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- Jenny Miller, Senior Manager, Xbox Global Partnerships
Xbox, Doritos, and Rockstar Energy Drink Give Away Game Pass, Prizes, and DLC

Today, in the US and select international markets, Xbox joins forces with fan favorite snack Doritos and energy beverage Rockstar Energy Drink to unveil special edition packaging featuring iconic game franchises from the world of Xbox.

When fans purchase specially marked products, they can enter for chances to win instantly thousands of prizes to ignite a newfound love for gaming or celebrate the ongoing joy gaming brings them.

First-time Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will receive one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for free and fans in participating countries will receive their choice of exclusive downloadable content across some of the most popular titles available on Xbox and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Fallout 76, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, PUBG: Battlegrounds, The Elder Scrolls Online and Madden NFL 23.

Participating Doritos and Rockstar Energy Products In-line Asset

Unlockable In-Game Content and Prizes

From October 3 until December 30, 2022, with each purchase of specially marked Rockstar Energy Drink cans or Doritos bags, fans can unlock in-game items, inspired by the bold taste of Doritos and the fully charged flavor of Rockstar Energy Drink, including:

Doritos US in-game content:

Fallout 76 – Heat-Eater Power Armor PaintForza Horizon 5 – Tankito Doritos OutfitHalo Infinite – Tasteful Sensation Razorback and 2XP BoostPUBG: Battlegrounds– Dinoland MascotThe Elder Scrolls Online – Karthwolf Charger MountMadden NFL 23 – Doritos Ultimate Team Pack (exclusive to Doritos)

Doritos International in-game content:

Fallout 76 – Heat-Eater Power Armor PaintForza Horizon 5 – Tankito Doritos OutfitHalo Infinite – Tasteful Sensation Razorback and 2XP BoostPUBG: Battlegrounds– Dinoland Mascot SuitThe Elder Scrolls Online – Karthwolf Charger Mount

Rockstar Energy US in-game content:

Fallout 76 – Heat-Eater Power Armor PaintForza Horizon 5 – Tankito Doritos OutfitHalo Infinite – Tasteful Sensation Razorback and 2XP BoostPUBG: Battlegrounds– Dinoland MascotThe Elder Scrolls Online – Karthwolf Charger Mount

Rockstar Energy fans in select international markets will also be able to grab a specially marked can for their first free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and enter to win other exciting Xbox prizes.   

Fans in the US can visit www.doritosrockstarenergy.com to enter the code received on-can or on-bag to redeem the downloadable content and enter for a chance to instantly win from over 10,000 gaming-themed prizes —including Xbox Series S consoles, Xbox Wireless Controllers, PC gaming setups, gaming chairs and other amazing gear from Xbox, Doritos and Rockstar Energy.

Participating Doritos and Rockstar Energy Products

In the US, Xbox fans will find their favorite games featured across iconic Rockstar Energy Drink flavors including Original, Sugar Free, Pure Zero Punched and Pure Zero Silver Ice and popular Doritos flavors Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Spicy Sweet Chili, Spicy Nacho, 3D Crunch Nacho Cheese and 3D Crunch Spicy Ranch. Participating products will vary across international markets.

The special edition Rockstar Energy cans are available in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. While fans in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain will not see specially marked cans in stores, they will be able to enter the sweepstakes to win prizes such as Xbox Series S and first-time Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users in select markets can receive one-month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Fans in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden should be on the lookout for the exclusive packaging available in locations wherever Doritos are sold. Fans in Australia will be able to participate beginning November 4.

For full US program details, visit www.doritosrockstarenergy.com.

About Doritos and Rockstar Energy Drink

For years, Doritos and Rockstar Energy Drink have changed the world of gaming through partnerships with blockbuster titles and unique gaming experiences. This partnership, Doritos’ and Rockstar Energy’s biggest on-pack gaming promotion ever, takes Doritos’ and Rockstar Energy’s gaming programs to another level.

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- John Liao, Associate Digital Marketing Manager, Bandai Namco
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Now Available with Game Pass

It’s an exciting time to be an Xbox fan as Level-5’s classic tale, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered returns better than ever. The game has made its journey to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) with improved graphics and performance! 

The 11th anniversary of the game is coming up this November 17, but thanks to the incredible and stylized works of Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered is an ageless RPG classic. This charming tale is further enhanced with music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Screenshot

If you’ve come here today to read more, you’re probably like me and you’ve never played the game prior to its Game Pass debut but have heard about it over the years. Game Pass has finally given me the opportunity to discover how this game uses story and music to channel the charm, whimsy, and emotional resonance of Studio Ghibli films — all in an RPG package. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead!)

Oliver, the main protagonist, is a wizard. He’s got a magic wand, book, and familiars to call upon and aid him in battle. He journeys to the other world filled with magic, monsters, and things of myths. Early in the game, you’ll come across the Grimalkin (cat-person) kingdom of Ding Dong Dell ruled by “His Meowjesty” King Tom. In the kingdom of Ding Dong Dell, fish are heavily revered and are just about everywhere. The décor of fish spread to the walls, stairs, fixtures … and even spearheads.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Screenshot

This is where Oliver comes in to seek the assistance of King Tom for help in our epic quest. Unfortunately, the king’s pet has gone missing and you’ll need to find this literal and figurative red herring to gain his audience. As a player that tends to speed read and mashes ‘A’ to get through dialogue, this clever use of visual narratives immersed me in a way that only the special few do.

Renowned composer Joe Hisaishi’s score furthers your immersion in this other world. From the sweeping strings in your world map travels to the pompously booming horns of Ding Dong Dell, the cinematic score both reflects and amplifies the magic and adventure of the story, while remaining true to the protagonist’s innocent wonder.

Fans will find joy in how this game marries the whimsy of the Ghibli films with the immersive gameplay of RPGs in a world full of fantastical creatures, magical environments, and heart-warming storylines.

Ni no Kuni Remastered: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered is a masterfully executed RPG with unique storytelling concepts and is a shining star in the sea of games we have today. Play it today on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta).

Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch™ Remastered Xbox Live Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch™ Remastered

Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc.

☆☆☆☆☆ 186 ★★★★★ $49.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Journey back to the other world in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered. LEVEL-5’s classic tale returns better than ever, with improved graphics and performance. Join Oliver as he embarks on an adventure through a world inhabited by new friends and ferocious foes alike in the hopes of bringing back his mother after a tragic incident. This charming tale unfolds through the use of animation storyboarded and created by the legendary Studio Ghibli and music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch combines beautiful animated visuals, masterful storytelling, and a sweeping score to create an epic role-playing adventure like no other. Related:
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Next Week on Xbox: New Games for October 3 to 7

Welcome to Next Week on Xbox! In this weekly feature we cover all the games coming soon to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11, and Game Pass! Get more details on these upcoming games below and click their profiles for further info (release dates subject to change). Let’s jump in!

Dakar Desert Rally – October 3

Dakar Desert Rally – October 3
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Dakar Desert Rally captures the genuine speed and excitement of Amaury Sport Organization’s largest rally race on the planet, featuring a wide variety of licensed vehicles from the world’s top makers, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads, and SSVs. Compete in fierce online multiplayer races or navigate the vast wilds in offline single-player mode.

Kamikaze Veggies - October 4

Kamikaze Veggies – October 4
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Red, communist vegetables want to take control over the world. Only a special squad of veggie warriors can stop them. If you like absurd humor and a breath of adventure on your back, then you’ve come to the right place.

Overwatch 2 – October 4

Overwatch 2 – October 4
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S

Overwatch 2 arrives October 4 as a reimagined free-to-play game. Power up your railgun and disrupt the battlefield as Sojourn or yield your axe and command attention as Junker Queen. Battle to take control of a robot and move it toward the enemy base in the new Push Mode. Bring the fight to new destinations across the globe in iconic locations like New York, Rome, Monte Carlo, and Rio. Daily challenges and frequent updates mean there is always something new to play.

Falling Out - October 6

Falling Out – October 6
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One X Enhanced

A light-hearted, action-packed rogue lite where you take control of an oddball couple who are on a vacation from hell. Work together as you navigate randomly generated levels whilst dodging traps, slaying enemies, and crafting weapons to escape before the level floods.

Dragon Prana – October 6

Dragon Prana – October 6
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

A fantastic retro RPG with top quality nostalgic pixel art and a game system worthy of modern times. Battle with more than 20 classes that can be changed in combat and unlock boards to strengthen stats and learn special skills. The formations are also important to get advantages in turn-based battles.

Josh Journey: Darkness Totems - October 6

Josh Journey: Darkness Totems – October 6
Xbox One X Enhanced

A beat ‘em up style game with handcrafted art that tells the story of brave heroes who use their skills to defeat nightmare monsters using combined attacks in local co-op gameplay.

L.O.L. Surprise! B.B.s Born to Travel – October 6

L.O.L. Surprise! B.B.s Born to Travel – October 6
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Fans around the world can’t wait to unbox their own L.O.L. Surprise! Doll — and you’re about to make their dreams come true! Choose your character and bring the L.O.L. Surprise! doll store to life, as you collect fierce dolls with glitter, hearts, diamonds, and more. No matter your age, there’s just enough challenge to bring out the fierce L.O.L. Surprise! dollmaker in you!

Medieval Dynasty (Xbox Series X|S) - October 6

Medieval Dynasty (Xbox Series X|S) – October 6
Xbox Game Pass

Take on the role of a young man who has fled from war and wants to take his fate into his own hands. From being alone, inexperienced, and poor you will develop into a master of many skills, a leader of your community and the founder of a prosperous dynasty which is meant to last and prosper for generations to come.

A Frog's Job - October 7

A Frog’s Job – October 7
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

The omnipotent Frog God has promised you the gift of reincarnation. All you must do is to save the lost souls of forty frogs, which is no easy task. You’ve been gifted with the ability to suspend and resume time at your will helping you jump over moving platforms, avoid pits, spikes, and enemies.

Pandaty - October 7

Pandaty – October 7

A cute, 2D platformer game where you’ll explore a fresh world of adventure! Our character must pass the sweetly designed levels… but watch out! Sometimes they may not be so sweet.

Paper Flight - Super Speed Dash – October 7

Paper Flight – Super Speed Dash – October 7
Xbox One X Enhanced

Jump into the role of a little paper plane that is trying to rescue the world from little but evil balloon demon by dashing through them. Fast, relaxing, chaotic — you’re free to enjoy the game any way you see fit as the only enemies of the game are balloons (who are mostly harmless).

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- Gala Dolgikh, Community Manager at Owlcat Games
Critically-Acclaimed CRPG Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Comes to Xbox Today

Lead. Fight. Ascend

Owlcat Games is a relatively young, but ambitious studio with the main office in Nicosia, Cyprus, that came to be when a group of game dev industry veterans decided to create a classic single-player CRPG of their own. They’ve made a name for themselves with Pathfinder: Kingmaker back in 2018, and now their second game—Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous—is available on Xbox.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is an indirect sequel to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and takes place five years after the events of the first game in a nation of Mendev, which, led by the ever young Queen Galfrey, has been fending off the demonic invasion for almost a century. Now it’s your turn to take up on the role of the Knight-Commander of the new crusade, and make a difference in the stalemate against the demonic forces.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous offers the same vast and versatile class system, familiar to the players of both the table-top version and Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but you can choose from even bigger number of classes and archetypes, comparing to the previous game.

screenshot

New classes, feats, and abilities are not the only addition to the game’s mechanical part, however. In Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, you will receive incredible mythic powers, that will eventually allow you to rival the Demon Lord themselves and uncover their schemes. Not only will the mythic powers give you access to unique spells and abilities, they can also turn you into a totally different being. A righteous angel, a fierce demon, a freedom-loving Azata, or a lich, who commands the undead. You can also become an Aeon, who maintains the cosmic order; a Gold Dragon, who melts the hardest hearts with its kindness and compassion; or a vicious insatiable Swarm That Walks, that will know no rest until it consumes the entire world! And if none of these paths suit you, you can choose the path of a Legend, a hero who doesn’t need mythic powers and draws strengths from their own heart.

alt key art

You won’t go on this adventure alone—you will be accompanied by a cast of diverse characters who will help you along the way. Some of them will offer you their friendship, others will be difficult to win over; and there are even a number of characters who will fall in love with you, including a former succubus who dreams of redemption—Arueshalae, familiar to those who played the tabletop version of the Adventure path.

party key art

The crusade system adds another strategic layer to the game, and will truly put you into the shoes of a knight-commander. You will recruit loyal generals and troops to fight the demonic hordes, win valuable trophies, and claim the treasures of the Worldwound. Build fortifications on the lands you have conquered, and make important decisions, establishing supply lines, recruiting political powers of Mendev to your side, and deciding how the soldiers in your army should be trained.

battle map

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is truly an PRG of a mythic scale, taking you on a journey of 80 hours or more to the faraway land of Mendev, desolated Worldwound region, and even an alien chaotic realm of the Abyss. Inspire, love, hate, betray and lead your followers to a victory—or a fate worse than death. Your crusade begins today.

Thank you for reading! If you want to apply for a key, please send a message to press@owlcatgames.com  

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Xbox Live Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

META Publishing

☆☆☆☆☆ 67 ★★★★★ $49.99 Get it now Embark on a journey to a realm overrun by demons in a new epic RPG from the creators of the critically acclaimed Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Explore the nature of good and evil, learn the true cost of power, and rise as a Mythic Hero capable of deeds beyond mortal expectations. Discover the Story Your path will lead you to the Worldwound, where the opening of a rift to the Abyss has unleashed all-consuming terror across the land. For over a century, the neighboring nations have fought fearlessly, trying to drive the enemy back — but to little avail. Now, you have the chance to put an end to this conflict, but the path to salvation is far from clear-cut. Will you become a shining angel, backed by noble paladins? Or a powerful necromancer with hordes of immortal undead in your thrall? Or something else entirely? Lead your army and challenge mighty demon lords. Your crusade will set in motion a chain of events that will leave you — and the world itself — forever changed. Related:
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- Jocelyn Fung: Creative Director at FreshPlanet
Get the Party Started in SongPop Party
SummarySongPop Party is a music trivia party game for  up to eight players locally or online.All the latest hits from today, oldies from before the 1950s, and everything in betweenPick your favorite music genre and decade

What’s a Party without Music?

For the last ten years, we’ve been working on SongPop, a multiplayer music trivia game that has won the hearts of millions worldwide. Every day, thousands of guess-the-song challenges are sent back and forth. Players connect over nostalgic playlists or get down with the latest hits. We have so much music to share that there is something for everyone. And over the last couple of years, we’ve been working on just that: a party game where you can guess the song with up to eight people!

menu options

SongPop Party is the premium game from our collection. We’ve crafted this game using a decade of experience and our award-winning gameplay formula. Designed to be a party starter in more ways than one, we want friends and family to be able to play together no matter where they are.

Play locally on your couch (our favorite), play online, or do a combination of both: anyone can join.

There is music for everyone in SongPop Party. From all the latest hits of today, oldies from before the 1950s, and everything in between. Our team of music curators handpicks every single one of the playlists we offer. Choose from major music genres, movie soundtracks, classic oldies, today’s chart toppers, and so much more.

multiple characters

Feeling indecisive? We built a button to pick a completely random playlist for you. Alternatively, my favorite strategy is to choose the decade in which you went to high school. Try that and tell us how it went on Discord! https://gmlft.co/SongPopParty-Discord

With hundreds of thousands of songs to choose from, we also curate clever playlists for special events held throughout the year. Among them are popular music festivals, family holidays, and seasonal celebrations.

character screen shot

Keep the party going and earn keys for unlocking characters and more music. We’ve poured a lot of love into the diverse character lineup. Each has its own personality and taste in music, similar to the playlists themselves.

I’m so fortunate to have been part of the awesome, talented team that is bringing the world’s biggest music trivia game to Xbox this year. We’re excited for you to enjoy it as much as we do!

SongPop Party Xbox Live SongPop Party

Gameloft

☆☆☆☆☆ 7 ★★★★★ $19.99 Get it now SongPop Party is the latest addition to the biggest music trivia franchise in the world. With a huge catalog of cult classics to today’s top hits, you can unlock hundreds of thousands of curated songs grouped by genre, artist, decade, topic and more. Play with up to 4 household members on your couch or up to 8 friends online for the ultimate music trivia party! Test your knowledge against opponents online with music fans from around the globe. Based on skill level and music preferences, discover new playlists and train to be the best. SongPop Party has music for all generations, whether it’s a blast from the past or today’s greatest hits. From the oldies to yesterday, everyone can play! Find your favorite avatar to suit your music personality whether you’re a pop aficionado, EDM fan, or metalhead. Not a sing-along… or is it? You know it’s gonna happen; you won’t be able to help yourself! Dive into the world of music trivia with SongPop Party and become the ultimate music trivia master! _____________________________________________ Don't forget to follow us on social media: https://linktr.ee/songpopparty Terms of Use: https://www.freshplanet.com/terms-of-use Privacy Policy: https://www.freshplanet.com/privacy-policy End-User License Agreement: https://www.freshplanet.com/eula Related:
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- Dominic Davies, Lead Content Manager, The Elder Scrolls Online
Work Together to Unlock Special Rewards During Elder Scrolls Online’s Heroes of High Isle Event

Team up with fellow adventurers to unlock unique rewards during The Elder Scrolls Online’s Heroes of High Isle in-game event. From now until Tuesday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. EDT, as you and other players visit the High Isle Chapter zone’s six unique “striking locales” and unlock the Pathfinder achievement, you also release special in-game rewards.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot Band Together for Fantastic Rewards

You can view the ESO community’s progress on the official Heroes of High Isle page. Reach the three different milestones together and you’ll unlock the Oak’s Promise markings, the Plant Yourself emote, the Ascendant Hoard Box (containing all kinds of goodies such as an Ascendant Lord Statue), and The Elder Scrolls Online: Firesong DLC! That’s right, complete the challenge and all High Isle players can claim The Legacy of the Breton’s final DLC of the year from the Crown Store!

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot

Note that you need to own the High Isle Chapter to participate in the event and claim its rewards. Luckily, right now, Xbox players can pick up The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Collector’s Edition at up to 50% off. This offer lasts only until Monday, October 10, so don’t miss out on picking up ESO’s latest Chapter at a bargain price AND potentially getting the next DLC for free at the same time!

Celebrate High Isle with Us

In addition to the challenge above, you can earn even more bonus rewards during this event simply by exploring and questing in High Isle. The first time you complete a daily quest in High Isle (or the Dreadsail Reef trial weekly quest instead), you receive a Society of the Steadfast’s Largesse Coffer, containing all kinds of goodies including a chance to acquire pages of the brand-new Oaken Order armor style.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot

You can also earn Event Tickets for the first daily quest you complete in High Isle every day. Exchange these tickets with The Impresario and Nenulaure, in-game vendors who offer valuable treasures, to get the final fragment you need to unlock the Daggerfall Paladin Outfit. Visit our official blog for everything you need to know about this event.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot

Join forces with your fellow Xbox community members during the Heroes of High Isle event to earn a plethora of in-game rewards and save big on The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Collector’s Edition. If you’ve yet to begin your Legacy of the Bretons adventure, now is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on two of its biggest releases of 2022. Have fun exploring the Systres Archipelago!

The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle Collector's Edition Xbox Live The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle Collector's Edition

Bethesda Softworks

☆☆☆☆☆ 118 ★★★★★ $79.99 $39.99 Get it now A brand-new Elder Scrolls adventure! Experience a world without limits with The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle Collector’s Edition and get access to the Base Game and all Chapters: • High Isle (New for 2022) • Blackwood • Greymoor • Elsweyr • Summerset • Morrowind Purchase the Collector's Edition for bonus in-game content including: • Amenos Ornaug • Balfiera Senche Cub • Ascendant Knight Outfit Style • Hoard of the Schemers Memento • High Isle Emote Pack • And Previous Collector’s Edition Rewards! ULTIMATE FREEDOM—Create your ultimate RPG character, play solo or adventure with friends, and determine your fate in an ever-expanding world. With no level restrictions, go anywhere at any time in a truly open world. In The Elder Scrolls Online, the choice is yours. CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE—Begin your adventures in Tamriel wherever you like: emerge from Coldharbour in the Base Game, battle Dragons in the Elsweyr Chapter, or face the Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon, in Blackwood. All content is immediately accessible for new players, and you can switch adventures whenever you like. INCLUDES LATEST CHAPTER: HIGH ISLE—Set out on a brand-new Elder Scrolls journey and uncover an epic storytelling experience told across three DLCs and the High Isle Chapter in the Legacy of the Bretons year-long adventure. A tale of chivalric honor and political upheaval set within the stunning Systres Archipelago awaits. Related:
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- Nick Popovich, CEO of Monomi Park and Slime Rancher Series Director
Slime Rancher 2: Getting Creative with Your New Home on Rainbow Island

Hello! Last week we launched Slime Rancher 2 (Game Preview) for Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10/11 as well as with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta), and have been overwhelmed by the reception as a record-shattering number of new ranchers joined Beatrix LeBeau and embarked for a new slime ranching adventure on Rainbow Island.

Not long after Beatrix arrives on Rainbow Island, she discovers a mysterious Conservatory equipped with everything she needs to begin her new slime ranching adventure. This Conservatory has several expansions that can be purchased to expand your Plort production capabilities, by allowing you to build more slime corrals, gardens, chicken coops, silos, and more. 

But expanding your Conservatory also means increasing your daily workload, and if your eyes are always looking toward the horizon for the next place to explore like me, you may want to consider more unconventional, and creative ways to utilize your Conservatory expansions. And this is all totally ok, because Slime Rancher 2 allows you to play however you choose, at whatever pace you choose.

So here are a few ways to turn your Conservatory expansions into fully functional upgrades with little to no upkeep, allowing you to spend more time exploring the farthest reaches of Rainbow Island.

The Seaside Puddle Resort

You can turn the Tidepools into a seaside Puddle Slime resort by using every plot available for ponds. Your Puddle Slimes will require no maintenance and you can stop by their perpetual pool party whenever you choose to collect a large haul of valuable Puddle Plorts. Just be sure to build plenty of palm tree deco gadgets to really up the vacation vibes.

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot The Ultimate Silo

Or use the high walls of the Gully and its wild chickens that you’ll always find there to create the ultimate food storage center. Simply use as many plots as you like for silos, and let all the chickens you like roam free. The naturally high walls of the Gully will keep them enclosed and you can visit whenever you like to deposit food for later, as well as collect from the ever-expanding chicken population at your feet. Just be sure to decorate it with slime statues so the chickens feel like they’re living in a paradise where slimes exist but will never eat them.

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot The Zen Garden

The Archway’s striking stone ruins and overall structured feel always make for an excellent zen garden. So I like to plant a bunch of fruit trees here as well as a few decorative bonsais and then just return to this beautiful and bountiful garden any time I need some extra produce. The gardens will grow forever if undisturbed and if I miss a yield or two it doesn’t matter because one must learn to let go.

But if you would instead like to redirect the cycle of life you could always install an incinerator and keep your fire slimes there — to gobble the ash from your unwanted fruit. Their fiery glow even makes for a nice bonfire to sit beside and catch a lovely sunset between the great stone arches along the cliffside.

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot Garbage Town

If zen gardens aren’t your thing, consider the polar opposite with Garbage Town. Use the Den expansion’s natural darkness and walls to keep a hungry horde of Ringtail Slimes inside with no corrals, and no rules. Maybe plant a few gardens and then shoot every spare chicken, fruit, or veggie into the mouth of the cave whenever you have time. Maybe, don’t even look inside the chaos that will follow. And let’s be honest, Ringtail Slimes want it this way. 

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot

So whether you want to maximize Plort production and ensure that every slime species is represented so you can dominate the Plort Market, or if you prefer a more laid-back approach to give you ample time to find every Treasure Pod hidden in every secret nook and cranny, Slime Rancher 2 lets you play your way and rewards you for doing so. Rainbow Island is full of possibilities, and many of them come from your own imagination.

Slime Rancher 2 (Game Preview) is available now for Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10/11 as well as with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta).

Slime Rancher 2 Xbox Live Slime Rancher 2

Monomi Park

☆☆☆☆☆ 254 ★★★★★ $29.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Free Trial This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. Slime Rancher 2 is a sequel to the award-winning, smash-hit original that has been enjoyed by over 10 million fans worldwide. Continue the adventures of Beatrix LeBeau as she journeys to Rainbow Island, a mysterious land brimming with ancient technology, unknown natural resources, and an avalanche of wiggling, jiggling, new slimes to discover. As Beatrix attempts to unravel the island’s secrets and uncover its true purpose, she’ll build, ranch, and farm within a beautiful conservatory, whose sparkling glass walls give her full view of the prismatic paradise she now calls home. Related:
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- Josefin Berntsson, Community Manager, Iron Gate Studio
Valheim is Better with Friends – Time to Get Ready for Crossplay Viking Adventures

Like with so many multiplayer games, the best things in Valheim happen when you play with your friends. Sometimes you mess up badly, sometimes you triumph, and sometimes you get out with just the narrowest of margins – but you do it together. We thought back on some multiplayer experiences players have shared with us, from bold adventures to humble days in their homesteads, and thought you might recognize yourself in some of them… 

Perhaps you have sailed along the coast with your friends and spotted a peaceful-looking village in the meadows. You got a sneaking suspicion something was wrong, and you told your friends, “I think this place is already occupied,” but nevertheless, you kept sailing closer. You all had barely stepped off the boat before people were yelling in a panic about the village chieftain, a Draugr Elite, and you were trying your hardest to push the boat back into the water towards your escape. You got so close too, but the Draugr bested you all, and you had to stage an elaborate ambush in order to reclaim your gear.

Valheim

Or maybe you know what it’s like to finally tame those beautiful boars and give them carefully chosen names (Boaris and Hamlet), but your buddy just wanted to butcher them for some good meat. While walking around tending to your base you suddenly noticed the boar pens seemed…a bit empty. “Wait, where is Hamlet?” you asked, only to get no response from your friend. None at all. But all those leather scraps in the corner looked oh-so-heartbreakingly familiar. “Did you KILL Hamlet?” you asked your still silent friend. But there was nothing that could be done (aside from naming the next boar Hamlet II).

Valheim

Or you might remember a time when you managed to get yourself stuck in the mountains. You had no food, and no armor or cloak to keep you warm against the biting winds. Stepping outside of the ramshackle cabin would mean certain death. But your friends were determined to save you, and set out on a most daring rescue mission – fighting off the cold by building campfire after campfire. They made their way to your hideout, and braved both weather and dangerous beasts alike in order to safely escort you home. That’s the kind of loyalty you can’t forget.

Regardless of what your best Valheim memory might be, now is a perfect time to make even more. With Valheim now available in the Microsoft Store and included with PC Game Pass, and with the Xbox release due early 2023, even more of your friends will be able to join you on perilous adventures in the tenth world. The full crossplay support will ensure that you can play together with your friends, no matter what platform you’re using. And once the upcoming Mistlands update arrives, you will need all the help you can get…

Valheim

Valheim is available now for Windows PC, plus it’s included with PC Game Pass, and is coming to Xbox early next year!

Valheim (Game Preview) Xbox Live Valheim (Game Preview)

Coffee Stain Publishing

☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ Get it now PC Game Pass This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. Valheim is a brutal exploration and survival game for 1-10 players set in a procedurally-generated world inspired by Norse mythology. Craft powerful weapons, construct longhouses, and slay mighty foes to prove yourself to Odin! EXPLORE THE TENTH WORLD Explore a world shrouded in mystery. Discover distinct environments with unique enemies to battle, resources to gather and secrets to uncover! Be a viking, sail the open seas in search of lands unknown, and fight bloodthirsty monsters. BUILD MIGHTY HALLS Raise viking longhouses and build bases that offer reprieve from the dangers ahead. Customise buildings, both inside and out, with a detailed building system. Progress through building tiers to upgrade, expand and defend your base. GATHER, CRAFT AND SURVIVE Struggle to survive as you gather materials and craft weapons, armor, tools, ships, and defenses. Decorate your hearths and sharpen your blades, grow crops and vegetables, prepare food, brew meads and potions, and progress as you defeat more difficult bosses and discover new recipes and blueprints. KEY FEATURES -Massive procedurally-generated world where every biome is immersive and distinct, with unique enemies, resources and crafting recipes to discover. – Play alone or with up to 10 players on player-hosted dedicated servers and experience unlimited world creation and enemies that scale in difficulty. – Staminabased combat that rewards preparation and skill. Utilize weapon types with unique attacks, different blocking styles, ranged combat, dodges and parries to fight your enemies. – Rewarding food system where you cannot starve and are not punished for not eating, instead you gain health, stamina and regeneration buffs depending on what foods you consume. – Intuitive crafting where recipes are discovered as you explore the world, and pick up new resources and ingredients. – Flexible building system that takes structural integrity and ventilation into account. Build a small shelter or an entire village, make outposts or claim abandoned buildings as your own. Then customize to your liking. – Sail boats and ships to reach distant lands and explore the sea that offers riches to claim and monsters to fight. – Epic boss fights that will test even the best prepared vikings and offer rewards that help you on your journey. Full details on the latest status of the game, how you can give feedback and report issues can be found at www.valheim.com. Related:
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Now Available with Game Pass
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It’s Time to Meet Your Maker! Moonscars is Now Available
- Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator Introduces Local Legend VII, the Cessna 195 Businessliner
Experience the beautiful, classic exterior and cockpit looks of this all-aluminum aircraft

In conjunction with World Update XI: Canada, Microsoft Flight Simulator today released its latest aircraft in the “Local Legends” series of planes. Manufactured by Carenado, the 195 Businessliner is a single-engine, high-wing general aviation and utility airplane by American aviation manufacturer, Cessna. The aircraft is one of a small family of two consisting of the 190 and the 195. The 195 was the last Cessna aircraft the company developed that was powered by a radial engine, and the first composed of all-aluminum construction. Aimed at the business market, the 195 has seating for five, including the pilot.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

Cessna developed the 195 from its mid-1930s offering, the Airmaster, a high-wing, cantilever monoplane with a traditional undercarriage. The 195 took its maiden flight in 1945 and was introduced shortly after in 1947. Quickly earning a reputation as reliable and efficient, the 195 was adopted by the United States Army, which designated it the LC-126, and the Air Force, naming it the U-20. Cessna produced the Businessliner from 1947 to 1954. There are many that still fly today and are highly sought after due to their rugged build, solid performance and look that evokes earlier decades of flight.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

The 195 measures 27 feet, 4 inches in length, stands 7 feet, 2 inches high, and has a wingspan of 36 feet, 2 inches. It features a standard empennage and a fixed traditional undercarriage. The roomy cockpit is smartly arranged and sports polished wood controls. The aircraft is powered by a 7-cylinder, air-cooled Jacobs R-755B-2 radial piston engine that produces up to 275 horsepower and swings a Hamilton Standard 2-blade constant-speed propeller. When at cruising speeds of 170 mph to 178 mph, the Cessna 195 has a range of 633 miles, an endurance of four hours, a ceiling of 18,300 feet above sea level, and climbs at 1,135 feet per minute. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

The Cessna 195 Businessliner looks both elegant and powerful with its large cowling that encloses its radial engine and smooth lines throughout its entire form. Flying the Cessna 195 is an unforgettable experience; its engine really delivers, and the aircraft demands pilot precision for each control input, from take-off to landing. The 195 Businessliner includes ten liveries: eight classic and an Xbox and an Aviator’s Club. It is available now in the Microsoft Flight Simulator in-game marketplace for $19.99. The sky is calling!

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming. For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on Twitter. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition Xbox Live Xbox Play Anywhere Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition

Xbox Game Studios

☆☆☆☆☆ 287 ★★★★★ $59.99 $47.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass The Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year (GOTY) Standard Edition celebrates all the positive feedback, reviews and awards garnered, but it is also a “Thank You” to our fans – new and old – that have made Microsoft Flight Simulator such a phenomenon. The Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition includes 25 highly detailed planes with unique flight models and 38 hand-crafted airports. This enhanced edition introduces simmers to five all-new aircraft, eight new handcrafted airports, six new Discovery Flights, new tutorials, and updates to the weather system The five new handcrafted aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator include: • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet: Our first military jet and a highly requested feature from the community. The Top Gun: Maverick expansion will release with the movie next Spring, but we wanted simmers to have the opportunity to test their need for speed this holiday. • VoloCity: We partnered with well-known German company Volocopter, which is working on an eVTOL called “VoloCity”, a vision for an urban air taxi. We worked closely with the Volocopter engineering team to develop an authentic version of the prototype aircraft for the simulator. This is our first aircraft that can perform pinpoint landings and is a teaser of what you can look forward to in 2022 when we intend to launch helicopters in the sim. • Pilatus PC-6 Porter: This legendary short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility aircraft is a highly versatile plane from Switzerland and comes with several cockpits, cabins, and landing gear variations. It is the result of our close collaboration with the manufacturer and the development efforts by famed developers Hans Hartmann and Alexander Metzger resulted in a great and fun new aircraft with exception capabilities in the simulator. • CubCrafters NX Cub: Yakima-based CubCrafters recently introduced a nosewheel option for their flagship CC-19 XCub Aircraft, popularly called the NX Cub, which we are pleased to introduce to the flight sim audience to further enhance our bush flying and off airport options. • Aviat Pitts Special S1S: One of our most popular planes gets a single-seat option with the release of this aircraft. New Airports – We are adding eight handcrafted airports in Central Europe and the United States: • Germany o Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP) o Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA) o Kassel Airport (EDVK) •Switzerland o Lugano Airport (LSZA) o Zurich Airport (LSZH) o Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO) •United States o Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF) o Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX) The Game of the Year release is adding information about 545 previously missing airports in the United States. New Missions -Based on the popularity of the recently introduced Discovery Flights, we are adding an additional six locations (Helsinki, Freiburg im Breisgau, Mecca, Monument Valley, Singapore, and Mount Cook) to this popular series. New Tutorials – To further expand the onboarding experience, we are adding 14 new tutorials, introducing simmers to Bush flying (in an Icon A5) and IFR (in a Cessna 172). New Features – We are also pleased to introduce several highly requested features by the community: an updated weather system, early access to DX12, and a dev mode replay system. New Photogrammetry Cities – As part of our ongoing collaboration with Bing Maps, we are pleased to add a number of new photogrammetry cities: Helsinki (Finland), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), Brighton, Derby, Eastbourne, Newcastle, and Nottingham (UK) and Utrecht (Netherlands). Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition will be available as a free update for owners on PC and Xbox Series X|S. For new users, the GOTY Standard Edition is the perfect entry point to flight simming as it offers an even richer experience, and it will be the item they purchase as we are retiring the original. Invite your friends to experience the wonders of flight. The sky is calling! Related:
Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases World Update XI: Canada
Grounded Full Release Available Now with Game Pass
PAX West 2022: Matt Booty Storytime Keynote Recap
- Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases World Update XI: Canada
Explore the diverse beauty and expansive mystique of the world’s second largest country

Canada is filled with a plethora of sights to explore from the air: magnificent urban architecture, wave-battered northern coastlines, and vast sweeps of tundra, glaciers and towering peaks. Microsoft Flight Simulator’s World Update XI invites simmers to explore this massive, diverse country, presented in the highest resolution and fidelity yet!

Microsoft Flight Simulator - World Update XI: Canada Screenshot

In creating World Update XI: Canada, the Microsoft Flight Simulator team processed troves of its latest geospatial data, including digital elevation models, satellite imagery, and aerial photography. Complementing the data, models and imagery, the update highlights 12 urban regions enhanced with the latest photogrammetry data and features 87 hand-crafted points of interest.

World Update XI features:

5 handcrafted five airports including:British Columbia’s Castlegar / West Kootenay Regional Airport (CYCG)Victoria International AirportVancouver Island9 exciting missions:Three bush trips (Vancouver Island, Newfoundland, and the Canadian Rockies)Three landing challenges (Castlegar, Barkerville, and Calgary)Three discovery flights (Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto).

World Update XI: Canada is available free to all owners of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Simply update your account, download World Update XI from the in-game marketplace, and prepare to be enchanted by the sights of Canada from the air!

Microsoft Flight Simulator - World Update XI: Canada Screenshot

We hope you’ll visit Canada today in Microsoft Flight Simulator’s World Update XI: Canada. The sky is calling!

Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta). For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on Twitter. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition Xbox Live Xbox Play Anywhere Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition

Xbox Game Studios

☆☆☆☆☆ 287 ★★★★★ $59.99 $47.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass The Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year (GOTY) Standard Edition celebrates all the positive feedback, reviews and awards garnered, but it is also a “Thank You” to our fans – new and old – that have made Microsoft Flight Simulator such a phenomenon. The Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition includes 25 highly detailed planes with unique flight models and 38 hand-crafted airports. This enhanced edition introduces simmers to five all-new aircraft, eight new handcrafted airports, six new Discovery Flights, new tutorials, and updates to the weather system The five new handcrafted aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator include: • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet: Our first military jet and a highly requested feature from the community. The Top Gun: Maverick expansion will release with the movie next Spring, but we wanted simmers to have the opportunity to test their need for speed this holiday. • VoloCity: We partnered with well-known German company Volocopter, which is working on an eVTOL called “VoloCity”, a vision for an urban air taxi. We worked closely with the Volocopter engineering team to develop an authentic version of the prototype aircraft for the simulator. This is our first aircraft that can perform pinpoint landings and is a teaser of what you can look forward to in 2022 when we intend to launch helicopters in the sim. • Pilatus PC-6 Porter: This legendary short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility aircraft is a highly versatile plane from Switzerland and comes with several cockpits, cabins, and landing gear variations. It is the result of our close collaboration with the manufacturer and the development efforts by famed developers Hans Hartmann and Alexander Metzger resulted in a great and fun new aircraft with exception capabilities in the simulator. • CubCrafters NX Cub: Yakima-based CubCrafters recently introduced a nosewheel option for their flagship CC-19 XCub Aircraft, popularly called the NX Cub, which we are pleased to introduce to the flight sim audience to further enhance our bush flying and off airport options. • Aviat Pitts Special S1S: One of our most popular planes gets a single-seat option with the release of this aircraft. New Airports – We are adding eight handcrafted airports in Central Europe and the United States: • Germany o Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP) o Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA) o Kassel Airport (EDVK) •Switzerland o Lugano Airport (LSZA) o Zurich Airport (LSZH) o Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO) •United States o Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF) o Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX) The Game of the Year release is adding information about 545 previously missing airports in the United States. New Missions -Based on the popularity of the recently introduced Discovery Flights, we are adding an additional six locations (Helsinki, Freiburg im Breisgau, Mecca, Monument Valley, Singapore, and Mount Cook) to this popular series. New Tutorials – To further expand the onboarding experience, we are adding 14 new tutorials, introducing simmers to Bush flying (in an Icon A5) and IFR (in a Cessna 172). New Features – We are also pleased to introduce several highly requested features by the community: an updated weather system, early access to DX12, and a dev mode replay system. New Photogrammetry Cities – As part of our ongoing collaboration with Bing Maps, we are pleased to add a number of new photogrammetry cities: Helsinki (Finland), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), Brighton, Derby, Eastbourne, Newcastle, and Nottingham (UK) and Utrecht (Netherlands). Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition will be available as a free update for owners on PC and Xbox Series X|S. For new users, the GOTY Standard Edition is the perfect entry point to flight simming as it offers an even richer experience, and it will be the item they purchase as we are retiring the original. Invite your friends to experience the wonders of flight. The sky is calling! Related:
Microsoft Flight Simulator Introduces Local Legend VII, the Cessna 195 Businessliner
Grounded Full Release Available Now with Game Pass
PAX West 2022: Matt Booty Storytime Keynote Recap
- Dan Hickey, Marketing Program Manager, Xbox
Free Play Days – WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship

Relive great racing history this weekend during Free Play Days. WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship is available this weekend for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play from Thursday, September 29 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until Sunday, October 2 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  

How to Start Playing

Find and install the games on each of the individual game details page on Xbox.com. Clicking through will send you to the Microsoft Store, where you must be signed in to see the option to install with your Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. To download on console, click on the Subscriptions tab in the Xbox Store and enter the Gold member area to locate the Free Play Days collection on your Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Keep the Fun Going

Purchase the game and other editions at a limited time discount and continue playing while keeping your Gamerscore and earned achievements during the event! Please note that discounts and percentages may vary by title and region.

Game Details WRC 10 FIA World Rally ChampionshipXbox One ($49.99 SRP) at 70% off: $14.99 (Free Play Days)Xbox Series X|S ($59.99 SRP) at 70% off: $17.99 (Free Play Days)

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship

Be part of history and relive the most intense moments from 50 years of the World Rally Championship with WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship! With a realistic and precise physics engine, WRC 10 has made the feeling of driving even better, with enhanced aerodynamic force and turbo and braking management on all surfaces!

Don’t miss out on this exciting Free Play Days for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member! Learn more about Free Play Days here and stay tuned to Xbox Wire to find out about future Free Play Days and all the latest Xbox gaming news.

Related:
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Scorn’s Nightmarish Hellscape Comes to Xbox Series X|S a Week Early
- Dan Hickey, Marketing Program Manager, Xbox
New Games with Gold for October 2022

It’s time to announce the October Games with Gold lineup! On Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, explore a mysterious paradise in Windbound and take to the skies in Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition.

Xbox Live Gold members will have exclusive access to these games for a limited time as part of Games with Gold. So will Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, who receive all the fantastic benefits of Gold plus access to over 100 high-quality games with Xbox Game Pass.

Windbound ($19.99 ERP): Available October 1 to 31Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition ($24.99 ERP): Available October 16 to November 15

Windbound

Washed up on an uncharted island, you must use your will and skill to survive! Play as Kara, shipwrecked on the Forbidden Islands with nothing but what you can build or find. You’ll need to craft weapons and tools to survive. Spend time building a new boat which you can use in an immersive tactile sailing experience to reach the other islands. Explore the hidden history of each island to unlock their mysteries. Enjoy this delightfully surprising game that takes the survival genre in a totally new direction.

Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition

Listen up fliers! We’re recruiting you to take on extremely high-risk missions in this World War II strategic flying and bombing game. Once you’re up in the air, danger is everywhere. It’s up to you to manage the fuel, ammo, and hydraulics while trying to avoid enemy gunners. Even the weather can bring you down. Keep your crew safe and focused and bring home victory. Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition includes the original Bomber Crew plus the Secret Weapons and USAAF DLC, so there’s plenty of flying to be done.

Read more about our Games with Gold program here and stay tuned to Xbox Wire for all the latest news on Xbox. Like we said before, if you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member, you get all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, over 100 high-quality games you can play on console, PC, and across devices from the cloud, and access to EA Play at no extra cost. New games are added all the time, so you’re never without something new to try when you’re looking to find your next favorite game. If you’re new, or if you’re an existing Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for Console member, join or upgrade today for just $1. 

Related:
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- Miroslav Micevic, Director of Operations, Ebb Software
Scorn’s Nightmarish Hellscape Comes to Xbox Series X|S a Week Early

Greetings all! I’m Miro from Ebb Software and today we have some very exciting news to share with you about our upcoming game, Scorn.

We thought you might want to get in the mood for Halloween a little early, so I’m thrilled to announce that we are going to be releasing Scorn on 14 October, a week earlier than planned!

Last week, we unveiled some new gameplay footage from the game’s prologue which you can check out here.

We want you to be able to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in the audio-visual experience we’re creating in Scorn, so by showing the very beginning of the game, we gave you just enough to dip your toes into the world of Scorn without giving away too much. This is just a little hint at what awaits you!

Scorn

I know some of you may be new to Scorn and if so, here are some things to know:

Scorn is an atmospheric first-person horror adventure game.

Scorn is set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestries. The ‘map’ of Scorn is a mesmerizing bio-labyrinth. Each region or area is a maze-like structure of various rooms and paths for you to navigate. As you struggle through the living world of Scorn you will have to discover how to interact with the world around you by learning how various triggers and traps are connected, and how every action may cause positive or negative reactions.

Scorn Puzzles, shooting, survival, and so much more…

Scorn combines puzzle mechanics with shooting and survival mechanics to create a truly immersive and atmospheric horror adventure.

Puzzles within the game form an integral part of the story and are designed not to feel like they were added as an afterthought, so we spent a lot of time ensuring that they fit perfectly into the game’s environment and enrich your experience.

Though Scorn is not a first-person shooter, there are shooting elements that come into play later in the game that are crucial for your survival. The weapons you’ll encounter in Scorn provide more player agency and add an extra layer through which you can engage with the world around you. The security and confidence felt from wielding a weapon can be shattered instantly when ammo runs out or something jams unexpectedly. Scarcity of ammunition or restrictive inventory space can significantly impact short-term decisions regarding fight or flight. These interactions change the way you feel about your environments and invoke feelings of tension or discomfort, and something we have strived to capture in Scorn.

Scorn We took inspiration from all sorts of art, literature, and movies.

Scorn started as a small personal project, but since the original idea had a strong influence on people who were joining the team at the time, it soon blossomed into an ambitious project that took many years to complete. The overall inspiration comes from all the experience our Game Director and art teams have acquired throughout their lifetime, all merged into this strange-looking world and the story it has to tell.

The overall style takes influence from architecture, technology, arts, literature, and biology. It is a coming together of the Gothic style and modern industrial elements. We have drawn inspiration from the works of H.R Giger, as well as a Polish Painter, Zdzisław Beksiński, and from movies from the likes of Cronenberg and Lynch. However, our incredibly talented art team have handcrafted all the gruesome details to be found in the game to create a world that has their own unique Scorn twist. We believe that through the combination of both we have established a style that is expressive and open to interpretation.

Scorn In Scorn, expect to be ‘Dropped into the World’.

Scorn is designed around the idea of “being thrown into the world”. You begin your experience isolated and lost inside a dreamlike but desolate and decayed world. As the game progresses, it becomes apparent that everything within Scorn’s world seems to have a reason and a purpose… and the big mystery is uncovering what that is.

The unsettling environment is not just a character itself, but also a storyteller. You will have the opportunity to have your take on the story of Scorn by exploring the world and logically trying to find connections between things you see.

It’s important to our team that we keep some of Scorn’s mystery under wraps as such a major part of the experience will come from you reflecting on the game and its meaning.

Scorn

We are so excited to be bringing Scorn to Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC on 14 October. It’s also going to be available day one with Xbox Game Pass. As we head into the final few weeks before launch, keep on top of all the latest Scorn news and information on Twitter at @scorn_game and our official website.

Scorn Xbox Live Xbox Play Anywhere Scorn

Kepler Interactive

☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $39.99 Pre-order Scorn is an atmospheric first-person horror adventure game set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry. It is designed around the idea of "being thrown into the world". Isolated and lost inside this dream-like world, you will explore different interconnected regions in a non-linear fashion. The unsettling environment is a character itself. Every location contains its own theme (story), puzzles and characters that are integral in creating a cohesive world. Throughout the game you will open up new areas, acquire different skill sets, weapons, various items and try to comprehend the sights presented to you. GAMEPLAY FEATURES Cohesive “lived-in” world Scorn takes place in an open-ended world with different interconnected regions. Each region is a maze-like structure with various rooms and paths to discover. All the storytelling happens in-game, with no cut-scenes to distract you from the grisly reality of the living, breathing world you’re in. But keep your eyes open – the game won’t show you any sympathy if you miss something important on your uneasy travels. Full body awareness Players will experience better immersion being aware of the character’s body and movement. Interaction with the world is realistic – objects are picked up with your hands (instead of just floating in midair), machines and instruments are operated by grabbing the controls, etc. Inventory and ammo management Your loadout is defined and limited. This plays a big role in keeping the player in an even greater state of awareness throughout the whole game. Players will have to think about when to fight and when to take cover and how their actions affect the world around them. Different play styles will be needed to advance. Related:
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Now Available with Game Pass
Slime Rancher 2: Getting Creative with Your New Home on Rainbow Island
Free Play Days – WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship
The best free PC games in 2022

Autumn has arrived in the northern hemisphere, which in many years would mean a deluge of triple-A PC games was just around the corner. But that's not quite the case this year: while there are still some big games coming, delays have made last months of 2022 a bit quieter than usual. But that's okay: it just means more time for us to spend with the PC's best free games.

Best of the best

Crusader Kings 3

(Image credit: Paradox)

2022 games: This year's launches
Best PC games: All-time favorites
Best laptop games: Low-specs 

Every month we highlight new free games coming out on the PC on Steam and other game platforms like Itch.io. We also keep up-to-date with what's going on with the PC's best free-to-play games. The goliaths like Fortnite constantly have new seasonal events and updates to keep track of.

Free-to-play games should sometimes come with an asterisk: the grindy ones can cost you a lot of time, and others will push you to spend money on a battle pass, so free isn't always completely free. That's why we recommend only our favorite F2P games alongside a ton of other PC games that are completely, no-strings-attached free.

Our selection of the best free PC games is regularly updated with recent favorites from the PC Gamer team. In the categories below you'll find major free-to-play games, casual free games you can pick up for an afternoon, and PC classics you can download for free or play in your browser.

Or if you're looking for free giveaways that you can permanently add to your game library, make sure to check these other guides on PC Gamer:

Epic Games Store free giveaway listEverything else temporarily free right now The best free PC games right now

(Image credit: Subcreation Studio)
The best free games: October 2022 Retro Gadgets - A very cute sim about putting together your own gadgets, wielding a soldering iron to assemble a faux Game Boy or froggy calculator. It has a free demo on Steam now.Rog and Roll - Another great indie game demo, Rog and Roll is a very nice-looking platformer that more or less puts you in the shoes of a Goomba-like little guy. Sometimes the minions deserve some glory.Haunted PS1 demo disc: Spectral Mall - Low-poly horror gets another generous collection, and it's Spooky Season, so no better time to play. This one features 18 games, most coming in full form later this year. But you can play them all in brief right now.Cryohazard - Halloween approaches, so why not play a grisly little Game Boy throwback point-and-click adventure? You can play it in browser or on an actual Game Boy, if you choose.Waves 2 - A twin stick shooter with shades of the phenomenal Geometry Wars. Waves and Waves 2 were made by indie dev Rob Hale, who died of cancer in August and requested both games be made free posthumously. Entropy: Zero 2 - This massive mod expansion to Half-Life 2 is practically a sequel: it's a full seven chapter campaign with new weapons and a sidestory to Gordon's adventure. It's not technically free as you need to own Half-Life 2, but enough people own Half-Life 2 that it felt like a worthy entry for the free list.The best games like Wordle - Try Quordle for a pure word game, Dungleon for a cute fantasy tile-based alternative, or Nerdle if you're a math wiz. Free-to-play games

F2P fighting game Multiversus

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Interactive) The best F2P games: September 2022 Free puzzle games

Free PC game: Cube Escape: The Cave

(Image credit: Rusty Lake) Best free PC games: Puzzle

Transmute! - Play as a wizard who can transform into different objects. You might turn into a key to open a lock, or a boat to sail the open sea. And you’ll do so to unlock a friendly little fantasy world.

Mirror Isles - No list of puzzle games is really complete without a PuzzleScript game from Alan Hazelden, and Mirror Isles is one of the very best. It’s a top-down, Sokoban-style puzzler where you have to hop between islands, by using magic mirrors to swap places with your reflection.

Cube Escape - There’s a strange atmosphere to developer Rusty Lake’s series of locked room puzzle games. Getting out of each one will test your brain, but you’ll be even more taxed trying to figure out what’s going on in their bizarre universe.

Corrypt - What starts as a relatively simple block-pushing game ends as one where you’ll reshape the world, by using magic to reprogram the state of the environment.

The Republia Times - You're the editor of a newspaper in a totalitarian state in this game from the creator of Return of the Obra Dinn. Each day you must choose which stories to run and how much space to give them, impacting your paper's popularity and the government's approval with the general populace. Smart and cynical.

Free horror games

Free horror game No Players Online

(Image credit: papercookies) Best free PC games: Horror

No Players Online - In the spooky No Players Online, you log onto an old FPS server, but where you’re the only player in a futile game of Capture the Flag.

We Are Broken - An interactive visual novel where you must talk your way out of being eaten by a vampire. We Are Broken conjures a dark and cruel world with cutting visuals and music that makes your skin crawl.

Bleakshore - This chilling adventure uses the fuzzy, lo-fi aesthetic of PS1-era 3D graphics to create an impressively eerie atmosphere as a shadowy figure stalks you across the landscape...

Faith - Faith lures you into feeling secure—if a little jumpy—with its retro aesthetic, before it transcends its limitations in one shockingly scary moment.

David Lynch Teaches Typing - What begins as a friendly typing lesson from film director David Lynch slowly descends into a surreal, disorientating nightmare. At one point you have to touch a gross twitching bug. Great work, kiddo!

Best free strategy games

Free PC strategy game Terra Nil

(Image credit: Free Lives) Best free PC games: Strategy

Dwarf Fortress - A complex game of colony management that’s still in development 18 years after its original inception. The incredible depth of its simulation doesn’t just add depth and challenge, it allows for emergent stories to arise as you play, giving your dwarves a life of their own.

Tiny Islands - You’re drawing maps of little islands in the sea here, by placing beaches, houses, even waves as random cards are dealt out to you. But placement is everything, as every icon has its own set of rules. 

Brogue - ASCII roguelikes have a reputation for being impenetrable. Brogue, despite staying true to the genre, works hard to feel approachable. The controls make navigating its dungeons a breeze, and the elegant shading makes its symbols atmospheric and readable.

Terra Nil - Terra Nil begins at the ultimate end of civilisation, letting you breathe life back into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In this relaxing, therapeutic anti-builder, you construct devices to cleanse the earth, and to regrow green plants and trees.

Best free Story & Adventure games

The Supper, a free story adventure game

(Image credit: Octavi Navarro) Best free PC games: Story & Adventure

Deltarune: Chapters 1&2 - This sorta sequel to Undertale is packed with memorable characters, catchy tunes, and emotive dialogue. Chapter 2 released in 2021 and was a Big Deal for Undertale fans.

The Doll Shop - Blending horror with romance, The Doll Shop transports you to a small village, which is being buried under a relentless snowfall. It tells a sinister story involving creepy handmade dolls. The art is sublime and the ending is especially memorable.

