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Commander Fury

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  1. Email us at [email protected]! Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google or RSS, or download here Hoo boy! Last week was quite a ride, and we’re back with a new episode reflecting on the excitement coming out of the PS5 Showcase, from the reveal of Final Fantasy XVI to a deeper look at Demon’s Souls combat. We also discuss upcoming PS4 releases Crash 4, Star Wars: Squadrons, and chat about what we do when we’re in between playing big games. Stuff We Talked About PS5 Showcase(!) Demon’s Souls Final Fantasy XVI Star Wars: Squadrons Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time Diving into personal backlogs The Cast Tim Turi – Senior Content Communications Specialist, SIE Brett Elston – Manager, Content Communications, SIE Thanks to Cory Schmitz for our beautiful logo and Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music. [Editor’s note: PSN game release dates are subject to change without notice. Game details are gathered from press releases from their individual publishers and/or ESRB rating descriptions.] View the full article
  2. Last week, we asked you to lace up your skateboarding shoes and drop in to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 to show us your best tricks using #PS4share and #PSBlog. From grinding challenges to custom build parks, here are this week’s highlights: the_nmac took on a skatepark challenge and won. beergogglez69 dropped in for some heavy hitting combos. scottokta1 shared this shot of the Hawkman himself. Search #PS4share and #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week? Theme: One Color Share by: 9am Pacific on Wednesday, September 30 Next week, choose a color! Share shots made up of primarily one shade from the game of your choice using #PS4share and #PSBlog for a chance to be featured. View the full article
  3. We’re thrilled to finally release Mortal Blitz: Combat Arena on PlayStation VR October 8. Thanks to your feedback on the Open Beta that we held in August, we were able to make lots of improvements to the final product. Mortal Blitz was one of PlayStation VR’s top downloads when it originally launched in April 2017. Now, we have created an online, free-to-play PvP version that exists in the same universe as the original. Free to play PVP Experience various weapons and fast, dynamic battles for free. You can experience these real time battles in Quick match mode (PvP) with up to four players, or hop into Mission Mode (PvE) for some single-player action. PlayStation Plus users will get access to special Arena packs, which include costumes and items. PS VR Aim Controller and DualShock 4 supported Combat Arena is optimized for the PS VR Aim Controller! Using the Aim Controller, you can engage in more realistic battles. Of course, DualShock 4 also offers optimized play! You can fully enjoy the game either way, but using the Aim controller will definitely surprise you. PVP, PVE Battle: Strategic Map Whether playing in Quick Match (PvP) or Mission (a PvE story mode playable after purchase of the Standard Edition), players will employ different strategies and tactics to overcome tense battles across different maps. Use height and surrounding terrain to your advantage, avoid enemies’ fire and attack from behind when possible. Unique weapons In Mortal Blitz: Combat Arena, you’ll employ weapons like miniguns with a fast fire rate, shotguns that excel in short-range encounters, rocket launchers that deal extensive damage, and rail guns with a narrow spread but huge damage potential. In particular, Rampage, which can blow up a barrier and an enemy with a single bullet, is the most powerful weapon in the Combat Arena. Seek to acquire this weapon early on and you can control the battlefield with terrifying power! But don’t forget: if you’re too strong, you’ll become prey for all. Customized items You can obtain a variety of custom items by opening Arena Packs, which can be obtained through a battle pass or store purchases. Try wearing costumes, boosters, and weapons in the customize menu. The higher the rating, the more splendid the appearance! Season 1: Geist The Combat Arena runs on a seasonal basis and will be also updated within the season. Experience more PvP maps, various weapons, and even new modes! Purchasing the Standard Edition enables you to have daily, weekly, and seasonal missions, plus additional rewards are given by raising the tier of the battle pass upon completion of the mission. If you purchase a season battle pass, you can earn more premium rewards. Items that can only be acquired in a battle pass will make you shine even more. Androids and competitors around the world are waiting for you. Enter the Combat Arena and claim victory! View the full article
  4. The team here at Counterplay Games has been working hard on Godfall to create an experience for players where they can truly embrace an engaging combat experience while fighting with intensity and finesse, as they dominate the battlefield. We want players to put their own fingerprint on the game with how they play. That said, we created a number of ways to approach and defeat the enemies you’ll face in Godfall. Recently, we debuted a combat trailer that showcased a closer look at the Water Realm and some of the challenging enemies you will encounter there. With that trailer, we focused on a couple specific things, one of which is exploiting the Weakpoints in enemies. Weakpoints are one of the many combat features in Godfall that we want to dive deeper into with you today as we break down some of the different combat techniques you’ll have at your disposal when the game launches on PlayStation 5 on November 12. Targeting an enemy’s Weakpoints Valorian knights can use their Valorplates to reveal hit locations of particular vulnerability on their enemies. This allows skilled knights to take advantages of the imperfections and weaknesses of an otherwise daunting foe. An enemy’s Weakpoint will typically reveal itself after they attack, and there are also a few additional unique triggers for Weakpoints that you will find while you play. With Weakpoints, we want to reward players who approach the game with patience and accuracy. Once an enemy’s Weakpoint is revealed, you will need to aim for a direct hit to deal bonus damage. Additionally, there will be loot traits tied to some weapons that will give added benefits to hitting Weakpoints (e.g. healing, detonating elemental explosions, etc.). Breaching an enemy As you fight your way through the World of Aperion, you will come across heavily armored enemies. You will need to breach these enemies in order to do effective damage against them. So how do you breach an enemy? The most effective way is to hit them with a heavy attack (R2) and then follow-up quickly with light attacks (R1). Using Heavy attacks on their own can also be effective. Once you fill up the enemy’s breach bar, the enemy will be stunned and become vulnerable to takedowns. Finish an enemy with a Soulshatter Every Valorian knight learns to affect their opponents’ internal Aetherium – the very fabric of their spirit. As a Valorian strikes their foes, they make small rends in their enemies’ spiritual fabric. Then, at the right tactical moment, a powerful strike is delivered that will turn these fractures into a large internal detonation. When performed correctly, this move will utterly destroy a being. Soulshatter finishes are a fantastic way to dispose of enemies in your path. As you deal damage to an enemy, you accumulate a bank of damage that can be consumed with a heavy attack (R2). If that bank of damage is larger than the enemy’s remaining health, you will soulshatter the enemy. Soulshatters also serve as an additional trigger to traits you may have on individual pieces of loot. As you finish your enemies off with a soulshattering blow, you will see various payoffs as you utilize those triggers. In addition to the already beautiful explosion of your enemy, you may see additional payoffs such as shooting elemental projectiles from the shatter, triggering secondary explosions, and more. Utilize Polarity Attacks to increase your potential As you utilize both your weapons at your disposal, there is a bonus for players who swap their weapons mid-battle. Players can charge up a Polarity Attack by hitting enemies with their weapon. When fully charged, a weapon swap unleashes a shockwave that boosts your weapon’s damage by 20% for 30 seconds. The potential shockwave damage can be increased as you level up specific player attributes. Players who want to maximize their damage completely will find themselves swapping between weapons mid-combat. Similar to Weakpoints and Soulshatter, Polarity Attacks are tied to loot effects. A simple example is increasing the damage for the shockwave or increasing the charge rate. Some examples of exotic loot traits you may find include inflicting an ailment whenever you use your Polarity Attack or applying a debuff on enemies hit by the shockwave. Shields are made for offense Sure, you can use your shield for defense, but it is an equally capable offensive tool. Here are some ways you can utilize your shield to defeat your enemies: Parrying – You can test your reactionary skills in battle by parrying an enemy’s attack (L1). A successful parry right before an enemy attack lands leaves the enemy vulnerable for a short time. Shield Throw – Need to get an enemy out of your way or maybe they’re just too far across the fight from you? Hold L1 to aim your shield, and then throw it at the enemy by pressing R2. Throwing your shield can damage and knock them down. Just remember that your Shield Throw has a short cooldown, so utilize it wisely. Stomach Punch – Up close and personal and just want to knock your enemy on the ground? Once unlocked from your skill grid, players will be able to utilize a Stomach Punch with their shield to knock down enemies. Flat Bash – Once unlocked from the skill grid, players can utilize a Flat Bash that can interrupt an enemy’s Red Power Attacks (non-interruptible attacks), and petrify the ones Breached by it. Petrified enemies will be turned into obsidian that can then be smashed into pieces across the battlefield. Shield Ground Slam – Once unlocked from the Skill Tree, players can perform a Shield Ground Slam to cause area-of-effect damage. This attack will also petrify enemies Breached by it. Petrified enemies will be turned into obsidian and can then be smashed into pieces across the battlefield. Shield Catch Area Blast – Once unlocked, give yourself room to breathe by causing a large Shield Shockwave. Press L1 right as your Shield Throw returns to you to release a blast of energy. Shield Zoom Attack – Want to get up close and personal with your weapon but the enemy is just too far away? Once unlocked, press L1 right as your Shield Throw hits an enemy to dash quickly to their location and start swinging away. Archon Mode Archon Mode is the ultimate showcase of what your Valorplate can do. We want players to discover and try all the archon modes as they play. At a high level, you will fill up your archon bar as you fight enemies around you. Once completely full, press down on both analog sticks (L3+R3) to activate your Archon Mode. Alongside an ability (like summoning three allies to fight alongside of you), you will receive buffs that have triggers attached to them. Trigger those effects to immensely escalate your destruction potential. We can’t wait to see how high players can rachet up their damage output. Weapons in your arsenal In a previous blog post, we shared some of the unique combat features of the Dual Blades and Longsword. We wanted to touch on the final three weapon classes with you today. You saw the Warhammer and Polearm used in the Combat Trailer, but we’re also going to give you a look at the Greatsword in action. Warhammers Because Valorians are frequently outnumbered or outsized on the battlefield, the great Warhammers were developed to take advantage of the strength give to wearers of Valorplate. These heavy-duty weapons the hardest armors and scatter multitudes of smaller enemies with each strike. Wield the Warhammer to inflict slow, but big area-of effect blasts as part of its standard combos. Outside of your normal light and heavy attacks, Warhammers gain charge over time. You can gain charge faster by attacking enemies. When the charge is completely full, you can perform one of your two weapon arts. The first technique is massive energy discharging slam in an area around the player. Your other option is to aim and slam your Warhammer to send a directional shockwave that deals bonus damage at the end of its travel. Polearms The term Polearm, as it applies to Valorians, encompasses a class of weapons with a long reach designed to keep enemies at bay. Because the Valorian martial style is predicated on attack, Polearms are typically used to drive back opponents with their superior area control rather than as weapons meant to receive charges. The Polearm is a fast precision weapon with lots of thrusts and aimed stabs to deal high damage to a single target. Beyond your normal light and heavy attacks, Polearms have a charge bar that charges overtime. When the bar is blue, you can perform one of your two weapon arts. Utilize your first weapon technique to jump quickly forward and perform an area-of-effect slam that deals moderate damage but gets you in the middle of the fight and staggers nearby enemies. Your second technique is a powerful javelin throw. This attack is perfect for a precision strike from distance. Aim it at an enemy’s Weakpoint to inflict massive damage. Greatswords Like the Warhammers, the Valorian greatswords require the incredible strength granted by your Valorplate to properly wield. Greatswords exist to give knights the striking power of the Warhammer, but the precision of a Longsword. Depending on the weapon, these swords are just as capable of smashing as they are of actually cutting. Your Greatsword has a charge bar that fills whenever you hit or are hit by enemies. The charge gradually empties over time. While the bar is red, you can perform either of the Greatsword’s unique weapon techniques. The first technique at your disposal is one that launches yourself forward in a whirlwinds hitting nearby enemies. The second technique requires more precision as you aim and launch your Greatsword to deal damage to enemies in its path. We hope you have enjoyed a deeper look into some of the combat features that Godfall has to offer. We can’t wait to see the amazing ways players come up with to dispatch enemies in front of them as they ascend to fight the mad god, Macros. Keep your eyes open as we’ll be sharing even more information with you as we get closer to our launch on November 12. View the full article
