Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has a release date for Season 1 and the arrival of Joker as a playable character: March 28.
As already announced, Rocksteady won’t release a patch for Suicide Squad this week in order to focus on getting the game ready for the launch of Season 1 later in March.
Season 1 launches just under two months after Rocksteady’s embattled live-service looter shooter came out, and just two weeks after Rocksteady parent company Warner Bros. Discovery admitted Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League “has fallen short of our expectations”.
Speaking during a financial call, Warner Bros. Discovery Chief Financial Officer, Gunnar Wiedenfels, said Rocksteady’s $70 game hadn’t done the business the company had hoped for. Warner Bros. Discovery failed to mention a sales figure, but did say Suicide Squad’s failure had set up the company’s game business for a “tough” year-on-year comparison. Last year, Warner Bros. Discovery released Hogwarts Legacy, which went on to become the best-selling game of 2023.
“This year, Suicide Squad, one of our key video game releases in 2024, has fallen short of our expectations since its release earlier in the quarter, setting our games business up for a tough year-over-year comp in Q1,” Wiedenfels said.
The Season 1 release date comes amid low player numbers for Suicide Squad on Steam (player numbers for PS5 and Xbox Series X and S are unavailable). On Steam, the live service action game peaked with 13,459 concurrent players, a figure that has plummeted since launch. At the time of this article’s publication, just 203 people were playing the game on Valve’s platform with a 24-hour peak of 497, according to SteamDB.
Tough questions are now being asked about the future of Suicide Squad. Ahead of launch, Rocksteady committed to four seasons of support, each of which adding a new playable character as well as new environments, loot, and activities. Clearly, Season 1 will launch, but what happens after that? IGN has reported on how a Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League player had unearthed a hidden message that looked like a strong hint at the return of Batman. Datamining has shown strong hints that Flash and Green Lantern are set to return in some form. Other playable characters suspected to be on their way include Mrs Freeze (Nora Fries), Lawless, and Deathstroke.
Meanwhile, Rocksteady said the Epic Games Store version of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will now release on March 26, 2024 in what amounts to the second delay of the game on Epic’s platform. “To our Epic Games Store PC community, thank you for your patience,” the developer said.
IGN’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League review returned a 5/10. We called it “a repetitive and bland looter-shooter that, despite an engaging story, never stays fun for long enough.”
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially at email@example.com.
Helldivers 2’s galactic war against the bugs and bots continues, with hundreds of thousands of players bravely laying down their lives for democracy. But, what if you could simply hug it out instead?
That’s exactly what some players are doing after a killer new strategy emerged that revolves around hugging.
As most Helldivers 2 players will know, there are a number of fun emotes in the game. One such emote is a hug. With your arms outstretched, another player can come in for a squeeze. That, you would think, would be that. But, it turns out, there’s a very real and useful application for hugging on the battlefield, and I can only imagine how confused the Terminids and Automatons find it.
Here’s how it works. As we know, the incredibly useful shield generator pack protects the wearer from sustaining any damage made by explosives, including the devastating Eagle 500kg bomb stratagem. But what you might not have known is that you can protect a teammate with your own shield by hug emoting with them.
As explained by YouTube channel StandardAce, one player with the shield generator can work alongside another to kite a horde of enemies so they’re within range of the 500kg, call it in, hug it out, then watch the bugs or bots fry safe in the protective bubble. If you’re in a full squad of four Helldivers, all you need are two players with the shield to protect the entire group.
Now, it’s worth noting players need to make sure the 500kg shell itself does not hit the shield, as it only protects the wearer if the blast from the explosion is the first hit. So don’t stand right under the stratagem marker! It’s also worth noting you need decent timing to make this work, as the hug itself doesn’t last long and you’ll kill yourself if the emote ends before the explosion hits the shield. And finally, bear in mind the shield also protects a teammate who uses a support weapon backpack with the shield user. Nice!
The question some players are now asking is whether this ‘Cupid’s Bomb’ strategy is intended gameplay or a bug. Fingers crossed that if it is unintentional. Developer Arrowhead keeps it in the game anyway. After all, love finds a way.
This week, IGN reported on how Helldivers 2 has become one of the surprise hits of 2024 since launching in February, topping the charts on Steam and reportedly selling around three million copies. According to at least one analyst, it’s still growing. Check out IGN’s Helldivers 2 review to find out why it’s going down so well, as well as the best loadouts.
Image credit: YouTube channel StandardAce
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially at email@example.com.
Square Enix has finally released Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and in doing so rekindled an age-old fan debate: is Red XIII a dog or a cat?
It didn’t take long for Rebirth players to incite conversation around the species of Red XIII, the first but not the only animal party member who joins the likes of Cloud, Tifa, and Aerith in Final Fantasy 7 and the ongoing Remake trilogy.
