Two Point Campus Preview – Back To School

Game Informer News Feed - 7 hours 4 min ago

Publisher: SEGA Europe Developer: Two Point Studios Release: 2022 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Two Point Hospital charmed us when it launched in 2018, but there was certainly room for improvement. However, three years and 20 free updates later, the hospital-management sim is in much better shape than it was at launch. Still, Two Point Studios wanted to improve upon that formula with its next entry in the Two Point County series, Two Point Campus.

As leaked last month, Two Point Campus puts you in charge as you build your university the way you want. Improving upon the toolset present in Two Point Hospital, the studio wants to give players more control over how they create the college of their dreams. For the first time, players can craft exterior buildings, no longer restricted to the game's layouts. You can even place trees, custom pathways, change ground types, and more with just a few clicks. You can even build dorms to give everyone their own room, or cram as many beds into a single room as possible to save money at the expense of student happiness (more on that later). 

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"We want to give more of that control over to the players," senior U.I. designer Lauren Woodroffe says. "We have so many different kinds of players. We have players who maybe don't necessarily want to engage with a really, really deep simulation but really enjoy the creative side. Or we can also have our players who really want to get in depth and change the price of a cheesy gubbins and hire the best staff. We want to make sure that everyone can have a great time."

As you delve into the game, you're given control over how you approach the creation of your campus. Though objectives appear in the corner of the screen, you can tackle them at your own pace, and in an order of your choosing. This curated sandbox approach is meant more to guide players towards the fun, but you don't necessarily have to make them your top priority if you don't want to.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Two Point game without the studio's pun-heavy humor. The team promises even more humorous elements playing into the experience of attending college. On top of that, the courses offered are hardly conventional, as judging from the trailer and gameplay footage I viewed, the students will be able to take on coursework involving cooking giant pizzas, learning how to be a lance-wielding knight, and obtaining wizard-like magic powers.

Speaking of the students, Two Point Campus uses the (hopefully) four-year format of college to allow you to get to know your students (AKA your customers) better. Each student has unique personality traits, wants, and needs, and it's up to you to keep them satisfied not only with the courses on offer, but through an engaging campus life. By introducing new clubs, societies, and gigs, you can allow your students to surround themselves with friends, develop relationships, and other things that make them more likely to enjoy their time at your school, and thus, become more likely to stay all four years.

"[Character interaction] was in Hospital to some degree, but you never really got to see it because, generally speaking, the only people that spend longer together would be the staff, and that's only if they were in the staff room together usually because they all have their own clinics," studio director Gary Carr says. "What we want to do is expose that more so we have a situation where people are in dorms together, people are in group activities together, so you start to see those that don't get on very well, those that are actually probably romantically inclined with each other, those that actually have some shared interest and join a society together and become buddies on a sports team. What you're doing is slightly shepherding these activities in a positive way."

As mentioned before, Two Point Campus is the continuation of the Two Point County series. But what does that mean? First, it means that Two Point Campus exists in the same geographic vicinity as Two Point Hospital. This is done to build familiarity with the setting in the player base through things like recurring locations. Additionally, players of Two Point Hospital may notice nods to that game in the series through things like characters who appeared in that game appearing in Two Point Campus.

However, despite this lore and location interconnectivity, there is no actual integration between the games ... at least not yet. "Our goal is to eventually connect these in a much more powerful way," Carr says. "It's a journey; it's not going to happen today. Everyone can imagine what we'd like to do: We'd like to have something happen in Two Point Campus and that means we have to be rushed off to Two Point Hospital or you have doctors that you want to train in Two Point Campus and import. We know what you want you want [...] There's a bunch of things we're talking about, but we're not there yet today, but it's definitely part of our journey. We want these games to feel integrated into County. The County's our long-term plan."

Two Point Campus looks like a ton of silly fun layered on top of a competent and engaging college-management simulation. The studio appears to have learned several lessons from its debut outing, and I'm excited to see what other surprises Two Point Studios has in store. Those who played Two Point Hospital on console and were underwhelmed by the offerings have reason for optimism with Two Point Campus, as everything has been designed from the ground up with both controller and mouse/keyboard in mind. Two Point Campus comes to consoles and PC in 2022.

Categories: Games

Marvel's Avengers Adds Black Panther, Cosmic Cube Mission This Summer

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 06/13/2021 - 20:41

Publisher: Square Enix Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal Release: September 4, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia), March 18, 2021 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) Rating: Teen Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Earlier this year, Crystal Dynamics laid out a detailed roadmap for the coming months. The roadmap kicked off with the introduction of Hawkeye, and has continued with things like the Tachyon Anomaly, which allowed for duplicate heroes, and the introduction of MCU-inspired skins. Today, Crystal Dynamics showed off the next steps in the Marvel's Avengers roadmap, most notably the introduction of Black Panther into the hero roster.

We already knew Black Panther was coming to the game, but today gave us a new look at the story and content his War for Wakanda expansion will bring. As the name suggests, this expansion adds a new area for players to explore (Wakanda), and with it a new cast of characters, including a playable Black Panther. During today's trailer, we saw the in-game debuts of characters like Shuri, the Dora Milaje, and the main antagonist of the expansion, Klaue. Klaue is working with AIM to secure the vibranium housed within the borders Wakanda, and if the trailer is any indication, he'll stop at nothing to obtain it – even if it means setting off explosions and unleashing a giant sentry on Wakanda. Black Panther and the War for Wakanda expansion comes to Marvel's Avengers as a free update this August.

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Prior to that, players will get a new story-based mission in the new Cosmic Cube mission. This challenging sequence sees the Avengers traveling to the Frozen Tundra, where Scientist Supreme has created a powerful weapon that allows her to bend reality to her will. This expansion adds a new Villain Sector for Scientist Supreme, featuring a story that involves Hank Pym. The battle to defeat Scientist Supreme and her army of clones kicks off June 22.

