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Miles Morales ain’t complete without his iconic suit from the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Don’t worry true believers, the suit will make its way to the upcoming game!

According to an announcement by Marvel, the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse suit will be a launch day bonus for Spider-Man: Miles Morales on both the PS4 and PS5. Best thing about it? Everyone can earn the suit through gameplay if you don’t snag it through this bonus, as confirmed by Insomniac.

A fine touch is that Miles’ attacks will come with some comic-book flair, with some THWACK and POW! while fighting. Even his animation seems to have been modeled off the movie, with some erratic frames here and there. That’s some next level attention to detail.

There’s an 11 minute gameplay trailer that accompanies the reveal, which shows Miles (and the suit) swinging into action.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales swings to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on November 12.

Out with the old and in with the new, when messages were a separate thing that didn’t make sense at all. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, the new PlayStation app was announced which streamlines the experience and gives it a sleek new look. Oh, and it’s now available for download!

The new PlayStation app features PS4 and PS5 integration, and showcases an updated user interface for easier access across activities. Some of the key features of the app include:

  • Messages integration – For a unified experience, the PS Messages app feature will now be integrated in the updated PS App so you can seamlessly message your friends all in one place.
  • Voice Chat and Party Groups – You can now create party groups from PS App, and voice chat with up to 15 other friends though your mobile phone.
  • Natively integrated PlayStation Store and remote downloads – The new native PS Store experience enables fast and smooth shopping and browsing, with the ability to remotely download games and add-ons directly to your PS4 and PS5.
  • New features for PS5 – When PS5 arrives, you’ll be able to remotely launch games, manage storage on your console if you run out of space while downloading a game, and quickly sign in to PS5 straight from the PS App. 
  • All the latest PlayStation news – The Explore tab surfaces Official News from game developers and PS Blog content to help you stay up to date with the world of PlayStation. 

You can now update your current PlayStation apps or if you haven’t downloaded it yet, head on over to the iOS App Store or Google Play.

Coming from a pretty solid October lineup that featured Need For Speed Payback and Vampyr, November heralds the launch month of the PlayStation 5 and with it, another solid PS Plus lineup of free games.

Your November PS Plus games will be Middle-Earth: Shadow of War and Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition, and both will be available on November 3. As an added bonus, PS Plus members who also have a PlayStation 5 console will also get Bugsnax for the PlayStation 5 starting November 12 until January 4. That’s 3 games in total!

Bugsnax (PlayStation 5)

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War (PlayStation 4)

Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition (PlayStation 4)

Both Middle-Earth and Hollow Knight will be available from November 3 to November 30 and Bugsnax will be available from November 12 until January 4, 2021.

Good lineup? Bad? Meh? Let us know!

While almost everyone is waiting on the PlayStation 5, some are eagerly awaiting impending promos on the PlayStation 4 to get the most out of their hard earned money. Look no further as Sony Interactive Entertainment Singapore Private Limited (SIES) has announced a special sale for 11.11!

From November 2 to 11, players can avail of red hot PlayStation 4 deals from participating PlayStation authorized dealers.

playstation 4 mega pack 11.11 sales promo

The first promo is a PS4 Mega Pack that will retail for PHP14,990, a PHP3,000 discount from the original price of PHP17,990! The pack includes the following:

  • 1TB HDD PlayStation 4 Slim
  • Grand Theft Auto V Premium Edition
  • God of War
  • Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition
playstation 4 pro 11.11 sales promo

The second is a PS4 Pro that will retail for PHP18,990, a PHP5,000 discount from the original price of PHP23,990! The pack includes the following:

  • 1TB HDD PS4 Pro
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man Game of the Year Edition (Disc)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition (Disc)

Lastly, you can also get a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller (selected colors) for only PHP1,990 from its original price of PHP2,990.

The promo prices will only be available from November 2-11, so don’t miss out!

For more information on the 11.11 promotion, check out the official PlayStation Asia page.

Ok so apparently, some PS4 games like The Last of Us Remastered and God of War, among many others, got some sort of a mystery update over the weekend and while the logs put it as “bug fixes”, this may have been more than just a random coincidence.

Twitter user Anthony Calabrese pointed out that since the update, TLOU Remastered got a huge boost to loading times on the PS4, saying that sections of the game “load in asap”.

While it is quite hard to actually measure this over a Tweet, a YouTube channel called ElAnalistaDeBits uploaded a full video comparing loading times pre and post-patch and holy crap the difference is insane, as starting out the game will take just 13-ish seconds now compared to a previous load time of 1:30. It is quite mind-boggling to know that the PlayStation 4 can handle such an improvement to load times, so you can just guess that playing TLOU Remastered on the PlayStation 5 will literally be a seamless experience.

