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Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – July 2020 round-up

The reviews of the month’s best smartphone games includes Beyond A Steel Sky, Slay The Spire, and Yoko Taro’s SINoAlice.

Even though the country remains in the grip of a pandemic for which there’s no vaccine or effective treatment, the pubs are open and some of the children are back at school. Against this perplexing backdrop, it’s nice to have a clutch of mobile games that instantly reaffirm your faith in humankind. The tactical genius of Slay The Spire, the dreamlike If Found… and the nostalgic whimsy of Beneath A Steel Sky are all hugely welcome diversions to carry in your pocket.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=hzJfUk3arSs%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Crying Suns

iOS & Android, £8.99 (Humble Games)

Set in the future on the galaxy’s outer rim, colonies are in trouble after all their AIs simultaneously stop working. Your job is to figure out what’s going on and you do that in the style of genre classic, FTL.

Crying Suns is a sci-fi roguelike specialising in ship-to-ship combat and random encounters, but this time it’s less interested in crew management, focusing instead on various squadrons of drones and use of your ship’s big guns.

It can’t match FTL’s perfection, and its assortment of 300 events start repeating much earlier than you’d imagine, a problem exacerbated by how story-focused it is, making the repetition particularly glaring. It’s still very good though, with a solid script and beautiful pixel art styling.

Score: 7/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=jrkN1IaJXuA%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Beyond A Steel Sky

iOS and PC, included with Apple Arcade (Revolution Software)

It’s been 26 years since Beneath A Steel Sky was released, making this one of the longest awaited sequels in the history of games, but fans will be delighted to discover that not that much has changed.

It’s still a dialogue-heavy adventure set in a dystopian, cyberpunk future, and maintains its Broken Sword-esque sense of humour and charmingly British sensibilities. Sadly, it also suffers from the same peccadilloes as its ancient forebear.

Chief amongst those is the need to figure out sometimes non-intuitive sequences of actions to solve its puzzles, and sitting through reams of chat that sometimes isn’t quite as amusing as it imagines. It’s still worth it for the sweet pang of nostalgia though.

Score: 6/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=wS9F2_aq9yg%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Slay The Spire

iOS, £9.99 (Humble Games)

With a PC incarnation that’s already very fairly hailed as a classic, Slay The Spire makes its way to touchscreen with this excellent port.

Mechanically, everything is as it was; a roguelike deck builder that relies on tactics that get increasingly deep as you unlock cards and reach a fuller understanding of their interactions and combat possibilities.

It’s exquisitely designed, both graphically and in terms of its ruleset, and gives the distinct impression of being a labour of love. It’s also monumentally addictive and despite its high – at least for mobile – price is an essential purchase. The Android version is due for release later this year.

Score: 9/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=Bdoy_8aqOBs%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Flick Solitaire

iOS & Android, free-to-play (Flick Games)

The world is in absolutely no danger of running out of solitaire games, whether on PC or mobile. However, it’s fair to say that some of those versions of the classic solo card game are far more playable than others.

Flick Solitaire is certainly extremely easy to enjoy. Its lean interface, pleasing sound effects, and the mellow formation ballet your cards perform when you complete a level are never less than winning. It also comes with basic solitaire, and its Pyramid and Elevens variants, both of which add new facets to the game.

You have to watch a short ad every few games, or you can spring for a subscription that removes advertising and lets you select the table surface you play on. It’s up to you whether that’s worth the frankly ludicrous £1.99 per week.

Score: 7/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=r8Wke7HzjvU%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

The_Otherside

iOS, included with Apple Arcade (The Label)

The_Otherside is a board game-meets-role-playing game about clearing out monsters from a small town. You do that by finding and destroying ‘spirit anchors’, which rid a section of the board of its infection.

Each turn your heroes spend their three action points moving, searching rooms, looking for ammo, kicking down or erecting barricades and attacking monsters. Each turn fresh horrors teleport in from the Otherside, which seems to be a bit like the Upside Down in Stranger Things.

