Scream’s Ghostface is Dead By Daylight’s next killer

Dead By Daylight, the killer-versus-survivors multiplayer game, has always had an obsession with horror movies. Now the game’s adding a horror movie killer who can match that obsession: Scream’s Ghostface. The announcement of the new character came in the form of a YouTube trailer released on Wednesday morning.

The trailer doesn’t show off much about Ghostface or which abilities he’ll have in game, but it does have some of the horror-comedy tone of the Scream movies — particularly the mundane vibe of the killer shopping at a hardware store. The film franchise first made a name for itself by being both an excellent and masterfully made slasher, as well as a meta comedy that knew every trope of slasher movies like Halloween and how to exploit them.

Far from the dumb teens of Friday the 13th, Scream’s main characters have seen every horror movie on the shelf at Blockbuster and they love to talk about them. But Ghostface has seen those movies too, probably more times than anyone, and that meta-horror-movie knowledge is sure to play into his Dead By Daylight abilities somehow. It’s not clear if Dead By Daylight will be adding a survivor and a map as part of the Ghostface DLC pack or if it will just be the killer himself.

Since 2016, developer Behaviour Interactive has been slowly adding some of the most iconic movie killers of all time to the game. The first DLC pack to add a recognizable character brought Halloween’s Michael Myers to the game, which has since added characters like Leatherface, Freddy Krueger, and Jigsaw’s protege Amanda Young.

Ghostface will be added to the game as part of its Year 4 DLC though we don’t know any more details than that yet. More information about the rest of the DLC, and what Ghostface might be like in-game, are likely to be revealed during Dead By Daylight’s Year 3 Anniversary Livestream on Friday, May 31.

Source: Polygon.com

Marvel’s Avengers Game: E3 2019 Reveal Set For Square Enix Press Conference

More details are coming soon regarding the new Avengers game from Square Enix, formerly known as The Avengers Project. Marvel’s Avengers, as it’s now apparently known, will be revealed in less than two weeks’ time, as part of Square Enix’s E3 2019 press conference on June 10 at 6 PM PT.

The tweet announcing the date indicates that the game may simply be called “Marvel’s Avengers.” Beyond that, it doesn’t share any details about the game involves or what we’ll be seeing–it only states this will be the “worldwide reveal,” which hopefully means we’ll get some idea for what kind of game this is. Aside from the studios working on it, Square Enix has remained extremely tight-lipped. This is a separate game from the previously announced Iron Man VR title for PS4, though Iron Man will presumably be a part of this, too, given his stature and an earlier tease (more on that below).

Square Enix E3 2019 Press Conference Start Time

  • 6 PM PT (June 10)
  • 9 PM ET (June 10)
  • 2 AM BST (June 11)
  • 11 AM AET (June 11)

The Avengers Project was initially announced in January 2017, with Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics and Deus Ex studio Eidos Montreal attached to it. Although the announcement provided very little in detail–something that has remained unchanged thus far–it did lay some of the foundations for its narrative.

In the original teaser, a voice narrated, “They say the time of heroes is over. That if you’re ‘different,’ you’re dangerous. But I know the truth. The world will always need heroes. We just need to reassemble.”

Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s shield, and Iron Man’s hand were shown, but they had clearly been through many battles and looked damaged. The tagline “reassemble” suggests the Avengers may have gone their separate ways, for some reason, and in the game will be brought back together to save the planet.

“The Avengers project is being designed for gamers worldwide and will be packed with all the characters, environments, and iconic moments that have thrilled longtime fans of the franchise,” read a press release from Square Enix. “Featuring a completely original story, it will introduce a universe gamers can play in for years to come.”

In January 2018, a full year after it was first announced, Crystal Dynamics provided an update on development, after it was noticed that the team was staffing up with ex-Naughty Dog and Visceral Games developers.

“We’re committed to delivering an incredible, completely original Avengers experience to our gamers, and that means we are always looking to add amazing developers to our existing best in class studio talent,” Crystal Dynamics co-head Scot Amos said.

In August 2018, it was confirmed that a new Crystal Dynamics studio situated in Bellevue, Washington was focusing on technology development and work on The Avengers Project.

Source: GameSpot.com

PS4 Pro and Days Gone get price drops during Sony’s Days of Play sale

PlayStation may be skipping this year’s E3, but that won’t stop it from hosting its annual sale. Days of Play kicks off on June 7 and runs through 17, and will include deals at the online PlayStation Store and at retailers around the country. Timed offers include a limited edition Steel Black PlayStation 4, discounts on the 4K-ready PS4 Pro, and deals on certain games including Days Gone and Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Headlining the promotion is a 1 TB Days of Play limited edition PS4 at $299.99. According to a press release, the console has been produced in Steel Black and includes an embossed design on top with a silver-colored inlay. The console comes complete with a matching DualShock 4 controller. The Jet Black 1 TB PS4 Pro will also be on sale at $349.99, down from $399.99.

PlayStation VR bundles are also included in the promotion, with multiple versions available at $249.99 to $329.99.

