Tuesday, November 30, 2021

GTA Trilogy: Fans React to New Rain, Original Sound Effects, and Old Reece

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition had a rocky launch, but Rockstar has been working to address the bugs, glitches, missing content, and other issues that have plagued the remasters. Earlier today, the developer released updates for all three GTA games in the collection on all platforms, excluding the Nintendo Switch.

The update added notable fixes including improvements to the rain effect, a cinematic camera, and other big changes. Fans weighed in on the tweaks that bring the remasters closer in line to the originals.

Fixing the Rain and Fog

One of the biggest grievances about the remasters was the glitchy rain effect. On a Reddit thread discussing the patch notes, many commented on the sheer amount of rain fixes, with user megamanxoxo saying, "Like half of them are 'fixed rain in X scene'. That could've just been one line lol."

Along with the rain, fans also missed the fog that used to cover San Andreas, and are happy that it's back.

Sound Effects

Many fans were looking forward to hearing the correct menu sound effects in each of the three games. Unfortunately at launch, all three games used the same menu sound effects from GTA: San Andreas. Now, each game has its proper sound effects back in place.

This is a change tons of fans seem happy about, with bilbofraginz saying, "They added the old menu sounds!" and dave9393 adding, "They even fixed the menu sounds for each respective game from the Trilogy. Didn’t see this coming! Seems like they’re on the right path."

Morgan Freeman and Other Small Fixes

Old Reece, a minor character in San Andreas, has been restored to his original appearance with the latest update. The joke with the old Reece is that fans say he bears a strong resemblance to actor Morgan Freeman, and fans are thrilled with the change.

On a separate Reddit thread discussing the changes, fans are also happy that the Burger Shot burger properly rotates again, that an invisible bridge is now visible, and that the giant nut has been restored on top of the donut shop.

The GTA Trilogy had an extremely rocky launch, and fans discussed the games' performance problems, quality concerns, and some hilarious bugs and glitches. The negative reaction led Rockstar to relist the original versions of the games on the Rockstar store for a limited time while it works on a fix for the trilogy.

We thought the initial release of the Definitive Edition was mediocre, saying the state of the release was, "surprisingly disrespectful to both the legacy of the games themselves and their many legions of fans," in our GTA Trilogy review.

Rockstar continues to work on the trilogy to correct the laundry list of concerns. Earlier this month, the collection got its first set of fixes that made changes to character models in cutscenes, holes in the map, and more. That first update, as well as today's, is part of Rockstar's overarching plan to bring the GTA Trilogy up to a state that meets the company's "own standards of quality."

For more, check out why GTA fans think Rockstar hid a GTA 6 screenshot in the trilogy.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/grand-theft-auto-trilogy-patch-reactions

Take A Behind The Scenes Look At Starfield In New Trailer

A new Starfield trailer today takes a bit of a different approach compared to the traditional sizzle reel or gameplay blast. Instead, you can take a look at Starfield in a very different fashion, with a behind-the-scenes look with game director Todd Howard, studio director Angela Browder, and art director Matt Carofano. It’s more of a micro look at Bethesda’s approach to their games, their stories, and their open worlds. It’s more of a conversational approach than a lot of game trailers, but it looks like it’s simply setting the stage for lots more to come regarding Starfield. Check out the full video right here.

Click here to watch embedded media

This is really just Episode One of a Starfield trailer series, so inevitably there will be a lot more on the way before Starfield’s release. In case you were wondering, Starfield is set to hit on November 11, 2022. That may seem like a long way off, but I’m sure we’ll get to see a lot more from the game as we progress into next year. Yeah yeah, I know. I want to see some serious gameplay slices too. We’ll get there. What do you think it’s going to be like? We do know some things… Expect wars, space pirates, and mysteries to unravel.

Are you excited for Starfield? When do you think Elder Scrolls VI will launch? Do you like discussions like this trailer about games? Let us know in the comments! 

Halo Infinite Campaign Trailer Asks 'How Would You Live Your Life Differently?'

Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has dropped a brand new campaign launch trailer ahead of its official release date on December 8. Check out the video above or the image gallery below for a new look at Master Chief's next adventure.

The trailer reintroduces us to Master Chief and Cortana (sort of, long story) as they reflect on how they would live differently if they knew how they'd die. The reflection doesn't last too long, as Master Chief quickly gets to killing plenty of Banished, the new splinter faction of familiar Covenant races, shooting Brutes, Grunts, and running over Jackals.

We also see Master Chief encounter a strange female alien/robot/AI hybrid character who warns the Spartan that "you are not the future" before attacking.

If you're thirsty for Halo Infinite, you can already get your hands on the multiplayer mode's beta. Check out our Halo Infinite multiplayer review to see if it stands up to the lofty FPS heights that the original Halo games established, or check out the latest updates on how 343 Industries is tackling multiplayer issues.

If you need a refresher on Halo lore, and just who the "Banished" are, what Cortana has been up to, and what this new Cortana look-a-like is really all about, check out our explainer video.

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/weapon for IGN.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/halo-infinite-campaign-trailer

Alien: Fate of the Nostromo Board Game Review

Alien is such an iconic franchise that there’s no shortage of great games that have taken inspiration from it down the years. Some, like Lifeform, Space Hulk and Nemesis, weren’t licensed. Others, like Legendary Encounters: Alien and Aliens: Another Day in the Corps, were. But they all had one thing in common: they were aimed at the hobby end of the market.

Alien: Fate of the Nostromo looks to cross that boundary. It’s published by Ravensburger, which has a good track record in making franchised board games with wide appeal. It also has the commercial clout to ensure a competitive price and space on mass-market shelves. And it’s a cooperative game, meaning you all win or lose together, and it can also be played solo.

What’s In The Box

Like other Ravensburger games, the box opens to an image printed on the reverse of the board: in this instance it’s Jones the cat, hissing at you in fear. It’s a nice touch that ups the anticipation of delving through the contents.

On the business side of the board, there’s a slightly confusing split-level map of the Nostromo, the spaceship from the film. Beneath there’s a couple of punchboards of tokens, some decks of cards and a bag of soft plastic figures. Kane, the Alien’s first victim in the film, isn’t available as the action starts after his unfortunate demise.

This being a licensed game, the player boards and their matching figures all look like the relevant characters from the film. Rather than film stills, the cards and boards use specially commissioned art, but it looks great and helps set the scene.

Rules and How to Play

If you’ve played one of Ravensburger’s cooperative before you’ll be familiar with the rough structure of Alien: Fate of the Nostromo. Your character has a pool of actions that they can use to move, pick and drop items, or activate a special power such as Ripley’s ability to move another crew member on her turn. Then you take an encounter card which may cause items to appear on the board, or move the alien.

One thing that’s new to the formula is that you can collect scrap from around the ship and use it to craft items like flashlights and flamethrowers. At the start, you’ll reveal a number of objectives based on the player count. Most of these involve creating an item and taking it somewhere on the ship and are based on a scene from the film, like taking a flashlight to the med bay. You need to complete these objectives to progress the game.

The titular Alien, however, is hunting you. You can encounter it in one of two ways. It has a figure on the board that moves a number of spaces towards the closest target depending on the encounter card. But these cards often also instruct you to place a face down a Concealed token on a space which, when revealed, could send the Alien to that room to simulate an ambush.

This is a good, simple system that creates a lot of suspense and cinematic moments. You can take risks based on a crew member’s distance from the alien figure and how likely a Concealed token is to result in an attack. But the variables involved mean there’s always scope for a nasty surprise. If you do get attacked you have to flee, which can mean flipping more tokens leading to more attacks. This doesn’t happen often, but it feels like the Alien is chasing the crew member through the ship.

None of the crew has individual health to track. Instead, alien attacks run down an overall morale counter, leading to an instant loss if it reaches zero. While this prevents player elimination, it feels like an odd way to handle the danger of a rampant xenomorph. In the movies, people die with gruesome frequency. Keeping everyone alive despite repeated savagings feels like a soft cludge to keep everyone together at the table.

This is a good, simple system that creates a lot of suspense and cinematic moments.

