Apex Legends Support to Blame for Titanfall Delay

There have been whispers about Respawn Entertainment’s new prodigal child, Apex Legends, floundering compared to its other Battle Royale counterparts. In light of this, some might think that the company would turn its attention to its other highly successful property, Titanfall, and particularly onto the rumored third title in that franchise. However, it appears that a Titanfall delay is likely as Respawn has chosen to prioritize Apex Legends support instead.

It was already revealed by Respawn’s lead producer, Drew McCoy, that Apex Legends was largely the reason why the company had shelved any plans for Titanfall 3. Despite that, it was expected that some sort of continuation to the popular series would arrive later this year. The latest from McCoy seems to suggest otherwise, and calls into question all future plans in light of this Titanfall delay.

Related: Apex Legends Popularity Declining As Game Struggles To Stay Relevant

GameSpot has now reported that the Titanfall delay is more widespread than just affecting the title that was going to be announced in 2019. A blog post from McCoy has apparently confirmed that the team at Respawn is “pushing out plans for future Titanfall games” and that “no resources from the Apex Legends team are being shifted to other titles in development”.

Given that it’s highly unlikely that any manpower shortage on the Titanfall side is going to be filled by those currently working on the big ticket Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, this postponement doesn’t bode very well for the future of the franchise. The recent reception to Apex Legends has been lukewarm at best, with streamers like Dr. Disrespect and Shroud looking further afield because of issues with the game, and the title’s popularity falling behind Fortnite on platforms like Twitch. Respawn’s battle royale gem will likely need a fair amount of continuous work to keep up with its games-as-a-service counterparts, and if that pressure never abates than McCoy’s comments make it seem like this Titanfall delay could be an indefinite hiatus.

It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to whether Respawn is flogging a dying horse here with Apex Legends instead of pivoting and focusing on Titanfall, which has been a proven success for them over the years (and clearly, is in demand with fans). There hasn’t been any news at all about the type of game that the projected Titanfall release this year was going to be, so it’s hard to miss it all that much in the scheme of things, but the question remains: would Respawn be better served by diverting attention from a flagging title to cut their losses?

Next: Apex Legends‘ L-Star Gun Leaked In Loot Packs

Source: GameSpot


2019-04-26 01:04:34

Ginny Woo

Ed Boon Responds to Mortal Kombat 11 Microtransactions Controversy

Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon has responded to criticism aimed at the latest game in the series, Mortal Kombat 11, and the way it implements microtransactions. The veteran game director took to social media to defend his company, NetherRealm Studios, and the game itself from complaints that the game was designed to encourage spending extra real world money rather than playing the game itself.

Since its release on April 23, Mortal Kombat 11 has received positive reviews. However, one constant gripe fans have had with the game is that its systems seem designed to reward players more for spending extra cash than for actually playing it. In the lead up to its release, NetherRealm Studios heavily advertised the game’s customization features and the ability to unlock cosmetic changes for every character. The game does reward players with various skins, but unlocking those skins requires a hefty time investment in the game’s Tower of Time. This mode challenges players with increasingly difficult situations that, once completed, give them in-game currency to buy different customization items in the game’s Krypt mode. If the player doesn’t want to do all that, they can instead pay real money to get a premium in-game currency immediately to buy some of the items. Given the difficulty and tedium of the challenges, the large amount of rewards to buy, and the relatively small amount of in-game currency awarded, many are calling out what they feel is a grind-heavy system made to frustrate players into paying for shortcuts.

Related: Mortal Kombat 11: The Best Tips & Tricks To Know Before Playing

Ed Boon took to Twitter to directly address the mounting backlash and debunk the idea that Mortal Kombat 11’s main goal is squeezing players for more money. In response to stories that purchasing all of the cosmetic options the game has to offer would cost players $6,440 in real money, according to VG247, Boon stated that the “VAST VAST majority of MK11 skins are NOT for sale…You have to EARN them IN GAME!” Boon does not plainly say how much buying all of the skins that are for sale would cost, nor does he comment on the high amount of grinding needed to get all the skins. Instead, he wants fans to know that they are rewarded for putting in in-game hours.

NetherRealm Studios does typically take a stance against loot boxes and pay-to-win tactics, and Boon is repeating that claim in his tweet. The studio has already acknowledged the game’s issues with grinds and in-game microtransactions. Though this tweet does not specifically bring them up, the studio is planning an update that will hopefully mitigate the feeling of heavy grinding for loot and rewards.

