IGN Magazine

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IGN ISSUE 060 Winter 2022 9.99

LEGO Star Wars: Release Date RevealeD + OVERVIEW Relive all nine films in the Skywalker Saga this April.

Eternals on Disney+: Ending Explained + MCU Connections We also breakdown Eternals’ story, after credit scenes, and more.

EA Admits Battlefield 2042 Failed To Meet Expectations Rough timing, it seems.

what you need to know about the dark knight’s upcoming returN

Reviewed Horizon Forbidden West The Gunk OlliOlli World Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker


CONTENT 01 • Contents Winter • 2022

The Batman © DC Comics

FEATURES

03

LEGO STAR WARS: RELEASE DATE + OVERVIEW After multiple delays, Lego The Skywalker Saga is coming.

10

Eternals: Ending Explained + MCU Connections

13

The Batman Is ‘Almost a Horror’ Inspired By KILLERS

14

The Batman Is the Longest Dark Knight Movie YET

17

EA Admits Battlefield 2042 To Meet Expectations

The new group of superheroes start streaming on Disney+.

There’s a grizzly real-life inspiration behind The Batman.

That’s a lot of brooding and brawling.

Players appear unhappy as even the game’s updates have had several delays.


Horizon Forbidden West © Guerrilla Games

Forbidden West is able to confidently stride over the deep exposition potholes that Zero Dawn sometimes fell victim to.

SECTIONS

03 15 25

UPCOMING GAMES Get in the know of upcoming releases coming this winter.

VIDEO GAME NEWS Stay up to date with the latest in video game news.

IGN EDITORS The team behind IGN Magazine.

battlefield 2042 © DICE

09 19

entertainment The movies and tv shows you can to look forward to this winter.

REVIEWED Our expert reviews of the latest video games.


UPCOMING GaMES

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagA

LEGO STAR WARS: THE SKYWALKER SAGA © LEGO

BY Adam Bankhurst

It has been confirmed that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga will be released on April 5. The much-delayed LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga’s breakdown shows off LEGO versions of all of the films in the Skywalker Saga and how this game is changing up the formula that has been seen for so long in the LEGO games. We also see of some of the over 300 characters that are playable in-game. Alongside seeing more third person action that is much more up-close and personal than previous entries, we see that we get to pick to 03 • Upcoming Games Winter • 2022

start from the beginning of the original trilogy, prequel trilogy, and sequel trilogy, giving fans of each period of Star Wars a chance to jump where they want. Later episodes are locked and become available as you play. There is a main story to complete, but players are encouraged to explore the galaxy far, far away with side missions and other planets. LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lets players take part in their favorite Star Wars moments, it tells them with a hilarious and charming lens that appeals to players of all ages.


Nightingale BY Rebekah Valentine

Nightingale, the upcoming survival game, is a magical realm-hopping adventure full of bizarre fae creatures and worlds inspired by Victorian themes and fairytales. How many mysterious worlds will we get to explore? Inflexion isn’t telling, but in an interview for IGN Fan Fest, art and audio director Neil Thompson suggests they will be “seemingly endless”. Thompson joined CEO Aaryn Flynn to talk about the worlds of Nightingale, which Thompson says Inflexion thinks of as parallel universes inhabited by creatures, monsters, and wildlife. Players travel between the worlds via portals, Flynn says, which appear after they have explored a realm sufficiently.

nightIngale

© Inflexion Games

Once a portal is found, players can decide if they want to move on or not. Flynn adds that while they aren’t discussing details, there will be checks to ensure players have the gear and other resources to survive. The creatures and worlds connected via the portals come from different inspirations, including Susanna Clark’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Dutch and, the Victorian era which Thompson calls “incredibly visually evocative.” He’s more coy when asked if we might run across a Jabberwocky, but spilled some details on other creatures. Thompson goes on to detail “The Bound” that comes in many forms, including minion like creatures,

long-range attackers, magic users, tank-like creatures, and a bruiser as seen in the official Nightingale trailer with a wheel for their head. He also details the Harpies, flying creatures that can steal things from the player’s encampment and disguise themselves as old women wrapped in cloaks to lure players into a false sense of security until they can get close. We spoke earlier this year with Flynn about the BioWare roots of Nightingale and more about how it will handle things like player choice and worldbuilding, as well as its optimistic tone. Nightingale is preparing for an early access beta later this year.


