. An heir’s class now determines which weapon and skills they are equipped with, giving every class a playstyle and identity.
The most basic class, the Knight, comes with the classic Rogue Legacy sword in hand and has a shield that can deflect attacks in a pinch. On the other hand, the Ronin uses a katana that can be aimed in diagonal directions and uses an ability to slash and teleport the character in whichever direction you aim. Those are straightforward compared to the Bard, who creates music notes that can be detonated by spin kicking them, or the Boxer, who can gain combo points, increasing damage with each hit and unleashing a deadly finishing blow. Exploring every class, of which there are many, drives a lot of the fun on every run. I love finding new synergies between weapons and traits that I didn’t consider hours before.
Between runs, you’ll be taking the gold you’ve earned from your prior generation and investing it into building a castle, which doubles as a skill tree to make each family member more capable. Here, you can increase stats like health, armor, mana, critical hit chance, and unlock new classes for future generations to inherit. While building the castle and buffing your characters is the main progression system for the game, it’s easily the biggest problem I have with Rogue Legacy 2.
The number of skills to unlock and invest in was manageable at first but quickly grew out of control as I unlocked more. Many options become repetitive, such as having three or more health-increasing options that all give the same HP boost, making so much of it feel unnecessarily padded. Yes, you are improving your chances at a successful run with every upgrade, but the benefits gained become painfully minimal when the gold costs become far too expensive in the late game, where an hour-long run can sometimes net one or two minor increases to armor or dexterity. It should be empowering and fulfilling to upgrade the castle after a long, lucrative life, but that has rarely been the case in my experience.
Expect a challenge if you dive into Rogue Legacy 2. I’ve had many a run end far too soon by a brutal room of enemies getting the best of me and have thrown generation after generation of my heirs at the six big Estuary bosses. So far, the bosses are difficult but fair and can be taken down with careful planning and talented platforming. However, for those who may want to tweak the challenge separate from the skill tree, Cellar Door Games has implemented a menu it calls “House Rules,” which lets you change all kinds of settings to make the experience more enjoyable and accessible. I appreciate any time a developer introduces ways to make granular changes in different aspects of a game so more people can see it through to the end in their own way, so kudos to the Rogue Legacy 2 devs for taking to time to make it happen here.
Despite my gripes with the upgrade system, I’ve been having fun with Cellar Door’s new game and have been consistently surprised by synergies and new room layouts I’m discovering as I near the end of my playthrough. If you like or love Rogue Legacy, and have been holding out until early access ended, wait no longer. Rogue Legacy 2 is a bigger and better version of the original’s formula and has kept me playing for “one more run” more times than I’d care to admit. Be sure to check back soon for my full review in the next week or two.
Much of that comes by way of IGN, as The Quarry is this month’s feature IGN First game, and in a recent interview with director Will Byles, who also directed Until Dawn, it was revealed that The Quarry has 186 different endings. That’s quite a lot, and it sounds like players will be able to play through The Quarry dozens of times without having the same experience.
Director of The Quarry and Until Dawn, Will Byles from Supermassive Games, tells us how exactly you go about writing a story with 186 unique endings and how the choices you make along the way impact everything. pic.twitter.com/mAIwJ81FrC
Here’s what Byles had to say in regards to developing a game with nearly 200 endings:
“Those stories, as you kind of branch through, go wide and they start to come back in again. It’s kind of like the story itself is the variation, not always just the end. We worked out 186 different endings for these characters. Not just alive or dead [but] a whole variation of things like what could happen to them, but the stories that can happen are massively varied.”
Continuing, Byles says big choices in the game are denoted as Path Changes. These drastically affect the game’s outcome, whereas smaller choices simply color the characters you’re playing as or change the context in which someone else talks about your characters or how they feel about them. You’ll also see a pop-up on the screen that tells you how your actions affect someone.
To manage so many endings, Byles says separating the game’s characters in classic horror fashion makes it much easier because if something happens to someone that’s alone, it doesn’t affect everyone else, for example. However, he says that killing someone is binary – they’re either alive or dead. The choices that don’t result in death make the branching of The Quarry’s narrative so exponential, Byles reveals.
Capcom has announced that it will hold a “special event” stream for Monster Hunter Rise next month.
More specifically, the special event stream will be about the game’s upcoming expansion, Sunbreak, and it will begin at 7 a.m. PT/9 a.m. CT/10 a.m. ET. It will be streamed on the official Monster Hunter Twitch channel and according to the announcement tweet, will feature “exciting reveals of new gameplay info, monsters, and more.” As for how long it will run, that remains unknown.
A teaser trailer for this digital event, which you can watch above, reveals a few more tidbits of info.
“Get ready for a brand new trailer, more monster reveals, much-awaited info about new Hunter actions, and additional game features,” the trailer reads.
As you can expect, director Yoshitake Suzuki will be presenting during the showcase. Not much else was shared about this event but fortunately, you don’t have to wait too much longer to learn more about Sunbreak because the event begins in less than two weeks.
Microsoft has announced that an Xbox and Bethesda games showcase will be held this summer.
More specifically, the showcase will air on June 12, beginning at 10 a.m PT/Noon CT/1 p.m. ET, and will feature “amazing titles coming from Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, and our partners around the world.”
