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  1. BioWare is still working towards a refreshed version of Anthem, dubbed Anthem Next. Today, BioWare Austin director Christian Dailey revealed some updates to loot and gear in his first blog post since announcing his involvement leading Anthem to its next stage. The bulk of Dailey’s new blog post was dedicated to the changes BioWare Austin is trying out in regards to loot and weapons. This includes a more frequent and satisfying loot drop system, as well as a faster power ramp. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=every-ign-bioware-game-review&captions=true"] Here are some of the changes Dailey outlined in the new Anthem blog post. Respect Your Time Increase the frequency of Loot Drops Loot is viable more often; All items are better and more competitive, but there’s still a chance of getting something exceptional All loot rarities have strategic value throughout progression Embrace Choice You can pursue specific loot without relying on randomness alone; Quests; Specialized Vendors; Unique Loot Tables Modify your loot, including rerolling inscriptions and leveling up items Create a Rewarding Loot Experience Loot feels exciting and more noticeable when it drops, and is celebrated when collected Rare enemies (aka “walking treasure chests”) create exciting moments to get a burst of loot all at once Keep it Accessible and Immediate Reveal and equip loot right away Complete revamp of the equipment sheet – including a detailed stat sheet (not shown) The equipment sheet can be accessed from anywhere, allows you to easily see what you have equipped in each slot Reliability of Equipment and Rewards Each item has an inscription “budget”, based on its Power and Rarity No more useless items because they were missing must-have inscriptions (see “Increased weapon dmg by +225%”) Exceptional items are about getting the exact types of bonuses you want, instead of maxing values on every bonus Scale for the Future Your power cap can be easily increased, and the loot system scales accordingly Advanced telemetry data allows us to identify trends and make meaningful balance changes [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=anthem-next-developer-update&captions=true"] The Anthem team in Austin is also exploring ways to make gunplay feel more responsive, and even the efficacy of introducing melee items and builds. New equipments and weapons are also on the way. Dailey stresses that these aren’t easy fixes and that implementing changes will take time. The timeline has also no doubt been affected by the ongoing COVID pandemic. Anthem was released in 2019 and was BioWare’s foray into the live-service space. Unfortunately, critical response to Anthem was mostly negative, which has led to BioWare Austin taking over the project and build an updated version. Other parts of BioWare are currently working on a new Dragon Age title. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.View the full article
  2. Microsoft has announced that Battletoads will be available on Xbox Game Pass or to purchase on Xbox One and PC on August 20, 2020. The release date was revealed on Xbox Wire alongside a brand new trailer, and it shows more of the game that brings back Zitz, Rash, and Pimple for the first time in 26 years. This newest Battletoads adventure is developed by Dlala Studios, and is supported by series creator Rare. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/31/battletoads-official-release-date-trailer"] For those unfamiliar with Battletoads, it follows Zitz, Rash, and Pimple as they fight of "the Dark Queen and her abominable allies, in action that takes place across a variety of beat 'em up, platforming, and racing stages." The original Battletoads was known for its difficulty, but Dlala is giving players more options in how they want to play. These options include couch co-op and multiple difficulty settings that will "suit everyone from Tadpole to Battletoad." Battletoads features a hand-animated art style and "pays homage to the stylish, self-aware cartoon of the late '90s." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=battletoads-release-date-announcement-screenshots&captions=true"] In our hands-on of the new Battletoads, we said that while it's still tough, it is no longer sadistic, and "It felt like playing as Dante, or pre-fatherhood Kratos, and I mean that in a good way." [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com. Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch. View the full article
  3. The House of Representatives has voted down an amendment designed to prevent the US Army from recruiting through video games, with U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expressing concern at tech literacy within Congress. Ocasio-Cortez filed the measure earlier this month after backlash against the Army's activities on Twitch forced it to suspend activities on the livestreaming platform. The amendment would have stopped the military from using funds to “maintain a presence on Twitch.com or any video game, e-sports, or live-streaming platform.” Ocasio-Cortez opened her statement to the house by quoting the Marine Service, saying, "War is not a game". She continued by pointing out that the majority of viewers on Twitch are below recruitment age for the Army, and that the military was found to be linking to recruitment forms, not educational material on the service. 