Here’s What Fortnite Brings To PlayStation 5 And Xbox Series X/S


Fortnite is inarguably one of the biggest games of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One generation. In fact, it was such an influential game and phenomenon that we called it generation-defining in our end-of-generation awards. Today, developer Epic Games detailed exactly what its iconic battle royale game brings to the next-gen consoles when it launches alongside them next week.

On the Xbox Series X/S side of things, players can expect 60 frames-per-second performance (even in splitscreen), with 4K resolution on the Series X and 1080p resolution on the Series S. The Xbox Series X version delivers dynamic visuals, with trees and grass responding to explosions, better simulations for smoke and liquid, and all-new storm and cloud effects. The Series S supports most of those enhancements as well, but Epic doesn’t specify exactly which ones. The load times on both consoles are also significantly improved, delivering textures faster while also getting you into matches quicker. 

With PlayStation 5, Fortnite delivers 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, with the same faster loads and dynamic visual effects as the Xbox Series X version. However, the PlayStation 5 version also adds new haptic feedback to better simulate the feeling of the gun you’re using with Sony’s new DualSense controller. You can also select your favorite mode to jump into straight from the PS5 Home screen, allowing you to go directly to the Battle Royale lobby with Solos, Duos, or Squads already selected.

Regardless of the platform you choose, your progress carries over from your previous platform. Crossplay still works, and all progression and cosmetics carry into the next generation. If you transfer from Xbox One to Xbox Series X/S, you just need to download the game to your new console to jump back into the battle. If you’re downloading on PlayStation 5, you need to log in to your Epic account. If you don’t have an Epic account, you can log in with your PlayStation Network account if you played on PS4.

To celebrate this move into the future, Fortnite is providing the Throwback Axe Pickaxe, the classic default pickaxe from Chapter 1, for free through January 15. Fortnite is available on Xbox Series X/S on November 10 and PlayStation 5 on November 12.


Xbox Series X And Xbox Series S Unboxing

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We are officially less than two weeks away from the beginning of a new console generation as the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S rapidly approach their November 10 launch date. Join us as we crack open the two boxes and check out all you can expect to find when you open up your own next-gen Xbox in a couple of weeks. We get up close with the the consoles themselves, but also get good looks at the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S wireless controllers, plus the cables included in the boxes and more.

While this video is focused specifically on what’s in the boxes of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, you can get pretty in-depth impressions of the Xbox Series X here, or watch a New Gameplay Today episode focused on the Xbox Series X. You can also see us unbox the PlayStation 5 here.


Every Character In Marvel Strike Force’s Massive, Ever-Growing Roster

Marvel Strike Force launched in March 2018 with a hefty roster of characters from various corners of the Marvel universes. From Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to your friendly neighborhood Defenders, Marvel Strike Force has updated its roster with characters from across its myriad comic properties.

Developer FoxNext has done an great job adding new characters to recruit and battle at a steady clip, so it can be tricky to keep up with. We’ve gathered the up-to-date list of heroes and villains you can play as and against in the hit Marvel-themed mobile game. You can check out the full roster of playable characters below.

For more on Marvel Strike Force, check out this piece on why the game is so addictive, or read an interview with the VP and GM of FoxNext about the first year of the game.


UFC 4 Adding Brock Lesnar And Various Halloween-Themed Cosmetics

EA Vancouver has announced that former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is joining the roster of fighters in EA Sports UFC 4. The popular crossover star enters the Octagon alongside two current top contenders. On top of that, players can grab several Halloween-themed in-game vanity items to equip to their created fighters.

In addition to Lesnar, who is free for a limited time beginning today, UFC 4 is also adding two contenders via a free roster update. Jennifer Maia is coming off a major win over Joanne Calderwood in August, and is set to fight UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko for the title in November. The undefeated Askar Askarov is currently ranked #3 in the men’s flyweight rankings after beating top contenders Tim Elliott and Alexandre Pantoja earlier this year. You can see the ratings for all three of these fighters below.

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Those who care more about their own created fighters than the licensed athletes can look forward to an avalanche of cosmetic vanity items to equip to their created fighters to get them into the frightful mood of the season. Included in the Halloween vanity items, which will drop on October 22 and October 29, are a skeleton vanity set, skulls and roses shorts, and costumes featuring a deranged clown, a mummy, a demented pumpkin, a werewolf, a zombie, and what may or may not be Jason Vorhees. 

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Brock Lesnar will be offered for free through the PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store through October 30. Lesnar is free on Xbox One right now. He’ll be free on the PlayStation Store beginning at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET. Starting Saturday, October 31, Lesnar will cost $2.50, so make sure you grab him prior to this window expiring. For more on UFC 4, check out our review.


Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra Preview – Looking For Legendary Status

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra

Publisher: The Pokémon Company, Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak

Rating: Everyone
Platform: Switch

Following the launch of Pokémon Sword & Shield last year, Game Freak announced the Expansion Pass, promising two new story-driven expansions for the first all-new Pokémon RPGs on the Switch. The first expansion, The Isle of Armor, was a fun addition to the mainline story, but had plenty of problems that made it less memorable than the base game. With the second part of the Expansion Pass, The Crown Tundra, Game Freak and The Pokémon Company hope to deliver the more exciting content players crave. I was given the chance to watch more than 30 minutes of footage and learn about the soon-to-be-released second expansion.

One of my main criticisms of the Isle of Armor was that it felt almost aimless in how it delivered the story. You were given a loose narrative while you embarked on a series of fetch quests, but ultimately, the story felt tenuous at best, only serving to push you through the mundane missions on the way to the final encounters. In contrast, the Crown Tundra is more story-centric than the Isle of Armor, and gives you a few different quests to embark on. You start out on an adventure with Peony, a former Galar gym leader, as you learn about Dynamax Adventures and work to uncover the mysteries of the new Legendary Pokémon Calyrex and its influence on the area. On top of those storylines, you also have the mission of learning more about and battling the Galarian versions of the Legendary bird trio from the first-gen games: Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres.

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra

Players can access the Crown Tundra as soon as they reach Wedgehurst in Sword & Shield’s main story. Once you travel to the Crown Tundra, your Pokédex updates with the additional creatures found in the area and you meet the eccentric Peony, who is gearing up for an expedition into Pokémon dens to find the Legendary Pokémon hidden in the Galar region. You travel to the town of Freezington, located in the west of the Crown Tundra. There, you encounter Calyrex. The footage cuts out, but Peony comes running out, saying he heard a battle. Calyrex wastes little time, possessing Peony and speaking through him and setting the player up for the quest surrounding the new Legendary monster.

From there, the footage I’m watching leaps to the second adventure, which focuses on the Galarian forms of the Legendary birds. This quest, called A Legendary Tree of a Legendary Three, begins with a cutscene around a giant, pink tree. Moltres and Zapdos break out into a fight, before Articuno crashes the party. However, before long, they realize you’re watching, and they disperse to different parts of the Crown Tundra. The Pokémon Company likens the methods of encountering the Legendary trio to how you encountered the Legendary dogs in the Johto region.

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra

Picking up on the trail of the Legendary trio, I watch as a player attempts to track down the Galarian Zapdos, which seems inspired by an ostrich, in the Rolling Hills. The player attempts to come at it from behind, but each time, the Zapdos notices the player and flees. There’s no way the player can keep up with the speed of the Zapdos on foot, so they jump on their bike and attempt to cut the Legendary bird off, but it’s easier said than done, since its speed combines with craftiness. Once the player finally catches up to the fleet-of-foot bird, a battle ensues.

Similar to the Isle of Armor, the Crown Tundra is structured like one giant Wild Area, with Pokémon roaming free across multiple biomes, including snowy mountainsides, vast fields, and winding caverns, in which you’re free to explore. Because of this, you can camp all across the area. In the video, I get to see the lively personality of Galarian Slowking as he trots around camp, playing fetch. Galarian Slowking can prove valuable in battle, as the Poison/Psychic-type Pokémon can have an ability called Curious Medicine, which removes stat changes from all allies when it enters the battlefield.

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra

Next, I’m given a look at one of the most anticipated new features: Dynamax Adventures. As it turns out, the Crown Tundra is home to a ton of Legendary Pokémon from across the entire series’ history. The catch? You have to venture deep into mysterious Pokémon dens and battle through hordes of Dynamaxed Pokémon in order to find and catch them. In Dynamax Adventures, you team up with three other trainers as you work through branching paths of Max Raid Battles using a Pokémon you borrow from the expedition team; sadly you cannot bring your own Pokémon into these dens. 

After you win a Max Raid Battle, you choose whether you want to swap your borrowed Pokémon out for the one you just caught, or carry on. You have to be strategic with your decisions, not only must you take into account what types are on the road ahead (you can pan up on the map for planning purposes), but HP and status effects carry over into subsequent battles. In the Dynamax Adventure I watch, the trainers battle through a gauntlet of Haunter, Cramorant, and Tauros before reaching the final battle against Uxie. 

