Jason Schreier claims to have spoken with over a dozen employees, though Badowski points out some are former employees and that only one interviewee is named, pointing out that this is a small portion of the 500 staff employed by the studio.
Cyberpunk 2022: The report claims developers did not feel like Cyberpunk 2077 was ready for launch in 2020, and that it would take several years to meet the team's goals. The 2018 demo was apparently “almost entirely fake” and was called a waste of resources.
Work in progress:“It’s hard for a trade show game demo not to be a test of vision or vertical slice two years before the game ships,” according to Badowski. “But that doesn’t mean it’s fake.” A second lawsuit has been brought against the studio, which they will “defend against vigorously”.
Which Apex Legends hero was confirmed to be nonbinary?
The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.
FACT OF THE DAY
Overseeing a legendary vault of cameos
Fallout Shelter was a surprise hit in 2015, acting as both a companion app to Fallout 4 and a management game set in the Fallout universe.
Your vault could attract legendary characters, as well as a variety of cameo appearances, most from Fallout 3. Fallout Shelter is not part of the canon, though – it’s just a fun little management sim showing you what life as a Vault overseer is like.
IO Interactive has concluded their new Hitman trilogy with Hitman 3, which sheds light on Agent 47’s murky past and his early years as an assassin.
This is by no means the end of the road for Agent 47, but it marks a break that the bald gentleman will presumably spend practicing his garrotting and dry jokes – and critics are enthused about the finale.
VG247 (Score 5/5) – ”Taken individually, Hitman 3 feels like great value, with plenty of variety and lots to do. When taken as a whole, the World of Assassination trilogy is hands-down one of the best and most complete-feeling trilogies in video game history…”
GamesBeat (Score 5/5) – ”Hitman is a world made up entirely of Chekhov's guns, and it's a blast finding out how to get Agent 47 into position to pull the trigger."
IGN (Score 9/10) – ”Rich, rewarding, and highly replayable, Hitman 3 is a superb instalment of IO’s idiosyncratic but much-loved stealth series. The fundamentals haven’t changed since 2016 but its collection of outstanding maps makes for a refined, reliable, and robust curtain-closer to the current Hitman trilogy.”
PC Gamer (Score 90/100) – ”A beautiful, deep, and endlessly replayable murder sandbox, featuring some of the best levels in the series.”
Game Informer (Score 9/10) – ”Hitman 3 concludes a chapter in the greater Hitman story, but it doesn’t feel like an ending. There’s an abundance of content and side activities on offer, and the trilogy as a whole is bound to be a long-term destination for would-be assassins… My enthusiasm for it all is as indelible as the barcode tattooed on the back of Agent 47’s head.”
Gamespot (Score 9/10) – ”What's good about Hitman–its level design and the creativity, experimentation, and exploration that affords–is great in Hitman 3. It closes out the trilogy by brilliantly playing off everything that came before it, making use of and then subverting expectations, and rewarding players for their willingness to master the complexity of both its individual levels and the series as a whole.”
Destructoid (Score 9/10) – ”It's the little things that add up and really make Hitman 3 special.”
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Build levels in new Lego Super Mario set
Wanna bet there’s a Lego Super Mario game on the way? For now, though, you can make your own Mario levels with the latest Super Mario Lego set.
The set carries the fetching name Lego Super Mario Master Your Adventure Maker Set, but under the burdensome name waits a load of iconic pieces perfect for putting together your own Mario levels.
Level design:“Use the customizable blocks to build and change your level to play the way you want to… even all around your house with the WHOLE family!” burbles the announcement video.
Mario is missing: The Master Your Adventure Maker Set is $59.99 from the Lego store, and contains over 360 pieces and 4 iconic Super Mario enemy types – but not the special Lego Mario that can interact with the set's special pieces!
We talk to Nioh 2 director Fumihiko Yasuda about what’s next for Team Ninja
Nioh 2 is a bit of an underrated near-classic. Released for PlayStation 4 on March 12th last year, the action RPG was praised by critics and gamers alike, but was overshadowed by bigger releases like The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima.
It garnered a cult following, and might yet get a second chance to shine – Nioh 2: The Complete Edition for PlayStation 4 and PC is coming out in two weeks, and we talked to game director Fumihiko Yasuda about why you should definitely check out Nioh 2, whether there's a third game in the works and what lies ahead for Team Ninja.
DailyBits: It's been almost a year since Nioh 2 was first released. What's new for both existing fans and gamers who haven't checked it out before?
