Tag Archives: xbox one

The Week In Games: Beware Of Ghosts

This week Ghost Recon Breakpoint releases, letting players explore a large open-world map as super tactical soldiers. If it is anything like the last game, it also means players will be able to cause all sorts of mayhem using vehicles and explosives.

I enjoyed the gameplay of the last Ghost Recon game, Wildlands, but the world felt so boring and the story never hooked me that I stopped about 60% of the way through. I’ve been tempted to go back and finish off the last leaders of the Cartel for a while now. Maybe I should do that before I play Breakpoint? Or maybe I’ll skip Breakpoint and never play Wildlands again! Who knows?

Advertisement

There’s more coming out this week beyond a new and big Ubisoft game. Warsaw looks like a cross between World War II and Darkest Dungeon. Destiny 2′s big new expansion drops this week, alongside the jump to Steam. And for Ghostbusters fans out there, that game from a few years back is being remastered for current-gen systems. I remember liking the first few hours of that game and hating the rest of it. Maybe I’ll like it more on new consoles?

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, September 30

  • Chop Is Dish | Switch
  • Blockoid | PC
  • Fallen Empires | PC, Mac
  • Nobodies | PC, Mac
  • Duck In Town – A Rising Knight | PC, Mac
  • Balloon Fighter | PC
  • Cube World | PC
  • Ten Days To War | PC
  • Spaceland | PC
  • The Lost | PC

Tuesday, October 1

  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Battle Operation 2 | PS4
  • Destiny 2: Shadowkeep | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love At The Bound Of This World | PS4, Switch PC
  • ReadySet Heroes | PS4
  • 80 Days | Switch
  • Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition | Switch
  • Lanternium | Switch
  • Super Crate Box | Switch
  • Hunting On Myths | PC
  • Particle Wars | PC

Wednesday, October 2

  • Asdivine Kamura | Xbox One, PC
  • Warsaw | PC
  • We Were Here Too | Xbox One
  • Spooky Ghost Dot Com | Switch
  • Marginalia | PC
  • Norman’s Night In | PC
  • Drawn Down Abyss | PC, Mac
  • RaceXXL Space | PC
  • The Long Return | PC

Thursday, October 3

  • Neo Cab | Switch, PC
  • Legrand Legacy: Tale Of The Fatebounds | PS4, Xbox One
  • Candleman | Switch
  • A Hole New World | PS Vita
  • Paranoia: Happiness is Mandator | PC
  • Fault: Milestone One | Switch
  • CASE: Animatronics | Switch
  • Galaxy Champions TV | Switch
  • Cubixx | Switch
  • Tic-Tac-Letters by POWGI | Switch
  • Hexagroove: Tactical DJ | Switch
  • Hero Of The Forest | PC
  • Hexxon | PC, Mac
  • Endless Fables 4: Shadow Within | PC, Mac
  • Alive 2 Survive | PC, Mac

Friday, October 4

  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • SlabWell: The Quest For Kaktun’s Alpaca | Xbox One
  • Rimelands: Hammer Of Thor | Switch
  • The Tiny Bang Story | Switch
  • One Night Stand | Switch
  • Beats Runner | Switch
  • CROSSNIQ+ | Switch
  • Dungeons Of The Fallen | PC
  • The Sword And The Slime | PC
  • Shard | PC
  • Digital Rose | PC

Saturday, October 5

  • Double Switch – 25th Anniversary Edtion | Switch
  • Retro RPG Online 2 | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

Your Destiny 2 To-Do List For This Weekend

We’re about to begin the final weekend before Destiny 2‘s big expansion, Shadowkeep, launches, and it’s understandable if you’re feeling a little listless.

One of the nice things about Destiny is how it’s always endeavored to offer something for every style of play, and as a result, everyone plays at their own pace. In that spirit, I’ve got three categories of tips for you: Some general things everyone should do, a few tips for the hardcore, and finally, a few pointers for less intensive players.

Advertisement

Tips For Everyone

  • Don’t try and raise your power. This is kind of counterintuitive to how Destiny works, since the primary goal of the game is finding better gear that raises your stats, but come Shadowkeep, the current power level ceiling is going to be the new floor, and everyone’s going to rocket up to 750 power. So, while you will almost certainly climb a little bit as you naturally play, don’t make it your goal. Just do what’s interesting.
  • Don’t infuse anything. That big power jump also applies to all of your gear, so there’s no point in wasting materials to upgrade weapons or armor unless you absolutely need them for something you plan to do this weekend, specifically.
  • Break down your cosmetics. We’ve known this for at least a month now, but it bears repeating: break down all the cosmetics you aren’t using for Bright Dust, stat. (Bright Dust, remember, is a currency used exclusively for cosmetics and earned through play, unlike Silver, which is bought with real money.) After next week, cosmetics will instead break down into legendary shards, and you can pull previously owned cosmetics from your collections menu with the requisite materials—so you’re essentially sitting on free Bright Dust. Cash in!
  • Also mods. Mods are converting from one-time-use to permanent unlocks in Shadowkeep, so you’ll only ever need one. If you have multiple mods of one type, break them down now, and stock up on Mod Components—they’ll come in handy as mods are about to become very important.
  • You’ve finished the campaigns, right? A hiccup of the Destiny 2 base game going free-to-play means that, if you haven’t completed any of the story campaigns—the base game’s Red War, its Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions, or Forsaken—your progress will be reset. Thankfully, they’re all short, so if you’re midway through any of them, you can probably knock them out this weekend. And if you can’t do that, each planet in Destiny 2 will be unlocked via experience points, not campaign progress, so don’t sweat it.
  • Ignore armor. Armor is going to change completely once Shadowkeep drops, don’t even bother.
  • Remember: You can’t play the game on Monday. Destiny 2 is shutting down for a full 24 hours before Shadowkeep’s global launch on October 1, from 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m EST on Monday until the weekly reset at the same time Tuesday. Make sure you wrap up your affairs by Sunday night, or at the very latest, early Monday morning.

