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Category Archives: News

Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen Reset Brings Back Proving Grounds GM, Final Iron Banner

It’s a new week, which means a new reset in Destiny 2 Season of the Chosen. The latest update brings back the Proving Grounds Grandmaster Nightfall strike (and opens it up for all), the final Iron Banner for season 13, and a new set of raid challenges. Eyes up, Guardian, here’s what’s new in Destiny 2. 

Destiny 2 Reset for April 13, 2021

Lore update

With the Guardian Games coming soon, this week is pretty light, but there is another lore drop for this week. This week’s lore centers around learning more about Calus and his original plan to get super friendly with the Darkness via the Scorn. For those that enjoy the Presage quest, this is particularly neat (at least to me) because the lore reveals how the Darkness completely took control of the ship (which is evident during the new Exotic Scout Rifle questline) and how it manipulated the Scorn.

For those interested in some lore backstory, some of the dev team went into detail about how they made this sci-fi horror adventure a reality right here.  

Grandmaster Nightfall

Bungie brought back the Proving Grounds once more for this week’s Grandmaster Nightfall, an instance that requires Guardians to be at level 1325 or higher. A lot of players are confused by this move, because usually the rotation is more spaced out, and the player base is divided on its sooner-than-expected arrival. 

Maybe I’m just a wimp, but the Proving Grounds Grandmaster Nightfall is the most difficult GM Nightfall to date. This rubberband has half of the community excited to dive back once more into an incredible challenge, whereas the other half are groaning in dread at having to run it again for their weeklies. This is one of those instances where I will run my Titan into the ground because my Warlock went smush more times than I’d like to admit. 

What is good news about this particular rotation shift is that previously, players had to have either the Season of the Chosen Battle Pass or the Beyond Light expansion to enjoy this particular adventure. Bungie has confirmed that it has removed that block and that anyone can hop into this Nightfall, should they choose. 

As previously confirmed, this week’s Iron Banner is the final Iron Banner before season 14 arrives. Bungie previously revealed two brand new weapons arriving next weekend and two returning weapons, which you can learn about here, so this is the last hurrah to get the current loot grabs. No new armor yet, but that’s coming down the line in a few seasons. 

Weekly Info

Below are a few other tidbits from this week’s reset to be aware of, for those looking to squeeze everything out of this update: 

  • This week’s element is Void for Vanguard Strikes
  • Eclipsed Zone: Eventide Ruins
  • EXO Challenge / Simulator: Survival 
  • Legacy / Daily Weapon Rotation: Altars of Sorrow
  • Legacy / Ascendant Challenge: Agonarch Abyss
  • Crucible Playlist: Mayhem returns
    • Valor bonus
  • Nightmare Hunts / Legacy: Omnigul, Fanatic, Crota
  • Empire Hunt / Master: The Dark Priestess
  • Raid Challenges: 
    • Garden of Salvation: Zero to One Hundred Percent / 4th Encounter
      • Fully fill each conflux with x30 motes within ten seconds of initially banking the first set
    • Last Wish: Summoning Ritual / 1st Encounter
      • Activate and cleanse all nine plates, then kill all nine Knights and Ogres before damaging Kali
    • Deep Stone Crypt: Copies of Copies / 2nd Encounter
      • Do not send any “Atraks-1 Replication” debuts into space

And that’s it for this week’s Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen update. Are you excited to see the reveal of Destiny 2: season 14? Sound off with your hopes and dreams in the comment section below, or just go ahead and make fun of me for how bad I am at GMs. It’s okay, I can take it. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Soundtrack Announced, Including A Spiffy Collector’s Edition

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is one of the most calming AAA games out there, and a large part of that is due to the soothing sounds of its music. Nintendo has revealed the Animal Crossing: New Horizons soundtrack and the collector’s version of it for those who want to take that island getaway with them even when out of the game. 

Courtesy of Nintendo Everythingwe’ve got our first look at the soundtrack, including the tracklist, a release date, and the artbook attached. The only caveat is that this seems to be a Japan-exclusive. However, it is available through the Amazon Japan storefront and Play-Asia, so getting it elsewhere isn’t that difficult. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons tracklist 

For those interested in the tracklist for the Animal Crossing: New Horizons tracklist: 

According to the site, the release date has also been pushed back from its anticipated launch later this month and is now releasing on June 9 instead. 

The Play-Asia storefront shows a few different options, including the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Original Soundtrack (which is the big box seen above) retailing at $101.99, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Original Soundtrack BGM for $47.99, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Original Soundtrack for $41.99, and the Animal Crossing: City Folk Original Soundtrack (Japan) for $29.99. For those interested in scooping up one of these editions, you can do so right here

Xbox Game Pass Adds Alexa Support To Remotely Download Games

Xbox Game Pass is a worthwhile service that allows members to have instant access to a plethora of games at no additional cost. The subscription service has grown immensely since its birth, even more so with the recent Bethesda acquisition and EA Play merge, but now it’s taken a more futuristic turn: let AI technology download your games for you. That’s right, Xbox Game Pass has added Alexa support to its list of features. 