  5. 60 players. 24 levels. 5 rounds. 1 crown. Without a doubt, our entire global team has been enraptured by the zany and frenetic energy of battle royale platformer Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. Whether we’re bouncing through the colorfully inventive levels or facing the absurdity of being defeated by someone in a hot dog costume, we’ve all been jumping in round after round to grasp at glory, no matter how many tails we have to steal to get it. Even more impressive is how despite our varying tastes, different members of our team have their own reasons for gifting Fall Guys the Editors’ Choice crown. Here’s a taste of why we can’t stop playing: Shuhei Yoshida Favorite Level: Slime Climb Slime Climb has been known as “The most difficult level in Fall Guys,” I, for one, fell to the goo pit repeatedly when the game came out. However, once you get the hang of each leg of the climb, this becomes a joy to play. The chances are many players will drop off, leading you to the final round glory faster. Just be aware you may eventually meet a devious Guy that may stand on the yellow pipe to block your path or try to push you down at the end of the level. It’s awful, but it is a legit play. Hardest Level: Hex-A-Gone I cannot jump one hex at a time. I cannot jump one hex at a time. I cannot jump one hex at a time! However many times I tried, I just cannot. I’m too old for the concentration needed to execute rhythmic, beautiful jumps that many good players show me off. So my strategy is to RUN, RUN, RUN the hexes near the “one hex at a time jumpers” so they will lose hexes to jump on! Amazingly, this seemingly desperate strategy has worked many times, even making some observers say “the jumpers are timid players of this level.” As a result I’ve got the name “The Hope of Runners.” Very proud of it. Kristen Zitani Favorite Level: Door Dash There’s something immensely satisfying about waddling your way to the front of the pack, choosing a door at random, and feeling it miraculously break down to let you pass. Weirdly even more amusing is when I am decidedly not at the front of the pack and jam myself through one of the discovered openings like a fish frantically swimming upstream. Some of this level is just left up to timing and chance but it never fails to make me laugh. Hardest Level: Tail Tag If one more person steals my tail, I’m going to scream! One day I will master the art of bobbing and weaving through the masses and keeping my furry appendage intact. Until then, I will continue to ride on my teammates’ coattails to victory in the Team version of this level. Tim Turi Favorite Level: Hex-A-Gone Turns out king of the hill-style gameplay is way more tense when the hill is constantly disappearing. I’m no pro at Hex-A-Gone, but I love the tension of carefully navigating precarious platforms while keeping my head on a swivel for rivals. Similar to Shu, my early approach was sprinting around and hoping for the best. I definitely haven’t won as many matches as him, but I’ve enjoyed developing an intentional, almost meditative hop approach to Hex-A-Gone. The extra time to plan your next move (or controlled fall) is worth it. Find the zen among chaos. Hardest Level: Egg Scramble The team games of Fall Guys are the most frantic, and I struggle to find my role. The nonstop feeding frenzy of Egg Scramble epitomizes this, with throngs of players stumbling over each other to collect those precious orbs. I derive much joy ripping eggs from the grasp of other players like a ruthless parent at a Black Friday retail dash, but the match results are usually a crapshoot. Egg Scramble is pretty hard boiled for me. Andy Yen Favorite Level: Hex-A-Gone I love Hex-A-Gone because it encapsulates the Fall Guys experience into one sweaty-palms inducing level, balancing skillful play with randomness. Like Shu, I refuse to jump one hex at a time, but my reasoning is because jumping on one hex at a time is just. Too. Boring. I love running quick, aggressive routes that cut my fellow Fall Guys off from paths, especially those gingerly hopping onto each block (Sorry, Tim!). Nothing gives me more of a rush than taking the inside hex lane in a foot race, making some daring sharp turn jump dives to reach safety while my opponents sadly tumble into the goo. Hardest Level: Royal Fumble Even though two of my crowns (not to brag) have come from some major POG highlights in the last seconds of Royal Fumble, I still find this level infuriatingly difficult. For the life of me, I still haven’t figured out how to consistently grab a tail in any game mode, while every one of my opponents is invariably a skilled tail thief. Add that to the uncommonly small number of contestants in this final showdown where I can’t coast on teammates’ coattails, and you’ve got my personal nemesis of a Fall Guys level. Masayuki Sanada Favorite Level:Hex-A-Gone Hex-a-gone is a straightforward stage where the floor gradually disappears beneath you, so it’s really important for players to get their play tactics as well as movement technique on point. Your adrenaline is sure to be pumping as it is the final round of the show. I noticed my hands gripped the controller tightly as tiles disappeared beneath my steps at an overwhelming pace. In the end, it’s all worth it — there’s no better feeling than becoming the sole survivor of this round! Hardest Level:Tip Toe On this level, space comes at a premium as the finish line gets closer and closer. You see, players must find a safe path through trial and error, keeping an eye out for tiles that fall away when stepped on. It’s no easy task to lead the pack and avoid getting pushed off by opponents at the same time. There is no greater heartbreak than getting in sight of the finish line, only to be pushed off at the last second. When I played the level, I summoned my courage and broke ahead of the group, forging my own path ahead – something I’m very proud of. This of course, often resulted in me falling and returning to the start line. I always had company though, rejoining all the other jellybeans standing in shock of how to navigate this tricky round. Aoi Ogasawara Favorite Level: Hex-A-Gone Hex-A-Gone is a perfect mix of skill-based strategic gameplay and chaotic fun. You can drop to the lower layers first and erase many tiles to set up “traps” for other players. Or, you can try to stay at the higher layers as long as possible with some well-timed skillful hopping. You can run towards other players to pressure them, or, you can try avoiding contacts as much as possible. There are so many great strategies you can choose from and whatever playstyle you chose, you will have so much fun! Hardest Level: Hoarders I was never good at football when I was a kid so naturally all the minigames that require you push around huge soccer balls are going to be difficult for me… So why is Hoarders the most difficult one out of the three ball-based minigames (Hoarders, Rock n’ Roll, and Fall Ball)? Well, it is simple math. The more balls there are in the stage, the harder the minigame. Rock n’ Roll has three, Fall Ball has two, and Hoarders has a whopping SEVEN balls in the stage! Chaz Conopo Favorite Level: Dizzy Heights It is simple and effective. Run across the platforms that are spinning, dodge the oncoming spheres and simply not forget there is a gap to jump across near the end. A proper race to the finish challenge that every time it comes around something dramatic always happens. Newest tactic I’ve found is when you are climbing the hill near the end, grabbing the opponent in front to the point they will fling away from you, if the timing is just right they will collide with a ball and get knocked all the way down again. Sorry….. not sorry, the victory is all mine and it feels good. Hardest Level: Fall Ball Get the ball into the goal. Ok it sounds easy, BUT it definitely ranks up the frustration meter when you are up against what seems to be the best football players on the pitch literally jumping up for the ball and knocking it into the direction of your team’s area as soon as the game starts. What is this magic?! I’m a tiny bean compared to the ball I’m trying to direct in a particular way towards the opponent’s goal, dodging, diving and shouting unplesantries at the TV screen. Before long my team is down by 5 points and all I can do now as a last resort is entertain the crowd by using the chicken emote in the middle of the field. Do I get bonus points for that? Sad face. View the full article
  6. Hey everyone! It’s been a few months since we launched The Last of Us Part II in June, but we’ve been keeping busy. In August, we launched our free Grounded Update*, which added new features like Permadeath Mode, Grounded Difficulty, and other bonuses to the game. We’ve also been hard at work on preparations for The Last of Us Day, our annual community celebration, which kicks off tomorrow September 26. We have a lot of exciting content lined up, which you’ll be able to find on tomorrow starting at 9:00am PT / 6:00pm CET, but we wanted to give you a little preview in the meantime. Let’s get right to it! The Last of Us Part II Original Soundtrack 2XLP Vinyl + Limited Edition Posters We love our good friends at Mondo and the incredible artists they collaborate with. We’ve created some special things together for The Last of Us Day in the past, and this year, we wanted to go even bigger. Tomorrow, Mondo will be debuting a special vinyl release of The Last of Us Part II Original Soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolalla and Mac Quayle and debuting not one, but two new screenprinted posters. Renowned illustrator Tula Lotay designed the stunning album art for this special 2XLP release, as well as two beautiful new The Last of Us Part II-inspired posters. All will be revealed and available for pre-order tomorrow starting at 9:00am PT/12:00pm ET/6:00pm CET. The vinyl will be available while supplies last, but the posters will be timed editions with pre-orders that end on 9:59pm PT on Wednesday, September 30 (1:59am ET / 9:00am CET Thursday, October 1). In other words, after pre-orders close, they’re gone and won’t be printed again. Keep your eyes on for more information and don’t miss out! Announcing The Last of Us Board Game Tabletop gamers, rejoice! The Last of Us Board Game is coming. We’re excited to announce our new partnership with the talented team at CMON, makers of Bloodborne: The Board Game and God of War: The Card Game, to develop a brand new board game for The Last of Us. Our love of games–digital, card, board, or otherwise–knows no bounds, and we couldn’t be more excited to be bringing the characters and world of The Last of Us to a tabletop format. Development is already underway, and we can’t wait to share more info with you when the time is right. For more info, be sure to check out the full announcement over on The Last of Us Part II Abby Cosplay Guide Each week on our social media channels, we spotlight the meticulously crafted costumes, props, and makeup created by The Last of Us cosplay community. We’re continually in awe of the level of thought and care that goes into representing our characters, which is why, last year, we wanted to share our support by releasing an official cosplay guide for Ellie. The response was incredible, and we’re proud to follow it up with an official cosplay guide for Abby. This downloadable PDF features high-resolution renders of every facet of Abby’s design, including detailed shots of her clothing, weapons, equipment, and hair style. You can also find information about materials, color reference, and more. We’ve already received some incredible Abby cosplay submissions in the months since launch, so we can’t wait to see what you can do with this additional reference. Be sure to share your cosplay and other creations with us via New The Last of Us and The Last of Us Part II Premium Statues For all of the collectors out there, we have new The Last of Us statues to add to your display cases! First up, we’ve collaborated once again with Gaming Heads — makers of the Clicker statue we revealed for The Last of Us Day 2015 — to produce a new 16” Ellie statue from The Last of Us Part II that is available in three unique editions. In the base version, Ellie stands at the ready with her machete, while the Stealth Edition adds interchangeable arms and a head piece that allow you to alter Ellie’s expression and swap out her machete for a bow. A special Hunter Version offers everything in the Stealth Edition, but features a special paint finish. All three can be pre-ordered starting today and more info can be found via Next, for the fans that