Blizzard’s newest Overwatch Archives event is now live. You can now grab some friends or matchmake into Overwatch’s Storm Rising mission, a PvE mission to take down a rough enemy from the Overwatch team’s past.

Like other Overwatch Archives event, the Brawl this time is meant to give you a little bit of a look into the game’s lore before everything went south. While this one features a team of Tracer, Genji, Mercy, and Winston, you can go back to previous years’ Brawls while the event is going on to play those, as well.

Of course, there’s also the new cosmetics for you to try to get, too.

The Storm Rising event lasts until May 6 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry 5 released earlier this year to high praise. We got a chance to sit down and talk with two prolific composers – Jeff Rona and Cody Matthew Johnson – that contributed to both games’ assorted soundtracks. Their musical work has also been featured in games like God of War III and Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite.

What makes composing video games different from other industries?

Cody Matthew Johnson: Movies and TV are linear; they go in one direction from A to B. But in video games you’re composing not only linearly (because there’s a point at which the game starts and ends) but you’re composing vertically as well. You have to think about the interactivity of the music. I guarantee you that people are much more passionate about video game scores than film scores simply because you can tap your foot to it; you can sing along to a noticeable melody. With video games, you have the opportunity to be a bit more creative and challenge yourself sonically, but, most importantly, get a player completely immersed and stuck in the fantasy.

What does Capcom bring to the table that other developers don’t? What makes working with them so special?

Jeff Rona: I wouldn’t say that Capcom is a monolithic, single-celled entity. In fact, the Marvel vs. Capcom team was a different team than the Devil May Cry team which was in a different city in Japan than the Resident Evil team. In each case, Cody and I got emails from the director saying ‘this is my vision for the game’ and it would often come down to one word like industrial, metal, grunge, etc. I give Capcom a lot of credit; they really like to have a lot of contrast. They came to us with a very specific request but each director has the freedom to say ‘this is how I see this game sounding. This is how I see this character sounding.’ They understand that every game and every character has a style and ask themselves ‘how can we push this a little harder and what can we do that we haven’t done?’ So they challenge themselves, first and foremost. Then they invite us to help them figure out how to honor the franchise with completely fresh ears.

Cody, what inspired Dante’s theme (“Subhuman”) in Devil May Cry 5?

Devil May Cry is this weird balance. You have these heavy concepts like blood, demons, angels, and hundreds of thousands of people dying for no reason. But the characters are cocky and have raunchy dialogue, so we needed to think about that. Capcom started describing how they wanted the music to sound and within three or four sentences they included words like aggressive, metal, guitar, and synth about seven times. After everything, I just wrote down a quick sentence that was the synopsis I was thinking about: aggressive, metal-hybrid with brain-shaking synths and requiem choirs. It’s kind of a nasty beast to imagine.

Jeff, what did you bring to V’s theme (“Crimson Cloud”) as opposed to Kratos in God of War III?

God of War is one of Sony’s most popular game franchises. The words that kept coming up again and again with [game director] Stig Asmussen was: ancient, epic, and dark. So God of War III was a big orchestra and huge drums, with Middle Eastern and Asian influences.

But with “Crimson Cloud”? Forget all of that. V is new, in terms of playable characters. So, Capcom said forget anything that’s ever been in Devil May Cry, but, specifically, stay away from guitars. So “Crimson Cloud” is a very aggressive piece of music and probably the loudest thing I’ve ever written. Capcom knew the tempo they wanted. They wanted a female vocalist and they wanted it to be very electronic with distortion. The main thing is that they wanted to make sure that what I did was in fairly stark contrast to the game’s other battle themes.

Lastly, you both worked together on Resident Evil 2. Could you talk a bit about its true-ending theme “Saudade?”

Jeff: Well, “saudade” is a Portuguese word that the director was very fond of, but it doesn’t have an equivalent translation in English. It means something to the effect of: the love that is left when something or someone is gone. Where nostalgia is the pain of remembering, saudade is less about loss and more about the acknowledgement of everything in life eventually going away.