WWe 2K22

WWE 2K22

© 2K Games

BY Mitchell Saltzman

The return of the WWE 2K series will be headlined by a superstar who’s no stranger to dramatic returns himself, as WWE 2K22 will feature WWE Hall of Famer and Lucha Libre Legend, Rey Mysterio.

“To be able to represent the culture of Lucha Libre as the cover superstar, it’s a moment of great pride, not just for me, but for the generations that come after me and for all my people – for all of the latinos.” The news comes from a press conference with Mysterio, hosted by WWE commentator Byron Saxton and broadcast journalist Sam Roberts, who announced the game’s upcoming release date of March 11. 05 • Upcoming Games Winter • 2022

Along with being on the cover, Mysterio will also have his career highlighted in Showcase Mode, a mode that allows players to relive key matches and moments in a wrestler’s career, complete with intros to set up the context of each match. Mysterio has a great career full of memorable matches, he said the ones that he’s excited to share the matches against Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania 21, and his match against Shawn Michaels on Smackdown Nov 14, 2005, which served as a tribute to Guerrero, who died the previous day. Mysterio joins Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Stone Cold

Steve Austin, John Cena, and The Rock as one of the handful of WWE Superstars to have been featured on the cover in the past. WWE 2K22 is the first game since 2019’s WWE 2K20, and promises a redesigned gameplay engine, a new control scheme, and upgraded visuals. In addition, the new MyGM mode, allows players to step into the role of a General Manager and draft their own ultimate WWE roster; MyFaction, which lets players collect and manage their own dream faction; and MyRISE, which serves as WWE 2K22’s version of MyCareer mode and allows players to create their own superstar and chart their path to stardom.



Hitman Trilogy BY Jared Moore

IO Interactive has announced that the Hitman Trilogy Collection will be launching in a few weeks, and it’s coming straight to Game Pass. IO Interactive is combining all three of its Hitman games into one single package that fans will be able to get their hands on next week. Officially launching on April 20, 2022, the collection will be available for fans on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and on PC through Steam and the Epic Games Store. However, that’s not all. For those of you currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass, there will be no need to purchase the game separately, as the studio has also announced that the trilogy will be coming to the service on day one. April 20 marks the first time that Hitman 3 has been made available to players on Steam.

07 • Upcoming Games Winter • 2022

HITMAN TRILOGY

© IO Interactive

The game’s Steam launch will include full support for the title’s brand-new VR mode (which is set to launch the same day) as well as a number of other technical improvements coming to Hitman 3 on PC later this year including the likes of Ray Tracing as well as Variable Rate Shading to give that boost PC performance. As well as announcing the launch date for its Hitman Trilogy, IO has also shed light on what’s in store for Hitman 3 across the next twelve months. According to a press release from the studio, Year 2 content for the game will include two brand new modes and a new map, named Rocky, which will be revealed later this year. Launching this Spring, IO says that Hitman 3’s new Freelancer mode will bring a brand new way to play the game as it introduces new roguelike elements, further strategic planning and a customizable safehouse into the fold.


STalker 2

© IO Interactive

STALKER 2 developer GSC Game World has made the decision to further delay their game until later this year. As announced on Twitter, the developer has notified its fans that STALKER 2’s new release date has been shifted back to December.

STALKER 2 BY Jared Moore

“ We have made a decision to postpone the release of STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl to December 8, 2022,” reads in a statement from the development team. “These additional seven months of development are needed to fulfill our vision and achieve the desired state of the game. STALKER 2 is the biggest project in the history of GSC, and it requires thorough testing and polishing. We are convinced that development should take as long as necessary, especially in the case of such a major project.” The delay to STALKER 2 comes as a disappointment to fans, some of which have been anticipating the game’s release for almost a decade. Elsewhere in the statement from GSC, the team notes that the decision “has not been an easy one”, but that it will hopefully allow them to deliver a game “that can live up to the expectations”. The statement ends by explaining to fans that further information, updates, and showcases for the game will be coming in due course and that the team has an “exciting and important year ahead of us.”


Winter • 2022

© AMarvel Comics

Eternals

EnteRtainMent 09 • Entertainment

Eternals: Ending Explained + MCU Connections BY Adam Bankhurst

With Marvel’s Eternals released on Disney+, whether you are watching it for the first time or the hundredth there is so much to take in about this MCU story.