have been with us from the beginning, we have a brand new modular statue from Mamegyorai Collectibles. Sculpted and painted by Masato Ohata, these two individual statues of Ellie and Joel stand at 1/9th scale and can be displayed individually or adjoined to form a unified scene. The set is available for pre-order via Mamegyorai’s website and will ship in March of next year. Free New The Last of Us Part II PS4 System Theme As we thought about introducing players to the experience of The Last of Us Part II, we wanted the main menu to symbolize the journey you were about to take and, once finished, the one you’ve taken. For The Last of Us Day, we wanted to take that final parting image of the boat washed ashore with the waves gently rolling onto the beach and make it into a dynamic system theme, so that you can enjoy it anytime you load up your PS4 system — and we’re making it available to everyone for free. Get it now at PlayStation Store. To top it off, we’re also making all of our existing The Last of Us Part II themes and avatars free on PlayStation Store from now until Monday, September 28 at 11:59pm PT. Don’t miss out. Save on The Last of Us Remastered, Left Behind, and on The Last of Us merch Oh, we’re not done! Rounding out our celebrations for The Last of Us Day, PlayStation Gear Store is introducing new items to their The Last of Us collection, including the Joel Funko Pop! (while supplies last) and a brand new t-shirt and mug available tomorrow. There will also be a limited number of the special edition The Last of Us Part II Taylor 314ce and GS Mini guitars back on the store for The Last of Us Day — for one day only — so if you missed an opportunity to grab one in July, you’ve got another shot. Existing The Last of Us merch not added for The Last of Us Day will be discounted up to 40% on PlayStation Gear Store and PlayStation Store will be hosting a The Last of Us Day Sale with a 50% discount on The Last of Us Remastered, The Last of Us: Left Behind, and select The Last of Us Remastered Factions Bundles all weekend. The Last of Us Day PlayStation Gear Store and PlayStation Store sales start today and end on Monday, September 28 at 11:59pm PT! The Last of Us Part II Photo Mode Contest With every Photo Mode post we receive on social media, we get to see our own game through a new lens — yours. The way you’ve been able to capture the characters, landscapes, and emotions of The Last of Us Part II in Photo Mode is so inspiring and for The Last of Us Day, we wanted to share our appreciation. That’s why, we’ll be kicking off a brand new The Last of Us Part II Photo Mode Contest for the month of October. Each week, we’ll select winners that will receive a coveted Ellie Edition and runners up that will earn a The Last of Us Part II Limited Edition DualShock 4. To enter, all you have to do is capture your masterpiece in The Last of Us Part II’s Photo Mode and share it with us via and include your name, address, and date of birth between Thursday, October 1 12:01am PT and Thursday, October 29 11:59pm PT. We’ll be selecting one winner a week every Friday starting on October 9 until Friday, October 30 and featuring the winners on Naughty Dog’s social media channels. The contest is open to fans who are 18 years or older and legal residents of the United States (excluding Arizona) and Canada (excluding Quebec). Void in Puerto Rico, all U.S. territories and possessions and overseas military installations and where prohibited or restricted by law. For full T&Cs, visit We can’t wait to see what you create! We’ve covered a lot here, but we have a few other things up our sleeves for tomorrow’s The Last of Us Day festivities. Be sure to check and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get all the latest updates. *Available via patch 1.05. Internet connection and an account for PlayStation Network required. View the full article
  7. Our seasonal updates within Killing Floor 2 have a central place in the ongoing support of the game since launch and given the horror inspirations for Killing Floor, Halloween has always had a special place in our hearts. From the dreamlike terrors of Nightmare in 2017, the festive celebration to horror icons of the past in Monster Ball in 2018, or the cerebral spookiness of Ashwood Asylum in 2019, we knew we needed to take the player somewhere new for 2020 that felt in-line with the Halloween spirit. The initial idea for Hellmark Station came out of Killing Floor’s strong connection to London and horror films. In the first Killing Floor, West London was one of the most iconic maps of that game, so we knew we had a great opportunity to return the player to that environment, but we didn’t want to settle for just doing a remaster of the original map and take the player somewhere new. In our research, we came across the iconic King’s Cross station and were impressed by the latticed glass roof ceiling of the entrance and the large sweeping arches of its train platforms. We knew it was something extraordinary that would provide a unique gameplay space for the player to explore. As a lot of us on the team are occult fans we went with the Hell-themed idea in the end and started to look into the layout of the map and location for it as we knew early on that we wanted to have the map be inspired by a real place to ground the map in reality and to give players a connection its layout and design. We wanted the Station to look like it was in the process of being overtaken. By incorporating organic shapes, stone obelisks, and lava, we were able to bring new elements into the environment and find fun ways of blending the two themes. When thinking about the lore of the map for how it connected to the wider Killing Floor universe, we initially brainstormed various ideas of tying its previous events and characters explored in objective mode maps, but ultimately the fantastical elements of the infernal setting made it difficult to settle into the official canon; especially if we didn’t intend to develop these plotlines in future updates. For all of the awesome lore-heads out there, the hidden internal narrative we settled on is the Patriarch having beef with the demonic invaders that suddenly emerge within London. In his never-ending quest for world domination, they were stepping on his territory. This unspoken lore is why we chose the Patriarch to be the Trader VO for the map. As we began to flesh out Hellmark’s design, we decided to add some unique gameplay elements that could tie into the seasonal objectives, provide a deeper layer of strategy, and some variety to the standard Killing Floor 2 experience. To do so, we added the idea of a “demonic pact” with the three obelisks placed inside the map, which offer a great risk/reward. Interacting with obelisks lets players trade some health and their ability to heal (temporarily) for a momentary damage and speed power-up; creating the classic Killing Floor 2 power fantasy of efficiently and ruthlessly dispatching Zeds. We’ve found that the obelisks really encourage frenzied gameplay, and we love a good frenzy. We then added numerous hell portals throughout the map to provide an environmental context of where the invaders were able to enter the station, but also provided a lot of gameplay opportunities to control the flow of combat. If they study the positions carefully, players will be able better anticipate where Zeds will be emerging and set up strong defensive positions. After we had the core framework of the map laid out and constructed, we spent considerable time testing, tuning, optimizing, and refining until it was ready to deliver to the masses in tip-top shape. We hope you enjoy this brief dive into the development of the Hellmark Station map and that you enjoy playing the map as much as we enjoyed making it. The Hellmark Station map is a free part of the Infernal Insurrection update launching September 29 for Killing Floor 2 on PS4. View the full article
  8. It’s great to be here once again after the debut of our gameplay trailer for Sniper Elite VR! We’ve been working closely with our friends at Just Add Water to bring the Sniper Elite experience to VR. The idea of Sniper Elite in VR has always seemed a no-brainer (Kill Cam pun intended) but it’s taken a lot of hard work to make it a reality. All that hard work has culminated in an authentic, thrilling World War 2 sniping experience for VR – one you’ve never experienced before. Check out that trailer below then read on for 7 things you need to know about Sniper Elite VR! Play Video 1. All first-person Sniper Elite VR will be the first exclusively first-person entry in the Sniper Elite series. You’ll always be looking out of the eyes of the hero, whether you’re staring down the sights of your rifle or looking for the perfect vantage point for your next target. Sniper Elite VR is an immersive shooter experience that’s perfect for PlayStation VR. 2. Truly elite sniping The Sniper Elite series is renowned for offering the best sniping experience in gaming. Sniper Elite VR will live up to those high standards. We’ve got the best-in-class scope occlusion and zoom mechanics that feel extremely realistic. You’ll feel like you’re staring down the sights of a real sniper rifle. Sniper Elite VR offers a fantastic, thrilling test of your long-range skills. 3. Three control methods On PlayStation VR you’ll be able to play Sniper Elite VR in three different ways. For those who want to feel the weight of a rifle in their hands and the scope up against their eye, the PSVR Aim controller offers highly intuitive controls. Or you can go with PS Move controllers and immerse yourself in the WW2 shooter experience. Use Move gestures to bring rifles to eye level, replace rounds, grab and throw grenades and more. Finally, if you prefer a more traditional gaming experience, Sniper Elite VR fully supports DualShock too. Playing it feels great, whichever control method you choose. 4. Move the way you want to We know different players prefer different ways to traverse landscapes in virtual reality. Sniper Elite VR offers both free movement and teleport movement options, and plenty of options to help ensure the game feels comfortable to play whether you’re seated or standing up. 5. Full single player campaign Sniper Elite VR is designed to keep you entertained for many hours. The story campaign takes you to the heart of World War 2 and the same time period as featured in Sniper Elite 4. You are a new hero in a brand new story as you fight as part of the Italian Resistance against fascist occupation. Sniper Elite VR features 18 challenging missions across different scenarios and stunning backdrops. From firefights across the streets of picturesque Italian villages to chaotic bunker raids, we’ve got a very generous campaign on offer here. And Sniper Elite VR isn’t designed to be played just once. We offer additional challenges, mission rankings and more. So there’s that extra incentive if you want to take the Nazis down all over again. 6. Feature-full Sniper Elite gameplay Sniper Elite fans will instantly recognize the core gameplay that they know and love from the series. You’ll be able to use sound masking, set traps, create distractions, and perform stealth and melee kills. You’ll set your sights on a variety of targets including front-line soldiers, officers, snipers, Jäger troopers, tanks and patrol boats. And as you progress through the campaign you’ll be able to master your weapons and fine-tune a diverse arsenal of WW2 armaments. 7. The Kill Cam returns, adapted for VR One thing you won’t have seen in the gameplay trailer but you may be excited to learn: Sniper Elite VR delivers the iconic X-Ray Kill Cam, now adapted for virtual reality! We’re really proud of the work we’ve done to ensure it delivers that bone-shattering, organ-piercing drama in VR while remaining a completely comfortable experience – and, as ever, it’s a completely optional thing if it’s just not for you! We know loads of you have been waiting very patiently for Sniper Elite VR. We’ve been working closely with our friends at Just Add Water in these extraordinary times to get it into your hands and onto your headsets. I hope to have more news for you about that soon so keep your eyes peeled! But most of all stay safe. View the full article
