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Lords of the Fallen 2 has new developer

Lords of the Fallen 2 is happening, and a new developer, Defiant Studios has joined forces with CI Games to make it.

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Lords of the Fallen 2 is happening, and a new developer has joined forces with CI Games to make it.

That developer is Defiant Studios, a small studio based in New York. A number of Avalanche Studios’ founders created the company after the release of Just Cause 3. As LinkedIn has it, the company has between eleven and fifty employees.

On the subject of the Defiant Studios, CI Games boss Marek Tymiński said:

“We talked to a number of globally respected studios that had shown a strong interest in making the next LOTF, and received several solid pitches. We finally decided to move forward with Defiant because we were impressed with their game concept, production expertise, and the pedigree of their developers.”

The head of the studio at Defiant said:

“Our team has been excited about the chance to make the next LOTF from the moment we started to work on our pitch for CI. We are particularly thrilled about the creative freedom that CI Games is willing to offer.”

Lords of the Fallen was a souls-like released in 2014 to pretty solid reviews. Deck 13 Interactive developed it, who went on to make another souls-like, The Surge, and are currently working on its sequel.

Lords of the Fallen 2 doesn’t yet have a release date, but it is coming to consoles and PC.


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Josh is a freelance writer. You’ll find him banging on about the vertices between games and film and music and poetry and books, but don’t let that put you off. He likes games. He likes writing. He also gets the biscuits in.

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Is Ghost of Tsushima worth playing?

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Ghost of Tsushima - Playstation 4
Sucker Punch Productions

Ghost of Tsushima is an ambitious open-world action game from Sucker Punch Productions. That studio’s track record and the game’s release window have positioned it as a swan song for the PS4. But does Sony’s eighth generation console go out on a high note?

Sucker Punch Productions has produced hits for Sony since the early days of the PS2. The studio came on the scene with Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, then as Sony’s teams moved away from the mascot platformer in the PS3 era, Sucker Punch transitioned to the gritty superhero series, Infamous. It has been six years since the studio’s last game, Infamous Second Son, helped launch the PS4 — releasing a few months into the console’s life. But, has the studio put the past half-decade and change to good use?

Here is our pick of the game’s reviews.

Ghost of Tsushima review round-up

GameSpot

“Ghost of Tsushima‘s story hits hard in the game’s third and final act, and ends in spectacular fashion. It left me with the same kinds of strong emotions I felt at the end of all my favourite samurai film epics, and had me eager to watch them all again. The game hits a lot of fantastic cinematic highs, and those ultimately lift it above the trappings of its familiar open-world quest design and all the innate weaknesses that come with it–but those imperfections and dull edges are definitely still there. Ghost of Tsushima is at its best when you’re riding your horse and taking in the beautiful world on your own terms, armed with a sword and a screenshot button, allowing the environmental cues and your own curiosity to guide you. It’s not quite a Criterion classic, but a lot of the time it sure looks like one.

7/10 – Review by Edmond Tran

The Washington Post

Ghost of Tsushima is disappointing if you’re going to compare it to some of the greatest cinematic works ever made. But as fallout from this misguided ambition, Ghost is also a wonderful culmination of the best ideas of open-world adventures of the last two console generations, all wrapped up in very pretty, albeit superficial, samurai clothing. It’s a great Xbox 360 game, and I mean that as a compliment.

Not Scored – Review by Gene Park

Game Informer

“Most great games stand on the shoulders of their predecessors. Ghost of Tsushima unabashedly borrows many of its strongest features from other open-world adventures, and executes on them with skill. The game owes a tremendous debt to the Assassin’s Creed games; in many ways, Ghost of Tsushima feels like an entry in that franchise set in Japan – something that fans have longed for. But it’s unfair to paint Sucker Punch’s immense samurai epic as a copycat. By tapping into Japanese art, history, and culture, as well as the samurai film tradition that followed, Ghost of Tsushima finds a wholly original tone within the gaming landscape. Across an especially vast adventure, players are treated to a tale about the contradictory ideals of honor and revenge, and one in which tense katana duels and quiet moments of reflection claim equal focus.”