He kinda looks like a lion to me, and gives me Lion King vibes,” said Boned80 on Reddit. “But then he acts like a dog sometimes too. I’m torn. What do you all think?”
The answers came in droves. “Unknown species,” said HydratedCarrot. “He’s a good boy,” said Temnookslostbrother. “Well he’s not quite a dog and he’s not quite a lion,” said MountainImportant211. “The answer is yes,” said Hapless-Frog. “Neither, he’s a unique species,” said morbid333.
The conversation continued on ResetEra. “An NPC just jokingly referred to Red XIII as a dog. But he’s a big cat, right?,” asked Magnus. “Am I crazy for thinking that over the past 25 years?” PlanetSmashed replied: “He looks like a lion to me, but he howls like a dog.” I don’t even think Square really knows.”
Users on the Penny Arcade forums weighed in too. “His design is ambiguously canine and feline,” said BahamutZero. “He’s clearly a cat! Drives me nuts,” assured Prohass. But popular X/Twitter account Can You Pet the Dog?, which tells gamers if they can, well, pet the dog in various video games, featured Red XIII on its page.
Barrett sarcastically refers to Red XIII as a “lab rat dog” in Final Fantasy 7 Remake but this comment is rebuked. No version of Final Fantasy 7 has answered the question definitively, but Rebirth director and original Final Fantasy 7 lead character designer Tetsuya Nomura did seem to give an official answer in a companion book for the film Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children.
“Back when we were working on a game called Parasite Eve, I thought it would be fun to create a game without any human characters in it, and came up with the idea of a cat riding on a dog to go on a quest,” Nomura said.
“The concept of Cait Sith riding on Red XIII in this film actually spawned from that idea. Back then, the idea was that animals would wake up one day and find their master was gone, so the object of the game was for these animals to go on a journey in search of their master. But I guess since Red XIII is a feline of sorts, it would actually be a cat riding on a cat in this case.”
Saying a “feline of sorts” certainly suggests Red XIII is more cat than dog, but it’s likely something that will remain somewhat elusive forever more, with the release of the third and final Remake trilogy game sparking the debate once more.
In our 9/10 review of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, IGN said: “Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth impressively builds off of what Remake set in motion, both as a best-in-class action-RPG full of exciting challenges and an awe-inspiring recreation of a world that has meant so much to so many for so long.”
Those playing can check out IGN’s extensive guide on the Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, and see how long it takes to beat, our PlayStation 5 performance review, and how Square Enix caused havoc by mislabelling its discs in Japan.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
If you’ve not yet caught on to the Helldivers 2 hype, we’ve got some good news: it’s on sale. A $39.99 price tag is already pretty amazing for one of the best games of the year, but if you’re looking for a cheeky little discount on PC, then here’s the rub.
All you need to do is use code MAR17 at trusted online seller Green Man Gaming to get the game for just $33.19 instead (see here). It’s not a gargantuan discount by any means, but for such a massive game, it’s well worth shouting about. Before you ask, yes, this is a Steam code — go spread some “managed democracy”.
We saw a similar deal in February on the game, but that promptly sold out, so it’s good to see the game back in stock and available to buy with a new promo code. (For those in the UK, Helldivers 2 is down to £29.99 on PS5 right now, or use code MAR17 at GMG to bring it down to £29.04 on PC).
There’s a similar Green Man Gaming deal right now for Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree which has been incredibly popular with fans, albeit it’s now out of stock (we’re keeping an eye on it!). Stay tuned for any changes on that or follow @IGNDeals on Twitter/X for immediate updates.
Since launching in February, Helldivers 2 has been a huge surprise and a massive hit. It’s topped the charts on Steam and reportedly sold around 3 million copies, and not only that, it’s still growing. Circana executive director Mat Piscatella recently compared Helldivers 2 to a “rare and amazing bird,” saying that Helldivers 2 sales have continued to rise in its third week on the market.
At the time of writing, Helldivers 2 is currently third on Steam Charts, only outranked by Dota 2 and Counter-Strike 2. it’s even popular enough that fake scam games are starting to pop up on the service. We’ll see how long Helldivers 2 can maintain its momentum, but in the meantime, check out best load-outs for Helldivers 2, and read our extensive review as well.
Robert Anderson is a deals expert and Commerce Editor for IGN. You can follow him @robertliam21 on Twitter.
MudRunner and SnowRunner may share the word we apply to humans and animals moving as quickly as they physically can but, rest assured, nothing about this series is rapid. That is, if you do find yourself moving particularly fast in these excellent, deliberately slow-paced, sandbox-style off-road driving simulators, there’s a strong chance it’s only because you’re tumbling down a mountainside.