  9. Ten years ago, YOKO TARO (Director), Yosuke Saito (Producer), and Keiichi Okabe (Composer) would introduce the world to a unique, ambitious action-RPG by the name of NIER – or as it was known in Japan, NieR Gestalt. Its alternate version, titled NieR RepliCant (Released April 22, 2010), never made it to western shores. In 2017, the same all-star development team would reunite to create the sequel, NieR:Automata, which exploded onto the scene like so many dismembered machine lifeforms and quickly established itself as a modern gaming masterpiece. Assisted by series newcomers, Toylogic Inc., that original team has returned to the roots of the series in triumphant fashion –NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is poised to arrive on PS4 on April 23, 2021 to deliver the narratively complex, action-packed prequel that western NieR fans have been clamoring for. In producer, Yosuke Saito’s own words: “We planned for this title to align with NieR’s 10th anniversary, and we tried our darndest to release it during the 10th anniversary. Well, we didn’t make it in time!! But, because of that, I believe that it has turned out to be that much better. I hope you are excited for it.” For those who need a little refresher on the series – who better to lay it out than YOKO TARO himself? “Hello, YOKO TARO here, and I’m Creative Director of NieR Replicant Ver.1.22474487139… Um, so, SQUARE ENIX asked me: >Please provide a comment to introduce this title primarily to those who have never played Replicant, making sure to include points like how it differs from NIER (the Western version of NieR Gestalt), where this title fits in the storyline of the NieR Universe and what the story is about, as well as how it relates to Automata, etc. And I was, like… “whaa? I have to explain all that? On top of that, there are so many elements!” …so, I’d like to answer it using a Q&A format. Q: What is NieR Gestalt/Replicant? A: A while ago, we tried to make this game called “NIER.” It had a boy as a protagonist, you see. But I heard from the folks at the US SQUARE ENIX office that “in the US, a father figure would resonate better,” so for the West (North America and Europe), we created “Gestalt,” a version where the protagonist is a father, and “Replicant” for Japan, in which the protagonist is a boy. These two titles are the predecessors to NieR:Automata, but… it’s all starting to get confusing, right? It is for me, too. So, if you could just think of this as a brand-new title that is totally unrelated. Q: What is the relation between Replicant and Automata? What kind of story is it? Where does this fit in the NieR Universe? A: Replicant takes place way before the events of Automata; um, a few hundred, or was it a few thousand years ago… I’ve forgotten. Well, it’s a long, long time ago. That being said, it takes place far into the future from the time we live in. There, a young girl falls ill to this sickness – the Black Scrawl – that causes these black letter-like things to show up on your body, and her older brother has to save her. Then, a lot of things happen, then it eventually connects to Automata. But there’s just so much that goes on that it’s impossible to explain it all here, so… if you could just think of this as a brand-new title that is totally unrelated. Q: A comment regarding this title to Automata fans who have never played Replicant. A: During the production of Automata, I was thinking “I have to get both new audiences and Replicant fans to enjoy this title,” and wracked my brains for interesting twists in the designs. But, Replicant never really had Automata players in mind when it was designed. Because of that, it might feel like there are less twists in the gameplay and story, compared to Automata. So… if you could just please think of this as a brand-new title that is totally unrelated! In any case, just forget about everything in the past! That’s it from me!!” The development team was just featured on a NieR series stream for Tokyo Game Show Online 2020: The “We Have a Decent Amount of New Info” Show. You can watch the new trailer they debuted there below: Play Video We will finally be able to experience the NieR story origins from the point of view of the protagonist as a brother, along with many updates and improvements. Plus, it’s available for pre-order today! Also, check out the White Snow Edition, exclusive to the Square Enix online store. There’s lots more to learn about this game and reveals to look forward to in the coming months – we hope that you’re just as excited as we are for the return of NieR! View the full article
  10. After two and a half years of development, the time has come to share Mafia: Definitive Edition with the world. Creating this game has been a fascinating journey for the team here at Hangar 13. For the veterans who worked on the original, it’s been a real nostalgia trip. Our newest developers (some of whom were in kindergarten when the first game launched) have learned about the heart and soul of the Mafia franchise. For me personally, this project has been the culmination of more than a decade spent making Mafia games, as well as an awesome opportunity to revisit one of my all-time favorite games. Our goal since the outset has been to celebrate Mafia by creating a new version that everyone can enjoy. Of course, we wanted returning fans to find a familiar adventure, refreshed yet true to the spirit of the original. But just as important was helping new players discover the game in the same way we did back when we first played it nearly 20 years ago. That involved not only modernizing the gameplay, but also understanding what made Mafia so special in the first place. The core of every Mafia title is its story, and the first Mafia in particular set a new benchmark for cinematic storytelling. At a time when high-quality narrative in games was a rarity, Mafia proved that games could tell mature stories to rival film and television. The rags-to-riches tale of Tommy Angelo’s career in the Salieri crime family is just as compelling today as it was back when the original game first released, but we’ve given the whole narrative experience a makeover. The script has been given a full rewrite, every performance newly captured, and every cinematic reshot. We’ve given key characters, such as Tommy’s love interest Sarah, more time on screen and expanded their backstories. We’ve added new details through notes, newspapers, and radio commentary to better ground the story in its 1930s period setting. In fact, I’d say we used every tool at our disposal to ensure that Mafia’s narrative still impresses in 2020. It’s also important to remember that Mafia was visually stunning when it was first released. Ensuring that the remake shared that quality was at the top of our priority list. Our art team created many beautiful period-authentic cars, mission environments, and character models, but they put special effort into the visual overhaul of Lost Heaven, the Chicago-like city where Mafia: Definitive Edition takes place. Using almost exactly the same city map, every district has been revisited and upgraded, with more detail in everything from the trash on the street through to the architecture of the buildings themselves. The end result is phenomenal, and I have no doubt that players will be wowed by Lost Heaven once again. Remaking a game with such a devoted fan base is a big responsibility. I’ve heard countless testimonies from fans (including many developers on our team) describing how playing the original Mafia was a seminal gaming experience for them. Many still play Mafia religiously to this day. We hope that our new take on Mafia not only fulfils the high expectations of our community but also delights every player, old and new. It has been inspiring to hear the outpouring of love for Mafia since we announced the remake, and it’s been a privilege to work alongside developers willing to go to the mat for a game that they care so deeply about. Restoring this classic crime adventure has been a labor of love for all of us at Hangar 13, and we are hugely excited for Mafia fans to finally get their hands on the game. View the full article
  11. Thank you guys so much for supporting our first expansion of Nioh 2, The Tengus’s Disciple. We’ve been hard at work to bring you the next exciting chapter in the Nioh 2 saga, and I’m happy to announce today that the second DLC pack, titled Darkness in the Capital will be available on October 15! While I‘m sure many of you are engrossed in the current campaign and well on your way to becoming a formidable Yokai hunter in feudal Japan, brace yourselves as even more perilous adventures and insurmountable enemies await you within the capital of the kingdom in this thrilling new chapter. Without further ado, let’s get into the new details for the brand-new quest awaiting all of our warriors. Darkness in the Capital features new storylines, overwhelmingly powerful new bosses, tricky new Yokai, new Guardian Spirits, skills, Ninjutsu, Onmyo Magic and Soul Cores. And to top it all off, this new chapter will present electrifying new armor sets and a weapon that fans of hand-to-hand combat will surely relish. Now I’d hate to leave you guys completely in the dark on this upcoming DLC expansion. So, let me throw out some clues and story details to give you a taste of what’s on the horizon for this next installment. In order to unravel the mysteries surrounding the history of the Sohayamaru, our protagonist ventures to Kyoto City and discovers a shrine furnished with an old worn-out box. Upon inspection, the Sohayamaru once again shines brilliantly and the protagonist is whisked away to the middle of the Heian Period, landing in an ancient version of the capital. Contrary to its name “Heian Palace,” which means peace and tranquility, ancient Kyoto was terrorized by countless Yokai during this time period. However, there existed many heroes who were brave enough to oppose these demons. Among them were the most preeminent demon slayer and the strongest sorcerer in history, along with their subordinates and colleagues fighting at their side. Our protagonist joins forces with these famous heroes in order to quell the unrest and destruction caused by the Yokai hordes, while learning more about the connections between an even more distant past and the present time period from which they came. Well, there you have it. A brief overview of what’s to come. Please be on the look-out for more exciting details in the near future as we hope to shed even more light on Darkness in the Capital. Until that time, best of luck battling all of the fearsome Yokai in the Tengu’s Disciple and crafting a unique build that best suits your own playstyle. As many of you are well aware, you’ll need every advantage you can get to take on the menacing enemies lurking in the distant past. So, stay strong and stay safe out there samurai! *Nioh 2 required to play The Tengu’s Disciple and Darkness in the Capital (both sold separately or as part of the Nioh 2 Season Pass). View the full article
  12. Pilots, get ready! Your battles are about to take a new twist. We know that every match is a test of your skill, but sometimes you want a fresh challenge. We’re very excited to introduce two new maps that feature brand new underwater combat! Combat changes in the fathoms below The dev team is so excited to finally introduce this new style of play, as they worked long and hard on making the gameplay fun but still challenging, as an underwater battle should be! Don’t worry, you won’t have to learn an all-new set of controls- all your time in your favorite Mobile Suit is not wasted. But Mobile Suits function differently in water, so let’s dive on in! Keeping things cool Perhaps the most strategic and advantageous reason to dive in and take your combat underwater is to take advantage of the cooling to your thrusters. When underwater, all Mobile Suits will have: Increased recovery rate when your thrusters overheat Decreased consumption rate for your thrusters Increased recovery rate when your beam weapon overheats Decreased acceleration Pilots can use this great equalizer of water to avoid overheating when they take their battle under the waves. Made for the waves Our players will be familiar with the fact that some Mobile Suits are suited for either ground combat or taking the battle into space. With the introduction of combat underwater, we want to highlight the Mobile Suits that are best suited for the underwater combat: Acguy, Agguguy, Juaggu, Z’Gok, Z’Gok E, Zogok, Hy-Gogg, Gogg, Zock, Ram Z’Gok! These Mobile Suits will have a few advantages if they draw their enemies to the water: Will be able to dash while jumping in Will be able to dash fire while underwater Dash speed, movement speed, turning speed will be slightly faster and you’ll find you’re a little more buoyant (lighter!) Why you may want to stay out of the water Of course with bonuses, comes limitations! So you’ll always have to choose your Mobile Suit and decisions in battle carefully. All Mobile Suits will find it harder to see an enemy Mobile Suit in the water when they are on solid ground as their radar range will not extend as far. For Mobile Suits that aren’t meant for underwater combat, radar range will also be reduced while fighting under the waves. This reduction in radar range means you shouldn’t rely simply on radar but keep your eyes on the horizon as well to prevent enemies from stealthing their way to you for an attack! A couple weapons will also not work when submerged, perhaps unsurprisingly the flamethrower or Smoke Discharger! Port Base (High Tide) This is a variation on the Port Base map, with flooded areas. For those wanting to dip their toe into water combat, try Port Base (High Tide) first! With all the water in this map, players will find limited visibility and even more limited radar range. Water makes stealthing extremely powerful, as it is undetectable above water. Make sure to share health bars with your allies using the Observational Data Link (and look out for Jamming), otherwise with reduced visibility, your allies may go down from a stealthed enemy with you none the wiser! Take me somewhere that’s green We’ve moved off the base and into the Jungle! It’s a new lush visual experience, with new gameplay mechanics and styles to consider. In the new map Jungle, there are many trees that obscure visibility. While you’ll still be able to move (and shoot) through, you’ll find that it will be more difficult to scope and track your enemies from afar. But they provide great coverage! Keep an eye for the perfect area that hides you and allows for perfect sniping. In the spirit of our new underwater combat, the Jungle also features a river that flows through the center of the map and can take you straight to your opponent’s base on shore or below the water line! The bases are 1.2 km apart which eagle-eyed players will note is wider than the mountainous area. Players will also notice that the water in the Jungle map is much murkier, much more so than Port Base (High Tide). With such poor visibility to hide you, jumping into the river will lend itself to surprise attacks. The steep walls are difficult for a pilot on foot, but with thrusters, you’ll be able to scale those steep walls no problem. Lie in wait in the water and then use your thrusters to initiate surprise ground combat! The area around relay points E and F is likely to become the main battlefield, as it is relatively flat and open. But keep in mind the river that flows through the center of the map, so taking the plunge will be key to cutting line of sight. And be careful as you tread into opponent territory and keep your head low if you are in line of sight for relay points C and D, which are small hills with thick vegetation. These are prime sniper locations because the line of sight runs inward to the center. The dev team is excited to make the underwater combat not just a new challenge but a strategic benefit for players. In their eyes, the benefits outweigh the challenges that come with diving under the waves, so encourage everyone to jump in! View the full article
