Over 25 million people have played Sea of Thieves. The pirate ship fantasy sim has some of the most beautiful water you’ve ever seen in a video game. And now Rare’s live-service multiplayer game is finally getting a way for people to play solo. A new mode called Safer Seas will let players explore in private sessions without the threat of PvP starting in December.
Unboxing The Baldur’s Gate 3 Collector’s Edition
“Safer Seas is intended to offer a gentler introduction to Sea of Thieves for new players, as well as providing a quieter map for existing players looking to pursue their own solo adventures,” Mike Chapman, creative director, wrote in an Xbox Wire blog post yesterday. If you’re hoping to get some peaceful fishing done, or complete a few Tall Tales without interference, Safer Seas is the perfect choice.”
Originally set to arrive earlier this year before being delayed by three months, Rare is calling season 10 update its “Super Season.” Going live on October 18, here are three big new features coming to Sea of Thieves in separate installments throughout the end of the year:
Guilds: A captain pledges a ship, letting up to 24 players join together and borrow one another’s vessels and cosmetics even when they’re not online, sharing milestone progress along the way.
Competitive Questing: Players compete to collect Skull of Siren Song artifact components, with the objects cursing the ships they’re onboard and broadcasting those players’ locations across the seas.
Safer Seas: Play Sea of Thieves alone or with friends in a session devoid of competing players, with a max rank of 40 and reduced rewards due to the lessened danger.
The Safer Seas mode in particular could be a huge boon for the game. Despite its massive player-base, Sea of Thieves still has a steep learning curve and requires an intimidating amount of coordination, compounded by the ever-present threat of PvP. Safe Seas doesn’t just remove that danger, it also lets solo-minded players explore its vast and beautiful world without the social anxiety or awkwardness of running into other people. I wish more live-service games offered a similar escape.
Cyberpunk 2077‘s massive 2.0 update introduced a bunch of additions and changes to the open-world first-person shooter RPG. Alongside new combat enhancements and a revamped police system that makes cops far more aggressive when hunting you down for committing crimes, the latest patch also completely overhauls cyberware and perks. It almost feels like an entirely new game that just so happens to include some new Easter eggs for the fantastic—and heartbreaking—Edgerunners anime. Prepare to cry, y’all, this one’s a doozy. Oh, and be warned: There are some Edgerunners spoilers down below.
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Read More: Cyberpunk 2077’s 2.0 Update Feels Like A Different Game
Produced by Studio Trigger (Kill la Kill), Edgerunners takes place about a year before the events of Cyberpunk 2077. Following a punky David “Dee” Martinez, the 10 episode anime shows Dee devolve from an ambitious kid to a cold mercenary. He makes friends with a group of other talented hired guns, but like most stories in the Cyberpunk universe, the troupe’s journey ends in brutal tragedy. By the time the credits roll, only one person of the main crew is alive. And now, thanks to the 2.0 update, we can wallow in that sorrow once more.
As spotted by Redditor FirmAd6452 (via GamesRadar), Cyberpunk 2077features murals for all the important folks in Dee’s life. Dee’s there, of course, but so is his mom Gloria, tech specialist Pilar, merc bruiser Dorio, and Edgerunners gang leader Maine—all of whom died throughout the anime’s narrative. The last mural is dedicated to best girl—and fan fave—Rebecca, who was crushed to death by the cyberjerk Adam Smasher in the final episode. The traitor Kiwi, who conspired with the anime’s antagonist to catch a member of the crew, has a mural as well, but we don’t talk about her around here.
Each of these holographic tributes is located in the Westbrook District’s North Oak Columbarium, a series of structures that holds the ashes of Night City residents. Under the murals are lines of text seemingly written from the perspective of Lucy, Dee’s girlfriend and the sole survivor of Edgerunners. Dee’s tribute, for instance, reads, “You didn’t take me to the moon, but you were there with me,” referencing the second episode in which the couple venture to the moon together. Meanwhile, Rebecca’s posits, “I regret not finishing our conversation,” calling attention to the final episode which sees Adam Smasher violently interrupting the moment the two ladies were having. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Again, there’s a line for Kiwi, too, but, traitors never prosper.
