With Game Informer’s new cover story on Metro Exodus, we dive into a ton of new details about the upcoming sequel from 4A Games. The Metro games can be challenging, and in the past have appealed to an audience that prefers a more “hardcore” edge to their games like limited ammo and an oppressive atmosphere. With the new game embracing player freedom and ratcheting up the crafting mechanics, we wanted to better understand how the developers are framing this experience. Who is it for, exactly? Watch our interview with creative director Andriy “Prof” Prokhorov and executive producer Jon Bloch to learn what they think about Metro Exodus’ audience.

Watch the interview below to learn more about the experience you can expect while playing Metro Exodus.

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For more on Metro Exodus, be sure to check out our coverage by clicking on the banner below.

What The Heck Is This? Episode 19

We cover a lot of big, well-known games here at Game Informer. Thanks
to these efforts, you (hopefully) know all about the next big
franchise, or the highly-anticipated new game from that notable indie
developer What about those random games that fly under the radar? The
one among the dozens that release every day on Steam? Or that Xbox One
game with the weird title? This new video series is an attempt to
highlight those games – for better or worse.

We see these type of games all of the time. The game that we look at
and say, “What the heck is that?” This is our chance to play them and
decide, on the spot, if we want to keep playing them, or move on to to
something different.

In episode 19, we play a vulgar platformer featuring the voice of Duke Nukem, Jon St. John, in Rad Rodgers: World One. We also play a Tacoma-like space station exploration game with The Station.

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Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 |Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7
Episode 8 | Episode 9
| Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Episode 13 | Episode 14 | Episode 15 | Episode 16 | Episode 17 | Episode 18 | Episode 19

Back in early 2013, a group of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans were developing a “non-profit, voluntary” fighting game featuring the equine stars from the cartoon television show. However, Hasbro came knocking with a cease-and-desist letter that put an end to the project. Rather than shelving it entirely, the Mane6 team received a lot of support, which included Friendship is Magic‘s creator Lauren Faust. She offered her services to develop a new premise and completely original characters in her iconic style.

After a couple years of world building, the addition of new characters, and meticulous fine-tuning, Mane6 reintroduced the world to its original fan game as Them’s Fightin’ Herds, which went on to garner over half a million dollars from 10,513 backers during its 2015 Indiegogo campaign. It has since been in a private backer’s beta, but was publicly put into early access on Steam as of February 22.

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Them’s Fightin’ Herds boasts a pixelated multiplayer lobby with customizable avatars, including costumes from other fighting series like Blazblue and Guilty Gear if you own specific titles from the franchises in your Steam library.  A story mode is currently in development that will have episodes focusing on individual ungulates. The Early Access version of the game provides access to “local and online multiplayer PvP modes, a cooperative PvE mode, as well as a single-player arcade mode and Target challenge mode.” The single-player episodes will be added later on for free for those who purchase the game at its permanent price tag of $14.99.

[Source: Mane6 on Twitter via Polygon]

 

Our Take
I don’t mind admitting that I used to be a big fan of Friendship is Magic a few years ago. I’ve fallen off the brony bandwagon, but I still admire the television show for its great writing, humor, and animation. That being said, I remember being so disappointed about Mane6’s fan game being shut down. It’s encouraging to see that the team never gave up on bringing their vision to life with Them’s Fightin’ Herds, which looks promising on its own merit with a robust lore, dynamic score, and meticulous animation.

It is understandable that the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida hits close to the Overwatch League team from Florida, so the team is honoring the victims and helping to raise money while participating in the league.

The team tweeted out a message of support yesterday, stating that they will be wearing patches during their games that represent the Stoneman Douglas High School. They also tweeted out links for raising money for victims, such as GoFundMe and a Sun Sentinel aggregate of fundraising links. 

“The Florida Mayhem players will come to the stage this week wearing patches honoring the community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High following last week’s horrible event,” the statement starts. “Everyone in our organization has been touched by the impact of the act and the strength of those affected, and as proud representatives of Florida we wish to demonstrate our support and promote continued positive outreach by the larger Overwatch population.”

The next Florida Mayhem game is Saturday, February 24 against the Philadelphia Fusion.

The first three Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm games are coming to the Switch, Bandai Namco has confirmed today through a reveal in Japanese weekly manga magazine Shonen Jump.

The trilogy, developed by CyberConnect 2, was originally released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last generation. They were then released again on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with graphics and resolution improvements as a Legacy collection that included the trilogy and the fourth game, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. The Switch bundle only includes the first three games, as the fourth game would have to be downported from current generation systems rather than up-ported from last generation systems.

The trilogy is only announced for Japan so far, but considering how well the series sells in America, a western release is likely. Developers CyberConnect 2 had previously been working on the Final Fantasy VII remake, but was removed when Square-Enix brought the project internally.

[Source: Shonen Jump via Gematsu]

 

Our Take
I enjoy the cinematic takes on the Naruto games and just recently picked up the fourth game for myself. The boss fights are definitely worth seeing, so I am curious how many people want to take the game portably.

