Rockstar Games has confirmed, in an interview with VG24/7, that they have no current plans to release DLC for Red Dead Redemption 2′s single-player mode. Rockstar will instead be working on expanding the game’s multiplayer mode, Red Dead Online.
“We’re 100% focused on online right now, because like I said, there’s just so much to do, and we’re just hoping to bring everything that a player can love about single-player into the online world, and fleshed out,” explained Pica.
Another Rockstar developer, Tarek Hamad, told VG24/7 that the team working on Red Dead Online wants the multiplayer game to “match the world” of the single-player campaign by adding new activities, events, and characters. The comments came as part of a longer interview with Rockstar developers about Red Dead Online.
For many fans, this will be disappointing news. Previous Rockstar games have received large single-player DLC expansions, including the extremely popular Undead Nightmare expansion for the original Red Dead Redemption and the Liberty City Episodes for GTA IV. But like GTA V, it seems Red Dead Redemption 2 will not be receiving large single-player expansions, at least for the foreseeable future. Instead, Rockstar will continue to build and expand both games’ multiplayer modes.
The next batch of Mii costumes heading to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be headlined by good skeleton boy Sans from Undertale, the hit indie RPG that was ported to Switch a little over a year ago.
This announcement came during a special presentation after this evening’s Nintendo Direct. Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai detailed upcoming guest fighters Banjo & Kazooie and revealed some of the new content players can look forward to when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate updates later today.
In addition to Sans and a new arrangement of the iconic “Megalovania” theme from Undertale creator Toby Fox, the update will feature outfits that turn the customizable Mii Fighters into Mystical Ninja’s Goemon, Pokémon antagonists Team Rocket, and Mega Man franchise anti-heroes Proto Man and Zero.
It will also include a Home Run Contest mode, in case you want to whack a sandbag with a baseball bat while wearing any or all of these new costumes.
The first of three planned downloadable expansions for the Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Curse of the Vampire adds one and a half vampires to the game’s roster and an all-new rapid-fire co-op challenge called Gauntlet Mode on September 30.
Detailed on Nintendo UK’s page for the Ultimate Alliance 3 expansion pass, Gauntlet Mode pits one to four players against a series of co-op challenges, where they can earn rewards for their efforts. The expansion pack also introduces an Endurance Mode, which sounds like a survival mode with online leaderboards, and a new Infinity Rift filled with its own unique missions.
All of that plus Moon Knight, Punisher, Morbius the Living Vampire, and Blade the Half-Vampire. I stopped listening after Moon Knight.
It’s been nearly five months since the release of Dead or Alive 6. Five months full of solid fighting with few distractions outside of some crossover characters and pirate and wedding costumes. Enough of that. Bring on the swimsuits.
The first installment of Dead or Alive 6‘s second season of downloadable content is called Seaside Eden. It includes a free island paradise stage, complete with a volleyball net and a hilarious dolphin hazard. Players keen on paying can acquire swimsuits and accessories for 26 characters, enough to turn a respectable fighting tournament into a tawdry display worthy of the smuttier side of Dead or Alive’s name.
The swimsuits and scenery are the first part of the second Dead or Alive 6 season pass, which will eventually include 72 costumes and an additional playable character.
It’s already mid-July, and I still haven’t made it to the beach. Maybe you haven’t either. The Messenger’s free Picnic Panic expansion can fix that.
You won’t actually hear seafoam waves crashing along the shore or feel the grainy piles of hot sand beneath your feet, but Picnic Panic’s bright colors, catchy new chiptune-inspired melodies, and occasional ninja surfing offer a similarly chill and breezy seasonal escape. If you’ve already played and beaten The Messenger, then the new DLC, which is out today on PS4, Switch, and PC, will make it worth revisiting. If, on the other hand, you somehow missed out on one of 2018’s best retro-infused indie action platformers, there’s no better time dip your toe in the water.
