Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Two Outlast II Gameplay Videos Show A Farm Can Be Just As Scary As An Asylum

Outlast is moving to a new setting for the sequel after the original mostly took place in Mount Massive Asylum, and it looks just as unsettling.

The two videos below each show four minutes of gameplay that will be familiar to those who played the first game. Much of the action takes through the perspective of a camera with night-vision capabilities. The cornfield footage in particular (the first video below) is especially unsettling as the way the light breaks through the branches creates creepy shapes and masks difficult to identify foes.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Outlast II is planned for release some time this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, though an exact release date has not yet been revealed. For more on the game, which takes place in the same universe as the original Outlast, but follows a different character in a different, setting, head here.

[Via GameSpot on YouTube, (2)]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

GI Show – Star Fox’s Future, Battleborn, Intern Back Of The Box Trivia

This week on The Game Informer Show, we're tackling the future of Nintendo's dogfighting game, the tricky definition of a "hero shooter," and introduce you to our beloved interns. Host Ben Hanson is joined by Jeff Cork to talk about his review of Star Fox Zero, Jeff Marchiafava to talk about the 3DS JRPG Bravely Second, and Dan Tack to talk about (quietly the best game released this week) Banner Saga 2. After some reader emails, we're joined by Game Informer's departing interns  Luke WalaszekConnor Trinske, and Joe Buchholz to talk about our internship program and play a heated, "special intern edition" game of "Back of the Box Trivia".

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes, or listen to episode 296 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your emails to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below… 

1:30 – Star Fox Zero
14:00 – Bravely Second
21:20 – Final Fantasy IX on Steam
24:05 – Banner Saga 2
28:35 – Battleborn and Overwatch comparison
39:00 – Answering emails
1:02:55 – Intern Back of the Box Trivia 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Better Ways To Show Your Dark Souls Love Than Prima’s Disappointing Estus Flask

With the arrival of Dark Souls III last week, Prima released an Estus Flask special edition game guide, which alongside other merchandise, included a replica of an Estus Flask. Unfortunately, many unboxing videos and reviews have shown that fans are dissatisfied with the cheap-looking flask. With this in mind, we've compiled some better Estus Flask-themed merchandise so you can show off your love for Dark Souls.

The flask, an item from Dark Souls that replenishes a player's life, is described as a "high-quality, resin replica of the emerald Estus Flask" on Prima's official website. The Estus Flask edition guide launched at a price of $ 129.99, and is is listed at $ 77.99 on Amazon. It's a hefty price, and many felt underwhelmed with the product. Game critic Jim Sterling wrote in his unboxing review that, "The hollow lump is made from cheap green plastic that doesn’t even come close to the shade featured in promotional photography. Upon closer inspection, I’m fairly certain the official image doesn’t even display a physical flask – it looks like they’ve substituted an artist’s rendition rather than the real product."

You can view an image of the Prima "flask" that came with the special edition pack below:

(Photo from Amazon review)

Lucky for you, there are better (and less costly) ways to show your appreciation for the Souls series. Check out the list below for some neat alternatives.

Estus Flask Necklace – $ 8.99 
Click here to go to Etsy Shop

Estus Flask Mug – $ 14.99
Click here to go to Etsy Shop

Estus Flask Premium Quality T-Shirt – $ 26.99
Click here to go to Red Bubble

Estus Flask Hard Lemonade T-Shirt – $ 26.61
Click here to go to Red Bubble

Sir Oscar of Astora's Estus Flask T-shirt – $ 29.81
Click here to go to Red Bubble

There are a lot more Estus Flask-themed t-shirts to choose from on Red Bubble, and you can view them all here. If you're looking for Dark Souls merchandise outside of Estus Flasks, check out this article from The Daily Crate for more.

