Ghost Recon Wildlands: New Mood Matchmaking Feature, Free Weekend


Ghost Recon Wildlands sets players loose in a huge open world, challenges them to take down a vicious drug cartel, and gives them the freedom to do so using all the tools the Ghosts have at their disposal. In the year and half since the game launched, it has grown considerably, adding the Ghost War PVP mode, the permadeath-enabled Ghost Mode, and free missions built around the Predator, Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher, and Operators from Rainbow Six Siege.

If you’ve yet to experience piling into a chopper with friends or executing a flawless team sync shot, there’s a perfect opportunity coming up this weekend, when the Ghost Recon Wildlands Free Weekend will be available for PS Plus members from September 20-24.

Ghost Recon Wildlands

Beginning at 12:00 am Pacific on September 20, you’ll be able to dive into everything the base game has to offer, including the PVE campaign (playable solo or with up to three co-op teammates) and Ghost War. And if you want to keep playing after the free weekend ends at 10:00 am Pacific on September 24, all editions of the game will be discounted until October 2.

You can grab the Standard Edition for 60% off from PlayStation Store, or the newly launched Year 2 Gold or Ultimate editions for 40% off. The Year 2 Gold Edition includes the Year 2 Pass (which grants one-week early access to all Year 2 Ghost War classes, along with special equipment packs), while the Ultimate Edition comes with the Year 2 Pass, as well as Season Pass Year 1 (which includes the Narco Road and Fallen Ghosts expansions) and additional perks.

The free weekend coincides with a major new update for Ghost Recon Wildlands, which is now live. Titled Operations & Maintenance, the update includes a number of gameplay improvements, and introduces Mood Matchmaking, a new feature that lets players set “mood” preferences (like competing story missions or exploring the open world) to help them find players with similar goals in public matchmaking for campaign co-op. Also, Operations & Maintenance will add a new item pack for Year 2 Pass owners, a practice that will continue with each future title update.

To find out more, we chatted with Senior Producer Nouredine Abboud about the latest update and the ways Ghost Recon Wildlands has grown since its launch.

What’s surprised you most about how Ghost Recon Wildlands has grown, and how the community has embraced the game?

Nouredine Abboud: It has been a year and a half since we released Ghost Recon Wildlands, and the demand for a second year of live content was really rewarding for us in the studio. We have been thrilled to see how each new update has brought more content and diversity to our open world, and the positive reaction to our thematic crossovers went above and beyond our expectations. We’re super happy to see the love for bringing other Tom Clancy characters to the Wildlands, and the continued support and feedback from our community has been a big driver for us.

Ghost Recon Wildlands

From the Predator and Sam Fisher to Rainbow Six Siege Operators, there have been so many surprising missions added to the game since launch that new players can still experience – how did these come about? What were your goals with these missions?

NA: With Ghost Recon Wildlands, we have tried to build a coherent world in which the Ghosts need to take down a drug cartel in a fictionalized Bolivia. But, we also wanted to extend the universe of the brand to new experiences and partnerships too, which is what we did with the Predator, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six brands. Seeing the amazing feedback we got from these releases, we will look into how we can keep on building this shared universe in the future!

Ghost War PVP is a free addition to Wildlands that regularly gets new classes, modes, and maps. What motivates the team to continue expanding this competitive mode? What aspects of GRW do you think thrive in this mode?

NA: The Ghost War PVP mode has been one of the key post-launch releases for Ghost Recon Wildlands, one that was embraced by the community for its unique take on open-ended 4v4 matches. Ghost War is all about the tension and the intensity of a game of hide-and-seek, mixed with the thrill of military shootouts. It is extremely interesting to see the meta of the mode evolve with every new class and every new map we release. The positive community reaction makes us excited to keep supporting Ghost War with new classes and features with the upcoming Special Operation updates.

Overall, what’s been the main focus of the updates you’ve been making to GRW since its launch?

NA: Our main objective after the launch of the game and its DLC has always been to try and build a healthy community of players that we keep entertained and engaged, and also to find new ways to attract new players to the game. For example, we are releasing the Operations & Maintenance update to address issues and quality-of-life proposals from the community, and we have released the new Ghost Mode as part of Special Operation 2, which lets players try to complete the main campaign of the game under thrilling new conditions, including permadeath.

Ghost Recon Wildlands

What’s your advice for someone interested in getting into GRW for the first time?

NA: We have a trial version of the game available on all platforms that allows anyone to try the full game for five hours, either solo or with friends in co-op. Most of the post-launch missions, like the Predator or the Splinter Cell ones, are deliberately quite difficult, so try to complete a few provinces and build up your skills and arsenal before you take them on. Free weekends are a great opportunity to try the Ghost War PVP mode, too, as all classes are temporarily unlocked!

What is your goal when designing Challenges?