9.5/10 – Review by Matt Miller

Polygon

“Ghost of Tsushima has a distinctive aesthetic, after all, but it’s only skin-deep. The core game underneath that alluring exterior is a pastiche of open-world game design standards from five years ago; it lacks a real personality of its own. Ghost of Tsushima offers a lovely world to explore, and there’s value in that, but it should have been so much more than a checklist of activities to accomplish.”

Not scored – Review by Carolyn Petit

The Guardian

“Ghost of Tsushima offers some elegant solutions to the superficial problems with huge, open games like this. Instead of little icons and mini-maps cluttering up the screen and making you feel like you’re playing a satnav, brushing a thumb across the controller’s touch-pad summons a wind that ripples the long grass and guides you to your next destination. Instead of map markers, you can follow golden birds towards interesting places – that is, if they don’t get stuck up against a building or a cliff and disappear.

Other, deeper problems remain, however: repetition, bloat, and boredom. Ghost of Tsushima follows a dispiritingly familiar trajectory of a frustrating first few hours, where enemies are powerful and everything is difficult; an exciting middle act where the game feels thrillingly conquerable; and a tedious latter half where enemies fall like skittles before you. Later-game character upgrades let you automatically parry sword strikes or stagger enemies in a couple of swipes, with the counterproductive consequence that the longer you play for, the less skill is required to prevail. Before very long, I was thoughtlessly tearing through 10 Mongols at a time instead of thinning them out carefully before confronting the final few in a true samurai stand-off.”

3/5 – Review by Keza MacDonald

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Videogamer

“I am pleased to report that there were days, in the last couple of weeks, on which I woke excited at the prospect of playing—at dipping back into the fantasy. If your adventuring eyes are tired, I recommend it as I would a cold towel. You’re never as happy as when you’re lost in the early languor—which blankets the most enticing open worlds like a mist, before burning off under the hissing pressure of a plot. The game may never have been as sweet as it was in the first of the three main areas, but, to its credit, that’s because I was swept along by the story.”

8/10 – Review by Josh Wise

Vice

“It’s a game where so many individual components feel really good, but it’s all dropped into outdated structure.

Fans of photo modes (and HDR) will have a field day with Ghost of Tsushima, but its striking world masks an otherwise derivative take on an open world style we’ve seen a lot. The pieces that work—the tragically underused and very intense duels, a markedly good combat system (especially by open world standards), the wind gusting as a travel guide—provide a glimpse at a different game that might have found a way to weave everything together.”

But it frequently doesn’t, falling into the category of a pretty good one of those whose longterm appeal likely has more to do with your affinity for its setting than anything else, even as it occasionally tosses a smart idea your way that makes you think it’ll turn a corner.

Not scored – Review by Patrick Klepek

Other publications

  • IGN – 9/10
  • Trusted Reviews – 4/5
  • PlayStation LifeStyle – 9/10
  • VGC – 3/5
  • NME – 4/5

Title: Ghost of Tsushima
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release date: July 17, 2020
Platform: PlayStation 4


Visit our new releases pages for more on this week’s new video games.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Save up to 90% in five massive Xbox One sales

Five new Xbox One sales include big games from Capcom and Ubisoft, and there are double discounts for Xbox Live Gold members.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - Xbox One

Five new Xbox One sales include big games from Capcom and Ubisoft, and there are double discounts for Xbox Live Gold members.

In addition to this week’s crop of Deals with Gold and Spotlight discounts, Xbox One owners can also save in publisher promos from Capcom and Ubisoft. Plus, there’s a Double Discounts sale for Xbox Live Gold members. Let’s rattle through a few highlights.

The Double Discounts sale includes a selection of big games, but we’ll highlight a few less obvious choices. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is not wholly successful, but it’s an ambitious, and idiosyncratic survival adventure. We’re also fond of painterly World War I story, 11-11 Memories Retold. And Puyo Puyo Champions is pure puzzle game perfection.

The first of this week’s publisher sales comes from Capcom and includes all the Resident Evils, various editions of Monster Hunter World, and Devil May Cry 5.

