Fallout 76 Aims To Last Until The End Of Time

Unlike previous entries in the Fallout franchise, this November’s Fallout 76 is a multiplayer-focused, always-online game. Bethesda plans to release free DLC to keep people coming back as part of the game’s larger games-as-a-service model. But how long will the game last? According to Bethesda marketing executive … until the end of time.

“Forever,” he told Metro when asked how long he envisions Fallout 76 lasting. “I’m not being ironic. Like, forever.”

Part of the reason Hines said he believes this is possible is because other Bethesda games like Fallout 4 and Skyrim have remained incredibly popular years after launch, and those titles didn’t have as much of an online focus as Fallout 76.

“Other people have said, ‘Is your timeline [for Fallout 76] two years or five years?’ And I said, ‘Well, they’re still playing Morrowind and you go online and look at how many people are playing Fallout 4 and Skyrim,” Hines said. “Those games have been out for four and seven years, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people playing those games every single day, every single month.”

He added: “So Fallout 76, our timeline is in perpetuity.”

While Hines said he believes Fallout 76 will have an incredibly long tail, he said he doesn’t know for sure what the future content will look like. How future content shapes up will depend on how the community reacts.

“Part of our thing is we need to get people in the game and see how they respond,” he said. “We’ve even taken this approach for past DLC. I don’t know if you remember Fallout 3? The big consumer reaction when we launched that game was that they were all upset that it had an ending. And we were like, ‘All the previous games had an ending! We thought we were sticking to what that franchise is…’ But they didn’t want an ending and we had a couple of DLCs in the works but the third one we did we were like, ‘Well, we need a DLC that removes the ending of the game and allows you to continue on.’ So 76 is going to be like that. We have some ideas for this and that, but let’s see what people want more of. Let’s see what they respond to and support that.”

Fallout 76 launches in November for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC; the beta begins in October, and it’ll be available first on Xbox One. Alongside the Power Armor edition, Microsoft will bundle the game with a white Xbox One X.

Warframe Nintendo Switch Release Date Announced

Warframe, which is one of the most popular free-to-play games on PC, is coming to Nintendo Switch on November 20, it was announced today. The game is already immensely popular, with 38 million players worldwide, and it’ll grow bigger still when it comes to Switch.

The space-ninja action game Warframe launched back in 2013 on PC to middling reviews, and has since been released for PS4 and Xbox One. The game has been something of a comeback story, as developer Digital Extremes has continued to improve and expand on the game. This has helped the game create a passionate and dedicated playerbase.

The Switch edition was worked on Panic Button, a studio that also brought Wolfenstein 2, Doom, and Rocket League to Nintendo’s hybrid console.

The release date announced for Warframe on Switch came as part of the Nintendo Direct. You can catch up on all the big news here in GameSpot’s roundup.

Witcher On Netflix: TV Showrunner Leaves Twitter Amid Backlash Over Casting Rumors

The showrunner of Netflix’s upcoming Witcher TV show has announced she is going on a Twitter hiatus in the midst of backlash surrounding rumoured casting details for the character Ciri. Lauren S. Hissrich announced on Twitter that she’s leaving Twitter, explaining that she is stepping away so she can spend more time writing the show.

“The love here [on Twitter] is amazing, and the hate is enlightening, like a real-life Trials of the Grasses,” she wrote, referencing the horrific-sounding fictitious trial that those looking to become Witchers must endure. She ended her note by asking her Twitter followers to be nice to each other.

Hissrich got slammed with negative comments after an unconfirmed casting advertisement suggested that the show’s producers were looking for a young woman of colour to play Ciri, who is Geralt’s adoptive daughter.

Others brought up the fact that in May, Hissrich said on Twitter that she would not change a character’s background because she was feeling “liberal” that day. Hissrich also pointed out at the time that The Witcher show on Netflix will feature minority actors. “But will there be minorities? Yes. A man would be a minority in Brokilon Forest. A person of color would be a minority in a small village. An islander would be an minority in Cintra. [The Witcher series author] Mr. Sapkowski has said–publicly, and to me–that the Continent is big and diverse in its population, in every way (race, culture, gender, and yes, occasionally skin color, which he said he did not always specify). I’m not sure how people insinuate I’m destroying the books by recognizing that. I’m honoring the author’s own intentions. He told me so himself.”

