Just like in the Harry Potter books and movies, you can choose your house in Hogwarts Legacy through a Sorting Hat quiz. For the uninitiated, the four Hogwarts houses are Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff. Gryffindors are brave and daring, Slytherins are cunning and ambitious, Ravenclaws are eccentric and intelligent, and Hufflepuffs are trustworthy and hardworking. However, like the characters of the series, your house doesn’t define you. For instance, Hermione Granger is seen as one of the most intelligent students at Hogwarts, yet she is a Gryffindor and not a Ravenclaw. By understanding how Hogwarts Legacy’s sorting quiz works — or by using the account link feature before playing — you can end up in the house of your choosing. How house sorting works in Hogwarts Legacy Soon after the start of the game, you’ll arrive at Hogwarts just in time for the Sorting Ceremony. There are two different ways you can be sorted into your house. You can either take a very short in-game quiz, or you can link your Harry Potter Fan Club and WB Games accounts for a more personal house selection. Whichever method you decide to use, you can influence the Sorting Hat’s decision. Once you arrive to the Sorting Ceremony after the tutorial, you’ll sit at the front of the Great Hall, and Professor Weasley will place the Sorting Hat atop your head. From here, you’ll be given two prompts where you must make a choice. ‘I can’t wait to start classes’ or ‘I can’t wait to explore’ quiz question difference Image: Avalanche Software/Warner Bros. Games via Polygon First, the Sorting Hat says, “You come here with preferences and preconceptions — certain expectations.” “I can’t wait to start classes.” “I can’t wait to explore.” Your answer here will not affect your house selection at all, so feel free to choose either option. How to get Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin in Hogwarts Legacy Image: Avalanche Soft
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Oh, this is new. It feels new anyway. In Super Raft Boat Together, which you can try out as part of the Steam Next Fest, you're in classic twin-stick territory. But your arena is a raft, out at sea, and the beasts you're up against can take chunks out of it. But! You can rebuild it! But! To do that you have to stop shooting for a bit. Gosh, it's hectic. Each game here is a properly exhausting thing as I gad about, defending my raft, rebuilding my raft, accidentally taking a seagull to the face. Those seagulls! Just like the real thing they like to wheel about in the air and then divebomb. Then there are fish which flop onto the deck and sharks that take pieces of the raft with them like they're eating a chocolate bar. If you can't tell by now, I'll just come out and say it: t
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Steam Next Fest is back with a veritable truck ton of fresh game demos to sample, and we've been plunging our eager little mitts into the latest batch of indie delights to unearth some handy recommendations for you to hit first. Running from now until February 13th, there are always oodles of demos to try in a Next Fest, so sometimes it's nice to have a helping hand in working out what's worth sinking your time into. Below, we've rounded up 16 of our favourites so far, and we'll be writing about plenty more demos we've yet to try over the coming week. Like previous Next Fests, we've only had access to a small portion of the full February Next Fest slate ahead of time, and what you'll see below is a selection of games that stood out to us the most in that early slice. There are no doubt loads more great demos to play across the next week and a bit that we haven't covered here (as well as some like The Great War: Western Front whose demos we wrote about in more detail last week), so if you happen across something neat, be sure to shout about it in the comments. We'll be playing and writing about more demos across the coming days, so watch out for further highlights later in the week. For now, though, here's what we think you should download first in this latest February Next Fest. Xenonauts 2 Hayden: Xenonauts 2 is a tough-as-nails split between base management and turn-based tactics that, like its predecessor, harkens back to the X-COMs of old. It’s an overwhelming game, and one that offers little guidance in learning how to defend the world from aliens. In fact, much of my time with the demo was spent getting slaughtered by them. They might shoot your troops through a slim line of sight that you could never have predicted. They might get got by their own teammate, who knew they’d miss a shot but decided to go whole hog and commit anyway. My favourite death so far is a soldier whose name I didn’t even get a chance to learn, because they got shot on round one, went berserk, and blew themselves up with a grenade launcher. RIP... that guy. But, even after it threw me out of the frying pan, clobbered me with it, doused me in oil, and chucked me into the fire of a UFO crash site, I came out with a wide grin. It’s tough. Really tough. These little troops barely stand a chance. But, after months of having superhero strength in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, that’s exactly what I need. Download the demo on Steam right here. Mr Sun's Hatbox Katharine: One of this year's IGF nominees for Excellence in Design, Mr Sun's Hatbox is a game with an exceedingly daft premise - Mr Sun's hatbox gets stolen by the dastardly Mr Moon - that's executed to absolute perfection. Who are the other blobs with legs in Mr Moon's employ? Doesn't matter. All you need to worry about is bopping them on the noggin, nicking their headwear, and maybe fulton balloon-ing both them and their weapon back to your underground HQ Metal Gear Solid V-style so you can prepare for your big, end of level hat heist. This is a platforming roguelike that feels both tightly controlled and wonderfully chaotic in the hands. With only a set number of fulton balloons at your disposal, you'll be swapping hats and weapons throughout your run, chucking soup vats for springy punching gloves and baguettes for bow and arrows. It's entirely unpredictable, and I absolutely love it. What's more, each rotund blob dude you recruit has their set of randomized quirks and personality traits you'll have to deal with too, which includes wigging out at the sight of corpses (of which there are many in a general run of Mr Sun's Hatbox), and having a 'skin condition' where medkits actually hurts you. Honestly, I should have guessed from the name 'Bandages' Alvarez. Not all traits are bad, though. The more you level them up, the better they become, with my blob guys growing out of bad habits and into newer, more useful ones. Alas, the 20-odd minute demo in this year's Next Fest doesn't leave you a lot of room to get to know many of your round lads, but cor, what a great first impression all the same. Download the demo on Steam right here. Shadows Of Doubt Ollie: Shadows Of Doubt is a game you should be interested in even if you don't intend to play it. It's a sandbox detective game where everything is procedurally generated, from the rain-soaked hyper-industrialised noir city to its hundreds of inhabitants, and even the crimes and cases themselves. That's right - not even the crimes are scripted. I played an hour or so of an admittedly rough demo and it was overwhelming, frequently stressful, but honestly quite staggering in its ambition. Following a lead, I journeyed to an apartment where I came across a dead body. I skulked around for clues on what happened, pinning dozens of tidbits of information to my investigation board, and drawing links between the pins as I saw fit. Completely under my own steam, I phoned numbers in the deceased's address book, scanned fingerprints, and was about to leave to chase my newfound leads when I heard police at the door. With seconds to spare I hid inside a cupboard, and remained there while they searched the place, adrenaline pumping, wondering if they would ever leave or if they'd open the cupboard door and I'd have to somehow fight my way out - if I even could. There's so much I still don't understand about Shadows Of Doubt, and I'm not entirely convinced that I actually had fun playing it, but it's fascinating and incredibly impressive, and I felt an immersion while playing that I haven't felt probably since Cyberpunk 2077. Download the demo on Steam right here. Mr Saitou Ed: I loved Rakuen, a pixel art RPG that mixed serious themes with fantasy cuteness, and developer Laura Shigihara's newest offering is Mr. Saitou, a game set in the same universe as Rakuen. Just going by its short demo, I'm convinced it's going to be equally as special. You play as Mr. Saitou, a white-collar worker whose life is dictated by a bruising corporate regime, and whose health crumbles in a series of quick flashbacks. The demo starts with a visit to hospital, as you meet an upbeat kid who sketches you, Mr. Saitou, as a fusion of a llama and a worm - a llamaworm! Despite Mr. Saitou's early irritation, it's clearly the start of a healing process. He even cracks a smile. After falling asleep, Mr. Saitou awakes in a fantasy version of his corpo-life as a... llamaworm? Wait, everyone is a llamaworm?! I won't spoil anymore, but it's genuinely hilarious throughout, and a great commentary on the absurdities of business. Straight on the wishlist. Download the demo on Steam right here. Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire Alice Bee: I'm not big on survival games like Don't Starve because I am very bad at them, but darn it if Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire didn't spark joy in my empty heart. Voltaire himself is a lil vampire who prefers broccoli to delicious necks, and is thus cast out to make a life for himself in a nearby graveyard owned by his uncles (who are two heads on one Frankenstein's monster body). By day, you plant Halloween-themed vegetable crops, harvest any that have grown to maturity, and gather water and other resources. By night, you set traps and fend off the nasty monsters sent by your dad to destroy your plants and scupper your vegetarianism. There are some clever curve balls in the design that force you to balance your garden space very carefully. It's both smart and cute. Download the demo on Steam right here. It’s A Wrap! Rachel: I first spotted It’s A Wrap! at PAX West last year and was immediately intrigued with its gimmick. It’s a platformer where you use the different tracks of an editing suite to affect the scene above, then when you press pay you have to guide your character through the perfectly timed chaos you’ve just coordinated. It’s such a smart idea for a platformer, and one that also works incredibly well in practice. Each level plays out like a Hollywood film set: you’re given a script to follow and then have to synchronise the set and the actor so the action scene will play out perfectly. One level
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What’s a witch or wizard without their wand? In Hogwarts Legacy, you’ll start off with a hand-me-down wand, but you’ll soon make your way to Ollivanders to find the right wand for you. You can keep the wand that chose you, or you can customize your wand’s style, wood, flexibility, length, and core. Keep reading to see all of the options you can choose from, and if your wand affects your in-game strength. Wand selection in Hogwarts Legacy explained After arriving at Ollivanders in Hogwarts Legacy, you’ll go through a series of wands only to find yourself incompatible with them. Ollivander will find one last wand that is perfect for you. If you’ve linked your Harry Potter Fan Club and WB Games accounts, as well as your house choice, you’ll be presented with the wand associated with your Harry Potter Fan Club account. If not, you’ll be given a wand with random characteristics. From here, you can either purchase the wand that chose you, or change the wand’s characteristics before proceeding. Can you change the wand in Hogwarts Legacy? Once you have selected and purchased your wand at Ollivanders, you cannot change your wand. You’ll have to create a new character to receive a new wand, so double-check that the one you have is the perfect wand for you. However, you’ll find wand handles as you play Hogwarts Legacy, which can be used to further customize the appearance of your wand. A few example handles on a Spiral wand. Graphic: Polygon | Source images: Avalanche Software/Warner Bros. Games What is the best wand selection in Hogwarts Legacy? Your wand doesn’t have any effect on how strong your character can be in Hogwarts Legacy. It’s purely cosmetic, so create a wand that you’re happy with! Wand types and differences Before purchasing your wand, you can change the wand’s style, wood type, length, flexibility, and core. As mentioned above, these have no impact on the wand’s strength — but there are several lore reasons to choose some styles over others. Style There’s a total of eight wand styles in H
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Discover the lost legacy of Sir Reginald Sharkingston Some of my favourite games involve visiting a fantastical town, befriending the residents, discovering their stories, and trading with them. Too often those same games also have too-difficult turn-based murderfests in-between, though. Here comes Townseek to fix that. It's an adorable and "relaxing" exploration-trading game in which you pilot an airship, customise your balloon, and visit eg. some sort of bee kingdom, as per the screenshot above. Th
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It’s worth linking your Harry Potter Fan Club and WB Games accounts for a more personalized Hogwarts Legacy experience. This involves a couple of quizzes to find which Hogwarts house you belong to and the right wand for you. Though you can do this in the game, connecting your accounts ahead of time means you can get the ball rolling now. After your accounts are linked, you’ll be sorted into your house and you’ll bring your wand into the game — and receive bonus rewards. How to link Harry Potter Fan Club and WB Games accounts in Hogwarts Legacy Create a WB Games account and a Harr
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Image: Karen S. Darboe, Cris Peter/Marvel Comics The family that slays together stays together By Feb 6, 2023, 4:00pm EST It’s been almost eight years since Marvel first announced a book starring the daughter of Blade, the day-walking vampire hunter — and this week, writer Danny Lore and artist Karen S. Darboe finally put her on the page. What caused the delay? Well, back in 2015, superhero comics were several years into a lot of conversations about character and creator diversity, conversations that intensified when Marvel announced the debut of a new Black superheroine had been assigned to an all-white, all-male creative team. That book’s writer, Tim Seeley, voluntarily stepped away, with hopes that Marvel would cultivate new talent for the book soon, especially after the success of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze’s Black Panther. And though I love Seeley’s work, Lore and Darboe were worth the wait, with a first issue that feels very fresh and very classic Marvel at the same time. What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.) Bloodline: Daughter of Blade #1 Image: Danny Lore, Karen S. Darboe/Marvel Comics It sounds flippant to say that Brielle Brooks’ story so far recalls Buffy the Vampire Slayer — but it’s hard to imagine how a story about a teenage girl discovering her new anti-vampire superpowers could avoid it. Also, Buffy the Vampire Slayer objecti