Read our Dark Souls III review here, and click the banner below to view our hub of exclusive content.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

GI Show – Final Fantasy XV Impressions, Oddworld’s Lorne Lanning

It's an exciting episode of The Game Informer Show this week. Host Ben Hanson is joined by Joe Juba to talk about our trip to Square Enix and to share our exclusive impressions of playing Final Fantasy XV. After that Kyle Hilliard explains how he fell in love with Hyper Light Drifter and why it was specifically crafted in a lab for his tastes in gaming. Then Andrew Reiner shares his thoughts on the impressive, new reboot of Ratchet & Clank. The back half of the show this week features Lorne Lanning from Oddworld Inhabitants to talk about the upcoming "remake" of Abe's Exxodus, the intersection of Hollywood and games, and his concerns about the booming VR industry.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes, or listen to episode 295 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your emails to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the timestamps below… 

4:12 – Our Final Fantasy XV impressions
38:52 – Hyper Light Drifter
47:10 – Enter the Gungeon
48:00 – Ratchet & Clank
54:10 – Listener emails
1:09:55 – Lorne Lanning interview
1:33:55 – Lanning's thoughts on fraud in the VR industry 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

[Update] MLB The Show 16 Experiencing Debilitating Server Issues That Affect All Modes

Update (April 8, 2016 @ 5:31 p.m.): The development team has provided an update on the official forums of MLB The Show 16. You can read their full response to the recent server issues below.

Every season, there’s nothing we look forward to more than finally getting a new version of MLB The Show into our fans’ hands. We spend our offseason striving to make the best baseball game possible, aided by an amazing community that buoys us with their support and terrific feedback.

The Show 16 is the culmination of all of that, a labor of love for all of us, and while we’re proud of everything we put in the package this year, our initial online experience has been inconsistent.

We apologize that the excitement of launch and the start of the season has been soured by these issues. Our team is taking every step necessary and working around the clock to stabilize our online servers as soon as possible.

In acknowledgment of the frustration these issues have caused, if you’ve played The Show 16 while connected to PlayStation Network before 1 pm PDT, Friday, April 8, we’re adding 5,000 stubs and 10 standard packs to your account. Stubs will show up automatically by Tuesday, April 12; no redemption required. Packs can be accessed in the “Open Packs” section by Tuesday, April 12 (via “Main Menu > My Locker > Inventory > Open Packs”).

To those of you who’ve reached out to us during this week, and to the many more who we haven’t heard from but who may have been affected, we extend our endless thanks and appreciation for your patience and ongoing support.

Original Story (April 7, 2016 @ 4:59 p.m.):

Early yesterday morning, MLB The Show 16 underwent server maintenance as announced on the official MLB The Show Twitter account. When the maintenance window ended, however, players began noticing that the menus are taking much longer than usual to load – sometimes to the point where it displays an error message.

The load times, which are worsened during prime time hours, affect any part of the game that tries to access the servers. This means it not only affects modes like online matchmaking and the server-focused Diamond Dynasty mode, but also single-player modes like Road to the Show and franchise since you can sometimes earn rewards for Diamond Dynasty for leveling up your player card. Since you also earn Diamond Dynasty rewards for starting up the game, even trying to load the main menu from the title screen can throw an error or take abnormally long to load. 

I experienced these problems last night. Below, you can see a video I took several minutes into the game attempting to load the main menu from the title screen.

A simple Twitter search shows that this is far from a localized problem. The official MLB The Show Twitter account has not posted any news or acknowledgment of the problem, though several of its followers are letting them know about the problem in response to other Tweets. We reached out to PlayStation for comment on the issues, but did not immediately receive a response. Should we receive a response, we will update this post.

[Source: Pasta Padre, Twitter]

 

Our Take
The problem is easily fixable by disconnecting from the Internet prior to starting the game, but that's not something players should have to do to seamlessly play modes like franchise and Road to the Show, which have little to no online components. With no comment being delivered via the official MLB The Show Twitter account, fans are left in the dark about any kind of resolution that might make the game function properly again. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

MLB The Show 16 Experiencing Debilitating Server Issues That Affect All Modes

Early yesterday morning, MLB The Show 16 underwent server maintenance as announced on the official MLB The Show Twitter account. When the maintenance window ended, however, players began noticing that the menus are taking much longer than usual to load – sometimes to the point where it displays an error message.

The load times, which are worsened during prime time hours, affect any part of the game that tries to access the servers. This means it not only affects modes like online matchmaking and the server-focused Diamond Dynasty mode, but also single-player modes like Road to the Show and franchise since you can sometimes earn rewards for Diamond Dynasty for leveling up your player card. Since you also earn Diamond Dynasty rewards for starting up the game, even trying to load the main menu from the title screen can throw an error or take abnormally long to load. 

