In the latest episode of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City Wire, we’re given a closer look at Night City and the Gangs that run the streets.
With two months away from the release of Cyberpunk 2077, most of the gameplay elements have been laid out in the last two episodes of Night City Wire. At this point in the game, it’s mostly looking at the background lore and elements that set the game apart from other open world games.
Postcards From Night City
The episode started strong with the new trailer, Postcards From Night City, that establishes Night City as a vibrant, living, breathing city. As compared to The Witcher and its disparate city states, Cyberpunk 2077 focuses on one general area akin to Grand Theft Auto’s Liberty City and its outskirts. This focus concentrates on a dynamic ecosystem that showcases six distinct districts. Each one would have their own personality, but would form a part of the whole of Night City. As Miles Tost points out, “Night City is a sum of its parts.”
Judging from the trailer, CD Projekt Red has put so much work on giving Night City a real sense of place. The world is realistic and believable. It feels like a grand metropolis akin to Tokyo, Manila, or New York where each borough has enough variety to call its own. This opens up endless possibilities of exploration in what Miles Tost calls “mini-stories”. Different from the side quests, these mini-stories are a culmination of small encounters and random events that the player will encounter during their journeys. As if the main quest isn’t enough, some districts could be full of minigames and some districts can lead you to some unsavory encounters with some gangs.
If this is executed from what the trailer is promising, it could be a game changer for sci-fi/post apocalyptic open world adventures. While we do have a variety seen in Midgar in Final Fantasy VII Remake, other post apocalyptic worlds look copy-pasted from each other as seen in Fallout, Rage, and Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise. Besides some small encampments, the overall look has remained generic. It doesn’t feel like a living breathing landscape as seen in larger games like Grand Theft Auto V and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
Gangs of Night City
The next trailer featurette is a quick dossier on the gangs that rule the streets of Night City. Each other represents a different element to the game as well as their own unique look. The Maelstrom gang is a group of transhumanists who are breaching the line between human and machine through excessive and creative mod usage. Valentinos are the dominant hispanic gang that follow their own traditions the same way as the Wraiths are following the nomadic code. Voodoo Boys are an urban myth of legendary netrunners that’s an open secret in Night City contrasted to the Animals who are the hired muscle by the Corpos. Rounding them off are the Tiger Boys consisting of the local Triad and The Moxes, a sorority of badass dames.
While V is primarily a merc, and mercs work alone, V would encounter these gangs either as antagonists, allies, or a place they can receive quests from. There’s a solitary beauty being a freelancer in Night City and while some players may feel the urge to join these gangs, gangs don’t really trust mercs completely. If V wants to become a legend, they can join an elite Merc group to get the best possible weapons, mods, and jobs.
This late in the game, what can they possibly feature in the next Night City Wire in October or early November? We get the hype, we love the world, now give us a demo at the very least!
You can choose to watch the full episode below:
Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled for a November 19 release date on the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series, as well as for the PC.
2K Games and Hangar 13 have released the full song list for Mafia: Definitive Edition, which includes 35 songs from jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Django Reinhardt, Lionel Hampton, and more. If you’re in the mood for some head boppin’ beats while taking on the streets, this jazzy set is for you.
The game’s classic tracks will transport players to the unique time and place of Lost Heaven, a prohibition-era Midwestern city riddled with crime and corruption.