While Alexa is not a true AI (Artificial Intelligence), the Amazon machine does use AI technology. As it continues to evolve into a more versatile piece of tech, more and more companies are finding ways to use this piece of electronic equipment.

Unlike certain features of Alexa, you won’t have to download an additional skill in order for this to work the way it is intended on Game Pass. Instead, simply say, “Alexa, download [game name here] from Xbox Game Pass,” and the download will commence immediately. Don’t really have anything you want to download, or unsure of what you want to play next? You can also ask Alexa for any recommendations on what to play, what’s new, and even what’s leaving soon. 

Before you start bossing your Alexa around, make sure you have the system linked up to your Xbox. You’ll get this prompt when you first ask ‘her’ to download a game. If you already have it linked, then you won’t need to do anything else, as mentioned above. If you don’t have it linked, however, you will need to install the Xbox-specific skill in the Alexa mobile app. 

This isn’t the first time Alexa has integrated with Xbox and it won’t be the last. There are also some games you can play with through this AI technology, including – you guessed it – Skyrim

For those that may not have Xbox Game Pass yet, it’s a deal that you’ve probably heard a lot about in the past year. It’s grown impressively, and the value is undeniable. For those still on the fence, there are two options to choose from with the normal Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate. Xbox Game Pass is $9.99, whereas the Ultimate version includes Xbox Live for $14.99. 

It’s a solid investment, especially if you’re a little pickier when it comes to games. Xbox Game Pass allows players access to over 100 titles at no additional cost outside of the membership, including first-party day one additions and acquired studio games (like Bethesda). 

Thoughts on the latest Xbox Game Pass update with Alexa? What do you hope to see Microsoft do next with it? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! Alexa would want you to

Rovio’s Darkfire Heroes RPG Launches On April 15

Rovio is well known for Angry Birds games, merch, and even movies. On April 15, their new team-oriented RPG, Darkfire Heroes, comes to iOs and Android. Like many other mobile releases, Darkfire Heroes did have a soft launch in some regions, but the global launch is scheduled for this Thursday. The game marks the first release from Rovio’s Copenhagen studio and is the first release under CEO Alex Pelletier-Normand. We caught up with Rune Vendler, head of Rovio Copenhagen, to ask a few questions about the upcoming game and the mobile environment.

Game Informer: Outside of discoverability, what is the biggest challenge in mobile gaming today?

Rune Vendler: One challenge the entire mobile games industry is now facing is the upcoming Apple Privacy Policy change. We don’t know how the policy changes will affect us; nobody in the industry has an answer to that yet. But we at Rovio are very well prepared for this change. We have a strong community base for the game that formed during the soft launch period, which will help us with discoverability and fan engagement.

When we talk about game types, sometimes we hear the term “mid-core” when defining a game. What does this term mean?

I’m not aware of any formal definitions. In my view, the mid-core market is defined by the RPG, strategy, and shooter genres – games that often exhibit more complexity in their mechanics, content, economies, or player-to-player interactions than the casual/puzzle titles.

What makes Darkfire Heroes different from other games like it on the market?

Darkfire Heroes does a really good job of offering both an engaging campaign (PvE), as well as an exciting arena (PvP). We’ve spent a long time designing some really exciting and varied heroes to collect, and both PvE and PvP play really well with the real-time battle mechanics in the game – there’s a good balance of skill and power. These two sides also come together in the game’s events, where players, either on their own or in clans, battle it out in a variety of special game modes.

We work closely with the community to balance and evolve the game. It has been great to see how fans have engaged with Darkfire Heroes already during the soft launch period. Even though the game team is of course defining the roadmap, we pay a lot of attention to the community, and we also have a players’ council, where we talk directly to key community members.

 Why the shift to Darkfire Heroes from other established studio IP?

Rovio acquired Darkfire Games studio in 2020 to strengthen its genre mastery in RPGs, expand the games portfolio to new areas of the mobile gaming market, and to reach a different kind of target audience.  The team is really knowledgeable on building RPGs and they know how to do it well from working together for so many years. The studio had Darkfire Heroes in soft launch already at the time of acquisition. This game is our first entry into the team-based action RPG genre, which opens up new opportunities for us to utilize our genre mastery philosophy as part of our growth strategy. Part of our growth strategy is also to diversify the games portfolio with new IP’s while Angry Birds remains a unique asset for Rovio and we keep on investing on Angry Birds brand in the future as well.

