Categories
PC

Battlefield 5 Will Give You A Free Bonus Just For Signing In

The encourage people to choose Battlefield V as their quarantine game of choice, DICE is giving everyone who logs into the military shooter a free bonus over the next few days.

Everyone who logs into Battlefield V on April 2, 3, or 4 will receive a stimulus package of sorts of 1500 Company Coin that will go directly into their game balance. People who log in over the weekend will get the Sapper Chassis and turret set for the Valentine MK VIII tank.

Battlefield V is regularly updated with new content and tweaks, so if you’ve been curious about the game or looking for a reason to come back, now seems like a good time to jump in.

Company Coin is the main in-game currency for Battlefield V that players can spend on various cosmetics, so this is a nice perk that everyone can enjoy.

In other news, Electronic Arts has confirmed that a new Battlefield game is launching for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, though this game has yet to be announced.

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PS4

Persona 5 Royal: How Long To Beat, Plus To Finish New Content

Persona 5 was a very long game even by RPG standards, and the updated version Persona 5 Royal is even longer. It earns its lengthy runtime by integrating social sim elements and RPG dungeon crawling to tell a heavy story and develop its characters. With a brand new story arc that includes an extra palace (dungeon) and series of events, P5R will be taking up a lot of your time.

I’m currently in the process of reviewing the game and have finished it, including all the new story-critical content. According to the overall play time on my save data at the very end, Persona 5 Royal took 125 hours to finish.

The aforementioned story-critical content alone (the new palace and semester of events) added about 18 hours to the original game’s runtime. This could range between 15 to 20 hours depending on your own pace.

Keep in mind that I played through the original version of Persona 5 twice in the past, meaning I was already familiar with most of the gameplay systems and what I should do on certain in-game days. However, I also took my time to make sure I got the most out of the game and its new content. Those who are experiencing the game for the first time may have a longer runtime, especially if they’re trying to be thorough.

It’s possible to finish the game and experience all the new stuff with a shorter hour count than me, but you’ll likely spend over 100 hours regardless. P5R’s biggest chunk of new content does come toward the end of the game, and there’s a simple sequence of events that you have to follow to make them available to you, otherwise you’ll follow a similar conclusion as the original version. We have you covered with a spoiler-free guide on how to unlock Persona 5 Royal’s new palace and semester.

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News

TheGamer’s Persona 5 Royal 100% Completion Walkthrough: January – February

Welcome to TheGamer’s Persona 5 Royal walkthrough. Here, we’re gonna be guiding you through all ten playable months of the game, making sure you’ll make it to the true ending with all confidant ranks and social stats maxed out— not to mention popping that shiny platinum on your first run of the game.

Going month by month, this guide will include:

  • Month overview
  • Notes on restricted/limited time events
  • Daily activity guide
  • Mementos and Palace notes
  • Recommendations/tips for combat optimization.

A few things to note going into this walkthrough:

  • This walkthrough is a modified version of this guide, optimized for further efficiency and combat effectiveness.
  • All confidant rank ups are dependent on you bringing a persona of a matching arcana when spending time with them. With the exception of Rank 1 and Rank 10, if you forget to do this even once it’ll set your schedule back— sometimes catastrophically, depending on the confidant. Make sure you’re keeping track of your personae. Reminders will be included when your only opportunity to prep a persona for an event is the night before.
  • However, the Sun and Moon confidants do not require matching personae.
  • This walkthrough is based on normal difficulty— you might find yourself having a hard time keeping up on higher difficulty modes.
  • As it’s not possible to 100% the Thieves Den achievements on your first run, we’ll be guiding you through popping as many of them as possible, but it will not be a main focus like the PS4 trophies.
  • This guide will be running on the assumption that you’re choosing a platonic route with all the romanceable characters to accomodate for everyone— if you find yourself progressing faster with your romanced confidant than the guide plans for, use the extra day as a free slot.
  • HOWEVER, we recommend romancing at least one teammate to acquire the PS4 trophy, even if you decide to reload and proceed with the platonic route.
  • Story-locked confidant ranks will not be included in the monthly exit stats.

All set? Let’s get started.

PREVIOUSLY: TheGamer’s Persona 5 Royal 100% Completion Walkthrough: December

January

And we’re finally here in the Royal-exclusive storyline. This month looks mostly like December, comprised mostly of free time and finishing off confidant events.

With that out of the way, buckle in: it’s about to get weird.

January 1st

All day story segment

January 2nd

  • Daytime: Forced palace infiltration
  • Nighttime: Unavailable

January 3rd – 8th

  • Checking in on your teammates. Proceed in any order you’d like.

January 9th

  • Daytime: Forced palace infiltration.

(Note: you can choose to view the “bad ending” here, but there will be another prompt to view the exact same ending later on in the month. If you’d like to see it, we recommend veering into it during the later prompt for maximum emotional impact.)

  • Nighttime: Unavailable

January 10th

  • All day story segment. Magician persona evolution.

January 11th

  • Class answer: How numerous they are, the Eight Million Gods
  • All day story segment

January 12th

  • Daytime: Buy medicine and equipment as necessary. Infiltrate the palace.
  • Nighttime: Story segment

January 13th

  • Trader Sakai: Bought from the chinese food shop in Kichijoji.
  • Daytime: Talk to Panther (Lovers persona evolution)
  • Acquire Mementos mission
  • Nighttime: Spend time with the Velvet Room attendant

January 14th

  • Class answer: Iwate
  • Daytime: Talk to Skull (Chariot persona evolution)
  • Acquire Mementos mission
  • Nighttime: Free.