As for what to expect, the showcase will focus on games that will soon hit Xbox Series X/S consoles and PC. However, these showcases have been known to surprise-reveal new titles early in development, so it wouldn’t be surprising if games with no release date are showcased.
“The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will include everything you need to know about the diverse lineup of games coming soon to the Xbox ecosystem, including upcoming releases to Game Pass on Xbox and PC,” the Xbox Wire post reads.
Nothing else was revealed besides some links to social and streaming channels where you can watch this showcase. There’s no mention of specific games, the runtime of the event, or anything like that. However, with Starfield set to release on Nov. 11, there’s a good chance we finally get a deeper look at what this game is. Only time will tell, though.
Are you excited about this showcase? What games do you hope to see? Let us know in the comments below!
Exbleative’s Exo One, which became popular for its sci-fi zen-like nature when it hit Xbox consoles and PC last year, is coming to PlayStation consoles this summer.
Announced over on the PlayStation Blog, Exo One creator Jay Weston shared the news alongside a new trailer for the game and word that it will feature support for 120 FPS gameplay and DualSense haptics feedback. Exo One will hit both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 this summer, but an official release date has not yet been revealed.
“Hi folks, I’m stoked to be able to tell you all that Exo One will be landing on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 this summer,” Weston writes in the blog. “Exo One began five years ago with a relatively simple idea about using gravity as a movement mechanic, and gradually grew into something strange and special, inspired by my love for sci-fi cinema and games that moved me emotionally. I’m super excited to see it find a new audience and reach new technical heights with this PS5 port.
“In Exo One, you’ll embark on a journey beyond the solar system, discovering everything from terrestrial deserts to dreamy gas giants as the pilot of an alien probe. Glide and roll across the landscape, controlling gravity itself to reach colossal speeds and exhilarating heights. You’ll ride thermal updrafts into boiling cloud formations, careen down hillsides, and launch off mountain tops, all the time drifting toward the shining blue beam on the horizon.”
Weston says they designed the game as a “meditative focus on travel,” and in playing it, that’s quite clear. The game does have some moments that could be described as stressful but at the heart of Exo One is a generally laid-back, zen-like traversal through beautiful sci-fi environments, with an extreme focus on simply moving forward, however you can. That’s why Weston designed the game with no timer measuring your progress, or monsters or enemies to fight, too.
With Exo One coming to PS5, it brings 120 FPS gameplay to the experience, so long as you have a high refresh rate TV that can handle it. Additional features include haptics that reflect the terrain and weather of each planet on the PS5 DualSense controller. Weston says players will feel the wind resistance on the controller’s trigger while gliding through winds and updrafts. Plus, different terrains have different vibrations associated with them. One type of terrain might result in “steady pulsations” while another might give a “stronger, shakier vibration,” Weston writes in the blog post. The faster you go, the stronger the vibrations, too.
Are you excited to play Exo One on PlayStation 5? Let us know in the comments below!
We’ve been enthusiastic about the beauty and unique gameplay found in the Far games from Okomotive. Far: Lone Sails introduced the idea of crafting a ship of questionable quality as it makes its way across a mysterious landscape, and Far: Changing Tides continued those core principles with some fun new twists.
Changing Tides focuses on a seaborne ship that gradually gains new components and features as the player encounters new obstacles. In an especially fitting way to highlight the game’s distinctiveness, the game makers partnered with Aaron Newman, a professional LEGO-building artist, to create a custom LEGO set of the ship seen in the game. Newman was a LEGO Masters USA Season 1 contestant and has since moved on to be a product designer at The LEGO group, though it’s important to note that this particular build was completed before he started that new gig.
I had the good fortune to receive the unbuilt pieces for the ship, along with Newman’s smartly presented instructions, and over the course of several days, I got to put the ship together. As a LEGO enthusiast myself, I felt that the build itself was a ton of fun, offering a variety of interesting mechanical elements, like a light-up furnace for burning fuel, as well as a mast and sails that could raise and lower. Moreover, the build was filled with clever asymmetrical elements, reflecting the somewhat ramshackle nature of the ship as it appears in the game.
In the final completed build, one side of the ship shows off an incredibly detailed exterior, while on the other side, a viewer can peek inside to see the inner corridors, stairs, and other features, just like players of the game are able to do. A removable display stand allows for different ways to showcase the piece. There’s even a scale model of the little character from the game. The build included over 1200 bricks.
“While all the design work took place by hand over the course of a few weeks – in terms of hours, I couldn’t say for sure – I used a digital build software called Stud.io by Bricklink to reproduce the model digitally, and used that digital model to fabricate the step-by-step build instructions,” Newman told me about the process he used to create the ship.
In order to celebrate the beautiful custom LEGO set, I recorded the full multi-hour process of its construction using a time-lapse effect, and my video editor colleague Alex Van Aken was kind enough to stitch together the multiple videos and add in some music that homages the original game in the series. Check out the completed video above. Feel free to jump to near the end of the video if you’d prefer to just see some pans across the full finished build.
A big thank you to Aaron Newman for the hours of entertainment. If the unique nature of this LEGO version of the ship piques your interest, don’t hesitate to pick up a copy of Far: Changing Tides. It’s a great time, even without any LEGO-related shenanigans. The game is out now on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC (both Epic Games Store and Steam).