  13. My name is Michael Chu and this is my story of how the game grew from a jam. Projection was created from the result of rapidly prototyping many games. For anyone looking to get into game development, one of the best learning grounds is a Game Jam, where you make a game within 48 hours. You learn a lot from making a product in a condensed amount of time: prioritising work, having a clear vision of the end product, time management, building proper eating/sleeping habits under stress, and most importantly what you’re capable of in such a small time frame. For myself, I attended several game jams and teamed up with others as an animator, but really I wanted to make my own games. So I learned programming at TAFE, and in 2014 I made my first game jam game by myself. It was such a surprise to have the knowledge that I could finish a game in such a short amount of time. So that year, I decided to challenge myself to make a game every week for a full year. Every weekend I would work on a new idea, practice my skills/experience, build up a portfolio, and upload a game every Monday. My rule was that each week I would try something new, whether it be a new experience, mechanic, or programming technique, and then write a short blog post about it after. Writing a reflection in a blog style not only helped provide a summary of the game for that week, it also built up my thoughts on good game design e.g. what works, what didn’t, and what I should do to improve the game. I ended up making a little less than 60 games that year. The idea was that, as a game designer, you’re going to have lots of ideas. Most of the ideas will be meh or downright bad, but there will be a couple of good or even great ones that stand out. Only after making several bad ideas will you eventually get to the good ones, and those are the few you can keep and turn into something special. Projection was the first game on that list for me, as it brought together a unique set of things many people hadn’t seen before, like adding shadows as physical objects and the theme of shadow puppetry. When I put forth the idea at my local International Game Developer Association everyone in the room got excited when they learned what it was about. It was a wonderful feeling. Players were having fun with the prototype and people from everywhere wanted to help me work on the game. Thus, of the weekly prototypes I had made, Projection was the one I decided to devote my full attention to. Originally, I was just getting development help from two friends: Yosha and Jared. However, I felt limited in what I was capable of programming-wise. Furthermore, I was receiving advice that I should look for a publisher to help put the game out on the market. This is where Sweaty Chair stepped in. They were enthusiastic about the idea and showed what they could bring to the table. So we decided to outsource all the programming to them and rebuild the game using a different engine. While Projection was being built, there were also talks of how to put the game on the market, most notably the platforms. Sweaty Chair, at the time, were primarily mobile app developers. However, we wanted the game to appear on consoles. This is where Blowfish Studios stepped in. They were local publishers who had developed their own games for console as well and were also keen for the project. They also had a lot of experience with porting to consoles, event setup, handling PR/marketing, and finding business deals so we could focus on development. Once all three companies got together, it was simply a matter of finishing the game. As it turns out, being my first game, I was terrible at estimating just how long making it would take. It’s a completely different ballpark to spending a weekend during a game jam. On top of that, Yosha and I had our own full-time commitments with University and work. Many parts of the project changed as a result. It was quite a scary prospect. You don’t want to drag on development time for too long as expenses keep piling up. If you’re not already well established, you then face the prospect that if the project fails, you will be in financial strife afterwards. It’s not a comfortable position to be in when your future prospects become dependent on the success of the next project. Nevertheless, talk with most small-time game developers and you will find the desire to make a game comes from the sheer passion of the craft. It can almost be an obsession. It’s something I felt all my colleagues who worked on Projection had, and for that I’m grateful. They were all there to pitch in and help me finish the game to make it what it is today. So thank you Blowfish, Sweaty Chair, and my team of music, sound, art, and design peeps…. And thank you reader for getting this far. Play Video View the full article
  14. Seven years ago, we at Zen Studios introduced CastleStorm — our most popular non-pinball video game, well… ever. And today, we’re proud to finally bring CastleStorm II to your PS4. The new game includes all the crazy cartoon carnage you loved from the original (even more!… ‘cause that’s what sequels do!), adding to the mix a full-fledged 4X kingdom-building metagame that turns our unique super-genre-mashup into a super-DUPER-genre-mashup. But how did we come upon that decision? And what does it really mean for gameplay? It’s been a long time, so let’s take a step back to remember what made the first CastleStorm so popular to begin with — there’s really nothing else quite like it out there. Picture this: Two castles on a battlefield. Defended by ballistae, they hurl javelins, chunks of rock… even sheep at each other. Troops — not always necessarily human — enter the fray to bloody things up even more. Meanwhile, you command every bit of it. The strategy of who to send out… the precision of ballista shots… the hack-n-slash combat going on in the middle of everything. It’s all on you, bud. Backed entirely by a charming — well… charmingly violent — medieval setting that takes itself about as seriously as Monty Python and the Holy Grail does. Probably less. We got a lot of great feedback about this formula — ultimately, our biggest critic was ourselves. We love what we accomplished and we remain very proud of it, but we felt we could improve things by adding more depth. Being huge fans of franchises like Civilization and Heroes of Might and Magic, we knew 4X strategy was a good way to accomplish that. But would it be too much? Kingdom-building strategies are huge enough as it is without a whole ‘nother game’s worth of combat included. But here at Zen, we like to say we make what we want to play. And yeah — we really wanted to play that! We know literally no one else out there would think to make this game but us. Challenge accepted. Now that CastleStorm II’s eXploring, eXpanding, eXploiting, and eXterminating (the four X’s of 4X strategy, if you didn’t know) have been fully, uh, eXecuted, I think it’s fair to say that CastleStorm II is a kingdom-building — well… kingdom-crashing! — strategy game above all else. Of course, your main goal — be it a full-blown campaign or a simple skirmish — is to conquer an entire map in your kingdom’s name. You’ll start with just a small plot of land, then open up more of the map as you accomplish three of those X’s: exploring your lands, expanding your territory, and exploiting the resources you mine, farm and acquire. But that extra-fun fourth X — our version of exterminating — is what ranks CastleStorm II among the most unique 4X games ever. You see, you’re not just exploring the land — you’ve also gotta get your hands really dirty to earn it. That’s where the original CastleStorm’s core formula sets in — much as you remember it, only better. In addition to new troop types, we’ve added features like new spells to cast (Grasp is a personal favorite), controlling any soldier on the battlefield (not just generals like the first game), and watching 3D castles crumble hard with the aid of beautiful physics powered by Unreal 4 (a huge step up from the 2D castles of yore). We’ve even added the Undead as a new character type: Everything from simple skeletons and zombies to succubi and headless horsemen now has it out for you. Our story campaigns also set us apart from typical 4X fare. And as the person who wrote both tales — one from the perhaps overly heroic perspective of the Kingdom’s Sir Gavin, the other with a dash of “burn it all down” from the vampire princess Luna — I hope you find the offbeat characters and scenarios as amusing to experience as I did to write. ‘Cause they were a freakin’ blast. (Oh, and a huge shout-out to CastleStorm II’s Lead Designer Tamas Balog, who largely laid out each scenario, trusting the dialogue to me.) So, check it out — and let us know what you think of the whole thing. View the full article
  15. Hello! 4 years ago, PlayStation fans around the world first stepped foot onto their first planet in our near-infinite universe and embarked on their voyage of exploration. For a surprising number of people, it would be a voyage which would see them spending hundreds and even thousands of hours journeying to the next horizon, the next planet, the next star system, propelled by the desire to see what was around the next corner. In fact, that universe we created day one has already provided hundreds of millions of hours of entertainment across the globe. That’s why it is so exciting to release No Man’s Sky: Origins on PlayStation 4 today. For the first time we are breathing new life and variety into that universe in a significant way, adding new worlds to explore, new planets never-before seen, new life to discover. Play Video How do you radically change a universe where so many have made their homes, built bases, named, and discovered? Our solution is to birth entirely new planets into the universe, with vistas never possible before. Fly your Starship through towering mountains and epic chasms vastly larger than ever. Survive lightning storms, fires and hostile weather systems. Discover new creature behaviours like fauna that land and take to flight, or huge alien sandworms. Walk beneath new giant flora that changes from day through night. Visit buildings of an entirely new scale, containing new lore and much, much more. When No Man’s Sky first launched, we watched as players awoke on their first planet. It might have been hospitable. It might have been dangerous, barren, or teeming with life. For sure though, it would have been an intriguing alien world filled with curious flora and fauna never seen before – not even by us, the developer. We’re excited to experience that thrill again with you. No Man’s Sky on PS4 has been updated over a dozen times since those early beginnings. The game has expanded in almost every direction to accommodate almost every play style: base building, PS VR, multiplayer, trading, community missions, exocraft, expanded lore… This year alone we have already introduced living ships, mechs, abandoned freighters and cross-platform play. At No Man’s Sky’s core though, beats the heart of an experience which has never really lost its main existential purpose: a voyage of discovery, of exploration. It is only fitting therefore that, for our major update of the year, and in the lineage of the larger annual updates of Atlas Rises (2017), Next (2018) and Beyond, we return to that core principle. Whether you’re a veteran traveller who has been to the centre of our universe and back before, or whether you’ve yet to take your first tentative step on that first planet, the No Man’s Sky: Origins represents a major moment in our journey so far. Why not come see what there is to discover? Our journey continues. Sean View the full article
  16. The Big in Japan promotion returns to PlayStation Store this Wednesday, September 23! This sale features a vast range of titles originating from a variety of Japanese development studios, with up to 50% on the games included in the promo. That includes Capcom’s survival horror remake Resident Evil 3, and Bandai Namco’s double-martial arts whammy of Tekken 7 and Dragon Ball: Kakarot. Favouring a different genre experience or an alternate choice? There’s plenty to choose from when the sale kicks off. Head here if you’re in Europe, and here if you’re in North America for the full sales list on PlayStation Store when the promotion goes live! As ever, the sale is on for a limited time, ending Wednesday, October 7 at 23.59pm BST / CEST / PST, 02.59am EST. View the full article