Yasuda-san: The Complete Edition version will have all of the DLC and updates that have been released up until this point. Many bugs have been fixed, and a lot of balances have been made to improve the game. As the game has been made a lot easier to play compared to when it was released, I hope that people that read reviews for Nioh 2 when it first came out will try the game out now to see how everything has progressed.
DailyBits: What would you say to players who may be put off by the game’s difficulty?
Yasuda-san: There are a lot of RPG elements in Nioh 2 that can allow for players that are not very accustomed to action games to take on the challenges presented throughout the game. Other players can also support you in many different ways through the multiplayer mode. We are completely fine with players utilizing their own unique strategies to progress through the story. We hope players can use whatever strategy works for them to make their way through Nioh 2 and achieve a great sense of accomplishment!
DailyBits: Nioh 2 has an 85% rating on Metacritic, but was largely ignored by the big award shows at the end of the year. Do you think it deserves more recognition?
Yasuda-san: Due to the timing of when Nioh 2 released, as well as all of the influence from all of the other amazing games that came out in 2020, I think it was an understandable outcome. However, I would really like for as many players as possible to enjoy the game. I also hope that players utilize the release of Nioh 2 Complete Edition to try the game out for themselves and decide on their own personal review.
DailyBits: The game is ful of crazy, excellent boss designs. Were there any big ideas you didn't manage to get in there in the end?
Yasuda-san: Originally, the Daidara Bocchi battle and stage were going to be mixed into one grand experience as the player progressed through the mission. However, there were a lot of adjustments and processing that were necessary, so we eventually simplified this plan into how it currently exists in the game now.
DailyBits: Nioh 2 draws heavily from Japanese history, and features both historical and mythological characters and locations. Are there any other settings you would like to explore in the future?
Yasuda-san: The end of the Edo era, known as Bakumatsu in Japanese, as well as the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, are two time periods I would definitely like to incorporate into a game in the future. I love the world of Celtic legends as well, and think it would be a perfect fit for a game. I want to try and challenge myself in the future to create a title based around these myths as well.
DailyBits: Nioh 2 was a big improvement over the original game. What lessons did the team learn during development, and how will they shape their next game?
Yasuda-san: The biggest lesson that we learned was that a sequel to an action game title must innovate and expand upon the action related gameplay elements of the previous title. This is important for a sequel like Nioh 2, and I think it is important to keep this in mind for new titles in the series moving forward as well.
DailyBits: Has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your plans at all? Have you had to change the way you work?
Yasuda-san: It has really changed things a lot. We have adapted to remote work, and our system in regards to work in general has gotten a lot more flexible. We have also made enough space for there to be room between everyone in the office. It was tough to transition to this new system, but currently all of the staff have adapted to it really well.
DailyBits: The DualSense for PlayStation 5 features new haptic feedback features. Do you have any new ideas for how to use it?
Yasuda-san: We considered a lot of different ideas for how to support these features. For a really intense action game, utilizing the haptic feedback too much may take away from the player's experience with the game and could hurt their overall enjoyment of the title. As a result we implemented only a few of the most suitable ideas into the game. I would like to try and make a game that makes full use of the PlayStation 5's haptic feedback feature in the future. It would turn into a game that couldn't be experienced on the previous generation of hardware.
DailyBits: What excites you the most about the Nioh series' future?
Yasuda-san: The plan for now is to have the Nioh team move on to work on new projects after the release of Nioh 2 Complete Edition. In order to ensure that future titles including the possibility of Nioh 3 are titles that all of our fans can enjoy and look forward to, we are putting all of our effort into Nioh 2 Complete Edition.
Thank you to Yasuda-san for his time and willingness to answer our questions. Nioh 2: The Complete Edition arrives on PC and PlayStation 4 on February 2nd.
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED TODAY
Ninja Theory explores their art pipeline and explains how the studio ‘captured reality’ for the apartment in Project Mara
Get a broader perspective with field-of-view mod for Skyrim on PlayStation 4, which expands field-of-view to 120 degrees and adds PlayStation 5 support
Free Balan Wonderworld demo for Switch on January 28th allows you to sample the delights of the entire first chapter as well as parts of the fourth and sixth
Which Apex Legends hero was confirmed to be nonbinary?
AAA games don’t tend to spend a lot of time exploring gender and sexual identity, but Apex Legends features a non-binary hero. Bloodhound looks a bit like a radioactive scarecrow in tactical gear and has a voice distortion filter, but that’s not just because the character is mysterious. It’s also a way to make the character’s gender ambiguous.
“Since day 1, Bloodhound has been referred to by the pronouns: they/them/their. This is who they are,” said Respawn Entertainment writer Manny Hagopian.
Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.