Guilty Gear Strive is just under a month away but for those of you who are looking to hone your skills and get an edge come release day, its second beta is now available to play on PS4 and PS5 until May 16.
Here’s a look at all the overdrive moves in the game.
For those of you not in the know, overdrives are a character’s signature move, These are what you’ll use to devastate your opponent in battle. They are flashy, cinematic, and can do major damage once your tension bar is full.
You might have noticed there are two new characters to play since the first beta, I-No and Anji Mito. The Arc System Works Official YouTube has got you covered with starter guides for both.
Guilty Gear Strive releases on June 11 on PS4, PS5, and PC.
As Discord begins to expand beyond just gaming, makers of the popular chat app decided to also tweak its identify. This manifested in two major ways: a slight change to the logo, and a new font.
Discord shared the updated look on Twitter on Thursday, to a mixed reception from followers. The logo has seen the least changes, with only the top part of the icon having been solidified and conjoined with the main face, which is now a squared-off shape. Clyde – that’s the name of the logo – no longer lives in a rounded rectangle.
Discord explained that the new icon design was arrived at after several iterations. The new Clyde can also emote, and its face will change every time you launch the app.
The background is also now a bolder purple colour. The biggest and most divisive change, however, has been the font. The new font is custom built, based on Ginto, according to Discord.
One of the first replies to this Tweet mocked the design, suggesting it to be the work of amateur artists – which has actually been a common criticism of a number of things recently, including the logo for Disney+’s upcoming Loki show.
The Discord Reddit page is full of memes and posts mocking all aspects of the design, too. It’s the only thing that community has been talking about since, in fact.
The funniest one of those I have seen likens the old logo to Steve Rogers’ Captain America, and the new one to John Walker’s.
Even the old colour has its fans.
Of course, any change in the identity of something as popular as Discord, particularly when you consider the community aspect around it, was bound to be met with at least some resistance. I am personally fine with the logo and colour, but this font…
“Dragon Age was basically one of my favourite video games, even before I got cast,” Allegra Clark, the voice of Josephine in Dragon Age: Inquisition tells me. “It was a big, very fun deal for me. I’ve played the games to death. I still am replaying Inquisition to this day. And I am so stoked to actually get to revisit the Mass Effect trilogy, because I knew the rumours have been floating around, but I didn’t know for sure that they were making it. I’m gonna stream the hell out of it. I’m so excited.”
Clark’s enthusiasm for BioWare and her passion for her work with the studio is clear throughout the interview, constantly disappearing down rabbit holes about her romance choices, her Inquisitor’s personality, her Paragon and Renegade preferences, and her irritation at Jacob volunteering himself to go into the vents during the suicide mission.
Ahead of the launch of Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, I spoke to several figures from BioWare juggernauts Dragon Age and Mass Effect, to get a clearer idea of how those iconic team dynamics we associate with the two titles were created. Alongside Clark (who also voiced Nakmor Kesh in Mass Effect: Andromeda), I also caught up with Jon Curry (Dragon Age’s Zevran and one of Inquisition’s Inquisitors), Alix Wilton Regan (Mass Effect 3’s Trainor and another Inquisitor), Nick Boulton (Dragon Age II’s Hawke and Andromeda’s Reyes), Courtenay Taylor (Mass Effect’s Jack), and Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect’s FemShep).
A huge theme of these interviews, naturally, was BioWare themselves. As well as general praise for the support, the working environment, and the success of the finished product, many singled out individual directors by name, and credited BioWare’s focussed approach with getting the best out of them. Hale even claimed they were “the unsung heroes,” that underpinned the whole Mass Effect trilogy.
“Ginny McSwain had extensive acting chops and experience as an actor prior to becoming a voice director,” Curry tells me, recalling his time recording Zevran. “She was bringing just volumes and volumes and years of work. The nuances that she would use to feed me the lines leading into each situation fully informs my performance. So it would be as if I had the luxury of working with some of the other Dragon Age leads. I love ensembles, there’s nothing better than an ensemble group record. And it’s sometimes done in animation, but I’ve never done it in games, actually ever.