This week, Hissrich pointed out that she did not comment on the casting process for Geralt before it was revealed that Henry Cavill got the role. Similarly, she said she won’t discuss casting for Ciri or other characters until official announcements are made.

Some have already said they will boycott The Witcher TV show, and Hissrich said she doesn’t understand why. “How does one boycott a show that doesn’t yet exist, about a person who hasn’t been cast, in response to a writer who hasn’t commented? I think we’ve officially gone mad,” she said.

Finally, Hissrich said she believes the majority of nay-sayers are not “trolls,” but instead passionate fans. “I actually don’t think the majority of these people are trolls. I think they’re passionate fans, too, with really strong opinions,” she said.

The Witcher TV show is based on Sapkowski’s novels, which are the inspiration for the games from CD Projekt Red. The show is slated to premiere in 2019.

No new games in The Witcher franchise have been announced; CD Projekt Red is currently working on the ambitious futuristic game Cyberpunk 2077.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s First Hours Have A Forced Romance, But Amusing Dialogue Options

Since the beginning, the central conflict in the Assassin’s Creed series has been freedom vs. control. For the most part, we’ve been placed on the side of freedom and fought to give others the right to choose how they want to live. Ironically, we haven’t had much choice in how we go about it, and have repeatedly followed a controlled narrative in each entry that forced us to kill certain characters, spare others, and react to the world in a specific way.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey changes that and delivers an unprecedented level of freedom in its combat and dialogue. The game even allows you to choose your romantic partner, personal allegiance, and which people deserve to die–including normal civilians and several of the assassination targets.

In the opening eight to ten hours of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, our travels through ancient Greece introduced us to a large supporting cast of characters, gave us our first taste of Odyssey’s naval combat, and allowed us to experience the effects of choosing certain dialogue responses over others. We got a pretty comprehensive idea of the differences in combat and how the introductory skills in Odyssey work too, as we played through the game’s opening hours with Alexios as a powerful melee fighter and bow wielder, and then again with Kassandra as a speedy and stealthy assassin who relied on small daggers.

As we played through Odyssey’s opening chapters, we noticed the game repeatedly go out of its way to give the player the ability to choose. Kassandra and Alexios may be its protagonists, but the next Assassin’s Creed is all about you living your own odyssey. For the most part, it works, but some of the new innovations suffer from solely focusing on the player’s needs and not those of the game’s characters.

New Skills Are Unlocked Quickly And Make Fights More Fluid

You level up and unlock new skills fairly quickly at the start of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, giving you plenty of opportunities to experiment with new abilities. At the start, the only abilities available to you will be different types of archery shots, melee attacks, and stealth skills. The higher end abilities that sheath your blade in fire or perform other seemingly magical attacks are locked until you progress a certain ways through the story.

Like Assassin’s Creed Origins, the use of these skills runs on an adrenaline meter. However, adrenaline fills a lot faster in Odyssey, so it’s easier to chain together many skills in a row to pull off devastating combos in combat or stealthily slice your way through an enemy compound in mere moments.

Kassandra and Alexios do not use shields, so the shield bashing skills from Origins are gone. However, plenty of Bayek’s other abilities make a return, including using a special vision to sense and tag enemies through walls or controlling the trajectory of an arrow after you’ve fired it into the air.

The new skills are way more fun, though. Spartan kick deals tons of damage and is a good way of putting some space between you and a powerful enemy. Ubisoft has even nicely stationed several foes alongside the edges of cliffs or towers in the early areas whose sole purpose seems to only be to stand there until they’re sadisticly kicked into oblivion. Compared to Bayek, Kassandra and Alexios have a lot more creative stealth skills as well, including a particularly effective one that allows you to throw out a knife into a person’s back and immediately appear behind them to finish them off before then throwing the knife into another target. It’s like Kassandra/Alexios are teleporting from one enemy to the next, but the game describes it as them being so fast and sneaky that enemies can’t keep track of them.

Instead of putting all your points into new skills, you can also spend them on upgrading your existing ones too. For example, the teleporting knife throwing skill only chains up to two targets at first, but you can use additional points to raise that number. And if you don’t like the skills you’ve unlocked or upgraded, Odyssey lets you respec your protagonist at any time.

Romancing Someone Can Be A Little Creepy

In our time with the demo, we only found one person we could flirt and start a relationship with. Her name is Odessa and she’s a direct descendent of the legendary Greek hero Odysseus, the protagonist of Homer’s Odyssey. Odessa is attracted to both Kassandra and Alexios so you’ll be able to romance her regardless of which character you choose.