Earn XP to level up, unlocking new creatures, equipment, heroes, and bigger maps. While finding a decent weapon early on can make a big difference, the randomness isn’t too brutal, and the game gets more interesting as you progress, with more characters and larger levels forcing you to make judicious use of each hero’s skills to survive.

Score: 8/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=rLtFwvoV3u4%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm – Golden Edition

iOS, included with Apple Arcade (Cornfox)

Oceanhorn 2 has been out for a while, but the recent Golden Edition adds two expansions: The Shield Of Chronos and The Criminal Hunt. The first is a dungeon containing a shield that bounces projectiles back towards assailants, and the second casts you as a bounty hunter pursuing a series of miscreants.

If you have a fancier iPhone or iPad, this update will also allow you to lock the frame rate to 60fps, adding to the beauty of its colourful landscapes, azure sea, and Sega blue skies.

Although frequently compared to Zelda games, and indeed sharing a similar structure and pastoral charm, it unfortunately lacks Nintendo’s magic and feels plodding and workaday despite its undoubtedly lofty production values.

Score: 6/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=q_Qs6CjGeQc%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

If Found…

iOS, £4.99 (Annapurna Interactive)

Like Annapurna stablemate, Florence, If Found… isn’t quite a game, more a work of elegiac interactive fiction. Set in a 1990s world without social media or mobile phones, you read the illustrated diary entries of an Irish teenager returning to her small hometown, having been at University in Dublin.

Your interaction with every single part of the story is to obliterate it, either using an eraser, or slowly spreading splodges of watercolour to rub out written memories, each of which is ironically framed as ‘Things to remember’.

The light touch of the writing offsets the slightly melancholy content, and its Emerald Isle setting makes for a welcome break from the usual Americana, fantasy violence, and crime fighting.

Score: 8/10

https://youtube.com/watch?v=P3XtW63U3So%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

SINoAlice

iOS & Android, £Free (Pokelabo)

Coming from the mind of NieR:Automata creative director, Yoko Taro, the much-anticipated SINoAlice was released in Japan in 2017 and now finally makes its way West.

Taking place in a mysterious library, it remixes the plots and protagonists of fairy tales from Snow White to Little Red Riding Hood, its battles taking place in semi-real-time, feeding the usual gacha loot box mechanics that let you claim random new kit for your heroines.

Despite its elegant art style and stirring musical score, it’s crushingly dull. The narratives don’t branch, and with auto-fight turned on, your role is reduced to that of spectator rather than player, and no amount of fourth wall-breaking humour or twisted fairy tale storylines make up for the boredom at its core.

Score: 4/10

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News

Crash Bandicoot: On The Run mobile game is pretty nice looking endless runner

https://youtube.com/watch?v=qF6SDQhFSbM%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

It looks like Crash Bandicoot is going to have two new games out this year, with a new mobile app that looks pleasingly authentic.

After years in the wilderness, Crash Bandicoot is now firmly back as one of gaming’s most beloved mascots, with not just a new console game but a mobile app as well.

Mobile titles based on existing video games often bear little resemblance to the original in terms of gameplay but Crash Bandicoot: On The Run is an endless runner and that’s actually a very good fit.

Most of the trailer above is pre-rendered cut scenes but you can see a bit of real gameplay footage at the end, where the game seems to work very much like the into-the-screen sections from the original PlayStation titles, just with three lanes of movement.

On The Run is being developed by Candy Crush maker King, who Activision own, and will be a free-to-play title, which inevitably means microtransactions.

The game will bring back not only various characters from the original games, including Dr Cortex and Coco, but also specific levels such as Temple Ruins, Turtle Woods, and Bear It.

The app is available for pre-registration now, for which you will be gifted an exclusive Blue Hyena Skin, from Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, when the game launches later in the year.

The app will no doubt come out around the same time as Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which is due out this October.