You can view the full track list below:
“St. James Infirmary” – Cab Calloway
“Minnie the Moocher” – Cab Calloway
“Manhattan Jam” – Cab Calloway and His Orchestra
“Evenin'” – Cab Calloway and His Orchestra
“The Darktown Strutters’ Ball” – Django Reinhardt
“A-Tisket A-Tasket” – Django Reinhardt
“Blue Drag” – Django Reinhardt
“Sophisticated Lady” – Django Reinhardt
“Tiger Rag (instrumental)” – Django Reinhardt
“Black and Tan Fantasy” – Duke Ellington
“Crescendo in Blue” – Duke Ellington
“Echoes of Harlem” – Duke Ellington
“Hot and Bothered” – Duke Ellington
“I’m Satisfied” – Duke Ellington
“In A Sentimental Mood (instrumental)” – Duke Ellington
“It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” – Duke Ellington
“It’s Glory” – Duke Ellington
“Prelude to A Kiss” – Duke Ellington
“The Mooche” – Duke Ellington
“Azure” – Duke Ellington
“Creole Love Call (instrumental)” – Duke Ellington
“Drop Me Off in Harlem” – Duke Ellington
“I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart” – Duke Ellington
“Mood to Be Wooed” – Duke Ellington
“Diminuendo in Blue” – Duke Ellington
“Heart and Soul” – Eddy Duchin and His Orchestra
“My Old Flame” – Guy Lombardo
“Little White Gardenia” – Hal Kemp & his Orchestra
“Back Beat Boogie” – Harry James
“Beyond the Blue Horizon” – Jeanette MacDonald and the Rounders
“True Confession” – Larry Clinton and His Orchestra
“When Lights Are Low” – Lionel Hampton
“(I’ll be Glad When You’re Dead) You Rascal You” – Louis Armstrong
“Thanks for the Memory” – Mildred Bailey
“Sing You Sinners” – The High Hatters
Our early impressions of Mafia: Definitive Edition point to it being a well done remaster, built-from-the-ground-up with an updated script filled with rich new dialogue, expanded backstories, and additional cutscenes. Watch out for our full review of the game soon.
Mafia: Definitive Edition is scheduled to release on September 25 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Coming from the initial announcement, Balan Wonderworld is now scheduled to release on March 26, 2021 and will be playable on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Balan Wonderworld is the all-new action-platformer from the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima and is their first collaboration in 20 years.
Check out the announcement trailer below, which highlights the coop multiplayer feature of the game:
In Balan Wonderworld, players will get to explore the fantastical land of Wonderworld, where they’ll be guided by an enigmatic maestro named Balan, who will help players restore balance to the world by clearing Wonderworld of Negati, physical manifestations of worry and other negative emotions.
Players can jump, climb, fly, smash, and more, as they explore a multitude of unique areas, collecting over 80 unique costumes to assist on the journey. Each costume bestows its own special power, from the Pumpkin Puncher outfit that lets players smash through enemies or obstacles blocking pathways to the Air Cat costume that allows players to walk in mid-air for a certain amount of time.
Balan Wonderworld is scheduled to release on March 26, 2021 across all major platforms.
A Portugese retailer seems to have listed a Mass Effect Trilogy coming out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch but has since been taken down. Thankfully, the Internet (and Nibel) is here to the rescue to get the screenshots.
No other details have been given, but the rumor has not died down at all ever since the first report on it a couple of months back by Venture Beat’s Jeff Grubb, saying that the Switch Version would follow shortly afterwards.
Following the initial reveal back in July, Developers Psyonix have announced that Rocket League will be going free-to-play on September 23 across all platforms like the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
The official announcement highlights a string of updates that start on September 16 and when it fully transitions to free-to-play, PS4 and Nintendo Switch owners will not need a subscription to PS Plus or Nintendo Switch Online to play the game.
The free-to-play update will include cross-platform progression along with revamping and improving various features like Tournaments and Challenges.
Existing players and anyone who will purchase the title before going free-to-play will be awarded with ‘Legacy’ status, which will include the following:
All Rocket League-branded DLC released before free to play
“Est. 20XX” title that displays the first year you played Rocket League
200+ Common items upgraded to “Legacy” quality
Golden Cosmos Boost
Huntress Player Banner
September 23 also marks the date when Rocket League will make its way to the Epic Games Store and in celebration, you’ll receive a $10 Epic Games Store coupon along with 2 in-game items if you add the game to your library between September 23 until October 23.
Bandai Namco has announced that the new character will join the current Jump Force roster but no other details like his abilities have been given, although based on the screenshots it is quite certain that he’ll be able to wield his trademark fiery Dragon of the Darkness Flame.
Hiei is the third character in Character Pass 2, which already includes Shoto Todoroki from My Hero Academia and Meruem from Hunter X Hunter.
Jump Forceis available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
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.
Release Date: September 4, 2020
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Similar Games: NBA 2K Series
Price: Estimated SRP PHP3,190
Annual games like NBA2K are inexplicably tough to review. On one hand, it remains the best basketball sim game out there, no question about it. On the other hand, it’s still the (same) best basketball sim game out there. It may sound weird, but hear me out.
