metalmaniac619
metalmaniac619
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metalmaniac619 · 12 minutes ago
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New Kirby Game Seemingly Leaked Ahead of Nintendo Direct
A new Kirby game, possibly called Kirby: Discovery of the Stars, seems to have leaked ahead of today's Nintendo Direct.
Found in Nintendo Japan's release schedule by ResetEra user Oracion (image below), the game art seems to show Kirby in front of an overgrown cityscape. The Last of Us: Kirby Edition, anyone?
Aside from the fact that it will be a physical and downloadable game, no further information is available, and the game's official page is not yet available. The listed title, Discovery of the Stars, is a machine translation of the Japanese name for the game, and may well change for western release.
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It would mark the first mainline Kirby game since 2018's Kirby Star Allies, which we called "frantic four-player fun that's continually a blast, thanks to countless ally combinations." That was followed by fighting game spin-off Kirby Fighters 2 in 2019.
Today's Nintendo Direct airs at 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern / 11pm UK (that's September 24 at 8am AEST). It will be 40 minutes long, and focuses on games coming this winter to Nintendo Switch.
Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.
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metalmaniac619 · 12 minutes ago
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Handcop Is a Shooter About a Disembodied Hand With a Big Gun, and It's Already Huge on Reddit
Last weekend, game developer Jeff Ramos posted a gif he'd made on Twitter. It showed a disembodied human hand dressed like a dishevelled police detective, simultaneously running on two fingers and holding a massive pistol with the rest. It's strange, funny, and undeniably well animated – all of which helped it click, receiving a few thousand retweets and over 10,000 likes.
Emboldened, Ramos wondered what Reddit might think. When it hit r/gaming, the gif reached the same number of upvotes fairly quickly. Then it kept rising. Suddenly it hit Reddit's front page. At time of writing, it's passed 100,000 upvotes. Ramos' work had officially gone viral.
"Many people commented [saying] that 'this could be a great game!'" Ramos tells me over email. "I tried my best to explain that this IS a game."
In fact, it's a game that's already a year into development, aiming to mix the narrative of Max Payne, the sheer style of Superhot, the score attack chase of Hotline Miami, and couch it all in an '80s-inflected story of a little hand with a big gun. Ramos calls it the world's first Fist-Person Shooter.
Meet Michael McWrist, the star of Handcop:
Born in Brazil and living in London, Ramos has been working in animation since he was 17, eventually landing at Bossa Studios (Surgeon Simulator). The idea that became Handcop began as an experiment: "I was playing finger football with my wife and I saw a TV commercial featuring the hand from The Addams Family. So I thought it would be funny to learn procedural animations using a hand instead of a humanoid."
That prototype – which saw disembodied hands playing football (you can see a gif below) – eventually became an experiment in animating a more realistic hand while turning a VR experience into a non-VR game. That in turn became Hand of Pain, a fully playable, neon-hued shooter made for an itch.io game jam. As Ramos puts it, "The feedback was great so I had to continue."
Ever since, Handcop has been made in Ramos' spare time almost entirely alone, aside from some help from friends and Twitter acquaintances on voiceover, animation rigging, and concept art. Recently, the developer began paternity leave, which helped him increase the pace when not looking after his new child.
What's emerged from that work sounds – and looks – genuinely intriguing. Handcop's actively drawing on some beloved sources, not least '80s buddy cop movies, but Ramos is keen for his lead character to function as more than a sight gag, and offer more unusual gameplay opportunities. McWrist's small size is used for stealth runs, allowing you to enter tight spaces or tip-toe (tip-finger?) across power lines, while snapping his fingers allows for a blink-teleport ability. But that small size also means that Handcop is currently a one-hit kill game, adding the need for some more hardcore technical play.
"Different from most comedy games, the shooting is for real here," Ramos explains. "It is very satisfying and the headshots are superb." There are other action game staples too: dashing, slowing time, risk-reward dodges, execution manoeuvres that boost end-of-level scores at the expense of time taken, and more. McWrist can throw his gun at enemies, even enter melee combat, and Ramos is including multiple weapons, alongside planning wearable "rings to boost one of your stats."
It's definitely funny to watch, but the work being put in is no joke.
What do you call this camera? Is it first person? Third person? Over the knuckle? I don't know 🤷‍♂️#screenshotsaturday #gamedev #game #indiedev #madewithunity #unity3d #handcop #retro #retrogame #gaming #outrun pic.twitter.com/qo0YNTt8vZ
— Jeff Ramos 💙 (@jeffaramos) July 10, 2021
Despite that hard work, it's been a struggle to get noticed until now. "The week before [I posted the Reddit gif], I tried to boost the game by posting [everywhere] I could," Ramos tells me. "It was stressful and I missed quality time with my wife and my baby. I decided to never do that again.
"This weekend I couldn't sleep because my phone didn't stop, [I had so] many messages from people saying they want to make a game with this, this should be a game, or how weird this character is. It felt good, mainly because that 3 second loop is a year of hard work on a concept that I truly believed in and I am passionate about."
For Ramos, that reaction has been the vindication he needs to keep working on Handcop. He sees a potentially big future, and has been actively courting publishers to see if he can secure interest in his project. "The game can be much more than what a solo dev with zero funding can do," he tells me of that search. "I want to find a publisher, I want to explore the possibilities of this project, of this character."
What Ramos wants is more hands to make Handcop. But even if they fail to come, that Reddit response and the boost it's given him have made up Ramos' mind. "My dream has always been to direct a game, and that's what I want to do with Handcop, even if I have to animate, program and design at the same time." Fittingly, he'll do it one-handed if the job demands it.
Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.
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metalmaniac619 · an hour ago
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Warhammer 40,000: Fireteam Review
Games Workshop is best known for its miniatures games, Warhammer 40k and Age of Sigmar. But these present a significant barrier to new players in terms of digesting rules and collecting a whole army to put into the field. As such, it has long offered cut-down, introductory versions to entice the unwary.
The latest is Warhammer 40,000: Fireteam, in which a squad of close-combat Space Marines take on the sinister, robotic Necrons. However, Fireteam takes a fresh approach by adopting a stripped-down version of the miniatures rules for what is inarguably a board game. It has cards, a hex grid and there’s not a range ruler to be seen.
What’s in the Box
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Fireteam doesn’t look like much when you slide off the lid. Underneath a double-sided board, each surface printed with an abstract sci-fi battlefield, are a bunch of nondescript orange and white cards of various sizes. It’s when you realize that the box is deeper than the storage tray that the magic happens. Beneath are three sprues of brilliant miniatures.
You’ll need tools, time and ideally some glue to assemble them, but the results are amazing. The five Marine figures are outstanding, energetic and elegant despite their bulky armor. Their thirteen Necron opponents are harder to assemble and less striking to behold, but still detailed and disquieting.
The five Marine figures are outstanding, energetic and elegant despite their bulky armor.
Among the box contents are rules and cards for four other Fireteams that don’t have included models. They’re all factions from the 40k universe: Tau, Eldar, Orks and Imperial Guard and each corresponds to a single of models you can buy separately.