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If you think we’ve given Hasbro enough money for one lifetime, and you’re looking for a TTRPG purchase you can feel good about, Humble Bundle is currently offering several tiered options for anyone looking to break into the world of Pathfinder until Feb. 23, starting at $5. The entry-level tier gets you all the references and rulebooks you need to start your own Pathfinder journey, but there are additional tiers at $15 and $25 donations that get you even more fun stuff to spice up your campaign. The proceeds from your Humble Bundle purchase not only go to the publisher Paizo, which has locked legal horns with D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast but a portion is also set aside to benefit the Code for America foundation. Code for America helps to fund and improve community-level digital services like applying for food stamps and other public benefits. While Wizards of the Coast has since abandoned its attempts to alter the Open Gaming License (OGL), the framework used by Pathfinder and other TTRPGs, the legal upheaval has led longtime fans of the D&D system to seek out alternatives. The second-edition Pathfinder ruleset and its sci-fi offshoot Starfinder are both excellent systems that we can definitely recommend for their more refined tabletop experience, and interesting origins. Any of the tiered bundles on offer are great for those looking to break into the Pathfinder system, but it's worth noting that these are exclusively virtual goods, meaning you’ll have to seek out external printing resources like DriveThruRPG if you’re planning to use Flip Mats or a bunch of character tokens for your next campaign. Pathfinder Humble Bundle $5 Prices taken at time of publishing. Humble Bundle is currently offering everything you need to kickstart your own Pathfinder campaign with collections of Bestiaries, Rulebooks, Character Sheets, and One Shot campaigns starting at $4.99. $5 at Humble Bundle A minimum donation of just $5 gets you PDFs of the following Pathfinder products, giving you everything you need to spin up your own characters and dive into the larger world of Pathfinder. Pathfinder Beginner Box Pathfinder Core Rulebook Pathfinder Bestiary Pathfinder Character Sheet Pack Pathfinder Character Pawn Collection Pathfinder Lost Omens World Guide Pathfinder One-Shot #1: Sundered Waves If you’re willing to donate at least $15, you’ll get everything from the previous tier in addition to the following PDFs to add a little extra flavor to your campaign. Pathfinder Bestiary 2 Pathfinder Lost Omens Character Guide Pathfinder
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Big balance changes are in store in season 3 of Overwatch 2, including substantial adjustments to the game’s tank heroes and a series of tweaks to Mercy, a hero constantly in flux. Tank players should play close attention to Blizzard’s patch notes, as that role is getting a game-changing nerf in certain modes. One change that will affect all characters in Overwatch 2 starting with season 3 is how much ult charge players will retain when swapping to another hero. Thus far, Blizzard has let players keep 30% of their ultimate charge, but that will drop to 25% starting Tuesday. As far as tanks are concerned, Blizzard is reducing the health totals for all tank heroes in game modes that do not have a role queue (e.g., Competitive Open Queue, arcade modes). The change, Blizzard says, will help “to address the relative power of those heroes in game modes where there can be multiple of them on the same team.” In practice, that will mean a character like D.Va will have a mech base health of 350 in role queue modes, but a mech base health of 200 in non-role queue modes. Doomfist’s health in role queue will be 450, while that will be reduced to 300 in non-role queue modes. The change may discourage teams from doubling or tripling up on tanks in certain modes. Individual tank heroes are also getting some tweaks. Ramattra’s Annihilation ult is changing: Damaging enemies with the ultimate now slows the duration timer down instead of pausing it entirely. Lasts up to 20 seconds Ultimate cost increased 12% And Reinhardt is getting a full suite of ability changes, as follows: Charge Cooldown reduced from 8 to 7 seconds Fire Strike Damage increased from 90 to 100 Earthshatter Direct hit damage reduced from 250 to 170 Knockdown duration increased from 2.5 to 2.75 seconds Ultimate cost increased 7% Rocket Hammer Knockback impulse reduced from 10 to 6 Elsewhere, like Ramattra and Reinhardt, tanks like Roadhog, Sigma, Wrecking Ball, and Zarya are seeing their ultimate costs increase to varying degrees. Damage and support characters like Mei, Phara, Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira will see their ultimate costs decreased by a few percentage points. But the biggest changes are coming for Mercy players. Here’s the full list of tweaks and Blizzard’s justification for meddling with Mercy once again: Guardian Angel Cooldown increased from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds Holding the backwards directional input and canceling the ability with Jump now moves 20% slower Caduceus Staff Healing-per-second reduced from 55 to 45 Healing is increased by 50% for allies under half health Regeneration Passive “Regeneration” Passive removed New Passive: “Sympathetic Recovery” Mercy heals herself for 25% of healing done with the Caduceus Staff Blizzard says replacing Mercy’s Regeneration passive “with a more interesting interaction was something we wanted to do after all support heroes gained a similar version of it through their Role Passive.” Her healing ability through her Caduceus Staff will make Mercy “even more [of] a triage healer and enable her to more often save low health allies.” Read on for the full and lengthy patch notes for Overwatch 2’s heroe
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N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy is being adapted to a tabletop role-playing game by Green Ronin Publishing. The Fifth Season: Roleplaying in the Stillness will use the well-established d6-based Adventure Game Engine (AGE) system, the same system that underpins many of Green Ronin’s most popular titles. With it, players will be able to guide their own homemade communities (comms) across Earth’s last remaining supercontinent. A crowdfunding campaign runs on Backerkit from now through Feb. 23. “With any license, the first thing you want to do is identify what is unique about it, and then how you can translate that into the game,” Green Ronin founder and president Chris Pramas t
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Developers Frame Break also said they're not ruling out including automation further down the line It takes
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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new Elvis ... or at least a new voice for Elvis — since Austin Butler’s already got an Oscar nomination. Matthew McConaughey will voice Elvis Presley in the new Netflix series Agent Elvis, which got its first trailer on Monday. The series is set to debut on the streaming platform in March. Agent Elvis is an adult animation series, which means lots of swearing and plenty of blood, at least based on the trailer. One thing that isn’t really in the trailer is music, which is a little surprising considering the main character is the King of Rock and Roll. Instead of singing, this series will follow Elvis Presley as he’s recruited by a shadowy government
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Damn, son. That's a ton of fast storage for the mone
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Pokémon Go hosts a monthly Community Day (or two!), allowing players to catch tons of one species of Pokémon and find shiny versions of it fairly easily. Each Community Day typically features a Pokémon who either requires lots of candy to evolve or has three evolution stages. Last year, we saw an exception to this rule, as one day featured Kantonian and Alolan Sandshrew. We’ve also had Eevee Community Day in 2021, which breaks this pattern. Niantic will also run Community Day Classic events, which bring back old Community Day Pokémon. Last year, Pokémon Go had classic events for Bulbasaur, Mudkip, and Dratini, allowing newer players to grab these very powerful older Pokémon with ease. It’s unknown when exactly Niantic chooses to run these events, as they sort of just pop up randomly. The final Community Day of the year in December is typically a weekend-long event that brings back all of the Community Day Pokémon from earlier in the year, so don’t fret if you miss out on one of the days — you’ll be able to catch up in December. Below, we’ve listed out all the known Community Days for 2023. Niantic sometimes announces dates without announcing what the featured Pokémon is; we’ve listed those dates below as well. Pokémon Go 2023 Community Day schedule Date Community Day Special move Date Community Day Special move Jan. 7 Chespin Frenzy Plant Jan. 21 Larvitar (Classic) Smack Down Feb. 5 Noibat Boomburst March 18 TBA TBA April 15 TBA TBA
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A good value for a 10-core design. One of Intel's best budget gaming CPUs, the Core i5 13400F, is down to £189 at Tech Next Day in the UK - compared to £238 for the cheapest 12400/12400F model on Amazon UK. This is a great price for this level of performance, with a 10-core and 16-thread design, max turbo frequency of 4.6GHz and of course the same socket 1700 compatibility as other 12th and 13th-gen Intel CPUs. Note that to get this price, you'll need to use code TND-10 at the checkout - a long-running code that seems to apply to other products as well, FYI. Get the Core i5 13400F for £189 w/ code TND-10 (vs £238 on Amazon UK) It's important to note that Intel is a better value option than AMD in some respects, at least when it comes down to each firm's latest CPUs. Ryzen 7000 requires DDR5 RAM and more expensive motherboards, so you end up paying a bit more for a complete system than you do for an equivalent Intel CPU, which supports cheaper DDR4 in addition to DDR5 - and seems to have more affordable motherboards as a result. That doesn't matter as much at the top end, where the likes of the 7950X or 13900K are likely to be more expensive than your motherboard, but for a more bud
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Overwatch 2 season 3 kicks off on Tuesday, Feb. 7, bringing with it a new map, a new way to earn credits through the game’s seasonal battle pass, and a series of special events, including a new Valentine’s Day-themed event and the return of PachiMarchi, the celebration of all things Pachimari. Overwatch 2’s third season of content will also welcome the game’s first crossover, with One Punch Man-themed skins coming to the game. Naturally, a new season also means new skins. Season 3’s bulk of skins are inspired by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean mythology, headlined by the new Amaterasu Mythic skin for Kiriko available through the game’s premium battle pass. Themed skins for Moira, Reaper, and Junkrat will also be available to unlock through the battle pass, with skins for D.Va, Zenyatta, Genji, Mei, and Ashe (and BOB) available through the in-game shop. Check out those skins in the gallery below: Image: Blizzard Entertainment Image: Blizzard Entertainment Image: Blizzard Entertainment Image: Blizzard Entertainment Image: Blizzard Entertainment Image: Blizzard Entertainment
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Dungeons & Dragons has long been synonymous with role-playing games. Brand awareness has traditionally helped it to the lion’s share of sales, leaving smaller publishers and independent creators to fight over crumbs. All that changed in January when publisher Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of game and toy giant Hasbro, attempted to alter its Open Gaming License (also known as the OGL). The effort backfired spectacularly, and its competitors are now reaping the rewards. At least one tabletop games publisher, Kobold Press, tells Polygon that its sales quadrupled in January. Goodman Games, on the other hand, said it had its best month of sales since 2003. Nearly every other publisher that responded to our request for data reported at least double the expected sales, with some selling through nearly an entire years’ worth of stock in less than three weeks. “I’m sure you’ve heard the joke several times over,” Magpie Games co-founder and CEO Mark Diaz Truman wrote Polygon in an email. “Us indie designers have spent the last 20 years trying to get D&D fans to try something different, and Wizards of the Coast gets it done in a month!” The OGL has been in place for more than two decades. It provides a legal framework by which people have been able to build their own tabletop RPGs alongside D&D. But proposed changes to the OGL instantly created an adversarial relationship between Wizards and its community. Backlash from fans garnered international press, and an organized boycott eventually convinced the toy and games giant to back down. In the weeks that Hasbro spent publicly flailing, customers spent an extraordinary amount of money investing in its competition. Paizo, publisher of the popular Pathfinder and Starfinder games, reported on Jan. 26 that it had sold through “an 8-month supply” of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Chaosium, publishers of Call of Cthulhu, likewise said it has sold through months of stock and has multiple new shipments of books on the way from its manufacturing partners. Digital formats, which D&D has long been reluctant to offer, have also surged in popularity. “We’ve seen a big digital spike in all of our properties
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Overwatch 2 will get its first crossover collaboration, as part of the game’s third season. The game will add new cosmetics inspired by One Punch Man, the superhero manga about a bored hero who can defeat his enemies with a single punch. The first content to come from that collab is a skin for Doomfist inspired by the star of One Punch Man, Saitama. The One Punch Man crossover event in Overwatch 2 will run from March 7 to April 6, and Blizzard said it will include multiple skins and a custom loading screen. Details about the collaboration are still mostly under wraps, and Blizzard promises to reveal more as season 3 — which kicks off Tuesday — rolls out. One Punch Man is the Overwatch franchise’s second major external skin collaboration. Back in 2019, Blizzard and The Lego Grou
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Overwatch has cultivated a healthy community of shippers, and fans love to speculate as to which hero is smooching whom. Blizzard has sparingly indulged in romantic content over the years; we know that Tracer has a lovely girlfriend named Emily, and Genji and Mercy buy each other chocolates. But this February, Blizzard is launching a small, non-canon dating sim called Loverwatch, and I’m hooting and hollering. Loverwatch will be accessible online, and can be played through a browser. Players can check it out between Feb. 13-28, and choose between two dating paths: Mercy or Genji. Also, Hanzo is there to help the player out by playing Cupid. If players unlock the secret ending, they’ll earn a Play of the Game highlight intro in Overwatch 2. The Overwatch dating sim is part of a large