For games, the marquee titles on offer include Days Gone, God of War (2018), Marvel’s Spider-Man, and MLB The Show 19. Prices on those games start at $19.99

The PlayStation Hits category will also be on sale. That will include titles such as Bloodborne, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, Street Fighter 5, Doom (2016), and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Definitive Experience (which includes Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeros, as well as Metal Gear Online and all of its downloadable content) starting at $9.99.

Source: Polygon.com

Catfish Fetishists: The Men Who Get Off on Getting Scammed Online

Illustration: Jim Cooke (Gizmodo)

It’s Thursday night and Eddie is looking for action. He scrolls through Twitter hoping to find the woman of his dreams. Finally, he finds her, or someone who looks a lot like her: A woman going by the name “Katfish Princess” who describes herself as “hot, greedy and completely fake.”

“Destroy your life for these huge fake tits!” she tweets. And then he sends her cash.

Eddie is one of a growing number of men involved in catfishism, a fetish centered around getting scammed on the internet. These men willingly hand over their money (as much as hundreds of dollars at a time) to faux con artists who present themselves as beautiful women on social media, but say upfront their pictures are fake. In reality, they could be anyone—and that’s part of the appeal.

“It’s the whole not knowing that’s hot,” Eddie, which is not his real name, told me. “I love the humiliation.”

And it’s never been easier to get humiliated online. These days, shame junkies can open their wallets to accounts with names like “Catfish Bimbo,” “Goddess Barbie,” and “Queen Katfish.” A typical post from one reads: “This fake catfish is going to rinse and scam you into bankruptcy.” Those looking for a more specialized experience can send money to catfish impersonating celebrities, anime and video game characters, and even Dory, the tropical fish from Finding Nemo with short-term memory loss.

Screenshot: Twitter

For most people trying to find romance on the internet, getting catfished is just another hazard of modern dating. This term for creating a fake identity to seduce someone online was popularized by the 2010 film Catfish, later adapted into a TV series. The show has found no shortage of subjects: more than 100 episodes have aired since 2012.

Catfish fetishism is a more recent development. I spoke with eight catfish and catfish admirers for this story, almost all of whom declined to provide their real names. (They will be referred to using pseudonyms, and screenshots of catfish accounts have had women’s faces and identifying information removed.) Of them, none recalled hearing of catfishism before December of last year. Most only learned of it in recent weeks, but the community, which primarily operates on Twitter, is growing fast.

Martin, a self-described “loser virgin,” estimated that there are currently hundreds of catfish fetish accounts serving many more clients. He said he sometimes spends hundreds of dollars a week on catfish, and thinks the fact that these women “might be an old man or whatever” makes it even kinkier for some.

Eddie agreed. He said he had been catfished “quite a few times” by men pretending to be women and, eventually, “knowing someone was laughing at you and scamming you became a huge turn on.”

“I always felt that there should be more men acting like hot babes online,” Martin told me. “The reason is because like everywhere there is a shortage of hot babes. And since it’s online anyway, who cares if it’s real?”

Screenshot: Twitter

The desire to spend real money to get fake scammed is less surprising if you’re familiar with a fetish lifestyle called “findom,” short for “financial domination.” Traditionally, a findom “sub” or “paypig” (who are mostly men) develops a relationship with a “dom” or “domme” (who are mostly women) who controls some aspect of their financial life as a form of humiliating erotic play. For a sub, this can be as simple as a one-time cash payment or as extreme as handing over your bank account password.

These relationships often include in-person “rinse” sessions, where dommes extract cash from subs while commanding them to perform a variety of sexual or demeaning acts. The more intense ones have names like “forced bi,” “scatplay,” and “forced sissification,” and are pretty much exactly what they sound like.

As findom has moved online, more casual relationships between dommes and subs have flourished. On Twitter, a sub’s interactions with a domme might be limited to sending her an occasional cash gift, known as a “tribute,” in hopes of receiving an insulting shout-out. “This pathetic loser been begging for my tits all morning,” reads one such message. “So I told him to tribute $400 and the stupid bitch did.”

Sara Bakeman, who says she started working as a domme a decade ago before joining Twitter last year, explained the different prices she charges for real-life and virtual rinse sessions.

“In-person is always more, so, for instance, a sub who just wants a kick in the balls and a cash meet is about $500 on the low end and about $1,000 on the higher end,” Bakeman told me. “On Twitter, it ranges from $30 to $1,000+. Just depends really. You feel out your subs.”

Screenshot: Twitter

But while the internet has made it easier for subs to find dommes and dommes to find subs, it has also increased the number of fakes and scammers on both sides. Last year, domme Abbie Nooday wrote guides to help both parties avoid getting swindled. She also spoke with Mel Magazine, sharing her personal experiences with fake dommes who stole her pictures and tweets.

“This isn’t a job where you can just go online, post a stolen photo, yell at people to give you money and then block them or not give them what you promised,” Nooday told the magazine.

She now operates two catfish domme accounts, and makes a distinction between them and the fakes she has warned about.

“Fake dommes are an actual problem but catfish dommes is becoming its own thing as its own fetish,” Nooday told me. “We’re only ‘scamming’ people that legitimately want to be scammed.”