Rules and How It Plays
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Fireteam uses a simplified version of the Kill Team rules, which are themselves a simplified version of the full Warhammer 40k rules. When you activate a model it gains a certain number of action points it can spend to move and fire. In combat you choose a weapon and roll its specified number of dice, trying to get its to-hit number. The target then rolls its specified number of defense dice, trying to get its armor save number to cancel any hits.
Because this is a board game rather than a miniatures game, it can do away with the often clumsy rules required for measured movement. Instead, when you move or check range, you count hexes. To determine a line of sight, you draw a bead from the center of one hex to the middle of the target. It’s clean and fast, as you’d want a firefight game to be.
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You wouldn’t imagine, however, that such a basic framework would offer many strategies, but Fireteam gets its missions, boards, and cards to do the lifting in this department. There are twelve missions, each supposedly representing the pivotal moment of a larger battle. The introductory one puts the teams in opposite corners, seeking to control two objective hexes. Things escalate from there into terrain interactions, fetch and carry missions, and many more besides.
Each gives you particular ways to score points which often have little to do with eliminating enemy combatants. As such, it’s quite common to see your squad decimated and still win, one of several ideas it’s taken from its sister title Warhammer Underworlds. Others include its tight three-turn structure, keeping things tense, and giving each player a hand of objective cards. These give bonus points for fulfilling particular goals, like keeping your models spaced several hexes apart.
Fireteam uses a simplified version of the Kill Team rules, which are themselves a simplified version of the full Warhammer 40k rules.
The two included Fireteams are also very different in character. The Marines are fast and have the edge in melee. The Necrons, by contrast, are lethal at range but have a special rule that means they can’t take the same action twice. In practice this makes them ponderously slow, leaving a single model only able to move six hexes for the entire game. To compensate they have three fast but weak scarab swarms.
All the Fireteams have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Alongside the combat stats, each also has three ploys, special abilities of which they can activate one per turn. Those of the Marines center around combat boosts and claiming objectives. The Necrons, meanwhile, can make up for their slow speed by warping a single model across the board or reanimating fallen warriors. Making good use of these at the right time can help to swing the game in your favor.
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Each mission thus becomes a strategic puzzle in how to use cover, terrain and the unique qualities of your soldiers to achieve objectives. For that first, objective-based mission, the Necrons must work out how they can stop the speedy Marines from claiming those objectives on the first turn and gaining an unstoppable lead. Among other issues, this involves coordinating movement on their crowded starting area to ensure the lumbering robots don’t block each other’s line of sight.
Of course, in a three-turn game where every attack and defense pivots on a fistful of dice, “strategy” is perhaps too strong a word. But unless you’re dedicated to the deepest fare, solving each scenario puzzle despite the best efforts of the dice to thwart you offers a pleasing balancing of tension and tactics. Once the best approach to a mission is understood, the dice become more decisive. But the way missions prioritize objectives over kills tends to swing the balance away from combat and toward strategy.
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Although the asymmetry is a key part of Fireteam’s appeal, it does lead to some rather unintuitive rules. Each side gets to activate eight models per turn, which means that the Marines will end up activating at least one model more than once. A second activation only gets a single action, and you focus all your extra activations on the same model if you want. While this offers some fun tactical possibilities, it simply feels wrong to have a single warrior running halfway across the board and laying down a hail of fire all in the same turn.
There’s another aspect that throws a robotic wrench into the otherwise smooth gears of Fireteam, which is the sheer number of counters it uses. Models accrue counters to track wounds, activations and status effects. Stacks of large counters on a crowded board quickly become very hard to track, losing cohesion over which model owns which stack. And at the end of each turn, you must ferret out the non-wound ones without displacing the others. It’s a clumsy, awkward administrative task that sticks out badly in such a fast-playing game.
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Where To Buy
Warhammer 40,000: Fireteam retails for $49.99 and is available at select local hobby stores, as well as at the national retailers below.
Barnes & Noble (US)
GAME (UK)
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metalmaniac619 · an hour ago
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Call of Duty Vanguard's Subreddit Mocks the Game's Audio By Calling it 'Historically Accurate'
Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.
Call of Duty Vanguard's subreddit has taken to poking fun at the upcoming game's audio design by claiming that it is "historically accurate".
COD Vanguard recently ran an open beta for players to jump into the fray and test out their multiplayer skills. As well as giving fans the chance to get to grips with some of the Vanguard's new features, the beta also allowed developer Sledgehammer Games to receive feedback on a number of the game's elements.
One such feature that players felt didn't live up to expectations was Vanguard's audio, with many players highlighting that it lacked a certain punchiness and often sounded muted. This prompted a response from Reddit user ian2345 who jested that the developer's decisions in terms of sound design must have been to preserve historical accuracy.
"This game is supposed to take place in 1945 towards the end of the war/after the war was over," says ian2345 in a post on Vanguard's subreddit. "As such, it makes sense that after years of fighting, most of the soldiers have severe hearing damage from having a lack of hearing protection. This is portrayed accurately as our character in the game can obviously not hear very well and all of the weapons sound tinny to him and everything sounds muted. I did not expect this attention to detail and I say bravo to you guys for making sure we feel fully immersed that way."
While Sledgehammer Games is far from admitting that its choice in sound design came down to mimicking the damaged ears of veteran WW2 soldiers, the developer told fans during the beta that it was "aware of volume and mixing issues" and that it is "hard at work balancing everything for launch to fix bugs related to weapon audio, atmospheric audio, and more."
Call of Duty: Vanguard is the next game in the annual Call of Duty Franchise. Developer Sledgehammer Games previously released Call of Duty: WW2 in 2017 and is returning to the setting for this year's game as well. Albeit Sledgehammer is taking a more story-driven approach and the campaign will focus on a proto-Special Forces unit towards the end of the war.
In other Call of Duty Vanguard news, numerous reports suggest that the game may already be facing hacker problems. Numerous videos circulating social media across the Vanguard beta appeared to show the all-too-familiar sight of hackers navigating the map with automatic lock-on aim cheats enabled.
Last month, we learned that Activision is working on a "multi-faceted, new anti-cheat system" set to debut alongside Warzone's upcoming pacific-themed map while it also looks like those with an account or hardware ban in Warzone will be subsequently banned from Vanguard. Although the sight of cheaters in Vanguard's beta is not one to be celebrated, at least fans can hold on to the knowledge that Call of Duty's new anti-cheat wasn't deployed for the event, meaning that there's still hope to clear up the franchise's hacking problem moving forward.
Hackers have arrived on the Vanguard Beta 👍 pic.twitter.com/zJs1q4xAUW
— CDL Intel (@INTELCallofDuty) September 18, 2021
For more on Sledgehammer's upcoming installment, make sure to check out our Call of Duty Vanguard page for a range of news, features, and trailers for the game.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
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metalmaniac619 · 3 hours ago
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Halo Infinite's Big Team Battle Has a Cool Area That's Also a Sly Destiny Reference
343 Industries recently showed off some more multiplayer action for Halo Infinite ahead of the game's back-to-back multiplayer tech previews starting this weekend. PC gameplay of a Big Team Battle CTF match on Fragmentation showed a little more of what fans can expect from Infinite when it launches later this year as well as an introduction to the game's very own loot cave – seemingly a reference to Halo creator Bungie's Destiny.