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Hackin' & slashin' through the Han Dynasty During the weekend’s Taipei Game Show, Team Ninja announced that Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty would receive one final demo on PC and consoles. The action-RPG’s demo will be available starting from February 24th at 8AM GMT/ 9AM CET/ 3AM ET until March 27th. The full game is slated to launch on March 3rd for PC, consoles, and Game Pass, so you can try out the game’s Chinese-martial arts combat before and after release. The final demo features the first two chapters of the game, both of which weren’t available in the previous demo. Team Ninja promises the demo will showcase the game’s fast-paced melee combat as you fight waves of demons through the Three Kingdoms. Wo Long’s co-op multiplayer is also included, so you can slay monsters with some friends, too. If you beat the demo and transfer your save file, you’ll be able to unlock the Crouching Dragon Helmet in the final release. I somehow missed Team Ninja's Nioh series, although its Samurai combat and devilish monster designs did scream out at me. Maybe Wo-Long will be where I sta
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The holy trinity of antitrust rejections A new week means one thing: another update on Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. According to a report from The New York Times, Microsoft is expecting the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to oppose the deal, after EU regulators issued their own antitrust warnings last week. Microsoft reportedly believes it can convince EU and UK regulators to accept their concessions and eventually approve the acquisition. While some other countries have approved the buyout, the three most important regulators (US, UK, EU) are all on the same page with a thumbs down. Last December, the US Federal Trade Commission moved to block the deal, arguing it would suppress competition in the console market alongside emerging business models like cloud gaming and subscription services such as Game Pass. Microsoft were hoping to finish the deal by the end of their fiscal year in June, but that seems unlikely as the FTC hearings are scheduled to begin on August 2nd. Regulators’ concerns stem from a number of giant IPs attached to ActiBlizzard including Diablo, Overwatch, and mainly, Call Of Duty. Sony and Microsoft have been in a seemingly eternal back-and-forth over CoD for months. Most recently, Microsoft’s comm lead Frank X. Shaw publicly fired shots at Sony, claiming that PlayStation execs were speaking to EU regulators dishonestly. According to Shaw, Sony were “claiming Microsoft is unwilling to offer them parity for Call of Duty if we acquire Activision." He continued to say that “Nothing could be further
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Plus: DF Direct Weekly on the PS5 beta firmware, DLSS 3 and much more. There's a new trend in video game development. Game studios, even large ones, are binning their own bespoke engines and moving to Unreal Engine instead. We've seen it with CDPR and The Witcher, we've seen it with Crystal Dynamics and Tomb Raider, and now it's happening to another huge franchise: Halo. 343 Industries, the beleagured steward of the franchise, faced a lot of criticism upon the initial reveal of Halo Infinite, largely over its graphics. Despite significant improvements up to and beyond the game's launch, it's clear that the game didn't live up to expectations and now the developer is 'all but starting from scratch' on the next Halo game, with at least 95 developers fired and a switch to Unreal Engine 5 planned - according to a Bloomberg report. It's this story that dominates this week's Digital Foundry Direct discussions, with John Linneman, Alex Battaglia and special guest Sam Machkovech expressing their views on the matter. In my view, it's a tragedy, both for the developers involved and the Slipspace Engine that powered Halo Infinite. The demise of in-house engines necessarily means a loss in variety when it comes to rendering techniques, art styles and more, and even contributes to issues like the Stutter Struggle epidemic - our term for the shader compilation stutters that plagued
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Closed alpha tests on horizon. Today brings a fresh trailer for Tekken 8, and confirmation the series' silent assassin Nina Williams will once again be included. Developer Bandai Namco's confirmation Nina is part of Tekken 8's roster comes as little surprise. She's been a familiar face for the franchise since its origins, and has popped up in pretty much every major
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Microsoft is attempting to persuade regulators around the world to clear its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard — the biggest deal of its kind the gaming industry has ever seen. Amid concerns about its effect on competition in the industry, and in the face of ardent lobbying against the deal by competitor Sony, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has said it will attempt to block the deal legally, while the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority has also expressed skepticism. Here’s the latest on Microsoft’s plans to snap up Activision Blizzard. EU has officially obje
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Malenia? Don't fret about it. MissMikkaa/Twitch It began with a one-armed run, defeating every Elden Ring boss with just one hand. Then Twitch streamer MissMikkaa did the same but kept her character at level one throughout. Next she completed FromSoftware's epic with a dance pad. Then she did it across two games with a dance pad and controller simultaneously. Now, she's taking her musical Elden Ring pursuits to a whole new level by playing the game with a guitar. Is t
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Sidestepping through Darkspawn Early footage and screenshots from Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, BioWare's fourth entry in its fantasy RPG series, have been leaked online. Although links to the video and screengrabs have since been removed from Reddit, the original post remains live and describes the contents of the leak in detail. According to the Redditor, the video shows a trek through Darkspawn-infested Weisshaupt, the Grey Warden’s headquarters. The player controls a sword and shield-wielding Elf in the Knight Class, and the menus apparently refer to them as a “mid-
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Make broom for this in your library Vampire Survivor-likes are a thing now, all trying to emulate the success of Poncle's indie hit that became our best game of 2022. As I've said before, a lot of them can't quite match the OG for all manner of reasons, but Spellbook Demonslayers is different. Despite only being in early access, it's already got a solid foundation to work from. No, there isn't an Old Testament that whirls around your person like a holy sawblade, but there is a revolving shield with a pistol glued onto it. Yeah, I thought that would convince you. Spellbook Demonslayers is as you'd expect from a Vampire Survivors-like. An arena quickly fills with rotten hounds and fetid fungi, and y
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Wishfully's cinematic platformer will "definitely get darker" as it goes on, though Wishfully's upcoming cinematic platformer Planet Of Lana turned eyes and heads when it was first announced at E3 2021, and the comparison we instantly settled upon was "like Ori meets Inside". At a recent [email protected] showcase we attended last week, creative director and Wishfully co-founder Adam Stjärnljus acknowledged that Playdead connection, saying that both Limbo and Inside "had a huge impact on me". But he also said Studio Ghibli's animated film Spirited Away was another key influence, which, yep, that definitely tracks. "I was very inspired by Studio Ghibli films, and especially the film Spirited Away," Stjärnl
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It's been 10 years since [email protected] began, supporting the development of indie games on Xbox and PC. This year is no exception. I recently got a chance to check out four forthcoming games coming to Xbox and PC via Game Pass this year that will ensure you get the most out of your subscription. Planet of Lana Planet of Lana's Day of the Devs 2022 gameplay reveal. Already spotted at previous showcase events, Planet of Lana is a game I'm very excited to see more of. I'm a big fan of Fumito Ueda's work, and Planet of Lana - from Swedish developer Wishfully - is clearly inspired by those titles. It even has a score from The Last Guardian composer Takeshi Furukawa. Then there's the companion-based puzzle gameplay,
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. After two years of early access, the spacefaring looter shooter Everspace 2 is ready to fly into full release for PC on April 6th. Last November, the open-world sequel received its last major update before release, adding in a rift-opening endgame. The game already has grappling hooks - which automatically makes every shooter better - so, now we’re just waiting for a few extra bits before it’s ready for takeoff. Developer Rockfish Games are still hard at work ahead of the 1.0 launch. Everspace 2’s full release will add more of what we’re used to with extra enemies, customisati
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You’ve probably heard the joke “Why did the scarecrow earn a medal? Because he was outstanding in his field.” But The Last of Us’ Ellie (Bella Ramsey) never has. When she pulls it seemingly at random from her book of puns, she is trying to spring it on Joel (Pedro Pascal), looking to elicit a final eye roll before they go to sleep. When he instead offers up the punchline, she’s both delighted and aghast: “You dick! Did you read this?” There’s no way, of course, for Ellie to know that this is a very common pun, at least outside a post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland brought on by mushrooms. But it’s telling that a scarecrow joke catches her off guard in a way that not even a surprise Clicker or random infected has in the rest of the show. And while this wasn’t the first
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. I was wandering around the USG Ishimura last night and found a creepy staff room, where a circle of candles were arranged in front of a TV screen showing the series' infamous red Marker. The room seemed ripe for a secret, so I began picking up the candles one by one with Stasis, throwing them to the floor - which also blew them out. Nothing happened. This morning, I've seen others had more luck than I did at unlocking a special secret here - and that Dead Space remake developer Motive has a wonderful Easter egg hidden away for those who take the time to puzzle it out. Digital Foun
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"Nintendo's very own Star Wars." New details have emerged on the Retro Studios pitch Star Fox Armada for the Wii U, which was sadly never developed. YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming spoke with former Retro Studios artist Eric Kozlowsky, who came up with the concept for the game. Not only would the game have had a puppet visual style reminiscent of the series' early promotional images, it would have had a major focus on online multiplayer. Eurogamer Newscast: Is The Last of Us the best video game adaptation ever? "It made sense - you know, Retro, at the time, rebooted [Metroid Prime] and Donkey Kong Country. And I was like, 'yeah we can reboot another Nintendo franchise'," said Kozl
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The RPS Time Capsule returns for its first outing of 2023, and this time we're casting our minds back to the hallowed year of 2006. Little did we know it at the time, but this is the year we start to see the birth of certain game series that are still alive and kicking today (just about), as well as the nascent beginnings of now beloved studios honing their craft on some of their very first titles. But which of those games have earned themselves a spot in the eternal RPS Time Capsule? Come and find out which ones have stood the test of time, and which, after reading this article, have been consigned to the smog-filled trashfire of future Earth. As per usual, we're going by the year of a game's PC release here, not when it came out on consoles, and it's this parti
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Gambit given "very serious consideration". An initial character roster for Marvel's Midnight Suns featured around 25 heroes, director Jake Solomon has revealed. Firaxis' excellent tactical role-playing game ultimately featured 12 of the biggest Avengers and Midnight Suns faces in its final version - with plans to add four more characters post-launch. However, trimming down that final roster to something more manageable involved discussing several famous Marvel characters and whether they were suitable. Marvel's Midnight Suns' first DLC, for Deadpool, is now available. "I could make the case for probably 50 or 60 heroes," Solomon told PCGamesN. "I'd be super excited to tell their stor
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Admiring interesting and attractive indie games Every weekend, indie devs show off current work on Twitter's #screenshotsaturday tag. And every Monday, I bring you a selection of these snaps and clips. This week, my eye has been caught by a walking witch hut, using a shotgun to rocket-jump, some Dark Messiah-style kicking baddies into spikes, and unusual animal encounters. Come see! Sure, shotgun-jumping in parkour shooter Sprawl (coming to Steam) jibes with my understanding of Newton's third law: — SPRAWL (@SprawlFPS) February 4, 2023 Your cosy cottage settles down in
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UPDATE: Sky TV confirms episode will air at the same time in UK as US. UPDATE 6/2/2023: The Last of Us will air two days earlier in the UK this week as well. Sky has confirmed those in the UK can watch the upcoming episode at the same time as those in the US - that's 2am on Saturday (11th Feb). The original story continues below. ORIGINAL 6/2/2023: Episode five of The Last of Us will be airing on HBO Max two days earlier than normal. This is to avoid clashing with the Super Bowl. In a change from its normal schedule, episode five will instead premiere on Friday, 10th February at 9pm EST/6 pm PST. It will return back to its original programming slot the following week. This does of cour
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Valhalla has won the Grammy Awards' first ever video game category music prize. Specifically, the award was for composer Stephanie Economou's soundtrack to Valhalla's enjoyable 2022 expansion Dawn of Ragnarök, which won in the newly-created Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games & Other Interactive Media category. The score beat Austin Wintory's soundtrack for Alien's Fireteam Elite, Bear McCreary's work on Call of Duty Vanguard, Richard Jacques' Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack and Christoper Tin's score for Old World. Stephanie Economou's Grammy Awards acceptance speech. Economou paid tribute to those who fought to get video games recognised alongside soundtracks for film and TV scores at the Grammy Awards via a permanent annual accolade. Previously, video games have managed to win awards in other categories, such as Civilization 4's win for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) in 2011, Journey's nomination for Best Score Soundtrack in 2013, and last year's suprise win for Kirby Super Star in the Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella category. The only downside to this win? The presenter of the award clearly had no idea what Assassin's Creed was, or how to pronounce "Valhalla".
