Dragon Age 4: Everything we know about the next RPG in Thedas

Posted on December 5, 2021 by

Dragon Age 4 is going to get the gang back together at last. Eventually, anyway. The existence of the next Dragon Age was one of the most oft-teased and never quite confirmed secrets in gaming for several years before it was finally revealed.

After the ending of Dragon Age: Inquisition's final DLC made it clear the saga of Thedas was far from over, we've been expecting another Dragon Age game to follow it. BioWare spent years dodging any official confirmation that the fourth game was in the works, but now has said in no uncertain terms that it's working on the next Dragon Age game. Confirmation aside, we still know precious little about it from some teaser trailers, a behind-the-scenes video, and concept art. 

Reports have claimed that Dragon Age 4 has abandoned a focus on multiplayer elements and been retooled as an entirely singleplayer game, and BioWare has since described it as a “single-player focused experience”. That's potentially a big deal, as we'd been wondering how EA's online service game aspirations would affect BioWare's historically singleplayer series.

We still haven't actually gotten a proper look at Dragon Age 4's gameplay, or heck even a title, but BioWare has begun to sprinkle out teasers and concept art more regularly since the summer of 2020. While we keep waiting for a proper unveiling, here's everything we know about Dragon Age 4's story, possible release date, trailers, characters, and more.

What is Dragon Age 4's release date?

We don't have a release date for Dragon Age 4 yet. We do know that it's likely still quite a ways off. In August 2020, then general manager Casey Hudson described Dragon Age 4 as still in “early production”. 

Dragon Age was also referred to during EA's October 2019 earnings call. The information was brief and pretty non-committal but according to CFO Blake Jorgensen, the next Dragon Age game “probably comes after fiscal [2022],” meaning after April 2022. Jorgensen also cautions that they don't often make such predictions multiple years in advance. It's hard to say whether “fiscal '22” is an ambitious estimate or an extremely cautious one so we'll just have to wait to hear more. 

In July 2021, executive producer Christian Dailey said “Please know that the team is heads down with a lot of momentum and making great progress. We are excited to share more when the time is right.”

Here's a teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4

Dragon Age 4 trailer - Minrathous

(Image credit: Electronic Arts, BioWare)

During The Game Awards in 2020, BioWare showed off a teaser trailer for the next Dragon Age game. Sadly, we still don't know its official title, though the trailer does at least seem to confirm one returning character: dwarven archer Varric Tethras, a party member in both Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. 

Aside from that, the trailer also confirms that, as is Dragon Age tradition, we'll have a new protagonist for the next game. Oh, and it's seriously pretty. The series seems to be getting even further away from its grimy Ferelden roots into some of the more grand and colorful magic of the world.

Dragon Age 4 won't be a live-service game like Anthem

In early 2018, Kotaku reported that Dragon Age 4 had been rebooted as a “live” game to better fit with EA's push for “games as a service” that could continue to generate revenue after initial launch sales.

However, as of 2021, Dragon Age 4 has reportedly ditched all multiplayer elements to stay a singleplayer experience. This news came shortly after BioWare announced plans to cease work on Anthem, the live-service sci-fi game that they'd been attempting to overhaul after its poor reception in 2019.

We don't know exactly what plans for Dragon Age 4's multiplayer were before this decision, but it's safe to say now that it definitely won't be an online-only game like Anthem. BioWare are now calling it a “single-player focused experience”.

Based on what the studio has historically done well, this seems like a good decision. Mass Effect 3 and Andromeda had a multiplayer mode that was actually pretty decent, but singleplayer stories remain the focal point for both series.

What is the setting of Dragon Age 4?

Minrathous, the mage-run capital city of the Teviner Imperium. (Image credit: Electronic Arts, BioWare)

Tevinter—it's official. We'd been operating on this assumption for years now, given the less-than-subtle ending of Dragon Age Inquisition's final DLC, a 2019 report about the game's development, and the short story collection called Tevinter Nights from 2020. BioWare finally confirmed it in their huge studio history book “Bioware: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development”. 