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra

Some paths give you encounters with other characters, like this Scientist, who can swap out your tired Pokémon for a fresh one

If four Pokémon are knocked out over the course of the Dynamax Adventure, the trainers are kicked out and must start over again. If you’re successful in your expedition, you can choose one Pokémon from the adventure to keep. You also acquire several items, such as the Ability Patch, a new item that changes a Pokémon’s existing ability to a rare ability. 

Once you complete the story of the Pokémon Sword & Shield, The Isle of Armor, and The Crown Tundra, a new post-game challenge unlocks in the main game of Pokémon Sword & Shield. Leon issues a challenge to all gym leaders in the Galar region to combine their powers to become even more formidable foes for would-be champions, and the Galarian Star Tournament is born. The Pokémon Company claims this is the hardest challenge in Sword & Shield to date, as players team up with other trainers they’ve encountered over the course of their journey to take on gym leader duos, as well as other skilled trainers they’ve encountered on their journey including Hop and Mustard. In the demo I saw, I watched the player trainer team up with Hop to battle a team of Milo and Nessa, followed by a team of Gordie and Bea. I’m not sure what other challenges await at the end, or if there’s an ultimate reward to conquering these challenges, but I’m excited to once again test my trainer skills against the strong cast of leaders from the Galar region.

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra is available tomorrow as a part of the Expansion Pass. For more on the first part of the Expansion Pass, The Isle of Armor, head here. For more on Pokémon Sword & Shield, check out our review. To learn all about the behind-the-scenes details that went into making Sword & Shield, check out our exclusive coverage hub.


Evil Genius 2: World Domination Preview – A Fun Road To Doomsday

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

Publisher: Rebellion Developments
Developer: Rebellion Developments
Platform: PC

So many games task us with being the hero rushing into the lair of the supervillain attempting to destroy the planet, but very few let us control the maniacal villain on the path for world domination and destruction. Evil Genius 2: World Domination effectively flips the script, putting you in the shoes of the eponymous evil geniuses as you build a secret lair, train up your minions, and develop a Doomsday Device, all while fending off infiltration attempts from secret agents trying to thwart your plans. When I saw the game at E3 2019, I was taken by its fun premise, and seeing it in action earlier this month gave me more confidence in its ability to deliver.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

In Evil Genius 2, your mission is to build up your base with an eye toward global takeover. However, to do so with the fewest amount of problems, you need to raise the least amount of suspicion. To achieve this, the public-facing side of your island plays host to an unassuming casino. Keeping the separation between the casino front and the sinister lair is crucial, as tourists will begin asking questions, which eventually leads to agents from the Forces of Justice attempting to infiltrate your operations. If agents do decide to try and sneak into your lair, they must do so through the casino, so if you do a good enough job with the front, you might even be able to convince the agents that it’s just a simple casino with no sinister side (you know, aside from the normal sinister side of your average casino). 

At the start of your attempt to take over the world, you choose from one of four evil geniuses. Maximilian delivers an all-around style of play, but Red Ivan is the focus of this new demo. Red Ivan tries to conquer the world with an iron fist, and has an AoE ability called “Do It Now!” to go along with that style of play. Once activated, all minions within the “Do It Now!” aura around Red Ivan are more productive, allowing you to prioritize certain actions. Whether you use this in the Control Room to influence multiple tasks at once or put the hurry on the building of a room, this could be a very effective tool for players to get stuff done.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

As for the minions themselves, you can train the generic, low-level underlings to take on various specialties under the umbrellas of Muscle, Deception, and Science. The Muscle archetype produces Guards who use fist-fight tactics, or more advanced Mercenaries with weapon specialties, Martial Artists who are experts in hand-to-hand combat, or highly skilled Hitmen, who are experts in eliminating your target. Meanwhile, under the Deception archetype, you can train all sorts of minions to help keep the illusion of your casino front alive, including seemingly trustworthy Valets, Spin Doctors who can do damage control, Counteragents who can spot potential infiltrators, and Socialites who can smooth over any potential alarm-raising problems before they’re noticed. Finally, the Science archetype gives you the opportunity to keep your lair running and improving, with Technicians to do repairs, Scientists to do research, and, eventually, Biologists and Quantum Chemists.

Each minion also has traits that make them unique among the sea of faces. For example, one minion might be unsuspecting, which means they won’t question anyone who looks out of place in your lair, while another might be more astute with their observations and might call out someone suspicious. 

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

On top of your minions, you also have henchmen, who are the top-tier, righthand men and women of your organization. The two henchmen I saw in action were Eli Barracuda, a specialist in hand-to-hand combat and weaponry, and Jubei, who can teleport across the island and focuses on capturing infiltrators rather than killing them. If you’d prefer to take out secret agents trying to break into the lair yourself, you can build traps, such as the Laser Disco or the Giant Fan. And yes, you can build a trap where the floor drops the agent into a pool of sharks.

A key way to take over the world is to build a Doomsday Device and get the Forces of Justice to surrender. In the demo I saw, it’s a giant reactor called HAVOC with the ability to blast the target of your choosing. You can build the Doomsday Device to take up multiple stories of your lair, with a bigger device delivering more destruction. You can choose to fire whenever, but once you choose a target and activate it, the Forces of Justice will get aggressive and try to make a daring attempt to stop you before you’re able to fire. Because of this, your lair goes into a high-alert state until the timer goes off, with all minions and henchmen keeping an eye out.

Evil Genius 2: World Domination

With so many ways to try and destroy and/or take over the world, Evil Genius 2: World Domination looks like a much more enjoyable road to doomsday than we’re accustomed to. Evil Genius 2: World Domination launches on PC in the first half of 2021.


Xbox Series X/S Launch Lineup Confirmed

As we continue to preview and offer our hands-on impressions of the Xbox Series X, Microsoft has announced the slate of games that will be on Xbox Series X/S at launch. The list is in addition to the thousands of backwards compatible titles, and features several games available via Smart Delivery (meaning you get the best version of the game regardless of which Xbox console you are playing on) and Xbox Game Pass.  

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Smart Delivery)
  • Borderlands 3 (Smart Delivery)
  • Bright Memory 1.0 (Smart Delivery)
  • Cuisine Royale (Smart Delivery)
  • Dead by Daylight (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition
  • Dirt 5 (Smart Delivery)
  • Enlisted
  • Evergate
  • The Falconeer (Smart Delivery)
  • Fortnite
  • Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • Gears 5 (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • Gears Tactics (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • Grounded (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • King Oddball
  • Maneater (Smart Delivery)
  • Manifold Garden (Smart Delivery)
  • NBA 2K21
  • Observer: System Redux
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • Planet Coaster: Console Edition (Smart Delivery)
  • Tetris Effect: Connected (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • The Touryst (Xbox Game Pass/Smart Delivery)
  • War Thunder (Smart Delivery)
  • Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
  • Watch Dogs: Legion (Smart Delivery)
  • WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship (Smart Delivery)
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Smart Delivery)
  • Yes, Your Grace (Smart Delivery)

Xbox Series X/S launch on November 10. For more on Xbox Series X, check out our hands-on impressions of the console playing both backwards compatible titles, as well as next-gen software.


Xbox Series X Preview – Leaving Current-Gen In The Dust

Xbox Series X

If you read my initial impressions on Xbox Series X, you know that even spending a small amount of time with the next-generation Xbox console sold me on upgrading through its speed alone. The effortless and efficient nature in which it loads my Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games amazes me to this day, and puts my Xbox One X, the current most-powerful gaming console on the market, to shame. Now that I’ve spent more time with the system, and checked out some actual next-gen content on the console, I wanted to give a brief update on my experience.

Xbox Series X

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve continued putting the Xbox Series X through its paces using my existing backward-compatible library. While I already spoke in-depth about the load times, I’m continually impressed by how fast I’m able to not only get into games, but swap between them. The Quick Resume feature is astoundingly helpful, even allowing me to pick up a suspended session after I unplugged the console. That’s right: After moving the console between the Game Informer office and my house, I was able to plug the Xbox Series X into my system and immediately pick right back up where I left off using Quick Resume. 

The performance of current-gen and older games is impressive. However, the true test of the system is in how fast it loads experiences created for it. Using software provided by developers and Xbox, I tested a few different next-gen titles. While these builds aren’t final (nor is the Xbox Series X user interface), I wanted to give an idea of how long players can expect to wait to get into a next-gen game. Some games, like Gears 5 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon, are extremely impressive in how quick they load into the world, but I was somewhat disappointed by others, like Dirt 5 and Gears Tactics; I guess I was expecting a bit faster. Check out the list of next-gen software I tested below.

  • Dirt 5 – Loads into a Career mode race in 17.82 seconds
  • Gears 5 – Loads into the open area of North Tyrus in 10.29 seconds
  • Gears Tactics – Loads into a mission in 17.91 seconds
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon – Loads into the world in 4.71 seconds

Xbox Series X

My experience with the controller also continues to be good. I like how the grip feels in my hands, and I’ve enjoyed using the Share button to take instant screenshots and gameplay captures without backing into menus. I mentioned this before, but I’m still really impressed by the d-pad; it not only has a great click, but it also feels much more precise and conducive to 2D gameplay than the hybrid appearance would have you believe. 