Tips For The Hardcore

Advertisement

  • Farm Everything. If you’re a hardcore Destiny player, you probably have loads of materials in your inventory, but do a sweep and make sure your coffers are full—the economy’s changing, and it’s nice to stay liquid. Stock up on anything you can think of: planetary materials like Dusklight Shards and Microphasic Datalattice, upgrade materials like Legendary Shards and Enhancement Cores, and make sure you’re carrying the maximum amount of Glimmer.
  • Fill Out Your Arsenal. Maybe you have everything you think you need to handle whatever Shadowkeep throws your way, but are you sure? Just about every type of weapon is going to perform a little differently when the expansion hits, so you need to be thinking about versatility, and be ready to experiment. Which is fun! And even more fun if you’re prepared. Make sure you don’t have any blatant holes in your arsenal, and maybe spend some time chasing down weapons you didn’t really think highly of before. They could end up being your new favorite in Shadowkeep’s earliest hours.
  • Consider Stocking Up On Bounties. This tip comes via Datto’s brief-but-excellent guide to Shadowkeep prep. Spend some time completing bounties this weekend, and don’t cash them in. This way, you bank a bunch of readily available experience points that will level up your seasonal artifact and also might come with some sweet new loot that scales to Shadowkeep’s higher power levels. The viability of this trick wasn’t known when Datto made his video, but Bungie confirmed Thursday afternoon that most bounties will still be honored, with the exception of Crucible, Vanguard, and Gambit bounties.

Advertisement

Tips For Everyone Else

Advertisement

  • If you’re returning, just dip into the most recent stuff. The last year of Destiny 2 is a bit overwhelming for lapsed players, but since Bungie made last year’s Annual Pass content free this week, you might want to check it out. You need to be level 30 for these extras. I recommend you focus on the Season of Opulence stuff, which is kicked off by talking to Benedict 99-40, a robot tucked away in the Tower Annex. It’s the most well-rounded of the last year’s three updates, with a grind that feels fair and a killer activity, The Menagerie, attached. And like all of last year’s Annual Pass content, it’ll still be here when Shadowkeep launches, regardless of whether or not you buy the expansion.
  • If you crave direction, find a weapon you want and go for it. There are a lot of performance tweaks inbound with Shadowkeep, so there’s no must-have gear, but there is a wide range of interesting weapons to pursue, some of which might make you play in a way you don’t normally play. Get some friends together and try a big exotic quest for a gun you didn’t think you could get, like the Lumina healing hand cannon. Look at your Lore Books, and figure out where the missing pages might be. Make your own goals, and surprise yourself.
  • Think about friends who might be into joining you. While lots of exciting new stuff is exclusive to Shadowkeep, the Destiny 2 base game is also getting an upgrade and going free-to-play alongside the Shadowkeep launch, so it’s the perfect time to recruit some pals. They won’t be able to do everything with you, but they’ll have free access to every destination, so they’ll definitely be able to come along on the grind.
  • If you need help, ask for it! The Destiny community has by and large maintained a pretty positive atmosphere, and is full of people willing to help solo players do things they can’t pull off alone. Consider this weekend as a time to make friends and mix it up, so you won’t be going into Shadowkeep alone.

Advertisement

That’s all I have for you right now. See you on the moon next week.

Source: Kotaku.com

Code Vein’s Character Creation Has All The Options

There are nearly 500 eyebrow options in Code Vein’s character creator.

There is a lot of every option in the robust character creation toolset of Bandai Namco’s post-apocalyptic vampire adventure. Players begin by choosing a gender, one of the creator’s simplest options. From there, they can choose between 32 different premade characters. These serve as a starting point for a much larger series of decisions. Each preset character is stunning in their own way.

Advertisement

Once a preset is selected, the best option is to skip down to entering a name and advancing directly to gameplay. Otherwise, moving on to “Advanced Settings” opens up a staggering amount of customization that kept me occupied for several hours when I was supposed to be playing the actual game.

There are 58 different hairstyles in Code Vein’s character creator. Each hairstyle has multiple color options, base color, and highlights. Once you’ve chosen and colored the perfect hairstyle you’ll discover the accessories menu. Along with glasses, hats, gloves, jewelry, and other random bits, the accessories menu has an entire section filled with hair extensions.