Set after the events of the main game, Picnic Panic sees the titular Messenger journey to an entirely new island called Voodkin to deal with a new mess stirred up by the demon general Barma’thazël. Though the story underlying the new DLC is paper-thin, that doesn’t really matter. The ninja parkour, boss fights, and challenging collectibles are all back, and they’re as satisfying as ever. Time traveling portals return as well, and while the three levels that make up the new content aren’t as complex as their predecessors, there’s still enough backtracking and platforming puzzles to keep Picnic Panic feeling more on the Metroidvania-side of things (sorry, Josh) than just linear Ninja Gaiden-based side-scrolling.
In addition to providing new paths to unlock, the DLC also offers more of the game’s most dazzling visual transformations in the form of a swap from an 8-bit-inspired present to a 16-bit-looking future, which happens every time the Messenger time travels. Going from vibrant seascapes to apocalyptic thunderstorms also helps mix up the levels and keeps the extended sections of backtracking from feeling tedious. Like taking a dip in the ocean to cool off before retreating back under the beach umbrella, each time jump refreshes the experience, making up for when certain enemy types overstay their welcome or a familiar configuration of spikes emerges for the 10th time.
For veterans of the main campaign, it’s worth noting that there are no new abilities or upgrades to discover. Picnic Panic is meant to be tackled with the full arsenal of ninja tricks and gadgets, and in that respect, it’s more like new game plus territory. By that same token, anyone who hasn’t seen the credits roll yet will have to do so before they can get into the DLC. While that might be frustrating for some who are eager to dive into what Picnic Panic has to offer, which also includes a Battletoads-esque surfing level, it has allowed the developers at Sabotage Studio to throw fights and challenges at the player that creatively draw on all of the Messenger’s skills.
In the first boss fight against a giant magical totem pole, each segment breaks apart to throw out fireballs, lightning blasts, and whirlwinds, all while you try to navigate bottomless pits and spikes. The pieces themselves also provide the stepping stones to get to the head, which is the only part of the boss that’s vulnerable. Getting up the steps requires you to cloudstep (a double-jump initiated by either striking an enemy or getting hit), use the grapple hook, and then wingsuit your way through danger to get into position. It’s an excellent reminder of what Sabotage does so well, and also why The Messenger doesn’t just feel like another visually charming retro homage.
Every puzzle and fight in the game builds on mini-lessons learned along the way, until the final obstacle requires all of them to be creatively synthesized into an elegant strategy that never fails. Unlike some NES and SNES games that can be brutal just for the hell of it, The Messenger telegraphs solutions to all of its challenges, giving you just enough information to figure out what you need to do next to beat a boss or cloudstep through a labyrinth of death to get that final collectible. That design principle is present and assiduously implemented in Picnic Panic as well.
At around five hours long with a few collectibles still to go after, it’s exactly the kind of expansion I needed right now: challenging enough to keep me on my toes, but not so difficult or long that it felt like I was going back to complete unfinished work. I now wish more of my favorite indie games would send their heroes on tropical vacations.
We were surprised by how much Star Fox was in the original Switch release of Starlink. Not only did we get a series of in-game missions involving the Star Fox team hunting down the evil Star Wolf, we also got Fox McCloud as a playable character. Much more than a cameo, Fox can fly the Switch-exclusive Arwing through the entire Starlink saga, with spoken dialog recorded for every possible situation he could encounter in game. Fox and his friends Slippy, Peppy, and Falco are treated like Starlink team members for the entire adventure, even appearing in cutscenes.
This week’s $11.99 Switch DLC for Starlink increases Team Star Fox’s presence in the game significantly. Now Peppy, Falco, and Slippy are all playable characters. Each character is fully voiced, able to be a player’s sole Starlink pilot from opening to end credits. Actors had to record a ton of audio to make this happen, and I am sincerely impressed by the effort.
In honor of the DLC, I started a new game on my Switch, playing the game from the beginning as Slippy Toad because I love that whiny little tech head. His performance is adorable when he’s not busy falling asleep at the flight yoke. OK, it’s adorable then, too. It makes me want to play through the entire game as Peppy and Falco as well, to see what they say and do in different situations.
