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    Find The Forgotten City On Switch Today Thanks To The Cloud

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    screenshot_launch_05.jpg

    Starting the day with what we assume will be a busy one for Switch news, a port of the narrative-focused adventure game The Forgotten City is coming to Nintendo’s hybrid console. The Forgotten City – Cloud Version will be a streaming title co-published by Dear Villagers and Ubitus K.K., the group from which the streaming technology derives.

    Like any other game which streams to your Switch, you’ll need an internet connection to enjoy The Forgotten City. It’s a technology Ubitus K.K. has honed with other titles such as A Plague Tale: Innocence and Phantasy Star Online 2 in territories across the globe. Cloud streaming is typically used to circumvent some of the graphical shortcomings of the Switch, providing a closer visual equivalent to versions of games on other platforms. However, cloud gaming can also suffer from resolution drops and increased input delay depending on your internet connection.

    Developed by Modern Storyteller, The Forgotten City began life as a popular, award-winning Skyrim mod before creator Nick Pearce spun it off into a standalone product. Game Informer Editor-in-Chief Andrew Reiner had glowing words for the game in his review:

    “The Forgotten City stands tall as a unique game that pulls you in with its world and words. I got a huge kick using time travel as a detective tool and found many of the characters to be delightful to chat with (even if they hold many dark secrets). If you are in the market for a different type of game that pushes you to stitch together a story in different ways than you would expect, don’t sleep on this inventive experience.”

    Read Reiner’s full review here, and if you’d like, check out The Forgotten City – Cloud Version on Nintendo Switch starting today or any of its other editions on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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    Diablo II: Resurrected Assassin Class | New Gameplay Today

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    ngt_template_new.jpg

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    Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    Release: September 23, 2021
    Rating: Mature
    Platform: PC

    Diablo II is coming back to the current and last generation of consoles and PC today. With its release comes a return to one of the seminal dungeon-crawling experiences. While players will finally be getting the chance to play the Activision Blizzard project, we got to play Diablo II: Resurrected early.

    Join John Carson and Alex Stadnik on this episode of New Gameplay Today, where the two editors break down their time playing the return to the classic ARPG and talk about how the game has aged since its original release 21 years ago. On top of our hands-on impression, we're also showing off new footage featuring the Assassin class in all its quick-hitting glory.

    It is important to keep in mind what is going on within Activision Blizzard at this time regarding ongoing allegations about the work culture. The ongoing lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against the company is over reported toxic workplace culture. The bulk of the suit focuses on "violations of the state's civil rights and equal pay laws," specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. To learn more about the proceedings thus far, including details listed in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, please check out our previous coverage here.

    Fans looking forward to Diablo II: Resurrected are in luck as the game releases today for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC and can check out the game's cinematic trailer here. Thanks for watching, and if you're enjoying our preview videos, be sure to check out our recent looks at Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Eastward, and Far Cry 6.

    For those looking to stay up to date with the latest developments surrounding the Activision Blizzard lawsuit, we have an article outlining the SEC's recent announcement of its investigation into the publishing giant.

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    Diablo II: Resurrected Review - Memories Made Real

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    diabloii4.jpg

    Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    Release: September 23, 2021
    Rating: Mature
    Reviewed on: PC

    With Diablo II: Resurrected, Blizzard and the Vicarious Visions team did something I thought impossible – they successfully recreated Diablo II the way my mind remembers it. Looking back on the original today, it’s genuinely fascinating how this remaster paints over the old graphics with a masterful brush, showcasing the grim fantasy environments and deadly bosses precisely as I remember them. Of course, the original graphics looked nothing like this back in 2000, and viewing them today is something of a historical horror. Diablo II: Resurrected is an incredible revamp of one of the most important and influential games in history that begs to be experienced by newcomers and veterans alike.

