How To Donate To Help Palestine

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Palestine. As violence escalates throughout the region with the Israeli Army raising the threat of war, Palestinian civilians are suffering. Numerous lives have been lost, people are injured, and families are being evicted from their homes in Gaza, Jerusalem, and surrounding areas.

Support is being provided by groups within the area, and you can help them by donating funds. Any amount you provide will help bring food, water, clothing, medical supplies, and other essential items to Palestinians in need. Our friends at IGN and The Tab have compiled a list of charities and organizations that are providing these services and goods. We're listing them below as well to get you connected immediately.

Doctors Without Borders
Click here to help Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provide relief to Palestinians in Jerusalem and other areas that have been injured during the conflict.

Palestine Children's Relief Fund
Click here to donate to Palestine Children's Relief Fund to continue providing direct humanitarian aid to the children of Gaza.

Just Giving
Click here to provide aid to Muslim Relief Charity for Palestinians in Gaza. This team is bringing clean water, food packages, warm meals, and more to orphans, widows, educational resources, and more.

Medical Aid for Palestinians
Click here to donate to Medical Aid for Palestinians' efforts to bring, basic, yet essential medicines to patients in Gaza.

Click here to help prevent Palestinian families from being evicted in East Jerusalem.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency
Click here to help the UNRWA provide families in need with food, critical health care, cash assistance, education, and the construction of needed infrastructure.


Mass Effect Legendary Edition Review – A Great Way To Honor Commander Shepard’s Legacy

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: BioWare
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Also on: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

Influential and poignant, the Mass Effect trilogy left a lasting impression on gamers, advancing the impact of choice in games and proving that personal connection endears players to the overall experience. It could have been a story merely about saving the galaxy, but BioWare created a rich and complex world full of unique and realistic viewpoints that factored into the difficult choices that must be made. With the fate of the galactic civilization on your shoulders, nothing came easy in Mass Effect, and that’s part of the reason the series still resonates with people all these years later. 

The Mass Effect trilogy is a gaming experience that shouldn’t be missed, which is why finally having a remaster is such a big deal; not only in terms of keeping the series’ legacy alive, but also in allowing players an easy way to access and play through the story the way it is meant to be played with its DLC. While it’s not a perfect remaster, BioWare did an excellent job of updating Commander Shepard’s adventure to make it a better and smoother ride on the Normandy, and not just in the visual department.

The first Mass Effect received the most attention, which makes sense considering that game is now a teenager and hasn’t aged well. Even back when it launched in 2007, the first game was rough around the edges, as BioWare was still trying to figure out how to balance action gameplay with role-playing systems. Mass Effect’s unique sci-fi future always won out over any flaws or frustrations, but going back to relive these great moments came with some unfortunate caveats. With Legendary's improvements, that is no longer the case, and I enjoyed playing through the first game a lot more in the remaster. 

Many mechanical aspects have been tweaked here, from removing class-based weapon restrictions to providing a more modernized HUD, but some changes feel more significant than others. For instance, the new Mako controls made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the game; the traditionally lumbering vehicle steers better, moves faster, and has better aiming mechanics for shooting. I used to dread hopping into this six-wheeled vehicle of chaos, but that all dissipated thanks to these smoother controls.

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Speaking of better controls, ME1’s shooting is much improved and closer to ME2’s gameplay, with smoother targeting and all different gun types being useful from the get-go. You won’t forget you’re playing an older quasi-shooter, but it makes playing this first game much better. The visual enhancements here hit the hardest, especially the added detail to the lush environments, which now have richer vegetation, new particle effects, and improved lighting. The structures of these levels haven’t changed, but the way they’ve been visually improved makes them way more interesting to explore and I stopped to take in the sights more than ever before. 

The visual improvements aren’t as vast in ME2 or ME3, but everything looks better overall. Enemies and alien species are the biggest beneficiaries, but the trilogy’s age is evident in the poorly lip-synced human faces. However, characters like Miranda look more natural, thanks to the better lighting and more realistic make-up alongside her fuller hair. In addition, most armor and casual clothes have better shine and realistic folds, especially on characters like Tali and Liara. These may seem like little details, but they are noticeable, adding to the immersion and just making for better-looking games. 

In addition, better camera angles help scenes feel more organic, but, unfortunately, some flaws still carry over from the original entries, like characters having stiff movements or awkward mannerisms. You also still see the occasional technical hiccup; I experienced a few stutters, freezes, and instances of Shepard getting caught on the geometry. Also, be aware that while the load times are reduced (especially in the elevators), they’re still a little longer than what we’ve come to expect today. 

Part of the fun of having the entire trilogy easily accessible in one place means being able to play the games back-to-back and seeing the evolutions and improvements between entries. I really appreciated being able to create a Shepard in ME1 that I could take across each game and not having drastic differences in her appearance between each game, adding a cohesive feeling. The new customization options for your avatar’s appearance aren’t grand, but I did like the more natural hair textures. A new photo mode also allows you to capture your favorite moments; it’s pretty standard and gets the job done, but the filters are limited.

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Another great aspect of this package is it contains most of the DLC, such as standouts like Citadel, Lair of the Shadow Broker, and Leviathan. Sadly, The Pinnacle Station isn’t included due to being unable to recover the source code, and BioWare chose not to carry over Mass Effect 3 multiplayer at this time. The latter is the most glaring and disappointing omission. At the very least, the galactic readiness progress in single-player is no longer tied to this.

Even all these years later, Commander Shepard is a powerful force that lives up to their iconic status, and the trilogy is still captivating and worth your time. The Legendary Edition provides a great way to experience this powerful story, adding just enough enhancements to create a better experience while still staying true to the original. If you’re a longtime fan or haven’t had a chance to play through one of gaming’s milestone franchises, look no further than this remaster. 

Seeing your choices carry over across three games is exciting, but it’s also about the squadmates you meet along the way. So, become Commander Shepard, rally people to your cause, make painstakingly difficult choices, and watch others around you grow stronger because of your influence. The sacrifices and rewards will stay in your memory, and the Legendary Edition is a terrific reminder of why all these years later, people still can’t stop talking about this series.

Score: 9

Summary: Even all these years later, Commander Shepard is a powerful force that lives up to their iconic status, and the trilogy is still captivating and worth your time.

Concept: Provide a one-stop-shop remaster to experience the iconic Mass Effect trilogy which includes the majority of the DLC and various quality-of-life improvements

Graphics: The graphical enhancements are mostly for the better, especially in the more detailed environments and different alien species. The humans and their mannerisms are hit-or-miss

Sound: A moving soundtrack and stellar voice performances make Commander Shepard’s journey shine brighter

Playability: BioWare made the trilogy much more approachable for a modern audience, especially with the updates to the first game, which include smoother Mako controls and better gunplay

Entertainment: Mass Effect Legendary Edition updates the trilogy in smart ways while retaining its essence, giving fans and newcomers alike a fantastic way to experience one of the most memorable series in gaming

Replay: High

Click to Purchase


Call Of Duty: Warzone And Black Ops Cold War Is Getting Rambo And Die Hard, Confirms Activision

Activision has confirmed that the

First thing I did was google 552 kills, (since the og tweet emphasis that stat) and the first thing that popped up was JOHN Rambo’s kill count!

Not only that, the amount of games matches the amount of Rambo films!

names match. Am I losing it or is this a Rambo in COD tease???

— eric maynard (@EricMaynardII) May 5, 2021 " target="_blank">earlier leaks and rumors (and hints on the studio's side) regarding Call of Duty: Warzone getting the Die Hard and Rambo treatment are true. If you like action and have an affinity for cheesy 80s action, then Call of Duty's battle royale component is the place you'll want to be. 

A few weeks ago, Activision began dropping

First thing I did was google 552 kills, (since the og tweet emphasis that stat) and the first thing that popped up was JOHN Rambo’s kill count!