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In Marvel Snap, seasons are about as short as a New York autumn. The popular card-battling game operates on a roughly monthly cycle, with each new season adding new cards, locations, and bundles to the game. The next Marvel Snap season will begin today (Feb. 6), and has highly suggested to be themed around the upcoming MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) film, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Marvel Snap February season release time: When does the new Marvel Snap season start? Based on previous seasons, the February Marvel Snap season will release on Monday, Feb. 6 at the following release times: West Coast U.S.: 7 p.m. PST East Coast U.S.: 10 p.m. EST U.K.: 3 a.m. GMT (on Tuesday, Feb. 7) Europe: 4 a.m. CET (on Tuesday, Feb. 7) As with previous seasonal resets, you’ll drop 30 ranks from the lowest tier you’ve achieved. Tiers are every ten levels. So if you’re at rank 53, you’ll start the new season at rank 20; if you’re at rank 49, you’ll start it at rank 10. Learn when to snap (and when not to) and you’ll rank up to where you were in no time. Image: Second Dinner/Nuverse What cards will be added to Marvel Snap in February 2023? Given that the tent pole Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania hits theaters later in the month, it’s a safe bet that cards related to the film will be part of Marvel Snap’s February 2023 season. Kang is the film’s billed antagonist, while MODOK — a popular villain who fronted a cancelled Hulu show and played a key role in the plot of 2020’s soon-to-be-shuttered Avengers game — has reared his anatomically o
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The freeze potion is also good for making iced coffee I hesitate to call Potion Tales a shop sim or retail management game, because the economics of running a figuratively and literally underground magic potion shop seems a secondary concern next to making the potions and deciding whether you want to screw people over or not. If the answer to that last part is yes, you need to move on to the question of how. In practice, Potion Tales is a 3D puzzle game. People come to you - I use the term people broadly because the tutorial level involves helping a fire spirit and soon after you're approached by what appears to be an aggressive daisy who is the local gravekeeper - and present you with a problem. They ask for a potion to solve the problem. That's all the steer you get. It takes some getting used to, but the Steam demo shows an impressively flexible game with a good sense of humour. Potion Tales has great sound design too Whenever someone comes in, puzzle A is consulting your recipe book and finding something you think will, to within a few degrees, do the trick. Puzzle B is finding the ingredients on your shelves and following said recipe. This latter puzzle is the most fiddly bit. Your game area in Potion Tales is a small one, with most of the room taken up with a large box shelf along the back wall. Each cubby has a jumble of different ingredients in it, with no real order, and each potion has four ingredients. Finding them can be tough, so you need a good eye - sure, some are rocks that produce smoke, so are relatively easy to spot, but the bundle of unknown various hair is a similar shade of brown to the shelves. Other ingredients, meanwhile, are a jar that you only have one of, so you musn't lose it. Pleasingly, though, you can pick up and move items around at your leisure, so if you want you can organise all your ingredients by colour, usage or type. It's very similar to organising your plants in Strange Horticulture. The mushrooms that look like Robin Hood hats in Potion Tales can go next to the mushrooms that cry, for example, and I also then decided to
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Traverse the world in less than 12 parsecs. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will have fast travel, unlike its predecessor. In the next issue of Play Magazine (releasing tomorrow, 7th February), the game's director Stig Asmussen has given further details on traversal in the game (thanks Games Radar). It will include both a fast travel system and rideable creatures, to ensure players can explore to the full. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - Official Reveal Trailer "We will feature both fast travel and rideable creatures to help players quickly get from point A to B, and back to A," said Asmussen, "the fast-travel is point to point, and the rideable creatures offer a way to quickly negotiate between points and explore what is in between." The previous game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, was a relatively linear experience without too much need to backtrack, so the lack of fast travel wasn't such an issue. That is, until the endgame: those looking to fully explore each planet and find all collectibles were forced to do so on foot, which was particularly painstaking. That sort of endgame clean-up should now be easier in Survivor at least. Back in December, Asmussen gave fresh details o
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Unlike previous episodes in the series, episode four (known as "Please Hold To My Hand") of The Last of Us could be cosidered part one of, I assume, two. Last week's episode was largely its own, self contained, installment. Meanwhile, episode one and two both had a very clearly defined break in the narrative at their close. A lot of episode four, however, feels like it is setting us up for episode five. It is laying down the groundwork for what is next, and asks more questions than it answers. But even though this may be the case, there is still plenty to discuss. Let's dive on in. PLEASE NOTE THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOTH THE SHOW AND THE GAME SERIES IT IS BASED ON. A little preview for episode four. Episode four continues on with Joel and Ellie's journey across America, with the focus almost always remaining on them throughout. Like last week, this episode does not have a cold open. Instead, we begin with Ellie in the rotting bathroom of a roadside petrol station. Here, Ellie plays with the gun she found in episode three which Joel still does not know about. Ellie is enthralled by it, and while she is doesn't have the same finesse as Joel, she knows how to work it. She even smells the gun. Apart from just making me nervous, this scene further reiterated that Ellie wants to have power. In last week's episode, we saw her cutting the head of a trapped infected before brutally stabbing it in the neck. These actions are very unlike Ellie in the game at this stage of her journey, and are perhaps pathing the way for the show's now-confirmed second season. You looking at me? Image HBO. In the game, Bill gives Joel the kit to syphon fuel. Image HBO. While all of this is going on, Joel is outside syphoning petrol for the truck they now have, thanks to Bill. Ellie rejoins Joel and to pass time whips out - get ready for it - No Pun Intended: Volume Too by Will Livingston. "What did the mermaid wear to her maths class? An algae bra." Those who have played the games and the Left Behind DLC will know all about Ellie's love of puns, and how this book features in all installments. Those who know Left Behin
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poly-lt-wire-logo Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO FEDRA, Fireflies, Hunters — we break it down for you By Feb 5, 2023, 9:35pm EST Life in The Last of Us is hard, to put it extremely, extremely mildly. Traveling anywhere is tough and involves siphoning off 20-year-old gas from abandoned cars. Zombies are everywhere, in increasingly terrifying forms. No one will laugh at your pun book. Perhaps worst of all, there’s the sense that danger is all around, even from the other people around you. The Last of Us universe is filled with factions, all clamoring to dominate in one form or another. Pretty much wherever Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) find themselves, they find groups posing a threat, either trying to enlist them, menace them, or worse. In a world with so many contingents one might be forced to wonder: What is the difference between all of these factions? What do they all want? And what exactly is there to fight over in a post-apocalyptic wasteland anyway? The short answer is power. They all want it, most are willing to kill to get it, and the difference is in who has it, or how much they are able to exert it. As a collective, The Last of Us’ factions further the aims of the show (and the game), each one its own exploration of how connections to others are their own threat in this world. But each group’s actual goal within the story is a little different, hence all the division. FEDRA Photo: Shane Harvey/HBO What they want: To be a government agency, ostensibly, and also govern the people (possibly by brutal means; see below). The Federal Disaster Response Agency is the dominant ruling authority in The Last of Us
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Cower, brief mortals! Wait, that's a halloween thing, isn't it. Welcome to the magic circle, pals! Not the actual one, just, like, thematically speaking. Starting today until next Friday, February 17th, it's Magic Week here at RPS, where we aim to highlight all manner of fabulous games about magic, witches, wizards, general sorcery and other spell-adjacent tomfoolery. We're also putting special emphasis on magic games made by trans developers, too. Join us for a glimpse of what's coming up. We'll be posting about game
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Apologies to anyone who put money on the zombies winning the Super Bowl: HBO has officially moved the premiere date for the fifth episode of The Last of Us. Episode 5 will be available early on HBO Max and HBO On Demand, starting Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST, instead of splitting the Sunday night slot with the Super Bowl. For those who still wish to watch The Last of Us on HBO’s linear premiere, the new episode will still air on Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. EST. But should you choose to do that, you run the risk of missing the big game (though it’ll likely air post-Rihanna halftime show, so a
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2018's God of War was reportedly a "guiding reference point". Another day, another leak – this time, it's from Dragon Age: Dreadwolf. Whilst the links to screengrabs and the video itself have since been removed from Reddit - although they can be found elsewhere on the internet without too much effort - the original post describing the 20-minute gameplay video remains accessible. There may be spoilers ahead, so please don't proceed unless you're happy to be spoiled! Dragon Age: Dreadwolf - "Who is The Dread Wolf?" Trailer. "A kind playtester shared their recorded gameplay of DA4 that was in early Alpha at that stage," the OP explains. "I saw what they recorded before they were shuffled to another project. No, I will not share the video as the individual in question asked me not to. And until I get their permission, it will remain private. I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so they need to let me know it's okay and nothing in the video would get back to them." As for what the footage itself reveals? Apparently, the entire clip takes place within the "Gray Warden fortress HQ of Weisshaupt". The combat is reportedly "real-time and similar to a hack-and-slash", with "God of War (2018) as the "guiding reference point". As well as their regular combos, players can use abilities too, courtesy of a "special bar which generates, allowing you to pull off a special move". Interestingly, the OP doesn't "understand the comparison to Final Fantasy 15's wheel - it seems more like a "standard Dragon Age ability wheel" to them. The OP also says there was no party control demonstrated and "thinks it's a safe bet [...] you will not be able to directly control your party members in the game". Given this is early alpha footage, though, it may just be that that feature hasn't yet been implemented. We'll have to wait and see on that one, I guess. "The most immediate thing you noticed is that animation quality has DRASTICALLY improved," the poster adds. "Like, for any other AAA title, it's probably not that big a deal. But we've never seen animation quality this good in any BioWare game. I didn't actually play it, but I can tell it probably feels really good to control your character. No more stiff animations, it's all very fluid and seems also very responsive." Jumping
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Reports suggest "the antitrust authority in Britain to oppose the transaction". Microsoft is reportedly ready to fight what it expects to be opposition from the UK's competition regulator. According to the New York Times (£) (thanks, VGC), the megacorp believes "the antitrust authority in Britain to oppose the transaction". It follows a similar intervention from the EU, which objected to a perceived risk in Microsoft owning Call of Duty given it could reduce competition in the video games industry. Eurogamer Newscast: Why is Sony worried about Call of Duty on PlayStation 6? According to four people "briefed on the matter who were not authorised to speak publicly", Microsoft hopes "to convince both Britain and the European Union to accept its concessions and approve the deal, which could make it easier for the company to reach an agreement with the FTC before the scheduled administrative trial starts in the summer". Microsoft recently responded to the European Union's now-formalised antitrust warning, slapping down to contest its attempt at an Activision Blizzard acquisition. As Tom recently summarised for us, the EU's intent to object to Microsoft's proposed $68.7bn deal was first reported last month. Now it has been finalised - and Microsoft has said it was "confident" it could address the issues raised. It's expected that Microsoft will offer concessions to the EU - and to the other authorities which have expressed objections - to get the
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"We didn’t want to delay again." After "one last" delay for Sons of the Forest late last year, developer Endnight Games has announced the horror will release in Early Access at the end of this month rather than be delayed again. Endnight says it's made the decision to release in early access in order to "involve the community in the continued development of this project" - which it says led to the "massive success" of predecessor The Forest - whilst also "keep[ing its] 23rd February release date". Sons Of The Forest - Trailer 3. "It’s been a long journey since we first started Sons of The Forest development, and it’s grown into the biggest, most complex game we have ever made," the team said in a statement posted on Steam. "There is still so much more we want to add; items, new mechanics, gameplay balance and more. We didn't want to delay again, so have instead decided to involve the community in the continued development of this project and keep our February 23rd release date but instead release in Early Access. "The Forest turned out to be a massive success, due mostly to the awesome community and the suggestions, feedback, and bug reports the players shared with us," the statement concludes. "We are really excited and hope that players want to come on this new journey with us to make this the ultimate survival horror simulator." Sons of the Forest is the direct s
