April 2020

Preorder Assassin's Creed Valhalla for $49.94, With Free Next-Gen Upgrade

1 week ago
The next game in Ubisoft's long-running historical series is Assassin's Creed Valhalla (see it at Amazon). It's coming November 10 to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, PC, and Stadia. You play as Eivor, a Viking warrior who leads a clan out of Norway and begins raiding English towns during the Dark Ages. When you're not looting and plundering, you can build and grow your own settlement to gain power in the region. Eivor can be male or female, and the game features a new combat system that includes dual-wielding weapons. You can read more in our Assassin's Creed Valhalla reveal. As usual with major Ubisoft releases, Assassin's Creed Valhalla will be available in a number of editions. Here's a look at what comes in each one, plus details about what preorder bonuses to expect.
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Chris Reed

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The 12 Best Games For The Nintendo Switch

3 weeks 4 days ago

Nintendo didn’t release many games in 2020, but the Switch still surged in popularity. Thanks to a historically mismanaged pandemic that confined countless people to their homes, Nintendo’s hybrid console flew off shelves. For a long stretch in the spring, no thanks to a little game called Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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Kotaku Staff

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28 Best Xbox Game Pass Games

3 weeks 6 days ago
Since its launch in 2017, Xbox Game Pass has become one of the best deals in gaming, providing access to a diverse library of hundreds of games for a monthly fee of $10 USD ($15 if you want access to both the console and PC libraries). And with new (often excellent) games added each month, its value has continued to increase over time. We originally ran this list three years ago, but since then the Game Pass library has more than doubled, now offering over 250 games on console and nearly 200 on PC, according to Microsoft. With so many around the world staying home to help contain the spread of COVID-19, we’re updating this list so you can get the most out of your subscription. Here are the 28 best games you can play right now on Xbox Game Pass, listed alphabetically. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=28-best-xbox-game-pass-games&captions=true"]

Crusader Kings 3

Xbox Game Pass (PC) In IGN's Crusader Kings 3 review, we called it "a superb strategy game, a great RPG, and a master class in how to take the best parts of existing systems and make them deeper and better." Its strong grand strategy mechanics are propped up by meaningful human stories that emerge as you build and sustain a dynasty. It earned a 10 in our review, which crowned it the "new king of historical strategy." Read IGN’s Crusader Kings 3 review.

Dead Cells

Xbox Game Pass (console and PC) Thanks to its ever-changing level design, each run of Dead Cells feels fresh.
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Jordan Sirani

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The Best Reviewed Games of 2020 (So Far)

1 month ago
Much like the last transitional year for console gaming in 2013 — a year that brought us Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us, and BioShock Infinite — 2020 has been a strong year for new games. With the first half of the year behind us, we've compiled a list of all 56 games that received a review score of 8 or higher from IGN. Note that, despite their qualifying scores, expansions (e.g. The Division 2: Warlords of New York) and games in Early Access (e.g. Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord) aren't included. Click through the gallery below or continue scrolling for our full list of 2020's best games (so far), ordered from lowest score to highest. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=the-best-reviewed-games-of-2020&captions=true"]

13 Sentinels: Aegis RIM

Review Score: 8 | Developer: Vanillaware | Platform(s): PS4 From our review: Vanillaware games have always looked great, but 13 Sentinels is the first time the studio has put a bulk of its focus on storytelling. And it pays off. This revival of classic sci-fi ideas hits all the right notes and goes deep without overstaying its welcome, even at over 20 hours long. And while Vanillaware’s attempt at doing something different with combat by branching out into real-time tactics to portray its city-scale mechs-vs-kaiju warfare is commendable, the storytelling and rich characters undoubtedly doall the heavy lifting in making 13 Sentinels an enjoyable journey. – Matt T.M.
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Jordan Sirani

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Final Fantasy 14 Patch 5.3 Summary: End Of Shadowbringers, Next Nier Automata Raid, Free Trial, And More

3 months ago

Editor's note (July 22, 2020): This article was originally published on April 24, 2020 and has been updated to reflect the latest news on FFXIV patch 5.3.

The next update for the Square Enix MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV comes in the form of patch 5.3, subtitled Reflections in Crystal. It was first detailed by director/producer Naoki Yoshida and community manager Toshio Murouchi in the Letter From The Producer livestream from April, and the latest livestream revealed the 5.3 trailer while going in-depth on the upcoming content. The new main scenario quests will serve as a closer for the Shadowbringers narrative arc with the Crystal Exarch at the center of what seems to be a dramatic conclusion. You can watch the trailer below, but be warned, it may spoil a few aspects of the Shadowbringers story.