(If you haven’t popped the Maid Cafe trophy yet, you should go tonight/every Saturday for the extra points.)

January 15th

  • Home shopping: no recommendation
  • Daytime: Talk to Oracle (Hermit persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

(We highly recommend using the Jazz Club, as they’re offering a powerful passive skill tonight.)

January 16th

  • Daytime: Talk to Fox (Emperor persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 17th

  • Daytime: Talk to Queen (High Priestess persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 18th

  • Class answer: Impressive
  • Daytime: Talk to Noir (Empress persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 19th

  • Daytime: Faith 6
  • Any
  • (phone call) 0, 3, 3

January 20th

  • Class answer: a snake
  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free.

(In general, using the Jazz Club is highly recommended on Friday nights, as they offer a +1 boost in every stat.)

January 21st

  • Daytime: Faith 7
  • 0, 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 3, 2, 3
  • 0, 0, 3
  • Nighttime: Free.

January 22nd

  • Home shopping: Sweet Party Satisfaction set highly recommended.
  • Trader Sakai: bought from Big Bang Burger
  • Daytime: Faith 8
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 2, 3, 2
  • 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 3, 3, 3
  • 0, 0
  • 0, 0
  • 2, 3
  • 0, 3, 2
  • Nighttime: Free

(The Jazz Club is offering another powerful passive skill tonight: bring your favourite physical heavy hitter.)

January 23rd

  • Daytime: Faith 9
  • 0, 0
  • 2, 2
  • 2, 2
  • 3, 0, 0
  • 3, 3, 3
  • 0, 0, 2
  • 0, 0
  • 0 (Platonic), 0 (Romance)
  • Platonic only:
  • 2, 0, 2
  • 2, 0, 2
  • Romantic only:
  • 2, 2
  • 3, 3, 3
  • 2, 0, 0
  • Nighttime: Free

January 24th

  • Class answer: Kind-hearted, negative, resentful
  • Daytime: Buy medicine and equipment as needed. Get fortune and alarm readings from Chihaya. Infiltrate Mementos.

(Note: Go as far as the game will let you, gathering stamps and taking out targets along the way.)

  • Nighttime: Free

January 25th

  • Daytime: Faith Max
  • Nighttime: Free

January 26th

  • Daytime: Secure infiltration route.
  • Nighttime: Free

January 27th

  • Class answer: to friends of friends of friends
  • Acquire Mementos mission: listen in on various conversations in Akihabara to confirm target.
  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free

January 28th

  • Acquire Mementos mission: listen in on the students talking by the entrance to Kichijoji, then speak to the two students standing at the northern end of the rightmost alleyway to confirm target.
  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free

January 29th

  • Home shopping: Transcendence set recommended.
  • Daytime: Buy medicine and equipment as necessary. Get fortune and alarm readings. Infiltrate Mementos.

(Note: If you want to put this off for a few days, feel free. February 1st is the last day you can do this without disrupting the schedule. If you re-visit the very last floor, you can attempt to beat the game’s first hidden boss.)

  • Nighttime: Free

(This is the final night the Jazz Club will be offering a skill, and again, it’s a very powerful passive. Take your best magic user.)

January 30th – February 1st

  • Daytime & Nighttime: Free

February 2nd

  • Daytime: Save your game. Get ready for the very final boss fight. Stock up on full-party healing items. Fuse the Faith arcana’s Ultimate Persona, Maria. Talk to Violet (Faith persona evolution)
  • Nighttime: Story segment (Calling card sent.)

(Note: this is the point at which you can see the “bad ending.” Simply tell Crow that you don’t want to go tomorrow, and it will progress automatically. Reload, and provided that you’ve followed through on the Justice confidant, you should get Crow’s third persona evolution here.)

February 3rd

  • Final Boss Battle.

(Note: There will be four phases. Phase one requires a pretty specific strategy: compose your team so you have one member who can use nuke, psi, curse, or bless attacks, one member who can use fire, ice, electric, or wind attacks, and two members who can use a high-damage, single-target physical skill (Violet and Joker are the two best candidates here). Hit each of the three tentacles with their respective weaknesses, using Baton Pass until your fourth team member (one of the two physical heavy hitters) can slam the boss’s persona as hard as possible with the Baton Pass boost.

The second phase involves certain skills or abilities being blocked altogether. The boss will always start by blocking magic attacks entirely, but then rotate the restrictions at random; these include no physical attacks, no Baton Passes, no recovery (item or magic), no defending, and no support skills. The main one to worry about is when he blocks recovery; simply defend until the next turn when he does. He’ll also target a single party member at times and unleash a powerful almighty attack on that character. When his persona’s HP reaches below 50%, he’ll have a two-turn charge attack that inflicts extremely powerful almighty damage on everyone. If you’re balancing blocking, buffing, healing, and attacking well, this shouldn’t be too difficult a fight. This phase ends if either the main boss or his persona reaches 0 HP— so focus on one or the other, preferably the boss himself to avoid his persona unleashing the two-turn attack.

