Guerrilla Games Offers Clarity Regarding Horizon Forbidden West’s Release Date

We recently sat down with some of the team at Guerrilla Games to discuss the latest Sony State of Play, where Horizon Forbidden West’s gameplay was finally unveiled. Fans were pining the presentation would also reveal a release date, but were left more puzzled when no release timeframe was given. This included no longer having the previous “2021” listing. We were also curious. Did this mean the game was slipping out of 2021?

To set the record straight, we asked game director Mathijs de Jonge if Horizon Forbidden West was still on track to release this year, or if things had shifted away from that timeframe.  “The development is on track,” de Jonge tells Game Informer. “The thing is, these are just strange times that we’re all in and we have never finalized and shipped a game under these kinds of circumstances. So we are constantly calculating our schedules and looking at, ‘Okay, where are we?’ and ‘Are there any unforeseen things that might happen?’ We just want to be super confident when we announce the release date, that we’re actually going to hit it. So we just need a little bit more time, and then we can come back with a final release date.” 

So there you have it. Horizon Forbidden West hasn’t been delayed out of 2021, but it’s also not a “sure thing” for launching this year either. Given everything that’s happened with COVID-19 and how studios have had to alter how they make games, it’s understandable that Guerrilla Games is being cautious about listing a specific date until it’s absolutely sure it can deliver on it. At least we know the team at Guerrilla wants to have confidence in the date provided. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon regarding a date. 

For more on Horizon Forbidden West, check out our recent video interview with the developers.


Horizon Forbidden West Devs On New Abilities, Release Window, And More

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Horizon Forbidden West ranks high on our list of most anticipated games, so we were thrilled to finally see the game in action in the latest Sony State of Play. Running on the PlayStation 5, we saw around 14 minutes of gameplay, which introduced us to some awesome features, such as a grappling hook and glider to traverse the new westward landscape with ease, alongside Aloy’s new arsenal for taking down mechanical beasts. Get ready for smoke bombs, adhesive grenades, and the ability to shoot weapons off enemies to pick up and give them a taste of their own medicine.

The trailer also brought back a character from Aloy’s past, Erend, who will be essential in helping her figure out the mysteries behind an incoming storm, a disease called Red Blight, and a dangerous tribe with the power to override machines. 

We had the opportunity to interview key members from the Horizon Forbidden West team to get a little more info on all of these aspects and more, including how the skill tree has evolved and whether or not the game is still on track to launch this year. Watch the video above with game director Mathijs de Jonge and narrative director Benjamin McCaw, where we ask about the elements introduced in the gameplay reveal and press them on if a shark machine will be swimming below the water’s surface with us. 


Psychonauts 2: Exclusive Look At New Level Gameplay (4K)

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When you think of the original Psychonauts, what comes to mind? The wacky characters? The bonkers story? For many, the 2005 title is so beloved because of its use of colorful and distinct brain levels to keep the world feeling fresh and interesting. Everything we’ve seen thus far of Psychonauts 2 paints a familiar picture for fans of the franchise, with developer Double Fine putting Raz smack-dab into some of the wildest minds we’ve seen yet. Here’s an exclusive look at one of the new levels fans will be playing through when we finally get our hands on the game later this year!

In Psychonauts 2, Raz enters the mind of Hollis Forsythe, second-in-command of the Psychonauts, to fix a mistake he created in his professor’s mind. The psychic organization is starting to go bankrupt and Forsythe believes gambling could be the way to save them all after Raz inadvertently uses his Mental Connection ability to connect the two ideas.

But when Raz enters the psychic portal to Hollis’ mind, he finds there’s more going on in here than the spinning of a few roulette wheels. Hollis has connected the casino theme with the past trauma of her days working at a hospital and there’s a lot of damage Raz needs to work his way through. In a first for the series, Raz will explore Hollis’ brain in a 2.5D section as he relives the days when Hollis’ hospital superior stole her life’s work and claimed it for his own.

The hospital meets high roller theme isn’t only reserved to the storytelling, though. As you traverse Forsythe’s cranium, players will observe skeletons walking the casino floors, medically-themed artwork hanging from the walls, and more.

But what’s a good casino without games to play, right? In a bizarre morgue mini-hub world, Raz will have his choice on where he’ll want to explore. Today we’re going into the Pharmacy section to play Pillinko to get one step further towards saving his teacher’s mind. In this pachinko-inspired mini-game, Raz’s goal is to ride the pill down into the stomach to win the cash prize. But as you can see, his way is blocked off and he’ll have to further traverse the casino-meets-hospital if he wants to prevail over his mistakes.

To do that though, Raz will need to use the power that got him into this mess to escape this neon-soaked nightmare. Using the new psi-power Mental Connection, Raz will be able to partake in the parlous platforming found deep within Hollis’ mind. Zipping from platform to platform by connecting new ideas and nodes allows our hero to fly above the play space and hopefully do enough to get the Psychonauts’ second-in-command back on track.

If you enjoyed this look at Psychonauts 2, be sure to click the content hub below where we have tons of amazing content featuring Raz and the good devs at Double Fine!


Where The Heart Leads – New Gameplay Today

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After a terrible storm hits Whit Anderson’s farmstead a massive sinkhole opens up in his backyard. Unfortunately for Whit, his dog gets trapped in the hole. How does Whit rescue his hapless pup? He straps a bathtub to a winch and takes it for a ride down the massive hole. Unfortunately, Whit eventually falls into the hole and becomes transported to a strange world that seems to be constantly shifting like some kind of dream. Where The Heart Leads is a new game from Armature studios, a studio formed by ex-Metroid Prime developers, and the project takes classic adventure game elements then combines them with modern action game sensibilities to create something that looks truly special.

After the fall, Whit finds himself with a strange new power: the power to revisit memories. Each memory is haunting and dreamlike, but ultimately shows Whit the power (and consequences) of the billions of choices he’s made throughout his life. Of course, the choices that Whit makes during this new adventure will also shape the narrative you experience.

Join Alex Van Aken and Ben Reeves as they sit down with studio founder and director Todd Keller to talk about his vision for this surreal experience, how he’s aiming to tell a personal story through fantastical elements, and what he learned while working on Metroid that still helps him makes games today. We have a good time and hope you enjoy the show.

You won’t have to wait long before playing Where the Heart Leads since the game releases on July 13 on Xbox and PC. For more information, check out the game’s official website. If you enjoyed this episode of New Gameplay Today, be sure to subscribe to the Game Informer YouTube channel and catch up on previous episodes here.


New God Of War Release Date Window Delayed, Confirmed For PS5 And PS4

When Sony Santa Monica first revealed the sequel to the PlayStation 4 hit God of War, fans were eager to crack the code of what Ragnarok would have to offer. The studio originally had a specific release window in mind, but after a global pandemic and being realistic about the state of the game, the team has decided to shift the expected release window from 2021 to 2022 instead. 

The news of the release window delay first broke buried within a recent PlayStation Blog post, but Santa Monica further elaborated with a dedicated post of its own. In a tweet from the California-based studio, it was confirmed that the God of War sequel is expected to drop sometime next year.

“Since the release of the next God of War teaser last year, we’ve been humbled by the amount of love our community has shown us,” reads the above tweet. “We’re incredibly grateful to see so many people excited to experience the next chapter of Kratos and Atreus’ journey.”

It continued, saying, “We remain focused on delivering a top-quality game while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our team, creative partners, and families. With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to shift our release window to 2022.” 

While delays are always a slight bummer when excitement is involved, the decision to push a release date back is usually the smart one to make. It’s better to take the additional time to ensure that the shipped experience is what was promised and what the team wants to share with the world. The alternative is rushing something out the door and having to spend time post-release fixing what was broken because it launched too soon. 

In the previously mentioned blog post, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Sid Shuman confirmed that God of War is among the titles that will be releasing on both PS5 and PS4 systems. The cross-generational confirmation is especially good news when looking at the persistent shortage of this gen’s consoles. 


Atari VCS Release Date Is This Month

The Atari VCS is a name that has been floating around the games industry for years now. We first saw a model of the Atari VCS at the Game Developers Conference in 2018, but the console/PC hybrid system has still not hit store shelves. However, Atari has now announced that the VCS is launching sooner than we think, as the system that is set as the reentry of one of gaming’s most iconic companies into the console market comes out June 15.

With a design inspired by the Atari 2600 system, the Atari VCS very intentionally calls back to the history of the fabled game company. However, Atari hopes the VCS delivers a modern and fully featured multimedia experience across gaming, entertainment, and productivity that will draw the affection of creators and gamers alike. 

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While the Atari VCS wants to be a versatile multimedia machine, its success or failure will come down to the gaming experience. The library features more than a dozen games from indie developers, with games like Jetboard Joust, Guntech, Boulder Dash Deluxe, and Something Ate My Alien. Atari will also throw its own game, Missile Command: Recharged, into the catalog. Each Atari VCS also comes with a copy of the Atari VCS Vault, which includes access to 100 arcade and Atari 2600 games. Atari VCS owners also get access to Antstream Arcade, an on-demand game-streaming service that offers access to large collection of retro titles.

Atari also partnered with popular third-party controller maker PowerA to create two controllers for the Atari VCS. The first one is modeled after the classic joystick controller from the Atari 2600. The second, the Atari Modern Controller, looks closer to the form factor that owners of PlayStation or Xbox consoles have come to expect. Both controllers feature rumble, LED lighting, USB charging, and wireless Bluetooth connection to the Atari VCS, PCs, and mobile devices. 

As with most consoles in 2021, the VCS wants to become a device you use in your living room for more than just gaming. The dashboard features various popular streaming services, and if users access the Atari VCS Companion app from the iOS App Store or Google Play, they can play various media. Additionally, the VCS includes a built-in Chrome browser, as well as Google’s Workspace apps.

The system features an AMD Ryzen processor and is capable of 4K resolution, HDR, and 60 frames per second. The console includes internal storage options with the ability to expand, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and USB 3.0 support. You can also install either Windows or Linux as an alternative operating system and turn your VCS into a mini PC. 

The Atari VCS launches on June 15, with the Onyx Base System costing $299.99. The All-In system bundles (available in Black Walnut or Onyx) includes the Classic Joystick and the Modern Controller costs $399.99. Each of those controllers is available separately for $59.99.


NBA 2K21 Gets New Puma Gear, Including The Court Rider 2K Sneaker

If you’re a fan of NBA 2K and Puma apparel, you may be happy to hear about a new collaboration between the two brands. The companies are partnering up to launch the Puma x 2K Collection, a new clothing line that makes its way into NBA 2K21 beginning today.  The collection includes new top options and, for sneakerheads, the latest addition to Puma’s Court Rider sneaker line.

The collection, which you can view in the gallery below, includes short and long-sleeved t-shirts as well as a dual-colored hoodie. The centerpiece of the collection is the new Puma Court Rider 2K basketball sneaker, which your MyPlayer character can now rock on the court. You can purchase the items from the in-game store using VC at the following prices:

  • Short sleeve and long sleeve – 6,500 VC each
  • Shoe – 9,000 VC
  • Hoodie – 10,000 VC

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To celebrate the launch of this partnership, 2K and Puma are giving away pairs of real-life Court Rider 2K sneakers to the first 21 players who picked the Puma endorsement option during 2K21’s MyCareer mode. There’s no word on when the winners will be notified. Meanwhile, everyone else hoping to snag a pair of the shoes will have to wait until June 21 when the Puma Court Rider 2K, along with the rest of the Puma x 2K Collection, goes on sale at retail and online storefronts. 