Expeditions: A MudRunner Game is no different in this regard; it’s all about trundling over the terrain at turtle speeds. Victory is earned by staying upright and clawing your way through punishing environments that want nothing more than to tug your trucks deep into the ground – or topple them over. Where Expeditions is different is in the more untamed maps, and its mission design – which is now less about hauling goods and more about exploring the woods, so to speak. The good news is that Expeditions is a satisfying and worthwhile twist on the MudRunner/SnowRunner experience, even if mission objectives can get a little formulaic and frustratingly gated at times.
Again, while the core of both MudRunner and SnowRunner is really the challenge of moving bulky cargo and building materials down the sorts of muddy roads that would give a hippopotamus a hernia, Expeditions is a bit of a sidestep. For one, in terms of roads, there really aren’t any. Expeditions’ great looking environments – Colorado, Arizona, and Central Europe’s Carpathian Mountains – are basically just slabs of total wilderness. Rocky deserts, soggy gulches, dense forest, muddy rivers; it’s a nice spectrum. There are occasional signs of civilisation – say, perhaps some camping equipment, or a ferry, or a dilapidated bridge there to remind us that we haven’t been hurled back in time – but essentially Expeditions simply plonks us in the middle of nowhere.
That, in turn, informs the mission design. Sure, the vehicles feel the same as they have in the series to date as they wallow and churn through the physics-based, delightfully deformable muck, but instead of lugging lorries full of concrete slabs or lumber from point A to point B, Expeditions’ objectives are rooted in research and exploration. That may be trucking some seismic or meteorological equipment to an isolated spot, or it may be sniffing out an old aircraft wreck, or hunting down a dinosaur fossil. The simple inspection and scanning quick-time events that accompany reaching a destination feel mostly pointless, but I guess they’re slightly better than some kind of passive or non-interactive notification. That said, I will admit to being confused by their instructions occasionally, and only stumbling on the solution by looking around until I accidentally discover it. For instance, a prompt to “take a picture of the island” seems a bit vague and ill-considered when none of the things that look like islands in the vicinity are what it’s referring to (and completing the task requires us to zoom in on a large… mountain).
More annoying, however, is the way that some of the objectives are gated. For instance, sometimes mission goals are masked behind an “explore the area” requirement, which places a circle on the map screen and asks us to unshroud the area by exploring it. Hitting 100% will then trigger the next step in the mission. It’s a little arbitrary and repetitive, but I have found it’s been generally straightforward to 100% a zone by using Expeditions’ new drone feature (as flying the drone around uncovers the area just the same as driving around it does).
That is, until it wasn’t, and I was stuck inching my way back and forward across a marked area – at 97%, then 98%, and then an agonising 99% discovered – trying to find the sliver I’d missed. It took forever. Missed sections really need to be more evident on the map screen in this instance. It was simply not clear at all what part of this zone I hadn’t seen. Perhaps a different colour? Anything at all?
It was a particular problem in this mission because I wasted so much fuel schlepping around trying to find the last three percent that I ran out just 40 metres from the final objective and needed to replay the entire mission again. Well over an hour flushed down the drain. It is a relief that, once uncovered, areas don’t need to be re-explored on follow-up mission attempts – but redoing all of that initial navigation to pick up where you left off is extremely time-consuming and it’s not similarly rewarding the second time around.
The map system probably just needs a little more finessing in general, to be honest – particularly for anybody new to the series, it’s a sore spot. It’s odd, for instance, that some objective locations are not marked with a simple icon and require us to scroll to the objective on the map screen and have the cursor automatically place itself over the mystery spot we need to go, just so we can manually place our own navigation point. It’s an unnecessary step, and my prediction is that some people will simply be confused by the lack of an initial marker.
Expeditions is broadly a more approachable game than the likes of MudRunner and SnowRunner.
That would be a shame, too, because Expeditions is broadly a more approachable game than the likes of MudRunner and SnowRunner. I do feel a little railroaded here in Expeditions, in contrast to SnowRunner’s less restrictive design, as missions are only unlocked in a very specific order. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t think it’s a better system. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the way missions are trickled out gives new players a more overt sense of progression.
One of Expeditions’ better ideas is a new crew member system that functions as a range of perks to give us a boost in certain situations, like resistance to specific damage or increased range for tools. Hiring them cuts into your profits, but it’s a tradeoff I found well worthwhile. It felt inessential at first, but before long I’d come to appreciate the bonuses afforded when bringing along certain staff. Certainly being able to embed ground anchors twice as far away makes them far more useful. There’s some light base-building in here too, but it seems expensive and so far I’ve mostly ignored it in favour of heavily modifying my trucks instead.
Those ground anchors are just one of the new tools that make taking on the terrain of the maps slightly less intimidating. Ground anchors can be instantly drilled and sunk into the rock or dirt to provide winch points when there aren’t any trees within range, and a depth sounder can be pinged to indicate when water is too deep to ford. The jack screw, in particular, almost feels like a cheat; it’s a tool that will painlessly right an overturned vehicle. You’d better believe I wasn’t too proud to use it, though. It’s certainly a handy device to have in your back pocket when things go pear-shaped after 90+ minutes of hard slogging.