A new instanced four-player dungeon, called The Heroes' Gauntlet, will be included--it will work with the Trust system, which lets you run it alongside NPCs from the story as AI companions to fill the necessary roles. There's going to be another trial boss fight tied to the main story as well, but it wasn't revealed as to not spoil the surprise.

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Author
Michael Higham

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Watch Dogs: Legion - Release Date, Gameplay, and More

3 months 1 week ago
Updated 7/15 with release date, gameplay from Ubisoft Forward, and new information about permadeath. Watch Dogs: Legion is the third and upcoming entry to Ubisoft's hacking-filled series. Set in the near future in a fictional version of London where the UK has withdrawn from the EU, the authoritarian government is now using ctOS and a private security company to spy on its citizens and violently enforce the law. Players are tasked with recruiting DedSec members to form a resistance against the corrupt regime using a new mechanic introduced in Watch Dogs: Legion that allows players to assume control and play as anyone in the game. Watch Dogs: Legion is an ambitious game, to say the least, and we've put together everything we know so far, including more about the gameplay.

Release Date

The release date for Watch Dogs: Legion is October 29 and will be available on PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia, and PC (on Epic Games Store and Uplay). Watch Dogs: Legion will be a cross-generation game meaning it will eventually have Xbox Series X and PS5 versions, and both are confirmed to be free upgrades for those who purchase it for the PS4 and Xbox One.

Story and Gameplay

Watch Dogs: Legion is an open world action-adventure game that takes place in a fictional post-Brexit version of London.
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Andrew Smith

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Marvel's Avengers: Release Date, Gameplay, and What We Know So Far

4 months ago
Updated 6/25 with new Marvel's Avenger story and gameplay details. The Marvel's Avengers game is set to launch in just a few months and fans of the Marvel Universe will soon be able to play as one of six playable heroes confirmed for it. Set five years after the events of A-Day, Marvel's Avengers follows Kamala Khan as she assembles a team to help her tackle a new threat. With a beta confirmed for later this year and the release date drawing near, now is a great time to catch up on what we know about Crystal Dynamic's Marvel's Avengers so far. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/06/24/marvels-avengers-summer-of-gaming-interview"]

Marvel's Avengers Release Date

The Marvel's Avengers release date is September 4, 2020 and will arrive on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Google Stadia. Crystal Dynamics initially planned for a May 2020 release but elected to push back the date so developers could finish "fine-tuning and polishing the game." Marvel's Avengers has been teased by Square Enix since 2017 and was officially revealed at E3 2019. Those who preorder the game will get access to the beta and some other cool rewards. Check out our Marvel's Avengers preorder guide for more information.

Marvel's Avengers Story

Marvel's Avengers takes place five years after the cinematic trailer that was shown during E3 2019, where the Avengers are blamed for a tragedy involving Terrigen mists (a mutagen that transforms its victims into Inhumans) that struck the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Andrew Smith

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Pokemon Sword & Shield DLC: Everything We Know About The Isle Of Armor & Crown Tundra Expansions

4 months 2 weeks ago

Nintendo and developer Game Freak are releasing two big DLC expansions for Pokemon Sword and Shield this year: The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. The former launches next week, on June 17, while the latter is slated to follow this fall, and each will introduce a wealth of additional content to the titles, including new gameplay features, locations, characters, storylines, and even Pokemon.

Since Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra were announced earlier this year, The Pokemon Company has been gradually revealing more details about the expansions in the lead up to their launch. To help get you up to speed on the upcoming DLC, we've rounded up everything we know so far about Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra below.

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Author
Kevin Knezevic

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Oculus Quest, Rift Currently Out Of Stock

4 months 2 weeks ago

Oculus's headsets are two of the best out there, and if you're looking for one to play Half-Life: Alyx, you might be out of luck for the time being. The Rift S was briefly in stock yesterday, but is currently sold out. It requires no external sensors, so set-up is easy, and you also have access to the full Oculus library of games and apps. The Oculus Rift S and its all-in-one sister, the Oculus Quest, have been hard to find, but we've seen them in stock on a regular basis.

The Quest is similarly out of stock most places, but Canadians can snag either Oculus Quest model from Best Buy--unfortunately, Best Buy USA does not currently have any in stock.

Oculus Rift S (Sold Out)

$399

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Author
Mat Paget

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Enable two-factor authentication for your Switch account now

4 months 2 weeks ago

[Update: Nintendo has provided a statement to VGC regarding the surge in unauthorized logins, and has acknowledged the situation directly, stating: "We are aware of reports of unauthorized access to some Nintendo Accounts and we are investigating the situation. In the meantime, we recommend that users enable two-step verification for their Nintendo Account as instructed here. If any users become aware of unauthorized activity, we encourage them to take the steps outlined [here] or visit [here] for general support.]

