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Demon’s Souls PS5: How Bluepoint Is Remaking a Classic

Demon’s Souls, the latest remake from Shadow of the Colossus (PS4) developer Bluepoint Games, is hitting the PS5 launch day, and with it reviving the start of the modern Soulsborne genre. But in bringing the PS3 classic to life after so many games in the genre, both developed by original devs FromSoftware and others, Bluepoint had an interesting task ahead of it: maintaining what many loved while making it feel fresh and modern. And that’s on top of optimizing it to showcase what the PS5’s SSD, DualSense controller, and more can add to the experience. IGN spoke with creative director Gavin Moore about the project, and came away with new info on the game’s visuals, haptics integration, and much more. Here are some of our biggest takeaways, which you can hear alongside seeing new footage in the video above. [ignvideo url=""]
PS5 Cinematic and Performance Modes

As a launch game for PS5, Demon’s Souls is aiming to showcase the technical prowess of the PS5, and to allow players some choice of how they want to play, Bluepoint is offering to visual modes for players to pick: Cinematic and Performance modes. Cinematic mode runs at native 4K at 30 FPS, and as Moore described it “It means we can up the resolution of every single tiny pebble in the game, right? The tessellation is incredible and it's all real-time, and it all casts real-time shadows. It's so immersive. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=demons-souls-ps5-screenshots&captions=true"] Additionally, Demon’s Souls will offer Performance mode, which runs at 60 FPS - “That’s a crisp 60, so it doesn’t drop,” Moore explained - with dynamic 4K resolution. “You'll be able to react faster to those attacks and roll and dodge out of the way and feel like you're a little bit more powerful if you've been having a hard time on the 30,” he said.
Demon’s Souls’ Use of PS5’s SSD, 3D Audio

And, of course., in addition to its visual performance, Bluepoint is hoping to bring Demon’s Souls’ world to life via the 3D Tempest audio built into the PS5. “We literally added thousands upon thousands of new sounds into this game, obviously paying close attention to what the original has done,” he said of just how intricate the audio detail work for the game is.” But he also noted how the 3D audio can actually change the way you play, alerting you to more precisely the location enemies or projectiles may be coming from. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=ps5-console-first-look-size-comparison&captions=true"] “You can feel the Imperial spies creep up behind you in the Palace of Boleteria. You can feel the creatures crawling out of the slime, he said. “I can hear the arrows go past my head. “When you tread on a track in the Shrine of Storms and a dart will fire out of the wall at you...most unfairly, because you don't know it's coming because it's just a sound. But now you can hear it. And it gives you that split second to react and roll for instance, or turn and guard.” Bluepoint has also recorded a new version of the original’s classic score, with an ambitious live-recording plan. “We've done a re-imagining of the original score by Shunsuke Kida's and it's absolutely stunning. We recorded the whole thing at Air Studios in London with a world-class orchestra, a full choir. We even recorded a world famous pipe organ at Temple Church in London,” he said, noting 120 musicians play on the new, reimagined score. [ignvideo url=""] However you choose to experience Demon’s Souls, Bluepoint is also aiming to make good use of PS5’s SSD in removing one of the greatest frustrations that can come with any Soulsborne - the time between death and getting back into the game. “If you think about the superfast loading, the frustration of the original game is not [necessarily] the challenge or the dying. It's the, ‘Oh my God, I've got to wait two minutes before I can get back into the game and take revenge and get my souls back.’ And now, you’re straight back into the game, and that's incredible,” he explained. “[We’re] using the SSD to improve the loading, but also using the SSD to create environments which are absolutely stunning. There are limitations to what the PlayStation 3 could do both visually and audi- wise. We created environments now, for instance, which are so intricate and detailed, every room or corridor tells a story.”
World Tendency and Online Support

Getting a bit more into the detail of Demon’s Souls, Moore confirmed that World Tendency is back from the original game and is largely true to the experience players had on PS3. When you’re playing offline, you can swing the tendency toward black or white, the former offering more difficult enemies and greater loot, while the latter has enemies that are easier but don’t offer as great rewards. While playing online, the larger player base affects the state of the world, but Moore did explain that the team is hoping to make World Tendency a bit more evident so players know what they’re contending with. [ignvideo url=""] “I think the original game's problem was that [World Tendency] wasn't shown, right? You couldn't really understand where the tendency was. What we have done is try to improve World Tendency through the UI. So, you should be able to understand which state the world your tendency is in for playing the game,” he said, which will hopefully make the experience more understandable for newcomers. And on the subject of the game’s online servers, the original Demon’s Souls’ lasted for a famously long time before shutting down. While Moore explained there’s no specific timeline in mind, the plan is to support the game so long as the players are there. “We plan on, as long as there are people who are willing to keep playing Demon Souls and love the game, then the service will remain.”
Modern Improvements

