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Destruction AllStars July update arrives today

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The team at Lucid has been hard at work on a new patch for Destruction AllStars, available today, which brings various improvements to the game. We wanted to provide some insight into how this patch enhances our gameplay as well as provide an update on the current season.

Over the past few months, we’ve been refining Destruction AllStars’ core game experience based on valuable community feedback. We’re really grateful to everyone who’s been talking to us on Twitter and Discord, highlighting what could be improved or iterated upon. A lot of this aligns with our own observations and has helped guide our recent internal playtests as we try out new things or push the game in new directions. Today’s patch includes loads of fixes and improvements, such as reducing the number of “ghost hits” as well as improving the slam system and on-foot experience.

As a result of focusing on the game’s core experience, we’re extending Season One and adding additional tiers to the AllStar Pass. We’ll return with updates on future Seasons at a later date. We made this decision with our community in the forefront of our minds and a lot of these improvements have already gone live in today’s patch.

“Ghost Hits”

One of the biggest points of feedback was on so-called “ghost hits” during multiplayer games. Players have reported that they sometimes feel as if their vehicle loses health but with no clear cause presented to them on screen. Whilst there are some intentional mechanics that can cause this, such as Shyft’s Hero Vehicle being able to turn invisible, the majority of cases point to situations where other vehicles appear close by, but not coming into contact, or with no other vehicles appearing in view at all. We feel one of the possible causes is latency during a match of Destruction AllStars.

There are a number of factors at play that can affect the latency a player experiences when connected to our servers and playing the game, along with the inherent latency of other players in the game as well. 

We’ve worked on a new set of parameters between the game and the servers which should help keep everyone in sync a bit better than it had previously. From our own playtests, some of our team have described these improvements as night and day in how much they’ve helped reduce the number of “ghost hits” experienced.

More slamming and ramming

Another point of feedback was around the minute-to-minute gameplay of Destruction AllStars. This can include feeling a bit frustrated to have a cooldown on your vehicle’s slam as you’re actively trying to hit your next target. Whilst we want to maintain a skill ceiling in Destruction AllStars, we agree that these moments were occurring a bit too often.

To address this, we’ve drastically lowered the cooldown on vehicle slams for all common vehicle types along with all our Hero Vehicles. By increasing the frequency at which you can slam an opposing player, we feel this change brings a whole new level of destruction and fun to the game, as players are performing spectacular wrecks with increased frequency.

That’s only a snapshot of the improvements we’ve made to Destruction AllStars in today’s patch. You can get hands on with all of these changes, and more, in the live game right now!

New ways to play and more 

PlayStation Plus games for August: Hunter’s Arena: Legends, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, Tennis World Tour 2

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August’s PlayStation Plus lineup challenges you to test your mettle against dangerous demons, the combative undead, aggressive fauna and racket-wielding pros. Enjoy the fantasy warfare of Hunter’s Arena: Legends, teamwork hijinks in Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and hit the court in Tennis World Tour 2 on Tuesday, August 3 when the titles join PlayStation Plus.

Let’s take a closer look at all three.

Hunter’s Arena: Legends | PS4, PS5

As announced during  State of Play earlier this month, Hunter’s Arena is coming to PlayStation Plus for both PS4 and PS5. The 30 player PvP & PvE combat-based battle royale* is set in an ancient age in which humanity battles each other as well as a growing legion of demons that have been unleashed upon the world. In this vicious frontier, you’ll face threats on two fronts. Head into high-risk, high-reward dungeons to encounter demonic foes. Dangerous but necessary for your continued survival: you’ll earn powerful items and experience points. Powering yourself up will give you a much-needed edge on the battlefield when you face off against your Hunter brethren.

