Xbox Design Labs Is Open To Make The Xbox Controller Of Your Dreams

After putting the service on hiatus prior to the arrival of the Xbox Series consoles, Microsoft is reopening the Xbox Design Lab and is selling user-created controllers again. This time, the newest version

Battlefield 2042 Battle Pass Explained, Free Vs. Premium

Battle Passes are becoming more and more of the norm in the realm of online games, and that term can mean a plethora of different things. Sometimes, this means locked content like Call of Duty

Call Of Duty: Warzone And Black Ops Cold War Is Getting Rambo And Die Hard, Confirms Activision

Activision has confirmed that the The first thing I did was google 552 kills, (since the og tweet emphasis that stat) and the first thing that popped up was JOHN Rambo’s kill count! Not only that, the amount of games matches the amount of Rambo films!

Diablo Immortal Adds A Faction-Based PVP System, The Crusader, And The Helliquary

The faction-based PVP is elaborate and honestly, I hope something this cool makes its way into one of the “core” Diablo games sometime outside of the mobile space. I’ve spoken at length about how I enjoy Diablo Immortal, at least what we’ve seen so far, but I intensely dislike extended play sessions on mobile devices. Here’s hoping that we get some kind of PC version down the line, at least while we wait for Diablo IV. Anyway, when you participate in the Cycle of Strife PVP system, which is 100% optional, you start as an Adventurer. Everyone does! However, there are two main groups involved in PVP that have an asymmetrical war going on. The Immortals are the elite who try to protect their awesome stashes of impending rewards, and the Shadows work together in darkness to try to undermine the Immortals, up to and including raiding their treasure stores and engaging in other tasks to weaken them. A group of powerful Shadows in a Dark House (kind of like a guild) can overthrow the reigning Immortals and take control of the spoils, and then become the ruling class themselves as the new Immortals. And hence, the “Cycle of Strife” continues as rewards are doled out and battle is waged. And yes, there are PVP battlegrounds that consist of 8v8 teamplay alongside the core Cycle of Strife systems. While the experience is, again, completely optional, you’ll probably want to dive in to snag some rewards.

How To Go Pro In Call Of Duty And Win In The CDL

Throughout the 2021 Call of Duty League season, the Minnesota Rokkr hasn't got a lot of respect. The team got off to a slower start and wasn't competing at a level that was acceptable to the organization and its fans. But then something happened. Head coach Brian "Saintt" Baroska and V1 director of esports strategy Jake "Reppin" Trobaugh put their faith in a 19-year-old kid to try and bring a spark to the Rokkr roster. The results were instant and exciting.

New Dinosaur Discovered in Patagonia, Dubbed ‘One Who Causes Fear’

A new dinosaur species has been discovered in Argentina and its name, Llukalkan aliocranianus, translates to "the one who causes fear."

What You Need To Know About Deathloop’s Story

Click to watch embedded media

Deathloop is the upcoming action-adventure game that has graced our cover for the last month, and as part of our exclusive coverage, we sat down with the game's narrative designer to chat about Deathloop's story. Following their critical success with the Dishonored series, Arkane Studios has crafted a brand new world to explore. Set on the island of Blackreef, Deathloop is a story that follows Colt Vahn, a man who is stuck in a never-ending loop with a secret society that's led by antagonist Julianna. 

In this exclusive interview, we chat with Bennett Smith about the backstory of Blackreef and why the island's time loop was originally set up by the AEON Program. We also asked about the relationship between Colt and Julianna, and more specifically, why the latter wants the former dead. Separate from the main narrative thrust, we learn more from Bennett about how the game encourages players to become comfortable with death in an effort to gain more knowledge about their surroundings. 

