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Game Informer News Feed - 4 hours 56 sec ago

Persona Q 2, the second game in the series of Persona crossovers based around Etrian Odyssey's mechanics, is coming out in Japan later this year. While the previous game brought together the casts of Persona 3 and 4, the sequel adds Persona 5 into the mix for a cinema-themed story. You can check out the intro video below.

The intro also shows a few of the original characters in the game, much like Persona Q had.

While Persona Q 2 has not yet been announced for America, Atlus has never shied away from releasing a game on aging systems, especially for more fan-oriented titles. The Japanese version of the game launches in November on 3DS.

Categories: Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombie Mode Gets A Music Video With New Footage

Game Informer News Feed - 20 hours 50 min ago

Treyarch's Call of Duty games and zombies modes are inseparable at this point and fans of the zombie mode wouldn't have it any other way. This year, Call of Duty's zombie campaign titled "IX" is punctuated by a vocal song from Avenged Sevenfold named "Mad Hatter." Treyarch has released the song in the form of a music video which contains some new footage of Black Ops 4's zombie mode.

If you want to know more about Black Ops 4's zombie mode, check out this interview on this year's expanded mode and also see how we get the full history of the mode right here.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12.

Categories: Games

Trials Rising Is Ridiculous Globe-Trotting Fun

Game Informer News Feed - 22 hours 20 min ago

Trials Rising's has a deceptively simple goal: race a motorcycle to the end of the track as fast as you can. This is easier said than done, since each course invents increasingly creative ways to smear you across the pavement. Luckily, crashing is almost as fun as sailing past the checkered finish-line. Ubisoft's latest entry in the Trials series is fast-paced, over-the-top, and fun as hell.

I recently played the closed beta and, while features like the Store and Track Editor were unavailable, I had access to nineteen different tracks mostly scattered across North America and Europe. It is the first main entry in the Trials series since 2014, and Ubisoft’s decision to work with the community pays off with a tutorial system that quickly gets newcomers up to speed while still engaging long-time fans.

Right on Track

Trials Rising’s early levels are set in North America and feature big jumps in Yellowstone National Park, an out-of-control Midwestern theme park, and firework-enhanced antics in New York. Unlocking new courses and continents, hinges on increasing your rider's fame. You accomplish this by finishing races under time to earn medals or by completing sponsor contracts, like doing multiple flips before crossing the finish line. After amassing enough fame and dominating a multi-course stadium race, European tracks appear. Scrambling over teetering rocks in the UK and catapulting through the wonderfully titled “I Fell Tower” course in France, while marked as a medium challenge in-game, are absurdly entertaining servings of humble pie.

Don't be fooled by the simple starting contracts. Your first sponsor sets goals like “finish a race” or “beat an opponent,” but the challenges soon escalate to “travel 10 meters on your front wheel without crashing more than once.” You can make life easier for yourself if you pick the right bike for the job. There are four bike types: Squid, an all-around competent bike; Rhino, a heavier and more powerful machine; Mantis, a lightweight speedster great for tricks; and Tandem, a wacky new co-op option for when playing solo is just too easy. That’s right, Trials Rising has introduced a bike that lets two players control one vehicle. One player alone will not be able to reach top speed or fully maneuver; only both players working simultaneously can finish a race.

For the first time, Trials Rising includes human ghost players and has implemented them as part of the cross-platform functionality. You can’t directly play with friends on different consoles, but you can watch players from Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC run through the same course. You may find a faster path or uncover strategies to deal with punishing obstacles by studying their choices. If you want to make your own discoveries, you can turn the ghost feature off in the options menu.

  Relearn the Laws of Physics

Crossing the finish-line requires a deft touch. If you are too fast, you might overshoot your landing, and if you lean too far forward you might flip the bike head over wheels. Luckily, I found crashing to be nearly as enjoyable as a perfect run. The ragdoll physics and unusual tracks are humorous bedfellows. Watching my rider’s limp body rocket down an unbelievably sheer drop, smearing her face across a wooden plank, and summarily flopping off the course’s edge was one of my favorite moments. Prepare to crash. A lot. Thankfully, Trials Rising mitigates frustration with generously placed check points. The clock keeps ticking, though, so it's better to be cautious in timed races. Fun as eating dirt might be, that first smooth run is undeniably satisfying, and returning fans can expect the same solid gameplay they have come to love.

Gear Crates and In-Game Currency

At this stage, earning medals and accomplishing sponsor goals nets players both trials coins and experience points that increase fame. Trials Rising celebrates each new fame level by doling out gear crates full of cosmetic-only rewards. Trials coins are spent on things like victory animations and re-rolling a bad gear crate. The price to re-roll goes up every time, so you might want to use this feature sparingly. Ubisoft clarified here that players can also purchase acorns, a different in-game currency not shown in the beta, using real money.

New Game, New You

On top of the typical character creation choices like gender, voice type, and skin tone – I went with a cotton candy blue – Trials Rising offers additional creative freedom over your rider's look. Feel free to swap out accessories, helmets, jackets, shirts, gloves, bottoms, and footwear to reflect your personality. Change each item’s color or attach stickers – which you can also customize by adjusting their size, location, and hue. The result is a truly unique look. I went down the rabbit hole creating a rider that looked like a Rebel Alliance pilot. When that didn’t go well, I pivoted to an overall zebra aesthetic.

