標籤彙整:Previews

Rockstar Reveals Additions To Red Dead Redemption II For PC

Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar Games
Release:

(PlayStation 4,
Xbox One),
(PC)
Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Despite releasing last year, Red Dead Redemption II has been in the news a lot lately, with new content in Red Dead Online and the announcement of a PC version scheduled to launch on November 5. On that latter point, Rockstar today revealed more information about what is going to be different about PC version compared to its console counterparts.

Gamers can obviously expect some graphical improvements that take full advantage of the hardware, like increased draw distances, improved lighting, and better textures. But beyond that, the PC version will also have new content that wasn’t in the previous release. That includes brand-new horses (and new variations of existing horses), three bounty hunter missions, two additional gang hideouts,  two new treasure maps, and extra weapons for the story mode (some of which are already in Red Dead Online), and more.

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Players who pre-purchase the game via the Rockstar Games Launcher (until October 22) also get a bevy of other goodies, like a free upgrade to the premium edition, bonus cash for story mode and online, and a war horse for single-player. As another incentive, this deal also includes two free Rockstar PC games (selected from: Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Bully: Scholarship Edition, L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition, and Max Payne 3: The Complete Edition). You can get all the details at the official site.

You probably knew this already, but the original console release of Red Dead Redemption II was excellent (we gave it a 10), and these improvements may give everyone a reason to jump back in with the new version.

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Kamala Khan Joins The Team

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal
Release:
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Kamala Khan – known as Ms. Marvel – is the first new playable character to be announced following the initial reveal of Marvel’s Avengers at E3 this year. Played by Sandra Saad, Kamala Khan is the sixth playable hero announced for the game, joining Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, and Black Widow.

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Kamala Khan was affected by the events of A-Day, where the Avengers failed to stop a massive attack launched by an unknown adversary. Khan was turned inhuman, bestowing her with embiggen abilities, which she can use to great effect in combat. We only get brief glimpses of her in combat in the trailer below, but the story sequences show that she will play an integral role in the way the narrative plays out. According to the PlayStation Blog, Kamala is a driving force in reassembling the Avengers following the early events in the story.

Click here to watch embedded media

Marvel’s Avengers comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on May 15. For more on Avengers, check out our hands-on impressions from the initial demo, and learn how the mission and gear systems work.

[Source: Marvel’s Avengers on Twitter, PlayStation Blog]

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Iron Man VR Hits PSVR In February

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Camouflaj

Release:
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Austin Wintory Is The Composer Behind John Wick Hex

Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment
Developer: Mike Bithell Games
Release:
Rating: Mature
Platform: PC, Mac

Gamers know composer Austin Wintory for his acclaimed scores to titles like Journey (which was nominated for a Grammy) and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Next week, with the release of John Wick Hex, we’ll hear even more of his work.

Wintory is the mind behind the music of John Wick Hex, as revealed in the exclusive video below from Lionsgate and developer Bithell Games. Check it out to hear some of Wintory’s score and see his collaborators (Tom Strahle and MB Gordy) in action:

Click here to watch embedded media

With this reveal out in the open, Wintory will also be joining game director Mike Bithell and voice actor Troy Baker for their John Wick Hex New York Comic Con panel on Saturday, October 5 (a.k.a. tomorrow). 

For more insight into Wintory’s work, you can listen to the Journey soundtrack accompanied by his commentary. For more on John Wick Hex, read our impressions from E3. 

John Wick Hex releases on October 8 on PC and Mac.

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Pokémon Sword And Shield Have Mechanics To Let You Use Your Favorite Pokémon Competitively

Pokémon Sword and Shield

Publisher: The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak
Release:
Platform: Switch

The latest entries in the Pokémon series are making several tweaks to the franchise’s long-running conventions. From introducing autosave to getting rid of the Exp. Share item in favor of an automatic solution, Sword and Shield change several things about the standard play of a Pokémon game. While Game Freak was open about a lot of the behind-the-scenes information surrounding the development of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the team was a bit cagier about a new battle mechanic it could only tease.