Once you're done watching this video, subscribe to Game Informer Magazine to read our larger 14-page cover story on Deathloop. Read an excerpt of that below:

It's morning on Blackreef Island, and Colt has just emerged from the underground tunnels that wind their way across this desolate landmass. Colt just woke up, but he's already ready to collapse. His legs feel heavy; his arms are dead weights. A hangover from the night before is beginning to ease, but Colt's real troubles have only begun. So, Colt fights through the pain - pushes against entropy - and presses deeper into the island. He knows he's marching toward his own death, but he has no other choice. If Colt wants to get off this blasted rock, he must orchestrate a seemingly impossible series of assassinations in less than 24 hours. 

If you enjoyed this interview, be sure to subscribe to the Game Informer YouTube channel so that you don't miss any of our exclusive Deathloop video coverage. 

Street Fighter’s Chun-Li And Ryu Coming To Fortnite Soon

Click here to watch embedded media

Fortnite has been embracing crossover character skins for ages now, and two big names are about to join the cast! More information is dropping tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time via official Epic channels, but for now we've got a spiffy new reveal trailer showcasing Ryu and Chun-Li from the Street Fighter franchise. After Master Chief, Kratos, and many others have entered the Fortnite universe as skins, this is hardly surprising, but it's always great to see additional faces from other games come into the universe! Check out their debut trailer above!

Ryu's penchant for Hadoukens and Chun-Li's furious flurry of kicks have been staples of the fighting game scene from when we would gather around the one arcade unit in the Walmart mini-arcades and stack quarters on the side of the machine, eager to dragon punch and kick our enemies into oblivion while the crane game chirped noisily in the background. While those days can never return, we can now play as some of our favorite Street Fighters in Fortnite. At this point, I don't think any crossover could surprise me, with myriad names and faces joining Epic's free-to-play foray on a regular basis.

Game Informer reviewed Fortnite back in 2018, and while many things have changed, the core battle royale experience stands strong. "The sheer replayability of Fortnite Battle Royale is one of its greatest strengths. Despite there only being one map, nothing ever plays out the same from game to game. Your learned experience about chest spawns, terrain, and weapon functionality carries over, but how these aspects intersect is fresh every time," I said in my review. "Maybe you land with 10 other players in the middle of a house, forcing you to decide whether to book it to the next area or go Rambo, hoping to reap the rewards as the lone survivor of a grim melee. Maybe you get a great weapon right away, but wander into the middle of a skirmish between two snipers. Like Dota 2 or League of Legends, despite the single primary playspace, the rest of the variables mean that one map is more than enough."

Are you planning to pick up the Ryu or Chun-Li skins? What do you think about the deluge of crossover skins? Let us know in the comments!

Microsoft Not Changing Xbox Live Gold Pricing, Free-to-Play Games Unlocked

Microsoft has announced that it is reversing its decision and will not change Xbox Live Gold pricing. Furthermore, free-to-play games will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership to play on Xbox consoles.

Upcoming Games Starring Protagonists Of Color

As a black man with a lifelong obsession with games, I’ve either heard or been asked this question many times in my life: What games let you play as black characters? My answer is usually pretty short. Anyone paid attention knows that games have predominantly featured white protagonists for decades. There are plenty of great-looking games on the horizon, but finding titles starring heroes that resemble the people in marginalized communities can be like finding a needle in a haystack. That's unfortunate because no matter the shape or size of a game, it's always a powerful feeling to see a character that looks like you. 

So, I’d like to prepare an answer for people who are regularly asked the same question and for those who ask it themselves. I’ve compiled this list of upcoming games featuring protagonists who are black, brown, or just non-white in general. To that end, this list excludes games with user-created protagonists. Character creators are great and all, but they also put the responsibility of diversity onto the players, rather than developers taking the initiative themselves. Now, let’s take a look at the coolest-looking games starring protagonists of color. 

Season  

Developer: Scavengers Studio
Release Date: TBA

Season is a gorgeous-looking adventure game about a woman who leaves her remote village to explore the world on her bike. Along the way, she documents her discoveries through the lens of her camera, capturing the final moments of various fictional cultures before an impending cataclysm befalls the world. The game showcases a diverse cast of characters who occupy a strange version of Earth; in it, modern human progress has remained stagnant despite thousands of years passing. Season comes from Scavengers Studios and is fascinating departure from its previous game, the survival battle royale The Darwin Project.

