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In an announcement that probably most Xbox fans were thinking of but not hoping for, Halo Infinite has now been officially delayed to 2021, citing COVID related reasons that have affected not just 343, but the entire gaming industry and the world as a whole.

Coming from an announcement by 343 Industries Studio Head Chris Lee, it was a tough decision but ultimately done to finish up some more critical work.

Judging from the announcement, it’s a good sign that 343 have listened to player feedback and are looking for ways to further improve the product that will result in an “experience that meets our vision”.

Halo Infinite was supposed to be the flagship title that would accompany the Series X launch in November but with that no longer available, Microsoft will have to rely on its solid backwards compatible lineup and outstanding service in game pass to tow them into the next generation.

In the mean time, you can check out Halo Infinite campaign gameplay that was revealed a few weeks back to satisfy your hunger for more Master Chief.

From Holiday 2020 to November 2020. Microsoft has laid down one of the final pieces of its puzzle for their next generation console and with it, a peek as to what players can expect when it launches.

An announcement from Microsoft narrows down the Xbox Series X launch window to November 2020 but along with it, the promise of “Thousands of Games Spanning Four Generations”, technically making it one of the biggest (if not the biggest) launch lineup in recent memory.

Specifics can be seen below:

  • More than 50 new games planned for this year across generations and optimized for Xbox Series X, including Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Dirt 5, Gears Tactics, Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Watch Dogs: Legion. With Smart Delivery you only have to buy these games once to play the best versions for your console, across generations.
  • New games developed exclusively for Xbox Series X and launching with Xbox Game Pass, including The Medium, Scorn, Tetris Effect Connected and more.
  • More than 40 popular games newly optimized to take full advantage of Xbox Series X such as Destiny 2, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, Madden NFL 21 and more.

Of course, with it, Game Pass Ultimate will be getting a boost because of Project xCloud, which is set to release this September.

With Halo Infinite being out of the launch lineup for the Series X, it just lost one of its biggest come-on’s for the system, making it much more apparent that you don’t need to upgrade to a Series X just yet, as is the strategy for Microsoft with their cross-generation and pro-consumer approach. Instead, Microsoft will be banking on its other titles, backwards compatibility across previous generations, and Game Pass, which is a hell of a deal on its own.

Now all we need is a price.

Two months after the first Night City Wire Pilot Episode and with four more months to go before the actual launch, the second episode paints a clearer picture of what to expect from the physical world of Night City. This episode takes a closer look at the actual in-game your main character, V, will experience through your distinct choices: both character-wise and through their arsenal.

Lifepaths

At the start of the game, V will have to make a choice between three options: Charmander, Squirtle, and Bulbasaur. Kidding aside, there are three lifepaths to choose from: Nomad, Street Kid, and Corpo as shown on the Lifepaths trailer.

The Street Kid grew up in the mean streets of Night City and has done everything they need to survive the harsh and bitter realities of a hyper-capitalist society. They’ve dodged cops, made deals with gangs, and they know the ins and outs of metropolis. They know the fixer to butter up and they know which gang they don’t want to piss off. Their lifestyle is feast and famine and it’s determined by their next job.

The Nomad hails from the Badlands outside of Night City and grew up with other nomadic tribes. They’ve survived the harsh desert wastes ravaged by global warming through the reliance on their tribal family. However, they value freedom most of all and their life has taken them to seek their fortunes in the new urban jungle of Night City.

The Corpo wage their high stakes cutthroat business deals behind Arasaka boardrooms through corporate espionage and day trading where they must perform and capitalize or die by the deals they’ve failed to secure. They’ve been double-crossed and left to hang and they must now traverse Night City to reverse their bad fortune.

Each backstory is different from each other and will lead you to different paths, dialog choices, and missions.

Your Class Determines Your Choices

As a complete RPG experience, your choice in the Lifepath will determine the pathway to your success in the game. V eventually progresses from being a lowly merc to a legend just like Johnny Silverhand and your origins definitely determine the way you play the game. Besides the obvious three playthroughs to see every choice made and missed in previous playthroughs, the experience will definitely differ with each disparate game experience. Once you’ve made a choice on your Lifepath, the bonuses and drawbacks carry over throughout the game and even beyond the post-game experience.

With the example being the quest of dealing with a gun running Maelstrom Gang, each experience will differ according to which Lifepath you would take. One way your Lifepath choice will matter are the dialogue options that unlock depending on your class.

