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    PC Overtakes Consoles As Ubisoft's Most Profitable Platform

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    Funny To A Point: The Division 2 Is Actually Fun – At Launch!

    Ubisoft's first quarter financial report is in, and business is booming. All of Ubisoft's targets for the quarter were beaten, and PC was the breakout success. In terms of profits, PC accounted for 34% of the quarterly earnings, putting PlayStation in second with 31%, Xbox in third with 18%, mobile in fourth with 7%, and Switch and "other" in last with 5% each. 

    Listed in the report, continued engagement with Rainbow Six Seige and Assassin's Creed Odyssey are cited as major factors in the quarterly success, as well as the exclusive PC release of Anno 1800. The Division 2 is also playing its part, being cited as the biggest industry success of the year so far. 

    With the Uplay+ service coming later this year, PC bookings are expected to remain high. For more on that, here is a list of every game coming to Uplay+.

    View the full article


    Stadia Director Of Product To Host AMA On Reddit Today

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    walmart_game_streaming_platform_stadia_competitor.jpg

    At 10 a.m. PDT today, Director of Product for Stadia Andrey Doronichev is hosting an AMA on Reddit to ask fans specifically what they want from Google's upcoming game streaming platform.

    stadiaama.png

    The AMA thread will appear here, at r/stadia, so revisit that page soon if you'd like to take part.

    For more on Stadia, read our features from this year's E3 that clarify misconceptions about the streaming platform and everything you need to know about its launch.

    View the full article


    Sky: Children of the Light Review – The Next Logical Leap

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    2_prairie004.jpg

    Publisher: thatgamecompany
    Developer: thatgamecompany
    Release: July 18, 2019
    Rating: 12+
    Reviewed on: iOS

    Sky: Children of the Light is a deeper experience, both figuratively and literally, than it first appears to be. Sky directly echoes many of the beats and gameplay moments that defined Journey, thatgamecompany’s last major release. But where Journey flirted with social elements, Sky is a full-on love affair with cooperative multiplayer. Early hours suggest a contemplative and accessible trip through an ethereal land of whirling clouds and distant horizons. While Sky can undoubtedly offer a thoughtful solo adventure akin to the studio’s previous work, it’s through engagement with friends and strangers that it becomes far more involved. Shaped by both mechanics and storytelling, it becomes a game about sacrifice, sharing, and the nature of altruism.

    As one of the titular children of light, you are born into a world of interconnected realms linked beneath the same starry sky, and you must find ancestral spirits in order to return them to their rightful place in the constellations. By skipping across meadows, sliding down dunes, and soaring through open skies, you complete your task by bringing light to darkened places, kindling braziers and ancient bell towers with the touch of your candle. Gameplay is freeform and uncomplicated, and puzzles are often as simple as connecting the dots from one point to another. Lost spirits/stars are frequently hidden, so keen observation is required. Your life, light, and flight power are all encompassed in one shared statistic known as winged light, and it grows stronger as you find more of the lost. The sense of progression is satisfying, but the need to divert and collect new wing segments sometimes distracts from the natural flow of play.

    Each of seven different realms offers a distinct visual and gameplay experience. The pastoral Daylight Prairie, with its inviting green fields and cumulus clouds, gives way to the rain-soaked Hidden Forest, which steals your light if you don’t find cover. Moving between the shifting landscapes is satisfying and well-paced; the music and environments together paint a potent mental and emotional scene. The most impressive magic on each stage is how much is hidden away, waiting to be discovered on subsequent playthroughs; greater flight power and the presence of friends opens up entirely new areas to ascend through and explore, lending a satisfying sense of mastery.

    Whether you invite friends or meet up with strangers, Sky is a social game fueled by positive interactions. Dozens of emotive expressions unlock as you meet new NPC spirits, but the most popular within the burgeoning community are ones like “hug” or “high five.” Players are encouraged to share light and hearts to new friends, boosting their progress to new cosmetics. Musical instruments and sheet music can be acquired, to pause from the action and play together. Up to eight players can hold hands and leap into the sky together, guided by a single leader to discover new destinations – an ideal way to share the game with a child or less-experienced player. Some non-critical-path doorways and tasks in the world require multiple players to unlock, encouraging shared exploration. I really enjoy playing with friends, and I’ve had some magical moments meeting strangers in the wild and working to solve a problem. I only wish the direct invite functionality was a bit more straightforward instead of a strange QR code system. 

    Click here to watch embedded media

    Thatgamecompany makes a valiant attempt to wrangle the touch screen into a usable twin-stick setup for 3D navigation in air and on ground, but it's only successful for simple tasks. More precise movement, platforming, and flight challenges don’t fare as well; I often struggled against the controls, or fell off a narrow ledge when I thought I was standing still. This interface is by no means a dealbreaker, but it can lead to moments of frustration in an otherwise idyllic game.

