Cyberpunk 2077 Will Have ‘No Bull**”; Loot Box Gambling Concerns Escalate – GS News Roundup

Happy Friday! Jess McDonell and Dan Crowd bring you another GS News Roundup, to catch you up on the big events that have happened this week! Here’s the lowdown.

Cyberpunk 2077 Developer Responds To Games-As-Service Concerns

Some speculation surrounding the next project from Witcher 3 developers CD Projekt Red came up this week, which suggested that Cyberpunk 2077 will trend towards a game model that included games-as-service traits such as micro-transactions in order to make the game more profitable. Thankfully, CD Projekt came out pretty strongly to refute this claim. Get all the details in today’s episode.

Even More Rainbow Six Siege Content Details For Next Year

Rainbow Six Siege is one of those multiplayer games that seems to be doing good by its fanbase with a steady flow of great post-release content. This week, Ubisoft announced a gamut of new things coming to the game for its third year! Watch Dan get excited about it all in the video.

Global Governments Are Getting Organised Around Loot Boxes

In the wake of Star Wars Battlefront 2’s loot box controversy, a number of government agencies and officials around the globe have begun looking into the mechanic, which is becoming increasingly common in games. There are concerns that the practice could constitute gambling, and many are organising to look into restrictions to stop the practice entirely.

What did you think about today’s news? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and we’ll see you next week!

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/articles/cyberpunk-2077-will-have-no-bull-loot-box-gambling/1100-6455180/

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Cyberpunk 2077 Will Have ‘No Bull**”; Loot Box Gambling Concerns Escalate – GS News Roundup

Rainbow Six Siege: Operation White Noise operators and maps revealed, while governments around the world condemn loot boxes.

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/videos/cyberpunk-2077-will-have-no-bull-loot-box-gambling/2300-6441985/

Microsoft Black Friday 2017 Deals UK: Xbox One Game Sales Available Now

Black Friday 2017 is here, bringing with it rude consumers, big crowds, long queues, and getting punched in the face because you were trying to get that last copy of Assassin’s Creed Origins from the store shelf. Luckily, there’s a way to avoid all that hustle and bustle: stay at home and download your games! We’ve already covered Sony’s PSN sale on PS4 games, as well as all the cheap Switch games on sale on Nintendo’s Eshop, and now it’s time for us to list Microsoft’s deals on cheap Xbox One games. If you’re in the US, be sure to check out all the Xbox One games on sale on Xbox Live, or scroll on down for UK-specific deals.

Call of Duty: WWII is one of the year’s biggest games, and its Digital Deluxe edition is currently available for 10% off, making it £76.49 on Xbox Live. Other big games discounted include FIFA 18 (£42), Destiny 2 (£41.24), Grand Theft Auto V (£33), and NBA 2K18 (£44). Remember that Xbox Live Gold members get additional discounts on top of the Black Friday sale.

You can see many more Black Friday UK deals in our roundups of Game’s sale, Amazon’s deals, Sony’s PSN sale, or Nintendo’s Eshop games sale. Alternatively, check out all the Black Friday deals we’ve covered so far below, or scroll down for all the games included in Microsoft’s Xbox Live sale.