NA: Challenges allow us to create recurring events and keep the community engaged in PVE and PVP. Our goal with the Challenges is to add more diversity to the game, and try to address the different playstyles and difficulty levels of our players. We have recently added bigger rewards to the PVE Challenges, for instance, which allow you to get your hands on new vehicles or Prestige Credits.

Who do you think the new Mood Matchmaking system will appeal to?

NA: Mood Matchmaking will give PVE players several options for who they would like to matchmake with, based on their game mode and their current objective. We think it will be a useful tool for anyone looking for a great co-op experience, either with friends or with new acquaintances.

Being able to play with other gamers that share the same objectives you do definitely works to enhance the overall experience of playing co-op. You and your team will be more focused and more efficient, which we believe will improve your games.

Developer Chat: Level Design in Astro Bot Rescue Mission


Hi PS VR fans! I’ve got some good news… Astro Bot Rescue Mission has gone gold and is being readied to launch on October 2, exclusively on PS VR!

We’re super excited about this game and have packed in lots of content for you. There are 26 levels ranging from city, sky, water and fire stages, epic bosses to beat (including a memorable final boss battle), a range of challenge stages, collectibles and loads of extra replay value. We can’t wait to see what you think!

Astro Bot Rescue Mission for PS VRAstro Bot Rescue Mission for PS VR

Astro Bot Rescue Mission for PS VR

As we get closer to launch, we wanted to tell you some more about the development of the game before you get the chance to play for yourselves.

One of our goals was to take classic platforming to new heights; this was made possible thanks to the unique capabilities of PS VR. I took the opportunity to sit down with Gento Morita, our Lead Designer and Sebastian Brueckner, our Art Director to discuss what makes Astro Bot level design different from classic TV platformers. This video gives you a unique behind-the-scenes look at some particular aspects of Astro Bot Rescue Mission that we are especially proud of.

We talk about how we created 360 gameplay in VR while keeping the experience comfortable, and how moving your body gives you a unique perspective, letting you interact with the scenery and your location more fully.

You can now pre-order Astro Bot Rescue Mission physically or digitally. By reserving your copy you will be able to play as soon as we launch, get the full game soundtrack (courtesy of PlayStation veteran Kenneth C.M. Young) and a specially-created dynamic theme.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission for PS VRAstro Bot Rescue Mission for PS VR

So that’s it from me for now, stay tuned as we will be back soon with even more behind-the-scenes footage of the ASOBI! Team and more information about Astro Bot Rescue Mission.

Creed: Rise to Glory Gets PvP Mode, 10 Tips to Take the Title


Hi everyone! We’re excited to announce Creed: Rise to Glory will be launching September 25 with an online PvP mode*, where you’ll be able to settle the score with friends or challenge unassuming contenders in Quick Match.

This PS VR boxing experience features intense 1:1 boxing gameplay set against the rich backdrop of the Creed film universe. With a Career mode charting the ascent of Adonis Creed as he trains with Rocky Balboa and additional Freeplay and Training Montages, Creed: Rise to Glory has plenty of options for when you feel like raising your gloves.

Before you step into the ring, we decided to ask our devs what advice they have for PS VR players about to enter the ring next week.

  1. Practice Makes Perfect – The knowledge you gain in training exercises will prepare you for the fight ahead. For instance, the treadmill exercise gives you a solid idea of how much effort you should be putting into knockdown recovery.
  2. Vary Your Punches and Approach – The best boxers are strategic on when and where they swing. Take advantage of short openings or trigger powerful combos.
  3. Know When to Defend – Blocking and fast reaction times are crucial to a clean KO. Sometimes it’s better to stay on defense and wait out attacks, or time a perfect dodge and catch your opponent off guard.
  4. Keep an Eye on Your Gloves – The lower your stamina, the longer it takes for your stamina to start recovering. Take a breather and block a few hits while your gloves are still orange and before they flash red. Pacing is everything.
  5. Put Some Muscle Behind It – The more effort you put into your swings and movements, the more that gets translated in game. Harder hits will cause more damage, faster strides will increase running speed. But be careful! Don’t overextend or overexert. Know your limits (and your playspace**)!
  6. Dodging for Stamina – In single-player modes, triggering a slow-motion dodge will recover the player’s stamina–perfect for lining up a powerful punch or quick combo.
  7. Always Block in PvP – Make sure to block your opponents hits as much as you can! A successful block in PvP Mode gives you some stamina back. Likewise, if you hit when your opponent is blocking, your stamina will get drained.
  8. Read the Opponent – When the opponent rears back for a power hit, be prepared to either dodge or block using both hands. While blocking is safer, the hit will drain your stamina on impact and you’ll lose the opportunity to counter the swing.
  9. The Third Knockdown – If you make it back on your feet from a third knockdown, take caution: the next knockdown comes quickly, and there is no recovering from it.
  10. Stay (Not) Thirsty – VR boxing is not an idle pastime. Please make sure to stay hydrated, and occasionally check the status of your headset. Take frequent breaks and keep a towel nearby!

