Game Scoop! 658: Xbox’s Incredible Comeback

Posted on January 14, 2022 by

Welcome back to IGN Game Scoop!, the ONLY video game podcast! This week your Omega Cops — Daemon Hatfield, Tina Amini, Sam Claiborn, and Justin Davis — are discussing the Xbox vs. PlayStation console race, flipping through the January 2001 issue of GamePro, and observing some important gaming anniversaries. And, of course, they play Video Game 20 Questions.

Watch the video above or hit the link below to your favorite podcast service.

Listen on:

Apple Podcasts

YouTube

Spotify

Stitcher

Find previous episodes here!

Dying Light 2 Will Get At Least Five Years Of Post-Launch Content

Posted on January 14, 2022 by

Just a week after Dying Light 2 developer Techland said the game will take "at least 500 hours" to fully complete, we're now learning that the game will get at least five years of post-launch content with new stories, areas, in-game events, and more.

Techland announced its post-launch plans on Twitter, guaranteeing support for years to come. We don't know how much of the update plans will be free content, or how much will come in the way of free DLC.

However, Techland also supported the original Dying Light with a lot of free content and multiple major paid expansions, so we can likely expect to see the same type of support with the sequel.

Last week, Dying Light 2 was in the news for another tweet from the developers, where they said the game has 500 hours of content. That number was later clarified, with Techland saying it takes 500 hours to complete absolutely everything the game has to offer, including different story paths, endings, and more.

Players just looking to complete the main story and side quests can expect to spend about 70-80 hours, while players beelining the main story should only need about 20 hours.

After multiple delays, Dying Light 2 is set to come out next month, on February 4. We got to go hands-on with Dying Light 2 late last year, where we said the game, "simultaneously feels like the natural next step for the franchise, while also feeling like something that establishes its own unique identity." For more, check out Dying Light 2's official gameplay trailer.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

Stardew Valley speedrunner starts by blowing up his farm and trashing his tools

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


The yearly charity speedrunning marathon Awesome Games Done Quick is in progress this week, allowing players from all sorts of games to show off their fast game strats. This year's Stardew Valley speedrun category was completing the town community center with glitches—and oh boy, the hacks sure did flow.

Speedrunner Olenoname was the Stardew runner this year, and he rightfully preceded his playthrough with the warning that “This run's gonna move pretty fast and it's gonna get started really quickly, so I hope you're ready.” Then he blew the absolute hell out of his farm.

Olenoname started Stardew in pretty much the opposite way us normal folks would. He immediately deleted a bunch of his tools, magically spawned a ton of items in his inventory, and then started throwing bombs all over his farm. It's certainly much faster than chopping all those trees one by one.

As Olenoname and his co-commentators explained, this glitched speedrun hinges on abusing one particular trick that might catch your eye on the character creation screen before he begins playing. 

Often in Stardew Valley, your friendly neighbors will stop by your farm and gift you different items. The process of receiving items during a dialogue, Olenoname explains, is controlled by item codes hidden inside that dialogue. By naming his character with a very, very long list of item codes, he can trick the game into giving him the same very, very long list of items if an NPC addresses him by his name. Some of those items are Mega Bombs, hence the aggressive tree clearing technique.

Despite all that item glitching, Olenoname does in fact spend some time growing some of his own crops and raising a few chickens. It is a rather quick run, coming in at just over 17 minutes, which you can catch from the beginning in the video above.

In case you missed it, you can watch more Stardew done fast in the Stardew Valley Cup that its developer Eric Barone co-hosted back in September.

Krafton sues Google, YouTube, and Apple over alleged PUBG clones

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


Playerunknown's Battlegrounds studio Krafton has filed a lawsuit against Apple, Google, YouTube, and free-to-play game company Garena over two mobile games, Free Fire (originally called Free Fire: Battlegrounds) and Free Fire: Max, which it says “extensively copy numerous aspects” of the groundbreaking battle royale game.

Garena began selling Free Fire in Singapore in 2017, shortly after the launch of PUBG, according to the lawsuit (via The Verge). That apparently led to a complaint and settlement, but that settlement did not include any sort of licensing deal or permission to distribute the game. Despite that, a mobile version of the game appeared on the App Store and Google Play that same year, followed by Free Fire Max in 2018.

The suit claims both games duplicate PUBG features including the “unique game opening 'air drop' feature, the game structure and play, the combination and selection of weapons, armor, and unique objects, locations, and the overall choice of color schemes, materials, and textures.”

Krafton alleges that Garena has earned “hundreds of millions of dollars” globally through sales of the apps and in-app purchases. It also points a finger at Apple and Google, who have made bank on in-app purchases (each takes a percentage of purchases through their in-game payment processing systems) while refusing Krafton's requests to stop distributing the games. 

YouTube is also named as a defendant, for hosting (and refusing to remove) videos featuring Free Fire and Free Fire Max gameplay, as well as the Chinese feature film Biubiubiu, “an unauthorized adaptation of Battlegrounds, depicting a live-action dramatized version of Battlegrounds gameplay.”