At the very end of the book, looking towards BioWare's future, a section called “Tevinter Bound a sneak peek at the follow-up to Inquisition” lets on that this is definitely the main setting for the next game. “The game, helmed by executive producer Mark Darrah, will take players to Tevinter as the events of Inquisition and Trespasser threaten to forever change Thedas.” Darrah has since left BioWare, replaced by Christian Dailey, though the rest is presumably current information. 

Tevinter has yet to appear in a Dragon Age game properly, though the country run by mages is often mentioned and we've had several party members from up north. The glimpse of Tevinter capitol Minrathous we saw in the 2020 Game Awards teaser had an almost cyberpunk feel to it with the colorful urban night-time and floating central segment.

It's possible that, like Inquisition, Dragon Age 4 will not be set just in one country but will visit other nations as well. BioWare's studio history book includes some of the same concept art that we've seen in their behind the scenes video from summer 2020. Among the small selection of artwork chosen for the page are the Necropolis in Nevarra and an Antivan Crow assassin, suggesting that we could be visiting both locations as part of the story. Oh, and the Deep Roads, too. We're probably not escaping a Dragon Age game without a visit underground.

What will Dragon Age 4's gameplay be like? 

(Image credit: Electronic Arts, BioWare)

It will certainly be an RPG, or so one would assume, but beyond that any real details about Dragon Age 4 are still very hush-hush. From Kotaku's report on the first version of Dragon Age 4, codenamed Joplin, “a large chunk of Joplin would center on heists. The developers talked about building systemic narrative mechanics, allowing the player to perform actions like persuading or extorting guards without the writers having to hand-craft every scene. The goal was to focus as much as possible on choice and consequence, with smaller areas and fewer fetch quests than Dragon Age: Inquisition.” 

Game development is a highly iterative process, especially so at BioWare, according to Kotaku's reports on both Dragon Age 4 and Anthem. Dragon Age 4 has definitely changed staff and has likely changed vision as well now that it's known internally as Morrison. It's still possible that BioWare is attempting to make a smaller, denser open world for Dragon Age 4 after player critique that Inquisition's open world felt somewhat empty. 

In a post to BioWare's blog following the teaser trailer from December 2018, Darrah wrote that “we have been building a new team around a core of Dragon Age veterans, people I've worked with on Dragon Age, Jade Empire, and some of whom I've worked with since the Baldur's Gate days.” While that may just be a way to reassure players of the quality the team will produce for Dragon Age 4, it might also mean that BioWare is looking to channel its earliest CRPG roots for its next game.

So is Dread Wolf Rises the title of Dragon Age 4?

It could be, or it might just be a statement about the plot. Whether or not the game is named after our friend Solas, he will certainly be playing a pivotal role, it seems. 

Dragon Age 4 will be a story about having no power

In the Gamescom trailer, lead writer Patrick Weekes described how Dragon Age 4's story will diverge from Inquisition. “For the game we're working on now, we want to tell the story of, 'What happens when you don't have power?' What happens when the people in charge aren't willing to address the issues?” Weekes said.

From the sound of it, BioWare is aiming for the story and its characters to feel a little less important to the world than in Inquisition (at least at first). Dragon Age games have typically followed the rise of a seemingly inconsequential hero to a position of power, though it almost sounds as if Dragon Age 4 will follow a character who never breaks into Thedas's traditional power structures.

What other teasers and trailers are out there?