Wasteland Patrols allow you to hop into the Wasteland and search for clues about the coming apocalypse. This all new Patrol mode lets you stumble upon exploration-based rewards and even randomized, replayable boss fights. In this massive, open map, players can move to one area to the next with no set objective, visiting locales like a Kree sentry graveyard, a ruined city, and a SHIELD stronghold. Wasteland Patrol doesn't have a release window and is currently scheduled to come to the game this summer or later.

Sadly, we did not get any information on when Spider-Man, who was previously announced as a PlayStation exclusive for "early 2021," is coming to the game. Clearly, that projected release window has passed, and when I asked Crystal Dynamics studio head about the highly anticipated webslinger back in March, he wasn't able to say much, but he did confirm that people were working on Spider-Man back then. Unfortunately, today's Square Enix stream brought us no further information about his introduction into the PlayStation versions of the game.

Marvel's Avengers launched last fall. While the story sequences were well-received, the multiplayer modes left much to be desired in terms of content and replayability. While Crystal Dynamics has made strides toward remedying that, fans are still hoping for more reason to keep diving into the experience in the near future. Cosmic Cube comes to the game on June 22, War for Wakanda hits in August, and Wasteland Patrol joins the game sometime in the summer or later.

Categories: Games

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Looks Like An Cosmic Blast, Release Date Set For October

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 06/13/2021 - 20:36

Publisher: Square Enix Developer: Eidos Montreal Release: October 26, 2021 Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Guardians of the Galaxy have been major players in the mainstream consciousness ever since they entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2014. Since then, they've starred in two movies (with a third on the way), taken part in the climactic Infinity War and Endgame, appeared in roster-spanning games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 and Marvel Strike Force, and starred in their own episodic adventure series from Telltale Games in 2017. However, everyone's favorite ragtag space heroes are stepping into the spotlight with a new Guardians of the Galaxy game from Deus Ex studio Eidos Montreal.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy puts you in the shoes of Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, in a single-player action game rife with hostile encounters, playful banter, and player choice. As with the recent adaptations of the Guardians of the Galaxy story (particularly the MCU movies), licensed music sets the tone, with Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" blaring over the opening parts of the trailer.

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The gameplay trailer starts with the Guardians on their ship, the Milano. They're facing some fines and might lose their ship unless they come up with the credits fast. As the Guardians debate what to do, our first look at the player choice elements in the game comes up: Does Peter hear out Drax's idea, Rocket's scheme, or Groot's plan. The demoer opts to call on Groot. With a hearty "I am Groot," Groot expresses (as interpreted through his tiny buddy Rocket) that the team should "sell" him to Lady Hellbender, who is looking to procure a monster. Rocket and Drax think it might be a better idea to sell the fearsome raccoon, but Gamora sides with Groot. Naturally, it's up to Star-Lord to decide. The person giving the demo decides in that moment to go along with Rocket and Drax's plan.

The team arrives on Seknarf Nine, the home planet of Lady Hellbender. Off in the distance, the team spots her castle. Drax remarks that it's not a castle, but instead an impregnable fortress, to which Rocket asks how they can impregnate it. Without missing a beat, Gamora chimes in to ask Peter about that topic. This constant back-and-forth dialogue with humorous zingers lobbed at one another persists throughout the entire demo as the Guardians bicker about every tiny detail.

The group reaches a vast expanse full of wide platforms that resemble tall mushrooms leading to the fortress. The team climbs on top of one, but their weight is evidently too great for it and they drop to the ground below. Gelatinous cubes with the ability to jut metallic spikes out of their core attacks the team and we get our first glimpse of the combat. Though you control Star-Lord, complete with his blasters and melee attacks, you can give commands to your squad mates.

In the midst of battle, the demoer pulls up a menu that features each of Star-Lord's teammates, slowing down time. Once a fellow Guardian is chosen, that character's attack commands are brought up. Using this menu, Star-Lord tells Gamora to deal a ton of damage, Groot to use his tree-branch limbs to trap the cube, and Rocket to blow it to smithereens. The battle ends following that chain of orders and the team can continue its trek to the fortress.

The team comes to a gap with a withdrawn bridge and a control panel. One problem: The control panel is on the other side of the chasm. Drax's big idea is to throw Rocket across the gap, but Rocket doesn't seem too keen on that idea. In another moment of player choice, Star-Lord opts to let Drax toss him, a decision Rocket isn't too pleased with. A Telltale-esque message appears in the corner informing you of how upset Rocket is. As the talking raccoon curses their names on the other side of the gap, they negotiate a higher cut with him if he extends the bridge to the rest of the team.

The Guardians continue in the general direction of the fortress but are ambushed by more cubes. However, before the battle begins, giant alien cat monsters jump out and freeze them with their tails, posing a bigger threat to the heroes. The battle sees all the characters fighting as with the last encounter, but things are looking dire; these cats are quick and even freeze Rocket to the ground, causing Peter to have to break him out when he has a moment. Peter breaks out the Walkman and fires up Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation," amping up the team. The music fits the action perfectly, and they finish off the beasts as the song comes to an end.

Star-Lord and company finally make it to Lady Hellbender's fortress, but as they go to put Rocket in the cage, the player is given a chance to reconsider. As such, a last-minute audible is called and they decide to sell Groot instead. The Guardians make their way to the castle and the demo cuts out. In a final scene, it would seem things have gone horribly wrong, as the team is facing off against Dweller in what appears to be a boss battle as Lady Hellbender tells it to feast upon them.

Guardians of the Galaxy looks to capture the look, feel, and tone of the beloved franchise while charting its own path to differentiate it from the movies Marvel fans know and love. We'll find out effective the team at Eidos Montreal is at establishing the cosmic misfits as triple-A video game stars when Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 26.