Not only that, the amount of games matches the amount of Rambo films!

names match. Am I losing it or is this a Rambo in COD tease???

— eric maynard (@EricMaynardII) May 5, 2021 " target="_blank"> random teasers about the latest mashup, teasing a player named SuvrivorJon#1009062. The community instantly was intrigued by what this could mean, and it didn't take long before the code was cracked. One Twitter user, seen below, noted that the number sequence was directly tied to Rambo, and honestly? People are incredible: 

Not long after, another tease was dropped, but this time it was for a "player" by the name of Cowboymcclane#0070030. I feel like this one was a little easier to crack, given the references in Die Hard about that character being called a cowboy (and you can't forget that famous line of "yippee kay yay"). 

With more community fan theories that followed soon after, Activision has officially confirmed its 80s action heroes crossover for Call of Duty: Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Mobile. The fun kicks off on May 20: 

Shortly after the initial confirmation, a trailer for the crossover was also shared: 

It's a weird one, but not entirely unexpected. Action icons paired with a shooter make for a good crossover, especially since Call of Duty continues to dominate the gaming charts as one of the most downloaded titles in recent months. 

Thoughts on Rambo and Die Hard making it into Call of Duty? What other crossovers would you like to see? Sound off in the comment section below! 


Epileptic PSA: Destiny 2 Beyond Light

As many of our readers know, I am an avid Destiny 2 player and have advocated for others to give it another shot following several expansions and the most recent conclusion of Season of the Chosen. The space shooter has evolved incredibly since its launch, but for those diving in, especially with Season of the Splicer now live, there are a few things those with photo-sensitive epilepsy need to be aware of. This is something I've been working on for a few weeks now. If you feel I may have missed something, please email me at (only for work purposes, please). 

In any space game that has futuristic undertones, you can expect dramatic visual effects to impact the player experience. These are made in a way to cause the action to pop more, especially in high-intensity fights, boss encounters, and raid progression. With the new season now available, more Guardians are diving back into the adventure, especially with much of the game being free for those giving it a shot for the first time and with it being on Xbox Game Pass. There are a few things you should be aware of, something I've been working on since the release of Beyond Light, but more urgently in the past weeks; a sentiment that was echoed recently in a thread on the Bungie forums

Before we get started diving into some of the triggers below, I want to reiterate something from my previous epileptic PSA's. You do not have to be epileptic to have a seizure. The people in your home do not have to be epileptic to have a seizure. As noted in my Epileptic's Guide to Gaming, a common misconception about seizures is that they only happen to people with epilepsy. That's not true; seizures can occur in anyone. There is also no "one type" of an epileptic episode, which means learning about triggers can be a tricky process. With accessibility in gaming becoming more of a priority within the gaming space, studios are finally beginning to look at the impact of certain effects on those susceptible to neurological episodes beyond simply slapping a warning label on games and calling it a day. 

Possible epileptic triggers

  • Destiny 2, even before Beyond Light, has a series of jumping puzzles that include a lot of flashing. This is especially true for those instances that center around Taken
  • Certain Strikes and Raids are also something to be aware of with flashing, I will list the ones that have the higher amount of risk (even if they are vaulted, due to the possibility of them coming back): 
    • The Devil's Lair during the Sepiks Prime encounter,
      • Also with close encounter fights in the dark hallways with flashbangs and Super attacks against the dark contrast
      • Fallen SABER on the Cosmodrome also offers the same flashing concerns
    • Exodus Crash with the flash of enemy attacks and the blinking of lights in the corridor
    • The Festering Core with the Taken animations and the Blight against the contrast in colors of dark, almost black, against blinding light for this location
    • The Disgraced is a little all over the place with the color palette for Forgotten Shore, the rapid blinking in combat encounters paired with the usual rapid fire of weapons and special abilities poses a small risk. This is applicable mostly for the first stage of this instance
    • The Insight Terminus for dark corridors with the Darkness animation, final boss encounter is okay
    • The Hollowed Lair's boss encounter with the Scorn's lightning attack
  • Presage
    • Similar to that of some of the strikes, there are a lot of dark corridors with flashing lights, especially so before the dumpster sequence. Flashing bulbs hit the right animation speed to trigger photosensitive epilepsy (though even non-epileptics can be impacted by rapid animations)
  • The Shatterend Throne dungeon is a similar issue as the ones noted, the dark backdrop with the bright contrast of combat is done in a rapid-fire way that can pose a danger to those that are susceptible to epileptic episodes
  • Garden of Salvation raid is centered around the Vex Mind and there are flashings throughout the entire instance, especially before the tether puzzle
  • Override for Season of the Splicer* 
    • More details can be found below

Some have reported the Titan Striker flashbang grenade in PvP as a trigger, but the frequency of the color pattern is not flagged for being a dangerous animation. Speaking with my own neurologist for my epilepsy and various resources through the ESA, the rate of animation isn't something that registers as dangerous. That being said, the poster on the forum mentioned that she had issues with this particular animation, and if even one person does it's worth noting because that's only one person that is coming forward, not necessarily the only person experiencing that reaction. 

Season of the Splicer, for the most part, has seemed a lot safer because of the color palette largely chosen with purple and turquoise hues. The new Override instance, a 6-player matchmaking activity, does get a little dicey when the instance begins to pick up speed and intensity. With the various enemies converging all on one point with shields going down and purple motes being banked, the flashing used to note the change in pace can also be a strain on those with any sort of neurodivergent instances. 

As Destiny 2 continues to gain traction with each expansion post-Activision, the game has evolved a lot. So have the animation styles. While Destiny 2 largely does a good job at being conscientious, there are always ways to be a little safer and how to do that is to bring awareness to the forefront in a productive and respectful manner. Accessibility in gaming still has a long way to go, especially when a common reaction in the gaming community is just "don't play games." That attitude is callous, especially given that many of the same points raised in the gaming space apply to movies, TV, and even casual commercials. 

What can Bungie do? 

One thing I am pushing for within the gaming space (and something Xbox is doing a phenomenal job with in regards to making it a priority with the studios it works with) is more options in the settings menu of games. Obviously, the best course of action would be to tackle potential triggers during the creation process, but sometimes that's not always possible. When there are multiple departments involved and a lack of consulting regarding neurodivergent, it's easy to overlook potential dangers. You also don't want to limit developer vision because sometimes (not all of the time) certain animations are vital to properly conveying the desired effect to the player. When this happens, and this is something that has been gaining traction in the development space, especially with indies, is to implement certain settings. Just as colorblindness is becoming more and more of a norm when looking at which options should be available at launch, it's starting to become a little more normalized to offer anti-shake options, different color options (I recommended in the Epileptic's Guide that colorblindness options and blue light eliminators can be a godsend), and different filters during those instances where epileptic concerns are a part of the conversation. 

The conversation going on now

Brannon Zahand, a senior program manager for gaming accessibility at Microsoft, previously opened up about new goals the company has regarding its efforts. "Passion for game accessibility has grown exponentially among developers and gamers alike in the past decade," he says in the post when talking about why this movement is so crucial. "According to the ESA Foundation, there are nearly 46 million gamers with disabilities in the U.S. alone, [sic] so we’re heartened to see that game developers are actively seeking out resources that guide inclusive game design to ensure that their games are fun for everyone who wants to play."

According to Zahand, accessibility has become a "core aspect" behind all development decisions within the Xbox brand. This became the norm when the company created the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines back in 2019, and from there the efforts grew in both scope and support. 