“She’s also providing the context of the scene because of course, I don’t have the whole script – the whole script would be larger than a Bible. Usually there’s almost always a BioWare writer on the line with us, usually up in Canada, when we’re recording. So you’ll have the director, me and one or two BioWare head honchos up there supervising. That’s the way that’s the way it worked on Inquisition too. There’s a really collaborative vibe.”
Boulton’s time leading Dragon Age II was similar, though as he was based in the UK, he worked with a different team. This consistency across the recording process is likely why the calibre of performance is so high across both trilogies. “The team of writers of BioWare are extraordinary,” he says. “So they keep you on track pretty well. The key was having Caroline Livingston, who was directing most of it – all of it, in fact. She would be there to give context notes, and also keep me on the straight and narrow, as far as characterization went. So we were led through very well by the BioWare team.”
Since BioWare directed its cast across Dragon Age and Mass Effect so personally, that meant the cast got to project a lot of themselves into the game. Courtenay Taylor describes Jack as being “a very comfortable pair of old stinky sneakers to step into,” and explains that her connection to Jack’s story was a core way she was able to bring it to life. “[Jack has] a pretty familiar psychology that I had. She was very reminiscent of how I was, to some degree, in high school. She’s putting up a barrier to get people to prove themselves, so you have to run the gauntlet in order to get the good stuff. When you’ve been abused as badly as she has, then psychologically one of the tracks you can take is ‘I will not allow myself to be vulnerable’. And that really resonated with me.”
Taylor also says that this guard Jack puts up meant that, ironically, many of the players found it easier to connect with her. “I got really great feedback from a lot of people about struggles that they had had in their personal lives,” she says.
“I think [Jack’s change between Mass Effect 2 & 3] is a smaller story, but it’s a big story for a lot of people. I have a lot of friends who had addiction problems. And quite a few of my friends give back by going back to the community that they’ve come out of, and finding people that need help. At its core, that’s a big, important through line for Jack – every one of us is worthy of love. And it doesn’t matter how difficult you are or how troubled you are or what has happened to you or what someone has done to you. You are worthy of loving and being loved.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Allegra Clark, who used a major tragedy in her own life as motivation for the siege of Haven in Dragon Age: Inquisition. “I think the first time you really start to get to know [Josephine] as a person is when she talks about Haven after the attack. That conversation she has about the first people to jump in and protect people being the workers, and how she’s just watching everything be destroyed. I was actually thinking about 9/11, as a New Yorker. So that was a very personal moment for me. But it was those little moments where she starts to open up and blossom that you get to see her as a person.”
While all were full of praise for BioWare’s writing and working environment, the love of actually playing the game was exclusive to Clark. Most others admitted they had never played at all; Curry confessed he had no idea if Zevran was even alive, while Wilton Regan said her only experience of the game was watching Trainor and FemShep’s romance scenes on YouTube. That doesn’t mean the cast can’t express their passion in other ways, though, as Jennifer Hale proves when we discussed the first time she saw FemShep on the box art.
“I was at GameStop at midnight for the release of Mass Effect 3,” she recalls. “I was there with Casey Hudson [Mass Effect 3’s director], and Alli Hillis, Kimberly Brooks and Courtenay Taylor [Liara, Ashley, and Jack], and somebody dropped [Mass Effect 3’s FemShep box] on my table. Casey Hudson is a really private guy, but I get all possessed. I grabbed [the box] and it’s like I’m John Cusack in Say Anything. I hold it up over my head, I stand on top of the table, and I scream over to Casey ‘Casey Hudson, thank you!’”
At the time, FemShep had barely featured in the marketing at all across Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, and didn’t even have a default face the way the male version did until the third one. Despite this, FemShep is adored by the fanbase, and whenever a discussion of a Mass Effect movie or series comes back around, many contend that FemShep is the canon Shep, despite the fact that stats indicate that more players do play as the male version. This passion amongst the fans has not gone unnoticed by Hale, who clearly shares this love for her character. “I have enormous gratitude that I get to be FemShep,” she says.
