Features

Filters & Sorting

How 'Splatoon' carved a welcoming niche in the brutal shooter game genre

When Nintendo launched Splatoon in 2015, it catapulted the ink-splatting game into an environment rife with hostile players and graphic violence. Here was another online shooter, but one seemingly meant for children, with a cartoonish look and what amounts to ink-filled water guns instead of assault rifles and rocket launchers. Seven years later, Splatoon 3 continues to draw fans as likely to celebrate their newest in-game fashion as they are a big win, in contrast to hyper-competitive shooters that once defined the genre.

Psychonauts 2: How Double Fine Cooked Up Its Most Unexpected Level - Art of the Level

When you think of Psychonauts, you may envision large areas with quirky enemies, difficult platforming feats, and special abilities. Psychonauts 2 is full of brilliantly designed levels that make smart use of all these features, but Compton's Cookoff, the second full 'brain' world in Psychonauts 2, is unlike anything that has preceded it - both within the game itself, and platformers in general. To find out more about how it came together, and the changes it underwent during development, IGN picked the brains of members of the Double Fine development team to break down how such a hearty, memorable meal of a level came to life. This is Art of the Level.

Bringing NEO: The World Ends With You’s Stylish World to Life in the West

Localizing a video game is a monumental task under the best of circumstances, but there’s an additional layer of pressure when working on a sequel with a devoted fanbase that has held out hope for over ten years. This was the situation Square Enix’s English localization team found itself in while developing NEO: The World Ends With You, a direct follow-up to the 2007 JRPG The World Ends With You. The team went through great lengths to capture and expand the tone of the original, but that was...

"Feast and famine": How the pandemic influenced games public relations

"Feast and famine": How the pandemic influenced games public relations Is the pandemic a blip or the herald of a new age of public relations? 2020 was a real Tale of Two Cities scenario for the games industry. It was the best of times, with record-breaking revenue and significant increases in the number of people playing video games. It was the worst of times, with countless delays, layoffs, and an untold amount of human suffering.

Meet the Artist Bringing the Original Metroid to Life in a Bold New Way

Some retro games have a reputation for inscrutability, and Nintendo’s sci-fi classic Metroid is one of them. With Metroid’s sprawling map and hidden collectibles, navigating the 1986 NES game carries as much challenge as facing off against the likes of Mother Brain and Ridley and often acts as a barrier keeping new players from trying the game. However, one artist is trying to change that so people can enjoy Metroid with ease — and even get some new Metroid fiction into the bargain.

Why Nihon Falcom's 'Trails' series has never cracked the West

Role-playing games are a story-heavy genre by nature, but for all 16 Final Fantasy games, five Suikodens, and 11 Dragon Quests, few series weave together continuous narratives. Nihon Falcom sought to change that with its Legend of Heroes: Kiseki series, or Trails in English. Conceived as part of a goal to create the grandest RPG epic of all, the Trails series tells a weighty tale of political intrigue, personal drama, and social unrest spread across 10 games, with more on the way. Yet, for all its narrative ambition, the series remains largely unknown outside Japan.

Reviews

Filters & Sorting

Digimon Survive lost its way

The itinerary for a class trip typically includes safe, normal things — visiting a historical landmark and learning how to cooperate with people from other schools, for instance. You’re less likely to encounter classroom-sized spiders or intense personal trauma, and hopefully, you won’t be responsible for a friend never returning home. But these are just some of the everyday tribulations for the unlucky band of middle schoolers in Digimon Survive. Developed by Hyde, Digimon Survive shoulders the heavy burden of evolving the series’ traditional blend of monster breeding and turn-based role-playing — namely, with the addition of visual-novel elements. But that burden proves a bit too heavy to carry. The visual-novel aspects seem ideal for the story Digimon Survive wants to tell, but whether from a lack of confidence in its own characters or a misunderstanding of what makes visual novels a powerful storytelling medium to begin with, it falls short of its abundant potential.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review

It was when the Welsh cat girl punched a mutant in the face, cutting their villainous monologue short and kicking off a spectacular mid-game boss battle, that I realized Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was my new favorite RPG. I had my suspicions prior to that moment, though – when the story explored Taion’s background and presented him as a complex, interesting character instead of the stereotype usually applied to black people in video games, for example. I wrote earlier this month that developer Monolith Soft’s Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a leap forward in storytelling for the series, and spending more time with it only furthered my belief that this is one of the finest RPGs of the past few generations.

'Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong' review: a complex adventure occasionally too clever for its own good

The problem with being a few hundred years old, and an undead vampire with vast wealth and influence, is that a lot of people want to kill you. It’s a fact of daily un-life for the heroes of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong, Big Bad Wolf’s hybrid tabletop RPG and adventure game, but their cursed misfortune is our benefit. This vast web of lies and deception is an ideal setting for Swansong’s intense, choice-driven story, and while some of those choices are less influential than you might hope, the moment-to-moment action and narrative payoff make this one of the best Vampire: The Masquerade stories and an excellent adventure game.

Wolfstride review

Ota Imon has something interesting to say with Wolfstride. I just hope it finds the right voice to say it with next time. A dog, a gangster, and a witch walk into a bar. This is where you'd expect me to say “Stop me if you've heard this one before,” but I won't because you haven't. Wolfstride from Ota Imon is different from other games—a self-described RPG for grown-ups that wallows a bit too frequently in immature humor just because it can. While the mech fights are lacking and Wolfstride never fully builds on its narrative promise, the carefully considered setting and unique cast make it a refreshing spin on an often stagnant genre.

