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  1. Yesterday
  2. New Preserved Contaminants - May 29, 2020 New Preserved Contaminants are now available for purchase from MOTHER in the Chamber of Heart. In Europe, these items will be available for purchase this Saturday at 9 PM CET. Available in this Rotation Severe Rank 1 - 3000 EchoesSiphoner Rank 1 - 4250 EchoesExpedient Rank 2 - 4125 EchoesTwilight Devastation Rank 2 - 10000 EchoesHoned Mind Rank 3 - 7875 EchoesStrikethrough Rank 3 - 5000 Echoes Choosing Your Corruption Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Choosing Your Corruption In addition to any unlocked Essences, MOTHER will now also offer several new Preserved Contaminants, which allow for a specific Corruption effect (and the associated Corruption penalty) to be applied to a selected item. The inventory of available Preserved Contaminants will change twice each week, mirroring the Assault cadence, and will cycle through all available Corruption effects at various levels of potency. You can use a Preserved Contaminant to apply the Corruption you purchased to any uncorrupted item that can be Corrupted, much like an enchant. WoW Classic - Layers Added to Herod and Whitemane (NA) Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Over the next few minutes, we’re enabling a second layer for the Herod and Whitemane realms. This is a step we’re taking very carefully to make it so that players can enjoy playing on those realms during peak hours. It has been a very high priority for us to understand why, after we de-layered ten realms on May 14, these two realms reversed course and experienced this, while the others did not. We will continue to pay very close attention to this situation and make adjustments to the game service as necessary. As before, Herod and Whitemane remain restricted from the Character Transfer service. View the full article
  3. Last week
  4. Polygon Interview with Steve Danuser and Johnny Cash Polygon recently interviewed lead narrative designer Steve Danuser and senior game designer Johnny Cash to find out more about the creation of Bastion. Bastion resembles a traditional Heaven and is the first starting zone in Shadowlands. Players that pledge to the Kyrian covenant will play a major part in changing the Kyrian society and unlock new abilities.Odyn based the Val'kyr off the Kyrians, the creatures he saw when he pierced through the veil and looked into the Shadowlands.A quest will feature a Tauren taking the trials of the Kyrian. Players will help this Tauren, which ultimately turns into a Kyrian himself. Blue Tweets Ion Hazzikostas has shared some info about the recent changes to Ineffable Truth and the Blood Elves and Void Elves Customization that's coming in Shadowlands. Dark Legacy Comics #727 DLC #727 has been released. View the full article
  5. With the circumstances surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing organizers to cancel major conventions and expos and like E3, Gamescom, and Tokyo Game Show, many publishers, developers, and event organizers have turned to digital events to get the latest video game news out there. Whether you're talking platform-specific showcases, publisher-driven streams, or even third-party-facilitated schedules, the industry has a lot to look forward to in the coming months. Check out the full digital event schedule for summer 2020 below, and be sure to bookmark this page and come back as more events are added in coming weeks! June 4 PlayStation 5: The Future of Gaming - 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET What It Is: Sony will finally pull back the curtain on its PlayStation 5 console. This digital presentation, which is said to last "a bit more than an hour" will focus on games of PlayStation 5. Sony says this is just a part of an ongoing series on PlayStation 5 and that even after this digital event, it will have a lot more to share. Where To Watch: PlayStation on Twitch IGN Summer of Gaming Kick-Off - TBD What It Is: The official start of IGN's Summer of Gaming virtual event. This free digital event will include over three weeks of exclusive programming and gameplay world premieres from highly anticipated titles. In addition to showcasing various games and announcements, IGN is raising money in support of the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 5 IGN Expo Day 1 - TBD What It Is: The first day of IGN's virtual expo promises reveals from Funcom/The Outsiders, Merge Games, and more. We'll also see a new cinematic trailer for Werewolf: The Apocalypse and gameplay for Blankos Block Party, Mortal Shell, Observer: System Redux, Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time, and Spellbreak. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 6 Guerrilla Collective Day 1 - 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET What It Is: An online digital games festival featuring announcements, trailers, and game reveals from publishers and developers like Sega of America, Coffee Stain, Rebellion, Raw Fury, Thunderful, 11 Bit Studios, Larian Studios, New Blood, Versus Evil, Humble Bundle, and more. Hosted by Kinda Funny's Greg Miller. Where To Watch: Guerrilla Collective on Twitch Paradox Insider - 11:30 a.m. PT / 2: 30 p.m. ET What It Is: A block of programming from publisher Paradox Interactive as a part of the Guerrilla Collective. Where To Watch: Paradox Interactive on Twitch The PC Gaming Show - 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET What It Is: A digital adaptation of the annual E3 show of the same name. The show, presented by PC Gamer, will provide various updates on PC games. Where To Watch: PC Gamer on Twitch The Future Games Show - 2:30 p.m. PT / 5:30 p.m. ET What It Is: An hour-long broadcast presented by GamesRadar and Future featuring exclusive trailers, announcements, and more. The event will focus on indie and triple-A titles for 2020 and beyond. Where To Watch: GamesRadar on Twitch June 7 Guerrilla Collective Day 2 - 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET What It Is: The second day of Guerrilla Collective's virtual event that promises announcements, trailers, and reveals from publishers and developers. Where To Watch: Guerrilla Collective on Twitch June 8 Guerrilla Collective Day 3 - 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET What It Is: The third and final day of Guerrilla Collective's virtual event that promises announcements, trailers, and reveals from publishers and developers. Where To Watch: Guerrilla Collective on Twitch IGN Expo Day 2 - TBD What It Is: The second day of IGN's virtual expo will deliver new trailers for Chivalry 2, Dual Universe, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Wasteland 3, and XIII. Players can also tune in for new previews of Borderlands 3's Bounty of Blood DLC, a new trailer and the release date of The Waylanders, and new gameplay for Forgotten City and Second Extinction. IGN will also kick off its IGN Icons interview series with original Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch UploadVR Showcase: Summer Edition - TBD What It Is: The latest news and announcements in the world of virtual reality. Self-described as a "Nintendo Direct-style video," but focused completely on VR. Last year, the showcase revealed games like After the Fall and Pistol Whip, and this year, the presentation will feature more than 20 VR games. Where To Watch: UploadVR on YouTube June 9 IGN Expo Day 3 - TBD What It Is: The third day of IGN's virtual convention will give fans new looks of 13 Sentinels, Everspace 2, Guilty Gear Strive, Stronghold: Warlords, and a Humble Bundle Indies Showcase. In addition, you can look forward to new gameplay from New World, Skater XL, Solasta Crown of the Magister, Total War: Troy, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. The team will also have exclusive previews of Blue Fire and Humankind, as well as the second entry in their IGN Icons interview series as IGN talks to Brian Fargo. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 11 EA Play Live - 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET What It Is: A digital version of what has traditionally been presented during E3. Fans should expect to see the latest news and trailers of games published by Electronic Arts. Where To Watch: EA on Twitch Night City Wire - TBD What It Is: A stream centered around CD Projekt Red's massively anticipated game, Cyberpunk 2077. Where To Watch: CD Projekt Red on Twitch IGN Summer of Gaming Streams - TBD What It Is: IGN hosts exclusive gameplay and interviews for Humankind and Remnant: From the Ashes, with more to be announced. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 15 IGN Summer of Gaming Streams - TBD What It Is: Another slate of exclusive trailers, reveals, and gameplay from IGN. This time, players can expect an exclusive reveal of an unannounced game, new trailers for Ninjala and Castlestorm 2, and gameplay for Mafia: Definitive Edition, Destroy All Humans, Scarlet Nexus, SpongeBob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom, Corepunk, and Warhammer 40k: Mechanicus. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 18 IGN Summer of Gaming Streams - TBD What It Is: Another stream from IGN featuring gameplay from Torchlight III and an unannounced game. IGN will also have two more IGN Icons interviews: Chris Avellone and John Romero. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 22 Day of The Devs + The Game Awards Developer Showcase - 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET What It Is: A look at upcoming projects ranging from independent to triple-A. Where To Watch: The Game Awards on Twitch June 23 New Game+ Expo - TBD What It Is: An online showcase of upcoming releases from developers and publishers like Sega, Atlus, SNK, WayForward, Arc System Works, GungHo, Natsume, Spike Chunsoft, Grasshopper Manufacture, and more. Where To Watch: New Game Plus Expo on Twitch June 24 Marvel's Avengers War Table - TBD What It Is: A first look at new gameplay for Crystal Dynamics' upcoming Avengers game, including cooperative play. Players can expect new trailers, as well as looks at co-op play and story missions. Where To Watch: Square Enix on Twitch IGN Summer of Gaming Streams - TBD What It Is: IGN's June 24 stream includes the reveal of an unannounced classic revival, as well as new trailers for Dreamscaper and Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. Where To Watch: IGN on Twitch June 27 BitSummit Gaiden Day 1 - TBD What It Is: The premier indie showcase with an eye toward Japanese creations launches its first-ever digital event. BitSummit Gaiden will feature more than 75 games from Japan and the rest of the world, including streamable demos. Where To Watch: BitSummit on Twitch June 28 BitSummit Gaiden Day 2 - TBD What It Is: The second day of BitSummit's digital event showcasing indie games from Japan and around the world. Where To Watch: BitSummit on Twitch July 11 Tennocon 2020 - TBD What It Is: An update from Digital Extremes on the future of its popular game Warframe. Where To Watch: Warframe on Twitch July 12 Ubisoft Forward - 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET What It Is: A digital presentation similar to the E3 press conferences Ubisoft has traditionally done. Look for updates and announcements surrounding all the upcoming Ubisoft titles. Where To Watch: Ubisoft on Twitch July 20 Day of The Devs + The Game Awards Developer Showcase - TBD What It Is: A second event hosted by Day of the Devs and The Game Awards, promising a look at upcoming projects ranging from independent to triple-A. Where To Watch: The Game Awards on Twitch August 27 Gamescom 2020: Opening Night Live Day 1 - TBD What It Is: A daily show hosted by The Game Awards host/organizer Geoff Keighley. The show occurs over four days and delivers the latest news, announcements, and trailers for anticipated games. Where To Watch: The Game Awards on Twitch August 28 Gamescom 2020: Opening Night Live Day 2 - TBD What It Is: The second day of the Gamescom virtual show hosted by The Game Awards host/organizer Geoff Keighley. The show promises to deliver the latest news, announcements, and trailers for anticipated games. Where To Watch: The Game Awards on Twitch August 29 Gamescom 2020: Opening Night Live Day 3 - TBD What It Is: The third day of the Gamescom virtual show hosted by The Game Awards host/organizer Geoff Keighley. The show promises to deliver the latest news, announcements, and trailers for anticipated games. Where To Watch: The Game Awards on Twitch August 30 Gamescom 2020: Opening Night Live Day 4 - TBD What It Is: The fourth and final day of the Gamescom virtual show hosted by The Game Awards host/organizer Geoff Keighley. The show promises to deliver the latest news, announcements, and trailers for anticipated games. Where To Watch: The Game Awards on Twitch View the full article
  6. RPGs are a hefty investment, requiring time and dedication to delve into their complex intricacies. With a myriad of choices and divergent styles, finding the right one can be overwhelming. We’re here to help. This article breaks down our recommendations into a slew of categories, each for what’s important to you in an RPG. Whether it’s combat, story, or a preferred subgenre, it’s covered. We tried to recommend more recent games where we could, but didn’t want to completely eschew beloved classics in case you were itching for something more nostalgic. Read more... View the full article
  7. Click here to watch embedded media Last week, Joe Juba, Andrew Reiner, and I went on a journey with Gabriel Belmont and rediscovered what made Castlevania: Lords of Shadow so great, including its absolutely bonkers ending. We had so much fun that we decided to look past the faults of the sequel and see if we could keep the good times rolling with Lords of Shadow 2. The results? A wacky episode filled with impressions of Muppets, musings on vampire dating simulators, and a large discussion centered on America's sweetheart: Nicholas Cage. This week's show is prerecorded, but we'll be live and chatting with you again in a mere seven days. If you can't get enough of our live shows, remember to subscribe on YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Twitter, and Facebook to get notified when we go live each week! View the full article
  8. Cosmic Forces, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, and Scholastic are bringing R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. In Goosebumps Dead of Night you try to collect missing pages from Goosebumps stories that have been stolen, but it's not quite that easy - scary creatures like Lawn Gnomes, the Werewolf of Fever Swamp, and Murder the Clown. It's first-person survival horror, Goosebumps style. Along your journey through the macabre, you must hide, sneak, and solve puzzles to survive. While we don't have an exact release date, the title is expected to arrive this summer. Check out the trailer below! Click here to watch embedded media View the full article
  9. Today is a surprisingly robust release day for Nintendo’s Switch. As announced a few months back, 2K just dropped several big game collections. The first is BioShock: The Collection, which features the remastered versions of all three BioShock games. The second is XCOM 2 Collection, which includes Firaxis stellar strategy game and all four of its DLC packs. Finally, the Borderlands Legendary Collection includes the Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. In addition to 2K’s offerings, the massive open-world RPG Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition also hits the Switch today. This rerelease of the 2012 Wii title features updated visuals, remastered music, and a new epilogue story sequence. Shantae and the Seven Sirens – the fifth entry in WayForward long-running platformer about a magical half-genie – also released yesterday, which might be worth checking out if you’re bored. Honesty, if you haven’t played some of these great games already, now might be the perfect time to catch up. But, hey, we're not trying to tell you what to do. View the full article
