It’s been over two years since miHoYo announced the Nintendo Switch port of Genshin Impact. News about the port has been sparse since then, but the company confirmed that the project is still in development on Thursday.
During the lengthy wait for the Switch port, some players began doubting the project’s eventual completion, theorizing that miHoYo had abandoned the project due to the Switch’s technical limitations. miHoYo, however, took to a statement to reassure players that the project is still in progress.
Screens – Genshin Impact
“The Switch version is still in development, and we will release more information as we progress further along,” a representative told GoNintendo.
No further details were provided by miHoYo regarding the upcoming port.
While the Switch port’s release date still remains unknown, the Genshin Impact team has been consistent in updating the game every six weeks (aside from a currently unexplained hiatus). Most recently, miHoYo introduced Version 2.6, which introduced the new character Kamisato Ayato and an expansion to Liyue called The Chasm. Version 2.6 also further fleshed out the story of the Kamisato Clan, a well-loved family from the in-game land of Inazuma.
Psychonauts studio Double Fine Productions has joined Bungie in expressing support for “essential healthcare rights” for women following the leak of a drafting ruling earlier this week that revealed US Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v Wade later this year.
“We at Double Fine Productions stand steadfast in our support of essential healthcare rights for all,” the studio said in a message on Twitter. “We firmly believe that a decision to overturn Roe vs Wade would deny people their human rights, and directly impact the lives, freedoms, and choices of everyone in this country.
“For those who are able we will encourage donating to an organization that will stand up for these rights.”
Issued in 1973, the Roe v Wade decision affirmed that women in the US have, with some restrictions, a constitutionally-protected right to abortion. The ruling was highly controversial and has faced criticism and concerted opposition in the half-century since, but has remained the law of the land. Earlier this week, however, a drafting ruling leaked to Politico revealed that the court intends to overturn the ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts subsequently confirmed that the leaked draft is legitimate, although not necessarily final.
We at Double Fine Productions stand steadfast in our support of essential healthcare rights for all. pic.twitter.com/WA5wdntaWKMay 6, 2022
Bungie was the first big game studio to speak out in support of Roe v Wade, saying that the plan to overturn the ruling “represents a blow to freedom in America and is a direct attack on human rights.” It also encouraged followers to donate to relevant charities, providing links to four:
Bungie faced some pushback from followers for stating its stance in favor of women’s healthcare, but so far the reaction to Double Fine’s tweet seems more broadly positive. That may be, at least in part, because Double Fine boss Tim Schafer has never been shy about expressing his opinions on current events and politics. During an address at the GDC Awards in 2019 (via Games Industry), for instance, he said “Fuck white supremacists,” adding, “I think it’s sad that racists and other hate peddlers feel safe in any space that’s remotely connected to videogames, and I think we all have an opportunity in our work, in our daily lives, and in our platforms big and small, to make it absolutely clear that we do not tolerate any of that crap.”
While Bungie and Double Fine have both encouraged their followers to donate to charities supporting women’s healthcare rights, neither studio has indicated whether it will make donations to support them directly. I’ve reached out to both studios for comment and will update if I receive a reply.
This weekend The Takedown, the French buddy cop action comedy starring Omar Sy (Lupin) and Laurent Lafitte (Elle), finally premieres on Netflix. That’s not all the streaming service has to offer, as the adaptation of Sarah Dessen’s 2009 YA romance book Along for the Ride, animated comedy Marmaduke starring Pete Davidson, and Hindi-language revenge thriller Thar are all debuting on Netflix this weekend.
Dear Evan Hansen is finally streaming on HBO Max after coming out on VOD last year, while two Finnish horror movies in the form of Hatching and The Twin are now available to stream on Hulu and Shudder, respectively. Aside from streaming releases, the latest Liam Neeson action film, Blacklight, and the period gangster drama The Outfit starring Mark Rylance are now available to rent on VOD.
To help you get a handle on what’s new and available, here are the new movies you can watch on streaming and VOD this weekend.
Omar Sy (Lupin) and Laurent Lafitte (Elle) once again team up for the Netflix buddy cop action comedy The Takedown. Set after the events of 2012’s On the Other Side of the Tracks, misfit cops Ousmane Diakité (Sy) and François Monge ( Lafitte) are reunited to investigate a criminal conspiracy that will take them all across France.