There’s another, more serious problem with the game, though. The simple framework coupled with the Alien’s position on the map can sometimes mean your turn is best spent doing nothing. If there are no resources or goals nearby and the Alien is in a central area, you’re best off staying away from it. Some parts of the board often get cut off by the Alien which, while tactically interesting, also exacerbates this problem as you don’t want to move into an area likely to become a dead end. It’s hardly game-breaking but it’s boring for an affected player.

Against that, the game gives you a fun range of tools to deploy against this extraterrestrial threat. The Grapple Gun lets you move the Alien, for example, while the Motion Detector lets you peek at nearby Concealed tokens. Between them and the crew’s special abilities, your group has a lot of options to get creative in minimizing the threat while you try and count down those objectives.

That threat level, however, is variable. As you add players, it’s harder to stay away from the Alien in the cramped confines of the ship. You start with more morale to compensate, but the game still feels tougher overall. Indeed, with smaller character counts it almost feels too easy. In both cases, your focus is on creating the items needed to satisfy objectives, which means you often won’t craft the more tactically interesting ones. Either way, you rarely need to step up to the creative possibilities they offer in order to win.

As a means of increasing the difficulty the game lets you add Ash, the rogue science officer from the movie. He’s also moved by encounter cards and steals scrap from unguarded locations. Like the lack of character death, this also seems a poor way to mirror his sinister role in the film. It also doesn’t tend to make things that much harder, as players can often snaffle up spare scrap before Ash has the chance to get to it.

Both Ash and the Alien’s thematic roles are boosted by the encounter deck. Many of the cards are “Quiet,” which add scrap and shuffle the alien one space. Others cause Ash or the Alien to behave more aggressively and these can be a real threat. There are also cards that cause Ash and Alien cards to be reshuffled, while Quiet cards are not, meaning the deck becomes more dangerous as the game goes on. Lost the Signal, which puts the Alien back in its nest and a Concealed token in every empty room, is particularly effective.

If you clear your objectives you’ll enter a randomly drawn end game mission. These also mimic scenes from the film and are well designed to create a tense conclusion. You might have to pile up coolant canisters while a self-destruct timer counts down, or find Jones the cat and get to the docking bay, all while the Alien continues its murderous rampage through the ship. While there’s lots of variety and excitement on offer, they begin to fall flat once you appreciate the lightweight nature of the game.

Where to Buy

Alien: Fate of the Nostromo is currently available for a suggested retail price of $29.99.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/alien-fate-of-the-nostromo-review

Media Molecule-Developed Dreams Game Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale Announced, Available Today

Media Molecule has announced Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale, a new playable game the studio made in its 2019 creation game, Dreams.  

The game seems to be centered on two dungeon-crawling protagonists who must battle “hideous monsters” and solve “fiendish puzzles” to advance through Ancient Danger’s medieval setting. There is, of course, loot and wealth to be found throughout each of these dungeons, and there seems to be a cute bat at the center of its story, as the name alludes to. 

Click here to watch embedded media

As you can see in the trailer above, Ancient Dangers looks quite great and it’s tough to picture it as a game made inside Dreams, which is itself a game. Credit to Media Molecule, though, for doing just that. Ancient Dangers looks great, too, which is especially exciting because it’s already out as of today. 

Here’s the official description for Ancient Dangers:

“Join the teenage orcs Scoria and Gabbro as they team up with their new friend, Herb the Bat, on a quest to find the renowned snozzleaf. Will Scoria and Gabbro find the herb they need to cure their grandmother’s terrible snoring? Can their wise-cracking bat pal find his way home? Get playing now and go show those dragons what happens with you mess with teenage Orcs!”

Ancient Dangers is a third-person dungeon crawler, featuring a single-player mode where players control Scoria, and a co-op mode, which adds Scoria’s twin, Gabbro, to the mix. The co-op mode is couch co-op only, though. Media Molecule says new PlayStation trophies have been added to Dreams for players to unlock while playing through Ancient Dangers, too, so if trophy hunting is your thing, you don’t want to miss this. 

For more about Dreams, check out our thoughts on its release in Game Informer’s Dreams review

Will you be checking out Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale? Let us know in the comments below!

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition Receives Dozens Of Fixes, Physical Releases Delayed Slightly

Rockstar Games has a couple of updates for its recently released collection of Grand Theft Auto games from the PS2/Xbox era. First, the physical editions are being delayed, but only by ten days. A tweet from the company announced the change in date on Twitter, saying you can get your actual mitts on Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition on December 17 instead of the originally planned December 7.

Tangentially, The Trilogy launched digitally earlier this month in a state that fans weren't too happy about, awash with graphical issues, performance woes, and overly-intense downpours of rain. Since then, Rockstar has issued patches to the trio of products in an attempt to make good on the original promise of the remasters. Today, a new set of fixes have been added, alleviating over 100 issues spanning all three games. Even the cinematic camera that was missing from the initial release has been restored. Here's a few fixes from the big list:


  • Fixed an issue where the rain appears under water when falling
  • Fixed an issue where the player was able to stretch a two-seater vehicle using the car crusher
  • Fixed an issue where the mission title would linger on screen too long at the beginning of any mission

Vice City:

  • Fixed a hole in the game world near Cafรฉ Robina
  • Fixed an issue where the barrel of the minigun did not spin when fired
  • Fixed an issue where Lance would be duplicated after restarting the mission Copland

San Andreas:

  • Fixed a save game issue at the end of the mission Blood Bowl
  • Fixed a missing bridge in the Shady Creeks section of the map
  • Fixed graphical corruption on CJ’s head and body during the motel sequence of the mission "Reuniting the Families"

You can see the entire list of fixes on Rockstar's support site here. The changes listed are for all versions except Switch, which will be receiving adjustments in a few days. It just goes to show porting games can be hard to do, especially when the project involves three large sandbox experiences across half a dozen platforms. These updates are a huge step in the right direction to getting these games in the condition they deserve, though I'm sure many more patches are coming for the GTA trilogy in the near future.

What have your experiences with GTA The Trilogy been like since launch? Are these patches fixing your primary gripes or are there other aspects you'd like to see addressed? Hijack a spot in the comments and let us know your thoughts.

Final Fantasy 14 Endwalker Servers Could Face Severe Congestion, Square Enix Warns

Square Enix has warned players ahead of Final Fantasy XIV's Endwalker Early Access period that its servers may be congested.

The team is anticipating more simultaneous logins than usual, so the servers have been optimized ahead of Endwalker's release in order to increase login caps. Due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductors, Square Enix was unable to add new Worlds, but will still be considered later.

When a World reaches its maximum player cap, then a login queue will appear. Even if it isn't counting down, the process is still functioning and it will admit players in order. Players who have the full version of the game will be prioritized over the ones playing the free trial version. Players will be able to log into less-crowded Worlds within the same data center as their homeworld, but during peak suggestion times, players may still experience login queues while using this feature.

In terms of characters, new ones cannot be created in a World that is experiencing congestion. Creating new characters requires them to be logged in to the World so that they can be added to the database and go through the entire creation process. Players may also experience an "Error 2002" when selecting a character in the selection menu. This is also due to high traffic or when a login queue exceeds 17,000 players. In order to avoid this, players will simply just have to wait before trying to log in again.

Additionally, any players who are inactive for 30 minutes will automatically be logged out in order to reduce the amount of server congestion. Square Enix also mentions changes to instanced content, which is a copy of an area created for a small number of players. Player traffic will be staggered during main scenario and quest progression and a queue is being put in place just in case congestion does occur. Players will be given a queue number and will also just have to wait to be admitted into instanced areas.

Final Fantasy XIV's Endwalker expansion releases on December 7 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. It was originally supposed to launch this month but was delayed by two weeks.

George Yang is a freelance writer for IGN

source https://www.ign.com/articles/endwalker-servers

Call Of Duty Warzone Trailer Reveals New Look At Incoming Caldera Map

Call of Duty: Vanguard Season One is just a little over a week away from the release of its new Warzone map, Caldera, and a new trailer highlighting it has been released. 