While the thrill of being scammed is certainly part of it, some subs see the rise of catfish dommes as a function of supply and demand as well. There are only so many people working as real dommes, which limits the attention any one of them can offer clients. With catfish dommes, the potential labor pool is nearly endless—and those in it can assume any identity you desire.

“The fake catfish dommes are just as pretty, often prettier, offer more, are often men so they know what men want, yet they have rock bottom prices,” said Martin. “But online they can be as real as real dommes—sometimes better.”

And if your kink is being degraded by beautiful women, who could be more beautiful or degrading than a catfish?

Screenshot: Twitter

Catfish domme Anime Princess said she decided to branch out from regular findom last week “since I loved anime.” For her, the animated character offers greater flexibility when it comes to attending to clients’ needs.

“I change my ‘personality’ depending on how my subs want me to act,” she told me. “I think all the work consists [of] creating bonds with people who have this fetish and trying to fulfill it as best as you can.”

Anime Princess believes most of the 100 or so people operating catfish findom accounts are women, but there are some men, too. In addition to cartoon princesses, subs can now find dommes posing as Kylie Jenner, Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn, “Anime Britney Spears,” and, yes, Dory.

Findom Dory told me she’s a regular domme who created the account as a parody of catfish. But even Dory has gotten messages from “timewasters,” what people in findom call subs who seek attention without actually sending cash. This raises of the question of how one satirizes a fetish community where women pretend to be scammers pretending to be women (or, in this case, an animated fish).

“The internet is a weird place,” the cartoon fish dominatrix told me. “Is Dory getting a tribute?” she added.

Screenshot: Twitter

The established dommes I talked to emphasized the professionalism of their work, which included feeling out a sub’s financial situation, kinks, and limits before engaging in rinse sessions. But one sub told me thinks that the supposedly “harmless fetish” is an addiction for the majority of clients, whether they’re married men or “socially awkward, lonely virgins.”

“I think that most dommes are trying to [be] responsible, caring, and actually talk to their subs,” said Peter, “but honestly, I think that too many [subs] aren’t looking for that and they just want to have kinky fun without thinking about it too much.”

This can have real financial consequences. Eddie told me that findom has put him almost $9,000 in debt. Asked if it was worth it, he said, “Honestly, no.”

“It’s just too easy, in a way,” said Peter. “Whenever you feel bad or lonely or you want to have ‘fun’ you just open Twitter and Discord and get into it.”

Screenshot: Twitter

According to Abbie Nooday, the real-life domme who now operates catfish accounts, the traditional domme community is “very split” on the rise of catfishism.

“[I have seen] a couple of catfishes try to catfish by impersonating actual dommes which is probably furthering the hate for it,” said Nooday. “However, that is considered a huge faux pas and I and the dommes I follow stick more to impersonating cartoon characters or someone like Morticia Addams.” She said she also knows of at least one dominatrix who impersonated herself.

Anime Princess seemed similarly untroubled by the use of other women’s photos. “Most of the girls used for catfish accounts are famous/porn stars, and their pictures are used a lot for catfishing, so I don’t think they care about it,” she said.

Without weighing in on the impersonation issue, Sara Bakeman—the experienced domme who shared her session prices—offered a harsher assessment of catfish findom in general, calling it “a toxic trend” that’s “fuckin’ S.T.U.P.I.D!”

“Men whined and bitched when they got played, they even made a freaking show about it! 😂😂 Now this is what they crave!? Bullshit!” said Bakeman. “You want to be taken for what you have and support a fictitious ‘figure’ then you might as well send to a random person because you’re supporting someone who disrespects what hard work I put into this EVERYDAY, what hard work we ALL put in everyday!”

Bakeman has also watched the rise of fake dommes depress prices in real-time, saying, “It’s definitely being felt by us all.” She believes catfish fetishists are mostly younger, inexperienced men who just “want a temporary drain.”

Screenshot: Twitter

Though it’s rarely considered a legacy industry, technology has disrupted sex work has just like any other profession. On social media, the enduring control that often characterized relationships between dominatrixes and their paypigs is being replaced by something closer to gig work. Now, with catfish fetishism, getting dominated by your dream girl can be as easy as ordering an Amazon gift card (a popular form of payment to dommes).

While still relatively small compared to older fetish communities, catfishism seems poised to take off. One woman said she received at least $900 in her first week as catfish and two men told me they exclusively patronize catfish for financial domination now. Some even see impersonator accounts as a transitional phase before more advanced forms of catfishing become possible.

“With face-changing technology improved like you have with Snapchat, I can easily see that in the future we will have webcam girls that are secretly boys but use an app,” said Martin.

The internet has forced everyone to innovate. For some, that means fetishizing the rampant fakery of the internet itself.

“Men are always looking for the better, most unique thing to get off too,” a catfish posing as singer Ariana Grande told me. “Let’s be honest.”

Source: Kotaku.com

Fortnite’s next patch adds the Burst SMG

Fortnite’s latest content update is here and it’s bringing along a new gun and vaulting an old favorite.