The three new playable heroes come with a trio of new enemies to battle. When visiting the “Crimson Moon,” the mysterious bandit planet that hosts activities like racing and the arena that came with this week’s free multiplatform DLC, members of Team Star Fox receive a strange package. It’s a Cornerian Cake, and inside is a challenge from a trio of Team Star Wolf baddies. Leon the chameleon, Pigma the pig, and Andrew the monkey have arrived in Atlas and are attempting to harness the power of the game’s main antagonists, the Forgotten Legion, for their own gain.
Three new enemies equal three exciting new boss encounters, each tailored to the unique abilities of a member of Team Star Fox. In a tank battle against Andrew, for example, Slippy must use his special ability to confuse enemies and pit them against each other in order to damage the monkey’s tank. The battle can be played with any of Starlink’s pilots, but Slippy makes it easy.
It’s a pity the DLC adventure is over so quickly. As with the Star Fox content included at launch, these special themed encounters are some of the most unique in Starlink. After taking down countless enemy extractors, raiding samey spaceborne bases and battling the same handful of enemies over and over again, it’s so refreshing to play through something tailored and original.
The “Crimson Moon” update, which every platform received for free this week, adds racing, arena battles, and some new faction-based story content to the game. That’s lovely and all, but the new Star Fox stuff makes it clearer than ever: The best version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas is on the Switch. Team Star Fox out.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s “Operation Spectre Rising” update arrived on April 30 for PlayStation 4, with Xbox One and PC users joining the event within a week, but the new content drop comes with some highs and lows.
The theme of this new event centers around Black Ops 4’s newest Specialist character Spectre, who makes their return from Black Ops 3 with a sword and smoke. Most of Spectre’s history is shrouded in mystery, but we do know from their Black Ops 3 bio that they’re presumed to be a wetworks specialist. A covert assassin likely wants to keep things low key, so Spectre probably doesn’t have a verified Twitter account.
The good stuff in Spectre Rising:
Spectre joining the growing ranks of Black Ops 4’s Specialists.
The new character is available in multiplayer and Blackout after completing the first tier of the Spectre Rising Contraband stream.The Shadow Blade makes for some brutal melee action, and smoke is always helpful tactical equipment in Call of Duty multiplayer.
New DLC maps.
Players who purchased the Black Ops Pass will now have more map variety with Artifact, Masquerade, and a remastered version of WMD from Black Ops 1.
Blackout’s “Wetworks” sees the sabotage and partial destruction of the Hydro Dam location, bringing a flood to parts of the maps and wiping out bridges.
I love seeing map events and adapting to environmental changes. Factory is one of the named locations affected by the rising waters, and it was flooded just enough to create splashing and sloshing sounds as you fight for loot. No more subtle stealth plays here, unless you have the high ground.
New Blackout game mode “Bounty Hunter” lets players drop to marked locations to find and equip Spectre’s Shadow Blade.
With each storm collapse, the top players will be marked as bounties for any player with the Shadow Blade, so players become the hunters or the hunted.
Other notable updates:
New Gauntlet for Zombies modes. The “Super Blood Wolf Moon” Gauntlet adds more replay value to the “Dead of the Night” map.
World League, Black Ops 4’s competitive hub, now has a penalty in place for players who leave matches early. Rage quitting seems to have been a big problem in the competitive mode, but players will receive a temporary ban for ditching their teammates mid-match. The more the quitter commits the crime, the longer the ban will become.
The parts of this event that aren’t landing as well:
The remastered WMD map is part of the Black Ops Pass, and not a free throwback map for all players.
The DLC pass needed more value for players, but I’m not sure making WMD exclusive to it was the right call. Remastered maps are great additions, but they have that same recycled feel as the lighting and weather variants in Black Ops 4. Give Pass holders brand new maps, exclusive camos and skins, and such. Let all players have access to throwback maps.
The arrival of “Wetworks” and the new Bounty Hunter mode for Blackout has removed fan favorites Hot Pursuit and Alcatraz.
No one likes long wait times in lobbies with a widely-split player base, but it would be nice to at least keep Alcatraz around as a second map option. Plus, the fast-paced, close-quarters action of Alcatraz really served Blackout well.
Hydro Dam breaking wasn’t the only flood, in a manner of speaking.