Read More: Cyberpunk 2077 – Phantom Liberty: The Kotaku Review
I wasn’t prepared to think about Edgerunners again, especially with how fucked up things ended. This new Easter egg isn’t even the only one that references the anime. There are skills within the retweaked perk trees named after the characters, and Dee’s iconic yellow jacket if you want V to cosplay as him. So, although CD Projekt Red has no plans for a sequel to the anime, at least these characters will live on in Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a terrible day for rain…
Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to evolve. The hit fantasy RPG received its much-anticipated and sprawling Patch 3 update today, which brings Mac support, a Magic Mirror feature to redesign your player character’s appearance, and an overwhelming number of bug fixes and tweaks.
Unboxing The Baldur’s Gate 3 Collector’s Edition
Larian Studios’ patch notes are always a pleasure to read, and the ones for Patch 3 are no exception. They also include spoilers though, so new players beware. The development team is still promising new features and epilogue scenes in the future, but in the meantime there’s plenty to chew on for both PC and PlayStation 5 players.
On Sony’s console, for example, Baldur’s Gate 3 now matches colors more closely between the spells you’re using onscreen and how the PS5 controller lights up in your hand. Neat! More importantly, Larian says it’s improved optimization and performance, including when it comes to framerate. It’s still aiming to hit a solid 60fps in performance mode, but 30fps should be more consistent across every area in the game in quality mode.
One noteable change in the gameplay itself revolves around NPC reactions. One change reads, “NPCs will no longer run away from anything but the [REDACTED] to improve interactivity and flow.” Druids and Necromancers on the Baldur’s Gate 3 subreddit are rejoicing, since it means they can now summon their minions without frightening away everyone in town.
Other modifications are much more escoteric. “Fixed Shadowheart looking like she’s either in pain or about to sneeze in the background of a dialogue with Thulla,” reads another part of the patch notes. In case you’re wondering what the hell that refers to, fans quickly found an exact screenshot of the expression.
Some changes weren’t even part of player feedback. “Nobody asked for this, but we made the ceremorphosis scene on the nautiloid more horrifying,” reads one note. “These patch notes are massive, they fix so much, add so much, and even then add shit like this, just cause,” a fan wrote in the comments on Reddit. “Studio is incredible.”
Here’s the full list of Patch 3 changes in Baldur’s Gate 3 if you’ve got the time to read a small novella:
Baldur’s Gate 3 is now fully supported on Mac!
A Magic Mirror that lets you change your appearance is now available at camp!
Cazador now cannot turn into or remain in his Mist Form if in magical sunlight, such as that created by the Daylight spell.
Fixed Ansur’s Stormheart Nova blasting right through the ice shields you can hide behind.
Grym suddenly got eerily smart and was avoiding the Crucible in the Adamantine Forge. With a nervous laugh, we dumbed him back down a little.
Fixed Level 4 or higher Divine Smite allowing you to add Divine Smite as a reaction, allowing for two Divine Smites in 1 attack.
Fixed the Divine Smite damage increasing over the cap of 5d8.
Made several improvements to the Poltergeist enemy: they are now revealed on being attacked or hit with Radiant Spirit Guardians; they will not turn Invisible again if they are still in a character’s See Invisibility aura; in Balanced and Explorer Mode, they have disadvantage on Dexterity Saving Throws when Invisible; the range of their attacks has been reduced; and they won’t try to keep distance from the player in combat so that they are easier to find.
Fixed the Sneak Attack damage bonus not increasing to 6d6 at Level 11.
Fixed a case where multiple Smokepowder Arrows could be used for free while the Extra Attack feature was active.
The colours on the PS5 controller will now match elemental damage types more closely.
Improved performance in the Lower City. More to come!
Made dye colours more intense and more visible on some armours. This will only affect newly dyed items.
Dragonborn characters can now select any of the barbarian piercings.
Fixed Shadowheart going blonde when equipping a hat.
Improved the reflection in the Spectator’s eye in the Underdark.