If you’re among the surge of new players to pick up NBA 2K21 when it was free on the Epic Games Store or joined Xbox Game Pass in March, looks like you’ve got some new goodies to look forward to. If you haven’t stepped on the court yet and are wondering how it stacks up, GI editor Kim Wallace said in her review of the next-gen version that “NBA 2K21’s full-team on-court action plays the best it ever has, and the graphical leap is impressive to boot, but it still comes up short in some key areas. Visual Concepts still hasn’t figured out a great way to elevate its online play, and microtransactions continue to destroy what should be a fun part of the experience. I love creating spectacular plays and the thrill of sinking a buzzer-beating three, but the moment I walk into the online space, that feeling evaporates. It becomes about the money, not about the love of the game.”

So sneakerheads, what do you think of the Puma Court Rider 2K? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Mass Effect’s Conrad Verner Feels Very Different Through The Lens Of Surviving Assault

When I was active duty, I was taught more efficient ways of self-defense. Those lessons gave me confidence that bordered on too confident in certain situations. Assault is something I’m intimately familiar with, both within my family life in the past and growing up homeless off and on. However, protecting yourself can be hard to do when the injury comes from someone you thought you could trust and as I replay through the Mass Effect trilogy for the billionth time with the Legendary Edition, it finally clicked with me why the Conrad Verner story arc made me uncomfortable in a way that it never has before. 

Let me be very clear, I have always enjoyed Conrad’s story in the trilogy. The overly obsessive Commander Shepard fan was an interesting take on how life would be like as the First Human Spectre and the very real downsides of an overly large spotlight. This is not me attacking BioWare or the character. This is me sharing how interesting it is our perceptions of games change based on our own personal experiences. Narrative games are a gift and they don’t have to be sunshine and rainbows in order to enjoy them. But as I played through the Legendary Edition for the first time and got lost in all of the unique ways that the remaster made these games even better, I noticed an unfamiliar annoyance with his character that I don’t remember ever feeling. When I played through the remaster a second time, it finally clicked. 

During a work event in the past, a former colleague assaulted me in a way that I’m still dealing with after years of stalking and emulation. I still deal with the fear of even hearing his name; a fear that I’m still adjusting to because I’ve always considered myself a “badass.” But when it’s someone you cared about, someone you’ve always fought for, the notion of hurting them in turn just … doesn’t feel right. So I let it happen, and I got away the moment I saw my opening. Charges were pressed and I thought I could move on. And I did, mostly! But that particular experience changed how I saw good ‘ol Mr. Verner through the Legendary Edition lens. The parallels were hard to ignore. The sweet facade, the harmless attitude, the disconnect from reality? All there. As I went through as FemShep and this character kept popping up, I noticed a tingling sensation at the edge of my periphery, thinking back on how I should have seen the warning signs in my own life. 

In the game, you have the option to rebuff him, disillusion him from the notion that he’s entitled to your life in any way. When he tries to become Commander Shepard, the player can set him right once and for all; there is even a way to do so that eventually leads to good things for this character in the third game. But in real life? It’s not always like that. You have people that don’t believe you even though the evidence is all there. You have the people that see the consequences that your attacker faces and tell you that you should be the one to bear them, not him. You have the people that see you as the provoker even though that couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone weighs in with their thoughts, even when they know nothing. Safety is what you make it, even if you can’t make it until after that safety has been thrashed. 

Assault, stalking, fear imposed by others not respecting personal boundaries? It can happen to women, it can happen to men. Adults, kids. Anyone. Conrad is just a fictional character. Harmless. A little lost. We’ve all been there, but it is very interesting to see that no matter how many playthroughs I’ve had of the Mass Effect trilogy (cough, cough 34), that new life experiences can still change certain aspects, completely transforming how we feel about our favorite gaming adventures. 


Far Cry 6 Won’t Offer Map Editor, Arcade Mode Not Returning For Future Games

We’ve learned quite a bit about Far Cry 6 recently, including new characters, the blood of rebellion, and what the next step for the Ubisoft franchise has to offer longtime fans. For those that were curious as to whether the beloved Arcade Mode and map editor would be making a comeback, we’ve got some bad news. 

Several Far Cry 6 devs took to Reddit to answer some fan questions, including one specifically asking about whether or not the map editor would be coming back for the latest game. When confirming that no, it would not be in Far Cry 6, the creative team also confirmed that Arcade Mode would not be returning in future titles in the series. According to game director Alexandre Letendre, “No, Arcade will not come back. Removing this mode from our plan was a difficult decision, but allowed us to focus our efforts on the main campaign, transporting players into the heart of a modern-day guerrilla revolution.”

The reasoning is sound, especially with some fans feeling like Far Cry may have hit a snag much like Assassin’s Creed did before that team took some time off from the annual release cycle. To focus more on what makes the game special is important, but it’s hard to deny that I’m personally going to miss Arcade myself. I know I’m far from alone in enjoying what Far Cry 5’s Arcade Mode had to offer. Trying to recreate some of my favorite games within Far Cry 5 was stupidly fun, I’ll be sad to see it fade away into Far Cry’s past. 

The good news is that Far Cry 6 will have plenty of other nifty features to enjoy, including the franchise’s largest map to date and even more side quests to take on. Ubisoft also promises a few other surprises regarding the Far Cry 6 experience, something we’ll be learning more about before the game’s launch this October. 

Even still, the upcoming Far Cry game – which is, to be clear, political in nature – looks like it could be incredible, and not just because you can have an adorable canine companion named Chorizo

What say you? Yay or nay on the nixing of Arcade Mode in the Far Cry franchise? Are you sad to see its removal, or was this a long time coming? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


No Man’s Sky Prisms Update Is Out Now

Hello Games continues to update and improve No Man’s Sky. Coming in hot after the recent Mass Effect tie-in, this latest update hitting today is known as Prisms. Prisms is largely focused on improving visuals, as a massive overhaul to existing objects, structures, and more. Everything from planetes to creatures to weather effects has been given a significant tuning, down to light-refracting rain and new lighting effects to discover in cavernous systems located. This all comes with numerous new effects to check out. The trailer below lays out in detail what Prisms brings to the table, so check it out!

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While Expeditions before it added a ton of new systems, features, and mechanics, Prisms is focused on making No Man’s Sky look better. Some of these upgrades cross into other areas though, like adding fur to creatures or adding new classes of companions that can be tamed and ridden in the sky, like flying worms, giant butterflies, and huge beetles. If you’re not flying around on a giant bug, are you really playing at all?

Alongside all of these visual improvements, it makes sense that Photo Mode would also be tuned up to handle all the eye candy, so that’s part of the Prisms patch too! Players have more control over the photo-taking experience with new controls to tinker with. Prism improvements are best (more detailed) on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC. This patch is hitting today, so if you are eager to jump back in and see what all the fuss is about, you should be able to log in and check it all out right now.

No Man’s Sky continues to push out large content updates, many years since the initial launch. With so many content buckets, it is definitely a game that has changed massively since its rollout. Check out the original Game Informer review here, though the game is a much different beast today.

Have you gone back to No Man’s Sky since launch? Do you want to? Are you going to check out Prisms? Let us know in the comments!


PlayStation Website Is Removing Parties, Friends, Trophy Info, And More Next Month

Sony has been making quite a few changes to its PlayStation website over the past few years, slowly removing features to consolidate down to the mobile app and console interface. In the latest update, Team Blue confirmed that a few more features are being slashed from the PlayStation site, including removing access to your game library, friend information, Trophies, and more.

In a new blog update from Sony, the company confirmed that MyPlayStation will no longer be supported, which limits the following features: 

  • Games library
  • Parties
  • Friends
  • Trophies
  • Profile information

The above features will still be accessible via PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles, as well as the PS App that continues to see more modernized updates. I would love to see the app offer a way to see your screenshots like the Xbox app does. It would be great for those who, like me, love to use those in-game captures as fancy wallpapers and such. 

The removal of MyPlayStation will be finalized on June 28, alongside the removal of the PS Vita messaging service. Back in April, Sony also removed PlayStation Communities from PS4 systems, though you can still access it through the app, as well. 

You can read the full list of features being removed, as well as what has already been taken away, right here direct from Sony’s website.

PlayStation fans have been pretty vocal about their disappointment regarding feature removal decisions made by Sony. Many have expressed frustration on forums such as Reddit and Resetera about how the push for the mobile app seems almost aggressive. There are sound reasonings as to why certain features are being removed, especially for outdated systems like the PS Vita, but can that be said for everything getting the app dependency? You decide in the comment section below. 


First Nintendo E3 2021 Showcase Details Revealed

E3 is just around the corner and gaming companies from all over the world are prepping delightful announcements to share with fans. Among them, is Nintendo, and the Big N has just revealed the first details of its E3 2021 showcase. 

The Nintendo Direct E3 edition is set to go down on June 15 at 9 a.m. Pacific / 12 p.m. Eastern. While we don’t know exactly what Nintendo will be sharing, because where is the fun in that, we do know that the showcase is set to last around 40 minutes and will primarily be focused on Nintendo Switch software releasing this year. 

After the main event, there will be around three hours of gameplay shown during the following Nintendo Treehouse Live stream, showing off even more about what will be revealed during E3. 

There have been rumors lately about a possible Nintendo Switch Pro being revealed in the near future. While some trustworthy sources have backed up those claims, it is important to temper those expectations now. The showcase explicitly talks about software, not hardware. That could be a deterrent to save the element of surprise, but nothing concrete has been confirmed at this time regarding any sort of updated Switch system being shown off. 

As for E3 itself, the showcase is set to go live on June 12 and end on the 15th. Microsoft and Bethesda are also teaming up before the fun begins next weekend, kicking off this year’s all-digital festivities. To learn more about what else is happening, including theories on what’s going to be revealed, check out our exclusive E3 2021 hub here to stay in the know as it updates daily. 

What do you hope Nintendo has up its proverbial sleeve for E3 2021? What are you most excited for when it comes to potential reveals? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Valorant Amasses 14 Million Active Players With Plans For A Mobile Port

Valorant, a competitive 5v5 shooter, emphasizes weapon accuracy, advantageous angles, and clutch plays. With a vivid color palette as well as character designs that are reminiscent of other infectious hero-shooters, it’s no wonder that Riot’s team-based title has finally amassed 14 million active players with half a billion games played in the first year. In light of this success, a mobile port is on the way and a month-long celebration is slated to begin.

“One of our top goals this first year was to earn the trust and respect of the global FPS community, and to prove to them that Valorant will always uphold the fundamentals of a truly worthwhile competitive tac-shooter,” stated Executive Producer Anna Donlon. “To see our growing player community recognize and appreciate what we’re trying to do with Valorant is beyond what we could’ve expected and we’re thrilled to soon offer the same competitive Valorant experience to even more global players.”

In response to the good news, Riot is planning to expand Valorant’s horizons by bringing the experience to the small(est) screen with Valorant Mobile. Additionally, players can expect to be flooded with in-game goodies over the course of the month as Riot plans to give its loyal community redeemable player cards, free event passes, and other initiatives. Valorant Mobile doesn’t have a release date/period, but we’ll all likely hear more news when Riot is ready.