As broadcast from Halo's official YouTube channel, community director Brian Jarrard was joined by Fernando Reyez Medina to speak about some of the gameplay elements shown off in Big Team Battle. During the match, (starting at around the 9:17 in the video below), the pair come across a large fortified door protecting what Medina says the team internally refers to as the "loot cave" - a seemingly quiet nod to a similarly named area removed from Destiny.
Medina explains that accessing the cave's huge vault is something of a sub-objective during a match. For the team that does so first, powerful weapons and items can be found inside for the taking. In order to gain access to the loot cave, players must set their AI to work hacking through its entrance while they fend off enemy assaults.
As opening the loot cave isn't strictly part of a team's main objectives during the game, players will need to consider whether losing squad members to the loot cave cause is a worthwhile investment in their overall pursuits for victory. Either way, the area around the cave's entrance is almost sure to see its fair share of gunfire when Infinite launches later this year as teams look to wield its powerful treasures. It's a nice risk-reward feature, designed to bring players together in one small area in a large map.
The term "loot cave" very much comes with its own associations beyond Halo. Located behind Skywatch on Earth, Destiny's original loot cave was a respawn zone in which players would exploit the game to farm enemies for drops and experience. Patching the loot cave into a haunted Easter Egg was one of the first of many changes made to Destiny after it first launched. Bungie explained at the time that it made changes to the area in order to improve Destiny's standard progression for players. Given that Bungie created the Halo series, 343's use of the term – even if it isn't officially called a loot cave in the game – is a nice nod to the connection between the companies.
Halo's Big Team Battle is set to feature in the second week of the game's upcoming technical preview. For more on Infinite, including how 343 believes that bots will improve its multiplayer experience and a look at its new training mode, make sure to check out our dedicated page for the game.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
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metalmaniac619 · 4 hours ago
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PS4 Firmware Update Reportedly Keeps Consoles From Being Bricked
PlayStation 4 firmware update 9.00 reportedly prevents the console's battery from tampering with the PS4's ability to play games.
As reported by GameSpot, there was discussion earlier this year on websites like Ars Technica that the battery powering the clock inside every PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will prevent the consoles from being able to play games. Because the consoles use their own clock to verify PlayStation trophy information, if the battery in that clock dies out then the consoles reportedly won't be able to start games.
YouTube channel Modern Vintage Gamer removed the battery from a PlayStation 4 with firmware update 9.00 and found that games were able to play, according to GameSpot. There is no official information from PlayStation regarding this issue.
DualShockers has the official patch notes for update 9.00 and there is no mention of any changes to the console's battery. There was reportedly a change to trophies though. PlayStation 4 users can now view PlayStation 5 trophies on their consoles in the Trophies section and under the profiles in the Games tab.
There were also changes to Messages where a group owner can now delete a group. Also, if you block another user that you share a group with, then you will have the option to remove yourself from the group that's shared with them.
Sony also added the ability to use Remote Play on an iOS or Android device using mobile data and made changes to Parental Controls.
Now that PlayStation 4s will hopefully stick around for much longer, check out the best PS4 accessories to get.
The PS4 continues to put out new games in the next generation but IGN has already put together a list of the best games of the PS4/Xbox One Generation and the (mostly) complete history of the PlayStation 4.
Petey Oneto is a freelance writer for IGN.
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metalmaniac619 · 5 hours ago
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eFootball Preview: PES Is Dead, Long Live eFootball
Football gaming is perhaps the most stagnant of all sports genres. FIFA’s pay-to-win, arcade hegemony lords it over PES’ clunky menus, but realistic gameplay. Rinse, reskin, and repeat.
But this year that’s all changing. And when I went to Konami’s Windsor HQ for a hands-on event for eFootball - yes, the PES, aka Pro Evolution Soccer moniker is dead - I was intrigued as much by the gameplay as by their vision to make this bold experiment the future of sports games.
Happily, the pre-release build I got my mitts on was excellent fun. That build was a hybrid of pre- and post-release. So some advanced gameplay mechanics that won’t be coming to the game until later this autumn (essentially, variations of shots and passes) were included, but other key features, such as PS5 haptics, were missing.
Devs mentioned the words “simulation,” “intensity,” and “physicality” multiple times. And I think that, based on what I’ve played so far, Konami has largely delivered. Each one-on-one feels like a chess match in miniature. eFootball invites you to get your shoulders - even elbows - stuck into the opposition to battle for possession, with this year’s ball feeling pleasingly untethered to your player’s foot. Football games have historically had a tendency to ‘lock on’ to the ball when at your control, but here the ball feels like a volatile, independent object that needs to be taken care of or hunted down - much like the real thing.
This invites the defending player to press high and hard, referencing modern football nicely. Jurgen Klopp would be proud. I actually think pressing is slightly overpowered in the build I played - but I expect a lot of balancing tweaks will be applied in eFootball’s weekly updates after launch. Think of pressing as a slightly overpowered SMG on Warzone. Hopefully it doesn’t get nerfed entirely, just brought down a touch.
A new feature much vaunted by Konami is the ability to quickly recycle the ball after going out for a throw, including the addition of ballboys. This is hardly ground-breaking (FIFA has had quick throws for years now) but eFootball’s quick goal kicks specifically are an exciting new weapon to exploit an opponent’s limited attention span. I myself nearly got caught out from a quick CPU restart, meaning the ball was already bypassing my midfield before I had turned back to the screen. It’s a fun system that might truly allow us to live out our Trent Alexander-Arnold/Divock Origi quick-set-pieces of dreams.
eFootball also takes aim at some of the series’ historical failings. PES 2020 (and the reskinned 2021) had particularly painful commentary, menus, and refereeing. Pleasingly, all three are much improved. While not flawless, commentary is much more invisible and immersive. Referees can still frustrate, but are much fairer than last year’s officials, who were intensely relaxed about on-pitch assault and battery.
But the big win here is in the menus. Konami has finally binned PES’ teeth-gnashingly awful aesthetics for a modern and clean system. Changing players, kits, and the weather and time of day is far less taxing than before. At their best, some menus were actually downright pretty. Again, I played a very limited demo build, so this will be put to the test when it comes to more complex game modes and team management. But so far, so good.
Another area that the eFootball team have overhauled is the camera, creating a new ‘duel’ camera system, dynamically zooming in to isolate key on-the-ball battles, before zooming out to show the full tapestry for those raking, cross-field passes. I expected this to become frustrating quickly - and if it is, you can turn it off. But I was pleasantly surprised by how refined this camera system is already. It’s a promising new tool.
Intrigued to see how all this combined into one cohesive, competitive experience, I quickly jumped into matches against the devs and got a sense of how eFootball plays in a competitive context. My possession tactics and high line were punished by my counter-attacking opponents - but, conversely, I could inventively invite their pressure and punish them. It was fun and, crucially, fair.