“This community is such an incredible community. There’s so much passion and commitment from the fans and involvement in this game. It all starts with the writers, and it’s an extraordinary community to be a part of – it’s a tremendous honour. I deeply mean that. To be able to do the things culturally, that this game did? To have these amazing experiences? I’ve wanted to save the world since I was four, and I got to save the universe. How cool is that? I don’t know if there are enough words for what this means to me. Grateful seems trite, because people say it all the time. But I am grateful to my bones for this. I love every minute of it. And if they ever wanted to do more, I would be there with bells on.”
As for the companions, it’s fitting that Wilton Regan only watched the romance scenes, since they’re not just an integral part of making the dynamics between BioWare characters feel real, but also a core reason the games are so special to so many people – especially queer players.
“I think Trainor was revolutionary in what she was doing at the time,” Wilton Regan says. “What was so different about Trainor was she wasn’t romanceable for either gender, you had to be playing as FemShep to choose a lesbian love option . And that was so brave of them to do at the time. But it brought us leaps and bounds forwards, because having that inclusivity then makes it just easier for the next game, and for the game today. And now it’s a standard – you should be representative of all sexualities if there are romance options in your games, and increasingly major games pretty much always have some sort of gay, bisexual, lesbian or heterosexual choice. It might not be as fluid as all of the spectrum of sexual choices, but you’ve got a strong variety in comparison to where it was 20 years ago, for example.”
This idea of breaking boundaries is something Boulton touched on too, recalling how different Dragon Age II’s attitudes to sexuality and gender were in comparison to the other games he had worked on. “[Dragon Age II] is a hugely inclusive game,” he says. “It’s the first game that I was involved in which was so aware of what you would call the spectrum of gender, and non binary [people]. It was so inclusive to everybody of all persuasions, so that you could identify however, and you could create the story that you wanted, create the world that you wanted to inhabit, and it was beautifully inclusive in that way. And that to me was very refreshing. It is literally fantastic escapism into a world full of incredibly colourful characters, fantastic storylines.”
For Clark though, those boundaries were much more personal. “When I was told I had booked Josephine, I was just like, ‘I’m a companion in a BioWare game, and a romanceable companion at that’,” Clark says. “I recognised going in that people were going to connect really hard to this character. People are going to have entire playthroughs that are based around romancing Josephine. She helped me explore my own bisexuality, and that is always the thing that that warms my heart the most when people come to me about my LGBTQ+ characters, and say ‘they helped me understand parts of my own identity’. I actually wasn’t out of the closet publicly, or even to parts of my family when I started recording Inquisition. So it was interesting, getting to tell essentially part of my story as well. Before even being able to say to the world ‘hi, I’m bi’ – though all the signs were there. I was in a relationship with another woman at the time. It’s like ‘oh my God, they were roommates!”
Taylor also saw something personal in her own performance, especially since there weren’t a lot of women like Jack in popular media when Mass Effect 2 launched. “There was a huge amount of love for her because gender/appearance wise, she is something that I felt at that time had not been explored. And I know that some of the things were cut, but in what we originally recorded [Jack was pansexual], and in 2008 or 2009, there weren’t a tonne of conversations about being pansexual,” she says.
“She was a counterpoint to a lot of the other female characters. She was sort of the far end of the spectrum. You’ve got Miranda who’s beautiful and pulled together, but that only serves a certain population. And there are a lot of people that identify as women who could relate to having these feelings and these emotions – she’s not gender specific. To me, she’s angry. And I don’t know that there had been, at that time, a female character who was so not typically female, who was capable of such a range of emotions. She ended up being the permission to a whole group of people who don’t identify with that kind of woman. Because in entertainment, where did that bald girl with a flat chest who was pansexual go? Where do you fit in? And that really resonated with me. If you don’t relate to Miranda, Jack can be a really nice option.”