The NBA 2K experience offers the most solid basketball experience year in year out. They look great, sound great, and most importantly, play great. The player models are near accurate, the detail in the shoes will please sneakerheads, and even the court and ring announcers add to the overall great experience of the game.
NBA2K has come a long way from its humble roots, and every year the step up in production and marketing is just amazing. On these merits alone, the game is considered a must buy because basketball fans are getting the closest thing they can get to their favorite sport, while newcomers can expose themselves to the best game that the genre has to offer.
But even with the change in tag line or cover athlete, it’s really just the same game over again, which is both a good and bad thing.
What more can you add to an already solid base? The sport does not drastically change per season except for new faces in each roster. As developers, what exactly do you do? What do you work on to actually have something of significance every year?
The Long Shadow
To partly answer the question, one thing you spice up is MyCareer.
I absolutely loved the MyCareer storyline back in 2K20. I think many would agree that the 2K20 iteration was one of the better ones in recent years. The performances, the writing, the actors… everything about made it a joy to play, and being produced by LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment, you can really see the step up in quality from previous years.
As someone who loves sneakers, it had a lot of wow moments for me seeing all the heat the characters were wearing, even featuring Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God line among others.
MyCareer this year tells the story of Junior, who is the son of a well-known and loved basketball player trying to carve out his own path to greatness. The premise showed promise, but the execution was rather disappointing. In a way, 2K21 was trying to get out of the shadow of a great storyline that was 2K20, but unlike Junior making his way to the NBA, this falls short of doing just that.
It had all the ingredients of a W – a great cast headlined by Jesse Williams and Dijmon Hounsou, officially licensed Collegiate programs like the UCLA Bruins and Florida Gators, even celebrity appearances by cover athletes Damian Lillard and Zion Williamson.
Sadly, it did little to get me attached to Junior. I felt no connection or tug, and it didn’t help that some of the writing was a bit cringey. There’s even a simple love story shoved in there where they get into a fight in their dorm and you’re given a choice to walk out or make amends. It all feels out of place and with everything considered, you’ve got a MyCareer storyline you’d probably like to skip just get to the NBA Draft.
And you know what? The game actually gives you that option.
It’s also a bit weird that draft team, the Boston Celtics in my case (the Lakers and Warriors weren’t interested), get the top 2 picks in the draft, somehow teaming me up with the number 1 pick, Hendrixx Cobb. NBA teams would kill for the number 1 AND 2 pick but somehow, a team I chose to work out with, just gets both picks. For a game that prides itself in realism and its sim elements, this felt a little whack.
Shot Meter Fiasco
One of the biggest updates to 2K21 was the addition of a Shot Meter, which 2K promised to be second nature after a few runs down the court.
I turned it off.
Before you toss the git gud memes this way, know that within the first few days of releasing the game, even Damian Lillard was shooting bricks, prompting a hotfix from the developers. While that’s not indicative of how tough the new shot aiming system works, you know there’s something off when your cover athlete complains about it.
Instead of your shot being timing based, once you pull down on your right analog stick, a shot meter will appear and you’ll have to slightly flick the stick again left or right to “aim” it. As you can imagine, it would take getting used to because it feels very unnatural to perform a second motion after pulling down on the stick, adding an unnecessary layer of difficulty that veterans of the game may want to try out but will probably disregard. At some point, even shooters like Curry will start missing shots if you’re even slightly off center (slightly early or slightly late release), but while that’s supposed to happen in reality, it can be unforgiving in this context.
I understand that some people may like it, even love it, but in my experience, I went back to what I was familiar with and stuck with it. I’m pretty sure many of you will too. 2K have recently pushed a fix and will let players choose which system to use as soon as they log in.
What’s great though is that the game gives you the option to go back to how it was last year, which could be what most players would default to just because of familiarity. You can also choose to only apply the meter to shots, layups or both. In case you hate both the shot aiming and the timing system, you can opt to use the real shooting percentages of the players.