Techland has revealed the patch notes for the upcoming New Game Plus mode patch for Dying Light 2 and it brings some expansive changes to the game, even beyond the new mode.
Revealed earlier this week, the new patch is now live in Dying Light 2 and New Game Plus should be available to any and all players who have completed the base campaign of the zombie parkour title. As for what to expect in this new mode, there will be new inhibitors to find, new Platinum objectives for parkour challenges, and more.
“After finishing it once, the game can be replayed again, only this time with modified game parameters in place to encourage a second playthrough by the implementation of a unique system and experience,” the patch notes read. “The player can now go through the story with revitalized mechanisms. These include new enemy behaviors, more difficult encounters, new objects within the world – namely the newly-added inhibitors – and many more changes that will significantly alter gameplay style and allow the player to developer their character further.”
The following is only available in New Game Plus:
30 new inhibitors
New Platinum objectives for parkour challenges
Updated distribution of the enemies (i.e. Volatiles and Banshees spawn during the night, a wider of enemy pools in encounters)
A new legendary weapon tier added
Gold encounters added
Enemy difficulty scales with the player level
As for the rest of the patch, it comes with a lot of co-op updates and fixes, as well as a new Mutated Infected enemy type that can be encountered by starting the “Something Big Has Been Here” quest in-game. There are a lot of other updates, fixes, and improvements to Dying Light 2’s gameplay, quests, UI, and more, too.
You can read the full patch notes below:
Fixed connection and stability issues in co-op
Fixed connection issues with the players who are further advanced inthe story
Improved game performance in co-op
Co-op story blocks
Fixed an issue that caused blocked progression in a single player game mode after a co-op session
Fixed few remaining death loops in co-op
Fixed an issue with a missing NPC during the Missing People quest in a co-op session
Improved weapon visualization in online menu and inventory
Improved handling of challenges requirements in co-op
Fixed random bandit respawns while players are still in the bandit camp
Fixed issues with the player being unable to access inventory or map after dying several times in co-op
Fixed blocked story progression with “enemies nearby” notification
Fixed rare issue when a player can’t move after a revive
Fixes for far away peer respawn from the host and respawning in geometry
Fixed AI jitter in random cases
Improved various animations in co-op – f.e. crouching, throwing, using the bow, and more
Fixed sound duplication in co-op
Fixed rare cases of unresponsive quest radio dialog in co-op, causing story blocks
Fixed the display of incorrect icons on the map after a co-op party
Fixed “call for help” when the player is being summoned during a gather in co-op
Fixed black screens in certain situations that could cause progression blockers during co-op progression
Fixed unnecessary “skill requirement” text-glitch in the description of a challenge in a co-op session
Updated the time of tutorial windows to 30 seconds during the co-op sessions
Fixed a bug that allows player to have multiple story quests active
Mutated Infected – New quest added Something Big Has Been Here, which included special elemental Goon variants
Enemies with bows are less annoying — decreased damage output
Completed achievements are correctly awarded upon completion. This works for the achievements that were obtained before the update as well
Fixed a bug that was causing Howlers and Screamers to become invulnerable to damage
Fixed a possibility to fast travel between map regions after completing various quests
Fixed a random AI bug of Human encounters
Fixed infected invulnerability to arrows
Fixed missing rewards after Bandit encounters
Fixed the Virals patrol movement in GRE facilities
Fixed a bug related to wall-clipping during the Let’s Waltz quest
Fixed a bug of the player getting stuck after using an inhibitor, or opening inventory after obtaining inhibitor in the Markers of Plague quest
Fixed the map display bug in The Only Way Out quest
Fixed the disappearance of Hakon in the Into The Darkness quest after playing in co-op
Fixed Sophie’s inaccessible position in The Raid quest
Added FOV slider on PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X
Improved UI textures optimization
Fixed issues related to switching between keyboard and controller
Fixed inhibitor pop-up message in Markers of Plague quest
Fixed quest display in journal
Fixed tutorial window display
Fixed weapon durability display, quest tracking, and inventory management on ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo second display
Aiden should no longer T-pose in the main menu
Fixed crashes related to launching the game in 5760×1080 resolution
Fixed display of incorrect numbers on Immunity Bar
Minor changes to PC key bindings
Improved game stability
Several crash sources fixed
Improved the stability of frame rate in various places on the map
Fixed multiple bugs that allowed players to see and fall outside map texture
Fixed occasional texture glitches in various places on the map
Fixed various audio glitches
…and numerous additional bug fixes and quality improvements.
If you’re looking to add more of the Street Fighter roster to your Fortnite Outfit collection, tomorrow is your chance. That’s because popular fighters Blanka and Sakura hit the Fortnite Item Shop at 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 28.
Announced by Epic Games in a new blog post, World Warriors Blanka and Sakura hit the battle royale to celebrate 35 years of Street Fighter and as is usual with new additions to Fortnite, both characters will come with an Outfit and matching accessories to round out the skin. Plus, the Blanka & Sakura Cup, which will begin as a mobile-only Zero Build Solo Cup starting today before becoming an all-platforms Battle Royale Solo Cup on Thursday, will give top-performing players in different regions the chance to unlock the Bonus Stage Loading Screen.