Romance in Odyssey plays out a lot like the romantic storylines in Mass Effect: Andromeda. One of the dialogue choices for when you meet someone you can romance will have a little heart next to it. Clicking that choice causes Kassandra/Alexios to flirt with that person. Do it enough times and the game transitions into a scene where both characters are intimate. It’s very straightforward and easy to do if you want to romance someone, and just as simple to avoid it if you don’t want to.

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The problem with romancing Odessa, is that you have to be a huge creep to “woo” her. If you choose to romance Odessa, you have to continue flirting with her and pushing for her to have sex with you while she’s asking you to help her gather medicine for her dying father or pleading with you to save her life from some men who want her dead. And when you do help her and she finally agrees to have sex with you, you can ask if she wants to go again. She resists–saying she’s tired from the sex you both had literally seconds prior–but she appreciate your advances and you can then offer for her to serve on your crew so she can find the meaning in her life she’s been desperately seeking. She’s then available to help you in boarding parties during naval combat.

Forging the relationship feels very formulaic and unnatural. There are cute moments–especially at the start–but the overall experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s a moment where Odyssey’s message of this being a journey for the player gets in the way of the gameplay. The Odessa romance is purposely built for you to have the girl if you want her, and dispose of her if you don’t–you can literally leave her locked in a cage on an island. By the end, we didn’t feel like we’d formed a loving connection with a special person; rather we’d chosen to recruit someone who felt indebted to us. Hopefully there are other romantic storylines in Odyssey that feel a bit more like actually falling in love.

Shaping The Protagonist’s Words Can Create Amusing Consequences

Despite having the choice of choosing what Kassandra or Alexios can say to someone, the dialogue in the game has been structured to fit a specific archetype. Kassandra and Alexios are hot-headed, stubborn, and very opinionated so all of their dialogue choices reflect that. When an annoying woman is badgering the protagonists about finding her stolen wood, they can either ask her to be patient with a hint of annoyance in their voice or angrily yell at her and tell her to shut up while they go get her wood. Both answers are technically the same–in both instances Kassandra and Alexios are getting tired of being badgered about getting this woman’s wood they already agreed to find–but the player decides whether or not the protagonist should keep their emotions under control.

There are a few moments where you’ll be able to use dialogue to solve problems. For instance, you can help a praying woman by having the protagonists speak out and pretend to be the god Hermes. It’s hilarious how easily the woman believes in the ruse, but it convinces her to return home to her family. You can continue the charade by following her home and leaving the gold she was praying for on her doorstep.

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During the demo, we also got to see how our dialogue choices can affect the game’s story. Not all of the choices in Odyssey lead to the result you think, and you’ll have to be careful. A positive action does not always yield a positive response. Early on in the game, we learned about some plague victims. After investigating the situation, it seemed like the civilians in quarantine were clean, so we allowed them to return to their lives. It wasn’t until much later–after we’d sailed away from the island–that we learned the plague had spread from those civilians and killed more people. Ubisoft informed us that had we allowed the guards to continue detaining the quarantined citizens against their will, the plague would have ended.

Another surprise was the lack of complete censorship in Odyssey’s dialogue. Although a few words–like “mercenary” and “hello”–are spoken in the native tongue, the protagonist and the other characters they meet all freely swear without being censored by the Animus. We’ve never heard an Assassin’s Creed protagonist drop so many f-bombs before. It’s a little jarring at first but we quickly got used to it, and it occasionally makes Kassandra/Alexios’ angry outbursts a little funnier.

Naval Travel Is Tedious

Naval travel is so slow in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. From a historical sense, it’s understandable that Odyssey’s protagonists wouldn’t have access to the same technology seen in Assassin’s Creed 3, 4: Black Flag, and Rogue, so their vessel would be slower than Ratohnhake:ton’s Aquila, Edward’s Jackdaw, and Shay’s Morrigan. That doesn’t change how annoying it is when it comes time to sail on a longer voyage, and it certainly doesn’t help that the ocean lacks the same vibrant life and activity that made exploring so enjoyable in Black Flag. After playing the mandatory naval missions, we steered clear of the optional ones.