[Update #2: Nintendo confirmed on their official site this week that "160,000" additional accounts have been compromised to date. This is on top of the 140,000 figure previously provided. Please follow the below instructions to ensure your account is secure. Nintendo reports that "less than 1%" of accounts have been impacted, and that account password resets and refunds are already underway.]

It's a crazy time right now, and it can be really tough to find a Switch if you don't have one already. As it turns out, it can also be tough to keep your current Switch secure.

Author
Chris Carter

The Dark Pictures: Little Hope Pre-Order Release Date And Price Details

4 months 2 weeks ago

Known for its critically acclaimed survival horror game Until Dawn, Supermassive Games kicked off its next project, The Dark Pictures Anthology, last year with Man of Medan, which told the frightening story of a group of college students who find themselves aboard a ghost ship. Now, the next entry in the horror franchise is nearly here. A recent trailer revealed the anthology's next installment, Little Hope, will release on PS4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in summer 2020, nearly one year after Man of Medan. And if you already know it's a day-one purchase for you, Amazon has opened up pre-orders for The Dark Pictures: Little Hope.

Like Until Dawn and the first Dark Pictures game, Little Hope will involve playing as several different characters from a third-person perspective and making decisions as the story progresses that will affect various outcomes. The decisions you make for each character affect how their personality evolves over the course of the game, and those decisions also affect their relationships with each other. As a result, there are multiple endings and different ways that things can play out in Little Hope, and as always, the stakes are high--no one is guaranteed to survive if you don't think carefully about your next move.

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Jenae Sitzes

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Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Release Date, Pre-Order Bonuses, And More

4 months 2 weeks ago

While Pokemon Sword and Shield regularly hold limited-time events, many fans are still waiting for the pair of expansions set to release later this year to bring them back after finishing the main campaign. Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra are replacing the pair of follow-up games (such as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon) that have begun releasing a year or two after a new generation of Pokemon RPGs release. Isle of Armor releases June 17, while The Crown Tundra arrives this fall. The expansions are available to pre-order now through multiple retailers and the Nintendo Eshop.

The expansions will not be sold individually, so you have to buy the Expansion Pass for $30 to gain access to both Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. Considering The Pokemon Company and Nintendo previously charged full price for the "definitive" third version of each game, the new model is probably preferable for most fans.

Both expansions feature their own regions and storylines. Isle of Armor takes place on an island off the coast of Galar that houses a dojo led by Leon's former mentor Mustard (yes, that's his actual name). Mustard gives you the Legendary Fighting Pokemon Kubfu, and then you have to train by challenging the Tower of Waters or Tower of Darkness.

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Author
Steven Petite

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Xbox Series X Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When Store Listings Go Live

4 months 2 weeks ago

Since it revealed the Xbox Series X at last year's Game Awards, Microsoft has been trickling out information about its next-gen console. We've seen what the Xbox Series X controller looks like, learned details about the console's build and specs, and how the Xbox Series X will handle backward-compatibility. The Xbox Series X is still expected to launch later this year, and while it's not available to pre-order yet, you can sign up for notifications from a number of different retailers. Here's what we know about Xbox Series X's release date, price, and more.

We recently saw Microsoft's first full showcase of the Xbox Series X, showing off a number of games coming to both Xbox One and Series X, with many supporting the company's "Smart Delivery" system. You can also expect more news up until launch, as Microsoft will also be releasing updates every month as part of a new "Xbox 20/20" showcase during their Inside Xbox show.

Author
Mat Paget

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PS5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live, DualSense Info, And Reveal Stream Date

4 months 2 weeks ago

Over the past year or so, we've learned details about the PlayStation 5 through a steady but slow drip, likely since the company is still releasing two major PS4 games this year: The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima. The two biggest details we've learned about the PS5 recently is what the PS5 controller, also known as the DualSense, looks like, as well as that production of the PS4 will be slower than that of its predecessor due to novel coronavirus outbreak. We've still got a lot to learn about the upcoming console, including its release date, look, and launch lineup. We're set to learn much more this week, as Sony has announced a PS5 reveal livestream for Thursday, June 11 that should hopefully answer some of our biggest questions about the console.

If you want to be one of the first people to put your money down, several retailers have started sign-ups to notify users when the PS5 will be available to pre-order.

