Undertale creator Toby Fox released the first instalment in the episodic Deltarune series all the way back in 2018. Its follow up, Chapter 2, was meant to launch last year, but after a long silence we finally have a firm release date: Friday, September 17. That's very soon.
Deltarune—which is an anagram of Undertale—bears a pretty strong resemblance to Fox's enduring cult RPG, with the same pixel art style and the same surreal sensibilities. This second chapter will follow directly from the first, and if you've still got Deltarune Chapter 1 save data at hand you'll be able to continue right off from where you left. As per the Deltarune website, just make sure you've watched the credits of the first chapter.
The website adds that you don't need to worry about save transfers anyway: so long as “you generally remember what happened story-wise” you should be OK.
It looks like Deltarune Chapter 2 will be releasing through the Deltarune website—no word as yet on Steam or other storefronts. The first chapter was (and still is) free, but Chapter 2 will have a price tag, according to a trailer for Chapter 1. What that price is, we'll find out on Friday.
Amazon Games has a new head for its recently opened development studio in Montreal. Former Ubisoft Toronto managing director Alexandre Parizeau has joined the company to lead development on a big-budget competitive multiplayer game, says the Hollywood Reporter.
Parizeau started out at Ubisoft Montreal in 2005 as a producer on Rainbow Six Vegas and Splinter Cell Conviction. He later helped start Ubisoft Toronto and worked as a senior producer on the well-received Splinter Cell Blacklist, the final core game in the Splinter Cell series.
Parizeau was later promoted to managing director, and Ubisoft Toronto went on to be a lead or co-lead studio on Watch Dogs Legion, Starlink, Far Cry 5, and Far Cry 6. Ubisoft Toronto served as one of several support studios on For Honor, Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal, Assassin's Creed Unity, and Watch Dogs 2.
In mid-2020, as Ubisoft employees made news for alleging company leadership promoted a widespread culture of sexual harassment, Parizeau was responsible for announcing the suspension of two Ubisoft employees and the firing of a third. One developer fired was Splinter Cell and Far Cry creative director Maxime Beland, who co-founded the studio alongside Parizeau. Kotaku reported in July 2020 that Parizeau was one of multiple studio leaders who received a letter from more than 100 employees alleging widespread harassment at the studio.
Kotaku reported that Ubisoft Toronto employees noted Parizeau seemed upset and serious about the allegations. Parizeau also reportedly spoke during a company meeting about the failure of Ubisoft's HR department. Employees reportedly spoke highly of Parizeau, but similarly expressed disappointment that harassment at the studio had become so bad.
“If people have a voice, you're going to do well,” Parizeau told GamesIndustry.biz in a 2015 interview. “This is the most important thing. It's been part of our culture and philosophy since the beginning.”
The UN is calling for a moratorium on artificial intelligence systems “that pose a serious risk to human rights” until research and regulation has been done. It published a report today after concerns that countries and businesses are adopting AI without proper diligence. High commissioner for human rights Michelle Bachelet said that AI can be a “force for good” but stressed that it can still have a profoundly negative, “even catastrophic” effect if used without consideration.
The report analyses the ways AI can affect human rights, including privacy, health, and education as well as freedom of movement, expression, and assembly.
“Artificial intelligence now reaches into almost every corner of our physical and mental lives and even emotional states,” Bachelet writes. “AI systems are used to determine who gets public services, decide who has a chance to be recruited for a job, and of course they affect what information people see and can share online.”
Bachelet's report says that because of its rapid growth, finding out how AI collects, stores, and uses data is “one of the most urgent human rights questions we face.”
“The risk of discrimination linked to AI-driven decisions—decisions that can change, define, or damage human lives—is all too real,” the report continues. “This is why there needs to be systematic assessment and monitoring of the effects of AI systems to identify and mitigate human rights risks.”