Since the launch of programs within the company to be more community-focused in areas that are usually left unrecognized, Xbox has worked alongside many groups targeted various aspects of accessibility to continue growing and properly addressing fan feedback. "Over the past year, developers have expressed enthusiasm for the XAGs (Xbox Accessibility Guidelines), but also asked for additional context and clarification as to how to ensure these guidelines are properly implemented in their games," Zahand added. "Additionally, there has been a clear desire for more content that helps a developer understand 'where to start' or 'how to focus efforts.'" In an effort to make the impact of XAGs even more effective, the team is implementing new growth goals for 2021 and beyond. You can learn more about Xbox's initiative here

As someone who has seizures due to an injury from my time when I was active duty, the years following this new development have been a steep learning curve for me when navigating some of my favorite and most anticipated games. I no longer can enjoy titles like Dead Space as freely as I used to, which opened up an entirely new world of development that never even entered my scope of awareness. Since seizures have become my new norm, I often make sure to pay special attention to certain design choices that can be harmful to those sensitive to neurological traps. That way, I can decide for myself if something is safe to play, and see if there is a way to work around those obstacles and try to offer some navigational tools for others that may be facing similar roadblocks. For those who experience any type of seizure or those who live in the same household with someone with epileptic tendencies, I encourage you to check out my Epileptic's Guide to Gaming breakdown right here that goes over different types of epilepsy, warning signs, and how you can game a little more safely. 

I want to also say a special thank you to @Orchid for also helping to bring this to light. We can all make gaming a safer hobby but banding together and helping each other raise awareness. I've been talking about epilepsy in the gaming space for years now throughout my career, but only in the last year has that finally begun to garner results. I'm excited to see what the future holds and thrilled to see more and more studios take notice of how expansive this issue truly is. 


Returnal Save Feature Being Investigated

Two things generally come to mind while I'm playing Returnal. One is “Wow, this game is pretty fun!” and the second is “I kind of wish I could save because I need to go to bed.” Most players seem to enjoy the game but have been vocal about the lack of a proper save system. Thankfully for those players, Housemarque has heard the complaints and is investigating a solution. Just don't expect a fix to come in the very near future.

If you haven’t played Returnal, the game is a third-person roguelite where players blast their way through ever-changing levels teeming with hostile aliens. It’s a very challenging game, especially since you can’t save your progress. At all. That can get hairy since a good run often lasts for a couple of hours, and dying (or quitting) restarts you from the beginning of the game due to its time-loop story premise. 

If you need to walk away mid-run, putting the PS5 into rest mode is the only way to halt and preserve your progress. At best, you’re burning electricity for potentially hours until you return. At worst, the game closes anyway due to the occasionally unreliable nature of suspend mode, a sudden power outage, or an auto-update forces Returnal to close to install a new patch (though you can disable that feature at least). 

So what can be done? Speaking to Axios Gaming, Housemarque marketing director Mikael Haveri acknowledges the complaints, saying “We understand that there are some systems in place that are currently a hindering factor,” and that the team is very much looking into a remedy. However, it sounds like introducing saves won’t be as easy as simply flipping a switch.

In terms of figuring out a solution, Haveri says “But currently, we just don't know exactly what it is. So it's very difficult to announce anything, because I think there's a lot of different people looking for different things.”

Housemarque intentionally designed Returnal as a hardcore experience, lack of saves included, so introducing the feature likely requires more work than players may realize. You’ll just have to take solace in knowing a save system of some sort is in the works. Preserving save files has been the story of Housemarque's life since Returnal launched. It recently squashed a progress corrupting bug that plagued players following an update.

I love Returnal but as I explore deeper and my sessions grow longer, I find myself wishing I could put it down without leaving the machine running. I personally don’t think it would spoil the experience to have a normal save system. Hades, for example, allows you to save mid-run and it didn’t take away from that game’s challenge. We’ll see what Housemarque comes up with while I continue to pray that lightning doesn’t knock out my PS5 while my current awesome run is suspended.

Do you want to see Returnal get a save system or are you satisfied with its hardcore design as it is? Let us know in the comments! 

[Source: Axios Gaming]


Mass Effect Legendary Edition Could Bring Back ME3 Multiplayer In The Future

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Back in February, we sat down and talked with game director Mac Walters and environment director Kevin Meek to dive deep into the Mass Effect Legendary Edition. Among the many topics discussed was the decision to not include the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer in the remaster. With the Legendary Edition now out and so many raving about it, including myself and Kim Wallace (who is reviewing the remaster), Walters is now saying "never say never" when it comes to that cherished multiplayer component. 

In a recent interview with CNETWalters mentioned that he would be open to seeing multiplayer but that it really just depended on the reception of the Legendary Edition. “I would never say no to that,” Walters said when talking about bringing back multiplayer. “We want to see what kind of reception the Legendary Edition gets and what the demand for the multiplayer is. And then we’ll ask ourselves if we have the resources and time to bring it up to the quality level we and fans want.”

The multiplayer was fun. When BioWare first announced that Mass Effect 3 would have an online component with MP, the collective community groaned since this is such a single-player focused story. That being said, when it launched it was met with positive feedback and delight as players dove in as different races to just absolutely pwn. With all of the amazing work done with Mass Effect 1 in particular thanks to the remaster, excitement is high once more for this trilogy and there are so many newcomers learning what it means to be a part of the Normandy crew for the first time. To bring back the social aspect of the game would be incredible to see with a new generation of gaming now available with PS5 and Xbox Series X. Maybe this time, even crossplay? 

But why wasn't it in it in the first place? In a previous interview with Game InformerMeek had this to say: 

"I had all of these analogies early on to try to help people understand what this remaster is going to be about," he said. "It's one thing to take a 1982 Porsche that needs to be fully restored, but now I want you to imagine that it was actually buried in concrete. So you've got to chip away at all of that, and every time you go to try something it's like 'is this even going to work?' Do I blow the engine turnover? You know, it's just a lot of work. And I think people underestimate what it's like to do this game, because - at every step - you are given an agonizing choice of 'is this the thing that we want to spend our time on and really try to improve it' and 'where will this lead us down the road?'" 

He added, "I feel strongly that we've chosen the things that are what the majority of our fans were most passionate about. On the topic of multiplayer, it was just really hard. Getting all of the online systems working and functionality would have been another large chunk to do but at the same time, there are a lot of other logistics involved. The economy is built completely differently. Then questions came up like, 'Do we support it post-launch? What about people who are still playing multiplayer today? Do we try to find a way to somehow do crossplay between the PS3 and PS4?' and it was a lot." 

To learn more about Mass Effect, check out our dedicated hub here, including exclusive interviews with the team, gameplay, and our review-in-progress. 

What do you think, dear reader? Do you think it was a mistake to leave multiplayer out of the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, or did they make the right call? Would you like to see it be added to the Mass Effect Legendary Edition? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Sunset Overdrive Sequel Hope Offered By Game’s Director Following PlayStation Acquisition

Sunset Overdrive was a wacky, colorful, and just all-around weird (in a good way) open-world adventure fueled by monster-making energy drinks. When it debuted, it was an Xbox One staple. Fast forward a few years later, and Sony ended up acquiring Insomniac Games, the studio behind Sunset, making many wonder what the move meant for a potential sequel. Shortly after a trademark filing was found by Sony for the property, the game's director isn't committing to a hard "no" when it comes to a Sunset Overdrive 2. 

Director Marcus Smith recently sat down with GQ Magazine to talk about a plethora of topics, among them being Sunset Overdrive. "I think there are a lot of stories that can be told in that universe and I would love to return to it. I had a lot of fun making that game," Smith told the site. Is that a definitive "yes" a sequel is happening? Nope, not quite, but it doesn't totally rule out the idea which means that anything is possible in the realm of Insomniac. 

So if it's not a firm answer to whether or not there will ever be a sequel, why are we writing about this? Glad you asked, dear reader! Several reasons! In the same interview, Smith said, "I mean, never say never is my approach," when asked if we would get a potential second game. "Obviously, we're a part of Sony now, but we own the IP and so there's nothing really stopping us other than we have a lot of really exciting things in the future."

Hold the squees, there is more.