If by any chance you have not played this masterpiece of a game yet but picking up a PlayStation 5 next month, you’re in luck as you’ll be able to play The Last of Us Remastered along with other titles like God of War, Persona 5, Bloodborne, and much more for free as part of the PlayStation Plus Collection.

With less than a month to go before the PlayStation 5 hits retail shelves, we’ve gotten a steady drip of information from Sony regarding the console. We’ve seen the internals care of a teardown and just recently, also seen the revamped UI that will be greeting all PS5 owners come November.

We also know about backwards compatibility but seeing as it is quite a confusing topic for a lot, we’re breaking it down for you in an easy, one-stop guide!

What games are playable on the PlayStation 5?

Sony has revealed a while ago that the PlayStation 5 will have backwards compatibility with 99% of the PlayStation 4 games. That’s… almost everything!

Even then, there are a few games that won’t make the cut, 10 to be exact, and these are:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner

Keep in mind that in addition to the vast majority of playable PS4 games on the PS5, PS Plus subscribers will also have the PS Plus Collection, which is a curated list of titles that will be free to play, ready and waiting on day 1 of your brand new PlayStation 5. Peep the title list below:

  • God of War
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Bloodborne
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • Days Gone
  • Persona 5
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Until Dawn
  • Infamous: Second Son
  • The Last Guardian
  • Resident Evil 7
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Monster Hunter World
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Battlefield 1
  • Mortal Kombat X
  • Fallout 4
playstation-5-backward-2
Here’s what the Playable option looks, which we guess will be updated when the PS5 and its games are launched

If you’re ever in doubt, you can always check out the PlayStation store and see the “Playable on” tag to find out which games can be played on what console.

Some of these PS4 titles will benefit from faster loading times and better frame rates in what Sony calls as “Game Boost”, so expect an overall better playing experience when the next-gen arrives!

How do you play your PlayStation 4 games on your PlayStation 5?

In a nutshell, if you have a physical disc of an eligible PS4 game, you’ll need the Standard Edition PlayStation 5 with the disc drive, for obvious reasons.

There are some PS4 games that will feature next-gen upgrades like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and you’ll need to do the following steps to get these upgrades:

  • Sign in to your existing account on your PS5 console (or create an account).
  • Insert the eligible PS4 game disc.
  • Go to the game hub for the PS4 game.
  • Select the upgrade offer on the game hub and review the upgrade offer.
  • Select Download (or purchase with the discount price) to download/purchase content.
  • After the download is complete, you can play the PS5 digital game by inserting the PS4 game disc. You will need to keep the disc inserted each time to play the game.

If your game is a digital copy, you’ll simply have to:

  • Sign in to your existing account on your PS5 console.
  • Find the PS5 game in PlayStation Store, or by Search, and go to the game hub for the PS5 game.
  • Select the upgrade offer on the game hub and review the upgrade offer.
  • Select Download (or purchase with the discount price) to download/purchase content.
  • After the download is complete, you can play the PS5 game.

In addition, you can also transfer your current-gen games AND saved data from your PS4 to your PS5 via WiFi data transfer, external USB storage device, or cloud storage (for PS Plus members).

What PlayStation 4 accessories are compatible with your PlayStation 5?

So you’re coming from the PS4 and have a ton of accessories like limited edition controllers, headsets, and even a PSVR. Will you be able to bring everything along to the PlayStation 5?

Here’s a quick look at what accessories WILL be compatible with your new next-gen console:

  • The DualSense wireless controller, DUALSHOCK4 wireless controller and PlayStation officially licensed third-party gamepad controllers will work on PS5 consoles with supported PS4 games. 
  • Specialty peripherals, such as officially licensed racing wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks, will work with PS5 games and supported PS4 games.
  • Both the PS Move Motion Controller and the PlayStation VR Aim Controller will work with supported PS VR games on PS5 consoles.
  • The HD Camera is not compatible with PS4 games – please connect a PlayStation Camera via a PlayStation Camera adaptor.
  • The Platinum and Gold Wireless Headsets, as well as third-party headsets that connect via USB port or audio jack, will work on PS5 consoles (the headset companion app is not compatible with PS5 consoles).

An additional note, using a DUALSHOCK4 when playing PS4 games will still offer the best experience, so it would be advisable to keep a PS4 controller handy if you plan on playing your existing library on the PS5. It also has to be said that you cannot play PS5 games with your PS4 controller.

Software Update 8.00 is live for the PlayStation 4 and apart from some reports of friend list errors, there’s quite a bit of new stuff in this update. The huge update brings changes to Party and Messages, 2-step verification, and much more, but more importantly, we all get new PSN avatars to adorn our profile with!

