Horizon Zero Dawn launched two years ago today, and it’s done quite well in that time. In a blog post celebrating the milestone, Guerrilla Games managing director Hermen Hulst revealed that the game has now sold “well over” 10 million copies worldwide.
“The idea that we were able to bring Aloy’s journey to so many players is astounding,” he said. “We’e been deeply moved by the enormous amount of fan creations you’ve posted online, as well as the heartfelt letters you’ve sent sharing your favorite moments from Aloy’s journey.”
This figure likely includes copies of the game purchased outright and those included in PS4 hardware bundles.
Horizon Zero Dawn was something new for Guerrilla, which up until that point had been best known for its Killzone shooter series. Given the commercial success of Horizon Zero Dawn, a sequel would seemingly make sense for business reasons. No announcements have been made, but Hulst previously teased that Aloy might have more stories to tell and secrets to uncover beyond the main game and its Frozen Wilds expansion.
“She’s really uncovered some of the main mysteries in the world, but how do you feel when you finish the story? Are there questions that come up that you want to answer for Aloy?” Hulst told GamesRadar. It was not difficult for us to build the Frozen Wilds and tell that story through Aloy. The environments and the world that we’ve put together easily raise more questions, so it feels pretty rich to us, but that’s all I can say about that for now.”
Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is the next film in the franchise, and with it comes a new era for the Pokémon anime. Ash, Misty, Brock, Pikachu, and everyone else we remember from way back when are stepping into a third, computer-generated dimension. And they look very weird.
A 30-second teaser for the upcoming movie, which premieres in Japan this summer, is here for the rest of us to gaze at in equal parts horror, equal parts regret. For lo, this is not our beautiful Pokémon anime. Instead, the video suggests a remake of Pokémon: The First Movie, released in 1999, which tells Mewtwo’s origin story and also features Ash dying for a hot sec.
For this 20th anniversary redux, the Pokémon Company has gone with a slick animation style that turns our cartoony friends into talking dolls.
Perhaps I’m being too harsh on what’s really just a brief, quick-cutting look at this movie. The Pokémon we see in it, for instance, look really good; there’s some nice texturing to them — certainly preferable to the dramatically … realistic textures in Detective Pikachu. The background environments are nice, too. But I can’t shake the feeling that there is something very wrong with the human cast here.
There are lots of bottles of beer, whiskey, and other instruments of intoxication already scattered throughout the rolling hills of Fallout 76’s West Virginia, but on March 12 players will be able to start making their own.
Today’s Inside the Vault article sheds light on how the whole thing will work. The update, originally teased last week, will introduce Biv, a bartending robot who resides on the fringes of Vault-Tec University’s Scorch-infested campus. There you’ll be able to chat him up and gain access to a new quest called Wasted on Nukashine. Completing it will give players access to the blueprint to construct a brew station workbench at their campsite and proceed to never again shut up about their favorite kind of bitters.
This brew station can be used to produce a range of alcoholic beverages, including the following beers, spirits, and mixed drinks, each of which produces different effects depending on how long you age them:
Fresh Effects: Increased scope stability and damage versus animals, but reduced VATS accuracy.
Tick Blood Tequila Sunrise
Effect: Your successful melee attacks have a chance to inflict you with a disease but may also refill your hunger meter.
Fresh Effect: Your melee attacks will result in self-immolation, damaging both you and your attackers.
Vintage Effect: In addition to its fresh effects, Firecracker Whiskey will set enemies on fire from your ballistic and melee attacks.
You’ll need the recipes to create these and other drinks, which can be obtained by completing the daily quests handed out by Biv. Why bother trying to rebuild society when you can just cook up some authentic Appalachian hooch instead? If I was forced to live in Fallout 76, I’d spend most of my time getting blitzed too.
Pirates of the Enchiridion is the most recent game based on beloved cartoon Adventure Time, and it gives players control of characters like Finn, Jake, and Marceline to investigate why the Land of Ooo has been flooded. Thanks to backward compatibility, 2005’s Star Wars Republic Commando can be played on Xbox One and offers an exciting single-player campaign with squad-based, military-style combat.
