Deadly Premonition 2 Dev Apologizes For Transphobic Content, Promises A Rewrite

Deadly Premonition 2 is out now for Switch, but some players of the long-anticipated game have found themselves disappointed over one particular aspect of the game–its treatment of a transgender character. Criticisms leveled against the game have pointed out that the game’s characters, including the hero Francis, frequently misgender the character, or use their deadname (the name assigned at birth).

Because other dialog within the game positions Francis as an ally, and the game does not always explicitly frame these transphobic actions as wrong, many of the director’s fans have been disappointed–especially after trans issues were explored with sensitivity in his previous game, The Missing.

Now, Swery has taken to Twitter to apologize and to promise that he will edit “that scene,” although which scene he specifically means is unclear.

“I realized by pointed out from friends, I might have hurt transgender people in my scenario,” he writes. “It wasn’t intentional. I am really sorry for that.”

He promises that additional checks will be performed, and asks players not to hate his characters, as any offence caused is his own fault.

Deadly Premonition 2 will also hopefully receive a patch to address its appalling frame rate, which is one of the reasons why GameSpot’s 5/10 review was less-than-glowing. “Ultimately, Deadly Premonition 2 lacks the emotional resonance found in the first game,” reviewer Kurt Indovina wrote. “It’s a different brew of coffee from your favorite roaster, but one that’s more bitter than you probably hoped for.”

Xbox Boss Phil Spencer Speaks About Closing Mixer — “I Don’t Have Regrets”

In June, Microsoft made the surprise announcement that it was closing its streaming service Mixer, with high-profile streamers Ninja and Shroud leaving the platform to go elsewhere. Now, Spencer has spoken more about the decision to close Mixer, saying he has no regrets.

“It’s obviously a disappointment when you try to grow something to the scale it needs to get to and you don’t get there,” Spencer told GI.biz. “I don’t have regrets. You make decisions with the best information you have at the time, you apply your best effort, and we’re in a creative industry. We are in a hits-driven industry.”

Spencer said he’s proud of Microsoft for being a company that is not afraid of trying new things, even when they don’t work out. “That is just the art of making video games, and frankly game platforms,” he said.

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Phil Spencer On Why Microsoft Is Pushing Beyond Consoles

Microsoft has bold plans for its future in gaming. In addition to releasing the Xbox Series X this year, Microsoft is launching its game-streaming service, xCloud, to help reach a much bigger audience than the console market alone. In a new interview with GI.biz, Spencer spoke about this strategy and why it’s essential to the company’s plans to grow its gaming business in the future.

Spencer pointed out that Xbox Live is already in a good place with nearly 100 million monthly players across all platforms–including Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android. People who play Minecraft on Nintendo Switch must create an Xbox Live account to play the game on Nintendo’s console. PS4 Minecraft players don’t need an Xbox Live account, but they must have one to use cross-play. Microsoft is one of the biggest publishers on PS4 thanks to Minecraft.

Looking further out, Spencer said xCloud is critical to helping Microsoft reach a wider audience. Simply put, the console market has a ceiling–only so many people can or want to buy a console. With xCloud, Microsoft is bringing Xbox to the billions of mobile devices around the world.

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Crysis On Switch Shows Off Its Improved Physics In A New Short Clip

Crysis Remastered is coming to Switch on July 23, and considering that the original 2007 game famously required a very powerful PC to run, many players are curious about how it will translate to Nintendo’s hybrid console. Now, a new (very short) gameplay clip gives us some indication of how it will handle.

The three-second clip below, recorded directly from a Switch, shows off the Remastered edition’s improved environment destruction and vegetation bending. There’s a few other details to glean from it too–like the impressive draw distance–but three seconds isn’t much to work with. Still, it confirms that the Switch iteration of the game seeks to improve on the 2007 powerhouse, when often Switch ports are more basic.

While the Switch version is launching this month, the PC, Xbox One, and PS4 versions have been delayed, and we’ll have to wait to see what further tweaks or improvements they introduce. In a follow-up tweet, the official Crysis account has promised that more news on the other versions will be coming soon.

This is the first time the Crysis series has appeared on a Nintendo console. The Switch port is being handled by Saber Interactive, the studio behind the console’s version of The Witcher 3.

Hopefully Crysis Remastered on Switch will be another strong port.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Won’t Restrict Romance Options Based on Eivor’s Gender

One of the big announcements reveals for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla from the Ubisoft Forward event is how players can change the protagonist Eivor’s gender at any point during the campaign. But when it comes to romance, a Ubisoft representative confirmed that Eivor’s gender will not limit or change any of the available romance options that will be present in the final game.

Speaking to IGN during today’s episode of IGN News Live, Ubisoft’s Youssef Maguid confirmed that “there are multiple people you can romance in the game, and you can romance all of them as either gender.”

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The choice-based romance was introduced in Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and like Valhalla, romance options weren’t restricted by the player’s gender. One difference between Odyssey and Valhalla, however, is that in Odyssey Alexios and Kassandra are two different characters. Whereas in Valhalla there is only one Eivor, who can either be played as a man or woman.