All the avatars have been compiled by forum member Scar654 on Resetera, which include images from God of War, The Last of Us Part II, Gravity Rush 2, and Ghost of Tsushima, among many others. Once you’ve updated your PS4 to the latest software, either head on over to my.playstation.com or through your PS4 menu to update your avatar.

See the full list below:

Speaking of Ghost of Tsushima, the huge version 1.1 update is due this Friday and with it, the new game+ and the hotly anticipated Legends co-op mode!

Trophies have been an integral part in the PlayStation experience. From sharing friendly competition with your friends to just seeing all your accolades across all of the games you’ve played, Trophies give a sense of accomplishment as you play. Starting tonight in North America (tomorrow for Players here in the Philippines), PlayStation trophies will have a new leveling system.

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, new enhancements to the trophy leveling experience was detailed, showing changes to level progression and level icons. It’s nothing too complicated, and we’ll explain the changes below.

playstation trophies new leveling system

The most immediate change you’ll see is the change to your level. Previously, the level range is from 1-100, but the change will now update the cap to to 999, and the update will immediately adjust your trophy level to reflect this change. The computation will be based on the number and grade of trophies you’ve acquired. The example given was that if you are currently a level 12, then your updated trophy level will be “somewhere in the low 200’s”, giving you the Bronze icon with stripes. You’ll even have an icon to resemble your level range now, instead of just a star.

Along with this update, a new level calculation structure will be implemented as well. Players will level up faster in the earlier levels, and Platinum trophies will account for a bigger jump in progression.

All of your Trophy data will carry over to the PlayStation 5, so there is no need to worry about your levels being left behind when you make the next-gen jump.

Do you know anyone who is at level 999? What is your trophy level going to be? We’re guessing ours will be somewhere in the upper silver level, thanks to our recent trophy hauls from Mafia Definitive Edition and Crash Bandicoot 4!

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings! “Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above. “Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10. “Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.
Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: September 22, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Strategy-RPG/Visual Novel
  • Similar Games: Zero Escape Series, Front Mission 3, Odin’s Sphere, Oxenfree
  • Price: Starts at PHP2,695

Ever since their last published game – Dragon’s Crown back in 2013, Vanillaware went for a long hiatus broken by PS4 remastered releases of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir and Dragon’s Crown Pro, released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Known for their beautiful watercolor artwork, intricate character design, addictive side scrolling gameplay, and intricate non-linear storytelling – Vanillaware was one of the publishers I was excited about going into the eighth generation expecting to revitalize the stagnating JRPG genre. However, in their absence, the visual novel actually took off with Spike Chunsoft leading the way of its greatness with Kotaro Uchikoshi’s excellent Zero Escape trilogy, the Danganronpa series, and Steins;Gate. The JRPG fell by the wayside with Square Enix reminding us of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest’s legacy or Atlus updating their Persona remasters bleeding our wallets dry with the same, rehashed stuff.

To my surprise, when 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim was announced a few months prior and Vanillaware made a quiet comeback, I jumped at the chance to try their next installment. From the get-go, the title starts strong going against the grain of the overwrought and exposition heavy JRPGs present throughout the PS2 era moving forward. The stage is set in 1985, where an incoming kaiju army invades a densely populated Japanese metropolis. With conventional weapons impervious against such a power, enigmatic mechas – The Sentinels – appear to combat these monstrosities boasting superior firepower pushing back against this invading force. Amidst the excitement, the story takes a step back and explores the young pilots of these Sentinels living carefree lives before this invasion. As each character’s prologue unfolds, we find out that these future warriors are part of an intricate plan that spans generations connected by time travel, government conspiracies, and high school drama.

Jumping into the game, it reminded me of Front Mission 3 meets Odin’s Sphere’s non-linear storytelling. In terms of character roster, they have about the same amount of characters as Front Mission 3 and double that of Odin’s Sphere. Unlike Odin’s Sphere’s Gwendolyn, none of the characters seem to stand out from the get go. However, the story plays out on a more grand timeline that spans between 300 or so years of time travel jumping from WWII era Japan to the post apocalyptic wasteland of 2060 to the new age of humanity in the early 2100’s. The myriad of events and mysteries that encompass the game is vast and piques my interest in the grand scheme of the world they’ve created.

It’s a Visual Novel first…

What really stands out from this game boasting the Vanillaware storytelling mechanic is how their narrative adapts seamlessly into the Visual Novel genre. Unlike the Steins;Gate series, which bombards you with text and voice-over, it follows more of Danganronpa and Zero Escape’s approach towards a more interactive playstyle. It touches on the hallmarks of the visual novel with cues on certain words and clues, where the glossary mechanic in Steins;Gate has been replaced by the Thought Cloud mechanic where a character can ruminate on an item, idea, or character. When encountering a character, one could unlock additional dialogue options as well as uncover Mystery Notes where you can uncover more events by spending Mystery Pointsearned by completing battles and bonuses from receiving an S rank on missions.