    It is important to keep in mind what is going on within Activision Blizzard at this time regarding ongoing allegations about the work culture. The ongoing lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against the company is over reported toxic workplace culture. The bulk of the suit focuses on "violations of the state's civil rights and equal pay laws," specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. To learn more about the proceedings thus far, including details listed in the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, please check out our previous coverage here.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    The significant change here is, of course, the graphics, which go up to 4k. At first glance, the new look might not seem like much. I said “Well, that’s pretty much how it was…” However, that’s incredibly far from the truth. In a bit of a curious and way-too-enjoyable addition to the game, players can swap between the old graphics and the new graphics with the touch of a button in real-time, even as spells, effects, and abilities fire off. I spent a ton of time with this feature, experiencing jaw-dropping moments as I compared the old with the new in each Act. While the old graphics look atrocious today and are even challenging to gaze on for long, they are a testament to Vicarious Visions’ graphical upgrade. The new visuals are incredibly faithful to the old vision, with almost none of the notable missteps we saw with Warcraft 3: Reforged where critical units ended up looking strange. By using some form of technical alchemy, the new game is layered directly over the old, and it’s stunning.

    This is the first time Diablo II can be played on a controller, and it’s smooth, intuitive, and responsive. Players can assign skills to buttons easily and should make for a slick console experience. While you will find it hard to pry me away from my mouse and keyboard in a Diablo game, this was the first time I’ve been tempted due to the ease of use.

    Miniscule changes give players a few quality-of-life improvements. Players pick up gold by walking over it, which is a godsend given the many stacks of littered coins in dungeons. Players have shared stash space to send items to other characters in their roster, which saves a ton of time and energy, as previously it would take a lot of character/game swapping in order to move items around. And finally, a few other options make life less of a chore, like having dropped items show up on the ground without having to hold a button down. None of these changes alter the fundamental Diablo II core, but they make the experience easier to enjoy.

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    The core of the game is untouched, for better or worse. I’ll still complain about the cramped passageways in the Maggot Lair. Thanks to the isometric environments, one unfortunate click took me directly to my death, derailing a corpse run. A surge of excitement coursed through my body when Baal died and several set items dropped. A wave of despair followed as I had them identified and realized they’re trash. The whole of the gameplay experience can feel quite dated today as you simply walk from area to area, wailing on a single button or two. Nothing has been rebalanced, so some class builds remain much stronger than others.

    However, the simple essence of Diablo II – gaining new skills, the never-ending loot discovery and collecting, and blasting through boss after boss and dungeon after dungeon – hold up even after all these years. As in the past, players are encouraged to explore various classes and builds as they collect piles of loot, enabling all kinds of possibilities from paladins that spin magical hammers to bear baron druids. If you have friends to play with, the experience is even more fun, taking on the nightmares together and sharing the rewards.

    Diablo II: Resurrected shows why the original title remains the standard against which all other ARPGs are judged. While it doesn’t come with many hooks and ever-evolving content that has become a baseline for the genre as it transformed into a game-as-service model, not all games need to be played with forever in mind. Diablo II: Resurrected proves that Blizzard’s classic is still a blast, even today. Whether it’s your first foray into hell and beyond or your thousandth hour, Diablo II: Resurrected is worth the time.

    diablo2resurrected.jpg

    Score: 8.75

    Summary: Two decades later, Diablo II gets a posh layer of flavor.

    Concept: Play the formative ARPG Diablo II with a handful of quality of life improvements and drastic visual upgrades

    Graphics: The new graphics capture the spirit of the original designs and are lovely to behold

    Sound: Surprisingly, the iconic grunts, growls, and hammy quips stand the test of time

    Playability: Anyone can pick up Diablo II and begin collecting loot, though some build planning is recommended to tackle higher difficulties

    Entertainment: Diablo II: Resurrected is a mastercraft remaster that reminds us how the original game changed the gaming landscape forever

    Replay: High

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    Chrous Looks To Reinvent The Space Shooter

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    chorus_-_act_1_-_stega_rim_-_forsaken_in

    Publisher: Deep Silver
    Developer: Deep Silver Fishlabs
    Release: 2021
    Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

    Nara spent a good part of her life inside a cult called the Circle that twisted her mind and trained her to tap into a mysterious alien force called “aether.” This dark, corrupting energy allows a special few to unleash godlike powers that break all the rules of physics. Unfortunately for the Circle, the cult didn’t keep a tight enough grip on Nara’s chains; now, this skilled warrior is free of the Circle’s influence and dead set on taking them down. Armed with the most advanced starfighter in the universe, Nara’s journey takes her to some of the darkest parts of the cosmos and challenges her sanity.