On top of all this, I’m enjoying the experience outside of the games with the Series X. Navigating through the (non-final) menus is super smooth. You can really tell how much consoles benefit from the upgraded hardware. Xbox also sent along an official Storage Expansion Card, which plugs into the back of the system. As far as I can tell, games installed to this storage card behave nearly identically to games installed on the internal storage. The price is pretty steep ($220), but it feels like a must-purchase item if you feel like you’ll blow through the internal storage with the games you hope to install. Hopefully, other companies can provide less expensive solutions that deliver similar performance down the road.

Xbox Series X

While this can’t be considered a review since the interface and software isn’t final, I’m still very much impressed by the overall experience the Xbox Series X delivers. With my thoughts on Xbox’s new console all but solidified to this point, I eagerly await getting my hands on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S to see just how it all stacks up to this powerhouse.

For more on Xbox Series X, check out our New Gameplay Today and my hands-on impressions of the Xbox Series X controller. You can also read more about the console’s backward compatible games perform on Xbox Series X compared to how those games run on an Xbox One X here. For some of my next-gen game impressions, check out my hands-on previews of Dirt 5 and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.


Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Review

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Velan Studios

Rating: Everyone
Reviewed on: Switch

Since its debut on the SNES, the Mario Kart series has been one of Nintendo’s most consistently fun franchises. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit invites you to bring the action into the real world, using your Switch and a physical remote-controlled car with a camera to bridge the gap between reality and your screen. The concept of configuring your room as a racetrack and speeding through it as Mario is an exciting prospect, and while it’s often novel and enjoyable, a few noteworthy speedbumps prevent it from taking home the gold trophy.

Mario Kart Live gives you one go-kart (featuring either Mario or Luigi), four gates, and two arrow signboards in the box. Using these pieces, you can build whatever course you can fit in the space you have. You can customize each gate onscreen with unlockable elements, including item blocks, boosts, piranha plants that grab you, and chain chomps that pull you in random directions. Once your gates are laid out and customized, you draw the road by steering your kart through the gates to paint the track. Then it’s off to the races against A.I.-controlled Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings.

Once you’re in a race, the mixed-reality experience works remarkably well most of the time, and it kept me entertained. I dodged goombas while drifting into a sharp turn by my coat rack, then blasted an enemy with a red shell. However, the virtual track sometimes doesn’t overlay the floor perfectly. This issue played tricks on my eyes and made me think turns were sooner than they were, and on rare occasions, a gate didn’t recognize that I passed through it.

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I often ran into the sides of gates, which distorts the track; your option is to either deal with the changing conditions or pause mid-race to fix them. The game recommends you lay something heavy on each foot to keep it in place, but unless you happen to have a bunch of compact, heavy objects (I used 16 soda cans, two on each gate foot), this is something you have to put up with or compensate for when you design your stages. This frustration is further accentuated by in-game items and environments that are designed to push you off course; the sandstorm environment is neat because it blows the physical kart all over the place, but it also caused me to run into a gate more than a couple of times.

To get started, I had to make significant adjustments to my living room, moving the coffee table against the wall and rolling up my rug because it was too thick for the kart’s wheels. To have any sort of creative freedom, you need a sizeable open area, which could make this difficult for people in smaller houses or apartments to enjoy. Even in my relatively open main floor, I struggled to come up with ideas that would fit within the space. After moving to my more-open basement, I could flex my creative muscles a bit more, but the carpet slowed the kart down enough that I quickly returned to the hardwood surface of my living room.

I enjoyed wracking my brain to come up with clever configurations for my space. From a straightforward oval-shaped track and a figure-8 to a course with a long straightaway and a tight turn that weaved under my dining room table, I had fun getting creative within a space I was already familiar with. I loved taking a step back and looking at my living room in new ways to figure out how else I could expand the course. However, since a standard race lasted just around a minute with the space I was playing in, even my favorite designs got old before long.

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Driving around your room delivers the standard Mario Kart feel, even if the backdrop is your real-life house. Blasting through your rivals while you’re powered up with a star is just as exciting as it is in the mainline series, and getting taken out by a blue shell in the final lap is just as infuriating. However, with a smaller stable of powerups and shorter, less varied courses to race through, the experience grows stale faster.

Time trials and custom races are amusing, but I spent most of my time in the three-race Grand Prix. You can reconfigure your track between each event, but with the mode applying distinct effects for each race, I didn’t feel compelled to go through the lengthy process of redrawing the track each time. Grand Prix is great for collecting coins to spend on cosmetic customizations for Mario/Luigi and the kart, but it’s even better for unlocking faster speeds and new environments to apply to custom courses; once I got the zippy 150cc and 200cc, I couldn’t imagine heading back to anything slower.

Despite its shortcomings, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit still brings hours of fun. While firing up Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is more convenient and fully featured, Mario Kart Live’s unique take on the series is worth checking out for those looking for exciting twists on a well-worn concept.

Score: 7.5

Summary: Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a unique way to play within Nintendo’s beloved racing franchise, but the novelty wears thin fast.

Concept: Speed through your living room in a mixed-reality experience where you use your Switch to drive a physical remote-controlled car through a course you built

Graphics: Most of what you see on your screen is direct feed from the RC car’s camera, but the way the in-game effects overlay and mix with reality creates entertaining visuals

Sound: From the screaming engines to the familiar music tracks, Mario Kart fans will feel right at home

Playability: Controlling an RC car has never been easier thanks to simple controls on the Switch, but be ready to fix your course setup every couple of races

Entertainment: While it doesn’t deliver a flawless performance, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a novel concept that provides a unique twist to the well-established racing experience

Replay: Moderate

Click to Purchase


The Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Digital Issue Is Now Live

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Yakuza: Like A Dragon Xbox Series X Preview – The Most Beautiful Kamurocho Has Ever Looked

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Publisher: Sega
Developer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios

(Xbox Series X/S,
PlayStation 4,
Xbox One,
(PlayStation 5)

Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

To this point, the Yakuza franchise has delivered a gripping narrative starring Kazuma Kiryu featuring fast-paced, beat-’em-up action with the gorgeous, bustling backdrop of Kamurocho. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life wrapped up Kiryu’s long-running story, giving way for more tales to be told within the Yakuza series. With the upcoming Yakuza: Like a Dragon, developer Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio is turning several familiar elements on their heads. I had a chance to play through a chunk of the game starting in Chapter 5 to see just how different this new entry is.

For starters, the protagonist is Ichiban Kasuga, a man on a personal quest to be a hero after hitting rock bottom and spending nearly two decades in prison. The departures from the series to this point don’t stop there: The majority of the game takes place in Isezaki Ijincho in the Yokohama district and unlike recent entries, you can choose either Japanese or English audio. However, the biggest departure from the typical Yakuza series is the arcade-style brawler combat being supplanted by a traditional turn-based-combat system.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

The new turn-based system features a party system including 19 playable jobs.

While that notion may be shocking to both longtime fans and those who have just jumped on board with the series in wake of the recent surge of popularity, the turn-based mechanics work surprisingly well. Fights play out in true turn-based fashion, with each character acting in order. When it’s one of your character’s turn, they can attack, use a skill, use an item, or guard. Attacks do basic damage, while skills (which cost MP) can attack multiple enemies, inflict status ailments, do elemental damage, or even buff/heal allies. Kasuga’s Mega Swing skill does a decent amount of damage to all enemies in range, which is helpful for when you don’t have time to deal with a group of street thugs.

In other Yakuza games, using environmental objects to your advantage can play a major role in the fights. While the free-flowing nature of that is somewhat lost in the new turn-based system, it’s not completely gone. If you initiate an attack and an object is in the way, your character will either knock it over, possibly hitting the enemies, or pick it up and use it in the attack. 

Some skills also feature cutscenes as they inflict extreme damage. For example, Saeko’s Essence of Handbag Hurricane skill halts the action as she winds up and spins until her handbag smashes into the face of an enemy, leaving him bloody and defeated. Some, like Kasuga’s Essence of Mayhem skill, get the entire team involved as they volley a single enemy back and forth in a satisfying and devastating fashion.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Another change is that your journey is not a solitary one. In fact, throughout my session, Kasuga was accompanied by three companions – his party. These party members can take on different jobs from a pool of 19 (plus an additional 2 DLC jobs at launch). Each of the party members began with only one job each; Adachi has the Detective job, which lets him fight using a police baton and judo, as well as techniques that let him disrupt the enemy and protect his allies, Nanba has the Homeless Guy job, which lets him use umbrellas and canes as weapons, as well as the ability to learn fire breathing, pigeon control, and smelly breath skills, and Saeko has the Barmaid job, giving her the ability to use her handbag as a weapon, plus the option of learning martial arts using cosmetic tools. Meanwhile, Kasuga uses the Hero job, letting him use a baseball bat. The Hero job is a versatile role, so he can learn several diverse techniques. He can also use the offense-heavy Freelancer job, which uses bare-knuckle and pro-wrestling tactics.

