Treyarch has released a new trailer for the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies DLC 4 map, the final map of the Black Ops 4 Zombies season.
Alongside releasing the trailer, Treyarch have confirmed the release date of the new map: Monday, September 23, 2019.
Every origin has its end. The final chapter of the Black Ops 4 Zombies Aether story arrives 2019.09.23.
The studio has been releasing some teasers throughout the week for the new map, but now has provided the intro cinematic for the upcoming map.
The map is set to launch on a Monday – Sept. 23 – which is also the last day of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Open Beta. There’s also one more operation for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 set to launch in September.
Celeste’s free DLC chapter, the long awaited “Farewell” levels, arrives on Monday, Sept. 9. It’s also a farewell of sorts to the studio name behind the challenging platformer. Creator Matt Thorson and his colleagues have established a studio under a new name, called Extremely OK Games, retiring the Matt Makes Games label that had published Celeste.
“Reconnect with beloved characters for a final goodbye,” Thorson wrote on the new Extremely OK Games website. “There’s several brand new mechanics and items to discover and play with.” Players get to the new content by completing Chapter 8.
Thorson noted that the update for Xbox One may not be released on the same day as the other platforms. “We apologize, but coordinating this patch across all consoles was challenging for our tiny studio,” he said. “If it doesn’t make the 9th, it will release soon after.”
Further, the limited run physical release of the game “will enter production shortly,” with Chapter 9 finished at last. “We know that people have been waiting for that to ship for a long time,” Thorson said.
As for Extremely OK games, the studio’s website says only that it is working on an upcoming “mystery game.” Thorson and three colleagues have set up shop in Vancouver. “On TowerFall, my collaborators took a larger role than I anticipated, and on Celeste, it was obvious that calling ourselves Matt Makes Games had become silly,” he wrote. “Forming EXOK has also conveniently allowed us to restructure things in a more equitable fashion, so that we can all share ownership over our collective efforts.”
Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.
I vividly remember when Final Fantasy VIII came out in February 1999. I coveted it for months but didn’t get it until October for my 11th birthday. It was my first Japanese role-playing game ever. I struggled desperately just to get through its opening moments of tutorials and text walls and Y2K CD-Rom-ass menus. I was waiting for a fight where I had to run around and throw grenades into tanks.Ultimately, I resigned to give up and just watch my older brother play, leaving JRPGs untouched for years thereafter. Revisiting Final Fantasy VIII as an adult, after years of recovering with other role-playing games, has been revitalizing: It’s actually fun this time.
When the remaster was announced, I had to prepare myself to revisit some old trauma. In addition to not being able to get through its opening hours, I accidentally deleted my older brother’s save off the memory card one night after he’d just gotten to the third of four discs. So this game is cursed not just for me but for the whole Tamayo family. He never picked up the game again.
I distinctly remember spending way too long in the first testing sequence where mercenary Squall acquires the Guardian force Ifrit, a fire beast, by successfully battling him alongside his instructor Quistis. I could not figure out how to manage the menus and the rhythm of the battle. In little-kid time, this took me days to figure out. I then moved on to the first actual field mission, where I stopped and left the original for good.
In the time since, I’ve played dozens of other role-playing games, including other games in the Final Fantasy series. I racked up a lot of experience leading up to the moment this morning when I reached the same place I gave up as a kid. I reached the field mission, put my Switch to sleep, and got off at my subway stop. I was able to complete all this in under an hour of grown-man time.
The feeling of returning to this game and actually understanding how to flow through it is incredible. It’s like I’m finally able to get a tiny bit of closure. And honestly, the fast-forward feature is helping a lot. Finally getting what used to be such an impossible game for me and finishing something I started 20 years ago is empowering. Plus, we’ve got cloud saves now, so maybe I’ll pick up a copy for my brother too.
Creature In The Well is a wonderful concept that had its hooks in me from the opening moments. Unfortunately, over time, it starts to revel in its cruel difficulty in ways that dry up a lot of the fun. But there’s still so much to love about the game that even if it tests the limits of my patience, I still can’t let it go.
This was first published on August 28, 2019. We’re bumping it today for the game’s release.