The Burst SMG is season 9’s newest weapon. Much like the other SMGs in Fortnite, the Burst will use light ammo and deal moderate damage to targets. The gun fires in four round bursts and comes in Common, Uncommon, and Rare varieties. It can be found on the floor, in chests, or in vending machines.

The Burst is replacing the Silenced SMG, which is also being vaulted in this patch. The Burst is fairly accurate, at least at close ranges, but it won’t be a capable replacement for Assault Rifles like the Silenced SMG was. By adding the Burst SMG and taking away the Silenced, Epic should be able to more easily differentiate the SMG and Assault Rifle weapon types, which have blurred together over the last several seasons.

For a look at all the changes coming with this content update for Fortnite patch v9.10 you can look at the full patch notes below.


Weapons and Items

Burst SMG

  • Available in Common, Uncommon and Rare variants.
  • Fires a quick 4 round burst.
  • Deals 23, 24, 25 damage.
  • 1.75x headshot multiplier.
  • 24 round magazine.
  • Can be found from Floor Loot, Chests, and Vending Machines.
  • Uses Light Ammo.

Vaulted

  • Suppressed Submachine Gun
  • Common, Uncommon, Rare

Limited Time Mode Rotation

SOLID GOLD DUOS

Fight to the finish using Legendary weapons!

UNVAULTED SQUADS

Battle Royale gameplay with a limited set of weapons made up entirely of items that are vaulted in the standard modes.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS SQUADS

Close quarters combat with Shotguns & Jetpacks!


Team Rumble

  • Now spawning 4 hot spots each match, to ensure that there is at least one on each side more often. This is a temporary fix until we can set up functionality to force the same number on each side in big team modes.

Source: Polygon.com

Loot Box Bill “Riddled With Inaccuracies,” Says ESA

A bill that would ban loot boxes has been officially introduced before the United States Senate. Now industry lobbying group the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has responded, criticizing the bill for what it calls “inaccuracies” and a misunderstanding of how video games actually work.

“This legislation is flawed and riddled with inaccuracies,” ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis said in a statement (via USGamer). “It does not reflect how video games work nor how our industry strives to deliver innovative and compelling entertainment experiences to our audiences. The impact of this bill would be far-reaching and ultimately prove harmful to the player experience, not to mention the more than 220,000 Americans employed by the video game industry. We encourage the bill’s co-sponsors to work with us to raise awareness about the tools and information in place that keep the control of video game play and in-game spending in parents’ hands rather than in the government’s.”

The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act, introduced by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO), aims to regulate what it characterizes as predatory and casino-like mechanisms in video games, particularly ones aimed at minors. Specifically it would bar the sale of any randomized unlock, with the exception of difficulty modes, cosmetic items, and expansions. It also targets pay-to-win content, defined as anything that gives a competitive advantage.

The PCAGA defines “minor-oriented video game” very broadly, in such a way that it could impact lots of games that aren’t necessarily meant for children. It also sidesteps the ESRB’s own age classifications for these criteria.

Loot boxes have come under fire recently, following a controversy over their use in games like Star Wars Battlefront 2 and concern over their similarity to gambling. Some countries, like New Zealand and France, have already ruled that the practice does not constitute gambling. Belgium and the Netherlands reached the opposite conclusion, forcing Rocket League developer Psyonix to disable its loot box mechanic in the countries. Nintendo will be pulling a few of its own mobile games from Belgium altogether.

Source: GameSpot.com

Hundreds Of PS4 Games Going Cheap In New PlayStation Store Sale (EU)

After launching a double discount sale last week in the US, Sony has now started a similar campaign in Europe and Australia. The promotion discounts hundreds of PS4 games by up to 30% for everyone, or up to 60% if you’re a PS Plus member.

Titles on offer include Assassin’s Creed Origins, which is down to £17 for PS Plus members, and Far Cry 5 for £20. If you’re after something a little cheaper, Battlefield 1 is £5.39, while Fallout 4 is just £6.

Hitman 2 is one of the newer games to be discounted, with its gold edition slashed from £80 to £32 for PS Plus subscribers. There’s plenty more on offer, too, and you can browse the full offering of deals at the PlayStation Store.

Those who pay for Sony’s premium service can still grab May’s free PS Plus games. The two games available this month are indie darling What Remains of Edith Finch and frenzied co-op game Overcooked.

Source: GameSpot.com

Dauntless Review – Whole New World

Dauntless brims with energy. It’s in everything from the exuberant use of color to the larger-than-life Behemoths with cheeky nods to the developer’s Canadian roots. Monster Hunter: World’s high-realism design almost feels grimdark in comparison to the Shattered Isles’ Crayola color scheme of glamors and on-the-nose armor designs. The game has chutzpah, but it lacks that little bit more to keep you properly engaged in its monster hunting fracas.