The Supper - The Supper is a dark story of revenge that brings to mind Sweeney Todd. You play as a peg-legged tavern owner, who has to serve three very special dishes to a trio of horrible pirates, who really should have checked the Food Standards rating first...

Lockheart Indigo - This is a sci-fi detective game that feels a lot like a JRPG. You’ve arrived at a vast mansion to solve the murder of its former owner, but locked doors and suspects stand in your way.

The Herbalist - A wordless adventure about a traveller searching for a mysterious herb. You wander around its strange world trying to interpret symbols, in the hope of discovering the plant you need.

Off-Peak - Stranding you at an otherworldly train station, Off-Peak encourages you to explore, talk to the locals, and luxuriate in its strange atmosphere. It’s got an incredible sense of place, despite feeling like nowhere on Earth, and as you poke around its nooks and crannies, the true nature of its world is revealed piece by piece. 

Emily is Away - Party like it’s the early-’00s in this narrative game set in a chat client. You’ll get to know fellow high school student Emily through snippets of online conversations about life, love and indie rock music. If you enjoy this, paid-for sequel Emily is Away Too is worth checking out.

Olav and the Lute - An enigmatic adventure game set in a post-apocalyptic world, with a cracking central mechanic. Rather than combining objects with other objects, you're affecting the world with a lute by plucking at its colour-coded strings.

Free action & platformer games

Free curling game Cuckoo Curling

(Image credit: Chromacool) Best free PC games: Action & Platformers

1Boss1Battle1Button - This tough rhythm game pits you against a scary Picasso-faced monster, and your only hopes of survival lie with a single button. Pressing it in time with certain beats lets you jump, crouch, and dodge out of the way of oncoming attacks.

N 2.0 - In this ultra hardcore platformer with simple controls and a minimalist aesthetic, the focus is entirely on quick, precise control. And lots and lots of practice.

Eggnogg+ - This is Nidhogg, but free, and with different moves, and a bit more tongue-in-cheek. Expect hyperactive duels in a series of arenas.

Cuckoo Curling - A fun four-player game that combines the rules of curling with Connect Four. An easy game to pick up and play with friends, you can play Cuckoo Curling in local or online multiplayer.

First Cut - Flashy fighting games are all well and good, but there’s something satisfying about the one-on-one sword duel, as evidenced in Square’s classic Bushido Blade. First Cut is that but in 2D, essentially, offering feudal Japan-themed duels against some truly beautiful pixel art backdrops.

Best free PC games: Chill and relaxing

Toripon, a free chill PC game

(Image credit: Victoria Smith) Best free chill games

Toripon - You’re stuck inside your flat, thankfully with company. Instead of friends, your companions here are loads and loads of birds. Don’t look a gift parakeet in the mouth. Just sit back and explore your apartment, examining every nook and every crevice for your feathered friends.

Lieve Oma - Lieve Oma takes you on a relaxing jaunt through an autumnal wood on the hunt for mushrooms. As you scamper around, your granny follows slowly behind, teaching you about which mushrooms are okay to eat and teaching you her humble life lessons.

Forest Are For Trees - Walking through the forest is something that takes on new meaning in this mind-expanding exploration game, which is small and possibly infinite all at once. It’s a walking sim, sort of, where you traipse around an eerie woodland. But something funny happens when you make contact with a tree. Inside every tree there’s another forest full of ghostly trees.

Best weird and funny games

Funny free PC game Head Over Hooves

(Image credit: blarfnip) Best free PC games: Comedy and Oddity

Pet the Pup at the Party - You’ve run out of small talk at a rambunctious house party and before anyone notices how awkward you are, you must find a pooch and pet it.

Head Over Hooves: My Heart Bleats For You - An apocalyptic dating sim where you must make a goat fall in love with you and then sacrifice it to save the world from eternal damnation.

Alfonso's Bowling Challenge - This sort-of sports game swerves away from its premise quickly, building on its strange version of bowling until you’re making breakfast and chopping hair with your bowling ball. 

Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, And The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist - This team-up of The Stanley Parable creator William Pugh and stand-up comedian Simon Amstell takes you on a hilarious journey behind the scenes of a game falling apart at the seams.

The Book Of Beasts and Buddies - An interactive monster manual filled with curious creatures. Each page throws you into a brief Pokémon-inspired encounter, and through interacting with them you can gather your findings for the bestiary.

Stick Shift - As creator Robert Yang says, "Stick Shift is an autoerotic night-driving game about pleasuring a gay car." It’s part of an anthology with Hurt Me Plenty and Succulent, covering eroticism, politics and more. Stick Shift is funny while also offering food for thought.

Best free PC games: Classics

(Image credit: Revolution Software) Free classic games

StarCraft - These days Blizzard sells a shiny remaster, but if the original’s good enough for South Korea, it’s good enough for us. There’s a reason that even today it’s an esports sensation – this iconic RTS remains a triumph of tight strategy and intense competition, with an incredible amount of depth for devotees to get lost in.

The Dark Mod - A tribute to the Thief series, this standalone game lets you download a massive variety of user-made stealth levels, from tightly contained ones like Thief’s Den to the more open variety of Return to the City, and plenty of spooky ones like The Creeps.

The Operative: No One Lives Forever - The classic stealth FPS, never re-released thanks to licensing hell. Its clever humour and charming 1960s setting hold up nicely, as do the arsenal of goofy, Bond-esque gadgets at your disposal. That includes lipstick bombs, sleeping gas perfume, and a briefcase rocket launcher.

The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall - 1996's Elder Scrolls sequel was huge and ambitious, letting you explore High Rock and Hammerfell. A lot of series staples, like joining the Mages Guild, started here.

Beneath a Steel Sky - This point-and-click adventure features art by Watchmen’s Dave Gibbons, a twisty sci-fi story, and a really goofy sense of humour. One of its neatest ideas is how you can stick your AI pal Joey’s electronic brain into different mechanical robots to solve puzzles.

The MS-DOS Archive.org library - A collection of thousands of classic, free PC games playable in your browser. The MS-DOS collection on Archive.org contains more than 4,000 games, all emulated and easy to play in just a few seconds. Wolfenstein 3D, Prince of Persia, Jazz Jackrabbit, Carmen Sandiego... you could spend a lifetime of lunch breaks in here. But then you might starve.

Steam Deck add-on Killswitch to be redesigned after 'million dollar' mistake

Gadget accessory maker Dbrand has temporarily suspended sales of its Project Killswitch Steam Deck case due to concerns over the case's magnetic kickstand.

In a Reddit post titled "Our Million-Dollar Mistake" (spotted by GamingOnLinux), Dbrand points to a recent report from The Verge which says that the magnetic kickstand reduces fan speeds on certain Steam Decks. 

Steam Decks contain fans from one of two possible producers, Delta or Huaying. The interference from the magnetic kickstand seems only affect the Delta fans, though the only way to find out is by opening up your Steam Deck. The company says it cracked open the Steam Decks it used for testing and found that they contained Huaying fans, which is why it didn't know about the problem until it received an email from The Verge. Killswitch owners who aren't sure which fan type their Steam Deck contains should avoid using the kickstand until replacements are sent out, Dbrand says. 

"This 11th-hour curveball is what prompted us to pull the public launch last night and suspend sales," wrote Dbrand. "We didn't want any more Killswitch orders to be placed until we had a plan in place to overcome this challenge."

The company plans to replace the magnetic mount with a mechanical interlock system that will be compatible with all of its accessories, but the revision is "expected to take some time."

Project Killswitch will not launch for the general public tonight. All existing orders are shipping as planned. More info tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this video. pic.twitter.com/t2A7h749A4September 27, 2022

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Every customer who ordered a magnetic Killswitch will get a free replacement, and Dbrand isn't requiring that customers ship back the magnetic version. The company jokes that owners should "keep it on your fridge as a memento of our failure."

If you have received a Killswitch from a private launch and want a refund, you can email Dbrand to start the refund process. Dbrand has also opened up orders for the updated Project Killswitch that will ship out in Q1 2023.

Heroes never die, but games do: An Overwatch 1 obituary

Overwatch is gone. Today Blizzard pulled the plug on the servers of the original Overwatch to make way for Overwatch 2, and my goodness am I sad about it. This morning I threw on a t-shirt, only to realise it was merchandise from the 2019 Overwatch League finals—a fitting outfit for today's farewell. 

I've been ping-ponging emotionally between the excitement of a new Overwatch revival and the fear of what Overwatch has become. I've been concerned about the way Overwatch 2 has monetised itself, changed the sounds and the dynamics of the heroes I played thousands of games with, and how it intends to capture the attention of new players. And I'm concerned, not because I'm an Overwatch hater, but because I love it more dearly than almost any other game. So though it's time to say goodbye, I just want to reflect with some of the PC Gamer team on what made Overwatch special. 

Overwatch was my first proper online game. The beta was being played all over YouTube by many gaming creators and though I had a fear of playing games with comms, I couldn't help but want to try it out. I bought a physical copy for the PlayStation 4, and it's been a constant in my life since 2016. I had so many mains over the years: Reinhardt, Symmetra (pre-rework of course), Lucio, D.Va, and then Widowmaker, with a sprinkle of Moira and Ashe here and there. Widowmaker was the one who really stuck: I have hundreds of hours of play time with her. Clicking heads never felt any better than when I was launching myself around a map with her grappling hook and picking off enemies in midair.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

What made Overwatch special to me was how it adapted constantly—in-game and outside of it. Character reworks, hero swaps, the brief 3-2-1 meta discussions, and role queue. Overwatch felt like it was trying to be the best version of itself for years, until the announcement of Overwatch 2. Then it stagnated. Even then I played and played and played. Every hero ability cooldown, map, and voiceline was embedded into my brain. Running around Overwatch was almost like a second home. 

My first internet friends came from Overwatch. I have several pieces of Overwatch merch, from a Secret Lab chair to a ridiculous D.Va onesie. For many years I wore a green jacket with a bronzed Overwatch logo on the pocket, and when I kept adding patches to a jean jacket, Tracer's patch was among them.

I've loved Overwatch. I loved what it inspired me to play, and how many highs and lows it's given me. I don't know if I'll ever love a game in the same way and it's hard to let go of something I consider so formative to my gaming experiences. Thanks for everything Overwatch, you've been swell. And Overwatch 2: you've got the biggest boots to fill, buddy. I just hope you can step up to the challenge. 

(Image credit: Blizzard) Mercy Mercy Me

Ted Litchfield, Associate Editor: God damn, this game meant so much to me at one point. In a game full of exciting movement options, I love walk-and-shoot man Cole Cassidy, just clicking on heads all day was enough for me. I first got really into it on launch, and I was so excited about this game where everyone seemed to chill and collaborate and have a good time. Then they introduced ranked play.

Over the course of four seasons in 2017 I tried to crawl my way out of Platinum into Diamond, making it to 28 or 2900 ranked points each time before sliding back down into the pits, with the meanest strangers I've ever played videogames with yelling at me the whole time. That latter experience usually overtakes the wonder of the early days in my recollections, and I've never been too jazzed to go back and fall into an old obsession.

I would like to shout out the most surreal experience I've ever had in an online game, one that haunts me to this day. In quickplay, I was matched with an entire premade opposing team in matching "Houston Outlaws" Overwatch League skins. I asked them if they were from Texas.

"No," one of them replied. "We just really support the Outlaws."

The original Overwatch crew

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Morgan Park, Staff Writer: Bye Overwatch 1. I played you a lot on PS4 until I got a PC and never had to stoop so low again. I'm not as sad about its leaving as others I've seen, but I do resent the way Blizzard is handling the transition. It feels weird to watch Overwatch 1 disappear in real time like this, especially because it doesn't really have to. It's like Blizzard is moving in a new tenant and painting right over the walls. Overwatch 2 is largely the same game, but the original is distinct enough to deserve a stay of execution. I guess it's partly an expectations thing—when Fortnite hits the reset button and nukes a beloved map forever, players get over it quick. That's always been what that game does, but it's new territory for folks that have been playing the same Overwatch for six years (and before that, maybe not playing many shooters at all). Overwatch has that effect on people.

Robin Valentine, Print Editor: How badly do you have to screw up a PR campaign for the overwhelming atmosphere around the launch of your new game to be one of mourning for the previous one? I've not been a fan of Overwatch for a while—for my money it's basically gotten steadily worse every update since it came out—but I'm just grimly fascinated by how badly Blizzard has fumbled the ball here. It certainly proves they couldn't have had both games running simultaneously, at least, as clearly there's so much affection still for the first entry that it would have been a genuine rival for the sequel going forward. But there are so many better ways they could've handled this. 

The end of Overwatch 1. pic.twitter.com/IhHjmVPZiWOctober 3, 2022

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I'll sorely miss the first shooter I ever properly got into.

Mollie Taylor, News Writer: I fell in love with one of Overwatch's late betas prior to launch. Blizzard managed to do something no developer had ever achieved: it made me care about shooters. I picked up the game up day one, chose D.Va and Zenyatta as my mains and never looked back. I took some long breaks in my time with Overwatch, but whenever I dove back in with friends I always had a whale of a time. Overwatch 2's betas have failed to click with me in the way the original's did—I'm not vibing with the whole solo tank situation and hero shooters aren't the new, exciting thing like they were in 2016. I've only played a handful of matches in the past year and I'm not sure how much time I'll give to its sorta-sequel, but I'll sorely miss the first shooter I ever properly got into.

Wes Fenlon, Senior Editor: I only stuck with Overwatch for a couple months, so I can't write about it as passionately as many members of our team. But I want to thank Overwatch for making objective games the big thing in the FPS world again for a year or two. I'm a diehard CTF lover and had to spend so many years of Halo multiplayer searching for CTF and Assault matches in meagerly populated objective playlists while the majority of players stuck to boring Slayer. Why would you want to just sit there shooting each other when you could be shooting each other and making a thrilling escape with a flag at the same time? Lunacy.

Overwatch didn't let players make that boring choice. It said: This is an objective game, and that's how you're gonna play it. And everybody did. Well, kind of.

I think it's fair to say that its heroes wouldn't be nearly as interesting and creative if they'd been designed just for Deathmatch—so many of Overwatch's cool skills and hero interplay come from how you use them when the enemy team is trying to push the payload or you're desperately defending a control point. Thanks for showing everyone the light, Overwatch.

Overwatch is officially no longer playable. GG Overwatch, GG. 🫡 pic.twitter.com/aYdSBKSEZCOctober 3, 2022

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I'm glad the pieces of what made it great are still in there

Tyler Colp, Associate Editor: A few days ago I saw my Overwatch hour count hit almost 1,000 hours on all three roles. I've done all there is to do in Overwatch. I've lived in this game like it was World of Warcraft, the Blizzard game I devoted my life to before it. And like WoW, I met tons of people along the way, including my best friend Nico. I liked Overwatch before her, but learned to love it as we spent so much time discussing what made it so distinct in the FPS space and playing for hours and hours with our friend Celine.

That Overwatch died a few years ago for me. We had largely stopped playing as much as we used to. A steady decline in updates and antithetical balance changes made the game harder and less satisfying to play. The servers shutting down today is almost a courtesy for what the game had become. But Blizzard can't kill those memories. It can't erase how important Overwatch was to gaming and how important it was to me. I might not be so optimistic about the next game (and still sour that it's deleting the old one), but I'm glad the pieces of what made it great are still in there, if only as a reminder of the tremendous game that changed my life.

Fallout 76 is free this week to celebrate a big series birthday

Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Role Playing Game was released on October 10, 1997—25 years ago, minus a week. That's the silver anniversary, which is a big one as these milestones go, and to mark the moment Bethesda is—among other things—making Fallout 76 free for the week.

Fallout 76 is very different from the original Fallout, an isometric RPG with turn-based combat set in a grim post-war world. I won't get into which one is "better"—I like old Fallout, I like new Fallout—but the current iteration of the series, a multiplayer-first-person game that focuses on action over roleplaying in a somewhat more lighthearted setting, is definitely a different sort of experience. It was very okay at launch, earning a 60% in our 2018 review as "a beautifully crafted but ultimately repetitive world," but it's come a long way since, racking up a reported 13 million players so far, and earlier this year Bethesda announced  a "five-year roadmap" for the future.

While we're celebrating 25 years of Fallout all month long, take a look at everything that's coming this week: https://t.co/kS1XxrT3W3#Fallout25 pic.twitter.com/A9XENFItdBOctober 3, 2022

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The free week of Fallout 76 will begin October 4 and run until October 11. To help newcomers get started, Bethesda will also put out a Post-Apocalypse Loyalty Simulator (PALS) questionnaire intended to help players find a faction that fits them. There will also be bonuses for Prime Gaming and Xbox Game Pass subscribers, a seasonal event called Invaders From Beyond, and an anniversary livestream on Twitch set for October 7.

Fans of the management side of nuclear holocaust survival are also in for a nice surprise: An update to Fallout Shelter will add new content to the game for the first time in more than four years. Full details on Bethesda's Fallout anniversary plans are up at fallout25th.com

The best UK Amazon Prime Early Access PC gaming deals
Amazon Prime Early Access deals 2022

Amazon Prime Early Access deals scattered on a blue background.

(Image credit: Future)

Jump straight to the deals you want...
1. Gaming laptop deals
2. Gaming PC deals
3. Graphics card deals
4. Monitor deals
5. TV deals
6. Storage deals
7. Component deals
8. Gaming chair deals
9. Peripherals deals
10. Networking deals

Prepare yourself for Prime Day 2, or Amazon Prime Early Access as it's officially dubbed. The upcoming Early Access sale is an all new event, designed so that Amazon can sink its teeth into deals season before most mortals have even begun prepping for Halloween. As the name suggests, it'll benefit Amazon Prime members, and the focus is for Amazon to shift Fire and Echo devices, though we may yet see some PC gaming deals popping up.

Prime Early Access will run from 8am BST on Tuesday October 11 to the same time on Thursday October 13. We understand those aren't the easiest days to carve out time to go deal hunting, so for your convenience we've employed a bunch of bots to scour the web for the best PC gaming deals. Come October 11, when the Early Access deals start to land, we'll be collating the worthy few here for your attention—so you can get on with whatever it is you do best.

For those 48 hours, this page will become a veritable cornucopia of all the best deals we've spotted for PC gamers. And while we don't expect too many earth shattering PC gaming deals, we're likely to see some discounts on smart 4K OLED TVs, gaming monitors, SSDs, gaming headsets, and other PC peripherals. Retailers other than Amazon are likely to want in on the action, too, so expect to see deals from the usual collection of storefronts.

Although, while Newegg, Scan, Box, Ebuyer, Overclockers and many others could have something to offer, we're not expecting massive savings on full gaming PCs, laptops, or graphics cards. Big discounts on expensive tech are likely to be reserved for when Black Friday rolls around at the end of November. Still, you never know. We'll keep our fingers crossed, and our bots on the look-out.

Maybe retailers will surprise us with some tasty PC gaming deals.

When is Amazon Prime Early Access 2022?

Amazon Prime Early Access will begin at 8 am BST, Tuesday October 11, and will run all the way through to 07.59 am on Thursday October 13. Expect 48 hours of potential PC gaming deals, before we get into the meatier discounts expected to drop on Black Friday—that's November 25 for anyone willing to wait that long. Truly, Amazon isn't messing around when it says Early Access. 

In fact, let's just have a deal event every month on the lead up to Christmas, shall we? 

Where are the best UK Amazon Prime Early Access PC gaming deals?

Other retailers are likely to take advantage of Amazon's own sale to get their own summer sales events kickstarted.

Amazon UK - deals on everything from laptops, to processors, to graphics cards Scan - save on components and gaming PCs Box - bargains on parts and full PCs Ebuyer - £100+ off gaming PCs Cyberpower - get £200 off RTX 3060 Ti gaming PCs Dell - save over £100 on Alienware gaming monitors and over £500 on gaming laptops Overclockers - save £400 on RTX 3070/3080 gaming PCs HP - save up to £300 on the latest HP tech Corsair - Corsair gaming chairs, RAM, and peripherals discounted at Amazon Razer - save on the latest Razer laptops Laptops Direct - get up to £300 off gaming laptops PC Specialist - custom laptops and gaming PCs Amazon Prime Early Access gaming laptop deals Back to top ^ Amazon Prime Early Access gaming PC deals Back to top ^ Amazon Prime Early Access graphics card deals Amazon Prime Early Access Gaming Monitor deals Back to top ^ Amazon Prime Early Access TV deals Back to top ^ Amazon Prime Early Access storage deals Back to top ^ Amazon Prime Early Access Component deals Back to top ^ Amazon Prime Early Access Gaming Chair deals Amazon Prime Early Access Peripherals deals Back to top ^
Phasmophobia dev apologises and belatedly bans Discord admin after messy nude pics scandal

Phasmophobia is probably the best ghost game ever made, retains a considerable playerbase, and this year has been dealing with a community scandal that, over the last week, blew up. The furore centres around an administrator for the game's Discord, who goes by the handle of Charcoal Salamander, who is accused of both offering to share nude photographs with another community member, and making racist comments. What happened with these accusations, or didn't, is what's brought this to a head.

The controversy began in January when Charcoal was accused of sexually harassing another community member on the 25th. Developer Kinetic Games suspended them while investigating, before accepting Charcoal's evidence on 30 January with other admins spending "around two weeks" before concluding Charcoal "never did anything wrong nor did he harass people." Charcoal was subsequently reinstated to their position.

Things subsequently went quiet until August 15, when the studio received a further email about the allegations. As it did not contain any additional evidence, and had previously been 'resolved', lead developer DK decided the studio would not investigate itself.

On 27 August, things began to happen. The allegations began to re-acquire traction within Phasmophobia communities on places like Discord and reddit, while a new account on the latter began messaging Kinetic Games' lead artist Corey 'CJ 'Dixon about them (CJ from hereon in).

Charcoal is accused of using racist language on at least two occasions, with video of scrolling screencaps showing them talking about "squinting" in the context of Chinese people, before going on to tell a racist joke about Japanese people. The second accusation is that Charcoal received nude pictures from someone else, and offered to share them with a friend in DMs. There's no indication as to whether he did share the pictures or not, only that the offer was made. There are screenshots of exchanges that appear to back up these claims. Other claims, which don't seem to have any proof associated with them, I'm going to leave aside.

CJ's responses to this reddit account's concerns about Charcoal were not good. In DMs that were later made public, the developer writes: "The whole sharing nudes thing, he's explicitly said he didn't ask for them, she sent them anyway at own risk. So if he wanted to give them to a mate thats fair game imo. I dont agree with it, but its not punishable as in removing them from the team. But I can have a convo with them."

Phrases such as "fair game imo" in the context of sharing nude pictures should have anyone with a bit of decency cringing, and is probably as bad as responses get. Lord knows that the internet and wider society has issues with this stuff, but it's not normal and never 'fair game' to share nude pictures without consent: it is a criminal act under various pieces of UK legislation, and can be described as revenge porn.

When CJ's comments were made public it triggered a community explosion, with no shortage of people condemning the developer's response. To be absolutely clear about where we are at this point: people believe Charcoal should be stripped of their responsibilities and banned for these alleged past acts; people are further incensed by developer CJ's comments, which are widely seen as downplaying the allegations and representing some unpleasant strain of 'bro' culture.

The controversy reached such a pitch that Kinetic Games belatedly realised it had made a mistake in its handling of this situation. It issued a statement on Saturday saying that "we would like to apologise for the way we have handled the situation, keeping the admin on as long as we did and for the slow response, he should have been removed from his position and banned sooner."

Our response to recent events. pic.twitter.com/3nihbzau4bOctober 1, 2022

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It says that upon the allegations being freshly re-surfaced with these new screencaps it began an investigation in conjunction with its Discord admins. "We came to the conclusion that the admin involved needed to be banned from our discord server, he will no longer have any involvement with the Phasmophobia community and there is no opportunity for him to be involved in the future."

Recognising that CJ had also become part of the story, the statement goes on to "apologise for the way one of our developers approached the situation, he has since apologised for his words and will learn from this experience in the future [...] This will not happen again going forward."

This did not settle things. People were angry about what Charcoal has been accused of doing, they were angry about Kinetic Games seeming to be dismissive of the allegations for a long time, and they were furious about how CJ had attempted to handle matters.

I have omitted elements of this brouhaha because, honestly, it's a big old mess. But it is worth saying that, as well as the bad stuff, CJ did engage with the account making these allegations and pressed for proof that could be acted upon. This contradicts the idea he was outright dismissive of the claims. He's also clearly realised he's made a mistake and, albeit after his responses were exposed, issued a fulsome apology on social media.

But in a sign of how fraught things had become around his and its involvement, Kinetic Games has now issued a further statement clarifying elements of the initial statement.

We wanted to clarify our version of events and the reason we took the actions we did and to further apologise for how we handled the situation. pic.twitter.com/RTr37DJq10October 2, 2022

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I wouldn't blame you for skipping that wall of text. It gives a timeline of events from the developer's point-of-view, admits this matter was handled poorly, and emphasises that CJ has issued an apology and wrote like they did because of "misinformation" about what had gone down. It ends (emphasis theirs):

"None of the Kinetic Games development team condones sharing private images of any kind without consent. We would also like to emphasise that we do not condone the racist remarks that Charcoal had posted, and they do not reflect the views and values of the rest of the team.

"We will be restructuring the official Phasmophobia Discord's staff. We will be vigilant of any future misconduct, and we will react firmly and appropriately. Finally, we will make sure to be involved personally with any investigations in the future, should they occur.

"We sincerely apologise for how we handled this situation, we recognise the mistakes we have all made, and we will do better."

This is on one level a sadly all-too-common story on the internet, one that allegedly involves sharing nudes and racism in nested-away spaces. On another, it's an unusually messy example of the problems contemporary developers face when things like community management and semi-official Discord channels aren't treated with the professionalism that these areas often require.

As will no doubt be clear by now to Kinetic Games, it doesn't matter to most people that the developer didn't really run its own Discord channel, preferring instead to use it for announcements, the occasional dev drop in, and leaving the day-to-day management to volunteer community members and admins. That may seem an ideal solution but, then again, most island utopias have a tendency to end up like Lord of the Flies.

This is an object lesson for developers in how one bad apple can eventually rot the whole barrel. By leaving this matter in community hands for so long, and trusting that the right conclusions had been drawn, Kinetic Games left itself open to the charge of, essentially, not caring about some pretty unpleasant stuff that was going on in what I'd regard as an official channel for the game: perhaps the main one.

The studio has, albeit belatedly, done the right thing. One of its developers has learned a tough lesson about how to respond to serious allegations. And Charcoal has been smoked. It feels like things are now cooling down, though the stench may yet linger for a while. Ironic, of course, that a game about mostly unseen horrors should come unstuck for refusing to take the real-world ones seriously enough.

How to wield godly power with Valheim cheats and console commands
Conquer Viking purgatory with these Valheim guides

Valheim Stagbreaker war hammer

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Valheim guide: Ten beginner tips
Valheim flint: How to get it
Valheim trader: Find him easily
Valheim workbench: How to build and upgrade it
Valheim dedicated server: How to get one working

Looking for Valheim cheats and console commands on Steam or PC Game Pass? The Viking survival game may appear fairly peaceful when you're starting out but you'll soon find tough opponents and mythical Valheim bosses to battle as you travel deeper into the world. You may discover that you need a bit of help to survive some of the tougher regions—or maybe you just want to build the ultimate base without having to worry about gathering materials.

You can only use Valheim console commands in singleplayer mode but there are lots of fun cheats to use, including a god mode which makes you invulnerable, the ability to add skill points and spawn weapons and armor, and even the power to fly through the air like Thor. There's also a 'debug mode' that lets you build without the need for a workbench or resources. For those in a multiplayer world, there are some console commands that can be used by server admins and these have also been listed below.

With all of that in mind, here are all the Valheim console commands and cheats you should know about, and how to activate them whether you're playing on Steam or on PC Game Pass.

Activating cheats: PC Game Pass Activating cheats with PC Game Pass version

Before you can use cheats, you need to activate the in-game console. Here are the instructions for players using PC Game Pass.

Navigate to the game's installation folder. Typically, it's C:\XboxGames\Valheim\ContentIn that folder, find Valheim.exeRight-click Valheim.exe and select Create shortcutDrag the shortcut to your desktop or preferred locationRight-click the shortcut and select PropertiesIn the Shortcut tab, add -console to the end of the Target fieldClick Apply, then click OKLaunch the game from the shortcut

(Image credit: Windows) Activating cheats: Steam Activating cheats with Steam version

To activate the console so you can use cheats, you will need to set it as a launch option in Steam. By default, the command console is locked. 

Here's how to activate the console:

Right-click Valheim in your Steam librarySelect PropertiesIn the General tab, look for the Launch Options fieldIn it, type -console Close the General tab Valheim cheats and console commands for singleplayer

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios) Valheim cheats and console commands for singleplayer

To activate cheats once you're in the game, open the console by pressing F5. Pressing F5 will close it again as well.

Type devcommands and press enter (previously, the command was 'imacheater' but that has changed). Then you'll be able to use the following cheats in singleplayer mode. They won't work on a multiplayer server.

To deactivate cheats, type devcommands and press enter again.

god - Enables god mode.
heal - Restores current max health.
puke - Empties stomach of food and resets health and stamina.
freefly - Activates the free camera.
ffsmooth 1 - Adds smooth movements to free camera.
ffsmooth 0 - Resets smooth movements to normal.

killall - Kills all nearby enemies.
tame - Tames all nearby creatures.
ghost - Enemies will ignore you.
exploremap - Reveals the entire map.
resetmap - Hides entire map.
pos - Shows player coordinates.
goto [x,z] Teleports player to the specified coordinates.
location - Sets spawn location.

tod - Sets time of day. Values are between 0-1 (tod .5 is noon, tod 0 and tod 1 are midnight. tod -1 returns time of day to default.

event [name] - Starts the named event.
stopevent - Stops the current event.
randomevent - Starts a random event.

raiseskill [skill] [amount] - Raises the named skill by the value entered.
resetcharacter - Resets all of your character data.
dpsdebug - Toggles dps debug print on and off.
save - Forces the game to save the current world state.
players [nr] - Adjusts the difficulty scale. Enter 0 to reset difficulty.
removedrops - Removes all items dropped in the area.

wind [angle][intensity] - Adjusts the direction and intensity of the wind.
resetwind - Resets the wind angle and intensity

hair - Removes character's hair (permanently)
beard - Removes character's beard (permanently)
model 0 - Switches character to masculine body
model 1
- Switches character to feminine body

Debug/creative mode commands Valheim commands: Creative mode

Also in singleplayer, you can enter debug mode to access a few more cheats and what is essentially a creative mode, where you can build without a workbench or resources.

debugmode - Enters creative mode.
B - Toggle for creative mode building, no workbench or resources needed.
Z - Toggle to fly. Spacebar gives you altitude, Ctrl brings you back down.
K - Tap to kill all nearby enemies and creatures within range.

Server admin console commands Valheim console commands for multiplayer

Server admins can use the console to enter commands on the server.

To open the console, the admin can press F5. Then the following commands can be entered.

help - Shows all the available server commands
kick [name/ip/userID] - Kicks the named user
ban [name/ip/userID] - Bans the named user
unban [ip/userID] - Unbans the named user
banned - Shows a full list of banned users
ping - Pings the server to measure latency.
lodbias [number] - Sets the draw distance for the server. The number can be set from 1 to 5.
info - Prints the current system information.

Spawn items list Valheim spawn items list

To spawn items, type spawn in the console, followed by the item you want, followed by the amount of that item. For instance, if you wanted 50 coal, you would type:

spawn Coal 50

Important note: items are case-sensitive! Also note, some items are not fully implemented in the game yet. Items won't appear in your inventory but beside you.

Here's what you can spawn:

Amber

AmberPearl

AncientSeed

Barley

BarleyFlour

BarleyWine

BarleyWineBase

BeechSeeds

BlackMetal

BlackMetalScrap

Bloodbag

BoneFragments

Bronze

BronzeNails

BoneFragments

CarrotSeeds

Chitin

Coal

Coins

Copper

CopperOre

CryptKey

Crystal

Dandelion

DeerHide

DragonEgg

DragonTear

ElderBark

Entrails

Feathers

FineWood

FirCone

FishingBait

FishRaw

FishWraps

Flametal

FlametalOre

Flax

Flint

FreezeGland

GreydwarfEye

Guck

HardAntler

Iron

IronNails

IronOre

IronScrap

LeatherScraps

LinenThread

LoxMeat

LoxPelt

LoxPie

Needle

Obsidian

Ooze

PineCone

QueenBee

Ruby

SerpentScale

SharpeningStone

Silver

SilverNecklace

SilverOre

Stone

SurtlingCore

Thistle

Tin

TinOre

TrollHide

TurnipSeeds

WitheredBone

WolfFang

WolfPelt

Wood

YmirRemains

NeckTail

RawMeat

Resin

RoundLog

SerpentMeat

YagluthDrop

Armor

ArmorBronzeChest

ArmorBronzeLegs

ArmorIronChest

ArmorIronLegs

ArmorLeatherChest

ArmorLeatherLegs

ArmorPaddedCuirass

ArmorPaddedGreaves

ArmorRagsChest

ArmorRagsLegs

ArmorTrollLeatherChest

ArmorTrollLeatherLegs

ArmorWolfChest

ArmorWolfLegs

CapeDeerHide

CapeLinen

CapeLox

CapeOdin

CapeTest

CapeTrollHide

CapeWolf

HelmetBronze

HelmetDrake

HelmetDverger

HelmetIron

HelmetLeather

HelmetOdin

HelmetPadded

HelmetTrollLeather

HelmetYule

Arrows

ArrowBronze

ArrowFire

ArrowFlint

ArrowFrost

ArrowIron

ArrowNeedle

ArrowObsidian

ArrowPoison

ArrowSilver

ArrowWood

Weapons

AtgeirBlackmetal

AtgeirBronze

AtgeirIron

Battleaxe

Bow

BowDraugrFang

BowFineWood

BowHuntsman

KnifeBlackMetal

KnifeChitin

KnifeCopper

KnifeFlint

MaceBronze

MaceIron

MaceNeedle

MaceSilver

ShieldBanded

ShieldBlackmetal

ShieldBlackmetalTower

ShieldBronzeBuckler

ShieldIronSquare

ShieldIronTower

ShieldKnight

ShieldSerpentscale

ShieldSilver

ShieldWood

ShieldWoodTower

SledgeIron

SledgeStagbreaker

SpearBronze

SpearChitin

SpearElderbark

SpearFlint

SpearWolfFang

SwordBlackmetal

SwordBronze

SwordCheat

SwordIron

SwordIronFire

SwordSilver

Tankard

TankardOdin

Club

Torch

Tools

AxeBronze

AxeFlint

AxeIron

AxeStone

AxeBlackMetal

PickaxeAntler

PickaxeBronze

PickaxeIron

PickaxeStone

Cultivator

FishingRod

Hammer

Hoe

Magic Items

BeltStrength

Wishbone

HelmetDverger

Enemies

Blob

BlobElite

Boar

Boar_piggy

Crow

Deathsquito

Deer

Draugr

Draugr_Elite

Draugr_Ranged

Fenring

Ghost

Goblin

GoblinArcher

GoblinBrute

GoblinClub

GoblinHelmet

GoblinLegband

GoblinLoin

GoblinShaman

GoblinShoulders

GoblinSpear

GoblinSword

GoblinTorch

GoblinTotem

Greydwarf

Greydwarf_Elite

Greydwarf_Root

Greydwarf_Shaman

Greyling

Leech

Lox

Neck

Seagal

Serpent

Skeleton

Skeleton_Poison

StoneGolem

Surtling

Troll

Valkyrie

Wolf

Wolf_cub

Wraith

Bosses

Eikthyr

gd_king

Bonemass

Dragon

GoblinKing

Food

Bread

BloodPudding

Blueberries

Carrot

CarrotSoup

Cloudberry

CookedLoxMeat

CookedMeat

FishCooked

Honey

Mushroom

MushroomBlue

MushroomYellow

NeckTailGrilled

Raspberry

QueensJam

Sausages

SerpentMeatCooked

SerpentStew

Turnip

TurnipStew

Mead

MeadBaseFrostResist

MeadBaseHealthMedium

MeadBaseHealthMinor

MeadBasePoisonResist

MeadBaseStaminaMedium

MeadBaseStaminaMinor

MeadBaseTasty

MeadFrostResist

MeadHealthMedium

MeadHealthMinor

MeadPoisonResist

MeadStaminaMedium

MeadStaminaMinor

MeadTasty

Vehicles

Cart

Raft

Karve

VikingShip

Trailership

Vendor

Haldor

Trophies

TrophyBlob

TrophyBoar

TrophyBonemass

TrophyDeathsquito

TrophyDeer

TrophyDragonQueen

TrophyDraugr

TrophyDraugrElite

TrophyDraugrFem

TrophyEikthyr

TrophyFenring

TrophyForestTroll

TrophyFrostTroll

TrophyGoblin

TrophyGoblinBrute

TrophyGoblinKing

TrophyGoblinShaman

TrophyGreydwarf

TrophyGreydwarfBrute

TrophyGreydwarfShaman

TrophyHatchling

TrophyLeech

TrophyLox

TrophyNeck

TrophySerpent

TrophySGolem

TrophySkeleton

TrophySkeletonPoison

TrophySurtling

TrophyTheElder

TrophyWolf

TrophyWraith

Enemy Spawners

BonePileSpawner

Spawner_Blob

Spawner_BlobElite

Spawner_Boar

Spawner_Draugr

Spawner_Draugr_Elite

Spawner_Draugr_Noise

Spawner_Draugr_Ranged

Spawner_Draugr_Ranged_Noise

Spawner_Draugr_respawn_30

Spawner_DraugrPile

Spawner_Fenring

Spawner_Fish4

Spawner_Ghost

Spawner_Goblin

Spawner_GoblinArcher

Spawner_GoblinBrute

Spawner_GoblinShaman

Spawner_Greydwarf

Spawner_Greydwarf_Elite

Spawner_Greydwarf_Shaman

Spawner_GreydwarfNest

Spawner_Hatchling

Spawner_imp

Spawner_imp_respawn

Spawner_Leech_cave

Spawner_Location_Elite

Spawner_Location_Greydwarf

Spawner_Location_Shaman

Spawner_Skeleton

Spawner_Skeleton_night_noarcher

Spawner_Skeleton_poison

Spawner_Skeleton_respawn_30

Spawner_StoneGolem

Spawner_Troll

Spawner_Wraith

Misc.

GlowingMushroom

ancientbarkspear_projectile

aoe_nova

barrell

bed

bee_aoe

beech_log

beech_log_half

Beech_Sapling

Beech_small1

Beech_small2

Beech_Stub

Beech1

Beehive

Birch_log

Birch_log_half

Birch1

Birch1_aut

Birch2

Birch2_aut

BirchStub

blastfurnace

blob_aoe

BlueberryBush

boar_ragdoll

BombOoze

bonemass_aoe

bonemass_throw_projectile

bonfire

BossStone_Bonemass

BossStone_DragonQueen

BossStone_Eikthyr

BossStone_TheElder

BossStone_Yagluth

bow_projectile

bow_projectile_fire

bow_projectile_frost

bow_projectile_needle

bow_projectile_poison

bronzespear_projectile

bucket

Bush01

Bush01_heath

Bush02_en

CargoCrate

CastleKit_braided_box01

CastleKit_groundtorch

CastleKit_groundtorch_green

CastleKit_groundtorch_unlit

CastleKit_pot03

Chain

charcoal_kiln

Chest

CloudberryBush

cultivate

dead_deer

Deathsquito_sting

deer_ragdoll

DeerGodExplosion

DG_Cave

DG_ForestCrypt

DG_GoblinCamp

DG_MeadowsFarm

DG_MeadowsVillage

DG_SunkenCrypt

digg

digg_v2

dragon_ice_projectile

draugr_arrow

draugr_bow_projectile

Draugr_elite_ragdoll

Draugr_ranged_ragdoll

Draugr_ragdoll

draugr_axe

draugr_bow

draugr_sword

eikthyr_ragdoll

dragoneggcup

dungeon_forestcrypt_door

dungeon_sunkencrypt_irongate

eventzone_bonemass

eventzone_eikthyr

eventzone_gdking

eventzone_goblinking

eventzone_moder

EvilHeart_Forest

EvilHeart_Swamp

Fenring_ragdoll

fermenter

fire_pit

FireFlies

FirTree

FirTree_log

FirTree_log_half

FirTree_oldLog

FirTree_Sapling

FirTree_small

FirTree_small_dead

FirTree_Stub

Fish1

Fish2

Fish3

Fish4_cave

FishingRodFloat

FishingRodFloatProjectile

Flies

flintspear_projectile

ForestTroll_ragdoll

forge

forge_ext1

forge_ext2

forge_ext3

forge_ext4

forge_ext5

forge_ext6

gdking_Ragdoll

gdking_root_projectile

goblin_banner

goblin_bed

Goblin_Dragdoll

goblin_fence

goblin_pole

goblin_pole_small

goblin_roof_45d

goblin_roof_45d_corner

goblin_roof_cap

goblin_stairs

goblin_stepladder

goblin_totempole

goblin_woodwall_1m

goblin_woodwall_2m

goblin_woodwall_2m_ribs

GoblinArmband

GoblinBrute_ArmGuard

GoblinBrute_Attack

GoblinBrute_Backbones

GoblinBrute_ExecutionerCap

GoblinBrute_HipCloth

GoblinBrute_LegBones

GoblinBrute_ragdoll

GoblinBrute_RageAttack

GoblinBrute_ShoulderGuard

GoblinBrute_Taunt

GoblinKing_ragdoll

goblinking_totemholder

GoblinShaman_attack_poke

GoblinShaman_Headdress_antlers

GoblinShaman_Headdress_feathers

GoblinShaman_projectile_fireball

GoblinShaman_protect_aoe

GoblinShaman_ragdoll

GoblinShaman_Staff_Bones

GoblinShaman_Staff_Feathers

GoblinSpear_projectile

Greydwarf_elite_ragdoll

Greydwarf_ragdoll

Greydwarf_Shaman_ragdoll

Greydwarf_throw_projectile

Greyling_ragdoll

guard_stone

guard_stone_test

GuckSack

GuckSack_small

Hatchling

hatchling_cold_projectile

Hatchling_ragdoll

HealthUpgrade_Bonemass

HealthUpgrade_GDKing

hearth

HeathRockPillar

HeathRockPillar_frac

highstone

highstone_frac

horizontal_web

HugeRoot1

ice_rock1

ice_rock1_frac

ice1

IceBlocker

Imp_fireball_projectile

iron_grate

itemstand

itemstandh

Leech_cave

Leviathan

LocationProxy

loot_chest_stone

loot_chest_wood

LootSpawner_pineforest

lox_ragdoll

lox_stomp_aoe_OLD

marker01

marker02

MineRock_Copper

MineRock_Iron

MineRock_Meteorite

MineRock_Obsidian

MineRock_Stone

MineRock_Tin

MountainGraveStone01

mud_road

mudpile

mudpile_beacon

mudpile_frac

mudpile_old

mudpile2

mudpile2_frac

Neck_Ragdoll

Oak_log

Oak_log_half

Oak1

OakStub

odin

OLD_wood_roof

OLD_wood_roof_icorner

OLD_wood_roof_ocorner

OLD_wood_roof_top

OLD_wood_wall_roof

oozebomb_explosion

oozebomb_projectile

path

paved_road

Pickable_Barley

Pickable_Barley_Wild

Pickable_BogIronOre

Pickable_Branch

Pickable_Carrot

Pickable_Dandelion

Pickable_DolmenTreasure

Pickable_DragonEgg

Pickable_Flax

Pickable_Flax_Wild

Pickable_Flint

Pickable_ForestCryptRandom

Pickable_ForestCryptRemains01

Pickable_ForestCryptRemains02

Pickable_ForestCryptRemains03

Pickable_ForestCryptRemains04

Pickable_Item

Pickable_Meteorite

Pickable_MountainRemains01_buried

Pickable_Mushroom

Pickable_Mushroom_blue

Pickable_Mushroom_yellow

Pickable_Obsidian

Pickable_RandomFood

Pickable_SeedCarrot

Pickable_SeedTurnip

Pickable_Stone

Pickable_SunkenCryptRandom

Pickable_SurtlingCoreStand

Pickable_Thistle

Pickable_Tin

Pickable_Turnip

piece_artisanstation

piece_banner01

piece_banner02

piece_banner03

piece_banner04

piece_banner05

piece_bed02

piece_beehive

piece_bench01

piece_brazierceiling01

piece_cauldron

piece_chair

piece_chair02

piece_chest

piece_chest_private

piece_chest_wood

piece_cookingstation

piece_gift1

piece_gift2

piece_gift3

piece_groundtorch

piece_groundtorch_green

piece_groundtorch_wood

piece_jackoturnip

piece_maypole

piece_sharpstakes

piece_spinningwheel

piece_stonecutter

piece_table

piece_throne01

piece_walltorch

piece_workbench

piece_workbench_ext1

piece_workbench_ext2

piece_workbench_ext3

piece_workbench_ext4

piece_xmastree

PineTree

Pinetree_01

Pinetree_01_Stub

PineTree_log

PineTree_log_half

PineTree_log_halfOLD

PineTree_logOLD

PineTree_Sapling

Player

Player_ragdoll

Player_ragdoll_old

Player_tombstone

PlayerUnarmed

portal

portal_wood

projectile_beam

projectile_chitinharpoon

projectile_meteor

projectile_wolffang

raise

RaspberryBush

replant

Rock_3

Rock_3_frac

Rock_4

Rock_4_plains

Rock_7

Rock_destructible

Rock_destructible_test

rock1_mountain

rock1_mountain_frac

rock2_heath

rock2_heath_frac

rock2_mountain

rock2_mountain_frac

rock3_mountain

rock3_mountain_frac

rock3_silver

rock3_silver_frac

rock4_coast

rock4_coast_frac

rock4_copper

rock4_copper_frac

rock4_forest

rock4_forest_frac

rock4_heath

rock4_heath_frac

RockFinger

RockFinger_frac

RockFingerBroken

RockFingerBroken_frac

rockformation1

RockThumb

RockThumb_frac

root07

root08

root11

root12

rug_deer

rug_fur

rug_wolf

sapling_barley

sapling_carrot

sapling_flax

sapling_seedcarrot

sapling_seedturnip

sapling_turnip

shaman_attack_aoe

shaman_heal_aoe

ship_construction

shipwreck_karve_bottomboards

shipwreck_karve_bow

shipwreck_karve_chest

shipwreck_karve_dragonhead

shipwreck_karve_stern

shipwreck_karve_sternpost

shrub_2

shrub_2_heath

sign

sign_notext

silvervein

silvervein_frac

skeleton_bow

skeleton_mace

Skeleton_NoArcher

skeleton_sword

Skull1

Skull2

sledge_aoe

smelter

stake_wall

StaminaUpgrade_Greydwarf

StaminaUpgrade_Troll

StaminaUpgrade_Wraith

StatueCorgi

StatueDeer

StatueEvil

StatueHare

StatueSeed

stone_arch

stone_floor

stone_floor_2x2

stone_pile

stone_pillar

stone_stair

stone_wall_1x1

stone_wall_2x1

stone_wall_4x2

stoneblock_fracture

stonechest

stonegolem_attack1_spike

StoneGolem_clubs

StoneGolem_hat

Stonegolem_ragdoll

StoneGolem_spikes

stubbe

stubbe_spawner

sunken_crypt_gate

SwampTree1

SwampTree1_log

SwampTree1_Stub

SwampTree2

SwampTree2_darkland

SwampTree2_log

TentaRoot

tentaroot_attack

tolroko_flyer

TrainingDummy

TreasureChest_blackforest

TreasureChest_fCrypt

TreasureChest_forestcrypt

TreasureChest_heath

TreasureChest_meadows

TreasureChest_meadows_buried

TreasureChest_mountains

TreasureChest_plains_stone

TreasureChest_sunkencrypt

TreasureChest_swamp

TreasureChest_trollcave

troll_groundslam_aoe

troll_log_swing_h

troll_log_swing_v

Troll_ragdoll

troll_throw_projectile

tunnel_web

turf_roof

turf_roof_top

turf_roof_wall

VegvisirShard_Bonemass

vertical_web

vines

widestone

widestone_frac

windmill

Wolf_Ragdoll

wood_beam

wood_beam_1

wood_beam_26

wood_beam_45

wood_door

wood_dragon1

wood_fence

wood_floor

wood_floor_1x1

wood_gate

wood_ledge

wood_pole

wood_pole_log

wood_pole_log_4

wood_pole2

wood_roof

wood_roof_45

wood_roof_icorner

wood_roof_icorner_45

wood_roof_ocorner

wood_roof_ocorner_45

wood_roof_top

wood_roof_top_45

wood_stack

wood_stair

wood_stepladder

wood_wall_half

wood_wall_log

wood_wall_log_4x0.5

wood_wall_roof

wood_wall_roof_45

wood_wall_roof_top

wood_wall_roof_top_45

woodiron_beam

woodiron_pole

woodwall

wraith_melee

Beyond Good and Evil 2 has broken Duke Nukem Forever's record for longest game development time

The 15-year journey of Beyond Good and Evil 2 has wearily passed another milestone: it's been in development even longer than Duke Nukem Forever, the game which still holds (though presumably not for long) the Guinness World Record for "Longest development period for a videogame".

Well, actually, BG&E2 officially crossed that threshold about a hundred days ago, it's just taken us all this long to notice. As originally pointed out by GamesIndustry.biz editor Brendan Sinclair, the painful labour that brought us Duke Nukem Forever lasted 5,156 days. BG&E 2's first trailer came out on May 30, 2008: 5,239 days ago. Heck, the game had already been in development for a year or so when that trailer dropped, so it's actually been even longer.

A few people have pointed out that the original description and trailer for BG&E 2 bear little resemblance to the version of the game that trailered at E3 2018, suggesting the comparison with Duke Nukem might be unfair. To be honest, though, a quick scan through the many and varied trailers that came out for Duke Nukem Forever over the years shows a game that kept shifting in size, scope, and staff. We even saw an unreleased build of it earlier this year that bore little resemblance to the Duke Nukem we got in 2011. For my money, the comparison is a fair one.

It's a dubious honour, to say the least. Ubisoft continues to insist—to our astonishment—that the game is still in the works, and it was only two months ago that BG&E 2 got a new lead writer, so presumably something is still happening with the project. Still, after 15 years, and with the series' creator (if you can call it a series) leaving Ubisoft amid accusations of toxic mismanagement, it's very, very hard to maintain optimism for the game even for die-hard nostalgics like me.

I maintain that we will, one day, see the release of a game with 'Beyond Good and Evil' in its title, though I might be in my dotage when it happens. In the meantime, I suppose I'll sit and wait for the BG&E movie that Netflix announced two years ago, and reflect on rosy childhood memories of roaming the waters of Hillys.

Roll up for the 40th anniversary of the Golden Joystick Awards

The 40th Golden Joystick Awards presented by GamesRadar+ will take place on Tuesday, November 22. The event is run by PC Gamer's parent company, Future.

The Golden Joysticks are the longest-running videogame awards show, where the awards are determined by public vote, in history. Every year sees millions of votes cast across a wide range of categories, with an additional three 'Critics Choice Awards' determined by Future's senior editorial staff.

This year's 40th anniversary show will be a bonanza of gaming goodness, and fans will vote across 18 categories including 'Best Studio' and the much-coveted 'Ultimate Game of the Year'. The public voting opens here on Friday October 7.

There are two new voting categories this year, to better-reflect the changing landscape of gaming. One is 'Best Game Trailer', while with the other it was felt long overdue that the Golden Joysticks recognise a unique element of contemporary PC gaming. So there's now the 'Best Early Access Launch’ award: it's a year too late for Valheim to scoop it up, but this is intended to give some love to the many brilliant games that now choose this route for development and launch.

The winners will be revealed in an all-digital extravaganza on November 22 and broadcast on all streaming platforms. As well as the gongs, the show will feature new trailers and exclusive content throughout. To keep up with the Golden Joysticks 2022, follow the Twitter or Facebook accounts, and the full list of categories this year follows:

Studio of the YearPC Game of the YearPlayStation Game of the YearXbox Game of the YearNintendo Game of the YearBest Multiplayer GameStill PlayingBest AudioBest StorytellingBest Visual DesignBest Indie GameBest Game ExpansionBest Game CommunityBest Gaming HardwareBest Early Access LaunchBest Game TrailerMost WantedUltimate Game of the Year (voting opens separately, for this award only, on November 7)
Dream's viral face reveal shows why anonymity is an influencer's best friend

Dream, one of the world's best known Minecraft players, finally revealed his face to the internet yesterday. The content creator has been known online for many years as a wide smiling drawing of a face, attached to a body wearing a green hoodie, which of course raised many questions about his true identity. That was Dream's thing for many years, and even friends he collaborated with didn't know the true identity of their mate. Now that's all changed. 

Over a million people on YouTube waited to see what Dream looked like. In the 48 hours leading up to the reveal, Dream called content creators who filmed their reactions to seeing his face for the first time. From TinaKitten to HasanAbi, hundreds of thousands of people liked and reacted to these teasing promo videos, each one hinting at what he might look like. Hasan did this live on stream and said he thought he was going to be "worse looking". KSI joked that Dream was actually Black though we all knew that wasn't the case from Dream showing at least small amounts of his body over the years. Wilbur Soot laughed about how good his hair looked. Big content creators got calls from Dream, elevating this from just a face reveal to the YouTube event of the year.

Millions of likes in total, hundreds of thousands of retweets and piles of comments waiting to see what this YouTuber looked like. The pressure mounted, and fans waited with bated breath. This man with millions and millions of views on every Minecraft video, known for both the good and the bad (specifically his Minecraft cheating scandal), was about to show everyone what he looked like finally. The video went up, and people pressed play.

And Dream was just a normal dude. 

Anonymity made Dream. Anonymity gave this perfectly normal guy a reason to be mysterious and distant when his appearance would never have suggested that. He's got brown hair, green eyes, and a pleasant demeanour. Actually, and probably predictably, his camera presence is awkward. In this video he sits kind of tilting his face in a way that looks uncomfortable to the camera. Who amongst us wouldn't be trying to make sure our best angle was shown on screen after years of hiding, especially when people want you to be attractive because of all the fanart viewers have created. 