Categories: Games

Forza Horizon 5 Takes Players To Mexico This November

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 06/13/2021 - 19:34

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios Developer: Playground Games Release: November 9, 2021 Platform: Xbox One, PC

When new consoles release, platform holders often look to racing games to showcase the power of the new systems. That's often been true in the past, with franchises like Project Gotham Racing and Gran Turismo, but so far, Xbox has only released a new-gen update for Forza Horizon 4. However, during today's Xbox Showcase at E3 2021, Playground Games revealed Forza Horizon 5, the next installment in its popular open-world racing franchise. 

After Forza Horizon 3 took us to Australia and Horizon 4 brought us to the U.K., Forza Horizon 5 is stamping our passports for Mexico. Playground Games says this game features the largest, most diverse open world in series history. The studio touts the power of the Xbox Series X/S consoles as being so powerful that they can render every last, tiny detail in the world, right down to individual needles on cacti. Playground says its interpretation of Mexico is "honest, authentic, and filled with love." We see that as players speed through idyllic seaside towns, discover scenic waterfalls, barrel down desert highways, and race along rocky volcanoes. Playground Games used special HDR cameras to capture real footage of Mexican skies in a stunning 12K resolution. The photorealistic skies made possible by Xbox Series X/S results in dynamic lighting for more immersive visuals, as well as a new volumetric lighting system that accurately captures the humidity of settings like rainforests. 

You can see the announcement trailer below.

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The gameplay demo during the Xbox Showcase showed Expedition, a new racing game mode where you explore new locations and find places where the Horizon festival can expand. In the Expedition gameplay demo, two players are following a river towards some ruins. After dodging some flamingos, the duo arrives at some impressive Mayan ruins – the ancient city of Uxmal. While that portion of the demo ends upon the players' arrival in Uxmal, the video cuts to other players in the vast Mexican open world. Thanks to the power of the new consoles and the Xbox infrastructure, all of the speedsters you encounter are real players. 

Forza Horizon 5 also uses a new A.I. system that tracks your play and suggests activities you like. In one sequence, a player is starting a minigame, so it prompts that player to invite another player in the session who has a penchant for minigames. Once the player accepts the invite, the two players are seamlessly linked together and their GPS routes update. The minigame brings several players together in the session for a game called Piñata Pop, where players must smash through piñatas dropped from a cargo plane onto the ground. If that's not over the top enough for you, Forza Horizon 5 also includes Events Lab, a new mode that lets you create your own races, game modes, and gameplay experiences. In the gameplay demo shown, players are driving around a stadium to knock down bowling pins, use giant fans to fly to new platforms, and perform stunts like barrel rolls.

You can see the full gameplay demo below.

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The Forza Horizon franchise began as a less serious spin-off game from Turn 10's mainline Forza Motorsport series, but today's announcement of the fifth installment shows that developer Playground Games is forging a distinct identity for the Forza franchise. Forza Horizon 5 arrives on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC on November 9. As you might have expected, it will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one.

Categories: Games

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Intermission Review - Half-Measure

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 23:21

Final Fantasy VII Remake's tone often slides between light, funny moments and dark, tragic drama. But from the first moments of Intermission, the DLC mission added to the game with its Intergrade PlayStation 5 upgrade, it's clear this new episode is mostly a comedy. In jumps Yuffie, one of the original game's optional characters, and immediately her dangerous espionage mission to infiltrate the evil Shinra Corporation in Midgar is played like a kid goofing off. It's a vibe that really works for the DLC, trading on the fact that Remake continues to be great about establishing fun, eccentric characters.

Taking place in the middle of Remake's story, during the portion in which Cloud is separated from his compatriots, it follows Yuffie as she embarks on a mission to steal a secret Shinra weapon on behalf of her homeland, Wutai. Though the mission is dangerous, Yuffie approaches it with all the seriousness of a kid playing pretend--even though she's on her way to first meet with Midgar's Shinra resistance movement, Avalanche, and then sneak into the headquarters of a company that recently concluded a full-scale war with her home.

The trouble with Intermission is that this side story doesn't feel essential to anything going on. Sure, the DLC is providing context and backstory for a character that fans of the original Final Fantasy VII know will show up later in the story, but Yuffie's mission is largely about her wandering around areas we've already seen, floating past but barely interacting with Remake's cast, and taking part in minigames to waste some time. Yuffie's a fun character to spend time with, even if you don't have history with her from the first iteration of Final Fantasy VII, but it all comes off as a tease for something better down the road in FF7 Remake's next installment. And after the remarkably deep and excellently realized version of the story that is Remake, Intermission feels like exactly that: a half-measure to fill time while we wait for the real show.

Continue Reading at GameSpot
Categories: Games

Guilty Gear Strive Review -- Burning Like A Roman Cancel

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 06/11/2021 - 18:05

Guilty Gear Strive is, like so many of its predecessors, the pinnacle of a certain kind of fighting game. The series, known for its highly technical (read: complicated) set of systems, rewards players for investing time to master both its universal systems and the nuances of its individual characters in a way that few other series have. Strive maintains that tradition and throws in a couple new ideas that bolster its bold anime-inspired flash without making the game any harder to learn. While the core fighting experience has only improved, many of the game's less savory tendencies remain in place, including its non-playable story "mode" and yet another set of kludgy Arc System Works-style avatar-based matchmaking menus. As in most fighting games, those problems are secondary: Players, particularly veterans, who want to put in work will find Guilty Gear Strive to be a wild time.

If you're counting, Strive is the eighth primary entry in the Guilty Gear franchise, so its fighting style is something of a known quantity. Strive retains many of the nuances of recent entries in the series. There's the tension gauge, a special meter that increases when you attack or move towards your opponent and fills more slowly when you play defense. There's faultless defense, a strategic extra block that trades tension to prevent chip damage and help you get some distance from an opponent. For a newcomer or casual player, Strive will feel just like a Street Fighter-style fighting game. Most special moves feature quarter-circles and charge motions, and thus may feel familiar at a glance, but there are many, many small nuances for you to learn in order to get the most out of its particular mechanics.