PlayStation Plus games for August: Hunter’s Arena: Legends, Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, Tennis World Tour 2

Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville | PS4

EA’s off-the-wall team shooter returns. Ready your peashooters for the next over-the-top instalment in the Plants vs. Zombies franchise as the tension expands beyond Neighborville into new social and free-roam regions on the outer reaches of gaming’s most contested township. Choose one of 20 fully-customizable character classes, and perfect your play-style as you earn new rewards for each victory on the battlefield. Team up with friends, either on couch co-op or online*, and take on a cavalcade of new challenges, tackling enemy hordes in PvE, going up against others online, or braving all-out mayhem in the new Battle Arena.

Tennis World Tour 2 | PS4

Play as the world’s top players or create your own pro and try to dominate the world rankings. Play for fun or take on Ranked mode to sharpen your skills. In Career mode, manage your season, your staff, your equipment and your sponsors. Alternatively take on friends locally or online* in singles or doubles games. Whatever mode you choose, you’ll experience dynamic, realistic and precis

The color of emotion in Life is Strange: True Colors

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In Life is Strange: True Colors, Alex’s psychic power of Empathy is brought to life through unique gameplay and cinematic experiences. Emotions are expressed by auras around other characters, which can explode into novas of light and color when the emotion becomes overwhelming. Each of these experiences transforms Alex’s world, offering her valuable insights into another person but threatening to consume her own consciousness at times.

As a dev team, we wrestled with the question of how to capture something as abstract as emotions. We found ourselves pushing the conventions of traditional Life is Strange storytelling, employing the tangible audio-visual representation of emotive sensations to drive the same response in the player that Alex herself feels each time. We also wanted to challenge the boundary between Alex and other characters, using elements like internal monologue and world exploration to blend perspectives and introduce questions about the strength of Alex’s own thoughts. Although we approached each nova as a bespoke experience, we eventually landed on four general categories of emotions that shared similar elements: sadness, anger, fear, and joy. Here are some hints of what the player might experience with each.

Sadness

Sadness is expressed with a blue aura that is fluid and consuming. Inside a sadness nova, the world takes on a gray-blue pallor. It may seem as if a rain cloud has blocked out the sun. Everything looks and sounds heavier, darker, duller. You can witness this first-hand as Alex watches Steph as she mourns Gabe’s death.

Fear

Fear is expressed with a purple aura that jumps and spikes, like an EKG monitor. Inside a fear nova, the world is all jagged lines and dark shadows. The player can hear her heartbeat in her ears. There are jump scares around every corner. As she looks down into a dark abyss, she may even see monsters staring back at her. Alex first gets a glimpse of this fear in Haven Springs as Mac is overwhelmed about the situation behind Gabe’s death while at his wake.

Anger

Anger is expressed with a violent red that flickers like a flame. Inside an anger nova, the world is intense and hot. Lights and sounds are amped up, movements are sharp and staggered. The player can hear short, shallow breaths. The world seems to pulse with adrenaline and clench like a fist. This Anger washes over Alex during her witnessing Steph having a tense

Dreams: DreamsCom21 starts today

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You can’t throw an entirely-made-in-Dreams convention one year and not do it the next, can you? With DreamsCom ’21 opening its virtual doors today, here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect over the next four days from the Dreams coMmunity and us here at Media Molecule!

DreamsCom ’21

The DreamsCom show floor

Of course, everything you see at DreamsCom has been made with the Dreams tools, from the opening Media Molecule hall to the incredible coMmunity-created booths that populate over 40 halls throughout the show. This year, we really went for it when it came to the presentation of the show, and our amazing team of Molecules have really exceeded any and all expectations (as they always do, the talented bunch that they are). If you thought last year’s show was amazing, just wait until you step out of the DreamsCom monorail. Yes, really.

DreamsCom ’21

The livestreams

Last year we kicked the festivities off with an hour-long showcase of some upcoming coMmunity creations, as well as announcing our VR update for Dreams. This year will look slightly different, but is still full of exciting announcements from our coMmunity – as well as sneak peeks at some upcoming games from us at Mm.