Earlier this year, a variety of rumors began circulating that a "revamped" Sunset Overdrive experience could be coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 systems. Sony didn't comment on the rumors, but those continue to gain traction with "insiders" swearing up and down they are accurate. Paired with the recent trademark, the community is once more asking for any news regarding this newly budded franchise. Even though Sony won't be participating in E3 this year, the company has a ton of new announcements to share in the coming months. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get some clarification. 

Thoughts on Sunset Overdrive and its reception? Would you like to see this energy drink-chugging adventure make its way into this new generation of gaming? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 


Dave Bautista Turned Down Fast & Furious To Fight For Gears Of War Movie Role

Dave Bautista, the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy star, wants to play Bane in a Batman movie, and also sees himself in Marcus Fenix's armor for a Gears of War film. In an interview with Collider, Bautista said he sat down with people from Warner Bros. to discuss various roles, and brought up the idea of playing Bane, and WB countered with a potential role in a Fast & Furious film. Bautista fired back "I'm not interested, let's talk about Marcus Fenix."

You can see the full interview below. He provides insight into how he would play Bane, and said that he thought WB was a little put off by his suggestion of playing Fenix and not wanting to be in Fast & Furious. Bautista said he didn't mean to offend anyone with his ideas, but he found those potential roles more interesting. "I don't want to pretend I'm interested in something I'm not," he added. "When there's something I'm excited about, and something that [WB] has under control, would you consider me for that? I don't think there's any harm in that. I'm not trying to step on anybody's toes or disrespect anybody else, I'm just saying this is what I love. I don't see any harm in chasing your dreams."

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Bautista clearly has the look to bring Fenix to life, but despite numerous attempts, a Gears of War movie has yet to get off of the ground. New producers and different screenwriters haven't been able to figure out the right approach to get this video game property on the silverscreen. Attaching a huge name like Bautista, who wants the role and would likely be accepted by most fans of the game series, is a great first foot forward if talks continue in the future.

I'd love to see what Bautista would do with this role, and can see the battle against the Locust creating quite the spectacle with a nice budget. Do you think Bautista is a good fit for the lead role? Who else should be considered for roles if it gets off of the ground?


Remnant: From The Ashes Gets New-Gen Upgrades, Windows/Xbox Crossplay Today

If you’re a fan of the soul-like shooter Remnant: From the Ashes and own a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S, a you've got an update to get excited about. First, the game is receiving visual and performance upgrades on current consoles beginning today. Second, the Xbox version now supports crossplay with Windows players.

As with many new-gen enhancements, the upgrade comes in two forms. You can go the visual route and bump the resolution to 4K with 30 frames per second. Alternatively, you can play the game at 60 fps with an 1080p resolution. Remnant also benefits from reduced load times on both consoles. The upgrade appears to be free, which is always good news – especially if you picked up Remnant on Xbox Game Pass or as a free PS Plus game in March. You can watch the next-gen trailer below.

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Additionally, Remnant is now available to purchase on PC via the Windows Store after it joined Xbox Game Pass for PC earlier this month. As such, crossplay is now enabled between the Windows 10 and Xbox One/Xbox Series X/S versions. 

Remnant: From the Ashes launched in August 2019. It challenges up to four players to survive a post-apocalyptic world teeming with supernatural enemies. The gameplay consists of third-person, over-the-shoulder shooting while the progression and difficulty takes cues from Dark Souls. We liked it quite a bit (read our review), and it wound up being one of 2019's hidden gems. 

Since launch, the game has received two big DLC updates. The first was Swamps of Corsus, which added a rogue-style survival mode and extra content like new weapons and armor. The second expansion, Subject 2923, is more story-based, featuring a whole new area filled with fresh enemies and bosses. 

Now that Remnant: From the Ashes has a fresh coat of paint, will you be firing up another playthrough or embarking on your journey for the first time (hopefully with pals in tow)? Let us know in the comments.


Katy Perry’s Latest Video Electric Features Pikachu, Pichu

Katy Perry’s latest video has dropped and it contains a few surprising faces alongside the pop star. Pikachu and Pichu, two of the iconic electric Pokémon are prominently featured in the video for the track Electric. With the name of the track syncing up with the Pokémon’s type, it kind of makes sense, and the two are as usual quite adorable with their behaviors during the tune. And yes, Katy Perry pets Pikachu in the video. We’ve made it.

 You can watch the video below:

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The video’s launch got a shout out from the official Pokémon Twitter account as well. It turns out, people really like the cute little creatures that have become the face of the brand over the years, ever since the earliest days of the franchise with Red and Blue.

This single is to be featured on an album releasing later this year, which is known as Pokémon 25: The Album, which is scheduled to feature a multitude of artists including J Balvin and Post Malone. Utilizing huge celebrities and the music world's power with Pokémon kind of makes a lot of sense, as the brand has found its way into almost every aspect of the modern world at this point including major motion pictures.

The Pokémon franchise continues to harness incredibly powerful brand recognition and power for Nintendo, with Sword and Shield and the more recent side offering of New Pokémon Snap. New Pokémon Snap channels back to yesteryear with a game that involves visiting multiple locations to take photos of all your favorites from the series. I mean, who wouldn’t want to catch the coolest Pokémon like Machamp down at the beach?

“New Pokémon Snap delivers an experience similar to that of the original while expanding on the formula in ways that prolong the appeal of the expedition,” said Brian Shea in his Game Informer review. “In the two decades since the first game’s release, the Pokémon world has changed in innumerable ways, but the simple appeal of immersing yourself in this universe and taking pictures has remained unchanged.”

Do you like the song? Do you like the video? Is Katy Perry and Pikachu teaming up the best thing ever? Let us know in the comments!


Ghostrunner 2 Confirmed For New-Gen Consoles And PC

Dystopian cyberpunk action game Ghostrunner is getting a sequel. 505 Games announced Ghostrunner 2 today, giving fans of the brutal yet stylish adventure a new challenge to test their reflexes against. 

Sadly, the announcement doesn’t share any details on gameplay, story, nor a release window. All we know is that Ghostrunner 2 is planned to launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. 505 Games will assume full publishing duties after acquiring the IP and replacing All In! Games who published the first game. Speaking of which, the press release also reiterates that the original Ghostrunner is still coming to new-gen consoles before the end of the year.

If you missed Ghostrunner the first time around, its gameplay blends first-person swordplay with fast-paced parkour-style traversal. Players must swiftly traverse its futuristic world with pinpoint accuracy, cutting down foes in rapid succession and rarely pausing to take a breather, lest you risk death. It launched in October 2020 to positive reviews thanks to its fantastic sense of movement but it was also a tale of two games. 

Ghostrunner’s action looked and ran great on PC. It was a different story on consoles; the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions suffered from unstable frame rates and other issues that made it nigh unplayable in some instances. Despite the differences, 505 reveals that Ghostrunner has sold 600,000 copies across the board since launch. 

We can only hope Ghostrunner 2 will be better optimized for consoles given the extra horsepower behind the PS5 and Xbox Series X. There’s no word on when we’ll learn more about the game, but fingers crossed we’ll get the full reveal sooner than later. 

Did you enjoy Ghostrunner and what changes or improvements would you like to see in the sequel? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance Will Be On Xbox Game Pass On Day One

Earlier this month, we got a new look at Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance courtesy of Tuque Games creative art director Stefan Leblanc. He shared how heavy metal inspired the game, including sharing new concept art to show off the new direction. You can see all of that, and more, right here. But, there's more! Today, Microsoft has confirmed that the new Dark Alliance game will be a day one addition to Xbox Game Pass, giving members a chance to play for free!

Players will be able to be the adventurer they were always meant to be when Dark Alliance arrives on June 22. With its arrival as a day one launch title on Xbox Game Pass, this means that players that are members of this particular subscription service can jump into a new journey at no additional cost. There is a lot to be excited for with this third-person action brawler. This is especially true for those that are looking for a new fantasy game to dive into with friends. With up to 4-player co-op, what do you have to lose when you can play for free? 