There are two major changes that longtime players will need to adjust to. Strive removes the "Gatling system," a sort of hierarchy for canceling attacks to sustain combos, and changes the series' signature "Roman Cancel" system, which allows you to trade half of the tension meter to cut short the animation before or after an attack to more quickly recover. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not yet an expert on how to use these mechanics to great effect, but it seems that the combination of these two leads to more back-and-forth with shorter combos. I found that most of my fights, even against players way beyond my skill level, kept to a rapid tempo filled with short organic combos--flurries of light attacks anchored by a heavy or special. In theory, the Roman Cancel opens the door for high-level players to unlock longer strings with a precisely timed maneuver that keeps a combo from ending.

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Categories: Games

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Is A New Borderlands-Style Fantasy Shooter

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 19:06

Publisher: 2K Games Developer: Gearbox Software Release: 2022 Rating: Teen Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The Borderlands universe is no stranger to absurdity, but one of the most beloved characters is ready to take things to the next level. Following the success of Borderlands 3 in 2019, Tiny Tina is taking the world of Borderlands into the fantasy realm in Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, an all-new, full standalone game from Gearbox gives players a new story-driven co-op campaign for up to four players.

In Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, players explore a fantasy-based world brought to life by the unpredictable Tiny Tina. The 13-year-old not only makes the rules, but also changes the world on the fly as she guides players through the wild adventure. Players can create and customize their own multiclass heroes as they fight their way through dungeons, battling monsters with a combination of Borderlands-style weaponry and traditional fantasy weapons like swords. On top of the story itself, players can expect repeatable endgame content that hopes to bring players back for more time and time again.

"Wonderlands is a culmination of over a decade of on-and-off development at Gearbox Software towards a role-playing shooter set in a fantasy universe," Gearbox Entertainment founder and executive producer of Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Randy Pitchford said in a press release. "For me, bringing actual Borderlands guns to fight dragons, skeletons, goblins, and more in an original fantasy world imagined by the galaxy's deadliest 13-year-old, Tiny Tina, as a new, full-featured triple-A video game is a dream come true."

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Players must work together to take down the evil Dragon Lord, voiced by Will Arnett (Arrested Development, BoJack Horseman). Arnett isn't the only celebrity actor in the game, as the headstrong captain Valentine is voiced by Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live, Hot Rod), a robot named Frette is voiced by Wanda Sykes (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Upshaws), and of course, the headlining character, Tiny Tina, is voiced by her longtime voice actress Ashly Burch.

"Between the development talent at Gearbox and the undeniable star power of the cast, we couldn't be more excited about this game," president of 2K David Ismailer said. "We're always searching for compelling ideas and ways to build upon the strength of our existing IP, so we're thrilled to help bring a passionate team of creatives together with a world and character that will surely resonate not only with our longtime fans, but with new audiences as well."

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via both Steam and the Epic Games Store) in early 2022. For more on the Borderlands franchise, check out our review of Borderlands 3 here and our recent coverage of how the upcoming live-action Borderlands movie is coming along here.

Categories: Games

Battlefield 2042 Replaces Combat Classes With Specialists, But Who Are They & What Do They Do?

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 06/10/2021 - 16:08

Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: DICE Release: October 22, 2021 Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The pre-E3 Battlefield 2042 festivities are already off to a strong start. The exciting cinematic footage from yesterday revealed the massive scale of each playable map, the sheer chaos of moment-to-moment action, and the awe-inspiring tactical decisions that dynamic weather effects can bring to each match. However, technical and visual changes aren’t the only new content coming to the latest installment in Dice’s beloved FPS franchise. Gone are the days of combat classes. Instead, Battlefield 2042 replaces these age-old roles with specialists; potentially bridging the gap between lore-based narrative and multiplayer-focused game modes.

The four distinct combat classes that have appeared in previous Battlefield games are as follows: recon (snipers), assault (your tried and true run-and-gunners), support (medics), and engineer (fixer-uppers and heavy ordnance experts). Each role had a limited repertoire of firearms to choose from and class-specific abilities - from repairing damaged tanks to reviving fallen teammates with a syringe or defibrillator. The new specialists are characters that can use any weapon of choice. Each comes with their own name, place of birth, specialty (active ability), and trait (passive ability). As of right now, only four specialists have been revealed, with ten slated to be available at launch. 

But Who Are They & What Do They Do?

The other characters players can enjoy will likely be unveiled as we draw closer to Battlefield 2042’s October 22 release date. The game can be played on next-gen and last-gen consoles as well as on PC. 

Have any of the aforementioned specialists piqued your interest? Sound off in the comments below!

Categories: Games

Battlefield 2042 Lets You Weaponize Tornados And Other Dynamic Weather Effects

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 16:14

Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: DICE Release: October 22, 2021 Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Dice’s Battlefield franchise is beloved for combining large-scale warfare with strikingly immersive realism – from suppressive fire blur effects to total map destructibility. Battlefield 2042 is slated to stand triumphantly on the shoulders of its successors by reconstructing the series’ most important gameplay pillars with the added  help of next-gen technology. Sure, futuristic firearms and legions of heavily-armored vehicles are a sight to behold, but what about snaking tornados stripping glass windows from skyscrapers? Or impossibly massive sandstorms enveloping the land in thick layers of dirt and twigs? In Battlefield 2042, you can use dynamic weather to your advantage to take down enemies or make speedy arena rotations. 

Like previous installments, you’ll be traveling all around the world – storming ravaged beaches, infiltrating towering metropolises, defending rocket launch sites, and experiencing so much more. While you’re crawling through dirt-filled trenches or pinned down in some multi-floor commercial building, the play state of your match might change in the blink of an eye when shifts in weather start to suddenly arise. Dangerous twisters are bound to materialize when you least expect it, tossing debris and even manned vehicles haphazardly. One Dice developer recalled a moment where a Humvee was fatally flung at a highly-skilled sniper that had been pinning him and his squad down. 