At first glance, Dauntless looks and appears to play like a beginner-friendly version of Capcom’s monster-slaying franchise. After a robust character creator (which features some nice non-gender conforming options), you’re thrust into a dangerous world via an unceremonious plane crash. The premise behind your existence here is a simple one which isn’t really brought up ever again: you need to kill things that are making the place dangerous, and killing these enormous things sometimes involves calling upon your mates for help. Hunt, slay, repeat. Hunting the giant monsters that stalk the Shattered Isles, slaying them, and repeating it until you’ve gathered enough parts to make a cape out of tailfeathers is something that you repeat ad infinitum.

The game’s Behemoths are intelligent, deadly, and initially occupy a strange space between fantastical and woodland creatures. You find yourself taking up arms against killer beavers, oversized owls, and angry turtles. The beaver feels like a tongue-in-cheek nod to the developer’s Canadian origins, and because the early reference points are mostly animals that we’re familiar with (as opposed to more esoteric dinosaur-dragon hybrids), it means that there’s a level of innate predictability in how some of these creatures fight. The Gnasher, our beaver-like friend, will slap you around with its oversized tail. The Shrike, a gigantic killer owl, flies around and uses its wings to create tornadoes. The Embermane, an analog for a lion, prances and pounces like the best of them in the Serengeti. The fact that these initial monsters have physiques and species archetypes that occur naturally in our world makes them less, well, daunting. Behemoth designs become more intricate once you’ve left the relative safety of the first few locations and have to contend with insects shooting deadly lasers at you, but by and large, you’re fighting creatures that you can intuit a solution for.

This means that the beasts can lack the same gut-punch effect upon first sight that you may be used to from facing down prehistoric nightmares in other games, exacerbated by the cartoony art direction and the game’s straightforward approach to hunting. Dauntless gives you access to an assortment of weapons which all vastly affect the hunting experience. From dual-wielding guns to teleporting with chain blades, there’s a good variety that caters to different styles. Bladed weapons are better for slicing off monster parts, while others crush skulls more effectively. No matter what you pick, you’re going to be able to bring something valuable to a group situation.

That being said, once you figure out the basics of knocking bits off Behemoths using a mixture of heavy attacks, light attacks, and special skills, that’s really all you’ve got to worry about in the heat of the moment. The only concern in any hunt is the slavering monster trying to eat you up–no need to worry about finding respite, concocting traps, or anything related to the idea of tracking your prey. Dauntless isn’t drinking from the well of realism by any means, but the lack of these touches ultimately make it hard to stay engaged in the moment. This isn’t to say that the fights themselves lack the difficulty required to get your heart rate up; a total wipe becomes more common as you start throwing yourself against bigger and badder critters. That being said, the lack of verticality and overall variety in terrain means that there’s simply not a lot to parse.

This same feeling of just falling a little short is also present when it comes to the fifteen or so hours of the core story. Monster Hunter: World worked off an involved, overarching single-player narrative to guide you from each unique in-game location to another in your quest to push a dying, continent-sized lizard out to sea. Conversely, Dauntless gives you an almost-administrative motivation for your actions. You need to clean things in the overworld because, well, it keeps people safe. Also, hope you’ve got time to gather fifteen stalks of a plant in-between trying to knock the skull off a giant monster, because a quest-giver back home is scientifically curious.

There’s not much of an attempt to get you particularly invested in the main campaign, which means that if you’re someone who prefers taking down ice-spewing owlbears solo, your only true motivation is going to be the satisfaction of throwing yourself at said ice-spewing owlbear. If you’re playing alone, you can end up feeling isolated. This is the most noticeable in the game’s hub world, Ramsgate. Even when the servers are bustling (we’re talking matchmaking queues that are 100,000 players deep), there’s a distinct lack of reflection of that in Ramsgate. The place feels empty, with perhaps only a handful of people standing around.

The NPCs feel like a lost opportunity in the same vein. While you will be undoubtedly happy that you can pet the dog (and hopefully, the rams), and that the local blacksmith is serving high-fashion lumberjack looks for days, the aesthetic appeal is where it ends. There’s no feeling of life to Ramsgate. No roaming vendors, no murmuring chit-chat when things get busy. There are swaths of bare corridors and paths for you to sprint down, but by and large, the town exists for you to pick up collectibles and quests. Everyone that you can talk to looks like they’re hiding a cool backstory, but you never get to experience it.

No Caption Provided
Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9Gallery image 10

The multiplayer side of things is where Dauntless really shines, and the reality is that the title feels optimized for it. Cross-platform compatibility has been available since launch day, which means that regardless of whether you’re slaying Behemoths on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One, your multiplayer pool will encompass all three. This is advantageous because matchmaking is, in practice, refreshingly seamless. No need to fiddle with a menu or five, and it’s nice that each platform’s native friends lists are imported into the client. Matchmaking usually takes a matter of seconds, which makes Dauntless feel very plug-and-play in the best way.

The game is not without its quirks, however–opening up a menu as you’re finishing a hunt might trap you in there, unable to exit out. Going into a hunt with a group of friends and becoming stuck on the loading screen until you relog will kick you from the party and the endeavor. You could also fall into part of the landscape at Ramsgate and be unable to extricate yourself without restarting the client. Something as simple as ensuring that the hotkey to interact with things works each and every time is not a foolproof feature yet, which can lead to repeat frustrations at inopportune times.