Dubbed a “Call of Duty: Vanguard & Warzone - Season One” teaser trailer, it oddly has virtually nothing to do with Vanguard, the latest Call of Duty release that’s centered on World War 2. Instead, it oddly positions itself as a travel agency video from a company called Pacific Horizon Airlines that’s about the natural wonders and touristy locales of Caldera. 

Click here to watch embedded media

As you can see in the trailer above, it’s not the usual Warzone-guns-explosions-boom-boom type of video we’ve come to expect when Call of Duty highlights its battle royale. Instead, it adds a sense of mystery to the new Caldera map. Perhaps all is not what it seems on the map, which the trailer seems to suggest. It even ends by showing Caldera locales blown to bits and on fire, likely due to the action of a battle royale match. 

Regardless of the trailer’s tone, we do get a glimpse at what to expect on Caldera: natural Pacific wonders, a hidden paradise, ridges and peaks, “sites from Caldera’s storied past,” hidden caves, rivers and streams, fields and farms complete with “artisanal organic produce harvested locally,” ski lifts, and more. 

The teaser trailer also cheekily alludes to the more battle royale-centric events that will be happening on Caldera with a warning text at the bottom of the screen:

“Warning: Pacific Horizon Air is not responsible for any death, capture, imprisonment, forced one-on-one combat between fellow visitors, drowning, parachute-related accidents, gas-related deaths or injury, shrapnel, anti-aircraft fire, tennis elbow, food poisoning, or any other similar instances. Should Pacific Horizon Air become engaged in aerial combat with enemy aircraft, an early exit may be required. Travel to Caldera is not insurable. By deploying parachute, travelers indemnify Pacific Horizon Air, its pilots, and all service staff of all liability, regardless of destination or outcome on landing. Baggage fees...included.” Click here to watch embedded media 

Flights to Caldera will begin on December 9 which is alluding to the launch date for the new Warzone map. However, as previously revealed, those who have purchased Vanguard can jump into Caldera a full 24 hours earlier on December 8.

The official Call of Duty Twitter account also released a shot of the Caldera map and marked the 15 named locations players can expect to find on it. 

While waiting for the new map to go live, check out these recently-revealed details about Caldera

Will you be jumping into the new Caldera map next month? Let us know in the comments below!

Halo Infinite Unveils A Campaign Trailer

Players have had plenty of time to dive into Halo Infinite’s multiplayer experience, but as we move closer and closer to the December 8th launch date, anticipation has been building for the campaign experience as well. After weeks of throwing around the oddball and hacking up competitors with the sizzling sword, is it time to take the campaign trek? Well, here’s the first big trailer from the campaign, unveiled today.

Click here to watch embedded media

FPS campaigns often range from the mundane to the majestic and we don’t know just where Halo Infinite’s falls just yet. Clearly, much has changed since the underwhelming demo slice of legend that gave rise to big-time internet memes and a fair amount of concern about what the final game would play like. That said, we’ll be looking closely to see what the verdict is as we get closer to launch. While multiplayer hasn’t been without issues, especially ones related to battle pass progression, game customization, and more, overall Halo Infinite’s “return to form” for Halo seems to be well received thus far. Take a look at how the campaign has changed from its initial reveal to now in the video below!

Click here to watch embedded media

There’s not a whole lot you can extrapolate from a trailer like this except “get hype”, and with a game like Halo, you’re already probably either onboard for what this new campaign experience is poised to serve up or unlikely to be swayed by what’s on deck here. Where do you stand, Spartan? Are you ready to blast off in the new campaign or are you passing on it entirely? If so, are you still in for the free-to-play multiplayer part of the experience? Let us know in the comments!

Call of Duty: Warzone's New Map Gets a Huge Reveal, Gameplay Changes Announced

Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.

A slew of new details about Call of Duty: Warzone's new Pacific map has been revealed. A new blog post from Activision shows off numerous new pictures and the actual in-game map of Caldera, the Pacific island replacing the fictional eastern European region of Verdansk.

At a glance, the map looks roughly the same size as Verdansk, which was already pretty huge. The image also shows off the named points of interest, such as the mountain "Peak" sitting in the northern center, the sandy shores of the "Beachhead" to the east, and a new airfield to the southwest. Why an oceanside resort is placed next to a submarine pen, I can only guess. Caldera is set in the Pacific theater of 1944, so expect plenty of familiar WWII iconography.

If you're wondering what these points of interest will look like in action, Activision released numerous new screenshots showing off each major location.

Activision also announced that Call of Duty: Vanguard owners will receive access to the Caldera map 24 hours early, on December 8. Players who don't own Vanguard will simply be dropped onto the smaller Rebirth Island in the meantime. Once Caldera releases for all players, Rebirth Island will be disabled for an unspecified time, but Activision says it will return later in season one.

Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific will also attempt to streamline Warzone's meta. The new battle royale map will launch with 40 weapons, 38 of which are from Vanguard, and more than a dozen operators based on Vanguard characters.

Loadouts will only be able to contain Vanguard weapons, and players will only be able to find Vanguard weapons scattered around the map. So don't expect to bring your near-future weaponry into battle. Activision is also altering the speed and radius of circles to account for aerial dogfighting.

Other new features and changes include:

  • Any player who wins a gulag match will respawn with any weapons and equipment they acquired in the gulag, rather than a default pistol.
  • The Dead Silence perk is receiving a nerf.
  • Stopping Power Rounds are disabled.
  • Nerfs to stun grenades, heartbeat sensors, and dual-wield melee weapons like the Kali Sticks and Sai.
  • Loadout Drop Markers can only be purchased from Buy Stations after the Loadout Drop event occurs in-match.
  • Buffs for the snapshot grenade, the stim, decoy grenade, and increased damage to "most lethal equipment."
  • Gas masks won't interrupt "as many" actions as they previously did.
  • The addition of gas canisters containing the same poison gas in the circle, but with a much smaller radius. You can also pick up and throw gas canisters.
  • Shallow water can hide footsteps (although not entirely), even on players you're tracking via the Tracker perk. Crouching in knee-high water will give you the Cold Blooded perk. Fire-based weapons will also trigger smoke when making contact with water.

New Contract types include:

  • Supply Drop, which drops a single crate of valuable loot for all players onto the map, but only the team who started the contract can see its exact location on the map.
  • Big Game Bounty: Targets the player with the highest kill count, but only once per game.
  • A "Top Secret" Contract that Activision has redacted any info on.

Keep in mind that the previously announced kernel-level driver will be required for all PC players in Warzone's next update, and will come to Vanguard's multiplayer at a later date.

Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific launches on December 8 for Vanguard owners and December 9 for all other players. In the meantime, Activision is handing out some serious bans for Warzone cheaters, including all past, present, and future Call of Duty games.

Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/operator for IGN.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/call-of-duty-warzone-pacific-caldera-map-revealed

Get Marvel's Avengers for sure $9.99 Right Now

Right on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes one of the best video game prices on one of the OK-est games available right now. Today at Amazon you can get Marvel's Avengers for PS4 or Xbox for just $9.99.

Marvel's Avengers Deal

Marvel's Avengers had a bit of a rough launch, but things have smoothed out somewhat. Still, it's not without its problems. In our initial Marvel's Avengers review, we gave it a 6 (which is 'OK' on the IGN scale). There's still a pretty invested fanbase around Marvel's Avengers, but it never reached the heights its pedigree seemed to promise.

But for ten bucks, who cares? It's fun enough, especially at that price. I say roll the dice. The end game isn't quite as great, but again, the price is right enough to where maybe that doesn't matter to you.

It's also a great gift, if you're looking to give a Marvel fan a little something this year. They never need to know you only spent $10 on it. I would never tell on you.

Seth Macy is Executive Editor, IGN Commerce, and just wants to be your friend. You can find him hosting the Nintendo Voice Chat podcast.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/marvels-avengers-is-on-sale-for-10

Rainbow Six Siege: High Calibre and New Operator Thorn Full Season Breakdown

Ubisoft has fully revealed High Calibre, the fourth season of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Year 6 that will not only add a new Operator in the defender Brianna “Thorn” Skehan and her Razorbloom Shell gadget, but also a rework of Outback, greater customization, new team colors, and more.