As a director, Leterrier knows how to have fun. He’s proven his flair for intricate setpieces in the manic magic heist movie Now You See Me and the martial-arts action movie Unleashed, which has Jet Li as an enforcer raised as a human attack dog. Leterrier blitzes his compositions with dynamic oranges, reds, and blues, giving his action a far more playful palette than the grunge-bleak aesthetics of modern action movies like The Adam Project or The 355. (Leterrier recently replaced Justin Lin as the director of the Fast & Furious franchise installment Fast X.)
Where to watch: Available to stream on Hulu
A Finnish horror movie that doubles as a satire of online culture, Hatching follows Tinja, a 12-year-old girl who has been the subject of her parents’ video blog for seemingly her entire life. When Tinja comes across a strange egg and brings it home, it quickly grows before … well, hatching into a creature nicknamed “Alli.”
But Alli is a mesmerizing presence that gives the film a cultish shivery center. Bergholm tells Polygon that she literally Googled the world’s best specialist in movie animatronics, then reached out to him about working on the film. That bold choice paid off: Her animatronics supervisor, Gustav Hoegen, came directly to this film from running practical creature-effects teams for Lucasfilm, on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Solo, The Last Jedi, Rogue One, and The Force Awakens. Her SFX makeup head, Conor O’Sullivan, comes with a similar pedigree, as half of the Oscar-nominated effects duo who gave Heath Ledger his grotesque leer as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Together, they and their teams make Alli hideously visceral, with the familiar weight and conviction of a practical effect instead of a CG effect. And Solalinna’s performance with the puppet is convincing and distressing. Together, they carry the movie past its weaker points to a memorable ending.
Adapted from the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical of the same name, Stephen Chbosky’s coming-of-age musical film Dear Evan Hansen stars Ben Platt as a high school senior with social anxiety disorder who embarks on a journey of self-discovery in the wake of the death of a classmate.
Platt’s technically accomplished, otherwise disastrous performance starts to make more sense as an act of compensation. His veiny, strangulated delivery while singing is the only way he can convey his inner turmoil, working against the wooden inertia of his posture and blocking. Director Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) similarly struggles to create a scale sufficient to fill the silver screen. At his corniest, he illustrates that Evan has gone viral by flinging a flurry of smartphone video responses through a black vacuum until they coalesce and form an Instagram photo. As Evan searches for hints of beauty in his school’s everyday drabness — Chbosky’s aesthetic could be fairly described as “the ‘before’ part of a commercial for mood-altering medication” — the film gets stuck in the banality he’s trying to escape.
Based on Sarah Dessen’s 2009 young adult romance novel, Along for the Ride follows Auden (Emma Pasarow), a sheltered young woman visiting her father in Colby Beach, California, the summer before attending college. There she meets Eli (Belmont Cameli), a mysterious boy who shares her insomniac nature. As they embark on nightly adventures around town together, Auden is challenged to live out her childhood dreams and forced to ask the tough question of what she, not her parents, wants out of her life.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
The 2022 computer-animated comedy Marmaduke tells the story of an abnormally large dog (Pete Davidson) who gets up to all kinds of messy mischief, tomfoolery, and comical hijinks. After going viral and being accused of being untrainable, the world’s greatest dog trainer endeavors to turn Marmaduke into a prize-winning pooch. Will the lovable hound manage to snatch the gold, or will he forever be known as a lost cause?
Where to watch: Available to stream on Netflix
Father-son duo Anil Kapoor and Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor star in Thar, a Hindi-language revenge thriller set near the India-Pakistan border during the 1980s. The latter plays Siddharth, a handsome antiques dealer on a mysterious mission to avenge his past, while the former plays Surekha Singh, a local cop investigating a recent string of killings in the region. When the paths of these two men intersect with one another, long-buried secrets will be unveiled and justice will be called into question.
Where to watch: Available to stream on Shudder
The second Finnish horror movie on the list this week (this one is in English, however) follows a couple who move to Sweden after the death of one of their twins. Their new setting is not as idyllic as they’d like, though, as they learn some startling truths that threaten to upend their family as they know it.
The latest in a long, long series of Liam Neeson-led action flicks, Blacklight stars Neeson as Travis Block, a government “fixer” with a particular set of skills that includes interrogating (i.e., beating people up) and infiltrating highly secured areas. When Block discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens, his daughter and granddaughter are abducted in order to coerce him into cooperating. Instead, he goes on a one-man killing spree against FBI Director Gabriel Robinson (Aidan Quinn) to get them back at any cost.
The 2021 crime drama The Outfit stars Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) as Leonard Burling, a master English tailor who serves clientele from all across Chicago, though most notably a family of vicious gangsters. When two murderers knock on the door of his corner shop and take him and his assistant, Mable (Zoey Deutch), hostage in exchange for a favor, Leonard finds himself thrust into a deadly contest of deception and murder that threatens to shine a light on his own long-buried past.