I experienced these problems last night. Below, you can see a video I took several minutes into the game attempting to load the main menu from the title screen.

A simple Twitter search shows that this is far from a localized problem. The official MLB The Show Twitter account has not posted any news or acknowledgment of the problem, though several of its followers are letting them know about the problem in response to other Tweets. We reached out to PlayStation for comment on the issues, but did not immediately receive a response. Should we receive a response, we will update this post.

[Source: Pasta Padre, Twitter]

 

Our Take
The problem is easily fixable by disconnecting from the Internet prior to starting the game, but that's not something players should have to do to seamlessly play modes like franchise and Road to the Show, which have little to no online components. With no comment being delivered via the official MLB The Show Twitter account, fans are left in the dark about any kind of resolution that might make the game function properly again. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

GI Show – Dark Souls III, Quantum Break, Clueless Gamer’s Aaron Bleyaert

This week on our little podcast, host Ben Hanson is joined by Andrew Reiner, Dan Tack, and Ben Reeves as we cover the biggest games around. We start out talking about Dark Souls III, which (believe it or not) Dan Tack liked a lot. After that, we get twisted and talk with Reeves about what he enjoyed so much about Remedy Entertainment's Quantum Break. Reiner's around to talk about the return of baseball season and MLB The Show 16. Instead of the usual email section in the middle of the show, we bring back a much-requested segment by taking some live calls from random members of our lovely community. To finish things off, the tail end of the show has Kyle Hilliard and Ben Hanson interviewing Aaron Bleyaert from Conan's Clueless Gamer segments about the process, history, and future of those fun videos. As always, if you enjoy the show be sure to tell a friend.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes, or listen to episode 294 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your emails to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the timestamps below… 

:30 – Our cover story on Final Fantasy XV
4:10 – Banner Saga 2
7:35 – Dark Souls 3
21:07 – Quantum Break
31:55 – MLB The Show 16
37:40 – Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void's DLC/The future of the RTS
48:25 – Community call segment
1:15:10 – Clueless Gamer's Aaron Bleyaert

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

GI Show – Final Fantasy XV, Adr1ft, GI Game Club Finale

We're sorry that the podcast is late, but we wanted to record the show later than usual so that we can cover a couple of the week's biggest nuggets of gaming news. This week Ben Hanson is joined by the great Andy McNamara, Jeff Cork, and Joe Juba for a fun show. We cover the gigantic event held unveiling news about Final Fantasy XV, why Adr1ft is one of the best VR launch titles, and what it looks like when Nintendo makes a social-media service on the iPhone. The back half of the show has Joe Juba, Ben Reeves, and Ben Hanson return to the world of Final Fantasy VII to discuss the game's ending and to announce our next choice for GI Game Club.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes, or listen to episode 293 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your emails to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the timestamps below… 

1:55 – Covering the new Final Fantasy XV news
22:00 – VR's launch and Adr1ft
41:00 – Kronos and the other Oculus launch games
1:10:50 – Nintendo's iOS and Android Miitomo
1:15:05 – Listener emails
1:22:00 – Stardew Valley vs. Harvest Moon
1:36:20 – Discussing Final Fantasy VII's final disc

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

MLB The Show 16 Review – When Authenticity Isn’t Enough

When you attend a game of baseball in MLB The Show 16, you’re not just going for the peanuts, Cracker Jack, or thrill of seeing a batter demolish a searing 97-mph fastball; you’re going to watch a player disprove Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Thanks to a new ability called “Showtime,” used exclusively in any player-lock mode like Road to the Show, the fabric of reality can unravel at any given time in The Show 16, gifting your player with the god-like ability to slow time to a crawl. With Showtime active, that 97-mph fastball ends up looking like a lazy balloon floating to the plate.

For a series that I applaud annually for getting baseball’s smallest details right, The Show now appears to have its sights set on mimicking popular video game conventions. Last year, players could wear gear to artificially reward ability bumps. This year, the Showtime mechanic smacks of a mutant gene from a superhero game. While I like the spectacle of Showtime, such as seeing my fielder dive for a ball in super slow motion, it’s more of a misrepresentation of the sport than anything. It feels cheap. Showtime doesn’t guarantee success, but there’s obviously less of a chance of a strike out, error, or poorly struck ball. Although a limited resource, it is cheating in the most video game way possible.

