NFS Unbound Volume 2 to add online cop chases and new cars

Electronic Arts have announced a big update coming to Need for Speed Unbound. Criterion Games’ latest arcade racing game will receive its first major update since its launch. Titled Volume 2, the update promises to introduce all kinds of new content into NFS Unbound. The Volume 2 update will be playable on March 21 on all platforms.

The standout new feature is the introduction of online cop chases. In the game’s Lakeshore Online mode players will be able to fight off cops together and even help each other escape the cops. You’ll start each session with 0 Heat and gain more as race. Higher reward events produce more heat so there’s a risk versus reward element that you and your friends will have to overcome.

That’s not all though as NFS Unbound Volume 2 is introducing a variety of new content too. This includes two new cars, the Lotus Emira Balmain Edition ‘21 and the Nissan Fairlady ZG ‘71 Custom. But a car is nothing without events to use it on, so this update is also adding 30 new hot laps, 4 endurance events, 2 rumble playlists, 2 new race playlists, and 55 challenges.

Even the completionists in the Need for Speed community are being given something to work toward. Beating all 30 Rival Hot Lap scores will reward you with the new Bear Champ driving effect. Meanwhile getting 90 Stars in Hot Laps unlocks the Ghost pose.

A first step

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It’s no secret that Unbound launched in a somewhat unfinished state. Despite having fun gameplay, it didn’t have enough content to back it up. The goal of Volume 2 seems to be to fix this by giving NFS Unbound the content it should have had at launch. If this will be enough or if more updates are required will be seen.

Sega Genesis Mini 2 given an all-time low price cut

Sega Genesis Mini 2 price cut amazon deal

If you’re interested in retro gaming now is a great time to pick up the Sega Genesis Mini 2 as it has recently been given a price cut bringing it down to its lowest-ever price. Previously, it retailed at $99.99 but can now be purchased from Amazon for $88.10.

This is an excellent price for the retro console remake although it does come with a slight caveat. For one, since it has to be imported from Japan it’ll cost over $20 in shipping. SEGA decided to only distribute these from Japan due to a semiconductor shortage. This also means that if something goes wrong you won’t be able to get an easy refund since Amazon treats Amazon Japan as a third-party company.

Despite the issues with this deal, it is still a good offer and you won’t find a cheaper elsewhere. Even second-hand a good Mini 2 will usually cost over $150. Given this, the price cut for a new Mini 2 at just $88.10 is a steal by comparison.

The Sega Genesis Mini 2 itself comes with 60 games, one wired SEGA Genesis controller, and supports 720p video output via HDMI. 720p might not sound impressive by modern standards but remember that it plays games from the early ‘90s. Back then the original Genesis supported a native resolution of just 320×224. Scaling those games up to 720p makes them look better than ever.

Standout games on Sega Genesis Mini 2

sonic the hedgehod cd screenshot Sega Genesis Mini 2

The Sega Genesis Mini 2 features a range of classics that more than justify picking one up after the price cut. Some of the standout titles include Golden Axe 2, Virtua Racing, Streets of Rage 3, Ecco: The Tides of Time, Shining Force 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog CD. That’s just a fraction of the iconic titles available with the full games list being available on Sega’s website.

Forspoken raises all kinds of red flags as PC review codes aren’t sent

forspoken pc review codes missing 4k screenshot

Forspoken is the big release of January 2023. Square Enix’s new action RPG is set to launch tomorrow and reviews of it are starting to pop up. In general, the reviews are mixed but it’s the lack of PC reviews that has fans confused. It turns out that Square Enix hasn’t sent out any PC review codes for Forspoken.

A publisher choosing to not send out review codes is a worrying sign. It usually means that it is hiding something or isn’t confident about the state the game is in. If a specific platform doesn’t receive review codes it likely means that the platform’s port is in a bad state. A bad port can be a dealbreaker for many and so it’s in the publisher’s best interest to not bring attention to it.