It gives different classes a variety of options to succeed in different missions. A Corpo would know that the exec dealing with the Maelstrom Gang is Meredith Stout and you will know her interests, motives, and insider knowledge about this deal. A Nomad would know the intricacies of the Maelstrom Gang and with the tribal knowledge from the Badlands, you know what makes the gang tick. A Street Kid may be at a disadvantage with this deal not having the insider knowledge that a Corpo or Nomad would have. However, given their connections with Fixers like Padre, they can have an edge when dealing with nuanced situations like if the gang wanted some substances only a Street Kid can provide. Fixers are also revealed to be territorial with Padre taking on Haywood and other fixer Dexter introduced in the previous episode having his own territory. A Street Kid would have this knowledge and how they use this knowledge would give them an edge depending on the situation.

Lifepaths will matter and Cyberpunk 2077 will make sure that your choices matter as well.

The Music of SAMURAI

Johnny Silverhand makes an appearance with his anti-establishment band SAMURAI in this episode. With a cool blend of synthpop and punk rock, they create the general mood of the game. The general theme of the game is making a mark on Night City either as any Lifepath that you choose and with the aid of Johnny Silverhand and what he represents, the music will be integral for the overall gaming experience.

Swedish hardcore punk band “Refused” brings SAMURAI to life. While they were not gamers in the very sense of the word, they were able to relate to Johnny Silverhand and what they represent in the world of Cyberpunk. The interviews with the band members touch on how they as a band agree with Johnny’s philosophy and with that, their music synchronizes with it.

Three tracks of SAMURAI are now available for streaming with the fourth track out today.

Tools of Destruction

The episode ends with the Tools of Destruction trailer that highlights the arsenal V encounters and utilizes through the game to rise up the ranks in Night City. The arsenal ranges from different gun types to melee weapons featuring thermal katanas, and cybernetic mods, which highlighted arm blades and rockets launched from V’s forearm.

The designers at CD Projekt Red spent a lot of time merging the FPS gameplay with the heavy RPG elements from the tabletop adaptation. While equipment and cybernetic modifications play an important role to the character progression, what separates it from its FPS counterparts is how V progresses in the game with heightened accuracy, reload speed, and power. The increased skill structure readies V in taking on all the challenges in their environment to the highest challenge of the game.

Weapon types are separated by rarity ranging from common, uncommon, rare, and legendary. They are acquired via purchase or through looting through loot caches or from enemies. The more powerful legendary weapons are hinted to be only possessed by certain individuals that must be killed to acquire. As an RPG, I presume they can also give you said legendary weapon if you do them a favor that comes once in a lifetime. Not everything has to be resolved through violence.

Guns, Lots of Guns

As Night City Wire only has thirty minutes in every episode, a lot of focus fell on the guns. There are three gun types that have been specified through the segment:

Power types are more akin to contemporary guns but have an advantage using their firepower to ricochet bullets to catch enemies behind cover. Tech types rely on electromagnetic attributes to shoot through walls, doors, and are great for infiltrator types. Smart guns are strengthened by their guided projectile technology able to take on multiple enemies in hard to reach areas. I’m intrigued by smart weapons as they’ve revealed an eight-barreled shotgun that can target eight separate enemies at once. However, whatever firepower you do possess, your enemies do as well. As much as you’ve rendered cover obsolete for them, they can do the same to you.

Weapon mods such as attachments in the form of a scope and silencers give your guns an edge given a situation but also software mods increase the attribute of the gun as well giving it better accuracy, power, reload time, and firing rate. Ammo types can also be changed from non-lethal types to chemical rounds as well. 

Each gun also differs depending on the manufacturer of said weapon. Tsunami Defense Systems, manufacturer of the Tsunami Nekomata sniper rifle focuses on the tech aspect of the said rifle giving it an edge against enemies hiding in opposite rooms waiting for an ambush. Budget Arms’ Carnage, a powerful shotgun provides a more down and dirty feel when taking on enemies head on.

I’m curious what else the next (and probably final) episode of Night City Wire will offer. They’ve already shown the physical aspects of combat as well as other stylized modes of storytelling from the previous episode. For the next episode, I hope they show netrunning and how that factors into an already huge game with crazy amounts of content.

Are you ready to unload your life when Cyberpunk 2077 releases on November 19? We are.

The second episode of Night City Wire has come and gone and boy, a LOT of new information to build up the hype for the upcoming title from CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077.

If you failed to catch the whole episode, you can check it out in the video below:

As shown during the first Night City Wire Episode, you’ll be able to choose how your character will start out as – Nomad, Street Kid, or Corporate. This is your “Lifepath” and each path will provide a distinct introduction to the world of Night City, with different events and choices that will shape your gameplay experience throughout the game.