The Ubisoft Forward sale follows Sunday’s reveal event. Some hefty discounts give players the chance to catch up with the Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs franchises ahead of their new instalments.

This week’s Deals with Gold include savings on Overcooked! 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, Steep, and Vampyr. The influential Dear Esther is our pick from this week’s lineup of Spotlight discounts.

All five sales run through to July 20 on the Xbox digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here are some more of highlights.

Double Discount Sale Highlights

  • 11-11 Memories Retold – 40% / 80% off
  • Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey – 25% / 50% off
  • Battlefield V Year 2 Edition – 30% / 60% off
  • Blasphemous – 25% / 50% off
  • Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night – 25% / 50% off
  • Control – 25% / 50% off
  • DiRT Rally 2.0 – 35% / 75% off
  • EA Sports FIFA 20 Champions Edition – 35% / 75% off
  • Fallout 76 – 20% / 40% off
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered – 25% / 50% off
  • Journey to the Savage Planet – 25% / 50% off
  • Kingdom Hearts III – 35% / 70% off
  • L.A. Noire – 25% / 50% off
  • Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm – 30% / 60% off
  • The Outer Worlds – 17% / 35% off
  • Puyo Puyo Champions – 30% / 60% off
  • Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell – 35% / 75% off
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – 17% / 35% off
  • Star Wars Battlefront II: Celebration Edition – 20% / 40% off
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD – 20% / 40% off
  • Virginia – 40% / 80% off
  • Yooka-Laylee And The Impossible Lair – 25% / 50% off

Ubisoft Forward Sale Highlights

  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles – Trilogy – 70% off
  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – 60% off
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – 70% off
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins – 80% off
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered – 50% off
  • Far Cry 3 Classic Edition – 90% off
  • Far Cry 4 – 80% off
  • Far Cry 5 – 85% off
  • Far Cry New Dawn – 75% off
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint – Ultimate Edition – 65% off
  • Ghost Recon Wildlands – Standard Edition – 65% off
  • Rainbow Six Siege – Deluxe Edition – 70% off
  • Watch_Dogs – 67% off
  • Watch Dogs 2 – 80% off

Capcom Sale Highlights

  • Devil May Cry 5 – 50% off
  • Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen – 67% off
  • Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite – 75% off
  • Mega Man 11 – 50% off
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 Combo Pack – 50% off
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne – 40% off
  • Monster Hunter: World – 50% off
  • ŌKAMI HD – 50% off
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 2 Deluxe Edition – 50% off
  • Resident Evil 3 – 33% off
  • Resident Evil 4 – 60% off
  • Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – 60% off

Deals with Gold Highlights

  • Citadel: Forged With Fire – 60% off
  • Masters of Anima – 80% off
  • Overcooked! 2 – 40% off
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: Ultimate Edition – 65% off
  • Seasons after Fall – 80% off
  • Steep – 50% off
  • Styx: Shards of Darkness – 80% off
  • Vampyr – 75% off

Spotlight Sale Highlights

  • Claire: Extended Cut – 80% off
  • Creature in the Well – 35% off
  • Dear Esther: Landmark Edition – 70% off
  • Hue – 80% off
  • Vostok Inc. – 60% off

For regular updates on the latest video game deals, head over to our sales page. Visit our new releases section for the latest PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch games. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Release date, pricey special editions revealed for Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator will have different airport and aircraft options depending on which pricey package you plump for.

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microsoft flight simulator release date special editions
Microsoft

Microsoft Flight Simulator will have different airport and aircraft options depending on which pricey package you plump for.

Remember Flight Simulator? It was one of those things that everyone had, but nobody could really remember buying. Where the cool kids were having fun blowing things up on X-Wing or Tie-Fighter (or, indeed, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter) the Flight Simulator aficionados were trying not to blow anything up. It was the corduroy of flight simulators. Even its name is the video game version of a tin of Ronseal wood stain.

The new Flight Simulator – called Microsoft Flight Simulator, which is very imaginative – looks rather interesting, though. Gone are the weirdly flat worlds with, you know, the thing you could land at or on, like the airport or aircraft carrier, being actually 3D. Microsoft Flight Simulator utilises data from Bing Maps and processing power in Microsoft’s Azure cloud for beautifully realised, accurately scaled 3D worlds.