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There is no denying that the Xbox Game Pass is a solid deal for those looking for a more cost-effecitve way to expand their library, and the value of this service continues to grow every month. For those interested, there are two versions of this membership to choose from with the standard Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate. Xbox Game Pass is $9.99, whereas the Ultimate version includes Xbox Live for $14.99. 

An option like this has become even more viable as the price point for certain games is now at $70. This fact is even more prevalent since the resources behind this library continue to grow, including the recent EA Play and Bethesda additions. With first-party day one games being included as a perk, and surprise reveals like MLB The Show 21, Xbox continues to prove that it has a few surprises up its proverbial sleeve with this new generation for the Microsoft brand.

Are you excited for the arrival of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance? What do you hope gets added next? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below!

Bungie Slide

This Week At Bungie – 5/13/2021


The Wild At Heart: Watch The First 20 Minutes – New Gameplay Today

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The Wild At Heart is an adventure game about two kids, magical creatures, and adventure. The game starts as a young kid named Wake prepares to run away from his troubled home environment. After packing the essentials, PB & J sandwiches and his handheld "Game Bun" gaming system, Wake runs off into the woods behind his house, quickly gets lost, and finds himself in a magical woodland realm called The Deep Woods. Sounds like an interesting premise for an adventure game, right? If so, be sure to watch this exclusive episode of New Gameplay Today, during which Alex Van Aken, Ben Reeves, and Moonlight Kids' Co-Founder, Chris Sumsky, show off the game's first 20 minutes.

The Wild At Heart doesn't waste much time before showing off its Pikmin-derived inspirations, giving the player command over magical Spritelings that can collect loot, attack enemies, remove obstacles, and build new paths through the environment. When combined with Wake's super-powered vacuum gadget, the Gustbuster, the player can uncover hidden objects, recruit new Spritelings, open locked gates, and a lot more.

You won't have to wait long before playing The Wild At Heart since the game releases on May 20, 2021 on Xbox and PC. For more information, check out the game's official website. If you enjoyed this episode of New Gameplay Today, be sure to subscribe to the Game Informer YouTube channel and catch up on previous episodes here.


Mass Effect Legendary Edition: Should You Go Paragon Or Renegade?

The Mass Effect Legendary Edition drops tomorrow and many returning fans are prepping to board the Normandy once more. That being said, there are a lot of people that missed out on the original trilogy that are diving in for the very first time. My number one piece of advice for newbies going in is to be aware of the morality choices to ensure you don't hover too much in the middle to avoid losing out on choice options. But that leaves one question: do you go renegade or paragon? Let's dive in. 

Why should you choose? 

While I encourage everyone to play the way they want to play, there is a caveat that you should at least be aware of, something that I've noticed many players aren't even aware of when the credits have rolled. When you go paragon, there are renegade choices you must hit, it's tradition (punching the reporter, anyone?). Vice versa, as well, but you want to be careful not to lean too heavily into playing that middle ground. Why, you may be asking? Choices. 

It's important to mostly dedicate your time leaning one way or the other right off the bat, especially early on in the game. With each paragon action taken and dialogue option chosen, you're earning points for "blue." This is the same with renegade, noted as "red." Both sides dictate how your Shepard reacts to certain situations and how others react to them. 

Throughout the entire trilogy, there are pivotal moments that can have small consequences (such as an ally potentially turned away) but they can also have massive ones as well, up to and including wiping out entire races. The common mistake I see a lot of people make when talking about Mass Effect is players saying they "didn't know" there were options to save so and so or options to make 'X' decision. The reason is that they are going with their gut on how to respond to certain situations, meaning that the paragon and renegade levels are too intertwined, so there aren't enough points to lean in one particular direction. When either end of the spectrum isn't filled out to a certain point, certain choices will be blacked out, making them inaccessible to the player. Some of the consequences to this are small: not being able to convince someone you are right, not being able to get information the easy way, etc. But some? Some consequences are massive: an entire species is now extinct, a beloved squadmate takes their own life, a monstrous discovery can no longer be corrected. Player agency can still be achieved, but be aware of the goal that you want for your Shepard. What kind of hero are they? How do they evolve over the course of the three games? 

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What is paragon, explain it like I'm five

To put it simply, going paragon means you're choosing the blue options (and the options on the right of the dialogue wheel at the top). These choices center around a more diplomatic approach. Kinder, less rash, more "by the books." If you like being the "good guy," this is the route for you. Not all paragon choices are sunshine and roses, but they are geared towards being more politically correct and more thought out. Sometimes, that's a bane, because paragon options often make your work to save the galaxy a little harder; certain quests might take longer to complete. 

What is renegade, explain it like I'm five

For renegade, this option (indicated by red or bottom choices on the dialogue wheel) is for players that love to be ruthless. In Mass Effect 2, this option is my favorite. Punch anyone you want, throw bad guys out the window, threaten those that stand in your way. This type of Shepard does whatever needs to be done to get the mission accomplished, a real "the ends justify the means" type of character. In Mass Effect 3, however, those renegade options become something more ruthless than a lot of players may have expected. Characters that paragon-Shepard becomes close to suddenly don't  like the thought of being a part of their crew. It's a very different experience, especially if you commit to the renegade options 100%. If you dedicate yourself to this path, be prepared: some of the renegade choices in Mass Effect 3 are rough. 


At the end of the day, play how you want to play. This is your game experience and the Mass Effect trilogy is really geared towards running the story numerous times, not just the one playthrough. Play around with renegade one playthrough and paragon another. I would recommend starting with paragon just so you can see how truly meaningful some of these in-game relationships are, but really? Do you. Do what feels right. Kind-hearted hero or ruthless leader? You decide. 

To learn more about Mass Effect, check out our dedicated hub here, including exclusive interviews with the team, gameplay, and our review-in-progress. 


Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Has Gone Gold

Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank is one of Sony’s most beloved franchises. Rift Apart is the upcoming chapter in the classic series and looks to take advantage of PlayStation 5’s next-gen technology. With the highly-anticipated action game slated for an early-summer release, it’s only natural that more exciting information centered around the narrative and gameplay are coming to light. Moreover, Insomniac Games announced that Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart has gone gold today.

Gold status means that development on a game is finished and that it's ready to be sold and distributed to consumers. Insomniac Games’ Twitter post (see above) is a good sign that Rift Apart is in the perfect condition to be experienced by all the eager fans who’ve been waiting to dive back into the world of Ratchet & Clank. Rift Apart features two playable Lombaxes: the titular Ratchet, and resistance fighter Rivet. Both main characters, with the help of their tinier, quirky robot companion, Clank, must navigate multiple realities in order to defeat Doctor Nefarious. The gameplay in Rift Apart revolves around jumping into different dimensions while dashing, wall-running, and utilizing different weapons that employ the DualSense controller’s adaptive triggers. 

Editor in Chief Andrew Reiner spent an hour playing Rift Apart and heralded it as “The Best Looking Next-Gen Game Yet.” Reiner went into detail about his history with the franchise, how the latest game raises the bar with spectacular action and setpieces, and how the combat gameplay feels responsive and satisfying. He concluded his preview saying, “Insomniac has been on a roll with the Spider-Man games, and Rift Apart looks every bit as epic and fun. It’s one of the few early PlayStation 5 exclusives we've seen, and it looks like the team at Insomniac is taking this new hardware for a serious ride.”

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart launches exclusively for PlayStation 5 on June 11.

What features are you looking forward to experiencing the most when the game releases? Let us know in the comments below. 


Target Will No Longer Sell Pokémon Cards In-Store Due To Safety Concerns

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a Pokémon fan which means you’re probably aware that the trading cards have become an absurdly hot commodity in recent months. The pandemic has caused card values to skyrocket, so retail stores (and McDonald’s) have struggled to keep the cards in stock. Some businesses have limited the number of packs customers can buy, others have removed them from shelves to lock behind registers. Target in particular has faced increasingly aggressive customers, and instances of violence have forced the company to stop selling them in stores for the foreseeable future. 