  10. Publisher: Amazon Games Release: May 21, 2020 Rating: Teen Reviewed on: PC Hero shooters are all the rage these days, so games in the middle or bottom of the field struggle to compete against the lead dogs. Crucible is one of those games, where its mediocrity only earns dismissal. Crucible is like a bland and forgettable meal – inoffensive going down, but quickly passed over for something with a little more flavor and spice. Crucible’s heroes fail to entertain on the personality and character level, but they often have memorable and interesting moves that cater to perfection and learning. With the exception of the adorable robot Bugg, most of the cast lacks appeal. With color-by-the-numbers characters like Military Man, Beserker Lizard, and Fish Sniper, the heroes feel like they were ripped from the pages of a rejected comic book. On the loadout side, learning a character’s nuances is highly entertaining. For example, the militant Sazan has a set of skills that's easy to understand on the surface, but has lots of room for growth and skill. Discovering how to distance myself to juggle my assault rifle, shotgun, and throwing knife cooldowns was a fun exercise. Mastering a moveset, both partial and perfectly, is satisfying and applicable to many of the heroes. Click here to watch embedded media The map, with its event spawns that help drive the action, is a suitable environment with plenty of spaces to play in. While there is only one map, it's constantly changing with different spawns to mix things up, and you can learn the locations of various landmarks to duck behind cover or jump off a ledge. Event spawns differ from game to game, but many are simple NPC enemies. Other events like power capsules enhance your whole team, but much of the time you may not see another soul as you complete these tasks in an arena largely devoid of activity. Team clashing is the best part of the game, with skirmishes that pick off players and small-scale engagements taking the spotlight. True 4v4’s are interesting, but there’s a distinct lack of teamplay elements. The combat is weightless outside of a few big attacks, with little feedback or punch to most weapons and abilities. Everyone simply does the same thing they would normally be doing in a 1v1 scenario and hopes things shake out. Crucible lacks any in-game voice communication, which forces you to connect with people you already know via other services. For example, letting teammates know you're sacrificing an objective to glean an edge elsewhere is an important memo to relay, as they may go and fight otherwise and end up putting the other team even further ahead. A ping system attempts to mitigate this, but it’s not practical. Depending on the game, you may not even see the other team much, as you both farm dinosaurs and pick off stragglers in 3v1s or trade control of points of interest. Click image thumbnails to view larger version One of the larger issues is the PvE component, which tasks you to essentially spend time dunking on dinos and spitter creatures between encounters with the other teams. The battles against these NPCs are fun for a few games, but then they become an absolute bore and a chore. The PvE component does everything it can to tear you away from fighting other players, instead forcing you to slaughter uninteresting one-note blobs of XP wholesale instead of actually playing the game. Of the three game modes, the only one worth mentioning is Heart of the Hives. If you’re going to play, this is the mode to check out. Two teams of four battle over PvE objectives, so you have cool decisions to make, like when to engage with the somewhat dangerous PvE entity or if you should cede a flag capture to the other team so you can grab some levels and powerups for an easier win. Like many other aspects of the game, this mode provides fun for a few games, and then fades from memory altogether. Eventually you realize that you could be doing something else or playing something more fun than being slowly dragged across the map on a dino-chain for what might be a slightly satisfying team fight. Crucible isn’t a bad game, but it’s not a good game either. In the context of today’s hero-shooter environment, that makes it a lost soul, struggling to find a strong sense of identity. With time, perhaps Crucible can find reasons to stay on the menu, but right now the recipe is diluted and dull. Score: 6.75 Summary: The hybrid PVE/PVP experience has cool concepts, but many of them fail to resonate in a meaningful way. Concept: Play as a variety of heroes in a third-person shooter, team-based environment Graphics: The environments can look slick and colorful, but a permeating sameness prevents the details from making an impact Sound: The effects and music are competent, but they can’t carry the experience by themselves Playability: Highly accessible to new players, with room to grow in terms of mastering timing, skills, and strategies Entertainment: Crucible has genuinely interesting character movesets, but is dragged down by a lack of combat impact, PvE that turns into a rote chore almost immediately, and sluggish pacing Replay: High Click to Purchase View the full article
  11. Sony has announced that it's hosting a livestream next week, which will be focusing on the PlayStation 5. More specifically, it's all about the games this time. The stream will be on Thursday, June 4, at 1 p.m. Pacific. On a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan outlined a few details on what to expect. "This digital showcase will run for a bit more than an hour and, for the first time, we will all be together virtually experiencing the excitement together," he said. "A lack of physical events has given us an amazing opportunity to think differently and bring you on this journey with us, and hopefully, closer than ever before. This is part of our series of PS5 updates and, rest assured, after next week’s showcase, we will still have much to share with you." The stream will be available on Sony's official YouTube and Twitch channels. View the full article
  12. Backward compatibility is a big topic for gamers and the upcoming next-gen systems. Sony hasn't publicly talked about this topic as much as Microsoft has for its Xbox Series X, but Eurogamer has seen developer documents which state that developers of PlayStation 4 games which are submitted for certification with Sony on or after July 13 must make those titles "technically" playable on the PlayStation 5. The report's qualifier of "technically" playable on the PS5 means that it's up to each developer to make sure this is the case, although Sony is working with its partners on the process. Also, submitted is different than released, as companies must turn in their titles to Sony for approval months before they come out. This means that PS4 games releasing this summer may fall outside the July 13 start point – although Eurogamer believes that high-profile first-party summer titles Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part II will indeed play on the PS5. The report also reveals that PS4 titles must contain the same features between the systems, and any update or remaster of the title after the July 13 cutoff would have to retain compatibility. Updates or remasters submitted before that date would be "strongly recommended" to keep compatibility. Sony has previously talked about backward compatibility for the PS5, but it's unknown how many PS4 titles will be playable at the PS5's launch later this year. In March, system architect Mark Cerny said that almost all of the top 100 PS4 titles based on playtime where playable at the time on the PS5. Sony is hosing a live stream on June 4 focusing on PS5 games, so perhaps we'll hear more about backward compatibility at that time. [Source: Eurogamer] View the full article
  13. Click here to watch embedded media Publisher: Motorsport Games Developer: 704Games Release: July 10, 2020 Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Developer 704Games showed off the first gameplay trailer for July 7's NASCAR Heat 5 (PS4, Xbox One, and PC), giving fans a glimpse of some of the pack racing at various tracks. Consistently performing A.I. was one of the things the studio wanted to improve upon this year, and it'll be interesting to see how that influences passing, drafting, and the overall pack racing, which should be different at each track. For more on the game, check out our previous preview, as well as our discussion with publisher Motorsport Games about the future of the franchise. View the full article