We can’t wait to share what we’ve created with the PlayStation community. This is a title we as a company were excited to take on to bring our own spin to the VR boxing genre. We’ll be continuing to refine the player experience post-launch, and would love to hear your feedback!

Thanks again for your interest in Creed: Rise to Glory, and we’ll see you in the ring September 25.

*PS Plus is required for online play.
**As with any VR title, we highly advise playspace awareness and assume no responsibility for what may ensue outside the playspace area. This includes but is not limited to: broken televisions, controllers, light bulbs and/or windows, drywall repairs, medical bills or noise complaints. Standard practice. Good luck.

Fishing Sim World Launches Today On PS4


Fishing Sim World is the most authentic fishing simulator ever made and is going to take you on an angling journey like no other. Feel the adrenaline rush of landing trophy sized largemouth bass and the thrill of fighting huge carp and monster pike as perfectly combined realistic game physics and accurate fish AI create an authentic experience that will have you hooked from the start. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler there’s something for you to enjoy in Fishing Sim World.

Fishing Sim World launches with 18 different species of fish including largemouth and smallmouth bass, carp and pike all with their own unique AI and behavioral systems. To help you successfully catch each species, there are hundreds of items of equipment to choose from with thousands of combinations. Target the bass by using spinning or baitcaster rods and reels from Duckett Fishing and Fitzgerald Fishing. Equip your reels with line from Fitzgerald or Sunline and select the correct lures or baits from Nichols Lures, Missile Baits and Bill Lewis (Rat-L-Trap). Target carp with equipment from leading names including Korda, RidgeMonkey, Mainline Baits and Delkim.

Fishing Sim WorldFishing Sim World

Not only do the fish behave differently, reacting to water temperature and bait choice, but the dynamic weather also plays a huge role in where the fish will be. You will need to ensure you choose your strategy and location carefully depending on the conditions. Fish at your own pace, find your perfect set up but be prepared to change tactic as the weather does!

There are seven different destinations awaiting you in Fishing Sim World varying vary from huge North American Lakes to picturesque venues in Europe. Each presents its own challenge and requires different tactics, equipment and angling skills to master.

The venues featured include the sun drenched Lake Johnson in Florida and the glacial Lake Boulder in upstate New York, both of which are over 2000 acres in size with endless different spots to try to catch trophy fish from. Of course, a lake that size needs a boat to get around on and Fishing Sim World features three high powered models including two from our licensed partner, Bass Cat Boats. Drive at speeds in excess of 70 mph, activate your Sonar and find a perfect spot to fish.

Fishing Sim World

In Europe, you will find France’s legendary Gigantica Main Lake that has been replicated in stunning detail and contains all of the known boss fish including the incredible ‘Fudgies’ weighing in excess of 85 pounds! A challenging stretch of the UK’s Grand Union Canal awaits and is home to some monster predator fish including big, powerful pike that will test your set-up to the limit.

Finally, we have Manor Farm Lake (from the leading day-ticket water complex in the UK, Linear Fisheries) Waldsee and Bergsee which are our three favourite lakes from Euro Fishing. These venues have been remastered to not only look even more stunning but now feature a larger number of species to catch, new and bigger boss fish to target and all of the new equipment and styles of fishing to try and land the lakes monsters.

Fishing Sim WorldFishing Sim World

Fishing Sim World reflects the competitive element of this great sport, allowing you take part in live tournaments against opponents from around the world. Featuring the launch of ‘The Dovetail Fishing League’ (DFL) players can compete with fellow anglers across the world in individual events for the glory of being crowned ‘Angler of the Month.’ The DFL consists of multiple events split across four different series. Each of the series has its own season leaderboards with points earned added together to determine your position in the Global Season Leaderboard.

Players can also opt to fish with friends in four-player multiplayer, comparing catches on real-time leaderboards as well as communicating via voice chat.

So whether you’re trophy bass hunting in the USA, spinning for a monster pike in England, or sat by the side of a peaceful French carp venue waiting for that catch of a lifetime, there will be something for everyone.

Beta Feedback: How You’re Helping Shape Blackout in Call of Duty Black Ops 4


We hope you’ve enjoyed the Blackout Beta as much as we’ve enjoyed playing it along with you. Armed with your incredible feedback, we continued to update the Beta throughout the week and will keep listening as we improve the game in time for launch. That’s what betas are for, after all.

Blackout is our own distinctive Battle Royale, and we knew we had to make this something special for our fans from the start. Our teams have set out to create a uniquely Black Ops experience, featuring time-tested Call of Duty gameplay, signature Treyarch design philosophy, and a celebration of 10 years of Black Ops heritage. We know we have to nail the things that people love about the genre, improve on the elements that we want to take to the next level, and bring plenty of new ideas to the table. Your feedback this week has been encouraging to say the least, and everyone here at the studio can’t wait to show you what’s coming in the future.