Videogame analyst Daniel Ahmad actually pointed out the possibility of copyright infringement in July 2021:

See more

Interestingly, the suit claims that prior to its efforts to have Biubiubiu removed, Krafton filed a copyright infringement notice over another PUBG-like film called Run Amuck. In that case, YouTube took action (although the film remains available), which Krafton sees as evidence of a double-standard at work: “Unlike with respect to Biubiubiu, the Run Amuck videos were posted by individual users who no doubt lack the deep pockets necessary to fully indemnify YouTube from liability for copyright infringement,” the suit states.

Krafton also cites a similar action filed by Ubisoft against Google, Apple, and game developer Ejoy in May 2020 over a Rainbow Six Siege mobile clone. “Apple and Google refused to comply with a videogame developer's demand that they remove an infringing game from their respective stores,” the suit states. “It was only after the developer filed suit against the infringing developer and Apple and Google that the infringing developer removed the app itself. Significantly, neither Apple nor Google ever took any action on its own.”

In that case, Ubisoft withdrew its legal action against all parties after the Rainbow Six Siege clone was removed from sale, and it's possible the same could happen in this case. For now, though, Krafton is seeking injunctions against the sale of Free Fire and Free Fire Max, the posting of videos featuring either game and the Biubiubiu film, and all kinds of financial damages. The amounts involved could be substantial: Garena isn't especially well-known, but in 2020 its parent holding company Sea Ltd. reported revenues in excess of $2 billion in the “digital entertainment” category alone.

Icarus softens its stance on permadeath with mission insurance

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


Permadeath in Icarus continues to be something of an issue. Back in late December, developer RocketWerkz raised thousands of characters from the grave, victims of being left behind on the planet after the mission timer expired in the session-based survival game. That's the only way to experience a true character death in Icarus—if you don't catch a rocket ride back up into space before the mission timer reaches zero, you lose your character and all their skill progress forever (though items crafted in the space station will remain available to your other characters).

December's mass resurrection was due to a potential misunderstanding by players of how permadeath works in Icarus. “We may not have been clear enough to new players learning the game that unless you return to your dropship before the timer expires, then you lose your character permanently – abandoned on the planet surface,” RocketWerkz said at the time. “While these issues don’t affect all players, when you lose a character unfairly it hurts.”

Now RocketWerkz has taken another step toward forgiving players for not making their scheduled flights. An 'insurance' option has been added to some of Icarus' missions. If you take on an insured mission and don't get your character off the planet before the timer expires, you won't permanently lose them or their progress. They'll be returned to the space station intact.

“This adjustment is the first of many, giving us a chance for us to test out some theories and concepts we’ve been working on behind the scenes,” says RocketWerks. “Expect more significant changes on this front in future updates.” A quick skim of the mission selection screen shows that around 15 of the 60 or so missions in Icarus are insured.

There's no mention in RocketWerkz's post of players having a misunderstanding about permadeath this time. It just sounds like a move to make the harshest element of the game a bit less prickly and let players make a few more mistakes without paying the ultimate price. I can get on board with that. Personally, if I lost my character forever—even if it was entirely my own damn fault—I'm not sure how eager I would be to start over completely from scratch. This insurance feature sounds like a good way to make at least a few missions in Icarus risk-free, while retaining the intimidating threat of permadeath for the rest.

God of War’s Cory Barlog says PlayStation studios convinced Sony to put games on PC

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


In an interview with Game Informer about the launch of God of War's very good PC port, creative director Cory Barlog suggested that the recent wave of PlayStation games coming to PC started with enthusiasm from Sony's studios. 

“I think it was the collective of studios all over saying this is a really good idea. We should be looking into this,” Barlog said. “Eventually, I think it reached that tipping point. When we had sent so many suggestion box suggestions that they were like, 'I’m tired of hearing all this. Fine, we’ll do this.'”

Sony first announced it would be bringing exclusive PlayStation games to the PC in March 2020, beginning with Horizon Zero Dawn. According to God of War's developers, its PC port has taken about two years, which means it got underway right around the time Sony went public with its first PC plans. 

It makes sense that PlayStation's developers would largely be in favor of seeing their games in the hands of more players, as Barlog said—it's a bit more of a stretch to picture a $150 billion corporation ended up deciding to publish games on PC just because its studio heads badgered it for long enough. According to former Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Shawn Layden, who left in October 2019, Sony's leadership was keen to reach out to new customers.

“The strategy as we were developing it when I was there was that we need to go out to where these new customers are, where these new fans could be,” Layden said last year. “We need to go to where they are… Because they've decided not to come to my house, so I've got to go to their house now. And what's the best way to go to their house? Why not take one of our top-selling games?”

Layden said he didn't expect Sony to ever start releasing games on PC day-one with consoles—it doesn't have to risk cannibalizing console sales if it waits two years to port its games to PC.

According to Barlog, it's still not a given that future games will come to PC, and he has “no idea” when the next God of War game, Ragnarok, might arrive. Even if the studios did sway Sony into giving PC ports a try, it sounds like they're still not the ones making the final call.

“Right now, we’re taking it one game at a time, kind of looking at each one and determining, 'Okay, is this the best thing?'” Barlog said. “And we’ll gauge how it does. Do people enjoy it? Did we do it right? Is there anything we did wrong? What can we do better in the future if we do this again? But at the end of the day, ultimately, it’s Sony’s decision.”

If you're thinking about picking up God of War yourself, check out our review and our sharpest God of War tips. We also have a guide to God of War's treasure map locations and God of War's best armor.