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Ninja Is Streaming On YouTube, But Hasn't Signed An Exclusivity Deal Yet

Popular video gamer and prominent Fortnite livestreamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is reportedly in talks with multiple livestreaming services, including YouTube, according to sources. He has not yet signed an exclusive deal since Mixer–his previous home–was shut down by Microsoft. But Ninja streamed Fortnite today on YouTube with a group of other streamers–TimTheTatMan, DrLupo, and Courage–attracting more than 100,000 viewers.

“Ninja is currently in negotiations with streaming platforms and no exclusive deal has yet been signed, including YouTube,” esports consultant Rod “Slasher” Breslau’s sources said. “Today’s YouTube livestream from Ninja is all on his own. Maybe he’ll stream on Twitch too.”

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/OwsCtm3HMYc

Earlier this week, Ninja’s wife and manager, Jessica Blevins, tweeted that this week “will be fun.” This likely suggests some kind of announcement may be imminent; that may relate to the YouTube stream above, which marks Ninja’s first stream in several weeks.

Ninja left his massive Twitch platform for an exclusive deal with Mixer last year. However, Microsoft recently announced that the livestreaming service would close up shop after July 22. Where Ninja will go now remains a mystery, but it was spotted earlier this week that Ninja was testing a YouTube stream on his official channel.

Play For All 2020 News And Events

  • GameSpot Play For All Week 6 – What To Expect This Week
  • GameSpot's Play For All: Here's How To Donate
  • Ubisoft Forward: Date, Stream Start Time, Free Watch Dogs 2 Offer, And More
  • Xbox Series X Event Confirmed For July 23
  • PS5 Reveal Event: All Games And Console Details Announced

Source: Read Full Article

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Nintendo

Top New Game Releases On Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC This Week — July 5-11, 2020

New Releases highlights some of the hottest video games launching each week. This episode is bringing some dark and mysterious sequels, with Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2. There’s also a double dose of racing thanks to F1 2020 and NASCAR Heat 5. Finally, console gamers can get their hands on CrossCode.

CrossCode — July 9

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, Switch

CrossCode got its PC release some time ago, but now console gamers can try out this 16-bit action-RPG. It’s got more than 120 enemies to battle, 30-plus bosses to beat, seven unique dungeons to explore, and over 100 quests to complete. What’s more, Xbox Game Pass members can jump in on day one.

More Coverage:

  • CrossCode, A Cool-Looking PC Retro Action RPG, Is Getting A Console Release Soon
  • CrossCode Will Feature Different Quests For PC, Switch, PS4, And Xbox One Versions

Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing In Disguise — July 10

Available on: Switch

Deadly Premonition 2 is considered both a sequel and a prequel, which fits right in with the game’s Twin Peaks-esque zaniness. Agent York will be traveling around via skateboard, which you can customize. Expect a good helping of mini-games as you solve mysteries around town too.

More Coverage:

  • New Deadly Premonition 2 Trailer Is An Unsettling Infomercial
  • Deadly Premonition 2 Pre-Order Guide: Price, Physical Edition, And More (Switch)

Bloodstained: Curse Of The Moon 2 — July 10

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch

The surprise sequel was only recently announced, but Curse of the Moon fans will be able to take control of swordsman Zangetsu again this week. He’s joined by three new playable characters: Hachi, Robert, and Dominique from Ritual of the Night. They all have unique abilities you can use to access secret areas in each level.

F1 2020 — July 10

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Stadia

Real-life F1 events have been canceled or postponed this year, but you can race on all 22 of those tracks in this game. There’s no story mode, but you can race through various series of different lengths. Of course, you can race against others online too.

More Coverage:

  • Exclusive: F1 2020 Gameplay And My Team Details
  • F1 2020 Will Let You Race On The New Hanoi Circuit In Vietnam Before Its Real-Life Debut

NASCAR Heat 5 — July 10

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The most notable change from NASCAR Heat 4 is the addition of single-car races, letting you test out tracks and set record times. Heat 5 also includes improvements to the pit stop, paint booth, and did-not-finish mechanics. And in case you’re wondering, driver Tony Stewart is featured on the game’s box art.