  17. Hello, I’m Nico Disseldorp. I’m part of House House, the videogame company who made that Untitled Goose Game. If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a game where you play as a horrible goose who causes a big commotion in a small village. Tomorrow, the game is getting a free update so that two players can play through the game together as a pair of horrible geese. Play Video Two-player is something that interested us when we first started working on the game in 2016. But as a very small team, we decided early on to leave the idea behind in order to focus on making the single player game as good as it could be. After the game’s release last year, we had an opportunity to do some more work on the game. One of our favourite things about the response to the game was how many people were playing together with their friends, watching or taking turns. So we decided that the most exciting thing for us would be to add that second goose into the game. In this post I want to share with you what it was like to add a two player mode into a game that didn’t originally have one. Both in terms of what kind of work we had to do, and how it turned out once it was finished. When it came to adding a new goose to the game, there were a few big things we had to do, and lots and lots of small things. For a start we had to make a new goose. In terms of looks, we knew that players would need to be able tell the two geese apart, but we also liked the idea that the characters in the game couldn’t really tell them apart. So we tried to find a way to make this goose look different in its details, but in overall terms look pretty much like the same kind of goose. So to make this goose, we made the goose’s orange parts a bit redder, and made the goose generally a bit rounder and softer (especially the feet, tail and wings). We also added a bump on the new goose’s beak, which I’m told is called a “basal knob”. Apparently experts aren’t really sure what a basal knob is for, apart from making the goose look good. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our sound designer Em Halberstadt gave this new goose a new honk. Another big task was teaching the townspeople how to keep track of, and react to, two geese. Our AI code didn’t keep track of anything like this before, so we had to make the characters a fair bit smarter. A big job was deciding which goose a character should prioritise responding to at any given moment. This required some balancing, as we had to make sure the people were effective at stopping both geese when they had to, while making sure the geese had lots of chances to help each other (for example by distracting someone while the other goose steals something). Once we had things working, we were pleasantly surprised by some of the fun things that two geese could do. For example some items could be interacted with in new ways – two geese can hold a rake like a limbo pole, one goose can drag the other around in a box or each goose can hold a walkie-talkie and send their honk to the other goose. When it comes to interacting with the townspeople, we had a lot of fun setting up situations like having one goose honk to get someone’s attention, while the other goose sneaks behind them to cause some trouble. It’s lots of fun to have a helper when doing something like teaming up to drop a bucket on someone’s head. The two-player mode is local multiplayer, so it’s made for two players on a single system. However PlayStation players do have an option if they would like to play with someone online. If you have PlayStation Plus subscription, you can use Share Play to have someone join in remotely, as though they were a second player on your system. We think this is a great use of video streaming and it’s a feature that people should try! Thanks for reading about our new two player update. We can’t wait for everyone to meet our new goose tomorrow. View the full article
  18. We were thrilled to announce the conclusion to 2020’s year-long storyline during the recent ESO Dark Heart of Skyrim Year-End preview with The Elder Scrolls Online: Markarth. This new DLC will take you to the iconic area of Skyrim known as the Reach with an all-new zone and story that ties into and brings the Dark Heart of Skyrim year-long adventure to a close. Can’t wait to get started? Begin your Markarth DLC adventure with the free quest now available from the in-game Crown Store. This adventure leads directly into the main storyline of the Markarth DLC and the Dark Heart of Skyrim finale, and no additional purchase is necessary, as you only need access to the base game to grab it. Get ready for Markarth with a new prologue questline Starting next week, we’re also introducing the Lost Treasures of Skyrim in-game event, challenging you and the ESOcommunity to unlock three tiers of collectible rewards that include new cosmetics, a pet, a new house, and the first of a new type of collectible: houseguests! To unlock them, work together as a community & use the new Antiquities system to dig up Tamriel’s lost treasures. Note that this event is only available to those who own the Greymoor Chapter. Unlock Community Rewards during the Lost Treasures of Skyrim Event Finally, we’re also happy to announce that our end-of-year promotion, titled #TamrielTogether, is coming soon. The ultimate celebration of our amazing community and all of the ways you play together, #TamrielTogether is packed with a ton of in-game events & rewards, the chance to win amazing prizes (in eligible territories), a guild-based contest, and more. Team up for adventure during #TamrielTogether With the upcoming Markarth DLC, the Dark Heart of Skyrim adventure comes to its incredible conclusion. We can’t wait to share more, so sure to check out the Markarth Prologue questline live right now in addition to the upcoming Lost Treasures of Skyrim event and #TamrielTogether promotion — it’s going to be an exciting end to another amazing year for The Elder Scrolls Online! The Elder Scrolls Online: Markarth arrives November 10 on PS4. View the full article
  19. Two weeks back we asked you to share unforgettable moments fighting as your favorite heroes from Marvel’s Avengers using #PS4share and #PSBlog. From thrilling action shots to stunning portraits, here are this week’s highlights: Captain America by astrozomb1es1. Black Widow by CrypticVisuals. Iron Man by Deemo_Dude. Thor by iamroyank. The Hulk by JustN2bad. Ms. Marvel by virtua_photo. Search #PS4share and #PSBlog on Twitter or Instagram to see more entries to this week’s theme. Want to be featured in the next Share of the Week? Theme: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 Share by: 9am Pacific on Wednesday, September 23 Drop into the halfpipe and share videos of your best combos or longest grinds in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1 + 2 using #PS4share and #PSBlog for a chance to be featured. View the full article
  20. Coming down the aisle, hailing from 2K, this is Executive Producer Sean “The Slayer” O’Connor! I’m stepping between the ropes today to give you some exclusive tips to help you become an unbeatable brawler when WWE 2K Battlegrounds, out today on PS4. Whether you’re brawling with your family, your friends, or challengers online, these tips are sure to give you the upper hand when the bell rings. Play Video Tag in the Crocodile Some arenas have interactive environments that let you deal extra damage to your opponent. One of my favorites is the crocodile in The Everglades. Carry your opponent over to the side of the ring by the croc, and you’ll be prompted to throw them over the top rope right into its waiting jaws. Careful not to get too close! That hungry reptile will take a bite out of anyone that walks by. Be the GOAT with the Ram Other arenas in WWE 2K Battlegrounds have special items you can use to your advantage. In the Mexico arena, you will find a remote-controlled ram. Yes. You read that right. Jump out of the ring, find the controller sitting in the crowd, press L1, and you’ll be able to gain control of the ram and bring the pain to all of your opponents. Power-Ups are Your Friends Imagine if your favorite Superstar could have power-ups in the ring. In WWE 2K Battlegrounds, they do! Power-ups become available as your power meter fills up. Once a power-up is available press left, right or up on the d-pad. Each direction will activate a different level of power-up. But don’t rush it; The longer you wait for your power bar to fill, the more power-ups you will gain the ability to use. What power-ups you ask? Health regeneration, and making your strikes unblockable, are just two examples. You can choose different power-ups on the character selection screen and unlock them throughout the game. Use ALL the Weapons There are NO disqualifications in WWE 2K Battlegrounds. Take advantage of that. You’ll find plenty of weapons hidden under the ring, and in the crowd. As soon as the match starts, exit the ring and press X near the apron to grab a weapon. Once you’ve got just the right one for the job, slide back into the ring by holding L1. Afraid of going under the ring? That’s okay. The crowd will toss weapons out for you to pick up, too. Grab one of those with L1. But be warned: weapons aren’t forever and will break after a few good smacks. You can add weapons in the Battlegrounds creator and turn them on or off in the options menu before a match. Don’t Ignore the Crowd The WWE Universe knows what they want, and the crowd in WWE 2K Battlegrounds is no different. They will call out for certain actions during a match and, if you listen, you will earn extra points to get your crowd meter up. Do right by them and the crowd will begin to cheer and get behind your Superstar, which actually helps you when performing a pin or submission. But don’t take your new fans for granted; You will lose crowd support if you stand around too long without laying the smackdown on your opponent. Make sure to taunt or fight to keep the crowd on your side! Finish the Match with Your Finishing Move A finisher often means the end of a match in WWE, and the same goes for WWE 2K Battlegrounds. Once your heat meter fills up, you can use your finisher or signature move by pressing the left and right trigger buttons at the same time. Need to fill your heat meter? It goes up whenever you take damage, deal out damage, and taunt your opponent. But be careful: You will use up some heat when countering a move, so it may be more advantageous to take some damage so you can get your signature/finisher. Play Your Class Right There are five different classes in WWE 2K Battlegrounds, and each has different strengths. Make sure to play to your advantages. Technician: A specialist in wrestling technique and unrivaled at submitting opponents. You’ve got the strongest throws and submissions. High-Flyer: A specialist in aerial maneuvers, including jumping off the ropes and turnbuckles. You’ve got the highest speed and stamina. Powerhouse: The strongest Superstars that use their strength to perform powerful moves. You have the most health. Brawler: A bruising specialist that excels at strikes. You’ve got the strongest kicks and are the best at using weapons. All-Rounder: A master of all styles with spectacular combos and the ability to quickly win the crowd’s favor. You also have the best running hits. So, are you ready to Brawl Without Limits? With these tips in your back pocket, I think you are. And that’s the bottom line. I’ll see you in the ring! View the full article
  21. Ahoy everyone! We are thrilled to be able to share an exclusive update and brand new gameplay trailer with you for our most ambitious game to date, the pirate themed action RPG, King of Seas. After the release of our last game we sat down to discuss what our next project should be. The team wanted to capitalise on our core expertise in developing racing games, but at the same time, charter new exciting territory. The stand-out idea that really excited and energised the team was pirate ships. Instead of putting players behind the wheel of a car, how about behind the helm of a mighty sea faring vessel? We quickly set to work designing a game world where players could fulfil all their buccaneering fantasies — because — hey, who doesn’t like pirates right? Play Video So, we had our pirate theme, we had our expertise in vehicle animation, and we had great ideas for the story, but our big challenge was how to make this game stand out and offer something fresh and new. As such, King of Seas delivers a procedurally generated game world for players. It’s an environment where players can choose their own path, explore new islands, interact with intriguing characters and go head to head with other pirates in ferocious sea battles. This swashbuckling excitement would all be weaved into a quest driven story of betrayal and revenge. What really makes King of Seas different, and keeps it sea-salty fresh, is that each time you start a new game, our game engine will generate a whole new game world for you to explore. Each playthrough is a new and exciting adventure when you set off from shore. The dynamic world will also react to your every action, constantly adapting and throwing new challenges your way. Naval routes will change with each conquered settlement, the difficulty will adapt as you progress through your quests, and changes in weather will play a big part in your navigation and combat strategy. A Pirate’s ship is more than his vehicle, it’s his home. So we have worked hard to offer plenty of customisation options to ‘deck’ out your vessel. You will be able to acquire and own five different classes of ship on your journey; the sloop, brig, flute, frigate, and galleon. They are all designed with unique play styles and efficiency. New equipment and gear can be acquired through commerce, quests, or plain old-fashioned looting. Each piece of equipment installed on the ship changes its statistics and performance to customise the combat set up. Some items such as the hull and figurehead change the look of the ship providing you with many unique combinations and specific aesthetic sets. With over 900 items available to collect and