The first Outfit is the Blanka Outfit and it includes the Blanka Delgado alt Style, inspired by Rival Schools’ Boman Delgado, too. This Outfit includes a built-in Blanka Backflip Emote and it comes with the Blanka-Chan Back Bling. You can also purchase the Tropical Hazarad Kebab Pickaxe in the Item Shop, too.
For Sakura, you can pick up the standard Sakura Outfit, and with it, you’ll get the Sakura Gym alt Style inspired by one of her Street Fighter IV alts. The Outfit includes the built-in Sakura’s Victory Sway Emote, too, as well as the Hanakaze Claw Back Bling. You can also purchase the Fighting Tournament Trophy Pickaxe and the Kayari Buta Glider, too.
May’s PlayStation Plus games line-up has been revealed (after suffering yet another pre-announcement leak). On May 3, subscribers will have access to the following titles:
FIFA 22: Last year’s FIFA title boasts new-gen visuals and enhancements, making for a football title that looks better than it ever has. Though it ultimately doesn’t differ too much from FIFA 21, fans of the sport should find it an enjoyable, if not very familiar, simulator. | Our Review
Tribes of Midgard: This colorful Norse-themed survival action game that you can experience alone or with friends in co-op. You’ll build and manage a village that up to 10 players can occupy, and you’ll maintain it by harvesting materials out in the wild. Plenty of dangers, both earthly and mythical, lurk in the wilderness for you and a party to cut down with your sword.
Curse of the Dead Gods: As an explorer fueled by greed, you’ll explore the depths of perilous temples battling monsters and plundering treasure in this run-based action roguelite. Surviving floor after floor of dangers requires accumulating powerful runes, but gaining power also saddles you with curses for a risk vs reward element. | Our Review
If you haven’t added April’s batch of PS Plus titles to your library, you have until May 2 to do so before they become unavailable. You’ll want to do the same for Persona 5, which is also exiting the PS Plus Collection on May 11.
This will presumably be the final month of PS Plus as we know it before the introduction of new premium tiers in June. You can learn more about what that will entail here.
Out of the Blue Games, the makers of 2020’s Call of the Sea, has announced its second title: American Arcadia.
Inspired by works such as The Truman Show, Logan’s Run, and The Prisoner, the game takes place in Arcadia, a retro-futuristic 1970s city. Players control Trevor Hills, an average town resident who discovers his entire world is just an elaborate reality TV show broadcasted 24/7 to millions of Americans. To escape his false existence, Trevor teams up with the show’s stage technician, Angela Solano, and the pair must work together to evade the clutches of Arcadia’s security forces.
American Arcadia features two gameplay styles. Trevor’s action unfolds as a 2.5D action side-scroller fearing plenty of puzzle-solving as well as elements of stealth. Controlling Angela shifts the game to first-person to complete specific hacking and puzzle segments. Cissy Jones and Yuri Lowenthal, who portrayed Call of the Sea’s protagonists, reunite to voice Angela and Trevor, respectively.
American Arcadia has already been selected for Tribeca’s 2022 Festival Games. It will launch for PC and unspecified consoles, but it does not have a release window.
Halo Infinite’s creative head, Joseph Staten, and the game’s community director, Brian Jarrard, have cleared up some things regarding player wants and desires when it comes to multiplayer, revealing that a Cortana AI and playable Elites are not coming anytime soon.
First reported by GameSpot, the two Halo developers were responding to different tweets, one asking for a Cortana AI to be added to Halo Infinite’s multiplayer and another asking for playable Elites to be added to the game. Unfortunately, for fans wanting either, it doesn’t sound like these features are planned for the title right now.
In a response to a tweet stating “Day 6 asking joe for Cortana as a multiplayer ai,” Staten said that he appreciates the commitment but that “as much as I love Cortana and [Cortana voice actor Jen Taylor], there are no current plans to make Cortana an AI in multiplayer.”
I appreciate the commitment! And as much as I love Cortana and @jentaylortown, there are no current plans to make Cortana an AI in multiplayer.
Elsewhere, Jarrard responded to a fans’ list of wants and desires for Halo Infinite that included playable Elites. Jarrard said he appreciates the fans’ passion and gusto but that he’ll “give it to you straight – We have a lot of fundamental issues to go after. We may eventually get playable Elites but sorry to say it’s not a current priority or actively being worked on right now.”
I applaud your passion and gusto! But I will give it to you straight – We have a lot of fundamental issues to go after. We may eventually get playable Elites but sorry to say it’s not a current priority or actively being worked on right now.
The Cortana AI would be a neat addition to the game, especially with how important she is to the franchise and how much of the multiplayer AI you hear during any given match. As for playable Elites, these aliens were available to play as in previous Halo multiplayer experiences so it’s not surprising fans are looking for it in Halo Infinite. Given the story of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer, which is about training Spartans for battle, playing as an Elite doesn’t seem like it’d be a fit for the current set up of the game’s multiplayer. Things could change and neither Jarrard nor Staten said never – they both just essentially said not right now.