Microsoft’s Xbox One Game Deals On Xbox Live

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins — £44
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate — £15
  • Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection — £20
  • Batman: The Telltale Series – The Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) — £10
  • Batman: The Enemy Within – The Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) — £17.50
  • Battleborn — £8.25
  • Battlefield 1 Revolution — £33
  • Battlefield 1 Premium Pass — £16
  • BioShock: The Collection — £18
  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection — £18
  • Call of Duty®: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition (includes Black Ops III + Zombies Chronicles) — £45.64
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Deluxe — £66.39
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare — £22
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Digital Legacy Edition (includes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered) — £48
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Digital Deluxe Edition (includes DLC + Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered) — £57
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered — £28
  • Call of Duty: WWII – Digital Deluxe — £76.49
  • Dark Souls III — £25
  • Dead Rising 4 — £25
  • Dead Rising 4 Deluxe Edition — £32.50
  • Dead Rising 4 Season Pass — £4.80
  • Destiny 2 — £41.24
  • Destiny 2 Game + Expansion Pass bundle — £60
  • Destiny 2 – Digital Deluxe — £67.50
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided — £12.50
  • Dirt 4 — £33
  • Dishonored 2 — £18
  • Doom — £15
  • Evolve — £6.60
  • Evolve Digital Deluxe — £9.90
  • Evolve Ultimate Edition — £11.55
  • Fallout 4 — £15
  • Far Cry 4 — £12
  • Far Cry Primal — £15
  • FIFA 18 — £42
  • FIFA 18 Ronaldo Edition — £56
  • FIFA 18 Icon Edition — £63
  • Final Fantasy XV — £20
  • For Honor — £22
  • Forza Horizon 3 — £20
  • Forza Motorsport 7 — £32.50
  • Game of Thrones – The Complete First Season (Episodes 1-6) — £5.28
  • Gears of War 4 — £16.74
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands — £27.50
  • Grand Theft Auto V — £33
  • Halo 5: Guardians Digital Deluxe Edition — £21
  • Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition — £47.25
  • Halo Wars 2 — £18
  • Just Cause 3 — £13.50
  • Lego City Undercover — £30
  • Lego Worlds — £18.74
  • Life is Strange Complete Collection — £5.28
  • Life is Strange: Before the Storm Deluxe Edition — £16
  • Lords of the Fallen — £6
  • Lords of the Fallen Digital Complete Edition — £10
  • Madden NFL 18 — £36
  • Mafia III — £17.50
  • Mafia III Deluxe Edition — £27.50
  • Mafia III Season Pass — £15
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – The Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) — £11.51
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda — £17.50
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda Deluxe Edition — £22.50
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Complete Experience — £18.74
  • Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Season (Episode 1-5) — £8
  • Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two – The Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) — £14.63
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst — £6.60
  • Mortal Kombat X — £14
  • NBA 2K18 — £44
  • NBA 2K18 Legend Edition — £59.50
  • NBA 2K18 Legend Edition Gold — £108
  • Need for Speed Payback — £42
  • Need for Speed Payback – Deluxe Edition — £56
  • NHL 18 — £36
  • Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition — £30
  • PES 2018 — £38.49
  • Prey– £18
  • Prototype + Prototype 2 — £16
  • Quantum Break — £17.27
  • Rainbow Six Siege — £18
  • Rayman Legends — £7.92
  • ReCore: Definitive Edition — £11.24
  • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard — £31.79
  • Rocket league — £9.59
  • Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition — £6
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole — £42.24
  • Sunset Overdrive — £13.20
  • Tales from the Borderlands Complete Season (Episodes 1-5) — £12
  • Tekken 7 — £35
  • The Division — £16
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition — £18
  • The Evil Within — £6
  • The Evil Within 2 — £30
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season — £6.60
  • The Walking Dead: Season Two — £6.60
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt — £15
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine — £9.59
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Expansion Pass — £12
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition — £17.50
  • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt – Hearts of Stone — £4.79
  • Titanfall 2 Ultimate Edition — £21
  • Tomb Raider Definitive Edition — £7.92
  • UFC 2 — £15
  • Watch Dogs 2 — £22
  • WWE 2K18 — £38.50
  • WWE 2K18 — £38.50 Digital Deluxe Edition — £52
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order — £9
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood — £9
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus — £30
  • WRC 7 FIA World Rally Championship — £27
  • XCOM 2 — £18
  • XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe — £22.80
  • XCOM 2 — War of the Chosen — £29.04

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/articles/microsoft-black-friday-2017-deals-uk-xbox-one-game/1100-6455183/

Get mobile game dev tips from the maker of Good Pizza, Great Pizza at GDC 2018

At GDC 2018, TapBlaze (Good Pizza, Great Pizza) chief Anthony Lai will be offering fellow game makers advice on how they can make great mobile games that also make enough money to keep the lights on. …

from Gamasutra News http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/310353/Get_mobile_game_dev_tips_from_the_maker_of_Good_Pizza_Great_Pizza_at_GDC_2018.php

How The PS4 Secret Of Mana Remake Compares To The Original

The original Secret of Mana was one of my favorite games back in 1993. It’s story is a tale of lost identity, it has a gameplay loop that revolves around upgrading unique weapons, and the game’s quirky radial menu system still feels fresh today. This week, after playing several hours of an in-development build of the PS4 Secret of Mana remake, I found lot of things to like, a few things that aren’t great, and several places I hope the developers can still improve on the original.

Obviously, the first thing you notice about the Secret of Mana remake is its graphical upgrade; and for the most part, the remake looks better. Despite the nostalgia I have for the 16-bit era, there are some details that just come through better in 3D. Take the opening boss battle against a massive mantis creature. The 2D sprite from the original game (the introductory boss never turns; you only ever see it from the front) is replaced with a version that not only looks more complete, but it provides a more enjoyable fight since you can circle around and attack it from behind.

With this graphical update, the main characters stand out, showing off minutiae in costume design that was lost in their 16-bit forms. And smaller enemies come to life in ways that, while not radically different, feel like they are free from the constraints of their flat-sprite animations. However, not everything benefits equally from the transition to more-detailed models. The manic dancing of the game’s shopkeepers, for instance, is distracting and feels out-of-place. In the original, the movement helped bring those characters out of the background, but in the remake it just looks weird. And the re-used NPCs, a regular occurrence in RPG design from the Secret of Mana’s original era, feel a little more egregious and harder to ignore when the game has gone through such a huge facelift.