Trials Rising doesn’t take itself too seriously, as evidenced by the gorilla suit and cowboy attire available in the gold edition pre-order. This new addition to the series will be a delight to new fans and rise to the expectations of old ones wanting a fresh take on the traditional Trials experience.  If you want a game stuffed with personality and addictive challenges, Trials Rising is coming out February 12, on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Categories: Games

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Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 20:45

Earth Defense Force 5, the upcoming Sandlot shooter about getting bugs off your planet, finally has a U.S. release date. You can start exterminating aliens on December 11, just in time for the holidays.

If you're unfamiliar with Earth Defense Force, or want to know what the new game in the series brings to the table, you're in luck! We put up a New Gameplay Today of Earth Defense Force 5 earlier! Watch as bugs get blasted in this new video. Also maybe some frogs, I'm no alienologist.

Earth Defense Force 5 will be hitting your PlayStation 4 on December 11.

Categories: Games

Star Control: Origins Review - Space Oddity

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 18:00

Star Control II was released in 1992 and remains notable for its bold amalgam of seemingly disparate ideas. It combined space exploration, arcade combat, resource management, trading, questing and chatting with aliens in a way that suggested its creators were still eagerly discovering what a game could be. This reboot, from strategy game developer Stardock, is a mostly faithful adaptation. It delivers an expansive galaxy steeped in mystery, knowing sci-fi winks and modern interface convenience, but as a genre mashup it can at times feel shallow and the overall experience is uneven.

Star Control: Origins begins with the human race donning its crisp and immaculately tailored Star Control uniform and making first contact with alien life. Within moments you find yourself appointed captain of the only ship in the human fleet equipped with a hyperdrive and thus entrusted with representing your species in the fledgling field of galactic diplomacy. This is no lavish 3D space sim a la Elite Dangerous, it should be noted. Most of the time you'll be looking at a flat 2D starfield as your ship putters around the galaxy. In combat, it looks much the same, and all conversations are shown as cartoonishly animated 2D scenes with plenty of text. Elsewhere, there are sector maps to analyze and ship upgrade blueprints to pore over--even a hyperlinked captain's log that records all your discoveries. The presentation definitely leans heavily into the strategy portion of its genre mashup.

It quickly transpires that there are a lot of aliens in the galaxy, many of whom are well aware of the existence of humans and, let's be honest, seem surprised we're capable of rubbing two sticks together, let alone piloting a vessel between stars. Some of the aliens you meet will be friendly and keen to support your endeavors with advice, extra ships, and fuel top-ups. Others will be less friendly, interested in either taking advantage of your interstellar naivety by sending you on errands in exchange for their favor or shooting you on sight.

Aliens are painted in broad strokes, each species distinguished by their physical appearance and one or two glaring personality traits. The Mu'Kay are squid who are good-natured but really hate (and eat) fish, for example, while the Tywom are hapless but well-meaning slugs who have resigned themselves to being the most boring species in the galaxy. There's little nuance to the way each alien species is portrayed--they're all glib sketches with one element exaggerated for comic effect. Despite this, the writing is consistently excellent, regardless of whether you're hearing from an important quest-giver or generic NPC. A nice line about quirky details, good comedic timing, and the odd genuinely good joke elevates each alien beyond mere caricature. Encounters, even those that end in violence, are always played for laughs, resulting in a lighthearted, almost jovial tone that belies the starcharts and spreadsheet-style presentation elsewhere.

When you're not chinwagging with your new extraterrestrial friends, you're probably being pelted with laser fire by the Skryve or the Drenkend or one of the other new enemies you've offended by poking your helmet beyond the Milky Way. Combat plays out on a discrete 2D arena where you battle one-on-one with an enemy ship. There's some strategy here as you weigh up the odds of your weaker ships winning versus the likelihood you might need to save your better ships for the next fight. And there's some skill required to make effective use of each ship's weapon loadout and handling, as well as managing the power-ups scattered around the arena.

But for the most part, as a top-down shoot ‘em up duel where you only control one ship with two weapons, combat feels too slight, too simplistic, a deficiency exacerbated by the frustratingly erratic AI behavior that sees it veer between unerring accuracy and blundering idiocy for no discernible reason. It's as infuriating when a weaker enemy ship hits you with every single missile as it is hilarious when the next enemy ship blows itself up by repeatedly crashing into asteroids. You can't skip combat if it's not to your taste, though you can outfit your ship with an upgrade that leaves combat to the AI--and leaves you to suffer through watching it. I spent an hour or so saving up to buy the AI-controlled fleet upgrade, only to disable it immediately after despairing at how its idea of an effective combat maneuver was to follow the enemy ship in a circle and hurl itself at every proximity mine the enemy dropped.

Throughout, Star Control: Origins is at its weakest when trying its hand at arcade-style action. When you reach a new planet or moon, you can launch a lander to explore its surface, quite literally dropping you into a mini-game where you have to guide your vehicle through the atmosphere to the target landing zone. It's all over in a matter of seconds, and the only challenge is that sometimes a strong wind will blow you off course--a hazard that can be mitigated through lander upgrades.