Demon's Souls is also in the unique position of being a remake to the start of a genre that has been iterated and improved upon since the original's debut. Bluepoint had to balance both being reverential to the original experience but also making something that would be fun and rewarding to play by modern standards. "This is the game that gave birth to this genre of gaming. And so we have to pay great respect to the original vision, ut at the same time, we have to make a lot of modern-day life improvements. But none of those were taken lightly," Moore said. "When we decided to have a look at the camera, for instance...we changed the camera position slightly, and we made sure that it doesn't run through the walls and get stuck on collision and all those sorts of things. That doesn't mean that we don't have an option in the game so you can turn on the old camera if you want to. You can do that. We preserve all of that. It all exists there for the user to switch on and off as they wish. [ignvideo url=""] The thing for us is you have to remember that the way you played the game 11 years ago is not the way you imagined the game. You imagine it completely different," continued. "We had to basically create the game as the way that the players of the original PlayStation 3 version imagined it to be. And then, at the same time, make sure that we created a game the new generation of gamers could enjoy and love as well." Moore made it clear that team wants to do right by the original developers and fans with the remake while providing something fresh and exciting for anyone jumping into the PS5. There's plenty to look forward to for both new and returning players to the world of Demon’s Souls when it launches alongside the PS5 on Nov. 12, including a new photo mode, robust character customization, and much more. But as you wait to play, be sure to check out our PS5 unboxing, our hands-on experience of PS5 pack-in Astro’s Playroom (not a Soulsborne), and the latest details on PS5 launch game Sackboy: A Big Adventure (does Sackboy have a soul?) And be sure to check out the full PS5 launch lineup to know what you can expect to play on day one. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jonathon Dornbush is IGN's Senior News Editor, host of Podcast Beyond!, and PlayStation lead. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

Bethesda Boss Says It's 'Hard to Imagine' Elder Scrolls 6 Being Xbox-Exclusive

Bethesda Game Studios director Todd Howard has said it's "hard to imagine" The Elder Scrolls 6 as a fully Xbox-exclusive game in a new interview that touches on many aspects of ZeniMax's acquisition by Microsoft. In the interview, GamesIndustry's James Batchelor posed the idea that seeing The Elder Scrolls 6 as exclusive was hard to imagine, particularly as The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim owes some of its huge success to the sheer number of consoles it launched on. Howard replied by saying, "I would agree that is hard to imagine," but would say no more on the subject. The subject of Bethesda's games becoming Xbox exclusives has been a talking point since the moment we learned Xbox had agreed to acquire parent company ZeniMax for $7.5 billion. On Microsoft's part, here are good cases for both sides, and Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has previously said any decisions about exclusivity would be made on a "case-by-case basis". Howard backed up that case-by-case approach in the new interview, although he says that the early stage of the acquisition (it won't complete until 2021 at the earliest) means that, "We haven't gone through all of that, to be honest." This follows Phil Spencer's comments earlier this week, where he explained that it would be illegal for him to be making decisions for Bethesda until the acquisition is complete, meaning planning hasn't truly begun. [ignvideo url=""] Howard also makes clear that every Elder Scrolls game since Morrowind has partnered with Microsoft to some extent, so any exclusivity deals that do emerge aren't a huge change in and of themselves: "I can't really project where things will be except to say we've done those sort of exercises ourselves as an independent. "If you look at every Elder Scrolls game, there has been some exclusivity on Xbox or with Microsoft. We've partnered with every game. Morrowind was basically a console exclusive, Oblivion was a long timed exclusive, Skyrim's DLC was exclusive for a long period of time. We'll decide what makes the best sense for our audience when the time comes, and I can't really project today what that looks like." As we've heard previously, Howard confirms that Bethesda is "giving up very little" of its independence by joining Microsoft, and says, "We're a subsidiary, but we're still running our games and pushing everything the way that we have." The implication is that, while Microsoft will naturally have some say on decisions around Bethesda games, Bethesda itself will also have a major part in that process. [ignvideo width=610 height=374 url=[URL][/URL]] Speaking more generally, Howard explained that he hadn't anticipated how huge a news story the acquisition would become, because he'd been "in the weeds" while organising it: "I grossly underestimated the impact in the larger gaming community," he says. "I was naively surprised at how big it landed and what it meant in the larger context of games, but I was happy with the feedback we saw. A lot of people saw it as a big positive thing, the same way we do." It's well worth reading GamesIndustry's interview in full, which contains Howard's thoughts on the benefits of Game Pass (and how it could help reignite certain genres of games), and the effect of streaming on the industry. For more, you can read the five biggest takeaways from Xbox's Bethesda acquisition, or check out our Xbox Series X guide. And, if you're still trying to secure an Xbox Series X or S before next month's launch, keep an eye on our Xbox preorder page for up-to-date retail links. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Watch Dogs 2 Lead Actor Has Not Been Asked to Return for Watch Dogs Legion