 

Deathloop 

Developer: Arkane Studios
Release Date: May 21

With quality games like Dishonored and Prey in Arkane Studios’ history, excitement for Death Loop is sky-high. The games pits two legendary assassins, Colt and Julianna, against each other on the island of Blackreef. Players control Colt, who not only must survive being hunted by Julianna and the island’s inhabitants, but also find a way to break a mysterious time loop engulfing the island. The goal is to assassinate eight targets in the span of a single night, otherwise the cycle begins anew.  I pray Deathloop sticks to its May release date because I can’t wait to get my hands on one of 2021’s most inventive-looking titles. 

 

ValiDate: Struggling Singles in Your Area

Developer: Veritable Joy Studios 
Release Date: Spring

This quirky visual novel stars 12 struggling singles living in Jercy City (yes, Jercy). They are looking for love while also trying to, according to the game’s website, “overcome the harsh realities of capitalism" while also dealing with the everyday grind. ValiDate boasts over 30 story routes for these flawed 20-somethings who range from a professional cosplayer, a wedding counselor, a food scientist, and a manager at “Bopeyes”. Dating is the name of the game, of course, as you make a series of choices to (hopefully) romance the single of your choice. Veritable Joy Studios says ValiDate’s writing is handled with “empathy and self-indulgence” and comes from an all-POC writing team. Look for ValiDate when it launches this spring, or you can try a free demo on itch.io now.

 

Tchia

Developer: Awaceb
Release Date: TBA

Tchia recently premiered during the pre-show of The Game Awards, and draws inspiration for its world and cast from New Caledonia, a Pacific Island east of Australia. Players control the titular Tchia, a girl with special abilities who sets sail on her makeshift raft in a physics-driven sandbox. Tchia has the power to take control of any animal or object, which includes a bird and even a coconut, as seen in the debut trailer. Exploration combines climbing, gliding, and sailing, drawing on elements of Zelda games like Breath of the Wild and Wind Waker. With a vibrant color palette and heartwarming vibe, Tchia is a gem to keep an eye on. 

 

Far Cry 6

Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 2021

The Far Cry series isn’t always stellar about handling its cultural themes beyond simple stereotypes, but here’s hoping that changes with Far Cry 6. Set in the Cuba-inspired island of Yara, players control Dani Rojos (who can be male or female), a local that gets swept up in a revolution against the country’s brutal dictator, Antón Castillo (played by Giancarlo Esposito of The Mandalorian and Breaking Bad fame). We don’t know much about the plot, but the debut trailer revealed a fascinating relationship between Castillo and his young son, Diego, who he wants to mold in his image. How Dani fits into this father/son story isn’t clear, but it’s safe to expect the high-octane gameplay Far Cry is known for.

 

Aerial_Knight's Never Yield

Developer: Aerial_Knight
Release Date: Early 2021

Coming to you from a single developer, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is a stylish auto-runner set in a Tokyo-flavored, futuristic Detroit. Wally is a cool kid with a robotic leg seeking to uncover the truth about his past. However, he discovers darker evidence that could affect the future of his entire city. Players must run, jump, and slide past enemies and obstacles in an experience that caters speedrunners and casual players alike. This game bleeds Detroit, including a soundtrack composed by local artist Danime-Sama, as well as contributions from black artists across the globe. Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield is slated to be released in early 2021, so, like Wally himself, it looks like the game is coming in hot. 

 

She Dreams Elsewhere

Developer: Studio Zevere
Release Date: 2021

She Dreams Elsewhere is a surreal RPG about a comatose woman struggling with anxiety who must discover the cause of her condition by literally confronting the demons within her. The game’s old-school aesthetic and turn-based combat evokes RPGs of old, but is layered with an ethereal, lo-fi vibe from the soundtrack to the trippy effects. A connection system lets players bond with their party members who have their own narrative threads, or customize their playstyles using the charm system. She Dreams Elsewhere is coming to PC sometime this year, and you can download a demo on Steam right now.

