Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Medium: A Guide To Solving The Red House Butterfly Puzzle

From navigating the mirrors in the dollhouse, finding the different butterflies, and obtaining the four doll masks, IGN has you covered in our complete Red House puzzle guide for The Medium.


Amazon Game Studios Report Details 'Bro Culture' and Cancelled Projects

A new extensive report from Bloomberg has detailed some of the dysfunction and struggles at Amazon Game Studios, which included cancelled projects, a troublesome game engine, mismanagement, and a "bro culture" that allegedly does not give women the same opportunities as men. The report begins by discussing how Mike Frazzini was brought in to start Amazon Game Studios eight years ago without ever making a game. Since then, Frazzini and Amazon Game Studios have released only two games, and have seen multiple cancelled projects that were attempting to recreate the financial magic of games like Fortnite and League of Legends. The Grand Tour Game was the first Amazon Game Studios console release, and within a year it was removed from storefronts. Crucible was the next game released from the studio, and not only did it return to closed beta after its official launch, it was shut down in November 2020. Two other projects, which were known as Intensity and Nova, never saw the light of day after the teams tried and failed to create games inspired by Fortnite and League of Legends, respectively. [ignvideo url=""] All of these cancelled and unsuccessful projects at Amazon Game Studios have done so despite Amazon spending nearly $500 million a year operating the game division. It's also important to note that the amount doesn't include Twitch or Amazon Luna - the latter of which is under different management. Frazzini is an "Amazon lifer" who started his career in the books section of where he "endeared himself to Jeff Bezos as a manager there." He began his role as head of the games division by bringing in some of the best game development talent in the world, including Portal's Kim Swift, Far Cry 2's Clint Hawking, Madden's Richard Hilleman, and Everquest's John Smedley. Today, only Smedley remains. According to numerous current and former employees of Frazzini's game studios, he continuously ignored much of the advice given by these experienced developers, and despite frequently telling the staff that every Amazon game should be a "billion-dollar franchise," he would then understaff projects. Furthermore, instead of using industry-leading game engines like Unreal Engine or Unity, the studio opted to license technology from Crytek to create a homemade engine known as Lumberyard. [ignvideo url=""] While Lumberyard was meant to integrate with Amazon Web Services and could have been a cheaper alternative than paying for the other engines, it ended up being known as a "boogeyman around the office." Many cited that it was "painfully slow," and developers would play Halo or watch Amazon Prime Video as they waited for Lumberyard to process art or compile code. One former employee even went so far as to say, "Lumberyard is killing this company." Another big issue with working at Amazon Game Studios is said to be linked to the "bro culture" that has been cultivated there, in which women were often not given the same opportunities as men. Beyond that, "four female game developers said that their worst experiences of sexism in the industry were at Amazon." There were stories of them being ignored and undermined by male executives, in some cases being driven out of the company. One source said that not only did a male on the senior leadership team impede her career growth after she disagreed with him, he would then go on to create new management positions above her and hired men to take those positions. Amazon's game problems also extend to how they incentivize their employees. While most studios pay bonuses based on the critical and commercial response of a game, Amazon's stock plan only rewards employees for how long they have been at the company. This has led to some employees choosing to "prioritize job preservation over anything else, say three former employees." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=new-world-screenshots-november-2020&captions=true"] Amazon Game Studio's next project is the MMO New World. Originally planned for a 2020 release, it was pushed back to Spring 2021 to improve the quality of the game. Bloomberg's report explains that the project was originally going to be a survival game where players would take on the role of colonists in a fictional version of 1600s America. The problem, however, was that the enemies players originally were going to face "looked a lot like indigenous people." When developers pointed out to Frazzini's deputy, Patrick Gilmore, that the setting and villains could be considered racist, he "expressed disbelief." Amazon did eventually hire a tribal consultant who did find that the portrayal was offensive, and the Native American imagery has since been removed. Our latest preview of New World's high-level PvE zone show a game that may not be for everybody, but one that shows promise and a big improvement, in both PvE content and general polish, from the previous build. [ignvideo url=""] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


MLB The Show 21 Cover Leak Seemingly Confirms Xbox Version

The cover has allegedly leaked for MLB The Show 21, but this time for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox One, seemingly confirming that the Sony-exclusive baseball game will make its way to other platforms in 2021. Known leaker ANerdyDad on Instagram shared the covers, which both feature San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr., and the Xbox version even comes complete with the PlayStation Studios logo, as well. Another potential leak has made its way to Reddit, showing that there may also be a Jackie Robinson special edition version of MLB The Show 21, which is said to be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One. Unfortunately, there is no mention of PC or Nintendo Switch. The Jackie Robinson Edition leak also reveals that the game is planned to be released on April 20, 2021, with an Early Access Weekend beginning on April 16. Following these leaks, it has been announced that the official MLB The Show 2021 cover reveal will take place tomorrow, February 1, on Hot Ones. So, it appears we won't have to wait long to learn the truth. In 2019, it was confirmed that MLB The Show would be making its way to other platforms as early as 2021, and it appears this just may be the year these great games will be playable by many more people. [ignvideo url=""] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


PSA: Last Chance to Download the Monster Hunter Rise Demo

Today is the last chance you have to download the Monster Hunter Rise demo on the Nintendo Switch.


Animal Crossing: Don't Forget to Catch These January Critters

Last chance to get some of these for a few months!


Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Newest Fortnite Outfit Is Based on G.I. Joe's Snake Eyes

Fortnite's latest collaboration not only allows players to purchase an in-game outfit based on G.I. Joe's Snake Eyes, but there will also be a real-life action figure from Hasbro that is based on the character's Fortnite design. Snake Eyes is available now in Fortnite's Item Shop, and the full set includes the Katana Pickaxe and Katana Back Bling. As for the Fortnite G.I. Joe Collab Snake Eyes: Zero Point Edition action figure, it costs $39.99 and includes Snake Eye's Katana - Morning Light - and a sheath accessory inspired by the G.I. Joe universe. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=fortnites-gi-joe-collaboration-snake-eyes-outfit-and-hasbro-action-figure&captions=true"] This edition also includes such Fortnite items as the "Harpoon Launcher, Boogie Bomb, Grenade, Clinger, Chiller Grenade, as well as the Submachine weapon and Mythic Shockwave Launcher accessories featuring the Weathered Black Wrap deco as seen in-game." Unfortunately, it appears the Snake Eyes figure will not ship out until around January 15, 2022. While you may have to wait until 2022 to receive this special edition Snake Eyes action figure, the Snake Eyes film is set to be released in theaters on October 22, 2021. Snake Eyes stars Henry Golding as the iconic character who will train to become a member of the Arashikage Clan. [ignvideo url=""] Snake Eyes is just the latest example of Fortnite's crossover with pop culture and follows such characters as Sarah Connor, T-800, The Predator, and so much more. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