With the Beta wrapped up and everyone counting the days to October 12th, we’d like to take this opportunity to look back at the biggest feedback items that came from the community and provide some deeper insights into what we’re doing to improve the game, just as we did following the Multiplayer Beta. Here’s a look at some of the hot topics we’re tracking between now and launch:

Armor

Armor’s role in Blackout is inherently unique compared to its role in MP. You only live once in Blackout, and you’re rewarded for scavenging in areas that often put you in perilous positions, especially as the Collapse gets smaller in the late game. For this and other reasons, we’ve been cautious about making sweeping changes to the way Armor works, though we’ve made some tweaks during the Beta and continue to evaluate how Armor will work at launch.

Every Item in the game, from Armor to Weapons to Perks, is constantly re-evaluated to ensure they fit in the correct place in the game’s meta. You can expect Armor to be tuned multiple times as the game, and the gameplay content, evolves over time.

Some changes to Armor since the start of the Beta include:

  • Spawn frequency of Level 3 Armor has been reduced by 75% compared to its initial spawn rate in the Beta.
  • Level 3 Armor will now most frequently be found in Stashes and Supply Drops, though it may occasionally spawn in the world.
  • Level 3 Armor now breaks sooner and passes more damage to the player wearing it, and still offers headshot and other types of damage mitigation. We’ve heard your concerns that Level 3 Armor was still perhaps too powerful by the end of the Beta, and will be evaluating the data to see what other tweaks may be required.
  • Level 2 Armor was also minorly adjusted during the Beta and will potentially be tweaked further in time for launch.
  • Players will see an indicator of the condition of their own Armor, and those of their teammates, in the HUD. This provides a more granular indicator of the damage that your Armor has taken beyond the Armor icon and will let you know if it’s time to seek out a replacement.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Blackout

Audio Adjustments

We saw several reports of footsteps sounding louder or quieter than expected, and not always being able to tell the direction enemies were coming from. Others reported an uneven balance of footstep volume between teammates and enemies. We’re on it. Improvements to how audio will work at launch include:

  • Sounds will be properly impacted by walls, floors, ceilings, and other objects in the world. This means enemies directly above or below the player should no longer sound louder than expected.
  • The volume of the cargo plane, punching, game countdown timers, and everything else you’ve brought to our attention (and many things you have not) will be reviewed in-depth as part of that process. The game has not yet had its final audio mix.
  • Teammates’ footsteps will be quieter compared to enemy footsteps.
  • The Awareness Perk will further reduce the loudness of the footsteps of your teammates.
  • All audio presets will be available at launch in the Options menu. Audio presets can make a big difference, and we offer many choices for those who play with headphones or surround sound.

Inventory & Item Management

On the first day of the Beta, the community almost unanimously asked for faster Item pickups. As a result, we made pickup speed as fast as possible while still protecting players from accidentally picking up an Item when attempting to reload.

Console players have asked for an option in Settings to allow them to tap a button to instantly pick up an Item. We like this idea a lot, and want to be sure we get it right and test it thoroughly.

The Quick Equip menu can be fantastic for making Inventory adjustments quickly, but could also get in the way of picking up Items, opening doors, or entering vehicles. We adjusted the Quick Equip menu so it automatically closes after a few seconds with no interactions. We are also looking into the feasibility of closing the Quick Equip menu if the player performs other actions such as firing a weapon, changing stance, starting a Sprint, etc.

We’ve already improved the proximity and height at which you can interact with Items on the ground so you don’t have to look down at that Item so precisely. It’s being tested now and is very likely to be in when the game comes out.

Last but not least, we are creating designs for other “quality of life” improvements to these very important game systems including, but not limited to:

  • Evaluating options to improve the Stash interface when looting enemies and containers on console.
  • Adding a new method to allow you to quickly remove all Attachments from a weapon.
  • Incorporating a way to swap Attachments between Weapons, if both Weapons support the same attachment.

And finally, we’ve got some fun Beta stats to share. While the (very unofficial) numbers, Mason, are still coming in across all platforms, we’ve poked through the data to find some of our favorites to share:

  • Players eradicated 7.5 million Zombies. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where those came from.
  • Squadmates were revived 26 million times. Thanks for being team players.
  • 3.3 billion Items were picked up. That’s “billion” with a B.
  • Over 64 million Stashes were spawned. That’s a lot of loot.
  • The longest Combat Axe kill distance was 213 meters, or about 698 feet. Well done!
  • Players managed to eliminate 123 people with a basketball. Is ball still life?

Most kills by an individual player:

  • Solos: 25
  • Duos: 29
  • Quads: 25

Most kills by a team:

  • Duos: 32
  • Quads: 38

And that’s a wrap. Please keep your feedback coming and give us your detailed thoughts in our official post-Beta survey. Thank you for taking this journey with us so far, and know that we’re committed to listening and communicating with you along the way to make Blackout the best experience it can be. This is just the beginning.