Dan Tack appreciated Valorant’s methodical gameplay loop and strategic mechanics concluding his review by stating, “Valorant doesn’t reinvent aspects of core tactical shooters, but it differentiates itself in meaningful ways by giving players new ways to glean information, protect areas, and obscure enemy perception. While Valorant’s characters may be mundane and its modes limited, I had plenty of fun with its precision shooting, careful planning, and soft footsteps.”

Any Valorant players in the comment section planning on enjoying the month-long festivities? And how do you think the game will play on mobile devices?


Valorant Mobile Is Coming, Community Celebrates Over 14 Million Active Players

Valorant, a competitive 5v5 shooter, emphasizes weapon accuracy, advantageous angles, and clutch plays. With a vivid color palette as well as character designs that are reminiscent of other infectious hero-shooters, it’s no wonder that Riot’s team-based title has finally amassed 14 million active players with half a billion games played in the first year. In light of this success, a mobile port is on the way and a month-long celebration is slated to begin.

“One of our top goals this first year was to earn the trust and respect of the global FPS community, and to prove to them that Valorant will always uphold the fundamentals of a truly worthwhile competitive tac-shooter,” stated Executive Producer Anna Donlon. “To see our growing player community recognize and appreciate what we’re trying to do with Valorant is beyond what we could’ve expected and we’re thrilled to soon offer the same competitive Valorant experience to even more global players.”

In response to the good news, Riot is planning to expand Valorant’s horizons by bringing the experience to the small(est) screen with Valorant Mobile. Additionally, players can expect to be flooded with in-game goodies over the course of the month as Riot plans to give its loyal community redeemable player cards, free event passes, and other initiatives. Valorant Mobile doesn’t have a release date/period, but we’ll all likely hear more news when Riot is ready.

Dan Tack appreciated Valorant’s methodical gameplay loop and strategic mechanics concluding his review by stating, “Valorant doesn’t reinvent aspects of core tactical shooters, but it differentiates itself in meaningful ways by giving players new ways to glean information, protect areas, and obscure enemy perception. While Valorant’s characters may be mundane and its modes limited, I had plenty of fun with its precision shooting, careful planning, and soft footsteps.”

Any Valorant players in the comment section planning on enjoying the month-long festivities? And how do you think the game will play on mobile devices?


Crysis Remastered Trilogy Arrives This Fall

Crysis Remastered Trilogy is launching sometime this fall. The package includes last year’s modernized version of Crysis as well as remasters of Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 to run on modern consoles and PC. The bundle is the result of a development partnership between Crytek and Saber Interactive.  

While Crysis Remastered launched as a standalone title last summer, this is the first time that the second and third games have been shined up for a modern encore. Unfortunately, Crytek hasn’t detailed the specific upgrades those games will receive, but Crysis Remastered boasted improved visuals with a resolution up to 8K as well as HDR and ray tracing. While you wait for Crytek to confirm the technical details, you can get a visual sense of the improvements by watching the teaser trailer below.

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If you’ve already experienced Crysis Remastered and just want to play the remaining two games, Crytek states that Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 Remastered will eventually be sold as standalone titles (but doesn’t specify when that will happen). The downside of this package is that none of the games will include their respective multiplayer modes. Still, if you missed out on the Crysis series back in the day, this package offers the perfect opportunity to give it a shot without having to stare at aging visuals.

Crysis Remastered Trilogy is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. There doesn’t appear to be native PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of the game, but Crytek says playing on current-gen hardware via backwards compatibility will offer an even “smoother” experience. There’s no word on price as of yet. For more on the series, you can read our reviews for the original versions of each game down below.

Crysis 2
Crysis 3

Are you excited to blast through the Crysis Trilogy one more time or will you be taking your first trip? Let us know in the comments!


Razer Announces First E3 2021 Showcase

E3 2021 is just around the corner and promises fun game reveals, more than a few surprises, and closer looks at some of the adventures we are most excited about. While we already know the major gaming studios that will be at this year’s showcase, Razer has just announced that it is hosting its first-ever E3 showcase. While we don’t know the full lineup yet, the gaming peripherals company promises some epic news for E3 2021. 

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan announced today that there will be a stunning line of new hardware for Razer to show off later this month. The Razer E3 keynote will be internationally broadcasted with the rest of this year’s showcase with promises of impressive tech to show off and an inside look at the future ahead for the big-name tech company. 

This will mark the first time Razer has had a showcase at E3. The company has been present for the event in the past with booth space and press invites, but never a dedicated showcase purely focused on what’s coming down the pipeline. The company’s E3 presentation is dedicated to showing off Razer’s innovation and goals for the year ahead, as well as a closer look at the most recent plans for the tech brand. 

After Razer’s E3 2021 showcase, the company will be offering an extended RazerStore Live virtual event that will be hosted by “gaming celebrities” and official Razer reps. There will be products reveals, tech displays, and a few surprise giveaways. To learn more, be sure to check out the official blog post from Razer right here. The showcase is set to go live on June 14 at 3 p.m. Pacific. 

Be sure to also mosey on over to our official E3 2021 hub here for more news about this year’s all-digital showcase. 

Are you excited to see what else Razer has in store, or are you more just focused on which games will be revealed? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Longtime Sonic Voice Actor Returning To Role After Vacating Earlier This Year

Earlier this year, voice actor Roger Craig Smith tweeted he was vacating the role of Sonic the Hedgehog after a decade of lending his voice to the character. Smith, who had voiced Sonic in the games and cartoon series since 2010, tweeted a heartfelt goodbye with an image of a broken blue heart in January. Smith followed up that tweet last month with an image of a mended blue heart and the announcement that he is back.

The announcement from Smith came the day before Sonic Central, a livestream event from Sega and Sonic Team announcing several projects and brand collaborations. “I can’t fully express my gratitude for the [Sonic the Hedgehog] crew and community,” the tweet said. “I hope to honor your support and passion as I’m officially back voicing Sonic the Hedgehog in games. Can’t wait for ya to see what we have planned! THANK YOU…from the bottom of my blue heart.”

The following day, when Sonic Central aired on YouTube, Smith was featured in a segment following the announcement of Sonic Colors: Ultimate, a remaster of one of Smith’s first projects as the Blue Blur. Smith appeared on screen to announce Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, a two-part animated series taking place in the world of Sonic Colors. “This two-part animation is the first of some short-form animations coming your way that will feature full dialogue from the Sonic voice cast,” Smith said in the Sonic Central stream. “In this, you follow Sonic and Tails to Sweet Mountain as they meet up with their new friend, the Jade Ghost Wisp, to free all the captured Wisps from the evil Dr. Eggman and his robot henchmen.” 

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen animated shorts from the Sonic universe. In the last few years, we’ve received shorts surrounding the releases of Sonic Mania and Team Sonic Racing. However, those animated shorts were not voiced. With Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, the direction seems to be heading towards the more traditional, voiced approach to animation, featuring the voice actors fans know from the games.

Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps debuts this summer, but that’s not all we’re getting from Sonic over the next several months. Sonic Colors: Ultimate launches on September 7, while we’ll learn more about two other projects coming from Sega with Sonic Origins and the untitled next mainline game from Sonic Team

[Source: Sonic the Hedgehog on YouTube, Roger Craig Smith on Twitter]


Giveaway: Godzilla Vs. Kong Digital Movie

From the Studio: Legends collide as Godzilla and Kong clash in a spectacular battle for the ages. As Monarch embarks on a perilous mission into uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans’ very origins, a human conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever. 

Click to see more!

While it is available for purchase on digital now, we have 10 Godzilla Vs. Kong digital movies to give away, all you need to do is enter below by 6/14/2021 for your chance to win one. You can enter once per day via some methods below. Winners will be selected by random drawing from all eligible entries on or after 6/15/2021 and digital codes will be sent via email. Godzilla Vs. Kong is rated PG-13. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Must be a legal resident of the U.S. age 13 or older to redeem movie code. Full rules available with each entry method below. Good Luck!

MUST REDEEM DIGITAL MOVIE OFFER BY 12/31/2021. Consumer must reside in the U.S. and register for a digital service provider account (go to for a list of digital service providers (e.g., Movies Anywhere). May only include HD Main Feature. NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ALL DEVICES. SOME DISPLAY RESOLUTIONS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING OR DOWNLOAD ON ALL DEVICES FROM ALL DIGITAL SERVICES. Consult your digital service provider for compatible devices, available display resolutions, streaming and download capability and Terms of Service. Ultimate display resolution on playback is dependent upon connection and device characteristics, including screen resolution. High-speed Internet connection required. Go to for additional details, requirements and technical support. Neither Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. nor any affiliate is responsible for maintaining any digital service. THIS DIGITAL MOVIE OFFER MAY NOT BE RESOLD OR OTHERWISE TRANSFERRED


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Battlefield 6 Reveal Set For Next Week Ahead Of E3 2021

There have been so many rumors about what the Battlefield 6 experience will have to offer, but now that we’re in the thick of E3 2021? It’s time to find out for ourselves. Our first look at Battlefield 6 is set for next week, confirming and denying what’s been hot on the latest rumor mill.

The official Battlefield Twitter account shared a small animated teaser for the reveal planned for next Wednesday: 

Our official first look, beyond the leaks and rumors, will kick off on June 9. In the small teaser video above, you can see the Battlefield 6 name glitch into existence with its high-tech aesthetic. The visual appeal of the teaser does fall in line with many of the rumors out there, including previous footage leaks that seemingly confirmed a return to a modern-day storyline. 

While we don’t have any official news to share outside of ahead-of-schedule leaks, we do at least have a time and date for when we will be learning more. The Battlefield 6 reveal is poised to go live on June 9 at 7 a.m. Pacific / 10 a.m. Eastern. 

It’s been a hot minute since a new Battlefield has hit the scene. The last entry was Battlefield 5, a game that was considered a pretty big miss for fans. The last modern-day Battlefield we’ve had was back in 2006, however, as a true sci-fi entry with Battlefield 2142. 

The showcase will likely include a release date, a window that was previously confirmed to be slated for Q3. Electronic Arts also has its own showcase with EA Play in July, a month post-E3, where a more thorough look is also expected. 

What are you hoping to see from Battlefield 6 now that the team has had some time to pull back and restrategize where they want the shooter series to go next? Sound off and join in on the conversation in the comment section below! 


Resident Evil Village Producer Leaves For Bungie As Studio Hires For New ‘Multiplayer Action Game’

We’ve known that Bungie has been working on a new IP for a while now, but it looks like things may just be ramping up. As the studio hires more talent for a new “multiplayer action game,” Bungie also just nabbed some serious talent found in Resident Evil Village producer Peter Fabiano. 

Fabiano has produced several of the most recent Resident Evil games in the Capcom franchise, but after 13 years with the company, he is leaving to pursue new adventures. Namely, Bungie. Fabiano took to Twitter over the weekend to share the news, saying, “Hard to write this best, so I’ve decided to keep it simple: Thank you, everyone, at Capcom for allowing me to grow together with you over the past 12 years. I’m thankful and will cherish the experience forever.” He later added, “I’ve taken a new position at Bungie, working with some great people and continuing my journey.”

Ending with the standard “Eyes up, Guardian” sign-off known to the Destiny franchise, it looks like he could be working on future Destiny 2 expansions and seasonal growth. Or the new IP that Bungie is working on, especially with a plethora of new hiring roles looking to be filled. 