Phase three amounts to staying alive until Oracle can find his weak spot, so don’t bother attacking— simply block and heal as much as possible until the cutscene triggers. If you have Maria, this shouldn’t be so hard.

Phase four will be self-explanatory once you get there.)

Once you’re finished the fight, there’s nothing left to do but sit back, relax, and enjoy the cutscenes until you head right into the true ending. After what’ll probably be around 120~130 hours, you’ve finally gotten through it all.

Congratulations on beating Persona 5 Royal! Ready for NG+?

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PS4

Persona 5 Royal: Crossword Puzzle Answers Guide

One small feature added to Persona 5 Royal is a series of crossword puzzles. Throughout the course of P5R’s year, you’ll find a book on the table furthest from the entrance door in Leblanc. Interact with the book and you’ll then be prompted to solve a crossword. If you’re successful in figuring it out, you’ll be rewarded with one knowledge point for free, and it’s worth doing because it doesn’t consume any in-game time.

Note that when you initiate a crossword puzzle, you only need to solve for the line that’s highlighted in blue. All other words around it serve as hints or letter fillings for the main word–doing these also helps whittle down which letters make up the solution since you only have a specific set of letters to work with.

So, here are the solutions for the crossword puzzles we’ve found in P5R (note that there be more we have yet to discover).

  1. How school years are divided: SEMESTERS
  2. Hanami: cherry (?) viewing: BLOSSOM
  3. Time for a trip: (?) Week: GOLDEN
  4. What are the May Blues: MALAISE
  5. Where art is shown off and sold: GALLERY
  6. A type of outdoor allergy: POLLENOSIS
  7. Nihonga: (?) cultural artwork: JAPANESE
  8. Label for an uparalleled artist: MASTER
  9. Held to inform the public: CONFERENCE
  10. Changes with the season: WARDROBE
  11. Exchanged all over the world: CURRENCY
  12. A border between air masses: FRONT
  13. Medicine of varying legality: NARCOTICS
  14. Many students’ greatest love: VACATION
  15. These gauge student knowledge: FINALS
  16. A seasonal sky-bound event: FIREWORKS
  17. A stationary hotspot: heat (?): ISLAND
  18. Necessary for dares: COURAGE
  19. A common skin injury: SUNBURN
  20. When it’s too hot to sleep: SWELTERING
  21. Techy term for e-infiltration: HACKING
  22. Localized destructive storm: TYPHOON
  23. Tsukimi: lunar viewing (?): FESTIVAL
  24. Establishing an order of worth: RANKING
  25. Absorbs the most light: BLACK
  26. Co-opted Celtic holiday: HALLOWEEN
  27. Lined up at school festivals: STALLS
  28. Tipster hotlines offer this: REWARD
  29. Laying into someone: BASHING
  30. Draws people to you: CHARISMA
  31. AKA sweating sickness: INFLUENZA
  32. What lights do for store signage: ILLUMINATION
  33. Politicians thrive on this rating: APPROVAL
  34. Joyful holiday with an intruder: CHRISTMAS
  35. A type of wish. New Year’s (?): RESOLUTION

For more on the game, be sure to check out our spoiler-free guide on how to unlock the new palace and extra semester that’s exclusive to P5R. We’ve finished the entire game as well and we outlined how long to beat P5R depending on how you play. You can also check out our breakdown of what to expect in the first 60 hours of P5R and have a full review in the works.

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PC

Gears 5 Multiplayer Director Leaves Due To "Personal Issues"

Gears 5 multiplayer design director Ryan Cleven has announced he’s leaving Gears developer The Coalition to go on a sabbatical after what he described as six years that took a toll on him.

Writing on Twitter, Cleven said he’s enjoyed his time at The Coalition but he has chosen to leave due to “personal issues” and the toll that his time at the studio took on him.

“The last six years have been amazing. Gears 4 and 5 have been the highlight of my development career, but those six years have also taken a toll,” Cleven said. “Due to personal issues, I can’t continue to work the way that I have. I need to [take] time for myself.”

Cleven said that after The Coalition studio boss Rod Fergusson quit to work on Diablo 4 at Blizzard, he took a step back to think about if he, too, wanted to move on. “With the departure of my mentor, Rod Fergusson, it’s given me an opportunity to reevaluate my priorities. While I will forever miss Gears, it’s time to pass the torch,” he said.

Cleven said he will “return” after his sabbatical, but it won’t be to work on the Gears franchise. In fact, he didn’t even say he plans to return to games at all.

Cleven leaves The Coalition following the release of Gears 5’s new Gridiron update, which he said is his favorite Gears experience to date. It includes new characters and extensive tuning updates; check out the full patch notes here.

The next Gears game is the XCOM-style strategy game Gears Tactics, which launches on April 28 for PC (and eventually for Xbox One). For lots more, check out GameSpot’s interview with the developers covering the story, microtransactions, PC requirements, the impact of COVID-19, and more.

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Tech

PlayStation 5: What We Know About Specs, Backwards Compatibility, Games, Release Date, Price, Controller, And More

We’re only a few months into 2020, and we’re already getting a bunch of new details around Sony’s next-generation console, the PlayStation 5. Despite the recent coronavirus pandemic situation, the system is fast approaching its launch sometime during this year’s holiday season, and although there’s still plenty we don’t know about it, the latest facts are slowly clearing the fog around what we can expect. Last year, Sony began to reveal some of the first details about their next-gen plans with PS5, and we only expect that to continue in the months ahead, particularly with the official website now launched. [Update: Sony hosted a livestream to discuss PS5 details. It was a largely technical discussion, but we’ve updated the text below with the most relevant details that Sony shared.]