Questions do linger though. While this was a gameplay event, the new F2P model was the large elephant-as-service in the room. The initial offering is sparse, launching with the game on the 30th of September with just a handful of teams and a pinch of modes. The major fall update, which sees the game launching on mobile and offering a more fleshed out suite of modes, has to create a moreish offering that keeps players coming back across all major platforms (which sadly doesn’t as-yet include Switch).
eFootball’s success ultimately lives or dies based upon its post-launch appeal and support.
Clearly, the idea is to foster the kind of competitive, cross-platform infrastructure only seen thus far in the battle-royale format. But that ambition leads to questions of its own. This is a “console-first” experience, but it seems like the PS5 is particularly favoured - especially the DualSense controller. Haptic implementation was a feature that the devs seem particularly proud of, mentioned several times. Will Xbox and last-gen players be left behind?
This could be a new dawn for football games - I really respect the ambition of the team behind the gameplay, and they’ve hit upon a core loop that hooked me in the session, and has left me wanting more. So that’s half of the job well done. But with FIFA still ever dominant, and new upstarts like UFL waiting in the wings, eFootball’s success ultimately lives or dies based upon its post-launch appeal and support. Time will tell.
Daniel Curtis is a freelance writer, producer and filmmaker. He’s also a long-suffering Chesterfield FC fan. Say hi to him on Twitter @danielpdcurtis.
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metalmaniac619 · 5 hours ago
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Konami’s eFootball Doesn't Support Cross-Save or Cross-Progression Yet
When Konami’s eFootball launches in full later this year, the football sim will feature cross-play between PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and mobile devices – but cross-save and cross-progression between these systems won’t be supported. Hopefully, that won't always be the case.
Following IGN’s two-hour hands-on preview of eFootball, Konami confirmed to IGN that “eFootball does not currently support cross-progression or cross-save between different platforms, however we aspire to include this in future.”
Cross-save and cross-progression would mean that you could carry your eFootball profile, saves and associated purchases across various platforms. So before heading out, you could upload your Creative League progress from your PS5, for example, and continue that on eFootball on mobile. Sadly, that's not going to be possible, seemingly for some time.
eFootball won’t include full cross-play at its initial launch on September 30 (although players within console families will be able to match up), but a major update is scheduled for this fall, and will see the feature introduced alongside the addition of Android and iOS versions of the game. Cross-play won’t be totally mandatory, though – Konami says console players can opt out of playing with mobile gamers.
eFootball is Konami’s free-to-play successor to Pro Evolution Soccer, and will launch in limited form on September 30, featuring 9 teams and no microtransactions. Alongside a lack of full cross-play, it will also be missing some key gameplay features, such as ‘sharp kicks’ and haptic feedback. The fall update should add much, much more, including paid content.
While you wait for launch, you can read why Konami's rival FIFA 22 is looking promising, and learn more about the new football game on the scene, UFL, in our developer interview.
Daniel Curtis is a freelance writer, producer and filmmaker. He’s also a long-suffering Chesterfield FC fan. Say hi to him on Twitter @danielpdcurtis.
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metalmaniac619 · 5 hours ago
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Xbox Will Soon Let You Switch Back to Your 360 Gamerpic for a Hit of Pure Nostalgia
If you're sick and tired of your larger, flashier current-gen gamerpic and were blessed enough to have one dating back to the Xbox 360 days, then you're in luck. Xbox will soon let you switch back to your retro 360 gamerpic and unlock that sweet feeling of nostalgia.
Microsoft Engineering Lead Eden Marie revealed on Twitter (below) that Alpha Skip Ahead Insider players will now be able to reboot their consoles today for a new option on their "change gamerpic" screen. It's out with the new and in with the old. With the change in place for Insiders, the option should appear for regular users in the not-too-distant future.
Hey all, I know a bunch of you were asking for a way to go back to your Xbox 360 gamerpic. Exploration Time to the rescue! If you're an Alpha Skip Ahead Insider, you may need to reboot your console, but starting today you'll find a new option in your "change gamerpic" screen. pic.twitter.com/YWijIJR2HE
— Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) September 21, 2021
When changing your gamerpic back to its 360 counterpart, Marie notes a few important things. Firstly, the only option you have in terms of your old 360 picture is whatever you set it to last. Not only does this mean that you might want to prepare yourself for a bit of self-reflection if it's not what you expected, but also that to change it, you'll still need to log back into your 360 console where any changes should then carry over.
When setting your 360 gamerpic on newer consoles, fans might notice that it looks a little different to how they remember. To bring it over to current-gen consoles, the 360's classic square design has been mapped over the top of a semi-transparent dark circle to ensure consistency with other current gamerpics. Unfortunately, for fans who didn't originally have a 360 gamerpic, there's no option to go back and choose one from the catalog of images available at the time.
News of the change follows a similar story that surfaced last month after Marie decided to make it her "personal mission" to fix one Twitter user's 360-era profile picture that, as a result of advances in Xbox UI, had shrunk to the size of a tiny square surrounded by a void-like grey circle. With 360 gamerpics as far back as 2006 now firmly back in play, who knows what Xbox might drag out from the late 2000s next.
Listen, I can't promise anything, but I'm going to make it my personal mission to fix this https://t.co/o1zYjBBHSd
— Eden Marie (@neonepiphany) August 25, 2021
For more on the Xbox Series X, make sure to check out this article discussing updates rolled out to Alpha-Skip Ahead users in August that have allowed the console's dashboard to run at a higher resolution.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
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metalmaniac619 · 5 hours ago
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Death Stranding Director's Cut Review
It’s been two years since Death Stranding’s release; in that time, the PS4 and PC versions of Kojima’s backbreaking delivery man simulator have gone on to sell more than five million copies combined, making it a success by any measure. However, anecdotally I’ve come across just as many people who have played Death Stranding and completely loved it as I have people who’ve bounced off it within its intentionally grueling opening hours. It’s the latter group of people who perhaps wanted to like it but couldn’t, along with any other fence-sitters, that this PlayStation 5 Director’s Cut seems to have in mind; its raft of quality-of-life improvements and player-friendly features added specifically to make more manageable molehills out of its many formidable mountains. It's just odd that so many of these concessions seem to directly contradict the deliberate hard-working spirit that many appreciated about the original version, which makes the Director’s Cut feel somewhat... compromised.
The new firing range is definitely a welcome inclusion. Accessed via the terminal at any distribution center, it allows you to get to grips with every weapon – and each of them now feels more distinct thanks to the subtle feedback afforded by the DualSense’s adaptive triggers. On top of just blasting paper targets, there are around 30 different VR drills in which you compete against the clock – from stealth-slicing umbilical cords through a gauntlet run of BTs to making fools out of MULEs using only grenades. These are enjoyable little challenges in their own right, but more importantly, they allow you to get a feel for Death Stranding’s combat without the risk of losing any precious cargo that comes with trying to learn to fight while you’re out on the job.