Author
Mat Paget

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Trials Of Mana On Sale For $40 At Amazon (Nintendo Switch, PS4)

4 months 2 weeks ago

Between Final Fantasy VII Remake and Persona 5 Royal, it's a busy season for hugely popular JRPG remakes, and another classic game just got a modern revival. Square Enix's Trials of Mana released April 24 on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and PC, so fans of the Mana series fan finally return to its imaginative world. And if you've held off on picking up Trials of Mana so far, you can currently grab it for its best price yet on PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Normally $50, Trials of Mana is currently on sale for $40.

If you're not a longtime fan of the series, here's some quick background: Trials of Mana is a remake of Seiken Densetsu 3, the sequel to Secret of Mana and the third game in the Mana series. Seiken Densetsu 3 never released officially in the US, but it finally became available last year as part of Collection of Mana on Nintendo Switch, which compiled the first three Mana games and retitled the third game Trials of Mana.

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Author
Jenae Sitzes

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Fortnite Season 3 Start Date: Delayed To Next Week

4 months 2 weeks ago

All good things end... eventually. Season 2 of Fortnite Chapter 2 was originally scheduled to conclude on April 30, but a few weeks prior, developer Epic Games announced an extension. Season 2 was then set to conclude on June 4, and then June 11. In light of the ongoing protests in the US related to the murder of George Floyd, Epic has announced plans to push things back once again. Season 3 will now begin on June 17, and the major event preceding it has also been pushed as a result.

There has been some unexpected extra Season 2 content to keep you busy in the meantime, as well as the Doomsday event that could have major implications for Season 3 itself.

When Does Fortnite Season 3 Start?

Fortnite Season 3 is launching on June 17, immediately after the end of Season 2. Battle Pass challenges are available to complete until that new date. The Device event--better known as the Doomsday event--will take place on June 15.

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Author
Kevin Knezevic

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Animal Crossing K.K. Slider Songs Guide: All The Secret Songs And Full Song List

4 months 3 weeks ago

After you convince K.K. Slider to visit your island for the first time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (and unlock the ability to terraform), the wandering musician will return there every Saturday night to perform a small concert, just like in previous Animal Crossing games. You'll find him sitting in front of your Resident Services building all day, but he'll only play music for you between 6 PM and midnight.

As in past titles, you can either let K.K. play a random song or request to hear a specific tune, and he'll give you a record of the first song he plays that night. While you can purchase most of these songs through the Nook Shopping terminal, there are a handful of "secret" songs that K.K. will only play by request, so if you want to get your hands on those records, you'll need to specifically request them.

Below, we've rounded up the full list of K.K. Slider songs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The secret songs that K.K. only plays by request are denoted in bold. Keep in mind that you'll need to type each song title out as it is written below (meaning you need to have the proper punctuation and capitalization) when requesting the songs; if you spell the title incorrectly, K.K. will instead play a backup song that you can't take home as a record and say he didn't understand your request.

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Author
Kevin Knezevic

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Valorant Review

4 months 3 weeks ago

Nail-biting bomb plants, hip fire headshots, and hypernatural flicks of the wrist are the tenets of Valorant. This 5v5 tactical hero shooter by League of Legends developer Riot Games had a stranglehold on me from my first carefully strategized victory. Now, after clocking 90 hours between the closed beta and the full release, I'm still utterly enamored with the brilliant implementation of its superpowered cast and stellar gunplay. The learning curve is steep, but once the cogs of mastery clicked together, it became damn near impossible for me to put Valorant down.

If you've ever indulged in a little Counter-Strike (or, in my case, a lot) at some point over the past two decades, Valorant's high-stakes round-based shootouts will be immediately familiar. Teams take turns as either the attackers or defenders in a best-of-25 rounds. Attackers carry the spike (a bomb) to one of several designated bombsites on Valorant’s 3 finely tuned maps, plant that sucker, and hopefully blow everyone sky-high. Meanwhile, the defenders must thwart the attacker's explody-ambitions by defusing the spike once it's planted or stopping the plant altogether. Of course, you could also just mow down the enemy team to secure victory, whatever works! The back-and-forth race to that coveted 13th victory is as pulse-pounding as it is gratifying.

Author
Kyle Campbell

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla Pre-Order Guide: Get It For $10 Off At Amazon And Walmart (PS4, Xbox One)

4 months 3 weeks ago

Ubisoft finally unveiled the next mainline entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Dubbed Assassin's Creed Valhalla, the new open-world adventure will transport players to the Viking Age. In addition to releasing on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Valhalla will be available on both next-gen consoles: PS5 and Xbox Series X. This means Valhalla will be playable on a whopping six platforms (including Stadia). As an Assassin's Creed game, you can bet Valhalla has multiple special editions to choose from when pre-ordering. All four editions are available to pre-order now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and you can currently get a nice discount at Amazon and Walmart. Because Assassin's Creed Valhalla supports Xbox Smart Delivery, you're basically getting your first next-gen game at a discount if you buy on Xbox One.