Hitman 3's DLC May Be a 'Reimagining' of Existing Locations

While Hitman 3 has officially launched with the aim to end the World of Assassination Trilogy, IO Interactive is planning on developing DLC that reimagines existing locations. Speaking to TheGamer, Hitman 3 executive producer Forest Swartout Large explained that, even though the studio is developing a new James Bond game, it is "continuously working on Hitman so we are already looking to the future." IO Interactive has multiple teams, and at least one will continue to support Hitman 3 with post-launch patches and DLC. However, Large warns that it most likely won't include new levels like Hitman 2's New York bank level or Haven Island. Instead, the team is looking to use "existing locations and reimagining them, twisting them." [ignvideo url=""] "We are definitely going to be doing some DLC, but we haven’t defined what that is," Large said. "I think for now we are not looking at new maps like the bank and the island. We’re more looking at using existing locations and reimagining them, twisting them. And this time around, we can use the whole trilogy. We can look back at Hitman 2016 maps, Hitman 2 maps - we have all the locations." In our Hitman 3 review, we said "Rich, rewarding, and highly replayable, Hitman 3 is a superb installment of IO’s idiosyncratic but much-loved stealth series. The fundamentals haven’t changed since 2016 but its collection of outstanding maps makes for a refined, reliable, and robust curtain-closer to the current Hitman trilogy." Hitman 3 has already made back its costs in one week, so its no surprise that IO Interactive will want to continue to support it. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-hitman-review&captions=true"] For more on Hitman 3, check out our look at why this game proves IO Interactive is ready for the 007 license, how to get Hitman and Hitman 2 levels into Hitman 3, and our best tips and tricks to help you become the ultimate assassin. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


The Medium: How to Solve the Water Plant Puzzle

From powering up the control room, finding the valves, and managing the water levels in the storage tanks, IGN has you covered in our detailed guide for completing the Water Plant puzzle in The Medium.


Monster Hunter Rise Wirebug Guide and Controls

Here's a basic guide to get you started on using the Wirebug in Monster Hunter Rise.


A New Lawsuit Accuses Valve of Abusing Its Power to Keep PC Game Prices High

A new lawsuit filed by five gamers in California federal court accuses Valve of abusing its power to keep PC game prices high. As reported by THR, this lawsuit claims that Valve does not maintain its dominance over the PC market by offering better prices on Steam than other platforms, but does so by abusing its power to require developers to enter what is known as a 'Most Favored Nations' clause. "Valve Corporation’s Steam platform is the dominant platform for game developers to distribute and sell PC games in the United States," states the complaint being handled by attorneys at Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease. "But the Steam platform does not maintain its dominance through better pricing than by rival platforms. Instead, Valve abuses the Steam platform’s market power by requiring game developers to enter into a 'Most Favored Nations' provision contained in the Steam Distribution Agreement whereby the game developers agree that the price of a PC game on the Steam platform will be the same price the game developers sell their PC games on other platforms." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-best-modern-pc-games-summer-2020-update&captions=true"] The lawsuit also alleges that, because Valve requires developers to enter this 'Most Favored Nations' clause, it "hinders innovation by creating an artificial barrier to entry for platforms" and keeps prices high on other digital storefronts like the Epic Games Store and the Microsoft Store. "The Steam MFN also hinders innovation by creating an artificial barrier to entry for platforms," adds the complaint. "When a market, such as this one, is highly concentrated, a new entrant can benefit consumers by undercutting the incumbent’s prices. The ability to provide PC games to consumers at lower prices is one way a firm or new entrant could gain market share. If this market functioned properly—that is, if the Steam MFN did not exist and platforms were able to compete on price—platforms competing with Steam would be able to provide the same (or higher) margins to game developers while simultaneously providing lower prices to consumers." CD Projekt S.A., CD Projekt, Inc., Ubisoft Entertainment S.A., Ubisoft, Inc., Ubisoft L.A., Inc., kChamp Games, Inc., Rust, LLC, and Devolver Digital, Inc. are also included as defendants on the lawsuit, with the plaintiffs accusing these companies of agreeing with the Steam platform to the Steam MFN. [ignvideo url=""] This new class action lawsuit follows Valve, Capcom, Bandai Namco, Focus Home, Koch Media, and ZeniMax being fined $9.4 million by the European Commission over the practice of "geo-blocking." [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


GoldenEye 007: Footage of Cancelled Xbox 360 Remaster Discovered

A full playthrough and thirty minutes of multiplayer have surfaced for the cancelled Xbox Live Arcade remaster of the N64 classic GoldenEye 007. YouTuber Graslu00 shared the GoldenEye 007 XBLA (2007) - Longplay, which is running at 4K/60 FPS on the Xenia emulator, and it gives fans a glimpse of what Rare's remaster would have looked like had rights issues not gotten in the way. [ignvideo url=""] This isn't the first time we've seen footage of this cancelled project that appeared to be mostly finished, as a smaller look of gameplay surfaced in 2016 that showed upgraded visuals, the ability to switch back and forth between older and remastered graphics, and more. A modern re-imagining/remake of GoldenEye 007 was released for the Wii in 2010 by Activision and, in our review, we said "What could have ended up a game that cruised on autopilot and simply relied on a name to sell it has turned out to be one of the best first-person shooters on Wii. GoldenEye has a fantastic single-player campaign that feels both fresh and familiar, and the multiplayer attention – something most GoldenEye Nintendo 64 fans hold near and dear to their hearts – is incredible and something rarely seen on the Nintendo console." [ignvideo url=""] On the YouTube video, Graslu00 notes that they were told that this version will possibly be released in some form to the public in 2021. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


Hitman 3: How to Solve the Dartmoor Murder Mystery

Solve a murder before you commit a murder in Hitman 3 with a full walkthrough for the Dartmoor level's mystery.


Friday, January 29, 2021

AC Valhalla: How to Get the Mythical Isu Bow

Assassin's Creed fans have discovered another legendary weapon hiding in AC Valhalla, see how you can claim the Noden's Arc Bow for yourself.


Play the Monster Hunter Rise Demo to Get These Free Items

The Monster Hunter Rise demo is available only for a limited time - make sure to play it to get free items in the full game!


What It Would Really Take To Get Me Back Into Pokémon

The greatest trick I repeatedly pull is convincing myself I’ll play the latest Pokémon title, but then never actually doing it. Like many kids of the ‘90s, I fell in love with Game Freak's lovable Pocket Monsters when they initially took the U.S. by storm. I lost countless hours playing Red, Blue, and Yellow multiple times, invested just as much time in the anime, and collected way too many cards. I was a certified Poké-maniac. 

When Generation 2 rolled around, I was eager catch some new monsters, but a series of unfortunate events pushed me away from the series for good. First, my Game Boy Advance was stolen with my copy of Pokémon Gold inside (which I’ve never completed to this day). Then the anime let me down for the final time when Ash lost the Johto League finals even after defeating Gary, cementing Ash as a choke artist I could no longer get behind. My enthusiasm for the franchise simply vanished after that. Outside of a brief, random return with Pokémon Platinum and partaking in the beautiful phenomenon of Pokémon Go’s early days, I haven’t touched the series since. Still, I kept an ear to the ground for every subsequent release, secretly hoping for an irresistible new feature that would lure me back. 

