Watch 18 Minutes Of Gameplay Of The Souls-Inspired Wuchang: Fallen Feathers

Wuchang: Fallen Feathers is a new action RPG from Chinese independent developer Leenzee Games and F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch publisher Bilibili. The game draws heavy inspiration from FromSoftware titles like Dark Souls and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and tasks you with rescuing a country suffering from societal upheaval and a supernatural disease. 

The game takes place during the final years of China’s Ming Dynasty where Emperor Chongzhen has hanged himself. The power vacuum his death creates gives rise to bloody conflicts across the country as armies and other forces clash for control, leaving villages helpless to pillaging and wanton chaos. If that’s not bad enough, a mysterious and incurable disease known as “feathering” is causing people to grow feathers. Not only does this physically deform those afflicted, but it causes their minds break in unpredictable, often violent ways. 

You control a mysterious female warrior wielding a sword that’s almost as tall as she is. She’s also equipped with a side pistol (ala Bloodborne) and can equip another weapon such as a heavy ax. Sekiro fans will likely notice design similarities to Sekiro, from its checkpoints to its menu layout, though Wuchang's combat doesn’t appear quite as fast-paced. You’ll cut down foes ranging from human soldiers to supernatural threats steeped in various Chinese mythologies from ancient cultures such as those of Shu civilization sites Sanxingdui and Jinsha. Leenzee released 18 minutes of alpha gameplay footage, and while the game still looks a little rough around the edges, it provides a nice proof of concept. Wuchang: Fallen Feathers has no release window but Leenzee states it’s intended to release for PC and current-gen consoles.

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What do you think of Wuchang: Fallen Feathers and how it borrows from FromSoftware? Share your impressions in the comments.

Lady Dimitrescu Needs To Be Added To Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter has been a nexus for crossover content from Capcom franchises to surprise collaborations with properties like The Witcher. Today we got confirmation of an incredible new Palamute layered armor that transforms your ridable hunting pup into Mega Man’s robotic dog companion. With at least one Capcom collab set for release this fall, I wanted to touch on some characters, weapons, or armor I’d like to see added into Monster Hunter Rise. Beware of spoilers for Resident Evil Village below!

While Monster Hunter World had a few guest monsters to hunt, we haven’t seen creatures from outside the series added to Rise yet. However, I think this next Capcom addition could be the perfect time to introduce an exciting new creature to hunt. One that's very different from those we've fought before. When it comes to imposing monsters, Lady Dimitrescu has many of the Capcom bosses kneeling at her feet. Standing at 9’6” tall, she’ll tower over any hunters in the field, though a little exaggeration in her height for effect wouldn’t hurt.

Her inclusion as a hunting target would introduce a unique gimmick: a humanoid monster. Very few beasts in Monster Hunter get close to the shape of a human, let alone a towering aristocrat. In this form, Lady D can use her sword-like claws to attack and have swarms of insects attack the hunting party. Though this is just one form of Lady D, she can transform into a mutated dragon-like body, much more akin to the Wyverns we’re used to taking on in Monster Hunter. If you haven't seen it, it's like Capcom somehow made a more disturbing version of Khezu.

Imagine a multi-phased encounter that begins with Lady Dimitrescu stalking you around the map, taking death-dealing swipes at the hunters in your party. She then brings out her trio of daughters for help before taking her final, disgusting dragon shape for the final act of the fight. Using Parts from the monstrous dragon body could be used to build classic Resident Evil costumes, or even a layered armor set featuring Lady D’s white dress and elaborate hat.

But that’s just one possible Capcom collaboration I’d like to see, even if it is rather large in both height and scope. Which Capcom characters or costumes would you like to see come to Monster Hunter Rise? Do you like my phased Lady Dimitrescu battle scenario? Let your voice be heard in the comments!

Mega Man’s Rush Springs Into Monster Hunter Rise Next Week

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Capcom continues to collaborate within its internal brands, bringing another skin to Monster Hunter Rise. This time Mega Man 11 is the crossover title, offering a new Palamute layered armor featuring Rush. This robotic dog might be my favorite outside addition to the game yet! Check out Rush in action in the trailer below.

Monster Hunter’s dev team isn’t just slapping skins on characters and calling it a day. Putting the Rush armor on your Palamute transforms it into Mega Man’s canine companion, complete with the special moves for which he’s famous. Sprinting while riding on a Rush Palamute makes the dog levitate, turning his hind legs into rocket-propelled engines. Likewise, jumping off from him enables a spring animation, just like if Rush were helping Mega Man leap to a high platform. Hunters can even customize his color to make their personalized version of Rush.

These kinds of loving details make what could be a lackluster skin something I’m definitely going to acquire when it releases. Other recent Capcom collaborations include tie-ins with Monster Hunter Stories 2 (which you can read my review of here), Street Fighter’s Akuma, and Amaterasu from the whimsical Okami. At least one more Capcom crossover is scheduled for release this fall, but you can get your hands on Rush on September 24. Happy hunting!

THQ Nordic Announces SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake

Earlier this year, THQ Nordic released SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off for the Nintendo Switch, but if you can’t stop spending money on SpongeBob games then you might be interested in SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake. 

In Cosmic Shake, SpongeBob and Patrick encounter the mysterious fortune teller who hands the pair a container of Mermaid’s Tears, which are fabled to grant the wishes of those pure of heart. Unfortunately, SpongeBob and Patrick's enthusiastic string of wishes threaten to rip open the fabric of space and time, and now the undersea goofballs have to work together to rescue their friends and save Bikini Bottom’s iconic buildings.

According to THQ Nordic, Cosmic Shake also has the following key features:

  • Unlock classic and new platforming skills like the Fishhook Swing and Karate Kick
  • Don more than 30 F.U.N.tastic costumes like SnailBob and SpongeGar 
  • Travel to 7 distinct Wishworlds like Wild West Jellyfish Fields and Halloween Rock Bottom
  • Experience all the buddy movie banter with SpongeBob’s permanent companion Balloon-Patrick
  • Meet all your favorite Bikini Bottomites from the series, voiced by their original actors
  • Enjoy the in-game soundtrack featuring 101 songs from the series, including Sweet Victory

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is “coming soon” to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Earlier today, THQ Nordic also announced Outcast 2: A New Beginning, Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed, and Jagged Alliance 3. Which game do you think has the worst title? Let us know in the comments below. 

Jagged Alliance 3 Brings Tactical RPG Mercenary Action To PC

Jagged Alliance hasn’t had a numbered entry in over 20 years, but that changes soon with the upcoming release of Jagged Alliance 3. THQ Nordic announced this new addition to the franchise today during the company’s 10th-anniversary stream. Helming this project is the team known for making games like Tropico 5, Victor Vran, and Surviving Mars, Haemimont Games based in Bulgaria.