The Black Market is now flooded with weapon charms and camos that are weapon specific cosmetics. You could save up your hard-earned Reserve Cases and get the same charm or camo over and over for different guns.
There continue to be poor choices made in regards to Black Ops 4’s “Black Market” cosmetic marketplace. Cosmetics always seem to overshadow the real meat of the content updates, which should be about the maps and modes. For the current state of Spectre Rising, I’ll enjoy my time as Spectre and hope they bring back more Blackout modes.
Battle for the Grid’s biggest problem during last month’s launch for PS4, Xbox One and Switch was its laughably small roster of fighters. With more than 25 years of Power Rangers history to explore, the three-on-three tag-team fighting game launched with only nine fighters. That’s just sad.
Now it’s three fighters less sad, with the addition of Dragon Armor Trini, Udonna and the Cenozoic Blue Ranger.
That’s three more Power Rangers to play with. I love having a beefy character that’s actually a girl in a Zord suit. You go, Trini.
Then there’s story mode, which the developers originally said would be in the game at launch but ended up not making it in. Well, it’s here now. It’s based on the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid event from Boom! Studio’s comic series, written by comic scribe Kyle Higgins. When Lord Drakkon, an evil, alternate universe version of Tommy Oliver the Green Ranger, sets off on a universe-spanning campaign to destroy all Power Rangers, teenagers with attitude from across time and space band together to stop him. Sounds like a good reason for a fight.
Best of all, the new content also includes voice work from several key Power Rangers actors, including Jason David Frank (Tommy Oliver), Austin St. John (Jason Lee Scott), David J. Fielding (Zordon) and Kerrigan Mahan (Goldar). I will feel so much more motivated with the real Zordon telling me what to do.
All of that, plus four new arenas to do battle in, for free. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is still a far cry from the massive celebration of teens in color-coded suits that I imagine it could be, but it’s a great deal closer now.
Fallout 76 received its first new dungeon yesterday: the Burrows. It takes players into a maze of underground sewers, but unlike Bethesda’s other recent additions to the game, it’s short-lived and underwhelming.
The dungeon is part of the ongoing Wild Appalachia expansion, whose updates began trickling out in March. While Bethesda has added new items, quests, and seasonal events, this is the first new player-vs.-environment space. Players thirsty for more endgame content that doesn’t revolve around shooting one another on the Survival servers have been looking forward to it. It’s not quite what some people expected, though. It can be completed in well under half an hour playing solo—even less if you’re playing with a high-powered group—and is light on interesting secrets or tense fights.
The new dungeon is located underneath the town of Harper’s Ferry on the eastern side of the map. It’s accessible via two separate manhole covers in the streets above, each leading to a different part of the underground waterway. Inside is a holotape to be looted off a dead man’s body that explains how a Brotherhood sortie was sent to investigate reports of military robotics in the sewers but never returned. As you make your way deeper into the tunnels, you eventually find your way into the pump station. It only takes a little bit of exploring to see what all the fuss is about, and while I won’t spoil it, I will say that it’s cool for the few moments it lasts. It just doesn’t do enough to elevate the rest of the ordeal.
That’s partly because the Burrows as a location doesn’t feel fully integrated as a natural part of the world it now exists in. Unlike the Nukashine Speakeasy that kicked the Wild Appalachia off expansion off, which was full of personality and helped build out the pre-bombing backstory of Morgantown, the Burrows is drab and doesn’t offer up many nuggets of new lore. “The reasoning’s pretty simple: The mean guys always win, Maude,” someone says on one of the discoverable holotapes. That’s basically the extent of it.
The Burrows isn’t much of a challenge, either. “The Burrows is balanced to be a challenge for 2+ level 50+ Vault Dwellers, but truly brave (and well geared) souls may be able to tackle it alone,” Bethesda wrote in a preview of the new content from last week. In reality, any party of two or more people in the level-40-to-50 range are likely to cruise through it. It’s more challenging solo, especially if you’re under level 50 or lacking in strong weapons and armor, but even then it’s short on thrills. Most of the enemies I encountered were some variation of ghoul—Feral Ghoul, Charred Feral Ghoul, Legendary Diseased Feral Ghoul—and were fairly easy to deal with.