July is only just getting started, and the next episode of New Releases has a whole bunch more games to talk about. We’ll be taking a look at the PC port of Death Stranding, the reimagined Story of Season: Friends of Mineral Town, and more. GameSpot’s Play For All charity event will also continue this month.

Play For All 2020 News And Events

  • GameSpot Play For All Week 6 – What To Expect This Week
  • GameSpot's Play For All: Here's How To Donate
  • Ubisoft Forward: Date, Stream Start Time, Free Watch Dogs 2 Offer, And More
  • Xbox Series X Event Confirmed For July 23
  • PS5 Reveal Event: All Games And Console Details Announced

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PC

Last Day To Save On Tons Of Great PS4 Games In Latest PSN Sales

The PlayStation Store’s Remasters & Retro Sale ends later this week, but a pair of new PSN sales recently went live. The Games Under $20 Sale is back with a fresh lineup of deals on great PS4 games such as Control, Diablo 3: Eternal Collection, Outer Wilds, and more. PSN also has more than 100 games discounted as part of its Mid-Year Deals, including The Witcher 3 and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Both sales run through today, July 8, so you still have a few hours to save.

Two of GameSpot’s favorite games of 2019 are on sale for excellent prices. Remedy Entertainment’s gripping action game Control is down to $19.79, while the moving and inventive adventure Outer Wilds is discounted to $16.74.

A bunch of popular Ubisoft titles are featured as well. If you haven’t jumped into the massive open world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, now’s your chance for just $15. You can also head to London and play as the Frye twins in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate for only $9. Meanwhile, Far Cry New Dawn is discounted to $16, and Far Cry Primal is available for only $9.89.

If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can save on several compilations of classic games. Castlevania Anniversary Collection is discounted to $5, which is the same price as the Contra Anniversary Collection. You can also snag Castlevania Requiem, which includes both Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood, for $5.

6473377 – PlayStation Plus Deal Story

PlayStation Plus deal

12-month digital code


Plenty more AAA games from years past are also featured in the new sales, including The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete edition for $15, Injustice 2’s Legendary edition for $18, and Diablo 3: Eternal Collection for $15. Some fantastic indies such as Gris, Dead Cells, and The Messenger also received huge discounts.

You can browse all of the new deals at the PlayStation Store and check out our picks below.

Best deals at the PlayStation Store

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey — $15 ($60)
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – $9 ($30)
  • Castlevania Anniversary Collection — $5 ($20)
  • Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood — $5 ($20)
  • Contra Anniversary Collection — $5 ($20)
  • Control — $19.79 ($60)
  • Dead Cells — $17.49 ($25)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — $4.49 ($30)
  • Diablo 3 Eternal Collection — $15 ($60)
  • Far Cry New Dawn — $16 ($40)
  • Far Cry Primal — $9.89 ($30)
  • Gris — $6.79 ($17)
  • Injustice 2 – Legendary edition — $18 ($60)
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 6 — $19.49 ($30)
  • Little Nightmares — $5 ($20)
  • Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection — $22.49 ($30)
  • The Messenger — $10 ($20)
  • Mortal Kombat XL — $9 ($20)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy — $17.49 ($70)
  • Outer Wilds — $16.74 ($25)
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy — $15 ($30)
  • Rayman Legends — $5 ($20)
  • Risk of Rain 2 — $15 ($30)
  • Scribblenauts Mega Pack — $10 ($40)
  • Sonic Mania — $10 ($20)
  • Steep — $7.49 ($30)
  • Surviving Mars — $10.19 ($30)
  • The Walking Dead: The Telltale Definitive Series — $25 ($50)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete edition — $15 ($50)
  • Yakuza 3 Remastered — $15 ($25)
  • Yakuza 4 Remastered — $15 ($25)
  • Yakuza 5 Remastered — $15 ($25)
  • Zero Escape: The Nonary Games — $15 ($50)