Every creek bed conquered, or mountain mastered, or valley vanquished is its own small victory.
At its trickiest, Expeditions is still a very challenging game, though, with a ton of important decisions to make at every turn. Do you lock the diff? Do you drop some tyre pressure? Do you have enough fuel to burn up a barrel of it hauling yourself up a hill that would haunt a mountain goat? This is Expeditions’ constant dance, and this is where it succeeds best. Every creek bed conquered, or mountain mastered, or valley vanquished is its own small victory.
Too Sunk to Truck
If you’re under the impression that, as a spin-off, Expeditions is some kind of smaller, low-fat SnowRunner experience, it’s not. With dozens of missions that can take anywhere from 20-odd minutes to the “very hard” ones that will potentially take several hours, it’s a very long game with a tremendous amount to do. Based on my current rate of progress, at around 40 hours, the main thread of missions alone is going to take me well over 100 hours to fully check off. Adding the side missions and other discoveries dotted around the map, I’d struggle to even estimate it. New side missions can be triggered and tracked immediately upon finding them in the world, too, which is a nice fix from SnowRunner.
That said, some of that bulk is inflated by the trial-and-error nature of Expeditions. It’s inevitable that sometimes you’ll bring an imperfect vehicle out on a job; one that won’t be able to cope with the specific challenges of the best (or perhaps only) route. Sometimes giving up and returning to base to upgrade your truck with a higher snorkel to prevent water damage, or more spare parts to build bridges across treacherous parts of the maps, is the only way forward. More horsepower isn’t always the solution. That is, sometimes it really doesn’t matter how many horses you have if you’re still on the wrong side of the river.
Sometimes it really doesn’t matter how many horses you have if you’re still on the wrong side of the river.
It’s curious that Expeditions doesn’t support co-op out of the gate, particularly as MudRunner and SnowRunner do, and Expeditions is clearly built on the same base. Presumably there’s a reasonable explanation, but the good news is that the developers have confirmed that co-op is coming at an unspecified later date. Just be aware that it’s not here presently in case that’s crucial for you.
The pressure of an annual release schedule can be a curse for big sports series like WWE 2K – look no further than the maligned 2K20 to see why, a game so rough it actually forced publisher 2K to take two years off and regroup, which led to the redesign that got it to the much better place it’s in today. In many ways, WWE 2K24 seems like the final form of this new vision for the series. Some nagging bugaboos persist, like this year’s Showcase mode that suffers from the inability to recreate genuine moments in wrestling history in video game form, while also trying to rewrite that history. And yet, It’s marginally better in almost every other way than the last two, touting small but smart additions to well-tested systems and modes as opposed to taking bigger risks.
It doesn’t take long to see that the title for “Best Looking Wrestling Game” is still locked firmly in the hands of the 2K series. There are far fewer wrestlers that have outdated gimmicks this time around, and besides a couple noticeable exceptions, all of the top stars look just like their real-life counterparts, from their signature hair dos to the details of their gear and tattoos. The few that are clear misses, like Bayley, make you wonder if they even used the same tech to get people like Asuka so right. Announcers who have special flourishes for particular wrestlers also belt them out here, so Samantha Irving’s nasally “ChElSeA GrEeEeEnNnN” lives immortalized in this game. Referees even resemble the ones you can see on weekly television instead of just generic stand-ins, which was maybe not a necessary change but is a welcome one considering they are also recurring characters, even if they aren’t the center of attention.
When you dig past the looks and into its mechanics, you’ll need to sift through 2K24 with a fine-toothed comb to find significant differences between this and last year’s edition. The biggest addition is the Super Finisher, which lets you spend three finisher stocks to do a bigger, badder version of your finisher. These live up to their moniker, as I never had to worry about someone kicking out of them, though it might take more work than its worth to build up that many stocks since every second you spend in a match is one where the tides can turn against you. There’s also a new trading blows minigame that appears infrequently and unprompted, usually in the early goings of a match. You take turns attempting to fill (but not overfill) a gauge at increasing speeds and whoever fails to fill their gauge correctly or runs out of stamina becomes open to a big attack. I was never happy to see this minigame as it’s an abrupt shift in the action and any advantage gained didn’t feel match-changing – but it’s also barely shown up in almost 20 hours, so I don’t think it’s a sign of the minigame bloat the series was experiencing several years ago, either.
The wrestling of 2K24 is better than ever, even if it’s not overtly so.