Watch Dogs 2’s lead actor, Ruffin Prentiss, has not been asked to reprise his role as Marcus Holloway for Watch Dogs Legion, all but confirming that the character will not be returning in the new game anytime soon.

After the announcement of the return of original Watch Dogs star Aiden Pearce in Watch Dogs Legion, many expected Watch Dogs 2’s Marcus Holloway to make an appearance too - not least because it was the ending of the second game that teased a move to a London setting, with Marcus’ story left somewhat open-ended. However, WD2 supporting character Wrench was subsequently announced as a post-launch Legion character, with no mention of Marcus forthcoming.

Speaking to IGN, Marcus Holloway actor Ruffin Prentiss confirmed that he’s not been contacted by Ubisoft to step back into Marcus’ shoes: “I haven't heard from Ubisoft. I would love to reprise the role. It's one of my favorite things that I've ever done. When Aiden was announced I was like, ‘Oh, maybe there's a potential.’ [...] And then of course Wrench is in the game as well. He's my main partner in crime in Watch Dogs 2. So I think the realm of possibility still exists, but I have heard nothing from Ubisoft – but if they call, I'd absolutely jump back in.”

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With Aiden Pearce actor Noam Jenkins reprising his role in the new game, it seems unlikely that Ubisoft would recast Marcus - and with Legion on the verge of release, with post-launch DLC already announced, it seems unlikely that Marcus will be making an appearance, at least in the short to mid-term.

This isn’t to say Prentiss is upset by the decision. “Look, Wrench is loved. And [Wrench actor] Shawn Baichoo is such a wonderful, fluid, and versatile actor. What he does with that performance and how he's able to maneuver – he was really fun to play with as a partner, but also just wonderful to watch and learn from. [...] He's earned this moment. He deserves every second of it. And the fans, the way they received Wrench, absolutely valid. We had a fun time making that game, but it's one of those things where, even when he was announced, I'm [still] getting messages like, ‘Hey, is Marcus coming?’”

The answer, for now, seems to be “no” – although there have apparently at least been ideas mooted about how Marcus could return. “When we finished the game,” Prentiss explains, “there was this feeling of like, they could go one of two ways. I think this kind of happened with the Assassin's Creed video games where the first game had one character and then the second game had a [different] character as the lead, who went on to continue to be the lead for a bit. This could be the realm of possibility, or it could just continue to have new protagonists with every game. And obviously Watch Dogs Legion is a very different game where you can play anybody, which is in terms of video gaming in general, it's pretty revolutionary.”

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Prentiss says that there was another, less conventional idea brought up, too: “One of the writers, he said his dream would be to have three or four main protagonists and then do an ‘Avengers’.” To be fair, that doesn’t sound hugely dissimilar to Legion’s Bloodlines DLC, the post-launch pack that will bring Aiden, Wrench and two new characters - an Assassin and a psychic - together.

For the time being, Marcus seems to be off the table for a Watch Dogs return, but I also discussed playing the character with Prentiss, talking through why he loved the character, and how important he thinks Marcus was for Black representation in video games.