Best Deals This Week

  • Steam Summer Sale 2020 Live Now
  • PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live
  • Over 3,000 Steam Deals, Free Game Available In New PC Games Sale
  • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
  • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
  • Best Budget Monitors Under $200 – Cheap Monitors For Working From Home

Source: Read Full Article

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PC

Madden NFL 21 Dev On Franchise Mode Criticisms — "We Understand Your Frustration"

EA Sports was widely criticized earlier this week when it announced the first details on Madden NFL 21’s Franchise modes. The Franchise mode from previous games will now be called “Classic Franchise,” and this year’s changes amount to what could be considered basic patch notes from last year’s game.

EA has now released a new video in which Madden NFL 21 producer Seann Graddy acknowledged the negative feedback and promised that EA will be looking to “bolster” the mode with this year’s game and beyond.

“We see your ‘fix Madden Franchise’ tweets and we understand your frustration,” Graddy said. “The Franchise community is critically important to us, and we appreciate your passion for Madden NFL. We’re reading your feedback and we clearly understand that you want more. We’ve seen requests for details around what the Franchise community can expect moving forward. And while I don’t have a lot of details I can share with you right now, I can tell you that today, our team is actively working on bolstering plans to support Franchise in Madden NFL 21 and beyond.”

Graddy went on to say that the Madden NFL 21 development team is currently heads down working on finishing the game for release in August–and from a new work-from-home set-up. Any changes or improvements for Madden NFL 21’s Classic Franchise would seemingly not come until after release. Graddy said it’s important to EA to begin this dialogue and let fans know that the developer is listening and that it hopes to be able to share more details on their thoughts and plans in the future.

While Classic Franchise isn’t getting much attention in Madden NFL 21, EA is beefing up the other Franchise mode, Face of the Franchise. In this mode, you will create a character and guide them all the way from high school through college and then into the NFL. And unlike in previous years, after college you can choose to switch from QB to a running back or a wide receiver.

On top of that, EA is adding more celebrities to the acting cast. Your rival, Tommy Mathews, will be played by X-Men and Ready Player One star Tye Sheridan. Third Watch and ER actor Michael Beach will play an interviewer character, while Shazam actor Cooper Andrews will play your high school football coach. Robert Patrick, who played T-1000 in Terminator 2, will be your college coach. Rapper and actor Snoop Dogg and TV journalist Rich Eisen will play themselves.

Madden NFL 21 released on August 28 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, before coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X later in the year. A closed beta test for Madden NFL 21 is going on right now, and here’s how to find a code to get in.

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PC

Huge PS4 Sale On Multiplayer Games Live Now Ahead Of Holiday Weekend

As usual, the PlayStation Store has multiple sales running right now, including the bargain-focused Games Under $20 sale and Mid-Year Deals. While both of those are still live for another week, a new sale kicked off today. Multiplayer Days is, you guessed it, a sale focused on games you can play with friends and family such as Overcooked 2, A Way Out, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and several Lego games. The Multiplayer Days sale runs until July 16, so you have two weeks to browse for your next family game night activity.

The sale is particularly good for family-friendly games. You can nab the chaotic cooking simulator Overcooked 2 for $15 or get a bundle with Overcooked 2 and the original for $21. Overcooked’s spiritual successor Moving Out, which released earlier this year, is on sale for $17.49, too. Meanwhile, Lego games offer great local co-op for youngsters and parents, and you can snag Lego Marvel Collection for $18, a great price for a compilation featuring three games, and Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens for $8.

For genuine party games, it’s hard to compete with Jackbox. The Jackbox Party Pack is down to $12.49, and Jackbox Party Pack 5 is discounted to $18. There are also more traditional digital board and card games on sale, including Uno for $5, Monopoly Family Fun Pack for $6, and Ticket to Ride for $6.