Critics not receiving PC review codes for Forspoken is not a first of its kind. Most infamously, in 2020 CD Projekt Red chose to not send out review codes for the past console generation versions of Cyberpunk 2077. When players finally got their hands on Cyberpunk, they were shocked at how poorly optimized it was. On Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Cyberpunk 2077 would regularly dip as low as 10 FPS which just isn’t playable.

Forspoken following the same pattern on PC is worrying. Especially given the PC requirements that were revealed last week. For just 30 frames per second at 1440p Forspoken recommends an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. Meanwhile, a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB will only manage 30 FPS at 720p. That’s a video resolution that was created in the 1990s.

Will Forspoken suck?

forspoken gameplay boss fight steam screenshot

Truthfully, we don’t know exactly how bad Forspoken’s PC port will be. However, it is rare that a situation like this happens and the end product doesn’t have some fatal flaws. Tomorrow, we find out why Square Enix wasn’t willing to send out PC review codes for Forsaken. In the meantime, all we can do is wait and hope that we’re all overthinking things.

Cities Skylines 2 announced and given late 2023 release date

The long awaited sequel to 2015’s popular city builder has been announced. Cities Skylines 2 has been confirmed by developer Paradox Interactive. It was announced at today’s Paradox Announcement Show with a flashy reveal trailer. Along with its confirmation Cities Skylines 2 has also been given an official release date of 2023.

An exact date has not been given but we know that it’s coming in the second half of the year. This is because Paradox has stated that we will learn more about Cities Skylines 2 “in the coming months”. Given this, the earliest you can expect to play it is sometime in the Summer with an Autumn or even Winter release looking more likely.

The Announcement Trailer didn’t reveal too much about the sequel but some follow-up comments from Paradox have confirmed a few features. Paradox promises that Cities Skylines 2 will be the “most realistic city simulation ever created,” when its release date drops. Also, it will offer better modding tools, more customization, and a fully revamped traffic system.

It’s no secret that the traffic in Cities Skylines is one of its weakest points. Combine that with the somewhat unbalanced economy and there’s clear room for improvement. It looks as though Paradox has identified these weaknesses and wants to address them in the sequel.

Mods aren’t going anywhere

cities skylines 2 cinematic shot announcement trailer

One of the big selling points of the original Cities Skylines is its incredible modding scene. Thanks to its modding community you can play Cities Skylines for as long as you want and that’s something the devs know all too well. When its release date arrives Cities Skylines 2 will also offer mod support letting its community build on what we hope will already be a great game. With the right backing Cities Skylines 2 has the potential to be gaming’s greatest ever city builder.

Oculus Quest 2 given $70 price drop but there’s a catch

oculus quest 2 price drop announced

Meta has announced a price cut for its VR headset. The Oculus Quest 2 is having its retail price drop by $70. This sounds incredible but as with most things Meta related there is a catch. This change in price will only apply to the 256 GB model.

The Quest’s line-up is divided up into three models. These are the Quest 2 128 GB, Quest 2 256 GB, and Quest Pro. The Quest Pro is Meta’s top of the line headset that launched in 2022 for $1,499. However, Meta has already announced that later this month that will drop to just $1000.

But that isn’t the development we’re interested in. Instead, it’s Meta’s follow-up announcement that the Quest 2 256GB model will cost just $429 down from $499 starting March 5. Whilst this price drop for the Quest 2 is good news it isn’t necessarily what fans were looking forward to, many had hoped we would see the entry-level 128GB model become more affordable but that will remain at $399.
What makes the base model’s price not changing especially controversial is that in 2022 Meta raised its price from $299 to $399. Since that model is now just $30 less than the 256GB version it’s difficult to justify buying it. Perhaps that’s part of Meta’s strategy to get fans on board with their more expensive models.

The Oculus Quest 2 is still a great deal

oculus quest 2 promo image

Even without a price drop the entry-level Oculus Quest 2 still offers arguably the best budget VR headset on the market. Its only real competitor is the PlayStation VR2 but that comes with the obvious drawback of only working on a PlayStation 5. In contrast, the Quest 2 works on multiple devices and even as a standalone headset. Until a stronger competitor shows up to rival Meta it’s unlikely that it will feel the need to lower prices further.