126 Democrat representatives voted for the amendment, but 103 Democrats, 188 Republicans and 1 Independent voted against it, putting an end to the proposal as it currently stands. Ocasio-Cortez has posted a thread of tweets (below) about the decision, and expressed concern about the level of tech literacy among those in Congress, and how that affects decisions such as this. Imagine trying to explain to your colleagues who are members of Congress what Twitch is — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 30, 2020 "When our legislative bodies aren’t sufficiently responsive to tech, then that means we don’t have the tools required to protect people", Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "This is partially why companies know way more about you than you may even be aware of - bc it’s legal, and Congress is struggling to keep up." The New York representative did strike a hopeful note, however, pointing out that the majority of House Democrats voted in favour of the amendment. "That’s a really solid start for this being the first time this issue has been brought before Congress," she wrote, signalling a possible intent to bring similar proposals to Congress in future. CNN's Shannon Liao has said that the US Army and Navy have confirmed that they will continue to stream on Twitch. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com.View the full article
  4. Halo Infinite will feature a free-to-play multiplayer mode and run at up to 120 FPS on Xbox Series X, according to a retailer listing and other sources. Smyths Toys includes Halo Infinite in its listing for Xbox Series X, saying, "The legendary Halo series returns with the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet and a groundbreaking free-to-play multiplayer experience. Enjoy up to 120 FPS and greatly reduced load times creating seamless gameplay with Xbox Series X." The section in question has now been removed, but the image below shows it in its original form:Both sources for Windows Central and noted Xbox insider Klobrille have since supported the claim that Halo Infinite's multiplayer will be free-to-play. Klobrille adds that the 120 FPS is an aim for Arena mode on Xbox Series X, and that multiplayer will include a Battle Pass system, and feature types of customisation new to the Halo series. We've contacted Xbox for comment. We've heard previously that Halo Infinite's campaign will run at a locked 60 FPS, and the idea that multiplayer would both run and be released in a different fashion to the single-player portion fits with 343's plan for Halo Infinite to become more of a platform than a standalone game in the series. 343 has previously had to counter rumours that the multiplayer mode would not be released at launch, and yesterday addressed criticism of the game's visuals, saying "the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity." [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/halo-infinite-9-minutes-of-campaign-gameplay"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com. View the full article
  5. Halo Infinite developer 343 Industries has addressed some of the biggest concerns following its Xbox Games Showcase reveal, including graphics, if there will be a multiplayer beta, and how the game will handle microtransactions. The answers to these questions and more were discussed on Halo Waypoint, and 343 came right out and acknowledged the feedback, both good and bad, that followed Halo Infinite's campaign gameplay reveal, beginning with the graphics. Community manager John Junyszek explained that there are "two key areas being debated around the community – overall art style and visual fidelity." [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/23/halo-infinite-9-minutes-of-campaign-gameplay"] "Based on our learnings from Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Wars 2 – along with strong community feedback – we decided to shift back towards the legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy. With Halo Infinite, we’re returning to a more ‘classic’ art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, “cleaner” models and objects with less “noise”, though it doesn’t mean less detail. While we appreciate this may not be everyone’s personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world." "The second theme being discussed involves visual fidelity. Negative feedback in this area includes comments around characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in. We’ve read your comments, we’ve seen the homemade examples of retouched content, and yes we’ve heard the Digital Foundry assessments. In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game. The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished. While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess. We don’t have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity. The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch." As for the Multiplayer Beta / Flighting, Junyszek reiterated what 343 head Chris Lee stated last week, saying their plans for a multiplayer beta have been impacted "in large part due to the challenges of working from home during the COVID-19." 343 is not sure a Beta will end up happening, but it is hoping "to have an opportunity for broader hands-on before release." [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=halo-infinite-xbox-games-showcase-gameplay-reveal-screenshots&captions=true"] Microtransactions in Halo Infinite were confirmed back in 2018, but Junyszek reassured fans that Halo Infinite "will not include real-money loot boxes." This should come as a relief, especially considering the level of player customization that will be part of Halo Infinite. As Junyszek said, "If you liked the level of armor customization options in Halo: Reach, you will be pleased." There were many other smaller details in this Infinite Inquires post, including the reduction of Kill Barriers and "Return to Battlefield" zones in the campaign to encourage exploration in Halo Infinite's open world, and confirmation that the Battle Rifle (BR75) will be making a return. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/23/halo-infinite-step-inside-cinematic-teaser"] Additionally, the new grapple hook will make its way to multiplayer, but will function a bit differently and will be available as an item that can be picked up on the battlefield. Halo Infinite will be released on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC in Holiday 2020. For more on the latest Halo game, be sure to check out more details on its villain and story, why there won't be a Halo Infinite 2, and why Halo Infinite will be a perfect jumping on point for new players. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/23/the-complete-halo-saga-in-22-minutes"] [poilib element="accentDivider"] Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to newstips@ign.com. Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.View the full article