use, you can truly create a battle-ready vessel to be proud. Naval battles are at the core of the King of Seas gameplay and learning how to navigate your way through the combat will be key to your success. The movement and handling of your ships will change according to wind direction, the ship class and the talent points acquired through levelling the gear equipped. Cannonballs can only be fired from the sides, which means positioning in battle is fundamental to success. You will need to keep an eye on the wind, and position your ship accordingly to improve your attack efficiency. It all comes down to the details. Choosing the right kind of cannonball to shoot can change the course of the battle in an instant. There are three types you can equip that will impact either the life, manoeuvrability, or efficiency of the enemy ships. In addition to the core battle mechanics, there are exciting unique abilities you can discover on your adventure that really mix up the action, such as flamethrowers, ethereal navigation or voodoo rituals. A maximum combination of four unique abilities can be used to deliver the fatal blow or escape dangerous situations — whatever floats your boat. Each battle won will raise the bounty on your head and you can even face off against some of the most feared pirates in history. The difficulty level adds a multiplier to the bounty you achieve in the game — so see how far you can take it in hardcore mode! King of Seas is not just all about sea battles though. We have spent a great deal of time creating an interactive world where each step on your quest will unlock new challenges and opportunities. Discover special missions where you can earn extra rewards or reveal new adventures — as well as hunting for maps that can lead to submerged treasures and buried riches all ripe for the taking. You will also be able to trade goods with new settlements, each producing specific goods with their own market value. Make sure you buy low and sell high to fill your coffers with gold. We’ve also added as many as 30 varieties of fish, all living below the surface of the sea to use as food and for trading, but make sure you keep a keen eye on the time of day and of course, the weather conditions. We hope that we have given you a glimpse behind the curtain of how King of Seas is shaping up. We are excited to announce that King of Seas will be available on PS4 this holiday season and urge you to check out the brand-new gameplay trailer, available today. On behalf of the 3DClouds team, thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you on the high seas! View the full article
  22. Hey all! I’m Philipp Brock from THQ Nordic. To mark last week’s launch of Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, I sat down with the game’s Executive Producer Reinhard Pollice to find out his perspective on what makes gameplay timeless and to find out more about the all-new Kingdoms of Amalur expansion, Fatesworn, which is scheduled for 2021. As we’ve seen with Darksiders and, more recently, Destroy All Humans!, THQ Nordic has gained a reputation for shepherding established game franchises to new generations of playing audiences. Is it possible to distill what you look for in a franchise down to three key components? Reinhard Pollice: It’s not that easy because we are nowadays a gaming company that operates in a broad spectrum of genres and markets. I’d say a lot of our games have a strong emphasis on RPG elements, but we also love combat-focused games that have complex mechanics behind them. Most of all, we build our IP catalogue based on fan favorites. What is it about Kingdoms of Amalur that made it feel it deserved a new life for today’s players? When the game first came out we were intrigued by the RPG systems, the combat and the lore that had a lot of potential. Over the years we realized that it still stands out in the niche it carved out. Before we get into the expansion you have planned for Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning, can you share a little bit about what PlayStation players that are new to the franchise can look forward to in the remaster? We are featuring reworked graphics by vastly improved texture resolution, new rendering features for lighting and shadows. So we believe technically this will show as a crisp and smooth experience. But besides that, we analyzed player feedback and realized that the gameplay also needed some improvements. So we changed some mechanics around the loot distribution and how creatures are placed in the world. Also we added the ultimate challenge with the new Very Hard difficulty level. How does the expansion fit into the original campaign? What’s the story? Is it directly set after the events of the main game? The new content is something that starts directly where the main story finished. There is a new treat in the world and a new area that is added to the world of Amalur. The new region was previously unsettled and there is a new ruler who the inhabitants see a lot of promise in. But things are usually not that simple in this world… This story has some connections with the core of the story of Reckoning. How did you develop new content for an 8 year old game? Was this content part of the original concept at the time of the initial release but was never finished? There were some loose ideas that we picked up, but mostly there wasn’t anything like a full concept or a blueprint ready to go. Fortunately we had some advice from people that worked on the original content back in the day at Big Huge Games and we also had a narrative designer joining us. The team at Kaiko also became really attached to Amalur and so we had really great ways to work on. The biggest challenge was to develop new tools and a new pipeline for doing the add-on. We even had to develop a new world editor to make this happen. How do you intend to keep the expansion feeling like an extension of the main game yet considering a near-decade’s worth of changes and improvements to the genre? Our goal is to make it feel natural to the world of Amalur and we also strongly feel that Amalur still holds a great niche in the genre as a combat focused RPG. View the full article
  23. Hi everyone! I’m from Milky Tea, the development studio behind HyperBrawl Tournament, a 1-4 player local and online arena-based sports-brawler where your objective is to outscore the opposing team. To help make this happen, you’ve got unique heroes, epic weapons and some legendary abilities at your disposal. Play Video Want to know more? Here are five things every brawler needs to know before entering the arena! 1) Master the HyperCurve HyperBrawl’s main gameplay mechanic is throwing the ball (into the opposing goal). These aren’t just your regular old throws, though, but rather throws infused with the power of the HyperCurve. This ability gives you complete control over the ball, which allows you to change its course mid-air. Using this effectively allows you to avoid both opponents and arena obstacles – and honestly, allows for some pretty sweet goals. Check out a few examples below. 2) Channel the HyperForce Winning every match is pretty awesome (or so I’m told), but for someone like me who just needs a little bit of help, we’ve got the HyperForce. Once your hero has taken enough damage, either by being attacked by an opponent or hit by the ball (or even their own teammate), they’ll be able to activate the HyperForce, which increases their speed and strength to help even the odds. Not only is it super satisfying to serve some payback, but launching an opponent into the screen really never gets old! 3) Weapons bring the heat – and change up your play style! To spice things up, we’ve added a bunch of futuristic weapons to the game. These range from offensive ones like the Slam Hammer or Cyclone Sword, to defensive ones like the Sentry Shield. There are even some more unpredictable weapons, like the Mine Mortar, which locks onto and tracks the closest player at any time – including you. And yes, being knocked out by your own weapon is pretty embarrassing, but it happens a lot (to me, at least)! 4) Assemble your team With a dozen intergalactic heroes, eight completely unique weapons, and a ton of customisation options (unlocked through gameplay), there are a lot of ways to build your 2-character team. Do you want a faster, less durable Swift hero with a Mag Beam weapon, to keep your distance and steal the ball from afar? Or maybe a slower but durable Tank hero with a Sentry Shield, to act as your perfect goalie? Or maybe you’d prefer an all-rounder Core hero with a Boost Bomber, to quickly take out the entire opposing team, if used correctly? The choice is yours. Just remember to keep an eye on your opponent, so you can counter if need be! 5) Play alone – or with friends HyperBrawl Tournament is always 2v2, but whether that involves one, two, three or even four players, is entirely up to you (AI will fill any remaining spots). For starters, we’ve got a singleplayer Campaign, if you’d like a place to practice while earning some awesome in-game trophies. When you’re ready to take on the world, you can play Blitz, which is our main online mode, complete with worldwide leaderboards ranked by Wins, KOs and Goals – so even if you don’t win every match, you could still top everyone else when it comes to brawling. You can also play with your friends either locally or online, and use our Party system to invite others no matter where they are in the world. This allows you to mix both local and online players, to play any way you want. So there you have it, five things you should know before jumping into HyperBrawl Tournament, which, by the way, launches on PS4 on October 20. If you want to know more about HyperBrawl (we’ve only just scratched the surface here today), shoot us a message on Twitter, check out our deep dives on YouTube, or consider signing up to our newsletter for some exclusive rewards and prizes. See you in the arena! View the full article
  24. Hello again, explorers! Many moons ago — seven years ago to the day, it turns out — I penned a Spelunky HD survival guide of beginner tips and tricks on this very blog, based on my countless (779, on PS4 alone) journeys into the Caves and far beyond. Well we’ve finally arrived at the altar of Spelunky 2 — the sequel to one of the best, most quietly influential games of all time — and after some meaningful time spent with a pre-release copy, I’m ready to share some learnings. That is to say, a handful of tips — some tangible, others philosophical — for both returning players and those brand-new to the depths. Steel yourself: the walls are shifting…again… Get ready to be bad. Whether this is your first time playing or you’re a thousand hours into the franchise, don’t make the mistake of thinking that Spelunky 2 is like other games — even Spelunky HD. Sure, you’ll need some dexterity and mechanical proficiency to get more than a few minutes into it, but the other half of progress in a Spelunky game is learning how everything fits together. The level pieces that are generated and how it feels to move between them, the behaviors of the enemies, the ways they interact with each other, the differing amounts of damage everything can do to you, etc. etc. etc. You’re just going to be bad for some amount of time until you start to internalize a critical mass of information — so don’t get frustrated. Just accept it up front, and enjoy the immeasurable reward that lies at the nexus of becoming good at the game and starting to understand how it fits together. ABG: Always Be Gathering. My original Spelunky HD guide began with the tip to always be carrying something — a rock, an arrow, a rat — to set off traps and throw at incoming enemies. While this is still important and is regularly a lifesaver, the small ambient level creatures (dung beetles in the first world, for example) no longer set off arrow traps, and there are a couple more ways to dodge or absorb that damage now. But even more important this time around is to gather every scrap of gold and every gem you see (or find by breaking pots, especially the “ghost jar” if you can smash it safely near a level’s exit). Why? Because the items you can buy in Spelunky 2’s shops are even more useful/varied/fun, and you’ll want to be able to afford the good stuff when you see it. What was old is made new again. Per the above, Spelunky 2’s equippable items are incredibly useful — not just the new additions (the Power Pack is an especially fun-if-chaotic way to level yourself up), but particularly the redone items from the first game. The Compass is immensely helpful in guiding you toward the exit in unfamiliar/tense new worlds like the redone Jungle, and now also points to (some) hidden exits for when you start to plumb the game’s many arcane secrets. The Boomerang now does a bang-up job of returning to you after more complex throws, and is surprisingly affordable in a shop. The Climbing Glove no longer auto-sticks to surfaces (you have to hold a button to opt in), removing the one flaw from one of the game’s best items. And also note some small downgrades for items like the Shotgun, which now has recoil even when hanging from ropes/vines/chains (unless you have the aforementioned Power Pack). And lastly the Cape is now surprisingly important for…reasons. ;-) Back to basics. As cool and important as all the extra spelunking tools are, a good spelunker knows that the most critical tools in their roster are the ones they start with: a whip, some bombs, and some ropes (and maybe a little bit of grit). And to get the most out of them, you need to understand exactly how they work. It will become a gut thing over time, but the whip has a very specific range and “hit box” — one that’s notably different