  14. On Twitter today, CDProjekt Red announced that The Witcher series has hit a major milestone - 50 million copies sold. While everyone waits with mad anticipation for the studios' next upcoming effort with Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher has been slaying monsters and making trouble for quite some time, and has even transcended to other major media forms such as the popular Netflix series. Over 50 million adventurers joined Geralt on his journey from Kaer Morhen to Vizima, through Flotsam and Vergen, Velen and Novigrad to Skellige Isles and Toussaint, and many, many more places, time and time again… Thank you and may we meet on the path again! pic.twitter.com/cZwOup9CEc — The Witcher (@witchergame) May 28, 2020 Check out our review of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt here! View the full article
  15. Patch 8.3 Hotfixes - May 28, 2020 Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker) Items and Rewards Preserved Contaminant and Gouged Eye of N’Zoth can now be applied to items acquired from weekly rated PvP quests. Player versus Player [With regional restarts] Corrupted Gladiator's Spite on use effect now keeps the afflicted enemies in combat for the full duration of its effect. Fixed an issue where Mantid Fire Bomb damage was scaling incorrectly against players. WoW Classic Black Lotus now spawns more often and can appear in many new locations. Black Lotus cannot be seen on-screen or on the minimap by players who are dead, unless they have Herbalism at level 300 or higher. In Warsong Gulch, several locations outside of the intended play area have been blocked off. View the full article
  16. Paramount Pictures and Sega Sammy have confirmed to Variety that a sequel to this year's successful Sonic the Hedgehog movie is in the works. The original movie currently sits at a 64 percent on movie-review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, with a 93 percent audience-approval rating. In addition, it earned the best opening weekend ever for a movie based on a video game. This news comes exactly one month after director Jeff Fowler said that there were not yet plans for a sequel. Now, Fowler is set to once again direct, with the writers of the first movie, Pat Casey and Josh Miller, returning as well. Casting decisions and production dates have not yet been determined. For more on our thoughts of Sonic the Hedgehog, check out our video discussion about the film. [Source: Variety] View the full article
  17. Publisher: Urnique Studio, Milk Bottle Studio Developer: Urnique Studio Release: May 20, 2020 Rating: Teen Reviewed on: PC When a child awakes in the middle of a mysterious facility full of hostile robots, she begins looking for a quick exit. Along the way, this innocent girl discovers she has precognitive powers that allow her to explore future timelines until she discovers the optimal route to safety. That's the premise to Timelie, Urnique Studio’s tightly designed stealth puzzle game that occasionally challenges your reasoning and critical thinking skills, but runs its course too quickly. Click here to watch embedded media All of Timelie’s levels are miniature mazes that have you dodging security drones as you make your way toward digital keypads to unlock the exit. Navigating these mazes is relatively simple, and your goal is almost always obvious, so the challenge comes from your limited windows of opportunity to dodge patrolling sentries and reach your target. Fortunately, your nameless heroine can see into the future. Practically speaking, this means that you can pause and rewind the action by scrubbing through a timeline at the bottom of the screen, which lets you fine-tune your movements through each tangle of hallways. Weaving through guard's eye lines and narrowly evading their grasp is always satisfying. Once you’ve perfectly orchestrated your escape, you can watch a real-time video of your plan in action, which is neat in concept. In execution, I was usually happy to skip these playbacks thanks to the main character’s slow movement. In the middle of this adventure, you befriend a stray cat. This cat can squeeze through narrow vents to reach new areas and can meow to distract guards at key moments. Because this kitty can’t reach keypads, you have to bounce between control of the cat and the girl, using their skills in tandem to outwit an army of security robots. Controlling two creatures at once is a fun wrinkle that adds welcome depth to Timelie’s otherwise simple structure, and I had the most fun carefully coordinating both of my characters’ movements like they were performing a well-rehearsed dance. Click image thumbnails to view larger version Even after the addition of the cat, Timelie’s puzzles never grow complex enough to be fully satisfying. A few sequences forced me to stop and consider all my options, but Timelie quickly runs out of tricks to throw at you, which makes the experience feel somewhat shallow overall. Additionally, during some of the late-game puzzles, I had to rewind to the beginning of a level’s timeline to correct an early mistake (which I didn’t know was a mistake at the time), forcing me to replay the whole stage. Most levels only take a few minutes to navigate, so this is a minor inconvenience, but it adds a sense of monotony to some of Timelie’s cleverest puzzles. Several games offer players the chance to rewind time and pause the action, but I’ve never grown tired of this particular power fantasy. I appreciate Timelie’s stealth-based, tactical approach to time manipulation. But just as Timelie starts to hit its stride, I hit the credits. Timelie isn’t the most comprehensive exploration of time manipulation, but its bite-sized puzzles are a welcome distraction. Score: 7.75 Summary: Urnique Studio’s tightly designed stealth puzzle game occasionally challenges your reasoning and critical thinking skills, but runs its course too quickly. Concept: A young girl works to escape the confines of a robot-infested facility only to discover that she can control time Graphics: Timelie’s environments aren’t detailed, but its smart use of color makes for a few interesting backdrops Sound: This generic orchestral score doesn’t add much to the action of this wordless adventure Playability: Controlling time is perfectly straightforward, but characters plod along at a snail’s pace Entertainment: Mastering time is fun and weaving past enemies in the nick of time is a thrill, but fine-tuning some of those near misses can be monotonous Replay: Moderate Click to Purchase View the full article
  18. Publisher: Awesome Games Studio Developer: Awesome Games Studio Release: May 8, 2020 Rating: Teen Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 Also on: Xbox One, Switch, PC A run in Fury Unleashed often concludes with either you or a boss falling. This epic fight often comes down to both sides just having a sliver of health left. The spoils of victory are obviously greater than defeat, but even death can be rewarding, as every run potentially unlocks a new weapon, and perhaps enough experience points to level up and upgrade abilities. Developer Awesome Games Studio has created a balanced roguelike that delivers fun run-and-gun action and challenging battles that get a little less painful each time you attempt them. Holding true to the Contra and Metal Slug games that Fury Unleashed draws inspiration from, you zip around stages filled with enemies, rotating the analog stick every which way to open fire. The controls are responsive and fluid, allowing you to quickly dash to new positions, and alternate between firearms and melee should enemies get too close. You can even bounce on enemy heads to make them explode, bank grenades off of walls, and use special attacks to freeze foes in place. All of this