High Calibre Season, Thorn, and the new Battle Pass featuring a new exotic weapon skin will all be available November 30. To help give you a headstart on becoming the best Thorn you can be, we’ve enlisted the help of Rainbow Six Siege professional player and TSM FTX member Jason “Beaulo” Doty to share some of the best tips for using this new Defender.

Thorn and Her Razorbloom Shells Can Be a Big Problem For Attackers

While Thorn’s loadout includes a UZK50GI SMG, a Deployable Shield, and Barbed Wire, her Razorbloom Shells are the star of her arsenal. These shells can be thrown by Thorn and will stick to any surface it hits. After it detects an opponent, it “automatically propels a set of sharp blades in all directions, delivering lethal damage.” According to Beaulo, these are “proximity mines on steroids” that will strike fear into your opponents.

“Thorn’s main thing is her Razorbloom Shells which, in my eyes, are like beefed-up proximity mines or proximity mines on steroids because it alerts you to an enemy’s presence and it puts fear and this sense of danger into the attacker,” Beaulo said.

“To get the most bang for your buck out of Thorn’s Razorbloom Shells, probably put them in choke points, maybe right before they get to the site,” Beaulo continued. “If it comes down to the last minute execution on the attackers side, it really kind of speeds them up or slows them down and makes them a little bit clumsy and better positioned for you to react off of it.”

Despite Beaulo stating that these Razorbloom Shells aren’t “meta changing,” as there are other proximity mine-type gadgets in Rainbow Six Siege already, the flexibility that comes from the ability to throw them on higher or lower surfaces that would be otherwise unreachable sets them apart.

“Thorn is a little more versatile in the sense of a trap operator, because you can actually throw the gadget, you can throw it up high on the ceiling, you can throw it at the very bottom at the ground on the low end of the staircase, whatever it may be,” Beaulo said.

“I think it’s really good because if an attacker is about to challenge you at an angle and then all of a sudden they know their life is in danger, they are going to have to look at the ceiling or the bottom, completely away from head-level of where Thorn is probably going to be swinging,” Beaulo explained. “So, distracting the attacker to look away from you or divert their crosshair placement from your head is pretty impactful.”

Beaulo continued by sharing that Thorn can really be an asset to the Defenders during late-round play when the Attackers aren’t checking their surroundings as thoroughly as they would in earlier rounds.

“The real opportunities that Thorn can capitalize on and really benefit from are in the late-round, whenever the attackers get a little bit lazy,” Beaulo said. “They’ve done all the work in the pre-round and mid-round, and when it gets to the execution of the late-round, they might not be checking every single corner, they might not be checking every nook and cranny, so there are definitely going to be mistakes had on the attackers in the dying seconds of the round, and I think that’s where it’s going to really benefit the overall Defenders.”

While Thorn can be a… well… thorn in the side of the Attackers, Beaulo says she can also be countered relatively easily by most players who are cautious enough to look out for her Razorbloom Shells. Since Attackers have access to a drone, they have the ability to find Thorn’s gadget hiding around the map and alert their teammates to their location. This obviously adds another layer to an Attackers plan, but it’s an important one if Thorn is in play.

Beaulo also believes that Thorn is a great Operator for new players and veterans alike, as she has a “low-risk, high-reward” style of gameplay. Additionally, since her loadout includes a shield, barbed wire, and good guns, it makes it a good choice for those looking to learn the ropes of Rainbow Six Siege. For veterans, this variety of equipment will undoubtedly prove useful in many situations.

For those looking to learn a bit more about Thorn, Ubisoft has revealed that she was born in County Kildare, Ireland on June 18, 1993, and grew up on a farm that was known for both horse racing and military training. While most of her family members joined the military when they became of age, she chose to become part of the mounted division of Ireland’s national police force - the Garda Sรญochรกna - after one of her brothers led criminals to her family’s farm who ended up burning a stable to the ground, killing the champion horses inside. She quickly rose the ranks of the division and earned a spot at Garda’s elite tactical branch. One of her big achievements was redesigning the unit’s obstacle course, a move that would grab the attention of Caveira who, “upon barely completing the training exclaimed with exhaustion, ‘You want a job?’”

Rainbow Six Siege’s High Calibre Changes and New Features

As previously stated, High Calibre adds a bunch of new changes and new features to Rainbow Six Siege, including a rework of Outback that looks to improve balancing and player comfort. Alongside changing the main building and its exterior to help Attackers better strategize their assaults, there have also been soft walls added to the building and other areas have been cleaned up to “provide better lines of sight and balance.”

Test Servers are also getting a bit of a change and will now only be open at three times throughout a season. These three times will be labeled as Seasons Release, Lab Release, and Balancing Release. Season will contain content set to ship in the upcoming season, Lab will contain experimental content that the Rainbow Six Siege team will offer to players to gain feedback on features that are in development, and Balancing will test out Operator and other balancing changes.

Team Colors are changing from blue and orange to red and blue to “bring consistency to the UI and improve onboarding for newcomers.” While red and blue will be the new default, this can still be changed in the Accessibility section of the Options menu to any combination of red, blue, or orange. Teams will also now be referred to as “Your Team” and “Opponents” instead of “Blue Team” and “Orange Team.”

Customization is also taking center stage in Year Six, Season 4 and will let players customize their Operator’s abilities in their Loadout, view customization options in the Operators section for any character, customize their Operator Cards, and much more. There will also be new Exotic weapon skins that have a 3D effect and can be earned through Battle Pass progression.

As with most new seasons, certain Operators will see their price decreased, including Nomad, Kaid, Kali, Wamai, and Aruni. There will also be a ton of new player comfort and balancing changes, and one of them involves a Bulletproof Camera Rework that lets Defenders “rotate the Bulletproof Camera and use it to fire EMP bursts that disable opponent devices.”

As a reminder, you can unlock Thorn instantly with the premium Battle Pass available on the High Calibre season launch on November 30.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/rainbow-six-siege-high-calibre-and-new-operator-thorn-full-season-breakdown

Square Enix Issues Server Congestion Warning Ahead Of Endwalker Launch

Endwalker, the upcoming expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, is almost here. In fact, players with early access packages can begin playing the expansion as soon as Friday, December 3. Of course, as with any MMORPG launch (and many other online games), the first few days are likely to be dicey affairs when it comes to server queues, login woes, and other various assorted issues as players all attempt to login at the same time and play. We saw this happen earlier this year with New World – and seeing it occur in some capacity for the Endwalker launch would not be unusual, given the hype for this big, big expansion that features several new jobs and a ton of new content to explore.

To that end, Square Enix has released a post documenting some of the various issues players may encounter as the flood gates open. The list includes the most important issue, worlds reaching maximum capacity, resulting in lengthy wait times to log on. Other things can happen, too, like character creation being disabled. Players who remain inactive in-game for too long will also be booted in order to make room. For MMORPG veterans, nothing here should be surprising. If you’re taking your first steps into Final Fantasy XIV, it might be best to do what you can to prepare. 

Ideally, this means you’d create your character before the expansion launches, so you don’t need to worry about getting stuck unable to make one, and you should probably not allocate days off to the initial pre-release and release dates for the game. If you’re planning to take time off to really soak yourself in the FFXIV experience, it would probably be best to shoot for a week or so after launch and not the early days. You’ll have a much better time playing the game than staring at login queues! If you really, really can't wait to go hard on the new expansion, try changing your sleep schedule for a few days, as you will find it much, much easier to log in during the early hours of the morning (or late night, depending on how you view it) than you will during prime time.

Anyway, check us out rocking the Tower of Zot in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. It’s hard not to want to play the Reaper job class for this expansion, but a lot of them look great. Are you planning to play Endwalker? Let us know in the comments!

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong Gets May 2022 Release Date

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, the other, other video game based on the popular tabletop game currently in development, has been delayed. It was tentatively set to release in February but is now launching on May 19.

It may be easy to confuse Swansong with the other two Vampire: The Masquerade games also in the works: Bloodhunt, the battle royale launching early next year that's currently playable in Steam Early Access, and Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the 2004 game that had its development rebooted. Swansong is a choice-driven narrative RPG that puts you in the role of three vampires in modern-day Boston. 