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Players will control a group of mercenaries brought to the land of Grand Shien to find a missing person. Though, merc missions are never easy. Your characters will have to navigate the region, meet the locals, and learn about Grand Shien and how you’ll end up impacting it throughout the game as you adventure. Conflicts play out in turn-based tactical battles where each mercenary in your squad brings their particular sets of skills to the fight. Whether you want to play stealthy, stabby, or with akimbo pistols blazing, there will be many unique strategies to implement.

THQ Nordic initially brought on Haemimont Games to tackle a side project in the Jagged Alliance series. But as the relationship grew, the project changed to being the first proper sequel since 1999. With the lineage of Jagged Alliance established, the team is bringing back past mercenaries to join your squad like Len and Tex. Each merc, old or new, can be leveled up and customized with perks, weaponry, and equipment.

Jagged Alliance 3 is only announced for a release on PC, though we have not learned when fans of the series can expect it. Check out the other announcements from today's THQ Nordic showcase, including Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed and Outcast 2!


Where does Jagged Alliance 3 rank in the announcements from THQ Nordic today? Are you itching to get back in the field with these mercenaries? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Crypto Returns In Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed Next Year

Crypto is back to subjugate the Earth in Destroy All Humans 2! Reprobed, a remake of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox-era game originally developed by Pandemic. Like the remake of the first Destroy All Humans, Black Forest Games is handling the development duties this time around.

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Set in the swinging '60s, Destroy All Humans 2 pits Crypto against the Soviet agents of the KGB as he attempts to capture, consume, and generally kill humanity. Our playable alien antagonist will have a myriad of weapons and gadgets at his disposal to complete missions. Of course, he’ll have his trusty flying saucer to wreak havoc on towns and abduct the residents for his nefarious schemes. Other weapons include the Gastro Gun, the Burrow Beast, and the Dislocator, a projectile weapon that bounces enemies far in the air and away from Crypto. Some of the technology at your disposal is being reworked to be more fun and balanced, including the previously mentioned Dislocator and the over-powered Free Love Goggles.

Black Forest promises a more diverse and populated world to decimate. Building the world for this remake wasn’t a matter of matching the exact maps from the original, but taking inspirations from the levels of Destroy All Humans 2 and bringing in modern sensibilities and techniques. Reprobed is a lot less flat and features more characters, plant life, and buildings than the original. One thing confirmed but not shown at this time is the return of two-player co-op.

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Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed will release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC sometime in 2022. For more alien domination, check out our review of the Destroy All Humans remake here.

THQ Nordic Announces Outcast 2: A New Beginning

THQ Nordic has announced a revival of the Outcast franchise with the upcoming release of Outcast 2: A New Beginning. Development started in 2018 with at least ten developers from the original Outcast team onboard, including the director and art director from that game.

Outcast 2 revives ideas from the original sequel that was being planned in 1999/2000. Due to financial issues with its publisher Infogrames, the project was shelved indefinitely. Appeal Studios, the team behind A New Beginning, wants to make a product that feels like a successor to the cult classic. Appeal is looking to implement a non-linear narrative an enticing world to explore.

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Like the first game, Outcast 2 will take place on the planet of Adelpha, and players will step back into the shoes of Cutter Slade 20 years in the future. Due to an accident while escaping the planet, Slade was blipped out of time and found his way back decades later. To keep the world fresh, players will explore a different part of the planet and meet new inhabitants. Combat and movement have been updated, according to THQ Nordic. Outcast 2 is a third-person shooter at heart, with modular weaponry being a focus. However, Cutter will also receive magic-like “Talan powers” and a new mobility-enhancing jetpack.

While we don’t have a release date quite yet, THQ Nordic informs us Outcast 2 is nearing the end of its “pre-alpha” stage of development, a good sign we’ll be seeing it sooner rather than later. THQ Nordic and Appeal Studios are releasing Outcast 2 on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

 

Outcast is a game that I missed out on all these years but heard rumblings of it over time. Do you have any Outcast memories you’d like to share? How did the game impact you in the late 90s and beyond? Are you excited about the re-emergence of the franchise? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Battlefield 2042 Early Access Begins November 12, Open Beta Launch Still Undetermined

Battlefield 2042’s launch was delayed to November 19 which brought into question the launch timing of the game’s promised open beta and early access period. Freeman, the game’s lead community manager, took to Twitter to address these concerns, confirming that the early access period will now kick off a week prior to launch on November 12.

Early Access allows those who pre-ordered the Gold and Ultimate editions of the game a chance to dive into Battlefield 2042 a week early. Unfortunately, the dates for the public open beta remain undetermined but rumors have pointed to the launch taking place in either late September or early October

Battlefield 2042 takes the series to the near future and is set on a version of Earth ravaged by war and the effects of climate change. Catastrophic storms such as tornados dynamically rip through gigantic firefights featuring a staggering 128 players. The game is a multiplayer-only experience and features revamped versions of the Conquest and Breakthrough modes, as well as a new mode called Hazard Zone. 2042 also includes Battlefield Portal, an advanced logic editor that allows players to create their own battlefield matches using maps, vehicles, weapons, and other assets from across multiple entries in the series. 

Battlefield 2042 will be available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.


Will you be diving into the Battlefield 2042 early access beta and are you excited for the eventual open beta?  Let us know in the comments!

Conquer Middle Earth On Your Phone Next Week In Lord Of The Rings: Rise To War

Net Ease and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment are bringing expansive wars in Middle Earth to the palm of your hands. Now announced to release next week, Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is described as a “Geo-Strategic Seasonal Wargame” for mobile devices.

Rise to War puts players in charge of massive armies and your favorite Lord of the Rings characters to take over swaths of the Middle Earth map. All the stars are here, and they can be your generals in battle. Recruit the likes of Gandalf the White, Galadriel, Aragorn, and Legolas to lead your armies to victory. Each has stats and specified roles like Control or Warrior, so choosing the correct characters for each battle is vital.

Lord of the Rings: Rise to War’s map will shift and change with each battle as players and their Fellowships or Warbands take over territory throughout a season.  According to a press release, players can form groups in “a multi-layer Fellowship social structure designed to foster collaborative strategies between players. Based on their choices to side with good or evil, players can form either Fellowships or Warbands with other players and take to the battlefields to triumph over their foes tile by tile.”

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Maybe most exciting (to me at least!) is the ability to forge your very own magical ring to provide buffs and advantages in battle. Customization includes which gems or jewels adorn the artifact and even etching an inscription on the inner surface. Check out the developer Q&A video series above that features gameplay and insight from people working on the game.

Look for Lord of the Rings: Rise to War on iOS and Android devices September 23 in territories all over the world, including Europe, North America, Oceana, and Southeast Asia. And if you haven't yet, check out the upcoming Lord of the Ring show coming to Amazon Prime, and a new game starring the ring-obsessed Gollum.


Who would you want fighting by your side against the various forces in Middle Earth? I might like some of those Ents on my side. Let me know in the comments!