Part of representing groups that don’t often get representation in video games is that your character gets to become a role model, and that’s something Wilton Regan and Taylor have particularly fond experiences of. “It’s quite flattering and quite lovely to think about,” Wilton Regan says. “I’ve had a lot of lesbians who are coming out of the closet or coming to terms with their sexuality, who’ve come up to me and said that playing FemShep and romancing Trainor was a really big part of that. And lots of bisexual women as well. There’s something just very beautiful about the idea that BioWare has put so much faith and trust in me over the years with these really pivotal roles, and these big, beautiful characters. I feel very humbled by that. Very, very humbled.”
Meanwhile, Taylor wasn’t even sure people would like Jack, so finding out how deeply people related to her was a huge surprise, and she suspects that’s because Mass Effect allows her to be angry without being written off as a stereotypical, hysterical woman. “People didn’t like her when the trailer came out, and I was like, ‘Oh God, everyone’s gonna hate her!” Taylor laughs. “I was really surprised to be at a convention and have someone come up and say, ‘Can I introduce you to my nieces? They’re six and eight, and they love you’. I’m glad they have a good female role model in Jack.”
Across the Mass Effect and Dragon Age trilogies, there are literally hundreds of different combinations of squadmate and companion configurations you can take out into battle with you, with dozens and dozens having unique interactions depending on the squadmates selected together and the missions you take them on. That’s on top of the interactions they have back on the Normandy in Mass Effect, and in the various hubs of Dragon Age too. It’s a key part of what makes BioWare games so special, and it’s clear that this dynamic has been a core building block since the start. You can experience many of these dynamics – well, half of them, anyway – in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, which is out now.
Maybe I’m missing something, but Mass Effect Legendary Edition’s new level scaling system has me baffled.
There are a lot of little changes beyond the graphical overhaul present in the new version of 2007 classic Mass Effect that’s included in Mass Effect Legendary Edition, the newly-released remaster. These range from changes to the way weapons handle and work to bug fixes and the like – but I just don’t get the new Level Scaling setting.
The original Mass Effect had a level cap of 60, which was admittedly fairly difficult to hit without jumping into new-game plus. The level scaling setting allows you to flick between two modes: the original classic leveling and new ‘Legendary Mode’ leveling – which changes up the XP distribution and level-up process, introducing a new level cap of 30.
The mode basically halves the levels you can gain in the first Mass Effect, but also doubles the amount of skill points received for each level gained. This means that you’ll level up less often than in the original game, but each time you do level up you’ll get more skill points. That balances things out so that when you hit the level cap of 30, you can still more or less max out all of the skills on Mass Effect’s skill tree.
So, I understand what it does – but I’m still not sure that I really understand the utility of the change. Is it to bring the first Mass Effect in line with the sequels, which both have 30-level basic progression? Has XP distribution been adjusted in such a way that it’s now easier to hit the level cap on your first run through?
If it’s all about letting people hit the level cap I sort of understand that, though at the same time I’m also not entirely on board with it. There’s a lot of joy in new game plus play-throughs of the first Mass Effect, perhaps thanks to its more in-depth RPG systems and mechanics when compared to its sequels. It’s also more fun to see different character origins and outcomes. By requiring you to play more than once to hit the level cap, the original release encouraged these actions.
For better or worse, the Legendary Edition wants you to forge on into Mass Effect 2 – and so perhaps the level scaling has been adjusted to ensure people can get the maximum bonus on their save file import into the second game.
If it is that, I’m even then still pretty puzzled; because honestly, who cares? The bonuses for importing a level cap Shepard into ME2 are pretty minor, maxing out at level 5. The games are too different for anything else. Mass Effect 2 to 3 is where proper, more cohesive character progression and skill continuity kicks in.
The Mercenaries is a mode that opens up in Resident Evil Village once you’ve complete the main campaign. It costs 10 CP from the Extra Content Shop to unlock, and is a single-player challenge mode. Points are awarded for killing enemies against the clock, assisted by a range of bonus abilities that are exclusive to this mode.
The majority of abilities can be picked up straight away, but a few — including the very popular Magic Magazine — have some unlock requirements attached.