It’s midnight by the pier. I check I’m alone, feel nervously into my pocket and count the money with my fingers. It’s all there: 40 massive sacks of coins. Big pocket. I flip up the lid of the wheelie bin and dump the lot. 4 million bells erased from the universe and no one need ever know.
How did it come to this? Shovelling currency into the garbage in the dead of night? Well, you may not be aware that Animal Crossing: New Horizons‘ playtime materialism has spiralled into a greedy, underworld sub-game with a powerful pull, that Nintendo never planned to make. I had binned my integrity long before the bells. I wanted out.
For many people, spring is when Animal Crossing is in the air. Those early pandemic days were when we first stuck our heads in the desert island sand and let the fantasy cast us away. So I recently felt the itch to revisit my old home, confuse visitors with its weirdness, and see the new trinkets added in update 2.0.
My go-to site to browse the game’s catalogue is Nookazon – the unofficial item exchange for islanders wanting to trade but lacking a private community to do so. After all, I can quickly acquire anything listed, thanks to my fortune from the turnip boom of 2020.
I found that since 12 months ago, the NMT had halved in value against the bell. One reason was predictable, another unforeseen. A third event, though, was so calamitous that the entire Animal Crossing economy may collapse
Surprisingly, loads of interesting stuff had arrived since I last looked, so I started a shopping list to smarten up my paradise. As ever, furniture items originating randomly in the island shop were abundant and cheap – “cheap” being a few hundred thousand bells or so. With tens of millions in the bank, you don’t even think about it.
Villagers, however, remained the big-ticket status symbols. For the evergreen Raymond, say, bells won’t suffice. Nook Miles Tickets – a grind to obtain and of little use in-game – emerged early on in the game’s life cycle as a high-value currency. Last year, an inventory of 400 NMT was worth about 10 inventories of bells – 40 million. Since New Horizons requires you to carry, drop and pick up your trading currency one inventory slot at a time, and to fly between islands, disconnecting and reconnecting through an infuriating online play system to refresh your inventory, a 40-million bell trade was never tenable. NMTs solved that problem.
Now, I know this is all a very long way from the slow-life, lazy-days activity of “pure” Animal Crossing, so bear with me, but those playing the markets depend on occasional scores of a few million bells to sustain their wanton shopping practices. As perhaps it is for the real-life rich, money doesn’t mean anything to us – it’s a technicality we have to click through while just getting whatever we want.
However, I found that since 12 months ago, the NMT had halved in value against the bell. One reason was predictable, another unforeseen. A third event, though, was so calamitous a shock that the entire Animal Crossing economy may be about to collapse.
The first reason was that the market gradually flooded with NMT. Without much of a purpose in-game, NMTs never get used up; they just circulate between players, with the supply gradually increasing as players “mint” more by grinding. Bells, meanwhile, are consumed in-game by every player, spending millions on mortgages and island developments. Once spent in-game, bells are out of circulation, naturally limiting supply. Having foreseen this eventuality back in the boom days, I hedged my capital investments across bells and NMT to reduce risk. This paid off, and I came back this year to a healthy portfolio.
The unforeseen change, however, was the Automatic Bell Dispenser. The ABD is a new (as of 2.0) cash machine item that can be used by island visitors. The ABD removed the island-hopping from multi-inventory bell trades and rendered, say, a 12-million-bell trade suddenly viable. Bells grew in spending power through sheer practicality, improving their appeal to Nookazon traders, and reducing the demand for NMT.
So the market settled at about 50,000 bells to the NMT – until the third, cataclysmic event: “treasure islands”.
Treasure island owners hack their islands to load them with megastore rows of desirable goods, then open up for visitors to fill their pockets (often in exchange for Twitch engagement, meaning potential real-world cash). For many, including me, that crosses a line between manipulating Nintendo’s built-in gameplay and straight-up not really playing the game at all. Without even getting into Animal Crossing economics, it undermines the wholesome, hardworking aspirations of fellow castaways nicely swapping furniture.
But it’s kind of intriguing, don’t you think?
Of course – of course! – I would never seek out a treasure island. But, with increasing frequency, they came to me. A trader hanging out on my island offered a “free” visit. I saw several Nookazon profiles cheerily noting their 900-million-bell bank balances. Vibe: “I’m in the club – are you?” Two others offered to pay for major commodities trades with treasure island access instead of bells.
