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Scorn is H.R. Giger at his most beautiful and bland

by: Randy -

There's something entirely stunning and, at the same time, stunningly drab about Scorn. It may be one of the first games coming out exclusively for next-gen systems—well, for Xbox Series X and Windows PC, not PS5—that made me sit up and take notice of the stunning visuals. That was the first time I watched this 14-minute gameplay trailer. 

But the second time I watched it, the copy-paste environment started to leave a filmy layer over my eyes. I'm going to level with you: H.R. Giger is an artist I respect more than I admire. I mean, I get the appeal. It's just that having everything look like it's made out of xenomorph exoskeletons, punctuated with maybe meat sacks here and there, doesn't craft a compelling world for me. 

And then there's the do-nothing gameplay. Shoot a shotgun at a meat sack crawling towards you. Shove your bone gun into a meat hole and open up the next door. Shoot at another misshapen hunk of flesh. Okay, okay, it's only 14 minutes of gameplay. And while its closest analog might be DOOM, Scorn appears to have none of the blistering chainsaws and computer-punching action that make that series so beloved. 

Don't get me wrong: I love me some thoughtful pacing. I'm the last guy that's going to ask you for breakneck gameplay to keep me entranced. But if Scorn is going to craft a mysterious, horrific vibe, I'm going to need to see some more mystery and horror to convince me of all that.

You don't have to take my word for it, however. Our own Sean Colleli has his finger on the pulse of Scorn, certainly more than I do. And if I sound like I'm all hating on Scorn, I don't mean to, because I like it enough to want to talk about it here. Which is to say, there's definitely something here. I'm just confused that after 14 full minutes, I don't think I've found what I'm looking for just yet.

Rumor: New job listing hints towards Ghost of Tsushima sequel

by: Charlie -

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima released earlier this year to critical acclaim. As a new IP, Ghost of Tsushima also enjoyed tremendous commercial success - being the fastest-selling new PlayStation IP ever in digital sales. As far as a sequel goes, nothing official has been confirmed by Sucker Punch nor Sony. Nevertheless, a new job listing by Sucker Punch hints towards a sequel in a very convincing way. 

The job listing is for a Narrative Designer on an unannounced project. The listing stipulates a “desire to write stories set in feudal Japan” as a requirement. Moreover, “knowledge of feudal Japanese history” is listed as a plus. 

GamingNexus reviewed Ghost of Tsushima earlier this year and summarised it as “a beautifully crafted adventure that distinguishes itself as one of the great titles of this console generation.”

First Look: Amazon Luna UI and Gameplay Videos

by: Eric -

As I posted yesterday, I got placed into the first wave of the Amazon Luna beta. Though I posted a few impressions and screenshots yesterday, that kinda feels super incomplete. So I marshalled all of my tech forces and created a few videos. The first is a quick tour through the Luna UI, followed by a few videos of Luna's (extremely impressive) gameplay.

Here's the UI tour:

Next, I dipped into Control for a quick jaunt around the Bureau. Pay special attention to how fast these load times are:

Then I played the opening to Yooka-Laylee, just as a visual counterpoint to Control. Control is all grimdark, so I thought I would check out something brighter.

Finally, I checked out a game that I have never heard of, Victor Vran. Turns out, this is a super badass game, and I'm totally going to play it for real. Not much talk about Luna in this video, mostly just me geeking out about how cool Victor Vran is: 

If anyone has any requests for particular games they would like to see in videos (or if you just want me to check out more of Victor Vran), hit me up on Twitter. I'll be glad to produce some more. There's a pandemic, you know. Nothing else going on.

Stadia announced Ark for Stadia Pro; Humankind beta access

by: Eric -

Day two of the Stadia "Good Stuff" event aired today on YouTube, with another round of trailers and announcements. Check it out here if you missed it: 

After an extremely brief trailer for the upcoming Stadia exclusive Outlanders and the announcement of an upcoming expansion for Orcs Must Die 3, Stadia started firing the big guns with the announcement that Ark: Survival Evolved will be coming to Stadia Pro in 2021. That means that anyone with a Stadia Pro subscription will be able to play the game for free. Though it was a recent giveaway on the Epic Game Store, this is still a nice bonus for Stadia fans. Here's the trailer if you don't feel like digging through all of the streamer nonsense above:

The other big announcement (which was totally spoiled online yesterday) was that a playable beta for Sega's 4X strategy game Humankind will be available for the next seven days. Click here to check it out. The full game will be coming to Stadia in 2021 for the weird price of $50.99.

