The Last Of Us 2’s Companions Can Do Much More This Time

When looking at the recent trailer for The Last of Us Part II, it’s clear that Ellie is in for a tough fight against the new threat coming from the Wolves. Add Clickers on top and there’s certainly a lot for her to deal with. But she won’t always be alone in her struggle as, just like in the original game, Ellie will encounter a variety of characters who will join her on her journey.

Unique characters are part of what made The Last of Us such a stellar game from a storytelling perspective. However, it was a common occurrence during combat situations that companion characters weren’t as helpful as they could have been. In The Last of Us Part II, the developers at Naughty Dog wanted to address this concern from the original. Speaking with The Last of Us Part II co-director Anthony Newman, he explained why allies would have a more significant impact during combat in the sequel.

“I can’t get too much into the exact ratio of time you spend alone. I’d say the game is definitely a blend of being by yourself as you were in the second part of the demo, and being with an ally,” he said. “Allies are at the core of Naughty Dog games. We get a lot of great stuff out of them in terms of this back and forth as you were pointing out.

“I think, as you may have noticed in the first part of the demo interacting with Dina, our allies can do a lot of pretty exciting new stuff where they can get stealth kills independently. They have their own pretty nuanced melee system where they can interact with enemies in melee and also help you out and rescue as they did in the first game. They’re a little bit more flexible and nuanced this time around.”

In our recent hands-on impressions of The Last of Us Part II, editor Phil Hornshaw talked about how handy the companions were during the many fights he got himself into. In one instance, he noticed that shots from companions posed a more tangible threat to enemies. In these cases, he’d rely on their shots landing, which allowed him to finish off the weakened enemies with his attacks. There seems to be a lot more nuance to how the companions operate, which is undoubtedly appreciated this time around.

from GameSpot – Game News

These 8 Games Will Be Celebrated And Archived At Australian Exhibit

Like the Smithsonian in America, a well-known Australian preservation group has announced it will begin collecting video games for “archival preservation.”

The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is collecting games released between 1982 and 2019 to be displayed in Canberra at an exhibit called Game Masters: The Exhibition.

The exhibit honors Australian-made games, and these include the following eight games in the initial wave of inductees:

  1. The Hobbit (Beam Software, 1982)
  2. Halloween Harry (Interactive Binary Illusions / Sub Zero Software, 1985/1993)
  3. Shadowrun (Beam Software, 1993)
  4. L.A. Noire (Team Bondi, 2011)
  5. Submerged (Uppercut Games, 2015)
  6. Hollow Knight (Team Cherry, 2017)
  7. Florence (Mountains, 2018)
  8. Espire 1: VR Operative (Digital Lode, 2019)

The NFSA in Canberra will have these titles on display in the Game Masters exhibit until March 2020. In addition to serving as a venue for people to come see Australian-made games, the NFSA is actually digitally preserving the games, which is a big deal for the older games that were not initially released on digital formats.

Attendees can also see storyboards, artwork, soundtracks, and marketing materials for the games on display. The NFSA said it aims to “paint a complete picture of the game’s creative process from concept to finished product.”

Outside of the eight games, the Game Masters exhibit features 80 total playable games, along with other elements such as “never-before-seen” concept art, and a display of vintage consoles and collectable items.

“The collection represents the cultural diversity and breadth of experience of all Australians, and it is constantly evolving just like our creative industries,” NFSA CEO Jan Muller said in a statement. “We aim to be the national leader in collecting multimedia and new media content, and it would be impossible to accurately represent modern life without games. It is essential that games be collected alongside other audiovisual media, to ensure their continued preservation and access.”

Muller went on to say that this selection of games is just the “initial” wave, suggesting more may be added to the exhibit over time. The NFSA worked with Australian trade groups the Interactive Games And Entertainment Association and the Game Developers’ Association of Australia on the Game Masters exhibit.

IGEA CEO Ron Curry said, “It’s very exciting to see a national collecting institution acknowledging the increasingly important role of video games in the life of all Australians. Games are a major part of contemporary popular culture; an artistic, storytelling and technological achievement, as well as an industry that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the Australian economy. We look forward to working with the NFSA as they start adding games to their vast collection.”

Game Masters is also hosting special events, including Local Heroes of Gaming (November 22) and the Women and Non-Binary Gamers’ Club (November 29). More details on the Game Masters exhibit, including ticket information, can be found on the event’s website.

from GameSpot – Game News

Halo Infinite: Microsoft Used This Very Cute Dog Named Gyoza To Make Sounds

343 Industries has released new videos that show how the audio team captured some of sounds in the upcoming Xbox One and PC game Halo Infinite. The videos are fantastic and offer an illuminating look into the way sounds for creatures, weapons, and vehicles are captured.