We’ve had several job listings pop up in the past regarding the mysterious new IP.  Outside of it featuring multiplayer, we’ve seen it described as “whimsical,” but more information is not yet known at this time. The folks over at Destiny News were quick to find the new listing, a job post for an “Incubation Sandbox Designer” for a new “multiplayer action game currently in incubation.” Meaning, of course, the studio’s new IP. 

If you think you’ve got the chops, you can scope out the full job listing right here

What do you think about the Resident Evil producer joining the folks over at Bungie? What are you hoping to see from the Seattle-based studio with its new IP? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below! 


E3 2021 Awards Show Will Take Place On Showcase’s Final Day, Celebrating Game Reveals

E3 2021 is just around the corner and promises a ton of game reveals, first looks, and more news for gamers worldwide to feast those eyes on. The all-digital event will have many surprises in store, in addition to the E3 2021 Awards Show celebrating them all at the end of this year’s showcase. 

According to The Hollywood ReporterThe E3 2021 Awards Show will be a small affair, nothing as large as The Game Awards that happen every December. It will be kicking off on June 15, E3’s final day, and will feature an eclectic list of “winners” regarding which titles have the community the most excited. 

“For this year’s event, we are collaborating with editors at some of the world’s leading video game media outlets to create the Official E3 2021 Awards Show, recognizing the show’s most anticipated games,” said Stanley Pierre-Louis, president, and CEO of the ESA, in a recent press statement. “The broadcast is going to be packed with exciting announcements and reveals, and celebrating innovative publishers and developers is an ideal way to close E3 2021.”

The small awards celebration will feature journalists from various sites, including GameSpot and IGN, and will look back at all of the games revealed during the week-long event to close E3 2021 out with a bang. 

E3 2021 officially kicks off on June 12 and will run until June 15, but the show actually gets started a little sooner than that with the Xbox-Bethesda briefing and a few other pre-shows to jumpstart this year’s event. To make sure you’re in the know about everything E3-related, be sure to bookmark our special hub here to keep track of all the reveals and updates before the show begins.

What are you the most excited to see at E3 2021? Any particular rumors that you’re praying end up being true? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Netflix’s The Witcher Prequel, Blood Origin, Reportedly Casts A Familiar Villain From The Games

With Netflix’s The Witcher season 2 preparing for a trailer and release date reveal, the company’s creative team has been hard at work on a different sort of project with the prequel called Blood Origin. We’ve learned a little bit about the upcoming spinoff in the past, but it was recently revealed that a familiar villain from the games will also be sharing that anticipated spotlight. 

According to the folks at Redanian Intelligencethe same site that has given fans first looks at on-set photos of The Witcher season 2, Australia actor Jacob Collins-Levy is set to join the Blood Origin cast as none other than Eredin Breacc Glas. Name sound familiar? It should, especially if you’ve played the games. This Aen Elle elf became the commander of the elven calvary known as the Wild Hunt. As the King of the Wild Hunt, Eredin earned his role after killing his successor, effectively becoming the new leader that sought after young Ciri. 

The latest casting news is interesting, especially with our first look at the Wild Hunt itself with The Witcher season 2 earlier this year. With a different actor reportedly playing the King of the Wild Hunt in season 2 of the main Netflix show, Levy will be playing a younger version of the character in this prequel as the leader of the Red Riders. 

The new series is a six-part live-action spinoff to the ongoing main series that was an instant hit for the streaming service. Blood Origin will be helmed by Declan de Barra alongside showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. 

“As a lifelong fan of fantasy, I am beyond excited to tell the story The Witcher: Blood Origin,” mentioned executive producer Declan de Barra when the prequel was first announced. “A question has been burning in my mind ever since I first read The Witcher books – What was the Elven world really like before the cataclysmic arrival of the humans? I’ve always been fascinated by the rise and fall of civilizations, how science, discovery, and culture flourish right before that fall.”

“I am so thrilled to collaborate with Declan and the Netflix team on The Witcher: Blood Origin,” added showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. “It’s an exciting challenge to explore and expand The Witcher universe created by Andrzej Sapkowski, and we can’t wait to introduce fans to new characters and an original story that will enrich our magical, mythical world even more.”

With Netflix’s The Witcher season 2 back on track and Blood Origin on the way, there will be a lot of coins being tossed in the general direction of witchers in the coming months!

Are you excited to see even more The Witcher goodness on Netflix with Blood Origin? Any other familiar faces you’d like to see make a confirmed appearance? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!


Xbox Game Pass Adding Even More Games, Including For Honor And Darkest Dungeon

Last month, Microsoft revealed quite a few new games joining the Xbox Game Pass’s evolving library. Now that it’s June, the company has revealed even more titles that members can play at no additional cost. 

Like every month, Team Green shares new games that will be a part of the ever-growing library while also showing off what is on its way out to make more room. In addition to the 15 previous titles confirmed, here are what’s on the horizon for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. That includes the previously revealed The Wild at Heart addition, which is a part of Xbox Game Pass starting today. 

What else is coming to Xbox Game Pass:

  • The Wild at Heart (Cloud) – Today
  • For Honor (Cloud and Console) – June 3
  • Backbone (PC) – June 8
  • Darkest Dungeon (Cloud, Console, and PC) – June 10

What’s leaving: 

  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (Console) – June 15
  • Night Call (Cloud, Console, and PC) – June 15
  • West of Dead (Cloud, Console, and PC) – June 15
  • Wizard of Legend (Cloud, Console, and PC) – June 15
  • Observation (Cloud, Console, and PC) – June 15

For those that may still be on the fence about Xbox Game Pass, there are two options to be aware of before diving in. There is the standard Xbox Game Pass experience, which retails for $9.99. Then there is Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which retails for $14.99 and includes Xbox Live. Xbox Live offers its own perks, including free games every month. That being said, the Live online requirement has previously been removed, so the standard membership for Xbox Game Pass is a solid deal for those that may not be looking for additional freebies. 

We’ll be learning more about what else is coming to Xbox Game Pass during the Bethesda hybrid showcase later this month. To learn more about that, you can check out our previous coverage here

Thoughts on the latest Xbox Game Pass additions and how this service continues to evolve? Sound off with those hot takes in the comment section below! 


Zombies Invade London With Watch Dogs: Legion Of The Dead Game Mode, Starting Today

Zombies have officially invaded London with the latest update for Watch Dogs: Legion. The new mode goes live today with update 4.5, and it’s called Legion of the Dead. As the name implies, hackers from around the world must not just deal with the dangers of billion-dollar corporations but also shambling dead people that have no objective other than to simply kill. Sounds fun, right? 

We knew something new was on the way when Ubisoft first revealed the Watch Dogs: Legion roadmap that teased future expansions, new characters, and more. It looks like the studio was one of many to also have the undead on the brain because that’s exactly what the latest hacking game has to offer. 

Click here to watch embedded media

IGN shared a first look at the new mode with over 21 minutes of gameplay footage to enjoy, as seen above. The PvE mode offers a rogue-lite experience for Legion players looking for something a little fresher to enjoy. Ironic that fresh means dead, but hey, it’s a popular genre for a reason. 

Players can go it alone or pal it up with a co-op group of four. No matter how players choose to play, the objective is the same: get to the extraction point safely, no matter the cost. Like many zombie modes out there, you don’t really seem to win; you just do a little bit better each time. Each run will task players with getting to the extraction zone while gathering as many supplies as they can along the way while strategically keeping each other – and themselves – alive. 

Watch Dogs: Legion Legion of the Dead goes live today with update 4.5, though it’s important to remember that this game mode is in Alpha during this time. That also means that this mode is only available for PC at this time, though it will be coming to all platforms after the Alpha test has concluded.

What do you think of the Watch Dogs: Legion of the Dead gameplay shown above? Cool mode addition or waste of time? You decide! Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below, and tell us whether or not you’ll be jumping into the fray. 


Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier Beta Starts Today

Back in March, Square Enix revealed the first Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier beta details and when registration would go live. Now that interested fans have registered for a chance to get their hands on the upcoming mobile adventure early, the First Soldier beta is ready to officially kick off. 

A lot of gamers still groan in disinterest when mobile games come into the conversation, regardless of the IP. That being said, director Tetsuya Nomura has previously revealed why Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier’s battle royale prequel experience is important to the larger remake picture.

When the battle royale take was first announced, Nomura told fans that First Soldier is an attempt to widen the gaming audience beyond just dedicated players of the Final Fantasy franchise. “The First Soldier isn’t limited to FFVII, but the long-lasting IP fanbase has been [fixed]. To be able to appeal to other fanbases has become an issue for us. I have a strong feeling that I can’t get fid of the big sign ‘FFVII’ and I am developing Final Fantasy VII: The First Solider with the spirit of participating in the hottest genre as a full challenger.” 

Click here to watch embedded media

He also promised fans that this wasn’t some cheap cash grab for a mobile port, instead the team wanted to offer a visually stunning experience that pairs with the Final Fantasy universe flawlessly while also offering up something new. But, it is a mobile game, which means it won’t exactly be everyone’s cup of tea. For those interested, however, the Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier beta is available starting today and will conclude on June 7 on Android and iOS devices. 

While we await to see what fan feedback is regarding The First Solider, we can also prepare to learn more information information about Final Fantasy VII: Remake Part 2, Intergrade, and Ever Crisis in the coming months.

What are your expectations going into the Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier beta? Are you interested in seeing the mobile battle royale take, or are you hunkered down waiting for Part 2 news for the Remake? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!


Borderlands Movie Reveals First Look At Cate Blanchett As Lilith

Eli Roth’s Borderlands movie has certainly built up an eclectic cast to bring some of Gearbox’s most iconic characters to life. While we are likely still a ways off from an actual trailer showing off what’s to come, we do have our first look at Cate Blancett as Lilith from the upcoming Borderlands movie, thanks to fellow cast member Jamie Lee Curtis.

Curtis took to Twitter to share a shadowed look at Lilith, saying, “Welcome to Borderlands and a secret BTS shot I took of Lilith, our legendary heroine, psycho blasting, vault hunting vixen with attitude.” 

Director Eli Roth has taken on this project of bringing the world of Borderlands to the big screen with a cast teeming with talent and surprise character picks. Other confirmed actors for the upcoming film include: 

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

As teased in the above Twitter post,  the upcoming Borderlands movie will star Lilith, played by Blanchett herself. This infamous outlaw has a past she’s not ready for people to uncover, especially when she’s forced to return to Pandora to find Atlas’ lost daughter. To complete her latest mission, she must team up with some of the best of the best. That includes the adorably badass Tiny Tina, the annoying-yet-helpful Claptrap, and so many others. The upcoming movie, much like the games themselves, involves a few redemption arcs, some crass jokes, and a tenuous grip on sanity. The fate of the entire universe is in their hands; it’s up to this group to band together and save the day. Again. 

With the Borderlands franchise having done wonders for the looter shooter genre, it will be interesting to see Roth’s take on the famous Gearbox world. We don’t have a release window at this time, but the movie itself has reportedly begun filming earlier this year in Budapest

Thoughts on the Borderlands movie cast so far? Any particular actor you’d rather see cast instead? Shout out those thoughts loud and proud in the comments below; we’d love to hear what you think! 


