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Game

‘Sayonara Wild Hearts’ studio Simogo’s next game is an atmospheric murder mystery

 developer has revealed its next game and the eclectic studio is again moving in a different direction. Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is a non-linear adventure title that will land on Nintendo Switch and Steam in 2023.

Simogo and publisher announced the game during today’s . The first trailer depicts a dark, atmospheric world in which you’ll need to solve puzzles to get to the bottom of a murder mystery. While the clip is light on story, there are a few peeks at the titular laser eyes.

The trailer description notes that you’ll play as a woman who’s looking for answers in a central European manor (or possibly a hotel or museum). Players will need to pay attention to what’s going on, and think about numbers, patterns and puzzles that they find. Annapurna these could be part of a “macabre game” or just a “simple treasure hunt.”

Simogo shook up the gameplay of Sayonara Wild Hearts from level to level and it looks like it’s adopting a similar approach here. The trailer suggests there will be a first-person shooter element, for instance. The visuals will vary too, from lo-fi PS1-era environments and character models to wireframe figures. It looks delightfully strange.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is nearly perfect and of all time. So, I’m really looking forward to checking out Lorelei and the Laser Eyes next year. Here’s hoping for more details during the Annapurna Interactive Showcase, which takes place .

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Game

Sonic Frontiers targets Breath of the Wild fans with late 2022 release

As recent leaks had claimed, Sega is gearing up to release another Sonic the Hedgehog game and it’ll be called Sonic Frontiers. The name refers to the nature of the upcoming title, which will be unlike any past installment in the Sonic universe. Put simply, it sure looks like Sega is hoping to draw in Breath of the Wild fans with its next Sonic game.

Image: SEGA

Sonic Frontiers was introduced alongside a teaser trailer at The Game Awards 2021, giving fans their first look at the next installment in the lengthy Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. The upcoming titles will differ from the existing games in one big way, however, by bringing the hedgehogs to their first open-world environment.

Players will be free to explore a vast open world filled with a variety of landscapes, including forests, open fields, waterfalls, deserts, and other regions. In addition to the teaser trailer, Sega has released a handful of screenshots showing the kinds of environments players can expect.

SEGA

Sonic will, Sega says, still have his ultra-fast running ability and players will be tasked with battling enemies spread throughout the open-world environment (Starfall Islands). We see a cinematic version of those kinds of battles in the launch trailer, but Sega hasn’t yet shared any gameplay footage.

Stone structures in flower field

SEGA

Though additional details aren’t yet available — the Holiday 2022 release date aside — it is pretty clear Sega is targeting fans of existing massively popular open-world games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo raked in tens of millions of sales with its hit Zelda title, with Breath of the Wild proving to be the most popular installment in the game franchise (via Wikipedia).

An open-world environment was one of the rumors that had been circulating since Sega teased a 2022 Sonic game earlier this year. The big question, though, is whether the company can manage to pull off something as excellent as Breath of the Wild. Some early commentary from players points out that while the idea of an open world is great, the actual environment revealed by Sega seems out of place with the cartoon hedgehogs.

Shallow lake with trees

SEGA

We’ve only seen a few screenshots from this world, so it’s unclear how robust it may be and what kind of buildings it may feature. It is possible that Sega plans to bring the classic landscapes from its side-scrolling titles to the upcoming 3D world, but whether it’ll pull off a style that complements — rather than contrasts — the animated characters is another matter.

Sonic’s modern design history has already been filled with some questionable choices, namely the movie version of the character that somehow managed to reach the promotional stage despite looking like, well, this. Hopefully, Sega took notes amid that design debacle and will be extra careful to give players the kind of world they want, not just cartoon hedgehogs in awkwardly realistic biomes.

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Game

The Best Zelda Breath of the Wild Mods on PC

Breath of the Wild is a near-perfect game, but super fans might be looking to change up the experience after four years on the market. The best Breath of the Wild mods for PC help you do that, changing up everything from character and weapon models to the core mechanics of Breath of the Wild. 