Plants vs. Zombies fans will appreciate the free download of Garden Warfare 2. The light-hearted shooter expands the series with new characters, modes, and solo content while retaining the humor and ridiculous costumes that make it so entertaining. Finally, there’s Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which takes place four years after Metal Gear Solid 4 and puts players in control of a cybernetically enhanced Raiden. In our review, we praised the game for its adrenaline-pumping combat and Raiden’s compelling story.
See the full list of games and dates for March’s Games With Gold below.
Xbox Live Games With Gold for March
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion — March 1 to 31 (Xbox One)
Star Wars Republic Commando — March 1 to 15 (Xbox One, Xbox 360)
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance — March 16 to 31 (Xbox One, Xbox 360)
Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 2 — March 16 to April 15 (Xbox One)
BioWare has released a new update for Anthem, its multiplayer-focused action RPG. The update addresses tethering issues that occurred when playing with others by increasing the time available to catch up to teammates. [Update: In addition to this update, BioWare has also rolled out hotfixes that reduce Masterwork crafting costs and removes the possibility of getting inscriptions that are useless for the item in question. The latter change doesn’t change any existing items and will only affect loot drops received after the hot fix rolled out on Thursday. You can see the complete patch notes for these hot fixes and the tethering update below.]
The tethering system keeps you from wandering too far away from your team and focused on completing the selected mission at hand. If you don’t keep up with your teammates, a message will pop up that informs you that you will be teleported to your allies unless you return to the mission area. After Anthem launched, players complained the system wasn’t forgiving enough and didn’t provide an adequate amount of time for anyone to catch up to their teammates before being subjected to a loading screen–which also occasionally caused them to lose out on crucial in-game dialogue or cutscenes.
The new update also implements changes to Strongholds. In the Swarm Tyrant encounter in the Tyrant Mine Stronghold, you and your squad will no longer be able to reset the battle by exiting to the main menu and rejoining the session. Also, you will no longer be able to reopen chests that have already been looted in Strongholds. For the full patch notes on the update, you can check out BioWare’s post on Reddit.
BioWare has another update planned for Anthem that is scheduled to launch either sometime tonight or tomorrow, March 1. This next update will affect loot in Anthem. Specifically, uncommon and common weapons and abilities no longer appear from level 30 drop tables, and crafting requirements for masterwork items and embers has decreased. Inscriptions on all masterwork items will also now exclusively apply to the weapon or ability it amplifies. So, for example, a masterwork pistol will only be inscribed with a special ability that amplifies pistols, and not shotguns or assault rifles. This update will only apply to new items that you find or craft however, so all weapons and abilities you’ve previously collected will not be affected.
If you’re still on the fence about picking up Anthem, be sure to check out our review of the game. If you’re already playing, we have guides to help you out, which are outlined below.
The tethering timer for missions has been increased. Players should now have more time to catch up to their Squad before seeing a countdown timer.
The Swarm Tyrant encounter in the Tyrant Mine Stronghold can no longer be reset by the entire Squad exiting to the main menu and rejoining the session in progress.
Players are no longer able to reopen chests that had already been looted in Strongholds.
In addition to the above updates we have deployed the following hot fixes:
Items will no longer have inscriptions on them that are not appropriate for that specific item. NOTE: This only applies to items obtained after the patch. Items obtained prior to the patch will still have the same inscriptions they had before.
Masterwork crafting costs have been reduced from 25 -> 15 Masterwork Embers. The amount of plants, metal and parts required for crafting a Masterwork item have also been reduced.
Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at email@example.com. Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!
At points throughout Benedikt Erlingsson’s Woman at War, Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir) passes by a small band of musicians playing the very same ponderous music that scores her exploits. The transition from diegetic (on-screen and part of the action) to non-diegetic music is seamless — at one point, one of the band members simply pops up in Halla’s house, playing the piano as she processes a life-altering phone call, and at another, a small chorus of women appears. At times, they frown, stare, or smile, characters in their own right, or a twist on the Greek chorus. They’re unexplained, strange, and charming — not unlike the film itself.
By day, Halla works as a choir conductor, biking around town and returning home at the end of the day to a cute apartment decked out with (tellingly) portraits of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. By night (or, well, whenever she’s not at choir practice), she takes up the mantle of “the Mountain Woman,” disrupting the operations of the nearby Rio Tinto aluminum plant — a large-scale polluter of the local ecosystem — by damaging pylons and wires and thereby shutting down the plant’s power. She’s a modern superhero: she’s fighting for what she believes to be right, and does so with a secret identity and a skill set (proficiency with a bow and arrow, general sabotage know-how) that can’t be said to be universal.