Over the years, I imagined what the series would need to do to draw me in again, but the goalposts moved every time they were met. I said I wanted an entry with full 3D graphics. Then X&Y happened, and I never touched it. I said I wanted a mainline console RPG. Then Let’s Go and Sword & Shield release – and I haven’t played them. I said an MMO would be cool. Then someone made TemTem and ... well, I’ll get back to you on that when it hits consoles. The point is: What does this series really have to do to get me interested again? With the Pokémon’s 25th anniversary in full swing, I took time to really consider what it would take for me to dust off the old Pokédex one more time. 

A Story-Driven RPG Starring Team Rocket

Pokémon protagonists are about as interesting as catching a Pidgey. They’re all chipper-yet-bland avatars devoid of personality outside of a love of capturing helpless critters and forcing them to fight. Give me protagonists with pizzazz, charisma, and moxie. Give me Team Rocket!

By that, I mean Jessie, James, and Meowth, the bumbling goofs who are usually the highlight of most episodes of the anime. They’re hilarious personalities that I’d love to see get a full, dedicated game. Let me try to abduct Ash’s Pikachu or, better yet, have the trio embark on their own zany adventure away from the series’ typical heroes. Games that put bad guys front and center can be a novel experience, and few villains are as entertaining or endearing as these three knuckleheads. 

Wacky, Absurd Side Quests

The Pokémon anime is bursting with strange side characters, and the games have apparently failed to fully capture that charm so far. While there are some colorful personalities, they’re typically the main or supporting cast. Many of the people you meet regularly are “cheerful lass looking to battle #3.” I’d love it if the side activities took a page from the Yakuza series and dialed the silliness all the way up.  

The sub stories in Yakuza are ridiculous and endearing; they’re a delight I regularly go out of my way to seek out. If Pokémon took a similar approach (or ripped it off wholesale) by offering some truly far-out sidequests, I’d be inclined to not avoid the vision cone of every passerby I see. For example, one of my favorite quests in Yakuza: Like a Dragon involves preventing the last persimmon from falling out of a tree from a sumo wrestler, a wannabe sniper, and a high school occultist. And Yakuza is supposed to based on real-life! The humans in Pokémon share a planet with three-headed birds, sentient garbage piles, and a living mystical alphabet. The comedic gold is sitting there, waiting to be mined. 

Eliminate Random Encounters Forever

For years, Pokémon has maintained a stubborn reliance on random encounters. Sword & Shield got halfway there by having some Pokémon appear in the overworld and Wild Area, but I’ve been playing a lot of Bugsnax recently, and that game nails what I’d like to see from Pokémon going forward: a world teeming with bizarre wildlife as far as the eye can see. I want to look up and admire Ho-Oh soaring across the horizon the way Ash did in the anime’s pilot episode or feel a stronger sense of disappointment when a Rattata approaches me. Random encounters are old hat in standard RPGs, but seeing them remain a near constant in Pokémon feels more and more like a disservice to the franchise in terms of what it could do for wonder and immersion. 

Ditch The Turn-Based Combat

I grew up playing RPGs, so turn-based combat will always have a place in my heart, but I’m also ready to move on. One of the things I love most about Final Fantasy is its willingness to reinvent its battle system with each entry, and it ditched traditional turn-based combat long ago (frankly, for the better). I don’t know how you do that using the usual Pokémon template, but that’s what makes the possibilities exciting. 

Maybe take a page from the Final Fantasy VII Remake playbook and blend pure action with RPG elements on the edges. Perhaps let players control Pokémon directly instead of just issuing commands to them? Having a party of six creatures with an array of unique abilities allows for some exciting ideas that feel constrained within the current, well-worn battle template. Give me something fundamentally different and you’ll not only have my curiosity, but my interest as well.

Release It As One Version

I’ve never really understood the appeal behind Pokémon’s two-version approach. Sure, it’s great for lining Game Freak and Nintendo’s pockets, but I’ve always felt a lingering anxiety with the idea of buying a game knowing some of the monsters are locked away in its counterpart. For players, what’s the actual good reason for doing this other than “Well, that’s just how it’s always been done”? Dropping another $60 for the opportunity to catch the other Legendary Pokémon stinks, as does having to do the work of trading to fill missing Pokédex entries. 

It’s hard enough deciding whether or not to buy a new Pokémon game at all, so removing the added pressure of deciding which Legendary looks cooler/less silly would help me pull the trigger a lot faster.  

Add Settlement Building

Whether it’s the Assassin’s Creed series, Spiritfarer, or even the recently released Olija, I’m becoming more and more of a sucker for building up home bases. The mechanic can often provide a compelling incentive for collecting money and resources during exploration, plus it feels rewarding to turn a patch of dirt into a sprawling headquarters. This could apply to the Pokémon template too.

Instead of just sending extra Pokémon to Professor “Some Dumb Tree Name” what if you could build and upgrade your own Pokémon ranch of sorts? Maybe I can construct an aquarium for my water-types to hang in or maintain a ranch of Tauros like Ash had for some reason. It’d be fun in a similar manner to filling Blather’s museum in Animal Crossing. Given the various biomes Pokémon can inhabit, this HQ could get real wacky real quick in terms of its diversity, and it’d add another fun element to raising Pokémon, namely the ones you have no intention of engaging with on the battlefield.

Make The Pokémon Say Their Names!

Look, I know this is minor but darn it, the fact that Pokémon don’t say their names in-game has always irrationally bugged me. I know some of the reason has to do with translation, but that’s not my problem. Plus, Pikachu gets to do it, apparently. Give me that cute Squirtle voice instead of his upsetting digital battle cry of “bla7m#fpowr7@*!!!” Be honest, wouldn’t you rather hear Charizard proudly proclaim...okay, he doesn’t actually say his name in the show (which is a whole other can of worms), but you get the idea. If not that, go all the way and just put subtitles on the Pokémon's speech, like that one really cool episode of the anime. You know the one. 

I like to think that these idea would rope me back in, but I'm not sure I can trust myself anymore so who knows. I guess Game Freak will just have to implement all of my ideas to bring me back! Because that's what they're focused on, of course: winning me back specifically. Anyways, if you're a lapsed fan like me, what would it take for you to get back into the series? Let me know in the comments. 