First, we know what the console’s official name will be: unsurprisingly, the console is indeed called the PlayStation 5, just as was to be expected. Additionally, we’ve learned what the logo looks like, and it’s equally unsurprising. During 2019, it was revealed that the PS5 will also have PS4 backwards compatibility and SSD storage, and it will support PSVR. The company has also outlined some green, energy-efficient initiatives it is planning for the next generation.

PS5 And PS4 News And Announcements

  • PS4's PlayStation Plus Free Games For April 2020 Revealed
  • PS5's Release Shouldn't Be Affected By Coronavirus, Sony Says
  • PS5 Specs: Sony Reveals CPU, GPU, SSD, TFLOPs Details And More
  • Everything We Know About PS5's Price, Specs, Games, And Release Window

If Sony follows the outline for how the PS4 was properly unveiled, we can expect it to host a special PlayStation Meeting event. There had been some speculation that such an event could take place in February but that didn’t happen. If or when such an event is held, that could be when we learn about things like a price and launch game lineup. However, when Sony intends to roll out new info, it won’t be at the venue you might expect. Just like last year’s E3, Sony planned to skip E3 2020 before it was canceled, and ditto for GDC 2020 due to coronavirus concerns.

Below you can find all the details known about Sony’s upcoming console. It’s likely we’ll hear more details–big or small–in the coming months, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as more gets confirmed.

  • PS5 Release Date
  • PS5 Price
  • Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?
  • PS5 Specs And Disc Drive
    • PlayStation 5 Specs
  • PS5 Controller
  • Can I Use Expandable Storage With PS5?
  • Will PS5 Support PSVR?
  • The Logo
  • Energy Efficiency
  • PS5 Games
  • PS5 UI
  • PS5 Release Date

    This is surely the question on everybody’s lips: when will the PS5 come out? Sony, as you’d expect, is tight-lipped on the matter, but it has confirmed a “holiday 2020” release window for the PlayStation 5. The company has been no more specific than that–Microsoft has also provided the same vague window–but historically, November has been a frequent month for console releases in the past.

    PS5 Price

    Again, Sony has not stated how much its new console will cost, but it did say that the PS5’s price will be attractive to gamers. “I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set,” said Mark Cerny, the lead architect of the PS4 who’s currently working on its successor.

    Of course, you wouldn’t expect Sony to say anything different, but one gets the feeling the company has learned from the PS3’s exorbitant price tag–and the console’s subsequent struggles–and the PS4’s more reasonable cost and subsequent successes.

    Will PS5 Be Backwards Compatible With PS4 games?

    Cerny also confirmed the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, as the two consoles are built upon similar internal architectures. This will be welcome news for those who were disappointed by the PS4’s lack of backwards compatibility with PS3, PS2, and PS1 games.

    In terms of which games players can expect to play, the full list hasn’t been confirmed. However, Cerny noted that PS4’s 100 most played games will be playable on PS5 at launch and all will run even better than before. “Running PS4 and PS4 titles at boosted frequencies has also added complexity,” Cerny said. “The boost is truly massive this time around and some game code just can’t handle it. Testing has to be done on a title by title basis. Results are excellent though. We recently took a look at the top 100 PlayStation 4 titles as ranked by playtime and we’re expecting almost all of them to be playable at launch on PlayStation 5.”

    He also discussed how backwards compatibility will be approached in the PS5 internally, and how the functionality will not be removed upon subsequent console iterations given the nature of their approach to designing the feature. “One way you can achieve backwards compatibility is to put the previous console’s chip set into the new console, like we did with some PlayStation 3s,” he said.”But that’s, of course, extremely expensive. A better way is to incorporate any differences in the previous console’s logic into the new console’s custom chip. Meaning that, even as the technology evolves, the logic and feature set that the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro titles rely on is still available in backwards compatibility mode. One advantage of this strategy is that, once backwards compatibility is in the console, it’s in. It’s not as if a cost down will remove backwards compatibility like it did on PlayStation 3.”

    SIE president Jim Ryan told GameSpot sister site CNET backwards compatibility and cross-gen are important for the PS5 to help players have a seamless transition.

    “Whether it’s backwards compatibility or the possibility of cross-generational play, we’ll be able to transition that community to next-gen,” he said. “It won’t be a binary choice about whether you have to be either on PlayStation 4 or next-gen to continue your friendship.”

    In yet more welcome news, PS4 games will even run faster than they do on your current console, in part because the PS5 will contain a solid state drive, as opposed to hard drives that current consoles ship with. Cerny has demonstrated a load screen from Insomniac’s Spider-Man taking less than a second on a PS5 development kit, compared with 15 seconds on a PS4 Pro.

    Sony showed off the faster loading times during an investor presentation in May. You can see the video below, which was captured by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki.

    PS5 Specs And Disc Drive

    This is where Sony has been surprisingly forthright with new information. The company has confirmed the PlayStation 5 will contain an AMD chip that has a CPU based on the third-generation Ryzen. It’ll have eight cores of the seven-nanometer Zen 2 microchip. The console will also support 8K gameplay, but this will of course be dependent upon TVs catching up.