Dream is just a dude who made it big through creating original, interesting content on one of the biggest games of all time. That's it! He's physically a normal human like anyone else, like you or me. Good for him that he's out there but his success has driven home a point for me. Anonymity, not just for Dream, but for other content creators, is one of the most powerful tools out there. 

Quite recently, a lesser known (but still extremely successful creator) called ShrodingerLee did a face reveal too. He was known for his Valorant content, good voice, and even jokingly flirting with creators he played which made this another guy that the internet had to know the face of. He recently revealed he was also just a decently attractive dude who liked games, and had made it big by (among other things) being mysterious and coy.  

DREAM!!!!! pic.twitter.com/iOZtFq3g4tOctober 2, 2022

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And who can forget CorpseHusband. The music artist suddenly found himself in the middle of the Among Us content creation infatuation because his voice was unlike anything anyone had ever heard. Deep and sexy, his music and all his content hinged on his low vocal range and quietly aloof attitude. He is yet to do a face reveal but that hasn't stopped the internet trying to discover his identity and, with Dream's reveal, memes about Corpse doing one next arose. 

Another creator, by the name of Technoblade, was also anonymous during his career. Like Dream, Technoblade was a Minecraft YouTuber but sadly he passed away at the age of only 23. His real name and identity was only revealed in his farewell message to his fans and, in that case, it felt like Technoblade's parting gift to those who supported him and his videos. Though the circumstances couldn't have been worse, showing who he was to his fans finally let them in on what felt like the streamer's master plan, and allowed his family to celebrate his successes publicly. On the other hand, when Technoblade was diagnosed with cancer and it affected his life, he had the privacy to deal with that in his own time away from the ever watchful eyes of the internet.  

Really the best thing a creator can now be is anonymous. Perhaps it's more of a male content creator thing, as fan girls seem to often perpetuate the mystery with fanart, unapologetic stanning videos, and fantasy situations. But the point stands that no one knowing what you look like can be one of the most advantageous things about certain content creators right now. And that's both a great thing for those who don't want to be seen, and kind of terrible for Dream right now.

Met @Dream today and saw his face. Nice guy 😅(Pardon the quality. But also lowkey he's in the middle of one of the most interesting social media campaigns I've ever seen) pic.twitter.com/HZOEa9lCZ3October 2, 2022

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He wanted to live his life a little more normally, which is why he did the reveal. Content he wanted to film with friends wasn't possible without the reveal happening so he finally relented and showed everyone who he really was. And I can't lie, I'd hate to be in his position right now. Lots of people who want those tasty Twitter interactions are making fun of his appearance, even going so far as to joke about him putting the mask back on—undoing the reveal. 

Dream is a normal dude when his online persona was so much more than just normal. The illusion of him being a supermodel, unusual, or perhaps a god amongst men is gone. He really is just a guy you'd see on the street. And that's exactly what everyone should have expected. 

Anonymity has given a select handful of creators the ability to be one of the best-known names on the internet while living a normal life. Their talent and work can be appreciated by the masses without being inconvenienced by the fame. I can imagine it's not always great, as there are lots of opportunities you have to turn down as a result but eventually, like Dream, people can reveal themselves when they're ready.

It's probably harder to become a successful content creator without using your face. Human brains like to see faces so, without them in thumbnails looking wide-eyed and shocked as most do, it can be hard to get noticed. But once a creator has some traction, the mystery of anonymity has the power to skyrocket an ordinary person to incredible heights of internet fame and intrigue. You can theoretically be whatever the audience wants you to be, for however long you want. And that may be the most powerful thing a content creator can offer.  

No Man's Sky 4.0 update adds new 'relaxed' mode and 'massively increased' inventory

Six years after its launch, No Man's Sky has nearly reached another milestone, version 4.0. This comes as Hello Games' galactic sandbox prepares to expand onto yet another platform, Nintendo Switch, on October 7. 

A Switch debut may not feel planet-shaking to longtime players on PC, but the 4.0 update will bring a number of changes to No Man's Sky no matter what platform you play on. And while this update might not look as dramatic as the addition of living ships or ridable sandworms or cosmic whales, there's still a lot to it.

"People are arriving, new players, and we sort of want to tidy up our house," Sean Murray said when we chatted over Zoom about the 4.0 update last week. One of the concerns for Hello Games was not just how the game will appear to new players on Switch but to returning players on PC who may have been away for a while, potentially even years.

"Something I see online occasionally, people will say, 'I like the game, but it feels overwhelming to come back,'" said Murray. "And I want [both new and returning players] to say 'This makes sense. This feels cohesive, and it doesn't feel like a bunch of disparate updates.'

"And so we dug into that a lot. If you come back to the game [in 4.0] there's actually a log where you have a summary of the story so far," Murray said. "We have an info portal that will collect together everything that you've done so far, everything you've unlocked, all of that, and give you more info on it, so that you can dig into it."

Longtime players who may feel like they've accomplished everything will find a new source of motivation in update 4.0. While No Man's Sky doesn't have level caps, it does have features like journey milestones that track everything from alien encounters to combat stats to time spent on planets with extreme weather. These milestones have been expanded in 4.0, giving players new goals to aim for. Inventory has been "streamlined" to make it easier for new players, but Murray said it's "also massively increased," so players who have unlocked the maximum amount of storage slots will be able to acquire even more.

And there's a new game mode in 4.0, called "relaxed" mode, which will give players the sandbox experience of No Man's Sky but with less of a focus on survival. Murray thinks it will be a good mode for new players to start with but he also hopes it appeals to longtime players who have played in normal or survival extensively but "just want to chill out" while continuing to progress forward. Relaxed mode won't have the challenge of normal or survival mode, but it won't unlock everything the way creative mode does.

"I don't want to oversell it and say it's a reimagining of the game or anything like that. But it is a different balance of survival sandbox," Murray said. Players will be able to swap existing saves into the new mode, and swap back if they decide they don't like it.

Survival mode itself, meanwhile, has been revisited to provide a greater challenge. "Over time, as you got better at the game and leveled up, it stopped being as difficult, so we've also revisited that and actually crank the survival element way higher."

Maybe most importantly, No Man's Sky 4.0 will give players control over the balance of the game themselves. "If you want to dial [the challenge] slightly differently, if you want to have permadeath in relaxed game mode, or whatever it is, you can do those things," Murray said. "You can change a ton of things to do with controls, a ton of things to do with difficulty, survival, crafting, you know, you can balance those your own way."

No Man's Sky update 4.0 will coincide with the game's launch on Nintendo Switch, which is happening later this week on October 7.

Streamer beats Elden Ring's Malenia at level one with a goddamn dance pad

MissMikkaa is an absolute machine. While most spend their time trying to beat Elden Ring under ordinary circumstances, she's been doing things differently. Not only has she previously beaten the game with one hand and started a level one run of the game with a goddamn dance pad, but she's also now managed to use it to defeat one of the game's most formidable foes.

Yep, MissMikkaa has taken down Malenia with a level one character, using nothing more than a dance pad and occasionally the keyboard to recentre the camera. She posted a snippet of the moment to Twitter, saying it took 553 tries over the course of 15 hours.

I DID IT! I killed Malenia LEVEL 1 with a DANCE PAD! It took me 553 tries and over 15 hours. I only used 4 healing flasks on the kill. I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! W pic.twitter.com/Z8jNMUQcXYOctober 2, 2022

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The level of commitment is mighty impressive, and some have even pointed out that it took the streamer fewer attempts on a dance pad than it did for other players using a controller or keyboard and mouse.

As if the kill already wasn't impressive enough, she also revealed that she only needed to use four healing flasks during that attempt. Next on the list is defeating Maliketh, which MissMikkaa spent the rest of her stream heading towards. 

As someone who has too little patience and skill to persist with FromSoft's library, I can't help but be in total awe and admiration of MissMikkaa's skills. It's always fun to see the wild peripherals people use to make a game more challenging or entertaining. Earlier this year we saw SuperLouis64—a streamer who is always conjuring up silly and themed controllers—defeat Godrick with a controller made from bananas. My personal favourite of his is perhaps when he played Dark Souls 3 with a Ring Fit controller, and had to jog on the spot to get his character to move.

Dragonflight's UI is great but I'm not going to uninstall my addons just yet

World of Warcraft: Dragonflight is set for release on November 28, 2022, and it brings along with it an overhaul to the nearly 18-year-old user interface. 

WoW's UI might have looked pretty good when the MMO first launched back in 2004 but it's become a bit of an eyesore in recent years. Of course, this can be easily remedied with the use of WoW addons but these need to be updated often and they can add significant loading times, as well as a drop in performance if you're not careful. 

With the introduction of the new—and much more customisable—UI in Dragonflight, it's possible you won't need as many addons to get the look you're after. And as most of the updates are now present in the Dragonflight beta, it seemed like a good idea to find out what it can do.

Move with the times 

You notice the UI changes the moment you log in to Dragonflight. Everything looks much cleaner and more compact than it has in the past. Perhaps one of the most obvious differences is the player health bar—it's moved from the upper-left corner to its new home just to the right of your character. This has become the preferred position for players over the years as it lets you keep an eye on your health without having to take your eyes off your character during hectic fights. But up until now, you've needed an addon to move it. The size of the health bar has increased too, which is much better than the tiny sliver of green we're used to seeing with the default UI.

The default Dragonflight UI now shows two action bars stacked, rather than having them run side-by-side across the bottom of the screen. The "bar art" has also been updated and other options such as bags, quest log, character sheet are housed in a far more subtle group in the bottom-right corner. 

Image 1 of 3

WoW Dragonflight UI

Dragonflight's default UI (Image credit: Blizzard)Image 2 of 3

WoW Dragonflight UI

WoW Classic UI. (Image credit: Blizzard)Image 3 of 3

Dragonflight UI

Current Shadowlands UI with no addons. (Image credit: Blizzard)

You can move pretty much everything you can see using the Edit Mode in the main menu. Some of the individual elements have additional options for resizing too, or the ability to access additional menu options straight from the edit window. You can toggle various elements, such as raid and party frames to adjust their placement and there's even a grid so you can make sure everything lines up. Once you're done moving everything around and have it to your liking, you can save the layout as a profile which can be applied to all characters or just your current one.

That's not all of it though: there is also a fair amount of customisation that isn't immediately obvious. For example, you can consolidate your bags into one large container, and set up a modifier key so you can cast spells on mouseover instead of having to target them directly. You can also make adjustments to the way combat works. "Press and hold casting" lets you continually cast the same spell with one keypress instead of having to repeatedly tap the same key, and the "action combat" option automatically targets enemies in front of you. Pretty neat, huh?

It all adds up

So now that we have an idea of what the Dragonflight UI can do, I decided to see how close I could get it to my current Shadowlands set-up. The results are actually pretty close as you can see in the comparison below.

The most obvious difference between the two is the player health bar. In the Shadowlands version, I'm using ElvUI—that's also what's giving me the Titan Panel-style bar at the top. In the third screenshot, I've added the Weakauras and Plater addons to the Dragonflight UI. 

Image 1 of 3

WoW Dragonflight UI

Dragonflight UI (no addons). (Image credit: Blizzard)Image 2 of 3

WoW Dragonflight UI

My current Shadowlands UI with addons. (Image credit: Blizzard)Image 3 of 3

WoW Dragonflight UI

Dragonflight UI with Plater and Weakauras installed. (Image credit: Blizzard)

As far as looks go, the new UI is pretty sleek but there are still plenty of addons that either work behind the scenes or have become accepted as part of a good set-up. To name the most obvious, Deadly Boss Mods, Weakauras, or a damage meter aren't likely to be replaced any time soon, and if you really like the customisation that ElvUI offers, there's nothing saying you have to get rid of that either.

Of course, your addon usage will come down to how you like to spend your time in Azeroth—if you regularly raid or run mythic plus dungeons, then you're likely to use a lot more than someone that collects mounts. Even so, I don't think we'll be moving away from addons anytime soon, but Dragonflight's big UI update certainly gives us more options for customisation than we've ever had before. 

Dragonflight feels like a great time to take stock of the addons you use and cut out the ones that really aren't pulling their weight. Even if you cut one or two of them, you'll give more breathing space to those that you do rely on—not to mention it will be better for your overall load times. If you think addons don't have much of an impact on that, try disabling them before logging into the game and see how much faster you load in. You might be surprised.

A Mega Man documentary has been deemed too sexy by YouTube's baffling content rules

If there's one thing most of us can just about agree on, it's that there's plenty of stuff on YouTube that's in dire need of moderation. Whether it's crypto scams, dodgy politics, or any of the countless videos featuring Spider-Man and Elsa for some reason, there's a lot of content on that website that we're better off not seeing. I'm not sure a lengthy Mega Man 2 documentary falls into that category, though.

To recap what has happened today: this morning, my Mega Man 2 speedrun documentary was age-restricted for "excessive swearing". It contains 19 curse words in 78 minutes.Videos with 21x the amount of swearing per capita remain un-restricted. @TeamYouTube refuses to explain.September 21, 2022

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As reported by Ars Technica, a 78 minute video from popular retro-game speedrunning documentarian Summoning Salt has recently fallen victim to a series of strange—and seemingly contradictory—content restriction decisions from YouTube's moderation staff. About four days after Salt's Mega Man video went live, it was "age-restricted" by YouTube's moderation system for "excessive swearing," presumably owing to clips featured in the video of streamers cursing in frustration.

Age-restricted videos are only able to receive limited ads on YouTube, drastically curtailing their ability to generate income for their creators, and it suppresses affected videos in YouTube's recommendation engine. In short, it's something you really, really want to avoid if you're trying to make a living off your YouTube output, and especially if—like Summoning Salt—your videos are high-effort affairs that release infrequently.

The restriction on Salt's Mega Man documentary would be a fair but draconian measure by YouTube if the rule were applied equally, but Salt's own investigation turned up videos with far more cursing that weren't age restricted at all. Even more bizarre, YouTube straight-up admitted that it "made a mistake" with the restriction in a discussion on Twitter and repealed the decision. The video was then age restricted again a week later.

The debacle has shone a light on the confusing and contradictory nature of YouTube's rules and how it applies them. Even after YouTube staff said the decision was an error on Twitter, a different YouTube spokesperson told Ars Technica that the original restriction had been applied "correctly". It feels like the company's left hand doesn't know what its right hand is doing, and it leads to confusion for content creators and audience members both. If you're just a hobbyist video maker, it's an irritation, but if you're trying to make a living on YouTube's platform, this lack of clarity can threaten your entire livelihood.

Summoning Salt appealed the second restriction last Friday. The appeal was rejected, this time because the video—a documentary on Mega Man 2 world records, remember—violated YouTube's "sex and nudity policy".

How to fix FIFA 23's anti cheat error

You're not alone if you were hoping to play FIFA 23 via Steam or Origin but can't get it to boot up. Many FIFA 23 players are experiencing an issue with its anti cheat system which is preventing it from launching—this is why our review is also a little late! EA has acknowledged the issue and there is a workaround of sorts that seems to solve the problem, so let's take a look at what you need to do. 

How to fix FIFA 23 anti cheat error 

The problem seems to be affecting both Steam and Origin versions of FIFA 23, so I'll talk you through how to solve it for both platforms. As with all IT issues, try restarting the game—sometimes it really is a case of "computer says 'no'" and it'll work afterwards. If you're still getting an error message or a black screen, there are a few more steps you can take.

It's worth noting, however, that these fixes won't work for everyone and you might need to try these steps several times before you can play the game. EA has mentioned that it's working on updated error messages so that players can troubleshoot specific problems, so keep your eyes peeled.

Run Steam or Origin as an administrator

Run Steam or Origin as an administrator by right-clicking on the launch icons and selecting "run as administrator", click yes when the pop-up appears then boot up FIFA 23. 

(Image credit: EA) Launch then delete EA anti cheat

Search for the EA anti cheat folder then launch EAAntiCheat.Installer.exe, wait a second then close it. Then, right-click and delete EAAntiCheat.Installer.exe and launch FIFA 23 from your desired platform. This will force reinstall anti cheat and should hopefully get you past the errors. 

Reinstall FIFA 23

Yes, this one is probably the biggest pain in the arse, but if you really want to play FIFA 23 then your best bet might be to uninstall and reinstall. Run Steam or Origin as administrator then uninstall FIFA 23, then reinstall it and, hopefully, you'll be able to finally jump in and play a game of football.  

FIFA 23 slammed by PC players as EA's own anti-cheat makes it unplayable for many

The last entry in one of gaming's great historical partnerships has been released and, let me tell you, the manager won't be happy with how EA has set their stall out early doors. FIFA 23 is unplayable for a considerable amount of the playerbase thanks to a malfunction with EA's own anti-cheat software, which is failing to properly verify itself and thus refusing to launch the game.

Some players are reporting conflicts with other anti-cheat or DRM software on their PCs, while plenty of others have expressed their frustration through the game's now 'mostly negative' Steam reviews. It is impossible to say how widespread this is, though a minority of players seem able to access the title, and it has also affected PC Gamer's reviewer (our review of FIFA 23 is thus delayed until the writer can, y'know, play a bit of it).

"FIFA 23 is not a sports game, it's a simulator," writes Colonel Clam in their Steam review. "A simulator for troubleshooting why the game won't launch." Rmgerro drily observes that "I guess the anticheat is working, because if you can't play the game you can't cheat."

Developer and publisher EA has issued a holding statement acknowledging the issues and promising a fix:

"We are aware of the issues some PC players have experienced when launching FIFA 23, which are largely related to EA anticheat software. We are actively working on a fix. We see and understand our PC community’s frustration, and we apologize."

EA goes on to reference the expansion of cross-play support in FIFA 23: PC players are supposed to be able to play with console owners (PS5 and Xbox S/X) as well as those on Stadia (well, until January at least). The company also says that "many players who have encountered errors have been able to play after using one of our help solutions" though it seems fair to add that many players have found that the help solutions do not in fact help. Nevertheless here is EA's help page.

We are continuing to work on addressing PC issues related to EA anticheat when launching FIFA 23.ICYMI, we provided a quick update on #TopBinsLive covering the steps being taken to resolve this issue for players on PC.We will provide more updates as they become available. pic.twitter.com/oWrsPHSfLJSeptember 30, 2022

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"We are working to correct all issues as soon as possible," says the publisher. Not quite the grand old send off that fans were expecting then, not yet at least. In the above video EA's FIFA CM Shelden Rogers mainly repeats the existing statement, though he does add that one of the immediate improvements the devs are looking to implement is "updated error messaging to help better inform players of the issues in question and troubleshooting steps, and we're also looking at addressing other stability issues for FIFA 23 on PC."

There's no ETA on a fix. In the meantime, you're probably best-served to give this entry a bit of a hip-swerve for now. Anti-cheat is obviously a necessity for any contemporary competitive experience, especially one on the scale of FIFA, but when it's stopping the game functioning for most players that's clearly an own goal. There are definitely a handful of players who seem able to access the title regardless but, for the moment at least, FIFA 23 is very far from the beautiful game.

Someone turned their old DVD drives into a freaking laser scanning microscope

Living in the future if one thing is clear, it's that digital media is king. In the gaming world, it's becoming far more common to buy games digitally than it is to purchase physical copies. This has been true in PC gaming for years now with the success of Steam, lickety-split SSDs, and new consoles now releasing without disc drives. While some companies are seeing an increase in optical drives sales, generally speaking the days of the DVD drive are well and truly over⁠—but what to do with those leftover drives?

DVD drives especially aren't of much use to anyone anymore. Streaming services will often offer better quality versions of the same movies in digital format. Plus, if you're a big physical media fan you've likely upgraded to Bluray or gone the other way completely with your mounting VHS collection. So it's time to gut those DVD players in favour of something actually useful, like a laser scanning microscope.

Kuriuzu recently posted a neat build to hackaday which involves turning two DVD drives into microscopes. A fair warning, while this project is described as simple it also requires a bit of soldering and might be confusing if you're new to this kind of work. 

An Analogue Discovery instrument was used for this build, so follow along with this guide. This will do a lot of the heavy lifting, though these devices don't come cheap. It can be done without one but you'll be in for a bunch more trouble. Still, if you've got the parts laying around it's a great inexpensive one to try that should deliver a really cool result.

Peak Storage

SATA, NVMe M.2, and PCIe SSDs on blue background

(Image credit: Future)

Best SSD for gaming: the best solid state drives around
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Best external SSDs: plug in upgrades for gaming laptops and consoles

You'll need two drives so you can grab the DVD pickups out of them. In this example Kuriuzu is using HOP-150X pickups, which can also be purchased online, though that isn't as much fun as reusing your old drives. They also recommend using Analogue Discovery 2, though say the original should still work. Aside from these all you need is a few resistors and some cables. You can get the complete detailed list of parts from the project website.

Once constructed you should have a nifty laser scanning microscope. These work by scanning lasers both horizontally and vertically across an object, and use the light reflected to construct an image. Typically these will give a high contrast and very detailed scan of an image, often used to get details other scanners can't. Of course, it may or may not do that, depending on how well you've followed the steps. PC Gamer holds no responsibility for failed DIY projects. 

The images Kuriuzu has posted of their scanner at work are very cool, especially when you consider its humble beginnings. Even if they weren't potentially super useful for imaging data, they're still fascinating to look at and could make for some wild custom art pieces. 

Whatever these wind up doing, it's likely far more useful than being a DVD drive in 2022.

Today's Wordle 471 answer and hint: Monday, October 3

I can offer everything you need to solve today's Wordle just the way you want to, whether you'd like to read a handy clue or see the full answer to the October 3 (471) challenge as quickly as possible. And if you'd still like more you'll also find links to a range of Wordle guides and answer archives just a little further down the page.

Some days I don't want a brain-twisting challenge, I just want a nice way to spend a minute of my morning—and what could be a better way to start the week than three greens… four greens… and done? 

Wordle hint Today's Wordle: A hint for Monday, October 3

Bees, wasps, nettles, jellyfish, and plenty more creatures can do this to someone or something else, either passively, defensively, or as a calculated attack. Music fans of a certain age may also remember a UK singer going by this stage name. There's just one vowel to find today. 

Wordle help: 3 tips for beating Wordle every day 

If there's one thing better than playing Wordle, it's playing Wordle well, which is why I'm going to share a few quick tips to help set you on the path to success:

A good opener contains a balanced mix of unique vowels and consonants. A tactical second guess helps to narrow down the pool of letters quickly.The solution may contain repeat letters.

There's no time pressure beyond making sure it's done by midnight. So there's no reason to not treat the game like a casual newspaper crossword and come back to it later if you're coming up blank.

Wordle answer

Wordle today

(Image credit: Josh Wardle) What is the Wordle 471 answer?

I won't keep you any longer. The answer to the October 3 (471) Wordle is STING.

Previous answers Wordle archive: Which words have been used

The more past Wordle answers you can cram into your memory banks, the better your chances of guessing today's Wordle answer without accidentally picking a solution that's already been used. Past Wordle answers can also give you some excellent ideas for fun starting words that keep your daily puzzle solving fresh.

Here are some recent Wordle solutions:

October 2: TWINEOctober 1: LEAVESeptember 30: SCORNSeptember 29: SCALDSeptember 28: USURPSeptember 27: SOGGYSeptember 26: BRISKSeptember 25: ADMITSeptember 24: GRATESeptember 23: GLORY Learn more about Wordle 

Every day Wordle presents you with six rows of five boxes, and it's up to you to work out which secret five-letter word is hiding inside them.

You'll want to start with a strong word like ALERT—something containing multiple vowels, common consonants, and no repeat letters. Hit Enter and the boxes will show you which letters you've got right or wrong. If a box turns ⬛️, it means that letter isn't in the secret word at all. 🟨 means the letter is in the word, but not in that position. 🟩 means you've got the right letter in the right spot.

You'll want your second go to compliment the first, using another "good" word to cover any common letters you missed last time while also trying to avoid any letter you now know for a fact isn't present in today's answer.

After that it's just a case of using what you've learned to narrow your guesses down to the right word. You have six tries in total and can only use real words (so no filling the boxes with EEEEE to see if there's an E). Don't forget letters can repeat too (ex: BOOKS).

If you need any further advice feel free to check out our Wordle tips, and if you'd like to find out which words have already been used you'll find those below.

Originally, Wordle was dreamed up by software engineer Josh Wardle, as a surprise for his partner who loves word games. From there it spread to his family, and finally got released to the public. The word puzzle game has since inspired tons of games like Wordle, refocusing the daily gimmick around music or math or geography. It wasn't long before Wordle became so popular it was sold to the New York Times for seven figures. Surely it's only a matter of time before we all solely communicate in tricolor boxes. 

A canceled Dune game comes to Steam under a new name, 20 years later

Westwood wasn't the only Studio publishing Dune videogames back in the day. French studio Cryo Interactive developed an adventure game simply called Dune and released it in 1992, then in 2001 released a tie-in to the Sci Fi Channel miniseries called Frank Herbert's Dune developed by Widescreen Games. The latter was a flop, and Cryo Interactive, already struggling due to the early 2000s recession, declared bankruptcy.

That left Soft Brigade in trouble. The Hungarian studio was working with Cryo Interactive on an arcade flight-sim for the Game Boy Advance called Dune: Ornithopter Assault, in which you played a House Atreides pilot on Arrakis, protecting spice harvesters from the Harkonnen. It was canceled—as was an online RTS called Dune Generations being developed internally by Cryo Networks—despite being almost finished. A playable ROM was eventually leaked online, but now Soft Brigade's game lives on, thanks to crowdfunding.

After raising $21,222 on Kickstarter, the game formerly known as Dune: Ornithopter Assault has finally been completed. Absent the Dune license and renamed Elland: The Crystal Wars, it's been brought to PC by Retro Room Games, who specialize in game preservation.

Instead of Arrakis, it's set on Elland, a world where the Brem-Nar crystals vital for making galactic star cruisers are mined. As a raptor pilot for Elland Inc., it's your job to deliver crystal gatherers to the crystal fields and prevent smugglers and agents of the rival Trafford Corp from destroying them. There are 23 levels, and some modern quality-of-life features like the ability to save anywhere, controller support and control remapping, cloud saves, and image scaling and smoothing options.

Elland: The Crystal Wars is available on Steam as of October 3. As for official Dune videogames, 4x strategy game Dune: Spice Wars is currently in early access, and Funcom is working on three Dune games, including open world survival MMO Dune Awakening, which has yet to announce a release date.

Well, here's GoldenEye with Mario characters

Released in 2021 but updated multiple times since, with the most recent update bringing it up to version 3.17 and adding 15 more multiplayer maps, the GoldenEye With Mario Characters mod is one of those real "everything that's great about modding" achievements. Not just because of the wonderfully demented idea, but because of the follow through. The modder known as StupidMarioBros1Fan and their collaborators weren't content just swapping GoldenEye's bad guys with Koopa Troopas and calling it a day. Oh, no.

For starters, the dialogue (subtitled) has been rewritten to reflect the new character models. Alec Trevelyan's line, "For England, James?" made sense when he was being played by Sean Bean. Now that he's been replaced by Luigi, the line goes, "For-a Brooklyn, Mario?"

Everyone in the singleplayer campaign has been replaced appropriately, so Natalya Simonova is Peach, Xenia Onatopp is Daisy, and Valentin Zukovsky, the Russian gangster played by Robbie Coltrane in the movie, is now Wario. Of course.

There's more, including restored beta content, recreated content, and new cheats. In multiplayer there are more weapon sets to choose from, including jungle weapons, explosives, and full automatics from the 2005 total conversion GoldenEye: Source. The additional maps include two that were found unfinished in the game's files, some recreated from the canceled Xbox Live Arcade remaster of GoldenEye that was leaked online, and some from GoldenEye: Source.

"The new Multiplayer Maps will be released for regular GoldenEye 007 at some point in the future," StupidMarioBros1Fan says in a video description, " have to mess around with the Memory Allocations to make sure there aren't any issues with the Original Characters."

You can download GoldenEye With Mario Characters from ModDB, and if that's not working because the site's too busy, grab it from Google Drive. To install it you'll need the GoldenEye Setup Editor, and a clean GoldenEye 007 (NTSC-U) ROM to apply it to. 

(Image credit: StupidMarioBros1Fan)
- Kelsey Raynor
Giant Bomb, GameSpot, MetaCritic, GameFAQs and more have been acquired by Fandom

As of late, the games industry has felt a little all over the place. We've seen countless acquisitions: Microsoft bought ActiBlizz, Sony acquired Valkyrie Entertainment, Quantic Dream was more recently acquired by Netease Games, and the list continues.

Acquisitions haven't just been limited to the likes of developers and publishers, however, with the host of various fan wiki pages - Fandom - acquiring Giant Bomb, GameSpot, MetaCritic, GameFAQs, Comic Vine, Cord Cutters News, and TV Guide.

Fandom is something that'll be familiar to most of us. There's a rather high chance then when you googled that character in that Rings of Power show everyone is talking about, you wound up on a Fandom webpage. It now appears that Fandom is stretching its wings and approaching pop culture media with open arms, literally.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
Halo developer reportedly abandoning custom Slipspace Engine for Unreal

It looks like Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries might be abandoning its custom Slipspace Engine for Unreal Engine.

This comes from journalist Jeremy Penter (thanks VGC), who wrote yesterday (October 2), "I can only confirm that many sources are saying this and very clear that it's already been decided and Halo is for sure switching to Unreal. I feel like it's time for other switches behind the scenes including people leaving and their past problems. Unreal is a great choice."

It's not uncommon for developers to switch engines if they find it isn't working particularly well, like when Kingdom Hearts 3 switched from Square Enix's quite at-the-time broken Luminous Engine to Unreal Engine 4. The awkward thing is that this engine was meant to power the future of the Halo series, which if the reports are true, clearly isn't something it will be doing.

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- Dom Peppiatt
The Callisto Protocol developer wants you to die as much as possible so you see all the "murder desserts"

Remember in Dead Space, if you messed up, you’d see your mentally deranged, long-suffering player avatar Isaac Clarke get impaled through the eye by a massive needle? Or fully decapitated by a horrible alien? Or sucked out into the vacuum of space without a helmet? It almost felt as if he were the plaything of a sadistic god; torturing him for the entertainment of an audience of PS3 and 360 players, safely tucked into a little nest on their sofas.

That level of sadism hasn’t gone away in Glen Schofield's – co-creator of Dead Space and its spiritual successor, The Callisto Protocol. In fact, it seems like he’s eager to get even more indiscriminately violent, this time. In an interview with Mark James, chief technical officer at Striking Distance and second-hand man to Schofield, I learned that The Callisto Protocol wants you to die. A lot. And it even rewards you for seeing all the gruesome ways your new interactive plaything, one Jacob Lee, can be offed.

“This is a hard game, you are going to die a lot,” says James. “But in dying, at least, we can give you a cool way to go.”

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- Oisin Kuhnke
The GBA's latest game is an unreleased Dune adaptation with a fresh lick of paint

A game that was previously meant to have been an official Dune adaptation that was ultimately cancelled has been released under a fresh name 20 years later.

You might have heard about the upcoming open-world survival MMO based on the Dune series that's slated for PC and current-gen consoles, but quite frankly it's got nothing on the unreleased GBA game Elland: The Crystal Wars. Oh, you haven't heard of Ellan? Well, there's a small chance you might have heard its original name, Dune: Ornithopter Assault (thanks PCGamer).

Elland, as it is now known, was meant to come out in 2002 from Hungarian developed Soft Brigade, who was supposed to be working on it with Cryo Interactive. The problem? Cryo Interactive declared bankruptcy, meaning Ornithopter Assault was unfortunately cancelled, even though it was basically finished.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
Sony wants to produce 2 million PS VR 2 units by March, still won't tell us how much it costs

Sony sounds like it's gearing up for the eventual release of the PS VR 2, as it plans to make two million units by March next year.

This comes from Bloomberg, who says that people familiar with the situation provided them this information. Mass production apparently began last month (September), and as of yet there hasn't been any supply chain issues. It's also noted that the production figure might change depending on the headset's sales momentum when it's released early next year, whenever that might be.

According to the report, Sony's roadmap for the PS VR 2 is predicting a much greater popularity than the original PS VR for the PS4. The company apparently hopes that big name titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain that draws on pre-established IP will bring players in, even with the general rise in living costs.

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- Kelsey Raynor
Beyond Good & Evil 2 is now officially the most delayed AAA game

There are some world records out there that none of us strive for; they just happen, and Beyond Good & Evil 2 becoming the most delayed AAA title of all time is one of them.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 was first announced in 2008, and has been in development ever since. This 14-year-long period of development has managed to overtake the previous record holder, Duke Nukem Forever, which finally released in 2011 after having been announced in 1997.

The original game, Beyond Good & Evil, launched in 2003 as a third-person action game. Coming from Michel Ancel, the mind behind the Rayman series, the game follows reporter and martial artist Jade as she attempts to uncover a sinister, ongoing alien plot.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
Multiple key members of Disco Elysium developer ZA/UM have left the company "involuntarily"

It appears that three members of Disco Elysium developer ZA/UM have "involuntarily" left the company.

This comes from a recent Medium post from Martin Luiga, co-founder and secretary of the ZA/UM cultural association. As a note: the post has announced that the ZA/UM cultural association has been dissolved. This association was an art collective, and was not directly responsible for development of the game, as ZA/UM the company still exists. In the post, Luiga also revealed that ZA/UM Studio founder and Disco Elysium designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and art director Aleksander Rostov haven't been at the company "since the end of last year."

Rostov later confirmed the news on his personal Twitter account writing, "We confirm that we are no longer at the studio," on behalf of himself, Kurvitz, and Hindpere. Luiga noted in the post that the "their leaving the company was involuntary," though didn't elaborate much in the post about why this took place.

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- Kelsey Raynor
Horizon Zero Dawn, another game less than 10 years old, is reportedly being remade for PS5

Recent reports have suggested that a remake of Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn is on its way, just five years after the original game was released.

The report comes from MP1st, who claim that “a source close to the situation” has declared that Horizon Zero Dawn is being remade for PS5. It’s not yet clear, according to MP1st, whether this will be a remake or remaster.

However, details were reportedly revealed that included an improved lighting system, overhauled textures, and enhanced animations. There’ll also supposedly be better character models to bring the title up to speed with its successor, Horizon Forbidden West.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
You can now buy Google Stadia's infamous and ironic GDC exhibit

Google Stadia is officially dead, and now you can buy the official exhibit items that paired the platform with notorious failures such as the Dreamcast and Nintendo Power Glove.

For some reason, back at the Games Developer Conference in 2019, Google decided to put on a small exhibit that featured the E.T. game for Atari, the Sega Dreamcast, and the Nintendo Power Glove. The exhibit was meant to tease the Stadia, Google's cloud-based platform, but the through line of these three icons of gaming is that they were all notable failures. And now, you can own these very items, with your money going towards The Video Game History Foundation!

As reported by Kotaku, VGHF founder Frank Cifaldi recently posted about these three items, as they were loaned to Google by the organisation. "Remember when Google Stadia had that GDC display where they sat it next to three of gaming history's most famous failures?" wrote Cifaldi.

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- Kelsey Raynor
Resident Evil 6 isn't a bad game and, 10 years on, I’m grateful for it (even if I don’t like it)

I used to tell people to never mention Resident Evil 5 or 6 in my presence. There wasn’t any real reason, other than the fact that I’d previously felt these games were one big letdown for the whole Resident Evil series. This sentiment is shared by many, but over time – and as of today, 10 years since it was first released – I’ve come to appreciate Resident Evil 6. Even if I can’t get into it.

I was a child when I first picked up a copy of Resident Evil 6 from a market stall down an alley in Yorkshire. It definitely wasn’t legitimate, but a younger version of myself was fascinated by the cover art (little did I know what everyone else thought of it at the time) and all the Resident Evil gameplay I’d grown up watching, thanks to my parents. I was, by some margin, too young to play Resident Evil 6, but my dad let me get a copy anyway, and I instead was allowed to watch him play it. Seems like a win-win for him, if you ask me.

Later down the line, I tried it for myself on Xbox One after having played Resident Evil 7 and more recently on Nintendo Switch – only to drop the game within the first couple of hours. I did this on more than one non-consecutive occasion, bouncing off the game within a few hours each time. The control scheme felt more awkward than ever before, and if I wanted to complete constant QTEs I’d rather play something from The Dark Pictures Anthology. For the most part, playing Resident Evil 6 felt like a chore.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
If No More Heroes 4 is to happen, there needs to be a "big fan outcry" says Suda51

No More Heroes 4 could happen, though series creator Suda51 says that fans would have to be really loud about it to get one.

While No More Heroes 3 was meant to be the last entry in the series, Suda51 hasn't necessarily ruled out another game somewhere down the road, though it sounds like it would be quite a long road if it ever did happen. The director recently spoke with GNN about the most recent game, asking if it's possible we'll see Travis Touchdown once more.

"Yes, that’s right, Heroes No More 3 is Travis’ last battle,” Suda said (translations via VGC). "Nobody could say what’s going to happen 10 years from now, and I can’t say either. If there’s a big fan outcry, Travis might be back. Just like Tom Cruise came back as Maverick."

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- Oisin Kuhnke
They made Ed Sheeran an anime boy in this new Pokémon music video

Ed Sheeran is back with another Pokémon collaboration, this time with a new song and a fun hybrid live-action animated music video.

If I had a nickel for everytime Ed Sheeran has collaborated with Pokémon, I'd only have two nickels, but it's weird that it happened twice. Last time the ginger singer-songwriter appeared in the world of pocket monsters was in the mobile game Pokémon Go, where he held a special performance. This time it's for a new song called Celestial, which for the most part sounds like your average Ed Sheeran song.

The music video itself doesn't have too much of a story, and mostly just shows Sheeran going round parts of Richmond Hill, apparently, interspersed with animated bits of your favourite gen one Pokémon causing chaos, like setting his house on fire, or a Snorlax causing a taxi to literally go flying off into the sky.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
There's another Returnal on PC leak, this time for the game's settings

Another day, another leak that strongly suggests that Returnal is coming to PC, this time revealing the game's PC settings, and also confirming Nvidia DLSS support.

There comes a point when something leaks so much that you'd assume an official reveal would just take place, regardless of the timeline. Not the case for Returnal, as a brand new leak is here, shared via a YouTube video in an icon-era forum post (thanks, PCGamesN). The video has been taken down now, but not before people could clock some of the settings in the video.

Settings apparently included things like shadows, lighting, ray tracing, as well as a "screen optimisations" toggle, all of which sounds pretty par for the course settings for a PC game. It was also spotted that the game has a Nvidia DLSS graphics option, which will require a Nvidia GeForce graphics card.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
The Finals is an explosive looking new shooter from former Battlefield devs

Embark Studios has revealed what looks to be its first game, The Finals, an absolutely chaotic looking first-person shooter.

Revealed earlier this week, The Finals is a squad-based, free-to-play multiplayer shooter with inspiration from films like last year's breakout hit Squid Game, and dystopian classic The Running Man. The first trailer gives off an impressive first look, with what looks to be completely destructible environments, and enemies that burst into coins when you take them down. And you can already sign up to take part in the game's playtest, though the closed alpha is only running until tomorrow, October 3.

According to the studio's creative director Gustav Tilleby, The Finals is "a hero builder, not a hero shooter," going on to say the team wants "to build a game that provides players with the tools to meaningfully interact, change, and use their world. So, this is a shooter; it’s a game where aiming and shooting is important. But it’s also a game where the players can use the environment, and adapt to changes in the environment" (thanks, Polygon).

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- Alex Donaldson
10 years on, Resident Evil 6’s giraffe fellatio remains unparalleled

Lots of pre-release video games suffer the fate of becoming the subject of memes. Assassin’s Creed has come under fire for melting NPC faces, and many a ‘visual downgrade’ has launched campaigns of know-it-all fans to drone on about despicable devs. But one of the funniest of all time is this week turning a decade old: Resident Evil 6’s logo.

The logo, of course, is quite innocuous in nature. Resident Evil is a game about viruses, and the logo is meant to resemble a virus under a microscope or whatever. I get it. I see it. But back in the run-up to Resident Evil’s release, people saw something else entirely.

They saw a giraffe, being fellated by a doubled-over figure. And now I’ve said it, even those of you who weren’t terminally online in 2012 probably see it too. The giraffe BJ logo cannot be unseen, like a debauched Rorschach test.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
Ubisoft opens sign-ups for its new co-op shooter Project U

Ubisoft has revealed a new co-op shooter currently titled Project U, and you can sign-up to playtest it now.

Details on this Project U are currently very vague, with the game's page saying that Ubisoft has "been exploring a new concept of session-based co-op shooter, where many players unite to prevail against an overwhelming threat!" You probably couldn't be less clear than that on pitching a game, considering that's an age old concept.

A piece of concept art has been shown off which you can see above, which is admittedly quite pretty, with the character designs having a toned-down Apex Legends vibe. The characters seem to be facing off against some kind of robot army, but aside from that we probably won't know more until Ubisoft shows off more (or someone leaks the closed test gameplay).

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- Oisin Kuhnke
Crystal Dynamics wants you to answer a survey about the Legacy of Kain series

Legacy of Kain could see some kind of return, as a recent survey from Crystal Dynamics is asking fans about the series.

Earlier this year, Square Enix sold off a number of its IPs and a few of its studios to Embracer Group, which included the rights to Legacy of Kain, as well as Crystal Dynamics. Of course, that led some fans to hope that this could mean some kind of revival for the series, as what better time is there than now? Well, Kain fans might be in luck, as Crystal Dynamics has released a survey (which you can fill in here) asking some questions that certainly make it seem like it's interested in bringing the series back.

The survey asks a variety of questions about the series, obviously, and if like me you haven't played the games but have heard of them, it does ask why you haven't. It also more vaguely asks you about vampire games as a whole, and what kind of features in vampire games you enjoy.

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- Oisin Kuhnke
PlayStation Stars apparently gives "priority" customer support to top members

PlayStation Stars has just launched in Asia, but some players are unhappy that top members are reportedly being given "priority" support.

First announced back in July, PlayStation Stars has now launched in Asia this week, with the confirmation that the loyalty program will come to North America and Europe in October. However, as reported by VGC, top members of the program are supposedly being given priority when it comes to customer support, which a number of players aren't happy with.

PlayStation Stars apparently has a four tier system that players can progress through by purchasing games and earning trophies. The fourth and highest tier requires you to buy four full-price games on the PlayStation and accrue 128 rare trophies. If a player manages to do this, they'll net a commemorative collectible, and according to Sony, "when contacting PlayStation Customer Support," tier four players "will be given priority in the chat order."

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- Stephany Nunneley
MultiVersus datamine suggests Mark Hamill's Joker may be coming to the game

Mark Hamill's Joker from Batman: The Animated Series will come to MultiVersus at some point, it seems.

That's according to voice lines found in a recent datamine of the game by Twitter user Laisul.

As you can hear, the voice lines seem to indicate Joker will be part of an announcer pack.

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- Stephany Nunneley
The Game Awards 2022 tickets go on sale in November

After a three year break, The Game Awards will once again open its doors to a live audience.

That's according to host and producer Geoff Keighly, who said as much on Twitter.

The Game Awards 2022 will be held on December 8 and takes place at the Microsoft Theater in LA. The festivities will kick off at 4.30pm PT, 7.30pm ET, and 12.30am UK.

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*BREAKING* FIFA 23 Best U21 Players: TOP young SUPERSTARS revealed

Ratings week is underway for FIFA 23, with the latest upgrades and downgrades being drip fed to us before the full database is revealed!

The top under-21s coming to the game has just been unveiled, letting you plan some future Career Mode signings.

Find out the Best U21s in FIFA 23 below.

Shop Now: The Latest Football Kit & Gear at Kitbag.com

PRE-ORDER NOW: FIFA 23 for PlayStation at Amazon

PRE-ORDER NOW: FIFA 23 for Xbox One / Series X|S at Amazon

PRE-ORDER NOW: FIFA 23 for PC at Amazon

Fantastic Futures

EA has just announced the players who have the highest ratings and are still 21 or under ahead of FIFA 23.

There are some incredible talents included, with massive ratings given to Pedri (85 OVR), Jude Bellingham (84 OVR) and Alphonso Davies (84 OVR).

We can't wait to sign some of these guys on our first Career Mode save, and a few of them will be great in Ultimate Team starter squads.

Check out the Top 25 Best U21s below:

Pedri (OVR 85) Jude Bellingham (OVR 84) Alphonso Davies (OVR 84) Florian Wirtz (OVR 82) Bukayo Saka (OVR 82) Jamal Musiala (OVR 81) Josko Gvardiol (OVR 81) Rodrygo (OVR 81) Nuno Mendes (OVR 80) Jurrien Timber (OVR 80) William Saliba (OVR 80) Jeremie Frimpong (OVR 80) Gavi (OVR 79) Ansu Fati (OVR 79) Yeremy Pino (OVR 79) Eduardo Camavinga (OVR 79) Goncalo Inacio (OVR 79) Ryan Gravenberch (OVR 79) Orkun Kokcu (OVR 79) Wesley Fofana (OVR 79) Dominik Szoboszlai (OVR 79) Piero Hincapie (OVR 78) Gabriel Martinelli (OVR 78) Charles De Ketelaere (OVR 78) Enzo Fernandez (OVR 78) Giorgi Mamardashvili (OVR 77) Top Picks

Of those 25 players, we think the highlights are:

Jude Bellingham (OVR 84)

With a massive upgrade handed to him, Jude Bellingham is a real powerhouse in midfield and will only get better.

Sure, Pedri has a better overall than him, but we know the Englishman is the player you'd prefer in your side.

Alphonso Davies (OVR 84)

We all know how good Alphonso Davies already is in the game that we often forget just how young he is.

The Bayern Munich man is the perfect meta left-back and will see so much play once again this year.

Josko Gvardiol (OVR 81)

Much sought after over the summer, RB Leipzig managed to keep hold of Josko Gvardiol after he excelled last season.

With great pace, physicality and defensive qualities, he is the ideal CB and will be used in many FUT starter squads and bought on loads of Career Modes.

Where to Watch Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund

The UEFA Champions League is back in action on Wednesday evening, with 18 of the 32 sides involved in the competition in action.

Manchester City are one of the sides in action, as the Group G favourites welcome Erling Haaland's former employers Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad Stadium.

If you're looking to follow the game live then you have come to the right place, as we have compiled a list of all of the broadcasters/streaming services for the UEFA Champions League match.

Will Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund be broadcast in the United Kingdom?

Yes. The Group G clash between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund will be shown live on BT Sport.

BT Sport holds exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League in the United Kingdom, and they will be broadcasting every single clash from the 2022/23 campaign live through their channels.

Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:00pm BST.

Will Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund be broadcast in the United States?

Yes! Those in the United States will be able to watch the match live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ will be offering coverage of a number of UEFA Champions League fixtures across the course of the 2022/23 campaign, including Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund Odds

Looking to have a flutter on the football? Here are the current full-time result odds for Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, September 14th.

All odds are accurate as of Wednesday, September 14th.

Manchester City - 1/6Draw - 13/2Borussia Dortmund - 14/1Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund Highlights

Be sure to head back following the full-time whistle on Wednesday to view all of the highlights from this UEFA Champions League clash.

Where to Watch Juventus vs Benfica

The UEFA Champions League is back in action on Wednesday evening, with 18 of the 32 sides involved in the competition in action.

Juventus are one of the sides in action, with the Serie A giants looing to open their account for the campaign as they welcome Benfica to Turin.

If you're looking to follow the game live then you have come to the right place, as we have compiled a list of all of the broadcasters/streaming services for the UEFA Champions League match.

Will Juventus vs Benfica be broadcast in the United Kingdom?

Yes. The Group H clash between Juventus and Benfica will be shown live on BT Sport.

BT Sport holds exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League in the United Kingdom, and they will be broadcasting every single clash from the 2022/23 campaign live through their channels.

Manchester City vs Borussia Dortmund will be broadcast live on BT Sport via the Red Button. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:00pm BST.

Will Juventus vs Benfica be broadcast in the United States?

Yes! Those in the United States will be able to watch the match live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ will be offering coverage of a number of UEFA Champions League fixtures across the course of the 2022/23 campaign, including Juventus vs Benfica.

Juventus vs Benfica Odds

Looking to have a flutter on the football? Here are the current full-time result odds for Juventus vs Benfica on Wednesday, September 14th.

All odds are accurate as of Wednesday, September 14th.

Juventus - 5/4Draw - 12/5Benfica - 21/10Juventus vs Benfica Highlights

Be sure to head back following the full-time whistle on Wednesday to view all of the highlights from this UEFA Champions League clash.

Where to Watch FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla

The UEFA Champions League is back in action on Wednesday evening, with 18 of the 32 sides involved in the competition in action.

Manchester City's Group G rivals Sevilla and Kobenhavn will come head-to-head at the Parken Stadium in Denmark. Both sides come into the clash off the back of heavy defeats on MD1.

If you're looking to follow the game live then you have come to the right place, as we have compiled a list of all of the broadcasters/streaming services for the UEFA Champions League match.

Will FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla be broadcast in the United Kingdom?

Yes. The Group G clash between FC Kobenhavn and Sevilla will be shown live on BT Sport.

BT Sport holds exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League in the United Kingdom, and they will be broadcasting every single clash from the 2022/23 campaign live through their channels.

FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla will be broadcast live on BT Sport via the Red Button. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:00pm BST.

Will FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla be broadcast in the United States?

Yes! Those in the United States will be able to watch the match live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ will be offering coverage of a number of UEFA Champions League fixtures across the course of the 2022/23 campaign, including FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla.

FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla Odds

Looking to have a flutter on the football? Here are the current full-time result odds for FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla on Wednesday, September 14th.

All odds are accurate as of Wednesday, September 14th.

FC Kobenhavn - 5/2Draw - 23/10Sevilla - 11/10FC Kobenhavn vs Sevilla Highlights

Be sure to head back following the full-time whistle on Wednesday to view all of the highlights from this UEFA Champions League clash.

FIFA 23: Vinicius Jr card REVEALED - The Ultimate FUT 23 forward

22-year-old Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr has established himself as one of the most threatening attacking players in European football.

Typical of his Brazilian predecessors, Vini always manages to get spectators off their seats with his dazzling skills and blistering speed.

EA has continued the Ratings reveals this week by confirming the Top 25 highest-rated players from the Spanish La Liga.

Following a breakthrough season last year, Vincius Jr has been handed a GIANT boost and an incredible card in FIFA 23.

Brazilian on FIRE

Vinicius Jr was simply outstanding during the 2021/22 campaign.

The left-winger tallied up 30 goals and assists in 35 La Liga appearances, having netted 17 goals and provided 13 assists.

The Brazilian also registered four goals and seven assists in Real Madrid's UEFA Champions League winning campaign, scoring the decider in the final.

Vini Jr's link-up with world-class number nine, Karim Benzema, propelled the Galacticos to success in both the Spanish La Liga and the Champions League.

When you add a fully fit Eden Hazard to that Real Madrid front line it's a scary prospect for defenders around Europe, to say the least.

The Ultimate FIFA 23 Forward

Given the level at which Vinicius performed last season, football fans were expecting a significant upgrade from his 80 OVR FIFA 22 card, and EA has delivered.

The Brazilian has been handed a GIANT +6 to his overall rating, taking him to an 86 OVR card in FIFA 23.

The winger boasts 95 pace and 90 dribbling, whilst his shooting and passing have been bumped up too.

The Brazilian has also retained his five-star skill moves and four-star weak foot, potentially making him the most complete FIFA 23 attacker in the game.

Vini could be the most overpowered forward in Ultimate Team, so, we expect him to be priced at 200,000-500,000 coins at the start of the game cycle.

La Liga Ratings Revealed

As expected, Real Madrid and Barcelona dominate the La Liga Top 25 in FIFA 23.

FIFA 23 La Liga Top 25:

Karim Benzema (OVR 91)Robert Lewandowski (OVR 91)Thibaut Courtois (OVR 90)Jan Oblak (OVR 89)Toni Kroos (OVR 88)Luka Modric (OVR 88)Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (OVR 88)Antonio Rudiger (OVR 87)Frenkie de Jong (OVR 87Vinicius Junior (OVR 86)Parejo (OVR 86)David Alaba (OVR 86)Gerard Moreno (OVR 85)Iago Asapas (OVR 85)Pedri (OVR 85)Jordi Alba (OVR 85)Memphis Depay (OVR 85)Nabil Fekir (OVR 85)Sergio Busquets (OVR 85)Yannick Carrasco (OVR 85)Marcos Acuna (OVR 85)Joao Felix (OVR 84)Jules Kounde (OVR 84)Oyazrabal (OVR 84)Federico Valverde (OVR 84)
Where to Watch Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig

The UEFA Champions League is back in action on Wednesday evening, with 18 of the 32 sides involved in the competition in action.

Real Madrid will be competing in their first home UEFA Champions League tie since winning the competition back in May. They welcome German outfit RB Leipzig to the Bernabeu.

If you're looking to follow the game live then you have come to the right place, as we have compiled a list of all of the broadcasters/streaming services for the UEFA Champions League match.

Will Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig be broadcast in the United Kingdom?

Yes. The Group F clash between Real Madrid and RB Leipzig will be shown live on BT Sport.

BT Sport holds exclusive rights to the UEFA Champions League in the United Kingdom, and they will be broadcasting every single clash from the 2022/23 campaign live through their channels.

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig will be broadcast live on BT Sport 4. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:00pm BST.

Will Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig be broadcast in the United States?

Yes! Those in the United States will be able to watch the match live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ will be offering coverage of a number of UEFA Champions League fixtures across the course of the 2022/23 campaign, including Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig.

Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Odds

Looking to have a flutter on the football? Here are the current full-time result odds for Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig on Wednesday, September 14th.

All odds are accurate as of Wednesday, September 14th.

Real Madrid - 8/15Draw - 7/2RB Leipzig - 9/2Real Madrid vs RB Leipzig Highlights

Be sure to head back following the full-time whistle on Wednesday to view all of the highlights from this UEFA Champions League clash.