“Traditionally in the series, you start with your starter Pokémon and then you catch a lot of Pokémon in the beginning, and those are with you throughout your whole adventure, and the player gets attached to them. But a lot of times, they get into the competitive battles and they find they can’t actually use those Pokémon or they’re not competitive, so they have to go out and find the exact right Pokémon or breed them in a certain way to make sure they’re viable in competitive battle,” planning director Kazumasa Iwao says. “This time around, we really wanted to introduce some systems that help the player be able to take those Pokémon they caught in the beginning, and the first one they chose, and actually take them straight into competitive battle. There’s a lot of hidden parameters to Pokémon that aren’t surfaced to the player. We’re doing a lot of stuff in the back end introducing systems that allow players to make sure that Pokémon they want to use in competitive battles are viable.”

Pokémon Sword and Shield

When I ask Iwao for more details, he says he can’t explain the system further, but he does go on to tease it a bit more. “I’ve got to be very vague about it, but one example – it will be visible to the player and they’ll know when they see it, I think – say you have a Pokémon where it’s got all the right stats and everything, but there’s a personality parameter as well that comes into play in battles, and it might not be the right personality, so you’ll breed until you get the right one, is what people do currently. But you’ll see that there’s a system in the game that will fix that for people.”

While it’s no longer necessary to do so, Iwao says players can still put effort into breeding to come up with the perfect specimen for competitive play. “We do think there’s value in that effort that players put into it,” he says. “But at the same time, I think with Sword and Shield we wanted to also have a system that makes it a little bit more accessible. For example, if you’re bringing a Pokémon over from a previous game into these games, being able to use that specific Pokémon that has sentimental value to you in the battle system competitively is something we wanted to try this time.”

For more on Pokémon Sword and Shield, head to our hub by clicking the banner below.

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Exp. Share Is Baked Into Pokémon Sword And Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield

Publisher: The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak
Release:
Platform: Switch

During our trip to Game Freak for this month’s cover story, we learned a ton of tidbits about Pokémon Sword and Shield and what went into making it. One of the smaller, yet interesting pieces of info we learned involves Exp. Share, an item that splits the experience earned in battle to all Pokémon in the player’s party.

According to director Shigeru Ohmori, Pokémon Sword and Shield does away with this item. However, when we followed up with Ohmori about whether that means we need to train up each individual Pokémon, he confirmed to us that every Pokémon in your party gets equal experience automatically as you progress through the game.

This revelation occurred during our filming of our Rapid-Fire video interview, which you can look forward to later this week. For more on Pokémon Sword and Shield, head to our hub by clicking the banner below.

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HMs Are Not In Pokémon Sword And Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield

Publisher: The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak
Release:
Platform: Switch

Since the start of the Pokémon series, Hidden Machines (HMs) have been a staple. These special moves, which could be taught to multiple Pokémon, then used in battle and in special circumstances outside of battle, were replaced in Sun and Moon with Ride Pokémon. During our trip to Game Freak’s Tokyo headquarters for this month’s cover story, we asked about the role of HMs in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

According to planning director Kazumasa Iwao, HMs didn’t fit into the philosophy of Pokémon Sword and Shield. “I think they played a role in the series traditionally to be like the relationship between a door and a key; the HM will unlock something and you’re able to progress and feel the ability to go to a new place,” he says. “We didn’t have them in Sun and Moon, and this time around, we didn’t feel it really matched the concept, especially with the Wild Area and wanting to have this higher degree of freedom. The player can kind of choose how they want to engage with the gameplay. Having the more HM-based elements, we didn’t feel it really matched the game, so this time around they’re not in it.”

For more on Pokémon Sword and Shield, head to our hub by clicking the banner below.

