The more I learn about Final Fantasy VII Remake, the less I’m worried about it

The more I learn about Final Fantasy VII Remake, the less I'm worried about it

Initially riddled with granular worries about how FF7 remake might retall a classic story, those concerns are now melting away in the face of promising reveals.

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Final Fantasy VIII GF guide: how to obtain every Guardian Force, missable GFs and more summon details

Final Fantasy VIII GF guide: how to obtain every Guardian Force, missable GFs and more summon details

Here’s where and how to get every GF in FF8, including avoiding missable GFs and grabbing optional ones via sidequests.

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Three Fantastic PC Games You Missed This Month

August had Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Control and Astral Chain. All great games that can suck your life away. But as the year ticks along, plenty of great, smaller games with stellar ideas and executions come out, especially on PC, and they won’t eat up dozens of hours if you’re looking for something fresh. But they’re easy to miss.

There are a lot of games out there, and we sure do play a lot of them. We’ve picked three standout games from August that which really sparked our interest and really captured our attention. They’re games that might usually fly under most people’s radar, but still great experiences in their own right, so if any of them sound up your alley, know that they have our hearty recommendation.

A Short Hike (PC)

If A Short Hike has a central theme, it’s that kindness is rewarded. In other words, be nice to those you meet and nice things will also come your way. It’s a lovely little game that will either make you feel better about the world or provide you with a brief escape from these dark, chaotic times.

You play as Claire, a teen bird who is camping at a national park managed by her aunt while she awaits a very important phone call. Trouble is, reception is non-existent so Claire must hike to higher ground, all the way to the summit of the tallest mountain peak in the park. Though she may be a bird, Claire can’t ascend during flight; she can only glide in a gentle descent, making said hike somewhat more circuitous than you might expect. She can climb though, and so much of her time is spent exploring the woods, lakes, and beaches of the park in search of the golden feather collectibles that boost her stamina and allow her to scramble up ever higher surfaces.

On her trek, Claire meets a cast of adorable animals who are likewise visiting the park, many of whom ask her for a favor–to find something valuable to them or maybe to just hang out for a little bit. These cheerful encounters work hand in hand with Claire’s exploration, sometimes rewarding her with the items she needs to journey further afield, other times encouraging her to slow down and breathe in the clean mountain air.

Running, climbing, gliding–and occasionally digging, watering and fishing–through the park’s sprawling, looping network of obvious and not-so-obvious pathways is a heart-warming experience. Revealing new corners of the pleasingly chunky, vividly colored, lo-fi parkland is a constant delight matched by the satisfaction of having performed good deeds for good creatures every step of the way.

Finding phone reception is a MacGuffin that actually pays off in a sincere and touching conclusion, after which you’re free to continue wandering the park to your heart’s desire. A Short Hike is honestly a misnomer. It’s more like a day trip that you’ll want to never end.

It’s Like: Breath of the Wild’s climbing and gliding mechanics dropped into a walking simulator with the cast of Animal Crossing.

You can find A Short Hike on Steam and

Anodyne 2: Return To Dust (PC)

In Anodyne 2, dust is a catch-all metaphor. For repressed grief, for ennui, for illness, for denial, for confusion. For whatever is dragging us down, holding us back, stopping us from moving on. Dust is depicted as a plague, its nano particles clogging up the internal thoroughfares–both mental and physical–of those it has infected. As Nova, a so-called nano cleaner, you are tasked with eradicating such dust and healing the afflicted, and perhaps yourself in the process.

The first Anodyne (released in 2013) told its tales of personal trauma via a reimagining of an NES-era action-RPG. In this far more ambitious sequel the nostalgic palette is broader, expanding its sources of inspiration to encompass not just The Legend of Zelda but late ‘80s PC RPGs like the Ultima series, SNES era JRPGs like Chrono Trigger, and even the early forays into 3D platforming on the N64 and PlayStation. One moment you’re driving across the lo-fi dunes of a bleak desert, later you’re in a top-down pixel-art Ren Fair castle while in between you’ve starred in a wrestling show and run the gauntlet of a survival horror chase through the isometric maze of your apartment building. To call Anodyne 2 eclectic is perhaps an understatement.

Genre mashups can often have a hard time holding it all together. They can suffer from too many incompatible parts pulling in different directions. But Anodyne 2 finds a throughline in Nova. It’s her slow journey of self-discovery, even more so than the myriad side stories she intersects in her dust-busting capacity, that brings every perspective shift or gameplay refresh into focus.