You’ll need a copy of Breath of the Wild to run through an emulator to get these mods to work — they won’t work on the Wii U or Switch. Like most modding endeavors, you also need a decent knowledge of installing and configuring mods to get Breath of the Wild running properly. On PC, you need the Cemu emulator and a dump of your Breath of the Wild game file.

You can then run the game file through the emulator, which is already half of the battle. From there, loading mods is simple. Our first recommendation handles all of the background work so you can easily use mods in the game.

Further reading

BCML Cross-Platform Mod Loader

The BCML Cross-Platform Mod Loader is the medicine before the candy for Breath of the Wild. The game was designed to run on the Switch and Wii U without any changes, so loading up more than a mod or two will surely bring buggy performance and crashes. BCML is a mod loader that helps you organize and load your mods. In addition to making sure everything works together, the tool makes it easy to quickly experiment with different mods without uninstalling and reinstalling them.

If you want to mod Breath of the Wild, BCML will make your life a whole lot easier.

Linkle + Alternative Hair

Character models from the Linkle mod.

Linkle is a mod that changes Link into Linkle from Hyrule Warriors. In addition to changing up the character model, this popular Breath of the Wild Mod includes alternate armor designs to give you a little bit of character customization, especially after you’ve collected the best armor in the game. The modder also has tools to fix armor icons, dialogue, the title screen, and more.

We’re recommending Linkle alongside the Alternative Hair and Eye Colors mod, too. This mod only works with Linkle, but it gives you access to a wider range of hair and eye colors. With the two, you can build your own character creator inside Breath of the Wild. 

No Shield Damage from Surfing

Link shield surfing in Breath of the Wild.

Shield surfing is some of the most fun you can have in Breath of the Wild. But, unfortunately, churning through shields as they take damage to keep your surfing habit up is a chore. That’s where the No Shield Damage from Surfing mod comes in, which tells you everything you need to know in the name. Unfortunately, it isn’t compatible with other shield mods.

Hyrule Rebalance

Enemy rebalances in Hyrule Rebalance mod.

Hyrule Rebalance is currently in its seventh version, and it overhauls nearly every aspect of Breath of the Wild. Loot is rebalanced to enemy difficulty, loot price is rebalanced to rarity, bugs are bigger and easier to catch, and bow range scales with bow power. And those are just a few of the changes that Hyrule Rebalance brings.

Although Breath of the Wild is balanced out of the box, Hyrule Rebalance still brings some quality-of-life improvements. It’s a great mod to experiment with if you’ve already played Breath of the Wild and are looking for a slightly altered experience.

End Game

Link facing off against Ganon in Breath of the Wild.

End Game, despite what the name suggests, doesn’t add any endgame content to Breath of the Wild. Instead, it rebalances the final boss battle with Ganon to provide a more challenging and entertaining fight. First, it forces you to fight the four Blights at Hyrule Castle, regardless of if you’ve beaten the Divine Beasts or not. The mod also makes Ganon and the Blights faster and their stun times lower, making the fight more difficult.

If this is your second (or seventh) time through Breath of the Wild, End Game provides enough of a challenge to keep you hooked.

Second Wind

Link standing in front of a castle in Breath of the Wild.

Calling Second Wind a mod doesn’t do it enough justice. It expands Breath of the Wild in the way official DLC would, adding new quests, weapons, bosses, and more. It borrows a lot from other mods, including Survival of the Wild, End Game, and Hyrule Rebalance (all included on this list). It also adds new music, a new town, and a slew of extra goodies.

The mod is based around the Ancient Trial quest, which also includes 15 side quests. The developer is currently working on the Ancient Island, which is another large expansion that offers an overarching quest. After you’ve tracked down all the captured memory locations, Second Wind gives you plenty to chew on.