Disney fans, take note. Today, Gameloft announced a new free-to-play life-simulation adventure game called Disney Dreamlight Valley. In it, you brush shoulders with various Disney and Pixar characters, creating your own avatar and life in their magical world. The adventure challenges you to uncover the mysteries of Dreamlight Valley, where its inhabitants have lost their memories due to an event called The Forgetting. You must solve the case and restore the now desolate place to its former glory, putting your own mark on it in the process.
The reveal trailer above should give you a taste of the experience, where you enter classic Disney and Pixar worlds and help iconic characters get back their memories. A big bonus? You’ll also be designing your own villages with various Disney items and customization options, from Frozen-inspired antique kitchen designs for your abode to princess-inspired ballgowns for your avatar.
During your journey, you can interact with and befriend popular franchise characters who have their own unique story arcs. The press release confirms familiar faces will appear from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story, and Moana. It also promises fun activities like cooking Disney-themed dishes alongside Remy from Ratatouille, fishing with Goofy, and growing vegetables from Wall-E’s garden patch.
This summer, the game enters Early Access, which you can join by purchasing a Founders Pack or by being an Xbox Game Pass member. As an early adopter, you get to not only provide feedback to the development team but you’ll also earn exclusive awards, which will carry over when the full game releases. Disney Dreamlight Valley is currently set for an official launch in 2023 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and Mac.
For more information, you can visit the official site here. And stay tuned for impressions from our demo of the game, which will go live tomorrow.
Dead By Daylight’s 11th Tome in its Archives: Devotion series includes more lore for David King, which Behaviour Interactive says will be revealed as the asymmetrical multiplayer title’s first LGBTQIA2+ character.
Named David King, this Survivor is already playable in the game and the studio says King is a fan favorite, “occupying a comfortable top ten position as one of the realm’s most-played” characters. However, tomorrow’s new Tome will allow fans to uncover memories of David King, which will shed light on their identity, revealing them to be the game’s first LGBTQIA2+ character.
“Now boasting more than 50 million players globally, Dead by Daylight’s undeniable success is due in large part to its active and dedicated community, including its lively LGBTQIA2+ players,” Behaviour Interactive writes in a press release. “Many fans have longed for more representation within the game and expressed the need to identify with their favorite characters and they will be thrilled to dig through the 11th Tome of the game’s Archives: Devotion. Available on Arpil 28, the new Tome will uncover memories of The Twins as well as Survivor David King, revealing his struggle to come to terms with his homosexualtiy.”
Behaviour Interactive says David King is a hot-tempered ruffian with a penchant for a good scrap, whose time as a debt collector brought pain both internal and external.
“While a fragment of his pre-Fog life was previously revealed, there remained much to uncover,” a press release reads. “Throughout Devotion, fans will discover that part of his personal struggles revolve around accepting his own identity and sexuality. David’s memories will take players in a pub, where a conversation about romantic relationships leads him to speak more about this personal life, including a past boyfriend.
“Bringing inclusivity and representation to life in a meaningful way within Dead by Daylights’ storytelling has been a focus for the development team over the last few years. Creating content devoid of negative tropes, versus simply checking a box, was the creators’ priority. To achieve this, the team collaborated with GaymerX, a consulting organization dedicated to providing best practices for integration of LGBTQIA2+ themes into established games. The non-profit precisely offered support around in-game content and how to approach diverse stories without falling into harmful representation.”
Beyond David King, the new Tome also brings additional narrative content to Dead by Daylight as well as new outfits and collections, too.
“Among fans’ favorite features coming with each Tome of the Archives are the new outfits available within the Rift,” the press release reads. “In Devotion, players will be able to unlock The New World Stowaway outfit for The Twins as well as the Night on the Town outfit for David King. The Tome also comes with a new and a returning collection. Among other inclusions, The Spring Ensembles Collection features the Blooming Delusion Very Rare mix-and-match outfit for The Artist, the Baseball Series Very Rare mix-and-match outfit for Jonah Vasquez as well as the Organic Monstrosity Very Rare mix-and-match outfit for The Blight. The Urban Art Collection will present players with a new Very Rare outfit for Nea: The Stockholm Art Fest.”
Tome 11: Devotion hits Dead by Daylight tomorrow, April 28, on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, and PC.
Are you excited for Tome 11? Let us know in the comments below!
From Software released a new patch today that fixes a Malenia bug that unintentionally made the boss fight much harder.
Dubbed Update Version 1.04.1, this patch fixes a bug with the Malenia, Blade of Miquella boss fight in Elden Ring’s endgame that allowed her to heal herself at any time if you were in online co-op. This was a problem because Malenia is only supposed to self-heal upon damaging you, in a vampiric way. That she was able to self-heal at really any time was causing quite the conundrum for players looking to defeat her, who is already arguably the most challenging boss in the entire game. This new patch fixes that fortunately, and it brings with it a few other fixes too.
Here’s what Update Version 1.04.1 brings to Elden Ring:
Fixed a bug in which the effect duration of the Cerulean Hidden Tears was revised downward
Fixed a bug with Malenia, Blade of Miquella in which her HP was not healed correctly in the online multiplayer environment
Fixed a bug that causes some bosses to die at unintended times.
Fixed a bug that prevented the boss “Elden Beast” from working properly under certain circumstances
Fixed some texts
“The version number of this update shown at the lower right corner of the Title Screen will be as follows: App Ver. 1.04.1, Regulation Ver. 1.04.2,” the patch notes read.