Things can get ugly at times–in a graphical fidelity sense and in terms of the raw emotions at stake–but despite the stylistic detours and tonal swings, Anodyne 2 retains an unfaltering commitment to exploring the very real, very relatable struggles of day to day human life. By turns dark, funny, confronting, empathetic and inexplicable, it’s a defiantly weird game that will keep surprising you until the end.

It’s Like: The Legend of Zelda and Banjo-Kazooie pay a visit to the Psychonauts.

You can find Anodyne 2: Return To Dust on Steam and

Eliza (PC)

Eliza, the new game from developer Zachtronics, best known for procedural puzzle games like Infinifactory and Opus Magnum, is a tight, thought-provoking visual novel that connects the dots of our disconnected world, tracing a path through the alienation of social media, big data, the gig economy, startup culture, privacy, gentrification and more.

Developed in the 1960s, ELIZA was a real-world, early attempt at programming a computer to speak with a user in what felt like natural language. It wasn’t an AI–it was more like a bot; it couldn’t learn, but rather called upon canned responses based on keywords and patterns entered by the user. ELIZA’s designer even wrote a script that mocked the popular conception of a psychotherapist, specifically the technique of reflecting a patient’s answer back at them in the form of a question. “And why do you think that you’re ripe for parody?”

Here, Eliza speculates a future version of the program that now operates as a therapist, harvesting data from its users in an effort to learn how to help them and make the world a better place, at least in theory, at least. Evelyn she isn’t so sure. She’s the former chief engineer at Skandha, the company responsible for Eliza, who left her job three years ago and has spent the intervening years battling depression.

Evelyn has returned to Skandha, almost incognito, to work as a “proxy,” people employed to read Eliza’s words to clients in order to give the appearance of the human touch. Proxies can’t deviate from the Eliza script, much like the gameplay. Evelyn’s story is a series of conversations in which dialogue options, where there are any, mostly exist to give you a moment to reflect on the issues being examined. In the final chapter, Evelyn is faced with a few choices that affect the outcome, but until that point many of the things you can have her say are deliberately non-committal.

It works though, because the game’s writer, Matthew Seiji Burns, is genuinely interested in understanding not just where AI is taking us, but how and why it’s taking us there, and maybe whether we should pause to consider whether there are other destinations we–that’s “we” as in the human race, not the technocrat class–might prefer.

It’s Like: If the movie Her was a visual novel that really made you think.

You can find Eliza on Steam.

from GameSpot – Game News

Cyberpunk 2077’s Weapons Come In Three Flavors, Here’s What You Need To Know

Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in a far-off future where man and machine are coming together as one and technology permeates every facet of our existence. Of course, what that means in a video game is that players will have a wide array of weird tools at their disposal. For those who find themselves in conflict, CD Projekt Red presents the option to use weapons to fight for survival. As discussed in the Cyberpunk 2077 deep-dive stream, the weapons on offer come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capabilities.

“Our guns are divided into three main categories,” explained quest designer Pawel Sasako. “There are smart guns, [which] basically shoot homing bullets that follow targets. There is also tech weapons, and the tech weapons are those that have additional capabilities to the–for instance, they could pierce cover.

“Then there are power weapons … mainly focused on being street-grade weapons. They have additional skills and capabilities connected to the fact that have been [modified] in some way. For instance, there is a bursting shotgun or something like that. We have put plenty of work into making sure that the weapons feel [good] and they have weight.”

Naturally, weapons have various quirks to them that players will be able to use to their advantage. “There’s lots of really cool examples that I can give. For instance, there’s a handgun that, as you use it, it actually speeds up the bullets and the longer you use it the faster the bullets become, so they can do more damage,” Sasako explained.

“There’s a class of handguns that have been created by a Russian company to fight cyborgs and that weapon is able to heat up the bullet to the point where it almost becomes like melted plastic. It’s done so you can shoot off a cyborg’s arms, for example. There’s always a small piece of story wrapped up around the weapon and what it does.

“What’s interesting is you can use a second firing mode for a weapon. Not all weapons have them, but some of them if you use it in a specific way, like for example the tech rifle, it changes the way it collapses together and allows it to pierce through cover and enemies. Or you can bounce bullets off the walls using ricochet. We tried to put enough depth into the gun.”

Even as development continues, more outrageous weapons are being created. Sasako recounted seeing “an awesome shotgun that has eight barrels and it shoots out of them at the same time.”

Senior level designer Miles Tost added that a lot of the companies that make the guns and tech in Cyberpunk 2077’s world have lore and history. That includes the brands and ads in the game, which are crafted by an entire team at the studio.

