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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Release Date Leaked, Ubisoft Executives Resign

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Release Date Leaked, Ubisoft Executives Resign

Ubisoft made it within a few days of their Ubisoft Forward event, then everything fell apart. A day before the event and a day after Far Cry 6 was leaked on PlayStation’s Hong Kong store, a rogue Instagram post revealed the Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla release date. Assassin’s Creed’s Italian Instagram account posted and quickly removed a photo that showed Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s release date to be November 17, 2020. Ubisoft has also announced the resignations of some key people in the company.

 

The Valhalla leak spoils the second-biggest announcement for Ubisoft Forward. What’s disheartening is that this leak and the Far Cry 6 leak were entirely avoidable and the products of people making simple mistakes. Part of what’s great about press conferences and gaming events is the promise of new content and announcements that get us excited for the future of games. Leaks like this hurt both the industry and its community.

 

 

However, what can be even more damaging to an industry is the loss of high-level executives. It was announced by Ubisoft in a press release that Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Canadian Studios Yannis Mallat, and Global Head of HR Cécile Cornet have all left the company in the wake of “allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior.” Hascoët’s previous responsibilities will be taken over by CEO Yves Guillemot for now, and the other two positions are currently being recruited for. On Twitter, Jason Schreier commented on how untouchable Hascoët seemed. “Serge Hascoet was the man in charge of ALL of their games. With one word he could greenlight or cancel a project. Many Ubisoft employees believed he was too powerful and close to the CEO to ever be ousted…”

 

Ubisoft has had the wrong kind of press going into their Ubisoft Forward event on June 12, 2020. Abuse allegations, personnel shakeups, and leaks could spell a dismal rest of 2020 for the long-time publisher.

 

Far Cry 6 Leaked and Teased by Ubisoft

Far Cry 6 Leaked and Teased by Ubisoft

Just a couple of days before the Ubisoft Forward event, Far Cry 6 has been leaked and teased. Just like so many games before it, Far Cry 6 briefly found its way onto an online store – this time the Hong Kong version of the PlayStation Store – and the internet was quick to screencap it and spread the news. Shortly after that, the Far Cry Twitter account posted a teaser, and with the leak, the teaser confirms Far Cry 6. Furthermore, the leak revealed February 18, 2021 as the Far Cry 6 release date.

 

Between the two leaks, it’s been revealed that you play as Dani Rojas, a guerilla fighter in Yara. Yara is under the grasp of Anton Castillo, played by Giancarlo Esposito, a Breaking Bad alumnus. The leaked store page has hinted at Yara being the largest Far Cry map to date. It also gave a short list of features that includes a free upgrade from PS4 to PS5, online multiplayer (up to two players), DUALSHOCK 4 vibration, and “Optional in-game purchases,” also known as microtransactions. Preorder content is also planned out.

 

 

We’ll learn plenty more at Ubisoft’s Forward event on June 12. While not explicitly said, there’s an understanding that Ubisoft Forward is replacing Ubisoft’s usual E3 press conference. The main show starts at 3:00 PM EST, but the stream starts at 2:00 PM EST. Starting then, updates for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, The Division 2, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Watch Dogs: Legion, and now Far Cry 6 are promised. The event has also sparked a sale on Ubisoft games.

 

 

Ubisoft is making big moves ahead of the next generation, although none of them so far are surprises. Far Cry 6 was a given, but it’ll be exciting to see how well it stacks up against its predecessors and the other things Ubisoft has planned.

 

Undercat Kickstarter Nearly 25% Funded

Undercat Kickstarter Nearly 25% Funded

On June 23, 2020, Crytivo and Sparky Tail Games announced and launched a Kickstarter campaign for Undercat, a retro-styled, 2D action platformer. In just under a week, the campaign has managed to surpass $3,500 out of its $15,000 goal. If the game gets funded beyond that, there are even promises of extra features, content, and game modes.