Pokemon Sleep given release date four years after first reveal

pokemon sleep release date summer 2023

The Pokemon Company revealed a variety of new announcements at today’s Pokemon Presents. We saw a new Netflix show, Zacian comes to Pokemon Unite, and DLC for Scarlet and Violet. However, it’s the reveal of a release date for Pokemon Sleep that has been the most overdue announcement.

Pokemon Sleep was first announced three years ago. In that announcement, we found out its name, that it was related to sleeping and that was about it. The expectation was that we’d find out more over the coming year or so but that was not the case. Instead, we got no new information which led fans to eventually conclude that it was most likely canceled.

At least that was what we thought until now. The recent Pokemon Presents gave us our second look at Pokemon Sleep for the first time in three years after its initial announcement. We even got given a release date for Pokemon Sleep with it touted for a Summer 2023 launch.

As for Pokemon Sleep itself, it turns out it’s a spin-off game coming to iOS and Android. Players will be able to use it to track their sleeping pattern and sleeping style. Based on how you sleep different Pokemon will appear that share your sleeping style in common. The app is effectively an interactive alarm that aims to encourage players to look forward to waking up.

Good sleep is important

pokemon sleep sleep type dozing snoozing slumbering

With Pokemon Sleep being given a Summer 2023 release date some players may wonder why it even exists. The reality is that getting a good night’s sleep set you up for a better day. Pokemon Sleep isn’t necessarily going to single-handedly fix your sleeping problems, but it offers a fun option for those that struggle to sleep. It’s an innocent and cute app that should motivate some people to sleep better.

Nintendo won’t be attending E3 choosing to stick to Directs instead

nintendo not attending e3 2023

Another major player has announced that it won’t be attending this year’s E3. In an official statement, Nintendo has confirmed it has no plans to take part in E3. This announcement means that none of the three primary console manufacturers will showcase at the historic gaming event.

There were concerns that Nintendo wouldn’t take part ever since rumors circulated a few weeks ago suggesting so. However, some fans hoped that these rumors were just that and that Nintendo wouldn’t join PlayStation and Xbox. This is not what has ended up happening though and with this news, we now know Nintendo will announce no new games or projects at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

The reason given by Nintendo is that the annual games showcase event doesn’t fit into its plans. Although it does affirm that Nintendo is still a “strong supporter,” of both E3 and its parent company, the ESA. It’s just that right now the Switch creator doesn’t see the value of investing in such a costly endeavor.

However, this doesn’t mean that Nintendo fans won’t be getting any announcements this year. Whilst E3 is off the cards two other possibilities could save the day. The most likely outcome is that Nintendo will continue to host more Nintendo Direct events and announce games there. We could also get an alternative event to E3 like the Summer Game Fest that was broadcasted last year.

Who is attending E3?

ubisoft attending e3 2023 assassins creed mirage

With Nintendo confirming that it won’t be attending E3 the event is starting to look rather empty. There are still some big publishers who have games to reveal though. This includes Ubisoft who will almost certainly show fans what they can expect from Assassin’s Creed Mirage. We expect Ubisoft to have quite a few games on display including The Crew: Motorfest, Skull & Bones, and Tom Clancy’s The Division Heartland.

Atomic Heart has no ray tracing even on PC

Leading up to its launch Atomic Heart had marketed itself as a Bioshock-inspired technical marvel. And so far, the reviews have confirmed that this is mostly true with it being a spectacular shooter with gorgeous visuals. However, a key feature is absent and it’s not clear why. As of launch, Atomic Heart has no ray tracing even on the PC version.

We already knew that the console versions of Atomic Heart would be missing the desirable graphical feature. More specifically, it was thought that developer Mundfish intended to add ray tracing post-launch on consoles only. As for the PC version we expected it would support ray tracing from day one but that is no longer the case.

Noticing the absence of ray tracing, outlet Rock Paper Shotgun reached out to the game’s press team. They responded by explaining that this was not a mistake, and that ray tracing would be added to Atomic Heart in a post-launch update. This contradicts claims by game director Robert Bagratuni made just a couple of weeks ago.