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Pokémon Sword And Shield Introduce Autosave To The Series

Pokémon Sword and Shield

Publisher: The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak
Release:
Platform: Switch

During our trip to Game Freak’s Tokyo headquarters for this month’s cover story, we learned all kinds of behind-the-scenes information about Pokémon Sword and Shield. While talking with the developers about the new features coming to Sword and Shield, director Shigeru Ohmori mentioned autosave occurring in the Wild Area.

Normally after you perform a trade, you’d need to stop and save, but instead, Game Freak figured out a way to incorporate seamless saves into the Wild Area. “When you connect with them to actually trade or do some kind of interaction, it then seamlessly switches to a synchronous connection,” Ohmori says. “It’s also saving in the background, which is something we previously didn’t do, so there’s quite a bit going on in there that is represented in the Wild Area.”

At the mention of “saving in the background,” I asked Ohmori if that happens throughout the rest of the game, or if that’s restricted to the Wild Area. “It’s a new feature we’re implementing: full autosave functionality,” he says. “Traditionally in Pokémon games, it’s an important thing to write your report to record your save, and that’s always been a staple, like, “Remember to save your game!” We do have an autosave feature this time, where you can just adventure and it’ll constantly save the game.”

Pokémon Sword and Shield

For those who don’t want Pokémon Sword and Shield to autosave, fear not: You can turn the feature off and stick with the traditional save method where you pause the action and manually save. I imagine that will come in handy for encounters with difficult-to-catch Legendary Pokémon. However, Ohmori says that process might also feel a bit different on Switch.

“I think the Nintendo Switch, compared to previous consoles, it’s actually a bit harder to restart your game,” he says. “Like, on the NES, you’d have a dedicated button to reset the whole thing, but with the Switch, it’s a little bit more complicated of a process.”

For more on Pokémon Sword and Shield, head to our hub by clicking the banner below.

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New Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Trailer Ignites

Click here to watch embedded media

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release:
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Electronic Arts and developer Respawn Entertainment have released a new trailer for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order in conjunction with other announcements for the Triple Force Friday merchandise blitz on October 4 (Fallen Order itself hits stores on November 15 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One).

The trailer shows Cal’s companions, Jedi Knight Cere Jundo, pilot Greez Dritus, and droid BD-1, as he searches for something “precious to the Empire” and encounters Inquisitor the Second Sister as Cal and Cere try to resurrect the Jedi Order in the wake of Order 66.

The footage also appears to show worlds other than Kashyyyk, including Cal’s battles with some very large and angry indigenous beings.

For more on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, be sure to read our full cover story and check out supplemental stories by visiting the cover story hub by clicking on the banner below.

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The Four Biggest Takeaways From Playing Last Of Us Part II

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog
Release:
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PlayStation 4

Naughty Dog says that The Last of Us Part II is its biggest and most ambitious title to date. Recently, we got a small (two hour) taste of this ambitious project, but we walked away incredibly satisfied. It almost goes without saying that The Last of Us fans should be excited for the game’s launch on February 21, but here are four other big takeaways from our time with the game.

Prepare to feel rage

The original Last of Us explored a child/parent relationship between Joel and Ellie. Naughty Dog says that if the first game was about exploring that kind of love, then the sequel explores a completely different kind of emotion: rage.

Ellie grew up in a broken world – a planet where a fungal outbreak transformed most of humanity into zombie-like monsters. However, by the end of the first game, Ellie reaches a safe haven where it seems that she might have the chance to build a new life and experience some of the joys that many of us take for granted. As Part II opens, Ellie lives inside a relatively safe community of people and she even has the chance to explore a romantic relationship with another young girl named Dina.

However, at some point in the game, Ellie faces a tragedy that completely changes her outlook. Naughty Dog remains tight-lipped about the nature of this tragedy, but the event sets Ellie off on a quest for revenge. In The Last of Us Part II, we’ll get to see how Ellie behaves after she’s had the safety of a “normal” life ripped from her – we’ll get to see the lengths with which Ellie will go to punish those who have hurt her. You can see the pain etched into the lines in Ellie’s face every time she sneaks up behind an enemy and slides her knife into their throat. The Last of Us Part II isn’t a game for the squeamish.