  6. Unlike the Birdman’s games – or the one with actual birds in it – Skater XL is a serious and mostly authentic and grounded simulation of skateboarding and it innovates in a truly engrossing way with its nuanced and tricky two-stick control system. There have been times over the last several days when I’ve become deeply immersed in the process of learning a new trick and executing it perfectly on a cool line I’d found some place within the maps. However, playing on Xbox has exposed the fondly-regarded PC version’s secret: it’s heavily reliant on user-made mods to flesh it out. This has left the console version feeling extremely light on content at launch and, combined with some regularly occurring jankiness, the result is something that generally feels more like a tech demo than a complete game. [ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/28/skater-xl-launch-trailer] Skater XL’s controls may initially seem familiar to Skate’s gesture-based brand of analogue stick flicking – and it’s true that there are some rough similarities – but mastering Skater XL’s controls is actually like learning a whole new language. In Skater XL, each thumbstick represents the skater’s corresponding foot. That may sound simple but sometimes it’s a bit like rubbing your belly with one hand while… braiding your own hair with the other. Even a straightforward kickflip requires you to pop the board with your back foot and then execute a properly-timed kick with your front foot. If you chuck a rotation in there, that’ll require one of the triggers. If you want to throw a grab on top of it all, that brings in the bumpers – and all of a sudden you’re squeezing your controller from all angles like it owes you money. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=This%20complexity%20may%20ultimately%20be%20a%20turn%20off%20for%20some%2C%20but%20I%E2%80%99ve%20quite%20enjoyed%20just%20zoning%20out%20and%20trying%20to%20perfect%20some%20complex%20skate%20tricks"]This complexity may ultimately be a turn off for some, but I’ve quite enjoyed just zoning out and trying to perfect some complex skate tricks. Things like this are often a simple button-push away in other skate games but would require a huge amount of practise in reality, and so they do in Skater XL. Overall I get the feeling the goal here has been to build a control system that attempts to mirror the finesse of foot movement that real-life skateboarding requires and, to a certain extent, that has worked. The granular control over grinds is particularly nifty if you move the sticks slowly enough not to trigger an ollie or shuvit. That said, it’s loaded with annoyances, too: the zone on the stick for performing manuals feels a bit too small, you can’t seem to turn more than 90 degrees on the spot without pushing off in the complete opposite direction, and sometimes my skater will bust an unwanted ollie before I’ve let go of the stick. Tre Cool During my second morning playing I attempted a tre flip, which in Skater XL requires two similar yet slightly out-of-sync movements with each stick. I couldn’t get it. I just couldn’t remotely nail the timing, and the angles were beyond me. Skater XL was asking my monkey fingers for Moonlight Sonata and all they had to give was Mary Had a Little Lamb. At one stage I even noticed there’s an achievement for performing 10 tre flips in a row. I scoffed. It was never going to happen. But I made a few more attempts, and those few attempts turned into a few more attempts, and a few more attempts after that. Eventually I landed one. Then three in a row. Then 10 in a row. Skater XL’s controls are a bit of a wall to crash through compared to, say, an arcade skate experience like any Tony Hawk game out there, but because they ask you to practise and practise, there’s a quaint loop here that imitates the spirit of the real thing – or, at least, learning a real, physical skill – in a satisfying way. Try. Fail. Try again. Fail again. Try again, succeed, celebrate. [ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/06/16/skater-xl-easy-day-high-school-map-reveal-trailer] American Wasteland That loop, however, is all Skater XL has. There’s no campaign for its four pro skater characters or even a path through its five core maps or the three user-made maps from PC modders that have been curated and added to the console versions. There’s no ultimate goal beyond “go skate.” Each of the maps has a list of challenges you can complete but they feel a bit like a long series of tutorials. This may be enough for skaters who just want to noodle around, bust tricks, and experiment with the video editor, but for those accustomed to more substantial skating games I expect Skater XL may feel a bit like the part of a game you play while you wait for the rest to install. The high school level feels very authentic, there’s a faithful rendition of the West L.A. Courthouse spot, and the downtown L.A. map also features riffs on several iconic spots skaters will likely recognise, but they’re all completely lifeless. No NPC skaters, no moving vehicles, no multiplayer; just you. The visuals and bright and