Wii Sports is one of the best-selling games of all time, so can a new entry in the series match the highs of its predecessor? We’re checking out Nintendo Switch Sports on this episode of New Gameplay Today and letting you know if it is worth buying.
Join Alex Stadnik and Jay Guisao, the game’s reviewer, as they take you on a tour of all the game modes old and new fans can expect when they pick up the title on April 29. First on the list is bowling. The classic game is back in Switch Sports and feels better than ever with the Nintendo Switch’s more advanced motion controls. After you get a good look at Stadnik’s skills on the lanes, we move over to tennis, and Jay lets you know why it was his favorite game mode in the original and why it still shines in 2022.
After that, we move to volleyball, one of Switch Sports’ newest additions to the series. It may seem a little much at first, but once you master the different poses you need to bump, set, and spike, it becomes clear this fits right at home with all the games you remember from your time playing Wii Sports with your family.
Moving right along, we head to the badminton court, and Jay talks about why this specific mode has surpassed tennis as his new favorite game in Switch Sports. Instead of just mindlessly flailing the controller and volleying with their opponent, players will have to pay close attention to not only their swings but what the competition is sending back at them. The different lines behind the shuttlecock indicate different speeds, and those playing can lose their invisible stamina bar and fall if the volley goes on too long.
Finally, we move to chambara and soccer. The former is a hyper-competitive game of hitting each other with swords until one falls off into the pool of humiliation (Nintendo, call me if you need me to name anything) that will have you metaphorically and physically sweaty. The latter is similar to that of Rocket League, where players have to stay conscious of their stamina bars and the risks they take on the pitch if they hope to emerge victorious.
Are you excited about Nintendo Switch Sports? Be sure to check out Jay’s review impressions right here. For more New Gameplay Today previews featuring some of the biggest games of 2022 and beyond, be sure to head over to our YouTube page and subscribe.
I might not have owned Nintendo’s seventh-generation home console when Wii Sports launched in 2006, but I was well aware of its cultural impact. I recall booting up the wacky sports simulator at my sister’s apartment and joyously swinging my Remote/Nunchuk to hit a baseball, throw a quick jab, or swing a golf club. So, it feels serendipitous that I’m reviewing Switch Sports 16 years later. Diving into the second sequel’s six activities alone and with friends (locally) has been a fun, nostalgic rush. I haven’t had access to the game’s online multiplayer component, which, as you can imagine, houses a bulk of Switch Sports’ content. So, while I can’t talk about ranked progression, the cosmetic/currency systems, and exclusively-online modes, here are my thoughts on everything else.
Of course, the first thing I noticed was the modern, sleek look of the latest entry in Nintendo’s sports simulator franchise. Spocco Square is a vibrant plaza with clear, blue skies, towering skyscrapers, neon festival signs, and lush greenery. The upgraded visuals are a reminder that Switch Sports is a step above its predecessors, and, in some ways, it truly is. Controls are as tight and responsive as ever, making Joycon movements/impacts feel intuitive. Tennis and Badminton – the latter being my favorite new addition – are a testament to this, as serving or receiving the ball and shuttlecock make for some exhilarating rallies. Unfortunately, the difficulty options are disappointing if you’re looking for a PVE challenge. Normal, Strong, and Powerhouse range from boringly easy to laughably punishing.
Similarly, the game suffers from a lack of content. Where Wii Sports rewarded its players with skill points on a flow chart and increased crowd sizes relative to one’s success, Switch Sports puzzlingly offers nothing to its solo fanbase. I’ve spent hours playing each sport repeatedly, and beyond securing a win after a heady matchup, there’s no greater sense of gratification or progression. Sadly, this fact overshadows most of Switch Sports’ shining achievements, like the strap accessory – a demanding but ambitiously “realistic” way to play Soccer. Online multiplayer versions of these activities gift competitors new outfits, accessories, and gear (alternative skins for rackets, balls, etc.). Unfortunately, I’m struggling with recommending Switch Sports for those who prefer singleplayer experiences.
Overall, Switch Sports is a blast to play. I expect it will undoubtedly rival other popular Nintendo party games like Mario Kart and Smash Bros. Ultimate, among many others. However, the limited selection of activities doesn’t hold a candle to the titles mentioned above. Moreover, no incentives exist for casual players looking to feel a sense of accomplishment playing by themselves or with family/friends. Nevertheless, I’m excited to dive into Premier League when the game drops on April 29 and hope the unlockables make up for the repetitiveness of the gameplay loop.
My review should go up on the site later next week, so be on the lookout for that. And feel free to drop your impressions – singleplayer or otherwise – in the comments section below!
Matt Reeves’ The Batman is getting a sequel, to probably nobody’s surprise.
Not only did the movie do really well at the box office, especially as the silver screen continues to struggle to bounce back amidst the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, but it was well-received by both critics and fans alike. Now, DC has confirmed that The Batman will get a sequel with Matt Reeves returning to write and direct and Robert Pattinson set to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader, as reported byVariety.