nicely made action is even better when you are playing with a friend, which is sadly only offered as couch co-op. If the game seems too hard, you can always lower the difficulty. The game is easy to get into and even easier to get lost in, given just how fun and rewarding it can be. Click here to watch embedded media If you chain together kills, you hit combo thresholds that activate abilities that give you an edge, such as various damage resistances and healing. The entire game is set within the panels of comic books in which you battle a random assortment of creatures, humans, and machines (most dying within a few hits, but rare variations of enemies in a red hue play the role of mini-bosses). The variety in the enemies is a bit light, but I like how some panels explode in unexpected ways, whether it’s Venus flytraps or turrets emerging from walls to join other foes. If you die along the way, you are sent back to the comic’s first panel, only it’s different, and every following panel is also rearranged, sometimes bringing better rewards and other times deadlier foes. A giant boss waits for you on the final page, and should you be able to take it down, you move on to a new comic book with an entirely different theme with its own set of adversaries. This setup works well for lightning-quick playthroughs, which is fantastic since you often want to level up or change gear after a run. The comics are linked and arranged in random ways, so you don’t have to finish a run when you find the last panel; you can always spend more time in a book by going back to see what each missed panel holds. Click image thumbnails to view larger version Since weapon and armor drops are all over the place, the randomized levels almost always deliver satisfactory loot. I may not find the exact weapon I want in each run, but I never find myself sticking with something I don't like for long, and am also able to pick up plenty of armor along the way. The true challenge is risking all by taking on a side task handed to you by an NPC. They ask many things of you, such as only using melee strikes to kill specific enemies or launching yourself through a dangerous gauntlet of obstacles, all for an unknown reward. These challenges create variety in the levels and make each run a little more interesting. Fury Unleashed’s story is its biggest surprise, as it focuses on the comic-book creator, who is down on himself and feels lost creatively. His story unfolds through text messages and social media posts that show how he and others feel about his work. When the first story moment is revealed, it’s a bit of a record-scratch moment, but once you pick up on what is happening, the story is fascinating to see unfold. It isn’t what you would expect from something that looks and plays like Contra. Like Dead Cells before it, Fury Unleashed is one of those roguelikes that is hard to put down, as you know the next run will only give you a better shot making more progress to unlock new comics, gear, and ultimately a better chance at taking down the final boss. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, whether you’re playing solo or co-op. Score: 8.5 Summary: Mowing down enemies for rewards that stick with you is a lot of fun, especially when it plays this well. Concept: A roguelike that plays like Contra and doles out meaningful rewards that help make subsequent runs easier Graphics: Stylish and bloody. The action is easy to follow, even with numerous enemies, spinning sawblades, and rockets crowding the screen Sound: The intense soundtrack is sometimes buried by the explosions and chaos, but that’s also when the sound is at its best Playability: The controls are responsive and surprisingly deep, allowing for quick dashes, grenade tosses, special attacks, and weapon switches to be performed as you bounce across platforms Entertainment: The action pops and is excellently crafted. You always feel like you are on the verge of making more progress, which is a great feeling for a roguelike Replay: Moderately High Click to Purchase View the full article
  19. Click here to watch embedded media On this week's episode of The Game Informer Show, we discuss The Last of Us Part II's recent State of Play where we finally see some uninterrupted gameplay, and we cover the recent reviews of Minecraft Dungeons and Monster Train. Of course, we end this week's show with a fun community segment full of emails and games. So please join me, Alex Stadnik, Jeff Cork, and Dan "The Jacket" Tack for another great show. We continue to do this show from our homes as we hunker down in quarantine, so please forgive us for any audio or video hiccups as we deliver content outside the studio. Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show. Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website. To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below. The Last of Us Part II State of Play Reactions: 6:32 Minecraft Dungeons Review Discussion: 21:39 Monster Train: 39:11 Community Emails: 51:23 View the full article
  20. Fist of Justice Hotfix Coming Soon Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) We think we’ve found a way to fix a bug, and we’re planning to deploy the fix in the next day or two. The bug is with the Corruption Effect Ineffable Truth and its interaction with abilities like Fist of Justice causing more than the intended amounts of cooldown reduction. The hotfix will make it so the flat cooldown reduction provided by Fist of Justice (and similar abilities) will not be unintentionally increased by effects that increase your cooldown rate (such as Ineffable Truth). We’ll confirm that the fix is live in our hotfixes update posts. WoW Classic - Black Lotus and WSG Adjustments Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Via hotfixes, we’re working on several quality-of-life improvements that should go live in the next few days. Black Lotus scarcity has been consistently among the top issues we’ve seen player feedback about, so we’ve decided to update how we handle Black Lotus spawns. Since the launch of WoW Classic, the game has used the spawn times and locations from original World of Warcraft, but population and social factors have led to Black Lotus being much more scarce than it was in original WoW. While these issues affect all mining and herb nodes to some degree, Black Lotus is especially affected because it has the special property of only having one spawn up at a time in each of the zones it spawns in. In original WoW, designers planned Black Lotus around a technical limitation – only 10 spawn locations per node type could be active at the same time in the same zone. We no longer have that limitation, but it gives us a design intention that we can work with: Black Lotus was supposed to spawn in the widest variety of locations, while there could only be one up at a time in each zone. As always, our goal is to minimize differences from original World of Warcraft, and we feel this is a case where we can follow that design intention in a way that is warranted by modern conditions as well as beneficial to players. We’re going to increase the spawn rate of Black Lotus, and we’re going to add many additional possible spawn locations in each of the Black Lotus zones. With a different hotfix, we’re working on making it so that a player cannot see a Black Lotus on-screen or on their minimap if they’re dead, unless they have 300 Herbalism. For Warsong Gulch, we’ve identified a number of locations in the battleground where clever players have found ways to get to a place they were never intended to go. These exploits are decidedly unfair, so we’re putting a stop to them. In most cases, the way we prevent such things is to place an invisible gate that blocks the unintended path. However, that’s sometimes impossible, so we make the out-of-bounds location fatal. We’re also working on a hotfix that should put a stop to one small annoyance – now, if a player is actively engaged with the mailbox or bank, they will be considered “busy” if someone else tries to initiate a trade with them. We’ll have all of these changes noted for you in the next Hotfixes Update that follows them going live. Thank you! View the full article