The policy goes into effect this Friday, May 14. It will also apply to NBA, MLB, and NFL cards, which are in high demand as well. You’ll still be able to buy cards online through Target’s website, but the in-store ban comes on the heels of various reports of violence breaking out amongst customers trying to buy packs. I’ve heard personal anecdotes of people being robbed for their cards outside of stores and fights unfolding in the long lines that form at locations receiving fresh inventory. Various retail outlets in general have suffered attempts of theft with multiple reports of break-ins including one particularly daring heist in Tokyo. Not to mention the numerous accounts of store employees being harassed by disgruntled collectors. 

The straw that broke the camel’s back for Target specifically seems to be a recent incident at a Wisconsin location where a 35-year old man pulled a gun after he was assaulted by four attackers. No shots were fired, but the altercation was reportedly triggered by an argument over sports cards. 

In a statement made to Polygon, a Target spokesperson says the decision to ban in-store sales of Pokémon cards was indeed safety related and that the well-being of the company's employees and customers are its “top priority”. 

A few factors have resulted in this latest Pokémon card frenzy. The biggest is that the pandemic has slowed down the production and distribution of physical cards, creating a scarcity in stores. Rare cards, especially from older editions, are netting thousands of dollars in online auctions right now. Thus, fans have spent the last several months flocking to stores or unearthing old collections to try and make a quick buck, which has severely strained the card grading industry. Celebrities and influencers purchasing ultra-rare cards and packs, in some cases to open in front of an audience, have also fueled the fire of collecting. 

If you’re an enthusiast who only wants to bolster your collection or worse, have kids that just want to indulge in their favorite hobby, you have a seemingly growing number of jerks to thank for things going down like this. One would imagine this will be a temporary ban until the frenzy dies down. If you're curious, Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh seem somewhat unaffected by the craze (at least based on the Targets I've visited recently). But you're planning to hunt for Pokémon cards at other stores, all I can say is to be safe and try to maintain some civility until things return to normal. Please?


PS5 Game Developers Reveal Upcoming DualSense Features

PlayStation 5 brings with it a ton of improvements over the last generation of hardware, but perhaps the most novel addition of Sony's latest console is the DualSense controller. Featuring a built-in mic, haptic vibration, and adaptive triggers housed in a comfortable casing, the PS5 DualSense controller adds immersion to games that effectively harness the capabilities of the gamepad. Following terrific uses by games like Astro's Playroom and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, a new wave of developers of games coming to PlayStation 5 have revealed their plans for using the technology of the popular controller.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Incoming DualSense Features

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart allows players to feel everything from footsteps to explosions in the palm of their hands. As you might imagine, those sensations occur pretty frequently in Insomniac's upcoming adventure, but the team says it has worked to make it so the feeling of those responses don't get old as you continue to play. Insomniac Games calls the decision to make firing weapons and hitting different surfaces with your wrench "no-brainers" for haptic feedback, but the studio also added several more subtle features. For example, picking up bolts from defeated enemies gives you a tiny impulse from each bolt in addition to a quiet sound in your controller's speaker. Players can also look forward to feeling the weapon wheel or map scans in more tactile ways when Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart comes to PlayStation 5 on June 11. For more on the upcoming game, check out our recent preview.

If you're looking for a more immediate feature to experience, Subnautica: Below Zero launches tomorrow, giving players unique features on PS5 through the DualSense controller. Haptic feedback accompanies the use of certain tools, like flipping the switch on your flashlight or feeling the coil of your grappling arm. The DualSense also lets you feel the drilling sensation as you mine for resources with your drill arm. The rumble feature of the PS5 controller vibrates to let players sense their target when using the metal detector, and the controller will even pulse faster as players get closer to their resource objective. If you're curious about how Subnautica: Below Zero turned out, you can read our review here.

The next game from The Evil Within developer Tango Gameworks, Ghostwire: Tokyo, also puts unique features in the palms of PS5 players' hands. As players walk through the environment, they'll not only feel their supernatural powers through distinct adaptive trigger responses, but they'll hear otherworldly voices emanate from the controller speaker. Tango Gameworks says that thanks to the DualSense controller, players will be able to tell the difference between using their wind, water, and fire powers, and that performing in-game exorcisms is aided by the triggers to make pulling out a spectral enemy's core even more intense. As players increase the power of their abilities, the feedback of the controller will also intensify, giving players a tactile sense of progress. For more on Ghostwire: Tokyo, check out our interview from last summer where we attempted to get answers to some of our biggest questions.

The recently announced Life is Strange: True Colors looks to give players added immersion into the world of protagonist Alex Chen's psychic powers. As her emotions change to anger, feature, sadness, and joy, the light bar will react with red, purple, blue, and gold respectively. The adaptive trigger also gets stronger as Alex reaches out with her psychic abilities to hint at a supernatural sense that she's barely able to keep in control of. 

Scarlet Nexus

Scarlet Nexus, the upcoming action title from Bandai Namco, plans to use the haptics and adaptive triggers to enhance the sensation of smashing and slashing through enemies and the environment. Lifting and tossing objects give you the feeling of doing so through vibration that moves from side to side while adaptive triggers provide a more realistic experience by making you feel the weight of what you're picking up in the game. For more on Scarlet Nexus, be sure to check out our recent episode of New Gameplay Today here.

Speaking of Bandai Namco, the PS5 version of Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation 2 gives players the feeling of firing various weapons and taking hits. When firing using the two triggers, you'll notice resistance that differs based on the weapon. In addition, the vibration also recreates the discharge of larger caliber bullets and the unique sensations of machine guns and beam rifles. Melee attacks also give you the feeling of landing a heavy blow. Finally, the weapon fire and weapon switch audio outputs on the DualSense's built-in speaker.

Kena: Bridge Of Spirits

One of the most anticipated games from the early days of the PlayStation 5, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, may have gotten delayed, but developer Ember Lab has increased the DualSense immersion. The main star is the trigger resistance as Kena transforms her staff into a bow, pulls back an arrow and the wood bends. For more on Kena: Bridge of Spirits, check out our exclusive coverage hub here.

While I'm a huge fan of the DualSense's features and all of this sounds awesome. Unfortunately, many players are still unable to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 due to supply shortages. While the system's sales are outpacing its competitors and predecessors, Sony said the shortages could even stretch into 2022. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones to have a PS5 in your possession, do these features drive you towards picking up games on the PS5 over other platforms? How important are DualSense features to you?

[Source: PlayStation Blog]


GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon – New Gameplay Today

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GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon arrives in Early Access today on Steam, and is coming to Switch in 2022. This “roguevania” lets players dive into Japanese ukiyo-e style environments as they slash their way through dangerous, beautiful levels and titanic bosses. GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is being developed by Konami and GuruGuru. Players can explore various levels that look like living tapestries, from the fires of hell to majestic waves.

While players crash into the levels to take on bosses, find weapons, and explore again and again, there are persistent elements in play as well. At your home base, the Getsu Clan Estate, you can add a wide variety of permanent bonuses and boosts to your character as well as strengthen your weapons and equipment. In this fashion, the game leans toward the “roguelite”, where if you persist over time from run to run, you will eventually gain significant power that gives you a serious edge in combat, giving you a considerable advantage in lower levels and difficulties.

You’re going to pick up standard weapons like katanas, clubs, battle umbrellas, and fist armaments, but also side weapons that can help you get past more challenging foes that require some thought. Items like the bow and arrow, caltrops, or bombs can help you deal with difficult encounters without having to put yourself at risk.

In this episode of New Gameplay Today, join the Game Informer gang as they watch Alex Stadnik pilot his way through the first stage. There are plenty of different levels to work through even in this early access period, showcasing diverse and sometimes captivating environments. While GestuFumaDen: Undying Moon is currently only available on PC, I highly recommend using a controller to play instead of mouse and keyboard. 