    As free-to-play games go, Sky is far less predatory or immersion-breaking than many competitors on iOS, but it still has an in-game store that can speed your acquisition of new items. Amassing that same currency in-game can be slow, but faster if you choose to share light with friends, and they with you. Sky is built as a living game, and the hauntingly beautiful conclusion leads naturally into endless potential replays. If that replay is appealing, the developer has seasonal content planned, with new spirits to find and items to earn, which will also come at an additional price. 

    Sky expands on the successful gameplay ideas of the developer’s previous games, but with a greater sense of progression, replayability, and a far more involved social component. Conceptually, this new project is a deeply felt meditation on empathy and the connections between people, couched in the same unpretentious and thoughtful presentation we’ve come to expect from the studio. Sky is a refreshingly moving and robust game on the iOS platform, and one best shared with others – especially folks who might not normally pick up a video game.

    Click image thumbnails to view larger version

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    Score: 8.5

    Summary: The new game from the makers of Journey is a thoughtful contemplation on positive interactions with friends, strangers, and the wider world.

    Concept: Fly through the clouds of a gorgeous world while making friends to soar by your side in this follow-up to Journey

    Graphics: Swirling clouds, distant light beams, and the ruins of a lost civilization are all depicted in a soft and inviting art style, but occasional hitching on some supported devices can break the illusion

    Sound: A stellar score ebbs and flows with the beats of onscreen events, while ambient sound effects add a naturalistic and meditative vibe

    Playability: Challenges in touch-screen control mar an otherwise accessible experience that features a smooth curve of new ideas and difficulty

    Entertainment: thatgamecompany’s eye for aesthetic beauty and meaning-laden interactions are made richer through social engagement and sharing with friends

    Replay: High

    Click to Purchase

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    Id Software Studio Director Tim Willits Leaving Company

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    flaws-site.jpg

    After 24 years at id Software, studio director Tim Willits is leaving the company.

    Willits says that all of id's games currently in development will be unaffected by his departure and that he'll announce what he's doing next after QuakeCon at the end of the month.

    Willits started working as a level designer at id for Strife and multiple Quake games before becoming the lead designer on Doom 3 and then the studio director from 2011's Rage and onward.

    For more from Willits, be sure to take a look at the time we asked him 122 questions about Rage 2.

    After 24 years, I’ve decided to leave id Software after QuakeCon. I’ve been extremely lucky to work with the best people in the industry on truly amazing games. QuakeCon has been an unbelievable part of my journey and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Gaylord Texan. pic.twitter.com/shX5H441py

    — Tim Willits (@TimWillits) July 18, 2019

    [Source: Tim Willits]

    View the full article


    New FIFA 20 Trailer Showcases Gameplay Improvements

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    fifa207.18800.jpg

    Click here to watch embedded media

    FIFA 20's new showcase feature is its small-side Volta mode, but developer EA Vancouver assures fans that it is also working on gameplay aspects for the latest installment of the series. Today's new trailer showcases some of what we can expect on this front.

    While none of the features in the trailer above are new in the sense that they've never been included in some form or another in previous iterations, if done right these gameplay aspects of FIFA 20 could improve the experience from last year.

    For example, A.I. defending in online games was seen as too strong in some situations last year, so improving the defensive A.I. in general for this year could fix that problem. Similarly, updated ball physics could positively impact everything from a player's first touch to shot outcomes.

    FIFA 20 comes out on September 24 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

    View the full article


    GTA Online's Casino Opening Next Week

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    gta-casino-image.jpg

    Grand Theft Auto Online players are already essentially rolling the dice with their own lives every time they leave the safety of their apartments, but next week they'll have more formal gambling opportunities. At long last, the Diamond Casino & Resort will be opening its doors, after years of construction (and anticipation).

    The casino, which is located on the corner of Vinewood Park Drive and Mirror Park Boulevard, will be opening on July 23. Players will be able to go inside and play a variety of games, including three card poker, blackjack, roulette, and virtual horse racing. If you have too much cash, there are also slots and a lucky wheel that you can spin. The wheel will give winners a shot at winning a car, with the new Truffade Thrax supercar up for grabs during the Diamond's opening week.

    Click here to watch embedded media

    The ultrawealthy can purchase the master penthouse property, which gives its owner access to a variety of new co-op missions as part of the Diamond family. Complete the new storyline, and you can earn a new vehicle at no cost. Or, if you don't feel like getting into high-stakes drama, you can just stay at home in your swanky pad and upgrade it to gain access to a spa or private retro arcade.

    If you want to get the master penthouse without spending a dime, you're in luck. Players who link their Social Club accounts with Twitch Prime and claim their benefits before end of day tomorrow can get the property at no cost, as well as GTA$1.25 and a 15-percent discount on Shark cards. 

    View the full article


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