13 sentinels: aegis rim review screenshot 1

With thirteen characters to explore, each with their unique voices, quirks, and storylines, every character’s unique interaction with each other opens a new path to character choices, unlocking mysteries, and exploring relationships. Though the first two hours of the game really start slow, introducing such a vast world and going through an intricate tutorial system for both its strategy-RPG element and its visual novel element. Once you’re through half-dozen prologues and tutorials, the game opens up to a free-to-roam interface where you could completely discover as much of the story as possible or you could skip that for the Front Mission style Strategy RPG combat. I’m a more narrative-driven gamer, so I explored the visual novel component first before really diving deep into the Strategy-RPG parts. In fact, I cleared about 50% of the visual novel component before even diving into the very first post-tutorial mission of the game. Your playstyle may be the opposite, to get as much as the fighting out of the way before diving into the story, and the game does not fault you for it. In fact, as long as you clear the missions, most of the visual novel parts would be easily accessible.

13 sentinels: aegis rim team organization

If you feel that the story would give everything away by plowing through the narrative, a character’s progression hits a wall where you could not progress a character’s story until you’ve collected such components like specific battle missions or if you’ve unlocked different areas of the codex by using Mystery Points earned through said combat. Some of the blocked stories are unlocked by progressing in some of the characters’ story arcs. Like Octopath Traveller where certain characters have better stories or better branching consequences than others, the visual novel doesn’t just lock you into a specific character’s story from start to finish. The storytelling is well constructed as certain reveals are held back until you have completed certain story arcs for some characters. Each of the thirteen protagonists contribute to the mysterious and alluring world that Vanillaware has built, and not one deviates from the organic unity of said world that’s built on inspirations from classic science fiction stories from War of the Worlds to The Terminator. There’s enough science fiction fodder for every subgenre you know and love.

A Strategy-RPG second

While travelling down the Front Mission nostalgia train is a welcome distraction, I didn’t have a good first impression on the battle system. The grids do remind me of Front Mission, but in terms of design and detail, it felt like it was tacked on. I could see that most of the development has been put into the Visual Novel aspect of the game and the strategy-RPG part appears uninspired.  However, playing more of the mecha battles later into my first hour, I could see why they didn’t go all out with the design. They’re short bursts of strategy action ranging between five to ten minutes of game time before returning back to the visual novel aspect of the game.

13 sentinels: aegis rim tutorial

Of the Sentinels I’ve controlled, they each have their own unique style of combat. You have the melee types that are great against tanky kaiju, while you have the long range types that are effective with clearing the board of creeps. Finally, your command center allows you to charge an ultimate attack to slow down the wave of kaiju obliterating your city or activate a support skill that either heals your Sentinels or increases experience. While it may seem like a turn-based battle at first, it quickly becomes complicated as the waves of enemies don’t wait for you to make your move. They bombard your units with chip damage, setting up for the larger kaiju to deal a substantial amount of hurt. Yet as protagonists, you do have an advantage with powerful attacks that expend special skills. It deviates from the tried and tested Front Mission and Super Robot Wars style strategy and is more akin to a quasi-real time strategy format.

13 sentinels: aegis rim battles

Once you’ve completed the tutorial phase, it becomes a lot more Front Mission-esque when you start to spend Meta-Points earned in battle and in completing character chapters to learn skills and upgrade current attacks. As the pilots level up, they learn unique individual skills that boost other characters you bring into the field. The challenge is also ramped up by bonus objectives you can earn additional Mystery Points from completing. While my first impression of it wasn’t great, the more I played the Strategy-RPG component, the more it brought me back to the updated Front Mission style game. My bad first impression has been debunked and I feel the “outdated” graphics actually contribute highly to its unique style.

Too steep?

While I felt it started a little slow to set up the world, it also ended at the right amount of time story-wise, but it was only when I was starting to get going with the Strategy-RPG part. Unlike classic Front Mission games, where you scour through long campaigns, collecting parts, upgrading skills, and improving your mechs, the simplified customization gives you enough to go by. If you feel that you want to get your money’s worth, you could always increase the difficulty of the skirmishes for more Mystery Points and complete your trophies. However, for a visual novel akin to the Zero Escape series, it’s a little on the short side. Though don’t let the price deter you from enjoying a beautifully crafted science fiction visual novel.

13 sentinels: aegis rim review screenshot  2

If you’re willing to spend on this type of game, you’re in for a short but remarkably satisfying experience. Vanillaware is back with a vengeance with a well-crafted title on their hands that greatly outdoes Odin’s Sphere. It’s a wonderfully crafted story with enough jaw-dropping twists and reveals that will keep you guessing at its many mysteries. Unlike most visual novel games that take a break from the reading and flowchart progression with uninspired puzzles (I’m looking at you Nine Doors, Nine Persons, Nine Doors with your damn timed sudoku puzzle) with exciting strategy mecha action.