Phillip Weber, another quest designer, also noted that there are a variety of melee weapons, ranging from broken bottles strewn around the city to knives. You can specialize in melee weapons–perhaps because you want to be a cyber ninja–and often there are weapons that cater to this style, such as katanas. Cyberware for melee also exists, as seen in previous demos where a character punched his way through different environments.

The deep-dive had plenty more to offer in terms of details. We got lots of information on how sidequests will work in Cyberpunk 2077, as well as how cyberware will change gameplay. CD Projekt Red also teased that it wants to solve an annoying RPG problem with the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16, 2020. You can read more about the title’s collector’s edition and pre-order bonuses in our Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order guide.

from GameSpot – Game News

Borderlands 3 Post Release Content Detailed, Includes Story Expansions And Free Events

At PAX West, Gearbox announced the first stage of post-release content for Borderlands 3. The loot shooter has three content drops scheduled to release this year, with more on the way in 2020. The full Borderlands 3 Fall/Winter 2019 content calendar is pictured below.

Following its release, Borderlands 3 will get a Halloween-themed limited-time event called Bloody Harvest. The event will include thematically spooky activities and side missions, and completing these will allow you to unlock unique rewards. Later in the year, a much larger expansion called Maliwan Takedown will release. This expansion adds a whole new map to Borderlands 3, and the area will contain brand-new enemies, a never-before-seen boss, and powerful weapons and rewards. Both Bloody Harvest and Maliwan Takedown will be free.

Finally, before 2019 ends, Borderlands 3 will receive the first of its major DLC expansions. These larger expansions are not free, but they include a lot more content than the free add-ons. The DLC will also be included in the Season Pass, so pre-ordering the Borderlands 3 Super Deluxe edition unlocks all of its content automatically. Like the free add-ons, this DLC adds new side missions, enemies, and loot but it also expands on Borderlands 3 with campaign missions that act as a sequel to the game’s story.

It will be interesting to see how Gearbox handles Borderlands 3 going into 2020, given the landscape of loot shooter games. Post-release content for Borderlands 2 was largely new playable Vault Hunters or additional story missions that could be tackled with another person if you wanted. Including free pieces of content like holiday-themed events and map expansions in the post-release calendar is a new strategy for the series. Then again, Borderlands 3 changes a lot of what makes a Borderlands game a Borderlands game–such as adjusting how skill trees and active skills work, giving the Vault Hunters more personality, moving the setting off the planet of Pandora, and implementing movement mechanics inspired by modern day shooters like Titanfall 2.

Borderlands 3 is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on September 13. On PC, the game has a limited-time exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store. Borderlands 3 is also scheduled to release on Google Stadia, a cloud-based game streaming service.

from GameSpot – Game News

Cyberpunk 2077 Will Allow For Non-Lethal Playthroughs, Here’s How It’ll Work

CD Projekt Red revealed a ton of new details about Cyberpunk 2077 during its latest deep-dive video. Among the topics the developer discussed were the different ways in which players could go about playing the game, and it turns out, that includes non-lethal playthroughs.

During an interview that followed the gameplay demo, CD Projekt Red revealed that players can play through the entirety of Cyberpunk 2077 without killing another character if they so choose. “You can finish the whole game, you can finish the quests without killing a single person,” quest designer Phillip Weber confirmed.

That said, you won’t be able to avoid confrontations entirely if you do attempt a non-lethal playthrough, but these encounters don’t need to turn fatal. “The thing is, Night City isn’t a very peaceful place, so you can never play like a full pacifist who is never engaging in any kind of combat because people will attack you sometimes,” Weber said. ” But you can choose to not kill them. Like in real life, sometimes if there’s attacks, you don’t immediately kill everyone; you can solve situations in different ways.”

Of Cyberpunk 2077’s several character classes, the Netrunner seems the most suited for non-lethal playthroughs because it emphasizes stealthiness and hacking, but it isn’t the only class capable of non-lethal runs; it turns out any type of character can play through the game without killing another character, but it may require a bit of ingenuity depending on how you’ve developed your avatar.

“Not only the Netrunner is able to do non-lethal playthroughs. Every player, however you want to skill your character, you’re able to do it somehow,” Weber said. However, your approach to each situation will depend much on your surroundings. “Let’s say you’re in some rundown ruin that doesn’t have lots of netrunning abilities, of course a Netrunner still has ways to do [a non-lethal run], but he might not be able to use all of his netrunning skills.”

We learned a lot of other interesting tidbits about Cyberpunk 2077 during the deep-dive, including how sidequests will work in the game and how cyberware will change gameplay. CD Projekt Red also revealed it wants to solve an annoying RPG problem with the game, and that it’s working with real city planners to design Night City.