Fixed face tattoos disappearing when zooming out.
Flow and Scripting
Fixed a bug where companions temporarily leaving the party (e.g. being sent to prison) would forget their partnership history and act unusually cold towards you.
Fixed a bug letting you trade with Cazador while he begs for mercy.
Improved the Astarion romance flow if you agreed to spend a night with him before going to camp by disabling some less important camp moments.
Fixed some dialogue options only showing up once when talking to Withers.
Fixed a blocker where if you knock Orin’s Slayer form into the chasm, you can’t get her Netherstone.
Fixed an issue causing Dammon to enter combat and die at Last Light, preventing Karlach’s story from progressing.
Added a journal step for when the tieflings leave the Emerald Grove. The Forging of the Heart quest will also close if Dammon is no longer available in the region.
Fixed the game thinking you’re dating Gale instead of Karlach in one of the dialogues with Karlach.
You now need higher approval for Shadowheart to confess her Shar worship to you.
Myshka the cat will now follow you around if told to, even if you don’t have Speak with Animals.
Halsin, Jaheira, and Minthara will no longer be able to undergo Volo’s icepick lobotomy. It’s just not their kind of pastime.
Fixed not being able to cut Vanra out of the hag by interacting with her Knocked Out body if all of her mushrooms are destroyed.
Lae’zel will no longer tag along (whether dead or alive) after you slit her throat when she ambushes you at night.
Fixed a bug allowing you to yoink the Orphic Hammer right out of the so-called Impervious Sphere in the House of Hope if someone else in your party is in an interactive dialogue with the sphere.
Fixed a flow issue in Shadowheart’s endgame romance dialogue to make sure Karlach appears alone in Avernus if Shadowheart says she’ll meet her there at a later point in time.
Fixed Karlach’s journal mistakenly saying you arrived in the Shadow-Cursed Lands when you arrive at the Rosymorn Monastery Trail.
Wyll should now acknowledge Karlach approaching him for the first time more consistently.
Fixed an issue that caused the Shadowheart swimming scene to not play for some players.
The Narrator no longer thinks you’re a mind flayer when you’re not.
Fixed companions talking about killing Gortash after meeting Orin even if the former is already dead.
Fixed issues with Astarion discussing topics that are no longer relevant.
Reworked the interaction between Nere and Minthara:The ‘Travel to Moonrise Towers’ quest no longer sends you to Minthara after saving Nere – he has a lyre of his own now. He gifts it to you if you saved him from the cave-in. This lyre can now be used to call for the drider through the Shadow-Cursed Lands, like Minthara’s lyre does. Both lyres have new descriptions.Nere no longer mentions Minthara in his Speak with Dead.You can ask Minthara for a safe passage to Moonrise if you’d heard about it. She will ask to raid the Emerald Grove first. If this happens, Nere can be asked about Minthara and then Minthara can be asked about Nere.The journals for ‘Travel to Moonrise Towers’ and ‘Follow the Convoy’ were updated accordingly.Saving Nere no longer creates a danger zone if the duergar was killed before clearing the cave-in.
During your date with Karlach, Tender Henk will no longer walk away to reveal another Tender Henk standing behind him. Staring.
The following spells will now correctly break the Sanctuary condition: Call Lightning, Evard’s Black Tentacles, Polymorph, Hunger of Hadar, Fear, Ice Storm, Flesh to Stone, Divine Intervention, Hypnotic Pattern, Slow, Stinking Cloud, Banishment, Glyph of Warding.
Level Up will now queue all characters who can be levelled up so you don’t have to click on them individually.
Fixed some corpses never showing the ‘(empty)‘ tag after you loot them.
Fixed not being able to use some reactions while in disguise.
Cazador’s staff, Woe, now correctly unlocks the Blight spell when equipped.
Fixed several magic items and Volo’s Ersatz Eye losing their power after you are killed and revived.
Fixed the Spell Sniper feat not working on attack spells.
The Spell Sniper feat will now correctly reduce the Critical Hit threshold by 1.
Fixed the Idol of Silvanus buff disappearing after Long Rest.