When does eternals take place? Eternals takes place after Avengers: Endgame.

For those who have yet to see it as well as those who are still trying to process what happened, we’ve tried to answer all questions from the movie as well as how the events of the film could play into future movies. We dive deep into some of its biggest reveals.

is there a Post-Credit Scene? Yes, it has two!

Ending of Eternals Explained After the Eternals stop Tiamut from being “born,” Ikaris, who let Ajak be killed by the Deviants when he found she wanted to stop Arishem and the Emergence, chooses to fly into the sun after being unable to come to terms with the guilt he had from betraying both Arishem and his love Sersei. Thena, Druig, and Makkari leave Earth to find other Eternals and warn them of the Emergences, and Kingo, Phastos, and Sersi choose to stay. That choice is quickly ripped from them, as Arishem pulls them into space and says he will spare humanity if they can prove mankind is worthy. He then takes them and promises to return for judgement before the credits roll.

What Is Eternals About? Eternals follows a group of beings who have been living on Earth for many of years, protecting humans from enemies known as the Deviants. After living among humans for years, a new threat brings the team back together to face off against dangerous foes.


Halo TV Show Will Reveal Master Chief’s Face BY Matt Purslow

halo

© Amblin Television

The upcoming Halo TV show will reveal Master Chief’s face for the first time in the history of the entire franchise. Talking to Ryan McCaffrey as part of IGN Fan Fest, Halo’s executive producer and 343 Industries’ Studio Head of Transmedia, Kiki Wolfkill, said that showing the Chief’s face was important for the story the show will tell.

“I think we set out to tell a character story and a personal story,” she explained. “And once we really got into what that story was, it became clear that you really needed to see the person in the armour and under the helmet.” “You will see his face,” she confirmed. “For some people, it’s been a moment 20 years in the making, and for other people it is something that feels very hard to imagine. We absolutely respect both sides of that fence, those who really want to see

Chief’s face and those who really don’t. But for the nature of this story, it felt really important to connect with the Master Chief in a different way, and that meant showing the face.” Halo will premiere on March 24, 2022 on Paramount+ in the US. It features actor Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief wearing a game-accurate replica of his famous SPARTAN MJOLNIR armour, complete with its yellow opaque visor. While this has always meant we’ve never seen Chief’s face in the game (aside from very short glimpses of the back of his head or his eyes in cutscenes), it looks like we’ll finally be seeing a Schreiber-shaped face beneath that helmet. In addition, Halo has already been renewed for a second season ahead of its upcoming premiere, a vote of confidence from Paramount+ on its new video game adaptation.


Netflix Announces the Long-Awaited BioShock Movie BY Matt Kim

BIOSHOCK

© Irrational Games 2K

Netflix is going beyond the sea after it announced it will be producing a live-action movie based on BioShock.

has two sequels, and a new game is in development without creator Ken Levine at a studio called Cloud Chamber.

Netflix has announced that it will be partnering with 2K and TakeTwo on a live-action adaptation of Ken Levine’s popular immersive sim set in an underwater city meant to house the greatest minds on Earth.

In a statement Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick says, “Netflix is among the best and most forward-thinking storytellers in all of entertainment today. We are thrilled they share our vision and commitment to the BioShock franchise, which is beloved by fans all around the world.”

The Hollywood Reporter says no writer or filmmaker is currently attached to the project, though plans for the movie have been in the works for almost a year. Considered one of the greatest games of its decade, BioShock 11 • Entertainment Winter • 2022

Zelnick added, “2K’s Cloud Chamber studio is deep in active development on the next iteration of the series, and coupled with our partnership with Netflix, we remain highly confident in that

BioShock will continue to captivate and engage audiences like never before.” BioShock has been a target for a live adaptation. Soon after the launch of the first game director Gore Verbinski was attached to a live-action movie. According to THR the director’s planned budget and an R-Rating put the project on indefinite hold until eventually plans were shelved. As R-rated blockbusters become more prevalent and as Netflix is keen on building a stable of known franchises, these issues no longer appear to be a roadblock and that we’ll be taking an elevator under the sea very soon.