Star Stable codes for Star Rider, clothes and more (October 2022)
Updated on: October 3, 2022 - new code added If you want the latest Star Stable codes to claim all sorts of goodies, including free Star Rider, costumes and treats for your beloved equine friend, then we've got you covered. This article will be home to all the latest redeem codes, so make sure to claim them as soon as possible because they're only available for a limited time.  ... [MORE]
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Updated on October 3, 2022 - Checked for new PGR codes Are you seeking the latest Punishing: Gray Raven codes? Then look no further, because we've got all the latest gift codes listed below, as well as how to redeem them. We're constantly updating this list, so make sure to check it often if you want to stay up-to-date with the latest gift codes released. Don't forget to take a peek at our PGR tier list too! It was just updated! ... [MORE]
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Updated on: October 3, 2022 - checked for new codes If you play regularly and are looking for Guardian Tales codes, your search ends here. We will share a list of all working Guardian Tales codes that you can use to claim free in-game rewards, such as gems, gold, stamina, EXP and much more. ... [MORE]
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Updated on: October 3, 2022 - checked for new codes In this post, we are going to share with you a list of all working The Legend of Neverland redeem codes. You can use these redeem codes to get free in-game rewards such as gold coins, crystals, chests, treasure boxes, potions and much more. ... [MORE]
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Updated on: October 3, 2022 - checked for new codes Descenders is a fast-paced, extreme biking game where you go downhill as you're free riding, drifting and otherwise making it to the finish line. There are lots of dangerous stunts that you can try out and intense moments as you move through the level. When it comes to your player, you can use codes to get cosmetics that your character wears to showcase your style or let your favorite teams know you support them. ... [MORE]
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Updated on: October 3, 2022 - new code added Are you looking for the latest working Cross Summoner R codes? If yes, then your search ends here. In this post, we will share a list of all the working Cross Summoner R codes that you can use to get free rewards such as summoning stones, bronze spirit, pulls and much more. ... [MORE]
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Omega Strikers tier list - Best Goalies and Forwards
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Updated on: October 3, 2022 - checked for new codes If you are looking for working codes for Infinite Magicraid, you have come to the right place. In this post, we will share a list of all the working codes that you can use to get free in-game rewards such as coins, diamonds and much more. ... [MORE]
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Updated on: October 3, 2022 - checked for new codes Magnum Quest is a popular idle RPG developed by Tuyoo Games. If you are an avid player and are looking for working Magnum Quest codes that you can use to claim free in-game rewards such as dragon scales, customise chests of lights, golden hammer, chest of gold and more, then you are in the right place. ... [MORE]
- Adam Bankhurst
Key Members of Disco Elysium Developer ZA/UM Have Left the Company In an 'Involuntary' Manner

According to Martin Luiga, an editor on ZA/UM's Disco Elysium, key members of the company, including lead writer and designer Robert Kurvitz, writer Helen Hindpere, and lead of art and design Aleksander Rostov, have left the company in an "involuntary" manner.

Luiga shared the update on Medium.com, saying that he, a "founding member and Secretary of the ZA/UM cultural association, as well as the assembler of most of the core team, am hereby dissolving the ZA/UM cultural association." Luiga also notes that these three core members had not been working at ZA/UM "since the end of last year and their leaving the company was involuntary." Furthermore, he says this would "seem like bad news for the loving fans that are waiting for the Disco sequel."

The ZA/UM cultural association is different from the studio ZA/UM that developed Disco Elysium, and Luiga says that he chose to dissolve the cultural organization as it "no longer represents the ethos it was founded on."

"People and ideas are meant to be eternal; organizations may well be temporary," Luiga continued. "I find that the organization was successful overall and most of the mistakes that were made were contingent, determined by the sociocultural conditions we were thrown into. I still encourage people to organize, and I would say that one of the qualities that the ZA/UM cultural organization sorely lacked was pretty much any formal structure. For a while, it was beautiful. My sincerest thanks to all that have rooted for us."

In the comments of the post, Luiga appears to place some of the blame for this situation on the investors of ZA/UM while also admitting Disco Elysium may not have happened without them in the first place.

"Imagine a kleptomaniac, if you will," Luiga said. "Only that instead of stealing, say, 'A Lolly pop,' they take pains to manipulate dozens of people to steal, in the end, from themselves, just because they happen to be very proficient in that kind of an operation. It's what they always do, really. One of them was the first guy to be convicted for investment fraud in Estonia. All the same, idk if we would have managed to get the initial investment without these people."

While this may not be the best news for those waiting on the sequel to Disco Elysium, Luiga wrote on Twitter that he believes "things with the sequel are actually sweet enough, you might even get it the way it was meant, it might take a shit ton of time but RPG fans are sorta accustomed to waiting, ain't they."

In our rare 10/10 review of Disco Elysium - The Final Cut, we said that it is a "unique blend of noir-detective fiction, traditional pen-and-paper RPGs, and a large helping of existentialist theory," and the Final Cut elevates the game from "an already phenomenal RPG to a true must-play masterpiece."

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

- Chris Reed
Video Game Release Dates: Biggest Games of 2022 and Beyond

We're in the thick of it, friends. The big games of the fall are coming fast and furiously in October. And now that we're through most of the big video game conventions, we have a pretty good idea about what major video games will be coming out in the last quarter of 2022 and beyond. The list below is divided by platform, and you can jump to your favorite one using the shortcuts below. We update it often, so come back anytime to see what's ahead. Whether you have a PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or PC, you have a lot of games to look forward to.

And if you're someone who likes to preorder games, you can click the buy link to make sure it arrives on launch day. You can also click the shortcuts below to hop to your system of choice.

Shortcuts

Jump to PlayStationJump to Nintendo SwitchJump to XboxJump to PC

Upcoming PS4 and PS5 Games

The fall gaming season might have kicked off in September, but we start getting into the thick of it in October. No franchise represents big fall games better than Call of Duty. This year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will undoubtedly be a major heavy-hitter this fall. This month, PlayStation owners can also look forward to Gotham Knights, A Plague Tale: Requiem, and more.

October 2022 - PS4 / PS5 Game Release DatesOverwatch 2 - October 4No More Heroes III - October 11 - Buy ItAsterigos: Curse of the Stars - October 11The Last Oricru - October 13Dragon Ball: The Breakers - October 14 - Buy ItNHL 23 - October 14 - Buy ItNickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway - October 14 - Buy ItPGA Tour 2K23 - October 14 - Buy ItGhostbusters: Spirits Unleashed - October 18 - Buy ItA Plague Tale: Requiem - October 18 - Buy ItWarhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef - October 20 - Buy ItGotham Knights - October 21 - Buy ItNew Tales from the Borderlands - October 21 - Buy ItSignalis - October 27Star Ocean: The Divine Force - October 27 - Buy ItCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - October 28 - Buy ItResident Evil Re:Verse - October 28November 2022 - PlayStation Game Release DatesWRC Generations - November 3 - Buy ItHumankind - November 4Sonic Frontiers - November 8 - Buy ItGod of War: Ragnarok - November 9 - Buy ItSaint Kotar - November 11 - Buy ItTactics Ogre Reborn - November 11 - Buy ItGoat Simulator 3 - November 17 - Buy ItDark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me - November 18 - Buy ItEvil West - November 22 - Buy ItJust Dance 2023 Edition - November 22 - Buy ItDecember 2022 - PlayStation Game Release DatesThe Calisto Protocol - December 2 - Buy ItMarvel's Midnight Suns - December 2 - Buy ItHello Neighbor 2 - December 6 - Buy ItJanuary 2023 - PlayStation Game Release DatesForspoken - January 24 - Buy ItDead Space - January 27February 2023 - PlayStation Game Release DatesDead Island 2 - February 3 - Buy ItHogwarts Legacy - February 10 - Buy ItTheatrhythm: Final Bar Line - February 16Wild Hearts - February 17Octopath Traveler II - February 24Destiny 2: Lightfall (expansion) - February 28Like a Dragon: Ishin - February 2023March 2023 - PlayStation Game Release DatesSkull and Bones - March 9 - Buy ItResident Evil 4 (PS5) - March 24Upcoming PS4 and PS5 Games - Release Date TBAAlan Wake 2 - 2023Aliens: Dark Descent - 2023American Arcadia - TBAAmong Us VR - TBAARC Raiders - 2022Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration - Holiday 2022Atlas Fallen - 2023Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora - 2023 - 2024Babylon's Fall - TBABlacktail - "This Winter"Crimson Desert - TBACrisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion - Winter 2022 - Buy ItDeathverse: Let it Die - 2022Demeo (PSVR2) - TBADiablo 4 - 2023Disney Speedstorm - TBADune: Awakening - TBAeFootball - Fall 2021Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes - 2023Eternights - Early 2023Exoprimal - 2023The Expanse: A Telltale Series - TBAFinal Fantasy XVI - Summer 2023Friends vs. Friends - TBAGigaBash - 2022Goodbye Volcano High - TBAGundam Evolution - 2022Hyenas - 2023Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game - Early 2023Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - 2023 - Buy ItLegend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie - 2023 - Buy ItLegend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails - 2023 - Buy ItLies of P - TBALike a Dragon 8 - 2024Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name - 2023Little Devil Inside - TBAThe Lord of the Rings: Gollum - TBA - Buy ItThe Lords of the Fallen - TBAMarvel's Spider-Man 2 - 2023Marvel's Wolverine - TBAMetal Hellsinger - 2022Moving Out 2 - 2023One Piece Odyssey - 2022Open Roads - 2022Pacific Drive - 2023Park Beyond - 2023Persona 3 Portable - TBAPersona 4 Golden - TBAPhantom Hellcat - TBAPragmata - 2023Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake - TBA - Buy ItRise of the Ronin - 2024Scars Above - TBASeason: A Letter to the Future - Autumn 2022Six Days in Fallujah - Q4 2022Star Trek: Resurgence - Spring 2022Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - 2023Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Remake - TBAStar Wars: Tales from the Galaxy's Edge Enhanced Edition (PSVR2) - 2023Steelrising - TBAStellar Blade - 2023Street Fighter 6 - 2023Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - Spring 2023Suikoden I&II HD Remaster Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars - 2023Synduality - 2023System Shock Remastered - TBATales of Symphonia Remastered - Early 2023 - Buy ItTchia - Spring 2022Tekken 8 - TBATexas Chainsaw Massacre - TBATortuga: A Pirate's Tale - TBAUnder the Waves - 2023Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - TBA - Buy ItVampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt - 2022Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 - TBAWe Are OFK - 2022

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Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games

Switch owners are getting a couple of big exclusives in October, with the strategy game Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope landing on October 20 and Bayonetta 3 arriving a week or so later. Plus, Persona 5 Royal finally lands on the system after years of rumors.

October 2022 - Nintendo Switch Game Release DatesOverwatch 2 - October 4Nier: Automata The End of YoRHa Edition - October 6 - Buy ItNo Man's Sky - October 7 - Buy ItDragon Ball: The Breakers - October 14 - Buy ItNickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway - October 14 - Buy ItSaint Kotar - October 14 - Buy ItA Plague Tale: Requiem (Cloud Version) - October 18Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope - October 20 - Buy ItWarhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef - October 20 - Buy ItNew Tales from the Borderlands - October 21 - Buy ItPersona 5 Royal - October 21Resident Evil Village (Cloud Version) - October 23Bayonetta 3 - October 28 - Buy ItFactorio - October 28November 2022 - Nintendo Switch Game Release DatesHarvestella - November 4 - Buy ItIt Takes Two - November 4Sifu - November 8Sonic Frontiers - November 8 - Buy ItTactics Ogre Reborn - November 11 - Buy ItPokemon Scarlet - November 18 - Buy ItPokemon Violet - November 18 - Buy ItJust Dance 2023 Edition - November 22 - Buy ItFront Mission 1st: Remake - November 2022December 2022 - Nintendo Switch Game Release DatesDragon Quest Treasures - December 9 - Buy ItCrisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion - December 13 - Buy ItJanuary 2023 - Nintendo Switch Game Release DatesFire Emblem Engage - January 20February 2023 - Nintendo Switch Game Release DatesTheatrhythm: Final Bar Line - February 16Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key - February 24Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe - February 24Octopath Traveler II - February 24Blanc - February 2023March 2023 - Nintendo Switch Release DatesFitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star - March 2023May 2023 - Nintendo Switch Release DatesThe Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - May 12 - Buy ItUpcoming Nintendo Switch Games - Release Date TBAAdvance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp - TBA - Buy ItAnonymous;Code - 2023Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration - Holiday 2022Bomb Rush Cyberfunk - Summer 2023Disney Illusion Island - 2023Disney Speedstorm - 2022Doraemon Story of Seasons Friend of the Great Kingdom - 2022Endless Dungeon - 2023Fae Farm - Spring 2023Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse - Early 2023Front Mission 2 Remake - 2023Front Mission 3 Remake - TBAFriends vs. Friends - TBAGetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon - 2022Hindsight - 2021Hogwarts Legacy - 2023 - Buy ItIb - Spring 2023Legend of Heroes: Trails to Azure - 2023 - Buy ItLegend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie - 2023 - Buy ItLegend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails - 2023 - Buy ItLEGO Bricktales - Fall 2022Life is Strange: Remastered Collection - TBALittle Devil Inside - TBAThe Lord of the Rings: Gollum - TBA - Buy ItLorelei and the Laser Eyes - 2023Marvel's Midnight Suns - TBAMaster Detective Archives: Raincode - Spring 2023Megaman Battle Network Legacy Collection - 2023Metal Slug Tactics - 2022Minecraft Legends - 2023Monster Hunter Rise - Sunbreak (DLC) - Summer 2022Moving Out 2 - 2023Oddballers - early 2023The Outer Wilds - TBAOxenfree 2: Lost Signals - 2022Park Beyond - 2023Persona 4 Golden - TBAPersona 3 Portable - TBAPikmin 4 - 2023Portal: Companion Collection - 2022RAILGRADE - Fall 2022Resident Evil 2 (Cloud) - 2022Resident Evil 3 (Cloud) - 2022Resident Evil 7 (Cloud) - 2022Rune Factory 3 Special - 2023SD Gundam Battle Alliance - 2022Sea of Stars - 2023Skul: The Hero Slayer - TBASpongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake - 2023Star Wars: Hunters - 2022Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life - Summer 2023Suikoden I&II HD Remaster Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars - 2023Super Bomberman R2 - 2023Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival - 2022Tales of Symphonia Remastered - Early 2023 - Buy ItVampire: The Masquerade Swansong - 2022 - Buy ItWinter's Wish: Spirits of Edo - 2023 - Buy It

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Upcoming Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One Games

Xbox owners won't have to look hard to find exciting new games to play in October. Gotham Knights looks like a great way to return to the DC universe, even if Batman is dead in the game's storyline. Scorn looks like a gross and spooky game to play before Halloween. And Overwatch 2 is the free-to-play hero shooter many fans have been waiting for.

October 2022 Xbox Game Release DatesOverwatch 2 - October 4No More Heroes 3 - October 11 - Buy ItAsterigos: Curse of the Stars - October 11The Last Oricru - October 13Dragon Ball: The Breakers - October 14 - Buy ItNHL 23 - October 14 - Buy ItNickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway - October 14 - Buy ItPGA Tour 2K23 - October 14 - Buy ItScorn - October 14Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed - October 18 - Buy ItA Plague Tale: Requiem - October 18 - Buy ItWarhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef - October 20Gotham Knights - October 21 - Buy ItNew Tales from the Borderlands - October 21 - Buy ItPersona 5 Royal - October 21Signalis - October 27Star Ocean: The Divine Force - October 27 - Buy ItCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - October 28 - Buy ItGunfire Reborn - October 2022November 2022 Xbox Game Release DatesWRC Generations - November 3 - Buy ItHumankind - November 4Sonic Frontiers - November 8 - Buy ItSaint Kotar - November 11 - Buy ItPentiment - November 15Goat Simulator 3 - November 17 - Buy ItDark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me - November 18 - Buy ItEvil West - November 22 - Buy ItJust Dance 2023 Edition - November 22 - Buy ItFlight Simulator 40th Anniversary - November 2022December 2022 - Xbox Game Release DatesThe Callisto Protocol - December 2 - Buy ItMarvel's Midnight Suns - December 2 - Buy ItHello Neighbor 2 - December 6 - Buy ItHigh on Life - December 13January 2023 - Xbox Game Release DatesDead Space - January 27February 2023 - Xbox Game Release DatesDead Island 2 - February 3 - Buy ItHogwarts Legacy - February 10 - Buy ItWild Hearts - February 17Destiny 2: Lightfall (expansion) - February 28Like a Dragon: Ishin - February 2023March 2023 - Xbox Game Release DatesSkull and Bones - March 9 - Buy ItResident Evil 4 (Series X|S) - March 24Upcoming Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One Games - Release Date TBAAlan Wake 2 - 2023Aliens: Dark Descent - 2023American Arcadia - TBAAncestors: The Humankind Odyssey - TBAARC Raiders - 2022Ark 2 - 2023Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration - Holiday 2022Atlas Fallen - 2023Atomic Heart - TBAAvatar: Frontiers of Pandora - 2023 - 2024Avowed - TBABlacktail - "This Winter"BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle - Spring 2023Bright Memory Infinite - TBACocoon - 2023Contraband - TBACrimson Desert - TBACrisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion - Winter 2022 - Buy ItDiablo 4 - 2023Disney Speedstorm - TBADune: Awakening - TBAEiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes - 2023Ereban: Shadow Legacy - 2023Everwild - TBAExoMecha - TBAExoprimal - 2023The Expanse: A Telltale Series - TBAFable - TBAFlintlock: The Siege of Dawn - early 2023Forza Motorsport - Spring 2023Friends vs. Friends - TBAGuilty Gear Strive - Spring 2023Hollow Knight: Silksong - TBAHyenas - 2023Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game - Early 2023The Last Case of Benedict Fox - spring 2023Lies of P - TBALightyear Frontier - spring 2023Like a Dragon 8 - 2024Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name - 2023Little Devil Inside - TBAThe Lord of the Rings: Gollum - TBA - Buy ItThe Lords of the Fallen - TBAMetal Hellsinger - 2022Minecraft Legends - 2023Moving Out 2 - 2023One Piece Odyssey - 2022The Outer Worlds 2 - TBAPark Beyond - 2023Party Animals - 2022Perfect Dark - TBAPersona 3 Portable - TBAPersona 4 Golden - TBAPhantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis - TBAPhantom Hellcat - TBAPlanet of Lana - 2022Pragmata - 2023Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake - TBA - Buy ItRavenlok - 2023Redfall - 2023Replaced - TBAResident Evil Re:Verse - 2022Routine - TBAScars Above - TBASecond Extinction - TBASenua's Saga: Hellblade II - TBASix Days in Fallujah - Q4 2022Slime Rancher 2 - 2022Somerville - 2022STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl - 2023 - Buy ItStar Trek: Resurgence - Spring 2022Star Wars Jedi: Survivor - 2023Starfield - First half 2023State of Decay 3 - TBASteelrising - TBAStreet Fighter 6 - 2023Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - Spring 2023Suikoden I&II HD Remaster Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars - 2023Synduality - 2023System Shock Remastered - TBATales of Symphonia Remastered - Early 2023 - Buy ItTekken 8 - TBATexas Chainsaw Massacre - TBATortuga: A Pirate's Tale - TBAUnder the Waves - 2023Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - TBA - Buy ItWarhammer 40,000: Darktide - Early 2023Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 - TBAWo Long: Fallen Dynasty - early 2023

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Upcoming PC Games

Overwatch 2 lands on PC and consoles on October 4, but PC gamers have plenty else to look forward to in October. Sports fans get NHL 23 on the 14th. PlayStation abstainers can finally play Uncharted 4 and the Lost Legacy spinoff when the Legacy of Thieves collection arrives on October 19.

October 2022 - PC Game Release DatesOverwatch 2 - October 4Asterigos: Curse of the Stars - October 11PC Building Simulator 2 - October 12The Last Oricru - October 13Triangle Strategy - October 13Dragon Ball: The Breakers - October 14NHL 23 - October 14Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway - October 14PGA Tour 2K23 - October 14Scorn - October 14Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed - October 18A Plague Tale: Requiem - October 18Marvel Snap - October 18Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection - October 19Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef - October 20Gotham Knights - October 21New Tales from the Borderlands - October 21Persona 5 Royal - October 21Sackboy: A Big Adventure - October 27Signalis - October 27Star Ocean: The Divine Force - October 27Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - October 28Gunfire Reborn - October 2022Marauders (early access) - October 2022Stranded: Alien Dawn (early access) - October 2022November 2022 - PC Game Release DatesHarvestella - November 4 - Buy ItSonic Frontiers - November 8Tactics Ogre Reborn - November 11Valkyrie Elysium - November 11Company of Heroes 3 - November 13 - Buy ItPentiment - November 15Goat Simulator 3 - November 17Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me - November 18Evil West - November 22Warhammer 40,000: Darktide - November 30Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary - November 2022December 2022 - PC Game Release DatesThe Callisto Protocol - December 2 - Buy ItMarvel's Midnight Suns - December 2Hello Neighbor 2 - December 6High on Life - December 13January 2023 - PC Game Release DatesForspoken - January 24Dead Space - January 27February 2023 - PC Game Release DatesDead Island 2 - February 3Hogwarts Legacy - February 10Wild Hearts - February 17Octopath Traveler II - February 24Destiny 2: Lightfall (expansion) - February 28Like a Dragon: Ishin - February 2023March 2023 - PC Game Release DatesSkull and Bones - March 9Resident Evil 4 - March 24Upcoming PC Games - Release Date TBAAlan Wake 2 - 2023Aliens: Dark Descent - 2023American Arcadia - TBAAmong Us VR - TBAAnonymous;Code - 2023ARA: History Untold - TBAARC Raiders - 2022Ark 2 - 2023Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration - Holiday 2022Atlas Fallen - 2023Atomic Heart - TBAAvatar: Frontiers of Pandora - 2023 - 2024Avowed - TBABabylon's Fall - TBABlacktail - "This Winter"Bomb Rush Cyberfunk - Summer 2023Bright Memory Infinite - TBAThe Call of the Wild: The Angler - TBACocoon - 2023Contraband - TBACrimson Desert - TBACrisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion - Winter 2022Diablo 4 - 2023Disney Speedstorm - TBADune: Awakening - TBAEiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes - 2023Ereban: Shadow Legacy - 2023Everwild - TBAExoMecha - TBAExoprimal - 2023The Expanse: A Telltale Series - TBAFable - TBAThe Finals - TBAFlintlock: The Siege of Dawn - early 2023Fort Solis - TBAForza Motorsport - Spring 2023Friends vs. Friends - TBAGigaBash - 2022Goodbye Volcano High - TBAHollow Knight: Silksong - TBAHomeworld 3 - 1st half 2023Hyenas - 2023Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The Game - Early 2023The Last Case of Benedict Fox - spring 2023Lies of P - TBALightyear Frontier - spring 2023Like a Dragon 8 - 2024Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name - 2023The Lord of the Rings: Gollum - TBAThe Lords of the Fallen - TBAMegaman Battle Network Legacy Collection - 2023Metal Hellsinger - 2022Minecraft Legends - 2023Moving Out 2 - 2023Nightingale - 2022One Piece Odyssey - 2022The Outer Worlds 2 - TBAThe Outlast Trials - TBAPerfect Dark - TBAPersona 3 Portable - TBAPhantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis - TBAPhantom Hellcat - TBAPlanet of Lana - 2022Pragmata - 2023Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake - TBA - Buy ItRavenlok - 2023Redfall - 2023Routine - TBAScars Above - TBASea of Stars - 2023Season - TBASecond Extinction - TBASenua's Saga: Hellblade II - TBAShovel Knight Showdown - TBASix Days in Fallujah - Q4 2022Somerville - 2022Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Fall 2022STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl - 2023 - Buy ItStar Wars Jedi: Survivor - 2023Starfield - First half 2023State of Decay 3 - TBASteelrising - TBAStormgate - TBAStar Trek: Resurgence - TBAStreet Fighter 6 - 2023Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League - Spring 2023Suikoden I&II HD Remaster Gate Rune and Dunan Unification Wars - 2023Synced: Off-Planet - 2022Synduality - 2023System Shock Remastered - TBA - Buy ItTchia - TBATekken 8 - TBATexas Chainsaw Massacre - TBAThirsty Suitors - TBATortuga: A Pirate's Tale - TBATron Identity - 2023Under the Waves - 2023Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 - TBA - Buy ItWarhammer 40,000: Space Marine 2 - TBAWhere Winds Meet - TBAWo Long: Fallen Dynasty - early 2023

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For more release date fun, check out our ongoing list of 4K UHD and Blu-ray release dates.

Chris Reed is IGN's shopping and commerce editor. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.

- Adam Bankhurst
Activision Blizzard Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend Has Stepped Down

Activision Blizzard chief compliance officer Frances Townsend, who was previously criticized for her actions following the news of the company's sexual harassment lawsuit, has stepped down from her role at the company and will now serve as an adviser to the board and to CEO Bobby Kotick.

As reported by Bloomberg, Townsend has chosen to step down prior to the $68.7 billion deal that, if it goes through, will see Microsoft acquire Activision Blizzard and its many iconic franchises, including Call of Duty, Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo, and more.

As previously mentioned, Townsend was criticized by Activision Blizzard employees and others for her actions following the public announcement of the lawsuit filed against Activision Blizzard over allegations of a "frat boy culture" and sexual harassment.

After the news of the lawsuit broke, Townsend called the allegations "distorted" and "false." While she said her statement was made "following "legal counsel's guidance on language, and that the end result no longer sounded much like her voice," she then would tweet a link to an article titled "The Problem With Whistleblowing" on her personal social media account. After these events, Townsend stepped down as an executive sponsor of the ABK Women's Network.

Prior to her decision to leave, Townsend also served as the executive vice president of corporate affairs for two years.

“Fran did a truly exceptional job—actually four jobs—with continuously increasing responsibilities and the most exemplary work ethic,” Kotick wrote in an email shared with Bloomberg News. “Fran also has done an extraordinary job enhancing the strong governance and compliance programs we have throughout the Company.”

Jen Brewer, Activision Blizzard's senior vice president of ethics and compliance, will fill Townsend's role alongside Luci Altman, the senior vice president of corporate governance.

Before Activision Blizzard, Townsend was a counter-terrorism adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush's White House and a general council for MacAndrews & Forbes.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

- Adam Bankhurst
Vampire Survivors Is Once Again the Most-Played Steam Deck Game in September 2022

For the second month in a row, Vampire Survivors has risen above the likes of Elden Ring, Cyberpunk 2077, and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered to become the most-played Steam Deck game in September 2022.

Valve shared the news on Twitter, confirming that Vampire Survivors, which is set to get its v1.0 update on October 20, was the most-played game in terms of total hours played. While we weren't given an exact number, we do know that it held off the behemoth that is Elden Ring to take the top spot.

Behind those two games, in order, were Stardew Valley, Cyberpunk 2077, Hades, No Man's Sky, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered, Cult of the Lamb, and Disney Dreamlight Valley.

When compared to August, some of the newcomers to the list include Cyberpunk 2077 and Disney Dreamlight Valley. Cyberpunk 2077 has seen a bit of a resurgence as of late following the release of Netflix's Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime, news of its first major expansion, and multiple updates that have been released for the game.

CD Projekt recently revealed Cyberpunk 2077 had at least one million people playing the game during the week of September 22 and total sales of the game have surpassed 20 million. All of these details help reveal why it placed fourth on this Steam Deck list.

Disney Dreamlight Valley entered Early Access in September and has been fairly well received by critics and fans. In our 8/10 review, we said that it is "an awesome life simulator that flexes its iconic characters to riveting, satisfying effect." That Disney magic, alongside cross-progression support, helped it make the top 10 list of most-played Steam Deck games for the month.

For more, check out our list of the best Steam Deck games and our chat with Valve about the most burning questions we had about the Steam Deck seven months after its release.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

- Matt Kim
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Codex Entries Revealed By BioWare

BioWare has shared several codex entries from the upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf as part of its ongoing developer diaries for the next fantasy RPG.

In a new blog, Bioware has shared a few codex excerpts from the upcoming Dragon Age: Dreadwolf as well as an interview with two members of the game’s narrative team, narrative editor Ryan Cormier and senior writer Sylvia Feketekuty.

The first entry is about the Necropolis from an unnamed character’s diary. While the text cites Brother Genitivi from Dragon Age Origins and Nevarra from Dragon Age: Inquisition, the codex entry is meant to set the scene for what players might expect from the next Dragon Age.

We also get some insight into what the process is like for writing the next Dragon Age game. According to Feketekuty, “Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has been a balance of providing answers to long-standing questions for veteran fans while making a game that new players, or someone who only played [Inquisition] years ago, can also get into.”

Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will return to Thesdas where players will run into familiar friends and places.

While we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see more of Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, the codex entries should paint some picture of what to expect from the game’s lore. These will be presented “in-world” through notes, letters, books in Dreadwolf to add layers to the RPG for players who want them.

There’s still no release date for Dragon Age: Dreadwolf, but alongside the new Mass Effect, BioWare is returning to the two pillar franchises beloved by fans.

Matt T.M. Kim is IGN's News Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.

- Ryan Leston
Ubisoft, Bungie, and Others Working on Stadia Game Save Transfers

Ubisoft, Bungie, and others are working on letting players transfer Google Stadia saves.

After the unexpected shutdown of Google Stadia, developers from across the industry are trying to help players by allowing them to transfer game saves to other platforms.

“While Stadia will shut down on January 18, 2023, we're happy to share that we're working to bring the games you own on Stadia to PC through Ubisoft Connect,” said Ubisoft. “We'll have more to share regarding specific details as well as the impact for Ubisoft+ subscribers at a later date.”

While Stadia will shut down on January 18, 2023, we're happy to share that we're working to bring the games you own on Stadia to PC through Ubisoft Connect. We'll have more to share regarding specific details as well as the impact for Ubisoft+ subscribers at a later date.

— Ubisoft Support (@UbisoftSupport) September 30, 2022

Google Stadia unexpectedly announced yesterday that it’s shutting down on January 18, 2023. Additionally, Google will be refunding all hardware and game purchases made through the service.

“We're grateful to the dedicated Stadia players that have been with us from the start,” said Google. “We will be refunding all Stadia hardware purchases made through the Google Store, and all game and add-on content purchases made through the Stadia Store.”

The video game streaming service didn’t exactly prove popular among gamers, but with players putting in hundreds or even thousands of hours into their favorite games on the platform, developers are keen not to leave them hung out to dry.

“We just learned about Stadia shutting down and have begun conversations about next steps for our players,” said Destiny 2 developers, Bungie. “We will announce and send out information regarding Destiny 2 Stadia accounts once we have a plan of action.”

Bungie has "begun conversations about next steps" for #Destiny2 players on Google Stadia. Stay tuned for more updates. pic.twitter.com/3f8aGgtQOM

— Destiny Bulletin (@DestinyBulletn) September 29, 2022

Hitman developer IO Interactive is also working on a solution for its players.

“To all our HITMAN fans on Google Stadia,” they said. “We hear you - we are looking into ways for you to continue your HITMAN experience on other platforms.”

To all our HITMAN fans on Google Stadia.

We hear you - we are looking into ways for you to continue your HITMAN experience on other platforms. pic.twitter.com/7VZsDQAMkC

— IO Interactive (@IOInteractive) September 30, 2022

The quick response of developers to this unexpected issue sure is commendable, but will likely mean additional development time to implement a solution. Whether or not this has a knock-on effect on any of their upcoming updates or DLCs remains to be seen.

Still, it’s a lovely response that might just help Stadia players not lose countless hours of playtime in their favorite games.

Want to read more about Google Stadia? Check out Google’s test, launching streaming games direct from the search results, and find out how much Google paid to get Red Redemption 2 on the Stadia.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

- JMBurge$$
FIFA 23 Review

FIFA is dead; long live FIFA. EA’s football simulation behemoth has returned for one last hurrah after a nasty public divorce with its licensor, calling itself ‘The World’s Game’ ahead of a painful name change to EA Sports FC, coming next year. But the tagline transcends its bittersweet pomp because, for all intents and purposes, FIFA 23 fittingly does feel like the same game the world has been playing for the past few years, with its reliable end-to-end gameplay and familiar frustrations.

Even at the end of an era, FIFA 23 marks another year of careful attrition from EA, as several tactical and aesthetic revisions supplement its sturdy gameplay blueprint. Yet it’s also an entry that feels both propped up and consumed by its Ragnarok status, begrudgingly pulling down a ruby-red final curtain as the football game genre descends into a maelstrom of chaos.

Theatrical additions to gameplay, like the ferocious Power Shots, ensure that the FIFA name goes out with a bang rather than a whimper. Holding the bumpers and pressing shoot turns your striker into a raid boss with an interruptible attack, the camera pulling focus as they leather the ball, sending bootstrap shockwaves booming through the PS5’s controller speaker. If you get the angle wrong, FIFA 23’s newly improved acrobatic goalkeepers might be able to stop it with their individually simulated fingers, which have saved my bacon on a few occasions.

This meta-shaking type of shot teases out the halcyon days early 2010s FIFA.

Get it right, though, and if the forward has enough space, it’s likely to end up in the back of the net, regardless of how far out you are. This meta-shaking type of shot teases out the halcyon days of Francesco Totti hit-and-hope long shots seen in early 2010s FIFA, but don’t worry; online multiplayer is still plagued with speedy wingers passing it across the box on the break. Why try and have fun, eh?

While it can’t escape the series’ perennial problem of being over-reliant on pacey players entirely, FIFA 23 does reward careful execution across the board. My fingers hurt from pulling the triggers to jockey dangerous counter-attacks, and the intensity of a pass has to be fine-tuned, which is hard to master but satisfying when you place the perfect through ball. Rogue tackles will also leave you wide open, as holding down the associated buttons for too long can lead to a dangerous, crunching commitment that sometimes pays off – but, more often than not, it leads to a nail-biting penalty. This turns tackling with the last man back into a risky but inherently thrilling endeavour.

This turns tackling with the last man back into a risky but inherently thrilling endeavour. 

These changes make FIFA 23 a much slower game than FIFA 22, but the tradeoff is that matches are consistently meaningful. There’s an abundance of drama in each half, usually multiple goals per match across single-player and online, and very few 0-0 draws. Keeping with the theatrics, any goal worth its salt will also result in a victory lap slow-motion replay with overlaid statistics, guaranteeing that hard drives and social feeds the world over will be clogged with viral-friendly goal clips by year’s end. Set Pieces are similarly convincing, affording you more control over the curl and power of your corners and free kicks. It took some time, but the free kicks grew on me eventually, as they’re far more intricate and preferable to the chaotic stick-pulling of previous years. Likewise, Penalty shootouts play out like an intense rhythm game, one in the hands of the gods.

FIFA 23 also includes a visual upgrade – though it’s far more iterative and gradual than last year’s leap to PS5 and Series X – focusing this time on scuff-happy grass and bouncy hairdos. It’s primarily seen in player animations on the pitch rather than actual faces, which still vary wildly in quality between cover stars, regular players, and the cultish crowd. Defenders will poke their leg around the back of a player they’re jockeying, and keepers react convincingly when they don’t have vision, diving to the floor as a defender blocks or stumbling backwards to swat a deflected ball.

The exhausting match commentary is back with a vengeance, but after hearing “he dispatched it with aplomb” one too many times, I was giddily reminded that this year you can turn it all off and attempt to undo the years of psychic damage from all the negging about your play style. This lets you pump in the typically dazzling soundtrack, which offers Bad Bunny bangers and underground earworms from DOSS and Cryalot. There’s something about slotting away a Bruno Guimarães assist while listening to pounding German Drill that makes grinding out a lousy Career Mode season much more palatable.

The microtransaction-ridden Ultimate Team is flush with additions.

Beyond the moment-to-moment gameplay, FIFA 23 predictably focuses its changes on the mode that makes EA the most money. The microtransaction-ridden Ultimate Team is flush with additions, but Career Mode and Volta Football barely get a look-in, which says much about EA’s long-standing attitude to these modes, especially in this supposedly ornamental final FIFA-branded entry. It’s the same gripe we have with Madden NFL 23 and NBA 2K23: despite how much we hate how they tilt the playing field in favor of whoever pays the most, enough people are playing and spending on it that EA just keeps doubling down on it instead of the fair and balanced modes we enjoy more.

What We Said About FIFA 22

FIFA 22 heralds the next generation of virtual football, and while it doesn’t reinvent the ball, the attacking and defending gameplay gains moment-to-moment fluidity. Goalkeeping blunders and visual inconsistencies aside, this year’s FIFA is still one of the most nuanced and enjoyable multiplayer sports games on the market, and new additions across Career Mode and Volta Football have made FIFA’s major modes more fun to play. Microtransactions still loom large, but small iterative changes and the horsepower of new-gen consoles combine to make FIFA 22 feel like a worthwhile upgrade without needing anything revolutionary or terribly exciting from EA’s side. – Jordan Oloman, September 27, 2021

Score: 7

Read the full FIFA 22 review

Player Career has a new personality system that lets you, in most dramatic air quotes, roleplay as your chosen footballer. For me, this amounted to receiving 25 ‘Maverick Points’ for purchasing a ‘High-end Hybrid Mattress’ for a Serbian striker in the K-League, so you can imagine how long I stuck with that.

You can now choose a real manager (or Ted Lasso).

You can now choose a real manager (or Ted Lasso, however real you consider him to be) to play as in Manager Career too, but unless you want to cosplay as a mute Jason Sudekis, or dress Eddie Howe in a lovely sweater vest, there’s not much to do beyond gawp at the awkward cutscenes. The time spent importing AFC Richmond for its brief novelty value could have easily been better used on, for example, implementing Women’s Club Football into Career Mode, but that’s still not included. It’s a shame because the women’s game is such a compelling example of the power of EA’s HyperMotion motion-capture technology, offering authentic animations that dial up the immersive tension.

This year, Volta Football and Pro Clubs have been folded into one neat section, and they coincidentally both suffer from similar problems. As we know, hell is other people, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Pro Clubs, where drop-in games are brimming with wingers who overwhelm the AI with ludicrous calls to pass the ball. It’s fun to develop your create-a-pro into a Shrek-adjacent goal monster with a closet full of silly hats, but when your progression is tied to your in-game rating, you’re incentivised to perform dispossessing skill move runs that even Saint-Maximin wouldn’t bother with.

It seems EA listened to my cries for an enhanced Volta Arcade, so I take full credit.

Unfortunately, FIFA’s street football vehicle, Volta, suffers a similar fate, epitomised by the new ‘Take Flight’ Signature Ability that turns you into an aerial maestro. Because the power relies upon crossing and teamwork, most just pick Power Strike and haphazardly smack the ball after a glory-seeking run. The good news is that it seems EA listened to my cries for an enhanced Volta Arcade, so I take full credit for the fact that it has now been expanded into a moreish battle royale mode of silly minigames and obstacle courses that evoke the best parts of Fall Guys. I still think it’s criminal that it’s only available on weekends, though.

Quelle surprise, Ultimate Team has received the most attention, and the team training mode I’ve long been looking for has arrived in the form of FUT Moments. Moments offers bite-size pockets of FIFA gameplay in the form of rewarding challenges designed to test your shape and figure out how different cards work together. It’s early doors, but there’s tantalising scope to chronicle player careers and recreate immortal moments of football history with this mode. The current selection features highlights from the golden years of Jurgen Klopp and Kylian Mbappe, but in next year’s game, it’d be awesome to see what EA’s team can do with other footballing legends like Pelé and ‘King’ Kazuyoshi Miura.

Elsewhere, there are sweeping changes to the chemistry system. Chemistry is no longer affected by a player’s position in the formation relative to other players, a change that enables greater diversity across leagues and nations. I don’t think it will change anyone’s strategy too much, but it’s nice knowing that you can throw in wildcard players and have more ways to connect them to top-division players. Trying to find the perfect midfielder to hit that coveted ‘33’ chemistry feels very much like a Squad Building Challenge now, which feels intentional. Squad Building Challenges are still a fine way to lose a few hours doing frankly nothing, but EA’s ‘sudoku for football nerds’ is best played on the companion app, away from Ultimate Team’s sluggish console menus.

Trying to find the perfect midfielder to hit that coveted ‘33’ chemistry feels very much like a Squad Building Challenge.

In a dark portent of the football game licensing wars to come, FIFA has lost the J1 League license this year, which meant no more King Kazu. Instead, this caused a pivot to an exciting Bronze and Silver Australian A League team, featuring the feared strike force of Hibs winger Martin Boyle and the aptly named David Ball. Much like last year, my underdog team caused a few rage quits from opponents with million-coin ensembles, exposing Ultimate Team as a gilded farce. I still felt the deep shame of a double-digit thrashing when the pros found me out, though. When more people started rolling in, I quickly noticed that playing three at the back is a quick route to a 3-0 deficit if the opponent’s wingers have any modicum of pace (as they usually do). Overall, it's par for the course as far as the online multiplayer is concerned, with fidgety twitching and emotions on high across the board; it’s the FIFA we know, at its very frustrating best.

Regardless, Ultimate Team’s bread and butter of buying and selling silly little guys is still impossible to recommend. Even if I still have a bit of fun with it every year without paying, it’s the barbarous nature in which you can quickly be pulled into debt by going full Gollum with one last precious player pack. Beyond consolidating the transfer markets, there have been no meaningful changes to EA’s morally questionable approach to microtransactions, but I did notice that ratings now trickle upwards during the glitzy reveal, which somehow makes it feel even more like a one-armed bandit…

Microtransaction Reaction

Despite consistent pressure from regulators, pay-to-win microtransactions are, unfortunately, still a problem in FIFA 23. Loot boxes appear in the form of player-filled card packs inside FIFA’s popular Ultimate Team mode. You can purchase FIFA Points in bundles, starting at £0.79 for 100 FIFA Points and rising to a staggering £79.99 for 12,000 FIFA Points. A Premium Gold Pack costs 150 FIFA Points and contains 12 gold-rated players or consumables that can be used in-game or sold on the transfer market.

As for the company’s policy, EA told Eurogamer that FUT Lootboxes “are a part of FIFA that players love,” and that “giving players the choice to spend if they want to is fair.” It has no plans to alter its approach to “surprise mechanics” unless laws are passed that force it to. It doesn’t make the situation any better, but it’s worth noting that because of some of those laws you can now set weekly limits on FIFA Points spending and pack opening within Ultimate Team, and see the probability of receiving a highly rated player before opening a pack. FIFA 23 also features time-limited Preview Packs where you can check what is inside a pack before you choose to buy it, but this currently only works for a single card pack that refreshes once per day.

- George Yang
The Callisto Protocol's Latest Trailer Reveals The Boys' Karen Fukuhara

The latest trailer for The Callisto Protocol, dubbed “The Truth of Back Iron,” features Japanese-American actress Karen Fukuhara as Dani Nakamura. Fukuhara’s most notable roles include Kimiko in The Boys and Katana in Suicide Squad.

In the new trailer, protagonist Jacob Lee explores the Black Iron Prison on Jupiter’s moon, Calisto. He finds it crawling with disgusting creatures that can evolve and mutate as their limbs are cut off. One of the characters, Dani, is seen accompanying Jacob as they make their way through the maximum security facility.

Towards the end of the trailer, Dani exclaims to Jacob that just finding a way out of Black Iron Prison isn’t enough—they need to find answers to what happened to all of the prisoners and why the truth is being covered up.

Fukuhara previously hosted a panel at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year for The Callisto Protocol, but the extent of her involvement in the game was unknown. Now, we have confirmation that the character Dani will utilize her likeness for the game. This also looks to be Fukuhara's first video game credit as well.

The Callisto Protocol launches on December 2 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey

- Travis Northup
Destiny 2: Where Is Xur Today? Location and Exotic Items for September 30-October 3

The pile of mysteries, Xûr, is now live in Destiny 2 for the weekend until next week's reset. If you're looking to get your some shiny new Exotic armor or weapons for your Guardian, look no further.

Each week, Xûr has a random assortment of Exotic armor, one for each Guardian class, as well as a random Exotic Weapon and an Exotic Engram available for purchase. In addition to his Exotic wares, he's got a random collection of Legendary weapons and armor to deck out your Guardians.

We've rounded up all the info on Xûr for the week including where to find Xûr, which Exotic weapons and armor are available, as well as which Legendary weapons you should pick up, either for PvE or PvP.

Where Is Xûr Today?

Xûr's location can be found at The Tower on September 30 through October 3. To reach him, travel to the landing point at The Courtyard and make your way to the Hangar. You'll find ol' snake-face chilling near the stairs at the back of the Hangar area.

What's Xûr Selling Today?

Exotic Engram

Cerberus+1 - Exotic Auto Rifle

ST0MP-EE5 - Exotic Hunter Leg Armor

4 Mobility22 Resilience6 Recovery12 Discipline2 Intellect16 StrengthTotal: 62

Dunemarchers - Exotic Titan Leg Armor

7 Mobility26 Resilience2 Recovery12 Discipline2 Intellect12 StrengthTotal: 61

Astrocyte - Exotic Warlock Helmet

18 Mobility7 Resilience8 Recovery16 Discipline7 Intellect9 StrengthTotal: 65

The highlight this week is the Astrocyte Verse, a glorious Warlock exotic with a pretty decent roll. The others are pretty forgettable.

Exotic Weapons

Hawkmoon - Exotic Hand Cannon

Paracausal ShotArrowhead BrakeAlloy MagazineQuickdrawCombat Grip

Dead Man's Tale - Exotic Scout Rifle

Cranial SpikeFluted BarrelAccurized RoundsSubsistenceComposite Stock

Another week of rolls of these two reliable exotics and either would make a fine roll (though we've definitely seen better in the past). Pick them up if you need them -- both are pretty decent!

Legendary Weapons

Whispering Slab - Combat Bow

High-Tension String/Natural StringFiberglass Arrow Shaft/Natural FletchingKilling WindOpening ShotAccuracy Masterwork

Timeline's Vertex - Fusion Rifle

Impulse MS3/Toch HS3Accelerated Coils/Ionized BatteryLead From GoldDisruption BreakRange Masterwork

Jian 7 Rifle - Pulse Rifle

SPO-57 Front/SPO-28 FrontArmor-Piercing Rounds/Flared MagwellFull Auto Trigger SystemRampageRange Masterwork

Sojourner's Tale - Pulse Rifle

Arrowhead Brake/Full BoreAppended Mag/Light MagMoving TargetOpening ShotReload Speed Masterwork

Lonesome - Sidearm

Full Bore/Hammer-Forged RiflingArmor-Piercing Rounds/Light MagZen MomentDemolitionistRange Masterwork

Friction Fire - Submachine Gun

Extended Barrel/Full BoreAppended Mag/Extended MagAuto-Loading HolsterWellspringHandling Masterwork

Falling Guillotine - Sword

Hungry Edge/Jagged Edge/Temptered EdgeBurst Guard/Heavy GuardTireless BladeSurroundedImpact Masterwork

The only weapons I like this week are Whispering Slab, which has a great roll for aggressive bow play, and Falling Guillotine (which is always good).

Warlock Legendary Armor

For Warlocks, Xûr is selling the Wild Hunt set which includes:

Wild Hunt Gauntlets

2 Mobility10 Resilience17 Recovery14 Discipline15 Intellect2 StrengthTotal: 60

Wild Hunt Chest Armor

20 Mobility6 Resilience6 Recovery19 Discipline6 Intellect8 StrengthTotal: 65

Wild Hunt Helmet

13 Mobility6 Resilience12 Recovery6 Discipline20 Intellect6 StrengthTotal: 63

Wild Hunt Leg Armor

13 Mobility8 Resilience10 Recovery14 Discipline2 Intellect15 StrengthTotal: 62

Wild Hunt Bond

Warlocks have been served up one quite good piece this week in the chestpiece, which has spikey mobility that some floating friends might enjoy. Skip the rest!

Titan Legendary Armor

For Titans, Xûr is selling the Wild Hunt set which includes:

Wild Hunt Gauntlets

16 Mobility2 Resilience12 Recovery9 Discipline11 Intellect12 StrengthTotal: 62

Wild Hunt Chest Armor

16 Mobility2 Resilience12 Recovery23 Discipline8 Intellect2 StrengthTotal: 63

Wild Hunt Helmet

16 Mobility10 Resilience2 Recovery2 Discipline7 Intellect20 StrengthTotal: 57

Wild Hunt Leg Armor

2 Mobility19 Resilience9 Recovery6 Discipline6 Intellect18 StrengthTotal: 60

Wild Hunt Mark

Titans have a halfway decent chestpiece, but nothing that I can enthusiastically recommend, unfortunately. Keep your chin up, Titan -- maybe next week!

Hunter Legendary Armor

For Hunters, Xûr is selling the Wild Hunt set which includes:

Wild Hunt Gauntlets

6 Mobility24 Resilience2 Recovery18 Discipline2 Intellect9 StrengthTotal: 61

Wild Hunt Chest Armor

22 Mobility7 Resilience2 Recovery10 Discipline12 Intellect9 StrengthTotal: 62

Wild Hunt Helmet

6 Mobility12 Resilience10 Recovery2 Discipline20 Intellect7 StrengthTotal: 57

Wild Hunt Leg Armor

13 Mobility2 Resilience16 Recovery2 Discipline14 Intellect13 StrengthTotal: 60

Wild Hunt Cloak

Just like Titans, Hunters are in for a world of hurt if they were hoping for some good legendary armor rolls. RIP.

That's a wrap on Xûr for this week, Guardians! What do you think of this romantic tension between The Drifter and Eris Morn? Do you think something will come of it? Let us know in the comments! For more on Destiny, check out all the news from the Lightfall reveal and read about how Sony's purchase of Bungie fits into its larger plans.

Travis Northup is a writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @TieGuyTravis and read his games coverage here.

- Ryan Leston
Ubisoft Announces Playtests for a New Co-Op Shooter, Project U

Ubisoft has just announced a new co-op shooter, Project U.

Almost nothing is known about the upcoming game, which was announced today, but Ubisoft has already opened registration for its upcoming playtests.

“Codename ‘Project U’ explores a new concept of session-based co-op shooter, where many players unite to prevail against an overwhelming threat!” says the game’s official announcement.

The game is currently in early development, with the first PC-only closed playtest taking place in western Europe.

Although the game will be entirely in English, the company is encouraging players from across Europe to get involved and will be available in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

“We'd love to play with you and gather your valuable feedback in order to improve the game experience and steer production in the right direction!” said Ubisoft.

If you’re interested in taking part in Project U playtesting, you can register here.

This isn’t the first time recently that Ubisoft has announced a new project with a playtest. The upcoming Project Q, a team battle arena game that isn’t a battle royale, was announced in much the same way.

Other than the game’s registration page, there’s very little to go on when it comes to Project U. However, it does feature some artwork that depicts an armored team of players making a standoff against a colossal horde of angular, machine-like enemies.

Whether this means we should expect a horde-mode style of gameplay remains to be seen. Either way, it looks like an interesting addition to Ubisoft’s line-up, and we’ll be popping our names down ASAP.

Want to read more about Ubisoft’s upcoming games? Find out why Skull and Bones has been delayed again, and check out every Ubisoft game that’s currently in development.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment journalist and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

- Ryan McCaffrey
Company of Heroes 3: Modding Details Revealed – IGN First

With two full single-player campaigns alongside skirmish and multiplayer, there's already a lot to do in Company of Heroes 3. But some of us would rather make our own fun. And we're in luck, since this third installment will be launching with mod tools and Steam workshop support on day one. Mods have been a huge part of the RTS scene going back to the ‘90s, with entire genres like the now wildly popular MOBA spawning out of user-generated maps. Relic is fully aware of this, and that's why they made a point of shipping the new Essence Editor at release.

"It has always been a priority from the beginning to have mod tools as part of our story. We've gone back and forth on what that could look like in terms of timing. But as we've seen over and over again with our really invested community group" … "It was such an important beat and hopefully a love letter to the creators who have stuck around for so long for us in our community, to have tooling and editors that are available day one."

To have it ready for launch, the initial release of the Essence Editor will be somewhat limited. Notably, custom unit skins and meshes won't be supported just yet – though you can mix and match different clothing items and accessories from the units already in Company of Heroes 3 to create custom kits.

"Our modding community really helped us understand what was the most impact and highest priority capabilities in the toolset. So what we initially thought would be super important, for example asset swaps or making skins, was actually lower on the priority list. And what was higher was being able to do tuning, to be able to do their own modes, scripting, and also their own maps."

Fine-Tuned

One of the key pieces of this implementation is a type of all-in one balance mod Relic is calling tuning pacaks. If you're the kind of World War II RTS fan who has very specific opinions about the speed and armor penetration on a Tiger II, or simply want bigger battles with more guys on screen, this is where you get to take matters into your own hands.

Mod tools have come a long way since Company of Heroes 2 dropped almost a decade ago.

"A tuning pack really allows players to balance the game in their own way. To make some units stronger, some units weaker, faster, slower." … "You can mess around with pop cap and all those sorts of features. It can affect performance if you raise it too high, so use at your own discretion."

Mod tools have come a long way since Company of Heroes 2 dropped almost a decade ago. And Relic has faced the challenge of both expanding what their tools can do, while also trying to keeping them usable and learnable by today's standards.

"I think the tools will be much more user-friendly and better-received than previous Company of Heroes' tools. We've spent a lot of time making quality-of-life improvements, workflow improvements, collaboration improvements."

You can build new, different types of modes you never could before.

"What we're now seeing and providing is a lot more capability in making new maps, atmospheres. You can even do a lot of different terrain molding and mesh management, which is amazing. But we've also added a lot of lua capability. So a much richer scripting environment. So you can build new, different types of modes you never could before."

"You can adjust time of day. You can transition time of day from morning to night. We have a new cloud system. You can make custom clouds that are all animating and cast shadows. So there are a lot of visual things you can do with the editor."

Fog of War

Total conversion mods have been high on the community priority list and, like custom skins and models, it's something that won't be ready for launch. But if you want to build some individual missions set outside the theaters of Company of Heroes 3's Italian and North African campaigns – it is a World war after all – you should have quite a few tools to do that.

"If someone wanted to make a Normandy map or something else on the Western Front, they really could use the assets we've provided." "We actually have more than we have in the past in terms of natural terrain. Rocks and stuff like that. Foliage, a lot of which is native to all of Europe." "Architecture is very similar. So you could definitely get away with some buildings near the South."