sharp and the menus are clean and unobtrusive, but the visual quality is a little uneven overall. There’s some great detail on some of the surfaces, in particular – like the benches and pillars of the West L.A. Courthouse spot bearing the scrapes and scars of a few thousand 50-50s – but certain things don’t quite stand up to the same level of scrutiny (like shirts clipping through pants or the fuzziness on props like cars). The Big Ramp level is fun in bursts, but there’s no denying that it undermines Skater XL’s focus on making you strive hard to perfect the fundamentals of straight street skating when I can bust out a successful backside 1800 into… a port-a-loo, by accident. There’s big rift between the gritty, harder-than-it-looks urban skating Skater XL wants to celebrate and the fact you can successfully land a double-900 from low orbit on flat ground without your ankles exploding, and then… skate off through the desert. It just doesn’t feel finished. [ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/21/skater-xl-the-big-ramp-trailer] There’s a halfpipe on the Big Ramp for transition skating, too, but it's unreliable and I find whenever I get into a groove I end up exiting the pipe or landing on the coping unintended and bailing. The bails aren’t particularly great, either; if skaters aren’t freezing their limbs in odd positions they’re regularly clipping through the environment. They can be hard to predict, too; sometimes you’ll pop off the same low rail half-a-dozen times and collapse in an unexplained heap all but once, and other times you can accidentally fall from a freeway bridge and skate away with no hassles. The audio is very good, however, and there’s a nice suite of honest skating sound effects. With the short soundtrack turned off there’s an almost meditative quality to the hiss of rolling wheels and scraping ply.View the full article
  7. Welcome to Nintendo Voice Chat! This week, Casey DeFreitas is joined by Peer Schneider, Brain Altano, and Zach Ryan to talk about the last week of Nintendo. First up, the crew talks about Nintendo franchises we haven't seen in a while. Did you know it's been 16 years since the last F-Zero game? Then, the panel discusses the huge Nintendo Gigaleak that has revealed a ton of new information about old Nintendo games, including Super Mario 64. Plus, hear about Persona 5 Scramble finally getting confirmed for the west and Animal Crossing's save backup services. Finally, we wrap up with one of your listener questions on Question Block. Timecodes! 00:00:00 Welcome! 00:01:19 Nintendo franchise release gaps 00:19:28 The Nintendo Gigaleak 00:35:50 Audience Yaps 00:44:22 More news! 00:48:30 What we're playing 01:00:00 Question Block Games out this week: Sagrada, $14.99, Out now They Breathe, $3.99, Out now Heroes of Hammerwatch: Ultimate Edition, $19.99, Out now Kingdom Rush, $9.99, Out now Nowhere Prophet, $24.99, Out now What we're playing: Peer: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Carrion, Crysis Brian: Carrion, Panzer Paladin Zach: Paper Mario: The Origami King, Carrion, EarthBound NVC is available on your preferred platform! YouTube Spotify Apple iTunes Stitcher Podbay PlayerFM Podbean You can also Download NVC 519 Directly Here You can listen to NVC on your preferred platform every Thursday at 3pm PT/6pm ET. Have a question for Question Block? Write to us at nvc@ign.com and we may pick your question! Also, make sure to join the Nintendo Voice Chat Podcast Forums on Facebook. We're all pretty active there and often pull Question Block questions and comments straight from the community. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Logan Plant is the Production Assistant for NVC. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant. View the full article
  8. The Epic Games Store is finally getting achievements and mod support. Epic Games Store users have been requesting achievements basically since the launch of the store in 2018 and it seems the feature is finally happening. Epic Games said on Twitter on July 29 that certain games will start displaying the achievements as they're unlocked, but it didn't name which games it's referring to. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=igns-top-25-modern-pc-games&captions=true"] "Certain games on the Epic Games Store may begin to display achievements as you unlock them," the tweet said. "This is an early version of the feature and you can expect to see changes & adjustments. We'll have more info to share on achievements in the future, so stay tuned!" Nothing more was said beyond that but the tweet does include a quick video showcasing what an achievement pop looks like in an Epic Games Store-launched game. You can check it out below. Certain games on the Epic Games Store may begin to display achievements as you unlock them. This is an early version of the feature and you can expect to see changes & adjustments. We'll have more info to share on achievements in the future, so stay tuned! pic.twitter.com/80dnoLYegV — Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) July 29, 2020 That same day, it was announced that the Epic Games Store would begin supporting mods and that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries would be the first game on the platform to support them. "We are extremely excited to announce that MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is the first game to participate in the Beta launch of Epic Games Store Mods," MechWarrior 5 developer Piranha Games said in a blog post. "With this release, discovering and installing MW5 Mods made by the amazing modding community will be easier than ever, integrated directly into the existing Epic Games Launcher." As noted by Piranha Games, the mods feature of the EGS is in beta. It's unknown at this time when the feature will leave beta. Their blog post highlights a few community-created mods that players can expect to utilize for MechWarrior 5. After giving that a look, read about how the Epic Games Store is the first real threat to Steam. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes. View the full article
