Games

Skater XL Review - No Superman Here

Gamespot News Feed - 22 hours 5 min ago

The world is full of spots. They invite you, seducing you into skating on them. A great skate spot encourages you to nail a line of tricks on it, pushing you to keep trying after every bail. An expertly placed ramp that leads you to a rail and down a flight of stairs is one of the many Mona Lisas that skaters strive for. The idea of successfully conquering said spot is what drives them to push themselves, learn from their mistakes, and grow. It's all about the location, something some skateboarding games have nailed for over two decades. And while newcomer Skater XL has a good foundation for its trick system, it fails to inspire the practice of those mechanics on its small number of largely lacklustre levels.

Skater XL's trick system is easy to understand and rewarding to learn. Each analog stick is assigned to a foot, and your job is to twist and push those sticks to pull off a cavalcade of tricks. A kickflip requires you to pull the right stick (your right foot) back, snap it up for an ollie and then kick the board with your left stick (left foot) to cause it to flip. It's an engaging way to perform the simplest tricks, and while it may sound complicated, Skater XL's physics give you a lot of room for nailing tricks.

At times, it feels somewhat weightless and more like you're controlling a board with no one on it than an actual person that has to twist their body and manipulate the board with their feet. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as many games have utilized less-than-realistic physics to create great skateboarding power fantasies. Unfortunately, Skater XL's levels aren't the interesting playgrounds for your skateboarding endeavors that they need to be for a compelling experience.

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Categories: Games

The Most Exciting Changes Coming To Volta Football

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 16:00

Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Vancouver Release: October 9, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), TBA (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Last year, EA introduced a new mode to FIFA called Volta Football. The fast-paced, streetball style of play had plenty of personality, but it was clear the mode was just getting off the ground. Now after the foundation has been set, it’s time for EA to take things to the next level. For FIFA 21, the mode is getting a lot more focus and attention, but is it enough? Here’s what we discovered after several hands-on matches and a presentation detailing EA’s vision for Volta Football.

Better Action

The focus is still on keeping the experience fast and fun, but you can expect A.I. movement this year that better complements the pace and style of Volta. During my hands-on time, I noticed the A.I. made smarter decisions, blocked more effectively, and positioned themselves based on how the play was shaping up. They also had much more success at blocking shots on goal, and these blocks looked more realistic than in the past. 

The new agile dribbling system EA added to FIFA 21, which we covered in detail in our previous preview, comes especially in handy here, allowing you to find ways to outsmart your opponent in these tighter spaces. Pulling off the new nutmeg mechanic, which allows you to kick the ball between the players legs to get past them, is extremely satisfying in this mode. The controls are simple, but it comes down to precise timing for success. This makes for intense one-on-one battles on the pitch, where your opponent can intercept the ball if you get too cocky.

Cooperative Online Play Brings More Fun

Bringing more social elements into the mode is also a welcome change. According to EA, the mode’s number-one requested feature was the ability to play with friends, and it's delivering on that in FIFA 21. You can now play online with up to three friends in Volta squads, or drop into the community for five-versus-five cooperative play. You can go into a public lobby or host your own private one.

This is a progression mode, where you climb the division ladder, enhance your stats, and earn rewards in weekly events. There are eight divisions, each with five ranks; you earn points depending on each win, draw, or loss, which factor into your position here. Progression is all tied to the individual; division progress will highlight your skill, while your rank will highlight your engagement. Each rank will have its own set of rewards that are determined for a weekly division event. 

Brand-New Featured Battles Put Top Talent On Your Side

We all want to play with top-tier talent. With the new featured battles, you can build a team with the biggest names in the world of footie. Face-off against A.I.-controlled teams created by the Volta community, earning you rewards unique to this mode via weekly events.

Built on the foundation of squad battles, there are four milestones per timed event, which you complete by playing in community opponent battles. By unlocking these milestones, you open up special featured matches, like facing off against Real Madrid. If you reach all the milestones, you then unlock what EA is calling “boss battles” against stars like Mbappé and Zidane. If you win, you then recruit that star player to compete with you in featured battles or take them into online solo play to match up against friends. This will be the first time your avatar and squad can compete against real players or have them at your side. Every week you will get a notice, which details the event and how much time is left to earn a new star player or a featured team club kit. 

Final Thoughts…

Seeing more social elements come into this mode is nice, as you have more reasons than ever to log in. As expected, EA is also expanding on the authentic gear and styles you earn so you can customize your avatar as you see fit. We hope these continue to improve, as what we’ve seen so far was still a bit unimpressive, but we only saw early offerings from the mode in our hands-on time. Some cool things to note here, however, is that EA is creating cause-related gear to support social topics intrinsically linked to the football culture, commissioning real-world designers to help drive the direction of in-game assets to be more fashionable, and a limited set of authentic gear for avatars to support their favorite club will also be available.   

Sadly, I’m a bit bummed that, while Volta Football will feature a small cinematic experience called The Debut, it’s more of a way to introduce players to the mode and its mechanics than a story-driven experience like we saw with Alex Hunter’s The Journey. Lead producer Jeff Antwi said to think of it more of an “onboarding experience” than story mode. “It is about two hours long, roughly,” he said. “You'll learn the different match types, different gameplay styles for your players. There's all kinds of rewards throughout as well, whether it's gold coins or items, so you'll be able to take all those things and composite a really cool avatar that you can take into the community and show off.” 

At the very least, this mode will take you through various different stadiums, from a vibrant beachside park in Sydney, Australia to the classic streets of Paris, France. These venues will all challenge you in different ways to adapt to the landscape, and each team you play will introduce different gameplay styles, which seems like it could be an interesting way to adapt to the mode. 

All-in-all, if you weren’t a Volta football fan before, I’m not sure there’s much here to change your mind, but if you saw some potential or previously liked what you played, the mode is only getting better and more engaging. 

Categories: Games

Risk Of Rain 2 Review - Risk Of Strain

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 08/11/2020 - 16:00

As we prepared to take on Risk of Rain 2's final boss, we took a moment to take stock of our Survivors. My co-op partner had three syringes filled with glowing green slime jutting out of his hip, a sword at his side and a crown on his head. A leech was suctioned onto my head, a teddy bear stuck to my shoulder and John Lennon glasses stretched around the front of my domed helmet. Each of these baubles represented a perk we had acquired over the course of our headlong rush to the final boss. This is the kind of game Risk of Rain 2 is. At the end of a run, you can see every advantage that you have collected, all hanging off of your once-simple character model like fuzzy dice on a car mirror.