Xbox One/PS4 UI

button layout for a PS4 controller in Breath of the Wild.

If you’re playing with an Xbox One or PS4 controller, you can update the interface to reflect your controller and the buttons on it. The Xbox One UI mode gives you Xbox button prompts, and the PS4 UI gives you DualShock 4 prompts. Although not as exciting as Second Wind or End Game, updating the UI can get around a lot of confusion with the Switch button prompts.

Survival of the Wild

A vendor in the Survival of the Wild mod.

Survival of the Wild focuses on the survival mechanics in Breath of the Wild. It expands the weather system to be more unforgiving, adds a hunger system, and changes up the UI for a minimalist look. If you’re looking for a more demanding, challenging Breath of the Wild experience, Survival of the Wild is for you. It changes a lot in the game to force you to think about survival over exploration, which is a great change of pace on a second playthrough.

Classic Weapons Pack

Link standing with a sword and shield.

The Classic Weapons Pack mod adds some iconic swords and shields from The Legend of Zelda franchise into Breath of the Wild. It replaces the models of some of the weapons in the game with options like the Mirror Shield from Ocarina of Timethe Ikana Mirror Shield from Majora’s Mask, and the Knight Shield from Hyrule Warriors. 

Although it doesn’t change the Breath of the Wild experience, the Classic Weapons Pack mod still adds a nice dash of visual flair. Plus, they look great in your inventory alongside the best weapons in Breath of the Wild

HD Menu and Map

Updated icons in Breath of the Wild.

Emulating Breath of the Wild allows you to push the resolution beyond the Switch’s 1080p output, but some elements don’t carry over to the higher resolution. Take the map and menu icons, for example. The HD Menu and Map mod gets around the problem by replacing the icons with higher-resolution versions. In addition to item icons, the mod enhances map icons by over three times the base resolution to give the game a sharper look overall.

Revo Reshade Redux

Link standing in a field in Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild is a beautiful game, but you can make it look even better with the Revo Reshade Redux mod. The mod removes the yellow haze in Breath of the Wild and balances the colors, lending to a more natural look. It boosts the contrast a lot, too, which gives the world more depth at higher resolutions.

The mod was designed with the RTGI ray tracing shader for Breath of the Wild in mind. This mod enhances reflections to offer a ray tracing effect, though you can only access it by subscribing to the developer’s Patreon.

Henriko’s Faithful Music Mod

There are a ton of music mods for Breath of the Wild, so we’d recommend looking around for a music pack you like. If you want the Breath of the Wild vibe without the tracks in the game, Henriko’s Faithful Music Mod is for you. Instead of original music or tracks from other Zelda games, the mod borrows tracks from a range of titles to capture the essence of Breath of the Wild. 

You can watch the video above to see if the mod is for you. It retains the spirit of the original music but gives you something else to listen to while playing.

Editors’ Choice




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Game

Wild price for sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda breaks auction records

Back in April, we told you about a sealed copy of the original Super Mario Bros. that fetched the hefty sum of $660,000 at auction. At the time, we wondered how long this record would stand, and as it turns out, it didn’t take long for the record to be broken. Today Heritage Auctions announced that it has sold a sealed copy of The Legend of Zelda for nearly one million dollars.

While this copy of The Legend of Zelda didn’t quite reach the one million mark, it came awfully close, pulling in a record $870,000 in an auction earlier today. So what made this copy of The Legend of Zelda pull in so much money? According to Heritage Auctions, there are a few different reasons, and they all add up to make one super rare copy of the game.

One of the biggest contributors to the price is the fact that this is a sealed copy with a Wata 9.0 rating. For reference, the sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold for $660k earlier this year had a 9.6 Wata rating, so it was actually in better condition than this copy of The Legend of Zelda. The difference-maker, in this case, is the fact that this is a very early production run of the game.