Try these four fun weapons in Monster Hunter Rise

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


Monster Hunter Rise's weapons are often labeled easy to learn, hard to master, and it's an accurate description. Each one is based around a straightforward concept: Long Sword has its Spirit Gauge, Insect Glaive lets you fly, and Switch Axe can change form. But every weapon also has depth—secret states you might not know unless you looked them up, or played around long enough in the training area.

It'd take thousands of words to describe what every Monster Hunter Rise weapon can do, so instead, I've chosen four favorites on which to give a brief introduction. Each has its own distinct playstyle and benefits, and lots of depth if you choose to use it as your main. For simplicity's sake, I've also described combos with controller inputs. 

Whatever you choose, it's definitely worth experimenting with all weapons in the training area to find what's fun. So, here are some great Monster Hunter Rise weapons to try, as well as details about affinity, buffing your weapon, and how to unlock more.

The best Monster Hunter Rise weapons to try first

Hammer

  • Stuns monsters with KO and Exhaust 
  • Fun wirebug attacks
  • Great source of blunt damage

If you like the idea of bonking a monster on the head until it sees stars, you'll like the hammer. Though not the most mobile weapon, its attacks can stun monsters and punish them while they're down. The hammer, in-part, relies on its charged attacks, which you activate by holding and releasing RT. There are three charge levels, and the third activates the Spinning Bludgeon attack if you're moving. You can cancel out of it after one or two spins using Y, letting you follow up with a basic combo.

If you press Y after three spins, it'll conclude with a strong upswing. Smacking a monster in the head with any of the upswings deals strong KO. When you deal enough it'll stun the monster, letting you follow up with powerful, stationary attacks like your B 'Big Bang' combo. When you reach charge level three, you can also press B to enable Strength Mode, increasing your damage, and altering some combos.

That's hammer in a nutshell—stun monsters and punish them while they're down. It also has wirebug attacks like Impact Crater and Silkbind Spinning Bludgeon that are as fun as they sound. Hold LT and press B or Y when the weapon is unsheathed to try them. If you're charged up with RT and running down a slope, you can also slide and do a Mid Air Spinning Bludgeon—the most enjoyable downhill attack in the game, for my money.

Long Sword

(Image credit: Capcom)
  • High damage potential
  • Good mobility 
  • Can counter monsters

If you want a starter weapon with a high skill ceiling, the Long Sword might be for you. This blade is all about using attacks to fill your Spirit Gauge (the katana below your health) and once full, unleash the Spirit Blade combo with RT. When you successfully land the combo, your gauge will turn white, then yellow, then red. That incrementally boosts your damage.

However, if you combo Y, RT+A, Y, you'll perform an Iai Slash that causes your Spirit Gauge to fill over time. Your Soaring Kick wirebug attack (LT+Y) also does this. Once your Spirit Gauge is red, you can perform the powerful Spirit Helmbreaker. Use Soaring Kick, then press RT while airborne to perform the attack. This reverts your gauge back to yellow.

You can also learn to counter monsters. An easy way to try a counter is to use the Serene Pose wirebug skill (LT+B) before a monster attacks, which instantly levels your Spirit Gauge if successful. For added mobility, combos like B, Y+B and a direction input, perform a Lateral Fade Slash that lets you reposition mid-attack.

Light bowgun

(Image credit: Capcom)
  • Safer than a melee weapon
  • Good dodges
  • Ammo for every occasion

If ranged weapons are more your style, the Light Bowgun is a decent introduction. This weapon has a number of ammo types you can switch between, inflicting a variety of statuses. Each ammo type has a critical distance where it deals the most damage, which you can tell by when the aiming reticle turns orange. 

The Light Bowgun also offers evasion while aiming. If you tap A twice + a direction after firing with LT and RT, you'll perform a speedy dodge. Your Silkbind Glide (R1+Y) also lets you slide towards a monster, upon which you can use RT to shoot it in the face with a powerful shot.

Light Bowgun's Fanning Vault wirebug skill (R1+B) lets you jump over a monster, and this is the perfect opportunity to use Wyvernblast. Press B to fire this special ammo down at the monster as you jump over it. These charges stick to a surface, and then explode whenever they are hit, allowing you to stack damage, and support your teammates' attacks. You can deploy three, and they recharge over time.

Insect Glaive

(Image credit: Capcom)
  • Fight in the air
  • Kinsect provides support
  • Amazing mobility

If you want to spin through the air like a death-dealing helicopter, Glaive could be your weapon. The key to Insect Glaive is the Kinsect, an insect buddy who sits on your arm, but can be unleashed with RT, recalled with RT+B, and sent to gather extracts from monsters with RT+Y and the aiming reticle. There are three extracts to gather: red, orange, and whit. Each have different effects:

  • Red: Increases attack and unlocks movesets
  • Orange: Knockback protection 
  • White: Movement speed boost
  • One of each: Provides Earplugs, Flinch-Free, and activates ‘Assist’ Kinsects

Each of these extracts comes from a different part of the monster. Red is your priority, since it unlocks your best attacks, and you can generally extract it from the head or tail. Once the Kinsect symbol below your stamina is red, you can recall it to add that extract to your slots. Now you're ready to fight in the air properly.