Bayonetta 3: Kamiya Says It's 'Safe to Expect' News This Year

PlatinumGames may break its silence on Bayonetta 3 in 2021, as game director Hideki Kamiya says "it's safe to expect" news on the long-awaited Switch exclusive sometime this year. In an interview with VGC, Kamiya was asked about providing an update on Bayonetta 3 in 2021, to which he replied: "It’s not really our position to say, but… it’s January. We’ve got to have something come out, right? I guess it’s safe to expect that something will come out. There’s still a lot of the year left is what I’m saying." [ignvideo url=""] Platinum has kept Bayonetta 3 tightly under wraps since it was revealed in 2017. No further details or gameplay footage has been shared in the three-plus years since, with Platinum only breaking its silence to confirm development was ongoing. When asked by VGC if this year's potential update will be "more substantial than another CGI logo," Kamiya laughed and said, "I understand it’s driving the fans crazy! In light of that, my suggestion would be that maybe we should all reset and forget about Bayonetta 3. Then when something finally does happen, it will be a nice surprise, won’t it?" [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=bayonetta-2-on-switch-screenshots&captions=true"] 2021 marks the seventh year since the series' last entry; Bayonetta 2 was released exclusively on Wii U in 2014, though it was more recently ported to Switch alongside the original. IGN's Bayonetta 2 review awarded it a 9.5, praising its "outstanding 10-hour campaign" that "builds on everything that made the original great." [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan is a freelance writer for IGN.


Replay – Yakuza 0

Click to watch embedded media

Yakuza 0 is an action-adventure video game, developed and published by Sega, that follows the story of Kazuma Kiryu, a young yakuza who is the suspect of a murder case. Yakuza 0 is the sixth main title in the series and serves as a prequel to Yakuza Kiwami, which was a remake of the original game.

If all of that sounds exciting to you, then be sure to watch and chat with the Game Informer crew in a live episode of Replay, wherein they explore all that 80s-style Kamurocho has to offer. We'll be going live at 2:10 P.M. CT over on our YouTube channel.

Biomutant: Where to Preorder Ahead of Its Release Later This Year

After what seemed like an eternity, Biomutant finally has a concrete May 25, 2021 release date. It's an open-world action RPG set in a colorful post-apocalyptic world. You play as a well-rounded warrior creature, whose mutations enable powers like telekinesis and levitation. As you play, you can re-code your genes in ways that affect how you look and what powers you can wield. You can also craft items like chainsaws and bionic wings, and ride on vehicles like mechs and jet-skis. The game was announced so long ago, the PS5 and Xbox Series X weren't even being talked about outside rumors, so while it seems almost a foregone conclusion at this point, we don't know with certainty whether or not there are next-gen versions or if the existing versions will have an upgrade path. If you're on board with this particular brand of apocalyptic zaniness, you can preorder a copy for yourself now. And if you're interested in either of the special editions, you may want to do so sooner than later, because with the Biomutant release date now official, they just might sell out. Here's what comes in each edition, how much it costs, and where you can preorder it now.

Preorder Biomutant Atomic Edition





The most expensive and, dare I say, classiest version of the game is the Atomic Edition. It's not cheap by any stretch, but it comes with some awesome extras. You get the game itself, plus the following:
  • High-Detail Diorama
  • Steelbook Case
  • A1 Artwork on Fabric
  • Oversized Mousepad
  • T-Shirt
  • Official Soundtrack

Preorder Biomutant Collector's Edition



The collector's edition is certainly more affordable than the Atomic Edition, and it comes with a smaller-yet-still-awesome figurine. In addition to the game, here's what's included:
  • Figurine
  • A1 Artwork on Fabric
  • Official Soundtrack

Preorder Biomutant Standard Edition




The standard edition of Biomutant doesn't come with any extras, but it includes the game, which is the most important component anyway.

Other Preorder Guides

[poilib element="commerceDeal" parameters="slug=other-preorder-guides&type=list"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Chris Reed is IGN's shopping and commerce editor. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed. [widget path="ign/modules/recirc" parameters="title=&type=articles%2Cvideos&tags=us-shopping&count=3&columnCount=3&theme=article"]


Animal Crossing: Take an Early Look at Festivale's Items and Special Reactions

Get into the Festivale rhythm!


The Art of Trover Saves the Universe Revealed by Dark Horse Books

Dark Horse Books and Squanch Games are teaming up to release The Art of Trover Saves the Universe, giving fans a closer look at the development of the quirky puzzle game. IGN can exclusively reveal the cover to Trover Saves the Universe. Check it out below: [caption id="attachment_2467222" align="aligncenter" width="1300"]Image Credit: Dark Horse Image Credit: Dark Horse[/caption] Like all of Dark Horse's video game art books, The Art of Trover Saves the Universe will feature plenty of concept designs, art and creator commentary. Even if you have played the game, the book may be worth reading just to peek inside the mind of creator Justin Roiland, who's also responsible for a little show called Rick and Morty. The Art of Trover Saves the Universe is 192 pages and is priced at $39.99. The book is scheduled for release on July 28, 2021. Trover Saves the Universe earned an 8.7 from IGN when it hit PC, consoles and Oculus Rift in 2019. Reviewer Tom Marks writes, "Trover Saves the Universe is a short and sweet VR platformer wrapped in one of the most ridiculous video game stories you’ll ever see. Justin Roiland and Squanch Games have done an excellent job of taking the ludicrous, freeform humor of Rick and Morty and molding it around a straightforward but enjoyable 3D brawler – even if it’s lacking the complex and well-crafted plots the best episodes of that show are known for." [ignvideo url=""] As for Rick and Morty, the wait continues for Season 5, though we did get a sneak peek of Rick's nemesis Mr. Nimbus at Comic-Con last year. Roiland and Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon are also developing a new animated sitcom for Fox, which is expected to debut in Spring 2022. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.


Why You Shouldn’t Miss Out On Turrican Flashback

Turrican Flashback hits PlayStation 4 (also playable on PS5) and Switch today, and it’s a project well worth a look. The new collection includes four full games: Turrican, Turrican II, Mega Turrican, and Super Turrican. It includes updated visuals with numerous options to tweak things to a more nostalgic look, as well as save states and a rewind feature. It’s an ideal way to play these games, whether you’re excited about a return to an old favorite, or if you never got the chance to play these awesome games back in the day.

Developer Factor 5 would later be strongly identified with its work on Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, but the studio’s early work on Turrican (and its many sequels) is a big part of how it came to prominence.

As a side-scrolling action game, the Turrican series is lesser known than many of its contemporaries, but even a few minutes playing one of these games offers ample proof that quality was not the problem. These are stellar games that were (and are) a ton of fun. 

Matt Miller: Jeff, I’m excited to chat with you about these games. We both spent some time looking at the new collection. I was surprised how much I’d forgotten about these games, and how smart they are. What was your initial impression? 

Jeff Cork: It had been a long while since I last thought about Turrican, honestly, and I’d also forgotten a lot about them. The boxes were a familiar sight when I was pondering what to rent at the video store. They were very cool at the time, and the art definitely helped to fill in the gap between what the developers may have had in mind versus what was actually displayed on screen. I rented a few of them over the years, and replaying some of them definitely brought me back – for better and worse. I won’t spoil your enthusiasm quite yet. What’s your history with the franchise? 