The film opens in the middle of one of Halla’s shutdowns. Despite being a relatively significant act of illegal activism, it manages to keep from sliding into “gritty” territory by virtue of the band and Halla’s simple, earnest dedication to her cause. The sequence effortlessly establishes character motivation and context without relying on an excess of exposition. A brief exchange with a nearby farmer, Sveinbjörn (Jóhann Sigurðarson), provides context for her actions without getting bogged down — soon enough, they’re discussing when she’ll be able to return the car she’s borrowing from him, and whether or not they might share some ancestry.
It makes the transition into her civilian life funnier to watch, as her seriousness seamlessly shifts to sunniness (that could easily be mistaken for harmlessness) as she leads her choir in song. The two faces she presents to the world may seem vastly different, but they’re not actually so far apart.
That facility becomes especially important as a years-old application to adopt is suddenly approved. Halla wants to be a mother, and the idea that a little girl might be relying on her changes how she views the consequences on her actions; if she’s caught and jailed, then she won’t be able to go through with the adoption.
The individual elements of the story — including an identical twin sister (also played by Geirharðsdóttir) who pursues inner, spiritual fulfillment and finds the Mountain Woman’s actions destructive — may make the ending a little predictable, but they’re so rarely found in the same piece that it hardly matters. The subtle way that the film tackles environmental activism and anxieties about motherhood, punctuated by Wes Anderson-like flights of fancy, without losing either gravity or its lightness of touch is a remarkable accomplishment; Woman at War is a smart delight.
It’s at least in part due to the way Erlingsson seems to savor the smallest human interactions — the back and forth between Halla and Sveinbjörn, for instance, which grows warmer as the film progresses — consequently turning what could be an unwieldy, overambitious piece into a compelling, eminently relatable movie. Geirharðsdóttir’s casting is a home run in this respect: she projects a perfect sense of strength and vulnerability, making it easy to believe that the same woman who’d hide in a goat carcass and single-handedly pull down a pylon would also cheerfully dish with her chorus group. (Erlingsson touches upon such stereotyping by showing the repeated arrests of a hapless male Spanish-speaking tourist, played by Juan Camillo Roman Estrada, while Halla goes unbothered.)
Halla is also a remarkable heroine for being of an age (Geirharðsdóttir is 50) when female characters are generally relegated to either staying home — or being markedly kooky when they decide to take action. There’s nothing in Woman at War that treats Halla as being exotic or an anomaly, and there’s no need for her to sacrifice her femininity for it; there’s nothing unusual about the fact that Halla has chosen to take control of her own story. It’s treated as matter-of-fact that she should be a sort of superhero — why shouldn’t she be?
There’s a sense of literalism that winds in and out of the film, as Halla is more than once seen lying on the ground, seeming to breathe in the earth, but it works in tandem with the use of on-screen musicians and other unbelievable moments that, in Erlingsson’s hands, feel perfectly true to life. Halla’s struggle may be against heavy industry; her film is a vibrant, life-affirming kind of green.
Techland, the Polish developer behind Dying Light and Call of Juarez franchises, recently announced a round of layoffs, but the studio’s ongoing game projects are unaffected.
The job losses came as part of Techland’s decision to close its Polish distribution and publishing department. Techland was in the business of publishing some third-party boxed games in Poland specifically, but that is coming to an end by the end of 2019.
Everyone affected by the layoffs is receiving a severance package that Techland says is “above the industry and the Polish employment legislation standards.” Affected employees will receive help finding new jobs, Techland said, adding that employees affected by the restructuring were made aware of the move for a period of time before it became official.
Techland added that its Polish publishing and distribution business has not been a core pillar of Techland’s strategy for “a few years,” so the wind-down was expected. Those who were laid off worked in “logistics and trade” departments. No game developers were affected.
The restructuring at Techland has no influence on Dying Light 2‘s development or its publishing of God’s Trigger, the studio said, adding that the company’s overall global structure is unchanged.
“Techland is in good condition, which is proven by the fact Dying Light sales continue to grow year-on-year,” the studio said. “We are growing in terms of AAA open world action games development.”
13 employees are affected by the restructuring, Techland said. The company employs more than 400 people, while it has more than 50 people currently being actively recruited for roles.