Once on the surface, you drive across the dinky sphere, collecting resources and avoiding or shooting hostile droids and creatures. Much like the combat, it's a simple affair, but there's a certain fastidious pleasure to be had from strip-mining every last trace of neutronium from the earth. Yet it can also become tedious as the limited cargo capacities of your lander and your ship conspire to force frequent (and lengthy) trips back to the nearest spaceport to sell your loot in order to maintain the grind.

Soon, however, you'll stumble upon a point of interest on one of these spherical excursions and find yourself triggering a new quest to investigate a crashed ship or a mysterious distress call or pick up a lead as to the whereabouts of a post-human sect known as the Lexites. Before you know it, you're charting a course to a new system, filled with optimism about what you'll find on the next planet, what ship upgrades you'll soon be able to afford, what adventures the next alien you meet will inspire.

At its best, Star Control: Origins urges you to poke and prod into every corner of its intimidatingly vast galaxy, searching out ancient secrets and pun-filled absurdities. At its worst, it drags you through mediocre arcade sequences and generic grind. Genre mashups are far more common today than they were in 1992, but striking the right balance between adventure, role-playing and arcade action remains as tricky as ever.

Categories: Games

Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse Review

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 17:48

Editor's note: Almost five years after its PC debut, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse has come to the Nintendo Switch, bringing its challenging variety of point-and-click adventure puzzles and complex but compelling narrative to the portable system. With it comes some elegant touch screen controls that make poking around the beautifully drawn and detailed environments feel more natural, though you can jump back to using the Joy-Con at any time, switching between the two methods without opening a menu.

As you progress through the familiar but still fascinating story you'll also unlock Switch-exclusive bonus movies from a making-of documentary about the game's development, including some great looking concept art. Even now, Broken Sword 5 still looks gorgeous, and although its murder-turned-conspiracy story feels somewhat rote these days, its characters and dialogue are still great fun to watch as the drama unfolds. The pick-up-and-put-down nature of a point-and-click adventure works especially well on Switch, and the excellent use of touch screen controls enhances the experience even more. -- James Swinbanks, 9/20/18 [We have updated the score to reflect our experience with the Nintendo Switch version. The original review follows below.]

You mainly play as George, but you switch between him and Nico while investigating.

A murdered art gallery owner, a helmeted assassin, and a missing painting. It's just another beautiful day in Paris, and for George Stobbart and Nico Collard, a brand-new case to be solved. After a seven-year hiatus and a successful Kickstarter campaign, the best-selling Broken Sword series has reemerged. Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse ushers the return of the franchise's protagonists, along with a host of favorites.

It has been quite a while since George and Nico have joined up to solve a case, and in that stretch of time, the two seem to have pursued their own ventures: George has become an agent for an insurance company, and Nico is continuing her career as a globetrotting journalist. But a tragedy strikes, leaving a man murdered for a painting that was worth considerably less than others in the gallery. Since it was George's company that insured the showcase, he feels obligated to uncover the reason behind the theft and find out what makes this painting important enough to kill for. The crime-solving duo are soon reunited and thrust into a murderous conspiracy, armed only with George's astute problem-solving skills and Nico's feminine charm and sharp wit.

The story weaves a smart, fascinating, and often humorous tale. George and Nico's latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair, with just enough room for an ex-Russian mobster and an assassin or two to be thrown into the mix. You switch between the two characters as they follow a trail that has them trekking through France and London chasing down leads. As you progress, the plot begins to revolve around an age-old conflict between Gnostic and Dominican Christians, and at its epicenter is the painting: La Malediccio. The painting hides more secrets than what can be seen on the surface, and may be the key to an impending epidemic that threatens all life.

Broken Sword 5 follows the series' roots as a point-and-click adventure; you use the mouse cursor to control movement as well as to manipulate objects in an area, speak with people, or use items in your inventory to solve a puzzle. Like in many games in the genre, you pick up items and bits of evidence and store them. You use evidence to drag the truth out of people or suspects, while other items, even the most miniscule, such as a paper clip, 1970s cologne, or nail clippers, can be used or combined to solve puzzles down the line.

The two sleuths hop back and forth between Paris and London.

The order in which you procure these items is up to you. At times, you may only have a few clues, leaving you to scour the environment for more evidence necessary to drag information out of your target. Typically, all the evidence required to move the plot along is in your vicinity, if not already on hand. Any and all items in your inventory can be used in a conversation, sometimes to humorous results.

The puzzles in Broken Sword 5 are not too strenuous. Most of the time you already have everything in your inventory needed to complete a puzzle; otherwise, a quick hunt around the area yields what you need. The game plays a musical note when you're making progress in a puzzle or in your interrogation, cluing you in on when you're on the right path. The plot doesn't advance until you find every item or piece of evidence in the area, press the right series of switches, or receive an answer to all questions available. But if you do find yourself stumped, there's an optional hint system. The first hint or two gently nudge you in the right direction. If you still come up empty, the final hint presents the puzzle's full solution.