All the other little tweaks are pretty subtle. There are cute new weapon options like microphones and smaller objects can be thrown now, which is a fun and funny way to do damage at range (assuming you don’t struggle too much with how finicky picking weapons up can be throughout 2K24). Non-legal tag team partners can only run in to break up pins or otherwise harass their foes one time before they’re locked out of voluntarily leaving the apron without being tagged in formally. I didn’t get a chance to try that in online multiplayer before launch, but it was a godsend for the various tag matches in the MyRise and Universe modes, since it prevented getting cheesed by an overly aggressive CPU team. New paybacks like Iron Jaw, which shakes off the stunned condition so you’re not vulnerable to uncounterable damage, help vary your strategies, and overall AI improvements mean that managers act noticeably more audaciously in favor of their clients in order to help them win matches. From bell to bell, the wrestling of 2K24 is better than ever, even if it’s not overtly so.
As far as the types of matches you’ll be applying all these techniques in, a few returning types from older games stand out this year. The special guest referee match has the most potential for multiplayer chaos, as one player can choose to control the referee and either enforce the rules fairly, or skew things however they see fit. Referees have full agency over when they count pins, acknowledge submissions, or disqualify obvious cheating. By default, there is a system by which the refs ability to be a lawless menace is regulated, and if you slack on your job too much a new ref will come to take over. But you can also just turn that off, and become the worst friend among your group. Either way, I really liked this feature, and it was the one that made me wish I had a larger pool of people to play with pre-launch the most.
The ambulance and casket matches have similar goals: shove the opponent inside a box that they don’t want to be in, by any means necessary. The former is easily the better version of this concept, as there are way more ways to interact with the ambulance, including using it as part of your gameplan by throwing foes off of it. The casket match feels the most like a regular match with a different way to win, as the coffin just lingers off to the side of the ring waiting for you to deal with it. 2K24 also misses a big opportunity to recreate some infamous moments from this dubious match’s real life history – unfortunately, there’s no way to dance on top of the pine box with cowboy boots HBK-style.
Both of the MyRise stories are strong and stuffed with content
Meanwhile, gauntlet matches come in three flavors, and they are all welcome additions. Whether you choose a pool of superstars who are randomly selected to fight each other individually, battle royal style, or a team for a single wrestler to run through one at a time, gauntlets can be challenging tasks to take on. It’s also the closest you can get to a fighting game-style survival trial, but being limited to only four wrestlers total in any of the gauntlet match types means you can’t really push yourself too far.
MyRise, WWE 2K’s story mode, makes a solid return with two different tales of glorious victory and devastating defeat for your created characters to embark on. I spent most of my time with the Unleashed story, which mirrors some of last year’s themes from “The Lock” campaign of being a big star on the indies and having to basically start over under the WWE umbrella. The second story, Undisputed, revolves around the power vacuum left at the top of the men’s division when current god-king Roman Reigns abdicates the throne after a 1200 day reign to pursue Hollywood. This one felt a little more like a story you would see on actual WWE TV, for good and for ill, as it features more of the familiar drama of evil authority figures and rote wrestling contrivances that keep heroes from their ultimate goals. Both are strong and stuffed with content, including funny gags, returning characters from last year’s stories, and some truly bonkers events that take full advantage of the fact that this sports drama/comedy can be even more unbelievable when you make it a video game. That said, they are maybe over reliant on lots of smaller feuds and matches that feel more like filler episodes than substantive encounters.
For the Showcase mode, the concept of taking a long look back at Wrestlemania’s biggest fights sounds like an easy playlist of matches to collect. But even for a mode that has fundamentally fallen short of its mission to recreate big moments throughout wrestling history in past years, 2K24’s Wrestlemania Showcase fails to meet my already low expectations. The selection of matches, which includes 20 bouts across the 40 years of the event, is full of fights that are simply not as special as they are presented to be. Corey Graves does a lot of good storytelling in between each in order to explain the context surrounding them, which is valuable for some of the matches from the early 90s and 2000s where the “why” gets overshadowed by the “what.” But admittedly good matches like the ones from more recent Manias quite simply don’t measure up to some of the greatest in history, and no amount of retconning what happened will change that.
Taking control of these moments is still more an exercise in checking boxes than it is winning the contest, too. To this year’s credit, you don’t actually have to complete all of the mid-match objectives to progress, which include stuff like hitting a certain number of strikes or a specific power move. You could theoretically treat every match like a regular fight, pin or submit the opponent however you can as fast as you can, and move on. It’s certainly against the spirit of the whole endeavor, but it’s still nice that it doesn’t hold progress hostage behind a frustrating and sometimes arbitrary-feeling set of tasks anymore. The transitions from wrestling game to real match footage are still clever, but also jarring and seemingly more frequent this year. More than once would I complete a task to trigger a cutscene, return to combat, and then warp back into match footage only a move or two later. The impossible task of recreating that feeling you get when watching a historically great match in video game form does not become more possible if you just watch more of the match itself, it turns out.
Granular additions truly make for the best MyGM mode yet.