And if you're less interested in creating very authentic, historical experiences, there will be plenty of opportunities for more chaotic and unorthodox mods as well.

"What you're able to do for new modes is substantial. So almost anything you can think of, you could probably build. We've already had some really fun internal ideas of what that could look like. We've thought through how do we make, you know, battle royales with just tanks."

"We've thought through how do we make, you know, battle royales with just tanks."

"If you wanted to give some personality to some of the units, make them more aggressive or more passive, you can absolutely do that. You can tell units to do certain patrols or to stay in certain areas, or away from certain areas."

To make all of this user-generated mayhem easy to find, Company of Heroes 3 will have Steam Workshop integration ready to go as soon as we hit the beaches as well.

- George Yang
Google Reportedly Passed on a Stadia-Exclusive Follow-Up to Death Stranding

Hideo Kojima was reportedly working on a follow-up to Death Stranding that was meant to be an exclusive title for Google Stadia. However, it was apparently canceled due to its single-player nature.

According to a report by 9to5Google, the next Death Stranding (there's no word on whether it was a sequel prequel, or spin-off) would not have had the first game’s collaborative and asynchronous multiplayer features, such as building bridges in your world that could show up in other players’.

This was reportedly the basis for Google’s decision to cancel the game, as the company believed that a solo experience wouldn’t sell very well. The game was reportedly in early development as Google greenlit the project, but when the company was shown mockups in 2020, the project was subsequently canceled. The final decision was reportedly made by Stadia general manager Phil Harrison.

We've contacted Kojima Productions and Google for comment. [Update: Kojima Productions declined to comment]

Google announced yesterday that it would be shutting down Stadia on January 18, 2023. Thankfully, Google is offering full refunds for those who bought into the platform. It’s been a rocky road for the game streaming platform, as the first biggest sign of its decline was when Google decided to shut down its first party development studios last year.

Currently, Hideo Kojima is working on a game with Microsoft that will utilize the company’s “cutting edge technology,” particularly its cloud services. Earlier this year, Norman Reedus seemingly confirmed that a sequel to Death Stranding was also in development.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @yinyangfooey

- Matt Purslow
How Titanfall 2 Made Movement the Star of the Show - Art of the Level

Titanfall 2 is a giant among shooters thanks, in part, to its near-flawless depiction of the ultimate power fantasy: causing untold destruction with a massive, gun-toting mech. But Titanfall 2’s very best moments occur when you’re stripped of your walking tank and must survive its industrial sci-fi universe as a mere squishy human.

Into The Abyss, Titanfall 2’s fourth mission, is one of these moments, and marks a monumental achievement in mission design for developer Respawn Entertainment. Set in a factory suspended above an infinite void, a gauntlet of deadly fabrication machines acts as a thrilling and creative showcase for Titanfall’s ambitious movement systems.

To find out how Into The Abyss was put together, IGN spoke to game designer David Shaver, who co-designed the mission with three other developers at Respawn. With his insight, let’s take a look at how this level defies shooter traditions, teaches and reinforces first-person platforming skills, and builds contrasting experiences around movement abilities, all to create one of the most exhilarating FPS campaign missions of all time.

While perhaps not as famous as the time-hopping Effect and Cause, Into The Abyss is one of Titanfall 2’s most complex and demanding missions. A level almost wholly focused on the incredible mobility of your pilot, it’s made up of three distinct sections: the continually shifting assembly line of the World Foundry; the Simulation Dome live-fire training facility, and an escape set piece that culminates in a titan vs titan smackdown. Together, these three segments form a fascinating, memorable mission with a unique approach to movement and momentum.

Into The Abyss is the product of Respawn’s ‘action blocks’, a prototype system in which ambitious, isolated concepts were quickly built and tested. If an action block resonated with the team, it would evolve into a mechanic or a mission for Titanfall 2’s campaign.

During the early days of development, Mohammad Alavi, the designer behind Call of Duty’s iconic All Ghillied Up and No Russian missions, created an action block that featured a titan bursting through a wall as part of a prototype for destructible environments. Fellow game designer David Shaver loved the idea, but knew it was too technically demanding to implement across the entire campaign. And so he began thinking about how he could build a single level around robotic demolition.

What's building these things? Maybe we should investigate what's down there.

“I actually remember the original pitch that I came up with for the level, which I code named BoomTown,” recalls Shaver. “You and BT would be fighting against another Titan, and it'd be kind of like this cool Transformers fight. You'd be smashing through buildings. And then I had the idea ‘Well, once you've smashed through the buildings, that's going to be a boring fight because now the cover's gone and now the levels are gone.’ I was like, ‘What if they replace themselves? Or what if we got new ones?’ So I started thinking about those training facilities, you see the military, they'll prop up replicas of buildings and things with cheap plywood and two by fours.

“I was like, ‘What if we make it so that it's sort of a live fire testing facility, like the training ground Titanfall 1 map, but it changes. Once a building is destroyed, it brings up a new one, or they drop in a new one.’ We had no idea how it would deliver, but a new one would appear, and then you'd fight. And then it just snowballed from there. And then it was like, ‘What's building these things? Maybe we should investigate what's down there.’ And so that birthed what I called the World Foundry, which is the factory that builds all this stuff.”

Shaver, along with design partners Chris "Soupy" Dionne, Jason McCord, and Chad Grenier, worked to turn that concept into a complete mission. They plotted out a level made up of that World Foundry factory, the Simulation Dome it was building, and a cataclysmic escape sequence that would end with a boss fight.

But the idea of BoomTown eventually underwent a huge shift. Ironically for a prototype that began life as two titans fighting, Shaver and the team decided to take away the key feature: your beloved titan, BT-7274.

Solo Pilot

“At the beginning of the level, you're with BT, you're exploring this mystery,” says Shaver. “And then the robot arm grabs BT and takes him away, and now you're like, ‘Oh crap, I don't have my super Iron Man armour anymore. What am I going to do?’

“Most of the prototypes that we had for this level really, really shined when BT either wasn't there or he was helping from a distance or something,” he explains. “And so that's what we rolled with for this level. ‘Okay, this level's mostly about pilot mobility and combat around moving stuff, to get the player ready for the rest of the game. We can focus on that.’”

With BT in the clutches of mission villain Ash, you’re forced to rely solely on the abilities of protagonist Jack Cooper, a titan pilot. Thanks to a small jetpack you’re incredibly agile, able to double-jump over long distances and run along walls as if in the Matrix. It is these skills that the factory floor of the World Foundry was built to train and test.

“We watched streamers and people playing the game during our playtests and a lot of times they struggled with wall running,” Shaver recalls. “And so it was like, ‘Okay, well we need to get people [comfortable] with wall running because that's a core mechanic of Titanfall, and we really want them to be able to do it because if they go into multiplayer, they're going to get owned without it.’”

The original Titanfall had already proved that the player skill ceiling was incredibly high. To train people up to a reasonable standard, the obstacles of Into The Abyss had to be absolutely wild. But it wasn’t the rocket-propelled antics of Quake or Unreal Tournament that inspired its gauntlet of jumps and wall runs: it was a 1999 comedy sci-fi movie.

“One of the inspirations was Galaxy Quest,” Shaver reveals, “where Sigourney Weaver and Tim Allen run into this area in the ship and it's just crazy chompers and fire, and you were like, ‘Why would anybody build this?’ I love that movie. So that's one of the inspirations for this, I was just like, ‘Let's have some of that fun in here.’”

“So the stompy thing was an action block. The roller that was applying dirt and grass was an action block. You stop and robot arms are putting on furniture and walls, that was an action block. The sideways town climb itself was an action block. So we basically were like, ‘Okay, we've got all these really cool pieces, let's stitch them together like Lego blocks.’”

Each new piece of machinery escalates the pace and difficulty. The first is a simple platform jump that you can simply ride to your destination, but you’re soon forced to chain together a jump, wall run, and landing to bypass the turf-laying machine. A further challenge has you wall running between platforms that shift between vertical and horizontal orientations, challenging your agility, timing, and positioning. And all of this happens over a deadly drop into an infinite void, which adds edge-of-your-seat tension to effectively teach the importance of linking together moves.

In Titanfall, the top two thirds of the screen could have a threat coming from any direction.

But before escaping the factory, another two other important lessons are taught. The first comes in the form of the houses that are progressively assembled around you. Walls and furniture slot into place, completely altering your surroundings every few seconds.

“We're teaching the player that the environment is changing, you can't trust it's going to be there, so keep looking around,” Shaver explains. “One of the main things it does is it creates a feeling of uncertainty and dread and instability. That was one of the feelings in the factory, it was just like, ‘I am in danger, I really want my Titan.’ And so that down moment in the player's psyche sets up the up moment of returning to BT later. You're like, ‘Holy crap, I can't believe I survived this.’”

The World Foundry’s final trial is the ‘sideways town’, designed by Dionne. This head-spinning segment has you running upwards through a town mounted to the wall, creating some Inception-like visuals. But it was important to push players through this unusual bit of environment design in order to practically demonstrate how Titanfall 2 rethinks the fundamentals of FPS design.

“When you play a game, a classic shooter like Doom [...] the top third and the bottom third of the screen aren't really that dangerous. But in Titanfall the top two thirds of the screen could be a threat from any direction, pilots are flying through the air as they wall run above you and shoot from above.”

Don’t Fear The Reaper

Conquering the sideways town climb lifts you out of the darkness of the World Foundry and into the artificial sunlight of the next segment of Into The Abyss: the Simulation Dome.

“We wanted to lead up to this culmination of like, ‘Where is all this crap going? Why is all this stuff getting built?’” explains Shaver. “We wanted to just celebrate getting through the factory with, ‘This is what it's used for, guys. Now, you get to go play in it.’”

But the Simulation Dome is more than just a story set-piece. It’s the stage for your first fight with a brand new enemy type, a foe more dangerous than almost anything you’ve faced before: the Reaper.

“We needed to make it more of a moment where players could learn how to interact with the Reaper,” Shaver says. “Because the Reaper has specific anti-pilot things about it, it can shoot projectiles that you can dodge, and it throws Ticks to get you when you go into smaller areas and it flushes you out. And then it can also leap at you and slam the ground and stuff. So I needed to teach the movement, I needed to teach all of these mechanics to the players.”

This lesson requires an environment that’s in direct opposition to the one you’ve just escaped. Where the factory is in a state of constant movement, the Simulation Dome is static. Rather than a linear pathway with a dictated route, the Dome is a large, open space through which you can travel at your own pace and in any direction. In just a few minutes, the Factory’s rollercoaster thrills are traded for a miniature sandbox skirmish—creating a memorable juxtaposition that highlights two very different sides of Titanfall’s identity.

The Simulation Dome’s skirmish is the stage for a demonstration of Titanfall 2’s combat flow. While designing the incoming waves of IMC soldiers, robots, and Reapers, Shaver looked to an unusual source of inspiration for a shooter: God of War.

In the original God of War trilogy, Santa Monica Studio blurred the lines between waves of enemies to create the sense of a continuous horde. For instance, when fighting a Cyclops, the game would spawn in a second Cyclops when the first was down to around 10 percent health. This would momentarily provide the spectacle of fighting two massive monsters, but with no real difficulty spike since the first Cyclops would soon die. This approach informed how Shaver scripted big enemies into the Simulation Dome.

Respawn looked to an unusual source of inspiration for a shooter: God of War

“So [in] the Reaper fight, we spawn the first one, and then I drop in some Spectres and they fight,” details Shaver. “And then once that gets going and once the Reaper is at a certain level of health, we spawn another one, we spawn more Spectres. [...] That fight took a lot of scripting time. I spent weeks and weeks, if not months, trying to get the right balance because a lot of people in Respawn found it way too hard.”

“Hopefully, if I did my job right, you don't really notice that it is kind of waves, but it's just been going as you're fighting,” Shaver says. “There's a lot of scripting on the back end, watching how many Spectres are there? How much health is on the Reaper? Oh, we're low in Spectres, drop a couple more, that kind of thing to keep it going. Because what was really not fun was when you killed everything and then it's just quiet. And then there's a pause, an awkward pause. And it's like, ‘Oh I see that. You've got them all, I will send more.’ And that's just really awkward. So I was trying really hard to avoid that.”

Victory in the Simulation Dome brings with it a huge sense of relief, an emotion elevated by your long-awaited reunion with BT. Strapping back into your titan marks the start of Into The Abyss’ finale, which taps directly into the brand of dramatic, destructive cinema that’s part of Respawn’s Call of Duty heritage.

Rumble Robots

Having witnessed you defeat waves of IMC soldiers, Ash begins the destruction of the World Foundry. As the facility begins to fall apart, you and BT sprint through numerous collapsing Simulation Domes in desperate hunt of an escape route. It’s a sequence in which Shaver really wanted to evoke a genuine sense of danger.

“The idea was that we can give the player a taste and get the idea across that, ‘Hey, this place is really unstable, it's coming down, you need to get the heck out of here,” says Shaver.

“I'm doing everything I can to sell that this place is falling apart. I've got rocks falling, explosions happening and sky panels falling and stuff,” he adds.

“There's even IMC grunts evacuating drop ships and stuff. We've got them running to get out and flying away.”

“And then [you] run into Ash and be like, ‘Oh no, here's our gatekeeper. She's going to stop us from getting out of here.’"

Jason McCord was on design duties for the final location of the level; a collapsed urban Simulation Dome in which you fight Ash in her sword-swinging Ronin titan. This was to be a full-on, no holds barred mech showdown, and the slower, more cumbersome movements of the titan would act as a complete contrast to the previous, more nimble sequences. Catering for the lumbering mechs and their rocket-boosted dodges would require a very different approach to level design, and so the arena features simple lines and wide lanes. A route around the map allows both titans to circle around each other, keeping one another within their sights.

As the design for this battle was further developed, Ash gained a terrifying new ability that meant McCord had to rethink how the landscape was designed. And, as with so much of Into The Abyss, this new ability was all about movement.

“Once Ash got the phase ability, she could phase and just reappear next to you,” Shaver explains. “And it was terrifying and she was really hard. We had to tone her down a little bit because she would just completely destroy you. And so having an arena that was designed with that ability in mind, so that you could funnel the player's view [so] if she does phase you're not looking completely 90 degrees in the wrong direction from where she's going to appear, it's going to be somewhere, hopefully in your view that she's going to re-phase and give you a moment to react.”

The final version of the Ash boss fight arena features a sloped design, which provides a lot of high ground. The destruction of the Dome’s buildings, combined with the added height of your titan, opens up sightlines across the intersecting roads, providing wide viewing angles. The layout dulls the brutal edge of Ash’s phase ability, overcoming Respawn’s difficulty worries. But the arena design arguably makes this an incredibly easy boss fight; a quick skirmish that, while endinging in fireworks, is a final battle that pales in comparison to the level’s previous trials. This contrast pushes Titanfall 2’s movement systems fully into the limelight. As fantastic as it feels to wield the colossal power of a titan, it's in the agile pilot gameplay that Titanfall 2 truly crushes it.

That’s not something that passed Respawn by. Into The Abyss was lauded internally, and used as a ‘vertical slice’ to inspire and set a quality bar for other level designers. Its position within the campaign acts as a gateway; after a relatively traditional opening, Into The Abyss triggers an explosion of creativity, paving the way for layered, agility-based masterpieces like the time-hopping Effect and Cause and the ship-to-ship leaps of The Ark.

But even in a campaign full of astonishing ideas, Into The Abyss shines bright. Its gauntlet of varied agility challenges, from the deadly contraptions of the assembly line to the intense flanking routes that run through the Simulation Dome, make movement the undeniable star of the show. And through a collection of inspired design elements, the level redefines even the most fundamental of FPS assumptions. Up isn’t just a place you should look, it’s a place you should go. By rethinking those basics, Respawn did the impossible: it made first-person platforming not just work, but somehow the best part of a game that features massive fighting robots.

Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Features Editor.

- Simon Cardy
IGN UK Podcast #664: Our Favourite First-Person Shooters

Bang! This week's IGN UK Podcast is all about shooters. Cardy has Overwatch 2 impressions to share, Mat J has been getting stuck into the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Beta, and Matt P has been enjoying the Doom-inspired Prodeus. They then share some of their favourite FPS games, as well as some that have been lost to time, but live long in the heart.

Got a game for us to play or some feedback you'd like read out on the show? Why not email us: ign_ukfeedback@ign.com.

IGN UK Podcast #664: Our Favourite First-Person Shooters

IGN UK Podcast #663: Professor Layton and the Sludge-Guts of DoomIGN UK Podcast #662: So Many StreamsIGN UK Podcast #661: House of the Rings of PowerIGN UK Podcast #660: Bat Family TiesIGN UK Podcast #659: Live from a Cologne Roof at Midnight

- Simon Cardy
FIFA 23 Legacy Edition (Switch) Review

The year is 2022. EA has returned with their annual gift of regretful déjà vu for Nintendo Switch owners. A dystopian future is (mercifully?) nearer than we think.

I could copy and paste my review like I did two years ago, but unlike some of the folks at EA I don’t take much satisfaction in reusing material. Oops, I think that’s what I said last year, actually. I struggle to care at this point.

For the FOURTH year in a row, EA Sports has released a virtually unchanged edition of FIFA onto the Nintendo Switch.

As stated on the official website, “FIFA 23 Legacy Edition will feature the same gameplay innovation from FIFA 22 without any new development or significant enhancements.”

As a reminder, here’s what was written there for last year’s game: “FIFA 22 Legacy Edition will feature the same gameplay innovation from FIFA 21 without any new development or significant enhancements.”

Oh, and the year before: “FIFA 21 Legacy Edition will feature the same gameplay innovation from FIFA 20 without any new development or significant enhancements.”

And to complete the set: “FIFA 20 Legacy Edition will feature the same gameplay innovation from FIFA 19 without any new development or significant enhancements.”

And let me remind you that FIFA 19 on Switch wasn’t exactly great in the first place…

FIFA 19 Legacy Edition Verdict

FIFA 19 is a threadbare experience on the Switch. The inclusion of the Champions League and a significant graphical upgrade goes some way to approaching the levels of presentation found on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC version, but on the pitch it’s a mile away from being a premium football simulation and fails to build on last year’s game. I can see myself having some fun playing the new House Rules modes locally with friends, but in most single-player modes there is no doubt that it is a repetitive and unfulfilling experience.

Due to the FIFA license sailing away from EA towards pastures new next year this will be the final EA game called FIFA to appear on a Nintendo console. What a sad legacy to leave behind.

Next year we'll likely be reading “EA Sports FC 24 Legacy Edition will feature the same gameplay innovation from FIFA 23 without any new development or significant enhancements."

Let’s hope for better.

- Ryan Dinsdale
How Trombone Champ Evolved from an Inside Joke to a Viral Success

Combine the dramatic story of Dark Souls (if it had baboons in it), the gameplay of Guitar Hero (if Guitar Hero was drunk, and played with a single button), the card collecting of The Witcher 3 (if the cards were chiefly of dead composers), and you might get a game akin to Trombone Champ. What began as just a single, funny idea from husband-and-wife development team Holy Wow Studios has become 2022’s most hilarious game, created with a simple philosophy: 'If it’s funny, it goes in.'

Trombone Champ is a rhythm game that has players – in its own words – “honk, blow, and toot” their way through more than 20 songs as they attempt to solve the mysteries of the Trombiverse and collect Tromboner Cards as they go. It’s ridiculous, and creator Dan Vecchitto knows it.

“My ethos for this game was: if it's a funny idea, do it,” Vecchitto told IGN. “I didn't let standard rules of game design or common sense inhibit the comedy. I let the game gradually grow into a big sloppy pile of jokes: lots of poop jokes, lots of inexplicable baboon references, and lots of parodies of other games.”

But where did the idea for a trombone-based rhythm game come from? Again, a joke. “I originally imagined Trombone Champ as an arcade game, where the player used a huge, rubber trombone controller and attempted to desperately play along with squiggly note lines,” Vecchitto said, but “at that point, it was nothing more than a funny mental image.”

It wasn’t until later he imagined using a mouse to emulate the motion of playing a trombone, and from there Vecchitto created a prototype that was almost as funny as he imagined. “I decided that it was a solid idea and worth developing into a full game,” he said.

Holy Wow had made games before, but these were all smaller, browser-based titles. The Curse of the Chocolate Fountain is a sidescroller about chronic diarrhoea and dodging birds. Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing is a typing game with fun facts such as: “Typing was invented by Steve Jobs in January, 1984”. World of Typing is an episodic, Twin Peaks inspired sequel, followed by Typing Party, a two player local multiplayer spin-off.

"My ethos for this game was: if it's a funny idea, do it. I didn't let standard rules of game design or common sense inhibit the comedy."

Trombone Champ is the team’s first game that’s being sold as an actual product, however - despite Vecchitto expecting it to be a relatively quick and easy game to make. “I thought the project could be completed in under six months but, as is often the case, it proved to be much more work than expected,” he said.

It ended up taking four years to develop in total, with a few starts and stops along the way. Holy Wow isn’t a full-time game studio, with the work done during evenings and weekends, outside of Vecchitto's day job as a web designer.

One thing that extended Trombone Champ’s development was the need for an additional hook that would keep people playing beyond the few hours of songs. The first thing to be added was the Tromboner Cards mechanic, where players can open packs and collect cards with famous trombone players like J. J. Johnson, Al Grey, and more. These are also a parody of lootbox systems in other games like FIFA, as players unlock the packs in a variety of over the top ways.

Inspiration from other games was taken too. “The storyline is a direct parody of the Dark Souls series, which I found funny because those games are intensely dark and serious, the exact opposite of a goofy trombone game,” Vecchitto said.

While Trombone Champ has blown up now – with Overwhelmingly Positive reviews on Steam – the game only had a small following throughout its development: fans of the comedy in Holy Wow’s previous games. An open playtesting period one month before launch caused the first stir of wider interest, though, with Holy Wow receiving a completely unexpected and overwhelming 600 feedback forms. Things really exploded at launch though, which came as a complete surprise to Holy Wow.

“I've always thought the game concept was fundamentally solid, and knew it would have some viral appeal,” Vecchitto said. “But realistically, what I expected was for a handful of people to share funny videos, and for those videos to go viral.

“I really didn't expect the virality to lead to an explosion of interest in the game itself. It's been nice, but is also overwhelming — it's too much demand for us to keep up with. We're currently trying to strategize how to deal with it.”

"[The success has] been nice, but is also overwhelming — it's too much demand for us to keep up with. We're currently trying to strategize how to deal with it."

While the future is still a little unclear, Holy Wow is committing to work on Trombone Champ for a while instead of moving onto other games. “I have a ton of game ideas, and my initial idea was to update Trombone Champ for a while and then move on,” Vecchito said, “but given the intense response, we'll probably stick with Trombone Champ for a while.”

A console version may also be released eventually. “I can't say for certain that Trombone Champ will come to consoles, but I can say for certain that we'll start pursuing it soon,” he added. Holy Wow will explore other ways to expand its audience too, such as localising Trombone Champ into different languages, but there’s still a lot of different things for the duo to figure out.

Vecchito puts it in terms worthy of the game itself: “The challenge for us will be navigating this without losing our minds."

Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He'll talk about The Witcher all day.

- Rebekah Valentine
Genshin Impact Developer Is Considering How to Make Limited-Time Events Replayable in the Future

Among the absolutely massive amount of explorable world and evergreen story content in Genshin Impact, one of the ways the open-world adventure keeps folks busy over time is through limited-time events that often cannot be accessed later if they are missed. But developer MiHoYo may be looking for a way for players to reexperience them after all.

While some events have come back around, such as Windtrace and Lost Riches, others with character development involved are either seemingly gone for good, or if they return, have story content changed between iterations to account for how the story has evolved since.

But in an interview with IGN, a MiHoYo spokesperson acknowledged the community's sadness at missing story events for characters like Albedo and Childe, as well as the desire for at least some sort of story recap option to catch up on critical information players may have missed without having to dive into a wiki.

With limited-time seasonal events, we want to show players how the world of Teyvat and each character have changed over time outside of the main storyline. Therefore, even if events return, such as the Golden Apple Archipelago in Version 2.8, there will be changes to the characters, stories, and gameplay of relevance. However, we are considering the issues you mentioned and may have new ideas in the future with the advancement of our technology and productivity.

MiHoYo has been working hard on pushing its technological advancements in several other areas, too, such as upcoming improved support for PS5 players using DualSense controllers. And MiHoYo confirmed that the announced Switch version is still in development, though it couldn't give further details. It's likely we'll see how the studio handles its various limited-time events shift over the years, especially as it pushes further into its ten-year roadmap, introduces more characters and continents, and gets increasingly far removed from its earliest story moments.

We also spoke to miHoYo about why the Dendro element took so long to add to the game. And for more, you can take a look at several upcoming new characters for 3.1 as well as our review of Genshin at launch.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

- Rebekah Valentine
Why Genshin Impact's Dendro Element Took So Long to Arrive

When Genshin Impact first launched, it included playable characters for six elements: Pyro (fire), Hydro (water), Anemo (wind), Electro (electricity), Cryo (ice), and Geo (earth). However, anyone paying attention at all to Genshin's lore. some of its monsters, or even its loading screen would have noticed that a seventh element was seemingly missing in action: Dendro, or nature.

For the first two major Genshin Impact chapters, Dendro remained elusive. But with 3.0 and the introduction of dendro-focused continent Sumeru, we're at last getting a taste of greenery. Bow users Collei and Tighnari kicked dendro off alongside the Traveler gaining a Dendro element through the Sumaru storyline — and more are on the way.

But why did it take so long for developer miHoYo to introduce Dendro, especially when all other elements were present from the start? What was it about Dendro that required a little more time in the veggie steamer?

In an interview with IGN, a Genshin Impact spokesperson shed a little bit of light on what, exactly, took Dendro so long to join its elemental brethren, as well as why its character rollout has been a bit slow:

The Dendro element is the last piece of the puzzle in the seven-element system. It is also the representative element of Sumeru, the nation of wisdom. Therefore, when we designed its elemental reaction mechanisms, we wanted it to be an element with more profound gameplay, one that enables multi-element reactions.However, at the time of design, we were unable to come up with a mechanic that the development team found satisfying and innovative. As the development of the Sumeru area progressed, we had gathered more ideas and inspirations amidst constant polishing. We made a deeper connection between the Dendro element and Pyro/Hydro/Electro elements, so that the Elemental Reactions are not only reflected by characters, but also in the entire ecological environment of Sumeru. For example, there are many plants and creatures with Dendro characteristics. Such plants and creatures have the potential of exhibiting polymorphic transformation that alters their appearances, functions, and even behavior, which is also the reason why we released the Dendro element along with its featured nation.

So for Dendro, it was largely a matter of miHoYo wanting multi-element interactions but struggling to come up with the right ones until Sumeru development prompted some inspiration.

The core concepts of the Dendro element have always been catalysis, wisdom, and life. However, the in-game presentation of its gameplay has gone through many iterations over time. We hope that the Dendro element can not only symbolize Sumeru's image of the nation of wisdom, but also have a system of elemental reactions that conforms to common sense and contains enough strategy and gameplay diversity to connect more elements together.

Sumeru, Dendro, and everything else we've seen in 3.0 come as part of an ongoing 10-year roadmap of content for Genshin Impact that began at its launch. MiHoYo told us that it has a "rather clear long-term plan in mind" that it can't share due to spoilers. But everything we know from Genshin's lore indicates we'll likely visit the respective continents of the all the elements we haven't been to yet (Cryo, Pyro, and Hydro). MiHoYo has affirmed that Dendro is the "last piece of the puzzle in the seven-element system" so we're unlikely to get any surprise new elements, but more dendro characters down the line are sure to add even more interesting elemental interactions.

We also spoke to miHoYo about its plans to bring back limited-time seasonal events that have already completed. And for more, you can take a look at several upcoming new characters for 3.1 as well as our review of Genshin at launch.

Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

- Logan Plant
McDonald's Is Introducing Adult Happy Meals

McDonald's is making Happy Meals cool for all ages this October with a new menu item, and yes, the boxed meals come with toys.

The restaurant chain announced a partnership (via NPR) with Cactus Plant Flea Market for a new meal deal for the month of October. Cactus Plant Flea Market is a fashion label that focuses on creating original streetwear.

From October 3 to October 30, you can order the Cactus Plant Flea Market Meal Box, that comes with a meal and one of four toys: the Hamburglar, Birdie, Grimace, and Cactus Buddy.

You may recognize the first three names from Mickey D's classic stable of characters, while Cactus Buddy is the mascot for Cactus Plant Flea Market. The McDonald's characters look a little strange, though, with four eyes a piece. The meal comes packaged in a box designed with CPFM's style in mind.

Some CPFM x McDonald's merch will also be available as part of this new promotion beginning on October 3.

Some of McDonald's' other marketing ploys over the years have included the Rick and Morty sauce, and a fakeout of a 5G cell phone announcement. If you're lovin' all this McDonald's news, check out the leaked design for the McDonald's PS5 controller, or the huge lawsuit over the restaurant's broken ice cream machines.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

- Adam Bankhurst
The 10 Best LEGO Games of All Time

LEGO first made its jump into video games almost 30 years ago with LEGO Fun to Build on the SEGA Pico. Since then, games framed around the colorful Danish bricks and their iconic minifigures have practically become a genre of their own - and that's in no small part thanks to Traveler’s Tales’ addictive approach to action-platforming and the many pop-culture properties that have since been LEGO-fied.

It wasn’t easy to narrow it down, but we've done our best and are proud to present our Top 10 LEGO games of all time… so far.

10. LEGO Island

What would a best LEGO games list look like without the original 1997 PC adventure, Lego Island? While it may seem rudimentary by today's standards and pretty rough graphically compared to other entries on this list, LEGO Island still holds up as a fun and nostalgic adventure. An escaped convict is hellbent on destroying LEGO Island, brick by brick, and it’s up to you to stop him.

Multiple character classes and a surprisingly ahead-of-its time open-ish world structure make for a good time that’s as comfy as it is engaging. It may be tricky to track down now, but if you can, it's worth taking a trip to LEGO Island - just watch out for the Brickster.

9. LEGO The Lord of the Rings

LEGO The Lord of the Rings is one of those weird LEGO titles where, instead of hiring voice actors to record new lines for the game, they just grabbed audio from the films and put it in. But, somehow, it works. Watching Boromir's emotional death scene while he's bombarded with bananas somehow makes the whole scene feel fresh in an extremely silly way that doesn't cheapen the original film. Add in some Easter eggs (like the achievement for jumping off a ledge and falling into a pile of hay like in Assassin's Creed), a large roster that includes characters from the book that didn't make it into the movie like Tom Bombadil, and all the puzzles and action that we're used to getting from a LEGO game, and you’ve got a recipe for one LEGO game to rule them all. Well, except for the ones above it on this list.

Read our review of LEGO The Lord of the Rings.

8. LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures

It may not seem like it should work, but LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures shows how a not-so-family-friendly film trilogy can be rebuilt with LEGO bricks without feeling like a massive departure from the source material. Similar to the LEGO Star Wars games, LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures takes you through the events of the first three Indy films, but it puts a playful tongue-in-cheek spin on some of the less kid-friendly scenes.

The gameplay showed marked improvement from the earlier LEGO Star Wars games, and like the films it's based on, Indy is a bit more focused on puzzle-solving and exploration than combat. Like its Star Wars counterparts, this game is still a blast when playing local co-op. Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures holds up amazingly well nearly 15 years after it was released, and you might even say this modern classic belongs in a museum.

Read our review of LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures.

7. LEGO DC Super-Villains

The running theme with LEGO games is how well they reimagine darker subject matter in a kid-friendly way without losing the charm of the source material. While LEGO Batman had a few missions starring villains, it’s rare to see an entire game, let alone a family-friendly one, take a heel turn and have you play as the bad guys. But that’s exactly what LEGO DC Super-Villains did, and it’s a testament to the LEGO games’ charm and TT Games’ specific style that they were able to make this rogues gallery of DC bad guys endearing and kid-friendly in a way that appealed to fans rather than outraged them.

Plus, it incorporated a custom character into the story, which was a nice way of tapping into the creativity of playing with LEGO toys that’s often sidelined to focus on licensed characters.

Read our review of LEGO DC Super-Villains.

6. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was the first of TT Games to turn players loose in an open world, and in this case it was the massive Gotham City hub world. While the open worlds of subsequent LEGO games were often better, it’s hard to ignore the charm of seeing Batman’s stomping grounds given the LEGO treatment. An improvement over the original in almost every way and the high-point of the LEGO Batman series (what happened, LEGO Batman 3?!), DC Super Heroes is everything a Batman fan could want in a LEGO game and so much more as it appeals to DC fans and comic fans in general with a roster full of well- and lesser-known characters.

Have you ever wanted to play as General Zod, Killer Moth, and Captain Boomerang in LEGO form? LEGO Batman 2's got your back. With tons of areas to explore, dozens upon dozens of collectibles and unlockables to discover, the undeniable charm of LEGO games in full effect, and of course, Batman and all his suit-based powers, LEGO Batman 2 is not only one of the best LEGO games, it’s also one of the best Batman games to date.

Read our review of Lego Batman 2.

5. LEGO Harry Potter

We had high expectations when LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 was initially released. Thankfully, the detail that went into every corner of the game was instantly enthralling. Not only does the story follow the books and films closely, but LEGO Harry Potter is also an expansive and fresh take on the magical world itself. You are able to adventure through secret passageways in Hogwarts, see each thoughtfully designed Common Room up close, and even fly on a broomstick and play Quidditch.

The continuation of the story with the second game, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (both are now sold together as the LEGO Harry Potter Collection), lets you traverse the world even further by going to places like Zonko’s Joke Shop, 12 Grimmauld Place, Godric’s Hollow, and even London. This is made even more wonderful with the fantastic graphics, rewarding exploration, and the levels themselves that are classic LEGO in the best way possible.

Read our review of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4.

4. LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga

LEGO Star Wars has the unique honor of being the first pop-culture property to be given the LEGO treatment. Reimagining that galaxy far, far away's iconic characters, creatures, and vehicles as chunky, modular construction sets was like striking gold bricks as it attracted a whole new generation of fans and collectors to Star Wars. While Star Wars video games had been around almost as long as Star Wars movies, the minimalist polygonal nature of Star Wars in LEGO form was ripe for video-gamification.

LEGO Star Wars was released amidst the deluge of merchandise and tie-ins aligned with Revenge of the Sith’s theatrical release, and it very easily could’ve been a forgettable cash grab. Instead, Traveller’s Tales’ infused the game with its trademark blend of puzzle-platforming, collectibles, and humor. LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy kept the momentum going the following year, appealing to older Star Wars fans who might have been less keen on the prequels — and the rest, as they say, is history. If not for the precedent set by these two little games, we probably wouldn’t be writing this list.

Read our review of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

3. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

After nearly two decades of creating LEGO Star Wars video games, the team at Traveler’s Tales could have easily compiled content from their previous titles, thrown in a few new Rise of Skywalker levels, and called it a day. Instead, they decided to completely overhaul the combat, the camera, the overworld structure, and literally every single Star Wars level, character, and vehicle within. This game is packed with a staggering amount of things to do and collect for both casual Star Wars fans and those who instantly recognize a minifig based on Malakili the Rancor Keeper.

Not only does LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga let you play through wacky video game makeovers of the mainline numbered Star Wars films, it also brings in references, nods, and collectibles based on the spinoff films, the television shows, and so much more. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a deeper, more comprehensive, and more action-packed take on LEGO games and one that hopefully gets applied to every LEGO game from here on out.

Read our review of LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

2. LEGO City Undercover

There are a ton of open-world action games that let you steal cars, take down criminals, and customize your character in a sprawling modern metropolis, but few of them are rated “E for Everyone.” LEGO City Undercover ticks all of those boxes and gives players the closest thing we’ve ever had to a LEGO Grand Theft Auto game for kids.

Not only is the world impressively large and packed with fun collectibles, activities, and hilarious references to vintage buddy cop action movies, it’s also got a surprisingly great story with a ton of wit and charm. Most LEGO games shine because of the movie series or popular licensed property they’re based on, but LEGO City Undercover proves that LEGO games can be fantastic and fun on their own.

Read our review of LEGO City Undercover.

1. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes

The (non-cinematic) Marvel Universe has all the ingredients for a great LEGO game as it has a massive roster of characters who can become instantly recognizable minifigs with plenty of alternate costumes to offer as unlockables. The heroes and villains' various powers, skill sets, and gadgets made for a wide range of fun gameplay mechanics without taking too many liberties for who could do what. Its levels took players to familiar locations across the Universe, from Asgard to Asteroid M to The Savage Land, but was still grounded in a massive hub world sandbox of New York City.

But the absolute best thing LEGO Marvel Superheroes had going for it is that all your favorite characters from the comics were allowed to play with each other. At the time of release, the tangled web of intellectual property rights had the big-screen versions of Spider-Man, The Avengers, and The X-Men existing in multiple disparate universes. Marvel video games were in a worse spot, and with a few exceptions, they were mostly rushed movie tie-ins. LEGO Marvel Superheroes had none of these problems. It was everything that made Marvel Comics great, reimagined in blocky plastic form with TT Games' sense of humor and attention to detail. The game even included characters and locations that didn’t (and in some cases, still don’t) exist as physical LEGO toys, like Xavier’s Mansion and Professor X himself.

To no one’s surprise, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers mostly colored within the lines of the MCU. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2’s larger roster was noticeably missing characters whose movie rights fell under the Fox umbrella. Even if this hadn’t been the case, the first game set such a high bar, it really didn’t need a sequel. I mean, name another game where you can make Doctor Doom and Venom race around on the backs of escaped circus animals?

Read our review of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes.

Did you play any of these games growing up or just love playing with LEGOs for adults? Did you think we missed any LEGO Games that should have been on this list? Let us know! For more top 10 lists, be sure to check out our other lists like the Top 10 Best Video Game Remakes of All Time!

Agree with the picks on our list, or are some of your favorites missing? Well, you can share your own top LEGO game lists with us via IGN Playlist, our brand new tool that allows you to keep track of your gaming library, create lists and even rank them, discover what some of your favorite creators are playing, and more. Head over to https://www.ign.com/playlist to find out more, and start creating your own lists to share with us!

- Mikhail Madnani

Having covered Isle of Arrows from Daniel Lutz (former Creative Director on Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO while at Square Enix Montreal) for a while, I was looking forward to it finally arriving this week on mobile following its Steam release in early September. We’ve gone from its reveal to gameplay being showcased alongside a demo on Steam, and have it finally release on Steam while being set for mobile on October 6th. Today, Daniel announced the release date for mobile has been delayed to later this month or next month. This is because of feedback received from the PC version that indicated onboarding issues and a steep learning curve. Daniel wants to address this before bringing it to new platforms.

Isle of Arrows is out now on Steam here. The Steam page also has a few gifs showcasing some of the gameplay mechanics and the lovely visuals. The iOS and Android release date will be announced soon with pre-orders going live at the same time. Alongside today’s news of the mobile delay, the Steam version of Isle of Arrows will be updated with a new campaign, Training Grounds, aimed to help new players out. This update will arrive next week for Steam. Did you play the demo before and will you be getting Isle of Arrows on mobile when it launches in the coming weeks or next month?

- Shaun Musgrave
Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Diablo Immortal’, ‘Terraria’, ‘Genshin Impact’, ‘Mario Kart Tour’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Some big updates hit this week, so we’ve got a full list of stuff to check out. I’ve gathered up my favorites for you to mull over while you ponder just how quickly this year has flown by. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let’s go for it!

Terraria, $4.99 I’m doing that thing where I give the coveted UMMSotW award out right away this week. But how could I not in this case? Terraria got a real corker of an update this week, adding Town Slimes, three new pieces of equipment, some new tools including the Hand of Creation, some new blocks, new decor, and more. There are some new world seeds to check out, plus improvements to melee, boss battles, the UI, and overall game balance. If you’ve been away from Terraria for a while or have never played it, there’s no better time to jump in.

Mario Kart Tour, Free Some of the new features in this big update have yet to be made available, but they’re in there. Trust me. The biggest one is the addition of Battles, a staple of the Mario Kart franchise since the very beginning. I’m looking forward to seeing how these play when they pop up in future tours. The UI has seen some improvements, allowing you to quickly replay a race or head immediately to the next one. And of course, the other major news is that the gatcha-style pipes are being removed from the game in favor of a more transparent system of trading gems for characters, karts, and kites. That’s… not something you see often in free-to-play games, and I have to wonder why they are doing it. Not complaining, mind.

Tiny Tower: 8 Bit Retro Tycoon, Free See, what you usually see is more like this. There are new ways to spend money in Tiny Tower! The Premium Pass is now available in Gold and Silver varieties, with more goodies in the Gold one, naturally. You can also spend Golden tickets in new ways, doubling or tripling up on a single floor for additional extras. You also get two new costumes and two new pets to collect, plus a few other tweaks and fixes.

Genshin Impact, Free Updates for Genshin Impact are still pretty big news, and they’re generally large enough to understand why. This latest version, titled King Deshret and the Three Magi, offers up some new areas, new characters, new events, new stories, new weapons, and new bosses to enjoy. Cyno with the Staff of the Scarlet Sands in the Land of Lower Setekh. I’m doing a cheeky Clue-style thing here, but it’s less apparent in text. Oh well. The important thing is that Genshin Impact has a ton of new content to explore, and I tried to make a joke. In the end, that’s basically what we’re here for.

The Oregon Trail, The Apple Arcade version of The Oregon Trail has been a surprising treat so far, and its updates are always worth looking into. This time it adds the ability to visit storytelling campsites to listen to folk tales about sixteen creepy creatures. There’s a new path to California to tackle, following the tragic route of the Donner-Reed Party. Sometimes this game is about educating, after all. Beyond that, Walk the Trail mode now has a new feature called Dilemmas that can cause status effects. The only way to get rid of them is to do more walking. There’s a bit more than that, but I’ll let you explore the rest of this update on your own.

LEGO® Brawls, Halloween update time? Oh goodness, I guess it is. Well, LEGO Brawls will be the first shot but I’m sure it won’t be the last. In the Brick-or-Treat Brawl, you need to collect as much candy as possible in the returning spooky levels. This event will be rolling on for five weeks, so… I hope you like Halloween? There are also the usual performance improvements and bug fixes, which are the opposite of scary. They are very safe and happy things, calming and not startling at all. BOO! Haaaa, I got you. Look. Just let me have this.

Marvel Contest of Champions, Free I’ll be honest, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what is actually in each update to this game. It’s always a lot. This one has a new chapter that kicks off Act 8 of the story, and it involves a shadowy organization called Ouroboros. No one good ever names their group Ouroboros, by the way. Titania’s challenges continue, the Eternity of Pain challenges continue, and I can’t help but think I’ve written about most of this when the last update hit. Well, all that stuff that started in early September continues here. Enjoy more of it.

Disney Heroes: Battle Mode, Free Recently, the Disney Magic Kingdoms game kicked off a Turning Red event. I guess Disney Heroes got a bit jealous, because Mei Lee joins the playable roster as of this update. There are also some new campaign chapters and the typical bug fixes and performance enhancements. You know who I’d really like to see added in this game? Mei’s mother. Now that’s what I would call an OP character.

Diablo Immortal, Free It’s still kind of weird after years of noise and drama that this game just exists now. So this looks like a somewhat major update, with a new dungeon, a new castle to defend for some rewards, some new items, events, a new Battle Pass for you to chuck money at, a new raid boss, and more. I’ve washed my hands of this one but I know plenty of people are still enjoying it. Now there is more of it to enjoy, which is a good thing for those who have phones.

Asphalt 8: Airborne, Free Hey, a little crossover between Gameloft games with this update. Jason from Gangstar Vegas along with sentient car Ramona join Asphalt 8 via the Gangstar Vegas Season Pass. With new vehicles, upgrades, and more, it should be a wild ride. The upgrade system for the game has seen some serious overhauls, so you might want to hop into the game and see if the changes make it better or worse for you. Now when is the Spider-Man Unlimited collaboration?

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!

- Mikhail Madnani
Death Road to Canada MANDIBLE and NERVE Updates Arriving Together for Mobile, Extended Halloween Event Coming to PC This Month

Earlier this year Rocketcat Games and Madgarden’s fantastic road trip zombie apocalypse simulator Death Road to Canada ($14.99) was updated on PC with the huge MANDIBLE update. This follows the LIVER update and more bringing in new special characters, a few new locations, new random characters, custom character cosmetics, more unlockable hats, a new perk, a new trait and much more. The Death Road to Canada MANDIBLE update on Steam added in new locations, a new major feature letting you change your controlled character without pausing, special characters, the Duffle Bag, new zombie heads, and a lot more. It was confirmed for mobile and consoles, but the team has run into an issue with how updates are released going by the Steam announcement. The current plan is to get Death Road to Canada MANDIBLE and the upcoming NERVE update out at the same time on mobile and console platforms. Watch a short clip showcasing the MANDIBLE update below:

Alongside the news for mobile and console platforms, Death Road to Canada is ready for Halloween with the event taking place from October 25th to November 1st versus just the day itself. This event includes starting with a rare monster character or chainsaw hand, themed trick or treaters, and more. The NERVE update will arrive before this event on PC. Details for the update are in the news story linked above. If you’ve not played it yet, Death Road to Canada was our Game of the Year for 2017, we also awarded it 5 stars in our review, and picked it for our Game of the Week upon release. Do you still play the game often on any platform or will you be getting back to it on mobile or console with this major update when it does release?

- Jared Nelson

With its pre-determined launch date of September 30th it didn’t quite make it in time for our weekly round-up of new game releases, but darn it, I just don’t care. I’m not letting that technicality keep me from picking Tallowmere 2 as our Game of the Week. This game is just too awesome. Many people call it a Dead Cells-like, which is apt given how similar the games are, but the original Tallowmere actually came out in 2015, a few years before Dead Cells was a thing. I guess similar to how people refer to games as being like Angry Birds when Crush the Castle came well before it, you’ve just got to stick with what people are familiar with.

Like I said though, the comparison is a fair one. Tallowmere and its sequel are loot-based roguelike dungeon crawlers dressed up as side-scrolling platform games. Levels are procedurally generated, enemies are plentiful and varied, and the loot you come across is extensive. As in Dead Cells one of the most satisfying parts is building out your offensive skillset over the course of a run. The variety of weapons and equipment in Tallowmere 2 is off the charts, allowing you to create some truly incredible loadouts and allowing you to tackle situations in a number of different ways.

This leads to the other major element that makes Tallowmere 2 so much fun, which is the combat. It’s based primarily around using a shield to block attacks or hazards that might harm you, and then countering with some offense. If you try to rush through just hacking and slashing away, you’re gonna have a bad time. Each enemy and situation requires a different approach, and there’s nothing more satisfying than having a tough enemy in an odd location in a level and finding some clever way to use the offensive skills you’ve earned thus far in a run to take them out.

Tallowmere 2 is a game that slowly grows into a massive katamari of dungeon crawler goodness as you progress further and further in each run. Enemies get much more difficult, levels get much more complex, and your weapons and loot become much more deadly and interesting. And when you die, which you inevitably will, you’ll start right back from square one to do it all over again. I just can’t get enough, and like some of my all-time favorite roguelike games, you’ll almost always have a great story of how you eventually bit the dust due to some messed up situation. I love that stuff.

Allow me to borrow a quote from our review of the original Tallowmere from 2015 because I think it’s still fitting for the sequel. “[Tallowmere 2] isn’t for everyone, but almost everyone seems to come to like it after a while." This is a game that might seem too confusing at first, but stick with it enough and things will eventually click as you grow to understand the nuances of the gameplay, and by that time, well, you’ll likely have a hard time putting it down after that.

Since this is the kind of game that has a learning curve and sort of needs to grow on you, it’s nice that you can explore a huge chunk of Tallowmere 2 for free, and likely have hours worth of fun with it without even unlocking the full version. However, the one-time premium unlock IAP is well worth the money for the various goodies that it adds to the game, and will seem like a small price to pay for something that you can conceivably spend hundreds or even thousands of hours playing well into the future.

- Shaun Musgrave
SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Let’s Build a Zoo’, Plus the Latest Releases and Sales

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 30th, 2022. In today’s article, our pal Mikhail has another review for us. Gosh, that guy needs a day off! He’s taking a look at Let’s Build a Zoo, and it’s not exactly the game you might think it is. After that, we have a ton of new releases to check out. This has been the busiest couple days in a while for new Switch releases, and we aren’t even into October yet. Then we’ve got the sales, and there are a fair few of those as well. Let’s go for it!

Reviews & Mini-Views Let’s Build a Zoo ($19.99)

lets build a zoo switch review

I recently interviewed Mike Rose, the founder of No More Robots about Descenders hitting mobile as the publisher’s first release on iOS and Android. When I asked what would potentially come to mobile next, he mentioned a few games including Let’s Build a Zoo. The simulation strategy sandbox hybrid has now just launched on console platforms including Nintendo Switch, and it is excellent with one caveat right now.

Let’s Build a Zoo, as the name suggests, has you taking care of tons of things relating to running your own zoo. You manage finances, staff, decisions with their own amazing writing and a morality scale, getting animals, upgrading, and much more. It starts out very simple, but quickly shows you how deep things can get. I was initially worried about how all of this would feel with a controller or even Joy-Cons given how uncomfortable they are for some games. Thankfully, the developers have done a great job with the radial menu and combination of bumpers and triggers to get things done.

lets build a zoo switch review

It also helps that Let’s Build a Zoo has a great tutorial that eases you into everything. Your zoo within the first few days is going to look very different to how things are a week (in-game) later as you buy more land, start DNA splicing, breeding, hiring employees, building up your facilities, and more. It feels weird to talk about avoiding spoilers in a game like this, but I really think the writing in Let’s Build a Zoo is one of the highlights thanks to the humor and morality system at play.

All of this is carried by the lovely aesthetic and excellent soundtrack. The charming pixel art that is quite detailed and relaxing music come together to deliver a memorable experience that feels right at home on Nintendo Switch. If the Switch supported Quick Resume like Xbox Series X does, I’d make sure I have Let’s Build a Zoo pinned there for the foreseeable future given how much time I’ve been spending with it jumping in after long sessions with Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak and the Chaos;Head games recently.

lets build a zoo switch review

I mentioned one caveat, and it has to do with the interface, but is a two part caveat. I hope future updates can improve the text size and make some interface elements larger. It feels great to play with a controller, but some touch support would’ve also been nice to have for handheld play letting you select enclosures or facilities. Performance is better than I expected on Switch given how some sandbox simulation games run which is nice to see.

Let’s Build a Zoo has tons of content in the base release, but you can take things further with the optional Dinosaur Island DLC that is available as an upgrade or in a bundle with the base game. The asking price for the game is more than worth it. I’m also glad to see a physical release bundled with the DLC available.

lets build a zoo switch review

Let’s Build a Zoo is a dangerous game. When I decided to take a break from playing The Centennial Case on PS5 to spend a few minutes with Let’s Build a Zoo on Switch, I ended up putting in over an hour and barely realizing it was 1:30 AM. It is a perfect fit for a portable as well, but hope the UI issues can be addressed over time with updates. If you can deal with the small text and some interface elements, this is an essential. I like the controls, gameplay, writing, and never got tired of the music. While I’m sure it runs better on more powerful systems, I don’t think I’d trade portability for anything else with Let’s Build a Zoo, and I hope it does hit iPad in the near future. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 4/5

New Releases Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris ($49.99)

I love how the name of this series implies the games based on it are online games when, generally speaking, they are not. At best you get some online modes like this one has. This game released a couple of years ago on other platforms, and by and large most assessments of it find it to be quite middling. But if you really like Sword Art Online and just want to have some fun action-RPG shenanigans with Kirito and company, don’t let that stop you.

Bullet Soul ($14.00)

If you’ve got a hankering for a vertical shooter, MAGES has a pair of blasts from the past for you to enjoy today. Bullet Soul originally came out on the Xbox 360 in Japan all the way back in 2011, with Western releases on the console and Steam following in 2016 and 2017 respectively. And now you can play it on your Switch! How nice. I do enjoy playing shoot-em-ups on my Switch. This one is livened up with its bullet cancelling mechanic and excellent soundtrack by Kenji Ito (Secret of Mana, Romancing SaGa 3) and Kouta Takahashi (R4: Ridge Racer, Klonoa 2). Normally I’d give it a ringing recommendation, but

Bullet Soul -Infinite Burst- ($14.00)

Perhaps awkwardly, Bullet Soul -Infinite Burst- is an enhanced rerelease of Bullet Soul with some new features and extras. This one came out originally on the Xbox 360 in 2014. And, um, yeah. There’s actually no reason to buy the original Bullet Soul with this available. It has everything that game has and more. So buy this one if you’re interested in Bullet Soul. Not the other one. Not both. This one. This is the one to buy. Why would they release both of them on the same day? I do not know.

EA Sports FIFA 23 Nintendo Switch Legacy Edition ($39.99)

EA phones in another installment of FIFA, and I’m confident it will sell a ton as usual. It’s the same game as the last few years, just with updated rosters. Look at EA sneaking that “EA Sports" into the title in anticipation of its upcoming parting of ways with the FIFA brand. Oh well. Can’t really expect them to do more if they don’t have to.

Airoheart ($39.99)

Wow, they are really going for it with that price. So, Airoheart homages Link to the Past hard. Maybe harder than any other game I’ve ever seen. It does so adequately but utterly without inspiration. You have to ask yourself how much that is a problem for you, I suppose. What is less subjective is how much buggy and crash-prone this game is in its current form. Hopefully it will get patched up soon so we can go back to deciding how much of a crime it is for a game to have too few ideas of its own.

Lemon Cake ($29.99)

Here’s another farming game, this time with a time management component blended in. The story sees you running your own bakery. You’ll have to repair and decorate the rooms of the bakery, grow or gather the ingredients you need to make all of your tasty treats, whip together orders, and serve the customers before they get impatient. Oh, and the bakery may or may not be lightly haunted. Probably nothing to worry about. This one has a decent reputation in its computer form. We’ll see if it has what it takes to woo the Switch crowd as well.