Advertisement

There are only a handful of outfits in Code Vein’s character creator, which is good, because each one can be customized with dozens of different colors and patterns. Flat colors. Glowing colors. Plaids. Animal patterns. Metallic sheens. Vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, and checkerboard.

Advertisement

Sweet Christ, there are 66 different options for eye highlights in Code Vein’s character creator. EYE HIGHLIGHTS.

This is why I spent an hour and a half creating my first character in Code Vein. Then I played through the opening section and realized I didn’t like the character I created. I made a new character and started the game over. Eventually, I found the in-game headquarters, where characters can be edited on the fly. I felt stupid for not checking this out sooner, but also pretty.

Advertisement

In the video up top I spend ten minutes showing off Code Vein’s character creator while gushing. It’s deep and complicated, as a character creator should be. It’s the game’s best feature.

Source: Kotaku.com

Code Vein Is The Chillest Dark Souls Clone

Bandai Namco’s anime vampire apocalypse adventure Code Vein is clearly meant to be a Dark Souls-style joint. It’s got that signature slower, methodical combat and massive, challenging bosses. Hell, it’s even got a Souls-like currency that can be lost when a player meets their untimely end. But Code Vein also has hot anime AI partners, a homey headquarters with a fully stocked bar and working jukebox, and a relaxing hot springs to help drain what little tension the game manages to muster.

For a game about vampiric revenants battling over dwindling blood supplies at the end of the world, Code Vein is surprisingly laid back. During the game’s early moments, following my apocalpytic bloodsucker’s awakening from an incredibly robust character creator, things look pretty grim. My character, with no memory of her life, finds herself enslaved by a group of revenants who plan on using her to harvest blood bulbs from blood trees. Fortunately, however, her first mission ends with her encountering Louis, a friendly vampire determined to find a away for humans and revenants to live in peace and harmony.

Advertisement

There is an obscene amount of character creation in this game.

Louis is researching the strange blood bulb-producing plants that have been popping up, hoping that by discovering their source he can tap into an endless, cruelty-free food supply. How fortunate! In a world filled with scavengers desperate to survive and infested with The Lost, twisted, feral creatures who were once human before surrendering to their endless thirst, we run into the one guy trying to make things right. We’re the luckiest revenants ever.

Louis and his cadre of like-minded vampire pals are a big part of why Code Vein feels so safe to me. Almost immediately, the game lets me know that I don’t have to go it alone. Whenever I’m out exploring the deep caves or ruined cityscapes, Louis or one of his friends tags along. They fight by my side. Hell, sometimes they fight for me.

Take one of the game’s earlier bosses, the Butterfly of Delirium. She’s a scantily clad anime woman in the front, a weird lizard thing in the back, and she was giving me a hell of a time. I’d fight her, die, and respawn a few enemies away at the “Mistle,” Code Vein’s version of a campfire. Then I’d hop into the game’s menu, fiddling with my character’s weapon and skill loadout. Maybe change the “Blood Code” or character job I was using. I’d head back to Madame Butterfly, run out of healing items in mid-battle, miss a dodge and get poisoned and die.

Advertisement

I repeated this process several times. Sometimes I’d farm “Haze” (read: Souls) to upgrade my weapons or unlock new abilities. Mistle comes in incredibly handy, as every time the player rests all the nearby monsters respawn. There’s a Mistle located in an abandoned parking garage just down the ramp from a large enemy that drops valuable items. I like to pop over there and do some farming. It also helps that I can teleport back to home base at any point, sell some gear, buy some power-ups, and maybe listen to a little music before charging back into the fray.

“I wonder how I am going to kill that butterfly thing,” my character thinks as she reclines in her comfy bed back at home base.

Advertisement

After several painful deaths at the wings and poison clouds of the Butterfly of Delirium, here’s the strategy that finally worked: I dodged. I spent the entire battle dodging her attacks, resisting the urge to charge in and get a few whacks with my broadsword or perform a special ichor-draining attack to reload my ichor-powered rifle. Instead, I just let my AI-controlled companion kill the damn boss. Louis wasn’t quite cutting it, so I switched to Yakumo, Louis’s hotter, red-headed friend. His massive sword did all the work. I didn’t even both casting any shared buffs. Didn’t want to make the boss mad.

Advertisement

Kotaku’s Heather Alexandra participated in Code Vein’s network test earlier this year and complained that calling additional players into battle trivializes boss battle. I’m playing pre-release—the game launches for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One tomorrow—so I’ve not been able to find other real people to play with, but so far the AI companions are doing a fine job of trivializing combat without human help. Outside of the Butterfly battle, the only real challenge I’ve faced are Trials of Blood, special in-game events where hordes of The Lost swarm the player and their partner, attempting to overwhelm them with sheer numbers.