NPCs will no longer run away from anything but the Dark Urge Slayer form to improve interactivity and flow.
Mummies raised through Create Undead can now Jump to follow you around better.
The Everburn Blade now correctly sets explosive surfaces and explosive objects alight when hit.
The Misty Escape feat will no longer break concentration.
Reading shop signs will no longer be considered a crime.
The Cutting Words reaction is now set to Ask by default.
Summoned zombies and skeletons will no longer be able to pick up loot and disappear with it when dismissed.
The Azer summon’s Overheat ability is now available on its hotbar when summoned.
The Nimblefinger Gloves now correctly apply their Dexterity bonus to gnomes, halflings, and dwarves.
Fixed an Animate Dead exploit allowing you to summon 2 skeletons from the same corpse.
Optimised how the game handles object selection on controller.
Fixed Sovereign Spaw being able to resurrect hirelings with Animating Spores. We taught him to not use this on player characters anymore.
Your selected trade mode (trade or barter) is now saved to your player profile.
Added an option to the Default Online Settings to let you automatically listen in when another party member enters a dialogue in multiplayer.
Clarified whether something is a Resistance, a Vulnerability, or an Immunity in the Examine window.
Added a notification for when another player in your party is trading.
Fixed spells being interrupted by climbing, allowing you to attack twice after climbing down from a crate.
Updated the Character Sheet on controller to place active Conditions above the list of Notable Features.
Fixed some small holes in Act I that weren’t letting tiny characters through them.
Added a dialogue option to the first in-person dialogue with the Dream Visitor to avoid only having two antagonistic choices.
Rewrote some spell and action descriptions that were too vague.
Fixed Raphael’s boss fight music sometimes being incomplete or missing.
Fixed some VO not playing in dialogues on PS5 split-screen.
Fixed audio cutting out with 3D Audio enabled on PS5.
Optimised audio in merged split-screen cinematics.
Improved contact when petting Ketheric’s good girl, Squire.
Added some lovely blood spurts when Volo carries out his expert operation.
Fixed Wyll’s horns clipping into Karlach’s face during an Act II romance scene.
Fixed missing music on the Wyll path of Karlach’s endgame scene in Avernus.
Placed a nice purple picnic blanket in a romantic scene with Gale and fixed a camera spin if you choose to prefer to spend your time with him on a bed.
Fixed Shadowheart looking like she’s either in pain or about to sneeze in the background of a dialogue with Thulla.
Added some missing Boo squeaks.
Reworked the intro of the scene when you approach the altar at the Temple of Bhaal and fixed some bugs.
Updated cameras, facial expressions and head directions to better suit the tone in dialogue with Shadowheart.
Fixed some pops and camera issues when you start dating Lae’zel, including Lae’zel’s body flying elsewhere and then back again mid-dialogue.
Boo will now be framed in the shot as intended when you talk to Jaheira after recruiting Minsc.
Fixed Scratch floating in the air while you pet him by the posthouse in Rivington.
CRASHES AND BLOCKERS
Fixed a crash when listening in on conversations in multiplayer.
Fixed a crash when loading a savegame made during an Active Roll in dialogue.
Fixed a crash when previewing wall spells.
Fixed a crash when walking away from a triggered trap.
Fixed a crash when switching between controller and keyboard and mouse while
By many accounts, Payday 3 appears to be a disappointing half-step forward for the longrunning co-op bank robbery series. Unlike its predecessor, it also requires players to always be online, a seemingly grave misjudgement given Payday 3’s first-week launch woes. The problems with crashes, slow matchmaking, and disconnected servers were so bad the CEO of creator Starbreeze Studios began apologizing for the state of the game almost immediately.
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“We are so sorry that the infrastructure didn’t hold up as expected, and although it’s impossible to prepare for every scenario—we should be able to do better,” Tobias Sjögren tweeted on September 22, just a day after Payday 3’sdebut. “We work tirelessly until we have restored all services and our players can get back to heisting again without issues!”