Press RT+A to vault and begin your mid-air combo. Insect Glaive is about stitching together attacks and abilities mid-air to hit the monster, reposition, and often stay up for as long as you can. Red extract unlocks the Strong Jumping Advancing Slash which you perform with B—your go-to air attack. Once you perform three of these slashes or run out of stamina, you'll drop to the ground, so the key to getting prolonged airtime is sandwiching them with vaults (A) and your Silkbind vault (LT+Y). As you descend you can also press Y to deal damage on the way down.

Being in the air can prevent you being hit, let you attack hard-to-reach monsters, and deal mounting and elemental damage with rapid strikes. Kinsects add a great deal of customization, too, with their own level, damage, type, and bonus. Powder Kinsects can support teammates with healing or deal elemental damage, Speed Kinsects can rapidly grab extracts, and Assist Kinsects fight alongside you when you have one of every extract type. It might sound complex, but it's a lot of fun if you want a weapon that's very different to the others.

(Image credit: Capcom)

What are affinity and switch skills?

Affinity is kind of complicated, but the best way to think of it is in terms of critical hits. You can view affinity as a percentage on every weapon. Positive affinity means you might deal bonus damage, while negative affinity means you could deal less on certain strikes. Skills such as Critical Eye and Maximum Might increase affinity, and you get these through decorations and armor.

Switch skills, on the other hand, are combos and wirebug attacks that unlock through Master Utsushi in the Gathering Hub as you progress and forge weapons. Each weapon has three skills that can change the way it's played. The third, and often most powerful, is unlocked by completing a quest he'll give you.

How to upgrade and unlock more Monster Hunter Rise weapons

Beyond upgrades, there are a couple of ways to improve your weapon. The first is through the decorations that you unlock once you reach high-rank. These jewels can be forged at the smithy, and depending on your weapon slots, inserted to provide buffs and skills. The second is Ramping-Up. After you complete your first Rampage quest, you can infuse your weapon with a Ramp-Up skill at the smithy, choosing to buff elemental power, attack, or lots of other things.

Progressing through the game and gaining hunter ranks increases the tier of weapons available to you. As with armor, you can unlock specific weapons by acquiring materials—most often by defeating new monsters. Completing Kamura Village requests can also earn you some fun weapon designs, such as a teddy bear hammer, or an insect glaive that looks like a paint brush. It's worth noting that you can add weapons to your wishlist at the smithy, and you'll be informed when you have enough materials to forge them.

Halo TV series: Everything we know so far

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


Though the Halo TV series started development all the way back in 2015, Master Chief's journey to a slightly different type of screen has not been an easy one. The sci-fi series was originally slated to be released on Showtime,  but since then, Paramount+ has taken the reigns, with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television producing it.

Aside from that and some casting details, there isn't a whole lot we know right now. A trailer was released at The Game Awards last year, and while it did feature iconic elements such as a slightly weird looking Thunderhawk, High Charity, as well as Chief himself, it didn't reveal much about the plot beyond that the series is likely set around the events of the first three games.

It looks like the series might also delve into John's backstory and time in the Spartan training programme as a child, though we won't know for such until its release some time this year, or when more details arrive. Still, here's everything we currently know about the Halo TV series, including cast members, leaked images, and production details.

When is the Halo TV series release date?

Showtime had originally said that the show was expected in the first quarter of 2021. Like many things in 2020, production on Showtime’s Halo TV series was set back by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s now set for a Q1 2022 debut on Paramount+.

Here's the Halo TV series trailer from The Game Awards

Though it doesn't reveal all that much, it gives us our first look at the visual style of the series, characters like Dr. Catherine Halsey, and a pretty cool looking version of the Covenant holy city, High Charity. The trailer also has some dialogue from Halsey, presumably talking about Master Chief.

Though it doesn't give much away, the images of a child in the trailer, and Halsey's dialogue about her hopes for Chief, imply the series is likely to also focus on John's backstory as part of the Spartan training programme. The trailer also gives us a look at Master Chief, himself, and he looks on point.

And the Halo TV series teaser trailer

It's not much, but here's the first few seconds of footage from the Halo series. Master Chief has some gnarly scars, and that armor? That armor's looking pretty good.

Images from the Halo TV series have leaked

The Halo TV series has been in production since late 2020—long enough for some early cut of a trailer or production footage to be out in the wild and on Twitter. There's actually more to glean from these leaked stills than from the super short teaser trailer above.

See more
See more
See more

Is Master Chief in the Halo TV series?

Yes. Yes he is. He's been confirmed at every opportunity, and we know who's playing him. Actor Pablo Schreiber has been cast as Master Chief. You may remember a younger Schreiber from his role as dockworker Nick Sobotka in season 2 of The Wire, or from some more recent shows and movies: American Gods, Skyscraper, Orange Is the New Black. According to IMDB, he's nearly 6'5″ tall.

Who's in the Halo TV series cast?

After Covid-19 delays and the resulting schedule changes, the Halo TV series has recast Cortana, its blue-hued AI. Natascha McElhone, originally cast as both Cortana and Dr. Catherine Halsey “the brilliant, conflicted and inscrutable creator of the Spartan supersoldiers”. Now, McElhone will still play Dr. Halsey but the role of Cortana is being picked up by Jen Taylor who has often played the same role in Halo games. It's not known at this point whether Taylor will appear in the show as Cortana, or simply provide the voice for a CGI character.