Code Vein isn’t a very challenging game, and I don’t mind at all. It’s all about unlocking that next Mistle and regularly spending Haze on leveling up your character and unlocking skills. Initially I was worried it would be another dark and dreary Souls-like game, dulling its anime vampire edge with plodding, brutish combat. Instead, it’s this weird sort of Souls-like playground, where players are free to experiment with new weapon combinations and Blood Code builds without worrying too much about losing progress or getting overly frustrated or being challenged in any meaningful way.

Advertisement

Hell, I spent an hour grinding to gather enough Haze to unlock and master some abilities from the Hunter and Ranger Blood Codes to help me find items and make enemies show up on radar. I had no plan. They just sounded like cool skills, and this is the sort of game where I can spend hours acquiring cool skills and then more hours creating loadouts of said skills and figuring out which combination of blades, guns, and magic spells are best at making an easy job even easier.

Collecting Blood Codes is like collecting job classes, only edgier.

Advertisement

It’s those sorts of game mechanics that will keep me coming back once Code Vein goes live. I’m not particularly interested in the game’s story, as I’ve already gotten my fill of “hot anime people at the end of the world” from Astral Chain on the Nintendo Switch. The post-apocalyptic world is pretty in many places but plain in many others.

Advertisement

Nah, I’m here for teams of players gathering online and completely fucking this shit up. My NPC friends and I can do an awful lot of damage to the dark denizens of Code Vein’s crumbling society. I can’t wait to see the sort of carnage real players can summon. I am here for that.

Advertisement

And maybe the random hot springs.

Source: Kotaku.com

FIFA 20 vs PES 2020: Which Is Better?

I can’t remember the last time both of these games so underwhelmed.

In recent years both have had their individual highs and lows. FIFA’s last pre-Frostbite seasons were rough, and PES has long been walking a knife’s edge between eccentric brilliance and outright embarrassment.

This is not a normal Kotaku review

Sports game reviews are usually pretty boring, so for a few years now I’ve decided against giving each of these titles a spotlight of their own, instead pitting them in a caged fight to the death. Only insane people are going to get both of these games, so most football fans probably just want to know which of the two is the one to pick up. Most years it’s FIFA. Some years it’s not.

Every time one stumbled, though, the other was there to carry the day, whether it was PES’ Fox Engine revolution or FIFA’s surprisingly excellent single-player story mode, “the Journey.” I’d always be able to point to one of these two games, combatants in the last genuine competition in the sports game market, and say this one is definitely the one to get.

This year, instead of a confident thrusting of my finger, I can only half-heartedly wave my hand. PES is stuck in the same rut it’s been in for years now, capable on the pitch but increasingly a shambles off of it, while FIFA has somehow, in a genre defined by its obsession with incremental upgrades, managed to go backwards.

Here’s how this year’s head-to-head review is going to work. I’m going to give you what I like most about both games and what I don’t like. I’ll give a reluctant endorsement to one of them, and then we’re going to go our separate ways and reconvene same time next year to see what’s up.

“Volta,” FIFA 20’s new indoor/futsal mode, complete with story-driven campaign, was supposed to be this year’s big new addition. It’s sadly not very good.

FIFA 20

THE GOOD STUFF

CAREER MODE – This is less of a big 2019 update and more of just the slow accumulation of features over the last few seasons, but FIFA’s career mode—especially as a manager—is now so fully featured that it’s like a Football Manager Lite, down to keeping players happy and getting into the nitty gritty of international scouting. The new contract negotiation system, which plays out with agents in a tense cinematic office/restaurant environment, is fantastic.

SETUP TOUCHFIFA’s new “setup touch” makes it far easier to either hold the ball up in tight spaces, set the ball up correctly for a long pass (see below) or take a player on 1v1. Stopping a ball dead at your feet, rolling it a bit, doing a stepover then blasting past a flat-footed defender is one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced in a football game. I know this sounds like one of those annoying little incremental bullet point updates for a sports game, but this really does make a big difference to the way I played the game.

MISKICKS – While for the most part FIFA has tried to get more realistic over the past decade (it was originally a decidedly arcade experience), one area where it always lagged behind PES was the way you could string together pinpoint passes regardless of the direction the person receiving the ball was facing in relation to where he was kicking it.

In FIFA 20 there are now very strict rules regarding this, so if you try and just spam quick throughballs into the centre of midfield with your back to the opposition’s half, your players won’t perform leg-snapping miracles, they’ll just completely miskick it. Combined with the physicality and 1v1 “strafing” of the setup touch, it really helps to slow down FIFA’s pace, and really helps with allowing for calculated build-up play in an opponent’s final third, a ploy previous FIFA games just weren’t interested in accommodating.

THE BAD STUFF

VOLTA – Ah, this one stings. I’ve been dying for the return of indoor football to mainline FIFA for decades. This year it’s back, and…it sucks. FIFA’s rubbery player animations struggle on the tighter confines of Volta’s fields, and the Hello Fellow Kids attempt at a storyline is absolutely excruciating.

ULTIMATE TEAM – Every year Ultimate Team inches closer, NBA 2K-style, to becoming the central focus of the FIFA experience, and every year that bums me out a little more. This mode is essentially gambling, it’s bad news for kids, and it has no place in a retail video game that’s already asking for you a big up-front investment.