And, as it launches into 1.0, Hopoo Games' third-person shooter roguelike has a year-and-a-half of early access in its rearview. I didn't play the game during pre-release, so I can't testify to how much content this version adds to what was already there. But I can say that Risk of Rain 2 is a breakneck experience that builds and builds and builds. This is not a game of peaks and valleys. Risk of Rain 2 is all climb until you reach the summit. That's its greatest strength--and its only real notable weakness.

Each run begins with your Survivor emerging from an escape pod onto a hostile alien world. This landscape is largely empty. Lo-fi music plays. It's generally pretty chill and evocative for the first few seconds. But then you're assaulted by a horde of low-level creatures. At the top right corner of the screen, a meter slowly moves right, upping the difficulty from Easy to Medium to Hard (and up and up and up until the difficulty bar just reads "HAHAHAHAHA") as a run progresses. Each level ends when you find and activate a teleporter, summoning a boss monster, which you must defeat to use the portal. In between entrance and exodus, Risk of Rain 2's world is full of interesting decisions and secrets. You may want to sacrifice half your health at the Altar of Blood for rewards down the line. Or you might summon double the boss monsters for a shot at double rewards. Get lost long enough in your search for the teleporter and you may find an underground passage where you can find a hidden code etched on a tablet, which can be used to access a secret realm. As you explore, the world is gradually filling up with enemies; the music is, smartly, slowly building to an all-out guitar-wailing crescendo.

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Categories: Games

Learn More About The Flashy And Powerful Guns You'll Use In Cyberpunk 2077

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 17:49

On the latest Night City Wire stream, we got more details on the types of guns and tools that will be at our disposal in Cyberpunk 2077.

As we learned previously, there are three distinct types: power, tech, and smart. Power weapons allow your bullets to ricochet off surfaces; tech use electromagnetic power, giving you the ability to punch through walls and cover; and smart weapons track targets in real-time as they're trying to dodge or run away from you. For some examples, a tech weapon like the Tsunami Nekomata is a chargeable semi-automatic that pierces through concrete like it's cardboard, while a TKI-20 Shingren uses burst fire and micro-guided missles so targets can't avoid your wrath.  

As you build your shooting skills up, you can expect to feel your mastery with increased accuracy, faster reloads, and better aiming.  In addition, you can add attachments and software mods. Attachments, like scopes or silencers, often give you a stats or situational advantage. Software mods change stats pertaining to damage and accuracy, while also providing things like the ability to use biochemical rounds to tear through enemies' armor faster. 

Guns are located all over; you can grab them off enemies or find loot caches, and they have different rareties, going from uncommon to legendary. Legendary weapons will obviously not be easy to find, as they all come with their own unique abilities, and sometimes you will have to make a difficult decision about how bad you want one. For instance, you may like a character, but they're holding that coveted legendary weapon. The only way you can get your hands on their sweet weapon is to kill them for it. Will you spare them because you want them around, or get greedy and go in for the kill? The weapon could be more valuable in the long run.

The Night City Wire also delved a bit more into the different tone of the life paths and gave us a look into Johnny Silverhand's band Samurai. You can see for yourself in the video below.

Cyberpunk 2077 launches on November 19 from PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Categories: Games

Four Promising Changes Coming To Ultimate Team

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 08/10/2020 - 16:00

Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Vancouver Release: October 9, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), TBA (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Ultimate Team is arguably FIFA’s most popular mode. There’s something about opening packs to build a star-studded team to take on other players that’s extremely absorbing and never fails to get old. Of course, each year EA Sports tries to improve the mode to keep fans coming back to this popular destination, best known as FUT. We recently discovered more about the new features in store for FIFA 21. Here’s what we found most promising.

It Features Online Cooperative Play For The First Time

Ever wanted your friends to join in on the action? FUT will let you do just that. You can play 2v2, head to head, or partner with a friend against the A.I. The FUT menus will now feature a “friends hub” to make playing with friends easy. Here, you can see if your friend is currently in a match and toss an invite to a session. Once accepted, they’ll hit the lobby, where you can choose to participate in squad battles, division rivals, or friendlies. Choosing squad battles or division rivals will allow both players to earn progression and weekly score for their club based on the result, meaning no one needs to sacrifice their own progression to play with a friend. If you want a risk-free way to play with others and work on strategies, friendlies is the mode you want. 

To create meaningful progression, co-op objectives are being introduced, so you can support your FUT club this way. Some objectives will have to be completed exclusively in a co-op match to earn the extra XP. Don’t worry, there will also be additional objectives that can be completed solo or in a co-op game, so you’ll have plenty of ways to progress. 

New FUT Events Include Community And Team Objectives

When people work together good things happen, right? EA Sports is always introducing more ways for players to collaboratively unlock rewards. Community events will have different tiers for rewards, as you help the community move through these different milestones and unlock better perks. As players complete specific in-game objectives, the contributing XP is counted toward all players in the community. 

In addition to community events, there will also be team events where you pick your side and unlock rewards that way. EA Sports said this will start with selecting one of five teams to align with. For an example, you might pick your faction based on the Premier League’s big guns, like picking Chelsea or Liverpool. Once you pick a team, you get an in-game objective group, which can range from getting a certain amount of assists or wins, and each one you complete earns XP for you and your team. The result of the event will determine which teams are rewarded and what rewards they earn, whether it be packs, players, coins, or customization options. Your rewards can then be used to grow or customize your clubs and show off your participation in the event and proudly announce the teams you backed.

Better Player Onboarding For Online Play

Feeling like you want to make the jump to online, but afraid to be overmatched? To ensure players, especially those taking their game online for the first time, get paired accordingly, FIFA 21 has a new way to do your placements for division rivals through squad battles. According to EA, over the course of your first 20-40 games, squad battles will continually access your skill and start to calculate your approximate online skill based on the way you’re playing the game. When those games are completed, players will automatically get placed inside a division that feels better suited for their skills. 