This may be one in a long line of recent games that are designed around microtransactions, or it may have been a poorly thought out misstep that fans were quick – and right – to call out. Ultimately, the skins are not a core part of the gameplay design; they are optional cosmetic customizations that are awarded for completing optional tasks. However, the Tower of Time and Krypt modes contain so much of the game’s content, including the skins, that calling them completely optional feels somewhat dishonest. Few will deny that Mortal Kombat 11 is a solid fighting game, but with so many saying how much the grind ruins the experience, Boon and his studio will have to act with more than just tweets to retain their goodwill with fans.

Next: How to Unlock Frost in Mortal Kombat 11

Source: Ed Boon



2019-04-25 07:04:29

Ricky Miller

Fortnite’s Avengers: Endgame Gear & Weapons Revealed!

The crossover event for Fortnite and Avengers: Endgame has now arrived, and brings with it plenty of Avengers-themed gear for players to find. Developer Epic Games had recently revealed that Avengers: Endgame content would be coming to the Battle Royale title, and in a short space of time since the launch of the film Fortnite has made this mode available to fans.

Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world. The free-to-play title has become a serious pop culture phenomenon, and as such it seems like a good property to tie up with one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. After a successful previous crossover between Fortnite and Avengers in 2018, a follow-up to coincide with Avengers: Endgame always looked likely.

Related: Fortnite Employees Work Up To 100 Hours A Week

Now, the Fortnite X Avengers: Endgame mode is live, including those Avengers-themed weapons and gear. Players will be able to find Iron Man’s gloves, Hawkeye’s bow, Captain America’s shield, and Thor’s Stormbreaker axe within the game mode, while a Black Widow skin pack is also available in the game store for a limited time. Epic Games revealed this alongside the below trailer, and a comprehensive list of patch notes.

How does the Fortnite meets Avengers mode work, though? Players will join either the side of Thanos and his Chitauri in the hunt for the Infinity Stones, or the Heroes team of the Avengers looking to stop him. Team Thanos will win if the Infinity Stones are found and the Heroes are wiped out, while the Heroes win if they manage to stop team Thanos.

The Heroes will be given a helping hand in the form of a treasure map. This map will point the player towards an Avengers weapon, while more gear is also available in chests throughout the game. Players can also complete challenges to unlock new items, such as a glider designed after the Avengers Quinjet, and on top of that a new outfit will also be available next week in the store for those after another of the Avengers.

Although it’s unlikely that Avengers: Endgame needs much promotion – after all, it’s broken international box office records for its time in the wild so far – it’s still a neat tie-in for the film, and no doubt plenty of Fortnite fans will be digging into the mode for something a little bit different. That said, it’s fair to say that Prince Harry won’t be playing Fortnite after his recent comments, but at least that leaves more Avengers goodies for the rest of the player base.

More: Apex Legends Vs Fortnite: Which Is Better?

Source: Epic Games


2019-04-25 03:04:38

Rob Gordon

Days Gone Ending Explained

Warning: SPOILERS Ahead for Days Gone.

Days Gone is less a game about zombies (partially because Days Gone doesn’t include any) and more an examination of loss, hope, and cruelty in the post-apocalypse – and all of this is evident in the Days Gone ending. How in order to rebuild the future, you have to let go of the past. And though Days Gone may not always nail these persistent themes, or occasionally feel like it’s beating a dead zombie horse, the story remains a moving portrait of love and friendship.

For the uninitiated, Days Gone is a PS4 exclusive open-world biker game set in an Oregon far different than the one we know and love today. Players take on the role of Deacon St. John, a gruff individual who has fully embrace his newly freaker-filled world. He slaughters the undead without a second thought and even has little remorse taking out other survivors that get in his way. After all, it’s kill or be killed. But in a number of ways, Days Gone – and, particularly, the Days Gone ending – reveals that the past never truly dies.

Related: Days Gone: The Best Tips & Tricks to Know Before Playing

Through all the violence and betrayal, Deacon holds out hope for one thing: seeking closure with the loss of his wife, Sarah. In the opening cutscene of Days Gone, we see Deacon place an injured Sarah (stab wound not a zombie bite) on a NERO helicopter. The National Emergency Response Organization (NERO) is the government agency that responds to the freaker disaster, and seemingly the only salvaged remnant of our government after the dust has settled. Deacon gives Sarah his biker ring (a gaudy piece with the face of a mongrel) and asks that she return it to him when she sees him again. Cut to two years (give or take) later, and still no ring.