    Graphics will be driven by a custom version of Radeon’s Navi line. This graphics chip will support ray-racing, something which is starting to become popular in movies and video games. Although it is traditionally thought of as a lighting technique, Cerny says this technique could also improve game audio. In fact, PS5 will fully support 3D audio.

    The aforementioned SSD is a big detail too, as it means games will load faster and be able to handle more objects on-screen at once than current HDD-driven consoles. Characters and cameras could move faster through game worlds, as environments could be loaded in much faster than they are at present. It will also lead to faster install times for games and patches.

    As one final detail, we know the PS5 will not go the route of the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition, which doesn’t include a disc drive. Instead, the PS5 will include a disc drive, so rest assured you’ll still be able to buy and play physical games. PS5 discs will have a capacity of 100 GB, and the console will also support 4K Blu-Rays.

    Sony has also confirmed that the PS5 is capable of supporting 4K visuals at 120Hz for those who have TVs that can support that. 120Hz is a refresh rate around double the rate of standard TVs. You can check the full specs below:

    PlayStation 5 Specs

    Component Spec
    CPU 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz (variable frequency)
    GPU 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz (variable frequency)
    GPU Architecture Custom RDNA 2
    Memory/Interface 16GB GDDR6/256-bit
    Memory Bandwidth 448GB/s
    Internal Storage Custom 825GB SSD
    IO Throughput 5.5GB/s (Raw), Typical 8-9GB/s (Compressed)
    Expandable Storage NVMe SSD Slot
    External Storage USB HDD Support
    Optical Drive 4K UHD Blu-ray Drive

    PS5 Controller

    Sony has opened up on its vision for the PlayStation 5’s controller by saying: “One of our goals with the next generation is to deepen the feeling of immersion when you play games, and we had the opportunity with our new controller to reimagine how the sense of touch can add to that immersion.

    “To that end, there are two key innovations with the PlayStation 5’s new controller. First, we’re adopting haptic feedback to replace the ‘rumble’ technology found in controllers since the 5th generation of consoles. With haptics, you truly feel a broader range of feedback, so crashing into a wall in a race car feels much different than making a tackle on the football field. You can even get a sense for a variety of textures when running through fields of grass or plodding through mud.

    “The second innovation is something we call adaptive triggers, which have been incorporated into the trigger buttons (L2/R2). Developers can program the resistance of the triggers so that you feel the tactile sensation of drawing a bow and arrow or accelerating an off-road vehicle through rocky terrain. In combination with the haptics, this can produce a powerful experience that better simulates various actions. Game creators have started to receive early versions of the new controller, and we can’t wait to see where their imagination goes with these new features at their disposal.”

    In addition to the above comments from Sony Interactive Entertainment president Jim Ryan, Sony has also separately confirmed to Wired that the controller “doesn’t have a name yet,” but contains an improved speaker, USB-C connectivity, and a larger-capacity battery.

    Can I Use Expandable Storage With PS5?

    The PS5 allows users to install non-Sony proprietary expandable storage, giving you the option to purchase off-the-shelf parts to slot into the system. According to a Digital Foundry report, “NVMe PC drives will work in PlayStation 5, [but] the only problem is that PC technology is significantly behind PS5 [and] Sony needs to validate them to ensure that they will work properly.”

    In Cerny’s talk discussing the PS5, he noted that Sony was testing expandable storage devices to ensure that they can physically fit into the PS5 and also deliver the required performance. The company has advised people not to purchase drives ahead of it revealing its recommendations, so don’t jump the gun just yet in your efforts to prepare yourself for the incoming launch. PS5-compatible SSD storage is expected to come “a bit past” launch, though.

    Will PS5 Support PSVR?

    The current PSVR will indeed be supported by PS5, as will the PlayStation Move controllers. “I won’t go into the details of our VR strategy,” Cerny has stated, “beyond saying that VR is very important to us and that the current PSVR headset is compatible with the new console.” The system architect stopped short of saying whether a new PSVR device will ever come out, however.

    The Logo

    It was believed that Sony’s briefing at CES 2020 could bring with it some PlayStation 5 news, but that only barely turned out to be the case. Sony’s Jim Ryan appeared on stage to share some impressive stats regarding the PS4 and to reveal the PlayStation 5 logo, which you can see below. It’s hardly surprising, maintaining the same style used for recent generations. Beyond that, Sony had nothing new to discuss about PS5 during the tech-focused event.

    Energy Efficiency

    Though Sony has been generally quiet about the PS5 since its announcement, it came forward to reveal just slightly more information in conjunction with the announcement of a United Nations initiative. The Playing for the Planet alliance aims to make the video game industry more environmentally friendly. To that end, Sony announced that the next generation of its hardware will use dramatically less power when placed into suspend/sleep mode. Just one million PS5 users turning on the energy-efficient feature would save enough electricity to power 1,000 US homes. The company is also conducting a carbon footprint assessment and looking into more energy-efficient data centers.

    PS5 Games

    We don’t yet know many confirmed games coming to PS5. It’s reasonable to presume annual titles like FIFA and Call of Duty would make the jump to PS5, though their developers haven’t stated anything concrete.