Bunny Park ($19.99)

Decorate your park as you see fit and try to make an environment that will attract bunnies to come and hang out. Each bunny has its own personality, so you’ll have to think about how best to keep them happy. Don’t forget to give them a little petting once in a while, but try not to bother them too much. The bunnies come in a variety of patterns, and I suppose if you need a goal you can try to collect them all. This is another one that has a lot of fans of its other versions, so I don’t doubt its quality. I do, however, wonder why it’s four times the price on Switch that it is on Steam. Probably better to pick it up over there if you have the option.

Sakura MMO 2 ($9.99)

This visual novel continues the story of Kotone/Viola, who was zapped into the world of the MMO she was playing. Now that she has been there a while, the proverbial honeymoon period is starting to wane. She’s starting to ask questions, including the big one about whether or not she’ll ever be able to return to Japan. Well, it’s another Sakura game. You probably know by now if these are your thing. If they are, you’ll likely enjoy this one. If not… there’s nothing here that’s going to change your mind.

Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy ($17.99)

And here’s another visual novel, this one with a few more choices on the table than the average one. The setting is a world of fantasy with a Victorian steampunk vibe. The hero, Taka, is returning to his homeland and finds himself at a coffee house that tickles his memories. This is a world where coffee is the most important thing around, and everything seems to involve it in some form or another. There are four different romance options and multiple endings based on the decisions you make. If nothing else, that weird premise counts for some points.

Paw Patrol: Grand Prix ($49.99)

Wait, it’s a Paw Patrol-themed kart racing game? Oh, this is going to make a whole bunch of money. Up to four players can join in via local multiplayer courtesy of splitscreen play. There are eleven different tracks to race on, and a variety of characters from the show to play as. Naturally there are also items that more or less do the same things the items do in Mario Kart. Obviously nowhere near as good in terms of gameplay or amount of content as Mario Kart, but Paw Patrol-loving kids aren’t going to care.

One Hell of a Ride ($6.99)

This game isn’t shy about name-dropping its sources of inspiration, and it paints a clear picture of what the developers were thinking about. Whether or not they achieved that goal, I leave up to you to decide. Anyway, this is a racing game with an emphasis on carnage, with weapons you can use to attack the other racers and potentially knock them out of the race completely. You can also smash them with your car, but that’s obviously a riskier play. It’s very reasonably priced, so if you like the sound of the premise you don’t have much to lose by rolling the dice on it.

9 Clues 2: The Ward ($14.99)

It’s been a while since the last Artifex Mundi release. I wondered if maybe they had tapped out because of the significant competition in their niche. But no, here we are with another hidden object adventure from one of the publishers best known for them. A pair of detectives are called to a psychiatric hospital located on a remote island. I feel like going there isn’t a great idea, but I guess something has to get the plot going. See if you can get to the bottom of things before you end up in the exact sort of condition you’d expect to be in after going to such an ominous location.

Shotgun Farmers ($9.99)

This is a shooter that can be played with up to ten players via online multiplayer. You can also play offline by yourself. The gimmick is that all the weapons are homegrown, with bullets serving as seeds to grow new ones. So if you get shot at, the bullets that whizzed past you will soon become a weapon of the same type. Bonkers. There are a few different modes to play, and you can unlock a ton of cosmetics to customize your farmer with.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – Cloud Version ($49.99)

It’s another one of those hard choices for Switch owners. Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is a really good isometric RPG, one that is certainly worth playing for fans of the genre. But this is a Cloud Version, and that means you need to be anchored to a good internet connection at all times while playing it. If you have any other means of experiencing the game, they are are almost certainly going to be a better choice. If you don’t… well, download the demo and see how it runs for you.

Undungeon ($19.99)

This is an action-RPG that saw middling reviews for its computer version. Most of the mixed reviews come down to its overuse of tutorials and text dumps, along with some polish and difficulty scaling issues. On the other hand, the game was praised for its setting and world-building, and I can see why. It’s a cool science-fiction story about clashing multiverses, and I can’t say I have seen many games in this genre that look quite like it. I haven’t been able to dive into it, but I think you should probably wait for some reviews on how this particular port turned out before wading in.

Swarmrider Omega ($4.99)

If you enjoyed Swarmriders, here’s the next game in the series. It’s darker, it’s faster, and it features new power-ups and a denser swarm. For those unfamiliar with the previous game, this is a cross between an auto-runner and a twin-stick shooter. It’s a pretty neat little action game, albeit one you’ll probably exhaust somewhat quickly.

Guns N’ Runs ($9.99)

Yes, this game certainly features both of those things. It’s a fast-paced run and gun action game with eight different characters and a variety of weapons to use. There are twenty-three bosses to fell as you make your way through two hundred tightly-timed challenges. Seems like a decent game for the price, but I haven’t done much of a deep dive on it yet.

Dropsy ($9.99)

I find that clown unsettling. Sorry, I’m sure he’s a lovely boy and he seems to enjoy a good hug, but he troubles me. That said, I think I am supposed to find him a little creepy. This is a point-and-click style adventure game about a clown who just wants to bring a little joy to an overly negative and harsh world. It manages to thread the needle between comedy and horror quite well with its story, and if you’re going to love the game it is going to be for the narrative aspects. Its gameplay elements aren’t quite as endearing, but I could see people going one way or the other on that. I’ll have a review of this one as soon as I can stop screaming at the clown.

School Race GP ($10.00)

SAT-BOX has another game in its Desktop/Eraser series of games. This one is a kart racer that supports up to six players via local multiplayer splitscreen. You get fifteen courses to race on, so from a pure numbers standpoint this game is kind of looking like the winner for best kart racer of today’s games. Sadly, it does not have a Paw Patrol license so I imagine it will not be the sales victor.

Virtual Families Cook Off: Chapter 1 Let’s Go Flippin’ ($4.99)

Oh, I don’t like the look of that Chapter 1. I don’t like the look of it at all. This is another one of those time management cooking games. Customers come up and order food, you prep it and deliver it to them, and if you take too long they get angry and leave. I don’t know if this is made from a template or not, and that alone is not a great sign for a game. See you next week for Chapter Flippin’ 2.

Elite Soldier Shooter ($9.99)

Megame is definitely rising up in my list of junk game purveyors of late. They have a few poor efforts for us today, and this is probably the most ambitious of the lot. It’s a pretty generic single-player first-person shooter, and as you might expect it is not very good. Some will buy it anyway.

Sudoku Casual Puzzle ($9.99)

This is just another Sudoku game, with absolutely nothing to distinguish it from the many other Sudoku games on Switch.

Chess Classic Board Game ($9.99)

A completely generic, low-effort chess game. You can play against the CPU or another player in local multiplayer. You can do a lot better than this on Switch for around the same price.

Neon Mine ($4.99)

It’s just Minesweeper with a different visual theme.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Cuphead and its expansion DLC are on sale, and that is some good news. There are also sales on the Picross S games and several Arcade Archives titles, which happen so rarely I insist you at least give them a little attention. Not too much in the outbox for the weekend, but have a look at it anyway just in case.

Select New Games on Sale

Cuphead & The Delicious Last Course ($20.00 from $26.99 until 10/7)
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC ($7.19 from $7.99 until 10/7)
Squish ($10.49 from $14.99 until 10/12)
Superbeat: XONiC ($20.99 from $29.99 until 10/12)
Severed Steel ($16.24 from $24.99 until 10/13)
Underhero ($4.24 from $16.99 until 10/13)
Shikhondo: Soul Eater ($2.79 from $13.99 until 10/13)
Sunless Sea: Zubmariner Edition ($4.99 from $19.99 until 10/13)
The Procession to Calvary ($7.49 from $14.99 until 10/13)
Apsulov: End of Gods ($13.49 from $29.99 until 10/13)
Unto The End ($7.49 from $24.99 until 10/13)
Tamashii ($2.99 from $11.99 until 10/13)
Bloody Rally Show ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/13)
Picross S ($6.39 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Picross S2 ($7.19 from $8.99 until 10/13)


Picross S3 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Picross S4 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Picross S5 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Picross S6 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Picross S7 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Picross S Genesis & MS ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
ACA NEOGEO Puzzle Bobble ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Arcade Archives Time Tunnel ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Arcade Archives Typhoon Gal ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Arcade Archives Front Line ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Arcade Archives Pirate Pete ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Arcade Archives The Ninja Warriors ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/13)
Seashell ($1.99 from $3.99 until 10/14)
Timberman: The Big Adventure ($3.34 from $4.99 until 10/14)
MotoGP 19 ($1.99 from $19.99 until 10/14)


Monster Energy Supercross 2 ($2.49 from $24.99 until 10/14)
Mad Games Tycoon ($11.99 from $39.99 until 10/14)
Mad Tower Tycoon ($8.99 from $29.99 until 10/14)
Pac-Man CE 2 Plus ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Mr. Driller DrillLand ($7.49 from $29.99 until 10/17)
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 ($8.99 from $59.99 until 10/17)
Katamari Damacy Reroll ($7.49 from $29.99 until 10/17)
Dragon Ball FighterZ ($9.59 from $59.99 until 10/17)
Dragon Ball Z Kakarot ($29.99 from $59.99 until 10/17)
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 ($7.49 from $49.99 until 10/17)
My Hero One’s Justice 2 ($14.99 from $59.99 until 10/17)
Sword Art Online Hollow Realization ($7.49 from $49.99 until 10/17)
Strike Buster Prototype ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/17)
The Gardens Between ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/17)
Death Park ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/18)


Castle on the Coast ($5.99 from $14.99 until 10/19)
May’s Mysteries: TSoD ($8.99 from $14.99 until 10/19)
The Amazing American Circus ($6.99 from $19.99 until 10/19)
Effie ($5.99 from $19.99 until 10/19)
orbit.industries ($12.99 from $19.99 until 10/19)
This is the Zodiac Speaking ($2.98 from $12.99 until 10/19)
An NPC’s Odyssey ($3.49 from $4.99 until 10/20)
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/20)
Anger Force Reloaded ($6.99 from $9.99 until 10/20)
Devil Slayer Raksasi ($9.99 from $14.99 until 10/20)
Heaven Dust ($3.99 from $7.99 until 10/20)
Heaven Dust 2 ($9.99 from $14.99 until 10/20)
Desktop Soccer ($2.13 from $7.11 until 10/20)
Our Winter Sports ($3.81 from $12.72 until 10/20)


G-MODE Archives29 Zanac ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/20)
Chef’s Tail ($5.17 from $11.49 until 10/20)
S.W.A.N. Chernobyl Unexplored ($5.62 from $12.49 until 10/20)
Ancient Islands ($6.86 from $12.49 until 10/20)
Trios Lofi Beats/Numbers ($2.95 from $7.99 until 10/20)
Feather ($3.69 from $9.99 until 10/20)

Sales Ending This Weekend

Armed 7 DX ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/1)
Driving School Sim ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)
Elena Temple: Definitive ($1.99 from $4.99 until 10/1)
Extreme Trucks Simulator ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)
Farmer Sim 2020 ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)
Flight Sim 2020 ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)
Gigantic Army ($3.59 from $8.99 until 10/1)
Glitch’s Trip ($3.24 from $12.99 until 10/1)
Gnome More War ($1.99 from $2.99 until 10/1)
Grand Guilds ($1.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)
High Noon Revolver ($1.99 from $2.99 until 10/1)
Real Driving Sim ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)


Satazius Next ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/1)
Ship Sim 2020 ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)
Shmup Collection ($5.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)
Taxi Sim 2020 ($7.99 from $9.90 until 10/1)
The Last Survey ($1.99 from $14.99 until 10/1)
Towertale ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/1)
Twin Blades of the Three Kingdoms ($11.99 from $19.99 until 10/1)
Wolflame ($2.79 from $6.99 until 10/1)
Arcadia Fallen ($19.99 from $24.99 until 10/2)
BouncyBoi in Puzzle Land ($7.47 from $14.95 until 10/2)
Discolored ($3.49 from $9.99 until 10/2)

That’s all for today, this week, and this month. We’ll be back next week to start off October with more new releases, more reviews, more sales, and some news. As for me, I’ll be spending my weekend playing PSP games. That’s the current kick I am on. I hope you all have a nice weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!

- Mikhail Madnani
‘GRIS+’ Is This Week’s New Apple Arcade Release and It Is Out Now Alongside Big Updates for Taiko No Tatsujin, LEGO Brawls, and More

Nomada Studio and Devolver Digital’s brilliant GRIS+ () has joined Apple Arcade today as an App Store Great. If you’ve not played it yet, GRIS debuted on PC and Nintendo Switch before seeing PS4 and mobile releases later on. I reviewed the iOS version. Read my review here. GRIS+ was announced as the final September 2022 release on Apple arcade that was the service’s best month in a while. Grab it on Apple Arcade here. Watch the trailer for the original release below:

Alongside the Kingdom Rush Vengeance+ update that rolled out today with the standalone release being updated yesterday, there have been quite a few notable updates on the service today. Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat brings in Tank from Cowboy Bebop, GO from Naruto, Pegasus Fantasy from Seint Seiya, and more. Spire Blast has added in 20 new levels, pointing blocks, and performance improvements today. SP!NG brings in chapter 9 of the lost levels today with version 1.14.0. Other notable updates include The Oregon Trail has gotten another major update adding in storytelling campsites, a new path to California, Dilemmas, and much more with new contracts appearing daily instead of weekly now. LEGO Brawls brings back Spooky levels in time for Halloween with the Brick-or-Treat Brawl.

Following today’s new release and updates, make sure to head over to our forum threads for GRIS+ here, the original GRIS here, The Oregon Trail here, LEGO Brawls here</a, SP!NG here, Spire Blast here, and Taiko no Tatsujin: Pop Tap Beat here. For all other Apple Arcade related things, check out our dedicated Apple Arcade forum for discussion on the service and every game included here. What do you think of the recent Apple Arcade releases and upcoming games?

- Shaun Musgrave
SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring ‘Hokko Life’, Plus ‘Skyrim Anniversary Edition’ and Today’s Other Releases

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 29th, 2022. In today’s article, we have a bunch of new releases to check out with the spearhead being The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition. There’s a little here for everyone, but sim game fans are eating particularly well today. Beyond the many new release summaries, we’ve also got the usual lists of new and outgoing sales. Oh, and our pal Mikhail has a review for us of the quirky Hokko Life. A Thursday review? That’s un-possible! Believe it, friends. Let’s get digging!

Reviews & Mini-Views Hokko Life ($19.99)

hokko life switch review

If you watched the recent Nintendo Direct, a lot of people were joking about how everything was a farming or life simulation game. That may have been a problem for some, but I love life and farming simulation games. When Hokko Life was revealed, it looked like another interesting take on the formula, but one that was clearly inspired by Nintendo’s behemoth Animal Crossing franchise of games. I adored Animal Crossing: New Leaf and while New Horizons wasn’t great at launch, it improved considerably with updates.

Hokko Life from developer Wonderscope and publisher Team17 is a farming life simulation game that blends elements of Animal Crossing and Story of Seasons together with its own charm and focus on different customization and crafting elements. You begin in a new village doing basic tasks for the villagers but have a lot of freedom with how to progress. One thing to note early on, is that Hokko Life isn’t reliant on the real time clock like Animal Crossing is, letting you actually play when you want without being forced to do specific things at different times of the day.

hokko life switch review

The real draw in Hokko Life as a life sim, is how creative you can be with your crafting and customization across the board. There’s even the ability to share your designs and get others. I hope future updates can improve the pacing or unlock times for specific abilities though. The freedom in-game and openness of how you approach specific tasks means you might miss or not unlock something important until later on.

Having left early access and hit 1.0 to launch on PC and consoles, Hokko Life has one aspect that will turn some off, the aesthetic. I got used to it, but still feel like some of the villagers don’t look the part for the game. Everything else visually is very good. Speaking of leaving early access, Hokko Life still has a few glitches with placement and movement. I’m also not happy with the load times on Switch when you move in and out of locations. The performance isn’t as bad as Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, but it isn’t perfect right now. Hopefully these can be improved in updates.

hokko life switch review

Hokko Life‘s soundtrack is lovely and one of the highlights of the experience alongside the visuals. I hope it is sold separately because I checked iTunes and Steam after playing for an hour to buy the soundtrack and couldn’t find it. The sound design in general is also very well done.

In its current state, I’d recommend picking up Hokko Life on another platform over Nintendo Switch if you have the option. The long load times and performance issues even in early parts hold it back. The developers have said that they are still working on the game and bringing more to it, and Hokko Life has the potential to be much better on Switch. Right now, I can only recommend it with the caveat about technical issues and assuming you like the aesthetic. I enjoyed my time with this blend of elements from Animal Crossing and Story of Seasons. -Mikhail Madnani

SwitchArcade Score: 3.5/5

New Releases The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition ($69.99 or $19.99 Upgrade)

This kind of dropped out the sky, didn’t it? This is available as a stand-alone purchase for $69.99 or as an upgrade DLC for existing Skyrim owners for $19.99. So what do you get? Well, first of all you get all the Creation Club add-ons and extras like fishing, survival mode, some Morrowind-inspired goodies, and a ton of other goodies. You also get some Anniversary Edition-specific things like new quests, characters, gear, and items. I would imagine the graphical improvements seen in some other versions of the game won’t be found here, but perhaps I am wrong.

Moon Dancer ($18.99)

Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait a year for indie developer Terarin’s latest shoot-em-up spectacular to release outside of Japan. Moon Dancer is another vertically-scrolling shooter with a 16-bit style, and the theme this time around is the lock-on laser that calls back to games like RayForce. There’s an eight-stage arcade mode plus a well-tuned Caravan mode that gives you three minutes to rack up as high a score as you can. Naturally, there are online leaderboards to compete on. I’ve had this game since its Japanese release and I can safely say it’s a must-have for shoot-em-up fans.

Railgrade ($19.99)

Oh hey, Epic Games. I’ve heard of these folks. Anyway, this is a railway management sim. You have to run the transportation network on an off-world colony and help restore industrial production for the chemical company you’re working for following a massive disaster. Create efficient transportation routes to reconnect parts of the colony, and rebuild the cities surrounding them. The developer on this game is Minakata Dynamics, whose prior work involved supporting the development of Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble. As it turns out, there are a lot of sim games hitting the eShop today. This one certainly has the spiffiest graphics of the bunch.

Let’s Build a Zoo ($19.99)

Yes, let’s. I think you probably don’t need me to explain too much here. This is a sim game where you try to build and run your own zoo. There are more than five hundred different animals and you can splice their DNA to create considerably more. You’ll need to keep the animals and visitors happy however you can, and if you want to play things by the book or try to get away with some shady stuff. Mikhail has been playing this one in anticipation of a review, and he seems to be really enjoying it so far.

From Space ($19.99)

Hmm. To tell the truth, I’m not fully sure this is hitting today. The eShop says it is, but the developer has communicated on its Steam page that there has been a delay to November. But maybe that’s just the computer version? Well, we’ll know soon. This is an overhead shooter for up to four players via online multiplayer. It features a variety of aliens to blast and weapons to blast them with, along with a bevy of characters each with their own strengths and weaknesses. There’s also a leveling system, because that’s a thing most games of this sort have these days. I really like the colors in this game. I hope it plays as good as it looks.

Dorfromantik ($14.99)

Okay, I checked: this has nothing to do with Tim Conway. Dodged a bullet there. No, this is a chill strategy game where you place tiles that form villages and landscapes. You earn points based on where you put the tiles, so that’s the challenge if you happen to need one. Set a high score, try to beat it. Or just relax and enjoy the vibes. I’m hoping to review this one soon, but we’ll have to see how my schedule shakes out.

Shirone: the Dragon Girl ($14.99)

Shirone is a dragon girl who wakes up in a haunted castle without knowing how she got there. All she knows is she has to escape, and all she has to help her is her wings and her tail. It’s kind of a 3D action-adventure game where you progress stage by stage, solving puzzles and finding the route to the exit. You can also find secret items in each stage that will unlock additional hairstyles and clothes to customize Shirone’s look. It’s only a few hours long, but it’s a good few hours. I know it doesn’t look like much in the screenshots, but it’s surprisingly well-made.

Funtasia ($14.99)

One of those side-scrolling driving games with wild physics, Funtasia leans hard on its extremely funky visuals to distinguish it from similar titles. Gameplay-wise, you probably know how this sort of thing goes. Accelerate, brake, and try to balance your vehicle to make your way to the finish line as smoothly as possible. If you aren’t cautious enough your mistakes will cost you, but if you play it too safe your battery will run out before you hit the goal. There are ten trippy tracks to race on and forty different vehicles to race in. There are online leaderboards, so the replay value comes in trying to come out ahead of other players.

Everdell ($19.99)

Here’s another conversion of a tabletop board game. Everdell is one of the worker placement variety of games, and it’s rather well-liked within the tabletop space. This Switch version allows you to play alone or with up to four players in local and online multiplayer. It has cross-platform support, so you should hopefully be able to find people to play with. This digital adaptation from Dire Wolf has been out for a few months already on Steam and seems to have been incredibly warmly received by players, and I expect it will also land well here.

Voodoo Detective ($14.99)

It’s been a few days since the last really good point-and-click style adventure game hit the eShop, so I guess we’re about due for another. This game is very much in line with the classic Lucasarts type of adventure, and it has a really cool premise that it mostly delivers on. You play as the Voodoo Detective, who is exactly what his name implies. A particularly wild case lands in your lap, and you’re going to have to use everything you’ve got to solve it. I wouldn’t call it a must-have, but those who enjoy this sort of thing will probably like it a lot.

Escape Goat ($4.99)

This extremely well-regarded puzzle-platformer makes its way to Switch in this steal of a deal. I first encountered Escape Goat, as many probably did, in the Xbox 360’s Xbox Live Indie Games catalog. It is a wildly clever game with some very inventive stages, and if you enjoy things like Solomon’s Key or Catrap you will be right at home. You get more than fifty stages to jump and butt your way through, plus a level editor for you to make your own devilish creations. Definitely worth the fiver.

Burger Patrol ($4.99)

Oh heck, a falling block puzzle game where you build burgers? I’m already interested. There are seven different modes of play, with multiple difficulty levels and timed challenges. It takes a bit to learn how the game works, but once you do, it’s quite fun. It sort of reminds me of the Yoshi puzzle game on the NES and Game Boy, but not as constricting. A rather nice game of this sort, and I’d imagine any fans of the genre will feel like they got their money’s worth from it.

Fashion Friends ($9.99)

Like Fashion Girls and Fashion Princess before it, Fashion Friends is a Qix-style arcade action game disguised as a fashion game. Carve out portions of the play area to reveal the clothes hidden underneath. There are eighty levels to play, and once you’ve unlocked clothes you can use them in the photo mode to make your own scenes. Unlike many games that borrow from Qix, this one doesn’t use saucy pictures and is thus appropriate for kids and adults alike.

Arcade Archives Assault ($7.99)

Another Bandai Namco game from the archives, this time 1988’s Assault. It’s a multi-directional tank shooter, one that you could say follows in the lineage of games like Tank Battalion, Battle City, and Grobda. It’s actually a really fun game, and one that doesn’t seem to come up often in retrospectives of Bandai Namco’s legendary arcade output. The original arcade game used two sticks for proper tank controls, and that is replicated quite nicely here.

C.A.R.L. ($14.99)

This is a 2D platformer that was apparently inspired by the likes of Cave Story, Jazz Jackrabbit, and Speedy Eggbert. You play as a robot who is lost in a sprawling complex and need to find your way out, all while helping your friend on the outside. You need to solve puzzles and gain new abilities to get around. This one is the work of Andrew Kenady (more famously known these days as Nintendrew) and his friend Matt Bitner, who you may know as the sole developer behind A Robot Named Fight. Some pretty good credentials, so I’m looking forward to digging into this one to see if it lives up to them.

Martian Panic ($39.99)

Man, I don’t want to come off as rude or anything, but if your price heads north of the thirty-dollar mark on the eShop, you really need to bring something resembling an A-game. I’m not sure Martian Panic is that, but I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. This is a shooter in the vein of the old light-gun arcade games where you’re fending off a Martian invasion in eight different levels. There are various weapons and power-ups you can find along the way. Up to four players can get in on the alien-busting action at once via local multiplayer.

Picross S8 ($9.99)

Yes, it’s more Picross from the folks at Jupiter. You may or may not need more Picross. It has a whopping 485 puzzles in total to solve. The new gimmick in this one is that it supports up to four players in local multiplayer. Given this is the eighth game in this series on the Switch and something like the eleventh or twelfth of Jupiter’s Picross games on the platform in total, there really isn’t much new for me to talk about here. Buy it, wishlist it, or leave it.

Host 714 ($4.99)

This is a stealth game where you play as someone who joins a treatment center only to find himself as a test subject for an entirely different and more sinister experiment. Now you have to escape the research institute by whatever means you can muster. As usual for QUByte’s releases, it’s at least quite affordable.

Crossroads Inn: A Fantasy Tavern Sim ($19.99)

While this game’s premise of mashing up a management sim with a proper fantasy campaign is an intriguing one, I have a number of concerns that will need to be allayed before I can even start to recommend it. You see, this game has been out on computers for a while, and it kind of has a reputation for being extremely buggy and having a number of technical issues. Considering those kinds of things seem to happen more frequently rather than less in Switch ports, I strongly suggest exercising caution before considering purchasing this game.

Treasures of the Roman Empire ($6.99)

This is an odd adventure game of sorts where you go to various scenes and play minigames to reveal the treasures you have to collect. There are thirty-two levels in all to play. The game’s strangest flex is that the soundtrack was done by Matthew Malley, the former bass guitarist of Counting Crows. Might be interesting if you’re in the right mood.

Casual Challenge Players’ Club ($4.99)

The folks at eastasiasoft know that if you want to sell a game that is basically the same as a million other games on the eShop, all you have to do is add some anime girls to it. Here’s another billiards game, with four different gameplay modes and support for local multiplayer. And anime girls. Some anime boys, too. Maybe that’s enough to sell you on it.

Corrupt – Political Idle City War Strategy Simulator Craft ($9.99)

Here’s Midnight Works to drop another turd in the punch bowl. Handheld mode only because this developer will never give enough of a crap to put in any effort on its mobile ports. It’s complete trash, as is par for the course from these folks.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Some games we don’t often see on sale are in today’s list already, including The Journey Down and Super Meat Boy. Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown is having its first post-launch sale along with other Tin Man titles. And while not quite as uncommon as some other discounts, you can’t go wrong picking up Dragon’s Dogma and the Mana games. As the Mana games go on sale, pretty much all of Square Enix’s other games are finishing their latest discounts. Check that outbox and see if anything catches your eye.

Select New Games on Sale

Anima: GoM Arcane Edition ($6.89 from $29.99 until 10/10)
The Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($17.49 from $24.99 until 10/11)
Krispain Hero ($1.99 from $9.99 until 10/12)
Collection of Mana ($19.99 from $39.99 until 10/13)
Trials of Mana ($24.99 from $49.99 until 10/13)
Legend of Mana ($14.99 from $29.99 until 10/13)
Slipstream ($7.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Super Meat Boy ($5.99 from $14.99 until 10/13)
Hammerwatch ($3.49 from $9.99 until 10/13)
Heroes of Hammerwatch ($9.99 from $19.99 until 10/13)
Vagante ($9.74 from $14.99 until 10/13)
Airborne Kingdom ($14.99 from $24.99 until 10/13)
Broken Mind ($6.99 from $9.99 until 10/13)
JankBrain ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/13)
Epic Dumpster Bear 2 HWBW ($2.49 from $4.99 until 10/13)


Dragon’s Dogma ($9.99 from $29.99 until 10/13)
Cannon Brawl ($3.49 from $9.99 until 10/13)
The Journey Down: Chapter One ($3.14 from $6.99 until 10/13)
The Journey Down: Chapter Two ($6.74 from $14.99 until 10/13)
The Journey Down: Chapter Three ($8.99 from $19.99 until 10/13)
Warlock of Firetop Mountain: GS Edition ($2.99 from $29.99 until 10/19)
Table of Tales: Crooked Crown ($14.99 from $19.99 until 10/19)
Choices That Matter: ATSWO ($2.99 from $5.99 until 10/19)
Choices That Matter: ATSWE ($2.99 from $5.99 until 10/19)
Choices That Matter: ATHWL ($2.99 from $5.99 until 10/19)
To Be Or Not To Be ($3.49 from $6.99 until 10/19)
This War of Mine: CE ($1.99 from $39.99 until 10/19)
South of the Circle ($9.09 from $12.99 until 10/19)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Friday, September 30th

Aegis Defenders ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
An American Werewolf in LA ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/30)
Archvale ($11.24 from $14.99 until 9/30)
Balan Wonderworld ($11.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Bit Dungeon Plus ($2.06 from $8.99 until 9/30)
Car Dealer Driver ($4.99 from $9.99 until 9/30)
Carto ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Catmaze ($7.99 from $9.99 until 9/30)
Chocobo GP ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Collection of SaGa FFL ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Crying Suns ($14.99 from $24.99 until 9/30)
Crypt of the Necrodancer ($3.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
DEEMO -Reborn- ($15.00 from $25.00 until 9/30)
Dodgeball Academia ($17.49 from $24.99 until 9/30)


Dragon Quest ($3.24 from $4.99 until 9/30)
Dragon Quest II ($4.21 from $6.49 until 9/30)
Dragon Quest III ($8.11 from $12.49 until 9/30)
Dungeon Encounters ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Farm Tycoon ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
FF Crystal Chronicles ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Final Fantasy IX ($10.49 from $20.99 until 9/30)
Final Fantasy VII ($7.99 from $15.99 until 9/30)
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Final Fantasy XII TZA ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Flynn Son of Crimson ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Forager ($7.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Have a Blast ($1.99 from $7.99 until 9/30)


I Am Setsuna ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)
Ikenfell ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Infinite Golf 2 ($2.49 from $4.99 until 9/30)
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 Cloud Vers ($27.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Cloud Vers ($34.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Kingdom Hearts III Cloud Vers ($34.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Cloud Vers ($62.99 from $89.99 until 9/30)
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory ($24.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Lost Sphear ($14.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
MO: Astray ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/30)
NEO The World Ends With You ($29.99 from $59.99 until 9/30)
One Step From Eden ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Oninaki ($19.99 from $49.99 until 9/30)
Paddles ($4.49 from $4.99 until 9/30)
Parkasaurus ($18.74 from $24.99 until 9/30)


Ring of Pain ($9.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Romancing SaGa 2 ($7.49 from $24.99 until 9/30)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($8.69 from $28.99 until 9/30)
SaGa Frontier Remastered ($17.49 from $24.99 until 9/30)
SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Slay the Spire ($9.99 from $24.99 until 9/30)
Spelunker Party! ($8.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Staxel ($9.99 from $24.99 until 9/30)
Supraland ($11.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
The Centennial Case: Shijima Story ($32.49 from $49.99 until 9/30)
The Wild at Heart ($16.74 from $24.99 until 9/30)
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 HD ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger HD ($14.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Unsighted ($13.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)


Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden ($20.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars ($20.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Void Bastards ($11.99 from $29.99 until 9/30)
Wandersong ($4.99 from $19.99 until 9/30)
Wildfire ($7.49 from $14.99 until 9/30)
Wizard of Legend ($6.39 from $15.99 until 9/30)
World of Final Fantasy Maxima ($15.99 from $39.99 until 9/30)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with the remaining releases of the week, including games like Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris, FIFA 23 Legacy Edition, and… Bunny Park? We’ll have summaries of all of them, along with whatever sales and big news items roll in. Probably a fair few sales. Fridays are like that. I hope you all have a great Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!

- Jared Nelson

A few weeks back developer OrangePixel released their newest game on mobile called Residual. This is a roguelike survival game where you play as a pilot who crash lands on a procedurally generated planet, filled with all sorts of crazy creatures and biomes. A snarky AI bot joins your journey as you explore each planet with the goal of discovering items and solving puzzles in an effort to repair your ship and get the heck out of there. Residual is a bit unique in that there’s no direct combat in the game, though there are certainly ways you can harm any baddies that come your way and of course there are plenty of ways harm can befall you, so you definitely need to proceed with caution. Here is the game’s most recent trailer which should give you a pretty good idea of what’s in store.

Anyway, as I said Residual launched on iOS a few weeks back with one of its core features being physical controller support, since this is a game that was originally born on platforms with physical controls. However, for whatever reason the controller support was broken in the release version of the game, despite working in the test builds. OrangePixel has finally been able to get to the bottom of it and an update today fixes the broken controller functionality. In addition to that, the Android version that was said to launch within weeks of the iOS release is indeed going to hit that mark and has been put up for pre-registration on the Google Play Store. So if you’re on iOS and have been waiting for controllers to work check out the latest update, and if you’re on Android and have been just waiting to get your hands on Residual at all, be sure to pre-register for the game’s Android launch next month.

- Jared Nelson

We learned back in July that Spiderweb Software’s latest game Queen’s Wish 2: The Tormentor would be heading to desktop platforms in August, which is exactly what happened, and at that time we were guessing that the iOS version of the game would come about 3 months later based on the release cycle of the first Queen’s Wish game that released back in 2019. Well, we were a month off with that guess, but thankfully in the more preferred direction. Queen’s Wish 2: The Tormentor will be arriving on iPhone and iPad devices on October 26th, just a hair longer than two months out from its desktop launch on August 24th. Here is a trailer showcasing all the adventures you’ll be facing in Queen’s Wish 2.

And yes, I did say iPhone devices in addition to iPad, which makes this just the second ever Spiderweb Software game to have iPhone support, with the first being the original Queen’s Wish. You can’t really blame them though, as Spiderweb’s brand of old-school PC-style RPGs really require a lot of screen real estate for lots of text and UI, and it’s not something that’s easily converted to an iPhone-sized screen. However, being that the Queen’s Wish games are more recent creations, as opposed to their previously released games on iPad which have all been ports of older games originally created for desktop, I think it affords them the opportunity to think of screen sizes during the actual development process instead of trying to shoehorn smaller screen support onto something after the fact.

I’m just rambling now, but the main point is that I’m excited for another Spiderweb game with iPhone support. If you are a fan of this developer’s games and enjoyed the original Queen’s Wish, then look forward to Queen’s Wish 2: The Tormentor when it arrives on iOS devices October 26th.

- Mikhail Madnani
‘Kingdom Rush Vengeance’ Primal Ravage Update Now Available

Ironhide Game Studio’s Kingdom Rush Vengeance ($4.99) has gotten quite a few updates over the years on iOS, Android, and PC. If you’ve not played it yet, Kingdom Rush Vengeance is the fourth title in the immensely popular series of tower defense games, and it even made its way to Apple Arcade recently. Today, Kingdom Rush Vengeance on iOS and Android has gotten its Primal Ravage update featuring three new stages, one premium tower, a premium hero named Grosh, four new enemies, and more. Watch a trailer for the Kingdom Rush Vengeance Primal Ravage update below:

This is the newest major update for Kingdom Rush Vengeance which has seen the Subaquatic Menace update, the Frozen Nightmare, and more. You can grab Kingdom Rush Vengeance on the App Store for iOS here and on Google Play for Android here. It is priced at $4.99 and features additional optional heroes you can buy as IAP. Check it out on Apple Arcade here ahead of the update launching there tomorrow. Head over to our forum threads for the original Kingdom Rush Vengeance here and the Apple Arcade version Kingdom Rush Vengeance+ here. Have you played Kingdom Rush Vengeance or the Apple Arcade version recently?

After Three Years Of Anonymity, Minecraft YouTuber Reveals His Face

It sure is a human face.

You have either heard of Dream, or you are over 25. Or you are a games journalist who has to know about these things, but if you are the third one, why are you here? You already know this. Go away.

For those of you who are out of the loop, Dream is a 23-year-old Minecraft YouTuber (real name Clay) with over 30 million subscribers who looks like this:

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Guide: Best Paper Mario-Likes On Switch - Games To Play If You're Pining For Old-School Paper Mario

Cutting edge.

If you're a Paper Mario fan, then there's one key thing that you probably share with all other Paper Mario fans: Disappointment.

Unfortunately for all of us who love the antics of Intelligent Systems' two-dimensional plumber, the Paper Mario series has been slowly declining in quality, taking the things we loved about the early games (turn-based combat! Witty writing! Incredible characters!) and turning them into things that... just aren't as good. Endless parades of faceless Toads, combat that relies too heavily on a gimmick that doesn't quite work, and writing that never quite reaches the heights of Paper Marios of old... this is what we've had to endure for a while (although, admittedly, Origami King was pretty good).

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Fandom Has Acquired GameSpot, Giant Bomb, GameFAQs, And Metacritic In $55m Deal

Aiming to "super serve entertainment and gaming fans".

The latest big-company-acquires-other-big-company news for once doesn't concern Embracer or Tencent — instead, it's all about Fandom, a for-profit wiki hosting service covering news and information from a huge range of media, in an acquisition that seems to have surprised many.

In a post on Monday, October 3rd, Fandom announced that they had "acquired a portfolio of entertainment and gaming brands" for $55 million, including GameSpot, Giant Bomb, GameFAQs, and Metacritic from Red Ventures, the previous owners, who had themselves acquired the portfolio from ViacomCBS, who had acquired it from CNET.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Critically Acclaimed 'Inscryption' Gets Rated For Switch

PEGI spoilers.

Devolver Digital's Inscryption is apparently heading for Switch after appearing on rating firm PEGI's website. The roguelike deck-building indie darling from developer Daniel Mullins found its way onto many a GOTY 2021 list with its PC release last October, and it seems we'll soon be enjoying its unique strangeness on Nintendo's console.

As pointed out by redoubtable pointer-outer-of-things Wario64, the game has appeared listed with an (inaccurate) 1st October 2022 release date, sitting just under the PS4 and PS5 versions which launched back in August.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Nintendo Goodies Up For Grabs In Playtonic's Charity Auction For SpecialEffect

Update: Auction is live, including Banjo and DKC items.

Update : The auction items went up over the weekend. Up for grabs are various art prints featuring Playtonic Friends games and the developer's own Yooka-Laylee, plus retro-flavoured offerings from the creators of Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country, and others.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Review: NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition - A Modern Classic Shines On Switch

NieR-ly perfect.

NieR:Automata is perhaps a story of the power of word of mouth. A sequel in an IP with a devoted but modest following by Square Enix standards, it became a notable sales success over time as initial fans convinced neutrals that something special had arrived. Director Yoko Taro was also clever in his approach to storytelling - playing its predecessor(s) or the recently released remaster, NieR Replicant, gives you extra context and lore, but this entry is also self-contained and gives players all of the information they need. What we have, then, is a wonderful slice of sci-fi storytelling wrapped in an accomplished action adventure RPG. It's quite unlike anything else, and now we get to enjoy it on Switch with the content- complete The End of YoRHa Edition.

A topic that often comes up in gaming, particularly in the retail / triple-A space, is the challenge of blending creative vision with slick, attractive experiences. Publisher Square Enix made a savvy decision, as it partnered the incredibly creative Taro-san with PlatinumGames, the latter being fans of the original NieR and very much on board to apply a flair for action and combat gaming. The blend is intoxicating, and also helped to establish the reputation of Platinum's Takahisa Taura, who worked on design here before making his directing debut with Astral Chain; it's fascinating playing Automata now, as there are whispers of ideas here that are played out more fully in 2019's Switch exclusive.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Random: Zelda Texture Bug Explains Ocarina Of Time & Majora's Mask Deku Difference

A sticking point..?

If you've spent a good amount of time with the N64 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and its sequel The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, you may have become quite familiar with the visuals of each games and which assets were brought over from one title to the other.

The keen-eyed among you may even notice some small differences, too. One of these happens to be the texture of the deku stick, a key item in both games that can be used to give enemies a good whack while also acting as a pretty handy makeshift torch. Apparently, the slight difference in the stick's appearance between both games wasn't by design, but rather a bug that was left during development. This comes via Twitter user 'darkeye' who discusses the curiosity in a thread (click through to view all posts):

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

No Man's Sky Creator Is Happy To Leave Microtransactions Out Of The Game

"what we enjoy is delivering value to players".

We are but a few short days away from No Man's Sky's inaugural flight to Switch on October 7th and we are buckling in to see how this massive game plays on Nintendo's comparatively tiny console.

In order to put some of our fears to rest, we recently got the chance to sit down with the game's creator, Sean Murray, and talk about all things No Man's Sky. The conversation ranged from the difficulties of the Switch port to which Nintendo character Murray would most like to add into the game - make sure to check out our full interview to read all of Murray's insights.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Feature: "No Man's Sky Will Never Run On That" - Sean Murray Talks Defying The Odds On Switch

"I have a good history of being right sometimes and totally wrong other times".

There are just a few days until No Man's Sky makes the journey onto Switch on October 7th.

Anyone who has played or has even been remotely interested in No Many's Sky over the past six years will most likely have heard of Sean Murray. The founder of development studio Hello Games and creator of No Man's Sky's ever-expanding universe, Murray's name sits above the game's official Twitter account - a fitting reminder that he is one of the lead brains behind the intricate operation.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Video: We Played Some No Man's Sky On Switch - Here's What We Thought

An early hands-on with Hello Games.

We are but a few short days away from the Switch release of No Man's Sky on October 7th and it is fair to say that we have been nervous to see how this frankly massive game would run on Nintendo's little console.

Following a huge update to the game as we currently find it out in the wild, it seemed unlikely that the Switch would be able to handle the large amount of interstellar content required to keep No Man's Sky the experience that people have come to love since it launched back in August 2016. When we discovered that it would be coming to Switch, our curiosity about the project's scope and the inevitable compromises to get it running on Nintendo's hardware grew further.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

A New Transformers Game Might Be Coming To Switch Next Year

Get ready to roll out.

After the release of promising but all too easy Transformers: Battlegrounds back in 2020, we have been wondering where those robots in disguise have disappeared to (presumably an industrial estate parking lot just off the M4). However, two years on, Battlegrounds' publisher Outright Games has announced that the engines are running on a new Transformers title to be released in 2023.

Developed by Tessera Studios (the team behind Star Trek Prodigy: Supernova) Outright is keeping schtum on the finer details at the moment, though it has said that the game will be based on the upcoming animated series, TRANSFORMERS: EARTHSPARK, which premiers in November.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

More Details On Rejected Zelda Game 'Heroes Of Hyrule' Revealed

If only things were different.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios had pitched an idea for a new Legend of Zelda title called Heroes of Hyrule that would play a lot like Final Fantasy Tactics.

Well, as promised by Did You Know Gaming, the channel has now released a follow-up video that explores more aspects of the cancelled project after gaining access to the full design document from Retro Studios.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Random: Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Dragon Mechanic Makes It Easier To Unlock Every Shrine

Tipping the scales in your favour.

It is truly a testament to the genius of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that we are still discovering new mechanics in the game five years on. One such detail that has passed us by unnoticed for all this time has been recently brought to our attention by Gaming Reinvented, and it concerns the order in which the game's three dragons drop their valuable items.

Anyone who has poured enough hours into Breath of the Wild (and we assume that is most of you) will know of the art of farming items from dragons. Soaring into the sky via an updraft while that twinkling piano takes over the score - it is one of the game's most magical moments. Of course shooting arrows at the flying dragons gains you a number of rewards depending on where you strike - scale, claw, horn or fang.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Review: FIFA 23 - The Final Whistle Blows On A Legacy Of Disappointment

Don't waste your Sterling on this.

If you’ve been keeping tabs on EA’s hugely popular football franchise, you’ll have heard that FIFA 23 marks the end of an era. As the final game to carry the FIFA licence before EA parts ways with its partner of 30 years, most multiformat sites have been discussing FIFA 23’s importance as the finale of a long-running series, at least in terms of branding.

For Switch owners, however, this is old news. People can harp on about the end of an era all they like, but as far as Nintendo players are concerned the FIFA series died half a decade ago. What we’ve been getting since then is the video game equivalent of ‘80s comedy Weekend at Bernie’s, with EA propping up the corpse of FIFA 18 on a stick and jiggling it around in the hope that people will believe it’s still a living, breathing entity.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Random: Nintendo Censored Famous Marvel Location In SNES Spider-Man Game

Changing places, literally.

Retired game developer Kevin Edwards has recently been taking to Twitter to share his experience of the industry in the 1990s. While these posts certainly provide a deep dive into the intricacies of building a video game, so too do they demonstrate the trials involved when the development team is placed under high pressure and restrictive deadlines.

One such post has been unpacked by the good folks over at Time Extension, in which Edwards shares a less than forgiving fax concerning the 1992 SNES title, Spider-Man and the X-Men in Arcade's Revenge. Sent from Arcade's Revenge publisher, Acclaim (via its LJN label), the note details what changes needed to be made to the superhero platformer.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Disco Elysium's Creative Talent Is No Longer At Developer ZA/UM

Developers apparently left 'involuntarily'.

It's been confirmed that key creative figures behind the remarkable RPG Disco Elysium are no longer employed at developer ZA/UM.

The news initially broke via Martin Luiga, a founding member and Secretary of the ZA/UM cultural association, who announced in a blog post that the cultural association would be dissolving. Although this is a separate entity to the ZA/UM development company, he mentions that lead writer/designer Robert Kurvitz, artist Aleksander Rostov, and writer Helen Hindpere had left ZA/UM involuntarily:

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Nintendo Launches Official Website For Newly Acquired 'Nintendo Pictures'

Company previously known as 'Dynamo Pictures'.

Earlier this year, it was announced that Nintendo would be acquiring the visual production company 'Dynamo Pictures, Inc.' and subsequently rename it 'Nintendo Pictures'. Well, it looks like the acquisition has now been finalised and Nintendo has launched an official website for its new branch.

As previously stated, Nintendo Pictures will be focusing on "producing visual content for Nintendo IP", though what exactly this will entail is up in the air at the moment. On the website itself, Nintendo has left a short message which sort of gives a bit more detail, but it's honestly all a bit vague.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Feature: Nintendo eShop Selects - September 2022

Nintendo Life's picks of the best eShop games in September!

We're sorry, when did it become October? Well, we suppose it's time to look back at September for our monthly dose of eShop Selects!

It's autumn (or fall depending on what term you like to use for the crispy leaves season). The nights are drawing in. The temperature is dropping. And the holiday season is fast approaching — we know, we're sorry. But that does mean there are lots of video games coming our way, and you need to know which ones are the best that you can grab from the eShop.

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Round Up: The Reviews Are In For NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition

Here's what the critics had to say.

We're back once again with another review round-up and this time it's for NieR:Automata The End of YoRHa Edition, which is arriving on the Switch next week.

This action RPG first made its debut back in 2017 on PS4 and Steam. This latest version of the action RPG gives players access to all of the previously released DLC - plus costumes exclusive to the Switch release. Here's a bit more about it from Nintendo's website:

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

Talking Point: It's About Time Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night Came To Switch

Seminal action-RPG celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Note: this article contains minor spoilers for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

"What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets."

Read the full article on nintendolife.com

- Jenny Miller, Senior Manager, Xbox Global Partnerships
Xbox, Doritos, and Rockstar Energy Drink Give Away Game Pass, Prizes, and DLC

Today, in the US and select international markets, Xbox joins forces with fan favorite snack Doritos and energy beverage Rockstar Energy Drink to unveil special edition packaging featuring iconic game franchises from the world of Xbox.

When fans purchase specially marked products, they can enter for chances to win instantly thousands of prizes to ignite a newfound love for gaming or celebrate the ongoing joy gaming brings them.

First-time Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members will receive one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for free and fans in participating countries will receive their choice of exclusive downloadable content across some of the most popular titles available on Xbox and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate: Fallout 76, Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, PUBG: Battlegrounds, The Elder Scrolls Online and Madden NFL 23.

Participating Doritos and Rockstar Energy Products In-line Asset

Unlockable In-Game Content and Prizes

From October 3 until December 30, 2022, with each purchase of specially marked Rockstar Energy Drink cans or Doritos bags, fans can unlock in-game items, inspired by the bold taste of Doritos and the fully charged flavor of Rockstar Energy Drink, including:

Doritos US in-game content:

Fallout 76 – Heat-Eater Power Armor PaintForza Horizon 5 – Tankito Doritos OutfitHalo Infinite – Tasteful Sensation Razorback and 2XP BoostPUBG: Battlegrounds– Dinoland MascotThe Elder Scrolls Online – Karthwolf Charger MountMadden NFL 23 – Doritos Ultimate Team Pack (exclusive to Doritos)

Doritos International in-game content:

Fallout 76 – Heat-Eater Power Armor PaintForza Horizon 5 – Tankito Doritos OutfitHalo Infinite – Tasteful Sensation Razorback and 2XP BoostPUBG: Battlegrounds– Dinoland Mascot SuitThe Elder Scrolls Online – Karthwolf Charger Mount

Rockstar Energy US in-game content:

Fallout 76 – Heat-Eater Power Armor PaintForza Horizon 5 – Tankito Doritos OutfitHalo Infinite – Tasteful Sensation Razorback and 2XP BoostPUBG: Battlegrounds– Dinoland MascotThe Elder Scrolls Online – Karthwolf Charger Mount

Rockstar Energy fans in select international markets will also be able to grab a specially marked can for their first free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and enter to win other exciting Xbox prizes.   

Fans in the US can visit www.doritosrockstarenergy.com to enter the code received on-can or on-bag to redeem the downloadable content and enter for a chance to instantly win from over 10,000 gaming-themed prizes —including Xbox Series S consoles, Xbox Wireless Controllers, PC gaming setups, gaming chairs and other amazing gear from Xbox, Doritos and Rockstar Energy.

Participating Doritos and Rockstar Energy Products

In the US, Xbox fans will find their favorite games featured across iconic Rockstar Energy Drink flavors including Original, Sugar Free, Pure Zero Punched and Pure Zero Silver Ice and popular Doritos flavors Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, Spicy Sweet Chili, Spicy Nacho, 3D Crunch Nacho Cheese and 3D Crunch Spicy Ranch. Participating products will vary across international markets.

The special edition Rockstar Energy cans are available in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. While fans in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain will not see specially marked cans in stores, they will be able to enter the sweepstakes to win prizes such as Xbox Series S and first-time Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users in select markets can receive one-month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Fans in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden should be on the lookout for the exclusive packaging available in locations wherever Doritos are sold. Fans in Australia will be able to participate beginning November 4.

For full US program details, visit www.doritosrockstarenergy.com.

About Doritos and Rockstar Energy Drink

For years, Doritos and Rockstar Energy Drink have changed the world of gaming through partnerships with blockbuster titles and unique gaming experiences. This partnership, Doritos’ and Rockstar Energy’s biggest on-pack gaming promotion ever, takes Doritos’ and Rockstar Energy’s gaming programs to another level.

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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Now Available with Game Pass

It’s an exciting time to be an Xbox fan as Level-5’s classic tale, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered returns better than ever. The game has made its journey to Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) with improved graphics and performance! 

The 11th anniversary of the game is coming up this November 17, but thanks to the incredible and stylized works of Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered is an ageless RPG classic. This charming tale is further enhanced with music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Screenshot

If you’ve come here today to read more, you’re probably like me and you’ve never played the game prior to its Game Pass debut but have heard about it over the years. Game Pass has finally given me the opportunity to discover how this game uses story and music to channel the charm, whimsy, and emotional resonance of Studio Ghibli films — all in an RPG package. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead!)

Oliver, the main protagonist, is a wizard. He’s got a magic wand, book, and familiars to call upon and aid him in battle. He journeys to the other world filled with magic, monsters, and things of myths. Early in the game, you’ll come across the Grimalkin (cat-person) kingdom of Ding Dong Dell ruled by “His Meowjesty” King Tom. In the kingdom of Ding Dong Dell, fish are heavily revered and are just about everywhere. The décor of fish spread to the walls, stairs, fixtures … and even spearheads.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Screenshot

This is where Oliver comes in to seek the assistance of King Tom for help in our epic quest. Unfortunately, the king’s pet has gone missing and you’ll need to find this literal and figurative red herring to gain his audience. As a player that tends to speed read and mashes ‘A’ to get through dialogue, this clever use of visual narratives immersed me in a way that only the special few do.

Renowned composer Joe Hisaishi’s score furthers your immersion in this other world. From the sweeping strings in your world map travels to the pompously booming horns of Ding Dong Dell, the cinematic score both reflects and amplifies the magic and adventure of the story, while remaining true to the protagonist’s innocent wonder.

Fans will find joy in how this game marries the whimsy of the Ghibli films with the immersive gameplay of RPGs in a world full of fantastical creatures, magical environments, and heart-warming storylines.

Ni no Kuni Remastered: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered is a masterfully executed RPG with unique storytelling concepts and is a shining star in the sea of games we have today. Play it today on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta).

Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch™ Remastered Xbox Live Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch™ Remastered

Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc.

☆☆☆☆☆ 186 ★★★★★ $49.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Journey back to the other world in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered. LEVEL-5’s classic tale returns better than ever, with improved graphics and performance. Join Oliver as he embarks on an adventure through a world inhabited by new friends and ferocious foes alike in the hopes of bringing back his mother after a tragic incident. This charming tale unfolds through the use of animation storyboarded and created by the legendary Studio Ghibli and music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch combines beautiful animated visuals, masterful storytelling, and a sweeping score to create an epic role-playing adventure like no other. Related:
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Next Week on Xbox: New Games for October 3 to 7

Welcome to Next Week on Xbox! In this weekly feature we cover all the games coming soon to Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows 10/11, and Game Pass! Get more details on these upcoming games below and click their profiles for further info (release dates subject to change). Let’s jump in!

Dakar Desert Rally – October 3

Dakar Desert Rally – October 3
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Dakar Desert Rally captures the genuine speed and excitement of Amaury Sport Organization’s largest rally race on the planet, featuring a wide variety of licensed vehicles from the world’s top makers, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads, and SSVs. Compete in fierce online multiplayer races or navigate the vast wilds in offline single-player mode.

Kamikaze Veggies - October 4

Kamikaze Veggies – October 4
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Red, communist vegetables want to take control over the world. Only a special squad of veggie warriors can stop them. If you like absurd humor and a breath of adventure on your back, then you’ve come to the right place.

