Gaming

Forspoken review-in-progress

Best (and worst) of both worlds

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Most roleplaying games today fall under two categories: Western or Japanese. Though they might not realize a distinction between the two, each player usually has a preference leaning one way or the other. However, on rare occasions, a game can cross over and appeal to both audiences, such as Elden Ring and the Dark Souls series from FromSoftware, a Japanese developer. While these games makes its non-partisan appeal subtle, Forspoken is taking a more blatant approach.

In Forspoken, Alfre Holland (or Frey, for short) is a 20-year-old miscreant, orphaned as a baby and stuck in the wrong circles. Frey’s heart is in the right place, though. Amid all the arrests, her one goal is to save enough money to leave New York and care for her cat, Homer. However, everything changes when she stumbles upon a talking vambrace which transports her to the magically corrupted world of Athia. It’s a fish-out-of-water story inspired by Alice in Wonderland.

Once a sprawling paradise, Athia is on the verge of destruction because of a zombie-making infection that Frey calls the Break. Rendered on a PS5, Forspoken makes Athia pop with different biomes across its many regions. Character animations, particularly Frey’s, are also the best we’ve seen in this generation even in simple animations as Frey petting a cat or thumping on her leg during a running sequence.

Western meets Japanese

In contrast to the story, Forspoken’s gameplay is anything but unfamiliar. The game melds the most notorious elements of Western and Japanese RPGs together in a satisfying (but sometimes confusing) blend.

Like a Western game, Forspoken features a sprawling map littered with objectives and markers to cross off a list. Though it’s not as blatant as, say, a Ubisoft collect-a-thon, there’s still a lot to do. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t offer much in between pursuing objectives. Despite the map’s size, Athia is largely empty and devoid of any personality. After a while, even the different map markers blend into the same formula: clear the enemy and claim the treasure.

It’s almost a requirement to go through a good chunk of the optional objectives, too. Following a more Japanese angle, Forspoken features a complex crafting system required to level up Frey and acquire new abilities. Combat is similar, asking players to master a wide selection of spells mid-fight. It also has an annoyingly chatty side character in Cuff, the same talking vambrace (which the game mercifully allows players to minimize chatter from).

If anything, combat and traversal are bright spots in Forspoken, highlighted by the fluid magic parkour system. Except for some areas with hard limits, it’s smooth to move around Athia. Now, to compensate for the fluidity of movement, the game relies on only a limited set of strategies for enemies: packing a hundred of them in a cramped location or making one an absolute bullet sponge.

Obviously, Forspoken is far from a perfect game. Still, it’s a fun addition to the roleplaying genre.

Gaming

It’s easier to get a PlayStation 5 now, Sony says

More supplies worldwide

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Still struggling to get a new PlayStation 5? If dwindling console stocks are keeping you down, Sony has announced a reprieve for queue waiters. The company promised that supply for the console will greatly increase ahead of the PlayStation VR2’s launch in February.

Since the console’s launch back in 2020, scalpers and bots have persistently plagued the industry, taking supplies away from most gamers. Over the years, the impact of supply problems gradually dissipated. Today, it’s easier to buy a PlayStation 5, but supply can still be an issue in some parts of the world.

During CES 2023, Sony initially hinted that PlayStation 5 stocks should increase even more this year. Now, Sony is making it even more official. Today, the company officially posted that it’s easier to find one in retailers globally.

For users hunting for the console in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, Sony recommends going to the official PlayStation store to buy one.

To promote the increased supply, Sony has also released a new promotional video for the PlayStation 5’s exclusives set to imitate a news show.

Only a month into the year, 2023 is already looking to be a great year for the platform. Later in February, Sony is set to launch the new PlayStation VR2. The console will also host a flurry of notable exclusives including Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and Street Fighter 6.

SEE ALSO: PlayStation launches ‘The Year of Play’ campaign

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Gaming

Concept Nyx: Dell working on intelligent game controller

The future of gaming

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Dell Concept Nyx

Dell Technologies is working on an all-in-one intelligent game controller that shall interconnect devices and screens while providing a whole different level of gaming experience.

Called the Concept Nyx game controller, Dell’s project aims to provide easy access to gaming libraries across multiple devices and screens for effortless sessions at home.

Here’s what we know so far about Concept Nyx:

To kick things off, the design-making process took lots of turns. Developers explored adding tons of buttons, attachments, sensors, and more.

This has led to the potential final design that gives users personalized settings at their fingertips. It’s composed of the following parts:

  • Dual thumb control wheels
  • Light ring
  • Adaptive thumbstick
  • Omnipad
  • Left and right scroll bumpers
  • Fingerprint sensor in the middle
  • Left and right adaptive triggers (underneath)
  • Shift buttons (underneath)

The fingerprint reader detects who is using the controller specifically, to be able to load their games right where they left off instantly.

Dell also prioritized the device’s haptics. They come with self-adjusting variable resistance thumbsticks that can be tailored to user preferences and specific game play.

PC gaming musts have also been included in the concept. Shift buttons underneath the controller allow for more front button options, mimicking the shift combos from PC keyboards.

The innovative scroll wheels give users an easier time to navigate and select weapons, while the intelligent touchpad allows for instant access to customizable controls in-game, without having to toggle a menu screen which disrupts your real-time gaming view.

Concept Nyx dashboard

The era of tug-of-wars at home may soon be over as well. The Concept Nyx controller is being designed to accommodate simultaneous gaming.

For instance, while connected on two different headsets, two separate Concept Nyx controllers may be used to play two different games on a split screen.

Streaming to other devices and screens and wi-fi connectivity are also some of the capabilities of the controller by simply pulling the thumbstick.

All these factors have been the foundation for the development of the Concept Nyx’s intelligent edge ecosystem beyond gaming.

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Deals

Buy AMD’s Ryzen 7000 series-Star Wars Jedi: Survivor bundle

Cal Kestis’ adventure continues

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AMD Ryzen Jedi Survivor

AMD has an early offer for those anticipating the release of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Until April 1, 2023, customers may avail of the AMD Ryzen Game Bundle which includes select 7000 series processors and access to Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Powered by the new Zen 4 architecture, Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors offer incredible performance for gamers — up to 15% faster than the Zen 3 generation.

When purchased, gamers will receive a redemption code and will have until May 6, 2023 to redeem their copy of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

The action adventure game is set to release on March 17 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows.

The sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order stars now Jedi Knight Cal Kestis, whose story continues with adventures that will push him further than ever as he fights to protect the galaxy from descending into darkness.

Players will discover new planets and visit familiar frontiers in the Star Wars galaxy in the game, each with unique biomes, challenges, and enemies.

Watch the Star Wars Jedi: Survivor trailer. 

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