A new leader has emerged to take control of the city’s sect of vampires, triggering a violent power struggle filled with twists, turns, and betrayal. Each playable vampire hails from a different clan and sports its own unique powers, which can be customized to your liking. Many of those skills influence characters to pry information out of them, using techniques such as persuasion and intimidation. Check out the game’s teaser trailer below. 

Click here to watch embedded media

In a tweet, developer Big Bad Wolf Studio says the delay will allow additional polish to ensure the game’s quality while also letting the team maintain a healthy work/life balance.  Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is heading to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 

Are you excited to play Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong? Let us know in the comments!

The State of PlayStation Studios

PlayStation Studios has been busy as the PlayStation 5 closes out its first year Throughout 2021, Sony’s collection of worldwide development teams has continued to turn out acclaimed hits, reinvigorate old franchises, and expand with a host of acquisitions and first-party publishing partnerships. Let’s check in on the state of PlayStation’s First-Party Studios.

Before we jump in, a few notes. First off, we’ll be focusing on PlayStation first-party studios only. So we won’t be talking about studios developing third-party console exclusives or third-party partnerships. Hey, we didn’t cover Housemarque for this very reason the last time around, and since then they’ve been acquired by PlayStation, so never say never.

Bend Studio

Last game published: Bend’s last published game was 2019’s Days Gone, an open world, motorcycle-riding adventure through the Pacific Northwest in which players starred as Deacon St. John fighting against hordes of Freakers. Bend continued to support Days Gone after launch with technical patches and some content updates, including a series of challenges for players to test their Freaker-fighting mettle against.

Current game in development: Though reports and tweets from past employees suggest a Days Gone 2 was pitched, that particular world is currently not what the team has in the works. Instead, Bend announced earlier this year that it is developing a brand new IP, also shooting down rumors that we might be seeing a return to the world of its acclaimed Syphon Filter series. No exact details are known on said new IP just yet, though PlayStation Studios Head Hermen Hulst did previously say Bend would be “building on the deep open-world systems that they developed with Days Gone.”

Bluepoint Games

Last game published: As of press time, Bluepoint is PlayStation Studios’ newest acquisition, with no games published post acquisition, but Bluepoint and PlayStation’s history goes back years. The studio made a name for itself with PlayStation remasters for Uncharted and more. It then transitioned into remakes, tackling beloved PlayStation hits like Shadow of the Colossus on PS4 and, most recently, Demon’s Souls on PS5.

post-acquisition Bluepoint hasn’t announced official details of its next game. But speaking to IGN at the time of the acquisition announcement, Bluepoint president Marco Thrush indicated the team wants to work on original content moving forward, meaning we shouldn’t expect a remake next from the studio, as much as it’s proven itself in that space.

Firesprite Games

Last game published: Firesprite Games is another very recent acquisition of PlayStation’s, and the studio hasn’t technically published a game as just yet. Firesprite also has a lengthy history with PlayStation, most recently developing the PSVR title The Persistence VR, as well as previously having collaborated with PlayStation on The Playroom and The Playroom VR on the PS4, and Run Sackboy! Run!

The studio’s lineage with PlayStation goes back even further though. It was originally formed in 2012 by former employees of Sony’s now-shuttered Liverpool Studio, the home of the Wipeout racing franchise.

Current game in development: We don’t quite know what Firesprite will specifically be developing for PlayStation, but this acquisition is one to keep an eye on - it’s a huge studio of more than 250 employees who, according to Hermen Hulst in an interview with with gamesindustry.biz, will be working on their own projects as a first-party studio, rather than supporting the games of others like they have in the past. Prior to joining the first party stable, Firesprite was hiring for two games, including a “game-changing huge multiplayer shooter and an ambitious dark narrative blockbuster,” as well as Star Citizen: Theaters of War, but Sony has not commented on what, if any, of those projects will remain in development.

Guerrilla Games

Last game published: Guerrilla Games last published the first entry in its new acclaimed series, Horizon Zero Dawn, in 2017. It followed it up with a DLC expansion, The Frozen Wilds, as well as a PC port of Zero Dawn in 2020. Zero Dawn went on to sell over 10 million copies, and has seen spinoffs in the world of comic books and video games.

Current game in development: Confirmed last year, Guerrilla Games has been hard at work on Horizon Forbidden West, which is currently set for a debut on PS4 and PS5 on February 18, 2022. Originally planned to launch in 2021, Forbidden West was delayed to give the developers more time and balance in bringing Aloy’s adventures out west to life, though since its reveal we’ve seen a large chunk of gameplay showcasing some of the sequel’s new additions. And though not officially announced, Guerrilla in recent years has been hiring for roles with multiplayer experience. Game director Simon Larouche, who previously left Guerrilla to work on Rainbow Six at Ubisoft and has since rejoined, also listed an unannounced title as their current project on their Linkedin Profile. Guerrilla’s continued success with Horizon has cemented it as one of PlayStation’s most exciting studios.


Last game published: Another acquisition this year by PlayStation, Housemarque hasn’t officially published a game for its new publisher, but what’s a few months between new coworkers? Published by PlayStation Studios and developed in tandem with Sony’s XDEV studio, Returnal is Housemarque’s biggest game to date. The studio known for its series of isometric or sidescrolling arcade shooters took the lessons of the genre and applied them to one of the most popular genres around - the roguelike - to create a timelooping, alien-hunting PS5 exclusive. Setting players on a course through the alien world of Atropos as the human astronaut Selene, Returnal lets players uncover its dark, fascinating plot on repeat visits through the planet's distinct biomes, while testing out a host of alien weapons and power-ups.

Current game in development: Housemarque hasn’t announced its follow-up to Returnal, though the game certainly marked a new era of ambition for what the studio could achieve. At the time of the acquisition, Housemarque’s co-founder and managing director said the team was taking a well-deserved break before jumping into anything new. More recently, it seems that Housemarque could be teasing Returnal DLC

Insomniac Games

Last game published: Insomniac has been putting in work since the start of the PS5’s lifecycle. The studio, which PlayStation officially acquired in 2019 after generations of partnership, launched Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PS4 and PS5, as well as Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered for PS5 on the PS5’s launch day.

As if that weren’t enough, earlier this year Insomniac revived its beloved platformer series with the PS5 exclusive Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, a beautiful, charming, and fun showcase for the PlayStation 5.

Current game in development: Insomniac isn’t taking it easy after all that, though. While we wouldn’t be surprised if the studio has more of its sleeves, for now, we know to expect Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 in 2023, which will bring Miles and Peter together and introduce Venom to the series. And for even more Marvel, Insomniac is working on a full-sized, mature-in-tone adventure featuring another beloved character with Marvel’s Wolverine.

London Studio

Last game published: London Studio’s last outing was the PSVR hit Blood & Truth, which captured all the trappings of a blockbuster action movie and put players right in the midst of it, with wonderful use of PlayStation’s VR headset. The studio also supported it with post-launch challenges for players to test their mettle.

Current game in development: London Studio has been relatively quiet since Blood & Truth’s release, though we certainly hope it’ll put what it learned on PSVR to good use with whatever PlayStation’s next-gen VR headset turns out to be. Behind-the-scenes, the studio appointed two new co-studio heads earlier in 2021, Tara Saunders and Stuart Whyte, but their appointment didn’t offer many details on what’s next. Other than Saunders teasing that their next project “has HUGE potential”

Malaysia Studio

The Malaysia Studio is one you may not have heard of yet, and there’s a pretty understandable reason - it’s one of Sony’s newest studios, and hasn't been discussed much. Announced in 2019 to open in 2020, Malaysia was opened to provide art and animation for Worldwide Studios’ portfolio, and more recent job listings indicated the studio was working on a “well-known and well-loved” PlayStation franchise.

Media Molecule

Last game published: Media Molecule has had its hands full for a little while with its ambitious game-music-movie-whatever-you-want creation suite Dreams. Announced early in the life of the PS4, Dreams stayed in development for quite some time before finally seeing the light of day in 2020. And since then, Media Molecule has continued to support the game with new updates and, just as importantly, support the community with regular spotlights and events like the now annual Impy Awards and DreamsCom.