  21. Earlier this month, Natsume announced that its Harvest Moon series is receiving a new entry later this year. At that time, the Switch was the only confirmed platform – but today the company revealed that Harvest Moon: One World will release on both PS4 and Switch this fall. The story of One World involves exploring an entire world (rather than just your quaint hometown), managing a farm while restoring a variety of familiar fruits and vegetables to the world. It's worth noting that what we know as "Harvest Moon" in North America is a bit complicated. It was originally the name for the series called Bokujō Monogatari in Japan. Today, that series is called Story of Seasons in North America, while Natsume has continued developing its own farming/life simulations under the Harvest Moon banner. Even if this isn't the same series as the Harvest Moon you remember from titles like Friends of Mineral Town and A Wonderful Life, One World still has plenty of potential to deliver a pleasant, peaceful simulation on modern hardware. View the full article
  22. Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Developer: NetherRealm Studios Release: May 26, 2020 Rating: Mature Reviewed on: Xbox One Also on: PlayStation 4, Switch, Stadia, PC Since the Mortal Kombat series received a soft reboot in 2011, it has stood shoulder to shoulder with the most elite fighting franchises thanks to superb 2D fighting mechanics and consistent post-launch support. However, NetherRealm Studios’ Fatality-filled fighter reigns supreme in its story mode. Since the reboot, the series has delivered three cinematic stories that have expanded the franchise’s universe in interesting and absurd ways. Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath adds a new tale that picks up right where the base game left off, giving you yet another exciting adventure featuring the expanding cast of Mortal Kombat characters. As Aftermath begins, series antagonist Shang Tsung emerges from a portal to inform Raiden and Liu Kang that they need the destroyed Crown of Kronika to rewrite time without destroying the universe. After the duo agrees to form an alliance with the devious sorcerer, players are treated to an entertaining time-travel story starring several characters that were previously only available as DLC, including Nightwolf, Shao Kahn, Sindel, and Shang Tsung himself. As you work through five new story chapters, you experience a tale of deception and betrayal rife with superbly choreographed fight scenes, fun character interactions, and plenty of bloody battles. I love how Aftermath’s story shines a light on characters that previously weren’t a part of this narrative; seeing Sindel and Shao Kahn wreak havoc is enjoyable, and I enjoyed watching Shang Tsung try to convince everyone he’s not the snake they know him to be. Click image thumbnails to view larger version Between fights, Aftermath carries on the series’ legacy of incredible cinematic sequences. Characters clash, limbs are severed, souls are stolen, and alliances crumble in the most bombastic ways; these cutscenes hold nothing back. The impressive motion- and facial-capture tech is on full display, with battles that would feel at home in a modern action movie. Believable facial movements sell the character interactions, whether they are reacting to dialogue or getting dealt a devastating blow. However, the tale is anchored by the performance of its main character: Shang Tsung as portrayed by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. Tagawa is best known for his portrayal of the evil sorcerer in the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, and he slides effortlessly back into the role in a starring capacity. Also returning to a familiar role is Peter Weller, the star of the 1987 movie RoboCop. While RoboCop doesn’t appear in the story, Weller performs aptly as the character three decades later, and it’s fun to see him back as the cybernetic police officer as one of the three new characters included in the Aftermath bundle. The technology-based bruiser is formidable; I had fun combining RoboCop’s heavy shoulder charges, flamethrower, and Auto-9 pistol for creative combos that bullied my opponents. Longtime Mortal Kombat fans also see the return of two familiar faces in Fujin and Sheeva. Sheeva’s heavy-hitting grappling approach gives her all kinds of powerful ways to toss her opponents around a stage, and the Shokan queen’s Dragon Drop move can cause trouble for players trying to stay out of her grabbing range. Fujin has been a less prominent character in the franchise recently, but because of his limited role, his story chapter is particularly interesting. It gives the player insight into his history and dynamic with other characters, including his brother Raiden. Fujin’s playstyle is much more agile than RoboCop and Sheeva, and using the wind to manipulate your enemy is a blast. His Fatal Blow, where he uses his godly powers to throw around his katana, is among my favorites. Click here to watch embedded media In addition to the premium story, characters, and skins in Aftermath, NetherRealm released a free update that adds multiple offerings for all Mortal Kombat 11 owners. The biggest inclusion is the return of Friendships, over-the-top, goofy finishing moves introduced in Mortal Kombat II. These hilarious finishers offer friendly gestures in stark contrast to the gory mutilations in Fatalities, ranging from Sub-Zero wheeling out an ice-cream cart to Noob Saibot performing an energetic jump-rope routine. Each Friendship is hilarious in its own way, and I always looked forward to seeing the silliness that ensued when one was initiated. Also included in the free part of the update is a suite of new stages and Fatalities associated with them. I loved returning to the acid-filled Dead Pool, but the Retrocade is my favorite addition. That stage delivers a ‘90s arcade complete with change machine, cardboard standees of past Mortal Kombat games, and even Primal Rage and Rampage arcade cabinets. Plus, it has classic, pixelated stages projected on the wall behind you. While you’re able to play through the story in a single evening, Aftermath gives you a deeper look into the Mortal Kombat universe as seen through the eyes of characters who aren’t typically stars of the show. When combined with three additional characters, Aftermath delivers a strong package for fans of the latest iteration of the bloody fighting franchise. Score: 8.5 Summary: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath delivers a fun story to play through and three unique characters, making this a strong package for fans of the latest iteration of the bloody franchise. Concept: Continue the bonkers story of Mortal Kombat 11 and add three fighters to the ever-growing roster Graphics: Some of the impressive cinematics feel ripped straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster, and the detailed facial animations put an exclamation point on every painful blow Sound: Hearing Peter Weller reprise his role as RoboCop is a treat, but the star of the show is Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Shang Tsung Playability: The three new characters flawlessly fit into the existing playstyles, and the story does a great job of putting you in control of various post-launch characters not in the original story Entertainment: Seeing a continuation of the bonkers Mortal Kombat 11 story is thrilling, and the new characters are solid additions Replay: Moderate Click to Purchase View the full article
  23. Epic Games has announced a one-week extension to Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 2 in preparation to launch Season 3. The season, which began in February, will now give way to Chapter 2 - Season 3 on June 11. To signal the transition, Fortnite will host a one-time-only live event called The Device on Saturday, June 6 at 2 p.m. Eastern. This event is said to progress the game's story, and will only happen one time, so Epic Games recommends you arrive 30 minutes early since space will be limited. Prior to the event and start of the new season, you can still complete your Battle Pass challenges to lock in appearance choices for several characters including Brutus, Midas, TNTina, and Meowscles. Once the new season begins on June 11, the Battle Pass characters' appearances are locked in. View the full article