The star of the show is Gyoza. That’s the little pug that 343 brought into the studio to sniff and scruff and make all kinds of guttural noises. We can only imagine what these noises will be turned into in Halo Infinite. “Meet our favorite pug, Gyoza,” reads a post from 343 on Instagram. The best friend of our studio’s Technical Art Director, his grunts, breaths, and excitement are sure to make for some… interesting sounds in Halo Infinite.”

The videos, which originally date back to August and were reposted on YouTube by AI, also show the team firing all kinds of weapons, including high-power automatic rifles and shotguns. Additionally, we get a peek at some of the stranger sounds made with various torches, buckets, and baking pans.

The Halo Infinite audio team also fired rockets and drove vehicles around test tracks to capture additional audio for the game.

Halo Infinite releases in Holiday 2020 as a launch title for Microsoft’s next-generation console, Scarlett. The game will also be playable on Xbox One.

A beta for Halo Infinite will be held prior to launch through a “flighting” program. In other news, 343 described Halo Infinite’s microtransactions as a “AAA player investment experience,” while Halo Infinite’s creative director left 343 in August.

from GameSpot – Game News

A Top PlayStation Boss Is Leaving Sony

Ahead of the presumed release of the PlayStation 5 in 2020, one of PlayStation’s top executives, Shawn Layden, has announced he’s leaving the company.

Layden is Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Chairman for Worldwide Studios. He is leaving PlayStation at some point in the future, though a specific date wasn’t shared.

Sony said it wishes Layden “success in his future endeavours,” whatever they may be. “Thanks for everything, Shawn!” PlayStation said.

“It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE,” Sony said in a statement on the PlayStation Twitter account. “His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!”

Layden started at Sony in 1996, where he worked out of Sony’s Tokyo office as a producer for international software development until January 1999. He was then promoted to vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, a position he held for eight years and nine months.

In October 2007, Layden became the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan. He worked in that role for two years and six months before he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to become the Chief Operating Officer of PlayStation until March 2014. His latest promotion was to Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios, a position he held from April 2016 until now. All of this information comes from Layden’s LinkedIn profile.

Sony is expected to launch its next-generation PS5 console in 2020 alongside the release of Microsoft’s own new console, Scarlett.

The PS4 has been a massive success, shipping 100 million consoles by Sony’s latest count.

from GameSpot – Game News

Call Of Duty Mobile Is Out Now On iOS

While Call of Duty: Modern Warfare‘s October 25 release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One approaches, publisher Activision has announced that a mobile version of its popular first-person shooter is available now on iOS.

Call of Duty (Mobile) is a free-to-play CoD experience “brimming with content” from both the Black Ops and Modern Warfare series, according to a press release from earlier this month. It is said to feature a fully-customizable control scheme, multiple game types, well-known characters and weapons, and a Battle Royale mode. The game is currently available now on iOS devices, with Android launching sometime soon. Activision previously stated that Call of Duty: Mobile will launch on both Android and iOS on October 1, so Android users should expect it soon.

Game modes like Gun Game, Search and Destroy, and Team Deathmatch will all make an appearance in Call of Duty: Mobile. Additionally, maps such as Hijacked and Nuketown will be playable in the game.

Call of Duty: Mobile ships with a Battle Royale mode on a “huge and unique open map.” You can play in Single-, Duo-, or Quad-player squads in either first- or third-person. The Battle Royale mode will feature locales from across the Call of Duty universe and you will be able to select one of six available classes before jumping in.

The game launched in Australia earlier this summer. We were able to sit down with Activision’s Vice President of Mobile, Chris Plummer, to talk about the company’s intentions with CoD Mobile, its general position on mobile games, and the ever-contentious microtransactions present in gaming.

from GameSpot – Game News

Overview Of Apex Legends Season 3’s New Map, World’s Edge, Revealed

Respawn has released the overview look of Apex Legends Season 3’s new map, World’s Edge. The map will replace Kings Canyon at the start of Season 3, which is scheduled to begin on October 1.

Based on the overview, it’s difficult to tell just how much bigger World’s Edge is to Kings Canyon, though after playing on the new map we estimate it’s about two to three times larger. The map is divided into three parts, with the top right portion of the map themed around ice–the Epicenter operating as the major landmark. The bottom part of the map is themed around fire, with two major landmarks: Thermal Station and The Dome.

Snaking between both sections, and extending from the top left of the map down to the middle right, is an urban-like environment. It’s here that you’ll find the train that travels throughout the map–providing a means for squads to bunker down while still remaining on the move. The train seems to travel between Skyhook (teased in Cryptos’ first in-game appearance), Capital City, and Sorting Factory with about a half-dozen smaller landmarks scattered along the track.

A new map isn’t the only piece of content dropping into Respawn’s battle royale during Season 3. Apex Legends is also getting a new playable character (Crypto), weapon (the Charge Rifle), hop-up attachments, golden armor effects, and battle pass. The content won’t stop there, though, as Respawn has already hinted at an upcoming Halloween-themed limited-time event. The developer has also teased Apex Legends’ twelfth character, who is likely scheduled to release at the start of Season 4.