In this guide we’ll cover what Mercenaries abilities do, how to pick them up, and how to unlock the really good ones.
How to use abilities in Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries
While playing The Mercenaries, you’ll notice there are floating orbs scattered around each stage. Yellow orbs add extra time to the stage while blue orbs contain abilities.
In order to pick up and equip an ability, you simply need to get within range and press the interact button when the prompt appears. You’re then given a choice of three random abilities to activate.
If the same ability appears more than once on a stage, you can equip it multiple times. The effect will stack, which can be very powerful. There’s also no limit to how many abilities you can have at a time, so there’s literally no need to hold back when you spot a blue orb in the vicinity.
All abilities you pick up will persist between areas within the same game. However, you don’t get to keep any of them when starting a new game.
Magic Magazine | How to acquire locked abilities in Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries
While most abilities in The Mercenaries are available from the start, there are four that require an extra step to unlock them.
You need to get an S rank or higher on each of the four Part I stages to add Magic Magazine, Execution, Lightning Speed, and Masamune to the random pool of abilities you find in orbs.
Resident Evil Village: The Mercenaries — Abilities list
Movement speed increases when knife is equipped.
Movement speed greatly increases but damage taken increases too.
Finish ‘The Factory (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher
Enemies will likely explode when they are defeated with a gun.
Enemy movement decreases.
Attack increases but speed decreases.
Initial attack does more damage when the enemy’s HP is full.
Attack greatly increases when the enemies’ HP is below 30%.
Finish ‘The Castle (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher
Attack increases when switching between enemies.
Close-combat attacks do more damage.
Headshots do more damage.
Out of Reach
Long-distance attacks do more damage.
HP recovers slightly when attacking with a gun.
Recover a little HP when an enemy is defeated.
Max HP increases.
Damage no longer taken when guarding.
Damage taken decreases.
Knives do five times more damage.
Handguns do more damage.
Shotguns do more damage.
Ammo capacity doubles.
Finish ‘The Village (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher
Knife attacks are 10 times stronger, but damage from other weapons greatly decreases.
Finish ‘The Mad Village (I)’ stage with an S rank or higher
The abilities you find in orbs will be random, so there’s a limit to how far you can plan a character build. And, as we’ve already pointed out, there’s no reason to ignore an orb, even if none of the abilities on offer are particularly inspiring.
However, given the choice, we recommend always prioritising Magic Magazine and Execution when they come up once unlocked. Unlike the other two unlockable abilities there’s no devil’s bargain involved in equipping either of these. They respectively allow you stack ammo capacity and lethal damage, indefinitely, with no downside.
Cardy and Matt are joined by two visitors from the GameSpot Galaxy, Lucy James and Tamoor Hussain, to talk everything Mass Effect. They also delve into what works and what doesn’t in Apex Legends’ new Arenas mode, as well as give their verdict on new animated movie, The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Plus, an epic three-way Endless Search and of course, your feedback. Remember, if you want to get in touch with the podcast, please do: [email protected]
Update 05/14/2021: The Australian Classification Review Board has reversed the ban on Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, after developer ZA/UM formally challenged the decision. It seems the tipping point for the game’s ban stemmed from Dico Elysium’s depiction of drug use, and the temporary benefits it offers you character. However, as reported by Kotaku Australia, the Review Board (which is separate to the Classification Board that originally refused to classify the game) has specifically made clear that Disco Elysium’s depiction of drug use is shown in an ultimately negative light, such that it can now receive an R 18+ classification. “In the Review Board’s opinion,” reads the Review Board’s report, “while drug use linked to incentives and rewards cannot be accommodated at R 18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game. It was, specifically, the disincentives for drug use that influenced the Review Board in making their decision. Drug use is not explicitly depicted within the game.” The classification means that Disco Elysium: The Final Cut can now be sold in Australia without impediment, although the R 18+ rating means that only adults can puchase the game. Despite the refused classification, The Final Cut (and the original, unclassified version of Disco Elysium) was still available to buy on Steam in Australia while the