  24. Click here to watch embedded media Publisher: Square Enix Developer: People Can Fly Release: 2020 Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC People Can Fly and Square Enix have released the first Outriders Broadcast, a special video series designed to give players a deeper look at the upcoming loot-based shooter. Today’s video has nearly 30 minutes of new footage, and a ton of information to digest. Some of it’s new, much of it has been known since our cover story on the game, but it’s definitely worth checking out. One of the biggest bits of information shown comes in the form of the Perforo. What the heck is a Perforo? Well, they’re an indigenous life form on Enoch, the planet the game is set on. Apparently, they’re not particularly thrilled at the players’ presence. We fought some human enemies and a large ape-like creature in our earlier hands-on time with the game, but this is the first time we’ve seen these humanoids. They come in several different types, but they all seem to share the same twisted, inside-out appearance. The encounter with the Perforo comes in a new mission, where the players are tracking down an abandoned truck that may contain some important tech. It’s mostly used as a backdrop for showing off a variety of the game’s systems. For instance, we see various UI elements toggled on and off, giving players a fair amount of granularity for their HUDs. Don’t like visible damage indicators, minimaps, or other indicators cluttering up your screen? You can easily turn them off as you see fit. World tiers also get called out in the Outriders Broadcast. As you kill enemies, you level up the overall world difficulty, which can optionally be increased. Higher tiers are more challenging, but they’ll provide better rewards. There’s an interesting element to it, in that you lose a small amount of world XP when you die. Because of that, it’s possible to get knocked down a world tier if you keep failing. It’s both a way to balance things out better as well as prevent people from grinding out areas beyond their abilities. The video ends with a look at the Trickster class, one of four classes in the game. As we showed in our video, this class manipulates time and space to dominate the battlefield. Another small detail was shown, in that characters have two different melee attacks. One is activated while standing still, and another can be activated while the player is running toward enemies. The latter has a particularly powerful effect, rewarding players who decide to get in close. The video ends with some short answers to several community questions. People Can Fly reiterated that Outriders isn’t a games as service, it won’t contain microtransactions, and it won’t use Denuvo DRM software. Outriders is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020. View the full article
  25. You might not be able to visit Galaxy’s Edge in Disney right now, but you may soon be able to bring a piece of those parks into your home. Oculus Studios, ILMxLAB, and Lucasfilm are working on a new VR experience that ties into the Disney’s Galaxy's Edge theme park at Disney’s resort parks. We don’t know much about the VR experience at the moment, but the studios were careful not to call it a game, which is interesting. “The rich storytelling in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has redefined what a Disney park experience can be, and we are thrilled fans will have an opportunity to discover new stories, meet new characters and explore new regions of the planet Batuu in Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge,” said Scott Trowbridge, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Executive. “Now our guests can immerse themselves in these stories both inside and outside our parks.” What we do know about this new VR project is that it features an original story staring both new and iconic characters from the Star Wars universe, is set on the planet of Batuu, and takes place between the films The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. This all sounds like a fun complement to the Vader Immortal series, which wrapped up late last year, and we’re all for more VR experiences that help us explore our favorite franchise and push the VR medium forward. Hopefully this project turns out well. View the full article
  26. A huge talking point going into the upcoming console generation centers on compatibility. Players have already invested a ton of money on games and accessories, and many are crossing their fingers that those investments won't be completely canceled out when new systems hit store shelves this holiday season. Xbox has already said that Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games that run on Xbox One through that system's backwards compatibility initiative will work on Series X, and that accessories will also carry forward into the next generation of hardware. Today, the team at Xbox gave more insight into the backwards compatibility features of the upcoming Xbox Series X. With more than 600 games from previous generations working on Xbox One, as well as the massive library of games released for Xbox One available, the Xbox Series X will have thousands of compatible games at launch. This feat required Microsoft to clear major hurdles when it comes to system and chip architecture to allow games from multiple generations to be played on the newest hardware. In addition, Microsoft has put in more than 100,000 hours of playtesting to make sure that Series X is not only compatible with your current libraries, but also delivering an optimal performance in ways past systems couldn't. According to Xbox, all backwards compatible games run natively on Xbox Series X hardware, utilizing the full power of the CPU, GPU, and SSD. This enables older games to achieve performance that is at least what was delivered on the game's original system, while sometimes performing in ways that were impossible on lesser hardware. Some backwards compatible games running on Xbox Series X could see improvements in higher and more steady framerates, higher maximum resolution, better visual quality, and shorter load times. Xbox Series X also uses new technology to automatically add HDR support to games with no impact to that game's performance. Additionally, the new Quick Resume feature of Xbox Series X, which allows you to jump right back in to a game where you left off across multiple titles, works with backwards compatible games as well. On top of that, Xbox is working on methods to deliver new innovations to a small list of older games to update them to modern standards of image quality, resolution, and performance while still respecting the original artistic intent. For example, a method the team is using allows them to update older games to 4K resolution, or even double framerates from 30 fps to 60 fps or from 60 fps to 120 fps. Microsoft also mentions achievements, game progress, and friends lists carrying forward. We'll continue to learn more about Xbox Series X, its capabilities, and its games in the coming months ahead of its holiday 2020 launch. View the full article
