Graveyard Keeper DLC Stranger Sins Releases

Graveyard Keeper’s brand new DLC, Stranger Sins, releases today adding several hours of content and a bar to run.

The game’s Steam page promises 4 to 8 more hours of game-play, the ability to run your own tavern, new quests and character from NPC’s, background story from 200 years ago and more. Lazy Bear Games and tinyBuild’s game is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch and the DLC is out on all platforms starting today.

Read our review of the original PC release here, and expect our review of the Stranger Sins DLC soon!

Sony Announces Next Console Called PlayStation 5 and Details Controller Changes

Sony has confirmed its next generation console will be called the PlayStation 5 and discussed some controller changes as well.

Sony confirmed the PS5 name and release date before Holiday 2020 on its own blog. It also detailed two big changes for the controller in the form of haptic feedback to simulate different gameplay experiences. The other change called adaptive triggers, allows developers to program resistance into the L2 and R2 triggers to react differently to things like driving off-road or pulling a bowstring.

The most detail was released in a Wired article this morning which went a little more into the console hardware itself. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan discussed ray tracing, the solid state drive, and more details on the controller.

The PS5 UI will allow players to preview multiplayer and single player content before starting the game and to download and even delete each part separately. The Wired article also mentions the controller has an improved speaker and a USB Type-C connector. The controller was apparently identical to a PS4 controller (minus the details mentioned above) but I’m hoping the controller will get a cosmetic and ergonomic overhaul before the PS5 launches.

Check out the Wired article above for more details on the controller batter, a discussion with a developer from Bluepoint Games (of last years Shadow of the Colossus remake), and a little more info on what the SSD means for the PlayStation 5.

Sony Cross-Play Available to All Games

In yesterday’s Wired article announcing the price drop of PlayStation Now, an interesting bit at the end apparently also announced cross-play is available to all games.

While the focus of the article was the big changes that came to PS Now, like God of War and other major first party games now available on the service, cross-play is discussed at the end. Wired states that “PS4’s cross-play efforts have officially moved out of the beta stage”, strangely with no announcement from Sony.

While cross-play on PS4 has been available for Fortnite and Rocket League for a while this means any game can theoretically do it. PUBG immediately took advantage of the end of the beta and announced the update was live yesterday. With Call of Duty Modern Warfare offering the feature at launch it’s likely many other games will start to add it soon.

As for the PS Now change, the service is available for $59.99 a year now, down from $99.99 previously. The monthly version is down from $20 to $9.99. The previously mentioned God of War, Infamous: Second Son, Uncharted 4, and GTA V were all also made available to download or stream.

Sony Finally Buys Insomniac Games

While many may have thought Sony already had Insomniac games, PlayStation announced via Twitter today it has formally acquired the Spider-Man developer.

Despite having worked with Sony for over 20 years, starting with Spyro the Dragon in 1998, Insomniac was an independent developer for over 25 years. Many of their games have been developed exclusively for PlayStation. The studio had branched out with a few games recently though, most notably Sunset Overdrive which was exclusive to the Xbox One.

Check out the press release from Sony for more info and bit more about the history between the two companies.

Developer Quantic Dream goes Multi-platform

In an interview with Dualshockers, David Cage of Quantic Dream has indicated the publishers desire to move on from Playstation.

The studio recently released Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls with Detroit: Become Human coming soon on the Epic Games store. It’s the first time the games are available on a platform that isn’t PlayStation. The move seems to be indicative of Quantic Dream’s plans. Cage says they want to “work on different platforms” to reach a wider audience.

And while they’ve been looking to move on from PlayStation since “around two years before the release of Detriot” the split appears to have been amicable. Cage mentions “we always had a great relationship with Sony PlayStation”. After approaching Sony to talk about releasing their games elsewhere, PlayStation had no problem with the idea.

Cage finishes by saying Quantic Dream is “not exclusive to any platform anymore”. He doesn’t rule out the possibility of exclusivity deals but for now their games will release on “all platforms”.