Matt: Oh, totally. I remember seeing these games at the video store back in the day. I owned Super Turrican on SNES, but I remember playing the original Amiga games on a friend’s system, and just wiling away the hours trying to find secret paths and get farther. 

I hear you that they weren’t all perfect, but there were a lot of things these games did right. The music is some of the best from the period, with a ton of variation in melodies, long loops, and catchy beats. The action was smooth, and the scrolling from side to side was top-notch – something that was definitely not a guarantee in games from that period. And I also just really liked the mix of Contra-esque shooting action with all the constantly changing weapons, alongside a more exploratory vibe that recalled aspects of games like Metroid.

Jeff: Aha! The music is really great. I found myself just hanging out at the end of an area just listening to it loop a few times. I think you and I part ways when it comes to the exploratory vibe, though. Its level design is fairly open, with lots of backtracking and dead ends. It’s a style from that era of platformers that never really gelled with me. It’s one of the reasons why I never fully loved the Sonic games – which I’d cite as an example of a series that does those more open stages pretty well. The Turrican games make me feel lost and frustrated, not like an armored explorer who’s excited to see what’s across that next string of platforms. I will say that it’s really interesting to be able to jump between entries in the series and see how it changed over time.

Matt: Yeah, I get that frustration around the potential for aimlessness. Actually, it’s really interesting to me the way we see that aspect of things evolve over these four games. The early ones (especially Turrican II, my favorite) have a lot of branching paths, but you’re right that they sometimes dead end in weird ways. Some of the later games in this collection are more linear, but lose a bit of the sense of discovery. Regardless, there’s a quality that rewards repeat play, as you learn the different levels and their shapes, which I think really appealed to me as a kid.

What did you think of this Flashback collection, as a re-release and remaster? 

Jeff: If you want to play these games, this is an easy way to do it. It’s a pretty bare-bones presentation; if you’re looking for additional historical context for the series, concept art, or developer insights, you’re better off poking around in Google. You can lean on save states if you find the games to be too tough, and you can also access popup menus with cheats, but that’s pretty much it.

Matt: Yeah, it’s a very matter-of-fact and utilitarian setup. They’ve made it very much about the games and playing the games in the way that you want. But in that regard, I feel like it really excels. 

In addition to the save states you mentioned, I adore the rewind mechanic they’ve inserted, which lets you hold down a button and pull the action back as far as you want. That’s a fun feature in any game, but it’s especially useful in one of these old-school action/platformers, where there are a lot of frustrating dead drops and situations where you lose your whole health bar because of a bad leap. Not to mention the times that you fall off a ledge that doesn’t kill you, but demands that you re-platform the last 2-minute section. The rewind gets rid of all that nonsense (if you don’t want it), and let’s you get back to just exploring the levels and progressing.

Jeff: You’re right, that’s an extremely helpful feature. Maybe I would have had more positive memories of the series if that feature had been around back in the day.  I don’t want to belabor the point, but it is disappointing that there isn’t much here besides the games. That kind of lackluster presentation isn’t quite as damning when you’re working with a better-known franchise (looking at you, Super Mario 3D All-Stars), but something like Turrican would have benefitted from supplemental materials. On the bright side, the focus on games keeps the file size astonishingly small by today’s standards: I had to double check when it said the download was 48 MBs. Talk about a blast from the past!

Matt: Yeah, in many ways, a release like this should do more to point out why these games should be better remembered than they are. The non-linear designs, the music, the backgrounds and monster designs -- many of these things were ahead of their time, even if they weren’t yet perfect by our now-modern standards. I would have loved to see some more of exactly what you’re talking about. 

On the other hand, as an ideal way to play four of these games, it hits a lot of good notes.

Jeff Cork: Awesome chiptune notes, at that!


Turrican Flashback is out now on PS4 and Switch. Check out the trailer below for a look at what you can expect to find in the new collection.

Click here to watch embedded media


It'll Take Me Another 20 Years To Reach Pokémon Go's New Level Cap

Niantic wasn't messing around when it raised Pokémon Go's level cap from 40 to 50 late last year. When the game launched in 2016, trainers were able to ascend through the first 40 levels with determined playing, leaving many to wonder if Niantic would create additional endgame content for them, other than the steady drip of new Pokémon to catch.

I was one of the trainers that made "short" work of the old level cap. I believe I reached 40 in my third year of playing, which required 20 million total experience points to advance from 1 to 40. That took some playing and grinding. I didn't mind; I thoroughly enjoyed getting outside to raid and meet up with friends to hit up Pokémon Go hotspots on Community Days.

When news hit that Niantic was raising the level cap to 50, I was giddy. As someone who still plays the game daily, I liked the sound of having another thing to do. Niantic has done a tremendous job of supporting Pokémon Go in the last couple of years, and while there isn't a shortage of new content or events to participate in, more is always better. I didn't put much thought into the requirements needed to hit each of the new levels. I just thought it was cool that each of these new levels came with new tasks.

With the experience points I had netted after reaching level 40, I was able to reach level 42 with ease. I completed the required tasks, and cashed in the excess experience. To reach level 43, I need 9 million more XP. That one level is roughly half of the entire XP I needed to move from level 1 to 40. That's nuts. Right now, I'm sitting at just over 2 million XP, and I don't think I'll reach level 43 until sometime next year.

After that, to reach level 44, I'll need another 11 million XP, with level 45 asking for 13 million. The number keeps jumping in crazy ways with level 50 asking me to obtain another 30 million XP.

To move from level 42 to 50, I will need an additional 140.5 million XP. In over five years of playing, my grand total is 35,649,963 XP. If I keep up my current pace, which has hardly changed at all in those five years, I will likely hit level 50 in just over 20 years. In 2041, I will join the Pokémon GO elite. I will also likely be eyeing retirement, or perhaps be moving to a Mars colony.

Some trainers already reached level 50. One of the people I sometimes raid with is up to level 47, and he is ALWAYS on the game, even raiding on Saturday and Sunday from 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. I know I will never put that much time into this game.

Unless Niantic changes how XP is handed out, I doubt I will ever reach level 50. Yes, there's a chance I will still be playing 20 years from now, but the idea of living on Mars seems about as realistic as this game continuing that long with new content that keeps me engaged.

Knowing I have a nearly impossible task in front of me hasn't soured me on Pokémon Go at all. I still adore the game, and am mostly focused on filling out the Pokédex, and having fun playing with my friends. That's more than enough to keep me occupied and coming back for more. I can't wait for next month's Pokémon Go Tour: Kanto event, which will give me a great shot at expanding my count of shiny gen-one critters.

If you still play Pokémon Go, take a look at your XP totals, do some math, and let me know in the comments section below how long it will take you to reach level 50.