Each Lifepath choice will offer you a vastly different intro depending on your choice – a different mission, a different set of characters to interact with, different dialog choices, etc. As such, what Lifepath you choose will ultimately shape your journey throughout Night City.

You can check out a detailed run through of Lifepaths below:

The next part of Night City Wire discussed the various weapons V can choose to equip himself with in the game. There are guns, cyberware weaponry, and even instances where you will be forced to duke it out melee style and it is up to you as to which weapon you will use throughout your foray into the most dangerous city of the dark future.

View the various tools of destruction walk through below:

Cyberpunk 2077 immerses you in the world of Night City Wire and with it, you’ll have to become a true SAMURAI yourself. Swedish hardcore punk band “Refused” did just that, as they talk about the creative process behind becoming SAMURAI, the in-game chrome rock legends of Cyberpunk 2077.

Check out the full transformation as well as interviews with the band members below:

Cyberpunk 2077 is a vast and rich world of lore and players who wish to dive deeper into the world and you can do just that as “The World of Cyberpunk 2077” is now available through the Dark Horse Books site.

Fan of collectibles? Make the first Gear’s first Cyberpunk 2077 themed figure, Trauma Team Elite Response Unit, as part of your collection. This 15-inch, hand-painted figure will set you back $350 and is available for pre-orders now.

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to release on November 19 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Fans taking on the next generation consoles will be glad to know that there will be a free next-gen upgrade for owners of the current-gen versions.

Bethesda has announced that Doom Eternal and The Elder Scrolls Online will be making its way to both next generation consoles as well as offer free upgrades to those who already own the titles on their current-gen counterparts.

Apart from that, Bethesda has also confirmed to offer free next-gen upgrades for their current generation titles, meaning we get to see games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim (again?!) when the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X arrive.

No specific release dates have been committed by Bethesda, but further news and updates regarding the next-gen versions will be announced in the coming weeks.

Basketball season is here and it’s time to see your favorite superstars in action as 2K Games unveiled a first look at gameplay footage for NBA 2K21 running on current-gen consoles, featuring clips of many of the league’s brightest stars executing buzzer beaters, high-flying dunks, blocks and more.

Check out the brand new trailer below:

The game will feature extensive improvements across the board and deep, varied game modes, offering players a one-of-a-kind immersion into the culture of NBA basketball and culture.

Leading up to its release on September 4, fans can expect tons of news and updates about MyTEAM, MyCAREER, and so much more.

For more information on NBA 2K21, you can visit the official website or follow them through various social media channels like Facebook, TwitterInstagramTiktok, and YouTube

The first Night City Wire has come and gone, treating fans to a sneak peek into the next CD Projekt Red masterpiece that is Cyberpunk 2077. We’ve been wanting more since then, but it seems that we won’t have to wait much longer as CDPR has confirmed that the next episode will air on August 10 at 6PM CEST, around 12AM Philippine time of the following day.

In it, we can expect to take a deeper look at the different weapons your player can use, a new point of discussion in what the game calls “lifepaths”, and how Swedish group ‘Refused’ has undergone the transformation to SAMURAI.

You can catch all of the action over at CDPR’s Twitch Channel.

Cyberpunk 2077 is scheduled to release on November 19 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, with next generation versions to follow.

At this point in time, I am still pretty damn confused as to what next generation console, and its games, will take my money. It’s still too early in the game to speculate business movements down the line, but in the short term, many of the exclusives I’m excited about will find a home on the Playstation 5.

It would be a safe assumption to say that the Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5 (or the Xbox Series X, if there is one) will be cheaper, which incentivizes digital users such as myself to pick one up at launch. As for space, I am a frugal user who usually just downloads a couple of games that I will play. Once I’ve had my fill, I usually delete it and not play it for years, so space isn’t an issue.

The big question remains to be if the launch lineup will be good enough to make people go day one. Early adopters usually get the short end of the stick as we’re stuck most of the time with lackluster titles that we paid full price on to justify the day one purchase.

When the PS4 dropped six years ago, I kept putting off buying the console because games were still available on the PS3 as late as 2017, with Persona 5 dropping on the PS3 in April 2017. I put up with all the glitches of Dragon Age Inquisition on the PS3 and was rewarded with a platinum trophy for half of my efforts. My only regret in delaying gratification as late as 2016 was missing out on the P.T. demo but otherwise, I was happy getting my PS4 when I got it and it hasn’t failed me since, as it is relatively new and was able to pick up most of the console defining games at its peak (God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn, Spiderman).