Assassin's Creed Valhalla is set in the ninth century in a period of turmoil for the Vikings. You play as Eivor, a Viking raider who leads their clan away from the war-torn homeland of Norway on an adventure to England. Eivor can be played as male or female, and Ubisoft promises its combat will take cues from Viking fighting styles, with a reworked combat system that includes dual-wielding and more enemy variety. Like recent iterations of the franchise, Valhalla will have a season pass that grants access to post-launch DLC.

Author
Steven Petite

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Games With Gold May 2020: Grab 3 Free Xbox Games With Membership

5 months ago

May 2020's Games with Gold offerings once again lean into sports and racing, but there's also a pair of action-RPGs. The first of these games are available now for Gold members.

For the whole month, users can grab V-Rally 4, a 2018 Xbox One off-road racing game that features more than 50 rallycross cars, buggies, and more. V-Rally-4 is more of an arcade racing game than a sim, with scenic tracks scattered across every continent.

You can also head back to 2009 until May 31 with Overlord 2, a decent Xbox 360 action-RPG in the now-defunct series. It earned a 7.5/10 in GameSpot's Overlord 2 review, in which we praised the diverse combat mechanics and humorous story.

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Author
Steven Petite

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PS Plus Free Games For May 2020: Grab 3 Games For Free Right Now

5 months ago

PlayStation Plus members can snag another round of free PS4 games from the PlayStation Store until the end of the month. As usual, May 2020's PS Plus lineup consists of two PS4 games: Cities: Skylines and Farming Simulator 19. You can also download one of June 2020's free games, Call of Duty: WWII, before the new month even begins.

Cities: Skylines is an acclaimed city-building sim in which you plan and develop a metropolis. The game offers a realistic take on the genre, giving you full control over zoning neighborhoods and letting you establish districts and policies.

Farming Simulator 19, meanwhile, has you running a farm business. You'll need to plant and harvest crops, invest your money in new equipment and land, and take care of livestock.

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Author
Kevin Knezevic

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When Is Animal Crossing's Next Event? New Horizons Events Calendar

5 months ago

Nature Day and May Day have come and gone in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The first events brought two new merchants to your island and a few bonuses that you can still learn more about in our Nature Day guide, though some things the holiday offered (like the bonus Nook Miles for special activities) are now over. The May Day event, which ended last week, offered up a fun prize for completing a special May Day maze. But even if you missed these two events, there are still more planned for the near future, as well.

You can see what other events Nintendo has planned for Animal Crossing: New Horizons over the next two months below. Updates for the hit Nintendo Switch game will bring not only new features and visitors, but also a series of events that dot the calendar from now through the end of June. Still on the way are International Museum Day (next week) and Wedding Season. Here's when each one starts and what we know about it so far. We'll update this list as more events are announced.

Author
Chris Pereira

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FF7 Remake Part 2--What We Know About The Next Game (Spoiler-Free)

5 months ago

Listen, I know we just recently got our hands on the long-awaited reimagining to one of the most beloved games ever with Final Fantasy 7 Remake. But as the first wave of folks work their way to finishing this 40-hour(ish) journey through Midgar--which was just the opening portion of the original game--we naturally begin to wonder where FF7 Remake goes from here. You probably have questions, like how many parts will it be, or how long will we have to wait for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, or whatever the next entry is called? When will the game release, and do we know if it will even really be a sequel? Will it launch on the same system, the PS4, or a new one?

For one, I would say relax and let the development team do their thing, because as a reminder, the next part in FF7 Remake is currently in development. In a Square Enix blog post back in November 2019, game director Tetsuya Nomura stated, "We've already begun working on the next one as well, but I'm confident that playing through this title will expand your expectations just like the world that extends beyond Midgar."

Author
Michael Higham

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Sea of Thieves sets sail for Steam

5 months ago

UPDATE 21/5/20: Microsoft has now dated Sea of Thieves' Steam release for 3rd June. As previously announced, below, it'll include full crossplay with both Windows 10 and Xbox One editions of the game.

UPDATE 2/4/20: Sea of Thieves will get a Steam release, which will include full crossplay with the game's existing Windows 10 and Xbox One versions.

You can wishlist it today, Microsoft said, with a launch date to be announced "soon".

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