What We Said About Death Stranding on PS4
Certain landmark games in recent years, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Red Dead Redemption 2, have managed to successfully tread the line between the rigidity of realism and the exhilaration of pure escapism. But much like its stumbling protagonist, Death Stranding just can’t consistently get the balance right despite possessing equally lofty ambitions and countless inventive ideas. There is a fascinating, fleshed-out world of supernatural science fiction to enjoy across its sprawling and spectacular map, so it’s a real shame that it’s all been saddled on a gameplay backbone that struggles to adequately support its weight over the full course of the journey. It’s fitting that Kojima Productions’ latest is so preoccupied with social media inspired praise, because in some ways I did ‘Like’ Death Stranding. I just didn’t ever love it. - Tristan Ogilvie, November 1, 2019
Score: 6.8
Read the full Death Stranding (PS4) Review
The firing range may provide a safe space to master Death Stranding’s fighting, but it’s not as game-changing as the buddy bot and cargo catapult. Previously only glimpsed in cutscenes or employed unseen for automated deliveries, the buddy bot can now be used in a number of different ways: it can strut along behind you carrying crates, leaving Sam unencumbered and less prone to losing his balance; or you can load it up with a shipment, slap it on its sassy robot arse, and watch it sprint off into the distance to the cargo’s intended destination. If that still sounds like too much hard work, it can even carry your Norman Reedus-shaped sack of bones all the way to the nearest distribution center on autopilot, which is huge news for anyone who’s ever wondered what it must feel like to be a bored house cat riding a Roomba.
Huge news for anyone who’s ever wondered what it must feel like to be a bored house cat riding a Roomba.
Meanwhile the cargo catapults, which you can start constructing around the story’s midpoint, allow you to load up your boxes and fire them hundreds of metres across the map, a bit like using one of the Angry Birds as a carrier pigeon. There is a limitation to how far you can launch your flying freight before a parachute must be triggered in order to manually guide it safely to the ground, but it’s at least far enough to clear some of the nastier crevasses or wider rivers in Hideo Kojima’s stunning (albeit oddly Icelandic) vision of post-apocalyptic America.
If, during my darkest hours with the original game – such as the extended slog through the mountains roughly 20 hours through the story – you’d offered me a cannon to fire crates of medical supplies even halfway to their summit destination I’d have loaded that cannon with hundred dollar bills and fired it directly into your beautiful face. However, while the cargo catapult and buddy bot certainly make completing orders less painful in Death Stranding, they don’t necessarily make them actually fun. At the end of the day, you’re still moving stacks of indistinguishable boxes from A to B, over and over again. Just because a menial task is made to be easier, doesn’t make it any less dull or repetitive; the calculator app on my phone may well prevent me from having to count on my fingers, but it certainly doesn’t mean I gain any more excitement out of doing my taxes.
Just because a menial task is made to be easier, doesn’t make it any less dull or repetitive.
In fact, although I certainly had my frustrations with the original “cut” of Death Stranding, never once did I think its demanding delivery gameplay was in any way arduous by accident. Kojima is undoubtedly one of the boldest game designers of all time, and he appears to be surrounded by an extremely talented team at Kojima Productions. Death Stranding isn’t a great game idea that was executed poorly; in my mind, it’s a fundamentally unappealing idea for a game executed extremely well.
That makes it especially odd that some of these Director’s Cut additions seem to actively undermine what I interpret to be the whole meaning behind the gameplay. Unless I’m mistaken, the rewards in Death Stranding are intended to be earned by carefully managing cargo and plotting intelligent routes to your destination in order to make a successful delivery. The buddy bot takes that stiff challenge, loads it onto its cargo tray and literally walks it all the way back, taking any potential sense of satisfaction with it. Sure, there is a slight penalty for relying on your doting droid to do it all for you – buddy bot deliveries are capped at A ratings, meaning you derive slightly less likes than you would completing a delivery unassisted and attaining an S rank. And they’re also not entirely infallible, since occasionally they can get stuck on the steeper sections of terrain. But these are both minor inconveniences to suffer in return for such a sizable reduction in labour.
Some of these Director’s Cut additions actively undermine the whole meaning behind the gameplay.
Retracing Your Steps
Meanwhile, there are a handful of features presumably intended to entice die-hard Death Stranding fans – or Die-Hardfans as Kojima prefers to call them (probably) – but like the contents of Sam’s backpack after he’s taken his umpteenth tumble down a modest incline, these are a bit of a mixed bag. At the very least, you can gain quick access to most of the new features without having to start the whole campaign over; as long as you still have access to your completed PS4 save you can import it into the PS5 version with all your progress and various shared structures intact.
I made a beeline for the new race track, which can be constructed by delivering the requisite materials to a dedicated site just south of the Timefall farm. Sadly, it turned out to be barely worth the effort: the racing track features just two unremarkable circuits that can only be raced in simple solo time trials (with the added option of racing them both in reverse). Ironically, for a game otherwise preoccupied with weight management and inertia, the three vehicles on offer here exhibit a noticeable lack of heft. The truck and trike are both slow and far too easy to steer around full laps without requiring any real need for braking. Meanwhile, the sleek new roadster vehicle is at least fast enough to be thrown sideways around a sharp corner, but the way you’re brought to an instant halt by an invisible force field should you even touch the trackside rumble strip kind of sucks the fun out of it. It’s no wonder that Monster Energy has seemingly pulled its products out of the Director’s Cut, since Death Stranding’s bland brand of circuit racing is about as far away from extreme sports as you can get.
Death Stranding’s bland brand of circuit racing is about as far away from extreme sports as you can get. 
On the plus side, completing the race track’s time trials gives you the ability to fabricate the roadster for general use in the world. It’s only really practical to take it out on one of the player-paved highway stretches, though, since attempting to steer the sports car’s low suspension over Death Stranding’s otherwise jagged terrain feels about as smooth as trying to iron the creases out of a shirt made of rhinestones.
As far as new story content, I can’t say that the over-explained nature of the ending left me begging for more details, but this Director’s Cut gave them to me anyway, although only in a very modest serving. The new ruined factory is situated to the northeast of the Distribution Center West of Capital Knot City. (Giving directions in Death Stranding sure is confusing – no wonder these people never leave their bunkers.) It’s a dilapidated facility recessed into the side of a mountain that provides an interesting space to explore, but there’s just not enough of it to really leave a mark. It’s effectively comprised of two main areas that each house a small gaggle of guards to take out, a token Metal Gear Solid reference, and then a short sequence that gives some fresh insight into the backstory of one of Sam’s closest allies. If you’re fascinated by the end of the world lore that Kojima Productions has created then you’ll likely lap this up, but just don’t go in expecting an enormous amount of new information to uncover.
Elsewhere there are ramps to build if you fancy going from Postman Pat to Evil Knieval. There’s a new maser gun that fires out electricity, allowing you to wrangle MULEs into submission like a Ghostbusters’ proton pack. There’s the option to replay boss fights and compare your scores with other players. You can even customise BB’s pod with a number of cosmetic options including ‘wood grain’ and ‘leather’, although unfortunately none of the options is ‘soundproof’. There are quite a lot of other small additions that make up a fairly long list of new features, but none of them make as considerable difference to the gameplay as the buddy bot.