While confirmed kills like the aforementioned one just happen to be an interesting (and extremely lucky!) byproduct of Battlefield 2042’s dynamic weather, you can also use the tornado to close the distance between you and an enemy or some arbitrary mission objective. For instance, wingsuit gliding allows you to fling yourself into the air and with the combined power of a devastating vortex, you might be able to get to high vantage points or arrive at a location before enemy reinforcements do. I imagine that you’ll also be able to stay seated in your favorite vehicles, despite being caught in the tornado’s grip – just be sure to evacuate or eject before you’re haplessly tossed at some bone-crushing structure. 

Sandstorm footage was more brief, but appeared to tint the entire battlefield in foreboding, sanguine tones. It’s also safe to assume that visual clarity will be affected in substantial ways. Knowing the atmospheric presence of environmental effects in older Battlefield games, there will likely be more hazardous (and/or beneficial) climate changes coming to the full game when it finally launches. 

How do you plan on utilizing tornados? Perhaps you’ll just throw yourself into its path during your first few encounters just to see what happens. Or, maybe you’ll come up with wacky plays that were never intended in the first place!

Categories: Games

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade Review - Materia Improvements

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 06/09/2021 - 13:00

Editor's note: In June 2021, developer Square Enix released an upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII Remake for PlayStation 5, which included improved visuals and technical performance, as well as some new features, including a photo mode. Our impressions on how the improvements impact Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS5 are written by Phil Hornshaw. The original review of Final Fantasy VII Remake was first published in April 2020 and is written by Tamoor Hussain.

In the opening of Final Fantasy VII, Cloud Strife, a mercenary and former member of an elite private military group called SOLDIER, takes on a job with an eco-terrorist cell named Avalanche. Their mission is to blow up a reactor that siphons Mako, the lifeblood of the planet, and uses it to power the sprawling industrial metropolis Midgar. The group infiltrates, braves resistance from Shinra Electric Company's forces, and sets off an explosion that renders the reactor inoperable.

In the 1997 original, what followed was a hop, skip, and jump through a few sections of the city back to Sector 7, and the safety of Avalanche's hideout. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, having carried out the mission, you're asked to walk the streets in the aftermath and witness the harrowing consequences of your actions. The sector lies in ruin, fires rage, buildings are crumbling, and the heartbreaking human cost is laid bare.

Continue Reading at GameSpot
Categories: Games

Stonefly Review - Buzz Kill

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 06/08/2021 - 16:53

When Stonefly promises a chill and tranquil adventure it's not telling the whole truth. Annika, a capable young pilot searching for her engineer father's stolen mech, finds herself under frequent attack from the bugs that protect the resources she so desperately needs. Much of Stonefly is spent propelling your insectoid mech through an arboreal maze, hopping from leaf to leaf and catching the breeze to higher layers of canopy. But the various minerals you must extract to craft mech upgrades are fiercely protected, and so the game's rhythm becomes one of sedate exploration punctuated by frantic skirmishes.

While Annika can modify her mech for combat, improving existing functions and installing new ones, the pattern remains the same throughout. While airborne, she can shoot at enemies directly below her; damage them sufficiently--basic enemies take only one hit while the toughest will require multiple strafings--and they flip over onto their backs. Once vulnerable, enemies can be blown off the edge of whatever leaf or branch constitutes the current battlefield, and thus eliminated.

It's a neat system in theory that echoes the typical shield and health combo of many shooters and other action games. You've first got to take out an enemy's shield by flipping it onto its back, then you can target its health by cannoning it out of the arena. Unfortunately, a few additional factors contribute to the flow of combat feeling overly chaotic and ultimately frustrating.

Continue Reading at GameSpot
Categories: Games

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review - A Riveting Adventure

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 06/08/2021 - 15:00

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a game about counterparts. In this strange new setting, everyone has a doppelganger who looks almost identical to the one we know, but their circumstances have changed them. Ratchet's new alternate dimensional counterpart, Rivet, may have had a harder life than him, and it's shaped her personality in surprising ways, but she's still the same heroic person at heart. The same can be said for Rift Apart. The new generation of hardware has made some dramatic changes for the better, but in a very welcome and comforting way, this is still the Ratchet & Clank you've come to know and love.

The title may be "Ratchet & Clank," but Rivet is the real star here. Ratchet and his robot buddy Clank are the template that helps inform what we learn about Rivet and her own journey, and the vast majority of Rift Apart takes place in her universe. She also seems to get slightly more playtime, even if the stages are split roughly evenly as the two heroes divide-and-conquer to enact their universe-saving plan.

Once the game begins in earnest, after a brief tutorial in Ratchet's Megalopolis, the bumbling but sinister Dr. Nefarious transports himself and the titular duo to another dimension. When Nefarious gets there, he finds that it's ruled by an Emperor Nefarious. The Emperor is conspicuously absent at the moment, so our Dr. Nefarious just helps himself to the throne, and no one, including the evil executive assistant, seems to notice that he's a pretender. Meanwhile Ratchet and Clank are separated, and Clank is picked up by the freedom fighter, Rivet.

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Categories: Games

What Would A Dark And Violent Pokémon Game Look Like? Feast Your Eyes On Palworld

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 06/07/2021 - 15:17

Click to watch embedded media

The trailer for Palworld shows monster collecting and plenty of tender moments with them, and then things get super dark. Developer by Pocket Pair, Palworld is slated to release in 2022, and is an open-world survival game with multiplayer, crafting, farming, and most important of all Pal collecting. Pal are the creatures in this world. Comparisons to the Pokémon games are easy to make...until the guns come out.

The trailer shows a human character petting a dog-like Pal in front of a cozy fireplace setting, and a few sequences of her running through the wilderness with it. We also see Pal being used to water plants, blow fields, and light campfires. Tucked into these joyous shots are clips of the character running and gunning with an assault rifle. She's apparently mowing down Pal poachers. In a faq on Palworld's Steam page, Pocket Pair makes the combat sound optional: "Palworld is a game about living a slow life with mysterious creatures "Pal" or throwing yourself into life-and-death battles with poachers."