Current game in development: Dreams continues to be Media Molecule’s future, at least as far as we can tell, and its in-house developers are continuing to make games within Dreams. During DreamsCom, TREN and Ancient Dangers: A Bat’s Tale were announced under the MM Originals banner, indicating the studio’s continued commitment to making games in its highly elastic Dreams system.

Naughty Dog

Last game published: Naughty Dog brought the PS3 generation to a close with The Last of Us, and similarly marked the end of the PS4 with the Last of Us Part II in the summer of 2020. It capped a run of several big successes on the PS4 for Naughty Dog, including Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Current game in development: Speaking of those two Uncharted entries, they’re set to be remastered for a PC and PS5 release in 2022, packaged up as the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection. Naughty Dog hasn’t officially announced any other projects just yet, but we do know it’s working on some sort of multiplayer game, which many have been looking forward to ever since plans for a Factions follow-up did not come to fruition for The Last of Us Part 2’s release. And hopefully that wait won’t be too long.

Nixxes Software

Last game published: Nixxes Software is another of PlayStation’s recent acquisitions, so the studio hasn’t technically published anything while under the PlayStation first-party banner. The studio has most recently been working with Square Enix on titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers.

Current game in development: Like the Malaysia Studio, it seems that Nixxes will be acting as support to other PlayStation studios. PlayStation Studios Head Hermen Hulst said “Nixxes will be a strong asset for everyone across PlayStation Studios, helping our teams focus on their most important goal, which is to create unique PlayStation content at the best possible quality.” Nixxes has also, in particular, been part of the PC porting and optimization work done for Square Enix’s games, leading many to assume the team may help in further bringing PlayStation games to PC. However, no official projects have yet been announced.


Last game published: Pixelopus is one of the smallest teams in the PlayStation stable, and most recently made Concrete Genie for the PS4, which allowed players bring its world to life no matter their artistic acumen with an imaginative drawing mechanic.

Current game in development: Pixelopus is working on a new project for the PS5, though we don’t know exactly what it will be. According to recent job listings, we know it will use both the studio’s own engine technology and Unreal Engine 5, and will also be made in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation, the company behind Oscar-winning hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the Hotel Transylvania franchise, and The Mitchells Vs. the Machines.

Polyphony Digital

Last game published: Polyphony is, of course, the home of Gran Turismo, and most recently released Gran Turismo Sport on the PS4, which saw updates long after its initial launch.

Current game in development: While Sport was the only entry in the series on PS4 so far, Polyphony is hitting the racetracks again soon with Gran Turismo 7, which is set to come to both PS4 and PS5 on March 4, 2022.

San Diego Studio

Last game published: San Diego Studio’s most recent game was the latest in its annual baseball franchise, MLB: The Show ‘21, which marked the first time the franchise was available on non-PlayStation consoles through a new MLB publishing deal that saw it also hit Xbox One and Xbox Series.

Current game in development: This may come as a shock, but though it’s not announced, we’re expecting San Diego Studio to...continue working on MLB: The Show. Presumably, next year’s entry will be multiplatform as well.

Santa Monica Studio

Last game published: Sony Santa Monica Studio last released 2018’s God of War, IGN’s Game of the Year winner that marked the return of a longstanding PlayStation series with a new spin.

Current game in development: Santa Monica Studio is next working on God of War: Ragnarok, the sequel to 2018’s revival and also the closure of the Norse mythology story established in that game. New director Eric Williams, who has been with the series for years, has taken the helm, and players can look forward to Ragnarok coming in 2022 on PS4 and PS5. According to job listings, Santa Monica Studio may have a second project in the works, but no official details have been revealed.

Sucker Punch Productions

Last game published: After kicking off the PS4 generation with Infamous: Second Son, Sucker Punch ended it with its acclaimed Ghost of Tsushima. Since its launch in 2020, the studio surprised players with a multiplayer component, Legends, which has since become available as a standalone game, and released Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut for PS4 and PS5, which included a new expansion set on Iki Island.

Current game in development: Sucker Punch hasn’t revealed what’s to come next from the studio famous for Sly Cooper, Infamous, and now Ghost. But considering a Ghost of Tsushima movie is in the works, and the incredible sales success of this new franchise, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a return to the world of Jin Sakai.

Team Asobi

Last game published: Sony effectively shuttered its famous Sony Japan Studio, itself containing several teams working across a number of different projects throughout the PS4’s life. That restructuring led to Team Asobi becoming the sole focus of what was once Japan Studio, and that team most recently released the PS5 free pack-in, and still best showcase for the ingenuity of the DualSense, Astro’s Playroom.

Current game in development: Team Asobi is working on new projects, though we don’t know exactly what just yet. But as with other PlayStation studios, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it continue the adventures of Astro, and not just because his head is part of the company’s logo. Playroom continues to define the potential of the DualSense’s haptics, and we can’t wait to see what the studio does next, either in Astro’s world or a new one entirely. Also, Sony, if you want to give Team Asobi the keys to Ape Escape, I won’t complain.


Last game published: XDev is a unique studio within the PlayStation portfolio, as it works as a collaborative team with non-PlayStation-owned studios to develop exclusives. Most recently, the team collaborated with Sumo Digital on Sackboy: A Big Adventure, Lucid Games on Destruction AllStars, and the now-first-party Housemarque on Returnal.

Current game in development: XDev hasn’t announced any new collaborations just yet, but earlier in 2021 job listings pointed to producer roles being hired for XDev to work on AAA games with partners, so expect to hear more soon enough.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior Features Editor, PlayStation Lead, and host of Podcast Beyond! He's the proud dog father of a BOY named Loki. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/playstation-studios-ps5-ps4-games-confirmed-rumored

Metroid Dread Developer Now Working on a Dark Fantasy RPG

Metroid Dread developer MercurySteam is currently working on a third-person action RPG that will be set in a dark fantasy world, and has partnered with Control publisher 505 Games to make it.

505's parent company, Digital Bros released a press release announcing that MercurySteam's next game is codenamed Project Iron – a third-person action RPG set for release on PC and consoles. While the company hasn't commented on a potential release window for the game, it does note that the project's initial investment amounts to 27 million euros (or around 30 million dollars).

Elsewhere in the announcement, it is stated that Project Iron's IP is co-owned by MercurySteam and Digital Bros. While very few details have emerged about the project so far, it looks like it should be in safe hands given MercurySteam's wealth of experience. Prior to developing Metroid Dread, the company also worked on titles such as Metroid: Samus Returns and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

“We are thrilled to work with the team at MercurySteam, a proven studio that over the years has created
numerous phenomenal IPs – including the recent hit release Metroid Dread in partnership with Nintendo,”
explained co-CEOs of Digital Bros. Group Raffi and Rami Galante. “With MercurySteam’s creative vision and talent and 505 Games' extensive experience, gamers can expect a high-quality, captivating and engaging videogame.”

MercurySteam launched Metroid Dread alongside Nintendo back in October. While the series certainly has its fair share of devoted fans, the game's success allowed it to comfortably beat record sales in the US for the series - a factor that could bode well for the future of the franchise.

Following its release, the game debuted as October's third best-selling game in the US. Despite being released over a week into that period, Metroid: Dread also came out as the highest-ranked selling game on the Nintendo Switch.

For more on Metroid Dread, make sure to check out our review of the game, where we awarded it a 9/10 and stated that it "brings back the [franchise's] legendary exploration and progression and merges it with excellent modern combat and some of the best boss fights ever."

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/metroid-dread-developer-now-working-on-a-dark-fantasy-rpg

Starfield Is About ‘Grounded Exploration’ in a More Realistic Universe

A new Starfield developer diary has revealed new concept art from the upcoming Bethesda game, as well as discussed its focus on grounded, realistic exploration.

In the video diary, Game Director Todd Howard explained that the staff at Bethesda Games Studios all had exploration in mind when it came to what Starfield would be about. "Coming to Starfield, everybody's starting over and saying 'What would you want to do? What does going to space mean to you?'" he said. "And everybody comes back with the same one: I want to see what's out there."