Interestingly enough, this is technically not the first GetsuFumaDen game, with the original landing on the Super Famicom all the way back in 1987. The games are obviously quite different, but both feature side-scrolling action.

What do you think of GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon? Are you going to check out Early Access? Wait for release? Make a comment about Konami making something other than pachinko machines? Let us know!


Total War: Warhammer III Features Huge Survival Battles

Total War: Warhammer III is scheduled to arrive on PC this year, and we had a chance to dive in and try out one of the big new features: Survival battles. These are akin to major boss battles, and are huge in scale, size, scope, and time investment, and can be much more involved than a traditional Total War fight. Over the course of multiple skirmishes and large scale battles in the same space, you are tasked with recruiting and replenishing troops, building defenses, holding points, and potentially engaging in several battles simultaneously.

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Survival battles are strategic enagements that force you to make both micro and macro choices as you progress throughout an experience. In the case of the demo I participated in, the massive confrontation culminated with an epic demonic encounter.

Playing as the Kislev and their Ice Queen Tsarina Katarin, it was cool to get a feel for one of Total War: Warhammer III’s playable races. The Kislev features powerful cavalry units, flexible infantry, and of course, ice magic. In the demo, I only had access to ice powers via Queen Katarin, but the Kislev also wield wind magic capabilities in the full game. Katarin was enough to shift many battles in my favor with a multitude of potent skills, allowing me to buff allies, freeze enemies in their tracks to control the battlefield, and of course, dish out plenty of direct icy damage.

Finding fun factions to play likely won’t be a problem in Total War: Warhammer III, as there are a multitude of flavorful and fantastic options across the first two titles. However, these extended big survival brawls are a new element to enjoy - and endure. In this survival demo, my Kislev forces faced off against the hellish hordes of Khorne. Initially, it was essentially a battle against another army, which is nothing new. However, we battled over a capture point. Once taken, I could choose how to use my supplies. Supplies in survival allow you to make choices that rippled across the entire battle. These resources can be used to heal existing troops, recruit new ones, and even set up multiple kinds of defensive structures from giant walls to magical towers. You can also upgrade your troops in terms of armaments. 

How you choose to allocate your resources can make a big difference, especially as your options can option up as you progress through an encounter, offering higher-tier units for purchase. In this case, that’s the giant Kislev ice bear unit that can take on tons of demonic little annoyances by itself! Essentially, capturing each outstanding victory point and defending your current victory points is the imperative, and each point essentially comes with its own full-scale battle. By the time I had captured the third and final victory point, I had participated in three big battles and countless smaller ones. 

However, taking that final point was not the end, as the final armies of Khorne, led by an Exalted Greater Daemon, came charging in to attack. During the distraction of this major encounter, first I lost one of my previously held victory points and eventually capitulated in a war of attrition to the big Daemon threat. Some of my loss I attribute to misallocation of resources, and the rest to poor distribution of troops during that final battle. Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt these survival battles are designed to be both lengthy and challenging, with tons and tons of choices to make along the way. I was impressed with the previous Total War: Warhammer titles, and I really have no reason to expect this one will be any different. When will we see it in 2021? Hopefully soon! Ice bears!

Are you looking forward to Total War: Warhammer III? Let us know in the comments!


Yakuza’s Kazuma Kiryu Is Now Available In Duck Form

Yep, that’s right. The lovable protagonist of the Yakuza series is now available as a TUBBZ duck, complete with a bicycle. If you’ve never played a Yakuza game and brawled your way through a throng of enemies, you’ve missed out. And now you can bring the cool hero of the Yakuza saga home, as a duck. Now the real question is, when can we play as a duck Kiryu in a game? Or better yet, a duck Majima? These are the real inquiries that we need answers to! 

The Yakuza series prominently features Kazuma Kiryu in many titles as the protagonist, with the notable exception being the turn-based Yakuza: Like A Dragon. In Like A Dragon, the franchise got a cool new protagonist with Ichiban while retaining many of the strange, eccentric, and often hilarious quirks that make the series a joy to explore. The series is looking to continue this turn-based focus into the future.

“Like a Dragon is a departure from the games that came before it, but I found those changes to be revitalizing. As much as I enjoyed the Yakuza formula, it was definitely a formula. Like a Dragon has enough familiar elements to make it feel like, at its heart, it’s a Yakuza game,” said Jeff Cork in the Game Informer review. “All the while, I fully appreciated how much of a new identity this entry is establishing. Here’s hoping this is the first step in yet another great journey for the series.”

If you’re looking to go back to the beginning so to speak, the best game to start your Yakuza journey on is probably Yakuza 0, which functions as a prequel for some of the most popular characters.

The figure is official SEGA merchandise and comes with a bathtub display box. Other ducks of interest in the TUBBZ line if you’re into Kazuma Kiryu may be Shenmue’s Ryo Hazuki or a Jet Set Radio duck.


GI Show – Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Scarlet Nexus, And Subnautica: Below Zero

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On this week's episode of The Game Informer Show, we discuss a handful of the games we've been digging recently, including Subnautica: Below Zero, Hundred Days, Yakuza 0, Resident Evil Village, Scarlet Nexus, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. At the end of the show we have an interview with Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland), the co-creator of shows like Rick and Morty and Solar Opposites. Roiland is also currently the CEO of Squanch Games, the developer behind Trover Saves the Universe. We talk to Roiland about his experience making games, how Trover’s recording sessions were basically long improv sessions, and why he changed the name of his company to avoid getting sued by Nintendo. 

It's a full show, but we make time for another round of fantastic community emails. So please join Andrew Reiner (@Andrew_Reiner), Blake Hester (@metallicaisrad), Dan Tack (@dantack), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), and Ben Reeves (@Benjaminreeves) for a new wild and ever-entertaining episode!

Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below and share the episode if you enjoyed it. You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Playlisten on SoundCloudstream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to for a chance to have them answered on the show!

Our thanks to The Rapture Twins for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their music on their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

00:00:00 - Introduction

00:02:24 - Subnautica: Below Zero

00:13:13 - Resident Evil Village

00:15:15 - Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion

00:16:41 - Yakuza 0

00:18:10 - Hundred Days: Wine Making Simulator

00:24:30 - Scarlet Nexus

00:28:20 - Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart

00:34:59 - Community Emails

01:07:46 - Justin Roiland

Thank You from The Mass Effect Legendary Team

Hello again, everyone!

By this time tomorrow, Mass Effect™ Legendary Edition will be in your hands. It’s been a long-awaited day for all of us on the team, but you—our community—have been asking for this for years. Just like in 2007, thousands of people are getting ready to don the N7 armor for the very first time—but this time, thousands more are dusting off their old gear for the adventure ahead.

To us, the Legendary Edition is more than just a remaster. It‘s also a celebration of you—our community—so we’ve been putting together a celebration video in honor of Mass Effect fans around the world. You’re as much part of this journey as we are, and it only felt right to celebrate you.

We’ve also been celebrating our fans with #MyShepard on social media since the reveal of the Legendary Edition, spotlighting community creations and more on the Mass Effect accounts. Check it out!

#MyShepard is for those who’ve been with us since the beginning, who’ve recently joined our community, and who are preparing to come along in the future. Thousands of players have used this hashtag to share their fan creations, custom key arts, favorite Mass Effect moments, real-world experiences, and so much more. Without all of you, Mass Effect could never have become what it is today.

Today, we wanted to spotlight some amazing community creations, though we wish we could share them all! So many beautiful pieces and personal moments have been captured through #MyShepard, so thank you so much for sharing them with us! Once the game is out, be sure to use the in-game photo mode to share some of your favorite moments with Shepard using that hashtag, too. We’ll always be keeping an eye out.