Overwatch 2 – October 4

Overwatch 2 – October 4
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S

Overwatch 2 arrives October 4 as a reimagined free-to-play game. Power up your railgun and disrupt the battlefield as Sojourn or yield your axe and command attention as Junker Queen. Battle to take control of a robot and move it toward the enemy base in the new Push Mode. Bring the fight to new destinations across the globe in iconic locations like New York, Rome, Monte Carlo, and Rio. Daily challenges and frequent updates mean there is always something new to play.

Falling Out - October 6

Falling Out – October 6
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Xbox One X Enhanced

A light-hearted, action-packed rogue lite where you take control of an oddball couple who are on a vacation from hell. Work together as you navigate randomly generated levels whilst dodging traps, slaying enemies, and crafting weapons to escape before the level floods.

Dragon Prana – October 6

Dragon Prana – October 6
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

A fantastic retro RPG with top quality nostalgic pixel art and a game system worthy of modern times. Battle with more than 20 classes that can be changed in combat and unlock boards to strengthen stats and learn special skills. The formations are also important to get advantages in turn-based battles.

Josh Journey: Darkness Totems - October 6

Josh Journey: Darkness Totems – October 6
Xbox One X Enhanced

A beat ‘em up style game with handcrafted art that tells the story of brave heroes who use their skills to defeat nightmare monsters using combined attacks in local co-op gameplay.

L.O.L. Surprise! B.B.s Born to Travel – October 6

L.O.L. Surprise! B.B.s Born to Travel – October 6
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

Fans around the world can’t wait to unbox their own L.O.L. Surprise! Doll — and you’re about to make their dreams come true! Choose your character and bring the L.O.L. Surprise! doll store to life, as you collect fierce dolls with glitter, hearts, diamonds, and more. No matter your age, there’s just enough challenge to bring out the fierce L.O.L. Surprise! dollmaker in you!

Medieval Dynasty (Xbox Series X|S) - October 6

Medieval Dynasty (Xbox Series X|S) – October 6
Xbox Game Pass

Take on the role of a young man who has fled from war and wants to take his fate into his own hands. From being alone, inexperienced, and poor you will develop into a master of many skills, a leader of your community and the founder of a prosperous dynasty which is meant to last and prosper for generations to come.

A Frog's Job - October 7

A Frog’s Job – October 7
Optimized for Xbox Series X|S / Smart Delivery

The omnipotent Frog God has promised you the gift of reincarnation. All you must do is to save the lost souls of forty frogs, which is no easy task. You’ve been gifted with the ability to suspend and resume time at your will helping you jump over moving platforms, avoid pits, spikes, and enemies.

Pandaty - October 7

Pandaty – October 7

A cute, 2D platformer game where you’ll explore a fresh world of adventure! Our character must pass the sweetly designed levels… but watch out! Sometimes they may not be so sweet.

Paper Flight - Super Speed Dash – October 7

Paper Flight – Super Speed Dash – October 7
Xbox One X Enhanced

Jump into the role of a little paper plane that is trying to rescue the world from little but evil balloon demon by dashing through them. Fast, relaxing, chaotic — you’re free to enjoy the game any way you see fit as the only enemies of the game are balloons (who are mostly harmless).

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- Gala Dolgikh, Community Manager at Owlcat Games
Critically-Acclaimed CRPG Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Comes to Xbox Today

Lead. Fight. Ascend

Owlcat Games is a relatively young, but ambitious studio with the main office in Nicosia, Cyprus, that came to be when a group of game dev industry veterans decided to create a classic single-player CRPG of their own. They’ve made a name for themselves with Pathfinder: Kingmaker back in 2018, and now their second game—Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous—is available on Xbox.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is an indirect sequel to Pathfinder: Kingmaker, and takes place five years after the events of the first game in a nation of Mendev, which, led by the ever young Queen Galfrey, has been fending off the demonic invasion for almost a century. Now it’s your turn to take up on the role of the Knight-Commander of the new crusade, and make a difference in the stalemate against the demonic forces.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous offers the same vast and versatile class system, familiar to the players of both the table-top version and Pathfinder: Kingmaker, but you can choose from even bigger number of classes and archetypes, comparing to the previous game.

screenshot

New classes, feats, and abilities are not the only addition to the game’s mechanical part, however. In Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, you will receive incredible mythic powers, that will eventually allow you to rival the Demon Lord themselves and uncover their schemes. Not only will the mythic powers give you access to unique spells and abilities, they can also turn you into a totally different being. A righteous angel, a fierce demon, a freedom-loving Azata, or a lich, who commands the undead. You can also become an Aeon, who maintains the cosmic order; a Gold Dragon, who melts the hardest hearts with its kindness and compassion; or a vicious insatiable Swarm That Walks, that will know no rest until it consumes the entire world! And if none of these paths suit you, you can choose the path of a Legend, a hero who doesn’t need mythic powers and draws strengths from their own heart.

alt key art

You won’t go on this adventure alone—you will be accompanied by a cast of diverse characters who will help you along the way. Some of them will offer you their friendship, others will be difficult to win over; and there are even a number of characters who will fall in love with you, including a former succubus who dreams of redemption—Arueshalae, familiar to those who played the tabletop version of the Adventure path.

party key art

The crusade system adds another strategic layer to the game, and will truly put you into the shoes of a knight-commander. You will recruit loyal generals and troops to fight the demonic hordes, win valuable trophies, and claim the treasures of the Worldwound. Build fortifications on the lands you have conquered, and make important decisions, establishing supply lines, recruiting political powers of Mendev to your side, and deciding how the soldiers in your army should be trained.

battle map

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is truly an PRG of a mythic scale, taking you on a journey of 80 hours or more to the faraway land of Mendev, desolated Worldwound region, and even an alien chaotic realm of the Abyss. Inspire, love, hate, betray and lead your followers to a victory—or a fate worse than death. Your crusade begins today.

Thank you for reading! If you want to apply for a key, please send a message to press@owlcatgames.com  

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Xbox Live Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

META Publishing

☆☆☆☆☆ 67 ★★★★★ $49.99 Get it now Embark on a journey to a realm overrun by demons in a new epic RPG from the creators of the critically acclaimed Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Explore the nature of good and evil, learn the true cost of power, and rise as a Mythic Hero capable of deeds beyond mortal expectations. Discover the Story Your path will lead you to the Worldwound, where the opening of a rift to the Abyss has unleashed all-consuming terror across the land. For over a century, the neighboring nations have fought fearlessly, trying to drive the enemy back — but to little avail. Now, you have the chance to put an end to this conflict, but the path to salvation is far from clear-cut. Will you become a shining angel, backed by noble paladins? Or a powerful necromancer with hordes of immortal undead in your thrall? Or something else entirely? Lead your army and challenge mighty demon lords. Your crusade will set in motion a chain of events that will leave you — and the world itself — forever changed. Related:
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- Jocelyn Fung: Creative Director at FreshPlanet
Get the Party Started in SongPop Party
SummarySongPop Party is a music trivia party game for  up to eight players locally or online.All the latest hits from today, oldies from before the 1950s, and everything in betweenPick your favorite music genre and decade

What’s a Party without Music?

For the last ten years, we’ve been working on SongPop, a multiplayer music trivia game that has won the hearts of millions worldwide. Every day, thousands of guess-the-song challenges are sent back and forth. Players connect over nostalgic playlists or get down with the latest hits. We have so much music to share that there is something for everyone. And over the last couple of years, we’ve been working on just that: a party game where you can guess the song with up to eight people!

menu options

SongPop Party is the premium game from our collection. We’ve crafted this game using a decade of experience and our award-winning gameplay formula. Designed to be a party starter in more ways than one, we want friends and family to be able to play together no matter where they are.

Play locally on your couch (our favorite), play online, or do a combination of both: anyone can join.

There is music for everyone in SongPop Party. From all the latest hits of today, oldies from before the 1950s, and everything in between. Our team of music curators handpicks every single one of the playlists we offer. Choose from major music genres, movie soundtracks, classic oldies, today’s chart toppers, and so much more.

multiple characters

Feeling indecisive? We built a button to pick a completely random playlist for you. Alternatively, my favorite strategy is to choose the decade in which you went to high school. Try that and tell us how it went on Discord! https://gmlft.co/SongPopParty-Discord

With hundreds of thousands of songs to choose from, we also curate clever playlists for special events held throughout the year. Among them are popular music festivals, family holidays, and seasonal celebrations.

character screen shot

Keep the party going and earn keys for unlocking characters and more music. We’ve poured a lot of love into the diverse character lineup. Each has its own personality and taste in music, similar to the playlists themselves.

I’m so fortunate to have been part of the awesome, talented team that is bringing the world’s biggest music trivia game to Xbox this year. We’re excited for you to enjoy it as much as we do!

SongPop Party Xbox Live SongPop Party

Gameloft

☆☆☆☆☆ 7 ★★★★★ $19.99 Get it now SongPop Party is the latest addition to the biggest music trivia franchise in the world. With a huge catalog of cult classics to today’s top hits, you can unlock hundreds of thousands of curated songs grouped by genre, artist, decade, topic and more. Play with up to 4 household members on your couch or up to 8 friends online for the ultimate music trivia party! Test your knowledge against opponents online with music fans from around the globe. Based on skill level and music preferences, discover new playlists and train to be the best. SongPop Party has music for all generations, whether it’s a blast from the past or today’s greatest hits. From the oldies to yesterday, everyone can play! Find your favorite avatar to suit your music personality whether you’re a pop aficionado, EDM fan, or metalhead. Not a sing-along… or is it? You know it’s gonna happen; you won’t be able to help yourself! Dive into the world of music trivia with SongPop Party and become the ultimate music trivia master! _____________________________________________ Don't forget to follow us on social media: https://linktr.ee/songpopparty Terms of Use: https://www.freshplanet.com/terms-of-use Privacy Policy: https://www.freshplanet.com/privacy-policy End-User License Agreement: https://www.freshplanet.com/eula Related:
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- Dominic Davies, Lead Content Manager, The Elder Scrolls Online
Work Together to Unlock Special Rewards During Elder Scrolls Online’s Heroes of High Isle Event

Team up with fellow adventurers to unlock unique rewards during The Elder Scrolls Online’s Heroes of High Isle in-game event. From now until Tuesday, October 11 at 10:00 a.m. EDT, as you and other players visit the High Isle Chapter zone’s six unique “striking locales” and unlock the Pathfinder achievement, you also release special in-game rewards.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot Band Together for Fantastic Rewards

You can view the ESO community’s progress on the official Heroes of High Isle page. Reach the three different milestones together and you’ll unlock the Oak’s Promise markings, the Plant Yourself emote, the Ascendant Hoard Box (containing all kinds of goodies such as an Ascendant Lord Statue), and The Elder Scrolls Online: Firesong DLC! That’s right, complete the challenge and all High Isle players can claim The Legacy of the Breton’s final DLC of the year from the Crown Store!

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot

Note that you need to own the High Isle Chapter to participate in the event and claim its rewards. Luckily, right now, Xbox players can pick up The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Collector’s Edition at up to 50% off. This offer lasts only until Monday, October 10, so don’t miss out on picking up ESO’s latest Chapter at a bargain price AND potentially getting the next DLC for free at the same time!

Celebrate High Isle with Us

In addition to the challenge above, you can earn even more bonus rewards during this event simply by exploring and questing in High Isle. The first time you complete a daily quest in High Isle (or the Dreadsail Reef trial weekly quest instead), you receive a Society of the Steadfast’s Largesse Coffer, containing all kinds of goodies including a chance to acquire pages of the brand-new Oaken Order armor style.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot

You can also earn Event Tickets for the first daily quest you complete in High Isle every day. Exchange these tickets with The Impresario and Nenulaure, in-game vendors who offer valuable treasures, to get the final fragment you need to unlock the Daggerfall Paladin Outfit. Visit our official blog for everything you need to know about this event.

The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Screenshot

Join forces with your fellow Xbox community members during the Heroes of High Isle event to earn a plethora of in-game rewards and save big on The Elder Scrolls Online: High Isle Collector’s Edition. If you’ve yet to begin your Legacy of the Bretons adventure, now is the perfect opportunity to get your hands on two of its biggest releases of 2022. Have fun exploring the Systres Archipelago!

The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle Collector's Edition Xbox Live The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle Collector's Edition

Bethesda Softworks

☆☆☆☆☆ 118 ★★★★★ $79.99 $39.99 Get it now A brand-new Elder Scrolls adventure! Experience a world without limits with The Elder Scrolls Online Collection: High Isle Collector’s Edition and get access to the Base Game and all Chapters: • High Isle (New for 2022) • Blackwood • Greymoor • Elsweyr • Summerset • Morrowind Purchase the Collector's Edition for bonus in-game content including: • Amenos Ornaug • Balfiera Senche Cub • Ascendant Knight Outfit Style • Hoard of the Schemers Memento • High Isle Emote Pack • And Previous Collector’s Edition Rewards! ULTIMATE FREEDOM—Create your ultimate RPG character, play solo or adventure with friends, and determine your fate in an ever-expanding world. With no level restrictions, go anywhere at any time in a truly open world. In The Elder Scrolls Online, the choice is yours. CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE—Begin your adventures in Tamriel wherever you like: emerge from Coldharbour in the Base Game, battle Dragons in the Elsweyr Chapter, or face the Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon, in Blackwood. All content is immediately accessible for new players, and you can switch adventures whenever you like. INCLUDES LATEST CHAPTER: HIGH ISLE—Set out on a brand-new Elder Scrolls journey and uncover an epic storytelling experience told across three DLCs and the High Isle Chapter in the Legacy of the Bretons year-long adventure. A tale of chivalric honor and political upheaval set within the stunning Systres Archipelago awaits. Related:
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- Nick Popovich, CEO of Monomi Park and Slime Rancher Series Director
Slime Rancher 2: Getting Creative with Your New Home on Rainbow Island

Hello! Last week we launched Slime Rancher 2 (Game Preview) for Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10/11 as well as with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta), and have been overwhelmed by the reception as a record-shattering number of new ranchers joined Beatrix LeBeau and embarked for a new slime ranching adventure on Rainbow Island.

Not long after Beatrix arrives on Rainbow Island, she discovers a mysterious Conservatory equipped with everything she needs to begin her new slime ranching adventure. This Conservatory has several expansions that can be purchased to expand your Plort production capabilities, by allowing you to build more slime corrals, gardens, chicken coops, silos, and more. 

But expanding your Conservatory also means increasing your daily workload, and if your eyes are always looking toward the horizon for the next place to explore like me, you may want to consider more unconventional, and creative ways to utilize your Conservatory expansions. And this is all totally ok, because Slime Rancher 2 allows you to play however you choose, at whatever pace you choose.

So here are a few ways to turn your Conservatory expansions into fully functional upgrades with little to no upkeep, allowing you to spend more time exploring the farthest reaches of Rainbow Island.

The Seaside Puddle Resort

You can turn the Tidepools into a seaside Puddle Slime resort by using every plot available for ponds. Your Puddle Slimes will require no maintenance and you can stop by their perpetual pool party whenever you choose to collect a large haul of valuable Puddle Plorts. Just be sure to build plenty of palm tree deco gadgets to really up the vacation vibes.

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot The Ultimate Silo

Or use the high walls of the Gully and its wild chickens that you’ll always find there to create the ultimate food storage center. Simply use as many plots as you like for silos, and let all the chickens you like roam free. The naturally high walls of the Gully will keep them enclosed and you can visit whenever you like to deposit food for later, as well as collect from the ever-expanding chicken population at your feet. Just be sure to decorate it with slime statues so the chickens feel like they’re living in a paradise where slimes exist but will never eat them.

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot The Zen Garden

The Archway’s striking stone ruins and overall structured feel always make for an excellent zen garden. So I like to plant a bunch of fruit trees here as well as a few decorative bonsais and then just return to this beautiful and bountiful garden any time I need some extra produce. The gardens will grow forever if undisturbed and if I miss a yield or two it doesn’t matter because one must learn to let go.

But if you would instead like to redirect the cycle of life you could always install an incinerator and keep your fire slimes there — to gobble the ash from your unwanted fruit. Their fiery glow even makes for a nice bonfire to sit beside and catch a lovely sunset between the great stone arches along the cliffside.

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot Garbage Town

If zen gardens aren’t your thing, consider the polar opposite with Garbage Town. Use the Den expansion’s natural darkness and walls to keep a hungry horde of Ringtail Slimes inside with no corrals, and no rules. Maybe plant a few gardens and then shoot every spare chicken, fruit, or veggie into the mouth of the cave whenever you have time. Maybe, don’t even look inside the chaos that will follow. And let’s be honest, Ringtail Slimes want it this way. 

Slime Rancher 2 Screenshot

So whether you want to maximize Plort production and ensure that every slime species is represented so you can dominate the Plort Market, or if you prefer a more laid-back approach to give you ample time to find every Treasure Pod hidden in every secret nook and cranny, Slime Rancher 2 lets you play your way and rewards you for doing so. Rainbow Island is full of possibilities, and many of them come from your own imagination.

Slime Rancher 2 (Game Preview) is available now for Xbox Series X|S and Windows 10/11 as well as with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta).

Slime Rancher 2 Xbox Live Slime Rancher 2

Monomi Park

☆☆☆☆☆ 254 ★★★★★ $29.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass Free Trial This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. Slime Rancher 2 is a sequel to the award-winning, smash-hit original that has been enjoyed by over 10 million fans worldwide. Continue the adventures of Beatrix LeBeau as she journeys to Rainbow Island, a mysterious land brimming with ancient technology, unknown natural resources, and an avalanche of wiggling, jiggling, new slimes to discover. As Beatrix attempts to unravel the island’s secrets and uncover its true purpose, she’ll build, ranch, and farm within a beautiful conservatory, whose sparkling glass walls give her full view of the prismatic paradise she now calls home. Related:
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Valheim is Better with Friends – Time to Get Ready for Crossplay Viking Adventures
Free Play Days – WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship
- Josefin Berntsson, Community Manager, Iron Gate Studio
Valheim is Better with Friends – Time to Get Ready for Crossplay Viking Adventures

Like with so many multiplayer games, the best things in Valheim happen when you play with your friends. Sometimes you mess up badly, sometimes you triumph, and sometimes you get out with just the narrowest of margins – but you do it together. We thought back on some multiplayer experiences players have shared with us, from bold adventures to humble days in their homesteads, and thought you might recognize yourself in some of them… 

Perhaps you have sailed along the coast with your friends and spotted a peaceful-looking village in the meadows. You got a sneaking suspicion something was wrong, and you told your friends, “I think this place is already occupied,” but nevertheless, you kept sailing closer. You all had barely stepped off the boat before people were yelling in a panic about the village chieftain, a Draugr Elite, and you were trying your hardest to push the boat back into the water towards your escape. You got so close too, but the Draugr bested you all, and you had to stage an elaborate ambush in order to reclaim your gear.

Valheim

Or maybe you know what it’s like to finally tame those beautiful boars and give them carefully chosen names (Boaris and Hamlet), but your buddy just wanted to butcher them for some good meat. While walking around tending to your base you suddenly noticed the boar pens seemed…a bit empty. “Wait, where is Hamlet?” you asked, only to get no response from your friend. None at all. But all those leather scraps in the corner looked oh-so-heartbreakingly familiar. “Did you KILL Hamlet?” you asked your still silent friend. But there was nothing that could be done (aside from naming the next boar Hamlet II).

Valheim

Or you might remember a time when you managed to get yourself stuck in the mountains. You had no food, and no armor or cloak to keep you warm against the biting winds. Stepping outside of the ramshackle cabin would mean certain death. But your friends were determined to save you, and set out on a most daring rescue mission – fighting off the cold by building campfire after campfire. They made their way to your hideout, and braved both weather and dangerous beasts alike in order to safely escort you home. That’s the kind of loyalty you can’t forget.

Regardless of what your best Valheim memory might be, now is a perfect time to make even more. With Valheim now available in the Microsoft Store and included with PC Game Pass, and with the Xbox release due early 2023, even more of your friends will be able to join you on perilous adventures in the tenth world. The full crossplay support will ensure that you can play together with your friends, no matter what platform you’re using. And once the upcoming Mistlands update arrives, you will need all the help you can get…

Valheim

Valheim is available now for Windows PC, plus it’s included with PC Game Pass, and is coming to Xbox early next year!

Valheim (Game Preview) Xbox Live Valheim (Game Preview)

Coffee Stain Publishing

☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ Get it now PC Game Pass This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. Valheim is a brutal exploration and survival game for 1-10 players set in a procedurally-generated world inspired by Norse mythology. Craft powerful weapons, construct longhouses, and slay mighty foes to prove yourself to Odin! EXPLORE THE TENTH WORLD Explore a world shrouded in mystery. Discover distinct environments with unique enemies to battle, resources to gather and secrets to uncover! Be a viking, sail the open seas in search of lands unknown, and fight bloodthirsty monsters. BUILD MIGHTY HALLS Raise viking longhouses and build bases that offer reprieve from the dangers ahead. Customise buildings, both inside and out, with a detailed building system. Progress through building tiers to upgrade, expand and defend your base. GATHER, CRAFT AND SURVIVE Struggle to survive as you gather materials and craft weapons, armor, tools, ships, and defenses. Decorate your hearths and sharpen your blades, grow crops and vegetables, prepare food, brew meads and potions, and progress as you defeat more difficult bosses and discover new recipes and blueprints. KEY FEATURES -Massive procedurally-generated world where every biome is immersive and distinct, with unique enemies, resources and crafting recipes to discover. – Play alone or with up to 10 players on player-hosted dedicated servers and experience unlimited world creation and enemies that scale in difficulty. – Staminabased combat that rewards preparation and skill. Utilize weapon types with unique attacks, different blocking styles, ranged combat, dodges and parries to fight your enemies. – Rewarding food system where you cannot starve and are not punished for not eating, instead you gain health, stamina and regeneration buffs depending on what foods you consume. – Intuitive crafting where recipes are discovered as you explore the world, and pick up new resources and ingredients. – Flexible building system that takes structural integrity and ventilation into account. Build a small shelter or an entire village, make outposts or claim abandoned buildings as your own. Then customize to your liking. – Sail boats and ships to reach distant lands and explore the sea that offers riches to claim and monsters to fight. – Epic boss fights that will test even the best prepared vikings and offer rewards that help you on your journey. Full details on the latest status of the game, how you can give feedback and report issues can be found at www.valheim.com. Related:
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Slime Rancher 2: Getting Creative with Your New Home on Rainbow Island
It’s Time to Meet Your Maker! Moonscars is Now Available
- Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator Introduces Local Legend VII, the Cessna 195 Businessliner
Experience the beautiful, classic exterior and cockpit looks of this all-aluminum aircraft

In conjunction with World Update XI: Canada, Microsoft Flight Simulator today released its latest aircraft in the “Local Legends” series of planes. Manufactured by Carenado, the 195 Businessliner is a single-engine, high-wing general aviation and utility airplane by American aviation manufacturer, Cessna. The aircraft is one of a small family of two consisting of the 190 and the 195. The 195 was the last Cessna aircraft the company developed that was powered by a radial engine, and the first composed of all-aluminum construction. Aimed at the business market, the 195 has seating for five, including the pilot.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

Cessna developed the 195 from its mid-1930s offering, the Airmaster, a high-wing, cantilever monoplane with a traditional undercarriage. The 195 took its maiden flight in 1945 and was introduced shortly after in 1947. Quickly earning a reputation as reliable and efficient, the 195 was adopted by the United States Army, which designated it the LC-126, and the Air Force, naming it the U-20. Cessna produced the Businessliner from 1947 to 1954. There are many that still fly today and are highly sought after due to their rugged build, solid performance and look that evokes earlier decades of flight.

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

The 195 measures 27 feet, 4 inches in length, stands 7 feet, 2 inches high, and has a wingspan of 36 feet, 2 inches. It features a standard empennage and a fixed traditional undercarriage. The roomy cockpit is smartly arranged and sports polished wood controls. The aircraft is powered by a 7-cylinder, air-cooled Jacobs R-755B-2 radial piston engine that produces up to 275 horsepower and swings a Hamilton Standard 2-blade constant-speed propeller. When at cruising speeds of 170 mph to 178 mph, the Cessna 195 has a range of 633 miles, an endurance of four hours, a ceiling of 18,300 feet above sea level, and climbs at 1,135 feet per minute. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

The Cessna 195 Businessliner looks both elegant and powerful with its large cowling that encloses its radial engine and smooth lines throughout its entire form. Flying the Cessna 195 is an unforgettable experience; its engine really delivers, and the aircraft demands pilot precision for each control input, from take-off to landing. The 195 Businessliner includes ten liveries: eight classic and an Xbox and an Aviator’s Club. It is available now in the Microsoft Flight Simulator in-game marketplace for $19.99. The sky is calling!

Microsoft Flight Simulator - Local Legend VII: Cessna 195 Businessliner Screenshot

Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming. For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on Twitter. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition Xbox Live Xbox Play Anywhere Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition

Xbox Game Studios

☆☆☆☆☆ 287 ★★★★★ $59.99 $47.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass The Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year (GOTY) Standard Edition celebrates all the positive feedback, reviews and awards garnered, but it is also a “Thank You” to our fans – new and old – that have made Microsoft Flight Simulator such a phenomenon. The Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition includes 25 highly detailed planes with unique flight models and 38 hand-crafted airports. This enhanced edition introduces simmers to five all-new aircraft, eight new handcrafted airports, six new Discovery Flights, new tutorials, and updates to the weather system The five new handcrafted aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator include: • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet: Our first military jet and a highly requested feature from the community. The Top Gun: Maverick expansion will release with the movie next Spring, but we wanted simmers to have the opportunity to test their need for speed this holiday. • VoloCity: We partnered with well-known German company Volocopter, which is working on an eVTOL called “VoloCity”, a vision for an urban air taxi. We worked closely with the Volocopter engineering team to develop an authentic version of the prototype aircraft for the simulator. This is our first aircraft that can perform pinpoint landings and is a teaser of what you can look forward to in 2022 when we intend to launch helicopters in the sim. • Pilatus PC-6 Porter: This legendary short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility aircraft is a highly versatile plane from Switzerland and comes with several cockpits, cabins, and landing gear variations. It is the result of our close collaboration with the manufacturer and the development efforts by famed developers Hans Hartmann and Alexander Metzger resulted in a great and fun new aircraft with exception capabilities in the simulator. • CubCrafters NX Cub: Yakima-based CubCrafters recently introduced a nosewheel option for their flagship CC-19 XCub Aircraft, popularly called the NX Cub, which we are pleased to introduce to the flight sim audience to further enhance our bush flying and off airport options. • Aviat Pitts Special S1S: One of our most popular planes gets a single-seat option with the release of this aircraft. New Airports – We are adding eight handcrafted airports in Central Europe and the United States: • Germany o Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP) o Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA) o Kassel Airport (EDVK) •Switzerland o Lugano Airport (LSZA) o Zurich Airport (LSZH) o Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO) •United States o Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF) o Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX) The Game of the Year release is adding information about 545 previously missing airports in the United States. New Missions -Based on the popularity of the recently introduced Discovery Flights, we are adding an additional six locations (Helsinki, Freiburg im Breisgau, Mecca, Monument Valley, Singapore, and Mount Cook) to this popular series. New Tutorials – To further expand the onboarding experience, we are adding 14 new tutorials, introducing simmers to Bush flying (in an Icon A5) and IFR (in a Cessna 172). New Features – We are also pleased to introduce several highly requested features by the community: an updated weather system, early access to DX12, and a dev mode replay system. New Photogrammetry Cities – As part of our ongoing collaboration with Bing Maps, we are pleased to add a number of new photogrammetry cities: Helsinki (Finland), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), Brighton, Derby, Eastbourne, Newcastle, and Nottingham (UK) and Utrecht (Netherlands). Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition will be available as a free update for owners on PC and Xbox Series X|S. For new users, the GOTY Standard Edition is the perfect entry point to flight simming as it offers an even richer experience, and it will be the item they purchase as we are retiring the original. Invite your friends to experience the wonders of flight. The sky is calling! Related:
Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases World Update XI: Canada
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- Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator Releases World Update XI: Canada
Explore the diverse beauty and expansive mystique of the world’s second largest country

Canada is filled with a plethora of sights to explore from the air: magnificent urban architecture, wave-battered northern coastlines, and vast sweeps of tundra, glaciers and towering peaks. Microsoft Flight Simulator’s World Update XI invites simmers to explore this massive, diverse country, presented in the highest resolution and fidelity yet!

Microsoft Flight Simulator - World Update XI: Canada Screenshot

In creating World Update XI: Canada, the Microsoft Flight Simulator team processed troves of its latest geospatial data, including digital elevation models, satellite imagery, and aerial photography. Complementing the data, models and imagery, the update highlights 12 urban regions enhanced with the latest photogrammetry data and features 87 hand-crafted points of interest.

World Update XI features:

5 handcrafted five airports including:British Columbia’s Castlegar / West Kootenay Regional Airport (CYCG)Victoria International AirportVancouver Island9 exciting missions:Three bush trips (Vancouver Island, Newfoundland, and the Canadian Rockies)Three landing challenges (Castlegar, Barkerville, and Calgary)Three discovery flights (Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto).

World Update XI: Canada is available free to all owners of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Simply update your account, download World Update XI from the in-game marketplace, and prepare to be enchanted by the sights of Canada from the air!

Microsoft Flight Simulator - World Update XI: Canada Screenshot

We hope you’ll visit Canada today in Microsoft Flight Simulator’s World Update XI: Canada. The sky is calling!

Microsoft Flight Simulator is now available for Xbox Series X|S and PC with Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, Windows, and Steam, and on Xbox One and supported mobile phones, tablets, and lower-spec PCs via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta). For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on Twitter. 

Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition Xbox Live Xbox Play Anywhere Microsoft Flight Simulator: Standard Game of the Year Edition

Xbox Game Studios

☆☆☆☆☆ 287 ★★★★★ $59.99 $47.99 Get it now PC Game Pass Xbox Game Pass The Microsoft Flight Simulator Game of the Year (GOTY) Standard Edition celebrates all the positive feedback, reviews and awards garnered, but it is also a “Thank You” to our fans – new and old – that have made Microsoft Flight Simulator such a phenomenon. The Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition includes 25 highly detailed planes with unique flight models and 38 hand-crafted airports. This enhanced edition introduces simmers to five all-new aircraft, eight new handcrafted airports, six new Discovery Flights, new tutorials, and updates to the weather system The five new handcrafted aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator include: • Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet: Our first military jet and a highly requested feature from the community. The Top Gun: Maverick expansion will release with the movie next Spring, but we wanted simmers to have the opportunity to test their need for speed this holiday. • VoloCity: We partnered with well-known German company Volocopter, which is working on an eVTOL called “VoloCity”, a vision for an urban air taxi. We worked closely with the Volocopter engineering team to develop an authentic version of the prototype aircraft for the simulator. This is our first aircraft that can perform pinpoint landings and is a teaser of what you can look forward to in 2022 when we intend to launch helicopters in the sim. • Pilatus PC-6 Porter: This legendary short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility aircraft is a highly versatile plane from Switzerland and comes with several cockpits, cabins, and landing gear variations. It is the result of our close collaboration with the manufacturer and the development efforts by famed developers Hans Hartmann and Alexander Metzger resulted in a great and fun new aircraft with exception capabilities in the simulator. • CubCrafters NX Cub: Yakima-based CubCrafters recently introduced a nosewheel option for their flagship CC-19 XCub Aircraft, popularly called the NX Cub, which we are pleased to introduce to the flight sim audience to further enhance our bush flying and off airport options. • Aviat Pitts Special S1S: One of our most popular planes gets a single-seat option with the release of this aircraft. New Airports – We are adding eight handcrafted airports in Central Europe and the United States: • Germany o Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP) o Allgäu Airport Memmingen (EDJA) o Kassel Airport (EDVK) •Switzerland o Lugano Airport (LSZA) o Zurich Airport (LSZH) o Luzern-Beromunster Airport (LSZO) •United States o Patrick Space Force Base (KCOF) o Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (KNKX) The Game of the Year release is adding information about 545 previously missing airports in the United States. New Missions -Based on the popularity of the recently introduced Discovery Flights, we are adding an additional six locations (Helsinki, Freiburg im Breisgau, Mecca, Monument Valley, Singapore, and Mount Cook) to this popular series. New Tutorials – To further expand the onboarding experience, we are adding 14 new tutorials, introducing simmers to Bush flying (in an Icon A5) and IFR (in a Cessna 172). New Features – We are also pleased to introduce several highly requested features by the community: an updated weather system, early access to DX12, and a dev mode replay system. New Photogrammetry Cities – As part of our ongoing collaboration with Bing Maps, we are pleased to add a number of new photogrammetry cities: Helsinki (Finland), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany), Brighton, Derby, Eastbourne, Newcastle, and Nottingham (UK) and Utrecht (Netherlands). Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Game of the Year Edition will be available as a free update for owners on PC and Xbox Series X|S. For new users, the GOTY Standard Edition is the perfect entry point to flight simming as it offers an even richer experience, and it will be the item they purchase as we are retiring the original. Invite your friends to experience the wonders of flight. The sky is calling! Related:
Microsoft Flight Simulator Introduces Local Legend VII, the Cessna 195 Businessliner
Grounded Full Release Available Now with Game Pass
PAX West 2022: Matt Booty Storytime Keynote Recap
- Dan Hickey, Marketing Program Manager, Xbox
Free Play Days – WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship

Relive great racing history this weekend during Free Play Days. WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship is available this weekend for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members to play from Thursday, September 29 at 12:01 a.m. PDT until Sunday, October 2 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.  

How to Start Playing

Find and install the games on each of the individual game details page on Xbox.com. Clicking through will send you to the Microsoft Store, where you must be signed in to see the option to install with your Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership. To download on console, click on the Subscriptions tab in the Xbox Store and enter the Gold member area to locate the Free Play Days collection on your Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Keep the Fun Going

Purchase the game and other editions at a limited time discount and continue playing while keeping your Gamerscore and earned achievements during the event! Please note that discounts and percentages may vary by title and region.

Game Details WRC 10 FIA World Rally ChampionshipXbox One ($49.99 SRP) at 70% off: $14.99 (Free Play Days)Xbox Series X|S ($59.99 SRP) at 70% off: $17.99 (Free Play Days)

WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship

Be part of history and relive the most intense moments from 50 years of the World Rally Championship with WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship! With a realistic and precise physics engine, WRC 10 has made the feeling of driving even better, with enhanced aerodynamic force and turbo and braking management on all surfaces!

Don’t miss out on this exciting Free Play Days for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member! Learn more about Free Play Days here and stay tuned to Xbox Wire to find out about future Free Play Days and all the latest Xbox gaming news.

Related:
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Slime Rancher 2: Getting Creative with Your New Home on Rainbow Island
Scorn’s Nightmarish Hellscape Comes to Xbox Series X|S a Week Early
- Dan Hickey, Marketing Program Manager, Xbox
New Games with Gold for October 2022

It’s time to announce the October Games with Gold lineup! On Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, explore a mysterious paradise in Windbound and take to the skies in Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition.

Xbox Live Gold members will have exclusive access to these games for a limited time as part of Games with Gold. So will Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members, who receive all the fantastic benefits of Gold plus access to over 100 high-quality games with Xbox Game Pass.

Windbound ($19.99 ERP): Available October 1 to 31Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition ($24.99 ERP): Available October 16 to November 15

Windbound

Washed up on an uncharted island, you must use your will and skill to survive! Play as Kara, shipwrecked on the Forbidden Islands with nothing but what you can build or find. You’ll need to craft weapons and tools to survive. Spend time building a new boat which you can use in an immersive tactile sailing experience to reach the other islands. Explore the hidden history of each island to unlock their mysteries. Enjoy this delightfully surprising game that takes the survival genre in a totally new direction.

Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition

Listen up fliers! We’re recruiting you to take on extremely high-risk missions in this World War II strategic flying and bombing game. Once you’re up in the air, danger is everywhere. It’s up to you to manage the fuel, ammo, and hydraulics while trying to avoid enemy gunners. Even the weather can bring you down. Keep your crew safe and focused and bring home victory. Bomber Crew Deluxe Edition includes the original Bomber Crew plus the Secret Weapons and USAAF DLC, so there’s plenty of flying to be done.

Read more about our Games with Gold program here and stay tuned to Xbox Wire for all the latest news on Xbox. Like we said before, if you’re an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate member, you get all the benefits of Xbox Live Gold, over 100 high-quality games you can play on console, PC, and across devices from the cloud, and access to EA Play at no extra cost. New games are added all the time, so you’re never without something new to try when you’re looking to find your next favorite game. If you’re new, or if you’re an existing Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass for Console member, join or upgrade today for just $1. 

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- Miroslav Micevic, Director of Operations, Ebb Software
Scorn’s Nightmarish Hellscape Comes to Xbox Series X|S a Week Early

Greetings all! I’m Miro from Ebb Software and today we have some very exciting news to share with you about our upcoming game, Scorn.

We thought you might want to get in the mood for Halloween a little early, so I’m thrilled to announce that we are going to be releasing Scorn on 14 October, a week earlier than planned!

Last week, we unveiled some new gameplay footage from the game’s prologue which you can check out here.

We want you to be able to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in the audio-visual experience we’re creating in Scorn, so by showing the very beginning of the game, we gave you just enough to dip your toes into the world of Scorn without giving away too much. This is just a little hint at what awaits you!

Scorn

I know some of you may be new to Scorn and if so, here are some things to know:

Scorn is an atmospheric first-person horror adventure game.

Scorn is set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestries. The ‘map’ of Scorn is a mesmerizing bio-labyrinth. Each region or area is a maze-like structure of various rooms and paths for you to navigate. As you struggle through the living world of Scorn you will have to discover how to interact with the world around you by learning how various triggers and traps are connected, and how every action may cause positive or negative reactions.

Scorn Puzzles, shooting, survival, and so much more…

Scorn combines puzzle mechanics with shooting and survival mechanics to create a truly immersive and atmospheric horror adventure.

Puzzles within the game form an integral part of the story and are designed not to feel like they were added as an afterthought, so we spent a lot of time ensuring that they fit perfectly into the game’s environment and enrich your experience.

Though Scorn is not a first-person shooter, there are shooting elements that come into play later in the game that are crucial for your survival. The weapons you’ll encounter in Scorn provide more player agency and add an extra layer through which you can engage with the world around you. The security and confidence felt from wielding a weapon can be shattered instantly when ammo runs out or something jams unexpectedly. Scarcity of ammunition or restrictive inventory space can significantly impact short-term decisions regarding fight or flight. These interactions change the way you feel about your environments and invoke feelings of tension or discomfort, and something we have strived to capture in Scorn.

Scorn We took inspiration from all sorts of art, literature, and movies.

Scorn started as a small personal project, but since the original idea had a strong influence on people who were joining the team at the time, it soon blossomed into an ambitious project that took many years to complete. The overall inspiration comes from all the experience our Game Director and art teams have acquired throughout their lifetime, all merged into this strange-looking world and the story it has to tell.

The overall style takes influence from architecture, technology, arts, literature, and biology. It is a coming together of the Gothic style and modern industrial elements. We have drawn inspiration from the works of H.R Giger, as well as a Polish Painter, Zdzisław Beksiński, and from movies from the likes of Cronenberg and Lynch. However, our incredibly talented art team have handcrafted all the gruesome details to be found in the game to create a world that has their own unique Scorn twist. We believe that through the combination of both we have established a style that is expressive and open to interpretation.

Scorn In Scorn, expect to be ‘Dropped into the World’.

Scorn is designed around the idea of “being thrown into the world”. You begin your experience isolated and lost inside a dreamlike but desolate and decayed world. As the game progresses, it becomes apparent that everything within Scorn’s world seems to have a reason and a purpose… and the big mystery is uncovering what that is.

The unsettling environment is not just a character itself, but also a storyteller. You will have the opportunity to have your take on the story of Scorn by exploring the world and logically trying to find connections between things you see.

It’s important to our team that we keep some of Scorn’s mystery under wraps as such a major part of the experience will come from you reflecting on the game and its meaning.

Scorn

We are so excited to be bringing Scorn to Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC on 14 October. It’s also going to be available day one with Xbox Game Pass. As we head into the final few weeks before launch, keep on top of all the latest Scorn news and information on Twitter at @scorn_game and our official website.

Scorn Xbox Live Xbox Play Anywhere Scorn

Kepler Interactive

☆☆☆☆☆ ★★★★★ $39.99 Pre-order Scorn is an atmospheric first-person horror adventure game set in a nightmarish universe of odd forms and somber tapestry. It is designed around the idea of "being thrown into the world". Isolated and lost inside this dream-like world, you will explore different interconnected regions in a non-linear fashion. The unsettling environment is a character itself. Every location contains its own theme (story), puzzles and characters that are integral in creating a cohesive world. Throughout the game you will open up new areas, acquire different skill sets, weapons, various items and try to comprehend the sights presented to you. GAMEPLAY FEATURES Cohesive “lived-in” world Scorn takes place in an open-ended world with different interconnected regions. Each region is a maze-like structure with various rooms and paths to discover. All the storytelling happens in-game, with no cut-scenes to distract you from the grisly reality of the living, breathing world you’re in. But keep your eyes open – the game won’t show you any sympathy if you miss something important on your uneasy travels. Full body awareness Players will experience better immersion being aware of the character’s body and movement. Interaction with the world is realistic – objects are picked up with your hands (instead of just floating in midair), machines and instruments are operated by grabbing the controls, etc. Inventory and ammo management Your loadout is defined and limited. This plays a big role in keeping the player in an even greater state of awareness throughout the whole game. Players will have to think about when to fight and when to take cover and how their actions affect the world around them. Different play styles will be needed to advance. Related:
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Now Available with Game Pass
Slime Rancher 2: Getting Creative with Your New Home on Rainbow Island
Free Play Days – WRC 10 FIA World Rally Championship
- Justin Massongill

September has come and gone, and with it some amazing games! Which new release will take the Players’ Choice crown? Vote in the poll below to help decide!

How does it work? At the end of every month, PlayStation.Blog will open a poll where you can vote for the best new game released that month. Soon thereafter, we’ll close the polls, tally your votes, and announce the winner at PlayStation.Blog. PlayStation Store will also showcase some top Players’ Choice winners throughout the year.

What is the voting criteria? That’s up to you! If you were only able to recommend one new release to a friend that month, which would it be? In keeping with our long tradition in the Game of the Year Awards, remastered or re-released games won’t qualify. Ambitious, larger-scale rebuilds and remakes like Demon’s Souls and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy will.

How are nominees decided? The PlayStation.Blog and PlayStation Store editorial teams will gather a list of that month’s most noteworthy releases and use it to seed the poll. Write-in votes will be accepted.

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- Kristen Zitani (she/her)
Official PlayStation Podcast Episode 441: Virtual Walkers
Email us at PSPodcast@sony.com!

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or RSS, or download here

Hey y’all! This week the team sits down with Amy Allison and Mark Lester of Skydance Interactive to chat about The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution, currently in development now for PS VR2.

Stuff We Talked About

The Last of Us on HBO MaxValkyrie ElysiumA Plague Tale: RequiemDestruction AllStarsThe Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners – Chapter 2: Retribution (interview begins at 11:17)Stellar BladeTunicSly Cooper series The Cast

Kristen Zitani –  Senior Content Communications Specialist, SIE

Brett Elston – Manager, Content Communications, SIE

- Kristen Zitani (she/her)
Share of the Week: Robots and Machines

Last week, we asked you to spin your gears and share robots, droids, and machines from the game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog. Here are this week’s highlights:

RevolutionAndre shares Kit from Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart in macho machine mode.

sorathluna shares a Slitherfang coiling up in the desert in Horizon Forbidden West.

HomuraChihiro shares the robot from Abzu staring out into an underwater city.

Boargs shares the cat from Stray aboard a floating pallet with a robot that is fishing.

coalabr14 shares a spider bot overlooking some hacking victims in Watch Dogs: Legion.

Ringo_Danshaku shares the mech bunny protagonist of F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch.

Search #PSshare #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week? 

THEME: Customization

SUBMIT BY: 11:59 PM PT on October 5, 2022

Next week, it’s getting personal. Share armor, weapons, characters, or vehicles you’ve customized in the game of your choice using #PSshare #PSBlog for a chance to be featured.

- Heidi Kemps
Indies highlights coming to PS4 & PS5 in October 2022

It’s October, and you know what that means–freaks and frights are abounding! There’s no better time to dive deep into some wildly experimental and stylish survival horror than the Halloween spooky season, and this month’s PlayStation Indies delivers on that front. As for the “freaks”–well, we’ve got a gaggle of very strange creatures and some beastly brawlers straight outta the barnyard. Oh, and a geometric object so terrifying it makes alien apex predators tremble in fear. Let’s take a look at what you can look forward to on PS4 and PS5 this month.

The Eternal Cylinder 

The imaginative minds at developer ACE Team (Rock of Ages, Zeno Clash, Abyss Odyssey) have returned with an otherworldly adventure. A majestic planet exists far away in the universe, teeming with strange lifeforms all struggling for survival. Yet even in this harsh environment, one threat looms above all others: the crushing, destructive might of the Cylinder. 

You take control of a Trebhum, an odd pack-traveling creature blessed with the power to transform and adapt to environments by eating. Explore four beautiful alien biomes–savannah, tundra, desert, and a freaky mutated infected sector–all while metamorphosing your herd of Trebhums to react to the dangers posed by the environments and other creatures. Grow extra legs to build your stamina, extendable eyes to get a better view of your surroundings, and bloat up your body for extra inventory space. Explore, evolve, and discover the Cylinder’s secrets before it destroys everything.

Release Date: October 13 | Publisher: Good Shepherd | PS5

Play Video Indies highlights coming to PS4 & PS5 in October 2022 Them’s Fightin’ Herds

Small, cute animals bring big-time rompin’, stompin’ action in this unorthodox one-on-one fighting game from Mane6. Made by and for fans of the genre, Them’s Fightin’ Herds is a beautifully animated, humor-filled critter combat game featuring character designs from acclaimed animation producer Lauren Faust. These fuzzy, scaly fighters might run on four legs, but they’ve got just as many slick fighting skills as their human counterparts, bolstered by magic energy that can be used for movement and offense skills that are unique to each character. If beating down the barn doors with your local buddies isn’t enough, you can battle hoof-to-claw with friends both on and offline, thanks to smooth rollback netcode. 

Release Date: October 18 | Publisher: Modus Games | PS4, PS5

Play Video Indies highlights coming to PS4 & PS5 in October 2022 Saturnalia 

Some historians theorize that the customs of the Roman holiday Saturnalia were absorbed into the Christmas holidays. But in the case of Saturnalia, a game from the acclaimed Italian indie studio Santa Ragione, Halloween is a far more appropriate season because this survival-horror roguelite is anything but festive. 

You’ll travel to Sardinia, an island off Italy’s coast and home to the village of Gravoi, where a strange ritual takes place every winter solstice. As you take control of four different characters, you’ll explore disconcerting corridors and terrifying, twisting passages as you struggle to keep the ever-encroaching darkness from consuming you. 

Saturnalia’s stunning and unique graphics, which blend bright colors with high-contrast pencil shading, perfectly enhance the disjointed, otherworldly atmosphere. The winding, maze-like structure of Gravoi also changes completely with every playthrough, giving a fresh set of scares every time you play. 

Release Date: October 27 | Publisher: Santa Ragione | PS5, PS4

Play Video Indies highlights coming to PS4 & PS5 in October 2022 Signalis

In the far-flung future at the edge of space, a ship crash-lands on a cold, barren planet. As the android technician Elster seeks out her missing crewmate, she discovers what appears to be an abandoned “reeducation” camp. As terrifying visions and unfamiliar memories flash through her mind, the answers to her many questions lie in strange radio transmissions. They point to something mysterious deep below the planet’s surface that Elster must journey to discover. 

Signalis combines tense, terrifying survival horror combat and resource management with a blend of 3D polygons with 2D sprites that creates a unique, exceptionally detailed pixel-art look. Explore the planet’s moody, surreal environments in a top-down perspective as you piece together the twisting psychological thriller story. Can you overcome both seen and unseen malevolent forces long enough to reach the stunning conclusion?

Release Date: October 27 | Publisher: Humble Games | PS4

- Jen Simpkins
All Hallows’: The Land of Lost Dreams is calling…

Spooky season is nearly here – and what could be scarier than a purgatory dimension haunted by half-finished ideas and forgotten concepts? Our annual made-in-Dreams Halloween celebration is nearly ready to welcome you – and all of your cruelly abandoned WIPs, you monster – to The Land of Lost Dreams.

This year, we asked the Dreams coMmunity to design strange and unusual glades for players to explore in our Forest of Gloom, and Cursed Trinkets that represent the essence of their creative energy. And oh boy, do they have a lot of that. Our eyes have seen some truly inexplicable things. The cosmic void will be eating well this year.

‘But when will we get to visit the cosmic void?’, we hear you cry and wail and gnash (you should really stop doing that, it’s terrible for your teeth). We’re delighted to reveal that All Hallows’: The Land of Lost Dreams will be live in Dreams and open to visitors from October 20th, 2022! (Internet connection required for online play.)

What awaits you there? Here’s a quick look at some of the main attractions of the area…

Tall Tales and Quirky Quests

The Land of Lost Dreams is a curious place, with a rich and unnerving history to uncover. You’ll meet, and help out, plenty of odd characters on your main quest by sneaking around, solving puzzles and much more besides. Some faces may even be familiar to those who’ve been following Dreams’ development for a long time…

The Forest of Gloom

One of The Land of Lost Dreams’ most beautiful and unpredictable locales, this explorable wooded area contains all manner of interactive oddities made by the Dreams community. Take a stroll! See the sights! Don’t think too hard about what might be hiding in the bushes!

Cursed Trinket Shrines

Want to soak up some culture? Look no further than The Land of Lost Dreams’ fabulous collection of cursed trinkets, hand-crafted by dreamers. You’ll have to visit some odd-looking places to find them, but we’re assured that as long as you’ve had your tetanus shot, they’re probably safe to visit.

We’re really just scratching the surface here – there’s even more to discover in The Land of Lost Dreams when it appears in Dreams next month. If only there were some kind of travel brochure for would-be visitors to read for more information, provided by a totally legit tourist board? Now that would be useful. Better keep an eye out for anything like that over on our editorial blog, The Impsider.

Streams and Screams!

We’ll also be running two Halloween-themed livestreams over on the official Mm Twitch channel to celebrate the season! The first will be our launch day stream for All Hallows’: The Land of Lost Dreams, at 9am PT / 5pm BST, 20th October, in which we’ll be playing through the full event and checking out plenty of the coMmunity-made goodness on display.

The second stream at 9am PT / 5pm BST on 21st October will be a more general spooky session; we’ll be playing some of the scariest games available in Dreams so you can all have a good laugh at us yelling our heads off while we’re being chased by monsters. And yes – we’ll be wearing costumes.

Not only that, but we’ll also be running our usual Halloween CoMmunity Jam throughout October. Dreams creators love their horror, so you can bet your sweet pumpkins that some terrifying stuff is going to come out of that one. The results will be playable during launch week of All Hallows’: The Land of Lost Dreams, so never fear: there’ll be no shortage of stuff to tickle your scary bone (that’s a thing now, we’ve decided) in Dreams next month.

We’ve had a blast bringing All Hallows’: The Land of Lost Dreams to life, and we can’t wait for you to come and explore the place when the playable event launches in-game on October 20th. Unlike all those neglected ideas languishing in The Land of Lost Dreams, it’s sure to be… unforgettable.

- Ned Waterhouse
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is coming to PC on October 27

That’s right! PlayStation’s iconic woolen hero is heading to PC! We’re so excited that a whole new audience of players is going to get the chance to join Sackboy on his big adventure.

Today, we’re delighted to be able to reveal details of the new features and enhancements that you can look forward to when the game releases on October 27 . There is also some great pre-purchase content available, see below for more details!

Play Video Sackboy: A Big Adventure is coming to PC on October 27

The first thing to call out is the new visuals. We wanted this game to visually stunning on PC, so with that goal in mind here are some of the new graphical features we’ve added to make the most of your hardware:

·   4K with target @ 120FPS1. The stunning patchwork of Craftworld is rendered in beautiful 4K detail.
·   Deep Learning Super Sampling. NVIDIA DLSS2 increases graphics performance using dedicated processors found only on GeForce RTX GPUs, boosting frame rates with uncompromised image quality.
·   VRR. Variable refresh rate support makes Sackboy more responsive than ever.2

Wide screen! The game supports a wide range of display ratios, including ultrawide 21:9.3

While we have added all these new graphical features for players with high-end machines, we’ve also worked hard to make sure that a range of different hardware is supported. Here are the details of the minimum and recommended specs:

 MINIMUMRECOMMENDEDHIGHVERY HIGHULTRAAVG Performance 720P @ 30FPS1080P @ 30FPS1080P @ 60FPS1440P @ 60FPS4K @ 60FPSGraphics SettingsLowMediumHighVery HighCustomGPUNVIDIA GeForce GTX 660AMD Radeon R7 265            NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060AMD Radeon RX580NVIDIA GTX 1070 (8 GB)AMD RX 5600 (6 GB) NVIDIA RTX 2070 (8 GB)AMD RX 5700 XT (8 GB) NVIDIA RTX 3080 (10 GB)AMD RX 6800 XT (16 GB) CPUIntel Core i5-6400 @ 2.7GHzAMD FX-6300 @ 3.5GHz                Intel Core i7-4770K @3.5GHzAMD Ryzen 5 1500X @3.5GHZ    Intel i7-4770k (4 core 3.5 GHz)AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (8 core 3.2 GHz)Intel i7-7700k (4 core 4.2 GHz)AMD Ryzen 7 3700x (8 core 3.6 GHz)Intel i9-9900k (8 core 3.6 GHz)AMD Ryzen 9 3950X (16 core 3.5 GHz)RAM8 GB DDR12 GB DDR12 GB DDR16 GB DDR16 GB DDROSWindows 10 64-bit (version 1809)Windows 10 64-bit (version 1809)Windows 10 64-bit (version 1809)Windows 10 64-bit (version 1809)Windows 10 64-bit (version 1809)STORAGE60 GB HDD(SSD Recommended) 60 GB SSD60 GB SSD60 GB SSD60 GB SSD

On top of these great visual features, we have also added a whole bunch of peripheral and customisation options. Full support for the DualSense controller heightens the immersion through haptic feedback and dynamic trigger effects.4 For those who prefer mouse and keyboard there is support for both during gameplay and in the UI. The game also supports achievements and cloud saves on both Steam and the Epic Game Store.