And for a company so enthralled with its own history, it also seems very afraid of it. Some reasons for that are a bit more understandable than others – like when big moments with long reaching consequences involve criminals or otherwise nefarious people. But a lot of it, like the edited crowd noise and blurred out faces of old referees in vintage footage, reeks of that George Lucas-esque inability to let old things be old. I’m sure many of the notable exclusions are simply rights and licensing conflicts between promotions and wrestlers, but as a person who is not a shareholder or executive in any of these companies, but rather a fan who just wants to see the best of the best celebrated properly, I think moments like Daniel Bryan beating three men across two matches in one night to win the WWE Championship deserves to be lauded just as much as many of the lesser matches that made the cut.
For those who want to book their own WrestleMania moments, Universe Mode and MyGM have you covered. Neither make huge strides forward from last year’s editions, but prospective general managers will find some neat new toys to play with in MyGM. The most interesting to me were the post-PLE trades that allow you opportunities to pass talent between promotions, wheeling and dealing with rivals to get your roster in ship shape for the next stretch of the campaign. Superstars have individual ring levels that can be increased through training and regular booking, which helps them accumulate perks like getting bonus quality points for participating in specific match types or being able to switch classes for free. These granular additions, as well as new general managers to choose from and a big list of new power cards at your disposal to shake things up week to week, truly make for the best MyGM mode yet.
Universe Mode felt much more similar to last year’s in comparison, allowing you to take a bird’s eye view of the booking across the entire WWE Universe, or drill down on the journey of one wrestler in particular. There are a bunch of new rivalry actions and run-ins you can program into your feuds like a Loser Leaves Town match, but I think Universe heads will find that things are largely the same. That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering how robust it was to begin with, but there are still key features missing from the days of old – namely allowing superstars to cut promos on one another – that reminded there is still plenty of room to improve.
With its campy take on the horror trope of a group of people exploring somewhere they shouldn’t be, Betrayal at House on the Hill is a great game to bust out when you have a group of friends over (we think it’s one of the best horror board games out there). It’s a personal favorite of mine thanks to it being easy to pick up and can be a great time regardless if you are brand new to board games or a longtime cardboard enthusiast, thanks in part to the fact that it’s cooperative – until it isn’t.
Betrayal first revealed the traitor among you 20 years ago with the release of the game’s first edition, with the second edition arriving six years later and the latest third edition in 2022. Many games receive expansions to increase their longevity and freshness, and Betrayal is no different, having received a handful of new boxes and characters, but also spin-off games that work Betrayal’s systems into a different IP. It’s a lot to grapple with, but read on, and we’ll pull the mask off of what content is worth investigating.
Betrayal at The House on The Hill (2nd / 3rd Edition) Board Game
3-6 Players (best with 5-6)
Betrayal at The House on The Hill tasks players with moving through a creepy old house, discovering (building) the layout and rooms as they go, all the while discovering items and completing events that progress the game. The “betrayal” part in the game’s name comes from the fact that at some point, an event known as The Haunt will trigger, where one of the players will be revealed to be a traitor and the game shifts from a fully cooperative endeavor to an asymmetrical one, where the traitor gets a new victory condition (usually involving killing the others) while the remaining players need to stop them. It’s great fun and always nerve-wracking when the haunt starts to find out who the traitor will turn out to be.
The most current version of this classic horror game, the third edition of Betrayal, maintains all of what has made the series popular – the modularly-built house as you explore, eclectic characters, and devious scenarios. This latest rendition of the classic game features 50 brand-new haunts and additional tweaks that help the gameplay flow while maintaining that Betrayal feeling folks love. Both the second and third editions can still be bought (only the third is available through the official Hasbro shop, though), and while there are subtle differences between the two, both remain great games. For those that have the second edition, the third comes with 50 new haunts, a new cast of characters, and some adjusted mechanics that make it worth picking up, especially if you have had your fill of the second edition’s haunts.
Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate Board Game (Dungeons & Dragons crossover)
3-6 Players (best with 5-6)
Dropping teenagers for wizards, mummified fingers for magic swords, and creepy mansions for the dingy streets of Baldur’s Gate, Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate maintains much of the same systems and gameplay of your classic Betrayal experience and injects it with some good ol’ Dungeons & Dragons DNA. Each character, portrayed by a classic D&D class, comes with unique abilities, setting them apart from the others and is the main difference from classic Betrayal. This game is a great option to play if you are more of a fan of the medieval fantasy aesthetic, D&D, or just want to shake things up a bit from your usual Betrayal game night.