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The full DF Retro EX treatment. Since its original release on Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007 has become an almost mythical game, the subject of countless stories about its four-player split-screen deathmatches or objective-driven single-player missions. That mythos has led to remasters and re-releases over the years, but the recent releases for Xbox consoles and Nintendo Switch still came as a shock. While their arrival is certainly a cause for celebration, it didn't take long before the complaints started rolling in too - over the quality of the emulation, the controls and even the music. Given the response, I had to find out just what exactly is going on with these re-releases and that's what we're here to do today. Despite its impact, GoldenEye's never had a perfect remaster. The closest we got was an Xbox 360 title that featured a ton of promise - updated visuals with a toggle for the original look, 60fps gameplay, perfect image quality and smooth controls - but it all fell apart at the last minute and was only leaked in playable form in 2021. The game changed the face of FPS and defined the N64, but for a long time it seemed like rights issues would prevent any remaster from coming to market, despite the efforts of countless developers pitching reboot plans. Here's the full breakdown of Goldeneye's recent Xbox and Switch versions in video format. But in 2023, against all odds, we got not one remaster but two - for Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles, including Series X/S. Both are based on emulation; on Switch using iQue's emulator designed for Switch Online while on Xbox using an updated emulation layer based on the work done for Rare Replay. Each release uses its own modified ROM; on the Xbox side all traces of anything Nintendo were removed and hacks were added to improve the controls, while on Switch the focus was removing unusued textures of Roger Moore, Sean Connery and Timothy Dalton - presumably to ensure a watertight legal defence against any rights issues. On the surface, what's here is perfectly serviceable - it's GoldenEye running on new consoles. It promises some improvements, such as smoother performance, but don't go in expecting a proper remake or remaster. However, both versions exhibit issues - most notably around how the vintage 3D graphics are presented. The Xbox version aims for 4K rendering while Switch operates at 720p - both are significantly higher-res than the original 240p visuals, which is an issue when the artwork in these games was designed to be seen at 240p on a CRT. By increasing the resolution, the flaws are laid bare for all to see. GoldenEye at various resolutions: 240p (N64), 720p (Switch) and Xbox Series X (4K). Furthermore, in the case of the Xbox version, the emulation highlights other issues - warbling vertices, visible texture seams and lots of z-fighting. Now, you might be expecting me to criticize the emulation here, but in reality, this is actually more accurate than what is used on Switch. It's a symptom you'll notice with low-level N64 emulation - so that means Xbox version
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Sundays are for folding away your clothes horse carefully, so it doesn't snap shut on your fingers. Before you struggle, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things). Over on The Guardian, Lewis Gordon asks: Can video games change people's minds about the climate crisis? A look at "climate positivity" and player agency to do good climate things, and whether that's enough to actually have an impact on their climate outlook. There's also more to be done from companies on reducing their carbon footprint, too. And that's a whole other challenge. When Sony pledges to plant trees for every “Reached the Daunt” trophy earned by players of Horizon: Forbidden West, an effort promoted as part of the 2022 Green Game Jam, it raises the spectre of greenwashing. Sony recently announced that it was accelerating its net zero commitments by 10 years, but 2020 emissions stemming from the use of its TVs and game consoles were the highest they’ve been since 2016, according to its 2021 sustainability report. Furthermore, an eye-watering 17.1m tons of C02 were created over the course of its products’ life-cycles, with a further 1.4m tons emitted from the company’s business sites. Next to these numbers, it’s hard to see tree-planting as anything other than trivial. Zack Zwiezen wrote a post on how it's okay if a game wraps up for Kotaku. Turtle Rock Studios recently announced that they're not going to release any new stuff for Back 4 Blood. Zwiezen argues that developers moving onto something new shouldn't be looked down on. Before let’s say, 2013, games could be released, supported for a bit, and then the developer could move on. Rarely did people bat their eyes at this. Nobody expected a developer to stick with a single game for five, seven or 12 years. There were some exceptions, of course, big MMORPGs like EverQuest II or insanely popular PC games like Counter-Strike or The Sims. But those were rarities. For a long time games launched, people played and enjoyed them, and devs moved on. Maybe if a game was really good and sold very well, it might get an expansion. But a lot of the time hit games never got more content or seasons, and players were fine with that. On PC Gamer, Tyler Colp wrote about a YouTuber's pet fish that committed credit card fraud live on stream. It'll be phishing next, amirite (sorry). Mutekimaru eventually caught them and had to explain the situation to Nintendo customer support. "I am very sorry, but is it possible to get a refund for items purchased in error by my pet fish?" they typed into the form with a link to the video evidence. It worked and Nintendo refunded their 500 yen, but unfortunately not the reward points. For GQ, Simon Parkin wrote about how Hollywood's VFX crisis. Streaming services and VFX-heavy blockbusters means that VFX artists are being pushed to the brink. Without adequate time or resources to complete their work to a high standard before a film’s release, VFX artists are increasingly being accused by fans and, in some cases, even directors, of shoddy workmanship. (One recent, typical headline
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Plus Specialist Advanced Class, The Artist, arrives early, too. Lost Ark's February anniversary celebration is almost upon us, ushering in "special events to celebrate the one-year anniversary" of the MMO, starting on 8th February. The update will introduce new continent, Rowen, "where players will encounter two competing factions: Preigelli and Liebertane, who are competing for Sylmael, crimson jewels that are a precious resource in Arkesia". Lost Ark: First Anniversary Trailer. Complete the Rowen world quests, and you'll be able to choose a faction for open-world PvP, but Amazon Games te
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. And this one will be available on PC and last-
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Pedro Pascal has taken his gruff portrayal of The Last of Us' Joel and applied it to an entirely different kind of video game character: Mario. In a spoof teaser for a completely made-up TV adaptation of Mario Kart on Saturday Night Live last night (4th February), Pascal and the SNL team showed what could happen if HBO applied the same kind of treatment to a Mario adaptation. And it's brilliant. HBO Mario Kart Trailer - SNL. “HBO’s The Last of Us is a hit, proving that a video game can become a prestige dystopian drama. In Spring, HBO is doing it again with another iconic game," claims the profound - if overd
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Flatscreen t
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"I wrote some of the best music I’ve ever written for this game." "It's quite a stunning world that [the developers] created, so it gave me an opportunity to write some very beautiful music," says Forspoken co-composer Garry Schyman. "It really was an opportunity to write something that's not just combat and not just dark; it was an opportunity to write melodies." Forspoken is the latest fantasy epic from Square Enix, following a young woman named Frey who finds herself transported from modern day New York to the strange world of Athia. Composers Garry Schyman (the BioShock series, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, and more) and Bear McCreary (God of War Ragnarök, and Amazon's Rings of Power series) took on the job together of writing music for Frey's adventure. But how do you create the sound of a fantasy world through music? And what is the musical voice of Frey? Forspoken | Launch Trailer It begins with melody. "I love writing melody, and you know what, I think the audience loves melody," says Schyman. "And games often provide the opportunity to write melody, which I love. There are a lot of films with terrific scores, but they're pretty ambient, they're pretty sound design-y shall we say, for lack of a better word. And there's nothing to recall, really. "So that is a very dominant style right now in film and television, and games too. Games don't escape this." He adds: "[The developers] really wanted something in a way traditional, but the score also, I think, has some very unique elements as well." Schyman and McCreary shared responsibility for the score, composing a number of themes between them that Schyman elaborated on for the in-game music. Schyman picks out Frey's theme and the theme for central city Cipal as key pieces: the latter features long musical phrases tinged with dissonance over harp accompaniment to really add to the mystical vibe. "I went more with a mysterious fantasy, action and combat music," explains Schyman. "It was triadic but with lots of added dissonance...to give the harmonies rich vocabulary." Essentially, rather than just basic three-note chords, extra notes are added outside of the home key for a more complex harmonic sound. One such dissonant interval Schyman used is the tritone, which is as far away as two notes can be within the twelve pitches of the chromatic scale - it was known as 'diabolus in musica' (the Devil in music) from the 18th century onwards. Forspoken co-composer Garry Schyman Adding to the fantasy sound is the use of unusual and primitive instruments, such as the viola d'amore - a six-stringed Baroque viola - as well as choir and synthesiser. What's more, Schyman experimented with hip-hop beats along with traditional orchestral scoring to reflect Frey's journey from modern day New York to Athia. That's certainly apparent in Frey's theme, characterised by a yearning vocal melody sung over lush accompaniment and a synthesised drum beat. The vocalist is Black singer India Carney, whose singing becomes a sort of human anchor within the music. "India has a beautif
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. An American judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed against Nintendo for its Joy-Con drift issues, saying the case cannot proceed because the owners agreed to Nintendo's End User License Agreement (EULA) that "disallows lawsuits". Despite attempts to argue that underaged children - who used the handheld system - cannot enter into the agreement, the federal judge ultimately ruled that the agreeme
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. I love John Carpenter. How can you not, after all he's given us? There might not be a game that carries his name, but the entire medium is in debt to the tension of all-time horror classic The Thing, to the deliriously over-the-top spectacle of Escape from LA (and of course to Snake Plissken, who from his first appearance in 1981's Escape from New York laid down an early archetype of the dig
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Hogwarts Legacy, a brand-new adventure set in the past of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, will be released this year on all major game platforms, including Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. But unlike many games, where the goal is to release on all platforms simultaneously, Hogwarts Legacy’s launch will be staggered over the course of six months. Adding to the confusion of Hogwarts Legacy’s release date(s) is an early access period tied to the game’s Deluxe Edition. Yes, you can play Hogwarts Legacy early, if you pay a premium. Hogwarts Legacy will officially launch on Feb. 10, with the release of the PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series X versions of the game. The standard version of the game costs $59.99 on PC, or $69.99 on PS5 and Xbox Series X. The Deluxe Edition of Hogwarts Legacy costs $69.99 on PC and $79.99 on PS5 and Xbox Series X, and that’s the version that offers 72 hours of early access to the game — meaning players can play it early starting on Feb. 7. (That Deluxe Edition also includes something called the Dark Arts pack, which includes some cosmetics, a mount, and access to the Dark Arts Battle Arena.) For Potter fans on PS4 and Xbox One, Hogwarts Legacy will be released on those consoles on April 4. There is no early access period for the PS4 and Xbox One versions. The Nintendo Switch version of Hogwarts Legacy will be released on July 25. When will Hogwarts Legacy be playable? Here’s the simple breakdown: Feb. 7 — Hogwarts Legacy Deluxe Edition early access (PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) Feb. 10 — Hogwarts Legacy standard edition (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X) April 4 — Hogwarts Legacy Deluxe Edition and standard edition (PlayStation 4, Xbox One) July 25 — Hogwarts Legacy Deluxe Edition and standard edition (Nintendo Switch) More specifically, Hogwarts Legacy’s 72-hour early access period on PS5 and Xbox Series X will officially start at 12 a.m. (midnight) on Feb. 7 in every region, according to the game’s official Twitter account. Standard digital copies of Hogwarts Legacy on PS5 and Xbox Series X will unlock and be playable at 12 a.m. (midnight) on Feb. 10 in every region, according to the game’s official Twitter account. On PC, Hogwarts Legacy will be playable starting at at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m PST on Feb. 7. What about the Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition? The extravagant, physical Collector’s Edition of Hogwarts Legacy will be released on Feb. 7 as well, letting serious Harry Potter fans with deep pockets play the game early. The Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition can (technically) be pre-ordered for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for $299.99, and PC for $289.99. There are also PS4 and Xbox One versions of the Collector’s Edition available for $289.99, but like the other previous-gen console versions, they’re not coming until April. (Warner Bros. is not selling a Collector’s Edition for the Nintendo Switch version of Hogwarts Legacy.) But that’s kind of a moot point — the Hogwarts Legacy Collector’s Edition appears to be sold out at the retailers stocking it (Amazon and GameStop) anyway.
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And I wouldn't have it any other way. It's astonishing how, eight years on and now freshly added to Game Pass, Darkest Dungeon still manages to feel unlike anything else. Blown up on my telly, this could easily be something new. That horror-movie voice over still shakes my bones, that paper-drawn art still oozes style. But it's not that which really stands the game apart. What stands Darkest Dungeon apart is an invisible line, drawn in the ground somewhere, that determines how far developers go - how far they're prepared to go - to challenge their audiences. Cross that line and a game becomes unfair. Cross it, and you risk turning an audience away. Few do. But Darkest Dungeon doesn't care; Darkest Dungeon delights in it. The entire premise of the game is cruelty. Cruelty towards the heroes you send into the depths and cruelty towards you, the player directing them. Whereas in other games, you're invisibly looked after until the game feels you're comfortable with it and attached to it, here, you're eternally, mercilessly, dragged down. In many ways, Darkest Dungeon doesn't want you to win. Why else would it pit so much against you? This game is timeless, I tell you, timeless. Also, I never fail to be impressed with the voice of the narrator while playing, who, I now know - I just looked it up - is a man called Wayne June. An extroardinary name for an extroardinary performance (and he's reprising his role in Darkest Dungeon 2). Think on it: in Darkest Dungeon, you send a team of four characters - I'm loath to call them heroes, actually, for most are anything but - into dungeons underneath and around the hamlet you're rebuilding. And on those missions, a number of things can happen to them. They can simply take too much damage and die - as in, permanently die. They can take damage in battle, they can take damage from traps, and they can take damage from not having any food to eat, which is more common than it sounds. Your health, it seems, is always going down. But there's another danger to their health too: stress, and this is a key thing in the game - and it's one of the only role-playing games I know that plays around with it. I wish more would, actually, because it's a really interesting idea; delving into dungeons and being a hero would be stressful, wouldn't it? Especially if there's a powerful evil nearby, exuding an overwhelming sense of dread. And stress is gained all the time in a number of ways: for taking damage, for simply walking along, as a result of certain spells, for not finishing a mission, for letting the dungeon get too dark, for being insulted - by your own team. And if you let it build too high and fill a gauge, a character will get a permanent negative affliction. They might become abusive, for instance, and start insulting other team-members while they fight, increasing their stress in the process. Or they might become cowardly and have a similar effect, as they cower during battle. Worse, if you let stress build high enough and fill a second gauge, your characters will have a heart attack! This is what happens w