The UN also calls for significantly more transparency from companies and countries that develop and use AI systems. It's important to note that the UN is not calling for an outright ban—no one got spooked by their latest viewing of The Terminator—just regulation and greater transparency.
Bachelet says, “We cannot afford to continue playing catch-up regarding AI—allowing its use with limited or no boundaries or oversight, and dealing with the almost inevitable human rights consequences after the fact. The power of AI to serve people is undeniable, but so is AI's ability to feed human rights violations at an enormous scale with virtually no visibility. Action is needed now to put human rights guardrails on the use of AI, for the good of all of us.”
You can read the press release and full report on the UN's website.
What effect this could have on videogames and similar technology is unclear, though the UN is obviously not talking about AI machine learning like Nvidia's DLSS or AI upscaling tech. One possible way this could affect videogames is if a company develops an AI system that learns how specific people play games and then use that data to present targeted microtransactions, ads, or other things to encourage you to spend money—similar to the method Activision patented in 2017. Whether the UN would consider that a violation of your rights is not something I can answer, but in the end, the report's call for regulation probably doesn't impact videogames in a meaningful way for players—even if you wish it would call to improve the AI in games like Cyberpunk 2077.
Shanty Town is one of many Fortnite locations where you can find color bottles to customize your Paint-a-Toona skin. At Shanty Town, you'll find the Ghoulish Green color bottles for the Ghoul Trooper color scheme, which will give your Toona Fish a spooky green zombie tone.
Where is Shanty Town? You'll recognize it as the town made of rickety wood and shacks west of Sludgey Swamp. It's been around since the start of Fortnite Chapter 2, so you've probably visited before.
Once you get there, you're looking for three green color bottles spread around the area.
Ghoulish Green color bottle 1: In the air above the pipe structure that looks like a trident…or maybe a menorah.
Ghoulish Green color bottle 2: Under the raised shack on the south side of town. It's not hidden so it should be easy to spot from any location.
Ghoulish Green color bottle 3: Just like the last one, but under the raised shack on the north side of Shanty Town.
Once you've collected all the color bottles, you can go back to the Paint-a-Toona Fish page on the battle pass menu and unlock the Ghoulish Green Ghoul Trooper colors. Keep in mind that you'll need enough rainbow ink to fully unlock the color scheme.
Check out our Fortnite season 8 guides for more challenge walkthroughs and everything you need to know about Fortnite Cubed.
The latest update for Stellaris, the 3.1 'Lem' release, brings an overhaul of some existing free features, as well as a new strategy for tackling updates to the space grand strategy and 4X.
Empire traditions have been overhauled, allowing players to choose from seven of the 11 trees over the course of the game. The Lem update also brings new civic types for a bunch of previous DLC: Plantoids, Humanoids, and Necroids all have three new or reworked ways to play, like a clone army of humanoids, or a species of plants that can live off stellar radiation.
Most notably, there's new content and rebalancing for old paid features. Love it or hate it, Paradox Interactive funds the long-term development of its grand strategy games by selling expansions as DLC. A lot of expansions. In recent years that strategy has been widely critiqued for making the game increasingly unbalanced over time as only a fraction of the player base has access to certain features, or as older DLC features become irrelevant and outdated in the face of later upgrades.
Stellaris is trying to fix that, with these latest upgrades handled by a subset of the Stellaris team whose job is to focus on polishing and maintaining the existing material. It's a new approach, one that fans of the studio's games will likely watch closely. You can read all about that on Paradox's website, and you can read the details of the Lem update on Steam, or the full patch notes on Paradox's forums.
Paradox has been in the news recently for some controversy, as a survey revealed inner turmoil at the Swedish game developer following the departure of the CEO, then a public apology just this week by the returning CEO.
Sorry, folks: there are still no plans to bring Halo 5: Guardians to PC. At least that's what Halo community director Brian Jarrard said after a recent leak gave fans new hope.