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is a self-proclaimed “meditative narrative toy” according to creator Gabriel Koenig. You play as a massive robot who needs to venture across the universe to not only find fuel and new parts for his body, but also to help out the denizens of the various planets you visit. The problem is that the titular bucket of bolts is a wobbly mess (much like BUD from Grow Home), meaning that he unintentionally causes loads of destruction despite his best intentions. Can you do more good than harm in your space-faring travels? That’s what this atmospheric game poses with its popping comic-book art style, and you can play it on PlayStation 4 next week on February 27. It comes with a photo mode and filters to capture and tweak the game’s vibrant set pieces as well.

Jettomero was originally a Kickstarter project that surpassed its modest goal last year on September 1 with 322 backers, which was released a couple weeks later on PC and Xbox One. While an official price for the PlayStation 4 has not been confirmed, it will likely sell for $12.99, as it did on other platforms.

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[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
You have a fair amount of games that allow players to relish in the destruction of being a kaiju-like character, but this is one of the rare few titles I’ve seen where you’re encouraged to align how you play with the robot’s desire to be a gentle giant. It’s a neat reversal of the stereotype that challenges players to not abuse their power even when they have every excuse to do so. Koenig wrote in one of his Kickstarter updates, “Being alone in the universe, looking for purpose in life, a fear of hurting the people you love; these are all inherently human feelings. Jettomero may be a giant robot but thinks the same as any one of us.” He’s put more thought into this game than one would imagine. Also, the game seems to have a killer, down-tempo soundtrack (created by Koenig as well!) and an art style I’m in love with. I think I’m going to have to check this out next week.

Niantic has been steadily cycling through legendary raid bosses for Pokémon Go trainers to battle and catch, and usually once they’re gone, they’re gone. However, for one week, current legendary raid boss Rayquaza will be joined by the whale Pokémon Kyogre and ground Pokémon Groudon. The three are battling it out (kind of) to determine the immediate future of Pokémon Go’s eggs.

Technically, Rayquaza is the featured raid boss until March 16. However, Kyogre (January’s raid boss) and Groudon (December’s raid boss) are returning to compete with Rayquaza. In addition to giving players another chance to catch these Pokémon if they missed their opportunity in recent months, the results of the raids will determine which Pokémon will hatch from eggs in the week after.

If trainers complete more Rayquaza raids than Groudon and Kyogre combined before March 5, dragon, flying, and psychic Pokémon will be more common to hatch from eggs from March 5 to March 16. However, if trainers take down more Kyogres and Groudons combined during this window, water, electric, and bug Pokémon will be easier to hatch until March 16. Either way, trainers should have a chance to hatch some rare Pokémon like Lotad (water) or Bagon (dragon).

This brief event starts today and lasts until March 5. For more on Pokémon Go’s raid battles and egg hatching, check out our extensive guide.

[Source: Pokémon Go]

When Pokémon Go launched in 2016, no creature was more elusive and coveted than Dragonite, the ultimate evolved form of Dratini. While many hardcore players have the powerful dragon Pokémon, casual PoGoers likely haven’t found or hatched enough Dratinis to evolve into the third phase. That could very well change this weekend, as Pokémon Go celebrates its second monthly Community Day by unleashing the dragon.

During the three-hour window, Dratini will spawn much more frequently throughout the world. In addition, if you evolve a Dratini up to Dragonite during the Community Day event, that Dragonite will know an exclusive move called Draco Meteor. Finally, lures will last three hours, and catching Pokémon will yield three times the stardust. There’s no word on if Niantic will use this opportunity to introduce shiny variations of Dratini, Dragonair, and Dragonite, but it isn’t outside the realm of possibility and could potentially be the “big get” of the mini-event.

Niantic’s first Pokémon Go Community Day took place on January 20 and featured Pikachu. Every Pikachu caught during the given window had the exclusive ability to use the move Surf.

The Dratini-focused Pokémon Go Community Day takes place on Saturday, February 24 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Central time.

[Source: Pokémon Go]

On the latest episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, we interviewed Mike Laidlaw about his career at BioWare and why he decided to leave the studio after 14 years. In the discussion, we cover lessons that he learned during his time as a writer and creative director on projects like Dragon Age: Inquisition (that he’ll also be covering in an upcoming GDC Session) and his broader thoughts on RPG development. If you’re curious about the recent history of the future of BioWare, Laidlaw also touches on what happened with Dragon Age II, and why he’s not too worried about the future of the Dragon Age series and the challenges in Anthem’s development. Enjoy the interview!

If you’d prefer to listen to this interview you can click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and click here to subscribe to the podcast on Google Play.

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We’ve already seen Overwatch re-imagined as a fighting game and the characters re-skinned as dogs. Whatever alternate timeline we’re in now with a walking Zenyatta is clearly the darkest.

After Blizzard spotted a “Let Zen Walk” sign during an Overwatch League match, they responded in a comical, if not slightly unsettling way.

We’re just glad he wasn’t wearing that Cthulhu skin while skipping around like Michigan J. Frog. That’s pure nightmare fuel.