Watch Dogs Legion arrives for PS4, Xbox One and PC today, and will get a next-gen version on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 launch day (with free-upgrades for those with current-gen versions). We awarded it an 8/10 review, saying its "bold use of roguelike mechanics in an open-world action game pays off in interesting ways, making this visit to near-future London feel more varied than the previous two games."

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Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Watch Dogs 2's Lead Actor: Marcus Redefined Expectations for Black Characters

Game characters – and leading game characters in particular – are so often built as a vessel for players to fill out that they end up, paradoxically, lacking much character at all. Watch Dogs 2’s Marcus Holloway was a very different kind of lead, a character that displayed a consistently sympathetic flicker between brash confidence and nervousness, a passionately held personal philosophy, and a general friendliness missing from so many scripted protagonists.

As with most AAA open worlds, that character could become veiled by gunfire and absurdity when you actually began to control him, but the Marcus Holloway of Watch Dogs 2’s cutscenes felt notably like a person, not just a collection of voice lines designed to string missions together. Ruffin Prentiss was the actor giving Marcus that life, and while I was sad to learn during a recent conversation that he likely won’t return to the Watch Dogs universe anytime soon, we had a lot to discuss about how much a well-written video game character – and a Black character in particular – could mean to their actor and a community at large.

[poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Marcus%20is%20different%20because%20we%20don't%20get%20to%20see%20Black%20characters%20who%20are%20doing%20something%20out%20of%20the%20norm%20for%20what%20pop%20culture%20says%20Black%20people%20are%20cool%20for."]

When I ask the inevitable question about whether he’d been contacted to bring Marcus back to life for Watch Dogs Legion, Prentiss is quick to tell me no – but that he’d still love to. You’d think an actor auditioning amid a pandemic might be a little upset about that, but Prentiss’ reaction is almost nostalgic – his time bringing Marcus to life was clearly hugely important to him, and we spend the rest of our time together breaking down why. I expected the answer to revolve mostly around the bizarre nature of being a piece of a huge video game production and the acting challenge that presents – but the real answer is far more meaningful.

“I don't think I knew the magnitude of what a Black player-character could mean, especially in terms of video gaming,” Prentiss enthuses. “You grow up playing games and the majority of Black representation in games is athletes or fighters. You’ve got the guy with the afro in Ready 2 Rumble, or you're playing professional basketball players or football players. And then of course, there was the transition, where Grand Theft Auto came out, games got grittier, and the world expanded, and you saw Black representation. I'm not going to say it was stereotypical – with someone like CJ from GTA: San Andreas, it humanized that experience of having to be in that area or in those conditions. And as the player, you get to sympathize and empathize with those conditions – how do you get out and how do you find success?

“But Marcus is different because we don't get to see Black characters who are doing something out of the norm for what pop culture says Black people are cool for. So to see him be a hacker, I had people reach out that work in Silicon Valley. I had people reach out that were studying coding and programming and say it was so cool to see someone who looks like them, and has a similar interest, be represented in video games.”

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Prentiss says the impact of the character and his performance has become particularly clear in recent weeks. After the announcement that the original Watch Dogs lead, Aiden Pearce, would be appearing in post-launch DLC for Legion, many naturally assumed Marcus would be back, too – and they made sure to tell Prentiss. He tells me that he’s been receiving messages ever since, hopefully asking if Marcus might make a return the new game. Even after it was announced that WD2 side character Wrench would be the one appearing, seemingly killing off that idea, the messages kept coming. Prentiss puts that reaction down to the sheer surprise factor of putting someone like Marcus – both in his personality and his ethnicity – in a starring role to begin with.

“I have to give Ubisoft credit for this because there were drastically different tones between Watch Dogs and Watch Dogs 2,” he explains, pointing out how Aiden’s characterisation was a recognisable revenge-driven vigilante, while Marcus came from a very different place. “I think by choosing to have a Black protagonist, and then having a crew [around him] that was just down to fight for what was right [...] Ubisoft pushed the limits.”

That crew became key to how Prentiss sees Marcus – it wasn’t just what Marcus said, but how he said it, and to who, that made him feel like a real person. The start of the game sees Marcus become part of DedSec. He’s easygoing, cracks jokes, and talks passionately about the group's goals with all of them. “But you have one character, Horatio,” Prentiss says, “who is the other Black guy in DedSec. They relate in a different way, and Ubisoft wasn't afraid to show those colloquialisms, or code-switching.”