Sarah’s Death In Days Gone

Through conversations with Boozer (Deacon’s best friend and fellow biker), we learn that Deacon has mostly accepted Sarah’s death. After placing her in the helicopter alone – there was only room for one more person – Deacon continued to fight off the ensuing hordes. He escaped the city, only to discover that the safe zone Sarah’s helicopter headed to had been overrun, and Sarah was presumed dead. Every so often, he plants flowers at a DYI gravestone and recaps her on the events in his life. Then – out of the blue – hope appears in the form of a chance encounter with a NERO helicopter.

Deacon overhears a NERO scientist discussing something with an “O’Brian” over the two-way radio. Connecting the dots, Deacon recalls that this was the name of the man who took Sarah to the safe zone. If he is alive… there’s a chance Sarah is alive too. He tracks down O’Brian and completes a series of tasks for him in exchange for information regarding Sarah’s fate. Did she survive her stab wound, the freaker hordes, and make it somewhere safe? Yes.

Deacon learns from O’Brian in Days Gone that high-clearance government officials were taken off-site, and Sarah worked for a bio-botany program. She eventually made her way to safety in a militia outpost to the south. Deacon travels solo to the outpost and encounters a general wearing his ring. Days Gone wants players to think all is lost until Deacon is taken to run an errand for the “Wizard Island Witch.” He enters her quarters only to discover the witch is Sarah; she’s alive. It’s one of the biggest twists in Days Gone‘s ending.

Deacon & Sarah’s Escape

Things aren’t exactly peachy after Deacon reunites with his wife. She’s cold at first, unsure of how to act having thought Deacon was dead as well for over two years. She has a mission she wants to accomplish, too, taking off. Deacon does a series of tasks for her to help with her goal, and she eventually agrees to leave with him and start the next chapter of their lives. With the help of Boozer and other friends, Deacon stages an all-out-assault on the compound to take out the insane, genocide-obsessed Colonel Garret and his men.

With the Colonel lying dead, and all his soldiers either defeated or surrendered, Deacon can finally rebuild his life with Sarah. There’s nothing left standing in his way, right? Well… right. Through it all, the fighting, the friendships, and the foes, Deacon has only had his mind on one thing: Sarah. And that doesn’t change; Deacon doesn’t change. He’s still the same biker/drifter; the only difference is he now has a companion. So in the final cutscene that plays in Days Gone‘s ending, we watch as Deacon and Sarah ride off together on his motorcycle, together at last. It’s a bittersweet ending, but perhaps not intentionally. Deacon got what he wanted, but there’s a few loose threads that never got a satisfying conclusion.

Sarah’s Mission In Days Gone Explained

When Deacon finally reunites with Sarah, she’s not the same person he married before the freakers. She’s a woman on a mission, working on a bio-weapon for the Colonel that will destroy all of the undead for good. At least that’s what she wants her superior officer to think. There’s a reason why Sarah is so obsessed with her work, yelling at soldiers (though still not rightfully earning her nickname) and hardly giving Deacon’s return a second-thought. She’s not working on a bio-weapon; she’s working on a cure.

Sarah believes that there’s a way to reverse the effects of the freaker virus and return humanity to its former state. But why is she so convinced and how does she have all of this information regarding the genetic mutations of the virus? Sarah reveals to Deacon on a trip to her old laboratory that her company is responsible for the plague, and her research itself may be specifically to blame. Sarah’s studies of plants somehow led to the creation of a bio-weapon that was unknowingly unleashed upon the world – though the specifics aren’t revealed in Days Gone. She cannot forgive herself for her involvement and is intent on finding a way to reverse what she’s done.

However, once Deacon “rescues” her from the Colonel’s grasp, her mission is all-but forgotten. The couple ride off into the sunset together, her job unfinished. There are no hints of her work continuing, no disappointment or renewed excitement. It’s just the two of them against the world in Days Gone‘s ending, with no enemies except the undead who remain.

Deacon’s Past Comes Back To Haunt Him

In the final of the three major twists in the Days Gone ending, it’s revealed that Deacon’s past has come back to haunt him. Prior to the events of Days Gone, Deacon is described as a drifter, who did work here and there for numerous bands of travelers. One of these groups is Iron Mike’s, a man who believes democracy needs to remain, a beacon of hope in this new world. Under his tutelage is Skizzo.