PlayStation Now Adds The Witcher 3, Sonic, Slay The Spire, And More In June

While Xbox Game Pass often steals all the headlines thanks to its onslaught of games added over the last couple of years, Sony has been making some big additions to its PlayStation Now service as well. The company today announced the additions coming for the month of June, and the offerings are looking rather strong for those who subscribe to the service.

The headliner is certainly The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition. Those who haven’t already played The Witcher 3 are in for a treat, as this bundle not only includes one of the best games of last generation, but also all 16 pieces of DLC and the two award-winning expansion packs: Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was immediately one of the most memorable experiences in gaming history when it released, and it has only gotten better in the time since. You can read our review of the base game here. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is available until September 6, and it’s a huge game, so plan on starting sooner rather than later.

Sonic Mania

Next up is a trio of Sonic games to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Blue Blur. Sonic Mania is not only a terrific celebration of the hedgehog’s past featuring classic level design, timeless music, and Genesis-inspired graphics, but arguably one of the best Sonic games to date. Sonic Forces released alongside Sonic Mania in 2017, and while it wasn’t as well received as the more traditional platformer, it’s not without its share of high-speed thrills. Finally, Sonic’s most recent racing outing, Team Sonic Racing, rounds out the hedgehog hijinks. You can read our review of Sonic Mania here, Sonic Forces here, and Team Sonic Racing here.

We loved Slay the Spire when it first launched and it’s great that more people will be able to play it thanks to PlayStation Now. Build your deck from a selection of hundreds of cards and tackle ever-changing layouts and escalating battles. The fascinating fusion of genres transcends the typical niche appeal to hook players of varying interests and inspire them to climb the deadly spire over and over again. Learn more about Slay the Spire in our review here. Slay the Spire will be available on PlayStation Now until December 6.

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire

Rounding out this month’s list is Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown and Car Mechanic Simulator. Virtua Fighter 5 is largely revered as one of the best 3D fighters, but this is hardly a huge get for PlayStation Now subscribers, as it will already be available at no additional cost to PlayStation Plus members this month. Meanwhile, Car Mechanic Simulator appears to do what the name implies, allowing you to repair, paint, tune, and drive cars as you build your repair service business.

Streaming for PlayStation Now supports up to 1080p resolution to PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 consoles, as well as PC, though resolution will depend largely on your internet connection. 

Are you a PlayStation Now subscriber? Are you looking forward to playing any of these games starting next month? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!


Far Cry 6 Narrative Director: ‘Our Story Is Political’

In the past, many developers have been hesitant to call their game “political” for fear of pushback from parts of the gaming community. Ubisoft has been guilty of that in the past, but following an out-of-context quote that circulated last Friday where Far Cry 6 narrative director Navid Khavari said the team didn’t want to deal specifically with the politics of Cuba, Khavari has come out and said, in no uncertain terms, that the story of Far Cry 6 is political.

Taking to a blog post on the Ubisoft website, Khavari starts the post with a blunt declaration about the politics of its upcoming game. You can read the full, unabridged text from the blog post, titled “The Politics of Far Cry 6,” below.

Our story is political.

A story about a modern revolution must be. There are hard, relevant discussions in Far Cry 6 about the conditions that lead to the rise of fascism in a nation, the costs of imperialism, forced labor, the need for free-and-fair elections, LGBTQ+ rights, and more within the context of Yara, a fictional island in the Caribbean. My goal was to empower our team to be fearless in the story we were telling, and we worked incredibly hard to do this over the last five years. We also tried to be very careful about how we approached our inspirations, which include Cuba, but also other countries around the world that have experienced political revolutions in their histories.

In our approach we made sure to seek creators and collaborators for our team who can speak personally to the history and cultures of the regions we were inspired by. We also brought on experts and consultants to examine the game story multiple times over the course of the project to make sure it was being told with sensitivity. It is not for me to decide if we succeeded, but I can say we absolutely tried.

The conversations and research done on the perspectives of those who fought revolutions in the late 1950s, early 1960s, and beyond are absolutely reflected in our story and characters. But if anyone is seeking a simplified, binary political statement specifically on the current political climate in Cuba, they won’t find it. I am from a family that has endured the consequences of revolution. I have debated revolution over the dinner table my entire life. I can only speak for myself, but it is a complex subject that should never be boiled down to one quote.

What players will find is a story that’s point-of-view attempts to capture the political complexity of a modern, present-day revolution within a fictional context. We have attempted to tell a story with action, adventure, and heart, but that also isn’t afraid to ask hard questions. Far Cry is a brand that in its DNA seeks to have mature, complex themes balanced with levity and humor. One doesn’t exist without the other, and we have attempted to achieve this balance with care. My only hope is that we are willing to let the story speak for itself first before forming hard opinions on its political reflections.

Thank you for reading.

Navid Khavari
Narrative Director, Far Cry 6

A story about a rising revolution in a nation slipping into fascism is ripe for storytelling, but also impossible to tell a meaningful story within the confines of avoiding the political overtones of such a situation. It seems as though Khavari recognizes that, and hopefully Ubisoft will allow the team to fully explore the themes it wants to with this game. Far Cry 6 launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, and Mac on October 7. For more on Far Cry 6, check out our preview from last week.

[Source: Ubisoft]


PowerA’s Fusion Pro Is A Great Wireless Controller For Nintendo Switch

When the Nintendo Switch launched in 2017, players were given a choice of how they wanted to play with Nintendo’s fledgling hybrid system. However, those who wanted a better gamepad experience than the Joy-Cons could offer needed to pick up the official Switch Pro Controller, which better emulated the traditional offerings from consoles like the Xbox One. In the time since the system’s launch, we’ve seen a few companies attempt to deliver a competent third-party experience, but to this point, most (if not all) have fallen short of Nintendo’s first-party offering. One of those companies, PowerA, has pulled out all the stops, finally giving the first-party Switch Pro Controller a run for its money.

The PowerA Fusion Pro Enhanced Wireless Controller delivers most of the bells and whistles you’d want from a premium gamepad. This weighty controller sits nicely in your hands and features the standard button layout gamers have grown accustomed to with four primary face buttons, two shoulder buttons, two triggers, a d-pad, and offset analog sticks. Unlike the first-party Switch Pro controller, the PowerA Fusion Pro features a textured grip, making it more comfortable to hold in your hands. To top it off, the controller features Bluetooth 5.0 technology, a 10-foot cable if you prefer to plug in, and a 3.5mm audio jack for when you’re playing in wired mode. 

Unfortunately, the Fusion Pro, like the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, only supports digital triggers (not sensitive to varying degrees of pressure). In addition, the Fusion Pro does not support rumble in gameplay; if actually feeling the impact of the on-screen action in your hands is a big part of gaming for you, then perhaps this controller isn’t for you. However, the controller improves on several key areas that I didn’t miss the rumble as much as I thought I would going in.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



The Fusion Pro also offers a ton of customization options. As with other modern premium controllers, you can swap out the analog sticks; if the standard-length, concave sticks aren’t to your liking, you can equip longer sticks or even a convex stick to ensure the best feel on your thumbs. My personal loadout is to have a short concave stick on the left, a long concave stick on the right, a white faceplate, and no back paddles (more on those later). 

With third-party controller customization, the process can sometimes be a bit convoluted, requiring the use of special pack-in tools or even a screwdriver. The Fusion Pro lets you easily slide off the faceplate and then detach the stick you want to replace with limited fuss. Then, thanks to the fact that the sticks are attached under the faceplate, once you have the new face in place, the sticks are secure. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve knocked an analog stick off the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller since it just uses a strong magnet to keep the sticks in place, so I appreciate the security of the sticks on the Fusion Pro. 

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller offers terrific battery life with its built-in rechargeable pack, and the PowerA Fusion Pro is no different. Across several play sessions, I never even received a low-battery notification. After a couple weeks of use, I eventually plugged it in to allow it to charge before I woke up the next morning for another marathon gaming session. The company says a single charge can last 20 hours, and from my experience, that estimate might be a little on the low end.

The Fusion Pro controller may look good sitting on your coffee table and feel good resting in your hands, but where the Fusion Pro really sets itself apart is in how it plays. Testing it out through a diverse list of Switch mainstays, I never had a bad experience. Whether I was taking down Calamity Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or platforming through some of the more challenging sequences of Super Mario 3D World, I always felt in full control of my character.

One of the biggest problems with Nintendo’s Pro Controller is the mushy and imprecise d-pad. The d-pad on the first-party Switch Pro Controller is so bad that I avoid playing games like Tetris 99 with it. However, the Fusion Pro fixes this problem and then some. Putting the d-pad to the test, I replayed through the entirety of Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2 in the Switch’s classic games catalog. Using the PowerA controller, I was able to precisely platform through Mario’s most formative playgrounds, never feeling like the d-pad was to blame for any of my lost lives. Even if the other improvements over the Switch Pro Controller weren’t present, the Fusion Pro d-pad offers such an improvement, I’d still prefer it over the standard first-party offering.

I was initially skeptical of the very concept of back paddles, but after playing Overwatch for hundreds of hours with the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, it’s tough for me to play a competitive shooter without them. I fired up my favorite first-person shooter on Switch to test out the paddles Fusion Pro. The custom mapping process isn’t as intuitive as the Xbox Elite (which has its own native app), but it was far from painless; you just have to hold down a button on the back, press the face button you want to map, then press the paddle you want to map it to. 

Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of the back paddles on the Fusion Pro. The paddles protrude just a touch more than those on the Xbox Elite Series 2, meaning I accidentally pressed them somewhat often. Even when I wasn’t accidentally triggering them, the way they sit in my hand wasn’t nearly as comfortable as I’d like. Thankfully, you can easily remove them from the controller with a press of a button, and replace the gap with a smooth cover to make it feel like a normal gamepad. Once I did that, the controller quickly became my favorite to use with the Switch.

Though I prefer the Fusion Pro over the standard Switch Pro controller, it does come at a cost. The first-party Switch Pro controller retails for $70 (though you can find deals on it pretty regularly), while the PowerA Fusion Pro will set you back $99. In my experience, between the much better d-pad, the improved handle grip, and the customization options, the Fusion Pro is well worth the higher price point.


CD Projekt Profits Drop As Cyberpunk 2077 Remains Off PlayStation Store

Following a launch that sparked massive backlash from the gaming community, CD Projekt’s Cyberpunk 2077 was removed from the PlayStation Store’s digital marketplace and those who purchased it were offered the opportunity to receive a refund. The game is still unavailable for purchase from the PlayStation Store today, and CD Projekt is feeling the effects as it reports its quarterly profits.

CD Projekt SA’s profit fell more than half from a year earlier, Reuters reports. While the company did not say how many copies of Cyberpunk 2077 it sold during the quarter, it says that approximately 60 percent of first-quarter sales came from Cyberpunk 2077. Overall net profit at the Polish company fell 64.7 percent to 32.5 million zlotys (just below $8.9 million). Going in, analysts projected 80 million zlotys, but Cyberpunk 2077 development expenditures plus work on post-launch fixes have greatly impacted that. CD Projekt revenue also dropped by 2 percent. Reuters also reports that CD Projekt’s shares have dropped more than 60 percent in value from their all-time high value during last year’s lead up to Cyberpunk 2077’s launch.