Call Of Duty: Vanguard Multiplayer Beta | Game Informer Live

This Friday, we’re taking a short break from our Super Replay of Demon's Souls (we'll be back next week!), and instead, we'll be surviving World War 2 in the multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: Vanguard. You can watch us test our mettle against other players on Twitch at 2 p.m. Central. 

Vanguard launches on November 5 and puts players in the boots of special forces operators battling through Berlin. Their mission: put a stop to a mysterious Nazi plan known as Project Phoenix. The explosive story unfolds four of WWII’s theaters of battle: the Pacific, Western, Eastern, and North African fronts. While we won’t be delving into the campaign, GI editor Marcus Stewart will be dodging (read: absorbing) bullets from other players across the beta’s available maps while tinkering with the game’s operators. Expect plenty of deaths, but we look forward to having you along for what's sure to be a wild ride. 

To read more about Call of Duty: Vanguard, check out this handy primer. The game is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Sega And Atlus Tease New RPG Announcement For Tokyo Game Show

Sega and Atlus are set to unveil a new RPG during Day 2 of the Tokyo Game Show 2021, which is October 1. We already knew the companies would have the last presentation of the day according to the event schedule, and they’re gearing up to conclude the second round of livestreams with a bang. 

The publisher has set up a special website for the unannounced title that plays a Japanese-narrated cinematic of an ink quill drawing three fantastical-looking characters overlooking a scenic cliff. It also shows flashes of different characters and melancholy scenes, such as what appears to be a slain woman. The animation concludes by taking viewers to a homepage that currently has a countdown clock ticking down to the game’s reveal at TGS. Translated text of the video’s description simply states “This is a teaser trailer for Sega's new RPG, whose information will be unveiled online at the Tokyo Game Show 2021 on October 1, 2021 (Friday).”

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Now comes the fun part: figuring out what this game could be. Given the hype around it, one would assume it’s a new IP. Needless to say, it definitely doesn’t look like it fits in with Atlus’ established series like Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, or Etrian Odyssey based on the artwork. Atlus fans have undoubtedly begun dissecting every possible frame of this trailer for answers, but the rest of us will have to wait a couple of more weeks to learn more. 

In addition to their livestream presentation, Sega’s digital booth will highlight games such as Lost Judgment, Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania, and Sonic Colors: Ultimate. You can catch their offerings and more when Tokyo Game Show kicks off on September 30 and concludes on October 3. We already have some confirmation of what Square Enix is bringing to the show so expect other companies to begin finalizing their line-ups over the next few weeks. 


What do you make of this mysterious RPG? Share your theories down in the comments!

Celebrate The Caped Crusader On Batman Day This Saturday

Did you know this Saturday is Batman Day? Started officially in 2014, Batman Day comes around on the third Saturday of September and celebrates the first time Batman appeared in Detective Comics. Even though that date was actually sometime in June 1939, it doesn’t make us any less excited to honor the character of Batman. DC Comics is celebrating the occasion in a variety of ways, including special products releasing this week or making cool Batman stories available for fans to enjoy for free. Here are some of the ways you can enjoy the Dark Knight on his special Bat-day.

This week, DC released a massive anthology graphic novel made by a globe-spanning team called Batman: The World. 14 creative teams from 14 different countries came together to make this momentous book. Clocking in at 184 pages, Batman: The World features stories from each of these teams, including “a story from the award-winning duo of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo (Batman: Damned, The Joker) in which Batman reflects on his time in Gotham, protecting his city and its inhabitants from all manner of threats,” according to a DC press release. Batman: The World was released this past Tuesday, September 14, so feel free to pick up these international Batman adventures at your favorite comic book store or digital marketplace. A free preview of the book is also available where comics are sold.

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The World isn’t the only comic attraction for Batman Day! DC is issuing a reprint of the popular comic Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #1, which brings the World’s Greatest Detective into the Fortnite universe. On the web, Batman: Wayne Family Adventures is a new webcomic via Webtoons featuring Bruce and Damian Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, and Duke Thomas (AKA The Signal), Gotham’s newest vigilante under the guiding batwing of Bruce. Four episodes are available now if you want a lighthearted take on the crimefighting family.

HBO Max is, of course, the home to all of your favorite Batman movies and animated capers. Only on Batman Day, DC is making the 10-part Batman: The Audio Adventures, a scripted Batman podcast, available on the HBO Max streaming service. Those with Cartoon Network can enjoy a new episode of Teen Titans Go! and a showing of The Lego Batman Movie.


How will you be spending your Batman Day? Will you opt for curling up with your favorite issues of the Dark Knight’s adventures, or are you going to start another rewatch of Batman: The Animated Series? Throw up those Bat-signals in the comments.

Why Players Are Excited For Today’s Magic: The Gathering Arena Standard Rotation

Today finally ushers in the official Standard 2022 rotation in Magic: The Gathering Arena. Rotation comes once a year with the release of Magic’s fall premiere set. This year Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, the first of two full sets on the horror plane scheduled for this fall, brings with it a revitalized constructed format. What exactly does rotation mean for players of the game, and why are people excited about this one in particular?

What Is Standard Rotation?

Once every year, Wizards of the Coast changes which Magic: The Gathering expansion sets are legal for the game’s Standard constructed format. This determines which pool of cards players can choose from when building 60-card decks for competitive play. Upon the release of Magic’s fall set (like Midnight Hunt’s release this year), a year’s worth of sets rotates out of legality to make room for the upcoming year of releases.

In the case of the rotation we’re currently experiencing, all four sets from fall 2019 through the set before last year’s fall set are leaving Standard. Those sets are Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and Core Set 2021. The remaining legal sets include everything from fall 2020 through the present day: Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim, Strixhaven: School of Mages, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, and the incoming Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. Any additional Standard-legal sets released over the coming year will be added to the legal card pool. The diagram below shows the previous Standard sets on the upper part of the image, with Standard 2022’s current legal sets and upcoming products on the bottom.

Why Are People Excited About This Standard Rotation?

Shaking up a competitive meta is always an exciting time. There’s plenty of experimental decks to build, and lots to play around with while figuring out what works and what won’t in a new format. This rotation is special to a lot of Magic players because of some oppressive cards leaving Standard. Specifically, a lot of cards from Throne of Eldraine have been so good over the past two years that some set releases didn’t affect which cards were being played.

Bonecrusher Giant, Lovestruck Beast, Embercleave, and Drown in the Loch are just a small sample of cards that have dominated competitive play. Not to mention cards that were banned because of their power level or repetitive play patterns like Oko, Thief of Crowns, Fires of Invention, and Caudron Familiar. Other sets like Ikoria have also produced powerful cards, but no other set had a grip on Standard over the last two years as Eldraine did.

But now Eldraine is gone. And with the loss of the most pervasive creatures and spells, comes the emergence of the sets that were held back. Mechanics like Party from Zendikar Rising, or Kaldheim’s snow and God cards have the chance to rise to the top. Themes centered around Strixhaven’s five colleges, and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms dungeon venturing and dice-rolling shenanigans could be valid now. All while a dark moon rises on Standard, bringing untold terrors to the fresh format.

Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Is here!

Returning to possibly the most popular plane in the Magic multiverse, Innistrad and its classic horrors are back in Standard. Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is a set centered on the battle between humans and werewolves during an event called the Harvesttide Festival. The nights on Innistrad are growing longer, and as a result, the daylight hours are waning. The fight over night and day rages as characters attempt to fix the broken time cycle.

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Innistrad: Midnight Hunt doesn’t just feature werewolves and humans, but also zombies, vampires, devils, spirits, and ghouls. If it’s creepy or horrific, you’ll probably see it on a card in Innistrad. New mechanics enter Standard with Midnight Hunt including a day/night cycle with Daybound and Nightbound cards that flip sides depending on the time of day, while the Disturb mechanic brings creatures back to the battlefield changed into something else. Classic Innistrad keywords like Investigate, Transform, and Flashback are also everywhere in the set.

Now is a great time to get into Magic: The Gathering and the easiest way is through MTG Arena on PC, iOS, and Android. The client is free-to-play with optional in-app purchases to buy card packs, entries into events, or cosmetic card styles. You're provided with free starter decks as you play through the game's tutorial, which gives a solid base of cards to start with. I’d also encourage new or existing players to check out the Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Pre-release events happening this weekend. Check with your local game store for times and information. Those looking to build Standard decks with physical paper cards will have to wait for the official physical release of Midnight Hunt on September 24.


Are you looking to get into Magic: The Gathering with this new rotation? Have you checked out the cards from Midnight Hunt? If so, which are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Top 10 RPGs To Play Right Now

If you’re playing an RPG, you’re in it for the long haul and want an experience that’s going to immerse you and keep you entertained the whole way through. A genre that is both familiar and constantly evolving, RPGs are often tasked with having the total package. The best ones contain all the key ingredients, masterfully combining exciting combat, memorable characters, larger-than-life bosses, and a gripping storyline. 

If you’re looking for RPGs that excel in those aspects, look no further than this list. The following games all share common elements but carve out their own unique path in the genre and promise a narrative-focused adventure full of thrilling encounters around every bend. Listed in no particular order, here are 10 stellar RPGs worth the time and effort. 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

CD Projekt Red’s open-world adventure is far from fresh, but it was such an ambitious and stunning game that it remains the gold standard for RPGs. It delivers in all the important areas: fantastic storytelling, unique characters, memorable battles, and choices with unpredictable consequences, and exciting exploration. And the game has only gotten better since its release with several updates alongside a recent Switch port that allows you to take your journey on the go. Come for monster slayer Geralt of Rivia’s dry wit and impressive battle moves, but stay for Ciri’s rise into the woman she was destined to be. Making difficult choices and watching their effects ripple across this vast open world makes your presence matter in a way few games can mirror.

Persona 5 Royal

PlayStation 4

When Persona 5 launched in 2017, it took the series to the next level, enhancing the stellar turn-based combat, refining the popular social elements, and raising the series’ stylish appeal. Leading the Phantom Thieves as the group reforms society and takes down big bads is a blast, especially building your friendships along the way. That being said, Persona 5 Royal is the definitive way to experience the excellent RPG; it adds new characters, story arcs, and a meaty post-game palace, while also offering a climatic and cinematic endcap to your time as a Phantom Thief. Throw in a grappling hook, new collectibles, and fun team-up attacks, and there’s a lot here that strengthens the original, which remains one of the best RPGs of the last decade. Whether it’s your first time meeting the Phantom Thieves or you’re looking for a reason to revisit Café Leblanc, you’re in for a memorable and satisfying ride.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Mass Effect trilogy helped advance the impact of choice in games and proved a personal connection could endear players to the overall experience, but the characters remain the true stars of the show and reason to play. Whether loyal and charismatic Garrus or kind and mysterious Tali, Commander Shepard’s squadmates provided many memorable - and sometimes heartbreaking - moments that came to define the experience through the trilogy. The Legendary Edition allows players an easy way to access and play through the complete three-arc story the way it is meant to be played with all the DLC. The remaster’s upgrades in the visual department are undeniable, and the improvements, especially to the first game, make for a huge difference with revamped Mako controls, better camera angles, and more detailed environments. If you enjoy narrative-driven RPGs, Commander Shepard’s journey will get its hooks in you, guaranteed.

Nier: Automata

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

If you’re looking for something more action-packed and philosophical, look no further than Nier: Automata. Come for the crazy boss fights and unforgettable domains, but stay for the fantastic soundtrack that fully makes you feel the weight of the world. Oh, and it just might make you contemplate your own life and purpose. The game is a fantastic fusion of Yoko Taro’s masterful storytelling and Platinum Games’ flair for stylish action. Equal parts unconventional and profound, Nier: Automata is unlike anything you’ve played, with an ending that really hits home its message and the power of others to get us through the difficult times. The action/RPG has its flaws, but the way certain moments stick with you more than make up for these shortcomings. Very few video games make you think and feel like Nier: Automata does. Better yet? Once you finish, Nier: Replicant is also waiting for you with another powerful journey.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

Another unconventional, story-driven RPG makes the list, but for very different reasons. Not only is Disco Elysium combat-free, but it also offers a complex world and intriguing narrative. It’s best experienced for yourself knowing very little, but to sum things up: the journey puts you in the shoes of a down-and-out police officer investigating a bizarre murder. Through your actions and dialogue, you veer toward redemption or ruination for your disaster of a protagonist, and the writing is flat-out fantastic. As our review by Joe Juba notes, “... the writing has a particular knack for highlighting beauty amid bleakness.” The Final Cut version brought the experience to consoles for the first time while adding worthwhile content, such as full voice acting and new political vision quests. No two playthroughs of Disco Elysium will be the same, but no matter what, you have quite a different experience here, and that’s part of the charm.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4

As one of the most influential RPGs of all time, it seems everyone has memories of Cloud and his small mercenary team as they fight back against Shinra. However, Square Enix brought a new and exciting layer to this story by not being bound by nostalgia but still tapping into that well. The result is a remake done right - one that brings back beloved characters and revamps the gameplay for modern audiences. Intergrade, which launched this year, is the best way to play the first chapter of this fascinating re-telling of Cloud’s story. Intergrade includes the Yuffie-centric Intermission episode, a photo mode, a new ending cutscene, and some major visual upgrades. There’s a reason why so many people talk about Final Fantasy VII, and there’s also a reason so many are still discussing this remake. Don’t miss out on your chance to find out why.