game was technically banned. [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/03/31/disco-elysium-the-final-cut-review”] [poilib element=”accentDivider”] Disco Elysium: The Final Cut has been refused classification in Australia. You can see the ‘Refused Classification’ page on the Australian Government’s Classification Board website. According to the rating explanation page, a product will be refused classification if it “contains content that is very high in impact and falls outside generally-accepted community standards.” The refused classification will mean that, without alterations, the game cannot be sold in Australia. More specifically, The Final Cut was refused classification as a game that has been seen to “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.” [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/12/11/disco-elysium-final-cut-trailer”] Disco Elysium features alcohol and drug misuse, not to mention a plot that often centres on crime, cruelty, and violence along the way, which could explain why the game has been refused. This seemingly only affects the new version of the game, as the original PC version of Disco Elysium is still available on Steam in Australia, as it has been since its launch in 2019. Developer ZA/UM may have to edit the game’s content if they want to get past the rating board in Australia. The news arrives as the PC, PS5, PS4 and Google Stadia launch of The Final Cut version of the game looms on March 30th. Disco Elysium was originally exclusive to PC, but developer ZA/UM announced a console version of the game during The Game Awards last year. The Final Cut adds voice acting and some bonus content and will be a free upgrade to users who own the game already on PC. A TV adaptation of the game is currently in the works at dj2 Entertainment. [poilib element=”accentDivider”] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.
A sequel to indie hit Ghostrunner is in the works.
505 Games has announced Thursday that development of a sequel to Ghostrunner has officially kicked off. Though the publisher didn’t outright say whther it’s going to be a numbered sequel, it confirmed development will be handed by original creators One More Level.
505 Games, which picked up the Ghostrunner IP for €5 million in March, said the budget for the new game will be double that of the original – though without disclosing specific figures. The Ghostrunner sequel is in development for PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, with One More Level seemingly abandoning last-gen consoles and Switch.
The team’s initial budget will be €5 ($6M) million. Gameplay specifics, however, weren’t shared today, and likely won’t be for a while yet considering the team just shipped some extra content for the original.
Nevertheless, that is great news for fans of what turned out to be a hidden indie gem from last year. Ghostrunner has so far sold over 600,000 copies.
Dark Alliance is the latest game to be available in Game Pass at launch.
Dark Alliance, the Dungeons and Dragons third-person co-op action brawler, will be part of Xbox Game Pass’ line-up at launch. On June 22, the game will be available for players on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Cloud.
Making things even more interesting, Dark Alliance supports cross-play with PC and Xbox, a feature also available at launch. The four-player game takes place in Icewind Dale, and features over 30 monsters from the world of Dungeons and Dragons. You’ll be able to pick from four heroes each with unique abilities and moves, ranging from fast rogues to heavy tanks.
If you’re curious to see more, developer Tuque Games is streaming gameplay every Friday until launch on YouTube and Twitch. The weekly show kicks off at 12pm PT, 3pm ET, 8pm UK.
Dark Alliance will also be released on PS4 and PS5 on the same day.
Judgment got lost, so here’s where to find Lost Judgment so you can pre-order the new title. Is it still really lost then, though? I suppose we could have a think about it while waiting for the September release date of this new Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio title.
With the Yakuza series opting to go the turn-based RPG route from here on out, you’ll need to get your action fix with the (really good) Judgment series. The second game, Lost Judgment, has just been announced, and there’s already a release date – September 24. If you’re excited to jump back into this world, here is where to pre-order Lost Judgment.
Lost Judgment pre-orders in the US
If you’re looking to pre-order Lost Judgment in the US, you may want to go with Best Buy! They’ll have an exclusive steelbook available with purchase, and it looks really good. Even if you don’t like steelbooks, this is a nice collectable that is free!
Right now, a Lost Judgment pre-order is available at Amazon and GAME in the UK. There is no news of any special editions or extra bonuses at this time like the free steelbook in the US. We’ll be sure to update this page if anything is announced, though!
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