As Heritage Auctions explains it, most of the copies you’re likely to encounter are “Rev-A” variants, but earlier production runs had “NES TM” and “NES R” variants. The NES TM variant is the earliest, but Heritage explains that only one sealed NES TM copy is thought to exist. This copy of The Legend of Zelda is an NES R variant that was only produced for a few months in late 1987 before it was replaced by the Rev-A variant, inflating its rarity (and its price) significantly. The copy also carries a round Nintendo Seal of Quality, which helps bring the price up further.

“As for this particular copy of the world’s first adventure with Link, we don’t even need an entire hand to count the number of copies that are purported to exist in sealed condition from this “No Rev-A” production run, and this copy is among the finest known of these examples,” Heritage Auctions wrote today. Once again, we’re left wondering if this record will be broken anytime soon, but since it’s only been a few months since the last time we said such thoughts out loud, we’ll just wait and see what happens next.

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Game

‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’ is getting free DLC inspired by the Netflix series

CD Projekt Red will release its free next-gen update for the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt later this year, the studio announced today at its joint WitcherCon event with Netflix. What’s more, CDPR will release free DLC inspired by Netflix’s live-action adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books. What that downloadable content will look like, the developer didn’t say, but key art the studio shared mentions “extra items.” Take that as you will.

When CD Projekt Red it was developing native versions of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for the new current generation consoles, it said the ports would include features like ray tracing and faster loading times. On Friday, it promised to share more information “soon.” In 2020, the studio said those who already own the game on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One would get the new release for free. We’ll also note here that CDPR plans to release a next-gen update for sometime later this year as well.

Outside of an excuse to replay The Wild Hunt, fans can also look forward to watching   an animated prequel film centered on Geralt’s mentor, Vesemir — next month, and, at long last, season two of The Witcher in .

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Tech News

Wild new theory says the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning

The prevailing theory on the origin of our universe goes like this: about 13.7 billion years ago a single particle exploded. The resultant blast created an ever-expanding universe that, eventually, became home to the planet we call Earth.

The Big Bang theory first appeared in a scientific paper in 1931. Physicist Georges Lemaitre is credited with its creation. And the bulk of our assumptions about the universe and its rate of expansion are based on his ideas.

In 2019 that rate of expansion, called the Hubble Constant, was put into question by various teams that determined either the rate of expansion had been incorrectly calculated or something was seriously wrong with the universe.

[Read: Either the Hubble Constant is wrong or the universe is ripping itself apart]

Scientists are still sorting things out and working towards an explanation that can reconcile both the Big Bang and our modern observations.

The reason why we can’t just punch some numbers in a supercomputer and determine the truth is because we don’t have all the information.

Trying to determine how old the universe is by measuring its current rate of expansion is like trying to pick the winner of a NASCAR race based on a blurry, out-of-context photograph of one racer’s left rear tire.

To that end, the Big Bang theory only really works if we assume it was the beginning of our universe. Doing so makes it the one piece of the entire puzzle that corresponds with what we’re actually able to see and measure.

But what if the Big Bang wasn’t the beginning?

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a physicist at the University of New Hampshire, has a differing theory.

Writing for New Scientist, they claim it makes more sense to assume the universe has been expanding forever.

Per the article:

The universe may not have had a beginning moment, and we may live in what is called an eternally inflating universe. One that was expanding exponentially even before what we call the big bang. Mathematically, this seems the most likely scenario — assuming inflation is correct.

The ramifications of such a theory may seem trivial – one explanation for a number is as good as another until we’re able to measure more. But a lot of our assumptions concerning both classical and quantum physics are grounded in the idea that time is more than just a construct.

Whether we’re discussing Newton’s Laws or breaking down the nature of relative observations in quantum physics, the idea is that there’s a dimensional quality called time that’s codified by distinct points representing the beginning and end of an event.

Without a finite moment at the creation of the universe where nothingness became something, there’s no origin point for time – there are no beginnings.