As my annual ACNH enthusiasm waned, I realised that, this time, I may never come back to the game. I felt I should explore one last aspect of its weird and wonderful player community. I stepped over the line.
Following Nookazon-chat instructions from a fellow trader, I inputted a dodgy dodo code and boarded the plane. Maybe, I thought, my game would be corrupted or, in one way or another, I’d get some merciless comeuppance. But having exhausted two years of enthusiasm for the game, I decided, so be it.
As my annual ACNH enthusiasm waned, I realised that, this time, I may never come back to the game. I felt I should explore one last aspect of its weird and wonderful player community. I stepped over the line.
The treasure island was a bizarre place. The terrain was levelled for neat aisles of items, categorised and clearly labelled. The language of ACNH is inescapably concrete and tangible: to get dodgy wares, you need to literally walk around and browse.
Another player was contemplating froggy chairs like a retiree comparing supermarket avocados. But, instructed by my Nookazon colleague, I skipped it all: I was to proceed directly to Nook’s Cranny, the island shop, collect exactly one stack of turnips, head in and sell them. The price offered was minus 65 million bells – bankruptcy, surely! There went nothing: I pressed ‘A’ and whispered goodbye to Animal Crossing.
But back home, I checked the ABD, and sure enough: a flabbergasting 999,999,999 bells. I wasn’t sure really what to do. With my fair-and-square 70 million from commodities trades, money was already no object. What difference now? In the end it was just an interesting experience.
“I think I’ll go and pay off someone’s mortgage,” I said in the Nookazon chat. “That’s nice,” came the reply, “I’m going to buy a 50-foot robot.” There was honesty in that.
When someone did visit to receive my charity, they told me their entire mortgage, that they dreamt of repaying, was – wait for it – 374,000 bells. What?! What an absurdly paltry amount! I would often have that much rattling around my pocket after a bit of shopping. It shamed me that I could have been paying off mortgages left, right and centre for the last couple of weeks. Here I was injecting dirty money into the innocent island economies of hard-grafting, as-Nintendo-intended players, sullying their escapism with my unseen greed, when I could easily have been a genuine Robin Hood all along.
There was no way to undo what I had done. Now, if I ever wanted to trade – my favourite part of the game, in case you hadn’t guessed – I would be weeing putrid hacked bells into the global pool. No way to undo it at all. Unless…
The Shoreside Redemption
Throwing a billion bells into the bin is not a small job. Thanks to that delightful one-inventory-load-at-a-time system, I needed to withdraw, carry and dump 250 lots of 4 million bells – at 39 seconds-a-pocketful. You do the maths.
Actually, allow me: it’s three hours’ rote clicking.
I don’t know if that act of penitence can amount to my absolution, but in any case it would take more than just my billion to rescue the Nookazon economy. As of now, the NMT has sky-rocketed to year-ago prices. More troubling is that substantial trades are perilously scarce. With so many bells sloshing around, no one wants any more of them. The kind of people who have hundreds of NMT to trade away are no longer seeking cash. Most big NMT listings are asking for collections of items the sellers are seeking, effectively amounting to personal shopping requests.
So what does the future hold? This diminished fungibility of NMT will affect their value; gold and wood may return as reliable commodities, or the whole capitalist trading culture may simply collapse in on itself. Perhaps from the rubble will emerge a more humble custom of bartering items for items – things actually to be used, not stockpiled. In turn, treasure islands will lose their appeal, as merely amassing wealth does less good.
Having scrabbled into the darkest grottos of greed, I won’t pretend my own tropical paradise could ever be so innocent, but I hope players of purer heart will be left with the game Nintendo set out to create.
Here in Minnesota, where many of the Game Informer staff is based, the weather is beginning to warm up. No more cold days and even colder nights, and, most importantly, no more snow! We’ve had quite the week at work, with Star Wars day bringing the force on Tuesday, Jay Guisao reviewed Switch Sports (give it a read here), and the biggest news of the week: Square Enix is selling off most of its western studios to the ever-growing Embracer Group. After this whirlwind of a week, we’re ready to close our laptops and enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures, or shimmy into a dark, cool movie theater and see what horrors lie in the Marvel multiverse.
Here’s what the GI staff has planned for the coming weekend:
Alex Stadnik – I was so ready to come in hot and talk all this mess about how I’m not playing games this weekend because of how nice it is in Minneapolis. But then my buddy Joe “King” Iverson put me on to this little game called Rogue Legacy 2. I’ve dedicated my nights to it since and plan to continue that trend into the wee hours of the weekend. Outside of that, I’ll probably find a Dr. Strange showtime, and I’ll be celebrating my mom and grandma on Sunday. Hot take: Mom’s are pretty great.