Here is Techland CEO Pawel Marchewka’s full statement:
“After months worth of market analysis we have started the process of shutting down the Polish publishing and distribution department. The process will last until the end of 2019. This only applies to 3rd party boxed goods on the Polish market. For several years physical distribution has not been the core of our strategy, which is to develop the best AAA action open-world games.”
“These changes have no impact on our global publishing plans and the development of two AAA games we are currently working on, one of them being Dying Light 2. Our company is constantly growing and developing great games. The sales of the original Dying Light are not only not decreasing, but actually continuing to grow year-on-year. Dying Light constantly reaches new audiences and and this makes us happy and shows us we have chosen the right direction. It also motivates us to work hard on making Dying Light 2 our best game yet.”
“I have personally made sure to take care of the affairs and future careers of the members of our Polish distribution department who will be leaving Techland. Severance packages they will receive are both above the industry and the Polish employment legislation standards. I would like to thank the whole team for the many years of great work together.”
Palkia may no longer be available in Pokemon Go, but a new Legendary Pokemon is set to take its place soon. Starting March 1, the Pokemon Diamond mascot Dialga will begin appearing in Raid Battles around the world–but as usual, it’ll only be around for a limited time.
As with most other Legendaries, to catch Dialga you’ll first need to team up with other players at a Gym where a Dialga Raid is taking place and battle the Pokemon. If you manage to defeat Dialga, each player who participated in the Raid will receive a handful of Premier Balls and an opportunity to catch it.
Dialga is the only Steel/Dragon Pokemon in the series, which gives it numerous resistances to other types. Your best bet for battling it is to bring along Fighting and Ground Pokemon such as Machamp, Hariyama, and Groudon. Dialga will only appear in Raid Battles until March 28, giving you until the end of the month to catch one.
In other Pokemon Go news, Niantic recently introduced the Team Medallion to the app’s in-game store. This item allows players to change their team allegiance once every 365 days. The developer has also rolled out a new AR photo mode, which is the only way to encounter the elusive Pokemon Smeargle.
Pokemon Go’s next Community Day event is scheduled for March 23. This time, the featured Pokemon will be Treecko, one of the three starters from Ruby and Sapphire. Players will also be able to hatch Pokemon Eggs at a quarter of the distance they typically require during the event.
The prospect of the new Pokémon game being possibly set in the UK has amused some fans, and I’m laughing along with them.
In order to understand these jokes, you’re first going to have to explain the concept of Scottish Twitter. Regional Twitters have regional dialects. A community of Twitter users based in Pittsburgh might say “yinz” instead of “y’all,” and instead of LOL, Twitter users from France might type MDR—mort de rire, or “dead from laughing.”
Scottish Twitter users tend to write their tweets phonetically, like they’re in an Irvine Welsh novel. It leads to hilarity like this:
Where does Pokémon come in? Well, the newly announced Sword and Shield are going to be set in the Galar region, which appears to be based on the United Kingdom. Some people have pointed out that the map of Galar looks like the UK flipped upside down. It looks like the snowy region up top may represent Scotland in Galar.
None of this is confirmed, but it has players imagining what the region will be like. When Black and White came out, I was so excited to see the Pokémon version of New York, and spent a lot of time wondering which town was what borough. While the game didn’t always trade on the stereotypes of New Yorkers I was expecting, it was still a hoot to see the city where I now live from a different perspective. British and Scottish Pokémon players are now wondering how their own countries will look with the Pokémon treatment, and are using their own cultural stereotypes to riff off of.
Or this tweet, which gives the voiceless characters from the trailer some cheeky dialogue:
If just reading the tweet doesn’t do it for you, here it is read aloud in a Scottish accent.
Why is this shit so hysterical? There’s something about niche jokes that, even if I don’t fully get the context, just tickle me. The idea of Game Freak nailing the culture of the United Kingdom so fully that they based their Pokémarts on Greggs just makes me laugh.
Some players have even envisioned what a battle against the Queen might look like.
It’s unlikely that Sword and Shield will play like this, and we’re still not sure if Galar is based on the UK. I’ll be happy whatever happens, because it’s new Pokémon and I am starved for that. Still, I’m holding out hope that whenever I battle someone, they’ll say, “you wot, mate?”