In March, CD Projekt said the return to the PlayStation Store was close to happening, but to this day, it remains delisted from the platform’s digital storefront. “The general situation as long as we are not back on the Sony store has not changed,” a company official said on today’s conference call. “One of the leading marketplaces for us is not available and we generate most of the sales on the PC/digital channels.”

In response to the Cyberpunk 2077 backlash, CD Projekt is planning to make some changes to its business and the way it operates. According to the report, the company plans to move toward a parallel development process where it will create multiple high-budget projects at the same time beginning in 2022. In addition, the company will begin looking for merger and acquisition opportunities.

Cyberpunk 2077 launched on December 10, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC. While we came away impressed by the PC version we played prior to release (read our review of that version here), the console version, which CD Projekt did not provide advance access to, was in a completely different state (read our review of that version here). This resulted in fans pushing back against the company and CD Projekt apologizing for the low-quality experience on consoles.

Cyberpunk 2077 is currently available to purchase digitally for Xbox One, Stadia, and PC, though a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S version is planned for 2021. CD Projekt also plans to release a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S version of its most beloved title, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, during the calendar year.

[Source: Reuters]


Several Older Need For Speed Games Delisted Today, Taken Offline This Fall

The current Need for Speed game may be in limbo at present so developer Criterion can help out with the Battlefield franchise, but Electronic Arts has announced it is sunsetting several older Need for Speed titles. Not only will the the five affected Need for Speed games no longer have access to their online features when the sunset occurs this fall, but they are also delisted from digital storefronts effective today. 

According to a Reddit post from community manager Max Myrus, Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed, and Need for Speed: The Run are getting delisted today. After today’s delisting and closure of the in-game storefronts, players can access the online components until August 31. Beginning September 1, 2021, the online servers will close and players will be restricted to the offline modes.

“Decisions to retire games are never made easy, but we are now shifting gears to focus on the future of Need for Speed,” the post from Myrus said. “The development teams and operational staff have put a lot of time and passion into the development, creation, release, and upkeep of the game over the years, and we love to see you play. But the number of players has come to a point where it’s no longer feasible to continue the work behind the scenes required to keep Need for Speed Carbon, Need for Speed Undercover, Need for Speed Shift, Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed and Need for Speed The Run up and running.”

While servers for older games coming offline is no rare occurrence, the abrupt, same-day delisting with next to no warning is unfortunate for those who want to add the titles to their libraries. Thankfully, you can still track down the physical versions of the games if you wish to play. Of the games listed, the most recent is Need for Speed: The Run, which released in November 2011, meaning the games are all at least nearly a decade old. 

If you own these games, you have until August 31 to enjoy the online offerings. After that, you can still play the offline elements of those games. The post from the community manager recommends players who want to keep racing online pick up some of the newer titles including Need for Speed Most Wanted (2012), Need for Speed Rivals, Need for Speed (2015), Need for Speed Payback, Need for Speed Heat, and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered. The next Need for Speed game is currently set to launch in 2022.

[Source: Reddit]


Two Point Campus Leaked In Microsoft Store Listing

The studio behind Two Point Hospital is ready to take us back to school according to a leak from the Microsoft Store. We largely enjoyed Two Point Hospital when it launched in 2018, as the game harkened back to the nostalgic delights of Theme Hospital, so when the Microsoft Store leaked that Two Point Studios is gearing up to announce a university management game, I was immediately on board. 

The Microsoft Store listing (now taken down) was documented by several users across various forums, including Resetera and Quarter To Three. Those users not only grabbed the screenshots from the listing, but also the text from the product description. As the name implies, Two Point Campus allows you to build a university however you want, all with the signature Two Point Studios humor. 

According to the copied text from the forum users, you can build the university of your dreams, then populate it with students, faculty, and staff. Each student has a personality with wants and needs for you to fulfill. In addition to constructing buildings and laying out the campus itself, you can also design your curriculum by choosing courses and hiring the best staff you can.

Two Point Campus offers new creative tools for players to take of advantage of en route to building an academic institution that can withstand the test of time. In addition to laying out the buildings and constructing the soon-to-be hallowed halls of their university, players can also design the outdoor space of the campus, ensuring students have plenty to do and are happy. Players can get as detailed as they want with mechanics that enable them to drill down to placing every tree or constructing pathways with a new easy-to-use tool. According to the leaked product listing, players can also place benches, fountains, sculptures, hedgerows, and picket fences. 

With the Two Point name comes the Two Point humor and twists. The curricula available seem to reflect that, as students probably won’t be studying business or engineering on your Two Point Campus. Instead, it looks like your academic offerings consist of things like Knight School, where they learn to joust, and Gastronomy, where they learn to make things like giant pizzas and pies. 

You can prepare for the students’ arrival during summer break. During this time, you can build libraries, hire staff, add your favorite courses, and unlock the academic potential for the soon-to-arrive students. You can also offer clubs, societies, gigs, and more to help the students stay happy, develop relationships, and make sure they have fun in addition to learning.

Two Point Hospital launched in 2018 for PC, Mac, and Linux, but made the leap to consoles in 2020. No additional information on Two Point Campus is available at this time.

[Source: Microsoft via Resetera]


Double Fine’s Approach To Crunch And Labor

Double Fine founder Tim Schafer used to tell people he didn’t have any regrets; he’s been able to make all the things he wanted to make. But as he got older, his feelings changed. In his career, Schafer both participated in and encouraged brutal periods of crunch on various game development projects. Reflecting on it now, he says he has a lot of regrets about what he put his teams through.

“When it’s just yourself, you can throw yourself against the task as hard as you can,” Schafer says. “‘All day and all night, I’m going to push this rock. Ahhh! I’m going to give it my all.’ And then as I got more into a role where I was managing and designing and there were other people doing the gameplay programming stuff, now you’re pushing on a soft person who’s against the rock. So you can, like, squish them and kill them if you push too hard.”

Schafer’s career began in the nascent years of the game industry; his first job was at LucasArts, the game development division of Lucasfilm, in 1989. While many large companies made games at this time – Schafer worked for George Lucas’ company, after all – video games were still a hobbyist medium, made for and by hobbyists. Common labor practices of other industries weren’t present in the burgeoning game industry – which was full of people making tentpole games at home with friends, such as the original Doom, developed by id Software and released in 1993.

At the time, working day and night on video games, even at the cost of personal wellness, was just what game developers did. As Schafer tells it, it never occurred to him to be upset over the hours he put in at LucasArts. Working on point-and-click adventure games, such as Escape From Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango, and Full Throttle, Schafer worked countless hours, because that was the job.

“I had no life,” Schafer recalls. “I was working on Grim Fandango until, like, three at night, seven days a week. All I did was be in the office writing dialogue all the time.”

Double Fine Productions
Grim Fandango

It’s worth pointing out, Schafer still speaks highly of his time at LucasArts; in a lot of ways, it made his career. He also says that if he wasn’t working on the games, he would have just gone home, watched TV, and ate Chinese food. “Like, it’s not that big a loss,” Schafer says about the time. But in 2000, Schafer left LucasArts and founded his own studio, Double Fine Productions. The first game the company worked on, the 2005 cult classic Psychonauts, had an abysmal development cycle. “In fact, the Grim crunch mode was nothing compared to the Psychonauts’ crunch mode,” Schafer says. “So it got even worse, just like you would imagine.”

More than 15 years later, Schafer and members of the development team still talk about how miserable the production was at times. A big issue was, as a brand-new studio, the team had little experience with 3D platformers. It was also making its own engine at the time and learning at a basic level what kind of company Double Fine even was. While ultimately the finished product turned out great and the team still speaks fondly about the completed game, the making of Psychonauts fundamentally altered Double Fine forever. Starting on the company’s second project, Brütal Legend, Schafer claims Double Fine tried to fight and curb crunch modes entirely. “We really reduced it on each project,” he says. “We’ve been able to bring it down and mostly get rid of it.”

“Whenever there’s crunch mode, it means a mistake has been made somewhere,” Schafer says.

For the last several years, crunch has been a hot-button topic in the game industry. As games get harder to make and opinions on work-life balance change, many studios have been called out for their labor practices. Rockstar Games, Naughty Dog, CD Projekt Red, and many other massive game companies have all come under fire when it comes to crunch. Where the game industry used to be full of young people making games in their homes, it’s now a billion-dollar global industry, employing hundreds of thousands of people. In a lot of ways, the labor expectations of decades past, when a game was made by a few people, haven’t scaled to meet the dynamic and changing needs of a workforce of thousands of developers who all have their own private lives, needs, and backgrounds. The game industry has yet to successfully unionize, either, which could better protect employees from exploitative labor practices such as crunch.

Double Fine Productions

The fact that a company like Double Fine is being as frank as it is about crunch and labor – with the press and with its own employees ­– is sadly rarer than it should be. Outside of exposés, crunch is often a hidden issue, kept away from the public eye. Double Fine is not only frank about its own issues with crunch and hopeful solutions,  but some people within the company don’t exactly pull punches when talking about crunch within the game industry at large.

“I feel like the industry kind of just leans on that,” Schafer says. “I think that’s where it’s actually evil, when you know, your big company kind of banks on that. And they know they’re going to lay off the team afterward, so it just doesn’t matter what they do to morale, you know? So that’s where the problems come from.”

“I do feel that when I worked at other companies – and I’m not going to name any names – I do feel like there were times where the culture and the fundamental planning for a game was built around making people work 60 to 80 hours a week for months on end, and that was built into the schedule,” adds Double Fine artist Lee Petty. “That was extremely prevalent in the industry. It still is. It’s less prevalent and now it gets hidden and lied about in various ways. That’s terrible. That’s a terrible cost to a human being.”

At Double Fine, mitigating crunch essentially comes down to planning and money. On a game like Brütal Legend, for example, the company partnered with its publisher EA, a move Schafer says was to secure the money Double Fine needed for the ambitious scope of the project without having to crunch the team to meet those demands. More recently, before it was acquired by Microsoft in 2019, Double Fine cut the boss fights from Psychonauts 2 because it didn’t have the resources to finish those gameplay sequences – something it was able to reimplement after the buyout.

Schafer disputes the idea that crunch is inevitable. But it is something a studio needs to prioritize. Human beings work for game development studios, and guaranteeing their quality-of-life, not sacrificing it for a commercial product, is part of running and managing a company.

“You have to see that dial as not moveable,” Schafer says. “You’re like, ‘Okay, we’re up against the gun. The schedule can’t move because the marketing plans are in order. The quality can’t move because we can’t make something bad. The budget – there’s no more money. You can’t move these dials. Well, there’s the quality of life of the team dial. Let’s just move that way down and then we’ll get all this more time.’ People always see that as a dial that’s movable because you have the authority to make people feel like they should work. You just have to set that as a rule that that’s not movable either. In the end, you often move all the dials a little bit. You get a little bit more money, little more time, or you plan better so you don’t have to do these kinds of trade-offs.”

Double Fine Productions
Psychonauts 2

Petty, who’s worked in the game industry for 25 years and been with Double Fine since Brütal Legend, says he’s seen Psychonauts 2 handled better than any project before it at Double Fine. Schafer and other management have made avoiding crunch a top priority, he says. And while he feels great about that movement, he adds, “I feel like there’s always improvement that can be done.”