The various settings are designed with colorful, hand-painted graphics, and the cel-shaded characters blend effortlessly into the gorgeous scenic backdrops. Though Broken Sword 5 is aesthetically pleasing, it's hard not to notice the stiff and somewhat primitive animations, which are distracting compared to the game's overall beauty. Broken Sword 5's rich and vibrant world is complemented by characters who are interesting, entertaining, and often hilarious. The subtle nuances of their personalities shine through every conversation, and a great vocal cast makes each character believable and memorable.

George and Nico's latest adventure is fraught with murder, sabotage, and a seedy love affair.

Some of the standout characters include the returning Sergeant Moue, who plays lapdog to the bumbling Inspector Navet. There is also a stereotypically snooty Frenchman who stands guard at an empty cafe while quoting philosophical advice. Also starring are a lecherous art critic and a young man who needs presentation advice for his mobile shop of trinkets and collectibles. The many varied and unique characters reinforce the depth of the game's narrative, and the two protagonists demonstrate a particular chemistry that makes their longtime history feel convincing.

You are provided with an in-game map, but Broken Sword 5 keeps aimless wandering down to a minimum. There was never a moment when I stared at the map screen not knowing my next destination. Even when you choose the wrong direction, the game comes up with a reason for you to turn back and try the opposite route. Some adventure game fans may be turned off by the linear focus, but I felt the design allowed the narrative to move with a strong pace and clear direction.

George Stobbart is back with a new mystery to solve

Just how deep the rabbit hole goes is the one mystery Broken Sword 5 doesn't shed light on. After about six hours, the game abruptly ends just as things start heating up for our stalwart heroes, leaving more lingering questions and theories than hard answers. The game is the first episode of a two-part adventure, meaning we won't get to the bottom of the conspiracy until sometime early next year.

Smart, occasionally funny, and immediately charming, Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse is easy to recommend based on its strong narrative, memorable characters, and artistic merit. The game is a vibrant return to form for the series, and should easily please the series' and point-and-click adventure game fans alike. The answers to the most pivotal questions remain on the horizon, but it's still good to see George and Nico back in action--they have been missed.

Categories: Games

The Biggest Takeaways From Our Red Dead Redemption II Hands-On Demo

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 15:00

Last week, I visited Rockstar’s headquarters in New York City to play the most highly anticipated game of the year. It’s been eight years since Red Dead Redemption was released, and enthusiasm over John Marston’s open-world adventure hasn’t dimmed. Would new protagonist Arthur Morgan be up to snuff? Can Rockstar create a worthy follow-up to such a beloved game? The sequel has some mighty big boots to fill, in other words. After getting some hands-on time with the game, playing through a couple of missions, exploring camp life, and visiting a nearby town, I’m confident in saying that Red Dead Redemption II is worth the wait.   

During my time with the game, I played through a couple of different missions. In the first one, Dutch’s gang pulled off a train heist, which didn’t go off exactly as planned. The other mission was a raid against a rival gang’s hideout that started quiet and ended in an all-out assault. Rather than provide a beat-by-beat recounting of those two sequences, I’m pulling out the highlights – whether they revolve around new systems, tweaks to existing elements, or little touches that added a little extra magic to the game. 

The Train Heist

Dutch and the gang learn about an armored train from an earlier encounter with a rival gang. The train, owned by oil baron Leviticus Cornwall, is said to be filled with money, but it’s heavily fortified. Fortunately, Dutch is good at thinking on his feet. He formulates a plan that centers on blowing up the tracks and catching the train’s crew by surprise. Subtlety isn’t his forte.

After riding to an overlook position near the tunnel, we prepare for the job by pulling down our bandanas (something I have to do by accessing the face-masking option in my item wheel). I then descend the hill and help Bill Williamson rig the explosives by stringing wire from the dynamite over to the detonator behind some nearby rocks. Unfortunately, when it comes time to blow it all to smithereens, nothing happens.

Now that the plan is out of the window, we improvise. A few of us jump onto the back of the train as it passes, and we work our way to the front with the hope of incapacitating the engine. Lenny Summers, one of the gang’s more reliable members, accompanies me on this leg of the mission. At several points, he pauses and asks how we should proceed, and I’m given the choice between having him clear out a path in front of me or taking the lead myself. He’s a good shot, and I find that it’s quite helpful to give him free rein. 

Eventually, we stop the engine and learn that Cornwall is a man who likes to be prepared. A host of armed guards pour out, and there’s a fierce firefight. Dead Eye is back, and the time-slowing system makes it easier to manage the waves of enemies by painting targets and unloading into them in a flash. Rockstar says that Dead Eye can be upgraded multiple times, eventually showing critical-hit zones and automatically painting enemies, but I had to settle with a version that felt comfortably close to the system from the last Red Dead game.

 

Once my gang regroups, we take control of the scene and blow open the armored car. From there, it’s a simple job of walking in and looting everything I can find. It’s not a revelatory change by any means, but Arthur will methodically loot everything he sees on a table or shelf when you hold down a button, going from one item to the next. It sure beats having to move a crosshair over each item individually.

Now that the train has been looted, I have to make a decision: Do I kill the witnesses, let them run free, or put them back onto the train and send it back out to who knows where? I take the simplest option, and put a bullet in the head of the closest man. The rest of them spring to their feet and scatter in different directions. I’m able to wing one of them, but they get away.