“Early access” for Payday 3 began on September 18, but the massive influx of new players didn’t begin until its full release on September 21. In addition to PC and PlayStation 5, the multiplayer heist sim also hit Game Pass, where paying subscribers on Xbox Series X/S could download it for free. PC players complained about the game being stuck in “searching” mode when trying to find a match. Some Xbox players also appear to have faced unstable servers and crashes.
“No matter what you choose, public, friends only, invite only, it will just matchmaker forever,” wrote one player in a post that blew up on Reddit. “Release day is usually tough for studios. This…This is embarrassing.”
Players on PS5, meanwhile, began the week with an apparent wrong build of the game. Lead producer Andreas Häll-Penninger blamed Sony for pushing out an incorrect patch. “PS5 players: For reasons out of our control you are currently playing an older version of the game,” he tweeted. “Sony is working on rolling out the proper patch.” The right version arrived a day later, but it was still a bad omen for fans on PS5 who paid $30 extra for the Silver Edition to play the game before others.
Naturally, the outages have once again spurred calls for companies to move away from always-online requirements. Payday 2’s offline mode lets players run through missions with AI-controlled characters. While the allure of the series remains its real time online multiplayer antics, being able to still enjoy the game without an internet connection was a nice feature. An offline mod for the game is apparently already in the works.
A three-act play on the Payday 3 Twitter account (sorry, I mean “X” account) perfectly captured the mood of the launch. “HEISTERS! We’re number one on Steam!” the account tweeted on September 21. “Heisters, we’re currently experiencing slow matchmaking,” read its very next tweet. “We’re investigating and working on a solution.” While matchmaking was unavailable for many throughout the afternoon and evening, the studio reported that things were improving by early in the morning on September 22, only for outages to creep back in as the day went on.
The ongoing mess is another reminder of why so many people take a wait-and-see approach to new game launches, especially on PC, especially when they have stringent online requirements. “Payday 3 feels like the kind of game that is not meant for day-one purchase,” wrote one observer on Reddit. “But rather wait until they have a bunch of content released.”
This is effectively what IGN wrote in the very first paragraph of its Payday 3 review. “The usual horrible Payday bugs, a dinky pool of jobs to tackle, and a predictably weak story mean it’s not exactly the giant leap forward I was hoping for,” it reads. “Still, if Payday 2’s post-launch support is any indication, this is at least a very promising start for what could become another decade of happily pistol whipping cashiers and fixing drills.”
In an open letter published on Friday, Unity’s president and general manager Marc Whitten apologized for the controversial changes announced on September 12 and announced that it was walking back some of the worst changes, including charging install fees for previously published games.
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The controversial changes were revealed in a blog post on the company’s website earlier this month. Unity—a popular cross-platform game engine that powers titles like Hollow Knight and Pokémon Go—announced that a new Runtime Fee would take effect on January 1, 2024. The controversial fee, which many indie devs pushed back on, is calculated using game installs after a game crosses a certain revenue and installation threshold. At the time, Unity said the Runtime Fee would be applied retroactively to games that meet the revenue and install thresholds. But those plans have changed.
Whitten’s open letter starts with an apology and then the president continues, admitting that Unity should have probably, you know, talked to all the developers out there using their engine before announcing such massive changes.
“We should have spoken with more of you and we should have incorporated more of your feedback before announcing our new Runtime Fee policy,” said Whitten.
Then Whitten laid out new changes, which I assume Unity is hoping receive a better reaction this time around.
The new changes Unity is making following the backlash
First up, Unity confirmed its Personal plan will remain free. It also said that it now has no plans to charge the controversial Runtime Fee on games built with Unity Personal. It also is increasing how much revenue devs can make on games made using this free version of the engine. The old limit was $100,000 and the new limit is now $200,000. Whitten also said Unity is removing the requirement to have a “Made With Unity” splash screen appear when players boot up the game.
Unity also says no game with less than $1 million in trailing 12-month revenue will be subject to the runtime fee.
Next, the letter announces that the fee will only apply to software developed using the next LTS version of Unity, which ships in 2024.
“Your games that are currently shipped and the projects you are currently working on will not be included – unless you choose to upgrade them to this new version of Unity,” explained Whitten.