Apex Legends is available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

from GameSpot – Game News

Get The Outer Worlds On PC At A Sweet Discount Ahead Of Release

Obsidian’s upcoming Fallout-like game, The Outer Worlds, is less than a month away from release, and if you want to save some money on a pre-order for the PC version, then Green Man Gaming has a deal for you. With voucher code “AUTUMN15,” you can save 15%, bringing The Outer Worlds’ price down to $51 USD / $68 CAD / £42.50. This deal is for the Epic Games Store version, so you will need the appropriate account to redeem the game at release–The Outer Worlds isn’t coming to Steam, but there will be a Windows 10 version on the Microsoft Store.

No Caption Provided

The Outer Worlds for PC – discount code: AUTUMN15

See at Green Man Gaming

Make sure to add the code after clicking on your basket to see the discount applied to your order. This voucher is valid until October 15, ten days before release on October 25. While this is a great deal, it’s important to note that The Outer Worlds will be a part of Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC on day one, so there’s no reason to pre-order if you’re subscribed or plan to be when the game launches. You can subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for PC at just $1 for your first month.

Obsidian Entertainment developed Fallout: New Vegas, one of the most beloved entries in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic series. In many ways, The Outer Worlds is seen as somewhat of a spiritual successor. In addition to it being an FPS RPG, The Outer Worlds’ has a cast of colourful companions that may just be the best part of the game.

The Outer Worlds is also set to release for PS4 and Xbox One on October 25, with a Switch version coming later. The Nintendo Switch port is being developed in partnership with Virtuos, the studio behind other Switch ports like Dark Souls Remastered and Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, both of which were excellent conversions of those classic games.

from GameSpot – Game News

Apex Legends Season 3 Trailer Teases Twelfth Character, Probably Coming After Crypto

Before Apex Legends Season 3 even started (which adds new character Crypto), Respawn may have teased Apex Legends‘ twelfth playable character, who would assumably be put into the battle royale at the start of Season 4. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched for the developer, which has long been including hints to new characters and weapons ahead of their official release. It’s easy for the studio to do, with several new weapons and maps designed months in advance and certain characters already tentatively scheduled for the next few seasons.

In the Apex Legends Season 3 launch trailer, we finally see Crypto interacting with his fellow Legends as the group is transported to and have their first fight on World’s Edge, a brand-new map located on a new planet. Before the Legends drop, they divide into four teams of three. Of course, that should create a discrepancy. Crypto is the eleventh Legend. But on closer inspection, you can see that there are twelve figures in the room. In the trailer, which is embedded below, pause the action at 0:51 and you’ll see twelve characters.

On the left, there’s a squad composed of Pathfinder, Caustic, and Octane. In the foreground, Bloodhound, Gibraltar, and Bangalore form a squad. In the background, we see Lifeline, Crypto, and Mirage together. That leaves the group on the right, which is Wraith, Wattson, and some other figure whose back is partially turned towards us. The figure seems to be on the larger side (matching Caustic and Gibraltar), is encased in armor, and wears what appears to be some sort of mask or helmet.

Respawn has done teases like this before, where a new character or weapon is seen in a trailer months ahead of their official announcement. For example, in the gameplay deep dive trailer (released on the day Apex Legends was both announced and launched), you can see the shadow outlines of both Season 1’s Octane and Season 2’s Wattson at 5:30. And in the Apex Legends Season 1 gameplay trailer, a Pathfinder is shooting at Bangalore with an L-Star–a weapon that wouldn’t be added to the game until Season 2.

So although we can’t definitively say that the mysteriously-masked figure in the Season 3 launch trailer is the twelfth character for Apex Legends, we can probably assume that it is. Respawn does have a track record now. But we’ll just have to wait and see.

from GameSpot – Game News

Minecraft Dungeons Closed Beta Sign-Ups Now Open

Minecraft Dungeons takes the cute blocky aesthetic of the building game and makes a loot-driven dungeon crawler out of it. The game is set to launch next spring, but in the meantime, you can sign up to take part in a closed beta.

The sign-up form states you must be 18 years old and have a free Microsoft account. It doesn’t give any specifics about when the closed beta would begin, but with launch coming within the next half-year or so you probably won’t have to wait too long.

Mojang announced the closed beta at MineCon, as well as debuting a story trailer for the game. Like all great epic quests, this is a story driven by its villain, so that’s what this trailer focuses on. An outcast Illager travels the world, rejected by society, until he stumbles upon a square-shaped artifact of great power and then he grows corrupt and mad with power. You know, that old story.

This is the first we’ve seen of Minecraft Dungeons since Microsoft announced it at E3. That brief look showed a glimpse at how equipment and food will work, and teased 4-player online co-op.

from GameSpot – Game News