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Concept art of Dragon Age 4, showing an antivan crow brandishing a rapier on a rooftop

Concept art of an Antivan Crow balancing on a rooftop with a sabre shared by Christian Dailey on July 2, 2021. (Image credit: BioWare)
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A Grey Warden in full armor with sword and cape

Concept art of Grey Warden in full armor shared by Christian Dailey on April 30, 2021. (Image credit: EA)
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Concept art of a Dragon Age 4 mage lurking in an alley

Concept art of a mage in Minrathous shared by Christian Dailey on March 19, 2021. (Image credit: EA)
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Dragon Age 4 concept art

Concept art of a magical archer shared by Christian Dailey on January 7, 2021 (Image credit: BioWare)
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Dragon Age

An image from the series of short stories published on Dragon Age Day (December 4th) 2020 (Image credit: Electronic Arts)
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A screenshot from the 2020 Behind The Scenes video

A screenshot from the 2020 Behind The Scenes video (Image credit: BioWare)
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A screenshot from the 2020 Behind The Scenes video

A screenshot from the 2020 Behind The Scenes video (Image credit: BioWare)
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A screenshot from the 2020 Behind The Scenes video

A screenshot from the 2020 Behind The Scenes video (Image credit: BioWare)

Most recently, many of the Dragon Age 4 teasers we've seen have been concept art shared by executive producer Christian Dailey. You can flip through a couple of those above.

The Gamescom 2020 Opening Night Live show gave us a look at some of the early production of Dragon Age 4. The video shows off concept art, some 3D environments, a bit of voice acting production, and some gameplay prototypes. It's a bit too early to count anything seen as true Dragon Age 4 gameplay, but getting a look at the process is something at least. Dragon Age might still be far out, but the trailer successfully sells the excitement of returning to BioWare's fantasy world.

In June 2020, EA didn't mention Dragon Age by name during EA Play but did make some allusions to it. “BioWare imagines and creates worlds where you become the hero of your own story. And we're using this next generation of technology to make those fantasy worlds your reality,” it said, while sharing some 3D environment clips that sure look like they included red lyrium.

The first teaser for Dragon Age 4 was during The Game Awards in 2018. It was a very brief video with voiceover from Solas, the Dread Wolf himself, who we're definitely assuming will be Dragon Age 4's antagonist.

Which companion characters will be in Dragon Age 4? 

(Image credit: Electronic Arts, BioWare)

We don't know yet which former and future Dragon Age characters will be party companions just yet. Even those who make a return could take on non-combat roles like Dragon Age Inquisition's advisors. Even if we don't know who's made the cut for the adventuring party yet, here's who we think could show up in some way during the game.

One character we know will play a part in the events of Dragon Age 4 is the Dread Wolf himself. Solas has been featured in both teaser trailers so far and his relationship to the greater struggles of Thedas means he's not going anywhere any time soon. It seems pretty unlikely that he'll actually be included in your party this time though. You know, because of the Dread Wolf stuff.

Varric Tethras
Beloved party member and storyteller Varric narrated the second teaser trailer for Dragon Age 4, so it seems safe to assume he'll be making an appearance too. He was a party member in Dragon Age 2 and Inquisition. Will he be in the fray for a third time, or staying on the sidelines like Inquisition's advisor characters?

Who else?
Dragon Age has a history of recurring characters, like Alistair who was a companion in Origins and returned for appearances in the two sequels or Leliana who shares a similar trajectory. It's safe to say that we'll see some more familiar faces in Dragon Age 4, but which ones?

So far BioWare has committed to hanging up its protagonists between Dragon Age games. Each adventure comes with a new hero, though the Grey Warden and Hawke do have the ability to cameo in Dragon Age: Inquisition. It's possible we might then see an appearance of The Inquisitor in Dragon Age 4, but they'll likely not be center stage. 

Flemeth, like Solas, is either elven legend or a god going by many names, who has seemed to be an underlying force in the overarching plot of the series. It seems likely that she will make an appearance as well.

Another old friend that may make a comeback is Fenris, the Tevinter elven warrior from Dragon Age 2. He was the star of a Dragon Age comic called Blue Wraith in 2020. It's hard to say whether Fenris appearing in a comic is setting him up for a cameo in Dragon Age 4 or for retirement as a character. Previous party members showing up in supporting Dragon Age media have gone both ways in the past. 