At the start of the demo, the team is searching for the killer of the boss of the soapland Kasuga works at. The quest takes them to Yokohama, where they begin poking around to find more information about the Yokohama Liumang, a Chinese gang Kasuga suspects may have been involved in the killing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for word of the nosy group to get back to the Liumang, and they confront the crew. 

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Without spoiling too much, a battle ensues and it kicks off a chain of events that involves infiltrating a Chinese club, which, of course, results in another fight, a lead on the murderer, and an escape from Yokohama. However, in my downtime, I decide to sample the local foods (which restore party HP and MP), pop into a couple of convenience stores for some health-restoration items, and take part in a minigame where I’m riding around on a bike, collecting cans in the streets while A.I. enemies try to ram me and steal my cans. Finally, I encounter a side-mission for the Part-Time Hero mission I took: a fight to save an in-trouble citizen with a monetary reward. I’m also pleased to see that Like a Dragon hasn’t lost its flair for the odd and downright zany moments; during one random encounter, I fought a lubed up man in his underwear who slipped and fell when he tried to attack. 

Since I was playing on Xbox Series X, the performance of Yakuza: Like a Dragon was excellent. The gameplay was responsive and smooth, and I didn’t notice any frame rate dips or hiccups. In addition, my initial load into Yokohama was just around five seconds.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

If what I played of Yakuza: Like a Dragon is any indication, the tone, grit, and humor of past games all carry forward in excellent ways, even while the series is changing its conventions in many ways. With an effective evolution of the franchise that doesn’t sacrificing its identity, Yakuza: Like a Dragon looks to be another crowd-pleasing, jaw-busting affair.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon launches on Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 10, with a PlayStation 5 version arriving on March 2.


Dirt 5 Xbox Series X Preview – An Impressive, Muddy Showcase

Dirt 5

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Codemasters

(Xbox One,
PlayStation 4),
(Xbox Series X/S),
(PlayStation 5), 2021 (Stadia)

Rating: Everyone
Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

With the new generation a month away, I finally got my hands on a true next-gen title after putting the new Xbox Series X through the paces with backwards compatible games. Dirt 5 is a visual treat; mud flings into the air as you throw on your handbreak to cut around a corner as the sun slices through deep blue sky in blinding fashion. The visual leap forward is noticeable, but I was most impressed by how smooth everything feels.

Dirt 5 capitalizes on the speed emphasis of the Xbox Series X, loading detailed environments with several cars in just under 15 seconds; just as I was blown away by how fast the Series X can load an Xbox One game, I’m impressed by how short I have to wait once I enter an event. Speaking of events, Dirt 5 gives you multiple ways to experience a diverse offering of races, ranging from the choose-you-path career mode (complete with playful narration by Nolan North, and a mentor played by Troy Baker), and the other-the-top and creative Playgrounds.

Dirt 5

Career mode gets you into the action faster than I anticipated. After a short explanation of how the mode works, I’m immediately thrusted into my first Ultra Cross race (a combination of off-road and street racing) on a muddy Norwegian cliffside with waves crashing by the barriers. The better you do in each career race, the more XP, money, rep, and rewards you take home. While money is obviously used to buy new cars and upgrades, rep gives you additional sponsorship opportunities (which in-turn give you even more money) and XP levels up your profile, granting you access to more cosmetics to equip on your cars and profile.

After taking first place in that initial event in Norway, I’m given a choice to proceed to either a Rally Raid event (the quintessential point-A-to-point-B Dirt experience) in Greece or a Land Rush event (a true battle against the elements) in China. After completing my third event, a hilly Stampede race capped off by a massive jump in Italy, I’m finally able to afford a new car; I opt for the Ford Fiesta R5 MK II. 

Dirt 5

I spent a bit more time in career before heading over to Playgrounds, an all-new mode that not only lets you race in creative and outlandish courses, but also create them for yourself and share them with the world. Hopping into the Discover section of Playgrounds, I’m greeted with a treasure trove of creations from other players. From a checkpoint-based course full of jumps, tight turns, and even an upward spiral to a complex skill-based track centered on smashing targets while avoiding hazards, I encountered all kinds of ways to put my driving skills to the test. On top of finding plenty of enjoyable courses like these, my competitive streak was also satisfied, as each event has a leaderboard built in, encouraging you to play again and again to top other racers.

Once I dug into the creation tools for myself, I was easily able to craft a stunt course with a jump through a flaming hoop, a pipe to drive through (upside-down if you want), and a sharp U-turn to drift around. Thanks to pieces that snap together, it didn’t take long before the ideas in my head were brought to life on the screen. I’m excited to see what I can whip up once the final version hits and I devote more time to learning the ins and outs of the components available.

Dirt 5

Dirt 5 isn’t a title that’s impossible to achieve on current-gen technology, but the experience on Xbox Series X is smooth as silk. I haven’t had a chance to check out the title’s performance on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but I continue to be pleased with the efficiency of the Xbox Series X, even on next-gen titles such as this.

Dirt 5 launches on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this November. It arrives on Stadia sometime next year.


Why You Should Buy PS5 And Xbox Series X/S

The launch of new consoles is always exciting. Not only does new hardware feel great to connect to your TV for the first time, but it also unlocks the potential for the games we’ll collectively experience over the next several years. With the new hardware just over the horizon, I reached out to both PlayStation and Xbox to hear their cases for why upgrading to next-gen hardware is worth the investment.

For many, when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S release the second week of November, it will mark the dawn of a new era of gaming. However, plenty of others will be sticking with their existing systems for various reasons. With so few next-gen exclusive titles across the two platforms, many are content to hold off on upgrading. Xbox has said that its first-party titles will continue to release on both Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One in the near future, and on the PlayStation side, big titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Horizon Forbidden West have been confirmed to release on PlayStation 4 as well.

Since you can play these games on your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, is there really reason to upgrade? According to both PlayStation and Xbox, the community comes first when deciding to let players enjoy the big near-future games on current-gen hardware, but the best experiences will inevitably come on the newer consoles. “The PS4 community is incredibly important to us, and will be for many years to come,” says PlayStation senior vice president of platform planning & management Hideaki Nishino. “That being said, with PlayStation 5 we’re delivering a truly next-generation experience to you that offers innovation when it comes to gameplay, immersion, visual fidelity, and storytelling.”

Similarly, Xbox is focused on continuing support for Xbox One, but with an eye toward the future. “If you, as a player, are entirely happy with your Xbox One X experience and you want to continue to stay there, we’re completely happy for you to do that,” says Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald. “But at the same time, with Xbox Series X, it was critically important for us to build our fastest, most powerful console ever, and really provide that transformative, next-generation gaming experience. And with Xbox Series S, our goal was to provide the exact same great gaming experience, just in the smallest, most affordable next-gen console.”

The two-console approach is a unique way to begin the generation. While the two PlayStation 5 models are nearly identical aside from one not featuring a physical media drive, the Xbox Series X and S deliver more variance in both features and price. The PlayStation 5 models sell for $499 and $399, while the Xbox Series X and Series S have respective $499 and $299 price tags. However, unlike the cheaper (and disc-free) PS5, the Xbox Series S features less processing power and is unable to deliver 4K resolution despite its designation as a next-gen console.

For those who went all-in on this generation and picked up an Xbox One X, which has more TFLOPs of power than the Xbox Series S, is the move from an Xbox One X to an Xbox Series S a true upgrade? Xbox believes so. “As we think about this next generation of technology, not only are we continuing to advance the graphics, which people traditionally think of as the defining feature of the next generation, but with this generation, where I think you’ll see a lot of innovation is things like higher and more steady frame rates or frame rates well beyond what people traditionally associate with consoles, with support for up to 120 frames per second,” says Ronald. “Then you also look at things like the addition of custom NVMe SSDs, and the Xbox velocity architecture where it was a radical rethinking and revolution of how a traditional I/O system works in a game console, and that means things like the virtual elimination of load times, things like Quick Resume … how can we get you into the game faster than ever before? With the massive advances in CPU performance and I/O bandwidth, there’s going to be a lot of transformative gaming experiences that you can’t deliver on current-generation hardware, because a lot of times, those constraints were really limiting game design. Those were really focus areas for us as we designed both consoles, and the great part about it is the CPU performance and the I/O performance is identical between the two consoles.”

The solid-state drives in both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S are key to both severely cutting down on load times, but also delivering new kinds of experiences that are not possible on current-gen hardware. “PS5’s ultra-high speed SSD and integrated custom I/O system were developed with the goal of removing barriers to play – specially loading screens in games and the ability to ‘fast travel’ in between locations of a game world,” says Nishino. “Developers are able to pull data from the SSD at an incredibly fast rate, which allows them to design games in completely new ways. We revealed a new extended gameplay demo of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart back in August, which showed the player being sent across different dimensions with near-instant speed. The SSD truly is a game-changer that allows developers to create experiences that are only achievable on PS5.”