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metalmaniac619 · 5 hours ago
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Death Stranding: 13 Biggest Changes in the Director's Cut
Death Stranding Director’s Cut comes with a slew of updates and new content, including but not limited to new weapons, a new vehicle, new ways to deliver cargo, and even a brand new story mission. Unlike the recently released Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, which came with one big piece of new content and several quality of life updates, Death Stranding is instead opting for a ton of smaller tweaks and additions, which can make it a bit more confusing when trying to identify exactly what it is you’re getting with this upgrade. But don’t worry, we have you covered. We’ve combed through as much as we could, and picked out what we think are the 13 biggest additions and changes to the Death Stranding Director’s Cut.
1. New Graphics Options
Before we get into the bigger things, let’s go through some of the graphical updates. The game now features two graphic options, a quality mode that runs at a native 4K resolution and targets 60fps, or a performance mode that features a scaled 4K resolution with a more stable framerate – though it’s still not locked at 60fps. Also, both of these modes can be played in an ultra-widescreen mode on PC, or an “ultra-widescreen simulator” mode that letterboxes everything on PS5.
2. Monster energy is GONE!
Sam’s favorite drink, Monster Energy, seems to be no more. Monster Energy could survive the apocalyptic Death Stranding, but it couldn't survive a console jump. We assume this is the result of some sort of simple licensing deal expiring, but regardless, all mentions of Monster Energy are gone and are now replaced with the more on-brand “Bridges Energy''.
3. DualSense Support
You can’t have a PlayStation 5 game without some really cool DualSense features, and Death Stranding Director’s Cut has plenty. First off, the adaptive triggers work exactly how you would expect - weapons all fire with different sensations, and the heavier Sam’s cargo load is, the harder it is to pull down the trigger. When running on different terrain, the controllers vibrating haptic feedback responds appropriately. For example, running on smooth concrete will feel a lot different than sloshing around in the snow. And finally, BB's coos and cries will be heard through the controller's speaker, alongside other various sounds like flowing water when crossing a river.
4. New Combat Abilities
Combat has also seen a bit of an improvement. Sam now has equippable gloves to pummel your opponents with - they can also help climb faster. He’s also a bit more agile now and can dropkick and knee kick foes as he runs towards them. Also, Mules have taken a liking to using turrets. Of course, once you take that turret enemy down, it's free for you to use to rain hell down on your combatants.
5. New Equippable Items
A few new items have been added for fabrication. The first is the Maser Gun, which fires a continuous electrical charge that immobilizes Mules and vehicles. Because it’s electricity-based, it's even more effective when in water. Unfortunately, since it’s not blood-based, it has zero effect on BTs. Another new item is a brand new equipable exoskeleton called the Support Skeleton. This is meant to be the most all-around skeleton option to somewhat replace the all-terrain, power, and speed skeletons that are available. It’s fast, it can carry a lot, and it's good on rough terrain. It’s more of a jack of all trades, master of none type of deal. Also, unlike any other exoskeleton in the game, it’s solar-powered, so it can charge in sunny or even cloudy weather, leaving you way less likely to be stranded without power.
6. Firing Range
A Firing Range has been added to the terminals, allowing you to check out all the weapons in the game and even test your skill with them. All of the weapons are on a table and you can equip whichever one you’d like to try and shoot at the provided targets. Or, you can jump into one of the many drills available and see how long it takes to get through one of the various pre-made scenarios. There’s also Ranked Drills which allow you to compete with other players for the best results.
7. The Roadster
An all-new vehicle has arrived, in the form of the Roadster. The roadster is meant for smooth highways, or the race track, but you can use it to make deliveries, too, but it's not super great in rocky terrain or water, and even though you can load cargo onto it, unless the client demands you make your deliveries in style, I’d stick with the truck and keep the Roadster on the race track.
8. Race Track
You can now build a fully-functioning Race Track by the Timefall Farm that allows Sam to test his driving skills by racing against the clock in a reverse trike, truck, or the previously mentioned roadster. The race track gives you access to a few different courses as well as mirrored versions of each, and just like in the training ground there are ranked races that allow you to submit times to compare yourself to other players.
9. New Buildable Structures
Death Stranding Director’s Cut now has a few new buildable structures to help Sam on his deliveries. First is a Cargo Catapult that can be loaded up with a bunch of cargo and shot through the air towards your destination – don’t worry, it’s fitted with a parachute so as to not damage your precious cargo. The range on it isn’t incredible, but it should help when getting over some small mountains or wide rivers. Another is a Jump Ramp that allows vehicles to shoot over a small distance. When on a reverse trike, you can even have Sam do some cool moves, which are great for photo mode. And finally, Sam can build a Chiral Bridge to help get over tighter areas that the larger bridges can’t fit. Chiral bridges are also fitted with a special network ID that prevents Mules from using them. Watch out though, Chiral Bridges will disappear if it rains or snows.
10. Ruined Factory
The Ruined Factory, seen in the reveal trailer for Death Stranding Director’s Cut is a set of new missions that sees Sam delving into an underground facility littered with old-world interiors, and of course, Mules. I don’t want to spoil anything about what takes place down here, but I can confidently say that it’s worth a look.
11. Buddy Bots
Delivery bots have been in Death Stranding since the beginning, but they’ve only technically existed in cutscenes where you could send them on autonomous deliveries while you prioritize other things. Now, you can actually build a Buddy Bot to travel alongside you. The Buddy Bot has two functions: It can hold a bunch of cargo for Sam and follow him around, or, if Sam is able to hold everything in his backpack and suit, he can ride the bot to his destination. You won’t be getting many S ranks riding the bot as it’s pretty slow, but it's a nice feature to have if you basically want the game to play itself and just be along for the ride. Watch out though, the bot can only travel within the Chiral network, and he doesn't do so great when attacked by Mules or BTs.
12. New Cosmetics and Backpack Customizations
Death Stranding has always had an emphasis on customization, so it only makes sense that we’ve gotten even more control to make Sam look exactly how we want. We can change BB’s color scheme, your suit now has an array of colors to choose from, and best of all, Sam’s backpack has gotten quite a few upgrades. Not only can you change the color, but you can now add patches and stabilizers to the back, allowing Sam to keep his balance better, and even glide from high distances with upgraded stabilizers.
13. You can replay Cliff memories and Boss Battles
In the base version of Death Stranding, once you beat the game, you could replay Cliff’s Nightmares of War. In the Director’s Cut, you’re now also allowed to replay any of the big boss battles, known here as Nightmare Battles. And, just like the racing or firing range, there are also ranked versions that allow you to submit high scores against other players, judging both time taken to finish the encounter and damage taken.
So those are the biggest changes to expect when booting up the Death Stranding Director’s Cut. There are even smaller tweaks such as being able to ride zip lines with a carrier attached and new routing tutorials at the beginning. Will you be suiting up for the Death Stranding Director’s Cut? If so, which of these new features has you the most excited? Make sure to sound off in the comments!
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metalmaniac619 · 7 hours ago
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Respawn Responds to Its Own Employee's Titanfall Comments: 'Who Knows What the Future Holds'
After Respawn's community coordinator Jason Garza said that the studio is currently working on "too many other games" to create new content for the Titanfall franchise, Respawn's social media account seems to be offering a more hopeful take on the future of the series.