Tevinter mage Dorian Pavus seems like another likely candidate given that he headed back to his homeland in Inquisition's final DLC. He made a quick appearance in the Tevinter Nights stories. Some of the concept art shown during the behind the scenes video in summer 2020 sure looked like that familiar mustached mage too. 

World Land Trust charity bundle gets you over $450 of games for a minimum donation of $5

Posted on December 5, 2021 by

Indie publisher Future Friends Games and Plant Based Gaming have put together a charity bundle that includes over 60 games to raise money for the World Land Trust. Among the games included are best hidden object game Hidden Folks, transforming flying-animal sim Fugl, cappucinopunk visual novel Coffee Talk, mutant soap opera Mutazione, tree-prodding adventure Botanicula, chill and chilly puzzler A Good Snowman is Hard to Build, Voight-Kampff simulator Silicon Dreams, bee management game Hive Time, and narrative deck-builder Signs of the Sojourner.

The bundle is available from itch.io for a minimum of $4.99, and 100% of the money goes to the action fund of the World Land Trust, “an international conservation charity that protects the world's most biologically significant and threatened habitats.” You can find out more about the WLT's mission and projects on its website.

“Reversing climate change is an enormous multi-generational undertaking,” says Future Friends Games, “far beyond the scope of one donation to one charity. But it is a start. And if there's one thing video games have trained us for, it's saving the world.”

The bundle will be available until December 10 at 3pm GMT/4pm CET/7am PST.

More confirmation Dragon Age 4 will be ‘single-player focused’

Posted on December 5, 2021 by

December 4 is Dragon Age Day (D4, get it?) just as November 7 is Mass Effect Day, a time when the BioWare RPG's fan community comes together to celebrate, raise money for charity, and pray for more scraps of info about the next game in the series. This year, BioWare's annual Dragon Age post included two short stories (one about Grey Wardens, the other necromancers), and a quick note about Dragon Age 4:

“Speaking of building new worlds and stories for you to explore, we want to let you all know that we're still hard at work on building the next single-player focused experience for Dragon Age. We're excited for next year when we can talk more about what we're working on.”

The phrase “single-player focused experience” may not seem like much, but it backs up a report from earlier this year that Dragon Age 4 was being retooled to ditch its planned live service features. Back in 2019, EA began “doubling down on live services” as chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen put it, and there was concern that Dragon Age 4 would be multiplayer-focused, as Anthem was. The failure of Anthem, and the success of singleplayer action game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, reportedly encouraged EA to cancel whatever multiplayer components Dragon Age 4 would have had.

Last month, Dragon Age 4's senior creative director left BioWare. Matt Goldman had been part of the studio since 1998, beginning as an artist on Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. He took over as creative lead on Dragon Age 4 in 2017 when Mike Laidlaw left

Fortnite Chapter 2 Finale Event Ends With World Changing Results and The Rock’s Reveal

Posted on December 5, 2021 by

Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 8 has come to a close with “The End”, a finale Season 8 event that rocked the island to its core. The Cube Queen’s overwhelming forces dominated the players -all hope was lost. Thankfully, the island was seemingly saved by members of The Seven and The Foundation, who was revealed to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Fortnite’s “The End” event started out calm enough. Players had fun bouncing around while a large timer counted down, our pending doom juxtaposed by dancing Narutos. All of that changed at the 9-minute mark as Cube Monsters started bleeding into our reality. Armed with legendary weapons and mounted turrets, we easily tore through the first wave of enemies.Then the clock struck zero and all inter-dimensional hell broke loose.

The Cube Queen, seen floating above a pyramid like structure, sent up a beam of light that tore a hole in the sky. Apparently, she had conscripted the Alien armada last seen in Fortnite Chapter 2, Season 7. Waves of flying saucers descended on us as giant monsters emerged from several cubed structures. Things weren’t going well.

From here, our focus shifted underground as a cutscene depicts Dr. Slone entering a secret IO base. She and her guards had captured Jones (Jonesy?) for some nefarious purpose; it looked like they were going to either scramble his mind or download important information locked away in his skull. Before Slone could finish though, Jones is saved by The Foundation, who removes his helmet revealing himself to be The Rock.