If you want to play through a story-focused game alongside a buddy, the inventive prison escape game A Way Out is discounted to $9 and charming platformer Unravel 2 is down to $10. Older AAA hits are also featured, including Resident Evil Revelations for $8, Battlefield 5 for $12, Titanfall 2: Ultimate edition for $6, and Dragon Age: Inquisition Deluxe edition for $5. You should buy Titanfall 2 for the single-player campaign, though, as the servers aren’t very active now.

6473377 – PlayStation Plus Deal Story

PS Plus 12-month digital code


You can check out the full Multiplayer Days sale at the PlayStation Store and see the highlights below. For more game deals, take a peek at our roundup of the best digital game deals of the week for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, which is led by the massive Steam Summer Sale. Also, with the holiday weekend right around the corner, Independence Day sales are starting to pop up, and GameStop’s sale is already live.

Best Multiplayer Days deals on PSN

  • A Way Out — $9 ($30)
  • Absolver — $7.49 ($30)
  • Astroneer — $19.49 ($30)
  • Battlefield 5 — $12 ($40)
  • Cat Quest 2 — $9 ($15)
  • Contra: Rogue Corps — $10 ($40)
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Deluxe edition — $5 ($20)
  • The Forest — $12 ($20)
  • Grip Digital Deluxe — $15 ($50)
  • The Jackbox Party Pack — $12.49 ($25)
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 5 — $18 ($30)
  • Jeopardy — $8 ($20)
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes — $9 ($15)
  • Lego Marvel Collection — $18 ($60)
  • Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $8 ($20)
  • Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite – Deluxe edition — $18 ($60)
  • Monopoly Family Fun Pack — $6 ($20)
  • Moving Out — $17.49 ($25)
  • Nex Machina — $5 ($20)
  • Outward — $16 ($40)
  • Overcooked 2 — $15 ($25)
  • Overcooked + Overcooked 2 — $21 ($35)
  • Resident Evil Revelations — $8 ($20)
  • Sundered: Eldritch edition — $5 ($20)
  • Ticket to Ride — $6 ($20)
  • Titanfall 2: Ultimate edition — $6 ($20)
  • Trials Rising — $6 ($20)
  • Uno — $5 ($10)
  • Unravel Two — $10 ($20)

Best Deals This Week

  • Steam Summer Sale 2020 Live Now
  • PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live
  • Over 3,000 Steam Deals, Free Game Available In New PC Games Sale
  • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
  • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
  • Best Budget Monitors Under $200 – Cheap Monitors For Working From Home

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News

Cyberpunk 2077 goes all-in on ray tracing and Nvidia's DLSS 2.0

The first time we saw Cyberpunk 2077, we were convinced there was no way it would be a current-gen game, despite CD Projekt’s claims. Apparently we were wrong, but there’s no question the level of fidelity and sheer density of the game will make your graphics card sweat—especially because it’ll be a ray-tracing flagship.

On that note, while today’s hotly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay reveal felt pretty underwhelming after the stunning previews, Nvidia sent out more details on the ray tracing tech integrated into the game. It’s enough to stoke our excitement yet again.

We already knew Cyberpunk would have ray tracing, but without details about the specific effects. Today, Nvidia took off those wraps. While most games aside from Control support just one or two real-time ray tracing effects, Cyberpunk 2077 will integrate four different features into the game, as well as the faster, better DLSS 2.0 technology that can help reclaim frames lost to the strenuous lighting effects.

Here are the ray tracing effects you’ll find in Cyberpunk 2077, quoted verbatim from a release sent to me by Nvidia PR. (The screenshots and video in this article all show ray tracing in action in Cyberpunk.)