The publication notes that this was announced last night during Warner Bros. CinemaCon presentation and while the company revealed a sequel is happening, not much else was shared. As for a villain or storyline, we’re all still just as in the dark as we were before the sequel was revealed. However, those who have seen The Batman, which is now streaming on HBO Max for subscribers, there are a number of threads the sequel could move forward with, both in terms of potential villains and potential storylines. We won’t spoil those threads here, but The Batman sequel seems to be heading in a certain direction.
The Batman hit theaters last month, raking in $134 million domestically, Variety reports, and its ticket sales still represent the biggest opening weekend for any movie in 2022. Today, its global box office sits around $759 million, making it the highest grossing movie of the year thus far (although Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is eyeing that throne).
Sega has announced plans to delist the digital versions of the classic Sonic games that will be included in its upcoming Sonic Origins collection.
Sonic the Hedgehog 1, 2, 3 & Knuckles, and CD will be removed from online storefronts on May 20, a little over a month before the June 30 launch of Sonic Origins. There will be two exceptions. The Sega Ages versions of Sonic 1 and 2 for Switch will remain playable. The same immunity applies to Sonic 2 on the Sega Genesis library for the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.
Sega has not cited a reason for this move, but the publisher seemingly wants to steer players towards Origins if they want their classic Sonic fix. Rockstar Games made a similar move when it delisted the PC versions of the Grand Theft Auto games that appeared in last year’s ill-fated Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition. The decision earned significant backlash from fans before the collection launched, as many felt Rockstar was limiting their options for purchasing the classic entries. That situation further backfired due to the Trilogy’s botched release, and Rockstar eventually restored the standalone GTA titles to PC storefronts.
Sonic Origins bundles remastered versions of the Genesis-era platformers. It boasts enhancements such as new and improved animations, new gameplay modes, and the option to play as Tails/Knuckles in each game, among other features. It’s slated to arrive on PlayStation and Xbox platforms, Switch, and PC. The game comes in two editions – a $39.99 standard version and a $44.99 Deluxe – with a few content packs that you can read about here.
Forever Skies is Far From Home’s first-person survival game set on a decrepit procedurally-generated Earth, abandoned to waste away in ruin, and it’s coming to Early Access on PC this year. Players will leave the safe orbit where other humans await salvation and begin exploring an Earth covered in a thick layer of toxic dust following an ecological disaster in hopes of learning more about its demise and uncovering secrets that could save the human race. The reveal trailer gets straight to the point – humans messed Earth up and failed to do what was needed to save it. Sound familiar?
Game Informer spoke with Far From Home CEO and gameplay lead Andrzej Blumenfeld and brand manager Pawel Jawor about this premise, how it hits close to home, how it affects gameplay, and what players can expect out of Forever Skies’ Early Access lifecycle.
Far From Home CEO and gameplay lead Andrzej Blumenfeld
While the idea of ecological disaster ruining Earth hits close to home for anyone looking at the health of this planet today, the premise was directly inspired by the studio’s home country of Poland.
“There were…different pillars [in coming up with Forever Skies], and one of them was that we are living in Poland and for a very long time, we’ve seen what’s going on around us,” Blumenfeld tells Game Informer. “Sometimes we hear that Warsaw or Kraków, for example, are very polluted cities, like the most polluted cities in the world. And now, sometimes, we receive messages on the phone that say, ‘if you can, just please stay at home because going outside is dangerous.’ The air is like poison…and this was one of the many things that we were like, ‘yeah, maybe this is a good topic to speak about.’”
Jawor added that the team had a revelatory moment after a local scientist said that to reach healthy, clean air in Kraków, you need to go about 100 meters up in the air. It’s easy to connect the dots between that revelation and the game’s first two trailers, which showcase the protagonist scientist scaling skyscrapers high above the dusty land below.
Far From Home brand manager Pawel Jawor
Blumenfeld says the 23-person studio’s love of survival games like Subnautica and Raft also led to Forever Skies being a title in the same genre. He says those games, and others, were huge inspirations to the team. Specifically regarding Subnautica, Far From Home is a fan of how it integrated survival gameplay with a more narrative-driven focus. The team envisions that for Forever Skies one day.
“As this is the very beginning of the game, we want to focus on the gameplay hook, so this will probably be [the focus] of the Early Access, and then in the future, we’ll try and get more and more in,” Blumenfeld says in regards to the ongoing development of the game’s narrative.
On that note, Blumenfeld tells Game Informer the base of the story is the idea that the human race has to find its place in a new and dangerous situation that it is responsible for. He says Far From Home isn’t trying to preach, but it’s hard not to when dire things are happening to our own Earth’s ecology.
At the core of Forever Skies’ gameplay is a special gun. It’s a scientific tool that’s four-in-one: an extractor tool, used to extract resources and unlock new paths, a building tool, which, as the name implies, is used to build new things like ladders, a repair tool, used to fix damaged objects, and a scanner tool, which ties into the scientists’ goal of analyzing what’s gone wrong and learning more about how to overcome the dangers of this new Earth.
Thus far, most of what’s been shown in trailers has been a destroyed cityscape, which presents an element of verticality for the game’s survival nature. However, Blumenfeld says this city isn’t the only biome players will encounter in Forever Skies.
“I would say that the city is not the only place,” Blumenfeld says. “The city is even a little bit further in the game, and there will be smaller locations. It’s not only about the cities, and there will be different biomes. What’s super cool…is that you actually will be able to go out and below the dust.”