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The snowdrops are out! This is still a sign of winter, but it's a sign of winter progressing, and the progress of winter inevitably leads towards spring. Then we'll have the crocus, and iris, and bluebell, and oh spring! I'm overwhelmingly excited by the realisation that come Thursday, sunset in Edinburgh will no longer fall during working hours. Ah, light! Life! But until then, what are you playing this weekend? Here's what we're clicking on! Alice Bee I'm almost finished cleaning the Croft mansion in PowerWash Simulator. It's a good house to clean. Lots of nooks and decorative architectural features to get into. Although I question the wisdom of blasting an antique wood cabinet with a pressure hose, idk. Alice0 I want to be outdoors this weekend. As I might have mentioned, winter has been monstrous to me. I want to cycle and I want to swim, and I know my legs have grown weak and my hide vulnerable. But as they say: winter miles mean summer smiles. Ed Truthfully, I have no idea what I'm playing this weekend. I'm visiting a friend to round off some plans for our trip to Japan next month (!), so I'll be shortlisting cool spots and not like, splicing together personas on my Switch. Totally unrelated, but I've been eyeing up the Steam Deck recently. Liam says it's "transformative", which is probably enough to justify the financial repercussions, right? Right?! Hayden I've been playing Pentiment lately, but struggled to really get into it. I had dipped my toes in, but doing so sent a signal to my brain that was the equivalent of the DON'T DEAD OPEN INSIDE sign from The Walking Dead. I eventually realised that my struggle was due to playing Pentiment and reading a book back-to-back. My two main hobbies-of-the-month involved reading words, and my brain was building a defense faster than an Age Of Empires pro. So, I ditched the book for a few days and used Pentiment to fill my reading time. That was the breakthrough I needed, and I'm now moving on to Act 3 over the weekend. Figuring this out took weeks, and I am very proud. James Fine, I'll play Hi-Fi Rush, jeez. Alright, alright, it fits my taste in cheesy action games, I knowwww. Enough already, it has a fight scene set to Invaders Must Die, and I like that song, and I like fight scenes set to songs I like, yeeeeesh. Katharine I have two top secret things on the go at the moment, so I'm going to have to be all vague and mysterious for a bit, I'm afraid. When I do get a spare moment, though, I really want to give Hi-Fi Rush a go at some point, and the lovely Season: A Letter To The Future. Going from one to the other will probably involve quite a lot of tonal whiplash, I suspect, but hey, at least Hi-Fi Rush can act as an emotional pick-me-up if Season gets too sad and melancholy. Liam Hi-Fi Rush has overtaken my brain. When I'm not playing Hi-Fi Rush, I'm thinking about Hi-Fi Rush. You should all play Hi-Fi Rush. Ollie Well, I'm planning mainly to get some coding done this weekend, so I won't have too much time to play games. But on the other hand, fuck being productive. I'm gonna play a tonne of Apex and get
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Who will solve the puzzle of where your money went Steam offered discounts on builders last month, and is is due to offer cheap mysteries from February 20th-27th. They've already announced the next genre-specific sale, though: Steam Puzzle Fest is coming in the last week of April. April 24th until May 1st, according to the announcement. "Join us as we break the code, find the missing piece, and align the elements during Steam Puzzle Fest. Featuring discounts and demos o
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After years of early access Epic exclusivity Tactical mech shooter Phantom Brigade has been held by the twi
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Still coming this month but no longer 1.0 Cannibal and arboreal survival 'em up Sons Of The Forest was due to to launch later this month, and it has not been delayed. It's developers have announced that they've decided to release into Steam Early Access, however, after initially intending to head straight to 1.0. "It’s been a long journey since we first started ‘Sons of The Forest’ development and it’s grown into the biggest most complex game we have ever made,"
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. It'll now arrive at the end rather than start of Mar
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"These outstanding numbers speak for themselves." Dying Light 2 will shortly turn one year old, and to mark the upcoming anniversary, developer Techland has confirmed the zombie game franchise has collectively shifted more than 30 million units. As part of the first anniversary celebrations, Techland also revealed that it has a "plethora of celebrations and updates for the community", including a 50 per cent off sale and hints that the franchise has plans to branch out to "other medias". Dying Light 2 Stay Human - 1st Anniversary. There'll be a week-long celebration wherein players can win goodies by completing community goals in the Bloody Anniversary event and Dropkick Weekend, where premium bundles can be won. And if you watch or participate in Dying Light 2 livestreams between now and 7th February, there'll be more "nostalgic swag via Twitch Drops", too. "The team continues to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to create unforgettable experiences for gamers worldwide - we're not stopping here and will continue to support the game with amazing content for years to come," said chief creative officer, Adrian Ciszewski. "These outstanding numbers speak for themselves and confirm the success of the Dying Light franchise," added chief publishing officer, Oleg Klapovskiy. "We were able to achieve it only thanks to our awesome community. I want to use this opportunity to thank them again for their great support. We have ambitious plans not only to develop and further support the game, but also to expand to other medias." There's also special treats for those of you who own both Dying Light 2 and its predecessor, including the Crane Bundle, with which you can "make a comeback as the legendary hero of Harran, Kyle Crane". "With these significant updates already planned for Dying Light 2, fans may ask what is next for the game over the coming year," the developer teases. "Techland has outlined a new roadmap, and will continue to shape plans for 2023 as part of the 5-year commitment to the game." Bloody Ties, Dying Light 2's long-awaited first chunk of stor
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Capcom has released 12 whole minutes of new Resident Evil 4 Remake footage. Capcom partnered with Game Informer to share the new teaser, sharing "an extended gameplay walkthrough of the game’s fifth chapter", set right after Leon meets Ashley. You can check it out below (thanks, Resetera): Resident Evil 4 Remake: Exclusive Chapter 5 Gameplay Walkthrough. As well as showing off the church and cemetery sequences - and lots of meaty combat, of course, including a battle with Luis Serra - the video also reveals a sneaky QTE (you'll find it at 6.38 mins in) which is interesting given Resident Evil 4 Remake reportedly has "barely any" QTEs at all. ICYMI, Capcom is making a number of changes to Resident Evil 4 Remake from the original, including a tweak to companion character Ashley Graham. Previously, Ashley had her own health bar and could be carried off by enemies. Now, however, it seems she will no longer have a health bar and if she takes too much damage, Ashley will be in a "downed state" and will need to be revived. If hit whilst downed, Ashley will die. "This is a familiar game, but one that's now markedly more dynamic," our Martin wrote after his time with the game. "From being previously scept
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Elden Ring publisher Bandai Namco has revealed plans to host an "event" on the critically-acclaimed game's first anniversary. Bandai Namco invited fans to "save the date" of an anniversary event set to take place on 25th February in Stockholm, Sweden. Fans who can't be there in person can join in via a livestream on Twitch. Elden Ring for dummies: Basics for EVERYTHING You Need to Know (But Were Afraid to Ask) PS5 GAMEPLAY. The "live show" will host "giveaways, contests, exclusive prizes, pub quiz, drinks, cosplay, and PvP". And whilst there's no formal word about the eagerly-anticipated DLC, I doubt it'll surprise you to hear that fans are desperately hoping that this may be when From Software finally drops more information. Watch this space, I guess. "Welcome to our Elden Ring one-year anniversary celebration in Stockholm," Bandai tweeted. "On the 25th of February, we invite you all to celebrate with us at Red Bull Gaming Sphere in Stockholm. The event will also be live-streamed on Twitch. More info coming (very) soon!" 📅 SAVE THE DATE! 📅 Welcome to our #ELDENRING 1 year anniversary celebration in Stockholm. 🎉On the 25th of February, we invite you all to celebrate with us at Red Bull Gaming Sphere in Stockholm. The event will also be live streamed on Twitch. More info coming (very) soon! pic.twitter.com/H2NsKUKTyy— BANDAI NAMCO NORDICS (@BandaiNamcoNO) February 1, 2023 Elden Ring received a surge in sales at the end of 2022, which has been attributed to its success at The Game Awards. From Software's parent company, Kadokawa, published its third quarter earnings earlier this week, with "worldwide blockbuster" Elden Ring driving a 206.4 per cent increase in net sales across the gaming division. "In part as a result of the title-winning Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2022, an overseas game award event held in December, the number of units sold increased again. This reaffirms the long-lasting popularity of the game," the report said.
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Investigation began in 2021. Activision Blizzard will pay $35m USD to settle charges raised by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) following a probe relating to workplace misconduct. The SEC launched its investigation into Activision Blizzard in September 2021, subpoenaing CEO Bobby Kotick and other senior executives to provide their internal communications regarding the company's response to the high-profile allegations of widespread misconduct and harassment within the company. After concluding its investigation, the SEC charged that the publisher had failed to maintain disclosure controls and procedures that would ensure it could adequately collect and analyse employees' complaints of workplace misconduct. As a result, it said, Activision Blizzard's management lacked sufficient information to "understand the volume and substance of employee complaints about workplace misconduct", leaving it without the means to determine whether larger issues existed that needed to be disclosed to investors. Additionally, in a separate charge, the SEC said Activision Blizzard had illegally violated its whistleblower protection rule by requiring former employees to inform the company if they received a request for information from the Commission's staff. In a statement provided to press, Activision Blizzard - which settled without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations - said, "We are pleased to have amicably resolved this matter. As the order recognises, we have enhanced our disclosure processes with regard to workplace reporting and updated our separation contract language." Today's penalty agreement follows Activision Blizzard's $18m USD settlement of a 2021 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sexual harassment lawsuit, which was approved last March. That legal action was launched after California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed its own bombshell lawsuit in July 2021, calling Activision Blizzard a "br
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Evil Dead: The Game's new - and free - Splatter Royale mode is now live. The 40-player battle royale mode introduces two new weapons - the long-range Grenade Launcher and the Scythe - as well as new premium character Ruby Knowby, voiced by Lucy Lawless. There's also a new free Kandarian Facelift outfit for Pablo, too. Splatter Royale! | Evil Dead: The Game. Alongside the free battle royale mode, players can also get hold of the Immortal Power DLC Bundle, which includes Ruby Knowby, who - as a dark one - can regenerate health, increase her possession resistance, and boost the damage of her weapons. She can also "consume souls to make her aura stronger and charger her unique ability, triggering a deadly blast that
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Venus and Mars are alright tonight. Frontier Foundry / KeokeN Interactive Frontier Foundry's sequel to Deliver Us The Moon, Deliver Us Mars, is out now. The sequel enables players to explore "a multitude of environments", all of which will reportedly offer different gameplay challenges, puzzles, vehicular traversal, and secrets. You can see it in action in the teaser below: Deliver Us Mars | Launch Trailer. "Deliver Us Mars is set 10 years after the dramatic events of Deliver Us The Moon," the publisher teases. "It follows astronaut-in-training Kathy Johanson as she joins the crew of the Zephyr space shuttle, who are tasked with a crucial mission: to recover enormous
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"Tim's creative impact on the industry cannot be understated." Double Fine Productions founder Tim Schafer will be inducted into The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' (AIAS) Hall of Fame. Schafer - best known for games like Grim Fandango, Psychonauts, and Broken Age - will be honoured at the 26th annual DICE event later this month (not to be confused with EA's Stockholm studio of the same name). Eurogamer Newscast: Is The Last of Us the best video game adaptation ever? "Tim's creative impact on the industry cannot be understated," said Meggan Scavio, president of the AIAS. "For over 30 years, he has heralded imaginative games that have inspired countless others with his humour and originality. We are thrilled for Tim to be inducted into our Hall of Fame." "Tim has been a beacon of creativity and innovation in the games industry for decades,” added Greg Rice, head of PlayStation Creators. "Since the early days of LucasArts, he’s been setting the benchmark for storytelling in games, and with the formation of Double Fine he created a place that not only allowed him to contin
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"Coming to this decision was not easy." Developer Smilegate has announced the impending closure of its year-old Xbox multiplayer shooter CrossfireX, which will shut down on 18th May - a move that'll also affect its Remedy developed single-player campaign. CrossfireX - the console version of Smilegate's hugely popular PC shooter Crossfire - launched for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S last February, combining the multiplayer component of the PC original with a specially developed single-player campaign. A little over a year on from that troubled launch, Smilegate has announced it'll soon be ending support for the game. "It is with the deepest regret that we are informing you of our decision to end support for CrossfireX on May 18, 2023," it wrote in a statement on its website. "Since the launch of the game, we have worked tirelessly to bring it to a point where we can all be proud, and throughout it all we have had the honour and pleasure of supporting our players." CrossfireX Campaign For Xbox One/Xbox Series: The New Remedy Game Tested! "Coming to this decision was not easy," it continued. "However, we can proudly say that our players have been amazingly active, passionate and enthusiastic in working with us to create a game that would be fun and enjoyable by all. We want to thank each and every one of our players for playing CrossfireX and being a part of this journey with us." While CrossfireX will remain playable until servers go offline on 18th May, Smilegate notes no further content will be released and all sales of the game via the Xbox Store will be halted effe