Developer Explains Why Biomutant Took So Long To Come Out

When Biomutant was announced in 2017, we were impressed by the wonderfully weird world Experiment 101, which was founded by ex-Avalanche Studios employees, was pitching. That game was originally set to release in 2018, but that year came and went with not much info from the Swedish development studio. Now that we're in 2021, Experiment 101 and publisher THQ Nordic have finally announced a release date for Biomutant: May 25. But what took so long, and why did the developer stay so quiet for much of that span?

In a recent interview with IGN, studio head Stefan Ljungqvist said that much of it had to do with the scope of the project contrasting with the size of the team. The game features a dense map full of NPCs, outposts, and bizarre creatures to encounter, as well as a mutating protagonist, so even if the world itself isn't massive when compared to the size of other open-world maps, it's an ambitious project. "It's a big game, a big bite for 20 people to chew off," Ljungqvist said.

While open-world games are often ambitious by definition, Ljungqvist said that the script kept growing, making it an increasingly more difficult component. "If you look at the script, by the end of 2019 I think it was about 80-85,000 words. Pretty much a novel," he said. "But in the final game, it's closer to 250,000 words. That was a big thing, to wrap that script."

On top of that, Ljungqvist said much of the effort has been centered on polishing and quality assurance. "It's been a huge amount of work for QA, because it's not easy in an open-world game to find them," he said. "And then once they've been found, we have to fix them, and that's put some additional challenge on us, being a small team."

Ljungqvist also touched on other topics within the interview, including why the team decided to release on last-gen platforms instead of the new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. You can learn more about that and other topics by reading the full interview on IGN

Biomutant comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 25. To read more about Biomutant, check out our impressions from Gamescom 2018.

[Source: IGN]

Zack Snyder's Justice League Releases March 18

The long-awaited “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League is arriving March 18 to HBO Max. Director Zack Snyder shared the news on Twitter today, giving fans of the fabled re-release a light at the end of the tunnel.  

For those not in the know, Snyder was originally at the helm of Justice League before his daughter’s tragic suicide forced him to step down during post-production. Director Joss Whedon took over production of the troubled film, creating the final version that was largely panned by fans and critics alike when it released in November 2017. 

Since then, fans petitioned for the release of the “Snyder Cut”, Zack Snyder’s version of the film containing scenes that had been cut/altered after Whedon took over. After spending years gaining traction online, Warner Bros. announced in May of last year that the Snyder Cut would indeed happen and release exclusively to HBO Max. Since this version features a fair amount of both cut and entirely new content, the film tops at a whopping four hours, which you can watch all at once or as a four-part miniseries. Justice League centers on Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and other heroes in DC's pantheon fighting to protect Earth from an invading Steppenwolf, as well as the newly included De Saad and Darkseid. 

2021 is an important year for HBO Max given that Warner Bros. entire slate of films will debut simultaneously in theaters as well as on the streaming service. One of those film’s is April’s Mortal Kombatand it'll be interesting to see how the experiment pays off and the effects it has on the already struggling theater industry. There are also rumors that a live-action Harry Potter TV series might be in the works as well. 

Are you excited for Zack Snyder’s Justice League? Let us know in the comments! 

Hitman 3 DLC Is Coming (Eventually)

Hitman 3 just released a little over a week ago, and it is an excellent game by most reports (including ours). Not only does it provide all-new scenarios for Agent 47, but it also allows access to legacy content from the previous installments of Io Interactive's World of Assassination trilogy. With that wealth of options at your fingertips, you might be satisfied – but even if you are, Io Interactive is going to give you more anyway in the form of DLC.

In a recent interview with The Gamer, Io Interactive clarified some of its plans for post-launch support of Hitman 3. And though it didn't reveal any specifics about what the DLC might be, the studio confirmed that it is in the works and discussed the overall approach.

"We are definitely going to be doing some DLC, but we haven’t defined what that is," executive producer Forest Swartout Large tells The Gamer. "I think for now we are not looking at new maps like the bank and the island. We’re more looking at using existing locations and reimagining them, twisting them."

Click here to watch embedded media

We’d recommend you check out the full interview, because it also has tidbits about the future the Hitman franchise as a whole. The bottom line: Hitman 3 probably isn’t the last we’ll see of Agent 47. But for now, if you're a big fan of Hitman 3 and want to dive deep on the game and its development, check out our exclusive coverage, which includes interviews and insight from the team. 

Of course, Hitman may be its signature series, but it isn’t the only thing in the works at Io Interactive. After a surprising announcement, we also learned that the studio is making a new James Bond game (featuring a unique version of the iconic super-spy that isn’t tied to any official likeness) which could be part of another trilogy.  

At any rate, Io Interactive is a busy studio these days. We're excited to see how the talented team's plans take shape.

[Source: The Gamer]  

The Art of Trover Saves the Universe Revealed by Dark Horse Books

Dark Horse Books and Squanch Games are teaming up to release The Art of Trover Saves the Universe, giving fans a closer look at the development of the quirky puzzle game. IGN can exclusively reveal the cover to Trover Saves the Universe. Check it out below: [caption id="attachment_2467222" align="aligncenter" width="1300"]Image Credit: Dark Horse Image Credit: Dark Horse[/caption] Like all of Dark Horse's video game art books, The Art of Trover Saves the Universe will feature plenty of concept designs, art and creator commentary. Even if you have played the game, the book may be worth reading just to peek inside the mind of creator Justin Roiland, who's also responsible for a little show called Rick and Morty. The Art of Trover Saves the Universe is 192 pages and is priced at $39.99. The book is scheduled for release on July 28, 2021. Trover Saves the Universe earned an 8.7 from IGN when it hit PC, consoles and Oculus Rift in 2019. Reviewer Tom Marks writes, "Trover Saves the Universe is a short and sweet VR platformer wrapped in one of the most ridiculous video game stories you’ll ever see. Justin Roiland and Squanch Games have done an excellent job of taking the ludicrous, freeform humor of Rick and Morty and molding it around a straightforward but enjoyable 3D brawler – even if it’s lacking the complex and well-crafted plots the best episodes of that show are known for." [ignvideo url=""] As for Rick and Morty, the wait continues for Season 5, though we did get a sneak peek of Rick's nemesis Mr. Nimbus at Comic-Con last year. Roiland and Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon are also developing a new animated sitcom for Fox, which is expected to debut in Spring 2022. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.


Gods Will Fall Arrives Today

The gods in Gods Will Fall are not benevolent ones. They're evil, malevolent entities that are bent on torturing the humans they rule over. Worship is demanded, with suffering rippling throughout the land. But that's all about to change, isn't it? You've had just about enough of their reign of misery, so it's time to go full barbarian and get in the mix in Clever Beans' new roguelike adventure, which is out today. What platforms is it on? You can beat down the wicked gods on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC.