What We Liked:

  • Beautiful hand painted art as with all Vanillaware games.
  • Intricate non-linear storytelling opening various choices and events with impeccable narrative timing.
  • Game gives you enough freedom to explore depending on your gaming preference.
  • Battle interface starts simple but becomes a lot more complex going through the missions.
  • Customization is simple to learn and becomes fun enough to sustain interest.
  • You don’t need to be a weeb to enjoy.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tutorial is too long.
  • $60 is a steep asking price.
  • Endgame missions lacks level diversity missing out on extra replay value.

Verdict: Buy It!

While I feel that it is a little steep at launch price, it is the JRPG/Visual Novel I’ve waited since the end of the Zero Escape series and brings back what Front Mission missed out on with their modern titles. The story alone is wonderfully crafted and it ranks up there with other visual novel classics like Oxenfree, Steins;Gate, and the Zero Escape series. If you’ve missed the JRPG genre from the Playstation One era as well as what it could’ve been at the end of the PS2 era, this is definitely the game for you. I’d suggest to even switch on the Japanese dub to get the full experience of the game as it was intended. Actually, the Japanese dub is the only way to go, because the English dub is quite the ear ache.

For budget conscious gamers, I would suggest putting it on your Wish List and buy it as soon as it goes on sale even at 10-20% off, it is worth the price tag. For those who are unfamiliar with the visual novel format, this game is a perfect entry point for that type of genre. If you’ve played Strategy-RPGs in the past, it’s a great jump off point to get into the rhythm of the game. While I would say it’s 70% narrative-driven and 30% strategy-RPG, at the very least you’re in for a visual treat you rightfully deserve.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is set to release next week and just ahead of his impending return, the first multiplayer details have been revealed.

In an exclusive reveal from IGN, we’re given a look at two multiplayer modes entitled Bandicoot Battle and Pass. N Play.

Bandicoot Battle mode will feature a couple of games, namely Checkpoint Race and Crate Combo. Checkpoint Race is a form of time trial where up to 4 players compete to attain the fastest time in a level. The name itself gives away the objective, as the players will have to win the most checkpoints in a level to be declared the winner

Crate Combo, on the other hand, will pit players against each other to see who can smash as many crates as possible, with crates having points attached to them, acquiring combo bonuses as you play.

Pass N. Play mode is the cooperative mode, where up to 4 players try to progress through the campaign levels.

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One on Oct. 2, 2020.

In celebration of The Last of Us Day, Sony and Naughty Dog have announced a whole slew of surprises, collectibles, and even a free The Last of Us Part II theme to top it all off.

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony and Naughty Dog are taking us back to where it all ended with a free PSN theme that showcases the title screen of The Last of Us Part II after you’ve finished the game.

You can download the themes via the links below:

As a bonus for everyone, all existing TLOU Part II themes and avatars will be free to download from now until September 28, so be sure to redeem everything before the offer expires!

Additionally, The Last of Us Remastered and The Last of Us: Left Behind are on sale at 50% off so if by any chance you haven’t played the game yet, now is the perfect time to do so.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: September 25, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Similar Games: Grand Theft Auto, Sleeping Dogs
  • Price: Estimated SRP PHP1,995

With the release of Mafia: Definitive Edition, the Mafia Trilogy is finally complete for current generation systems. Gamers wanting to relive the glory days of the franchise are in luck, and even those new to the series can fully experience all 3 games in the comfort of their current gen consoles.

While the definitive editions of Mafia II and III were not exactly exemplary releases, due in large part to a number of technical issues that plagued its launch, this latest game is more than just a remaster.

Touted as a remake and reworked from the ground up, expectations are sky high, especially coming from an early preview that looked rather promising.

Is the third time a charm? We’ll find out as we dive back into the world of organized crime during the 1930s in our review of Mafia: Definitive Edition.

Welcome to Lost Heaven

Mafia takes place in the fictional city of Lost Heaven and puts you in the shoes of Thomas “Tommy” Angelo, a taxi driver who became involved by just being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

After reluctantly helping a couple of mobsters escape a deadly pursuit, Tommy is targeted by the rival mob they escaped from and is forced to go back to the group he helped that fateful night. Despite not wanting to get involved with organized crime, Tommy joins said mob under the rule of one Don Ennio Salieri, and becomes friends with Sam and Paulie, the two mobsters he helped escape.

The game will take you through Tommy’s life from cab driver to a big shot in the Salieri Crime Family. And if the previous re-releases are already any indication, this is in no way a pleasant story and shows just how dangerous the world of organized crime is. It is however, an amazing one to follow, and is really the backbone of the game.