    Currently, the only confirmed PS5 game is Godfall, a loot-based melee action-RPG. It’s scheduled for late 2020, which more than likely makes it a PS5 launch game. However, time will tell!

    The other game possibly confirmed to be playable on PS5 is the Final Fantasy VII remake, after Square Enix’s president and CEO Yosuke Matsuda said: “I believe that our teams have made it so that the game will support both the next generation and the current generation of consoles. I believe it is being developed so that it is going to be playable on both, so I’m not really concerned about that and I believe that the fans are also going to be able to enjoy it on both, including the next-generation of consoles.”

    However, it’s not clear whether Matsuda was referring to a dedicated PS5 edition of the game, or if he was simply referring to the PS4 version being playable on PS5 via backward compatibility. If it’s the latter, then we can technically count every PS4 game as playable on PS5.

    Finally, we know Bluepoint Games, the studio behind remakes such as Shadow of the Colossus and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, is working on a PS5 game that it says is a “big” one.

    PS5 UI

    PlayStation 5’s new user interface will allow you to see more details about friends’ games without opening the applications themselves. “Even though it will be fairly fast to boot games,” says Cerny, “We don’t want the player to have to boot the game, see what’s up, boot the game, see what’s up. Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time. Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them—and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like.”

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News

GI Show – PlayStation 5 vs Xbox Series X: What It All Means

On this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, I am joined by Ben Reeves, Alex Stadnik, and Leo Vader to chat about recent VR games Half-LIfe: Alyx and The Room VR: A Dark Matter. The big talker for the show, however, is discussing the battle between PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and what we think all the hardware stats really mean. We finish with the always-entertaining and enlightening community emails.

We do this week’s show from our homes as we hunker down in quarantine, so please forgive us for any audio or video hiccups as we deliver content outside the studio.

Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. 

You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.

Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

Left 4 Dead’s Future: 6:03
Half-Life: Alyx Review Discussion: 7:14
The Room VR: A Dark Matter: 24:58
PS5 Vs. Series X: 37:47
Community Emails: 59:03

The GI Show podcast is a weekly recap of exciting releases, exclusive details on upcoming games, and in-depth interviews with developers. Watch or listen to a new episode every Thursday!

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Reviews

Persona 5 Royal Review – Revealing Its True Form

When it launched in 2017, Persona 5 represented the next evolution of the Persona formula. Persona 5 Royal amplifies the stellar turn-based combat and masterful social mechanics, as well as the complex systems surrounding them. But it also adds new characters, story arcs, and a meaty post-game palace that ventures even deeper into the world’s lore to deliver the definitive way to experience Persona 5.

The gameplay loop of the original remains intact: You hunt for corrupted individuals, infiltrate dungeons based on their personalities, and battle through tons of enemies – all while going to school and developing relationships with various confidants. Connecting with people from all walks of life, learning their stories, and strengthening your bonds remains rewarding from both a character development standpoint and in the way these relationships give you useful perks. If you haven’t played Persona 5 before, this is the perfect way to start.

Even if you did play the original release, Royal gives you plenty of reasons to return. In addition to restructuring the way you level up your relationship with Akechi, leading to more meaningful interactions with this important character, Royal adds Kasumi and Maruki, two all-new confidants. While I like the stories of both characters, I especially love the bonuses they give along the way: Kasumi increases your HP and gives you an awesome dodge ability for when a shadow is about to ambush you, while Maruki raises Joker’s maximum SP, which comes in handy during lengthy palace infiltrations.

Kasumi and Maruki offer humorous and heartfelt interactions, and while Kasumi eventually joins your party as a full-fledged Phantom Thief, that doesn’t happen until the new post-game palace. While I’m disappointed she isn’t in your party for the vast majority of the game, her constant presence in the story means you’re already familiar with her when the time comes. That new palace and its surrounding arc serve up an interesting look at the weird way the world works following the events of the original conclusion, and offers puzzles, dungeon elements, and is unique from the other palaces in the game. I was initially worried that the addition of a new final boss battle would take away from what made the original finale special, but without spoiling it, this new end boss delivers a climactic and cinematic endcap to your journey as the Phantom Thieves.

In the 100 hours leading up to that post-game content, I loved revisiting the original palaces with their minor additions. Joker now has access to a grappling hook, which lets him swing to new points in palaces to find hidden treasure chests or the new collectible Will Seeds. Each palace’s three Will Seeds are often hidden behind grappling sequences, puzzles, or difficult battles, but if you collect all three and bring the resulting item to a new character Jose in Mementos, you earn valuable accessories to equip to your characters. While they all give you powerful perks or moves, my favorite was one that buffed an ally’s next magic attack to an extreme degree; I can’t tell you how many times that move helped me turn the tide of battle. As you progress through the story, you also accumulate Showtime moves, team-up attacks that play out through funny, over-the-top cutscenes that also have the capacity to get you out of hot water if you’re in trouble in a palace.

Revisiting the memorable battles against palace rulers is made even more fun as they now have additional forms that play off the themes of their sins. Since the palaces are based on the cognitions of the palace rulers, I loved seeing how they incorporated the bosses’ transgressions and twisted views in unique ways. While each of these forms adds something exciting or compelling to the way the battles play out, one boss battle operates on a time limit, and Royal’s version adds additional dialogue and a new form without adding time to the clock, leading to frustration. Regardless of that one misfire, thanks to these additions, the palace boss battles are overall better than those in the original game.