Click here to watch embedded media

FUT Stadiums Give You More Ways To Customize

For FIFA 21, the FUT stadium is a welcome addition and looks to be a big way to build your own identity in this mode. This feature goes beyond the stadium themes we saw in the past. Your stadium will grow with your club and offer up plenty of ways for you to alter its look, from the stadium lights to the trees and other landscape features. As you play, you earn upgraded stadiums, which give you even more customization options and increase the capacity for fans to really help sell your growing popularity. Expect to be able to alter everything from seat colors to banners to even how you display the trophies you earn within it. 

Final Thoughts…

In addition to what we discussed above, FUT has a lot of other great tweaks for FIFA 21, such as reworked menus for easier access, streamlined team management by removing fitness and training from the mode entirely, and adding new icons to the roster like Eric Cantona and Philipp Lahm. Also, if you start FUT on your current console and then purchase a new-gen console, you are ensured that your progress will carry over. So far it looks like EA Sports is continually finding ways to keep this a social experience and providing reasons to keep you coming back, which all sounds pretty great to us. You can watch the in-depth video above to see these changes in action. 

What has you most excited for FUT 21? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories: Games

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout Review - Jelly Bean Gladiators

Gamespot News Feed - Sat, 08/08/2020 - 03:25

Battle royales have only been around for a handful of years, and for the most part they've strictly stuck within the same genre of games. Whether you're playing Warzone, Fortnite, or Apex Legends, you're always shooting a gun and running from an encroaching circle, with the differences kicking up in the small variations to their established formulas. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, an extremely colorful and whimsical battle royale, is a great example of the genre growing outside of its roots. It's a far more approachable take on the multiplayer format, with simple controls and a variety of mini-games giving this competitive game show as much charm as they do tension.

Playing as one of 60 multi-colored, jelly bean-shaped contestants, you compete in a joyous and comical race to be crowned the winner of Fall Guys' 15-minute matches. Each one is broken up by various mini-games, with handfuls of players eliminated after each one. These games all take on a variety of themes, from straight-forward obstacle course races to frantic team games where you're hoarding as many eggs as you can into a basket. The mini-games make good use of Fall Guys' easy-to-understand control scheme, which lets you jump, dive, and grab with ease. Combined with the adorably clumsy movement animations, charming game show presentation, and suitably electric (and fantastic) soundtrack, Fall Guys will quickly catch your attention both visually and aurally.

The pickup and play nature of Fall Guys is one of its strongest aspects, along with its quick and entertaining games. It's never unclear when you need to jump over a gap or navigate through the hordes of contestants trying to reach the finish line before you. It's the type of game you can play in groups by passing the controller, with no need for a deep understanding of multiple mechanics to enjoy it. Its approachability lets anyone have fun with it, while its stages bring out glimmers of strategy for seasoned players to take advantage of.

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Categories: Games

Skully Review - Feet Of Clay

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 23:37

It's hard to make a platformer stand out in 2020. Skully, a 3D platformer about a reanimated rolling skull imbued with magic clay that can create and control mud golems, can't shake the baggage of its genre's history. Though it has some distinctive details--like a surprisingly cute, bouncing skull-ball for a protagonist--Skully's mild platforming, item collecting, and puzzle-solving often elicits the feeling that you're just going through the motions. While it isn't without charm or challenge, there isn't enough of it to make a profound impression.

Skully the bouncing skull-ball is actually an elemental avatar created by the earth deity of an isolated island. In his natural form, Skully is a small, quick ball that can roll and hop across forest streams, wind-swept mountains, and lava-filled caves. There's a satisfying kinetic feeling to rolling down a path and picking up speed, which makes gracefully jumping through platforming challenges feel good.

Skully isn't always rolling, though. He also has the power to use pools of mud to create humanoid golems that trade speed for additional abilities. Each of the three golem forms has two skills, most of which are used in very specific ways to get past obstacles Skully can't. For example, the big golem has a punch that can be used to break through walls and a steam attack that can temporarily dispel some enemies.

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Categories: Games

Answers To Our Biggest Questions

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 20:38

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks Developer: Tango Gameworks Platform: PlayStation 5, PC

Ghostwire: Tokyo is the new game from Tango Gameworks, the studio founded by Resident Evil mastermind Shinji Mikami which brought us The Evil Within series. People in Tokyo are mysteriously disappearing and you are tasked with figuring out what’s going on while using your supernatural powers to battle eerie creatures. We recently got out first look at the gameplay, and it enticed us, but also left lingering questions. We recently sat down with game director Kenji Kimura to learn more about what's in store for this creepy action adventure game and how the PS5 is enhancing the experience.

What are some of the inspirations behind Ghostwire: Tokyo?

Japan’s diverse culture and the city of Tokyo’s many faces have given us a lot of inspiration. Also, many ideas were inspired by Japanese Yokai folklore, fables, modern day urban legends and famous scary stories which are scattered throughout the game.

Can you discuss some of the creative process and your biggest goals for the game?

Our main goal is to ensure that players have a lot of fun and enjoy the exploration, the action, and battles within the world of Ghostwire: Tokyo.

To create our version of Tokyo, we not only wanted to add iconic landmarks and locations, but also locations that only locals might know – places that feel deep, mysterious, and interesting… the kinds of places that make our spines tingle. By squeezing all these into the game, we turned the city into a surprising, original version of Tokyo that can be enjoyed by those new to the city and those that know Tokyo inside and out.

What can you tell us about the main character and the overall story?

We can’t go into detail yet, but the protagonist is in a very special situation faced with various challenges. A miraculous encounter gives the protagonist paranormal abilities, through the use of hand gestures, to save an endangered Tokyo from an unprecedented event caused by unknown beings.

The latest trailer looked much more action-packed than the previous reveal. Has the game shifted any in tone or concept since the change in directors?

The atmosphere of our original version of Tokyo, the variety of experiences, quality of the visuals, etc., have always remained the same. The announcement trailer debuted at BE3 2019 introduced the world and atmosphere of Ghostwire while the recent gameplay trailer showcased actual gameplay and combat to highlight how dangerous our Tokyo is.

It’s said this is more of an action game with horror elements and themes. How much are you delving into the latter, and how do you balance the spookier tension with the action-packed combat scenes?