The target audience for this game is 16-44 mid-core gamers who enjoy a game with the right amount of action, RPG and strategic depth which can be enjoyed on the go. So like all Rovio games, this game is developed and marketed to adults but might appeal to different types of gamers.

What were some of the features that were tried and scrapped in the creation of Darkfire Heroes?

Over the course of development, we’ve tried out a variety of game modes, heroes and enemies, level designs, and magic spells. Some made the cut, and some didn’t – though there is always a hope that some of the designs might resurface again later. I think we’ve managed to find a good selection of features for the game so far, but there are always opportunities to expand the game.

Are there any plans to take Darkfire Heroes to other platforms?

Currently no, we are launching the game on iOS and Android for now. 

As mobile games continue to innovate strategies to keep players engaged and entertained, how has this intertwined with monetization? Have analytics and data come through to create new models and strategies to get players invested and active as DAUs and MAUs?

We still start from the same principles as always: we have to create a game that is engaging and fun. That way, we earn the players’ attention and time, and as they connect with the game, we strive to create enough value for them that they want to spend money in the game. Analytics help us understand what’s working and what’s not and can point us towards improvements and optimizations. The insights also help us personalize the experience and balance the game.

Do you play mobile games? Are you interested in checking out this kind of experience? Let us know in the comments!

New PS5 Update Adds Additional 120Hz Support And HDR Options

The first major PS5 update is officially live, an update we detailed in our earlier coverage yesterday. While the latest patch brings expanded storage options, improvements to the mobile app, and more social features, it also includes a few additional surprises as well. 

New PS5 update is now live

Before diving into the features we weren’t expecting, be sure to check out the revealed patch notes from yesterday to find out more about the new social features and improvements made to PS5 storage (though you can’t play the games you store externally, which is an entirely different conversation). 

HDR, what is it and what’s different? 

Not every game supports HDR, and while that’s fine, that does make the addition of the ability to toggle off video to non-HDR a welcome feature. HDR is high-dynamic-range imaging, and it’s a technique used in creating a greater range of luminosity in digital entertainment. It’s becoming a standard in modern tech, but not every game or app has that imaging technique in mind. Instead of going through the settings to disable HDR, PS5 users can now just automatically have the HDR functionality turned off when viewing something that doesn’t support this tech. 

You’ll find the HDR changes in the Video Output section of Screen and Video settings. Highlight over the HDR option, and you’ll see Off, Always On, and On When Supported. Toggle on the third option to have this automatic update active.

120 Hz 

For those gamers utilizing a PC monitor that supports 120Hz and runs 1080p, the new PS5 update also now adds that level of support. This update to the refresh rate will be made even better when Sony eventually adds Varian Refresh Rate support in the future. 

Additional HDMI support

In the HDMI section of the System Settings menu, you can Enable HDMI Device Link (which is not new), Enable One-Touch Play, and Enable Power Off Link. You can also Enable HDCP, but what’s new is the One-Touch Play. “If you turn on your PS5, the connected device will also turn on and switch its input to the PS5,” reads the sub-description. This feature is especially nice for those that have Smart TVs (voice-activated) or Smart Devices (like Alexa). Voice activate your TV, and your PS5 will automatically follow. 

To Enable Power Off, this will automatically place your PS5 system in its rest mode when the TV is powered down. 

For those that have a PlayStation 5, how do you like the latest update? What are your thoughts on the newly added social features? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

[via: The Verge]

Yoko Taro Can’t Even Remember The Number Sequence In Nier Replicant Ver. 1.22474487139

Leave it to Yoko Taro to make us smile. In the latest issue of Game Informer, we chatted with the Nier mastermind, looking back at the original game and forward to the updated version, coming out in just a few weeks on April 23. We knew we couldn’t end the interview without asking him a few questions about Nier Replicant’s longwinded, mouthful of a title. Does it have a special meaning? Is he just trolling us? What is the real story behind the convoluted number sequence in Replicant ver. 1.22474487139? He answered in true Yoko Taro fashion, making us laugh. 

“To be honest, I did not want to put numbers on it,” he said. “I wanted it to be Nier Replicant but Yosuke Saito, producer of the game, really wanted to express that this is an updated version. So I was thinking, ‘Okay, this is an updated version, but we also don’t want this to be referred to as a remaster. So it’s not a version two, neither is it a remake, but it’s not quite 1.55. Okay, let’s pare it down a little more, maybe, it’s 1.22.’ That was the thinking behind it. As far as whether or not I can memorize the number – no, I have not, and I’ve been calling it ‘the updated version’ all the time.”

There you have it. This is why Yoko Taro is a treasure. 