It still promises to be technical in the extreme (and potentially corduroy dull), sure, but being able to flypast places you know in real life that are realistically recreated? It’s suddenly a lot more appealing.

But if one of those places you wanted to see was Heathrow Airport? Well, that’s going to cost you. (We’re not quite sure why it would be, but to each their own.)

There will be three versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator when it releases on August 18, 2020. They are the Standard, Deluxe and Premium editions – priced at £59.99, £79.99, and £109.99 respectively – come with different selections of aircraft and airports.

So if you want to fly the Boeing 787-Dreamliner, for instance? You’ll need the Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium edition. You don’t get to land at Amsterdam Schiphol, Cairo International or Chicago O’Hare unless you buy the Deluxe edition, while Heathrow, San Francisco, Dubai, Frankfurt and, weirdly, Denver are all gated behind the Premium edition.

No, we don’t get it either but, as we said before, to each their own.


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Save 95% on this cool Nintendo Switch game creation tool

Channel your inner Miyamoto with a massive discount on Nintendo Switch game creation maker, PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker.

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PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker - Nintendo Switch
Super Icon

Channel your inner Miyamoto with a massive discount on Nintendo Switch game creation tool, PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker.

If you’re a Nintendo Switch owner with  a desire to make your own games, the obvious choice is Super Mario Maker 2. However, another excellent game creation tool is currently discounted by 95% on the Nintendo eShop. PlataGO! Super Platform Game Maker is down to just $0.99 in the US, and £0.79 in the UK.

The game creation kit is from UK-based studio Super Icon, who we spoke to back in 2015 when the charming retro platformer Life of Pixel was released for Wii U. (It’s a lovely game that is also on Switch.)

PlataGO! features a comprehensive suite of tools, enabling users to create platform games using a large selection of assets, items, and characters. You can also recreate the feel of your retro favourites with a range of filters that evoke the visuals of the SNES, Commodore 64, and Game Boy, to name a few.

It’s a full-featured package with an impressive array of variables to configure as you attempt to create the perfect platformer. You can also share your efforts with other players, and download creations from the PlatGO! Steam Early Access Community Contest.

Making games is hard, so don’t expect PlataGO! to turn you into a design genius overnight. However, it’s a full-featured and accessible application, and hard to resist with the discount.

The Nintendo Switch is quietly becoming a hotbed of game dev tools. In addition to Super Mario Maker 2 and PlataGO!, the console is also home to the FUZE coding application and Labo. RPG Maker MV is set for release in September.


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Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (July 13-17, 2020)

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

Another month, another eagerly-anticipated PlayStation 4 exclusive. This time it’s open-world action-adventure Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch Productions.

We recall playing Infamous Second Son shortly after the launch of the PlayStation 4, so it feels appropriate to bookend the generation with a demonstration of how far the studio has come. We have a suspicion that Ghost of Tsushima is going to do very well. It’s also another late-generation example of how much power the PS4 still has to give.

We’re not so sure about Rocket Arena, which, following a long period of development, was unveiled at month’s EA Play Live. It’s an artistically bland 3v3 third-person shooter that looks both fun and forgettable.

We’re more excited to get our hands on Superhot: Mind Control Delete. The game began life as DLC for Superhot Team’s acclaimed time-bending action game, before becoming a full-blown follow-up. If you purchased the first game – i.e. you paid cash and didn’t get it through PS Plus – you can download Superhot: Mind Control Delete for free. It’s a fantastic gesture from a talented studio.

Other new PS4 releases include Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus and Neversong.

We are still waiting on release date confirmation for a couple of new PS4 titles. We’ll update this page as soon as we get it.

New PlayStation 4 releases: July 13-17, 2020

Monday, July 13, 2020

  • No releases

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

  • Neon Abyss
  • Rocket Arena

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  • Ultra Hat Dimension

Thursday, July 16, 2020

  • #Funtime
  • Neversong
  • Radical Rabbit Stew
  • Superhot: Mind Control Delete

Friday, July 17, 2020

  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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