VC, in-game currency, can be earned to use on various things – player customization items, stat points, and much more. Playing through MyCareer, the development of your player will depend on your performance, as well as the amount of VC you get. Slog your way to the draft and your salary per game will give you 400 500-ish, being a lottery pick will obviously get you more. Each action you do during the game is also rewarded with VC, so it literally pays to actually do good in games. There are various streams of VC in the game but somehow, it doesn’t feel enough. Of course, it feels the same every year, as improving your character will take a while to get him to superstar levels, but given that you earn anywhere from 600-1000 or a bit more per game and at a certain point stat upgrades will cost 1000 per tick, it’s going to take a long time and many, many minutes spent.
That’s where the Mamba Forever Edition of the game comes in, which gives you a huge stash of VC to kickstart your career. Microtransactions in the game are generally negligible if you don’t mind the grind, but the amount of things to spend VC on is off the charts – haircuts, kicks, stat points, and so on. Even across game modes. It gets overwhelming, which makes it hard to feel that you actually make progress after a game. Again, I know its been mostly the same for the past few years, but its definitely still a consideration this year.
Badges also make a return this year, which has a simplified progression system compared to previous years. Depending on your actions on court, you’ll be accumulating points that will allow you to unlock badge slots that lets you equip a number of improvements to your skill set. My player this year was a power forward who specialized in rebounds defense, so as I played through games and gathered rebounds and blocks, my Defense and Rebound badge slots were unlocked the fastest. I was able to equip badges that would let me box out my defender more effectively and even give me an easier time to worm my way through box outs on me. There’s quite the selection, and the nice thing about this is that you definitely feel the impact in the game, which makes the badge system one of the better implemented systems in the series.
Throughout the games in MyCareer, I’ve noticed that the AI can be a bit wonky. Some games, they can be perfect teammates, passing the ball during the proper time, taking good shots, moving the ball around. Some games, they can be complete rookies. One thing I particularly hate is that they milk the clock a lot, even when we’re down by a couple of points in the winding seconds of the ball game.
Other instances when the AI felt really inconsistent was when I was setting up screens for my point guard. As a Power Forward, I specialize in pick and rolls and post moves and in most games, the AI never adapts to certain exploits. Even in higher difficulties, this would allow the defender to switch during the screen, giving my player a mismatch over the opposing point guard for an easy 2 points. Sometimes? They NEVER switch.
The AI in 2K21 feels more frustrating rather than difficult.
Apart from MyCareer and a neighborhood location update that takes you to the beach, there isn’t anything of note for the other modes, at least not big enough to consider talking about this year. The addition of the WNBA also feels like an afterthought, placing them there but not really giving them the avenue to shine.
One glaring thing that 2K has overlooked here is that MyCareer progress won’t have cross-progression capability. 2K has announced that MyTeam progress will carry over, but have made no such statements to MyCareer and your player. This is rather mind-boggling since MyCareer is one of the most played modes in the game and if you’ve had the misfortune of already spending on microtransactions, then you’re kind of on the short end of the stick here since you’ll have to do all of that again come the next-gen consoles.
All of this considered, NBA 2K21 is still the best basketball sim game out there but it seems that the years of it being uncontested has made it look a bit stale, with minor updates that don’t shake up the game enough to merit a full priced release.
What we liked:
Solid gameplay and mechanics
Best basketball game out there
NBA Player models are more accurate than ever
Tons of ways to customize the look and moves of your player
What we didn’t like:
MyCareer storyline is not as good as the previous year
Shot Aiming mechanic is tough to get the hang of
VC distribution feels a bit too stingy
At the end of the day, NBA2K21 is more of the same, similar to its brothers the year before and before and before. MyCareer is usually the one big differentiator every year but the lackluster storyline could not stand up to the previous iteration from 2K20.
Don’t get us wrong, the NBA2K series is the best basketball sim game out there. It is a great game for fans of the sport and even for newbies who want to try it out. With solid basketball physics and mechanics, there isn’t any game out there that can hold a candle to the series. That said, for vets who are on the fence about picking up a full priced game only to find mostly roster changes, a lackluster MyCareer storyline, and a couple of tweaks here and there, 2K21 could be a tough sell.
NBA2K21 was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro via a review code provided by the publishers.
Ubisoft has just announced nine new tracks that people can dance to in Just Dance 2021, including the likes of ‘Blinding Lights’ by the Weeknd and ‘Without Me’ by Eminem.