Ghostwire: Tokyo is an action adventure game, not a horror game. That being said, there will be moments of spookiness and mysteriousness. Because we are using Japan as the setting, we hope to deliver a fun experience packed with ominous, mysterious, and spooky elements based on Japanese Yokai folklore, fables, urban legends, and famous scary stories.

How would you say this compares to Tango Gameworks’ past projects, and what do you think will surprise fans?

Ghostwire: Tokyo takes the strengths of Tango Gameworks – such as realistic graphics, creating atmosphere, and eerie vibes –and evolves them in a slightly different direction. This gave birth to an ominous, mysterious Tokyo that one might even say is eerily beautiful.

The challenge of making an action adventure game has given us an opportunity to create a different kind of fun when compared to what we previously offered. This is something that we hope players will enjoy because it allows for gameplay focused on exploring the city of Tokyo, solving a deep mystery, and overcoming various challenges and threats through the use of special abilities inspired by traditional Kuji-kiri hand gestures.

It looks like we have a lot of supernatural powers to use against enemies. What are some of your favorites and why?

The protagonist wields supernatural powers through the use of a combination of hand signs for various abilities. Each ability is cool and distinct in its own way. While the hand gestures in the game aren’t exact replications of Kuji-kiri, we hope players enjoy the numerous actions that are linked to the hand movements.

We showed my favorite power in the gameplay trailer – grabbing the cores from the Visitors. The animations and the effects combine to create this awesome feeling of ripping something out of an enemy and heightens the sense of victory against strong foes.

You use Kuji-kiri-inspired hand gestures to cast spells. Can you discuss more about this element and how you’re implementing them into the game?

The protagonist uses various combinations of hand signs to employ various abilities throughout the course of the game. These gestures are not just for combat either, but also for exploration, to solve problems and mysteries, and to allow for different approaches for the player to progress through Tokyo.

How does progression work in terms of gaining and upgrading your powers?

As the game progresses, the player is able to power up each of the abilities so they can build out their favorite playstyle.

The newest trailer showed several Torii – what do these mean in the world of Ghostwire: Tokyo? 

The Torii are a very important visual motif for Ghostwire: Tokyo and have deep significance in both the game and in the story. That’s all I can reveal for now!

Why did you think Japan would make an interesting backdrop for the game? What are some of the different locales you wanted to include?  As a follow-up, do you think American and European audiences will have the same connection to the setting?

Ghostwire’s version of Tokyo is a unique, supernatural adaptation of the metropolis. It has the fun parts, with famous and iconic locations and landmarks condensed tightly together. 

Our Tokyo also features a strong contrast of light and shadows with neon lights and billboards. It blends the cutting-edge future with traditional culture, creating a mysterious, even spooky "feel” at times. With so many buildings and the variety of the city – it’s almost like a forest of buildings, with picturesque skyscraper views.

I believe that these visual elements, combined with exploration and combat, along with our world design, will appeal to players around the world. 

Lastly, we felt that if we, Tango Gameworks, a game studio in Japan, made a game set in Japan, we might be able to make something very interesting and fun.

How big is the world, and how important is exploration?

Our version of Tokyo in Ghostwire takes the fun parts of Tokyo and adds them to the core parts of Shibuya to make them accessible. This creates a large area to allow for wide-linear type of gameplay that allows players to experience the main story and explore the city freely.

Will there be boss battles? What can you tell us about this and the interesting foes we’ll face? 

There are various types of Visitors in Ghostwire: Tokyo, ranging from weak to strong, each with their own special abilities and roles. Japanese Yokai folklore, fables, urban legends and famous scary stories inspired the design of them – which may be hints of their abilities and roles! 

What is the power of the PS5 allowing you to add to the experience?

You need to experience it directly because this is very difficult to explain, but the DualSense Haptics and adaptive triggers felt so good that it surprised us. We could feel and experience the various actions and attacks like never before.

There’s also the 3D audio. It makes you feel like you are in our version of Tokyo. To “feel” the objects and beings that are there. There are times players will hear not just the familiar sounds of the city but also the sounds of the supernatural. Keep an ear out and pay attention because you can use those sounds to help solve the mystery and explore the city.

Ghostwire: Tokyo is set to come out sometime next year for PS5 and PC.

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Categories: Games

Umurangi Generation Review - Cyberpunk Snap

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 08/07/2020 - 15:00

In Te Reo (Māori), "umurangi" means red sky--a perpetual sight in this first-person photography game, and a sign of the climate anomaly plaguing the city of Tauranga Aotearoa. You'll see this when raising your camera towards the flock of seagulls gathering at sunset, or a distant view of Mount Mauao amidst the billowing clouds of crimson and orange. Inspired by his personal experiences around the Australian bushfire crisis, Maori developer Naphtali Faulkner envisions a cyberpunk future that's so much more than a neon-soaked dystopia. As a result, Umurangi Generation becomes a shining example of what cyberpunk media should be; it boldly confronts the themes that underpin the genre, from its condemnation of capitalism to rebuking the corporate structures that govern its cities.

Umurangi Generation makes its statements not through dialogue but by letting you explore its themes through the exploratory lens of photography--and its through this framing that the game's message is made all the more resounding. Akin to a bystander, you don't get to interact with the city's inhabitants in Umurangi Generation; you just quietly observe and snap pictures of things you see in your environment.

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Categories: Games

Vader Immortal Hits PSVR On August 25

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 22:01

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Publisher: Oculus Studios Developer: ILMxLAB Release: May 21, 2019 (Rift, Quest), August 25, 2020 (PlayStation VR) Rating: Not rated Platform: PlayStation VR, Rift, Quest

Vader Immortal debuted last year on Oculus systems, giving players a chance to come face-to-face with the iconic Star Wars villain in VR. Back in May, we learned the game is also coming to PSVR. During today's State of Play event, Sony confirmed that the title will be launching on August 25.

So, should you pick it up? The first episode is interesting, and has some recognizable voice talent (including actress Maya Rudolph) ... but the subsequent installments didn't quite keep up the momentum. Even so, if you're a Star Wars fan and you want to stand in the awesome presence of Darth Vader, the game's move to PSVR is a new opportunity to do just that.