PES 2020

THE GOOD STUFF

“THE PITCH IS OURS” – Every year PES’ gameplay, with its methodical player animation and 1:1 ball physics, gets a little closer to playing like the real thing. This year it got a little closer still. I never, ever score the same goal twice in PES, and its midfield battles are far more tactical than FIFA’s breakneck race to the penalty box.

MENUS – This seems like a minor thing to heap praise on, but for the longest time PES’ front end has been a nightmare to plod through. This year it’s much nicer, which for a game you might be spending hundreds of hours with, makes a big difference!

One area PES really excels, and I don’t think it gets enough credit for this, is its player models and animation. FIFA looks like a Saturday morning cartoon in comparison.

THE BAD STUFF

SLOPPYPES 2020 is just so rough around the edges. It launched without correct team rosters, data updates take forever, in-game replays are doubled in length due to constant splashing of the game’s logo…everywhere you look, there’s just stuff there (or not there) that feels unfinished.

COMMENTARY – I think Peter Drury is the worst commentator working in football today, so his mere presence in the game isn’t helping here, but even were I a fan I’d still be criticizing PES for this. Its commentary is repetitive, slow and bizarrely unspecific, and after a few games got so tiring I just played games without it.

AI – Here’s the real deal-breaker with PES though: Throughout my review, the AI would continually just break down, especially when it came to player movement off the ball. Sometimes my striker would start to make a run behind the defense then just stop and wander off, while my defenders would see an opposition striker heading at them and turn their backs. It didn’t happen all the time, but it happened more than enough for it to make a difference on the scoresheet in several key games, which was absolutely unforgivable.

THE VERDICT

Both games underwhelmed this year because neither failed to progress significantly from where they were in 2018. FIFA 20 in particular feels like a lesser offering than FIFA 19, because “the Journey” was such an accomplished and enjoyable addition to the game; its absence this year is sorely felt, especially when Volta’s own story is so poor by comparison.

We’re here for a recommendation, though, not commiseration, and so despite its shortcomings I think FIFA is once again the better overall offering. Volta might be a misfire, but the way I can try and take defenders on 1v1 is now more fun than it’s basically ever been in a football game, regardless of the publisher, and the state career mode is in threatens to pull me away from Football Manager (of which I’m admittedly a pretty casual player) entirely.

PES, meanwhile, tried a little harder than usual this year, spending more on licenses (not having Juventus in FIFA is weird) and changing the name of the series itself. As befitting a game mired in quicksand, though, the more it struggled, the more it found itself stuck.

The overwhelming impression I got playing both games this year is that they’re just tired. Both series are in need of a fresh shot of adrenaline (and a fresh coat of paint), and they were never going to get it in 2019, in the twilight of the sixth console generation. We can only hope that this year’s stagnation is just a result of something bigger and better coming along next year.

Note 1: I played a retail copy of PES on PC, and had a prerelease copy of FIFA on PS4.

Note 2: I am never calling PES by its new, dumb name.

Source: Kotaku.com

Everything Announced During Today’s Inside Xbox

Photo: Microsoft

Following Sony’s “State of Play” livestream earlier today, Microsoft jumped in with an Inside Xbox presentation featuring new content and services coming to its platform.

More games are coming to Xbox Game Pass. On Xbox One, Jump Force, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Lego Worlds are being added. On PC, Cities: Skylines, Saints Row 4, Bad North, and Dirt Rally 2.0.

The Xbox Game Pass app itself will be updated as well with improvements to the interface. More indie games will also be coming to Game Pass, including Genesis Noir, Lonely Mountains Downhill, and Demon’s Tilt. The rest of the lineup will be shown off in an ID@Xbox Game Pass video on September 26.

Additionally, Felix the Reaper, a comedy-puzzle game about death, will be available October 17, and will be available on Game Pass that day.

Project xCloud, the service that will let people play Xbox console games on phones, tablets, et cetera via streaming, will have a public preview beginning in October. If you’re in the U.S., the U.K., 0r Korea, you can apply today. Halo 5 Guardians, Gears 5, Sea of Thieves, and Killer Instinct will be the four games available in the preview. You’ll need a wireless Xbox One controller and an Android phone to try it.

xCloud is a distinct service from what Microsoft calls “console streaming,” aka using your own console to remotely stream games to your device. This, it said, is coming at a later date.

Four new characters and many other updates are coming to Gears 5. (The hosts also reminded players that if they want to unlock Batista as a character in the game, you have to do that before October 28 or the actor-wrestler will go “back in the vault.”)

Atlas, the pirate MMO that released into Early Access on Steam last year, will be arriving on Xbox One on October 8. Content will arrive simultaneously on Xbox and PC as Atlas is updated, making it the “exact same game on both platforms.”

New Xbox One X and Xbox One S hardware bundles will include Forza Horizon 4 and its Lego Speed Champions expansion.