However, that doesn’t mean only next-gen games benefit from the addition of the SSD. In fact, in my time playing backward compatible titles with the Xbox Series X, I noticed dramatic performance improvements, including load times cut to a fraction of their Xbox One X counterparts. Compatibility – in particular, making your existing library of games even better – was something that was central to Xbox’s mission heading into this generation.

“It’s an area we’re fully committed to, and it was a key design decision in the earliest days of Xbox Series X and Series S,” says Ronald. “Playing a game on these new consoles … it just feels more responsive; it feels like the technology is getting out of my way and I’m just much more immersed in my games. Then you have things like improved CPU performance, so games will always run at their peak resolution and frame rates. You’re going to see higher and more consistent frame rates, so if a title used to drop a frame occasionally and you’d see a momentary hitch, now it’s just buttery smooth. […] Then you also look at things like Auto HDR; that’s a new platform capability that we’ve never had before. Earlier this year, we showed Fuzion Frenzy from original Xbox. That’s a game that was written before HDR was even a concept, let alone 4K and HD graphics. Now we see that running with HDR applied, and it doesn’t impact the frame rate, it doesn’t impact the available memory that the title has. We’re really focused on how do we give you the best version of the game that the hardware is actually able to deliver.”

Xbox’s compatibility focus also applies to its peripherals, with all controllers and accessories also carrying forward. With the Xbox placing such a keen emphasis on compatibility of past titles and accessories, will the team be expanding its library of backward compatible titles from Xbox 360 and the original Xbox? “It’s definitely something that we’re looking into, and I’ll say ‘Never say never,'” says Ronald. “But I will also say some of these games were designed before the idea of generational compatibility came into play. So, in some cases, we’ve run into some technical challenges, and in other cases, there’s licensing challenges and whatnot. So, the team’s definitely looking into it. I can’t commit to anything here, but it’s definitely something top of mind for us and something that we are investigating.”

For PlayStation, the focus remains on looking ahead toward new experiences more so than backward compatibility. Still, most of your existing PlayStation 4 library will work on PS5 from day one. “We know our fans have invested a lot of time building their collection of PS4 games, so library portability is critically important,” says Nishino. “When you sign in to PS5 with your account, you will automatically see your library of played PS4 content through the menu. Approximately 99 percent of the thousands of PS4 titles, both catalog and newly published, will be playable on PS5, and we’re excited about supporting our PlayStation community as they transition from PS4 to PS5 when they’re ready.”

On top of that, PlayStation also announced the PlayStation Plus Collection, which adds digital copies of nearly 20 PS4 classics including Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, The Last Guardian, God of War, and more to PlayStation Plus subscribers’ libraries at no additional charge. PlayStation has also dominated the current generation when it comes to exclusive titles thanks to an incredible lineup of first-party studios like Insomniac Games, Sucker Punch Productions, Naughty Dog, and more – a trend PlayStation hopes to capitalize on and carry forward into the next generation.

“Our creators at SIE Worldwide Studios take pride in challenging themselves to delight PlayStation fans with new experiences that push past player expectations for what games can be – that will only continue on PS5,” Nishino says. “The lineup of exclusive games from Worldwide Studios at launch and beyond is by far the strongest that we’ve ever had on a new console. Launching PS5 with games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Demon’s Souls is just the beginning. Fans can look forward to Gran Turismo 7, Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and more, as well as the new God of War title we teased in our September event. Exclusivity is a key differentiator for us, but we also believe quality of games is an even more important criteria. And when we look at Worldwide Studios, the quality of their work really shines through in each individual game, and I think that’s what speaks most to our fans as well.”

Xbox recognized its weakness in this regard, so midway through the Xbox One generation, the team began acquiring several studios. Over the course of a few years, renowned studios like Ninja Theory, Obsidian Entertainment, and Double Fine joined the likes of 343 Studios, The Coalition, and Rare under the Xbox Game Studios banner. “As somebody who’s been at Xbox over the last 15 years, I’ve never been more excited about our first-party capabilities that we have as we go into this generation,” says Ronald. “We’ve significantly increased the number of first-party studios, but we’ve also increased the diversity. You look at the acquisition of studios like Obsidian or InXile, and then you also look at studios like Double Fine or Compulsion Games, you know that not only is it about the quantity and the quality, but it’s also about the diversity. We really want to make sure we have great content for players of all types.”

However, the biggest acquisition came in September of this year, when Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, including its subsidiaries like Bethesda, id Software, Arkane Studios, and more. “The value they provide us is almost immeasurable,” says Ronald. “When you look at the pedigree and the long history they have with so many iconic franchises like Fallout, Doom, and Dishonored, but also their leadership and their innovation – some of the technical innovation they’ve done over many many years. Our partnership with both our first-party studios and third-party studios are critical to us; when we design these consoles, we really design them with our development partners.”

Xbox opted to largely keep its controller the same (aside from a new hybrid-style d-pad, Share button, and better grips on the handles and triggers), but PlayStation went back to the drawing board completely, ditching the DualShock nomenclature that has been around since the PlayStation 1 era in favor of DualSense. The goal with this revamped design is to deliver a new level of immersion to players thanks to haptic feedback in both the controller and triggers, as well as adaptive triggers that allow developers to program them to have different tension to replicate the feeling of trying to stop in a car with anti-lock brakes, or pulling back on a tight bowstring.

“Based on our discussions with game developers, we knew that the sense of touch within gameplay hasn’t been a big focus for many games in past generations,” says Nishino. “Our goal with DualSense is to give gamers the feeling of being transported into the game world, and we want gamers to feel like the controller is an extension of themselves when they’re playing. DualSense marks a radical departure from our previous controllers and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5.”

Regardless of when you plan to upgrade or which system (or systems) you choose, new hardware and new initiatives mean limitless potential for what we can expect. With both companies emphasizing sweeping improvements on the player-experience side in addition to the normal bells and whistles we typically see in the next generation of console technology, there’s ample reason to be excited for the new hardware and the untold joy they will bring us over the next several years.

For an early look at how the new hardware improves the player experience, check out our hands-on look at the speed of the Xbox Series X here.


The Coolest Pokémon Sword & Shield – Champion’s Path Cards We Pulled

The Pokémon Trading Card Game rolls on as the latest expansion is out now. The Pokémon Sword & Shield – Champion’s Path expansion gives you just more than 70 new cards, making it one of the smaller expansions in recent memory. However, unlike most other additions, you cannot purchase these cards in standalone booster packs. Instead, you must pick up one of several collections themed after gym leaders in the Galar region.

For this gallery, we were sent three of the gym leader collections, the Dubwool V collection, and the Champion’s Path Elite Trainer Box. From my pulls, I noticed an abundance of Gen 1 and, of course, Gen 8 Pokémon. However, the least represented in this expansion is Gen 2, so if you’re a die-hard fan of the Johto region, this probably isn’t the expansion for you.

Check out the coolest cards I pulled in the gallery below!

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



The Pokémon Trading Card Game Sword & Shield – Champion’s Path expansion is available now. For more on the Pokémon Trading Card Game, check out our big galleries for many of the most recent expansions.

For our review of Pokémon Sword & Shield, head here. To read our full cover story of Pokémon Sword & Shield, which chronicles the making of the game, head here.


Xbox Series X Preview – The Speed Sold Me On Next Gen

Xbox Series X

We’ve all done the song and dance of starting up a big, open-world game: First you power on your console, then select the game, sit through the screens of logos, select your save file, then pick up your phone and scroll through social media while you wait for the game to load. When our Xbox Series X arrived this week, I wanted to put the system through its paces; both Xbox and PlayStation have touted the blistering speeds at which you can load your games on these new systems, thanks in large part to the solid-state drives that have become the next-gen standard. I knew this was one of the major selling points of the system, but even as someone who is well aware of the value of an SSD (I essentially changed the face of my gaming PC by adding one), I was still shocked at how much the Xbox Series X improves the experience of playing my Xbox One library.

While the Xbox Series X I’m using is retail hardware, the software/operating system experience is still in a non-final state. However, the experience of playing my Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox games is the focus of what I want to talk about. Not only is the experience of getting my games library to load super smooth on the Xbox Series X (on my Xbox One X, it can take minutes to load my library), but the games load so fast it legitimately makes my Xbox One X, not that long ago touted as the most powerful console ever made, feel like a relic of yesteryear. 

As soon as I click on a game tile in my library, I’m greeted with the same splash screen as when I load it on the current-gen hardware. However, it stays on the screen for substantially less time, and before I know it, I’m at the main menu. While certain actions, like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey checking for additional content before dumping me into the main menu, still take some time, the process of actually loading into the games is a fraction of what it would take on my current-gen hardware, particularly for large, open-world games (see sidebar). I can’t wait to see how games that are designed with the SSD and the rest of this hardware in mind perform.