Dauntless is also a free to play game. It’s impressive in terms of what it offers in terms of content, accessibility, and the fact that you aren’t constantly bludgeoned over the head with the need to spend any real money on anything. There are dyes, cute emotes and other cosmetic improvements which are part and parcel of F2P, and also a “Hunt Pass” which rewards players for completing in-game objectives. There isn’t the ability to purchase your way to a sure victory against the Behemoths and the relatively unobtrusive presence of the F2P elements like the various in-game shops means that you can spend absolutely nothing and not feel like you’re missing out at all unless you’re a fiend for glamoring your gear.

Overall, Dauntless is clearly an experience that has been optimized to deliver the most stress-free multiplayer session possible. From the seamless crossplay to the way that anyone can hop into a game and confidently take up arms against formidable foes, it’s refreshingly accessible and looks great to boot. While it can feel a little empty, and there are bugs that mar the experience here and there, its fresh look and lively spark are more than enticing enough to warrant a spin.

Source: GameSpot.com

Dauntless Review – A Whole New World

Dauntless brims with energy. It’s in everything from the exuberant use of color to the larger-than-life Behemoths with cheeky nods to the developer’s Canadian roots. Monster Hunter: World’s high-realism design almost feels grimdark in comparison to the Shattered Isles’ Crayola color scheme of glamors and on-the-nose armor designs. The game has chutzpah, but it lacks that little bit more to keep you properly engaged in its monster hunting fracas.

At first glance, Dauntless looks and appears to play like a beginner-friendly version of Capcom’s monster-slaying franchise. After a robust character creator (which features some nice non-gender conforming options), you’re thrust into a dangerous world via an unceremonious plane crash. The premise behind your existence here is a simple one which isn’t really brought up ever again: you need to kill things that are making the place dangerous, and killing these enormous things sometimes involves calling upon your mates for help. Hunt, slay, repeat. Hunting the giant monsters that stalk the Shattered Isles, slaying them, and repeating it until you’ve gathered enough parts to make a cape out of tailfeathers is something that you repeat ad infinitum.

The game’s Behemoths are intelligent, deadly, and initially occupy a strange space between fantastical and woodland creatures. You find yourself taking up arms against killer beavers, oversized owls, and angry turtles. The beaver feels like a tongue-in-cheek nod to the developer’s Canadian origins, and because the early reference points are mostly animals that we’re familiar with (as opposed to more esoteric dinosaur-dragon hybrids), it means that there’s a level of innate predictability in how some of these creatures fight. The Gnasher, our beaver-like friend, will slap you around with its oversized tail. The Shrike, a gigantic killer owl, flies around and uses its wings to create tornadoes. The Embermane, an analog for a lion, prances and pounces like the best of them in the Serengeti. The fact that these initial monsters have physiques and species archetypes that occur naturally in our world makes them less, well, daunting. Behemoth designs become more intricate once you’ve left the relative safety of the first few locations and have to contend with insects shooting deadly lasers at you, but by and large, you’re fighting creatures that you can intuit a solution for.

This means that the beasts can lack the same gut-punch effect upon first sight that you may be used to from facing down prehistoric nightmares in other games, exacerbated by the cartoony art direction and the game’s straightforward approach to hunting. Dauntless gives you access to an assortment of weapons which all vastly affect the hunting experience. From dual-wielding guns to teleporting with chain blades, there’s a good variety that caters to different styles. Bladed weapons are better for slicing off monster parts, while others crush skulls more effectively. No matter what you pick, you’re going to be able to bring something valuable to a group situation.

That being said, once you figure out the basics of knocking bits off Behemoths using a mixture of heavy attacks, light attacks, and special skills, that’s really all you’ve got to worry about in the heat of the moment. The only concern in any hunt is the slavering monster trying to eat you up–no need to worry about finding respite, concocting traps, or anything related to the idea of tracking your prey. Dauntless isn’t drinking from the well of realism by any means, but the lack of these touches ultimately make it hard to stay engaged in the moment. This isn’t to say that the fights themselves lack the difficulty required to get your heart rate up; a total wipe becomes more common as you start throwing yourself against bigger and badder critters. That being said, the lack of verticality and overall variety in terrain means that there’s simply not a lot to parse.

This same feeling of just falling a little short is also present when it comes to the fifteen or so hours of the core story. Monster Hunter: World worked off an involved, overarching single-player narrative to guide you from each unique in-game location to another in your quest to push a dying, continent-sized lizard out to sea. Conversely, Dauntless gives you an almost-administrative motivation for your actions. You need to clean things in the overworld because, well, it keeps people safe. Also, hope you’ve got time to gather fifteen stalks of a plant in-between trying to knock the skull off a giant monster, because a quest-giver back home is scientifically curious.