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. I'm going to bounce on your head and somersault down your neck When Duke Nukem 3D burst onto the FPS scene in the Nineties, young CJ was a bit confused. This Duke wasn't the purple-shirted acrobat I'd known from Apogee Software's pair of platformers earlier that decade. He was brash, crude, and and didn't side-scroll anymore. It wasn't for me, so I moved on to other games. I still occasionally loaded up those earlier platformers though, wistfully remembering a time when Duke presumably used actual toilets when he needed to answer a call of nature. Apogee were the dons of PC platforming back in the early to mid Nineties. I suspect that was partly down to people having easy access to the games they published through shareware, such as id Software's Commander Keen and Wolfenstein 3D. I can't even remember now if I ever actually owned the whole of 1991's Duke Nukem, but I played whatever portion I had repeatedly enough that it may as well have been a full game. The platforming version of Duke Nukem was a little like Turrican and Mega Man. It's not easy to get hold of these days, but you can find the game on some abandonware sites if you choose to look around. It pit Duke against the evil Dr. Proton and various underlings, and you could somersault our surpr
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Plus UI/UX changes and more. Developer Innersloth has shared its development plans for the next 12 months of social deduction hit Among Us, confirming the year ahead will bring the likes of improved matchmaking and a brand-new map. Innersloth's roadmap is a little light in terms of ETAs, but it's first order of business - user interface and user experience updates for Among Us - are said to be "coming soon". "We want to make playing Among Us an easier, more intuitive experience," the develop
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Gather round, children, and I’ll tell you of something magical: the NZXT Source 340 compact mid-tower PC case with side window, product code CA-S340W-B1. Good gravy, did I love that case. Tightly proportioned without being too cramped for a full-size graphics card, maturely designed without looking dull, and hewn from some of most gorgeously textured matte steel I’ve seen on a piece of computing hardware. Don’t even get me started on the upgraded Source 340 Elite. It’s been years since these cases disappeared fr
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Plus more details on the rest of our supporter program plans for 2023 Hello folks. Earlier this week, we unveiled some of the cool things coming up for RPS this year - many of which revolve around you, our lovely readers and supporters. If you haven't had a chance to check that post out yet, I'd love to hear what you think of it. And yes, fixing our comments nesting is still v
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You might recognise developer Octavi Navorro’s pixel art in Thimbleweed Park, 2017’s detective point-and-clicker. But since then, Navorro has been releasing surreal 2D horror games on an almost annual basis. Navarro’s series Midnight Scenes has been the highlight, having disturbing premises and Twilight Zone creepiness. The newest episode, Midnight Scenes: From The Woods is due on February 9th and it looks as chilling as ever. From The Woods is set in Fernwood Creek, a youth mental health centre surrounded by the titular woods. Things go awry with the arrival of a new patient, a quiet boy with a mysterious secret. I'm always a little apprehensive when a horror story tackles mental health, since it's eas
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To ensure it "lives up to your, and our, standards." The Last of Us: Part 1 will arrive on PC a little later than expected, with Naughty Dog announcing a new 28th March release date to ensure the game arrives "in the best possible shape". The Last of Us Part 1 - Naughty Dog's new-gen spruce-up of the acclaimed 2013 stealth survival horror - initially launched for PlayStation 5 last September, and the long-promised PC version was eventually confirmed to be arriving on 3rd March this year. With a month to go until its originally planned launch date, however, Naughty Dog has confirmed a 25-day delay. "Let's get right to it," the studio wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. "We initially a
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. I really do not play enough visual novels these days. Raptor Boyfriend has been sat on my hard drive for at least a year, and it won't be the last. Historically, I have fallen hard for two kinds of VN: emotionally probing character dramas like Eliza and Watch Me Jump, or gentle and slightly silly comedies like Laura Silver and Camp W. The jokey dating-sim-but-everyone's-a-talking-table type vein never quite grabbed me. Unless Monster Prom counts? Hmm. Raptor Boyfriend is more the lighthearted comedy kind, but with through lines on social anxiety and navigating confusing coming-of-age rela
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. This year, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution for the first time in my life. I’m 21 and my knees click, which means I must be turning into stone faster than someone having a staring contest with Medusa. So, I vowed to exercise a few times a week. Then, during my first week back at work, vid bud Liam told me to try Age Of Empires II. Never before has a New Year’s Resolution been abandoned so fast. I really wanted to stick with it. Promise. But! After my first match, the following 30 hours vanished quicker than the Galaxy Caramels in a box of Celebrations. I became obsessed. I ma
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Xbox maker "confident" it can find "path forward". Microsoft has responded to the European Union's now-formalised antitrust warning, slapped down to contest its attempt at an Activision Blizzard acquistion. The EU's intent to object to Microsoft's proposed $68.7bn deal was first reported last month. Now it has been finalised - and Microsoft has said it was "confident" it could address the issues raised. As expected, the EU has intervened over a percieved risk in Microsoft owning Call of Duty, something it fears could reduce competition in the video games indu
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DF's analysis of the Series X/S and PC versions. Hi-Fi Rush is superb. Announced at Microsoft's Developer_Direct showcase last week and released immediately thereafter, the game is a wildly creative effort from developer Tango Gameworks. There are elements of action, platformer, rhythm and side-scroller games, all held together by an incredible sense of style and bold visual choices. This is a wild, courageous game that succeeds on just about every level - and it's an eye-popping visual treat as well. It's also the first major first-party Microsoft title in over a year, ending a prolonged drought for exclusive Xbox software. Today, we'll be taking a look at Hi-Fi Rush's daring flair and b
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Mei's backstory is the focus of the Antarctic Peninsula Overwatch 2’s third season is right around the corner and, as always, that means we’re getting a new map. Blizzard have treated us to our first look at the Antarctic Peninsula, an icy-themed control map launching alongside Season 3 on February 7th. The Antarctic Peninsula is a big deal since it’ll delve into Mei’s backstory, it’s the first natural environment in an OW map, and it lets you fish. As in catching fish. At an ice hole. As in, you can catch fish at an ice hole in Overwatch 2. The Overwatch Twitter account released a 10-second clip of how the Easter egg slash mini-game works. Essentially, the map’s hard ice floors co
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Square Enix has detailed its financial results for the current financial year up to 31st December 2022, and recorded an annual fall in sales and income. The Final Fantasy publisher recorded net sales of 255bn yen (£1.6bn), down nearly seven percent on the same nine-month time period year-on-year. Operating income was 41bn yen (£258m), down nearly 18 percent on the same time period year-on-year. Over the nine months ending 31st December 2022, Square Enix launched a large number of games but lacked a major Final Fantasy release. Instead, between April and December 2022, Square Enix released Nintendo Switch exclusive Live a Live, fantasy farming sim Harvestella, The Diofield Chronicle, Valkyrie Elysium, Tactics
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. The last few weeks have been messy for The Day Before, the survival MMO that was Steam’s most wishlisted game for much of 2022. Last month, The Day Before’s Steam page was quietly removed from the storefront following a trademark dispute. Developer Fntastic also delayed the game from March 1st to November 10th at the same time, just days before they promised to show some raw gameplay footage of it in action. The whole debacle led to accusations on Reddit and Discord that the game didn’t even exist, but at long last, that promised gameplay video has arrived. And... it’s merely fine.
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The Great War: Western Front is also getting a Steam Next Fest demo next week The makers of Command & Conquered Remastered have announced their new WW1 RTS The Great War: Western Front will be releasing on March 30th 2023. It's also getting a Steam Next Fest demo next week on February 6th, which gives you access to its chunky tutorial and the early portion of its campaign, plus the Historic Battle of The Battle Of Passchendaele, which is the mission I got a chance to play at the end of last year. As it turns out, I've also had a sneak peek at the Next Fest build, too, and there's a heck of a lot to sink your teeth into. Here's a small glimpse of what to expect. If you've been keeping an eye on
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Long Long Time saw 4900% increase in US streams after episode three. Singer Linda Ronstadt won't make any money from the renaissance of her song, "Long Long Time". For those unaware, Ronstadt's "Long Long Time" featured heavily in the most recent episode of HBO's The Last of Us adaptation. It even gave the episode its name. Please note, there are spoilers for The Last of Us below. Eurogamer Newscast: Is The Last of Us the best video game adaptation ever? Bill and Frank each play Ronstadt's song on the piano before their first kiss, and it is also the song that plays out the heartfelt episode. (If you watched this moment and didn't shed a tear, then my goodness tell me your secret bec
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In time for anniversary of its bombing. The hulking Ukrainian-built Antonov An-225 Mriya - the world's largest-ever aeroplane - is coming to Microsoft Flight Simulator on the anniversary of its destruction by Russian forces. The Mriya - of which only one was ever made - was bombed on 27th February last year while resting at an airfield near Kyiv, in the early days of Russia's invasion. Now, the Mriya will get a new lease of life as part of a paid addition for Microsoft Flight Sim, with "all proceeds going to Antonov/Ukraine", Kotaku reported. Microsoft Flight Simulator's latest update. As well as being notable for its enormous size, the Mriya is also a fascinating plane for its operat
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"I actually said out loud, 'ow'." Episode three of HBO's The Last of Us adaptation has already been lauded as one of the best hours (and a bit) of television by many. However, there was a time when it was nearly twice as long. Talking to Deadline, series co-creator Craig Mazin revealed that one cut was "almost two hours or something like that". Please note, there are spoilers for The Last of Us below. Eurogamer Newscast: Is The Last of Us the best video game adaptation ever? Episode three of The Last of Us tells the love story of Bill and Frank, something that is not well developed in the game. Bill is a survivalist, and quite a cantankerous one at that. Frank, on the other hand, is warm and hopeful. Even when the world around him is crumbling, he manages to find joy - in the words of Nick Offerman, who plays Bill on the show, "Frank is the flowers, and Bill is the soil." When Mazin first saw how long this original edit of the episode was, he assumed it wouldn't be good. However, then he sat down to watch it, and the end result made him cry "so hard it hurt". "[Episode director] Peter Hoar did his director's cut with our editor, Tim Good, which was quite long," Mazin explained. "When they sent it to me, I think it was almost two hours or something like that. So, I was like, oh, that's probably not good. "And I sat down, but I'm like, 'OK, I'll watch the two-hour version of this episode.' And I cried so hard that at one point, I actually said out loud, 'Ow.' "I mean, it hurt. I cried so hard it hurt. And I thought, 'Well, if these guys can do this to me a
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Hello! I've been playing Roller Drama over the last week or so. It's not a long game, I gather, but I'm taking it slow, because it feels, in its own way, like it's a whole world I am being dunked in, and I want to make the most of it, and to live it as fully as I can. It's a wonderfully strange thing. In Roller Drama you play as a coach to a roller derby team. You play the matches - which are brilliant and tactical and exhausting, and I have yet to finish one without someone on the team dropping on the track out of sheer knackerdness - and in between you knock around the house you all live in together, solving surreal little puzzles and talking to a ghost who looks a bit like Shakespeare. There's a cat involved too, who, physics fans will be glad to hear, may or may not be dead. It's hard to tell. It's rare for a game with this many pieces to fully click, I think. But Roller Drama is clicking for me. And that's because I like the hectic, thoughtful spin on a sport I can barely comprehend, and also because this game, I think, is secretly something very coherent and very welcome. It's secretly an absolutely stellar houseshare simulation. Testify. It's not just that you and your team live in this house together. It's that the game is alive to the awkwardness and endless nuance of living in a house with a lot of other people. I am the middle of five children myself, and I've also houseshared a lot over the years, and I love and recognise loads of the little things about this game. Roller Drama. I love the hesitancy I feel when initiating a conversation - the way I try to get as many clues
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Xbox studio The Coalition has reportedly cancelled two unannounced games in order to focus solely on its next project: Gears 6. That's according to Giant Bomb's Jeff Grubb, speaking on his Game Mess Mornings show, who claims this is a knock on from recent layoffs at Microsoft. He said the developer had been working on two smaller projects, as well as support work on Halo Infinite and assisting Epic with its The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo. Eurogamer Newscast: Is The Last of Us the best video game adaptation ever? "They have cancelled that smaller project, as well as another project, so there have been two games cancelled there," said Grubb on the show. "This was all reflected in the layoffs that happened at Microsoft, which did hit The Coalition a little bit. The studio is now going to move on fully to Gears 6. I say now, it has likely moved on to Gears 6 in full over the course of the last year, but definitely, that will be their next game." Over on Twitter he made a similar claim in response to a question regarding The Coalition's smaller project. "I mentioned it like summer 2021," he said. "I heard again around that Matrix demo that it was still working on it. But things could have changed. I do believe that work on Gears 6 has begun in full in the last year or so, though." I mentioned it like summer 2021. I heard again around that Matrix demo that it was still working on it. But things could have changed. I do believe that work on Gears 6 has begun in full in the last year or so, though.— Grubb (@JeffGrubb) February 1, 2023 Gears 6 is yet to be officially announced by The Coalition, but is widely expected to be on the way. One line from Gears 5 potentially sets up a storyline. In the meantime, a live-action film and animated series are in the works at Netflix, in partnership with The Coalition. The film is set to be an adaptation of the games, with the series to follow. Dave Bautista is particularly keen to play game hero Markus Fenix.