Xbox Series X

Additionally, the Quick Resume feature is awesome. This allows you to jump between games and pick up in the same state where you left off. Using this, I could play a mission in Hitman 2, then jump to play a stage in Sonic Mania, before hopping in for a mission in Red Dead Redemption 2, before going back to Hitman 2 without having to load the games back up. When you click into the tile of a game you’ve recently played, you’re greeted with the splash screen art for a brief moment, with the words “Quick Resume” in the upper corner. Then, within seconds, you’re dumped back into the game in the precise moment you left off. This won’t work well with online titles like Overwatch or Destiny 2 that time you out of the server for inactivity, but being able to jump between games with nary a load screen is incredible.

Check out this completely unedited video I recorded for an idea of how the functionality works:

Click here to watch embedded media

After spending time with the Xbox Series X, I finally fully appreciate the appeal of what the next-generation consoles hope to accomplish. The notion of getting the player to the fun as quickly as possible is on full display through what I’ve experienced with the Xbox Series X to this point. I look forward to seeing how the experience evolves as we approach launch, as well as how true next-gen games play when they become available.

Xbox Series X launches alongside Xbox Series S on November 10. Stay tuned for more in-depth impressions and coverage in the future.


$70 Next-Gen Games Make Xbox Game Pass Look Even Better

It’s no secret that gaming is an expensive hobby; the cost of a console puts you hundreds of dollars in the hole, with each subsequent game costing another chunk of change – not to mention any DLC or microtransactions you throw on top of that … and don’t even get me started on the accessories and extra hard drive space you’ll inevitably want! However, the latest trend in gaming could be even more disheartening for those barely able to support their gaming habit as it is: A bevy of next-gen titles (including Demon’s Souls, Destruction AllStarsNBA 2K21, Godfall) have been listed for $70, suggesting that the upcoming generation could be even more expensive than the current one. 

In the face of higher individual game prices converging with expensive new hardware, Xbox’s subscription service, Game Pass, could be the average gamer’s weapon of choice when combating the pricey reality of the hobby. The service, which grants you access to more than 100 games on Xbox or PC, sets you back $15 a month (or $180 for the annual subscription). While it doesn’t include every new game, players get access to a huge backlog of titles across every generation of Xbox, plus most of them are available to stream to Android devices through the cloud. 

With games continuing to rise in price, a fixed-price subscription service grants you the ability to save money. While many games are making the jump to $70 each, a Game Pass Ultimate subscription (at $180 per year) effectively pays for itself after you play three triple-A games. Thankfully, it also includes beloved indie titles; I would have never tried games like Lonely Mountains: Downhill, Slay the Spire, or Undermine if I wasn’t a subscriber to Game Pass Ultimate. It’s a strong value both from the perspective of saving money on new releases and as a means to discover new games.

Even Xbox loves the opportunities that Game Pass provides developers and players, giving them both the ability to try new things with minimal penalty. “You can have games that can just be games because they live inside of a subscription that has a good business model,” head of Xbox Phil Spencer told me in November. “It’s just an evolving financial model for where risk lives.”

Sure, if you stick strictly to the offerings on Game Pass for your gaming needs, you miss out on some of the biggest titles (there’s usually a pretty big buffer for third-party triple-A games to arrive on the service, if they come at all), but if you want a deep, varied collection of games to sample and potentially play for hours upon hours, Game Pass is an incredible value. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve downloaded on a whim, only to fall in love with them. Similarly, I’ve downloaded games I thought I would like, only to realize I didn’t. Thankfully, that cost me absolutely nothing extra (aside from wasted data toward my cap – thanks Comcast).

EA Play’s inclusion delivers a whole new suite of titles to the service this November

On top of that, several major games from Xbox Game Studios are on there day one. The service gave me Gears 5 and The Outer Worlds when they came out last year, and when Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Wasteland 3 launched this year, I simply clicked the download button in the Game Pass section of my library. To add to the value, Xbox has acquired a ton of developers to increase the output and quality of its first-party offerings, including studios like Ninja Theory, Bethesda, Obsidian, and more. With every game from those developers, plus the fact that when Halo: Infinite launches, I’ll also get that for no additional charge, the service continues to prove its value. 

My big hesitation going in was the massive subscription fatigue I’m already suffering from. With subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold, PlayStation Plus, and Nintendo Switch Online, not to mention other services like Apple Music, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus, I wanted to avoid additional recurring charges on my credit card at all cost. Thankfully, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate consolidates several subscriptions into one by giving you Game Pass for PC, as well as EA Play (starting this November) under the same umbrella, while also automatically delivering all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold. Sure, it’s more expensive, but the value is undeniable, so I was glad I could easily convert my Xbox Live Gold subscription to a Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

PlayStation Plus Collection will deliver some of the best PS4 games to your PS5

If you’re more of a PlayStation gamer, you have a couple of options, but they aren’t quite as good as Xbox’s service. The recently announced PlayStation Plus Collection on PS5 provides subscribers to PlayStation Plus a collection of around 20 downloadable PS4 titles at no additional cost. While the list includes some of the best titles of the PlayStation 4 generation, you won’t get the biggest new games. However, with no additional cost to PlayStation Plus subscribers, it’s difficult to complain about. The other option is PlayStation Now, but with fewer new titles and higher turnover in the games offered, plus an emphasis on streaming over downloading (only select PS4 games are available for download onto PS4, and you can’t download any games on PS3 or PC), it’s not quite the value Game Pass is. The closest thing Nintendo offers is the limited library of classic NES and SNES games to subscribers of Nintendo Switch Online.

While Xbox Game Pass isn’t a one-stop shop for all your gaming needs, it does provide incredible value at a time when money could be tight and games are demanding a large chunk of your checking account. With so many great games already on the service, and many more still to come thanks to upcoming Xbox Game Studios titles, Bethesda’s library, and EA Play, it’s hard to ignore what Xbox Game Pass brings to the table.

For more on Xbox’s next-gen philosophy and how Game Pass fits into that, check out my conversation with the leadership team from last November.


Could Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Be Nintendo’s Big Holiday Hit?

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Velan Studios

Rating: Everyone
Platform: Switch

During Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary Direct video, perhaps the biggest surprise was Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This spinoff of the long-running Mario Kart franchise incorporates a physical remote-controlled kart with a camera, your Nintendo Switch, and mixed-reality technology to provide a racing title that uses your house as the track. The camera mounted on the physical kart transmits the image to your Switch or television screen, with in-game items like boosts and shells affecting the movement of the physical kart. The concept is unique and compelling, but I was curious about how it would fare in execution. After seeing it in action earlier this week, I feel it could be an awesome twist on the familiar franchise.

Developer Velan Studios began by building its own RC car using scraps from drones, cameras, and sensors in an effort to create a remote-controlled car that was as easy and fun to control as a car in a video game. As development continued, Velan began adding more features like overlaid visuals and course creation mechanics before flying to Kyoto, Japan to pitch the idea to Nintendo. The team at Nintendo loved the idea and wanted to use it as a new way to play Mario Kart. After three years of development, the project is finally ready to release as Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit.

When you purchase Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, it comes with your choice of Mario or Luigi in a physical kart, four gates, two arrow signboards, and a USB charging cable. The software itself is a free download from the Switch eShop, but if you don’t have the physical kart, it just plays a video that tells you about the game. The gates are crucial for your course layout, while the signboards are more for giving racers a visual cue that a turn is coming up. When the camera sees these two physical elements, it transforms them with flashy visual effects on your screen.

As you unpack the bundle, you need to connect your kart to the Switch. To do this, you use the camera on the kart to scan a QR code on the Switch. Once you scan it, your kart is instantly paired with the Switch and you’re dumped into the tutorial of the game. The tutorial teaches you the basics of controlling your physical kart through the Switch, including braking, going in reverse, and steering. The tutorial closes out with giving you a Gold Mushroom to show off boosts, and finally, having you use the kart’s camera to take a driver’s license photo for in-game use.

Once you’re out of the tutorial, it’s time to create your first course by placing the four numbered gates included with the kart around the room. Once you’re ready to draw the course, Lakitu comes by and puts paint on your in-game tires and asks you to draw the track by driving through the gates, adding any curves and twists you want along the way. Once you finish your course, it’s time to take part in your first race. When you play single-player, your rivals are Bowser Jr. and the Koopalings. 

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Now that you have your bearings, you have a few options when it comes to racing: Grand Prix, Time Trial, and Custom Race. Grand Prix gives you a three-race cup with points and coins divvied out at the end of each race. Coins, which can be earned throughout all modes, help you unlock in-game customization items like outfits, karts, and horns. However, playing Grand Prix lets you unlock new gate types, as well as the highest speed: the furiously fast 200cc.

