Last year, Microsoft announced that they’re bringing back Xbox Avatars to be more inclusive and look and act more like real people. Today, Xbox Insiders have access to the brand new Avatar editor.

The new Avatar editor is designed for players to better create and customize Avatars to make them match look and personality.  The new editor has more vectors for designing your digital doppelganger and more accessories to add on after the fact.

If you make your Xbox One Avatar and decide you hate it, you can always go back and use your old one, or just use your Gamerpic and never deal with Avatars again.

Usually new features for Xbox Insiders hit everyone within about six months, so it shouldn’t be too long until Xbox One owners can try it for themselves.

Sony announced a little while back that they would be shutting down the servers for their single-player title Gravity Rush 2. The deadline comes up today and soon the ability to gather the game’s “Dusty Tokens,” items gathered while playing the game and connected to PSN, will be cut off.

Gravity Rush 2 put some amount of content, including a few costumes, photos, and an Unlimited Potential talisman. Players could collect Dusty Tokens online and then spend them on items, with the Talisman allowing unlimited gravity power use and is considered an important quality of life item for exploratory post-game activities.

While Sony has increased the dusty token drop rate, it is unlikely that there is enough time now to gather the 6000 dusty tokens necessary for the talisman. It’s also not clear why Sony is shutting down the servers for a first party title a year and a half after its release.

 

Our Take
Gravity Rush 2 was a good game with a fantastic soundtrack. It’s a shame that these things couldn’t just be patched as rewards into the offline game if they had to shut the servers down.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has been delayed into 2019, the developers have announced today.

The news come from Piranha Games president Russ Bullock on Twitter, who announced the delay along with some context for the reasons.

“MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is being delayed into 2019 so we can deliver the best single-player MechWarrior experience to date,” Bullock wrote. “As everyone knows, this is the first single player experience MechWarrior title released since 2002 and we are well aware of the responsibility and great opportunity we have in re-introducing MechWarrior to the world.”

He goes on to say that Piranha Games hopes to announce a new date at MechCon in December when they are a little bit more sure about the release. The game was first announced in 2015 with a tentative target date of 2018. Its predecessor MechWarrior 4: Vengeance was released in 2000.

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries will be releasing on PC in 2019.

During E3, Kyle Hilliard saw a lot of games. One of them was Crayola Scoot, a kid’s game based on the familiar brand. He wouldn’t stop talking about it, so Leo and I sat him down and recorded this quick episode of NGT. 

Look. Not every game is designed for grimdark adults. In Crayola Scoot, you ride a scooter around a park and basically leave a huge colorful mess behind. Think Splatoon multiplied by Tony Hawk divided by de Blob, and you get the idea. Kyle is particularly keen on the Switch game’s four-player splitscreen, and (I’m assuming here) the idea that you basically leave trash everywhere you go.

With Ubisoft showing off Beyond Good And Evil 2 at E3 and even teasing the appearance of a younger and decidedly more angst-ridden Jade, fans might be wondering how long until they get the chance to play the game. According to director Michel Ancel, sometime before the end of 2019 is the target for the beta, at least.

The news comes from Ancel’s Instagram, where the French game developer is known to post pictures and updates of his projects. A comment on the post asked Ancel when they are getting the beta for the BG&E2, to which Ancel replied “We aim for a playable beta for the end of next year.”

Betas are not uncommon for Ubisoft games and they typically start spinning up multiple betas in the months before a game’s release, so a late 2019 beta date means the anticipated prequel would probably not launch before 2020 at earliest.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 is planned to be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

Our Take
I am not sure anyone expected this game anytime soon, but hopefully they’re able to really hit it out of the park. The footage from the last report before E3 looked promising and I’m interested in what the game could be.

This past weekend, Bandai Namco held the annual Tales Festival, an event where fans can meet voice actors, artists, and revel in the fandom of Tales games. During the festival, the Japanese publisher aired a video stating that a new game in the Tales series is currently in development.

The video has no other information, like art, logos, or even platforms. The series, which at one point was near-annual itself, has been on ice since Tales of Berseria in 2016. Though the game appeared on a Switch game list before launch, it has never been shown. Last year, it was revealed that series producer Hideo Baba had left Bandai Namco for Square Enix, leading to fan concerns about the direction of the series.

At E3 this year, Bandai Namco revealed a HD remaster of Tales of Vesperia for the game’s 10th anniversary for PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch. The Definitive Edition contains characters and scenarios from the Japanese-exclusive PlayStation 3 release.

If the new Tales game is in a shape to be shown, the Tokyo Games Show in September seems like a good bet.

 

Our Take
Considering that quality of the games was kind of dipping for a while (though I quite like Berseria), maybe they needed to take a step back and reconsider what people like about the series. I’m really looking forward to Vesperia at the very least and curious what the new game is like.

Nintendo and Disney have announced that the two will be teaming up together to create a Switch-focused competitive game show, titled Nintendo Switch Family Showdown.

The new show is intended to debut this summer both on Disney’s TV channels like Disney Channel and Disney XD, as well as the online DisneyNOW service. The competitions themselves will evoke Nick Arcade, asking families to race for collectibles in Super Mario Odyssey or compete for score in Just Dance.

A call has gone out to families to compete for the initial batch of episodes, soliciting videos from families who want to take part. It is unclear what participating competitors can win, but presumably it is something Nintendo-related. Or maybe money.

 

Our Take
I am curious if they’ll end up having pre-release games on the show. It would definitely be cool to see more Smash Bros. Ultimate or see what’s new with Yoshi there.