There’s not much of an attempt to get you particularly invested in the main campaign, which means that if you’re someone who prefers taking down ice-spewing owlbears solo, your only true motivation is going to be the satisfaction of throwing yourself at said ice-spewing owlbear. If you’re playing alone, you can end up feeling isolated. This is the most noticeable in the game’s hub world, Ramsgate. Even when the servers are bustling (we’re talking matchmaking queues that are 100,000 players deep), there’s a distinct lack of reflection of that in Ramsgate. The place feels empty, with perhaps only a handful of people standing around.

The NPCs feel like a lost opportunity in the same vein. While you will be undoubtedly happy that you can pet the dog (and hopefully, the rams), and that the local blacksmith is serving high-fashion lumberjack looks for days, the aesthetic appeal is where it ends. There’s no feeling of life to Ramsgate. No roaming vendors, no murmuring chit-chat when things get busy. There are swaths of bare corridors and paths for you to sprint down, but by and large, the town exists for you to pick up collectibles and quests. Everyone that you can talk to looks like they’re hiding a cool backstory, but you never get to experience it.

No Caption Provided
Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9Gallery image 10

The multiplayer side of things is where Dauntless really shines, and the reality is that the title feels optimized for it. Cross-platform compatibility has been available since launch day, which means that regardless of whether you’re slaying Behemoths on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One, your multiplayer pool will encompass all three. This is advantageous because matchmaking is, in practice, refreshingly seamless. No need to fiddle with a menu or five, and it’s nice that each platform’s native friends lists are imported into the client. Matchmaking usually takes a matter of seconds, which makes Dauntless feel very plug-and-play in the best way.

The game is not without its quirks, however–opening up a menu as you’re finishing a hunt might trap you in there, unable to exit out. Going into a hunt with a group of friends and becoming stuck on the loading screen until you relog will kick you from the party and the endeavor. You could also fall into part of the landscape at Ramsgate and be unable to extricate yourself without restarting the client. Something as simple as ensuring that the hotkey to interact with things works each and every time is not a foolproof feature yet, which can lead to repeat frustrations at inopportune times.

Dauntless is also a free to play game. It’s impressive in terms of what it offers in terms of content, accessibility, and the fact that you aren’t constantly bludgeoned over the head with the need to spend any real money on anything. There are dyes, cute emotes and other cosmetic improvements which are part and parcel of F2P, and also a “Hunt Pass” which rewards players for completing in-game objectives. There isn’t the ability to purchase your way to a sure victory against the Behemoths and the relatively unobtrusive presence of the F2P elements like the various in-game shops means that you can spend absolutely nothing and not feel like you’re missing out at all unless you’re a fiend for glamoring your gear.

Overall, Dauntless is clearly an experience that has been optimized to deliver the most stress-free multiplayer session possible. From the seamless crossplay to the way that anyone can hop into a game and confidently take up arms against formidable foes, it’s refreshingly accessible and looks great to boot. While it can feel a little empty, and there are bugs that mar the experience here and there, its fresh look and lively spark are more than enticing enough to warrant a spin.

Source: GameSpot.com

Void Bastards Review – Genres Collide

Void Bastards never lets you get too comfortable. As you explore spaceships, scrounging around for supplies to push yourself that little bit further, your strategy has to be flexible. An electrifying zapper is good for immobilizing some enemies, but it’s useless against those with shields. A lobbed grenade is handy against those shielded enemies, but it prevents you from taking more devastating firepower with you to fight beefier foes. Void Bastards forces you to make small decisions with each stop at a not-so-abandoned vessel, which makes these encounters challenging and exciting.

Void Bastards puts you in the space shoes of numerous rehydrated “clients” aboard a stranded personnel vessel, whose AI has had no choice but to rely on its dangerous cargo to repair the ship for a final jump to its destination. You are tasked with searching any nearby ships for special items and other resources, using components you find to craft new weapons and tools that will help you both evade and combat the numerous nasty enemies protecting these rewards. This encapsulates the main loop you’ll find yourself in throughout the 15-hour campaign.

Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9Gallery image 10

The game hops between a frenetic first-person shooter when you board ships and a galactic exploration adventure outside of them. Your small vessel requires fuel to travel, while you need food to survive each passing day in the empty void. Both of these resources are found on nearby ships, which you can inspect from afar to identify its possible inhabitants, lucrative rewards, and unique modifiers before making a choice on whether to board or pass by. Modifiers can include anything from security systems being graciously offline to the hallways being stripped of lights to make your journey through them more treacherous. These small modifiers keep your ventures on ships exciting, providing knock-on effects for you and its enemies to play off of.

Punchy one-liners and some dark humor drive Void Bastard’s world-building, which is primarily conveyed by your AI handler and occasionally by intercom systems on ships you board. Neither expand on the lore enough to make the setting any more interesting than it is at face value, but it’s entertaining enough to earn a few chuckles throughout. The story is supported by gorgeous comic book-style cutscenes that bookend each completed objective. It has a distinct style that immediately gives Void Bastards an identity.

The comic book aesthetic transitions over beautifully into gameplay, where the action looks like it was ripped from the narrative panels preceding them. Explosions litter the screen with onomatopoetic descriptions of their destructive power, represented visually with bold colors and thick black outlines. Enemies move as if they’re 2D sprites living in a 3D space, rotating at fixed increments to face you. It’s a striking style that makes Void Bastards immediately recognizable and imbues its adventure with personality.