Click here to watch embedded media

As a roguelike, you have options when it comes to your deity assault. Skills, weapons, items, and more are all on deck as you battle through three deadly realms. The Celtic-inspired journey leans in heavy on brutality as you seek to enact vengeance on your less-than-benevolent dictators. Warriors of your tribe may even have specific fears against specific gods (there are 10 to take on), and if they can face down their specific scares you can glean boosted rewards. Enjoy using a diverse selection of weapons? Pick up weaponry from fallen 

Gods Will Fall is a roguelike, so death is inevitable. However, as warriors from the clan fall, others will gain new strengths out of the thirst for revenge. It's a neat little quirk that might be slightly reminiscent of Rogue Legacy's lineage system, and adds an element of variance and some minor plot nuance to the typical "run, run, run, run, okay run again" formula that's so pervasive in the genre. There may be ways to bring back your fallen comrades as well, by advancing past the dangerous gods. On the flip side, if one of your crew is killed by a god they're doomed forever. High stakes roguelikes!

Have you played Gods Will Fall? What do you think? What's your favorite roguelike? Let us know in the comments below!

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure Sales Help Plant Over 450,000 Trees

Here’s some good news on a Friday. Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, Ustwo’s wonderful game about conservation, has helped do some real-life good. Thanks to a campaign by the studio to plant one tree for every download of the game, the result has been over 450,000 new trees planted.

The campaign is a partnership between Ustwo and Ecologi, a website focused on tackling climate change by planting trees, which helps reduce greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Paid members sign up to have Ecologi plant a number of trees based on their subscription tier, thus having their own forest. Ustwo created Alba’s Forest, which currently has 465,060 trees planted in forests across Madagascar, Mozambique, and Nicaragua. Besides offering a nice barometer for how the game is performing sales wise, it’s always cool to see a purchase have a positive side effect. 

If you haven’t played or heard of Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, the charming game stars a young girl named Alba who tries to prevent the construction of a resort on a scenic Mediterranean island. As I said in my review “ Alba: A Wildlife Adventure reminds players that happiness can be found in supporting worthy causes bigger than yourself. It feels nice to play a game about actively improving the world, and it does so with skill and charm instead of cringe. It’s the video game equivalent of sneaking vegetables into a tasty smoothie. This is one good deed that shouldn’t go unrewarded.” You can check out the game by watching this episode of New Gameplay Today.

Destiny 2 Players Concerned About Bungie's Plans for PC and Console Crossplay

Bungie has left members of the Destiny 2 community concerned after publicly targeting changes to the game ahead of the addition of full crossplay later this year - possibly signalling that it will merge mouse-and-keyboard and controller players in matchmaking. In the latest Bungie blogpost, senior community manager dmg04 writes, "This Season, we’re making some targeted changes to weapon archetypes that need some love as well as beginning some preparations for crossplay." The major change involves increasing recoil on certain weapon types solely for mouse-and-keyboard players, bringing the level of recoil closer to that of the same weapons when used on controller. While this might seem a relatively small change, the mention that the move is being made with crossplay in mind has led community members to wonder if it means that Destiny 2 PvP will matchmake a mixed pool of PC and console players by default, or even as the only option. [ignvideo url=""] It plays into longstanding problems for players across platforms, with mouse-and-keyboard play seen as offering an innate advantage, particularly in shooters (although Destiny 2's heavy aim-assist for controller players complicates that theory a little in this case). Cheating is also generally more prevalent on PC versions of games. Many current crossplay games offer controller-using players the choice to play only with other controller players, but Bungie hasn't specified Destiny 2's approach as yet. With crossplay due later this year but details still somewhat hazy, players are speculating what approach Bungie will take - and even trying to alter the developer's course. At time of writing, one of the most popular posts on the popular DestinyTheGame subreddit is titled 'Do NOT mix the console and PC PvP player pool (by default)'. "These are exactly my thoughts as well," replies 1Soulbrotha, "I was really nervous to read about the recoil changes for PC. If they go the route of everyone being lumped into the same queues for PVP then this coming recoil change is just a lazy way to 'balance' things." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=how-to-get-destiny-2-beyond-lights-exotic-weapons-and-armor&captions=true"] While many console players are concerned about being put at a disadvantage, PC players are also concerned about Bungie's balances impacting the game they know. In a separate thread, SilverCervy writes, "It just creates a situation where the game has to be dumbed down for some to make things more fair for others. PC players should not have to deal with gameplay nerfs for the sake of console players." We've contacted Bungie for comment. Destiny 2's Beyond Light expansion already added cross-generation play within console families, with the promise of full crossplay to come. We awarded Beyond Light a 7/10 review, calling it a "solid expansion to the ever-evolving shooter that you know and love, but falls prey to the same content scarcity and repetitious grind it’s always had" [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to