“Maybe this was for 'H5:Forge' but I can confirm there are no plans to bring H5 to PC,” Jarrard wrote on Twitter. “We know there's some demand for it, but as we've stated before, [it's] not in the cards as the studio is fully focused on Infinite and MCC. Will never say never, but nothing underway currently.”
Maybe this was for “H5:Forge” but I can confirm there are no plans to bring H5 to PC. We know there’s some demand for it, but as we’ve stated before, not in the cards as the studio is fully focused on Infinite and MCC. Will never say never, but nothing underway currentlySeptember 13, 2021
A recent leak of Nvidia's GeForce Now database contained the titles of unannounced projects and console exclusives, such as God of War and Halo 5: Guardians, which made many think these games were coming to PC. Nvidia shot down those hopes, however, saying the games listed in the leak were “speculative” and just for “testing.” It's not uncommon for game developers to use “real” things as placeholders for testing features like UI and functionality.
This isn't the first time 343 Industries has said Halo 5 isn't coming to PC. In 2018, franchise director Frank O'Connor confirmed that it's not happening, saying that the only available version of Halo 5 on PC is the Forge mode, which allows for up to 16 players on custom maps and game types. It's a cool tool, but it won't tide over any Halo 5 fans who want the real thing.
The reason so many want Halo 5: Guardians on PC is because it was one of the last games Microsoft released before committing to launching all of its first-party games on Xbox and PC day-and-date—with rare exceptions like Gears Tactics, which launched on PC first.
Halo 5 is also the only Halo game not currently available on PC. The Master Chief Collection includes Halo: Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Reach, and Halo 4. It's an excellent collection of games that are available for free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers—you can get your first month of Game Pass for only $1.
My take? Halo 5: Guardians is a fine game, but you're not missing much if you can't play it. It's one of the least exciting games in the series, and the story didn't do much for me—the future of the series looks far more interesting. It would be nice to have it as part of the Master Chief Collection one day, but I'm not sweating it.
As for what's next for Halo, fans can expect Halo Infinite on December 8. A series first, the multiplayer will be completely free, while the campaign will require the full game to play. The series' trademark campaign co-op will not be available at launch, instead coming sometime in 2022.
Exotic weapons in Fortnite are some of the best tools for winning a battle royale match. Their blend of punishing damage and unique functionality means you'll inevitably have some advantage over opponents.
The only problem is trying to find them. Exotic weapons are sold by NPCs, so you'll need a healthy amount of gold bars to pay for them, although you can always try your luck at malfunctioning vending machines.
Fortnite season 8 has reintroduced some older exotic weapons, along with longtime favorites and spread them around the map. We've laid out every exotic weapon location for you below. We also have a guide to the new Sideways weapons.
Read on for our full guide to Fortnite season 8 exotic weapons.
Fortnite exotic weapon locations
Marksman Six Shooter
400 Gold Bars
400 Gold Bars
400 Gold Bars
Yellow Steel Bridge (east of Retail Row)
500 Gold Bars
Storm Scout: This sniper rifle tells you where the next storm circle will form, giving you a distinct advantage when it comes to placement on the battlefield.
Shadow Tracker: A suppressed pistol. Hit an enemy and a marker will appear over their head for a short period of time, visible to all teammates.
Night Hawk: A scoped revolver, but it's scope has thermal vision.
Marksman six shooter: Shoot from the hip (no zoom) to fire rapidly, or aim down the sights for increased damage with a slower firing rate.
Chug Cannon: Functionally a Bandage Bazooka. Firing on friendly teammates will heal them for a small amount of health. Be careful, as you can accidentally heal enemies, too.
Looking for Petalcaps in New World? There are plenty of resources to gather in Amazon's MMO, but it's not always easy to find them if you don't know what to look out for. Hemp is pretty easy to spot, but Fronded Petalcaps are far less conspicuous. If you're trying to complete the 'Weakness of the Ego' quest, this can be frustrating.