But while the the gameplay looks better overall, Secret of Mana’s cutscenes are a mess. Now, I don’t mean the new introduction (which you can watch in the video above). The mix there of hand-drawn art with minimal animation is gorgeous and captures the beauty of the game’s lush setting. But when the story begins in earnest and you’re staring into the eyes of a character that looks like it was pulled straight from a mobile port of the game, it’s hard not be disappointed. Secret of Mana’s remake seems to use the same in-game models for both gameplay and close-up cinematics. And those characters that look great from a distance feel like ’90s CGI cartoon models when you zoom in too close, with the stiff, plastic look of old shows like Reboot.

Part of that is because the characters mouths and faces don’t move, so it gives the impression that everyone is wearing a mask. The main characters have a few different mouth shapes, and sometimes characters will close one or both eyes, but otherwise, you’re watching passive faces read out overdramatic lines. That effect is especially jarring with characters like the bully with a wide, toothy grin that you meet in the game’s opening. He always has the same wide-mouthed grin, even when he’s angry or surprised, and it’s endlessly distracting.

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The other problem with the cutscenes is something that should be a positive for the remake–this version adds fully voiced dialogue for everything, from the cut-scenes to the the ancillary dialogue of all the villagers. But at least in this preview build, it’s not very good. The spoken lines draw attention to the sometimes weak writing and odd translation choices (why would you say you need a “weapon” to cut through bushes to get to town?). But the voice directing is just mediocre. There is one bright aspect to this, however; in the game’s settings you can turn on Japanese voice acting at any time. It’s still not great, but it is an improvement over the English cast and a really nice additional feature.

Another welcome option is the ability to change the game’s music from the remake’s arrangements to the original 16-bit soundtrack. To the game’s credit, the re-arranged soundtrack is fantastic, but the original score still holds up beautifully, throughout the game’s early hours.

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The sound and graphics see the biggest changes from the original, and although those options feel mostly locked-in at this point, there are some other elements that I hope have time for minor tweaks before the game’s full release. The equipment screen has been altered in the remake into something much more intuitive, but when you’re buying armor from merchants you’re still given no indication whether or not you already own a piece of equipment, who has what equipped, or whether the item you’re looking at is is any better for your party. In addition, consumables still have no description, so you also have to buy and use something just to find out what it does, and several items have very steep price tags for such trial-and-error shenanigans. This final omission is particularly odd since the remake adds a Guide option to the menu. But this extra info is limited to just characters, weapons, and enemies, and even there it just gives you a closer look at the models; there are no additional descriptions.

Combat is more complex in the remake, though it needs some modifications to make it more consistent. For example, in the original Secret of Mana, your one major sword attack was simply a wide, sweeping blade arc. In the remake, you can alternate between that same wide swing or a forward jab, but sometimes even when you’re standing still and expecting to execute a wide arc swing, your character throws out a thrust instead (the pattern seems to be two big arc swings followed by a thrust, regardless of whether you’re moving the analog stick or not). It’s better to have control over what kind of attacks you’ll throw out than to feel like your character might do something unexpected.

And one minor (but very missed) element not included in the remake is how the the original Secret of Mana indicates when you’re back at 100% for an attack. In the combat system, there’s a quickly replenishing stamina gauge; you can throw out a flurry of attacks, but each blow you land before getting back to 100% is substantially lower in power. Both versions of the game have an audible ding when you return to full strength, but the SNES version also made your character flash slightly until you were at 100%. It’s such a small difference, but it made knowing when to attack much clearer, and let you focus your attention on your character and enemies rather pulling you away to look at the stamina gauge.

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But beyond that lack of attack consistency and the flashing indicator, combat is better in the remake. You can switch between party members with a tap of the directional pad. The game has added a customizable hot button for quickly using items–you can set a restorative piece of candy to R1 or R2 for a quick pick-me-up without completely pausing battle. And the drop-in, drop-out local multiplayer works just as well as it did back when I was a kid.

The Secret of Mana remake isn’t out until February of next year, so there’s still plenty of time for refinement from the preview build that I played. And while there are some genuine improvements from the original, there are also a few weird missteps that make it difficult to recommend its predecessor–especially when the original is readily available on the SNES classic. But we’ll be keeping a close eye on this version as it progresses. If nothing else, the remake holds a lot of promise for a future of 16-bit remakes done right.

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/articles/how-the-ps4-secret-of-mana-remake-compares-to-the-/1100-6455161/