After that it’s a mad dash to the island’s core. Other members of The Seven help us, the Loopers, meet up with Jones and The Foundation just as a giant Cubed Monster smashes into their pressurized environment. Water comes flooding in and we float to the surface to witness the island tipping on its side. A few seconds later and Cube Queen – who seems to be tethered to her pyramid-like structure – is destroyed by the moving land mass. As the Fortnite’s world literally flips upside down, we see that there is another island on the other side. Fortnite Chapter 3 is here…almost.

Like previous Chapter ending events, Fortnite will be down as Epic Games updates the game. Because of this, fans won’t be able to see what this “new” island has in store until the servers come back up. That said, they’ll have plenty to talk about. Not only was “The End” an entertaining ride, we got to learn more about the mysterious group called The Seven as well as a brief look at Dr. Slone and Jones’ relationship – we knew they were at odds but not necessarily to this extent. An action filled finale, the Rock reveal, and a few bits of Fortnite lore resulted in a grand time for those who participated.

Fortnite Chapter 3, Season 1 will be starting soon. In the meantime, we’ll be sure to keep you posted with any and all Fortnite related news. That includes sharing our thoughts on the past 15 Major Events in Fortnite, the most recent updates, and more.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Kenneth Seward Jr. is a freelance writer, editor, and illustrator who covers games, movies, and more. Follow him @kennyufg and on Twitch.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes his Fortnite debut as Chapter 2 ends

Posted on December 4, 2021 by

Who among us does not love Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Somebody, I'm sure, but that doesn't help me make my point. One of Hollywood's highest-paid film stars has made his way to Fortnite, finally and inevitably, and he's playing exactly the character that fans thought he was: The Foundation. Fortnite fans are predictably stoked.

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With armor styled after Dwayne Johnson's distinctive Samoan-style family tattoo, heroic vigilante The Foundation has been trying to stop bad people from doing bad things to The Zero Point. There's a lady named The Cube Queen involved. Look, it's relatively complex, but we've got a whole guide about what's going on with Fortnite's transition from Chapter 2 to Chapter 3.

The event stream, linked above, is the end of Fortnite Chapter 2. It's just like how Chapter 1 transitioned to Chapter 2, in a way: With the island seemingly destroyed, players are left floating on an endless sea. Now Chapter 3 is on the way, ushered in by The Rock and including both downhill sliding and web-slinging Spider-Man mechanics. 

We'll see more about that when Fortnite's scheduled downtime is over.

Everything we know about Fortnite Chapter 3

Posted on December 4, 2021 by

Fortnite Chapter 2 concluded with “The End” on Saturday, December 4 at 4 pm ET, which means that Fortnite Chapter 3 will soon be upon us. 

That means a whole new string of seasons, events, skins, and probably more marketing collaborations and crossovers than you can shake a pickaxe at. We've combed through all the Fortnite Chapter 3 leaks, data miners' latest discoveries, and official teasers to figure out just what to expect.

When does Fortnite Chapter 3 start?

Fortnite Chapter 3 is expected to start after downtime following The End event on December 4. 

When Chapter 2 arrived, Fortnite became a black hole for a day after a series of dimension-shattering rocket launches sucked everything into oblivion. This is more or less a cheeky way of performing huge amounts of maintenance, which is obviously needed when shifting to a brand new map, updating game features, and whatever else Epic is planning. Following the finale of Chapter 2, players were left floating in the ocean.

Watch the Chapter 2 finale

As fans predicted, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his debut during The End. You can watch the full Chapter 2 finale above.

Fortnite Chapter 3 leaks and teasers

It wouldn't be Fortnite without plenty of leaks. There's already a few major teasers that have dropped unexpectedly, pointing to what we might see change in Chapter 3.  

First up ws a new video posted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Normally, Mr. Rock posts on his Instagram about his workout routine and his brand of energy drinks, but during a recent video he grabbed a can out of his gym's mini-fridge, revealing the Foundation's helmet.