Just like Mafia II and III, Tommy’s rise and fall is a story that’s told beautifully in Mafia: Definitive Edition. The developers were not kidding when they said they would rework the game from the ground up in terms of graphics and cinematics, and the difference is certainly night and day but more than anything, the storytelling carries the brunt of the improvements, and what a treat it is.

Graphical fidelity is of course not up to par with titles like The Last of Us Part II or Ghost of Tsushima, but this remake is no slouch, even looking much better than the definitive editions of Mafia II and III by quite a margin. The character models during the cinematics are on point and details like the facial stubble on Tommy’s face are captured beautifully. Facial expressions are also very accurate – when characters talk and are happy or angry, it clearly shows.

Most games have a problem with “dead eye”, or eyes that seemingly feel lifeless and hollow. Mass Effect Andromeda was a big culprit of this and is admittedly something tough to pull off but 2K and Hangar 13 have done an excellent job at bringing Tommy and Sam and Paulie as well as the rest of the crew back to life.

This improvement in graphics also extends to the world around you. The city of Lost Heaven is recreated well and is an accurate representation of a city during the 1930’s – billboards, factories, and trains all accounted for. If your impression of a city during an era of organized crime include fancy fedoras and trenchcoats, the tommy guns, and bulky automobiles, Mafia has it all here and recreated in stunning fashion.

The storytelling in the game is complemented by beautiful cinematography, and really nails the feeling of watching an actual mafia movie, accented by sound design that really stands out.

Music to my ears

Mafia’s music and voice work is simply top notch. Every voice actor portrayed their role very well and really did justice to their character. When you hear Tommy and his friends banter and have a laugh, you can really feel their bond, for example, and a lot of the dialogue is genuinely funny. In every scene, whether it’s something lighthearted, suspenseful, dramatic or intense, you can feel the effort of the voice actors delivering their lines.

Just by driving around the city, you can instantly hear the step up in sound design. Vehicles of old have that clang and bang of parts and there’s a lot of ambient noise just by walking around the streets. Mafia: Definitive Edition is a game that’s best played on a headset, as there are a lot of small audio details that go unnoticed on TV audio that definitely add to the immersion factor of the game.

The musical score is one of Mafia’s strongest points. With a fully re-recorded soundtrack full of licensed works, everything was a pleasure to listen to, taking you back to the 1930’s at the flip of a button. During the more intense action scenes, the orchestral music really compliments the action, and is reminiscent of the mafia movies of old, capturing that Scarface or Godfather feel to it that definitely accentuates the mood.

Like the story, we had very big expectations from the audio department and we were not disappointed. It was in this aspect that Mafia II and III stood out after all, so we’re glad that Mafia kept the hot streak of fantastic audio intact. Superb work from 2K and Hangar 13 on this one.

Just another day in the life

Gameplay, on the other hand, is kind of mixed bag. By no means is the gameplay bad. In fact, it’s actually quite decent, but as a game that was touted as a Remake for the current generation, there are certain expectations. A Remake is more than just a brand new coat of paint and some new features, with Resident Evil II and Final Fantasy VII being some significant benchmarks.

First things first, Mafia is but is also not an open-world sandbox game. The main campaign is actually very linear, as its strong point is in the amazing narrative after all. Going through the campaign, however, felt repetitive due to how the missions were structured.

The game is divided into chapters, and mostly playing these chapters has Tommy starting in Salieri’s bar, the game’s central hub, then picking up some guns and choosing his ride, then driving to the mission objective. After you’re done, chapter ends with the next having almost the same pattern. Start at the bar or some venue, get your gear, pick your ride, drive to mission objective, and finish said objective. It becomes noticeable almost halfway through the game. It’s not bad per se, but may give off the feeling of repetitiveness for some.

It is a remake after all, so it would have been great to kind of make the mission to mission flow a bit smoother, something like how Grand Theft Auto does it.

Tools of the trade

When dealing with the police or rival crime families, you can dispatch your enemies with your fists, melee weapons, or a semi-wide selection of guns. It’s also here, however, that another one of our expectations let us down.

Hand to hand combat here is a joke, and literally only involves 2 buttons being mashed repeatedly, offering almost no strategy or variation. The timing to dodge perfectly is quite tough to catch, but you can simply mash triangle and follow up with mashing X after. Every enemy will fall to this same tactic, which is rather disappointing.

The shooting and cover in Mafia does its job fairly well, but isn’t as snappy and as fluid as other similar titles out there. There’s a sort of stickiness and sluggishness to the controls which gets quite irritating during hectic shootouts where you want more accuracy. The cover system is helpful enough though, and you’re able to duck and hide at a moments notice. It’s serviceable, but could definitely be much better.