Check out the video to see how the game plays and hear my thoughts. I’ve also included the video transcript below:
Creature in the Well is a captivating blend of a top-down dungeon crawler and… pinball. Creature in the Well reminds me of my favorite moments playing Golf Story, an all-time classic for me.
Creature in the Well’s formula follows in those same “I-can’t-believe-there-aren’t-more-games-like-this” footsteps. It takes a simple but deep mechanic and then throws a million obstacles at me in various conditions. It lets me hone my skills while I wade through a simple narrative that keeps me engaged.
Creature in the Well follows BOT-C, the last of a group of robot engineers. They wake up in the midst of a nasty sandstorm and take it upon themselves to restore power to a giant facility to provide shelter to a nearby town. The facility has been completely taken over by a huge creature who dwells in the shadows and has disabled power in the entire place.
This creature has made that facility its home and has booby-trapped rooms in an attempt to thwart any intruders. It’s up to you to restore power to these rooms, one by one, by batting around electrical balls inside to ricochet them off of various surfaces: walls, bumpers, and turrets.
You collect a special currency along the way that lets you open even more doors. This series of tasks sets up a great feedback loop that includes one of my favorite animations in a game in recent memory. It’s hypnotizing to see the final core of a room get exposed and watch the balls get pulled into its gravitational pull as it bounces until it has completely transferred over its charge.
As you move from room to room, you clear reflex-based puzzles that require you to master your three main skills: a dash, a charge-up ability, and your handy swing. A helpful dash lets you get out of the range of mines that can be tripped by the same balls that you’re smacking around the room. Holding down the dash button also allows you to sprint in case you need to book it to safety.
The charge ability lets you tee up balls to send in any direction you please. It can also be used to “catch” balls so they don’t run the risk of tripping mines or hitting bumpers that will reset puzzles.
The swing move is arguably the most important ability in the game. At times it can be used as a tee’d up precision shot, or as a defensive maneuver to beat back any incoming fire.
Picking up different charge items make a huge difference. Certain charge items allow you to recover health from balls that transform into harmful projectiles. Others can give you a helpful visual line that aids in accuracy.
Certain strike tools like the focus hammer slow down time just a hair so that you can time return serves with precision.
So far, each of the dungeons I’ve played feels like a masterfully crafted Swiss watch, with rooms full of enemy projectiles that float or zoom towards you, requiring an Ikaruga-style awareness as you juggle dodging incoming fire and charge up shots in time.
Sometimes it feels like a mixture of pinball, baseball, racketball and hockey as you return volleys and dash to catch incoming shots like a goalie.
If you rack up enough energy, you can spend it on unlocking doors that reveal progressively trickier designs. Most rooms can just be reset or farmed for a ton of points. As a result, I never felt like I was stuck. If a challenge got to just be too much for me, I would just move on.
Some rooms, which you’ll eventually learn to spot, will have extremely difficult challenges that, once completed, will unlock “secret paths.” In these secret paths lie new weapons or even robot cores which let you upgrade how many balls you can charge up before a swing.
But here’s where the game has been slowly breaking my heart, and what once was shiny has begun to rust a bit.
The game is brutally difficult.
Don’t get me wrong. I adore a good challenge. I’ve enjoyed games like Celeste or Sekiro that punish you for not hitting your mark. But Creature in the Well fights you at every turn. The challenges in this game are not only difficult, their punishment for failure can be a bit too harsh at times— demoralizing even.
Some rooms will have targets that are on timers that are just a hair too short and require a little too much luck to clear.
Floating projectiles linger forever, hunting you down like annoying mosquitos. They even follow you into other rooms where, annoyingly, you have to then go to another area and return to make them disappear, or just try to make your way back to a ball and fumble to bat it at them.
Some boss encounters made me hold down my charge and dig my heels into the floor in the hopes of a small window for me to just catch my breath. Other fights have two mines that can be simultaneously tripped either by the creature’s doing or by my own failure to catch a ball just out of reach.
Sometimes, I died because of my own lack of skill, as a result of something I should’ve avoided. Other times, my ability to survive was just a matter of luck. Dying brings you outside of the entire facility and forces you to trek your way back to your last location.
Boss encounters thankfully have a little portal that let you jump right back into the action, but for everything else, you need to zoom through each room where each door is already unlocked. It’s tedious.