The Foundation was the Iron Man-esque character who teamed up with Agent Jones to save the Fortnite island from a dimensional calamity way back in season 5. Since then, the Foundation has been trying to make his way back to finish his business. Basically, his whole deal is that he wants to stop the time loop that's powering Fortnite's weird battle royale world.

Players had been convinced for a while that The Rock is the Foundation. The post's accompanying text and Rock's speech included a few references to Fortnite: “Zero Point, Higher Ground, Foundation.”

Funny enough, the person filming the video also occasionally flipped the camera upside down, which leads us into our next leak.

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An ad for Fortnite Chapter 3 leaked on TikTok. It shows scenes we'd see during the end of Chapter 2—the island is seen flipping onto its backside to reveal a brand new map.

Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1 battle pass leak

It would be weird for Fortnite to not include a battle pass for the inaugural season of Chapter 3, so of course they've got one ready. The official Polish Fortnite YouTube channel jumped the gun and posted its trailer early, and although it was quickly taken down players had already saved copies. It's since been uploaded to Twitter.

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Yep, those are Spider-Man skins, as well as characters from Gears of War—Marcus Fenix and Kait Diaz. Looks like the Foundation is another skin as well.

Spider-Man: No Way Home will have its US release on December 17, so that's an obvious tie-in. As well as the skins it seems like the Spider-Man theming will include a Daily Bugle location, spiderwebs connecting buildings together, and a web-swinging mechanic. Which leads us into…

Fortnite Chapter 3 gameplay changes

As well as web-swinging, that leaked trailed shows characters sliding downhill, as they did during the Chapter 2 finale. So that's at least two new movement mechanics coming in Chapter 3. There's also a campsite, where players can apparently heal up and store items between matches.

Oh, and it seems like trees fall down instead of disappearing when they get chopped down. So that's nice.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons glitch makes villagers’ clothing vanish

Posted on December 4, 2021 by

There appears to be an issue with the Happy Home Paradise DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as it is causing clothing to vanish, rendering villagers nude.

Well, if you consider animals having the capability of being nude, then, yes, they are running around in their birthday suits showing off their fur and fuzzy tails.

As reported by Eurogamer, the glitch only seems to happen in the cafe, and this has apparently been going on since the DLC launched on November 5.

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Chorus Review

Posted on December 4, 2021 by

I love a good space shooter, but my biggest pet peeve when playing them is endlessly circling an enemy as you try to line up a shot, chasing that target indicator at the edge of the screen until someone messes up. A few smart games have solved that issue one way or another, and Chorus’ is among the most direct: push a button and you’re instantly teleported behind your target, ready to blast them to bits. Described that way it sounds like a cakewalk, but Chorus definitely isn’t; when the pressure ramps up, even that trick and a few other god mode-like abilities might not save you. But one thing’s for sure: you’ll look pretty cool pulling them off, and the story that accompanies that action is respectable even though it threatens to drown you in lore.

When you boil it down, your character Nara is basically “what if Darth Vader defected after the destruction of Aldaraan?” She’s certainly well written and acted, coming off as genuine rather than whiny as she’s dragged into the resistance, but it does become a bit tiresome to hear a repentant war criminal wallow in guilt for the entirety of her roughly 30-hour fight to take down the space-cult leader who ordered her to commit atrocities. There is a clever touch to her delivery in that we get to listen in on her inner monologue during conversations, whispered in a voice we can hear but the people she’s talking to can’t.

Getting to see Nara as a highly detailed and well animated character model during cutscenes certainly helped me get attached to her, though it’s hard not to notice that developer Deep Silver Fishlabs pretty clearly only had the budget for exactly one model of this quality. That becomes hilariously obvious when you count the number of times Nara encounters versions of herself, and absolutely no one else who isn’t either a misty phantom or wearing a mask. Where that’s an actual problem is that much of the story is told through other people’s residual memories that Nara can sense, though we only see the ships the characters are piloting and their portraits as their dialogue plays out, so it’s not always clear what’s going on.