Biomutant: Here’s Why the Developers Have Been Quiet for So Long

After an extended period of being almost silent, developer Experiment 101 recently announced a May release date for Biomutant, its long-awaited open-world action game. That silence was for good reason - studio head Stefan Lvungqvist tells us that parts of the game have become bigger and more complex, but with only 20 people to make all that extra work happen. Rather than ship a buggy game, Lvungqvist says Experiment 101 has been taking its time to quietly build a truly finished product. “It's a big game, a big bite for 20 people to chew off,” says Lvungqvist. While Biomutant’s map may be just eight square kilometers, it’s packed with warring tribes, conquerable outposts, strange creatures to fight, and a protagonist who can mutate into new forms to overcome obstacles. As we’ve said before, Biomutant looks bananas, and it’s many moving parts are a challenge for the studio behind them. That 20-person team, established by ex-Avalanche Studios employees, is determined to stay small. But while that helps keep the studio nimble, it also imposes some restrictions. “At the end of the project, there's only a certain amount of bugs that you can physically fix during the course of the day,” says Lvungqvist. And that’s what much of Biomutant’s last year of development has been: bug squashing. [ignvideo url=""] “It’s been a huge amount of work for QA, because it's not easy in an open-world game to find them,” explains Lvungqvist. “And then once they've been found, we have to fix them, and that's put some additional challenge on us, being a small team.” Lvungqvist is realistic about being able to ship Biomutant completely bug free - a game with so many systems in its sandbox world is difficult to deliver without the odd problem - but he wants it to arrive in players' hands as solid as possible. “Any game is going to ship with [smaller] bugs, but I'm talking about bugs that are truly disruptive to the game experience,” he says. “We don't want to ship with that. I think that's what caused us to just wait until we were ready to do it.” Quality assurance isn’t the only thing that’s been happening at Experiment 101 over the last year, though. Biomutant has, well, mutated in that period, too. “If you look at the script, by the end of 2019 I think it was about 80-85,000 words. Pretty much a novel,” recalls Lvungqvist. “But in the final game, it's closer to 250,000 words. That was a big thing, to wrap that script.” Those new words are scattered across many different areas of the game, which in turn has demanded further development work on those features. Lvungqvist notes that, as a result of the expanded script, players can expect a reactive karma system called Aura, which will change NPC dialogue based on your light or dark allegiance. There’s also a better tutorial system, which more effectively communicates Biomutant’s overflowing toy box of ideas. On top of the additional script forming the basis of these features, the game will be available in 13 different languages, 10 of which are fully voiced, and so localisation is required on all those added words. It’s safe to say it’s been a busy year for Experiment 101. Lvungqvist has been careful to pace the studio, though. “I've been doing this for quite some time,” he says, referring to his almost decade-long tenure at Avalanche Studios. “I myself was burned out. I learned a lot on those themes, on those subjects. I learned to recognize it.” This goes some way to explain the studio’s ‘ready when it’s done’ approach, and lack of constant public updates. It’s an approach that has been supported by publisher THQ Nordic, Lvungqvist says, at a level he’s “never had before”. [ignvideo url=""] The lack of pressure from THQ Nordic to ship Biomutant has been a blessing, as the negative outcome of crunch would be destructive to both individual staff and the studio overall, Lvungqvist explains. “I mean, the studio, we are 20 people and we can't afford to have [staff] leave the studio, or be destroyed during development. That would be devastating.” “For certain pushes, you might do it in a limited form,” he acknowledges. “But the most important thing is you get paid, which is not common in our industry, crazily enough. And also you get ‘recap time’, because you have to have rest. If you're just doing this constantly for 12-14 hours a day, you will eventually have to pay for it.” “I think it's part of the DNA of the studio to not do it,” he concludes. “That's why I think for us, if we do it, it's controlled, and it has been rare. I guess now moving into the release, we're prepared to do it for some days, but it's not the constant thing. It will kill you.” With the announcement of the May 25 release date, some fans may have been surprised to see that PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X are not listed as platforms that Biomutant will launch on. It is, afterall, easy to assume Experiment 101’s silence and the continued development was due to the team preparing Biomutant for next-generation systems. Lvungqvist confirms this is not the case - Biomutant is a ‘last-gen’ game - but there’s good reason for that. “When we developed the game, we lead on the last-gen,” says Lvungqvist. “And if you look at it from a development perspective, that's really important because it's easier to scale up than to scale down.” “I think for us, as a team, we would like as many as possible to be able to play the game,” he adds, noting the currently small install bases for PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. “So, if we just release it for ‘next-gen’, I think that would not have been a good way forward.” Despite this, Biomutant still takes advantage of high-spec hardware. “There is a high-end version of Biomutant already made for PC high-end versions,” Lvungqvist says. “I mean, the game already in some form exists in what you would expect on the current-gen platforms.” “Are you going to be able to play it on those consoles?” he asks himself of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, teasing the future of Biomutant. “Definitely. We will see moving forward what's going to happen, but you will definitely be able to play it on those consoles.” [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer. 


PlayStation Files Patent For Technology That Lets Spectators Mess With You in VR

PlayStation has filed a patent for technology that lets audience members participate in virtual reality content, making decisions for the active player. Or, you know, just messing with them. The patent was filed in October of 2020 but was recently published. You can find the front page with a useful illustration of the technology in action on the US Patent and Trademark Office website. [caption id="attachment_246714" align="aligncenter" width="720"]patent Audience Participation Trademark Imagery[/caption] The patent's copy talks about how audience members will be able to participate in games while another user is immersed within virtual reality. They will be able to make decisions for the player via "spectator devices," probably mobile phones, in a manner similar to PlayStation's PlayLink technology, used in games like Hidden Agenda and That's You. It looks like you'll be able to help or screw over the main player in virtual reality, depending on the available choices. According to the patent, this will "augment the VR scene based on the spectator inputs in response to the interactive content of the audience participation content." [ignvideo url=""] In the provided example, we can see one user inside of virtual reality, while four friends are on the sofa behind them. On the screen visible to the audience is a voting prompt, which allows them to pick between a sword, a monster or a soup ladle. This choice is registered on the spectator devices and then sent to the player inside of virtual reality, who sees the prompt "spectators have given you a soup ladle." It's not clear whether the VR user knows about the options available or not, but that would certainly add to the mischievous nature of this interesting technology. The idea immediately conjures images of spectators being able to send unwitting players down bad paths in a horror game or making story decisions for them in a narrative experience. Honestly, it just sounds really fun. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=top-25-psvr-games&captions=true"] As with all patents, the fact this was filed doesn't necessarily indicate that Sony will go any further with development, but it's another indication that the company is actively thinking about where to go next with its VR products. In other PlayStation patent news, a patent revealed in September of 2020 suggested that the next PSVR headset could have Oculus-esque inside-out tracking. As of writing, the PSVR is only available on the PlayStation 5 via backwards compatibility, with Sony's plans for the platform going forward still shrouded in mystery. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.


IGN UK Podcast #577: Kaiju Cat Mario Can Step On Us

Joe's been playing Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on Switch and reminds us all why it's a game a lot of us missed on Wii U but shouldn't this time around. Jesse has been playing new horror game The Medium and lets us know if it lives up to expectations. Plus, Cardy has played Nuts, a squirrel surveillance game that is rather pleasant. Also, we discuss the weirdest things we've ever buttered. Why not tell us yours? Remember, if you want to get in touch with the podcast, please do:

IGN UK Podcast #577: Kaiju Cat Mario Can Step On Us

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Halo Infinite Engineer Explains How the Game Is Being Optimized For Every Device, Not Just Xbox One

An engineer working on Halo Infinite has explained how the game will be optimized to run well on all platforms, and not just Xbox One. In the latest 'Inside Infinite' development blog for January 2021, Game Foundation Architect Danielle Giannetti discussed how the studio rebuilt the "engine multi-threading solution" to ensure the game runs optimally across every device that it is launching on - Xbox One, Xbox Series X & S, and PC. "For Halo Infinite, we rebuilt the engine multi-threading solution to ensure high execution efficiency across all platforms and PCs, instead of running optimally just on Xbox One," Giannetti explained. "We used this new system to transition the renderer to a massively parallel multi-threaded framework to support the increased cost of all our new rendering features and achieve high graphics efficiency on PC CPUs of various size as well as Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One X/S hardware." [ignvideo url=""] What this suggests is that even though the game will be launching on last-gen consoles, players shouldn't expect too many compromises on more powerful devices because of that. On the flip side, back in 2019, the Halo's Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor said that the Xbox One "is not going to be a second-class citizen" when it comes to how the last-gen console will run Halo Infinite. Gianetti's explanation doubles down on 343's promise and gives us an idea of how that works from a technical perspective. Clearly, it's still something of great importance to the team as the game soldiers on through development, as the team has completely rebuilt some of its tools to ensure you won't miss out if you haven't got a next-gen console or a PC.  "We are doing our very best to make sure Halo Infinite runs optimally on any device you may choose to play on," Giannetti added. It's particularly important after an initial look at Halo Infinite drew criticism for its visual quality. Elsewhere in the blog, we learned that Halo Infinite will feature a rebuilt, customizable control scheme. The game is currently slated to launch in Fall 2021, after being delayed out of the launch window for the Xbox Series X and S. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.