 

Undercat takes on a retro style and a story of tyranny. When cats rule Citadel City, it’s up to Chips, the hero dog everyone’s been waiting for, to join the rebellion and squash the cats in the name of freedom. Each of the 32 levels comes with shops to spend currency for upgrades and boss levels that will challenge and surprise you. The world is also built in a way that encourages players to explore new ways of approaching problems. Is rough-and-tumble the best strategy for this situation, or is a quieter method preferable? Which direction will you go? How creative can you get? However, these are arguably not the most important questions.

 

 

Are you going to play with a buddy? Undercat supports co-op and PvP, allowing you to invite a friend to either help you take down the cat overlord or battle you for bragging rights. With the Kickstarter’s stretch goals, there’s even a possibility of fully-fledged online capabilities and up to four-player co-op.

 

You can support the Kickstarter by clicking here. You can also check out the Steam page or their Discord serverUndercat is expected to release for Switch, PC, Xbox, and PlayStation at varying points in 2021.

PS5 and PS5 All-Digital Revealed in Future of Gaming Show

PS5 and PS5 All-Digital Revealed in Future of Gaming Show

Sony’s PlayStation 5 was finally revealed to the masses via their Future of Gaming Show presentation on Thursday. We got an exclusive look at some upcoming games too, including Horizon II: Forbidden West. However, the new look and the two different versions of PS5 are what stole the show.

 

The one big thing that a lot of people were hoping for that we didn’t get was a price tag. However, the addition of an all-digital PS5 alongside the traditional PS5 gives us a decent idea of what we’ll be looking at in terms of console pricing. It’s no secret that over the past couple of years, the industry has been moving into a completely digital space. Microsoft and Xbox have also expressed their interest in things like an all-digital console and their xCloud service. Considering this transition and the simpler hardware that comes with an all-digital console, it’s likely this will be the cheaper alternative of the two PS5s.

 

 

While it’s impossible to truly say until the prices are announced, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the PS5 all-digital version to hit around the same mark as the Xbox One X, which was $499 USD. This will likely be the new standard price for consoles going forward, assuming that consoles will be the standard still when the next group of them come out. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the traditional version clock in at as high as $699 USD.

 

However, this does little to belay the excitement of this new design. The only bit of information that may be concerning is the vertical design of PS5. Consoles often go into cubbies on entertainment centers in living rooms, and if the console can’t be put on its side like the most recent Xbox consoles, then that could pose a problem. When that’s the worst of your issues, though, you’re in pretty good shape. Let’s raise a glass to the new generation.

Twin Mirror Release Date Likely to Be Announced at PC Gaming Show

Twin Mirror Release Date Likely to Be Announced at PC Gaming Show

Dontnod’s Twin Mirror has gone without so much as a Tweet for nearly a year, until May 19, 2020, that is. That day, the Twin Mirror Twitter account posted an update that promised “more about the game” and urged us to stay tuned. Since then, we’ve been teased by several tweets that included images and short clips from Twin Mirror. Now, we finally know when to expect more information, maybe even a release date for the game. They Tweeted on Thursday that we could get more information at the PC Gaming Show on Saturday, June 13, 2:00 PM EST.

 

 

Twin Mirror was originally announced at E3 2018. The announcement trailer portrays a man named Sam who needs to traverse his own brain and memories in order to discover what he did on one fateful night. It also puts “2019” in huge letters at the end of it. However, Dontnod Tweeted in June of 2019 that Twin Mirror would be rescheduled for 2020.

 

After a year of silence, some big updates are expected. We’ll likely find out more about Sam, the town called Basswood, some supporting characters, and what features we can expect. However, that all almost feels overshadowed by the potential for a Twin Mirror release date. In times like these, where the industry is moving slower than ever, gaming events are shut down, and announcements are few and far between, this should serve as a breath of fresh air.

