Outer Wilds, Void Bastards, Superhot coming to Xbox Game Pass in June

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Xbox Game Pass is set for another strong couple of weeks, with a fine batch of titles now revealed to be heading to Microsoft's subscription service from now into June - including Superhot and Obsidian's intriguing Outer Wilds.

Ticking them off in sequential order, let's begin with tomorrow, 23rd May. First up is the opening instalment of developer Stoic Studio's superb, Norse-myth-inspired blend of turn-based battling and choose-your-own adventuring, The Banner Saga, and that's joined by Konami's recent, Kojima-less horror survival spin-off Metal Gear Survive.

Stoic's critically lauded offering is well worth a punt for those that love a good yarn (and the second instalment comes to Game Pass on 6th June). Metal Gear Survive, meanwhile, is, perhaps unexpectedly, an enjoyable outing too.

Watch Ian try out a slice of Everybody's Golf VR

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Watch Ian try out a slice of Everybody's Golf VR

Someone famous once said that golf is a good walk spoiled, so it's probably a good job then that Everybody's Golf VR is a completely stationary experience. By cutting out all those boring strolls it means the game and its player can concentrate on pure, unadulterated virtual golfing across three gorgeous, 18 hole courses.

In the video below, you can watch me whack my way around 6 random holes as I try to work out whether or not Everybody's Golf VR is a duff or a hole-in-one. Although, please bear in mind that I knew absolutely nothing about real-life golfing before recording this video so what follows is very much a 'noobs-eye view' of the game.

As you can see, I took to the game like a Duck Hook to water and that's mainly due to how intuitive the in-game user interface is. Being able to your practice shots before taking them and having a host of meters and indicators to help you judge the power and angle of each shot makes everything super simple to pick up. Even if, like me, you've got no idea what each club is called and what they're fore.

Treyarch makes Call of Duty Black Ops 4's Black Ops Pass a bit better - but only for a week

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Treyarch makes Call of Duty Black Ops 4's Black Ops Pass a bit better - but only for a week

Call of Duty Black Ops 4's Black Ops Pass has come in for a lot of stick ever since it was announced. Not only does it split the userbase by containing premium maps at a time when most shooters have ditched such a strategy, but most who've forked out the £40 it costs reckon it hasn't offered value for money.

Fast forward to 21st May, and Black Ops developer Treyarch announced a new update for the game - and a part of the update is designed to make the Black Ops Pass better.

Now, those who own the Black Ops Pass grant access to all the Black Ops Pass multiplayer maps to their squadmates while playing in a party. This is welcome for those who don't own the Black Ops Pass, of course, but it's also good for those who do and want to access the maps while playing with friends who don't.

League of Legends mobile version by Riot and Tencent in development - report

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League of Legends mobile version by Riot and Tencent in development - report

Are we about to witness the birth of one of the biggest money-makers in gaming? Reuters has reported Tencent and Riot are collaborating on a mobile version of League of Legends.

Sources told Reuters the project has been in development for over a year, though it's unlikely to arrive anytime in 2019. Apparently the reason we haven't seen a League of Legends mobile game before is due to tensions between the companies on how to capitalise on the game. One source told Reuters a League of Legends mobile version had initially been proposed by Tencent several years ago, but Riot rejected the idea.

For its own part, Tencent apparently inflamed tensions when it launched a western version of its hugely successful mobile game Honor of Kings (which is known to have peaked at over 200m players in China). Revamped version Arena of Valor was seen as Tencent's attempt to make a play for western console gamers, and was released on both mobile and Switch. Unfortunately, it's so far failed to make much of an impact.

Pokémon Go's June community day features a fan favourite

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Pokémon Go's June community day features a fan favourite

Pokémon Go doesn't normally issue a trailer for its monthly Community Day events, but then June's big day stars something of a fan favourite.

Slakoth, the sloth Pokémon, will be available to catch everywhere and its Shiny variant will become available for the first time.

The sleepy creature eventually evolves into Slaking, one of the beefiest Pokémon in the game - even if it's not hugely useful for player battles due to its lethargic nature. It's best left in gyms as a bulky deterrent.

Ouya's game store closes for good next month

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Ouya's game store closes for good next month

It's the end of the line for Ouya, the Android game console which sprung into life during the Kickstarter boom.

Four years after the final Ouya console dropped off the end of the production line, the platform's game store is also being switched off.

Razer, which now owns Ouya, is binning off the Forge TV and MadCatz Mojo game stores at the same time - on 25th June 2019.

Assassin's Creed: Unity positive review bomb leaves Valve confused

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Assassin's Creed: Unity positive review bomb leaves Valve confused

In an extended blog post that reads like a first year philosophy student essay, Valve has been debating what counts as a Steam review bomb. With itself.

The company's confusion was prompted by the recent surge in positive reviews for Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which Ubisoft made available for free on Uplay in the aftermath of the Notre Dame fire (along with donating €500,000 to help with restoration efforts). Naturally, the move was incredibly popular with players, and despite its free release on a different platform prompted a spike in player reviews on Steam.

But does this count as a review bomb, and if so, should Valve prohibit it as it has in the past?

Here's our first look at Mario Kart Tour for smartphones

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Here's our first look at Mario Kart Tour for smartphones

Mario Kart Tour has just launched its Android beta test in Japan, giving us a first look at the game.

Nintendo has kept its smartphone Mario Kart firmly under wraps - and, until now, we didn't know how close it would stick to the series' traditional formula. But from initial reports, it seems similar - albeit simplified. Your racer drives automatically - you just drag left or right to corner. A typical roster of familiar courses, items and characters are included. (Alas, there is no Birdo.)

Screenshots and video are not supposed to be posted from the beta - but, of course, some are filtering online. Here's some gameplay, via ResetERA:

Valve releases yet another mobile app, this time for Steam Chat

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Valve releases yet another mobile app, this time for Steam Chat

Why have one messaging app when you can have two? This seems to be the thinking behind Valve's latest app release, as the company has unveiled a new Steam Chat app for iOS and Android.

The free app, billed by Valve as a "modernised Steam chat experience", incorporates many of the features of Steam's desktop chat, which was revamped last year to bring it in line with competitors such as Discord. This means you can now start group chats on your phone, get customisable notifications, and (importantly) send gifs.

Strangely, voice chat is not yet included in the app, but Valve says it's already working to bring this to Steam Chat in future.

EA shows off Frosbite engine's next-gen hair

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EA shows off Frosbite engine's next-gen hair

A day on from our first look at Spider-Man running on a PlayStation 5-like setup, EA has debuted some next-gen tech of its own. It's all about hair.

EA has devoted a small team of people at its DICE and Criterion studios to improving the look of follicles in the Frostbite engine. Genuinely, the results are impressive.

It's not just the physics side of how hair moves, either - it's how each hair reflects the light differently as it does so, and how this is affected when hair has been artificially coloured.