The Batman Is the Longest Dark Knight Movie Yet BYJoseph Knoop

THE BATMAN © DC Comics

Matt Reeves’ Batman will have a runtime nearing three hours long; 2 hours and 55 minutes. That will make it the longest Batman film of all time, and the longest superhero movies to date. THR reported the Batman’s runtime and that the total length includes a relatively average eight minutes of credits. Which superhero movie still takes the cake? Avengers: Endgame at three hours and one minute long, and Zack Snyder’s four-hour cut of Justice League, though that never got the chance to debut in theaters. Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes in close, with The Dark Knight Rises clocking in at a solid two hours and 44 minutes, and The Dark Knight at two hours and 32 minutes. The Tim Burton era comes in at a much more modest time of two hours and six minutes for both Batman and Batman Returns.

13 • Entertainment Winter • 2022

Chalk it up to the trend of bigger, longer tentpole films, especially in the realm of superhero movies. The vast majority of the MCU slate clocks in at over two hours long (with exceptions like Ant-Man and Doctor Strange coming in just under that), and DC’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice clocking in at two hours and 31 minutes. The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as the masked vigilante, is out in theaters on March 4. Paul Dano plays the mysterious Riddler, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin. The movie was recently confirmed to be rated PG-13, abandoning theories that it might skew towards an R rating.


The Batman Is ‘Almost a Horror’ Inspired By KillerS BY Ryan Leston

It looks as though The Batman takes real-life inspiration from the Zodiac Killer, with a more grittier Riddler than we’ve ever seen before. Director Matt Reeves goes as far as to say his story is “almost a horror.” During an interview, Reeves revealed the real grizzly inspiration behind his take on The Riddler:

“ The premise of the movie is that the Riddler is kind of molded in an almost Zodiac Killer mode, and is killing very prominent figures in Gotham, and they are the pillars of society,” he said. “ These are legitimate figures. It begins with the mayor, and it escalates from there.” Serial killer and nemesis of Batman, The Riddler, weaves an intricate puzzle to solve. Though

it looks as the great and good of Gotham City aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

“In the wake of the murders, [The Riddler] reveals the ways in which these people are not everything they said they were, and you start to realize there’s some kind of association,” he explained. “And so just like Woodward and Bernstein, you’ve got Gordon and Batman trying to follow the clues to try and make sense of this thing in a classic kind-of-detective-ish kind of way story way.” The Batman stars Robert Pattinson as a younger Bruce Wayne in the early days of his vigilante career, focused on bringing Dano’s obsessive serial killer to justice. Reeves explains that the film has more in common with a horror

movie, while still acting like a detective story at its heart. All of that said, there will seemingly still be some pulling back from the true horror at its heart, given that The Batman has been confirmed as a PG-13 movie (as well as being the longest-ever Batman film). Robert Pattinson stars as The Batman alongside Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth, Jeffrey Wright as James Gordon, Colin Farrell as Oswald Cobblepot, and Paul Dano as The Riddler. The Batman will hit theaters March 4, and will be directed by Matt Reeves, based on a screenplay by Reeves, and Peter Craig. In addition, Matt Reeves, Dylan Clark, and Toby Hefferman are on board to produce.

THE BATMAN © DC Comics


VIDEO GaME NEWS No Man’s Sky

© Hello Games

Sean Murray Says No Man’s Sky Isn’t Finished ‘By a Long Shot’ BY Ryan Dinsdale

No Man’s Sky creator Sean Murray says his galaxy-spanning sandbox isn’t close to being finished, despite receiving its 19th major update.

Murray explained its roadmap and development schedule as similar to a painting that never quite seems complete:

Speaking to IGN, Murray said the team at Hello Games is continuously coming up with new ideas they’d like added to No Man’s Sky, and each new update inspires more and more ideas.

“I like to think that No Man’s Sky is such a large game that we have to paint in broad brush strokes,” he said, “Each update comes along and fills in some finer detail.”

He said, for “as many updates as we’ve done since launch, our list of things we’re excited about never seems to get any shorter. The team are always coming up with new things that they want to do with the game: new content and features and areas for improvement.”

The new Sentinel Update completely overhauled the game’s combat by adding new weapons, updating old ones, and bringing a hoard of new enemies to use them on.

“We don’t talk about what’s on that list but suffice to say we’re not done yet by a long shot.” 15 • Video Game News Winter • 2022

While the update is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC now, Nintendo players can enjoy the update of No Man’s Sky when it comes to Nintendo Switch this summer.