Divinity: Original Sin 2

PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS

Our own Dan Tack called this game  “one of the greatest PC RPGs of all time” and “the true modern successor to the heralded Baldur’s Gate II.” Still need convincing? For those looking for a choice-heavy game where your decisions have real meaning, Divinity: Original Sin 2 scratches that itch wonderfully. Characters leave or stay in your party based on your decisions, and your choices factor into the final encounter and ending. The journey never has a dull moment, thanks to the amount of freedom you have, whether it’s the people or places you interact with or how you play the game. For the latter, you can be anything from a telekinetic wunderkind to a burly brute, to even someone who dumps trash on enemies’ heads. Divinity: Original Sin 2 allows you to get creative in how you solve problems on and off the battlefield, and that’s where it really shines. Better yet? You can play through it co-op with one of your friends.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Switch

If strategy/RPGs are more your thing, you can’t go wrong with Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Intelligent Systems put more social elements into this entry, and it paid off, especially in giving you a personal stake in the story by being a professor of your chosen house. Having the ability to shape and mentor your allies forges an even stronger connection to them. But it’s the unfolding political war that really holds the intrigue - expect betrayals and bloodshed as you must make difficult decisions of who to align with. The choices aren’t easy, but how the young leaders of the game’s three houses grow and shape the future is where things really take an interesting turn. Succeeding in the against-all-odds battles is a highlight, but you surely won’t forget the relationships you’ve formed and the sometimes devastating turns they take.

Tales of Arise

PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The most recent game on this list, Tales of Arise, had a tall order to fill: reinvent the long-running Tales series and appeal to a wider audience. While still retaining the franchise’s essence, Bandai Namco evolved the formula in different and interesting ways, bringing in a new visual style, inserting more strategy into the gameplay, and telling a more mature story. Everything you love about RPGs is here: a big world full of discoveries, ridiculously huge and intense bosses, a satisfying progression system, and wonderful character interactions. The action battle system shines with team attacks alongside flashy aerial strikes and last-second dodge bonuses. You’ll help bridge the gap between two warring cultures and make life-long bonds with your party members along the way.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC

The Yakuza series is a great blend of heartfelt and absurd moments, and Like a Dragon doesn’t disappoint there. However, where it really impresses and sets itself apart is with its loveable goof of a protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, and a turn-based RPG with depth beyond throwing your fists around. Up until this point, Yakuza had been an action-centric series, but developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio went all-in with its RPG inspiration to great effect. Ichiban is a diehard Dragon Quest fan, and you bond with party members Persona-style. Among the massive list of side activities, there’s even a “gotta catch ‘em all” system where you collect “Sujimon” for a professor. If that’s not enough, you can swap jobs, becoming everything from a breakdancer to a chef for entertaining ways to take on the enemy. Ichiban’s journey isn’t just about silly minigames and outlandish ways to attack baddies, however. There’s also plenty of emotional and captivating moments as you try to piece together why his former father figure betrayed him.

What games on this list do you enjoy? What games would you add that aren't listed? Let us know in the comments! If you enjoyed this list, be sure to check out our other recent genre lists:

https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/08/26/top-10-action-games-to-play-rig…; target="_blank">Top 10 Action Games To Play Right Now

https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/09/02/top-10-shooters-to-play-right-n…; target="_blank">Top 10 Shooters To Play Right Now

Top">https://www.gameinformer.com/2021/09/09/top-10-metroidvanias-to-play-ri… 10 Metroidvanias To Play Right Now

Why Deathloop Is A Game Of The Year Contender – GI Show (Feat. James Willems)

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Welcome back to The Game Informer Show! This week, we're breaking down our Deathloop review impressions and why Arkane Studios has a Game of the Year contender on its hands. We also discuss Dying Light 2 delay news and Eastward, a charming pixel art game. On top of that, we're joined by the one and only James Willems, Co-Founder of Funhaus, to talk about his journey through the video game industry and hear more about his recent voice acting role in Psychonauts 2 and what it was like working with Double Fine. 

Follow the crew on Twitter: Alex Stadnik (@Studnik76), Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken), Marcus Stewart (@MarcusStewart7), Dan Tack (@DanTack), and special guest James Willems (@JamesWillems).

The Game Informer Show is a weekly gaming podcast covering the latest video game news, industry topics, exclusive reveals, and reviews. Join hosts Alex Stadnik and Alex Van Aken every Thursday to chat about your favorite games – past and present – with Game Informer staff, developers, and special guests from all around the industry. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.


Check out the timestamps below to jump to a particular point in the discussion:

00:00:00 – Introduction
00:03:19 – James Willems Intro
00:19:56 – Dying Light 2 Delay
00:29:23 – Deathloop
00:52:40 – Eastward
01:00:58 – Psychonauts 2
01:03:17 – Gloomhaven Video Game
01:10:03 – The Artful Escape
01:13:57 – Housekeeping
01:18:43 – Community Emails

Topic Of The Show:

Why Deathloop Is A Game Of The Year Contender

After years of waiting, Deathloop is finally out. The game follows protagonist Colt Vahn as he journeys across the island of Blackreef to break the time loop he is stuck in. The loop repeats itself at the end of every day, and Colt quickly learns that he will have to eliminate the island's eight leaders to escape. Deathloop is a game about learning your enemy's patterns, and it then requires you to exploit them for knowledge and, ultimately, victory. Blake Hester, Alex Van Aken, and Marcus Stewart have an in-depth discussion about why the game is worth playing.

Check out our Deathloop review here.

The Playlist:

Game Informer Staff discuss the games they're playing.

Fall is almost here, and with it comes myriad game releases. Dan Tack is here to share his Eastward review impressions and talks about the game's excellent worldbuilding. Next up is special guest James Willems to discuss his love for both Psychonauts 2 (who would have thought?) and his time playing the video game version of the Gloomhaven board game! Finally, Marcus gives us a quick lowdown on what he's playing, including The Artful Escape, the gorgeous indie that features some big Hollywood names!

Listener Questions:

The Game Informer crew answers your burning questions.

This week we're talking about what titles we'd love to lend our voices to, which iconic character would slay at the Met Gala, and the unexpected way we found a video game! Thanks to everyone who submitted questions and Heat Map submissions! We'll be getting to your hot takes in the next few weeks and spacing out each episode.

Read their questions below, or submit your own via the Official Game Informer Community Discord or by emailing us at Podcast@GameInformer.com

This question is for James. Are there any other game series that you are passionate about and would like to play a role in similar to Psychonauts? - Carlos Mora (Twitter)

Wassup GI show, hope y’all’s having a swaggin week. Got a question about the show. The rich and famous dressed up as their favorite cereal at the Met Gala this year. Others used the limelight to draw attention to a cause of their choice. But I want to know which game characters would be invited to the Gala and what they’d wear to the show. Who do you think would slay? - AnAttackCorgi (Discord)

Recently, for the first time ever, I borrowed a video game from the public library while picking up books for the kids. It was Kingdom Come Deliverance, a game I had been hesitant about buying given the mixed reviews. I like it, so I bought it! What is an odd/unexpected way you discovered a game that you liked. Thanks and good luck with the new podcast format! - Phil from Ottawa, Canada

Wipeout Rush Is Racing To Mobile Devices Next Year

Wipeout Rush has been announced for iOS and Android. The first original Wipeout title since 2012’s Wipeout 2048, Rush is a full-fledged entry that combines the series’ classic hyper-speed racing with card-based mechanics.