Wesley LeBlanc – I have a pretty packed weekend already planned, and sadly, not much of it will consist of gaming. When I do have the chance to kick back with a controller, I’ll probably continue making my way through GTAV. I just recently played through the Trevor torture mission, and wow, uhhh what the hell. That was a lottttttt, ha. My nephew, who just started playing video games last year, has a flag football game tonight, and I’m going to surprise him with Luigi’s Mansion 3 because he’s been dying to play it, so that’ll be neat. Other than that, I hope to hit the theaters to check out Multiverse of Madness! I’m getting anxious that someone will spoil it for me, so I’m hoping to see it ASAP! Hope you have a great weekend!
John Carson – I must have brought West Coast weather back with me from LA because it’s beautiful outside in Minnesota this weekend! I’ll be spending my time visiting a brewery this weekend to sling some spells with my Magic Commander group, picking up Xenoblade Chronicles again, and spending time with my family for Mother’s Day on Sunday. Oh, and I’ll try to see Dr. Strange at some point!
Jill Grodt – I still have a lot of things on my backlog to play, but I’ll probably dive back into Loot River for a few more loops. I’m sure it’ll just be a quick session. I totally won’t look up and realize hours have passed. Nope. That never happens.
Brian Shea – This weekend, I’m going to be quarantining after a close contact COVID exposure, so I should have plenty of gaming time. I’m going to continue my MLB The Show 22 time, plus my playthrough of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. I’ve been in the middle of my Star Wars rewatch, so I’m kind of in the mood to finally boot up Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
Alex Van Aken – This weekend, I begin the arduous journey to my new apartment. However, it’s only three blocks away, and I get the pleasure of living on the same hallway as Alex Stadnik. I have nearly a month to move, though, so I plan to spend my free moments playing games! I am having a great time playing the Overwatch 2 Technical Alpha, and soaking in all of the new character changes, maps, etc. Sojourn, the newest DPS hero, is a blast. I especially love her ability to transition from power sliding into a high jump. Lastly, I plan to continue experimenting with Blender and Unity 3D.
Marcus Stewart – Tonight, I’m opening a portal to my local theater to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Once I’ve come down from the high of what’s sure to be a mind-blowing superhero romp, Elden Ring will likely continue to completely usurp my weekend gaming plans. I’m 120 hours in and continue to make significant new discoveries that demand my undivided attention. If I can pull myself away from the Lands Between long enough, I’d like to try a few more runs of Loot River and Rogue Legacy 2.
What kind of shenanigans are you getting up to this weekend? Are you cramming into a packed theater to watch the new Marvel flick? Will you be celebrating Mother’s Day? How much time are you going to be spending outside in the great weather if you have it this weekend? Let us know your plans in the comments below!
Following comments last week that Final Fantasy 16 was in the “final stages” of development, producer Naoki Yoshida has offered a further progress update, confirming, among other things, that a new trailer for the long-awaited JRPG is expected to release soon.
Previously, Yoshida had told Uniqlo’s UT magazine – where he was featured to promote a new Final Fantasy t-shirt line – that Final Fantasy 16 was “in the final stages of development” and that the team hoped to deliver a “comprehensive” experience “full of story and gameplay”.
In new comments made during a Nier Reincarnation and Final Fantasy 14 crossover livestream, as translated by Twitch streamer Audrey (thanks Polygon), Yoshida joked to interviewer and Nier producer Yosuke Saito that Square Enix’s American PR team “got mad” at him following the Uniqlo comments. Undeterred though, Yoshida was willing to speak a little further on Final Fantasy 16’s progress, saying the game is “greatly coming together” but that he wants the development team to spend more time on polishing the experience.
At the start of this year, Yoshida told fans that Final Fantasy 16 – which has been heavily delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – would gets its next reveal this spring, and he’s now explained that while the team has been working on a new trailer as part of the reveal, it was ultimately delayed due to a number of unspecified factors. The good news, though, is that work on the trailer is said to be complete and it should be releasing “soon”.
With development on Final Fantasy 16 seemingly in its final stages, one key piece of the puzzle we’re still missing is a date for its arrival on PS5. Will that be part of Square Enix’s apparently imminent next big reveal? Hopefully it won’t be long until we know more.