from Spelunky HD — and it requires approaching some enemies differently than others. Perhaps you’d like to try hitting bats with a backward-facing “back-whip”? Bomb radiuses are also a bit different than they were in Spelunky HD, and knowing how far away you need to be for safety — or how many blocks you can blast through — can save an otherwise doomed run. As for ropes, don’t forget that you can use them to hit enemies above you in a pinch, and — surprise! — angry shopkeepers can now scurry up them to get you (which can also be a helpful tool in the right situations). Bird’s the word. The new mounts you can ride in the game are as helpful as they are fun, and the sooner you can make them a regular part of your Spelunky vocabulary, the better. This mostly applies to the Turkeys you’ll find in the first world, which — once tamed — give you a double jump, absorb a few hits of damage for you, and can be carried around like a feathery suitcase when it’s not convenient/safe to ride them around an obstacle. They take some getting used to, but it’s worth the time investment. And if nothing else, you can roast them up with a torch or a bomb for some delectable life-giving hearts. Take care mounting the Rock Dog in the Volcana world — but if you can pull it off, fire-breathing and fire-immunity (for the mount, not you) await. Torches: the new rocks. Many of Spelunky 2’s new enemies take multiple hits to kill, so the standard rock is a bit less useful than it once was (beyond setting off traps, which it’s still great for). Thrown arrows don’t break when passing through lesser enemies like bats anymore, but I’d ESPECIALLY recommend getting to know your new best friend: the torch. You can pick one up by whipping any campfire, and they do 2 points of damage when lit — and you can relight one by touching it to any lit wall sconce. You can even use a torch to cook turkeys (you monster), and take out the first mini-boss in a few throws. Don’t underestimate the humble torch! Let The Path come to you. For new players, I’d recommend doing your best to take it slowly (though not more-than-three-minutes slow, lest the ghost show up) and observe the routines of enemies, conveyor belts, etc. before you rush into them. Let the unexpected become the expected, and avoid unpleasant surprises by being a fly on the wall until you’re reading to take the lowest-risk next steps. (Especially for the moles in the first world — watch their patterns and just let them run their course — it’s rarely worth engaging them.) For experienced players, The Path means something entirely different. And you know what? You’ll solve it eventually, and every step of the way will be a wonderful new revelation. But try to avoid the FOMO of not solving it immediately, or being the only way you’re allowed to conquer the game. Just delight in the joy that is Spelunky, and spend your time getting good again. It will take longer than you think, and you’ll be all the better equipped to tackle its more furtive challenges. Which leads me to… Start a Spelunky pod! Pods are all the rage in this weird world of ours (is that why Spelunky 2 is set on the moon?), so why not find a few pals with whom to plumb the depths together? You can learn so much by just having a friend watch and make suggestions, or take turns doing runs. I haven’t tried proper online co-op as of this writing, but I have to assume it’s excellent. But beyond that, try your best to not dive headfirst into Spelunky 2 spoilers and secrets online, since they are myriad, and discovering them in-game — or working through them as a small group — is deeply satisfying. Remember when you didn’t know everything about everything all the time? Remember sharing rumors and theories with friends down at the arcade? Spelunky 2 is the perfect game for that, so at least for the first few weeks, talk amongst yourselves…and perhaps not on the internet. And if you don’t have such a pod in your life, I’ll mention a different sort — the podcast that I host, Eggplant: The Secret Lives of Games (formerly The Spelunky Showlike), on which we’re starting a deep-dive miniseries on Spelunky 2 this Friday (09/18) — so if nothing else, you can listen in and play along with us. And that’s it! Spelunky 2 is just a treasure trove of brilliant design, challenges, laughs, secrets, and well, treasure. And I hope you now feel slightly more equipped for your journey. Godspeed, explorers! P.S. Special thanks to my co-hosts Zach Gage and Doug Wilson for their contributions! And to Derek Yu for not only his wonderful game, but for sanctioning this post. View the full article
  25. PlayStation 4 owners, prepare to engage in your first deniable operations. Just under two months before the release of the direct sequel to the original Call of Duty: Black Ops, and mere weeks ahead of the game’s Beta, all PS4 owners will be able to participate in the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Alpha. This exclusive weekend commences on September 18 at 10am Pacific / 6pm BST, and is set to conclude on September 20 at 10am Pacific / 6pm BST. The Alpha is free to all PS4 players. PlayStation Plus Subscription not required for most owners.* Play Video Pre-Loading, Download Size, and Regional Download Links The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Alpha is set to have a download size of approximately 25 GB. Pre-loading is planned to begin on September 17 at 8am Pacific / 4pm BST ahead of the Alpha’s scheduled launch on September 18 at 10am Pacific / 6pm BST. Download the free Alpha at the links below for your respective region: Download Free Alpha: Americas Download Free Alpha: Europe, Middle East, Australia, or New Zealand. Note that due to the game’s rating, PS Plus is required to download in Germany. Download Free Alpha: Japan Download Free Alpha: Asia Accessing the Alpha + Reward for Participation Those who own Call of Duty: Modern Warfare or have Warzone installed can access the Black Ops Cold War Alpha through the main menu. Within the Modern Warfare or Warzone menus, selecting the Alpha menu blade either brings you straight to the Alpha to jump in and play if you’ve already downloaded, or redirects you to its download page at PS Store. You can also exit the Black Ops Cold War Alpha and go straight into Warzone through a menu blade within the Alpha. All participants will receive a Calling Card, accessible across Modern Warfare, Warzone, and Black Ops Cold War upon its release, just for participating in the Alpha. Here’s what players can expect in the Alpha, including an all-new Multiplayer mode for the franchise: Modes – 6v6 Multiplayer: Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed (Available Sept 18-20) The Alpha will include three traditional game modes across two maps designed for 6v6 play. Among this trio is the gold standard of squad-based game modes in Call of Duty – Team Deathmatch (TDM) – as well as Kill Confirmed, a TDM variant where Operators must confirm kills by picking up enemy dog tags dropped by downed players before they are denied by the enemy team. Then there’s Domination, an objective mode staple in the Call of Duty franchise. Expect a larger capture area than in previous titles in Black Ops Cold War’s Domination, allowing for more cover opportunities and maneuverability when attacking or defending while capturing a point. These three modes will be available on the following maps during the Alpha: Map – Miami A prison transport vehicle has been intercepted by Perseus through hired DGI forces, with CIA forces arriving to take them out in the heat of Miami’s South Beach. Amid art-deco architecture and neon lights, Operators battle between various buildings, in the streets, and on a stretch of the beachfront itself. Various rooftops and windows act as prime longshot spots for sharpshooters who can take advantage of vistas across empty streets and beaches. Meanwhile, Operators can weave in-and-out of vacated tourist traps in close-quarters combat, using parts of a parking garage or the beachfront to flank enemy combatants. Map – Satellite First teased in the Black Ops Cold War Reveal trailer, Satellite is set in an Angolan desert where a KH-9 American-made satellite has been downed. Soviet and American forces arrive on a battlefield devoid of any man-made structures, save for the satellite in question at mid-map. Other than this cover-heavy central point, the map’s rocky outcroppings and archways provide numerous flanking routes and plenty of cover. Alternatively, the natural sand dunes on the opposite side of the map are a perfect territory for snipers, at the expense of any meaningful protection from aerial Scorestreaks or a cross-map high-caliber bullet. Introducing Combined Arms: Domination (Available Sept 18-20) Combined Arms: Domination is a new 12v12, vehicle-inclusive twist on traditional Domination, set in larger maps compared to the game’s traditional 6v6 play spaces. In Combined Arms, vehicles such as Tanks, Snowmobiles, Wakerunners, and Gunboats will allow squads to bolster their firepower and mobility across these expanded environments. Like the core 6v6 Domination mode, teams will be tasked with capturing and defending multiple objectives between two initial spawn areas. Along with traditional loadout-based firefights and Scorestreak play, Combined Arms: Domination is defined by how each squad uses the available selection of vehicles to help their team turn the tide of battle. In the Alpha experience, Combined Arms: Domination will take place on two maps: Map – Armada It’s 1984, and U.S. and Soviet forces are battling it out in the North Atlantic Ocean in search of a prototype nuclear submarine. Competing squads will take to the high seas with skirmishes on multiple ships, utilizing ziplines, rappel lines, and various seacraft to navigate the rough waters below. The central ship is a hotspot for combat of all forms, from CQB battles in control stations, to sniper duels with adjacent ships, to aquatic warfare that may take place below the surface. Be sure to explore every nook and cranny of the map to discover new entryways to each objective point, and keep your head on a swivel. Map – Crossroads In the middle of the frozen Soviet wilderness, NATO forces have ambushed a large military convoy comprised of mobile ICBM launchers. Tanks and Snowmobiles will help operatives plow over this snowy tundra’s banks and groves, both of which could be temporary homes to sharpshooters looking for longshot opportunities. Those planning out their strategy for victory should consider wresting control of the communications station, the lone structure that stands at the dead center of the iced-over lake. Or, for those looking to flank the enemy team, try braving the rickety bridge that spans over a deadly chasm… if you’re not afraid of heights, that is. Need to see the new maps and modes in action, including a run-down of what Multiplayer entails? Be sure to watch the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Reveal video here! Traditional Loadout, Scorestreak Options Available Before dropping into the above maps and modes, get a glimpse at the Create-a-Class, Gunsmith, and Scorestreak customization features showcased in limited capacity during the Alpha. While you’re editing your loadout, get to know the new Field Upgrades on offer. These are pieces of equipment earned over time while in-game that can act as a boon for your fellow squadmates or hinder the enemy team’s abilities. Wildcards also fundamentally alter the rules of Create-a-Class, with four powerful options to choose from for maximum flexibility. Alternatively, a few default loadouts are available for Operators looking to pick up and play with a developer-tailored selection of weapons, attachments, Perks, equipment, Field Upgrades, and Wildcards. For those looking for inspiration on Create-a-Class and Gunsmith creation ideas, these default loadouts can act as a great framework for crafting your own custom arsenal. Once everything is to your preference, dive into Multiplayer and earn some Scorestreaks, which can be crucial for achieving victory. Scorestreak points – earned via both kills and objective play – are kept through death. Stay alive and string together multiple kills in one life to earn point multipliers that will aid in earning higher-end, game-changing battlefield technology. Pre-Order Now on Digital This Alpha is just a fraction of all the content to come with Black Ops Cold War Multiplayer; expect more modes, maps, weapons and vehicles in the upcoming Open Beta and at the game’s launch on November 13. Pre-order digitally now and get instant rewards like the Woods Operator Pack** for immediate use in Modern Warfare and Warzone, and secure early access to the Open Beta***, first on PS4. *PS4™ owners in Germany will need a PS Plus subscription due to the game’s age rating. Alpha starts September 18, 2020 on PS4 system. Actual platform availability and launch date(s) of Alpha subject to change. See for more details. Minimum Alpha duration is 2 days. Limited time only. Internet connection required. **Call of Duty: Modern Warfare / Call of Duty: Warzone on pre-order platform required to redeem Woods Operator and Blueprint. Sold/downloaded separately. Must be redeemed by Nov. 13, 2021. ***Actual platform availability and launch date(s) of MP Beta subject to change. See for more details. Minimum Open Beta duration is 2 days. Limited time only, while Early Access Beta Codes last, at participating retailers. Internet connection required. Online multiplayer subscription may be required. © 2020 Activision Publishing, Inc. ACTIVISION, CALL OF DUTY, CALL OF DUTY BLACK OPS, CALL OF DUTY WARZONE, MODERN WARFARE, and WARZONE are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. View the full article