Koji Igarashi’s newest foray into the Metroidvania genre was crowdfunded in 2015, but has seen a few delays and bumps in the road along the way to release. The latest demo, the E3 build being sent to backers on PC, has also seen its own delay right at its release date. Thankfully, it’s only for one week.

Historically, the Bloodstained developers have released E3 demos to backers and were planning to do the same with the E3 2018 demo, but had to delay it in a backer update last night. During E3, the developers found a number of bugs and glitches they want to smooth out the demo before releasing. The new plan is to release the demo on June 28.

The demo has been anticipated as it’s the first chance for backers to get their hands on the game after the original developer Inti Creates was taken off the game last year and replaced with developers ArtPlay and DICO. ArtPlay is the mobile developer Igarashi took a job at before launching the Bloodstained Kickstarter, while DICO is not known for much in the way of game development, but specializes in QA and localization. Inti Creates did, however, make the prequel game Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is scheduled to release in 2019 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and Vita.

Ninja Theory took to twitter today to celebrate a huge milestone for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, with their indie AAA title selling a million copies. 

Hellblade has won numerous awards and acclaim, as a game for change and for its mature depiction of mental illness, something rarely seen in the industry. Ninja Theory made Hellblade as a budget game with AAA production and set the title at a lower price point, hoping to show that there was space for a different tier of games. The bet definitely paid off for the team and they have even recently been picked up by Microsoft to become an exclusive studio. 

Hopefully they will continue to make forward thinking and creative games while under the Xbox banner, while also not having to worry about funding and budgetary issues. The game is available for 40% off as part of the Steam Summer Sale and you can also purchase it on PS4 and Xbox One. 

Check out our review and our interview where we talk to the game director on balancing story and combat as part of the cover story coverage.

With Anthem’s development starting shortly after Mass Effect 3 shipped in 2012, BioWare’s upcoming co-op RPG has been a long time coming. While visiting the studio for our cover story on Anthem, we spoke with the game’s executive producer Mark Darrah and lead producer Mike Gamble about what it’s like to tackle such a large and seemingly different project. Watch the video below to learn what the team is pulling from Star Wars: The Old Republic’s history and why it’s such a scary game to make for BioWare.

Click on the banner below to enter our constantly-updating hub of exclusive features on Anthem.

Summer Games Done Quick, an annual charity event that raises money by soliciting donations while speed running through games, starts this Sunday.

The event is the Summer instance of the bi-annual Games Done Quick banner, with each event usually having different charities to support. SGDQ this year is raising money for Doctors Without Borders, one of the multiple charities that Games Done Quick has collectively raised $14 million for since they started streaming these events. All of the donations go straight to the charity.

You can find a schedule of the speed runs this year right here, which begins with Banjo-Tooie and includes speed runs of the newest Metroid game Samus Returns, Cuphead, a Tool-Assisted bot speed run of F-Zero GX, and way, way more. Make sure to check it out, spread the word, and donate for a good cause.

The stream will be on Twitch at the GamesDoneQuick Twitch channel.

A few years ago, Bethesda worked with Behaviour Interactive to release a management sim based on the Fallout franchise. It was fine. Then earlier this week, Warner Bros. announced a mobile management sim based on the HBO TV series Westworld. We thought the game looked fairly similar to Fallout Shelter.

And so did Bethesda — a little too similar.

Bethesda filed a suit in a Maryland’s U.S. District Court stating, that the Westworld game features “the same copyrighted computer code created for Fallout Shelter.”

Bethesda goes on to say that a bug featured in an early version of Fallout Shelter even appears in this mobile version of Westworld on Android.

Fallout’s publisher is seeking a jury trial and damages for copyright infringement, breach of contract and misappropriating trade secrets.

[Via: Polygon]

 

This looks pretty bad for Behaviour and Warner Bros. Bethesda contracted with Behaviour under a work-for-hire agreement to develop Fallout Shelter, and these kind of publisher contracts generally limit developers from using the technology developed for one game on other projects. Bethesda likely has a pretty solid case here, so this suit could affect the official release of the Westworld game.

Sega is producing scented candles that look like Dreamcast and Mega Drive consoles, and they want fans to tell them what the systems should smell like. The company didn’t say if the fans’ suggestions will actually determine the scent of the final products, but the person who makes Sega’s favorite suggestion will receive both candles for free.

 

Sega announced the candles and the contest on the Sega Forever Facebook page. Commenters on the post have already come up with some fun suggestions, including hot plastic and chili dogs.