Categories: Games

Hood: Outlaws And Legends Coming To PS4, PS5 In 2021

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 21:37
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Developer: Sumo Digital Release: 2021 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4

During Sony's State of Play event, Focus Home Interactive premiered a trailer for Hood: Outlaws and Legends, showing Sumo Digital's grittier take on the classic Robin Hood tales.

Click here to watch embedded media

The clip doesn't focusing on people getting knocked off logs and into rivers; instead, this shadowy gang of outlaws seems to prefer brutal melee attacks and firing arrows through enemy necks. 

Look for Hood: Outlaws and Legends on PlayStation 4 and 5 in 2021.

Categories: Games

Crash Bandicoot 4 Adds New Playable Characters And Inverted Mode

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 21:28

Publisher: Activision Developer: Toys for Bob Release: October 2, 2020 Rating: Everyone 10+ Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Following the announcement of Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, fans were curious how different the adventure would be from Crash's prior outings. During today's State of Play stream, we learned a bit more about what new elements are coming to Crash 4.

The adventure begins on N. Sanity Beach, the location where the series all began. Returning to this location in Crash 4 immediately shows off the advancements in the art style, which is inspired by the original games and the cartoons that inspired them, as well as the animations. In addition, players can try out a new moveset for Crash, including wall-running, rope-swinging, rail-grinding, and more. The changes are further evident through the wide-open vistas, new character models, and expressive animations.

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Previous Crash Bandicoot games gave the marsupial outfits in certain situations, and Crash 4 doubles down on that, delivering more outfits than before that you can equip to Crash and Coco at will. Don't worry if you just want to play as an ordinary bandicoot; the outfits are completely cosmetic. Developer Toys for Bob delivered additional good news: There aren't any microtransactions, and all outfits are earned through gameplay.

Another way players can alter their gameplay is through Quantum Masks. These masks serve as protectors of time and space, and thankfully, they're on your side. Using the four masks' abilities, Crash and Coco can alter the world around them with awe-inspiring powers. Using these masks, you can flip gravity, slow down the world, and even phase-shift elements in and out of existence. A fourth mask will grant additional powers, but Toys for Bob isn't ready to divulge its powers just yet.

Though Crash gets top billing, he's not the only character you play as. In fact, you can play any Crash level as his sister Coco. In addition, some levels have you play as Neo Cortex, while others let you play as the hulking Dingodile. Crash 4 also introduces Inverted Mode, which is a mirror-mode-style experience that gives you special missions and art styles, while sometimes even changing how the game plays for added challenge and fun.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time comes to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 2.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One Release Date: October 2, 2020 Purchase More Info
Categories: Games

Braid: Anniversary Edition Coming In 2021

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 21:12
Publisher: Number None Developer: Number None Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PlayStation 4

Braid was a pioneering game in more ways than one, with the 2008 game delivering not only mind (and time) bending puzzles but helping to usher in the rise of indie gaming. If you didn't get a chance to play Number None's game when it first released or are looking for an excuse to revisit it, the newly announced Braid: Anniversary Edition may be right up your alley.

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The updated version includes enhanced visuals and animations, such as adding animated brushstrokes to backgrounds to fully sell the overall painterly aesthetic. It also includes a full developer commentary, which digs into some of the design decisions the team made during the game's development.

Braid: Anniversary Edition is coming out in 2021. 

Categories: Games

Littlewood Review - Big Heart

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 08/06/2020 - 03:00

My wife calls them "chore games." Day-to-day life simulations such as Stardew Valley, Graveyard Keeper, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons celebrate the mundanity of routine, assigning you daily lists of menial tasks to perform and rewarding you for completing them with another day and another to-do list. Littlewood is most certainly another one of these chore games. Rather than weighing it down, Littlewood's daily grind is leavened by a lean, focused approach to its various labors, the swift turnover of its day-night cycle, and a dash of mystery that elevates its charming setting.

Peace has spread across the land of Solemn in the aftermath of the defeat of a dark wizard. Leading the victorious band of adventurers was a great hero who, in classic video game protagonist tradition, is now suffering from amnesia. He or she cannot remember a single thing about the battle, the triumph, or life beforehand. Nonetheless, at the urging of the friends you apparently fought alongside, you are granted the tiny village of Littlewood and tasked with managing its recovery in a post-war world.

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Categories: Games

Madden NFL 21 Invites You To Take It Out Back With A New Mode Called The Yard

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:00

Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Tiburon Release: August 28, 2020 Rating: Everyone Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

EA Sports has announced The Yard, a new backyard-football-inspired mode coming to Madden NFL 21. The mode hopes to deliver a fast-paced, customizable experience that feels more like an arcade mode than the traditional NFL games typically delivered by the franchise.

The goal of The Yard is to let players experience the fast-paced gameplay of backyard football. Players create a custom character, choosing form facial hair, hairstyles, and more, then outfit it in unique gear. In The Yard, players can pull off trick plays like behind-the-back throws and double passes, and compete in new field locations all over the world, all with varied rulesets.

Once you step onto the field in The Yard, you compete in 6v6 games with solo, online co-op vs. the CPU, and online head-to-head multiplayer options. The online head-to-head allows for teams consisting of one, two, or three players. The Yard features new animations, and a post-launch plan to include new gear drops throughout the NFL season. Playing in The Yard grants your character experience points and other rewards.

The Yard experience carries into Madden NFL 21 Mobile, where you can create your avatar starting today and compete in a unique version of this new mode called The Yard: Underground. This mobile version features a single-player, narrative experience with 5v5 gameplay. If you connect the same EA account to both your mobile device and console or PC, you can begin earning rewards through Madden NFL 21 Mobile today.

Madden NFL 21 Mobile is available now for iOS and Android. Madden NFL 21 is set to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 28. A PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and Stadia version will launch at a later date.