– Treyarch

2D Combat Racer Speed Brawl Hits PS4 Tomorrow


Speed Brawl, the stylish, anime-inspired 2D combat-racer, arrives at PlayStation Store on September 18. Today, we get to hear from the game’s Art Director, Eric Angelillo, and Creative Director / Writer, Lee Thomas, about some of the inspirations behind this loud and unabashedly fast game ahead of its release.

Speed Brawl

Lee (L): We’d always pitch Speed Brawl as Streets of Rage meets Sonic the Hedgehog, but we used Street Fighter for a while because, amazingly, some people didn’t know what Streets of Rage was!

Eric (E): But way before that it was a puzzle platformer called Luna — actually we changed that to Lady & the Moon — which of course got completely overhauled and became a brawler.

L: Well we’d just made two brawlers; Big Action Mega Fight! and then OK KO! Lakewood Plaza Turbo with Cartoon Network…

E: So Lady & the Moon was initially a sort of palate cleanser.

L: We got quite far into the development, and Eric had already started this really cool and evocative look for the game…

E: Until we realized there were like 11 million other puzzle platformers also in development.

L: Some of them are so good, but there were just SO many.

E: Right, so even though we liked what we had, we went back to what we knew best: cooperative games about punching stuff.

L: Eric was a Streets of Rage and Marvel vs. Capcom fan, I was a Two Crude Dudes and Final Fight enthusiast… The slight age difference meant we had different touch points but we both loved the same types of worlds. Fantastical but true to life… in a manner.

E: And then we threw in some Sonic, because faster is better, right?

L: For sure. We took the Victorian setting of Lady & the Moon as a jumping off point – added a little bit of the social satire inspired by our mutual love of Paul Verhoeven, and a sprinkle of War of the Worlds.

E: He means the Jeff Wayne musical he always makes me listen to.

L: Oh, of course!

Speed Brawl

E: Visually, it was important for us to bring some freshness to a Victorian-set game. Power Stone was a good touchpoint, but then we wanted to push it further. I thought; what would an 80’s cartoon or anime look like if it was set in the 19th century? So we took some classic Thundercats inspiration and mixed in some Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Dragonball for good measure.

L: Don’t forget Streets of Fire and Bubblegum Crisis!

E: Is that where Invincible came from? We used a Pat Benatar track as our opening song for the game and its trailer. Lee loves Streets of Fire and wanted to use Nowhere Fast as if it was orchestrated by Vince Dicola.

L: Invincible is from The Ballad of Billie Jean, an 80s film starring Helen Slater (Supergirl). Our sound and music team Vibe Avenue did an awesome job with that. We’d done Big Action Mega Fight! with them, and what they’ve done on Speed Brawl is outstanding.

E: So yeah, we have London, the Victorian era, a race of lunar creatures and brawling…. That’s when we called it Brawl Britannia, right?

L: Ha, amongst other things… I remember Fistgal and A Call To Fists were floated too.

E: Speed was something Dan Menard, our Producer, was really excited about; carrying momentum into a combat game. He was obsessed with Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and also Jackie Chan movies. The way the fight scenes were choreographed and how the characters used their environment as a weapon.

L: Especially that scene in Sherlock Holmes where Robert Downey Jr. has this whole pre-cognitive fight sequence… Like a puzzle he was putting together, and then executes.

E: That’s how we came up with the pole swinging and wall kickoffs of the game, this sense of exaggerated physics and the world as a weapon. The race format came from ways we were looking at how this game could be enjoyed online, or with streamers and friends.

L: That, and the feeling of having a game you could play with your brother and sister. It’s cooperative, but one of you gets to show off how good you really are. Ha!

E: So I started drawing… and Lee started writing… and this tandem process just kept the ball rolling… OH, shall we talk about the time we had an actual ball in the game?

L: We will never talk about the ball again! The rest of the elements fell into place, and games like Speedrunners and Rivals of Aether came and went, leaving their marks on the team.

E: Vince, our Senior Programmer and the combat design lead on Speed Brawl, played everything from Dragon’s Crown to Bayonetta. We all played Monster Hunter on 3DS and our ambitions for items and repairing and crafting were explored. We even used to have a ‘wear and tear’ mechanic where you had to heal brawlers in a hospital between fights.

L: It’s fun to look back at the process. The game has looked and felt twenty different ways by now.

L: We’ve played the game ourselves many, many times, it’s been really interesting to see our own tastes and favorite characters evolve. We’re really excited to see what players are going to do with the game.

E: We fought for a long time about how the game should be played during development, with everyone on the team being in a slightly different camp. We eventually learned that we couldn’t cater to everyone, but that the differences in our playable characters could speak to different players’ preferred play styles.

