It’s not exactly shocking that a Lego Star Wars game would be in the works, but it has been a bit of time since the last one. The games were expected to come out in line with the movies, but skipped out the recent The Last Jedi release. It was unclear when, or perhaps even if, a new game would be arriving, but there appears to be mention of one before an official announcement.

Matthew Wood, supervising sound editor at Skywalker Sound which oversees a number of Star Wars projects to make sure they have all the correct beeps and whooshes and zhings for lightsabers activating, was listing off a number of the big projects coming up for Star Wars this year at the Star Wars celebration and happens to mention a Lego Star Wars game. A fan on reddit posted video of him mentioning it.

Matthew Wood randomly said that he is working on new Lego Star Wars game. from r/StarWarsLeaks

Warner Bros., which publishes the Traveler’s Tales-developed Lego Star Wars games, has not announced a new Lego Star Wars game yet. So, if Wood is talking about a game and not just misspeaking, then he is referring to an upcoming game. Eurogamer has heard from their sources that a new game would cover not only the entire new trilogy (meaning The Force AwakensThe Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker), but also “the entire saga.”

It would be pretty neat to just call the game Lego Star Wars and be the entire thing.

A few weeks ago, Apple announced a new subscription service for their mobile devices. Dubbed Apple Arcade, the service aimed to cultivate, provide, and promote paid software that tends to disappear within the avalanche of software on the app store. During the reveal event, Apple suggested they would be investing into the service with their own money, which appears to be something to the tune of $500 million.

The number comes from the Financial Times, which cites sources close to Apple and familiar with the matter, saying Apple is spreading that amount over multiple games in the Arcade program. Developers that agree to full timed exclusivity, which means only on Apple’s devices, are reportedly receiving “several million dollars” in development resources for those games.

That number does vary by developer, though. Hironobu Sakaguchi’s Mistwalker can probably demand that kind of fee for their game, but most developers are likely getting substantially less. There have been games like Shantae 5 which have been announced for Apple Arcade, but don’t appear to be exclusive to Apple devices, as they’re also on traditional gaming consoles, as well.

Apple Arcade launches this Fall, but Apple has yet to confirm a price for the monthly service which lets you download games to your device similar to Microsoft’s Game Pass. The announcement showed that Konami, PlatinumGames, Mistwalker, Sega, and more have already signed on.

[Source: Financial Times]

Publisher: Chucklefish
Developer: Cardboard Sword
Release: TBA
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PC

The Siege and the Sandfox is quietly sliding into the crowded 2D Metroidvania genre with a sneaky twist. We’ve seen plenty of Metroid-style games that focus on action, such as Shadow Complex, or on exploration and platforming, like Ori and the Blind Forest. However, we haven’t seen a Metroidvania that puts a big focus on stealth. In fact, 2D stealth games are few and far between; Mark of the Ninja proved that it could be done well, and now The Siege and the Sandfox aims to do it in a beautiful, interconnected world. We came away from the first hour impressed and hopeful for this so-called “Stealthvania.”

The game is a treat to look at; its ancient Arabian aesthetic with dusty caverns and gorgeous desert vistas peeking through ornate palace exteriors are drawn in meticulously detailed pixel art. The atmosphere is rich thanks to the Sandfox’s blending of pixelated environments and modern graphical flourishes. Light creeps through open windows revealing dust hanging in the air, guards hold torches that light the surrounding area and leave a trail of embers, and phosphorescent mushrooms give off a neon glow. It all comes together with the game’s smooth character animations to feel more cohesive than you might expect from a pixelated world.

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The Siege and the Sandfox is developer Cardboard Sword’s debut game. Its first attempt certainly leaves a strong impression, putting a stealthy twist on a well-worn genre. Instead of strapping a gun to your arm, you attempt to escape a cavernous prison with nothing but your wits to guide you – fortunately you are an experienced assassin, so your only immediate disadvantage is that you’ve been stripped of your tools. I quickly found helpful upgrades like lockpicks or a club to knock out nosy guards, which made me a dangerous, shadowy force. In my time with the game I didn’t get to see much variety in the enemies; most were simple, patrolling jailers who were easily dispatched.

I came across several upgrades while playing, all appropriately significant. Finding the club meant I no longer needed to be as timid in my approach and could incapacitate foes. The climbing boots let me run up sheer walls, and the lockpick immediately had me excited to scour previously explored areas for all the doors I’d passed by. My time between upgrades was brief, but with no sense of the game’s length or how many upgrades are in the final version, it’s hard to say if that pace can continue. I enjoyed that momentum in my time at least.

Crucially, the controls felt as smooth as the animation. Aside from figuring out some particular platforming nuances, the game never got in my way when I was exploring. Running around and up walls was satisfying and whacking unsuspecting guards has a nice, tactile feel. Everything from the combat to the navigation animated nicely adding to the layered world. I can’t wait to make a quiet escape when the game comes out.