Road to the Show also stumbles mightily with its Showtime-based perk system that guarantees outcomes like flyballs or all pitches being in the strike zone. Couple these additions with the returning trading card system, and suddenly, skill doesn’t matter that much anymore. This year’s takeaway: Build your baseball Iron Man, select his powers, and you’ll make it to the big leagues in no time.

Diamond Dynasty, Sony’s online-focused mode in which you are tasked to create a fictional team and build its roster through collectible player cards, has received a fair number of notable additions this year. This is where I ended up spending most of my time, willingly and having a good time doing so. For first time in Show history, Diamond Dynasty is the mode I recommend players invest their time in. Through the new avenues of play, I was pleased to find I was earning new cards left and right, and I could fly through match-ups almost as quickly as a player-locked game.

Diamond Dynasty’s biggest hooks come in unconventional baseball ways. The first is Conquest mode, a grid-based battle across the United States in which every MLB baseball team (and your fictional one) vie for territorial control. Win a three-inning game against a team and the fans from that area will join you.

I had a good time with Conquest mode, despite it being somewhat of a lengthy and bloated mess. This mode does a nice job of pushing you to try out higher difficulties, as more fans are rewarded for each increase in difficulty. I could easily steal away a million fans from the Twins on the Rookie setting, but getting three million on All-Star, while more challenging, is a huge blow to that small market, making them crushable early on. Plenty of strategy is tied to relocating fans for defensive purposes (think building a wall around your base), and to put at the front your onslaught to take down teams. My first playthrough of Conquest is still going, even after playing roughly 30 games within it. Although Conquest can only be played while connected to Sony’s servers, it is strictly a single-player experience. It's a weird take on baseball rivalries, but it did get my blood pumping in good ways.

If you’re looking for a different way to compete against other players, Diamond Dynasty’s new Battle Royale mode offers a revolving door of competition with nice rewards…if you can afford it. Battle Royale is an online tournament that begins with a draft of 25 players. Each draft round is comprised of just five random players. You need to pick the player that best fits your team's needs. Once the roster is set, you’ll take on a human player. Win and you’ll battle another and earn better rewards for each subsequent victory. If you lose twice, you’re out, but are rewarded at least one pack of cards as a parting gift. The catch: You have to pay 1,500 studs (the in-game currency) to compete each time (the first time is free). That’s right, much like similar modes in FIFA and Hearthstone, Battle Royale is a pay-to-play mode. You never leave emptyhanded, but unless you spend real money, you also won’t play it much given how slow the grind for studs can be in the other modes. A three inning win in Conquest won't even net you 100.

Battle Royale mode is the most fun I've had battling other players in The Show, but the net code behind it isn’t as reliable as it should be, a problem The Show has struggled with since venturing online. Some games were loaded with lag and strange fielding freezes, like players running forward for a few seconds before releasing the ball, even though the button was pressed seconds ago. Instances like this are unacceptable in short, three-inning games usually decided by one run. Experience one moment like that and it could be game over for your Battle Royale attempt. Here's hoping you didn't pay real money for studs to get in.

Stat junkies are going to love this year’s Franchise mode. Almost every little statistic you can think of – including wins above replacement – is tracked within this mode now. You also can comb through the archives of lifetime stats for each player. Managing an organization is a little more complex this year, as the trade logic for rival GMs is much improved, budgets can be tricky to stay on top of, and you have to factor in player morale for everything including free-agent signings. Star players bring many demands, and if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, they’ll play angry and affect the outcomes of the club. A bit more babysitting is required for Franchise mode, but I did feel like a GM with my hand in everything. There’s just a lot to keep track of.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Although this year’s Show can be a bit fantastical (in Road to the Show), a little dense (in Franchise), and a bit unfair to the wallet (in Battle Royale), it once again plays one hell of a game on the field. It also looks stunning thanks to the new physically-based rendering technology (which makes every surface pop), improved night lighting, and smoother transitional animations. Player facial hair still looks a little like a beast from Dark Souls, but the detail in the player models is also improved, especially for star players.