Speed Brawl

L: Speed Brawl is about having a blast, but there’s a lot of layers to peel off in order to be as fast and as effective as you can be. We wanted it to be broad but also be an engine for something potentially competitive.

E: Plus, we’ve got some really cool competitive features coming post-launch, right?

L: Head-to-head mode, more social functionality, not to mention more characters and scenarios. There’s just a lot more game and story.

Speed Brawl

E: But the most important question is: Who’s going to be the fastest speed brawler?

L: My runs are definitely going to be faster than yours, Eric.

E: Yeah, but mine will be more stylish.

Speed Brawl

Absolver’s Free Downfall Expansion Releases September 25


Hello Prospects and Absolvers! The team at Sloclap has been unusually quiet these last few months but that’s all due to the work on Absolver: Downfall – the new, free expansion for Absolver which we’re happy to announce will be coming on September 25. The expansion is rather robust with something for both the PvE and PvP players in our community that might have been playing from the start last year or just started their journey to absolution last month when Absolver was featured as a PS Plus title.

Absolver

The most prominent new element in Absolver: Downfall is the new Downfall game mode that takes players in solo or cooperative runs down the Adalian Mines, on a quest to battle Arcell and his corrupted Prospects. Players will collect Gleam from infected Prospects and transform it into rewards in the form of experience and gear. The more Gleam you capture, the more powerful you become in your struggle to defeat the Corrupted, and eventually Arcell himself. Each run through the Mines and Temples is a unique path through a variety of challenges and situations, facing upgraded enemies with improved AI, and three epic boss fights.

The other headline piece of the expansion is the Faejin combat style, taking its inspiration from Bruce Lee’s famous Jeet Kune Do. This new combat style is more complex than others and experienced Absolvers will need to balance the fluidly powered offense with different defensive abilities that shift with your stance. Faejin will feature three dozen different attacks for bare hands, wargloves, and sword combat.

AbsolverAbsolver

Absolver

Absolver: Downfall rounds out the expansion content with the introduction of School Challenges. School Challenges will include reworked School Leaderboards, which will allow School members to compete with each other through rankings updated at the end of each Season, and up to three specific reward for each ranking category!

The expansion will also feature new equipment sets, as well as two prestige variants of existing sets, all found in the Essence Shop and unlockable with Gleam and Fragments, both of which will be looted in the Downfall game mode. Fantastic new masks, weapons, emotes and PvP intros can all be found in the new expansion when it hits on September 25!

Timespinner Launches on PS4, PS Vita September 25


Hi everyone! After five years of part-time development and four years of full-time work, Timespinner is finally coming out on PS4 and PS Vita on September 25, at the price of $19.99. Hurray!

Timespinner is a story-driven adventure inspired by classic 2D platformers from the 90s. The game’s story follows Lunais, a young woman who travels through time in order to seek revenge on the empire that killed her family.

If you’re a fan of the “Metroidvania” genre, Timespinner will make you feel right at home. In addition, the game also has several features that make it feel fresh and new.

Time-Stop

Time-Stop is the game’s signature ability and namesake. To put it simply, the time-stop freezes all enemies in the room, at the cost of Sand for each moment that time is frozen. While time is stopped, you can use enemies as platforms or simply choose a more advantageous position in battle.

About to be crushed by a boss’s attack? Stop time and side step! Feeling swarmed by enemies? Stop time, get behind them, charge a spell, and unleash it right when time is unfrozen!

Orb System

The heart of combat in Timespinner revolves around equipping orbs: crystal balls composed of condensed magic. Throughout your adventure, you will find many different orbs (be it from defeating bosses, delving deep inside dark dungeons, or simply given to you as a gift!). Each orb has three unique aspects: a melee attack, a spell attack, and an always-on passive.

Timespinner

An orb’s melee attack is often a short-ranged ability that is free to use. Since you can equip two melee orbs at once, you can mix and match different melee orbs (although I always prefer to use two of the same type — I like symmetry!).

By taking a new orb to an Alchemist, you unlock both its spell and passive. Spells are powerful attacks that cost Aura, a form of MP which slowly recovers on its own. You can level up orbs by defeating enemies with its spell or melee attacks. The higher an orbs level is, the more powerful its melee, spell, and passive will become.

An orb’s passive is a unique always-on buff. Passives can augment your melee attacks, offer protection, or even help you find hidden passages! Be sure to pick a passive that complements your playstyle!

Story

The story of Timespinner is much more complex than most platformers. As the game’s plot spans multiple planets, rebellions, a war, and more, there is a lot to take in. I’ve actually been developing the universe of Timespinner since I was in grade school, making fabric figures of each character and cataloguing their adventures and storylines in notebooks, so it’s amazing to see it all fully fleshed out in video game now! This large amount of lore can cause a timing problem for an action based game, so we decided to spread out the story into several different methods of delivery:

  • Skippable cutscenes
  • Collectable “Memories” which detail important events of a specific character.
  • Collectable “Letters” which contain multiple viewpoints concerning a historical war.
  • Collectable “Downloads” which act as encyclopedic knowledge of people, planets, and more.
  • Optional character quests with unique rewards.