Dying Light 2 Will Get Five Years Of Post-Launch Content BY Logan Plant

Dying Light 2 © Techland

Just a week after the launch of Dying Light 2 developer Techland said the game will take “at least 500 hours” to fully complete, we’re now learning that the game will get at least five years of post-launch content with new stories, areas, in-game events, and more. Techland announced its post-launch plans on Twitter, guaranteeing support for years to come. We don’t know how much of the update plans will be free content, or how much will come in the way of free DLC. However, Techland supported the original Dying Light with a lot of free content and multiple paid expansions, so we can likely expect to see the same type of support with the sequel. In another tweet from the developers, they said that the game has 500 hours of content. That number was later clarified, with Techland saying it takes 500 hours to complete absolutely everything the game has to offer, including different story paths, endings, and more.

Players just looking to complete the main story and side quests can expect to spend about 7080 hours, while players beelining the main story should only need about 20 hours. After multiple delays, Dying Light 2 is set to come out next month, on April 4. We got to go hands-on with Dying Light 2 late last year, where we said that the game, “simultaneously feels like the natural next step for the franchise, while also feeling like something that establishes its very own unique identity.”


EA Admits Battlefield 2042 Failed To Meet Player Expectations BY George Yang

BATTLEFIELD 2042 © Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts has reportedly admitted that Battlefield 2042 “failed to meet the expectations of our players” in an internal meeting, and blamed the failure of the game on factors such as Halo Infinite’s launch and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by Xfire, EA held an internal company meeting to discuss Battlefield 2042, where executives spent over 20 minutes examining what went wrong with the game’s launch. Chief Studios Officer Laura Miele reportedly emphasized that it’s important to acknowledge when the company has its misses, including Battlefield 2042. 17 • Video Game News Winter • 2022

One of the factors that Miele mentioned was responsible for Battlefield 2042’s problems is the Frostbite Engine, which had to go under a massive update.

mock reviews prior to launch revealed that the game had more bugs than expected.

This update reportedly sucked up 18 months of development time. “All new tech, it was a new engine,” the report quotes her as saying. “The Frostbite version they were on was so old they had to go back and update. So it was basically putting the game on a completely new engine.”

However, the report says Miele claimed the surprise launch of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer was a turning point, which came a mere four days earlier than Battlefield 2042’s release on November 19. Compared to Halo Infinite, Battlefield 2042 wasn’t as “polished”, so EA reportedly believes players had a more favorable view of the former.

After the Battlefield beta held in the summer, players provided feedback on bugs and other areas of the game. While early impressions were positive, later

At the end of the call, it was reportedly mentioned that Battlefield’s development teams will be restructured and more streamlined going forward.



REVIEWED 9.0

AMAZING

Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West

© Guerrilla Games

BY Simon Cardy

Successful sequels build on their predecessors in multiple ways – think Mass Effect 2 and Uncharted 2. They all improve what came before them by conjuring up exciting new gameplay mechanics, developing characters through engaging stories, and switching up mission design to offer variety. In other words, they take a solid base and combine with new elements to create more advanced bonds. Horizon Forbidden West does this with aplomb, building on the already impressive foundations of 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn to tell a thrilling story full of familiar combat against robotic foes and action sequences, but also adding settlements to the map and side quests. There’s a genuine sense of exploration and lore behind it to uncover. The result is a fantastic open-world action-adventure that, despite falling into a couple of its old habits, delivers 19 • REVIEWED Winter • 2022

on the promises made five years ago. The battle between the natural and firmly unnatural is everywhere to see in the Forbidden West.

Forbidden West is able to confidently stride over the deep exposition potholes that Zero Dawn sometimes fell victim to. It drills down through many levels to what the Horizon series is all about, from the vines strangling the remains of the Golden Gate Bridge to the animal-like man-made machines that wander the land. Forbidden West is able to confidently stride over the deep exposition potholes that Zero Dawn fell victim to. It’s what drives the plot along and lends a personal touch to what could be otherwise ungainly themes if handled without the care that Guerrilla Games has put into Forbidden West.


The Gunk BY Leif Johnson

The Gunk

© Image & Form Games

7.0 Contrary to what the state of my real-world home might imply, I find something oh-so-satisfying about cleaning up in video games. That makes The Gunk particularly appealing, as its linear campaign is packed full of opportunities to methodically transform a muck-covered alien planet back into a pristine and absolutely beautiful landscape. As the first 3D game from Image & Form Games, The Gunk’s fairly brief journey doesn’t do a whole lot to expand on its shallow but consistently amusing concept, but it’s still a lot of fun to clear away the goop blanketing its world and uncover the grounded sci-fi story told there.