Unity also promises that developers will be able to stay on the terms that apply to their version of the Unity engine as long as devs don’t upgrade.
Runtime fees aren’t going away, though
However, Unity isn’t removing the runtime fee or reversing its plans completely and the last part of the open letter confirms this, with the company president referencing the runtime fee and explaining that developers will now have a choice.
“For games that are subject to the runtime fee, we are giving you a choice of either a 2.5% revenue share or the calculated amount based on the number of new people engaging with your game each month,” said Whitten.
Unity says both of these numbers are “self-reported” from data developers already have access to and that studios will “always” be billed for the lesser amount.
“We want to continue to build the best engine for creators. We truly love this industry and you are the reason why. Thank you for caring as deeply as you do, and thank you for giving us hard feedback,” concluded Whitten in the letter.
Developers react to the new (new) changes
Some of the first responses from devs were cautiously optimistic and mostly positive. Developer Rami Ismail posted on X, in response to the open letter, “You know what, on first glance, I think this works?”
“It’s effectively a 2.5% revenue share for $1M+p/y earners? No retroactivity left, LTS stability, no black-box data, yeah? I think that works for every use-case,” said Ismail.
“This is looking reasonable,” posted game developer Dan Goodayle, “Though they’ve got a lot of work to do to repair the trust. Nothing stopping them from U-turning in another week.”
“Very happy that Unity removed the retroactivity of their new fees,” said Juan Linietsky, the creator of the Godot engine. “I happy for anyone moving to Godot but, as I said before, at their own pace and will. Doing it forced by a stressful situation can never be a good experience.”
Of course, none of this would be happening right now, and Unity wouldn’t have to be putting out all these fires, if it hadn’t created this massive shitshow in the first place with the original announcement of the runtime fee.
So while initial reactions to the open letter and its changes are somewhat positive, especially compared to the feedback Unity received from devs last time they announced changes, it doesn’t change that many feel like they can’t trust the company anymore. Partially fixing a problem you created isn’t a great way to win people back.
Since Star Wars Eclipse was first revealed two years ago, we’ve seen and heard little about the next game from Quantic Dream, the developer behind Heavy Rainand Detroit: Become Human. However, the devs behind the game have revealed that as in the studio’s previous adventures, Eclipse’s storyline will continue no matter which characters die, a quality which hasn’t been seen in any other Star Wars game to date.
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We first confirmed Star Wars Eclipse was in development in September 2021, before its official reveal at The Game Awards that December. Eclipse is set in the franchise’s High Republic era, a time hundreds of years before Anakin Skywalker and Han Solo. It’s a golden age for the Jedi and the republic it defends, and a vastly different time than the period covered in the films and TV shows.
And unlike past Quantic Dream games—which were narrative driven, QTE-filled adventure affairs—Star Wars Eclipse is set to be an action game. Even so, the studio confirmed that the DNA of its more contemplative back catalog will remain evident in Eclipse, too.
No matter what happens, this Star Wars story moves forward
Lisa Pendse, vice president of marketing for Quantic Dream, told IGN during a recent interview at the Tokyo Game Show that while the studio wants people to know this is an action-adventure game, it will still have “all of the elements that you would come to expect and want from a Quantic Dream title,” including “intricately branching narratives” and the ability to play as different characters. Another key element is that no matter how badly you screw up or who dies, the game’s story will keep on chugging.
“There’s no game over,” said Pendse. “Anyone can die, anything can happen and the story sort of continues so that those signatures are still there.”
As mentioned, this has been the case in past games from the studio. For example, in Beyond: Two Souls, there were parts of the game where you had to escape the police, like while onboard a train. If you screwed that up, you would get caught and the story would change as you had to escape from a different scenario featuring different characters.
IGN / Lucasfilm / Quantic Dream
What’s interesting to me, as a Star Wars nerd, is that this amount of freedom isn’t something we commonly see in Star Wars games. Sure some have had alternate endings, but outside of the Knights of the Old Republic RPGs, most Star Wars games don’t let you screw things up too much. I’ll be curious to see how the Star Wars community handles this level of freedom in places like Wookieepedia. The perpetual fan question of “What is canon?” will be trickier to answer in a game like Eclipse,and I find that exciting.