Meanwhile, the Xbox Game Pass really is a game changer when it’s saying that many of its exclusives will drop on their launches on the service. If I do choose to purchase an Xbox Series X, all the games that I’m interested in trying will be available upon release if Phil Spencer’s promises hold true. Remember all the games during the showcase? All free, day one, on Game Pass. With a $15 subscription fee, you even get to take a portable Xbox along with you because of Project xCloud. Sounds like a hell of a deal.

Luckily for this FOMO generation, we have quite a number of titles available at launch due to backwards compatibility. Yet in the effort to become more inclusive and accessible with acquiring your shiny new next-gen console, the real next-gen launch will be when YOU acquire the PS5 or the Xbox Series X. It could be in November, it could be at Christmas, and it could be when Horizon Forbidden West or Halo Infinite drops. For some people, it could be when FF7 Remake 2 finally makes it out of the gates. Whenever it may be, here are a few games that should make your day one list.

Horizon Forbidden West

As one of the generation defining IP’s for the PS4, Horizon Zero Dawn was an engaging game with a vibrant world and a rich lore both present in the main quest line and hidden deep in the holologs of ruins peppered through the game. Unlike the all-encompassing Skyrim-like games that offer content that oozes in every corner, Horizon Zero Dawn provided enough to keep you engaged but not too much to overwhelm like in other open world games. I’m expecting Horizon Forbidden West will deliver what’s expected plus a couple more surprises up their sleeve.

Why it will be worth it at (your) PS5 launch: Besides the launch of another awaited generation defining IP (God of War), its just hard to go wrong with Horizon Forbidden West. It will probably launch close enough to the PS5 release to give more people time to save up money for the console, and maybe even new enough to still call it a launch title. And unlike most launch titles (many of them historically haven’t been groundbreaking), this one would be good enough to give us everything that made it a classic in the last game while hoping to be surprised with new mechanics and possibly a showdown between the established villains and the heroine, Aloy.

Every First Generation Xbox Game with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it is the underwhelming offerings of the first party exclusives for Xbox Series X. While there will be some curious titles down the road, the best thing about it is that they will be available on the service at launch. Going by Phil Spencer’s promise, we will get Halo Infinite, Fable, State of Decay 3, The Medium, Everwild, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, As Dusk Falls, Hellblade 2: Eurovision Song Contest, Grounded, Forza Motorsport, Avowed, Warhammer Darktide, The Gunk, Tetris Effect Connected, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis, CrossFire X Campaign, Tell Me Why Episode One: Ain’t Nothing But A Heartache, Tell Me Why Episode Two: Ain’t Nothing But A Mistake, and Tell Me Why Episode Three: I Never Wanna Hear You Say, I Want It That Way on the Game Pass when they launch.

That’s a LOT of games and a whole lot of value for 15$ a month.

Why it will be worth it at (your) Xbox Series X launch: Should I go over those games again? If you are considering a Xbox Series X and you’re not sure what game to buy, you have all those first party exclusives ready for you with Game Pass Ultimate. Now it really sounds too good to be true, and executives can always pull a fast one and deny it, but if you are getting a Xbox Series X anyway and you will be subscribing to the equivalent of Xbox Live anyway, you will be getting this service anyway.

Cyberpunk 2077

With it being delayed once again to November, I don’t mind waiting for it for a couple more months and then finally playing it on a next gen console. In fact, the new launch date of November 19 could actually be within days or weeks of the next generation console launch, so you can technically consider this a launch title. Sure it’s going to be released on current platforms as well, but wouldn’t you want to soak in all the greatness that CD Projekt Red has to offer on your newest next gen console?

Why it will be worth it at (your) next-gen console launch: If given a choice between Cyberpunk 2077 and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, hands down, I’m batting for team CD Projekt Red. Cyberpunk 2077 is what I’ve been waiting for since I’ve scoured through Witcher 3 and all its expansions. I felt bad dropping Witcher 3 to play Final Fantasy XV three years ago and I would probably feel bad dropping Cyberpunk 2077 to play Horizon Forbidden West. Cyberpunk 2077, with Witcher 3 as a barometer will be over 100 hours and even if you don’t get any of the other games on this list, you will have enough content to last you until, well… The Playstation 6. Or the Xbox Series Y and Z.

Deathloop

There’s just something so cool about Deathloop when it was revealed during the Playstation 5 showcase. While I was waiting for Horizon Forbidden West and some other surprise, Deathloop became that other game I became interested in. It had that feel of a grindhouse film and just oozes style. Games like Persona 5 and even Dishonored really caught my attention because there’s something about the game that draws you in just from its presentation alone.