He says what’s above the dust will speak directly to the ruinous status of Earth, the resources you’re after, and the story of the collapse of human civilization.
“What is below that is the evolution of an Earth that doesn’t belong to humans anymore,” Blumenfeld says.
In the same vein, Jawor cites The Martian and Annihilation, two movies based on sci-fi novels, as inspiration for the kind of feelings Forever Skies hopes to emulate in its storytelling and gameplay.
Regardless of where you focus your exploration, be it in the skyscrapers 100 meters above the ground, or the nature-reborn Earth below the toxic dust, your airship will be with you through it all, acting as your on-the-go laboratory and your home base.
“It will be your home, it will be your workshop, and your laboratory and it will be one of the very small number of places where you can feel a little bit of safety,” Blumenfeld says. “The other thing when we’re thinking about the airship is how the airship moves, how you control it, and how you are able to play with it. For example, you will be able to add turbines or different devices that will change how high you can fly.”
When starting the game, he says there will be locations you simply can’t reach. This is how the game pushes you to expand your ship’s arsenal. If you want to reach that area, you need a way for your airship to get up there, and to do that, you need the necessary upgrade. That desire to find the required resources to build that upgrade might color one gameplay session, and the next will be about exploring what you discover when you reach the new heights above due to the upgrade. For example, the airship begins with just one balloon, but you can add a second to it over time. Upgrades, balloons, turbines, and more make your airship feel like yours.
Game Informer An example of an airship with two balloons
Blumenfeld says two players with 30 hours in Forever Skies could theoretically have completely different airships. It all depends on their focus in-game.
“I will say that if you focus mostly on exploration, in the end, you’ll both have the same devices that will unlock your ability to get to different locations,” he says. “But if you want to take your time to customize, and if you want to take your time to create different walls and different layers, it’s definitely possible that you could end up with complex, different airships.”
Customization, and hypothetically anything else in the game, could change based on player feedback in the game’s PC Early Access.
“From the perspective of our studio, it’s very important that we are as close as possible to the players and if you think about survival games, what is the most important thing is the instant gameplay loop and the feeling that it’s well-balanced and that you have something to do at all times,” Blumenfeld tells Game Informer. “That’s why we decided that we want to go in Early Access so we can be as close to the community as possible. We would like to invite people to join us [on the Forever Skies Discord server] because we are very open to ideas from the players.”
Jawor adds that he hopes players will be interested in the game’s development and excited to help create some items with Far From Home that could be included in the final build as “artifacts from the lost world.” He mentions posters of lost locations or a collectible for players to stumble upon when exploring a building.
Player feedback will help influence future development, although Far From Home has its own internal roadmap that includes cooperative multiplayer and a dedicated story mode. The studio is also working on additional locations and tools, too.
“I think what needs to be said here is that contrary to popular belief, even if we are creating a game, we are not really creating that game for ourselves,” Jawor says. “We are working on a game that players, that we hope players at least, will enjoy and play for a long time.”
Bear and Breakfast is a laid-back management adventure game where you play as a well-meaning bear trying to run a B+B in the woods. In this episode of New Gameplay Today, we give you an exclusive look at the first chapter of the upcoming indie game alongside Game Director Rares Cinteza.
This episode is jam-packed with reviews of comic books you should be reading, including The Hulk, Catwoman, and even a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer story that we didn’t expect to see. We also spend a fair amount of the episode looking ahead to this week’s releases. This could be one of the biggest comic book days we’ve ever seen and should make for a hell of an episode next week. If you want to know what we are getting, listen to the back half of the show.
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.
WWE 2K22 gets its first DLC character pack today, and it’s main-evented by a trio of Samoan legends.
The pack adds former WWE Champion Yokozuna, Hall of Famer Rikishi, and the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga to the roster. They’re joined by Monday Night Raw’s resident giant Omos and NXT’s gymnastic phenom Kacy Catanzaro (still under her original name as she was recently re-branded as Katana Chance on TV). You can see them in action in the trailer below.
Each Superstar comes with MyFaction EVO cards and the Banzai Pack is included in the game’s the Season Pass, which is part of the Deluxe and nWo 4-Life Editions. Otherwise, you can purchase the pack individually (the price is currently unlisted) or the Season Pass for $39.99.
To view the other DLC packs coming to WWE 2K22, check out the game’s post-launch roadmap. You can also read our review of the game here.
WWE 2K22 gets its first DLC character pack today, and it’s main-evented by a trio of Samoan legends.
The pack adds former WWE Champion Yokozuna, Hall of Famer Rikishi, and the Samoan Bulldozer Umaga to the roster. They’re joined by Monday Night Raw’s resident giant Omos and NXT’s gymnastic phenom Kacy Catanzaro (still under her original name as she was recently re-branded as Katana Chance on TV). You can see them in action in the trailer below.
Each Superstar comes with MyFaction EVO cards and the pack is included in the game’s the Season Pass, which is part of the Deluxe and nWo 4-Life Editions. Otherwise, you can purchase the pack individually (the price is currently unlisted) or the Season Pass for $39.99.
To view the other DLC packs coming to WWE 2K22, check out the game’s post-launch roadmap. You can also read our review of the game here.
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