Rather than feeling like a new endgame activity to tackle with friends, the Burrows feels like a low-key dungeon for newer players to grind for experience points and mid-tier loot. In that regard, it’s a perfectly fine addition to the game. It pales in comparison to some of the game’s other new events, though. March’s Fasnacht Parade, Fallout 76’s post-launch high point so far, offered interesting collectibles, a fun backstory built into the history of the real West Virginia, and a reason to team up with other players. Even the recent Lying Lowe quest, while disappointing in its conclusion, took players out into the wilderness and cast the locale in a somewhat different light. By comparison, the Burrows just feels like another checkpoint to blast through.
Fallout 76 is supposed to be getting longer group raids this summer in the Nuclear Winter expansion. That’s when Vaults 96 and 94 will be opening for players to explore in groups of up to four. For players who have been waiting since last November for a new, exciting dungeon, that still feels a ways off.
The Bloody Palace has been a fixture of Devil May Cry ever since 2003’s Devil May Cry 2. It’s a mode that involves an exhausting climb through monster-filled rooms with hundreds of enemy arrangements and bosses along the way. But it’s also the best place to play around with combos test your skills in real-time. Devil May Cry 5’s new Blood Palace keeps the basic format, but adds extra variety with numerous characters and boss fights.
Bloody Palace released today as a free update, bringing the series staple to Devil May Cry 5. There are 101 floors of enemies, each with their own encounter layout; players need to cut their way to the top. What makes Bloody Palace so appealing is how it highlights Devil May Cry 5’s combat while adding a slight dusting of puzzle-game seasoning. Every room is timed, and you receive a grade if you finish all of the fights. This means you’re constantly reminded of how quickly you have tackled previous levels and where you can improve. If you die, you have to start over at the bottom floor. The exciting part is being able to apply your previous knowledge to optimize each encounter and make more progress on the next go around.
All three playable characters—Dante, Nero, and V— are available. You just one character per attempt; the Bloody Palace allows you to focus on whoever you prefer. As a result, it’s a good way to really chip your teeth and play around with Devil May Cry 5’s combat. The main story has a few challenging encounters, but the Bloody Palace is designed to surprise and break players. There’s a gentle difficulty curve, but as encounters start to vary, you’ll be forced to get creative in order to survive. You have one life in Blood Palace, and that added tension encourages the best possible gameplay. Over time, you’ll break down what works and what doesn’t. If you weren’t paying close attention to enemies’ quirks during your main playthrough, Bloody Palace will force you.
I have complaints about Bloody Palace, but they’re the ones I’ve brought with me from the main campaign. The environment is boring, taking place almost entirely in the drab demon nest world that dominated so much of the main story. Devil May Cry 3 and 4 had truly palatial locations, using baroque and gothic aesthetics to full advantage. Devil May Cry 5 doesn’t have that luxury, meaning this version of Bloody Palace isn’t that easy on the eyes. Also, while I adore what the game’s designers pulled off with V and think they crafted a unique playstyle for his character, he’s just not as fun to take through the Palace as Dante or Nero. V works best in short bursts and in highly curated situations; otherwise, the seams start to show. Dante has various fighting styles that he can alter between to navigate different situations. Nero has tricky timing-based combat and collectable Devil Bringers that can radically change how a player handles an encounter. V? He’s charming and fun to play for short periods of time, but I don’t know if I’m eager to climb with him all the way to the 101st floor when I could rage around as someone else.
Bloody Palace is a simple idea: fight and fight some more. It’s Devil May Cry without the distraction of lore and drama. I love the franchise’s cheesy story and stylish cutscenes, but Bloody Palace is a chance to have a more pure Devil May Cry fighting experience. This version might be a little drab-looking, but the fights and boss encounters still shine. A lot of effort has gone into making Devil May Cry 5 responsive and easy to control. The Bloody Palace is a playground for pushing your skills to the limit and trying new tricks in pursuit of a delicious S ranking once the bodies hit the floor and the dust has settled.