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Prentiss points to a scene where Marcus and Horatio head to Nudle, the game’s legally acceptable stand-in for Google, and begin changing their speech patterns to fit in with a predominantly white crowd. “Having to code-switch in the workplace so you feel comfortable, instead of being able to completely be yourself – that is a real thing that Black people, or people from any culture, do to assimilate, just to feel comfortable in the space and make their coworkers feel comfortable.”

Code-switching is something I’ve never seen in a video game before Watch Dogs 2, and for it to be portrayed so honestly is still markedly unusual. Prentiss adds (modestly downplaying his own work bringing the character to life) that much of what made Marcus feel like a well-rounded character was already on the page before he added his own input. “For Ubisoft to explore that [...] and just even have that in the script, and for me to have a chance to work on stuff like that was really impressive. Yeah, it felt groundbreaking when we were doing it and we gave everything we had.”

Looking back at Watch Dogs 2, and looking at what’s followed, it still feels groundbreaking in how it presents a story about a Black man’s experiences without falling into cliche. On the one hand, Watch Dogs Legion does seem to have a similarly positive goal in how it’s showing off London’s hugely multicultural background with the play-as-anyone system. Playing the game for just a few hours shows off a wealth of accents, ethnicities and procedurally generated backstories to play with, turning London’s real-life diversity into a meaningful part of Legion’s gameplay. But the very fact that those characters are generated – that their stories are text-based lists, and that their voices are picked from a somewhat randomized palette – means they simply can’t match the tailored humanity of Marcus. Wouldn’t it be nice to see him stroll into London somewhere too?

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Prentiss can imagine it without hesitation. “I think Marcus could live in any world,” the actor says. “One thing that I loved about him was how he tries to blend in and maneuver in any way he can. There's the Jimmy Siska scene where he's pretending to be a member of New Dawn and he's doing the interview, but that's Marcus toning it down. I could absolutely see Marcus in London doing a really awful British accent.”

I could see it too – and that’s largely because I have such a good idea of who Marcus is; how he chooses to act in a given situation and the kind of man he is. He’s a character in the truest sense of the word - not just a playable avatar. For now, a reappearance doesn’t seem to be the future for Marcus, but Prentiss would be open to new ideas for the character:

“I would love to reprise the role,” he tells me. “It's one of my favorite things that I've ever done.” Speaking about whether he thinks it’s likely, he points to Aiden’s reappearance in Legion’s future London: “Hey, anything is possible.”

I’d say that anything is possible not just for Marcus and Prentiss, but because of them. Put it this way: I’m a white, British man who got a better sense of life for someone who isn’t either of those things, thanks to that character. I love that I played a game, and came away with something beyond just having had a good time. It’s a reminder that what we should be aiming for now – particularly after Watch Dogs 2’s thoughtful, relatable leading man – is to make these kinds of roles, and characters, not just possible, but probable. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Final Fantasy 16 Introduces Its 6 Realms

Square Enix has detailed the six realms of Final Fantasy 16's world of Valisthea, providing us with more information about the game's setting. As we learned from the game's teaser website, Valisthea is a land "studded with colossal mountains of glittering crystal called Mothercrystals." These Mothercrystals provide aether to the people of Valisthea, and wars have been fought over the ownership of this powerful resource. This has split the realm into warring states, each with their own quirks and characters. It's very Game of Thrones. Five of the nations have a 'Dominant,' a special person imbued with the transformative power of an Eikon, special summons that "can level nations." Depending on the nation, a Dominant can be seen as royalty or a force to be feared. Here's some more information about the six realms of Valisthea in Final Fantasy 16. You can check out all of the realm's flags on the Final Fantasy 16 teaser website. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=final-fantasy-16-the-6-realms-of-valisthea&captions=true"]
The Grand Duchy of Rosaria

Rosaria is a nation made up of "small independent provinces in western Valisthea," and it's where the game's protagonist Clive Rosfield hails from. His brother Joshua Rosfield is the realm's Dominant, who is powered by the Eikon of Fire, a great Phoenix. The realm's Mothercrystal is called Drake's Breath and is held on a volcanic island off the coast. Rosaria's prosperity has been hurt by something called "the Blight", which threatens to bring the realm to its knees.
The Holy Empire of Sanbreque