Timespinner

Time Travel

The game takes place on Lachiem, the desolate homeworld of the evil empire. As the story progresses, you’ll gain the ability to travel far into Lachiem’s luscious past. Once there, actions you take can change the world in the present. However, some of these changes may not pan out as exactly as you’d expect…

Timespinner

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m super excited to show Timespinner to the world! Yay!

Firewall Zero Hour: Tips to Get Started, Community Update


Hi guys, Shabs here, Game Director at First Contact Entertainment. We’re the developers behind Firewall Zero Hour — the multiplayer FPS that just launched exclusively for PS VR!

Here’s our launch trailer, in case you missed it:

First up, we’ve been so excited to see the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the Firewall Zero Hour community since launch last week! We have loved seeing all of your posts, comments, and livestreams. Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of our hearts.

We wanted to reconvene, and get a tip sheet ready for those who are just now learning about the game. Here are some tips for how to get started in Firewall Zero Hour, straight from the devs:

  1. If you’re new to PS VR, you can play the game with a PS VR headset and either a DualShock controller or Aim Controller. Firewall Zero Hour is also currently available as a game bundle with the Aim Controller, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get both, if you don’t have them yet.
  2. Say you’ve just got the game. Awesome! If you’re new to VR in general, once you fire up Firewall Zero Hour, it’s great to experiment with the different comfort settings available for VR locomotion. In the game menu settings, you can toggle between smooth turning and snap turning. You can also change the “vignette” settings, where you toggle on/off blinders for sprinting.
  3. Stepping into the game. On your first outing, try out the Tutorial, then try out Solo Training for a few different maps. In Solo Training* you’ll go up against AI, and get a feel for what it’s like to be an Attacker or Defender. You can also experiment with different default loadouts and their weaponry (Assault, CQB, Support).
  4. Once you get the hang of different game mechanics, you’re ready try out Multiplayer Training.** You and your teammates will play co-op, going up against AI and learning the value of teamwork by communication. Try out different Contractors in this mode and see how their Primary skills play out.
  5. Now you’re ready for Multiplayer Contracts mode — the creamy center of Firewall Zero Hour. In this mode, teams of 4v4 go head to head in public PVP, and the stage is set for unpredictable outcomes. You’ll experience what it’s like to play as an Attacker, and a Defender, as your role switches after every round. Strategize together in the lobby and throughout the match. Who’s staying together? Who’s going to flank? Who’s going to place mines by the laptop? Who’s bringing the revive pistol? Vocal communication with your teammates is crucial to your success.
  6. Firewall Zero Hour

  7. Experiment with different default loadouts. As a Defender, try the Support loadout, and lay your mines strategically around the laptop. Backs of chairs, tops of tables, and all around doors are fair game when it comes to mine placement locations. As an Attacker, the Assault loadout is great for a variety of maps, thanks to its mid-range assault rifle and powerful frag grenades.
  8. So you’ve been playing lots of Contracts, gaining XP and Crypto along the way. What are some other ways you can gain XP and Crypto in the game? Look carefully in maps — each match has an Intel pickup that any player can obtain for bonus XP, as well as stacks of Crypto coins scattered around the map.
  9. Weapon and equipment challenges are another great way to improve your skills and earn XP. Every time you activate an Access Point, revive a teammate, or take out an enemy with C4, you are earning XP and leveling up. On that note–did you know you can revive your teammates from afar? Just equip a Revive Pistol as a secondary weapon, unlocked at level 26.
  10. Once you’ve reached level 4, you can start experimenting with customizing your loadout in the menu. What to spend your Crypto on first? Try experimenting with different weapon attachments. How about a Red Laser Sight, a Suppressor, or a Grip? Perhaps you’re saving up for a whole new weapon entirely. The Kruger assault rifle is a favorite for long-range maps, like Docks and Warehouse.
  11. Continue to progress and keep leveling up. Unlock new Contractors. Suit them up to your liking, with camo, facepaint, and a weapon trinket. Is being quick-on-your feet is of utmost importance? Try playing as Diaz (unlocked at level 15), his Primary skill of “Double Time” allows for faster movement speed–or, try equipping his skill as the Secondary skill of one of your other Contractors. Are you ‘nades, ‘nades, grenades all day? The “Bang Bang” skill gives you an extra frag grenade. Is frantically looking for signal modifiers making you short on time to hack the laptop? Try equipping your Contractor with the Hacker skill as their Secondary skill, which allows you to initiate the laptop hack faster. There are a vast number of things you can do to personalize the way you want to play in Firewall Zero Hour.