In its first closed alpha test, Marauders takes the “extract and survive” concept from games like The Cycle and tweaks it into a formula that has the potential to replace your favorite survival shooter. Its moment-to-moment gunplay is straightforward and satisfying, serving as the base for which all of its other more eccentric systems flourish. Some things, like its ship-to-ship combat, could use some calibration, but as a whole, the life of space piracy is promising one.
Your goal in any given round of Marauders is to pull off a successful pirate raid in one of a handful of areas. I came across two in my time with the alpha so far” the abandoned space station and the derelict iridium mine. I appreciated how different each location looked, but without a minimap they both can feel equally labyrinthine. It takes a good amount of reps to learn to get to the various different landmarks within each map, and wandering around lost in claustrophobic caves and tiny catwalks is a quick way to get dead.
Marauders – First Screenshots
A raid happens in three parts. Part one is after you gear up and take to your ship, either solo or with a crew. When you load into a game, you’ll need to fly it across an expanse of space to get to the raid location. You’re not alone in this trek, though. Other ships with other crews are flying around as well. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a simple sprint to the raid location. I wasn’t very lucky most of the time, as I was constantly outrunning enemy fire, and on occasion returning it against other marauder crews. Maybe it’s because we all have the same sad dinghy of a spacecraft, with the same mediocre weaponry and maneuverability, but these dogfights often turned into unimpressive stalemates where we’d strafe and shoot until the other ship was inoperable.
When your ship is down for the count and unrepairable, you can eject into an escape pod to either live to fight another day, or board enemy ships by breaching them. Breaches are bold maneuvers that always felt intense and rewarding as a last resort. If it weren’t for the fact that the ship you’re ejecting from is basically lost to you afterwards, I’d probably skip the space fights completely and go straight to the breaching.
Once you make it safely to the target location, the raiding can begin. What that actually means is largely up to you. Maybe that means tiptoeing around corridors, filling your limited inventory space with whatever loot you can find. Or maybe it’s sprinting through the halls, putting your weapons to work against other players and picking their bodies clean afterwards. If you picked up a faction quest before heading out, it’s finding a specific sort of item or a target location on the map.
I found that being goal-oriented was the best way to make progress in what can be a very unforgiving loop. Should you die, everything on you is lost to the void, making every trip as risky as the attachment you have to the stuff on your person. I’d dedicate whole trips just to sticking whatever I could find in the closest room and getting out as quickly as possible, traveling light so that if I got caught and killed, I didn’t lose that much.
I found that gunfights in Marauders struck a happy middle ground between Escape from Tarkov and Hunt: Showdown.
This might not sound that foreign to people who play games like Escape from Tarkov or Hunt: Showdown with any regularity. But when it’s time to throw down, I found that gunfights in Marauders struck a happy middle ground between them. There’s no individual limb health to worry about, so no micromanaging after taking a stray bullet. Weapons are old-timey, but reloading and recoil aren’t obnoxiously finicky, so shooting feels solid and consistent. Ammo is scarce, but also pretty lethal, as it doesn’t take more than a few hits to put enemies down.
After filling your pockets, killing your ops, or completing your missions, you have to get back home safely or it’s all for naught. Returning to the dock where your ship is parked is one way, but if you can’t find it, you can escape via a breach pod – at the expense of your ship. Then, it’s back through space for a tense flight to one of the exit gates on the perimeter of the map. You’re finally safe to stash your loot, re-up on supplies with the rotating faction vendor, craft new items, and upgrade your weapons, all to prepare for the next raid.
The Marauders alpha has been a great proof of concept for moving the subgenre of multiplayer survival shooters that Day Z started into new and interesting territory. My limited time with the current build was frantic, tense, and a ton of fun. I’ll be keeping a close eye on how this vision of multiplayer space piracy develops in the future.
Greetings, brave astronauts! We are super excited to share some early details of our new title, the cinematic adventure game Deliver Us Mars, which will be coming soon to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
As a studio we’ve truly been on an incredible journey these past few years and we’re pleased that so many of you took our debut game, 2019’s Deliver Us The Moon, into your hearts. We always knew that our next game had to be bigger and bolder than what had come before. The scale of our ambition as a team is constantly growing, spurred on and inspired by some of the most memorable games to come to PlayStation over the last decade – not least Naughty Dog’s masterpiece, The Last of Us Part II.
For the past several years, our team at Keoken has quietly been hand-crafting Deliver Us Mars to combine the grandeur of a save-the-world sci-fi epic with a personal story and heartfelt motivations. We wanted to pick a setting for our game that reflects our lofty goals for the project. In our own reality, humanity faces huge challenges in the face of climate change. As the space agencies (and some wealthy individuals) have well and truly turned their eyes to Mars, so too have we.