Sanbreque is a theocracy ruled by a "Holy Emperor" who is worshipped as a living manifestation of God. The capital of Sanbreque is Oriflamme, which is actually built upon the Drake's Head Mothercrystal that supplies the realm with its all-important aether. The realm's Dominant "serves as the empire's champion" and is known to "rout its enemies" on the battlefield.
The Kingdom of Waloed

Waloed is based in the eastern partition of Valisthea, an area known simply as "Ash". Orcs and beastmen threaten to overthrow Waloed's rule, but the realm's Dominant and ruler has used the power of the Drake's Spine Mothercrystal to create "a mighty army" to stop them in their tracks and seek expansion beyond the borders of Ash. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=final-fantasy-xvi-characters-and-world&captions=true"]
The Dhalmekian Republic

The Dhalmekian Republic is ruled by a parliament made up of representatives from five states in southern Valisthea. The area draws its powers from the Drake's Fang Mothercrystal, which is hidden in a mountain range. The area's Dominant is a "special advisor" to the republic's parliament and channels the power of Titan, the Eikon of Earth.
The Iron Kingdom

Made up of coastal islands in western Valisthea, The Iron Kingdom is ruled by an "extreme faith" called the Crystalline Orthodox, who worship the Mothercrystals. The Kingdom is often in conflict with Rosaria over the Drake's Breath Mothercrystal, which sits "at the heart" of one of the kingdom's islands and provides both nations with their power. Its inhabitants are known as the Ironblood who are isolated from the mainland, speaking their own language and treating Dominants as "unholy abominations" who are executed upon birth.
The Crystalline Dominion

At the heart of Valisthea is The Crystalline Dominion, which is built around a tall Mothercrystal known as Drake's Tail. The five realms used to war for control over the crystal, but an armistice was reached which left the area autonomous and controlled by a council with input from each state, except for The Iron Kingdom. As such, the area does not have its own Dominant. Final Fantasy XVI was announced for PS5 back in September of this year and has already completed "basic development", with more news about the game coming in 2021. You can find out more details about FF16 in our article covering the game's heroes and the world, and you can watch the first trailer, Awakening, here. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

Final Fantasy 16: Heroes, World and Story Detailed

An article written by Square Enix Producer Naoki Yoshida has detailed the world and story of Final Fantasy XVI, and introduced us to heroes Clive, Joshua, and Jill. You can read the post in full over on the PlayStation Blog, where you can check out some artwork from the game and learn more about the motivations of the trio of main characters, as well as the world they inhabit. You can also check out the official Final Fantasy XVI website, which reveals even more details about the game's setting and cast, and the game's tagline: "The legacy of the crystals has shaped our history for long enough." Final Fantasy XVI takes place in Valisthea, a land "studded with colossal mountains of glittering crystal called Mothercrystals." The Mothercrystals have blessed the realms with aether for generations, allowing Valisthea's people to live in comfort. Of course, wars have been fought over the ownership of the Mothercrystals, which has created a set of conflicting nations, known as the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, the Kingdom of Waloed, the Dhalmekian Republic and the Iron Kingdom. A "ruinous Blight" has recently overcome the land, which is threatening to disturb the "fragile peace" achieved between the warring states. [widget path="global/article/imagegallery" parameters="albumSlug=final-fantasy-xvi-characters-and-world&captions=true"] The game's main protagonist is Clive Rosfield, the firstborn son of the Archduke of Rosaria. Rosfield is a knight known as the "First Shield of Rosaria" who is tasked with protecting his younger brother Joshua, described as "the Dominant of the Phoenix." A Dominant is a special person who is essentially a vessel for devastating creatures called Eikons, special Summons that "can level nations." Depending on the nation, Dominants are treated as royalty or used as weapons of war. The blog notes that more Eikons will be revealed in the main game as players journey through Valisthea. It was expected that Clive would become the Dominant of Rosaria, but destiny chose Joshua, who can transform into a Phoenix to protect his nation. Joshua has bestowed Clive with "the Blessing of the Phoenix," which allows the protagonist to "wield a part of the Eikon's fire." Joshua also "quails at the sight of a carrot on his dinner plate," and laments the fact that he, the more frail Rosfield brother, received the Eikon's power. FFXVI_MediaKit_01 Then there's Jill Warrick, a confidant of the brothers who is an expatriate from the Northern Territories and ward of the Duchy of Rosaria in order to sow peace between the two factions. She's a member of the Rosfield household and a close childhood friend of the brothers. Final Fantasy XVI was announced for PS5 back in September of this year, and has already completed "basic development", with the next big reveal event relating to the game coming in 2021. It's still a matter of conjecture as to whether the game will come to PC, after its announcement for the platform was scrubbed. You can watch the game's first trailer here. [poilib element="accentDivider"] Jordan Oloman is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.