These points are all echoed by newer members of Double Fine’s staff. During a recent period of burnout, content and community manager Heather Alexandra, who also wrote about crunch during her time as a journalist for Kotaku, was told by her boss to take time off. “And I think in other places, if you were working in Business Unit C of ward nine, whatever, that just wouldn’t happen,” Alexandra says. “But here, it’s a thing that can happen because people do look out for each other.”

Other employees bring up similar stories, being told to take time off by bosses or superiors when they’ve put extra time in on a project. Similarly, sometimes if someone is staying at work late, they will also be told to just go home.

“The only time I’ve ever stayed late is because I, personally, was like, ‘I really want to get this thing done,’” says senior systems programmer Aaron Jacobs. “In those few cases when that has happened and I have decided to stay late, I will, at the time, often get pressure from people to go home.”

While Double Fine has certainly found a better balance in this area, that’s not to say the studio is perfect and there isn’t room for improvement. Challenges continue to arise, especially in the last year, when the workforce shifted to working from home due to the ongoing global pandemic. It’s harder to keep an eye on every employee when they’re no longer sitting next to you in an office. If someone does a bit of extra work at night instead of watching Netflix, does that count as crunch? What if someone works better at night than they do during normal work hours? Do you try and mitigate that? As Double Fine keeps addressing its relationship to crunch while also navigating a changing world, these are the questions newer employees bring up when asked about Double Fine’s labor practices, on top of whether a project inherently encourages crunch – despite management’s best efforts.

Double Fine Productions
Psychonauts 2

“I think there are ways to improve,” says senior concept artist Gianna Ruggiero. “Even though we are a culture that we don’t condone crunch, is the project itself making it stressful for people to feel like they need to crunch? And if that is happening, how are we addressing that? And I don’t think that’s something that Double Fine is that aware of yet.”

“Psychonauts [2], we keep extending when this thing is coming out,” Ruggiero continues. “And there are reasons for that. And there are stresses on people. That’s something that I think we could be better at doing, is understanding and mitigating those stresses on people.”

It stands to reason that after 15 years of striving to limit crunch, Double Fine will continue to reevaluate, reassess, and work on its relationship with labor going forward. Talking to people from the studio, especially on Psychonauts 2, it seems to be a sizable pillar of the company’s overall culture and development philosophies. Schafer admits he is still learning; it’s an ongoing process. But at the very least, where other companies have often failed, Double Fine has created a workplace that tries to put the individual needs of its employees first. It’s a game development studio making commercial products, but that studio is made of human beings. That’s not lost on the brass within Double Fine.

“I think prioritizing people is something that Double Fine does a good job at,” says environment artist Janice Bell. “Because it just feels like a lot of other studios see their people as assets, where Double Fine is the first studio I’ve worked at where they actually see you as people, important parts of the studio with views that matter and input that matter[s].”


Far Cry 6 Collector’s Edition Revealed, Pre-Orders Now Live

We’ve got adorable puppy dogs, enhanced weapon crafting, a power-crazed dictator on the cusp of losing his power; Far Cry 6 has it all. For those that are excited about the next Ubisoft adventure, the Far Cry 6 Collector’s Edition is now available to pre-order. Not big into collectibles? There are other versions, as well. Here’s what you need to know. 

For those that pre-order Far Cry 6, you get a special skin for the adorable Chorizo wiener dog that stole the show. You can also get the Discos Locos deadly disc launcher, as well. The pre-order bonus for the game is called the Libertad Pack. 

Far Cry 6 Standard Edition – $60

  • Base game
  • Pre-order bonuses 

Far Cry 6 Gold Edition – $100 – $110

  • Base game
  • Pre-order bonuses
  • Season Pass
    • 3 DLCs
      • Beware the Dictator 
      • The Jewel of the Carribean
      • A Nation Stranded in the Past
  • For $110, you can get a steelbook

Far Cry 6 Ultimate Edition – $120

  • Base game
  • Pre-order bonuses
  • Season Pass
  • Three skins
    • Croc Hunter
    • Vice
    • Jungle Expedition

Far Cry 6 Collector’s Edition – $200

  • Base game
  • Pre-order bonuses
  • Season Pass
  • The skins mentioned above
  • Tostador 72cm flamethrower replica
  • Far Cry 6 64-page art book
  • “How to assemble” print
  • Steelbook
  • 10 stickers
  • Soundtrack
  • Chorizo keychain
  • World map

We learned a lot today about Far Cry 6 with stunning new gameplay, including how youc an choose from a puppers or vicious crocodile as a partner in crime and how you can craft weapons to your heart’s content. The adventure kicks off on October 7, will you be taking part? 


The Last Of Us TV Series: Every Character Casting Confirmed So Far

HBO is adapting the Naughty Dog universe of The Last of Us, starring The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal as Joel himself. With more casting news on the way, we decided to compile all of the confirmed casting choices so far, and we will update it as more are revealed in the coming months. For those curious, here is every character casting confirmed for The Last of Us TV series from HBO. 

The Last of Us TV series just recently added two new directors with Jasmila Žbanić (Aida) and Ali Abbasi (Border). The pair joins Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin and Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann. The casting choices for the most notable characters can be seen in the list below:

Every The Last of Us TV series character casting confirmed so far

This is a much shorter list than what we have for the upcoming Borderlands movie from Eli Roth, however, more casting choices will be revealed in the near future. We still don’t have a trailer at this point, but at least we aren’t totally in the dark about what’s on the horizon.  Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann previously confirmed that the upcoming adaptation would feature original content alongside the already-known game narrative that made the first title a PlayStation insta-hit. 

“We talked at length that season 1 of The Last of Us series is going to be the first game,” Druckmann mentioned in a previous interview“As far as the superficial things, like should a character wear the same plaid shirt or the same red shirt? They might or might not appear in it; that’s way less important to us than getting the core of who these people are and the core of their journey. Things sometimes stay pretty close. It’s funny to see my dialogue there from the games in HBO scripts. And sometimes they deviate greatly to much better effect because we are dealing with a different medium.”

Hopefully, with more and more progress being made towards getting a full cast and crew, we’ll have something to see this Summer. The E3 window is just around the corner; the perfect time for Sony to showcase some new games and possibly a first look at the upcoming TV series. 

With only three names confirmed thus far, it does beg the question: Who else would you like to see cast? Would you recast anyone confirmed up until this point? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Mass Effect’s Jennifer Hale And Courtenay Taylor On The Challenges Of Bringing Certain Characters To Life

Click to watch embedded media

With the Mass Effect Legendary Edition out now, so many seasoned fans are jumping back to board the Normandy once more to revisit familiar planets and say hello to old friends. More than that, however, newcomers to this beloved franchise are diving in for the first time, experiencing a new adventure, one that has touched so many lives throughout the years. With so many characters that have come to feel like family so many, what about the voices behind those friendly faces? We sat down with Jennifer Hale, who plays Commander Jane Shepard (among other roles) in the franchise, and Courtenay Taylor, who famously brought Jack to life, to learn a little more about the process behind the creation. We already knew it wasn’t easy, but some of what we learned is good insight that applies to many aspects of life. 

When going a little deeper into the voice acting side of games, Taylor mentioned that it’s still hard not to be self-critical, no matter the years of experience under her belt. “It’s hard, honestly. I’ve tried to give this up the further into my career I get, but it’s really hard for me not to be self-critical,” she tells Game Informer. “I am trying to be more gentle with myself, but there is no way for you to do this job where you get so little information from the start, and then to be able to know the whole story and see who is who and everything like that and to not go back and be like ‘ah, you know what, I think I have should have done this instead.’ It’s just the level of information we are working with, it’s generally very small.”

She adds, “So how you come out the other side? It’s not like watching a movie where you’re like, ‘Oh, I know what the script was.’ [Voice acting] is sort of all over the place, and it’s really hard to focus when it’s you.” 

Hale jumped in, saying, “Yeah! I think that’s one for the things that people may not realize. It’s that this job, you know, game acting 85% of the time is what we call cold reading, you don’t get the script ahead of the time [like movie actors do]. And even when you get the script, it’s an Excel spreadsheet with just your lines, it doesn’t have the context, it doesn’t have what just happened; there are all these questions before you say each line, which is obviously, you know, ‘who am I? What do I want? Who am I talking to? What just happened? What’s going on between me and them? What’s the arc of our story together? Where are we? Did I just meet them or did they just try to kill me?’ There are all of these branching storylines that we just don’t know. It’s insane. Now we walk in, there it is on the monitor.” 

She laughed, adding, “God bless the voice directors. We can ask them, sometimes, what just happened? They’ll say this and that and then we just do it. Sometimes we’ll do it a couple of times. Maybe if we’re really fancy, six or seven times, maybe eight. Usually between two to four, though. And then it goes off to the market and it’s out of our hands.”

Hrayr Movsisyan

Taylor adds, “You do have a voice director, and there are some amazing ones out there. I think Jen [Hale] would agree with me how important it is to have someone that can synthesize this process because these ‘game bibles’ are huge. They’re massive, and even if you could read them, as an actor, you would never be able to remember. This is like a movie that you are walking through and meeting 100 different people and having relationships. So to have a voice director who can not only synthesize the writers in the room, the actual material that’s coming down the pipeline that can be written as we’re just going along. And then wrangling actors who, you know, can be crazy and sensitive, and to be able to put all of that together and make it better? It’s awesome.”

Hale also adds that Mass Effect was a great example of how a phenomenal voice director can make or break an experience. One thing the trilogy is hailed for (Hale’d, if you will) is it’s organic and natural-feeling and sounding dialogue. The angry moments are so angry. The vulnerable moments are so vulnerable. The fight-to-survive moments? Unbeatable. A lot of that is the talent, absolutely, but bringing it all together is very much on the voice directors, as well. According to Hale, the voice directors for Mass Effect were able to “synthesize” flawlessly, she was even allowed to voice alongside Mark Meer, the actor behind Commander John Shepard, to make sure that the experience between the two gender options felt in harmony, versus like two completely different games. 

What was interesting to me when chatting with these two incredible women was just how much Taylor related to Jack as a character. I’ve mentioned before in an earlier Yakuza feature about what it was like to grow up homeless and always on the cusp of dangerous situations, and that’s something that has made me, as a fan, relate to Jack. She was abused, tormented, used. She fought for her right to survive, and that hardened her in a lot of ways. While Taylor had her own battles, her own hardships and punk-rock nature helped her bring Jack to life in a way that I don’t think anyone else could have. 

When I asked Taylor, after learning about how little information voice actors sometimes get, how she made Jack her own, she mentioned that she did already have her backstory, and that helped. That being said, she immediately connected to her when she received the script. After seeing Jack’s visuals and how she looked when she was introduced in Mass Effect 2, Taylor mentioned that got her the most excited. When she first saw Jack in all of her shaved-head glory, a connection was made. 

Game Informer

“I was so excited,” says tells Game Informer. “Because actually, I did shave my head back in high school. The school I went to was very strict, so when I dyed my hair pink, they removed me until I had my natural hair color back. So I just shaved my head. They were not happy about that, but I was like, ‘hey, man, this came out it’s natural to shave.’ I also had a mohawk in high school, stuff like that. It made me feel like this was kind of kismet. You know, the magic of voice acting isn’t actually magic, it’s a lot of hard work, it’s taking a lot of classes, it’s being in touch with your emotions, it’s all the things that make up a bigger picture.”