But compared to Skyrim's epic fantasy setting and Fallout's retropunk apocalypse, Starfield will offer a different approach to how we will explore. "It's got a more realistic, science-based backing to it," said Art Director Matt Carofano. "This is a more grounded game and a grounded setting about exploration. So I think that gives us a different take on how we make everything."

Howard notes that, despite the more grounded, scientific approach, the way the world works will still be similar to that seen in The Elder Scrolls games. "The mechanics of the world are entirely different, but there are similarities," he said. "I think that those are the things we like. We like playing first person. We like having all the coffee cups, we like being able to touch everything. Those moments make the whole thing believable. Being able to watch the sun set and night-time come, and just sit there and watch the world go by seems like it's not gameplay, but it is vital to how you feel through the rest of it."

Howard also points out that "It is a universe, not just a game," and how that affects the design process. The video includes a lot of concept art of astronaut food and other 'mundane' things that help make the world of Starfield more believable and authentic. He also discusses that culture is important, and so things like toys, bedtime stories, art, and entertainment are all woven into the world.

He also teases that there will be more than one moment akin to emerging from Fallout's vault or Oblivion's starting dungeon. "We always have that 'step out' moment into the world," he said. "I like to say that Stafield has two 'step out' moments. It's cryptic."

For more from Starfield, see how the game will react to your pronouns, and fully support mods. You can also check out our interview with Todd Howard, where he revealed Bethesda had to make Starfield now or never.

Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/starfield-realistic-exploration

Second Life Creator Has Doubts About Facebook's Metaverse

Second Life creator Philip Rosedale has cast his doubts over Facebook's plans to create its own metaverse.

In a recent interview with Axios, the Rosedale spoke about his doubts over future attempts to build a metaverse and the questions that still remain over the digital spaces.

Rosedale somewhat pioneered the idea of a playable metaverse with Second Life, an online platform that saw players create avatars and take up residence in a virtual world. Those visiting Second Life did so for a number of reasons - whether that be on a smaller scale to socialize with friends and check out the surroundings or at a more in-depth level by taking up jobs as performers, politicians, or teachers. There was certainly plenty to keep people occupied.

Rosedale founded Linden Labs in 1999, where he worked until 2013. During that time, Second Life became an increasingly popular way to live digitally. Over the years, a huge number of people engaged with the platform, which peaked at over a million users, even leading the Swedish government to set up an embassy within the platform.

Having worked for the best part of two decades on the concept, Rosedale explains how his views on the concept have changed over time. “I think what we've learned — and somewhat with some sadness, given the work that I've done, I would have to agree — is that it's not for everybody, and maybe it's never for everybody," he says.

As part of the interview, Rosedale spoke about the draw of the metaverse at the time stating that there was a belief that, "inevitably we would all spend an increasingly large fraction of our lives in a virtual world." Despite the game's popularity, however, the creator highlights a number of lessons that he's learned from his time with Second Life.

According to Rosedale, despite Second Life granting the freedom for people to escape reality and live altered lives in a digital setting, people didn't generally want to spend long periods in it. The creator cites that people felt uncomfortable controlling avatar versions of themselves and communicating that way with others.

Rosedale says that a number of those factors are still yet to be answered by newer companies like Meta, who are looking to build toward new versions of a metaverse. "There still arises this weighty question of what is it that's going to cause, you know, normal people, a lot of the time, to be willing to go into these online spaces," he says. “And I think we still haven't answered that question.”

Despite casting his doubts over further pursuits to build a metaverse, Rosedale is still optimistic that virtual worlds will play a part in how people interact in the future. “You might be able to create a public space that could be a positive thing for people — where you could go and make new friends, where you could cry out about injustice,” he says before noting that this modern vision would necessitate public freedom and not be controlled by one large corporate company.

For more on Facebook, make sure to check out this article detailing the company's recent rebrand to Meta and how it coincides with the company's big focus on creating a metaverse.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

source https://www.ign.com/articles/second-life-creator-doubts-facebook-metaverse

Dying Light 2 Stay Human Has Gone Gold Two Months Ahead Of Release

Dying Light 2 Stay Human

Techland has announced Dying Light 2 Stay Human has gone gold and is ready for production, two months ahead of its scheduled release date. 

The company spread the news to Game Informer through a press release, saying the team achieved this milestone over the weekend. Techland's press release also had some words from Tymon Smektaล‚a, lead game designer on Dying Light 2. In it, he speaks about how the work on the game isn't quite done yet, saying, "The fact that the game is done and we hit the gold status two months before the release is a great sign but it doesn’t mean that our work ends here. There are still some upgrades and tweaks to add, and community feedback to implement, but the base is solid and ready to play."

So, while much of the work is in the rearview mirror, there's plenty to tweak and fix before the public is finally able to play it. Still, the feat of shipping a game is a massive undertaking and one worth celebrating. Tymon says, "I’m extremely proud of the whole team!" Considering the ups and downs the project faced over the course of a long development process, he should be. 

The next time we'll see Dying Light 2 Stay Human is just around the corner. This Thursday, Techland will premiere Episode 5 in its Dying 2 Know series, where about 15 minutes of new gameplay will be shown. You can find that at 12 p.m. Pacific on Techland's Twitch channel.

Dying Light 2 Stay Human is well on track to hit its February 4, 2022 date to release on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch (cloud version), and PC. For more on Dying Light 2, check out Brian Shea's recent preview where he played four hours of the game.

New GTA Trilogy Patches Fix Rain, Add Cinematic Camera, and More

GTA Trilogy has released updates for all three games, which are available now on all platforms aside from Switch. The updates include fixes for the remasters' infamous rain effect, the addition of a cinematic camera, and more.

Announced on Rockstar's support website, the 1.03 patch includes fixes for individual games and specific platforms, as well as general improvements across the entire collection.

Some of the bigger changes include removing rain from indoor scenes, fixing some of the typos players have spotted throughout all three games, texture corruption problems in San Andreas, and the curiously non-specific "issue with Tommy’s hands when wearing the Havana Outfit in the mission Shakedown." We also have a fix for the much-ridiculed fact that the giant nut at the Tuff Nuts donut shop had been turned into a washer.

The update also reintroduces GTA's cinematic camera, which can make longer drives more interesting with some artful camera angles. While noty included on the patch notes, GTANet also says that the update adds an option to remove the white outline added to targets.

The patches 1.03 patch for Nintendo Switch will arrive in "the coming days" according to Rockstar. The last patch for Nintendo Switch arrived three days after other platforms'.

You can see the full 1.03 patch notes below:

General - PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC

  • Stability improvements
  • Added the cinematic camera, which can be toggled by cycling through the camera modes when in game
  • Fixed a number of misspellings on texture art/signage
  • Fixed a number of instances where rain would appear indoors during cutscenes

Grand Theft Auto III – The Definitive Edition

  • Adjusted the rain during the Give Me Liberty intro cutscene so it matches what is visible during gameplay
  • Improved the resolution of the signs on taxi front doors
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside the mansion during the cutscene to the mission Cutting the Grass
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside Donald Love’s apartment during the cutscene to the mission Liberator
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside Luigi’s Club during the cutscene to the mission Don’t Spank Ma Bitch Up
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside Joey’s Garage during the cutscene to the mission Cipriani’s Chauffeur
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside during the cutscene to the mission Bomb Da Base: Act I
  • Fixed an issue where the rain appears under water when falling
  • Fixed an issue where grass could be seen inside Joey’s garage during the outro of the mission Drive Misty For Me
  • Fixed an issue where a wall texture near the hospital in Portland appeared incorrectly while driving
  • Fixed an issue where pink or black textures would appear on the floor of the Turtle Head Fish Co.
  • Fixed an issue in the audio menu where the Dialog Volume slider did not adjust the sample audio being played
  • Fixed an issue where UI would overlap the timer when doing taxi or vigilante missions
  • Fixed an issue with missing object collision on walls below the Callahan Bridge in Chinatown
  • Fixed an issue where the player was able to stretch a two-seater vehicle using the car crusher
  • Fixed several camera issues when playing RC missions
  • Fixed an issue where misaligned text would appear after delivering to the Import Garage
  • Fixed an issue where the mission title would linger on screen too long at the beginning of any mission
  • Fixed an issue with texture display on the Staunton Pay ‘n’ Spray sign
  • Fixed an issue where the wheels were not connected to the vehicle being worked on by Joey
  • Fixed a spelling error on the Deli and Pizza storefront on Staunton Island