Cody: We were writing a song solely focused on nailing the emotional aspect of Resident Evil 2, to wrap it up in three minutes. We got sent a story that was a few paragraphs long with one word at the top that said: reunion. Kazunori Kadoi wanted the story to be reflected in the song and in its lyrics. The narrative follows a man who moves to a city to fulfill his aspirations. 20 years pass, and he realizes that the city is a facade; he’s looking back at what it’s like to be young and to have hope. That story resonated with Kadoi, looking back on creating the original Resident Evil 2 and defining the survival horror genre. Now, 20 years later, he’s remaking it. Not only is the story of the game about reunion – Claire and Leon branching off and then eventually coming back at the end – but now there’s this added element that Kadoi wanted us to understand: of reunion to self, of revisiting what you and your life used to be.


For more on video game music, read our interview with the composer of Captain Marvel and Fortnite, or check out exclusive footage detailing The Creation of Sekiro’s Soundtrack.

After yesterday’s dreadful fire at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, France, officials have been trying to get a sense of the damage behind them and the scale of the work ahead of them in rebuilding parts of the historic building. While this will not only take time and resources, it has been pointed out that there might be a leg up in the form accurate 3D models of the cathedral’s interior from an unlikely source.

Assassin’s Creed Unity, the 2014 release in the history-centered series and first exclusive Assassin’s Creed game on modern consoles, took place in Paris during the French Revolution. As a result, the game features an intricate 3D map of the inside of Notre Dame cathedral in a way that’s unrivaled outside of historians. In 2014, the game’s senior artist Caroline Miousse told The Verge that she spent two years recreating that building, down to making sure each brick is where it should be.

In an interview Ubisoft published about the game around its release, Miousse said “We added things like cables and incense across the second level of Notre Dame so players would be able to move around easier when they’re above the ground. I also think it adds a personal touch to the monument. I’ve left my little mark on a few parts of Notre Dame and there’s something remarkable about that.”

It would be fascinating if a game that recreated one of the world’s most historically significant buildings ended up somehow influencing its rebuilt form in the coming years and decades.

[Source: SFGate]

The countdown to E3 has already begun and last week Microsoft publicly showed off its starting pistol by suggesting that their next Inside Xbox would detail their road to E3. Ahead of today’s show, the Washington-based tech giant has gone ahead and taken the first step on that road by announcing the details of their E3 press conference.

Microsoft will be holding their annual show on Sunday, June 9 at 1:00 p.m. PT.

This is the usual spot for the Xbox showcase, so that’s not terribly surprising. Microsoft moved their E3 conference to Sunday in 2017, as it was burdensome for many to cover the Xbox conference, then basically run a gauntlet of other conferences and appointments until Sony’s later that night. Now with no Sony conference this year and Nintendo to likely retain their Tuesday morning spot for their showcase, Microsoft has plenty of breathing room on Sunday.

Last year, Phil Spencer made the barest of mentions of new consoles and is expected to expound on that idea during E3. Rumors have been flying about a cloud-based system not unlike Google Stadia, but only as an option rather than the only way to play. It is also likely we will get more updates on games like Gears 5 and the tactical Gears of War title announced last year, some mention of Halo Infinite, and maybe find out what Microsoft plans to do with the future of Game Pass.

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Earlier in our month of exclusive online features on Mortal Kombat 11 to accompany our latest cover story, we had NetherRealm’s senior QA analyst Steve Brownback show off new character Cetrion’s moves. Now we’re unearthing old wounds by having Brownback unleash his full potential and fight against his old rival Ken Morris (certification analyst for NetherRealm Studios) in Mortal Kombat 11. Learn about the rivalry and watch a full match between NetherRealm’s two best players Brownback (Jade) and Morris (Kano) above. Also, yes, they prefer to play with controllers.

Click on the banner below to check out all of Game Informer’s exclusive content for Mortal Kombat 11.

Capcom has revealed a new piece of hardware called the Home Arcade, which is a standalone emulation unit that packs in 16 old-school games with arcade-quality inputs.

Details on the North American release are pending, but Capcom’s European store has it price at about $288 USD.

Take a look at the trailer below to see the hardware and gameplay snippets from each of the titles. The sticks are Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT sticks, with OBSF buttons if you’re into that kind of stuff.

Click here to watch embedded media

Here’s the lineup of games. Keep in mind that this is from the European trailer, and there’s a possibility that the roster could change for North America. In that event, we’ll update the story.