Other trailers and footage shown during the livestream included Children of Morta (out now on PC, October 15 on Xbox One/PlayStation 4), Code Vein (September 27), The Outer Worlds (October 25), Afterparty (October 29), Tropico 6 (September 27), Ghost Recon: Breakpoint (beta this weekend, full game October 4), Hitman 2‘s Haven Island expansion (today), new DLC for Ace Combat 7 (September 25), and the new map for DayZ, called “Livonia” (coming soon).

Source: Kotaku.com

Microsoft’s Project xCloud Game Streaming Service Will Begin Public Testing In October

Microsoft’s take on game-streaming will be in the hands of a select few members of the public next month. Project xCloud (not its final name) will let people play Xbox One games via the cloud, without the need for a console.

Microsoft announced today that the service will begin a public trial in October, though it won’t be a full-fledged roll-out. The trial will initially be available in the U.S., U.K. and Korea, letting people play Halo 5, Gears 5, Sea of Thieves and Killer Instinct through an Android phone or tablet with an Xbox One wireless controller connected via bluetooth. The service is meant to work over a Wi-Fi or data connection, but the proof of the whole experience will be how well it works as people play it on the go, or wherever they hope to have a decent enough connection. (On the sign-up page, Microsoft asks for “5GHz Wi-Fi or mobile data connection; 10Mbps down”.)

Microsoft has said that it plans to support more devices, more games and more regions, but it is starting with narrower options to test the service. It’ll be free while in the public trial, with the service’s business model to be announced in the future.

Project xCloud is also supposed to enable people to stream games from their own Xbox Ones, but Microsoft has not said when that option, similar to PS4 remote play, will be available.

U.S. gamers can sign up for the xCloud trial here.

Source: Kotaku.com

The Surge 2 Is A Bit Of A Mess, But I Can’t Stop Playing

In The Surge 2’s worst moments, when too many enemies clutter too small hallways, it is a slog. But in other moments, everything falls into place, and it suddenly becomes one of the most addictive games I’ve played all year. The Surge 2 has absurd highs and damning lows, creating an inconsistent experience that I nonetheless can’t put down.

I played The Surge when it came out in 2017 and walked away disappointed. The bones of the game were strong, but shaky level design and clunky bosses made it difficult to enjoy. I wanted to enjoy the fun of its dismemberment-focused combat system, and its irreverent undercurrent of anti-capitalist sentiment had promise as well, but The Surge’s best parts were often outweighed by incredibly frustrating design.

That same duality has carried over to The Surge 2. That said, it is a marked improvement over the first game. Combat is faster, weapons are more varied, and a semi-open world design that evokes a more intricate world than its predecessor. The Surge 2 is a damn fine game on paper, and when everything works, it’s a great one to play. Unfortunately, half the time it breaks apart due to glitches or level designs that are too clever by half.

If you’re rusty on your Surge lore, that won’t matter. All you really need to know heading into this game is that the first game focused on a strange nanotechnological outbreak at a corporate facility run by schmoozy Silicon Valley types. By the end, the nano-plague had gained sentience and fired off a rocket into the atmosphere to spread itself around the world. The Surge 2 starts with you playing as a passenger on an airplane flight that crashes when rocket explodes. You wake up in Jericho City, ground zero of a new outbreak that has plunged the populace into anarchy. You slap on a mechanical exoskeleton and set out to escape the city, dealing with tough bosses and warring factions all the while.

The Surge 2 soars thanks to its combat, a tense affair in which you can target individual limbs on enemies to weaken them. Smash up an individual limb for long enough and you can perform a finishing move that kills the enemy and chops off the limb. (You can also bash them until their health is depleted.) This targeting system can be used on specific weak points—for instance, an enemy without a protective helmet—but what you really want to do with it is target the enemy’s armor. Whenever you slice off an armor piece, you unlock the schematic for it. Dicing your foes into pieces means that you’ll gain the ability to craft all sorts of armors. You can also collect their weapons. This introduces an interesting risk versus reward element to combat. Do I go for the weak point and get the easy kill, or do I methodically target the armor I want?

Like its predecessor, The Surge 2 is packed with enemies who hit like a truck. Even the lightest blows can easily melt your health bar. It’s possible to regain charge for a health-recovery injectable by landing hits on enemies, which provides a little Bloodborne-esque incentive to keep attacking. Every moment in combat is risky, but it is always exciting. The addition of a parry system brings complexity, even though it’s never quite as satisfying as it should be. The animation lacks weight and the timing window is lazy thing. When it connects, it’s a coin flip if the enemy is staggered or somehow easily recovers to smack you in the face. Still, The Surge 2’s combat is largely fantastic and some of the best melee fighting I’ve played.

Combat feels best in one-on-one scenarios, but The Surge 2 likes to populate its winding levels with numerous enemies. Fighting multiple opponents strains the combat systems to the breaking point. This is a game made for locking on to enemies, be it to target limbs or to carefully parry attacks. Turn the corner into an alleyway with three speedy enemies and an asshole with a machine gun, and that’ll undermine everything. Games like Dark Souls reward players for fighting without the tunnel vision of locking on, but The Surge 2 is built around that. As a result, some fights devolve into fracasses that are comedic when they’re not frustrating.