Even further back, before the apocalypse, Deacon was a member of the Mongrel bike gang, and he didn’t exactly abide by the law. The only laws he followed were that of the gang, and they had… painful ways of punishing traitors. One such traitor highlighted in a flashback is Jessie Williamsona biker who betrayed their code. In a flashback, we witness Boozer and Deacon hold the man down as their leader burns off his Mongrel tattoo, marking him for life.

Skip ahead to “now,” and there’s a group of survivors known as Rippers. They’ve marked their bodies with scars and burns, as well as shaved their heads, and they kill almost any human on sight. The Rippers worship the freakers, and instead of harming them, they aspire to be more like them. From the beginning of Days Gone, they are a constant antagonist. These are the same Rippers that burn Boozers arm, infecting it to the point that it needs to be amputated. Their leader is a man named Carlos.

Throughout Days Gone, Deacon pursues Carlos, against the wishes of Iron Mike who has a very hesitant truce with the Ripper leader. Deacon seeks revenge for Boozer and wants to put an end to the insane violence that Carlos’ men have initiated. But after Skizzo betrays Deacon and gets him captured, Carlos’ true motives are revealed.

Carlos isn’t Carlos but actually Jessie Williamsonalive after all these years. Boozer’s arm wasn’t a freak Ripper attack, but a calculated move, revenge for what Boozer and Deacon did to him back in the day. Carlos proceeds to torture Deacon but isn’t able to finish the job before Deacon makes his escape. He returns later to finish the job and close a chapter on his past. With Carlos dead, perhaps Deacon can finally move on.

Why Days Gone Fails Its Themes

Days Gone wants to be a game that tackles heavy themes of loss and redemption, but it struggles to commit to the harsh realities of the apocalypse. Even when it’s suspected that Boozer makes a self-sacrificial play in the climactic final battle, Days Gone quickly reveals that, no, he’s still alive. Only a few minor characters perish, and no one that is so important to Deacon that he is truly affected by their passing. Riding off with Sarah into the sunset may be satisfying to players that want a nice bow tied on Days Gone‘s love story, but for those seeking something darker or more fitting to the genre, Days Gone is surely lacking.

Next: Days Gone Review: A Cliche Open-World Zombie Love Story


2019-04-25 03:04:02

Ty Sheedlo

Days Gone: The Best Tips & Tricks to Know Before Playing

Days Gone is finally here, and there are quite a few tips and tricks that players should know before getting started. Even though the Days Gone story leaves a bit to be desired, there’s a lot to love about the full-on freaker massacres in store, and the many ways Deacon can dispatch his foes. The third-person open world shooter has a familiar approach for fans of Red Dead Redemption, Last of Us, or Mad Max, but there’s a few important distinctions to keep in mind.

Though not crushingly difficult, Days Gone does have a large difficulty spike towards the end, when taking down hordes becomes required instead of a random encounter you might run away from. Though there are plenty of early missions to learn the ropes of Deacons’ various skills: stealth, bike-riding, crafting, and so forth, some things aren’t explained quite as well. And so, it’s understandable for players to want to know some Days Gone tips and tricks.

Related: Days Gone Review: A Cliche Open-World Zombie Love Story

Before you hop into your first playthrough, check out Screen Rant’s tips and tricks for Days Gone below. It’s always helpful to have a little assistance in the post-apocalypse.