As shown briefly in the trailer, players will collect and merge power-up cards for their anti-grave vehicles. According to IGN, Rush features a complete single-player campaign (told in comic book-style panels), and 12 championship cups. Rush also has five levels, and races perform at 60 frames-per-second on capable devices. 

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The game is being published by Rogue Games. Its CEO, Matt Casamassina, gave a statement to IGN, saying in part “We hope fans will come to it with an open mind because—although different—we’re proud to bring the wipEout franchise back into focus with a fresh take on the formula.”

According to the trailer, Wipeout Rush is coming “soon”, though IGN reports an early 2022 launch. While it’s not coming to consoles like many fans would probably prefer, it’s nice to see the series have some kind of pulse. 

[Source: IGN]


What do you think of Wipeout Rush? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Categories
Bungie Slide

This Week At Bungie – 9/16/2021

Deduce As A Young Detective In Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One This November

Sherlock Holmes is a mainstay in books, movies, TV shows, and even games. Stories about the legendary Consulting Detective are told and retold in different mediums with new twists and turns added to keep the narratives fresh in modern eras. Irish Studio Frogwares has been churning out Holmes games for years, as well as the Lovecraftian The Sinking City from 2019. The developer’s newest game turns back the clock in Sherlock's life to explore his youth before he became a notorious sleuth.

A new post on the PlayStation blog is dedicated to Frogware’s newest mystery-solver, Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One. As a 21-year-old Holmes, you explore an open world on the Mediterranean island of Cordona with your best friend Jon at your side. Sherlock is there in remembrance of the tenth anniversary of the passing of his mother, though he’ll no doubt be captured within a web of whodunits that the observant youth will have to solve.

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In the gameplay video above, you can see some of the activities Sherlock and Jon (Watson maybe?) will partake in, including building a relationship with your friend and using Holmes’ superior deductive skill to spot small but important details. Since this is a story from before Sherlock became a renowned detective, his skills may not be infallible, leaving a real chance that he can end up with a wrong conclusion to puzzle. Players can use clues collected to set up interpretations of events, though the interpretations can lead to accusing the right or wrong suspects. It’s up to the player to make thoughtful decisions to determine whether they are on the right trail or not.

Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One has now been announced for release on November 16 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox One editions are coming later.

Bloodshore Is An Interactive Battle Royale Film Coming In November

The battle royale is all the rage in shooters and it has now invaded the FMV space. Meet Bloodshore, an upcoming interactive movie from the makers of The Complex that lets players steer a cinematic tale of colorful combatants fighting to survive a televised deathmatch.

You control a washed-up actor named Nick who competes in the latest season of Kill/Stream. This barbaric yet popular reality show takes place on The Island, a battlefield hosting a deathmatch between a range of personalities, from entertainers to inmates. Winning the game rewards a hefty cash prize, one that could be the answer to all of Nick’s financial and personal woes. 

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Winning is easier said than done because you'll have to outlast 50 combatants vying for the same prize. Surviving means having to form alliances with some of these killers (would-be or otherwise), but who do you team up with and who do snuff out? That's up to you to decide, and your choices create branching paths that lead to multiple endings. Playthroughs take between 60-90 minutes to complete, and Bloodshore features 8 hours of footage. 

Sure, Bloodshore looks undeniably cheesy, but if you’re an FMV fan or just looking to enjoy a novel method of absorbing a dumb action flick, you can pick it up this November on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Switch, PC, iOS, and Android. 


FMV games are generally an acquired taste, so I’m curious to see if Bloodshore is up anyone’s alley. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Tales Of Arise Continues To Soar, Surpasses One Million Copies Sold

If you haven’t played Tales of Arise and have a fondness for JRPGs, then you need to secure a copy as soon as possible. Besides, over one million other people have already done so. More than that, Tales of Arise is the fastest game in the franchise to surpass one million copies sold - a feat that it wholeheartedly deserves considering its recent critical success. 

Tales of Arise chronicles the arduous journey of Alphen and Shionne – two warriors from different races that get caught in the middle of a centuries-long cultural war. Together they explore the five realms of Alphen’s home planet, Dahna, to take down the evil lords vying for sovereignty. Along the way, the two heroes join forces with a bevy of interesting personalities – from a martial arts specialist to the last surviving mage in the world. I was enamored with Tales of Arise’s characters, narrative, gameworld, and combat. I awarded the game a 9.25 and concluded my review stating: 

“Tales of Arise harmoniously balances beloved systems like visual novel-inspired skits and upgradable titles with new-and-improved gameplay tweaks. Intricate world-building in sub-quests and even mundane discussions help with pacing and narrative cohesion. Campy JRPG-centric themes like the power of friendship and slow-burn romantic tension are prevalent throughout. Nevertheless, I found myself completely invested in the tragedies and achievements the cast faced, even when awkward pauses and stiff cutscene animations threatened to break immersion. Tales of Arise is a fantastic reinvention of Bandai Namco’s tried and true formula. It might even be the best installment in the franchise to date.”

Tales of Arise is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 


Is anyone currently playing Tales of Arise right now? What are your thoughts/favorite moments? Are you just as obsessed with the game as I am, or do you prefer one of the older entries in the Tales series?

Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy Goes Gold A Month Ahead Of Release

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Delays can be incredibly beneficial to a dev team, giving the creators more time to release a polished product that they’re proud of. Naturally, the announcements can feel like a letdown for avid fans of a particular game. So, it’s always nice when big-budget titles come through the development process relatively unscathed. One such game – Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – is on track to be ready for shipping when it launches worldwide next month. The sci-fi RPG adventure has officially gone gold.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy graced our magazine cover a few months ago and looks to be a blast of galactic proportions. Gameplay footage shows choice-based dialogue, real-time party commands in the midst of battle, 1960/70s songs to match the eye-popping action, and the silly humor that Peter Quill’s crew is known for. We’ve been introduced to characters like Lady Hell Hellbender (who awkwardly flirts with Drax on multiple occasions), Grand Unifier Raker, and Cosmo the Spacedog – the latter character can be seen dancing with Star-Lord in the gold announcement Twitter post above. 

If you’re looking to learn all about the Guardians of the Galaxy game, you can head over to our dedicated hub here, where we’ve provided exclusive coverage on the making of the game’s universe, the design methodologies behind the combat system, conversations about licensed music, interviews with animation directors, and much more. 

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch (via cloud gaming), and PC on October 26.


Are you excited to see the good news about Guardians of the Galaxy’s gold status? What excites you the most about the game’s many mechanics, and what console will you play it on? Drop all your answers and more in the comments section!

Lost Judgment Review – Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge

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Publisher: Sega
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios
Release:
Rating: Mature
Reviewed on: PlayStation 5
Also on: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

(Content warning for mentions of sexual assault)

Is revenge ever justified? Can a person take justice into their own hands and live with the weight of their choice, or should it always be left to a flawed judicial system that can and will betray the people it's designed to protect? These are the core questions at the heart of Lost Judgment, the latest game from Yakuza developer Ryu Ga Gotoku and sequel to its 2019 detective-action brawler Judgment. 