  9. 2K has announced a partnership with OneTeam Partners and the National Football League Players Association to include "football's most prominent star players" in future NFL 2K games. 2K currently has "multiple football games in development" which will start launching in 2021, and this partnership will allow them to feature "the names, numbers, images and likenesses for over 2,000 current NFL players." [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/03/10/nfl-2k-isnt-really-coming-back-ign-now"] The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 2K President David Ismailer noted that the partnership will bring "the biggest and best stars in football" to 2K's upcoming NFL titles. "We want to give fans experiences that are authentic, memorable and fun, and having a roster of real-life sports heroes through The Players Association and OneTeam is a huge part of delivering on that promise." EA penned a deal with the NFL in December 2004 to make Madden the only series able to use NFL teams and player names, but this partnership suggests that officially licensed players will also feature in NFL 2K games going forward. 2K stated in March of this year that its NFL games will be "non-simulation football game experiences," with titles, developers and release dates to be announced at a later date. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter. View the full article
  10. Nintendo has promised to fix a game-breaking issue in Paper Mario: The Origami King that can keep players from progressing through the story. Light location spoilers for Paper Mario: The Origami King follow. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/05/14/paper-mario-the-origami-king-announcement-trailer"] On Mario and Olivia's journey to the last streamer in The Origami King, players have to collect four stamps for their Spring of Rainbows VIP card in the Shangri-Spa area. After you collect all four stamps from four different hot springs, you gain access to a secret fifth hot spring. However, once you enter the fifth hot spring, the Spring of Rainbows, you lose your VIP pass. And, the other four hot springs will not give Mario a second stamp, meaning it's impossible to regain the VIP pass after you've already used it. If you try to re-enter the Spring of Rainbows, Mario will once again be asked to show his VIP pass. So, if you leave the Spring of Rainbows before you accomplish your objective, you have no way to return to progress the story. Additionally, leaving the fifth spring automatically saves the game, effectively ruining your progress. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=paper-mario-the-origami-king-screenshots&captions=true"] In a statement to Polygon, a Nintendo representative said, "We are aware of reports about issues affecting some players of Paper Mario: The Origami King. We are working to resolve these issues and plan to address them in a software update. We apologize for any inconvenience." Nintendo did not say exactly when this issue will be fixed. So, for now, be sure to stay in the Spring of Rainbows until you accomplish your objective. If you want more details on this game-breaking issue, you can check out Nintendo Unity's video that walks through the process. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/07/15/paper-mario-the-origami-king-review"] For more on Paper Mario, you can read our Paper Mario: The Origami King review, where we said, "the latest game in the Paper Mario series delivers in some regards, but falls (unintentionally) flat in others." Or, you can read about how Paper Mario devs are no longer allowed to make new characters that "touch on the Mario universe." [poilib element="accentDivider"] Logan Plant is a news writer for IGN, and the Production Assistant for Nintendo Voice Chat, IGN's weekly Nintendo show. You can find him on Twitter at @LoganJPlant. View the full article
  11. UFC 3’s career mode was its biggest highlight, and with UFC 4, developer EA Vancouver is looking to double down on the mode with a new threefold focus of building confident players, making choices matter, and sticking to the authentic UFC experience. Building Confident Players One of the biggest challenges that UFC games face is teaching new players how to utilize the many different facets of mixed martial arts without completely overloading them with tutorials right out of the gate. UFC 4 is attempting to address this by making its career mode the primary onboarding process for the game. To accomplish this, UFC 4 introduces Coach Davis, a coach you meet during your very first amateur MMA fight who invites you to his gym and introduces you to the fundamentals of MMA. You’ll learn about the various disciplines of MMA, including boxing, kickboxing, jiu jitsu, and wrestling, and after each training session at the gym, you’ll face off against a fighter who specializes in that specific aspect of MMA. “One of the reasons why we added Coach Davis is because he takes you through the fundamentals in a much more measured [way],” said Creative Director Brian Hayes. “As opposed to trying to create a five-minute opening experience where we show you a hype video and then give you some pop-ups during gameplay to try and teach you all the myriad of controls involved with an MMA game, we decided to make the opening experience the introduction to Coach Davis, you jumping into your amateur career... and then use that experience to be a better onboarding tool to show you boxing, kickboxing, jiu jitsu, and wrestling.” Making Choices Matter Choices and consequences are central to UFC 4’s career