There’s no word of a release date for these smelly systems, but the Sega Forever post says the candles are currently “in development.”

[Source: Sega via Tiny Cartridge]

Weaving New Adventures

The original Unravel delivered exciting platforming sequences, creative-but-repetitive puzzles, and a touching story exploring an elderly woman’s memories. Unravel Two doesn’t stray far from those core concepts, but by introducing a second Yarny to control either solo or cooperatively, it injects new ways to approach situations and expands the formula to create a better experience.

In single-player, you bounce between both characters, though each player controls one in co-op. You can also combine the characters to rush along together. Swapping is remarkably smooth, and having the ability to dangle off any ledge and swing (while the other Yarny holds you) opens up some interesting possibilities in puzzle-solving. The simple nature of the gameplay makes for accessible and enjoyable cooperative play. Adding the second player not only emphasizes the teamwork aspect, but it significantly ups the pace of the action, since you don’t need to stop to switch between Yarnys.

Swapping and swinging are critical to nearly every challenge, and encourage you to think outside the box when conquering an environmental riddle or platforming section. For example, one level unleashes a chicken that chases you. To pass, you need to constantly distract the chicken with one Yarny by putting him just out of reach while the other Yarny progresses through the level. I enjoyed figuring out the right spot to leave the one character, then finding the best path with the other once the coast was clear.

Whether you’re playing cooperatively or going solo, the two characters are tethered, so you can’t venture far from one another. However, you quickly learn to use this to your advantage. With the characters’ shared thread, you can dangle from any ledge, swing whenever you want, and wedge the yarn over obstacles to scale them.

Apart from the new character, the rest of gameplay should be familiar to fans of the first game. You jump and swing with precision though seven lengthy stages in the campaign, solve physics-based puzzles, and witness a passive story unfolding in the background. Unravel Two’s platforming feels great, but the swinging is the star of the show; I always got excited when I saw multiple grapple points lined up inviting a lengthy swinging segment.

 

Mirroring the two Yarnys’ adventure, you watch a tale of two children getting into various kinds of trouble. It’s a wordless tale depicted though ghostly images in the background, so the specifics are left vague and open to interpretation. This makes the character and scenes hard to connect with, and only near the end of the game did I begin to feel invested. No matter how hard the story tries to be touching, it never quite succeeds.

The main stages likely won’t push you to the limit of your platforming prowess, but the 20 challenge levels might. These are much shorter than the standard stages, often consisting of a single screen, but don’t be surprised if they take longer to beat than the story levels. These challenges take skills you build in the main campaign and test your mastery, as well as your timing and reflexes. Vanquishing a challenge stage is always satisfying, and with the main story dialing back the difficulty, these levels are great additions to the package.

With thoughtful gameplay, seamless co-op, a breezy campaign, and challenges geared towards gameplay masters, Unravel Two delivers a strong platforming experience for players of all skill levels. Whether you want a unique side-scroller to play alone or a teamwork-emphasizing experience to play with a friend, this is worth a look.

Today, Sega released the fourth episode in a five part web series about Sonic Mania. In this episode, we follow Ray the flying squirrel looking for Mighty the armadillo. While looking for his friend, Ray runs into some trouble and hijinks ensue.

The web series is written and directed by Tyson Hesse, who created the opening for Sonic Mania. The shorts will lead up to the release of Sonic Mania Plus, which features new playable characters, levels and more. 

Sonic Mania Plus will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch on July 17.  It will also be available for the first time in a physical edition for all you avid Sonic collectors out there. 

It looks like The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit isn’t the only taste of Life Is Strange’s universe we’re getting soon. The first episode in the numbered sequel to our Adventure Game Of The Year winner in 2015 has a release date: September 27.

Developer Dontnod revealed the news in a tweet with a short teaser that gave no plot details away:

For more on Life is Strange, be sure to check out our preview of The Amazing Adventures Of Captain Spirit, a upcoming (free) standalone game that bridges the gap between Life Is Strange and Life Is Strange 2.

Like all forces of nature, World of Warcraft continues to endure. The long-running MMORPG has had more hours played than most games have had hours thought about. As the Battle for Azeroth expansion nears, Blizzard is giving players a chance to return to the world (of warcraft) and play with their friends.

Until June 24, you can log back into WoW and play to your heart’s content. You get full access to the game and all your characters completely subscription-free because Blizzard is betting you’ll be back for the long haul.

You can check here for full details, but really all the details you need is that June 24 is your cutoff date, so you had best jump in while you can.