  • “Ray-traced ambient occlusion – Ambient occlusion is a shading and rendering technique used to calculate how exposed each point in a scene is to ambient lighting. The result is a diffuse shading effect that darkens enclosed and sheltered areas and enhances the rendered image’s overall tone. In Cyberpunk 2077, ray-traced ambient occlusion additionally can be used with local lights to approximate local shadowing effects where shadows are missing.
  • Ray-traced diffuse illumination – This technique is used to capture sky radiance as well as emissive lighting from various surfaces, which is difficult to achieve with traditional rendering techniques. 
  • Ray-traced reflections – In Cyberpunk 2077, ray-traced reflections are used on all surfaces and can trace ranges for up to several kilometers. They are present on both opaque and transparent objects to simulate the way light reflects from glossy and metal surfaces by tracing a single bounce of reflection rays against the scene. This includes smooth natural mirrors like window glass, but also rougher surfaces like brushed metal. Unlike screen space techniques which can only reflect what’s on screen, ray-traced reflections incorporate the entire scene around the character, and can accurately represent objects outside the camera view or facing away from the camera.
  • Ray-traced shadows – Cyberpunk 2077 preview supports directional shadows from the sun and the moon. These shadows aim to be physically accurate and even account for light scattering from clouds. Shadows may be enhanced in the final release to support other types of light sources where it is needed.”

Better yet, these are all expected to be available in the game on day one, along with DLSS 2.0. Most supporting games have added ray tracing as a later update to the game.  

You’ll need a graphics card capable of real-time ray tracing to tap into those effects, of course. Right now, only Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 20-series GPUs support the cutting-edge technology. They’re killer, but if you’re planning to upgrade your system for Cyberpunk—we’ve heard from dozens of people with that very intention—it’s a bad time to buy a high-end graphics card right now. Better options should be available by the time Cyberpunk 2077 rolls out on November 19.

AMD’s potent next-gen “Big Navi” cards will include ray tracing and are expected to launch sometime before the Xbox Series X (read: November). Nvidia hasn’t said anything about a GeForce refresh, but it’s already revealed its next-gen Ampere GPU in data center form. Endless leaks and rumors point to a late summer or early fall launch for new GeForce cards.

The RTX 20-series will be two years old in August, so the timing checks out. Ampere leaps forward to a smaller process node, which usually results in significant performance and efficiency increases. The rumored GeForce RTX 30-series are expected to amp up ray tracing performance by a sizeable amount.

Always take rumors with a big pinch of salt, but if you’re going to splurge on a pricey new graphics card to see Cyberpunk 2077 in all its ray traced glory, consider sitting tight for a few months. Yes, the GeForce RTX 2080 Super is amazing, but you don’t want buyer’s remorse on an $800 purchase.

(Unless you manage to win one of Nvidia’s ultra-rare GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Cyberpunk 2077 Edition graphics cards, that is. There are still a few contests floating around out there.)

Here are four more Nvidia screenshots of ray traced environments in Cyberpunk 2077:





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PS4

Top New Video Games Out On Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC This Month — July 2020

If this episode of New Releases is any indication, you won’t run out of new video games to play anytime soon. We’re taking a look at the month of July, which kicks off with Marvel’s Iron Man VR. You can also take to the skies in Rocket Arena just over a week after that. July is also time to protect your land, whether it’s an occupied island in Ghost of Tsushima or the Mushroom Kingdom in Paper Mario: The Origami King. Finally, the month wraps up with the Destroy All Humans remake.

Marvel’s Iron Man VR — July 3

Available on: PS4

After a few delays, Iron Man VR is finally giving us a chance to step into Tony Stark’s suit. As you’d expect, the HUD inside the PSVR headset resembles Stark’s FRIDAY technology, and you can use the Move Controllers to aim and fire your various weapons. Expect to see other Marvel staples like Nick Fury in the story too.

More Coverage:

  • Iron Man PSVR Bundle Comes With Everything You Need To Play
  • Iron Man VR’s Biggest Influence, And What Might Surprise You In The Full Game

Rocket Arena — July 14

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Rocket Arena is a 3-on-3 shooter with just one weapon at your side: a rocket launcher. Thing is, each character has their own special rockets with unique effects. You can also customize your favorite hero with outfits, launcher parts, and stat boosts.