Between races, you can adjust your course layout, but even if you don’t, Grand Prix delivers different experiences across the three races; the first race in the Grand Prix I saw was fairly normal, while the second took on an underwater environment with electrified Amps acting as obstacles under the gates. If you run into an obstacle in the game, or if you’re hit by an item, your physical kart comes to a stop. Similarly, if you get an item that gives you a boost, your physical kart will speed up to correspond with the on-screen action.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

When you’re creating your course, you can even set certain gates to provide unique effects and items when you pass through them. For instance, the magnet will pull you toward the gate, increasing your speed and adjusting you to the center, while the Magikoopa gate mirrors the track on the screen temporarily, providing an awesome mixed-reality effect where your on-screen track is mirrored, but your physical kart continues driving down the real-life course. Other gate options include Piranha Plant, which picks up your kart and holds you in front of the gate, stopping your physical kart and partially blocking the gate for other racers, and Chain Chomp, which pulls you along in a somewhat uncontrollable manner. Of course, it wouldn’t be Mario Kart without items you obtain through boxes. In Home Circuit, you can use traditional items like the Mushroom and Red Shell, or a Sandstorm effect that whips wind at racers, pushing their karts left and right so the players have to adjust to keep on course.

While you’re customizing your track, you can also add different environments. From environments like underwater, which adds Amps and Cheep Cheeps, and snow , which adds Freezies, to even boost-filled Rainbow Road and Goomba-laden 8-Bit themes, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit hopes to give you some variety, even if you don’t want to tear down your track and build an entirely new one.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

If you’re hoping to enjoy the experience with others, it could prove a pricey venture for your circle. Not only does everyone need their own physical kart (only sold through the full bundle), but each person needs their own Switch console, whether it’s a standard Nintendo Switch or a Switch Lite. If you do fill those requirements, joining a session is fairly easy, as one person acts as the host, meaning the data of their course, including all customizations, is transmitted to the other players. Once in a multiplayer session, you can compete in a multi-race Grand Prix or in regular head-to-head races. 

Despite being able to play with your Switch in TV mode with either a Pro Controller or two Joy-Cons, Nintendo recommends playing in handheld mode for the best connection since you don’t want the kart to venture too far from the Switch unit it’s communicating with. Since the kart communicates directly with the Switch, you should remain within a 30-foot radius, though for the best experience, keeping it within 15 feet is the advisable distance.

If you really want to get creative, you can integrate real-life obstacles in your course

Each kart takes between three and a three and a half hours to fully charge from a completely depleted state. Once the battery is fully charged, faster speeds eat through your battery life quicker; 150cc gameplay will kill your kart’s battery in about 90 minutes, while slower speeds will let the battery last a bit longer. Nintendo also only recommends you play indoors, as the kart features soft tires, low clearance, and traction built for smoother surfaces like hardwood floors. However, you can use the kart on carpets (with slower results due to the softer surface), but longer shag or any kind that will get caught in wheels could present a problem.

Even though I didn’t get to actually play the game, seeing it in action got me excited to play it in a couple of weeks. With such a unique concept centered around a beloved franchise, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit could prove to be a huge hit for Nintendo this holiday season. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit retails for $99.99 when it launches on October 16.


Kojima Productions’ Yoji Shinkawa Released Gorgeous Art For The Last Of Us Day 2020

Earlier this week, The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog announced that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was renaming its annual “Outbreak Day” (the date where the deadly fungal infection hit critical mass in the Last of Us universe) to “The Last of Us Day.” While the date has grim meaning in the world of Joel and Ellie, in our world, September 26 has been used by Naughty Dog and its community to celebrate the franchise.

As part of this year’s celebration, Kojima Productions’ renowned artist Yoji Shinkawa, best known for his work on the Metal Gear franchise and Death Stranding, released a stunning piece. You can see his art above, and if you like it enough to want to make it your wallpaper you can download the full-resolution version, formatted for either your phone or desktop, here. In addition to Shinkawa’s piece, Mondo has announced new The Last of Us Part II posters featuring Ellie and Abby, as well as a special vinyl soundtrack release.

Naughty Dog was also busy in its preparations, creating a new dynamic theme featuring the game’s beach, a cosplay guide for Abby, and even a ton of hilarious reaction GIFs featuring the characters of the games.

Other highlights from The Last of Us Day 2020 include the previously announced board game being in development, new merchandise in the PlayStation Gear Store, new clothes from Graph, and new statues from Gaming Heads and Mamegyorai. To join in the festivities, you can head here for the full slate of The Last of Us Day promotions.


Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity Trailer Brings Out The Familiar Faces

While we eagerly await news for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, Nintendo announced earlier this month that it’s delivering a prequel story in the form of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Set 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity tells the story of the conflict that put Hyrule in the desperate state you experienced in the 2017 hit. 

Today, Nintendo released a new trailer showcasing some of the familiar faces you’ll be taking into battle in Age of Calamity. Check out the action-packed trailer starring Link, Zelda, and the Champions below.

Click here to watch embedded media

On top of that, we finally got to see young Impa. You may recall her being much, much older in Breath of the Wild, but in Age of Calamity, she’s in her fighting prime, bringing her unique abilities as a royal advisor and a member of the Sheikah to the battle against Calamity Ganon’s evil forces.

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The trailer closes with news that players who pre-order the game digitally receive the Lucky Ladle as an in-game weapon. Those who have save data from the Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild on their Switch will receive the Training Sword as an in-game weapon. The trailer states that both of these could be released as paid DLC down the line.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity launches November 20 exclusively on Switch.


EA Sports UFC 4 Adds Two New Fighters And Simplified Control Options

EA Sports UFC 4

EA Sports UFC 4 has announced the contents of its huge 3.0 patch, which adds two new fighters, menu options, gameplay changes, and a new control scheme.

The most noteworthy additions arriving in this patch come in the form of two fan-favorite fighters: Calvin Kattar and Pedro Munhoz. The update comes less than 24 hours after I published my wishlist of 10 fighters I wanted to see added to the EA Sports UFC 4 roster. The list, which you can read here, included both Kattar and Munhoz, so you know I’m glad to see these two deserving fighters adding to the roster. 

On top of the roster additions, various existing fighters have been added to new divisions, including Jon Jones’ highly anticipated move to heavyweight. Other updates include the ability to select a venue when fighting with a friend online, a new “Learn” category to help newcomers master the controls, and various fixes including ground-and-pound balance updates, stamina tweaking, and slipping being given a significant buff. This update also addresses clinch spam by tweaking the stamina drain when entering or exiting the clinch, as well as updates to the submission game. 

For those who don’t necessarily have time to get their friends up to speed on how to play the game, Custom Fight Now offers a new control scheme called “Simplified Controls,” which lets you pick up the game and strike competently without knowing all the inputs. This option, which can be toggled for each fighter individually, boils striking down to the most basic controls, with the game helping decide which strike to throw next based on the situation.

Alongside this update, the team at EA Sports released a hype trailer for the massive headlining fight for this weekend’s pay-per-view. You can see the in-game trailer for Israel Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa below.

Click here to watch embedded media

EA Sports UFC 4 is out now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more on the game, you can read our review.


Ninjala Introduces Limited-Time Sonic The Hedgehog Items

The free-to-play bubble-gum brawler from GungHo, Ninjala, has begun its collaboration with the Sonic the Hedgehog brand through several in-game items. The items included in the collaboration feature outfits, Ippon decorations, stickers, and a special Gum Utsusemi transformation.

Starting today and running through October 21, players can buy these items from the game shop. The items can be earned through regular play or purchased using real money. Those looking for new outfits can pick up new duds modeled after Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles. If you’re hoping to score a new Ippon decoration, this collaboration adds new ones featuring Sonic and Dr. Eggman. This event also offers Sonic and Dr. Eggman stickers, as well as a special Dr. Eggman Gum Utsusemi transformation. 

You can see the items on offer in the gallery below.

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The Sonic the Hedgehog X Ninjala collaboration begins today and runs through October 21.


Kirby Fighters 2 Announced And Released

Kirby is among Nintendo’s most versatile characters thanks to his ability to copy movesets. While HAL’s beloved pink puff has been been in Super Smash Bros. since the series’ inception, Nintendo is bringing back the Kirby Fighters series, which debuted in 2014 on 3DS as a part of Kirby: Triple Deluxe. This standalone entry comes to Switch with a variety of new modes and features.

Kirby Fighters 2 lets you play in single-handed mode, where you try to get the best possible clear time in a series of solo battles, and multiplayer, where up to four players can battle it out locally on the same Switch, locally on the same network, or online through Nintendo Switch Online with customizable rulesets. Kirby Fighters 2 also delivers a story mode, where you fight alongside a human- or A.I.-controlled companion to scale the tower, choose from items to help between rounds, and defeat King Dedede and Meta Knight’s challenges. The items offer buffs to stats, your health, and more. 

In addition to the new Wrestler moveset, players can play as a variety of classic Kirby styles including Sword, Beam, Artist, Yo-Yo, Water, and more. In addition, if you’d rather not play as Kirby, you can select from some of his most well-known adversaries like Banana Waddle Dee, King Dedede, Meta Knight, and others. Between Kirby’s various movesets and the other playable characters, you can choose between a total of 22 different fighting styles.