After nearly a decade of struggling to field a competitive basketball game, last year EA Sports finally put some proper pieces into place that signal a better future for the NBA Live franchise. NBA Live 19 looks to continue the upward trajectory with some needed changes to the on-court action and some interesting additions to The One mode. Here’s everything we learned from playing a couple games and chatting with creative director Connor Dougan. 

GAMEPLAY

  • NBA Live 19 introduces the Real Player Motion technology recently seen in EA Sports titles like FIFA 18 and UFC 3, which EA Tiburon believes has resulted in more realistic player animations. “When you compared us to 2K in the past it just wouldn’t feel as smooth; we had this kind of stiffness,” Dougan says. “With Real Player Motion and changing our player skeleton and models, we feel we have a nice jump in animation quality.”
  • Some of the new animations I saw in gameplay included new contested dunks, players fighting through screens during pick and rolls, and way more physicality off the ball.
  • The new animation system comes hand-in-hand with reworked dribbling. Expect to see many more signature animations like LeBron James puffing out his chest and James Harden coming up the court with more relaxed body language and his standard crossovers. You can also pull off basic moves by flicking the left analog stick; you no longer always need to use the right analog stick, but if you do expect to find more moves for star players than before.
  • EA also did a lot of “live environment” work to make the players better interact with the world around them. Expect to see players crashing into the stanchion, diving into the crowd, taunting one another, and even exchanging pleasantries with the opposing team’s bench along the sidelines. 
  • Overhauled triple-threat controls integrate new jab steps and a new pump fake system. 
  • Building off last year’s one-on-one gameplay, EA is bringing the cat and mouse game to off-ball interactions as well, which should hopefully make playing in space more engaging. You use the left trigger to engage in off-ball defense, which tries to slow down your mark. The offensive player has counters like V-cuts and L-cuts to break off your defending. 
  • The reworked shooting system now includes varied jump heights and release points for different players, which should make it feel more authentic. 
  • Last year’s CPU A.I. had problems feeding star players. EA says this year’s dynamic gameplay A.I. does a better job of recognizing when a star is heading up and will continue to feed a hot hand. Stars will strong personalities will start to talk trash when firing on all cylinders. 
  • You can now switch to take control of an off-ball player in versus by holding the RB and flicking the analog stick toward the player you want to control. 
  • You can triple-tap the steal button to perform a hard foul when you need to stop the clock.
  • The transition game also gets a jump in CPU A.I. Expect to see players on the break cut to the hoop stronger and the trailing wing players space out for open threes.
  • If you own a player by continually scoring on them or breaking their ankle, you can affect their mentality. When a player is adversely affected, their ratings take a hit. 
  • To mix up replays, NBA Live 19 introduces cell phone cutaway highlights, where the perspective shifts to a person in the crowd capturing the play of note.
 

THE ONE

  • Last year, you played as a former blue-chip college prospect trying to overcome a horrific injury. This year you start earlier in the journey as a hot high school prospect. Rather than go to college, you try to build your rep on the street courts. 
  • Eventually if you earn enough prestige, you get invited to a pre-draft camp where you can prove your mettle by playing in a few prospect games. 
  • During your rise to stardom, influencers and broadcasters will show off your highlights. 
  • The dialogue system returns from last year, but it leans more heavily toward meaningful choices this time. 
  • Expect to see more hairstyles, tattoos, and clothing options this year. 
  • Cosmetics are no longer locked behind loot crates. You can buy what you want when you want. 
  • The progression system is similar to last year, but adds a new wrinkle with the icon abilities. These abilities give you branching choices that let you to have more say over what type of specialist you are. Say you choose shot blocking as your icon ability. Eventually, you may be presented with a choice. For instance, do you want a higher percentage of success for each shot block, or extend the radius where your shot block is effective?
  • EA has added several new traits to the progression as well. 
  • EA realizes there were too many ball hogs in online team play last year, so it reworked the grading system to give players more points for teamplay and less for being selfish. If you take a bad shot, you will get hit with a -10. Doing it again knocks you another 20 points, and it continues to scale the punishment so people have way less incentive to try to shoot out of slumps. 

SQUAD

  • Last year in The One’s  Street mode you went to different venues to play with random collections of players. This year you can custom build your squad by earning players as you rack up Ws. As you beat different teams, you can add star players to your lineup that can be swapped out as you see fit. 
  • The players you start with are largely scrubs and low-level NBA benchwarmers, but you can eventually earn stars and even NBA legends. 
  • Your streetball endeavors take you to new courts around the world, including France, Brazil, and the Phillippines. Expect a few new North American courts as well. 
  • Many of the live events in NBA Live 19 will be centered on earning new squad players who are only available for a limited time. 

We still have a lot to learn about how EA Tiburon plans to improve the Ultimate Team and Franchise Mode experieince of NBA Live 19. Stay tuned in the coming months as we dive deeper into the title. 

The free NBA Live 19 demo releases on August 24 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The First Trial starts on September 3 on Xbox One, and final release drops for both consoles on September 7. 

The Story Of Anthem

While visiting Bioware for our cover story on Anthem (which you can read in full right here), we sat down with lead producer Mike Gamble and executive producer Mark Darrah to talk about the setup for the game’s story. Watch the video above to learn the basics of what this world entails and what your role is as a freelancer.

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

Westworld is getting a Mobile game themed around managing the titular park. Players will be able to customize the hosts, including their props and reveries, alongside running many of the locations within Westworld. You will be taking part as a new employee for Delos, the company behind the series of parks that the show takes place in. 

Players will have tons of options when it comes to personalizing their park, the hosts, and who the hosts interact with when the game releases June 21 on iOS and Android.