Lost Judgment’s story focuses on two major topics: justice and revenge. Yagami’s journey explores how these two concepts are intertwined. Throughout dozens of hours, the game examines what people are willing to do in search of justice, the failings of the criminal justice system, and how society often fails victims of violence and abuse.

Lost Judgment tackles difficult topics like bullying, murder, and suicide. While it shows the often brutal and tragic realities in excruciating detail, it approaches sensitive issues with care and empathy. Lost Judgment highlights real-world issues, how they affect people, and offers potential solutions for these problems. The game’s cast, full of new and returning characters, brings the story to life through well-acted cutscenes. I especially loved the antagonists, who were always painted sympathetically despite doing evil things. I found myself commiserating with them, even if I disagreed with their actions. Lost Judgment’s care and grace in navigating these topics is refreshing, and I enjoyed playing through a story that treats them maturely and smartly. With one major exception.

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Lost Judgment’s handling of sexual assault is a mess. Following the #MeToo movement, a plot point that casts doubt on the truthfulness of a victim’s story is, frankly, irresponsible and reinforces negative views towards women who come forward with stories of abuse. Using sexual assault as a plotline, in this case, feels weak and shocking for the sake of shock. This is especially egregious when the narrative tosses that character aside once her usefulness as a plot device is over, forgoing any resolution to her character arc. I found this plot beat incredibly disappointing in a game that otherwise took care in sensitive storytelling. This cast a shadow over the rest of my playthrough, souring me on a story I otherwise enjoyed. I truly hated engaging with all of these moments in the game.

The action should be familiar if you’ve played RGG’s other games, such as the Yakuza series or Judgment. You spend a lot of your time walking around two open worlds – Kamurocho and Ijincho – getting into brutal street fights and chasing story threads around town. Judgment’s investigation mechanics carry over from the previous game and largely remain unchanged; you look around for clues and later present those clues as evidence, which like the first game, is a nice way to break up combat-focused sections.  

Lost Judgment introduces two new mechanics to the series: stealth and parkour. Both are poorly implemented and tedious. Stealth is rudimentary and linear – go to this hiding spot, throw a coin to lure guards away, rinse and repeat. Parkour is somewhat engaging, but the game frequently forces you into investigation mode to find the handholds you need to get around an area. This kills the pacing, especially during the climax of the game where I was constantly stopped so I could search around for where to climb. 

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Combat is the highlight of Lost Judgment’s gameplay. Yagami is fluid and fast, and the inclusion of the three different fighting types from the first game, which you can swap between on the fly, feels fantastic. I loved encountering a room of enemies and using the three fighting styles to take out each person systematically – especially Snake, which allows for quick take-downs and the ability to disarm enemies. RGG’s iconic heat actions return, and they are as brutal and over-the-top as ever. I loved the combat in Lost Judgment so much that I often found myself just walking around the open world looking for trouble.

By the time credits rolled, I had trouble sorting out my feelings. On the one hand, Lost Judgment’s story is very moving, and I enjoyed exploring the characters' emotions. And there were parts I simply loved playing, such as beating the holy hell out of bad guys. But at the end of the day, Lost Judgment commits a few unforgivable sins. Its handling of sexual assault is wildly irresponsible, and the new gameplay mechanics do little to help it stand out over RGG's other games. If you’re already invested in the Judgment series or RGG’s games in general, then I’d say still check it out. But don't expect this journey into Japan's underworld to have nearly the impact of a game like Yakuza 0 or Like A Dragon. 

Score: 7.25

Summary: When Lost Judgment stumbles, it never recovers. While there's a lot to love in the story and gameplay, at the end of the day, its issues become too much to ignore – especially when those issues are messy and irresponsible.

Concept: Investigate a murder case across two open-world cities by tracking leads, finding clues, and beating up lots and lots of people

Graphics: Lost Judgment features well-directed and striking cutscenes. Walking around the environment also looks excellent on next-gen consoles

Sound: The cast is consistently well-acted, bringing to life the game’s lengthy story

Playability: Combat is one of Lost Judgment’s highlights, though the new stealth and parkour systems are rudimentary and poorly implemented

Entertainment: I found a lot to love in the game, but its sloppy handling of sexual assault left a bad taste in my mouth. After a run of great games from developer RGG, Lost Judgment isn’t quite up to snuff

Replay: Low

Click to Purchase

Deltarune Chapter 2, From Undertale Creator, Drops This Week

Undertale, a 2D RPG from 2015, remains one of the most definitive and revolutionary indie titles to grace the contemporary scene, rising to similar heights as other popular pixel-art games like Stardew Valley and Terraria. Since Undertale’s release and subsequent victory lap, Developer Toby Fox released the first chapter in his highly anticipated semi-sequel, Deltarune. Unlike its predecessor, Deltarune is a top-down RPG with puzzles, bullet hell sequences, and classic Final Fantasy-inspired turn-based combat. Chapter 1 launched in 2018, and in a surprise announcement, Fox unveiled the release date for Chapter 2 last night the game drops this week; tomorrow, in fact. 

A tiny teaser trailer was posted by Fox to Twitter with the caption, “See you soon.” Protagonists Kris and Susie can be seen jumping into a thick abyss likely the “Dark World” located in the supply closet of their seemingly ordinary school. Chapter 1 was all about Kris and Susie stumbling across this ethereal realm and meeting a prince of the dark named Ralsei. The three of them are destined to be heroes by restoring balance to the Dark World. The battles that ensue pit the trio against monsters and nefarious royalty. The end of the arc leaves room for interpretation and a sequel experience, so Chapter 2 has been expected for a while now. What direction Fox will take in the upcoming release remains to be seen. Still, the Undertale-reminiscent soundtrack, evocative art, and new combat system are exciting highlights to look forward to.

Deltarune Chapter 2 launches for PC and Mac on September 17 at 8 pm EST. 


Are you excited for the next installment in Deltarune’s fantastical story? What do you think will happen to Kris, Susie, and Ralsei next time they meet in the Dark World? Sound off with your takes in the comments section below!

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Q&A With Ludocity CEO Joel Nyström

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is shaping up to be an intriguing game for old and new fans of the slime-ridden television network. This multiplayer platform fighting game bringing together all kinds of characters from the Nickelodeon universe. Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, Cat Dog, Lucy Loud, Nigel Thornberry, and the eclectic list goes on and on. Earlier today, we debuted a first look at Patrick Star's grapple-heavy moveset, and this week we had the opportunity to pick the brain of Joel Nyström, CEO of developer Ludosity.

How did the team decide which characters would be a good fit for the roster with decades-worth of Nickelodeon shows to choose from?

It was a joint effort between Ludosity and GameMill, where we all pushed for our own favorites and wants until we got to a lineup we could all get behind. From our side, we wanted fun characters from the shows we liked, which is why we have some more unlikely picks like Nigel Thornberry. 