There’s a fine line between difficulty and torture, and the longer it goes on, the more this game seems to relish in the latter. Failure in a game usually makes me want to dust myself off and square up again. In Creature in the Well, I check my watch and wonder “what’s the point?”
For all of the moments of pure adrenaline pumping through my veins as I finished dunking on a boss, there are hundreds more examples of me shaking my head at the screen and just laughing in complete disbelief.
It’s the same way I’d look at a cat who just scratched me when I tried to pet them.
In this case, after pouring hours into it, the suffering just reminds me that I have plenty of other games I could play that don’t make me feel like I’m trying to thread a needle in the passenger seat of a rally car. But being the cynical, persistent fool that I am, I’m probably going to stick with it.
Even if it means me battered and bruised by the time I reach the end credits. There’s still so much to love about Creature in the Well, from the art style, the music, and even that sweet sweet level clear animation.
But for a lot of others out there, I can see the punishing difficulty being a deal-breaker. So, consider this a warning.
Creature in the Well comes to Xbox One, Switch, and Steam on September 6.
Microsoft has recently been striving for more accessibility in games, releasing the Xbox Adaptive Controller last year to give people with disabilities a viable way to play both PC and Xbox games. Gears 5 is the company’s biggest game of the year, and marks the first in-house production to really focus on being as approachable and accessible as possible.
The Coalition’s hard work has certainly paid off. Can I Play That, a site dedicated to reviewing video game accessibility options, has awarded Gears 5 a perfect score for including comprehensive options for deaf players and those that are hard of hearing. “Readers, you are about to see something I don’t think we’ve ever been able to do before in all of our years of Deaf/hoh accessibility reviews,” Courtney Craven’s review says. “What follows isn’t so much a review as it’s a series of ‘Look at all the things they got so very right.’ Because what they got right is everything. There’s not a single thing I can say needs improving in terms of Gears 5’s Deaf/hoh accessibility.”
The praise starts with how Gears 5 presents all of these options, with the first screen in the game letting you toggle subtitles and select text size before any gameplay or cutscenes begin. The subtitles themselves are lauded for being incredibly information-inclusive and unique compared to what you typically see in games. Subtitles not only relay spoken dialogue, but also tell you if a character is speaking off-camera (like over a radio), spell out various sound effects, and indicate what the speaker sounds like, including the non-speaking noises they make.
The most eye-opening aspect of Gears 5’s subtitles, however, is the fact that they let you know when the combat music stops. This is something most of us take for granted, with the soothing silence indicating that all of the enemies in a combat encounter are dead. Can I Play That says this is the first time a video game has indicated this to Deaf/hoh players.
There are additional accessibility options that extend to visuals and gameplay, too. There’s a damage indicator that makes it clear where you’re taking damage from, and readable bullet tracers let you know who’s shooting at you. All of the buttons can be remapped, which is particularly useful for those using non-standard controllers, and the chat function in online multiplayer has both text to speech and speech to text options. “Gears 5 is essentially a masterclass in Deaf/hoh accessibility,” Can I Play That’s review concludes. “Everything we’ve been harping about games lacking and therefore made more difficult for Deaf/hoh players to play has been implemented and in the six years I’ve been doing these reviews, damn it feels good to feel like, hey, people have been listening.”
Gears 5 has also received praise from the LGBTQ+ community for its inclusiveness. There are 19 pride banners you can choose to equip in multiplayer. When you’ve earned a commendation, your banner will be displayed behind your character at the end of the match, meaning you can share your love of robotics and Sea of Thieves, or proudly state your identity with pride flags including bisexual, polysexual, non-binary, and many more. Twitter user @ashiinu first pointed out the colourful new additions.
Gears 5is set to officially release on Sept. 10, but owners of the Ultimate Edition or players who have Xbox Live Game Pass Ultimate were supposed to get access to the game early on Thursday night. At least that was the idea. Instead, Gears 5’s soft-launch didn’t go all that smoothly, and server issues kept many players offline for most of the night.
The early access launch of the game in the United States began at 9 p.m. for each time zone on Thursday, Sept. 5. This staggered release, which should have given players access to the game at various different times throughout the day, should have helped servers keep up, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. When the game did go live, players were unable to find matches for multiplayer modes, join lobbies with friends or in some cases, even play the game’s campaign.