 

As Dusk Falls

Developer: Interior/Night
Release Date: 2021 

As Dusk Falls is an interactive drama with a fascinating hook. In 1999, two families were caught up in a hostage situation gone wrong. Over the course of the next 30 years, players see how it's affected the lives of all who were involved. We don’t know much about the game other than it stars a mixed-race protagonist, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you controlled other characters, such as the boy turned young adult shown in the debut trailer. As Dusk Falls is the first game from newly formed studio Interior/Night, led by Quantic Dream alum Caroline Marcha. The game currently has no release window, but since it’s being published by Xbox Game Studios, you can expect it to hit Game Pass on console and PC on launch day. 

 

Unknown 9: Awakening

Developer: Reflector
Release Date: TBA

This mysterious sci-fi title centers on Haroona, a young girl from Kolkata, India who discovers she’s imbued with a mysterious power that allows her to access a secret dimension known as The Fold. Haroona eventually encounters a mentor who teaches her how to hone this power to uncover the secrets behind this dimension as well as her abilities. We still know little about the game other than it’s a third-person action/adventure title set in the Unknown 9 universe, which is a multimedia sci-fi franchise spanning multiple books, comics, and podcasts. Though I’m not familiar with the broader series, I am intrigued to see what lies ahead for Haroona in the game. 

 

Dustborn

Developer: Red Thread Games
Release Date: TBA

Dustborn is a story-focused action/adventure game about a band of misfits on a dangerous road trip. Steering the narrative is Pax, a con artist and ex-convict who recruits a motley crew of allies to help her transport a mysterious package across the America Republic, a fractured version of the former USA. Your crew (or “Fam”) sport their own unique abilities as well as colorful personalities and backstories, which you learn more about through a deep dialogue system. The comic-inspired art direction gives the game a loud personality, especially the use of onomatopoeias. With both the government and fanatical puritans in hot pursuit of our not-heroes, Dustborn looks to be a wild and exciting road trip. 

 

The Gunk

Developer: Thunderful/Image & Form Games
Release Date: 2021

The team behind the beloved SteamWorld franchise tackles something totally new in The Gunk. This Xbox exclusive stars two astronauts who happen upon a planet teeming with life and valuable resources. Only one problem: The world is being overtaken by a corruptive, parasitic goo. Exploration requires using the protagonist’s power glove to suck up the gunk to clear paths and uncover valuable artifacts. You also need it to combat slime-corrupted monsters. Ridding zones of the malevolent substance opens larger areas containing more clues of the planet’s past. What is the gunk? Where did it come from? We’ll have to wait until sometime later this year to find out. 

 

Tunche

Developer: Leap Game Studios
Release Date: 2021

I’m a sucker for a good beat ‘em up, and Tunche taps into the innate fun of punching bad guys in the face while its roguelite structure keeps players on their toes. The map and enemies change with each playthrough, meaning you and up to four friends never know what to expect with each go-around. A tight, fast-paced combat system allows players to decimate monster hordes with juggling air combos while evading with an air-dash, among other abilities. Tunche is also easy on the eyes thanks to its hand-drawn cartoon art that breathes life into the game’s Amazon rainforest setting. Don’t take my word for it, though. Download the game’s free demo on Steam and see for yourself. 

 

We Are The Caretakers

Developer: Heart Shaped Games
Release Date: Q1 2021

Described as an “afrofuturist squad management RPG,” We Are the Caretakers is all about defending endangered alien animals from extinction. Using systems inspired by games such as Ogre Battle, Darkest Dungeon, and XCOM, players assemble an arcane team of anti-poaching protectors to engage in tactical battles in procedurally generated campaigns. The game sports a full job system as well as a reputation mechanic where your actions affect how the world views your team. That includes managing international relationships by meeting with world leaders and balancing their demands. We Are the Caretakers sounds like a fun and robust game with a good conversationalist message in the middle of it all.