One of the more interesting aspects of The Siege and the Sandfox is its storytelling. You’re an assassin who has been falsely accused of murdering the king and are left to rot in the palace’s excessively large prison – and the story is narrated by a woman describing events as you play (similar to Supergiant’s Bastion). The narration adds gravitas to your actions, and lays the groundwork for an interesting and complex world full of larger-than-life characters that feel straight out of One Thousand and One Nights. I came away from my time intrigued by the setting and the player character and even more interested in learning about the woman narrating my escape.

Since I wasn’t formidable in a fight, I needed to stick to the shadows to get by unscathed. This could be as simple as avoiding torchlights or enemy sightlines. You can hide in certain environmental objects like a large pot or empty crate to avoid enemies as they stroll past. Stealth was handled well in the game’s 2D environments; running with the right trigger will send out a visual pulse that lets you see how much noise you’re making. Enemies spotted me several times as I ran through an area, and when they did, it was game over.

Unfortunately, The Siege and the Sandfox’s stealth loop is more generous than I prefer. Your character has nothing to defend himself in the opening minutes of the game, so you are forced to sneak and hide early on. Once you find the club – which unlocks a melee attack – the enemies became less threatening. Being able to easily knock out the enemies meant I only needed to hide long enough for them to turn around. Even then, there were a few times where an enemy was standing on a platform and when I would clamber up there, I would get spotted, but they would do nothing for several seconds. It removed the element of danger that was more present in the opening section. It often felt more like an action game where the enemies just let you attack them rather than a tactical stealth game. The Siege and the Sandfox is still in alpha, so much of this is subject to change. For how smooth the presentation is overall, though, it felt like I didn’t need to engage with the stealth as thoroughly as I would have liked. This could be attributable to either its early stage of development or perhaps the game gets more demanding further in. We’ll have to wait to find out.

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The Siege and the Sandfox does not have a specific release window and is currently only slated for release on PC. We looked at the game at GDC; here are our thoughts on the best indie games from the show. While we wait for more information, you can read our thoughts on another upcoming Metroidvania, Ori and the Will of the Wisp.

Every year, Games Done Quick holds two events that are like time vampires that suck all your time for the very good cause of charity and still entertain you for a week with live speedruns around the clock. This year’s Summer Games Done Quick just had its full schedule released, so you can start planning how little you’re going to be able to sleep that week now. This year’s schedule includes games like Kingdom Hearts III, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, and opens strong with Spyro: Reignited Trilogy.

You can check out the full schedule here.

Perhaps most fascinating is the Link to the Past/Super Metroid combo randomizer, which is a randomized mashed together mincemeat pie of both games. Where you might expect to enter the first dungeon in A Link to the Past, you might instead enter Phanto’s lair in Super Metroid, and thus is probably really confusing but compelling for people to watch. I wonder if you save the animals or become the animals.

There’s also a Resident Evil 2 run this year that goes through one scenario, but viewers are going to vote whether it’s a Claire run or a Leon run.

Summer Games Done Quick kicks off June 23 and ends on June 29 with Chrono Trigger run.

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Today, we take a look at Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, the upcoming survival game from Panache Digital Games. The studio name might not ring any bells, but the name Patrice Désilets might. He’s the designer behind the original Assassin’s Creed. Elise recently played Ancestors, and came back to the office with a bunch of footage of her ape clan and its attempts at surviving in this crazy prehistoric world.

Watch the video to see her clan fight off predators, as well as hunger, fear, and a bunch of other threats. Apparently, it wasn’t easy to be an ape back then.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC later this year.

EA Sports’ Madden franchise is known for its exclusive licenses covering the league, players, and coaches, giving the series an air of realism that many fans expect. But as the company has signed the licensing deals and the graphics and presentation aspects have gotten better, showing us the coaches roaming the sidelines between plays, one aspect has stuck out: Patriots coach Bill Belichick is not in the game.

EA Sports may have the license for the Coaches Association, but Belichick – one of football’s greatest strategic (and sartorial) coaches – is not in the Association and therefore not in the game. Instead, he’s replaced by glasses-wearing Griffin Murphy, an avatar that has become infamous in its own right. Murphy might not be real, but he is based on a real person – former EA Tiburon VP GM and series executive producer Roy Harvey, himself a Pats fan. We talked briefly with Harvey who told us how he became Belichick.

Why did they choose you in particular to be the Pats coach? When did it first happen?
Several years ago when we first started doing head scans the art team put out a call for those of us at Tiburon to come try out the tech for ourselves. They put our faces on sideline characters, referees and the like, which was pretty cool.

Then Jean Adams, our art director said, “Come down to my office, I want to show you something.” He had taken my scan and put it on the Patriots head coach, and took [then studio VP] Cam Weber’s scan and made him the coach of the New Orleans Saints. At first it was just a funny placeholder concept, but then it stuck and we made it into the game starting the following year.