Meanwhile, in other Quantic Dream news, the studio has spent the last few years battling some of the former employees involved in a series of 2018 reports accusing the studio of being a terrible place to work.
The report also detailed sexist and racist jokes, and lots of extended crunch. Quantic Dream denied the reports and later sued the publications reporting on the accusations and some former employees in a series of court battles, some of which have ended conclusively.
So much of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is spent jumping between Hyrule’s landscape and the floating islands above it that I can’t fathom somehow beating the game without traversing both the sky regions and Hyrule proper. But that’s exactly what one player miraculously managed to pull off.
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TotK subreddit user Black_Hand_Gotthard shared a post (h/t Polygon) with a screenshot of both the ending cutscene and a map of the game’s sky layer filled out with all of the airborne fast-travel points, proving that they did indeed complete the game without visiting the surface of Hyrule. They responded to questions about how they pulled this off, and it sounds like they used a lot of the Zonai tech that gives you navigation tools like gliders to move through the air or rockets that propel you up higher. But it also sounds like the game’s highly popular makeshift hoverbike came in handy as well.
So yeah, in theory, you could get around in Tears of the Kingdom without touching the ground for several hours. However, beating the game does require you to go down to the surface…but not necessarily touching down on Hyrule’s ground.
Spoilers for Tears of the Kingdom follow.
The final boss fight against Ganondorf takes place underneath the floating Hyrule Castle. Reaching this area would usually require something like the paraglider, which you have to go to the surface to get, but Black_Hand_Gotthard says they were able to survive by using fairies, which will revive Link should he lose all his health. Barreling from the sky islands to the core of Hyrule—bypassing the surface entirely—is nothing when you’ve got a little magical person stashed in a bottle in your pocket.
All of this is made possible by Tears of the Kingdom’s open structure, which doesn’t really require you to do anything specific at any time after you pass the prologue. That freedom means you can easily miss things like the paraglider that are ostensibly on the main path because you can simply fuck off and do other things.
Tears of the Kingdom has been out since May, and I’m still fascinated at how people are finding new ways to play it. It’s a shame we’re not getting DLC, because adding new toys and tools would no doubt give the community yet more oft-strange, definitely fascinating new ideas.
Buy The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom:Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop
Although early reviews claimed Starfield was Bethesda Game Studios’ most polished game to date, the open-space RPG still suffers from some of the strange, sometimes amusing, occasionally very helpful sorts of bugs and glitches the studio’s work is often known for. Maybe the most mind-boggling bug yet, however, is one that sees players being followed across space, not just by asteroids and other such objects, but even by forests and whole-ass cities.
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Out now for Windows PC and Xbox consoles, Starfield is a game about exploring the farthest reaches of the black sea above us. You’ll join a troupe of space surveyors—as well as several other major and minor factions—to scour the cosmos looking for knowledge, loot, and power. Some helpful if annoying companions can accompany you on the voyage, which is nice. Traveling space can be lonely sometimes. But depending on how busted Starfield decides to be during your playthrough, you may find yourself yearning for that loneliness.
Stalkers are lurking in Starfield’s space
Across the game’s subreddit are posts from folks claiming that the most random of space objects are stalking them throughout the galaxy. On September 15, for example, redditor ReverendRoo posted nine images of an asteroid that had followed them “for the past 30 hours” like a pet. Similarly, on September 20, user Ultimastar shared four images on r/Starfield of an asteroid that “randomly attended my wedding” after 100 hours of gameplay. User Royal_Schedule4209 took to Reddit on September 22 to share an image of “a whole forest” that’s somehow been trailing their spaceship. Probably the wildest example of the bug, however, was shared on September 21 by redditor Punidue, who posted an image of “the whole New Atlantis” city creeping on them in space. Yikes.