Curious for more of Taro’s thoughts? You can read the entire Nier feature in our latest issue, where he details his apprehension about releasing a new version of the game after all this time and discusses his original idea for Nier that producer Yosuke Saito said wasn’t “unusual enough.” You can access the issue digitally here

For more on Nier Replicant, you can check out our hands-on impressions from a veteran and newcomer here. You can also listen to us share our thoughts on a recent podcast

The Resident Evil Village Digital Issue Is Now Live

If you subscribe to Game Informer‘s digital edition, you can now get all the latest details on the highly anticipated Resident Evil Village. Following today’s cover reveal, our digital issue is now live to subscribers on web browsersiPad/iPhone, and Android devices. Individual issues will be available for purchase later today. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

The issue launches later this week on our third-party subscription apps including Kindle and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your existing print subscription or start a new subscription here.

Capcom Adds Devil May Cry 5: Vergil DLC, Okami, And Dino Crisis Soundtracks To Steam And Spotify

Playing a video game and falling in love with it is a phenomenal experience, and that same journey can be made even better with a powerful soundtrack to go with it. For those that are fans of Devil May Cry 5: Vergil DLC, Okami, and Dino Crisis, Capcom has just announced that it is releasing those video game soundtracks on Steam and Spotify for fans to further enjoy the gaming worlds they love so much. 

Capcom took to its blog today to reveal the good news, adding even more gaming soundtracks to its list of over 50 available now. Whether you like the edgier sounds of Devil May Cry 5’s Vergil DLC or want to take a calming journey back into the world of Okami, both are coming to Steam and Spotify. The first two Dino Crisis games are also getting their soundtracks added as well, which is great considering it feels like we’re never going to get the remake fans have been hoping for. 

There is a little bit of salt; we’ll be ok. 

For those interested, Capcom has provided links to each soundtrack added, which can be seen below: 

The added OSTs come in FLAC, AAC, and MP3 file formats so that players can choose how they want to optimize their downloads. Capcom also added that lyrics for certain songs can be found in the metadata, making it easier to have your own impromptu karaoke Party For One. 

Don’t want to use Steam for some reason? That’s totally fine! Capcom also added these soundtracks to Spotify to join the rest of the game music added there previously. 

The Okami, Devil May Cry 5 Vergil’s Rebirth, and Dino Crisis soundtracks are now available on Steam and Spotify. Happy listening! 

Nier: Automata is finally getting a patch on Steam

As much as I adore Nier: Automata (degree: a lot), I cannot deny the PC version is a bit bum and has been since it launched four years ago. It’s daft that we’ve had to use a fan-made fix to run it in the correct resolution or stop cutscenes stuttering. Square Enix did us dirty. But oh my giddy aunt, the stars have aligned and today they finally announced an “upgrade patch” for the post-apocalyptic RPG’s Steam version. Presumably with the fixes from the recent Microsoft Store edition?

Ryu And Chun-Li From Street Fighter Join Power Rangers: Battle For The Grid

When we reviewed Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid in 2019, we weren’t exactly blown away. However, the title has continued growing with several new pieces of content in the two years since launch. While past DLC has introduced various characters from across the Power Rangers franchise’s myriad eras, developer nWay today made its most eye-catching announcement yet: Ryu and Chun-Li from Capcom’s Street Fighter series are joining the roster.

Announced exclusively by IGN, Ryu and Chun-Li are set to join the roster of Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid on May 25. The pack, which will cost $12.50, includes both fighters and future exclusive skins. If you want just one of the characters, they can be purchased for $6 each (though it seems like you’ll miss out on the exclusive skins if you go this route). 

The inclusion of Ryu and Chun-Li in Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid came thanks to fan demand. While that may sound like a random request for the community to make, it’s not that off the wall. In 2018, Ryu and Chun-Li were among six Street Fighter characters that joined Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, a free-to-play mobile title – Guile, Akuma, Cammy, and M. Bison (Dictator) were the other four.

In Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, Ryu transforms into the Crimson Hawk Ranger, while Chun-Li turns into the Blue Phoenix Ranger. Each character has their suite of trademark moves, including Hadouken, Shoryuken, and Spinning Bird Kick.

You can see the trailer below:

[embedded content]

Crossing over is not some sort of new trick for the Street Fighter characters. In addition to their vast collection of appearances alongside some of the most beloved comic-book characters in the long-running Marvel vs. Capcom fighting series, Street Fighter characters have appeared in Super Smash Bros., Asura’s Wrath, Fortnite, Street Fighter X Tekken, Project X Zone, and more. 

Ryu and Chun-Li join Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid on May 25. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, and PC. It’s also currently included with Xbox Game Pass subscriptions, so if you happen to be an active subscriber, you can try the game out at no additional charge before you take the plunge with these newly announced DLC characters.

[Source: IGN]