After reports highlighting Garza's comments circulated the internet, Respawn took to Twitter to set the record straight - at least, sort of. "Contrary to what some folks are reporting," a tweet from the studio (below) reads. "Titanfall is the very core of our DNA. Who knows what the future holds..."
Contrary to what some folks are reporting, Titanfall is the very core of our DNA. Who knows what the future holds...
— Respawn (@Respawn) September 23, 2021
Garza's initial comments suggested that any news of upcoming Titanfall content was unlikely, "There's nothing there. We've got too many other games in the works right now," he said. Last year, when asked by IGN if the Titanfall franchise was over during an interview about the studio's 10th anniversary, Respawn co-founder issued a similar sentiment. "There’s nothing currently in development. But it’s always there," he said at the time.
Whether Respawn's recent comments on Twitter are anything more than a reminder that the company still holds the Titanfall series close to its heart is unclear, however, fans will be hoping that it signifies something more significant.
Since the release of Titanfall 2 in 2016, Respawn has fleshed out a number of other IPs. The studio is currently working on Titanfall spin-off Apex Legends, which sees regular updates. Given the success of Apex, it may be that Titanfall's future lies within that game – this year's updates have included overt Titanfall references, after all.
In 2019, the studio also released third-person action-adventure game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. During an earnings call following the success of Fallen Order EA CEO Andrew Wilson confirmed that it would be the "first title in an entirely new franchise" for the publisher. If Respawn is considering a return to the core Titanfall series in the future, it would need to be part of an impressive balancing act for the studio, especially as it's also working in a new single-player game set in a different universe altogether.
At present, Respawn is still investigating rumours of major security vulnerabilities in Titanfall 2 that have caused panic within the community. The concerns, which were raised earlier this month in the form of a screenshot from Discord, claimed that the game had been compromised and warned players against launching the game on PC. All in all, it's been a long, strange road for Titanfall 2, and it only got stranger when the game was effectively abandoned by its developer.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.
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metalmaniac619 · 16 hours ago
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Here's Why Deathloop's More Robust Melee Combat Was Scrapped
Deathloop originally had a more robust melee combat system, but it was scrapped during development and replaced with the kick move.
In a Noclip video interview around the 12:50 mark, Deathloop creative director Dinga Bakaba revealed that Deathloop originally had a combat parry system similar to Dishonored. This idea was scrapped in favor of Deathloop's simple and very powerful kick.
"In the beginning, you could defend with the machete and parry and block like you said okay let's just ask ourselves all the questions that just put [sic] the fencing of Dishonored, we will figure it out later," Bakaba said. "But as soon as we added the multiplayer, something went wrong."
Bakaba explained that the invader "has a delay over the host." This provided a difference in gameplay between the multiplayer invaders and the NPCs. So, the parry system was scrapped, but the developers weren't satisfied.
"So then we removed the timed parry and it was only [blocking] and that was boring as hell," Bakaba said. "So we said 'f*** defense, let's just replace defense with the kick like a big kick that makes you go oof.'"
The parrying was then removed and the fan-favorite kick was born.
Check out IGN's pick of the best PS5 SSD to play Deathloop at its top console potential.
IGN's Deathloop review was relatively positive towards the game and praised the combat system: "The precision engineering of this complex, looping world is held in balance by Deathloop’s combat system, which is a delightfully raucous affair that roars like a dragon with ballistic breath."
Visit our Deathloop walkthrough and Deathloop guide for beginners to master Arkane Studios' latest.
Petey Oneto is a freelance writer for IGN.
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metalmaniac619 · 19 hours ago
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Kena: Bridge of Spirits Is Another Great PS5 and PS4 Game - Beyond Episode 718
On this week's episode of IGN's weekly PlayStation show, Podcast Beyond!, host Jonathon Dornbush is joined by Brian Altano and Mitchell Saltzman to discuss Kena: Bridge of Spirits, another great console exclusive game for the PS4 and PS5 lineup. We jump into Mitchell's thoughts from his review, in which he called Kena a great game, what we love and hope to see improved about the combat and exploration in future games, our love of the beautiful art design and detail, and we weirdly get hung up on the game's fonts.
But in general, we discuss what's so great about Kena's gameplay and world, and why you'll want to pick up Ember Lab's first game on PS4 or PS5. Plus, we dive into the recent reports about Quantic Dream's alleged Star Wars game, if that's a combination we're interested in seeing, and whether it makes sense for Quantic Dream to explore settings like the original trilogy or apply its choice-based gameplay to an era like The High Republic. We also dive into the reports about discussions of a Marvel vs. Capcom 2 remaster, and Mitchell gives us some insight into why the project is so fervently demanded, and what we hope to see from an MvC 2 remaster.
We also read a new Memory Card story, offer wild Super Smash Bros. Ultimate predictions for a PlayStation guest character, and much more! Direct Download
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Podcast Beyond! is live every Wednesday. For more on PS5, check out our PS5 console review and our PS5 wiki guide for tips on how to best use your system. And for more Beyond, be sure to watch the first episode of our Bloodborne let's play!
Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior Features Editor, PlayStation Lead, and host of Podcast Beyond! He's the proud dog father of a BOY named Loki. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.
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metalmaniac619 · 20 hours ago
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Sable Review
For an adventure game with no combat, no fail state, and not even much in the way of an objective, exploring Sable’s ruined desert of Midden was rarely ever dull. Driving a hoverbike through its stylish open world or climbing giant mountains and crumbling cities can be a lot of fun in a zen-like fashion. But for all the ways it manages to delight in its simplicity, dull puzzles, distracting bugs, and poor camera controls can also occasionally turn Sable’s peaceful world into a frustrating one.
Sable tells a unique coming of age story, giving you control of a silent, masked protagonist in a fascinating world full of other creepy masked people, ruined sci-fi technology, and very little background to explain any of it. As a child entering adulthood, you begin a solitary quest to figure out who you are by exploring the vast desert around you – a ritual that plays out a bit like a mix between Dune and my nephew’s bar mitzvah.
What makes this odyssey so special is that you truly get to make it your own. After a brief introduction to teach you the basics, the world completely opens up to you with no “main questline” and only a few suggestions of where to go. Completing quests given to you by its excellently written NPCs will earn you magical masks, and once you’ve obtained just one you could turn around, go home, and end your journey right away. I spent 12+ hours exploring all the nooks and crannies of Midden, completing every quest, and soaking in all Sable has to offer, but others could complete their pilgrimage in just a few hours if they’d prefer. Every player’s experience is likely to be different, and the structure of this world is incredibly well-designed to support the different ways you can approach it.
No matter what paths you choose, however, the things you do in Sable will be largely the same. That includes riding a hoverbike around its visually stunning (if mostly empty) desert areas, solving simple puzzles, and doing a ton of platforming. Platforming is somewhat bare bones in its design: you’ve got the ability to jump, glide slowly through the air, and climb any surface with a slowly-depleting stamina bar (because Breath of the Wild made it so that’s just in every open-world game now, I guess). But despite those basic building blocks, it manages to be pretty engaging throughout, due in no small part to the beautiful terrain you’ll be scrambling across. You aren’t doing exciting midair dashes or using a grappling hook to swing across gaps, but the slower pace pairs perfectly with Sable’s zen tone.