Why it will be worth it at (your) PS5 launch: It is a next-gen title and I feel that if you’re getting a next gen console, don’t you owe it to yourself to buy a next gen title? Sure, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Cyberpunk 2077 feel like they’re next gen titles, but it’s always a nice motivation to get a game that’s made for the console you’re getting versus a game that’s been marketed to fill different platforms.

Spiderman: Miles Morales

We started the Playstation 5 reveal with that Grand Theft Auto 5 pop-up advertisement. I call it that because it felt out of place, it’s like that uncle who just won’t go away. If I’m too broke to actually afford such games, I could always pick up Grand Theft Auto V. With my PS Plus membership, that entitles me to $1M a month to watch me get my ass killed on GTA Online. While they had to make that announcement, it felt like that’s the safest place to put it in because it’s too early in the reveal to just switch off your TV.

I digress, but you gotta agree they opened strong with Spiderman: Miles Morales. While I enjoyed Peter Parker’s journey in the PS4 Spiderman, Miles’ story was really awesome and watching Peter school Miles in being a hero was one of my favorite parts of the story. So when it’s revealed that he’s getting his own game, that totally goes on my Day 1 must-buys.

Why it will be worth it at (your) PS5 launch: This is probably an expensive buy for a shorter game compared to the Spider-Man game released a while back, but we’ve spent money on games like The Order: 1886 and even Heavenly Sword. They were short games and we’ve regretted those purchases, but if we’re gonna regret a purchase, at least have them on a game that has enough enjoyable content with a likeable character and possibly have some good superhero battles, all on 4K 60fps.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon

Dude, it’s like a Yakuza game in an RPG format, on PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Why It will be Worth It at (your) next-gen console Launch: Dude, it’s like a Yakuza game in an RPG format, on PS5 or Xbox Series X.

Marvel’s Avengers is launching on September 4 but even as early as now, fans of the game will have a lot to look forward to, like Hawkeye and the recently revealed PS exclusive, Spider-Man. There’s even more in store for the game, and PlayStation fans will surely be in for a treat.

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, Community and Social Media Manager for Crystal Dynamics Andy Wong confirmed PlayStation players will enjoy certain advantages with regards to the new announcements, which are Community Challenges and various cosmetic enhancements.

Community Challenges are “goals that the community must reach as a whole to gain rewards for everyone,” and each month, new challenges with varying goals will be added. PlayStation users will gain access to exclusive community challenges, with details to be revealed at a later date.

Cosmetics are also a big part of the game, allowing personalizing various details of your look and profile to stand out from the rest of the players. Cosmetics have rarity tiers as well, ranging from Uncommon to Legendary, and while they do not provide any gameplay advantages, sometimes looking cooler is an advantage on its own.

PlayStation users will be glad to know that they will enjoy a “30-day exclusive access to a Legendary Outfit, Legendary Emote, Epic Takedown, and nameplate for each Super Hero as they are released”. Additionally, PS Plus Subscribers will get a free bundle containing a rare outfit, nameplate, and 100 store credits everytime a character is added to the game post-launch, including a free bundle at launch for Kamala Khan.

In the mean time, a Beta will be available for PlayStation pre-orders starting August 7 and will culminate in an open beta on August 21.

Marvel’s Avengers is scheduled to release on September 4 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.

Leading up to the launch of the Series X, Microsoft has been making small moves here and there to up the experience for the consumers. First was lumping in xCloud to be a free add on for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, which we tried and are rather impressed with.

In a recent discussion with famous Xbox personalities, the new Microsoft store was previewed, which starts at around the 24:10 mark , but you can also watch the whole video HERE:

According to an official post by Microsoft, this is “A completely rebuilt experience designed to be faster, safer and easier to use than ever before.” The new store is pegged as more than twice as fast as before, also putting an emphasis on making searching for relevant content easier for the users. A few of the revisited and improved features are as follows:

  • With the redesigned search functionality, it’s easier to filter your results.
  • Guided by your feedback, we rebuilt the Wish List. You can now easily add new games to your Wish List and quickly check your list content (including keeping tabs on any sale pricing for your Wish List items).
  • The updated shopping cart makes it easier to add items to your cart as well as view the items in your cart before and during purchase.
  • We’ve also made it easier than ever to shop across four generations of great Xbox content by enabling customers to view pricing while browsing for new Xbox One games and backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles, as well as add these games to your Wish List or shopping cart.

The revamped store will be available in beta starting August 5 for select Xbox Insiders.