With so many additions and improvements, Persona 5 Royal is an improved version of what was already one of the best RPGs of the last decade. Whether you’ve been itching to enjoy the Phantom Thieves’ journey again or looking to experience it for the first time, Royal wears its crown well.













Whether you're looking to replay Persona 5 or experience the Phantom Thieves' adventure for the first time, Royal is your best bet.

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PS4

Persona 5 Royal: Guide To Unlock The New Palace And Semester (Spoiler-Free)

Persona 5 Royal adds tons of new content, chief among them is the new third semester that also contains the ninth and final palace, all of which happen after the events of the original game. But it’s possible to miss all those features entirely if you don’t meet certain requirements. It’s an absolute must to see all the game has to offer, so here’s everything you need to do to unlock the new content, as spoiler free as possible.

The gist of this is that you need to rank up three separate Confidants (Akechi, Kasumi, and Maruki) to certain ranks before specific dates. Some of the ranks are gated by certain days and events, and if you don’t rank them up by then, you’ll miss out on extra gameplay and the new, major story arcs. P5R does a pretty good job notifying you of opportunities to level up these Confidants; they’ll text you when they’re available to hang out and there is some dialogue that highlights important dates. You may still overlook things as there are some specific windows of when to do them. We have everything detailed below.

Goro Akechi (Justice Confidant)

First, let’s start with Goro Akechi, the Justice arcana. In the original Persona 5, Akechi’s Confidant arc was tied to story events and was unmissable, but in P5R you choose to spend time with him. You’ll first meet Akechi in early June when you take the class field trip to the TV Station. This is an unmissable story event that kicks off rank 1.

After rank 1 he’ll be in Kichijoji, the new area in Persona 5 Royal, to hang out. He’ll be a catalyst to show you some of the new things you can do like play billiards and relax at the jazz club. You can achieve ranks 2 to 5 right after rank 1, and there’s no time gate on them. However, his Confidant rank 3 requires you to have Knowledge and Charm stats at rank 3 before engaging.

Rank 6 is locked until a story event on September 3, and he’ll be waiting for you in Leblanc. Ranks 7 and 8 are then locked until November 2, but you must complete both before November 18. A word of advice: make sure you’re prepared to fight for rank 8, though you can always retry if you don’t succeed. If you do all those things correctly, ranks 9 & 10 will unlock automatically as the story progresses.

Kasumi Yoshizawa (Faith Confidant)

Next, let’s move on to Kasumi Yoshizawa, the new transfer student at Shujin Academy. You’ll bump into Kasumi on the train early on, but you won’t truly interact with her until the new park clean-up event on May 30. This is an unmissable story event, and you’ll reach rank 1 with her and open up her Confidant route (she holds the Faith arcana).

You’ll notice that Kasumi only has five Confidant ranks which is different from everyone else. Ranks 2 to 5 aren’t gated by anything and can be easily unlocked after you officially meet her–you’ll find her hanging out in Kichijoji. You have until December 22 to do all of this so no pressure…but don’t slack off, unless Kawakami says it’s okay.

Takuto Maruki (Councillor Confidant)

Finally, the last important Confidant to ensure you reach the extra semester and palace, is Shujin Academy’s very own guidance counselor Takuto Maruki, who holds the Councillor arcana. Maruki joins the story after the first palace and is hired by the school to help the students through their problems. There’s an automatic story event that introduces him, and since you and your friends have endured traumatic experiences, you’re required to go visit him early on. From there you’ll reach rank 1 with him, and throughout the story you’ll see moments of your fellow Phantom Thieves receiving counseling from him as well.

Ranks 2 to 5 can be achieved immediately after that, and he’ll be hanging in front of the nurses office on Monday’s and Friday’s after school. Ranks 6 to 9 are then gated until September 20. You can also do ranks 1 through 9 after September 20 if you choose since you won’t be locked out if you wait that long. Rank 10 then happens automatically on November 18 if you have reached rank 9 by then. However, you will be locked out of rank 10 if you do not reach rank 9 by November 17.

It’s also worth noting that Maruki raises your SP cap and grants abilities like Detox, Flow, and Mindfulness which are extremely useful. He’s also a refreshing personality and you honestly should just meet with him regardless; he provides perspective for mental health, which will be very important by the time you reach the new content.

A Few More Tips

To rank up Confidants faster, make sure you’re carrying a Persona with the same arcana as the person you’re hanging out with–you’ll receive more points for proper dialogue options. Oh and lastly, make sure to refuse any deal that would compromise your morals throughout the course of the story.

If you accomplish all these steps then you should be ready for the brand new palace, third semester, and everything that comes with them. When you follow through on the new final boss, make sure you have everyone’s Baton Pass at rank 3 (which levels up by playing darts throughout the game)–trust us on this one.

For more on this extended version of the original RPG, be sure to read our early review of Persona 5 Royal’s first 50 hours and how the new mechanics effect the experience. You can also check out how some changes were made in the localization process and get insight on how Persona’s localization was done throughout the years.

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News

Persona 5 Royal review – the king of JRPG

Atlus’ expanded edition of the award-winning Persona 5 adds new characters and new places to visit, but does bigger mean better?