  27. The Last of Us Part II is easily one of the most anticipated PlayStation 4 games of the generation, and we’re only weeks away from experiencing Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic epic from start to finish. The full game hits June 19, and it sounds like the perfect way to kick off the summer. But don’t go into this dystopian world unprepared; as you patiently wait to get your hands on a copy, we’ve compiled this spoiler-free recap of everything you might need to know about The Last of Us Part II. Who is the developer? Let’s start with the basics. The studio is called Naughty Dog and it has a long history in the industry, working on fan-favorite series like Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, and Uncharted. Recently the studio has become renowned for its focus on polished storytelling and larger-than-life setpiece moments. Expect plenty of those in Part II. What happened in the first game? The first part of The Last of Us launched in 2013, and established a dystopian future where a mutant Cordyceps fungus ravaged the United States, turning humans into zombie-like monsters, better known as the Infected. Years after this initial outbreak, a gruff, no-nonsense man named Joel must chaperone a girl named Ellie across the country. Ellie is immune to the Cordyceps fungus, and some believe she is the key to finding a cure. Much of the original game recounts Joel and Ellie’s harrowing journey across the country, and it explores the familial bond that slowly forms between the two. The story is full of touching moments and brutal action – a modern classic worth playing if you haven’t already. What’s the story setup for Part II? Set five years after the events of the original, Part II picks up Ellie’s journey after she turns 19. Ellie and Joel have both settled into a community in Jackson, Wyoming, and they've eked out the closest thing to a normal life that the world has seen in over 25 years. However, tragedy soon finds Ellie again, as a rogue group of survivors does something that destroys the happy home Ellie has helped build. Naughty Dog has been incredibly cagey about this incident (but the internet is full of story spoilers, so be careful out there). The one thing we do know is that this incident sets Ellie on the course for revenge. This journey takes Ellie to Seattle where she goes head-to-head with a ruthless group of survivors. Overall, Part II will greatly expand on the world of The Last of Us, and Naughty Dog promises to grapple with tough choices as it philosophically muses on hate and revenge. Do you play as anyone other than Ellie? No, at least according to Naughty Dog. However, during the development of the first game, Naughty Dog said that you wouldn’t play as Ellie, which wasn’t true, so maybe the team is keeping something a secret this time, too. Will Ellie travel across the U.S. like in the original game? Part II is set across several different locations and seasons, but Naughty Dog is not as focused on the journey across states this time around. Instead, most of the game takes place in either Jackson or Seattle. In fact, most of the game has you exploring a Seattle that's divided by warring factions. That said, Naughty Dog says this is its biggest game to date and some of the environments are truly massive. At certain points, you traverse these locations on a horse or via boat. Woah, woah, who are those warring factions you casually mentioned back there? Seattle is divided by two factions who are fighting over the city’s dwindling resources. The first group is called the Washington Liberation Front. The WLF is a resistance group that formed to combat the military occupation of Seattle in the early years of the outbreak. This group is highly trained, well-organized, and heavily armed thanks to the supply of weapons they “procured” from the army. Sadly, the WLF won’t hesitate to kill any trespassers they bump into, including Ellie. The group on the other side of this conflict isn’t much better. The members of this religious group are called Seraphites. They are also sometimes called Scars, because of the deep, self-inflicted wounds on their faces. This group is also very territorial, but are stealthier than the WLF, preferring the silence of arrows to bullets. The Seraphites occasionally practice ritualistic sacrifices and hang their victims from the neck before disemboweling them, believing that they are “nested with sin.” Click image thumbnails to view larger version If humans are this nasty, how bad are the Infected? Real bad. A lot of the classic Infected types return from the first game. Runners are newly infected humans who barrel at you in full rage. Naughty Dog says that Runners are even more aggressive than before. Meanwhile, Clickers are the blind enemies who chase down anything that makes a sound. Stalkers hide in the dark, waiting for the right time to strike. Naturally, Part II introduces a few new enemies’ types, such as Shamblers. These bloated enemies are covered in pustules that spit acid whenever they are attacked. This monster is essentially a tank that absorbs a great deal of pain before hitting the ground. This doesn't cover The Last of Us’s entire bestiary, because Naughty Dog has promised that the final game includes a few new types of Infected, some of whom are deadlier than anything we’ve seen before. Can you pit enemies against each other? Yes, just like the last game, all of these various factions hold grudges, and you can pit them against one another – just be careful that you don’t get overrun in the ensuing chaos. What are the new gameplay mechanics? Ellie is nimbler than Joel was in the first game. She can jump on top of objects and go prone to crawl through tight spaces. These tools come in handy when Ellie explores her environment, but they also invaluable during combat since Ellie can dodge attacks and even hide the grass. However, you aren’t completely hidden in grass. Naughty Dog calls this analog stealth because the closer enemies get to you the more likely they are to spot you … and even then dogs can catch your scent and hunt you down. Dogs?!?!? Oh yeah, did we forget to mention the dogs? Some of the human factions now employ dogs that follow your smell. You can actually see Ellie’s scent trail when you enter hunter vision, so you want to keep moving to avoid those pups. We don’t know if you can pet any of these dogs, but they sure don’t seem friendly. What about multiplayer? The original The Last of Us launched with a multiplayer mode, called Factions, which was surprisingly fun. Part II won’t launch with a multiplayer mode, but Naughty Dog has promised that it is working on a follow-up multiplayer experience. This mode will release sometime after the launch of the single-player experience. Click here to watch embedded media What’s new with crafting? Another big pillar of The Last of Us series is crafting. Much like the first game, Ellie can scavenge rundown buildings for useful components that can be combined into new tools, medical supplies, and weapons. One of these new gadgets is a trap bomb, which works a bit like a landmine. How do you upgrade your skills? In the first game, Joel collected pills that let him level up his abilities, improving the effectiveness of health kits, among other things. Ellie can also use pills, but it is a little more involved than last time. As you rummage through old shopping districts and homes, you find magazines that unlock skill trees to dump your pills into. These trees come in a variety of different flavors, so you can upgrade Ellie’s survival, stealth, or combat skills, or try to evenly distribute her talents, making her a well-rounded survivalist. Does the workbench from the original game return? Yes, at workbenches you can use salvage to upgrade your weapons, so they hold more ammo, reload faster, and suffer less recoil. These changes are even represented visually. For example, if you add a new scope, you see that scope added to the weapon when Ellie straps it over her shoulder. How does the music sound? Great. Gustavo Santaolalla returns to score this game. Santaolalla wrote the soundtrack to the first game, and he is a renowned composer who won Oscars for his work on the films Brokeback Mountain and Babel. If you loved The Last of Us’ haunting-yet-intense score, you won’t be disappointed with the sequel. Anything else cool about this game? Yes, I didn’t know where else to put this, but each enemy has their own name and they will call out to each other during combat. You can even hear them using their names when they discover the bodies of their fallen friends as you sneak through their camps. This all sounds awesome. Remind me when The Last of Us Part II launches? June 19. View the full article
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