Unlike John Marston, who liked to talk about how his outlaw days were far behind him, Arthur is in the midst of it all. You can choose to make honorable decisions in the world or continue along Arthur’s dark path. Be good, and civilians will be more friendly, you’ll get more money from bounty-hunting jobs, and slow-motion killcams will be more heroic. Take a darker path, and you can expect more cash from robberies and more gruesome killcams.

Camp Life

Whether you wear a black or white hat, Arthur is still a member of Dutch’s gang. There are more than a dozen fellow gang members to interact with, and they all live in a home base, the gang’s camp. The camp element adds a different feel to Red Dead Redemption II from its predecessor, since you’re not a transient moving around the world. Instead, you have a place to call home. 

You can take on side missions here, or just walk around interacting with members of your gang. The camp doesn’t operate on goodwill alone, however. It needs food, medicine, and other supplies to keep going, and you can choose to contribute to the cause. I didn’t get to engage in the loop here, but I’m excited that hunting does more than line my pockets or help me craft new apparel (though those elements are here, too). You can bring your carcasses back to the camp cook, Pearson, and he’ll use that game to make food. Contribute enough, and morale will increase.

The Gang Shootout

Not everyone at camp is a friend. In the second mission, I meet up with Kieran, a captured member of the rival O’Driscoll gang who seems to be having some problems remembering his past. Dutch has tied the man up, kept his rations at a minimum, and eventually threatens to geld him with a pair of tongs. That last act jogs Kieran’s memory, and he reveals the location of Colm O’Driscoll, the leader.

This mission is interesting, because John Marston comes along for the ride, as do Bill and Kieran. It’s a fun reunion for those of us who played the last game, but Arthur seems like he can either take or leave John’s company. The overall sense I get is that John isn’t the most popular guy in camp. Still, I’m happy to ride along with John – for a while, at least. 

I realize how outnumbered our group is when we reach Six Point Cabin, the hideout. It’s in the middle of a wooded area, and it seems as though there are O’Driscolls in every direction. Once again, I’m given choices as we infiltrate the camp. I decide to take out the first few enemies at range, using my bow to silently eliminate them. One lone O’Driscoll is sitting on a log, and I have John take him out, saying “Get your hands dirty for a change.” He does so in a violent stabbing that even makes Arthur wince.

The silent approach only works for so long, and eventually I’m spotted. At that point, I switch to my repeater and take cover. John and Bill do a solid job of thinning out the O’Driscolls, and I pop out of cover to do my part. I mix Dead Eye kills with aimed shots; the gunplay feels pretty good, and enemies react gruesomely when they’re struck by my bullets. One of my friends shouts “Die, you drunk idiots!” during the gunfight, which seems like a completely appropriate sentiment.  

When the last O’Driscoll is face-down in the dirt, we head toward the cabin. Instead of finding Colm inside, blacked out, I’m attacked by one last O’Driscoll. Fortunately, I’m saved by a shot from the former prisoner Kieran. He pleads to stay with us, and Arthur relents. We may have one more mouth to feed, but Kieran could actually be a decent guy after all. To prove his worth, he shows Arthur where $600 is stashed near the chimney. Not too shabby.

Valentine

What does $600 get you? Your dollar can go pretty far in a place like Valentine, a little community a short ride away from camp. Here, I get a sense of some of other activities you can engage in – things that don’t necessarily require you to pull a trigger.

The general store has all manner of provisions, including an impressive number of clothing options for Arthur. The catalog on the shelf has pages devoted to apparel, and you flip through each one like it were a physical book (unlike the abstracted icons in Red Dead Redemption). There are pages of hats, vests, coasts, boots, pants, and more. Clothing is cosmetic, but it also protects you from elements like the cold. Rockstar says you can modify clothing, too, so you can choose to tuck your pants into your boots or roll up your sleeves. You can also choose to wear a fedora, but no thanks. 

Guns are a big part of the outlaw life, so the gunsmith is an important stop. You can buy new firearms here, as well as specialized ammunition and customization options. There’s an element of firearm maintenance, too. Near the chimney at the O’Driscoll cabin, I found an old shotgun hanging on display. I grabbed it, but it was old and dirty. Applying gun oil restored its potential, increasing its overall damage and other stats. You can pick up more gun oil at this shop, as well as items such as holsters that slow down the speed that weapons degrade over time. 

There’s also a stable where you can buy and sell horses, as well as pick up tack supplies to maintain your own roster of horses. The horse riding is one of the most noticeable improvements over the past game. Horses do a better job of sticking to the path, and they just feel right overall. Their animations are impressive, tentatively stepping across rough terrain, biting at flies while idle, and moving their ears around to hear nearby sounds. The more you ride a horse, the closer your bond with it, and each level has accompanying gameplay elements. On the low end, you can rear up while in the saddle. The highest tier allows you to pull off a sudden skid turn, so you can maneuver around danger at the last second with ease. You can dump your cash into a variety of different cosmetics for horses, like saddles, blankets, and stirrups.

The World Itself

Red Dead Redemption II is easily one of the best-looking games I’ve seen, with an astonishing attention to detail. Arthur changes his posture in bad weather, tucking his chin down to avoid getting wet. The dialog you hear on horseback was recorded twice – at normal volume and a yelling variant, for when characters are far apart. You can holster your pistols with a fancy flourish, like a movie cowboy (or RoboCop). And you can choose to see it all in either a traditional third-person view or via the first-person.