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – The Definitive Edition

  • Ad banners added to the sides of the Rumpo, Coach, Benson, and Boxville vehicles
  • Fixed an issue where the cutscene at the end of the mission Shakedown would hang as it transitioned back to gameplay
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside during the cutscene to the mission Publicity Tour
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside during the cutscene to the mission Alloy Wheels of Steel
  • Fixed an issue where rain could be seen inside the limo during the cutscene to the mission Two Bit Hit
  • Fixed an issue with Tommy’s hands when wearing the Havana Outfit in the mission Shakedown
  • Fixed an issue in the mission Cop Land where the mission would fail when the cafรฉ would blow up
  • Fixed an issue where the Diaz mansion had missing textures during the outro to the mission Rub Out
  • Fixed a crash at the end of the mission Checkpoint Charlie
  • Fixed a crash encountered during the Bloodring Arena Event
  • Fixed an issue where texture corruption could be seen on the roads during extended play sessions
  • Fixed a 10 second pause when listening to the radio station V-Rock
  • Fixed a 15 second pause when listening to the radio station Wildstyle Radio
  • Fixed an issue during the cutscene for Supply and Demand where ambient characters were present during the cutscene
  • Fixed a hole in the game world near Cafรฉ Robina
  • Fixed a spelling error on the Welcome to Vice City billboard near the airport
  • Fixed an error with the Shaft Hot Dog stand logo
  • Fixed several texture issues that appeared on island walls
  • Fixed an issue where crates could not be destroyed during the mission Gun Runner, preventing game progression
  • Fixed an issue where the flamethrower was damaging items behind Tommy
  • Fixed a hole in the game world when standing on Tommy’s wardrobe in the Ocean View Hotel
  • Fixed an issue where the ramped Packer vehicle textures would corrupt while Tommy is standing in close proximity
  • Fixed an issue where corrupt textures would appear on the road if failing the mission Hog Tied
  • Fixed an issue where corrupt textures would appear on the road if failing the mission Boomshine Saigon
  • Fixed an issue where glass particles would appear oversized when shattering the windows of the Gash Store
  • Fixed several texture corruption issues that appeared on the Enforcer police van
  • Fixed an issue where the barrel of the minigun did not spin when fired
  • Fixed an issue where the main rotor speed of helicopters did not match the rear rotor speed
  • Fixed an issue on the mini map where the swimming pool shaped like the Rockstar Games logo was incorrectly reflected on the mini map for Starfish Island
  • Fixed a texture corruption issue on traffic lights and foliage when raining on the mainland
  • Fixed an issue where the sign was not properly animating on Hyman Memorial Stadium
  • Fixed a spelling error on the Mavis Bookstore window
  • Fixed a spelling error when the player is busted during the Paramedic missions
  • Fixed an issue where Tommy appears small while standing in front of buildings in Little Havana
  • Fixed an issue where Lance would be duplicated after restarting the mission Copland
  • Fixed an issue where the open graves behind Funeraria Romero were not visible

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – The Definitive Edition

  • Introduced cloud cover at high altitude
  • Added alternate walking and running animations when CJ is at Max Fat or Max Muscle
  • Fixed several issues with grass textures that did not display properly
  • Fixed a white outline in Cesar’s hairline during the cutscene to the mission King in Exile
  • Fixed an issue with CJ’s body in the cutscene to the mission The Meat Business
  • Fixed an issue with CJ’s body during the opening cutscene to the mission Supply Lines
  • Fixed an issue with Cesar’s fingers during the end scene of the mission Cesar Vialpando
  • Fixed an issue with Cesar’s fingers during the end scene of the mission Wu Zi Mu
  • Fixed a save game issue at the end of the mission Blood Bowl
  • Fixed a crash that occurred during the mission Dam and Blast
  • Fixed a texture corruption issue that occurred after prolonged gameplay
  • Fixed an issue where CJ and Big Smoke would get stuck near the end of the mission Just Business
  • Fixed a crash that occurred when drowning near the Ocean Beach end of South Bridge
  • Fixed an issue where CJ’s face would obscure the camera when looking behind him while riding a quad bike
  • Fixed an issue where CJ’s face would obscure the camera when looking behind him while piloting the Hydra in first person view
  • Fixed a crash experienced when retrying a checkpoint during the mission Ice Cold Killa
  • Fixed a spelling error on a Mexican food advertisement
  • Fixed a spelling error on a guitar store shop front
  • Fixed an issue where players were able to purchase cornrows at the barbershop without sufficient funds
  • Fixed a missing bridge in the Shady Creeks section of the map
  • Fixed a bug where the burger on the Burger Shot sign was not spinning
  • Fixed a spelling error on the FleischBerg factory sign
  • Fixed multiple issues in cutscenes where CJ’s arms clip through his body while at Max Fat
  • Fixed a lighting issue in the Rockshore West Safehouse
  • Fixed an issue where the Wasted or Busted screen could be seen when loading an autosave file
  • Fixed graphical corruption on CJ’s head and body during the motel sequence of the mission Reuniting the Families
  • Fixed an issue where window panes are translucent at the Dillmore gas station during the mission Tanker Commander
  • Fixed an issue where tattoos would project out of CJ’s lower arm when he has a muscular body type
  • Fixed an issue where rain drops did not appear on the water surface
  • Fixed an issue where various map icons, such as mission blips, would pop in and out of the radar while panning and rotating the camera
  • Fixed an issue where NPC’s who wear numbered jerseys no longer had a random number overlapping the number 7
  • Fixed an issue where the rain was not displayed corrected when flying during rainy or stormy weather conditions
  • Fixed an issue with the audio not playing properly when using the changing room at any of CJ’s properties
  • Fixed an issue where CJ’s forklift would not act as intended during the mission Robbing Uncle Sam
  • Fixed an issue with the shape of the Donut and Nut props at the Tuff Nuts donut shop
  • Fixed a spelling error with the storefront Sayonara
  • Fixed an issue where the Dodo plane had an inverted nose cone
  • Fixed an issue where boat propellers did not spin properly
  • Fixed an issue where the minigun barrel did not spin when fired
  • Fixed an issue where the incorrect police station sign did not appear in Las Venturas
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong prices were appearing on the Burger Shot’s outside menu
  • Fixed an issue where CJ appeared too dark when in the 69 Cent store
  • Fixed an issue where haircuts would be swapped out with the Caesar haircut anytime CJ wore a hat
  • Fixed an issue where the radar would disappear after getting caught in the mission Home Invasion
  • Fixed an issue where police cars could clip through the ground
  • Fixed an issue where the UFO prop did not rotate at the Lil’ Probe Inn

Xbox One – All Titles

  • Fixed an issue where the game would not respond for several seconds after exiting certain interiors
  • Fixed an issue where the player was unable to unlock achievements that other users on other accounts (linked to the same Social Club account) had previously unlocked

PC – All Titles

  • Fixed a bug where players were unable to highlight or select Cancel or Confirm using a controller on the Mission Failed! screen
  • Fixed a bug where players with special characters in the PC account name were unable to save gameplay progress
  • Fixed the in game layout when playing with an ultra-wide screen monitor
  • Fixed an issue where options were not being properly highlighted when hovering a mouse over them
  • Fixed an issue where clicking sections in the game menus too quickly would prevent those menu options from being displayed
  • Fixed an issue where the player was unable to select a UI element with a controller if the mouse cursor is already hovering over it
  • Fixed an issue where, when in Fullscreen, changing the Resolution setting would briefly show the old resolution value
  • Fixed an issue where graphics settings were not saving after restarting the game

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source https://www.ign.com/articles/gta-trilogy-patch-103