Here’s to your Shepard—the Commander we all need, ready to face the galaxy.

Here’s to your squad and those who stood by you on your journey, fighting to the end at your side.

Here’s to our community, bringing Mass Effect to life in ways we could have never imagined.

And here’s to our favorite Commanders on the Citadel who helped start it all. They’ve been with us every step of the way and we couldn’t have asked for better.

Source: NightCatty (Art), Mark Meer (MaleShep), Jennifer Hale (FemShep)

We know how much Mass Effect means to you, and it’s a privilege to bring you these games. They mean the world to us, too! So as one final message, we wanted to thank you personally.

Thank You

For over 17 years, Mass Effect has been a constant companion for me in my professional and personal life. I can’t really imagine a world without it, and I hear many of our fans say the same. The journey that’s brought us together—fans and developers—has been an amazing shared experience.

Thank you.

Thank you for your passion, and for your excitement, and for enthusiastically joining us on this incredible journey.

Also, thank you to all the developers who worked on the original trilogy—all their hard work and innovation made this possible. And of course, thank you to the entire Legendary team whose passion carried us through the last 21 months and a global pandemic to bring Mass Effect to 2021 and a new generation of players. It’s been humbling and immensely rewarding to work with both of these teams and be part of the Mass Effect adventure.

And so, the journey continues.

Tomorrow, over 14 years after the first Mass Effect was released, the Legendary Edition will bring new fans and old fans together as you embark on Shepard’s adventure. Thousands of choices and hundreds of hours of sci-fi epic await you. I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

—Mac Walters, Project Director

From all of us at BioWare, EA, across the Milky Way, and beyond,

Good luck, Commander.

The Mass Effect team


Rumor: Rambo, John McClane Coming To Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War And Warzone

As Call of Duty continues to embrace the 80s with content for both Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, there are rumors swirling about some iconic characters from that era coming to the game(s) as operator skins. The official Call of Duty twitter has been the source of speculation here based on some not-so-cryptic tweets hinting at Rambo a little while ago, and the Die Hard protagonist more recently. You can see those tweets below here and connect the dots.

However, more recently we have a purported image on Reddit. While the accuracy of the image can’t be verified and people always love to have fun mocking up potential reveals, you can check out this post right here to get a look at what these two new characters might look like.  Reddit user JohnnyUtahBrah has posted the image and it’s gotten plenty of attention over on the Call of Duty: Warzone board. Whether or not the images are 100% accurate or not, the clues that have been dropped on Call of Duty’s social channels are fairly blatant, so it’s likely that both Rambo and John McClane are going to make their way to the Warzone soon.

This invites further speculation into other 80s action hero icons that may find their way to Verdansk in the future. Who would you like to see join the crew? Honestly, nothing is really out of potential scope here. For instance, if you would have told me ages ago that the Saw puppet was coming to Call of Duty, I would have been completely mystified. But as crossover inclusion from massive media properties continues to become more of the rule both here in the Warzone and in big battle royale brands like Fortnite, I wouldn’t be surprised to see other characters from the era joining the ranks. We really need John-Claude Van Damme from Bloodsport, for instance, to really round this crew out.

Some may wonder why Christmas movie icons are headed to the Warzone, but I’m pretty much all for it. At this point in time, when the CoD store is loaded with everything from anime angels to weed-themed fare, there’s no sense in keeping things grounded.

Who do you want to see from the 80s make their way into the Warzone? Let's get Back to the Future characters in there! Let us know in the comments!


Watch The First Two Hours of Mass Effect Legendary Edition – Game Informer Live

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It's almost Mass Effect Legendary Edition time! To celebrate, we are boarding the Normandy once more with Mass Effect 1 to show off the changes seen with the very first game. From Eden Prime to meeting the council face to face once more, we're doing it all with a new 2-hour stream to dive back into a beloved favorite.

Kicking Geth butt, learning more about the Reapers, and finding what it means to be a hero, the Mass Effect Legendary Edition is a remaster of a trilogy that means so much to so many. Most of us here at Game Informer are huge fans, but we thought we'd spice it up this time around to offer a new kind of experience. Myself and Kim Wallace have numerous playthroughs under our belt, with this most recent being playthrough number 32 for me, but Mr. Alex Van Aken is a newcomer to this space adventure. We're walking him through the different worlds of Mass Effect and showing him the ropes of what it means to be a Spectre, so join us in the fun and help us convince him to go Renegade!

Join Alex Van Aken, Kim Wallace, and Liana Ruppert as they check out Mass Effect Legendary Edition. You can find us on our YouTube and Twitch channels to join in on the fun. Join in on the conversation, share with us your canon Shepards, and tell us what you're going to be doing differently this time around. For those that have never played the BioWare trilogy, there will be spoilers in the stream, but we will be talking about the unique changes the remaster brings, so if you're interested all are welcome! 

We will be going live at 11 a.m. Central, so come in, hang out, and let's kick Reaper butt!

To learn more about our thoughts on the Mass Effect Legendary Edition, check out our review-in-progress right here. Don't forget! Ahead of Mass Effect's May 14 launch, BioWare is also giving away a ton of free content, so don't miss out! You can look at what's up for grabs right here. Interested in learning more about Mass Effect Legendary Edition? Check out our exclusive game hub too. From no multiplayer game modes to lost code that can never be recovered, no topic was left untouched! 


Microsoft Celebrates 20 Years Of Xbox With New Gear, Halo Love, And More

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Microsoft is celebrating 20 years of Xbox with new gear in its shop, Halo reflection, and so much more! Can you believe it? 20 years of Team Green, time sure flies! Xbox has made some drastic pivots through the generations and the Xbox Series X has kicked off a strong start for a new era of gaming for those that love the Microsoft platform. 

Xbox's Major Nelson took to the company's official blog to reflect back on the last two decades from its inception on November 15 back in 2011. "Twenty years ago, playing on Xbox meant hooking up your console with three (or more!) cables to a standard definition CRT TV.  You had to pre-order the hottest new games and stand in line at your favorite retail shop to pick them up. Games were played in 640×480 resolution, and you only had 8GB of storage and 64MB of memory to enjoy them with. And you either played alone or with a friend sitting next to you on the couch."

With the Xbox Series X and S, players can enjoy every generation before the current one, which means that some of the most beloved adventures from the past don't have to stay there. With Xbox Game Pass, games are even more accessible than ever before in terms of a more cost-effective library model. Xbox has also broadened its reach immensely in recent years, bridging the gap between console and PC and even more growth is expected on the horizon

"Thanks to game creators and players like you, we have a greater variety of games and diverse characters  – with more worlds to explore, stories to tell, heroes and villains to meet, and achievements to unlock – in the 7 thousand games that have been released across the Xbox platform. Do you remember unlocking your first Xbox achievement? To-date, you and the Xbox community together have racked up nearly 1 trillion total Gamerscore. Most importantly, you’ve worked together to change the face of gaming by welcoming players from all walks of life, everywhere in the world."

Xbox also paid tribute to Halo, the game that started it all for Team Green! Master Chief became an icon when he first made his DNA and this franchise was a vital part of what made Xbox ... well, Xbox! With Halo Infinite on the horizon later this year, the legacy continues. Where it goes from here is anyone's guess. 

For those that love gear, Xbox is offering special merch to celebrate the 20-year milestone. You can find out what is available with the Xbox Gear Shop right here. Other ways Xbox is celebrating 20 years with fans include: 

  • Share your favorite Xbox memories on social with the #Xbox20 tag for community bonding
  • Free Xbox and Halo anniversary-themed wallpapers can be found here
  • Special Xbox anniversary Avatars are available 
  • Xbox Fan Fest registration is live with a change to win new gear and digital freebies
  • New Dynamic themes for Xbox
  • Anniversary Collection for game suggestions

And so much more! Read all about it right here

What are some of your favorite memories of Xbox through the years? Shout them out in the comments below!