If you look closely at some of the sequences in the trailer, you'll see that even the Pal can get in on the war. A green critter that is sitting on the main character's head is also wielding a firearm. In another shot, a sheep-like Pal is being used as a shield. As it gets hit with bullets, its eyes fill with tears. Seeing gunfights like this in a game at first appears to be calm and peaceful is shocking to say the least. It also looks like good fun.

Pocket Pair says that poachers aren't the only threat to the world. You'll also be dealing with food shortages and harsh weather. You may be forced to hunt down Pal to feed yourself, and perhaps the Pal you are with. You can also breed the Pal, including two different species to make a new, more powerful creature. We see this happen in a clip featuring a water beast that looks an awful lot like a Gyarados, and it incubates in a spotted egg that should look familiar to Pokémon fans.

Do yourself a favor and watch the trailer above. It's one of those first looks that just keeps going and surprising in different ways. Again, the game looks promising, but we'll have to wait to get our hands on it to see how it plays.

Categories: Games

Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown Review -- Time for a Combat Seminar

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 06/04/2021 - 12:56

While Virtua Fighter has gotten attention in other games, such as guest characters in Dead or Alive 5 and as minigames in various Yakuza titles, the once-venerated 3D fighter seemed to be forgotten for a very long time. But with Virtua Fighter 5 once again revamped and re-released, does this star of the fighting game world still shine as brightly? Yes... but, speaking as a veteran Virtua Fighter fan, there are a few issues that keep Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown from claiming its crown as an all-time champion.

Considered the granddaddy of 3D fighting games, Virtua Fighter sparked revolutions in visuals and gameplay and, even now, it holds a great deal of respect among fighting game fans. Its simple three-button control scheme and comparatively small character roster hides an incredibly complex and rewarding game--provided you're willing to put in the time to learn and improve at it. Some games in the series--such as the excellent Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution--are known for amazing tutorials and learning tools, along with engaging and replayable single-player modes. Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown, however, eschews that to focus on competition, and more specifically, online competition.

Gameplay-wise, Ultimate Showdown will feel very familiar to veteran Virtua Fighter players. The base fighting engine is based around the earlier Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown, with all of the moves, characters, and stages carried over from that game. There are a few minuscule changes, such as different colors of hit flashes to indicate normal and counter hits, but the overwhelming majority of the gameplay is unchanged. And that's perfectly fine--VF5FS had some of the best fighting action you could find anywhere, with incredible depth of gameplay that has kept many playing for years on end. What is new, however, are the graphics and music, which have been completely redone in the Dragon Engine that Sega's RGG Studio has been using for its Yakuza series. Character models and stages have been rebuilt from the ground up, and it all shines with a visual polish that has Virtua Fighter looking better than ever.

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Categories: Games

Singularity 6’s Palia Is A Relaxing MMO

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 06/03/2021 - 15:00

We’ve seen countless MMORPGs all vying to be the one that excels in terms of giant raids, precision combat, and engaging progression. Singularity 6’s first game, Palia, taps into a different kind of loop. Instead of being focused on character progression by means of weapons, armor, and dragonslaying, Palia aims to get players invested in the charms of farming, relationship building, and decorative finesse. If Palia sounds like Stardew Valley or Animal Crossing meets MMO to you, you’re not far from the mark. Pre-alpha access is scheduled to land this summer, and you can sign up here. Check out the announcement trailer!

Click here to watch embedded media

In Palia, you play as a human in a fledgling world ready for you to shape. And how can you shape it? It starts with your living space, naturally. Every player has their own plot to advance and customize, with over a thousand decoration items available at launch. Naturally, you can invite your friends over to hang out and take in the scenery. Whereas traditional MMORPGs have guilds or clans to join, Palia has neighborhoods. In Neighborhoods, you can group up with other players to take on bigger tasks and objectives and reap the rewards.

While the focus is absolutely on the various tasks of fantasy life like bug catching, hanging out around the campfire, and fishing, there are opportunities for adventurers to go out and mess around with more dangerous fare in the areas outside the complete safety of the village. How deep the battles or hunts with the denizens outdoors go is up to players to decide, but it’s safe to say that the core focus of Palia lies within the social structures and cozy customization options that are in place for a more relaxed playstyle. There may be a wolf or some other nasty causing trouble far outside town, but you won’t have to worry about one of those critters coming in and messing up S’more night with the gang.

Right now, the pre-alpha access is only scheduled for PC, and we’ll have to wait to see if it will come to any other platforms as it gets on a path to release.

Categories: Games

A Hands-On Look At Neo: The World Ends With You

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:00

Publisher: Square Enix Developer: Square Enix Release: July 27, 2021 (PlayStation 4, Switch), 2021 (PC) Rating: Teen Platform: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

Neo: The World Ends With You challenges players to survive a deadly new Reaper’s Game this July. To get ready for what’s in store, I sat down and played through two complete in-game days to get a taste of how Square Enix has changed and improved the experience that the 2008 original a cult classic. 

Story was a big reason why The World Ends With You became so beloved so, for those who want to go in fresh, I'll avoid discussing specific narrative beats for Neo. Instead, I’ll break down the game's two primary pillars, combat and exploration, to give a sense of what they entail and how it's shaping up thus far. 


Neo’s combat is team-focused this time around, with protagonist Rindo leading his squad, the Wicked Twisters, up the ranks of the revamped Reaper’s Game. As we previously revealed, players control the Wicked Sisters simultaneously with actions for each member mapped to a specific button. If you’re a fan of games with similar setups, like Valkyrie Profile or Indivisible, you'll probably feel right at home. 

Overall, the action is enjoyable and fast-paced if not chaotic. You assume direct control of the character you’re currently attacking with, which also allows you to dodge with said character. To switch to another teammate, simply attack with them. Hitting three buttons while monitoring the respective cool-down meters of the pins equipped to them, while also dodging and switching enemy focus, does have a feel of rubbing your belly and patting your head. There's a lot to juggle, and I only had three of the four party members.  