An action-adventure game at its heart, The Gunk allows you to control of the bold and optimistic space explorer Rani, accompanied by her more cautious and serious partner Becks, as they land on an unknown world in search of resources to scavenge. What they find instead is a planet where pockets of green energy and the life around them are being stifled by blobs of seemingly malicious black ooze. Armed with a robotic vacuum hand, its four-hour campaign has you exploring the planet and sucking up the gunk as the pair pieces together the cause behind it. It’s cool tale, if a somewhat straightforward one.

GOOD

The majority of this adventure is spent either progressing down paths or hopping around puzzle areas, and in either case you’re usually getting rid of all the gunk you see or trying to reach a switch in order to open the next route. The Gunk is a lovely game, its vibrant terrain and the fantastic soundtrack makes wandering those areas a beautifully meditative exercise at times. The twists each area puts on its simple mechanics never shake up its formula of vacuuming the landscape and then hopping to the next location, but the beautiful sense of style keeps it entertaining throughout its relatively brief campaign.


OlliOlli World

OlliOlli World

BY Cam Shea

Amazing

© Roll7

9.0

The last OlliOlli game, 2015’s OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood, was a breath of fresh air. Its stylised art, intense level design, and challenging trick system all helped it stand out. Seven years later, OlliOlli World has those things going for it, but it also takes a huge step forward for the series by shifting into 3D, giving its skating a sense of scale, speed, and dynamism. At the same time, it builds significantly on Olliwood’s technical gameplay by layering grabs, wall rides, and more atop the flip tricks, grinds, and manuals that were its foundation. On top of all that, it goes out of its way to be more welcoming to players of all stripes, putting forth a ton of changes that ensure just about anyone can have a good time without losing the fiercely high skill ceiling the series is known for. OlliOlli World’s colourful, cartoony look and character-centric approach is the first thing that had me saying “ooo” – not just because it is very 21 • Reviewed Winter • 2022

pretty, but because it’s also very reminiscent of some of my favourite cartoons. It’s also similar in its effervescent and eccentric personality but thankfully doesn’t feel derivative, striking out on its own with a world populated by endearingly offbeat characters and a story that doesn’t take itself seriously, yet is enjoyably earnest. OlliOlli World is far more forgiving than its pre-

OlliOlli World isn’t interested in punishing your mistakes, it’s focused on rewarding your execution. decessors. If you’re holding the analogue stick in preparation for a trick, you can still push to build speed. There’s no penalty for setting yourself early. And if you’re rotating in the air and land side on, you won’t crash – you’ll just get less points. In general, OlliOlli World isn’t interested in punishing your mistakes, it’s focused on rewarding your execution. OlliOlli World is a fantastic evolution of what was already an outstanding skating series.



Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker BY Leif Johnson

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker © Square Enix

9.0

“Has your journey been good?” a key character asks me, in reference to all the years I’ve spent adventuring. We’re only a few hours into Final Fantasy XIV’s latest DLC expansion, Endwalker. “Has it been worthwhile?” My character never really gets to answer, and many hours later, I think that’s because Square Enix also directs the question to us as players: Have the last eight years of FFXIV and all those hundreds of cutscenes been worth the time? I wish I had had the chance to say so, because after Endwalker, my answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Parts of this roughly 50-hour story move a little slower than I’d have liked, but when so many games, TV shows, and movie series seem incapable of delivering a satisfactory ending, it’s refreshing to see one that mostly manages to stick the landing to an arc that’s gone on for so long. For that matter, Endwalker is good enough that it removes any doubt that this reborn MMORPG deserves inclusion in any discussion of the best Final Fantasy stories ever written. 23 • Reviewed Winter • 2022

AMAZING

Endwalker wraps up virtually every major plotline introduced within that time frame, ranging from the long struggle between the Hydaelyn and Zodiark and the ambitions of the Ascians to the fate of the Garlean Empire. Even the new zones suggest a desire to be done with what came before. With hours of meaningful

If Shadowbringers is Avengers: Infinity War, then Endwalker is Avengers: Endgame. cutscenes and new zones, Endwalker marks a satisfying conclusion to Final Fantasy XIV’s story. It does deliver new DPS and healing jobs that should appeal to both new and experienced players and includes some of the best boss battles we’ve seen in this decade-old game. If Shadowbringers is Avengers: Infinity War, then Endwalker is Avengers: Endgame, if this is how Final Fantasy XIV end a story, then ready to walk with them from the beginning to the end of the next one.