Movement is key to survival

Like the first The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s action feels grounded and brutal. Enemies coordinate their attacks and even call to each other by name. Ellie’s luck can quickly run out of she is surrounded and outnumbered. One of the best strategies remains to stay hidden for as long as possible and pick off your foes one-by-one. Fortunately, environments are large enough that I found it easy to run and find a hiding spot to catch my breath. Still, enemies won’t forget that they saw you and are constantly on your heels, which adds a lot of tension to the action. I felt like I was constantly on the move – taking a few sections to loot a room or craft an item before I had to hide again from a roaming patrol.

Unlike Joel, Ellie now has a jump button, so she can scamper and climb all over the environment. Climbing over things is sometimes a great way to avoid your captures, but it can also make you easier to spot. I found that it was often better to go low. Ellie can both crouch or go prone. Laying down in tall grass makes Ellie harder to spot, but as enemies get closer they will be more likely to see you. In The Last of Us Part II, you’re never completely hidden or safe.

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New enemies help heat up the action

The Last of Us Part II’s enemies are smarter than ever. Not only will human foes coordinate their attacks, they have a few new tools to use while hunting you. One of those tools is actually man’s best friend. Humans now employ hunting dogs, and they will use them to sniff you out. Using Ellie’s hunter’s vision, you can see your own scent trail and watch these animals slowly follow that trail to your current position. Dogs are a challenge to stealth kill because they can sense you coming, so you need to take them down from a distance with a bow and arrow or some other silent weapon. Unfortunately, you will feel like a monster every time you kill a dog. At one point, a sniped a dog’s master, and the pup started to whine and paw at his master’s feet. I didn’t have the heart to kill the dog, which may have been a mistake, because the animal eventually caught my scent and hounded me until its teeth were in my throat.

Another new enemy is a version of infected called the Shambler. These lumbering brutes aren’t too fast, but they are tanks who can’t be stealth killed and will force you to burn through a lot of ammo. At one point, I smashed the glass of a vending machine to get at the goodies inside and I inadvertently alerted a Shambler who was next door. The beast charged into my room and startled me. I tried hacking at the monster with a hatchet, but the creature released a toxic plume of gas that sent Ellie coughing her way to an early grave. Shamblers are dangerous creatures, and you should feel no shame in avoiding a fight with these horror shows.  

Crafting is still king

Crafting was an important element of the first game, and it remains a huge focus in the sequel. As you explore these dilapidated cities, you can scavenge old homes and commercial districts for ingredients to make new weapons and other supplies. As in the first game, the same ingredients can be used to make a health pack or a molotov cocktail, forcing players to make a strategic choice: do you heal up or give yourself another offensive tool to help clear out the next room? This strategic pattern is repeated multiple times in the crafting menu for The Last of Us Part II. You won’t always be able to make everything you want, but you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make something good.

One of the new gadgets I crafted is a trap bomb that can be strategically placed throughout the environment and triggers automatically like a landmine. I used these bombs occasionally to cover my tracks and they became a handy early warning system, alerting me whenever I was being followed.

Some crafting items will be locked behind the upgrade menu. As with the first game, Ellie finds pills throughout the environment, which she can use to upgrade her skills. I used some pills to allow Ellie to crawl faster and gain a larger boost from health packs, but you probably won’t find enough pills to upgrade Ellie completely. In fact, at one point, I found a hunting magazine that unlocked an entirely new upgrade branch filled with things like reduced weapon sway and faster movement speed while aiming. So, it’s possible that some players won’t even unlock or discover certain upgrades during their playthrough.


For more about The Last of Us Part II, be sure to watch the most recent trailer or catch up on the first game by reading our review.

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