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Developer Velan Studios have announced that their team-based dodgeballer is being, well, knocked out. Season 9 of Knockout City will be its last and online services will be shut down on June 6th at 12PM GMT/6AM CST/7AM ET. Dodgeballers won’t be able to play Knockout after this date, but Velan have promised that a standalone, private-server version of the game will be coming to PC sometime after. In a recent blog post, the game’s director Jeremy Russo explained the reason behind the news, saying “a lot of our systems supporting long-term player retention are in need of significant changes.” Russo explained that making these changes, while supporting the game through updates, is “virtually impossible to do” with a team of Velan’s size. Knockout City was originally released as an EA Originals title in 2021, but Velan took publishing duties into their own hands when the game went free-to-play last summer. Alas, all good things must come to an end, but it’s not over for Knockout City yet. On February 28th, the 12-week-long Season 9 will kick off, bringing a new map, themed Brawl Pass, and a final Deep Space Dispatch that will conclude Knockout’s story through a podcast. On May 23rd, the
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A supposed performance upgrade backfires spectacularly While the patch notes for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s 4.01 update claim it "improves the overall stability and performance of the game", if you’re not using the recently added ray tracing settings, it might well do the opposite. I gave the patch a whirl to try out its PC-specific changes – namely a new 'Performance' setting for RT global illumination and a fix for the broken screen space reflections setting – only to find that non-ray-traced, DirectX 12 performance has been utterly knackered. Again. Funnily enough, the new global illumination setting works well, and even using basic ray tracing settings means you avoid the sudden performance drop that rasterised settings now endure. More on that in a bit, but when I benchmarked the non-RT Ultra and High presets, it became clear that something about this patch is seriously broken. The Witcher 3's next-gen patch had its problems on PC, but the 4.01 update is worse. Back on the 4.00 patch, and following December’s significant hotfix, my RTX 3070-based test PC averaged 105fps on Ultra quality at 1440p. On version 4.01, that drooped to 63fps: a 40% collapse. On the High preset, 117fps on 4.00 became 65fps on 4.01, or a 44% drop. A small degree of these downward trajectories is owed to the aforementioned screen space reflections fix. Basically, The Witcher 3 was previously failing to activate its High-quality SSR setting correctly, so always showed Low-quality reflections. The High setting now works as it should, complete with its own performance hit, so that 63fps with the Ultra preset becomes 74fps when going back to Low-quality SSR. The latter isn’t as bad of a drop from the original 105fps but… is still a really, really bad drop. I’ve checked that it’s not just me, but I do remain baffled. The downgrade only takes effect when playing in DirectX 12, the game’s default, and I’m not of the mind that SSR changes are causing the problems directly. Enabling ray tracing effects essentially fixes everything, bringing performance back in line wit
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Season nine will be its last. Knockout City, the free-to-play "dodgebrawl" game, is set to shutdown in June. It means the game's ninth season - launching on 28th February - will be its last, before servers are shut down on 6th June. "This was an extremely difficult decision for us, but a necessary and important one for our studio," reads a farewell blog post from Jeremy Russo, game director at developer Velan Studios. The Future of Knockout City "It's a game that defies any traditional definition, which is what makes it both so amazing and challenging to work on," Russo continued, describing development as a "truly rewarding experience". "A ton of love, passion, and hard work has gone into Knockout City, and our amazingly positive and dedicated community of players has made it well worth the effort. We love you all, and we would keep doing this forever with you if we could!" On the decision to shut down, Russo explained: "Despite over 12 million players and billions of KOs around the globe, there are several aspects of the game in need of major disruption to better attract and retain enough players to be sustainable. Since we are a small, indie studio, it's simply impossible for us to make those kinds of systemic changes in the live game while continuing to support it. "So it became clear to us that we needed to take a step back and pave the way for Velan to do what we do best by innovating. Now we can take everything we learned, everything that succeeded and everything that needs improvement, and get to work on exploring new possible experiences for Knockout City and other games and products we are very excited about." A private server version of the game will be released on PC so the game can "live on forever". This will be available for free as a standalone download and won't be connected to the live game, so progress won't carry over. In the meantime, Velan has provided some details on the season nine update: a 12-week season with six back-to-back events full of cosmetics, playlists, and an event focused exclusively on League Play. There w
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A sequel to the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie could still happen, according to the film's production company - despite years of silence on a possible follow-up. A Detective Pikachu sequel was first discussed months ahead of the original movie's release, with Legendary Entertainment keen to capitalise on pre-launch hype. Sadly, we've not heard much more on a possible Pikachu return ever since, despite the movie's popularity upon release. Now, Legendary Entertainment has claimed its sequel is still "in active dev
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I tend to find that a lot of rhythm games hold back from going completely beast mode. It definitely comes from a place of accessibility, where an onslaught of timed bars and coloured symbols can be intimidating for casual players. But what about the rest of us who want to be pummelled to death in time with a catchy beat? Good news! TinyBuild's new action-adventure game Rhythm Sprout: Sick Beats & Bad Sweets does not hold back. I'm not even halfway through the game and I’ve had my butt completely kicked by its barrage
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A few of the games that have us hooked at the moment. 3rd February 2023 Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we've found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time: Hockey, Wonderland and colouring books. If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We've Been Playing, here's our archive. Tape to Tape, PC Tape to Tape was successfully Kickstarted last summer. I wasn't expecting an actual hockey game! As in, one you can full-on real-time play. I haven't played one of those since the 90s, back when playing them felt like sliding around on Marmite - like playing the early FIFA games, actually. I didn't expect it because Tape to Tape is a Rogue-lite and, in many ways, it's exactly the kind of thing we've seen copied many times from Slay the Spire. You select a character and upgrade them by making a series of stops on a map, taking in normal encounters, elite encounters, and a variety of events. You even collect relics to alter your 'build'. And you only get one life, so to speak, to see how far you get. The difference here, though, is that the encounters are hockey - playing hockey. You skate around on the ice, passing and shooting and shoving people into barriers, and control a team rather than only one character - although you have clear star players the team revolves around. And then you bulk them out with new abilities as you go. And it's fun! It's all quite cartoony in tone and appearance - a bit like Mario Strikers in how you can unlock special moves that knock-out opposing players and so on. It's not the most detailed game of hockey so don't go into it expecting that, but as a way to mix up a familiar formula like this, it really works. You can check out a demo of Tape to Tape in the Steam Next Fest event right now, sneakily. -Bertie Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit's Diary, Switch Wonderland Nights: White Rabbit's Diary. Has any book had a greater impact on videogames than Alice in Wonderland? Aside from the specific lifts in things like Mario and the Alice games, there's just the anti-logic of Wonderland, its colourful landscapes and terrifying tweeness. All of this makes it into White Rabbit's Diary, a game which is clearly a work of passion. What a gloriously o
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Sometimes you really don't know how good you've got it. Just over a decade ago Sega dropped a batch of Model 2 ports on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, providing impeccably presented emulations of some of the games that carved its reputation in 90s arcades. Virtua Fighter 2, Cyber Troopers Virtual-On and Sonic the Fighters all received near-immaculate re-releases, but the best of the lot was the first to arrive: Daytona USA, AM2's almighty racer which, back in 2011, got a port that had no right being as good as it was. It's about to be delisted from Microsoft's marketplace, so I'd strongly suggest you grab it while you can. What makes it so special? First off it's worth acknowledging the impact of the 1994 original - or at the very least the impact it had on me and millions of other impressionable young players. 3D games weren't anything particularly new or novel - I remember my first glimpse of Virtua Fighter, running on Sega's Model 1 board, in the dark corner of a bowling alley - but the texture-mapping introduced by the Model 2 felt like a bigger step forward still. Somehow I was lucky enough to find myself at London's Trocadero when it made its debut here in the UK, a large crowd gathered around as we all patiently waited to take our turn behind the wheel. It felt like a glimpse of the future. Don't just take my word for it - John Linneman's also a big fan of the port. There's more to Daytona USA than technical prowess, though, and it stands out as an icon of Sega's legendary 90s output. It's not quite as groundbreaking as Virtua Racing, and I don't think it plays quite as well as Sega
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Said to feature wall-running and BT. Following Bloomberg's recent claims EA had cancelled an unannounced single-player game set in the Titanfall/Apex Legends universe, reliable leaker Jeff Grubb has shared additional details, saying the project was a "Titanfall-feeling" single-player campaign that would have been included in Apex Legends rather than being a standalone title. Grubb, who's been in a particularly leaky mood this evening, made the claims during a Giant Bomb podcast (as transcribed by VGC), saying he'd heard from sources that the cancelled project was part of a broader push to expand the scope of Apex Legends. "In two weeks from now, Apex Legends is going to get Team Deathmatch, and that was always part of a plan to turn Apex Legends into this platform where you could get all kinds of different shooter experiences from an expanded Apex Legends/Titanfall world", Grubb explained. Let's Play Titanfall 2 - Late to the Party. He added that Titanfall Legends (one of the codenames given to the cancelled project) was "always supposed to slot in as part of that [and] would be a single-player campaign inside of this platform, in the same way Call of Duty works where you get Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone is right there as well." According to Grubb, Titanfall Legends would have seen Apex Legends character Rampart uncovering the chassis of Titanfall 2's BT, leading to pla
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And Infants update will be free. EA has revealed The Sims 4's previously teased new Infants life stage will arrive as a free update to the base game on 16th March, and it'll launch alongside the newly revealed Growing Together Expansion Pack, which aims to expand gameplay options across all life stages. The Sims 4's new Infants life stage is intended to bridge the existing gap between newborns and toddlers, fleshing out Sims' earliest years by introducing adorable little toerags with their own personalities, needs, emotions, and sentiments. The free update will give players the tools to create and modify infants in Create-a-Sim, and includes a broad range of clothing, accessories, and hairstyles. It'll also feature various Infant-themed interactions, including the ability to adopt Infants, change their nappies, given them a nap, put them down to sleep, and more. The Sims 4 Growing Together Expansion Pack: Official Reveal - Trailer. Beyond that, players will need to turn to The Sims 4's new Growing Together Expansion Pack, which adds further systems to the new life stage. There are Infant Milestones that grant new abilities, 18 discoverable Quirks that change an Infant's behaviour - such as Self-soother, Early Rise, Messy Eater, Frequently Hiccups, Gassy, Good Appetite, Snuggly Sleeper, Happy Spitter, and Free-Air Tinkler - plus new tools including a Changing Station and Infant Playmat. Growing Together isn't focused purely on Infants, however, and brings addtions across the full range of Sims 4 life stages. Toddlers, for instance, get 18 possible Quirks of their own - including Aggressive, Picky Eater, Early Riser, Little Singer, Good Appetite, Loves Water, Hates Bedtime, and Loves being Carried - while Children get four new Aspirations (Slumber Party Animal, Mind and Body, Playtime Captain and Creative Genius), plus a new Childhood Confidence system. There are new items for the young 'uns to play with in the expansion - EA mentions the likes of a Treehouse, Splash Pad, Bike, Sleeping Bag, Slumber Parties, and Friendship Bracelets - and the additions continue into the older life stages. The new Milestones system applies to all Sims, for instance, and continues to impact them as they age, with Milestones including overcoming a career obstacle, getting fired from a job, having a midlife crisis, and having the family move. Sims will also gain compatibility preferences as part of the new expansion, affecting who'll they'll gel with and who they won't. And at the very top end of the life stage ladder, Sim Elders can engage new activities - power walking, puzzle solving at the recreation centre, and serving as the caretaker of the family Keepsake Box are mentioned - and have access to new interactions, including Giving Life Lessons, Reminiscing on Good Times, and sneaking treats. Finally, Growing Together adds a new world to explore in the form of bay town San Sequoia, which features three neighbourhoods: Anchorpoint Wharf, Gilbert Gardens, and Hopewell Hills. Here, Sims can go group walking, learn to ride a bike, jog and hike along t
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More than two years on from the PS5's release, Sony's new DualSense Edge controller offers a premium upgrade over the gamepad bundled with the console - and a rival to Microsoft's Xbox Elite controller. It's a competition-focused pro gamepad with back paddles, fully remappable buttons, adjustable triggers and swappable parts. The Edge costs a steep £210/$200 at launch - so is it worth the premium? And how does it compare to third-party alternatives - not to mention the Xbox Elite controller? Let's find out. First, let's give the original DualSense its dues. The £60/$70 controller got off to a flying start, with the bundled Astro's Playroom game showcasing its features beautifully at launch - from adaptive triggers and haptic feedback to a speaker, gyrometer and accelerometer. Other titles like Returnal and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart make great use of the hardware features too, but there's also much more basic implementations - like in Call of Duty, where the trigger resistance is more a barrier to the action than an immersive revolution. Despite this mixed success in using its more advanced features, the DualSense is also an ergonomically superior controller to its predecessors - and that carries over to the DualSense Edge too. Here's the DualSense Edge review in full video format. Of course, we wouldn't expect anything less for a controller that costs £210, $200 or €240 - that's around 3.5x as expensive as the regular DualSense, so the Edge really has to deliver. Let's take a look at what comes in the box before we get into the highlights - and the lowlights. The Edge comes in a hard white case, matching the PS5 perfectly, with a long braided USB-C cable and a bevy of spare paddles and thumbsticks. You can charge the controller in the case, thanks to a hatch in the back, with an extra plastic connector that lets you physically lock the USB cable into the controller - just for peace of mind, I guess. As for the Edge controller itself? Well Sony doesn't change what already worked. The fit and feel in the hands is near identical to a regular DualSense in terms of its dimensions. The handles, button placement, stick placement are just the same, down to the millimetre. There are some subtle tweaks elsewhere though - including a higher weight at 335g, compared to the 280g of the regular DualSense. The bottom half of the controller has a glossy black plastic and the trackpad and buttons come in black too. Beyond that? Well, this is where we start seeing the first of the new features. The major benefits, and their corresponding drawbacks. So, advantage number one is its replaceable analogue sticks. I'm not talking about just the tops of the sticks either - although you do get three pairs of alternative options, each in a different style. Instead, the whole stick module can be ejected by pulling a release slider at the back, opening up the front of the controller and allowing the entire mechanism to be replaced. Now, stick drift or a completely broken thumbstick can be fixed without binning an entire controller, though it's an involved procedure. The DualSense Edge offers a unique workaround in t
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If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy. Hello and welcome to the Eurogamer Newscast, which this week is all about the best (and worst) video game adaptations. We've all been watching The Last of Us which has become a properly massive TV event - but it's not the first great video game adaptation by any means. Is it the best? It's certainly up there - though there's strong competition already from things like Netflix's Cyberpunk: Edgerunners and The Witcher series, and the wonderful League of Legends animation Arcane. Beyond thos
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A great price for the best value Zen 4 CPU for gaming. AMD's Ryzen 7000 processors offer incredible gaming
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This Fast IPS monitor is a firm favourite - and even cheaper with employee/student discounts. Dell's S2721DGFA is one of the best 1440p gaming monitors on the market thanks to its use of an LG Fast IPS panel, blending the plus points of both TN and IPS displays. Normally this monitor costs north of £300, but today it's down to £279 at Dell UK, a great price that can be dropped further to £251 if you have a student or Dell Advantage employee account. Get the Dell S2721DGFA First - that extra discount. For this, you'll need to either sign up to Dell's student portal or access the Dell Advantage pr
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Developer Fntastic has shared a 10-minute gameplay trailer for its now twice-delayed open-world zombie survival MMO The Day
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