Additionally, Bokeem Woodbine will portray Soren-006, “a morally complex privateer at the fringes of human civilization whose fate will bring him into conflict with his former military masters and his old friend, the Master Chief.” Admiral Margaret Parangosky, the head of the Office of Naval Intelligence, is played by Shabana Azmi.

We have the names of three Spartans, new to Halo with this series: “British actor Kalu will play Spartan Vannak-134, a cybernetically augmented supersoldier conscripted at childhood who serves as the defacto deputy to the Master Chief. British actress Culzac will star in the role of Spartan Riz-028 – a focused, professional and deadly, cybernetically enhanced killing machine. Kennedy stars as Spartan Kai-125, an all-new courageous, curious and deadly Spartan supersoldier. Yerin Ha was previously announced playing the new character Kwan Ha, a shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both.”

What kind of story will the Halo TV series tell?

Story details are locked down, but Levine affirmed it as a new story “incredibly respectful of the canon” utilizing the franchise’s framework of the war with the Covenant and the eponymous Halo space stations. That’s further reinforced by this official post by 343 head of transmedia Kiki Wolfkill, who explained that the series will try to strike a balance between fan expectations and presenting something new.

More on Master Chief

“As we think about what it means to bring videogame franchises to movie or TV—the biggest challenge can often be finding the right balance between moments fans have already experienced and moments that have yet to be experienced through a different medium, perspective, or creative lens,” Wolfkill wrote. “We are excited to navigate these creative waters to bring you something that is both respectful of what you already know and love, but also new and surprising and enthralling.”

When in the Halo timeline might it take place? The war with the Covenant boasts several points of interest for a TV series. A possible strong angle could cover Chief’s origins, his conscription into the Spartan program (which would include an appearance of the titular planet from 2010’s Halo: Reach), and his eventual first contact with the Covenant, all of which would comprise a useful backdrop for plenty on-camera opportunities to show off John-117’s face in various stages of grizzled determination. An adaptation of Halo novel Fall of Reach would make sense—but if you're trying to bring in the Halo rings and tell a new story, that seems unlikely.

The Halo TV series is moving from Showtime to Paramount+

Showtime parent company ViacomCBS has decided to move Halo from Showtime to Paramount+, its upcoming streaming service, as reported by Deadline. Paramount+ will be ViacomCBS's replacement for CBS All Access, which is mostly known for hosting Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard.

ViacomCBS chief creative officer David Nevins said that they “were on the hunt for signature shows beyond the Star Trek franchise on CBS All Access,” and after seeing some early footage from the series, Halo was a good fit. “It could be a defining show for a newish service that’s got all firepower of an entertainment corporation behind it,” he said.

For the people making the Halo series, it doesn't seem like much will change; it's still being overseen by Showtime executives. But it will matter to those of us who hope to watch it—Paramount+ and Showtime will remain separate premium subscriptions.

How many episodes will there be? 

Showtime’s initial order consisted of 10 hour-long episodes, a common season length for big-budget prestige TV series these days. That order has since been dropped to nine episodes. Showtime hopes Halo’s influential lineage will deliver the network’s “most ambitious series ever.” No pressure.

“[Halo] is futuristic space-based science fiction,” elaborated President David Nevins at the TCA conference. “It’s not fantasy. I think there's been one iconic franchise in my opinion in the history of television in that category and that's Star Trek. It was a long time to get the script where we felt we had something really interesting and felt like it belonged on Showtime in terms of its character depth. It’s going to be a big show.”

Who’s part of the production?

Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment is one of the bigger studios handling production duties. It’s yet unknown if the acclaimed filmmaker will personally have a role, but it appears Showtime’s project is a continuation of a concept Spielberg was set to executive produce back in 2013. Considering Spielberg’s background and enduring interest in science-fiction—being no stranger to the nostalgic pull of games—there’s a fair chance of spotting his name in the credits roll.

Developer 343 Industries (and Microsoft, by extension) is also involved in some direct capacity. Hopefully that's good news, and not the first step down a path towards another Assassin's Creed or Tomb Raider. 343’s responsibilities could simply entail making sure the series feels authentically Halo, leaving the TV pros to do their work.

Who is writing and directing the Halo TV show?

Kyle Killen was initially tapped as writer and showrunner. Killen’s most recent work, the largely panned Mind Games, failed to anchor an audience past its first and only season. His earlier and more fruitful endeavors included Fox’s Lone Star and NBC’s Awake, both sharing the same fate and lasting only one season. While Killen is relatively unblooded in the deep sci-fi genre, his recurring interest in theming a protagonist around facing plural realities could serve as an intriguing foundation for exploring the supernatural aspects of Halo’s far-reaching universe.

On a TCA tour, Levine explained Killen’s selection over more experienced writers was a deliberate one, saying, “We made a conscious decision to hire a writer not known for sci-fi and not known for big battle movies or anything. Because that's already baked into the Halo franchise and we will service that. But we also want to ensure that we get underneath the formidable armor of the Spartans.”

Steven Kane (whose production credits include American Dad! and The Last Ship) has been attached as co-showrunner. Killen has now left the project, and Kane will apparently be leaving after the first season.

Originally director Rupert Wyatt was going to be part of the project, but he exited the show in December. Now the series has a new lead director and executive producer in Otto Bathurst, who most recently directed the 2018 Robin Hood, and the first episode of Black Mirror (you know, the one with the pig).