More Coverage:

  • Rocket Arena Is Overwatch Meets Smash Bros., With Rockets
  • Rocket Arena’s Chaotic Knockout Mode Gameplay

Ghost Of Tsushima — July 17

Available on: PS4

This is the next PS4 exclusive from Sly Cooper and Infamous developer Sucker Punch. You play as Jin, a samurai looking to liberate his island from Mongol invaders. You’ll do this with a combination of stealth and in-your-face katana combat. You’ll need to switch stances and time your attacks to parry and defeat your many enemies.

More Coverage:

  • Ghost Of Tsushima Pre-Order Guide: Collector’s Edition In Stock At Best Buy
  • New Ghost Of Tsushima Details: Stances, The Deadliness Of The Katana, Screenshots, And More

Paper Mario: The Origami King — July 17

Available on: Switch

The Mushroom Kingdom has been usurped again, this time by the eponymous Origami King Olly. Mario will have to use a new ring-based combat system to defeat enemies and bosses if he hopes to take the kingdom back. The origami style applies to the world too: you’ll be pulling and bending the environment to solve puzzles and explore.

More Coverage:

  • Paper Mario: The Origami King Pre-Order Bonus And Release Date Details
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King Trailer Shows Off New Features, Characters

Destroy All Humans — July 28

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

This is a remake of the original Destroy All Humans from 2005. Once again, you’ll be stepping into the space boots of alien invader Crypto as he extracts DNA from the residents of a midwestern town, using all types of alien weapons and gadgets. This remake includes content cut from the original game too.

More Coverage:

  • Destroy All Humans Remake Pre-Order Guide: $400 Special Edition Available
  • Destroy All Humans Welcomes You To Turnipseed Farm In New Trailer

July has only just arrived, so we’ve got a lot more games to cover. Next week, New Releases will take a look at the console release of CrossCode and a very anticipated sequel, Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in Disguise. GameSpot’s Play for All event is continuing through the new month as well.

Play For All 2020 News And Events

  • GameSpot Play For All Week 4 – What To Expect
  • Skate 4 Is Finally Happening
  • Star Wars: Squadrons Gameplay Reveal Shows Dogfighting, Customization
  • PS5 Reveal Event: All Games And Console Details Announced
  • GameSpot's Play For All: Here's How To Donate

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News

Dr. Disrespect Banned On Twitch, Reportedly For Good

High-profile Twitch streamer Herschel “Guy” Beahm IV (better known as Dr. Disrespect) has been banned from the livestreaming platform yet again. And this time, it may be permanent.

It’s unclear exactly why or how long Dr. Disrespect will be banned. Dr. Disrespect has not said anything publicly about the situation, and searching for his Twitch account pulls no results. Twitch itself has offered no specific explanation for the move, although some have speculated that it could be the result of a DMCA takedown, which may only result in a temporary ban. We’ve reached out to Twitch and will report back with anything it has to share.

The only statement it’s offered, which you can see further below, is a generic one that states, “As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”

Dr. Disrespect was banned from the livestreaming platform back in June 2019 for broadcasting from a public restroom at E3. The ban only lasted two weeks and saw a divisive response from the Twitch community.

According to esports reporter Rod Breslau, Dr. Disrepsect’s ban is not related to a DMCA measure, and is in fact a permanent ban, rather than a temporary one.

Zach Bussey, who reports on Twitch happenings, indicated there won’t be a public statement shared by Twitch regarding the ban, but that he too has heard it is permanent.

This ban comes not long after Twitch removed several other prominent streamers for alleged sexual abuse and harassment, including IamSp00n, BlessRNG, DreadedCone, and others. Earlier this week, Twitch said it would be issuing permanent suspensions following its investigation into these allegations. The accusations led to a Twitch blackout, with streamers staying off the platform for a day to encourage the streaming service to take action against abusers.

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