Cyberpunk 2077 launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16, 2020. The game is also coming to Google Stadia. You can read more about the title’s collector’s edition and pre-order bonuses in our Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order guide.

from GameSpot – Game News

This Is How Cyberpunk 2077’s Cyberware Will Change Gameplay

Many RPGs often have complex systems and menus you need to manage as you build up your character, and CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 is no different. There is a sophisticated inventory menu in the game where you can manage both your character’s equipment, how they look, and their cybernetic prosthetic loadout.

So do you want to deck your character out in that sick olive bomber jacket with that crazy light-up collar, or would you prefer the simplicity of a basic hoodie? You have the freedom to make your style dreams come true. Each piece of clothing has its own unique statistics; though, this probably has you wondering about the late game when you’re min-maxing while still wanting to maintain a desirable appearance.

According to Cyberpunk 2077 senior level designer Miles Tost, the team does have a solution to this often annoying issue. Though, he was unwilling to share exactly what it was during the recent deep dive gameplay stream.

While you’re likely to spend hours customizing your character’s outfits, you’ll probably be spending similar time tailoring their cyberware. These cybernetic prosthetic tools are your character’s lifeblood and what you frequently install to upgrade their capabilities. For example, you might customize your legs to double jump or install a mod that silences your jumps to make you more stealthy. You’ll typically go to Ripper docs to purchase and enhance cyberware, but there are some you can get on your own as you complete quests.

There are also ways to enhance your cyberware on the fly via items called Shards. If you slot these onto your character, you can gain the power of other cyberware and see how it would be if you’d installed it into your body. Shards seem to offer you the ability to experiment without committing to installing full-on pieces of cyberware onto your body to see if it suits your playstyle.

Cyberpunk 2077 is releasing on April 16 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more Cyberpunk 2077 news, be sure to click from the links in the list below.

from GameSpot – Game News

Cyberpunk 2077 Netrunner Class Seems Perfect For Causing Mischief

Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red hosted a deep-dive stream and delivered a whole lot of information on the game. Among the deluge of details was a breakdown of what the Netrunner character class will be capable of. The team has made it clear that all of its classes and the gameplay opportunities are flexible and malleable to some degree, but from what we saw the Netrunner definitely looks like one that players who like to cause mischief will enjoy.

On the stream, quest designer Phillip Weber explained what opportunities Netrunners will have open to them, saying that it’s a class that lets players be “very creative in how you play the game.”

He continued: “We have access points and in the world of Cyberpunk they can control all the different devices in the area, which of course as a Netrunner is pretty useful because you can hack that access point.

“If you successfully do that you can now use quick hacks. You can, from a distance, take over different devices like a camera for example. You can do many different things; look through the camera and have a completely different view, or just turn it off if it’s in your way. You can take over a turret and make it fight for you.

“We also tried to come up with nice custom things, depending on where you are–let’s say if you’re in a gym where there are some nice boxing robots. Of course, maybe you can do some fun things with that.”

The gameplay shown during this explanation featured a robot boxer taking on a mostly human opponent in a sparring match but, after the Netrunner had done its thing, the robot delivered a punch so hard that its opponent’s head erupted into a shower of blood.

“If I would use lots of Netrunning skills, it’s also useful to use cool skills that make me really good at stealth and [be] really under control. Netrunner can also be really good at using distractions like, if there’s a vending machine make it spit out some drinks and people may look at that.”

As previously mentioned, flexibility is a key part of Cyberpunk 2077, so netrunners don’t have to be sneaky and use subterfuge if they’d rather bulldoze their way through problems.

“A Netrunner isn’t just a stealth character,” he continued. “There’s also cool aggressive netrunning abilities, because we always want to give you a choice in how you want to play. We have the Nanowire cyberware, which is really good at hacking enemies from a distance and then taking over their cyberware. Most people in the world have cyberware and they’re just like access points so, a good time for Netrunners. As an example, [you can] hack someone’s cyberware in their hand and make them do some things that they might not want to have happen to them. The Nanowire, of course, is very sharp so you can use it as a weapon, a whip. So a Netrunner can be very effective at using skills in combat as well.”

Like the classes, Cyberpunk 2077’s life paths are also quite flexible. Though, at the start of the game, the game will ask you to pick your allegiances–for lack of a better phrase–the decisions you make and actions you undertake will ultimately shape who you are.

The stream also provided us insight into how Cyberpunk 2077’s sidequests will work and revealed that the development team plans to address an annoying problem found in many RPGs.

from GameSpot – Game News