Scooby-Doo! Betrayal at Mystery Mansion Board Game (Scooby-Doo! crossover)
3-5 Players (best with 5)
For the younger players out there, Betrayal at Mystery Mansions puts you in the legendary shoes (or paws) of Scooby-Doo and the other members of Mystery Inc. in this version of Betrayal. Mystery Mansion has been made a bit simpler than your normal Betrayal experience – having only “inside” and “outside” areas as opposed to three stories of a house, being able to choose the “traitor,” and only 25 potential haunts among other tweaks that make this game more geared towards gaming groups that find themselves with some younger dice rollers. Betrayal at Mystery Mansion is a great introduction to the Betrayal system, but unfortunately, the game does not let you play as Scrappy-Doo.
Betrayal Legacy Board Game
3-6 Players (best with 5)
For those who want more of lasting experience, Betrayal Legacy turns what is normally a one-off experience into a generational campaign, taking place over the course of 300 years. Decisions that you and the other players make will have large and permanent impacts on how the story progresses and its outcomes. Many of the classic Betrayal mechanics remain, including discovering rooms, traitors, items, and more. This may be a great choice if you have a recurring game night or consistent game group that you play with. Be aware, though, as a Legacy style game, the entire campaign (consisting of many individual game sessions) is meant to be played only once, so if permanently altering or destroying game components makes you feel uneasy, then it may be best you opt for other versions of Betrayal.
Betrayal Evil Reigns in the Wynter’s Pale The Yuletide Tale (3rd Edition Only)
3-6 Players (best with 5)
2 figures w/ removable bases
double -sided character board
2 room tiles
2 haunt books
Story prologue book
4 game cards
When the weather gets cold and the holidays are fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to bust out the Evil Reigns in the Wynter’s Pale The Yuletide Tale expansion for the third edition of Betrayal. This holiday-themed expansion introduces new characters to play, a special scenario card and more to play with to get your group in that murderous festive spirit. Just remember, this expansion is only compatible with the third edition of the game, and will not work with second!
Betrayal the Werewolf’s Journey Blood on the Moon (3rd Edition Only)
3-6 Players (best with 5)
2 figures w/ removable bases
double -sided character board
2 room tiles
2 haunt books
Story prologue book
4 game cards
Sara, the mysterious girl that you or one of the other players takes on, is at the heart of the Werewolf’s Journey Blood on the Moon expansion. Incorporating the special tiles, cards, and haunts that are included will force you to contend with Sara’s predicament, and determine her fate. This expansion is compatible exclusively with the third edition of Betrayal at The House on The Hill.
Betrayal at House on the Hill Upgrade Kit (2nd Edition Only)
6 pre-assembled double-sided character cards
8 custom pearlescent green dice
If you find your second edition character cards looking a bit rough and dinged up, then it may be time to look into upgrading. This upgrade kit provides you with redone character cards for the cast of second edition with built in dials for the stats – meaning no more dealing with the clips! The fancy dice this pack comes with are nice too, but just keep in mind that this pack are component upgrades only and don’t add any new content to the game itself.
Betrayal at The House on The Hill is one of those classic titles that should find a home in anyone’s board game collection. The randomly generated map on top of the wide variety of haunts means that you can expect every game to be unique and provide its own challenges and twists. Many of these games and expansions can be found well under MSRP on Amazon or a local store and are easily worth the investment.
Helldivers 2 has been one of the surprise hits of 2024 since launching in February, topping the charts on Steam and reportedly selling around 3 million copies. And according to at least one analyst, it’s still growing.
Writing on X/Twitter, Circana executive director Mat Piscatella compared Helldivers 2 to a “rare and amazing bird,” saying that Helldivers 2 sales have continued to rise in its third week on the market. It is experience what he describes as an “inverse delay curve” — technical jargon for game sales growing rather than declining after release.
Normally, sales are biggest for a new release during week 1, and fall over time.
With an “inverse decay curve” the trend reverses. It’s rare, particularly for bigger games. Just saying “growth” doesn’t explain the nature – as “growth” could be temporary, ie from discounting.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) March 4, 2024
“Normally, sales are biggest for a new release during week 1, and fall over time,” Piscatella explains. “With an ‘inverse decay curve’ the trend reverses. It’s rare, particularly for bigger games. Just saying ‘growth’ doesn’t explain the nature — as ‘growth’ could be temporary, ie from discounting.”
‘It’s a very exciting title to watch’
Piscatella’s company is responsible for the monthly sales charts that provide a snapshot of the games industry, which is compiled through physical sales data from stores as well as publishers who choose to share their data. Its data is not a precise measure of a game’s success, but it does provide a useful snapshot of the games industry on a month-to-month basis.
Now, I’m not saying Helldivers is going to become the next Guitar Hero, just saying that there’s similar behavior happening in the sales curve
Speaking in a follow-up email with IGN, Piscatella compared Helldivers 2 to Guitar Hero, which he says “sold poorly” when it launched on PS2 but steadily grew due to word-of-mouth.
“Now, I’m not saying Helldivers 2 is going to become the next Guitar Hero, just saying that there’s similar behavior happening in the sales curve,” he explains.