  • You’ll burn fuel fast driving around on your bike Oregon, so make sure to add gas stations to your route (they’re marked on the map).
  • You’ll save a lot on gas by taking your foot off the petal when heading downhill. Don’t always do this; sometimes in a chase you need to go fast, but know that coasting downhill may get you just the extra distance you need to make it to a gas station to fuel up again.
  • Water is bad news for motorcycles, and even driving through shallow water can damage your bike. Though it isn’t too costly to repair it, you’ll want to save as much scrap as you can for other crafting opportunities.
  • You need to loot after every fight, all the time. Bandits you kill will always have something; whether it’s an already-constructed bandage or medkit, or just an ingredient for a certain recipe. Their camps are often littered in supplies as well: scrap, kerosene, etc. It may not be incredibly engaging, but you’ll thank yourself for checking every nook and cranny later. Unfortunately, the primary enemies in the game, freakers, don’t carry much on them. But simply running over their corpse will place an ear in Deacon’s inventory. These ears can be sold as bounties at the various camps, increasing your credits and trust. Why they pay for freaker ears, we don’t know, but they should always be looted so they can be turned in and used to get upgrades or guns.
  • Don’t hold onto your credits until the end of Days Gone. The various camps offer a lot of tantalizing upgrades. Copeland can get your bike in tip-top shape, and Tucker has a veritable arsenal of guns. While it is important to level up both your fighting and your… flighting, make your priority a new set of arms. Deacon starts Days Gone with a junk condition pistol (the worst level) and later gets a rifle as his primary weapon. They’re functional, but once you get your Trust with Tuck’s camp up to Level 1, there are a lot better guns you can buy. Don’t wait on leveling up trust or save up hard-earned credits to buy the really high-tier items. They may look amazing (and trust us, they are) but you need something in the interim.
  • Days Gone features an extensive day-night weather system that is at times beautiful. Exploring the rainy forests of Oregon is not without its pleasures. However, the changing weather and time also leads to a lot of enemy unpredictability. Most noticeably, freakers are out in full force at night and are a lot more aggressive. They’re still out during the day of course, just less in numbers and less willing to give up the chase. Keep in mind this isn’t always the case; some missions will feature hordes of these freaks irregardless. If you’re struggling with a particular mission (one that doesn’t auto set the time or weather), try sleeping at one of the various beds and advancing the time or simply doing another activity and trying again when the weather’s changed.
  • Way before the game is ready to introduce you to them, you may encounter a huge cluster of freakers, moving together like a mob. This is a horde, and they are tough. Each horde consists of around 150 or so of the undead and they can easily overwhelm you. If you run into one with low ammo, very few health kits, and most importantly – no molotovs, turn around. There’s no shame in running from a fight, especially one that you can’t win.
  • NERO checkpoints often have anywhere from 2-6 loudspeakers. Once the power goes back on, these puppies will ring out, bringing down the wrath of freakers around you. To avoid this, you can either shoot the speakers down with a silenced gun or cut them down with a knife by climbing on top of the outpost. Be careful to look for hidden speakers in trees (sometimes they can be a bit tricky!).
  • Use napalm molotovs all the time. Though the recipe is essentially the same as basic molotovs with a bit more ingredients that are a bit rarer, these guys are necessary in taking out hordes. Necessary. Fire can spread quickly over a large group of baddies and kills them much faster than praying and spraying.
  • Gunfire attracts more freakers. Yes, guns also kill freakers, but if you keep firing in a crowded area, you’ll end up firing for a long time, wasting precious ammo. So instead of shooting these bad guys when there are only a few around you, take out a trusty crafted (or found) melee weapon and go to town.

Mastering all of these concepts in Days Gone will ensure that you’re prepared for the horde, marauders, and anything that the apocalypse can throw at you. Keep in mind that these may not suit your playstyle, so mix and match as you see fit.

Next: The Real Reason Days Gone Removed Player Choices


2019-04-25 02:04:31

Ty Sheedlo

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Outsells Wii U Console; Switch Outsells N64

Nintendo has updated its sales data, showing that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has actually outsold the lifetime sales of the Wii U, and the Switch has surpassed the Nintendo 64’s sales. Smash Ultimate has been available since December, and the Switch launched in early 2017.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released on Dec. 7, 2018 to critical and commercial success. It broke Halo: Reach’s record of being the most successful exclusive console title during launch month. The game continues to be a massive hit, and now with the latest update, fans can play as Joker from Persona 5, and create their own stages for battle. Of course, Ultimate’s success is owed to the overall popularity of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo’s console is the first of its kind, focusing as both a home console, as well as a handheld. With a strong current library, and more to come in 2019, the Switch is going to remain in the spotlight for a long time.

Related: 10 Must-Own Switch Games That PS4 & Xbox One Owners Can’t Play

Now, Nintendo has released its latest financial earnings report, showing how far Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Switch have come in sales. As of March 31, Ultimate has sold 13.81 million copies worldwide. The Wii U’s lifetime sales are 13.56 million copies sold, meaning that in just a little under four months, Ultimate has outsold a whole modern console. Meanwhile, the Switch has moved over 34 million units, surpassing the Nintendo 64, which sold 32.93 million.

The Wii U was released in late 2012. This means that the console had been available for a number of years, and yet Ultimate surpassed its lifetime sales in under four months. That speaks volumes on how Nintendo bounced back after the Wii U’s commercial failure. Now, 2019 is going to be a strong year for Nintendo, with releases like Super Mario Maker 2Pokémon Sword and Shield, and more. The Switch’s sales aren’t likely to stop anytime soon.