With its rogue-lite structure, Void Bastards is as much about staying alive as long as you can as it is about dying. You won’t lose all your progress when your current character expires, but you will lose any hoarded ammunition, fuel, and food. You’ll also lose your current character, who might be equipped with both useful and detrimental abilities. One might be capable of silently sprinting, letting you get by enemies faster without alerting them. Another could do the exact opposite by randomly coughing and giving away your position. It’s fun to work with and around these traits, but Void Bastards graciously lets you keep any weapon and gadget upgrades as well as objective progress intact should you lose a character early.

No Caption Provided
Gallery image 1Gallery image 2Gallery image 3Gallery image 4Gallery image 5Gallery image 6Gallery image 7Gallery image 8Gallery image 9Gallery image 10

Crafting these items is streamlined, too. A clear and concise upgrade tree shows you exactly what you need to build a new item, as well as what components you should look out for to upgrade them a tier. You can even tag certain pieces of gear and have any possible nearby locations with their required components show up on the galaxy map, clearly charting you a course towards them. Void Bastards rewards you with items for upgrades frequently. You’ll likely have something new to craft after most dangerous expeditions onto nearby ships, which not only helps shake up each combat encounter with some new weapons and toys, but also expands your options for engagement with the numerous types of enemies you’ll come into contact with.

The game’s enemy variety is key to keeping each expedition surprising, and they start off simple enough. Slow-to-react but explosive blue alien blobs and dim-witted Janitors litter the halls of your first few ships, eventually giving way to quick and foul-mouthed Juveniles and skittish Scribes that run away from danger. As you descend into deeper nebulas with more rewards, the dangers increase, with formidable variations on previous enemies. Hard-hitting Stevs will make quick work of your health bar while Secs can quickly render your loadout redundant, as their impenetrable shields block everything you throw at them.

The randomized selection of enemies on ships and their increasing ferocity keeps you thinking about which weapons to take on board, as well as how they can combine for particular strategies. You’re given the choice of three items to bring with you as you dock, and your loadout cannot be changed once you’ve boarded the vessel, making your understanding of the perils aboard paramount to your selections. For example, if a ship’s security systems are down but it’s overrun with hulking Stevs, it might be better to leave behind a stun gun and bring along the autonomous and explosive Kittybots, which do a great job of distracting foes as you slip past. Ships with smaller enemies in large numbers might benefit from a weapon with a faster rate of fire over a semi-automatic pistol. Since each slot serves a purpose (weapon, explosive and gadget) it’s fun to play around with different combinations and see which combine in both creative and effective ways.

No Caption Provided

There are hundreds of weapons at your disposal, but the variety between them and the tools you have allows for this experimentation. It’s satisfying to use an immobilizing stun gun to freeze groups of enemies in place before launching a package of small grenades that bounce and ricochet off the walls of a narrow walkway to deal devastating damage. A silent dart gun can let you poison enemies from afar, letting you watch them slowly die as you soak up their incoming fire with a personal shield should you be spotted. Or you could take a more indirect approach by sucking up an enemy into your rift gun, placing them in an airlock and launching them out into space. The careful distribution of ammunition for each weapon prevents you from stockpiling enough for your favorites all the time, which pushes you to become familiar with your entire arsenal too. It avoids being frustrating because of how fun each weapon is to use in the right situation, but also makes you carefully consider when to use the right tool for the right job.

The ships you board can also throw up strategic combat options for you to exploit through their randomized construction. Simply being able to lock doors lets you create traps for enemies to wander into, letting you slide in a few explosives before locking them into a hallway with no escape. You can override security systems and make them fight for you if you have enough credits to spend, while environmental hazards such as nuclear spills and severed electrical cables can serve as nuisances or convenient traps depending on whether you see them in time or not. Void Bastards gives you maps for each of the ships you board from the start, letting you focus on the foes lurking in their halls rather than remembering how to get back to your exit. Resources are hidden between enemies and hazards; this keeps exploration fun and interesting while ditching the tedium of basic navigation.

Void Bastards succeeds because it keeps you moving forward and rewards you on the way, without feeling like a pushover as a result.

Void Bastards doesn’t introduce changes to its gameplay loop throughout its course, and its narrative objectives don’t shake it up meaningfully. But there’s a steady flow of new weapons and suitably challenging enemies to test them on, so you don’t get stuck in a rut. And because you maintain some progress between deaths, dying doesn’t dissuade you from jumping right into the next run. Void Bastards succeeds because it keeps you moving forward and rewards you on the way, without feeling like a pushover as a result.

This delicate balance highlights the assortment of randomized levels, enemy compilations and uniquely designed weaponry that all make Void Bastards an absolute delight. It’s wildly entertaining to go from ship to ship and eradicate enemies with constantly shifting strategies, and equally engaging to use your scavenging gains to make yourself feel increasingly powerful. It’s a satisfyingly stylish shooter that manages to play as well as, if not better than, it looks.

Source: GameSpot.com

Skip to toolbar