The Anacrusis Early Access

BY Luke Winkie

The Anacrusis © Stray Bombay

Mediocre 5.0 The Anacrusis is correct to believe that co-op shooters are in dire need of a new flavor. Nearly every game that’s followed in Left 4 Dead’s footsteps puts four players in a zombie apocalypse and asks them to blast out an escape route before they succumb to the horde. The Anacrusis counters that notion with bright pastels and a Jetsons-inspired verve, which delightfully strays from the broken cities in Back 4 Blood or the depths of Hell in GTFO or Call of Duty’s Zombies modes. Unfortunately, The Anacrusis is unable to generate the crucial white-knuckle tension that makes every co-op shooter experience all the more memorable.

In fact, after playing the three episodes in The Anacrusis’ early access version, I’m left thinking that the only idea it brings to the genre is a fresh coat of paint The Anacrusis’ aspirations are high, but quite frankly, its biggest problem is that after completing my first run I didn’t feel an urge to return to any of its challenges. I did anyway, for the sake of this review, but repeated playthroughs didn’t do much to redeem it. There are blatant polish issues all over this starship, to the point where certain segments of the maps look like they were plucked out of a game running on Unreal Engine 2, circa 2005. It is one of the better settings deployed in a co-op shooter, but the actual co-op

shooting against waves of aliens suffers from a stark absence of any interesting ideas beyond the change of scenery. The gunplay is dull, the enemies never change, and the small handful of levels meld together into the same tiresome grind. With a noticeable amount of jank sticking to the early access launch version and some weird graphical lapses. The Anacrusis becomes a difficult game to recommend at this stage. Perhaps someday this psychedelic space opera will be refined to an extent where it can contend with the masters of the genre, but until then, I’d rather just spend my time shooting more zombies.


OUR EDITORS Adam Bankhurst News Writer

Cam SheA Editor-in-Chief

George YanG Freelance Writer

Joseph KnooP Freelance Writer

Adam, from Columbus, Ohio, has been covering news, features, and previews at IGN for many years now.

Cam is Editor-in-Chief for IGN in Sydney, Australia. He covers gaming news and provides expert reviews.

Geroge reports on news for video games and entertainment at IGN from his hometown in Austin, Texas.

Joseph, is one of IGN’s Web Producers from Berkeley, California, reports on all things video games.

Luke Winkie Freelance Writer

Matthew Kim News Editor

Matt Purslow News Writer

Mitchell Saltzman Editorial Producer

Luke, a long time writer and trusted expert reviewer for IGN from Austin, Texas.

Matthew is a reporter and editor covering all things entertainment, tech, media, and video games here at IGN in San Francisco, California.

Matt covers all different kinds of video game news and entertainment for IGN all the way from London, England.

Mitchell, from Los Angeles, California, started out as a Live Producer for IGN five years ago, and has now been IGN’s Editorial Producer for the past three years.

25 • OUR Editors Winter • 2022


Jared Moore Freelance Journalist

Kat Bailey Senior Editor

Leif JohnsoN Freelance Writer

Logan PlanT Freelance Writer

Jared covers all things games and entertainment for IGN all the way from Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Kat, from San Francisco, California, has been a journalist reporting for IGN for over 12 years now.

Leif reviews the latest video games and entertainment for IGN here in his hometown, San Francisco, California.

Logan reports on all things gaming as IGN’s Freelance Video Game Journalist from Washington, USA.

Ryan DinsdalE Freelance Journalist

Ryan LestoN entmt Journalist

Rebekah Valentine Reporter + Journalist

Simon Cardy News Writer

Ryan specializes in feature writing for video games and entertainment at IGN from his home in London, England.

Ryan, our Entertainment Journalist and Critic here at IGN from Cardiff, United Kingdom reports on all things tv shows, movies, and media.

Rebekah, a multi-awardwinning reporter from San Francisco, California has been working with us at IGN for over two years now.

Simon, from London, England is a Video Producer and Writer at IGN, who covers all things gaming and entertainment.