It is interesting to compare the sales between Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The Wii U game was popular, but sold under six million units. Ultimate doubled that in a short amount of time. Thanks to those sales, Ultimate has become a pop culture phenomenon. At its present pace, it should outsell Super Mario Odyssey, but it remains to be seen if it can surpass Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the highest selling title on Switch with over 16 million units sold.

It isn’t surprising that the Switch outsold the Nintendo 64. The N64’s game library was notably smaller in comparison to other consoles. It will be very interesting to see where the Switch’s sales are one year from now.

More: 20 Things Only Experts Know The Nintendo Switch Can Do

Source: Nintendo


2019-04-25 01:04:09

Daniel Alvarez

Why You Can’t Change Clothes in Days Gone

In Days Gone, players won’t be able to change their clothes, but there are good reasons for that. Days Gone, the new PlayStation 4 exclusive from the developers at Sony Bend, is an open world, narrative-driven title about survivors of an undead apocalypse.

The lead character, Deacon St. John, was a member of a biker gang before the world collapsed into madness, and bikers are known for their particular fashion sense. In Days Gone, Deacon dresses in a character-appropriate attire of a biker in the Northwest United States, and there’s a good reason players can’t change his outfit, which includes his signature backwards cap.

Related: The Real Reason Days Gone Removed Player Choices

During our interview with John Garvin, the writer/creative director of Days Gone explained exactly why players can’t change Deacon’s clothes – nor remove his hat:

“The way Deacon looks has huge story implications. This is something the player may or may not notice, but in flashbacks, Deacon is pretty clean shaven. He doesn’t have his scruffy beard. I wanted there to be this really stark contrast between these periods in Deacon’s life. From flashbacks with Sarah to the prologue where you see him having to make this horrible choice between saving his wife and saving his best friend, and then the game itself, where you see things happening two years later. These different time periods all have a different version of this man. We had to make sure that the player couldn’t mess that up.”

As fun as it is in games like Saint’s Row, where players can dress their characters up in all sorts of wacky costumes, or even Grand Theft Auto V or Red Dead Redemption 2, which features a wide variety of clothing options, Garvin maintains that approach simply wouldn’t work in Days Gone. Deacon St. John has clothes he wears, and he wears them due to the game’s story. The game makes use of flashback sequences which are vital to understanding his character, and his clothing options at various points in time are all part of the tale being told. That includes the arguably infamous wedding sequence shown in trailers, which isn’t as far-fetched as internet commenters would have you believe:

“Let me tell you, I took a lot of s*** for that in the wedding trailer; a lot of comments were, “hey, why is he wearing a hat at his wedding?” And he’s wearing it the same way, backwards. But I can tell you, and I know from the research I had done, bikers do that! I got a lot of support from people who are actually in biker culture. They said, “yeah, we don’t dress differently just because of a special occasion; we are who we are.””

Biker culture can seem outlandish, especially since there are countless wannabe bikers, people who like to play with their hogs on the weekends and aren’t true “one-percenters,” like the members of Deacon’s old gang, the Mongrels MC. The real hardcore bikers, they’re an entirely different breed of human being from regular folks. They don’t wear a tuxedo just because they’re getting married. It’s part of their culture, Sony Bend wanted to reflect that in the way Deacon St. John dresses throughout the game. That being said, they did compromise in one area: bike customization.

“You can change how the bike looks. That was the compromise we made. There’s literally millions of combinations of colors and trim and all that, and it’s entirely possible to create a bike that looks like one Deacon St. John would never sit on. You can have a pink gas tank and green chrome and it can be garish and ugly. But if the player wants to do that, they are empowered to do whatever they want with the bike.”

It sounds like a fair compromise; Deacon St. John dresses how he wants, but the player can choose how his motorcycle looks. This can be explained in-game as being due to the end of the world; Deacon owns his own clothes, but he can’t be picky regarding the parts he scavenges for his bike. If it works, he’ll use it, even if it doesn’t exactly fit his traditional biker style.

More: What Days Gone Learned From Uncharted’s Amy Hennig


2019-04-24 09:04:38

Zak Wojnar

Super Mario Maker 2 Release Date For Switch Revealed

The release date for Super Mario Maker 2 has finally been announced. The sequel to the popular Super Mario Maker on Wii U was originally announced in February during a Nintendo Direct.