Shortly after the launch, developer The Coalition tweeted that it was aware some players were having issues and that it was working on a fix. Throughout the night, the developer provided several more updates to fans, and to the game. The in-game updates seemed to help correct many of the issues players were experiencing.
The Coalition posted its final launch night update at 3:25 a.m. ET and let players know that the game’s latest patch seemed to have resulted in a “dramatic improvement to service stability,” and that the team would be, “monitoring the impact of this change to determine if additional updates are needed.”
Since this last update, it appears that more players have been able to get online, and that servers are more stable. Polygon staff were able to regularly join multiplayer games as of this morning. We’ve reached out to The Coalition for comment.
The overall time that players were having trouble accessing the game may have been short, but there were some side-effects. Players who picked up Game Pass Ultimate or bought the Ultimate Edition of the game specifically to get it early didn’t get quite as much time as they had been promised.
More importantly, the Ultimate Edition of the game also came with certain boosts that gave players experience bonuses for a limited time. These bonuses started for players the moment they logged in, so if they couldn’t find matches to play in that time is simply gone. Additional boosts can be purchased from the Gears 5 in-game store for Iron, the game’s real-money currency, so the bonus that players have lost in the time they couldn’t play does have value.
While things seem more stable for the moment, the game’s wider launch on Sept. 10 is sure to be significantly bigger than its Ultimate Edition and Game Pass Ultimate crowd. But hopefully these brief issues surrounding the early launch will help make things a little smoother.
Move over, Pennywise. Wrinkles is the real deal. A new documentary promises to uncover the secret behind the terrifying clown and viral sensation.
For those who don’t remember, the creepy clown rose to internet fame about five years ago, after a video of a sinister figure wearing a clown mask emerging from underneath a child’s bed was posted on YouTube. The description of the video revealed that the clown’s name was Wrinkles, he lived in southwest Florida, and he’s regularly hired by children’s parents to scare them for misbehaving.
The video took off. Wrinkles became an internet mythos, birthing a whole genre of YouTube videos. Kids tried to call the number. Users uploaded videos of Wrinkles spotted “in the wild.” Parents hired him to terrorize their children. The trailer for the upcoming documentary reveals the full frenzied zeitgeist. The documentary sheds some light on the craze, with access from the man behind the mask himself.
Wrinkles the Clown (the documentary, not the figure) comes out on Oct. 4.
This week saw the long-awaited arrival of SNES games on Switch. Those with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription can now play 20 classic SNES game on Nintendo’s hybrid console, with more on the way in the future; however, it seems these new additions won’t be coming on a monthly basis as we’ve grown to expect.
Since the Nintendo Switch Online service launched last September, Nintendo has added a handful of new NES titles to the console each month; going forward, however, it appears classic games will come more sporadically. In a statement to Business Insider, a Nintendo representative said, “More NES games will be added in the future, but those releases will not adhere to a regular schedule.”
The same will hold true for SNES titles. “More Super NES games will be added after launch, but those releases will not adhere to a regular schedule,” the Nintendo representative said.
As previously mentioned, the NES and SNES libraries are available exclusively to Nintendo Switch Online members. Individual subscriptions are available for US $4 / £3.49 / AU $6 for one month, US $8 / £7 / AU $12 for three months, and US $20 / £18 / AU $30 for one year; Nintendo also offers an annual Family Membership that costs US $35 / £31.49 / AU $55 and covers up to eight Nintendo Accounts across multiple systems.
While The Binding of Isaac was a top-down roguelike with twin-stick shooting and pixel art, The Legend of Bum-Bo adopts turn-based combat with a match-four-style puzzle system that’s set in a grubby papercraft world. You play as the titular Bum-Bo–who was previously a passive item in The Binding of Isaac–and must traverse through procedurally generated dungeons, lining up glyphs from a bag of trash to attack, defend, and cast various spells. You can check out the trailer for yourself below.
McMillan first announced the “turn-based puzzle RPG type thingy” back in 2016. It was originally scheduled to arrive in 2017 but has suffered through multiple delays since. Now it looks set to arrive on November 12 for PC and Mac, with iOS and Nintendo Switch versions due some time later.