The biggest day is yet to come, with the Immortals: Fenyx Rising demo dropping. Keep an eye here on Gaming Nexus for all the details as they emerge. Or, you know, catch the stream. It's entirely up to you.

Here’s why a retailer in the UK is listing the Xbox Series X for £2449

by: Charlie -

Consumers in the UK looking to secure themselves an Xbox Series X might’ve come across an eye-watering listing on popular electrical retailer Currys for £2499. At the time of writing, that equates to just under $3300.

As it turns out, the system is so audaciously priced only to deter those who haven’t pre-ordered the system on Currys. Those who did and paid the £5 deposit received a promotional code to bring the cost down to the system’s RRP price. 

If anyone was crazy enough to part with £2499 and place the order, Currys confirmed it would consequently be cancelled. It’s certainly an interesting pre-order system but did result in some people selling their promotional codes on eBay just to bring the system down to its usual price. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta impressions

by: Charlie -

Well that’s a wrap on the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta. The beta provided access to the new Call of Duty’s multiplayer mode with various maps and game modes available to players. Modes such as campaign and zombies were unavailable during the beta. 

As far as the multiplayer goes, my early impressions are mostly positive. I racked up a fair few hours across the alpha, early access beta, and open access beta so I’ve collected my thoughts on this year’s Call of Duty multiplayer mode. 

As many fans of the series will know, Modern Warfare 2019’s multiplayer mode did some things long-term fans of the series didn’t like. From an aggressive SBMM (skill-based matchmaking) algorithm to the designing of maps around “safe spaces” which promoted what gamers call “camping”, it didn’t go down too well. 

Treyarch are known to lean more into the arcade style Call of Duty is known for and promoting a “run and gun” gameplay. With the elimination of the interaction doors, far quieter footsteps when moving, and far fewer “safe spaces” in its maps, Black Ops Cold War seems to reverse a lot of what fans felt was wrong with Modern Warfare 2019. 

In my personal experience, I had a more enjoyable experience in the Black Ops Cold War multiplayer than I ever did in Modern Warfare’s 2019 traditional multiplayer modes. The aforementioned changes this year meant a more traditional running and gunning style was promoted, contrary to the more cautious style that last year’s game promoted. 

Unfortunately, the beta experience didn’t go by unmarred by controversy. The hashtag #RemoveSBMM trended worldwide during the beta. Even pro Call of Duty players voiced their concerns at what appears to be yet another aggressive form of the algorithm. Personally, I think there’s a middle ground to be found whereby new players can be protected whilst not ruining the experience for more skilled players who don’t want to “sweat” every game they play in public lobbies, which is currently the case with how SBMM works right now. 

Alas, on the whole, the Black Ops Cold War beta has been a fun experience. At the end of the day, an arcade style game like Call of Duty should nail that essential essence of being fun to play. I didn’t feel that with last year’s entry, albeit until Warzone came out which really turned my experience around. Overall, the Black Ops Cold War beta fills me with optimism and excitement to play the full game when it releases in less than one month. 

Power Your Dreams watching this new trailer for Yakuza: Like a Dragon

by: Nathan -

Yakuza: Like a Dragon launches in a few weeks along side the Xbox Series X, as well as current gen consoles and Sega has released a new trailer showing off just how incredibly wacky and over the top this series really is including footage of the "breathtaking visuals", "blazing fast cars", "Immersive roleplaying" and "next gen crustacean AI" 

Yakuza: Like a Dragon launches on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC on November 10th. The PS5 version will launch on March 2nd 2021. 

 

There's a year's worth of content lined up after Assassin's Creed Valhalla launches

by: Randy -

Sometimes all you need to get excited about Assassin's Creed again is to have the right setting show up. For me, Revolutionary America was alright, but the Golden Age of Piracy was better. London and Paris are on too many college dorm room walls for me, but Egypt and Ancient Greece do the trick. So that's why Assassin's Creed Valhalla finally has my attention. The Baltic Sea and not-yet United Kingdom during the Viking era? Yes. Yes please. There's little doubt in my mind I want to spend a hundred hours in this place.