Kirby Fighters 2 is available now for Switch.


The Top 10 Fighters EA Sports UFC 4 Needs To Add

EA Sports UFC 4

It’s been just over a month since EA Sports released UFC 4, and while it’s a strong entry in the franchise with a wide-spanning roster of the most recognizable athletes in the world’s biggest MMA promotion, there are a few noteworthy names missing from the roster. From recent signings and new breakout stars to old favorites who keep flirting with a comeback, these are the fighters I’d love to see added to the UFC 4 roster.

1. Khamzat Chimaev

Without question, Chimaev has been one of the breakout stars of 2020. From his two dominant wins within a 10-day period in July on Fight Island to his massive one-punch knockout over UFC veteran Gerald Meerschaert, Khamzat Chimaev is on a rocket-like trajectory right now. Even though he’s just now eyeing his fourth fight in the UFC, even UFC president Dana White is singing his praises, saying, “This guy is one of the most special fighters I’ve ever seen, if not the most special guy that I’ve ever come across.”

2. Amanda Ribas

Another one of the biggest up-and-coming stars in the UFC, Amanda Ribas has proven that she belongs in the contender conversation after making her debut last June. After showcasing her Brazilian jiu-jitsu with a submission win over Emily Whitmire in her debut, Ribas rattled off two dominant decision wins over Mackenzie Dern and Randa Markos before her biggest victory in a lightning-quick submission win over the ever-popular Paige VanZant. 

3. Brock Lesnar

Probably the most unlikely inclusion on this list due to pricey licensing and probable exclusive deals with other entertainment companies, Brock Lesnar is continually one of the most intriguing and captivating figures to a large portion of the MMA fanbase. After a meteoric rise through the heavyweight division several years ago, Lesnar was able to capture and defend the championship belt. Lesnar returned from retirement in 2016, but after securing a win over veteran Mark Hunt, Lesnar’s victory was overturned due to an anti-doping policy violation, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of many Lesnar MMA fans. Currently, Lesnar is a free agent, and while Dana White doesn’t paint a particularly optimistic picture for Lesnar’s return to the Octagon, there’s no denying the behemoth’s star power and ability to capture an audience.

4. Jiri Prochazka

To say Prochazka was thrown to the wolves in his UFC debut in July would be an understatement. The former Rizin champion looked right at home in his new organization, knocking former title contender Volkan Oezdemir out cold. The rankings panel of the UFC seems to agree that this guy has what it takes to make it in the UFC, as that single win catapulted him to be the sixth-ranked light heavyweight on the roster.

EA Sports UFC 4

5. Michael Chandler

Perhaps the biggest free agent signing in recent memory, Michael Chandler has served as one of the faces of Bellator for a decade. Now, the former champion has signed with the UFC and is ready to immediately step into a championship fight in October should anything happen to either Khabib Nurmagomedov or Justin Gaethje. While it remains to be seen just how he will do against top-tier UFC competition, the matchups that await him are intriguing and exciting. Let us see them play out in EA Sports UFC 4 now.

6. Aleksandar Rakić

While his most recent win over Anthony Smith wasn’t the most electrifying main event we’ve ever seen, Aleksandar Rakić is a bona fide light heavyweight contender. We have Dominick Reyes and Jan Błachowicz fighting for the vacant title this weekend, and the oft-delayed Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira fight presumably to determine the next number one contender, but Rakić is right behind those names when it comes to light heavyweight contention. 

7. Vicente Luque

When you look at how UFC 4 fights typically go, they’re usually fast-paced, all-action affairs. Vicente Luque has delivered that in the real Octagon time and time again. Not only that, but he’s consistently beaten the best the UFC has to offer, only losing to top-tier welterweight talent like Stephen Thompson and Leon Edwards. Luque has consistently been underrated by fans and the rankings panel, even though he currently sits at number 10 in the UFC welterweight rankings. It’s time to bring “The Silent Assassin” into the game.

8. Calvin Kattar

Even as one of the biggest up-and-coming names in the UFC, it feels wrong to call Calvin Kattar a prospect. As the current number 6 contender in the featherweight division, the 32-year-old Kattar has shown off elite boxing ability, with wins over Dan Ige, Jeremy Stephens, Shane Burgos, and Ricardo Lamas. As Kattar continues to climb the ranks, it will feel like a giant hole in the EA Sports UFC 4 roster.

9. Irene Aldana

Irene Aldana could possibly be the next challenge for the reigning bantamweight champion (and female MMA GOAT) Amanda Nunes, but even outside of that, the Mexican-born fighter has impressive wins over some of the UFC’s top bantamweights in Ketlen Vieira, Vanessa Melo, and Bethe Correia. If Aldana is able to get past her biggest challenge yet – Holly Holm in the October 4 main event – she needs to be added to the roster as soon as possible.

10. Pedro Munhoz

Sure, “The Young Punisher” has been on a bit of a skid lately, but Pedro Munhoz has been a mainstay in the UFC bantamweight division for more than six years now, taking out some of the big names like Cody Garbrandt and Rob Font, and only losing to the most elite fighters like Frankie Edgar and Aljamain Sterling. 

In the meantime, we can settle with creating the fighters, which is a more streamlined process thanks to the new archetype system, but at the same time, officially licensed additions are always the preferred route. Who would you like to see added to the game?


How Big Are The Xbox Series X And Xbox Series S?

When the Xbox Series X was initially revealed, many marveled at how large it appeared to be. If you’re anything like me, ever since the Xbox Series X was shown off, you’ve been trying to figure out exactly how it will fit on your entertainment stand. Standing nearly a foot tall and possessing 6 inches of depth and width, it definitely presents a unique challenge for those of us who have horizontal slots in their entertainment stand.

This isn’t the first time this problem has presented itself; the Nintendo Switch also made me get creative with my entertainment stand since its top-loading dock didn’t play nice with the traditional stand I own. The creative solution I came to with the Switch was to put the dock behind my television. That way, it had a place to sit and connect with my TV, but it didn’t block the screen. With the Xbox Series X looking more like a PC tower than any console before it, I might have to resort to similar tactics.

So that we could begin our planning, Microsoft sent us faux dummy units of the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. These prototype shells are just that: shells. This means they aren’t functioning, and instead are meant to give us an idea of exactly how big these consoles are. Naturally, we decided to see just how they stacked up against other Xbox consoles from the past. 

Check out our gallery below and let us know how these systems are going to fit into your existing entertainment setup.

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Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch on November 10. Preorders are ongoing, but have proven to be a struggle for many as retailers sell out almost immediately after listing the systems as in stock. For a list of every game coming to Xbox Series X/S this year, head here


Xbox Unveils Updated Lineup Of Series X/S Accessories

With the next generation of consoles right around the corner, Xbox has announced its lineup of Xbox Series X/S accessories. While Xbox has touted far-reaching compatibility with both your existing games and accessories, the company is hopeful it is giving players reason to upgrade as the next-gen hardware nears.

It all starts with new controllers. The new Xbox Wireless Controller might look similar to the one you’ve been using with your Xbox One or PC for years now, but with a new hybrid d-pad and textured grips, as well as a button that allows you to capture screenshots and video clips with a quick press (or hold), it’s not completely identical. The controller was previously revealed in black alongside the Series X, and white alongside the Series S, but Xbox today revealed a striking new Shock Blue color. 

If you’re hoping to use the new Xbox Wireless Controller with your PC, Xbox also announced bundles to help you get going at your desk. You can choose between a bundle featuring the new controller and a Windows 10 wireless adapter or a bundle with the new controller and a USB-C cable. 

For those who are sick of swapping out batteries, Xbox has announced a new Xbox Rechargeable Battery + USB-C Cable bundle. The rechargeable battery gives you a full charge in four hours, or lets you charge while plugged in. The Xbox Wireless Controllers cost $60, while the Xbox Rechargeable Battery + USB-C Cable is priced at $25. 

All of these accessories are available on November 10, alongside the new consoles themselves.

[Source: Xbox Wire]


Observer: System Redux Is A PlayStation 5 And Xbox Series X Launch Title

Observer: System Redux

Bloober Team has announced that Observer: System Redux will be available on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on day one. This updated version of the acclaimed cyberpunk thriller adds new content, including three new major missions, updated character models, and new locations.

Additionally, the next-gen hardware enables 4K resolution, upgraded textures, new animations, models, and effects. The visuals also now benefit from ray-tracing and HDR lighting. The game will cost $30, a priority for Bloober Team. “We know next-gen pricing is a major concern for our fans and we feel that releasing all the new content and upgrades in Observer: System Redux at the same cost as the original Observer is a great way to stay close with our community,” CEO Piotr Babineo said in a press release.

Observer: System Redux

We liked Observer when it launched in 2017, giving it a 9 out of 10 in our review, saying, “Observer is simply the best of both worlds and is a must-play for anyone who considers themselves a fan of either sci-fi or horror.”

Observer: System Redux hits Xbox Series X/S and PC on November 10, then PlayStation 5 on November 12.