The concept of infinite expansion without a beginning may be difficult to wrap our heads around, but it kind of adds up. After all, it seems paradoxical to imagine a period in which the universe itself, and thus time, didn’t exist at all because you’re forced to wonder how long time didn’t exist for before it finally did.

But, if time’s always existed – because the universe itself has always existed – then perhaps it’s never existed. What is time without a beginning or end?

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Computing

MSI Curved Gaming Monitor is Almost Nothing with Wild Deal

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From time to time, there are some incredible desktop monitor deals that warrant upgrading your screen or configuration, especially if you only have one monitor. The same is true for many of the gaming PC deals that appear, which may warrant buying an entirely new and more powerful rig.

That’s a lot like the wild and crazy deal that Newegg is hosting right now, on the MSI Optix MAG27CQ 27-inch curved gaming monitor, featuring a 2560 x 1440 2K resolution and 144Hz refresh rate. Newegg has cut $120 off the full price, bringing the total to $240 with free shipping. The deal ends in 2 days, but supplies are limited, so don’t sleep on it if you’re interested.

The MSI Optix MAG27CQ 27-inch curved gaming monitor offers some impressive specs, especially for the price range. It features a maximum 2K resolution of 2560 x 1440 WQHD, with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. Visuals on the screen will look gorgeous, crisp, and fluid. Not to mention, it’s compatible with AMD’s FreeSync Adaptive Sync technology, which is ideal if you have an AMD graphics card.

Additional specs include a 3000:1 contrast ratio, anti-flicker technology, a built-in low blue light filter, and a red gaming-friendly LED finish. The screen is frameless, with nearly invisible edges. On the rear of the monitor, you’ll find one each of 1.2 DisplayPort, 2.0 HDMI, and DVI inputs. It is curved with a radius of 1800R and viewing angles of 178 degrees (H) / 178 degrees (V). Depending on the size of your desk, you might be able to slide 2 or 3 of these bad boys together to create one wild but absolutely beautiful setup.

Newegg is offering the MSI Optix MAG27CQ 27-inch curved gaming monitor for $120 off the usual $360 price, which brings the price to $240 plus free shipping. That is an amazing price not only for a monitor of this size but one that has a curved design. Factor in the specs, and, well, you’re not going to find much comparable, at least right now.

More Gaming and Desktop Monitor Deals Available Now

Not a fan of the MSI Optix MAG27CQ monitor? No problem, there are a few other gaming and desktop monitors on sale. We gathered up all of the best ones and left them for you below.

We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and we choose what we cover carefully and independently. The prices, details, and availability of the products and deals in this post may be subject to change at anytime. Be sure to check that they are still in effect before making a purchase.

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Game

Yes, Breath of the Wild 2 has an actual title and no, we can’t tell you it yet

There’s a lot of hype riding behind Breath of the Wild 2, but one thing a lot of people are undoubtedly wondering is when Nintendo will stop referring to the game as “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” Does the game have an actual title? It obviously does, but Nintendo doesn’t want to share that title just yet because it doesn’t want to spoil portions of the game.

In an interview with IGN, Nintendo’s Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff said that the company hasn’t revealed the title yet because it might give away some details about the story that Nintendo isn’t ready to reveal. “As for why we’re holding back on the name, you’ll just have to stay tuned because, obviously, Zelda names are kind of important,” Trinen said. “Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”

It’s safe to say that Breath of the Wild 2‘s title will reveal something – whether it’s an item, theme, or mechanic – that’s central to the game, so while Nintendo is still in teaser mode, all we’ll be getting are these references to “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” Nintendo is apparently fine with fans colloquially adopting the title of Breath of the Wild 2 for this game, but that is not the game’s official title, and it’s not one we’re going to hear the company itself use.