Unfortunately, an exact reason for this change of plans was not provided. We assume that Mundfish either ran out of time or wasn’t happy with the state of its ray tracing. Either way PC players who pre-ordered Atomic Heart looking forward to its shiny visuals could be left disappointed. Thankfully, it does have support for DLSS and even DLSS 3 so those with high-end graphics cards have something to celebrate at least.

The reviews are all over the place

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Reviews for Atomic Heart have been popping up and it has turned out to be very divisive. Scores vary from as low as 4/10 to a perfect 10/10. In addition to the lack of ray tracing critics panned Atomic Heart for its lack of accessibility, characters, and frustrating platforming. However, praise has been given for its ambitious design, world-building, and spectacular environments.

Apex Legends devs quit to create new studio, Wildlight Entertainment

wildlight entertainment new studio ex apex titanfall devs developers

It’s not exactly rare for a new studio to pop up in the games industry. However, the recent announcement of Wildlight Entertainment, a new studio primarily consisting of ex-Respawn Entertainment developers has caught the attention of FPS fans. Especially given what it has been working on in the background.

Currently, Wildlight Entertainment consists of 28 employees as seen on its ‘Meet the Team’ page. Almost all of its employees consist of either ex-Apex Legends, Titanfall, or Call of Duty employees. This even includes Chad Grenier, the former game director at Respawn Entertainment. Although not all its employees fit this bill with some other game franchise experience including Halo, Star Wars, and Valorant.

The new studio’s official website doesn’t go into detail as to what Wildlight Entertainment is making. Even so, it does confirm that a “new IP,” that it has been “quietly working on,” is coming. Given almost all of its employees have experience creating first-person shooters it’s likely this new IP will be one. The FPS genre isn’t in the best state right now outside of the battle royale sub-genre so a newcomer would certainly be welcome.

Deja Vu for these devs

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Those familiar with Respawn Entertainment’s origins may feel a sense of Deja Vu. The EA-owned developer responsible for Apex Legends and Titanfall started out life as an independent studio made up of ex-Call of Duty developers. Respawn was even created by none other than Vince Zampella who was also one of Infinity Ward’s co-founders.

And now almost thirteen years later the cycle continues with several Respawn developers creating their own studio. The reasons for Wildlight Entertainment being founded as a new studio are unknown. It could be simple creative differences, a chance to do something new, or perhaps something more sinister. Further details regarding these situations usually don’t surface until years down the line so we’ll just have to wait.

Fort Forinthry storyline begins in RuneScape with new skilling hub

RuneScape developer Jagex has begun its signature MMO’s new storyline. Following the defeat of Zamorak King Roald wants to take back the wilderness and cleanse it. To do so you’ll need a base of operations in the RuneScape wilderness and Fort Forinthry offers just that.

Fort Forinthry is a new skilling hub that can be found in the south-eastern part of the Wilderness. It’s located just north of Varrock’s Jolly Boar Inn where the Lumberyard used to be. To get started you’ll need to complete the new miniquest, New Foundations. It is listed as a long quest with no skill requirements. Completing New Foundations awards 1 quest point, 2 Treasure Hunter keys, and access to Fort Forinthry.

Once New Foundations is complete, you’ll be able to access the fort’s content. As of launch Fort Forinthry introduces four new buildings into RuneScape that are all linked to skilling. These are the Town Hall, Chapel, Command Centre, and Workshop. Each of these buildings can be upgraded up to tier 3 to provide additional benefits.

Some of these benefits are very nice and well worth pursuing. For example, the Command Centre can boost your Ports success rate by up to 10%. Another great addition is the Workshop which when fully upgraded increases Invention machine power by 25%. This will let you run an additional machine in your Invention workshop.

RuneScape has more in store for Fort Forinthry

fort forinthry quest runescape

As of launch, there are four buildings that aid with skilling. This is a nice start but there’s more to come. The long-term aim for Jagex is to turn Fort Forinthry into a skilling hub where large communities can skill together and hang out. It should have a similar effect on skilling that War’s Retreat had on bossing back when it was introduced in 2020. This skilling hub will have an entire questline attached to it so you can expect a lot of updates to it.