Madden NFL 21 Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC Release Date: August 28, 2020 Purchase More Info
Categories: Games

Marvel’s Avengers Beta Impressions – Assembly Still Required

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/05/2020 - 14:00

Publisher: Square Enix Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal Release: September 4, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia), 2020 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

As a rule, Game Informer aims to hold its final critical evaluation of a game until full release, when a developer’s full vision is on display. That remains true with a big multiplayer-enabled online game like Marvel’s Avengers, in which it would be impossible to pull together a comprehensive judgment until we’ve played the full and final game. However, with a large-scale beta for Avengers rolling out this month ahead of a September 4 launch on current-gen platforms, this is likely our last opportunity to help guide purchasing decisions ahead of launch, when we will play the game alongside the community to complete our review. And after several hours in that beta, I’m seeing a lot of concerning signs.  

After an early and more limited beta period, the beta is rolling out to pre-order players this week. Barring some significant changes to the nature of that content, players can expect to uncover several hours of missions and leveling to explore, including the oft-seen bridge sequence from the game’s opening, and a later story-driven sequence involving Ms. Marvel and Hulk. From there, the beta opens up into multiplayer-enabled missions, adding Iron Man and Black Widow into the mix, so that up to four players can duke it out together in their battles against Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.). As you fight through the available encounters, you also gradually improve your heroes, both through leveling to gain more skill points and combat moves, as well as with gear that increases their offensive and defensive potential.

There are several things that Avengers ably manages in those hours of play. The hero character models look good (especially in slow-motion animated loading screens), and unlockable costumes help to add some variation to their respective styles. The basics of character control and brawling mechanics feel up to the task, allowing for a familiar range of light and heavy attacks, interspersed with dodges, blocks, and special moves. And perhaps most importantly, the game offers a fantasy that many players have longed for – a chance to hop into the personas of characters like Hulk and Iron Man, and beat up some bad guys in big cooperative throwdowns. Multiplayer sequences easily support up to four friends (or strangers, through matchmaking) joining up and playing together, but also offer options to let companion A.I. characters join in on the fight, so there’s always a sense of a big team-based superhero battles. For some players, that alone will be worth the price of admission.

Unfortunately, I can’t escape a sense of plodding sameness and tedium at the center of the action. Avengers frequently reminds me of the brawling comic-book movie games of the late 2000s, in which button-mashy battles, canned animations, and too-often repeated quips failed to elicit laughter or engagement. Here, that style of action features the addition of potential other players joining in on the fight, but more often than not, those extra onscreen characters lead to exchanges that are confusing to look at, and all blur together, as an array of animated sequences fire off all at once, with little sense of reactivity between the characters I’m looking at. Even when enemies sometimes do respond to my punches, I usually feel like the battles are simply a matter of me moving from one bad guy to the next, tapping wildly on the attack buttons as I watch a health bar deplete. Recent years have given us the melee combat systems of games like God of War and Spider-Man, and by comparison, Avengers often feels archaic.

Lighter and faster characters, like Black Widow and Ms. Marvel, feel floaty as I move them around the environments. But the worse offender is the plodding Hulk, whose sprint is painfully slow and disconnected from his supposedly overwhelming athleticism. In any case, the actual fistfights lack the visceral punch I want in a comic-book-inspired exchange. Attacks don’t feel like they carry any weight behind them, and a seemingly endless series of flashing icons lead to a sense of being overwhelmed and disoriented. Flight, for characters like Iron Man, is handled relatively well, with controls that successfully allow for transitions between ground and air. But even here, I found targeting of enemies to be a notable problem, and the environments often ill-suited to the large spaces needed for freeform aerial battles.

I’m hopeful that the final game offers a more robust and interesting set of environments, but the levels in the beta were uninteresting, and didn’t feature the crafted touch I’d expect in a triple-A game in 2020. Whether it is an underground base of interconnected rooms, or a more open outdoor setting of towering trees in the Pacific Northwest, many of the environments lack verticality or variation. Worse still, both hero characters and enemies fail to “pop” within the gameplay spaces, further accentuating a sense of visual confusion from the already hard-to-track battle sequences.

Both during missions, and in cinematic sequences between those missions, Avengers also aims to weave a narrative appropriate to these incredibly popular characters. I’m eager to see the full scope of that story when the final game releases, but the beta content simply didn’t suck me in. Ms. Marvel, while a wonderful character in the comics, feels ill-suited to carry the role of point-of-view character. Her breathless fangirl exclamations about how cool it is to be hanging out with the Avengers just never land, and instead come across as grating. Meanwhile, the rest of the characters, with their almost-but-not-quite photo-realistic faces, can’t escape the doom of feeling like copycats trying to fill the shoes of film versions of the same leads. In-mission, attempts at levity rarely work, because lines are repeated too frequently. Hearing Stark shout: “Who you gonna call? Hulkbuster!” the first time didn’t really make me chuckle, but it definitely didn’t on the 10th time I heard it.

I enjoyed unlocking new combat moves as I leveled, and I like that individual gear sets can help you prepare for certain mission modifiers. For instance, if you know you’re facing a bunch of cryo-enabled baddies, you can equip items that help defend against the cold. But I am deeply worried about the long-term engagement that such gear provides. In other living games like this, such as The Division or Destiny, the focus on distinct weapons and armor that fundamentally change your playstyle is a big part of the appeal to continue playing. I don’t see any indication of that approach in Avengers, but I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the beta simply may not reveal that level of depth within the equipment experience.

I’m a dedicated Marvel comic-book enthusiast, and have been since childhood. And living games like Destiny have emerged as a big part of my gaming hobby in recent years – a formula that Avengers is clearly trying to emulate in some regards. I am squarely in the target audience for Marvel's Avengers video game. And yet, my early hours with Marvel’s Avengers left me cold. The combat feels stale, the art style is generic, the storytelling didn’t grab my attention, and the sense of character development didn’t leave me excited to move forward. There’s no doubt that Crystal Dynamics is a talented development studio, and the team has already been active in discussing plans beyond launch. And these kinds of games are always changing and evolving, so I absolutely wouldn't write off the game as a whole. But even as I plan to play more of the public beta in the coming days, I’m forced to offer caution at this juncture. A month before actual launch, the Avengers need a lot of work to be ready for the big fight ahead.

Marvel's Avengers Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC Release Date: September 4, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC), 2020 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) Purchase More Info
Categories: Games

Oxenfree And Afterparty Developer Releasing New Game "Very Soon"

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 08/04/2020 - 20:36

Night School Studio is the team behind unique, story-driven games like Oxenfree and Afterparty. Today, the studio announced via Twitter that it has another project called Next Stop Nowhere in the works ... and won't have to wait long to see it.