When I first debuted in the game I was Chad Masters. I told Jean, “I can’t be named Chad Masters, it doesn’t work,” as he was the prior stand-in for Coach Belichick and different looking. So we landed on Griffin Murphy, which is an amalgamation of family names.

Did you do a mo-cap session with the skin-tight body suit and everything? Did they ask you to make any Belichick-esque motions or expressions?
Haha! No, I think that would have been a dealbreaker. We used the already-captured coach animations for my character so I didn’t get into the mo-cap suit. I will say that at the time the artists made me little portly, so I tagged that as a bug and had it fixed before the game shipped.

Do you get any bonus pay for your appearances in the game?
No, but it’s an honor to be digitally memorialized in one of the best game franchises in history. That’s payment enough for me.

Has anyone recognized you on the street from the game?
No one’s ever recognized me on the street, but I’ve asked people who play Madden if they ever play against the Pats. If they do then I’ll show them my in-game character, and a couple have asked for selfies.

What do you personally think of Deflategate and Spygate?
I don’t really have anything to say about that.

THE TICKER

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Two months ago, Reggie Fils-Aime announced that he would soon be retiring as the president of Nintendo of America. We’re now officially at Fils-Aime’s last day as Doug Bowser succeeds the 15-year Nintendo veteran, so people have bittersweet feelings about one of the most prominent faces of Nintendo hanging up his hat. Now you can tell him so using the magic of social media!

Fils-Aime has opened his own Twitter account for the first time. Presumably he had to strong-arm someone to get that username, but hey, he did say he was here to kick ass and take names all those years ago. He was eventually going to make good on that promise.

His mentions are full of people expressing well-wishes for the future, thanking him for whatever part he played in years of enjoyment, and…asking him for game releases on his last day at work. Not sure that last one will work all that great. Fils-Aime opened the Twitter account with the figure of his self-played role in the E3 Robot Chicken sketch where he lasered someone for asking about Mother 3, so maybe that’s meant to be a message about tone here.

Blizzard gave us our first teases of this year’s Overwatch Archives event, titled Storm Rising, last week with a mission description from a newly-named character in the lore. Blizzard has now given us out first trailer of said mission, showing us what Overwatch players will be doing in the event taking place in the past.

The event, as described by Sojourn last week, was for Tracer, Genji, Mercy, and Winston to team up and take down Doomfist’s accountant. You can watch the trailer below.

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Much like the previous events, the mission looks like a four-player co-cop player vs. enemy mission pitting a designated team of you and your friends against a designed level. In this case, it is to take down the robot accountant of supervillain Doomfist as a way to get to Doomfist himself. You know it takes place in the past because people are going to jail for white collar crime.

The Overwatch Archives Storm Rising event starts tomorrow April 16 and runs through May 6 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Red Dead Redemption II garnered critical acclaim for virtually every aspect of its single-player mode. The game’s explorable sandbox has myriad optional activities including deep hunting mechanics, a sizeable list of stranger missions that expand lore, an honor meter with in-game ramifications, and tons of interesting secrets scattered throughout its open-world.

In Red Dead Online (RDO), however, many of these expansive pastimes are absent. After customizing an eerily silent avatar, players load into a less dynamic version of the open world they explored as Arthur Morgan. Despite these frustrations, Rockstar made sure to tag RDO as a beta in order to tweak technical issues based on community responses. It will likely be some time before substantial updates are integrated.

GTA Online (GTAO), Rockstar’s previous foray into multiplayer gameplay, also started slowly, but steadily built up the experience via a multitude of large-scale updates and cooperative expansions – which has kept players satisfied for years. We know Rockstar plans to do the same with RDO, so here are five features we want implemented in future content drops. 

Land Ownership

Making a profit from honest labor, stockpiling said monies, and purchasing a satisfying dwelling is the American dream, isn’t it? Hell, if John Marston could create a respectable life for himself amid the vicious wilderness of West Elizabeth, why can’t we? 

In RDO, currency is already an increasingly difficult resource to earn, and, unfortunately, there aren’t many enticing assets to save for. Living among the wonders of mother nature in a shoddy tent has a weird charm to it, but a lodge with sturdy walls and swept floorboards is the better alternative. In our ideal multiplayer world, players could purchase a plot of land and one of several house blueprints from Cakes Hardwood and Timber in Blackwater (just like you did in the campaign). From there, they could either build it themselves with harvested resources or have it constructed for a suitable price. Finally, with a new catalog section they’d be able to furnish the empty rooms to their heart’s content! 

Allowing players to create a sustainable ranch with a plethora of mini-activities like feeding livestock, harvesting chicken eggs, and transporting hay bales (similar to the duties players undertake during the campaign epilogue) could provide a relaxing experience for those looking to put down their pistols and live honest, hardworking lives.

Small-Time Robberies and Big-Time Heists

You knew this was coming. The definitive GTAO experience isn’t available in RDO. This is particularly frustrating because GTA V is chock-full of legendary heists; you would think that RDO would’ve dropped with at least one. Ultimately, we’d love to partake in exhilarating train and bank robberies like the ones the Van der Linde Gang conduct. Moreover, NPC hold-up options are missing, which is an odd design choice, seeing as how this mechanic is a core part of A.I. interaction in story mode gameplay. 

For those who prefer the structure of civilization (and a high honor meter), Rockstar could release an update focused on becoming lawmen, bringing peace and order to the American frontier. Unique rewards for those who don the sheriff’s badge could include exclusive outfits or weapon attachments. The addition of NPC outlaws with posses to hunt down would help pad out the experience as well. 

Economic Interactivity

Rockstar had plans to add stock markets to GTAO, notably, the BAWSAQ, which players would have actively participated in. The mechanic wouldn’t translate very well to a Wild West setting, but why not let people own or invest in local establishments, like popular saloons or general stores, instead? What about constructing and taxing settlements? Better yet, imagine all the neat clothing that could be designed by players and sold for various prices in the product catalogue! 

While GTA pushes the criminality of its metropolises to the forefront of immersion, the RDR experience is about outlaws trying to escape that lifestyle. In line with land ownership, there should be opportunities to live out Western fantasies nonviolently. People who enjoy the tranquility of hunting and fishing could set up fur trading and taxidermy businesses. Miners or gold prospectors could craft accessories or neat weaponry. And what about those of you that want to live as old fashioned cowboys? Rockstar could create a gameplay loop around exploring the open-world, finding rare mares to break, and selling them to bustling stables or bartering with other players in need of speedy mounts. 

An Epic Multiplayer Campaign

As of right now, RDO only has 10 main quests, and none of them have the same set-piece action of the primary campaign. Mr. Horley vaguely hints at future expansions as you wrap up the final mission, so we hope Rockstar’s multiplayer storytelling continues in the near future. 

Two chapters (like in the campaign) would suffice and could build upon unrevealed moments in the franchise. Wouldn’t it be cool to ride with Javier Escuella after the Van der Linde Gang’s disbandment, or have multiple run-ins with Micah Bell? Rockstar constantly mentions that it wants players to immerse themselves in its multiplayer world, and what better way to do that than integrating a series of fresh, compelling narratives? 

Private Sessions

There’s a savage group of outlaws that patrol the windy deserts east of Tumbleweed, and every time I enter their territory, they riddle me with bullets. I mean, I’m just peaceably exercising my right to collect exotic fish and animals. One time, while trying to escape on horseback, they gunned me down in the streets of some lawless shantytown. I returned with my posse and, even then, we stood no chance. Eventually, I gave up and migrated north to the mainland. 

Rockstar is steadily incorporating an ambitious Hostility System to counteract griefing issues, but private matchmaking or a pacifist mode (which existed in GTAO) would do a better job at quelling frustrations. You could argue that solitary players should stick to the game’s campaign, but a more intimate adventure for friends queuing in duos, trios, or even as a full four-person squad breeds a less disruptive co-op experience. 


While we all wait for future RDO news, study up on these 50 Micro-tips to help you survive the multiplayer worldscape. Also, be sure to check out the Five Ways That Rockstar Has Changed The Video Game Industry.

Go ahead and file this one in the “Alright, why not?” category, but No More Heroes-creator and Grasshopper Manufacture head Suda51 appeared on a Famitsu a livestream last night to talk about upcoming DLC for Travis Strikes Again, the Switch-exclusive No More Heroes semi-sequel. During the livestream, however, Suda also decided to announce some cosmetic collaborations, including Travis’ inclusion as a pawn in the Switch version of Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen.

You can watch the full livestream of the event below. The announcement of Travis happens at 43:09.

Click here to watch embedded media

Capcom made some unique assets for Travis, but they couldn’t get his traditional sunglasses. They did, however, get the Power Glove and beam katana in. For those unfamiliar with Dragon’s Dogma, pawns are essentially the game’s AI-controlled party members. When connected online, you can rent pawns for an in-game cost to join your party and also allow your created pawn to be rented-out. Travis is a little different in that he’s not being made by another player, but from Capcom, and does not seem like he will cost anything to bring into your world.

In addition, Suda also announced that some new shirts will be coming to Travis Strikes Again. Dragon’s Dogma is an obvious addition, but Nintendo is also getting adding more Zelda shirts, like two pieces of Wind Waker art. 

Dragon’s Dogma launches on Switch on April 23. Joe Juba recently argued that Dragon’s Dogma is what he wishes Souls games could be for him and that they’re worth a shot for people who try From Software’s titles but don’t click with them.