GTA: San Andreas cheats – every vehicle, weapon and stat boost code

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


The GTA: San Andreas cheats for the original game are a lot of fun—they let you play around with Rockstar's sandbox and unlock an arsenal of vehicles and weapons to use. San Andreas' lifestyle and fitness mechanics also added a lot of cheat potential, giving you the ability to never go hungry, gain infinite lung capacity, or strip yourself of fat and muscle.

Compared to its older, wackier brother, GTA 5 is actually quite restrictive. You can do almost anything you want with San Andreas, from donning a jetpack, starting an all gang war in the streets, to making every driver instantly aggressive. More so that regular GTA drivers already are, anyway.

Below you'll find nearly 90 San Andreas cheats to enhance your experience, from basic player enhancements like invulnerability or weapon and vehicle spawns, to the more exotic stuff: new outfits and altered civilian behaviours. Yes, you can arm every civilian and have them riot through the streets. And you should, too. 

With GTA 6 still a long ways off, now's a great time to revisit the classics. That said, here's a massive list of GTA: San Andreas cheats for you to enjoy.

How to use GTA: San Andreas cheats

  • To activate a GTA: San Andreas cheat, you can use either the code or phrase listed next to your desired effect below. Both work the same, although the phrase is easier to remember.
  • Once you’ve got your cheat, just type it while playing the game—not paused.
  • A small pop up will appear in the top corner alerting you to your success. You can then enter another cheat if you desire.
  • Remember not to save while cheats are active. Some—such as the pedestrian cheats—can actually soft lock your progress through the game.

GTA: San Andreas – The Definitive Edition cheats

The awkwardly named GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition launched on November 11, giving us new, remastered versions of GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas.

The majority of GTA: San Andreas' current cheat codes will work with the new Definitive Edition release—they're an iconic part of the original games, after all, and it makes sense for Rockstar to retain them. The tables below detail what works and what doesn't in the newly remastered version. 

All GTA: San Andreas cheats

Player cheats

CJ firing a gun from a motorbike in GTA: San Andreas

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Cheat Phrase Code Remaster?
Get full health and armour, and $250,000 INEEDSOMEHELP HESOYAM Yes
Obtain weapon set #1 THUGSARMOURY LXGIWYL Yes
Obtain weapon set #2 PROFESSIONALSKIT KJKSZPJ Yes
Obtain weapon set #3 NUTTERSTOYS UZUMYMW Yes
Infinite ammo FULLCLIP WANRLTW Yes
Adrenaline effect TAKEACHILLPILL MUNASEF Yes
Super jump KANGAROO LFGMHAL Yes
Commit suicide GOODBYECRUELWORLD SZCMAWO Yes
Full weapon aiming in vehicles IWANNADRIVEBY OUIQDMW No
Hitman skill rating with all weapons PROFESSIONALKILLER NCSGDAG Yes
Infinite lung capacity MANFROMATLANTIS CVWKXAM Yes
Maximum diving skill NATURALTALENT VQIMAHA Yes
Maximum fat WHOATEALLTHEPIES BTCDBCB Yes
Maximum muscle BUFFMEUP JYSDSOD Yes
Maximum respect WORSHIPME OGXSDAG Yes
Maximum sex appeal HELLOLADIES EHIBXQS Yes
Maximum stamina ICANGOALLNIGHT VKYPQCF Yes
Never hungry IAMNEVERHUNGRY AEDUWNV Yes
Obtain a jetpack ROCKETMAN YECGAA Yes
Obtain a parachute LETSGOBASEJUMPING AIYPWZQP Yes
Immune to guns and fire NOONECANHURTME BAGUVIX Yes
Super punch STINGLIKEABEE IAVENJQ Yes
Zero fat and muscle LEANANDMEAN KVGYZQK Yes

Wanted cheats

A car with a flame paint job in GTA: San Andreas

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Cheat Phrase Code Remaster?
Six star wanted level BRINGITON LJSPQK Yes
Remove wanted level TURNDOWNTHEHEAT ASNAEB Yes
Raise wanted level by two TURNUPTHEHEAT OSRBLHH Yes
Lock wanted level at current state IDOASIPLEASE AEZAKMI Yes

Vehicle cheats

CJ riding a bike in GTA: San Andreas

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Cheat Phrase Code Remaster?
Cars have nitro SPEEDFREAK COXEFGU Yes
Super jump on bikes CJPHONEHOME JHJOECW Yes
Boats can fly FLYINGFISH AFSNMSMW Yes
Cars can fly CHITTYCHITTYBANGBANG RIPAZHA Yes
You car is invincible TOUCHMYCARYOUDIE JCNRUAD Yes
Cars float away when hit BUBBLECARS BSXSGGC Yes
Destroy all cars ALLCARSGOBOOM CPKTNWT Yes
Cars are invisible WHEELSONLYPLEASE XICWMD No
Cars have perfect handling STICKLIKEGLUE PGGOMOY Yes
Spawn Bloodring Banger OLDSPEEDDEMON CQZIJMB Yes
Spawn Caddy 18HOLES RZHSUEW Yes
Spawn Dozer ITSALLBULL EEGCYXT Yes
Spawn Hotring Racer #1 VROCKPOKEY PDNEJOH Yes
Spawn Hotring Racer #2 JUSTTRYANDSTOPME VPJTQWV Yes
Spawn Monster Truck MONSTERMASH AGBDLCID Yes
Spawn Quadbike FOURWHEELFUN AKJJYGLC Yes
Spawn Hunter OHDUDE Yes
Spawn Hydra JUMPJET Yes
Spawn Rancher DOUGHNUTHANDICAP JQNTDMH Yes
Spawn Rhino TIMETOKICKASS AIWPRTON Yes
Spawn Romero WHERESTHEFUNERAL AQTBCODX Yes
Spawn Stretch CELEBRITYSTATUS KRIJEBR Yes
Spawn Stuntplane FLYINGTOSTUNT URKQSRK Yes
Spawn Tanker HITTHEROADJACK AMOMHRER Yes
Spawn Trashmaster TRUEGRIME UBHYZHQ Yes
Spawn Vortex IWANTTOHOVER KGGGDKP Yes