The handguns, rifles, and tommy guns function like you expect them to, but it felt very awkward that the shotgun doesn’t do spread damage and will just kill 1 enemy when you shoot more than one at the same time. That said, overall gunplay leaves something to be desired. Enemies hardly flinch when shot at, and the feedback from receiving damage is severely lacking, sometimes leading to you die just because you didn’t know that you were taking damage already. This was a major gripe for us, which is also connected to the UI and HUD elements in the game not being too intuitive.

The enemy AI in Mafia may also be a bit on the… well, we won’t really say dumb side, but the AI could have been improved. For one thing, while it may be understandable due to invincibility frames that you can’t be hurt when doing a finisher on an enemy, it just looks funny how they will just stand there and look at you beating up their buddies. During gunfights, enemies will break cover not to flank you, but just stand out in the open. Some were still smart enough to stay covered, but expect to see the AI hide behind cover only to later step right out and go into a stylish kneeling pose with guns blazing. It obviously made the game easier, but that’s really not the point.

The game also has stealth missions that felt very basic, with obvious paths to victory laid out for you. There’s hardly any alternate way to go about a mission or a level, meaning that one path is almost always the only way to finishing your mission.

There are particular missions that really stand out – the bank mission, the art gallery, even the prison. These missions had really great level design and sequences that really pushes the gameplay to a frantic pace which was just fantastic. We couldn’t say the same about the rest of the missions, and while they weren’t bad, they just weren’t as memorable as a select few.

Questionable AI also extends outside of the gunfights. The police are perfect examples, giving up chase too easily as long as you gain a small lead on them. The AI for the cops is wildly inconsistent. One time they’re giving up within the first 10 seconds of the chase but when they’re hot on your tail, it can be very VERY hard to shake them off.

Making my way down town

If a break from the campaign is what you’re looking for, Mafia offers the Free Ride option where you are… well, free to ride around the city of Lost Heaven at your own leisure. The guns and cars you’ve unlocked throughout the game will also be accessible here and you can just go crazy or ride around looking for the various hidden collectibles. Here’s the issue: What’s the point?

Free Ride and the Main Story could have just worked as one mode altogether. Why separate the leisure exploration from the main campaign when, like most sandbox games, story advancements can be triggered manually, which goes back to our point earlier about mission to mission flow being a lot smoother. While this would make Mafia just like any other open-world game, obviously Grand Theft Auto, feeling similar to the iconic franchise shouldn’t be a problem for Mafia since it’s already well-received for its setting, story, and characters.

Free Ride is there to let you just go crazy and forget about the main campaign. But aside from cars and different collectibles scattered around like comics and cards, there just wasn’t any other incentive. Lost Heaven looks great as a city with some notable places to visit, but it’s a shame there’s not a lot to interact with. You can’t even ride the trams or visit shops and buy things, or at least have more mafia-like stuff to do like collecting protection money or whatever else Mafia people do during the weekends.

To be fair, driving the cars was a really pleasant experience due to the much improved controls. Most cars, in general, do not feel sluggish to drive and are responsive enough to merit zigzagging through traffic with ease.

As a Remake, there was so much potential in making a more interactive Lost Heaven that it really feels like a huge missed opportunity to add depth to that part of the world. Riding around is fun for a bit, but the feeling gets old rather quickly with hardly anything to do.

Needs A Bit More Polish

Mafia, like II and III that released before it, isn’t free of any technical hiccups. There were a couple of instances where the mission refused to let us advance even though the objectives have been met, prompting us to restart from the last checkpoint.

There was also a massive frame spike during the parking lot mission where the game simply froze on us for about 5 seconds, probably unable to render the ongoing action, and just magically worked again after.

Speaking of frames, it was rather disappointing that the game was not able to hit 60fps, which would have been fantastic. There are certain missions with some noticeable frame dips, but nothing too bad to make you want to toss your controller. Often times, frame rate is steady, which is good.

Loading times are pretty lengthy too, and it is particularly frustrating to have the game load again because you died due to you not knowing you were taking damage, as we mentioned earlier. Loading only happens in between missions and in between deaths though, so the frequency of it isn’t too bad.

There were also some occasions where the audio completely cut off during a cinematic, with one instance of nothing coming out at all that we thought the game froze until subtitles came out. All in all, though bugs are sometimes expected, it was just a bit of a letdown when they happened in a Remake that was reworked from scratch, especially during a cinematic, which is one of Mafia’s strong points.

What We Liked:

  • Fantastic story that leaves you wanting more
  • Amazing voice acting and music
  • Great cinematics

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Weak gunplay
  • Massively underused open world
  • Long load times
  • Inconsistent AI

Verdict:

On the merit of story and characters alone, Mafia: Definitive Edition is a fantastic game. Memorable personalities, gripping and intense storyline with a superb soundtrack behind it, Mafia is indeed worth sitting through until the curtains close. This is the Mafia that you’ve come to remember and love.