Firewall Zero Hour

Community Update

We wanted to reiterate that we’ve been reading and listening to all the community feedback. Thanks for all the messages you’ve been sending us! We wanted to acknowledge some early questions and concerns from the community, and let you know we are working on various bug fixes and improvements to the game. Every patch has to undergo rigorous testing to make sure we don’t add to a problem, or create new bugs. This can take time. Here are some of the items that we are currently working on:

  • Setting up a squad with squadmates: We’re continuing to evaluate and improving squad handling. We are aware that players who join as squads are having issues with their lobbies, and we are working hard on a fix that addresses this.
  • Host performance: We currently use a peer-to-peer format, so please be aware that it is possible that quitting early may affect everyone else’s game. We are working on improved in-game messaging and a way to protect the loss of progression (Crypto and XP) for players when this happens.

Lastly, we wanted you to know we are reading all the feedback we can, and our goal is to continue to improve the game so that it’s a great experience for everyone. We wanted to note that we are focused on supporting the game post-launch with additional new content, and will have more to share about that soon! Thanks again for playing the game and making the launch such an amazing experience. We can’t wait to play with you online in PS VR!

*An internet connection is required for all modes of Firewall Zero Hour, including Single Player Training Mode.
**PS Plus is required for Multiplayer Training and Multiplayer Contract modes.

Inside Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Comics That Inspired the Creators


Hey, True Believers! Now that Marvel’s Spider-Man has swung on to PlayStation 4 systems around the world, we thought you’d like to score extra nerd points on your friends by schooling them on the comic books that inspired the game’s creators and collaborators. So which comics am I talking about? Glad you asked! (And if you’d like to read these for yourself, you can check them out in a special Marvel Unlimited curation featuring the comics below.)


Amazing Fantasy (1962) #15

AMAZING FANTASY (1962) #15

A legend is born! Our game doesn’t retell the famous origin of Spider-Man that writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko did so masterfully here, but at the heart of our story beats the famous “With great power there must also come great responsibility” mantra that first saw print in this historic issue.


Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #1

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #1 – #38

The blueprint for everything Spider-Man can be found in these trailblazing issues by the legendary team of Lee and Ditko. From the introduction of Spider-Man’s sprawling supporting cast to the formation of his infamous rogue’s gallery, this is where Stan and Steve unleashed the magic and revealed that the best Spidey stories happen when the civilian world of Peter Parker collides with the superhuman world of Spider-Man.


Ultimate Spider-Man (2000) #1

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (2000) #1

Not only did writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley reimagine Spider-Man’s famous origin for an all-new, modern audience, but they did it in an innovative way that kept readers guessing what was going to happen next! This series inspired Insomniac Games to mix familiar faces and situations into unexpected and thrilling combinations.


Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #546

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #546

This kick-off of the “Brand New Day” era not only featured the beginning of Dan Slott’s historic run as solo writer on Amazing Spider-Man, but it also featured the first appearance of Martin Li, a.k.a. Mister Negative, his Inner Demons and the F.E.A.S.T. Center! Fun fact: Writer Dan Slott, Stephen Wacker (who edited this issue) and Nick Lowe (current Spider-Man editor), all participated in the all-day brainstorming session held at the offices of Insomniac Games that laid the groundwork for our game’s story!


Dark Reign_Mister Negative (2009) #1Amazing Spider-Man (2015) #6

DARK REIGN: MISTER NEGATIVE (2009) #1 & AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (2015) #6

The first tale, by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Gianluca Gigliotta, delves deep into the divided worlds of Martin Li and Mister Negative, showing us how far Li is willing to go to protect his empire. The second story, by Dan Slott and Matteo Buffagni, includes ingenious expressions of Mister Negative corruptive abilities.


Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #659

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #659

In the “Infested, Stage 1: Bug Time” back-up story, writer Dan Slott showed off his tremendous talent for taking wild ideas to their extreme. In this case, the ordinary citizens of Manhattan all gain the spider-powers of Peter Parker, kicking off the “Spider Island” saga that ran until Amazing Spider-Man #665. While our story doesn’t tell that exact story, when you play the game you’ll see how the web-slinger must save the city from a different but equally deadly infection.


Spider-Man_Fantastic Four (2010) #1Amazing Spider-Man (1999) #661

SPIDER-MAN/FANTASTIC FOUR (2010) #1 & AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1991) #661

Two terrific tales which display scripting stylings of Christos Gage, who brought his titanic talents to the game’s writing team! While I was an editor at Marvel, I was lucky enough to work with Christos on several projects, most notably Avengers Academy, which you should also check out to see just how skillfully he weaves together the trademark Spider-Man ingredients of drama, action and humor.


And that’s just a portion of the cool comics that in many ways inspired everything from gameplay and environments to poses and costumes. Everyone at Insomniac Games, Marvel Games, and PlayStation salutes the colossal creators who told these tales, paving the way and inspiring us all to Be Greater.

Your Mann At Marvel,
Bill Rosemann
Exec. Creative Director, Marvel Games