Couldn't we all use a galactic road trip right about now?

Next Stop Nowhere.

Coming very soon, exclusively on @AppleArcade. pic.twitter.com/QB75bncBA0

— Night School Studio (@nightschoolers) August 4, 2020

According to the trailer, Next Stop Nowhere stars a courier named Beckett and a criminal named Serra as they fly through space and explore the stars in search of Serra's son Eddy. This initial reveal doesn't give us too much beyond that, but the trailer's soundtrack and visuals establish a stylish sci-fi vibe. 

Though no specific release has been announced, Night School Studio's tweet claims the game is coming exclusively to Apple Arcade "very soon."

Categories: Games

EA Sports UFC 4's New Approach To Create-A-Fighter

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:00

Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Vancouver Release: August 14, 2020 Rating: Teen Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Just as career mode is the most popular mode in the EA Sports UFC franchise, created fighters are far and away the most popular characters in the game. That's been the talking point used by developer EA Vancouver as the team members discussed why they've scrapped modes like Ultimate Team and doubled down on innovating and evolving gameplay, career mode, and Create-a-Fighter. We caught up with EA Vancouver one last time ahead of launch to chat about what changes were made in the Create-a-Fighter space.

The big change this time around is that rather than going in and tweaking every single aspect of the fighter's attributes and skills, you now choose from 12 distinct archetypes. According to creative director Brian Hayes, this is less about restricting player choice and more about ensuring that the online experience is balanced. "Previously, we had a system where most people would just create a fighter and give them 100 everything and level five everything, and they'd all be very O.P.," he says. "We're taking an approach where we want to make sure people can use their created fighter in as many modes as possible because it's a very popular fighter for people to use. We needed to find a system that makes these fighters fair, competitively balanced against other licensed fighters in the game. That's why we came up with the archetypes."

Early on, the studio toyed with the idea of a point-allocation system, where the higher you raised attributes, the more costly they would be, but the team figured out that a system like that is highly exploitable. "We had considered doing other things like a development-point limiting system," Hayes says. "What you end up having is people will find a way to min-max the system and find the way that is the most slightly O.P., so everybody will go do that. It's not the same as having 100 OVR created fighters everywhere, but you still end up with basically every created fighter being just one thing. We could still end up in a situation where the game comes out and we find out week one or week two that these two or three archetypes are a little bit O.P. Well then we have the ability to go in and tune those things like we would with a licensed fighter. So we're going to bump these archetypes up, we're going to turn these other archetypes down so that those 12 archetypes still have great variability, but competitive balance, which is a positive for people using created fighters against licensed fighters or against other created fighters online."

The Archetypes

EA Sports UFC 4 brings 12 distinct archetypes into the mix for its Create-a-Fighter suite. First, you choose a primary style, then within each style, you select the sub-style archetype you want to use. Check out the full list below.

Kickboxer

  • Acrobat
  • Pressure
  • Showboat

Boxer

  • Sniper
  • Powerhouse

Balanced

  • Top Dog
  • Engine
  • Razor

Wrestler

  • Dominator
  • Smasher

Jiu-Jitsu

  • Shark
  • Vanguard

Another positive side effect from the archetype system is it makes the fighter-creation process much more streamlined. No longer do you have to go in and tweak every last attribute for each fighter you create. Now, you simply go in, choose the fighter's type, enter their vital information, and craft what they look like. However, just because the process of defining a fighter's skillset is more efficient doesn't mean the cosmetic side has been pared down.

In fact, the sculpting tools from UFC 3 made the trip to this fourth entry, plus there are more hairstyle and facial hair options, as well as new body types, hair colors, and tattoos. In addition, UFC 4 adds new categories for clothing and emotes. Clothing ranges from tame items like custom shorts and gloves to over-the-top cosmetics like animal masks, heavy chains, "anime hair," superhero masks, unicorn t-shirts, and royal crowns. The emotes let you give your fighter a bit more personality in the pre- and post-fight sequences, as well as in-fight taunts.

As you create your stable of fighters (up to 20 total, according to Hayes), you can designate one fighter to be your Universal Avatar. That fighter follows you across modes and can conform to whatever weightclass you are playing. That means that if you create a fighter at 170 pounds, if you set him as your Universal Avatar and want to use him in a 135-pound bout, he'll shrink proportionately to that size and associated skillsets. Universal Avatars are also able to swap out their archetypes on the fly, meaning that if you're a kickboxing archetype and you want to counter a jiu-jitsu or wrestling specialist, you can swap out your skills with ease.

For more on EA Sports UFC 4, check out our in-depth look at the game as a whole, or learn more about career mode through our recent deep dive. EA Sports UFC 4 hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 14.

EA Sports UFC 4 Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One Release Date: August 14, 2020 Purchase More Info
Categories: Games

Three Big Gameplay Improvements Coming To FIFA 21

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 08/04/2020 - 16:00

Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Vancouver Release: October 9, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), TBA (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Like any competitive team, FIFA 21 is looking to consistently improve and shore up its weaknesses. Sometimes, that means looking at the core fundamentals and making some adjustments in order for the team to function in better harmony. EA Sports turned to two key places for inspiration on what to tweak for its game plan: the real-life sport and community feedback. This resulted in bettering the creativity, responsiveness, and fluidity of its gameplay for FIFA 21. 

After going hands-on with FIFA 21, we experienced additions that put you in more control of the action on the pitch, and they’re all for the better. Don’t expect any drastic changes to the formula, but these are welcome improvements and address some nagging issues. Whether it’s new techniques or improved A.I., FIFA 21 is making sure you’re better able to create the plays you want. Here’s what stood out for us. 

Agile Dribbling Takes The Game To A More Competitive Level

Dribbling is a fundamental part of the game, and this skill can be make-or-break when it comes to achieving victory. We’ve seen players’ fast footwork trick defenders, providing an opening for them to blow past their cover for a satisfying scoring chance. In FIFA 21, the standard dribbling has been improved to be more responsive and quick, but a new, more refined technique called “agile dribbling,” is also being added to your arsenal.  