Far Cry 6 review - Chaos in paradise

As the sun sets on your journey home, a tractor suddenly speeds past you on the road and smashes into the power station. The woman inside leaps out and orders her massive pet crocodile to attack nearby government soldiers, before grabbing a horse and riding off into the sunset while the tractor explodes behind her. It’s quite the spectacle, but all of this barely registers as you continue on your way. Why would it? It’s just another day in paradise.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Earthblood Review

Werewolf: The Apocalypse — Earthblood tackles the hefty task of turning a beloved, story-heavy tabletop RPG in the World of Darkness universe into a fast-paced action RPG. Unfortunately, it misses the tackle target, races off in entirely the opposite direction, then trips on a tree root and lands in a mud puddle. Not only is it missing what makes Werewolf special for fans, but there’s not enough on offer for action RPG or stealth fans either.

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox Review — Going Down to Prison Town

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox follows Adol Christin on yet another of his fantastical adventures, but things are a bit different this time. Getting chucked in the Prison City of Balduq's famous prison is just the start of a much bigger, grander adventure with higher stakes and a more compelling narrative than ever before. Ys IX: might not do everything perfectly, but it's one heck of a wild ride and a good contender for the best Ys game to date.

Guides

Filters & Sorting

Naraka: Bladepoint Wiki Guide

Welcome to IGN’s Naraka Bladepoint guide, a comprehensive collection of everything you need to know about 24 Entertainment’s battle royale. Naraka Bladepoint is a twist on the usual “last person standing” formula, with a heavy emphasis on exploration and, if you’re playing in teams, combining your skills to sweep the field. It can take some getting used to before Naraka’s unique style of action clicks, but and that’s where we come in.

What To Do First In Elden Ring: Best Route, Weapons, And Important Map Locations

Elden Ring features the biggest world From Software has ever made, and with its open design, it can be tough to figure out what to do first. You can do practically anything, but should you? Should you fight that Tree Sentinel on the horse that's roaming near the starting area, for instance? No, you definitely should not, but by using the beams of light pointing from Sites of Grace, you can start heading in the right direction. That being said, you could miss some great opportunities if you only rely on those to learn what to do first in Elden Ring, but our tips will help make things easier.

Destiny 2 Parasite quest steps, including Of Queens and Worms

Parasite in Destiny 2 is an Exotic grenade launcher - sorry, worm launcher - which has arrived alongside The Witch Queen in Year 5. The quest to unlock Parasite comes once you complete the campaign, and even then, there is a lengthy set of steps yet to go. The journey to the Parasite Exotic takes you to some of the expansion's most dangerous places, so if you cheesed your way through the final campaign battle, make sure to grind your power level to at least 1520 or thereabouts. Your reward is

Spiritfarer Items Guide: Every Important Item and How to Get It

The world of Spiritfarer is vast and full of nifty items to collect. Some are only good for making extra Glims — Spiritfarer's currency — while others are vital resources you'll need to upgrade your ship and help ease your passengers into the beyond. We're rounding up every Spiritfarer item, where to find these items, and what they do to help make your own journey smoother. We've broken things down by item type and included where you can find them, key notes about them, and what they're used for.

Previews

Filters & Sorting

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a step up in JRPG storytelling

Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s opening scene shows developer Monolith Soft isn’t prepared to shake up the trope-filled JRPG toolbox, and I’m here for it. Yes, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 opens with two massive armies facing off in a sci-fi battle. But, instead of greeting you with a ream of exposition and a hero swishing and slashing across the battlefield, we meet Noah, one of the game’s protagonists, telling us to “forget the giant robots, focus on the people dying beneath their feet”.

Eville Preview: Wouldst Thou Care For a Murder?

The sun peeks through your curtains and signals the start of another lovely day. You get up, and, remembering the local herbalist needs some materials from you, get ready to head out. The birds are singing, and all is well — except the village mayor is lying dead five feet away from your doorstep. Welcome to Eville, a town where murder and other deeds most foul are afoot. It’s a social deduction adventure from VestGames, but don’t let the tagline “Art thou sus?” fool you.

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town Preview — Fields of Promise

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town, the first brand-new Story of Seasons game in four years, is out on Nintendo Switch this month. I’ve been spending the past few weeks getting a feel for the pioneer lifestyle courtesy of XSEED and can tell that, even after a few seasons, things are only just getting started in Olive Town. Instead of a big overview about the game (because that’s what full reviews are for), I put together a few of Pioneers of Olive Town’s best and not-so-hot standout featu

News

U.S. senators ask the FTC to review "cynical and opportunistic" Microsoft Activision deal

Four United States senators want the Federal Trade Commission to assess the Microsoft-Activision Blizzard deal more closely on the grounds of its potential harm to the labor market and existing Activision employees. The letter, penned by Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Corey Booker, and Sheldon Whitehouse, raises a number of concerns aside from the immediate effect such extensive consolidation may have on the games and technology sectors, including Microsoft’s poor reputation in labor relations and the ethical implications of allowing the deal to proceed.

Analysts react to Sony's PlayStation Plus revamp

After much speculation, Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced its subscription service revamp. As rumored, It’s a tiered plan that will combine the current PlayStation Plus format with the cloud gaming platform PlayStation Now, and offer a library of roughly 400 PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games for subscribers at the middle and high tiers to play for free. The platform is in line with what Bloomberg’s sources reported late last year, and while it won’t revolutionize the PlayStation ecosystem, some experts believe it doesn’t need to.