In Deliver Us Mars, which is set ten years after the Fortuna mission in Deliver Us The Moon, humanity is closer than ever to extinction. As part of the crew of the Zephyr, your protagonist’s goal is to retrieve three stolen colony ships from the Red Planet, in order to ensure the continued survival of the human race on Earth. Players will explore Mars as they uncover the origins of a mysterious distress signal that led the crew there.
This next level of storytelling demanded that we take the series to new frontiers. For the first time, we have a fully motion-captured cast to enhance the emotional impact of the story, and we’re giving players new and improved gameplay mechanics including a whole traversal system, inspired by PlayStation classics like Tomb Raider and Uncharted. On top of all of that, we’ll be offering truly next-gen visual fidelity with the support of real-time ray traced shadows and reflections on the PS5.
Mars is the next frontier, an unexplored world with limitless storytelling potential. You’ll get to explore the surface of the Red Planet like never before, encountering not only the dusty plains that are synonymous with our view of Mars but also icy craters and canyons, as you unravel the mystery at the heart of the game.
We always wanted to be astronauts. Sadly, we never made it, so instead we created a game with the hope to inspire others to look to the stars – who knows, maybe one of you reading this might make the journey to Mars yourself one day! We hope you enjoy your first glimpse of Deliver Us Mars’ development in this video, and we can’t wait to share more with you over the coming months.
Star Citizen has been in development for well over a decade now, during which time it has raised more than $450 million in crowdfunding, and if you’re wondering why it’s still in an alpha state after all that time and money, the latest update from developer Cloud Imperium Games might hold a clue.
It all comes down to something called “bedsheet deformation,” which is exactly what it sounds like: Ensuring that blankets on beds are mussed up accurately, just like they would be in real life. This is important because the “sleep and bed relaxation” element of Squadron 42, the singleplayer portion of Star Citizen, was recently updated so NPCs are now able to find and enter their beds, and then sleep until they’re scheduled to get up.
“We knew early on that, to hit the fidelity we expect for Sq42, we would need to do some R&D on bedsheet deformation,” the AI Content team explained, apparently straight-faced. “This work is currently underway and, if successful, will allow the AI to deform their sheets when entering, exiting, or sleeping inside them. This is a challenging assignment and expands the complexity of the feature. For example, what happens to the sheets if the AI needs to exit the bed in an emergency?”
That’s certainly a concern, I guess, although to be honest I suspect that in the midst of a crisis like an alien attack or a catastrophic blowout, I wouldn’t be spending too much of my time looking to see how believable the NPC sleeping quarters are. Based on reactions to the update on Reddit, it seems that quite a few Star Citizen players feel the same way:
🚀 “what the actual fuck lmao this game was supposed to be out years ago and they’re implementing fucking BEDSHEET DEFORMATION?? I’m done lol” – torvi97
🚀 “R&D on bedsheet deformation….for a game that is 10 years overdue. That’s the ‘fidelity’ that players are waiting for? I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this is a feature I can safely say we could wait for the patch in 2083.” – InconspicuousBastard
🚀 “Is this a joke? No wonder they can’t finish this thing. Pointless feature creep at its most extreme.” – Valerian_II
🚀 “How about just GETTING THE GODDAMN GAME OUT THE DOOR before worrying about how a fricking BEDSHEET will deform.” – BotdogX
🚀 “I thought Rockstar shrinking horse balls were ridiculous already but that’s a new level of uselessness.” – Radulno
🚀 “Do sheets with different thread counts deform in a consistent way, or does the physics model need to be able to deal with Egyptian cotton separately?” – Ancillas
🚀 “Well congratulations you just set the game back two weeks” – ryhaltswhiskey, replying to Ancillas
Some of the unhappiness seems to stem from the fact that the new bedsheet system is the very first thing listed in the briefing, which some readers may have taken as a sign of its priority. In fact, the updates are ordered alphabetically, by team, and AI Content just happens to come first. There’s plenty of other activity going on: The Animation team, for instance, worked on improvements to facial animations for several characters, while the Gameplay Story team updated several scenes in chapter one with new motion capture.
Most of that work, though, seems like it will have some material impact on the game. Bedsheet deformation? Not so much. Immersion is certainly a worthwhile goal but at some point I feel like it might be the sort of thing that you could sacrifice in favor of, you know, some focus.
Even though neither Star Citizen nor Squadron 42 are out yet, Cloud Imperium began talking about potential sequels earlier this year. In February, the studio also reworked its development roadmap—ironically, to avoid “distractions” from unhappy followers.