    Developer Fishlabs is best known for its work on the Galaxy on Fire mobile series, but publisher Deep Silver has given the studio free rein to reinvent the space shooter genre with Chorus. The open-world space combat game is full of upgrades and a few unique spins on traditional zero-g combat. Several months ago, we got a very early look at the game in action. To get a better feel for it in a more polished state, we went hands-on for the first few hours with the latest version.

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    Chorus begins with Nara on the run from the Circle. To gain the upper hand, Nara steals one of the deadliest weapons in the galaxy: a sentient starcraft called Forsaken. Nara is mentally linked to Forsaken, allowing her to perform incredible flight maneuvers, such as the ability to make tight turns by drifting like a racecar. Chorus offers a solid sense of speed, which is often hard to do in games set in open space.

    Chorus is one giant open world full of a range of side quests and other random encounters. Throughout her journey, Nara can upgrade Forsaken’s equipment. Each weapon is especially suited for different tasks. For example, Gatling guns have a high rate of fire but low damage output, which makes them ideal against fast-moving targets. Lasers hit hard, and their focused attacks are particularly good at disabling shields. Finally, missiles are incredibly destructive against armored opponents but are comparably slow, making them best for sluggish or stationary targets. Forsaken also has three different mod slots, useful for altering weapons stats or further customizing the ship’s performance.

    Chorus’ flight controls feel good, and its variety of enemies keep the action flowing. For example, Crows are lightly-armed crafts that fall apart quickly under your crosshairs, but their speed makes them hard to hunt down, and their overwhelming numbers can leave you in a bind if you don’t thin the herd. On the other hand, Vultures are heavily armored gunships that pack a punch and deploy frontal shields that make them difficult to attack head-on. Thankfully these lumbering behemoths are easy to outmaneuver. Finally, Shade-class ships are giant dreadnoughts that continuously spit out smaller hostile ships, so you will want to destroy them quickly before they overrun you.

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    Even with Forsaken at her side, Nara isn’t ready to take on the Circle. She believes she needs to reawaken her aether abilities, so she sets off in search of a series of ancient temples connected to an ominous alien race called the Faceless. After completing these temple challenges, Nara gains new aether powers that help her both in and out of combat. One ability called the Rite of the Hunt allows Nara (and Forsaken) to briefly travel through the aether, meaning she temporarily blinks out of reality and reappears somewhere else. I used this to slip past barriers or reposition myself behind enemy ships. Another aether power transforms Forsaken into a beam of light that tears through enemy ships. Yet another allows Nara to seize control of enemy ships, turning them into deadly projectiles. Fishlabs says that Forsaken can eventually grow so powerful that Nara won’t even need weapons to take down fleets of enemies.

    Space shooters have a long history in the industry, stretching back to 1971’s Computer Space. However, we haven’t seen many recent releases from the genre achieve widespread appeal. We don’t know if Chorus will change that, but it brings a few fresh ideas to the table. Chorus’ open space design, tight flight mechanics, and inventive upgrades leave us hopeful for the title’s launch in December. 

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

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    ds_header.png

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    A Messy, Holistic Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Burning Crusade Classic - Kael'thas Threat Bug, Patch 9.1 Hotfixes - September 22

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Burning Crusade Classic - Kael'thas Threat Bug
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Hello, just asking here since I am not seeing any update posts, is the threat wipe bug on Kael’thas fixed?

    We’ve been working on this for several weeks, and it turned out to be a particularly tricky bug, but we’re closing in on a fix.

    Once we have the hotfix thoroughly tested, it will likely require realm restarts. And we’ll note it in our hotfixes update thereafter.

    We’re almost there.

    Patch 9.1 Hotfixes - September 22, 2021
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Classes

    • Hunter
      • Beast Mastery
        • Fixed an issue that caused more pet abilities than intended to have their cooldown reduced by Kindred Beasts (PvP Talent).

    Dungeons and Raids

    • Sanctum of Domination
      • Eye of the Jailer
        • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused Annihilating Glare to be cast on transition into Phase 2.
      • Painsmith Raznal
        • Fixed an issue causing players to be hit by two floor spikes in quick succession when moving through them at very high speeds.
      • Sylvanas Windrunner
        • Implemented additional performance improvements to the beginning of the encounter.

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