There's a lot to explore in Aeternum and trying to find a specific plant in a busy starting area can be tricky. Whether you want to craft yourself some potions or complete the quest, this guide has you covered. Here are the New World Petalcap locations, as well as how to harvest them.
New World Petalcap locations: Where to find the resource
Fronded Petalcaps are generally found in grasslands and wooded areas. The area around Windsward is a good place to start, though you can find them scattered as far as northeast of Cutlass Keys. You can refer to the map above for more densely packed areas. Alternatively, this interactive map will give the exact locations. You may also have more luck finding the plants further away from the settlement, depending on how busy your server is.
The plant itself looks like a rounded spray of leaves with a thick stalk growing from the center. Check the screenshot above if you're not sure what to look for. You'll need a flint sickle or better to harvest any resources from it, though you can gather it from level 1 in Harvesting.
As mentioned above, Petalcaps can be used for various potions and you'll need to gather at least three for Weakness of the Ego, one of the main quests from Everfall. In addition to Petalcaps, the plant has a chance to yield Green Pigment as well as Mushroom Fins.
Going by the specs, the Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM has a lot in common with Dell's Alienware 25 AW2521HF, one of the best monitors for gaming, but boasts an even higher refresh rate when overclocked, and costs a bit less to boot at the moment—it's on sale at Amazon for $244.21 right now.
That's nearly $85 below its list price ($84.79 to be precise). It doesn't always sell for the full MSRP, but it sometimes does. Looking at its price tracking history, it averages around $319 (the cheapest it has been before now as $289, a price point it hit twice in the past).
Fast and smooth gaming
Asus TUF Gaming VG259QM 24.5″ Monitor | IPS | G-Sync | 280Hz |$329$244.21 at Amazon
The VG259QM is an excellent gaming monitor with an extremely high refresh rate and support for both FreeSync and G-Sync to keep the action smooth. If it sells out on Amazon, you can find it for the same price at Walmart.
The VG259QM is built around a 24.5-inch IPS panel with a 1920×1080 resolution (not to be confused with the VG258QM, which uses a TN screen and actually costs more at the moment).
This is made for fast and smooth gaming. To that end, it boasts a native 240Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 280Hz, a 1ms gray-to-gray (GtG) response time, and plays nice with both FreeSync and G-Sync.
It also features DisplayHDR 400 certification, so it can handle HDR gaming and content (HDR10), though it doesn't get eye-searingly bright enough to really do HDR justice. Still, it's another checked box on the specs sheet.
Inputs consist of DisplayPort 1.2 (x1), HDMI 2.0 (x2), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It also has a pair of built-in 2W speakers, in case your headphones or discrete speakers give up the ghost.
We haven't reviewed this one, but our friends at Tom's Hardware have, and found it delivers “phenomenal gaming” performance anchored by a “rock solid” stand, among other high praise.
After hours of gathering resources and building fortifications, Microsoft is rallying as many troops as it can for Age of Empires 4's next stress test, inviting everyone to jump in and wage merry war until the game's online infrastructure comes crashing down (or ideally, doesn't).
Following last month's closed beta, the next technical test for AoE4 kicks off this Friday. You'll be able to download the test straight from the game's Steam page or the Xbox Insider app, regardless of whether you're an Xbox Insider or not. The only catch is that you'll have to meet or exceed the game's fairly manageable minimum specs, with the game automatically detecting and assigning graphics settings based on your rig.
This week's test will offer much of the same content as the last, with a tutorial mission, AI skirmishes and full-on multiplayer matches—though given this is a stress test, the developer strongly urges players to play online matches against real opponents. That said, this build's had a few bug fixes and balance tweaks since last time, and will let you pull the camera out far further than before.
The Age of Empires 4 stress test starts at 10am PT / 6pm BST this Friday, September 17, with full details available over on the game's announcement post. Age of Empires 4 is set to finally launch on Steam, the Windows Store and Xbox Game Pass on October 28.