I gradually got a grasp of things and had a better time when I began playing more strategically, staggering attacks to ensure I had at least one or two moves ready while others recharged. That said, it’s easy for combat to devolve into just spamming attacks which is also fun in a mindless sense. The two bosses I faced, however, required a bit more finesse in timing my assaults due how much sturdier and and quicker they were. 

In terms of pins, which dictate your offensive abilities, I gave Rindo variations of a melee slash attack. His buddy Fret specialized in fireball style projectiles. Minamimoto, the powerhouse of the bunch, utilized charge-style heavy attacks, such as a flying kick and summoning ice pillars to launch foes airborne. There's a rhythm to dealing out each character's offense due to the varying speeds at which they act. Nailing attacks in succession triggers a kind of stagger state in the enemy rendering defenseless for a brief period and allowing players to deal additional damage. Overall, combat is much more involved than in the original, and I had fun experimenting with different ability loadouts to take down monsters with. 

On the subject of pins, there are dozens upon dozens of them to collect. The ones I obtained mainly came from defeated foes as well as scripted story moments. Pins level up and become stronger the more you use them. They all have a hard cap that doesn't take too long to hit, which encouraged me to always want to swap out for fresh pins to level up (something I obsessed over in the original). 

Enemies can only be seen and encountered while in scan mode, and they take the form of fiery red energy balls. Walk into it, and you’ve got a fight on your hands. However, you can also run into multiple enemies to engage in back-to-back battles. The benefit of this approach is earning greater rewards as well as being able to clear the streets a bit faster – for a little while at least. I began stacking battles more often since the fights themselves didn't take long in the early going, and it's a great way to gain more experience and stronger pins sooner than later. 

Exploration And Puzzle-Solving 

Shibuya is bigger than ever thanks to the shift to full 3D environments. Despite this, the camera is fixed with the perspective changing as you enter different areas. I generally prefer to have direct control of the view, but the camera angles were largely unobtrusive and always showed me what I needed to see. 

Like the first game, you’ll wander the streets and use your scan ability to read the thoughts of pedestrians. While most of these mental musings are mundane, some puzzles required me to search specific thoughts for solutions. Another required me to look out for multicolored skulls, which were well-hidden amongst various parts of a city intersection. In the first game, you largely moved from Point A to Point B without much do in between that outside of fighting and shopping at vendors. That's not the case in Neo. The game threw more puzzles at me in the early hours than I expected. They weren’t crazy complicated, but I appreciated their diversity and they offered welcomed breaks to the fighting.

My favorite puzzles involved using Fret’s psychic ability, Rewind. One mission tasked us with tracking down a graffiti artist to discover the original appearance of a design that had since been painted over. First we had to scan around for a mind familiar with the artist’s appearance. Once I did, activating Rewind forced that person to focus on that particular memory. This takes the form of a cut up picture, the pieces of which come together by rotating both analog sticks in the correct positions until the mental image becomes whole again. Once I got a clear view of my subject, all that was left was to search the streets around until I found the artist. 

It's a neat little power, and every member of the Wicked Twister their own unique ability. We already know about Rindo's Rewind power, which allows to relive and change certain events once per day during scripted sequences. I'm itching to see what the other team members bring to the table. 

This is just a sample of what Neo: The World Ends With You has to offer, but I had a great time exploring this expanded Shibuya and getting to know Rindo and the gang. The charm and sense of style that made first game so endearing seems to be intact but with a lot more bells and whistles on the gameplay side of things. To learn more about the game, check out this list of 6 other aspects about the game we learned during an interview with the development team. 

Neo: The World Ends With You launches for PlayStation 4 and Switch on July 27 and comes to PC later this year.

Categories: Games

Four Things To Know About Mario Golf: Super Rush

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:00

Developer: Camelot Software Release: June 25, 2021 Platform: Switch

A man of a million hobbies and professions, Mario is once again going golfing this summer in Mario Golf: Super Rush. Ahead of the game's June 25 release date, we had a chance to watch about an hour of the game's many modes in a hands-off demo. If you're new to the series (like me!), here's four quick things we learned about the game that will prepare you for hitting the greens.

It's a surprisingly good way to learn about golf

Birdies, pars, bogies, so on and so forth. Golf is full of jargon and terminology that, if you're like me and not an avid golf fan, makes little-to-no sense. Recognizing its player base may not be aficionados, Nintendo has outfitted Super Rush with a helpful glossary that defines all of golf's many terms, helping players get a grasp on the real-life sport. Perhaps a small feature in the grand scheme of things, it stands out as a helpful tool for people that are either A) looking to get into golf or B) just trying to wrap their head around this quasi-sports video game.

There are boss fights, and they are cool

During our time seeing Super Rush's Adventure Mode – effectively the game's campaign – we got a chance to see a boss fight in action. As far as we can tell, these fights are not the most technically challenging battles, but they are a novel way to utilize the game's mechanics. The boss we saw had a lightning attack you had to avoid, while trying to deflect the attacks back. After a short fight, our demo presenter's reward was a lightning sword, which presumably they might be able to use as a golf club.

While we can't speak to how many bosses there will be in the game, or how and if they change up the gameplay, beyond what we saw, it was exciting to know that our golf skills will be put to the test in unique and unexpected ways as we make our way through the game's campaign.

Speed Golf is chaos – in the best possible way

One of the new game modes in Super Rush is Speed Golf, which forgoes making players wait their turn and pits four golfers against each other all at once. Standing together to tee off, once players hit their initial shot they sprint across the course to get to their ball, thus being able to hit again, until finally getting it into the hole. The challenge here is that your opponents are doing the exact same thing – and you must contend with them. On top of golfing against each other, players can work to sabotage their opponents, either by running them over and slowing them down, or through special attacks. During our time watching the game, our demo presenter used King Bob-omb to litter the putting green with smaller bob-ombs, which exploded when characters ran into them.