The game makes use of the left trigger in an interesting way. Usually, that button’s used for pulling up iron sights or a precision-aiming mode in games. That holds true here, too, when your weapon is drawn. When it’s holstered, however, it’s essentially a “focus” button. You can look at an NPC and press the button to pull up a variety of different interactions, such as saying hello, intimidating them, or straight up robbery. It’s a small touch, but I enjoyed saying hello to people I passed on the trail or milling around at camp.

Arthur has needs, too, like eating and sleeping. As you play, Arthur gets hungry and tired over time. If you don’t eat or sleep, you won’t regenerate your health or stamina as quickly. It doesn’t seem to veer into pure simulation territory, but I did eat a snack before a gunfight just in case. I can’t say for certain how it works over longer sessions, but Rockstar is adamant that, like the weapon cleaning, it’s not designed to be intrusive. Instead, it’s a way to remind players that Arthur is a person, and not just a hunk of meat that’s entirely self-sustaining. Over time, his hair and beard will grow, which you can shave at camp or get trimmed in town. Hairstyles and facial hair aren't magically summoned when you plop into the chair, either. If you want a mullet or mustache, you'll have to grow it and have it cut it to form. 

There’s a lot more to the game, but I’m going to have to keep some of it under wraps for the time being. Suffice it to say, Red Dead Redemption 2 is more than just a visual update to an old favorite with a new character. There are elements that are familiar, but Rockstar is very clearly not content with making a safe sequel. 

Red Dead Redemption II is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26. 

Categories: Games

Jump Force Reveals New Characters And Adds Customizable Avatars

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 09:00

Shonen Jump has long been home some of the most iconic manga and anime figures, such as One Piece’s Luffy and Dragonball’s Goku. To help ring in its 50th anniversary, Jump Force is packing in as many of these faces that have become synonymous with anime into one big ring. Part of the delight is finding out who’s on the roster and what extra additions make it more than just a mash-up. At this past TGS, Bandai Namco announced new characters alongside an online hub and character creation system. Previous reveals have been the kind of slam-dunk characters that you’d expect, but now we’re starting to get some surprises.

While Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Yugi was recently announced, his combat style is now understood, as he battles with three cards: Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl, and Slifer the Sky Dragon. On top of that, fans of 90s anime will be happy to see two characters from Yu Yu Hakusho, Yusuke and Toguro. That’s not all that’s newly announced, however, as environments like DBZ’s Planet Namek and Japan’s Himeji Castle are now ripe for battle. 

Additionally, a brand new feature debuted at TGS: the online lobby and character creator. Players can helm their own character, created in the style of the various Jump properties, in the story mode as well as an online lobby for interacting with fellow combatants. While details are slim on the story mode, it does feature four characters created from the ground up for Jump Force by the famed Akira Toriyama: J-Force leader Glover, robot assistant Navigator, and the two villains, Galena and Kane. While famous Jump villains are playable, Bandai Namco wanted to have its own, unique antagonists for the story, though not much has been revealed beyond their appearance.

While Bandai Namco was not yet prepared to show the character generator, we did get a look at one of the avatars it created – a young woman who looked much like Luffy, obviously in the One Piece vein. While it was confirmed, you can adjust things like skin tone, gender, and costumes, it’s not yet known if a character’s visual style or gender will have any effect on their combat skills; we hope that we’ll be able to Kamehameha with a character who would fit in with the Bleach cast. 

Our hands-on with Jump Force didn’t reveal much that was new – the fast-paced, bombastic combat is still reminiscent of the recent Naruto fighting games, and that’s not a bad thing. Powerful moves abounded and it felt great to take down Sasuke Uchiha as his true arch-rival: Frieza. Additionally, the framerate kept up no matter what was on screen and watching the characters show the damage they’d taken was a nice treat.

This is looking like a huge step up compared to the last Jump crossover, J Stars Victory Vs. February can’t roll around fast enough for anime and manga fans. 

Categories: Games

New Resident Evil 2 Trailer Shows Off The Mysterious Ada Wong

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 06:25

Capcom released a new story trailer for Resident Evil 2's remake showing off the femme fatale spy Ada Wong and her new design for the first time. You can check out the trailer below.

The trailer shows the major players of the game, including Claire, Leon, Ada, the Birkins, and overall kind of spoils a decent bit of Resident Evil 2 if you never played it and are hoping to go in fresh.

Resident Evil 2 releases on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 25.

Categories: Games

New Devil May Cry 5 Trailer Shows Dante, Lady, Trish, And Mega Man's Buster

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 09/20/2018 - 05:39

Despite earlier releasing an extended Gamescom trailer, Capcom did in fact still release a Tokyo Games Show trailer featuring Dante. The trailer focuses on the old school Devil May Cry crew of Dante, Trish, and Lady primarily, but also brings Nero and Nico in to interact with them.

You can check out the trailer below.

Interesting to note that, despite removing the music video for the song "Subhuman" from the trailer earlier today, the song is still present in the trailer.