I harped on The Show last year for its lack of new experiences, and Sony answered that call with two big additions to Diamond Dynasty. They don’t scream of America’s Greatest Pastime in any capacity – mascot races make more sense – but they are welcome diversions that prop up The Show’s excellent on-the-field play (which still fits like a well-worn glove). The series is moving away from being an authentic baseball simulation, but for longtime players of The Show, these pie-in-the-sky ideas are just what this baseball series needs.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Quantum Break Review – Show Time

Peanut butter and chocolate. Thunder and lightning. Country music and road trips. Some things go really well together. Television and video games aren’t two of those things. Only a few developers have experimented with combining the two mediums, but television/game crossovers never feel like more than the sum of their parts. The closest I’ve ever gotten to an entertaining game/television experience was watching South Park reruns while playing the South Park game. Quantum Break combines these two media in a new way, including a short-run television series in the middle of a third-person shooter. Unsurprisingly, the show does little to elevate Quantum Break as a game, but the action in this time warp is strong enough to stand on its own.

In previous games, developer Remedy has attempted to tell character-focused narratives in the midst of frantic firefights. While I enjoyed Max Payne and Alan Wake, those stories felt ham-fisted and overwrought. In contrast, Quantum Break is Remedy’s best script to date. The story of Jack Joyce is a pulpy sci-fi tale about a failed time travel experiment that grants two men the ability to manipulate time, and their subsequent battle to save timespace from complete collapse. Throughout this journey, Remedy explores the “rules of time travel” in an interesting way and hints at a larger world through scattered emails and other pieces of ancillary story content that I was actually interested to read. The cast of established actors like Aidan Gillen and Lance Reddick also help bring depth to each character, and a few plot twists hold genuine emotional weight.

These interesting story moments are surrounded by impressive time-altered shootouts. Early on, you gain a suite of clever time manipulation powers, such as the ability to create a time shield that slows bullets around you, and a time rush move that essentially turns you into the Flash. All of these powers encourage you to jump out of cover and mix it up in the environment. I loved dashing through the world until my enemies lost track of my position, and then getting the drop on them with a blast of time powers before slipping away again. Your time powers are so diverse that each combat encounter can easily play out in a variety of different ways and the cool downs on each power encourage you to use your full suite of powers while recharging fast enough so that you always have at least one ace up your sleeve.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Some of my favorite moments came when the action slowed to a stop. As time breaks down, it creates a series of time stutters, which are essentially pockets of frozen space. I got an almost voyeuristic thrill walking through office buildings, looking at business professionals frozen in mid flight after tripping over a rug or checking their dating profiles in the middle of a meeting. However, as time continues to degrade it creates dangerous situations where objects become out of sync with the rest of the world and start colliding with each other. I practically held my breath while racing under a train that was stuck in a repeating cycle of smashing into a skyscraper, and I felt a rush of vertigo while platforming across a series of frozen road signs suspended in the air after a cargo vessel sideswiped a drawbridge.

It’s a good thing that time is so much fun to play with, because Quantum Break’s weapons are incredibly generic. There are machineguns with full auto and machineguns with burst fire, but they all feel like interchangeable bullet hoses. The other big disappointment was the final, and only, boss encounter, which is a trial-and-error experience of one-hit-kill attacks that are not significantly telegraphed.

Though it holds its own as a game, you can’t talk about Quantum Break without mentioning the accompanying television show. Throughout the game, you’re interrupted by four live-action mini dramas that flesh out the happenings within the villainous Monarch Corporation. These episodes feel like the kind of disposable TV dramas that are ubiquitous on low-rated cable networks. The show spends most of its time focusing on characters who don’t get much game time, which makes the events feel even less significant, if not meaningless. Even so, because your actions in the game can shape the events of the show, I looked forward to the episodes in an odd way. Unfortunately, your actions usually only result in trivial changes to the show. For example, you might broadcast something over the enemy’s radios in the game, and this chatter can be heard during a scene in the show, but these moments have no lasting significance.

Quantum Break isn’t a perfect game; it’s a bold experiment in how two -mediums can tell a larger story, and at times it pays off. It would be foolish for every game to attempt to emulate this form of storytelling, but Quantum Break as a gaming oddity deserves attention. I wish the events of the show were more significant to the main story, but Quantum Break more than makes up for that with some of the best storytelling and gameplay Remedy has ever produced.

For more on the development of the game, including video
interviews with the team and a special edition podcast, click on the banner
below to visit our Quantum Break hub.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed