Sony has announced a new PlayStation 4 bundle with God of War, themed to match the Norse stylings of Kratos’ new weapon.

The system has a unique design for the controller, including emblazoning the words “God of War” on the Dualshock 4 touchpad. Head of Sony Santa Monica Shannon Studstill explained the reasoning behind the new design:

“When we designed Kratos’ new Leviathan Axe, we knew it would have far more meaning not only to the game, but to our fans. Santa Monica Studio was extremely proud to adorn the custom PS4 Pro with the Leviathan Axe in such detailed fashion. We spent a painstaking amount of time to ensure this PS4 Pro was special, for the special fans who will cherish it.

The top surface is the Axe skill tree you’ll use in-game to upgrade your axe, along with the runic gem slots on the handle that enable unique special attacks. The side panels are trimmed with a beautiful Norse design, and the runes each represent a realm in the game. The Leviathan Gray DualShock 4 wireless controller has the Huldra Brothers brand on it (just like the Axe), and a very subtle God of War logo on the touchpad.”

Sony also detailed the Pro capabilities of God of War. The game supports 2160p checkerboarding and supersampling for 1080p owners, as well as HDR across all PS4s.

The God of War PlayStation 4 Pro is launching alongside the game on April 20.

[Source: PSBlog]

 

Our Take
There are parts of this Pro in isolation that I like, but I don’t know about that logo on the touchpad.

From Shovel Knight’s identifying weapon of choice to For Honor’s ancient arsenal, the Man at Arms: Reforged YouTube channel has consistently brought numerous relics from video games and more to life with their blacksmithing prowess. One of their latest endeavors has taken them to one of their more technically detailed works: 2B’s Virtuous Treaty sword from Nier: Automata.

Combining modern techniques to mill the intricate overlays and traditional methods to forge the blade itself, the product is truly a sight to behold, especially with its unique handle wrap. You can watch the making of the sword in the 20-minute video below, which appropriately concludes with cosplayer Lunatique Rose swinging the blade at some fruit in her equally impressive 2B outfit.

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You can check out our review for Nier: Automata by clicking here.

[Source: Man at Arms on YouTube]

Luke Cage, or Harlem’s hero, is returning for its second season this on Netflix June 22.

The trailer features the same kind of hip-hop music frequently heard in its first season, as well as Cage on fire and being shot at point blank, therefore ruining even more of his attire. Two new villains to the series include John McIver, aka Bushmaster, and Tilda Johnson, or Nightshade. Though Iron Fist is not shown in the trailer, he will be making an appearance, though his capacity is unclear. Misty Knight is also returning, this time with a bionic arm akin to the comics.

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Netflix’s next season in the Marvel lineup, Jessica Jones, will debut Thursday.
View the latest JJ trailer here.

The Oregon Trail, an educational game played in countless classrooms over the years, is now available as a stand-alone handheld. It’s a darling recreation of nostalgia, completely realized in full color and with all of the original sound effects. The handheld itself even looks like an Apple II and the power is toggled by pushing in a miniature floppy disk. The handheld, which is made by Basic Fun, is available only at Target retail locations for $24.99. There’s no word yet on when it will be made available through Target’s website.

If you’d rather get the whole family together to eventually succumb to dysentery, The Oregon Trail is also available as a card game. We haven’t gotten our hands on the handheld yet, but you can check out Polygon’s article for more pictures of the device itself.

 

Our Take
The real burning question now is when can we expect The Oregon Trail to blaze its way onto the Switch.

Are you tired of bouncing between silver and gold ranks in Competitive Play? Do your defensive stands always break down in Capture the Flag? No matter who you are teamed up with, does every match feel like a mess?

Team chemistry is a necessity if you want to win in Overwatch, and it can be achieved in under five minutes if you know what you are doing. I’m going to give you 10 quick tips that should elevate your team play in just one match. People are going to love playing with you, so prepare for a flood of friend requests to come your way. These strategies are bulletproof, so no matter what you do, don’t veer from the script.


Tip 1: Select Mei

Even if you don’t enjoy playing as Mei, picking her shows your willingness to be a defense hero, and, above all, a team player. Do not waste time in selecting her. Make sure you are the first person to choose a hero, as your eagerness cements you as the leader. If you’re wondering why you can’t select any other defense character to fill this role, well, we’ll get to that later.


Tip 2: Immediately Criticize the Team’s Comp

“Do we really need a D.Va or Pharah?” Your teammates may not like hearing you criticize their picks, but in the long run, it shows just how serious you are about determining the perfect comp to win. Even if the comp looks great, voicing doubts may lead to a player switching to make your chances even better. If people don’t respond to your initial inquiry, keep talking. Repeating the short line “D.Va, switch,” will work wonders for you. People will be impressed by your passion.


Tip 3: Show Your Playful Side

You just established yourself as a leader who wants to win. Now you need to show your team you are good-natured and fun. There are three ways to do this: 1) Repeat one of your hero’s voice lines over and over again. Do this until the game caps you. Start again when the cap is lifted. 2) Whenever one of your teammates sprays a wall, immediately place one of your sprays on top of it. Do this for every spray that is applied. You may have to do this roughly 15 times. 3) When the doors open for the match, block the main opening with Mei’s ice wall. This move always catches people off guard and leads to plenty of laughs.


Tip 4: Stop Playing as Mei

Now that your teammates know you are a perfectly balanced teammate, you can switch to a better hero. If you are confident in your skills, pick anyone you want, even if it breaks the comp. You can never have too many snipers. Attack Bastion and Torb are good fun too.


Tip 5: Snarky Tone = Better Play

This is your first game of the night, but some of your teammates may have been playing all day, and their alertness may no longer be at a competitive level. Being critical of their play through snarky comments will surely make them take notice, and, if you play your cards right, get a little angry. That’s good. You want them fired up. They’ll play better. Things to say to a healer: “Do we have a healer?” “I’m not getting healed at all.” “I’m gold in healing and I’m not even a healing hero.” For attack you can say things like “Genji, why didn’t you push the point with me, you were right there. We could have had that.” Or even “Are our shields made of glass? Why are you not using them?” Even if you aren’t near the action, you can watch the kill meter to see who is dying, and can complain about their performance. Don’t stop talking.


Tip 6: Thanks!
If the team chemistry isn’t coming together and a point gets taken from you, continue stoking the fire by saying “Thanks!” as many times as the game allows. This shows you appreciate your teammates’ efforts, but desire better results.


Tip 7: Always Push the Point

You’ll see pro teams coordinate attacks and wait for their tanks and shields before taking a point, but in the amateur ranks, you are better off trying to do everything yourself – like a leader would. Your attack should go off without a hitch. Launching a solo ultimate will also take the attention off of your teammates.


Tip 8: Written Encouragement

 If your teammates aren’t listening to you, send them a text message that just says, “switch,” “come on,” or “what was that?” They’ll probably write you back.


Tip 9: Quit

If your teammates still won’t play along with your plan, quit the match. A good time to do this is after you lose the first point. Leaving is the ultimate way of telling other players they need to be become better teammates.


Bonus Tip 10: Never Do Any of This

If you said “Hey, I do that!” for any of the above tips, think long and hard about what you’ve done to your teammates. You’re only hurting the team, and angering players in the process. Pay attention to team comp, be competitive, be friendly, don’t give up, and have fun. That’s all we ask. Basically, be a respectful human being, and never use any of the nine tips I provided.

Kongregate, the primarily free to play publisher, is launching a digital download service on PC they call Kartridge.

The service focuses on all kinds of games and different payment models, promising to be a developer-focused platform with no listing fees and stronger control over the design and content of store pages. 

“Playing on Kartridge will immerse
gamers in a deeply social world; they’ll earn rewards for playing their
favorite games, collect customized achievements, and connect with other
gamers through chat, forums, and additional social features,” Kongregate says. “They’ll share tips and strategies within newfound communities as they level up their accounts,
earning rewards along the way.  The Kartridge platform was designed
to be a unique and robust experience for players to enjoy, with the end goal of
making the platform as fun as the games people are playing.”

The more interesting things about Kartridge are some of the biggest criticisms of Steam: curation and surfacing. “Through a combination of editorial
curation and algorithm-focused game surfacing, our goal is to show the right
game to the right player at the right time. This approach will help surface
titles that are getting lost in other marketplaces and will help players find
new content they didn’t know they’d love.”

Players can sign up for the beta for Kartridge now right here.

 

Our Take
It will be interesting to see how Kartridge does, as things like editorial curation and better surfacing have been aspects people have been asking of other services for some time.

Far Cry 5, by all accounts, looks to be a dark, despairing game that makes the current political ills for America its destructive playground. Luckily, the DLC for the game seem to be a bit more wacky, including zombies and Martians. Today the publisher revealed another wrinkle in the fold: a map editor.

The map editor is due out in April for free and lets players important content from other Ubisoft series (text from Ubisoft):

All Far Cry 5 players will also have access to Far Cry Arcade, the evolution of the map editor that will deliver an endless amount of free gameplay and map creation opportunities for players. 

Far Cry Arcade will include assets from previous Far Cry games as well as other Ubisoft titles, including content from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed Unity, and Watch Dogs, that can be used to make solo, co-op, and PvP multiplayer experiences. 

You can check out a screen of Far Cry Arcade below for yourself to see the series crossover zaniness in action.


For more on Far Cry 5, check out our latest impressions.

Playdead’s lauded games Inside and Limbo are worlds full of mystery, and that mystique continues in the $375 Inside collector’s edition. What’s in the box? We’re not entirely sure.

The collector’s edition does include the PS4 disc for Inside (Steam keys for the game as well as Limbo will be emailed after purchase) – but what exactly makes up the rest of the void is unknown.

Pre-orders for the box start this Thursday (March 8) at 7am PST at iam8bit.com, and orders will stop being taken on Friday, June 8 at 11:59pm PST.

The edition ships in the first quarter of 2019, at which time you’ll be informed of exactly what’s in the box.

Could the meaning of existence be had for a mere $375? Possibly.

My biggest problem with side-scrolling brawlers has always been their mindlessness. Even when a few upgrade trees or RPG systems are thrown in to make them more intricate, I can’t escape the feeling I’m just mashing the punch button until everyone’s dead. Way of the Passive Fist addresses this issue with more mindful combat that wants you to pay close attention in every fight. But while its combat is novel and fun at first, it doesn’t lift the experience above some glaring issues.

Rather than punching your way through legions of street thugs, Way of the Passive Fist has you hanging back and watching the movements of the many bandits, robots, and monsters you face as you make your way through a thin, post-apocalyptic plot that serves more as context than a real pull. Your main weapon against your enemies are well-timed parries and dodges, which drain your foes’ stamina until they keel over from exhaustion. 

Every enemy has their own multi-hit attack strings to memorize, giving combat a rhythmic feel.  Once I had learned most of the enemy patterns, I was parrying punches, dodging throws, and returning throwing knives to their senders in a matter of seconds, which made me feel like the center of a well-choreographed action movie fight scene. As you parry attacks you build up a combo meter, giving you access to powered-up moves like charged-up punches and grabs. Saving up these attacks for clusters of enemies or hulking brutes adds a fun strategic layer to all the parrying.

Unfortunately, combat grows stale over time. Though later levels introduce a few new enemy types, they’re mostly palette-swapped foes with faster, more difficult attack patterns, which don’t do much to stave off how repetitious combat can be. Although it can make for some cool maneuvers, the rhythm-based combat isn’t as satisfying as you’d expect; instead of feeling like I’d accomplished some feat of dexterity or skill, I was rewarded simply for paying attention and playing long enough to memorize each enemy’s pattern.

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Moving around during combat is also a bit of a chore, which causes a few issues. It isn’t a constant concern since you and your opponents are usually standing still as you defend against their attacks, but a few levels emphasize deft movements. The side-scrolling view isn’t great at relaying whether you can hit an opponent, making for some frustrating situations in which my charged-up punch missed because I wasn’t at the right height (which is especially aggravating during boss fights). Positioning causes problems during levels that have you dodging lasers or bombs; if you’re in the middle of parrying a string of attacks when you see your cue to dodge, you’re probably going to get hit. I also had times when enemies’ attacks would overlap with each other, asking me to parry attacks from two sides at once, which is impossible.

One way to mitigate these problems is with difficulty sliders, which let you tailor various gameplay aspects to your liking. After finishing the story mode, I wanted to test my parry reactions but didn’t want to deal with health management, so I made it much harder to land parries, but made it health pickups more abundant. This is a smart way to let players learn and experiment, and I like that no content is gated based on difficulty.

A few arcade modes encourage you to replay levels to get high scores and bragging rights, but I felt as if I’d seen everything interesting on my first time through. Enemy encounters don’t drastically change between playthroughs, either, and the lack of multiplayer means it lacks the party-friendliness that can liven up subsequent runs.

The rhythm-based combat and malleable difficulty set Way of the Passive Fist apart from most brawlers in an interesting way. But while it starts strong, the combat doesn’t carry it over a host of issues. Without other ways to keep players busy it isn’t worth going back to after the first unsatisfying playthrough. Way of the Passive Fist offers an interesting alternative to the mash-happy games of the genre’s past, but after the novelty wears off, it fails to connect.

Let’s Play Video Games has heard from anonymous sources that CD Projekt Red’s Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher franchise will appear in Bandai Namco’s fighter Soulcalibur VI.

The site heard from its sources a few weeks ago, and its belief was strengthened when CD Projekt Red community lead, Marcin Momot, sent out the teasing tweet below.

LPVG also points out that Bandai Namco and CD Projekt Red have an existing relationship – the former distributes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in some territories around the world.

Soul Calibur VI comes out this year, and you can see it in action in these video clips.

[Source: LPVG, Marcin Momot

 

Our Take 
The pieces are certainly in place for this to be true, and the series has a history of guest fighters from other franchises, like Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio in Soulcalibur V, among others.