It could be some time yet before that official title is revealed because yesterday, Nintendo announced that it’s targeting a 2022 release for Breath of the Wild 2. It’s exciting to have a release window, but unfortunately, that could also mean that Breath of the Wild 2 is still a long way off. Indeed, when you consider that all we’ve seen from the game are a couple of brief teaser trailers, then we’ve probably still got a long wait ahead of us.

So, for now, this new Zelda game will remain “the sequel to Breath of the Wild” officially and “Breath of the Wild 2” unofficially among fans. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope that the reveal of the game’s true title is coming up sooner rather than later, but don’t be surprised if Nintendo takes its time in announcing it.

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Game

Fortnite Wild Weeks takes over season six: What this means for players

Epic has announced Fortnite Wild Week, a sort of dynamic adjustment to the battle royale gameplay that will keep things feeling fresh and require players to stay on top of their strategies. Put simply, each week for the remainder of the game’s season six will put emphasis on a different type of weapon with its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

Players don’t need to worry about anything big changing in Fortnite battle royale. The gameplay and island remain the same. Rather, Wild Weeks refers to the items you’ll find around the island, with each week adjusting the loadout so that you’ll be more likely to come across certain types of weapons rather than others.

This first week, which started on May 6, revolves around fire and that’s why you’re easily stumbling across flare guns and fire-powered bows right now. With these, players are easily able to set things on fire, meaning you’ll need to stay on guard about long-range attacks and have an exit strategy to escape the flames.

Epic says that its ‘Fighting Fire with Fire’ Wild Week will be live until May 13 at 10AM ET. That gives players a full week to enjoy the literal firepower before the game cycles to the next weapons drop. Epic hasn’t yet revealed which array of weapons will be emphasized in the next weeks starting on May 20.

After that second Wild Week that starts on May 20, the third and final Wild Week in season six will start on June 3. Players can keep an eye out on the official Fortnite social media accounts to preview the next weapons theme, giving them a chance to plan their strategies before the change.

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Game

Shiny Pokemon GO Luminous Legends X event eggs, wild spawns, and rewards

As this article is set to be published, we’re diving in to the latest Pokemon GO event: Luminous Legends X! This event started on May 4, 2021, and will last until May 17, 2021, at 8PM local time. As is generally the case, some of the spawns and bonuses may last just beyond the scheduled end of the event – but don’t risk it! You’re going to want to try your hand at the Shiny Pokemon in this event as soon as possible.

There’s a challenge going on during this event that should (pretty likely) be activated on May 11. Between now and Sunday, May 9, 2021, trainers around the world are aiming to catch a total of 500 million Fairy-type Pokemon in Pokemon GO. If this is accomplished, the rewards are great!

Rewards for the Fairy-type capture challenge include 3x Catch XP, Pancham in raid battles (for the first time ever), and the high possibility release of Shiny Galarian Ponyta! That’s just ONE of the several Shiny Pokemon that’ll be more common and/or potentially visible this week. The Fairy-type challenge rewards will last from May 11 and 10AM to May 17 at 8PM local time.

During this event you’ll find the following potentially Shiny Pokemon available: Clefairy, Dratini, Snubbull, Ralts, and Bagon. There’ll also be far more common Pokemon with no potential for Shiny-ness, including: Dragonair (though you could just evolve a shiny Dratini), Cottonee, Spritzee, Swirlix, and Goomy!

This event will feature some fairly awesome Pokemon Eggs, too. If you find a 7km egg during this event, it can contain a Shiny Cleffa, Igglybuff, Azurill, or Gible. It could also contain any of those Pokemon in non-Shiny form, or a non-Shiny Spritzee or Swirlix.

This event series also includes the 5-star raid battle appearance of Xerneas. You’ll also get exclusive moves for Dragonair and Shelgon if you evolve or use a Charged TM during this event. Dragonair will learn Draco Meteor, and Shelgon will move Outrage!

Take a peek at the timeline below for more information on this event and the rest of the Pokemon GO universe. Cross your fingers for more Shiny Pokemon in secret during this event, too!

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