The Last of Us Part II Release Date and Editions Possibly Leaked

It’s long been rumored The Last of Us Part II will release February 2020 and a new leak further fuels that rumor and gives additional details on several editions of the game.

The news comes from gaming forum ResetERA where Senior Analyst at Niko Investors ZhugeEX confirmed the February 2020 release. ZhugeEX also mentions there will be four editions of the game coming out as well. The obvious standard, special and collector’s editions are pretty standard nowadays. The fourth is the Ellie Edition. There aren’t any details on what each edition includes though. I’d look to Days Gone and Death Stranding editions for an idea of what to expect.

What makes this seemingly random forum post newsworthy is it comes from the same leaker who gave us the Death Stranding release date and edition details before. But even though that leak was true take all of this with a grain of salt. Leakers have been wrong before and it is the internet. But until Sony and Naughty Dog give us any more info, it’s exciting to possibly have an idea of when to expect this highly anticipated sequel.

Review of James Bond 007: From Russia with Love — We will win this for Mother Russia…And MI6

It’s no secret that when a game company acquires a license to make games based on a movie franchise, the devs will do anything to make some extra dough before the next film is released. Take Electronic Arts and the 007 franchise, for instance. A year after Everything or Nothing took to the shelves, the next film in the Bond franchise was still training at the MI6 HQ, so EA decided to take what they had built in the 2004 action game and do a little refining. But instead of writing an original story, they pulled a slick trick and chose to turn the clock all the way back to the 1960s. So how does James Bond 007: From Russia with Love fare at going from 60s cinema to third-person shooting? Let’s hop into our trusty Aston Martins and find out.

Strike, double, Turkey (The country)

The story follows that of the second James Bond film, although there are some tweaks due to legal/licensing reasons. The famous MI6 agent is attending a party as part of one of his usual assignments. While Bond is ordering his usual shaken-not-stirred martini, an evil organization called OCTOPUS crashes the party and abducts Elizabeth Stark, daughter of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. After the obligatory rescue mission, Bond learns that OCTOPUS is looking to steal an encoding device called the Lektor. Armed with the usual arsenal of cars and gadgets, it’s up to good ol’ 007 to be the true sharpshooter he is and return the Lektor in one piece.

As I mentioned, From Russia with Love is a refinement of the excellent Everything or Nothing. It still relies on cover-and-shoot gameplay, but makes some adjustments to the controls and adds new moves. You have a new ability called Bond Focus, which allows you to shoot even the smallest targets, like walkie-talkies. Melee attacks have now turned into quick-time events, initiated whenever you run towards an enemy. Your range of weapons, gadgets, outfits, and vehicles all reflect the 1960s era of the James Bond franchise, the first two of which can be upgraded by spending experience points.

Love is in the air

From Russia with Love is packed with enthralling missions, and not a single level disappoints in the graphics department. Being a 2005 sixth-gen game, there can occasionally be slowdown because of things like multiple explosions, but the graphics engine is still full of well-produced lighting and textures. Also joining you on your journey is a truckload of satisfactory audio. The soundtrack has a laundry list of fitting melodies, and you will constantly hear above-average voice-acting from popular names like Sean Connery, Natasha Bedingfield, and Maria Menounos.

If you want to bring your friends along for 1960s-era deathmatches, From Russia with Love will grant your wish. You get a hefty number of characters and maps, and there are two other game types other than your standard match. Sabotage is a contest to see who is the best at detonating and disarming bombs, and Dogfight is a match type where you’re constantly airborne via jetpack.

I believe in a thing called love

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I believe EA did a wonderful job taking gamers back to the beginning decade of the James Bond franchise. Going into this game expecting GoldenEye will fill you with disappointment, but you should be able to enjoy From Russia with Love if you like third-person action games of any kind. Put that martini on the coaster and get to sharpshooting!