mode, with your choices being the main driving force behind the direction your own personal story takes you. The career mode is unscripted, so no two players’ journeys will be exactly the same. Some of the biggest choices you make will be in your training camp. In UFC 4, to improve your fighter, all you have to do is fight. The more you use a specific move, whether it's in training camp or in an actual fight, the more that move will level up in real time. Leveling up a move not only improves its effectiveness, but it also rewards you with evolution points that you can spend on either attribute points or perks that could make you consume less stamina with every attack, give you faster hooks or faster kicks, and so on. To facilitate this fighter evolution system, you can choose specific sparring techniques in training camp, whether it be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, or Wrestling. Each sparring session is specifically focused on the moves related to that discipline, allowing you to best prepare for the upcoming fight. Also, this time around you won’t know what type of fighter you’re going up against just by looking at the fight contract. Instead you’ll have to choose to watch tape on a fighter if you want to know what their attributes are, their top five moves, or their overall style. The Authentic UFC Experience The final key focus of EA Vancouver in UFC 4 is to remain authentic to the actual UFC experience. That means that you begin on the amateur circuit, eventually make your way to the World Fighting Alliance (WFA), potentially make your way through Dana White’s Contender Series, and finally wind up in the UFC where your ultimate goal is to become not only a champion, but secure that Greatest of All Time (GOAT) status. To this end, you’re also given choices with regard to how your journey plays out. You now have the choice to decline fights if you feel like you’re not ready for them yet. You can even stay in the WFA for your entire career and never make the jump to the UFC if you want. Whatever choice you make has a consequence, though. If you decline a fight, the other fighter will drag you on social media, affecting your popularity; if you stay in the WFA, you’ll be able to improve your stats and skills, but you won’t get any closer to completing your GOAT goals; you can respond cordially to fighters and build a relationship that lets you eventually invite them to your gym and learn their moves; or you can taunt them and build hype for your eventual showdown. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=We%20wanted%20to%20make%20character%20choices%20matter%20more%20this%20year%20than%20in%20%5BUFC%203%5D%2C"] “We wanted to make character choices matter more this year than in [UFC 3],” said Career Mode Producer Raman Bassi. “[In UFC 3], a lot of the champions were set in stone and we built a rival story around them. In UFC 4, we wanted to break that open completely.” UFC 4 is set to release on August 14 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, with EA Access subscribers getting it a full week earlier on August 7. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Mitchell Saltzman is an Editorial Producer at IGN and would be terrible in a fight, but still loves UFC and Mixed Martial Arts nonetheless. View the full article
  12. Sports Interactive has announced that Football Manager 2021 is still coming this year, but will do so later than planned. Fans have been wondering about the whereabouts of Football Manager 2021 as word on it has been quiet. Studio director Miles Jacobson released a statement today to quell fans' fears on what that silence could mean, saying the game is still coming but will come out "a little later than we'd originally planned." Given the last five mainline Football Manager games have arrived in early November, it seems likely that this was the planned release window for this year's entry. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=21-football-manager-2020-screenshots&captions=true"] "What I can confirm today is that, despite all the problems going on in the world, there will be new Football Manager games released later this year," Jacobson said in a blog post. "They will be delivered a little later than we'd originally planned, but they'll have exceptionally strong feature sets...albeit different to those we thought we'd settled on back in January when I completed my 'dream feature set.'" Jacobson didn't expand on what that dream feature set would have been, nor what features have made it into the final version. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/04/29/euro-2020-in-football-manager-feat-football-ramble-daily-part-1"] Sports Interactive says it's taken a monumental effort to make Football Manager 2021's release possible this year and has required a lot of flexibility from the team. The game has changed scope on an almost "weekly basis" scaling both upward and downward, but Jacobson says it believes fans will appreciate all of the improvements and new features in this year's game. "Our games will be on more platforms and available on more stores than ever before when they're released later this year but, with regards to features and release dates, it's a little too early for us to talk about the specifics right now. Please cut us a little bit of slack and rest assured that we will once again deliver a set of games that provide hundreds of hours of entertainment and remain the best value for money on the market — and something to help you escape from the real world at the moment, at least for a while." While waiting for the latest iteration in the series, check out our thoughts on last year's game in our Football Manager 2020 review. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes. View the full article
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