The first Mario Maker released in 2015, and quickly became one of the Wii U’s most popular titles. The game allowed players to create their own Mario platforming stages. You could create in the style of the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and New Super Mario Bros. U. The tools were expansive, featuring all sorts of blocks, enemies, platforms, and more. Many players began successful YouTube and Twitch streams thanks to Mario Maker, thus helping the game to become a pop culture phenomenon. Even now, new stages are still being uploaded.

Related: 20 Greatest Super Mario Games Of All Time (And 10 Of The Worst)

Nintendo confirms the highly awaited Super Mario Maker 2 will be released on June 28, 2019 for Nintendo Switch. Nintendo already confirmed a June release date in the announcement trailer, and now we know the game will launch during the last week of that month.

Although Nintendo has only showed one trailer for the game, a lot of new features were confirmed. Of course, it’ll have the highly requested slopes. There will even be a new theme to create in: Super Mario 3D World. Another new feature will be adding water to ground stages. In the first Mario Maker, you couldn’t combine water and ground in a single section. This adds another layer to the creation process. All of this just scratches the surface of new content, as there are new enemies (such as Bully from Super Mario 64, and the Angry Sun from Super Mario Bros. 3), new platforms, and much more. The amount of new things almost makes the first game look like a prototype.

With Nintendo having distanced itself from the Wii U, it makes sense that the video game company would want to quickly get a new Mario Maker released. Being able to create challenging stages and share them online for the world to play is a fantastic concept. Even if one is not into making levels, there are going to be an endless amount of stages to play, making Mario Maker 2 a worthy pickup either way. It’s surprising that there’s been no footage since February, as there are still plenty of things that have yet to be unveiled. We’ll likely get at least one big overview trailer before release day. With Super Mario Maker 2, the Link’s Awakening remake, Pokémon Sword and Shield and more, Nintendo may have the best 2019 exclusive lineup.

More: 20 Switch Games Confirmed Coming In 2019 (And 5 That Are Possibilities)

Super Mario Maker 2 will be released on June 28, 2019.

Source: Nintendo



2019-04-24 07:04:30

Daniel Alvarez

The Real Reason Days Gone Removed Player Choices

The final, retail version of Days Gone will not allow players to make binary choices at various junctures in the story. Back when Days Gone was originally shown off to the public, players were able to make choices that would have a minor effect on the character of Deacon St. John, the protagonist portrayed by Sam Witwer. Now, those choices are no longer part of the game.

We spoke to Days Gone writer/creative director John Garvin about both the new game and his career in the gaming industry. In particular, we discussed the many changes the game has gone through since it was first unveiled at E3 2016, including the removal of binary choices the player makes for Deacon at various points in the narrative.

Related: What Days Gone Learned From Uncharted’s Amy Hennig

The reason why they removed these choices has to do with strengthening the character of Deacon St. John and serving the narrative of Days Gone. As John Garvin explains it:

The thing about player choices is, players didn’t get it! (laughs) …We thought it was going to be this awesome thing where Boozer’s morale was going to be this thing players would have to watch, but players just didn’t understand it. For the amount of work we were putting into it, there was no payoff. It was hurting the player experience.

Basically, player choice was getting in the way of the game. Days Gone is a narrative driven experience, but it’s not Mass Effect or a Telltale game. The choices were intended to add color to the player’s perception of Deacon, but they wound up making him an unclear figure, and even unlikable. The story of Days Gone is cinematic in nature. One of the goals of Sony Bend was to apply their experience making linear, narrative driven titles like Uncharted: Golden Abyss and Syphon Filter, and apply that to an open world game. That cinematic approach is another factor which led to the removal of binary choices. John Garvin elaborates:

On a motion picture script, you’ve 90 to 120 pages, give or take. You want your character to start out flawed and broken, and you want them to be in a place where they have a lot of room to change and grow. For Deacon, he starts out as this nihilistic, broken guy. Honestly, he isn’t very likable at first. The thing is, in a movie, you’re doing that for ten or fifteen minutes before you have a catalyst that makes him begin to change. That turned out to be eight hours in Days Gone.