In Odyssey, the separation of characters by gender did leave some narrative hurdles including romance. In one of the DLC, either Alexios or Kassandra was forced by the story to have a child with Darius’ son or daughter to carry on the Spartan bloodline.

In our preview and interview with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt, the developer confirmed that the Animus will have new powers in this game. “To explain why would spoil a long-running secret, but I will say that the whole reason for why you can switch [Eivor’s gender] back and forth fully embraces the often-overlooked science fiction nature of our series,” McDevitt said.

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For more, check out IGN’s hands-on preview with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and our round-up of everything announced at Ubisoft Forward.

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Matt T.M. Kim is a reporter for IGN.

Ubisoft’s Battle Royale Game, Hyper Scape, Adds Servers For Oceania And New Items

One of the surprises from Ubisoft Forward was the launch of an open beta on PC for Ubisoft’s new battle royale game, Hyper Scape. However, fans in Oceania quickly noticed that the game offered a less-than-ideal experience–and that’s because there apparently weren’t many servers in the region.

In a bit of good news, Ubisoft has confirmed it’s added a new data center in Australia to help players in the Oceania region have a smoother experience playing the game. The tweet also confirms that players don’t need to do anything to access the Oceania servers–local players will be automatically added to them for matches.

Ubisoft has also confirmed that Hyper Scape has introduced new items, including the Javi Rebel skin and the matching Harpy and Pod skins. You can see these in the video below.

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Free Exclusive Fortnite Pack Now Available For PS Plus

There’s a new pack of free Fortnite cosmetics on offer for PS4 players, provided you’re a PS Plus subscriber. The bundle includes a new glider, a contrail, and an emote. Epic has offered similar free PS4-exclusive Fortnite packs in the past, most recently in April.

The relationship between Sony and Fortnite developer Epic Games reportedly deepened last week, with Sony investing $250 million to purchase a minority stake in Epic. According to a Gamesbeat report, one of the focuses of the new partnership will be Epic’s Unreal Engine 5, which will likely provide the backbone for many next-gen games on Sony’s upcoming PS5.

Additionally, Epic Games confirmed that the terms of the deal do not prevent the company from publishing on other platforms. Sony isn’t the only big player in the games industry to purchase a slice of Epic: Tencent reportedly paid $330 million to buy a 40% stake in the company pack in 2013.

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New Horizon Zero Dawn Merch Announced: Comic Series, Board Game, Apparel, And More

Horizon Forbidden West is, without a doubt, one of the most highly anticipated PlayStation 5 games announced so far. Unfortunately, the sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn won’t be ready for the PS5’s launch as it’s planned to release sometime in 2021, but if you’re a die-hard fan in need of new Horizon stuff to spend your money on, you’re in luck, as PlayStation announced a new wave of merch that celebrates both Zero Dawn and Forbidden West. The new Horizon merch collection comes one month before Horizon Zero Dawn’s release on PC in August.

Horizon Forbidden West apparel

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The new Horizon merch includes three pieces of apparel, each of which will ship in mid-August from the UK (so be prepared to pay international shipping). The first is a “Nora Brown” corduroy jacket with subtle stitched details that allude to the game, including Aloy’s Seeker symbol in the front. Both male and female sizing is available. The jacket costs $95 USD / £85 and ships to the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

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Babylon’s Fall’s Development Is Progressing “Well,” Platinum Games Confirms

The last time we saw Platinum Games’ action-adventure title Babylon’s Fall was during a somewhat-brief gameplay trailer unveiled in a December 2019 State of Play livestream. Now, after seven months of silence, the studio is back to confirm that development on the game is “continuing to progress well.”

“Thank you to all the fans who’ve been following along for updates on Babylon’s Fall,” Platinum Games said. “While we hoped to reveal more about the game this summer, we can share that development on Babylon’s Fall is continuing to progress well, with the team working safely from home. Square Enix and Platinum Games are committed to delivering an exhilarating experience and we look forward to showcasing much more on Babylon’s Fall to you as soon as we can.”

Platinum Games provided no other information about Babylon’s Fall, such as a release window or if PC and PlayStation 4 remain the intended launch platforms with the release of PlayStation 5 inching over the horizon. The studio also didn’t specify when we’ll get another look at Babylon’s Fall. However, according to a statement, the team plans to showcase “much more on Babylon’s Fall to you as soon as we can.”

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Gaming Laptops, Monitors, Processors, And More Discounted In Big Newegg Sale

If you’re in the market for a new gaming laptop, monitor, or components for your gaming PC, you’ll want to check out Newegg’s FantasTech sale this week. The annual sale runs through July 16, offering a bevy of discounts on gaming and PC tech, from MSI and Asus laptops to hard drives and processors. Newegg is bundling Death Stranding with all GeForce RTX PCs and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (pre-order) with AMD processors during the sale, too. You can browse the hundreds of deals at Newegg and see a handful of highlights below.


MSI GS75 Stealth-1074 17.3-inch gaming laptop

$2,299 ($2,899)

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