Because it’s called “Nickelodeon” and not “Nicktoons,” can we expect any live-action Nickelodeon characters to show up? Will players see any All That characters or something from Are You Afraid of the Dark?

There are no live-action characters in our base lineup, and we are currently not looking at any for future characters either. You never know, but for now, we are focusing on cartoon characters. It fits in with the rest of the roster better, and we feel like we can go a little wilder in the moveset with them.

What goes into the decision of reviving characters like Powdered Toast Man?

He’s fun. Videogames are fun. It’s a great match. And he seems to have really registered with the fans based upon their reaction!

We’ve seen gameplay footage of a stage from the Avatar series. Who might we expect from the original series or The Legend of Korra to be part of the roster?

Hopefully, your favorite! All in due time.

What went into the decision to go with rollback net code for online play? Is online important to the team?

Online and competitive play is extremely important to us. We have rollback, and we also have a great lobby system, both for casual and ranked play. 

Which features or modes can players expect for multiplayer or online modes?

You can play in lobbies or Quick Match online. All modes are there, including Sports Ball, our own fun mode we’re bringing over from Slap City. It’s sports, with balls!

Fighting game fans seem to have taken notice of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Does the team see it as a competitive game?

Absolutely we do. 

Was competitive play something that factored into your plans for the game?

Yes, in fact, it was even heavily suggested from Nickelodeon before we even had a publisher for the game. It’s been there since day one.

How many characters are you planning for the initial release of All-Star Brawl, and what are your plans for DLC characters and stages down the line?  When might those show up post-launch?

At launch, there will be 20 characters, with 2 more following soon after. Additional DLC characters will be revealed after that. Stay tuned!

Many of the characters announced so far have iconic voices attached to them. Are the characters included voiced by the original actors? If so, who’s on board?

Our focus was on creating the best possible gameplay experience for core brawling fans and Nickelodeon fans around the globe. It is not as straightforward to do as one might think, and as we continue to build the Nick All-Star Brawl franchise, we will be reviewing all options, which may include adding VO down the road.

There’s an obvious comparison to be made to games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. How does Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl differentiate itself from other platform fighters?

It differs in many small ways. Please see our extensive gameplay walkthrough (Editor's note: watch the video below) we released a little while back. We’re aiming to make the controls a little easier to get into for new players – for example, turning is much easier in our game – while having the full depth of play the competitive scene wants. 

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Will there be any fun references Nick fans may not expect? Can you give any hints as to how deep in the catalog you went for this game?

Every move is referenced from the shows, literally, everything in the game can be traced back to something from the Nickelodeon universe. We want the players to discover these for themselves!  It’s been awesome seeing fans find the connections from what they’ve seen so far, and we’re excited for them to get their hands on the game and uncover more.

Ren and Stimpy were just officially revealed. But are they separate characters, or do they work together in tandem?

Ren and Stimpy are indeed in the game, and they form a single duo character! We wanted a duo character because of the fun interaction between them - plus as a bonus, it leaves room for one more character in the base lineup =)

Did your team have any issues with Nickelodeon allowing certain characters for the game? 

Not at all. There were a small number of characters that had global licensing issues, but apart from those, Nickelodeon has been up for all our suggestions. They have been very supportive and enthusiastic in our collaboration with them. 

Does the team have an internal meta for character selection?

No, we all have different play styles, so we each gravitate towards different characters. I personally get my butt kicked no matter who I play as or against, though! 

We can’t wait to see where the meta goes and will be monitoring the balance closely. 

Will music from these beloved TV shows be used in the game?

The music is all new but, just like everything else, heavily referencing the source material. 

Do you have a confirmed release date you can share?

October 5th, baby!

And there you have it! All of the answers to my burning questions for the Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl team. As Joel Nyström confirmed in that last query, the platform fighter will be releasing on October 5 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.


Which Nick character are you excited to play as? Are there any you hope to see enter the fray when the game launches? Let us know in the comments!

Why Marvel’s Midnight Suns Is For XCOM Fans

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Developer Firaxis Games has created a name for itself in the video game industry by fostering brilliant tactical experiences in the XCOM games. Instead of following suit with a proper sequel, though, the lauded developer is setting its sights on one of the biggest brands to ever exist on planet earth.

Marvel's Midnight Suns finds Firaxis jumping into a whole new world of superheroes, card battles, and a distinct lack of cover. The new title embraces what the team exemplified with its previous work while also adding in new systems and a whole RPG story that will bring the title to more players without sacrificing the excellent gameplay the studio is known for.

That doesn't mean, however, XCOM fans will be left out in the cold. Join us for an exclusive chat with Jake Solomon, creative director at Firaxis Games, as we discuss why the studios' latest title will feel right at home for those who love their time tactically blasting aliens. That's not all, though. Solomon and the team understand Marvel's Midnight Suns will also appeal to those just entering the tactics genre, and we spend some time discussing how the RPG will be for them as well!

Those excited about Marvel's Midnight Suns don't have that long to wait. Firaxis' next adventure is scheduled to arrive in March 2022 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC!


If you've been frozen in ice for eighty years after fighting Hydra and haven't heard, our cover story this month is Marvel's Midnight Suns! Be sure to check out the hub below for our exclusive gameplay impressions, a deep-dive into who The Hunter, Lilith, and the Midnight Suns are, and another classic Rapid-Fire interview with Jake! Thanks for watching, and let us know what you thought of the video in the comments below!

Battlefield 2042 Has Been Delayed Until Later This Year

With 2021 being a turbulent year full of development woes and delays, it’s not too surprising when we hear of another game slipping from the intended release date. Many studios have recently decided to move their efforts into a 2022 release like Dying Light 2 and Lost Ark. We just got word of another big delay from the Battlefield 2042 team, but it's luckily only shifting the launch date from October to November 19.

Citing challenges faced developing the game during the pandemic, EA, Dice, and the other Battlefield teams have announced via a Twitter announcement that Battlefield 2042 will take a bit longer but will be out this year. Here’s the full statement:

We’ve made the decision to shift the launch of Battlefield 2042. The game will now be released worldwide on November 19th, 2021. Building the next generation of Battlefield during a global pandemic has created unforeseen challenges for our development teams. Given the scale and scope of the game, we had hoped our teams would be back in our studios together as we move towards launch. With the ongoing conditions not allowing that to happen safely, and with all the hard work the teams are doing from home, we feel it is important to take the extra time to deliver on the vision of Battlefield 2042 for our players. Your enthusiasm for the game has been very inspiring. We believe in the game we’re making, and we thank you for your patience as we put some finishing touches into the experience. Updates on the Open Beta will be coming later this month.

With a complicated multiplayer game like Battlefield 2042, it’s never bad for the developers to make sure it’s going out the door with the proper polish. Luckily, the plan for a worldwide launch remains untouched, and the team is still looking to run an open beta! We can’t wait to start wing suiting into tornados and doing insane tricks in and out of a moving jet.