This is compounded by another major flaw: claustrophobic levels. While there are more open areas to fight in The Surge 2 than in the first game, there are still plenty of places with too many enemies and too little space to fight them effectively. The Surge 2’s level design is overenthusiastic, packing areas with enemies in a seeming attempt to increase difficulty. It’s a disappointment to have to slog through areas like this, and one that takes away from how damn good everything else is.

In the best cases, The Surge 2’s world design is incredibly clever. Areas tend to have one medical station that players can use to upgrade their stats and gear. As you explore, you find numerous loops and shortcuts back to this location until there are multiple paths that spread out from the center like a starfish’s arms. Finding these shortcuts is gratifying, creating comfortable “aha!” moments and using the world’s limited size wisely. The Surge was more linear, with more checkpoints and a sense of forward momentum. The Surge 2 has more of a Metroid sensibility in that finding new upgrades unlocks more and more portions of an area. Each of this game’s levels are separated by a main hub where you can explore and even complete side quests for additional rewards. The Surge 2’s hub, Jericho City, is pretty generic in appearance. It’s just some run-down city and I’ve seen that in plenty of games. Still, there’s enough variety and well-designed backtracking in the layout of the game’s map that it’s never a chore to traverse. That might involve opening secret passages into the sewers, or using your drone’s electrical ability to open short-circuited doors that lead to decadent neon-lit clubs. There’s plenty to explore.

Lost in The Surge 2’s shift to Jericho City is The Surge’s acerbic outlook towards capitalism and consumption. The first game was focused on lampooning corporations and crafting a gameplay loop that tied into its themes. Your protagonist, the generic bro Warren, joins the CREO company on the promise that their mechanical rigs will allow him to walk again. That initial tantalizing promise plunges him into a fight where he literally has to carve up fellow workers, take their goods, and continue in a bloody and senseless tragedy brought about by a detached board of directors. The Surge 2 occasionally finds time to explore these ideas through its various factions, but mostly it just feels like a generic sci-fi nanotech romp. It’s a much more superficial game in terms of its overarching themes, even if it is an overall better experience to play.

There are still other problems. The Surge 2 is not the prettiest game to look at. I’m playing on the PlayStation 4 Pro, and I’ve seen a ton of aliasing and textures that refuse to load. That’s not the end of the world, but there are also glitches that get in the way as well. These glitches can be as small as mismatched dismemberment animations to enemies getting stuck in walls. The Surge 2 is undeniably ambitious, and down to the very tech, it seems a little out of its league.

As I wrote these impressions, though, I came to a realization. I really like The Surge 2. It was like realizing that you have a crush on someone you previously couldn’t stand. There’s so much to dislike here, from swarming enemies and boring boss fights to glitches galore. And yet, I’m hooked. The Surge 2 might not be a polished gem, but unlike its predecessor, the good outweighs the flaws. It might frustrate from time to time, but that’s fine. When it lands its punches, they’re knockouts.

Source: Kotaku.com

Every Big Game Coming Out In Fall 2019

Illustration: Chelsea Beck

It’s fall, the season when the days grow colder, the nights grow longer, and the video games are ripe for harvesting. The changing leaves are pretty, but they’re also dead. Why go outside and revel in decay when you can stay inside and get your game on?

There’s a ton of Switch ports over the next three months, including big-name games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Overwatch, plus new games like Pokémon Sword and Shield and Luigi’s Mansion 3. That Kojima guy has a game coming out in November that people seem excited about. And believe it or not, this fall we’re getting a brand new Call of Duty game.

Here’s every big video game coming out this fall:

September 24

Contra Rogue Corps | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Dead by Daylight | Switch

Noita | PC

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid | PC

Star Wars Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast | PS4, Switch

The Surge 2 | PC, PS4, Xbox One

September 26

Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

September 27

Dragon Quest I, II, III | Switch

Dragon Quest XI | Switch

FIFA 20 | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Ori and the Blind Forest | Switch

September 30

Cube World | PC

October 1

80 Days | Switch

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep | PC, PS4, Xbox One

Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition | Switch

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint | PC, PS4, Xbox One (Early Access)

October 3

Neo Cab | Switch, PC

October 4

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

October 8

Burger Time Party! | Switch

Concrete Genie | PS4

Indivisible | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

John Wick Hex | PC

Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

October 11

Frostpunk | PS4, Xbox One

Killer Queen Black | PC, Switch

October 15

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition | PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Overwatch | Switch

Planescape & Icewind Dale Enhanced Editions | PS4, Switch, Xbox One

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt | Switch

October 16

Little Town Hero | Switch

October 17

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes | PC, PS4

October 18

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition | PC, Switch

Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville | PC, PS4, Xbox One

Ringfit Adventure | Switch

October 22

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III | PS4

WWE 2K20 | PC, PS4, Xbox One

October 25

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare | PC, PS4, Xbox One

Medievil | PS4

The Outer Worlds | PC, PS4, Xbox One

October 29

Afterparty | PC

Harvest Moon Mad Dash | PS4, Switch

Resident Evil 5 | Switch

Resident Evil 6 | Switch

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD | PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Vampyr | Switch