Speed Golf is chaotic, to be sure. But it also necessitates some amount of strategy and knowledge of your player character. Finding out which style of character works for you will be crucial in beating out the opposition.

The motion controls sure do work – as far as we can tell

While Super Rush obviously has a standard control scheme, it also allows players to use motion controls, if they so choose. Keeping in mind we did not get to play the game ourselves, we did watch a Nintendo employee playing the game with motion controls, and what we saw was promising. Rather than simply flicking their wrist to hit the golf ball, our presenter actually stood up and mimicked a standard golf swing, playing a round as close-to-real-life as possible while playing a game on the Switch. It adds a level of physicality to an otherwise goofy and cute game that could make for interesting head-to-head matches where you test how accurate you and your friends can be with actual golf swings, rather than just flicking the Joy-Con thumbstick.

Mario Golf: Super Rush launches to Switch on June 25.

Categories: Games

Two Point Campus Leaked In Microsoft Store Listing

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 05/31/2021 - 17:44

Publisher: Sega Developer: Two Point Studios Release: August 30, 2018 (PC, Mac), February 25, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac

The studio behind Two Point Hospital is ready to take us back to school according to a leak from the Microsoft Store. We largely enjoyed Two Point Hospital when it launched in 2018, as the game harkened back to the nostalgic delights of Theme Hospital, so when the Microsoft Store leaked that Two Point Studios is gearing up to announce a university management game, I was immediately on board. 

The Microsoft Store listing (now taken down) was documented by several users across various forums, including Resetera and Quarter To Three. Those users not only grabbed the screenshots from the listing, but also the text from the product description. As the name implies, Two Point Campus allows you to build a university however you want, all with the signature Two Point Studios humor. 

According to the copied text from the forum users, you can build the university of your dreams, then populate it with students, faculty, and staff. Each student has a personality with wants and needs for you to fulfill. In addition to constructing buildings and laying out the campus itself, you can also design your curriculum by choosing courses and hiring the best staff you can.

Two Point Campus offers new creative tools for players to take of advantage of en route to building an academic institution that can withstand the test of time. In addition to laying out the buildings and constructing the soon-to-be hallowed halls of their university, players can also design the outdoor space of the campus, ensuring students have plenty to do and are happy. Players can get as detailed as they want with mechanics that enable them to drill down to placing every tree or constructing pathways with a new easy-to-use tool. According to the leaked product listing, players can also place benches, fountains, sculptures, hedgerows, and picket fences. 

With the Two Point name comes the Two Point humor and twists. The curricula available seem to reflect that, as students probably won't be studying business or engineering on your Two Point Campus. Instead, it looks like your academic offerings consist of things like Knight School, where they learn to joust, and Gastronomy, where they learn to make things like giant pizzas and pies. 

You can prepare for the students' arrival during summer break. During this time, you can build libraries, hire staff, add your favorite courses, and unlock the academic potential for the soon-to-arrive students. You can also offer clubs, societies, gigs, and more to help the students stay happy, develop relationships, and make sure they have fun in addition to learning.

Two Point Hospital launched in 2018 for PC, Mac, and Linux, but made the leap to consoles in 2020. No additional information on Two Point Campus is available at this time.

[Source: Microsoft via Resetera]

Categories: Games

World of Demons Review - A Cut Above

Gamespot News Feed - Sat, 05/29/2021 - 00:30

Developer Platinum Games' style is instantly recognizable--flashy, fast-paced action that oozes with personality and flair. World of Demons brings that signature style to Apple Arcade, giving you control of a samurai named Onimaru and thrusting you into, well, a world of demons. That successful Platinum formula translates well to iOS devices, with simple touch controls and quick action that looks and feels great on the smaller screen. There are some issues lying underneath--mostly in the camera system--but those problems aren't enough to derail this otherwise solid action experience.

World of Demons follows Onimaru, a lone samurai fighting against an army of vicious demons called yokai. Our hero is building an army of his own, however, as every enemy he defeats will join him in the fight against the game's main antagonist, the demon king Shuten Doji. Onimaru himself controls exactly like a Platinum Games protagonist, deftly running around stages while slashing with his massive katana. Consecutive presses on the attack button will result in stylish combos, with better rewards given for higher combos at the end of a skirmish. Holding down the button will slow attacks down, making strikes more powerful but making you vulnerable to enemy counterattacks.

The yokai Onimaru battle comes in all shapes and sizes, from small bean farmers to massive pink blobs, each with its own attack abilities. Each yokai is assigned a color (red, blue, or green), with each color having strengths and weaknesses over the other in a rock-paper-scissors system. Defeating a yokai adds it to your collection, and before each chapter you'll be able to equip two yokai for the following mission. Other yokai defeated during the chapter are added to a "deck" and disappear after one use.

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Categories: Games

You Can Fight Alongside A Cute Weiner Dog Or A Vicious Crocodile In Far Cry 6

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 05/28/2021 - 18:28

Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Toronto Release: 2021 Rating: Mature Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, Mac

Today’s Far Cry 6 gameplay reel showcased high-stakes gunfights, zany explosions, guerrilla commandos, and...a cute weiner dog that kills enemies with kindness. Far Cry 5’s “Guns For Hire” is back, but this time your companions are fittingly called “Amigos For Hire.” You see, the Cuban island of Yara is expansive and beautiful; brimming with dense metropolitan centers, sparkling beaches, and lush forests. Over the course of the many intense skirmishes that you’ll be catalyzing, you might find yourself in need of some company. Luckily for you, two such allies were revealed in the Far Cry 6 footage: an adorable pup and a man-eating crocodile.

Better yet, you can also rush through the packed streets and muddy villages of Yara on horseback if that suits your fancy. Hopefully, we'll get to see some more Amigos For Hire in future cinematics. Far Cry 6 is slated to launch at some point later in the year on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC, and Mac.

How are you feeling about these two animal friends? Do you you think you'll commission one's services over the other, or are you planning to alternate playstyles? 

Categories: Games