Platforming's slower pace pairs perfectly with Sable’s zen tone.
That is, of course, when the camera isn’t getting in the way of an otherwise good time. Like countless 3D platformers before it, Sable suffers quite a bit from a wonky camera that’s constantly having dust kicked up into it when riding your hoverbike or phasing through objects when you’re trying to get it into the right angle for a jump. Thankfully, Sable’s platforming is decidedly low stakes and not very challenging, so it never made me rage really. But it’s still an underlying annoyance that doesn’t go away, and one that eventually started to steam my broccoli after long periods.
Compared to its amusing, minimalist platforming, riding the hoverbike around and solving environmental puzzles holds up less well over the dozen hours I spent with Sable. Its puzzles never really present any kind of challenge or clever design that makes you feel accomplished for solving them, with most obstacles amounting to simply standing on a button or placing a battery inside a socket to power something up. It’s not actively bad by any means, but also not really anything exciting to write home about either – again, just like my nephew's bar mitzvah.
Similarly, riding your hoverbike around the barren deserts is a good way to see the gorgeous landscapes of Sable’s ruined world, but it eventually amounts to little more than holding down the accelerator and waiting until you get where you’re trying to go. You can upgrade your bike and customize its color, look, and performance, but there’s not a pressing need to do so since you won’t be taking it into races or battles like Mad Max or anything. That means there’s not much to it, but Sable’s stylish, cell-shaded environments are still so dang interesting to look at that sometimes I forgot I’d been riding in a straight line for five minutes and wasn’t even heading in the right direction.
Once you do arrive at your destination, though, there’s plenty to do, and meeting people and taking on quests are some of the best moments Sable has. The writing is excellent across the board and although you never hear anyone speak or even see their face, there’s lots of memorable characters. I seriously wanted to meet everyone I could and was almost never disappointed in the hijinks and banter that followed. Sable almost always rewarded me for butting into the lives of others with quests that played out in unpredictable ways. In one quest, I posed as a fearsome vigilante to save a child, and in another I stole some poop from some bugs for science. I also climbed some giant floating crystals and ripped pieces of lightning out of them with my bare hands. Seriously, the stuff they have you do is all over the place in the best possible way.
The bugs and glitches you encounter along the way, though, are less alluring, and Sable is just teeming with them, big and small. There’s everything from visual glitches like bushes that fly around and snap back in place like rubber bands or bushes that let you see through the world map when you point the camera at them (there are non-bush related bugs, too). Framerate issues and other visual blemishes like this aren’t game-breaking, but they do add up to noticeably hinder the experience. One time an emotional cutscene was completely ruined when my bike seemingly cloned itself and then rammed into its doppelganger during a serious moment. It was hilarious, obviously, but probably not what the developers were going for.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are also issues that actually do have more dire consequences. These ranged from getting locked out of a quest because a vendor’s goods weren’t showing up, to my bike becoming invisible for some reason for a few hours, to my character’s money not showing up correctly leaving me guessing if I could afford things or not. Most issues were resolved by resetting a few times, but not all of them, and the threat of bugs mucking something up was a constant fear throughout my otherwise enjoyably peaceful journey.
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metalmaniac619 · 21 hours ago
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Best Buy's In-Store Event Celebrates Actually Having PS5s and Xbox Series X In Stock
It's been almost a year since Sony and Microsoft released their ninth-generation gaming consoles the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Yet, buying either of the three new consoles has been difficult due to an ongoing chip shortage. If you are still looking to get your hands on one of the latest gaming consoles, Best Buy has announced that select locations will sell both PS5s and Xbox Series X consoles tomorrow.
Heading to Best Buy's website, the retail chain announced that select locations will have limited quantities available of the Xbox Series X in addition to the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition. More than 300 Best Buy locations across the United States (plus one location each in DC and Puerto Rico) will carry a limited number of ninth-generation consoles.
To make sure as many people as possible can purchase a console, Best Buy confirmed that each of the eligible retail stores would be enforcing a one-console-per-customer rule, with employees to begin handing out tickets at 7:30 am local time. Acquiring a ticket guarantees you the opportunity to purchase either a PS5 or Xbox Series X inside the store.
This is the first time Best Buy is selling these highly desirable gaming consoles since both were released last November, which the retailer pledged ahead of both console's release dates that it would not sell either in-stores until 2021.
Prior to this announcement, if you wanted to buy either console from Best Buy, you had to do so through its website or mobile app. Best Buy previously did in-store restocks at select locations. With the retail giant selling limited quantities of RTX 30 graphics cards at select locations in both June and July.
Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.
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metalmaniac619 · 22 hours ago
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Call of Duty Vanguard May Already Be Facing Hacker Problems
Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.
Call of Duty: Vanguard is already dealing with hacker problems in its beta, according to some players. Players are already posting evidence of hackers in the Vanguard beta on Twitter. Videos are circulating of players using aimbots, invincibility, and more. At the 19 second mark of the video below from CDL Intel on Twitter, you can see a killcam replay of a hacker using automatic aim, which locks on to enemies instantly around the map.
Hackers have arrived on the Vanguard Beta 👍 pic.twitter.com/zJs1q4xAUW
— CDL Intel (@INTELCallofDuty) September 18, 2021
Another instance of auto aiming can be seen from Dabzsy's Twitter video. You can see the reticle bouncing around the map, locking on to different targets.
Hackers on #Vanguard BETA 🤣 actually just funny now tbh (and expected) pic.twitter.com/F44M3f5LhZ
— Dabzsy (@dabszy) September 19, 2021
This video, from Wicked Good Gaming, shows both auto aim, and outlines of all players displayed through walls.
The Vanguard hacking TikToks have started 😂 pic.twitter.com/znF69kOtmX
— Wicked Good Gaming (@WickedGoodGames) September 20, 2021
Call of Duty continues to crack down on cheaters in Call of Duty: Warzone. In August, Call of Duty banned over 100,000 accounts in a single day. The total number of accounts banned is now well over half a million. However, a problem arose that cheaters would simply create a new account, and start cheating again. So, Activision started banning hardware rather than specific accounts. However, some users are still able to work around this system.
Earlier this year, Activision stopped the release of an "undetectable" cheat system that could be used for aim assist and auto fire. It was shut down after footage circulated of it running in Warzone.
Last month, we learned Warzone will get a, "multi-faceted, new anti-cheat system" implemented throughout the game. We'll have to wait and see if the same anti-cheating measures get implemented into Vanguard. Right now, it also seems that players banned from Warzone also won't be able to play Vanguard.
We reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update the article if we hear back. For more, check out our Call of Duty Vanguard beta impressions. Or, watch the latest episode of Podcast Unlocked, where we discuss Call of Duty Vanguard as a part of this Fall's, "FPS Heaven."
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.
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