She continued, saying, “For me personally, the connection with Jack was that I had gone through – obviously not anything like [the character] did – but I did have a hard time in school. I had funny hair colors. Back then, people didn’t have those hair colors. They didn’t do that. People would walk up to you and yank your head back and mock you and say weird things like ‘where’d you park your spaceship, weirdo.’ But I was a total punk rocker. I went to shows back when not a lot of people did that. I had a lot of anger and a lot of emotions that I wasn’t really in charge of. A lot of displaced anger. And so the amazing writing and to be able to really get in touch with my emotions, for better or worse, helped [with Jack]. In the context of Jack, what she had gone through, and that feeling that you’re not worthy of being loved, you know, not being the best. The best defense is offense, you know. Basically, punch now and ask questions later, that feeling was familiar to me. Because of that, I felt like I had this deep connection because I understand how hard it can be when you have no way to channel or harness the rage of things, of what happened to you.”

To be able to come out of the other side, knowing that you are greater than the sum of your parts … Jack’s story was just an excellently crafted storyline.

To read more about Taylor’s thoughts on Jack, including how she feels that her character didn’t see her full potential, you can check out our previous interview right here. Oh, and how Hale wants FemShep to have her time to shine with Tali as a romance option


Game Informer Staff Celebrate 5 Years of Overwatch

In a market full of class-based multiplayer games, Overwatch exploded onto the scene back in 2016 with a roster that demanded attention. Not only did each character fulfill a necessary team role, but each of them was visually distinct from the last. Players fell in love with Mei’s charm, chastised Bastion and his damn shield turret, and found solace behind Reinhardt’s broad shoulde– I mean, uh, barrier field. You had a role to play no matter which hero you played, and when your team was firing on all cylinders, Overwatch felt like magic. And while the shifting winds of esports lead to major shakeups in the game’s meta, Blizzard continued to update their hero shooter with seasonal events, new cosmetics, and even massive character reworks.

In our original review of Overwatch, we lauded the game’s fresh twist on the team-based multiplayer genre:

Overwatch is an amazing experience. It’s fresh and consistently fun, with matches that are great in random groups but astonishingly good when played with friends. Blizzard has taken its masterful art of polishing and perfection to the team shooter, and things will never be the same.

To close out Overwatch’s 5th Anniversary week, I reached out to Game Informer staff members to share why Overwatch means so much to us. If you have any specific memories tied to the game or simply want to share what Overwatch means to you, leave a comment down below to let us know.

Margaret Andrews, Production Director

“Overwatch is a perfect storm of skills & challenges, short matches, and a core social element that makes it a uniquely captivating game I’m still playing 1400 hours later. Where other games in this genre haven’t hooked me, Overwatch did with its low barrier to entry and positive reinforcement. Free from leaderboards and public rankings, I felt encouraged to play characters I wouldn’t normally play and had a blast doing it. My playtime escalated quickly, and 5 years later, I’m still logging on almost every day, usually to play with family. It’s provided unique opportunities to spend time with friends and coworkers during a turbulent pandemic year, some of whom I haven’t seen in ages. Overwatch gives us the virtual space to enjoy that special time together. Not even a week goes by that the office Overwatch Slack channel isn’t professing our mutual love for Mei, speculating about our favorite heroes, or coordinating our next play session. It’s this blend of community and gameplay that makes Overwatch so important to me.”

Kimberley Wallace, Features Editor

“Positive reinforcement is a powerful thing, and that’s where Overwatch shines. It celebrates players’ achievements and doesn’t shame their failures. When you get a card on the board or the Play of the Game, it’s a nod to a job well done – encouraging you to keep it up and showing your team firsthand where you excelled. And if you have an off game, your stats aren’t plastered all over for others to see. In a world where we are fast to focus on the negatives and find the flaws, I appreciate Overwatch praising what people do well in matches. The whole system is encouraging, and I can’t deny the adrenaline rush I get from seeing my best moments captured on screen. How can you not crack a little smile when your name and character intro pop up for Play of the Game? And sometimes, that’s the little thing we need to make our day better. Through the years, Overwatch has celebrated my successes, and this has only made me want to keep getting better at the game.“

Kristin Williams, Web Designer & Programmer

“I’ve never been a big online gamer – interacting with people I can look in the face is stressful enough, and as a femme gamer, I’ve always been aware of the threat of harassment in online spaces. So when friends recommended I try out Overwatch, I ignored them – for a while. It took me a year to try out the game, but as soon as I started, I set up weekly games, jumped on voice chats with friends I hadn’t talked to in years, and talked excitedly about the lore and complaining about Bastion being overpowered. As much as I enjoy the gameplay, that’s what Overwatch means to me – an evening with friends, yelling at the TV. Playing on a team together in Overwatch means we’re sharing victories, or at least losing together. It’s fun to improve your skills and learn new strategies when you’ve got your friends to encourage you even when you’re having an off day. I’m not sure I would have stuck with the game so long if I was playing with just anyone, but teaming up with people I care about has kept me coming back to the game for years and far too many hours of playtime.”

Liana Ruppert, Senior Associate Editor

“Overwatch, to me, is a game that offers a strange source of calm. It’s an adaptable game that can be what the player wants it to be. For some, it can be the simple shooter that it looks like; an enjoyable online experience to pass the time and destress. Or, it can be something more. For me, I’ve been enjoying diving into deeper lore. The comics, the events, the in-lobby voice lines depending on what the team comp is. It all adds up to paint a picture of the heroes of Overwatch beyond the short time we get with them while in a match. One thing I am going to miss, though, is Jeff Kaplan. He brought with him a love for the community that could be felt. Each update from him felt genuine, more player-to-player than anything. He gave fans permission to be as silly as they want, which is why I love this fanbase so much. There’s a lot of passion for Overwatch, passion that has carried it through its lulls. It’s those kinds of communities that I value the most. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Overwatch 2, but looking back? I’m just really grateful for the experience that Overwatch has offered since its launch.”


You Can Fight Alongside A Cute Weiner Dog Or A Vicious Crocodile In Far Cry 6

Today’s Far Cry 6 gameplay reel showcased high-stakes gunfights, zany explosions, guerrilla commandos, and…a cute weiner dog that kills enemies with kindness. Far Cry 5’s “Guns For Hire” is back, but this time your companions are fittingly called “Amigos For Hire.” You see, the Cuban island of Yara is expansive and beautiful; brimming with dense metropolitan centers, sparkling beaches, and lush forests. Over the course of the many intense skirmishes that you’ll be catalyzing, you might find yourself in need of some company. Luckily for you, two such allies were revealed in the Far Cry 6 footage: an adorable pup and a man-eating crocodile.


Let me guess, if you weren’t sold before, you’re sold now that you know Chorizo (what an incredible name for a weiner dog!) is coming along for the ride. Your little buddy is as sweet as they come, but packs an unexpectedly mean punch too. If you prefer the stealth approach when taking down command posts or patrolling platoons, let Chorizo run loose and distract guards with his incredibly adorable face and unassuming barks. Sure, you’ll have to swoop in from behind with a bow knife and put that unsuspecting soldier to rest, but viva la revolution am I right? When the smoke clears, don’t forget to show the little guy some love with a flurry of pets. Chorizo is a true doggy-heartthrob and I’m sure that he’ll make every “Best Video Game Dogs/Pets” listicle to come. 


On the other side of the spectrum, you have ex-KGB spy Juan Cortez’s pet crocodile, Guapo (Spanish for “handsome”). This ferocious reptile definitely looks better from a distance for militias since he tends to close in on enemy positions and rip their skin and defenses to shreds. Guapo is fast-moving while on land, but even deadlier underwater as you can use his terrifying presence to initiate engagements or keep foes occupied. And much like his less-intimidating counterpart, Chorizo, you can show Guapo some affection and appreciation too…just mind that gigantic set of teeth, of course.

Better yet, you can also rush through the packed streets and muddy villages of Yara on horseback if that suits your fancy. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some more Amigos For Hire in future cinematics.…; target=”_blank”>Far Cry 6 is slated to launch at some point later in the year on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, and Mac.

How are you feeling about these two animal friends? Do you you think you’ll commission one’s services over the other, or are you planning to alternate playstyles? 


Far Cry 6 Lets You Craft Awesome Weapons To Your Heart’s Content

Antón Castillo’s bloody reign over the Cuban paradise, Yara, must be stopped. You’ll scour the island’s myriad biomes alongside a bevy of Amigos For Hire and with the support of a few other revolutionaries to free the general public from tyrannical rule. As Dani Rojas (players can choose to play as a woman or man), you’ll need the best equipment you can find. Sometimes, however, instead of stumbling across some rare stash or bountiful armory, you’ll have to make due with what you’ve got. In Far Cry 6, you’ll have to craft your most powerful weapons to transform into a one-person-army. 

Yaran culture is appropriately informed by Cuba’s real-world “resolver” philosophy: use everything and anything at your disposal to accomplish the goal/objective that has been set. As a seasoned mercenary and revolutionary, you must embrace this methodology to stay one step ahead of Castillo’s gargantuan military force. In other words, you’ll become a “resolver guerilla.” While out and about, you’ll likely collect a good amount of seemingly throw-away scraps and mechanical parts. These pieces can be presented  to your mentor, Juan Cortez, and crafted into weapons of notable strength. 

In the gameplay footage that was released today, Dani can be seen wielding a motorcycle engine powered minigun and unleashing carnage on their weaker opponents. Additionally, you’ll likely spot a homing missile throwing backpack hilariously laying waste to the landscape. Far Cry 6 embraces the zaniness of craftable weapons so that you can live out your own badass action-movie fantasies. And when you’re not in the mood to spark the flames of chaos and warfare, you can holster your weapon– for the first time in franchise history by the way! – to take a more passive approach to exploration and navigation. 

While we’re sure there’ll be more wacky firearms and gear to create, we’ll have to wait and see what Ubisoft has in store for future trailers and updates. Unfortunately Far Cry 6 was delayed, but it’s still set for a 2021 launch on next-gen and current-gen consoles as well as PC and Stadia. 


Far Cry 6 Release Date Set With New Gameplay Reveal

Far Cry 6 release date has been revealed alongside an extensive first look at what the next step of the Ubisoft franchise will have to offer. From petting those good puppers out there to riding horses, the latest Far Cry looks to be an adventure. 

The latest Far Cry title is set to release on October 7 as revealed in the character trailer released below. Showing off more of the faces of Far Cry 6, including a new look at Anton Castillo played by Giancarlo Esposito

Click here to watch embedded media

Set in the fictional world of Yara, Anton’s dictatorship role was heavily inspired by his father, the former president of this location. Following dear old dad’s execution after the people of Yara rebelled, Anton grew up fixated on the belief that this island was stolen from him and his family by those that rebelled. As he grew up, the idea of control became more than enticing as the Castillo family continued to grow in power. When the son eventually became El Presidente, he sought to rebuild Yara in his own image. 

Rebellion, unlike lightning, does often strike in the same place twice, which is what the latest look at Far Cry 6 shows. There are many faces that are leading this new quest for freedom. We’ll have a few deeper dives looking into the world of Far Cry 6 here soon on the site, so keep it tuned in here at Game Informer to learn more about the many new faces players will meet, and the features that can be enjoyed. 

Far Cry 6 is set to arrive on October 7 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna. 

Thoughts on the latest look at Far Cry 6 and the gameplay reveal going on now at the time this article was written? Sound off with your hottest of hot takes in the comment section below!