There are some games which have deliberately unlikable protagonists, like Kratos from the original God of War or the titular protagonists of the Kane & Lynch titles, but it’s a delicate balance, and Days Gone didn’t want to present Deacon St. John as a total jerk, but to make him someone players could root for. To achieve that, binary choices had to go. The two big examples which had been showcased were whether to kill a wounded enemy, Leon, or allow him to burn to death in a horrible fire, and giving an ally, Boozer, his shotgun or having Deacon keep it for himself. Regarding these choices, Garvin says:

“If Deacon has the ability to leave this guy to be eaten alive or to put him out of his misery, the player, at that moment, doesn’t really know what the right thing to do is. In either case, it makes Deacon out to be… If he leaves him to be eaten alive, it turns him into a real a**hole! The same with taking Boozer’s shotgun. If you have an obvious choice to make, players will always choose the good thing. It’s something that we learned from looking at something like Infamous. The number of players who choose dark over light is actually very small, believe it or not.”

The solution to the problem came in the form of simply removing the choices. Instead of being given the option to keep Boozer’s shotgun, the game automatically has Deacon return the weapon to its rightful owner:

But the biggest thing was, it made Deacon’s character stronger. We just made the choice for the player. So Deacon will always shoot Leon in the first twenty minutes, and Deacon will always leave Boozer’s shotgun. We just basically made the choices in every case where we had them, and it was always making the character stronger.

There are some instances where player choice is an important factor in shaping a story as it unfolds, but that’s not always the best solution. For Days Gone, despite its open world nature, the decision was made to keep Deacon St. John’s character arc out of the hands of the player, and to have his key interactions with other characters be crafted entirely by the game’s developers.

More: Days Gone is 30 Hours Long, With 6 Hours of Cutscenes


2019-04-24 06:04:17

Zak Wojnar

What Days Gone Learned From Uncharted’s Amy Hennig

Video game writer John Garvin worked closely with Uncharted‘s Amy Hennig, and she imparted some useful wisdom which came in handy when he went on to work on Days Gone. Before they worked on the highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game, Days Gone, developer Sony Bend worked on several titles for PlayStation’s line of handheld systems. On PSP, they created a pair of Syphon Filter titles (based on the series they created back on the original PlayStation home console), and a spinoff of Insomniac’s Resistance series.

When it came time to craft a game for the PlayStation Vita, Bend were selected to create a spinoff of Naughty Dog’s hugely popular Uncharted series. While developing on Uncharted: Golden Abyss, writer Garvin worked closely with Hennig, the creator of the franchise and writer/director of multiple titles in the series. During their time working on Uncharted, the team at Sony Bend learned valuable lessons which they would carry forward to Days Gone.

Related: Days Gone is 30 Hours Long, With 6 Hours of Cutscenes

In our recent interview with Days Gone writer/creative director Garvin, the discussion turned to the highly cinematic presentation of the upcoming post-apocalyptic adventure. Unlike most games of just a few years ago, Days Gone makes extensive use of motion-captured animations, particularly during cinematics. Because of this, the casting of real actors was more important than ever. To that end, Garvin cast Sam Witwer as the lead character of Days Gone, Deacon St. John. Witwer isn’t just a face to be scanned into a computer and a voice to deliver lines in the studio. He acts out every cinematic like an actor on a stage, and that performance is turned into what players see when they play the game. As Garvin elaborates:

“We knew we wanted screen actors. It’s one of the things I learned from Amy Hennig working on Uncharted. That whole process is literally about performance capture, which we had never done before. It’s about getting actors on the stage together, interacting with each other. We really needed our actors to have the chemistry with other actors, to collaborate and build the dramatic tension.”

In both movies and video games, motion captured performances have been one of the most rapidly advancing technologies in the drama industry. From photo-realistic characters in movies like Avatar or Planet of the Apes, to cutting-edge video games like Uncharted and Detroit: Become Human, characters are becoming more and more realistic because they’re being played by actual actors, whose every movement is captured to be displayed in a mass of animated polygons.

Until Sony Bend worked on Uncharted, they had never done extensive work with performance capture, and they had never done voice recording on the motion capture stage. Although it wasn’t a mainline Uncharted title, Golden Abyss was praised for how true it was to the cinematic production values of its big brothers, and the game remains one of the underrated PlayStation Vita’s most visually striking titles. Without the pedigree they developed working with Hennig on Golden Abyss, it’s possible the visual flair of Days Gone would be different from its current state. As it is, Days Gone is shaping up to be one of the most technologically advanced games on the market with regards to its incredibly realistic characters and detailed, motion-captured animations.

More: Screen Rant’s 25 Most Anticipated Video Games of 2019


2019-04-24 05:04:49

Zak Wojnar