He emphasizes that what Helldivers 2 is experiencing is different from a lot of games that see an artificial bump in sales thanks to online promotions like the Steam Summer Sale. What Helldivers 2 is seeing, he says, is an “increase in the base (i.e. everyday) demand for the title.”
“This won’t last forever. Eventually it’ll hit a peak and then sales will start decaying as it moves further into its lifecycle. Which is also normal and expected,” Piscatella says. “But, for now at least, it’s a very exciting title to watch, particularly as we are seeing some other games really struggle commercially. But what’s happening in the market at large is its own big whole mess of a topic.”
One way or another, Helldivers 2 stands out as one of the rare service games to break into a category dominated by familiar names like Fortnite and Call of Duty. Helldivers 2 is currently #3 on Steam Charts, topped only by Dota 2 and Counter-Strike 2, and is popular enough that fakes are starting to pop up on the service.
We’ll see how long Helldivers 2 is able to maintain its momentum. In the meantime, check out our full review as well as the best loadouts and more.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.
AMD might finally be leaning towards AI in its gaming devices, as one company executive touts that 2024 will be a “huge year” for the GPU and CPU maker.
In an interview with the No Priors podcast, AMD CTO Mark Papermaster said that over the last several years, the company has been working on developing its hardware and software capabilities for artificial intelligence, with its gaming hardware finally set to implement AI.
“Well, this is a huge year for us because we have spent so many years developing our hardware and software capabilities for AI,” Papermaster explained. “We’ve just completed AI enabling our entire portfolio: Cloud, edge, PCs, embedded devices, our gaming devices. We’re enabling our gaming devices to upscale using AI, and 2024 is really a huge deployment year for us.”
While Papermaster did not specify how AMD would incorporate AI, he is most likely referring to FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), AMD’s supersampling tech.
Unlike Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and Intel’s Xe Super Sampling (XeSS), FSR is the only supersampling tech that does not use AI. However, Papermaster’s use of “gaming devices” imply that RDNA 4 may include AI upscaling. In either case, AMD is late to the party as its key rivals, Nvidia and Intel, already use AI in their gaming products.
Nvidia has been leading the pack since 2019 with DLSS, which has become one of the most popular upscaling methods. It has made Nvidia a front-runner in the AI race, which continues to heat up as various major tech companies try to incorporate the technology into their own products.
For now, Nvidia’s adoption of AI in DLSS and other areas is paying off off, as the company recently became a 2 trillion dollar company last month.
Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.
The creators of Yuzu have settled its lawsuit with Nintendo, agreeing to pay $2.4 million in damages and shutting down support for the popular open-source Switch emulator.
A new document reveals that Tropic Haze will pay Nintendo $2.4 million to settle the lawsuit filed last week. Nintendo sued Yuzu’s developers in U.S. Federal Court, alleging that the emulator is “primarily designed” to circumvent several layers of Switch encryption in order to make it possible to play Nintendo games on devices such as Steam Deck.
Nintendo argued in its filing that Tropic Haze was liable for the distribution of illegal copies of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, claiming that it had been pirated up to 1 million times before release. Specifically, the filing claimed that Yuzu’s Patreon page allowed its developers to earn $30,000 per month by providing subscribers with “daily updates,” “early access,” and “special unreleased features” to games like Tears of the Kingdom.
Yuzu is shutting down
In a proposed final judgment and permanent injunction document, the settlement terms will forbid the distribution of Yuzu in all of its forms while shutting down its website and other services. As Nintendo previously noted in its legal complaint last week, it not only wanted monetary damages from the lawsuit but also wanted to eliminate Yuzu’s existence entirely, including taking control of its domain and social media accounts.
yuzu, in its current form, will cease to exist.
Their settlement with Nintendo prohibits any distribution of yuzu in built and source code form. Development must also stop.
The yuzu website and related services will also be shut down.https://t.co/INBkXCf38d pic.twitter.com/rMeKeRCeFv
— OatmealDome (@OatmealDome) March 4, 2024
First released in 2018, Yuzu is an open-source Nintendo Switch emulator developed using C++. It has been used to emulate numerous Nintendo Switch games shortly after release. The topic of hardware emulation remains fraught, with some game preservation experts advocating for the emulation of older platforms that have been discontinued. The Switch, for its part, is expected to remain Nintendo’s main platform until at least 2025 and has suffered a notable piracy platform for much of its existence.
This is not the first time Nintendo has sought legal action against emulation developers. Most recently, in 2021, the ROM-hosting website called RomUniverse was ordered to pay Nintendo $2.1 million in damages for copyright infringement and federal trademark infringement. In 2018, Nintendo received over $12 million in damages after successfully suing the ROM-hosted websites LoveRETRO and LoveROMs.
Taylor is a Reporter at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.