French actor Omar Sy is having a moment, and it’s been a long time coming. Even since his breakout role in the critical hit The Intouchables, Sy has spent the last decade bouncing between minor supporting roles in American blockbusters (X-Men: Days of Future Past and Jurassic World) and providing French overdubs for animated films (The Angry Birds Movie and Soul). He did find success in his native France, starring in the crime film On the Other Side of the Tracks. But it wasn’t until his lead part as the irresistible, titular gentleman thief in the Netflix heist series Lupin that he found a second wave.
Now he’s riding that crest as a similarly charming character in a sequel to On the Other Side of the Tracks, the Louis Leterrier-directed buddy-cop movie The Takedown. In this film, Leterrier’s first French-language feature, Sy returns as Captain Ousmane Diakhité, a rising star in the Parisian police force who gains greater notoriety after he busts an MMA fight, taking down a brawny pugilist in the process, and video of the action goes viral.
His crime-solving skills are tested, however, when a decapitated torso mysteriously appears on a train. It’s discovered by Diakhité’s vain former partner, François Monge (Laurent Lafitte). In spite of François’s rich cologne and tailored clothes, he’s just a regular officer relegated to a precinct after several attempts to apply for a promotion. He sees this case as his big break, and he teams with Diakhité to venture into a racist French enclave to solve the murder.
As a director, Leterrier knows how to have fun. He’s proven his flair for intricate set-pieces in the manic magic heist movie Now You See Me and the martial-arts action movie Unleashed, which has Jet Li as an enforcer raised as a human attack dog. Leterrier blitzes his compositions with dynamic oranges, reds, and blues, giving his action a far more playful palette than the grunge-bleak aesthetics of modern action movies like The Adam Project or The 355. (Leterrier recently replaced Justin Lin as the director of the Fast & Furious franchise installment Fast X.)
The actors provide a spark, too. Sy and Lafitte share a good give-and-go spirit, with their characters trading barbs about their respective love lives and career successes. Those jokes find further laughs as the narrative develops. In a small town, Ousmane and François team up with local cop Alice (French rock star Izïa Higelin), who’s a bit of a blank slate as a prototypical love interest with very little personality. She barely draws any attention in comparison to flamboyant ladies’ man François and the bewitching Ousmane. Still, the trio mine gags as Ousmane and François compete to prove who’s the better detective.
Sometimes The Takedown seems to be enjoying itself too much. A pursuit for a suspect through a laser-tag maze devolves into a go-kart chase through a shopping mall, all of which consumes far too much time. Likewise, a final race in an orange Jeep, over hill and dale and between mountain passes, loses a morsel of fun with every tedious turn. Somewhere in the two-hour run time is a tight, thrilling 90 minutes. But too much fat suffocates the potential.
The excess run time particularly makes little sense in a film with so few narrative surprises. We know who the bad guy is and what mole will betray Ousmane and François early on in the movie, which leaves Sy and Lafitte to keep the proceedings revved up anyway. Thankfully, Sy in particular can handle the load. Even as the script relies on tawdry, underdeveloped gay-panic jokes, his affable and innocent persona delivers these unsteady beats with aplomb. And his physicality, as at home in bruising fight sequences as he is in light flirtations with Izïa, raises the question of what kind of James Bond he’d be, if the thought of a French actor playing the English spy wouldn’t make Brits queasy.
The primary surprises in The Takedown come from the way such a jovial adventure trades in heavy political themes. Ousmane contends with tokenism within the Parisian police department as they try to make him a recruitment tool. For laughs, François laments over how hard it is for a rich, white male to succeed in this world.
Stéphane Kazandjian’s script is often too simplistic to make those racial themes land effectively. The town’s villainous white fascist mayor (Dimitri Storoge) is totemic of the other real-life populist governments sweeping across Europe. In lieu of stronger screenwriting, Storoge plays the mayor broadly as a vile man with terrible intentions — in particular, he wants to rid France of non-white refugees. That goal, while sickening, doesn’t add a particularly palpable sinister edge to the story. Instead, this mayor is a dull, anticlimactic adversary. If more thought was dedicated to these themes, perhaps they’d discover their intended gravity.
In spite of a few more red herrings and the lack of suspense, Sy and Lafitte still carry the day. They give the story a kinetic energy and a loose rhythm, which makes the narrative’s meandering more palatable, even as it fails to break out of the familiar action-flick mold. If you’re missing the days when this kind of broad action crime story had colorful visions and lovable leads, The Takedown might provide a temporary fix.