Each new area I unlocked impressed me with how much it differed from the last.

The same constraint of limited models is evident when all of the pirates you fight are flying the same handful of ship types as the cult you’re battling. So even though Chorus is a good-looking game, there were clearly a few corners cut to get there. On the other hand, Chorus’ map is open, with new star systems unlocking as you progress through the story, and each new area I unlocked impressed me with how much it differed from the last. While they’re all set in space, there is a surprising amount of diverse terrain to fly around, from enormous chunks of ice to space station cities, swirling stellar anomalies, and the weird geometric shapes of the evil aliens. Coupled with the respectable explosion and weapon effects and some slick lighting, it paints a pretty picture.

A short time into the campaign Nara is paired up with a sentient space fighter known as Forsaken, who is very much like the non-sentient fighter she started with except that he has an extra slot for equipment mods and a personality I’d describe as “Venom meets R2-D2 doing a pretty good impression of James Spader’s Ultron voice.” I do wish there were more of a gameplay impact to supposedly having an intelligent sidekick flying with you at all times – outside of cutscenes he never really does anything – but I do enjoy his aggressive, openly resentful attitude and the intriguing backstory of his origins. It’s a missed opportunity that he’s almost never used for comic relief in the dour story.

The plot itself is easy enough to follow, since it’s largely about righteous revenge, vindication, and letting go of baggage, and there are some interesting revelations along the way. It’s a bit of a drag that the lore of Chorus’ universe feels so overstuffed with sci-fi religious philosophies and interdimensional threats that feed on negative emotions. It’s the kind of thing that might’ve worked better if I had been introduced to it gradually rather than being thrown more or less into the deep end and seeing it through the eyes of a character who doesn’t need to learn along with me. It redeems itself with the ending reveal, which adds something extra to the relationship between Nara and Forsaken.

When the pressure is cranked up, rites are essential for survival.

What makes Chorus’ space battles play out differently from and faster-paced than the typical space shooter are its powerful moves called rites. They seem like they should trivialize battles, but when the pressure is cranked up and you’re under attack from a swarm of enemies or a boss rites are essential to survival. The first rite you get (after the starting one that scans the area around you) lets you drift; the classic maneuver where you keep your momentum but freely rotate your fighter to bring your guns to bear on a pursuer or strafe the turrets off of a capital ship. (Let’s just ignore that this is a trick of zero-G physics, not a superpower, and yet no one else can do it for some reason.) Chorus puts this move to good use, not only in combat but also in puzzle sequences where you need to drift to quickly blast a series of targets.

Later, you get that rite that instantly teleports you directly behind an enemy fighter so that all you have to do is pull the trigger to score a hit, eliminating much of the tiresome trait of the genre where you’re constantly chasing an indicator to line up a shot on your target. It feels ridiculously powerful, and it’s extremely handy for thinning the herd of pesky light fighters before going to work on larger targets.

Another rite simply disables any enemy for a short time, crippling previously impenetrable shields or, if properly timed, lets their momentum carry them straight into an asteroid or wall for a hilarious kill. (This is something that’s tracked and, if you do it enough, you get a stat bonus.) Used together, you can blink behind an enemy, disable them, and blast them to pieces. And there are a few more to discover, too.

I have had some spectacular moments where it sure looked like I knew what I was doing.

You’re given an almost insurmountable advantage, and yet there were a handful of encounters and boss fights that killed me more times than a seasoned space pilot like myself is enthusiastic about admitting when playing on normal difficulty. I can totally see someone becoming an artist with this system and dodging every incoming laser-sniper beam with well-timed rolls, switching to the correct weapon to chew through the defense of every enemy, avoiding obstacles, casting rites, and weaving through the chaos to efficiently take down targets. As of this writing I am not one of those people, but I have had some pretty spectacular and satisfying moments where it sure looked like I knew what I was doing.