The TGS trailer also shows us the first look at V, the third playable character in the game. Contrary to speculation, he does not appear to be Vergil, but he could be associated with him somehow. It seems unlikely Itsuno would call him V without realizing the association people would make with his favorite character.

During their presentation today, Capcom also revealed that Devil May Cry 5 would crossover with Mega Man, as well, giving Nero a Mega Buster Devil Arm. The arm functions as you would expect a Mega Buster to function, including pellet and charge shots. While the trailer for it, which you can find below, takes some creative licenses with the in-game camera, I sure wouldn't mind if they included the exploding energy circles for Nero's death animation.

The Mega Buster was mentioned as part of Devil May Cry 5's Deluxe Edition which, much like Resident Evil 2's remake coming in January, has music tracks from the previous game included as DLC. The Deluxe Edition also includes an enhanced motorcycle weapon for Dante and three other devil breakers for Nero.

Devil May Cry 5 is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 8.

Categories: Games

The Gardens Between Review - Dance Among The Stars

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 16:00

A game that can be completed in a single sitting is an opportunity to experience an idea from start to finish without external factors getting in the way. It could be a boss rush that's just a gauntlet of the meanest brutes around, or it could be a touching tale that makes the most of its brief runtime by getting to the heart of the matter. A short-format game risks wrapping up before its time has come, but paced properly, it can be the perfect fit when the right idea comes along. In the case of The Gardens Between, the heartfelt interactions that play out on-screen between two friends on a sentimental adventure make the game the definition of short but sweet.

It begins one dark and stormy night, when as if by magic the two friends are pulled into a strange world while hiding from the rain in their cozy treehouse. They materialize on a planet dominated by water, and the islands they sail between using their treehouse-turned-boat are manifestations of their memories, recreated with real-world objects. Supersized couches and knick-knacks function as structures and obstacles in the imaginary dimension, and sometimes as mechanisms used to solve puzzles. Your goal on each island is to reach the end of a path and deliver an orb of light--a process that solidifies the friends' memories as constellations in the night sky.

Though you can influence each character's actions, you don't directly control their movement. Rather than move them to and fro, you can shift time forward and backwards, and the two characters will walk along a path in kind. They each possess a distinct ability--one can carry a lamp to transport orbs of light, and the other can activate switches that reconfigure puzzle-related elements in the environment.

The environmental puzzles run the gamut from simple cause-and-effect scenarios to unorthodox headscratchers that require the use of dreamlogic. In practically every case the necessary hints are right before your eyes; shifting time to and fro and paying close attention to the way things change is often all you need to deduce a solution. The trick is usually the manipulation of objects that are free from time's grasp in conjunction with finding the right moment in time to let them loose.

Without these puzzles The Gardens Between would struggle to last an hour, yet despite being modestly challenging and inventive, they somehow feel unimportant in the grand scheme. There is no context for their existence as obstacles other than being opportunities for two friends to cooperate, but the tiny doses of narrative at the end of each island reflect the objects in the scene rather than the efforts used to pass through it. Puzzles are the "gameplay" that allows you to play a part in the two characters' journey and in a way make the realization of each memory feel earned, but they fall by the wayside when the spotlight is focused on the two teens.

Though the world they venture through is full of creative touches and small magical moments, the two characters own every moment. From the way they subtly peep at one another while crossing paths, to the adorable gestures they use to point out helpful objects in the distance, their body language clues you in to their special bond. They say so much without ever uttering a word. Their cute and quirky selves are infectiously adorable, and before you know it, you've tumbled head over heels into their world and ultimately the formation of a new, unforgettable memory by the end of their journey.

It may only take two to three hours to see everything The Gardens Between has to offer, but the warm and fuzzy feelings from start to finish ensure that your memories of playing it will live on. The expressive faces of the two teens and the relatable memories they share will speak to anyone who's ever had a close childhood friend, and while the puzzles won't go down as the most ingenious or demanding, they nevertheless give you more time to spend frolicking in a nostalgic and heartwarming world where friendship is all that matters.

Categories: Games

How To Put Your Pokémon Go Collection Into Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 15:43

The new trailer for Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu/Eevee details how you can import Pokémon from mobile title Pokémon Go into the Switch title.

Your Pokémon from Pokémon Go appear in the Go Park Complex (made up of 20 Go Parks), and each Go Park can hold 50 Pokémon. Once they are in a Go Park they must then be caught in order for you to use them in the Switch game. When 25 of the same species of Pokémon are in the complex, you can play the minigame (referenced in the trailer) for Candies to power up your Pokémon.

Friends' Pokémon can also be transferred to a single save file.

Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu/Eevee comes out on November 16. For more on the title, check out this previous trailer showing the power of partnerships in the game.

Categories: Games

Grip: Combat Racing's Multiplayer Trailer Is High-Speed

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 14:01

Grip: Combat Racing's developers Caged Element have revealed a multiplayer trailer for their upcoming gravity-defying racing game. 

The multiplayer mode has split-screen multiplayer racing in two-player, three-player, and four-player variations. Local multiplayer can also build tournaments with a ton of malleability to make the kind of tournament you want. Online play allows ten racers to a track and will have online leaderboards.