Kicking off DreamsCom ‘21 on July 27, we’ll be live on Twitch at 9am PST / 5pm BST / 6pm CEST with some of that previously-mentioned Mm sneak-peekage, as well as a preview of what’s to come throughout DreamsCom, leading up to the moment the doors open to the DreamsCom show floor in-game! From then on, tune in at 9am PST – 11am PST / 5pm BST – 7pm BST / 6pm CEST – 8pm CEST each day for coMmunity interviews, trailers, demos and everything in between.

And hey, if you’re a Dreams streamer checking out the show floor on your channel, let us know! We’d love to pop by your stream and check out your reaction!

DreamsCom ’21

The Impsider coverage

This year, we revealed The Impsider – Dreams’ first and official publication! As well as hosting all our streams, it’ll be covering #DreamsCom21 in full force – daily news roundups, a virtual DreamsCom magazine featuring tonnes of articles and fun activities, and even a handful of recipes to keep you fed while you explore the show. It’ll be the one-stop destination for anyone and everyone attending DreamsCom, as well as those who may miss a day or two!

Download The Impsider’s free DreamsCom companion magazine here.

We’ve got one great week ahead of us, don’t we? As always, you can get involved on social media with the hashtags #DreamsCom21 and #MadeInDreams! If you’re visiting the show, make sure to let us know on Twitter, and share your favourite booths and demos with us! 

Tribes of Midgard: Viking-tastic beasts and how to fight them

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Welcome to the brightest Ragnarök you’ve ever seen! Tomorrow, we launch Tribes of Midgard, and while many of you are already in the game chasing down our big boss, Fenrir, we thought it’d be helpful to give some quick tips and tricks, as well as break down some of the enemies you’ll encounter along your journey. 

Many mighty creatures stand between you and stopping Ragnarök, but first here are some tips & tricks for survival in general!

Survival Tips

  • First up, let’s get you some clothes, Einherjar! While some Vikings did indeed fight in their underpants (it’s true, look it up!), it’s probably not going to be the best way to take down the Jötnar, Fenrir and all the other creatures in our game. To get started, you’ll want to immediately grab some Flint and Branches – this will get you an axe to chop wood and a pickaxe to mine stone. After you’ve picked up a few resources, go make some clothes! 
  • Midgard is a well-trodden world, with numerous beaten paths that mark the journeys of past Vikings. If you stay on the path, you’ll move much faster. This is key for both the early game and for when you need to venture forth to find an approaching Jötunn. Apparently, the Jötnar prefer paths, too, so you can almost always find them by sticking to these existing roadways. 
  • Every enemy in Tribes of Midgard has their own special set of attacks and skills. We won’t bore you with all of them, because there are a lot. But, and this is especially helpful for the early game, all these special attacks will knock down trees, break stones and leave resources just hanging out on the ground, ready for you to grab. It’s kind of like how you can Viking-kick down a tree, but more “beastly.”
  • As you explore Midgard, you’ll see notifications pop up that tell you about all the new biomes and environments you’re entering. If you see red text, it’s probably best to stop! This indicator is telling you that your Einherjar is probably not strong enough to defeat the enemies you’ll encounter here (I mean, sure it’s possible…but it’s gonna take a while!) You can also always check your Power Level in the inventory window, and mix and match gear to make sure you’re putting your strongest foot forward. 
  • Your village is populated by several useful crafters. These folks aren’t just great when you need a new axe; they’ll assist you in fending off the nightly Helthing invasion. Level them up by depositing the Souls you’ve collected and you’ll not only have access to better gear, but they’ll be stronger fighters when it’s time to beat back the darkness.

With the basics under your belt, it is time to bring on the baddies! While we can’t explain every enemy you’ll face in Tribes of Midgard, we wanted to break down some of them that you should approach with caution.

Enemies

The Varúlfur

Roaming the edges of the Bright Forest, Varúlfur are wolf-like warriors who got a little too into their wild side. Once Vikings like you and me (at least when we’re playing the game), they drank elixirs made from forbidden plants found in meadows. Seriously, who leaves that stuff lying around for someone to make elixirs out of?

  • If you hear their howl, be on gua
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