NPC cheats

Characters talking on the streets in GTA: San Andreas

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Cheat Phrase Code Remaster?
Gang members everywhere ONLYHOMIESALLOWED MROEMZH Yes
Gangs rule the streets BETTERSTAYINDOORS BIFBUZZ Yes
Recruit anyone (rocket launcher) ROCKETMAYHEM ZSOXFSQ Yes
Recruit anyone (AK-47) NOONECANSTOPUS BMTPWHR Yes
Recruit anyone (pistol) WANNABEINMYGANG SJMAHPE Yes
Pedestrian chaos ROUGHNEIGHBOURHOOD AJLOJYQY Yes
Pedestrians are Elvis BLUESUEDESHOES ASBHGRB Yes
Pedestrian riot STATEOFEMERGENCY IOJUFZN Yes
Pedestrians attack you STOPPICKINGONME BAGOWPG Yes
Pedestrians attack you with guns ATTACKOFTHEVILLAGEPEOPLE BGLUAWML Yes
Pedestrians have weapons SURROUNDEDBYNUTTERS FOOOXFT Yes
Beach theme LIFESABEACH CIKGCGX Yes
Carnival theme CRAZYTOWN PRIEBJ Yes
Gimp theme LOVECONQUERSALL BEKKNQV Yes
Rural theme HICKSVILLE FVTMNBZ Yes
Triad theme NINJATOWN AFPHULTL Yes
Traffic and pedestrians rarely spawn GHOSTTOWN THGLOJ Yes
Aggressive drivers ALLDRIVERSARECRIMINALS YLTEICZ Yes
All green lights DONTTRYANDSTOPME ZEIIVG Yes
Black cars SOLONGASITSBLACK IOWDLAC Yes
Pink cars PINKISTHENEWCOOL LLQPFBN Yes
Cheap cars EVERYONEISPOOR BGKGTJH Yes
Sports cars EVERYONEISRICH GUSNDHE Yes

World cheats

A view of the city and a lit-up aparment block in GTA: San Andreas

(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Cheat Phrase Code Remaster?
Decrease game speed SLOWITDOWN LIYOAAY Yes
Increase game speed SPEEDITUP PPGWJHT Yes
Time moves faster TIMEJUSTFLIESBY YSOHNUL Yes
Time is locked to 9pm DONTBRINGONTHENIGHT OFVIAC Yes
Time is locked to midnight NIGHTPROWLER XJVSNAJ Yes
Cloudy weather DULLDULLDAY ALNSFMZO Yes
Foggy weather CANTSEEWHEREIMGOING CFVFGMJ Yes
Rainy weather STAYINANDWATCHTV AUIFRVQS Yes
Spawn sandstorm SANDINMYEARS CWJXUOC Yes
Sunny weather SCOTTISHSUMMER MGHXYRM Yes
Very sunny weather TOODAMNHOT ICIKPYH Yes

The best builds for Zhongli in Genshin Impact

Posted on January 14, 2022 by


Looking for the best Genshin Impact Zhongli build before his rerun? This is the second, and potentially final time, that the Geo Archon is returning to Genshin Impact. Even nine months after his last banner, he's pretty much the best shielder in the game, and his Planet Befall burst can still do decent damage, while also hurling a literal asteroid at enemies. 

More top Genshin Impact builds

Genshin Impact Yun Jin performing her charged elemental skill

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Genshin Impact Shenhe build: Icy exorcist
Genshin Impact Yun Jin build: Prestigious performer
Genshin Impact Xiao build: Demon hunter
Genshin Impact Itto build: The one and Oni
Genshin Impact Gorou build: Canine commander
Genshin Impact Eula build: Spindrift knight

Even with the introduction of a Geo-specific support character like Gorou, Zhongli is still the linchpin of many Geo teams due to his Stone Stele Geo construct and how it resonates with others, like Ningguang's Jade Screen, Albedo's Solar Isotoma, and even Itto's little bull friend, Ushi. This can create some incredibly powerful Geo character combinations.

If you've yet to dive into the treasure-filled depths of Enkanomiya, this Genshin Impact key sigils guide can help explain one of the region's main mystery mechanics. There are also details about the long-anticipate Electro kitsune, Yae Miko, including her abilities and when we might see her in-game. That said, if you're on the prowl for a good Genshin Impact Zhongli build, as well as info about abilities and ascension materials, look no further.

Builds

The best Genshin Impact Zhongli build

Zhongli is the best shielder in Genshin Impact. The Jade Shield he creates with his elemental skill scales with his HP in terms of strength, but also Fortifies when hit by up to 25% strength once you unlock his Resonant Waves passive. His Dominance of Earth passive also boosts damage output based on his max HP, making him a pretty amazing hybrid support/DPS.

Support/sub-DPS

  • Weapon: Staff of Homa

Sadly, Zhongli's signature weapon, Vortex Vanquisher, isn't actually very good for him. However, Hu Tao's polearm is pretty much perfect. The Staff of Homa boosts HP by 20% and grants an attack boost based on 0.8% of the wielder's max HP. If their health ever drops below 50%, that boost is increased by 1%.

As you'd imagine, the HP boost increases Zhongli's damage and shield strength, and the attack boost based on HP stacks nicely with what he already gets from his Dominance of Earth passive.

  • Artifacts: (2) Archaic Petra (2) Noblesse Oblige

Two-pieces of Archaic Petra buffs Geo damage by 15%, which strengthens Zhongli's burst and skill. Speaking of bursts, two-pieces of Noblesse Oblige increase burst damage by 20%. This allows Zhongli to be more of an all round damage-dealer. 

In terms of substats, you'll want to prioritise HP due to that shield strength and damage increase, and also Geo damage bonus if you have an artifact with the relevant stat.

How to unlock

Genshin Impact Zhongli surrounded by Lawachurls

(Image credit: miHoYo)

How to get Zhongli in Genshin Impact

The Geo Archon originally released back in version 1.1 on the Gentry of Hermitage banner, before returning in version 1.5 alongside the release of the Azhdaha boss. Now, Zhongli is back for his second rerun. From January 24 you'll be able to wish for him alongside Ganyu to celebrate the return of the Liyue Lantern Rite event. This might very well be Zhongli's last rerun, so if you want him, better save your Primogems.

Abilities

Zhongli's abilities

Here are Zhongli's abilities, passives, and Constellations:

Normal attack: Rain of Stone
Normal Attack: Zhongli performs six rapid strikes in quick succession.
Charged Attack: Zhongli lurches forwards, causing stone spears to drop behind him. Costs some stamina.
Plunging Attack: Zhongli slams down with a strong attack.

Elemental Skill
Dominus Lapidis Zhongli forms a stone stele, dealing AoE Geo damage. This attack becomes stronger if other Geo elements are nearby. If charged, this skill creates a jade shield, which absorbs damage, with better absorption for Geo damage.

Elemental Burst
Planet Befall Zhongli summons a meteor, dealing Geo damage and applying Petrification. Gets stronger as Zhongli’s health increases.

Passives
Resonant Waves: Jade shield will Fortify when damaged, gaining a 5% increase in shield strength. Can stack five times.
Dominance Of Earth: Planet Befall gets a damage boost equal to 33% of Zhongli’s max HP.
Arcanum Of Crystal: Refunds 15% ore when crafting Polearms.

Constellations
Rock, the Backbone of Earth: Allows Zhongli to create two stone stele’s at once.
Stone, the Cradle of Jade: Planet Befall grants nearby allies a jade shield.
Jade, Shimmering through Darkness: Increases Dominus Lapidis’ level by 3.
Topaz, Unbreakable and Fearless: Increases Planet Befall’s AoE damage by 20%, and increases Petrification’s duration by two seconds.
Lazuil, Herald of the Order: Increases Planet Befall’s level by 3.
Chyros, Bounty of Dominator: 40% of damage taken by jade shield becomes health regeneration for active party members.

Ascension materials

Genshin Impact Zhongli stroking his chin quizzically

(Image credit: miHoYo)

Zhongli's Ascension materials

Character

You're going to need Prithava Topaz, the Geo character ascension material, in order to upgrade Zhongli's level cap. You can get this from any Geo boss, but you'll want to fight the Geo Hypostatis in the Guyun Stone Forest in Liyue, as this will also give you the Basalt Pillars he needs. On top of this, you'll need a couple of world materials:

  • Cor Lapis
  • Slime materials

You can get Cor Lapis all across Liyue, though particularly on Mt. Hulao and all across Jueyun Karst. There's a complete location list on the official Genshin Impact map. Slime materials, on the other hand, come from fighting Slimes and you should already have lots of them. 

If not, you can find them everywhere, or fight them as part of Mondstadt's Blossoms of Wealth and Wisdom if you want to farm Mora and EXP materials at the same time.

Talent

Here's what you're going to need to ascend Zhongli's talents:

  • Gold scrolls
  • Slime materials
  • Tusk of Monoceros Caeli
  • Crown of Insight

You can get Gold scrolls from the Taishan Mansion Domain on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Slime materials, as mentioned, come from Slimes. The Tusk of Monoceros Caeli is dropped by the Childe boss, or crafted from his other boss materials at the Alchemy Bench with Dream Solvent.

Finally, Crowns of Insight come from upgrading the Frostbearing Tree in Dragonspine, the Sacred Sakura in Inazuma, or doing seasonal events such as 'Fleeting Colours in Flight' in version 2.4.

Genshin Impact guide: Beginner tips
Genshin Impact characters: Full tier list
Genshin Impact code: Redeem for free rewards
Genshin Impact build: Best of the bunch