Grip: Combat Racing releases on November 6 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

Categories: Games

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Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 14:00

Released on PC last year, Home Sweet Home is a horror game uniquely based on Thai lore and mythology that has been floating around YouTuber videos for the last year. Now the game launches on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 9. A separate PlayStation VR version is also available the same day.

You can check out the trailer of the game from its PC release below. Keep in mind, it is a horror title, so don't watch if you're squeamish.

The game is releasing at retail a few days later on October 16 exclusively at GameStop. The retail version is only for PlayStation 4 and includes both the regular game and the PlayStation VR edition.

[Disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer]

Categories: Games

Luffy Meets New Friends And Enemies In New One Piece: World Seeker Story Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 02:40

As part of Tokyo Game Show, Bandai Namco has released a new story trailer for One Piece: World Seeker. The newest game to borrow the license is unique in that One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda penned the story about Luffy ending up on Jewel Island near the Navy's prison colony.

It turns out to be a little more involved than Luffy showing up and making a bad day for the Navy, as two new Oda-designed characters are also taking part. As Luffy tends to do when he lands on an island, he meets a woman who has a problem and gets embroiled in helping her. In this case, she is the leader of the anti-Navy resistance, Jeanne. She must team up with Luffy to take down Isaac, the metal-handed warden of the prison system that is currently taking over her island.

One Piece: World Seeker was recently delayed to 2019 to polish the game up and will be releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 09/19/2018 - 02:20

Bandai Namco has revealed that Raphael, Soulcalibur's resident fencer who went from protagonist to antagonist over the course of the series. Thanks to the magic of time travel and also, like, regular magic, Raphael can turn back the clock on becoming a vampire and instead just be a weird guy in a carnival of way weirder guys.

Raphael was leaked a few weeks ago through unofficial footage of a build that showed both him and Cervantes, both of whom have now been announced. If Bandai Namco were waiting to announce Cassandra, which clearly they must be, then now is a good time when we're all caught off-guard. 

Soulcalibur VI is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 19.

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Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 23:05

Late last night, Tri-Ace announced that their PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 RPG Resonance of Fate will be getting a 4K/HD Edition for PlayStation 4 and PC.

The sci-fi fantasy RPG was first released in 2010 and caught a lot of attention with its flashy and strategic combat. The game was originally published by Sega, but the company confirmed to us that they licensed the title to Tri-Ace for the HD remaster.

The 4K part of the title refers to the PC and PlayStation 4 Pro enhancements, while the base model will run the game at 1080p. All versions will run at 60 frames per second.

Resonance of Fate 4K/HD Edition will release worldwide on October 18 for $35.

Categories: Games

The Last Remnant Remastered Comparison Trailer Pits New Vs. Old

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 20:20

Square Enix revealed last week that The Last Remnant, a 360 and PC RPG released toward the beginning of the previous generation as one of the first major Japanese games on Unreal Engine 3, would be getting an HD remaster on PlayStation 4. As part of the remaster, the game was getting rebuilt from the ground up for Unreal Engine 4, which has not always worked out for remastered games. To illustrate the difference for this, though, Square Enix provided a comparison video of the original Xbox 360 release and the new PlayStation 4 one.

The remaster has higher resolution textures, a more modern lighting model, and framerate improvements. While the original game on Xbox 360 ran poorly, the PC version ran quite a bit better, and had been considered the definitive version of the game. Unfortunately, Square Enix delisted the game on PC shortly before announcing the remaster, but has provided no information on whether the remastered version will replace the delisted one. We have reached out to Square Enix on the subject multiple times but received no response.

The Last Remnant Remastered releases on PlayStation 4 worldwide on December 6.

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Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 19:55

A few weeks ago, Witcher developers CDProjekt Red announced that they were separating Gwent's single-player campaign out from the card game's client as a standalone release titled Thronebreaker. Since details were so scarce, not many expected that the excision would be quite so prompt, with CDPR confirming an October 24 release date for PC and a console release on December 4.

Thronebreaker was developed to be the single-player campaign for Gwent, itself spun-off from the side activity in the Witcher III: The Wild Hunt. According to CDPR, the campaign got too big to simply be a side thing for Gwent and is being released with "The Witcher Tales" as a subtitle. It is unclear if this means a new brand categorization that allows for further spin-offs within the Witcher universe.

Gwent itself is coming out of beta on October 23 on PC, one day ahead of Thronebreaker, and the same day as Thronebreaker on consoles. 

When asked on Twitter if Thronebreaker would feature a cameo from Geralt, CDPR merely posted a gif of the white-haired warrior and left it at that.

Categories: Games

New Kingdom Hearts III Extended Trailer Shows More Of Big Hero 6

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 09/18/2018 - 06:50

Last week, Square Enix released the shortened version of their latest Kingdom Hearts III trailer showing Big Hero 6, which had been announced years prior with a small piece of concept art. Now, Square Enix and Tetsuya Nomura have released an extended version of that trailer with two minutes of new content over the last trailer.

As this is a TGS trailer, it's obviously in Japanese but Square Enix helpfully added English subtitles to the trailer for international Kingdom Hearts fans. Square Enix also released the box art for the game, which shows all the major players for this final piece of the series.

Kingdom Hearts III releases on January 29 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Categories: Games

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