That’s not all the things that’ve been breathing down the fuel tanks of Starfield players. One redditor claimed to have been followed by a part of a cave, while a separate commenter on user Xthekilr0y’s post about the asteroid following bug said they’re being chased by four pet rocks after mining asteroids. According to a few comments I’ve seen across multiple posts, the bug is seemingly permanent even if you reboot the game. The only way to get rid of them, at least for right now, is to either use console commands on PC or load a previous save. Regardless, this might be the most difficult dogfight you’ll ever find yourself in.
Kotaku reached out to Bethesda Games Studios for comment.
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The world is big, but space is bigger. It’s nice having friends to help the years spent gravjumping from system to system speed by. I’m just not sure these space objects are the besties we want hopping galaxies with us. They’re all sus.
Part of the appeal of video game remasters and remakes is the prospect of playing an old game on better hardware that can, ostensibly, run it better than your old console did back in the day. That is the hope, at least. Unfortunately, not every “remaster” is an improvement over its source material—just ask the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy collection. Now, eyes are turning toward Konami’s upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Master Collection Vol. 1., with fans hoping it doesn’t run into those same issues. On that front, today saw the emergence of one new slightly disappointing tidbit.
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The original 1998 PlayStation Metal Gear Solid ran at 30 frames per second, and Konami has now confirmed that will still be the case for the newly remastered edition launching in the Collection on October 24. News of this comes from a graph on the compilation’s official website, which says the first MGS adventure will run at 30fps on all platforms, while Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater will run at 60fps on all systems except for the Nintendo Switch.
To be clear, the original Metal Gear Solid ran at 30fps when it launched in 1998, but it being locked to that lower framerate across the board seems odd in 2023, especially when its sequels will apparently have some scaling depending on which platform you buy them on. (For reference, MGS2 originally ran at 60fps, while MGS3 was originally a 30fps game.)
Here’s the full rundown:
There’s been chatter about the games’ graphical resolutions as well. It’s a bummer to see that none of these games will run at 4K resolution, even on PC, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X/S. This lack of 4K support was confirmed back in August.
All of this comes ahead of Konami’s separate, upcoming Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater remake. That’s titled Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater, presumablyso the number doesn’t scare anyone off from playing the game. MGS3 was a prequel in any case, so you didn’t need to know everything going in to understand it.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 is out soon and looking very good, with a ton of hype surrounding the PS5 exclusive open-world superhero game. But now, even years after Sony made clear it would be giving Spidey a new look, fans keep grumbling about the loss of Peter Parker’s old face, last seen in the original PlayStation 4 version of the first Spider-Man game. And Peter Parker actor Yuri Lowenthal has a message to those fans: Get over it.
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WhenMarvel’s Spider-Man, originally released on PS4 in 2018, made its leap to the next-gen PS5 in 2020, it came with a bunch of changes and graphical improvements. One of the changes that got the most headlines didn’t involve ray-traced reflections or 4K textures. Instead, a lot of people got very upset that developer Insomniac Games decided to change the face of Peter Parker, making the character look younger and more like Tom Holland in the process. Since then fans have been talking about it a lot. And Lowenthal is “tired of talking about it after all this time” and just wants fans to move on.
In an interview with ComicBook.com published Thursday, Lowenthal said that he got over the change as soon as Insomniac explained to him it would help improve Parker’s facial animation, telling the studio “I’m all in” after learning about why the change was being made.
PlayStation / Insomniac Games
“The performance was the same for me,” said Lowenthal. “I don’t care if he looks like a goblin, if my performance is better, then I’m in. I’m kind of tired of talking about it, to be honest, because I think everything that needs to be said has been said.”
The Spider-Man actor acknowledged that it will take longer for some fans and players to get comfortable with the face swap. And he also admitted that he understands some people will likely “never” reach that point. However, he does see one positive to all the backlash and continued demands for the original face to return.
“People connected emotionally so hard and so deeply in the first game that they’re mad when they feel that person changes,” said Lowenthal. “I can only be so mad about that because it worked—not the [face change]—but you connected with the character which is great.”
But the actor did have a final message for those still struggling with the new face of Peter Parker: “Now, get over it!”
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 launches on PS5 on October 20.
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