Amnesia: Rebirth Saltpeter Location

Watch Dogs: Legion Tips - 12 Things to Do First

How to have a socially distant Halloween using sports equipment

Get this stuff out of your attic and become a Halloween God!

Halloween is almost upon us, and nothing will be scarier than what 2020 has doled out already. This year the simple act of trick or treating is a viral minefield, and as such people are making adjustments on how they plan to celebrate the holiday.

Canada, purveyors of Letterkenny and bagged milk provided one way to get around the problem, but it’s a little, shall we say, inelegant.

On Halloween Sampson and the mayor demonstrate how people can use a tube to hand out candy

— Jeff Slack (@Jeffslack660) October 6, 2020
Don’t get me wrong, this is a functional and sensible way to deliver candy to children. This is the kind of ruthless efficiency we can expect from Canada. But this is America. We do things big. We do things dumb. We can do things better.

It’s here we meet the perfect union in the Venn diagram. On the left is a need for more sports, on the right is being safe during Covid, and in the gooey chocolatey center we have a solution to all our problems, likely sitting in your garage or attic.

First, a disclaimer — because I’ve been told we need such things. I have not personally tried or tested any of the methods I am about to lay out. Instead I’m using intuition and instinct to apply what I call a “Spooktactular” rating, which is basically just a fun way to re-brand potentially injuring children with your Halloween hijinx. Nobody wants to think of hurt kids during a fun holiday, so “Spooktacular” is how we’ll rebrand this. Personally, I don’t recommend trying anything above a rating of six, or so — but live your best life.

Shooting hoops

Spooktacular rating: 1

This is really more for you than the kids. The best part: It requires no equipment. Basically you shoot the candy like you’re Steph Curry, and the kids try to catch it in their pails and pillow cases.

We all need confidence boosters right now, and this one is genius. The children have a vested interest in catching the candy and not getting stuck with soiled dirt treats, and you want to feel like you’re an NBA legend. It’s a win-win. As you shoot they’ll naturally try to move into position to catch the candy, allowing you to social distance and feel like an NBA star.


Spooktactular rating: 3-7

You’re hitting candy with a tennis racket at kids. That’s it. That’s the general thesis here. However, the devil is in the details and there’s a ton of variance here. You can make this as gentle as you see fit — which also allows you to tailor your Halloween experience for the trick or treater.

For example, an adorable child comes to your door dressed as one of the Paw Patrol (except Chase, because that police pup is the feds). You can simply underhand lob a couple of pieces of Laffy Taffy to their mirth and delight.

Then a teenager, without a costume, who has no business participating in the holiday because they’re old enough to have a job and buy their own damn candy, comes knocking at your door. At first they think you’re generous bringing out a large bowl of full-size candy bars, then BOOM you’re Pete Sampras serving a Payday at the mooching teen. It sends a valuable lesson, and it’s fun ... for you.

This one really depends on your tennis skill. If Pete Sampras is reading this then I advise Pete not actually serve a Payday at a teenager.

Penalty Kick

Spooktacular rating: 5

This requires a little setup, but I believe in you. If you’re a soccer-minded candy giver then spend the next few days creating 5-6 papier-mâché soccer balls full of candy. Think ball-sized pinatas. Then, wait for a crowd and PK them off your porch in a satisfying explosion of candy.

So why does this seemingly innocent way of candy distribution carry a high risk rating? It’s all about ball construction. There’s a big variety in how you make papier mache, and too much glue, or internal structure and you’re basically kicking a loaded soccer ball into a child’s face.

Batter Up

Spooktacular Rating: 9

Okay, now we’re crossing into the realm of pure risk, so I don’t endorse this one. Thankfully it takes a lot of money and setup, so I’m confident you won’t do this.