Naval combat is still pretty fun, although you’ll often be ramming into and sinking ships in the beginning of the game instead of boarding them. If you do choose to only wound a vessel and leap aboard, an army will no longer follow after you. A few sailors might join you, but you’ll mostly be on your own. If you want a boarding party, you’ll have to recruit people for the job–in a similar style to Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain. You find someone you want to recruit, knock them out with a Spartan kick or melee takedown, and then abduct them. When they wake up, they can be assigned as an officer within your crew.

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Officer recruitment is another unfortunate example where Odyssey’s mission to cater to the player has a negative effect on the gameplay. It would have been nice to have specific missions devoted to acquiring officers–similar to Assassin’s Creed 3’s assassin recruit missions–so each member of your crew had a bit more personality. But again, your crew’s story and their choices don’t matter, it’s yours that does. It’s also a little weird that everyone you kidnap is just okay with serving under you, even if just prior to being knocked out you killed every one of their fellow soldiers. Apparently, no one you abduct has a family who misses them either.

Like the weapons and gear you find, each potential officer has a rarity level and extra attributes. For example, a common enemy archer we recruited increased the number of arrows our ship could fire by a tiny percent and he brought a small contingent of soldiers with him when he joined us while boarding an enemy ship. Meanwhile, Odessa–who’s very skilled with both a bow and sword and considered a rare character–increases our ship’s arrow barrage damage by a significant amount, remains by our side while on enemy ships, attracts a sizable boarding party, and can kill most sailors in just one to two hits. At the start, you can only assign one officer, but if you choose to upgrade the size of your ship then you’ll be able to pick up to four.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey releases on October 5 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game comes with certain in-game bonuses depending on where you pre-order it from and what edition you buy, of which there are quite a few.

Nier: Automata’s Story Is Expanded On In Official Novel

Viz Media has announced the worldwide pre-order for Long Story Short, the first of two novels that add additional context to the story and characters in Nier: Automata. The book is already available in Japan, and its English translation will release on October 9.

Long Story Short is written by Jun Eishima and Yoko Taro–the latter of which is the director of Nier: Automata–and works as both an entry point for those unfamiliar with Automata and as an avenue for those experienced with the game to further explore its lore. The novel includes story details and character thoughts that weren’t included in Nier: Automata, some of which change your perception of certain actions taken by the game’s protagonists.

In 2019, another Nier: Automata novel, titled Short Story Long, will release. Instead of following the events of the game, Short Story Long is a collection of short stories that take place within the Nier: Automata universe. The original Japanese version of Short Story Long is also already out and includes seven stories, but it has not been confirmed whether the English translation will include the same number. Short Story Long is also written by Jun Eishima and Yoko Taro.

You can pre-order Long Story Short for $15 in the U.S. and $20 in Canada, or nab it at a discount if you buy the digital version.

Nier: Automata was one of our favorite PS4 games in 2017 and we gave it a 9/10. In our Nier: Automata review, we described it as “Taro’s most exciting game to date” and praised the combat mechanics and powerful storytelling–all of which remained in the game when it released on Xbox One in 2018.

New Anime Crimes Division Season 2 Trailer Reveals Fullmetal Alchemist Murder

Anime Crimes Division is returning for a second season. The popular web series stars Riley Rose Critchlow and YouTuber SungWon “ProZD” Cho and is produced as a collaborative effort between RocketJump and Crunchyroll.

In the exclusive clip above, RocketJump co-founder and Anime Crimes Division director Freddie Wong talks about what viewers can expect to see in the show’s new season. Full warning, if you haven’t watched Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood yet, the above clip contains a spoiler of one of the more prominent character deaths in the series. Some of the other trailers for Anime Crimes Division showcase the same death scene so if you don’t want to be spoiled, watch Brotherhood first.

Crunchyroll’s synopsis of the second season is as follows: “Detectives Joe Fuyara and Diesel are back for a second season, working to solve a series of anime-inspired crimes taking place in Neo Otaku City. In order to do so, Joe and Diesel must defeat TOXIC: a terrorist group from nearby Prestige City who want to steal all the anime from Neo Otaku City because they don’t believe anyone else is worthy. Joe and Diesel battle these evil terrorists in order to restore order to Neo Otaku City, and ensure anime is still something for everyone to enjoy.”

Anime Crimes Division Season 2 begins airing today on Crunchyroll and new episodes will go live every Friday. The season is composed of six episodes. Season 2 moves away from the villain of the week formula the show used in the first season, and is instead structured like a segmented film with one overarching plot.