 

 

Granted, there’s reason to be skeptical before we even see what Dontnod has in store on June 13. Dontnod is responsible mainly for then games in the Life Is Strange franchise, minus Before the Storm, which was developed under Deck Nine. However, even these titles have trouble appealing to a large audience. Vampyr was a recent attempt at something new for Dontnod, and they received mixed reviews for that one, to say the least. Dontnod has made some big moves in recent years to separate themselves from being simply “the team that develops Life Is Strange”. In addition to Twin Mirror and Vampyr, the development company recently opened up a new studio in Montreal to be closer to its North American fanbase. They’re also currently working with Xbox Game Studios to produce Tell Me Why, a new adventure game also scheduled for 2020.

 

Twin Mirror will hopefully be a big step for Dontnod in the right direction, but only time will tell. Well, that and the PC Gaming Show on June 13. Tune in to twitch.tv/pcgamer for the event.

 

The Last of Us Part II Promises to Redefine Cinematic Gameplay

The Last of Us Part II Promises to Redefine Cinematic Gameplay

We are now less than two weeks out from the release of The Last of Us Part II. Naughty Dog’s sequel to instant cultural phenomenon The Last of Us is coming to all storefronts on June 19th, 2020, arguably serving as this summer’s first major release. It’s been a long road to the game’s release, with hints about Ellie’s journey into adulthood first materializing years ago. This is Naughty Dog’s first project since Uncharted: The Lost Legacy in 2017, a standalone expansion to Uncharted 4, and together with Ghosts of Tsushima will likely serve as a parting gift to PS4 owners as Sony embarks on the PS5 rollout.

 

Naughty Dog Brings a New Standard for Action-Adventure

 

Where Naughty Dog franchises in the past have generally relied on a streak of levity (be it the attitude of Crash Bandicoot or the Spielberg-like tone of Uncharted), The Last of Us places players in a stark post-apocalypse, where the horrors of mass infection and human nature alike combine into a singular terror. The near photo-realistic capabilities of the PS4 promise to make The Last of Us Part II even more immersive than its predecessor. The dilapidated Seattle environment is at once harrowing and beautiful as dense foliage and lifelike lighting spills over the abandoned city.

Despite some false alarms, full details of the narrative and gameplay have been kept under wraps. However, what we’ve seen of the game in recent promotional videos illustrates a refinement of Naughty Dog’s past ambitions. Third-person stealth and urban exploration remain the central focus, now with landscapes that are more open than ever. Ellie is mutually equipped to ambush or sneak past enemies, with verticality of the environments and improved enemy AI erasing the linearity of the game’s prequel. A narrative about survival amidst the downfall of civilization is paired with survival-focused gameplay. Crafting and resource management is now integrated amongst carefully deployed encounters. An even tenser campaign stands before the player.

 

The Last of Us Part II treads toward a greater reconciliation between cinematic storytelling and thorough gameplay. Those who were enthralled by Joel and Ellie’s characterization and a vivid approach to pandemic-based horror can rest assured that The Last of Us Part II will bring forward a cathartic evolution. Those waiting in anticipation can treat themselves to 23 minutes of gameplay footage released by Naughty Dog.

Nookazon: The Amazon for Animal Crossing

Nookazon: The Amazon for Animal Crossing

 

As we spend more time quarantined at home, many of us have been trying to perfect our Animal Crossing islands in any way we can. However, some people, including me, have been finding the perfect pieces of furniture and other in-game goods through a fan-made online retailer site for Animal Crossing called Nookazon. Through Nookazon, users are able to trade furniture, produce, resources, villagers, and anything else they might need for their island. The owner of the site, Daniel Luu, came up with the idea of the website while playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This was Daniel Luu’s first Animal Crossing game, and he initially bought it due to the hype around the site. He loved playing the game and decided to join a server for trading furniture through Reddit.

 

“The server I had joined was so chaotic and disorganized with people constantly messaging the same messages and no separation between categories” (Luu). So from this frustration came the idea of creating an organized website specifically made for trading in-game goods. With his background of being a software engineer, and with the help of a few friends, he went on to create the famous website Nookazon. The website launched early April, and Daniel Luu decided to initially post the link to his website via Reddit.

 

Nookazon Clothing Page

 

This garnered a bit of attention, but Daniel Luu did not see the rapid rise of his website until it was posted on the popular video-sharing social network site Tik Tok. At that point, the number of users had sky-rocketed from 6,000 all the way to 180,000 in one night. With the explosive success of the site, Daniel Luu has “given up most free-time activities to work on the site.” However, even though most of his free time is taken up by the site, he still enjoys the time he spends working on it since software engineering is his passion. Currently, there are over 16 million listings on the website, and they also run a very organized Discord server with bots to prevent spamming and scamming.

 

As far as future updates, the Discord server has recently gotten an upgrade to increase the max amount of users that are able to join the server, and the website itself will be getting translated in all of the languages Animal Crossing is available in.

 

 

I have used the site myself quite often for my own game, and I must say, every experience I have had using Nookazon has been a very pleasant one. In my opinion, it adds a certain flair to the game when you are able to share goods with other people online rather than having to wait for the perfect furniture set to arrive on your island. I am now much closer to being the owner of a cute, five-star island, and I have made myself an in-game millionaire through the site and server. Everyone I have interacted with on the site tends to be very friendly and polite, with exchanges being to-the-point. There are certain mannerisms and slang terms on the site and Discord server to keep in mind while you are exchanging goods.

 

  • Most people tend to trade their items for bells or Nook Miles Tickets, which are forms of in-game currency. 
  • When you see “LF” on the Discord server, this means that someone is looking for an in-game good.
  • When you see “FS” on the Discord server, this means that someone is selling an in-game good.
  • Make sure you use the right channel for selling and buying on the server.
  • When trading goods, people exchange Dodo codes to each other’s islands.
  • You can make a wishlist and profile on the website itself, this can be very helpful if you would rather try to trade furniture you already have.
  • “Touch-Trading” or “Cataloguing” is when someone drops an item, you pick it up, and then you drop it right afterwards so you can purchase it through the catalogue. If someone says they are doing a touch trade, DO NOT try and walk away with the item (I accidentally did this the first time I touch-traded an item, and it was super embarrassing).
  • It’s always polite to say “Thank you” and use one of your positive “reactions” on someone’s island.

 

The Nookazon website started out as a small fan site, but it grew over the past few months tremendously and has even started garnering its own culture thanks to the efforts of their social media team. The website and server have made playing Animal Crossing a much more open experience for many people, and there is more to come for Nookazon in the coming months and years thanks to the support they receive from their Patreon.

 

Classic 2D Events Coming to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Classic 2D Events Coming to Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

After a three year breather (which now seems to be the common pace for the Olympic Games series), Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will unite polarized fanbases yet again, releasing for Nintendo Switch on November 5th with a newfound retro flair. Tandem with the 24 core events ranging from football to fencing, will be 10 nostalgic 2D events transplanting players to 1964, the last time Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics. This is a hefty amount of content for an entry in the Olympic Games franchise and the faithful presentations of Mario in 8-bit sprites and Sonic in 16-bit sprites will no doubt make for uncharted territory for the series.

Beyond Mario and Sonic, Bowser, Knuckles, Dr. Robotonik, and more will return to their 2D likenesses, to race, dive, and set sail against each other for a place on the winner’s podium. Though Sonic looks a bit out of place in the authentic 8-bit landscapes comprising the 1964 Olympics segment, the rebranding of this ever reliable character clash is incredibly charming and should renew interest in the franchise’s grand return. Any chance to humble Sonic in a 400m hurdle is a chance worth taking. The 2D marathon minigame looks especially chaotic, with 67 competitors to force your way ahead of.

And luckily enough, it seems like similar creative energy should carry over to the 3D segments of the game. Even if the prospect of Bowser riding a horse isn’t appealing enough to you, the rest of the game looks to provide unbridled competitive fun that puts your Joycon controller to a remarkable variety of uses. Over twenty minutes of footage have been displayed due to Nintendo’s Gamescom presence and as the first Olympic Games title to appear on Nintendo Switch, the franchise looks like it has finally found the optimal system to flourish on. With only a few months away from its release, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 looks to be a contender.