Agile dribbling gives you more advanced ways to outsmart your defender and assert yourself on the pitch. All you need to tap into it is press the right bumper while moving the left stick in the direction you want. This allows you to move the ball side to side and back and forth with ease, and it’s a great tool to have to prevent yourself from getting tackled and blowing past a defender when they overcommit in a certain direction. However, keep in mind, the dribbling attribute of the player you’re controlling will determine how successful you will be with this technique. Players known for their dribbling like Mbappé and Messi will be much faster and effective than most. 

Testing this during our hands-on proved this much; the controls are easy enough to activate, but agile dribbling does require some mastery. It’s easy to lose the ball if you’re not careful, but it’s also satisfying to boot when you outsmart a defender with your sweet moves. This is one technique we expect to really see shine in competitive play, especially those who are just gunning for their big stars to embarrass their opponents.

Improved A.I. Intelligence Makes For More Realistic Interactions

A lot of effort has gone into elevating the A.I. and ensuring it’s making more realistic and intelligent decisions on the field. One of the most promising new features is called “positioning personality,” which strives to make players feel different depending on their position and skill attributes. From striker to fullback, every position plays differently and requires different intelligences, and likewise, every player has their own personal strengths and weaknesses.

For some examples of how this functions in FIFA 21, top forwards are less likely to get caught offside and recognize when they need to create a passing lane. Defenders are overall more likely to cut off passing lanes and the more skilled ones will recognize runs earlier, giving them a better chance to break it up. “This means that players that are good tactically are going to have a bigger impact in FIFA regardless of their pace, dribbling, and shooting attributes, which for years have been the most impactful ones,” says lead gameplay producer Sam Riviera.   

EA Sports also worked on its collision system to make the physical action on the pitch much more natural. Now players won’t run directly into other players, trying to avoid unnecessary contact, like jumping over a sliding player. If there is a collision, EA worked to improve the physics so players wouldn’t get stuck together in large groups like in previous entries. This may seem like a minor improvement, but it does create more space and less pileups, making for a smoother experience.

For players looking for a challenge but feel like the CPU has been too predictable and easy in the past, a new competitor mode, which replicates the playstyles of some of the best FIFA professionals in the world, is for you. In this difficulty mode, teams will use all their skill moves, aggressively pass, and find the best ways to score. Expect the A.I. to pull out all stops, and it’s a lot of fun trying to stay one step ahead of them. 

Creative Runs Is A Difference-Maker

Of all of the tweaks and additions, the one that felt the most impactful and promising is creative runs. You now have more control over telling your A.I. players where you want them to go. This is a godsend for getting your players in the best spaces to execute on your game plan. Now right after a pass, you can flick the right stick in any direction and the passing player will start moving there, such as sending them to the wing or requesting they do a diagonal run. This is the first time you have 360-degree control of the run, giving you plenty of options for ways to create chances. 

Click here to watch embedded media

Before, we often felt at the mercy of our A.I., but being able to ensure they go where we need them with ease really lessens this frustration. With directed runs, you can send your player to a better area with more space in the heat of the moment. This allows you to create a lot of different types of plays that weren’t possible before. 

Another way to better create the plays you want is the ability to stay locked to a player, so after you make a pass, you aren’t automatically swapped to that player. This is great if you want to stay on the attack and spot an opening, but need to make a pass before you can get there. All you need to do now is press both sticks at the same time to stay locked to a player, and the CPU will take control of the player you just passed to.

Final Thoughts

FIFA 21 is giving players more options and control to ensure they can play how they want. During our hands-on we noticed a slew of tweaks, such as more consistent blocking, accurate tackles, and improved player passing, which just made everything on the pitch feel much better. Having the ability to tap into new tactics like agile dribbling and creative runs provided more spectacular ways to create plays, resulting in those special moments where you feel like you’ve earned a play on the highlight reel. None of this rewrites the formula, but they are all positive changes. We can only hope that these tools give players even more unique and creative ways to have success on the pitch. Time will tell, but the improved A.I. alone makes for a better experience.

Categories: Games

EA Sports Updates Fans On Its Vision For Madden's Franchise Mode

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 08/03/2020 - 22:58

Publisher: EA Sports Developer: EA Tiburon Release: August 28, 2020 Rating: Everyone Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Following the reveal of what's new to Madden NFL 21, fans of the series' franchise mode were quick to point out that the minimal updates made for Madden NFL 21 felt more like patch notes than upgrades you would expect in the next iteration of a long-running and successful franchise like Madden. Today, EA Sports released a blog post detailing the roadmap not only for Madden NFL 21's post-launch lifespan, but also what improvements the team is exploring for Madden NFL 22.

Following Madden NFL 21's reveal, a social-media movement called #FixMaddenFranchise, as well as other prominent community feedback led to the team rethinking how it approaches franchise mode. As a result, the development team is devoting a higher percentage of team bandwidth to provide updates to Madden NFL 21's franchise mode post-launch, and make even bigger changes for Madden NFL 22's franchise. The plan right now is to operate Madden NFL 21 as a platform, delivering significant content updates through two or three releases over the next few months.

Following launch, Madden NFL 21 players can expect tuning updates to improve the progression and regression of players, new commissioner tools, improved A.I.-driven personnel management, improved playoff and Super Bowl presentation, customizable X-Factor and Superstar abilities, improved U.I. showing historical player performances, better trade logic, better retirement U.I., and updates to the playoff U.I so you can better track the postseason action.

If you're looking for bigger changes, EA Sports is already laying out what it wants to do with Madden NFL 22, saying it's not committed to doing these things just yet, but it's "exploring creatively." The areas the team is currently looking into include coaching and staffing management, scouting improvements, new scenario engine enhancements, new team chemistry systems, more commissioner tool improvements, and additional content like new logos, names, uniforms, and options for relocation. EA Sports says it will share more as the development team gets closer to Madden NFL 22.

While fans of franchise mode are sure to still be disappointed with the meager offerings at Madden NFL 21's launch, hopefully this acknowledgement of the team's neglect of the mode, as well as the commitment provided through the roadmap help ease the tension within the community. Madden NFL 21 launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 28. It will come to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year.

[Source: EA]

Madden NFL 21 Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC Release Date: August 28, 2020 Purchase More Info
Categories: Games

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