Coming from their initial song list that saw ‘All the good girls go to hell’ by Billie Eilish and ‘Feel Special’ by Twice, Just Dance 2021 is bringing in more tracks to liven up the mood.
These songs include:
Blinding Lights by the Weeknd
Without Me by Eminem
Till the World Ends by the Girly Team
The Weekend by Michael Gray
Samba de Janeiro by Ultraclub 90
Runaway (U & I) by Galantis
Bailando by Paradisio ft. Dj Patrick Samoy
Dibby Dibby Sound by DJ Fresh & Jay Fay ft. Ms Dynamite
Boy You Can Keep It by Alex Newell
Players with a Just Dance Unlimited subscription or an active trial period can try out ‘Without Me’ by Eminem via Just Dance 2020 for a week.
The company also has just launched Season 4 of Just Dance 2020, It’s Showtime. The new season reveals a world inspired by Broadway and musicals. It’s Showtime will debut two events: The Party which happens until September 24 and The Gala which runs from October 15 – November 5. The event are available for all Just Dance 2020 owners on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One devices, and PlayStation 4.
Just Dance 2021 will be released on November 12, 2020 for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, as well as Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Not even 2 weeks into launch and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 has already achieved an amazing feat, reaching 1 million units sold and making it the fastest game to sell that much in franchise history.
Activision formally announced this through their social media channels and in a report by GamesIndustry.biz, the remaster sold 448% more than the last game in the series, which was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 from 2015, making it the 2nd top selling game in the UK last week.
The remaster from Vicarious Visions has received rave reviews from outlets globally. In our review, we called it a textbook example of a remaster done right, capturing the heart and soul of the series and bringing it to the modern setting.
Tony Hawk himself gave thanks to all the THPS fans for all the support, calling them the “catalyst for all this success”.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 brings back the good old skating goodness that fans have been clamoring for and with a rocking soundtrack on top of a collectors edition that fans shouldn’t miss out on, the game is a must buy for fans and even newbie skaters out there.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is now available worldwide for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake was arguably the biggest announcement by Ubisoft during their recent showcase. Unfortunately, prior to the actual show, the game had already been leaked, stirring a number of reactions that didn’t go too well for the title, despite being a critically acclaimed classic.
Most of the feedback about the game was about the visuals, which was not quite up to par with expectations from a lot of people, looking a bit “dated” and not what was expected of a remake but more of a remaster.
In a interview with The Mako Reactor, Ubisoft India talked about some of the challenges of remaking the game as well as the visual direction of the game and why it looked the way it does.
Game Director Pierre Sylvain-Gires discussed that the game engine that they used, the Anvil engine, which is used for Assassin’s Creed games, isn’t really the best for this type of linear title. “The principle of the rewind is a headache technically. The Anvil engine was not made at all to do rewind, to do slow motion, to do all those time manipulation. The tech approach was a challenge.”
Sylvain-Gires goes on to say that “If you take the game that was made 17 years ago, there’s definitely room for improvement in terms of graphism and we really wanted to give a unique look to the game because Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is actually is a fantasy story – the narration, the 40 different levels you have to go through to finish the game are an immersion into the Thief of Baghdad and all these magical environments. So we decided to go for a unique visual treatment to make this game standout from other games. It’s not another Assassin’s Creed, it’s not like the same Prince of Persia from 2008. It has to be unique. This magic, this fantasy is shown through the saturation, through the light, so it also a challenge to redefine the visual identity of the game with this remake.”
It’s not quite the answer the fans are looking for, but it does give a bit of insight as to the challenges that they encountered.
With that said, Deputy Managing Director Syed Abbas reiterated that it was not a matter of timeline or budget problems, saying that “…quality is of the utmost importance and this is something that we have kept in mind from the start. The project has been in development for the last two and a half years. We have had at peak 170 members working on this project and not to mention other investments in infrastructure and set up to make a modern game. No there have not been any cutback in budget or timeline for the game.”
One note many may have missed is that the trailer that was shown is from an Alpha build of the game, meaning the final product should show major improvements by the time it is released next year. In fact, by the time Ubisoft is ready to show another update of the game, we can expect it to look like every inch of the remake we know they are capable of.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is a remake of the original 2003 critically acclaimed classic and is scheduled to release on January 21 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and will retail for $39.99 or around PHP2,000.