  • 1944: The Loop Master
  • Alien vs. Predator
  • Armored Warriors
  • Capcom Sports Club
  • Captain Commando
  • Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness
  • Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors
  • Eco Fighters
  • Final Fight
  • Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
  • Giga Wing
  • Mega Man: The Power Battle
  • Progear
  • Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
  • Strider
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo

Wired put up a massive story today that revealed details about the next generation about PlayStation hardware. While there was essentially no news about software or what sort of titles we can see in the future of the device, an interesting tidbit about Mark Cerny and Death Stranding does rear its head near the bottom of the piece:

As in many other generational transitions, this will be a gentle one, with numerous new games being released for both PS4 and the next-gen console. (Where exactly Hideo Kojima’s forthcoming title Death Stranding fits in that process is still unconfirmed. When asked, a spokesperson in the room repeated that the game would be released for PS4, but Cerny’s smile and pregnant pause invites speculation that it will in fact be a two-platform release.)

It’s not an actual confirmation but it does support what people have long thought about the possibility of Death Stranding being a cross-generational title.

For more on the next generation of PlayStation, head here.

[Source: Wired]

Nintendo and developer Team Ninja have announced that the Marvel Ultimate Alliance series returns with Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order on July 14 (exclusively to the Switch), bringing with it the co-op action that made the series a hit 10 years ago.

The Black Order features four-player co-op play online and off (and solo play), as players pick characters ranging from Iron Man to Spider-Gwen to find the Infinity Stones before Thanos does.

For more on the game, check out the announcement trailer.

[Source: Nintendo]

 

For the last couple of years, gamers everywhere have wondered what the next generation of console gaming would be like. Answers have kind-of, sort of eeked out, with Miccrosoft’s focus on subscription models offering an idea of where its philosophy for the future lay, while Google and Apple have announced plans to enter the gaming space as well. Today, Wired published a piece that revealed a few details about what to expect from Sony’s next PlayStation.

Wired‘s interview is hardware-focused, with lead systems architect and producer Mark Cerny not discussing any software-related features or even what to expect from the game’s launch library. However, Cerny revealed a number of key details that should please gamers frustrated with current console generation woes. The next PlayStation features a solid-state drive and supports ray-tracing graphics, which have never been on a console before. This console also supports 8K graphics for the few people who have a setup that can handle that.

The solid-state drive is likely the most notable feature, capable of massively cutting down on load times for current-generation games. During the interview with Wired, Cerny loaded up Insomniac’s Spider-Man onto a devkit for the next console. On the PlayStation 4 Pro, it took 15 seconds to load into the game’s open-world. On the devkit: 0.8 seconds.

The next PlayStation will feature a CPU “based on the third generation of AMD’s Ryzen line and contains eight cores of the company’s new 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture,” as well as a GPU based on Radeon’s Navi family of chips. Cerny also says that existing PSVR headsets will continue to work with this console but did not speak at length about the company’s future for VR outside of saying “VR is very important to [Sony].” Cerny says that the next iteration of PlayStation won’t be available in 2019 but that “a number of studios have been working with [the devkit].”

For more information on the next PlayStation, be sure to read Wired’s story here.

Judgment

One interesting thing about video games is how much of a product is made up of different moving parts and gears that could, theoretically, be swapped out without everything else falling apart. In practice, a lot of things are a lot more interdependent than you’d like, but in the case of Sega’s Yakuza semi-spinoff Judgment and the drug scandal with one of its actors, replacing the character was both doable and a seeming priority for the team. Just weeks after Judgment actor Pierre Taki has been arrested for cocaine use, Sega has already replaced the actor and we have the first look at the new Hamura.

You can check out a short video of the character below with Judgment’s English dub.

Click here to watch embedded media

Here’s also a few new screenshots of the actor replacing Taki as Hamura.

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In English, this effectively makes zero difference, as the west has never had Pierre Taki as Hamura and the voice acting has not been changed. In Japan, however, Sega is likely eager to get the game back on sale as quickly as possible, so it seems that placing the new actor in is happening at a lightning pace.

The western release of Judgment has reportedly not been affected at all by this change. The game still releases on June 21 on PlayStation 4 for digital pre-orders and June 25 for the physical release.