That’s only half of the game though, with the other half being a bit of a let down. Touted as a remake, it was quite disappointing to see such great improvements to the recreation of Lost Heaven but not be able to interact with it enough. Add the rather outdated melee combat paired with gunplay that could be snappier and you’ve got a game you’d love and hate at the same time.

Mafia: Definitive Edition is actually an above average game, and it’s very likely fans of the original game will enjoy this to experience Tommy Angelo’s story once again. For everyone else, however, waiting for it could be the better choice. Out of the trilogy, this ‘first’ game is hands down the best release by a mile but is bogged down by some issues that felt like it was stuck in the past, even after the remake.

Mafia: Definitive Edition was reviewed on a PS4 Pro via a review code provided by the publisher.

Coming from an official announcement earlier this year, NieR Replicant is now scheduled to release on April 22, 2021 in Japan and April 23 worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

This was announced during the Tokyo Game Show stream and was accompanied by a new trailer, which you can see below:

Interestingly, different cover art will grace the boxes of the game upon release, with the North American / European version getting the short end of the stick. That Japanese / Asian cover looks all sorts of lovely.

A White Snow Edition was also announced, which will include the base game, a Pin set, soundtrack, script books, and a collectible outer box.

nier replicant white snow edition box

NieR Replicant is touted as more than a remaster, which will include an enhanced soundtrack as well as gameplay updates.

NieR Replicant will release on April 22, 2021 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam. No word on a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X release but it wouldn’t be wrong to expect an official announcement about next-gen versions soon.

It was reported previously that Spider-Man Remastered won’t be getting a standalone physical release and that PS4 save files won’t transfer to the Remastered version. These tidbits were handed out by Insomiac Games but just in case you were holding out for a silver lining, sad to say that Sony themselves have confirmed this as well.

In a message to Kotaku, here is what Sony has to say:

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered is an enhanced version of Marvel’s Spider-Man, and is included as part of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition for the PlayStation 5. In addition, players who purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PlayStation 4 can upgrade at no additional cost to the PS5 version of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and can take advantage of a paid-upgrade to download Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered.

There are no plans currently to offer Marvel’s-Spider-Man: Remastered as a standalone. Players with a copy of Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 can purchase Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition to experience Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered on PS5. Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 also will be backwards compatible on PS5.

In case it wasn’t clear, let’s break it down for everybody:

  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be releasing for BOTH the PS4 and PS5.
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales will have an Ultimate Edition only for the PS5. The Ultimate Edition contains the base Miles Morales game and Spider-Man Remastered.
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales for the PS4 will have a free upgrade path for the PS5 BUT if you have the PS4 game on a physical disc and proceed to purchase the PS5 Digital Edition, you won’t be able to access the upgrade. Obviously.
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales owners for the PS4 can upgrade to the PS5 version for free and additionally, can purchase a $20 upgrade for the Ultimate Edition, granting access to Spider-Man Remastered.
  • The PS4 Spider-Man game will be compatible with the PS5 BUT will not have any of the remastered upgrades like updated graphics, faster loading, etc.
  • Save data from the PS4 Spider-Man game will NOT be compatible with Spider-Man: Remastered because it is a “new” game.

Whew. Got that?

It sounds simple enough and complicated at the same time but what it all boils down to is the fact that Spider-Man Remastered will only be available to owners of Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Bummer.

Many details like price and release date have already been revealed about the PlayStation 5 but many are still unconfirmed, leaving people to make wild guesses or lean into rumors. For today, it seems specifics about backwards compatibility have now been answered by a single tweet.

The official Japanese Ask PlayStation account posted a message as a response to a user saying that a PS4 disc won’t work on a PS5. The original tweet in Japanese can be seen below:

A translation via Siliconera reads as follows:

If the PS4 game is supported by PS5’s compatibility operations, both the disc and digital versions can be played as-is on the PS5. If you are going to play the PS4 game with a disc, please choose the model with the disc drive. We apologize for the insufficiency in the contact support related to PS5’s [backwards] compatibility, as we made the addendum above.

With this reply, we can now confirm that backwards compatible games, whether via disc or digital, can be played on a PlayStation 5. It goes without saying that PS4 disc based games will only work on the Disc edition of the PS5.

This means a lot of good things for PlayStation 4 users who have amassed quite the collection of games over the years, as CEO Jim Ryan even confirmed that 99% of PS4 games will be supported on the PS5.

Additionally, Sony has revealed the PS Plus Collection, which is an add-on value at no extra cost that allows PS Plus Subscribers to play classic PS4 games on their new PS5 for free. The list of curated titles include Bloodborne, God of War, Days Gone, Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5, and much more.