The question of having too much of a good thing is something video games very rarely seem to worry about. The original Persona 5 was released in 2017 and, depending on how thorough you were, took in excess of 80 hours to complete. And now on top of that this new director’s cut adds new characters, new areas, and new plot elements. The original was too long as it was, and Persona 5 Royal is verging on the ridiculous. It’s just a good job it’s one of the best Japanese role-players ever made.

Persona 5 Royal is not a director’s cut in the sense that it features content originally left out of the original, but Atlus has done an extended edition like this before with Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 FES. In each case, the gameplay is the same, as is the basic plot and characters, but several significant new story elements and features are added, along with a host of more minor nips and tucks. But because everything is integrated into the main story campaign you have to play the whole game again from the start – you can’t just skip to the new bits, the most significant of which are right at the end.

There’s usually little or no story connection between any of the Persona games but they do always have a similar initial set-up, as you take the role of an ordinary Japanese secondary school student who becomes aware of a supernatural terror threatening the school and beyond. But rather than some Tolkien-esque fantasy land the Persona games are all set in modern day Japan – Tokyo in Persona 5’s instance – and so you also have to survive the more normal social and academic adversities of being a teenager.

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Despite its length, Persona 5 manages to introduce its premise with surprising (especially if you’ve played Persona 4) briskness, as you and your friends are pulled into a parallel realm called the Metaverse, which is sculpted by the subconscious of ordinary people. The first mind ‘palace’ you visit is the creation of a bullying and lecherous PE teacher who sees himself as a medieval king, complete with his own castle to lord it over in.

Exploring these dungeon-like worlds is where the game is at its most traditional, with a turn-based combat system that in terms of its fundamentals has a clear lineage all the way back to Dragon Quest. A legion of complications is gradually introduced, from elemental weakness to the titular personas of each character (guardian angel like manifestations of a person’s psyche), but the combat remains the series’ weakest element – despite the stylish presentation that makes it look a lot more inventive than it really is.

As unoriginal as it is the combat is perfectly enjoyable, with Persona 5 Royal adding new enemies, new perks for personas, and new team-up moves for your party members. But it’s the storytelling that is the real appeal, and how it affects your abilities in battle. This is most obvious in the ‘social links’ between characters, which can be forged in various ways, from simply talking to someone at school to going on a date, and which improve your stats and your combat options in the Metaverse.

Each day you have to make a decision about what to do with your spare time, with the in-game school year constantly progressing and ensuring you never have enough time for everything, or everyone. Although this is one of many areas where Persona 5 Royal offers some additional options, as it’s got an extra third semester to play through that the original didn’t.

The most significant additions in Persona 5 Royal are a new playable female character called Kasumi Yoshizawa and a new palace. Kasumi’s insertion into the main story can occasionally feel a little awkward, especially if you experienced it the first time round, and she only has five confidant rankings, as opposed to the 10 of everyone else, but there’s some interesting twists to her character that ensures that makes sense from a story perspective.

Kasumi only becomes a full party member during the new post-game content though, just in time for the new palace, which obviously we’re not going to describe here. We will say though that the new final boss encounter is excellent, even if the new ending is less clear cut and satisfying than the original version.

There are other new non-playable characters as well, including a new school counsellor that’s introduced early on and an expanded role for Goro Akechi, who becomes a new optional confidant. He’s often found in the new area of Kichijoji, which includes a variety of new clubs and hangouts that offer new mini-games (darts, anyone?) and chances to gain more perks and items.

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There’s also a whole host of quality of life improvements, from Morgana helping out more during shadow investigations, to making baton passes easier to unlock, the ability to ambush enemies from a distance, and guns becoming much more useful. Main character Joker also now has a grappling hook, which opens up a range of new areas in each of the original dungeons.

The procedurally-generated Mementos dungeons have also been given an overhaul, with a number of new collectibles that can help in battle and the ability for Morgana to ram into enemies, instead of having to get into a formal fight – which makes level-grinding far more enjoyable than it used to be.

In terms of gameplay this is inarguably superior to the original version of the game, but in terms of storytelling we’re not sure it’s necessarily gained as much. Nothing is worse than it was, but the new story content feels like it’s adding more to the running time than it is to the themes of the original.

Persona 5 Royal didn’t have to exist, as the original was already near perfect, with only the old-fashioned combat and an occasionally lacking script translation holding it back – neither of which has really been addressed here. Criticising a game for not being perfect does seem harsh though and Persona 5 Royal once again cements the series’ reputation as the Japanese role-player that even people that usually hate the genre will enjoy.

You could argue that the game should be editing out content rather than adding it, but since existing fans are likely to appreciate the changes more than newcomers that seems a churlish complaint. Persona 5 Royal is the best Japanese role-player of the generation and equally captivating whether you’re returning to the story or experiencing it for the first time.

Persona 5 Royal review summary

In Short: The definitive version of one of the best Japanese role-playing games ever made, even if it’s easy to see the joins with some of the story additions.

Pros: Ambitious storytelling has real thematic depth, while stilling maintain a large cast of engaging characters. New gameplay changes are all positive, especially Mementos. Excellent presentation.

Cons: Apart from the quality of life improvements none of the additions are in any way essential, in a game that already made substantial demands on your time.

Score: 9/10

Formats: PlayStation 4
Price: £49.99
Publisher: Sega/Atlus
Developer: P-Studio
Release Date: 31st March 2020
Age Rating: 16

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