Which is why I like this post-launch roadmap for Valhalla. There's a season pass you can buy into, but there's also free seasonal content for everybody, season pass or not.

Season Pass:

  • At launch: Exclusive mission, "The Legend of Beowulf."
  • Spring 2021: Expansion 1, "Wrath of the Druids."
  • Summer 2021: Expansion 2, "The Siege of Paris."

Free Seasonal Content:

  • End of 2020: (the imaginatively named) Free Content 1
  • Spring 2021: Free Content 2
  • Summer 2021: Free Content 3
  • Fall 2021: Free Content 4

Expansion 1, Wrath of the Druids, is a journey through Ireland spent unraveling the mysteries of an ancient druidic cult, attacking ring forts, and influencing trade in the bustling port city of Dublin. This takes on a darker tone than the average Valhalla mission.

Expansion 2, The Siege of Paris, recounts "one of the most recognizable events in Viking history." Here you're meeting some famous faces, engaging in new repeatable activities, infiltrating Francia's upper echelons, and conquering the City of Light from within. 

These two massive DLCs and the bonus Beowulf mission will be included in the Gold Edition and Ultimate Edition. 

The freebie stuff, available to everyone, kicks off with a Yule event, paralleling with Christmas stuff, naturally. River Raids apparently show up in this freebie content at some point, possibly in the Spring 2021 timeframe, though the video isn't entirely clear on that. But there will be new gear, new skills, and new events happening within your settlement throughout the next year. The events sounds great and will go a long ways toward making Valhalla feel like a living game, despite its single-player nature. The Discovery Tour—Ubisoft's way of creating a non-combat educational walkthrough of their worlds—is also making its way to Valhalla, though it's not nailed down on the roadmap as of yet.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla launches on November 10 for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Stadia, and PC. Then on November 12 on PlayStation 5's launch day.

Fallout 76 getting a free play week, starting today

by: Rob -

Much maligned but slowly trying to drag itself out of the mire, Bethesda's Fallout MMO, Fallout 76, is giving everyone another chance to drop in and taste what progress has been made over the long road from a rather disastrous release and even worse first few months. Fallout 76 is going free to play on all consoles today and running through October 26th. This event coincides with a Legendary Vendor Sale, a limited Fallout 1st preview, and real-world discounts for both the game and the in-game currency, Atom packs. 

The free play includes the base game and Wastelanders and Nuclear Winter DLC, all progress and purchases carry over if new players decide to keep going with the game after the week is up, and their is double XP on offer to boost your character up to speed. As far as that Fallout 1st preview - Fallout 1st is the premium paid service meant to reward hardcore players but initially seen as more of a slap in the face to everyone who didn't buy into it. Essentially, 1st fixed some core game issues broken at release but only was offered initially to players willing to throw in good money after bad to keep supporting broken software. Well now the rest of us can see how the other side lives, because anyone who logs in during the free week can head over the the Atomic shop and claim the free Fallout 1st Limited Preview “item.” That item then grants access to "some" of the Fallout 1st membership features.

More details on the preview and the free week can be found on Bethesda's site

Pretty Princess Party coming to Switch in December

by: Rob -

The Switch is a versatile piece of hardware. It might not be able to match the top end performance of the larger consoles blow for blow, but not everything is about fighting games and first person shooters. That's why Nintendo consoles will always also include a steady lineup of games for the younger audiences as well, like Pretty Princess Party.

Described by the developers as a "royal lifestyle simulator," the games gives players an abandoned castle where they learn how to be royalty while restoring the palace to glory, decorate your 20 rooms, running around doing mini-games, unlocking new outfits into your wardrobe, and choosing which dress, accessory, and hairstyle to sport next. Game highlights include:

  • Create your own princess character with over 50 choices in gowns, shoes, tiaras, and hair ornaments, plus 25 hairstyles and many eye color and makeup options.
  • Play fun mini-games with 1 to 4 players to polish your posh: Dancing, horseracing, cake decorating, archery and more. Challenge friends with pass-and-play multiplayer.
  • Decorate 20 rooms in your castle however you wish with over 1,300 lovely items: furniture, paintings, wallpaper, and much more.
  • Capture and update photos within your newly-decorated rooms.

Pretty Princess Party launches on Switch December 3rd.