So that’s a flavor of the great new enhancements we’ve added to the PC version. We’re also excited to announce that if you pre-purchase the game on Steam or the Epic Games Store ahead of its release on October 27  you will get access to four special PlayStation icon costumes and emotes with which to customize your Sackboy:

JinSam Porter BridgesConnorDeacon St. John

One final note, the game is great in single player, however when played in co-op a whole new level of chaotic multiplayer fun ensues! So, make sure you share the experience with your friends.

We can’t wait for you to get your hands on Sackboy: A Big Adventure when it releases on PC on October 27.

1 Compatible PC and display with HDMI 2.1 or DisplayPort 1.4 required
2 Compatible HDMI 2.1 display device required
3 Compatible PC and display device required
4 Use wired connection to experience full set of DualSense controller features in game.

- Grace Chen

What an exciting moment for PlayStation!  Today marks the first regional launch of our new loyalty program – PlayStation Stars. I am pleased to usher in this new initiative for our PlayStation community, launching first in Asia, which celebrates our players’ achievements with fun and delightful campaigns and the ability to earn rewards such as points and digital collectibles.

With this launch, we commence our global rollout for PlayStation Stars, and this is just the beginning.  We will continue to evolve the program by adding new features, rewards, benefits and ways to enjoy what you love about PlayStation.  

Let’s take a look at some of the key details of the program.

When is PlayStation Stars launching?

Below are the following launch dates for PlayStation Stars:

Asia, including Japan: September 29 (local time)North and South America: October 5 (local time)Europe, Australia, and New Zealand: October 13 (local time)

What do I need to join PlayStation Stars? Is a PlayStation Plus membership required?

PlayStation Stars is free to join. You’ll only need to have an adult account for PlayStation Network and accept the program’s Terms of Service. While you will earn certain benefits for being a PlayStation Plus member, a PlayStation Plus membership is not required to join PlayStation Stars.

How can I access PlayStation Stars?

The full PlayStation Stars experience is accessible through the PlayStation App on iOS and Android. You can also join PlayStation Stars via playstation.com.

We have plans to expand to console devices in the future.

How does the program work?

With PlayStation Stars, you earn rewards by completing a variety of campaigns and activities. Our “Monthly Check-In” campaign simply requires you to play any game to receive a reward. Other campaigns will ask you to earn specific trophies, or even be among one of the first players to platinum a blockbuster title in their country/region. One of our first campaigns is called “Hit Play/1994” where members who correctly launch games that match song-based clues receive a special collectible.

Campaigns are updated regularly so check the PlayStation App to see new campaigns. 

What rewards can I earn?

There are two types of rewards – loyalty points and digital collectibles. Points can be redeemed in a catalog that may include PSN wallet funds, exclusive digital collectibles and select PlayStation Store products. As an additional benefit, PlayStation Plus members enrolled in PlayStation Stars automatically earn points for purchases on PlayStation Store.*

Digital collectibles are beautifully rendered, digital representations of things that PlayStation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment, as well as cherished devices that tap into Sony’s history of innovation. There will be new collectibles to earn regularly, ultra-rare collectibles to strive for, or something surprising to collect just for fun. 

The digital collectibles you earn or acquire can be arranged on a display case within the PlayStation App.  You can also set the display case to be viewed by others, if you choose.

At launch, by simply joining, all members will receive the Star Gazer Telescope.  We’ll have Punto the gondolier from Ape Escape 2, PocketStation, Toro and Kuro celebrating, and more, as some of the first digital collectables for members to earn or acquire. 

Are digital collectables one-of-a-kind? Can I sell or trade my digital collectables?

These digital collectibles are created just for our loyalty program, and while some can be rare, they are not one-of-a-kind nor does it leverage blockchain technology. They cannot be resold or traded. Digital collectibles can only be earned or acquired through PlayStation Stars. 

How can I find out how rare a digital collectible is?

A digital collectible’s rarity can be found on the campaign details screen and the collectible’s details page.

How do I track and redeem my points?

Your points balance can be found on PlayStation App under your Player Profile / PlayStation Stars Points History. Points can be used to redeem items in your Rewards Catalog, which may include digital collectibles, games, or digital PSN wallet funds.   

To redeem your points, go to PlayStation App > Player Profile > Playstation Stars > Rewards Catalog.

What benefits do I get for being a PlayStation Plus member if I join PlayStation Stars?

A PlayStation Plus membership is not required to join PlayStation Stars. However, as a PlayStation Plus member, if you join PlayStation Stars you can earn points for purchases on PlayStation Store, including each subscription payment for your PlayStation Plus membership. Please note PSN wallet top ups are not eligible for earning PlayStation Stars points. 

What are status levels?

PlayStation Stars will have four status levels that reflect the milestones you reach.  They are based on the number of non-common trophies earned for gameplay as well as full game purchases from the PlayStation Store. The higher your level is, the more perks and benefits you can get. 

How long will I get to stay at my status level?

Once you reach a status level, you will stay there for the remainder of the calendar year plus an additional 13 months. For example, if you earned status level 2 in October, your Level 2 status would remain valid through that calendar year, and continue for the next 13 months from January 1 of the next year, through January 31 of the following year.  

For more information, please visit the following webpage when PlayStation Stars launches in your region: www.playstation.com/playstation-stars 

* You need to be signed into your account for PlayStation Network at the time of your purchase on PlayStation Store. Make sure you’re logged into the account for PlayStation Network you used to join PlayStation Stars, before you make your purchase.

- Nicolas Bécavin
The PS5 features bringing A Plague Tale: Requiem to life

Hi everyone! I’m Nicolas Bécavin, Lead Engine Programmer on A Plague Tale: Requiem. The game launches on October 18, and I’m here to give you a little preview of what you can expect tech-wise! 

Play Video The PS5 features bringing A Plague Tale: Requiem to life Verify your age to view this content. Verify your age to view this content. Taking the next-gen leap 

We decided to develop A Plague Tale: Requiem on PlayStation 5 to set ourselves completely free from last-gen constraints and make the most out of the features brought by the new gen. The potential it offers is incredible! Take the load time for instance: it is reduced in a way that makes new map and level design possible. With an increased memory on top, we get better draw distance which means you’ll be able to see way farther. Horizons will literally expand! The result is a much more open environment than introduced in the first game.

Unleashing the rats 

Rats are a key feature of A Plague Tale, and for this second game we wanted to push new-gen possibilities to the max to bring the rats-induced horror and trauma to a next level. The number of rats on-screen has been multiplied by 60, growing from 5,000 to 300,000! It’s a good number to convey the vision of the apocalypse which keeps increasingly oppressing our heroes. We’ve also changed the aspect of their movement, so that they look like a giant wave, much like a tsunami crashing down on you. We’re lucky to work with our own, in-house engine and rely on it to tackle challenging renderings like this one, of an element which is completely specific to A Plague Tale. 

  Shedding a new light on an overcast world 

Thanks to the power of the new GPU, the quality of lighting can be drastically improved. With a wide array of technical tools and reduced constraints, we can accentuate the role of light, and new situations which involve light can be introduced. Hugo and Amicia will discover new sensations as they travel south, and so will the player! Thanks to this new level of detail, they’ll experience an atmosphere enriched with beams of lights and enhanced lighting over atmospheric elements such as volumetric fog.

A new-gen feast for the eyes 

Requiem’s tech doesn’t only take players to a setting with a more vivid atmosphere, but it will also bring more depth to the visual simulation in general. This includes increased geometric quality: technically, there are more polygons over the mesh! The resolution of textures is also improved. A good example of how these advancements affect in-game experience is the high level of details with which terrains will be rendered. For instance, we heavily rely on parallax occlusion mapping to add tiny volumetric details over terrain and props. There will also be more physical and dynamic objects, which will affect how clothing is rendered.

3D space

On top of all this magic, the spatial experience will be enhanced thanks to 3D Audio. That means you’ll be able to perceive where the character who is speaking is located: behind or in front of you, above or below…  Players will be completely surrounded by the game and engaged in a much more realistic and immersive way.

The PlayStation 5’s new controller, the DualSense, has also been one of our central points of focus. It brings exceptional immersive tech through haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. I’m going to hand it over to two of my fellow studio members to explain this further. 

Using the DualSense controller to break down barriers between screen and player

Hey everybody! We’re Asobo Studio’s Cyril Doillon, Lead Programmer, and Aurelien Piters, Audio Director. We’re super excited about everything the next gen brings to the game… with a special mention to the PS5 DualSense controller! It brings a whole new level of realism and immersion to A Plague Tale, with a whole bunch of new features added following Innocence. It’s been incredible to work on and we’ve strived to make the most of this brilliant technology. Here to let you in on DualSense innovations we’ve got in store for you in A Plague Tale’s next chapter!

Haptic feedback and Adaptive Triggers 

One of the most ground-breaking innovations brought by the DualSense controller are haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. We’ve started thinking about their implementation while working on the next-gen adaptation of Innocence, which gave us an idea of the most relevant choices for our new game. Requiem will introduce real physical response and gameplay improvements tied to it. The sensory feedback provided will create realistic sensations in the use of weapons and tools. 

If a weapon requires more pressure for instance, adaptive triggers will adjust the sensation of effort given to the player. Concerning the sling, if you hold the button too long, you’ll lose precision. Adaptive triggers will give the impression that shooting becomes harder, which also works for the player as a marker to measure the right time to shoot.

Amicia will also have a new weapon: a crossbow, which will answer to the same law. At the same time, its physics are not the same as the sling’s. It’s more powerful but it’s slower to use and to equip. Such sensory qualities will find their place in the simulation thanks to adaptive triggers. You’ll have to press a first time to equip the crossbow, then a second time to shoot. This next-gen vibration technology allowing us to tie a physical reaction to the player’s input is quite incredible for us developers. We were used to working with image and sound, now we can create direct effects on the player’s fingers to simulate a real tool.

There are also refreshing features coming to communicate character movement: haptic feedback is used to simulate the effect of every step while sprinting, producing little jolts for the player to feel the sprint’s rhythm, giving the impression to be right by the side of the characters and share their sensations.

Haptics-enhanced audio 

The audio is also fully reworked with haptic feedback. Swarms of rats can be subtly felt through the pad, through stereo vibrations. It’s as if you could touch sounds. That’s also the case with explosions and real-time cinematics; they’ll affect you physically thanks to the range of sensory input offered by the DualSense controller. The opportunities it presents brings a whole new dimension to the gameplay; you’ll be able to feel movements around you, such as where the rats are coming from! The game will offer richer situations thanks to a heightened perception of the environment which will include not only direct interaction but also semi-distant elements. 

DualSense Speaker 

Another innovation brought by the DualSense is its built-in speaker. We use it to play the sound of weapons when no headset is used, giving audio feedback to the player when using the sling and the crossbow. It delivers a far more dynamic experience, with the possibility to hear an arrow or a stone in the air. It’s a third speaker given to the player, which allows for subtle feedback to be delivered on top of the rest of the soundtrack, acting independently of the music and the ambient sound.

A Plague Tale 2.0

To sum it all up, we’ve been fully embracing all new tech opportunities in order to provide a more open environment, with more light, more details, more geometry, more texture. Oh, and more rats!

We hope you enjoy all these prospects and will be ready to embark on Amicia and Hugo’s next journey on October 18! You can pre-order the game now on PS5.

- Adam Michel
PlayStation Plus Monthly Games for October: Hot Wheels Unleashed, Injustice 2, Superhot 

Today we’re happy to reveal the PlayStation Plus Monthly Games lineup for October. There’s superhuman clashes in the form of Injustice 2, big racing thrills with tiny cars in Hot Wheels Unleashed and the electrifying strategic combat of Superhot. 

PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra and Premium members can add these three titles to their game library from Tuesday, October 4 until Monday October 31. The PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium Game Catalog lineup for October will be announced later this month. 

Let’s take a closer look at each of the Monthly Games.   

Hot Wheels Unleashed | PS4, PS5 

Collect, build and race in this fantastic arcade sim based on the Hot Wheels universe. Earn new vehicles then take them to the track to race side by side with friends in two-player split-screen, or face up to 12 opponents in online challenges. One you’ve raced, why not try and build your own course? Create amazing layout inside and outside the track editor. Ad loops, special boosters, obstacles and special elements to make an incredible amusement park for your races, then share your creation online for other players to try. 

Injustice 2 | PS4 

The creators of Mortal Kombat return to the DC universe with the biggest superhuman roster. Select from twisted versions of iconic heroes and supervillains and bring epic-scale battles to awe-inspiring locations across the globe. Take on other players locally and online, or immerse yourself in the story-driven single player campaign as Batman struggles against Superman’s regime. You’ll earn gear after every match to equip, customize and evolve your roster. 

Superhot | PS4

Blurring the lines between cautious strategy and unbridled mayhem, Superhot is the FPS in which time moves only when you move. No regenerating health bars. No conveniently placed ammo drops. It’s just you, outnumbered and outgunned, grabbing the weapons of fallen enemies to shoot, slice, and maneuver through a hurricane of slow-motion bullets. Superhot’s polished, minimalist visual language helps you concentrate on the most important – on the fluidity of gameplay and cinematic beauty of the fight.

Last chance to download PlayStation Plus Monthly Games for September 

PlayStation Plus members will have until Monday, October 3 to add Need for Speed Heat, Granblue Fantasy: Versus and Toem to their game library. 

Also, check out our PlayStation Plus monthly games-inspired playlist on Spotify, which will be refreshed with new songs every month.

Game library varies over time, region/country, and plan. PS Plus is subject to a recurring subscription fee taken automatically until cancellation. Terms apply: play.st/psplus-usageterms.

- Ken Chan
Gran Turismo 7 Update 1.23 headlined by Porsche Vision GT Spyder, Volkswagen ID.R, and Nissan Silvia K’s Type S

Gran Turismo players! The 1.23 update for Gran Turismo 7 arrives today September 28 at 11:00pm PDT* (September 29 at 7am BST / 3pm JST). 

Play Video Gran Turismo 7 Update 1.23 headlined by Porsche Vision GT Spyder, Volkswagen ID.R, and Nissan Silvia K’s Type S

Three New Added Cars!

Volkswagen ID.R ’19

The prototype EV that rewrote speed records around the world.

The ID.R’s body is made from carbon-fibre with oversized wings placed on the front and rear to produce maximum downforce. At 5.2 m long, the car is relatively large but actually weighs less than 1,100 kg. The dual-motor 4WD system produces a maximum 500 kW (670 BHP) / 650 Nm (66.3 kgfm), allowing for a 0-62.1 miles/h acceleration time of just 2.25s. These performance statistics put it well on par with race cars using internal combustion engines. In the real world, the ID.R competed in numerous motorsports events around the world with record breaking results. At the 2018 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, driver Romain Dumas set a record of 7m57s, the first ever run to break the 8 minute mark. Again at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe, the ID.R set the record for fastest lap by an EV at 6m5s. At the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the car became the first to ever finished the legendary hillclimb in under 40 seconds with a record of 39.9s. 

Nissan Silvia K’s Type S (S14) ’94

The 6th gen. Silvia presents heightened luxury in a wide body format.

The S14 is 1,730 mm wide compared to the S13’s and the track width has also been increased to match. The new model is also 30 mm longer at 4,500 mm, and 5 mm taller at 1,295 mm for an overall larger body. The softer lines of the body design though makes the width of the car stand out the most. The K’s grade model also featured 16-inch wheels as standard. The engine is a retuned version of the S13’s SR20 series. The highest grade K’s model features an intercooled turbocharger and produces 14 BHP more than the previous generation at 216 BHP/28 kgfm with the naturally aspirated Q’s and J’s models producing 157 BHP/19.2 kgfm. The basic suspension structure has also been carried over from the S13 utilising front struts with a multilink system on the rear. The car was also available with the ‘Super HICAS’ electronic rear wheel steering system.

Porsche Vision Gran Turismo Spyder

Porsche’s modern yet daring statement on the future of the sports car.

The Porsche Vision Gran Turismo follows in this tradition of the German manufacturer and is at the same time a truly modern and bold statement about the future of the sports car. It merges elements of the iconic design of historic Porsche sports cars with race car genes of the record-breaking 919 Hybrid and the pioneering spirit of Porsche’s first electric sports car, the Taycan, into a high-performance lightweight sports car. Exterior and interior design flow seamlessly into one another and provide drivers with the feeling of becoming one with the car ‒ especially once they take a seat in the cockpit of the state-of-the-art carbon monocoque chassis. The Porsche Vision Gran Turismo’s dual electric engine layout delivers a system power output of 820 kW (1,098 BHP) and a maximum torque of 1,090 Nm (111 kgfm). An innovative active aerodynamic system dynamically reacts to all driving situations to enhance the car’s performance. Perfectly suited for the demanding corners and high-speed segments found on tracks like the Nürburgring Nordschleife or on alpine roads. 

California II and Tokyo II Scapes

Also included in today’s Update are two new Scapes. Check them out below. 

- npetrosino

At Roblox our goal is always to support developers who love to experiment with new technology and want to push the boundaries of what exists on Roblox. And we found millions of talented creators from around the world who are building incredible experiences on the platform. From the visually breathtaking environments in Winds of Fortune leveraging our new Materials system to intense mystery and surprise in the beloved social horror game Secret Neighbor, we’ve been blown away by the creativity and technical innovation on display.

That’s why we’re contributing another $10 million to Game Fund—our international program dedicated to providing funding and support for creators who are looking to build the next generation of experiences on Roblox. For a handful of these ambitious creators, we are providing the funding they need to de-risk creation and guidance from strategy to conception.

The Next Generation of Roblox Experiences

With this $35 million fund, we’re looking for projects with innovative gameplay, ambitious visual designs, and creative ideas that are unlike anything else on the platform. Current Game Fund participants have wowed us with compelling cross-platform gameplay, engaging social mechanics, dynamic in-game avatars, and creative economic models. 

Rolling Thunder, for example, continues to draw players in with its large-scale, high-fidelity environments, attracting 20 million visits to the player versus player (PvP) alpha and player versus environment (PvE) demo. Creators Jandel and Foryxe presented at the Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) last weekend on how they found success and built player loyalty through rapid iteration with Game Fund. You can find the recording on our YouTube channel in the coming days.

Initial Showcase

Over the next few months, you’ll start to see more recipients roll out Alphas, Betas, and full releases of their forthcoming experiences, including the following new recipients: 

Maximillian Studios, creator of Frontlines, a blockbuster FPS game with an unrivaled visual aesthetic. Sawhorse, creator of the highly anticipated Fashion Klossette, a next-generation fashion experience built in partnership with supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, who recently launched Fashion Klossette Designer Showcase on Roblox. Phaser Lock Interactive, creator of Primal Hunt, an action-packed, multiplayer dinosaur hunting experience. Kong Orange and Chop Chop Games, creators of Skullbeat, a musical auto-battler powered by dance moves and style points. tinyBuild and Amber Studio, creators of Secret Neighbor, a multiplayer social horror game.

These creators join existing recipients Rodeo Interactive, whose playable Alpha for the fast-paced, multiplayer FPS game RIOTFALL is available on Roblox today; Blockage, the creator of isometric cyberpunk role-playing game neonKnights; Looty Games, which is building a competitive roguelite called Project Ruin; as well as Secret Neighbor by Tiny Build, Winds of Fortune by Sonar Studios, and Rolling Thunder by Splitting Point Studios.

Check out a sneak peek of what they’re building! 

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Join the Roblox Community 

We know making something that has never existed before isn’t easy. It takes significant time, and it’s risky taking an unproven path. For those eager to pursue creative ideas that are unlike anything else, the Game Fund is just one of many programs we have in place to support creators. Click here to submit your application to the Roblox Game Fund today, read more about our other programs dedicated to supporting developers on our DevForum and check out our post on the value for developers and creators on Roblox here.

Whether you’re an individual creator, a professional development studio, or something in between, Roblox provides the technology and support for creators to bring their visions to life. Congratulations to all Game Fund participants to date, and we’re so excited for what the next chapter of Game Fund creators have to offer. 

The post Funding the Future of Roblox Creations appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- npetrosino
Roblox Innovation Awards 2022: Complete Winners List

Our community is full of talented creators from every corner of the globe. They create art, music, fashion, and entire worlds that captivate and inspire millions of people every day. For years we’ve recognized that passion with an annual virtual award show, but as their accomplishments grow, so does the need to recognize them. That’s why this year—and for the first time ever—we held a gala in-person and virtual event at the Roblox Developers Conference in Fort Mason, San Francisco, California: The Roblox Innovation Awards.

It was a moment to celebrate everything our community does to lead our industry, shaping the future of the metaverse through breathtaking and boundary-pushing experiences. At our largest RDC to date, and between awards featuring guest presenters like Karlie Kloss, MeganPlays, and MiniToon, there were interviews and discussions that explored the future of our platform and creators. We were excited to share this event as one global community—in person and virtually on Guilded.

RIA from the live audience's perspective

Without further ado, let’s review the trailblazers who won this year’s Roblox Innovation Awards.

Best New Experience – Deepwoken by Vows by the Sea Best Creative Direction – Creatures of Sonaria by Sonar Studios Best Use of Tech – TUNNELER by Homemade_Meal Video Star Video of the Year – My $1,000,000 Mansion in Roblox by Itsfunneh Video Star of the Year – Flamingo Most Immersive Environment – I N T E R V A L by Titanic In A Bottle Best Use of Avatar Fashion – Mermaid Life by FullflowerGames Best International Hit – Welcome to Bloxburg by Coeptus Best Audio Design – RoBeats by RobeatsDev Best Content Update – Piggy – Breakout Update by MiniToon Most Popular User-Created Item (UGC) – BubbleGum Candy (1.0) by OceanOrbs Most Concurrent Users – Brookhaven by Wolfpaq Developer Studio of the Year – Easy.gg People’s Choice – BedWars by Easy.gg Builderman Award of Excellence – Starving Artists by Double Bandit Studios

Our winners took home physical trophies from the event, but also earned a virtual copy for their avatars. We hope they accept our sincere congratulations.

Want to see the highlights for yourself? Check our official Roblox YouTube channel.

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The post Roblox Innovation Awards 2022: Complete Winners List appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- npetrosino
RDC 2022: Our Vision for the Future of Roblox

At the Roblox Developers Conference (RDC), kicking off today at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, thousands of top 3D artists, programmers, builders, and content creators are gathering—in person and virtually on Guilded—to network and discover new ways to drive their success. 

RDC is also a great time for us to share the key technological innovations we’re building right now. As we accelerate our vision to reimagine the way people come together, we are constantly looking to open up new creative, social, and entrepreneurial possibilities for our global community—evolving our technology while always keeping our foundational commitments to the safety and privacy of our users. 

The highlights:

Creating Meaningful Connections

As our community continues to grow tremendously, to 58.5 million daily active users in more than 180 countries, one priority is enabling deeper, meaningful, more natural and more engaging forms of communication and connection. 

One example is making Chat on Roblox more dynamic so it functions similarly to how we connect in the physical world. People aged 13 and older can now speak with one another in voice-enabled experiences. The feature is built to mimic in-person conversations, and so is based on avatars’ proximity to each other—meaning you might whisper to a friend nearby or raise your voice to carry across a room. Since rolling out this feature, close to one million experiences have enabled voice communications.

Spacial voice on Roblox

And next year, people also will be able to use their webcam to express themselves in real-time through their avatars. Your camera will automatically map your facial movements as you speak, so your avatar can express how you’re feeling, adding a new layer of immersion and connection.

Later this year, knowing how much more fun Roblox is with friends, we’re adding a new, easy way for people to discover people they know on Roblox. This feature—which you opt into and can change back any time you like—will use phone contacts to enable connections and friend recommendations. 

Enabling Creativity Through Self-Expression

Avatars enable people to express themselves and their identity creatively, and we look to continue to support that in ways beyond communication. Millions of people come to the Marketplace every day to experiment with new looks and try on different personas—sometimes even multiple times a day. With the launch of Layered Clothing in April, we took self-expression to the next level, giving people even more ways to show off their style. One hundred fifteen million people have tried out Layered Clothing so far.

What we have planned next is bringing higher-fidelity human expression to avatars. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing Facial Animations in the Marketplace, allowing users to create avatars to convey a wide range of expressions that best fit your mood and better capture emotions and gestures.

At RDC, we’re showcasing our Animation Capture tools for bodies and faces, now available in Studio for developers to test in beta. The tools leverage our novel machine learning models and significantly cut down on the time and resources needed to create high-quality full-body and facial animations. Just by using their device’s camera, anyone can make professional-grade animations for avatars in minutes.

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Building Tools to Create

Creation on Roblox often involves large teams working together seamlessly on megascale experiences. To better support that coordination, we’ve made a number of advancements to Studio, our free development software for building and publishing 3D content on Roblox. Studio now has a refreshed look and feel, and we’ve updated the interface with new features that allow creators to customize their workspace layout and collaborate with teammates with just one click.

Studio Refresh gif

We’ve also added several new features to Cloud including Place Publishing, Data Stores, and Cross-Server Messaging. With Cloud, our vision is to allow developers to access all their Roblox resources programmatically, via an API. Opening our cloud via these APIs will enable a rich ecosystem of tools that improve and allow incredible customization of creator workflows.

Providing an Engine for High-Fidelity 3D Experiences

We define a great engine as having four key traits: it’s fast; it’s reliable; it provides the capabilities developers need to bring their imaginations to life; and it keeps simple things easy and makes complex things possible. Our engine has always been designed with these traits in mind, and over the last year, we’ve made significant advancements to make it even better.

We’ve increased performance so developers can create larger, more immersive worlds without sacrificing framerate or stability. A major release was parallel scripting, which allows our Luau language to do lots of world computations simultaneously as opposed to sequentially.

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Our materials system got a huge boost in capabilities as well. We’ve upgraded our material library so that, with a single click, developers can apply materials that look fantastic right out of the box with our new lighting system. These upgrades also provide advanced features for custom materials, making it easy for developers to achieve unique visual styles for their experiences.  

And we’re about to fully release our real-time CSG (constructive solid geometry) system. This will allow developers to build sophisticated modeling tools in experiences. For example, they could build a lathe that works in real-time to create a unique piece of virtual woodworking. 

Growing Your Community

We’re fortunate to have such a vibrant ecosystem of developers and creators from around the world bringing incredible 3D experiences to life on Roblox every day. To help them connect with a global audience of people who will value their content, we’re focused on innovating in a number of key areas.

The first is Discovery. Our goal is to make it easy for anyone to find the perfect experience for them. We use signals like engagement, retention, and monetization to personalize the recommendations we show, and we continuously invest to ensure new experiences find their audiences. As an example, as of July 31, 2022, approximately over 6% of the top 150 experiences on Roblox were created in the last 90 days. We expect to continue investing in Discovery for many years to come by applying more real-time signals to the model. 

In addition, to support the discovery of experiences, we’ll soon be introducing Experience Guidelines which offer age recommendations on Roblox. Experience Guidelines are meant to help users and their parents continue to make informed decisions about the content they interact with on the platform. The age recommendations are grounded in child development research and informed by industry standards. Parents will be able to use Parental Controls that restrict account access based on these age recommendations, ultimately deciding and managing what is appropriate for their children. 

Fostering a Vibrant Economy

Our platform drives immense economic opportunity, with 2.7 million people earning Robux from their creations in June 2022 and over $580 million in developer payouts via the Developer Exchange over the twelve months ending June 30, 2022. Now we’re providing more ways for our community to earn on Roblox—through Immersive Ads and Marketplace.

Knowing advertising will naturally exist in the metaverse just as it does in other parts of people’s lives, we plan to launch Immersive Ads next year. This is an innovative 3D advertising experience that will be clearly labeled as such and will be native to the platform. Brands and developers alike will be able to build never-before-seen ad experiences on Roblox, including portals that can seamlessly transport users back and forth between experiences. This will create new opportunities for developers to generate revenue and enable brands to reach their communities more effectively.

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Another major focus is the Marketplace, which is quickly scaling toward becoming fully user-generated, with 90% of avatar items currently from the community. In the upcoming months, we’ll introduce new mechanics for our community to build sustainable businesses, including giving creators full control over the scarcity of their items and allowing all users to resell or trade items. With these systems in place, we envision a future where all items will be in limited supply and everybody can find the items they love in a marketplace that’s personalized to them.

Every announcement we’re making at this RDC is tied to the original vision David and his co-founder Erik Cassel had when they founded Roblox over fifteen years ago. We’re steadily moving toward an even more exciting future, in which billions of people come together to connect, create, and express themselves in the most creative ways. With constant innovations, including these to our avatar technology, our engine, and our virtual economy, we continue to make advances on realizing our vision of reimagining the way people come together.  

This world is ours for the making—together. The future isn’t one that will be built by us at Roblox, but by all of us—as one global community.

We’re grateful and excited to continue this journey with all of you. We look forward to the many thoughtful, inspiring conversations that will be happening at RDC this weekend and beyond.

The post RDC 2022: Our Vision for the Future of Roblox appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- mmay@roblox.com
Our Refreshed Logo

We have recently updated the logo and you will see it across Roblox over the next week. As we continue to build a platform of 3D immersive experiences focused on reimagining the way people come together, we wanted the Roblox logo to reflect our vision. 

Roblox_Logo_Launch_Elements

The Roblox logo currently has distinctiveness with its tilt, which represents building, progression, and motion. In refining the logo, we wanted to retain the equity of the tilt while also reflecting the evolution of our platform.

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Our updated logo introduces new custom letterforms that are lighter in weight and reflect a more modern aesthetic. The second “o” has returned as a letter, giving more focus to our iconic tilt. The tilt has been slightly refined but continues to maintain its distinct character.

As you look at how the Roblox logo has evolved over time, it’s always been aligned to who we’ve been as a company. I’m excited for this new iteration of the Roblox wordmark to reflect our ambition to be a human co-experience platform for all ages and our mission to bring optimism and civility to over a billion people. 

The post Our Refreshed Logo appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- mmay@roblox.com
Our First-Ever Roblox Week

In July, the Roblox team gathered at our San Mateo HQ for a week of activities that fostered employee connections, created community, and celebrated the technical innovations we’re building to drive the future of our platform and business. 

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Coming Together and Building Connection

Roblox Week embodies our future of work approach, bringing the company together at key moments to support organic connection, collaboration, and innovation. For many people, this was an opportunity to meet new team members for the first time in person, or get re-connected with colleagues that they had not seen for awhile. 

“The first-ever Roblox Week brought together nearly 1,500 Robloxians from around the world to connect and collaborate in person,” said Barbara Messing, Chief People Experience and Marketing Officer. “The positive energy throughout the week was tangible, and our teams left feeling inspired, aligned, and ready to continue innovating.” 

Where We’re Headed

During Roblox Week, groups came together for on-sites and team building. We also had a special Town Hall at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, CA where our executive team talked about our exciting innovations and the ambitious technical roadmap that will help us deliver on our vision to reimagine how people come together. 

Dave speaking at Townhall

“We have innovated and executed amazing ideas at Roblox, and we have a bright future ahead as we live our ambitious mission to connect a billion people with optimism and civility,” shared Dave Baszucki, Roblox CEO & Founder.  

Executives at Roblox Townhall

 

Employees at Roblox Townhall

 To cap off the events, Robloxians gathered for a summer picnic to recharge and celebrate with colleagues. Employees enjoyed a Friday afternoon filled with food, drinks, and fun before closing out the week.

Employees at Roblox Picnic

 

Employees at Roblox Picnic

“We can go out there and envision something completely novel, something that’s never been done before, and then go make it happen and make it happen in a way that’s completely consumable by our community,” Roblox CTO Dan Sturman shared. “We need to continue to respect the community and particularly apply that internally. We have the ability to come together and do bigger things.”

Will you be at the next Roblox Week? We’re already counting down the days. 

Roblox is building new technologies across a wide range of areas like virtual economy, AI and machine learning, social graph, physics, audio, infrastructure, databases, microservices, rendering, and more. We have an innovation-first culture that seeks to empower our teams with the resources and opportunities to scale their impact. Check out our careers site and explore open roles.

The post Our First-Ever Roblox Week appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- june.rockwell@contr.roblox.com
Spotlight on Roblox Research

At Roblox, our researchers drive our vision to reimagine the way people come together. We have over 100 PhDs collaborating across the fundamental Roblox Research team and applied Data Science & Analytics, User Research, and advanced engineering R&D teams. Together, they invent the future of Roblox, helping us truly deliver on our value of “taking the long view.”

The Roblox Research scientists publish findings in academic conferences, release open source and data, collaborate with universities, and bootstrap transferring results into production. Here are the team members responsible for that innovation.

Morgan McGuire

Chief Scientist
Recent Publications

Prof. McGuire accelerates innovation across Roblox by coordinating all of the research groups and directly managing Roblox Research as well as the engineering development of the Game Engine product.

Morgan has co-authored hundreds of papers and patents, spanning many areas of computer science from networking and compilers to 3D graphics, as well as several textbooks including Computer Graphics: Principles & Practice 3rd Edition, The Graphics Codex, and Creating Games. Morgan co-founded the Journal of Computer Graphics Techniques and chaired ACM SIGGRAPH NPAR, I3D, HPG, and several other conferences. Morgan’s product contributions include NVIDIA RTXGI and Reflex SDKs and RTX GPUs; the Skylanders®, Call of Duty®, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance®, and Titan Quest® video games series; the Unity game engine; the E Ink display used in the Amazon Kindle®; and the open source G3D Innovation Engine and Markdeep document system.

Morgan holds current faculty appointments at the University of Waterloo and McGill University, was a full professor at Williams College, and received a PhD and MS in computer science from Brown University and an MEng and BS in electrical engineering from MIT.

Victor Zordan

Principal Scientist
Recent Publications

Prof. Zordan investigates the broad area of computer graphics and interactive techniques, with specializations in computer animation with physical models, VR, motion capture, and interfaces.

He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Proceedings of the ACM in Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (PACMCGIT), chaired and organized the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation (SCA) and the ACM SIGGRAPH Motion, Interaction, and Games (MIG) conferences, and served on many program committees.

He was a faculty member for twenty years, most recently as a full professor leading the Visual Computing Division of the School of Computing at Clemson University, where he continues to hold an adjunct research faculty member position. He received his PhD in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Arjun Guha

Senior Scientist
Recent Publications

Prof. Guha has broad interests in programming languages and systems and researches problems that arise in web security, software-defined networking, distributed systems, and robotics. At Roblox, Arjun is working to make the platform dramatically more scalable and easier to program.

Arjun holds a position as Associate Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University and leads an academic group there. He received his PhD from Brown University and BA from Grinnell College.

Cem Yuksel

Senior Scientist
Recent Publications

Prof. Yuksel investigates computer graphics and related fields, including physically-based simulations, realistic image synthesis, rendering techniques, global illumination, sampling, GPU algorithms, graphics hardware, modeling complex geometries, and knitted structures, along with hair modeling, animation, and rendering. His introductory and advanced graphics lecture videos that are freely available online are watched by thousands of graphics students, professionals, and enthusiasts worldwide.

Cem chaired and organized the ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics High-Performance Graphics (HPG) and ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D) conferences, in addition to contributing to numerous conferences as a program committee member. He is the Real-Time Live! program chair for SIGGRAPH 2023 and the founder of graphics software company Cyber Radiance LLC.

Cem currently holds an Associate Professor position in the School of Computing at the University of Utah. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University after receiving his PhD degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.

Tania Lorido-Botrán

Research Scientist
Recent Publications

Dr. Tania Lorido-Botrán is currently a Research Scientist at Roblox. Prior to that, she worked at Microsoft and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her research interests lie across machine learning, systems, and optimization.

Dr. Lorido-Botran received her PhD from the University of Deusto in Spain with a cum laude distinction, and her master’s degree in Distributed Systems from University of the Basque Country with a highest marks distinction.

Tony Liu

Research Program Manager
Recent Publications

Tony Liu researches mental wellness, healthcare, and digital civility by combining techniques from causal inference and machine learning. He previously worked at IBM Watson Health and has published in Nature Computational Science as well as ICML and AAAI workshops. He coordinates academic collaboration, technology transfer, and external communication for Roblox Research.

Tony holds a BA in Computer Science with highest honors from Williams College. He is completing a PhD in Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania advised by Profs. Lyle Ungar and Konrad Kording.

Layla Mah

Senior Technical Director

Layla Mah optimizes all aspects of the Roblox distributed system for runtime scalability and internal engineering efficiency.

She is also known for her work as CEO of InsightfulVR, developing their decoupled light field rendering and streaming engine, and their PerfLab performance automation system; co-founder of Fringe Studios, which specializes in AAA game engine optimization; Lead Architect of VR and Advanced Rendering at AMD; and contributions to shipping many PC and console game titles, including the Sid Meier’s Civilization, Thief, BioShock, and Infinite Crisis game series.

Layla performed undergraduate and graduate research in computer graphics, physics simulation, and robotics at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Kiran Bhat

Senior Director

Dr. Bhat is the Senior Director of Engineering in Roblox’s Game Engine division, overseeing the research and development of real-time deep learning technologies for 3D avatars. Kiran was the co-founder/CTO of Loom.ai, which merged with Roblox in December 2020. Kiran’s team at Loom.ai built lifelike human face visualizations by automatically converting selfies into expressive 3D avatars that interact in real time with visual and audio signals.

Kiran won the 2017 Sci-Tech Oscar for architecting ILM’s facial performance capture engine that was used to create several iconic movie characters like the Hulk in Marvel’s The Avengers, the Orcs in Warcraft, and to “bring back” Peter Cushing’s Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Kiran received his PhD in Robotics from the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.

Mitesh Shah

Senior Director

Mitesh Shah is the Senior Director of Programming Languages for the Game Engine product and directly manages research and development of languages and programming models that power the creation of millions of experiences on Roblox. Previously, he built and led high-performance R&D teams at Meta, Synopsys, and start-ups delivering state-of-the-art solutions in the PL domain. Throughout his career, Mitesh developed compilers and programming models for a vast variety of processor architectures including massively parallel processors, network processors, highly embedded RISCs, Vector DSPs, VLIW machines, and neural network ML accelerators.

Mitesh holds an MS in computer science from Texas A&M University and his research interests include parallelizing compilers and processor architecture, along with exploiting perf, efficiency, reliability, and security through PL and runtime.

Kenny Mitchell

Technical Director
Recent Publications

Prof. Mitchell is a Technical Director of Rendering at Roblox. He has patented over 50 inventions and authored and co-authored over 100 technical papers.

He delivers creative technologies to the widest audiences including the BAFTA award-winning BoomBlox® with Steven Spielberg; the Command & Conquer®, Disney Infinity®, Harry Potter® series of video games; Star Wars® & Avatar® rides/animatronics; and the Finding Dory® and Pirates of the Caribbean® movies. 

A founding co-editor-in-chief of the ACM Games journal and associate editor of Proceedings of the ACM Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques (PACM CGIT) and Elsevier Computers & Graphics (C&G) journals, he has chaired ACM SIGGRAPH Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D), CVMP and RVCAI international conferences and is a member of the SIGGRAPH conference advisory group. Kenny is a co-founder of 3Finery™, bringing objects to life and non-executive director of Cobra Simulation™ disrupting immersive software.

Kenny holds a position as full professor and chair of Video Game Technology at Edinburgh Napier University. He earned his PhD and MS from the school of computing, and an honor’s degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence from Edinburgh University.

Alan Jeffrey

Principal Software Engineer
Recent Publications

Dr. Jeffrey coordinates the design and implementation of the Luau type system, which helps drive many of the features of development in Roblox Studio.

Alan has over 30 years of experience with research in programming languages, including publishing papers and serving on the program committees of Principles Of Programming Languages (POPL), International Conference On Functional Programming (ICFP), and Logic In Computer Science (LICS). He has served on the Steering Committee and Organizing Committee of ICFP, and as General Chair of LICS. He has been an active member of open source software projects such as LaTeX, Agda, Servo, and Luau.

Alan has a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford.

Mahesh Nandwana

Principal Machine Learning Scientist
Recent Publications

Mahesh leads audio ML projects at Roblox. His areas of expertise include speech and speaker recognition, voice activity detection, audio classification, and speech enhancement.

Before Roblox, Mahesh was a technical lead in the Siri Perception team at Apple. He also worked as an Advanced Computer Scientist at SRI International and was involved in DARPA RATS and MediFor programs

He has published more than 20 papers. He has served as a reviewer for conferences and journals including NeurIPS, ICML, ICLR, IEEE/ACM TASLP, Speech Communication, Interspeech, and ICASSP. He earned an MS degree from UT Dallas.

Linwan Song

Research Assistant

Linwan works on open source projects for Roblox Research and helps facilitate technology transfers from Research to Roblox Engineering.

She completed an undergraduate research assistantship with Prof. Toshiya Hachisuka at the University of Waterloo, as well as internships at Google and Autodesk.

Linwan holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

The post Spotlight on Roblox Research appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- mmay@roblox.com

For over 16 years, our team at Roblox has been innovating to solve some of the hardest and most interesting technical challenges as we usher in the metaverse. To do this kind of groundbreaking work, we’ve hired top talent with creative and innovative thinking and created a culture that seeks to empower engineering and product teams to be responsible, take the long view, and get stuff done – all while respecting our global community of millions of creators. Today we’re thrilled to share that Fast Company has honored our team with a #3 ranking on their annual list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators.

Maintaining an innovation-first culture that seeks to empower engineering and product teams is one of our core priorities. Our teams are innovating across an ever-expanding range of areas, including virtual economy, AI and machine learning, social graph, physics, audio, infrastructure, databases, microservices, rendering, and more. Two examples of innovations coming from the team in the past year include: 

Layered Clothing, which gave everyone on Roblox complete freedom over what their avatar wears and enabled 360-degree hyperrealism for clothing that’s never been seen before in a virtual environment. A materials upgrade that enhanced the visual quality of our entire existing library of materials to make them look and feel even more realistic than before.  

“We hear from candidates that they are drawn to the breadth of technical challenges we are solving here at Roblox, from scaling our infrastructure to working on a state-of-the-art physics and rendering engine to enabling more civil communication in shared online spaces and developing groundbreaking developer, avatar and identity features,” said Dan Sturman, Chief Technology Officer at Roblox. “We also hire people who are genuinely excited about building this new category of human co-experience where so much innovation is happening and is bound to continue over the next decades given the opportunity.”

The Best Workplaces for Innovators list honors organizations and businesses that demonstrate a steadfast commitment to encouraging innovation at all levels. The list ranks 100 winners from a variety of industries, including computer science, biotech, consumer packaged goods, nonprofit, education, financial services, cybersecurity, engineering, diversity, sustainability, B2B, and consumer products and services.    

“This year’s list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators recognizes organizations that have demonstrated a deep commitment to cultivating creativity across the board,” says Brendan Vaughan, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “In the face of powerful headwinds, these leaders and teams continue to spur innovation.”   

We’re continuing to hire for hundreds of open roles to usher in the metaverse and look forward to climbing to the top of this list with all of you. 

The post Roblox Ranks #3 on Fast Company’s Fourth Annual List of the 100 Best Workplaces for Innovators appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- mmay@roblox.com
Introducing Custom Material Variants and New Enhancements to Materials

On the left is a scene rendered with our old materials. On the right is the same scene with our newly enhanced materials, our Future is Bright lighting technology, and physically-based rendering.

Today, we’re excited to announce that we’ve officially rolled out a number of advancements to our material system, moving them out of beta and into the hands of our broader community.

With this release, we’ve enhanced the visual quality of our entire existing library of materials, which includes brick, glass, metal, and many other common materials, to make them look and feel even more realistic than before. These material upgrades will be the default option for all new experiences moving forward. Creators can upgrade their existing experiences as they see fit (read our documentation here to learn how), and our classic materials remain available if developers wish to continue using them. In addition, creators now have access to a new, user-friendly Material Manager tool in Roblox Studio allowing them to make custom variations of our base materials to better suit their aesthetic vision. Now, before we dive any deeper into the details, let’s first take a step back and understand what materials are and what makes those on Roblox so unique.

Materials on Roblox are akin to materials in the real world. They’re used to not only define the surface appearance of a 3D object but also its physical properties (like friction), which influence how the object behaves. For example, if you’re driving a car, the rubber material of the tires should behave as you would expect depending on the surface they’re on—they might skid on wet asphalt, or get stuck in the mud. This level of interactivity is essential to making experiences on Roblox feel like living, breathing worlds.

Our engineers understand that in order for creators to build best-in-class experiences on our platform, we need to provide them with innovative and powerful tools. So, when we set out to ship all the aforementioned new components to our material system, we had two major goals in mind.

First, building on the work we’ve done to make physically-based rendering (PBR) available via our Surface Appearance construct, we wanted to provide creators with access to high-quality materials that look and feel as realistic as possible out of the box. So, we built our materials from the ground up to fully utilize PBR, which recreates how light interacts with surfaces by simulating phenomena such as shading, reflections, and shadows in a realistic way.

What’s more exciting is that by combining these new and enhanced materials with our “Future is Bright” lighting technology, creators can take the visual quality of their experiences to an even higher level.

Second, in line with our vision to enable a fully user-generated content platform, we also wanted to give people a user-friendly way to create, manage, and apply custom variations of our base materials in Roblox Studio. For example, creators could replace our built-in brick material with their own custom anime-styled brick, making it easy to achieve unique visual styles for their experience. And, because these are variants and not new base materials, they will automatically benefit from future emergent behavior based on the materials’ inherent simulation properties—no extra work required.

Taking the Long View

Our upgraded material system will enable creators to take their experiences to new heights while also providing us a foundation we can continue to iterate on. Our vision for materials is to make them an integral part of the development process, giving people even more control over the look and feel of their content without requiring them to write code for behaviors we know to be true in the real world.

For example, an object made out of wood should catch on fire when it’s exposed to a flame. Rainfall should pool on the ground and gradually seep into porous materials like dirt. Sounds should be muffled when passing through walls. These are the types of things we will enable by default so creators can focus on building engaging experiences rather than worrying about the nitty-gritty technical complexities. Over time, we will also continue adding new base materials with simulation properties to our material library, giving creators an ever-expanding palette to work with as they bring their imaginations to life.

Our work with materials is never-ending, but with the launch of our new system, we’re excited to empower even more creators to build the most immersive and dynamic experiences possible on Roblox.

The post Introducing Custom Material Variants and New Enhancements to Materials appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- mmay@roblox.com

Every day, millions of talented creators across the Roblox community are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on our platform. They’re building new experiences, experimenting with cutting-edge technologies, and dreaming up ways to connect people from all over the world. And as their ingenuity and imagination has grown, so too has the need to expand our annual awards show to celebrate and recognize their incredible achievements in innovation. And that’s why we’re excited for the evolution of the Bloxys to a new in-person experience called the Roblox Innovation Awards.

This will be our first-ever in-person awards show, shared virtually from the invite-only Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) on September 10. We’ll also be featuring brand-new award categories such as Best Creative Direction, Best Use of Avatar Fashion, and Best Audio Design.

In addition to honoring some of the most inventive creators on Roblox, we’re also giving everyone in the community a chance to decide who’ll take home the awards for premier categories including Best Content Update, Video Star of the Year, and more. 

Jump into the Roblox Innovation Awards Voting Hub now to cast your votes for your favorite nominees. Voting ends at midnight on July 27.

Developers and creators will need to register in order to attend RDC and the Roblox Innovation Awards. Registration will open up in a couple of weeks to invited guests. If you are interested in staying up to date on RDC news, sign up here to receive future news and announcements via email. 

We’re excited to celebrate the dazzling talent and unstoppable creativity of our community. Good luck to all of the nominees!

The post Voting Now Open for the Roblox Innovation Awards appeared first on Roblox Blog.

- mmay@roblox.com

Roblox’s vision is to reimagine the way people come together to create, learn, play, work and socialize. We are creating a platform for immersive human co-experience, and people all over the world are participating and contributing millions of 3D experiences, all created by users. As of the first quarter of this year, there are over 54.1 million people coming to Roblox every day, to connect with friends, to participate in these immersive experiences and to have fun.

Influencers and video creators are integral to this community. Every month, videos about Roblox get more than 10 billion views on YouTube alone, thanks to the creativity and charisma of the awesome video creators who are behind them. Creators like InquisitorMasterLeahAshe, and KreekCraft have found tremendous success by leveraging the Roblox platform to create engaging content, and we expect this trend to continue growing as more people join the Roblox community.

But video creators have bigger plans! Increasingly more creators are seeing Roblox as a platform to foster a healthy, rich community around their content and personal brands. They want to be where the audience is and find richer ways to create, connect and interact with their audience, and synchronous 3D immersive experiences provide a new canvas for creativity.

Some call this the metaverse, and it’s the next frontier for creators of all kinds. By expanding from 2D, one-way communication and content distribution platforms into 3D immersive and shared worlds, the possibilities are endless. Whatever exists in real life can be built in digital life on Roblox without the restrictive parameters of language or location — and sometimes even physics, like in Tai Verdes’ gravity-defying, teleporting concert. We believe this 3D metaverse provides ample opportunities beyond familiar, but comparatively static, 2D screen content. 

Endless Possibilities

While Roblox provides the technology that allows for both physics-defying and reality-mirroring creations, it’s the 10.5 million developers across the globe who have built more than 29 million virtual experiences across genres. From gaming to social hangouts, to concerts, sports, fashion and film, and more, the range of experiences on the Roblox platform makes it easy for creators to follow their passion and connect to their audiences. Every experience is free, which means users see no barriers to trying new ones, and video creators have ample inspiration to build on.

Several have already started trailblazing, not only by creating video content based on Roblox experiences, but also by bringing their innovation and creativity to the Roblox platform. Take MeganPlays as an example, who I will be speaking with later today at VidCon. She co-founded a development studio called Wonder Works Studio, which has created several Roblox experiences to connect with their fans, and fans have responded in kind with 220.7 million visits to their flagship experience Overlook Bay alone. But Megan hasn’t stopped there, she has also created a line of avatar fashion representing her brand which sells in the Roblox Marketplace. I’ll talk about this more later. 

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Engagement Opportunities 

With this vast variety of content comes a diverse, global scale that brings video creators’ content to new audiences. With users from 180 countries on Roblox, 53% of which are over the age of 13, the potential reach for creators is massive. 

Engagement on the Roblox platform is deep. In the 3D world, creators connect with fans in immersive social experiences. Video creators can interact using unique avatars (more on this later), build virtual worlds for followers to convene, or even premier a video (using VideoFrame) on Roblox for fans to watch together.

Late last year, for example, Twenty One Pilots took the virtual stage with a pioneering interactive concert experience The five-song interactive and ‘choose your own adventure’-style concert captivated people from over 160 countries, with nearly 70% of attendees coming together from outside of the U.S. to kick off the band’s sold-out Takeøver Tour with an exclusive virtual concert on Roblox. Bandmates Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are obsessed with their fans, so they made sure to take time to hop from server to server as their avatars ToggAndJog and JogAndTogg, meeting fans from across the globe. They also held an on-platform Q&A session with fans. Video creators could host private servers to hold concert parties with their followers while streaming, giving a VIP experience to their fans as they dance to their favorite music.

The potential for creators to build deep relationships with their audience is greater on Roblox because of these interactive opportunities. They can bring their followers with them to do the things they would do in the real world with the safety and cost savings of hosting remotely. KreekCraft even brought 350,000 fans to the Twenty One Pilots show with him on YouTube.

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Monetize 

We want to support everyone who creates on our platform to continue developing great content, so we’re always looking to open new revenue streams for video creators on the platform and beyond. 

Creators can earn Robux (virtual currency on Roblox) in several ways. First, they receive a portion of in-game purchases for any experience they’ve partnered with or created themselves. Second, creators can also produce avatar items like clothing, accessories, or even dance moves, which all earn Robux. Finally, we have an influencer program with additional incentives and support to our growing content creator community.

MeganPlays, for example, leverages a variety of programs to earn money through Roblox. For 2D screens, she makes videos of her play sessions, finding experiences she loves and creating stream-style videos for YouTube or capturing dynamic moments for her 3.6 million TikTok followers. Since making the switch to creating videos around Roblox, she went from 240,000 subscribers to 1,000,000 subscribers in under a year from 2018 – 2019. Today, she has amassed over 740 million video views on YouTube alone. She also offers an exclusive affiliate code on these profiles, which earns her a 5% commission on every Robux purchase made with the code.

In 3D worlds on Roblox, Megan has created her own fashion line. Her best-selling Butterfly Earrings have been favorited over 87,000 times. She also founded a development studio called Wonder Works Studio, which has built experiences for high-profile partners including electronic music event promoter and producer Insomniac to bring the world’s largest dance music festival, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), to Roblox.

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With new technology launched by Roblox in recent months, the monetization opportunities in 3D immersive spaces only continue to expand. In April, Roblox launched Layered Clothing, the first and only technology that enables a single clothing or accessory item to fit any avatar body type, whether it’s humanoid or dinosaur. On Roblox, identity (which people express through their avatar) is paramount. With 1 in 5 daily active users updating their avatar on any given day in 2021, the possibility of helping any user express their identities through fashion has been inspiring for many creators. Within months of Layered Clothing being available to all, over 89 million users had acquired Layered Clothing apparel, selecting from the more than 5,400 items designed by creators available in the Avatar Shop today.

And with new technology that will enable facial animation for avatars based on voice and facial expressions in the real world, customizable opportunities will become endless in the months and years to come. 

Our goal is to mirror the real world through technology and empower any user to create with it. With dynamic facial expressions, we are moving towards a world where avatars can mimic our own expressions with ease, helping users to better express themselves as they move from world to world and change their body.

The Next Frontier

Digital co-experience has captured everyone’s imagination, and the opportunity to invest in the move from 2D to 3D is now. 

To learn more about the opportunities for video creators on Roblox and be a part of this amazing community, visit our Roblox Video Stars information page or tune in to my keynote at VidCon with MeganPlays and VidCon CEO Jim Louderback at 2:10 pm PT today.

The post Why Content Creators Are Moving from 2D Screens to 3D Worlds appeared first on Roblox Blog.