Batter Up has two basic elements:

  1. A pitching machine.
  2. Giant gobstoppers.
You load the giant gobstoppers into the pitching machine, and fire them into the crowd. This is an extremely bad idea, and I don’t actually know if a pitching machine can fire giant gobstoppers, but these are unnecessary details in the grand scheme of things. In fact, if this doesn’t work it’s probably for the best — because it will decrease the velocity of the gobstopper or shatter it into a million pieces.

Less chance of injury that way.

Fun With Darts

Spooktacular Rating: 7

This works best if you have a tree near your porch. You fill a series of balloons with candy, fasten them to the tree and have children stand under it. Then, using a carefully placed dart throw, you pierce the balloon, causing a candy shower to rain down on the gleeful costumed kids.

The danger rating here is well earned, because most people are really bad at darts. There’s a good chance you will throw low and send a dart at a costumed kid. That’s the risk they have to assume when knocking on strangers’ houses for candy though. So we’ll allow it.

A Randy Johnson Halloween

Spooktacular Rating: 6

Another that requires a lot of work, but it’s worth it. Firstly you need to dress like Randy Johnson. Then you need to imagine what Randy Johnson would look like if he was trying to be Edgar Allen Poe for Halloween.

From there the rest is fairly easy. Make a flock of candy-filled papier-mâché ravens, attach them to ropes and have them swing down in front of you. Then try to destroy them with a fastball, causing a candy eruption for the little ones. They’ll love it (and probably scream), you’ll feel like an MLB Hall of Famer — it’s a win, win all around.

Jai Alai

Spooktacular Rating: 10+

Ever seen people play Jai Alai? It’s simultaneously the most incredible and terrifying thing on earth. Anyway, in order to play Jai Alai you need one of these.

Cesta Punta - Grand Slam World Tour Series
Photo by Cedric Vlemmings/Icon Sport via Getty Images

This is a cesta, a scoop used to hurl the pelota (ball) at ludicrous speed. In Jai Alai this means the ball can travel up to 175 mph — now we just need to transpose this over to candy.

Yes, it’s a terrifying concept. Thankfully the decision to hurl candy at frighteningly terrifying speed is really in the hands of the adult. For each group of trick or treaters you can tailor the experience, much like the idea of “Wimbledon.” If it’s a cute group of kids you can underhand throw a scoop full or Nerds. A menacing group of teens can get a nice, healthy apple — at high speed.

I don’t know where you get a cesta from, but you’ve got to admit it would be fun.

Medieval Trick or Treat

Spooktactular Rating: 5

This is the best method if you’re truly worried about social distancing. It requires God-tier woodworking skills, because yes, I’m asking you to build a trebuchet in your backyard.

I don’t know how difficult this is. Probably quite — but the end result is that you own a trebuchet, and that’s pretty wonderful in its own right. Anyway, you test fire from your property and get an idea of where it will land, fine-tuning the trebuchet to land in a nearby park. Then you set up a launch schedule and post it to your neighborhood. Kids can wait in the park while you launch a literal ton of candy into the sky to rain down on them.

They have a blast living a scene out of a movie where it rains treats like Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, while you get to be completely protected a mile away.

The Hockey Stop

Spooktacular Rating: 3

Everyone does the ho-hum candy delivery technique on Halloween. Sure, it’s a classic — but what if you took it to another level. Instead of giving candy, you hand out snow cones. Set up a small stand with cones and flavors, then skate around a rink you’ve set up in your front yard, getting exercise and enjoying yourself. When some kids come by you skate, hockey stop in front of them, sending a plume of shaved ice directly at them.

It’s on the kids to catch as much of the ice as possible in their cones, then they can make it their own with lots of fun flavors. It’s unexpected. It’s delightful. You’ll make memories, and that’s what Halloween is about.

But maybe ... don’t do any of these.

Look, we’re coming up with some dumb ideas to cope with a very serious and soul-crushing scenario during the most difficult year in any of our lives. We’re staring down the reality that the best move is to cancel a traditional Halloween all together for the safety of the nation. Covid sucks. This year sucks. It goes without saying that this year will be burned in our memory for a long time.

My actual, honest suggestion: I have a three-year-old daughter who was crushed when I told her we wouldn’t be going around to trick or treat. She loves Halloween so much. Instead my wife and I plan to dress up in various costumes and pretend a bedroom is a house, and have her knock on the door so we can still give her candy and let her experience the holiday.

Stay safe everyone. Happy Halloween.


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