Some of the most impressive moments come when you’re battling capital ships that are bristling with turrets and can only be destroyed by taking out weak points like engines and glowy power generators, then flying inside their structures to torpedo their cores. It can be a little frustrating on the largest ships when you’re trying to track down the final destructible piece so that you can expose the core, but for the most part these battles are thrilling, especially when multiple ships are involved.

One area where Chorus doesn’t knock it out of the park is its weapons and mods: there aren’t a lot of options that will encourage you to change your build up, aside from leaning into your favorite among the Gatling gun, laser, and missile launcher weapon classes, or boosting your ability to cast rites faster. It certainly makes an impact, in that you can increase one weapon’s damage, decrease reload times, or increase your movement speed (among other things) by about 15%, and across the three mod slots you can stack up some significant bonuses. But while that’s definitely effective at ramping up your power, there’s nothing that radically changes the way a weapon works in the same way that a game like Hades lets you reinvent a weapon with lifesteal or chain damage or something crazy enough that it opens up new playstyles.

I’m sure you could power through the story a lot quicker than the roughly 30 hours it took me if you ignore the frequent side quests, but I wouldn’t recommend it because there are some good ones out there. Sure, there were a lot where I’d be zipping around a sector, hear a distress call, and stop to mop up some pirates only to be rewarded with a handful of credits, but surprisingly often those seemingly simple fights would turn into long quest chains with fleshed-out stories and characters and maybe the opportunity to temporarily pilot a capital ship, all leading to a powerful new weapon or upgrade. The prospect of running into more of those had me sidetracking to chase a lot more random events than I normally would in a game like this.

Geoff Keighley: Beyond Its Nominations, Activision Blizzard Will Not Be Part of The Game Awards

Posted on December 4, 2021 by

Activision Blizzard is currently facing serious ongoing allegations of harassment and mistreatment of marginalized workers. To learn more, please visit our timeline as well as our in-depth report on the subject.

Amidst all the allegations of discrimination and sexual harassment at Activision Blizzard, The Game Awards creator and host Geoff Keighley has confirmed that, beyond its nominations, the company behind such games as Call of Duty, Diablo, and World of Warcraft will not be part of this year's show.

Keighley shared the news on Twitter while also condemning harassment of any kind in the workplace or otherwise.

"#TheGameAwards is a time of celebration for the industry, the biggest form of entertainment in the world," Keighley wrote. "There is no place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community.

"I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games.

"All of us are accountable to this standard. Incredible games — and the talented developers who build them — are who we want to celebrate. See you on Thursday."

Keighley took to Twitter as a way to clarify his comments – some of which were paraphrased – that appeared in an interview with The Washington Post earlier this week. He said he was contemplating how to "navigate" Activision Blizzard's involvement in The Game Awards as he "supported people coming forward with their stories but also didn’t want to diminish developers’ opportunities to spotlight their games."

"We want to support employees and developers," Keighley said to The Washington Post. "We have to think carefully about how to proceed here." He also confirmed that Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 would not be part of the show this year.

Keighley's response follows previous comments made by the heads of Xbox, Nintendo, and PlayStation against what has been happening at Activision Blizzard.

The Game Awards is set to take place on Thursday, December 9 and will start at 4:30pm PT/7:30pm ET with a Pre-Show. You can catch up on everything else you need to know about the show in our how to watch guide.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.

Codemasters has announced a February release date for Grid Legends

Posted on December 4, 2021 by

Codemasters and Electronic Arts have announced a February 25 release date for Grid Legends.

Annouced during EA Play Live back in July, the racer promises a large variety of game modes, including a deeper Career with over 250 events, a story mode entitled Driven to Glory, the return of Drift and Elimination, and the introduction of Electric Boost racing.

Drivers of all levels will be able to drive over 100 vehicles upon release, race on classic tracks and in cities, and connect with others via cross-platform multiplayer. Not only does it support cross-platform gameplay, but it also updates you when a friend comes online, and it allows you to start racing in three quick button presses thanks to the hop-in feature.

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