October 31

Luigi’s Mansion 3 | Switch

Moons of Madness | PC, PS4, Xbox One

November

Google Stadia Founder’s Pack

November 5

Just Dance | PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Wii

Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games | Switch

Planet Zoo | PC

November 7

Garfield Kart: Furious Racing | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

November 8

Death Stranding | PS4

Layton’s Mystery Journey | Switch

Need For Speed Heat | PC, PS4, Xbox One

New Super Lucky’s Tale | Switch

November 12

The Legend of Bum-bo | PC

November 14

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition | PC

November 15

Pokémon Sword and Shield | Switch

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order | PC, PS4, Xbox One

November 19

Shenmue 3 | PC, PS4

November 22

Doom 64 | Switch

Doom Eternal | PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One

Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts | PC, PS4, Xbox One

December 2

One Finger Death Punch 2 | Switch

December 3

Farm Simulator 20 | Switch

Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition | PS4, Switch, Xbox One

December 5

Star Ocean First Departure R | PS4, Switch

December 6

Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection | Switch

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Are You Ready For Some Soccer?

This week one of the biggest new releases is FIFA 20, a game that I know almost nothing about. I know it has soccer in it and I also know that most places in the world call it football. But I already used that headline in a previous Week In Games post.

My favorite thing about the FIFA games is how they keep releasing on old consoles, even years after the console has stopped getting official support or other new games. Last year, FIFA 19 was released on Xbox 360 and PS3. Even more impressive is that FIFA 14 was released on the PS2 in 2013, though that was the last year FIFA appeared on the console. How long will FIFA keep releasing on PS4 and Xbox One after the new consoles? Take your bets now!

Beyond a big new soccer game, there is a bunch of ports. A huge list of RPGs are hitting Switch, including multiple ports of old and new Dragon Quest games. For fans of Star Wars, Jedi Knight II, one of the best Star Wars games ever made, releases for Switch and PS4 this week. And The Surge 2 hits Xbox One, PS4, and PC for fans of Dark Souls and robots.

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, September 23

  • Oliver’s Adventures in The Fairyland | Switch
  • Skyrift | PC
  • Mystery Solitaire: Grimm’s Tales 2 | PC, Mac
  • Chronac | PC
  • Applewood | PC
  • Starazius | PC, Mac

Tuesday, September 24

  • The Surge 2 | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Contra: Rogue Corps | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • The Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition Pack | PS4, Xbox One Switch
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight II – Jedi Outcast | PS4, Switch
  • Planescape: Torment/ Icewind Dale Enhanced Edition | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid | PC
  • Cat Quest II: The Lupus Empire | PC
  • Dead By Daylight | Switch
  • FLYING GIRL STRIKER | Switch
  • Breeza Budgie Bill | PC
  • Flynguin Station | PC
  • Hexxon | PC, Mac
  • Noita | PC
  • Spellcaster University | PC, Mac
  • Dosk | PC, Mac

Wednesday, September 25

  • Sally’s Law | Xbox One
  • Constructor Plus | Xbox One
  • Rex Rocket | Xbox One
  • Mario Kart Tour | Android, iOS
  • Home Sweet Home Ep. 2 | PC
  • The Long Drive | PC
  • Hooklings | PC
  • Solitaire Game Halloween | PC, Mac
  • Viking Brothers 6 | PC
  • Tank Nova | PC, Mac
  • Snow Island | PC

Thursday, September 26

  • Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition | Switch
  • Northgard | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Fight’N Rage | Switch
  • Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman | Switch
  • Cyber Protocol | Switch
  • Habroxia | Switch
  • Barry Bradford’s Putt Panic Party | Switch
  • Paper Train | Switch
  • Button Button Up! | Switch
  • The Kingdom Crumble | PC, Mac
  • Wanderlust Travel Stories | PC, Mac
  • BAFF 4 | PC
  • Fishery | PC
  • A Story Beside | PC

Friday, September 27

  • The Adventures Of Elena Temple | Xbox One
  • Tropico 6 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Code Vein | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Fight’N Rage | Xbox One
  • FIFA 20 | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Ori and The Blind Forest: Definitive Edition | Switch
  • Mining Rail 2 | Xbox One, PC
  • Freedom Finger | Switch, PC
  • Memorrha | PC, Mac
  • Rain of Reflections | PC
  • Aokana: Four Rhythms Across The Blue | PC
  • Dragon Quest XI | Switch
  • Dragon Quest Heroes I & II | Switch
  • Dragon Quest | Switch
  • Dragon Quest II | Switch
  • Dragon Quest III | Switch
  • Car Mechanic Simulator Pocket Edition | Switch
  • Dreaming Canvas | Switch
  • Marhmallow Madness | PC
  • Nordlicht | PC, Mac
  • Necrolepsy | PC

Saturday, September 28

  • Shard | PC
  • Micro Car Crash Online LE Go! | PC
  • Climb Out | PC

Source: Kotaku.com